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Sail Date: November 2018
This was my 1st cruise in over 30 years, and the 1st with my husband. We decided on this cruise because of the length (10 days) the location (Brooklyn) and the ports (Aruba, St. Maarten, and Antigua) We live in NJ and used Princes's ... Read More
This was my 1st cruise in over 30 years, and the 1st with my husband. We decided on this cruise because of the length (10 days) the location (Brooklyn) and the ports (Aruba, St. Maarten, and Antigua) We live in NJ and used Princes's shuttle service from EWR airport. We were told to meet in a certain palce at a certain time. We arrived a little early and sat and waited. Someone arrived on time to gather us and bring us to another location. It was at that location where we found out we culd have gotten on an earlier shuttle if we had been told the correct meeting place. She told us she has told Princess a number of times, but they continue to tell people the wrong location . The shuttle from EWR to Brooklyn was great, we arrived abut 1 and there were no lines. We were on board by 1:30. We were they only ship so I'm sure that helped. At 3 pm we went to our cabin A503. It was clean, cool, and very nice. We unpacked, they provided many hangers, a safe, and plenty of drawer space. I had ordered a Bon Voyage package and expected it to be in our room at least by 5:00 when we sailed. It never showed up and had to go to front desk to ask about it. After a few phone calls the front desk told us that they didnt deliver it because they had run out of strawberries. That was a vey interesting excuse especially since the package did not include strawberries. They finally arrived about an hour after we sailed. I think this kind of defeated the purpose but ok. We chose 8:15 dinner time prior to sailing. We were assigned to the Allegro dining room and a table of 6. Two people walked over and said they hadrequested a table for 2 and never returned, the other couple was a lovely older couple who became like family to us over the 10 days. This is why we like sharing a table. Dinner had a pretty good selection of choices each night and the food ranged from just ok to great, for the most part falling in the good range. The mushroom tart was one of our favorites. We had dinner in both specialty dining rooms Sabatini's and the Grill. We had great meals at both and the service especially in the Grill was wonderful. The beet risotto was the best thing I ate all week. The lamb at the grill was the 2nd best hing had. My one issue with all the meals were the potatoes. They were always cold, and a lot of time way undercooked. We brought 6 bottles of wine with us. We paid the $15 corkage fee on 4 of the bottles. It was worth it to have good wine without paying a fortune. We did buy the juice and soda package, which I really didn't use too often, and probably wouldnt do it again. On the 2nd day I ordered room decorations and champagne for our Anniversary. It was another Princess package I pre paid for. Guess what? No show again, another trip back to the front desk. I wasn't so happy this time. Do you want to take a guess on why they didn't deliver it? Those damn strawberries again. This time I asked to speak to a supervisor. She was very nice and listen to my complaints. She sent us a bottle of wine to make up for it. I will never again purchase a Princess package. The entertainment was pretty good, the shows every night were decent. We really enjoyed the movies under the stars. The blankets, popcorn and special chair cushions were great. As usual there were plenty of chair hogs, you know the people who put towels down and leave for 4 hours! This is a big pet peeve. They grab the best spots at 7 am and dont come to the pool until 3. This is so rude and I wish there was a solution. The Regal is a beautiful ship, the elegant design, ease of getting around and beauty make it a gem. Every single person who works on ship is helpful, polite, and always welcome you with a smile. Princess definitely is a leader in this area. We did an excursion in each port. In Aruba we did the butterfly farm, rock formation and aloe factory. I could have spent much more time at the farm and rocks and totally skipped the aloe factory. They need to drop that part of the tour. It is just a sales stop. The bus driver was great and gave us a lot of information. This wasmy favorite of all our toursand would definitely suggest it. When the tour was over we were dropped off at the ship and decided to grab a cab to a beach. We decided on reflextions beach. The cab driver tried to insist that we go to Eagle beach trying to tell us that Reflextions had no chairs, the water was shallow and the beach not that nice. After I told him he was wrong that I had been there before he took us where we requested but was not happy about. He was only 1 of the very few rude people we encountered in 10 days. Swimming with the stingrays in St. Marteen was a great excurtion and oh what fun. We have done this before on another island and just loved it, we highly recommend it. Catamaran snorkling in Antigua was nice. Our favorite evening activity was in the Princess Live, the games, and trivia were so much fun. My only wish was if they would do a game for early seating and then again for late. With out late seating we missed a lot of the fun. Everyone work very hard and Princess seems to treat their employess well which for us is important. Disembarkation was easy and stress free. The organization and smoothness of it all amazes me. We had no issues and were on the bus within half hour. We had an amazing experinece and look forward to our next cruise which will be to Alaska. My husband is hooked! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the convenience of leaving from Boston and the islands to be visited. The ship is very easy to get around on and the staff is pleasant. Some areas of the ship are in need of repair. In our stateroom ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the convenience of leaving from Boston and the islands to be visited. The ship is very easy to get around on and the staff is pleasant. Some areas of the ship are in need of repair. In our stateroom bathroom the mirror seemed to have a buildup of algae around the edges and after a brief rainstorm the floor of our balcony was covered in a muddy debris. The cabinets and table are scratched and worn and the bed not very comfortable. The biggest drawback was an extremely unpleasant odor in the hallway on our deck (8). It could only be described as the foulest of odors that one would find in a poorly maintained nursing home. Travel companions on deck 7 also noted this smell. Though it was not constant it was present daily at different times. Having sailed on Princess and NCL before I was expecting more from Royal Caribbean as I had always believed it was a step up. I was wrong. The entertainment, in my view, was extremely lacking compared to other ships I have been on. There was one Caribbean duo in the centrum who was very good and one night there was a Village People tribute band who were a lot of fun but otherwise none of the piano bar singers or musicians were appealing. The games, karaoke and trivia challenges were not conducted in any kind of organized manner and it was sometimes hard to understand the questions shouted over a microphone (on Princess the trivia challenge questions are usually displayed on a TV screen). I have a hearing deficit and because most of the hosts have some kind of accent I would be lost and would have to have my travel companions repeat the questions to me. I do enjoy the art auctions and did purchase a Peter Max that I love but don't feel that Park West was offering enough of a variety to appeal to a large number of people and that made the attendance rather scarce. As for the food, it was just ok. I was mostly satisfied with everything that I ordered in the dining room but some of my companions were not. Rubbery calamari and fatty beef are not desirable. If you can't make a creme brulee with a hard top then you might as well not make it at all. We did have great servers in Gerald and Hafifi in Reflections deck 5 and that made up for some mediocre food. Food on the buffet in the Windjammer is mostly salty and I stuck with hard boiled eggs, freshly made waffles, pizza or hamburgers and of course soft serve. All of the islands we visited have their own unique appeal. We took a private tour in St, Maarten which brought us to the shopping district where the same items were displayed over and over in booth after booth, and hour and a half stop at Orient beach ($15 for one chair and umbrella and constant harassment from illegal beach vendors). Antigua has the most beautiful beaches imo. We went to Valley Church Beach( the sand is not sand but made up only of crushed shells and te ones that are intact are just beautiful) where you can get a nice 1/2 hour massage for at Pam's Wellness Center (it's just a little hut but it was very inviting and relaxing) If you book online through Tripadvisor.com you can get a couples massage for $60. We didn't book ahead of time so my husband and I were only able to get separate massages but still it was good. In Barbados we went to Harbour Lights Beach at Carlisle Bay. Two chairs and umbrella were $20. Local vendors but not as intrusive as the ones in St. Maarten. Curacao, a tourist's mecca! Walk along the historical path to the moving bridge and into a great sopping district and don't forget to stop at the Renaissance Hotel for free wifi and some casino action. We skipped the beach in Aruba and went into town for more shopping and a little casino play($10 coupons were being given out for both the Crystal and Seaport casinos). All in all it was a relaxing and fun 12 days but in the future I will stick with Princess or NCL which have more to offer. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Just returned from 1 week Caribbean cruise on Sea Dream II - first time with Sea Dream. Traveled with my husband and 86 year old mother. We all had a great time. Our prior cruise experience was on Regent Seven Seas. First cruise for ... Read More
Just returned from 1 week Caribbean cruise on Sea Dream II - first time with Sea Dream. Traveled with my husband and 86 year old mother. We all had a great time. Our prior cruise experience was on Regent Seven Seas. First cruise for Mom. Here is general info for folks considering a Sea Dream cruise: 1) Mix of ages, from two ladies in their 80's to even a few 30 year olds. Bulk of guests are 45 to 65, I'd guess. Primarily would call this a rest and relaxation cruise, vs an active cruise. Guessing that is why most people choose a Caribbean vacation. 2) Open bar attracts some folks that like to drink and party, but there was no negative impact on the rest of us. I'd say approximately 15 - 20% of guests on our sailing fit the partying stereotype, but they didn't impact our ability to go to bed at 10:30. We were on deck 2 and Mom was on Deck 4 and none of us heard any partying noise that kept us awake. Another guest indicated he had the room nearest the piano bar and could hear bar noise that did keep him awake, so if you like to retire prior to 3 am it is best to choose a room further down the hallway. Loved getting up at 7 and going up top to start the day. Super quiet/peaceful at that time. 3) Our room on deck 2 was one of the rooms that can be combined into a larger suite. We didn't hear any noise from our neighboring room. There was a some creaking of wood/furnishings when sailing, but it blended into engine/ocean noise. Don't know if creaking was more in a room that has the folding wall or not. I slept super well on the boat, better than I usually do at home! Being on deck 2, the noise of the waves against the boat lulled me to sleep. 4) Limited smoking areas provided on ship for smokers, but smoke was never an issue as it blows off the ship (and I'm very sensitive to second hand smoke). 5) Beds super comfy. Showers very nice. Though, overall bathroom is small, but small size is to be expected on a yacht/smaller cruise ship. 6) Water sports platform was probably the only disappointment of the entire trip. Only opened in the afternoons for 2 hours most days and allowed all types out at the same time. As a result, jet skis, sail boats, paddle boards, etc were all in the same area. Allowed area for water sports is very constrained/limited (2 safety motor boats keep everyone corralled), as a result actually very dangerous with jet skis zooming alongside paddle boards and sail boats. Plus not too much fun to paddle left for 15 strokes, then right for 15, then back the other way and repeat. Paddle board equipment, what we like to do, was very old/beat up, with only 2 paddles ... neither of which was adjustable - only correctly sized if 5'6" or 6' 2" tall. Adjustable paddles are a must. Would have been better to have water sports equipment taken to the beach each day vs using off the back of the boat. 7) Trip on Sea Dream compares very favorably to our prior cruise on Regent Seven Seas. Lack of balcony off our room wasn't an issue, as we truly spent all but sleeping/dressing time up on deck or on shore. The whole ship is your balcony when you are on a yacht trip. Service was excellent, with much more personalized nature vs Seven Seas. Everyone calls you by name from first day on. Food/dining was fabulous. Every dish is wonderfully presented - works of art. Serving size is smaller, which is great for allowing for multiple courses. They go out of their way to make guests happy, even to point of adding additional chocolate desserts after I commented how great the chocolate dessert was at dinner one night. Dream Cookies are wonderful. Always a cookie/beverage table set up at the tender dock, which is a very nice touch (never had that with Seven Seas). Only thing you miss out on vs larger cruise ship is the entertainment/enrichment activities, but our days/evenings were full so don't know when we would have had time for entertainment/enrichment activities. With Sea Dream yacht sized boats you gain on not going into a dock for each port, but anchor off of the actual beaches that you came to the Caribbean to visit. Made it great for my elderly mother to stay on the boat and enjoy the beautiful ports/scenery vs staring at a pier. 8) Loved the Balinese Day Beds for lounging. Raised up high enough to see over the railings, which affords a great view. All 3 of us would lounge together on the double wide. Signed up to sleep outside, but isn't really feasible unless you stay up late, as the bar creates a lot of noise close by. 9) Sea Dream shore excursions we did were great. Kayak/snorkel trip in St John - excellent equipment, closed deck double kayaks with rudders. Motor boat/snorkel trip in Anguilla to the most beautiful sandy island. Also, did the group tour to The Baths on Virgin Gorda, but that could have been easily done on our own via taxi. 10) Excursions we did on our own: We rented car at St Barts and drove the whole island, plus hiked Crispeen track on our own on Saba (hiked from tender pier all the way up ... very steep!). In retrospect, we would have hired more taxis from tender piers to take us to other beaches on the islands. Can be easily done for $20 or less, based on feedback from other guests. 11) Post 2017 Hurricane Irma and Maria still have visible impact on all islands we stopped at. Old Town San Juan and St Barts were the most repaired - perhaps only 5% of buildings still damaged. All other stops had 50 to 75% of buildings still damaged/unopened. Virgin Gorda was probably most impacted, which was very sad to see. Our guide told us that all 9 resorts on the island were still closed/undergoing repairs (re-opening ETA's in Feb 2019 at the earliest!), as a result the island population has declined by 50% due to loss of jobs/housing. You can feel good that your tourist dollars are helping in a small way. 12) Dining al fresco with Sea Dream was a huge plus. I didn't realize in advance how much we would like that aspect of Sea Dream's ships. Only 3 dinners served in the dining salon, but in the end I'd have preferred all dinners to be held on the upper deck, open dining area. On final night we had rough seas and I got a bit sea sick in the enclosed dining salon. I left dinner early and went outside. I noticed a small group of several tables where guests were dining outside. I didn't ask about it, but I'm guessing you can request to dine al fresco even if dinner is scheduled for the dining salon. I think that would have kept me from getting sea sick at dinner that night. No issue not having multiple restaurants on the ship, as always a variety of food offered on the menu. 13) Little gifts left in your room multiple times on the trip. The infamous pajamas, which are XXL for all men and XL for all women. Stitched monogramming with our names on the night shirts. Sizing seemed a joke til we got home and washed them. Hot water and drying made them fit quite well. They are now shrunk to size and we both find them a comfy, soft cotton reminder of our wonderful vacation. Other evening room surprises included chocolate covered strawberries, eye masks, ditty bags and Sea Dream mints. Small, but nice touches! 14) Itinerary was changed vs what we were provided prior to sailing. That was a bit of a disappointment initially, as I'd done research on the islands/ports we were to have visited. Captain indicated we should have been notified by email, but no one we talked to had been told of the change in advance. The new itinerary was great, so no complaints at the end. May have actually been better, as had full day at each location we stopped at vs 2 islands on several days for the prior itinerary. 15) Gym is very nice, with large windows. Pleasant place to get some exercise. 16) Embarkation and disembarkation a breeze. Off the ship and through immigration in 15 minutes of less! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We took the recent repo cruise from Manhattan to San Juan. We started out with the easiest and fastest embarkation we have ever experienced. Kudos! We had heard all sorts of rave reviews about Viking Ocean and wanted to try it ourselves. ... Read More
We took the recent repo cruise from Manhattan to San Juan. We started out with the easiest and fastest embarkation we have ever experienced. Kudos! We had heard all sorts of rave reviews about Viking Ocean and wanted to try it ourselves. The ship was very nice with the furnishings "Danish Modern." It was not as lush as I was expecting. The public areas were kept very cold, to the point that people were wearing sweaters in the Caribbean. We had a Deluxe Veranda which was a pretty standard room, nothing special. It definitely needed more drawer space. The bathroom had a heated floor, which I am sure is a delight when cruising the Norwegian fjords, but in the Caribbean, it turned the bathroom into a sauna. We found out the last day that this could be turned off if you asked. The food was excellent, but the Main Dining Room could had a more varied menu. We usually don't go to the shows, but did see the excellent pianist. The crew was fantastic, no complaints. We did not take advantage of the shore excursions, having been to these islands many times before. The ship was very noisy, at least in our cabin in any but he smoothest of seas. It made bumping, popping and banging noises; very annoying when trying to sleep. The buffet was excellent at breakfast, with a large selection of choices and eggs made to order. The ice cream was good and a must after lunch. Overall, we enjoyed our first time on Viking, but would probably not go again. BTW, this was our 48th cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because we have cruised with P and O A Couple of times before and found them to be great value for money and very well organised. The food on board Azura was in our opinion very good, plenty of choice and of decent ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have cruised with P and O A Couple of times before and found them to be great value for money and very well organised. The food on board Azura was in our opinion very good, plenty of choice and of decent quality. Some people moan about the quality but we found it to be what you would get in a good quality restaraunt or pub. The entertainment was first class with the headliners who do several shows absolutely brilliant and some good tribute acts and good comedians especially Mike Doyle. Excursions are quiet dear with P and O but you can book your own which we did on 4 occasions. Viator and very good and we booked a couple of independent ones as well. The two we did with P and O was the Azores witch was ok but we got very wet weather which spoilt it a bit, not P and Os fault though. The second was a trip by land and sea around St Lucia which was quiet expensive but would highly recommend it. The Tour did everything, the famous Pitons, Lovely litttle fishing villages, An active volcanoe, a tropical gardens and finally a boat ride back to the ship. 8 hours of pure joy. Getting on and off the ship was straight forward with hardly any wait at all including your first step and last step on the ship. Please don't be put off by any bad reviews you read unless you want 5 star Luxuary, then you need to spend a couple of thousand pounds more. If like us you want good food, grate entertainment and good service you cant go wrong with P and 0 Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are a married couple (no kids) in our 40's who are early retirees and travel permanently. We added cruising as a mode of travel over the last couple of years and are no sailing around 100 days a year. Most of our cruises have been on ... Read More
We are a married couple (no kids) in our 40's who are early retirees and travel permanently. We added cruising as a mode of travel over the last couple of years and are no sailing around 100 days a year. Most of our cruises have been on the mid size ships of the major lines (Celebrity, HAL, NCL) with one cruise on Regent. We are in the midst of trying a variety of new lines. Overall we thought Viking was a beautiful ship with amazing food and service. The inclusives don't suit our style and the fellow passengers are more mature (no problem for us) and quite conservative, they felt similar to the crowds you encounter on HAL sailings. We embarked smoothly in New York, sailing down the Hudson being gorgeous. Restaurant was limited to the buffet which was a surprise, service at the outdoor tables is a problem and continued all cruise. Our cabin was available from 2pm which was good. The ship is lovely, clean Scandinavian design which makes for a comfortable atmosphere. The design leads to a feeling of space and we rarely encountered crowded spaces. The rear infinity pool is a highlight as is the atrium with its amazing screen. The double story explorers lounge is comfortable and one of the better crows nests we have experienced. Our cabin was a DV1 on the 8th floor (top floor) amongst the suites.As a DV it had a coffee machine which I loved. It was a good size with a light colour palette. The balcony had 2 chairs and a table but was only half covered on that level. Noise was rarely a problem. The smart TV was easy to use and had loads of movies and all the lectures available.The bathroom was a good size with heated floors. The bed was very comfortable. Our attendant was superb. The negatives are storage, it is really poor with so much under utilised space and a cupboard that is tight against the bed and difficult to access and led to us bumping into each other regularly. Our airconditioner was broken and we almost froze to death, after being repaired it was so noisy we had to have insulation installed to cover it. Dining - a real highlight. The restaurant did superb food, Manfredis the Italian was probably the best I have had at sea. The waiters were very good and the wine stewards were excellent.The buffet had very good quality (especially sushi and seafood at night) but the fact that you serve yourself is unhygienic and the lack of table service made it feel a little ordinary. The Chef Table was hit and miss, we thought the Asian menu was some of the worst Asian food we have eaten (we are Australian and travel to Asia frequently) the spice menu was superb. However this restaurant felt like a cafe at best and was clearly used as a training ground for staff with service patchy at best. The wine was never ready with the courses except for the cold sweet wines which were inexplicably poured half an hour early. Dress code is very relaxed and surprisingly there is no dress code on foot wear at all so it was strange seeing men wearing reef sandals and women in basic flip flops. Entertainment - average at best but to be fair we knew this beforehand. The Viking vocalists were underutilised. The guest entertainers were mixed, we loved the female vocalist but underwhelmed by the magician. The CD was an excellent performer as was the ACD. The classical trio, pianist and guitarist and Viking band were all excellent. I enjoyed the nightclub atmosphere which was quiet but fun. There were many lectures throughout the cruise on a variety of topics but with great weather throughout the cruise we missed many of them. There is a putting green and shuffleboard. Loads of board games. We loved walking the promenade or top deck for exercise. Viking includes access to the Spa which surprisingly we utilised frequently. The facilities were first class. The only problem is you have to share it with other guests the majority of which don't shower before using the facilities and even worse many leave the steam sweaty and enter straight into the spa pool (gross). Similarly at the outdoor pools we never saw one person shower before entering. Drinks - we bought the drinks package as included beverages was limited to beer and wine at meal times. We prefer more flexibility. We thought the package was good value but would rather not have to buy it and forgo wifi and shore excursions. One annoying aspect was the reluctance of the ship to provide San Pellegrino sparkling water despite having the package. It took 3 days of relentless pursuit to receive a bottle and then a complaint before it was provided without resistance. Small aspects like this hold Viking back from feeling truly luxurious. Wifi was poor, skype impossible, Facebook inaccessible. Basically limited to email and simple web pages. Not worth it as an "incusion". Service - very good overall. We had a poor experience early when a bartender yelled at my wife despite her not uttering one word, other guests left the bar in protest and several others along with 2 staff members checked to make sure we were ok. The first few days also saw us being ignored by staff to the preference of older passengers. Once we informed management these issues were corrected immediately and the rest of the cruise was generally perfect. We are fortunate to have visited many of the countries the crew are from and this led to many great conversations. I think the fact that tips are extra is cheap given how much Viking is charging. Shore excursions - as it was our first Viking we limited our excursions to the included ones. These were generally bus tours doing general overview tours. They were very average in quality (most regular passengers said they were much poorer than what is experienced in Europe). The weather was great and if we had our time again we would simply do our own thing and spend more time on the beautiful beaches. We met many great people but we also encountered many judgemental fellow passengers who seemed to be upset that "younger" passengers would be onboard. This was annoying and very strange as we are hardly teenagers. In summary, we loved the ship and service, the itinerary was fun and the weather was superb. We felt the price was high relative to their luxury competitors and the inclusions don't fit our cruising style (would prefer drinks and tips than poor wifi and excursions) however given Viking's success I think they are unlikely to change anything. Clearly more popular with the more mature crowd. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were always treated with a welcoming attitude by the crew in all departments. Very professional but also very personable. Having been on Holland America and Oceania, which we also ... Read More
Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were always treated with a welcoming attitude by the crew in all departments. Very professional but also very personable. Having been on Holland America and Oceania, which we also thoroughly enjoyed, Viking has made a lasting impression! Due to its smaller size and number of passengers as well as the comfortable open and inviting common areas and our relaxing cabin, we found this cruise met and exceeded our expectations! The cabins are spacious and have plenty of storage, especially in the washrooms. They were meticulously maintained and replenished daily. Restaurants and dining areas, of which there are several, provide various menus. The convenience of booking on the TV screen gives passengers the opportunity to book last minute and to check availability, which was the same procedure for booking tours. Great movie selection on the TV as well. Enjoyed all the entertainment we saw, very age appropriate. Also continuous throughout the day in different areas. We did take the included excursions which we enjoyed as well. We are looking to book future trips with Viking....but so far the ones we are interested in are booked through to 2020! Obviously says something about the product and this company! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are just off of the Viking Star...around the Caribbean Sea cruise. We left oct. 18 from Manhattan, NYC. It was a blustery warm day. This was our 1st ocean cruise after several river cruises (also w viking). It is a fabulous ... Read More
We are just off of the Viking Star...around the Caribbean Sea cruise. We left oct. 18 from Manhattan, NYC. It was a blustery warm day. This was our 1st ocean cruise after several river cruises (also w viking). It is a fabulous ship. Clean...very clean...with a tremendous staff. They always went above and beyond....from the housekeeping staff to waiters on up! We had done a guarantee cabin...which means we paid for the lowest class cabin in hopes of an upgrade...but..if an upgrade didn’t come..you got what you pay for. The main downer of this is that you don’t know your cabin assignment until days before the cruise. We were fortunate to get a category upgrade to a delux veranda...which was binoculars in room...a throw..and the fridge being restocked daily w soft drinks. The best part was that our room was mid deck midship. All rooms are balcony! Being home...one thing I miss is the heated bathroom floors!!! And the shower head. I also can’t say enough about the hot water in the shower. I love my hot showers...but they were really hot!! Love,love,love! The bed was comfy. We did have an issue with too soft of pillows...our room steward was gracious to find us a couple firmer ones by day 2! The food is unparalleled. We ate dinner in the restaurant most nights. Did Manfredi twice...to die for! And chefs table once (too gourmet for us). Breakfast in the dining room is wonderful! Always pleasant servers. Did I mention they have lamb chops on the breakfast menu? Yes..right next to the steak! Embarkation took us all of 10 minutes in Manhattan...organized and efficient staff made this an easy experience. Disembarkationin Miami at first seemed confusing...but it was the guests making the process chaotic. The staff had it down!! Once our color group was called...we were off the ship and onto waiting buses in 15 minutes. Luggage was wonderfully sorted for us. I can say how easy it all was. As stated in other reviews...the entertainment isn’t the best...but it WAS entertaining! We had a magician onboard for 2 nights and a female impressionist for 2...they were the highlights of entertainment. Our cruise director performed one evening..and there were 2 dance parties by the pool. Two movies were shown under the stars...documentaries....not a fan. This was 15 day cruise...so it is challenging at best to keep 900 passengers happy all the time. You could go to a vast number of lectures during the day. In each port there is an included tour. We participated in all of them...all showed an overview of each island. The free use of the spa was amazing. We loved the thermal pool. I have seen reviews where it is small..but at no time were there more than 4 in the thermal pool at once. My husband enjoyed the sauna, ice room and bucketOwater! Lol. The outdoor pools are nice...just deep. However there are bars to hold onto when in the pool. And plenty of room to sit around the edge of the main pool..in the water. Our weather was hot..so a refreshing dip was needed! We enjoyed the ocean cruise very much...but prefer a river cruise. Looking forward to another Viking adventure in our future. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise for its unique itinerary to the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) with 4 full sea days for utmost relaxation. The ship was recently refurbished and - although we cannot compare with the "before" - we ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its unique itinerary to the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) with 4 full sea days for utmost relaxation. The ship was recently refurbished and - although we cannot compare with the "before" - we thought the decor and finishes were excellent. Tasteful yet fun and modern, not gaudy or too glitzy. This is the largest ship we have cruised on and think it's perfect for familiarization over 7-8 days. We actually knew where we were going after Day 3! Embarkation was well organized, just had to wait about an hour in cruise terminal. Debarkation was smooth with pre-booked transportation to MIA airport. Just waited awhile for the bus to fill up. Appreciated the priority given for the earliest flights. We were off the ship by 8:30am and easily made a 12:30pm flight departure with plenty of time to spare. We had a mid-ship balcony cabin and am now convinced that the mid-ship location is worth a little extra $$. You can zip down to the room to grab something without having to traverse the length of the ship. The cabin was large enough and thoughtfully configured. We really appreciated and utilized all the shelving, drawers, desks, and cubbies throughout. The bathroom was no exception - the shower and toilet have sliding glass doors for privacy and there is plenty of space to put all those little travel bottles. Three glass shelves by the sink and a larger under-sink shelf hold all the stuff. The shower has a handheld sprayer and several metal wire shelves for more bottles. It's actually larger than my "phone booth" shower at home! The ship's crew were lovely, with some impressive bartenders. We didn't have to wait a long time for a drink. The sushi cooks were awesome! Loved the espresso bar - that barista knows how to make a great cappuccino!! Enjoyed the Garden Cafe indoor/outdoor buffet and Grand Pacific dining room. The Alizar dining room was fine, pretty basic but great for a no-frills meal. We used the Specialty Dining Package for Cagney's (1) and Sushi Bar (2). Both were excellent, we were very happy! Karaoke at night was popular so that was fun - I purposely sang a non-country song to mix things up a bit (come on, people). The casino was really hot and smoky for the first 2 days but they resolved the issue and it was tolerable the remainder of cruise. The Stardust Theater is very nice with fun "Venetian Carnival" decor. The entertainment was great and got better each night. The aerialists - WOW!! Everyone in the theater was turned on LOL. The comedian Alvin was also excellent - enjoyed the adults only show on the last night. We did not book any shore excursions through the ship, but loved the cold, refreshing towels and welcome dance party upon our return! The only point of criticism is for the organized activities during sea days. Not everyone likes to spend all day at the pool or on a chaise lounge, so it would have been nice to have some more fun or interesting activities that you don't need to go poolside for during sea days. The evening Pub Trivia on the first sea day was awful and we couldn't wait to get out of there. This was for idiots! It was multiple choice and every answer was D. Are you kidding me? Pub trivia is supposed to be challenging and (somewhat) raunchy. Make it fun! We're day drinking, after all :) We also participated in Movie Trivia, Shout out the Lyrics Gameshow, Deal or No Deal, and Bingo. Bingo is expensive ($50ea) with small pots (~$200). Not worth it IMO. Overall, this was a great cruise and we had a BLAST!! Norwegian does a great job with everything they have to deal with. We can't wait for the next cruise with Norwegian!! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We had pcked this specific cruise for the destinations. And rarely do i complain, but food, spa, room were subpar as compared to past NCL cruises. Osheehans is usually our favourite dining spot to visit onboard but this time was not near ... Read More
We had pcked this specific cruise for the destinations. And rarely do i complain, but food, spa, room were subpar as compared to past NCL cruises. Osheehans is usually our favourite dining spot to visit onboard but this time was not near their normal standard. Wings were miniature and food was sometimes cold. Meal typically arrived before beverages. Spa was not co-ed so we could not enjoy that as a couple. Spa beds were rarely available due to people hogging/ reserving them. We Advised spa staff that they should police this, but they didn't want to be the bad guy. Still like NCL as a preferred cruise line, but this was our worst of 5 cruises with NCL. We enjoyed our ashore time to each of the 3 Islands. Entertainment was ok and Blazing Boots and comedian Alvin were our davourite shows. We look forward to a better experience on our next NCL cruise. Cheers, Read Less

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