This is our 2nd Norwegian cruise with our kids. Our first one, 3 years ago on the Getaway, was fantastic. We stayed in the Haven in the 2 bedroom family villa and EVERY part of the cruise was fantastic!
This cruise, we board to find a sign entering the Haven Sun Deck that only those 16 and over were permitted. That is completely ridiculous. First of all, there is ZERO communication on that while booking on NCL.com. There is NOTHING that states that children will not be allowed on the sun deck. On our Getaway ship, we spend numerous hours up there with our kids. This cruise...we basically were put in the Haven Pool deck which had the retractable roof closed, 90% of the time. "How was your time in the sun? We didn't get to be in the sun, but we did stay in a Holiday Innn Express!" Unacceptable.
Why...WHY would you have 2 areas of the ship, the Vibe and Spice2O, be adults only and then have the Haven Sun Deck to be the same when there is a 2 bedroom FAMILY villa in the Haven? It is ridiculous. There are 2 separate areas of the ship that allow adults only to "get away from" the kids/noise. That makes no sense at all. If those in the Haven want a complete adult only experience...they have 2 options.
We paid MORE than a couple that stays in the Haven, and did NOT get to have all of the amenities as they did. Let that sink in for a second. We specifically pay to have that part of the ship. To not be in the crowded area. To spend that kind of money only to be told we have to go to the public area of the ship if we want to lay in the sun with our kids (ages 13/11/8).
Secondly, this ship has NO sports complex. Sure, it has a race track...but our kids couldn't do it because they were too short. The 2 big slides...tall enough, but not 99 pounds...so the ONLY slide they could do was the big one. From the getaway, where they could do 3 slides, ropes course, rock wall, spider slide, jump ball, 18 hole putt putt course, this was a complete disappointment. Now, this was my fault for not checking to see if there was not a sports complex, or at least something else for them to do. This second issue, is definitely my fault. The Bliss/Joy/Encore are obviously more for adults. Hey but the Bliss does have a 5 hole putt putt course!! Yes...sarcasm.
Lastly, we brought our concerns our concierge the first night. He said that he was going to get back to us first thing next day (Monday). Monday, at sea, came and went with no communication, and a wasted day of not being able to be on the sun deck. Long story short, we talked with the Assistant GM of the Bliss, and he basically told us, too bad, that is NCL corporate decision...which, he was right. He just cannot make that decision to override the stupid decisions that corporate boards/execs make.
Sadly, I have been cruising for over 30 years. My first cruise was when I was 10 years old on the SS Norway. Since then, my favorite vacation has always been a cruise, and an NCL cruise. No longer. There are way too many options, especially from Royal Caribbean, to continue to cruise with a line that discriminates against children, yet charges the same/more for those families to not be able to utilize all the amenities offered to those who choose to pay more for the Haven.
On the final day the cruise decided to give us a discount on a future cruise. First off, we are taking a family trip to Italy next year, so we will not be cruising. But why would we choose to cruise again with NCL when our kids cannot go to the sun deck?
Regretfully, my love for NCL cruises are done. This was a terrible way to end it, but there was nothing done to try to accommodate what they did not inform us of before the cruise.
Cabin was great! At least we had a nice place to relax since we couldn't do it on the sun deck.
We actually booked a room at the Westin on the Marriott site before we got on the ship. We got into the port and took a 10 minute taxi ride to the resort. Checked in and was able to use the grounds all day long! Cost of the room was $100 US and we had lunch at the resort, $50 US (2 adults/3kids). $150 is much better than the $600+ that the 'beach resort getaway' was being offered for. Greatest part...a guy with a catamaran was on the beach and gave us a ride back to the boat!! It was really cool!
Go to Cabo Dolphins!! AWESOME experience! We splurged for the Signature Dolphin Swim...you get tons of time with the Dolphin AND an underwater ride on his fins!!View All 21 Dolphin Encounters Reviews