Norwegian Cruise Line America  » Cruises/Ferries  »
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Hawaii
  • The experience that so many cruisers are used to as veterans or expecting as new cruisers is lacking because the strain on the workers is visible
  • The best way to enjoy a cruise on this line is to come in armed with real expectations
  • If you're prepared for the worst, you'll know what to avoid, and time is one luxury that no cruise line offers
  • It's worth the extra cost if fine dining is why you cruise, but if you're in a hurry to attend an activity or disembark for shore leave, the buffet style dining is more than adequate

    • by Captain Average
      all reviews
      Norwegian Cruise Lines recently expanded their American branch aptly called Norwegian Cruise Line America with exclusive service to the Hawaiian islands. The one thing I’ve learned about any “exclusive service” is that lack of competition doesn’t breed a great product. One of three different ships — the Pride of Aloha (oldest and smallest), Pride of America (the middle ship), and Pride of Hawaii (newest and largest) — will take cruisers around the islands for 7-10 day packages stopping in Kona, Honolulu, Kihei (Maui), and Kaua’i. The good part about the cruise is that it is staffed by 100% American workers and thus never has to leave American waters to return to an American port (a little known maritime law for foreign flagged ships). Therefore no passports or customs lines which can take forever.

      The drawback is that the ships are crewed by 100% American workers. The workers on these ships are not accustomed to the 70 hour work week required


      to keep a floating city profitable, or the 20 weeks at sea that the company requires of each and every crew member. Inevitably the work suffers. The “experience” that so many cruisers are used to as veterans or expecting as new cruisers is lacking because the strain on the workers is visible.

      There are of course exceptions, but first class service is not what these ships provide. So don’t expect it. The best way to enjoy a cruise on this line is to come in armed with real expectations. If you’re prepared for the worst, you’ll know what to avoid, and time is one luxury that no cruise line offers.

      So here we go. 1) Main Dining food is not good. However, they do have “specialty themed” restaurants (Italian or Asian Fusion, etc. ) onboard which cost an extra plating fee, usually around $10 per person.

      The food in these is excellent, but they have limited seating so make a reservation.


      • It’s worth the extra cost if fine dining is why you cruise, but if you’re in a hurry to attend an activity or disembark for shore leave, the buffet style dining is more than adequate. We all know that we cruise to eat, so find the best option to suit you. I actually like the buffet food.

        It’s fast, unlike main dining, has no dress code, or time constraints, and the quality of the food is the exact same as in the main dining halls. It’s just not dressed up. 2) The ship activities are not fun. You’re in Hawaii to see the islands so — get off the ship.

        The cruise has ample time to explore on your own, with two special overnight stays in port for you to sample the nightlife. If you view the ship as a floating hotel taking you to several destinations, then you will have a better time. The activities offered on board are

        sparsely attended and usually require a hefty amount of alcohol to be enjoyable. You’re paying good money, so why would want to answer trivia questions in a sports bar for the chance to be entered into a raffle for a key chain? See the beaches.

        See the people. Get out there. 3) Shore Excursion Packages are overpriced. Don’t pay to attend the ship sposored shore excursions.

        They are hassle-free and usually close to the ship, but they are so poorly run, and are often crowded to the point of absurdity. My best advice for a shore excursion is to rent a car, hit the highway, and lay in the sand. If you really have a specific activity in mind, go online, read another reviewer here, and book with a specific company. Other than that, everything else is fairly generic.

        The pools vary in size, the booze is always overpriced, and the people on board are a fair cross-section, but you’re on vacation — so go with the flow. Good luck and aloha.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in May, 2007. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 42505167320231/k2311a0525/5.25.07
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