Cruisers Beware . . .
Attention all future cruisers. . .
I just retruned from a 7 day cruise on the Norwegian Sun (12/18/04 - 12/25/04).
Well where do I start? We arrived in Miami and upon walking up the gangway we noticed an elderly couple slowly walking up the gangway as well. The elderly man's wife was holding him by one arm while he was clinging tightly onto the hand rail. As we approached them, I said "you needed a wheelchair". The elderly woman replied, they didn't have any available. I thought this was odd being it was only10:30 a.m. and we were pretty much the first passengers boarding. Not acceptable.
We entered the ship and to our surprise we found very tacky Christmas decorations - styrofoam figurines of snowman, reindeer, elfs, etc. I have sailed on several other ships during this time of hear and they all have been very elegently decorated with greenery, lights, etc. However, this was the worst I have ever encountered. They also had gingerbread houses throughout the ship that were picked at and looked horrible. Peaple had broken the icicle icing and had taken candy off of it. They were very tacky and looked like something a child made. Much to my surprise, the same decorations were out as we were leaving the ship to go home.
We proceeded to our balcony cabin and found it to be nice although slightly smaller than other ships we have been on. Our cabin stewards were excellent. (The only part of the cruise that met our expectations). My parents had an outside cabin and found it to be extremely small. My mom went to the Purser's desk to see if they could be moved to a larger statemroom and they replied "the ship is full and there is nothing we can do. You will have to contact your travel agent regarding your complaints on the size of the stateroom". Overall, the cabins were nice and clean which is more than I can say for the rest of the ship. The ship seemed very run down only being put into service in 2001. The carpet was discolored througout most of the ship. The bathrooms and surrounding areas smelled strongly of sewer gas. I almost thought I was sitting near the lavatory on a plane it was so bad.
Food was very poor. The "Free Style" experience. . . none of us cared for it. Norwegian advertised 9 Restaurants in which to dine, two of which serve the same menu, three of which charge a fee of $10 and up, one serving Asian food, one serving light style entrees', and of course the cafe serving a buffet.
Service in the dining rooms was poor. On the first night of our cruise we went to the Four Seasons Restaurant and my chicken was cold, it took 2 1/2 hours to dine. Very, very slow serivce every night. I went to the Seven Seas Restaurant for breakfast and ordered pancakes, hashbrowns, and bacon all of which were cold and finally ended up going to the cafe for breakfast. If you are a seafood lover you pretty much have it made. Seafood appitizers, seafood soups, and seafood entrees'. If you prefer normal american foods, there were very few options available. They do have certain items that are available every night such as chicken but after getting cold chicken on the first evening, I wasn't going to do cold chicken again.
I was very upset about the children's program on the Sun. I have a 10 year old daughter and there were very few things for her to do in the kids place. Usually on holiday sailings they expect to have more children aboard and have plenty of activities for the children. However, on the Sun this was the opposite. The days we were not at sea, you had to pre-register the night before in order to have your childe go to the kid's place the next day. To top it all off, they charged you $5.00 per hour in order for them to stay there while in port. So, if you are looking to have some "alone time" on your cruise forget it unless you want to pay to get it. I have been on several cruises in the past where my daughter did not want to leave the kid's room and on two occasions I left her to go ashore because she didn't want to leave. On the Sun. . . that is not an option unless you want to pay (while in port).
Again, If you are planning on cruising on NCL . . . Cruiser Beware!!!!!