First off, I'm a very positive person. If you read any other review I've done, I try to see the best first, and give suggested solutions, not just complain, when I have to place a negative review. This was our 6th cruise, ... Read More
First off, I'm a very positive person. If you read any other review I've done, I try to see the best first, and give suggested solutions, not just complain, when I have to place a negative review. This was our 6th cruise, second with Norwegian. This was a family Christmas gift, my husband and I paid for us, as our 2 adult children and their spouses, all upgraded to balcony suites, so it wasn't cheap. We thought it would be such a treat, as two of them had not cruised before. My sister and her husband decided up join, so 8 of us, in 4 rooms. We got the alcoholic beverage packages, the dining package, and the wi-fi package.
So, first impressions, the boat is so beautiful! The water park, the atrium, the pool side, just beautiful! The rooms, nothing impressive, but we tend not to spend much time in them. The upgrade we paid for, for my husband and I, was literally the exact same room as our kids, with a larger bathroom/shower, nothing else.
We arrived to our room, went to the bathroom, literally NO toilet paper! No half roll, no spare roll, none. Bad start using Kleenex! The ice bucket had the previous persons warm water left in it, and it stayed that way the entire week. We had one pool towel, not two. The mirrors were not wiped down at all. The bed was made, but I had to question whether or not the sheets were clean, since it appeared no attention had been paid to the room. The entire trip, we saw our attendant 4 times, and he didn't even know our names. I had to call for assistance, and you could't leave a message, we received a recording telling us to try again later.
The food was good, the entire time. Although they boast 28 restaurants, the ones included were the poolside buffet/.cafe, O'Sheehans Pub, and the 2 Dining Rooms. The dining rooms had the same menu each day, just different ambiance. The specialty dining package was nice, with many more options, but, you have to pay a surcharge to use most of them, so not "Free". The room service for breakfast, was a surcharge as well, if you wanted something other than continental. They only had a few choices for hot food, and they were truly inedible. The Tapa's Restaurant was just awesome, though, and well worth the service charge! They did not have the typical "seafood" night, at all. No crab, no lobster, just peel and eat shrimp, mussels, and such. That was a great disappointment, It seems corners are being cut to save them money, but they didn't pass the savings along to the patrons.
Since they sell the heck out of the drink packages, that you prepay for, you can guess right in the fact that you couldn't find a server poolside or out and about! We literally had to wait in lines at the bars to get a drink. That is so unlike any cruise we have ever been on, they keep the drinks flowing, so long as they are making money on it! Since they already made the money, service was not a concern.
The shows were spectacular! We really enjoyed them. Although the comedy was the same night after night, when you went to a different room, you assumed different people were performing, but they moved from one showroom to the next. One show, we arrived literally 3 minutes late to, and were told we couldn't go. We were furious, especially because the attendant told us we had to be there fifteen minutes before the show started, and our tickets did not show that. We showed her the tickets to prove it. Finally she allowed us to enter, and the show was great.
Their Perspective Photo Studio, separate from the cruise photos, was wonderful, and worth the money we spent with them, over $1,500! The photographers gave our family a photo shoot of a lifetime, throughout the ship, they spent hours with us, capturing our families personalities, separately and together.
The Haven, which is their "cruise with the cruise" was very high end, and the patrons there were treated like royalty. They paid for that luxury, but it became annoying to everyone that paid a lot, that they were treated with special lines to get off and on the ship, to dine, to go to shows, etc. Everyone should be treated special on the cruise, not just the super elite.
Overall, we didn't get what we paid for. It felt like a "budget friendly" vacation, but it was not cheap. The venue was great, the staff was not. This is the first time we have cruised that the staff seemed terribly unfriendly, unhappy, uncaring, and unconcerned. It has not ruined cruising for me, overall, but it has ruined Norwegian Cruises for me. They have a culture issue going on, that they need to look closer at, as there is a high expectation when you spend the kind of money we spent. To not feel special, attended to, cared about, etc., is a shame. Read Less