I've sailed on other cruise lines in the past. Carnival and Royal Caribbean. This was my first experience with Norwegian. We sailed from New York to the Bahamas on the Spirit. Our embarkation and debarkation were the most trouble free experience of this whole cruise.
We chose an interior stateroom for this cruise. There were 4 of us. I was led to believe we would have 2 lower bunks and 2 upper bunks, what we received was 1 upper bunk, 2 lower bunks and a floor bed. Kind of difficult when one of the passengers is a senior citizen and handicapped. Our room never had turndown service until 9:30-10:00 p.m.. Again not convenient for my mom who was ready to turn in by 9:30. The bathroom was the only good point in this stateroom, the shower had more room in it than any other cruise I've been on.
I also had 2 12-year old girls with me. They both read that this ship had a state of the art kids club. Well, what a great disappointment. The first day the girls had enough. They were put into a room with 15 other kids hardly any air conditioning and the snacks were crackers and water. I couldn't understand why the kids were stuck in this room when the sun was shining, a nice breezy day. I had the chance to speak with a little boy around 6 who said he didn't want to go back to the kids club because the room smelled like stinky diapers and one game they played was throwing a tissue box around the room. So much for state of the art....my 12-year old was able to sign herself in and out of the kids club on other ships. Not this one. Parent must sign in and out. If you get your kids soda band beware...these children are always last to be served or ignored in preference to paying drinking guests, which by the way range from $7 to $9 a drink. Nickel and dime comes to mind.
I tried freestyle dining and found it too impersonal. I also found all the food substandard. From the buffet to the specialty dining. The service was always slow the buffet dirty all the time I could have gotten better quality from chinese take out or a multi-chain steak house. We tried room service, it was hit or miss. You could plan on getting at least one item you ordered and other items not ordered. Also found the service from most staff unfriendly...except for the one young lady they had at the credit desk which by the way was crazy since they had 6 people at reception.
Our first day we received method of payment letters for my 3 other guests. Two are minors and the third was my mom. I thought this cruise line would be set up as all other cruises I took in the past. I would have a primary card and no access to my account or I could choose to allow access to my account with 1-2 or all other sign and sail cards. But no. We received method of payment letters almost every day. My guests all had balances to their accounts for gratuities and excursions. All excursions and gratuities were to be charged to my account. What an act of congress to straighten this out. Hence the credit desk was my most visited spot.
I know I haven't gotten to excursions yet. I would have preferred getting into ports on time not 1 to 1 1/2 hours late because our port time was short. We really did have good time in Florida and Bahamas. Well, could it possibly be because we were off this ship? The private island was beautiful-plenty to do-water great-only don't wait until the last tender back to the ship-you will have to wait for the crew to load all the food served on the island on a tender back to the ship.
I won't be trying Norwegian again. The ship was boring, food disgusting, cabins don't get cleaned at normal times. Nothing is organized. All ship activities never announced. (Use your daily activity sheet all the time if you want to participate in anything), kids club dirty, hot, understaffed and boring per my 12 year old and her friend. I am so glad I didn't book a better stateroom on this ship as I have done on other ships. I would really have felt ripped off. Right now I just feel burned a little and learned my lesson. I won't make this mistake twice. Royal Caribbean here we come.