My daughter gifted me this cruise in celebration of my 80th birthday and I was very excited about it. The cruise turned out to be a huge disappointment. The itinerary included three ports but we only stopped at one. Communication was poor and we had to rely on hearsay from other passengers to figure out what was going on.
We were notified 3 days before sailing that our ship needed repairs and we wouldn't be going to Mazatlan, but would be spending an additional night in Puerto Vallarta. The ship was supposed to set sail at 3pm to Cabo San Lucas but was extended to 5pm. Due to difficulties with the repairs, our actual sailing time was 12:30am. Due to the extended time it took to complete the repairs, we did not get to stop in Cabo San Lucas. Our trip was limited to stopping only in Puerto Vallarta. The ship wasnt very appealing, our room was hot and the only consistent friendly staff was the bartenders. There were 23 of us in our group and it was a nightmare trip.
This is the second time CruiseOnly asked me to review the cruise, which I completed and submitted. Please see below copy of my previous response.
Unfortunately, I suspect you will not post or share my comments. Damn!
My current response represents approximate half of the issues I have to address. This presentation I believe is adequate to make my belief and position clear.
I have been on 6 previous prising 3 with Royal Caribbean, 2 with Princess, and one (1) on Norwegian Star. My current seventh cruise was on Norwegian Jewel (Banana Boat). I paid for stops at three (3) ports. Due to poor maintenance prior to the scheduled cruise Norwegian Corporation choose to schedule an over night stop at Puerto Vallarta and skip stopping at Mazatlan port and then stop at Cabo San Lucas. This schedule does not meet my satisfaction in any way and when I expressed my dislike of the schedule to Norwegian Corporation they expressed absolutely no care or interested in fairness to their customers. Unfortunately, they expressed that same attitude to Cruise Only staff that was attempting to assisting me to achieve at least some satisfaction. No luck!
Amazing, I was VERY through in researching all of what Norwegian claimed to offer or provide aboard ship. Unfortunately, upon boarding the vessel I discovered I had been deceived and cheated and conditions just continually got worse. Just to start, follows a short list of some of the misleading I found:
1. I printed their (Norwegian Corporation) published "Norwegian Jewel Dining Info". Dining info sheet indicated that both Tsar's Palace (referring to Cuisine as "Continental" and indicated "No" Surcharge) and Azura (referring to Cuisine as "Light Modern Continental" and indicated "No" Surcharge) posted exactly the same dinner menus with a number of charges for some of menu items. I would describe as "No damn difference in the main dining room menus or descriptions! Aboard the Norwegian Star I found NO charges indicated on the main dining rooms menus and on the Star the main dining rooms had different selections on their menus (I found Star much better, consistent and enjoyable than the Jewel).
2. The "Norwegian Jewel Dining Info" indicated that Le Bistro Surcharge was $20.00 per person. Upon getting onto the ship it turned out to be $24.95 per person. Oh well, cheated again.
3. The " Norwegian Jewel Dining Info" indicated that Moderno Surcharge was $20.00 per person. Yep! Turning out to be another cheat - $24.95 per person. Damn!
4. Wow! I then found that there was a $6.00 cost for a rather small bottle of water onboard that I can regularly get for about $1.00 on shore. Then told that I could not bring a bottle of water onto the ship. This is a serious screwing! I do not drink any alcohol beverages, I do not drink any coffee, I have heart problems I have to be aware of, I have diabetes and have to be careful about getting enough of water and I have a long list of medications I have to take every morning and evening - and my doctor is very clear - I have to drink a lot of water. Thanks a lot for offering "free" coffee and $6.00 a bottle for water. Nice going. Please note: I did not run into this problem while aboard the Star - I was allowed to bring water aboard. What is going wrong?
5. Garden Cafe. At first I mostly ignored the poor food and bad preparation. Let me be clear; some of the food was NOT properly prepared and way to many of the selections offered that should be hot (or at least warm) were COLD! Some of the examples: I selected a serving of egg Benedict and added the necessary Hollandaise sauce. Took one bite and pushed it away. Went back to try another serving. I felt (placed my hand on) the recently filled pan of Hollandaise and found it still cold. I felt (placed my hand on) the pan of gravy just placed on the grill and found it totally cold. I found myself VERY angry and demand the staff person that just placed the pan of gravy remove it and return it filled with a hot gravy. I said the same regarding the Hollandaise. I then turned and found a few steps away an Assistant Maitre' D. Since that was my third day of the same experiences I had with all the complimentary food being served, I explained to the Assistant Maitre' D that I considered most of the complimentary food bad and poorly prepared. I did not consider the waiting staff or waiting staff supervisors at fault but was very clear that the Food and Beverage Direction and the Head Chef should be held responsible. The Maitre' D apologized and I personally noted some corrections appeared quickly.
There's consider additional issues that I will include in my final report.
But continuing with issues, Norwegian guests were assured that the ship's repairs would be completed early enough that all guests were advised to be on board by 2:30pm on Thursday. The guests were then advised to expect arriving at Cabo San Lucas at 7:00am Friday and would have until All Aboard call at 2:30pm to "Make Memories that Last in Cabo San Lucas". Big joke! Didn't leave until WAY too late to head for anywhere but last stop: San Pedro Port.
While I and all the other guests paid well for all what the Norwegian Corporation offered in their "wonderful" cruise we all got approximately one third of what we paid for. And to show their great kindness and generation they offered a 25 percent of the fare paid for this cruise. In my case, after adjustment as reflected on the invoice prepared by the Guest Services Desk I may expect a refund of $327.12. The "generous" offer goes on from there but is all a damn joke. Why? Because each port visit represents one-third of the cost of the cruise that I, and all cruise guests, paid for. Refunding 25 percent does not come clear to what should be refunded; 66 percent. In my case that would correctly and fairly be approximately $1,791.00 and adjusted in accordance with charges indicated on the Service Desk invoice the refund should be $1,518.62.
It would be nice if they could quit lying, cheating and shorting their guests!
My favorite part of the cruise was the way the staff treated me, considering everything we went through. What could be improved is corporate needs to take the ship off a cruise to preform maintenance. We found out a few days before we left that we were going to miss our stop in Mazatlan for some Maintenance. We ended up sitting in Puerto Vallarta for over two days because the maintenance didn't go as planned. We left after midnight and didn't find out we were going to miss Cabo San Lucas until after 9 am the day we were supposed to go there.The crew was great and made sure people had fun but Corp. needs to do something different. There were many pissed off people.
I can't say enough good things about the service staff on board the Norwegian Jewel. In the dining room to to the room steward and all the activities the professional and courteous men and women were exceptional! After returning back home I'm a little confused about an additional $269.00 charge to my account, I hope it's just a mistake in the accounting process and will be deleted . I paid all my room and services and have the receipt to verify.
First time with this cruise, will come back again for sure! Only few suggestions, the restroom near casino need to be clean all the time, I believe too many people using it specially after the 7:15 and 9:15pm show. And One of the water machine in the buffet not good, people need water for their day trip all the time, I see lots people using the cup to get the water than fill up their own bottle, I will suggest why not setup a ice water container for us to fill up our water bottle, that will be a plus! Just like the 2 ice tea container at the food court next to the pool. Thank You.
My favorite part of the cruise was the beauty of the ship and ports, excellent customer service, variety of excellent food and dining options, and the relaxation, I found the crew members to be very friendly and courteous. The embarkation process went amazingly smooth and the Garden Cafe exceeded our expectations! My least favorite was the Raffle to Dine with an Officer because I felt silly dressing up only to be escorted into a main dining room after an excursion day where passengers were casual, tired, and hungry. It seemed either their needed to be one formal dining night w/officers for all passengers or reservations at Cagneys or one of the other specialty restaurants. I also felt the cards for Deal or No Deal should be half the price charged. But overall I had a most wonderful experience and look forward to my next cruise with Norwegian hopefully next summer!
I thought cabins were very small. Food was ok. Most of time food in buffet was cold and in dinning room too. Service was poor. Seemed to take way too long to get meals and drinks.best meal was in Japanese restaurant. Don't know if I would go on NCL again.
My favorite part of the cruise was having all my day to day needs taken care of for me. The entertainment, food, beverages and people were all a pleasant part of the cruise. The daily view of the sea kept all things in perspective. The cleanliness of the ship along with the professionalism of the entire crew was priceless. I was not ready to part with this trip. I highly recommend this cruise for singles,couples, families or even weddings. Our room was impeccable at all times.
The 2 person musical duo "Cover Story" was very entertaining. The female vocalist was very good; the male musician played both piano and guitar. They did popular songs. Our 4 year old granddaughter danced to every number, to the amusement of the audience.
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