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cmdchiefthom

Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes..the Sky

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Where does one begin when describing my experience aboard the Sky out of San Juan last week? What words can I use to describe the essence of my third NCL cruise experience? How about terrible, horrible, did not meet my expectations or even, the cruise from hell?

 

Now I'm sure many loyal NCL fans on this board will leap to NCL's defense when reading and replying to my comments, however as a three-time passenger, I believe I am entitled to share my experience and let it go at that.

 

The Sky's itinerary is what made me book this cruise for a small group of eleven fellow teachers. And let me from the get-go tell you that the ports were awesome. San Juan is a great place to jump-off from and we flew in a day early just to spend a full day doing the tourist thing in the old city. We stayed at the Wyndam Condado Plaza, a seven minuted taxi ride to the Panamerican Pier.

 

We arrived at the pier on Sunday around noon and had to stand in line for around twenty minutes to check-in our luggage. Not a real problem, just a long line. There seemed to be nobody in charge and there were at least a couple of hundred people waiting to check in. I finally found someone who seemed to have some clue as to procedure, flashed my latitudes card and was put in the suite line.

 

Once check in, we proceded to the security line where we found our ID's had the wrong names on them. I found someone behind the counter who seemed important, and she took me back to where I checked in and reprinted the cards with the correct names. Another couple in our group had the wrong key punched in the NCL computer and it took them almost a half hour to fix the glitch. So after almost an hour, we were allowed to board the ship.

 

Having been on the Sun twice before, we found navigating around the Sky very easy. The deck plans are almost identical. We headed up to our cabin, #0052 on deck ten. It was ready for occupancy, but I wasn't ready to believe the size! My guess, and I'm not one to bring a tape measure along with me, is it was at least ten percent smaller than our similar cabins aboard the Sun. No shelving around the desk as was the case on the Sun, and one open night stand and four drawers in the closet. We made due, but the single door out to the balcony and the porthole made the room seem small and darker than what we were used to.

 

It was then up to the Great Outdoor Cafe for a spot of lunch. This is where a taste of things to come first came into the picture. cofee machines empty, juice machines out of order, bread trays empty etc. This was to be our experience throughout the week spent onboard. What we were able to scrounge tasted bland and barely warm. I recall I had the Beef Stroganoff with sour cream. The closest this dish came to sour cream was the dressing for the baked potatoes down the line.

 

Unfortunatley, it started raining pretty hard, washing out our sight-seeing in Old San Juan for the rest of the afternoon, so we stopped in at Topsiders pool bar. There we met Dustin Brown, an American bartender who had joined the ship several weeks earlier in preparation for the Sky's transition to the full time Hawaii itinerary. Dustin was one of the highlights of our experience. A very nice guy, great bartender and just a real friendly kind of guy who remembered your name from day one. Elena, from Romania was also at Topsiders and was fantastic. What we found out was that the crew was transitioning to the all American crew. I think this is reason our experience aboard the Sky was so negative.

 

After two pretty good, not excellent, but fairly tastey meals in the Seven Seas on Sunday and Monday, things began to deteriorate. Surf and turf night became Surf, mine tasted like it had been in the freezer too long, and no turf unless you ordered an additional entre which was Steak Diane. In addition, having a table for seven seemed to confuse them. The wait staff had a problem with clearing the unused place-settings and chair from our table. I finally had to ask the dining room manager to please remove the unused items. The last four nights, we fended for ouselves either at the pooldeck barbecue, or the Garden Cafe. We didn't starve we simply didn't enjoy quality dining.

 

This brings up another issue. You never seemed to be at the right place at the right time to eat. We had shore excursions at all of the five ports. Most got us back to the ship by around 5, but our excursions involved water and of course a shower was in order before heading out for a bite to eat. The problems was that the poolside barbecue closed at 5:30. So if you wanted chicken or ribs off the grill, you were too late if you didn't get there by 5:30 which was what I experienced all but one afternoon. And, as I perviously mentioned, the Garden Cafe serving line was often a hit or miss situation. Every day something was missing, or a machine was out of order and it seemed no one made any effort to correct the situation.

 

I need to make some comments on what seemed to be happening aboard the Sky as the week went on. More and more Americans appeared in the dining areas, the bar areas and all around the ship. You could feel the change in attitude towards passengers. You could literally see the disdain the American servers had towards the passengers. They we surly and not at all happy to be there. I personally saw unprofessional behavior such as two pool servers, male and female, grabbing each other's butts while they were supposed to be claring tables around the pool. I'm not talking playfull here, but suggestive. In the Sports Bar on Friday evening, what appeared to be the head bartender had a shouting match with a female waitress in front of myself and probably ten or so other passengers. The girl was supposed to be on duty at 6:00 PM and showed up at 6:50 PM. She told the bartender she was sleeping and he shouted our "with who?" Then he continued to chew her out for being late.

 

Now about my subject Changes in Latitudes. I think it was Wednesday afternoon that the Latitudes party was held. Now I'm not a big joiner, but with the price of drinks onboard, I don't like turning down a free-be and neither do the other Latitudes members I cruise with. So when our group didn't get invited to the Latitudes reception, I kind of took it personally. I actually went to the Observation lounge and found a hostess and asked why I and my group were not invited. The hostess said just bring your Latitudes cards and you can get in. I told her that wasn't the point, the fact we weren't invited was the point. She said she would tell Duncan, the Latitudes rep, and Port consultant, about my concerns. The following day, Duncan finally called my stateroom. He said he was sorry, but our cabin steward must have screwed up and forgot to deliver our invitation. He said he'd send a couple of Latitudes pins and brochures on future cruises to our room. I told Duncan he was missing the point, and why blame it on the room steward. I asked him to explain how then did other members of my group one deck below fail to receive invitations as well. Did their room stewards screw up as well? Of course he accepted no responsibility at all.

 

Later that evening, several of my group members were sitting in Gatsby's and met the Staff Captain. We shared our concerns with him and he took notes in his palm pilot, also taking our names and cabin numbers. I kind of figured we'd get some sort of reply, but none was forthcoming.

 

The Sky has some real personnel problems. My recomendation would be for all the new American crew members to attend some sort of charm school. I also think that there has to be some close supervision by upper level management.

 

Would I cruise NCL again? If the itinerary was something special, yes. But I really don't believe I would just for the cruise experience. I have had far better cruising experiences aboard HAL ships for just a few dollars more.

 

Thom

PADI MI-1244

NAUI OWSI 5036

 

 

 

NCL Sky

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Zuiderdam 2003-04

NCL Sun 2003

NCL Sun 2002

Westerdam 2001

Ryndam 00

Veendam 99

Westerdam 98

Westerdam 97

Nieuw Amsterdam 96

Noordam 95-96

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Thanks for that review......all I can say is interesting..........

 

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I'm sorry to hear you had such a negative experience.

We all put so much time and money into planning our well deserved vacations and it's disturbing when things don't go well.

 

Hope your next vacation is a lot better.

 

"Happiness is a choice"

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VERY INTERESTING...

 

i was waiting to hear about how the american flagged ships would turn out. seems like you were caught not only on a personnel change, but a cultural change as well.

 

now this is a perfect segue into what i like to describe just how we, americans, forget how lucky we really are. (i ask for your patience on this one.)

 

majority of foreign flagged ships have...foreign crew. these employees tend to some from countries where jobs are difficult to obtain even if you have been educated. many may not realize but among those foreigners who serve you could very well be doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc...it's just that they cannot find jobs in their country or that professional exams are costly to allow them to practice, or they cannot obtain visas to work in other countries.

 

now...take their NCL America counterparts, who undoubtedly were educated, have all the benefits of growing up in a free country (God Bless all those who fight in defense of Her), yet...we still have fellow citizens who feel service positions are well beneath them. How ironic is that?

 

I am a true patriot just like the next american, however, i would be naive to think that all is well in the USofA. While it is true that unemployment is rising (or has risen), i also believe there are those who feel they are too good to be a waiter, or cabin steward, etc. yet we seem to stereotype service positions as those only fit for immigrants or illegals (those getting paid under the table).

 

Hopefully management will crack the whip and get our PAL and POA ships inline. NCL is a decent company...let's hope the NCL America subsidiary keeps that image alive.

 

diver_floating_md_clr.gif

WE ARE...PENN STATE! Biology '94

http://photos.yahoo.com/zonehph2002

click on NORWEGIAN WIND 20040327 (03/27/2004 sailing)

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Hey Thom,

Thanks for the review. I enjoyed meeting you, your wife, and the Cruise Bunny (did he have a nice Easter?) last April on the Sun, and just wanted to say HI!

Julie

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Thanks Julie.....Cruise Bunny had a great time at home with the grandkids.

 

I did fail to mention the tension between the foreign workers who we've all come to enjoy and the new American employees. It seemed very strained. Even the staff Captain said that many of the foreign crew have been onboard the Sky since its comissioning and felt like they were being evicted from their home. Its kind of sad.

 

One of the interesting things I was told by an American is that once in Hawaian waters, apparently the employees will unionize. As he mentioned, they will then make quite good money, not the crew wages they're making now, but American level wages. You have to wonder how NCL is going to be able to pay the entire crew union wages without jacking up the price throughout the fleet. If that should happen, why would you pay more for an NCL product of lesser quality than say HAL or Celebrity or RCL???? Makes no sense to me.

 

Thom

PADI MI-1244

NAUI OWSI 5036

 

 

 

NCL Sky

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Zuiderdam 2003-04

NCL Sun 2003

NCL Sun 2002

Westerdam 2001

Ryndam 00

Veendam 99

Westerdam 98

Westerdam 97

Nieuw Amsterdam 96

Noordam 95-96

 

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cmdchiefthom- Your post above read

 

"If that should happen, why would you pay more for an NCL product of lesser quality than say HAL or Celebrity or RCL???? Makes no sense to me".

 

Many people can only take vacations in the summer because of vacation-time restrictions so....If you want to cruise the Hawaiian Islands in JUNE, JULY, or AUGUST you have no other option than NCL. Unfortunately, NCL knows that too icon_wink.gif

 

herb

 

T.S. Bremen '67

M.S. Europa '67

Carnival Mardi Gras '80

NCL S.S. Norway '81 (honeymoon)

RCCL Majesty of the Seas '95

Carnival Fascination '99

Celebrity Zenith '00

Carnival Victory '01

NCL Norwegian Sea '02

RCI Voyager of the Seas '03

 

Looking forward to:

NCL Pride of ????? ~ Summer '05 ~ Hawaiian Islands~Aloha

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holy cr?p!!!! unionized? tell me this isnt' so! no offense towards union workers, but you can defiinitely see that if things aren't favorable for those employed you WILL see crew members on strike jeopardizing hard earned vacations by the pax.

 

i don't mean to be such a pessimist...but this does not sound good at all.

 

diver_floating_md_clr.gif

WE ARE...PENN STATE! Biology '94

http://photos.yahoo.com/zonehph2002

click on NORWEGIAN WIND 20040327 (03/27/2004 sailing)

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A couple of comments about your "terrible horrible cruise from hell":

Your complaints:

Screwed up IDs at embarkation - you are absolutely right to feel annoyed about this - I would be too.

Crude behavior by crew members (butt grabbers -ugh ! and screaming fit by bartender in front of passengers). No excuse for this - I would be annoyed too

However neither of these to incidents would completely put me off the cruise - although they would be reflected on my comment card.

Your other complaints just seemed like petty minor annoyances. I mean you skipped the dining rooms for the rest of the week because a place setting was not removed and one meal was not to your satisfaction! (When I was on the Sky in Feb - I was disappointed with my very first meal in the dining room - had I taken your attitude and never gone back to the dining room I would have missed several very nice meals.) You chose to eat at the Garden Cafe frequently even though you did not like it the first time and you complain about lack of quality dining -hey YOU chose to eat most of your meals at a cafeteria! I am sure if I had eaten most of my meals at the Garden Cafe I would have been disappointed with the food quality too. (We ate a couple of lunches there and found it OK but defintely FAR inferior to the dining rooms and I agree there seems to be one juice machine permanently out of order. We never had any problems with coffee machines or buffet items not being replenished frequently.)

Your latitudes difficulties actually amaze me. You got to go to the reception but apparently require some sort of major grovelling because your invitations did not appear - personally I would consider this a minor inconvenience since you did not actually miss out on anything (except apparently some ego stroking). Please forgive me if I seem a touch unsympathetic but Ijust don't get why this is SO important - but to try to be fair maybe to some people it is.

Service issues non-specific complaints: I cannot really comment because we sailed with the "old" crew who were great

Staff Captain: Uhm - what response did you expect from him - he obviously took note of your complaints.

So overall: I think you have some truly valid complaints about this cruise but really "cruise from hell" seems somewhat exaggerated.

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=00ffff&cdt=2004;2;1;23;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500  Until NCL SKY

 

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well...i turn around and i see Zeno taking the reigns as the famed cruise critic agitator.

 

i can honestly agree with you on some of those inconveniences. but all in all i think it's because this cruiser was caught in a time when people just dont' care anymore. the crew is changing...some to the point of feeling evicted...etc.

 

the only thing i was surprised is that surf and turf is (or has not been on the menu) as a single item...you would HAVE TO order the steak diane and the lobster separately. must be a logistical thing in the kitchen...who knows...food is food...alone or in pairs.

 

rain in PR? no way! good thing is wasn't a flash flood...cause sun showers happen all the time in the caribbean...anyone been to roatan?

 

and just the mere fact that they were "at the wrong place at the wrong time"...this whole difficulty of finding food on a ship just baffles me. you miss one location...move on to the next. as for the juice machines in the buffet...they are always like that...maybe they do that on purpose to prevent food waste? or worse...hoarding by the passengers?

 

seems minor to me what you went through...

 

but i will share that i made it to almost every bbq by poolside on the Wind 2 weeks ago...boy those ribs are awesome!!! sorry to hear you missed them on your ship.

 

diver_floating_md_clr.gif

WE ARE...PENN STATE! Biology '94

http://photos.yahoo.com/zonehph2002

click on NORWEGIAN WIND 20040327 (03/27/2004 sailing)

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Thom,

NCL does have great itineraries! Guess that was enough to lure you away from HAL again. I was a bit surprised to see you took the Sky, as you were wistful for a HAL ship on your NCL cruise last year! I could feel for you when you said you looked longingly at the Zaandam (was it?) in port while we were docked there last April on the Sun. I can imagine how you felt. I think I would have felt the same way had I been on a HAL ship, looking at the Sun : ). Nothing against HAL, different people like different things.

 

Just an aside on your "butt grabbing" example. I experienced the same thing on one of my cruises. It was an older male crewmember and a younger male crewmember in an elevator with me and my husband. It wasn't lewd or anything, just sexually playful, but I thought it was unprofessional. This was on HAL's Statendam. I don't expect a lot in terms of groveling or butt kissing, but I do like a friendly, professional crew. Arguing about work issues or giving someone a "talking to" in front of passengers is BAD NEWS!!

JMHO icon_cool.gif

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WOW, what a difference 2 weeks can make. I bet it is the towel animals that caused all the problems. In all seriousness, if you see these kind of deficincies please locate James Deering and let him know. You WILL be pleased with the response. If you are organizing a CC meeting, let me know when and where and I will try to petition staff that I have contact with to get James and such to attend. Yes, I like NCL. Yes I have sailed others. Yes I am biased. That is why I will help others to have as positive of experiences as have I. It is kinda like when someone you know gets a lemon car, you pull in a few markers to help get the problem solved.

 

Aloha Hawaii from LA via San Francisco

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Gdries

 

What toweled animals. I've had them in the past, but not on this cruise. Maybe because the new stewards are American, they haven't been taught to make them.

By the way, I have spent 26 years in the USAF and continue to wear our country's uniform as a ROTC instructor. Anyone who would like to preach about buying American simply because of the nationality of the crew should simply go eat ---- and go away.

In this day and age, service, not nationality, pays the bills unless you accept inferior service! For what I pay for a cruise, I accept only quality. For what I have experienced on NCL compared to HAL we're talking Motel 6, versus the Hyatt!

However, like my Dad taught me, location, location, location means the difference in enjoyment. NCL seems to be able to understand that, and offer excellent itineraries which makes me come back.

 

Thom

PADI MI-1244

NAUI OWSI 5036

 

 

 

NCL Sky 2004

Zuiderdam 2003-04

NCL Sun 2003

NCL Sun 2002

Westerdam 2001

Ryndam 00

Veendam 99

Westerdam 98

Westerdam 97

Nieuw Amsterdam 96

Noordam 95-96

 

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I really like the title of this thread.

 

cmdchiefthom Thank you for taking the time to write your review.

 

We went on the Sky over New Years and the reason why I picked this ship was because of her changing over to the Pride of Aloha. I had sailed on her twice before and really wanted to sail on her one more time before the change. During our cruise some of the American crew was already working on board. Even then I had noticed a difference in the attitudes of the American crew. I really hope for NCL's sake that this venture with the "American" ships works out. I have no plans what-so-ever of traveling on one of the "American" flagged ships. I love cruising and one of the things that I love about my cruises, is being spoiled by the International staff and just don't feel that this will ever happen with an American crew. Good luck NCL and can't wait to see some of my favorite "International" crew/friends on your other ships.

 

OceanDreams

Life is to short for one to be unhappy.

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Thom,

 

Sorry to hear about your experience. Eating is a VERY big part of a cruise for all of us.FREE Drinks an even bigger part for me. I really hate to miss them.

 

You didn't mention anything about some of my other favorite parts of a cruise.

How were your cabin stewards?

Did you go to any shows or other entertainment?

How about Shore Excursions?

Did you do any Duty Free Shopping?

How about the Casino?

Did you go to the Spa?

Get any Photos?

 

Were the American Cabin Stewards, Entertainers, Shop Employees, Casino Staff, Spa, Photo, and Shore Excursion People as problematic as the other staff?

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Jim,

 

I honestly couldn't tell you who our cabin steward was because we never saw, him or her and there was no name card in the cabin when we arrived, so I don't have a clue. It's also true that there were no little towel animals left at any time. I might mention that someone did put a bowl of fruit in the room while we were out on Thursday.

 

As for entertainment, quite honestly our group stayed away from the main show lounge. The bands were good, and the piano player in Gatsby's was excellent.

 

The shorex guys and girls were great. Four of our group were SCUBA divers and we booked two of our four days of diving with them. The diving in Dominica and St. Lucia with the ship was fantastic. I've been diving since 1962, and the reefs on this trip were the best I've seen in decades. Very upsoiled. We booked the Pitons SCUBA which turned out to be the better part of eight hours. They have a large sport fisherman which takes all the Pitons passengers, SCUBA, snorkelers, mountain bikers etc. on the hour long ride to a beach area near the Pitons. They then transfer everyone to smaller boats that take you to the beach which has lounge chairs etc. I've got to tell you, it's a black volcanic sand beach about 300 yards long, with a palm forrest and jungle behind it. It looks like a place Robinson Caruso would live. There's some old stone buildings in the jungle that serves as a cafeteria and that's where lunch is served. It was actually quite awesome.

 

I arranged for private diving in Barbados, the wreck of the Stavronikita, and also in St. Kitts, where we dived two different wrecks.

 

In St. Thomas, we did the Champange Catamaran cruise over to St. Johns which was also great.

 

Actually out entire group loved the excursions offered because it gave us a chance to escape from the ship.

 

As for shopping, we frankly didn't have time, but I should mention that there was a very poor selection available on the ship. The shopping area was very small as compared to the same area on the Sun.

 

The Casino was small and seemed very crowded. My wife had an interesting experience on one of the quarter slots. On our first night, she played this machine and did quite well. The following evening, the staff had changed the machine so that each pull was for fifty cents rather than a quarter. You had to look at the electronic screen to figure out that they had doubled the cost of one spin. Very sneaky!

 

We didn't use the spa facilities. As for photos, I do underwater videos and that's where I concentrated, so I didn't get too many stills.

 

One other interesting thing happened however. On our final day at sea, while cruising west alont the south shore of Puerto Rico, we saw a Coast Guard Cutter approach a large ship a couple of miles from us. The cutter pulled along side and next thing we saw was the other ship explode and then catch on fire. Don't know if it was a drug bust followed by gunfire, or just an accident. The fire could be seen for miles.

 

I have to compliment Dustin Brown in the casino bar, Elena at Topsiders, and Bunny in Gatsby's. They were superb. I might also add that Dustin recognized exactly what I had problems with and actually asked me to write everything down so he could take it to the Captain. He was the bright spot in terms of the all American crew.

 

Please understand that there is hope for the Sky. But, it will take a whole lot of training in people skills for it to work. Until they iron those problems out, count on me to take my business elsewhere.

 

Thom

PADI MI-1244

NAUI OWSI 5036

 

 

 

NCL Sky 2004

Zuiderdam 2003-04

NCL Sun 2003

NCL Sun 2002

Westerdam 2001

Ryndam 00

Veendam 99

Westerdam 98

Westerdam 97

Nieuw Amsterdam 96

Noordam 95-96

 

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NCL Sky was filthy, horrible and disappointing when we sailed it to Alaska last Aug. We vowed never to sail NCL again. I agree with all you said, but then the Aisan crew was hastling the European crew. Crew members were sitting on the buffet railing, where the trays slide. Food was horrible and cold. Machines were out of order. Restaurants were understaffed and waiters bumbling. We complained hard enough and received a $300 credit towards another NCL cruise. We sailed the Dawn March 28, 2004 and LOVED the ship. Quite opposite of the Sky. Clean, delicious food, wonderful staff, Courteous and fun. It's just the luck of the drawer, I think as to what each cruise is like. Everyone is always moving around as far as the staff that you can't bet the ranch that you will have the same experience again. Cleanliness and satisfying meals are all I need.

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Keukamon

 

I need to mention that the Sky appeared to be very well maintained and clean. I just feel that no one, with a few exceptions, could care less about the happiness or comfort of the passengers.

 

Thom

PADI MI-1244

NAUI OWSI 5036

 

 

 

NCL Sky 2004

Zuiderdam 2003-04

NCL Sun 2003

NCL Sun 2002

Westerdam 2001

Ryndam 00

Veendam 99

Westerdam 98

Westerdam 97

Nieuw Amsterdam 96

Noordam 95-96

 

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My friend is an employee of NCL and an international and works on that ship. Believe me, your voice is not alone. He has said many of the same things that you just mentioned and it has resulted in lower extra "tips", even though the everything is Freestyle. All of the internationals are being transferred elsewhere, it has made for very hard relations between international staff and americans. It's just another sign of how deteriorated our own USA culture is I suppose

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Was on the Sky Feb 04 so I can't comment on the crew - our's was the old group, but the Ship was very nice and was kept clean. Trays in buffet areas were promptly picked up. I particulary liked the fact that they had drink bars set up in the buffet. I prefer running over to the little table to get my refills, rather than waiting for bar staff to make their rounds.

 

I think there might have been a machine out of order, but I can't remember precisely which one. The buffet food was unimaginative, but it was generally cooked all right and was hot. The dining room food was all over the map - but I've found that to be my experience on Celebrity too.

 

Pizza was readily available in off times - and I found I never had a problem finding something to eat. On Celebrity, there were definite times that you could not get anything to eat except through room service.

 

Our group of 12 did mention they thought the overall quality of the food was sub-par. I thought it was ok. But then again - the main point of cruising for me is the "unpack once - yet visit varied ports without worrying about how we are going to get there." Food is secondary to this for me.

 

The excursions were excellent.

 

We've cruised a lot in the last 4 years and I think it's such a hit or miss thing. Within a line, different ships, different weeks - have different experiences.

 

Yes, we got wet in San Juan and we got "moist" in a couple of ports at the beginning of our cruise. Other than the time I stood in the downpour at the pool at the San Juan Marriott and got soaked to the skin - I found I dried off very quickly when caught in those minor showers. I swear this is the first in 12 years of cruising and vacationing in the Caribbean that I had rain. Must be a bad year for the Caribbean.

 

Some of Thom's comments bordered on silly. This is a cruise ship - a mainstream cruiseship - not a five star resort. The kind of treatment he was looking for does not exist on mainstream cruiseships. It's mass market - the experience is mass market - if you wish to get treated like you are at a five star resort - you have to go to a five star resort and pay their extravagant prices.

 

On our 8 cruises on 4 lines - we've always been treated well by the vast majority of the staff. Yes, we've run into bad attitudes - but we don't spend all our waking moments rehashing the "problems." This only puts one in a foul mood and "colors" the rest of the experience.

 

And another thing. I generally find that the way you guarantee good attitudes and good service is by treating the staff with friendliness and respect. You "reap what you sow."

 

[This message was edited by smudge's mom on 04-19-04 at 11:12 AM.]

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I regret having to agree as I am a fan of NCL and like you have cruised 3 times with them. Sky in 2001, Dawn in 2003 and the Sky again in March this year.

 

I was really disappointed in the service levels but really only at dinner. There was a real problem with the intake of American crew. They were all very personable, those that we met anyway, but were right at the bottom of the learning curve and consequently service was not up to standard.

 

My opinion, for what it is worth, is that they have taken on too much too soon. The problem with the Pride of America has not helped. I likened our cruise to a shake down cruise but paying full price.

 

We still had a great time and it didn't stop us enjoying ourselves, and we met some lovely people through CC. However if this had been our 1st NCL cruise having sampled previously Carnival and Princess, we would not have been impressed.

 

If you are interested my review is at the following;

 

http://messages.cruisecritic.com/2/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=927093444&f=069097554&m=211108901

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HI, I was on the very same cruise fromm March 7 on..I'd say my review would be comprable to yours. I loved the carribean band that played in the afternoons, these gracious guys even sang some special requests for me and I bought one of their cd's. I thought Jean Powell's backup band was excellent when they played in the Windjammer lounge..it's amazing that her music director is only 27! Nice, Nice, people. icon_cool.gif

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