August 2013 - Norwegian Breakaway to Bermuda
Below is the letter I wrote to the CEO. His/their/Norwegian's RESPONSE WAS A $300 CREDIT FOR MY NEXT CRUISE AFTER SPENDING THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING THIS CRUISE SHIP, THINK TWICE, AND READ BELOW
Mr. Kevin Sheehan
Chief Executive Officer
Dear Mr. Sheehan:
I have always enjoyed Norwegian Cruise Line, from the Free Style Cruising to the great ships that you and your team have been building, to the great service. I have cruised at least 5 times with you once each year for the last 5 years. The last 3 have been in a Family Villa suite, with my daughter and my wife.
I am fascinated with your new vessels, have been on the EPIC twice which we loved, and so therefore we thought we would try the Norwegian Breakaway, as I expected it to even be a level up from the EPIC.
I want to frame my comments in a fair and constructive way, but I feel that this was probably the worst cruise we have taken with your organization. Rather than filling out a comment form later on, that might not reach you, I decided to try to give you some feedback from us, directly.
First, our sailing date was August 4. We always sail around that date, so I am fully aware that the ship on that particular week, during the Summer Vacation Season, will be full. I am told that there were some 4,300 passengers. I can tell you that the ship was completely overcrowded. Since this is a Bermuda cruise and the passengers are out to sea for 2 full days, each must enjoy the facilities of the ship. We did not. While it’s true, we were on the HAVEN level and could’ve enjoyed those areas to relax in the sun, our child is 13 and wants to be on the Slides, etc. There were zero chairs around the pool. I checked every deck level and we could not even find one chair to put a towel on, while we were trying to utilize the wet facilities such as the pool. The pool was so crowded, you could not even sit on the edge there were so many people there. I spend over $13,000 USD for this cruise, not including my incidentals, and I feel that it was a waste of money.
The casino which I enjoy in the evening was so crowded and full of smoke, you couldn’t even breathe. I realize this is a smoking area, but the HVAC system is clearly lacking in the casino, which by the way, is not as big as the EPIC and sorely lacking in ventilation. In some areas the A/C did not even work.
The Gymnasium is severely undersized. Again, if you are out to sea two days, everyone is looking for something to do. We could not get on any machine in the fitness center without at 1 hour wait. This isn’t fair or acceptable by anyone’s standard.
The next point is the Karaoke. And this may seem small to you, but, our family always looks forward to this nightly. They have a very small limited amount of songs, the Animation team could care less and did not do a good job of being part of the “scene”, and the design of Bliss Lounge is horrible. It is like a big bowling alley, the main floor is already severely scratched, and the seating area feels like it is 20 miles from the stage. The design in the EPIC and other Ships such as the Pearl are much, much better.
Spice H2O, had a fireworks celebration on one of the last nights. The Fireworks were coming back in the ship. All of a sudden there was a flood of water on the deck of Spice H2O during the fireworks display. The passengers were dressed nicely and there was literally 2” of water flooding the deck. Many thought the ship was sinking momentarily and several passengers ran to the elevators. I am sure you can read the logs and find out for yourself what happened. My wife’s shoes were ruined. Again, it was so crowded there, you couldn’t even find a place to stand let alone, sit.
I enjoy a cigar once in a while and needed a quiet place from all the “racket” above, so I went to the cigar lounge only to find out that the air evacuation system wasn’t working. There was so much smoke even the smokers were leaving. Also the size is way too small for a 4000+ passenger ship. The other ships from your cruise line have much more space in their smoking lounges and believe me there are still a lot of smokers on board. The service in the Haven restaurant was good some nights and mediocre the others. I would have thought that for the HAVEN level there would be the best staff on the ship.
The big entertainment was Rock of Ages, and Burn the Floor. I have a 13 year old, so one of the two big shows she could not see, because they discouraged children of her age, so basically we could do one show in the Showroom. I think if you are going to have only 2 main shows that they should be for all ages, especially since there are many kids on the boat during the summer.
Mr. Sheehan, I want you to know that I never complain, especially about your Cruise Line, as generally we love it, but this particular boat, has many issues with overcrowding and poor design. The more I think about the money that I invested on this ship and the value I received in return, I would like to see some compensation for the poor experience that we had a few weeks ago. I will leave that up to you and your team, but I would expect some form of compensation.
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