Last year we took a Princess Cruise and family let Princess know it was our anniversary. One night at dinner, they suprised us with a gorgeous strawberry chocolate cake.
This year we will be on the Star. It will be my granddaughter's 11th birthday. I would love to see her have this kind of surprise but with the free style dining, do they celebrate special events? I just do not see how they would know how to find you?
My family and I celebrated my mom's 50th B-day last year on the Dawn. When we arrived at our cabin on the first day of our cruise, we found a "special occasion" card that we could redeem for a b-day cake at one of the restaurants.
When we cruised on the Dawn, it was my sister and BIL anniversary. When we booked we let them know we had a 'special occasion' and when we arrived in our cabin we found a card with the other notices (Latitudes party invite etc.) on the bed. The card mentioned the special occasion and said that when we arrived at the dinning venue of our choice we should present it to the hostess. That is what we did. Sure enough ,at dessert time, the wait staff showed up with a cake and sang a special song.
Just two other points. First, when we registered they asked if we were celebrating any special occasions and we told them then. If you have already booked and didn't mention it,I 'm not sure how you would notify them. Second, it seems that you can be a little flexible with the date. On the actual day of the Anniversary my sister was coming down with a cold and felt pretty rotten. She just felt like having soup and going to bed so we didn't use the card that night. A couple of days later she was feeling better and so we just had our little celebration on that night and there was no problem.
The hostess or Maitre d' usually tells us when there is a special occasion. We present a cake and grab as many warm bodies as possible to gather round and sing, loudly and not necessarily well, but we do sing. I've also noticed on embarkation days that the cabins are decorated ahead of time.
Also, If you don't have the card, it shouldn't be a problem. If your server is worth anything, they will get a cake for you regardless.
Hi again Alohainsider,
Your post reminded me about something that I noticed in a few reviews of POA. A few people said that they were celebrating special occasions when on the POA cruise and they had mentioned this when they booked . At least one said they mentioned it again when they arrived at the restaurant, but nothing special was done.
Do you think this was just due to short staffing, or is the policy differnt on POA?
Shouldn't be. I know the pastry chefs have been stingy with the cakes, refusing to give me one unless I had the occassion card. Could be the waiters just gave up. Like I said, a good waiter will git 'r done.
My latest cruise was on the Norwegian Sea. We departed Houston on May 1, 2004.
How do they handle celebrations? Not well. Personally, I don't think NCL does anything very well. I've cruised NCL twice and both times it was most unpleasant. Won't do it again. Last cruise I bought 2 on board credits to be sent to my parent's room. One was for Mother's day and the other was for my father's birthday. These were ordered well in advance of our cruise. Also, my mother had ordered fruit and wine to be in everyone's room. Finally, about 3 or 4 hours AFTER we departed Houston everything arrived.
There were 8 of us that took this last cruise. We encountered one mess up after another. It took my sister 24 hours to get her 3 kids enrolled in the Kids Crew. She shouldn't have bothered. The kids did nothing and the girl in charge was grumpy and put the older kids in charge of the younger kids. Needless to say, after one day of that our kids did not go back.
One of our excursions was to Tabyana Beach. On leaving the ship you have to 'check out' towels. That caused very long lines and took a lot of time. When we finally got to the towel table they were out of towels. Once they saw they were out they did send someone to get some. We waited about 10 minutes and still no towels. Why would this happen? When you know you have a beach excursion wouldn't you have ample towels? When you saw that you were running low wouldn't you go get more then instead of completely running out?
The towel fiasco is just one example of our experience with NCL. Every day there was something. Customer service was very poor. Even after coming home and writing to NCL to let them know about our cruise we received poor customer service. I think they just don't care.
My mom is a travel agent and has been on many different cruise lines. This was by far her least favorite cruise. (I'm putting it nicely) First time cruisers might think this is how all cruises are. They aren't.
The best way to ensure that a special occasion on a ship is handled correctly - is the same way you would do it in a restaurant at home.
When you get onboard, visit the Restaurant Manager or Food & Beverage Director and tell him your story. Chances are that you will have a much better party through them than going through some minimum wage kid on the telephone in Miami.