Sophistication level of travelers C
Cuba boring and no a.c.
Norwegian changed itinerary from 2 days 1 night in Cuba to 1 day .
If you are looking for hamburgers and fries that are less quality than 7-11 ... Read More
Sophistication level of travelers C
Cuba boring and no a.c.
Norwegian changed itinerary from 2 days 1 night in Cuba to 1 day .
If you are looking for hamburgers and fries that are less quality than 7-11 than this cruise if for you .
I am embarrassed to tell my friends I went in this cruise or answer questions how it was. We could not wait to get off ship and back home .
Woukd have rather given away $2000 than give it to Norwegian and be STUCK on their ship .
We paid the $180 for the "restaurant " dinners because we could not eat the other food on boat .
Pool situation :
Looks like two small bathtubs in middle of ship , again dirty gross looking 80's style tile. Nothing is updated .
The only thing that was somewhat acceptable was the fitness center . Go figure.....because 98% of the people who cruise this ship were 40 pounds overweight and not using the gym . Read Less
Strap in folks, this is going to be a long one but well worth your time if you're considering this cruise (or any cruise really).
First, something you should know about me - I am the most optimistic person you will ever meet. My wife ... Read More
Strap in folks, this is going to be a long one but well worth your time if you're considering this cruise (or any cruise really).
First, something you should know about me - I am the most optimistic person you will ever meet. My wife says I wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed every single day, no matter what. I can see the good in any situation whatsoever. However, by the end of my cruise experience, I was waxing poetic about the bowels of the hell that was this ship - so please keep that in mind. Also, for the record, this was my first cruise. My wife and I typically take 2-3 vacations a year (usually an all-inclusive in the Caribbean and another trip in another foreign country).
Let's start with embarkation day. You arrive at the lackluster cruise port terminal (which is essentially a less glorified and less amenity-filled version of an airport) and promptly proceed to wait in line. Pay attention, because that will be a running theme throughout this trip. When you "check-in" online before you arrive, you select an arrival time. This time is a complete farce. You can show up whenever really because no one is checking anything with respect to your check in time. Waited in line about 30 - 45 minutes and finally were able to enter the ship. (Pro tip: Only bring carry-on luggage, especially if you plan on arriving late or leaving early on disembarkation day. If you leave your luggage with them at check-in, you don't get it until ~8 pm that night. Also, if you need to have them offload your luggage you need to leave it outside your room the night before you disembark and they pick it up).
We arrived promptly for our 12:30 pm check in and get to our room by about 1:30 pm. My wife was tired and wanted to nap for a bit and I wanted to explore the ship. However, once you get on the ship, your room isn't ready AND not every part of the ship is open yet. They usher you into one of a few different large areas to "hang out" or, you can do like we and EVERYONE else did and head to the buffet to eat. (Pro tip: DO NOT go to the buffet at this time, it will be like wading through the worst sea of humanity you could possibly imagine for less than mediocre food.)
After eating we finally had access to our room around 2 pm. Great, now vacation can begin... or so I thought. You are immediately bombarded with announcements that you MUST ATTEND the safety demonstration at 3 pm. My wife was trying to nap for a bit but this incessant noise from the tv and the loudspeakers made that nearly impossible. We arrive promptly at 3 pm to find huddled masses and even more massive confusion across the deck. You are assigned to a lettered station based on your room assignment and have to check in with some person in a magic vest that checks your name off a list and then get shoved into a huddled crowd. Now this is all outside in Florida in the summer time. It was crazy hot and humid with little to no air circulation whatsoever. They keep telling the group to move back and form tighter as more people show up! It is the epitome of cattle car-ing people. In fact, a woman (maybe late 40's/early 50's) ends up passing out from heat exhaustion and the (I kid you not) chef of the Italian restaurant who moonlights as an EMT (or has some sort of medical training) was brought out to assist her. Overall the safety demonstration is like 15 minutes long and utterly pointless. This whole process was extremely inefficient and utterly pointless. I find it hard to believe in 2018 that we can't figure out a better and more practical solution.
Next, let's get to the real meat and potatoes of the cruise - the food. Going into the cruise, all I ever heard anyone ever talk about was the food was on their cruise. I'm not sure what cruise they were on but I felt completely bamboozled after my first complete day on the boat. The best thing I can say about the food is that it wasn't rotten and I didn't witness anything that would lead me to believe there were any food safety concerns. HOWEVER, there is a wide berth between that very, very low bar and the delicious food that I envisioned. The food was barely edible and overall lacked any flavor whatsoever. I searched high and low for any semblance of a dish that I would desire to eat again and I came up empty repeatedly. This was a "Freestyle Cruise" whereby you didn't need to make reservations anywhere and you can eat wherever/whenever but that doesn't mean much when the food isn't worth eating in the first place. I could go on for days about how bad the food was but there's A LOT more to get to. For the record, we only ate at the restaurants and buffets included in our package and did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants on board but from speaking to fellow cruisers, it did not seem that we missed much. There were a bunch of specialty restaurants on board but each and every one of them was an upcharge... which brings me to the biggest gripe with the cruise overall...
Do you remember the episode of the cartoon Rocko's Modern Life where they go on a trip and see a billboard for a ski resort that looks amazing? The sign says "everything only $5*". Yes, that asterisk was important because, much like myself, after paying $5 to enter the ski resort, Rocko finds out that every single thing in the resort costs $5. Everywhere they turn, there is a constant $5 charge that ends up adding up to a huge sum by the end. THAT is the best to describe this cruise. Now this cruise is sold as an "all inclusive" and "freestyle" cruise where your package includes all the food, drinks, and everything else you can possibly want... with a HUGE freakin' asterisk. Everywhere you turned on the damn boat there was someone trying to sell you something or, even when you asked for something that was included in your package, someone was trying to sell you something else "for a small fee" that would be charged to your room. You want coffee that doesn't taste like they scraped it out of the Captain's porcelain throne this morning? $3. You want a wine that is actually drinkable? $5. You want to use the mobile app to allow you to message your friends for "free" throughout the cruise? $9 (back to WiFi and internet later in the review...).
Water. Clean, drinkable water is the essence of life and NCL knows this. As a result, you cannot get a bottle of water anywhere on the ship without paying for it. Sure, they will give you as many cups of filtered water as you want but anything with a cap? $4. Also, from before you even get to the cruise port throughout the entire trip, they are constantly selling their "water packages", which consists of 6 bottles of water for $18!
I can only imagine the amount of marriages that ended over ridiculous amount of charges racked up by an unsuspecting spouse over the course of a trip. Yes, you can charge your gambling credits to the room as well. Also, EVERYTHING you charge to the room has a 20% surcharge (example, my wife wanted one $5 glass of wine.... total charge $6). They also seek to penalize you at any moment. Did you lose your pool towel? $25. Do you need medical attention (yes, my wife wanted to see the doctor due to a mild allergic reaction)? $150 JUST TO BE SEEN BY A DOCTOR WHO IS A PART TIME CHEF. Whatever school that man went to was truly a heck of a bargain to come out as both a chef and a doctor.
Internet is the biggest scam of all on this ship. They have different packages for WiFi but essentially it's either per minute (at the low-low rate of 99 cents/min.) or $120 for unlimited internet for 5 days. This ship has 11 levels roughly and it only worked reliably on the top 2 decks. For reference, we were on the 9th deck and it was spotty at best. Finally, there is the iConcierge app, which they don't tell you about whatsoever and we only learned about it from our rental car shuttle driver. This app is a piece of garbage and didn't work for 4 of the 5 days on the cruise. Purportedly you were supposed to be able to message your cruisemates "for free" - yea, right. $10. There is an "internet cafe" on board as well but it is NOT free and subject to the same rates as the WiFi.
The shore excursions were good and definitely the highlight of the trip. However, for Key West, you arrive at roughly 1 pm and have to be back to the boat by 7 pm. Yes, it is a small island but that's barely enough time to do anything. Our group was pretty ambitious so we ate lunch (Conch Republic was delicious), headed to the beach for a dip, and then walked around town. We felt pretty rushed and didn't get a chance to experience any of the nightlife there. Oh well, onto Havana.
Cuba was interesting to say the least. We did a 3 hour tour of the sights of Havana, which did a pretty good job of explaining the area and it's rich history. However, the tour guide really seemed to be reading directly from a script most of the time. (Pro tip: anytime they tell you to look in one direction, look the exact opposite direction and you will see something they definitely DON'T want you to see). It was really great to see an experience but is still not really tourist friendly yet. Give it time and it will soon be like every other island. We ate at two paladars, which were, by far, the best meals of the trip. I'm going to purposefully leave out their names because I don't want them ruined. Do a little bit a research and I assure you that it will be worth your time.
Disembarking was fine, nothing spectacular to it and it was somewhat faster than getting on board.
I could go on for a while about all the little annoyances and ridiculous things that happened but I think I made my point clear. Overall, I don't think I would do a cruise again, with this cruise line or any cruise line really. The whole thing was so lackluster and felt like a huge money suck. When I go on vacation, I don't want to have to follow a bunch of dumb rules and tried to be upsold everywhere I turn. I want to relax and do things on my time. I searched high and low on the ship and there was no quiet place I could just lay out and relax (except for my room). Every area with lounge chairs (mostly by the pool) had music blasting or live entertainment all damn day. I definitely didn't return relaxed or rested and already need a vacation from this last alleged "vacation". Read Less
We were celebrating our anniversary and we had always wanted to go to Cuba. A cruise seemed to be the easiest way to go. We are both very experienced travelers and we admit to high expectations. We had lowered our expectations for this ... Read More
We were celebrating our anniversary and we had always wanted to go to Cuba. A cruise seemed to be the easiest way to go. We are both very experienced travelers and we admit to high expectations. We had lowered our expectations for this relatively cheap (or so we thought) option.
Realize that the cruise ship business model is to tease you in the ship with a ridiculously low fare then sell you up for everything on board, excursions, call brands alcohol, spa, casino, wifi, automatic tips, coffee, water, soft drinks, on and on and on
Unlimited alcohol!? so why did they send an email within my account to sell me the alcohol package? Do people actually pay for the alcohol package without realizing it's included?
The online check in... Does nothing to reduce your wait at the Port. Absolutely nothing.
Watch out for unscrupulous con artists in the spa and other pseudo retail places on board. They automatically add gratuity into massages. My wife was told that the gratuity on the receipt was a tax and that she would have to give more for the tip. This was an outright lie. I went up later and confronted the manager who credited the tip but offered nothing else for this clear scam.
Misleading info on excursions to Cuba. NCL makes it sound like it you don't buy the excursions from them you will risk not certifying as a people to people activity. This is not true. You can do your own excursions at a fraction of the NCL rate.
I could go on and on. Buyer beware and good luck. NCL are professional con artists in the order of a spirit air or all the other bait and switch business scams that seem rampant in the used car, insurance and now the cruise industry. Read Less
We choose NCL because my brother has cruised before and was satisfy. We were looking to celebrate my dad's 80's bday and book the Getaway. First day Cruise was delay (rumor has it a crew member had fall off the ship-was later found by ... Read More
We choose NCL because my brother has cruised before and was satisfy. We were looking to celebrate my dad's 80's bday and book the Getaway. First day Cruise was delay (rumor has it a crew member had fall off the ship-was later found by Carnival near the coast of Cuba). The embarkation process is a nightmare from beginning to end. Employees know nothing and offer cero help even when you tell them you are a first time cruiser I didn't even get a ship map. We received a $30. credit from the exaggerated $14.99 per day per person for cleaning your room. Yeah that's right they charge you without telling you in advance and for something should be included the ridiculous amount of $14.99 per day per person for cleaning your room which at the end is only making up your bed (not even changing towels). The ship has capacity for approximate 4k people and additional 1.6k crew members which turns you will be stuck in an overcrowded ship for a week. So forget about a chance to be in the tiny pool, bars even though there are many they are all crowded, every where you go is a nightmare: restaurants, elevators, shows, guest services...etc. And to top it all off service is not impressive is just average. The soda drink package for kid is about $66 under 12 years and over $70 for teens. The alcohol package is over $350 for cocktail drinks that taste like sugar. The ports in Costa Maya and Cozumel feel like tourist trap and you end up paying just to get out of the ship to continue to be in a port that looks like a tiny city for cruisers eager to relax but end up chasing / raising for a place to sit. Overall experience was poor I wanted to get out the first day....but stick to it just because of my dad's bday! Aloha NCL until never again. Read Less
We chose Norwegian because we cruised on the Norwegian Sky last year and it was wonderful. The cruise we just experienced on the Norwegian Getaway was a nightmare! The staff was not helpful or friendly at all, unless you had money in ... Read More
We chose Norwegian because we cruised on the Norwegian Sky last year and it was wonderful. The cruise we just experienced on the Norwegian Getaway was a nightmare! The staff was not helpful or friendly at all, unless you had money in your hand. The ship was so crowded! You had to wait in line for everything! I would have taken my family to Disney World if I wanted to wait in lines! There were never enough seats at the pool because people would "reserve them" with their personal items but they would sit vacant for hours! There was an adult only pool, that of course had an extra charge, but they only sold week passes and it sold out the first day! Very disappointed, spent a lot of money just to spend a ton more money & feel stressed out most of the time. Staff was so rude, on several trips to guest services (which each time I went had to wait an average of 20 minutes in line) they would talk to their coworkers in their native language right in front of us. When I got home I also realized they put unauthorized charges on one of my credit cards. Called Norwegian this am absolutely no help at all!! Spoke with Alecia A. When she couldn't or wouldn't help me, I asked to speak to a supervisor and "there weren't any"! The whole first day was nothing but chaos. The boat was late getting back to Miami on Sunday because of an "incident" that had happened. When the staff referred to "the incident" they chuckled so we thought the "incident " must have been humerous. We later found out that "the incident" they were referring to was another crew member had fallen overboard and had been "lost" in the Ocean for 22 hours!! Sorry but I found nothing humorous about that. I was mortified! The emergency drill was utter chaos! The ports we visited were nice but was a pain waiting in line to get on and off boat. Overall the boat has nice amenities it's just too crowded and the staff didn't act liked they cared to help you. Couldn't believe the difference between the staff on the Sky and Getaway. The staff on the Sky were so kind and helpful. Spent a lot of $$$ for such a disappointment!! Food was good, had to pay more money for certain speciality restaurants. The shows were entertaining but again, more $$$. The ice bar was cool but at $20/person not worth it! It's only 17 degrees so could only stay in there about 5-10 minutes. Waste of $$$! Read Less
Even though this cruise started out sad as one of their own crew members attempted to take his life by jumping overboard. Then a seaplane flip in the mouth of the port. This made the ship late arriving in port and made the departure time ... Read More
Even though this cruise started out sad as one of their own crew members attempted to take his life by jumping overboard. Then a seaplane flip in the mouth of the port. This made the ship late arriving in port and made the departure time behind which created frustration for many cruisers, myself included. I then realized it was just time and nothing more and I needed to pray for these people and their families instead of being so selfish. The good news another cruise line spotted the crew member and pulled him from the ocean and he is alive. NCL got approximately 5000 people through customs and on the boat in a record time. Was it the most idea way probably not but they it. We had a beautiful sunset departure. What I noticed with NCL is how CLEAN they keep their ships. Shout out to “Aaron” in the H2O Spice Bar best bartender ever. The specialty restaurants are wondeful. Our room were nice and clean. We had a balcony and it was spacious(note our room was in an odd loca but it had bigger balcony which was nice). We saw dolphins playing In the water next to our boat. Our room stuart was amazing as well, “Noel” he saw to our every need. NCLs dis embankment could use a little assistance. They did not give good directions to how it would work, we got through it with no real issues. The on board entertainment was amazing. All in all our 8 day cruise with NCL gets Read Less
I departed on July 1st 2018 on the Norwegian getaway which was late due to a crew member going overboard which was found after by carnival. I was scared that embarkation was gonna be hectic do to it being late but it was the complete ... Read More
I departed on July 1st 2018 on the Norwegian getaway which was late due to a crew member going overboard which was found after by carnival. I was scared that embarkation was gonna be hectic do to it being late but it was the complete opposite. Completely calm and the crew members were very nice, helpful and welcoming. lasted less then an hour to board which was amazing. The only bad thing was the lack of air conditioning on in the waiting area to board.The ship was BEAUTIFUL and very big. The cabin was very spacious for a cruise and the balcony was my favorite part. Always looked forward to the daily paper of the cruise with all the events going on and which towel animal was waiting. I was lucky enough to have the best housekeeper Jose who was very funny and nice. I highly recommend the atrium which hosted one of the funniest shows like battle of the sexes and the not so newlyweds. You would for sure enjoy every minute and laugh like you've never have at the atrium at night. Don't forget deal or no deal during the day at the atrium. I also recommend the welcoming show at the theater the night of departure day and the farewell show on the last night. I recommend the Burn The Floor show at the theater which is free and The Million Dollar Quartet.All entertainment is thanks to one of the best crew member on board your cruise director Paquito. For dining I would recommend The Tropicana Room which is complimentary and has the best food and waiter on board, which I sadly forgot the name of. The garden cafe is honestly food heaven hands down best buffet. The service in all dining is amazing with caring waiters who go over the top to make sure your happy and well taken off. The service on this cruise is definitely one of the best service ive ever seen. Everyone member of the cruise always smiles and greets every single passenger that passes by every time they do. Guest services is extremely helpful and made sure everything that had to be taken cared of was taken cared of. The best port hands down had to be Roatan, Honduras.West bay paradise was amazing and definitely recommended if you want a good beach day with good service. I recommend to do your shopping at the last two ports if you want good deals like Cozumel. But help the economy from all islands if you can. Belize was good but the beach was pretty artificial and there were lost of sting rays in the water. Costa Maya was good but I would do a few research on the beach so u can get the best beach because I sadly didn't do that and got a not so good beach with bad drinks. Cozumel was also very beautiful I went on a buggy tour with Cozumel Fun Excursions with one of the best tour guides Carlos Escamilla. It goes through most of the island and stops at a beach but we couldn't get in the water due to the weather. The tour also stops at this place to take some very scenic pictures and the last stop is a tequila tour which you can skip if you want. Overall it was an amazing trip and I wouldn't change it for anything. I would do it all over again. The kids wanted to get back on the cruise once we got off so I would say it was an extremely successful trip. Read Less
Was on the ship during July 4th week. Ship embarked late because it returned to Miami late after a crew member had fallen off the previous route. We were all so happy to hear the captain announce that the crew member had been found alive ... Read More
Was on the ship during July 4th week. Ship embarked late because it returned to Miami late after a crew member had fallen off the previous route. We were all so happy to hear the captain announce that the crew member had been found alive by a carnival ship. Our ship was at full capacity and very crowded pool and spa but had a wonderful time anyway. The crew and staff were so friendly and helpful. 2nd time cruising (first was on sister ship Breakaway) so we knew better what we were doing this time. We liked the fact that this ship stopped at 4 ports vs being at sea most of the time. We did not get off in Roatan because we were concerned about safety. We had the pool and slides practically to ourselves that day and we parents enjoyed the thermal spa while kids were at splash academy. We enjoyed Harvest Caye very much and recommend getting a cabana. In Mexico we had previously seen the Mayan ruins so we went to maya kingdom for zip line and Playa Mia where we did ocean kayaking, played on water obstacle course in the ocean and swam - both were so much fun.
On board the entertainment was outstanding. Highly recommend floor seats at the cirque show. The whole family loved burn the floor and million dollar quartet. We also went to the glow party and watched a lot of the entertainment in the atrium and did the escape room and played mini golf.
We had massages and a I had a facial too. Services in spa were excellent but beware they will try to upsell you and push products.
The housekeeping is excellent on the ship with twice a day service and adorable towel animals left for the kids. The food in the garden cafe is good but we got bored of the same items by the end of the week. We tried four specialty reataurants: la cucina was our fav. Also went to ocean blue, cagney and teppanaki. I wish that NCl offered a pkg for kids to eat off the regular menu at pkg pricing vs only having the limited kids menu or having to pay a la cart. At the hibachi place for instance we had to pay $37 for each kid and it’s ridiculous considering my 6 yr old basically only ate fried rice.
1) book thermal spa (it’s quiet and a relaxing retreat) in advance plus restaurants and cirque
2) book entertainment early when on board
3) bring a power strip to charge multiple devices
4) if your kids like the arcade there is a pkg you can buy for $10/day unlimited games but we learned you have to do this on first 2 days
5) the Tropicana room is complimentary and one of our favs as we enjoyed the music and dance floor
6) get your family portraits done. On both trips we bought photo packages and got so many compliments of the quality - great memories!
7) buy a water pkg to have liters delivered to your room before you board
8) if you buy the unlimited WiFi you can use it for Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp (don’t believe this was the case a year ago on the breakaway) and had to confirm this with a customer care supv before we left because the info online wasn’t clear. Was also able to buy from AT&T a calling pkg (needed to stay in touch with the office) that was compatible with NCl (last year could not do this as AT&T only had pkgs with royal Caribbean and Disney)
9) be aware of time changes. They put a card under your door to tell you to change the clocks but can be very confusing as your phone won’t update when in airplane mode so you have to always do the math when you are 1 or 2 hours difference to remember what time it is
10) bring extra bath suits if you plan a lot of beach/pool activities. You cannot leave clothes to dry on the balcony because they hose down the balconies when in port. The swimsuits never really dry hanging in the shower.
11) bring bug spray for excursions. We tried “natural” repellant at Harvest Caye and daughter got many mosquito bites still so I would recommend a stronger product with deet. Also there were purple flags indicating jelly fish at Harvest Caye. We mostly enjoyed the pool there which was huge and perfect for little kids since it’s not too deep and has bench seating in it in places and a waterfall. Read Less
I went on this cruise with my wife and two children (3yo and 5yo) with many of her family members to celebrate my in laws 50th wedding anniversary. This was my first time sailing with Norwegian. I have been on several other cruises with ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my wife and two children (3yo and 5yo) with many of her family members to celebrate my in laws 50th wedding anniversary. This was my first time sailing with Norwegian. I have been on several other cruises with Carnival, Disney and Royal Caribbean. The good about this ship/experience: There is plenty of variety in terms of things to do, notably restaurants and bars/lounges. Many are "extra," but the food was overall very good in all the ones we tried. The food was comparable to other cruises I have tried. The ship is very clean. The kids/youth services are excellent, better in my opinion than what I saw on the Disney cruise we took in Oct. My kids had a blast. The not so good: The ship feels VERY overcrowded. I felt like most of the ship was staterooms. There is as much pool/common space as other ships I have been on but way more people. This adds to the feeling of being overrun at times, especially in the pool areas, and especially during sailing days; also, while the service is good and friendly, there is lacking that extra bit of customer service I have experienced on other cruises I have been on. No one was ever rude or anything, but seldom did anyone do anything extraordinary either. Also felt like I was always trying to be upsold (restaurants, water, photos, etc), but no more than all the other cruises I suppose.
In summary: Great big beautiful, clean ship; great amenities; excellent youth services/staff; crowded, crowded, crowded; dining service good not great. Read Less
We went on a family cruise to Bermuda. The food was decent, the drinks were good. Service in the main dining room (The Manhattan Room) was poor. The buffet was a mob scene and it was difficult to find a table to eat at. The specialty ... Read More
We went on a family cruise to Bermuda. The food was decent, the drinks were good. Service in the main dining room (The Manhattan Room) was poor. The buffet was a mob scene and it was difficult to find a table to eat at. The specialty restaurants were good, we ate at 2 of them.
Coffee was horrible and very weak in the buffet (Garden Cafe). Pools were mobbed most of the time.
Elevators were very difficult to get on to get to the deck we needed to be on.
Cabin service was poor. We had to hunt for towels and bathmats several days. Stewards were invisible. Hallways were very narrow and it seemed that every time we walked to or from our cabin, there were always housekeeping carts obstructing our passage. I know the ship is/was a very large one but either the staff are very slow or Norwegian needs to hire more people and train them properly to make up the rooms quickly and efficiently.
Overall, it was a good cruise and a good time was had by all but there were several things that could have been improved substantially to provide a much better guest experience. Read Less
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