October 2015 - 13 Night Transatlantic Westbound (London To Tampa) Cruise on Norwegian Star
Checked in at Dover this took us 3hrs processing did not start until 1 instead of 12 and then problems with checking in passports and debit card We then encountered bad weather so all time was spent inside ship we tried everything but choose was limited and could not be classed as quality entertainment, after stop at the Azores and improvement in weather we went on deck 12 to enjoy the sunshine and found that entertainment on deck was again limited, spoke to captain and said we were on holiday and did not need background music, Entertainment was to two half hour sets and 1 hour set which ended by 4 each afternoon we heard the same songs and in the same order over and over again No entertainment staff on top deck for first 2 days then a few of entertainment team turned up and the games consisted to chucking a ping pong ball into a bucket, line dancing and chucking bags onto poles towards the end of the cruise we had male and female competition but all very third rate. Then an announcement by captain: trouble with shop by passing Miami nothing mentioned about people on back to back cruise. stood in line for 2 hours to be told problem with ship and we would have to take hand luggage and stay in hotel for night and then come back on board for the second part of our holiday. After speaking with another passenger who said they had been told back to back passengers would be staying on ship queued for another 1 and half hours to be told no we would be leaving ship and we would receive further information in our cabins of times of getting of ship etc. nothing arrived Arrived tampa could not leave ship, that night at 2am in the morning went to reception once again to confirm what time we should leave ship as nothing had been sent to our cabin, to be told we would be staying on ship (people were still queuing at this time as well due to lack of information being given out). Emigration took 3 hours we left ship and on return found we were 2 of approx 100 passengers on board.
No entertainment staff cleaning everything they could clean, even in cafe staff on window ledge beside us as we ate and cleaning the empty chairs at our table only about 10 people including crew in cafe on deck 12, it was a ghost ship bars closed, no entertainment, no casino, food so limited it was a joke told a film on in theater so we went it was Helen Mirran and the film was unwatchable, no midnight buffet due to the known inspections which would be taking place on the Tampa port day, staff were saying it could be up to 3 days. wrote letters spoke to customers services staff w but received no answers apart from when we know you will know asked for something in writing nothing ever received, Left letters for staff, customer service manager and the cruise hotel director and also the captain, which i never received a reply to. 19th October a British couple who had been told with their 2 children they would be going to a hotel returned, they went to hotel as they and we had been instructed to and found they did not have a room they then had to wait for another room at a hotel near the airport for them to be found they were not brought back to the ship (why Not)
Other passengers also went to hotel and found after 4 hours they were not on the list for a room they were then transported to hotel near airport to find they were not on that list either people give up and paid for own hotel rooms, some people were unable to get anything to eat due to amount of people in hotels queuing up to get food. On the day of the 2000+ passengers coming on board we went out into tampa for the day when we tried to get back on board the boat in the afternoon we were not allowed into the building due to passengers inside the building reaching capacity numbers and ncl once again having problems processing passengers, we had to wait outside for an hour and half before we could get onto ship That night i went to reception and demanded to speak to a manager i was let into office behind customer services and met a blank face and told sorry for the trouble you have had I will look into it and get back to you ( once again nothing ever received ) I did receive 6 strawberries in melted chocolate was this our compensation for such bad service from NCL, 36 hours in the port of tampa with nothing on board, it was a ghost ship apart from staff cleaning everything in groups. Food choose on whole cruise was very limited and in all food outlets apart from service charge outlets uneatable due to being cold, floor 8 menu was the same for 19 days but the food was hot. Casino closed at sea one night due to audit and the bar was also closed at 1pm Shows were repeated and at some shows people were walking out after a few minutes due to poor standard of entertainment This was our 2nd cruise on NCL and the back to back our 3rd out of 9 cruises i have been on in the past two years this was the worse and before this our 1st ncl cruise was rated 2nd bars were overrun on 2nd cruise and not enough waiting staff so queuing for over an hour sometimes to get a drink and towards the end of cruise could not order my husband a drink we had to produce ind cards and limited to 1 drink on each. It was a joke in reception showing a video of people enjoying themselves and fireworks from ship have you ever been on board a ship for 2400 people and be 1 of less then 100 people Other people had also been told they would have to leave ship but found out by going to reception that this was not the case no letters to staterooms Did ncl not care about the 100 who had done the 1st cruise and then were going on, the inspections took place with only the 100 as you had put all other passengers into hotels for the night before due leave date of ship why were they not kept on board, or was it because you wanted all crew to be cleaning ship for the inspections? cleaning in cabins next door and corridors took place into the hours of the early morning, I opened my cabin door and two men cleaning edge of carpet with toothbrushes Ship was meant to leave tampa early evening then 10 at two oclock the following morning nets were still around ship we could see them in water from our balcony It would have been something to receive an apology from NCL 6 strawberries does not cut it and i feel like i was treated with contempt as i was 1 of only 100 passengers in this position due to ship breaking down and inspections at tampa this is a holiday i look forward to each year and it was ruined by NCL who had a total lack of consideration for the 100 passengers who had booked back to back cruises Entertainment on deck on the 2nd cruise was better and went on until 7pm ever night on deck 12 and not 4 as on the 1st cruise, food was no better and the late food in the cafe was the same everything cold as always and uneatable bar service was worse and the time to get a drink could be up to 90 mins. All passengers on 1st cruise were giving a refund (days fare and tax) and 15% discount of next holiday for missing Miami, for being treated as non customers for 36 hours on board ship we got six strawberries and as my husband just reminded me 3 cookies I look forward to hearing from you and i hope you look at the service to customers on board the star as i expect it has given an impression of NCL you do not wish to have it passengers to come away with You need more staff better food (and make it hot) more quality entertainment, you must also ensure that there is entertainment on board that goes on until the early hours people are on holiday and dont expect to have to go to bed early every night due to lack of entertainment. Some of the staff you have are fantastic marsha casino zeron top deck and casino and the lady on floor 8 who left ship to return home to Peru to her 21 month baby after 8 months on board ship. Cabin boys were great but they know they will be left tips in cabins. To get service from a lot of staff you have to tip otherwise you could be ignored for long periods of time. The cruise director did a great job with limited resources and would seem to be responsible for all public announcements, but a lot of the staff were rude and could not be bothered (nearly all staff could do with training in customers service). Did NCL price this cruise wrong then made the passengers suffer due to getting it wrong? Getting of the ship was once again a nightmare meant to leave at 9 but gone 10 before we were called to join the line to get of the ship. We finally got off the boat so we could stand in line again for customs. Our first cruise with NCL on the Epic we rated the 2nd best of the 7 cruises we have been on in the past 2 years, this cruise we rate the worse and would we go back again. Never Never Never If it was not for the people we met I was one of the mad English ladies on deck 12 everyday and part of the British casino syndicate everynight and the food on floor eight, only place on ship which you could be guaranteed hot food, the menu was the same everyday of the 19 days on board except for the house special which got changed i think i would have jumped overboard Well rant over but be warned great difference in ships on the NCL fleet in terms of food entertainment and service
I have complained and am waiting for response from NCL