Just returned from the Norwegian Dream(2/15-22) YUCK! You can't help the weather but the ship had no contingency plans for bad weather. The buffet room for lunch seated only 50 people and to get places on the ship you had to walk outside. Imagine 4 rainy days with 3 teenagers and no added activities planned by the ship in case of inclement weather!!! We couldn't dock at the regular berth in Cozumel because another ship was still there due to "high winds". We docked several miles away and had to take taxis to get to town in the pouring rain. The other dock was within walking distance to town.Think they should have sprung for a bus to transport passengers anyway. In Cancun the tenders were local and slow so we didn't get off the ship until 10:15 and we had a tour booked.Forget "freestyle cruising". No shorts in the dining room even if they were proper shorts and not cut off jeans(they kicked us out of dining room even).Food was below par the entire time. Finally the last straw was Saturday coming back. An accident at the mouth of the Mississippi prevented us from coming up the river so we used an alternate waterway. We got in 6 hrs late andwere one of the last ones off the ship. They had to dock at a pier 10 miles away from the original pier.Those of us not on the air sea plan had to find our own way back to New Orleans.(they bussed the others to the airports etc.)It was Mardi Gras, so we had to pay $100 for a taxi for 5 of us!!!!! No help from NCL. This is my last cruise with them for sure.
I'm sure NCL killed 14 people just to inconvenience you.
I'm sorry you had a bad cruise. You are right that they should have had a contingency plan for bad weather days, but why didn't you? I always bring a book, playing cards & a travel version of a board game, just in case.
What you have described happens on many cruises. It is better known as travel.
One of the great joys of travel during the past few centuries is the anticipation of something unexpected coming along. This is part of the excitement of seeing and encountering new things in our lives.
Even in old Latin, the root word for Travel and root word for Trouble are the same
In English the word travail (hardship), and in French the same word travail (work ) come from the same root as the word travel.
You might consider staying home next time and watching it on television. Travel doesn't seem to suit you very well.
WE were on RCI a few years ago; bad weather from beginning to end, missed 2 or our 4 ports: what did they do you us? They offered a movie in the show room one afternoon. No special trivia type games, horse races, extra Bingo, could only serve so many in the buffet. What were we expecting? They would enlarge the indoor/outdoor restaurant? Just read another review on RCI with the same complaints. As for the accident, do you think NCL should give you something special because there was an accident that did not involve them? If you get stuck in traffic due to an accident (which is what did happen) do you expect the planes to hold off or re-imburse you; maybe they the person who created the accident should pay your taxi fare? As for no shorts in the dining room: this is a rule followed by every cruise line and it should be. If putting on pants or a sun dress is too much for you than you either eat at the buffet or you find some other means of vacationing. I guess they should have provided unberellas for you to walk on the deck. The dock at Cozumel, the old one does require a taxi but it isn't miles from town. Ihave been to both docks. The new one is only a few years old; we used to dock at the old one all the time. I am sorry you were stuck with 3 teens for a week with 4 days of rain. I understand your frustration, but not one single thing you have said can be blamed on NCL nor should they be responsible for your inconveniences. If the food wasn't to your liking that is a concern, but still food is a subjective subject as we all know. From all the cruises I have taken I am finding out mass produced food is exactly that. We had been lead to believe the food on Celebrity was superior to anything in the world:Wrong, good, yes, better than other lines, maybe slightly, but certainly still mass produced.
I'm thinking you all must work for NCL based on your replies. I did have my own contingency plans, and brought books, cards, etc. I am very sorry for the men who lost their lives in the accident. HOWEVER, I do think that since NCL had travel arrangments for everyone else, they should have done it for the entire ship. I am fortunate to save all year for one cruise. But when I have to spend an extra $150 on transportation that was not anticipated I get frustrated and yes I do think NCL owns alot of that responsibility.Keep the customer happy. I also have extensive travel experience so I am not opposed to adventure,you obviously know about watching travel on TV so for all your trouble maybe that is where you belong.
Kathy, we aren't saying, at least I am not that you are not a seasoned traveler, but if you are you certainly can't be serious about NCL providing a way to the airport for you or for that matter from the old dock to downtown Cozumel? Do any of us work for NCL? I think you have been reading too many other boards as that's a question that always comes up if someone disagrees with a passenger in favor of the cruise line. The same comment was made earlier today by someone who had a gripe about Celebrity only to reach pretty much deaf ears. If all of us worked for a cruise line we wouldn't have time to respond to remarks posted. Most of us just don't seem to agree with complaints that are either unfounded or caused by situations out of anyone's control. That's just life and most of us have learned to roll with the punches. Again, as I have said these things happen on all lines and most lines follow the same general guidelines.
so all you smart alecks who stick up for NCL no matter what, I hope they pay you well or comp you. One of my points was that I budget all year for my cruise. When I have to spend another $200 plus tips that I hadn't planned on, you better believe I intend to blame someone. I think NCL had a responsibility to ALL the passengers.And I have done well over 12 cruises so I know what I am talking about.........
Kathy, why is it always someone else's fault? As I have said, of course you were frustrated and of course the extra bucks hurts, but when you mention tips, that's part of any cruise: you mention an extra $200, a few remarks ago it was $150; what did you do, put it on a credit card that charges $50 in interest? Sorry for the smart remarks, but you just don't seem to be able to accept this is not NCLs fault and they do not owe you anything. You made the choice not to be on the air/sea plan; they are only responsible for those who had paid the extra dollars. You have been on 12 cruises huh? then why were you surprised you couldn't go into the dining room in shorts? There is not a cruise line on the seas that allow shorts or cut offs, other than cruiselines like Windjammer.
If you and the kids don't want to dress for dinner than the buffet is there for your taking.
I agree that the story "seems" exaggerated because she goes from $100 to $200 for a taxi....however, I agree that if the ship doesn't bring you back to the port you originally were supposed to go to, they should cover any "additional" costs. I realize that this is not the fault of the cruiseline because it was an accident...but I think they should have made a choice to either wait to dock at the original port OR pay for travel expences for anyone inconvinenced....It was not their fault ..but....it wasn't Kathy from Maine's fault either.. Someone has to take the blame. I think if you complain enough they will compensate you somehow.
If I'm not mistaken, most times your can purchase transfers onboard the ship for transport to the airport, which I'm sure would have been cheaper than taking a taxi. Seems you were expecting free transportation to the airport when it wasn't warranted. But you should have checked at the purser's desk on the free transportation, and once you knew that wasn't going to happen, purchased the transfers.
On the shorts and cutoffs in the dining room ... thank God they kicked you out. I hate it when others violate well-established rules for their own selfish reasons. I find it hard to believe that you've been on 12 cruises and didn't know this ... or is it that you've done this before and no other cruise line had the nads to kick you you?
As far as me working for NCL .... never. I was slated for a cruise on Pride of America, and based on how they have treated people who have been rebooked on Pride of Aloha, once that cruise is over I will never set foot on another NCL ship.
But I will call it as I see it. And I do not see where NCL did anything wrong in your case.
Several years ago we arrived at the airport only to find that all flights to the Northeast were cancelled due to severe weather. The earliest flight we could get out was the next afternoon. Did I blame the airline or Disney for making us spend another $200 for a taxi, hotel room and meals? We all save and budget all year for our vacations. Sometimes things happen that are out of our control and we just have to go on.
We are sorry you had a bad cruise, too. However what you describe is not that usual for the industry. They cannot guarantee everything will run smoothly everytime, it's impossible.
"You can't help the weather but the ship had no contingency plans for bad weather. Imagine 4 rainy days with 3 teenagers and no added activities planned by the ship in case of inclement weather!!!""
There is only so much any ship can do. They put on a few more activities but beyond that without the sun the best things about cruising are cut short. People have to entertain themselves with books, movies, casino, whatever...
"The buffet room for lunch seated only 50 people and to get places on the ship you had to walk outside."
That is unusual. I have seen very ships where there was NO way to get to certain places without walking outside. However, having the buffet next to an open deck you may have to cross to get to the food is not unusual, many ships have that. You can go down a deck and cross under.
"We couldn't dock at the regular berth in Cozumel because another ship was still there due to "high winds". We docked several miles away and had to take taxis to get to town in the pouring rain. The other dock was within walking distance to town.Think they should have sprung for a bus to transport passengers anyway."
That was the only dock in Cozumel for YEARS until recently. I consider the new dock to be a bonus when you get it, but pretty expect to be left pretty far out of town.
"In Cancun the tenders were local and slow so we didn't get off the ship until 10:15 and we had a tour booked."
Imagine what tendering is like with 3000 passengers :-)
"Food was below par the entire time. Forget "freestyle cruising". No shorts in the dining room even if they were proper shorts and not cut off jeans(they kicked us out of dining room even)."
In the dining room... don't you think there should be at least some decorum? You had other options.
"Finally the last straw was Saturday coming back. An accident at the mouth of the Mississippi prevented us from coming up the river so we used an alternate waterway. We got in 6 hrs late andwere one of the last ones off the ship. They had to dock at a pier 10 miles away from the original pier.Those of us not on the air sea plan had to find our own way back to New Orleans.(they bussed the others to the airports etc.)It was Mardi Gras, so we had to pay $100 for a taxi for 5 of us!!!!! No help from NCL. This is my last cruise with them for sure."
Well... it wasn't NCLs fault it was Mardi Gras. Taxis in N.O. don't usually cost that much.
Anyway - even though there were some problems, it doesn't sound to me that the balance of your cruise was so different from what could have happened on any cruise line. Rain happens, accidents happen, Mardi Gras happens... don't be so hard on NCL.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
Paul, is it my imagination or what? I could swear the old pier in Cozumel, though a little further away wasn't so long. When we were on the Sun right after the new pier opened the walk from the ship to the end of the pier took forever. Yes, we were right down town but what a long pier. The old one seemed much shorter. You pretty much summed everything up the way I did. Things just happen and no one is responsible. Why do people always want to blame someone else. What do you want to bet the 3 teens were the problem and they drove mom nuts. She may have had books to read etc, bet they didn't.
I was about to plan my first cruise on NCL Dream over the Christmas Holiday. I have read so many mixed reviews my head is spinning. I want to thank Kathy for sending her message. Whether all of Kathy's complaints are to be expected of cruises in general or whether Kathy was dissapointed over things that " just happen" is not the point. She spent a huge amount of money on a "Dream" vacation and her expectations were far from met. I have had vacations where things have gone wrong, but usually those wrong things are directly proportional to the cost of the vacation. The adage, "you get what you paid for" is particularly true with vacations. But, when you pay prices like this ( Im calculating that this cruise may cost 10 grand for my family of 4 ), we have the right to expect excellence. It was surprising to see the responses and the willingness to accept subpar results at this expense. Im thinking that I will look at another vacation option. Thank you Kathy from Maine
First of all if you think a vacation on a 7 day cruise will cost you $10,000 you must be planning on 2 rooms, top of the line. The Dream is not that expensive; second, it is obviously you are a first time cruiser if you think even one of her complaints could be blamed on NCL or the Dream. There are others who have had less than positive reviews regarding the Dream and some of their concerns may seem justified, but Kathy's are totally out of line. It might help you and some of us to understand your concerns if you could give one example of something you feel NCL should have done differently. It appears Kathy had 3 very bored teens that drove her up the wall. I can relate to that, anyone who has raised kids can look back on a vacations that could have gone more smoothly and teens can be the biggest pain if things don't go their way, add to this a mommy that is most likely griping and let's feel sorry for daddy! If you read my very first response to Kathy you will understand a very similar thing happened to us; It was a different cruise line. Bad weather can totally ruin a cruise if you let it. As Paul said there is only so much a ship can do to entertain passengers in the event of incliment weather or anything else that might stick you on the ship more than planned. Firstcruise, you are absolutely the only person on this thread that believes Kathy or agrees with her indicating either you are a relative or friend of hers or you have no idea what cruising is all about. If that's the case maybe an all inclusive or something else would be a better bet for you over the holidays. As wonderful as it is to be on a ship if things don't go as planned there isn't much anyone can do about it. If you are certain you want to cruise I do hope your kids enjoy reading or game playing just in case.
The things that strike me are that this experienced traveller did not know you have the choice of PURCHASING transfers through the cruise line or making your arrangements (in normal circumstances, as well as other circumstances),..and..that this experienced traveller did not know that shorts aren't allowed in the dining room on ANY cruise line. No - I do not work for NCL or any other cruise line. It's sad that KathyfromMaine did not have a good experience, and has chosen to blame NCL. I hope that KathyfromMaine browses message boards on the other cruise lines to see exactly the same thing from other unhappy cruisers! I don't know anybody who doesn't have to save carefully for months to cruise (wish I did!), but your vacation is what you make it, and you can certainly choose to make it miserable.
THANK YOU first cruise for your message. I am not the idiot that others have made me out to be. And no, I did not have 3 bored teens who whined the whole time they amused themselves. I chose to book an extra day on either end of my cruise on my own.And for the record Nikita, I have no idea who this person is. Just someone who took my message as it was, a tale of my trip. If it helps someone decide which cruiseline fine. Personally all of you who were so "up in arms" about what I said, you have dragged this thing on ad nauseum.Get a life
Hey, not everyone has a great cruise. Some people go on vacation and have a lousy time, it happens. I am glad that she came here to share her experiences. Some of us may be able to take something from her review and use it on our own cruises. I want to read all reviews, not just the sugary "oh, NCL is great" reviews. Many of us may end up in a similar situation and yes it is "travel" but not all of us may be prepared for some of the scenarios we are faced with if our "travel" doesn't go off without a hitch. I'm just saying that I don't think any opinions should be suppressed and I would think a message board would welcome all reviews and we can take from them what we will and ignore the rest. No need to put the woman down just because she didn't have a great time or wasn't prepared for some of the problems that occurred. She paid a lot of money for her trip and, as anyone would, was expecting to have the time of her life. She was disappointed and came here to share. Sure she could have done things differently and thanks to her post, maybe some other people will. I think it's a very helpful review.
Kathy, I hate to differ with you, but you did refer to your kids being bored: you said you were stuck with 3 teenagers and no extra activities for them. What were you saying, if not the kids were bored? Cruisenagain, you are 100% correct in wanting to see honest reviews and hear both sides. Of course we all do and some cruises do not go smoothly as is the case with many things in life. I believe what most of us are opposed to is Kaythy's NCL bashing when there isn't one complaint that NCL could have handled differntly other than to provide more activities which is the same as all ships. Why they don't make plans ahead of time in case of incliment weather I don't know. The food not being to her liking is a subjective subject like we all know. It's unusual for someone to knock the food as much as she did, but she may not have liked it. That's one of her only legit complaints. You say she came here to share: what she shared was a total bashing of a product that can cause others to re-think their plans and thus cost the company a loss of money which is totally unfair seeing the situation. I will say one thing, her complaints probably won't cause many with any intellegence to cancel or change their cruise plans.
Kathy, I am amazed how willing these other folks are in accepting mediocrity. At the expense that these cruiselines demand, there is no excuse, not even rain, accidents, etc for a bad time. Even a trip to DisneyWorld is fun in the rain because they recognize that they have an obligation to make it work no matter the conditions. I am getting the strong impression that once a cruise participant is set off to sea, so are the obligations of the Cruiseline.
Firstcruise, what, for heavens sake would you expect the curise line to have done differently to make her trip more enjoyable? complaints like the buffet only seats 50 inside, well do you think they should have a canopy that automatically extends when it rains? Should they provide for the high cost of taxies during Mardi Gras or other such times? Of course the fact that the Cozumel peir was not the new one? Did you read why it was necessarity to dock at the old one, which by the way is not a taxi ride into town unless you really hate to walk. It isn't even a mile. We did take the taxi once then walked back. The other 3 or 4 times we walked both ways. Many ships dock in areas that require a taxi to get into town or a water taxi in the case of some cities. St Martin fits into that catagory. Celebrity didn't pay for our transfers nor should they? No shorts in the dining room after 6pm; standard for every single cruise line. If she really was a seasoned cruiser she would have known that. The ship had to dock somewhere other than the embarkation site because of a horrible accident; maybe the company or companies whose people were killed in the accident should have paid for her taxi that started out to be $100 and by the end of story became $200.00. What about this do you not understand? There is not one thing NCL should have done differently. That's the bottom line. As I have stated this same thing happend to us on RCI and we just lived with it. Are we anxious to cruise them again not really. part of our problem was an inside cabin, not thier fault. We are the ones who booked it and we are the ones stuck in it for most of the cruise. Was is their fault there were screaming kids all over the ship cause they had nothing to do? Of course not. Should the cruiselines try to do a little better job on the activities during bad weather, yes, they all should, but I would never get on a web site and bash a line for something out of their control. You think some of us can except mediocracy? You know what, in some cases this is the case because we don't expect a Crystal cruise experience from a mass marketed product. This is like expecting to go to Outbake Steak house and get the service and quality of Ruths' Chris. Also part of our learning to accept things may come with age and attitude. Obviously cruising isn't for everyone and I really think for you, if you are believing Kathy's complaints you may be part of the 5% I discouraged from cruising when I was a travel agent. It's your choice, but there may be better options. The ships, none of them, will go out to their way to make sure you and your family are kept entertained if the weather or some other situation causes inconveniences to you. NMNita
I have to agree with most of what you said. And this comes from a person who has no respect for NCL, based on my experience with the Pride of America mess.
If Kathy wants to state she had a lousy time and will NEVER cruise again that would be understandable. But the fact is this was not NCL's fault. If she wants to say that ALL cruise lines should be ripped for not providing more when weather turns sour, that's fine too. But to put this squarely on NCL's shoulders, especially since she's allegedly a seasoned cruiser, that's wrong. There isn't a single mass-market cruise line out there that would have done differently.
And for Firstcruise, I never except mediocrity - just reality. I stay in the best hotels .... have been on 8 cruises and have four more planned over the next two years ... and I can be very demanding. I avoid older cruise ships because I know I would probably be disappointed so I only go on ships with more options in terms of restaurants and entertainment. It comes from reseraching every ship I go on, comparing the good with the bad. I've never been surprised, because I seek out as much information as humanly possible.
This is my second post on this subject, and I don't mean to be harsh to Kathy. I said nothing about the 50-seat buffet or things to do on the ship. But it is a fact that transfers are available - up until the last minute - for transportation to the airport. You would only have to take a taxi if you want to take a taxi. And transfers are not by the mile ... she would have paid the same for the transfer from either place that the ship docked.
And I stand by my comments that shorts are not allowed in any main dining room for dinner on any cruise at any time and they should not be. It is all a part of the cruise experience. And anyone who attempts to violate that, deserves to be kicked out. If you aren't interested in the things that make a cruise a cruise, then by all means don't go on one. There are plenty of other vacations out there and I'm sure you will find something that appeals to you. But be aware, even all-inclusives have dress codes for some restaurants.
And as far as Disney World changing things up when weather is bad ... NOT TRUE. I've been to Disney World 25 times ... in rain ... 30 degree weather ... and above 100 degree weather. I've had great times and truly lousy times. But I didn't blame the mouse any more than I would to Good Lord for the weather. I accepted the limitations that were placed on me by the weather and moved on.
dalwhitt, you have very good points and I am inclined to agree with you on most issues. Obviously it is no secret I am a NCL loyalist, but do not agree with everything they do or do not do. I feel, not from experience, but from others comments their customer service is pretty sad. I don't like to knock anything too much but have had 2 RCI cruises which have not been the best for various reasons. This does not mean I won't give them another shot if everything were in place. My brother, who has never cruised before just booked RCI out of LA. It was the best deal he could get and I did not discourage him. He will probably have a great time. Most vacations are fun, we can all look back on the bad experiences, but still have a somewhat positive attitude. One vacation we took could have been a nightmere if we had let it: 4 wonderful days in Reno followed by arriving at our hotel in Nashville, Tn very tired and not their fault, somewhat hung over. Anyway not only did the hotel not have a room for us nothing was available in the town. It was late, we were totally exhausted but decided to drive out of town heading to our next stop. We ended up about 50 miles from Nashville in a Holiday Inn. For what we needed that night is was fine. We colasped and slept fairly well to awaked to 2 flat tires. Got them fixed, thank goodness it was a rental car. We headed to our next distination, spent a few days away from Nashville, headed back: the car's emergancy's brake broke off in hubby hand: got it fixed. After a couple more days of exploring Nashville, having a great time we flew home to Dallas. Guess what, our luggage got lost. It took a week to finally locate. Inbetween all this we had a great time. Not one problem could we really blame on anyone with exception of the lost reservation and the lost luggage. Guess some of us roll a little easier than others.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Dream,just back yuck
I have a lot of problems with what Kathy said....BUT...since they were not returned to the original point of departure, should NCL NOT have provided EVERYONE with transport back to at least the original point of departure? What about people who drove to the port, expecting to be returned to the same place. It is not the cruise lines fault regarding the accident that closed the Mississippi River to traffic, but it is also not the passengers fault! Why should they incur added expense? I don't agree with the weather and other stuff, but even Carnival provided transport back to the original point of departure for all passengers after they were not able to dock at the Julia St. pier.
Crown Princess 1/18/14....the NEW Me, Myself and I cruise!