November 2013 - Norwegian Epic to Caribbean - Eastern
This was my first cruise experience with a cruise line. I am a 100% disabled Navy veteran and due to my disabilities I was a mobility scooter to get around when I have a walk any distance or for any length of time. Although NCL says they are wheelchair accessable they are not user friendly or are they consistant with their practices. On two seperate days when I returned from excursions I had to wait 45 minutes and 30 minutes for the crew to retrive my scooter, this after being told that I have to give then the keys so they can move return it yjr security officer didn't know that the key has to be in the scooter for it to work and NCL staff had to have the key to move it .
My experience started lout bad and went downhill from there. When I got to the Terminal C entrance an attendant told me that I would have to pay for parking eventhough I have a state issued disability tag. The reson I ws told I would have to pay for parking was because I didn't hace a rack on my SUV to transport my scooter. I explaind to the attandant my scooter breaksdown into two pieces so it can be lifed in to the car. THe attendant did not want to get further envolved and told me to park the car and we'll figure it out when you get back . All week long it was on my mind. Something must have changed with thepolicy because when I returned I nentioned my scooter was in the back of the car and I was exempted from parking fees
When I got to the embarking station there were several lines. I got into a line that I thought could handle my cart I was wrong it couldn't but after some manuvering I got to the counter and presented my paper work and pass port then girl took my picture ,gave me my card and motioned for me to pass thru a narrow passage area but my scooter was too big for the space. After turning around I got into open space again Iasked one of the terminal staff where I was to go I had to asked threedifferent people wherde I was to go before I actuall got help form one of the staff.
Getting on the ship was not a problem getting to the studio stateroom not so much . After waiting for close to an hour to get to the 12 deck where my room was I was told to go where the carpet turns blueand I would fing my room. After 20 minutes or so and not getting close to where the carpet "turned "blue I found a room steward to show me where to go He took me to where the rug turned blue buthe gfot flustered when I asked him where I should put my scooter because it would not fit i the room and evev the servise desk @ 00 said theyt have place on the ship to store the scooter he did not know of any . I'm still notsure if he understood all the I was telling he was nodding yes but there was a look of total confussion on this face.Finly he noticed an electric outlet on the bulkhead an the vestible where the rug turned blue and trold me I could put my scooter there. All of this took place the 1st 2 hours on the ship.I thought tomyself this might be a long weel and I wasa right.
I nverf got to any of the "fine " didning area I used the garden cafe most of the time . tehproblems withthe garden cafe is it is on the 15th deck more wwiting time for a free elevator, when you get there the line are long with people cutting in line where ever they choose I began to thin k of FREESTYLE CRUISING as aFREE FOR ALL , and if your not somewhat pushy you are not going go get any of the cold,(food is supposed to be pfesented at 145 *F it wasn't enen close) been on the line too long food. I never had a wrm meal when I ate at the Garden Cafe. I started to go to Seehanns taven on the 6th deck the food was warm but also mass produced and it tasted like it.
I went to Cirque of dreams great show but the food although presented well on the plate tasted like it had been on tyhe plate for some time.
THe BLUEMAN GROUP was also a great show as was Second City Murder at sea .
THere were many things that where not rihjt like waiting for 4hours that right four hours for a pizzabut I did gety it for gratus. The room service staff didnot kno w the they have a house merlow even though tthey had delivered one to the room the night before.
By Thursday I started to think aboiut the Beach Boy songSloop John B.
ON there different mornings the room steward tried to rush me out of the room so he could clean it.but due to my disabilities IO have things meds and what ever that I have to contend with. On one morning he knocked on the door about 830 and told me he had tto vacuum the rug I had to be somewhat curt with him and told him after some of his insistance he would have to come back. Finaly Staurtday come the steward knows on the door @715am and tells me I got to go so he can clean the room I was scheduled to leave the ship at 945am I looked at my watch at 930 and I was off ther ship and in downtowm Maimi headed for I 95.
Some of the good things about NCL, they appear to be able to move large groups pf people quickly . YHey don't do a good job of one to one nless mybe if you are paying for a more expensive stateroom or the Haven.
I never got to experience any oyher ding areas mostly do to crowd sizes so I can't say anything about them but I in agine they are aboutg the some quality.
I don't think I use NCL again but I'm going to do another cruise in a couple of months it will be intersting to compare.