... Just returned home from our cruise on the Norwegian Wind !! I'm not sure what you guys are talking about because we had the best time !!! Everything (food, staff, ship, excursions) was absolutely amazing and we will definitely cruise with NCL again. The only problem that we had on the ship was with some of the guests on board! Some people acted like they hadn't eaten in a week - the "feeding frenzy" at the buffets was a sight to see! Some people were complaining that they weren't getting their food fast enough in the finer dining establishments. I'm sorry - but if you want to eat fast and immediate - you shouldn't be eating in a nice restaurant, where the atmosphere is relaxing and non-rushed!!! I think that so many people are used to eating out at buffet restaurants that they forget that dining should not just be about shovelling food into your face - but enjoying conversation and atmosphere.
The staff on board were courteous, polite, and always smiling! I commend these people (who work 14 - 16 hours per day) for having such patience with some of these guests who simply can't get through a day without complaining.
My husband and I really enjoyed speaking with the staff, and a few Europeans and other fellow Canadians that we met. It seemed that the majority of the rest of the guests were either rude, obnoxious, or ungrateful.
So ... to all of you who are looking into Cruising with NCL ... please do not listen to the complaints! It is well worth the $$$. And remember ... if you want to be treated well by the cruise staff on board all you have to do is treat them with respect and appreciation! It seems that it's not too often they hear the words "Thanks!"
Nope, the freestyle dining was a mess. We were turned away 3 times due to overcrowding. The problem there is that most people eat dinner around the same time. The lines were way down the hallway. Then they started taking reservations. Those without reservations were being seated in the back, go figure. The menus did not change except for 2 entrees. The appitizers, salads, etc. were always the same and quite bland. Yes, we waited 50 minutes from the time we ordered and our food arrived. We wasted a day during our stop in Belize as the shore excursion, scuba diving, should have been cancelled due to the sea conditions, 4-6 foot waves. They did not cancel it and sent us out to the "resort" we were to dive from. They were not prepared and as a result we spent 7 1/2 hours on this trash covered "resort" with nothing to do. No diving, nothing. Then we had to fight NCL to get our money back. They did not want to refund us as we had left the ship! After a 2 hour discussion with the shore excursion manager, they gave us our refund. You are correct about the feeding frenzy, most people were out of control there. I have taken other cruises, and NCL was by far the worse. The Wind is so cut up that you cannot get anywhere on the ship easily, making for more frustration. Plus they ran aground in Belize and broke a stabilizer. As a result, the ship was rocking so hard that the pools overflowed washing all the deck tables and chairs down into a corner. No, we will never take another NCL cruise. It is back to Royal Carribean for us. At least they have a competely different menue every night and their staff have more of an incentive to give better service as they don't automatically charge tips to your credit card. Another thing that we dropped as well. I will tip those who give good service, but I refuse to throw money into a pool to be divided among the staff, 99% of who provided me no service at all. I am glad you enjoyed your cruise, we were so looking forward to it, but it turned out to be so disappointing compared to the other cruises we had been on. Thats human nature I guess, to expect the same level of enjoyment you find elsewhere.
I have to agree with Vicki. While I wasn't on this particular cruise, I sailed on the Wind to Alaska last Aug & had a great time. I thought the Wind was nicely laid out and found the food decent to very good, depending on the dish. Also, the alternative food sources such as Le Bistro & the Sushi Bar were great. Now preparing to sail on Norway May 20th, my 3rd cruise with NCL. Royal Caribbean can't hold a candle to NCL in my opinion. Food was hard to find during the day and the staff weren't nearly as friendly as NCL's. Different strokes I guess, but I've travelled all over the world and have pretty high standards...I think NCL is great, especially considering the prices I usually find. I especially recommend NCL for those who are in their 30's to 50's.
Well, I am glad you enjoy their service, lord knows we did not. Now that they are owned by Star cruise lines things might be different for you. he ship was cut and stretched making it difficult to get from bow to stern without having to drop up or down a deck or two. As for us, we will never go on an NCL cruise again. It is Holland America or Royal Caribbean from now on.
We all have or own perspective, but I didn't find the Wind difficult to get around on. The only deck that has been closed off is the one with the show lounge. This simply necessitated one going up or down to the next deck, and once we realized the situation, we simply avoided it. No big deal (a bit of walking would probably do most Americans good, anyway)! Otherwise, I found her no more confusing than other ships in the size range. It did take my wife an extra day or so tho figure out the most efficient routes, though. Of course, if you are elderly or in poor health the additional walking might be a problem, although it shouldn't be much of one. From your expressed preference for HAL & your comments about the ship's layout, I'm going to hazard a guess that you may be a bit older (60+). If this is the case, then you probably would be happier on HAL.
No, I am 39, a slim 150 pounds and run 6 miles a day. I found NCL to be very lacking. Maybe they were better before they were bought out, but they certainly are not on the same level as RCL or HAL even though their prices are comparable. We cruise for the destinations and the comfort found on the ships, we enjoyed the shore excursions, but the food was nothing special, the service was worse. We had a great cabin on deck 7. The crew was very unhelpful, starting on boarding when I had to go get my own bags! We figured that was a bad omen, and it was. If I am paying a premium price for a vacation, I demand premium service and food. Neither of which NCL delivered.
Sorry to hear of your problems. I suppose one can have a bad experience on any ship or line. We are preparing for our 3rd NCL cruise in a row, having sailed the Wind to Alaska last year & the Sea to Western Caribbean the year before. Each has been an outstanding experience. You did make one comment in your last post I'd like to address, though. You said, "If I am paying a premium price for a vacation, I demand premium service and food". I don't consider NCL cruises to be "premium vacations" (try Crystal or Seabourne). They are, in my opinion excellent values, though. Tell me where else you can get 7 days lodging, good nightly entertainment and all the food you could possibly eat for less than $600.00 per person (deluxe outside cabin for 7 days to the Caribbean). Contrary to what you said, HAL is almost always significantly higher than NCL. As for RCCL, I guess our experience with them was just different than yours. We found the food no better than NCL and, at times during the day, much less available. The other portion of your comment that concerned me was your use of the word "demand". That might be your problem. See, the people working on NCL ships don't respond well to demanding passengers. They do bend over backwards to take care of you IF you treat them with a bit of kindness, courtesy & respect. We've yet to come home without having made friends with several crew members. For reference sake, my wife & I are in our 40's. We own our own Medical Clinic and, in addition to cruising, take an annual trip to Europe (another place where some Americans have trouble). We've found that a kind word, a friendly smile and a little patience can work wonders!
You read way too much into what I wrote plus your condescending post is just that. Bottom line, we had a lousy time, did not find the food appitizing, nor was the service up to par. We will never sail with NCL again. Enough said.
Didn't mean to be condescending, but I continue to be amazed that one person can claim to have such a terrible experience when others experience just the opposite. It just has to relate back, at least in part, to differing expectations & personalities. Granted, difficult situations arise on cruise ships, regardless of which line is involved; however, as bad as a few things may be, how can the whole experience be such a disaster? When I sailed on Carnival Fantasy a couple of years ago, there were long lines for everything, the food (excluding the pasta) was really mediocre (cheap cuts of beef, 1/2 of an overcooked lobster tail, etc), the waiter kept "pawing" my wife, the entertainment was low-class Las Vegas Loungey, etc. On the other hand, the deck layout of the ship was decent, the CD was funny & did a good job & the shore excursions were done well. Would I cruise w/Carnival again? Not as 1st choice, but given a great price & a yen to party, I might. Where I have a problem with posts like yours is when nothing but criticism after criticism is included. When I read that, coupled with what you said about "demanding premium food & service", it sure makes you sound like somebody who might be just a little difficult to please. I've sailed with NCL several times-just last August on the Wind- and they have never had the same menu from one meal to the next. There are always at least 4 entrees to select from, not counting the "Light" selections or the Pasta. Plus, there is Le Bistro as an additional alternative, as well as the Sushi Bar & Sports Bar/Cafe. If the dining rooms were crowded because everybody wanted to eat at the same time, why not go at a different time? Listen, I couldn't care less whether you cruise on NCL, RCI or a slow freighter to China,but...Come On...This ship is rated 4 out of 5 stars or higher by every professional cruise reviewer around... Could it all really have been that bad??? Let's be at least a little objective here!
It is unfortunate when a person is not happy with the time and money that they spent on a holiday.
For myself - with just 2 weeks holidays per year, working 10 hour days, 5 days a week - I am bound and determined to NOT let anyone or anything ruin my time away from the daily grind. I appreciate every aspect of "down-time" and if I'm not having a good time - I take it upon myself to change that.
Maybe it's because my husband and I are first-time cruisers ... or maybe we're just very easy to please ... but we found that the Wind exceeded our expectations.
Life is WAY too short to spend it being miserable !!!
It all goes back to the" free lunch" There's no such thing --you get what you pay for.
Remember---The Diners, The Eaters and The Feeders. You will see them all on a cruise ship---walk them on and roll them off -- lol