February 2016 - 10 Night Eastern Caribbean (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Gem
I waited a short while before writing this, to let my emotions simmer down. I already posted on Cruise Critic.
We paid a few extra $$ to get VIP status. Our cabin # was 9500.
When we arrived at the port (NY) our VIP status immediately went out the port hole as one of NCL's shore personnel shoved us into a VERY long latitude members line.
Once aboard it did not take long to remember why I very much prefer Holland America. Several mornings we went to one of the restaurants (Cagney's) for breakfast. Service was slowww! Had to ask for tomato juice twice. Had to go looking for our wait person a couple times. Had to ask for butter. Even when the toast came we had to ask for butter again! Duhhh! Another occasion for breakfast at the main buffet/dining area I asked the wait person to bring me tomato juice. He brings me ketchup packets!
After (about) the 3rd day they closed La Cucina, another specialty restaurant, for some unknown publicly unannounced reason. It never re-opened. On dis-embarkation morning a part of the buffet/dining area was closed to accommodate La Cucina patrons. This resulted in many passengers having to eat standing up, taking their food back to their stateroom or eating in one of the public areas.
I lost count of the number of people I overheard with their various complaints. I asked a few of them if they had ever been on Holland America. The answer was invariably "no". I advised them to book at least one cruise with them and they should expect to see a big difference in quality of food, quality of presentation, quality of service and quality of entertainment.
Finally, when it came to getting off the ship, we waited ENDLESSLY. Then they opened up the gangways for a free-for-all. VIP status still in the bilge. Logistics was an absolute mess. It is a shame when the "invisible" people--people you don't see--but still rely on for service, mess it up for the people you do see every day.
Title says it all: NCL has seen the last of me!