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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We left for our cruise about four days after the executive order that trips to Cuba are no longer allowed. NCL took a while to announce what our new itinerary would be and what our discounts would be, but we were very pleased with the ... Read More
We left for our cruise about four days after the executive order that trips to Cuba are no longer allowed. NCL took a while to announce what our new itinerary would be and what our discounts would be, but we were very pleased with the information when it was announced. We were originally supposed to do Cuba overnight, a day at sea, then Great Stirrup Cay. They replaced the Cuba days with Freeport and Nassau. We have cruised royal and Disney several times each, and this was our first NCL trip. We selected it for Cuba, but were determined to make the best of the trip regardless of the change. The ship itself was small, which we were expecting. The decor was nice and not garish. The layout to get to the Crossings dining room was awkward but we eventually got the hang of it. The feel was relaxed and the crew was very friendly. Our room was small. We were expecting that, being spoiled by DCL's larger rooms but we had forgotten just how small inside rooms were on other lines. We had to shift the bed about 1" every night so I could get around the cabinet without getting my leg stuck. The decor was nice, the room was clean. We were in 0138, which is right below the teen club. That was a mistake. It was very loud and there was a clunky noise or scraping noise seemingly 24/7. The dining was perfectly acceptable. We rarely do specialty restaurants and did none on this trip. I was disappointed that the sit-down lunch offered the same menu every single day. There were not enough things there that sounded good so we ended up doing the buffet which isn't our favorite but there was more to choose from than we could possibly eat so it was fine. The pretzel buns are AMAZING I am going to try to make some at home. The beef dishes were good. I found most of the soups to be very overly salted. I thought the freestyle dining was amazing, and I wasn't expecting to like it. Seating was fast, the restaurants were nice, we liked the privacy as well. The food itself seemed comparable to both DCL and RCCL and we were happy with that. Snacks in the casino were fun to try late at night as well. The breakfast buffet was really repetitive, but there was enough to select from so again it was fine. We found the sushi bar late into the trip. The service there was excellent and we had never had sushi before. We really enjoyed the spot. The view was nice, the bar was quiet and friendly. It really was a very nice space to spend some time. The main shows on the Sky were quite cheesy. Props to the cast they really did put in a lot of energy and effort. DH and I were both theatre majors and enjoy shows but these were not our style. The audience was very well mannered and the cast was really talented. We tried a couple of the group games and those were fun as well. The trivia looked fun from afar. We did not do the outdoor activities because they really aren't our style. I peeked in at the movies and those seemed like fun also. Quiet and relaxing. The bingo game we went to was a good time as well. The staff did a good job of keeping things fun. I do prefer more enrichment type activities, there was very little of that offered on this type of trip and on this ship. Our cabin steward was very prompt and did a good job. We only saw him two times but he always remembered our names and was very friendly. The convenience of the onboard account info being on our app was incredible. I wish the venue hours were in the app as well as the scheduled activities. The food service staff were always friendly, but not all were attentive. It just depended on the evening. We did three ports. Freeport was BEAUTIFUL. DH chose a sailing excursion and it was hands-down the most beautiful day we've ever had in port. Our second stop was Nassau, which is always our least favorite. We did a snorkeling tour and felt like we were cats being herded but the snorkeling was good. Great Stirrup Cay was a great little private island. We don't enjoy beach days much but do love to snorkel. There wasn't a lot to see, but it was calm, sunny, the equipment was clean and in good shape, and we really did enjoy ourselves. Even with a smaller ship, and a short Bahamas itinerary, we've decided that NCL is a great fit for us. We enjoy excursions and taking it easy, and even though there are lots of activities offered, there's a lot of opportunity for just kicking back and relaxing if that's your style. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
For our first cruise was really good choice. Although rerouting from Cuba to Bahamas was disappointing (obv not NCL fault). Food in all restaurants we went to was very good, service was great across the board. Balcony room was tight, ... Read More
For our first cruise was really good choice. Although rerouting from Cuba to Bahamas was disappointing (obv not NCL fault). Food in all restaurants we went to was very good, service was great across the board. Balcony room was tight, but we knew that going in. Embarkation was a breeze, even with seemingly hundreds in front of us. Disembarkation was a little confused, they weren't letting folks off that had checked their bags the night before since they weren't ready in the terminal (at 8:45 AM). They finally relented and let people pass. Better to wait in the air conditioned terminal than on board in the morning heat. Also we booked the NCL transfer, and this was very smooth and well organized. I'm sure there were plenty of Ubers but NCL made it easy. One negative that is probably all cruise lines not just NCL was the medical service. My wife needed to see the doctor due to an infection. 20 minutes and $650 later we were back in the room (cost of "treatment" and antibiotics). While a bummer, this saved her a lot of discomfort for the rest of the trip. Another veteran cruise couple told us they heard the medical operation makes more profit than the casino. So get travel medical insurance! We have via our credit card, but I learned that only goes to $2500. Speaking of the casino, I ran pure at blackjack (on a 8 deck continuous shuffler!) so that helped ease the wallet pain! BJ tables were $10 and $15, and some were 3/2 (just have to ask). Poker is not so great, they spread 2-5 NLHE and rake 10% of the pot up to $25! Didn't really see the poker table get going, but I guess they should get kudos for having it. Video poker pay tables are awful (7/5 DDB) but that's expected. But casino had great service, with the open bar the waitresses kept the drinks flowing, dealers and floor guys were fun even when they were getting beat! For the food, Cagneys was outstanding, top US steakhouse service, and the food was just one notch below your Delmonicos, Ruth Criss, etc. The Italian was average (we paid ala cart $52 for that). Crossings dinner was another night and that was good with again great service. The longboard bar in the back of the ship is a gem, after 6 they serve wings, hot dogs/hamburgers, and other appetizers. Also great servers in there. Also the buffet always seemed to have great looking desserts, so Bahamas isn't our thing so we won't be going again on Sky, but with our 50% credit toward a future cruise we'll likely go with NCL again. (With better travel medical insurance). Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The service on this ship was absolutely horrible, and in the Haven, not much better. Here's what was included in our $8,000 vacation: Day 1 - broken plumbing in the bathroom. We had ONLY scolding hot water. Too hot to even brush ... Read More
The service on this ship was absolutely horrible, and in the Haven, not much better. Here's what was included in our $8,000 vacation: Day 1 - broken plumbing in the bathroom. We had ONLY scolding hot water. Too hot to even brush your teeth. Day 2 - Ate at Cagneys and asked for dessert to be delivered. 3 hours later, at 11pm, it arrived at the room. We were sleeping with the DND light on. It didn't stop whoever was bringing the dessert from literally banging on our door non-stop until one of us woke up to answer. Day 3 - We try to a casual meal at O'sheehans. We were seated by the hist and eventually left 20 minutes later when no one tended to our table. Day 6 - Booked a spa treatment at the same time as my husband. They forgot about him in the relaxation room and he wound up sitting there for over an hour! Day 6 - Ordered the surf n turf at dinner in the Haven restaurant.  The steak had turned. Smelled fouled. Cooked medium rare and yet had no pink because the meat was so spoiled. I took one bite, spit it out, and we left. On all days- we notified the concierge of everything and all he did was "write a report ". No compensation of any kind ever came from it. No apology. Nothing. Zilch. Basically a "sucks for you" attitude. On all days - extremely slow service at any sitting restaurant, including the Haven. This was regardless of how empty it was at the time. Lastly, on all days - the room steward and butler would enter the room to bring something and would linger. It eventually became uncomfortable and made us race back into our room to avoid them. We are not unreasonable people. We understand things go wrong sometimes. But incident after incident, day after day, was a bit much even for us. Never again. We have two more cruise next deposits from when we purchased on a previous cruise and they could go ahead and expire for all I care. We will never cruise Norwegian again and will be sure to make sure friends and family choose any other cruise line instead.  Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We had two rooms 14716 and 13639. Both rooms were wonderful and we all were well taken care of by our room attendants. The staff was friendly and helpful through out the ship. At Cagneys they offered to deliver our deserts to our ... Read More
We had two rooms 14716 and 13639. Both rooms were wonderful and we all were well taken care of by our room attendants. The staff was friendly and helpful through out the ship. At Cagneys they offered to deliver our deserts to our rooms since we didn't have room after dinner. The spa was a nice quiet retreat, especially, after a day in the ports. The staff was wonderful and attentive. Massage was nice and relaxing. Lots of port specials. The Vibe was nice but the price was surprisingly higher than last year.it was over $200 per person. We felt we didn't get enough use out of it to justify the price. The casino had lots of hand pays and the staff was friendly and fun. We had a good give and take relationship with the slots. I won a few handpays which always makes for an exciting time. The drink servers were very attentive. Loved the casino hosts! Always upbeat and fun. Loved going to the main dining rooms, especially for breakfast. The food was good and there was never a long wait. Entertainment was good. Really enjoyed comedy magician. Ports were fun. We booked all inusive excursions for Cozumel and Costa Maya. We will do this again next year. We had a wonderful time on the Breakaway. Would highly recommend this ship. Will be booking again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Norweigan Escape Ny to Bermuda: Food was a disappointment, some of the staff was not friendly, no captains night, freestyle was not freestyle because if you dont do all your planning before you go you have very little options for shows and ... Read More
Norweigan Escape Ny to Bermuda: Food was a disappointment, some of the staff was not friendly, no captains night, freestyle was not freestyle because if you dont do all your planning before you go you have very little options for shows and some specialty dining because everything gets booked . They have a huge theatre, and instead of using that, they cram all the guests into the atrium for almost all entertainment events like game shows, dance offs etc. So when they have events like these especially during at sea days there are no chairs, it clogs up the hallway for passing traffic because there can be a ton of people standing trying to see what is going on ,all while the theater is empty, it makes NO sense! Some tips if your booked for this cruise: 1. Make sure you use the purell they have or bring a travel size . Every time you use the stairs( which i am assuming you will IF you can because catching a elevator sometimes takes a long time) use it after every flight cuz i never see them cleaning the handrails and i got sick and now I am on antibiotics. 2. I was told I could get two liters of alcohol or i have to fill out a customs form. So i got 3 , when i went to front desk to get the form and they told me i only need form if i spent $800 in liquor / cigarettes. When i left no one checked my bag so I dont know how they would know what i had anyway. 3. Book everything you can possibly book as far as dinning or entertainment online before you board. 4. Dont expect to find much souvenir shopping onboard,unless you like jewelry or merchandise that says "ife is good".. They had hardly any hats/shirts that said ncl. 5. If you have a balcony and you look out before you leave and see the intrepid museum, you have an advantage of not having to cram in on top deck. You can see Statue of Liberty and see under the bridge all from your side. If you are on the other side of the ship and do not see the intrepid you have another advantage coming back home.You get to get up at aprox 3am and take amazing pics of lady liberty all lit up without going out of your room, and yes you also get to see the bridge lit up. 6. Bring a selfie stick, pics on board are aprox $20 each , my selfie stick broke and ended up buying one on board for almost $40 . 7. Get a luggage lock, i heard a woman nearby say something was missing from her room, so its always good to be safe then sorry 8. Its not advertised very well but they do have painting on board. I got the last possible spot so go to box office and book it early . Strangely you must bring your wine with you if you want. Its a byob or glass lol. 9. Download the app, they must be saving paper. You used to get a daily "what's happening on board " flyer on each bed, now its one per stateroom. Also when checking in, i asked for another flyer of map of ship- i was told no. Really? Im paying close to $2000 and i cant have a piece of paper????? 10. Bermuda: I recommend some type of nighttime sunset sail or something away from the ship at night. Usually theres is not much going on so get out see a sunset , have a rum sizzle or not and see the boat all lit up. I would ask the guys on the tour boat what side has the best view of the boat going back to the ship so you can get amazing oics. I chose Harbor nights but the festival was mostly food vendors, most stores in hamilton were closed except for maybe 3 or 4. If you like festival music, walking in dark ,eating food from local vendors this could be your thing, i did see a lot of security but not something i would do for a solo traveler if you go as a group especially with a guy you should feel safe (just my opinion). **book choir of man the best show i saw THE BEACH:Take a mini bus or taxi to horseshoe bay beach dont waste your money on an excursion. It cost $7.00 minibus, $35 for taxi each way. I took minibus going and taxi back and both are safe, and you get to come and go whenever you want, you dont have to keep looking at your watch. Wear sunscreen and reapply no matter what the conditions. I personally know someone that got a second degree burn on a shady day on horseshoe beach and they had block on. Also this time the beach had seaweed (very unusual). Id get swim shoes because Portuguese Man of War ( a type of jelly fish) are sometimes under seaweed Shopping: If you have the time I would take a ferry to St George and Hamilton see what its like. I would like to go go back to St George, I stopped briefly as part of a bus tour. Hamilton has a few souvenirs type stores, they also have a lot of expensive stores. If your short on time you can pretty much get all your souvenir shopping at port. Side note: When i was there we were the only ship in port (as per tour guide this is very rare it can be 2-3 at one time - that's approximately 10k- 12k people. Dont wait to the last day at bermuda to do your shopping at port. it was crowded at the last day for me , can not imagine if another ship was there. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
DH and I took 16 of our closest friends and family on the Norwegian Joy last week for our wedding ceremony. The itinerary was Seattle - Ketchikan - Juneau - Icy Strait Point - Victoria - Seattle. We had an absolutely wonderful time. ... Read More
DH and I took 16 of our closest friends and family on the Norwegian Joy last week for our wedding ceremony. The itinerary was Seattle - Ketchikan - Juneau - Icy Strait Point - Victoria - Seattle. We had an absolutely wonderful time. I'll preface this with the fact that I'm a first time cruiser, so I admittedly have nothing to compare it to. However, I felt that the ship was quite spectacular, the food options plentiful, and the staff really excellent. Food and Beverages: For specialty dining, we ate at Cagney's for our wedding reception dinner. Many in our group (quite a few of whom are foodies) said that their steaks were some of the best they have ever had. The portions at Q were enormous, and the meal was delicious. I think if one were from a state that had world renowned BBQ it might be old-hat, but for this Canadian it was fabulous. Between the group, we had most of the sides on offer and all were really well done. The meal at Ocean Blue was exceptional (the jumbo shrimp cocktail is a must, worth the upcharge imo), and the service was very attentive. I did not eat at La Cucina, but those in our group who did raved about it. Teppanyaki was amazing. The steak was absolutely mouth watering, and our chef was very entertaining. The Garden Cafe buffet is certainly a busy spot (if you're the kind of person that can eat at off peak times, you should consider that for the buffet), and at times it was difficult to find a table. However, as others have mentioned, it's very easy to grab a plate and head down to the Observation Lounge one floor down to find a spot to eat. Much more relaxing. The food is all adequate and satisfying, and what one would expect from buffet fare. And yes, there was a seafood buffet on night two, although we did not get to attend because we were at Cagney's. I thought the food in the main dining rooms was all very well prepared, and it was not difficult to get a seat without a reservation, even in peak times. We bought the Premium Plus Drinks Package, and for us it was good value (top shelf liquors, higher end wines, specialty beers as District Brew House, etc). However, if you are to get one of these packages, do keep an eye on your on board account. I had to have them reverse charges three times, and that was even with purchases where we had told our server we had the PPB. This requires a trip to guest services each time, which is a bit of an inconvenience to be sure. We found out later that the computer in the District Brew House wasn't registering PPB purchases properly, and I wonder if that wasn't the case with a couple of other places too. Also, not all servers were well versed in what was covered under the package, so it is worth ensuring each time that they know what should be keyed in. I'm not sure if I had the option that I would do it again, I'd probably stick with the regular drinks package. Entertainment I really enjoyed the production of Footloose. It was certainly not the apocalyptic marathon that it had previously been described as... The leads had amazing voices, and there was an enthusiastic cast. I ran into more than a few people who went to see it multiple times. I didn't get to Elements, so cannot offer an opinion there. My brother and I went to karaoke with Alvin a couple of times at the Cavern Club, always packed, and always a supportive crowd! Although I will note there was a fair bit of turnover, so not difficult to get a seat if one waited at the bar fro a bit. Our group did line dancing at Q one night, which was a bit of fun, and the country band was very good. We steered clear from the Atrium activities because that area can be quite loud and busy, not really our scene. But there is so much going on it is easy to find something outside of the Atrium, or a quiet spot if needed! I was impressed with the varied range of activities, though. Really something for everyone, from vegetable carving to trivia, to dancing lessons. Amenities The go-karts were closed for the majority of the week due to the rain and high winds. We did get on at the end of the week and it was a lot of fun. Do be aware to budget at least an hour for this activity. The "heats" are usually running a bit behind, and it take a while to get everyone kitted out. Don't do what we did and wedge it next to a dinner reservation that we were then worried about missing... Laser tag was similarly closed for a lot of the time, as it's open air. We managed to get in on the last night, and while it is only 10 mins, that was enough for us! I imagine smaller, more energetic children would find it not enough time and want to have several goes on it. It was fun for all ages, though, and they do make safety a priority so little ones are (hopefully) not being bowled over by larger kids (or adults living out a Stormship Troopers fantasy). I did not go to the Galaxy Pavilion, but DH took his niece. He described it as a place designed to separate parents from their money at an alarming pace. The Virtual Reality games are $10 a go, so it adds up quickly. The other games are about $1.60 a play. Our group really enjoyed the hot tub at Spice H20. The first evening it was a little lukewarm, but they had turned up the temperature by the following day. I appreciated that the staff enforced the "adults-only" rule, not because I dislike children, but because it meant that the hot tub was never packed, whereas the hot tubs in the main swimming area got quite busy with young ones. Port Stops Ketchikan is a fabulous, quirky, frontier town. I highly recommend strolling down Creek Street. I would say that if you are looking for Alaska souvenirs, this is the place to get them (for this itinerary). Sam McGees had by far the best and most interesting selection (that wasn't just a sea of similar looking tchotchkes). The Totem Pole museum is worth a visit, and if you're interested in doing some hiking, I recommend grabbing a cab and asking to go to the head of the Rainbird Trail at the University of Alaska parking lot. It's a 45 min hike of moderate intensity with a couple of stunning vistas, and huge old growth trees. Well worth it. You can arrange for a cab to come and grab you at the other end. About $8 each way and a 5 minute drive. The Joy's itinerary has it in Juneau from 7:00am - 12:30pm or so. Most things in Juneau don't open before 9:00am or 10:00am, be forewarned. There is a free shuttle into town, or you can walk it in about 20 mins. If you want to skip the excursion costs, it is possible to arrange a taxi cab to the Mendenhall Glacier to walk around on your own (more economical if you're in a group). There's a great interpretive centre and a number of short walking trails. There is a $17 per person park fee to get in which will be collected by your taxi driver, so don't think it's a scam. The afternoon that we left Juneau, the ship traveled up Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier. This is absolutely a time to be near a window. We were in the observation deck for much of the afternoon because of the high winds and the rain (along with most of the ship), but the visibility was still good and the views were spectacular. There were also a number of small icebergs and a few whale sightings. Once we were near the glacier, we went out onto the "Waterfront" on Deck 8 to get a better look. There was staff there with bonebroth and ginger to warm us up, which was a lovely touch! The captain turned the ship around 360 degrees so everyone could take in the views. It was really something. It's also no small task for a ship the size of the Joy to navigate those waters, the crew really should be commended. Icy Strait Point is a privately owned cruise ship port owned and operated by a native Alaskan owned company. There is a small museum about the history of the area interspersed between the gift shops on the main boardwalk, which I found quite informative, along with the exhibits of fish canning machinery. Most of the excursions at this port will sell out beforehand because there is no competition, and the costs will be at a premium. It is home to the longest zipline in the world, which looked terrifying to me, but may be other's cup of tea. Bring your binoculars because there are many bald eagles flying around. There is a nice beach walk along the shore for those who want a leisurely pace. The Jewel is docked here at the same time, albeit with tenders, which means that it gets VERY busy. We disembarked first thing in the morning and had a nice, leisurely walk around, with a reasonable amount of space between bodies, but by the time we were headed back to the ship at around noon, it was unbearably busy. There is a shuttle into Hoonah, a town about 1.5 miles away, for $5 per person. Unfortunately, when we were there they were only running two school buses back and forth, which was not enough to keep up with demand, and there was at least an hour wait. If you're mobile, it's worth either walking into Hoonah (along a very nice trail), or renting a bike for $15 for the hour and heading in that way. Both DH and I have lived in Victoria before, so we chose that day to stay on the ship. High tea at the Empress Hotel is always lovely, and Victoria is home to some great craft breweries near the downtown, if that's your thing. There are also many whale watching tours about. As others have mentioned, when in Victoria the rule is only one bar per deck can be open, so be aware of that for planning purposes if you're planning to stay on the ship. Overall, I really enjoyed our time on the Joy. The front line staff were all more than eager to assist, and bend over backwards to be friendly and kind. The ship was kept very clean, the food was amazing and plentiful (too plentiful, says my jeans...), there were definitely parts of the ship that were busier than others, but always a place to get a drink, and to get away from the crowds if necessary. And the views of the Alaskan landscape could not be beat. A fabulous cruise to be sure! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
The beautiful NCL Joy exceeded my past 72 cruise ships and the service was excellent. The staff was courteous, helpful and friendly. From the price to all the feee offers and the new ship I would highly recommend the Joy. The ship decor, ... Read More
The beautiful NCL Joy exceeded my past 72 cruise ships and the service was excellent. The staff was courteous, helpful and friendly. From the price to all the feee offers and the new ship I would highly recommend the Joy. The ship decor, was spectacular. You will not disappointed. Every staff member went beyond their duties for type passengers. No wait or lines from embarkation, shore excursions, restaurants to getting office the ship. The most organized of any of my past 72 cruises. The balcony size compares to a suite size in some ships. The Footloose & Beatles show was fantastic. The food was excellent with so many dining options. The Taste and Manhattsm dining room, staff and food was yummy. So nice to cruise freestyle and not drag dress clothes on your vacation. The ship casual is an enjoyable way to cruise. The Garden Cafe has many choices and was huge. This ship is well designed and awesome, The free at sea offers are so helpful to save and enjoy your cruise. The staff could not do enough for you. I have never had such great service on any ship. It was a Joy to be on the Joy. So much to enjoy fur all ages, My husband enjoyed the go karts at sea. The American diner offered complimentary breakfast and the 60’s style diner with good food. Can’t wait for my next NCL cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This trip was intended to be a short girls weekend, free of kids and husbands. We drove from Tampa to Miami and choose to use Premier Parking. We arrived at the port around 1230pm and we through security and aboard within 15 minutes! ... Read More
This trip was intended to be a short girls weekend, free of kids and husbands. We drove from Tampa to Miami and choose to use Premier Parking. We arrived at the port around 1230pm and we through security and aboard within 15 minutes! We headed up to grab some lunch and I have to say that garden café is much smaller than I am accustom to on the bigger ships. The choices are minimal. Pool deck is nice. Especially loved Champs bar and the table seating for smokers. We ate in the Palace and had the BEST SERVICE. But. that's why we love NCL, service is always amazing. Food... ugh.. that could improve for sure. The menu in main dining rooms were also limited, and served the same items for three days. Warning - the steak comes covered in gravy! Steak should never be destroyed like that... steer clear. Cabin was clean. Shower is tiny! I am not a large woman, but I had the hardest time shaving my legs! Entertainment was just sad. Comedian was horrible. I am not a fan of cover bands or singers. Shops were pretty sad too. Key West - we got off to find Blue McCaw - bloody mary bar, and got back on board. I live in Fl, so Key West isn't a place I need to be. Great Stirrup Cay- Nice beach day. Great service, plenty of chairs. Overpriced market! Beware, they charge you based on how they feel at that moment. Overall a great weekend with my bestie. It wouldn't say this was the BEST cruise, but I had a nice relaxing time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Full disclosure-this is about number 40 cruise for us over about 30 years of cruising. First, let me tell you all of the GOOD things about the cruise. 1. The food was universally very good. We have cruised on some of the best (and ... Read More
Full disclosure-this is about number 40 cruise for us over about 30 years of cruising. First, let me tell you all of the GOOD things about the cruise. 1. The food was universally very good. We have cruised on some of the best (and worst) and overall the food on the NCL Getaway is very good and in some restaurants just excellent. The best restaurant on-board hands down is Le Bistro. Cagney's is a close second. La Cucino's is just ok. Pretty boring and just ok Italian. The best (no additional charge place) on the ship is O'Sheehan's. It is fun, great service, great food and always open. It is a great alternative for breakfast. The staff is universally good. Dining rooms: Savour is the best. Taste is the worst--poor management and nasty front staff ruin the dining room experience at Taste. The Tropicana is also good and fun with live music. The buffet was just a mess for us. We had a very large tour group from Asia on-board that dominated the buffet whenever it was open. After a couple of attempts we just gave up on getting close to the food or having a place to sit. As mentioned O'Sheehan's was a great alternative. 2. The ship was just overhauled so it is bright and clean. In general a very nice ship. They made a couple of huge errors in design mentioned below. 3. The bars (and there is one every 50 feet) are all nice, well-staffed, and fun. 4. The dinner/circus act is fun and the folks are incredibly talented. Illusionarium I think is the name of the separate dining and performance area. Do not miss this act and dinner. You will have to arrange it in advance of your trip. Ok, now for the BAD stuff with the ship. 1. The internet does not work. Not even a little bit. For those of us who have to work even while on a ship it is a disaster. The manager, to his credit, knows that it is really bad. It is impossible to work or even search on the internet. It is the worst experience for us since the implementation of internet on ships. It is a deal-killer for us as I have to have internet capability. I was refunded all of my cost but that does not solve the issue. 2. The ship's excursion staff is the worst we ever encountered. They are just lost with no management or oversight. Rude, incompetent, and sullen is the best i can do. We heard endless complaints about the staff and the quality of the trips offered by the ship. They fouled up the only ship arranged excursion we purchased. Ultimately we ended up canceling because of the staff errors. It was to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Although we scheduled our trip months in advance (along with this one excursion) when we got on-board they told us that our trip was full and that instead of a 130pm departure we were booked on a 6am departure....huh? Again, no coordination and no one to talk to about the issues. 3. The entertainment is high school level. Sorry, but if you expect anything in the way of entertainment do not look to this ship. The Burn the Floor group is painful. The bands on board were loud. Loud because that was all they could do. Compared to other ships the Getaway has to do better than the folks we had on board. 4. The casino. My suggestion is do not go near it. Over 14 days we saw no one....not a soul...win anything on the slots. We talked to folks who were using the casino and to a person they said exactly what i am telling you. The payout for the slots has to be hideous. I asked what the payout percentage was and they refused to discuss it. That has to tell you something. Walk through it or just donate your money to them and save time. 5. Maybe the poorest design on any ship we have been on is the band/performance/public area on the 6th floor which opens to the 7th floor. It is dead in the center of the 6th floor. It is a horrible place to stick bands as it is just deafening and you cannot get away from it. The sound is ramped-up to an uncomfortable level. It is like a garage band in your neighbors garage that you can hear all over the neighborhood. HInts: 1. In Bergen do a hop on hop off and wander on your own. 2. In Reykjavik walk from the ship and take a taxi downtown. It is about the same price as the mess they have with the bus transports. It is faster and way less hassle. 3. Go to Vitar (or any other trip planner for the stops) and get a private provider for wherever you want to go. It is cheaper, better planned, and a lot less hassle than fighting with hundreds of others who will push you out of the way to be first on a cruise ship bus. 4. Do not believe the provided by the cruise director or others about needing to use the ship provided excursions. You can rent a taxi or private tour for the same or less than you pay to be one of two hundred on a ship excursion. 5. Edinburgh and Copenhagen on your own or on a hop on hop off. Both cities are just wonderful and you cannot get lost. 6. Departing Copenhagen. Stay at the airport area and take the train to the city center. You cannot get lost and it is cheap, clean, and fun. The Marriott AC (the totally weird hotel design) close to the train and the airport is perfect. You can walk to the train station in five minutes. 7. The Tivoli in Copenhagen is worth every penny. A zillion cute restaurants, wonderful gardens, and a fun place to spend a few hours. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
If you have not done Alaska, put it at the very top of your bucket list. We did the Northbound on the Jewel plus the five day land tour from Seward to Fairbanks via Denali. All things being equal I would have preferred to do the land ... Read More
If you have not done Alaska, put it at the very top of your bucket list. We did the Northbound on the Jewel plus the five day land tour from Seward to Fairbanks via Denali. All things being equal I would have preferred to do the land portion first, but only Northbound goes to Glacier Bay. The number one reason for best cruise ever was out of NCL's hands, as it was the spectacular weather. The Cruise Next agent we talked to said she has been doing the Alaska routes for 3 years on 3 different ships, and never saw weather this good. The excellent weather continued on the land tour as well. Due to the good weather, the ship was able to get right up to the half mile limit to Hubbard glacier. Glacier bay was fogged in when we first arrived, but it slowly lifted. The demographics on this ship were significantly different from the Jade to Norway the year before. The average age of passengers dropped from 60 to about 40, and there were far more families and under 18s. The restaurants we went to were Teppanyaki, Le Bistro (twice) and Cagney's. Service was a bit slow the first time we went to Le Bistro, but otherwise all three restaurants were excellent. We went to the Tsar's palace and Azura once each, this time Azura was the better of the two, which was a reversal from the Jade (Grand Pacific and Alizar) the year before. We also did room service once for dinner after a long shore excursion. In most cases we had a party of 6, which presented few problems. For shore excursions, in Ketchikan we split up 3 and 3, I went went on a third party crab fishing excursion, the other 3 went on the Misty Fjords and Wilderness adventure. In Juneau, mom and I went on the Mendenhall glacier and Salmon bake, and in Skagway took the White Pass and Yukon Explorer. All three were a lot of fun and saw great scenery and quite a bit of wildlife. One warning on the Salmon, Alaskan's seem to like their sauces/glazes sweet, which is not to my taste, but is easy to ask that it be left off. Can't say much on the shows as we did not attend many. The comedian was pretty good at the PG show, did not attend the adult show. The three principle performers for the rock music show were quite good. The one lady does a killer Tina Turner, one of the guys a killer Bon Jovi, the third guy was overall quite good, but not for a specific performance. The remaining entertainment at the various lounges were pretty good by cruise standards. The land tour is contracted by NCL through Alaskan Tours. Our guide and bus driver were absolutely tops. Alaskan's seem to be well qualified, our guide held a masters degree and our bus driver in Denali (Separate from Alaskan Tours) was a degreed archaeologist. Tough to catch either one in something they did not know. Fair warning, you will likely get a dose of global warming propaganda from the narration when sailing to the glaciers and in Denali. But if that is the worst thing that happens, it is going pretty well. :) Stateroom review and such below. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a wonderful cruise with a great itinerary. Our favorite ports were Santorini Greece and Dubrovnik Croatia. Our excursion in Dubrovnik (Game of Thrones Tour) was unreal! We thoroughly enjoyed the food, service, and entertainment ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise with a great itinerary. Our favorite ports were Santorini Greece and Dubrovnik Croatia. Our excursion in Dubrovnik (Game of Thrones Tour) was unreal! We thoroughly enjoyed the food, service, and entertainment on the ship. Our room was amazing and our steward, Dino, was a delight. We would absolutely consider cruising on the Jade again. This cruise was taken on the week of our 20 year Wedding Anniversary. It did not disappoint. The ship was clean and the staff very friendly. The spa was amazing, if not a bit overpriced. But I really enjoyed both of my spa experiences. Our favorite restaurant was Le Bistro, although Cagney's and La Cucina were great too. The main dining room was great and truthfully we could have eaten all of our meals there. The breakfast buffet was really good and we had lunch at O'Sheehan's a few times and enjoyed it. We loved the casual dining atmosphere on the ship. Overall, this was a wonderful cruise on a very nice ship. We highly recommend Norwegian. We can't wait to do it again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation ----------------- Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth. Stateroom -------------- I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being ... Read More
Embarkation ----------------- Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth. Stateroom -------------- I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being cleaned so I got a look at oceanview and balcony ones too. In general , they were a lot smaller than other ships I've been on. I also wasn't keen on the bathroom set up. Basically, the toilet is to the left of the door when you enter the room, and the shower is to the right. There's a curtain you can pull across that will cover them both up. I was sharing with my dad so showering was a bit challenging if he wasn't in the room, as I was always worried that he'd enter and be able to see me naked! I had requested twin beds but this didn't seem to reach NCL (maybe my agent didn't pass it on). On other ships I've been on, the stateroom attendant happily changed it, but the one we had on this ship was obviously really annoyed and almost lectured us for not requesting it at the outset. When we looked in our mini-bar, there was an empty can of soda. I obviously didn't want charged for this to advised guest services. I think that made the stateroom attendant hate us for the rest of the trip! Bars and Restaurants ----------------------------- One thing I did like was that there was a choice of restaurants included, not just the main or buffet restaurants. There was an Asian restaurant, 2 main restaurants, a buffet one that was much calmer than Royal Caribbeans, with more seats available, and an Irish bar. This gave the potential for more variety without having to spend more money. When we ate at the Manhattan Room, I was really disappointed that the jazz band stopped playing shortly after we got there. This band doesn't seem to be utilised anywhere else so why not have them playing for the whole time the restaurant is open. It went from having a really nice atmosphere to a horrible one as there wasn't even any other background music turned on. I'd have liked to have been able to view the menus from the restaurants in one place so I didn't have to walk all over the ship to compare them. You have the interactive boards where you can book restaurants for future dates, but you can't seem to do it for that night, which is a real pain. They also don't seem to show the menus. I'm used to being able to view the menus on my TVs, but you don't seem to have that feature. The service at the pool bar was atrocious! We regularly waited 25 minutes to get served. This was mainly because there weren't enough staff based there, but also because those that were didn't have the ability to remember which customers had arrived first. One guy kept only serving those who were right in front of them, anyone outside his initial field of vision just had to keep waiting, getting more and more frustrated! I was disappointed with O'Sheehans. It was really noisy because you had noise coming from the atrium venue, the bowling alley, the casino, and the bars above when they had live music. It all clashed into a horrible racket. I was also really disappointed that the menu, at least for dinner, never changed. It felt like there were often dirty tables when you tried to get a seat. I struggled with there being a lot of high tables as I can't use them being disabled. It was also weird that you couldn't eat at the table that's facing down to the atrium, but you can at the same type of seating that's at one of the speciality restaurants. That doesn't make any sense. Entertainment ------------------- On sea days, there literally wasn't ever any day time activities I was interested in doing. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean have way more variety, e.g. colouring classes, table tennis tournaments, board/card game sessions, etc., with multiple free activities happening at each time slot so that there was something for everyone. I was extremely disappointed by the evening entertainment. I am used to there being a stage show every night, with 2 performances per night on every cruise I've done previously. What was on felt dated, e.g. I saw Priscilla on Royal Caribbean last year. Howl at the Moon was on far too much - there needs to be more variety. I can't believe that the Headliners Comedy Club never once had any comedy on! Royal Caribbean have musicals, ice shows, comedians, game shows, etc. every single night, and we often struggle to fit them all in, whereas on this cruise I often found myself bored as there wasn't any entertainment I was interested in! One activity we were actually interested in was karaoke. The bar was always full when it was on and everyone was having a good time. However, as soon as it ended, the bar emptied. This shows that it should definitely be on for a longer duration, even all night, as it was so popular! The first time we went, the entertainment staff member running it (I don't know his name - I think he was Japanese) could not have sounded more depressed! I have never been to karaoke before where the host wasn't standing on the stage in person, which gives more energy and a personal touch, but even offstage, he needed an injection of energy and personality. He was honestly monotone and sounded like he'd rather be anywhere else! The guy that did it the next time we went was more enthusiastic, thankfully! In general, the ship was very noisy. I'm used to bars being like the Cavern Club where you go into them and enter the atmosphere of that bar, whereas the majority on Epic are out in the open so you have the noise of the casino, the bowling alley, music from other venues, people walking past, etc. The atrium was a particularly horrible venue for drinks and entertainment. I felt like I couldn't find a quieter spot that was comfortable. The day we were doing search and rescue, I really wanted a bar that had comfortable sofa style seating where I could relax but still get brought drinks, and that really just didn't exist. I'm also used to their being some themed nights on the cruise that everyone gets involved in, like 80s night or white night, etc. There wasn't anything like this on Epic. I understand why they have people boarding and leaving at different ports in that it increases sales as it fits in with everyone's vacation dates, however what it does do is change the dynamics on board. I'm used to everyone being in a real party mood when we sail away and then there being a final night party too. I appreciate that's not something you can change, but it did change it for me. Pools & Spa ----------------- I had booked a spa offer that said it gave a mini facial and access to the thermal suite. However, I felt it was missold to me as it actually was sitting in a room with other people getting sold Elemis products and getting tests of these to put on our faces ourselves. That's not a facial in my book! Another thing I wasn't expecting was that there was no sauna or steam room available to all. On other ships I've been on, these were accessible to everyone in the fitness suite. Another reason why it wasn't good value for money. I normally enjoy using the hot tubs on the ship pretty much every day to easy my aching muscles. However, I found that the ones on Epic were barely luke-warm so I often quickly got cold and had to leave. I think this is the first cruise I've been on where the sauna and steam room wasn't accessible to everyone. The thermal suite is really nice, but it's expensive - 60 USD a visit or you can buy a package - so that made the cruise seem like less value. Drinks Package --------------------- The drinks package covered drinks up to 15USD. It didn't include the mini bar or the atrium cafe, which did speciality teas, coffees, and cakes. I was disappointed that bottled water wasn't included in my premium beverage package either. These have always been included on other cruises, so this reduced the feeling of value for money on the drinks package. Also, all previous cruises have given you a large drinks cup so that you could get it refilled at machines yourself or at bars, which makes it easier for you as a guest, but also is more environmentally friendly, and it's something you can take away as a souvenier, which adds value to your drinks package. Casino ---------- It felt like the casino was too big, dominating almost an entire level. Travelling with someone who's had a gambling problem in the past, it was challenging as it felt impossible at times to avoid the casino! You could smoke in the casino if you were playing games. Shopping ------------ I couldn't believe there wasn't any duty free on sale on the ship. I now understand why this is (when it's entirely within Europe, they're not allowed to sell it), but a sign telling us that before we boarded would have been useful so that we could have chosen to buy cigarettes in the duty free shop at Barcelona. The sales staff for jewellery were very in your face whenever you passed through the shops as you couldn't avoid the shops if you were on that level. Ports of Call ----------------- This is the first cruise I've done in Europe. You visit a port most days and the port days tend to be long hours. You're walking a lot in the European cities too so it's generally a pretty tiring week. We didn't book any shore excursions with the cruise line as they're really expensive. I did pre-book a couple of tours with 3rd parties. One for Florence and Pisa as it was just the same price as making your own way there, and one for the Vatican in Rome. We made our own way to Rome by taking the port shuttle to the town, then a local bus to the train station, and finally, a train to Roma St Peters. We walked from there. The tour started at 10am and we were just able to get there on time by getting off the ship as soon as it was ready for debarkation. We did have a problem getting back though as the train was delayed. There were about 14 people on that train with us, and thankfully, some of them were on a ship organised tour so the boat waited for us (we were about 40 minutes late in the end!). I'd therefore say if you're doing Rome on your own, make sure you're at the train station by 3.30pm for a 6.30pm all aboard time. The tenders were really badly organised. To not be given any indication of when your colour might be called was a nightmare because it meant we had to be up and ready early then sitting around for hours when we could have been having a long lie! I have never had a tender done this way before. Service ---------- On all the other cruises I've done, the staff have been really happy and friendly, always trying to pre-empt your needs, and nothing you asked was too big of a problem. The stateroom attendant didn't look happy whenever I saw her, though that's maybe because she may have gotten into trouble when we had to report that there was an empty can of Sprite in our mini bar from the previous guests! She took away one of our pool towels and never replaced it too. I also expected our bedding to be changed at least a couple of times during our trip, but I know it wasn't as there was a dirty mark on my duvet cover from near the beginning of the cruise, and it remained there throughout. One of the hostesses at O'Sheehans also looked miserable, and I felt like I was causing her a problem by asking for a table, particularly when she had to clean one for me. When all the staff seem to be unhappy, it makes me question how life is for them on the ship, and how they're treated. Value for Money --------------------- I felt like I was constantly being pushed to spend more money. It was very in my face, way more than any other cruise I've been on. It felt like most of the activities during the day I might have been interested in doing were at an additional cost, which means what had initially seemed a good price for the cruise, actually wasn't great value. Again, on the theme of being pressured into buying things, it was really hard to make the photography staff take no for an answer. Getting on and off the ship, they were jumping in front of you and following you even after you'd said, "no thanks" several times! Disembarkation -------------------- We had to get our luggage tags the day before disembarking from guest services. We could choose the time we got off as long as the corresponding colour of tag was still available. Bags had to be placed outside the room by 11pm the night before departure unless you were going to take them off yourself in the morning. The one positive about not everyone's cruise ending on the same day was that we could take our time having breakfast and getting off the ship as it was staying in port all day. Overall Impression ------------------------- For me, this cruise was really disappointing when I compared it to the others I've done (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity). The entertainment was particularly poor, I didn't like constantly being hassled to buy more/spend money, and I didn't get the energetic, enthusiastic, friendly, and helpful crew I'm used to. It's put me off sailing with Norwegian again in future, and I won't be recommending them to anyone else. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
EPIC may be a great cruise ship for the Mediterranean Sea: Spain, Italy, and France are the epic draw while the ship offers a decent experience while getting you from port to port. It's not a bad ship. If you're booked on her ... Read More
EPIC may be a great cruise ship for the Mediterranean Sea: Spain, Italy, and France are the epic draw while the ship offers a decent experience while getting you from port to port. It's not a bad ship. If you're booked on her for a future cruise, you won't really be disappointed. It's just not a standout. Certainly, there are several impressive features. NCL's freestyle vibe is refreshing. The entertainment is quite impressive (The Beatles, Burn the Floor, Priscilla, and Cirque Dreams are stellar). And there's plenty onboard fun to keep every member of the family busy. For this and many more reasons, EPIC is a good cruise ship. It's just not a great cruise ship. This was our 9th cruise, but our first on Norwegian. So maybe some of my comments aren't so much about EPIC as they are about NCL in general. If you're a huge EPIC or NCL fan, I promise to balance the negatives with an equal number of positives. Embarkation in Barcelona could not have been more smooth. The entire process probably lasted no more than twenty minutes. Boarding a ship that is already half-full of passengers who embarked in another port was a completely new experience for us. That made it quite interesting. Even though each passenger reports for only one muster drill, there is one every Sunday and Wednesday. We had open minds about the split bathroom concept. We had read many different opinions about it. In the end, it's not a deal breaker, of course, but it is just plain weird. At one point, my hands were full and our kind cabin steward wanted to help me into the room. Normally this would be wonderful, but I could hear my wife in the frosted glass shower, which is immediately at the door when you walk in. The privacy curtain only separates the toilet/shower from the rest of the stateroom and not from anyone who comes walking into the room. Odd and kind of creepy. This room setup could create some awkward moments for families! In our case, the bed was closer to the door and across from the sink (yes, out in the middle of the room). This meant that it was also next to the toilet which is enclosed in a sliding frosted glass-style sort-of phone booth type thing. There's a reason this design was never duplicated anywhere else in the fleet. The wavy walls are really attractive, though, and the rooms look sleek and modern. There's abundant storage everywhere. We had an aft cabin on the 13th floor, and the balcony was generously sized. We would love to have had lounge chairs out there, and there would have been more than enough room. The two chairs and table were adequate, though. Nobody takes a cruse for the TV experience, but if you expect to fall asleep watching riveting entertainment, you'll be disappointed. There's one international movie channel, one "favorites" movie channel, a host of NCL promotional channels, a few news channels based in Europe, and an Italian network or two. Dining on EPIC was an outstanding experience for us. We ate in Cagney's, Shanghai, La Cucina, Taste, Teppanyaki, and the Cirque Dreams experience. The food met or exceeded our expectations and the service was always attentive and friendly. I am a generous tipper, but I did find it a bit much to have an extra tip line for "outstanding" service on the check when I had already prepaid dining tips upon signing up for this package. These are completely separate tips from the overall prepaid tips you always pay before a cruise. So, essentially, I ended up tipping twice for four meals. Nobody made me do it, of course, but I did feel kind of like it was expected. The public areas on the ship are beautiful. EPIC is a luxurious ship, and it shows. However, there are almost no ocean views from any public spaces (except, oddly enough, one entire wall of windows in the men's room on the pool deck). While it would have been nice to see more of the amazing Mediterranean views when in interior public spaces, there are plenty of views from the pool deck and Spice H20 in the rear of the ship. The library and game room are really big, and I found it fun walking through the casino to get from one end to another on deck 6. We found other ships we've sailed to have more public spaces, but it seems that NCL likes to dedicate a good bit of real estate to the Haven, which is off limits to guests who are not booked there. Being only two of us, and with such a port-intensive itinerary, we chose not to spend the extra money on the Haven, as we were off the ship for up to eight or nine hours each day. It would have been nice to escape the awkward bathroom situation, though. And for that reason alone, I would recommend the Haven to families who cruise on EPIC, in spite of the fact that its very existence seems to split guests into "classes" a bit more than I prefer on a cruise ship. That seems to be the trend on many lines, though, so I don't fault NCL for offering a quiet space away from crowds and lines. We did private tours in Italy, and they were wonderful. But our excursion booked through NCL for The French Riviera (Monaco, Nice, Eze, Monte Carlo) was equally as amazing. The bus was clean, cool, and comfortable, and our tour guide was awesome. Her communication skills and knowledge of the region were highly impressive. We loved this tour! Going on EPIC soon? You'll have some things to overlook, but it's a large, fun, comfortable ship that takes you to enchanting places on the Med. Bon Voyage! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We chose to embark from Barcelona because it was much closer to the port and I prefer starting my cruise on a weekend day. The embarkation was very easy and stress free. We were on the ship in ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We chose to embark from Barcelona because it was much closer to the port and I prefer starting my cruise on a weekend day. The embarkation was very easy and stress free. We were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Disembarkation was also easy. Very orderly and quick. The ship was pretty good. Cabin location was ideal for me. It was at the back of the ship but had cabins above and below therefore it was quite. The balcony was covered and offered some privacy unlike the ones directly below. I actually like the odd layout of the bathroom, it made getting ready quite easy for 2 people. I had both the unlimited drink and 4 specialty dining package. The dining was awesome. Cagneys, the Italian, French and the Teppanyaki were very good. Also ate at the Manhattan Room twice for dinner. Taste twice for breakfast and the Garden Cafe several times because it was more convenient for those really early mornings excursions. We also did Cirque Dreams which was a dinner show. It was very good entertainment. There were actually really good entertainment onboard. I enjoyed Burn the Floor. Priscilla was interesting. Overall service was good. Ports were excellent but we missed the last port due to passenger falling overboard. All my excursions were booked independently for size and economic reasons. We had no issues with that at all. We were a group of 26 adults. I would definitely do the itinerary again. Now we are looking at Greece/Croatia or Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first cruise with Norwegian. We've sailed with other cruise lines that we have enjoyed very much and were excited to try Norwegian. Although we had a wonderful time despite many issues, I'm not a fan of the ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Norwegian. We've sailed with other cruise lines that we have enjoyed very much and were excited to try Norwegian. Although we had a wonderful time despite many issues, I'm not a fan of the Breakaway. I want to start by saying the the Breakaway has an outstanding staff who were, for the most part, friendly and helpful. They made our cruise great. Our issues are not with the staff, but with the ship and cruise line in general. Embarkation was disorganized as was many of the events. Most of the popular events are held in the atrium, which is far too small to host such a large crowd. The atrium is positioned directly across from guest services, which makes it very difficult to speak to guest services over the din in the crowd and event. Our biggest complaint: none of the toilets flushed properly. Some not at all. It took several pushes on the buttons to make them flush, if they were going to flush at all. On a couple of occasions, after pumping the button in vain, our room's toilet flushed on its own hours later. A 3:00am startle that I didn't appreciate. When we spoke to guest services they told us that they were aware of the problem and that it is ship wide. The Breakaway has a strange layout. Needing to venture through the liquor store to buy sunscreen? Weird. It feels like the ship was meant to be laid out differently, but was rearranged in a much less optimal fashion. The "adults only" area is only during certain hours (7:00am - 6:00pm ?) then open to all ages the rest of the time. This is the first cruise ship we've been on that didn't have a 24/7 dedicated adults only area. When I mentioned this to a staff member they suggested I hang out in the library. Was she cracking wise or sincere? I don't know. But we didn't use the adults area anyway because nearly all of it is a smoking section. Breakaway has so many smoking areas that it stinks like a dirty ashtray through most of the common areas inside of the ship. Great if you're a smoker I suppose, but I am not. Speaking of adult only areas, they allowed children to sit at the bars and in the 18+ shows. Come on now Norwegian... set some standards! Trying to order a drink at a lounge bar late at night while next to a three year old whose screaming, slapping the bar, and grabbing at the cocktail fruit behind the bar was a new experience. Not one I want to repeat. A bright spot: The show "Rock of Ages" was magnificent! Credit where it is due; this was one of the best shows we've seen on a cruise. Likewise the comedic magician Jean-Pierre Parent was fabulous! And we really enjoyed Dylan Mandlsohn in the comedy club. No complaints about Norwegian's shows. Disembarkation was a nightmare. I have not ever been through such a cluster of a debarkation in all of my cruises - and we have sailed on ships with many more guests than the Breakaway. Norwegian just doesn't seem to know how to handle crowds. The disembarkation winding through the smoke filled areas of the ship was bad enough, but then they dumped us out into a thunderstorm without any cover. So here I am, already ill with something I contracted on-board the ship, now wheezing from the stinking smoke filled ship, dumped out in a thunderstorm to be drenched, and then dumped back into another air conditioned building where I am now wet, cold, and sick. Not a great impression to leave with a guest. Again, the staff of the Breakaway was the very best part of the cruise. They are amazing people. The staterooms were comfortable and the food was good. The excursions were a blast even if they were a bit disorganized to start. We had a good time despite the disorganization and lack of properly functioning toilets. However, Norwegian will not be a cruise line we first consider in the future. Maybe a third or forth choice, but no where near our first. Maybe it was just the Breakaway, but I'm not spending my hard earned money to find out. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the ages of kids camp - kids activities! We were disappointed! The kids camps had way too many rules! My kids have cruised at least once a year for their entire life and they hated the kids clubs! This is the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ages of kids camp - kids activities! We were disappointed! The kids camps had way too many rules! My kids have cruised at least once a year for their entire life and they hated the kids clubs! This is the first cruise that they did not enjoy the camps! (They have cruise ncl two other times and we did not find it to be so restrictive as this time!) Main dining food was just okay but the add on dinners were amazing!! Comedians were amazing! Sids Pour house(forget full name) has amazing shows! Dialing pianos were great! We also booked “Velvet” and wish we had not taken our youngest to it- definitely not appropriate for kids! The show was great, though. Food was okay. 12152 and 12154 never went 12 hours without having to call maintenance to fix the flushing mechanism for toilet! It was a pain to not have a working toilet all the time!! Feel bad for anyone who gets those rooms until they fix the problem! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Coming previously from the Oasis of the Seas from Royal Carribbean, I had high expectations. Comparing Norwegian to Royal Caribbean, it has left me rating Norwegian as just ok. The food is comparable, not much of a difference on this front ... Read More
Coming previously from the Oasis of the Seas from Royal Carribbean, I had high expectations. Comparing Norwegian to Royal Caribbean, it has left me rating Norwegian as just ok. The food is comparable, not much of a difference on this front - both are great! The bartenders are WAY better on Royal Caribbean... when you request a single in a tall glass, they will actually give you this. I had multiple occasions where I had to fight with the bartenders on the Breakaway to reduce the amount of alcohol in my drinks, and sometimes to completely remake them. They simply made them way too strong - and this is a common complaint from many fellow cruisers we came across. When we got to Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, there was this "tender" process which was a complete nightmare. Luckily we overheard another family in the dining hall talking about signing up for a tender slot and were able to obtain letter E. Which meant we got on the island for around 12:15-12:30 (keep in mind, we arrived at 11). It was absolutely ridiculous that they still have not built a pier for this island and had to load the entire ship onto these tender boats both ways. Other cruisers were furious that we met with this process as 1/3 of their island time was taken up from this process. The pool was super small, and every day was completely packed. We were not able to use it once which was super disappointing. The rope courses require a sleeved shirt (despite the sign saying participants "should" wear a sleeved shirt, not making it mandatory). So I was unable to participate since the staff would not allow anything other than sleeves. My tank top which covered the entire shoulders was not enough and I was denied use (the straps were about the width of my hand). Lesson learned to pack actual "t-shirts" opposed to tanks and dresses going forward. On a more positive note... Josh, the shopping guide was AMAZING and was the best part of our vacation. He really goes above and beyond for guests on the ship. Any issues, he made sure they were resolved beyond expectations. The specialty dining was also well worth it, it was wonderful to sit outside for a few romantic meals in the evening. Overall, the trip was just ok. We have decided to go back to Royal Caribbean going forward as any issues they would go above and beyond to resolve it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise for a mother daughter trip. Mom 62, DH’s 38 & 36. We started with a good embarkation. Day 1 Arrived at port June 2 at 10am and we were onboard by 10:30. So my platinum status was doing well. We headed to ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a mother daughter trip. Mom 62, DH’s 38 & 36. We started with a good embarkation. Day 1 Arrived at port June 2 at 10am and we were onboard by 10:30. So my platinum status was doing well. We headed to the coffee shop for a nice cold coffee. Ate lunch in Taste it was good. We were in our state room a mini balcony suite 11234 by 12:15. Nice space for 3. I really liked the double sink and large shower. Room Seward never did introduce himself but had several opportunities that day. Dinner at cagneys started our many mishaps. For One of my daughters I had bought her a four meal plan (other daughter was on my three free dinner plan). Cagneys couldn’t find the four meal plan purchased so they just said they’d charge al cart. I was to have my concierge adjust it later. We had excellent steaks, kinda odd that the one prime rib had a piece of fat bigger than a fillet. Never heard from concierge that day. No towel animals that night. Girls missed that just because it’s a cruising thing. Day 2 sea day- getting ready in the morning we blow a fuse? On the vanity so no plug ins to use. This was at 8 am. So we leave a note thinking they’d fix it when they make up the room. Going back to room several times during day. Room not done. It took 7 hours to clean but still no electricity. So I called the front desk and asked if it could please get done by 4 pm so we could get ready for dinner. At 4:15 it was fixed. So when they made up room they left a blue wet rag laying on my packing cube, never replaced dirty towels with clean ones, never made up couch for third person, and no towel animals again. So I had to call guest services again. Still never met room steward or concierge that day Saw burn the floor in theater it was good. After the show officers were introduced. One was in charge of towel animals. My girls looked at me cause I thought maybe they did away with them. Nope! Day 3- San Juan day. room service finally got things together after this day. Maybe we had a new one? Called concierge about daughters meal plan. He found it so I wasn’t crazy about purchasing it before cruise. We ate in o’Sheehans that day. Had my favorite Shepard’s pie. It was cold and potato’s on top were dry as a bone. Girls went zip lining and had a great time. I left a note on couch in evening for turn down service Towel animals? We have towel animals!! Day 4-St Thomas. We took kon tiki party barge and went to water island beach. Beach wasn’t that nice. Not a lot of chairs. We ate at the Manhattan dining room. Very nice Day 5-Tortola. We took Land and sea. Saw beautiful scenery. Ate at margaritaville for lunch which was a mistake. It took 1 1/2 hours to get all of our food. Which was good once we got it. Never again unless it’s free! Ate at le bistro for supper . Excellent food Day 6 relaxing sea day. We attended wine lovers the musical at noon. Show was excellent. We had a very rude group of women next to us visit the whole time loudly. My daughter and I asked our waitress twice if they could be told to keep it down. After the show was over a couple of ladies congratulated us for not knocking their blocks off. lol. They were so rude but we still liked the show. Had supper at Cagneys with my platinum status coupon. Again excellent food. Day 7- great stirrup cay. We had a small cabana and were told we had priority tender but it never happened. But I heard from other people that it took 2 hours to get off the ship. We enjoyed the beach and cabana. Headed back to look in shops before last tenders at 5. So it was 4 but the line was so long we just got in it. It took 45 minutes of waiting in line under very hot sun to tender back. My daughter had an umbrella so that helped. Would have loved to spent more time at the cabana but with the tendering situation it wasn’t all that worth it. Saw rock of ages. So good! We ate in moderno that night. Kinda a slow experience but good. So after this cruise with Norwegian I’m thinking of trying celebrity. I spoke with my concierge several times on the phone but never once did he contact me. I’m a platinum member but didn’t really feel it this time. This was my 14th ncl cruise and my 31st overall cruise. So I’m not a newby and usually not a complainer. But I just had to step in and voice my concerns way too many times this cruise. I didn’t have time to check my bill before we left but that one dinner that my daughter was charged for at cagneys was still on there after the concierge said he’d take care of it. My fault for not looking. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Overall, we were disappointed in this cruise. We had such a great time last year on the Getaway, we were expecting the same experience, but there were quite a few things that were lacking this time. 1) Embarkation was really easy, and ... Read More
Overall, we were disappointed in this cruise. We had such a great time last year on the Getaway, we were expecting the same experience, but there were quite a few things that were lacking this time. 1) Embarkation was really easy, and fast. Our luggage arrived in our room earlier than expected also, which was nice. 2) The free bottle of champagne in the room for being a Latitudes member is a nice gesture, but the champagne was absolutely awful! It tasted like dishwater - we could not drink it. 3) Overall, the crew members on this cruise just were not very friendly. We saw very few smiles, friendly interaction, etc. Last time, everyone we saw (water slide attendents, the washy washy people, waiters, etc.) all smiled and said "Hi" and welcomed us, joked with us, etc. This time, very few people were friendly. The few that did stood out. Everyone else just seemed like they were going through the motions, especially the bartenders. They barely looked at us when taking the order and acted like they just wanted to get rid of us. Many times we had to flag down a waiter to get more water - they never came to check on us. 4) The bathrooms by the pool area and by the theater were often messy, out of toilet paper, soap, etc. I know these are busy areas, but they should be restocked often. 5) Our shore excursion on St. Thomas got messed up. I had reserved parasailing for 2:45, but the tickets we got on board were for 11:45, which conflicted with our Sapphire Beach excursion, so we had to cancel. I didn't have access on board, but at home I checked, and I have the confirmation for 2:45. Our kids were very disappointed to miss parasailing. There were no openings to reschedule. 6) It was discouraging to arrive at Great Stirrup Cay, and see Royal Carribbean's island right next to it, with all the fun stuff there, and not have any of that on Norweigian's island. The waterpark, the hot air balloon, etc is easily visible, but there are no activities like that on Great Stirrup Cay. 7) There was some wind and a threat of a storm, I believe, so my husband and son's jet ski reservation got cancelled, and all other times that afternoon were also cancelled, even though the weather cleared up. I understand if there are currents, other issues, etc. that might have affected it. But, the attendants were so rude about it! When my husband was told their reservation was cancelled, he simply asked if there would be any other times available in the afternoon, and they rudely said "No, ALL reservations are cancelled!" No explanation, etc. 8) The tender system back to the ship at Great Stirrup Cay needs work. We were there from 11-5:30, with the last tender at 5. I thought I would be plenty early getting ready to leave at 4. The line for the tender was incredibly long, the boarding process took forever, the disembarking process also was really long, so I ended up not getting back to the ship until 5:15. It should not take 1 hour 15 min to get back to the ship! That totally cuts into the time that could be spent on the island, if we have to cut it short by that amount of time! 9) The comedians were awesome - really enjoyed the shows and the comedy magician. Did not enjoy Rock of Ages at all - too campy. We did not see Velvet, as that also seemed very campy. 10) Paquito, the cruise director, while very professional and informative, was not "fun." We had Zach on our previous cruise, and he was hilarious! Was not the same experience. 11) We're big Bingo fans, but seriously, they did the exact same jokes that we heard last year on the Getaway. Do they all get the same script? It's incredibly boring and repetitive to hear the same things over and over. 12) Disembarkation was absolutely awful. There were delays in the terminal (not sure whether that was from Norwegian's side or customs) but the line to disembark was ridiculously long. It wound all the way around O'Sheenans back and forth through the casino, then out. Luckily, we were not in a rush, but I can't imagine if we had a flight to catch! Then, we were led out onto the deck far away from the gangway, and it was pouring rain. We had to inch along the deck in the rain in that line, until we finally reached the covered gangway. We should've been led out the door closest to the gangway, given ponchos, or held inside until we could just walk right to the gangway instead of waiting in line the rain. We were absolutely soaked by the time we got inside! 13) No one said goodbye as we were in the line to disembark - the crew members we saw were talking amongst themselves, and didn't even acknowledge us. 14) Buffet/bar times - For some reason, we had a hard time getting food and drinks at certain times of day. We always seemed to miss the meal times at the buffet, and it was always snack time when we wanted to get some food, especially in the afternoon. Since the snack stuff is the same every day, it got incredibly repetitive. A couple nights after a show, or whatever, we tried to find a bar to get frozen drinks at, and a lot of the bars were closed, and the few that were open were so incredibly busy that I couldn't get close enough to order the drinks. Besides the fact that the bartenders would never look up to see who wanted to order. We didn't have this problem last time, so I'm not sure if the hours were different, or we just had bad luck? 15) Our cabin steward, Dasy (not sure if that the correct spelling) was awesome. He was very accomodating, and worked around our schedule several times when the kids slept in really long. 16) We knew going in that the Breakaway was the sister ship of the Getaway, and knew that many things were similar. But I found it a bit boring, because it was pretty much exactly the same. I felt like we were on the same cruise again (with the exceptions listed above.) Maybe change things up a little between ships? Some different restaurants, or something? We would not want to repeat that again, so will not be cruising on either ship again. 17) The adult pool is way too small. I never wanted to go there because people were packed in there like sardines! It was soooo crowded, it was claustrophobic. 18) The website is hard to use in some instances. When I ran into issues, it is very difficult to find ways to get in contact with Norwegian without having to call (and wait on hold forever.) The few email links I found did not work. The survey they sent to me after the cruise crashed with an error, and I was unable to get back to the page I wanted. For the first time, I was happy to be heading home, rather than having "cruise depression" as usual. :-( Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
The Breakaway was very clean, the staff on board was pleasant. The dining experience was exceptionally well. We dined at Cagney’s, which is one of the ala carte restaurants. I definitely recommend booking a reservation here. They have ... Read More
The Breakaway was very clean, the staff on board was pleasant. The dining experience was exceptionally well. We dined at Cagney’s, which is one of the ala carte restaurants. I definitely recommend booking a reservation here. They have options for everyone. We also ate at the French restaurant Le Bistro. Small and romantic- dress code applies. The other nights we ate between Taste and Savor. We chose this cruise because of the destination. All 3 ports were amazing. I had no expectations, but it was very enjoyable. Nobody was pushing you to buy things, and everyone was so nice. We did a non NCL tour in San Juan, PR. it was with a company called "Taste of San Juan." We walked and ate on our tour. Our tour guide was very personable and he explained everything, and gave us the history if he knew it. St. Thomas we did the skyride and then the Champagne Cataraman snorkel on the dancing dolphin - through NCL. that was an awesome experience as well. if you like to check out the beautiful landscape/ocean/and ocean life. this is the excursion for you. Tortola we just hung out and did the island beach break. our taxi bus driver was cool, he told us alot of the history and answered questions people had about the island. once you get to the beach you pay $5 per chair and umbrella and swim in the ocean or catch some rays. You are pretty much on your own until it is time to leave. There are resturants and bars along the beach and water activites you can do for a price. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Though it was a good buy to beautiful Bermuda - but was mistaken -the actual cost was nearly three times the ad price.. .Low quality, not fun and they actually yelled at us customers! Buyer beware - use a travel agent. At departure off ... Read More
Though it was a good buy to beautiful Bermuda - but was mistaken -the actual cost was nearly three times the ad price.. .Low quality, not fun and they actually yelled at us customers! Buyer beware - use a travel agent. At departure off the ship at 7:45 am, they had us jammed in the elevator area with our luggage and squished further as more people came out the elevators for more than 20 minutes! They yelled at us as we tried to get out of one another's way in the congestion! Very stress full, uncomfortable and unnecessary for our last impression. My other three cruise you just walk off the ship. The water slides were frequently down for repair and when the were running the water flow was so low you hardly slid at all more like crawling down the slide. The Atrium area was often very congested because of poor design and the lack of space on the ship. The entertainment was often poor . Things were canceled often. Some were just sales tricks to get your money. Choir of Man and After Midnight were very good shows ! The food was fair to poor. Twice I got fishy salmon. Food was often over cooked and dry. They give out very small piece of watermelon infrequently. The deserts are mostly just puddings. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Dedicated NCL membersDisembarkation took 3 hours. They lost our souvenirs which they were holding for us and then were nasty about it. Two nights for dinner at Cagneys were fair at best. Our potatoes came first followed 10 minutes later ... Read More
Dedicated NCL membersDisembarkation took 3 hours. They lost our souvenirs which they were holding for us and then were nasty about it. Two nights for dinner at Cagneys were fair at best. Our potatoes came first followed 10 minutes later by our steaks which were not cooked properly. Dinner at La Cucina was not up to par. Food came late again. The first 7 nights were otherwise great. Dinner at Le Bistro and the Manhattan room were terrific. We were invited to a beer tasting which was great. We have travelled on the Escape four times and the first 3 were excellent which is why we went back again. Embarkation was smooth and our room was ready and the luggage came timely. The regular General Manager Deepak was not on the ship this time and I wonder if the service slipped because of this. We will come back hoping this was an isolated incident. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
My spouse and I took this exact same cruise at the exact same time last year and it was, hands down, the best cruise we'd ever taken. When we booked this cruise earlier in the year, we were very excited at the thought of matching ... Read More
My spouse and I took this exact same cruise at the exact same time last year and it was, hands down, the best cruise we'd ever taken. When we booked this cruise earlier in the year, we were very excited at the thought of matching last year's cruise. Sadly, there was a stark difference in the two cruises and we were left with a feeling of disappointment in some areas. In others, this ship shined. For transparency, we tend to sail in the Haven. This year was no exception. Not because we are rich. We are far from it. But I am disabled and have health challenges. For that reason, we budget every year to insure that we are able to travel in a way that's most comfortable for me...and in a way that allows me to get the best experience possible out of our travel. We are not "snooty," nor are we "entitled." However, when you pay a premium, you do expect that "premium" to be delivered. About 3 weeks prior to our cruise, I emailed the pre-cruise concierge, as directed, for any requests that may make our cruise more enjoyable. In that email, I explained that due to severe allergies, we are not able to have fresh flowers in our room, nor are we able to have any kind of feather bedding as they cause significant allergic reactions. I received an email response assuring me that this request would be handled prior to embarkation. Embarkation was close to flawless and we were told our room was ready as soon as we boarded. We were staying in a Haven Spa Suite and it was nice. However, when we walked in, we noticed a vase of wilted and dying flowers....obviously left over from the prior cruise. Not a huge deal...we figured we'd give it to our room steward when we met him. The ice bucket had lukewarm melted water in it....presumedly from the prior cruise that ended earlier that day. There was only one towel, and one bathrobe. There was no bottle of champagne on ice as we were told there would be...and as there was last year. Individually, not a huge deal...but adding it up, it was a little disappointing. Shortly thereafter, our room steward arrived and we spoke with him about the flowers, etc. He apologized for the oversights, said he'd fix them by the time we returned from lunch and assured us that the room was feather free. That was the big part for us, so we were grateful. After the first night, my spouse woke up with a pretty intense allergy attack. Since the vents were on the ceiling, we figured it was the air ducts and the air circulation. We were assured that the room was de-feathered, so we didn't think that was the problem. For the next 5 nights, our allergies were pretty intense. We were living on allergy medicine and continued to chalk it up to the air conditioning. By day 6, I was beyond miserable. At that point, I took a closer look at the pillows. All but one were exactly what we needed. The last one, all feather. We called our room steward to ask him to please change it, but he was unavailable. So we called our butler.....who, up until that time, we had seen, maybe 3 times the entire cruise...who informed us that our room steward was on break and would handle when he came back during the nightly turndown. We called about it just after noon. After explaining that the allergic response was making us pretty miserable, he did send someone in his place to change out the bedding. We vacated the room so that could happen. Our allergies never cleared up and we realized on the morning that we left, that while there was no feather bedding ON the bed, they had stored all the feather bedding UNDER the bed. It was pretty awful. Adding to that frustration, we had to ask almost daily for fresh ice...and the only thing we asked of our butler was to have cookies in the evening. He promised cookies every night. They came once. We didn't ask anything else of him....we didn't order room service....we did not dine in our room...he was pretty much non-existent. He did, however, show up on the morning of debarkation to collect his tip. Again, I need to stress....we are NOT snooty. We weren't asking for outlandish things. We asked for next to nothing. But we paid a premium for a certain service and that service didn't deliver. It was even more disappointing because we do work so hard to afford that level of service. For it not to be there, cast a bit of a shadow on our week. Especially with the allergy/feather situation. The rest of the cruise was AMAZING!! We loved Cagney's and Moderno. We also enjoyed Food Republic. It's a different concept but enjoyable nonetheless. The only exception was Bayamo. We didn't enjoy Bayamo as much as we'd hoped and probably wouldn't return. The Garden Cafe was perfect for what we needed it for, and we enjoyed dining at Taste one night as well. As for the entertainment.....for the second year, Choir of Man was absolutely incredible!! We also saw Melinda Doolittle's solo show in the Supper Club....and that was one of the most enjoyable evenings of our cruise. She was very warm, engaging, and very friendly. It was a very cool thing to be able to talk with her a bit after her show as well. I was really pulling for her when she was on American Idol, so it really was a thrill to see her perform. We didn't see any other shows as it was an early night most nights for us. We met some really great people through the meet and greet/slot pull/cabin crawl. We had a great time with them. Blackjack was very kind to us, but we seemed to give our winnings back to the slot machines!!! We loved karaoke nights as well. The pools were crowded as they normally are....but the slides seemed to be popular. We did not use the Haven pool area, but we did use the sundeck in the Haven once or twice and that was pretty relaxing. The Haven restaurant was also very good. Bermuda was beautiful as always. We took the free ferry over to St. Georges and headed to Tobacco Bay. That was a beautiful area. We seemed to luck out as we heard that Horseshoe Bay was filled with Portuguese Man-O-War which made it difficult to swim. In fact, someone from our Cruise Critic group was stung and from what we heard, had to be treated at the hospital. I'm not sure we'll do this itinerary again. We love cruising out of NY because we are local and flying is challenging for me. But I think we'll try something elsewhere next year. We are firm believers in vacations being exactly what you make them to be...and in that sense, we had a magical week onboard the Escape. But the service...or lack thereof...did make things challenging for us most of the time. And that part, was probably the most disappointing aspect of our cruise. Will be sail NCL again? Absolutely. Will we sail the Escape again? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We loved this cruise and the boat was amazing. The staff were very helpful and kind. Our cabin was always clean and the public areas were also always clean. We only had a few suggestions. The speciality resturants were amazing. The food ... Read More
We loved this cruise and the boat was amazing. The staff were very helpful and kind. Our cabin was always clean and the public areas were also always clean. We only had a few suggestions. The speciality resturants were amazing. The food was good but we waited a long time for food when we went. We actaully missed a show we had scheduled because the meal took so long. They book us for another night to see the show but it wasn't when we wanted to go. Also we were on deck 15. Spa mini suit with balcony. While most of the time we did not hear the action from the pool deck above us we did hear it sum. If you are on deck 15 you will be fine but given a choice I would choose deck 14 or 13. We had the spa package and hosntley didn't use the spa that much. It was nice and very clean but mostly used by older folks and the heated lounge chairs were hard to get. I am not sure I would pay again for the spa room. If you want to lay inside a lot consider doing it but other than that it wasn't amazing. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Chose this cruise because with it having only one port of call I was able to commit to some much needed R & R. Cruise over all was excellent. NCL was very kind and gracious to support our CC Meet and Greet Group and they, I will say, ... Read More
Chose this cruise because with it having only one port of call I was able to commit to some much needed R & R. Cruise over all was excellent. NCL was very kind and gracious to support our CC Meet and Greet Group and they, I will say, did an outstanding job at hosting us. The cruise met our needs. 5 start accommodations, food and entertainment all the way. My only not so positive feedback rests in the increasing number of pay per use restaurants; I feel they are becoming a bit over kill and the fee structure they have in place for the drink package could use some tweaking. ie. my spouse, for religious reasons, does not consume alcohol however eligibility for the (included) drink package relies on both occupants in the cabin purchasing it. As well, the gratuity fee that was asked of me to pay upfront I felt was excessive given the amount I drink. I opted to pay for drinks as I went along and my bar bill turned out to be less than what I would have paid for the upfront gratuities for one person. I feel a better situation would be that when the cruise line is offering a free drink package that it is contingent on the fact that with each drink ordered on the ship that the cruiser knows that he/she will be billed a ie 20% gratuity fee thus the gratuities would be more fairly charged out. My only other last bit of feedback rests in the fact that the past 3 NCL cruises I have taken - not once did our cabin steward introduce him/herself - no customer relations / friendliness on that level. This has left me wondering if this is actually NCL's intention that stewards stay clear of patrons or minimize their interactions?? My historical experience with other cruise lines has been that stewards introduce themselves on the first day, provide assurance that if there is anything needed to let them know and are friendly with hello/have a nice day etc on a daily basis. All other staff on the ship were over the top professional, respectful and friendly. Thank you. Read Less
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