What might be your take on these cruise that are staffed differently than most cruiselines staff the ships??? I have read some reveiews both Good & Bad and was hoping to generate some discussions with 1st hand infor from cruisers who have experienced a cruise on these ships.
NCL America had a very bad time of it when they first started. Seems the largely US crew just weren't providing the level of service that cruisers are used to. There were a number of logistical issues too. On one cruise they actually ran out of coffee creamer.
After a couple of months...and tons of complaints and bad reviews NCL America completely re-vamped their program, re training staff and instituting much stricter service related policies and procedures for them to follow.
Since then things have turned completely around. NCL America has been getting good reviews and I hear the trip is really great. I have two co-workers who went last year and they both gave rave reviews.
We were on the Pride of Hawaii 9/11-18. The U.S. staff was very friendly and capable. They were also more "casual" in their attitude. You would almsot always get a "good morning" or a "how are you today?", but rarely a "good morning, Mr. X". I think that the all-American crew is quite well suited to NCL's freestyle concept. The service issues are more a result of U.S. labor laws (little things like the minimum wage, 40 hour work weeks, and overtime pay) than the citizenship of the workers.
Let me preface this with my usual saying - YOU are what makes your cruise a good time. but.....
Sorry but I have to disagree with you Michael. I do not have this from first-hand knowledge but one of my co-workers was with a large church group on the Pride of America recently. She had numerous horror stories to tell when she got home.
First NCL America forgot to pick up 20 passengers at the airport and when called did not offer much help.
Word on board was that at each port there were upwards of 20 workers who "jumped ship" so to speak. The turnover is huge.
There was no turn down service at night and the clean towel/bedding only happened sporadically.
Dining was not a pleasant experience for them either. The Head Waiters were clearing tables since the staffing problem had less than usual crew in the dining room. Courses were brought out haphazardly and not with great care.
At the end of the cruise the line-up to the purser's desk to demand that the auto-tip be removed from the accounts was longer than early check-in! Although we all know that people will demand that for small perceived problems, insignificant to us @ddicts.
That said, the ports were wonderful and most of the crew tried very hard to make their cruise experience a good one.
If you go on an NCL America cruise with an open mind, ports your focus, you can't go wrong with the intinerary and price. If you are looking for an @ddicts kind of cruise with wonderful service, food and entertainment, you might be disappointed.
Don't expect the NCLA (American) crew to pamper you as much as NCL (International) crew will. Firstly, they are paid more to meet American labor laws and secondly, Americans at the low end of the pay scale will not let you treat them as slaves.
They will be professional at their jobs, but they won't treat you as a royal.
My TA told me that for this cruise you need to think of the ship more as a hotel and restaurants than a cruise ship. She said if you go with that attitude, you will find the service fine - not the same as a caribbean cruise, but fine.