This was my second time on a Norwegian cruise. My first experience was similar to this one re: service staff being invisible, difficult to contact, and in some cases down right rude. Most people take cruises to be spoiled a little with great service and that was really lacking here.
4 out of 5
Getting on was a lot easier and friendlier than getting off the ship.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Food quality and quantity were very good. Difficult to get a reservation anywhere, even in the complimentary main dining room. If you didn't get a reservation time you took your chances on waiting a long time.
4 out of 5
The ThermalSpa was an awesome upgrade we chose. Regular pools were very over crowded so we wanted to avoid that.
5 out of 5
Howl at Sea (dueling pianos) was a blast!
Service and Staff
1 out of 5
Ugh - the service staff left A LOT to be desired. I ordered the bottled water package on day 1, had to ask 3 separate times for it and finally received it the evening of day 3. We asked for a "snakebite" at one bar and was told to go to another bar for it. We turned around and asked that same bartender for a beer and a cider and a glass and he remarked "oh going to make your own" and stood there and watched us pour instead of offering to do that for us (hes a bartender, shouldn't he be tending bar?) There was a flier in our room to order champagne for new years eve which I completed per its instructions on the 29th. I had to ask again on the 31st when it would be delievered to our stateroom per the form and not only did I get passed around from Customer Service, to Room Service but no one I spoke with knew of this "offer". Apparently I must have made enough of a stink that we finally got the champagne and thankfully in time for a NYE toast.
4 out of 5
The ship was beautiful! Only item, which I understand is being addressed in future ships, is the location of the casino being central to the ship where non-smokers have to walk through an area where smoking is permitted is a bummer.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
Room itself was nice clean and average size. Balcony was nice as we were the first room where it angled out.
Book dining and excursions as early as you can - do not wait until you're aboard.
Did the Jeep/snorkel/Mayan ruin/tequila tasting tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and fun - we really enjoyed it! The Jeep we drove was a little on the sketchy side but hey it was an adventure in itself!
We wanted to do a VIP beach excursion but was steered away from that because it basically involved a sheet separating VIP from regular beach-goers. We disembarked at a sub-pier (not the main pier) and as a result, we had a 15 minute walk off the ship where we were relentlessly bombarded by taxi drivers and hair braiders and fish sellers. The beach was over crowded and since it was a holiday (New Years Day) lots of locals were visiting the beach too which made it even busier. The gate to get back on the boat was nearly in the road and did not feel very safe with lack of queuing space. Also heard from another passenger that their daughter took a horrible spill on one of the falls excursions to the point an ambulance had to take her back to the ship where she had to remain for the rest of their trip. Overall, if I never visit Ocho Rios again I wouldn't be sad.
Incredibly over crowded, signed up for the underwater sculpture garden snorkeling but there was no snorkeling equipment available for us in our sizes. Our cruise mates received a refund for that excursion however we have not yet received one. Lines were ridiculously long for everything. Staff appeared to be overworked. Saw one server working aboard in the atrium that morning, then again on the Great Stirrup Cay Beach and later that evening at the Ice Vodka Bar. She wasn't the friendliest person but I can understand why - that's a crazy schedule to maintain!
3 out of 5
We were never supplied information by our room steward re: the disembarkation process so we were winging it. Felt disorganized and never ending. Thankfully we didn't check baggage to get off.
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