May 2015 - Norwegian Dawn to Bermuda
I was a solo traveler on board this ship to Bermuda. I would never do that again on this ship or company. I was ostracized the entire time and it was impossible to participate in most activities, despite putting myself out there. I have traveled all of Europe and America and many other countries by myself for 1 week to 6 months at a time, and have never felt uncomfortable being the odd man out. But every minute of this cruise I was on display and it was extremely awkward.
The cruise director staff attempted to help this and to provide activities for all. Some succeeded, most did not. Most of the staff seemed unhappy, even angry to be part of the cruise. The guests seemed to be a terrible inconvenience.
Most notably the staff at the Aqua restaurant seemed terribly put-ff to have to work each day.
I was most disappointed in late evening meals. One night I simply wanted a snack and dessert to take back to my room. I ordered in the Blue Lagoon, all night restaurant. Was told it was take out and that was fine and to wait at a table. I sat and waited for a half hour. ARound that time a managerial figure noticed me and demanded four people come to take my order and bring me water. I didn't want water, and had already ordered. I also had to say that over and over and over again to each of those people. Another manager came by and did the same. All the servers came back to me. At this point, even with saying no to waters I currently had three fresh waters in front of me. It's as though the staff is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and are unable to disagree with their captor managers.
At every meal I was also asked at least 3-10 times on a few occasions where my other guest or meal partner was or why I was alone. I was alone for a very sad reason, and being reminded 3-10 times at each meal 3-4 times per day times seven days or on average over 120 times in a week why I was eating alone, was nearly too much to handle. Just accept that some people are eating alone, and leave the extra plate and glass on the table. Don't remove it, making me feel more alone. This was so highly disrespectful and hurtful.
The rooms were not cleaned often or well, beds were barely made. I asked to keep my linens without washing all week to save on water and each day new linens were provided and towels. I confronted the male attendant and he seemed to have no concept of why someone would want to not have fresh towels, despite all the signs to the contrary. I also asked for an iron and ironing board over a dozen times from him and another attendant. I never received either. So I finally had to pay money to have my clothes professionally ironed on the ship, which was utter robbery.
I ordered the soda package for $60 or 75 or so for the whole week. I waited in line sometimes 45 mins to over an hour to get a soda. Finally I gave up. Sodas were $2.25 per glass. I maybe got 4 or 6 total drinks of soda over the week? It says unlimited, so I assumed there was a self serve aspect. There was not. You had to wait with the other people at the bars which had excessive lines and at most 3 people working, but most bars, including the pool side bars often had just one employee serving 50-200 guests. So I got about $8 of use out of $60+ for a soda package that was pointless.
Then we come to the food. I would have rather brought granola bars to eat all week than eat the garbage at the Garden Cafe. Nothing was cooked right. There was raw or burnt. Nothing in between. The beef wellington was all soggy bread and raw beef. The prime rib was burnt and raw at the same time. It also was not the correct cut of meat. And the sauce served with it was GRAVY NOT AU JUS. And the horseradish was mixed with heavy mayonnaise rather than straight horseradish.
Shrimp was served twice on board that I could see from any menus. No shellfish was offered at any time. Fish was served less than ten times and was American fish in American sauces. We are in Bermuda, on the ocean, I expected at least one different, non American fish served fresh and natural as though it had not been previously frozen. The two free meal venues should have different menus throughout the week rather than the same menu all week with 1-2 changes when things run out. The food was mostly inedible. My thermador sauce was not thermador in any manner, but appeared to be watered alfredo or possibly just flour and water with no seasoning.
The best thing I had on board was the frozen yogurt machine. I am a professional chef, but I have catered for 20 years, so I know it's difficult to feed masses of people. But it's apparent that the chefs have made the same dishes repeatedly for years, therefore they no longer taste as they go along to make adjustments. If they tasted what they served I hope they would be horrified at what they found.
I ordered a meal at the chef's table, only to find out the day it was to be a meal that I hadn't signed up for, it had been changed from the menu that I saw. It had also been advertised as a captain's dinner, not a chef's dinner. It was indicated before that the captain and head chef would both be there. That turned out to not be the case.
Overall, this was horrible and I was very unhappy, and then I was trapped on a boat and couldn't leave or explain.