May 2014 - Norwegian Spirit to Europe - Mediterranean
On the first day of our much anticipated cruse I had the pleasure to meet the Ship's Food and Beverage Director. It was a short encounter but I did get to state my expectations and that I was a retired Hotel F & B Director of 30+ yeaars. As he walked away I thought to myself that I hope the food is better on this cruse than his personality and lack social skills. This much awaited retirement cruse turned out to be a big disappointment regarding the quality of food served. I had breakfast/lunch twice in the cafeteria style restaurant and vowed never to return since the food selection never changed and was usually not served hot nor did it look appitizing. Coffee cups were small and you were not allowed to fill up on drinking water to bring to your cabin or take with you on a tour. Water and sodas were not included and only availabe to be purchased. My sister was repremanded by the staff on two occasiond while filling her water bottle in the cafeteria. As a Food and Beverage Director I did confirm my observations with many of the passangers we met over the 12 day cruse. Many shared the same concerns.
Now lets discuse the other restaurants. Our traveling party of four dined almost every morning for breakfast in the Windows Restaurant; a very large and extremely lovely yet vacant of guests during the breakfast period. Of course the limited printed menu never changed nor did the absence of efficient service. The staff was always friendly & cordial but always forgot one or two items when serving our table. Other issues: slow service due to the distance servers had to walk to the kitchen, no matter how many times you requested crisp bacon it was delivered limp and fatty, juice refills and additional wanted items were difficult to get since the servers moved on to other arriving guests' for breakfast. While dining in the Garden Room Restaurant for dinner I sent my overcooked pork tenderloin back; the maitre'd was on top of it and had another choice promptly delivered. No problem untill it happened to me again in the same restaurant a few nights later. This time our table of six completed their entrees before my substitute meal arrived. I did not enjoy eating my main couurse while everyone was waiting to be served dessert. I said I would not return to dine in the Garden Room in the future but jumped to the chance of having lobster which was a special on one evening. Needless to say the restaurant ran out and when I asked the Maitre'd to get me one from the Japanise restaurant he said he could not. Speaking of lobster, on the first night of the cruse I ordered the lobster & filet combo offered on the menu at the upcharged cost Japanse restaurant...disappointment number one when told they did not have any lobster available at their port of embarcation. We paid more to dine on two different occasions at the Steak Restaurant which was excellent for both food and service. Likewise we paid additional to dine at the French Restaurant on two occassions. The first go around was great however on the second visit I left after waiting for my entree to be delivered. My significant other han finished her rack of lamb before my main entree was delivered. It dissapeared somewhere and an attenpt was made to get a substitute quickly. Another ruined experience, we got up and left after waiting an additional 15 minutes. Yes, the management was kind enough to refund my share of the $20 surcharge to grace one of your upscale establishments. By the way, when you purchase the ultimate drink package it is difficult for staff/management to compinsate you with a complimentary drink.
I don't think I will ever book a Norwegian Cruse Line again. Time is so precious that every experience shoud be memerable in a positive light. As a seasoned Food and Beverage Executive employed at three major brand hotel chains over the past 30 years I can honistly state that the quality of the food on our 12 day cruse was substandard and I cannot honestly recommend your ship line to anyone.
I do however appreciate the cleanliness of the common areas of the ship which I understand just completed a major renovation. To bad it stopped there and did not include the cabin I occupied. If you wish I can forward pictues of the mold surrounding most of the shower stall floor. Unfortunately I deleated the picture of the ring around the toilet in error.