NORWEGIAN SKY: Cruise from HELL

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Apr 8, 2019
1
0
1
52
#1
My family of 5 recently sailed on NORWEGIAN SKY from March 26 – 31, 2019 (Sailing # xxxxxxxbooked through Costco). Our experience was horrible, the service apathetic and crew obstinate.

I AM DEMANDING A FULL REFUND OF $5,282.95.

Why? Our experience is best described as a mix of indifference, ineptitude and incoherence all rolled into one. We have sailed 5 times previously on Royal Caribbean, without incident from the Caribbean to Alaska. Hands down, NORWEGIAN SKY was the worst cruise experience we have had. We know what to expect from a major cruise line. The problems on SKY were at first annoying and small, but persistent. They grew, to the point of absurdity.
--------------------------------------------------------
DAY 1: 3/26 | PORT OF MIAMI
We left on Tuesday 3/26 from Miami. The transfer went smoothly—pretty much the only thing that went right. Never having been on a NORWEGIAN cruise, we attended the Tour of the Ship hosted by Vanessa, a crewmember from China at 2:45pm. Now, I deal with international salespeople for a living and have a high tolerance for strongly accented English. But with her rapid walking pace, inability to hear and difficult accent, the tour was utterly useless. Other passengers looked around as well, thinking surely this must be a joke. It wasn't. We literally learned nothing about the ship, nor the itinerary nor an overview of the ship’s events. Normally there is some discussion about the upcoming ports of call. Nothing.

Our room--booked for 5--was absurdly small: cabin 0062 ocean-facing port side aft. Pictured below you can see my daughter, age 14 did not even fit on the pull out "couch" without bending her knees 90 degrees.

Making the best of our tiny quarters, we later ate dinner at the Crossings restaurant. Dinner took 3 hours. Why? We have no idea---we ordered typical fare off the menu. No explanation. No apologies. 3 hours.

At 7:30pm we spent a little time competing in a trivia game and our family won first place for “Superheroes and Villains.” We thought things were looking up. And normally, this is where the cruise staff gives a little trinket/prize to the winning team. Nope. Nothing. Ok, fine. Off the family went back to the cabin and bed.

My wife and I awoke before dawn to some scraping noises. Exhausted from a day of travel we went back to bed, thinking it was early morning deck preparations for our arrival at Cuba.
--------------------------------------------------------
DAY 2: 3/27 | CUBA
We awoke again soon after the odd noises began when my daughter vomited all over herself and the tiny mattress she was on. I called the ship’s operator and eventually an attendant showed up; he struggled to package the dirty blanket so I helped him load the soiled linens into the biohazard bag and he said they would need to sanitize the carpet. We told him we would vacate the cabin by around 9am, and planned to go ashore to Havana. It did not matter. When we returned to the ship by 4pm, we found the room had not been made up and the dirty bedsheets remained—7 hours later. The room smelled. We found our normal room attendant and he changed the sheets. No explanations. No apologies. This added injury to insult, as my daughter had gotten sick again, immediately prior to re-boarding the ship. Coming back to a room that smelled of vomit made the day miserable from beginning to end. Eventually, she cleaned up and went to bed while the rest of the family attended the 9pm magic show, which at least provided some sorely need distraction. We all turned in afterwards, hoping the next day would be better.
--------------------------------------------------------
DAY 3: 3/28 | DAY AT SEA

Once again in the early morning hours we heard odd noises, but figured it was just poor placement of our cabin relative to deck preparations. But again, our sleep was interrupted some time after 4 am.

After breakfast we found the weather was still cool, and the seas rough. The pools were closed. In fact, in 5 days my kids never made it into the pool once. The water was cold, when it was open. The life guards kept shutting it down because the motion of the ship transformed the 2 small swimming areas into dangerous wave pools.

My daughter tried resting in the weak sun, recovering from her sour stomach. Trying to entertain the remaining kids, we tried our hand at paper folding. Unfortunately, that went poorly, as most guests could not follow the demonstration very well by Jeffery.

We decided to go to Bingo at 11 am, where we met one of the staff (name unknown, woman from West Virginia). Decidedly unfunny and sarcastic, we listened to her drone on while announcing bingo balls. Later we would meet her again on the last day. More on that later.

At 12:30 pm we watched a movie then had lunch. When we returned to our cabin there was now a giant blue fan blowing on the carpet. Apparently, somewhere on our deck a stateroom toilet backed up into our shower and toilet. Toilet water was spilling into our cabin and it would once again need to be "sanitized." So we left the room attendant to take care of the wet carpet. Later we ate dinner and returned to the cabin only to find the beds still had not been made all day--and of course we still had a giant fan in a tiny room blowing the musty air around. Dejected, we went to bed.
--------------------------------------------------------
DAY 4: 3/29 | STIRRUP CAY (by-passed)

The odd scraping noises returned again in the early morning, punctuating our sleep.

Rotten luck, sliding deck chairs, whatever—we figured this was just our lot in a poor room assignment. We got up early, since we had booked an excursion for the Stingray encounter. We heard some muffled voices outside the cabin door and realized we could not hear public announcements from our cabin. Apparently, any time there was something announced we had missed it and at that point we had to make one of the kids hold open the cabin door to listen. This, of course was on top of the carpet fan noise that had been blowing for 24 hours.

At breakfast we finally learned we were unable to go to Stirrup Cay as the tenders were not permitted to run to the island due to poor sea conditions.

Now, the weather is not Norwegian’s fault. But how they handle a cancelled stop is. We found out our plans were dashed at breakfast time in a barely audible announcement in the Garden Cafe. And apparently there was no contingency plan to occupy the attention of nearly 2000 passengers for when this happens.

Trying to make the best of it, we looked for activities while stuck on board. It looked like there would be a morning comedian show--but that turned out to be incorrectly printed. In fact, all the events for that day were wrong. And the NCL phone App was incorrect as well.

At 7pm my wife wanted to go to the Friends trivia contest held by—you guessed it—Vanessa from China. And the best part was her saying ‘ok get out your prize cards so I can sign them.’

Prize cards? What is that?

Well apparently, this was something else we were never told about. To our surprise, you were supposed to get a little slip of paper on Day 1 and get it initialed every time you participate. For what purpose? We never found out, despite this being the fourth trivia contest we entered. And there was only 1 day left in the trip. The utter incompetence astounded us.

Bypassing Stirrup Cay, we eventually arrived at Nassau, Bahamas in the evening. We opted to stay aboard and read, hoping for the best the next day.
--------------------------------------------------------
DAY 5: 3/30 | NASSAU BAHAMAS

Once again, the pre-dawn noises returned.

What bewildered me at 4:30 am was how can there be noises from deck chairs sliding or the crew readying ropes IF WE WERE ALREADY DOCKED???

After recording a minute of the noises and having had enough, after 4 nights of interrupted sleep, I made my way to the Deck 5 Guest Services. I found the one person working, played the noises for her and demanded to know what in the world the crew had been doing apparently EVERY MORNING SINCE WE BOARDED THE SHIP. She said she would have the head of maintenance meet me back at my cabin but then added “Why did you not complain earlier?”

EXCUSE ME? HOW IS IT MY JOB TO TELL YOU NOT TO MAKE NOISE AT 4 AM? IS THIS NOT COMMON SENSE? COMMON COURTESY?? COMMON DECENCY???

I returned to my cabin where a uniformed crew member met me. I explained the problem of the past 4 nights. I played him the recording from my phone and then he said…”Ooh, I know what that is. They are cleaning out the drains.”

WHAT?

Why on God’s green earth would you “clean the drains” at 4:30 am? He radioed someone and within 10 minutes the noises stopped.

Now thoroughly agitated, my wife and I got the rest of the family ready for our booked waterpark adventure at Atlantis Hotel. The weather was overcast and threatened rain. But the excursion was not cancelled. Lining up in the port at 8:30 am, we were yelled at about having waivers ready. What waivers? This was the first time we had heard of needing one. We got copies, hurriedly distributed, filled them out and were bused to Atlantis. We were basically dropped off at the hotel after a 15 min walk to the waterpark area, with no guidance of where to go, where to store our things, where to eat etc—just warned to be back on the bus by 4:00pm.

Just left on a sidewalk in a giant hotel complex.

We eventually found the locker location and waited in a line with about 50 other people for 30 minutes while the single (single!) attendant was assigning lockers. Just after we stored our gear, clouds started to darken. We were basically just getting in line for the water slide when the rain began in earnest. And did not stop for several hours. Still, we tried to make the best of it, in a cold rain in the Bahamas, where the warmest place was actually ducking down in the pool. We eventually abandoned Atlantis, got back on the bus, and boarded the ship.

After dinner we returned to the cabin and I saw some luggage out in the hall. I suddenly remembered that there is usually a call for luggage the night prior to arrival. Of course, we had not heard any announcements. Because we were never able to hear announcements. Or, perhaps the incompetent crew never made the announcement? In truth, how would you know which was more likely?

So, at 10 PM I went back to Guest Services and found a long line, full of angry passengers. I asked the gentleman in front of me if this was the line to get the luggage tags and he said that he presumed so; he was in line to complain about his experience. Since we waited 30 minutes together, he shared with me his dreadful experience, from the crew ignoring his wife’s food allergies to his room not being made up. Apparently, we were not the only ones who had a horrible experience.

I collected my luggage tags and returned to our room, looking forward to getting some sleep and leaving the ship in the morning.
--------------------------------------------------------
DAY 5: AT SEA, EN ROUTE TO MIAMI
Care to guess what happened at 4:48 am?

You got it. The complete morons that run the SKY were back at it again, cleaning the damned drains. I jumped out of bed and called the operator, and yelled at them to stop the damned noise. Unable to return to sleep I got up with my book in tow to find coffee and wait for dawn and our eventual departure.

At this point I could not wait to get off this cruise from HELL.

My family gathered their belongings and we headed out to depart at 9 AM, only to be stopped by … the sarcastic Bingo lady from West Virginia. Even though we had waited for our departure time, she basically said to get off the ship we had to “go through her.“

Are. You. Kidding. Me?

Yes, I gave her a piece of my mind of how horrid our experience had been and how NORWEGIAN totally ruined our vacation. She stepped aside saying if we were turned back by security that “I told you so.”

The final “Screw you” from NORWEGIAN.

We descended the ramp, cleared customs with our luggage and thanked the Lord to finally be rid of that Ship of Fools.

Now, at this point you have probably read this twice, or perhaps shared it with a colleague, thinking, is it real? Could it have been so terrible, so irredeemably foul?

The answer, quite simply is YES.

So, there is one things that I would like:
1. A complete refund of $5,282.95 for this toxic “vacation”

Please, can you help?

Note- edited by moderator to remove reservation number.
 

Attachments

Last edited by a moderator:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,062
15,564
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
I’m sorry you had so many issues on your cruise. We sailed the Sky in May and had none of these problems.

Some of your issues are because you never cruised NCL before and perhaps expected a different experience.

First NCL cabins are among the smallest in the cruise industry. Putting five people in a cabin is nearly impossible on any cruise line, let alone NCL. The cruise line deck plans list the square footage in each cabin. For five people you should have booked two cabins.

Who chose the cabin location? Did you look at what is above and below the cabin you chose? Were you forward on the ship? You will hear many odd noises forward and aft on a ship such as the anchor being dropped or the noises and shaking when the ship pulls in and out of port from rudders I’m the back.

I would remove those complaints from your list because these are two things that could have been avoided by booking two cabins and carefully choosing cabins.

You have legitimate complaints about the housekeeping and cabins not being maintained and the communication but that doesn’t warrant a full refund. I was glad to see that your daughter wasn’t ordered to be quarantined for 48 hours if she vomited- if they suspected noro, she wouldn’t have been able to leave the cabin and sometimes everyone in the cabin is quarantined as well.

The games and entertainment are really not anything to mention. You seem to have been expecting a Royal Caribbean experience and your expectations were met by entertainment. That’s not anything NCL is not responsible for.

We also could not make it to their private island on our Sky cruise because they couldn’t tender. Not the fault of NCL. In fact on four crises with NCL we have never made it to their private island because it was too rough to tender. RCCL has put docks on their islands to help avoid that. I would suggest you take that out as well.

You aren’t due a full refund. You slept in the cabins, ate the food and used the facilities. I hope you asked them to adjust the gratuities to reflect the poor housekeeping before you left the ship.

The best you might receive is a partial credit for another cruise. Nothing here is grounds for a full refund as most of it is not knowing the product you were booking.

We have company contacts on top of our page. Start with Customer Service and follow the guidelines in this post on how to write.

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/

If you ask for more then you really should they will ignore your request and not offer anything. You are asking for a goodwill gesture so be realistic.

We have Royal Caribbean clients who I refuse to put on NCL because I know they would have the same reaction you did to sailing NCL. Every cruise line has its own personality and there are many people who wouldn’t enjoy NCL just as there are NCL clients who might not like RCCL.

Let us know how your writing campaign goes.
 
Dec 19, 2014
282
510
93
46
#3
Just to be clear, this is a consumer advocacy forum, and while it is possible that someone from Norwegian may be reading this, the responses you will get are from volunteers that have no affiliation with Norwegian.

1) A refund is not a reasonable expectation
2) If you write a letter to Norwegian emphasizing disappointment with the cruise, you will get an apology and likely a small gesture of goodwill, likely a nominal voucher for a future cruise
 
Aug 29, 2015
494
774
93
49
#4
Just curious, did you read any reviews about this ship and cruise before booking? My cruise agent refuses to book me on an NCL ship. She told me I would not like it. I usually sail Celebrity, and she told me that I would not be happy on the NCL Sky the one time I asked about a cruise on her.

I don’t see you getting a refund. I believe there is a form to get gratuity/service charges back after the cruise, and considering the issues with service you had, I would pursue that.
 
Sep 27, 2017
89
114
33
49
#5
I would summarize all the communication problems -- verbal, written, etc., into one paragraph. This is something they definitely need to address. I used to do communications and public relations, and so many of those problems seem to be an easy fix. It may not increase whatever adjustment they give you, but it can make it easier for the next family cruising.
 
Feb 12, 2019
51
58
18
33
#6
Just curious, did you read any reviews about this ship and cruise before booking? My cruise agent refuses to book me on an NCL ship. She told me I would not like it. I usually sail Celebrity, and she told me that I would not be happy on the NCL Sky the one time I asked about a cruise on her.

I don’t see you getting a refund. I believe there is a form to get gratuity/service charges back after the cruise, and considering the issues with service you had, I would pursue that.
I like to cruise on NCL, and if I did ever go on Sky (or her sister ship Sun) my expectations would be way lower. Similar to my expectations on Royal's old ships. There's reasons why they put the older ships on the Cuban cruises - you're not going on them for the ships.

The housekeeping should be addressed though.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Jul 13, 2016
247
422
63
56
#7
It sounds like this was a very disappointed trip, for sure, and I do sympathize. You have a valid complaint about the housekeeping, and it would have been nice if the entertainment staff had been more on the ball about explaining the system of tracking your "wins". I too am an avid trivia player, but I hate all the schlocky prizes they give out. I'd prefer a voucher for a free drink (soft or otherwise) rather than yet another notepad, cheap pen, or key chain.

Concerning your other issues, some of the fault lies with Costco, who should have informed you that those single bed pullout are not suitable for anyone older than 10. They should have also counseled you on how tight the space would be for five people, and helped you choose a cabin in a better location. But Costco call center is an order taker, not a real travel agency with agents who have actually been on the ships they sell, or at least stay up-to-date with the cruise lines. I like Costco fine for toilet paper and smoked meat, not for travel advice.

As for the missed ports and bad weather, nothing NCL could have done about that. Nor about your daughter's illness, which certainly put a damper on the whole trip. As another poster pointed out, you were lucky not to be quarantined for suspected NoroVirus, as I once was on a Celebrity cruise from Australia to New Zealand.

About the lack of announcements in your cabin, was the speaker broken, or was the volume turned down? On many ships, you can turn down the volume so you aren't awakened by the cheerful cruise director at 8am when you want to sleep late. Perhaps the previous occupants turned it down and you just didn't know to turn it back up? Did you tell someone about not being able to hear announcements?

Concerning the day trip to Atlantis, the ship shore excursion is just a day ticket and transport. NCL has no stake in Atlantis and are not allowed to tour around the facility, escorting guests. You are expected to organize yourselves and figure out lockers etc.
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,708
2,559
113
#9
NCL doesn’t make announcements in the cabins on their ships. You have to open the doors to hear them.
When did this happen? On all three of ours the announcements (even the unimportant ones) came through loud and clear . . .
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,708
2,559
113
#11
Ours was the Sun, cruising the Western Caribbean. I remember the "Hey Cruisers!" while I was resting . . .
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,708
2,559
113
#13
That's hilarious! But seriously, announcements in the room are a personal preference. I wanted just the emergency ones . . .
 
Likes: ADM

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
1,157
1,168
113
45
St Louis
#14
NCL's getting rid of the towel animals. The Sky since it is all inclusive beverage wise may have some service areas lacking because a lot of the cruises are short cruises and not the general 7 days or longer.
 
Mar 15, 2018
112
189
43
59
#16
I’m going to jump in here and say I sure hope you haven’t sent that letter in yet. If you have, I expect you’ll get nothing from them, if only because of the demeaning insults towards hardworking crew members who were just doing their jobs.

In fact I highly doubt anyone at NCL will even read through the whole thing. Once you start throwing out words like “moron” and “screw you”, most customer service people would stop right there. Then there’s just the massive length of it. And there’s the issues that were your own errors, or were simply bad weather.

Here’s a summary of all of your issues. I’ve clarified which ones I think are legitimate, and which are not:
  1. You booked a cabin way too small for a family of five. (Not NCL’s fault – cabin square footage is available on their website.)
  2. Trivia didn’t give prizes. (Not NCL's fault - not all cruise lines do.)
  3. Noises above your cabin early every morning. (Not NCL’s fault. Any cabins below the pool deck, or a restaurant, or above the anchors, or next to the laundry or elevators, are going to get noise. The hardworking crew members cleaning the drains in the middle of the night are doing it at that time to avoid disrupting vacationers’ enjoyment by doing it during the day. Work needs to get done. I fail to see how this translates to them being “morons”. Ships are noisy. Earplugs are a great thing on cruises…I encourage you to bring them next time.)
  4. Your daughter vomited. (Not NCL’s fault – and as others pointed out, many cruise lines would have quarantined her so you’re lucky.)
  5. Housekeeping did not clean up the vomit quickly. LEGITIMATE COMPLAINT.
  6. The weather was cold, seas were rough, pools closed. (Not NCL’s fault.)
  7. Bingo was poorly done. LEGITIMATE COMPLAINT.
  8. Shower & toilet backed up, requiring sanitizing and a fan. LEGITIMATE COMPLAINT.
  9. Missed a port due to bad weather. (Not NCL’s fault.)
  10. Announcements were not audible from your room. (Not NCL’s fault. This is common on some cruise lines – many cruisers HATE those annoying announcements in their cabins. I know I do! In fact many consider this a benefit. Most announcements are made around the same time every day – when I want to hear them I open the door. Most of what you need to know is also included in the daily flyers.)
  11. Trivia was done poorly. LEGITIMATE COMPLAINT.
  12. Weather was bad for your Atlantis Hotel excursion. (Not NCL’s fault.)
  13. You weren’t sure where to go at Atlantis. (I can’t say whose fault this was. Perhaps NCL could have communicated better, but clearly you managed to figure out where to go, and if the weather was better you probably would have had a better time there.)
  14. Lone lines and only one locker room attendant at Atlantis. (Not NCL’s fault - Atlantis is a popular, crowded resort.)
  15. It rained at Atlantis. (Not NCL’s fault.)
  16. You didn’t know that you were supposed to put your luggage out the last night. (Not NCL’s fault. You probably missed an announcement. This information would have been in the daily flyer.)
  17. A “sarcastic” lady was rude to you when you tried to debark the ship at your allotted time. LEGITIMATE COMPLAINT.
I’ve highlighted the few legitimate complaints. In summary, they are:
  1. Housekeeping did not clean up your daughter's vomit in a reasonable time.
  2. Shower/toilet backed up and were not cleaned in a timely fashion and required an annoying fan in your room.
  3. Bingo and Trivia were done poorly.
  4. A sarcastic lady was rude to you at debarkation.
I would encourage you to leave the rest out of your letter, and use FAR fewer words when you describe the legitimate complaints. You may get a small credit towards another cruise. Before you cruise NCL again, I would encourage you to read up on them (Cruise Critic is a great resource) so you’ll know what to expect on the ship, and be set up to have a much better time. And hope for better weather!

I’m sorry you had a bummer vacation, and I hope the next one goes better. I expect it will if you do more research on the cruise line, the ship, what to expect, bring some earplugs, and of course pick a better cabin. And have better weather! :)
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,708
2,559
113
#17
Looking at the numbers . . .
You booked a 150 sq. ft. cabin for 5 people
You were dissatisfied with 9 individual experiences:
  1. The tour of the ship
  2. The size of your stateroom
  3. The noise in your stateroom at 4:30 AM
  4. The cleaning/condition of your stateroom
  5. The pools were inaccessible
  6. The games were subpar
  7. One restaurant (Crossings) took 3 hours
  8. One shore excursion canceled with no alternative
  9. Information, both verbal and written was missing/wrong
Looking at the details, you criticized the following:
  • Crew member with a difficult accent and a rapid walking pace
  • The inability to hear on the ship tour; no details of upcoming ports of call
  • No prize for winning at trivia
  • Daughter vomited which was not cleaned up after 7 hours - no apology
  • The pools were either too cold or shut down by the crew
  • The events for one day were printed wrong
  • The bingo game host was sarcastic and not funny at all
  • The paper folding demo by Jeffery was poor
  • For the Atlantis excursion you were not told about the waivers
  • There was toilet water in your cabin that overflowed from the one next door, which resulted in floor fan noise from their attempt to ventilate
Some of these point to your expectations, which may or may not be realistic. Anytime I am in cramped quarters (aircraft, hotels, cruises, and some tours) I adjust my own expectations accordingly. There will be noise and misbehaved guests. To think otherwise can make any outing miserable. And even with comprehensive research, cruises and tours can disappoint.

The best experiences have come when I establish a reasonable threshold of the "unacceptable". Cruises in particular are fraught with problems. Too many moving parts to be otherwise. Ports will be missed, which is clearly stated in their Contract of Carriage. And I've learned to bring some entertainment of my own aboard. Regarding Crossings, this is a specialty restaurant, which typically requires reservations.

Example here: you booked a small cabin that would hold "5 people". That works if you just sleep and shower. If you want more space, you must pay for that space. And a search of the NCL desk plans shows that your cabin (Deck 10) is just below the Great Outdoor Café (Pool Deck), which is the first to open (for early risers) and late to close (late-night snacks). That's going to be extra noise because it is out of doors.

Regarding compensation, I think these are worthy of some remuneration from them:

The cleaning/condition of your stateroom​
The pools were inaccessible​

The remainder of your points will not advance your cause, I think. While important to you, they could actually have the opposite effect . . .
 
Mar 15, 2018
112
189
43
59
#18
Looking at the numbers . . .
You booked a 150 sq. ft. cabin for 5 people
You were dissatisfied with 9 individual experiences:
  1. The tour of the ship
  2. The size of your stateroom
  3. The noise in your stateroom at 4:30 AM
  4. The cleaning/condition of your stateroom
  5. The pools were inaccessible
  6. The games were subpar
  7. One restaurant (Crossings) took 3 hours
  8. One shore excursion canceled with no alternative
  9. Information, both verbal and written was missing/wrong
Looking at the details, you criticized the following:
  • Crew member with a difficult accent and a rapid walking pace
  • The inability to hear on the ship tour; no details of upcoming ports of call
  • No prize for winning at trivia
  • Daughter vomited which was not cleaned up after 7 hours - no apology
  • The pools were either too cold or shut down by the crew
  • The events for one day were printed wrong
  • The bingo game host was sarcastic and not funny at all
  • The paper folding demo by Jeffery was poor
  • For the Atlantis excursion you were not told about the waivers
  • There was toilet water in your cabin that overflowed from the one next door, which resulted in floor fan noise from their attempt to ventilate
Some of these point to your expectations, which may or may not be realistic. Anytime I am in cramped quarters (aircraft, hotels, cruises, and some tours) I adjust my own expectations accordingly. There will be noise and misbehaved guests. To think otherwise can make any outing miserable. And even with comprehensive research, cruises and tours can disappoint.

The best experiences have come when I establish a reasonable threshold of the "unacceptable". Cruises in particular are fraught with problems. Too many moving parts to be otherwise. Ports will be missed, which is clearly stated in their Contract of Carriage. And I've learned to bring some entertainment of my own aboard. Regarding Crossings, this is a specialty restaurant, which typically requires reservations.

Example here: you booked a small cabin that would hold "5 people". That works if you just sleep and shower. If you want more space, you must pay for that space. And a search of the NCL desk plans shows that your cabin (Deck 10) is just below the Great Outdoor Café (Pool Deck), which is the first to open (for early risers) and late to close (late-night snacks). That's going to be extra noise because it is out of doors.

Regarding compensation, I think these are worthy of some remuneration from them:

The cleaning/condition of your stateroom​
The pools were inaccessible​

The remainder of your points will not advance your cause, I think. While important to you, they could actually have the opposite effect . . .
OOPS! I neglected to mention a couple of his complaints in my list: the unintelligible ship tour, the times wrong in the daily flyer, the 3-hour dinner.

I would only add the wrong times in the flyer to my list of legitimate complaints...although the 3-hour dinner is pushing it. Lengthy dinners on cruise ships are more the exception than the rule, but 3 hours is longer than most.

I disagree about the pools. Sounds to me it was more the weather that was the problem, not the pools. And even the OP acknowledges that NCL has no control over the weather. ;)
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,708
2,559
113
#19
If you follow the link I posted, Crossings requires reservations. Otherwise, it can be along wait. But perhaps they were unaffected by that . . .

Weather or cold water, to be unavailable for the WHOLE cruise is on NCL in my opinion . . .
 
Mar 15, 2018
112
189
43
59
#20
If you follow the link I posted, Crossings requires reservations. Otherwise, it can be along wait. But perhaps they were unaffected by that . . .

Weather or cold water, to be unavailable for the WHOLE cruise is on NCL in my opinion . . .
Out of curiosity, I went back to try to find the details about the pool availability in this lengthy screed - found it!

"After breakfast we found the weather was still cool, and the seas rough. The pools were closed. In fact, in 5 days my kids never made it into the pool once. The water was cold, when it was open. The life guards kept shutting it down because the motion of the ship transformed the 2 small swimming areas into dangerous wave pools."

Italics mine. Sounds like the pools weren't actually unavailable the whole time, but they were closed a lot because of the rough seas. I stand by my opinion that's not NCL's fault. That's a safety issue. I was just on a cruise two months ago, and one day the ship shut the pool down due to rough seas, which was wise...people were bashing into each other until they told everyone to get out!

As for the cold water - I'm tempted to go check out the Cruise Critic roll call to see what the other cruisers on the ship thought of the pool temps. Perhaps they were colder than normal due to the bad weather...who knows. But that could simply be personal preference. If the weather was hot and sunny, they may have appreciated the cool water. If the pools really were colder than normal, to the point that other cruisers were uncomfortable as well, that would be something I'd add to my list of LEGITIMATE COMPLAINTS. ;)

Anyway, in my personal opinion, cruising may not be the best vacation option for this family due to all the common occurrences that can impact any cruise. Some people just love being on a ship at sea, don't need a lot of hand-holding or whizz-bang entertainment and activities, and are simply more able to "make the best of things" when circumstances don't go as planned. Also, given that they seem to want to get all five of them in one room, a hotel is probably a better option. Cruise cabins tend to be very tiny...and the one they got, at 150 sq feet, is one of the tiniest!

Perhaps an all-inclusive resort would be better. The rooms would be bigger, there may be more options for things to do, and they won't have to worry about rough seas, sea-sickness, wavy pools, missing ports, or the general noise of ship maintenance. Rain could still be a problem tho...there really is no guaranteed perfect, problem-free vacation option. I hope they find one that suits them better. We all deserve to have great vacations!