My spouse and I previously cruised on Princess and Royal Caribbean before so I had high hopes for Norwegian Cruise Lines until AFTER I read their reviews AFTER I paid off our cruise and found this website. Needless to say, we will NEVER cruise on this cruise line ever again.
After reading the negative reviews on this site, I really did want to give Norwegian a fair shot and form my own opinion because to be honest I don't need 5 star. However, with Norwegian, no better than 2 star and overpriced.
Prior to beginning our cruise, we traveled to Quebec City 2 days beforehand because we wanted to explore the city and its surrounding area. Let me tell you Quebec City is so charming!!! If you are considering a vacation, I highly recommend you travel to Quebec because the area is just wonderful.
On the day of our cruise, we were advised by our hotel we could either walk to the pier or take a cab. The day was nice so we opted to walk, BIG MISTAKE. Others like us experienced the same mistake as well.
In Quebec, there are two (2) areas the ship can dock at. The first area is easily accessible but the other is located on the opposite side of the railroad tracks that is to be quite honest dangerous to walk to because there is no side walk that wraps around all the way to the boat so you are forced to walk on the street. VERY DANGEROUS. We seen families with small children walking in the street to and from the boat prior to us leaving on our cruise.
When we arrived finally to the boat to check in for our cruise, it was complete mayhem with no signage anywhere. There were several open areas of the large tent to enter but some were for security, passengers leaving the prior cruise, and new passengers coming in for the new cruise. Again, complete mayhem!
We walked to this gentleman at one section of the tent to ask him where do we go to check in when he screamed at us "GO AWAY"!!!! I was furious and tried to explain to him all we need to know is where do we go to check in at which time he screamed at the top of his lungs again "GO AWAY, GO AWAY, JUST GO AWAY". I was so furious at him I literally gave him a mouth full and walked away eventually finding the check in spot.
When we found the check in spot, I immediately informed a Norwegian rep how we were treated and essentially ignored so I posted on Twitter 3 tweets of my experience with Norwegian, including Norwegian Cruise Lines, and my room #. Of course not one person from Norwegian has yet to contact me. Now mind you I paid about $3,500 to Norwegian for our cruise and 3 excursions so I did not appreciate being ignored or being contacted by Norwegian one bit.
After we checked in, we proceeded to the boat and everything else fell into place. Below are my comments regarding everything else:
Mid-Ship Balcony Room: Small but very nice. The Steward kept it clean daily and ensured we had ice filled daily. The TV in the room, however, was terrible. Hardly any channels to watch for free. We had about 5 or 6 dedicated Norwegian channels (i.e. camera of ship cruising the ocean, dedicated Cariloha sheet channel, programs of on board activities, etc...). The remaining channels were news, sports, and 2 movie channels that played the same movies all 7 days long. If you wanted to watch a pay per view, that was going to cost you $10.00 a movie!
Buffet: OMG, please dear god do not eat at the buffet. The food was the worst. On Royal Caribbean you have several food stations to go to such as salad bar, Asian, desert, etc...On Norwegian, you have the same food EVERYDAY in all locations. The food was dry and looked horrible as if they save it from prior cruises. When I poured ranch dressing on my salad it flowed out just like water and tasted like it!
O'Sheas Restaurant: Actually, very good. Burgers were great and the sandwiches were terrific.
Fine Dining Areas: Not bad but nothing special. Food was restaurant quality at best.
Pay Restaurants: We did not do because we figured we paid them enough.
Cleanliness: Average. Everyday, we would see old drink glasses and wine bottles either on the stairs or outside that were not picked up for days. Literally!
Shows: Average at best. Julie Bar the comedian was the best. Elements show was HORRIBLE. You walked out of that showing asking yourself "what was it about"?
Port Stops: Sydney, Nova Scotia (Loved it); St. Johns Bay, Nova Scotia (We did not stop due to bad weather); Hallifax, Nova Scotia (Loved it, including Peggy's Cove); Bar Harbor, Maine (Loved it!!!).
Tours: We took a tour while in Quebec, Peggy's Cove from Hallifax, and Bar Harbor and all were terrific. Each tour had primarily senior citizens who were severely challenged in walking so at times it seemed it took longer just getting on the bus than the actual tour itself.
Disembarkation: Surprisingly, went very well.
Take this review for what it is worth. It's honest feedback. If you have a chose between Norwegian and another cruise line, pick Princess or Royal Caribbean.