Steve and Sophie
Age: 52 and 53
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Spirit
Sailing Date: April 10th, 2005
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
Steve and Sophie Brooks
This was our second cruise. We are at a point in our life where many more will be booked. Our first was with Royal Caribbean and we did enjoy the trip very much.
NCL’s Spirit was a beautiful ship and the rooms were of ample size with plenty of storage. The food was great in Windows, The Garden, and even in Raffles which was a buffet style dining.
We enjoyed our time on Cayman and Roatan Island. Cayman was pretty commercial and very expensive but the beaches were stunning and the waters crystal clear. I had heard that there was lots of poverty on Roatan but even being warned I was shocked at how most of the islanders lived. Electricity was a recent addition to the island (1990). With all the poverty on the island we were amazed at how friendly and well mannered the population was.
This could have been a great vacation. Unfortunately the cruise line allowed a Chicago radio station (B96.3)to book 200 contest winners on the same cruise. The radio station is an alternative rock station whose demographics are that of young people who love to drink too much, like their music loud with lots of bass, and whose vocabulary is mostly four letter words.
We were annoyed that on the first full day out the radio station group was allowed to take over the only adult pool for 2 of the warmest hours of the afternoon. Later that night, they were also allowed to have a “wet t-shirt contest” pool side. The theme of the night seemed to be that of “Girls Gone Wild” as a few of the females exposed their bare breasts to the crowd. Again, way too much drinking and very little control by the ship’s crew. This type of behavior is unacceptable when there are families with small children who have access to the common areas.
We also did not appreciate all the B96.3 banners that were hung about the ship. It seemed to us that the cruise was sponsored by the group. It really took away from the ambiance of this beautiful ship.
The last straw was on Thursday night when my wife went for a stroll on the deck to walk off dinner and I went to drop some money in the casino. She came back to the room and told me that she had walked toward the back of the ship where the children’s pool is located and found yet another radio station party. At this party she saw a woman and two young men dancing without any clothes and one of the men performed oral sex at the pool shower. Now keep in mind, this party was condoned by the ship. They were selling their booze and supplying the food. My wife also mentioned that several children (well below 18) were on the same upper deck looking down on the lewd behavior. She also mentioned that the radio station DJs were using very foul language i.e. “ The F’ing Cubs are going to win this year”
At that point I went to the reception desk to complain. Shortly after complaining and requesting to speak to someone in authority, several other people came to make the same complaint. Apparently after my wife left, the fun really started. One daughter/mother combination witnessed a man and woman having sex and announced to the crowd that they wanted to have a baby. Another saw a woman providing oral sex to a young man. Imagine your children playing in an area where bodily fluids had been exchanged the night before. No amount of cleaning would make me feel comfortable.
When NCL security was approached by the mother/daughter pair, nothing was done. In fact the laughter indicated that security was enjoying the show!
I also spoke to a gentleman from England who was there to complain about the noise (that strong bass again). He and his wife had a stateroom located immediately under the sound equipment at the children’s pool. The only thing the ship would offer was the use of a sleeping cabin if they wanted some quite. We felt so sorry for this nice older couple.
Our crowd remained in the lobby wanting someone to shut the party down as it had crossed the line. The ship representative refused to do anything by saying they could not. I asked to speak to the captain and was told he was sleeping and could not be disturbed. I then asked for the name of NCL’s CEO so I could contact him on return to port. At that time they requested that the ship’s entertainment officer come down talk to us and moved our group into the corner of the lobby (to keep us out of sight?). After speaking to the officer that was provided and not getting anywhere we finally managed to get the Star Captain (officer in charge after hours). He indicated that they did eject some of the rowdier people at the party but there was nothing more he could do.
The Star Captain did have one of the ladies at the reception desk provide us with business cards listing the telephone number for NCL’s Customer Relations and also hand wrote the CEO’s name.
Back in our room we got to hear the party move into the stateroom above ours. It was a long and sleepless night.
I do plan to contact Colin Veitch within the next few days to express my utter disgust in the way the cruise line handled the various events during our cruise. I hold them responsible for allowing a group of scum to highjack the cruise and ruin our vacation. Our 5 day vacation was spent on a party barge.
One bright spot did happen when we boarded the bus at the terminal for the trip to Miami International. I over heard a young lady who was part of the radio crowd talking about the cruise. Her last comment was “there were so many things on so many levels that were really wrong”. At least someone knew it was wrong. NCL sure didn’t.