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.