I don't know if this the proper venue to discuss "horror stories" of cruises, but thought I'd drop you a note regarding our last cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines-America. We sailed on their new ship - Pride of Hawaii from Honolulu on June 26th. Actually, due to a flight delay at Newark, NJ, we ended up stranded at Chicago, O-Hare with no flight to get us to Honolulu to meet our ship. That's when my luggage was lost!
Once we boarded this brand-new ship (it just started sailing in June) we found our room with two twin beds-and this was booked by our travel agent as our HONEYMOON! After crying and waiting for 5 hours someone came with a bar to connect the two beds into one. Mind you, it had taken us five planes to get to this ship since Mon. morning, and we didn't get onboard until 4pm on Tues. - A full 24 hours late. We were exhausted! Plus-I had no clothes, etc! What a way to start our honeymoon. The ship and Maui airport (we were in Maui on day 3) argued on Wednesday as to who should get my found luggage to me. Finally someone from the ship got it and I could finally change my clothes on Wed. at 4pm.
During our 7-day cruise our room was never cleaned, the safe was never unlocked for us to use (they "lost" the key), we had to use our towels for three days in a row as they were short on clean towels, our bed linens were never changed, our carpet was never vacuumed......we stepped over dirty plates, etc. for hours on end that had been left out in hallways by other guests to be picked up.
The price of drinks was outrageous! The price of excursions booked onboard were nearly double to what we would pay if we booked them once on the islands. The food wasn't hot enough/cold enough. Tables weren't cleaned. We had to search for silverware, etc. etc. The crew were young-American kids who clearly didn't want to work, didn't know what to do, and didn't care that we were paying guests who deserved to be treated with respect! We even heard some say they were quitting when the ship docked back in Honolulu!
We chose NCL because we sailed with them once before (from NYC-no flights involved-never again!) and the service was wonderful! We are so sad and disappointed that our honeymoon of 7 days turned out to be a horror story from start to finish. We are seeking compensation from NCL -- however, we really don't expect to receive anything as ALL of the passengers aboard this ship were constantly complaining about something. I'm curious to know if you have received any other letters regarding this new ship-NCLA Pride of Hawaii. If you would have any recommendations as to how I should follow up with this, I would certainly appreciate any advice you may have. I have already sent a letter to NCL Customer relations, and I copied the president of NCL-Mr. Colin Veitch as well, outlining in detail everything that happened to us.
On July 17, 2006 my family and I sailed on NCL's Pride of Hawai'i for what was to be a wonderful vacation. We had reserved five cabins (# 9565, 9566, 10655, 10656, 10657).
We boarded at 5:00 p.m. and found it unusual to see that not one crew member was at the ship's entrance to greet the guest or show them to their cabins. Guests wandered around lost and confused. Once we found our cabins, it shocked us to find all five cabins dirty -- used razor blades in the showers, wet towels, dirty mirrors, dirty clothing in the drawers of my daughter's cabin, broken cabin refrigerators, hand smudges on the sliding glass doors that lead to the dirty balconies. I called housekeeping, within an hour a young woman knocked on our cabin door and complained that "this is not my floor, and I should not have to clean this mess."
We decided to leave our dirty cabins and eat a light meal. The buffet area was a mess. NCL offers no trays, so you have to juggle your plate, napkin, drink and silverware! The grill cook dropped a hamburger patty on the floor, only to pick it up and throw it back on the grill! The coffee machine was empty, the tables dirty. There was one dining room attendant who stood with a blank look and a filthy, wet towel in her hand. She wiped our dirty table down with it, only to be seen wiping the food serving area with the same dirty towel. The food choices are better in a hospital cafeteria, so we went to the pool area grill. The pool grill had mayonnaise based salads exposed to the sun, none kept on ice, the grill cook was gone, and they had run out of plates! We decided to wait until the FREESTYLE dinner.
NCL'S FREESTYLE IS A JOKE!. This is supposed to offer freedom of choice? The lines to these "freestyle" dining rooms are long, half of the dining rooms are closed off due to lack of staff, the menu choices are terrible and the service is pathetic. NCL claims that FREESTYLE cruising offers a "world of dining options in one week"...On this very first evening onboard, we tried to book reservations at the "specialty dining restaurants" ($10/$20 pp cover charge). We were told that they "are all booked, and could never have accommodated a party of nine in the first place"..go figure!
The NCL method of billing you onboard account a per person "tip" charge is ridiculous. We demanded that these charges be taken off our bill. In a any service industry, service is service. The mostly American crew is poorly trained, unenthusiastic, and has zero desire to exceed anyone's expectations! We openly heard crew members discuss how they disliked working for their employer. Several waiters requested that we be patient regarding the slow service "part of the crew is quarantined, due to a virus, and we are short tonight"...this, of course, was never publicly announced. One dining room waiter told us he was quitting the following Monday. He told us many crew members quit on Mondays, leaving the newly boarding passengers with bad service and a crew resistant to providing basic service.
I have traveled extensively, and have over 30 cruise experiences under my belt. This was by far the most disappointing, terrible travel experience I have ever PAID FOR!