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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

NCL Confirms Pride of Aloha to Become Norwegian Sky

NCL today announced that the ship, to revert back to Norwegian Sky, its original name, will head to Miami where it will sail three- and four-night Bahamas cruises.

The former Norwegian Sky was transferred to NCL's Hawaii spin-off as a last-minute fill-in for Pride of America, which had been damaged while under construction at its German shipyard. Renamed and redecorated, the "new" Pride of Aloha has been sailing all-Hawaii cruises since.

NCL had announced in February that the ship would be transferred out of the fleet entirely -- and returned back to Star Cruises, the cruise line's then sole owner. It had been planned that Pride of Aloha would depart NCL's fleet on May 11.

The ship will still leave Hawaii -- only now it'll go to drydock, where a casino will be re-introduced and, presumably, the Kumu Cultural Center will be removed. The "new" Norwegian Sky will also receive the Freestyle 2.0 upgrades being rolled out fleetwide; the enhancements include new menus, upgraded staterooms, innovative onboard activities and service initiatives.

While the concept of NCL starting short Bahamas cruises is intriguing, what's most interesting about this recent move is that Andy Stuart, NCL's marketing chief, said in February that the ship didn't merit the investment of upgraded amenities.

Norwegian Sky will begin its Bahamas sailings on July 14. The ship will depart Miami on Mondays for the four-night trip -- with calls at Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, NCL's private island. The three-night cruise, leaving on Fridays, will visit Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay. The schedule will be in effect at least through mid-April 2009.


Blogger Anna said...

Hi - We were on Pride of Aloha from 4/27/08 - 5/4/08 (It's next to last cruise in Hawaii). We were in an aft cabin on the 10th deck with balcony. The entire aft section of the ship smelled intermittently of sewage and mildew. Many calls to hotel management and housekeeping failed to correct this problem. I have seen on message boards as far back as 2005/2006 that this problem existed. Fair warning for whoever plans to take cruises on the NEW NCL Sky (the renamed Pride of Aloha) sailing on 3 and 4 day cruises out of Miami that this problem most likely HAS NOT BEEN FIXED. I resorted to keeping my deck door open at all times, sprinkling baby powder and room deoderizers throughout the cabin and complaining. Nothing really did the trick and I never got so much as an apology from the line (Very disappointing). I did notice that they set up fans in the corridors the last 4 days of our cruise and they did put some sort of chemical down the toilets, but the problem would get a little better and then build up again. Our room steward said "this always happens - everyone complains" - GREAT!! Unfortunately you could smell this odor at times in the theatre and in the dining room on 5 aft. Just wanted to let people know that this problem exists and has existed for a very long time. I do not know if this was happening in other areas of the ship - I only noticed it in the aft areas.

7:59 AM  

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