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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-01-2005, 02:14 PM
Carlalena1's Avatar
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Don't worry! I sailed NCL in April and it was GREAT.

I am still waiting for someone to tell me why POAM is so bad. I know it has to do with the American crew- not to defame my own people, but I know there is some reason why the crew doesn't have to put up with certain conditions of employment that the crews of non-US flagged ships do.
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Old 09-01-2005, 03:08 PM
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Thanks everyone.. I will give everyone a posting on how things were when I return!

Carlalena - You should read the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.. it really speaks a lot of how the cruise industry treats their crew.

And I agree-US workers have been programmed to expect a lot more out of company whereas Non-US feel more fortunate to have a job at all.
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 09-01-2005, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by pfairfie:
We went"freestyle cruising", which means no ammenities such as (1)clean towels, (2)clean glasses in the stateroom, (3)no ice and (4)worst of all no toilet for two nights. (5)The finer restaurants on the ship have a cover charge of $10-15 per person, should you decide on eating other than the buffet. (6)The food in the restaurants was edible, (7)however the buffet food was swill. Not fit for human consumption. (8)This business of charging $10 per day per person for gratuities guarantees a tip for the stewards, who figure that they will get a tip at the end of the trip so why put any work into taking care of the passangers. We were witout a toilet for two nights. My husband and I are in our late 60s, so this was an awful convenience since we both needed to use the bathroom several times a night. I would never recommend NCL for any kind of a trip.
I've added (numbers) to each of your points.
As for (1), Clean towels can be had, if you leave your dirty towels on the bathroom floor. If you rehang them on the racks, NCL will not replace them every day. It's part of NCL's clean environment initative, by not washing every towel everyday, less water is used in the laundry, with less dirty water to discharge overboard. The green way and modern politically correct expectations are; not to expect clean towels every day. you're politically incorrect to expect it!
(2)You should get clean glasses if you dirty them. If you did not, part of the problem may have been you. Did you use the door cards, the "Do not disturb" and Clean room now"? If you used one exclusively, no room steward would ever enter your cabin. If you used the other card sparingly, you may not have given the room steward sufficent time to clean your room.
It's been my experience that passengers should expect room stewards to enter each stateroom twice a day. Once in the morning to make up the beds, and once in the evening to put down the beds. If you only place the "Clean room now" card on the door in the afternoon, it takes very good luck at getting any room service, that's when the room steward is off duty.
(3)Was there an ice bucket in the room? Modern cruise ships have small refridgerators. Did you talk to your steward at all, and ask for ice, or were you too busy to talk to your room steward and come to terms of what you expect? Apparently not!
(4)99% of the time toilets are out of service you can blame your fellow passengers on. Paper products, that don't dissolve in water, such as diapers, napkins, kotexs, and other femine products will clog normal plumbing, much less the vacuum flush plumbing on cruise ships. As the signs in every stateroom say, the only thing you should flush down the toilet is toilet paper. I've seen the same things happen on amtrak and aircraft toilets. Don't blame the Cruise lines, Amtrak, or the Airlines for clogged toilets, blame your fellow passengers.
(5)Only three of the eight restaurants on board charge extra, only one restaurant is the cafeteria'buffet, so there's at least three other restaurants without a charge, including the two main restaurant.
(6)I agree, the food in the restaurants is good.
(7)I agree, buffet food is bad. No food is as delicious as freshly cooked food, little is freshly prepared at the buffet. So don't eat much at the buffet, or at least line up to eat the food fresh from the bar-b-que as they cook it every afternoon.
(8)Most cruise lines charge a $10/day service charge. The only cruise lines servicing the North America market that don't have a service charge are Royal Caribbean and its sister cruise line Celeberity. If you don't like service charges, book your cruise with them. But, hope you don't get stuck eating dinner with the second sitting at 9 pm. Shucks, even the 7 pm first sitting is too late for me. I prefer eating dinner early. before 6 pm. With NCL Freestyle Crusing, I can. If you have ever been assigned to a second sitting for dinner on the other cruise lines, you will never cruise with them again. Most believe the service charge is exclusively for tips, but its not. Its also used to move crew members around, from the ship to their hometowns or from ship to ship, where ever that is in the world.
With Freestyke crusing, if you ate at 6 different restaurants in 7 days, how do you plan to tip every waiter? You can't possibly, no matter how hard you try. A second scenario, even if you arranged to sit at the same table at the same restaurant every day, you'll still will meet more than one waiter, helper, and table setter, 'cause the crew swaps jobs and restaurants regularly. It's virtually impossible to tip in the old straight-jacket ways with Freestyle Crusing.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 09-01-2005, 06:51 PM
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Well in response to your snide response, we did leave used towels on the bathroom floor and we spoke to the room steward several times. The do not disturb sign was not used and we were out of our room early every day. The stewards were asked to give us fresh towels and glasses and yes we had an ice bucket in our room ewhich we asked to be filled, but was not. As far as I am cincerned NCL's cruise around the Hawiian islands sucks and you can beleive I will telll anyone who listenes to me.
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 09-01-2005, 07:23 PM
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In reply to ron clark our "serious cruiser" I also was on the Pride of America and have several responses to your "sage words of advice" (1) yes, I agree in the green way not everyone does and if I were the person that wrote the original email I would be extremely insulted by your response. I can only speak from my own experience but I never left my cabin with the "do not disturb" sign still on I always changed it to "make up cabin" and changed it at night before I retired or if it was earlier in the afternoon flipped the sign to "welcome". I didn't see a room steward for days.and it was really fruitless to look for them since I heard someone asking for towels on a different corridor of our floor and they were told that "all the steward in this area were sick that day". Although this was the 4th day of our cruise she said she hadn't seen a room steward from day one. I also had not seen any, and believe me I was back to my room after breakfast and would have expected to see someone at that point oh I take that back the day we returned to Honolulu they were knocking at your door early the morning. I also reuse my towels and don't have a problem with that. But, I would like a clean washcloth after using it for 2 showers -- which I must say I don't do at home I do reuse towels but have an issue with using a washclothes that been used on a body that has been slathered with sunscreen! I don't care if my bed is made every day or at all but I know alot of people feel they are paying an awful lot of money and have certain expectations for the money they pay.

My one major major complaint about cleaning is that when I arrived in my room and went in to the bathroom I opened up the medicine cabinet and on the glass shelf there was smeered toothpaste on the shelves (? great cleaning between cruises). On the elevator I was talking to someone whose bathroom still had dirty towels on the floor and the bathroom hadn't been cleaned at all -- so obviously mine was not a unique case. I happened to have 2 staterooms for my party and one of the bathrooms smelled of sewage the entire trip (I know they frown upon leaving the balcony doors open but we had too get rid of the odor daily!!

As far as food goes, I agree with what you have said concerning buffets. My biggest issue was going to restaurants and ordering something to be told they were all out (no bagels?) but if pushed enough (as I discovered one day when the women at the next table really pushed the issue and someone when across the way to another restaurant to get one).

Being as you say "an experienced cruiser" Mr. Clark I'm sure you know the service you expect from cruising staff. Do you expect the bar staff to stand around and talk amongst themselves when people are standing waiting for drinks???? Do you expect when you ask for a soda (being poured out of a can -- when you have in fact payed for a "free soda pass for the week) to be told no I can't give you a whole can?? I was.

I have no problem with paying the service charge when you get acceptable service -- notice I'm not even saying exceptional service. But I can understand the other travelers frustrations.

Just as a comparison example. I happened to be traveling the same time as someone else where I work. He took his family on the Disney Cruise and showed us pictures of the towels animals made daily -- that the room steward made. His room stewards (seems he had 2) came in to the room twice a day. I said gee mine came in twice in the entire week!! On deck the wait staff were falling over each other to provide excellent service to their passengers. I can honestly say THAT WAS NOT THE SERVICE RECEIVED ON THE PRIDE OF AMERICA.

I must say that I can deal with just about anything but the toothpaste "goop" really, if you disregard the pun -- put a bad taste in my mouth.

Mr. Clark, if I didn't know better by your responses I would say you work for the cruise line.

Oh by the way, I paid service charges on Carnival cruises and Princes cruises and had no problem -- in fact I gave extra money -- it's amazing what a little good service will do.

I am being an honest consumer. I indeed question, Mr. Clark if you are or again perhaps and NCL employee???????
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 09-02-2005, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by c&cmom:
I am being an honest consumer. I indeed question, Mr. Clark if you are or again perhaps and NCL employee???????
I am not! I was just pointing out what could be reasons for a lack of service. As I wrote before, you should expect twice daily service to your rooms.
As you report, some are getting great service, and others are not. NCL America's crews are almost all new at the job, its obvous that NCL has hired new workers, some of which should be fired. If NCL fired every sub par crew member immediately, its obvous NCL couldn't fill out a ships crew to handle a complete sell out of passengers.

Overworking the good crew members is what would happen if they fired all the bad crew members. That in turn will make bad crew members out of the good ones.

As with all new start ups, includung brand new store opening in your home town, it takes a while to weed out the bad workers.

Never-the-less, one rotten apple in a bushel will quickly spoil all the apples.

I've read from some they got great service, and I read from others they haven't. It's a shame we can't see how every passenger rates the service. Is it just 1% getting poor service, or almost all at 99%?
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 09-02-2005, 01:11 PM
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You know Ron, the Internet is a powerful tool. Blogs have been know to put business out of busines. Bad words spreads fast.
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 09-02-2005, 01:29 PM
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YO! What is THAT supposed to mean?

pfairfie, I said right off the bat that your words were extreme for this site. That you inflamed people is not a surprise. I don't think Ron Clark's response was "snide"... maybe a little vehement but definitely not insulting. c&cmom jumps in to further ratchet it up- although she adds some pragmatic, nuts and bolts commentary that is useful, to be sure...

but somehow we are in this negative zone that is not a hallmark of this site IMHO.

Where are our moderators? Karen, Nancy and Tom are notably absent here.

I am signing off for a few days. Later.
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 09-02-2005, 04:00 PM
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!!!ADMIN!!!

Hello everybody,

I fully agree with Carlalena1.

All participants are advised that either this discussion will be continued in a way where other users are not insulted or attacked personally, or the thread will be closed and the members not willing to accept the above advice will be warned or banned.

This is a site where everybody is welcome to share both positive and negative experiences with cruise lines. However, all members must post in compliance with the widely accepted netiquette standards!
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Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig

  #20 (permalink)  
Old 09-03-2005, 10:29 AM
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I would like to apologize if I insulted anyone. I assumed this was a chat line to just provide information to cruisers concerning your experiences on a particular cruise line. If that's not what it's for I'm sorry. I was hoping to shed a little light to the first person's email reiterating that she was not the only person receiving poor service. Is this just a chat line to praise a particular cruise or cruise line? I don't feel I abused any etiquette standards. If I did I apologize.
 
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