Hawaiian Cruise - What About NCL?

Old Jul 29th, 2006, 12:19 PM
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Hawaiian Cruise - What About NCL?

We would like to possibly do an Hawaiian cruise without all he days at sea, to and from. It looks like Norwegian is the only cruiseline that offers that choice, but in the past we have cruised mosty with HAL. After reading a lot of info online, I am afraid that we would really be disappointed with NCL so I am going back and forth on even going to Hawaii. Any comments or suggestions?
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 01:55 PM
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The ships are beautiful, the itenerary great, but the food and service are not good. If you go, try to schedule the specialty restaurants the minute you can. Have you checked out the cruisecritic boards? Also, cruise reviews.com? I`m glad I went, but won`t go with NCL again, if there is a choice.
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Old Jul 31st, 2006, 01:56 PM
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I would recommend cruisecritic.com or cruisemates.com
Many reviews and comments there.
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Old Aug 12th, 2006, 03:56 PM
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We did the cruise on the Star when it had to go to Fanning Island. I have been on X Mercury & HAL Rotterdam & thoroughly enjoyed NCL. Free Style cruising has some advantages, you can eat where & when you want. The Japanese & French restaurants were great & the Tapas Bar too. It's a lovely ship . Get a balcony if you can & watch whales from there!
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Old Aug 12th, 2006, 07:58 PM
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We cruised with NCL to Alaska and had a great time, even though we were on one of their oldest ships. The service was excellent, the food very tasty with lots of choices. We liked the freestyle dining and yet never had to wait long to get a table in any of the restaurants. My only negative was that the theater where the entertainment took place needed to be better arranged so you don't have to be climbing over people to get to a table or a seat. I believe they were going to be redoing it so it should be fine now.
All in all, we had a great time and have no complaints about NCL.
I think you should give them a try, especially in Hawaii where their ships are quite new and modern.
Good Luck.
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Old Aug 12th, 2006, 09:09 PM
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The NCL america line and the regular NCL line aren`t the same. The food on the Pride of america was not good and the service was very bad. Maybe it`s better if you sign up for the specialty restaurants, but we didn`t do it quickly enough. We talked to people who just got off the Pride of Aloha and they said the same things. The reviews of the new Pride of Hawaii are bad too. Free style dining is a joke! You have to wait a long time. They even hand out beepers. Those who went in the past don`t know how it is now. Read the reviews on www.cruisereviews.com and www.cruisecritic.com. We got a $250 discount each for a future cruise, and we won`t even use it, as bad service and food make it not worthwhile. Go for a land vacation! It`s too bad as the ships are beautiful and Hawaii is too!
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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However, the NCL Hawaii cruise is an efficient way to see all the islands of Hawaii in an affordable way. Consider these comments, but you can also order room service, eat at the buffet or grill and treat the cruise ship as a floating hotel. Eat early or eat late at the specialty restaurants if there is a problem.

Holland America DOES do Hawaii cruises and they leave from San Diego, so you get the gorgeous, restful days at sea with the beautiful Hawaiian islands. My best HAL clients LOVED the restful days at sea - he is an accountant and they went after tax season.

Regards,
Julia
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Friends of ours did a 16 day HAL Hawaiian cruise & loved it.
 
Old Aug 30th, 2006, 11:29 AM
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just came back from the NCL cruise to Hawaii - Pride of Hawaii last week. i enjoyed the islands but disappointed at the ship. i don't think i will get on another NCL ship again (or rather U.S. registered ships) and i would not recommend it to anyone. i researched a lot of travel sites before our trip and read some pretty bad reviews myself. i can say i was prepared mentally but still i was disappointed. Free style does not work, it's not really free style. you have to make your reservations as soon as you get on the ship or you will be screwed (but be prepared to stand on line for a long time to make the reservations though. it was way over an hour for us and there were only a few people ahead of us). do a little homework first, you need to know where you want to eat and when to eat for each evening. it will be very hard to change reservations (almost impossible) once they are made. the computer outside each restaurant does not give you accurate information and in my opinion serves no purpose at all. i feel sorry for the people who didn't make reservations, they have to wait outside for a long long time to be seated even though they can see half of the tables are empty. we really can't understand why. we are also very disappointed with the food quality on this ship, there was not one thing that's outstanding that we can remember, mediocre at best... we have been on 2 carnival cruises previously and the food was much better than this. the workers in the food area are not experienced and not adequately trained as well.
we absolutely have no complaints on cabins, they did a very good job in that area. this is our first trip to hawaii, therefore, we decided to take the cruise so we can experience each island and see which one we like better. i just wish there were other cruise companies available for us to choose. so do some homework and decide what's important to you and go from there. enjoy!!!
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Old Aug 30th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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After reading all the feedback about the NCLA ships I believe we would chose another line for Hawaii.
We have sailed the Sun and the Dream...no problems with freestyle dining and overall a very good experience.
Too bad the NCLA ships can't get their act together. They offer such great itineraries.
 
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