On booking the prices had risen from those printed in the brochure. The pre-cruise airline registration was flawed and when we queried the process a few days before departure we received a letter telling us that that NCL would get back to us within 28 days. To be fair we did receieve a letter of apology on board including a $100 on board credit.We were accommodated in a mini suite on deck eleven forward starboard which is located close to some noisy plumbing which erupted every few minutes with such volume that it would wake us up 24/7. When this was not disturbing us the large family in the adjacent suite would be making such a noise on the adjoining balcony that we could not enjoy sitting on our own balcony when they were present. Complaints about the plumbing resulted in some investigation but no remedy or offer of a cabin change as the ship was full. We did however receive some canapes on a daily basis some restuarant discount and priority tender tickets to keep us sweet and the noisy family only stayed for a week.
We have cruised five times with NCL but what a contrast this trip was to our previous experiences. It is apparent that cost cutting measures have been applied across the board e.g.no toiletries in bathroom, no bathrobes, no fruit, no flowers.The self service washing machines have been removed, higher charges apply for almost all activities.The food in the Garden Cafe was plentiful but pretty basic fare The speciality restuarant food was much superior, we did enjoy excellent meals in Cagney`s and Le Bistro.
The destination tours were very expensive so we made our own arrangements using the information provided by the staff at the stand in the Garden Cafe.
The entertainment provided has been adjusted to meet the diverse needs of the multinational passenger list. The passengers on this cruise consisted of Spanish, Italian, French, American, Canadian, British, Russian, German,and many others we did not identify. The shows consisted of singing, dancing,magic and ventriloquism which crossed the language divides, and were well received. The Cruise Director used his multilingual talents to good effect and kept everyone well informed.
The ship had around 3,000 on board on week one and 2,600 on week two so space around the pool was at a premium with vacant loungers booked with towels limiting use to many guests.
The Information desk is one of the best that we have experienced. They had a can do attitude and were able to answer all our enquiries adequately with a smile.
The room stewards Jo & Arthur were excellent they worked extremely hard. It should be remembered that this cruise is two seven day segments with almost a full weekly changeover so staff have to work much harder than on a two week cruise.
All in all we enjoyed the cruise and destinations but NCL has changed and we will be looking for better value and a quieter experience for our next cruise.