May 2016 - 7 Night Alaska Sawyer Glacier (Seattle Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Jewel
Alaska cruise for our 50th Wedding Anniversary
My favorite part of the cruise was the up close look at the glacier in the fjord. The ship moved slowly and got close enough to see all the beauty of the magnificent glacier and surrounding terrain. I also enjoyed the Sudoku challenge, which I won!
My wife and I had a lot of fun playing the Newly Wed/Not so Newly Wed game, after which, hundreds of people throughout the entire week (it seemed) recognized us and commented on our participation in that game. The video of it played many times on the TV in our cabin (and for everyone on the cruise to watch), but when we asked to buy a DVD copy of it to take home, we were told it was not available for purchase. This was discouraging, as it was one of the highlights of our cruise and we had hoped to take it home to share with family and friends
My least favorite parts of the cruise were:
When they announced the name/s of passengers who they wanted to call the front desk (perhaps to verify if they had not boarded the ship after a port of call), the announcer was not speaking clear English, and the passenger/s names were very hard to understand. This happened not once or twice, but many, many times throughout the cruise on several occasions. Each time the announcement was made for the same passenger/s name/s, the same announcer with a strong European accent, made the announcement. Obviously, if the passenger/s weren't responding, it could have been that their names were so distorted by the announcer's accent, that a different announcer without an accent might have made a successful attempt to alert the passenger/s in question.
Additionally, the Karaoke system and process was very unprofessional. No song books were provided. The singers were expected to suggest a song they wanted to sing, and it was looked up in the computer to see if it was available. It is hard to pick a song out of the air, and this hindered many people from singing. We heard a lot of grumbling about it among many passengers that we were seated nearby in the Karaoke room. Plus the last night Karaoke "Challenge Championship" was a crock, people put in names for family and friends to sing who did not even desire to sing. They drew out 5 names to be the "champion singers" and 4 of them hadn't put their own names in. This resulted in the people who wanted to sing, not even having an opportunity to sing. The so called "Championship Contest" was a total joke, and left a lot of singers really frustrated.
Also, the Karaoke (which was supposed to be the highlight of our family's cruise, because another friend told us that Norwegian Cruises are really great at Karaoke systems) segments were only one hour, sometimes one and a half hours long. Just when the singers were getting warmed up and a large crowd of audience settled in, they announced that the Karaoke segment was over then brought up a scheduled singing group, and most of the Karaoke crowd left. I would suggest that when passengers are having a great time singing Karaoke AND there is a large crowd enjoying it and buying drinks and having a great time, that the activity director make a judgement decision to cancel the scheduled music group, and keep the Karaoke event up and running for at least another hour. Karaoke is all about the passengers' opportunity to be the star on stage. Some of us rarely get that opportunity. My daughter cruised last year on Carnival and they offered Karaoke in one of their clubs from 8 pm to 0100 am, as long as there were at least 3 or 4 singers. Even when there was very little audience, it gave the singers a chance to gain confidence and get used to the sound system. Our daughter got us all excited for a great Karaoke experience on the cruise, then it turned out to be a big let down. I hope you will take this into consideration for your future cruises. We are looking at booking our Caribbean cruise this fall with Carnival Cruise line, because we know we can count on a very wonderful Karaoke experience. We do not gamble and we do not drink alcohol, so much of what the cruise offers, we don't participate in. But Karaoke was one thing we looked forward to, and Norwegian Cruise line really let us down. Thank you for your consideration. I would love to be alerted if Norwegian decides to make positive changes to your Karaoke events in the future. Everything else was wonderful. Our dining service and cabin service was superb. The food was excellent and all the staff were friendly except the Karaoke hosts and hostesses who were a bit rude about our struggle to "think of a song to sing" and when they cut us off after just a short time of singing.
We really loved and appreciated the hand sanitizing staff in the buffet areas "Washy Washy makes you happy!" \
We have some great memories. Thank you.