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Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise as chance to sail out of town for a few days. Port Canaveral is convenient for us being that we are FL residents. Although we'd been to the Bahamas before, we elected to give it a try as this sailing also included ... Read More
We chose this cruise as chance to sail out of town for a few days. Port Canaveral is convenient for us being that we are FL residents. Although we'd been to the Bahamas before, we elected to give it a try as this sailing also included a visit to NCL's private island; Great Stirrup Cay. Alrighty, onto the review... The boarding process was easy but took longer than we thought it would. We were not uncomfortable though. The port is nice and air conditioned and we made idle chit chat while we waited for our turn to board. Once our group number was called, we boarded promptly and headed to the food. We sat in the Moderno area which had a smaller buffet but it was fresh and not as crowded as the Garden Cafe side which also had a buffet. As we ate lunch, we heard the announcement over the intercom that 'our rooms were not yet ready' and 'please wait until 1:30 when we tell you you can go to yours room'. You could drop your luggage off at one of the bars (Can't remember which one) if you wanted to be free of it. There was music piped into each of the dining area which is generally a nice thing. Once you start hearing the same songs a second time, you know you've been sitting in the same spot for a while. We took a short walk around the ship. It doesn't take long to explore this ship. It's small but it's spaces are used wisely. We wandered around for a bit stopping to play a game of shuffleboard and try our hand at the driving range. I missed the fact that there was no mini golf on this ship. I'm not sure where they'd put it though. We visited the Park West Gallery folks and guessed the weight on the sculpture (we did not win). Our first dinner experience was at Cagney's Steakhouse. The guys got the filet mignon and lobster tail. Both were fabulous and prepared properly. The gals had the seafood platter which was not out-of-this-world but not bad. The red snapper was a tad dry and the calamari was underdone. Also on the seafood platter were scallops and shrimp, both of which were tasty. I ordered the truffle fries which are merely french fries with truffle oil drizzled on them, nothing to write home about. Dessert was good. None of us were going to be hungry anytime soon. Toward the end of our dining experience at the steakhouse, a couple was seated. The Mrs. was clearly intoxicated and her head lolled sloppily from side to side while she babbled merrily to the guy seated at a nearby table. Who knew we were getting dinner and a show!? Our first port was Great Stirrup Cay which is a tender port. I felt that the tendering process was slow compared to others. I do understand though. It's best to load the tender as full as possible as not to waste gas. We sat and chatted with some of the others on the boat while we all waited for it to be full. The ride to Great Stirrup Cay is super short and we got there quickly despite the long wait for our tender to depart to its destination. We found no issue in claiming 4 loungers together. The beach was ours for a couple hours and didn't start filling up until lunchtime. Lunch was pretty good as far as buffet food goes. There were plenty of fresh fruit and salad items and several different meat options such as hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, and chicken. Desserts were also fine and could be found in a different area than the rest of the lunch buffet so you didn't have to wait in line again just to get a piece of cake. As a person with a sweet tooth I thought this was a smart feature. There were a few different bars serving drinks, however, there were still long lines at times. This process could be improved by offering a non alcoholic drink station near the beach. There is a drink station like this but it is located near the lunch buffet (with the desserts) which is a short walk from the actual beach area. Still, I liked the overall set-up of the private island. It also has a shopping area which is small and in my opinion, somewhat overpriced. It was nice not to be hounded to 'come into my shop', etc. The shop keepers were quiet but ready to answer questions if asked. The tender boat going back to the ship took no time to fill and we were on our way not long after we were seated. We got back in plenty of time to shower, nap, and refresh ourselves before heading to dinner. For dinner the second night, we tried Le Bistro. I liked the brightness and decor of this restaurant. French music was playing softly which added a nice touch of elegance. Unfortunately, our waiter was late for work. One of his fellow waiters, a sweet lady named Maria, came over and took our order after she realized that we had been sitting there unattended for a little while. We were very appreciative. All of us were hungry. The food was slow to come out but when it did it was presented nicely and looked appetizing. I ordered the jumbo scallops and was pleased at how delicious they were. A happy photographer came to our table, before the food, and asked if we wanted pictures. No one likes to have photos with a half-eaten plate of food so we were glad he came around before the food arrived. At the end of the meal, he returned to us, with all of the photos printed so we could decide if we wanted to purchase any of them. Our table of 4 selected 2 of the photos he had taken. It's extremely rare that any of us buy dinner photos but the photographer took his time with us and got some genuine smiles. In the end that was beneficial for us and to NCL as they made 24.95 a piece for each of the photos we bought. After dinner each night, our small party met to play games and hang out together. 3 nights is really too short to get to know the piano bar entertainer or the bands on board. We decided to use our evening as family time. We found that there was never an issue locating an empty table at which we could play games. We don't generally book a cruise based upon the entertainment so I can't really report on that. We didn't experience much of it on this sailing. Our 2nd port day was in Nassau. While in Nassau, we went on the Blue Lagoon Island excursion offered by Norwegian Cruise Line. A family member of ours had been there recently and reported good things on it. We too had a positive experience and will pass on our recommendations for visiting Blue Lagoon Island. There were 4 ships in the port of Nassau on the day we visited but you wouldn't have known it until around 11am. Ours was the first tender boat to drop people off. We arrived sometime before 9am and had our pick of any chair in any of the different seating/beach areas. Visiting the dolphins and sea lions was neat. You can actually see them without needing to purchase anything additional. The next time we are there we may try the sea lion encounter. During our walkabout we could see trainers working with the animals on their different behaviors. It was pretty cool! Our 3rd and last evening on the Sun we had a reservation for Teppanyaki. Our orders were taken first and then the show ensued. NCL seems big on hand washing. The chefs at the hibatchi grill simultaneously washed their hands in front of us while singing 'The Washy-Washy' song. Their show was a hoot. Aiko was our chef. He kept us fully entertained while he prepared our dinners. My husband stuffed himself so full of dinner that he had a hard time walking back to our state room afterward! The food was very good so he ate his meal... and then nearly half of mine! Hibatchi was never a favorite of mine but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Monday morning arrived way too fast and we were all a little bummed that another cruise had come to an end. 3 nights just seemed so short but the 4 of us were grateful for a little reprieve from real life nonetheless. We had an enjoyable time, despite a few bumps that were eventually remedied, along the way. I'm not sure this sailing was the best value for our money but we are still learning what suits us as well as what works and what doesn't as far as our cruising wants and needs go so it was good to try something new. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Let me start by telling you that this was my 30th cruise. I have sailed on a few different cruise ships and always come back to Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. I have heard from a great deal of people that Norwegian was usually middle aged ... Read More
Let me start by telling you that this was my 30th cruise. I have sailed on a few different cruise ships and always come back to Royal Caribbean or Celebrity. I have heard from a great deal of people that Norwegian was usually middle aged as myself. Always had good service, food, nice ships and comparable prices. All of this is very much overstated, and here's why. These cruises are overpriced to cover the cost of alcoholic drinks. Included in your total ticket price everyone gets to drink as much as you want for free. Now, for you inexperienced, armature drinkers, as my daughter referred to them as, I'm sure this sounds awesome to say the least. Free drinks only accomplishes one thing, drunk party hardy people. If this is your thing great, go for it. Norwegian reminds me of Carnival ships. The ships are for young people who have one thing in mind, getting drunk and partying the entire time. The boos was flowing freely and yes I had a few as well. I never once saw anyone get carded. Now, I can't say for sure but, some looked very young. I went to the bar and was able to get two drinks at once. How do they know I didn't give it to a minor? This is concerning to me. I would say that 50% of the people were teens to early twenties, 30% 30's and 40's,the rest were 50 and up. I have an 8 day cruise planned with a balcony on Royal Caribbean and the cost is 400.00 cheaper than this 3 day cruise! Again, they have to offset the alcohol. My cabin had a big window which was nice, the room was an OK size, the bathroom was so tiny even a mouse would be chasing his tail! I'm a small woman and it was uncomfortable for me. The rooms were clean but, the oldness of the ship shows. It is in badly need of an overhaul. Oh, and it had no outlets for cells, kindle etc. Food was terrible, the taste was not good at all, the deserts were pretty good. My husband asked for a medium steak and it was tough as nails. They did give him another choice which was OK. the waiters were extremely slow and it was not crowded. I found the entertainment very poor and lacking. The comedy show was the best and only one we enjoyed. The service was terrible in my opinion. I never had one person greet me.No was was at the gang way even to tell people which way to go, the same was when we disembarked the ship. I have no idea who are room attendant was because he/she never came by to at the last introduce themselves. I may be spoiled by Royal and Celebrity, there customer service is impeccable!. They care about there passengers. Something that we rarely see these days. We the public are the ones who keep cruises in business and everything else for that matter. Customer service ought to be the first on everyone's mind. I can't comment on the excursions because we didn't take any after being in the Bahamas several times in the past. Several people we spoke to were very dissatisfied as we were. We spoke to a couple who were in their early 30's and even they complained. So this is not so much age related as it is about quality and customer service. Taken into consideration that this is an older ship i understand some things. Would we go on Norwegian again?, NO. I'd like to say I'd try a different ship but, will customer service change? prices? drinking? In my opinion no, because they have now set the bar with free alcohol being the number one promotion! My advise, check prices, if your a heavy duty drinker it might be good for you. If your looking to drink and party and don't care about what the ship offers including customer service then you found your cruise. ES Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I have been on 7 carnival cruises and I have enjoying every single one of them. This cruise was very dirty, the boat was very old, and there was rust everywhere. The bartenders at every single bar I'm not exaggerating were so rude ... Read More
I have been on 7 carnival cruises and I have enjoying every single one of them. This cruise was very dirty, the boat was very old, and there was rust everywhere. The bartenders at every single bar I'm not exaggerating were so rude gave you an attitude every single time you order to drink I overheard one of them telling another bartender the good thing about this cruise is it's almost over. Our Room Stewart took our towels out of our Room and never brought them back we were quested new ones never got them twice I asked for them.. My boyfriend ordered a drink at the alchemy bar 1 of the bartenders accidentally hit a drink in the glass shattered and the drink spilled all over me and my boyfriend and she gave us an attitude about it he apologized even though it was her fault and she rolled her eyes I contacted get services and they only offered me a $50 on board Credit. We bought the Cheers program faster to the fun and our tickets and together we spent about 4000 $ on this cruise and we got the worst service I could have imagined we tipped over the gratuity and still got bad service we never saw anyone smile which is unlikely, like I said I have cruised with carnival pleanty of times before. I have video proof and images of the staff being so nasty and rude I will never cruise this ship again and tbh how the customer care lacked to take care of this I doubt I'll ever cruise carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
When I began the cruise experience with the company my expectations were extremely high due to the reviews I had read. Not being able to go to Cuba was a huge let down and knowing we were not going due to unforeseen circumstances was ... Read More
When I began the cruise experience with the company my expectations were extremely high due to the reviews I had read. Not being able to go to Cuba was a huge let down and knowing we were not going due to unforeseen circumstances was understandable but at the same time I was traveling with a group of 13 including myself and some were not able to get in contact with the travel agent. I was told one thing about onboard credits and when we arrived on the Sky it was completely different from staff members. Some staff members were rude and instead of being friendly they either ignored me or rolled there eyes. Which is completely unacceptable due to me on a cruise on vacation with a large group. Also when we arrived I'm the main point of contact for the group of 13 which means I brought alot of people some who hadn't cruise before to enjoy this time with me and to get the experience which for some they weren't impressed. Breakdown from start to finish. Get out of the car we are greeted with someone who is taking our bags then they say can I get a complimentary tip (as if its a demand). We then get to the security area where they what I thought was 1 person working I look over to find that there is another line open but the employee isn't saying anything to anyone. I arrive at check in which the person doesn't even give me a map of the ship just a key card and tells me my room number. Get on Board not alot of people saying anything other than hello. No knowledge of a specific location to go to for food. Yes we have the app but we are also not trying to be tied to our phones (WE ARE ON VACATION). CREDITS FOR EXCURSIONS..... They were per room instead of per person. My cabin mate was a friend of mine and it should of at least been split down the middle. They just did things as if everyone was a couple and that wasn't the case for many in my group. Food: Not the best and were on repeat which got old after being on a boat by like day 2. Service overall: Guest service slightly rude Cafeteria staff very rude Crew working the floor we stayed on were the most polite and very attentive. Overall not the best and not very happy I have a $250 credit with them due to not staying with our actual course. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We found this cruise and the price was pretty cheap for a short getaway. The ship is in pretty good shape for her age. I want to add that I was all over the ship for five days and never smelled sewage once. We were in cabin U90, a Grand ... Read More
We found this cruise and the price was pretty cheap for a short getaway. The ship is in pretty good shape for her age. I want to add that I was all over the ship for five days and never smelled sewage once. We were in cabin U90, a Grand Suite with extended balcony. The dining room and buffet food was less than average. The saving grace was Guy's Burgers and The Blue Iguana. Both are great. We only saw the comedians so I can't comment on the rest of the shows. We enjoyed the comedians. Very funny! We couldn't even get near the pool. It was completely full all day and all night. Kids took over the hot tubs. The hot tubs in Serenity were always full as well. Our cabin steward was wonderful. He always made sure we had everything we needed. The service in the dining room was pretty bad. They didn't seem to want to be there at all. The service everywhere else on the ship was hit or miss. Quite a few of the crew were crabby and acted like they were bothered with having to do their jobs. The biggest complaint I had is that rules are not enforced. Parents let their kids run wild all over the ship unsupervised. Running and screaming in the halls, not using tongs and touching food in the buffet, playing with the ice cream machines. Crew members just watched them do it and said nothing. The kids on this cruise were the worst I've ever seen. I won't do this cruse again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I researched ship, cruise ports and excursions for this cruise ahead of time. The oceanview stateroom was fine no complaints other than minor cosmetic issues. The entertainment was ok. I really enjoyed the comedy show. Re-entering the ship ... Read More
I researched ship, cruise ports and excursions for this cruise ahead of time. The oceanview stateroom was fine no complaints other than minor cosmetic issues. The entertainment was ok. I really enjoyed the comedy show. Re-entering the ship from port was quick with no issues. The food in the buffet was not not but rather just warm enough to tolerate if you at right away. Some in my group complained that their food was cold. The cruise lines offered a shuttle service to airport however, there was only 1 shuttle and if you had to claim luggage, you may have missed the shuttle. I was a little disappointed that there was no adult pool area or quiet cabanas on this ship. There was a smaller kiddie pool in the front of the ship. I think that this could have been the adult area rather than the kiddie area. I did snorkeling on the private island for $30 but later found that if you brought your own mask it was much cheaper. When I purchased the excursion there was not an option to bring personal equipment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our second trip on the Victory. This sailing was to Key West and Cozumel, while the previous trip was a few years back from NY to Canada. On this most recent sailing, we noticed areas that were dirty, rusted or otherwise ... Read More
This was our second trip on the Victory. This sailing was to Key West and Cozumel, while the previous trip was a few years back from NY to Canada. On this most recent sailing, we noticed areas that were dirty, rusted or otherwise somewhat neglected since the previous sailing. We had the feeling that the crew are letting things slide a bit because they know the Victory is scheduled for a major overhaul in the near future. Nothing too terrible, but wall paneling was worn and stained in our cabin and in some public areas, cushions on lounge chairs were worn out and sometimes missing, toilets and fixtures were stained. None of the issues were so bad that I would avoid cruising on Victory, but just know you're sailing on an old vessel that's ready for an update. And speaking of the need for updates, there are a few areas that really show their age due to old/bad design. For example, the buffet on the Lido deck is organized in such a way that during popular times, lines will run out of the dining room, and there were a couple times with long waits at the buffet. We tried to avoid it when possible, but on both embarkation and debarkation days, as well as when returning from the short day in Key West, there weren't really many other options. Also, while a Guy's Burger was added during a past update, it's location causes some traffic jams and heavy crowds in the small doorway between pool area and buffet area. Finally, if you don't smoke, the casino is an unpleasant place to visit. The ventilation is poor and the entire promenade near the casino becomes full of smoke. Hopefully, this will be fixed in the overhaul, as the smoke on the Victory was worse than on most other ships we've been on. Unfortunately, the biggest issue we had on this cruise was an unusual overabundance of rude, ignorant, entitled fellow passengers. We had guests running and screaming down the hallways at all hours of the night, packs of children congregating/loitering on stairways with no parents or supervision to be seen, guests singing on their balcony, full volume, at sunrise. And finally, there were a few guests that were smoking on nearby balconies, making our balcony an unpleasant spot to just sit and relax. Balconies are all 'no smoking', but it seems that Carnival doesn't (can't?) enforce this. Food: We had 'Your Time' dining. We found the food to be very inconsistent. On the first night, we had great appetizers, but the main entrees were nothing special. On the 2nd night, lobster (extra cost) was over-cooked, creme brulee' was very undercooked, but on the 3rd night, almost everything was cooked to perfection. I know it's tough cooking for 3000 or so guests, but it seems they are missing a bit of quality control in the kitchen. Staff: Our cabin steward was OK - friendly enough, and responsive when we had problems, but on arrival, things were a bit dirty, with some trash still in cans, hair in a couple of drawers, and greasy finger prints on the walls. I suspect this is due to the rush to 'turn over' the ship for the next arriving passengers - but again, like with the food, it seems a bit more quality control is needed here. Our dining staff were, like the meals, inconsistent. We had one group of servers that were excellent (KUDOS to Dino, Dedik, and I Made - they knew our names, refilled drinks, and were pleasant to talk to), and then the next night, we had the worst shipboard service we've ever encountered from a different group of servers, bringing food and drinks very slowly, never checking on us afterwards. Fortunately, we were able to ask for the first night's service crew for our remaining dining visits, so that was appreciated. Ports/Excursions: Since we only had a few hours on Key West, we took the provided shuttle downtown and just strolled to the usual tourist spots (Sloppy Joe's, Southernmost Spot, Hemingway House...). But it was a whirlwind of a tour since time was so short. Most disappointing was how disorganized the return shuttle to the ship was. There was a line stretching down the road of passengers waiting to board the shuttle...and that was an hour before return time, so we lost additional time on this already short visit. Since we've visited Cozumel several times before, we tried the KunChe Mayan ball game (Pok-Ta-Pok) excursion for something different. The tour guide was friendly and informative, and the excursion was interesting, with a bit of culture, a bit of sports, and included meal. Debarkation: We found Carnival's new debarkation procedure to be a bit confusing. They now debark 2 different groups, somewhat consecutively, but it was a bit unclear how it was going to go until groups were called. In short, if you carry off your bags, you're called to leave based on muster station, in reverse order (so muster station A is last). Almost simultaneously, but starting a bit after the 'bag people', are the folks that put bags out the night before. You get called based on tags that you pick up outside of the casino the night before, with an early group and a late group. What wasn't clear is how the early group is called in relation to the muster station groups - and even after going through the process, we're still not quite sure what happened :-) but we had 'early' tags for the luggage assistance group, and we were called after 4 of the muster station groups were called. And when you get to the warehouse to find your bags, be sure to check the 'decoder' sign posted near the bags, because your bag might not be where you'd expect (ie: we were group 9, but our bags were in area 'D' with many other groups). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise as an upgrade over some Carnival Ships we have been on in the past.This was a total disappointment. This was the Norwegian Sun out of Port Canaveral on 8/12/19. The main issues were that we were very late for 2 of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an upgrade over some Carnival Ships we have been on in the past.This was a total disappointment. This was the Norwegian Sun out of Port Canaveral on 8/12/19. The main issues were that we were very late for 2 of the excursions, the food was not very good and the service was poor. Original schedule was for us to arrive on the second day to Key West at 1 o’clock. We did not get off the ship into Key West until 4:45 PM and we were told to be back no later than 8 PM which is basically a three hour excursion. There were multiple guests that had activities where they used a third-party and did not get their money back or would have to apply for a refund . The next day we were supposed to be at their private island Great Stirrup Cay at 11 o’clock. We were not able to board the ferry going to the island until 3 o’clock. We also were scheduled to be coming back at 8 o’clock resulting in a another excursion cut in half . The other issue with this is when you are waiting to disembark the ship they tell you not to engage in any other activities but wait in a common area to be called. So we sat around and waited two or three hours for each of these experiences while not being able to do anything else. The food on the ship was disappointing. The buffet was like a golden corral basic food. The finer dining restaurants had a few decent dishes but it was the same identical menu available in the two fine dining restaurants. A lot of the food even in these finer dining restaurants was like cafeteria or hospital food with little flavor. The service from the staff was also an issue. The majority of the staff including bartenders and waiters was that they appeared to be annoyed by the guests and seem to have a careless attitude about providing good service. Very little smiles or acknowledgment of the guests. On several occasions in the finer restaurants the waiter would approach the table and basically say “ what do you want to order”, with no other comments or questions. In some instances we had to ask for our own beverages without being requested. I travel for a living and have been on other cruises and this was different. I understand what quality customer service is and it was not evident on this trip. When I would approach a staff member with a question no one ever seem to have an answer and the majority of the staff was not able to communicate basic english to answer common questions like “where is the bathroom”? Or “what time are we scheduled to be at our next destination?” Based on the investment we made we did expect more. We upgraded to the balcony and that was nice but felt we did not get our moneys worth. Based on this experience this will most likely be our last cruise, we have had better experiences and we’re hoping for more on this one. NCL has a reputation of being a better quality cruise line and that was not the case on this trip. I am also considering posting on blogs and sending an email to NCL voicing my frustrations. Buyer Beware-- Stay Away! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Worst cruise ever. Food was inedible and uninspired (mashed potatoes, green beans, etc) , entertainment very poor (although Comedian Landry was to be fair OK) and ship old and very dated with horrible damp mildew smell ... Read More
AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Worst cruise ever. Food was inedible and uninspired (mashed potatoes, green beans, etc) , entertainment very poor (although Comedian Landry was to be fair OK) and ship old and very dated with horrible damp mildew smell throughout our floor and in our room. But worst is that we had in our room and came back with bedbugs. I have been an NCL cruiser since 1999 but profoundly disappointed in this ship and it has soured me on the idea of sailing with NCL in the future despite being a latitudes member. They should have scuttled this ship last year rather than refurbishing it, a refurbishment which still leaves the ship very unattractive with dark common areas, and rooms were certainly not refurbished. Its hard to believe NCL owns both this disaster and Breakaway on which I have had a good experience. But after this cruise I may never sail NCL again, despite having a large amount of cash credit with them after an itinerary change beyond their control (cuba was cancelled due to change in foreign policy and ship diverted to bahamas) Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We had a fabulous cruise. We sailed on the Mariner in a grand suite and loved it. We will never go anything below a grand suite from now on. The extra perks service, and huge room and balcony are so worth it. We have previously only ... Read More
We had a fabulous cruise. We sailed on the Mariner in a grand suite and loved it. We will never go anything below a grand suite from now on. The extra perks service, and huge room and balcony are so worth it. We have previously only cruised on Oasis twice, both times in regular balcony staterooms. THE SHIP: The Mariner was better than I expected for being an older ship (relatively). A few areas smelled a little musty, but they were few and far between. Certainly not enough to ruin my vacation like some people. Overall the appearance was beautiful and clean. The renovations looks great, although I have nothing to compare it to with it being my first time on Mariner. The water slides were a lot of fun too. For us, cruising is about being on a private balcony to enjoy the ocean, and going to the ports. We do not like crowds or rowdiness. Pretty much all of the activities or bars or what-have-you are not interesting to us, therefore we do not partake in the venues or music or dancing or drinking. So take this review with that in mind. THE FOOD: I always preface cruise food reviews with the fact that I am easy to please and will eat anything. I thought the food was fine. Could it be better? Sure. Could it be a whole lot worse? You betcha. The burgers in the windjammer are A LOT better than I remember on Oasis. There also seemed to be more of a selection than I remember as well. Like a taco bar among other varieties of foods. The only real "complaint" I would have had was that the room service pancakes were literally hard as rocks. You could throw them as frisbees. LOL. But again, will that ruin my vacation? Nope, just head upstairs to the buffet and get some more. Easy peasy. You can order from the MDR for room service, and the food was good. I would have liked to have seen actual chocolate cake though. I don't care for the moussey kind with thin layers of cake. THE STATEROOM: Our grand suite was beautiful. This is the largest stateroom category we have stayed in so far. Everything was spotless and perfect. Two loungers on the balcony as well as a table and chairs (with cushions!). Our attendant was incredible. The Suite Lounge was a really great perk for us. Our concierge Sue was fabulous and helpful. There were snacks and drinks available. They had me at chocolate strawberries. The lounge was such a nice and quiet, uncrowded area of the ship. Like I said, we do not like large and loud crowds, so typically we tend to stick to our private balcony, or areas of this ship where people aren't. PORTS: Had two amazing days - one in Nassau at Blue Lagoon, and then one at Coco Cay. No complaints. In the words of Jim Halpert, "I'm not a complainer". Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
First cruise with Norwegian since a truly horrendous experience on Pride of America in 2005 on the inaugural San Francisco to Hawaii trip. You would think a hospitality business would be keen to get repeat custom but given that ... Read More
First cruise with Norwegian since a truly horrendous experience on Pride of America in 2005 on the inaugural San Francisco to Hawaii trip. You would think a hospitality business would be keen to get repeat custom but given that experience plus a truly great Garden Villa experience to Alaska in 2004, we haven't heard from then in 14 years until we decided to take a quick weekend break. With that in mind we booked two weeks before our trip and without much expectation. Overall it was a decent weekend break with the usual high points and low points. Enjoyed the inclusive drinks package and being aboard the ship in general. The ports of call were not appealing to us and we only got off briefly for 30 mins at the private island and 40 mins in Nassau. The tender service was utterly appalling being kept to wait 25 mins on the journey over and 35 mins on the way back in blazing heat. That we could cope with but we were really horrified with the fact that the tender couldn't cope with a handicapped gentleman who was clearly distressed to be wedged into the stairs as they tried to carry him up a very narrow gap. This is something that has to be addressed immediately in our opinion. The cruise was something of a booze cruise to many travelers but fortunately it wasn't too bad... or maybe the weekend we chose kept it to a minimum. That said, some evidence of loud foul mouthed drunken yobs was in evidence so prepare for that if you take this cruise. Room service was excellent although the room was a little warm when trying to sleep. Food was adequate in main dining room but poor in the buffet. The buffet itself was a mess and simply not adequate in terms of how things were laid out for the number of people on board. Other ships do this so much better. Demeanor of the staff was an overriding impression and it seemed a lot were going through the motions. I don't know if this is because they no longer get tipped on drinks or that servers now have to serve the wine / alcohol but it just seemed off. I can well understand that some servers would get disillusioned by having to do more for less rewards though. Entertainment - Rock of Ages show was good, everything else was poor. Bar singers had a captive audience ready to enjoy themselves but both of them slowed the pace down and didn't seem to know the songs apart from one verse. Pool & Other activities - Pool area was basically a meat market and very crowded. Can't imagine sharing so many germs with other humans in the pool but some seem happy to do so. A place to avoid for me though. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and overall, the cruise was fine for what we wanted. Next time we won't bother getting off the ship as we might be able to use the pool when everyone is off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We love sailing on Norwegian. The flexibility really works for us. The food is great, the activities and entertainment are fun. Everyone was friendly. I found some great places to relax and read whether I wanted sun or shade. It was ... Read More
We love sailing on Norwegian. The flexibility really works for us. The food is great, the activities and entertainment are fun. Everyone was friendly. I found some great places to relax and read whether I wanted sun or shade. It was exciting to sail out of NYC and still be in the US for our first port day. Had an excellent time in Port Canaveral. Our cabin was quiet when we wanted to sleep. It was also clean and roomy enough for two. Our steward kept it clean and well stocked all week. The restaurants had delicious food. We never waited for a table. We talked with some nice couples who were seated near us. The hostess gave us window seats when they were available. There are so many specialty restaurants to choose from. Any appetite would be happy with the choices. We are already looking for a Norwegian cruise for next summer. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because we heard great things about Carnival and their ships. It started off great because we got on the shift fast and got our room before everyone since we had a suite. After getting to the room we went to get a soda ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we heard great things about Carnival and their ships. It started off great because we got on the shift fast and got our room before everyone since we had a suite. After getting to the room we went to get a soda because we had the soda package. IT was very crowded and took nearly 15 minutes to get a soda. We were not use to having to go to the bar for sodas, since we cruises with Royal Caribbean and they had machines that allowed you to get it at anytime. We asked guest services if we can cancel it since it seemed as if it would take a long time to get each one. They said they would check and call our room wither that night or the following day, but we never got anymore information on it. The second day we got brunch at their main dining hall and while eating my eggs, I thought I was biting down on a shell, but it ended up being a chipped piece of plate even though my plate was not chipped. We gave it to the host and asked them if we could just have a private table for dinner because of the piece of porcelain. They said yes, when we got to dinner we got put at a shared table. We did not even have to sit at a shared table the night before, so I was not understanding why we had to then. We just went ahead and ordered so we could make it to the show. The next night I asked for the same request since it was not filled. They put us at a dirty table this time. When I told my server about it, he proceeded to try to give me the used water from the table before. Then when I asked if they could just wipe it off and get fresh water, they made us move tables completely and put us in a crowded table in the center. Service was slow every night until our final night. We waited at least ten minutes if we wanted another soda or something to compliment our meal. The lady who cleaned our rooms was one of the nicest people on the ship, her name is Chacha. She got whatever we needed and was very kind. The trivia Fun Squad person, Sharron was also very kind. I went ti guest services after all this to get an overcharge for the spa fixed and told them about all this and they did not seem to be surprised. They said they would let the restaurant manager know. After eating one night we heard someone call V2, which was our room number so we turned around and it was the manager. So, we finally got to talk to him on the last night. He laughed when we told him about our experiences and mentioned they were short staffed. This was the most irritating part of it all. We had the most issues in this part of our experience and he did not seem to care. I would not recommend going on this ship. The good did not out way the bad here. Nearly everyone we spoke to had something going on that was frustrating. I put that the cabin was average in my review because it was a nice suite, however about us was the gym and you could here thing clinking around and that made it hard to sleep. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I went on this cruise with a friend who was meeting up with family. As soon as we sw the ship, we could tell immediately that the exterior needed reneviation. Upon boarding it was more of the same...the seats in the dining lounge were old ... Read More
I went on this cruise with a friend who was meeting up with family. As soon as we sw the ship, we could tell immediately that the exterior needed reneviation. Upon boarding it was more of the same...the seats in the dining lounge were old and the food options were not what I expected..not lot of attention given to the quality. Our stateroom was actually decent as we had a balcony. The way the ship is designed made it pretty weird to go from one side to the other as you had to take an elevator up to get to a lower floor (too complex to explain) Honestly if it wasn't for the ports of call and the people I was with, it would have been a less pleasing experience. The pool is not conducive for a ship with 2000 people and it is filled with salt water. I have only been on Royal Caribbean and comparing that boat to this one seems unfair but my experience on the Majesty of the Seas was incredible. The staff on the Elation overall was not as friendly and service committed as I would have expected so some intense training and overhaul is definitely necessary. There are 3 hot tubs which was a great plus! I don't think I will be traveling on this boat in the future..not sure about the other Carnival lines but I would have to do some serious research to determine if I would want to spend hard earned money on a future cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because it left out of Charleston. All of the waitstaff, housekeeping and employees were very friendly and helpful. There are a lot of activities to do on board however there are too many people. We were never able to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it left out of Charleston. All of the waitstaff, housekeeping and employees were very friendly and helpful. There are a lot of activities to do on board however there are too many people. We were never able to get in the pools because they were always packed full of people and finding a chair was nearly impossible too. We had to wait several times for someone to get up before we could sit down. We did enjoy our balcony room for some quiet. Dinner in the dining room was always nice. At our first stop we were very excited to go snorkeling but when we went to check in, they told us it was canceled because of rough waters. It was then too late to get on another excursion because they were sold out. I don’t know why Carnival did not notify us before we left the ship, so we could try to get another excursion. We went swimming and then attempted to eat at the barbecue on the Island, but it was very crowded and hot. We were very disappointed and went back to the ship. Nassau was our next stop and half of our excursion was canceled again! We were to go on the sail and bus tour, but the sailing part was canceled because of rough waters. Other excursions went out on the water but ours did not. We ordered that one through Priceline. The bus tour was good, but it was disappointing again. Boarding and unboarding the ship was very well organized. The drinks are very watered down and ordering a drink took a long time because Carnival puts too many people on the ship and it was always crowded. Carnival does not pay the waitstaff and they depend on the gratuity at the end of the cruise, so please consider this when deciding on gratuity for them. Our waiters worked very hard and were always friendly. I don’t know why Carnival doesn’t pay them, but they should. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
First off let me say that I am not an avid cruiser. This was my 5th cruise in a 20 year span. My family and I have always cruised Royal Caribbean and decided to give Carnival a shot since the port is only 3.5 hours from our home. To begin ... Read More
First off let me say that I am not an avid cruiser. This was my 5th cruise in a 20 year span. My family and I have always cruised Royal Caribbean and decided to give Carnival a shot since the port is only 3.5 hours from our home. To begin with I had a lot of questions about the Carnival process and came here to Cruise Critic for help and it paid off. Learning the little tricks of the ship and shore excursions from past guest definitely added to our experience. Let me start with the embarkment process. First you will arrive at the port and the folks there will unload your vehicle for you and take your luggage onboard for you. Make sure you tip the guy a few bucks! Then you will be directed to park. Be prepared to walk about 200 yards to the main building for check in. Not a bad walk at all. Have your Birth Certificate and Driver's License in your hand. A passport is great but not necessary. Once in that building you move pretty quick. They will then direct you to the charter buses outside to take you to the boarding ramp. Tip the bus driver a few bucks! Once you are on the boarding ramp you will be directed to the security baggage check line. You will then place your carry on onto a scanner machine where the friendly security folks will run it through their machine. After that you are on your way! The total time my wife and I spent at the port was about 25 minutes total and we did not purchase "Faster to The Fun" from Carnival. Once onboard you will notice friendly/Inviting staff that will answer any question. Your stateroom will not be available to 1:30 so head up to Deck 9 and grab lunch and try everything! Be aware that the tea is unsweet and the cups are very small. Once our room was available we headed up and settled in to our cabin. Our cabin number was 11008. It was on the Serenity Deck level which is adult only. Our cabin steward was Emerson and he was awesome. He made our stay comfortable and answered every question we had. Our room was a balcony suite and worth the extra money. The bed was very, very comfortable and I am very picky about where I sleep. The pillows were vey soft and big. The room itself was bigger than others we have stayed in on RC and perfect for two adults. The bathroom was big as well. The soap that is supplied for guest on the ship does not lather well so bring your own. In all our cabin was great with exception of the soap so all is good so far. After we got settleed we headed out to explore the ship and found ourselves at the Serentity Spa. Big mistake! The staff there were friendly and took my wife and I on a tour of the spa. Big mistake. They were boarderline pushy about selling their products and it detered my wife and I from ever going back in there even though we had free spa treatment vouchers given to us because we booked a Serenity Suite Room. On to the food! The Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse is the best. You will not regret it. The steaks are amazing. It cost my wife and I $38 a piece to eat there and it is a 4 course meal! The cheese cake is huge and unlike anything Ive ever eaten in the cheesecake world. Amazing! It was so good, we ate there twice. The ships buffet on deck 9 was good but Guys Burgers was great. I ate alot of Guys Burgers and they are free. The breakfast buffet is good and has just about everything you could ask for. The coffee is below average and the juices provided were average but satisfiying. On tuesday night my wife and I tried the Main Dining room. They seated us right away but that was it. We sat there for about 10 minutes and that was it. We got up and left. We then went up to the Cucina del Capiitano restaurant. It was great. The best Italian food we have ever eaten. Now for the entertainment on the cruise. The shows were good and the cast were above average performers. Adam the cruise director was great and James kept everyone laughing. However Ty was rude at times with guest and at one point told a lady that came in the wrong door to never do that again. He told her this over the PA system and made that lady look like a child. She reacted to his lecture alot better than I would have. That was totally uncalled for on Ty's behalf. Very unprofessional. Onto excurisions. Half Moon Cay was the best!! Better than any beach we have ever seen. Make sure you get off the boat early to get the best chairs but if you dont, no worries they have plenty. You do not need towels from the boat. They provide them on the island. The sand there is unbelievable and the water is perfect. The most amazing beach ever! Did I mention amazing enough about this beach? Bring your own snorkle gear and an inflatable float. It will save you money and you will have plenty of room to just float around and enjoy the sun. No beach that RC or Disney has can compare to Half Moon Cay! Now about Nassau. My wife and I booked the Blue Lagoon VIP Beach Day. It was just ok. The beach was rocky, very dangerous if you are elderly or someone with previous health injuries like neck or back surgery The staff on Blue Lagoon were very nice and attended to our every need. The VIP excursion came with snorkle gear and bottled water all day. The lunch buffet was really good and the staff was was very friendly. Also if you decide to do this exersion bring water shoes and towels! YOU WILL NEED WATER SHOES!!!!! Very rocky beach. Our overall experience was good with Carnival. The only problems we saw that Carnival could do much better at is the muster drill that happens pre-sail and exiting the boat for excursions. It is organized chaos and causes stairway roadrage with guest. Guest are literally shoulder to shoulder and nobody can move. if you dont like confined spaces wait till the crowd clears to head out. The disemarkment process was well organized. You have a choice of carrying your own luggage off or checking your luggage. If you can carry your stuff then do it but if you pack like my wife, check your luggage. The process is super easy and they will call you by tag numbers depending on the tag number you pick the night before disemarkment. No worries. If you check your bags, they will be waiting on you in the building where the US Customs Security team await. The US Customs Officers are friendly and do a great job getting you through the line fairley quickly. Once you get through customs, you and your luggage will then be directed to the charter buses to take you back to the parking lot. If your luggage is heavy, the porters there will carry them for you to the buses. Tip them! When you get to the buses they will load your luggage on trailers to carry them back to the parking lot. When you exit the buses at the parking lot, your luggage will be right there waiting on you. No worries. Then off you go back to the real world. We really enjoyed our first Carnival experience and will probably do it again. Hope this helped. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We were limited to choose between several 3 day cruises and this 5 day cruise because of our family conflicts. My husband and I chose this cruise as it was similarly priced compared to the 3 night cruises we had priced. I was a little ... Read More
We were limited to choose between several 3 day cruises and this 5 day cruise because of our family conflicts. My husband and I chose this cruise as it was similarly priced compared to the 3 night cruises we had priced. I was a little nervous because the ship is older but read the reviews and and was reassured that it had recently been renovated. We were celebrating my husbands 50th birthday so we splurged a little and booked a junior suite. The cost was not drastically more than a balcony but it got us priority embarkation and disembarkation, which was important for us to get our flight home. At the time of booking we found a promo online which got us $200 drink credit which further offset the upgrade. We had early boarding and got on the ship immediately upon arrival. I wasn't expecting our cabin to be ready early, but they let us know in the terminal that we we could get right into the cabin. Our Room Attendent was great. Knew our names, towel animals, got us whatever we needed. We preordered water and soda which I thought was very useful to have in the cabin. We had 'your time dining' and found an amazing waiter at our first dinner (Mr.C) and we were happy to be able to request his section each meal we had in the dining room. One night I chose the Steakhouse Selection (surf and turf) and it was fantastic. Other than that the food was ok. Could not hold a candle to our RCCL honeymoon cruise (but that was 19 years ago and I think that is likely the case overall). We went to all the shows in the Makado Lounge and they were all top notch. We also went to all of the comedy shows (over 18 only) and really enjoyed them. The Cruise Director (Chris) was a lot of fun. He did a great job trying to include everyone in the activities, he was funny, knowledgeable and really seemed to care that everybody was having fun. The Love and Marriage show and Carnival Quest shows nearly had us in tears from laughing. There was so much to do on the ship we could not possibly fit it all in. There was a broad mix of people on the ship from all different backgrounds and places but the crowd was really respectful. I was very pleasantly surprised (and relieved). We enjoyed Princess Cays. The water was beautiful and there were no waves. You could rent floats and snorkel equipment. Lunch was provided. Really just a beach day. We tried to shop in Nassau but got pretty fed up with the pushy jewelry shop salespeople and it was disgustingly hot. Did the Native Quest excursion with new friends we met on the ship. That was a lot of fun. The guides, Leroy, Natasha and Nash made the group of nearly 30 strangers feel like one group. There were some games and a lot of laughs. Some beach time was included but not lunch ( 11:30-4pm) so have a nice breakfast or plan to bring a snack. We had no plans for Freeport and there is nothing at the port (besides a handful of typical souvenir shops). Once we docked the cruise line announced a few 'last minute' excursions that they put together. We took the Beach at Leisure tour for just $19.99 each. Included bus to and from the beach, chair, umbrella and Taino beach access. It was a nice beach with some small waves. Access to rent water toys, etc. there was a bar/restaurant with bathrooms. Same location as the VIP Beach Day without drinks and food included. Beach stay was only 2 hours, but that was plenty to enjoy. I would definitely cruise the Elation again. Not sure I would go back to Bahamas anytime soon. The only other thing I would mention... I reserved Chefs Table a few weeks in advance. I got an email that it would be confirmed once we were on the ship. The 2nd day I checked with guest services because there was no notification in our cabin. They told us that they had called the cabin to confirm and that my husband had cancelled it. This was absolutely not the case. Our phone never rang. They said they would look into it but never followed up with us so on the 3rd day we checked back in. They repeated the same thing. We told them they were mistaken. Later they called and said it was full and we were waitlisted for it. As it turned out, we passed the library on the way to dinner that night (he Nassau night) and there were 2 empty seats but we had not been called. I chose not to let it get to me but I will mention it in my review for them. ALSO, we got double charged for the only 2 purchases we made at Princess Cays. 1 pair of water shoes and 1 round of drinks. It's a good idea to check your account statement as some purchases are reconciled when the crew gets back on the ship (water shoes) and the receipt printer at the bar was on the fritz so they hand wrote a receipt for this. It would not have been a big deal but we had to visit guest services 3 times to have them research the charges before they finally took them off our account. So I wasn't too thrilled with the guest service desk. But they were not a good representation of the rest of the staff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We traveled with a group of 12 people ranging from 24-84 years old. Frequent cruisers, prefer Royal Caribbean but have been on Disney, Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Celebrity. We choose this trip based on departure port as well as the ... Read More
We traveled with a group of 12 people ranging from 24-84 years old. Frequent cruisers, prefer Royal Caribbean but have been on Disney, Norwegian, Carnival, Princess, and Celebrity. We choose this trip based on departure port as well as the new private island. Embarkation was a very smooth process, took a maximum of 15 minutes. We purchased the Ultimate Drink Package before boarding and immediately went to the bars once we boarded the ship. The Windjammer, Cafe Promenade, and small buffet tables of hamburgers/hotdogs were setup to distribute crowds. The ship was clean, hand sanitizer and “washy washy” stations are placed throughout. Although the Adventure does show a bit of wear and tear from the years at sea, it is a fantastic ship! We loved the Duck & Dog Pub on the promenade, live music a majority of the nights. The singer Jess was awesome! You must also visit Andre at the Champagne bar, his Coconut Chocolate Martini was the best. We were able to organize My Time Dining for the same time/table each night, keeping the same waiters (Narciso and Ajay). You are only able to reserve space for 10 people online with Royal Caribbean cruise planner, we spoke with the dining room staff when boarded and they accommodated our party with no problems. They had a variety of foods each night and were able to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters at our table. We didn’t have the best weather - 3 of 8 days were rainy. 2 Sea Days and Bermuda. Activities were added during the rainy sea days, Royal tried to keep everyone happy despite the weather. We have traveled to Bermuda before, but still disappointed not to be able to get to Horseshoe Bay. We have traveled to Nassau NUMEROUS times, we remained on the ship this day in order to enjoy the nice weather and pool deck! If you can, stay on the ship during a port day to do the water slides, we had no wait and were able to ride 5+ times. PERFECT DAY AT COCO CAY was just as the name says! IT WAS AMAZING! The ship was able to add an additional hour to our port time and we enjoyed every minute of it. Did the Zipline (additional charge), Thrill Waterpark (additional charge), and Oasis Lagoon (included). Take advantage of all the island has to offer, it really is a perfect day!!! Debarkation was just as smooth, we had a great trip and cannot wait for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Excellent service and exceptional staff, great value for money. You will never regret it, open food and drinks, fine dining and service. Great ambiance and very clean. You will enjoy the private island Great Castaway Cay, white sand ... Read More
Excellent service and exceptional staff, great value for money. You will never regret it, open food and drinks, fine dining and service. Great ambiance and very clean. You will enjoy the private island Great Castaway Cay, white sand beaches and private cabanas and suites if you are looking for more fun. You will be greeted every time you get to the restaurant or any other area. Nice shows and @ great casino. An experience of a lifetime. More so than anything else is the way the staff is greeting you, washy washy , happy happy, smiley smiley are some of the proverbs you will hear. Wow experience, everything is lovely. Looking forward to repeating the same trip next year with bigger audience. A great family gathering and trip. Clean ship and rooms, refurbished in 2018, all new and clean. See you there next year for a great vacation. See you. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
After reading numerous reviews, talking to friends who have sailed on NCL, finally decided to dip our toes in the water on NCL after sailing 15+ times on RCCL, 5+ times on Disney and regrettably one time on Carnival. I couldn’t have ... Read More
After reading numerous reviews, talking to friends who have sailed on NCL, finally decided to dip our toes in the water on NCL after sailing 15+ times on RCCL, 5+ times on Disney and regrettably one time on Carnival. I couldn’t have been shocked at the customer service throughout the cruise. The initial walk aboard buffet is usually just blah, this one was a top 10 welcome aboard buffet. Food throughout the cruise was fantastic with only one area I believe needs addressing or can be skipped on your journey if you are sailing on NCL Sun. We ate at numerous places for breakfast and lunch and specialty restaurants for dinner. La Bistro (French) and the Sushi restaurant were both outstanding and I would definitely eat at next time. However; Cagney’s (steakhouse) was okay. Great appetizers, soup, salad, sides and dessert (especially the OMG cheese cake and raspberry creme brûlée). But, when it came to the steaks they were okay at best. Both the actual cut of meat and the temperature cooked at were a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-10 from what you would expect from a steakhouse. We ate dinner here twice, hoping the second time would make up for the first time. Try the non steak and seafood items because the rest of the meal was fantastic especially the potatoes au gratin and garlic mashed potatoes. And like I said earlier the Sushi and La Bistro was fantastic as well as the rest of the food on board the ship. The ship felt new from the refurb it got last year in 2018. Staff throughout was great. We spent over 6 hours in the spa on various treatments and they were all excellent. The bartenders were all friendly especially Carlo. Thumbs up to him! In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone looking to get away and either relax, party, and anything in between. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
had a lot of people tell me about cruising, so I decide to try it for myself and wife my overall experience with the Norwegian cruise is that it had unlimited drinks and if you booked a stateroom you get 2 free offers. I choose premium ... Read More
had a lot of people tell me about cruising, so I decide to try it for myself and wife my overall experience with the Norwegian cruise is that it had unlimited drinks and if you booked a stateroom you get 2 free offers. I choose premium drinks, and speciality dining. but was disappointed when I try to order mich ultra beer no bars on the ship had it, I only drink beers no hard stuff.so that was 1 disappointment on the first day, we boarded at 2.00pm and barely got lunch from the outside café buffet bar, before all the restaurant closed for 45 mins for initiation drill. that is another disappointment, food were only at buffet stations during the days made up of hot dogs and burgers, salad, fruits, cakes. that is no no for me it cost 1300 for 3days to come and eat hot dogs and burgers all day long. also restaurant for fine dining only open at 4.00pm or 5.oopm before you can eat something better than buffet.it should be open all day and night long for passenger to choose. desk service was poor for me and my wife had a women at the desk never smile when you ask a question about the excursion she will answer very short not reassuring us about anything else. I don't think I will pay 1300 to 1400 dollars for 3 day cruise for just hot dogs and burgers during the day it too over rated for me. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
First time on Norwegian, was very impressed with service, food and entertainment. Found that getting around the ship was easy and much quicker than other cruises. The dining experience was also a bonus. Easy to make reservations for the ... Read More
First time on Norwegian, was very impressed with service, food and entertainment. Found that getting around the ship was easy and much quicker than other cruises. The dining experience was also a bonus. Easy to make reservations for the different dining rooms. The service staff was attentive and very friendly. We were pleasantly surprised with the size of our inside room. We normally like a balcony, but we were very comfortable in this cabin. We also found that when we needed to ask guest service questions, there were very short lines which was quite a plus. The embarkation process was simple and quick and the debarkation was the quickest and easiest we have ever gone through. The food available at the buffet was very good and we loved the choices for dinner. We did notice there wasn’t a lot of fish or seafood choices though. We did take advantage of the future cruise promotion which we are looking forward to. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We found a decent deal on this voyage, most likely because of the closure of the Cuba itinerary. At the last minute NCL was forced to change its Cuba run to a sad Nassau run. We figured the destination wasn’t as important to us as a ... Read More
We found a decent deal on this voyage, most likely because of the closure of the Cuba itinerary. At the last minute NCL was forced to change its Cuba run to a sad Nassau run. We figured the destination wasn’t as important to us as a getaway in the sun and some time to unplug and relax. Sadly, NCL is all about keeping the 20-somethings happy, drunk and “energized.” And NCL nickles and dimes you to death. What started as a $1200 package (with balcony upgrade and insurance due to an ailing family member) turned into a MUCH more expensive weekend. But worse, there was NOTHING relaxing about this ship. First, I considered the open bar to be a nice idea. We could sip a few pink drinks with paper umbrellas as we enjoyed the sun by the pool, in the Caribbean sun and vibe, right? Great idea. Not even close. The evening we began the journey, the college-aged boys began doing the contest drinking by the pool, standing at the edge, flexing and trying to spontaneously elicit cheers from the crowd as they chugged enormous amounts of drinks from long beer-bong type things. Vomit ensued in various parts of the ship (of course). Later, they crawled off to various cabins which improved things. Additionally, you are given way-overpriced options to upgrade your beverages the first day. $30 per person per cabin per day to include top shelf booze, unlimited energy drinks (think-really drunk, hyper caffeinated frat boys) and unlimited bottles of water. Also half way decent wine with dinner instead of super cheap wine. Ok, I thought it might be worth it for the wine, and for me since I planned on having a few drinks. Unfortunately we both were required. So $60 per day. It was Friday evening with a Monday early am disembarkation. That meant either $180 since Monday isn’t at sea, right? Check your bill. $240 was added to ours. Leaving at 7:30 am means you don’t even get a mimosa with breakfast, and if you did, it would be a $30 mimosa. The facilities were quite nice. The pool was salt water which was really lovely once the large children calmed down a bit. The sensation of buoyancy in the water on the gently rocking boat was very soothing and enjoyable. Also, the ship was overhauled last year in preparation for being used for travel to Cuba. Sadly the current administration cut that off, so now they have a really nice ship being used for booze cruises, typically reserved for older ships. The dining haul is spotless, the rooms were nice and clean and service was decent including turn down service. Lock your valuables in the safe though. I “lost” a diamond ring I left on the small tray by the coffee pot. I should have remembered to put it in the safe...my bad. But the ship resisted having someone come to investigate. The ring was not a favorite and not terribly expensive. I didn’t want anyone to lose their job, so I just took the loss. I should have put it in the safe. Dinner in the main dining room was nice. Being early diners, we were able to receive window tables two of three nights. The food was good but not stellar. We sent back cold appetizers and received luke warm appetizers, and had issues with the temp of our steaks. But the steaks themselves were very tender when they were cooked properly. No lobster or higher end seafood which is a bummer on a Caribbean cruise. There are a couple fish dishes but they looked unappealing. Deserts were better than Royal Caribbean or Carnival offerings. The wines with the upgraded beverage plan were decent-to-good $40-$50 bottles at normal retail, though the prices they listed them at on the menu were nonsense. Service was very nice and wait staff was quite attentive. You will need to future out how to find out about ship activities each days. The announcements were barely audible, so no help there. The brochures were hit or miss. We found out late that picture night was night two. That’s ok, they cost too much anyway. The private island had the chance to be great. As it was it was just good. The water was nice and the snorkeling was good, as long as the sun stayed out. When the sun goes behind clouds it is hard to see the beauty of the coral and fish. When the sun is out and you get right up to the rocks, the colors are lovely. Not Great Barrier Reef lovely, but definitely worth the effort, if not the $30 leaky mask. I would recommend this one, but if you can, bring your own mask and snorkel, save the money and enjoy the experience a bit more. You snorkel immediately where the ship lets you off so it would be easy to bring your own gear. Sadly, there were Norwegian Cruise Lines plastic cups scattered throughout the reef. Nassau is a terrible destination. The smell is of baking urine and regret. You are hassled mercilessly for money from the moment you step off the ship. Taxis, scooters, tours, horse and buggy rides (we took one, supposed to be 25 minutes, barely 10) and everything else you can imagine. You will feel abused after an hour on the island. The straw market is another place where you will be accosted and robbed for every penny you can be convinced to depart with. Skip it all and head to a beach. You will over pay for the taxi but overpaying once is better than being panhandled continually. By noon we were ready to get back on the ship. But this was the absolute worst part of the cruise for me, and it negatively colored every bit of the rest of the experience. And it was fully within this ship’s ability to correct, which made it even more infuriating. We decided to go hang out and relax by the pool and enjoy the sun, a drink or two, and some much-needed down time. Most of the 20-somethings were still sleeping off bad hangovers or on the island. The crowd was older. But the buffoon playing “music” by the pool was quite full if himself and his talent. The loud, thrumming techno-dance vibe garbage he was “playing” at 100% full volume was suitable for a night club I suppose, but certainly not for the atmosphere of an afternoon by the pool in the bahamas. He did something to older and newer songs to make them all exactly this very high intensity, mind-numbing beat, and every two or three songs, escalated them into a ramp up of a high wail. It was absolutely the equivalent of Dante’s 7th level of hell. In fact, if I do end up in hell, this will be the soundtrack. There was no escaping it. The only way you would see people letting go of the deck chairs they reserve all day is by playing this garbage. People would come, lay down, put things over their heads, put on headphones, move further away, and finally leave. It was outright maddening. Keep in mind that on a Friday - Monday cruise you really only have two full days to relax in the sun. NCL snuffed out one of those days completely by letting the soundtrack of the tilt-a-whirl at the Mall parking lot carnival rule the atmosphere. The “cruise director” should be keel hauled for allowing it. It really ruined the entire day, and thereby ruined fully half the cruise. Frankly, all the other things that were annoying paled in comparison of rendering the pool unusable by the audio assault. It was that bad. It was definitely not “high-energy” as was obviously being attempted. It was “near-death.” After two hours of trying to extract enough vitamin D to overcome my plummeting mood, we gave up and went inside. With little else to do, we retreated to our cabin and read a book. Yay. What an incredible waste of a day and money. RCL, you have the opportunity to turn a sad issue of a reconfigured itinerary into a decent experience. Nassau is awful but that can’t be fixed. Lose the “all you can possibly consume and then vomit back up” booze fest. Improve the dining room menu slightly, improve overall communications, and for God’s sake lose the souped-up Mazda beater car on steroids sounds going on by the pool. A little bit of effort to upscale the event itself would turn the frat party booze cruise/vomit fest into an experience that could be enjoyed by all, including those who don’t slug a round, belch loudly, high five and chest bump. Next cruise for me is back to another line. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This is our second time on the Norwegian Sun. It's a quick drive for us to get to and we enjoy getting away for a quick, relaxing weekend. On a previous cruise we met the principal singer Drake Allen. What an absolute pleasure ... Read More
This is our second time on the Norwegian Sun. It's a quick drive for us to get to and we enjoy getting away for a quick, relaxing weekend. On a previous cruise we met the principal singer Drake Allen. What an absolute pleasure to listen to him each night. He is a talented singer and guitar player and the crowd really enjoys listening to him. I hope we run into him on a future cruise! There was also a new group of singers and dancers at the Starlight Theatre. They were definitely better than the group in May. We met Jamieson and Liam personally and they were genuine and gifted performers. Embarkation continues to be slow however the disembarkation was a breeze! The areas of the ship that were refreshed look much better than previously. The mirrors in the bathrooms and the shower curtains need to be replaced as they bring down the overall effort that was made to spruce her up. The restaurants were very good this time and the staff was very pleasant. We have nothing but good to say about each meal we had. We did not get off the ship for excursions as this was truly a relaxing voyage for us and loved every minute of it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We live close to Port Canaveral and decided to take a weekend getaway with two other couples. All of us are regular cruisers and have been on just about every line out of, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades and Miami. Knowing that 3 day ... Read More
We live close to Port Canaveral and decided to take a weekend getaway with two other couples. All of us are regular cruisers and have been on just about every line out of, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades and Miami. Knowing that 3 day cruises are party boats, my expectations were not high. The service on this ship was great. My cabin steward took great care of us, bar service was terrific and all dining room staff were accommodating and efficient. It was an old ship, but updated nicely and clean. Private island has a spa and when you get services you get a wonderful and healthy Buffett, free drinks and private beach access with the use of free floats. I cannot say enough about what a great day we had at the private club on the island. Didn’t do the general population on the island, but people on the tenders said that was great too. Entertainment was adequate, nothing special, but enjoyable. Cruise director and staff were friendly. Bar staff and service was great at all he bars and wait staff by the pool was plentiful. Now for the issues: I like to play blackjack. Lowest table limit was $15. I thought that was exorbitant. Princess, Celebrity, RCCL and Carnival all have 5, 6 or 10 dollar tables. Also the slot machines were not any of the newer games that are on the other ships. When I asked about lowering the limits the person who came to chat with me was arrogant, condescending and basically said tough. Another thing the smoke in the casino was horrendous. Another issue is the sports bar. They have many televisions, but only one channel. I wanted to watch a football game that was on, but was told they only get 1 channel. Obviously, this has been an ongoing issue for fans. The bartender was very sweet and basically just referred me to guest services. He did not want to say much, but I got the impression Norwegian doesn’t want to pay for the package that includes the sports channel. Let’s talk food. Dining room was good, but everything was very salty. Only ate at the Buffett twice and was not impressed. Didn’t eat most of my meal. Last issue I had were with the public restrooms. They were clean, but all had a horrible odor. Let me be clear, I had fun, but the above issues were enough to say, I probably will use other lines for future weekend cruises. Read Less

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