15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
People we were traveling with already had their reservation so had no choice The ship was very clean and the service, for the most part, was excellent. Food was awful. Cold food was room temp, hot food was room temp. regardless of ... Read More
People we were traveling with already had their reservation so had no choice The ship was very clean and the service, for the most part, was excellent. Food was awful. Cold food was room temp, hot food was room temp. regardless of restaurant. Nothing outstanding. Mixed drinks varied depending upon bartender. Some good - some undrinkable. Menu only added 2 or 3 new items. Basically same entrees nightly. Cabin was mediocre at best. Kind of like a Motel 6. Relaxed and casual dress was to be expected but many of the passengers looked like what is jokingly called people of Walmart. Announcements over the PA system could not be heard due to noise and poor acoustics. Passenger safety drill was a joke. We were herded into a bar and most of us couldn't even see their life vest demonstration, not to mention we were not sent to see where our lifeboats were located. Overall quite a disappointment. Will not take Norwegian again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I chose this cruise because we had family members coming in and we were able to book last minute on this ship. The price was really good - less than $500 per person for a 7 day Alaska cruise. We have cruised before, with Disney, ... Read More
I chose this cruise because we had family members coming in and we were able to book last minute on this ship. The price was really good - less than $500 per person for a 7 day Alaska cruise. We have cruised before, with Disney, Princess, and Holland America. NCL fell short of all of these lines, particularly Disney. Here are the pro's and con's. Pro's - Large stateroom (it was handicap accessible outside cabin) - Bacon was available all day at the Garden Buffet (who doesn't need bacon all day?) - Friendly, responsive room stewards. - Good bar staff at O'Sheehan's. - Really tasty Indian food at the Garden Buffet. Con's - Service in free dining rooms (Tsar's Palace, Azura, Chin Chin) was SLOW and wait staff was not very responsive. - Too many added-cost dining rooms and too few free dining rooms. - Food at Chin Chin was horrible - not even up to par with someplace like Panda Express - seriously, don't waste your time. - The wait staff at some of the free restaurants can be surly at times. - Carpets were threadbare in cabin and in certain parts of ship - although they were replacing the common area carpets while we were there - which meant places were often off limits, and smelled of chemicals. - The third/fourth person beds were NOT converted back during daytime, nor were bedspreads put back on beds - I mean, why pay for a cabin with a sofa if the sofa was NEVER usable as a sofa! - The food in the free dining rooms was ALWAYS delivered lukewarm/cold to the table - have you ever had cold Eggs Benedict? - Sodas have to be served by bar servers, which means standing in line at bars, even if you have purchased the soda option (unless you're at one of the full-service restaurants). - The menus in the main restaurants have little variety. - The ship was always rocking, despite calm seas. - The onboard communication in the app, which costs $9.95, worked rarely, and some parts of the ship were completely "dead" zones. - The activity list in the app was incomplete. - There were large chunks of the day where there seemed to be no activities. - The karaoke software didn't work for during at least three of the seven nights. - The flavor of the food overall was not very good. - Too many smoking areas, including on the promenade deck, which is where you want to go to exercise. Facefuls of second-hand smoke are not pleasant. - Smoke free areas were not enforced. - Sanitizing hands prior to entering restaurants was not enforced. Lots of people waltzed right by the crew member holding hand sanitizer. - Activity crew members had very thick accents, making comprehension difficult. - No naturalist - while we were on the way to Dawes Glacier, the activity director read some information on the area, but, because of his thick accent, it was totally incomprehensible. Comparing this cruise to Disney - well, there is basically no way to compare them. Disney is the gold standard, especially if you are travelling with kids or young adults, and if you don't smoke/gamble. Additionally, It seems that all of the effort in dining on this NCL ship goes into the SEVERAL added-cost restaurants. I won't return to this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
I chose this cruise because i wanted to go to Mexico and you were one of 3 cruise lines that went there. I was very very very very disappointed. I thought the entertainment at best was average. Not one performer stood out at all. I thought ... Read More
I chose this cruise because i wanted to go to Mexico and you were one of 3 cruise lines that went there. I was very very very very disappointed. I thought the entertainment at best was average. Not one performer stood out at all. I thought the food was very good but having to pay for room service was excessive. We went on a couple of excursions and they were great, especially the Nature ATV excursion in Mazatlan I was very upset when I took waters that I bought on the ship on an excursion and could not bring them back on the ship. That seems wrong, it was one of the reasons I bought the water in the first place!!!! Overall, with a couple of exceptions (room steward, brazilian speciality restaurant) the cruise was not great in anyway. Based on this cruise, I most likely would not cruise on NCL, Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Norwegian offers minimal services that are inclusive in the price you pay for the cruise. Most everything else is a shakedown for money. The cruise ship is boring unless you are drunk or don't realize that your keycard is linked to ... Read More
Norwegian offers minimal services that are inclusive in the price you pay for the cruise. Most everything else is a shakedown for money. The cruise ship is boring unless you are drunk or don't realize that your keycard is linked to your credit card. The sales staff makes you feel like you are getting a good deal (i.e. art, some jewelry, bingo, tournaments) but they are just wanting as much money as they can get from you. I won several raffles but it was a SCAM. One raffle I won was for $50 off from the Spa but in the small print at the bottom I noticed that it was only for services with an asterisk. Services with the asterisk started at $150 and up. There were services under $100 but the gift certificate wasn't eligible. Norwegian goes so far as to make you go to Guest Services (no sign for this desk) to remove your credit card from your minor children's key card so they don't buy stuff or play video games, which are $1.50 to $2.00 per game. The cabin had stains in the carpet and dusty shelves. The food in the buffet was often barely warm, coffee was lukewarm, and not a great variety of food. I tried going to the restaurants and buffet at different times to try and see if the food would be better or hotter. I never found a hot meal unless I went to a specialty restaurant. I didn't go to an "up-charged" restaurant that would have been charged to my room but I suspect the food might have been better. The staff seems to do their best to keep the public areas clean except for the handrails on the stairs (very sticky).. A few of the shows offered in the Stardust Theatre were great. The public cleanliness attempts, cabin steward, and entertainment in the Stardust Theatre earned them a rating of two from me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise for the ports and to try Norwegian, we will not be sailing with them again. We booked an ocean view room and, sure enough, got one with an obstructed view. It was the smallest stateroom we've ever had! No ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports and to try Norwegian, we will not be sailing with them again. We booked an ocean view room and, sure enough, got one with an obstructed view. It was the smallest stateroom we've ever had! No seating area, room for just one desk style chair. Fixtures were nice but the carpet was worn and stained. We never met the stateroom attendant although there was evidence that he stopped by the room. The sheets did not fit the bed. Service in the dining rooms was uninspired and mediocre. Food was similarly unremarkable. One of us ordered a cheeseburger in Tsar's Palace. The server asked how we wanted and was told "rare.". It took forever for it to come and, when it did it was ookedto hockeh puck consistency. We sent it back and waited. Finally, a dining area supervisor came to our table and required that we sign a waiver before we could get a burger cooked other than well done. Even after that the burger that was delivered was way overcooked. This was our sixth cruise and the worst! We've previously sailed with Oceania, Carnival and Holland America. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We had a mini suite and the cabin was fine. Good space for two, nice veranda. Ship staff was awful, especially guest services. The individuals working this desk were rude, abrupt, unknowledgeable and not willing to help customers. ... Read More
We had a mini suite and the cabin was fine. Good space for two, nice veranda. Ship staff was awful, especially guest services. The individuals working this desk were rude, abrupt, unknowledgeable and not willing to help customers. This ruined our cruise as well as two others that were sailing with us. They will never sail on NCL again. HIGHLIGHTS: The specialty restaurants were very good especially Cagney"s and Le Bistro. O'Sheehan's is great for a quick lunch. NOT GOOD: The main dining room Tsar"s has a very limited menu for lunch and the food overall here left quite a bit to be desired. Overall, except as noted above, the food was below average. Bars around the pool area open and close as they please. They do not follow the daily schedule. Most of the crew were very unfriendly and seemed to go out of their way to avoid customers. Restrooms were frequently quite dirty. Embarkation at Los Angeles took almost two hours to get through the line. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was my first time with Norwegian. Honestly, I was very disappointed with everything, from food to entertainment. For 15 days, we had the same menu in the Garden Café, in specialty dining venues like Chin Chin, Teppanyaki, ... Read More
This was my first time with Norwegian. Honestly, I was very disappointed with everything, from food to entertainment. For 15 days, we had the same menu in the Garden Café, in specialty dining venues like Chin Chin, Teppanyaki, Moderno,... and they were not that good either. On other cruise liners, the waiter/waitress normally came over asking for what we want for our drinks but not here. When I asked, they simply directed me to the station so I could "serve" myself. The entertainment most of the time were one-man shows. Except for the circuit performance near the end of the cruise, all were mediocre. I was disgusted by the way the entertainment staff, if I remember correctly his name was Henry, conducted at the Shout about Movie game. When a lady asked him to stand in the middle of the room in order to be fair to both teams, he responded that she should be actively engaging instead of "complaining". On a positive note, the disembarkation of Cabo San Lucas went smoothly with Norwegian tenders. We bought this cruise due to its interesting itinerary but would not do it again! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2017
Partly because of price but not significance difference. Organization of boarding procedure in Miami - extremely poor - substandard. Service and employees - very good. Excursion vere very poorly organized mainly information to ... Read More
Partly because of price but not significance difference. Organization of boarding procedure in Miami - extremely poor - substandard. Service and employees - very good. Excursion vere very poorly organized mainly information to participants to and how to leave ship. Returning from excursions well organized. Entertainment - shows were one of the lowest quality we experienced.. FOOD VERY POOR based on central Europe standards. Wiener schnitzel served clearly showed, that the chef did not see even picture how the wiener schnitzel looks like. French soup was served eleven times on occasion even twice - lunch and supper and it did not tasted as french onion soup. Pasta was grossly overcooked even when served in Italian Cuisine Restaurant. Great majority of the food served were of East Indian origins using strange spices and combinations. Corn sitting in the sweetened milk, roast beef served but no mashed potatoes just to name few. When I tried to mention this issue to supervisor of servers, she was more concerned about the cabin number where are staying in instead of to listen about the issue of food. I said please accept my apology to bother you. Disembarking in LA did have some shortcomings and direction to transportation using busses to an airport should be streamlined. We experienced much better environment, service and food on MSC and other smaller Greek's company - name I could not recall. Based on our experience we booked next cruise South America using different cruise line. Disappointed, that MSC does not have itinerary we like. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
I chose this cruise because it was a really good deal. Well the old saying, you get what you pay applies.. The ship was never nice, our mini suite was spacious, clean and comfortable. However, the food in the regular restaurants was a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a really good deal. Well the old saying, you get what you pay applies.. The ship was never nice, our mini suite was spacious, clean and comfortable. However, the food in the regular restaurants was a very big disappointment and we were unable to get a reservation in the speciality restaurants. They were all booked up. We were also surprised to find on the regular menus that a number of the entrees cost extra. That is what speciality restaurants are for. Our travel companions had a water problem. They were in the cabin next to us. The cabin two up from our friends had water leaking into their cabin through the night so since it seeped through 3 cabins when their feet hit the floor in the morning, they stepped in a soggy carpet. The water was reported and the staff jumped on it. However, we were stepping over cords, listening to the noise from the fans in the hall and our friends that were in the next cabin had a large dryer in their room which made lots of noise. They were unable to move them because there weren't any empty cabins available so they said,. The two cabins on the other side of them were vacated. When we arrived in the first port, Puerto Vallarta, we found we were without water, they turned the water off to fix the problem. That is understandable but they could have let us know ahead of time so we could have prepared and arranged our time. The third major complaint is that when we purchased bottled water off the ship we weren't allowed to bring it onboard, We bought a couple of bottles and had to throw them away,. We had the liquor package and they gave that away freely but water isn't included in the beverage pkg. or you can't bring bottled water on board. Ridiculous! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife and I booked a 2 week Norwegian Cruise through the old locks of the Panama Canal and came away highly disappointed. The biggest disappointment fell in two categories. First, almost all of the food served at the “Freestyle ... Read More
My wife and I booked a 2 week Norwegian Cruise through the old locks of the Panama Canal and came away highly disappointed. The biggest disappointment fell in two categories. First, almost all of the food served at the “Freestyle dining” restaurants was mediocre – at best. We frequently had to send food back because it was cold, or overcooked, or stale or simply not what was requested. Much of the food itself – quality, selection, etc. - was on par with a Denny’s restaurant. Most fish was heavily breaded which overwhelmed the taste of the fish and the beef was nowhere near a premium grade. Aside from some of the breads, it seemed like all bakery and dessert products came out of a box or carton – none seemed fresh or for that matter were at all tasty – even below the Denny’s standard. Norwegian touts the fact that they have 12 (?) different restaurants providing a multitude of dining options for guests. The reality was that many of the restaurants shared as much as half of their entree selections with many of the other restaurants. This meant that when trying a new restaurant, their menu may only have a couple of entrees that we hadn’t seen previously at a different restaurant. The buffets were typical cruise fare. I asked if there were any other jams/ jellies besides Smucker’s strawberry in those little plastic spoonful size cups. Answer was no – but there is a single marmalade available. I guess buying in bulk can lower the costs but it also sends a message that NCL is more interested in the bottom line than the satisfaction of customers. Particularly disappointing was Moderno, the restaurant that was "exclusive" for VIP/ penthouse suite level guests - but just for breakfast and lunch. Based on our experiences, we would rate it to be among the lowest for quality of food, service and breadth of menu – which according to their chef, was the same for breakfast and lunch and for all 14 days of the cruise. We were told that the menu we saw on the first day of the cruise is the same as what we’d see on the last day of the cruise. Several other restaurants had no changes between lunch and dinner further limiting entrée options. Osheean’s did sometimes offer a “Daily special”. But for the most part, the food at the Freestyle dining places was fair to poor, the selection was limited and sometimes, the wait staff seemed overwhelmed or confused about who does what. The response time and service level was below par. The lone exception of the above was the Tsars restaurant. Although a good portion of their menu is the same as the others, they had some unique and tasty alternate selections. They also had some small daily changes with 1 or 2 different entrée offerings. Tsars was the only eatery that we willingly returned to. The “Specialty” restaurants were an obvious step up from the standard restaurants but none of our meals there would be considered 4 or 5 star meals. Cagney’s steaks were a little better than Outback but certainly not up to the standard of a Ruth’s Chris or Morton’s. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good rib-eye but there was nothing “Wow” about it. The Tepanyaki was also good and the food was (obviously) fresh-cooked. We had tasty prawns and beef fillet with vegetables. To us, the Bistro was the best overall of the dining venues. Good variety, good service and the food taste and presentation were above par compared to the others. But even there, we were unable to get a truly delicious dessert. So all-in-all, I’d rate the “Freestyle” food on this cruise at about a 2 out of 5 stars. And the specialty restaurants (average for those mentioned) at 3-½ stars. The other negative about the cruise was the nickel/ diming that is pervasive and the seemingly obvious ways they try to cut corners and reduce their costs. I had read reviews about this prior to booking and when talking to the NCL salesperson, I said that I wanted an all-in price for a package that included all of everything (excluding excursions or direct purchases) – all fees, service charges, taxes, gratuities, all beverages, so that at the end of the cruise, there will be a zero balance on my account. Turns out, that is not what I got. Even though I had the premium beverage package, if I want a cappuccino after dinner, I’d have to pay $2.50 extra for that – but a $9.95 Irish coffee is included in the package. I can also get a $13 glass of wine or champagne for free but I can’t get a bottle of sparkling water – or just plain water in a bottle – without an upcharge. And for some reason, they exclude the butler gratuities for consideration in their “All Service Charges”. There is a $1 per minute charge for internet time once you go over the 250 free minutes. If someone is paying a good deal of money for a penthouse suite, there are certain amenities, privileges or benefits that are typically found on other cruise lines. That is not so much the case with Norwegian. When we arrived, our carpet was soaked. Apparently someone had forgotten to close/seal the bulkhead door leading to the balcony and when they were washing down the balcony, water came under the door. It took 3 days to get the carpet dry. They offered a standard balcony room to use during the noisy and hot/humid drying out period but that would require repacking and unpacking twice in 3 days so we just decided stick it out. I realize that occasionally these types of things can happen and the director of hotel operations asked if there was anything he could do to make our stay more enjoyable. I said that unlimited internet would be nice and he said he would see what he could do. To me the immediate response should have been “of course” since there was really no added cost to NCL for this but again, in their nickel/dime propensity, they allowed only another 250 minutes. How cheap can you get! At the end of the day, the question is would we ever sail on Norwegian again? Doubtful. We have been a little spoiled some by the quality of Cunard, Crystal and Celebrity and there is nothing that NCL offers anywhere near that caliber of cruise experience. After booking the cruise 8 months before sail date, I read many reviews about NCLs mediocrity and poor food and subsequently cancelled the cruise I originally booked. Shortly thereafter, I got a call from the NCL rep offering a better stateroom and a lower price on an earlier sail date. They pleaded for us to “give them a try” and we acquiesced. But even with lowered expectations, we were still disappointed. We’re glad we went because we wanted to go through the old canal once just for the historic value and the forward facing balcony couldn’t have been any better for viewing. But for most cruises, the cabin probably plays a relatively minor role in the overall cruise experience (assuming certain quality parameters are met). If there was a situation where NCL had the best (or only) itinerary for some destination we wanted to go to – and/ or the cost was 40% - 50% less, we would probably consider sailing with them again – with expectations greatly lowered because there really isn’t much of anything that boasts of quality or luxury about NCL. On a positive note, the cruise director was very good and the entertainment in the theater good as well - especially the "Cirque" show. The lone issue that was done on par with other lines was the priority embarking and debarking for shore excursions (except for the tenders at one port where the poor ventilation allowed the tender to become filled with the diesel exhaust) and final debarkation. Read Less
Norwegian Jewel Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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