My husband and I have been wanting to do a Panama Canal Cruise for years. When a friend told us they were getting a group together to go, we immediately added our name to the list. My husband had recovered from sepsis then diagnosed with cancer in 2016; then learned he needed a heart bypass in October, 2017. This was scheduled immediately so he would be recovered enough by March, 2018 and this would be a nice relaxing cruise.
To make the most of this trip, we flew to Miami from Texas and spent a couple of days there then made arrangements to spend the night in Los Angeles after the cruise before flying home after the cruise.
We were very excited to go on Norwegian as we had heard good things. The embarkation port was very organized and we seemed to get on ship quickly. Our room was very nice with lots of storage space. However, within a day or 2 things begin to make a downward turn. Areas were blocked off and exits closed. As days progressed construction was everywhere, sanding, chemical fumes, etc. and inconvenience. Our allergies and my husband weaken immune system made this less enjoyable then any of the other cruises we've been on Carnival, Princess, etc.
I believe activities were limited due to construction. Mostly all indoors -- trivia and sales pitch seminars, or pay extra for bingo, wine, beer tasting. Not sure if not much for the teenage kids to do as they were usually in the adult games and sometimes bar areas. Other cruises I've been on had games and activities going on around the pool and a separate area for kids.
Its hard for me to judge food as I'm a picky eater, but usually I can find 2-3 choices I like on the menu each day. This time I ate the same thing almost everynight. Buffet was very good most of the cruise. Too many specialty restaurants that you have to pay extra for. My husband did buy the package, but some were disappointing. Some of these items should have made there way to the main dining area at least one time.
Most port excursions we took were very good. The guides spoke very well and gave a lot of history and information. A couple of the ports were disappointing that seemed to be more commercial ports rather than tourist stops.
Most of the cruise staff was very friendly and accomodating. The cruise director staff was exceptional. They were so funny and made the trivia games more enjoyable. in light of the situation of dealing with a lot of unhappy customers, I believe the staff did very well..
Upon returning to Los Angeles, the disembarkation was amazingly well organized.
Being with a group of friends and meeting new people was the highlight of our cruise.. But overall, I was very disappointed in Norwegian. Why couldn't they have waited 2 weeks?
Someone needs to be fired over this decision to do such massive construction during a 15 day cruise. If they would have offered a discounted price due to limited amenities, people would know what they were getting into. But we paid full price.
Now they want us to spend more money with them at a "discount price" where they make more money off of us. Unbelievable.
Cabin was very nice and had a lot of storage. Paid extra to have the picture window.
It was nice to be able to look out while in cabin. Always cleaned and prepared for us daily.
No complaints on this at all.
Enjoyable and informative tour of South Beach and Miami and a boat cruise to millionaire rowView All 168 City Tour Reviews