We booked this Thanksgiving cruise well in advance and had been excited for months. We are not new to cruising, but this was our first trip with Norwegian Cruise Lines. The Getaway left from New Orleans, which we found to be a dump for a city. Finding a hotel that wasn't sprayed in gang graffiti was impossible, so we stayed downtown where 10 people were shot on the day we arrived back in port.
On to the cruise: We didn't leave New Orleans dock until after 6pm, which was highly unusual. Dining was a nightmare! All reservations booked up immediately leaving you waiting in line every time we dined. We never did get to try the Noodle bar because they only take reservations. The buffet was similar to hospital food. The bar and grill had the worst service I've ever experienced on a cruise. The formal dining halls had decent food, as long as you were prepared to stand in line. There were lines for everything on this boat!
The spa seemed like a good idea, so we bought a couple's massage and bath. Once we arrived for the services they were clueless. The bath was supposed to be before the massage to relax you, but they didn't know we had purchased that package so they threw it in at the end, then hovered over me while I filled out the tip portion of the ticket. Also, they started in at some long sales pitch once the massage was over. It's hard to relax when you are constantly having to tell them no, not another $400, please. Everything on this boat is taxed as 18-20% extra! Want a drink from your mini-fridge in the room, added tip. Drinks at the bar, added tip. Massage, added tip.
Generally, there were no chairs outside to sit in because they pack too many people on this boat. Folks booking "Haven" rooms are treated like royalty and everyone else is looked down upon because they didn't purchase the super expensive rooms. We weren't allowed into shows because the "common folks" seats were taken, but they reserved 30 seats for Haven members in case they wanted to come.
We had to tender to Honduras, which was a nightmare. Many people missed their excursion times even after NCL guaranteed they'd arrive by the required meeting time. Our tender boat had an alarm going off for the engine malfunctions and a poor autistic kid was screaming bloody murder because the sound bothered him. The crew only laughed and never turned off the alarm, or put the boat out of service to actually check the engine.
Sixteen people were held hostage by locals in Costa Maya during their NCL sponsored excursion. This was swept under the rug of course.
I was charged $296 extra on my credit card for an unknown reason. When I reached out to NCL via phone they transfer you to a recording. It says I must fill out an email form and submit it to have this looked in to. The auto-response when I submitted the form said they'd be in touch in 4-6 weeks. How many people are they over-charging if they require a ticketing process with a 4-6 week turn-around time?
This was definitely the worst cruise we've ever taken. 80% of the people I heard discussing the cruise onboard said the same thing as I, plus they mentioned they'd never return to NCL. NCL is supposed to be a step above so many other lines, but this is simply not the case. They lack in available entertainment, meaning not just saying you have the show available, but actually having enough seating for passengers to enjoy.
I read a review about someone winning the ship's bingo game for a free cruise for two people. The ship really sells this idea up to the crowd, so I can't imagine how much cash they are bringing in for this. The reviewer said when they got home to book their cruise they were informed if they have that voucher they must pay full-price for their next cruise. No discounts apply now. This reviewer then showed where they could book two tickets without the free cruise voucher cheaper than with the voucher. This means it is nothing but a scam to get cash from unknowing customers.
The crew is miserable and clueless as to what they are supposed to be doing. Yes, there are nice people on the boat, but overall it is a step down from any other cruise line I've been on. We will never be back!
This boat was supposed to have been remodeled just a few months ago. We had carpet pulling off of the step in front of the balcony door, shower not draining correctly, the fridge lock was broke, and so-on. Definitely, nothing to brag about.