May 2016 - Norwegian Sun to Alaska - Inside Passage
My 1st experience cruise with NCL to Alaska from Vancouver 7 days with my family in May 2016. I guess its gonna be the first and the last.
CHECK IN: It was extremely crowded and a little bit messy and the lady who served us is very slow, others spent like 10 mins, she need to spend around 30 mins for check us in. She said because our passport is from Asia (not US or Canada) so will take longer process. There were no sign at all where to put our luggage, we need to ask around many times to people.
ON BOARD: We went into the room (balcony type) and was ok with it. Its pretty small but I guess it’s the standard for cruise. Our luggage was delivered in 2 hours later which fine for us.
We were told to go to receptionist lobby once we are on board by the check in lady. With no freaking idea, we went to report to receptionist and turn out they need to HOLD OUR PASSPORTS for the rest of 7 days. I don’t feel right and I asked for many reasons and they can’t give me solid one. They keep saying this is the rule, then I replied, show me the rule or at least the name of the rule. They cant give me an answer and keep talking nonsense. We are holding Indonesian passport by the way. We have valid visa for both US and Canada and we never have issue with immigration ever. I knew that the reason they hold is they scared if we get out from the boat and never come back become illegal workers, but come on, you can do due diligence right? My parents didn’t bring any IS as for us passport is the only one legal document when we are in overseas. My brother lives in US so he has driving license. So after long argument, they still insist to hold our passport (the lady was from Russia, I forgot her name) she didn’t even try to let us hold our passports anymore as she keep holding it.. So she agree to make a copy of our passports for us. I feel totally ridiculous by this stupid thing and here we are holding a photocopy of passport.
On Day 5, we reached Skagway and we wanted to take the tour which need a passport. So we went to the receptionist again , this time a guy named JUAN assist us….He seems didn’t understand that we need our original passport to go for the tour. Juan made us another photocopy, I said we don’t need it as we need original. He rejected and declined to give us our passports (can you imagine, someone hold our passport and when we need it, they refused to give back to us?) At this point, I reached my limit and I scold this guy back, I asked again show me the rules, he said the name of the rules, but when I took a piece of paper wanted to take down the name, he refused to say again. What a joke.. He said to us that its not only us, other nationality also must do the same.. I replied clear and loud to him, I don’t care about others as we are talking about mine. He went in to the office and his manager named, ROSA assist us.. At least she can explain better to us and she will give us the passport while we’re at Skagway but with a condition, we need to return again the passport to them after the tour finished. The management must at least inform us once we paid the cruise, that for certain country they will hold the passport due to some reason, so at least we will not be surprised. They never even put on their website or whatsoever. By this time, I feel disgusted by NCL, how can you treat people like this? Racist because we’re Asian?
ROOM: TV in the room is quite small and its not a good one. We cant watch the TV from side as its still the old model type. So we had problem to keep turn the TV upside down. Movies are new release but for 7 days they keep playing the same movies for at least 5 times. We have problem with the toilet for almost 2 days. Toilet cant flush. We called the housekeeping more than 10x but it still cant flush. They said almost all floors had the same problem. We used outside toilet a lot and so others, after awhile, public toilet was spoiled and cant flush as well. What a joke. They managed to fix it after 1.5 days.. We make complained as we paid so much and we cant even flush the toilet in the room? They did send us complimentary of 1 bottle red wine and strawberry dipped with chocolate.
FOOD: Overall food at the garden café is good and the selection is great from western, Asian and Indian. My favorite was Phad Tai..They only have it for 1 night. Other food at the restaurant was great as well. So I guess food is not a problem for NCL.
CRUISE FACILITIES: Casino is normal, Café and Bar are normal and the band looks ok, they have different kind of music every night and some comedy, Shop is standard and the price is consider ok, Gym was fabulous and the staff are very good.
STAFF: Generally staff at the restaurant and housekeeping are very nice. We even met some of Indonesian staff and we had a long talk everyday and it was fun. Only there was 1 girl from the restaurant, she is from the Philippines, she served us with sour face, cant even bothered to look at us when took order and wasn’t happy at all when I ask for chili, water etc. I have no idea what is her problem, if you have a bad day, please report that you’re sick and just stay in your room compare you make guests feel angry.
SHORE EXCURSION: Not all of the tours are good. You need to do your own research before buy. But generally, if you to local tours. Its much cheaper and it was exactly the same tour. We took 2 days tour from the cruise and after that there was one day we decided to take the local tour and it was even better and we were happy with the service more than the cruise given.
On the last day of the cruise, we were told only can collect our passports at certain time. To my horror, everybody who got their passport hold, must collect at the same time and there were only 2 people at the receptionist. People were queueing , angry, anxious and start to scream. What a very nice plan huh NCL?
It will be the first and the last I took cruise with NCL, after paid thousands of dollars I cant even hold on my own passport and was treated like I never pay for the cruise maybe? Nah, that’s it..For Asians who would want to take NCL cruise, just be careful and get ready for this kind of treatment.