Being a newly married couple (just two weeks before we boarded the ship) we were very excited to start our honeymoon. We booked a crusie becuase we though it would be nice for us to be alone and go travel together. We started our cruise ... Read More
Being a newly married couple (just two weeks before we boarded the ship) we were very excited to start our honeymoon. We booked a crusie becuase we though it would be nice for us to be alone and go travel together. We started our cruise like everyone else, waiting in a line that never seemed to end. By the time we got to the counter we had been waiting for almost an hour and a half, but its part of life, having to wait for your turn. This isnt that big of an issue, because everyone has to wait, but when we got up to check in and get our ship keys, the person behind the desk was so distracted that for the majority of the converstaion it seems as if we didnt even exist. We got through and onto the ship we wandered around for a bit, initally we were very impressed and were excited with the fact that we were on the ship and ready to being our honeymoon. After walking around we made our way to our Cabin. We loved the fact that we had spent the extra money for a room with a balcony. As the afternoon went on we just hung out for abit and waited for the ship to leave port.
Before long we realized that we had a few questions on some of the free offers we had received as part of the cruise offer. So we headed downstairs to check out the shore excursins desk and also talk with member services. My wife lead the way as she had been on a few crusies before. For me this was my frist cruise and not being a very avid travler i wasnt sure what questions i should be asking. We stopped to check on our on board credits and to find out how that would work. When speaking to the woman behind the counter, my wife became very upset becuase the staff couldnt understand what we were asking, at this point she began giving us what seems to be like a canned responce. It didnt help that beyond the fact that she didnt understand us and was providing informatoin we didnt need, we couldnt undersatnd her, it was so loud in the lobby that we kept having to ask for her to repeat herself. Being on a ship with people from all over the world is great, the culture and experences they bring is awesome, but the language barrier makes some experences very frustrating. Of all of the interactions we had with staff almost none of them (there were a few that were outstanding and made our trip very memoriable, our cabin steward was amazing, so was all of the cleaning staff for the 8th floor, thank you Dixon, we will never forget you). The cruise director staff was fun and we enjoyed interacting with them, but the service staff was lacking in many ways. There were but a hand full of people in the restuarnts that ever seemed to be happy to be working. It wasnt until the last two days of our trip that the service staff seemed to be happy. And we could only attest that to the cruise being almost over. But beyond that our over all feeling is that there was a general attitude and a border line feeling of rudeness from most staff. Our worst experence with staff was when we ordered a drink in the lounge and the waitress (whos name we did not get) gave us back the wrong card. When we went to ask her about it she immedatly blammed us for the issue and said it was our fault. This left a bad taste in our mouth for a good majoirty of the time we were on the ship. Please note this is not an overall generalization for the staff, i am fully aware that there are likely very nice and good people on the ship. The issue was, we didnt seem to come across those people a good majority of the time.
Our cabin was amazing, we loved having a view, and being higher up in the ship. It was awesome and we enjoyed that very much. Out of all of the things in our room our bed was less then amazing. It was likley the most uncomfortable either of us had ever slept on. I dont think for the 10 nights we were on the ship i slept for more then an hour at a time without waking up and needing to move because my body physically hurt. The one reason beyond everything else i couldnt wait to be back in Maimi is for a bed i might acutally get a good nights sleep in. We failed to go and complain about the bed, becuase in my mind what were they going to do, the cruise was sold out and there was no place to move us to. Plus i dont see them carrying dozens of extra mattresses on board for when people complain. So we just sucked it up and delt with it. Without being melodramatic and rediculas, i would say there were times that my physical organs hurt from laying on the bed and just attmepting to sleep.
The food on the ship was hit or miss, i feel like there were times that we would find good things and others we would not. We ate alot in one of the main resturants on deck 8 only becuase we knew what we would get, unlike at the buffett. One night we ate in the main dining hall on deck 6 and it wasnt bad, but it also wasnt anything i would write home about. Before the end of the cruise we had though about going and paying to eat at one of the nicer resturants on the ship, as each night went on, we failed to do so. I couldnt find it in me to go and have us spend more money then we already had to risk not having a good meal. So many times the food had been so lack luster that i didnt want to be more disapointed then i already was, and have to spend money for it on top of that. I think some of the big issues was the lack of varity, the majority of the time the menu didnt change. The same staples every day, which is great if you want to eat the same thing every day (which i pretty much almost did, Nachos, and a chipoltle chicken sandwich). I will say i did enjoy the breakfast on the ship, and most of the time the deserts were very good. But all in all, i wish that like our at our wedding the food was something that i would never forget and we would still be excited and raving about.
The activites and entertainment was pretty good. We enjoyed the shows and had fun playing trivia and bingo. Our only issue is that the trivia was the same they had used on the previous cruise. So all of the passangers who had played trivial and the game shows the trip before that stayed on already knew the answers. Beyond that the comedian and the hipnotist they had on board was fun to go and watch. The final show, was weird, and i didnt quite undersatnd it, but never the less it was a good show.
We stopped at 5 ports in Ocho Rios (Jamaica); Oranjestad (Aruba); Willemstad (Curacao), Kralendijk(Boniare), and Punta Cana (Dominican Republic). We were re-routed due to the hurricanes coming though a month or so before we left. Initally we were not suposed to go to Bonaire or the Dominican Republic, but Saint Martin and Saint Thomas. The chagne in plans was unexpected of course, but a natural disister will do that and i am partialy glad we go to see the other two islands instead. We really enjoyed going to the falls in Jamaica, we had a very enjoyable time. The ABC Islands were amazing and we are already making plans to go back to them and visit again. Punta Cana was a bit of a disapointment, this was mostly becuase the tour we were going on (which was around $80 a person and also told that it was one of their best selling tours and would fill up fast, so we booked it). It was the Chololate, Rum, and Shopping excursion. We thought it sounded like it would be a good time and all in all, we did enjoy orselves, but for the amount of money we paid, we went to 2 places. The frist was the for the intal part of the tour. It was a cigar making facility, a rum distilery, a coffee place, and also a chocolate museum and a small amount of shopping. Our only issue was when we got there, the place was packed to the brim with people, which is understandable, but they herded us around like cattle from place to place. On top of that the whole compound was under construction, the choclate museam wasnt even open and it seemed like it was not a very well planned or though out thing to do. After that we were taken to a local beach and had the opportunity to enjoy some local food. That was fairly enjoyable. One of the biggest issues we had was the organization for getting off the boat and finding out where you were going when you were in the port. Jamacia was the most unorganzied of them all and i feel like i can say we will never go back their again. As for the ABC islands, i have nothing but great things to say about them. And we enjoyed every minute we spend on the islands, in fact we wish we could have had more time on each to explore and walk around.
Overall we enjoyed ourselves, but us having fun was part of the goal of the trip in the frist place. I would say that i will likley have to really research if i will travel with Noweign again, as this experience did not lead me to feel like i truly got what i paid for. Yes i had an experence, yes we had a good time, but at the end of the day we slept like crap, didnt really enjoy what we were eating, and seemed to have issue after issue with the staff. If we wouldnt have been on a cruise and had an optoin of travel and room and board, we would have walked out in a heart beat. For all of the great people we meet on board the ship, almost none of them had good things to say about their experences. I tried not to take any of that into consideration for our trip as everyone has a different expereence. But at the end of the day, i feel like i didnt truly get what i paid for. For a trip with on board charges that close close to 5k i am left feeling a sense of lacking. If we ever choose to travel with Norweign again it will likley only be becuase of the destinations we are wanting to go to. I normally try to find the postivie and look to give people and compaies the benifit of the doubt, but this was a once in a life time event for us. This was our honeymoon and for both of us the memories we have will forever be overshadowed by the fact that it was really a poor experence wrapped up in moments of fun.
PS, im not going to spell check this so dont mind my spelling mistakes. Read Less