April 2015 - Norwegian Sun to Caribbean - Western
Norwegian does an outstanding job on getting the people on board but from there on it just sinks, We walked on to the ship and as soon as we were onboard the strong stench of sulfur engulfed you and you never got away from it as you would see the floor fans in the hallway blowing the air to circulate, walk into our room and we are greeted with the maintenance man replacing a broken drawer which he never got replaced until the second day at sea, meantime while the other drawers had a gap in them and you had to pull really hard to open them combined with the vent screen that was coming off the wall,balcony had soot or ash of some sort on it and if you made the mistake of walking on it barefoot and stepped in it then you had the black on your feet. and I have yet to know who are steward was because I never saw them, yes they did keep the room clean and they did replace the broken remote but I would have preferred to have known who they were so I could have tipped them personally.
On past cruises when we did not feel like going out we could watch the cruise director and some of the onboard shows like " Name that tune or The newlywed game " but we never saw this but we did see a lot of promoting for the excursion shops, I guess I compare a lot of the shows and directors to the first time I went on the sun and the ship was the Sun and the cruise director was Jaime and Beantown Brian, not only were they funny but they were all over the ship and promoting stores as well as items in the gift shop and they were just an awesome duo.
Sail away party was a joke as I have seen and felt more energy from a senior citizens bingo , waiters were very few and when you could get one it seemed to take forever combined with the cruise director who just was boring and lacked energy of any kind, sail away party is where you would expect a lot of energy, fun and excitement , but not so on this party so we left the party and went to unpack, thinking back on the cruise director I passed him several times on the ship and not once did he even acknowledge people, perhaps it was because he was headed home soon and he needed rest, who knows ?
Our first port excursion was cancelled and we only found out when we came back from breakfast as there was a note on our door, It would have been nice to have found out a lot sooner as when we went to book another excursion, they were all sold out of anything remotely fun and exciting, do yourself a favor and don't book any water fun activities at this port ( Costa Maya ) as they are always having to cancel excursions as we had booked the boat / snorkeling excursion, we shopped instead and it is a good place to pick up your souvenirs just remember to bargain with them and don't pay full retail, awesome time to get aa picture of the boat if you do decide to shop, so we shopped drank went back to the ship to eat and then came and shopped some more.
Barrier reef and snorkel was next in Belize and true to the comments and reviews, this is one overcrowded excursions and it does not get any better when snorkeling as we both ended up with numerous bruises from all the other snorkeler's and the guide kept going up and down, up and down up and down pointing out coral and keeping all of us real tight together, I finally got mad and said " Look I am snorkeling here and I will stay with the group but I am no longer going to stay that close as I am tired of getting kicked and bumped into and tired of looking at just coral" glad I did because that's when I saw a stingray and a bay squid, wen to the beach afterwards and that was a joke as a hamburger cost $ 8.00 and it was the size of a McDonalds, drinks were $ 9.00 and they were the size of a red solo Dixie cup, boat ride back was the best part as rum punch flowed freely and everyone was dancing and having a good time, dropped off at the pair and from there it was more shopping. you can pick up some good deals here but be specific with what you are looking for.
Anthony's key resort for scuba, I have dived before so I knew what to expect and I prefer a different approach as once I get into the water I do not want to keep coming out in order to go to another place as this is time consuming and safety issue as you now have to get back on board with all your gear as where before when I dived, you were led into a shallow area to perform your basic test and taught how to dive and then you were led out to deeper water, I was able to go to the bottom but was having problems with my ears so I decided to slowly surface while at the same time diving but the dive instructor had me go to the boat as there was other divers below, I get this and understand this but I should have been able to still dive and at the very least snorkel , Anyways back to the boat where there was people there with the same problem and they were upset as well because they would have like to have snorkeled with the scuba gear, at least gotten some of there moneys worth, combine this with the vulgarity from the boat crew and the sales pitch I had to endure ,this is not an excursion I would recommend and will do my diving elsewhere.
Tulum ruins was nice but be prepared for CHAOS YES CHAOS as you get your ticket to go to the tender and then its loaded up and know one is telling you anything, No arm bands are giving as to what excursion you are going on, No guide telling you anything just everyone loaded up , 45 minute tender to the island and now walk thru the center of town and take a hat and an emergency poncho with you as well as some dollar bills as this is where they will give you back change for anything you buy in pesos and be prepared as this is where the vendors will push there products and push they do as every 5 feet one was asking us if we wanted to buy a hat, get ready to endure a long drive to the gift shop before you go to the ruins and then you have to stand out in the sun at the gift shop while the guide tells you about the Mayan calendar, I walked away as after the long ride I needed to move my legs and stretch my back and use the restroom, good place to but souvenirs but a little expensive but an awesome place to buy red bull as they were only $3.00 as opposed to the ship which charged double, the guide tells you all about where to shop and where to eat and it is right at the place as soon as you get off the bus, DONT DO IT!!!!!!!!! DONT DO IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DONT DO IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! as when we got done we did eat there and it was after the fact was when I noticed all the dirty plates and know one was washing them and they were just collecting flies and bacteria and who is to say they don't reuse the same plates, I believe all the guides had a partnership with this place as when we were eating there another group came by and that guide told them the same story, about him and his family eat there every weekend ????? There is construction going on and we were getting splattered with concrete specks until one of the ladies asked if the group could be moved over, You would have thought we had committed a international crime but we did get to move until we were called to go to our tender and now another 45 minute tender back and be prepared to have the tip can passed in front of you by the guide, I don't mind tipping if you do me a service or give me facts but tipping after I have already paid you and then coming up to me and holding your can in front of my face, not acceptable to me.......
How does a cruise ship run out of photo albums or scrape books especially with all the pictures they take and the ones you take....like everything else with Norwegian...poor planning and unacceptable.
Buffet line was the ok, just make sure you like your eggs runny and use the slotted spoon to get the eggs onto your plate, hopefully you wont want vanilla ice cream for desert because I was told the machine was broke and this is a lie because I know the machine and why can you only get ice cream on one part of the ship, unlike carnival there are several places to get ice cream, and when leaving a port there was no food being served that was indigenous to that area or spices from that area or how they cooked food on the island, but not this time and I guess only carnival does that. Forget eating in the restraunt Seven seas or Four seasons as both times the food was cold, bread was hard and had to wait for butter, I ordered steak both times ( The menu remains the same thru out the entire cruise ) and I actually ended up spitting up the meat onto my napkin as it was to fatty and hard to chew. I also witnessed something I have never seen on any cruise ship before and that was crew members having arguments amongst themselves and in there own language, I don't really care but take your arguing / bickering out of public eye.
Disembarkation was a joke as we were scheduled to get off at 0910 am and was not able to get off until 1045 am, know one was telling anyone over the intercom anything and it wasn't until I went to inquire that I found out it was customs that was holding people up, understandable but would have been nice to have been informed about the delay and if you have connecting flights then book your flight for late in the day.
Overall this was not a good cruise as there was no WOW factor, no surprising awesome moments unless you count how surprised I was at the low quality and bad service I experienced, understand I don't mind paying money and I know the crews work hard but things have got to change for this ship or this company because going forward I will either go on royal Caribbean or carnival .
Wherever and whenever you cruise I hope you have an awesome cruise