It is unfortunate that your cruise was unsatisfactory. I have couple observations which may help you with future cruises, regardless of the line to which you opt to give your business.
- Expired passports are your responsibility to address. No one needs to deal with attitude in a stressful situation, but be mindful it is important for you to know what your passport status is. I am surprised the cruise line online check-in process allowed the passport to be accepted because most lines caution passengers to have a passport that is valid at least 6 months after the cruise date.
- You did not mention what time you arrived to check in. If it was earlier than advised by NCL, there is no guarantee that cabins will be prepared and ready for passenger access. That is why the dining areas are open for business, to give people a place to eat and await the word that cabins are ready.
- Boarding process is cumbersome on any line, but some do a better job of it than others. We just took a cruise out of LA (San Pedro) on Princess. The boarding was an absolute horror show. It is also worth keeping in mind that port authority staff are NOT necessarily employees of the cruise line. Frustrating, yes. Did we allow it to ruin our entire cruise, no.
- I don't understand this comment about karaoke "When it was out turn they closed it to have the band up that was just on stage before."
- Port arrivals are governed by the port authorities of the respective countries. The ship has to wait for permission for passengers to disembark.
- I'm guessing that you meant "tender", not "tinder". Tender ports are challenging no matter which line we have cruised. If you book your excursion with the cruise line, your disembarkation is aligned with the excursion schedule. However, if you book your excursion privately, you are on your own and the ship owes you nothing if you miss it.
- Selecting an appropriate cruise for all members of your party is absolutely on you. It is unfortunate that your mother was not well, but you knew the destinations when you booked.
- Cruise tragedies are sad. A fellow passenger on our cruise suffered a snorkeling catastrophe and was hospitalized, effectively ending her cruise only a few days in. No one sets out to have one but when these do happen, I am actually relieved that events do not become the subject of onboard announcements. People's privacy must be respected. Hopefully, NCL provided support to the individuals involved.
We learned that good research and preparation go a long way in having a great cruise experience. I really hope your next voyage is smoother sailing.