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21 Norwegian (NCL) Orlando (Port Canaveral) Cruise Reviews

Our experience on board the Epic was memorable but for all the wrong reasons. Compared to the Escape our experience on the Epic was less than stellar. Please don't mistake this for a review of NCL as a whole but instead about our ... Read More
Our experience on board the Epic was memorable but for all the wrong reasons. Compared to the Escape our experience on the Epic was less than stellar. Please don't mistake this for a review of NCL as a whole but instead about our experience on board the Epic. My hope is that NCL will see this and make a concerted effort to drastically improve the guest experience on board the Epic as many others share similar discontent for this ship. Every passenger received a phone call a couple days prior to embarkation day notifying us not to arrive at our designated time. We were told embarkation was going to be delayed and was given a different assigned time to arrive. Once we were on the cruise it was discovered an EDM festival named Holy Ship! was on the Epic the week prior. Almost every crew member we encountered had something to say negatively about the previous passengers and their behavior. Pool furniture was being thrown into the pool, state rooms were filthy and disorganized, passengers were too hung over or strung out and the crew had a hard time getting them out of the staterooms in order to turn the ship over for our cruise. While I understand this must have been a taxing week for the crew, I find it frustrating they were using it as an excuse as to why our cruise experience was so lackluster. I would have rather they apologize and go above and beyond to ensure we had a good experience instead of hearing excuses all week as to why the crew isn't up to par. The embarkation process did go smoothly however there was an extreme delay before we were able to get into our staterooms. We were told we could get into them between 1:00 to 1:30pm but we didn't get into them until 3:30pm. Most of our evening dining experiences were average at best. We ate in both complimentary and specialty dining venues. When dining on the Escape we never had an unsatisfactory meal but I can't say the same about our experience on the Epic. One evening we dined in the Manhattan room which was complimentary but my partner and another of our friends ordered the lobster tail for an upgraded charge of $25. I tried a bite of the lobster, it was extremely tough and chewy. My partner wasn't able to finish it before he had to leave the table to go to the bathroom because he got nauseous. The waiter stopped by the table to ask if he was finished with his food so he could take his plate. I told him my partner was getting sick in the bathroom. He offered no empathy and when I told him the lobster was bad, he didn't attempt to fix the situation or offer to cover the $25. I let this go and figured his sickness could have been from something else. Later that night our friend who ordered lobster also got sick. I no longer think it was a coincidence that both who ordered the lobster got sick. This did not sit well with me so I planned to address this later with guest services. A group of us went to Taste for breakfast and it appeared the crew was not ready at all for the amount of guests who showed up for breakfast that morning. There were three different officers who were seating people, and they pulled two waiters from another restaurant to help. Even with all of that, they were still scrambling and it took them 20 minutes before anyone came to our table to introduce themselves or take a beverage order. In the mean time no one came to apologize for the wait or to let us know they would be with us shortly. There were other food quality issues which individually could have been forgiven but each day it was always something with the food. I ordered a lava cake one evening for dessert but it was not a lava cake, it was described on the menu incorrectly. Another meal I ordered was a seafood dish which was supposed to be Milanese but it was prepared Parmesan style. Another meal I ordered a beefsteak tomato salad of which every tomato was green, tough and not ripe at all. I encountered a large amount of frustration when trying to reserve our tender boats to go ashore. All of our dailies stated we could reserve tenders from our televisions in the state rooms, or any of the monitors throughout the public areas of the cruise ship, or at the box office. I made numerous attempts to reserve on our television in the stateroom with no success. Then I tried to use a couple of monitors again with no success. Finally, I had to deal with the reality of standing in line at the box office to reserve our tender. This was excruciatingly painful as everyone else in the line was trying to reserve their show times. Since Priscilla Queen of the Dessert was one of the shows, it became a lengthy conversation with most passengers to describe the show and waiting while they decided if this was a show they wanted to see. On average it took each group about 5 to 7 minutes to book their shows. Once I got to an agent and booked my tender it took 30 seconds. I asked why I couldn't reserve in the room or on the monitors I was told neither of them were working! The tender boat reservation should not be included in the same line with the box office. This was a huge misstep in my opinion. Despite our experience on board the Epic we went to the cruise next desk to purchase our deposits for our next cruise. I wanted to be able to give NCL another chance and looked to book on one of the Breakaway or Breakaway plus class ships. I asked the agent to help us find a cruise longer than 7 days on one of the newer ships. He said that would be difficult and asked why a newer ship. I started to explain our negative experience on board the Epic and he completely agreed stating the ship is a mess and is going through some changes in management and staff. He spoke with extreme candor and admitted the Epic is not the best ship. While I appreciated his honesty part of me hopped he would probe and asked why I was so dissatisfied about my experience. When I finally went to guest services and spoke with a representative nothing was resolved. NCL is no longer placing comment cards in each of the staterooms. Instead they send out emails post cruise to a portion of the passengers on board to survey their experience. I wanted to be sure I would be able to discuss my experiences so I asked if there was a place online where I could offer my feed back. The agent couldn't give me an answer, and couldn't find a link herself when she went online to look for one. After discussing my experiences with her she barely offered an empathetic apology and no resolution to my dissatisfaction. There were so many other negative experiences on board the Epic of would make this review entirely too lengthy. If they were isolated events they could easily be overlooked. I know this will appear as a negative review of NCL but our experience on the Escape was beyond exceptional yet on the Epic so dismal. The people and friendships we made on board combined with the amazing ports of call made up for the lackluster experience on the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our 20th cruise and 8th on NCL (2nd time on the Epic). We chose this cruise because it was a New Years Eve Cruise and it was the first cruise for our friends who wanted to go on a End of the year cruise. The embarkation was a ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise and 8th on NCL (2nd time on the Epic). We chose this cruise because it was a New Years Eve Cruise and it was the first cruise for our friends who wanted to go on a End of the year cruise. The embarkation was a breeze - thru the process and onboard within 10 minutes. Only delay was getting into the port on the Hampton Inn shuttle bus. We had for the first time a balcony room on the aft of the ship. Room 10317. Our room stewardess Daisy was amazing. We both were sick on Tuesday with a 24 hour bug of sorts but apparently we were the exception on the ship (never happened in the past). Don't understand the rave reviews about aft balcony rooms as we didn't care much for it. Always a spray of water while at sea spraying up on the balcony and very noisy at times. Service at the buffet was good (washy-washy) and the food was always the same. Service was good as well at most of the specialty restaurants. Food service at O'Sheehans was terrible. Trying to get into some of the venues was virtually impossible as you needed reservations for almost everything and they filled too fast as if they were too small for the size of the ship or there weren't enough perrformances to accomodate the cruisers. No room for spontaneity. Enjoyed the alcohol package and specialty restaurant packages and we loved the thermal spa package ( fee required) as we were there almost daily. Crew was very friendlt and helpful for the most part except for eh last day. We had to cancel a prepaid excursion and it was accommodated and the credit added to our room. Never had any problems getting an elevator. Didn't like the fact that you could never find a lounge chair on the decks as people were reserving them with towels and whatever early in the morning and no one was policing this at all. We loved Burn the Floor and Cirque dinner performance This is a huge ship with lots walking. I think we actually lost weight on this cruise so that's why we gave it three marks instead of two. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We choose this cruise last minute. We had a regular balcony cabin. Two adults Two children (18,14). Cabin was small but ok. Bathroom setup was strange no privacy. This was the first cruise for our room steward. He done ok but needed more ... Read More
We choose this cruise last minute. We had a regular balcony cabin. Two adults Two children (18,14). Cabin was small but ok. Bathroom setup was strange no privacy. This was the first cruise for our room steward. He done ok but needed more training. All drinks that we got from pool bar were too strong. All bud light that I got was dated from September and not very cold. All meals in buffet was pretty good. Taste was pretty good. Cagneys, Tep, was both good. La cucina was the best I think. All shows booked up quick. We seen howl at moon and burn the floor both were good. Great strirrup cay was great. The bbq was great also. St. Thomas and tortola were both ok. NCL does not have many waiters anymore around the pool because of the UBP. Main problem is the trash blowing around pool. It was great spending time with my family just won't do it again on the EPIC. Will give NCL one more try on smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We just did the New Year’s cruise on the Epic, with stops at Stirrup Cay, St Thomas and Tortola. On board were my husband (50s), son (10), and me (40s). We travel twice per year on vacation and have done RCCL and Disney Cruise Line ... Read More
We just did the New Year’s cruise on the Epic, with stops at Stirrup Cay, St Thomas and Tortola. On board were my husband (50s), son (10), and me (40s). We travel twice per year on vacation and have done RCCL and Disney Cruise Line several times in the past. We select our cruises mostly for the ship and not the itineraries, and were excited to try the Epic. This is our first experience with NCL. For convenience, I have segregated feedback in three sections: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Good 1. Ship is gorgeous. The EPIC is truly magnificent on the inside. The décor is subtle and tasteful, with dark wood and neutral tones. Every corner is impeccably clean and well maintained. 2. Mini suite on deck 9 was absolutely beautiful. Tiny, but with pretty décor and plenty of storage room (3 full closets and many, many drawers). The bathroom layout was not an issue as we knew beforehand and took plenty of air freshener (!). The bathtub in the mini suite was comfortable and spacious, but a word of advice – do not pick this room if you have mobility issues because getting in the bathtub is quite a climb. Balcony was of adequate size, and had a lock for child safety. 3. Buffet selection was consistently good. Not great quality, but decent variety. You will always find something for everyone. 4. The specialty restaurants that we tried were great (Teppanyaki and Moderno). The Cirque menu was also surprisingly good (shrimp and steak). Service in these venues was exceptional. Also, all of them have kids menu (you need to ask), which was appreciated by our picky 10 yr old. 5. Shows (Cirque, Magician Christian Miro, and Burn the Floor) were outstanding and the best we’ve seen in a cruise (including the Disney shows). 6. Pool deck was epic! The water slides were a lot of fun and we enjoyed our best family moments there. The bowl slide is a must. 7. Service was overall pleasant, with attentive employees and smiling faces (washy washy, happy happy!). 8. The NYE party for kids at Splash Academy was packed. They had glow sticks, kiddie drinks and games, and our son had a lot of fun! The Bad 1. There are no outer decks other than the pool and above. The ship feels a bit claustrophobic, as you can hardly see the ocean from the inside. 2. Desserts in the buffet and main dining room are inedible. However, fruit and ice cream (including soft serve) are readily available and make up for the pastry disaster. 3. Elevators could be a problem. There simply are not enough elevators for the amount of passengers in this big ship. Be ready to burn some calories using the stairs. 4. The Splash Academy was a disappointment. We went several times to leave our son, but the advertised activities were not taking place. It also seemed to be one big room with dividers, with very little visual interest. However, they would play movies that our son enjoyed and the staff was kind and multi-lingual. For those considering this program, be advised that the Academy closes from 12-2 PM and 5-7 PM. So, if dancing at the Atrium at 6 PM is your plan, be sure to include Jr. or have a plan B. 5. The layout of the ship is confusing. We could use deck 15 (pools) to go from aft to forward. But if raining, the only other main deck (without a labyrinth of rooms) was deck 7. Deck 5 and 6 are cut in half by the casino, so if you have kids, 7 is your deck. 6. Not too many shops, and very little NCL merchandise available. The Ugly 1. The third bed in the cabin is not a bed. It is a sofa. After turn down, it still is a sofa. Not a sofa-bed, but a sofa. With a sheet on it. It was hard and small. My son (a skinny 10 year old) fell off twice while asleep. We found this unacceptable and a deal breaker for future consideration of the EPIC as a family vacation. 2. Main dining room food is inedible. Service beyond poor (we were not offered ANYTHING to drink), waiter forgot about us mid-dinner. Bread was cold, soup had no taste other than salt, and sirloin was hard to chew to the point where husband had to either spit it out or choke. We had two sets of cutlery instead of 3, so husband had to wait a while to start eating and by then his food was cold. Waiter seemed overwhelmed. Really unpleasant experience. Make sure to have specialty restaurant reservations in advance if you expect a decent dinner with respectable level of service. 3. Other than the night shows, the entertainment offer was poor for the family oriented. My son was bored by the Splash Academy and mostly declined to go, so we ended up spending all of our time together. Unfortunately, we found really few options of activities that we could do as a family outside of the pools. A lot of “entertainment space” is given to the spa promotions (“seminars” on acupuncture, foot analysis, wrinkles, etc., that are nothing but a sales pitch). The spider slide and bowling alley were open at 4 PM, which is really late. 4. We witnessed one disgruntled employee openly ranting to another employee in the buffet. The poor receptor was trying quite unsuccessfully to redirect this person to another area, but she was not having it. Really bad impression on boarding day. Fortunately, an exception as we never saw anything like this again. Overall, the Epic is a fantastic ship, but not for us. Just not enough family or kid oriented spaces and activities. Couples, young adults and families with teens will definitely enjoy the clubs and adult areas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Traveled for the Christmas week on the Epic. Our group was a party of 6 with two large balcony cabins. We were 4 adults and 2 teens. Embarkation was very easy. No lines at 11 AM. Staff greeted us with a smile and we were easily on board ... Read More
Traveled for the Christmas week on the Epic. Our group was a party of 6 with two large balcony cabins. We were 4 adults and 2 teens. Embarkation was very easy. No lines at 11 AM. Staff greeted us with a smile and we were easily on board and on our way to the buffet area. We had the drink package and immediately began to use it with a cocktail of the day. Amazingly, there was outdoor food ready for us!! The buffet opened shortly after that. We did wait a long time to get to our cabins, and when asking how soon it would be, I was told "when it's ready we will let you know" A bit curt, but oh well! Cabin was as described...........strange but doable Lots of storage but awful lighting and outlets awful. Bring along some extra extensions of some sort.. Met our wonderful cabin steward, Rosalee, who remembered our names from the first time we met! How do they do this???? She did all that she could to meet our needs but was never intrusive. Will get back to cabin issues in another section of this review. Been on several cruises and feel this food was some of the best. Have read other reviews of this ships food and can't understand why all the complaints? Ate in 3 specialty restaurants and all were great!!! Mostly ate beef the entire trip, so after I have my arteries cleared, will stay off beef for awhile! Drinks were good and plentiful and service was very good for the most. Wonderful service in Cagney's and Tempanaki !!! Catered to our shell fish allergic granddaughter, always watching to be certain there was no cross contamination. Entertainment was as good as any ship we have been on and we were sure to have made reservations as we knew this would be a very crowded cruise. Husband liked the casino, but was unlucky! Felt some of the big events held in the Atrium should have been moved to the theater as there was just too much crowding and not nearly enough places to sit. Actual shipboard activities were just OK. As always pool deck very over crowded and seat savers the usual problem as on all cruises. Basically used my own large balcony instead. Bought admission for the adult only water spa and enjoyed the peace and quiet and huge water features for the entire week.Very clean! Thought Epic did a good job celebrating Christmas all week....music, movies etc. Did not do any tours this time as we had been to these islands previously. Also there was the need to tender and water was rough for me to safely get on and off the ship.Missed Jamaica due to high winds, so felt bad for my grand kids. Now the ugly! We noticed that our carpet in the cabin was very wet and reported it in the A.M. We were having room service in our cabin when maintenance knocked and asked if they could come in to check. No problem we said. They failed to mention that they were going to open a drain while we were eating!!!! Quite an odor! We quickly went outside on the balcony to finish our meal and when we went back in, they had left two very large pieces of equipment to quickly dry up the carpet. Now we all know how small these cabins are and it is next to impossible to get past the bed to begin with, so having a large fan and a dehumidifier in the ONLY walking space was quite a trick!! Also the volume of noise was unbelievable!!!!! So after we tried our best to get ready, we left the cabin for the day. They were still in place when we came back to rest and had to call maintenance to haul them away. Carpet never really dried and on the night of day 4 it happened again!! Really nasty!!! Back with the fans etc! Now on the last night of out cruise, while packing, I received a call from customer relations asking if we would please move out for the night to a cabin one flight up. Ummm, I don't think so! They then proceed to say they were concerned with our health...think MOLD.....really?? How about the last 6 days? If they had another cabin to move us to, then why didn't they? Originally said ship was at capacity. Where did the people who were in this new found cabin go? Did they leave them on last port? Were they sleeping on the pool deck? Did they jump ship? Made no sense and so declined. What they really wanted was to run those fans all night to cover up the wet carpet for the oncoming next day guest!!!! Well good luck with that as they never did find the problem. For a week of soggy carpet the generously compensated us $100 Probably not nearly enough to cover one of the medical tests we may need for mold disease!!!!! All in all it was a good cruise if you eliminate the carpet stuff and our inability to stop in Jamaica. Nothing is perfect. When dealing with 4,000+ passengers you must expect some blips, so get over most of these issues. Again, special thanks to our room steward, Rosalie!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My husband and I chose this ship because of good price of balcony stateroom, never visited islands of Tortola and St. John. Embarkation was easy for us because we arrived at port after the mad rush of people rushing to board. We have been ... Read More
My husband and I chose this ship because of good price of balcony stateroom, never visited islands of Tortola and St. John. Embarkation was easy for us because we arrived at port after the mad rush of people rushing to board. We have been on many cruises, Royal Carribean being our favorite cruise line. Again, price was a factor for booking this cruise on NCL. Strange when you board this ship, no one to greet you and first thing you see are the elevators! No grand Atrium or happy crew members. After reading many comments about the staterooms, we totally agree the set up of shower, toilet, sinks and rounded corners of beds are awful. We had the drink package, but strange, bottled water is not included. The entertainment was the very best we have ever seen on a cruise. Had dining package, LACUCINA, ,- OK, LE BISTRO - OK, but the Moderno was the very BEST. Not worth the extra money for the dining package or the drink package. The O'Sheans restaurant, food was awful, cold and service BAD. Claimed to be open 24 hours, went there at11:00AM to get coffee and danish, told us they were closed. Would open at 11:30. As far as service , you get that feeling they really don't care for the passengers. Disembarkation wasn't too bad, after all, over 4000 people can't wait to leave..took us about 45 minutes to get off. I don't think we would book NCL again, only if the price is right. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary. Contrary to what I had read about the November 2016 embarkation, ours went very well. It was the usual line of people yet the wait time wasn't bad. Once on the Epic, we went immediately to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary. Contrary to what I had read about the November 2016 embarkation, ours went very well. It was the usual line of people yet the wait time wasn't bad. Once on the Epic, we went immediately to our room. I did my research on the room and knew what to expect. The actual experience left me even more disappointed. We booked a balcony room and yes, it had the wavy walls. These rooms are very tight for moving around. Only one person at a time past the bed. The head of our bed was near the commode so we decided "no flushing" during the night! The shower and commode are opposite each other when you enter the room. You actually step out into the small hall way to dry off and dress. It is too tight in the shower to dry off. Our sink was at the foot of the curved bed so each time it is used water would drip on the floor. We had to keep a towel on the floor at all times. I will not go on the Epic again due to the very poor design of the balcony rooms. The best outcome was our room person, Elisa, who always was smiling and singing while she cleaned. And she always addressed us by our name. The trip from Port Canaveral to Tortola took 2 sea days. The waters were very rough and this large ship rocked the entire 2 days. I along with fellow cruisers were seriously tired of maneuvering the Epic. I don't know if it was due to the time of year (December). The Lido buffet is another poorly designed area. You wait in cafeteria style and very long lines for your food. If you have been on other NCL ships, you know that the food areas are broken into small kiosks according to food types. With as many people as the Epic held, there should have been kiosks and this ship really needs two Cafeteria to accommodate the large number of people. Food was mediocre. Breakfast was fairly tasty. I found the omelet line much shorter as it is located on the side walkway between the seating areas and the pool area. We visited the dining rooms. The food was good and service good also. Service was very poor in the other free dining venues. We booked shows for Cirque Dreams and Priscilla. Shows were very entertaining but the food served in the Cirque show was subpar. It was not worth $30. Our view in standard seating was good so you don't really have to pay the extra $10 for up front seating. Loved Priscilla. If you are offended by different lifestyles and vulgar talk, I suggest not going. Otherwise don't miss it!. Also, what you don't read about is having to book a seat for the rest of the entertainment on board. I suggest you find the show desk to sign up. This is my 5th time on NCL but the first time I have encountered very rude customer service. And don't waste your time on the IConcierge app. It only works half the time. And if you try to complain about it or get it fixed, the line for the one person working the line is very long. As usual, NCL charges ridiculous prices for everything on board. I recently went on Carnival and was able to purchase 6-pack bottle water delivered to my room for $6.99. NCL charges $29.99 for the same. The app on Carnival (to talk to people who sign up also) costs $5.99 pp and it worked every time. NCL charges $9.99 pp. and rarely worked. We took excursions in Tortola, St. Thomas and Great Stirrup Cay. Our original excursion in Tortola was cancelled due to rough waters. We were able to book a tour on the countryside. Not a lot to see. Our guide took us up to the top point of the island and then back down. We took the Virgin Gorda trip to the Baths on our last trip here and I highly recommend it. Otherwise don't waste your money on an excursion around Tortola. In St. Thomas, we took an excursion to St. John's island. Very interesting place. Wish we could have spent more time here. One important point I have to make is the vehicle we were driven in had balding tires and a couple of plugs in the tires. St. John's is very hilly with several switchbacks and narrow roads. I was a little apprehensive riding in this vehicle. Great Stirrup Cay is a NCL owned island inhabited by only caretakers on the island. The locals travel by boat from other islands for tour excursions and the selling of wares. We took a Marine Life boat tour. Saw a few marine life in shallow waters. I will say this tour was ok. Debarkation actually took longer. Very long lines to get out of the terminal. They allowed several color coded tags debark at once. It made for a very crowded situation trying to retrieve your luggage. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our third cruise this year, and we took it solely because we got a good deal. Getting to the port proved to be a chore, because there were four ships all loading at the same terminal side, but once we got into the area, boarding ... Read More
This was our third cruise this year, and we took it solely because we got a good deal. Getting to the port proved to be a chore, because there were four ships all loading at the same terminal side, but once we got into the area, boarding was fairly quick and painless. We were allowed into our cabin immediately (possibly because it took so long to get to the port -- we didn't board until after 2pm.) I appreciated that the muster drill was held in the casino, rather than crowded onto the decks, like we've experienced before. Starting with what we loved, the meals in the Manhattan Dining Room were excellent, accompanied by a jazz quartet that provided subtle, but mood establishing, background music. We had dinner in Taste one evening, didn't like that as much, and in the Noodle Shop, which was pretty good. Otherwise, snacks in the pub on deck 6 (good chicken wings, rest was kinda meh) and the buffet on deck 15 was okay for breakfast and lunch (the breakfast buffet, got very boring as the week wore on, always the same stuff, would have preferred some variety.) The entertainment was great, the best we've experienced at sea. Comedy club was tops, dueling pianos awesome, the shows were top notch (didn't like "Priscilla," it's not to our tastes) and Cirque Dreams and Dinner was an amazing add-on ($50/person for the premium seats, well worth it.) I'm not one for the casino, but it has to be on a par with some Las Vegas establishments -- hundreds of slots machines, and at least a dozen tables. It was kind of annoying that you often had to walk through it to get from place to place, because it's not non-smoking, but there are other ways to get around. The Cavern Club was great and the Epic Beatles were outstanding. Can't say enough for the two shows of theirs that we saw. Martini Bar was a great place to hangout and had great staff. They sponsored our Cruise Critic meet and greet, as well as the slot pull (provided some gifts,) that was very cool. We met great friends at the meet and greet, very happy that we got to do that. Now, the not so good... Stateroom -- terrible, see below Bar staff -- there were a couple bars that were good, but service, in general, was very slow. The bar outside of the Manhattan Room was particularly bad Television -- the "sports pub" had two tvs that pretty much placed soccer 24/7. That's okay with me, but I know that there were those who were disappointed that Monday Night Football, for example, wasn't available on the ship. In the cabin, you had four channels (FoxNews, MSNBC, BBC News and Sports 24/7) in addition to the cruise line info channels and one movie channel (showing random films, it wasn't HBO or something similar.) Atmosphere -- there was definitely an "upsell" feel to the place, that NCL constantly had their hand out for one thing or another, from future cruise deposits to pull tabs to raffle tickets to... Communication -- ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. This baffles me, because you can't blame it on the ship, which is newly in Port Canaveral -- these are not "shake down" issues. Prior to the cruise, we received no information about what terminal to report to. During the cruise, you are required to make reservations for shows and dinners and stuff, but there is no way to see what you've reserved without going to the customer service desk and having them print it out for you. At Grand Cayman, our excursion brought us back to port with 15 minutes to spare, only to find half the ship, literally, about 2,000 people, ahead of us in like to get on the tender. We waited in the sun for almost an hour to get on and, apart from an NCL officer walking through the queue once (probably trying to figure out how long it was going to take to get everyone on board) and a guy handing out cool towels thirty feet ahead of the tender loading area, no one came to check on the passengers, many of who were older, to hand out water, assure people they'd get on, etc. We were basically ignored. Finally, on disembarkation day, we had, literally, no idea what the process was. No one delivered luggage tags, we'd been given customs forms, but absolutely nothing else about the process. I turned on the tv at 7am to see if there was something about it, and there was a channel with some info, but nothing about what deck to go to if you were going to carry your stuff off (which we had to do, lacking luggage tags.) We wound up asking a fellow passenger at the elevators (get off on deck 7.) On the whole, we will likely give Norwegian another try -- the food and entertainment are powerful enough draws -- but would never go on the Epic again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms ... Read More
I should have taken a cue from the long lines we stood in to even get checked in and onto the ship. My 2 daughters and I had a mini balcony suite (with emphasis on mini). It was tiny. I cannot imagine what the interior staterooms were like. Whomever designed those rooms should be stripped of whatever title they hold. The bathroom is right in the room with only a smoked glass rounded-shaped slider to put into place to use the toilet and another one to use the shower. They are about the size of the facilities in an RV. There is absolutely no privacy since you can certainly see (and hear) the person inside through the glass and see when they stand, sit or whatever. Ours had a curtain, but other people told me they did not even have that. There is barely room to walk in the cabin....tiny, tiny, tiny. This is a huge ship and with the tiny rooms it holds a lot of people, but does not have enough elevators to accommodate them, so expect a long wait time. You cannot even take sealed bottled water on-board unless you have a "written" statement from your doctor. If you want water, you must purchase it on-board for the low price of $7.95 per bottle or $26.95 for HALF a case (that's 6 bottles, mind you). The very first night on-board we asked our cabin steward for coffee packets (there was a coffee maker which made one cup at a time in the room, but no coffee). He informed us that they were out of coffee packs but we could order room service coffee at no charge. When I called, they said room service coffee was $9.95 (after breakfast) and we could only get complimentary coffee in the morning. Next morning I was on hold for 35 minutes and was told it would be 30 to 45 minutes wait and $7.95. We told them it was supposed to be complimentary because we had no coffee in the room. We had to hold again until they could confirm that. Our cabin steward was great and did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable. He was always at our beck and call and was always friendly. The staff on the common areas were not nearly so friendly. I have been on cruises where EVERY staff person ALWAYS spoke. No so on this cruise; most of those "in charge" did not even appear to notice us guests. Another thing, it was my understanding that if you dined in the complementary dining rooms, you could order anything on the menu....not so anymore. The "better" entrees now have a hefty up-charge. And, there are more up-charge restaurants than complementary ones. We bought the 3 meal up-charge package and I must say the three up-charge restaurants we chose (Cagneys, LeBistro, & Moderno Chiaroscuro) were excellent. I am not a prude and go to NY and Atlanta to see Broadway shows. However, the show in their big theater, "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert," was so vulgar and offensive we could not sit through it and got up and left. Why a cruise line would book that kind of show for a cruise (other than gay men) is beyond me. However, the show "Burn the Floor" was exciting and well done by a talented cast. We thoroughly enjoyed it. This was my first cruise with Norwegian and it may very well be my last. If their other ships are like the Epic, I am not interested in sailing with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We choose this cruise because it was 7 days and went to Tortola which was a desirable island for us. We had never cruised on Norwegian before and were excited about being on one of the "mega" ships. Our first encounter ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was 7 days and went to Tortola which was a desirable island for us. We had never cruised on Norwegian before and were excited about being on one of the "mega" ships. Our first encounter unfortunately was the boarding process. We were asked to pick a time to arrive. We choose between 12:30 - 1:00pm. We got there at 12:45. There was a very long long and it looked so daunting. We got in line and stood in line in the hot sun for an hour and 1/2. Once inside the actually building - things didn't get much better! They literally had 2 security lines....for 4000 guests that had to check in. We didn't get on board the boat and in our cabin to drop off our bags until 3:45pm. All we wanted was some lunch and a cold drink - but guess what....all food and beverage had been halted due to the safety briefing that we had to attend at that moment. When I say that my husband was irritable, hungry and thirsty - is understated! He went to Guest Services to complain - but all they said was "we are sorry". It's only the second time they have used that terminal and things just didn't go as planned. We went up to the pool deck - which had the 2 smallest pools I've ever seen on a boat. The 1 bar they have on the pool deck had 2 bartenders and 2000 people trying to get a drink! It was so ridiculous! After watching the boat sail away - we went to our cabin to shower and get ready for dinner - only to find out that our air didn't work in the cabin. We notified the room steward and they said it would be the next day before things could be fixed. Then the shower didn't drain - we stood in dirty water while shower. Again - they promised to fix it. One the plus side - the air did get fixed. The drain never got resolved - even though we told them several times about the issue. Pros of the Cruise: Cagneys Steakhouse - wow this the best food on the boat! The steaks were so amazing, the sides were great and the servers very nice! Moderno - this Brazilian Steakhouse was good - a bit too much food - but excellent and a great ambiance! Tappenyaki - the hibachi grill was so much fun! Everything you love about Hibachi grills was there along with great food! The Spa and Fitness Center - FIRST CLASS! we had many spa treatments and took advantage of some of the fitness center opportunities. For sure a must do while on board! The Cirque Circus Show - WOW!!! These performers were breathtaking! This is well worth the cost it takes to attend the show! Burn The Floor Down - Dance Show - Again - WOW! They danced their way into everyones hearts - they were so passionate and personable! Makes you want to just get out and dance! Cons of the Cruise: Terrible Pool Deck Designs - the pools are too small, a lot of wasted space Only 1 bar on the pool deck - you need more bars!! The boat is poorly laid out - very compartmentalized and feels cramped and crowded instead of spacious and large. They nickel and dime you for everything! We had the drink package - but red bull wasn't included, specialty coffee wasn't included, and buckets of beers were included. Drinks are inconsistent - we ordered a painkiller at 4 different bars and had 4 very different drinks! No place to dance - unless you want to stay out until after 11. The boat has many bars - but no place to dance. This made us sad! Overall we had a good time - because my husband and I could have fun anywhere - but we won't go back to the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have cruised with another line mostly and decided to give Norwegian a try for the first time. We are in our early 40's with no children. Embarkation was the craziest we have ever seen before. We parked at a shuttle lot and sat ... Read More
We have cruised with another line mostly and decided to give Norwegian a try for the first time. We are in our early 40's with no children. Embarkation was the craziest we have ever seen before. We parked at a shuttle lot and sat on the shuttle for 45 minutes due to a back log of traffic. Then we waited in the terminal in line for another 2 hours. This was the worst process I have seen and it really needs to be fixed. Ship has nice decor and it is easy to maneuver around. Had a balcony cabin. Loved the sliding balcony door as there were no slamming noises like we were used to on other cruises. Our room steward was great. The design is a bit tight for two people to walk around in, but loved all the hidden storage. The separate shower and toilet areas worked well for us. Balcony is large and loungers instead of chairs would have been better. Since we had the free beverage package it was easy to get drinks, when we could get a bartender. We felt most bars were under staffed and overwhelmed. I stuck with wine as I found most of the mixed drinks really odd tasting. Enjoyed the ice bar one night and felt the drinks were nice and strong. Dining had its ups and downs. I was very disappointed that all the speciality restaurants were booked by the time we boarded. They should really set aside slots for walk up's each day. I thought "Freestyle" cruising meant no planning??!! Since that was the case we either ate at the buffet or O'Sheehans for dinner daily. Loved the wings, burgers, salads etc that we had there. The buffet had lots to choose from daily and loved the fresh salads. Was disappointed that our Thanksgiving reservation at the Manahattan room didn't happen for us. We reserved 6:30. Got in line by 6:15 and waited till 7pm and people with 6pm reservations were still not seated. So we left and had burgers at the pub instead. Disappointed room service has a fee when it is free on other cruise lines. Noodle bar was very good. Only got in once due to the limited time and availability. Entertainment was great. Loved the Cirque show, but there needs to be another meal choice besides the beef and shrimp or a veggie dish. How about a chicken one to choose from? Meal itself was ok. I loved the Burn the Floor and Priscilla Queen of the Desert show. Howl at the Moon was ok, but we have had a better experience with this elsewhere. Comedians were funny. The Spice H20 was a good place to hang out as long as we could sit on the nonsmoking side, with my allergy I could not go on the side with the bar for more than a minute. We found the casino layout odd but smoke there did not bother me. Glow party was fun the one night also. Bowling was fun and proved difficult on a moving ship. What made the whole trip on the ship for us was the Thermal spa passes. Spending time in the spa daily made my trip. The bubble pools and saunas are wonderful and the environment is relaxing. Heated stone loungers and balcony chairs made this place heaven after a long day. Fitness center is huge with tons of cardio machines, impressive. We did the Passion Island tour in Cozumel. This was a nice island and beach, but was I tired of being asked if I wanted a drink every 10 minutes even though they were included. Lunch buffet was ok. Skip the souvenirs here and get them in town. Vendors in town are pushy, but will work with you on price. In Jamaica we did the Chukka River tubing. This was a ton of fun! The roads to get there are a little rough and steep, but our driver was careful. It was raining but we still had fun. The river is a bit cold at first but the rainforest scenery makes up for it. There are some mild rapids in spots but the tour guides stay with the group. Several of us broke off and were way ahead of everyone for a while and it was so peaceful. The jerk chicken at the end is very good and worth a try. We had time for shopping near port after. We bought a beautiful paining from a very nice man. We enjoyed this port more than we thought we would. We did Grand Cayman on our own and had wished we did not by the time we were done. Traffic in Grand Cayman is crazy with 4 ships here. We took a public bus to the Dolphin place across from the turtle farm to swim with dolphins. The bus had a low almost flat tire and the driver had to stop for air. Traffic was so bad we almost did not make our time. We got there and it was like a cattle call. People all in groups into the tanks. The experience was ok, but by the end I felt really bad for the dolphin who did not want to perform anymore and they needed to call another one in from another holding pen. I never want to do that again. Turtle farm was ok, we were disappointed that they stop the snorkeling by a certain time or we would have planned our day better. Got back into town and went to Margaritaville for food. Service was slow but food good. **WARNING** If you are new to NCL, when you board the ship the first day go to your tv and go to the entertainment section to book your tender ticket(s). This was all new to us as on other lines you don't need to do this. We made ourselves board the tender with another letter since we had "L" but had to be at the dolphin place by 1:30. Had we waited we would have never made it. They never checked or asked our letter, but I would have liked to know about this process ahead of time. Great Stirrup Cay is really nice, but the tender here is a disaster. Too many people, takes too long. Again, we had letter "M" but boarded with D as it would have taken all day. Beach is nice with good snorkeling. Lunch was impressive and very good. Shopping here not so good. Crappy shirts and stuff. Debarkation was ok. We did self assist since we live in FL. Waited a while but easier than looking for our luggage in all the piles. Will we do a NCL cruise again? I am not sure. I prefer the mid sized ships, but loved the spa services available with the pass. Overall we had fun, but we are not sold on strictly cruising with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
A great ship and a good value, but do not expect any crew member to ever answer the simplest of questions.An extremely unorganized crew who at best could not run a pay toilet at the county fair. I am being a lot more polite than is ... Read More
A great ship and a good value, but do not expect any crew member to ever answer the simplest of questions.An extremely unorganized crew who at best could not run a pay toilet at the county fair. I am being a lot more polite than is warranted and if they can get the staff trained and motivated this will again be a cruise ship to enjoy. I know you cant please everyone and they have a lot of passengers, but I could not believe how some of staff rudely treated passengers. I felt I had to be careful of confronting any staff with an attitude as they all seem to stick together and remember they are serving you food and beverages,and you don,t want eye drops in your wine.The cabin was in need of a pro clean.The public toilets in casino gross.The casino staff(all) very arrogant.The bar staff is very slick,and double billing the Ultimate cards.I never met so many unhappy passengers.Norwegian must be in the process of something, no one in this economy runs a business this way unless they are in the process of selling it.I went on this cruise as a checking point before booking the Barcelona cruise on the Epic, I would not do that after this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Worst embarkation of our 18 cruises for sure..We embarked after 3hoopm with thousands of others out of port Canaveral..We were so late to embark that we had to assist at the muster drill at 1hoopm the day after with hundreds of others.. ... Read More
Worst embarkation of our 18 cruises for sure..We embarked after 3hoopm with thousands of others out of port Canaveral..We were so late to embark that we had to assist at the muster drill at 1hoopm the day after with hundreds of others.. Now for the ship...room we had an inside was terrible..the designer should get fired..sink,shower and toilet all separate in a 128sq/ft room..lol... is all I can say. The ship design with it's 155,000 tons feels more like 60,000 because of poor designs and closed places with absolutely no flow for crowds and giving long lines everywhere.Even having a deck chair anywhere was an ever ending task as there not enough deck space..Disembarkation was also a disaster.We litteraly had the "easy walk off option" and we had to take our 50lbs luggage down the stairs to be able to get to our shuttle by 10h30am.Nothing easy about it..just no flow and room for all the passengers leaving! On the positive side the shows were great and the food was also wonderful.Didn't like to have to book the shows because the theatre is soooo small like all other venues for over 4000 persons. Cabin stewart wasn't very attentive..Dust was very present for sure.Sadly one of the worst cruises we've been on.. Thanks! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Went to the Eastern Caribbean. Epic was a very large ship with over 4000 guests. For the most part we did enjoy ourselves, but no thanks to the help . The shows were very good. Most bartenders were top notch. The pub service was ... Read More
Went to the Eastern Caribbean. Epic was a very large ship with over 4000 guests. For the most part we did enjoy ourselves, but no thanks to the help . The shows were very good. Most bartenders were top notch. The pub service was pitiful as was any daytime entertainment.. We found the dining room at Taste took 2 hours for lunch and breakfast took was 1:30 hours. A long wait to get a pot of tea and never replenished the tea bag selection. Dinner was much better. Manhattan was slightly better. With dinner wait of about an hour. That's not getting seated, that's after being seated. I made reservations for dining in the specialty restaurants and Taste and Manhattan and was seated timely. Most of the Hostess at all the dining Venues seemed to have an attitude and was not very friendly Very limited menus. No lobster, unless you were willing to pay for it. Shanghai was much faster. In and out in an hour. Most dining venues were good not exceptional. Again some of the wait staff was not very friendly and some especially at breakfast and lunch were darn right miserable. We didn't eat at the Buffet for dinner, but after experiencing breakfast and lunch in the Taste we went to the buffet for those meals or just ordered room service for breakfast. Buffets were great, but very crowed. Did have lot's of seating, but tables were slow to be cleared. They had a different theme every night, great variety. Room service is an extra fee here $7.95. except for continental breakfast which is complimentary. Book all of your shows and dinner reservations in advance. This is a must, or you will not get into the shows or dining facilities of your choosing or have very long waits. Some you cannot book until you are on the ship such as the comedy shows, but book asap. I do not like to be billed for Gratuities. Not everyone meets up to the above and beyond service and deserves it. Some should pay me. I want to have the pleasure of handing out the tip to those that have helped me and been of excellent service. After all those in the back ground might be doing a great job but they should be paid by the ship, I'm not the employer. I think this is insulting the guests. The guests of the ship were the ones actually paying the staffs salaries. I do realize that all ships are doing this now, but the employees really don't have to perform and go out of their way, because they are getting the tips anyway they behave. Embarkation was over 3 hours walking on concrete floors this did not including the wait time trying to drop of passengers and luggage. Disembarkation was the same 3 hours. It was like a slapstick comedy. No one knew where to go there was no rhyme nor reason for this. The snake line was miles long checking in and very frightening and dangerous on ship trying to get off. Lot's of people trying to inch along with suitcases, wheelies, people in wheelchairs, scooters you get the idea all trying to exit a single file doorway and narrow gangways. I have never experienced such upheaval before on a cruise ship. Other ships I have sailed on was very organized and told you where to meet up and wait until your section was called. This ship was very different. Everyone was left to figure it out by themselves. The stairwells were full of people. The elevators people couldn't get in or out, because of so many people clogging up just about everywhere.. This was a deal breaker for me and my husband. It will never happen again. NCL also gave me and my husband a $75 shipboard credit which was very nice of them. Unfortunately no one told us that we had this credit to use so needless to say we never knew we had it so obviously did not use it. Way to go NCL how nice of you knowing you will be taking it back because it wasn't used. What a scam you have going on! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
the ship in itself is awesome. Extremely clean. all staff was very concerned with sanitation issues. "Washy washy' people all over with hand sanitizer. my cabin, which was a studio was quite adequate for my needs. I wish more ... Read More
the ship in itself is awesome. Extremely clean. all staff was very concerned with sanitation issues. "Washy washy' people all over with hand sanitizer. my cabin, which was a studio was quite adequate for my needs. I wish more cruise lines would follow suit . the food in the complementary restaurants was adequate. some meals were lukewarm. The buffet had plenty of choices and even with the number of people moved very quickly. Adequate seating. The two main shows, Burn the Floor and Pricilla were wonderful. Service was great except for my cabin steward who obviously was in training. The ports and excursions offered , on the most part, were great. Embarkation was pretty smooth except for Port Canaveral. Massive traffic jam trying to park at the port.. Jamaica , as expected, is a poor country Everyone looking to sell you something. Anything. We were told by our guide at Dunns river falls that the other guides would actually board the bus and demand their tips. Grand Cayman is beautiful! The day I went to the Tulum ruins was very hot! I am glad I did my homework and found out about the trolley for $2.00! Saved me from having heatstroke! And the best of all was my spa pass. Great place to get away from the people and the noise on. I am already looking at a southern Carribean cruise for next December on Norwegian Dawn! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I just returned from the Spirit (NCL) from April 16th-April 23rd, we arrived a day early and stayed at the Laquinta Inn. The embark to the ship went smoothly and the Travel advisers were very helpful to guide us to the ship. Let me start ... Read More
I just returned from the Spirit (NCL) from April 16th-April 23rd, we arrived a day early and stayed at the Laquinta Inn. The embark to the ship went smoothly and the Travel advisers were very helpful to guide us to the ship. Let me start by saying I chose this ship for the itinerary but 3 out of the 4 stops I have never been to. So I went on this cruise knowing that this was a old ship so I knew what I was getting into. That being said my cruise stops consisted of going to Key Wests, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and NCl private Islands in Bahama. This ship definitely needs some upgrades. The food was very good in the dining room and my favorite was blue lagoon pub, but we did not eat at the specialty restaurants. My biggest disappointment was that NCL No longer serves free Lobster. I was really looking forward to it. The entertainment was Great one of the best that I have seen from all the cruises I have been on. The TV in the room was terrible..Oh and the hairdryer on the ship was terrible, again even the dryer needs updating. Only thing on Tv was politics and movies..such a disappointment but that is the way the cruise keeps you from staying out of the room. Our steward, he never introduce himself so not sure who he was but they knew our name and they did not pick up our dirty towels daily again that was a disappointment, but that was the small stuff again overall I had a good time next time stick to newer ships, more to do with the newer ships. not so much on the NCL spirit. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First things first. As you may have heard before - a cruise is what you make it - I believe that anyone can get on any ship and with the right attitude can have a good time. I just got off of the Norwegian Spirit and, because I went in ... Read More
First things first. As you may have heard before - a cruise is what you make it - I believe that anyone can get on any ship and with the right attitude can have a good time. I just got off of the Norwegian Spirit and, because I went in with an open mind and a positive attitude, I had a good time. If you approach a cruise looking for things that are wrong, searching for fault, you will NOT have a good time - it will never be perfect, find what you like about a ship/cruise and enjoy it! That being said, I have become a some-what experienced cruiser and now that i am off the ship i am happy to reflect on the experience objectively with the hopes to guide others to the ship that would fit it best - and steer away those that would not. Embarkation: Smoothest i have ever experienced. This ship is smaller than many, which means less guests, but even so - the process was smooth, efficient, and fun. Tip: In my experience on a ship of this size guests can arrive as early as they want. If you arrive too early you will likely end up waiting in a large room, but the anticipation is half of the fun. Norwegian/Port Canaveral guests are given a time to arrive to the port, but i have always arrived early and have never been turned away. Service/Meals: Overall the service was not what i have experienced on other cruise lines. Norwegian's "Freestyle" cruising is a unique concept that changes the game for its passengers. Meals are no longer sat at set times, but rather whenever passengers prefer. This is GREAT for convenience with only one exception: passengers no longer have waiter consistency. There is no longer a sommelier that introduces himself for any wine questions during the cruise. You will no longer have personalized service at your dinner table the way you do in your stateroom. In fact, my experience with ALL main dining room servers was standoffish and impersonal. Most seemed like they were genuinely unhappy to be working on the ship. This lack of care seemed to continue in the kitchen as the food preparation/quality was the worst i have experienced on a cruise ship. Delicious elegant meals are one of the highlights of a cruise for me and every meal i had in the main dining room/Raffles buffet was a disappointment. The ship seemed more focused on quantity rather than quality. Specialty Dining: For a fee guests can purchase access to specialty dining restaurants. These restaurants did not share the same lack of care that the main dining room provided me. We visited two and both were spectacular. Cagney's Steakhouse: Amazing service/food. Everything was prepared perfectly and the menu provided options for everyone in the family. If i could go back and do it all again I would dine here every evening. Teppanyaki: Traditional Hibachi, fun for all ages (not just the kids). The food was as good as any Hibachi restaurant you can find on land and the "schtick" (playful banter/jokes that you find at all hibachi restaurants) was new and funnier than i have experienced in the past. Entertainment: I went to three shows - Magician, Comedian, Broadway Style Show. Not my cup of tea. Many others on board loved each of the shows so i am most likely not the target audience for this aspect of cruising. I didn't let these shows hold me back from enjoying the other aspects of the cruise that i enjoyed. Ship Excursions: Snorkeling in Nassau - FUN, clear water, not the great barrier reef but you shouldn't be expecting it! Good for kids-seniors The Baths in Tortoal - a must do. Absolute highlight of the trip. It does require some physical excursion/flexibility navigating through the caves. This will be something i will remember for the rest of my life. On-Ship Activities: Trivia was a blast, Bingo and Norwegian's Deal or No Deal were fun (didn't have the pleasure of a win - but very exciting none the less. Wish there were more of these games! Other aspects of the ship i enjoyed: Bars and Lounges all over the ship (I visited them All!), Duty-Free Shops (for purchasing or just browsing), Bridge viewing area (a first for me). As i listed above i enjoyed the cruise while i was on it and left with a smile on my face. However, I am home now - planning my next cruise on RCCL. I look back on this cruise and just imagine it would have been better for me personally on a different cruise line. A few more options, a little bit higher quality (which would probably mean the cruise will be a little more expensive). I hope these comments help you choose the right fit for you! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I want to start by saying that I cruised on the Spirit 2 years ago in the Mediterranean and loved the ship so much I wanted to cruise again in the Caribbean. I specifically chose this cruise because I was so impressed with everything about ... Read More
I want to start by saying that I cruised on the Spirit 2 years ago in the Mediterranean and loved the ship so much I wanted to cruise again in the Caribbean. I specifically chose this cruise because I was so impressed with everything about the ship. I'm not sure what has happened over the last two years but I couldn't believe I was on the same ship. The food was not up to par. The meals we were served in the Garden and Windows were warm at best. The entertainment is mediocre at best. The service has really slipped and I'm sure that is due to the average guest pre-paying gratuities. Why would they go out of their way when their tip has already been paid? The most concerning thing for me was the sewer smell on the back of the ship. From day 1 the smell was so strong it would take your breath away. I honestly don't know how the guests with rooms on the back of the ship dealt with the smell for a week. When we docked in Tortola, the crew were washing the side of the ship and it stunk so bad another guest stopped me and asked if I thought they were recycling urine to use for cleaning. One morning the water coming out of my sink was dark brown. When I asked the room steward why that was happening, he looked like a deer caught in the headlights and took off to tell someone. I'm not sure if waste somehow backed up in the water system but we brushed our teeth with bottled water for the rest of the cruise. I stayed on the 5th floor of the ship. My stateroom had dirty socks in a drawer from the last cruise. The bed had a seam in the middle of the mattress pad and all the pillows were flat and lumpy. I had a daily devotional missing from my room the last night of the cruise. I can only hope the room steward wanted to read it and hopefully it will better his life in some way. I really couldn't believe that this was the same ship/staff that I cruised with 2 years ago. I have cruised many times in the past but this experience has probably hindered me from ever cruising again. I am definitely finished with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Visited Key West, George Town, Grand Cayman, Ochee Rios, Jamaica and Great Stirrup (but didn't dock as the weather was bad) This is our second cruise but our first with Norwegian Spirit. The first 3 nights at the Windows Main ... Read More
Visited Key West, George Town, Grand Cayman, Ochee Rios, Jamaica and Great Stirrup (but didn't dock as the weather was bad) This is our second cruise but our first with Norwegian Spirit. The first 3 nights at the Windows Main dining room was not organised as it was not the usual planned meal times. You could eat whenever you wanted. However, most of the 2000 people wanted to eat at the same time! Or it felt like this anyway. There was a long wait for a table, drinks and food (which arrived cold). The quality of the food was very good but the menu hardly changed. We don't eat meat so it was either fish or vegetarian every night. Couldn't get into the speciality restaurants unless you wanted to eat at 10pm. We do like to sit down and be waited on but because there was always a different waiter in the main dining room it didn't feel special. I also got the impression that there either wasn't enough staff or the waiters had their favourite people to wait on. I certainly felt dissatisfied as others were treated better, it felt, but this is just my opinion. Raffles Buffet: The food was good and hot and there was plenty of selection. A never ending selection of free coffee, tea, water and juices available. Activities: Good selection - quizzes, bingo, name that tune , line dancing, music etc.. Entertainment: very good and there was variety but it personal choice Spa: Had a hot stone full body massage. Tina (Yuen Chen) was excellent but it was expensive Port & shore excursions: Too expensive for the amount of time you get on the island. Because of weather we didn't stop at Great Stirrup. Embarkment was super quick and efficient. Disembarkment was very quick and efficient but we did do the easy walk off with our luggage Summary - There was a few groups on the cruise and the night club was closed every night due to a private party. This also happened on other parts of the ship which was a pain. Not worth doing if you are travelling all the way from UK in January as I thought it was expensive for the service we received. The weather cannot be relied on and may have sea days instead of docking at islands. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Just got back from cruising with my family on a 7 night eastern Caribbean cruise. The NCL spirit was nicer then we were expecting, but the service was not nearly as good as we got on either celebrity or royal Caribbean. The activities ... Read More
Just got back from cruising with my family on a 7 night eastern Caribbean cruise. The NCL spirit was nicer then we were expecting, but the service was not nearly as good as we got on either celebrity or royal Caribbean. The activities on the ship were limited and the shows were just OK. Our kids liked the clubs which was a really big thing. There was not many young children on the ship, most of the people were older 65+. The food in the main dinning rooms (windows & gardens) was just OK nothing really good! Kept waiting for the meals to get better but they never did. The food in the main buffet was just as good as the dinning room. The islands were the best part of the cruise (ST. Thomas , Bahamas, St. Martin ) were all very nice. The cabin rooms were very small and the beds were HORRIBLE!!! Over all the cruise was JUST OK. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We booked this cruise because the timing was right and the price was reasonable. Plus, Norwegian offered a choice of free stuff as incentives. We chose the free beverage package (which was actually not free) figuring that with sufficient ... Read More
We booked this cruise because the timing was right and the price was reasonable. Plus, Norwegian offered a choice of free stuff as incentives. We chose the free beverage package (which was actually not free) figuring that with sufficient alcohol we could overlook many of the negatives that we read about in the reviews here. This worked like a charm but we still seem to have hangovers nearly a week post-cruise. We landed in Orlando and took one of the local shuttles to the cruise ship terminal. We found the drive to the terminal to be relatively long and boring compared to getting to other terminals such as Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans. The people behind the counter at the terminal seemed to be scrambling a bit; however, the boarding process overall was smooth. Once aboard, we went to the cafeteria for a snack and were greeted by staff with spray bottles saying "washy washy" , a phrase which became increasingly annoying throughout the cruise. The ship is a little beat up here and there. On Deck 12's starboard side we could smell traces of the sewage that people mentioned in other reviews but it was faint. A lot of washrooms were out of order and the toilets in the common areas tended to flush while in use which was disconcerting. In our cabin which was below the Blue Lagoon restaurant there was a lot of noise most nights. We assumed they were doing repair work possibly to the plumbing system. My wife complained three times but to no avail. As mentioned in other reviews, staff follow-up on complaints is weak. The staff service was adequate, although notably lacking in terms of bar service and prompt cleanup near the pool deck. We generally approached the bar for service when it was not busy and luckily found one server (Luka) who was quite good and diligent about cleaning up messes before they got worse. Other servers tended to wander around fairly aimlessly and there were not many of them. Contrast this to other cruises where staff are constantly showing up promoting drinks. We assumed the lack of waiter service near the pool deck was due to a lot of drinks being handed out as part of the free beverage package. In general, we agree with other reviewers' complaints about service and cleaning issues but mostly it was minor stuff. Some of the staff were borderline rude and it did seem as if there was underlying unhappiness among many crew members. The comment in another review about staff possibly not being paid made me wonder if this was not the case and who holds Norwegian to account on that. Some of the staff seemed almost morose and borderline intransigent, it was weird. Some staff appeared to be neophytes left to do jobs with much direction or assistance. Normally I would expect to see an experienced worker nearby to direct beginners. The food quality ranged from mediocre to pretty good. Variety was lacking particularly at the Raffles buffet at breakfast. One staff member assigned to selling fresh orange juice became upset at me when I picked up a whole orange from in front of his display. I put the orange back. How lame to be hassling someone over an orange. The poolside barbecue was not bad but my wife got a raw hamburger and I found most items were cold by the time I sat down to eat them. The ports were pretty good. We just drank in the morning and went to the beaches. In Nassau we just walked over to what seemed like a locals' beach and did a little swimming in the ocean. At St. Thomas, the tendering process was slow and we just managed to spend a few hours at Magens Bay beach then shop a bit. The beach was nice but given that they charge admission to it, we thought the facilities could use an upgrade. On Tortola, we ended up a Long Bay which was a fair distance away from the ship and not crowded. It was pretty nice but did not really wow us. The restaurant there advertised a lobster special on the chalkboard, but there was no lobster to be found once we were seated, so we got up and left. The word lame comes to mind again. The two day trip back to Orlando was a bit long and they could have used a fourth stop. There is not a great deal to do on the ship compared to large ships that have miniature golf, climbing walls, ice rinks, etc. We attended one show with aerialists and a magician. It was okay, pretty good considering that the performers had to work on somewhat rough seas. But the show was a bit helter-skelter - slightly disjointed in terms of a consistent them. It was like a light-duty Cirque to Soleil thing. Mostly we just drank, ate, watched movies and slept on the return trip to Orlando. The sleep was a bit uncomfortable at times as due to rough seas the ship rocked enough to make us a bit queasy now and then. I also occasionally had the feeling that in the event of an emergency, there would only be one escape route from our cabin and we could get trapped. We could only use one elevator or staircase to get to our cabin, a lot of areas are blocked on the port side or cut off across the ship. Disembarkation was very quick as we wheeled our luggage off with us. There is a big ramp in the terminal on the way out, so we did not need to take an elevator. Going through US Customs was smooth, there was barely a line-up. Overall, we had a pretty good time. With a smaller ship, there were fewer people to trip over and fewer jerks on board. But Norwegian should take heed of the negative comments in other reviews, they are not inaccurate. I doubt that we will cruise with them again anytime soon. But then, Norwegian does not seem have Carnival's problems as yet so I would not rule Norwegian out completely. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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