Bad cruise experience and terrible customer service

We booked a Hawaiian cruise with Norwegian on the Pride of America for our 40th anniversary. Two weeks before the cruise they cut a day off the cruise making our 7 day cruise a 6 day cruise. The ‘gesture of gratitude’ was to reduce the cost by 1 day. So the gratitude for reducing my cruise by a day was to refund me 1 day. Really? To make matters worse, we get a letter in the cabin telling us that my first excursion of Road to Hanna is cut short due to a landslide. We decided to still do the excursion because the person at the excursion desk convinced us that we were not missing anything really because not much is past the town of Hana. We get on the tour bus and find out that there is no landslide. The tour was cut short at the request of NCL because they got to port later than expected. Also found out that we missed the seven sacred pools and the wine tasting. Yet we paid full price for the tour. Not cool.

I also have to say that the ‘Pride of America’ is in serious need of some pride. My wife and I have cruise over 20 times in the past 40 years. Mostly on Carnival and Royal. First time on Norwegian and likely our last. Dining area windows were so dirty that my camera couldn’t focus on the dolphins we noticed swimming by. Lots of rust areas on the ship including on our balcony. We were watching a show in the theater while it was raining outside and water was dripping from the ceiling. Overall the ship is old and dated. Staff was nothing like any of the other cruises we have been on. They just didn’t seem happy. Few smiled or even said Hi. Never saw our steward until the last day.

We made the best of it for our 40th anniversary but I wish I could go back in time and do something different.

Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line

20 Answers

I agree with you. It's not about the ship its about where it takes you. I go in 2019 and I can't wait.

The new ships from NCL have been great and the Bliss is the best of them all. And if you can book the Haven it is exponentially better! We did the inaugural last year....12 days from Southampton to NYC, in the Haven and it was amazing! Encore is coming in November, also from Southampton. But we will be on the Bliss in November on a 21 day LA to NYC Panama Canal transit. Can’t wait,

Although it has been years we have sailed on the Pride of America several times. It is the only American flagged cruise ship and I believe that most of the crew needed to be American to get a tax break if I remember properly. So the difference in service.

If you look at the Pride of America as nothing more than a floating hotel that gets you from island to island, I believe you will have a great time. I still believe it is a great way to see four islands.

With that said NCL’s customer service has taken a dive in my opinion.

We have never sailed on NCL but know quite a few who have and who really like the NCL all around cruise packages. We spend quite a bit of time in Hawaii too. Have for 49 years now, my brother and our daughter’s family even own units over there. Most of the time we fly but have visited there on cruise ships as well, coming and going from other Pacific ports that is.

It appears to me that the entire Hawaiian cruise operation is an outlier. A lot of convoluted history involving NCL's operations there but I have to say they have tried hard over the years to make a go of it. After 9/11 the America Classic Voyages Co. went under along with their subsidiary, American Hawaii Cruises who operated the SS Independence in Hawaii. Just prior to all that, Trent Lott, R-Mississippi and U.S. Senate Majority Leader had successfully pushed legislation through Congress for the U.S. to build two cruise ships for the ACV in southern US shipyards. Unfortunately, neither vessel was finished at the time of the collapse. So the U.S. was stuck with two partially completed cruise ships.

The ships were towed to Europe and finished over there. Long story short, NCL entered the fray, bought at least one of the new ships and negotiated a deal with the U.S. Congress where three of their vessels would be allowed to operate in Hawaii as US registered vessels. But that only lasted a short time as they lost money on it, so cut the effort down to a one ship show. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if FDR bags the entire operation and puts the Pride of America under the cutting torches.

Age of the ship has nothing to do with guest service and NCL service was the worst in my 34 cruises. Never again.

I've sailed on Pride of America twice. First time was 15 years ago and I have nothing good to say about that one. The last time was this past August and the difference was night and day. The staff during our 2004 cruise was so rude we sent letters of complaint to the company and was able to be refunded not all but some money. The staff during our 2019 cruise was so good. Yes the fact that 80% of the staff on POA is American do make a difference (sad to say). The ship is old and dated but we had a good cabin, no issues at all.

Sorry your experience was not a good one.

Happy 40th. Anniversary!

My mistake, our cruise was January 2020, 2019 was a different cruise.

Yep - agree

Interesting dialogue. A lot to ponder.


Try Celebrity or RC, totally different experience!

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