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Bonnie Farrell

Age: 53

Occupation:Contracts Specialist

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Majesty

Sailing Date: April 8th, 2006

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Majesty Cruise Review
Western Caribbean

Bonnie Farrell

This is an excerpt from the letter I sent to my travel agent & the NCL home office. We sailed April 8-15, 2006 to the Western Caribbean. There were nine of us in our party, three adults and six high school seniors on their spring break. They were all dolls and we had a blast with the girls.

I received a form letter back from my travel agent saying she would never have recommended this trip if she had only known. She went on to say that she had never received a complaint. That’s bull!

I received a note from NCL saying they were reviewing my complaint. Later I received a letter stating that mine was the only complain they had received about the food. In fact, all comments they had received were full of praise! They must have thrown out the majority of those comment cards! They went on to say that I would not be receiving a refund. I didn’t ask for a refund. I asked that they be honest with their clientele.

Here’s the letter:

I am writing to voice my displeasure with my recent trip aboard the NCL Majesty. First of all, let me say that this was my first cruise so I have absolutely nothing with which to compare, only stories from friends who have cruised.

We boarded in Charleston, SC. This was very convenient for me since it didn’t require us to fly to Florida. I liked this aspect of the cruise and discussed with friends the possibility of taking another trip with spouses in the near future.

There was no problem with boarding. I also have no complaints with the ship. I know that the Majesty is an older ship. I had no problem with this at all. Everything was neat and clean in our rooms and elsewhere on the ship. We set sail and our group of nine was excited beyond words.

The staff on the Majesty was excellent. I have never felt so pampered and cared for. They went above and beyond their duties in making sure that people were accommodated. At this point I’d like to put in an extra accolade for our favorite wait staff, Kristanti, Nurita and Rowandale Campbell. Excellent service! Friendly, professional, efficient, on and on - I don’t have words to describe them. This is where I have to stop.

The food left much to be desired. I have heard people talk incessantly about the food being so outstanding. We were all prepared to try new things and excited about the freestyle dining. The presentation of the food was fine. The quality of the food didn’t register. It was poor to say the least. The buffet was okay except eggs had water in them and several entrees were cooked till they were mush. What about the midnight buffet? All I have heard was how wonderful the midnight buffet was to see. I didn’t intend to eat that late at night, but I would have liked to have had the option! My hat goes off to the grill on the back of the ship. Thank God for hamburgers! They were excellent and we would have probably been very hungry had we not been served there. We never had shrimp cocktail. We did have lobster one night (overcooked). We never had steak. We had flank steak. Really!

My second complaint is this: We were late in every single port that we entered, except returning to Charleston. I believe we were ahead of schedule. Go figure that one! We had six teenagers in our party who were celebrating their senior year. They had signed up for excursions in every port. They were so excited about this trip, most of them saving their money for the trip. On Tuesday we arrived in Grand Cayman late and didn’t get to shore until 10:30 (7:00 a.m. was advertised as arrival.) The girls had to end up waiting two hours to be picked up for their excursion and then when they arrived, only had around 45 minutes before they had to get transportation back to the dock to catch the last tender.

Wednesday we were schedule to arrive in Cozumel at 10:00a.m. It was 1:00p.m. when we got off the tender. Once again the girls were late getting to their excursion and had very little time. Threats of leaving passengers behind made you extremely aware of the time.

Thursday in Key West was a disaster. We were scheduled to arrive at 3:00p.m. We were running late again, and by the time immigration officers finished checking passengers and we were shuttled to Duval Street, it was 7:15 p.m.! We were told we would have an extra hour in Key West and since we were scheduled to leave at 10, we thought we would have till 11:00 p.m. Nope, the last shuttle back to the dock left at 9:45! We talked with several merchants in Key West and when we told them we were on the Majesty, we were told “that boat has been late for the past three weeks and people have really been upset.” We didn’t hear this one time, we heard this multiple times.

I’ve said all this to give you all the background and details. I did not hear one passenger have anything nice to say about their trip. People were very disillusioned with their trip and NCL. It’s very misleading to tell people they will arrive at a specific time and then it is hours later. This is false advertising. You should definitely adjust your arrival times and/or include a disembarking time to be honest. Be honest with your customers about the time they will have in ports. Please don’t use the "no control over the weather conditions" excuse. As I stated earlier, we managed somehow to return to Charleston ahead of schedule after being late everywhere we went. Several people were saying that this was intentional to keep passengers on the ship spending their money instead of in port.

A note about your tenders. When you’re hours late arriving in a port, don’t expect the majority of your passengers to return to the ship before the last tender. That’s why we were always late leaving. We were getting only a few hours in each port so it’s a no-brainer to see that we would all wait for the last tender back.

A note to the travel agent. When we arrived we were informed that it would cost us $15 per day to park our cars. You told us it was $10 per day. You should update your material.

The reason I am writing this letter is to simply say be honest with your customers. It’s the only way that you can expect customers to use your services again. Maybe that isn’t important to you, but I’m sure that isn’t the case. I’m not sure that I would cruise with NCL again. My mind would definitely have to change.


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