This was our first cruise EVER with any cruise line. Our expectation when we purchased the cruise from Costco was that everything was included. Clearly not the case. Little things kept on adding up. For instance the fees and gratuities ... Read More
This was our first cruise EVER with any cruise line. Our expectation when we purchased the cruise from Costco was that everything was included. Clearly not the case. Little things kept on adding up. For instance the fees and gratuities added to the "FREE" drink package and "FREE" specialty restaurants that we chose. That is the first extras on top of our rate, and then the surprise daily rate of gratuities and whatever which happened to be a per person and that was another $421 added to our cruise price. NCL excursions are way higher priced then any of the companies that you can get at ports, several of excursions through NCL were more then double of what could be found at port. We did 2 NCL excursions and 3 private.
Entertainment was a bit of a disappointment. Chris Burke, the Legends Show and Patricia Watson were excellent, I was expecting more though..... I always hear that there are Cirque shows and really good entertainment on board ships but I didnt find anything more then what I could find at a Caribbean Resort. I didnt like the fact that we got the daily notifications of the events not prior to boarding, it would be nice to prep for some of these parties like the White Party.
The food: Tappanaki was awesome. I ordered sake on the first night, we were well out of port, and I was charged port taxes which came as a surprise. We had Teppanaki a second time a couple days later and had the exact same dishes and Sake and no tax on the the Sake. The entertainment was good, the food was tasty. I wish there was a lobster option even if its pay more, but we all know lobster is dirt cheap in caribbean so if you are putting crab in Seafood Jumbalya in the buffet, there is no reason that you cant serve lobster at the Teppanaki.
Indigo was not good. My wifes pasta dish was flavourless, and my beef could have walked off my plate it was so rare (I usually order Medium Rare, but this was really rare) and so we went to the buffet after we ate there and had a proper meal. After our shore excursion at the Grand Caymans we came back and went to the Lotus Room; We ordered several orders of dumplings, and spring rolls, and I ordered a Spyder Roll from the Sushi Bar. So I am not a stranger to Spyder Rolls, I order this roll on a regular basis. The fried soft shell crab is usually delicious. My wife ate a dumpling and spat it out, saying there was something rotten in it, and I ate a similar one and there was a taste of ginger but also something rotten in it. We called the waitress and told them, and they brought it back to the kitchen and brought us back some other dumplings which my wife didnt want to touch another one so i ate all the orders of dumplings. I loved the presentation of the Spyder Roll, but after about four pieces the crab started to taste off, it was mushy and fishy I looked down at it and took a picture of the crab meat being brown, green and very discoloured nothing I had ever seen before. I though I was fine because I left the pieces that were bad on the side of my plate. My wife ordered a dish that didnt come so we cancelled that dish. I did enjoy the dessert though, but we still went up to the buffet afterwards to get my wife some food. I usually have a stomach of steel and can eat anything. Within two hours I was super ill from both ends, and I had a major fever. I was up all night long. I had to take immodium to control my diarrhea the next day while we were in Aruba. Right when we got back on the ship I went directly to my room and my wife tended to me by bringing me broth and crackers until we could get everything out of my system. She then went and complained because Aruba was a pretty big disaster for us, we also werent able to utilize our drink package or even our food package due to this illness. This went on for 2 days, and both days were when we had excursions planned. It sucked. I think it was a nice gesture that the Executive Chef sent us chocolate covered strawberries, and a dinner at La Cuccinna but honestly for the price of our cruise, and all the extras that we paid for dinner and strawberries is a very small gesture, nice but not worth me changing how dissatisfied i was, or how many people I tell I got food poisoning. So that was Sushi / Lotus.
Cagneys was awesome, the beef tenderloin was to die for. I am a huge fan. I also had Beef Tenderloin at La Cuccina twice. I feel there should be more then two pieces of ravioli however I wont complain about the tenderloin. My wifes Chicken Cacchitore was disappointing, the chicken was tough and over cooked. The Tiramisu was delicious on both nights we were there.
When we were in St Kitts we ran into a doctor that we previously talked to when I had a food poisoning, she was a doctor by profession on holidays and she explained to us that her daughter also got food poisoning from the Sushi Bar several days back...... If you are still reading I will explaining more about this later.
Moderno was disappointing. I felt the salad bar was mainly preservatives, and the meat, not really my thing. The beef was tough. I tried a little lamb, but I found it tough and flavourless also.
My wife and I are foodies, so we do know what to expect. We rode the elevator down with another couple that have ate at Moderno on different ships and they did say this was not the best Moderno's. I dont know what to compare it to, but I hope next time is better.
The buffet was great. However some of the desserts were bland. I loved the soft serve and could eat that any time. Its better the Dairy Queen and that makes me happy.
The bars made great drinks although, I dont understand how I can get a Glen Morange single malt Scotch, but cant get a Hendricks Gin and Tonic; it makes no sense to me at all because where I am from 750ml of Glenmorange is $84, and 750ml of Hendricks is $38, so how does the scotch fall under the drink package while the gin doesn't? I wish there was a better selection of single malts under the drink package. Roger at O'Sheehans is the best bartender on the boat. He was brilliant and he kept our drinks full all the time.
The cigar room should only be for cigars. Its disgusting when you are smoking a fine cigar and someone comes in a smokes a cigarette. Its even more disgusting when someone brings their food in there. It should be for cigars only. Bottom line.
Front Desk / Customer Service - On the first day, you need more people up there. It took close to 90 min standing in line waiting to ask simple questions. Even on the second day it was busy.
And my last concern was CruiseNext. We did enjoy the cruise and we put money down for a future cruise. The Manager that signed us up clearly told us that he would give us 2 coupons for 2 cruises. Not 4 coupons for 4 cruises, only to discover when we got home we received 4 coupons. I just wish some things were more organized so we wouldnt have all these surprises and extra costs. We had a good time, but surprise after surprise is not what we want. Tell us what the full price is. We stay at resorts all the time, the full price is right in our face with no extras. Thats what i want to know. I dont want surprises.
Lastly, on our last night leaving La Cuccina we spoke to the Director of Food and Beverage, and it was almost like he didnt believe I was sick. He tells us that after he got the report, they went to the infirmary to check if there was a report of food poisoning. First, off; unless I am dying or contagious with something; I am not checking into see your doctor. Second, he tells us about all the specific regulations that cruise ships have to follow for their food.... Again, all restaurants have to follow these regulations at least where I live in Canada. Plain and simple the food was rotten, I have a picture of it, soft shell crab is not supposed to look like a raw oyster. I am not new to soft shell crab, this is one of the only rolls I have eaten consistently for the last 15 years at Sushi restaurants. So regulations or not, the dumplings and sushi that night were not good. Bottom line, something was wrong and it wasnt only me getting sick because on the last day at Bingo the lady in front of me told me that she got food poisoning from the Lotus Garden the night we were in Bonaire, I asked if she reported it to anyone and she said no, but she was going to.
All in all, I answered the questions honestly, and we will come back on a Norwegian Cruise on day. It was a great break from our kids, and maybe one day we can take them to. Maybe on a boat that has bigger swimming pools. Read Less