This was our 25th cruise and this is the first time I have ever written a review. I am a gold latitudes member with NCL but after this cruise I think that I will go back to either RCCL or Princess. We didn't have an overall bad cruise but I have never experienced a cruise where the staff just seemed to be going through the motions, mainly because they were under staffed and overworked. We also encountered staff members who were rude and seemed aggravated when they had to deal with customers.
Last October we cruised to Cuba with RCCL and had a wonderful experience, so when we compare the two cruise lines and the service we received it's not hard to say goodbye to NCL.
2 out of 5
We arrived at the terminal at about 11am and got checked in with no problem. After this though we were herded into a large waiting room containing about 1500 other people that were waiting to board the ship. There was no air conditioning and the temperature inside was 81 degrees. We were not allowed to board until 2pm. NCL said that there was an "issue" with the gangway. We could see the gangway from the waiting area and never saw anyone work on it during the 3 hours we were sitting in the sauna.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
We ate dinner every night in the Manhattan Room and it was good. The service was very good and dinner only took a little over an hour. The buffet however was way below average. The food was bland and in some cases inedible. Golden Corral would have been ashamed to serve it up.
4 out of 5
The pool area was a little small but the music was good and there was plenty of shade if you wanted to get out of the sun. The fitness center was very well equipped.
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
NCL seem to be asking their employees to do more with less. When we were finally able to board the ship we noticed that Shakers Bar and Maltings was staffed with only 1 bartender. There were 2 bartenders at the pool bar and no wait staff and as a result people were 5 deep at the bar. We went up to the bar on the sun deck and found 1 bartender trying to serve a crowd 3 and four deep packed around his bar. We couldn't get a drink until after the 3:30 muster drill and had to wait 30 minutes for that. From conversations I had with other passengers I think that the chief complaint on board was the fact that, on average, it took about 15 minutes to get served at a bar and there was little or no wait staff.
5 out of 5
Everything on board was very clean and well maintained.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
The cabin was small but very clean. The air conditioning worked well and there was plenty of storage space.
If you like peace and quiet check out the chairs on deck 8 in the Waterfront area.
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