NCL Jewel Informative - Watched our ship sailaway in Miami!!
MIAMI, FLORIDA 33126, FLORIDA -- First time travelling with NCL. Just cruised on the Jewel from March 21-28. Our flight was delayed for 3hrs in New York with Spirit Air due to "technical difficulties" and we arrived at the Miami port @ 3:40 our ship sailed at 4. We asked a port employee what terminal the Jewel was leaving from. He told us the WRONG terminal number. By the time we had figured out we were at the wrong terminal 10 minutes had passed. We finally got the correct terminal and were told we could not board the gangway was up and they were not going to let it down for us. We watched as our ship sailed @ 4:10...20 minutes after we arrived. Now I want to mention we called NCL (twice) to let them know we were delayed. This apparently is just for their records it does not mean anything to the actual ship...I don't even think they were informed until after. The key note here is that there were 3 couples on our flight all heading to Miami port as well but on a Carnival ship. (Travelled with Carnival 3 times, no complaints) They too called many times (not sure how many) to also inform their cruise line they would be late. Here's the kicker they were told the ship would wait up until 30 minutes past the sailing time. We called several different #'s to NCL from my cell phone pleading with them and were told pretty much "sorry" you can go home or fly to Roatan and meet up with the ship. We were shocked and disgusted in their care free nonchalant attitude. We're Canadian so we just started the first of many costs this trip incurred. We racked up a $50 cell phone bill in just an hour, and then our not so "amazing race" began. My husband and I looked at each other, (we also had our 14 yr old with us) and said lets go for it. We had spent $2500 for the mini suite $1100 on the flight with no insurance we felt it was worth trying. So we checked into a Miami hotel($139 US) dinner ($60) we hadn't eaten a thing all day up until then and went to work on the computer and phone at the hotel. We finally got someone from the travel agency who had booked us. She was the first person to actually listen to what had happened to us instead of the usual "sorry about your luck" answer we were getting. She booked us a flight to Cayman ($350 per person US) which had a connecting flight to La Ceiba Honduras where we were to take fairy over to Roatan to hook up with the ship. Well the next day Monday we headed out took the flight to Cayman arrived only to find out our connecting flight was cancelled due to weather in Honduras. So we had to once again check into a hotel. We were given Cayman airways discount for ($129 US) dinner ($60 US), cab ride to hotel and back to airport ($20 each) not cheap in the Caymans! The only luck we had this trip was meeting a very nice man who was heading home to Roatan who was kind enough to help us out. Because we were suppose to arrive in La Ceiba Honduras Monday, but actually arrived the following day because our connecting flight was cancelled there was NO afternoon fairy running on the Tuesday. Had it not been for this kind man we would have ended up in La Ceiba and missed the ship AGAIN. We later found out that he was the President Commissioner of Tourism for Honduras. He called ahead to La Ceiba aiport and got us on a twin engine plane (10 seater) freaked me out but at this point I didn't even care ($56 US per person. We arrived safe and sound in Roatan. Took us actually to the airport, called port authorities in Roatan to let them know we were coming. (There are still truly kind people in the world)-just an FYI We seriously would not have made it if it wasn't for this man and his wife. Now for the the really ridiculous part, when we finally boarded they acted like nothing had happened...no "glad you made it"....no "how can we make your stay better"...."sorry to hear what had happened....NOTHING, NOTHING at All!!!It was like we were in the "Twilight Zone". To make matters worst we couldn't even buy our son a beverage bracelet because we were too late. They couldn't even make an exception. They even started billing us the mandatory "service charge" for the days we weren't checked in. It was crazy. 7 fights later we are home and safe. I wish we could say we had an alright time when we finally boarded but we didn't. I was sooo looking forward to it, but aside from everything the service was awful. Freestyle is so over rated. I think because you don't have the same server every night, there seems to be a lack of attention to detail. Lesson learned. Once they've got your money....you're just a number to them.