Christmas vacation on a Caribbean cruise, sounds like fun? Well my wife and I thought that too and booked a cruise on the Norwegian Spirit out of New Orleans.
Were we wrong! From the time you got on the boat till you are finally released they have their hands out. Remember my title of this review," Freestyle cruising isn't free" First to start with there is nothing planned that is free. Here are some examples...Bingo $40, Murder Mystery Dinner $20, sounded like fun, well the only Mystery was where was the staff to help guide you, participate and get the game moving. Nowhere I could see, they handed you a booklet told us not to read it till we got in the dining room and when we arrived in the dining room we were told to order dinner first and the staff disappeared leaving us to fend for ourselves. The waiters gave us a ½ glass of wine and the bolder of passenger's proceeded to get the game going, and where were the prizes for those guest whose guess was correct. Nowhere, I could see. they handed you a receipt asked us to sign it asking for an additional tip and they disappeared.
Now for the specialty restaurants, there are 5 of them at a cost of $15 to $25 per person, are complete wastes of time. We went to Cagneys Steak House, $25 per person, what you get are cold side dishes and forget about the steak. If you want a steak go to IHOP it will taste better and be of better quality.
Some of the other outrageous costs $8 Beer, $10 drink of the day and the $50 soft drink sticker. This sticker will make the wait staff ignore you like you had the plague.
Now to regular food, the food in the buffet was at best fair sometimes but mostly bad. The main dining rooms were fair but the service in all restaurants was poor to nonexistent. Why should they care they are getting their tip anyway. They want you to pay that ahead of time.
If you like to dress for dinner and see other people dressed likewise forget it here. You go to the dining room dressed up and there are people seated in shorts and tank tops right next to you. I understand that's free style cruising but at least try to keep the people in different areas of the dining room.
I was not the only person unhappy with NCL,a lady I struck up a conversation with said she has been on 31 cruises and this one was the worst by far and would not repeat this mistake again. The complaint desk ran out of complaint forms from countless number of people complaining.
NCL you destroyed our holiday with your off key singers, your disappearing wait staff and your show me all your money attitude. If I was given a cruise for free from NCL I would not take it without a lock on wallet. In conclusion if you like the lack of decorum and bad service take NCL, but if you want a good vacation try some other line, my favorite for now is Royal Caribbean