Sail Date: January 01, 2007 Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Large Group Reviewed: 10 years ago
We were a group of 6 experienced cruisers(3 cabins,) and I would recommend against taking a trip on this ship(or any of their "freestyle dining" ships) - particularly the Mexican trip. There are much better destinations than Mexico. Second hand smoke was a constant problem throughout the ship - I think their air conditioning did NOT filter it out, but only distributed it - passageways constantly smelled of smoke. Our NCL arranged travel arrangements were poorly handled, both coming and going. The promised NCL Rep did NOT meet our flight nor show up for two hours - there was another several hours wait for the bus to the ship. Once at the ship terminal, boarding for us Latitudes members went quickly. Drink prices are excessive, and everything on the ship is designed to be an "extra profit center." They are trying to relieve you of money at every turn. The ship WAS making a special attempt to control diseases had by some ships - they had hand sanitizing stations everywhere, and the staff encouraged passengers to use them.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
Freestyle dining choices COULD be good, but not the way NCL tries to make everything an "extra profit center." They have moved many of the main courses which I look forward to on a cruise, from the main dining room menus, to the specialty menus, to charge extra, for what I expect to be included in my fare. Service in the free dining rooms was spotty - sometime good, sometimes slow and inattentive. Recommend going to one of the two at 5:30 for dinner, to avoid waiting. In the extra charge dining rooms there were several little zingers. Supposedly if your reservation time was 6PM or before, the service charge was half as much, BUT if you ordered certain menu items they put it back to full charge, but only told you AFTER the fact!!! Too many sneaky ways to overcharge!! The good BBQ by the pool one evening, was one of the best meals. In the Market Cafe, there was never a decent size glass for milk/water. The milk was there, but only dinky size glasses, except by special request!!
3 out of 5
Main room shows were fair/good but not up to the quality of other ships. The seats in the main showroom were uncomfortable - they all tilted too much forward - one felt like you were going to slide out of the seat.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Even though I hate the practice of tipping, I don't think the automatic "service charge" rather then tipping, results in as good a service. Staff knows what they are going to get, and don't have much incentive. We were never able to contact a steward directly, but only through the main reception. It was difficult and slow to get ice, etc. Stewards never introduced themselves, nor provided anything but basic maid service without a special request.
3 out of 5
Ship is attractive looking, yet the layout is terrible. When going from one end to the other, one frequently gets into "dead end pockets" from which you must backtrack and go to the other side.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Stateroom had some good points - particularly the shower with its well functioning door. I don't like the Eurofoam they provide in the shower, and they provide real soap, only on request - and then stigily. Stewards never introduced themselves, nor did more than routine maid service. To get ice, one had to call the main reception - you could not contact a steward directly. Service on requests was slow.
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