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hondar

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About hondar

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Daytona Beach Shores, FL
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Regent Seven Seas

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  1. tulok - Exactly! My husband and I went on Regent to Alaska in 2016 and it was beyond amazing! When you add everything up, it really wouldn't have been a lot more to use Regent for this trip, but I had my grandkids and thought the kids would enjoy the Joy more. I think that they enjoyed the cruse a lot more than I did! BTW, we were booked on a Regent Intensive Cuba cruise in October, and the itinerary had to be cancelled. However the new Eastern/southern itinerary includes some smaller ports we haven;t visited. Best of all, due to the incovenience, you could either cancel with full refund or take the revised itinerary at a 50% discount!!! I understand that NCL is providing $100 shipboard credit for their revised itineraries. Ha!
  2. Final report from 5/25 Joy cruise. Bottom line: I, personally, would not sail on the Joy again. That doesn't mean it isn't a beautiful ship with lots to do, and some might love it. I have been on over 20 cruises with all cruise lines from Carnival to Regent Seven Seas, and this was my least favorite. However, as I stated in the OP, I had not been on a ship this large. PROS Great shows and good reservation system. We were able to walk in about 20 minutes prior to show with no wait and good seats. Amazing crew. Very friendly and helpful. Lots of activities all of the time. No getting bored on this ship. The Observation Room on Deck 15 was amazing. Plenty of seating, beautiful views. My favorite place (besides my balcony) We chose a later disembarkation time and it was very smooth, unlike previous cruisers encountered. CONS Food was terrible. please note that I am not a "foodie" and not usually particular. Also I didn't go to speciality restaurants. (After paying $5,000+ for cruise I expected decent food at the complementary locations.) I did go to the MDR and the other 24 hour restaurant as well as the buffet. The first day's lunch was excellent, but after that it went downhill quick. You absolutely could not get a table at the buffet without waiting and stalking people who were finishing their meal. I've been on cruises with 2,000 people which had more seating than the buffet area. I put this completely on the cruise line. With all of the kids (3rd and 4th person), I would assume there were close to 4000 people on this ship. (3400 for double occupancy) On the same note, you could never get a seat in the atrium during activities. Again, a beautiful atrium, but better suited for 2000 people instead of 4000. Apparently NCL has given each room steward 16 mini-suites to clean...by themselves. This means that the room was often not cleaned until early afternoon. This also means that the steward was overworked. Hours were from 7-3 and from 5-9. Again, on previous cruises, the stewards worked in teams, all rooms were cleaned before noon and stewards were off duty until 5. Human rights issues????? Left a bad taste in my mouth. As I stated previously, Guest Services was a disaster. If you don't have to deal with them, then you probably will have a better cruise. Was the trip horrible? Absolutely not. However, from talking to other passengers, I definitely got the impression that the guests in the Haven had a totally different experience (which they paid dearly for). Excellent food, service, etc. Didn't have to mix with the masses on a routine basis.
  3. I just got a notice from RSSC and they have definitely cancelled Cuba itinerary. They have replaced it with a 10-day Eastern Southern Caribbean. Very disappointing, but they do give you the option of canceling, or if you choose to go on the Caribbean cruise you get a 50% discount. Great way to handle it I think. BTW, we were fortunate enough to visit Cuba on a Land tour in 2015, and I absolutely love the country. Obviously not for everybody, and probably not politically correct, but the people are wonderful, the food is good and it is a beautiful country.
  4. We're mid cruise now and I truly see why some love this ship and some don't. The "physical" part of the ship is amazing! Nicely decorated, good amount of open space, and lots of activities. Our mini suite, though, is smaller than a regular balcony on most other cruises we've been on. But it is still nicely decorated and well laid out with lots of nooks for storage. All of the staff are very nice and friendly. Of course, the absolute worst public area is the Lido deck. There is hardly ever a seat available, and your meal is cold by the time you get a seat. Actual food lines were generally not bad. The bad, to me, appears to be in the management of the ship. I usually have less than one trip to Guest Services on a cruise. On this trip I have already been there six times, and had to wait at least 20 to 30 minutes each time. Only a couple of those trips, I was then told they couldn't help me I had to go somewhere else. Even though I had been sent there to begin with. I have a CPAP. Normally I just ask my steward for extension cord. Not here. I had to GO to guest services...not CALL guest services. After standing in line for 30 minutes, was informed they didn't have any and would have to get them from HOUSEKEEPING the next morning. So no CPAP for me the first night. To add insult to injury they informed me I would have to return the extension cord to guest services the last day or be charged$15. Also, at different times, 3 of our 4 cards had charging privileges revoked. Considering my CC on file had a $15000 limit that didn't make sense. After additional trips to the dreaded guest services, we were informed that they had no idea what happened, but "not to worry"☹😠 More later.......
  5. I am on the Joy, and was shocked to find out the Stewards have 16 cabins EACH. And that is not per team like other cruises we've been on. 1 person does it all. They are working from about 7 to 3 trying to get all the morning work done. Then they are back at 5 working till about 9. Besdes being bad for the staff, the end result is it's very tricky getting your room cleaned when you leave. And please don't say that is the way it is on all cruises. My husband and I in the past 20 years have been over 20 cruises on different lines (Carnival to Regent Seven Seas.) Never seen the housekeeping staff overworked the way we have on this Cruise. Kind of leaves a bad taste for the cruise line.....
  6. Thanks for all of the responses and thanks for not too many flames! We are absolutely excited and plan on making the most of our cruise. Glad to hear there are others who love NCL and hopefully some of the kinks will be worked out of the Joy by Saturday. I will definitely post updates and a final review. I particularly loved the idea of getting food at the lido and bringing it down to the Observation Deck to avoid the hassle of trying to find a table.
  7. 😕We're sailing on the 5/25 NCL Joy to Alaska. The first review in these Boards looked pretty good. However, I read the reviews in the actual Cruise Critic section and they were pretty bad. Even though I've been on numerous cruises, this is my first NCL, and the largest ship I've been on. I was a little worried when I booked, and reviews seem to be confirming that it's not up to par. If anybody has seen the better side of the Joy, I would love to hear about it. It's me and my daughter and two grandchildren, and we've spent a lot of money on this trip. I hope we aren't disappointed....but there's nothing we can do now except hope for the best!
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