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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We almost exclusively sail with NCL and wanted an easy trip, so decide to sail from the states and not Europe. I would recommend this trip to those that want to have a relaxed trip and just do basic sight-seeing. Enjoyed our time on the ... Read More
We almost exclusively sail with NCL and wanted an easy trip, so decide to sail from the states and not Europe. I would recommend this trip to those that want to have a relaxed trip and just do basic sight-seeing. Enjoyed our time on the ship, but ports were a bit boring compared to what you see in Europe. The embarkation process at NY Terminal was the worst I have experienced, EVER! Rude porters. We waited in line to check in for over 1.5 hours, I have never waited more than 20-30 minutes to get on a cruise ship from the time we've arrived at the port to walking on the ship. I'll never sail out of NY again, even though it was breathtaking & emotional sailing by the Freedom Tower and Statue of Liberty. Be sure to get on deck for this. Debarkation in NY was easy, as we didn't have to deal with anyone at the port and went straight to our bus for a NCL Tour of NYC that dropped us at LGA. This tour was a highlight of the trip since we had not ever toured the city, highly recommend! The ship is really beautiful and this was one of the friendliest crews we've encountered on any cruise. The majority of the passengers seemed to be having an excellent time. We dined mostly at the Buffet so we could eat quickly, we prefer to spend time doing activities instead of waiting on food to be delivered. (thank you Washy-Washy girls for keeping us all healthy and shame on those that don't wash their hands - you know who you are). The bar service was excellent at every venue and the UBP is a must for us as a double rum and coke is around $22 so my bill would have been expensive. Due to the size of the ship, they have a lot of bars to choose from, unfortunately none of them are very large so they stay full and it is often difficult to find one seat, let alone two. The Five O'Clock somewhere bar seemed to be used for selling things or seminars and I didn't like the atmosphere so never went there. Margaritaville ($14.95 charge) was also empty the entire sailing, so both of these spaces could have been put to better use. Headliners Bar is home to Dueling Pianos, which we enjoyed and also the comedy shows. We couldn't attend the comedy shows since they are reserved seats and the venue is very small, so book those shows at the earliest possible moment. The Choir of Man was excellent and I heard only great comments from other passengers, best show on the ship, so be sure to make reservations. There is a small fee, but worth it. You'll want to arrive early with your entire party to be seated, they served Beef Wellington that was just OK. I did not care for the two main stage shows - After Midnight and For the Record, the quality of the shows on other NCL Ships has been far superior to these two. The talent was there, but did not care for writing of the shows, endless tap dancing in A.M. and the extremely loud music in FtR (but the cast was really cute), I think that show is rated PG-13. If you didn't like the movies - The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, then don't go see For the Record. - I loved the movies, but not this show. I'm a fan of NCL freestyle cruising, but it is hard to do on the large ships because you do need reservations for most of the shows - some can be booked prior to sailing, the rest can be booked from your stateroom TV or the various monitors around the ship. We will be back on NCL soon, but have decide to stick with the smaller ships after experiencing Escape and Epic because you have more freedom to decide last minute what you want to do. Also, the wait for elevators is often long and for some reason much of the crowd on this trip had no manners and just pushed into the elevators in front of those of us that had been waiting for some time. Many passengers commented on the rude behavior. Because of the number of floors, elevators are frequently needed on this ship, except between floors 6-8 where much of the dining and entertainment take place. At embarkation time and after the muster drill, I would recommend walking up one floor on stairs to catch the elevator - or get on an elevator going down and ride it back up so at least you were able to get on. These two times the elevators are EXTREMELY busy. The weather was very cool so very few people in the pool, can't imagine 4000 pax trying to fit into the small pool. The ropes course was a lot of fun, part of it was closed due to high winds and it was also open for very limited hours due to weather. We booked all excursions through NCL - Best of Portland and Kennebunkport - saw a lighthouse, ate a lobster roll (that was very bland), and saw the Bush compound. Bar Harbor was 86'd because of weather we couldn't tender so had an extra day at sea. St John - did hop on, hop off which was a bit boring and nothing really to see. Halifax - best port and trip - Peggy's Cove and Titanic Cemetery - got to see a lot of the countryside and the coast, great time and would recommend that excursion. The NYC trip at the end that dropped us at LGA was great - we got to walk around Central Park, Rockefeller Plaza, didn't get to go by the Freedom Tour and Trade Center site because heads of state were at the U.N. laughing at Bozo, but we toured for quite a while, then dropped us around 1:30 to catch our flight (wouldn't book this unless you have a later flight so you have time to get through security! Also, no good food options at LGA once you go through security, so eat first!) All in all - a great time, no need to go back to these ports, ever. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I had gone on cruises before, but never to these ports nor on this shop. I thought it would be a different experience and it was. The accommodations, food, drinks , dining and entertaining were good. I along with some other senior citizens ... Read More
I had gone on cruises before, but never to these ports nor on this shop. I thought it would be a different experience and it was. The accommodations, food, drinks , dining and entertaining were good. I along with some other senior citizens were concerned that there was not a quiet place, unless we missed it, that we could sit without constant noise. I thought the drink package , complimentary dinners and shows were an excellent idea , it allowed me to project my onboard spending. I especially like the idea that the gratituities for the ship employees were automatically deducted from the designated onboard credit card because often times when left to be paid in cash it diesn’t happen. I would prefer external doors opened automatic, I’m a little OCD, touching the sensor was somewhat trying for me, but I managed, probably used a container of sanitizer a day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I love cruising. I choose Norwegian just to see what it’s like after being on other ships. I LOVED every moment. The suite was huge, the restaurants were fabulous, the staff was courteous, well mannered and always smiling. My massage ... Read More
I love cruising. I choose Norwegian just to see what it’s like after being on other ships. I LOVED every moment. The suite was huge, the restaurants were fabulous, the staff was courteous, well mannered and always smiling. My massage was relaxing. I also enjoyed the sauna and the hot tubs. The shore excursions were enjoyable. Onboard activities were the best. I never danced so much in decades. The broadway shows were spectacular. The on board shopping was great especially the sales on the last day at sea. There was also a talent show featuring the staff, boy do they have talent. I especially enjoyed the way the crew welcomed us onboard when we were embarking from Canada. It was like a welcome home party with hot chocolate, warm washcloths for our faces and a soul train dance line with the crew. Norwegian will certainly be my cruise ship from now on. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I booked with several friends from Houston, Tx., in fact, eight in all. I joined in with the solo cruisers and met some very nice fun people to eat with, hang out and dance with, and attend shows with. The entertainment was awesome and I ... Read More
I booked with several friends from Houston, Tx., in fact, eight in all. I joined in with the solo cruisers and met some very nice fun people to eat with, hang out and dance with, and attend shows with. The entertainment was awesome and I can't remember ever having as much fun as with this cruise. The personnel were remarkably friendly and eager to serve. My only regret was that it had to end. The ship was well maintained and the food was good. Lots of choices in the Main Dining Rooms as well as in the buffet area. The bars offered a variety of music and drinks and the personnel that led the game shows were amazing dancers and friendly while teaching the guests to dance. In spite of rainy weather and having to skip one port the extra day at sea was fun. I would not hesitate to sail on Norwegian again. In fact, I can hardly wait for my next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Given rich African/Black cultural traditions and experiences in Halifax NCL needs to offer related excursions. We did the research and planned an outstanding day by visiting: 1 Africvile Museum with an outstanding presentation by ... Read More
Given rich African/Black cultural traditions and experiences in Halifax NCL needs to offer related excursions. We did the research and planned an outstanding day by visiting: 1 Africvile Museum with an outstanding presentation by Brittany Vaillancourt 2, the Black Cultural Centre, We met Johnson on the evening of September 24, when we realized the mix up over our Savor Restaurant reservation. In addition to immediately seating us, when he learned about the birthday celebration, he not only make arrangements for the customary cake and singing, he provided complimentary wine for the table. For the balance of the cruise, Johnson gave us ultra VIP treatment (from strawberries in our rooms to complimentary wine). When we celebrated my mother’s 90th birthday he made arrangements for NCL celebrations at dinner on the 28th and 29th!!!! She felt honored and remains thrill about the attention and care shown. He was attentive to our every need. He has a warm and engaging personality and exquisite training in customer-centered care and treatment. We also very much appreciated Stefanny Moore (wait staff in Savor) and George (wait staff in O Sheehan’s). Our cabin Stewart Jose was also attentive, respectful and highly pleasant...had more than passing concerns about the pre-boarding contact with NCL. The website is inefficient, slow and not well designed. Calls to the NCL help lines resulted in 10-15 minute holds, not given the option when setting up account to register credit card, then receive an email on September 20, 4:443 pm regarding “We are happy to announce that we have added additional functionality to our On-Line Check-In. You can now record the credit card that you will be using onboard as well as purchase our Essentials Travel Protection (if you have not already obtained travel protection) which will provide trip delay and medical coverage while you are on your cruise vacation.” When signing into my online account the option was NOT available. I in turn called 1-866-234-7250 and was on hold for 14 minutes only to be advised that the option was not available to me and that an mass email was sent to all customers. The embarkation process was inefficient and long. In part this is due to the large number of people on the cruise. However there is an absence of customer care with the process. We were asked to complete forms while in line, without tables and writing instruments. The Canadian declaration form seemed ill timed and a waste of time for the majority of the vacationers. Not able to use the dining package due to the venues being over subscribed. Challenges with setting up complimentary internet package. Only one staff to assist everyone. We had to wait more than 30 minutes to receive assistance.. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was my first time on NCL's bigger ships. Because it was a New England and Canada cruise, the majority of the people were inside. It seemed very crowded to me. But I guess if the weather was nice, all those people would have been ... Read More
This was my first time on NCL's bigger ships. Because it was a New England and Canada cruise, the majority of the people were inside. It seemed very crowded to me. But I guess if the weather was nice, all those people would have been outside!! It was a nice ship. The only thing I did not care for was that the casino on deck 7 (I think) was open to decks 6 & 8 because of the beautiful light fixture and winding stairs. When standing on deck 6 by the Headliners Comedy Club I could smell the smoke from above. I personally would not have wanted to sit in the outside area of the specialty restaurant, Le Bistro bc of the smoke smell. Even though there were lots of people we never had to wait long to get a drink or to get something to eat. Getting on the ship took a little longer that I've experienced before. The last day we walked off with our suitcases. That went very fast. The rope course was awesome even though not all of it was open at the time. (the staff told me they were waiting on some replacement parts) I did try all the slides even though it was not warm weather. They were fun. The middle pool next to the kiddie area was heated. Not sure if the kiddie area was heated. That was nice on this cooler cruise. I was happy with the food. The Garden Cafe got old after a few days but I liked the option of going to O'Sheehans and Taste and Savor for breakfast and lunch. The waterfront was lovely. Again had it been warmer weather more people would have been outside. We enjoyed the quietness of the waterfront since most people were inside. We enjoyed the entertainment. The Howl at the Moon dueling pianos was fabulous. Thought the Brat pack was high energy but ok. Loved the tap dancing and singing of After Midnight. We thought the majority of the service was wonderful. The staff work hard and we were thankful for all they did. We did one shore excursion in Portland. It was nice. We took a bus to Kinnebunkport. The tour guide was very informative. We had about an hour to shop in Kinnebunkport and then drove by the Bush complex. It was a quaint town. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We first cruised on the QM2 in 2004, its inaugural year. Beautiful ship at that time, it still is, despite all the rust we see now, combined with a lot of wear and tear. We last sailed the QM2 just prior to the remastering and we like ... Read More
We first cruised on the QM2 in 2004, its inaugural year. Beautiful ship at that time, it still is, despite all the rust we see now, combined with a lot of wear and tear. We last sailed the QM2 just prior to the remastering and we like the changes to the Carinthia Lounge and Kings Court buffet. We do think that, overall, the standards, especially food quality, have slipped over the years. To put our comments into perspective, we are Platinum World Club members on our 9th Cunard cruise, but this was our 42nd cruise, including Princess (Platinum), Holland America (3-star Mariner), Disney (Gold Castaway) and 4 cruises with Celebrity (Classic level, I think). We remain flexible and reasonable, expecting that things do sometimes go wrong but that every effort is made by those involved to do what is necessary to mitigate the problems, which was not the case here. We were on the September 23-30 seven day voyage to New England and Canada from New York City to Quebec City. We were advised the day before embarkation that the ship would be late arriving in Brooklyn on its transatlantic voyage and to arrive two hours later than scheduled. Having already arranged for Cunard transfers from Newark, there was no flexibility to delay our arrival and we were at the ship shortly after 12 noon. Upon entry into the terminal, we were assigned boarding priority #5 due to Platinum status. We eventually waited until about 6 pm before being allowed to board. Throughout the entire wait, there was minimal information provided which was the most frustrating part. Any announcements were just garbled over the speakers. We repeatedly asked the terminal staff for more information and was first told that we would be allowed to board at 2 pm, then 3 pm, then 4 pm. Although water, tea and coffee were provided, there were only hot dogs and some pre-packaged pastries which went quickly due to the large group. We subsequently learned from fellow passengers that the ship had to change its normal route west from Southampton to avoid Tropical Storm Helene(or was it Joyce?) and then, due to a medical emergency, had to proceed towards Halifax far enough for the evacuation helicopter (with its limited flight range) to meet the ship. A number of other unfortunate events, including a turbine or other propulsion system failure, various issues with the US Customs and Border agents, and a scheduled quarterly Coast Guard inspection, all contributed to the extensive delays. We understand these things happen but the lack of information from the ship’s officers, combined with the failure to provide sufficient suitable refreshments (sandwiches and cakes from the ship?) while everyone waited patiently in the terminal, was a rather unpleasant situation. Later in the week, after many apologies, a bottle of wine was offered by Cunard as compensation. Now back to the cruise. Overall, the ports were not terribly exciting. Rockland, Maine is an industrial and fishing town. This was a maiden call but I would have preferred to go back to Bar Harbour. In Corner Brook, not much there so we hired a car and drove to Gros Morne National Park but the weather and 90 knot winds delayed the arrival so the time in port was considerable shortened. Sept-Iles was definitely not exciting as one of the tours being offered was a visit of an aluminum manufacturing plant. Quebec City is always exciting like the first time we went years ago. We dined in Britannia MDR. We cruise to eat food such as rack of lamb and filet mignon which we don’t normally eat at home or in our hometown. None of these were offered on this cruise to those of us in Britannia MDR. The US Choice steaks were rather tough, and most meats like veal were not the best quality. We were seated on deck 3 nearest to the main entrance, at a distance furthest from the kitchen. As a result, the food was often delivered just barely lukewarm and multiple requests for hot food and hot plates were just not met to our expectations without us becoming a nuisance, so we just accepted it. All of the above to say that a cruise is always a nice way to spend a week or more, but under these circumstances, this is one cruise we could have done without. The crew, as always, tried very hard and are to be commended for their efforts. I do think that Cunard has always marketed themselves as that ultimately luxury cruising experience, thus passengers arrive with high expectations which are often not met, unless you are in the Grills. More needs to be done to improve the Cunard experience so I will end with saying that the four star rating I have given is very generous. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Always wanted to see this area in the fall. Should have waited until October, no colors. Embarkation and disembarkation were great. The ship was clean, beautifully decorated and well appointed. Our cabin, a balcony on Deck 12, was laid ... Read More
Always wanted to see this area in the fall. Should have waited until October, no colors. Embarkation and disembarkation were great. The ship was clean, beautifully decorated and well appointed. Our cabin, a balcony on Deck 12, was laid out very well, the beds comfy, the bathroom a wonderful surprise (roomy and a great shower). The entertainment was top notch and by far the best we have ever seen at see. Service was perfect, the entire staff was welcoming and willing to go the extra mile to make our vacation the best it could be. Ports were what we expected, missed Bar Harbor due to weather, but the rest were great. Rain followed us the entire trip and made some of the excursions uncomfortable. We realize this wasn't NCL's fault and they did the best they could. The food was our only complaint. Food temperature was usually luke warm to cold. Sheehan's had the only consistantly hot food we received. We did not eat at any of the specialty dining options, and in talking to others felt the complimentary dining may have suffered because of the vast array of options. There were two of us and we might go again, but would go later in the season and might check out other lines options. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I like the free style cruises. Norwegian Escape (built in 2015) is excellent ship. It has much more space for guests everywhere than Breakaway. Cons: Cabin at aft (#12864) was very comfortable, but had a lot of mechanical vibration ... Read More
I like the free style cruises. Norwegian Escape (built in 2015) is excellent ship. It has much more space for guests everywhere than Breakaway. Cons: Cabin at aft (#12864) was very comfortable, but had a lot of mechanical vibration in low-frequency (up to 30 Hz) diapason. Sometimes was not possible to sleep because of vibration. Show has an excellent actors, but too cheap scenarios. Service phone (#00) number at night time does not answer and has no message box. Port and Shore excursions are good, but expensive. Read forums, explore the Internet and find the same excursions by municipal transport. Pros: Variety and quality of foods are the best in all restaurant and Dining Rooms. But go to Garden Cafe and enjoy any time. Entertainment (exclude show in the Theater) is very good. I can recommend Choir of Man in the Superclub, I can recommend the great guitarist (Orly Penate), which often playing in Brewhouse or at Tobacco Road. In the Brewhouse Manny (the Piano Man) was fun and engaging, and the bar staff was also excellent. Captain Giovanni Cutugno is very experienced and responsible person. Guest Services were excellent. Thanks to Deepak Punia (Hotel Director). Our Steward (Felix) is the best. Anton (Norwegian Escape Art Gallery consultant) is very knowledgeable. Zdravko Kojakovich (Food and Beverage Director) and Prejith Poovaoadathil (Executive Chef) care about the best and very tasty foods for guests. Mustafa Kalkan (Asst. Maitre 'D) is ready to help you any time. Forget about diet! :))) Finally, me and my wife are looking for the next cruise on Norwegian Escape with the same Staff. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Introduction We previously sailed on the Escape in 2016. When we saw the fall colors itinerary on this ship, we decide to book the Escape again. We have traveled on several cruise lines, but have the most cruises on NCL and MSC. ... Read More
Introduction We previously sailed on the Escape in 2016. When we saw the fall colors itinerary on this ship, we decide to book the Escape again. We have traveled on several cruise lines, but have the most cruises on NCL and MSC. Embarkation We arrived at the port by 10 a.m. Our flight arrived early, and we decided to go to the port early. This was a good idea. They opened security a few minutes after our arrival. We were given boarding number 1 as Platinum members. We waited about an hour, and then our number was called. The process was quick and we were dining at O'Sheehan's by 11:30 a.m. Our luggage arrived by 1:30 p.m. Overall one of our better embarkation experiences. Room We previously stayed in the Haven on our last Escape cruise, but with just two folks and the ever escalating Haven prices, we were fine with a balcony. Curiously, we got four emails from NCL asking us to bid for an upgrade. As the minimum bid for a Haven upgrade was $1,000 per person, we passed. This was another good idea. The room was fine with a bed, couch, small bathroom and balcony. We never use the butler or concierge anyway so no loss on that front. Our room steward was very good. Prompt room make up and turn down. Dining This is were NCL really shines. We dined twice at Le Bistro, twice at La Cucina and once at Cagney's, Taste and the Manhattan room. All the meals were good. Le Bistro and La Cucina were particularly excellent. A side note on these venues. We are not snobs, but do like to dress consistently with the venue. These are beautiful dining rooms, yet half the folks show up in jeans and tee shirts. Le Bistro now even calls you in advance to remind patrons not to wear shorts. Freestyle appears to be taken to the nth degree by folks going casual even in fine dining restaurants. Entertainment This is a problem on all the new NCL ships. Every since they went to Broadway shows, you basically have only two or three nights in the theater. We saw the Brat Pack, After Midnight and a Magic show on the last night. The later two were very good, but the Brat Pack was disappointing. The rest of the days, we congregated in the atrium which had some music acts. The problem is the atrium's acoustics are terrible. It was not built for musical performances and seating is limited. The comedy shows were all reserved by the first day. There are alternative shows in the dinner theater for a fee, but known of them seem particularly worth the fee. There are few enrichment activities on board, unless you count towel folding and bingo as enrichment. Onboard Experience NCL is geared to sell things 24/7. Art auctions, bingo, fee shows, tee shirts, drink packages and Cruise next rewards Ad nauseum. About four of the T.V. channels are devoted to sales. We don't experience anywhere near this level of sales pitches on any other cruise line. We attended the Lattitudes Party. After the crew introduction, exclamations of how much they loved us and one drink per person, we were told basically to get the hell out of the room because they had to set up for another event. Total time 30 minutes start to finish. Shore Excursions Another hit and miss area. Our tour to Bar Harbor was cancelled due to the inability to tender. Our Nova Scotia tour, booked through NCL, reminded us of the Peterman Reality Tour from Seinfeld. The tour guide was fixated on tales of woe including: 911, a Swiss Air plane crash and the Titanic which she connected to Nova Scotia's involvement. Interesting stories, but a bit much for folks on vacation. After driving about one hour to Peggy's Cove, we started our return and the bus promptly broke down. We waited about an hour for a replacement bus. This bus arrives, but the air conditioning and sound system is out. We made it back to the next stop the Titanic Cemetery. At this point, many folks are hot and are few looking sick. The tour company indicates a third bus is coming. At this point, about thirty of us revolt and tell the driver we are not going on a third bus, many of us have dinner reservations and we want to return to port. The company relents and returns one bus to the port and one to continue the tour. The next day I go to shore excursion desk to express my issues with the tour. The gentleman, after hearing my story, launches into a defense of NCL. Basically, he asserts that NCL has no responsibility for tours that it sponsors through its web-site. I attempt to explain the law of agency to the employee, and the concept of customer service, but this falls on deaf ears. After much debate, he agrees to a 30% reduction of my fee. However, we still never acknowledges NCL's roll and responsibility in this matter as promoters of these tours. Service With the exception of the above incident, service was good. Waiters, the room steward and others we encountered were all friendly and competent. Value for money It is clear since Mr. Del Rio was named CEO, the emphasis at NCL is drive revenue and reduce costs wherever possible. As a NYSE listed company, I certainly understand quarterly margin pressure, but you can take this concept too far and it impacts the customer experience. I recently priced Alaska cruises for next year. NCL's price on the Joy for a balcony for two was more than the cruise I booked on Holland for four in a 500 to 700 sq. ft. Neptune Suite. The pricing increases on NCL has been relentless the past few years, and it is very noticeable when you compare pricing with other cruise lines. My wife is about to turn Platinum Plus on NCL and I am one cruise away, but even with status, I doubt we will be back at NCL anytime soon unless the value for money proposition changes. Read Less

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