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March 23rd, 2015

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08:29 am
I guess you can say that my wife and I are veteran cruise passengers; prior to last week we'd been on three Royal Caribbean cruises to Alaska and in the Western Caribbean, and enjoyed them all very much.

Last week we took the Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star to Cabo San Lucas for a short, restful cruise.

Five days; short.

Got a lot of sleep, and a lot of naps. Restful.

Fun? Not as much as elsewhere.

I'm afraid that for lots of reasons, this cruise was not anywhere near as pleasant as those on Royal Caribbean.

What with the timing, we were cruising with a couple hundred teens and twenty-somethings going to Cabo for Spring Break. I specifically recall seeing one frat crew arguing at check-in that they could bring their own refreshments aboard ship.

There were problems right from the start getting our card keys. Once we had them, they didn't open the cabin door, so we had to wait in line at registration a few decks away to get new ones.

We had scheduled to eat our first night at the specialty French restaurant on board; we waited nearly an hour just to give them our orders, and then the food was forgettable...and they served our wine to the couple next to us and charged us for it!

All-in-all, the best food aboard was in the buffet, but they didn't generally restock the plates, so if you arrived late, there weren't as many options. They also didn't restock clean glasses or other materials.

One suitcase was apparently lost overboard! Not ours, thank goodness...

They charged a daily fee for no particular reason that I could see. Essentially, they were lying about the actual cost of the trip.

Best food I had the whole time was at a restaurant in Cabo, called The Shrimp Factory. Go! It's wonderful. Best drink I had the whole trip was a neat glass of Cuban rum; Havana Club 7 year. Wow! Also at the restaurant in Cabo.

NCL didn't bother to fill the gas tank of one of the tenders running from the ship to shore. Considering that they double as lifeboats...

Oh, yeah, and they didn't warn us that all charges had an automatic 18% gratuity. All of them!!! Whether or not we got adequate service!

Arguably, I could go on and on, and it wouldn't surprise me if my wife's posts will cover several other disappointments that we had aboard the ship. The crew seemed poorly trained, not working as a team, and not caring how they appeared to the passengers. I was massively unimpressed.

OTOH, our cruises in the past with Royal Caribbean were fun, friendly, and most charges were clearly explained in advance. In the future, we're going back to them...so probably no further cruises out of the Port of Los Angeles.

Live and learn.

(4 comments | Speak, or forever hold your peace)


[User Picture]
Date:March 31st, 2015 04:51 am (UTC)
Good to know! We will definitely not consider Norwegian for future cruises.

We've only been on the one thus far, but Dad (my father-in-law) has done a lot, and he really likes Holland-America. And OK, it's staid, but the food was good to excellent, the service excellent, and we had a great time.

The only fuck-up was our luggage- a porter loaded the wrong suitcase for us when leaving, and rather than CALLING THE PHONE NUMBER ON OUR ABANDONED SUITCASE right then, they did squat. It took a lot of effort and 3 weeks to get our suitcase back, not to mention how hard it was to try to get them to take the WRONG one! Finally Dad's tame travel agent sorted it out.

But the cruise itself was mostly people older than us, and very low-key and pleasant. We'll likely be doing another one- AK this time- in early summer, with Dad.
[User Picture]
Date:March 31st, 2015 05:14 am (UTC)
Holland America has an Alaskan cruise...I know because our Royal Caribbean cruise was shadowing them for the whole week. I can't compare to HA, but RC was outstanding.

[User Picture]
Date:March 31st, 2015 09:44 pm (UTC)
Good to know that RC was great!

One of the people we had dinner with once had been on **38** cruises, on various lines, and we were all fascinated by her compare-and-contrast. So J and I may well try a nonHA at some point, especially if we're going without Dad (who is an HA enthusiast).

So- I really appreciate knowing RC has your recommendation behind it!
[User Picture]
Date:April 1st, 2015 01:24 am (UTC)
Having enjoyed all three out of three cruises with them, that's a pretty good batting average!
I guess you can say that my wife and I are veteran cruise passengers;… - This ain't no party, this ain't no disco... — LiveJournal

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