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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful ... Read More
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful weather. We went out on a limb to experience an interior cabin just to make the shipboard and port fun budget go farther. Here's what we learned ... Port = San Diego knows how to process two ships at once. Despite the spring break crowd the Disney ship leaving at the same time, luggage loading, processing and boarding ran efficiently. Holland America gives you a time window for loading based on your stateroom deck. Adhere to this and it should go well for you! Parking was $11 a day at the Wyndham hotel directly across from the port. Nieuw Amsterdam Ship = We liked the classic interior, beautiful sculptures and artwork that lined the ship walls. The main staircase isn't dramatic like the Princess ships and their main dining room isn't as cheery and bright like Celebrity Dining Rooms but it does have a small ship feel with large sea viewing windows and offers cozy alcoves like the Billboard Onboard with dueling pianos and the Crows Nest for reading/watching the sea and drinking a good cappuccino. When you stay in an inside room, you are quite interested in alternative places to hang on sea days. We frequented the well equipped gym and Tamarind Bar for views, without music, and comfy chairs for lounging and reading. I would not pick this ship for the pool experience because the pool is small and the deck is somewhat crowded with people and privately rented cabanas around the perimeter. If you choose to sunbathe, visit the Seaview deck on the back of the ship with a small pool. Bring your towel clips because it can be a bit windy. The pool dome is closed at night or cool weather, so the pool area stays busy during the day and night. You don’t see a lot of kids onboard but you do see them during afternoon pool hours. With all the mega ships now offering adventurous amenities for families or partiers, HAL is wise to cater to the interests of grandparents and people over 60 first. I wouldn’t hesitate to book a family reunion on the Nieuw Amsterdam but I think it’s real attraction is that it is not a "TEEN SHIP". It’s sophisticated and classy vibe is perfect for a couple getaway. My favorite feature on the ship was the elevator. Each elevator rug was changed daily to announce the day of the week…brilliant! Entertainment = Holland America has thoughtfully considered it's clientele. They have the BB King Blues Club for mo-town and dance music, the Lincoln Center for classical recitals and the Dueling Pianos in the Billboard for 60, 70's, 80's and singer songwriter favorites. The talent was incredible this cruise! The main stage dance shows by Step One Dance Company were skillfully produced with technical lights and lasers and the comedian- Chris Pendleton and illusionist Leon Etienne - couldn't have been better. Activities = Highlight of this cruise was the America Test Kitchen sessions and the games hosted by cruise directors. EXC cruise talks for this Mexico cruise need improvement. Folklore dances on the sundeck need a stage for more passengers to see. I didn't use the casino but KUDOS to Holland America for offering a SMOKE FREE casino so all passengers can enjoy the Onboard Billboard Entertainment. I was surprised to see that the library limited to games and primarily travel and educational books. Bring your own novel. Food and Service = This aspect is pretty important to cruisers and I was worried how it would par with our previous Celebrity and Princess cruises. I can happily tell you that steak tastes like steak (not liver) and lobster portions are wonderful! We didn't have to go to a specialty restaurant to find food we enjoyed. I was most impressed by the Lido Food court and enjoyed being served. This was far different from milling around Horizon court or encountering a traffic jam at the Celebrity food stations. Passengers may have to wait a bit longer for the crew to dip up your food choices, but it is more sanitary. The Nieuw Amsterdam offers an outstanding salad bar. While ice-cream offerings and desserts don't compare to the Norman Love creations on Princess they were tasty, plentiful and enjoyable. Servers were quick to clean tables, serve drinks and always friendly. Booking last minute, Anytime Dining was our only option. We learned to call up to two days in advance to request a dining time. This cut down on waiting in line like other guests. It was also enjoyable to sit and meet other guests. Bar drinks on cruise ships are expensive. Check the rules and consider bringing your allotment of beverages (including water) on board at each port or enjoying in port. Ports = Mexican ports are not particularly spectacular but with a little personal research and port reviews you can book some great tours. My husband and I have never felt afraid or had any concerns about getting off the ship. The people in Mexico are friendly and tourism is quite important. Keep in mind that local taxi drivers don't always speak English but they know the way to popular tourist areas. I can't comment on HALS ship tours as we typically book our own. I highly recommend the following ... Mazatlan - Enjoy the city with a personal guide on a bike along the water. We saw cliff divers, fishermen feeding huge birds, harbor sculptures, city square and the greatest local food market. We gained knowledge of the city's history and learned to appreciate what the locals love from Daniel at Blue Foot City Bike Tours https://bluefoot.mx Cabo San Lucas - This port requires a tender but there is enough to do in the vicinity if you choose just to shop or refill your prescriptions for half the price. Our preference is to get off the ship and negotiate with locals for a tour. We have taken a whale ride excursion in the past. This time we enjoyed and recommend taking a water taxi (both ways) to Medano Beach. Once there you can enjoy the day at a local resort with a perfect view of the ship and Lovers Beach. Puerto Vallarta - The port is nothing to see except a huge Wal Mart across the street. Instead, opt for a taxi to and from the Malecón. Walk the large boardwalk along the ocean to shop, view beautiful art sculptures, street performers and colorful flowers. There are plenty of great restaurants along the way. Visit the Lady of Guadalupe Church downtown, avoid most city streets and sightsee in touristy areas. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My Experience My experience on the Norwegian Bliss was my first cruise ever, as well as my husband's. We decided to do our honeymoon on the Bliss because we were struck with the Go-Kart on the ship since we both have a love for ... Read More
My Experience My experience on the Norwegian Bliss was my first cruise ever, as well as my husband's. We decided to do our honeymoon on the Bliss because we were struck with the Go-Kart on the ship since we both have a love for go-karting. That was so much fun! It was FAST and exciting! I have to say that we want to do the cruise again soon and take the kids. If you appreciate smaller things, you will appreciate a trip to Mexico for 7 days! I don't get all the negative remarks on these reviews, but I am grateful for small things in life! There was over 4000 people on the ship and most of the time, it didn’t feel over-crowded. The only time it was crowded is when a show is let out and the exercise drill. There was a couple of nights that it felt like a ghost-town, most everyone was turned in for the night or hiding somewhere! Haha! About the Ship The ship was beautiful! I have never seen anything so big and beautiful. I couldn't get enough pictures. This trip was a big deal for both of us and we were just so excited to see something that we have never experienced before. We walked all over the ship and tried to see every inch of the ship since it was such a beautiful thing. I am grateful that we had this opportunity to experience an awesome vacation on this big beautiful boat! I am pretty sure we poked around just about every corner except for the Haven area. Our Cabin Room Our room was the Mid-Ship Stateroom with Balcony on the 13th Deck and I wouldn't pick any other room on board. We had originally picked out a room on 5th deck that was in the center and I am glad we decided to upgrade twice to get a room with the balcony. I felt it was plenty of room with just the both of us. I can bet it would be plenty if I had my kids with me. We were confused at how to keep the light on in our cabin and later learned that we had to keep the room key in the slot (learned this from avid fellow cruiser)! Our room was kept cleaned every day and we had a surprise waiting for us every time we came back to our room. Thank you, Larry, for outstanding services with the cabin and we were excited to see each animal towels left just for us! We are also very thankful for the Honeymoon Package waiting for us when we first entered the cabin. That was a very nice touch! When leaving on our final day, we waited until the last minute on the night before the last day to get two new beach towels and to my dismay, we never got them – oh well – we have another souvenir that we are happy with. Dining Experience (Specialty, Buffet included) I have to say that I was really impressed with all the Specialty Dining we had. We got the Dining Package that consist of 3 Specialty Dining and our choices were The Q, Teppanyaki and Los Labos. Of course, we made reservations at The Taste, Manhatten Room and visited The Local few times. For our Honeymoon package, we had our romantic dinner at Le Bistro which was very lovely and completely enjoyed ourselves. I was happy with a bottle of Bubbly which was delicious and a bottle of white wine that we took back to our room later. Breakfast was pretty much at the Garden Café every morning and occasional lunch. I just know we ate so much food and loved every bit of it. I had an issue with couple of things on my plate that I have chosen but overall really good food. I am just thankful there was plenty to go around! We also had the drink package and that was the best thing ever as we drank whatever we wanted throughout the day. Never got drunk or felt any hangover. It was perfect! Entertainment & Activities We saw most of the shows such as the Comedy Night at the Social, The Havana!, The Jersey Boys and not to mention the International Talent Show done by most of the crewmembers! OUTSTANDING! I was happy with all the shows and completely enjoyed myself. It was a very relaxing atmosphere and loved every minute of it. My husband was enjoying himself as well. We both absolutely love the Go-Karts and did that four times. Although I never made it up on the board, I had so much fun! Mini-golf was cute, it was so small though. I believe more creation in the mini-golf would be ideal. We hung out by the pool a couple of days and went to most of the themed party. I am confused as to why there were children at the H2O when it clearly shows “Adults Only – 21 and over?” Same thing with children in the Adult Only pool. I heard complaint about the pool being overcrowded but I didn’t feel like it was. I have seen worse overcrowded pools before. We did not opt to play the Laser Tag, it just wasn’t our thing but man it looked fun. We didn’t have the chance to check out the Hot Tub – it was always full of people or shut down. Shore Excursions Experiences Puerto Vallarta: We chose Tequila Town, Country and Farm Excursion and it was a pleasant tour. The tour guidance, Hugo was excellent. I love his trilling R’s! I enjoyed the tour through the town and the church especially. However, I was a little disappointed in the town itself, it was so run down and dirty. The local folks looked so depressed, sitting outside their shop waiting for business, that I just wanted to jump back onto the happy ship! Once we got to the Tequila Farm, the fun started heating up with 6 samples of tequilas and loved them all! Had a nice little lunch with authentic tacos and then we did a little bit of shopping on our own when we got back to the port and bought some souvenirs! Mazatlán: We chose the Hike the Lighthouse Excursion because we both love to hike and explore the nature. Our reservation was in the high time of the day, so it was a bit warm. Thankfully I had my big brim hat on since I had gotten sunburn days before from chilling out by the pool. Our tour guide was very friendly and did an awesome job with the tour. I made it all the way to the top at the Lighthouse after going up over 340 something steps! It was a struggle, but we did it! Great team support as I had some couples encouraging me along the way because I was nearly giving up. Good hike though! Again, did some quick shopping at the port before loading back up on the big happy boat! We only saw a small part of the downtown area and it was a little more colorful than Puerto Vallarta! Cabo, San Lucas We chose the Snorkeling, Paddle board and Kayak adventure and I will NEVER forget this trip! We got on this awesome boat that was pretty fast and bee-bopped across the water to our final destination. Before we headed that way, we toured around the most beautiful rock formations ever! It was a sight to see! Once we got to our destination, we explored the beautiful sea down under with our snorkeling gear! I am so thankful for the photographer that was with us because he got some awesome pictures of us swimming below – holding hands and pointing at fish! I was so thankful for such a beautiful time! I spent few moments on the kayak and we had to head back. Not enough time for such a great adventure! Then we saw the jumping baby whale having the time of its life! Thank you, Lord, for such a beauty in sight! I am truly thankful for the Cabo Adventure for such a wonderful adventure! They had tons of photos for us to take back home on a flash drive for a small cost! We did some quick shopping as we had to head back to the happy ship at 1:30 pm and it was lined up for miles! No complaint as it was all smooth-sailing! I was sad to be leaving so soon as we wanted to explore more. Like someone else said in the review, we are flying back to explore more! Farewell: On our final day, it was so very hard to leave the boat. I had tears in my eyes as I was saying goodbye to all the staff. They were all outstanding, friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable. We were greeted every day, throughout the day! All of our waiters/waitresses did such an amazing job and I can't thank them all enough! We are coming back for sure and pick another destination as traveling has been on our bucket list for a while! To our surprise, we didn’t spend a whole lot as we paid for everything in advanced and that was a nice plan! I tried to add some photos but I am having issues with the download. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
It's been 2 years since my last cruise and I was ready. I'm so glad we chose this one. Getting on the ship was pretty easy and fast. I expected it to be hard considering the number of people. We had lunch in the buffet and it ... Read More
It's been 2 years since my last cruise and I was ready. I'm so glad we chose this one. Getting on the ship was pretty easy and fast. I expected it to be hard considering the number of people. We had lunch in the buffet and it was good. We were in our room by 2 PM. The room was small for a mini suite but adequate. There is a lot of storage in the room. The bathroom was great. I loved the full body shower. I was not impressed with the majority of the food. Other than the specialty restaurants, the food was bland. My least favorite was The local. We found the service poor and the food the same. We loved all 3 ports. I wish we would have had more time in Cabo, but I got a beautiful ring, so i cant complain. My advice for Mazaltlan if you want to to just look around and your is to just take the open air taxis to town. $12-$15 one way and you see everything. We paid $45 for the double decker bus and it's not worth it. I would totally recommend this cruise. I have to give props to the Cruise Director, Silas Cook and his entire staff. Silas and Alex are the best in the business. Alex is the life of any party and one of the nicest people I've ever met. By far, Silas is just the most wonderful person ever. I had the chance to just chat with him for a while and I loved just getting to know him. I hope I cross paths with he and his staff again. Was the cruise perfect, nope. Nothing in life is perfect. I will say 1 week felt like 3. I cant wait to go back!!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Choose the ship due to look and activities available. There was never a dull or boring moment on board, my grandson had the best time he is 3 years old but was trying just about everything, we mini golfed, he went swimming, he went to ... Read More
Choose the ship due to look and activities available. There was never a dull or boring moment on board, my grandson had the best time he is 3 years old but was trying just about everything, we mini golfed, he went swimming, he went to splash academy, we listened to music, went to see Jersey Boys, watched movies and just had a great experience. cannot wait to do it again. The crew was very attentive and just amazing, the food was unbelievable especially the day had Jamaican food. My grandson and daughter made new friends. My grandson loved all the attention he as getting from the crew. I would recommend this ship to friends and family members. Norwegian Cruise line is the best line I have been on so far. This was our 3rd time on NCL and cannot wait to do it again. Claudia from Canada. Dining was amazing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were looking for a west coast cruise for the family. This was our first time on Norwegian. The bliss is a beautiful new ship and never seemed really crowded even though it holds 5,000 passengers. The smaller complimentary restaurants ... Read More
We were looking for a west coast cruise for the family. This was our first time on Norwegian. The bliss is a beautiful new ship and never seemed really crowded even though it holds 5,000 passengers. The smaller complimentary restaurants (Taste and Savor) were much more warm and inviting than the Manhattan. The food and service was great in all the restaurants and the garden buffet. We didn’t try any of the specialty restaurants although we heard great things about cagneys steak house. We weren’t really impressed with puerto Vallarta. Did an excursion to stone island beach in mazatlan which was actually nice. All the alcohol you could drink. Cabo was our favorite and we will probably go back by plane. Saw jersey boys and it was fabulous. They aren’t kidding when they saw broadway productions. Also tried the go carts which was pretty cool knowing you are on a ship in the middle of the ocean. All in all a great cruise. And we were amazed at the speed they got us on and off the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for our sisters cruise because the port and sail date fit our needs. Ship was beautiful and large. Embarkation was easy and fast, onboard by 11:15am. Disembarkation was equally easy. Some of the staff were cranky ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our sisters cruise because the port and sail date fit our needs. Ship was beautiful and large. Embarkation was easy and fast, onboard by 11:15am. Disembarkation was equally easy. Some of the staff were cranky and seemed tired. Elevators were over crowded but it was a good excuse to take the stairs for extra calories burned. Specialty restaurants were very good but buffet was choppy. Public bathrooms in the area of the pool could be cleaner. Singers onboard were the best I’ve seen. Really liked Susan and Siglo. Views and atmosphere from the observation lounge were lovely. This is the first time taking a different cruise line other than celebrity in many years, and would have to say even though I had a great cruise celebrity is still my choice. This ship is for passengers with children for sure, celebrity is for people that would really like to avoid tons of kids. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The timing was perfect. We had already been to the Caribbean and wanted somewhere different. They work like a well oiled machine. All ship personnel were knowledgeable about the ship. The embarking and disembarking went smoothly, even the ... Read More
The timing was perfect. We had already been to the Caribbean and wanted somewhere different. They work like a well oiled machine. All ship personnel were knowledgeable about the ship. The embarking and disembarking went smoothly, even the tenders were easy. There were a good balance of sea days and port days. Just a LOT of people on that ship, hard to get an elevator. The food is amazing, and the specialty restaurants are awesome. There was not much room at the pool, unfortunately there is only one adult only pool. The one thing I found to be unfortunate is the standard for dress in the dining rooms. No one seems to want to get dressed up anymore. This in my opinion, lowers the standard of the people on board. I used to look forward to dress up nights. Even at the Theatre shows, shorts and t-shirts. Though the staff are diligent about washing hands, my husband and I both picked up a bug and were sick for the last few days. We enjoyed ourselves, and the excursions were as promised. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my first time traveling on NCL, NOT my first time cruising though. I take at least one cruise a year. I was excited about trying NCL but was let down. I expected more from all the great reviews that raved about the fine dining-I ... Read More
This was my first time traveling on NCL, NOT my first time cruising though. I take at least one cruise a year. I was excited about trying NCL but was let down. I expected more from all the great reviews that raved about the fine dining-I did participate in the specialty dining program and went to almost all of the special dinning restaurants on board but didn’t feel that most were worth the extra money. I did like the steak house, but honestly the rest of the speciality dinning were unworthy( I don’t know about the Temperura restaurants though as we booked a few months before and couldn’t get in) Cruising used to be all inclusive and now cruise lines are nickel and dime us- I get it and don’t mind paying a little extra for better service, but I expect better service and food if I have to pay extra. Our cabin steward was not that helpful and I cannot help but think he was just trying to get out of work. (We are not customers who need a lot of attention just ice every so often - never asked for towels or sheet changing and we always cleaned up our own rooms) and always pre-pay our gratuity-maybe that is why he didn’t work hard....)that being said I did enjoy myself. I just wouldn’t go on another NCL cruise again- unless you book early- you cannot get into shows, or some restaurants. I guess if you are able to pay the extra fee for Heaven (or book early enough to get a room there) then maybe you can bypass the bad cabin stewards and get to eat on the Heaven restaurants instead- but seriously if you are gonna pay that much extra money- go on a different cruise line. And BTW the cabins are so much smaller than all of the other cruise lines I have been on- and we always book balcony or better. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
BAD: Hot tub from 2decks above balcony was over flowing on my friends balcony Room near ours (hard for me to believe this never happened before. Crew was very good trying to take care of it but she never was able to even sit on her ... Read More
BAD: Hot tub from 2decks above balcony was over flowing on my friends balcony Room near ours (hard for me to believe this never happened before. Crew was very good trying to take care of it but she never was able to even sit on her balcony for fear of getting chlorine hot tub water all over them) Terrible and it was pouring at times Clumps of bacon at breakfast on the haven restaurant. The assistant Maitre-D (Garry Velez) was mortified and spoke to the chef.. They were very nice but even on the last day - clumps of bacon again. I would expect more from the Haven Cagneys Restaurant waited 1 hour 40 minutes for main course dinner. We had apps first and that came out in a timely fashion but wait was horrible - we did say something and they apologized sveral times. The smoke alarm in the cooking area was going off for a good 10-15 minutes - we did tell then about that as well and it was finally shut off Were they not going to shut it off hadn't we said something. Steak was a thin porterhouse like u get at sizzler. I would expect more from a specialty restaurant we have to pay for. Food at haven for my friends daughter plain pasta was ice cold but plate was hot. We have video of it. It was a joke the rest of the cruise. Again this was in the Haven restaurant and we did make the chef and Garry aware. AGAIN, they apologized. Lamb chops were ice cold in the haven restaurant, AGAIN - I don't know whats going on up there but it definalety was not great this time. Very disappointing for us. Light in closet in master room of 2 bedroom suite constantly stayed on. They replaced bulb and the door is the issue not the bulb. This happened in her room and ours. They fixed it finally after the 4th day and after my husband put tape on the door every night Toilet in kids room not flushing. Broken. Told them on 2nd day - this was in room 17110 - by the last day, that toilet still had a delay flush No hot water in master bath last 4 days of cruise. This was my friends room. Spoke to numerous people Who said they fixed it and they clearly did not. Complained every day about it On Mazatlán port day we stayed on ship. No one in haven pool area to change towels on chairs. No pool towels available. Had to complain in order for someone to fix it. Refrigerator in our room was constantly leaking they had to keep cleaning it. Fixed by 6th day When you get out of haven hot tub, everyone been cutting or bruising themselves by the artwork above it. The bottom sticks out above the staircase the way it is situated. My husband left shoulder was bruised because of it. We booked 8 people go karts - double - so all 8 of us can ride together - its only 4 times around the track on doubles and 8 on singles. Not only was it $9.95 per ride but when we got there we were told one car was broken so only 6 of us could ride together we were disappointed but it was still fun. I would rather a ship that has a sports complex like basketball etc for the kids. GOOD: Winshor Baslan - was our stateroom steward. He was excellent. Even better than the butler. Tried to take care of all the issues for us as well. Knew my kids by name, made amazing animals for us with the towels. He was even better than we had last year on the Escape Haven. Just the nicest person Q Restaurant was our best night - no complaints. Food was good. Service was great. Music and entertainment were on point. Great night Shows - Havana and Jersey Boys were excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we traveled on the Jewel 2 years ago and heard about a new boat being built. We love this route as it's an easy one for us to make work and 7 days is just about the perfect cruise length for me. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we traveled on the Jewel 2 years ago and heard about a new boat being built. We love this route as it's an easy one for us to make work and 7 days is just about the perfect cruise length for me. The boat was definitely fresh and new but didn't have that WOW factor we were expecting. Our balcony stateroom had to be the smallest one we've ever had, on NCL and other lines. There seemed to be space wasted in the stateroom, in the name of decorating? The sliding door out to the balcony was framed in oddly, making for stubbed toes! There was a lot of movement (we were on Deck 14), even on days when the ocean was very calm. With that movement came lots of cracks and snaps and noises all night long. I can't imagine being on this boat in really bad weather! The dining rooms were very elegant. The food was good but not spectacular. The entertainment was fun but nothing special, other than the Beatles cover band in the Cavern. Staff was very friendly and mostly attentive. There were a couple of very slow servers but you'd find that anywhere! I was amazed at how they could remember our names and what we were drinking almost immediately! Also, there was a bit of a communication problem at times due to the noise at the pool, or in the atrium at game times and the fact that most workers didn't speak great English. Will we travel with NFL again? Most likely yes, just not on this boat! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
All activities on the ship required reservations that you needed to make prior to the cruise which we never were made aware of. The employees were miserable and had the worst customer service skills. The kids splash academy was full and ... Read More
All activities on the ship required reservations that you needed to make prior to the cruise which we never were made aware of. The employees were miserable and had the worst customer service skills. The kids splash academy was full and couldnt take anymore kids as it was a first come first serve basis. Everything costed extra, only food was included. Shows, go carts , arcade and many more things were all extra but they were all full. This ship was beautiful but the experience and sercice was horrible. I will never go on another Norwegian cruise. The pool had little to no entertainment and it was packed with only one pool for families to use. I would highly recommend a Royal Caribbean cruise over this one anyday. To top the cruise off my 10 year had access to charge to his room 1500. On the arcade and the cruise line never flagged the account or notified us .When i found out about charges there corporate office in Miami argued with me stating it was my responsibility to pay the amount. Please safe yourself the headache and disappointment do not go on this ship!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and my two children (ages 8 and 4) came on this cruise as an extension of a California Disney vacation. We were looking forward to a relaxing spring break family vacation, and certainly expected a similar experience to our prior 6 ... Read More
My wife and my two children (ages 8 and 4) came on this cruise as an extension of a California Disney vacation. We were looking forward to a relaxing spring break family vacation, and certainly expected a similar experience to our prior 6 cruise experiences with other companies. You will be extremely disappointed. This is not a family cruise. Staff is largely ignorant of any cruise activity or procedure, the children activity center is opened odd limited hours, which in turn limits your own ability to book any adult time. The ship is crowded and ill-designed — be ready to wait long lines at any eatery or elevator — the food of poor quality unless you are paying for it. Cabin is smaller than Disney but ok. Very disappointed with our experience and especially for the kids. I will not travel in this boat again. I wish I had read more of the other reviews before I booked it. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Took a Mexican cruise on Royal, was my 4th cruise on Princess...all I can say is OUCH! It has been 12 years since I have been on a cruise.....I LOVED (PAST TENSE) Princess until now....I am used to the smaller ships, 2600 passengers, as if ... Read More
Took a Mexican cruise on Royal, was my 4th cruise on Princess...all I can say is OUCH! It has been 12 years since I have been on a cruise.....I LOVED (PAST TENSE) Princess until now....I am used to the smaller ships, 2600 passengers, as if that is small....but Princess really messed up the line...You cant add 1000 more passengers, ditch one pool and revamp the menu so it is like a high end buffet, and I am not talking about the Horizon cafe....I am talking main dinning room...we were told that there was a new head chef for the ship, even the employees were complaining on how bad the food was....1 less pool and 1000 more people means, you aint getting into one....PEOPLE EVERYWHERE, NO PLACE TO GO. HAD WHAT WAS AN OWNERS SUITE, WAS GREAT, BUT THAT WAS IT. The ship was busy all the time, everywhere you went... NO place to just chill without People everywhere....movies under the stars great idea except for one problem...no aft pool so PEOPLE ALWAYS THERE,, NO WAY YOU ARE GETTING INTO THE POOL...Sanctuary pool also BUSY ALL THE TIME and at night kids in the pool as well. .so many people that there are not enough elevators to get around, always always always waiting for an elevator.....and when you are in the elevators, guess what, no air conditioning in them so you are sweltering as you hit EVERY SINGLE FLOOR. As far as food the only place that the food was good was the international cafe off the Piazza. As a suite passenger in the past with Princess, we were treated like royalty..not anymore...the few perks that are offered to the suite passenger does not make up for the lack of service, did not feel any more special then the avg joe who payed ALOT less then I did....Service in the suites only area of the restaurant sucked...had to move to a different area to get mediocre service at best...THE table side special food prep, was not done table side and it was the same every night of the cruise, was pasta with a very bitter tomato sauce.....Head waiter was an a-hole to say the least......even the specialty restaurants were mediocre......there was nothing special about the food, bad in most cases.....heard After was on ROYAL by a few different travel agents that ROYAL has a very bad reputation for most of the things I am complaining about....DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY on ROYAL, heck at this point don't waste your money on Princess.....spend the extra money and go on a true luxury cruise line. BIGGER IS NOT BETTER, no way no how! I know some of you haters are going to say some crap to me about something, so I will add this.... I had a hip replacement 2 months earlier and taking the steps was not an option.....and for the haters....go ahead..sling your best shot...I know you are all out there. I had multiple surgeries over the years, hence the reason I had waited 12 years for the trip....I deserved the suite...again haters be very careful on what you say, I have no problem coming back at you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I went on this cruise because my brother and his wife were taking this particular cruise. We wouldn't have chosen this one however, we went into it looking forward to a good cruise and good time. Immediately upon ... Read More
My wife and I went on this cruise because my brother and his wife were taking this particular cruise. We wouldn't have chosen this one however, we went into it looking forward to a good cruise and good time. Immediately upon entering our cabin we were disappointed. The entire cabin had ONE single power outlet (including the restroom) and while we've cruised before and knew plugs were limited, ONE was a bit surprising. Otherwise the cabin was average with the exception of the balcony. The balcony was very disappointing. We paid for a larger balcony and it was larger than standard however, it was filthy. EVERY piece of outdoor furniture was soiled, stained and just nasty. We could not sit on any of it without first covering it with a towel. I'll add photos. The glass on the outer railing was stained dramatically, the wooden railing was peeling, and there was rust on multiple areas of the balcony and outside the balcony. It also took us two phone calls and a discussion with the steward to get the room cleaning arranged. The food was hit and miss, some pretty tasty, some really poor. The only exceptional meal we enjoyed was at the Steak House which of course cost additional funds. I have to say that while the cruise wasn't terrible it certainly isn't one we would ever do again. There are options out there that we would enjoy more than this one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise went from Los Angeles to three ports in Mexico and back again to LA. We have taken about 25 cruises with Princess and many with other cruise lines. We have also done this itinerary many times with different cruise lines from ... Read More
This cruise went from Los Angeles to three ports in Mexico and back again to LA. We have taken about 25 cruises with Princess and many with other cruise lines. We have also done this itinerary many times with different cruise lines from San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. EMBARKATION Immediately after picking up our two bags at the baggage claim area, we found the Princess representatives nearby and were told to leave our two large bags with them and follow a representative to the bus. We walked with her and were handed off to a couple of other guides during a walk of about a mile to reach the bus. Fortunately we are in fairly good health and the walk did not bother us. Some of the other passengers were having problems. Luckily it was not raining or we would have been soaking wet by the time we reached the bus. The ride to the ship took about 45 minutes. When we reached the check in area, we were escorted to the elite line and the check in process went smoothly. There we received our Medallions, which replaced the cards usually used for room keys and charging items purchased on the ship. The Medallions have other uses, but we did not explore those. CABIN We were onboard by noon and the cabins were not yet ready, so we had lunch at the lido restaurant on Deck 16. About 1 PM they announced that the cabins were ready and we went down to unpack our carry-on bags. We had room C309 on deck 10. I had a small bath with three shelves on one side of the mirror for storage of personal items. There was a stall shower and toilet. The bath was more compact than on other ships and moving around was difficult. Outside the bath were a dressing area and a large closet between it and the sleeping area. There was also a very small closet with shelves and a safe between the bath and the larger clothes closet. The sleeping area had a queen bed, a dressing table with several drawers and two night stands. Each one had two drawers and a storage shelf. There was a reading lamp on each. Across from the desk was another cabinet with a small frig. Outside was a tiny balcony with a table and two chairs. There was a large, flat screened TV hanging on the wall opposite the bed. The cabin seemed clean and comfortable. Only the floor showed stains on the carpet. Our cabin stewardess greeted us soon after we arrived at the cabin. FOOD We ate most of our meals in the main dining room, but also had some in the lido restaurant. The food in the main restaurant was fair to good. I had prime rib the second night and it was tough and somewhat tasteless. The fish dinners were usually good. There was a noticeable lack of vegetables included with most of the dinners. A typical fish dinner would have the fish placed on top of risotto or succotash with no vegetables. One night I had one slice of potato and a few julienned carrots. For those wanting more vegetables, I would suggest a salad before the main course. The service in the main restaurant was somewhat slow the first two nights, but improved as the week progressed. The waiters were always pleasant and efficient. The food in the lido restaurant was usually tasteless, which is normal. The quality is also not a good as in the main restaurant. There was a good selection and several types of themes were followed. We noticed Mexican several times and one night they had Bavarian food. This ship has a serving area that we have not seen before. There were several lanes running across the ship from side to side with serving areas on each side. Even though the ship had over three thousand passengers on board, there was never any problem getting to the food items. One lane had only desert items. These were very tasty and well prepared and presented. The first day we had hamburgers with fries at the grill near the pool and they were very good. I also had a slice of pizza one afternoon and it was fair. We have had poor luck at the specialty restaurants in the past so avoided them on this trip. The gelato at a cafe on a lower deck was good and the price was right. Two large scoops for $2.10 and they were enough for the two of us to share. ENTERTAINMENT We don’t care for the productions shows put on by Princess, so we usually avoid them. We did see one on this trip and it was just so-so. There was a good comedian who did two shows, one in the Princess Theatre and one in the Vista Lounge. A singer, Lou Gazzara, did two shows and he was quite good. He apparently was on the Idol TV show 17 years ago and now lives and works in Las Vegas. A married couple did a comedy/magic show one night. Unfortunately, they were not funny and the magic was boring. They used people from the audience several times and the tricks were drawn out far too long. Overall, the shows were better than on other Princess cruises we have taken in recent years. One afternoon, we watched a movie in our cabin. There was a large selection of movies and TV shows available on demand. This is a new feature we have not seen on other Princess ships. OUTER DECKS We primarily took this cruse to see the ship. This was the largest Princess ship we have ever been on. At 142,229 tons it was impressive. The interior décor was very well done. We often stay onboard when the ship is in port and use the pools when there are far fewer people around than on sea days. We look forward to swimming in the enclosed pools, because we both are easily sun burned. However we were surprised to learn that this ship did not have one. There is one pool in the center deck and one forward near the Sanctuary area. Neither is covered. VIBRATION The ship has serious vibration problems in certain areas. Mostly it is on lower decks and from the center of the ship to the rear. My wife was in a store on a lower deck and noticed that some watches in a display case were vibrating severely. While she stood near them a glass door on a nearby display case shattered and glass fell all over the floor near her. Thankfully she was not injured, but the glass could have caused serious problems. We went down to the area several hours later and the broken glass was still all over the floor of the shop. We also noticed the vibration while in the dining room on deck 5. Our cabin was towards the bow on deck 10 and the vibration was not as serious up there. We only noticed this problem on one other ship about 25 years ago. DISEMBARKATION On the last morning of the cruise, we went to the Vista lounge, which is the area where Elite passengers wait to leave the ship. The Captain’s Club representative was there to assist in the disembarkation process and did a very efficient job of announcing the departure time for the various groups. We left the ship a little ahead of schedule and were escorted to the bus. Unfortunately, it was another walk of about one half mile to get to the bus. Once onboard everything went fine and we were checked in at Southwest Airlines and off to our waiting area within minutes. The flight back to Sacramento was quite bumpy and the attendants were therefore unable to serve any refreshments. SUMMARY It was an enjoyable cruise with quiet seas all the way down and back. We were surprised that the weather in Mexico was actually cooler than we were having at home in northern California. We expected it to be hot, but most of the time it was overcast and cool to warm. On the two days returning from our last stop in Puerto Vallarta, it was very windy and too cold to enjoy any time on deck. We had one unfortunate experience while on board. We returned to our cabin one morning and found the floor to be soaking wet near the bathroom. I was afraid a pipe had broken so my wife sought the cabin stewardess and was told she had knocked over a bucket of water onto the carpet near the bathroom. She said she had tried to soak up the water with towels, but it apparently did not work. She made no effort to take other measures to clean up the mess. We immediately called the head of housekeeping and asked to have a wet vacuum brought in to remove the water from the carpet. We then left to spend the afternoon at the pool. When we returned, nothing had been done and the floor was still wet. My wife got on the phone to housekeeping and we also went to the front desk to ask for a cabin change. We were told that no cabins were available, but a supervisor was called to the front desk and he made arrangements to have a dryer brought to our room. Unfortunately, we had to stay in the room for several hours while the dryer was going, because we had to leave the door to the balcony open and did not want to leave the cabin while it was open. We had to cancel dinner reservations given to us as a perk by Princess at the Italian restaurant and were unable to get a decent time on another night. We were very surprised that the problem was not attended to without our intervention. We suggest that anyone having a similar problem should immediately get in touch with someone at a higher level. Don’t leave it up to your cabin attendant to clean up the mess or it might not get done. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We had sailed on the NCL Getaway last year so we knew what we were getting into; however, this was during Spring Break time and the ship was very crowded. We are a senior couple and have pretty much decided that if the ship has a water ... Read More
We had sailed on the NCL Getaway last year so we knew what we were getting into; however, this was during Spring Break time and the ship was very crowded. We are a senior couple and have pretty much decided that if the ship has a water slide and race track on the upper deck that it probably wasn't for us. With that being said, the ship is beautiful. Because it is so new everything is great. We both felt the entertainment was below par, and again, because it was during spring break we couldn't get into some shows because they were booked long before we got on the ship. We like to collect art so we went to several art auctions, as well as some specialty dining experiences. We have been on this cruise with other ships so we are very familair with the ports, so we picked this cruise more for the ship and not the ports. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
When I cruise, which is every few years, ¬I welcome the chance to join a community specific to our choices to be together on an adventure. The community we create is supported generally by the staff of the cruise line. I have needs, but I ... Read More
When I cruise, which is every few years, ¬I welcome the chance to join a community specific to our choices to be together on an adventure. The community we create is supported generally by the staff of the cruise line. I have needs, but I usually accommodate myself. However, on my last cruise I experienced a different community. It wasn’t the fellow cruisers but the actual cruise line that reduced my ability to have fun. I have been home now for 3 days and I thought long and hard about writing this letter. First the compliments which will take up more space than the complaint. Most of your staff were excellent at their jobs, and those who were very new to their jobs can be excused as poor English speakers which led to few interesting misunderstandings which were humorous and easily resolved. Mihael who was my first maître d’ was very kind and sincerely supportive. His commitment to customer service is exceptional and sincere. When we are remembered, we feel valuable, it was very kind. When I dined at Taste he was so kind and helpful. Our room steward, James was very responsive, and great at his job, we a party of 3 adored him, were grateful for his help and kindness, not to mention his towel folding ability was greatly appreciated. The food was great, some of the best that I ever ate. I loved dining in the Manhattan Room, the broths Pho in the Garden Buffet was amazing and lifesaving to both my cabin mate and I. My friend spent a ton of time at the smoker’s area on Deck 17 and had a blast with all the wonderful people she met there. I was very fond of deck areas on 7 that were outside and so comfortable, I found many folks there who like my friends and I enjoyed being out of the harsh sun. We saw everything we wanted to and marveled at the wonders of nature that we experienced. Whales, flying fish and the west coast equivalent of the end of the continent. My ADA stateroom was clean and welcoming. When we began to plan this trip, we were unaware that our cruise began on the day of the show we had waited for 2 years to see, would premier on the first day of our cruise. We were VERY concerned about what we should do, and my internet package which was suggested by one of your call center employees allowed me to watch Game of Thrones, which was an event that my cruise mates were so excited to share. Thanks to that person for making our day. I wish I had written his name down as it was soo special to be able to do that. Attention to hand sanitizing was vigilant and I appreciated the staff assigned to those stations. A couple of my cruise-mates I and have worked in many theatres and we were not very impressed with Havana, as it was a confusing storyline. However, it was well sung, danced and the acting was pretty good. That said, Jersey Boys was a treat to the senses. The singing was great! Despite the noise from below our feet as the show was in its first half hour, and the rolling of the ship, the cast did not miss a beat or step. The lighting was unexpected, and I would like to extend my appreciation for the cast and crew. They transitioned from one effect to costume changes to moving of set pieces in a non-obtrusive manner which is appreciated by those of us who have worked for many many years in this field. One of our party is a Drama teacher and I am a retired stage manager, who is married to a lighting designer. In other words, we know a good show when we see one and we saw a great show on this cruise. The ship is beautiful, huge and well designed. huge It could use better signage, maps and directions as it’s a huge ship and mid ship is hard to find. Now for what was not great, no, not great at all. I was very uncomfortable navigating the halls with your room service carts. I rented the smallest of scooters and still got stuck nearly every day in the halls due to them taking up all the hall space that would allow walking and those of us requiring mobility assistance needed to proceed. Your staff seemed inconvenienced by my NEED to have them position the cart so that not only I but others could navigate to our staterooms from the common areas. A suggestion: can the staff move the carts into the alcoves of the rooms that they are cleaning? Could they somehow be more aware of their blocking the hallways which is dangerous for us. As the rooms they are cleaning are usually empty, this seems like an easy fix for those of us with strollers or other mobility assistance devices required to have the same experience as those who can walk. People are very helpful, but they are not always. Those who can walk are sometimes unaware that they should be more aware of those who cannot walk. I saw parents bring this to their children’s attention, but not for days did it register. I pay to be able to travel without discrimination and the lack of any way to get to my stateroom due to the elevators being crammed full of people who could walk, was really frustrating and off putting since it was easily corrected. This brings me to another complaint. When we who require an elevator to navigate from our staterooms to any place on the ship, we have to wait because there is no room for us in the elevators, We wait and wait for nearly 20 minutes as I did my first day, it seems obvious to me that at those peak hours you reserve a family/mobility assistance elevator for us? That way people like me would not look into an elevator full of people who are clueless and do not even appear to notice that they could use the steps instead of monopolizing the only way we with mobility issues would be able to get to where we need to go, this was true at the muster and every day there was a shore excursion, and again at debarkation. Signage, like busses have reminding people that they can/should give others a chance. This usually applies to those traveling with children, disabilities and others with special needs. To throw us into the general population to fend for ourselves is not a way to assist us with obtaining our needs. Additionally, please provide the ingredients on the menus, like agave instead of honey. I am allergic to agave and when I ate at Margaritaville, I had a salad that had agave instead of honey. I did not put this food allergy down as with my shellfish allergy manage it myself. However, I was sick for 2 days and very uncomfortable and felt terrible. I will never not list that again, however, remember, until this trip and my meal at Margaritaville did I need to even mention it. No restaurant, café, nothing before this instance. And finally, I was called twice from 8:00 am to 8:05 am to ensure that I come to guest services to collect a nonrefundable deposit. Since I was returning my scooter to the same place it was in my plans anyway. When I got there I got into an expected line. I waited while the staff took care of each one of the guests who proceeded me in a very efficient and what appeared to be a very respectful manner. When it came to me, I was asked to wait as the person answered a call, then he went to another guest at a location where they were seated. He then went behind the desk, remember I have now waited in my mobility scooter, while he cared for no less than 3 guests ahead of me while I was seated first in line. As I have mentioned, I waited a lot on this trip and at the end of it demanding that I wait while others were receiving respectful treatment was truly above my patience level. I yelled and pointed at the very rude gentlemen, who sent over a really nice Asian woman, who apologized for my dissatisfaction with my treatment, to which I told her, I appreciated her gracious apology, but it did not excuse the rude behavior that her predecessor had assaulted me with. You see when it has been clear that the only thing about you, that mattered to NCL was the money I spent. My comfort was never a priority, that is a really a bad thing to say about a cruise, isn’t it? As you may be able to tell, I enjoyed this as much as I could, but in the face of rude and disinterested staff, which by the way, this is my 5th cruise but my first and probably last on NCL. You see there was cruise to Greece presentation that my cruise mate and I had always wanted to take, which because of my rude treatment we both decided that we would look elsewhere, I was also interested in purchasing a trip for my sister to Hawaii as a retirement present. One person is responsible for those choices otherwise I would be booked for at least two more cruises for at least 6 more people. This is a very unfortunate choice that I feel I MUST make for my own safety, and the enjoyment of my companions. Please consider that I am aware of the difficulty of managing everyone’s good time and how hard that work can be. However, it was a costly trip, I was denied upgrades because of my mobility disability and the above difficulties made this a very painful experience both emotionally and physically. Getting stuck in the hallway was scary. This was a treat for myself and my friends of over 40 years. They helped me tons. They were not supposed to have to. They are both nearly 70 and they were moving carts out of the way, not your staff, whom were oblivious to what they caused in the hallways and when they were asked for help, they were as I said with few exceptions notably inconvenienced. Getting on board was very efficient both I and my travelling companions were so impressed by your staff and their understanding of the mobility challenged and the same was true once I got a wheelchair and was off on the debarkation adventure. I was so secure in the gentleman who helped me to get off the ship and to the bench before I caught the cab. I found so many comfortable places to rest play and eat. I needed the rest, as did my companions and we all enjoyed the Observation Lounge and the side decks around 7 and 8 which had the perfect shade and temperature for us elder travelers. When I tried to contact the special assistance coordinator, all I got was a form letter, twice. Weather was great, travel to and from was great, only the items listed above were reasons to mention anything other than my appreciation, that said there should be nothing. I was appalled that a person in a walker was left to fend for herself at the dock in Puerta Vallarta. Equally appalling was the fact that this was witnessed by several cruisers and let’s face it the woman using the walker was the most responsible in her party as she was at the dock. Hoping for rescue only to see her chance sail away. NCL is not completely responsible and did everything to warn those who went ashore that they were to keep to ship time, and it was clear that these people were not able to adhere to the rules, nor keep time, it was still horrible to see an elder left at the dock. My culture says that we never leave our elders out. I understand that this is unique. ¬¬¬ Please understand that it is solely my poor treatment at checkout that cost you two cruises, and about 6-10 thousand dollars Thank you for a good time as far as it went. I wish I didn’t have to bring your attention to the details above, but they were glaring to me and deserved comment. I will attempt ¬¬to warn others about the possibilities they may face at the guest services check out desk and, in the hallways, as well as the elevators. To be treated as a lesser species by the very people who are benefiting from my spending, is harsh treatment to say the least. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I went on the Bliss because we usually cruise Royal or Celebrity and I wanted to check out their newest ship while it was on the west coast. We are Diamond on Royal and Elite on Celebrity. We would like to build loyalty with another cruise ... Read More
I went on the Bliss because we usually cruise Royal or Celebrity and I wanted to check out their newest ship while it was on the west coast. We are Diamond on Royal and Elite on Celebrity. We would like to build loyalty with another cruise line and we like they included a few perks with the booking. This is our 34th cruise and we had a really fun week on the Bliss. The ship is pretty, staff was very friendly and food was good. We were not impressed with Cagneys (average service and food) but we liked Teppanyaki. The Food at Q was good but the place lacked windows or atmosphere. Drinks were great onboard and all the shows (Prohibition, jersey boys, comedy, The band Siglo and show Havana were all top notch. I booked the Norwegian Joy for the Oct repo cruise to experience that ship while it’s also on the west coast Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Let me start off by saying I work with the public on a daily basis. I WAS happy to see the wash stations at the buffet entrances. With that said, my mom and I both got terrible colds about the third day into our what was suppose to be a ... Read More
Let me start off by saying I work with the public on a daily basis. I WAS happy to see the wash stations at the buffet entrances. With that said, my mom and I both got terrible colds about the third day into our what was suppose to be a wonderful mother daughter trip. I haven't been sick in four years, terrible coincidents, possibly. OR..maybe there were too many germ breeding children. Had we have known that it was California's spring break we would have picked a different week. I got so sick I was very close to calling the doctor on the ship. I had to cancel my massage the last day because I was coughing so hard there was no way I could've laid flat on my back. Beyond being sick, there was absolutely no reprimand by your staff what so ever. Kids running into people because of lack of supervision. Screaming and belching in the buffet dining hall. Incessantly running up and down the hallways of the rooms the ENTIRE week. There was a complete lack of respect for the people that paid a lot of money that wanted a relaxing cruise. It was the farthest thing from relaxing. I've been on both Royal Caribbean and Carnival and I've never experienced THAT many kids. They were being so abnoxious at one point I was looking forward to getting home. I shouldn't be thinking that on a wonderful mother/daughter trip, right? Everytime we'd find a nice cozy spot to curl up with our books on the observation deck there would be a group of kids, with absolutely NO adults, come sit near us being loud, making a scene, totally distracting, and VERY disrespectful. That seemed to being a common denominator throughout the whole week. Kids being very disrespectful with no parental supervision. I think this will be my first and last Norwegian cruise unfortunately. Way too many kids! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First things first getting on the boat felt eternal. And our walker-talkies were taken from us. No where did it say we were not able to take them aboard. Once on the boat the balcony room storage was way less then on carnivals. Having to ... Read More
First things first getting on the boat felt eternal. And our walker-talkies were taken from us. No where did it say we were not able to take them aboard. Once on the boat the balcony room storage was way less then on carnivals. Having to hustle from line to line just to book shows dinning and laser tags/go karting was a pain. The days and times that would work for us and the size family of 5 was almost impossible to coordinate. Free styling is not freeing at all. Wait times to have dinner was eternal. My boys did not in any why like the hr and a half long service. The whole cruise was a constant wait game. There were so many floors of rooms and not enough social areas to socialize. The observatory was the only place and many people made it clear children were not wanted around. If I can’t drop them off at the club and the only place open is the pool which was a see of people with no open area available. Were else am I to have family time with my family. The atrium was super small and everyone fighting for seating. That place was out of the question. The elevators where never empty 3 had to pass by before there was even enough room to get on one. And going down or up 10 or so floors with children was not in any way doable. Many of the staff were in a constant rush and had little pacientes if you didn’t understand the way they ran things you were quickly pushed aside and having to help you was a strain on them. Food was very bland and nothing called our attention, even the deserts were flavorless. The kids club was alway at capacity and there were times my boys were not accepted in. If they were accepted having to wait 30 min to drop off or even pick up was a given. Shows were not that interesting and we were only accommodated the late times and our kids were grouchy with tired ness by then. If we had any hope of seeing an earlier time we had to wait in the stand by line to see if we were allowed space in. Once again waiting in lines. The buffet was a war zone of people fighting for seating and yet again waiting in long lines for food. With children we tend to not get off on the ports me and my husband have traveled to these ports in the past and knew what to expect. We however did get off on Puerto Vallarta the one excursion we did do we do not recommend. Do not do Puerto Vallarta city sites. The guide lost 12 people in the group and we were afraid to relax thinking he was going to take off to the next stop with out us. We had to keep a constant eye on him to not be left behind. Room service is not free $7 charge and they always always made a mistake and were very rude on the phone. Not a relaxing vacation what so ever. I will never recommend this company nor will we be returning customers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as we were booking last minute out of LA and had to cruise this week only. The ship, although practically brand new broke down for a few hours in Mazatlan, then after leaving Cabo the next day the smoke stack spit out ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were booking last minute out of LA and had to cruise this week only. The ship, although practically brand new broke down for a few hours in Mazatlan, then after leaving Cabo the next day the smoke stack spit out tar all over everyone on the back bar deck. The food options were in my opinion below par, I chock this up to having 5000 on one boat. The main dining rooms did not have a single item that was both gluten free and pescatarian - nothing. So we were left thinking we could try specialty restaurant.... but by the time we got on the cruise every restaurant was booked solid the entire week. So we spent $3k to eat buffet food for a week, which was a major let down as we usually cruise celebrity and are accustomed to being pampered for $3k. Also bottled water is not included in a premium beverage package, and when you order you need to specify that you don’t want well liquor or they will just pour your drink as cheap as they can. Also - they don’t use toothpicks or anything for limes so you are forced to dig the line out of your drink with your fingers if you want to squeeze the juice in your drink. The bed was rock hard but we had 2 extra comforters in our room that we used for padding. Also the WiFi is a joke, don’t bother. And to top it off we ended up next some crew members on the beach in Cabo and they had a meltdown that the resort gave us 2 chairs that they had “reserved”, It like it mattered because we only had 3 hours in Cabo, hardly a port stop. My advice, if you have any sort of special diet needs or don’t have kids, avoid Norwegian. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
As soon as you can, make reservations for any of the shows or acts you want to see. We were not aware of this, and when we went to make reservations on the first day, everything was booked. I'm sure the are several people that ... Read More
As soon as you can, make reservations for any of the shows or acts you want to see. We were not aware of this, and when we went to make reservations on the first day, everything was booked. I'm sure the are several people that made multiple reservations, either to see the show's multiple times, or in case they couldn't make a time, they had a backup. This is why they have stand by lines, but that's not always a guarantee. Reservations also go for the boat tenders at Cabo, laser tag and go carts. We did the tandem go carts, since our youngest couldn't drive. Not sure what was up with our car, but it was slow. Not like the single cars that were zooming around the track. The cars were driven by crew, seemed to go a lot faster than normal. Getting on the ship was a horrendous mess. We were about middle of entry through processing, but since they have 98% of the cabins in 1 line, we were about last to board. My kids had not eaten, and by the time we got on, everything was shutdown for the emergency briefing. We sat in the terminal for over 2 hours. We went during Easter, and there was an Easter scavenger hunt of sorts, that ended with pictures with the Easter bunny. I noticed that one of the managers was ushering a few guests top the head of the line, to visit the Easter bunny. After waiting 20-30 minutes, I was near the head of the line, and it happened again. I heard another guest ask why they went ahead of them, and the manager replied they have dinner reservations they need to get to. Ridiculous. She did this numerous times for multiple guests. So wrong. Wait your turn like everyone else, be late to your dinner. Why make us wait. I also noticed that a majority of the staff did not appear to enjoy working on the ship. Almost like they were being held captive. I would observe them when they didn't think anyone was, and several appeared to be annoyed by the guests, at least in my opinion. Except the bar tenders. They did a fantastic job, and were continuously busiest crew on the ship. We had 1 child in Splash, 6-9, and on several occasions, my wife and I were not able to leave him at the child care, due to the fact that they were at capacity. We weren't the only ones, the was typically a line for drop off, and we were all waiting for availability. Just ridiculous. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as we were loyal Norwegian cruisers and wanted to try their newest and largest ship. Things were not good right from the beginning. It took 4 hours to get on board. We were supposed to have pre boarding with our ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were loyal Norwegian cruisers and wanted to try their newest and largest ship. Things were not good right from the beginning. It took 4 hours to get on board. We were supposed to have pre boarding with our latitude points but that never happened. My wife has allergy needs that have always been taken care of on past cruises superbly but not this time. One person said it was alright to eat something and another said it wasn’t. This went on for the entire cruise. Buffet was closed at 3: o’clock so when we arrived back from shore excursions there was no lunch there. On other cruises if they were setting up for dinner at least one section was open for lunch. There was no hot dogs or hamburgers available on the pool deck as in other cruises. Our dinner in the specialty restaurant Cagney’s which we Love was a joke. The waiter barely understand what we were saying and never asked if we wanted a drink, didn’t bring bread and when our steaks came there was no sides. We might as well have been at McDonalds!! The observation lounge on the Bliss is beautiful. We spent lots of time there. Our conclusion is try smaller ships like Spirit or even Breakaway. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I used to love Norwegian. The Epic was my first cruise and I went on several after that before trying Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. One thing I always loved about Norwegian was the value. That has all changed. Now everything costs ... Read More
I used to love Norwegian. The Epic was my first cruise and I went on several after that before trying Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. One thing I always loved about Norwegian was the value. That has all changed. Now everything costs more. Margaritaville has a hamburger I like. When I was on the Breakaway a few years ago I went to Margaritaville every day for lunch. It was like $12 per person. Kind of high but reasonable. Now it’s $15 with a 20% gratuity so that is $18. That hamburger is not an $18 hamburger and lunch for 2 people is not worth $36 and that does not include drinks! All of the specialty dining is more expensive and a la carte. Dinner at La Cucina used to be $14.95 on the Getaway. Now if you get a 4 course meal you are talking $30 to $40. Olive Garden is 10x better than La Cucina and I can get dinner for 2 people for less than $40. NCL wants me to spend nearly $80 for 2 people? They are out of their mind! And one night we got the prosciutto pizza to share. It was a cheese pizza with 5 small pieces of prosciutto. It was not an $18 pizza. I get pizza every Friday from Papa Johns or Donatos and I pay less and get more. Cagney’s used to be a special night; a great filet with delicious sides. This cruise I got an 8 oz filet and it was cooked perfectly but had zero flavor. The chef didn’t even put salt and pepper on it. Luckily I used one of my dining plan vouchers otherwise that steak was $30+. I can get a beautiful filet for $22 locally, put a delicious rub on it, and after 2 hours in my sous vide I have a steak Norwegian would be begging me for. The only positive thing I can say is that I ate in Taste for lunch and dinner because I was tired of paying for food and the food was just as good as the specialty restaurants and the service was 10x better. The servers were very quick and attentive whereas we waited 5 to 15 minutes for the servers in the specialty restaurants to bring us anything. Deck 17 is an epic failure! The doors are not automatic. In order to open the sliding doors, you have to physically touch a sensor. I have limited mobility and I have very limited reach. I could not physically touch the sensor. I tried to use a short dressing stick that I carry to press elevator buttons but the sensors were capacitive so the only way to activate the sensor and open the door was to use an actual human touch. Touch sensors are absolutely and ridiculously stupid! To make matters worse the button is not always in the center of the door. Sometimes it’s on the wall. Has NCL ever met a handicap person with mobility issues? I don’t think they have. We don’t all have full use of our arms. Note: Celebrity ships have similar buttons you have to touch to open doors but their buttons work with my dressing stick. Smart! But wait, there’s more. Have you ever tried to maneuver a 3 wheeled scooter down the length of the ship with beach chairs on either side? If you haven’t let me tell you it’s not an easy thing to do. Now add some wind breakers in the middle and you have a near impossible situation. Now one must try to maneuver around beach chairs and a divider. I have no idea why these wind breakers were installed in the first place. The best part about sitting on the top deck is the ability to stare out at the ocean and have the wind cool you off from the hot sun. If someone doesn’t want wind they can go to deck 16 or the Spice H2O deck. Wind breakers are absolutely and ridiculously stupid! Note: On Celebrity ships there is a walkway at least 10 feet wide all the way down the ship. That means if someone is standing I can go around them. There is also enough room for 2 lanes of traffic. Smart! The Getaway, Breakaway, and Bliss have 28 inches of walkway. That means if I am on my scooter I can’t turn around, people have to stand on beach chairs so I can pass, and the traffic is one way. Stupid! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 13th cruise, first with NCL. We have cruised Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess. This was by far the most expensive cruise of them all. We have friends who swear by NCL so we thought we would give it a try. We ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise, first with NCL. We have cruised Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess. This was by far the most expensive cruise of them all. We have friends who swear by NCL so we thought we would give it a try. We thought embarkation went smoothly, we were in boarding group 1. I will say from a technology standpoint, they seem to be behind the times. We thought the ship was beautiful, but way over crowded. They had a lot of events in the main atrium which opens up to one deck above. It was soooo crowded they had folding chairs for the overflow...seemed very cheap and not comfortable at all. Also, it was so loud you couldn't hear yourself think. Another observation is the hallways are so narrow due to having single cabins in the middle of the ship. This made walking down the halls a struggle due to cleaning carts, not to mention if you came up on a large person or wheelchair, you literally are stuck. We purchased the specialty dining package for each night. We do this on each cruise and do so because of the attention to detail and awesome food. Goodness, what a disappointment. The worst was La Cucina. We were not even acknowledged when seated, didn't receive bread and had to basically beg for refills. We both ordered filet with one being medium and the other medium well. They were both burned to a crisp.....and we had to ask them for a knives. The time between servings was also 45 minutes. We tried Teppanyaki (best of all), Los Lobos (below average food and slow service), Cagneys (fair) service was slow. We ended up cancelling all reservations for the remainder of the week. We received better service in Margaritaville, Food Republic and MDR. If not for these last three....dining would have been a total fail. The service and food in these last three were awesome and saved the day. Shore excursions were a hit or miss. We did Dolphin Trainer for a Day in Puerto Vallarta and it was a hit. I give it a 10 out of a 10. We did city boat tour in Cabo. It was awful. By the time we arrived (herded like cattle) we were placed with another excursion group (obviously same thing but called something different) and there were no seats together left on the boat. Really? You are going to put us on a boat for a tour with no seating left? We got of the boat. This was a huge disappointment. The entertainment was mostly good. We went to the comedians, Havana, Beetles show and Jersey Boys. We just wish there were other options. We don't mind the Broadway type shows, but love how Royal Caribbean keeps it interesting. They will do one production show but then the other night you could get a circus soleil type show. We got bored. The ship was sold out....kids everywhere that were unsupervised. This got old real fast. Also, our neighbor kept smoking on their balcony. I tried calling guest services multiple times, forget it, they won't ever answer. If you go down to the service desk, get ready to stand 50 plus deep in line. Another observation both my husband and myself noticed, what is wrong with most of the crew? They seem so unhappy and do not go out of their way. Our service was not terrible, but nothing awesome like other cruises we have been on. We chose to have a good time despite the things that bothered us, but will likely never cruise NCL again. When you spend more money and get so much less.....its a no brainer. Read Less

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