November 2015 - Norwegian Jewel to Mexico
We are experienced cruisers. This is our first on Norwegian since company changed its name from Norwegian Caribbean; and, our first experience with "Free Style" cruising.
There were many families on board and even a gentleman who brought his very small dog who looked more like a pet than a service animal. We had three meals at the speciality restaurants: Moderno, le Bistro, Cagney's. Only le Bistro met our dining standards as the equal or better than the main dining rooms. Of those two, Azura met our standards. All dining rooms are attractive, but very noisy and slow, considered adequate, but less than expected for the additional cost incurred. The best, by far, was O'Sheehans, complimentary, open 24 hours, with a limited menu and adequate, but slow service.
Cabin service was good, but not special. We had cold or tepid bath water during the entire cruise. Our cabin, a mini-suite, was clean, but we had to request a second robe upon arrival. Our personal request for a rubber bath mat for the tile floor took 4 days to arrive and then only after many reminders.
Most of the trouble with Service seemed to be difficulty understanding English, even at the Services Desk. The line there was always long except for late hours at night. There was no TV channel to check one's billing statement. We are still trying, after 7 days from debarkation, to find out what a $200 pending item on our credit card means since the last statement on the day of debarkation was $0.00. Worse, there is NO telephone number or email address on the website to contact Norwegian Customer Relations directly. We got a customer service telephone number from our travel agent.
The ship was beautiful, the itinerary good, but not worth the inconvenience of a plane trip. We were told there were over a hundred children on board. Fine for families, but not for seniors who choose a cruise for relaxation and good service.
Thus, free style on Norwegian did not impress us to book it again.