Unfortunate. That is the nicest way I can describe our recent travel onboard the NCL Majesty. This cruise was my fourth in total and I had previously also traveled onboard NCL's Dawn. Traveling with a group of approx. 40 people who travel (usually cruising) at least once a year, I expected a fantastic vacation as usual. Our trip began out of Boston and believe it or not one of our group members got stuck in the public pool deck restroom before we even set sail. He was only using the restroom as a wind block to light a cigar and still got stuck. It took crew/maintenence members one full hour to get him out and the door was not fixed until four days later. (As an aside, he was only compensated with a fruit basket and a bottle of wine).
Seas were somewhat rough sailing to Bermuda, however, I have sailed much worse. The cruise in general at this point began to seriously go downhill for us. There was a stench to the boat (as if there was a sewer line break) that was becoming noticeably worse. The smell was awful on the top/lounge deck - making sun bathing an unenjoyable experience to say the least. As the days progressed, the smell did as well and by our last night (which was two days earlier than it should have been) the smell was permeating our cabin. The cabin was by far the smallest of the 4 ships I have travelled and although I do not think that a large cabin is necessarily required, a slightly larger cabin without a stained bedspread would have been nice. The bathroom size was on par with others, however we must have had a drain that was extremely slow, beacause our entire bathroom would fill entirely with water even when docked. The ship overall in my opinion was dirty, rusted and old looking and that in comparison to the other ships I have travelled is completely unnecessary. If you have cruised before, you know that it is common to see people painting, polishing, and cleaning and I never saw this once during my trip. The food was, in my opinion, physically making some of our group ill. There were several of us that missed meals, left meals early or were negatively affected after meals and I although I am not sure if it was food, the smell or both - it was not enjoyable to spend my evenings in the cabin feeling ill. The buffets appeared to be thrown together from the past day's leftovers and were below average at best. (I am all for no waste and reusing whatever possible, but I'd like to think it might be more cleverly disguised). I will give Kudos to the Bistro restaurant as the service and cuisine was one of the the only things even remotely satisfying about the trip for me. Service left a ton to be desired, although I did not experience this myself, (as I was in my cabin)I was told that one of the waiters actually complained to our group that he had to work while we all got to go to the beach...enough said there?! Needless to say, my Husband and I decided to fly home rather than brave possible rough seas and a worse smell,food and service on the day that the ship sailed. Fortunately for us, we travel for work and used frequent flyer miles making this an easy decision. Our friend, however opted to spend over $500 to fly with us. The rest of our group obviously stayed and the seas were perfect for them which I am happy to report. Bermuda is beautiful. The fact that the cruise actually docked in such a great port for three days was a huge factor in the choice of this ship - and I do not regret that part one bit. Everyone who has heard this story has told me to write to NCL - which I intend to do, although I am not holding my breath that they will much care. Hopefully if you decide to try, your experience will definitely not be unfortunate. For an almost certain perfect cruise though, I'd sail Celebrity.