I am an avid cruiser typically on Royal Carribean and MSC. I stepped outside of my comfort zone to book a family Christmas vacation on NCL. I was initially hesitant (and I should've listened to my gut) but I insisted that we try NCL 100% because NCL was traveling to Cuba on Christmas. Below is a detailed list of my concerns from the past trip:
1. I purchased highest end (streaming) internet package but I couldn't stream a single show from Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube. So I paid for a premium service that I did not receive as advertised (false advertisement). I was able to check my e-mail, facebook, twitter, etc...It was a lot slower but THAT was expected for cruise internet, but Streaming......definitely did not work.
2. Our first stop at Great Stirrup Cay was Cancelled due to weather (again understandable, you can't help the weather) but still disappointing.
3. Then the MAJOR issue with the trip - We were told that there were mechanical issues on the morning we were to arrive in Cuba (the crowing jewel of the holiday trip and the only reason we booked this cruise). My first issue with this is that the captain knew before the morning when everyone was getting ready to start their day in "Cuba" that there were "mechanical" issues. We were not told with specificity what the actual issue was to provide assurance that we were safe. We were just told that some excursions were cancelled (ours was not) and that certain times were rearranged. We were supposed to get to Cuba at 12PM, instead we arrived at the port 4PM but did not get off until 5:30PM cutting the trip down by 4+ hours of DAYLIGHT. The sun set at 5:51 PM that day. We did not get off of the ship and to our excursion until almost 6PM of which you can now understand that it was pretty much dark once our two feet were on land. We had to be onboard by 5AM the following day which meant we couldn't see Havana at all during the day.
4. Our shore excursion was the Ultimate Highlights of Havana - Old & New (description attached below) was supposed to be a daytime tour. We could not see a single thing due to it being completely dark, were not able to take any pictures because we got off of the bus only 1 time to look at the Jesus statue and the tour only lasted 1.5 hours of which it was supposed to last 3hrs as shown below. If we only saw 1/2 of the experiences we should've received 50% credit back. I spoke to someone on board about the issue and they credited each room 8027 and 8028 a $50 credit for the room (of which they credited my roommate and not me) even if he were to pay me the $25 it is still insulting and greedy of NCL to only offer a $25 credit pp. I am not asking for a full refund because we did get on a bus, and we did see the Jesus Statue (so I feel that I am being more than reasonable). I the spoke with guest services about the credit and how it wasn't applied to my individual account and I was told that I would need to call the number on the letter provided to dispute the credit and my dissatisfaction with the way they "compensated" us for arriving at our port 4 hrs late. So I called today and was on hold for 41 minutes before someone answered and they said that my complaint had to be in writing, therefore negating the guest services suggestion and again wasting my time, now off of the ship.
5. The ULTIMATE slap in the face was the letter received by NCL while on the cruise saying that we would be given a 25% off voucher for a future cruise on NCL! If anything we should've received 25% back on the cruise that went horribly wrong! Who wants to spend more money on a cruise with a company that failed their guests tremendously?
6. Additionally, another employee insinuated that I was Gay during a game show of which I have video of. I was wearing a Reindeer sweater and said my name was "Prancer" as a joke, since it was a reindeer. She then proceeded to limp her wrist and walk very feminine and say "You know what, I am not surprised at all if he says Prancer (while walking in a catwalk fashion)." I felt disrespected by this action as well.
7. While I was onboard the ship, I mentioned that I was unhappy with all of the issues listed above and they said that I would need to call the number in the letter to make any more complaints. I then called when I got home and after being on hold for more than an hr, I was told that they do not take complaints over the phone and it would need to be submitted in writing. I'm not sure why that wasn't articulated to me while I was onboard instead of wasting even more of my time. I then wrote them a letter and their response is illustrated by the attached image.
Please think twice about booking a cruise with a company that doesn't care one bit about their guests and their vacation experience.
Didn't make it to this port.