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

I must say before we took this cruise read a lot of reviews. Was a bit nervous as friends of ours were coming as well. This was their first in many years. We have been on this ship before in 2010. Knew issues with elevators and room. Will ... Read More
I must say before we took this cruise read a lot of reviews. Was a bit nervous as friends of ours were coming as well. This was their first in many years. We have been on this ship before in 2010. Knew issues with elevators and room. Will say straight out we enjoyed our cruise very much as did our friends. Embark went smoothly. Disembark was a bit slow, but with 4000 plus really no issues. Our balcony was mid ship and was larger than normal. We loved our steward - Miguel - always had a towel animal every night. Room cleaned and bed made in a timely manner. We ate in the garden café,O'Sheehans,Cagneys - steak was delicious as well as Taste and Manhattan. We never had cold food as previous reviews stated. Hot and good. People seemed to complain about reserving for shows. Went on different sites of cruise ships and this appears to be the norm on larger ships. The shows were very good - Pricilla Queen of the Desert - costumes were amazing as well as the show. Nobody left before show was over and it was a standing ovation. Comedians were great. When walking past casino - center area is smoke free, so not quite as bad for smoke. Went on the Dunns River Falls tour. This was our 2nd time. loved it just as much. We did the Trolley Roger at Grand Cayman - our driver was very good. For an hours tour we got our money's worth. This was our 6th cruise with NCL and will definitely do another. We went to the service desk a few times and never had an issue at all. Very helpful. As always a cruise is what you make of it. And we made it awesome. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
About us: DH and I travel as a couple only, with the exception of an Alaska cruise in 2012, when one of our sons, and his wife, traveled also. (He liked it, she found cruising too rough… both of them LOVED Alaska!!!). We’ve tried ... Read More
About us: DH and I travel as a couple only, with the exception of an Alaska cruise in 2012, when one of our sons, and his wife, traveled also. (He liked it, she found cruising too rough… both of them LOVED Alaska!!!). We’ve tried several cruise lines, but tend to enjoy NCL most. This cruise had been booked for almost two years (with multiple changes, since NCL altered ships/itineraries), so we had tremendous anticipation for this trip and cruise! Port Canaveral Cruise Terminal: We were dropped-off at 11:10 AM. We gave our luggage to a porter, tipped, and got in line at 11:15 AM. Passing through Security took less than 10 minutes. Getting to a port agent’s desk (Platinum line) took only a few minutes. Check-In at that desk took another 7-8 minutes. We were directed to take a seat until they called Platinum guest. (Boarding was based upon 1) Haven (separate waiting area), 2) Platinum, 3) guests needing assistance (Wheel chairs, etc.), 4) Gold, 5) Silver, 6) Bronze. Embarkation: Around 11:45 am Platinum guests were called. As we headed toward the gang-way, there was a ship’s photographer offering to take pictures. However, it did not appear that any special screen was set-up. First impressions onboard…. NCL employees were available upon entering deck 7, but they were not pushing to head to any particular deck. Some did say “Garden Café is open.” We headed to the pool deck and each got a drink at Waves. Then we headed to Taste and enjoyed a peaceful and delicious lunch. Afterwards, we walked around a bit and headed to deck ten when “the rooms are available” announcement was made. Stateroom: We went to our Mini-suite stateroom 10274 at approximately 1:45 pm. We found our Room Steward, Barry, finishing up. DH commented that we did not get robes… not that he uses them. They arrived on Sunday! Location: Deck 10, Port-side (left), Aft (back), just a short walk from the aft stairwell. Easy and quiet. Port-side (left) stairwells have Orange-framed mirrors on each deck, Starboard-side (right) have Blue-framed mirrors on each deck (port and starboard also reflected the orange or blue, along with tan and brown in their respective hallway carpeting). I cannot comment much about elevators, since DH and I almost always take stairs. Bed: Our room had the bed near the bathroom area. We both found the bed to be rather comfortable. The length was not an issue for us, but we are not tall. The pillows are more firm than either of us are used to sleeping on, but we made do. Shower: Long and narrow with a rain-shower head. The only thing we would have liked would be towel bars instead of small hooks, but we understand why they avoided the bars. Toilet area: The frosted glass did not bother us. Storage: There are bins, plenty of shelves, and drawers (at the sink), and three different places to hang clothing! DH hung everything he wanted, I could have used a few more hangers. Balcony: Nice-size (6’ x 9’), with a small table and two chairs…loved it! We enjoyed some spectacular views during the week. Room Steward: Barry was efficient, welcoming, quick and thorough. Manhattan Room (Main Dining): Dinner on Saturday evening was the normal first night crazy. We had a 5:30 reservation, but just trying to get to the reception desk at MDR was a bit of a wait. Eventually, we were seated somewhat near the aft windows at a 4-top table, yet an entire row of 2-tops were left empty… odd! Our orders were taken, we got our salads (Bib lettuce with pecans and Gorgonzola and a traditional Caesar) and our entrees (Grilled Shrimp with white rice and broccoli, and a New York Strip “Dinah” with scalloped potatoes and broccoli) in a timely manner. We skipped having drinks and dessert, so we could shoot over to the theater to see The Epic Beatles. Le Bistro: Sunday evening, we enjoyed the first of 2 Platinum meals at Le Bistro. Our reservation was for 5:30. DH loved the Mushroom Soup and the Filet de Boeuf (beef steak). I enjoyed a Frisee salad and the Dover Sole. On Wednesday we again had our 5:30 reservation. DH had the Mushroom soup again and the Sole. I had Stuffed artichoke and Coq Au Vin. Taste (Main Dining): We ate lunch here on Embarkation Day. I had a salad and crab-stuffed potato skins… yum! DH enjoyed a Caesar salad and a shrimp dish. On Tuesday evening we ate dinner at 5:30. I had a salad and the Chicken Kiev… both excellent! DH had a Caesar Salad and Cavatelli with clams in a garlic creamy sauce. He loved both. O’Sheehan’s: Breakfast here on the morning of Cozumel… We both ordered the Country Breakfast consisting of 2eggs, pile of bacon, 1 sausage link, 2 hash-rounds, baked tomato, beans… and toast we never received. Food: DH and I constantly say that we just don’t understand why there are so many complaints about food! Maybe having grown-up in large families, and military life, made us grateful for “three-square meals daily!” With that said, while some of the food could look “tired” at some buffet tables, overall, we found the Garden Café, Great Outdoors, and Spice H2O to serve sufficient variety for the main-stream palate. We appreciate the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh and varied breads, and multiple varieties of meats, pastas, rice dishes, etc. We found ourselves returning to the Garden Buffet for breakfast most days. Bars: I had a plan to follow regarding the UBP, which meant I would try every “Drink of the Day” and also try drinks I ordinarily would not think of ordering! With that in mind, on Saturday, I ordered the Daydreamer’s Daiquiri. Sunday was a Long Island Iced Tea. Monday was Rebellious Fish. Tuesday was The Painkiller (needed that one!) Wednesday was Bahama Mama. Thursday was Moscow Mule. Friday was Signature Mai Tai (they were NOT available on GSC). Drinks included in UBP (that I also tried): Aviator, Bacardi Mojito, Basil Cucumber Twist, Bushwhacker, Emperor’s Nectar, Mango Meltdown, Matador, Mudslide, and a few that I neglected to write down (and therefore, don’t recall). DH mostly stuck to Gin and tonic, Negroni, Perfect Margarita, red wines, and a Johnny Walker Black/Rocks. We both found Flordeliza Bolivar (Head Wine Steward) from the Philippines, to be the best bartender for our tastes. We found her during the afternoons, several days, at the Waves bar. Shows: Priscilla Queen of the Desert – I loved the costumes, the set, the performers. Everything was well-done and done remarkably well! Burn the Floor – Once again, the set and costumes are phenomenal!!! Burn the floor is pulse-setting… awesome! The Epic Beatles - We saw them on Embarkation night in the Epic Theater. They were crowd pleasers for certain! Other entertainment: The comedians Mia Jackson and Bob Kubota are each quite funny and enjoyable. The music and entertainment on the pool deck was nice, although, we did not hang-out there much. We played BINGO on the first morning and the final afternoon. Although pricey, BINGO provides a fun diversion for us onboard occasionally. We watched parts of other activities, but didn’t hang around long. The more crowded and noisy those events were, the less I enjoyed them. Especially when I got bumped or had my feet stepped on. Spice H2O: Each afternoon we visited, it was crowded: however, for the most part, it was a fairly quiet area. Grill selections were available on the Port-side. The bar was always hopping. Unfortunately for us, the bar area is also the SMOKING section. The pool was quite warm on the one afternoon that I went in. We also viewed a movie here one evening, which was a pleasant change of pace for us. Noteworthy on the EPIC: As others have posted, we found the lack of walking spaces to be limiting. The fitness center makes up for that with a wide variety of equipment (timing to use them is everything!!!) The “secret stairs” were not particularly impressive for us, but it was fun to check them out. The Casino was okay, smoky to me, but tolerable with my usually quick pace. Overall, we had a wonderful vacation, consumed some fabulous food and drinks, met some great people (special greetings to Andrea and Jon), saw some fantastic shows and performers, and enjoyed the lovely islands. We most likely will not book the Epic again, but that is because we enjoy other NCL ships more. PORTS Cozumel, Mexico: Having been to Cozumel more than six times before, we decided that we would venture-out “On Our Own” (O.O.O.) for the day. We had walked to the Money Bar two years ago, and knew that we wanted to do that again. Carrying our snorkel gear, the walk took us about an hour and a half to get there from the ship and Punta Langosta Pier (we believe the distance is 4.5 + miles). The water felt fabulous when we went in. It is easy entry to the water and fish are abundant all around (think Caribbean colors)! I found some beautiful corals that I had never seen before, but I did not have a water-proof camera to take any pictures (darn it!) We decided to take a taxi back, since the afternoon had warmed considerably. The taxi driver said we walked over 10K… (Maybe?!) George Town, Cayman Islands: We have also been to Grand Cayman several times, so again, we ventured O.O.O. Carrying our snorkel gear, we headed to Sunset House at 390 S Church St, via Church Street, for about 1 mile. We enjoyed the sea life we found here, but decided to head to Seven Mile Beach. Once we walked past the port, we hailed a bus, which took us only as far as Calico Jack’s (cost: $5 US for both of us, one-way). We headed to the beach to enjoy some beautiful warm sand and sea! When we had enough of that, we headed back towards town, walking along the beach. Overall, we figure we walked about 6 + miles this day. IF you want to walk from the port to a close public beach, it is easily done by turning left after leaving the pier. Walk north until you see a small sign that says public (or beach) access. I remember there was one of these just north of the Burger King, but if you are inclined, there are more along the way as you head further north. Ocho Rios, Jamaica: We decided to keep things “simple” for the day, so we walked into town to see, Turtle River Falls and Gardens. The walk was much longer than the “12 minutes” that Google had estimated! If you can’t walk up the entire ship’s stairs from deck 4 to 15, DON’T try walking to TRFG!!! Anyway, we were “picked-up” (joined us on our walk) by 2 men who started telling us about the area, the flora, etc. We couldn’t lose them! We were led up, up, up the hill to a (in my opinion) “suspicious” entrance where we gave the “guard” $20 each for DH and I. The 4 of us then wandered through the garden area seeing the falls and learning about agriculture. We declined further excursion as DH was quite winded. That’s when we found out that the 2 gentlemen wanted $40 each for their escort. We offered them the $28 that we had left between the 2 of us, and headed down the hill on our own. We were not happy with the situation, definitely learned a lesson, and want others to know what to be aware of. Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas (Berry Islands): We had been to GSC several times previously. However, the last time we were on the island was May 2012. There certainly have been many remarkable changes since then! Most notable: The grounds have been updated with: Cabanas on the Cay have more than doubled in price since we last visited. A pre-booked Large Cabana would have cost us $499.00 at 90 days prior to cruise, but went up to $599 at some point prior to embarkation (the price can vary for different ships and dates). Small Cabanas costs were $549 during this cruise. Clamshells (shade) can be rented for the day @ $35 which are set-up over two lounge chairs. There are multiple locations open to rent them. More water sports and excursions have been added. The Snorkeling has been expanded to include the Underwater Sculpture Garden. We snorkeled near the small cabanas, so I cannot remark on the Sculpture Garden. The Stingray Encounter is new, but we saw a small sting ray at the beach where we snorkeled, so we are happy. More bars are open and an additional eating pavilion was added. “Included” food venues: Abaco Taco and Jumbey Beach Grill. (Ala Carte at Jimmy Buffets Margaretville.) We ate lunch at Abaco Taco, where beef, chicken and fish tacos are available with guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo, onions, peppers, and cabbage slaw available on the side. Drinks included in UBP on GSC are available at: Patron Bar, Bacardi Bar, Lighthouse Beach Bar, and Bertram’s Bar. The tender back to the ship took a long time to fill. Final evening on Epic: Sadly, we packed on Friday afternoon and then enjoyed a quiet dinner at Taste. We realized that we never did take either of our Celebration cards (for cakes) to any of the restaurants for my birthday and his retirement. (That’s okay, we still have the cards as souvenirs and we both had fewer calories to burn off!) We walked around a bit, and then decided to just go back to the room early. Disembarkation: We were back in Port Canaveral by 5:00 am. Easy Walk Off started early. Our Yellow (Platinum status) tags were called before 8 am (maybe 7:40). We were off the ship, gathered our 2 suitcases, and had cleared Customs by 8! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We were limited to date of cruise departure because of school and not able to have our two teens (one in college) miss school dates. We did a fair bit of research before going but found it was truly alot of you don't know what you ... Read More
We were limited to date of cruise departure because of school and not able to have our two teens (one in college) miss school dates. We did a fair bit of research before going but found it was truly alot of you don't know what you don't know and quite honestly the website for the cruise line does not provide significant information on what the additional costs are. I really did not want to end up feeling nickeled and dimed. Although labeled as most expenses included there are many places to drop a significant amount of money on the ship. There were repeated daily attempts to have us spend money in many ways. They are very creative. One of the most important things for my daughter and I was the ability for the ship to accommodate our celiac diet. For those who are celiac it is a medical requirement for a gluten free diet and cross contamination will result in illness. We did complete forms once we booked, was assured we would meet with the head chef upon boarding. In our room was a letter, indicating we just needed to speak to guest services. Guest services just told us to talk to the head person at any restaurant. Bording in the afternoon we went up to the buffet (not great for celiacs) and the head person said we needed to speak to the head chef and contact guest services. Some fruit it was for lunch. When speaking to guest services, they directed us to the restaurant that was closed. We found a person there who gave us a phone number to call, they were the wrong number and unhappy, gave us another who then begrudgingly ordered dinner for that night. After all this at dinner we met one of two waiters who became our best allies, excellent knowledge of gluten free, we needed to order the night before for all meals. Not easy but by the 5th day we sorted that out. Food decent and not sick once. We ate most nights in the Manhatten room or the Taste with one night in the noodle bar (meh). The Manhatten and Taste were great, awesome breakfast in Taste, Stephan the wine steward in the Taste. We are travelling with our two teens 15 and 18 and had 2 rooms. A couple extra room keys put the right people in the right rooms :). The inside state room although smaller than the balcony was laid out better and felt more spacious. It suited the teens well. The balcony room was nice and I appreciated the fresh air. The room layout is weird with needing to get past the end of the bed/counter area that was a tight squeeze. Both rooms had well used space and storage. Nice to unpack once for the whole trip. Cute towel animals and great service by both room attendants. The Bahamas stop was their private island. Tendering to the island was not bad, although rocky as the ocean was rough. We did the stingray tour - fabulous! Island was lovely - the, only thing that was annoying is finding small amounts on our bill - 28, 45, 52 cent charges. Now, not that it is alot of money but odd. Turns out that despite having the drink package and paying the gratuities for that in advance if you are docked in the Bahama's or an American port there is additional fee (note my comment of nickeled and dimed earlier). The one main extra I knew we wanted was to have family photos. The perspectives studio has a wonderful photographer and we ended up doing a family photo shoot on St. Thomas. Essentially we created a shore excursion and as such we were one of the first 20 off the ship. An unexpected extra. We went to a different beach Morningstar beach at the Marriott resort. Fabulous pictures and we spent part of the afternoon there before going shopping for a couple hours. The only downfall was the $8. each frozen lemonades - same price as beer! Cool iguanas there too. Tortolla was our favorite port. Did a tour of the island from the taxi area at $25 per person, which included a stop at a rum factory and a couple hours on the beach. Our daughter learned to stand up paddle board and I would say this was our favorite stop. All the stops seemed too short and would have liked more time on land. For the ship, lovely with lots to do. A casino (did not spend time there - not sure why they allow smoking in doors, even at the casino), bowling, pianos -fun, Burn the Floor - an excellent dance show and Pricillia Queen of the Dessert - also excellent (although could offend some). There was also a walking track, excellent gym (although under 16 not permitted which was a disappointment for my athlete in training). Had fun with the ships Deal or no Deal, dancing with the stars and the how well you know your partner. Too funny - clean humorous entertainment! Pools were very small with cloudy water - likely due to overuse. I was surprised they were so small. The sunny sea day was a big problem to get a lounge chair -people saving with towels but not arriving. The kids liked the waterslide. There was also a rock climbing wall, but the lines were weird and not really sure how you cued up. Travelling with a teen (15) she refused to go to the teen club. Cannot say as I blame her, the description of what was happening seemed lame at best and not of interest for a teenager. The 18 year old was thrilled that if we signed a paper he could have a beer or glass of wine when the ship was at sea. For three of us it was the first time on a cruise. For the 18 year old, it was his second cruise as he went with school and coincidentally he was on the same ship three years ago. All in all a nice trip and I would cruise again. Not an always cruiser, but I would go again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our second Christmas cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines; both times out of Port Canaveral. And, before I go any further, I have to recommend Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and Kennedy Space Center to visitors for excursions. Not ... Read More
This was our second Christmas cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines; both times out of Port Canaveral. And, before I go any further, I have to recommend Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach and Kennedy Space Center to visitors for excursions. Not that we took any...but we live in Cocoa Beach and are very proud of our area. We are proud of Port Canaveral, too, although it IS having some growing pains. We embarked from the recently upgraded Cruise Terminal 10 and, personally, had no problems. Of course, we opted for an early arrival time (10 AM) and were able to have relatives drop us off. Later arrivals complained of long wait times in the hot Florida sun. There is also a traffic flow issue in and out of that end of the port, where the access road involves a drawbridge which can be open at inopportune times. The signage can be a little confusing, too, especially since Disney and Carnival also dock at that end of the port. If you are not coming in on a Norwegian-booked flight/shuttle from the Orlando airport we recommend making sure you get an early boarding time and plan to eat lunch on board. We were able to go to our cabin (BA 11121) in the early afternoon. It was a little bit of a surprise because the walls were curved, the bed was round, and the bathroom is one where commode, shower and sink are separated out rather than being in one "room". (There is a curtain to draw between these areas and the bed for privacy). However, after our initial skepticism about this arrangement, we decided it made sense if only because it freed up the three areas so the two of us could use them at the same time. One note: The light above the sink was inadequate. My husband could not see clearly to shave. Still, our cabin steward was great, the energy efficiency in having a master switch for the lights (controlled by your key card) was appealing and the "message wheel" (I don't know what to call it) outside the door where we could turn the dial to indicate if we wanted the room made up etc. is certainly better than the little paper slips used before. Dining: The Garden Cafe (buffet) is great but, like any buffet, crowded. The Great Outdoors (just outside the buffet, beside the pool) is good, especially early morning. We ate in three specialty restaurants: Cagney's, Moderno and Teppanyaki. The food in Cagney's was great even though the service was a little bit lacking. Moderno's waiter was terrific and it was an interesting dining experience. Tepppanyaki was entertaining, with good food and good theatrics. And, then there is O'Sheehans. I am glad to see that Norwegian expanded its late night eatery into an all night establishment, and cannot say enough about the fish and chips, pound cake and apple pie. The only problem there is the noise level. Another note: I have Crohn's disease and am very careful about food choices. I had NO PROBLEMS on board the Epic and was happy to see that there were plenty of gluten and sugar free choices on the menu. Entertainment: We took in the Christmas show, Burn the Floor and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Although the production quality of all three was excellent our favorite was Burn the Floor. And, I personally, liked the Howl at Moon/Dueling Pianos show. My husband found the venue for it (Headliners) a little claustrophobic. Health Center: My husband used the fitness center every morning and said it was never really crowded. There were a variety of fitness machines available as well as a conscientious staff. However, the walking/jogging path on Deck 7 was ridiculous. Whose idea was it to put that on a deck with lifeboats hanging on one side and exhaust fumes from restaurants belching out on the other? We found our own walking area up on Deck 16, where there is a sort of sun deck that could be lapped with little problem or disruption to the sunbathers. Activities: There seemed to be ample activities on board for all age groups: Plenty of trivia games, karaoke, poolside contests, bingo, movies and, of course, the casino. We also like to find quiet spaces where we can sit and read. The problem was that any of the indoor lounges were way too cold (Bliss comes to mind) to sit in comfortably without a sweatshirt/jacket. And, while our balcony was OK for short periods, outdoor venues need more shaded areas if you want to read and not soak up sun. We don't usually take the excursions and this cruise was no exception. We wanted to relax on board and that is what we did! As to whether we would go again? Yes! As a matter of fact we took advantage of the Book Ahead program to make a deposit for a future cruise with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My sister and I cruised on the Norwegian Epic on Dec. 17-23, 2016 leaving out of Port Canaveral. The ship was beautiful and so big. Th Epic was the biggest ship in port. We visited three ports (Great Stirrup Cay, Georgetown, Grand ... Read More
My sister and I cruised on the Norwegian Epic on Dec. 17-23, 2016 leaving out of Port Canaveral. The ship was beautiful and so big. Th Epic was the biggest ship in port. We visited three ports (Great Stirrup Cay, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. Had a great time in all three ports. The cabin was very nice. We had a mini suite and was very surprised by the amount of storage space in the cabin. We liked the bathroom setup. One of us could shower while the other was brushing their teeth, etc. It did not bother us that the bathroom was in the "room. The beds were a little hard but still comfortable. The only issue we had with the bed was there was no room to separate the bed into 2 twin beds. The food on the ship was very good. There are two main dining rooms,The Taste and The Manhattan room. Both served the same menus. The menu was limited and if you wanted something else like steak and lobster there was an up charge for this. I did not like paying extra for certain dishes on the menu. I felt like this was a way to "nickel and dime" your customers. We've already paid for the cruise so shouldn't have to pay extra for certain foods. I've cruised on Carnival and Celebrity lines and never had to pay extra for steak and lobster. Perhaps Norwegian should rethink this. The Garden Cafe was also very nice and the food was also very good. The garden cafe is very huge and we had no problem finding a place to sit and eat even though the ship seemed to be full to capacity. There is also several other areas to eat included in your cruise fare such as O'Shehans which is a bar type restaurant that served soups, wings and sandwiches. The food here was also very good. Lots of entertainment on this ship. Only draw back was that we had to make reservations to see shows if the show was free or not. By the time we figured this out all shows were booked so we didn't see any show as the venues are quite small and only hold a limited amount of people. Service on the ship was very good. The wait staff in all of the eating areas were very friendly and engaged in conversation with their patrons. By far the Norwegian line was the best cruise line we've cruised on. While there were children on board, there was not a whole lot of children running around which made the experience very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Well, I have to say that I was a bit worried before we got on the ship. I had read so many bad reviews about the crew and ship. However, I boarded the ship with no expectations. My wife and I were very happy with the overall ... Read More
Well, I have to say that I was a bit worried before we got on the ship. I had read so many bad reviews about the crew and ship. However, I boarded the ship with no expectations. My wife and I were very happy with the overall experience. Were there hiccups and minor problems, sure. But, we easily overlook these items. We were on vacation. Why should we let things bother us. The crew was fantastic, the cleanliness of the ship was great. Any problems that I read about earlier had all been resolved. Yes, the stateroom (mid-ship balcony) was a bit strange, but it was functional. The food was good, the entertainment exceptional. The one thing I would like to say is about the other guests. It was very surprising to us that we saw many guests getting bent out of shape over the smallest problems (waiting in line an extra 5 minutes, etc.). We chalked it up to those that just want to complain about anything. I have to mention the bar staff at the Atrium Cafe' bar. Nur, Siti, and the rest were all fantastic. They always had a friendly smile and really looked like they were having a good time interacting with the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Cruise chosen not due to particular line but location and time of year(early Dec)--particularly with perks offered including: $200 on board credit; bottle of wine; $50 credit applied to three excursions; three specialty restaurant dinners. ... Read More
Cruise chosen not due to particular line but location and time of year(early Dec)--particularly with perks offered including: $200 on board credit; bottle of wine; $50 credit applied to three excursions; three specialty restaurant dinners. Pluses: excellent food: friendly crew (expected); many activities; huge water slides;separate toilet shower, sink in stateroom; complete control of cabin temperature; plenty of cabin storage space;excellent technique for ship debarkation;fewer children--at least this time of year Minuses: (our) room layout with bed closer to entrance meant only one person at a time could traverse to closets and balcony; difficulty navigating on board(missed full ship layout posted next to elevators allowing complete ship view--only that particular floor would be displayed); even with the "your time" dining reservations required for specialty restaurants AND showtimes-- though we were always seated in reasonable time except in one case even without one; shows in main theatre did not change each night, rather some repeated over various nights allowing for the reduced theatre capacity. Overall, fine ship. No problem repeating with Norwegian, Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First off, I may not be as experienced as some of the other reviewers and I wouldn't consider myself high maintenance. I personally believe each cruise line has positives and negatives and that you can have a good time based on your ... Read More
First off, I may not be as experienced as some of the other reviewers and I wouldn't consider myself high maintenance. I personally believe each cruise line has positives and negatives and that you can have a good time based on your needs on pretty much anyone but one may be more suiting depending on your personality, party size and history. I am a 37 year old single male who loves to travel. My first cruise was in 2011 and this was my forth. All have been in the Caribbean and 7 days. I have sailed on the Carnival Glory, Carnival Victory, Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas, and The Norwegian Epic. I have sailed from Miami, San Juan, and Port Canaveral. Now onto my review. My cruise sailed out of Port Great Stirrup Cay Bahamas, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Port Canaveral is probably the busiest port in the US. There were about 6 different ships that boarded the day we left. Despite the size, I found embarkation to be efficient and I had no issues. In fact, my luggage was even delivered to my room prior to 5pm which was a first in my experience. I had an inside cabin which many may complain about the design. Mainly the toilet being separate from the shower and the sink being separate from both. For me being a solo traveler, It was different but a non issue. Service to the cabins was done well, however this was the first time I was not introduced to the cabin steward. I commend the staff on the ship, great attitude, personality, and service. Especially due to the large capacity of customers which can only lead to even more complaints justifiable and non justifiable. The ship had great activities, a little bit of something for everyone. I enjoyed using the gym, having multiple free and specialty options for dinner, and even a separate "barbershop" for mens grooming services. The cirque dinner theatre show was wonderful and although it had a fee of $47 for premium seating, it was worth it. The clubs, pool parties, bowling, sports bar, howl at the moon and shows like burn the floor, comedy, and a magician provided a nice variety along with the typical art auction and games that you would find on most ships. The all white deck party was a highlight. Although the ship is huge, I chose to use the steps so that I wouldn't have to wait for elevators. Be aware that due to the size of the ship, many activities require reservations. Some can be made online prior to arrival, at the box office, or even on the room tv. I found the food to be good but not great. I didn't dine at the specialty restaurants because there were adequate other options and I was solo and often wanted to eat alone. This ship has solo cabins for others like me that want an affordable trip without needing to have a cabin mate. They also have optional solo guest gatherings in the solo lounge daily. If you like to be active, are mobile, youthful and energetic, I think the Epic could be a good time. Last but not least, the Free at Sea promotion put this cruise over the top for me. I basically only paid gratuities and had a drink package a.k.a. open bar for an entire week. Incredible savings for even a social drinker. I found that I was a little more social than usual thanks to the drink package. Some travelers that prefer smaller ships with more intimate service may not enjoy this . The haven cabins provide a more luxurious experience for those if they care to try it. But for my demographic and preferences, I will definitely do NCL again. I'm already booked for next December. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Overall this was a fabulous cruise. The choices of anything to do or eat were abundant. The freestyle cruising was greatly enjoyed. For the most part, the staff were exceptional. I cannot say enough how much we enjoyed our cruise but ... Read More
Overall this was a fabulous cruise. The choices of anything to do or eat were abundant. The freestyle cruising was greatly enjoyed. For the most part, the staff were exceptional. I cannot say enough how much we enjoyed our cruise but as always, there are a few negatives. The toilet paper was horrible. There is not enough light in the cabins to read the daily info sheet unless you lay on the bed and put on the little reading lights. Moderno is an awful restaurant - do not waste your money. This was one of the worst Brazilian restaurants we have ever been to. Cagney's was exceptional, La Cucina was delicious however getting our order right was a bit of a challenge. Le Bistro was so good we went there twice. Also do not waste your money on the Discover St Thomas and Megan's Bay tour. This tour had too much in it for exceptionally short the amount of time we were in port so we had to pass on everything related to Blackbeard's Castle. We did complain and received a 20% credit. Pricilla Queen of the Desert show was hysterically funny. We saw it twice. However there were quite a few older people on the cruise who thought it was a little to risqué. It's a cult favorite so if you think Rocky Horror is fun, you will love this one too. All in all we had a fabulous time and I highly recommend the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Overall the cruise was great, compared to others we found more activities and lots more to do mostly in the evenings. The evening shows like newlywed not so newlywed, the perfect couple, celebrity dance off, cirque de soliel, burn the ... Read More
Overall the cruise was great, compared to others we found more activities and lots more to do mostly in the evenings. The evening shows like newlywed not so newlywed, the perfect couple, celebrity dance off, cirque de soliel, burn the floor, comedians were amazing. I didn't care for the Pricilla Queen show, waste of time. The check in was a disaster took hours no clear signs or staff around to guide people, messy. The daytime activities even on sea days were lacking, I saw past schedules from people you recently went on other Norweigan ships- they had more interesting things like cupcake decorating class, interactive cooking demos... we didn't have much of that more like bingo and some poolside contests, the fun stuff like wine and chocolate was an additional cost, we pay enough for the cruise there should not be an extra cost. The cruise director Scott and assistant cruise director she was british were very friendly, smiling always and they made the ship more fun. There was options for everyone for food, however we did ask for a special diet menu and a few nights were very disappointed, one they made a huge error and brought us shrimp in our pasta we saw it and sent it back as strict religious vegetarians, next clean plate as we started eating we found another shrimp hidden, we were disgusted. I called the executive chef. At Thanksgiving dinner we were just given a potato cake with spinach it wasn't enough food and the apps were always salad which consisted of few pieces of lettuce, onions and few cucumbers, surely you can do better than that with a salad, we indicated we ate dairy so goat cheese and beets or candied walnuts something more original especially on thanksgiving would have been nice. I think there were too many people so the service lacked a little especially since on every other cruise I have been on they went above and beyond with our special diet to make us amazing tasty filling dishes, here we were more of an after thought. they need more adult pools and kids should not be allows in hot tubs, one day they put bubble bath in the hot tubs and made a mess, the kids stayed in the hot tubs for hours, this should be for adults only. the H2o pool was so small, need bigger adult pool, rock climbing was closed everyday when I checked. The tender boats in Bahamas were also a big issue and we had to wait hours to get to the island. The pros: activities and most shows were good, princess was so bad in this aspect. Kunal our service at the taste restaurants was excellent. Rayz the maître de was good he definitely made an effort. Praveen the chef did come to our table to apologize for the shrimp incident, the executive chef also apologized which was nice of them. Cruise director and assistant cruise director were excellent at entertaining people. Most staff were friendly. and the washy washy ladies were very nice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I purposely did not post a review of the Epic's cruise of November 12th as I assumed other passengers would slam it and it appears that is the case. Two major problems will probably cause the worst memories -- embarkation and ... Read More
I purposely did not post a review of the Epic's cruise of November 12th as I assumed other passengers would slam it and it appears that is the case. Two major problems will probably cause the worst memories -- embarkation and disembarkation.. Now realistically, the first voyage since arriving from Europe and the use of a new or different terminal might have caused the very poorly organized embarkation but NCL is a big company with many talented employees so making it better than the chaotic situation should have been a HUGE priority. The lack of a working P.A. system really complicated things as different employees gave different answers to what was occurring. Immediately there was unhappiness being exhibited by both the cruisers and the staff. This is exactly the wrong way to begin a cruise vacation on a beautiful ship. Disembarkation was even worse if that could have been possible. By the way, these explanations were provided by staff members but never verified or explained by official communication, that's a problem NCL needs to rectify. It is a huge ship with many, many customers trying to do the same thing at the same time. It is also a large ship with many, many amenities. If you are unwilling to have those factors weigh against each other and enjoy the experience, try a smaller ship at probability a substantially higher rate. I am not letting NCL's ineptitude slide as they could have done immeasurably better with clear and appropriate communication. Too many times on this voyage there was confusion due to a lack of clear communication. I tried to explain some of these in a written correspondence but I have had no response as of yet. Note to travel professionals: Americans hate being confused by poor or non existent communication. Speaking of communication, when or how were we to know the private island stop was cancelled. Many passengers had no idea until the printed itinerary showed Nassau. The problem here is that I had the private island experience on a previous NCL cruise and was so impressed I encouraged others to join me on this cruise. I was informed before traveling by my travel agent but most other passengers were unaware. Also, I understand that hurricane caused issues are beyond NCL's control but I have to believe this was a cost saver so how about something else to compensate? Another bone of contention is the "nickel and dime charges" that many passengers found noxious. I believe these practices came about due to many passengers "stiffing" hard working staff but maybe re-evaluation of the whole system is needed. Once again, I can see NCL's situation. They provide the opportunity for a wonderful experience at a price I find very reasonable, to wit, some passengers paid less for passage than a hotel room for a weekend in Manhattan! For me on this voyage I enjoyed terrific entertainment experiences -- Priscilla Of The Desert was as good as Broadway and Howl At The Moon was probably the best show I have encountered at sea. I went to it five times and each night was different and free! The two bands in the wonderful Beatle inspired nightclub were also wonderful and always attracted a large crowd. Folks who saw Cirque praised it. There were many other neat music venues but adults could find a somewhat quieter environment, along with nice hot tubs at the adult zone. The water park setup was also very popular and lines seemed very reasonable. The food was a pleasant surprise. From the first meal in Taste to some buffet breakfasts there was always a large variety of tasty well prepared food. I might add that every server in the two main restaurants, the Noodle bar, Le Bistro and Cagneys was friendly, efficient and professional. Hint: do not miss the warm lava cake in the main dining rooms and, if finances allow, go to Cagneys. The reservation system seemed to work well. The mini suite was an excellent investment for space and the balcony. As so many others have mentioned the tub/shower, toilet and sink set up is a bit strange. I am still not sure how I liked it but some couples sharing a room may find it problematical. The separate sink was a good idea but the poor lighting made shaving a challenge. I also did not like the heavy, noisy glass doors especially as they are the first things one sees upon entering the cabin. The public areas were well designed and kept clean, the casino was usually full so I presume it was a nice experience. The future cruise and port staff were the best I have encountered on several NCL cruises. The captain and officers were visible, friendly and professional. Coffee bar was nice but there was an extra charge. The NCL concierge app was good for communication among passengers and ship info but here too, there was a charge ($10) that probably the line could have absorbed. Would I do it again, definitely, could NCL improve, yep, starting with better communications in all areas. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Just returned home from a wonderful 14 day cruise on board Norwegian Spirit, from the Captain to the attendants the level of service was above what we expected, all food is off the highest quality available at any time. This was our ... Read More
Just returned home from a wonderful 14 day cruise on board Norwegian Spirit, from the Captain to the attendants the level of service was above what we expected, all food is off the highest quality available at any time. This was our first ever cruise and the attention to detail in the food, beverages and entertainment was off the highest standard, will definitely travel again with Norwegian Line. From the initial arrival on board where you are greeted by members of staff you immediately feel at ease and made to feel part of the party. The information received on arrival informed us of what would be happening that evening to welcome all on board at the arrival party. We left that afternoon on route to Virgin Islands and from then till we arrived at Barcelona the staff ensured a good time was had by all. All information was available at the main desk with the nightly paperwork arriving with all the following days activities, a lot of work was put in by the cruise director and his staff to ensure a good time was had by all. A full day at Funchal was the last port of call prior to disembarking at Barcelona. Everything for this holiday was taken care of by our cruise agent which was stress free from start to finish. My opinion would be to try this cruise line as I think you may be pleasantly surprised. If anyone feels they did not receive value for money on this ship they must have high expectations for how far they think money can go, excellent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Just returned from our cruise was way above expectations, food amazing could not fault any restaurant ,even though we spend a lot of time in the buffett restaurant so much choice, staff were so lovely and friendly especially our cabin ... Read More
Just returned from our cruise was way above expectations, food amazing could not fault any restaurant ,even though we spend a lot of time in the buffett restaurant so much choice, staff were so lovely and friendly especially our cabin attendant Elmer amazing man always smiling and always time for a chat with us despite him being so busy , always had some towel animal waiting for us on our bed on our return to our room which made us smile .plenty of entertainment which was so good ,magician was brilliant and entertainment staff worked so hard with the shows etc, we visited st maartin and st thomas n loved every minute ,bingo prices a bit expensive but I was made a queen so had free bingo for the duration of our cruise :-)can't wait for another cruise next year with NCL . Thank you it was a pleasure cruising with yous. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I Heard Good Things About NCL So I Thought I Would Try Them And I Wanted To Go To The Islands They Were Offering The ship was very very nice and clean for a smaller older ship food was great entertainment was great was not to happy with ... Read More
I Heard Good Things About NCL So I Thought I Would Try Them And I Wanted To Go To The Islands They Were Offering The ship was very very nice and clean for a smaller older ship food was great entertainment was great was not to happy with cabin steward never leaving enough towels not replacing drinking glasses i dont know i was expecting more as far as keeping cabin nice this person just got off the Epic and claimed this ship was different and she just acted like she was clueless werid I had something Removed From My Cabin As Well Not Impressed With Customer Service Debating About Cruiseing With Them Again The Ports Were Great All iN All The cruise was fantastic except with our steward and i did not appreciate how NCL Handeled The Situation Any ways we will see We Usually Cruise With RLC Awsome I Will ADD Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Having been on over 20 cruises with a competing cruise line, I was skeptical about venturing out on an older smaller ship as the Spirit. My first impression of the ship was that even in its old age, the ship is magnificent. Our room was ... Read More
Having been on over 20 cruises with a competing cruise line, I was skeptical about venturing out on an older smaller ship as the Spirit. My first impression of the ship was that even in its old age, the ship is magnificent. Our room was small but well designed and always clean. The bathroom appeared larger than most cruise ship bathrooms for some reason. The shower was encased in glass and not the dreaded shower curtain some older ships have. The wood paneling and molding was very pleasing to the eye all around the ship. The ship was kept extremely clean the entire cruise. The cruise director was very funny. Our stateroom attendant Henra on Deck 10 was excellent. I only had a few gripes. My first gripe was in Raffles buffet. There was no variety or choices. The food was the same dish as the day before just given a different name and maybe adding garnishments.The food left plenty to be desired. We did enjoy their Unique snack shop The Blue Lagoon. My other gripe is that the entertainment is just fair. It shows that not a lot is spent on the entertainment. The shows were dull and lackluster, They need to invest in better lighting in the theatre. It was dark for most shows and they used a lot of smoke. The lighting used was dull and did not provide clarity. The Itinerary included Key West, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Great Stirrup Cay. It was a dynamite itinerary. All ports were enjoyable. The service on the ship was good, not the best but it was good. The layout of the ship was easy to navigate. I think the way that that they do the muster drill needs to be rethought. Embarkation was the easiest, fastest check- ins ever! The same when we left the ship. Before our cruise we did tons of research on this ship. There were a lot of poor reviews but some good as well. We decided to make our own decision and take a chance. We are so glad we did. This was one of the most affordable port packed 7 day cruises we had every cruised. We enjoyed ourselves and will be back to cruise again with Norwegian in the very near future. The Spirit is now one of our favorite ships. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife and I boarded the Spirit in what I can only describe as one of the most efficient and thorough operations we have encountered in almost 20 years! The ship was in excellent condition for a ship of its age and immaculately clean. ... Read More
My wife and I boarded the Spirit in what I can only describe as one of the most efficient and thorough operations we have encountered in almost 20 years! The ship was in excellent condition for a ship of its age and immaculately clean. We stopped in Key West where it appeared as though everyone was trying to debark at the same time. It took us approximately 30 minutes from the time the ship was cleared until the trolley dropped us off in downtown Key West. We enjoyed the Free Style cruising, but did make reservations in advance in the Garden Restaurant for most days and always requested Romel and Gede as our waiter and assistant waiter--outstanding service and good meals! We were fortunate enough to have the beverage package as one of our perks and enjoyed trying a variety of the beverages offered during the cruise and on the island--the one interesting item was that while in Florida it appeared as though we were being billed the full price, however after checking with the purser she indicated that it had to be done that way for Florida sales tax--we were only changed for the sales tax. In Jamaica we walked into town (about a 10 minute walk) and enjoyed shopping in each of the three shopping areas. The locals were very friendly and polite--just remember to say no thank you to the taxi drivers. In Grand Cayman we booked the Taste of Cayman which took us through a tour of a rum and vodka distillery and a brewery as well as a stop to sample rum cake. As it was a rainy day the tour worked out well and our tour guide gave us an outstanding perspective of the island. They were most generous with samples at the distillery!! Our last stop was the private island in the Bahamas where a buffet was provided and beverages available, there were a number of people in the water, however the water was still a bit too cold for us. There was limited shopping from some locals. Our debarkation was the fastest I have ever encountered!!! We chose to take our own suitcases rather than having them brought down to the pier for us, this allowed us to have a nice breakfast and to have an "open gangway" to literally walk off the ship with our suitcases in hand and right through to customs! Overall we enjoyed this ship! It is a smaller ship so be prepared for the motion of the ocean. I would not hesitate to book this ship again, we had a great time and met some interest people. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Do not believe all you read. The Spirit is the oldest ship in the NCL fleet. However she has been kept up to there high standards. Service was above average threw out the ship. Only attended one of the shows, enjoyable and ... Read More
Do not believe all you read. The Spirit is the oldest ship in the NCL fleet. However she has been kept up to there high standards. Service was above average threw out the ship. Only attended one of the shows, enjoyable and entertaining. Did buy some art while on the ship. Very good Art team on this ship. Not overly pushy and helpful if you decide to buy art from Park West Galleries. This ship gives you the options to stay as busy with activities as you like or just relax. I do suggest that if you choose your time dinning, that you go to Windows and make reservations so you do not have to stand in line. We choose 6:30 every night and never waited to be seated. If you find a waiter you prefer just ask to be seated in his area. If you like steak make sure to eat a Cagney's Steakhouse. Excellent ribeye, fine dinning service. Teppanyaki room, where the chefs perform a stir-fry meal before your eyes is excellent. Small venue only seats 10 at a time. Make reservations ASAP this ones sells out quick. The crew as well as the officers want your cruise to be memorable as possible. If you have an issue to not wait to get home and write a bad review. Go to the management team and talk with them Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I picked this cruise for the price and stops. We stayed in a family inside stateroom. The stateroom was large enough for one adult and two children. I loved that the water was always hot in the shower and water pressure was good. We had ... Read More
I picked this cruise for the price and stops. We stayed in a family inside stateroom. The stateroom was large enough for one adult and two children. I loved that the water was always hot in the shower and water pressure was good. We had plenty of space for our clothes and extra storage in our room. No need to bring extra hangers. The ship had nice character. We didn't do any special dining options. I will give a list of pros and cons. Pros: 1) My kids age 14 and 5 loved the kids clubs. I can't speak highly enough about the kids clubs. My son would cry because he didn't want to leave. The staff truly put my mind at ease about leaving him in their care. 2) Kids pool was nice. I thought it looked small but kids had plenty of space to play and swim (it was a sold out cruise) 3) The staff in all areas were very nice and helpful 4) Main dining room food was good for adults (not so much kids) 5) Ship was easy to navigate 6) Music was always playing in public areas Cons: 1) Buffet food wasn't very good at all (except for breakfast) 2) Room service always made thing wrong or forgot something. 3) internet cost me about 230 bucks.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My family of four just returned from our week on the Spirit. We had inside cabin 5035, one of the extra big cabins featured on the Spirit. We booked this cruise more than a year before the sail date because of the great rate at the time. ... Read More
My family of four just returned from our week on the Spirit. We had inside cabin 5035, one of the extra big cabins featured on the Spirit. We booked this cruise more than a year before the sail date because of the great rate at the time. This is cruise 20+ for my wife and me, the kids have slightly fewer cruises under their belts. We have previously sailed with NCL on the Jewel. While the Spirit is a smaller ship without the bells and whistles of NCL's newer ships, we really liked her. There is a charm about a smaller ship that is refreshing. The ship handled the crowds very well most of the time. Occasionally Raffles buffet would get a little crowded. Mostly the problems with crowds there were from those who we call "wanderers" - people who don't know where they want to go and stop and spin around and then wander slowly toward something that catches his or her eye. Service was generally good. We ate in the main dining rooms on most nights (4 of the 7). The first night's dinner was not good, but the service was fine. The rest of the meals in the main dining rooms were generally pretty good. The service was only bad one night, the last night, when dinner took nearly twice as long as normal (we spent more time sitting waiting for the next course than we did eating the course when it finally arrived). On two nights we went to Shogun. We enjoyed the menu there very much. One night we "ate" at Raffles. We returned around 5:30ish from our St. Thomas excursion, got cleaned up, and decided to go to Raffles to eat rather than try anywhere else. That night every dish, it seemed, was a seafood dish. Most of the family are not seafood eaters, so that night's dinner was a bust. The biggest complaint about the entire trip was the unbelievable plumbing problems and sewage smells we faced on our floor. 5035 is on the starboard side forward. Exiting the elevators there on days 2-7 one was hit with the most outrageous smell of sewage, urine, ammonia, and an attempt to cover the smell with deodorizer. On top of that days 3-6 were marked by periods of a nonfunctional toilet. The kicker was the night that my wife woke too find waste from other toilets had backed up into ours. The smell in the bathroom was unbelievable. Guest services sent a "repairman" and a cabin steward at 3:15 am to "fix" and clean. The toilet never got fixed. We adopted a "flush before you lift the lid" policy to avoid the terror of the toilet contents. We received chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of wine for our trouble. I'd have rather had them fix what were clearly problems along the lines of plumbing in that section of the ship. Perhaps they cannot do anything about it. I don't know. But I would advise people to stay away from deck 5 forward just as a precaution. Despite those problems, we had a good time on this cruise. We enjoyed NCL more on this trip than we had previously on the Jewel. We would sail NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Stayed in an inside cabin on deck 6, no problems with room apart from finding the previous persons dirty socks and underwear in one drawer. After ringing guest services this was sorted immediately and the drawer was thoroughly cleaned, ... Read More
Stayed in an inside cabin on deck 6, no problems with room apart from finding the previous persons dirty socks and underwear in one drawer. After ringing guest services this was sorted immediately and the drawer was thoroughly cleaned, have read other reviews stating that there is only one electric socket, there was three in our room. It was American spring break the two weeks we were on board, so there was a lot of young people, who very much enjoyed themselves without causing any trouble. I found the young Americans very polite, a couple of times being asked something by a youngster and being called Sir on both occasions. Freestyle cruising is what they offer and that's what you get, if you want formal nights, choose a different cruise line, don't go on NCL then moan that it's not posh enough, as we heard a few people saying. It suited us perfectly, do what you want when you want. The food on board was pretty good, the buffet could get busy at times, the waiter service restaurants were nice, preferred the garden restaurant to windows, as there was no vibration from the engine. Could get a table for two no problem without booking, only once had to be given a pager, and by the time we had gone to the bar to get a drink, the pager was going off to return for a table. We had the ultimate beverage package included in our cruise, this was brilliant, there was a fantastic choice of lager, some not on the menu, including peroni, grolsh, Amstel and also available, Newcastle Brown Ale, Guinness, ciders. The wine was nice, lots of choice and top brand spirits, as long as a drink was cheaper than $15 it was included. The entertainment was pretty good, the dancers and singers put on a good show, it was a shame they only had a one week rota though, as we were on for two weeks the shows are the same, luckily we had seen a review on here telling us this, so spread out seeing the shows. I was unlucky enough to try out the facilities in the medical treatment room, the staff in there are very good, but the charges are eye watering to say the least, hope insurance pays out. Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty good, just be aware of one thing, the latest time off the ship is 9.15 with transfer back to the airport, we were at the airport for 10.30, the Manchester flight is not until 19.45 and check in at the airport does not open until 13.30. We shared a taxi with another couple and went to downtown Disney, Virgin have a check in desk open there from 10.30, we checked in for an extra $10 per person and spent the rest of the day there. At around $70 taxi fare each way this is not a cheap way to spend your last day, but beats sitting in the airport waiting for check in to open, before going out somewhere. All in all had a great time and are looking forward to going on the same ship around the Canary Islands at new year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My wife and I just completed back to back E W Caribbean on the NCL Spirit. This was our 19th cruise. Previously who've cruised: RCL (8) Carnival (5) NCL (4) Celebrity (2) Ship: Overall condition of this ship ... Read More
My wife and I just completed back to back E W Caribbean on the NCL Spirit. This was our 19th cruise. Previously who've cruised: RCL (8) Carnival (5) NCL (4) Celebrity (2) Ship: Overall condition of this ship is very good. Clean and convenient to navigate. Asian theme throughout. There does seem to be a small amount of deck space available by the pool. If you want a chair been up before 8:30 on sea days. Dining: Our package included free specialty dining so I will review each of those options. We ate 4 times in the main dining rooms. Food was quite good, (not great), and service was "spotty". One evening we had excellent service but otherwise allow two hours minimum for dinner in one of the main dining rooms. La Trattoria: This is the best food we had on this ship. Chicken Parm and Meatballs are excellent. The service was some of the worst we experienced. Two courses takes two hours? One of the nights there were about 10 people in the restaurant. Le Bistro: Food was above average and service was excellent. Cagney's: Again poor service. Two hours seems to be the norm on this ship. One tip, order any beef less done than normal. I didn't think the beef was very good but my wife thought it was fantastic. Personal preference I guess. Shogun: Free with some items as an extra charge like sushi. Very good Chinese food. Our service was excellent. Entertainment: NCL has to seriously do something about the entertainment. Not to be too harsh but the production shows we saw were like an SNL spoof of a cruise line show. A comedian each week and they were OK. Again that would be personal preference. Lots of activities throughout the ship. What appeared the most fun was the "Sing it if you know it". Good time. Casino was packed week one and less crowded week two. Seems like it might be kind of small of this size ship. Fitness center seemed small but there was hardly anyone in there. Ports: Key West: We did the Key Lime Bike Tour. Really enjoyed it. Really good way to get an overview of Key West. Grand Cayman: Did a snorkel beach combo tour. Pretty standard stuff. Lots of fun other than the panic attack when I remembered I couldn't swim. I would skip that part. Ocho Rios: Tubing your down the apple river. Great time! We had a great group and guides. Highly recommend. Nassau: We actually walked to Mass. Very easy to get to the Cathedral which is about a 10-15 minute walk from port. Felt safe and lots of shopping opportunities on the way back. St Maarten: Did a horseback riding tour which included a trail and beach water ride. Lots of fun. If you are envisioning galloping through the surf then you need to lessen your expectations. You ride out to about waist high and then the horses poop like crazy from what I could tell. We wanted to go to Maho Beach to see the airplanes but didn't have time. If you want to go there, it looked like there's a shuttle from the cruise port. I think it was $20 per person each way. Not sure of the price. St Thomas: Nothing booked and as usual it is a shopping stop. Good place to do that. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Living in the Mid East Coast USA, a Caribbean cruise always beats snowy February. NCL's "Free-Style Cruising" is the best way to go if you like a casual vacation-having to pack evening dresses and suits is not our idea of ... Read More
Living in the Mid East Coast USA, a Caribbean cruise always beats snowy February. NCL's "Free-Style Cruising" is the best way to go if you like a casual vacation-having to pack evening dresses and suits is not our idea of relaxing. During the 2 weeks we were aboard we had some rough sea and missed the Cayman Islands but overall had a grand time. Enjoyed the "game shows" "Not so Newly Wed," "55 or Less," and karaoke contest-things we would never do/watch at home, but we were on vacation. We flew into Orlando and used the greatest little service called "Go Port Canaveral." They provided transportation from the airport to hotel, hotel to pier and pier to airport. They make all the necessary arrangements including hotel reservations for a very reasonable fee. Embarkation was easily accomplished as was disembarkation. As gold Latitudes members we had priority times for both. We were in a forward porthole cabin which gave us a little more room than an inside cabin but was still economical. We have found the porthole or obstructed view cabins to be a good choice both monetarily and for added space. Everything in life has the potential to disappoint and like most things, a cruise is mostly what you make of it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our first Norwegian cruise after close to 15 other cruises on various lines. We traveled with another couple (with in excess of 25 cruises under their belts). We booked this one as the timing was right for us along with the ... Read More
This was our first Norwegian cruise after close to 15 other cruises on various lines. We traveled with another couple (with in excess of 25 cruises under their belts). We booked this one as the timing was right for us along with the excellent price/incentives we got. Especially as Canadians (that dollar is brutal right now!!). Before leaving I read the most recent reviews of the few weeks leading up to our departure and they had me VERY nervous I gotta say! All for not!!!! We had a wonderful time and really found very little fault with anything. Certainly nothing to an extent that it could possibly spoil our time. We got on and off this ship painlessly and quickly. Yes, the ship is older. So what? We knew that going in as should anyone booking it! You had to look hard for signs of aging, they weren't screaming at you as if it was falling apart. Staff were painting and cleaning often and dilligently. I was on the brand new Regal Princess last January, so yes if you want to compare it to that, that's just not fair. We actually found this ship to be much more intimate and less crowded than the Regal. It's a lovely smaller ship with all the amenities you'd need. A pretty atrium with a very old fashioned feel to it. The food was very good and in some cases above average. We ate most nights in the Garden dining room, but also tried Windows. Tapenyaki was EXCELLENT and actually exceeded my expectations. The portions were so big, I couldn't even eat half of the excellent steak!! We had the wings/fish and chips one night, also good. The pool deck food at lunch was our go to when on board. Two levels to choose from, top deck just burgers, hotdogs and fries kind of thing, down below the larger one with paella as well as other meat choices and salads. The last day there, there were ribs that were fabulous! Raffles buffet for breakfast was more than adequate although busy on port days. We had a balcony room, cabin 10066. No complaints. Our room steward "Johnson" was wonderful. Attentive and always on the ball. Bathroom was dated, but clean. I've read some complaints on that area, but ours truly was ok. Adequate storage space although weird angular cubbies. AC was great, never turned on the tv (why on earth would I?)The Galaxy Lounge and Henry's Pub were our favourites. Henry's before dinner. Galaxy Lounge after. We tried to do our dinner around the schedule of the various interactive games going on, trivia, karaoke etc. My husband participated in one of them, some kind of trivia survivor kind of thing. Funny! The 80's show on the last night in that lounge was awesome! We found the overall service everywhere on the ship to be overwhelmingly positive. No grumpy servers, no cold food. None of that. My one and only complaint was St. Thomas port. I've been there 7 or 8 times, and it's one of my favourites. Unfortunately for whatever reason the time there is way too short, not arriving until noon?? Then we had to tender (Never tendered there before) and it was painful! I had booked a very expensive flyboarding event (not through NCL) based on the scheduled arrival time of 11 a.m. which was in the itinerary. That was then changed to noon arrival (flyboarding at 1 p.m.) and then we had to get tender tickets! ugh.....fortunately we managed to get off after talking to the cruise director and only be 30 minutes late. So 1:30 before you got on land??! People talked about pouring rain and funny we were only 10 minutes from the port and only had some sprinkles! :-) In Tortola we did the Van Jost afternoon. OMG, was to die for beautiful! Although the trip there was really expensive at $200 US/two (for us as Canadians especiallly!!) as it really was only a basic "taxi" service, it was still worth it though. The Soggy Dollar bar/painkillers and the fabulously gorgeous beach were worth it. A must do. Probably my favourite day. All in all we had a great time and I wouldn't hesitate to go back on this ship. Although I would choose a different itinerary as I'm not a HUGE fan of too many sea days and Nassau is really a stop I could care less to see again. Ignore the bad reviews....there are always people who will complain incessantly about anything and everything. We heard a few while on board, trust me! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
For a tour of the ship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wh4VP6rHek . So this was the fourth time sailing with NCL, and as much as I love the whole Freestyle theme, I might try a more traditional cruise line for my next trip. This was the ... Read More
For a tour of the ship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wh4VP6rHek . So this was the fourth time sailing with NCL, and as much as I love the whole Freestyle theme, I might try a more traditional cruise line for my next trip. This was the smallest ship I have been on, and a lot different than the NCL Breakaway, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7momJhjAIc) which I went on when it first came out. The nicest thing about this being a small ship was that it was easy and quick to walk from one place to another. But at the same time, the amenities that I might love were not necessarily there. There was a pool, but it was pretty small, and I had no intentions of venturing to the kids pool aft on the ship. Also, the fitness center (not that I used it or anything...) was really small and intimidating cause you could see through the windows looking right onto the pool. The speciality restaurants were also not always easy to find, and sometimes just in weird places (like the Italian restaurant which was in the buffet). Also, there was entertainment, but not many options at night because there were not a lot of clubs for variety because it was a small ship. And there were a lot of random smoking areas too unfortunately. HOWEVER, it is a very elegant ship, and the things that it did have were really nice. The Windows Main dining room was beautiful (although a little rumbly because it was right above the engines), the lights on the pool at night were very artistic, and the atrium (which is always a draw for me) was grand and exciting. Because it is an old ship, there were neat features like a card room and library that were well kept, a authentic wrap-around promenade and a casino that is bigger than most newer ships. At the same time, it meant that doors, bathrooms and other features were on the older side. NCL does a great job of keeping up to date though, so while some features were not new, the Stardust theater had innovative lights and sets, and the company is clearly maintaining the main attributes of the ship. THE HIGHLIGHT of the ship was the galaxy of the stars lounge. At night, there was always a game show, but during the day there were amazing views of the sea (and a look-in area on the bridge). The lounge was great for activities but also just kicking back and reading. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We were on our first ever cruise and we were not dissapointed! We travelled from North Yorkshire in England to Orlando, stayed in Timeshare at legacy vacation club (which we would highly recommend and is available for non timeshare owners ... Read More
We were on our first ever cruise and we were not dissapointed! We travelled from North Yorkshire in England to Orlando, stayed in Timeshare at legacy vacation club (which we would highly recommend and is available for non timeshare owners too) for a week. We joined the cruise at Port Canavaral which was easy to find and had some amenities/restaurants nearby in case you arrive early. The Spirit looked resplendent, all shiny white in the sun which was a great start we thought! We tried everything once whilst on board apart from some of the restaurants. The shows were great and we thoroughly enjoyed them all - apart from the magician whom to be truthful shocked us at how sexist and masoginistic he appeared in this day and age - maybe that's just being British but we don't think so to be honest. The singers, dancers and staff show were fabulous, hard working and very talented. Our balcony cabin was ok but not wonderful. The initial problems we encountered were sorted immediately however. The shore excursions were fab but the private island was EXCEPTIONAL! We wanted to stay there for a week at least! It would have been lovely to have had an evening there under the stars and all lit up for a party night we thought. We liked Mexico and had a lovely time shopping and at a beach bar. We did not like Jamaica and were back on board within the hour. However, Grand Cayman was so lovely we've booked a week there this year! The thing we remember most was the exceptional high standards of hygiene around the food - even on the private island - we were very very impressed and have told everyone! We had the drinks package included and even though I am not much of a drinker I still liked the convenience of it and do not think of it in monetary terms as much as ease of use. I'm sure my husband drank our share by himself! The wonderful staff in the English style pub kept us well supplied with Guiness and superb service. We kept wondering why our wet towels were being folded into animal shapes even though they were wet through and used...we didn't realise that if we didn't throw them in the bottom of the shower the staff would not apply common sense! Got it now though! We loved the barbeques on deck which we thought were just what a cruise should be like. Disembarkation was easy and efficient. We took our own bags off as is common in England when using ferry services to Europe so was first nature to us. Just a note to say that though the head office think they can cater for special diets (I really cant have dairy and its not a fad but makes me very ill) the staff on board have no clue whatsoever! Not even the diet adviser who still after a week was saying things like you can have that off the menu no problem - they only use cream not milk or I thought you could have it because its plain yoghurt and so on and so on! There were zero deserts for me either by the way and I did get a bit fed up with the same melon/ chopped fruit for desert each night. Like I said when my husband was getting very mad about this - I didn't go on the cruise for the food I went for the places! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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