Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review by nestletea
- Sail Date: December 2018
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Family Balcony
My husband and I are avid travelers, both nationally and internationally. We have utilized and booked with numerous companies and establishments. Norwegian came highly recommended and we were extremely excited to try a new cruise line. The lack of communication, organization and customer service on the Norwegian Pearl was very disappointing and honestly ranked as the worst trip our family has embarked on. We have traveled to many countries and states and understand that there are always glitches while traveling. However, our experience on the Norwegian Pearl was inexcusable.
Our family recently set sail on the Norwegian Pearl, with a departure date of 12/23/2018 to celebrate after a long journey that consisted of numerous spinal surgeries due to a car accident in August 2015. We thoroughly researched all cruise lines and held high expectations that Norwegian would provide us with a vacation experience with lasting memories and excellent customer service.
Our expectations, regarding the hospitality provided by onboard restaurants and room stewards were met and even went above and beyond our expectations. O’Sheehan’s manager and employees were outstanding and provided us with top notch service, on a daily basis. Jose, our room steward took excellent care of us and our cabin was always clean and turned down in a timely manner each evening. Indigo’s service was exceptional, and the food quality was top notch, along with the wait staff.
The rest of our vacation experience was disappointing, as there were numerous issues regarding communication, the customer service desk, and onboard entertainment. As we arrived in ports each day, there was little to no communication regarding arrival times.
The Pearl was late arriving into each port, with the exception of the Grand Cayman Port of Call. We had booked excursions in each port and were disappointed in the process to disembark the ship at each location. There were long lines in the hallways each morning with no communication as to when the disembarkation process would begin. Once there was an announcement, the process was disorderly, with passengers pushing and forcing their way off the ship, due to time constraints. Norwegian overbooked the excursion we were on in Harvest Caye with an allotment of 33 people vs. the large crowd that had pre-booked. Our family was able to complete this excursion, while many others were left onshore with no option.
The process to receive tender tickers in the Bliss Lounge was an absolute nightmare. The morning we were scheduled to arrive in Honduras, we were told to pick up tender tickets, if we had booked independent tours, at 7:30. Our family arrived early, to ensure we were in the first group. Passengers began lining up around 7:00 am. There were zero Norwegian employees in sight to help organize the line. The Norwegian employee did not show up to the Tender Ticket desk until 7:35. The absentness of an employee created anxiety and chaos for passengers, as individuals were aggravated and clearly angry. Once our tender tickets were secured, we once again lined up to disembark in Honduras, as that process should have begun at 8:00. There were zero announcements with updates regarding the boat arriving late or disembarking several hours later. Once the announcement was finally made for Group 1, around 10:30, there was a mass exodus of passengers. Norwegian employees did not collect the tender tickets and the process was disorderly. It made no difference what tender group number individuals were assigned to, as everyone was allowed to exit at the same time. We were told that the last tender back to the Pearl would be at 3:00 and were forced to cut our excursion in half. Imagine our disappointment when we arrived back to the ship, only to watch the tendering continue through 5:30.
The next day (Grand Cayman), our family knew that we had to arrive to the Bliss Lounge early, to once again pick up our tender ticket. Once again, there was not an employee in sight upon our arrival in the lounge. However, there were passengers that were in a verbal altercation due to someone cutting in line. Once an employee arrived (earlier than the stated tender pick-up time), they began handing out the tender tickets, prior to the stated time. The Pearl arrived in Grand Cayman earlier than the stated time and once again, there was no communication. Once the announcement was made for Group One, there was again chaos, as all passengers, no matter what group number they were assigned to, were able to exit.
Onboard entertainment options for our children was disappointing, as it was extremely limited. Shuffleboard sticks were broken, the bowling alley was only open limited times, and the arcade package was outrageously priced. We were unable to secure pool deck chairs, as towels were placed on the lounges with no monitoring. Prior to the cruise, I had researched the arcade and bowling alley and the prices advertised were completely different than what we were charged on board. Bowling was $7.00 per person and one lane was broken down the entire cruise. When I had called on pricing prior to the cruise, I was informed it was $5.00 per person for bowling. In order to purchase the arcade package, we were informed that every member of our family would have to buy the package, not just our children. We would have been forced to pay for the arcade for two adults, that had no interest in the package, and therefore decided not to purchase.
The customer service desk was extremely disorganized and each time we visited, employees provided us with different answers as to why our onboard credit was not applying to our account balance. We literally had to visit the customer service desk after each onboard purchase we made, to have them manually apply it. This was extremely frustrating, as we spent hours waiting in line, just to have the onboard credit applied appropriately.
Our first experience sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line was extremely disappointing. The lack of communication on the ship by the cruise director, Jodie and her assistant, Tiara caused confusion and chaos at the ports. The lack of updates regarding arrival times at the various ports and poor leadership in the disembarkation process at ports caused significant delays and anxiety among cruise passengers. Employees not being present at the tender ticket area in the Bliss Lounge created an environment of angst, where passengers proceeded to engage in verbal altercations. The lack of training at the customer service desk, caused an immeasurable loss of cruising time for our family, as we were forced to visit the desk numerous times, due to billing issues.
This cruise should have been a once in a lifetime celebration for our family. Instead, it was memorable for its disorganization and lack of communication. There were far too many delays, that were not communicated, along with a highly chaotic scene for disembarkation at all ports of call. Leadership starts with the top and was lacking from the moment we boarded the ship, until we disembarked in Tampa.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Harvest CayeNorwegian only had 33 spaces on the Monkey River Eco Tour. We had pre-booked this excursion and were lucky to be one of the few families that made it on the excursion.View All 1,181 Harvest Caye Cruise Port Reviews
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