NCL's attempt in trying to be different not only is a total and outright failure in itself but in its course also generated frustration and disappointment to their customers -- thus achieving an opposite effect from its initial objective.Our Rooms:The rooms were great, but kind of small for the price we had to pay. The phone was inconveniently placed though. I never saw such poor design in my entire life. Normally a phone is next to the bedside. No not for NCL, they had to place it on the wall below a book shelf at waist level. Every time when it rings, you had to sprint and grab it (hopefully not banging your head on the shelf or tipping over the kettle) within 5 seconds before it switches over to voicemail. To retrieve voicemail is even worse. Ever called your bank and had to go through the monotonous automated voice system? Well need I say more?There was 24-hour room service available. But after 1 am, the kitchen closes and there are no sandwiches, chips or juices because for some reason they close them too?!! If you want caviar and soft drinks or alcohol you had to pay! Hmm, what can I say. One thing that really upset us was the inconsistency of cruise fares. You see, it had a direct correlation to the type of room we chose. Our decision is dependant on price as with most things. The prices, you wouldn't believe how they fluctuated like the NY stock exchange! One day it was $5,000 per person then the next day it was $4,000 and then $3,000. Then when we finally decided to make a deposit, it went back up to $4,000. What was worse was the fact that the prices fluctuated in such a way that at one point a balcony room was more expensive than a penthouse suite! Question: What is the difference between NCL and a street side hawker we so often see in Hong Kong everyday selling fake watches? Answer: prices fluctuate for the same product, but you can't bargain. In fact our travel agent suggest we take another cruise line, one that is more superior such as Radisson or Crystal. She too, was also infuriated with all the hassles.Entertainment:The onboard shows were great. I especially enjoyed the amazing LUCAS-hilarious jokes, magic and juggling tricks. The musicals were great too. The pool deck games usually held in the afternoon were also quite entertaining. Once again, there was a down side. The ship had no casino! Isn't it true to say that of all the cruise lines in the world that ever existed, they all have one thing in common and that is there's ALWAYS a casino? But once more, NCL strikes again as they deliberately left mentioning this part out in their brochures. And when we were on board, we had to ask before they told us anything as if they presumed we knew! As I spoke to many people on board regarding this (mostly Americans- who also didn't know how in the world do they expect someone from the other side of the planet to know?), including those that would give NCL 5 stars, they too were very disappointed in this regard. But wait, there was BINGO, America's favorite game. NCL did a great job. In fact it was full house everyday. Everybody pays $30 for 4 games and there was a crowd of 200 people. But the total prize pool was less than $2,000. Hmmm, I wonder where all the other funds went! Surprise, surprise. And where was Captain's night. We all seemed to miss that and later when we asked, it took place on the first night. Once again no announcements. But in hind sight, we didn't miss out on much anyway.
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