There is significant room for improvement in several areas, when compared to my past cruises on NCL’s Gateway and Dawn, and other cruise lines as well. On this particular Epic Cruise we were a 4-member family traveling in two separate ... Read More
There is significant room for improvement in several areas, when compared to my past cruises on NCL’s Gateway and Dawn, and other cruise lines as well. On this particular Epic Cruise we were a 4-member family traveling in two separate interior cabins. Not our choice, but budget only allowed for that, as the cost of the cabins were very high compared to other cruises we’ve taken out of SJU and MIA.
Here is my honest feedback on this cruise:
The Cruise director and team are under par in terms of keeping a festive and energetic environment constant, compared to other NCL cruises we’ve taken before. He should get in shape and spend a week sailing with Paquito at the NCL Gateway...
Moderno Churrasqueria had an extremely slow flow of meat options during our meal. We saw only 5 options brought to our table in the 1hour 15 minutes we had our coaster on green. This is a serious problem at the restaurant, and very disappointing experience for a specialty dining restaurant. If we would’ve known, we would’ve chosen La Cucina or the Teppanyaki instead.
Vessel design is very confusing, with very tight corridors, and very overcrowded main corridors due to casino tables, slots, sitting tables occupying space of such corridors. Unorganized bar/restaurant, entertainment venues, and lounges queues. Very long waits for elevators to show up available (4-5min +).
Confusing corridors in mostly passenger stateroom decks, including finding the correct elevators and stairs to take, and sometimes just finding them. Inside Corridors had foul smell always (seemed as all cabin bathrooms had no extractor fans, or the corridor access panels had no effective insulation to prevent odors exiting to the corridor. This was a pervasive situation in all passenger decks).
Internet access and speed was almost inexistent, even though we paid for the Premium access option with streaming. Throughout the whole cruise we were unable to stream at all in any area of the cruise, and just sending an email or trying to open a web page was a more than a 10-15 minute ordeal. We went several times to the internet cafe to fix it, but the person in charge told us that the ship was at full capacity. I will be claiming a refund, because the service advertised is totally misleading and a waste of money and time, and extremely overpriced for what you end up getting. This situation was not an isolated case, as all other passengers trying to use the service experimented the same experience.
Port disembarking and embarking in St Thomas was a disaster. Extremely long queues to exit and to get back, Long waits for prepaid NCL sponsored excursions, an no protection from rain while we waited for bus to arrive... 35min under the rain... this contrast very poorly with the other ports of call, which were perfectly organized and clean. Being the last port of the itinerary, it leaves you with a very sour impression of the whole cruise, an a disservice to the rest of the ports visited.
San Juan port facilities are the worst of all the ports visited in the itinerary. It is shameful that this is the originating port and NCL SHOULD either invest, pressure the local government, or move to other facilities in SJU port, in order to address this situation asap. We live in Puerto Rico and this is our second NCL sailing originating here, and will be our last with NCL, unless improvements are made. I have to point out that other cruise lines have much better facilities in other piers in the San Juan Port. I have to make NCL responsible for this, as NCL SHOULD DEMAND better facilities. Just accessing the pier was a 110 minute ordeal, due to the poor access roads and taxis monopolizing the access road lanes, both in and out of the pier.
As a final note, the above situations make a big disservice to the crew, stewards, show cast members and talent onboard, waiters, cooks, bartenders, and in general all human capital that comes in contact with passengers, and those who behind the scenes make things happen, notwithstanding the above shortfalls.
We will take a break from NCL for a while, as we experiment other cruise lines available. Hopefully improvements will be made in the future... until then... good luck Read Less