angellbeaulieu

angellbeaulieu
Third Mate

Joined: 03/15/2016
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angellbeaulieu's Past Cruises

Norwegian Epic

December 2016 - Norwegian Epic to Caribbean

Our Epic New Years Eve Cruise

Loved the ship (prefer large ships to small any day) once we got our bearings, Shakers was our favorite bar (wish there were outside options like on the Breakaway) and you must absolutely try the dining package, it was worth it but make sure you are hungry!  We did the waterslides and pool and were pleasantly surprised to find the water wasn't salt water.  Couldn't make show reservations, but got right in on standby without an issue and we were a group of 12.  No issues with any dining reservations or walking into the main dining room or O'Sheehan's (the wings are great) with our group size-although occasionally they would break us up.  Our Room steward (Gede) was amazing-introduced himself the first time we entered our room, and greeted us every enter and exit thereafter (I missed that on our prior sailing).  We had a forward balcony on 12, almost under the bridge, and the size of the balcony was 3x a normal balcony-you could change more than your mind out there-which again was great when we had 12 people marching through our rooms at times.  Still love the private island-however I was unable to tender off for almost 2 hours (tender K) this time, on my two prior stops I was one of the first tenders off each time, so this was a very hard wait...especially not knowing how long the wait would really be, and needing to be ready.  Loved having access to my onboard account in my cabin again (had it on my first Norwegian, not on my second).

 

In Between-we booked excursions with the ship this time-to use up some OBC-that was also a process of cattle herding.  We had to report to the theater, wait for our excursion to be called, queue through the ship and off, and then try to find the proper place to line up and go.  I have seen better signage in Mexico than I saw in St. Thomas and Tortola once exiting the ship and trying to find our meeting location.  The excursions themselves were good, but it reminded me why I like to book private excursions (less people, actually hear island history, more personal, more fun, have a perfect understanding of timeframes, someone to look out for us).

 

Negatives-Extra charges on drinks-I had the unlimited drink package-which covers drinks up to 15$ each.  When I booked, I was charged a tax and tip on the drink package.  Every time we ordered a drink, there was a tax and tip assessed to the drink again, and I have several charges to my on board account for drinks ranging from 58 cents to $9.84.  Mind you, I was aware of a few martini's that we ordered that cost 17.95 and on those we had to sign and authorize a 2.95 charge...though it was never 2.95 it was 3.48, and the one try of the top shelf scotch/whiskey.  But you can't tell me that the drinks really cost nearly 15$ each for a drink of the day which comes in a 12-16 oz cup and is advertised in the menu for under $10 or a vodka (1oz pour) and cranberry.  I just added the miscellaneous bar charges, and they total just over $90, of which we were expecting about $36 from the overpriced Martini's or the topshelf alcohol.  

 

Deck space is very limited and deck chairs-they boast only having about 2300 onboard and there are 4100 guests, which means there are too many without a chair, especially when you have 3 sea days.  People were on deck before 7am claiming chairs, and although staff tagged chairs to "remove" towels if a person was not there for an hour, they never returned to actually remove anything, and deck chairs never opened up until after 3pm. 

 

The rock wall was only open one of the at sea days, and there were specific clothing requirements that were not posted (at least anywhere that we saw), so the one time that the "adult" kids hit the line, they had to return for socks, and then they hit the line again and the girls were told that their athletic shorts were too short, and they needed longer shorts to participate...makes sense, would have been good to have "needs" posted, then they could have dressed appropriately once and been ready-they lost interest at this point and decided to try tomorrow, and since this was the only day it was open, tomorrow never came.

 

The elevators, especially forward elevators often seemed to "skip" floors magically (I suspect it was related to a haven guest boarding the elevator and having that magic card to ride without the hassle of stopping to board others, so at the high traffic hours when you needed to go many floors (5 or more) in shoes that were not made for climbing, or with all your luggage/bags to beach/if you were feeling the effects of a full day at the beach, and really needed that "floor taxi" it was never available. 

 

The main Dining rooms were only open for breakfast until 930, even on sea days.  We arrived at 945 one morning (New Years day-we thought we were early risers)and were shocked to learn that they were closed already.  Likewise the Sushi bar was only open for lunch from 12-130 daily.  Longer hours would just be slightly more accommodating on sea days when people may recover and sleep a few minutes later? 

 

There were 2 shows on the cruise, one a singing and dancing number and the other was a drag show.  While there were certainly funny parts of the drag show, it was nearly 2 hours long and very agenda driven (I am a very open minded person working in the social services field, but couldn't help but feel that I was being chastised and "taught a lesson" throughout the entire show).  Maybe it's a good show for some specific cruises (gay cruises-all the gay folks in the audience loved the show), but for a "general" cruise I think that the story line could be revamped a bit and be a little less agenda driven and more funny (my 2 cents, and that of the group who was with me, who ranged from 16-50). 

 

We did want to speak with a wedding coordinator onboard, and guest services was less than helpful and would not put us in touch with that department, referring us to the web page, despite my explaining that I had looked at the web and had some questions, that the web could not talk back and answer for me.  She was not willing/able to diverge from her script and allow me to speak with a live body, which we did share with the CruiseNext folks who were trying to rebook us-why would I rebook until someone could answer my questions!

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Norwegian Spirit

March 2016 - Norwegian Spirit to Caribbean - Western

Norwegian Spirit 3/5/15

I booked 3 balcony rooms for my family, and then we had another family travel with us.  The first oddity that I noticed-our room steward never introduced himself, and never bothered to learn our names-I have never had this happen before, they always know our names, usually by the end of the first day and greet you all the time.  Our room was not clean-we had to wash stains off the couch and found someone else's socks in the closet.  We were often missing towels, and had to remove used food/drinkware when done. One room had a substantial leak from the bathroom, out through the entry into the hall-all week. We brought it to the steward's attention, and an industrial fan was used, both in the room and in the hall to attempt to dry the floor, to no avail.  A bottle of wine was left (for my underaged son) as an apology.  On day 3 all 4 bathroom toilets would not flush, which we also brought to the stewards attention (apparently it was a larger than just our 4 room problem), but when we returned to our room the following day there was a card reminding us what we can and can not flush-we are flush aware-that was not the problem (at least in our rooms) which we found offensive.  Several nights at dinner we found a wait (20 min+) at our table before a server would come to take an order, and a wait between order and arrival of food (20+ min between finish of one course and arrival of next), in both cases without apology or explanation.  I had shore excursion credit on 2 of my cabins, and asked several times about how to use it, both at the shore excursion desk (on day 1) and the guest services desk (on day 4), and learned on the final night of the cruise that I was shorted $250 of that money, as I was given false info from the shore excursion desk, and guest services was unwilling to assist/resolve.  Given that this was an older ship, I was unable to access my onboard account on the tv or thru a kiosk, and had to rely on guest services, which was just an inconvenience.  I was not always charged the correct drink prices for the drink of the day-which resulted in charges to my onboard account, that I would not otherwise have had, given that I had the beverage package.  At disembark one of my suitcases was misplaced, which took an additional 30 minutes to locate (no clue where it went), and when located, it was damaged (brand new suitcase now has a broken wheel), and my sons suitcase also received a broken wheel in this process.  These suitcases were fine at 11pm when we placed them in the hall, and by 8am we had 2 broken.  Shows were ok, not spectacular, food was ok, staff was decent but not great, shops onboard nothing to write home about, bar entertainment funny, but the same script night after night, went to the Sushi bar and the sushi was good but it is only open at 5:30 pm-which conflicts with supper, so if I am buying sushi, I would rather do it at lunch time, and then go to supper.  The main dining room does have a dress code for dinner, no shorts.  I found that the signs onboard were lacking, and people were often left wondering where they were supposed to go, and often printed info was conflicting in the daily guide, citing a start or stop time as one thing on one page and different on a different page.  On deck there were parts of the deck that were roped off for the majority of the cruise, and deck chairs were often tied up/stacked, even when there were no empty ones available and people walking looking for a free one.  Tendering process was as confusing as always, they line you up on pool deck, in front of an open bar, that morning to grab tender tickets, and then when they call the tenders, everyone runs, regardless of the number they have.  Staff often does not turn away a wrongdoer.  One day we scored some priority tender tickets, and were in line for tender #1, but staff got confused and moved the line and the priority folks ended up on tender #2 and had to wait about 30 minutes longer than they otherwise should/would have, had the line not been moved (I would have been pissed if I had paid for the suites and then lost that benefit there).  Port Canaveral was very easy to park, drop luggage, and embark.  I have cruised on 3 lines, multi times each, and just found this one/this time to be sub par, especially for what I paid, and unfortunately has left a sour taste for Norwegian and likely to be my last with this company.

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angellbeaulieu's Tips

Norwegian Epic Norwegian Epic - Have a change in your carry on-although don't carry on too much, as we boarded at noon and couldn't get to our stateroom until after 130. Get to know the ship as soon as you board, as there are many paths that you can't get there from here!

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Our Epic New Years Eve Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Our Epic New Years Eve Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Our Epic New Years Eve Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Our Epic New Years Eve Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Our Epic New Years Eve Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Our Epic New Years Eve Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Our Epic New Years Eve Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Our Epic New Years Eve Cruise

shared a quick tip for Norwegian Epic"Have a change in your carry on-although don't carry on too much, as we boarded at noon and couldn't get to our stateroom until after 130. Get to know the ship as soon as you board, as there are many paths that you can't get there from here!"

added Dec 30, 2016 cruise on Norwegian Epic to their profile.