Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Wind
Sailing Date: n/a
This was my 2nd cruise with NCL and my 18th cruise overall. There were 19 of us in our group—mostly family and a few friends. There were ups and downs with the “Freestyle” Cruising. I think, as a seasoned cruiser it was nice for me as I am tired of formal nights and I hate dressing up, but for my friend, it was her first cruise and the ship lacked the “opulence” of most ships. I think she would’ve enjoyed dressing up more and Captain’s parties, etc… I liked being able to wear Hawaiian shirts and sandals.
We had a suite, which was very large and made it one of the most pleasant cruises because of the fact that 3 of us could move around without killing each other. Having a suite also entitled us to special privileges. We had two butlers, Patrick and Anoop, who were both very friendly and efficient. We received “goodies,” such as chocolate covered strawberries, finger sandwiches, champagne, etc. The concierge, Valerie was also at our beck and call. We were able to board the tenders anytime we wanted and not have to wait. To top it off, Valerie was an American and she was personable and very funny. We loved her!
The ship is a lot more casual than the other ships I have been on. The Four Seasons was very plain, and the breakfast buffet was “so-so.” The first morning, the breakfast was cold. Not warm, cold. We got up and moved to The Terraces and had a very nice sit down breakfast. In fact, every meal we had in The Terraces was very good and the service was great. We were told ahead of time that the 19 of us would most likely not be able to eat together. WELL, with the help of Valerie, we were accommodated quite nicely. The first evening, we had a waiter and his assistant (Clement and Claudia). They were fabulous and we requested them every evening. A few of the people had special requests and Clement bent over backward to accommodate us.
We also dined at Le Bistro. There is a $10 cover charge per person and if you choose the steak and lobster, the cover charge is $15 per person. The “hot tip,” is to eat there on the first evening, as it is only a $5 cover charge. The meal was absolutely fantastic.
On the down side, the Coke card is unlimited soda for $55. Then, when you sign the bill, it comes to around $75 with the tax and gratuity. I don’t drink sodas, but I heard several people grumbling about it.
My MAIN complaint was that the Internet went down halfway through the cruise. I understand that stuff happens beyond anyone’s control. BUT, the Internet attendant was extremely rude (even before the internet crashed) and kept lying and telling us “he was working on it.” I was very annoyed as he was extremely snotty about it and told me “he was not at liberty” to tell me what was wrong with it. Meanwhile, I would see him on the Internet using his wireless connection. I finally went up to Valerie’s desk to complain about this rude man. She tried to be diplomatic about it and kind of intimated he was having a rough time in his personal life. She said she would speak with him. I never heard back about it. I finally walked up to a woman using wireless and offered her $20 to check my e-mail on her computer. She kindly took me up on it. I was going nuts as I have a business, and someone was staying in my home with my pets. This guy shouldn’t be in any type of customer service, much less a hospitality-based place like a cruiseship. To add insult to injury, I paid $55 for 100 minutes. I had 50-something minutes left and I was credited $7 (!) on my bill for the unused minutes. I called him up and he gave me a runaround and kept saying, “irregardless” he couldn’t credit me any more, etc…
The other complaint we had was that the teen program seemed to be lacking. We went on the Carnival Spirit last year and the teens were in organized activities in the discos, etc… The teenagers on this ship congregated under the stairs in “packs,” and basically loitered most of the day and into the wee hours. It didn’t seem like there was enough to do to keep them busy. I never experienced the kids hanging out like that on any other lines.
Other than my Internet experience, it was a great time. 4 days at sea is a bit too long without a casino or contact with home. We loved our excursions and the staff, for the most part, was nice and we had a great time.