We have been on many NCL cruises usually in a balcony cabin. NCL tends to nickel and dime its passengers on most items. Free perks are not really free as you are required to pay a 20% gratuity unlike Celebrity cruises where its totally free. Alcoholic beverage packages do not cover tee, coffee or water unlike Celebrity where you get a better deal covering all drinks for one competitive price. The last cruise we had on Breakaway, the disembarkation was a total disarray where the disembarkation passenger line wrapped around the ship.
We decided to try Haven suite class cabin on Escape to see if its really worth the premium price. NCL does priority embarkation and disembarkation rather well for its Haven class passengers. You are escorted on and off the ship avoiding the long lines.
Food in the Haven restaurant is very good especially the breakfast; as good or better than the specialty restaurents. However you dont get lobster even in suite class; you have to get it ala carte at the specialty steak restaurant for over $40 for the lobster alone. Most of the specialty restaurants are ala carte and the charges are rather expensive. Better go to a good restaurant on land. Tried the specialty French restaurant; ordered a T-bone steak which was on special and was served an end cut of something that was definitely not a T-bone.
The Haven lounge charges for everything! Celebrity suite lounge serves everything free including snacks. Princess serves tea and coffee free. No food or drinks served on embarkation morning!
Service is generally good. The concierges are excellent and take care of almost all your requests. In-suite food service is free whereas other cabins are charged $7.95 per order. The assistant maitre d takes care of all preorders for food intolerances. The $18 per day per passenger gratuity charge does not cover butler, concierge or beverage service. This is the highest of all the major cruise lines. Celebrity charges $17.50 and it includes everyone. We had to pay 20% gratuity for the beverage package. So did NCL not pay their beverage servers and instead told us to tip them?
Disembarkation was almost a disaster. We were escorted off the ship but when we reached the terminal, the ground personnel told us priority luggage pickup was not available yet and the NCL rep there told us the same. After some confusion, we found out that the luggage was already ready for pickup. Then we could not find our luggage and the NCL rep there offered no assistance, just keep on looking. After half an hour we located one piece in another color coded section and not the priority section. Luckily found the second one way in the back of the priority section and made it to the airport in time to catch our flight back. So, not a good experience on NCL twice in a row for disembarkation.
So, do you think we will choose NCL again?!
Nice cabin with over 400 sq ft. Rather small balcony. Roomy bathroom with two sinks, shower and bath. King size bedroom with round window.
Tender to shore and boarded a large boat for a tour around the shores of Acadia National Park. NiceView All 13 Scenic Cruise Reviews
Coach to Portland Head light with tour of the city. Very scenic at the lighthouse with cliffs along the coast.View All 29 Lighthouses of Maine Tour Reviews
Took the local bus tour to the reversing rapids with a tour of the city and the city market.View All 35 City Tour Reviews