This was my second cruise with Norwegian. We went to the cruise terminal in Singapore around 2 PM and had to wait in line for 3.5 hours before we could check in. It was chaos and the people that were doing the boarding were not really qualified. I hear that some people had to wait over 4-5 hours before they could board the ship.
We bought visa for Vietnam since we wanted to go ashore in Phu My (Vietnam). And payed 69 $ per person. Why we could not get these on board is a mystery since this is procedure on other cruise lines.
We ended up staying in Singapore a few more days due to "electrical problems" and some expert had to be flown in. However I later foud out one of the engines broke down and we were not told. Read all about it here :
Anyway, due to this delay in Singapore our itinerary was changed and we ended up skipping 2 ports in Thailand and 2 in Vietnam. We bought the Vietnam visa to stop at Phu My or Nha Trang but both were cancelled. A new port in Vietnam (Chan May) was added but it was an industrial port and there was nothing to do there. There were some tours planned but the port was hours aways from any tourist location. And the tours were expensive.
We decided to stay on board. I then went to reclaim the money paid for the visa which would not be a problem, so I was told. A few days later I went to check and was suddenly told that I should have returned the visa BEFORE we stopped at Chan May. And I was not "on the list". Whatever that means. Obviously the visa were not used and there was NO announcement stating we had to cancel the visa before we reached Chan May. So I still do not know why NCL refused to refund me the money for the visa. Other than that I was not on some list.
Sanya was the last port of call before Hong Kong but we intended only to go ashore in Laem Chabang and Phu My and also skipped Sanya because of the costs of the tours. When we asked other people that went ashore we were told it was not worth the money. So we ended up staying aboard the whole cruise and were glad when we reached Hong Kong.
Positive notes :
- It was announced very quickly that everybody would get their money back and a 50% discount on future cruises. I understand that engine problems can occur but just tell the truth and don't say something vague as "some electrical issue".
-The food in the buffet restaurant was ok. The food in places like O' Sheehan's Bar & Grill and Versailles was good.
- Staff mostly well trained, doing great work, especially in the Market Place (buffet) where it can be busy and hectic.
Negative notes :
- Indian staff in the buffet area was overal adequate and polite. Some minor irritation when I went to get a drink, came back and found my table cleaned and some other people sitting there. All in the 30 seconds it took to get a drink. This happened a few times. One time I left plenty of food on the plate and some full drinks at the table to get some fruit, just to indicate that I had not finished eating and guess what.....
Also I was almost knocked over by one of the staff in the dining area and he just kept on walking like nothing happened. An apology would be nice. Staff overall good attitude but a few need better training on people skills.
- We decided to give the service fee directly to the people that were in charge of our floor before leaving. It was not hunderds of dollars and there was a clear disappointment and I even regretted leaving anything at all.
- The on board activities mostly uneventful. I mean you can only do so much paperfolding and trivia. But the crew did try to arrange for plenty of activities. Only a few shows in the Stardust Theater were worth going to. The rest was mediocre.
- Customer service was ok, could be better. When I asked to cancel the service charge of $13.50 a day I was told it was possible but got the evil eye. Lady was clearly NOT happy with that.
- Bad internet connection : I bought an internet packaget of 250 minutes for 125$. Internet was so slow all the time. Even before you could open a website minutes passed consuming most of your internet time, just waiting for pages to load. Verby bad service. Not worth paying for this. There is no reason why the internet should be that slow on the ship. Probably a cheap satellite connection and the speed gets throttled by NCL.
High Speed internet is promised but it is more like low speed :
- So we were glad to go disembark in Hong Kong. Senior staff was standing at the exit having fun and laughing but not paying attention at all to the people leaving or even saying goodbye. They were too busy with themselves I guess. They were thinking they did a great job on this cruise.
The cabin was very clean and was cleaned at least once a day.
For 2 people it was comfortable. There was an extra bunk bed but three people would have been too much. We travel light with only carry-on's and there was enough closet space. Overall a very nice room
Port was skipped
Port was skipped