Good value for money but could improve on Eastern Med 7 night cruise
David Slovick | September 26, 2017 | Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL has offered us great enjoyment on a previous cruise of the Baltic and so we took the Eastern Med cruise from Venice with high expectations. We had a balcony cabin upgraded by bidding process to a larger one on deck 11 which was quite big enough for 2, with a wheelchair and mobility aid to stow away when not used. Generally service was good, with friendly and helpful staff, particularly good cabin maintenance. But there was comment amongst fellow guests of unacceptable standards of public WC maintenance with disgustingly wet floors left for hours. There were always long queues for the main Versailles and Aqua dining rooms and rather slow service at meals therein. Personally, we are not big fans of very expensive alternative restaurants, although the ship carried multiple options for the hungry! That said, the quality and choice of food was very good in the main restaurants. The poolside deck area smoking was a big turnoff to we non-smokers. Other cruise lines are far more restrictive in this matter; it was not possible to eat breakfast or lunch here or sunbathe without risking breathing really noxious cigarette fumes. The pool water was freezing and not the advertised 28C. A few pool tiles were missing here and there which looked poor. The ship’s passage was extremely smooth and very efficiently conducted to destination ports on schedule, despite a few delayed departures, and the quality of the stage shows was really outstanding. We particularly enjoyed the Russian acrobats, the UK magician and his contortionist fiance and the Paradis shows. There was also a Take That tribute band show. A feature that we missed compared with the Celebrity ship we took to Norwegian fiords was the lack of a large observation lounge/bar with comfortable seats looking forward. We often met new friends for drinks there. The dark aft disco/lounge and cramped noisy bars on the Norwegian Star were unfortunately not comparable and little used during the daytime.
The overall impression was of an element of corner cutting, with enormous pressure on uncomplaining staff working up to 70 hours a week.
Be prepared to manage your expectations.
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