This was to be a trip of a lifetime, it was not our first cruise and our second on NCL this year. Weather in Boston delayed our flight into Logan and long story short we missed flight to Barcelona and had to fly into Nice the next day. Due to our travel agency booking us as part of a group it made contacting NCL very hard as they would not speak to us directly and travel company had closed for the day. I am not pleased that internet agencies are booking people as part of group without our knowledge. The itinerary was to be Nice, Pisa, Rome, Corsica, Mallorca, Madiera , Gibralter with 5 days at Sea. This was changed due to a problem with the ship that was known to NCL all season long, Corsica,Mallorca & Gibralter were all shortened to 4 hours and Madeira was completely canceled. Making our time at Sea 8 long days. We arrived at Nice after the excursions had left so we missed our trip to Monaco, check in went well except the shore security was sending our luggage onto a Royal Caribbean Ship luckily my husband caught that. Front desk staff was lovely and we were shown to our cabin ,a balcony #10124 mid hall between the elevators very quite. We were exhausted and missed Monaco all together I had already been but not my husband. We had lunch on outer deck ,great outdoors by the pool, was fine burgers etc. Bought my soda card and watched Nice slide away as we sailed from port. I had had a fall in Boston and my knees and legs were in a great deal of pain and swollen. So I rested and we were in no shape to take excursion the next day as it had lot's of walking. I explained problem to excursion staff and they allowed us to get a refund as I was ill and trip included a great deal of walking. Took a private cab tour of pisa very nice 120.00 Euros for the two of us. Excursions were very high priced we were better just hiring a cab in most ports. Took Rome A Baroque City and it was terrible,our guide was not very good and by the time we got to the Vatican , there was rebellion. She just dropped us in line and told us to be at the bus in 45 minutes. There was no way we could even get thru the line at this point and we stayed and went in any way. Turns out all other tours guide stayed with them and took them into the building she just didn't want to. This tour was 159.00 a person and not worth it.
Food on ship was susstandard and dysentery broke out, as did a respiratory infection and many were confined to their cabins. Main restaurants were terrible at best, Buffet was ok and variety was good, however people forget their manners and were touching food and then putting it back . Really gross, staff didn't seem to pay attention. Specialty restaurants were offering two for one but after 9pm only, we ate in Cagney's three times as it was the only good food on board. The Bistro was very bad, we have eaten in the Bistro on the Majesty and it was very good. Blue Lagoon had the best buffalo wings we have ever had, desserts were not very good. Chocolate buffet was same so-so desserts they serve all cruise long, chocolate sculptures were melting as buffet area got so hot. The shows we good and bad, Second City was funny as were David Merry and Lenny Windsor. Musically shows were good with the exception of the Original Drifters, there were no members of the Drifters in this group the only member of the Drifters that was in this group died in July and he had only been a Drifter for a few months in the 50's before the group had all the hits.They sang and were off key much of the time and constantly asked us to applaud them and there efforts. There was a second show we passed on it later in the cruise. The cruise director and her department failed us miserably on this cruise. We would have thought that since there was such a long time at Sea there would have been extra effort to keep us amused. There was not, they were constantly trying to sell us into the Spa,Casino or over priced Bingo. No BBQ's at the pool, no real daytime activities at all.All activities were informal which meant they dropped off boxed games and decks of cards in rooms and left. On another note the cruise directors wardrobe was completely overboard, she has a lovely figure but her nighttime clothes were way over the top and too tight. Her wardrobe was very revealing and sometimes my husband was embarrassed by it. He wanted to cover her with a robe.
The staff on most the most part was fine not very helpful but were constantly selling , selling , selling. Many bar waiters circulating the buffet trying to sell drinks. I felt on this cruise the soda card was a waist, too expensive 129.00, would not purchase it again on a long cruise. The respiratory infection circulating on the ship had many people sneezing, coughing and running fevers. I succumbed to a fever of 40 Celsius, which I didn;t know was 104 until I got home and did the math. It was about 250.00 for the ship's doctor and meds. Even with such a high fever I was not confined to my cabin, that would have required the outbreak to be reported to the CDC. The passengers on the ship were a mix of older people and only 3 little kids. By the end of the cruise the attitude was thank goodness it's over, most people we spoke with would never sail on NCL again and even as a Silver Lattitudes member ,I have to say it may have ended our run with them too. We sailed thru NOEL and had 12+ foot waves, level 7 winds which is near gale force. Lost ports and were only given a 100.00 shipboard credit nothing else.The shortening of the other ports to 4 hours was not worth it as so many people trying to get off ship took over an hour just to get off. At checkout many people were having the mandatory service charge removed as the service was poor in most areas. I think NCL owes the people on this cruise an apology