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Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 35

Occupation:Emergency managment

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Spirit

Sailing Date: 2011-03-6

Itinerary: Western Carrbean

Last week was my first time ever on a cruise and really my first time to leave the country on a "real" vacation, and if NCL does not attempt to improve on some things, it will certainly be my last. I will make it very brief... Trip started off fine until we could not dock at Costa Maya due weather conditions and were about 2-3 hours late getting to Cozumel. I booked 5 excursions on this trip and 2 had to be cancelled - 3/5 = 60%! In addition, this was spring break for 2 universities that booked a group cruise - We ran out of pina colada by Monday! This was also the annual cruise for a certain specialty club - I have never had a problem with being open minded and accepting of anyone's personal choice for their lifestyle, but I would not knowingly have exposed my 4 kids (1, 9, 12 & 17) to seven days of this. Needless to say, between these two groups, we could not use the pool or the hot tubs. What was left...Bingo for $70-$100 a pop or the shows which were amazing. However, there were times when we would sit down at the theater and people (from the specialty club) would actually move - not very tolerant or even cordial to families at all. Then there was disembarking the ship; what a nightmare! The ship was supposed to arrive at New Orleans for 6-7 in the morning; well we didn’t get there until 5:00 PM! Then it took about 3 hours for us to get off the ship. My biggest problem with this was that the restaurants all shut down at about 2:00 PM. We were starving! I had to beg the staff to bring us some cookies so that my kids would not have a meltdown. They eventually (and reluctantly) brought me three. For all of these setbacks there were explanations but after so many, they all started to sound like excuses. I know that for the staff on the ship, this is like everyday life for them, but I had to save money for like 2 years in order to afford to bring my family on a vacation like this was supposed to be…. and this is the story and experience that we got out of it.

Food was okay. The Sushi and French restaurants were definitely worth the cover charge.

It was ok.

Before booking a cruise, be sure to ask if there are any large groups booked on the ship. Look into their background and decide if you would like to sail with them and if it will be appropriate to bring your family along.

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