“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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 🙁
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.
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 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.
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.