As several other posts describe a recent NCL Spirit cruise that was supposed to be 21 days from Rome-Dubai, leaving on Feb. 11, I would like to add my observations.The sail date was changed because the ship was being refurbished and it was not ready. A new date Feb.14 was given, we were not notified until 5 days before sailing, after we were in route to spend a few days in Civitavecchia . Because of this delay there were 4 ports that were deleted. They offered $300 for flight changes. We have trip insurance so we are trying to recover these costs, which is ridiculous as the insurance coverage will not begin to cover the amounts. The ship was not completely finished and should have never been allowed to sail with passengers. Work crews continued to swarm the boat as passengers were aboard, long lines of irate customers were at the Cruise Assistance desk and this frustrated and angry line queuing went on for days after the ship was at sea. The nightmare started from the moment I arrived at the ship’s boarding process. There were nearly 300 people standing in line at the Guest Assistant desk in an over 3 hour wait, all massively complaining about no rooms, or not the room they booked, incorrect financials that were being sent prior to boarding saying people still owed monies for the entire trip and so much more. In fact a near-riot was being filmed on many cell phones with people screaming NO NO NO when told that we had to get out of lines we had been in for 2 to 3 hours so to learn the safety protocol. It was the nearest I have ever come to being afraid for my safety, and I truly think this could have gone very very badly if not for one wise NCL security officer who began a number taking process for your place in the line. Other NCL management staff were simply watching the horrible situation from the balcony above, and much more followed with poor entertainment, problems found in the rooms like closet rods not properly affixed, in room refrigerators not working, shower-stall water backing up in the pan of the shower, and key cards that should be specific to your room only-opening other suite doors. The disappointment continued with poor entertainment on board, nothing in gift shops-as we were told the vendors did not have time to stock their shops, a non-working ATM thru the entire trip so the only way we could get money was thru the casino cashier who charged fees for their service and so much more.
Personally, I was told I did not have a room when I boarded, then was sent to two other rooms which when I arrived found other occupants in those rooms and finally arriving in a room that was much less than I had booked. Each of the rooms I was given the toilets did not work. I received a small compensation for this disaster. While on the ship we proactively brought concerns to the ship hotel manager and the concierge. The concierge staff member was wonderful, the ship hotel manager did nothing but send me a form note. We never heard a word from the captain. I wrote two very descriptive notes to the ship upper management with no reply.
When I arrived back home after a less than happy experience, I immediately sent a three-page registered letter to CEO H Sommer and NCL Guest Services manager K Bird, to date no response. Both the ship concierge and the NCL booking agent said their hands were tied to address issues as well as they could not respond to when we would get the offered compensation back to our accounts as promised in letters from NCL.