My husband and daughter just returned from our first NCL cruise to Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. We have cruised before with Carnival and absolutely loved everything about it. This time, this particular trip was cheaper with Norweigan than with Carnival so we decided to go with Norweigan. What a huge mistake that was. Let me first start out by saying that we did have fun at most of our ports. Also, I did not want to publish this on a public website, but since Norweigan does not offer a way to email them privately, I have not other choice. I want them to know how I feel about their ship. We sailed on the Norweigan Spirit out of New Orleans. I will start by saying that on Carnival, the food was great, the size of the room was comfortable, the beds were great. All customers were treated great. The crew "knew" you by the time you were ready to go home. We made great friends on our cruise on Carnival. Norweigan not so. I had NO complaints about our Carnival cruise and after returning home yesterday, I sent them an email letting them know how much I appreciated everything they do.I will start from the first day. The food in the buffet was HORRIBLE! It was cold and or dry. The cold food was warm. I realize it was a busy day for the boat, but to have food like that was absolutely uncalled for. On Carnival, included in the buffet, you got tea, water, lemonade, and some sort of juice. Not on Norweigan. You get tea and water. The tea is so nasty. There was no doctoring it up to make it taste better. No juices and no lemonade. They did have lemons next to the water to make the lemonade but throughout the cruise, as much as my husband and mother tried, they could not get any juice out of the lemon slices. They were too dry. We spent the next few hours waiting on our rooms to be ready by touring the ship and learning our way around. Dinner on the first day was back in the buffet for some more dry and/or cold food. Day 2 was a full day at sea. I have to admit that the food in the buffet was better. Breakfast was excellent. Great scrambled eggs and french toast and waffles that are delicious. For breakfast you did have a choice of juices. Orange, apple, and a fruit cocktail. That afternoon we were treated to a BBQ where the mayonaisse and cole slaw sat out in the hot sun for hours at a time. No thank you. Almost all of the shows on board were great. They had a magician on board who did several shows. I'm not really into magicians so I was not impressed. They had a couple on board that did an acrobat routine. It was so great that it brought tears to my eyes. I would have liked to see them perform more. They had a commedian that was great the first time. After that, not so funny. The singers and dancers were great. However, the theater were the shows were leaves much to be desired. I am not a small skinny woman as a lot of other people on board. The theater has seating like a regular theater. The seats are very small and the rows are close together. It is very uncomfortable seating. To sit in the comfortable seats on the front row, you have to buy alcohol from the bar. No thank you! On Carnival it is bench seating and very comfortable. And you can sit on the front row without buying anything. Day 3 we were in Costa Maya. We went on a shore excursion of catamaran and snorkeling. We have done this before in the Bahamas and it was great. But this time was even better. We got to swim for about an hour or so. The captain of the catamaran even gave us free water, soft drinks, or beer when we came out of the water. It was wonderful and I would recommend this excursion for anyone. This day we ate dinner in the Windows dinning room. Food was pretty good. Day 4 we were in Roatan, Honduras. We went on the dolphin encounter. Again, another great excursion. If you do this excursion, bring money. They allow you to take pics with the dolphin that you can buy once you get back to shore. It was wonderful. Our tour guide was also very imformative. Telling us things not only about the island, but about the dolphins as well. Day 5 we were in Belize City, Belize. We deiced to do the cave tubing this day. I would not recommend it to anyone. It is a level 2 excursion. Again, I have tried to contact Norweigan directly about this but you can only call. No emails. We boarded a bus that was air conditioned so not too bad. Our tour guides Dorian told us about Belize as we were on the way. A one hour trip to where we were going. A very long and bumpy one hour trip. I actually started to feel car sick on the way there and I don't get car sick. Once we go to where we were going, we were allowed to change clothes, we were allowed to put stuff on the bus, we were given our tubes, helmets, and life jackets. We were told on the way that Belize has a law that says there has to be a ration of 8-1. So were were not going to be in one large group but we would be in several smaller groups. There were 37 people all together. Once we left, it was like all the tour guides were in a race to finish first. We were supposed to be told about plants in the rain forest. I was at the front of the group so I could hear most of what our tour guide was saying. Those at the back of the group heard nothing. She would start telling us about something then before the rest could catch up, she would be gone again. What was supposed to be a 45 minute hike through the rain forest turned out to be only 20 minutes. That's how fast we were going. When we got to the mouth of the cave, we had to link together. You better have strong neck muscles for this part. You can not lay back and relax. You have to be in a laid back position holding your head up the whole time. It doesn't take long though. What was supposed to be an hour and a half float through the cave was only about 30 minutes. Since we were all linked together, the back of the "train" would sway from side to side. This lady kept running us into the rocks. We would have to push off the side of the cave. Once we were out of the cave system we were told we would have a "free float." Meaning we would not be hooked together. We were rushed through that as well. We were told to not just float but paddle down this part. Our tour guide left us at this point. I didn't care. I was so mad I was just ready to leave. This too was supposed to last 30 minutes and was only about 5-7 minutes. I'm giving these times to show you how much we were rushed through this. I was so glad to get out of there and get away from everything. We were then brought to a buffet lunch. The food was good but remember, you are eating in a 3rd world country where there are no regulations on how your food is served. It is a resturatnt with no windows and a lot of flies. We went back to the bus for another 1 hour long trip back. I was so glad to be back on the ship. This shore excursion was the worst I have ever been on. The next day we were in Cozumel. Cozumel is a great place. Don't just shop inside the little shopping center. Go outside of that center. I recommend the horse and carriage tour. It is really cheap and you get to see the highlights. This is not an NCL excursion. We also ate at one of the little resturants on the strip. It was great. There are a lot of people linning the streets wanting you to buy things. They are actually in your face. Be careful.Ok, so the next day was a day at sea and it was ok. We were tired and played cards most of the day.Rooms - we had an inside room. There were 3 of us. The whole room is probably double the size of my closet in my bedroom. VERY small. They had the beds pushed together and a bunk bed for my daughter. If her bunkbed was down, the person on that side of the large bed could not see the small 13" 1990 TV. At least on Carnival we had a 19" flat screen. If we were all 3 in the room together, 2 had to be seated while the other was up doing what they had to do. Then that person sit down while the other would get up and so on. To get ready for dinner, I had to get dressed, leave the room, let my daughter get dressed, leave the room, then my husband. It was really an inconvenience.And our rooms were NOT clean. Sure they were neat. Picked up. But there was not a night that went by when they would come in and turn our beds down that there were hairs and lint on our sheets. One night there was even a big yellow (what looked like urine) stain on our comforter. They would "clean" the bathroom. There would be hairs in the sink. One thing I love is fresh, clean smelling, white towels. You won't get that on Norweigan. The towels smelled soured. On Carnival, every room has those nice soft white robes. Not on Norweigan. Those are reserved for the passengers that book suites. Another thing....On Carnival, there were quiet places to go if you didn't want to be around all the noise. On Norweigan, the only quiet place to go was your tiny matchbox cabin. The bed was so hard. I did not sleep well at all while I was gone. On Carnival, the bed was so comfortable, I wanted to bring it home with me. Crew - There were only about 2 crew members that I knew when I saw them and they knew me. I never saw our cabin stweard. On Carnival, I still talk to my cabin steward through emails. You will not get that personal touch with Norweigan. Norweigan also talks so much about alcohol. Really? We are not big drinkers especially not on the cruise. It's just too expensive. We felt like they were catering to those who drank and slept late. There was one activity that we loved. TV show tune trivia. One game lasted about 5 minutes. We really wished they would have had more of those. It was fun. But again, since it was not alcohol or gambling related it was not stressed. On Carnival, we were welcomed to sit outside at night. We loved doing that. Not on Norweigan. The beach chairs are not only picked up but they are tied down to discourage people from using them. As I mentioned earlier, my daughter and I had the coke cards. Really the only place for us to fill those cups was on deck 12. So if we were in the room on deck 5, we had to go all the way up to 12 to get our cups filled. Talk about an inconvenience. I think I have covered most of the bases in this post. I am sorry that Norweigan does not give people a chance to send this to them directly. I hope they will make changes so that they can improve their services. One more thing. Norweigan boasts of having 16 resturants. You have to pay extra for all but 3 of them. One is the buffet. The other 2 have the same menu. Not a lot of variety on board as far as food.
HORRIBLE. Too small. Not clean. We had 3 people in our room and there was not room for all 3 of us. Only 1 plug. Not a double outlet. The one plug was by the table. I have a C-Pap machine. If I wanted to use my machine, I had to sleep with my head at the foot of the bed. Hair and lint all over the sheets. One night we had what looked like a urine stain on our comforter. Hairs were in the sink after they were done "cleaning." I never even saw a cabin steward. There was another plug in the bathroom but it didn't work.