Often when we do our Welcome home calls to our customers and ask how the cruise went, often we will hear the cruise was fabulous, lovely, really good or any other positive words that they think we want to hear. But what I like to hear is whats between the lines and their real thoughts on the cruise. Obviously I do take into account that what is important to one person isn’t always important to another, and to some can often be misconstrued as someone being a moaning minnie.
I had some guests sail on the NCL Spirit in December who wrote to me to tell me about their experiences on board and wanted me to share in a future blog, and have to say I was a little surprised to read their email about the service and standards they had received.o thought I would share them with you in this weeks blog. A little background into my passengers is that they live in Spain so boarding in Malaga was something that was of preference to them just as boarding in Southampton is to me, they had booked a balcony cabin and they also took a mobility scooter on board with them, which as you will read in a moment the facilities on board for wheelchair/mobility users were almost nonexistent. They are well seasoned cruisers, and have travelled on many different cruise lines.
Here is their review:
We found both the cabin and balcony were very small. There was a 3rd bed in the cabin which could have been stored under the double bed but we only discovered this on our last full day after talking to another couple who had a similar cabin and also a mobility scooter, and feel that the cabin staff should have made this clear! There was no space to enjoy room service as there was no room and there was only a dressing table which was approximately 1 meter x 25 cms which contained a tray with a coffee machine, we couldn’t call room service even we had wanted to as our telephone was not working and despite reporting it no action was taken in the 10 days we were on board. Ice should have been provided twice daily and to ensure we received the ice I had to place the empty bucket on the bed! We also sent laundry on the Friday which was due to be returned back on the Saturday evening, however we did not receive it until Tuesday. (Many requests were made to the cabin steward and ultimately Customer Services).
We felt there was a sad lack of information on the ship ie there were no details were supplied on the daily news sheet regarding ports of call unless attending the information talks, and the day the ship docked in Barcelona there was no information regarding disembarkation for our day trip. On port days food was only available in the Blue Lagoon where the food we had was cold and went uneaten. Although this did not affect us we understand from other passengers there was no organization for games etc. The deck for disembarkation was changed without notice!
There was no provision for disabled passengers in the buffet until the last few days. There were quite a lot of disabled passengers on board. Also despite seats designated for disabled passengers in the theatre there was no control and we were unable to find a seat. A mobility scooter cannot climb stairs!!
On disembarkation at Malaga we were given times for the luggage to be available but no announcements were made. We all had to make enquiries from other members of staff.
Overall I would say apart from our cabin steward we found all the service staff extremely happy and helpful. The reception (customer service) were usually helpful but when I wished to change the on board tips I was requested to complete a form but was not allowed to take it away from the counter.
Reading their review it seems there was an issue with their cabin steward, the lack of information on board, and also the lack of facilities for the wheelchair/mobility users.
Have you encountered anything similar on NCL? or any other cruise line? What are your thoughts on the above?