I traveled with NCL to Alaska, South America and the Caribbean. The above picture is from my trip to South America, when the cruise captain hit a barge upon leaving the port of Punta del Este in Uruguay. We were stuck at that port for two extra days as the crew fixed the ship and people lost their minds. Eventually, the captain was replaced, we were given onboard credit and half the price of the cruise was reimbursed.
I traveled with NCL one more time after South America and it was a disaster in a different way. I sailed alone and I was invisible to the entire staff. I will never sail with NCL again.
Why am I bringing this up now?
NCL has re-purposed the NCL Star to be a ship that goes to exotic locations.
There is a 21-day cruise from Dubai to Singapore that leaves on Nov. 21, 2016, to amazing ports.
The cruise leaves in 1 month, yet the prices have dropped from the brochure inside rate of $4299 to the sale price of $999.
Aside from my personal reasons above, the question is why?
NCL has some of the best production shows at sea. NCL has exotic itineraries for a fraction of the price of the competitors. So, why are the cruises so deeply discounted?
Well, the service is awful. I mean truly awful.
I can only describe it as feeling like if you got lost no one would notice. There is a sense of chaos, everything goes. This is not due to freestyle. I sailed on NCL when freestyle was first introduced. The extra restaurants were free and the staff cared. But NCL realized they were losing money and so there is a charge for restaurants that should be free. Up-sell is annoying but it grates hardest when it’s crap and the staff is disorganized.
This is a cruise line that people bring clips to hold pool chairs for groups of people, this is a cruise line that passengers skip the line for chocolate buffet and bring toddlers at 11pm at night. Finally, the staff is either unable or unwilling to create order.
This review is not for the HAVEN. If you book an inside, outside or balcony cabin, you should lower your expectations.