Posted March 19th, 2018, 01:39 PM
This is an excerpt from my review of the Dawn 2/25 to 3/4 sailing:
Stood in line for hours, no queues, mass entry that was nowhere near organized. No priority embarkation for suite guests, just a massive cattle call to the door. At check-in, there was supposed to be a priority embarkation line (which we were in), but the reps kept taking people from the general crowd because we were standing way at the side of the check-in desk and were seemingly forgotten. No organization whatsoever. Finally get up to the NCL rep to check in. He was soooooo slowwwww. Each of the reps on the other sides of him had checked in 3 parties by the time we were done. This guy had to redo each of our photos 3 times. Finally the rep next to him helped him.
I have severe back problems and constant pain and numbness. There was nowhere to sit down while waiting through this whole process. I had been standing for 3 hours by the time we actually boarded. It was excruciating, and it took all day and night to recover from it, so right off the bat, vacation time was wasted. If it was that bad for me, I can't imagine how the elderly had gotten through this.
A week later, we realized reason why we were so late getting on. This same thing must have happened to the passengers disembarking as we were embarking. Our disembarkation: non US citizens wouldn't come forward to clear immigration - the ship had to call their names (40+ people!) for over 1.5 hours while the rest of us US citizens waited. I guess they are special and entitled and feel they can get off the ship whenever they please, and don't have to abide by the rules or laws.
So we were told to go to Stardust Theater for priority disembarkation. It was "closed for rehearsals". Really?! So we were directed here, there, everywhere,by NCL people who obviously didn't know what was going on. Finally we were getting pretty ticked off after walking up and down the ship through all the crowds with no rhyme or reason. So we showed our gold tags to an NCL employee and asked, "So where do suite guests disembark as priority guests?" He directed us to the END OF THE LINE. Great. So much for priority disembarkation. Meanwhile, we had a car service arranged andhe had long been waiting for us. We had to (embarrassingly) keep calling him and giving him updates. We were charged an extra $49.00 for the wait time, and this was booked through NCL's website (Groundlink). Thanks, NCL. Not at all our fault, but thanks, NCL.
The whole process (if you can call it that) was so disorganized. Color tags were never called, as they usually are. It was just a mass of passengers waiting to get off the ship, period.
It gets better:
Trying to claim our bags after disembarkation? Another huge hassle. Our tags were gold colored. We looked up and down the terminal and there was no gold designation. We walked back and forth through a zoo of people, skipping over their luggage. We asked the reps where gold was. They directed us to the far end of the building. No gold. Well, come to find out, the gold bags were tucked WAY back in a corner that is BEHIND the sea of people who had already claimed their bags and were waiting to go through customs/immigration. DUH - we can't see through a massive bunch of people. Why wouldn't NCL put the priority bags right smack at the entry, the most convenient place, where you can clearly see them, claim them and be on your way? There was just no logic at all in the way they do both embarkation and disembarkation. We won't be sailing in or out of Tampa ever again! The combination of inept NCL reps and Tampa port employees was a recipe for complete chaos.
Next up: Regent-Voyager-November 2018
NCL Dawn-Western Caribbean-February 2018
Paul Gauguin's Tere Moana-December 2014
NCL Pearl-Caribbean-December 2012
Regent-Voyager-Western Caribbean-November 2010
Regent-Voyager-Greek Isles-October 2008
Paul Gauguin-French Polynesians-New Year's 2007/2008
NCL Pride of America-Hawaii-November 2007
Silver Shadow-Caribbean-December 2006
Paul Gauguin-French Polynesians-June 2006
Silver Whisper-Caribbean-November 2005
Silver Whisper-Caribbean-December 2004
Silver Wind-Caribbean-April 2004