I should have heeded warnings from friends prior to disembarkation. Unfortunately, I only spoke with them days prior to our trip. One person actually e-mailed me their complaint letter, however, I didn't read it so I could form my own opinion. Another told me "Don't compare it to Royal Caribbean". There was more hostility on the ship from other passengers, everyone was complaining amongst each other.
We waited hours in line to Board the ship and we were told that our room keys would be our boarding pass during the entire time at sea. We were also told that our children could use their own room keys to charge stuff to our account and if we didn't want them to be able to charge items we had to go to reception to have the card deactivated. This was the most absurd thing I've ever heard!! Who in their right mind would want their children to have the responsibility to have a charge card and or to count on them not loosing it. You should have had the option right there at the boarding station to make that decision. After waiting hours in line now I have to start my vacation by waiting on another line.
The crew were clueless and during the course of the vacation my room key card was switched with someone else's by the bar staff while ordering drinks. This was another time I had to stop my vacation to sort out an error on their part. They also put the wrong identification bracelet on my daughter at the kids club, so heaven forbid something happened to her, they would have contacted the wrong parents. I found that most of the crew had no knowledge of the ship and didn't know where anything was.
The food was mediocre at best. We waited in the dining room forever to get our food only to receive a tiny portion that wouldn't be enough for a two year old. There were no vegetables or side dishes. Half the items on the menu were things you've never heard of and sounded very unappetizing. Finally one night we went to Raffles buffet only to find the food there was actually better than the food in the dining rooms. We went to Cagney's one night the steak was good but the side dishes were awful. The lobster bisque had no lobster in it, was a weird color chocolate brown and didn't taste like anything.
The pictures were a rip off! They offered a special package deal for three pictures but you couldn't choose pictures from different settings they had to be three pictures from the dining room or three pictures from the pool. Nobody wanted three pictures so nobody bought the pictures at all. They would have made more money if they were flexible but they weren't.
We were provided with four beach towels at the beginning of the trip. If you misplaced a towel you would have been charged $25.00 for a new one. As a result, people would loose a towel and steal someone else's towel. We had to guard our towels and our children's towels the entire trip and it was very stressful.
The kids club stunk! The activity guide stated the children would get to make their own pizza. The children looked forward to this the entire trip. When they got there, they were asked what topping they wanted and served pizza. There was another activity entitled "Make Your Own Planet" which would lead a person to believe their child got to mold or construct their own planet or involved the use of arts and crafts. Instead the children sat around in a circle and told details of their planets.
Please, if you have already booked this vacation, cut your losses - DO NOT GO ON ANY EXCURSIONS! They are the biggest rip-off. The NCL excursion sites are dilapidated and substandard. You can book the Atlantis trip yourself and save a load of money and time.
Soda was not included in the $3,500.00 price tag. I mean how much does soda cost anyway? If I were to buy two two liter bottles it would last a week in my house and it would cost a couple of dollars. Why nickle and dime me? Just charge me the extra ten or twenty dollars and add it to the trip. In order to save money they suggest you buy the soda package for $39.00. There is no way my children are drinking $39.00 of soda in a week!!! Give me a break! The children are given bracelets so the bartender will know you were the sucker who paid $39.00, only they HAVE NO BRACELETS!!!! Now they usher you from bar to bar, yet another waste of my time on my vacation, NOBODY HAS THE BRACELET FOR $39.00! So instead after going to four different bars throughout the ship they put a sticker on your child's room key card. Now you must bring the children's room key cards with you everywhere. This is the most ridiculous thing I ever experienced!! I never had to be so stressed out on a vacation keeping track of towels and three different room keys!
The best part of the trip was coming home!!! I kissed the ground!