March 2016 - 14 Night Western & Eastern Caribbean (Port Canaveral Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Spirit
Disappointed with Crew and Ship
We just got back from our first NCL cruise. This is my 6th cruise so I have experience to compare to. I was pretty disappointed with our NCL experience. I have always found cruise ship crew to be super accommodating and are always falling over themselves to make your stay more comfortable. While there were some crew that did this, it was exception, not the rule. The embarkation process was fine for us but our friends had a difficult time. When they asked about the credit card deposit the check in personnel simply told them I don't know and left it at that. This was by far the roughest travel we have ever had. We chalked it to the rough weather the first two days but it was still bad even after that. I was honestly afraid that when the wait staff poured my coffee it was going to end up on my lap because we were rocking so hard. We came to find out that the stabilizer what not functioning. We only know that because an engineering crew member told a few people in our party. At no time was it widely announced. It was obvious that people were not feeling well. They drained the pool at one point because it was so bad. We had a shore excursion cancelled due to the weather (it was a snorkeling excursion). I totally understand this being done for safety. However I do not understand getting a note on our door an hour before we were supposed to meet and almost 2 and half hours after we had docked. The note was also dated the day before to play it off like it had been there all night. Myself and the 2 other rooms in my party said the same thing that the note was not there when they left earlier in the morning. The note said to go to the theatre to find the shore excursion staff and gave a list of other excursions we could book. We got to the theatre to find chaos and a very overwhelmed staff. There were no other shore excursions available because the rest had already left. Because they took so long to notify of the cancellation we were unable to book another excursion. We were also disappointed with drink service. Bar lines were super long and we had to ask sometimes 2 times in the dining rooms for the drink steward to come around. It was very rare to see servers walking around the outdoor areas and when you did get an order, it was usually a 15 to 20 minute wait for drinks. The dining room staff was nice but food took a long time to arrive. In Shogun the appetizers and noodles were excellent but the entrees were bland and chewy. It took about 30 minutes for us to get drinks there. The food was pretty good in the Blue Lagoon which was open 24 hours a day but the servers were not friendly. They seemed annoyed by everything we asked for. They made minimal conversation and just seemed pissed to be there. Some of the bar staff was unfriendly too. I asked the bartender at the raffles court what was the best place to eat on board and he told me "I don't eat." Entertainment was okay. If you didn't go to the big shows each night there was little else to do. The game shows were great and trivia but that's not really enough for a week's worth of activities. Great Stirrup Cay was nice but they ran out of tequila at the one bar within the first hour and the iced drink machine broke too, so no margaritas there for the rest of the day. There was not a whole lot of variation in the food available each night in the dining room. I was really annoyed to seem the amount up charges that were everywhere. If you wanted lobster tail you were going to have to pay another $30 at the main complimentary dining room. If I am eating at the complimentary dining I don't want to see up charges. And why was the lobster full retail price? Haven't I already paid the base price for the meal, so shouldn't it be discounted based on that? The ship was really small and only had one adult pool which was a bummer. There was only 4 hot tubs which were always full of teens. There were some parts of the ship that smelled terrible. I have no idea why that was but I know I heard a lot of people commenting about that. The free drink package was biggest redeeming quality of this trip.