June 2016 - Norwegian Getaway to Caribbean - Western
Our first bit of advice - do NOT spend the extra money on a "mini-suite." Our kids had a room right next to us that was a "balcony" room while we had the mini-suite, which, suffice to say, we paid substantially more for. We walked into their room and discovered they had the exact (and I mean exact) same room, with the exception being that our bathroom was slightly larger (we had a double sink a a few more square feet.). So, if you can live with their normal sized bathrooms, do not let them soak you for more money on a mini-suite that is the same room as a balcony room. We are going to request a refund from Norwegian asking for the difference back between the two rooms because we believe they intentionally mislead their customers into believing the mini-suite is something more substantial then the next lowest room.
** The next consumer warning! The "Ultimate Drink Package" is another mis-labeled, misleading option to soak you of your money. On other cruise lines, when you purchase the premium drink package, it certainly includes coffee, right? You would think if they are going to give you all the free (well, you paid for it) premium whiskey, gin, vodka or whatever it is you drink, but not a cup of coffee, then they mislead their customers into believing they are getting something that is standard on other cruise lines. It was actually shameful on their part.
And, in conjunction with the premium or "ultimate" drink card not truly being "ultimate." they also cheat the kids out of getting non-alcoholic blended beverages, such a non-alcoholic Pina Colada. That's right, you pay for the "soda"package for the kids, and they can't have the slushy drinks they all like. And, get this, you'll find this "sneaky" on their part, they do not have soda machines anywhere on the ship, other than the bars. That's right - no soda's in the buffet line. The only cruise ship I've ever seen in my life where you can't get a cold coke or pepsi with your "soda" card.
Oh, and this will boggle your mind. They have very strict regulations on pool towels. That's right. You get two in your room, and whatever you do, don't lose them, they'll charge you $25.00. They won't give you towels out by the pool. You have to carry them with you. And, at the end of the day, if the pool "steward" is gone, you have to carry your wet towel around with you. I was flabbergasted by a policy on cruise ship with such restrictions on pool towels. In line with pool towels, they only have one small pool for the adults. Yep, that's it, one pool. Take a guess at the madness around the one pool during the day.
Here's another example of how this cruise line works to extract every penny out of us hardworking Americans or, for that matter, every customer. Unlike most cruise lines, where all your food is free, with the exception of maybe one or two, high-end specialty restaurants, this cruise line is just the opposite. You have a very limited selection of sit-down restaurants to chose from (or the buffet) while they have a greater number of restaurants where you have to pay an upcharge to eat there. This is a true statement, we ate at only 2 restaurants (one which was horrible) on a week-long cruise.
All-in-all, it was a very average (to poor) cruise and we'll be searching for another cruise line that is geared towards to customer satisfaction.