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sr42454 06-29-2012 02:48 PM

Why NCL might not be your best choice.
Here is the review I sent to the CEO of NCL, Kevin Sheehan. Below that is another matter of greater importance that you should read before considering NCL.
The Balcony Room was beautiful, but space management was poor. 2 people navigating around the room to get dressed and such is a problem. The person who cleaned our room (9566) was inconsistent at best. Polite, but the little things were missed consistently. My wife had to stir her coffee 3 mornings in a row with her toothbrush as no coffee stirrers were left. The room was never vacuumed and crumbs, lint and such were on the floor the entire trip. One morning when I was showering there was no Shower Gel in the dispenser leaving me to shower with shampoo. The quality of the Turn Downs at night was unprofessional. The bed was wrinkled and such. Not nearly the quality as Carnival Cruise Lines. Upon arriving on the ship our room had no Towel Animal on the bed, nor did it the first 2 days. This is a nice welcoming touch that leaves a lasting impression on new cruisers. On Carnival you are also greeted with a Welcome Basket of Bathroom Supplies like Razors and such. Great Advertising and Co-branding. The inventory in the refrigerator was incomplete and there were lot's of missing items. We told Guest Services and they assured us it would be taken care of. The Room Porter told us this was because they were throwing expired items away and it would be taken care of. We constantly throughout the trip had to note improper inventory to guest services and check our bill to ensure proper billing. Some of the inventory list, like Nuts and Cappuccino was never stocked.
The Venetian and Aqua Dining Rooms also had Food Quality and Service issues. The food was staged properly, but arrived cold at times. The Deserts were a disappointment. Even Chocolate night. I can never remember being on a cruise and not remembering one eventful meal or desert. We only remember Lunch Appetizers the first day in the Venetian. The Calamari and Vietnamese Egg Rolls were great. The Coconut Souffle one night was fantastic. My wife constantly wanted to go to the Buffet. She hates Buffets, but honestly the quality of the food on the Buffet was superior to the Dining Room. Except for the Pizza. Undercooked crust and inconsistent sauce and ingredient distribution. At times the Staff at both venues seemed disorganized and confused. Three times they delivered wrong meals going from table to table asking if it was their meals.
The Help on board was very Polite, but should make more of an attempt to "Connect" with guest that they come in contact with on a daily basis. On Carnival we were "Anytime Dining", but Employees we came in contact with on a regular basis made a connection with us. We have pictures with several and over a year later remember their names and quality of service.
Signing up for the Presumed Murdered Show was a disaster. A long disorganized line of unhappy guest not knowing where or how to navigate the system. They could have used a system like at banks with the ribbon roping and signage to help.
There was one woman who seemed in charge of activities running the Bingo. I walked over to her and asked the pricing well before the event and was told I should sit down and wait as everybody would be told at the same time. She then walked away. VERY RUDE AND UNPROFESSIONAL. We never attended Bingo the entire Cruise due to that. Lost Revenue for NCL.
One note on the description of the 24 hour "Food Court" on the Dawn. It seemed more like a description of a Mall Food Court with many 24 hour Food Type Options, Food Stations and Self Seating as opposed to small "Comfort Food Restaurant". Also, we went early one Morning (around 6:30am) to get Breakfast as the Dining Room and Buffet were not open yet. We were told that there was no "Food" until 7am as the Cooks were not ready to do Breakfast that early. We could have only Coffee and Pastry. If that is your only non-Room Service 24 Hour Venue "Food" should be available 24-7.
On the Entertainment there was was change of Venue on a show that could have been better advertised, but that is minor. The Second City Group was great, but an early show had a "Blow Up Doll" skit in it that I heard many parents "explaining off" to young children. This was not a late or adult show. Perhaps a warning on the signage about possible adult material. 99% of the crowd was laughing hysterically, but that 1% may have an issue.
The ship was not as "Sparkling Clean" as most. From a health standard it was fine, but dirty windows, stains on carpeting, fingerprints on mirrors and such lead people to believe the important health standards are also not met. We did not as we could see the important things seemed done. Again lasting impressions.
I dot not want to sound all negative. I understand that this was the first Bermuda Trip of the season out of Boston and things need tweaking. Several things were Great, but outlining those does not help NCL address the things we and other guests we spoke to felt were lacking and would effect Guest Loyalty. The Captain and Crew should be commended for their handling of the ship through the huge waves and winds to Bermuda. Although we could feel the motion it was far superior to most cruise lines. As stated earlier the food on the Buffet was far superior to other cruise lines. The Entertainment was also Great. Far Superior to other cruise lines. The Movie availability and quality in the room was fantastic. PLEASE put the Movie Schedule in your daily activity handout though as the channel with the information display it every 20 minutes. The Bed was Comfortable and Huge. The Bathroom was well laid out. Storage was plentiful. The Coffee Maker was a nice touch. We would have liked to experienced other Dining Options on the Cruise back, but due to my tooth injury that was not an option. Perhaps that experience would have left a better impression on our "Dining Opinions".
**As a note one week after coming home we received a credit card charge for $12.08 for 2 beers that were not re-stocked in the Wet Bar. We informed both the Porter and Guest Services, but were still charged. Several calls to Chase and NCL got the charge removed.**
More importantly is how NCL treats Guests with issues. We dined at the Captains Table on the 23rd. I bit down on a piece of buttered bread and there was a hard foreign object in it that broke my tooth. Yes, right in front of the Captain. NCL sent me to a Dentist on Bermuda who could not fix it. I was assured the matter would be handled. When I got home I contacted NCL Claims. She referred me to ******* <name removed="">. After 5 weeks of documenting everything I got a registered letter stating NCL found no liability on their part. I have since sought out Legal Counsel. NCL didn't even address the full day we lost in Bermuda, nor the lost enjoyment of the cruise. If this is the way NCL chooses to treat their Guests then my wife and I will vote with our feet and use other Cruise Lines.</name>

bmh 06-30-2012 08:56 AM

It is a Little hard to read your review as the page is just one block of words.

I have been very lucky with NCL and of course there is no such thing as a "perfect" experience. It does appear you never had a dull moment though. The cruise was a disaster from start to finish. Lets hope the next cruise lives up to your expectation, it will not be with NCL I trust.

poormom 07-01-2012 09:21 AM

Two women walk into a restaurant, and the maitre'd says " good afternoon ladies, is ANYTHING OK?"

penny3333 07-03-2012 11:24 AM

Well, I guess you had a horrible experience, but I'm not sure. It was very hard to read your review. I hope you'll try a different line, I don't think NCL is for you. I've enjoyed the 6 cruises I've had on NCL, especially the one on the Epic. However, I've enjoyed all the cruises I've been on with each line. Some things are stronger on one line over the other, but they each have their own merit. I hope you will return to Bermuda, too. Best wishes.

sinclaj 07-03-2012 03:05 PM

My 9 cruises with NCL have shown me that it is the line for me. We always go with a positive attitude, don't let the little things bother us and look for the good in our trips. We have found almost all the employees of NCL absolutely give their best and go above and beyond. There may be the odd one who is having a bad day, but having seen some of the situations they have to smile through, I don't blame them one bit.

It always amazes me when people complain about the food. We have had some extremely exquisite meals and some that were good and some just OK. The thing about the food is that if you don't like something, there are so many other choices to try instead.

I've not done the Bermuda trip but will hope to rectify that in the future. At least you know that NCL is not the cruiseline for you.

penny3333 07-05-2012 05:14 AM

Sinclaj, you're so right about the food (on any line). If you can't find something you like, there has to be something terribly wrong. I certainly have never gone hungry on any ship:)

vtgumby 08-02-2012 10:07 AM

NCL has been fabulous to us

Originally Posted by poormom (Post 294188)
Two women walk into a restaurant, and the maitre'd says " good afternoon ladies, is ANYTHING OK?"

Gosh, I can't improve on that one Marsha!
Lets hope this couple has a better time on Carnival and since I'm a dedicated NCL person I can say I'm happy I won't be running into them cuz there are plenty of folk having a bad life and I hate finding them intruding on my vacation.
Bermuda was our first NCL experience and it sealed it for excellent time with excellent food and yeah, if its not stellar at that one point then find something else because just like home, every recipe isn't going to be a winner for everyone.
Oh yeah, and remember life is short...less complaining, more enjoying.
I like the idea of the toothbrush as a stirrer!

bmh 08-03-2012 03:11 PM


Originally Posted by vtgumby (Post 294602)
I like the idea of the toothbrush as a stirrer!

I thought that was funny too. If that had been me I think I would have "stolen" a few stir sticks from the buffet.

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