MINDSET before sailing: The contract was provided AFTER payment
in full (NO Refunds) and stated that everything you were sold
doesn't count. Only the contract details do. The ship is not
guaranteed to be seaworthy. The staff is not guaranteed to be
trained. The service charge is not a tip. It's like the service
charge at a catering hall. It goes to management. No wonder the
staff doesn't care. They are in a service profession without any
accountability, ie. tips. If a ship is quarantined, we can be
charged for having to remain on the ship. I especially liked the
paragraphs that pointed out we can't sue but if we do, you are
responsible for nothing and suits can be filed in Fl under Maritime
law. We are not on a fishing boat. We are on a cruise that cost a
whole lot of money and is supposed to provide us with the products
and services we were told we would receive. The responsibility to
create an enjoyable atmosphere and clean environment rests with
you, no matter what the contract says. It was certainly a downer.
It felt like we were
bait and switch victims before we started.
The embarkation was simple because I walk with a cane so we
bypassed the main line. There was no staff to greet and direct us
The steward was not a happy person and our room was not cleaned
until the afternoon each day. Day 1: We had sour milk in our coffee
maker's water reservoir and hadn't been set up for coffee with
supplies. My brother's room had not been cleaned properly. Used
tampons were in his bathroom garbage! There was no instruction to
know you had to put your card in for electricity. What about
charging stuff when you are out of your room? Shouldn't the steward
greet each person to welcome us and explain the procedures and
timing? We came back to our room at 12:30 and found our room still
not made up. We had to leave again. Twice we stayed on the balcony
while he worked on our room. We had to work around him. I don't
think my cruise experience should work that way. My father's
steward was friendly, efficient and answered questions which is how
I was able to inform the other 6 rooms in our group how the
electricity worked. Their stewards hadn't told them either.
Restaurants: We were very unhappy with the crowds in the Cafe -
the noise, the poor food, no choices, no seasoning, waiting to find
seats. The fried chicken still had hair on it and the Romainian guy
in charge said that's the way it comes ?!? The buffet staff allowed
things to run out then wouldn't let you know if someone was going
to backfill it. The flavor of the food and desserts was not
existent. Moderno's was delicious. Our large group enjoyed the
opportunity to dine on excellent food together. I question the
reservation policy since we were told we could only come at 5:30
and the group we were traveling with was told only 6:15, I think.
The dining room remained half empty for most of our time there.
This is certainly not run like a restaurant to reserve and turn
tables. The only complaint was beverage refills. The sushi
restaurant took forever for 4 sushi rolls and again slow or no
beverage refills. The Uptown Grill had a nice staff but NO SALT for
breakfast ?!? Why? We enjoyed the food and service in Savor 3x.
The reservation system blocked out any opportunity to eat in the
main dining rooms until 8:45 each night. The shows changed times
when we departed NY throwing off our schedule. Most shows were
already blocked out just like dining reservations. Nothing was
"Freestyle" on this cruise. It was TOO CROWDED!! You couldn't enjoy
anything on the outside decks. No room. The deck chair areas were
barely passable. We couldn't get into the tiny pools. 4000 people
and pools could probably hold 200.
Handicap accessibility was poor. The hallways were TOO NARROW !!
It was a matter of taking turns in the doorway nooksfor people to
walk through in different directions. Anyone with a stroller,
walker, motorized scooter or wheelchair was at the mercy of the
cleaning carts and the room service food that never got picked up.
I watched a woman who HAD to escort her father so he could get
around. His narrow scooter could not pass the carts. She had to
pull the carts into the doorway nooks so he could squeeze past. She
said her mother had a wider scooter and could not fit through. I
donâ€™t know if her mother was on the cruise but
that should be criminal if she was confined to her room.
Personally, it was painful to have to walk sideways to pass the
carts. I estimated the hallway width to be slightly over 3 feet
which is the size of a hallway in my home and a bit less than 2
feet with the cart in place. It was an obstacle course. An obese
woman with a cane barely got through. It had to be
CLEANLINESS: I had to point out to a young lady in a gown for
pictures that she had to lift her gown to keep from getting dirty
on the breakfast food that was on the floor, having been bumped off
the plate that had been there for over 8 hours. I called down to
have someone retrieve it and they took only that plate, leaving 3
others in the same hallway!
ROOMS: The rooms hold 4 people but the balconies only have room
for 2 chairs. Smokers made it disgusting to try to be on our
balcony and when we were enroute back to NY, we smelled
RAID: Before the ship left Bermuda, our friend's 75 year old
mother had her room raided by Bermuda police looking for
Really, A 75 year old is your suspect? She was too frail to have
left the ship, yet they accused her of buying pot in port. They
opened her safe and searched her room, forcing her and her 70 year
old friend to sit while they did. She was told the next day that
other rooms were searched also because of a complaint about smoke
from her balcony's vicinity. My friends were incredulous when we
came back to tell them the room is subject to unwarranted search,
especially when we told them how many balconies were so close
together, how small they were and the wind currents made it
impossible to determine a particular path. Guess there's no Bill of
Rights on the ship or in Bermuda.
There was too much "Big Brother" with our cards for my taste.
You could tell when we were in our rooms, at a show or restaurant,
at the activities, etc.
None of the entertainment was at the level we expect on a
cruise. Rock of Ages is completely inappropriate on a family
cruise. The day of the show was when they pointed out it was not
kid friendly, yet kids were allowed in. Sex acts, beastiality and
the language did not belong in a show on a family cruise. This info
wasn't available when making the reservations. WHY?? There was no
info about the shows to know about reserving them. Burn the Floor
was the most impressive but of course we were blocked out of most
of the others. The Magician was not "Amazing" and most of his humor
went over the heads of my pre-teens and even our older teens in the
group. The drinks we received at a quiet bar area during the day
were tasty. The ones we received at the Theatre were not. They were
watered down or had no liquor. A waiter in the Theatre was very
accommodating and went to make me a Mexican coffee. He was the most
accommodating person we encountered outside the Savor Restaurant.
The timing for events we wanted to participate in always conflicted
with other things so we didn't get to them. There was little to
nothing on the days in port for those who couldn't or weren't going
ashore. I remember a lot of Infomercial type offerings.
INFORMATION: The staff was content with not knowing answers,
especially about our ONE port of call. We received a bus ferry
Xerox copy without the information required to read it. When I went
back, I was given the real flyer which showed there were multiple
pages, including explanations and information that was not copied
on the handouts at point of sale for the transportation passes. Any
questions were blown off if you were not buying an excursion.
There's only one port. Why isn't there a rack with flyers and
brochures for the area?
Even though the NCL app was recommended for groups to
communicate with each other on board, it required everyone pay a
fee and it didn't work. How about making the voicemails in your
room accessible from ship phones so everyone can call in to meet up
without additional fees? Make it easier for families and large
groups to choose cruising, not harder.
Nobody on the general staff smiled. These people must be
miserable working for NCL. At least we had a reasonable time
because we were with so many family and friends and knew we were
going home again.