The ship was very clean and the staff were very friendly and helpful overall. The food in the buffet was usually cold and bland, sometimes inedible. It was incredibly busy up there and difficult to find seating. Other complementary dining was fairly bland as well. The speciality restaurants were much better and if I cruised with NCL again I would only dine there. However, I don’t think that you should be forced to pay extra for a decent meal, the food that is included should be edible as well. The temperature on-board was too warm. Entertainment was very good. Jersey Boys was high quality and the female comedian was excellent. I avoided most of the “activities” on-board because they were just an excuse for staff to try to sell things. I often felt that I was on a week long timeshare info session being bombarded with up selling. Nothing is free on NCL.
The spa was the worst and I knew what to expect going in but I was even surprised. I went to a “hair show” where they were supposed to talk about hair health, the best cut for your face shape, etc., and give away a free cut and style to one of the attendees. They jammed 8 of us into a corner and a very rude salon worker came out and said he specialized in hair loss and they scheduled the wrong time for the hair show so he’d be talking about that instead. We were trapped in the corner for 40 minutes as he tried to sell his special $3600 hat to us. None of us struggled with hair loss. He said he would give us a free consultation but told us repeatedly not to waste his time. He was rude to one 17 year old girl who seemed disinterested during his lengthy presentation and asked her to repeat what he had said and clapped in front of her face. I was so mad when we were finished because he wasted 40 minutes of my time. I felt that I couldn’t leave because I was physically squished into the corner and because I find confrontation uncomfortable. Also, there was no giveaway for the cut and style and I wanted to see a hair show. It was a complete scam. I complained to the manager on the phone afterward and she said there was confusion about scheduling. I explained that the employee was aware that wasn’t what we were there for but he went on with his high pressure sales pitch anyway. She said she could offer me a consultation for my hair but after that experience and having now complained I was not comfortable going back. Also, someone who went to the session was entitled to a free cut and no one got one. I wouldn’t have even cared if I didn’t get it, but if you promise something like that you should follow through.
Other activities like bingo were extremely overpriced for the amount of prizes given away. One package was $60 and the bingo jackpot was just over $100. That’s outrageous. You have at least 200 people buying tickets between $30 and $60, that’s a minimum of $6000-$12000 and your total prizes are $600? Not to mention that the cruise staff took forever calling the numbers so that they could sell you more stuff in between. It was painful, not fun.
The cabin was small but well designed. The bathroom was the most spacious I’ve had in an inside room. Having a shower door rather than a curtain was nice because the bathroom didn’t get wet and the curtain didn’t stick to you as you showered. There was less storage than other ships. One person had to keep some of their clothes in their suitcase. The beds were comfortable. The doors slammed shut so that can become irritating at times.
We missed this port due to wind.
Embarkation was swift and easy. On the ship in less than 20 minutes.
Nice city with typical shops. Tram being in the middle of the port/town was an excellent idea. Complementary tram to town from our pier was appreciated.
Beautiful scenery. Glaciers were amazing. So glad I got to see them. Rangers on board did a good job discussing them. I woke up early to try to get a seat in the observation lounge but by 6am the best seats were already taken and I figure it would be a mad house up there later. I decided to stake out a seat in the district brew house which is a lesser known daytime view point. It got busier in there as the day went on. We were late to the glaciers because we had left Skagway 8 hours late the night before due to wind. In total I was in the lounge for 9 hours. If I could do it again I would have just gone about my day as usual and then fought my way outside once we reached the glaciers. The ship was so busy though that you feel like you have to scramble for a spot before there are none left but that’s not very fun on a holiday.
We are from Vancouver island so we disembarked at Victoria. Prior to beginning the cruise we spoke to 3 different NCL agents getting different answers to whether or not we would be allowed to disembark early. It doesn’t violate any maritime laws but each cruise line has different policies. The last person we spoke to said that we could get off but NCL couldn’t arrange it with Canadian officials. I was uneasy about that so we made arrangements to get off in Seattle just in case we weren’t permitted to in Victoria. Once in the ship the guest services staff simply put in a request. We received a letter the next day requesting that we meet at 9pm at guest services and would be escorted off the ship to meet customs. That’s exactly what happened and it was a very easy experience. I just wish they could let you know if you could do that in advance.