My DH and I have taken this same cruise, in the same cabin, once before. In October of 2008, it was a different experience. We have cruised with NCL now 5 times. All very different experiences. However, having been on this exact cruise ... Read More
My DH and I have taken this same cruise, in the same cabin, once before. In October of 2008, it was a different experience. We have cruised with NCL now 5 times. All very different experiences. However, having been on this exact cruise before gives us a chance to do an exact comparison. This cruise lacked so many of the things that made our previous cruise wonderful.
Boarding: We drove to the pier in NY, and in the rain, unloaded out luggage and I waited while my DH parked the car. We had two 22 inch suitcases and about 6 pieces of hand luggage. Parking was easy, but getting all the luggage down to the pier was not. There was no one to give us instructions as to where to take our larger pieces. The first porter we came to was quite rude. We eventually found a porter willing to take our bags, and proceeded into the terminal. By now my DH was not in a good mood, and we still had a lot of hand luggage. We went thru security, and were rudely told we were 'hiding a bottle of wine'. I said I knew we had a bottle, and not trying to hide it, but simply packed it. We were instructed to a table on the side to pay our $15.00 corkage fee. We expected this, and had no problem with the fee. After this we were finally escorted to the Suite and Latitude lounge, where we could relax. There we met Anshuman, who we already knew from the previous cruise. At that point things went a bit smoother. We were escorted to the ship, then told our cabin was not ready and advised to have lunch in Cagneys and then proceed to our cabin. We were just happy to be aboard and get something to eat. After a nice lunch, we proceeded to our cabin. Eventually our luggage showed up. However, we were missing a piece of hand luggage. We reported it, but it was not found, so we assumed we must have left it in the car. It turned out that it was not in the car. My DH thinks he may have left it in the pier area after all the times he sat it down, picked it up, got in a new line etc. Not NCL's fault, however, it may not have happened if the boarding process for people parking at the pier were handled in an easier way.
The Cabin: Having been in the exact cabin previously, we concluded nothing had changed except the position of the coffee machine, it was now on the bar. The cabin was just shabbier. The gauzy curtain had grey stains on it. The sofa cover had a hole in it and was ill fitting from too many cleanings. There was dust on several things. One of the glasses had the cover on it, but contained a clear liquid. Obviously used. We pointed this out to our butler, Ravi, but he brushed it off as not importent. The mattress when viewed from the sofa, had two impressions from use. It may have been the same one we used previously. One of the lights didn't work, which we never did point out. On the good side, we had a bowl of fresh fruit, and a bottle of sparkling wine chilled. An arrangement of flowers was delivered and was beautiful. It survived one day. Ravi moved it to the little table by the sofa where it fell on the sofa, leaving water and debri, then onto the floor. Ravi made no attempt to do anything at all to clean it up.
Our Butler: Ravi was our butler, and had a very nice personality. However, I think he had too much to do as he was always rushed. He spent time when we boarded to explain the working of the coffee machine, lights and other things in the cabin, the restaurant schedules, etc. But after that he was always in a hurry. He delivered dvds to us, a plate of complimentary snacks in the afternoon, and one breakfast. We had to call for ice several times. We bought a bar setup, so we had our cocktails in the cabin before dinner, but never had fresh ice unless we called for it.
Suite Perks: A bottle of bubbly, a fruit bowl, and a fresh flower arrangement. The ability to eat breakfast and lunch in Cagneys, and have extended room service. Dvds delivered upon request. Robes. Upgraded linens and bath products. Concierge service. On our last cruise in addition to the this, we had free bottled water, free soda, a pillow menu, and always fresh ice. More attention in general. Also a Cocktail party for Latitudes and suite guests with the Captain.
The Food: Room service breakfast was awfull. We only had it once. Cagneys staff and food was very good, however, we had the same menu every day. On our last cruise, the menu changed daily. I looked forward to that. This time we were 'invited' to spend money to dine with the Captain. I forget the amount, but something like $150.00 per couple, including wines. On our last cruise, we received nightly invites to dine with an officer, wine included, at no cost. We ate in Salsa twice, Cagneys once, and Aqua for the remaining dinners. The food and service in all restaurants was very good. No complaints at all, and we're foodies. We bought a bottle of wine nightly, and even if the bottle we requested was not on the menu, they got it for us. We did not eat at the buffet, or anywhere else on the ship.
The Ship: The ship over all was in good shape. Clean and maintained public areas. Rugs being replaced in the hall to our cabin. No complaints at all, except with our cabin as previously mentioned.
The Spa: We bought the spa pass and loved it. We also had several spa treatments which we both loved. I had the hot stone massage with Linda. She did a great job. My DH had a full body massage which he also loved. I also had the seaweed detox with Rose, which was interesting, not sure I felt detoxed, but I would do it again. We liked having the aft area to look at the sea. Also nice was the ability to have coffee, tea, or just cold water.
The Dockyard and Bermuda: Getting on and off the ship went pretty smoothly. We didn't do any of the excursions being sold thru NCL, but we've been there before. We bought a 2 day pass and took busses and ferries to see the island at our leisure. That turned out to be a great way to see everything. It was too cold to really beach sit or swim, but we've done that. It was sunny but windy, great for hiking and sightseeing. With kids, we may have done something more structured. But I read up on what we wanted to see on our own and we had a great time. I even found the sea glass beach at Alexander Battery in St Georges, and came home with a small bag full. The bus from one end to the other was a good way to see the whole island.
At Sea: Rough seas going over, but we love that so no problem. We both slept like babies. While at sea, we like quiet activities. It was hard to find a place to read without a lot of noise. They could use more quiet space, and as the library was busy, I think others may agree. One thing was a running theme for the whole cruise.....SALES. Even at dinner, we were approached to purchase tickets to eat with the Captain. SALES thru the loud speaker system, the dailies, the crew, every where you turned you were being sold something. I would like to see more educational classes and seminars while at sea. THEN sell me something.
Disembarking: We met in the Sushi lounge to be led off the ship by our concierge, Anshuman. He led us to the gangway, then abandoned us to the cattle shoots and the throngs of people all trying to get off the ship seemingly at the same time. Once off, we had no trouble finding our luggage, and no trouble going thru customs. That was very well organised. Now, if I can get soneone to look for our lost bag..... Read Less