Find a Cruise

Henry Vasquez

Age: 59

Occupation:Home Maintenance Service

Number of Cruises: 14

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Wind

Sailing Date: November 3rd, 2004

Itinerary: Hawaiian Islands


It is with great disappointment and anguish that I write about this cruise.

I had planned for over a year to celebrate our 38th Anniversary aboard a cruise ship. And to take along with us our son and his wife who were celebrating their 10th Anniversary.

After 13 cruises through-out the world, 7 of which were with NCL, including 3 times on the SS Norway. I felt confident, all of us being Latitude members, we would have a great experience to remember.

However, we encountered more trouble and problems than I felt it was fair for us to put up with. Thus, there was a need to vent by this review.

I selected the cruise we had been on only two years before. It was on the Norwegian Star and sailed for 7 days around the Hawaiian Islands as well as Fanning Island. The Star was exceptional and the experience so good I knew our Anniversaries would be unforgettable. Little did I realize, HOW! Besides the added airfare to Hawaii, I also bought for my son and us the “Honeymoon Package” to insure a great time. I spent thousands of dollars, trusting that NCL would do all they could to make our cruise memorable, in a good way.

The 10 day cruise on the Norwegian Wind, (November 3rd to the 13th) appealed to us because of the added time we could spend on each island. We could have almost a whole day in each port instead of just a few hours.

Were we in for a surprise!!

It began with the Captains announcement the very first morning out, that because of ‘technical problems’ one of the main engines was down but that several Company Technicians were onboard working on it through the night. Because of this ‘problem’ our speed would be greatly reduced. Therefore we would not make Hilo at 9:30am as planned. Instead of a day, we would be in Hilo just a few hours.

We later learned from the staff and crew that there had been a fire in the engine room before we boarded, the decision was made to proceed with the cruise and inform the passengers the next day of ‘technical problems.’

If this IS so, then I should have been allowed to make an informed decision on whether I wanted to board or not. And if some of this were NOT so, a broken main engine meant they proceeded knowing they were not going to meet the itinerary for scheduled ports.

Instead of two days at sea as advertised we spent five days at sea, because when we got to Fanning Island about 2 or 3 pm we were no allowed to disembark. They got their Jones Act stamp and started back again. Without that stamp, I understand, NCL would be charged $100 per passenger as penalty.

During all this time it seemed that the ship’ amenities were not able to handle the amount of passengers aboard. There were up to half hour waits at both main Dining Rooms. All the other Dining Rooms seemed over-taxed. We ate at Le Bistro as part of the Honeymoon Package. We were there 3 and ½ hours and had not received our desert yet. The waiter twice apologized for the long wait. We ate at La Trattoria and again were there over 3 hours. We had to request refills for water and coffee. We began to realize that each dinner was averaging 3 hours. And the Menus were all the same.

Because of long dinners we missed many of the shows. Some of them had only one performance. How they expected to get all 14 to 1500 passengers into the Stardust Lounge, a small theater, I’ll never know!

We also could not believe the location of the Smoking Area inside the Ship!

They were located on the inside of the main corridor just outside the Terraces Dining Room. On the other side of the same corridor was the non-smoking area! How they expected the smoke not to travel the 6 feet to the other side is beyond me. Who came up with this foolish idea? Besides that, when lines for the Terraces Dining Room formed guess where people had to line up next too? That’s right! The smoking area!

Many found this unbearable and would leave just to get air!

You can begin to see that with the unexpected long time at sea and some overcrowding, the nerves of many were getting frayed. The Captain must have been aware of this, because upon returning from Fanning Island we went straight to Kona instead of Kauai. He said it was the nearest port that would let us get off the ship. Problem was that instead of the announced 9 am we did not reach Kona till 12:30pm and our excursion which was cancelled at Fanning Island and rescheduled for Kona was cut in half with no refund or compensation! The line for getting back on board extended about ¼ mile out in the open, then it started to rain!

Instead of the 5:30 departure we didn’t get underway till after 6pm.

The rest of the cruise, except for Lahaina, was the same. Instead of a day in each port it was just a few hours. This of course ruined my plans to spend time with my Brother who lives on Kauai.

Through all of this, never was any offer of compensation made, not even a free drink!

We were all expected to ‘understand’ in spite of the thousands we had spent to be there!

The one helpful point that did make it positive, was the warmth and friendliness of the Crew. They were the ones that seemed to be understanding to our disappointment and plight and worked hard to make our cruise as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

This was especially noticeable among the girls in the Salon, the Photographic group, our Table Waiter and his Assistant, our Cabin Steward from Chili and his assistant from the Philippines. They were truly the greatest!

As I said, we have been on many cruises before and have encountered a variety of problems including the need to miss certain scheduled ports, but this was always because of inclement weather or things beyond the control of the Captain and Officers. When it did happen, the passengers were always treated in a compensatory way, thus making it easier to accept and understand.

No such treatment was ever pursued or shared on this cruise. We were treated by the Officers as if we caused the problems!

This disappointing experience was caused by a mechanical problem that took place before we boarded the Ship. Every decision made about how to compensate for the slow speed did not favor at all the passengers! All decisions made were geared around concern for only money instead of concern for the passengers and repeat business.

I strongly feel that I deserve a REFUND! This was by far the worst cruise we have ever been on. It totally ruined my and my son’s Anniversaries! We expected better from NCL based on past experience.
 
At this point, it would be hard to recommend NCL or the Norwegian Wind to any family or friend.

yet. The waiter twice apologized for the long wait. We ate at La Trattoria and again were there over 3 hours. We had to request refills for water and coffee. We began to realize that each dinner was averaging 3 hours. There-fore we missed many of the shows. Some of them had only one performance. How they expected to get all 14 to 1500 passengers into the Stardust Lounge I’ll never know!

We also could not believe the location of the Smoking Area inside the Ship!
They were located on the inside of the main corridor just outside the Terraces Dining Room. On the other side of the same corridor was the non-smoking area! How they expected the smoke not to travel the 6 feet to the other side is beyond me. Who came up with this foolish idea? Besides that, when lines for the Terraces Dining Room formed guess where people had to line up next too? That’s right! The smoking area!

Many found this unbearable and would leave just to get air!

You can begin to see that with the unexpected long time at sea and some overcrowding, the nerves of many were getting frayed. The Captain must have been aware of this, because upon returning from Fanning Island we went straight to Kona instead of Kauai. He said it was the nearest port that would let us get off the ship. Problem was that instead of the announced 9 am we did not reach Kona till 12:30pm and our excursion which was cancelled at Fanning Island and rescheduled for Kona was cut in half with no refund or compensation! The line for getting back on board extended about ¼ mile out in the open, then it started to rain!

Instead of the 5:30 departure we didn’t get underway till after 6pm.

The rest of the cruise, except for Lahaina, was the same. Instead of a day in each port it was just a few hours. This of course ruined my plans to spend time with my Brother who lives on Kauai.

Through all of this, never was any offer of compensation made, not even a free drink!

We were all expected to ‘understand’ in spite of the thousands we had spent to be there!

The one helpful point that did make it positive, was the warmth and friendliness of the Crew. They were the ones that seemed to be understanding to our disappointment and plight and worked hard to make our cruise as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

This was especially noticeable among the girls in the Salon, the Photographic group, our Table Waiter Garnet King and his Assistant, our Cabin Steward Mario from Chili and his assistant from the Philippines. They were truly the greatest!

As I said, we have been on many cruises before and have encountered a variety of problems including the need to miss certain scheduled ports, but this was always because of inclement weather or things beyond the control of the Captain and Officers. When it did happen, the passengers were always treated in a compensatory way, thus making it easier to accept and understand.

-3-

No such treatment was ever pursued or shared on this cruise. We were treated as if we caused the problems!

This disappointing experience was caused by a mechanical problem that took place before we boarded the Ship. Every decision made about how to compensate for the slow speed did not favor at all the passengers! All decisions made were geared around concern for only money instead of concern for the passengers and repeat business.

I strongly feel that I deserve a REFUND for me and my party! This was by far the worst cruise we have ever been on. It totally ruined my and my son’s Anniversaries! We expected better from NCL based on past experience.

At this point, it would be hard to recommend NCL or the Norwegian Wind to any family or friend.

I keenly await your response to see how valued I am as a repeat customer and Latitude Member.

Was this review helpful?

Yes No Email this review to a friend
 

Ask questions and get advice from other cruisers on our popular discussion board,