We are first time cruisers so we picked the cruise to nowhere as a trial run to see if we would be interested in doing it again.
We were told that we could board the ship at around 11am so we wanted to be early so we could get the most out of this experience. We drove to the suggested parking lot and was told that we couldn't park yet because they weren't through unloading the previous cruise and to come back in an hour,even though we could see the parking lot was mostly empty. I asked where we should go wait for the hour in down town Norfolk and the lady told us to go to IHOPS or something because we weren't getting in. We left. We did find a parking garage right across the street that turned out to be $21 cheaper and we didn't have to take a shuttle or go away for an hour. We finally met up with our friends about 11 am and got in line to go sign in. We waited in that line until about 1230. Once we got through that and through security we went into a large room and checked in and waited until about 430 pm while they crammed hundreds of people in behind us like cattle to the slaughter. We finally got on the ship.Once on the ship we carried our baggage to our room and it was small but nice and clean. We liked it.
Roomy but confusing to find what we were looking for at first. A lot of dead ends and ups and downs. The elevators were slow as molasses but we figured out if you want one,get on the first one that comes by whether its going up or down because it was faster then waiting and they seemed to pass you by all of the time.
Loved it. No problems there. They must of came in and straightened it up 3 times a day. My wife was overjoyed.
We didn't go to any of the restaurants. We hit the buffets,the grill,the fish n chips and the pizza. The pizza was awesome the rest was cold and the lines were long. The problem we had was the drinks. If you wanted a soda you had to find a bar,push your way up to the bar.Wait awhile. Order a soda for $2 then go back to your table and eat. If any of your food was warm when you got it,it wasn't now.
It's just like you see on TV except a hell of lot louder. At one point I was really hoping a giant wave would come along and flip the ship over.
In my opinion they were overstaffed in some areas and understaffed in others. I don't think it's necessary to have your bed made 3 times a day but I would like to be able to get a drink in 15 minutes or less. Over all I think the people working there did a fine job considering the language barrier.
Value for Money:
I'm still debating this one. Considering this was a 2 day cruise that really was supposed to be only 40 hours that ended up being only 34 hours. I think it should be billed as a 1 day,2 night cruise. Plus, the gratuity is mandatory on drinks whether you liked the service or not.
We had a good time but next time we'll make it at least a 5 day cruise. They say live and learn and we learned a lot but that's exactly what we intended to do.