Not all cruises go as planned. Some vacations turn into a nightmare at best. So much planning and excitement go into your vacation and when it doesn’t go according to plans. Well, let’s just say the snowball effect happens.
This is where my story begins. Our family have been cruising for a while now and have always enjoyed the amenities cruising has to offer. We are able to reconnect with each other as being on a cruise forces you to turn off your cell phones. To avoid over priced wifi fees.
Norwegian was no different for us. This was planned a year in advance. Making sure the closer we got to the date we had everything in order.
The day finally arrived and we are set to board the ship. This was quite an easy and painless process. There was no waiting. The lines moved so fast that there was no time to really talk. Upon arriving on the ship the party was already starting. People were in the pool and had drinks in their hands. Something I really wanted to do. However, I have children and my mother to get settled into cabins.
We arrived to our cabin and already there was one of our suitcases. Lucky for us the one with the bathing suits. As my kids gear up to open the door. Our cabin neighbors were less then pleased to see us. Matter of fact they were down right rude to us. The elder man looked straight at us and said, “Great we would be enjoying this vacation with them here.” I was shocked and hurt. That we don’t even know you, yet you judged us.
My first instinct to this was to now give them hell. My mind was working overtime to figure out how I can annoy the hell out of them. However, my heart was on a different train of thought and knew that I would be petty and steep to their level. Which was not like me to do. So, over the course of the trip, we tried to avoid them as much as possible.
No trip is complete without talking about how great or in my case not so great customer service is. Now look not all customer service was bad. There was really nice people catering to us. However, the cruise ship was under staffed. There were only 1-2 bartenders with a massive crowd. Getting a drink would take 20 minutes or longer.
Then there were the first two days of the cruise were the toilet in the cabin didn’t work. Yes, we were unable to use the toilet in the cabin for two days. We also had the pleasure of hearing the clinking of the pipes wee hours in the mornings as the crew tried to unplug our whole deck.
Customer service didn’t end there. Out of the seven days, we were on the ship. We only received cleaning twice. When I mentioned this on day two of the cruise. The customer service desk informed me that there is a button you have to push in order to get your room cleans. Now, right here I really would like to use a few emojis about how I feel about this.
Not to be biased. But as a seasoned traveler and cruiser on Carnival. I don’t ever remember having to ask to get services if that was already paid gratuity. I remember my cabins were always cleaned and then during the evening, the beds were turned down with a little towel animal and the next itinerary. We did not receive this except twice. Oh, the light was one for room to be serviced.
Now my husband and I looking over bill and see we are being charged $15/day/person. On services never rendered. You can see why we were a little upset. However, customer service did take care of it and deducted the charges. I do have to give them props for that.
Not So Kid Friendly
Before we booked on Norwegian we wanted to make sure our children would be accommodated and happy. This ship had it all. Water slides, pool, rock wall, mini golf, and a huge activity center. Not to mention kid clubs. So why were my kids complaining so much?
Well, for starters the main pool. The ONLY pool on the ship was adults only. Which included the four hot tubes that surrounded it. There was a kiddie pool. That was about 3 feet deep. Yea, I am sure my teenage kids were thrilled to have to swim with baby and toddlers. The water slides were not open daily and neither was the rock wall and climbing activity gym they had. Leaving my teens to annoy the daylight out of us.
They did have a teen club which my twins were impartail about. However, my oldest enjoyed and had a blast. So this was a 50/50 good and bad situation.
I can’t forget to talk about the ports we were scheduled for. But first, let me explain that a month or so before our cruise Norwegian changed a port in the Bahamas. Instead of going to Nassau we were heading to Great Stirrup Cay. A private island Norwegian owns. Not bad, not bad.
Was an amazing visit. We had one of the best tours and tour guide named Tony. He was very educated and knew a lot about the history of Puerto Rico. Matter of fact he had others following our small group just to listen to him.
was another great port. We again took a city tour with a beach excursion added on. The beach was so blue and clean. We were in the water for hours snorkeling and feeding the fish. We meet really nice locals as well that were proud to live there and proud to be American.
was one spot I was the most excited to visit and had a list of things I wanted to see and do. However, not everything goes as planned and we opted for another city tour with a beach excursion. This port was so disappointing. Don’t get me wrong the people there are great. Beyond great. However, the islands were a mess. There was so much repair that needed to be done from a hurricane that happened two years ago.
On the tour bus, there were men trying to rebuild their rooms with no safety materials and no shoes on. Meanwhile, there were big mansions that were surrounded by garbage and ruined homes. I was so uncomfortable on this tour and I wasn’t the only one. Many others complained about how they would allow a cruise ship to come here to such devastation.
Great Stirrup Cay
This was better then I thought it would be. The beach was crystal blue and the beach was so clean. There was plenty of seats for everyone there. All the food was free as the ship crew was cooking and serving.
This port, however, needed tenders to reach the island. Norwegian Breakaway was unorganized in this department. The cruise had no set way of getting people from one point to the next. For the 5 hours, we were granted on the island 2 of them were waiting in line to get on a tender.
I know what you are thinking. What a weird caption. Let me explain. It was our last night on the ship and hubby and I was all ready for bed. We need to rest for the long day of driving ahead.
It was around one in the morning when I was woken up by some commotion. To the point it made me jump out of the bed. Catching my bearings. I woke my husband up to call 911 for domestic violence next door.
I opened our cabin door to be greeted with yelling and screaming from our neighbors and went rushing in as the lady yelled that her mom was not breathing. When I came a found the elderly women slumped over on the toilet with her elderly husband trying to hold her up.
I quickly checked for a pulse and yelled for someone to call 911. Without thinking, I grabbed the lady and dragged her out to a flat surface. I quickly started CPR. As I was pumping. I can hear the daughter in the background crying out for me to save her mother and her explaining to me or my husband that her mother had terminal cancer.
I all I could do is continue CPR, without balling my eyes out. A doctor arrived 30 minutes later. I was picked up and escorted back to my room. As my hubby tried to comfort we could hear the AED machine and doctors calling out. Each time the AED machine went off I knew this was it.
After about a hour of the ships medical team doing CPR. They called time of death and allowed the family to say their last good byes before moving the body to the morgue. It was so heart breaking. The cries and the images of my own grandparents. It even hard to write.
My husband and I decided to leave the cabin because I was shaking. The family members grabbed me gave me a big hug and thanked me for what I did.
I didn’t get much rest after that. As I was pondering the whole event on the cruise. From the neighbors being so rude to us. Then me doing CPR on the mother.
A few weeks have passed now. The fun vacation we planned out came and gone. The memories are in the form of photos and magnets. I wish for a better outcome and I hope the best for that family.
Check out my Youtube video of the event:
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