Norwegian Viva Review

4.5 / 5.0
92 reviews

I don't Understand all The fuss and Negative Reviews

Review for the Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Norwegian Viva
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rdkmco
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

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Additional details

Sail Date: Mar 2024
Cabin: Family Suite with Master Bedroom and Balcony

After booking this cruise, and reading all the negative reviews I fail to understand most of them. We sailed on the NCL Pride Of America on the last cruise before Covid hit, and was very impressed. When deciding to take a vacation this year, and after comparing all the other lines we have been on, (IE: Carnival and Princess) and NCL, we decided on this itinerary and ship. The ship being new and the itinerary being places we had not actually been, firmed the decision. Our last cruise on Princess was very disappointing as the service and food was horrible. This cruise on the Viva was exceptional, and we are likely to sail on NCL from now on as a result of our last 2 cruised with them.

I will agree that there are a few shortcomings as others have mentioned. I will try and highlight those complaints here: Syd's Pour House and the Improv are WAY to small. But we never even tried to visit as it was of no interest to us. The Surfside Buffet food selection was far from limited and very good. The design of the area and seating was absolutely no issue and we found seating all the time. This sailing was full so there was no issues with that either. We had many meals there and never waited longer than 10 minutes for food at the buffet or the grill. I would admit that closing at 9:30 AM for breakfast is odd, but never really felt it distracted from our meals. In fact we did not eat breakfast that much, and even when we went down at 10 AM, one side was still usually open as they were clearing the food away. So we were able to get enough to eat. It is true that there can be congestion in this area as it is also a pass through to the pool area. We found this to be of really no consequence. There were also complaints of no food on board at certain times, specifically when getting back to the ship after the afternoon ports and before dinner. We ALWAYS found food available. The Surfside Grill was open till 5 and the Local Bar and Grill was always open. PLUS, room service is available and yes, there is a charge now, but suites and the Haven do not have a charge. Regardless, food was always available.

Icons and Beetlejuice were good, with Beetlejuice being fantastic. It is long (almost 2 hours) and the production and performances were really good. About the best one should expect on a cruise ship. Icons was ok, and was entertaining. There was a wide variety of singers they sung songs about, and dancing. Basically a variety show, NOT a tribute band or impersonation. There were always singers (duos and single artists) all over the ship and the cruise director held several fun nights around the ship, usually in the atrium. As others have said, there is not an abundance of other entertainment, but there was Karaoke and comedians and plenty to keep people occupied. This is NOT a "Carnival" or "Virgin" or even Royal Caribbean type cruise, but a more laid back atmosphere. There were many families on board also, and not one time was there any issue with children.

Cabin Review

Family Suite with Master Bedroom and Balcony

Port Reviews

Antigua

Virtually nothing to do in port. You almost were forced to purchase a shore excursion to the other islands. VERY poor country (at least for the town at the port). Town infrastructure was horrible (IE: roads and walkways)

Tortola

Virtually nothing to do in port. Very small town and areas to walk on your own

Barbados

One of the best beaches we have been too. Great people, easy to get around and lots of shopping and places to walk

St. Maarten

Extremely populated and diverse island. LOTS to do. Maho Beach a highlight. Easy to get around and friendly people.

St. Thomas

Main shopping is only adjacent to port. Most other experiences and things to do are away from port and require a taxi or shore excursion. Gondola to Paradise is a must and well worth it. People are friendly and felt very safe.

St. Lucia

Pretty much everything is within a short distance to port. Many shops and they will negotiate prices. Clean and great beachfront area near pier. This is a great island for shore excursions and hiking.

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