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Family Friendliness
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M LeMay

Age: 37

Occupation:bakery owner

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Jewel

Sailing Date: 2011-03-6

Itinerary: Bahamas

BEWARE! Though this cruise had a few great highlights, overall, it was very disappointing. Majority of the staff is unfriendly, expressing your concerns is a waste of your time (and whoever you are addressing....they truly have no compassion and are very defensive with no interest in the guest experience). Many hidden charges and misleading advertising. Do not waste your family vacation money. Choose another cruise line.

Inconsistent meals.....I was served raw fried fish with the batter sticking to my fingers it was so doughy....some were good, one or two were great (they happened to be in the restaurants where you had to pay cover charges) , INCREDIBLY small portions all across the board. If you eat in LeBistro, definately order the fruit fondue. Presentation is amazing and it was the only dessert I got on this ship that I actually enjoyed, besides the soft serve ice cream bar. Desserts are tasteless and clearly use cheap ingredients. Some were disgusting. I love cheesecake and was disappointed with every one of their varieties. I tried multiple desserts just in a quest to find one I liked. No such luck except the fondue in LeBistro.

We had the absolute best staeroom housekeepers. They were attentive, friendly and wonderful. They actually made the cruise tolerable.

Decent,.... like I mention below, the golf pro never showed either time. The magician was great. The wii was so packed that you waited and waited for your name to be called, only to find out "show's over" and you never got a turn. Nickelodean slime time live was enjoyable. My son got picked to be on stage which made it wonderful for him!!! Overall, it was good. It was really the only thing going for the ship, in my opinion.

Excursions are much cheaper is you book them yourself. Look into cab/bus prices and excursion admissions. Norwegian is always out to make a buck.

DISSAPOINTING!!! PARENTS BEWARE!!!! While this cruise provided some fun and memorable moments, overall, take a different cruise line. The bad outweighed the good 4 to 1. Nowegian's wording is carefully done to trick you. The kids clubs are not free the entire cruise....only when at sea. Many parents were surprised to discover this as well. I even called Norwegian to ask for clarification before we booked as to what the Kids clubs were as opposed to the Group Sitting. The representative said group sitting occured after the kids clubs closed at 10:30 pm. I asked for the kids club hours and was told "every day, 9:00am to 10:30pm." WRONG! When you are in port, there is a LARGE fee. Beware of their "coupons" too. We had one that said "Two great meals, one amazing deal"...Enjoy dinner for two at LeBistro and we will waive one cover charge at the italian restaurant. Now, in retrospect, we should have figured this out, but we ate at LeBistro and handed our server the coupon to get one cover charge waived. Come to find out, the cover charge they will waive is if you eat at Le Bistro THEN go eat at Mama's Italian Restaurant. If it said "Enjoy dinner for two at LeBistro and we will waive one cover charge at Mama's Italian Restaurant," it would have been crystal clear. But they left Mama's out on purpose and what is worse, I showed the hostess the coupon before she sat us and she said to give it to the server at the END of the meal..... I am certain they were trained to say that. If you gave it to them before the meal, you would have the option to leave before getting charged a cover charge of $20 a person. We were not the only couple to fall for that coupon either. We later discovered from other people aboard that thay fell for it as well. And when we tried to explain our disappointments, like wrong food, servers and bussers clearing plates before we were done and not asking if we were through, no one cared. For example, my husband was speaking to a manager when the manager got a phone call and excused himself. We always felt a far second to what was going on with the crew and managers. No remedies to situations were offered. When we tactfully and in a friendly manner brought some things to managements attention, we felt like we were pegged as complainers after the second sentence. All we recieved were excuses. The list is many, but here are a handful of pro's and con's Pros: 1) We had the absolutely best, fun and friendly stateroom housekeepers. And they catered to our every need with a smile. They clean the room multiple times a day. Absolutely fabulous. They always kept ice in our rooms. 2) Entertainment was entertaining! They had some great shows, a wonderful magician and a fabulous group of male singers who specialized in the Eagles, Stevie Wonder, etc... 3) My son was selected to appear on their slime time live show. It made his trip! 4) Soft Serve Ice Cream cone bar was great Cons: 1) They nickle and dime you....consistantly. When we entered the boat, staff were trying to literally HAND smoothies in my children's hands..... at $5 a pop.... a child doesn't understand the fees. Then when we take it away and give it back the the person who just handed it to my children, we get a sour face from the staff and our chilren think we are the worst parents in the world. I feel bad for the parents who didn't get to take the smoothies away from their chilren before they took a sip. They got charged. Very tacky and sneaky. But as were most tactics on this ship. 2) Sodas are NOT included. Just water,milk, tea and coffee. Lemondade and punch is not included either! My travel agent told us it was. 3) They scheduled a free golf pro clinic on two different days for short game help, club fittings, etc to meet with interested guests. My husband went...the pro never showed either seminar. We went to the desk to report it. The desk staff called the pro's room. He claimed to have been ordered by the ship to attend some training....Both days. There was no communication to guests regarding the conflict from Norwegian or the Pro. Numerous guests waited 15 to 30 minutes and left. My husband waited 45 the first day. 20 the second. 4) Food was consistently wrong. In once case, I was served raw fried fish and the batter was still doughy and sticking to my fingers as such. 15 min later, my husband and I left. The server was no where to be found. She dropped off our meals and never returned. We told the hostess and she offered us nothing. We just got an "Oh, I'm sorry." Another example was when my husband ordered a turkey sandwich from room service and got ham and swiss. Meals came before appetizers, or sometimes meals and apps were delivered at the same one is cold before you can get to it. Breakfast is the same selection over and over and day 7 my kids were tired of it. They wipe tables while you are sitting at them and wipe food crumbs right into your lap, sometimes its not even your food, but the people who sat there before you....the buffet is extremely hard to find a seat during peak meal times and you feel rushed and its hard to enjoy the meals. The dessert is AWFUL!!!! It is tasteless and poorly made with cheap ingredients. Thank goodness for the soft serve vanilla ice cream bar (when it was down a few times). Lights were out in some of the fancy restaurants as if no one cared. 5) If you have a child in swimmies, they aren't allowed to swim in any pool,. even the children's one. the child MUST be potty trained. They will remove you from the pool. 6) In the free child care, if your child starts to cry, they call you to come get the child. They have little patience with them. Once, we were on our way to pick up our child and just as we were getting off the elevator to pick the child up, the childcare phone rings. I answer it and he says "Your son just started crying and you need to come get him." So, I literally took 10 steps to the entrance and there was my son, happy as can be. The man said "Oh, he just started crying." He didn't look like he was crying to me. There were no tears. It sounded like they wanted my son to go. And this happened multiple times where we would get calls after we dropped him off that he was crying. Our son doesn't typically cry. and when we picked him up, there were no tears and he was happy playing inside almost every time. 7) Unless you like slots, the casinos are a joke. There was two roulette tables while only one was ever used regardless of how packed it was, 1 blackjack table, 1 let it ride table, etc. On busy nights, you couldn't play if you wanted to. 8) Some days, the shops do not open till 6pm. 9) The shuffleboard sets were regularly locked up so you couldn't play and the pool table was "out of order" as was the shower by the pool. 11) Like the gym? Don't count on getting in. They were very packed . I waited 20 minutes for a treadmill and some of the treadmills were broken or stuck in inclined positions, etc..... it was a joke. 12) I seriously could go on and on and on. The people who claim to have a great time on Norwegian cruises, I'm curious if you have sailed another cruise line. I'm afraid you are like an abused child that believes life is supposed to be this way. All cruise lines DO NOT treat their guests this way. You don't know what your missing. We will not be sailing Norwegian EVER again. And I caution all of you, particularly people with children to not waste the money on sailing here.

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