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10 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Our first cruise was with Royal Caribbean and we really enjoyed.

We just recently returned from NCL Spirit cruise which departed Miami on 4/10 to the Caymans and Roatan. After this cruise we have decided to stay completely away from NCL. The Spirit was nice and we enjoyed the concept of "freestyle cruising" but I never looked forward to returning home from a vacation as much until this cruise.

They booked a Chicago Hip Hop (rap) radio station's "2005 Beach Bash Contest" winners on the same cruise. 200 kids (19-25) plus approximately 50 radio station employees. It started out with the group taking over the pool for a private party the first full day out (only 1 pool). That night another private party at the pool which we were warned to stay away from especially if you had children (funny name and wet t-shirt contests) I saw some of the "funny named t-shirts in the halls and lobby. More filth than funny.

For the rest of the week I got to look at "KILLER BEE- B96.3" banners hung all around the ship which really takes away from the ambiance. The occasional smell of pot in the corridors. Lots of foul language. You know how cars vibrate with that thumping bass sound made when oversized speakers are installed and rap is played? The ship was a thumping.

The kicker was on Thursday when the station crowd had another party at the kiddie pool area. My wife made the mistake of taking a walk deckside after dinner and returned to the room to tell me about witnessing a young lady stripping to nothing, 2 young men also doing the same so they could bump and grind with her while the party cheered them on. My wife looked around from the upper ampitheater area and saw a couple of kids looking down on the same.

I immediately grabbed my wife went to the main lobby to complain. Within 10 minutes I was joined by 9 other passengers there to do the same. Some had actually witnessed sex acts after my wife had come to the stateroom to let me know of the incident.They approached security at the party and only got laughter as a response. Security was enjoying themselves.

One eldery gentleman and his wife from England wasn't a witness to anything but was there to ask if someone could force them to turn the volume down. Their cabin was right below. They were offered a sleeping room for quite.

I was so mad I wanted to speak to nobody but the captain. I was told he was sleeping and could not be disturbed. I got customer service clerks, the entertainment officer, and finally someone who said his title was "the Star Captain". I assume that's the night shift officer in charge. I requested that since the party had crossed the line, it should be shut down. There was nothing he could do. He did direct a young lady to give each of us a business card with a customer relations contact number. Already made that call and didn't get anywhere except "send us a letter" which I'm sure will make it to the nearest circular file.

My wife and I got back to our cabin at 1:00 in the am. Just in time for the party to end at the kiddie pool and move to the stateroom above ours.

A horrible trip and a wasted week of vacation which I blame on NCL.
Port Aransas, Texas
1,346 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Oh, wow. That makes me glad I cruise during the hurricane season.. I would rather face a huricane than that..
That indeed does sound like a bad cruise..
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81 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Thanks for your story. I heard one of our radio stations here in Philly is supposed to send a group like what you describe on a cruise...after reading your info I called around to make sure its not happening on my cruise. Fortunately its not.
Sorry you had a bad trip but thanks for sharing.

11 days unitl we sail the Crown Philly to Bermuda 05/01
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Previously sailed:
NCL Crown Philadelphia to Bermuda 05/01 to 05/08/2005
9,690 Posts
Joined Apr 2001

So sorry about your cruise It does sound like it was hell. Unfortunately, this happens all over the industry not only on NCL. A group like this impacts the entire ship.

I would document this and complain to pax courtesy, there is a special dept. that handles after cruise complaints.

There is absolutely no reason that anyone, let alone children, had to witness this.

I hope you have the names of the personnell you spoke with. Mention them please in your follow up letter after you call.

If you booked through a TA have her do the same.

Good Luck,
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Boca Raton, Florida
3,170 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Thanks for reporting this! Sounds like a complete nightmare and not a relaxing cruise. I suggest you write a letter to NCL outlining all of the events you witnessed. I'm just curious, how did you book, independently or with a TA?

PS, My next "Music Boat" cruise showing in my sig is a Christian music cruise and the whole ship is chartered.
704 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
How can you know who is on your cruise ahead of time? We were on the previous 5-day Spirit to Cayman and Roatan and it was great. A bunch of Midwestern families like us--comfortable with letting my teen sons roam freely. Never saw bad behavior-just a tipsy(to say the least) patron with a bottle heading to the casino!
long island, n.y
230 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Sorry you had such a lousy time. Normally I try to ignore what I don't like but it sounds like that was impossible to do. Our first cruise was also Royal Caribbean. We loved it. We leave on the Dawn on Sunday and I hope we have better luck than you had. I think the people on any given cruise play a very big part in the overall enjoyment of the cruise for all of their fellow pax.
10 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
First cruise was through TA. This one was through Orbitz. I did do some homework and inquired with NCL about demographics of the cruiseline before hand. They said average was 35. Maybe they were talking blood alcohol level.
1,969 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Personally, I feel you are more 'entitled' to a refund than most of the recent Dawn passengers, as this disgraceful episode was NOT an Act of God. You have my total sympathy.
487 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
I was wondering if there was a way to find out if there were large parties/groups on our cruise. There was a post a while ago about a large group of Harley owners and crossdressers. It won't change my plans, but it's nice to know ahead of time. Especially if there was going to be a large group of scrapbookers. Then I'll need to pack some extra stuff and find a way to fit in.
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Ossining, New York
1,468 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Sorry your cruise was so bad but I really think it is an industry wide thing. I just heard today that a radio station in New York is running a cruise in July on the Navagator which is probably Royal Carribean. I would definately write a letter. If you get no reply, at least you might feel better. I hope you try NCL again. We have been happy with them so far.

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Jeanne & Joe

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Central NJ
1,422 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
That is AWFUL! I totally would feel the same way... I'm so sorry you had that bad luck. Maybe someday you will give NCL another chance--I have heard so many people who loved their cruises.

I hope you document and write letters--I agree that you deserve some kind of compensation. Or SOMETHING. What an awful cruise that sounds like it was ...
165 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
IS this the spirit getting a bad name for wild party's not long past since the dreaded cruise from hell will the college crowd, why not rename the ship WILD SPIRIT while getting the refit ??? Then maybe NCL could only allow very wild party cruisers
367 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Carnival was known for this type of behavior not too many years ago....I hope it isn't catching !! Sorry for your experience, by all means put it in writing and send it along.
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Charlie & Sally

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Daytona Beach
613 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Blaming NCL for the conduct of passengers is rediculous. For starters, how could the ship control 200 party animals without someone getting seriously hurt?? My wife and I were on a simular cruise several years ago and put up with the sex and drugs. Unfortunately we could not find a quiet spot to have a drink in the evenings so we asked for and received a complimentary bar setup from the hotel manager. Thank God for the in room tv and 24 hour pizzaria.
Clay, AL
221 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
If I owned a cruise line, and knowingly put these type of kids on a cruise ship with families, and then let them have run of the ship, I think I would have to take the blame.
This account really scares me.
To think I have to hide in my room is not a nice idea. Does this happen often (the ship blocking off the pool for a private group)?

From what I've read it this thread (please correct me if I'm wrong), I could get on the Sun with my family this fall, and the ship could announce that there were 500 "fall-breakers" on the ship, and we shouldn't use the pool unless we want to see kids having sex.

I like NCL from what I've read about it, but sometimes I think that they could start throwing their passengers overboard, and people on this board would come up with stuff like "well those passengers needed to swim", or "I'm sure NCL had a good reason"
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10 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by Hollyspop
Blaming NCL for the conduct of passengers is rediculous. For starters, how could the ship control 200 party animals without someone getting seriously hurt?? My wife and I were on a simular cruise several years ago and put up with the sex and drugs. Unfortunately we could not find a quiet spot to have a drink in the evenings so we asked for and received a complimentary bar setup from the hotel manager. Thank God for the in room tv and 24 hour pizzaria.

I'm just shaking my head...

Booking the 200 party animals was the problem. Who did that? I don't think it was Travelocity. It was the cruise line themselves. With due diligence someone should have been able to determine the type of crowd.

It hasn't been hard for me to find out information about the station's mode of operation. I got on the the radio station's web page. Found out that the last big bash they had resulted in similar complaints which they were told they would not be welcome back.

By the way, the pictures are already posted on the web page. Girls kissing girls, boys kissing boys, drinks being funneled down various partiers throats, and oh yes even bare breasts.

Oh and they also indicated that this 2005 Beach Bash Cruise cost the radio station $600,000. Doesn't surprise me at all. Money was the key for NCL and to hell with the "regular" passengers who spent their hard earned money hoping for a little fun and relaxation.

Room TV and 24 hr pizza??? I can get that every night at home without spending $2000 for cruise and airfare