October 2014 - Norwegian Jewel to Caribbean - Western
This cruise started poorly with the luggage drop off at the Norwegian Terminal. The drop off was very disorganized. I needed the wheelchair I had requested when booking but no one knew anything about how to get one for anyone ( there were four others who waited with me for this service. By the time I finally found someone to help I had stood in sun in a slow-moving line for over 15 minutes. This wait was very hard on my able-bodied traveling companion. Frankly, the cruise did not get better. The check-in was staffed with what appeared to be new trainees who had to ask questions about procedures and others who stood around watching. Our luggage took over 2 hours to reach our room. To pass the time as we waited for the luggage we were taken to the main buffet. The buffet was. simply, not good. Crowded, noisy, bland food, little variety in offerings. The buffet did not change by more than two entrees for the entire cruise. We ate in 3 other restaurants and 2 outdoor grills. No improvement.
The cabin was adequate but very noisy with mechanical/ plumbing noises. Ironically the ship announcements, which we wanted to hear, were mostly incomprehensible in both the commons areas and the cabin.
We never saw the cabin steward although the cabin was cleaned. Had to call guest services to get extra pillows even though the housekeeping cart was always outside the door.
Overall, very disappointing. When we talked to others and asked them how they liked it we found out that we were not alone in our opinions. A number of times we were told that this route was new for Norwegian and that the crew was new to the ship. We were also told by frequent cruisers that Norwegian was using one of the older ships for the route. Even if this is true it does not excuse mediocre service, long waits, and poor food.
We have cruised on Princess. and I would cruise them again. I would not cruise Norwegian,