Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Crown
Sailing Date: June 4th, 2006
This is a copy of letter that was sent to
NCL regarding the above cruise. We received responses in the way of a mail merge
and the letter is a slap in the face. This was my first cruise and what a big
disappointment. Next cruise will not be with NCL:
To Whom It May Concern:
Please allow me to preface this letter by saying that even though the media has reported less than raving reports about the cruise industry as of late, my girl friends and I (all of us are working women) saved up all year and plunked down our money, vacation time and trust in your company to provide us with an enjoyable and much deserved getaway. I’m sorry to say that we should have never taken that leap of faith.
The following occurrences (numerous as
they may be) unfortunately, only represent the highlights of our disappointment.
Upon arrival the rollaway bed that our travel agent had requested was not opened, therefore the bed was not made. We had to unfold it and find space in the room. The mattress was extremely thin and caved in, in the middle. We then took the mattress from the top bunk bed (no one was going to utilize top bunk) and placed it on the rollaway mattress. It still caved in, thus making the bed look like a hammock. When I questioned our housekeeper, she replied, “You are lucky to have this roll-away, it’s the last one, the ship is full”! So, were supposed to feel grateful to even have a place to sleep? Even prisoners get a sturdy cot. Naturally it was very uncomfortable and as a result, caused each victim persistent back pain throughout the trip.
Now, for some reason we were given a handicapped room (no one is handicapped), we assumed this was due to the fact that we were 3 in the room? The very 1st night, Elaine had the misfortune of being the shower guinea-pig and since there was no door on the shower the bathroom floor flooded. I cannot imagine what would have happened if there was a real handicapped person in there. We resigned ourselves to using our ration of fresh towels to mop the floor and forgo anyone else a shower. We made several calls requesting new towels, but the person on phone sounded quite annoyed and made it apparent that we were bothering her.
Moving forward - one of our bureau drawers got stuck shut. There were essential items in the drawer, which were needed right away (Remember your customer profile here) we had to wait until the next day for someone to repair it. The gracious response to our request was, “Carpenter is not available now”. Carpenter my- #%&*#@- how about one steward that was strong to wrestle the drawer open and free the necessities? We are not talking about lip gloss here!!
There were no electric outlets in the room for blow-drying hair. The blow dryer in the room did not work well, not enough power. When we questioned this, we were told that was how it works.
I found the food, breakfast, lunch and dinner to be fair to poor. Most of the food was cold and tasteless. Most of the wait staff was not accommodating, therefore meals were very unpleasant. When asked for another meal, in place of one that I did not like our wait staff rolled their eyes and pretended not to understand what I said. The buffet food was always cold and unappetizing. The menu selection in the Italian and Chinese restaurants was very limited and unappealing. In comparison, a street vender cart or mall food court would have secured a 5 star rating.
The pool area was not staffed properly. We always had a hard time finding chairs. No one was there to oversee and try to make the guests feel comfortable to say nothing of making them feel like oh, guests. We had to move the chairs by ourselves which we found very irritating and painful – good nights sleep not withstanding.
Drinks were offered to us by overhead page (open bar) between 6:00-7:00 p.m. I was standing by the bar at 5:55 p.m., but was denied a drink and told to wait 5 minutes. Ok, I waited, I was told the drink I requested was not included in the open bar. I then ordered another drink; I waited for 45 minutes and never received my drink! Realistically, I could have disembarked, cut down a coconut, drilled a hole in it and sucked the milk through a straw faster than I could get even a glass of water from this ship's staff. Another day open bar was also announced. I ordered my drink and asked for some pretzels for the table where we were seated. Reply to request, “Can’t you see I’m busy serving drinks, you’ll have to wait”. Asking again in 15 minutes, same answer, no pretzels were served. I truly have never, not even under the worst circumstances, of which this vacation has now climbed to the top of the list, have I ever been treated with such disrespect. The utter lack of service was mind numbing.
On 6/8, the day the ship was grounded by a Coral Reef (approximately 7:30 a.m.) I was sleeping when I felt the ship shudder; the boat felt like it was vibrating. With all the navigating equipment on board, tell me how does one not see a coral reef? Is an investigation of your cruise line going to uncover that your equipment is as horrifying as the customer service, this should never have happened. Lack of communication and misinformed staff were big problems, which made matters worse. The staff was very confused and gave out incorrect information (everyone had a different answer). We were told that if the ship was damaged we would be flown home and that we were waiting for high tide, which they said would be 11:00 am, then 2:00 pm, then 4:00pm and finally 6:30pm. The only answer that everyone agreed on was “I don’t know”. There was no communication from the Captain either. Please, of all times for there to be silence from the pinnacle of authority this was not a confidence builder. It was suggested that we disembark from the ship, take a ferry to Hamilton (to lighten the boat?). We assumed this, because the pool area was off limits and the lifeboats were taken off the ship - who the hell removes life boats from a sea vessel EVER? We proceeded to take the ferry (tender), along with 700 other passengers. We were told it would be a 5-10 minute ride. The ferry was hot and leaked, (due to heavy rain?? Another excuse!) and took 1 hour to get to Hamilton (most people had to stand, it was a disgrace). Norwegian did not even provide us with water to take on the ferry nor was there any water available upon arrival to Hamilton. We asked a representative from the cruise line and he replied, “No, we don’t have water”. This time the crew just flat out lied to us. Upon debarking the ship to St. George the staff was selling bottled water for $4.50. We were told that the water in St. George was very expensive and we should purchase the water for $4.50. We declined, and stopped at a store, near the ship, paid $1.05 for water.
When it was time to return to the dock to
catch the ferry there was a long line. No one from the cruise line was there to
inform us of any news. I then walked into the waiting area. A representative
told us we could have dinner at a nearby hotel if we liked, compliments of the
cruise line. Once again there was no communication to those waiting in the line
outside. It was a good thing we chose not to go to the hotel, but rather back to
the ship. Those who went to the hotel were only offered juice and cookies and
had to sit on the floor. To make matters worse, no one on the ship was the least
bit apologetic. Their idea of compensating us was offering an open bar from 6:00
– 7:00pm and we already know how satisfying that idea would be. Good call – lets
get the older passengers, the youngest passengers and the ones with turrets
syndrome, all together dehydrate & starve them, disorient them and then feed
Your company, its employees, shareholders, board of directors and officers should be ashamed of the product you represent. You should be made to actually go on one of your own cruises. My friends and I come from a different generation and /or combination of cultures, we have seen and withstood some of the worst that man has promulgated over the last century however, NEVER have any of us been required to pay for such obscene examples of inadequacy.
I am now charging you with the responsibility of rectification for this disaster. A complete and total refund in the amount of 150% of any and all expenses accrued in association with my entire trip is a gift to you. A generous one at that considering the cost you will undoubtedly incur from the press conference and law suite which I will be more than happy to initiate should you ignore this communication the way your ship's Captain ignored the reef.
Please return correspondence immediately.