We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it right after the holidays. It was two family members in our party, previous cruisers with NCL. We embarked in Miami, excited we were able to cruise through the line and get onboard. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it right after the holidays. It was two family members in our party, previous cruisers with NCL. We embarked in Miami, excited we were able to cruise through the line and get onboard. However, at the entrance our keycards didn’t work. That was the beginning of one issue after another, we spent 7 of 10 days at the front desk feeling exasperated attempting to find staff who could fix the issues without explaining the inconveniences multiple times. Lets start with the new keycards didn’t work to unlock the cabin-exchanged 3 sets of keys in a 4 hour period. Thankfully our Steward let us in our cabin, who ultimately became the only excellent interaction/service in addition to dinner at Cagney’s. The next days were uninadated with errors to discounts for shore excursions (we did tours at each port, 6), refusals to apply excursion credits appropriately, smells of bowel movement coming through our walls, no working water during the night on entire ship, lack of service in the restaurants, and a horrible disembarkation (waited in line for over two hours for easy walk-off).
The overall condition of the ship appeared clean, but the decorations for Christmas were dismal (lights on trees and wreaths surrounding the atrium area were rarely on). Our biggest complaint was no running water and poor toilet pressure. The need to choose between holding your bowels/urination or smelling the disgust of toilets unflushed shouldn’t have occurred. No notice from customer service advising they would be turning off the water everywhere in the ship, we had to call to find out what was going on.
The cabin was an inside room on the 4th floor, we didn’t feel congested as we had plenty of room to move around. The new position of the television and the ability to pull it out and adjust the tilt made for easy viewing. We weren’t too sure about the lower level aft as our previous cruises had been higher levels mid ship.
Dining was below par, service was slow and the menus rarely changed. A ten day cruises having to flag down staff to get service and eating the same food over and over again wasn’t ideal. The last two days of the cruise we received service after our issues were addressed with an apology about the service. It was clear we had not received adequate service as one of the managers in the dining area noticed we had been sitting over 45minutes waiting on a salad. We ate at two specialty restaurants, Cagney’s and LaCucina. Cagney’s was superb, the best food and service of the 10 days, it has value as an specialty restaurant. LaCucina didn’t have much of a variety, I ordered a meal with chicken (not tasty) and my sister ordered a pizza. The pizza was delicious, much better than pizza in the buffet. I was happy to see my favorite dessert on the menu (tarimusu) as Cagney’s didn’t serve it as one of their options on our chosen night. The complimentary restaurants, Alizar, Grand Pacific, and Jasmine were mediocre after ten days of repeating meal choices. However, the breakfast in Grand Pacific was better than the buffet, I loved the golden waffles and hash browns. In Jasmine’s a good dessert was the green tea icecream, nice to have a different choice than machine in the buffet. I had been accustomed to the icecream station on the larger ships, multiple choices for some of the best flavors (I wanted ice cream, so I bought a cone off the ship in port).
The entertainment didn’t appear to grab my attention, the descriptions weren’t detailed enough to decide to spend hours in the theatre when I could be exploring. Multiple activities were scheduled throughout the day, the population of the ship was older couples, so not too exciting as I’m sure they were catering to that genre. We attended two events in the theatre, which was Elements and a comedy show. I’d seen Elements before, but the show I would advise one to see and rate as good (however, I was tired and dozed through the show). The Hot White Party was a party, we enjoyed the music and seeing the cruise staff in their Angel wings and costumes. The old and young partied into the night together, it didn’t matter if you didn’t have on white to join in the fun.
Service was excellent from our stateroom Steward. He had a friendly personality and knew us by name. Each day he wore a smile and wanted to know about our day and how he could be of assistance with any needs with the room. Customer service was poor, we received mutiple answers to the same issue, their lack of knowledge/understanding was unacceptable. The overall feeling was they had our money, and trying to nickel and dime you for more is all that mattered. No customer satisfaction, we left the ship with inaccurate Billings.
The ports were a great choice, however the itenary changed from our original booking. There was no explanation, we just received an email after we had paid off the cruise two ports were switching. We had Martinique and Dominican Republic, again we choir this ship for the itinerary. Some ports didn’t have a variety of chooses and they were over priced for value. However, selecting the port excursion as a “free at sea” choice offsets the costs....make sure to check your bill daily for discounts and credits. The companies chosen as affiliates to handle the tours cause some hiccups. Drivers and tour guides didn’t speak the best English, making it difficult to understand information about the points of interest. Additionally the roads on the Islands are very narrow and driving occurs on the opposite side of the road compared to the U.S, safety can be a concern. On our tours exploring the Islands drivers drove fast, with the narrow roads the boisterous plants and tree limbs were against the buses (open safari style), easily injured by the foliage if you’re sitting on the outward seats. Out of six ports we had rain on one day, the excursions did allow for various photo ops and overall we enjoyed all six (beach breaks, Island tours, rum factory, and exploring).
We didn’t travel with any children, and there weren’t many on the ship. Primarily retirees/older couples.
I would go again for an itinerary, but not on this ship. We were scheduled to disembark at 6:15, it was almost 8:00 A.M, caused us stress over possibility of missing our flight in FLL. We are thankful in all of the chaos for an awesome Steward who helped us to remember we were on a vacation inspeight of the difficulties, he added value to the ship. Overall average cruise for the value of our purchase. Read Less