November 2015 - Norwegian Spirit to Caribbean - Eastern
My family and I love to go on a cruise for Thanksgiving. It gives us quality time together; allows the adults an opportunity to relax and unwind; and usually offers a wonderful dining experience for my eating restrictions (gluten intolerant). However, that was not the case on this cruise.
First off, the crew was way understaffed. We had heard through other guests that a good portion of the crew had to remain in Europe because they did not have the appropriate documentation. It was also said that this ship had not crossed the Atlantic since 2010. It was evident in that the gift shop was geared for a European audience when you had several items that said Europe all over them. This cruise didn't even go to Europe. Plus, they only had Eurpean shirts to sell when it was a Caribbean cruise. The staff stated that they didn't get the supplies requested and they were doing the best they could.
The seas were extremely high and forced a lot of activities, especially outdoor activities, to be cancelled. I can not blame Norwegian for the weather. It just added on to the poor experience. My family had motion sickness so bad that we didn't get rid of it completely until 3 days after the cruise was over, and I never get sea sick!
The dining experience was the worst. I am gluten intolerant, and normally have no problem. However, on this ship you have to track down one particular person to order all your meals from 24 hours in advance, and give them the location and time you will be there. This is NOT freestyle cruising. Plus, if you have questions about a food in the buffet line, they will not answer and tell you to talk to your special diet coordinator. When my family and I ate in the complementary dining rooms, the food was aweful and the wait was at least an hour after you were seated at the table. The experience was so bad that my family refused to eat dinner with me in the "Windows" the last night of the cruise. Their rationale was that if the food wasn't that good, they certainly weren't going to wait forever for it. They ate in the food court, where the chefs won't answer questions.
There were several other things that went wrong, but all in all it was the worst vacation I ever had, and I don't care to ever cruise with Norwegian again.