We cruised on the Norwegian with another couple. We were in stateroom 8051. The bed looked and felt like they got it out of a 'pay by the hour' motel. It had depressions more than an inch deep in the mattress where too many ... Read More
We cruised on the Norwegian with another couple. We were in stateroom 8051. The bed looked and felt like they got it out of a 'pay by the hour' motel. It had depressions more than an inch deep in the mattress where too many people had slept. They have probably never replaced the mattresses since the ship first sailed in 2001. The mattress was also hard as a rock. I ended up with three egg crate foams and a thick mattress pad on the bed before it was even comfortable enough to sleep.
The A/C didn't work for the first five days. I had to keep the curtains closed to keep the room from becoming hot. The hallway was cooler than my room. One customer service person suggested I leave my door open to the hall when I was in the room. I suggested they fix the A/C. They also suggested I keep the curtains closed at all times. I told them I didn't pay extra for a balcony room so that I could keep the curtains closed. After the A/C was 'fixed' the hallway was still cooler than the room even though we had the thermostat set on the coolest possible setting. The shower was tiny! Shockingly tiny. Sometimes the toilet did not flush.
The balcony was a disappointment since it was shallow...the chairs did not have foot rests so I couldn't really sit and put my feet up to relax.
The port side and aft hallway outside our room smelled like sewage all but two days.
On the 23rd or 24th I walked out of the stateroom to find the hallway flooded with what I hope was water. It seemed to be coming from stateroom 8055. They brought wet vascular and fans. We had very noisy industrial fans blowing 24 hours a day after that.
The customer service people were pretty bad. You already read their responses regarding my A/C. A third contact with them produced a dour, sour, unsmiling, disdainful, arrogant, condescending 'customer service' guy by the name of Toms (yes, I spelled it correctly). He did not listen to me, began to berate me for something I did not do, and kept saying "What is your problem!?!" while I was trying to explain.
For all our trouble with the bed and A/C, another 'customer service' rep named Hazel thought two bottles of wine were an appropriate settlement. She also offered a dinner in one of the specialty restaurants, but only for my husband and I, we would not be able to bring our traveling companions because our problems did not affect their room. It did. They had to listen to me complain for five days. We opted not to go to a restaurant.
We eventually spoke to Scott who does something with the financial end of things. We received a call saying we could go to one of the specialty restaurants and take our travel companions. The restaurant we chose was the steakhouse Cagneys and the usual charge for going there is $30 a person.
We made our reservation and went on a Thursday night. When we got there there were four tables of people seated and eating. We sat about 10 minutes before our waiter came over to give us menus and take our drink orders. The room was quite dark, but luckily we were in the center with some little can lights above us. The waiter did not return for quite a while. He finally took our drink orders, and by that time we'd been able to look over the menu and order.
In the meantime, other people came in, were seated, given their drinks, brought their appetizers. We were still sitting there with nothing. It was 65 minutes from the time we were seated till we had our drinks and appetizers. 65 minutes. As we sat there we noticed people sitting along the wall, where it was really dark, actually using pocket flashlights and the table candles to be able to see the menu! The room was freezing. The music was too loud and some of the other guests as they came in were very loud and disruptive to a supposedly 'nice' dinner. The 'view' in this 'specialty' restaurant was a bunch of sweaty young men shooting baskets on the basketball court outside the restaurant. I'm glad it was free because there wasn't much to recommend it and it sure wasn't worth $30 each. The whole time we were there we were wishing we were back in the Seven Seas with our regular superb waiter, King Cesar. Cagneys food was ok. My filet mignon was lacking in beefy flavor but it was tender. Norwegian did not include a glass of wine with our meal, so we had to pay for drinks.
The activities were plenty but the room allotted for them was inadequate for the one I attended and for a couple others i tried to attend. People were seated on the floor and actually in other rooms because of lack of space. The staff, Eddie and Andre, were kind of short tempered because they had to run all over the place trying to teach people how to do the craft. Eddie, especially, focused on a small group of women who knew him from other activities. He left Andre to run between rooms and try to help the rest of us. I saw the same issue at other activities and didn't bother staying.
At the shows, which were pretty good, there was notice that seat saving was not allowed. That didn't stop anyone. It was difficult to find a seat for four people together unless we went 45-60 minutes early. The seats are terrible. In the center of the back of the seats are huge buttons for decoration. They dig into your back while you are watching a show. It isn't pleasant.
The food was good, but not memorable. We found a great waiter in one of the 'sit down' restaurants as I mentioned above. He was so personable and so good at his job that the evening meal was the highlight of the day.
The buffet was a mess. The configuration was horrendous. There was no clear cut path through the line so people were going both ways, jumping in line wherever they saw something that looked good to them, blocking the aisles, it was chaos. In the a.m. It was worse because they have the omelet station set up in a place that stalls the line from moving. We rarely used the buffet after the second day because it was so frustrating.
We walked into the casino one day on our way through another area of the ship. The stench of cigarettes was so bad I began to gag half way across the room.
There isn't much shopping on board and if you go in the jewelry store you will find vastly inflated prices (except the Emerald Event wasn't too bad) on their jewelry with very high pressure sales people. If you ask to see a piece you are almost immediately guided to a counselor who 'educates' you on what a fine piece of jewelry you are considering and tries to close the deal. I finally told one sales person that I didn't need to be counseled, I needed to decide if I was willing to pay too much for a bracelet I liked. I wasn't after his methods.
The regular staff, waitstaff, room stewards, they were all really nice. I felt bad for them in a way.
This cruise was a huge disappointment. The ship, the amenities, the poor customer service...I can't imagine sailing again with Norwegian. A really strange thing: it was almost impossible to find a garbage can on board. We found ourselves carrying empty cups and other garbage around....annoying.
The shore excursions we bought through NCL (4 of us, 5 excursions each) were expensive for what I feel we got. For my husband and I the cost was $740. It wasn't worth it. It was a bunch of the same thing in each port. A male guide who gave a sob story about being a single parent, a single shop in which the guide most likely got kickbacks, limited to 0 time to check out other stores, sometimes truncated tours (not all aspects of the tour description were met). Long drawn out presentations more suitable for a class. One tour got us back to the ship late. We ended up waiting on the same people all the time who couldn't seem to get to the bus on time. I'll review each tour at the tour description rather than here. No I won't. I just did that part of this survey and two of our ports/excursions are not even listed as options in the list. The two not listed were
Huatulco: again, one store to browse which I'm sure gave Pedro a kickback, cause that's the only store we were 'allowed' to go into. Nice demonstration by the store of how they make dye for their woven pieces. Textiles were very expensive, pottery was reasonable and beautiful. Butterfly farm was really nice...I enjoyed this tremendously. The church we toured was beautiful as well. Again, we waited on the same people who happened to again take the same tour as us. Pedro was ok, but kept us to one shop in a cool little town where I'd have liked to go into some stores.
Puerto Chiapas: Emilio very knowledgeable of Mayan history, but frequently went on too long in too much detail rather than allowing us to view the archaeological site. This wasn't a 'for credit' class. Very slow moving, long, drawn out! Saw ANOTHER church...again, it was lovely, but I'd have liked to hit a shop or two per the tour description. We did no shopping on this tour. The planetarium was wonderful but watch out for the seats in front of you...they recline completely and bang into your knees painfully. The planetarium was an interesting part of the tour and a break from Emilio's endless talking. The young people who did a Mayan dance on the veranda did a great job! I loved that part. The chocolate? Forget it. It is crumbles of chocolate in a bowl into which everyone puts their fingers. Gross. For the cost of the tour you'd think they could give us a small square rather than what was offered. Emilio got us back to the port 15 minutes late which meant we had no time to at least look at the shops at the dock (since we got to look at no shops in the town.) we were way out in the country for the Izapa ruins. The 'caretaker' looked kind of scary, allowed his children to run around pulling on us and begging the entire time. When they weren't begging they were playing and talking while Emilio made his presentation. Oh. Did I mention the police? They showed up after we got there and sat at a table the entire time we were there. I'm wondering if they were protecting us since we were so far out in the country. If someone took a notion to rob us we would have been up the creek as isolated as we were. I'm glad they were there. They need to lose the creepy caretaker and his kids.
I cannot recommend NCL based on this voyage. Perhaps their other ships are in better shape than the Sun. I'm not going to take the chance. My advice is to use another cruise company.