March 2015 - Norwegian Star to Mexico
Having cruised on NCL many times before and having been extremely happy with their ships, I was honestly shocked by this cruise experience. I had been on this Mexican Riviera NCL cruise 3 times before and love the itinerary, but I won't do this one again. It was a bad omen on boarding when the lines to check in got confused and we had to wait extra time for that, and then our key cards didn't work and we had to wait in line for customer service with a lot of other people whose key cards didn't work. Our room steward would forget to give us ice so we had to get our own, but the most annoying thing was one night around 11 pm while we were relaxing in bed, he came to our door and insisted that he had to change out all our pillows! He would not take no for an answer and we had to get up and exchange all our pillows - it was just weird and very intrusive. The closest elevators to our stateroom only worked half the time - they worked a little better after they were closed for repair half a day but there was always one that wouldn't stop at our floor! NCL has specialty restaurants that they advertise continually in a daily newsletter and on computer screens around the ship - but unfortunately they were completely booked (except for Chinese and Sushi Bar) for the entire cruise so we were only taunted by their presence. When I asked if there was any chance of getting in, I was told "No, the smart people booked reservations online before the cruise." They had nice flat screen TVs in the rooms and they had 2 movie channels showing some good movies, but when we tried to watch one, it wasn't there - and when we asked about it, we were told "It tells you right at the top of the schedule that it is subject to change without notice." Then there was the NCL Rewards Party we were invited to: We showed up, something else was happening in the room, so we went to the Rewards director to ask about it. We were told it had been rescheduled for the night before and everyone had been sent a notice. When we said we never got a notice, we were told "Yes you did, look in your papers and I'm sure you'll find it there!" And he turned away. Really? The list of problems we encountered was endless - from the NCL ship app that did not work, to the cancelled exercise classes (the 24 year old instructor "hurt his back" and had to take a few days off), to the insane waiting in line to get off the ship at Cabo (why didn't they just call one group at a time? - that is the purpose of having the different groups to begin with). But the sad thing was that no one would apologize for any problem - no one seemed to care. Most of the crew seemed unhappy and most of the smiles where we saw them were totally forced. The only really good memory I have on that ship was when the sushi chef came over to me when he saw that the server could not understand what I was asking for (Soft shell crab - not a roll, just by itself). He smiled and said "Fried OK?" and immediately prepared me the most deliciously spiced fried crab ever! He prepared excellent sushi, sashimi, and nigiri consistently - we ate there 3 nights. That's the way cruising is supposed to be - only you are supposed to find that service more places than just the sushi bar.