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1,230 Caribbean - Eastern Cruise Reviews

Been with Norwegian for 5 cruises. It was an easy decision to sail with them again. This was our big vacation for the year. I sailed with my two children 16 and 10 also with my sister and nephew. The room was small but ok. Not enough plugs ... Read More
Been with Norwegian for 5 cruises. It was an easy decision to sail with them again. This was our big vacation for the year. I sailed with my two children 16 and 10 also with my sister and nephew. The room was small but ok. Not enough plugs and not enough shelving. But not bad overall. Nice balcony. Entertainment was terrible. Priscilla queen of the desert was horrid. Not good at all. It was not the show content it was the show it self. We tried the Circ show and where our seats where the kids could not see and the service was terrible inside the show. Service on this ship was terrible with very few bright spots. The pool area was overcrowded, drunk spring breakers, not enough chairs and slides were closed down at the drop of the hat. The last day on ship we were supposed to stop at the private beach for Norwegian but the Captain stated that the weather had turned and that the waves were not cooperating. After speaking to several couples that had been turned away the last three cruises they had been on it is apparent that Norwegian has an issue that needs to be addressed. That ruined the entire trip for us as we already had 3 sea days to deal with and then this added another. We also did not leave Port Canaveral until almost 1000 pm due to maintenance that needed to be done. That happened again leaving another port late again. There was a fight at the pool and I was frightened for the safety of my child. It was not good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We booked and saved for this cruise for over a year. This was first time cruising with MSC. From A-Z was bad. Room was never cleaned properly even upon arrival. Drawers had sand, etc in them, comforter had hole in it, closet door handle ... Read More
We booked and saved for this cruise for over a year. This was first time cruising with MSC. From A-Z was bad. Room was never cleaned properly even upon arrival. Drawers had sand, etc in them, comforter had hole in it, closet door handle was broken off and under bed, the couch/bunk was never down in couch position, floors never looked vacuumed, I had to call numerous times for toilet paper because room attendant would "tidy" up but never refill paper or empty garbage cans. This is first cruise my family went on and actually lost weight. The food was horrible be it dining room or buffet. The show(S), was the same show with same performers every night. Just wearing different outfits and music. We booked 2 excursions through MSC. Both were a disaster. Manager at excursion desk and others were horribly rude to us and none of it was our fault! First excursion issue was Jeep tour did not take us to any of places listed, nor did we do off road as stated. Second excursion did not provide enough fairies for customers to get to destination. My family of 4 stood in direct sun on dock for 1 1/2 hrs then ended up on random small boat which took another 30 mins to get us to intended destination. Little/nothing to do for kids. They state arcade room, there are 6 games.....Both my children were bored. Kids clubs (when open), did not have much of anything going on. We spent so much money on this and are extremely disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
If there was a negative 5 rating I would rate it negative 5. This was my 5th cruise and worse ever will never cruise NCL again EVER. We booked a three person cabin and we were all over each other to move around. The room setup was horrible ... Read More
If there was a negative 5 rating I would rate it negative 5. This was my 5th cruise and worse ever will never cruise NCL again EVER. We booked a three person cabin and we were all over each other to move around. The room setup was horrible the beds were so small our legs were hanging off. Not sure who designed the cabins the shower was so tiny you can only fit in if you shrunk yourself. There was no availability to watch any of the shows you needed to make reservations before you book the cruise. The restaurants were all crowded and the waiter only had time to take your orders and bring it back to you no time to check if we need anything else, one night we finished our dinner before getting our drinks. My pool at home is bigger than the one on the EPIC. There was a wait for everything you needed food, elevators, drinks you name it there was a line. We traveled with three kids and they were bored. We left 5 hours late and didn't stop at GSC. Seem that they wanted you to get on the ship so that they can charge you for something else, $20 for a game of Deal or no deal, bingo. The kids had a soda package and they charge for a can soda. $5.5 for a bottle of water. It's a rip-off. DO NOT BOOK NCL you will have the worst time of your life. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were on another Celebrity Cruise in December 2018 and loved it.. we booked a Stateroom with Balcony. There was no Balcony. They got us for a Photo Shoot, cost us $ 5 79.00 US. Payed for picture on the Ship $ 140 .which we never ... Read More
We were on another Celebrity Cruise in December 2018 and loved it.. we booked a Stateroom with Balcony. There was no Balcony. They got us for a Photo Shoot, cost us $ 5 79.00 US. Payed for picture on the Ship $ 140 .which we never received. Finally after almost 4 Month, we got our Money back. We would never go on a Celebrity Ship again. We also tell all our Friends to do the same. It was a terrible Cruise and we did not enjoy our time on that Ship. On top the Dinners even at Special Restaurants were not satisfying and it was Expansive. Even we had a Package for Wine etc. we had to pay over $ 800.00 extra. This Ship needs to get money back, but not on our Account. We are Seniors and have a fixed income and like to enjoy time away, we like to spend our moneys, but not on a Ship like the Celebrity Edge Over all it was not a very nice time for us.. we have decided never to go on a Celebrity Cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Disclaimer: "I am an avid NCL cruise fan and stock holder. I only cruise on NCL as they are the best brand for me with the free-style attitude. I prefer not to have a dining time, and prefer to just do what I want to do when I want to ... Read More
Disclaimer: "I am an avid NCL cruise fan and stock holder. I only cruise on NCL as they are the best brand for me with the free-style attitude. I prefer not to have a dining time, and prefer to just do what I want to do when I want to do it. NCL provides that for me, so I stick with that is not broken. This cruise was my 15th cruise on Norwegian and 14th different boat. Yes, I know kind of crazy, but it just worked out that way. I am also going on the Epic in June, and that boat is the only one I've not been on." The Norwegian Bliss was by far my worst experience on an NCL Ship. To put it lightly I hated it. The main reason is that it is way too crowded. The ship is big, and yet too crowded (that tell you something). This is especially true with the buffett area. There really isn't a great outdoors on this ship, which really sucks because that tends to spread people out. You cannot find a table in the buffet area for at least 15 mins. At some points, you see people standing up and eating. A terrible design, just horrible. If you get on this ship, you will be frustrated just as I was. Now I did figure out that the 15th deck (the one with the glass around it FWD) has a small buffet. That tended to be a bit less crowded. I can imagine on the Alaska cruises it won't be as I am sure more people will flock there. The whole go-cart thing is the real reason the boat is so crowded. They decided to build that to look cool, but in the end it took a lot of space they could of used for other things. I think eventually it will burn them. As I mentioned the buffet could be much bigger, and should be much bigger. Not to mention, the same problem goes with beach chairs. You won't get one unless you get there at 6-7:30am. After that forget it, you won't get a chair. This will also frustrate you. I have to say the staff were awesome just as they are on all of the ships I go on. The exception is the guest services people as they sometimes are incompetent. Everybody else is fantastic especially the bartenders. The meals on this ship were not as good as some others. The only good meal I had the entire time was in Cagney's. Everything else was just average or just plain not good. The only thing good in the buffet was the Indian food. Everything else was just average. This is surprising because this is the first time that has happened. Out of 15 cruises on NCL, this was the only time I was real disappointing with the food. I still haven't figured out why they don't open Spice H2O every night as that is the best place on the ship at night. Fresh air dancing, and drinking. Yet they only have it open for one night and half. Makes no sense to me. Other ships had it open most nights. Embarkation and Debarkation were smooth. I am a Platinum Plus member, so my opinion on that isn't really relevant. But I do think NCL is getting better and better with embarkation and debarkation. As I mentioned, I am a NCL fan. I love the brand, but there is no way I will be back on the Bliss. Not a shot in the world. The other boats are much better in just about every way. I would highly recommend doing your research before booking a cruise on the bliss. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is a long review but so are the troubles that NCL has caused us. Please take time to read this for your own sake. My husband and I just returned from a cruise on the Bliss that we booked through one of NCL’s sales agents. We ... Read More
This is a long review but so are the troubles that NCL has caused us. Please take time to read this for your own sake. My husband and I just returned from a cruise on the Bliss that we booked through one of NCL’s sales agents. We booked the entire trip through this NCL employee including air fare and cruise insurance. We were nervous about the flights, and requested to fly out the night before the cruise (with overnight lodging at our own expense) or on the first flight out of Tulsa Saturday morning (as we had a layover in Dallas). We were told that we did not really get a say in booking the flights but that they would put a note on our account for our requests. When we got our flight assignment we were booked on the second flight out of Tulsa on Saturday morning which gave us a 50 minute layover in Dallas and was not scheduled to even land in Miami until 12:51 PM, after which we would have to gather our luggage and shuttle 30-35 minutes to the Port of Miami. Keep in mind, our boarding time was 12:00 and the eDocs state that if we aren't on board by 2:00 we wont be allowed onboard. We were concerned about this tight timeline as this would leave no margin for error for traffic or travel delays and our paperwork suggested that we not board the ship later than 2:00 PM. When we called NCL representatives 4-5 times about this and other questions leading up to the cruise we were given the same answer by each, “since you booked your flights with NCL, as long as you are to the port before 4:00 PM and this ship is still in port, you will be allowed to get on.” On the day of departure, our 6:40 AM flight from Tulsa to Dallas was delayed for 3 hours, causing us to miss our layover in Dallas. We were re-booked through the airline on a flight to Ft. Lauderdale which was to land a 2:45 PM as this was the only option available to get us to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale before 4:00. Throughout this morning, we attempted to contact our agent, the emergency travel line listed on NCL edocs, as well as all available NCL numbers to gather information about options, as we knew the flight delay would cause the time to be very close to ship departure. We were unable to get in contact with any NCL representatives, despite 30-45 minute holds, until we got to Dallas. The representative told us that we would be cutting the time very close but was unable to offer any information except telling us to call the shuttle company (that we had paid for to transport from Miami Airport to the Port of Miami). We did as he told us to but because it was Saturday the shuttle company was not open and had no way to be contacted. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, retrieved our luggage and hired an Uber driver (as we could not contact the pre-arranged shuttle) and got to the Port by 3:40 PM. We knew that we were very close to departure, but based on what we had repeatedly been told by NCL, fully expected to be allowed to board since NCL had booked our flights and made all other travel/transport arrangements. As we got out of the Uber, we were met by a NCL representative that said we would not be allowed on the ship and handed us a paper with contact information for NCL to see what our options were with the insurance. We told her what NCL had told us about getting on the ship and she said that no one was allowed on after 3:30 PM. We understand if this is the policy, but that is not what we were told by multiple people within NCL, including the rep we talked to in Dallas. In fact, we were never given a cut off time, only a statement that if the ship was in port we would be allowed to board. Had this been disclosed to us originally, we likely wouldn't have left Tulsa as it was extremely unlikely we would ever make that cut off. The NCL representative at the port offered no further help and told us to find a hotel. We spent the next 4 hours trying to contact NCL from the paper we were given at the port and spent 30 minutes at a time on hold. We then received different answers from different NCL representatives blaming the airline and us for not getting there on time and telling us conflicting information about how the insurance works. No one was able to lay out our options for us or break down the situation and help us, making it difficult to make an informed decision as to whether to meet the ship at the first port or fly back to Tulsa without cruising. We were extremely disappointed with the customer service of a cruise line that is touted as a premium cruise line. We had no problems getting answers or in touch with NCL when we were booking, but when we ran into a problem, no one was available to help. We stayed in a hotel in Miami Saturday night and ended up flying to Tortola to meet the ship on Tuesday. All of which was paid out of pocket (flights, hotel, taxis,food, etc.), amounting to $2000 on top of the almost $5000 we had already spent on the cruise itself. We were not able to join the cruise until day 4 of 7. This was our first cruise experience, we were traveling for my birthday, and we were very excited and pleased with NCL until we ran into a problem. The ship and cabins were new and clean and overall very nice, and large for what we expected. The food was good and available most of the day and we enjoyed the specialty dining package. The Jersey Boys show was excellent and there was plenty of activities onboard to keep us entertained. We were disappointed in Tortola, but enjoyed the other ports with St. Thomas being our favorite. We did not participate in many excursions but the sky ride in St. Thomas was well worth the time. We enjoyed the ship and attentiveness of the staff once aboard, but despite all of these positives, we were very disappointed in the NCL cruise experience overall.The issues with the flights booked through NCL, the incorrect information given to us, and the poor customer service would make us never sail with this cruise line again. Post-Cruise: We submitted all our expenses to the insurance company, but only half of our expenses were recovered. We then submitted the rest of our expenses to NCL as part of our complaint process to work toward some sort of resolution for all our trouble and missing HALF of the cruise. We went through the email process and were told it would take 10-15 business days for a response. We submitted the complaint on March 12, but didnt get a response until April 11th. It took 22 business days to get a response from the Bliss coordinator, Patricia Tamarit. In this response, she took no responsibility for any of the concerns expresses by us. She offered no refund, credit, or resolution of any kind. Here is the letter in full: "Dear Mrs. xxxx: We recognize the time and effort in planning a cruise vacation and regret to learn of the circumstances that resulted in the delayed arrival to your voyage aboard the Norwegian Bliss. We have reviewed your information and regret to know you experienced a setback with your flights into Miami. Although it is never our desire for our guests to be to be disappointed or inconvenienced in any way, please know that although the flights were booked through our Air/Sea Department, we do not have direct control over airline reasons for a delay, procedures, policies or their employees' actions. Please understand that it is not our intent to cause any further distress; however, we are unable to offer a refund or credit for the unused day of your voyage or out of pocket expenses. Because of the very nature of unexpected situations such as the one you experienced, we strongly recommend our guests always obtain Travel Protection to cover unforeseen circumstances. A review of your reservation indicates you purchased travel protection through AON Affinity. You may wish to contact them and file a claim in this regard. They can be reached at 1-800-722-5672 or via their website at www.travelclaim.com Thank you for this opportunity to respond. We trust our explanation will help you to understand our position in this matter and over the course of time you will consider Norwegian Cruise Line in your future travel plans Sincerely, Coordinator Guest Relations" As mentioned before, we had already purchased the travel insurance. She failed to address the fact that the airline got us to the ship, and based on what we had been told numerous times, they got us there on time. Instead, it was NCL that refused to allow us onboard. That is not an issue with the airline. That is an issue with NCL. We did not accept this response and called back to the guest relations number. We were passed around to multiple representatives who continued to blame everyone else but NCL. We were finally told that (Bliss coordinator) would call us back within 48 hours. This did not happen. So, we called again. This time, we were told that our case hasd been re-opened and sent to another supervisor. This would only take 7-10 days to resolve. That was on April 22nd. It is now May 16th and we have yet to get any response. NCL seems content to throw away customers and take no responsibility for their failures. Dealing with this company has been one headache after another, and I would recommend that anyone considering traveling with NCL to strongly reconsider. If everything goes smoothly, you wouldnt have a problem. But as soon as any problem occurs, you are very clearly on your own. AS FOR THE CRUISE ITSELF: We booked a mini-suite with a balcony. The bathrooms were much more spacious than I had anticipated as was the room itself. The room attendant was very attentive and kept everything clean. We had the specialty dining package which allowed us 3 specialty meals. We used them at Ocean Blue (seafood: $12 surcharge), Teppanyaki (hibachi style), and Cagney's steakhouse. The food at all these restaurants was excellent. We also dined at the Garden Cafe. It was less than impressive, but fine for lunches. We dined in all three main dining rooms as well. The Manhattan Room was the biggest. Then Savor and Taste were smaller, themed sites. They all served the same food, though. There were multiple bars to visit and we made it to most of them, but the best was the brewery. I believe there were over 20 beers on tap plus more bottled. Overall, if you were in need of a drink, you could find one easily. Drinks were reasonable priced if you were buying them at the time (we had the drink package so anything under $15 was "free"). If you needed coffee, there was a starbucks onboard. We utilized the pool areas and the shops most. There was an adult only pool area which was great. It had two hot tubs, showers, and a bar. We didnt buy much at the shops, but enjoyed looking around. Other than that, we enjoyed go karts, laser tag, and mini golf. Mini golf was free, but the others required reservations and about a $10/person fee. All were enjoyable. We saw the Jersey Boys show which was very well done. The participants were truly talented. Seating was first come, first serve. Overall the service on the ship was very good, and most staff were helpful. At the ports we did more self-directed touring than excursions. The only one we did was on St Thomas. We rode the skyride to the top of the island which was very cheap and offered panoramic views of the island. Great for picture taking. Also shopping and dining available at the peak. On Nassau, we walked to Junkaroo Beach. It was busy, but overall a good place to hang out. Had we not had all the trouble with NCL as I listed at the beginning of this, we would totally use this cruise again. The cruise and ship itself were wonderful. However, for the reasons I stated above, we will definitely not be using this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We couldn't sleep the first 5 nights because the back of the ship vibrates. We were in cabin 9304. DON"T book this cabin. The guest relations would not move us until there were only 2 days left on the cruise. The food was ... Read More
We couldn't sleep the first 5 nights because the back of the ship vibrates. We were in cabin 9304. DON"T book this cabin. The guest relations would not move us until there were only 2 days left on the cruise. The food was mostly very good. We didn't care for La Petite Chef, it was a cheesy cartoon. We couldn't wait for the meal to be over. The ports we stopped at still had a lot of damage from the hurricanes so most of the areas seemed run down. Since we didn't get a lot of sleep we missed most of the shows. The best part of the cruise was getting off the ship so we didn't have to deal with the vibration. The bar tenders on the Magic carpet were not that friendly. If you forgot your seapass card they wouldn't look you up in the system. The pool area was too small. We never could get a seat by the pool on the whole trip. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have cruised with Carnival a number of times. This was to be my big 60 birthday cruise. I can go out of Baltimore but decided to try the Sunshine, plus it was a premiere cruise. What a total disappointment. The staff is way over worked ... Read More
I have cruised with Carnival a number of times. This was to be my big 60 birthday cruise. I can go out of Baltimore but decided to try the Sunshine, plus it was a premiere cruise. What a total disappointment. The staff is way over worked and this is why things are not up to standard of Carnival ( surely not the fault of the staff). I run a hotel and know that service is effected by a over worked staff. The blame starts at the top. 1. 45 min to get a drink in the Casino. 2. cigarettes overflowing in ash trays 3. being told I needed to drag my luggage up the gang to the ship to my room, with a disabled sister with me. 4. liquor being left in our room that was purchased by someone else but my sister wrote them a note leaving it under the door of the guest telling them where to find their purchases. 5. shore excursions at St Kit (beach day at Carambola Beach Club ) was the worst !!! 20 min there I got a ride back to port.. My sister contacted the shore excursion desk ship, said they would contact me later that day, guess what no contact by anybody. 6. I only saw the casino host, and I am guessing that was her conducting the Premier Cruise one time. Never out in the Casino checking on guest. I could go on but I think you understand where I am coming from. I will be sailing again in June on the Pride, where I always feel welcome. I have not judged Carnival as a whole on one ship. But I will say this management better get a handle because I know for a fact I was not the only guest to feel this way. Its sad to be so excited about a trip and come away so disappointed.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The Bliss does not have a sports area, only a tiny 5 course mini golf area, no pool activities. Indoor activities are very slim, no Quest on this ship. Basically this ship is for relaxation or if your a person that does not like any ... Read More
The Bliss does not have a sports area, only a tiny 5 course mini golf area, no pool activities. Indoor activities are very slim, no Quest on this ship. Basically this ship is for relaxation or if your a person that does not like any activities. Customer service I thought was very poor, I felt most of the staff seems unhappy. The bartenders at The Local were the best and always fun. Comedy was just ok, Jersey Boys is a must see. My cabin steward did a great job with my cabin, always very clean. We did the specialty restaurants they were all outstanding, food was delish! The garden cafe did seem to have a good variety of different foods, I did get sick of something I ate in the Garden Cafe (Buffet). Very easy to get off when docked they opened two gangways and seemed to have a good flow going. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First the ship is beautiful. The cruise critic event was amazing might have been our best ever. During that event we were shown a presentation. That the msc seaside was designed especially for miami and that is was family owned and they ... Read More
First the ship is beautiful. The cruise critic event was amazing might have been our best ever. During that event we were shown a presentation. That the msc seaside was designed especially for miami and that is was family owned and they wanted to treat you like family. We also matched from royal caribbean from diamond plus to gold. Which added not much value a drink package that was supposedly free however there was a surcharge on every drink. There was enough people from 6 different countries that each announcement had to be made in 6 different countries. The only time i have had that happen is in the mediterranean. So you felt like you were in europe. Dining staff took you order and brought no conversation. First night it took 45 minutes to get appetizers. We were giving the wrong food from someone several times. The dining room itself is a european open style which amplify the noise level so much so that you can hardly hear across the table.we wanted wine from our drink package however on the third night; we were told they had ran out and if we wanted wine it was an additional charge. But they had the wine in the specialty dining. We bought the specialty dining package which we told there was a savings. There was no savings at all. Plus if you wanted regular coffee with your dinner it was an additional cost. The bar service you had to request the bartender to come over to take your order. There was no bar service asking how can i help. We tried almost every bar on the ship and it was the same. Plus one bar had no coke zero or spirit zero and we were told there was none on the ship, yet you could walk to the next bar and they had. This include beers, wines and alcohols. We meet some several people that had wonderful time after the cruise. But they all had several things alike, yacht club, black card and max drink package. Msc has a special area and dining for yacht club and black card members. We asked and none of these people ate in the in dining room. Plus we only meet 2 other couples that spoke english on the whole cruise. Out of the 52 cruises i have been on this one ranked 51st.if you like to walk there is no walking track and the gym is tiny. Lines for the tread mills were long. Msc allows and it seems they encourage marking of lounge chairs by the pools. People were out at 5am marking chairs. We were looking for the walking track. I would not recommend msc seaside unless you can afford a suite for the yacht club and max drink package.last if you are disabled, we saw several that the doors are not wide enough to get there wheel chairs in. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
If I could give less stars, I would. Not sure where to even start.... With this being a brand new boat, you would expect them to treat it like one and keep it clean. Our walls in our stateroom had feet all down the side of them. Maybe from ... Read More
If I could give less stars, I would. Not sure where to even start.... With this being a brand new boat, you would expect them to treat it like one and keep it clean. Our walls in our stateroom had feet all down the side of them. Maybe from the previous kids who left their crayons under the bed as well as their snot rags in the "under the tv" cubby. Out of all the staff, there were maybe 5 crew members who were remember able. Not counting our room steward who never once introduced themselves but expected that 14.50 service charge tip daily per person, per day, over the age of 3. One day, we sat two cups down the hallway near a cart and they were returned to our room. Yeah, you read that right. They brought the cups back to us that we were done with as well as the trash that was in them. On two separate occasions, I was looking at jewelry, not one person at either place could speak to me. They did spray glass cleaner in my direction right where I was looking though. It's a shame honestly. I really wanted that ring! -The only adult bar on the cruise ship turned into a teen night at 10pm each night. IF YOU ARE A SMOKER, DONT BOTHER. They put you in a 20 by 10 space on the back on the boat with 50 (drunk) people. No smoking cigarettes in the cigar bar but cigar smokers can smoke out in our hole. There is smoking allowed in the casino but you are patrolled to ensure you are putting money in the machine. Deck chairs are pulled up and strapped down by 4pm. No where to sit...(sun doesnt go down until almost 7) Make sure you eat by 330, otherwise you will be waiting until 530pm or ordering room service. Everything is just very forced. It's not on your time. If you do not prebook shows or restaurants, you wont be seeing any or eating anywhere other than the buffet. If you like to hang out in the pool while on a ship, forget the name Bliss. There is 2 small pools in the middle of the ship. That's it. I'll stop now. Back to Royal Caribbean we go. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We booked this trip to Tortola, St Thomas, and Great Stirrup Cay because it offered a great way to combine relaxing days at sea with some fun adventures on the beaches of the Caribbean. Leaving Colorado in February for warmth and ... Read More
We booked this trip to Tortola, St Thomas, and Great Stirrup Cay because it offered a great way to combine relaxing days at sea with some fun adventures on the beaches of the Caribbean. Leaving Colorado in February for warmth and relaxation made it the perfect vacation for us, and it the first vacation vacation without kids for me in almost 20 years. Wahoo for a cruise that included Valentine's Day!! The ship didn't "feel right" from the moment we left port, with an odd shuddering periodically in addition to the normal rock and hum of a cruise ship. On our second day at sea, it was announced that "power issues" were going to divert us from our scheduled itinerary, and we'd be sailing slowly to San Juan for repairs. We docked with a bang, crashing into two dolphin piers and sinking them into the harbor. We were told we'd have a 50% credit on a future cruise, and that they hoped to make repairs quickly to get us underway to Great Stirrup Cay as scheduled. It's important to note that information was difficult to get - the captain was unintelligible, the cruise director that always repeated his message was vague - and doled out with an eye-dropper. Each day was a new variation on "not at all what you planned for." Our tour company was told that we'd be leaving in the evening, although the sign when disembarking said 5:30pm. We were halfway through our tour when we were rushed back to the ship because they wanted to leave at 5:30. We boarded and they closed the hatch behind us, but we didn't sail for several hours, as we needed a tugboat to take us out of port. Once underway, we were told that we would not sail to GSC as planned, but would in fact go back to Port Canaveral. The next day, we were told we'd arrive at 8pm, which was the final injustice. Frantically changing airline plans and transport plans, the wifi and phone systems were overwhelmed. It was helpful that the cruise director gave the wrong code to get a landline in the announcement... it made it easier for those of us who asked at Guest Services to use the right one, but led to a massive crowd in a very warm atrium as a result. Many passengers had change fees and flight costs in excess of $500 per person because they were buying much more expensive tickets two days ahead of flying than those they'd purchased well in advance. The cruise line reimbursed them a maximum of $300 per person. Transport fee changes were not reimbursed at all. More importantly, since the cruise for the following week would be cut short, they were rescheduled to a 5 day cruise to Nassau (rather than a 7 day cruise to Jamaica), given a 50% credit AND a 50% refund, as well as the option to not sail and receive a full refund. We asked for a refund or the ability to use the credit on one of Norwegian's other cruise lines, and received a form letter in response that they were sorry we were "disappointed" but they stood by their offer of a 100% credit to be used within 24 months. A six page letter from me was answered via a form letter. "Disappointed" was not a word I would use. The engine problems and propeller problems were out of their control, but communication was horrible, consideration for guests who suffered significant financial hardship, and their complete failure to adjust the onboard schedule so that people wouldn't have run out of things to do by Thursday (virtually all Sea Days will do that) was absolutely in their control. Without valid data, when traveling at 10-12 knots with one propeller, people tend to fill in the blanks themselves. Anger, fear, panic attacks... that's not a vacation. It was a nightmare. It was being kidnapped with a buffet. Speaking of buffets and speaking of food... the specialty restaurants were incredible. I'm grateful we took advantage of the "3 free" offer. The main dining rooms can best be described as "dorm food." Steaks are too thin to truly be cooked to order, chicken was rubbery, seafood was overcooked and oversauced, the buffet food suffered from too much time under warming lamps, and portions were small and often disproportionate (picture a "Philly Cheesesteak" which has a large bun with a minimal amount of filling). Finally, not once did I see anyone changing out the serving utensils in the buffet lines. Hand sanitation standards on this ship were much lower than what I've experienced on others. I've been on ships where you were not permitted to enter a dining area until you'd taken a hand wipe. It was very much optional and often inconveniently located on the Epic. The rooms are smaller than I've experienced on other cruise lines and oddly laid out. The "queen bed" was far shorter than a standard bed. so prepare to sleep with your feet hanging off the end. One closet had no hangars, so be sure to bring your own. The other closet has those "unstealable" hangars that hang from a holder on the bar in the closet which can't be removed (or moved to the other closet). Finally, "freestyle cruising" means that rather than tipping individuals based on your service experience, you are charged a daily service fee that requires a form to change... and I couldn't increase it, only decrease it. My apologies to Marco, our cabin steward, who deserved more than the standard but wasn't able to get it because of the process. The ship is very large, with insufficient elevators for the number of people aboard. It was rare to be able to board the first elevator that stopped, as they were often full. It wasn't unusual to wait 10+ minutes to have an elevator you could ride, particularly from 6pm-10pm. In short, our experience on the Epic was #EpicFail. I would not recommend it to others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We picked this cruise in order to get some winter sun and visit some ports that we thought might be interesting and different to us. We have been on a number of cruises over the years ranging from quite humble cruise lines to the more ... Read More
We picked this cruise in order to get some winter sun and visit some ports that we thought might be interesting and different to us. We have been on a number of cruises over the years ranging from quite humble cruise lines to the more luxurious. We have previously sailed with NCL in Europe, North America and the Caribean. This cruise was, by far, the worst cruise I have ever had the misfortune to sail on. The initial embarkation process seemed to take an age although we later learned that one of the gangways onto the ship had been damaged and rendered inoperable thus slowing down the entire procedure. There was a second embarkation procedure brought about by the late return of this ship to its home port which necessitated the disembarkation and re-embarkation of passengers. This procedure lasted about 4.5 hours and was totally shambolic. The ship is large but, in my opinion lacks the 'wow' factor. It all seemed rather bland and second rate compared with any other ships that I have sailed on. The cabin had an unusual design which resulted in a tight space if two persons were moving around the cabin at the same time. The ship has only two sets of lifts, one fore and one aft and this results in a lot of queueing and walking the length of the ship. An aspect of the ship which I found anti-social was in traversing the length of the ship I frequently found myself walking through the extensive casino area where, surprisingly to me, smoking was allowed and the resultant smell of smoke permeated beyond the confines of the casino in a most unpleasant manner. Due to engine malfunction (allegedly known about prior to sailing) we were unable to visit any of our three scheduled ports of call but did call at a port which we were not scheduled to call at. At this time the ship was involved in a collision with the pier causing substantial damage to both. As a consequence of not visiting our scheduled ports and not having been offered any excursions at the unscheduled port of call I am unable to offer an opinion as to the quality or otherwise of the excursions originally on offer. As previously outlined there were no excursions on offer at our unscheduled port call. Suffice to say the failure to allow passengers the choice of an excursion on a seven day cruise is deplorable. On the plus side I found the entertainment and quality of food to be very good. We did not try any of the speciality restaurants partly due to a reluctance to pay even more money to a cruise line that was, at best, indifferent as to how it treated its passengers. In respect of my low rating with regard to service I do not have any criticism whatsoever with regard to cabin staff, bar staff or waiting staff. They were faultless in my experience of them. However the same cannot be said of the officers and crew present in the Guest Relations area of the ship who pedalled untruths and misinformation at the drop of a hat throughout the whole crisis described hereunder. Whether this course of action was intential or through their own ignorance as to what the actual position was is debatable. On the afternoon before we were due to dock (15 Feb) at Port Canaveral it was announced that instead of arriving in the early morning as scheduled we would not be arriving until 8pm the following night. This announcement immediately caused a logjam of several hundred passengers at the Guest services area of the ship as they tried to access the two phones allocated to them in order to change their flights. Some laptops were made available but as documented in other reviews they were inadequate in number, logjammed and represented a totally insufficient resource to deal with the self created castrophe brought wholly brought about by the actions of NCL. The officers and crew seemed as confused as the passengers and the cause of the problem varied depending upon which officer you last spoke to. It was complete and utter chaos. This choas was exacerbated when about noon on 16 Feb, the day of our scheduled arrival the docking time for the ship was changed yet again when it was brought forward to 3pm that day. This announcement meant that hundreds of passengers spent hours in a queue in order to change travel arrangements which, in many cases, it was now apparent, need not have been changed in the first instance. This course of conduct was typical of the way that this whole episode was managed, or more accurately mismanaged. I suspect that the main thrust of NCL operations at this time was not the welfare of its passengers at that time on board the Epic but attempting to arrange accomodation for the 4000 future passengers who had by now to be accomodated in the Cape Canaveral area and beyond. The response of NCL to this debacle was to initially offer 50% credit to a future cruise with them, this was later increased to a 100% credit to a future cruise with them as the situation worsened. In respect of travel arrangements they offered a maximum of $300 per passenger, which in many cases would have been totally inadequate. Again, the complete indifferance of NCL as to the welfare of their passengers is confirmed by their shoddy and skinflint approach to them whereby they embarked on a cruise which did not go to where it was supposed to go but went somewhere it was not meant to go to and failed to arrive back at its home port when it was supposed to. Could you make this up!! This entire incident has left me feeling very bitter towards NCL and at present I feel that it is most unlikely that I will sail with them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We choose the cruise as we had six of us, one that had never been on a cruise befor and the one couple that had said we would probably enjoy Norwegian as the food and entertainment was good. The food was amazing and so were the staff, ... Read More
We choose the cruise as we had six of us, one that had never been on a cruise befor and the one couple that had said we would probably enjoy Norwegian as the food and entertainment was good. The food was amazing and so were the staff, entertainment lower than expected, told they would be more like “theatre actors” really not much better than all inclusive entertainment. We took this cruise as the 3 couples all had special celebrations, retirement, special birthdays and special anniversary’s, well the epic experience will be one we don’t forget and not for good reasons. The biggest complaint I have is lack of communication on and off the ship. Just before you leave you get contacted daily to upgrade, book specialty restaurants but trying to talk to someone after you embark, nothing said they would contact us in 15 days.. Can’t believe a company this size would not want to be all over ensuring unsatisfied clients were compensated. Realize things can happen were and when ever you travel but never thought request for contact would not be top on priority. I have no desire to ever travel with them again and as I share my experience with others they find it hard to believe that a company of this size that advertises like no one else does not care about their reputation, they DONT. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Epic failure . This was our first and probably last Cruise. We had mechanical failures on the second day of leaving port. Very little communication between crew and passengers. All of our Port stops were cancelled. After destroying two ... Read More
Epic failure . This was our first and probably last Cruise. We had mechanical failures on the second day of leaving port. Very little communication between crew and passengers. All of our Port stops were cancelled. After destroying two piers in San Juan Puerto Rico they did not even inform passengers as to what had happened or what was going to be done about it . They just continued to say they were having mechanical issues . all they offered us was a free cabin fare to be taken in 2 years. Which means we have to spend another $1,500 to get what NCL calls a" free " Cruise. Three weeks after returning they still have not answered any of my complaints or reimbursed us for our additional airfare and cab fare to the airport. Very poor customer service and no communication. I would not recommend taking a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. They don't appear to care about their customers or their reputation. Since Cruise Critic is refusing to post my review without more information here it is. Cabins average size plenty of storage room. Dining was horrible in the buffet. Specialty restaurants were very good. All other restaurants were average Entertainment if you didn't have reservations you had to wait in very long lines since we were unable to get off at any of our ports that's all that was left to do. Casino don't waste your money machines are very tight. Of course they made money off of us because there was nothing else to do. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because it was the one my cousin picked for their 10yr anniversary. They chose this cruise because it went to St Thomas, which is where they went on their honeymoon. Boarding was delayed because someone knocked out ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the one my cousin picked for their 10yr anniversary. They chose this cruise because it went to St Thomas, which is where they went on their honeymoon. Boarding was delayed because someone knocked out one of the bridges. Engine failure on second day, which they apparently knew about and set sail anyways. They lied to us the entire time. Tugs pushed ship into docks when we arrived at Puerto Rico. That was the only poet we went to so they could try to fix ship, not on itinerary. We were supposed to still hit our last stop at Grand Stirrup Cay, and they cancelled that stop the night before. We slowed and were given stamp at international port so they didn’t get fined $700 per passenger. Disembarkation was a completely nightmare, as they had no control over who got off when. All of that, and they are only offering a credit. They refuse to give me my money back. Everything was terrible except drinks, food and weather! They could have handled the communication of the issues way better. If they had then all issues would have been overlooked, as we understand things are unpredictable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Absolute worst experience. Aside from the contained fire day one, and the engine failure day two? The lack of communication was beyond aggravating. 2 hours we sat not moving in the ocean before we had an announcement which stated the ... Read More
Absolute worst experience. Aside from the contained fire day one, and the engine failure day two? The lack of communication was beyond aggravating. 2 hours we sat not moving in the ocean before we had an announcement which stated the obvious. Were not moving. Than you captain we noticed 2 hours ago... then proceeded to sit for an additional 3 hours before they figure out how to operate the ONE engine. The crash in San Juan ... not acknowledged. An apology for making us world news might be nice. The lies. They went on and on ... they knew we were never making it to the Bahamas be ause the engine wasnt fixed. It was a deep prayer and a cheap way out to put the passengers back on a ship with a broken engine and gashes in the side. Money came before safety. Honestly it wasnt what the multiple events over the course of the week that made it more hellish then the lines lack of communication. This was our first time with Norwegian and after out next one because of the credit toward another (we would have preferred a refund) it will absolutely be our last with Norwegian. This line should be embarrassed for how they handled each and every misfortune their ship faced in 8 days. Total embarrassment. #epicfail #nevernorwegian Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First cruise. Heard favourable reviews previously about Norwegian. This cruise was an Epic Fail. Anything and everything went wrong. Lied to from beginning to end. Ship ran on one engine out of five. Fire on 4th deck.. Crew quarters. Then ... Read More
First cruise. Heard favourable reviews previously about Norwegian. This cruise was an Epic Fail. Anything and everything went wrong. Lied to from beginning to end. Ship ran on one engine out of five. Fire on 4th deck.. Crew quarters. Then engine mechanical problem. Told had to port in San Juan to assess situation. Never made it to any of the scheduled ports... Tortola, St. Thomas or Bahamas. Pilot steered ship into two moores at San Juan, resulting in 3 large dents in hull. Told we would be going to Bahamas after San Juan overnight then changed and told going straight to Port Canaveral. Told eta 8pm Saturday instead of 8am, then told 3pm. Only offered 100% credit of what we paid towards future cruise within 24 months. Really? What about a refund? Husband's birthday surprise cake from travel agent was never delivered. Never goin on Epic again. Only good thing was entertainment and food. Constant push to spend money all the time. Pools are a joke, almost the size of a jacuzzi. Can't believe this ship sailed out the following Monday. It should be docked and fixed. Those passengers were offered 50% refund and 50% towards next cruise and only a 5 nt cruise to Bahamas only. We were never offered a refund, but told to keep our receipts for any expenses arising out of the delays. We had to take a taxi to Melbourne airport to get our rental car because the rental depot we had booked closed at 4pm. Others had to change their flights and were only offered $300 per flight change... What a joke! Couldn't understand a word the Captain said. Mandy, the cruise director had to reiterate every single time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Someone talked me into trying this cruise line. The ship had way too many people for an space on the adult pool/lounge area, never any available chairs. The suite was nice but I had needed a fridge for my milk, ensure and food (to be ... Read More
Someone talked me into trying this cruise line. The ship had way too many people for an space on the adult pool/lounge area, never any available chairs. The suite was nice but I had needed a fridge for my milk, ensure and food (to be discussed later), the room attendant started taking things out and put them in a cabinet, I told him he cannot take wine/beer and such out to get warm the refridgerate them again as they would be ruined in taste. Dining, let's see, I gave them things I could not have for special reasons and they made it that I was allergic to every thing. The F&B Director wasnever around, the maître de never helped out but did laugh in my face Valentine's night. The dining manager tried to run from me as he knew nothing and the Executive Chef would never come out to talk to me, he hid in the kitchen. The 5th day I finally got my lactose free milk but was opened so who knows what was put in there. One day I came back and there was a glass of something, I guess some type of milk, so I called down to RS and they aid they never sent anything up, why was I not informed and why was it not in the fridge? The Entertainment was awesome, the only good thing about the cruise. Service was excellent at the casino bar from Carol even though that was the only place Mike could get me bottled water, I do not remember the tall young guys' name in the Manhattan, he noticed the first night there was a problem and tried to help me out anywhere I was, he also stood at the fron of The Garden Café in the morning and was always smiling. The rest of the crew just ignored you or went around your questions especially the head people. Gee ports, never made them, which was horrible. San Juan we had been to. Excursions, again, never made it to any. No children. Depends on what ship and what we get back from this. We were charged for things we should have not and I will also refute 2 movies on the tab the days we did not make it to port. This cruise was a joke all around and they should not have left Port Canaveral in the first place as they knew they needed maintenance, that is just horrible, Norwegian should be ashamed of themselves and I will take action against them Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Worst vacation experience.! Overcrowded! Not enough room for people on the pool deck. Long lineups for everything. Not enough staff working very long shifts. The ship is under constriction taking up deckbspace with sounds of ... Read More
Worst vacation experience.! Overcrowded! Not enough room for people on the pool deck. Long lineups for everything. Not enough staff working very long shifts. The ship is under constriction taking up deckbspace with sounds of sawing and grinding metal. They stress hygine to avoid illness but can't keep the handsoap refilled in the washrooms (complained twice because ALL dispensers were empty). Add engine mechanical issues and we didn't make any of our ports of call. Hostages bouncing around the Atlantic with the same boring routine and every day more bad news from the captain. The one day we went to the unscheduled port of San Juan for repairs we hit the dock and finally made the news. Apparently things like this happen regularly a frequent cruisers are unfazed. An a first time cruiser, this is far from what I expected and not worth the hefty pricetag! Our return to our original port or Orlando would be 12 hours late which of course impacted flight schedules. After everyone rescheduled they announced we would return earier. Many of us could have made our original flights! How do so many mistakes happen? It very expensive waste of valuable vacation time. I have yet to see any type of compensation. Not for the ports we didn't visit, the excursions I didn't go on. The crappy ship. The extra expense of hotel and reschedule flights. I didn't get to swim in the sea or even walk on a sandy beach. DON'T DO IT!!! A cheap all-inclusive resort has the same quality of entertainment and you won't get screwed out of your hard earned vacation time and savings. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
It had been about 7 years since we sailed on Carnival, and we wanted to give it another try since we had been sailing on Royal Caribbean. The food in the main dining room and buffet (marketplace) was exceptionally awful! We had sent ... Read More
It had been about 7 years since we sailed on Carnival, and we wanted to give it another try since we had been sailing on Royal Caribbean. The food in the main dining room and buffet (marketplace) was exceptionally awful! We had sent entrees back 2 and 3 times only for the quality to be the same, fish, chicken, beef, and pork overcooked and dried out. Unfortunately the same selection and quality was being served in the Marketplace. Many passengers had plates of unsatisfactory food selections piled up on there table to be discarded and guests went away hungry! We got satisfaction by speaking directly to the Head Chef who had our meals prepared special by the chef responsible for the main dining! The Piano Bar left a lot to be desired. I firmly believe in the attitude of "live and let live" as long as you don't interfere with my life. However, the entertainer in the Piano Bar who performed just steps away from the children's lounges was changing lyrics and using expletives and unacceptable phrases alluding to male and female genitalia to the cheers of the crowd assembled there. My only objection is that if a performer was going to cater to a particular segment of the population who enjoys this, it should be held in a venue which is closed off and not within earshot of children and the rest of the guests who wish not to be exposed to this. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The ship boarding took around 2 hours. It was our first cruise . We chose the cruise because we were looking forward to the ports . We understand that weather can affect a cruise. But we did not have weather issues. The ship was ... Read More
The ship boarding took around 2 hours. It was our first cruise . We chose the cruise because we were looking forward to the ports . We understand that weather can affect a cruise. But we did not have weather issues. The ship was running slow and had mechanical issues. The communication from the ship catptain was poor, We heard a very loud sound in the middle of the ocean. From there on I could feel the ship shake I thought it might be hesitation in the engine. The engine went thump thump! The ship was crowded and the pools are small. The elevators are crowded and the lights in the elevator flickered constantly. The elevators were out of service from time to time. We signed on for 3 ports. We only had 1 port on our 7 day cruise. We had no time to plan for it. Our ship crashed into the port. We should have flew home. But we stuck it out. A decision I regretted. The kitchen and food crew are great. They are hardworking.They made an effort to keep the kitchen and dining rooms very clean. The casino drink service was limited. Some of the bar servers were outstanding. I felt like a captive. The cruise was stressful! My opinion is we all know things happen and more clear honest communication is helpful. We managed to have fun despite the challenges. I wish I could of had some time on a beach., Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My family (comprised of 4 kids (11/10/9 and 5) hoped to visit three unique ports-of-call (with private tour vendors) that were not offered by competitors such as RC. Instead, all three scheduled ports of call were canceled. We could not ... Read More
My family (comprised of 4 kids (11/10/9 and 5) hoped to visit three unique ports-of-call (with private tour vendors) that were not offered by competitors such as RC. Instead, all three scheduled ports of call were canceled. We could not even enjoy San Juan because we were provided cryptic and misleading information about when the boat would be repaired/underway. We lost security deposits and, in one case fully-funded, excursion costs to private vendors at 2 of the 3 scheduled stops. Epic's onboard fire, fire doors shutting, engine failures and collisions were all extremely alarming to my family. While the Splash Academy staff worked hard to offset the trauma of these events, certain things were difficult to overcome, such as the staff projecting disconcerting warning signs on the big screens inadvertently. Moreover, the lack of transparency from Captain and officers was unconscionable. They provided little to no feedback until events were already 'after-the-fact.' Therefore, we could not exercise options to leave the cruise early, etc. Furthermore, we spent the bulk of our time buying plane tickets out from San Juan and communicating with vendors trying to recoup our lost money (Tortola, St. Thomas and Fla) and making new travel plans because of our late return to Port Canaveral. Even some of the onboard entertainment was not 'kid appropriate' - even though we received no advanced warning. For instance, the circus exhibited significant erotic and homoerotic actions that were not suitable for my young kids. Because the ship arrived late / after scheduled return to Port Canaveral, we lost one of two non-refundable days at Universal Theme Parks. Disembarkation was a stampede - also an alarming event. Passengers were so eager to catch changed flights that the barreled aggressively like a mob to the two chokepoint exits on Deck 7. Embarkation was also terrible as the computer terminals failed in the concourse, leading to a long protracted tiring onboarding process with seemingly-interminable lines. All-in-all, a horrible vacation! I am so frustrated that NCL has offered only a voucher for future cruises v. a reimbursement -- that would be the fair and equitable recompense. The trip was worse than anything we could have forecast. My daughter acquired pneumonia on the cruise, to boot. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I never thought it could happen to me and my family . . . but it did. Spent a boatload of $$$ to be in the Haven. Great cabin, great staff . . . and that's about it for the positives. Negatives started when tried to board the ship, ... Read More
I never thought it could happen to me and my family . . . but it did. Spent a boatload of $$$ to be in the Haven. Great cabin, great staff . . . and that's about it for the positives. Negatives started when tried to board the ship, the gangway was struck by a truck (I kid you not). We should have known better, but continued on. Again, Haven area and cabin were great. Omar, David and concierge staff were as helpful as they could be under the circumstances, but like the passengers, they were constantly left in the dark about what was going on. Day 1, got out of port late for an unknown reason (most believe the engines were already in trouble and NCL knew it). Thereafter, one or two engines die and we are left floating in the middle of the ocean without movement or real explanation. Ask everyone, we making Tortola? Each response, absolutely!. Never made Tortola. Later, still crawling along, we ask (after learning that we won't make Tortola . . . are we making St. Thomas? Each response, absolutely! Later that day, learn later . . . we are not making St. Thomas, but hey NCL offered a 50% credit on next cruise, cause we are still going to St. Juan and the Private Island as well. Note, San Juan was not a scheduled stop (had to stop there to fix the broken boat). Ok . . . what else could possibly happen? Well just youtube, Norweigan Epic and San Juan and you will see what else could happen. The boat literally attacked Puerto Rico. Fun stuff, if it wasn't so bloody scary to witness it and your kids start thinking the ship is going to sink. San Juan excursions. . . nope - NCL did next to nothing, so I was on my own. Luckily I overheard someone was going to the Marriott on a day pass and stole that idea and had a decent day. Next, after we limp out of San Juan, all of our suspicions were confirmed and we are finally told we ain't making the private island and will slowly cruise back to Port Canaveral. Although NCL had no idea when we would actually make it back to Florida. But hey, NCL will now give everyone a 100% credit toward their next cruise (did I mention this is my first cruise?). Awesome, I get the privilege of spending more money with a cruise line that sent me on a cruise to nowhere and made a real dent in Puerto Rico. Next day they tell us, ohh we are going to be late back to Florida (like by almost a whole day) so everyone has to change their flights (NCL to refund up to $300 change fees - mine were much more). What else could happen? Ohh, I know, they tell us the next day that we are going to back to Florida earlier than anticipated, so all those arrangements you changed . . . yeah go ahead and change them again (although they never said they would pay for any of those additional change fees - luckily those only cost me another $75/ticket so I got off cheap . . . only another $300 I will likely never get back. So just to review, gangway hit by a truck, 1 or 2 engines fail, slowly creep back and forth to Puerto Rico, never make any actual port of call, never got to any scheduled excursions, never actually got to a beach, the boat attacked and damaged Puerto Rico, spent 7 days at sea so NCL could repair its busted ship. It really wouldn't have been so bad if NCL had just been honest and/or offered some type of actual refund and not just a stupid credit toward your next cruise. NCL SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF ITSELF!!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED, DO NOT USE THIS CRUISE LINE!!! If there is any problem they will keep you uninformed, misinformed or just in the dark. They have some fun commercials on TV, but PLEASE DON'T BE SUCKED IN, AVOID NORWEGIAN AT ALL COSTS!!!! This "vacation" cost me a small fortune and their answer to the nightmare . . . credit toward a future cruise. That's an awesome business model. I'm thinking class action lawsuit . . . who's with me? Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my second cruise ship experience (the first a North American Pacific Coast repositioning trip in October 2015 on the NCL Jewel) and my first and last Carnival ship. I will never cruise Carnival again if I can help it. While my ... Read More
This was my second cruise ship experience (the first a North American Pacific Coast repositioning trip in October 2015 on the NCL Jewel) and my first and last Carnival ship. I will never cruise Carnival again if I can help it. While my trip certainly could have been worse (for instance, we didn’t capsize and I’m not aware of any food poisoning) it definitely should have been a whole lot better, and on a 1 to 10 scale (where 10 is “wow—perfect!”) I give it a 3. This review covers the good, the bad, and a summary of the excursions we did. Out of respect for your (you, the reader) time, the short version of this trip is: I am disgusted and disappointment with my trip. I told at least one colleague, "I would have been better setting fire to $2,200 in my driveway and saving the 56 hours in PTO". I never want to go on another Carnival ship again. If (and that’s a strong if) I ever go on a third cruise it will be a smaller ship with a different line that isn’t so unbelievably loud and child-centric in design and philosophy. There is nothing of peace or tranquility that I could find on this adventure, and I came back angrier and more stressed-out than when I’d started. Simply put, the Carnival Breeze was a gamble I lost big-time on. For frame of reference, our trip was a Western Caribbean sailing from 2-9 February 2019, leaving out of Port Canaveral with stops in Costa Maya, Mahogany Bay, Belize, and Cozumel. Our stateroom was 8446, an aft, port-side balcony (not a “aft balcony”, however). Now, here’s a little bit about me. I’m a happily single, overweight middle-aged man from the American Midwest who doesn’t like children. I took my widowed, senior citizen mother on this trip, and we flew down the day before. Mom has some balance, vision, and walking issues, so nothing is fast with her. The ship took good care of her. Our brilliant travel agent found us a great deal and upgraded us from an ocean view room to balcony room. Now, if you love children— and especially if you’re traveling with your own—Carnival is a child fantasia, a kid-tastic wonderland of screaming, coughing, running noses, and constant noise from sun-up to well past sundown, based on my Carnival Breeze experience, which was also during the school year. I am pretty sure that during spring break and the summers these ships are absolutely crawling with the stroller set. First, the good points. While I’d wanted to be in the Sapphire dining room we were very well taken care of by our waitstaff (Ruben and his assistants Jordan and Rutchiel) in the Blush dining room. The food was good to great every night, and they outdid themselves on the lobster for the first formal night. Mom wanted to go to both of the high teas, and I have to admit the first one was pretty good, and both were held on Deck 4 (Mezzanine) in the Blush dining room. We were at Table 501 (assigned seating for dinner) with two couples: one Diamond and the other Platinum in the Carnival loyalty program. All four of them were lovely people from Georgia, three of whom had retired. Mom and I very much enjoyed our time with them. Diane Ford was the only decent comedian of the three I saw onboard. She's from Minnesota originally and has a Jeanne Robertson (of North Carolina) delivery. I liked her. William Lee Martin was not my kind of comedian (he's a budget "Blue Collar Comedy" sort with a stronger religious focus) and Chris Strait was fine but didn't wow me. I'm a big fan of stand-up comedy (though I myself am about as funny as a broken smartphone screen) so it wasn't a great lineup. Particularly in the case of Ford, there was far too much chatter during her set. Many people don’t realize it takes dozens (and often hundreds) of hours to develop 30-60 minutes of material over months and years of work. With perhaps the exception of an opera or symphony, a well-constructed standup set is the most difficult piece of performance theater possible—audience members should be much more respectful. There were several good musical acts (Six O'Clock Dock, Patrick Duffy, and the string trio) onboard. Unfortunately, it didn't seem like entertainment started on the ship until 1:30 to 3:30 in the afternoon every day. In the case of the string trio and some of the other electrified groups the music was way, way too loud. That's one thing when you're in a darkened theater watching the main stage for a production-- that's where 100 percent of your attention should be. However, when you're in a club/lounge-type setting you want to be able to hear your drink waitress/waiter and your 1-3 companions seated at your small table for four when a question is asked or a suggestion is made. The bartenders are all good at Alchemy-- Zsolt from Romania was a genius and did every martini tasting I went to-- and can only praise them. I like to drink mixed drinks, listen to bawdy, inappropriate piano bar performers at night, and find quiet places around the ship during the day to read or write. Sea days are my favorite. The problem is there are no quiet areas on the ship open to passengers, and there was no daytime piano bar (or similar) performer, compared to the NCL Jewel. Nearly all of the 1,200 support staff and crew are very hardworking and dedicated. English was the primary language on the ship, but a few people I came into contact with (including someone working the desk at the Cucina del Capitano) were seriously deficient in even basic conversational English. She told me they were closed until 2:30 p.m. at 2:50 p.m. It was a baffling conversation and I went away unserved. Mom and I came back from our Honduras excursion on a different day and had a nice lunch there, though. The adults-only top deck was often closed for cleaning or repairs, and no one could give a straight answer on when they’d reopen. Those are the two exceptions, though, and almost everyone from our stateroom attendant (Erman) to the people cleaning the hallways was earnest, hardworking, and pleasant. Guest Services was good at splitting our bill, too, appropriately—if you’re not a couple traveling on a cruise ship you’ll want to do this, because they always assume the two of you are an item, even when you’re not. As a single person it is frustrating, since cruising is really designed for families and especially couples. We flew into Orlando International Airport (MCO) and used the snooze and cruise package through Go Port Canaveral. This is a private company and while they work with Carnival and the other major cruise ship companies, they are a separate entity. It turned out to be very popular option and it worked very well for us. We never needed a rental car as a result. Now the bad. There were approximately 4,000 passengers and 1,200 support staff and crew on the ship. While the latter group was mostly terrific (as previously mentioned), there were 1,000 too many adults and 200 children. The waiting areas (especially outside the dining room) were woefully inadequate (people standing on two flights of stairs and landings, from Decks 3-5 to all come in at Deck 3). Cruise line companies should have a better understanding that when they build floating cities/megaships the chokepoints (like outside of the dining rooms) need to be much larger. For a ship cruising during the school year there were still hundreds of kids on board. Continuing the poor ship design theme, many of the hallways were barely five feet wide. That might seem sufficient, but when a person of considerable size (many passengers were in excess of 400 pounds) that requires people coming from the opposite direction to duck into the alcoves outside of rooms. If you're a person in need of mobility assistance-- especially a scooter-- you're in a large community on the Carnival Breeze that all drives down the dead center of those narrow hallways and the employees bend over backwards to accommodate you. That's excellent behavior and it is gratifying to see people with disabilities respected. However, if you're the person/people (40-60 of us at times) behind the person on the scooter you're in a pedestrian version of gridlock. And if you have a scooter, relax! Apparently you don't need to store it in your stateroom as if it were your private property! Instead, store it in the hallways where other people can walk around it and admire your space-eating conveyance. Again, the hallways should have been much wider. I respect every square inch on a cruise ship is money to build, maintain, and propel, but the narrowness of the hallways was such a problem it was laughable at times. We found out 3/4 of the way through the cruise that it was an official, designated-by-Carnival gambling adventure. Prior to this, we had no idea. Another ship design defect presented itself in the casino. I walked through the casino about twice. Both times I almost threw up (asthma and prolific cigarette smoke don't mix) and would have avoided it, except cruise ships-- for whatever reason-- really, really want people to walk through their casinos, even if they don't gamble, so they put them in bad places. If you gamble and smoke, more power to you, but it poured and billowed from the casino to the Ocean Plaza, Alchemy Bar, and Red Frog Pub, tainting everything. One day I lasted a good 45 minutes listening to Six O’Clock Dock before the pollution was too much to bear. Deck 3 does not allow any side passage/walk-through access for passengers between the Blush dining room and the rest of the ship. This is another design flaw. Elevator capacity and speed was sorely lacking on the ship. I took the stairs a lot because I didn’t have the 10-15 minutes to wait sometimes for an available car to come. I say “available” because when the doors would open we often had a totally-full car looking back at us. Insider tip: if you’re on Deck 3 and need to go to Deck 1 or Deck 0 during peak shore periods, go up to get down… sure you might stop at Decks 4, 5, 6, and 10 both ways, but you’ll have a spot to get down on the return trip. Again, another design flaw that should never have been allowed to get past the drawing board. Bigger, faster elevators are a must on megaships. Continuing the theme of design flaw issues, the laundry facilities are of questionable performance (clothing sopping, soaking wet, even after 99 minutes in the dryer), insufficient capacity in relation to vigorous user demand, and at $3 a wash and $3 a dry, pricy. We did laundry three times. With airlines billing people additional charges for baggage over 50 pounds, laundry is a necessity for a week-long cruise. The third time was so bad that mom filed a complaint and was so angry—mind you, she liked the trip and gives it a much better review than I do—that a stateroom attendant took the soaking wet load and got it dried and delivered back to her free of charge after refunding her money. Good move, Carnival. Mom and I tried the hot tubs once. This was a first on any ship for both of us (nine cruises for her, two for me, counting this one). We finally found space in the fourth hot tub we checked. Minutes later a 13-year-old boy entered with his mom and talked my ear off for almost an hour about every B monster movie made since 1961, the 10 novels he wanted to write, and tried to shove the name of every dinosaur in every Jurassic Park book and movie into my brain at 100 miles an hour in an uninterrupted verbal stream of consciousness explosion. A hot tub soak should not leave you shell-shocked. The mom did nothing to stop this, and I couldn’t find a graceful way to extricate myself from the barrage. I did find out the kid had Asperger’s afterwards (so reading social cues is often difficult), and while I respect this a real disorder on the autism spectrum (just like respecting those with physical disabilities I respect we need to accommodate those with mental and psychological limitations) I didn’t volunteer to have what should have been a relaxing few minutes shattered. Parents, your children are wonderful—to you. Good luck with them and I hope everything turns out great. For those of us who’d rather dig a tunnel to the moon than raise them, though, please spare us. Pry them away from us when we’re too polite to let you know we’re being tortured. There was simply no-where on the ship to go that was restful, tranquil, pleasant, and quiet, and the unending herd—including the children—was the primary culprit. I wish a cruise company would start offering adults-only cruising. Ideally with drinks not as watered down as they are on Carnival. While I understand the LGBT-themed events generally operate under this policy, it would be nice for the rest of us to have a few options per year where we could be in a kid-free environment. Just wishful thinking, I guess. Despite a smattering of good smaller acts in bar and lounge areas, there was absolutely nothing on the mainstage worthy of praise, except the towel animal show, which was clever and aimed at kids. Daytime entertainment in both places was pointedly absent. Optimally I'm able to go somewhere quiet to write or read with the ocean visible. Mom wanted to use the Library Bar (it is a library environment with drink-mixing robots) but it was too dark in there to read. I think I wrote about three pages on the entire trip... there was no-where quiet-- not even our balcony-- to go. Our excellent travel agent called me with a balcony upgrade because I wanted to surprise mom-- thank you!-- but I am guessing what happened was someone out of the 4-8 "stateroom party" bloc all around us had to cancel or back out. We were in the middle of someone else’s rambunctious vacation. The travel agent did a nice thing and we just got caught in the middle of "slam the door thoughtless loud and rude" party central. None of the three of us could have foreseen this. People were so loud I could hear every word of several conversations below and forward on Deck 5, three floors down, starting around 8:00 a.m. every morning until several hours after sunset. Our cruise director was a loud, obnoxious man named Chris Salazar who went by the name "Donkey". An absolute, unfortunate, unfunny annoyance. He was so awful every time I heard the three-note PA cue overhead I tensed up, bracing for his grating voice. Tips. I understand that tips are part of the tourism industry, but I am tipped out. In Honduras some of the parents have their kids helping them sell stuff, humanizing and ingratiating themselves ("hi, my name's Charlie, what's yours?" was an actual line I heard in Honduras) in an effort to hock their wares. Between mom and myself we must have tipped at least $150 on this trip. People want tips for tendering us in (yuck! I'd much rather dock! we were way, way too unsafe-levels full without enough life jackets at Belize in our tender), for taking us on our shore excursions, for bringing us our drinks, for giving us advice, etc. It was wallet-numbing after a while. For ship personnel, all of this on top of 18 percent standard gratuity for every bill printed, and on top of the pre-paid gratuities. I feel like some people were tipped three times as a result. Mom wanted to do an excursion at every port (a total of four). That was too many for me, and expensive. I will admit, we had great weather for the entire cruise, which I am grateful for. And now, the excursions. Costa Maya, Mexico – Bacalar and Seven Colors Lagoon. Not at all what I expected. While we got to go by Ft. Bacalar we didn’t get to tour it. Instead, we took a long boat ride after a long bus ride to a few different cenotes (those dark holes in crystal clear lagoon environments). Our guide was unprofessional and must have said “my friends” 75 times. Don’t call me that. If you’re my friend you know my favorite color, or at least my name. The water was beautiful and we got to see how the truly wealthy in Mexico live, by observing their homes. There are swimming opportunities, and you can bring your suit. Disappointing excursion, though. Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan, Honduras—Sea and See Island Tour. The ship came in fast and as part of the docking procedure it felt like we were living through a 4.5 earthquake for almost 10 minutes. Mom and I were in the Blush dining room having breakfast at the time and we spent a good portion of those 10 minutes keeping silverware and dishware from rattling off the tables and falling to the floor. Terrifying experience. Honduras was a much better experience than Costa Maya. After a detailed bus ride with a knowledgeable guide she took us to a factory where an Italian professor turns conch shells into lamps and other stunning works of art, exhibited all over the world. I actually got to meet him, very briefly. Nice man and a wonderful shop. The professor was following in his great-grandfather’s footsteps, who did the same thing. Before that we went on a submerged (6-10 feet down) boat ride with glad walls. We got to see barracuda, sea grass, and the beautiful blue-green water. The stairs down are very steep and I tipped the employee who helped me help mom up and down—definitely a hazard for those who can’t walk well/have balance issues. We got to see the Meso-American coral reef as well… it is dying, but people from Mexico to Belize are working hard to save it. Belize – Scenic Wildlife River Cruise. We were tendered into Belize. If the tender ship was supposed to hold 60 people (I am speculating, I don’t know actual numbers) we must have had 80-90 people on this back-jarring adventure. It was filled to an unsafe level. The return trip was almost as tight and we came back shortly after our excursion finished. Belize is beautiful and we saw—very briefly—2-3 manatees, and 2-3 dolphins, two of which (a mom and her calf) followed us for a while. It was a very good excursion, with more beautiful water and fascinating iguanas. Cozumel – Atlantis Submarine. Mom had done this before and I was glad I could revisit it with her. Our sub went down 111 feet and we got to observe more of the threatened Meso-American coral reef, including a planned ship wreck designed to give new life to threatened coral. I wanted to ask the pilot a question, but three other passengers talked with him non-stop the entire time we were down. The submarine isn’t off a dock, but rather requires a 15-20 minute tender ride out to the ship the submarine is docked with. Watch your step—mom needed a little help, but not as much as was required in Mahogany Bay for the submerged glass-walled boat ride. The coral reef is fairly spartan, but it will give many people a very different understanding of how open and empty the ocean actually is in many places. Port Canaveral—the return. It was challenging to get off the ship, but not nearly the horror show I was concerned it would have been. I was the happiest person to get off the ship! So much so that I’m afraid my glee at being free of the Carnival Breeze offended the gentleman in front of me. There’s no place like home! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019

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