“You want to go on a cruise?” Joy asks me months ago.

“Is this like the other times you asked me if I wanted to go on a cruise and it falls through?” I replied. The last two occasions she asked me, it didn’t happen (for me) due to situations beyond Joy’s control.

“No, not this time. This time you really get to go.”

“Hmmm. Let me think about it… No.”

“Why not?!?”

“Because I have zero interest in being on a boat for a week,” I said.

“C’mon, go. It will only be for a weekend and the whole family is going. Plus it will be cheaper if you go,” she said. Now we get to the nut of it.

“Okay, just tell me how much it is and when I need to have the money by.”

And that’s how I signed up for a cruise to the Bahamas on the Norwegian Cruise Line.  Boy, what a shitfest NCL turned out to be.

Some port in the Bahamas. Glad to get off the boat.

We arrived in Florida on Friday, June 11th and boarded the big ass ship — I think it was the Spirit, but I can’t be assed to check. After checking in, as we’re about to head to our rooms, we are stopped by someone asking us if we want the unlimited soda package. Now this was a little bit surprising since this was suppose to be an all inclusive deal (sans alcohol). Apparently, though, NCL doesn’t put sodas in their all inclusive package. Awesome.

I passed on it, at first, as my sister said in her previous cruises, juices, tea and water were included. Since I like fruit punch and lemonade, I figured I could go without Mountain Dew for a weekend. I figured wrong once I found out juices were only served at breakfast, the tea sucked and all that left me was water. So I dropped the $21 or so additional for the soda card. Yay, NCL.

Goofing around off the boat.

A major problem with the NCL cruise is there was nothing to do. On all the other cruises Joy has been on (this was her first NCL cruise), she said there was always tons of stuff to do. Shows, games, food, etc. Not here. NCL had one show a day (usually after dinner), the food was lame (nothing exotic to go with the Caribbean motif), the two nicer restaurants that were only open for dinner had the same menu as each other and the “adults only” pool somehow had kids in it more often than not (although one day I will give credit to the lifeguard dude running them out when he could). To add, NCL nickled and dimed you every chance they got. For example, when we were getting on the boat on day one, they took a picture of all of us (which I need to scan once my scanner works). I figured it was a little freebie token to take home. No sir, they wanted $20 for a copy. Really, NCL? Your charge $20 for a picture with your shitty logo all over it, and it really costs you maybe a nickle to print out? Good job. Thumbs up to you, because I bought one.

Me, pops and Coco having a cold one.

Saturday, though, Saturday was pretty bad ass. That’s when we docked at Nassua for the day and got off boat to walk around. We went to this big straw market and did some wheeling and dealing. I picked up a pretty cool Tiki mask for $15. Damn good deal because the vendor started at $40, and we ended up settling on $15. Take note, if you ever go to the straw market, never, ever take the first price. Or second or third. They are willing to deal.

Joy and I up front, Coco and Pops in the back. Classic.

Since it was hot as balls, we hit Senor Frogs for some drinks. I have to say, Senor Frogs was, hands down, the highlight of the trip, mainly because I didn’t feel like I was getting raped every time I pulled out my wallet. I paid $6 for a mixed drink at Frogs that had more liquor in it than what NCL was charging $11 on the boat. $11 at Frogs would have gotten me a yardstick sized drink. I checked NCL’s prices on the same sized drink, but they wouldn’t sell me one because theirs cost two good eyes, and I only have one. 🙁

Me, Joy and Pops outside of Senor Frogs.

Sadly, though, we couldn’t stay at Nassau and had to get back on the boat (although I was extremely tempted to just grab a hotel room and fly back from there). We got back on the boat where I went to the casino to lose more money since there was nothing else to do.

The whole gang outside of Senor Frogs.

On Sunday, we went to NCL’s private island. If you wanted a raft or inflatable device, NCL was kind enough to rent them out to you for an extra charge. I had no need for either, since we went on a boat trip around the island checking out sharks and starfish and mantarays. That was pretty badass and worth the money.

I got to hold a Starfish. Don’t be jealous.

I know it probably looks like I had a bad time and, to some degree, I did. And I blame that 100% on NCL and their shitty cruise line. The only thing that saved it being absolutely suicide inducing was my family and my sister’s friends, Shelly and Earnie. They made it bearable (and they thought it was as much suck as I did).

I have little interest in going on another cruise (although Joy said don’t judge all cruises on NCL, since there are ones out there that are actually, you know, fun). I heard Alaskan cruises are the shit, so I’m open to one of those, and I may go on one in the future since I have both friends and family that want to do it.

Me and my nephew, Coco. Really dig this one.

Joy is in the process of planning the next family vacation, this time to a resort (ALL inclusive, including liquor) in the Dominican Republic. I’m really, really down for that since if worse comes to worse I can just be steady drunk. Plus, a few of my friends show a little interest in going, too, and it will be good to have some of my friends to hang out with, too, in addition to my crazy family.

Oh, and most ironic part of this vacation? NCL sent me an email to fill out a survey on how I liked my cruise. When I clicked on the link to gleefully share my opinion, it lead to a broken page.  I hope NCL’s entire fleet sinks. Assholes.

  • Snooze

    But tell us how you *really* feel…

    Ah, sorry the cruise company was lame, but it does sound like a good time with the family. I love those bar stool pics. That's classic.

  • I'm sorry, Snooze, I'm a jerk. I meant to respond to this earlier, then saw something shiny.

    Yeah, my dad didn't realize it was the stool and when he first saw the picture I took, he was accusing me of photoshopping it in the camera. I was crying.

  • Kangasisgod

    You know, things would have been cheaper on NCL if you'd paid with rape dollars. I'm just saying.

  • Kangasisgod

    You know, things would have been cheaper on NCL if you’d paid with rape dollars. I’m just saying.

  • Dave Duncan

    NCL’s mistreatment and disgrace

     

     

    I feel the following–this is my opinion, only:

     

    Norwegian Cruise Lines
    (NCL) is an unfair company to work for or to sail with. Do not give your money
    or self to this unjust corporation. If you step foot on one of their ships,
    know that you are supporting a company that in my experience has little regard
    for its employees or passengers. They care about one thing, and one thing only:
    their profit margin. They will not concern themselves with your safety or care.
    The entire cruise industry badly needs better oversight, and NCL painfully
    demonstrates this.

     

    Many of NCL’s employees
    relay that they are taken advantage of. The vast majority are from the Philippines,
    are horribly underpaid and overworked, and are forced to live approximately 8
    to a cabin, meaning they get very little sleep. These bottom floors flood with
    toilet water containing feces, as there are frequently severe plumbing problems
    on these bottom levels. They work demanding jobs in the bowels of the ship
    lacking sleep, for long shifts, accidents waiting to happen, without
    representation. And rest assured, when an accident occurs, NCL will do anything
    to avoid paying a claim–it is all about the money, not concern for their
    passengers or crew. They make money hand-over-fist, but will not devote the
    proceeds to protecting their crew or passengers.

     

    Allow me to relay an
    incident, and I believe it is not unique. A worker, let’s call them
    “Worker X”, was on one of the NCL ships. They were performing their
    duties and were injured due to negligent conditions. NCL’s management knew
    about these conditions long beforehand, but did nothing to repair them. They
    badly injured themselves, but were misdiagnosed by the ship’s doctors as having
    minimal injuries! So, they kept them on the ship, insisted they work, and all
    the while they had serious injuries that were worsening. NCL’s response was
    immediately to deny responsibility, and to disrespect and intimidate them. They
    had no concern for their well-being or care; they only wanted to cover
    themselves legally, and did all they could to cover-up and minimize the
    situation. The security staff immediately manipulated and intimidated them. It
    was a disgusting and shameful response.

     

    A week later, Worker X’s
    pain was so excruciating, they insisted they be sent home for care. Upon their
    return, they went to their own doctor, who found serious injuries that were not
    diagnosed by the ship’s doctors, who had basically told Worker X to stop
    bothering them. These injuries were all made worse by the delay in proper care.
    NCL delayed months to reimburse their medical bills, so they were broke, and
    without medical care. So, Worker X was injured because of NCL’s negligence and
    was unable to work for months, broke from the medical costs and could no longer
    afford proper medical care, and NCL only denied responsibility and delayed
    support. Their claims office office did nothing but toy with them and give them
    the run-around, despite their promises to the contrary. I WOULD BE HIGHLY
    SKEPTICAL OF ANYTHING NCL CLAIMS!

     

    I understand the captain
    himself mocked Worker X when they brought the dangerous conditions to his
    attention. So, think about that: the captain himself expresses apathy and lack
    of concern for safety and conditions. I wonder what that translates into as a whole
    for the safety of passengers and employees.

     

    Workers should know that NCL has arbitration clauses
    in their contracts, which you are forced to sign upon arrival on ship so that
    you really have little choice at that point. These clauses protect NCL from
    being truly accountable in case of injury onboard, so if you have an accident,
    they will most likely never be held fully accountable, and you most likely will
    never receive care or compensation as you deserve. These clauses all but
    prevent jury trials, where the public would see the abuses of this company and
    compensate people accordingly, and provide much-needed publicity to keep the
    actions of this company in the public eye.

     

    I personally would not
    trust being on a NCL vessel. I feel their medical staff is ill-trained, their
    security staff is primarily there to manipulate, intimidate, and protect the
    interests of the company, and the management seemingly has no decency. FROM MY
    EXPERIENCE, I FEEL YOU ARE IN THE WORST OF HANDS WITH NCL.

     

    In my opinion, NCL is an
    example of an American company subjugating and manipulating passengers and crew
    for their financial gain. They should be ashamed, but are not. And yes, they
    are an American company–they have nothing to do with Norway–and they fly a flag of the Bahamas in
    order to circumvent American law which would provide better working conditions
    and protection for employees. Employees are made to sign a contract with an
    arbitration clause once they are aboard (so they have no choice at that point),
    so that legally NCL is protected form the multitude of enormous law suits they
    may otherwise face.

     

    As a side note, it is my
    understanding (though I am not entirely clear on the matter) that NCL had to be
    legally forced to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act–they would
    not do so voluntarily. They would not of their own accord make travel for their
    disabled passengers more comfortable because it would have cost them
    money–kindly consider that fact as an example of their apathy and lack of
    respect.

     

    I feel you should choose
    any other line on the seas if you choose to cruise, and you will be in better
    hands. The entire cruise industry badly needs better oversight, and NCL
    painfully exemplifies this. Affect this company legally and fairly and in the
    only spot they may care: in their pocketbooks! Do not support this company.
    Stand up for the little person… in this case, EVERYONE: passengers, crew, the
    INDIVIDUAL. STAND UP AND SAY ENOUGH! I FEEL YOU SHOULD NOT SAIL WITH NCL AS A
    PASSENGER OR CREW, AND THAT YOU SHOULD BOYCOTT NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES (NCL)!

     

    I´M SURE NCL WILL HAVE
    THIS POST REMOVED QUICKLY, LEST THE TRUTH BE KNOWN. THE CRUISE INDUSTRY QUELLS
    THE MEDIA TO THEIR PURPOSE. THOSE DISAGREEING WITH THIS POST CERTAINLY HAVE
    THAT RIGHT, BUT KINDLY DON´T BASE SUCH ON YOUR LOVE OF CRUISING, OR LACK OF
    KNOWLEDGE OF THE DEEP-SEEDED CONDITIONS INHERENT IN THIS COMPANY. SEEK THE
    TRUTH, AND MAKE YOUR DECISIONS ACCORDINGLY- THAT IS ALL I ASK.

  • William R

    Yea NCL is TERRIBLE! The worst out there. Just surf the web and see how many complaints there are against them. A friend of mine also worked for them and was injured, and they did nothing to help- it was OUTRAGEOUS! She has lifelong injuries now and is broke. They looked for any way possible to avoid paying her claim, delaying and disrespecting. Truly disgusting. Look for cruise work or enjoyment elsewhere, if you wish to at all. Don´t support NCL- BOYCOTT NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES (NCL). 

    Reponses I sometimes read are ¨”Well, they´re just as bad as any multinational corporation!” Well, what the heck kind of standard are you setting? Expect more- at least a little decency and respect. 

     BOYCOTT NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINES (NCL)!!!

  • estebancruise

    NCL SUCKS! THey are terrible to work for. I got injured on thier ship, and they haven’t even reimbursed my medical bils a year later- just excuses and lies. Really a terrible experience. be very careful with NCL! Very! I mean very, very!