5 Houston Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

For my first cruise experience, I traveled with a group of 20 (aged 20-35) friends on the Norwegian Jade. They chose this itinerary because the embarkation port was in the location closest for the majority of us and the price point was ... Read More
For my first cruise experience, I traveled with a group of 20 (aged 20-35) friends on the Norwegian Jade. They chose this itinerary because the embarkation port was in the location closest for the majority of us and the price point was great for our group. Included in all of our packages was the ultimate beverage package, something we all made good use of. My fiancé and I had about 3 drinks a day, and after we totaled our drinks across the week, we certainly saved a lot more with the ultimate beverage package than if we purchased the drinks separately. You definitely don’t have to be a heavy drinker to get your money’s worth out of the package; if you love wine, or sampling different liquors, this is the package for you. Overall, my fiancé and I highly enjoyed every bit of the cruise. The freestyle feel of the entire trip definitely had to be one of my most favorite things about it. I highly enjoy being able to choose what I want to do and when I want to do it, not being on someone else’s schedule. Our group met once every night for dinner but we otherwise kept to our own schedules. The ship boasts a lot of activities and entertainment if you’re into that. Or, you can spend plenty of time relaxing in multiple areas of the ship. This was a wonderful first-time experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This cruise was our 11 cruise we have sailed on Disney, Royal Car., NCL, Costa and Princess. This was our second new years cruise with Princess, our was out of Miami and was awesome that is why we selected this Princess cruise this time ... Read More
This cruise was our 11 cruise we have sailed on Disney, Royal Car., NCL, Costa and Princess. This was our second new years cruise with Princess, our was out of Miami and was awesome that is why we selected this Princess cruise this time around. The Ship was very outdated, our balconies were fine, but the rest of the ship was in poor condition. The layout was very similar to our previous Princess cruise, but the entertainment was terrible, the Explorers lounge had a band playing but the quality was poor like they just through together some crew members and had them perform, the bar wasn't open so the waiter had to go get drinks from another area of the ship taking up to 30 minutes to get our drinks, there was absolutely no entertainment either by a band, DJ, or the cruise director by the pool during the day (NCL always had something happening during the day at the pool areas). the show in the Princess theatre was ok by the dancers and singers, but the comedy show was terrible, and there wasn't any other shows in the other lounges. If you were 80 years old and liked to go to bed at 9:30 you would have loved this cruise, but we had 15 people ages 18-52 and all were bored after dinner. Service was generally very good, everyone was friendly and helpful. We missed our first port Costa Maya due to delay leaving Houston not the cruise lines fault. We hit our next port on time and needed to get tenders off our ship. The cruise line was unprepared for this, since we were to begin the tender process by 8am and it did not start until 9:30, so most of us could not exit until noon, which put us 2-3 hours behind for our excursion. Then we needed to get back on the ship by 5 pm and the line to get a tender back took 1 hour and 30 minutes, so in essence we only stayed on shore for 3-4 hours. Then we arrived at our next port and all went better. Our final port was Cozumel, a make-up for the missed port of Costa Maya and all went smooth. For new years eve on our last Princess cruise they had an awesome party on deck with the countdown, but this was not the case on this cruise, they moved it all inside fearing weather which never became an issue this night and it was poorly run. We had 4 sea days and the cruise director did little to keep us entertained, thank God we had a large group since we were able to have fun ourselves. The casino was very small and had limited table games and half of them were closed at peak times making it hard to play at these tables, they seemed to be short handed with dealers. Exiting the ship was very smooth as we walked off with our own luggage. In summary, it was a very disappointing experience on this ship and would make us think twice about choosing Princess again. For the money we spent we could have taken the Oasis out of Miami and had plenty to do at all hours. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We are frequent cruisers on Carnival & RC.. and this was our first NCL trek. If what we experienced showcases NCL's overall Experience/Service... would I ever rebook? probably not... Not gonna lie.. our group of 8 adults had ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers on Carnival & RC.. and this was our first NCL trek. If what we experienced showcases NCL's overall Experience/Service... would I ever rebook? probably not... Not gonna lie.. our group of 8 adults had fun regardless... Do your homework on CruiseCritic and TripAdvisor - and you're golden! Highlights: Clean ship (Hawaiian décor little dated and cheesy.. but its vaca - who cares) Loved the Saturday to Saturday sailing Bring your own bottled water onboard Ease of Port Parking @ Bayport Cruise Terminal (parking & baggage staff - superb) Drink package (when a bartender could be found) The "Happy..Happy" Coffee Server (1 of 3 happy & knowledgeable staff we encountered) Self Booked (not cruise booked) excursions.. especially where beaches involved Tending Staff who greeted all incoming dining guests w/antibacterial spray (nice) Cruise long internet plan Comedian - hilarious! Cabin - clean, roomy, comfy and hey... who doesn't love fresh crisp white sheets General Food - not bad (loved the Crepes) French Restaurant (great food, service no so much) Wine selections Movie Options (when up late.. caught a few good flicks) Disembarkation (luggage guy who grabbed our group & expedited us to front of absurd line) Lowlights: Embarkation personnel and process (staff was far from knowledgeable) Delayed Departure (sorry, Captain responsible regardless) Stabilizers pulled in to expedite make up time? (incredibly rocky sailing out the gates) Unprofessional, unenthusiastic & limited staff (no excuse for this) Cruise Director - Meh. Excursion desk staff - Rude.. and only goes South from there.. Muster Drill - extremely lackadaisical.. lil' scary should an unfortunate event happen.. Never saw bar staff walking around taking orders - not even pool areas Hazardous areas unmanaged (lots of spills, numerous falls and injuries.. 1 in our group too) Signing up for dining time means nothing Bingo. Do the math people... expensive fix for small payout (house makes the pot) Balcony #8534 (incredibly rocky... too loud due to pounding waves.. wldve never thunk) Trying to get a drink (ie -1 bar, 4 bartenders, 16 guests lined up across and 4 deep.. really?) The smoke filled theater (casino smoke permeated very nook... disgusting) Casino Atmosphere (how many cigarettes can gamers smoke in 1 sitting? a lot!..yeck) Lack of deck chairs in quieter areas or deck chairs and outdoor seating MIA around ship Hopefully this is constructive and insightful... My hope is NCL Management takes a sincere look at all the feedback from those on this voyage so that the experience is improved upon for future guests. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My husband and I have been on 12 cruises but February 2015 we took our first NCL cruise out or Houston on the Norwegian Jewel. We had an amazing time. Everything was so organized. They got us on and off the ship in record time. The staff ... Read More
My husband and I have been on 12 cruises but February 2015 we took our first NCL cruise out or Houston on the Norwegian Jewel. We had an amazing time. Everything was so organized. They got us on and off the ship in record time. The staff was knowledgeable and courteous. The food was always scrumptious. My favorites were the chicken pot pie and the buffalo wings at O'Sheehan's and the french toast and fresh made omelets we had every morning for breakfast. The entertainment was heart intense. Great shows. We really had an awesome time. The crew made it so hard for us to book a cruise with another cruise line. We are now fans of NCL. Thank you so much for a memorable time on the Norwegian Jewel. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
THANK YOU, PRINCESS CRUISES!!! What an amazing job of putting together a cruise to honor veterans .My husband and I flew in the day before the cruise and stayed at the Airport Doubletree by Hilton hotel at Houston Hobby. They have a free ... Read More
THANK YOU, PRINCESS CRUISES!!! What an amazing job of putting together a cruise to honor veterans .My husband and I flew in the day before the cruise and stayed at the Airport Doubletree by Hilton hotel at Houston Hobby. They have a free shuttle to and from the airport so we were able to go back to the baggage claim area the day of the cruise to meet our Princess transfer bus. This worked very well. Embarkation at the new Houston port went as well as it could with so many more Premier and Elite passengers than those who were not. The terminal is beautiful and well equipped. The downside is that it is a very long taxi ride from the airports (Houston Hobby is the closest) so we recommend doing a Princess transfer to and from the ship. Once onboard, the staff of the Caribbean was awesome with their welcomes. Our stateroom was ready just after noon and we were greeted by our Steward, David, who welcomed us by name. Nice touch! Since this was not a normal cruise to multiple ports, and was really to allow veterans a chance to meet one another and share "war stories", we spent the week attending the excellent seminars. Food in both the Horizon Court buffet and the Palm Dining Room was excellent with a great variety of foods each day. Service was excellent! Nightly entertainment was excellent as well! We could not imagine a better experience for this cause. Special thanks go to Alan Buckelew (sp?) who is the CEO of Princess and was on the ship all week. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013

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