Third Mate

Joined: 01/14/2016
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threerefs's Past Cruises

Norwegian Escape

September 2016 - Norwegian Escape to Caribbean - Eastern

Really disappointed

We have cruised on Norwegian two other times and on both Princess and Royal Caribbean, as well.  Both my husband and I were very disappointed in this particular cruise.  I will break it down into categories.

1.  Our cabin - we had a mini-suite, something we've had before on both Norwegian and Princess.  With Escape being only one year old, we were anticipating extra-nice accommodations.  However, the acoustics were bad.  We heard the man in the suite next to our snoring every night - loud enough he could have been in bed with us.  Also, there were children in the suite on the other side and it sounded like loud stomping constantly.  Their door slammed so loudly it made our wall shake.  My husband stood outside our cabin to see if the people were deliberately slamming their door and they were not.  There's just no insulation to keep out noise.  On previous cruises, I used the balcony a great deal.  However, I was never able to use this balcony because of the noise.  Even with my Ipod and headset, I could not drown out the noise from our neighbors. 

2.  The food - the food was just ok.  On our last Norwegian cruise, we enjoyed the specialty restaurants every night.  On this cruise, however, instead of a $25 or $30 surcharge per person, everything was ala carte.  The dinner we paid $25 for last year was now $50 and we really don't believe the food was as good.  On previous cruises, my husband would go to the buffet and bring back delicious cantaloupe and pineapple for me.  He tried to on this cruise, but the cantaloupe was never very good and on more than one occasion showed evidence of having been frozen.  He tried to bring back some dessert, just for fun, and we never found one that we liked - one bite was one too many.  They looked pretty, but they had no flavor or were just nasty. 

The service - we really noticed a difference in the level of service.  On two occasions in separate dining rooms, we left our table before receiving our meal because the service was so SLOW.  It wasn't that the wait staff was lazy or just standing around.  They were very busy and it appeared the dining rooms were understaffed.  Once, upon leaving, the maître' d asked how our meal was and my husband honestly answered, "Not very good.  I never got my breakfast because first they brought me the wrong food and then never brought me my corrected order."  The maître d apologized and said they wanted to make it up to us, but guess what - they never did anything.  Even our cabin steward was not up to Norwegian's previous service.  I used the lotion the first evening and it was never replaced.  On more than one occasion, our trash was not emptied.  On only one night, did we receive the last service where they turn down our bed linens and place "towel animals" on the bed.  We received evening mints on only one night.  We always tip in addition to the mandatory gratuities.  On more than one occasion we left no additional tip because the service was not satisfactory.

Overall, the cruise was disappointing and makes us question if this is how all Norwegian cruises will be in the future.  We have always been very happy with Norwegian and I look to them first when planning a cruise vacation.  We actually have reserved a mini-suite for a 10-day Norwegian cruise in January of 2018, but are questioning that decision. 

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Caribbean Princess

January 2016 - Caribbean Princess to Caribbean - Western

Would do it again in a heartbeat!

Enjoyed this cruise.  Would choose other ports next time - Belize City is  crowded, dirty, and nasty.  Cozumel was fine and Roatan had a lovely beach which we enjoyed immensely. 


The food in the dining room was good.  Breakfast got pretty monotonous with few changes day to day.  The service in the dining room was excellent.  Really enjoyed going to the buffet throughout the day and feasting on fresh cantaloupe and pineapple.  


Had a suite with balcony so didn't have to hunt for lounge chairs.  Spa was great, but don't go the last day.  Service really suffered when they knew you couldn't book another appointment and the last day turned into a commercial, trying to sell you their products.  Went with a group of four and everyone had the same experience in the spa.


The suite was spacious, not luxurious.  Everything was nice, but starting to show its age.  My husband and I had twin beds pushed together to make a queen/king.  Really hated the big crack between the mattresses.  Had just been on a Norwegian cruise in October and they used a king mattress - no crack.


Upon return, had strong winds in Houston and had to delay disembarkation many hours.  The weather is not the fault of Princess, but the cruise line could have handled the situation far better.  How about passing out bottled water or opening the buffet to serve basic fare (we were told by staff that the cruise ship has a two or three day surplus of food). 


Got a really good deal on this cruise.  Would happily go again at the right price.

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Escape cruise review - Really disappointed

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Escape cruise review - Really disappointed

added Sep 24, 2016 cruise on Norwegian Escape to their profile.

reviewed their Caribbean - Eastern cruise on Norwegian Escape and gave it 3 stars!

received a helpful vote on their Caribbean Princess cruise review - Would do it again in a heartbeat!

received a helpful vote on their Caribbean Princess cruise review - Would do it again in a heartbeat!

added Jan 3, 2016 cruise on Caribbean Princess to their profile.

reviewed their Caribbean - Western cruise on Caribbean Princess and gave it 4 stars!