Third Mate

Joined: 05/10/2016
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wrwright707's Past Cruises

Norwegian Pearl

September 2016 - Norwegian Pearl to Alaska - Inside Passage

3.6 rating is a little generous

Alaska and the Inside Passage was the best part and the reason for the trip but we specifically chose Norwegian because of our experience with their ship out of Honolulu that sails to 4 of the Islands. The Pearl was disappointing in several ways. We were STRONGLY steered to order a wine that was one of the priciest, condescended to when we discussed alternatives. Neither were we offered the wine package. We found out about the wine package by accident when talking with a bartender in the Garden Cafe and was very pleased with the variety offered, with the Zabaco Zinfindel, though highly marked up in price, was an excellent, tasty wine. Wake-up calls were not by phone. One was not done and the second was a soft knock at the door that had we still been asleep, would not have heard and in both instances could've missed our tour. In fact, we were late for one tour  because there was no overhead announcement  that the ship had been cleared and we could disembark and this affected many people. I had called the Operator to see when we could disembark and was told we could not as the ship had not yet been cleared and it would be announced. The Operator was rude.Thankfully; the tour operator , SOUTHEAST TOURS,in Skagway was able to accommodate us several hours later and they were wonderful.  The food in general was good but the real star in the buffet and other eating venues is the staff, except the wine steward in the Indigo.The wait and bus staff are simply wonderful. Friendly, accommodating and efficient. Eugene B. and Mary Grace C. were stand-outs. 

We disembarked (ended our trip) in Victoria instead of Seattle and had discussed this with Norwegian before our trip and received a letter (not e-mail) stating this was allowed and what steps to take. When I checked with Guest services 2 days before Victoria to make sure all was in order the problems really began and I was given FOUR  different sets of instructions but not before the first Guest Rep said they had no record of this. Then although the LETTER of Disembarkation STATED staff would assist us getting to the gangway, TWICE, I was told that they did not do that and it wasn't until I told them that I was reading from the letter, they GRUDGINGLY accommodated us. This sort of going back and forth on the phone; down at Guest Services , was very time consuming and frustrating .We were not the only passengers to disembark at Victoria and their experience seemed very similar to ours. Was this rudeness and run-around because we were in one of the least expensive cabins or lack of consistent protocol and poor implementation/ education on the staff's and their managers' part? And BTW; the inside cabin, though small, was perfectly fine. Because the weather can be cold and rainy this time of year we felt no need to have a Balcony or ocean view like in Hawaii and the Mediterranean. So, Alaska was wonderful. The wait and bus staff wonderful. Inside cabin perfectly fine. Guest services~ pretty poor. It was very surprising to see how dirty the back cushions in the booths were in the Garden Cafe. Last but not least; nightly entertainment was excellent . Heads and shoulders above Celebrity Cruise Line. 





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Celebrity Reflection

April 2016 - Celebrity Reflection to Europe - Mediterranean

Celebrity Reflection was disappointing.

Though the length of the cruise  with 2 separate days at sea was perfect and the ports were what we wanted; the room was nice  and our room attendant Anthony was WONDERFUL but the actual ship amenities  and  many of the staff , including supervisors  and Officers were a disappointment. A bartender at the Ocean View, Glenn, was especially rude when we ordered drinks that were not on our Premium drink package, pointing out that fact very loudly in front of many others. (we knew that, had over $200 in credit and if we hadn't, one can always charge what isn't covered by pre-paid plans) Much of the food, especially at the Ocean View Cafe (buffet) though plentiful was often mediocre at best and the coffee was awful. They use LaVazza (sp?) brand for their brewed and as expresso-type coffee. They were often out of Nescafe instant (our choice out of desperation) and we had to search out an attendant 2 times in order to get it. We were able to find Starbucks about our 3rd port and bought a box of the VIA instant. Breakfast room service was pretty good, though. The night shows were for the most part amateurish but the Queens of Rhythm and their band was a bright spot.A lot of the "activities" centered on selling events; art, jewelry, clothing  and their other tours or cruises under the guise of informing the guests about the different ports and except for the art, was tacky and very overpriced. Celebrity also made it sound as though unless you booked excursions from them, you might not get off the ship in time to meet your tour or that your tour would not get you back to the ship in time. Simply not true. Celebrity also described many of the tours in such a way as to over-emphasize chance of pick-pockets, etc and of the physical requirements for these excursions. There actually 2 couples in an excursion to the ACROPOLIS that stayed at the bottom because they read about the physical requirements. Sad because they could have done it. In summation, we were very surprised that NORWEGIAN, especially Spirit of America, was better in every way.


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wrwright707's Tips

Skagway, Alaska - The Public Library has free wi-fi (though donations are accepted in a tip jar near the front door. Weekday hours 1pm-8pm. Weekend hours are different and more limited. There is more to the town and surrounding than, at first, meets the eye.
Cruise Glacier Bay - Do a little reading on topography beforehand. Know there is a difference between mountain glaciers and icebergs.Although we had crazy good weather in general; do have rain gear.
Celebrity Reflection Celebrity Reflection - You may want to bring your own coffee and powdered creamer if there is are ones you like an instant that you like as they do not have any and use the evening to journal or catch up on the news as the "entertainment is not particularly good.

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received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Reflection cruise review - Celebrity Reflection was disappointing.

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - 3.6 rating is a little generous

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - 3.6 rating is a little generous

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Pearl cruise review - 3.6 rating is a little generous

shared a quick tip for Norwegian Pearl"Don't miss the shows. You won't be disappointed."

added Sep 18, 2016 cruise on Norwegian Pearl to their profile.

reviewed their Alaska - Inside Passage cruise on Norwegian Pearl and gave it 3 stars!

received a helpful vote on their Celebrity Reflection cruise review - Celebrity Reflection was disappointing.

reviewed their Europe - Mediterranean cruise on Celebrity Reflection and gave it 2 stars!

added Apr 25, 2016 cruise on Celebrity Reflection to their profile.