This cruise was a horrendous experience. The islands were gorgeous, except for where the boat docked in DR, an area that had medical waste strewn across the beach and and human fecal matter (yes, I'm sure) and wild dogs, but the cruise line itself is detestable. Let me begin by stating I am not a bitter or hard to please person. My partner and I are literally writing to NCL to demand a full and complete refund. Where to begin?
Boarding the ship was a crowded mess of stinking humanity. Disorganized. Mayhem. We waited for hours despite being early after not being told where to even stand or wait and also completing online check-in (according to their website, this avoids you standing in line...utter lies) which we clarified with NCL after waiting for hours did Nothing to expedite our wait time. We checked our bags which we regretted miserably since we waited for them for hours after boarding the ship and worried they'd been lost with our sanity. The website clearly states you are allowed one carry-on. We saw people with four bags each. We asked about the rule. We were told it did not apply. We wouldn't have checked our luggage.
If you enjoy walking up at 7:30am with horribly annoying announcements in your room from cruise directors with the professional integrity of a Snickers bar regarding ways to spend your money onboard, lucky you. If you'd like these announcements to continue hourly, you're in luck. Never in my life have I ever felt so intruded upon to BuyBuyBuy. It infuriated me, solely because I firmly believe you got nothing for the money you paid for anything extra. My partner did however win a necklace onboard, solely because no one showed up to the raffle, held at 10am the first morning. He asked the jeweler what the stone of the necklace was set in. He didn't know. What is it appraised for? He didn't know. We literally went to the store the necklace was allegedly being sold at in port to dictate its authenticity, expecting it to be fake. I believe it's an authentic piece of jewelry based on the fact that it is sold at a legitimate store but the lack of professionalism from their "Head Jeweler" is incredibly astounding.
On a diet? Boy, this the cruise for you, since I would be wary of what you eat regarding the ship's common mantra involving rancid food. My partner and I complained twice in the first two days for being served severely rancid food, dairy items that fizzed and dissolved sourly in my mouth since they had been out way past their prime. I woke up ill mid cruise due to what I have no doubt whatever was the cup of oil i had eaten served with a pasta dinner. The cruise staff rarely speak English when you ask them a question outside of their normal realm of comfort. "My food is rancid," was a sentence four cruise staff members did not understand. They thought I was trying to tell them I was complaining because I was allergic to the food. We were given chocolate covered strawberries due to our complaining which we left outside our room, untouched. They brought more strawberries. I ate one because I was freaking hungry.
This cruise line takes every opportunity to scam clients into buying things. I do not enjoy being haggled to buy sheer and utter crap a thousand times a day. Their gold "plated" jewelry is plastic coated crap. Their art actions with real Picassos are prints they want you to bid a minimum of $5,000 on. Um, yeah. I'm sure you're selling authentic Picassos as you stack them into a giant pile on a filthy floor to be auctioned off. Turn on the tv in your room. 50% of the channels are cruise channels touting their boutiques on the ship, aka a glorified Walmart. When they say you will be charged only $6 for declarations, expect $30 that you must have cash on you to pay or else forfeit your items upon departure. Want to play bingo? It's $70 bucks a day extra but you get a free shirt for playing. Huh?
Heading to the spa? Prepare to sit down after a lackluster service for a 45 minute "health consultation" that is really a sales pitch to purchase detox treatments. As the spa staff explained to me, "The average person has ten pounds of fecal matter stored in their system and it needs to be flushed out. For only $149..." Now, I weigh 100 pounds and am in my 20's. I run 5 miles three times a week. Is this kind of sales pitch even legal? Also, I live in an expensive city and the spa prices on this ship were the priciest I've seen outside of perhaps NYC. When I asked them about certain treatments and what they were, they just read the pamphlet I had in my hand. And the Botox specialist has no formal training and had severe medical fallacies in her "presentation" that we sat through, primarily to make fun of, since we were bored with their severe lack of entertainment.
The crowd on this boat consists primarily of middle aged fat people with back boobs larger than I knew possible and women whose tattoos reflect their amazing life choices. Wearing jeans and a tee to the buffet makes me feel overdressed. I believe Strongly that there were many infants onboard this ship that are legally not allowed onboard. The air quality of the room made my partner and I cough with itchy throats every morning until stepped outside, we were fine. Everyone on this ship was coughing, that hearty, deep cough that makes you want to die just from hearing it. I blame the air circulation on the ship.
Also, the person cleaning our room did not speak English very well and he came into the room multiple times when we happened by chance to be changing into bathing suits. He knocked and we said please do not come in but he didn't understand and entered anyway. We later saw him cleaning a room a few doors down (the door was open) with a naked woman sitting in bed. What???
Want to lounge by the pool? Um, yeah...On this ship, no rules are enforced. If you want to sit out by the pool, good stinking luck to you. Everyone puts crap on their chairs to reserve their seats. Allegedly, the staff is supposed to remove items left for 45 minutes. This. Never. Happened. I once did get a chair after moving some lady's crap as politely as I could to the next chair since it had been unoccupied for two hours. We also complained when people were using treadmills barefoot, but they did nothing.