March 6-14 - NCL Star - Mexican Riviera Overall - Disappointing!
Brief synopsis: This was our 3rd cruise with NCL and we have been on 16 other cruises with competitive cruise lines choosing NCL because of the benefits of Freestyle and latitudes membership. Although, Latitudes membership this cruise season were worthless and lacked the benefits for everyone in our group who have been on 2 to 10 more cruises with NCL. Upon arriving
Upon arrival at the port in Los Angeles we found this port to be one of the nicest, compared to Houston and Seattle, both very disorganized with Houston being very DIRTY. In the Los Angles port, we were all notified, handed a letter with a revised itinerary and the NEW arrival time, 2 hours late!!! This was totally a surprise to all and unacceptable! Engines troubles were the excuse. NCL's $50 per passenger credit for the itinerary change and inconvenience was unacceptable. The credit had hidden, limited applications was for on board use only! NCL got their money back basically!
This late return time created a panic to reschedule flights leaving from LAX at the expense of the passengers. Some had to pay in addition to their round trip fares, an additional $1000. This is where the nightmare began!!! The front office or reception staff was totally incompetent! So after demanding we speak with someone in charge, we were greeted by the front office manager. After spending hours trying to resolve multiple issued raised by the itinerary changes, nothing was resolved! The manager was rude, lacked communications skills, never following up and had NO compassion!
As for the itinerary port changes, most were sub par and not secure with passengers by passing the security screening process. Ixtapa being one of the most anticipated stops was removed from the original itinerary. This upset all!
Changes in staff and promotions were unacceptable. The constant barrage from the drink staff to purchase over priced alcoholic beverages, jewelry along with the PUSH to buy crackits was ludicrous. Being a bronze, silver or gold latitudes member was not a benefit as it had been in the past. Changes in the latitudes promotion left us wondering why NCL forgot repeat customers!!! This was VERY DISAPPOINTING!
Finally the shows were repetitive, same as the Alaskan cruise from the previous cruise season with one the exception of the Black Street Boys who were outrageously funny and superb entertainment!
Over all, this being our second time on the STAR, it is the most impressive ship of all! The entire cruise was pleasant but was not as outstanding as ANY previous NCL cruises we have been on. The stateroom staff and the casino staff was excellent and the food good. Some of the reservation only restaurants had over prices fees and were VERY portentous. Not at all FREESTYLE! The new Freestyle Daily was incomplete and unlike past cruise daily's that were very informative. If it weren't for the front office staff, our cruise would have been outstanding!