Norwegian Cruise Line
My letter to Norwegian...
I would like to bring your attention to our experience on your ship, the Norwegian Jewel, from July 22 to July 29, 2017.
My family of five met up with our best friends (also a family of five) to embark on your ship to Alaska. We were celebrating our oldest kids high school graduation.
This was our 6th cruise, so we were extremely excited, even though it was extremely expensive!
We never spend this much money on a cruise. However, it was Alaska. So, we bit the bullet.
We have always cruised Carnival, we were told that we should try Norwegian because it was better.
It started off great! The boarding process was the best weve ever experienced.
Carnival could learn a thing or two from you.
Afterwards, we arrived in our rooms. We had 2. One inside & one with a balcony. We were very happy with both. At this point, we ventured to the café to find the buffet. We were ready for some fantastic food. Afterall, thats the best part about cruising, right?!
Wrong! This was our first point of disappointment. There seemed to be a good amount and a good variety; however, the taste and quality of the food was mediocre at best. We chalked it up to that it was a buffet, and the first one so maybe it was open for a long time and the food got cold.
For dinner that night, all 10 of us ate together at the Azura dining room. We were all excited about the impending wait staff, the dance routines, and the wonderful culinary creations. However, that soon came to a screeching halt, when the plates were served.
One meal in particular was a steak with peppercorn sauce. Honestly, it was like a Salsbury Steak at Lubys with whole peppercorns thrown in. It wasnt good. All the other meals as well, tasted as if they came from an Elementary School cafeteria - bland and plain.
In subsequent days, we kept trying other places on board. Maybe it was just that restaurant, maybe it was the everyday menu, maybe, maybe, maybehowever, meal after meal, we kept getting the same poor quality food. In fact, I believe that the same peppercorn sauce was revamped each night into something. It almost became comical. It was a brown gravy and each night something new was added within it to make it seem different. It wasnt.
Another meal coming to mind was a crusted flounder. It really tasted like kids fish sticks I kid you not! Gross!
After two days we began to see that the food wasnt getting better, but in fact somehow was getting worse. After a few days, as the wait staff & restaurant managers didnt seem to care about our food concerns, we started taking photos. Unfortunately you cant photograph bland and off putting flavors; however, the presentations started getting ridiculous, too.
We have attached the photos. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. You will see a hamburger bun with a burnt circle (seriously, a burnt bun black!), a dry piece of meat, and gloppy processed cheese.
You will also see a taco served from a taco bar. The server shoved the meat (you will also see a big coagulated chunk of meat) into the shell and it brokeand he served it anyway.
You will see hot apple pie a la mode. The crust was not flaky, it had been microwaved, and the filling was a coagulated gel. Before we ordered we asked if it was homemade and were assured that it was. If it was, it would be better for the chef to use Mrs. Smiths frozen pies.
You will also see slices of roast beef that were mostly fat.
And the French onion soup looked like a nasty kitchen sponge was floating on top. Ugh!
We asked the main desk if the paid restaurants were any better. They assured us they were. So, we painfully spent even more money & chose the churrascuria. Let down, yet again. We were extremely disappointed in the salad bar and especially the meat! For a point of reference, we are Americans who live in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The food is gross here as there is very limited access to good meat, fresh produce, or restaurants with flavorful food. We are from Texas, so we miss good food and were excited to cruise. However, even the churrascuria here in the desert has better meats and taste than the ships.
We are extremely frustrated. When one goes on a cruise you expect fun plating, beautiful food, lots of flavor, things cooked to your request (at least in the dining room), and maybe even the Zoes Chocolate that Norwegian has a contract with as seen on the television show, The Profit! Or crazy shapes made of fruit, ice sculptures, etc. And on an Alaskan cruise one would expect lots of salmon! No salmon! Really?! Who doesnt serve bagels & locks?! All of our expectations from former cruises were violently destroyed with the food we had on your ship.
All of the other things were great - the Port Excursions, Onboard Entertainment, Stateroom, Embarking, and Disembarking! However, since the food is the major part of cruising, our experience was dreadful. We will never be selecting Norwegian every again. We were extremely disappointed, especially after dropping nearly $15,000 that week with you. You have let us down greatly. You should be ashamed.