January 2016 - Norwegian Jade to Caribbean - Western
My husband and I had not cruised with Norwegian for almost a decade but have cruised with them on three prior cruises. This was our 16th cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it for the most part. The staff was beyond wonderful and the food was great. There were only two areas that disappointed us. First and foremost was the fact that people were allowed in the nicer, more formal dining room in attire only appropriate for mowing the lawn. When we asked a dining room supervisor why it was allowed when it was clearly stated in the daily newsletter that shorts were not allowed in that dining room for dinner. Basically she indicated that upper level management policy was to not enforce the guidance because they didn't want to make people angry. Well, to that I say what about the rest of us who make the effort to shower and wear decent clothing to dinner? Do we not matter? If I wanted to cruise on Carnival that is what I would expect, but my previous experience cruising with Princess, Azamara, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean is that they do not allow this.
The other disappointment was with the tendering operation in Belise. I had gotten an excursion ticket thru (whom I booked this cruise thru) and was instructed that I needed to be on the first tender due to the excursion departure time. On the morning we arrived in Belise, I got up early and was the second person in the line, which I stood in for 1 1/2 hours to get a first tender ticket. Well, we waited and waited for our number to be called and when it finally was (over an hour after our excursion show time) they called both numbers 1 and 2 simultaneously and there were so many people camping out on the stairs that we couldn't even get to the point to turn in our # 1 tender ticket. By the time we got ashore, our excursion was long gone. We were put on a later, abbreviated version which was great, no thanks to Norwegian. In short, I wasted my time standing in line and waiting to be called when hundreds of people with higher tender numbers were allowed to completely block access and ultimately were allowed to board ahead of us.
In essence, these were small disappointments because we did have a wonderful time overall. What I want to impart is that having policies and guidelines that are clearly not followed sends the message that those of us who follow the guidelines are less important customers than those who ignore them. Not very professional in my opinion. My husband and I cruise frequently, often several times a year, and while we will probably cruise with Norwegian again at some point in the future, it will not be our first choice.