My wife and I have been on 15 cruises counting this one. 13 on Royal Caribbean (Diamond Level), 1 on Carnival, and now 1 on NCL. We average 2 cruises per year. and have just started trying other cruise lines. Had a really great time on our only (so far) Carnival cruise. We love everything about Royal Caribbean but thought we should give the other cruise lines a try.
We arrived at the NCL port at 11:00 and cleared security in about a minute or less, made it to the check in location and had no wait at all. As we walked up to the check in counter we were asked for our passports and boarding documents. No hello, no welcome, nothing, just passports and boarding documents. I handed him the documents and passports and our credit card. He looked at the card and said I didn't ask for a credit card and handed it back. I stood there in disbelief at how rude he was. After a minute or two he looked up and said will you be using a credit card for on board purchases. I looked at my wife who said I think we made a mistake. I handed him the card and he swiped it and handed it back along with our room key and said your all set. I asked were do we go now and without saying anything pointed to a door. I said thanks and walked off never getting a reply.
Once on board we went to the buffet on deck 11. Our next big disappointment, there was so little to choose from and the food really was horrible. I don't know how else to describe it. The food was in tiny serving dishes with enough food for about 5 people. As I waited in line a pan became empty and the lady in front of me told one of the NCL staff behind the counter it was empty. She was told there was more on the other side. In the other line. Every meal we had in the buffet was terrible.
We looked around the ship after eating and found it to be in pretty good shape. Other than a lot of wasted space it was a pretty ship. Around 1:30 our room was ready and we went to check it out. This was our first interior room (room 8129) and it was not as small as I expected. It definitely wasn't big but for a short cruise it was ok. We NEVER once saw our room attendant. Maybe that's not something NCL does, but we always enjoyed meeting our room attendant and getting the little extra attention like being called by name when we see them in the hall and having our door opened for us when arriving back from a day at port or after a meal. The RCCL and Carnival room attendants always try to make your cruise special. But not this time. They also don't make your room up or turn down your blankets in the evening. This was different than past cruises. All we got was a daily event planner pushed under our door at some point during the night.
Other than a very few exceptions, every employee we encountered seemed like zombies, they were lifeless and seemed very unhappy. I am just so very disappointed with the whole trip I just don't know what else to say.
I will try and point out some things I liked about the cruise so it don't seem so negative. 1) The grills set up at the pool was a nice. 2) Getting a wet washcloth and cup of water or lemonade when getting back on the ship was something the other cruise lines don't do. 3) Cagney's was AWESOME!!! Had really great service and the Ribeye was as good as any I've ever had.
We chose this cruise as a quick relaxing weekend get away and a chance to try a different cruise line. We have seen all the ads about freestyle cruising. It should be called do-it-yourself cruising. If you want or need anything you have to do it yourself. We expected so much more than a boat ride but that's all we really got. Sorry NCL but we won't be back.