Number of Cruises: 7
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Sailing Date: August 18th, 2002
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Sailing Date: August 18th, 2002
This is a copy of the letter I faxed to
Norwegian Cruise line. I was told
there would be a 4 to 6 week delay in response. I called back several
times, on the 12 week after the cruise I called again
and once again I got blown off. Therefore
I am posting this letter so others will not have the
unfortunate cruise experience that my family, friends
and I had. This was our 7th cruise.
To: Norwegian Cruise Line Management Staff
From: Peter & Bernice Easley
Ref: An extremely bad cruise experience
Dear Sir or Madam:
My husband and I recently sailed on the SS Norway on 8/18/02 through 8/25/02. We also had our three children, my parents and our neighbor with her 2 children. We have all been on cruises before with Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. I am writing this letter to express my complete and utter dissatisfaction with this cruise. From beginning to end we experienced one problem after another. We had decided to book our cruise with your cruise line because of the good things we had heard about Norwegian. However the good things we had heard fell pitifully short of what we experienced. The following is a list of problems we had with the cruise, not in order.
1: The boarding procedure was extremely slow, outdated and unorganized. The staff responsible for boarding passengers operated in an unfriendly and unprofessional manor. My parents where given the wrong room number, the wrong seating assignment for dinner. This problem could possibly been solved by using computers instead of a printed-paper that had to be read by your staff. Another problem was that we had pre-registered over the internet and there was no record of this, the person checking us in stated that we had obviously not pre-registered due to no “check” mark next to our name.
2: When we arrived at our cabin (A127) we noticed a strong odor of fresh paint. The smell dissipated within the first day, however this is not something that your guests should have to experience.
3: Throughout our cruise the air-conditioner in our cabin barely worked, it was often hot in the room and my husband was constantly sweating from the heat in the room. It was sometimes necessary to open the door to the cabin to try to cool the room off due to the hallway being cooler. We told the cabin attendant 3 times and all three times he told us that someone would be by to fix it, however it never seemed to get cooler.
4: We also had a problem with what I believe where mites in the linen. My daughter got 2 bites on her neck and back, and I got 1 bite on my neck while sleeping. This is INEXCUSABLE. On the same note, my neighbor Teri in cabin A131 was lying in her bunk reading when she felt something crawling on her leg, she assumed at first that it was her imagination. After several minutes of feeling something crawling on her leg she looked under the covers and found what she thought was a roach crawling on her leg. Once again she informed the cabin steward and he assured us that something would be done and once again nothing was done.
5: We also discovered in our cabin that our toilet did not function properly. We had to hold the handle down for up to 20 seconds before releasing it to get it to work properly. On and off throughout the cruise we had a septic smell coming from our bathroom, on the third day that we where there it was very bad. Once again nothing was done to correct this issue, I do not think the problem lay with the cabin steward. The cabin steward seemed apologetic about not being able to solve our problem. I witnessed him calling 2 times in an attempt to get our air conditioner problem solved.
6: In our opinion the on board credit should be set up at the time of boarding. We ended up wasting a lot of the second day on board setting up our on board credit. This is partially due to the limited hours of the on board credit desk.
7: The shipboard credit and information desks hours are very limited, also the staff for those desks is to small for the job they have. Teri stood in line for 20 minutes at the information desk only to be told that she had to go to the on-board credit desk, which did not open for another 10 minutes. She went to that desk, there where already 30 people in line. When the desk finally opened, it only had 1 person working at the desk.
8: In our opinion the boarding passes should be made of plastic with a photo I.D. rather than made from the paper. Although no one in our party had any issues with our bill, it would be too easy for someone to misplaced there boarding pass and then have someone else find it and use it on the ship. There where several times that we ordered drinks from bartenders, waiters and waitresses without them asking to see our boarding passes. The only thing that was asked was that we fill out the form and sign it; this shows that your company does not take the security of your guests seriously. My father had jumped into the pool and later the ocean with his boarding pass in his pocket, this is yet another problem with the paper boarding pass system.
9: Another issue with ordering drinks on the ship is that the receipts where hand written. The problem with this is that 1 price is written on the receipt and another price would appear on your room bill. This makes it very hard to keep track of your room bill.
10: I understand that the ship is 42 years old, however the elevators are extremely slow and to small. When you pressed an up button on one side of the ship you had to walk to the other side and press the up button on the other elevator. We also noticed several times the crewmembers using the elevators with large items (Bed frames, food carts and cleaning carts). I feel that the elevators should be used for the guests only and that the crew should have their own elevators.
11: The quality of the food was good in presentation however was average in taste. We also had one night where I found a hair in my rice. The Maitre D’ sent a plate of chocolate covered strawberries to our room, however I could not stop wondering what was going on in the kitchen the rest of the trip. In my opinion there was only one night where there was excellent food, the other nights where average.
12: One of the biggest benefits to going on a cruise has always been the unlimited food for free. Why does the Le Bistro cost $10.00 more per person??? Needless to say we did not eat there, I do not feel that we should have to pay for food on a cruise ship.
13: There was also an issue of not being able to eat anywhere else on the ship besides the main dinning room for dinner. There was a buffet until midnight, however after that you where forced to order room service. This posed several problems with this 1st if someone in your cabin wanted food and did not want to wake anyone else. 2nd The quality of the room service food was horrible. 3rd We where forced to pay for room service.
14: Here are some of the problems with room service. We had one room service order that was forgotten, after 1 hour we had to call back and asked about it. We where asked to repeat our order. We ordered grilled cheese for the kids one day and when it got there the bread was grilled on both sides however the cheese in the middle was not melted and in fact was cold.
15: We purchased soda bands for our children, however on debarkation day we discovered that they could no longer use their soda bands. We where told that the soda bands where for unlimited sodas throughout the cruise, not for most of the cruise.
16: Another problem we had with regards to dining was the limited choices of drinks; we had a choice of water, iced tea and milk. My husband does not drink iced tea nor does he like drinking water all day. I feel that during meal times soda should be offered for free.
17: We where also told that Norwegian had one of the best children’s programs. However the program for our 12 year old and our 13 year old where so bad that the children refused to go to them after the first day.
18: On one of the nights the ship had a comedian by the name of Russ Meneve. Not only was he not funny but also he was insulting, rude and very offensive. The “jokes” he told about fat people where very demeaning to large people.
19: The activities on the ship where very limited and often scheduled at the same time forcing guest to choice between different activities, therefore missing something they may have wanted to do.
20: Teri and myself scheduled hair appointments at the salon. They only had 2 hair stylists for the entire ship, and the one that worked on Teri was rude and abrasive. When Teri told her that she was not satisfied with the hairstyle she was given the stylists then got very ruff, yanking several strands of hair out of her head. Teri then got up and left without her hair being finished, I then had to take time and do Teri's hair for her.
21: I had scheduled with the spa to have massages for Teri , my mother and myself. Two days prior to our massage Teri was called by the spa and informed that one of the masseuses was sick and that she would have to take her massage either and hour before or an hour later. This was very inconvenient and forced us to alter other plans. This is also strange to me that they would know that someone was going to be sick two days prior to an appointment.
22: I also feel that when you book your shore excursions, if you need a tender ticket you should get one right then instead of having to stand in yet another line to get tender tickets in the morning. This makes more work for people who are supposed to be on vacation to rest and have fun.
23: At St. Martins we booked the discover scuba dive excursion. I was very upset to learn that when the excursion was over the water taxi’s that took us over to the dive shop, where no longer running. This forced us to walk back to the tender area. I feel that your shore excursion desk should be aware of this and inform the guests that are booking this excursion.
24: At every stop we made we noticed that if you wanted to book a late excursion or stay the entire day on the beach, getting back to the ship in time to shower for dinner was very rushed and hectic. Not exactly what you look forward to on your vacation.
25: We also had another minor problem with the shore excursions; out of three stops there was no opportunity to ride jet skis. This is not a problem with your cruise ship, just a suggestion for future operations.
26: We also feel that all the stops where too short of a time in port, thereby not allowing people to do some of the things they would like to do.
27: We also feel that your photographer on the ship is very unprofessional with a noted lack of experience. When we went for photos we noticed that the photographer did little if anything to place people in good positions for photos. The backgrounds used by the photographer where obviously very used and worn. They had scratches in them that appeared in photographs. The photographer did a very poor job taking pictures, most of the pictures he took of our group had members heads cut off, showed the ceiling, and had people looking away or blinking. Of all the photographs taken of our family we only found two photographs worth purchasing, and those two we found to be extremely overpriced.
28: Another event I would like to bring to your attention is, when we where going back to our room one night a young lady down the hall from us came out of her room in a towel and soaking wet. We also noticed water rushing down the hall of the ship; this frightened our children who then needed reassurance that the ship was not sinking. We later learned that a sprinkler had burst in the young ladies room soaking her and the dress she had laid out for formal night. The water coming from the sprinkler had a very bad smell coming from it, indicating that the sprinkler system had obviously not been flushed in a very long time.
29: On Saturday we noticed that the outdoor buffet area smelled of sewage. I don’t know if your ship was dumping sewage, what the policy is if they where or if they where. However if they where dumping they should make an effort to do this in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep instead of the middle of the day.
I would like to point out that there where certain things that we did find to be very well done.
1: The cabin steward did and overall excellent job, he was very friendly and courteous and genuinely seemed to care about the guests.
2: Our waiter and busboy where also excellent, they where extremely friendly and knowledgeable, making every attempt to make our dinning more enjoyable and relaxing.
3: The individual at the shore excursion desk was another person who we feel went above and beyond the call of duty in assisting us with getting all of our group into the discover scuba dive.
4: Your private island was extremely nice; my only wish is that we could have gotten there sooner to spend more time on the island. We had a wonderful time there.
We hope that we will receive some response back from your company. As of this time neither myself, my parents or my neighbor will ever book a cruise with your company again. We get one week a year to take a vacation with our family and friends and we feel that this was a complete disappointment. We will be posting this letter on the Internet in an effort to prevent what has happened to our group from happening to someone else.
A very dissatisfied group of guests,
Pete Easley and Bernice Easley