Would not recommend this cruise to anyone. Went on the ship with a group of 56. All of us had the same experience so it did not VARY at all in terms of quality, service or expectations. We had first time cruisers and experienced cruisers and all felt the same disappointment. I have extremely low expectation and am very easy to please, but this cruise couldn't even cut it. Having cruised on NCL, RCI, Canirval and Celebrity, NCL now ranks at the bottom of my list and will never cruise again.
Where to begin... Will try to do point form to make it easier and faster to read the important details
Checking in took quite a while, very unorganized.
- There were 2 lines, one for lattitude (past cruisers) and another line for everyone else.
- We have cruised NCL before so we were put in the supposedly faster latitudes member line. This ended up taking double the time as the regular line as our other group members who went to the regular line were long gone way before us. It came to a point where our line was still backed up while the regular line was completely empty. No one there to direct people either so it was chaotic.
- Were smaller than average cruises, our fridge had some half empty pop and water left from previous guests. No complaint there, mistakes happen.
- The sink is extremely small, and water splashes everywhere, I already read many reviews regarding this so I expected it. The bubbling floors goes to show the effect on it LOL.
- TERRIBLE, the main attraction on this ship is the CASINO!!!. You pretty much have to go thru the casino to get to almost everything. I tried what other reviewers mentioned by going the floor above or floor below and thats just plain waste of effort. The smoke is terrible but is worse when you have to take your 1 year old through it.
- This ship is designed for Casino players only. Or partyers. Even the partying is poorly organized because they put it at the back of the ship in the Spice H2o which is such a small area and can barely fit anyone. Too overcrowded.
- Too much wasted space on the ship
- Trust me when i say this, THEY WILL Nickle and dime you on every attraction or I should say EVERYTHING on the ship
- Heard from another guest onboard that the ship was designed like a sail boat and every little wave causes some major nauseating action. Guess it was true, lots of people were seasick and there weren't many waves or windy conditions. For a ship this size, it rocked like crazy.
Infant & Toddler Room:
- They call it the GUPPIES club. It's basically a hidden room in the end of the ship behind a brown door with a bunch of toys for them to play, nothing special. It's located at the worst part of the ship if you have any sort of waves + the ship being prone to rocking you will get sea sick for sure.
Long lineups, the toilet bowl ride was the best. Try to go on them during port days as the line ups are shorter. Don't bother on sea days.
- LONG LINE UPS for everything
- We tried the 2 freestyle restaurants offered (at no charge). First one is called the Taste. First night we waited about 1.5 hours for our food. Was told that it was extra busy because it was the first night and not to worry it will be faster. We didn't make it to desert, had to walk out after our main course, Table of 14
First night out was Surf and turf. The steak itself was terrible, was a very small portion, the size of a loonie. Asked for medium rare. Was told they dont cook steaks to preference. Only well done. Accepted it.
2nd night, Went to The Manhattan this time, same thing but this time it was 2 hours before our food came out, we didn't make it to desert, had to walk out after our main course. Table of 8
3rd afternoon we tried to do lunch, figured less people, there was practically no one in the restaurant so w were a bit more enthusiastic. Waited another 1.5 hours, no bread to start (server forgot it). Table of 4 + table of 8 (we split it up this time to make it easier on them). Never had out water's refilled. Food was terrible, your better off at the buffet. Never tasted food so bland. Had to walk out before desert as it was taking way to much time out of our vacation.
Gave up on the restaurant. Then we decided to try it one last time on the last night. Finally did a table 4, service was good from the one waiter but the food was lacking. I ordered a chip and dip and got 3 tiny pieces of chips on 1 plate, portions are very strange.
- One of our other members asked for a table for 5 instead of a table of 4 and was told they had to wait another 1.5 hours again.
No comment there.
- OSheenhan's Bar & Grill (no-fee restaurant) had better food than the other 2 freestyle dining options. Chicken wings were the smallest little chicken wings I have ever seen. Only 1 flavor, buffalo style LOL.
- We ordered pot pie but they didn't give us the PIE? was told they ran out and were cooking them for tonight. Whats the point of giving us pot pie if you are just going to give us the soup? LOL I didn't understand their logic. At least tell us before we order, the server didn't even realize it was missing. It was just the pie filling. Unbelievable. Takes about 30-45 minutes to get a seat (never had to wait this long on any other cruise line).
-Spice H2o at the back of of the ship had the best food. Mostly asian / thai food, some sort of pad thai, deep fried wontons, chicken fritters etc.
-Garden Cafe Buffet is decent food, pretty much ate here most of the time because food quality was acceptable and it's help yourself so no need to suffer from the terrible service.
Probably the nicest thing they have. Found the THX thing was a waste of space.
Blue Man Group - Was very good, we enjoyed it, our 15 month daughter enjoyed it as well. Get there early to pick a good seat. The ending was a blast.
Cirque of Dreams - was also very good but the service was HORRIBLE. Person directing us in was so rude, we had lots of complications getting in because the person at the door wasn't competent enough to put my group together. We paid for premium seats but the seats are right beside the standard seats. So basically, dont pay for the premium, its pretty much the same. The show was very good, I was picked to be one of the volunteers so that was a bonus. If you are on the premium seats they will usually pick 6-8 from the audience to participate.
Legends in Concert was good. We had an Elvis, Katy Parry and a rock fella (i forgot his name) impersonators. They were very good and entertained the crowd
Other than the shows, there was absolutely not entertainment on this ship. Compared to RCI this ship was lacking a lot. Or you had to have deep pockets to make use of the pricey stuff.
Shopping on Board: pushy sales people, but expected. However we did buy some NCL memorabilia and was told that we would get 10%
off for being a lattitudes member. So we enquired when purchasing and was told we had to be a PLATINUM member to get 10% off. So we told the cashier that we got a letter in the room stating any past NCL guest or lattitude member gets it. Instead he rudely told us to prove it to him and show him the letter (Which we threw out). I wasn't going to argue with someone over 10% (waste of my time). So we went to guest services to verify dispite the small discount we didn't need. They also argued with us and told us it was only for platinum members, so what real benefit did you have being a past guest? NONE AT ALL LOL. Longer line ups and no real discount or benefit. Then we found another cashier who stated anyone with lattitude on their guest card gets it!. WOW, either poor training or very very bad service in general.
Arcade: Sad as well, we had to call guest services because one of the games (teddy bear claw game) failed to drop the toy after winning. Had to wait about 30 minutes for someone to come down to fix it.
Worst I have ever seen on any cruise, we asked for some luggage tags and was rudely told (whatever is there) in the tray basically. We needed more but they were holding back on them. After we left and came back, they restocked them.
- Got sick on the last night. Noticed a lot of people coughing all over the buffet food so that probably explains it. Another member of my group also got sick on the ship. Not the ships fault but I guess because its November, a lot of people were sick going on.
My recommendation: RCI Oasis or Allure. They know how to manage a ship of this size.