My fiancee and I booked a week long cruise on the NCL Gem to Bermuda in June for the 2nd week of September.We had sailed on the NCL Majesty to Bermuda in 2009 and were pleased with the experience. We were so excited but little did we know what we were in for.
We both were aware that it was hurricane season in September, and were saddened to find out that we were not going to Bermuda, but we completely understood that that NCL had to change our ports for safety. We were then rerouted to Port Canaveral, NCL's private Island, Great Stirrup Cay , and Nassau, Bahamas. Because of the change of ports, we both got to see NCL's real operation. A business that cares nothing about the customer paying hard-earned money to sail on one of their ships. A business who uses every single opportunity to sell something to you or nickel and dime you for almost everything on board. Here now is my list of wrongdoings by NCL.
1.Food Quality- When someone is paying thousands per person for a cruise vacation, you expect meals will be included(as they were). I was not expecting a 4 star culinary experience, but I was expecting at least decent food
Boy was I wrong!! The food that was served on the ship was borderline nauseating. Food was often cold at buffets, sauces were congealed and clotting in the pan.There was no variety EVER!!! They serve the same food every day with maybe one or two new additions made from food that the cruise line needed to get rid of before it spoiled. Bananas at the beginning of the week, were pureed banana soup by the end of the week. Some food combinations were downright odd. We felt as if they were making up recipes with whatever they had left in the kitchens. At one point, biscuits covered in cheddar cheese with whipped cream and cherry pie filling were being served. There are specialty restaurants on board which tack on a surcharge for marginally better food, however you should not have to pay even more for food after you spent thousands a person for your room and meals.
2.NCL's Nonstop Marketing Propaganda - Everywhere you turn they are trying to sell you everything, pictures,t-shirts, more cruises, overpriced excursions , stupid overpriced art auctions. You can't turn a corner or turn on a TV without being bombarded by NCL propaganda.
They seemed less interested on how your current vacation was and more interested in selling you your next vacation.
3.Prices- NCL loves a captive audience.Its much easier to fleece people for money when they are in the middle of the ocean. $25 for a blurry portrait picture, $13 for a small margarita is not insanely expensive. NCL tries to take their money on exorbitantly prices excursions that would be 50-60% cheaper if they were not booked on the ship. $150 round-trip bus service for a 1 hour ride from Port Canaveral( a parking lot) to Disney World is absolute robbery!!!!
4. Great Stirrup Cay- NCL's private island is nothing more than a construction site in the middle of the Bahamas. Heavy duty tractors,dump trucks and bulldozers worked away while most of the passengers of the ship were 10 feet away on towels in the sand.Snorkel rentals run $60 by the way!!!
When the ship finally docked in NY, we were the one of the first people off the ship. We were so upset and between planning a wedding and work, we never get time off. We felt like this vacation was a complete waste and are so sorry it turned out the way it did.
We will never sail NCL again.