3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I don’t want to make this a long winded review but I’m so unhappy with this cruise that I feel I have to share my experience with everyone. I’ll try to make it short. Food: The buffet was extremely disappointing, especially ... Read More
I don’t want to make this a long winded review but I’m so unhappy with this cruise that I feel I have to share my experience with everyone. I’ll try to make it short. Food: The buffet was extremely disappointing, especially breakfast. The buffet was very predictable. Every day for breakfast they would have the same basic breakfast items. No variety, no additions. Only the same basic breakfast items you would get for breakfast at your standard hotel. No steak with your eggs. The only meats they offered, every day, was sausage and bacon, period. No specialty pancakes, if they had them at all. Just basic breakfast food. Anyone that’s been on other cruise lines knows they usually mix it up in the buffet to give the passenger variety, but not on Norwegian. The food was extremely predictable and simple. They tried to insert some variety into the dinner buffet but it was just the same food with a different name. Main Dining Room: We ate at Savor on our first night. The receptionist didn’t even look up at us when assigning our table. The service was extremely slow. Our entire dinner took 2 hour and 37 minutes (yes, we started timing it because it was so slow). We needed refills on our drinks and our waiter had to do the refills after we asked 3 times, then he apologized because his assistant just “disappeared.” It took exactly 18 minutes to serve our kids deserts from the time they picked up our dinner plates, they had jello for desert. We tried the Tropicana room next and the service was a little improved. Specialty Dining: We tried Moderno, the Brazilian Churrascaria. The room was very nice. The waiters were also pleasant but the food, the meat, was mostly very bland, very little flavor. We decided to try Teppanyaki next, the hibachi restaurant. Teppanyaki was fantastic. The food was worth every penny and the chefs were great. We ate at Teppanyaki twice during this cruise. Buffet Issues: The staff at the buffet appeared unengaged and unmotivated. There was no sense of urgency with anything with this staff. After passengers would finish their meals, the tables would not be cleaned off for a while. Several times we had to sit at a dirty table, with the previous passengers dishes, because there were no available tables to sit at. We would be halfway through our meal before anyone came to clean the table off. Also, throughout the entire cruise, food would go empty at the buffet and there was no one there to restock the food items. This occurred with the pizza and the specialty food every day. I started taking videos and pictures of empty buffet areas with passengers waiting for food in order to send to Norwegian. I also complained to one of the crew managers in the buffet and he stated he was in charge of the seating areas in the buffet and the chef is in charge of the food, and this is a common problem with the chef’s staff that also frustrates him. Also, the buffet food is routinely cold. Kids Splash Academy: Every night the kids Splash Academy would hit capacity and no additional kids would allowed in. Here’s my issue with this. Number 1, this was a Florida spring break cruise with a lot of kids. Number 2, Norwegian knew it was a spring break cruise and knew exactly how many kids would be on the cruise. Number 3, using historical data, Norwegian knows the percentage of passengers with kids that typically use the Splash Academy. And Number 4, Norwegian booked several adult only shows on the cruise. Taking all this information into account, Norwegian failed to adequately plan for a high number of kids on their cruise during times when they were showing adult only shows. This was a clear failure on Norwegian’s part to take their passengers’ needs into considering. Norwegian should have had a backup plan for overcapacity in the Splash Academy, especially on adult only show nights. This was a clear failure on Norwegian’s part to anticipate. Definitely not a family friendly cruise line. Norovirus: And to top it all off, my son was running a fever towards the end of the cruise. I called the front desk and ask for someone to take my son’s temperature or provide a thermometer so we could take his temperature. We were told it would be $150 to have my son’s temperature taken. I thought this was completely ridiculous. Once we returned home we found out my son had the Norovirus and Adrenal Virus. I can’t believe Norwegian would want to charge $150 just to take someone’s temperature. I can guarantee you that certain other cruise lines do not charge you for something this routine and simple as taking temperature. I can honestly go on and on but I won’t. Put simply, this cruise line is not worth the time or money. This is my first Norwegian cruise, but my 12th cruise overall and I can tell you, this cruise line is at the bottom of my list. Prior to my cruise I read a lot of great Norwegian reviews and I just can’t figure it out. Maybe they were first time cruisers or maybe these are folks that just don’t get out much and didn’t have anything to compare it to. Don’t get me wrong, the ship is beautiful, where I believe Norwegian fell short is with its people, its staff. The human factor made this a horrible cruise for us. Cruise are your own risk with Norwegian. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I'll start this review as I have started all of my previous ones, with a bit of an introduction: My wife and I do 2-3 cruises a year, nearly all of them with Celebrity. We are 30 & 26 years old respectively, and have sailed the ... Read More
I'll start this review as I have started all of my previous ones, with a bit of an introduction: My wife and I do 2-3 cruises a year, nearly all of them with Celebrity. We are 30 & 26 years old respectively, and have sailed the Caribbean a half-dozen times. I will be writing this with the target audience of "First Timers" and will hope to shed some light on what we enjoy, and don't enjoy about cruising with Celebrity, and on the beautiful Equinox. Why this cruise? My wife is a school teacher, so we take a 7 day cruise every year on her Spring Break. We don't have bitter winters here in Central Alabama, but the end of March is the perfect time to hop down into the beautiful weather that the Caribbean offers year-round. We started off cruising Carnival years ago, but ultimately made the jump to Celebrity as we wanted something more sophisticated and relaxing. We don't like to be charged for every single item on a cruise, so we love that Celebrity allows us to go for the "all inclusive" package. We book through a wonderful Travel Agent who only does cruises. We went on board with a drink package, prepaid tips (paid by TA), and $450 on board credit. With Celebrity, the OBC can be used to book excursions, specialty restaurants, on board shopping, or virtually anything else you buy on board. Frankly, its one of the main reasons we sail with Celebrity. All in all, we got a beautiful Concierge Class Balcony and all the perks for well under $3000 for the entire trip. We brought about $500 US in cash for port spending and tipping on board.We have found that, with all of the inclusions, its really hard to beat Celebrity on price. Add in the service and the wonderful food, and its a no-brainer for us. We also have been fortunate enough to have my parents join us for each of the last three spring break cruises. Its wonderful to be on any cruise ship, but even better when you can spend the time with family. My parents being older, do not want a "party cruise". Celebrity offers a wonderful atmosphere that allows everyone to have a great time but not at the expense of others. The Equinox: After having sailed on her twice, it comes as zero surprise that the Equinox wins "Best Overall" on CruiseCritic every year. Its a beautiful ship with a very user friendly layout. At 121k GT, it sits right in the happy medium of cruise ships in terms of size. There is plenty to do, plenty of room, and yet still small enough to be able to get comfortable with the entire ship over the course of 7 short days. Our two favorite areas of the ship are the sundeck and the main atrium. Both are absolutely stunning whether it is day or night. Decks 3-6 are where all the magic happens. Bars surround the atrium on all sides but they are presented in a way that is very classy and doesn't ever feel crowded. The four main bars that we frequent are all very different in design and styles, and they are spread out in a way that no place ever feels particularly crowded. The martini bar and the Gastropub are opposite each other from the atrium. One serves decadent martinis in dozens of flavors and all is served in a beautiful lounge and a solid ice bar top. The Gastropub has the feel of a rustic craft beer bar that has an awesome selection of beers from around the world. This bar has ESPN running on TVs so it was crowded while the NCAA basketball tournament was going. The World Class bar is a really cool bar near the art gallery and shops. This bar has two "mixologist" that are expert beverage makers. I go here to experiment and try new drinks that I may not have tried otherwise. This requires the premium drink package, but you can literally tell them you like whisky, citrus, and sweet drinks and they will come up with something you've never tried before. Its a wonderful place to hang out before dinner or after shows, especially if your wife enjoys shopping as much as mine does! This last bar is my personal favorite: The Sunset Bar. Its an outdoor bar that is open from morning til late at night. It is at the top of the boat and at the aft, so the breeze and views are breathtaking. The Equinox, like all Solstice class ships, are covered in real grass on the aft 1/3 of the top deck. Its something extremely unique about Celebrity and its really neat to be in the middle of the ocean and have grass between your toes. All in all, its a wonderfully balanced ship. Its large enough for there to be plenty of options in how you spend your days, but small enough to still feel intimate. Captain Kate Mccue: Oh Captain, My Captain! I'll admit I was a skeptic at first. Not that I thought she was a bad Captain, but I didn't believe a Captain could have a significant impact on a cruise vacation. Most Captains that I have sailed with are only worried about doing their jobs, getting us to and from our destinations safely, and they allow the entertainers and the service staff to provide us a good time. And while that is completely fine, Captain Kate is amazing! Her personality infects the entire ship and everyone stops what they are doing when she speaks over the PA. She is an awesome Captain, and every single bit as good as she is advertised. I cannot say enough how impressed I am with her, other than it would be a mistake for Celebrity to ever let her go! Stateroom: Concierge Cabin (C2) Room 1249. The stateroom is the same as any veranda on the ship outside of Suites, but this cabin does offer a unique feature that only a few cabins on the entire ship offer... a larger balcony. The Equinox has a few "bump outs" or "humps" in her design that cause a few of the cabins on each floor "bulge" out a few feet. At the angles of these "bumps" you get a slanted balcony. From the nearest corner, it is no smaller than any other balcony on the ship, but at its widest, its nearly twice as long. Our deck chairs came with ottomans and the chairs reclined enough that we effectively had loungers on our balconies. We didn't get quite the breeze off the balcony due to where we were, but the extra balcony space will be missed on the cruises that we dont have it. Room layout is spacious enough for a cruise cabin, our bed was near the balcony compared to others that are near the bathroom. Speaking of the bathroom, its about average in size if you are used to balcony rooms. The shower has simple but elegant sliding glass door that doesn't waste any space. In concierge class we had access to slightly better bathroom toiletries and cosmetics. My wife didn't seem particularly impressed with the shampoo, but there could have been other factors that led to that. Dining: In this section is where we found the best and worst that our particular vacation had to offer. We went into this cruise knowing we would be doing a night or two in specialty dining, specifically Murano. I'll dive into the specialty restaurants in a bit, but lets get the not-so-pleasant out of the way. Please understand that we have never had an issue in the Main Dining Room. Celebrity does dining very well, and I'd even argue that it is one of their strengths. This time, we just weren't impressed. My wife, myself, and my parents got sat at a very nice four top. The MDR is crowded as it is on all ships, so that didn't bother us. We had a very nice and attentive head waiter, and the food both nights that we dined there was excellent. The bar/drink service however, was severely lacking. My father and I managed to get our wine quickly enough usually, but my wife and mother waited 15-30 minutes for their bar drinks every time they ordered. It became such an issue that our poor head waiter would go off running to get the drinks himself. This isn't a major issue, I am aware of that, but I expect more from Celebrity. After two identical services with the identical problems we called our Concierge (perk of concierge class) and told her about the issue and she asked if she could inform the Maitre'D. Literally 5 minutes later the Maitre'D had ran up to our rooms to apologize, hear our feedback, and promised to improve the service going forward. People, this is what makes Celebrity different. There are 3000 people eating dinner in his beautiful dining room, and he stopped mid-service to run up to our room to personally apologize and ask how to fix it. The next day we got back from a day at port and my parents and I each had a bottle of nice champagne from the Maitre'D, it was a wonderful gesture and we were impressed. Now as it turned out, we had a reservation at the famous Murano that evening. When we left Murano we were so blown away that we called our Concierge and asked her to book us in specialty dining for the remainder of the cruise. These restaurants are not free, nor cheap, but our concierge got us 20-40% off the listed price each night we dined in a specialty restaurant. So, in the end we never got to go back in the MDR, but I am convinced that the issues would have been fixed. Murano If you do one thing on a Celebrity Cruise, eat dinner at Murano. The first night of the cruise they offer it at a discount if you book ahead of time. My father and I are "foodies" and love fine dining. We both agreed that the Murano dinner service and quality of food is an experience that would be incredible even if it weren't on a cruise ship. Every single aspect, from the bread to the Grand Marnier Souffle is perfect. Lobster Murano is a top 5 dish that I have ever experiences and is cooked table side with everything from bacon, to lobster cooked in a cognac mustard creme sauce. We were so impressed that we booked it for every remaining night of the cruise that we could. One night they were fully booked, so we tried Tuscan Grille. It was very good, but with it being a for-fee Italian steakhouse, we left miserably full compared to the lighter and more elegant Murano. Entertainment & Activities This will be rather short as we did not attend any of the main productions in the theater. Celebrity keeps the same shows for 3-5 years before cycling them out, with us sailing on the Equinox as frequently as we do, there weren't any that we hadn't already seen. We did however attend the comedy shows and watch a lot of live music. The comedian was great and the house band was excellent as well. Celebrity offers other activities like bingo, concerts, seminars, and workshops that many find to be fantastic. Admittedly we mainly go find somewhere quiet near a bar, as we are both young and always seem to be around crowds on land, we enjoy a more laid back experience on the boat. Service With the exception of the MDR, which I consider a fluke rather than a flaw, service is impeccable on Celebrity. Tipping is a hot topic on any cruise forum, but I can definitively say that when I hand a bartender or my room steward a $10/$20 bill on the first day, they take care of my wife and I the rest of the voyage. I personally try to find a specific bartender in my most regular bars and tip heavy on days 1/2. I tip $1 a drink the remainder of the time and I am having another drink brought to me before the first one is finished. Celebrity has a wonderful staff and an underappreciated staff/guest ratio. I think the reason they named it "Celebrity Cruises" is because of how they want each and every guest to feel. It really is what makes them so special. Cafe Al Bacio: I couldn't figure out the best place to include this place in any of my previous sections, so I ultimately decided that it needed its own. Bacio is arguably the most loved place on the ship. They are a full service coffee & dessert bar that is open all day. In the morning people are getting their day started with anything from a cappuccino to a cup of decaf, and late at night every table is full with people winding down in the low light setting of an old city jazz bar. The live music from the atrium fills the bar and its just a super unique place to relax and enjoy yourselves. It sounds so simple and quaint, but I am amazed that every cruise ship in the world doesn't mimic this place into their own. Ports & Excursions: We loved every port we stopped at. We are very familiar with the Western Caribbean so only Key West was a first time port for us. Everyone has different interests at respective ports, so I will just tell you what we do every time and you look for more information if you wish. Key West: We wandered on our own, Key West isnt a large town and most of the cool stuff is near the ship. There are tours galore and a really neat aquarium nearby. Grab you a piece of Key Lime Pie and a Conch Fritter and enjoy your first stop of the cruise! Grand Cayman: 7 Mile Beach at Calico Jacks. You go to this beach for the water as it is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. CJ's is great, but very crowded. Costa Maya: New favorite port in the Western Caribbean. The port itself is a maze, but very very beautiful. We find our way out and go to Maya Chan Beach Resort every chance we get. Check it out, its the epitome of a relaxing beach day. Cozumel: I have an answer to the famous Sancho's vs Nochi debate... Sancho's is the best! All inclusive, wonderful service, and a beautiful (safe) beach. We go every time we are in Cozumel and have no plans of changing! In Conclusion: My wife and I fell in love with cruising on our honeymoon and have been blessed to go one more than most our age. Celebrity is a perfect fit for what we want to do and how we want to spend our time on the boat. Its generally an older crowd, but we cruise like "older people". We have 2 more cruises currently booked with Celebrity, and 81 days cannot get here soon enough! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I really enjoyed the cruise, overall. It felt a bit like a summer camp for adults, which I'm still deciding whether or not I liked. Two of the dining room staff even sang "wash your hands" songs with their guitar as we ... Read More
I really enjoyed the cruise, overall. It felt a bit like a summer camp for adults, which I'm still deciding whether or not I liked. Two of the dining room staff even sang "wash your hands" songs with their guitar as we walked into the breakfast buffet each morning. The ship itself was a bit older, so there were some rooms that smelled a bit like feet, Dazzles, in particular. Completely understandable, but I might consider a newer ship if I decide to continue cruising in the future. The staff was very friendly, and the service was truly excellent. We chose to purchase the special dining package. If you are a foodie, I highly recommend this!! It was SO well worth the extra money. The Bistro was my absolute favorite of the three, but we truly did enjoy each of the special restaurants on the ship. We had one night in the main dining hall - it was significantly lower quality! It felt more like standard catering at a mediocre wedding. I may have made the mistake of ordering pork belly, because it was pretty hard and crunchy, and tasted absolutely nothing like pork belly. I should have stuck with a simple pasta or chicken dish. I will say that the house cabernet on the ship was really quite good - this was a really pleasant surprise! We didn't take advantage of the shows as much as we probably should have. I'm a performer myself, and have spent so much of my life in that arena, so it can sometimes feel like I'm judging the performance more than relaxing and enjoying the show. That being said, the performances were very good, and the performers were very talented! My favorite excursion was our stop at Nassau. We chose to spend the day on Paradise Island, and purchase the passes for the waterpark at Altantis. It was pricey, but it was definitely worth the cost. Side note - TAKE THE TAXI from Nassau to Paradise Island!!! Do NOT take the water taxi. It will take up an hour of your day (at least), because they wait until the entire boat is filled before leaving. It's also really rocky, so when you're packed in there like sardines, it gets pretty uncomfortable pretty quickly. Other than our poor decision on that, we had an amazing time on the island. I actually want to take a trip to Paradise Island and spend the week there with my whole family. The Atlantis water experience really did feel a bit like walking through paradise. The multiple pools (beautiful) and water rides were maintained incredibly well. Everything was very clean, and didn't have that typical waterpark smell. The grounds were impeccable. We wanted to spend a little time at the casino, but that fell flat when we discovered that they don't have poker tables! This was a bit sad for my me and my husband, as we love to play Texas Hold Em. Maybe I'll put a little bug in Atlantis' ear about that one. :) Overall, a nice experience on Norwegian Sky. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship because of its Spa. The spa is well worth the charge for the week. We. wanted a relaxing cruise for the week before Christmas. This was a big ship with anything you could want. We ate at a few of the specialty ... Read More
We chose this ship because of its Spa. The spa is well worth the charge for the week. We. wanted a relaxing cruise for the week before Christmas. This was a big ship with anything you could want. We ate at a few of the specialty restaurants which were all good. Eat outside on the Boardwalk for a special dinner. We planned the sunset for our Italian night dinner at La Cuisine. Very good meal. The best was the Steak House with a great steak and wonderful deserts. Teppanyaki was fun and food good. We enjoyed the race cars one day. There is a $10 charge for this. There is mini golf and 2 fun slides for all ages. One slide uses tubes and one is a body slide. The one show we really enjoyed was Jersey boys, the rest were ok.. The crew on the ship were very nice but seemed a bit unexperienced. The up-charge restaurants had the experienced staff. Cabin had lots of storage space. We were mid ship deck 15 and I don't recommend this area. At about 1 AM to 2 AM there was a constant sound banging coming from above us. Choose deck 13 I heard from others they did not hear this banging. We were in cabin 15830 which had lots of storage and a nice deck. The two ports we stopped at were Tortilla with beautiful beaches and St Thomas with shopping for us. Too windy to stop at Nassau and we just cruised home from there. We enjoyed our week aboard this ship and would recommend this cruise for a great cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first time sailing with Norwegian. I did have some concerns leading up to the sailing after having read some of the reviews, but I had nothing to worry about. Embarkation and Disembarkation were easy. Consider doing the ... Read More
This was our first time sailing with Norwegian. I did have some concerns leading up to the sailing after having read some of the reviews, but I had nothing to worry about. Embarkation and Disembarkation were easy. Consider doing the self-assist disembarakation if you can manage it. Self-assist is the first group off the ship. We were off the ship and cleared immigration in minutes. We had a balcony stateroom on the starboard side. Our steward Nelson was excellent. The room was clean, quiet, spacious with lots of storage. There were two minor issues with the room, but they were dealt with promptly by Housekeeping and Guest Services. As part of our booking, we had two free promos: Ultimate Beverage Package and 3 specialty dining options. My boyfriend loved the mango daiquiris. For the specialty restaurants, we chose Cagney's steakhouse, Le Bistro and Moderno. Each was a different dining experience which is what we were looking for. Highlights: Cagney - the grilled sea bass and bison steak. Make sure you get the bison steak medium rare, as recommended by our server. Le Bistro - the duck and chocolate napoleon dessert Moderno - the Brazilian cocktails were tasty, but strong. Meats were delicious, but I was impressed with the salad bar selection. MDRs were great too. We had breakfast most days in Seven Seas. We had dinner our first night on the ship at Seven Seas and had a wonderful server, Betina, look after us. Thank you Betina. The buffet was the wink link for me. There were some good options, but I found it mediocre at best. Itinerary changed just before we boarded. Instead of Great Stirrup Caye in Bahamas, the port became Key West and that suited me fine. Ports: Key West - we went out on our own and walked and walked and walked all the way to the southernmost point and back. Lunch was enjoyed at a local restaurant. Havana - went out on our own and walked and walked and walked. We ended up at the waterfront and old fort. Not touristy in that area at all. We enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant. As a Canadian, I was always told that Cuba was great, but the food was lousy. Our lunch was delicious. We had a seafood platter and roasted chicken dinner. The sangria was outstanding. The owner and staff couldn't be more accommodating. Remember to visit the Artisan Marketplace in Havana. I picked up some nice pictures for framing. Harvest Caye - Took a shore excursion to a chocolate factory. The shore excursion description is deceptive. The chocolate factory is a cacao family run farm. They showed us how they made chocolate and took us on a tour amongst the cacao trees. Please note there is steep climbing involved so wear proper footwear and it's not a good tour for anyone with mobility issues. We had a traditional belize lunch at a restaurant. Delish. Picked up a few gifts. Marie Sharp hot sauce is outstanding. Final stop was a Mayan village to see how they lived and we learned how to make corn tortillas. Lovely people, very welcoming. Costa Maya - shore excursion to the Cacchoben mayan ruins. Arturo was our guide and the tour was Informative and interesting. All in all a wonderful holiday. Just remember to bring a hat, lots of sunscreen and maybe a few extra pieces of clothing because it was Sunny and HOT. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This is more a query than a review - although suffice it to say that we had a wonderful cruise in every way and cannot wait to try the other ships/cruises by Celebrity. We booked Concierge with drinks package included. The ... Read More
This is more a query than a review - although suffice it to say that we had a wonderful cruise in every way and cannot wait to try the other ships/cruises by Celebrity. We booked Concierge with drinks package included. The entertainment, stateroom, food, service and cleanliness were outstanding - as were the staff. We had Captain Kate who was wonderful and never too busy to have a friendly chat with anyone who approached her. We only pre-booked one shore excursion in Puerto Rico which was very well organised and the tour guide was a mine of information. On other ports of call we did out own thing and found there were always excursions on offer outside of the port. Whilst on board, I was fortunate to win a Blue Chip Voucher for a five day cruise (a $10 bet on a spin the wheel in the casino). This has to be used by May 2019 . Has anyone else won and used one of these vouchers. Blue Chip have said that there is a face value of approx. £500. if used towards a longer cruise. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
I selected this particular sailing for my husband and myself based on aft cabin availability, pricing and time of year. We had a very early flight the first day and arrived at the terminal right before they let everyone in. We were ... Read More
I selected this particular sailing for my husband and myself based on aft cabin availability, pricing and time of year. We had a very early flight the first day and arrived at the terminal right before they let everyone in. We were processed very quickly and only had to wait about 30 minute before boarding the ship. We were in our cabin by 2:00 pm and had time to unpack and settle in before the muster drill. The muster drill was run efficiently and left us time to get on deck to watch the sail away. The ship was easy to navigate and I found things easily (except for my room since I insisted on turning right instead of left in the hallway leading to the back of the ship almost every time I returned to my room - definitely my issue and not the ship layout. The ship is very pretty and we never felt it was crowded or that we had to wait for anything, i.e. dining room seating, leaving the theater following a show, getting a drink at any of the bars, etc. The ship is immaculate and the staff is amazing. The food in the Cafe buffet was always good with a wide variety of options to choose from. The main dining room provided several different selections each day - some we liked and some we did not - but we did not starve one single day or meal all week. Our wait staff, Terence and Bonilla were fantastic! We chose to eat at the Tuscan one evening when they offered 30% off of the regular $45 price per person. The menu is great with lots of choices and you can order anything and/or everything off the menu for that price. They did have two specialty steaks for an additional cost so my husband ordered the 22 ounce porterhouse for an additional $18, but he ended up sending it back to the kitchen. It was a horrible looking steak and was truly not edible - we found it surprising that the kitchen would even send it out, but they replaced it with a melt-in-your-mouth 9 ounce filet mignon and it was incredible. The desserts were amazing and we each ended up trying 2 different ones and sharing. Had we gone again for this special I would have ordered one of each category and shared each item with my husband. We always book an aft balcony and we loved our cabin - 7364 - and our room steward, Jayson. He was so pleasant and attentive and we found no fault with our room at all. On a side note - i found on day 5 that our balcony chairs reclined, so i reclined my chair and layed back to enjoy the sun. I raised my leg up to scratch an itchy ankle and the chair flipped backwards so that my head ended up down on the decking and my legs were in the air. I did hit my heat on the side of the ship but not hard. Fortunately, my husband was there to try and get me upright. I ended up having to roll out of the chair sideways and twisted my left knee in the process. I did report the incidence to guest services so they would know there was an issue with the chairs tipping. My husband was very concerned that I had hit my head against the steel, so I was fortunate that I was not seriously hurt. Another issue I encountered that same day was that they were taking the deck chairs and tables into their work area to re-varnish the arms of the chairs and the table tops, along with polishing the tops of the table by the sofa. Around the same time they were vacuuming the ducts in each cabin with a large shop vac, which was stirring up dust in the cabin. The combined smell from the varnish, polish and dust set off my asthma and I had two asthma attacks. I went to guest services to report my health issue and ask how long they would be doing this maintenance work. The agent called the supervisor and I was told the work would stop immediately, but when I returned to my room later that day they were still doing both projects and continued them the following day too. The shops on the ship carried the same item types as any other ship we have been on, along with the same hallway table sales, but did not have any shop raffles all week. The bingo games were held every day we were at sea (including the day we were going to Puerto Rico as they don't consider this a port day??, but it was not cheap to play and the prizes were decent but not that impressive. there was a raffle on the last day but only one prize was raffled off, which angered several people who had invested in bingo all week. The entertainment was great for the most part. Kevin Spacy is the ship's cruise director and he was very entertaining and also very visible throughout the day - and very approachable. He has a great video on YouTube showing his compilation of various dance moves he has witnessed by ship guests throughout the years. The ship's entertainers performed 3 shows all week, which is less than what we are used to from other cruises. The cast is very talented but we - once again - found some of the singing so loud that it was hard to understand what they were singing. All 3 performances were colorful and included acrobatics that were well orchestrated and pleased those in attendance, but the stories themselves were puzzling to my husband and me and we just did not get them. The entertainers they brought on board the in between nights were all great - those we really enjoyed. On Wednesday night/Thursday morning I woke to loud talking and realized it was coming from the balcony above my cabin. My door was locked closed so it was tightly closed, but when I went out onto my balcony to check out the source I found that there were 3 younger guys standing on their balcony above mine have a very loud conversation at 4:00 am. I returned to my bed and waited another 20 minutes but they continued their loud conversation outside their cabin, so I then returned to my balcony and asked them nicely to please take it inside, which they did. The ports were all ones we has been to previously, so we chose to skip tours in San Juan and Saint Martin, but did a train ride in Saint Kitts. For our visit to San Juan, I called Celebrity three times asking if we were docking at the Pan American pier (which is located near a small airport and an industrial area and requires a cab to get anywhere) or the pier at old San Juan. I was told each time that we were docking at the Pan American pier - we ended up docking at old San Juan !?! We got off the ship and walked through some pretty shabby areas to get to the actual upscale shops recommended by the ship - very disappointing. The highlight was finding a shop on a side street called The Butterfly People - very high end pictured using beautiful butterflies that had naturally run their life cycle. Otherwise, there was nothing within walking distance of the pier that I would want to revisit. We did not do a tour on Saint Martin, but did get off the ship and paid to take the water taxi to the main shopping area ($7.00/pp for all day pass) so that I could buy some good vanilla from a local shop - only to find the shop was closed for renovations, which was not noted on their website. We returned to the ship with no vanilla On Saint Kitts we took a very fast bus ride to the train over some pretty bumpy roads. The train ride was close and relaxing, but could have been done in less than two and a half hours as the terrain did not change all that much - in a couple of areas the housing was improved from shacks, but the island is still very humble and their is not a lot of wealth among the population. I gave the shore excursions a lower rating just because we are seasoned cruisers and always find the shore excursions to be very costly and often disappointing. Overall, I would highly recommend this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Much against our judgement we were swayed to try a competitor to Regent Seven Sea Cruises. For us sadly it wasn’t the best decision. What has become apparent is that most cruise lines do the least that they can get away with. Whilst ... Read More
Much against our judgement we were swayed to try a competitor to Regent Seven Sea Cruises. For us sadly it wasn’t the best decision. What has become apparent is that most cruise lines do the least that they can get away with. Whilst Regent do the most that they possibly can do for their clients. As soon as you book with Regent, they take total charge of your booking. Regent, take all the pain out of booking and travelling. Not only that but their guests receive a lovely leather iPad holder containing all the travelling documents and leather baggage tags as well as being fully briefed on the itinerary, excursions, dining arrangements, Culinary Arts Kitchen Classes, Distinctive Gourmet Tours – you name it. Checking - in is a joy. No lengthy queues! You are streamlined and before you know it you are on board being greeted with a glass of champagne with a superb lunch either at The Pool Grill or the excellent La Veranda. Probably in our opinion the best and consistent Buffet on the open seas. This is a Restaurant not a Café! The suites on board are carefully thought out and the attention to detail is amazing. Sheer luxurious quality and service. Dinning on Regent is an absolute pleasure. The choice is phenomenal with consistent value with its multitude of dining delights. Easy to book through the Concierge Desk with none of this supplement charging or wait listing attitude. Or if you are not in the mood, order Room Service. You can have a gourmet dinner served course-by-course, delivered to the suite to whatever you fancy. And be lazy and watch one of 200+ movies. A factor very much appreciated on Regent is the quality of the Food and Beverage. Excellent wines and spirits served throughout the ship. If it is not there the staff will get it for you. And of course to accompany the selection and type of cuisine. The entertainment and events on board are outstanding. Be it in the theatre, lounge bar or the Casino, guests are never disappointed. The standard of excursions presented by Regent is the highest we have experienced. Well put together and knowledgably presented tours and with none of this pack the buses approach. Always plenty of space on every excursion. On board activity is plentiful with an incomparable Spa and Fitness centre. There is always something going on that guests want to participate in. What really makes Regent head and shoulders above other Cruise Lines is their tremendous staff. From a cleaner to the Captain everyone has a marvellous attitude which inspire the guests on board. There is a spring in their step of sheer enthusiasm, charm and politeness. Secondly, their professionalism and service is second to none. Every staff enjoys their job and it is infectious. That is why we have booked three further cruises with Regent in the next fifteen months. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The food was terrible, the service was terrible. The ship was so unorganized. I have been on just about every cruise line. I would go on a Carnival, Royal, Princess or NCL any day over this. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS CRUISE. I know a ... Read More
The food was terrible, the service was terrible. The ship was so unorganized. I have been on just about every cruise line. I would go on a Carnival, Royal, Princess or NCL any day over this. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS CRUISE. I know a lot of people who have booked this cruise and i am trying to talk them into cancelling because it is SO BAD. Every time we went to the restaurant it took about 3 hours to get served. I contacted customer service directly about a horrible experience I had with a customer service manager and I have yet to hear back over one week later after this woman called me stupid and told me there was nothing I could do about it because she is a customer service manager. I am warning you DO NOT GO ON THIS CRUISE. Take any other cruise line and you will enjoy way more Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Sailed Non 2017. We loved this ship from the minute we got on-board. It was showing it's age a bit but nothing terrible. I believe it is in dry dock at the moment for a small update. Which will be great because we are returning on the ... Read More
Sailed Non 2017. We loved this ship from the minute we got on-board. It was showing it's age a bit but nothing terrible. I believe it is in dry dock at the moment for a small update. Which will be great because we are returning on the same cruise in Feb. 2018, same cruise, same ship and same room. Felipe Couto is the cruise director and he is amazing. By far the best we have ever seen. Looking forward to seeing him next month. Back to the cruise. We were worried 4 days would pass too quickly but it didn't. We had a great time. Food, entertainment and the ship were just great. We did not take any excursion because of the short itinerary and mainly because we cruise for the ship. We stayed on-board and enjoyed ourselves. We have cruised on other cruise lines but we prefer the Fun Ships of Carnival. This will be our 5th cruise with Carnival and will definitely not be our last. F or those who have cruise with Felipe Couto, Woohoo! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I would never recommend anyone to go on this cruise line. NCL Escape was horrible, from the service to food. Lets start off with the dinning experience. It is freestyle dinning, which means you go when ever you want to eat. We waited every ... Read More
I would never recommend anyone to go on this cruise line. NCL Escape was horrible, from the service to food. Lets start off with the dinning experience. It is freestyle dinning, which means you go when ever you want to eat. We waited every night at the table for 2 hours to get our food. Then when it came to the food, it was just horrible. I think I could have ate better at Wendy's or a fast food restaurant. And instead of the dinning room we actually went to the buffet because it was better food then the dinning room and we didn't have wait for 2 hours to get it. I have never seen this on a cruise. If you ordered room serve there is a $7.25 service charge every time they bring it to you. Next the breakfast is only served in three restaurants and at the most they stay open to 930am. Of course there is the buffet again that you can go to till about 1030am for breakfast. If wanted the real experience of a cruise ship dinning you had to pay extra for the special dinning, which is not right. There are two pools for about 4,000 people that are packed all the time. The amenities around the pools were ok, which were the following: jacuzzi hot tubs, slides, rope course, mini golf, basketball courts and jogging track. Now when it came to the shows, you had to put reservations in for them. If I wanted to do that I would have gone to NY or even Las Vegas. I paid for the shows when I booked the cruise, why would I have to have reservations. And there was only one good show on the ship and that was Brat Pack. Service on the ship was just horrific. Like said above the dinning service took about 2 hours to get your food. The bar tenders would see you and walk right by and not ask if you wanted a drink. My wife and I order some pictures and the pictures were 3 different ones. Some how the guy at the picture place thought we wanted 3 of the same one, so we had to go back and re-print them. The manager would not even give the pictures to us for free or even a discount for the inconvenience. The cabin service was good, but hard for the stewardess. And what I mean by hard is that he never knew what time we were going to be at the room or back to the room. Overall, the cruise was just bad. We will never use NCL again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I choose this cruise because I didnt want to get off the ship. I have been to these islands so many times & I wanted to see this ship. It is a GREAT ship, with a GREAT crew. I loved the MARTINI BAR & the overall look of the ship. ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I didnt want to get off the ship. I have been to these islands so many times & I wanted to see this ship. It is a GREAT ship, with a GREAT crew. I loved the MARTINI BAR & the overall look of the ship. The shows were A! & in great taste. Would I sail again on her?? YOU BET I WOULD., The cabin stewart was A-1 as was all the people whow served us . I cannot sat enough about the people who took care of or vacation needs, They went above & beyond what was called for them & always with a smile.. If I was asked to say what I thought of the ship & crew I would have to give them a A+ with a few more +s. I have been on over 55 cruises & have both good & bad but I will rate this cruise as A+++++++++++++++++. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Experiences before. Dining was spectacular every day, Our waiter maid us feel like queen and king.The service was a five star. Ship was very clean, staff is very friendly, they treat you like like the name says Royal, a very unique ... Read More
Experiences before. Dining was spectacular every day, Our waiter maid us feel like queen and king.The service was a five star. Ship was very clean, staff is very friendly, they treat you like like the name says Royal, a very unique experience.Room service was excellent.Food was amazing. The attention to us was marvelous.I will recommend this cruise line to any body, I have travel in the passed with you and is always the same Excellent service. Every time i come back from my trips i always said that you cruise line is the best, I will recommend this cruise line to my family friends co-workers, I only have been in one other cruise line and the service was okay, not like your cruise line. I went with them because the trip was cheap for a seven day cruise. I will never change cruise line you are the best cruise line ever. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Overall, a very good cruise. We were on a Thanksgiving Day cruise to the eastern Caribbean, with port calls at five islands. Getting the negatives out of the way first. Cabins are very small, and the bathroom and shower are ... Read More
Overall, a very good cruise. We were on a Thanksgiving Day cruise to the eastern Caribbean, with port calls at five islands. Getting the negatives out of the way first. Cabins are very small, and the bathroom and shower are extremely tiny. We spent very little time in the cabin, so size was not an issue, but I did hear many gripes about the teeny tiny bathroom and showers from other passengers. The "White Night" evening dining experience in St Marteen was a total fiasco, with long slow lines for food, insects on food, limited food selection, crowded dining conditions. Passengers made it worse by attempting to reserve tables first, then getting in the long food lines. Someone would place a flower or a book on a table for six and then claim they had "reserved" the table. Ridiculous, we did like many and just ignored their inconsiderate reserve nonsense. Of course, this led to a few heated discussions, but you meet a few jerks on every cruise. So silly the way some women dress up in evening gowns and stiletto heels on a ship that emphasizes casual dining. The cost of internet service is absurd, and this service should be free, included in the cost of the cruise fare. Moreover, additional computer terminals are needed in the internet "in touch" cafe. The land excursion department blew it badly in the British Virgin Islands for the "Schooner Sail Away and Swim." The tender pulled up to the dock and no one from Azamara was there to direct people where to assemble for the tour. Then, the ship cut the tour short one hour, claiming they had to depart the port on time. As a token apology, Azamara refunded one-third the cost of the excursion. They should have refunded the entire cost of the land excursion, since they did not live up to the terms of tour contract. Disembarkation on the last day of the cruise was another fiasco, with no one from Azamara outside in the parking lot to direct people to buses which would take them to Miami International Airport. Making matters worse, Azamara employees were cutting into the customs line and going to the front, like they had some special privilege and were superior to everyone else. This created an extremely poor public relations image of Azamara and needs to be corrected immediately before I would ever consider going again on an Azamara cruise. There is no excuse for Azamara employees to be cutting into the customs line, like they are someone special. Positives were many and made for a great cruise. Our cabin attendants were among the best I have ever seen. There was nothing they could not do in an effort to please us. Every little detail and request was immediately handled in a cheerful efficient manner. Fantastic incredible service, and I had no problem giving the cabin attendant generous gratuity. Same for the dining staff. The food in the Windows Cafe was superior, with a huge selection for all three meals. Wait staff service was beyond belief, friendly, efficient, and courteous at all times. Cabins have a flat-screen TV which also allows you to review your on board account, store purchases, purchased land excursions, ship credit, etc. The bow camera channel provides weather information, time, ship position course and speed, etc. You can also make maintenance requests, order room service, request items for your cabin, etc, all through the interactive flat-screen TV. Public areas on the ship are beautiful and very comfortable, with a bonus of never being crowded, a distinct advantage of a small ship. I note that virtually all ship personnel will greet and acknowledge you when passing in the passageways and other locations. Doors are held open for passengers, and all staff are always eager to help and assist, if needed. This is an adults only ship, which makes it so nice. There is absolutely nothing for children or teenagers to do on this ship and no special place for them. All activities are geared for mature adults only. So please do not ruin it for everyone else by bringing your kids with you on this ship. Moreover, your kids will be so bored that they will drive you and everyone else nuts. Be considerate, leave the kids and teens home or take them on a Carnival cruise. Riding a small ship is great, in that you can visit smaller ports and see foreign people up closer in small towns. Azamara Quest operates its own tenders, and we were often greeted with cold towels and drinks, upon return to the pier for the ride out to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
The cruise it self was very good. the only thing that could have been better would be more earlier shows/ party having them at 10:30/11:30 till early in the next morning then docking at 7- 8 am and needing to leave then ship to get to any ... Read More
The cruise it self was very good. the only thing that could have been better would be more earlier shows/ party having them at 10:30/11:30 till early in the next morning then docking at 7- 8 am and needing to leave then ship to get to any excursions you booked. you either get very little sleep or miss going to the shows/party. Also would be great if the buffet changes a bit was mostly the same food every day. our cabin had cobwebs on the picture frames, a vent by the bathroom was falling apart. The pay restaurants was a fair value and very good food. we didn't have to book any reservations either and was seated quickly and had great service. all the staff was super friendly and gave excellent service. as for entertainment i felt it was to little. if you wanted to play deal or no deal,bingo, which they did every day of the cruise be prepared to shell out the cash. as for tv its mostly ncl channels with 1 or 2 hbo channels so dont expect to watch much. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Embarkation on the Getaway was rather lengthy, until my roommate noted that I was a gold member/didn't realize that and there was a very short line for those folks. Keep your eyes peeled for your status as it will save you easily ... Read More
Embarkation on the Getaway was rather lengthy, until my roommate noted that I was a gold member/didn't realize that and there was a very short line for those folks. Keep your eyes peeled for your status as it will save you easily 45 min. Don't ask, disembarkation was dreadful! So many people and they made no good attempt to repair the lines to a fair and decent order. Entrance on the ship was rather confusing and disorganized but whatever. We made it to our room 9449 to check it out, seemingly well located. Room was satisfactory and the bathroom seemed a little larger than usual as was the shower. This is a large ship so be prepared for mucho walking. The entertainment/food floors are all located on 3 lower floors. I still was confused by the end of the cruise and still checking on the location of the rooms. I didn't think there was very good information by the elevators on what was on each floor. But elevators were readily available. The best part of the cruise was the FOOD!!! Wow, wow and wow is all I can say. Everything I ordered was great all the week. Having the drink package, I ordered the irish coffee on the dinner menu. Sometimes added a shot of Bailey's to it. I don't usually drink at home but I must admit I enjoyed experimenting with the different alcoholic beverages. There was never a problem getting a beverage with the package, twice I ordered a drink for someone else.2X. It was kind of fun to be able to do that. Due to a problem the first night, a practice for Burn the Floor going on at 1230 am to 130 am, we were given a free dinner at Moderno, a Brazilian style restaurant. I don't recommend Moderno. Was disappointed. The only meat that was good was the lamb. The lobster bisque was full of lobster which you could collect up at the bottom of the bowl. My compliments to all the chefs in the restaurant and the buffet. The last nt, I decided to go upstairs for the buffet. OMG it was incredible. They served prime rib cut fresh and yummy lamb chops. I actually spent time looking for the head man so I could tell him how impressed I was with the buffet dinner. I usually complain but need to step that up a notch when the food is such good quality! The cruise director Silas is probably the best I have ever seen and I've been on over 35 cruises on all the lines. He is very professional and very well spoken. The Reception Desk deserves merit. There are always many many employees working and it's always a short wait for service of any kind. There is even an employee talking to the folks in line and answering questions. I would suggest that they leave out the days program so you can pick up an extra one rather than wait in line. The books in the library are horrible, old and unpopular. Gosh what are they thinking??? Looked like there were updated travel books if you wanted to research. And the staff person who works the library opening doesn't appear to like his job and wishes he wasn't there. I suppose library is not a top job. I took an off the ship tour of Belize for $15 negotiated. 7 other people joined me. It was great. Very poor country. Sad to say. One of our group needed a pharmacy. So while they were out of Crestor, I did remember to ask how much Viagra was. Price was $2.50.each. Got home and asked pharmacy at Walgreens how much one Viagra was and it was $60. That's crazy. Keep that in mind. There is a small market area out of the main building and I bought a few things there. I also bought a beautiful lacy necklace that was made by one of those women communes to impower women. Mahajual,. had been been there before and wanted to return to the beach walk. Lots and lots of interesting stalls with good and negotiable prices. I got a short massage from a lady named Maria. If you can find her, you will be very happy. The last time I was there, I had a male who was quite horrible. Maria is about half way down. She's awesome. . I didn't think activities were very good on the ship. And the movies that were in the atrium were mostly for children. There wasn't a child in the room. They need to step up activities and their movie selection to a more adult level. I would go again on the Getaway. I really liked Silas the director and the awesome food. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2016
This is our fourth cruise with Norwegian and our second cruise on the Getaway. Overall the experience was good. The ship remains clean and the staff was helpful. On-boarding was smooth and off-boarding was good too. Our room was as ... Read More
This is our fourth cruise with Norwegian and our second cruise on the Getaway. Overall the experience was good. The ship remains clean and the staff was helpful. On-boarding was smooth and off-boarding was good too. Our room was as expected and well maintained by Rommel. The service by Dona at Margaritaville was excellent. The largest detractor is the cigarette smoke that permeates 678 Ocean Place. The casino is located on deck 7 and unfortunately, the smoke spoils the dining experience at Le Bistro on 6 and the shopping experience on 8. I'm a poker fanatic, but gave up my gambling habit that week to avoid the casino. Love that the H2O Spice area is off-limits to kids. I'm sure that we'll go back to that ship on a future cruise. We sailed with Princess in April. They offered a third party service in which our luggage was picked-up at the port and delivered to the airline for the trip home. It was nice not having to hassle with bags during our trip home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
First time on a smaller ship the Empress of the Seas. When we first aboard it we doubted taking this trip in the first place. But we found it to be restful and you can get to one end of the ship to the other in a jiffy. The waiters ... Read More
First time on a smaller ship the Empress of the Seas. When we first aboard it we doubted taking this trip in the first place. But we found it to be restful and you can get to one end of the ship to the other in a jiffy. The waiters were wonderful. The food was very good also. In the Keys, we were parked next to the Allure and that is a site to see. It looked like the mama ship (Allure) just gave birth to a baby (Empress) The bedrooms and bathroom are small ( we had an outside cabin) We were on the 4th floor near the dining room so it was very convenient for us. Plenty of food as usual. Loved watching the movies on the pool deck. And I was surprised they had two movies I wanted to see ( Finding Dory and the new Star Trek) I was told the Empress was going to Cuba in the beginning of next year and so they spruced the ship. If you just want to relax enjoy the Empress of the Seas. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I am a loyal Royal Caribbean cruiser. I have been on all sizes of the Royal fleet. This cruise made my tenth cruise. My daughter won a complimentary cruise on Empress of the Seas so we were excited to try the baby ship of the fleet. ... Read More
I am a loyal Royal Caribbean cruiser. I have been on all sizes of the Royal fleet. This cruise made my tenth cruise. My daughter won a complimentary cruise on Empress of the Seas so we were excited to try the baby ship of the fleet. Although smaller then the other ships, Royal Caribbean did a great job making this ship feel "Royal". There were many things available on this ship as on the larger but on a smaller scale. We went to Key West and Cozumel,Mexico for our ports of call. The food was great and the entertainment was great. I always enjoy the main dining room for the evening meal because I like being waited on. The brunch in the main dining room on sea days was very good. The cabins are smaller than on the larger ships which is to be expected. But with a little organization, we had enough room. We all laughed at the jokes made about the smaller bathrooms. They were smaller but comparable to a bathroom in some travel trailers. The service was as good as on the larger ships and the crew were very friendly and helpful and fun. Only one thing was more noticeable on the smaller ship at times and that was the movement front to back. The side movement was taken care of by the stabilizers. It was not constant. Only in certain parts of the Gulf. It was not a problem for me or my daughter but others might want to use a patch. This was a nice little ship and we had a great time. I would do it again. Happy Cruising!!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise ship because it was a new ship and had never sailed Norwegian before. The ship did provide many fun things for our teenagers to do, like the multi-level water slide and the teen gathering room. The mini-golf was fun ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because it was a new ship and had never sailed Norwegian before. The ship did provide many fun things for our teenagers to do, like the multi-level water slide and the teen gathering room. The mini-golf was fun as well. There was not enough time at the ports of call especially Tortola and Nassau. Although at Nassau, the pier was extremely long for someone with walking difficulties. It would be helpful if assistance would be provided to be able to get to shore using a small shuttle vehicle or assisted wheelchair. The food was only OK, however, for any of the top dinner choices you had to pay extra. We feel that the higher quality food and better menu options, i.e., lobster and steak, were only offered if you paid extra. We felt like the better food was provided to those who paid extra, those who didn't pay extra had the inferior quality or "leftover" food. For the most part the entertainment was very good but hard to make reservations as most were marked as sold out. The best entertainment was "For the Record - The Brat Pack" and "Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons Tribute". Both of these were excellent - the best we've ever seen on a cruise - high energy, great singing and loads of fun. There were just too many passengers to get around. Even to get on an elevator it took several attempts to find one not packed. Being one of the passengers who required a scooter, it was very hard to get around, especially through the hallways toward the outside of the ship and through the doorway. Getting around is very important, but was difficult on this ship. Only one swimming pool and always packed so unable to use it much??? Why is there only one swimming pool??? It was extremely crowded and not really usable for true swimming time. The cabin was very nice, but seemed small for an upgraded room. Our room steward, Jocelyn, was fabulous. She was always very pleasant, helpful and caring. She assisted our friend who has lost her luggage by taking care of the laundry promptly, so that at least the few items our friend had was cleaned and returned to her room promptly. Overall, our main disappointment was in the quality of food. We've been on many cruises and this one rates extremely low for the food options provided as "complimentary" for the "average" passengers. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We were excited to book a cruise on Norwegian's newest ship the Escape. We were not disappointed. Embarkation was a breeze. We walked right up to a counter and was able to get the process completed quickly. We were given group 9 ... Read More
We were excited to book a cruise on Norwegian's newest ship the Escape. We were not disappointed. Embarkation was a breeze. We walked right up to a counter and was able to get the process completed quickly. We were given group 9 for Boarding. We were walking the gangway by 11:45. We headed straight to Taste for lunch. Didn't realize that the dining rooms didn't open until 12:30. We used the wait time to use the TV screens to make reservations for the Comedy show. Lunch in the dining room was fantastic. By the time we were done it was time we could go to our room. (We had inside cabin, 11425). After dropping off our belongings we started exploring our home for the next week. During our week on the Escape we had 4 free nights of Specialty Dining. We enjoyed each meal. We went to Le Bistro, Cagney's, Teppanyaki and La Cucina. We really enjoyed our meals at all of them. Just way too much food! Teppanyaki was my favorite. We were not able to see all the entertainment, but did make it to The Brat Pack, After Midnight, Oh What A Night-Frankie Valli and 4 Seasons Tribute, a Magic Show and 2 Comedy Shows. The Frankie Valli was my favorite. I enjoyed the Brat Pack, was not my husband's favorite. There was so much to do on the Escape. Could have easily stayed on another week. The pool area was normally pretty busy, but that is not our favorite area anyway. I didn't even attempt to get in pool all week. We did get in Hot Tub on the upper decks several times. We enjoyed sitting on Deck 8 and relaxing and playing games. The District Brew house became another favorite place to hang out. Service was wonderful Was never crowded in there. Loved the area to sit and play games and relax. Qene Bee takes good care of you in there. Another favorite place was the outside 5"o Clock Somewhere bar. Chocolate Cowboy was always great to visit with. We had several lunches at O'Sheehan's. I really liked the newer improved menu. The wings were delicious as was the Ruben Sandwich. Wanted to go back for Hotdogs, they looked amazing but ran out of time. In the mornings to get out to the crowds we would go to Margaritaville for Breakfast. They had an omelet station and a few items from the buffet. Not a huge spread but nice relaxing place to go eat a quick breakfast. We had inside Cabin 11425. It was sufficient. It was pretty small but we had plenty of room for the 2 of us. I will say the bathrooms on this ship are little bigger than most. The shower and the water pressure were the best on any ship we have been on to date. I had read lots of bad reviews. So was little nervous. We had a fantastic time and would gladly sail on the Escape again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our 3rd time sailing on NCL Getaway. We booked this cruise last minute because of the great price, And was going to one of our favorite ports Roatan. We booked a ship excursion going to Maya Cay. We love going there! They pick us ... Read More
This was our 3rd time sailing on NCL Getaway. We booked this cruise last minute because of the great price, And was going to one of our favorite ports Roatan. We booked a ship excursion going to Maya Cay. We love going there! They pick us up right outside our ship and take us by boat over to the island that you can see. This island is a tropical paradise! We Love to snorkel and there is a beautiful reef right off the long beach pier there. I will write more about this wonderful place at the shore excursion spot and go back to the review of the ship. Once on board we always go to the dinning room for Lunch. Is so nice after all the hectic of driving into Miami and all the other boarding day hectic to just sit in a quiet dining room and get waited on.Food is always excellent and staff are so nice. We actually had cruise staff that actually remembered us from sailing before. Which always surprises me when that happens. They have 1000's of people boarding weekly how can they remember us and say I remember you , welcome back! NCL has great entertainment. LOVE the million dollar quartet. is a show not to miss! We didn't make reservations for any of the comedian shows but was able to get into all shows and even the late night one in the standby line and all were very good, We ate twice in La Bistro. Is always wonderful. Most other nights we ate in Savor, the waiters and especially the maître D were all very nice. We ate in tropicana once and was also very good.Had a wonderful waitress Madonna.. We ate in the buffet on seafood night. and the line went odd. We got our shrimp etc and then the line was coming at us from the other direction so had to walk half way around the dinning room to get in line to get the rest of our food. We also ate once for lunch at O Sheehans but was outside over looking the lower deck watching the officer talk and waiting for deal or no deal show. was taking quite long time to get our food and our waiter came with our slip in hand and asked did we ever get our food? Thought quite odd question coming from our waiter, we told him No. and still no food and then a Maitre D came by asking how is everything We told him about our long wait and He made sure we had our food quite quickly. We enjoy playing trivia etc, always something to do on the ship or if you just want a quiet spot to take a snooze. We love cruising and love NCL freestyle Don't have to eat at certain time and free to dress up or not. Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Before I get started into the details of this cruise, I want to make one thing clear: I am a female solo cruiser. I have cruised about 10 times total on various lines. I am also, generally, a very easing going person who likes to ... Read More
Before I get started into the details of this cruise, I want to make one thing clear: I am a female solo cruiser. I have cruised about 10 times total on various lines. I am also, generally, a very easing going person who likes to experience each day as it comes along, and I like to "go with the flow." I enjoy quiet, but I also like the "freestyle" opportunity to mingle with the "partiers" when it's going on, and later when I'm in the mood, I while away an hour or more in my cabin balcony, and watch the sunset fill the sky. I'm a mature adult (50s) and have learned to experience the process of living more than having goals run my life. It's all about experiencing life -- not controlling it. I cruise to get away from work on short notice (2-3 weeks notice), which admittedly means I sometimes have limited choice of cruise itineraries. I also usually choose smaller ships (about 2100 passenger size) and if I can afford it, a balcony. It all depends on the cost of the single supplement. But after cruising on the Escape, this may be my new favorite ship. But like any large ships there are pros and cons. I found the pros usually won, however. On price point - I like Norwegian pricing and option of cruise itineraries because: (1) their single supplement is usually around 50% and sometimes even at 0%! (This is wonderful for single cruisers because that means a solo cruiser can get a cabin at less than the 2 person occupancy rates. And (2) I like the solo meet and greet with Norwegian and the Meet and Greet they offer to members of the Cruise Critic Roll Call group, and (3) Norwegian is low pressure for dress code -- not that many cruise lines are formal anymore -- but it means I don't have to pack a trunk. I've cruised with Norwegian about 3 times now and will do so again. I've also cruised with other cruise lines and enjoyed them also -- so this is not a diss on other cruise lines. Honestly, I suppose it boils down to convenience. EMBARKATION from Miami: It went very smoothly. In fact, although you are given an embarkation time on the E-Docs, I found that Norwegian generally takes you on a first come first served basis. I arrived about 2 hours before my embarkation (due to a VERY early flight arrival) and presented my documents to the cruise personnel shortly after 11AM. I checked in, and received my boarding pass (credit card authorized and photo) in less than 10 minutes. They directed me to a seating area, gave me a group number (group number 8) and then I relaxed to await bordering. Now, I'm a friendly person, so I struck up conversations with a few people around me -- I met several folks from New York and others from California. I then helped myself to a glass of orange juice, and settled in with my carry on bag and listened for the boarding call. Within 20 minutes Group 8 was called, and I was routed by staff into line to walk to the ship. All told -- it probably took less than 30 minutes from check-in to boarding. I was on board around 11:45 AM. BIG HINT: After boarding the Escape -- If you want a quiet and relaxing first few hours after boarding the ship, DO NOT go to the Buffet Restaurant on Deck 16 (unless you have children who need to eat ASAP). I went to SAVOR -- one of the restaurants on Deck 6 (AFT). It was quiet, relaxing, leisurely -- and the staff were polite and friendly. (As an aside) I noticed some crew seemed very tired -- probably from having just completed a turnaround on servicing the Escape. I was told the crew does a top to bottom cleaning of all rooms and deck areas. They sanitize as much as possible. The crew on this ship works hard, very hard. I spoke with several of the crew and many worked 18 hour days/ 7 days a week. It is not an easy lifestyle. It is surprising how kind they can be when you are kind in return. After speaking and really listening to the staff, asking questions of where they were from, it was amazing how they remembered my name and always smiled. So - be kind -- it can go a long way to make your trip better and the crew feels appreciated too. By the time I had eaten dessert at SAVOR, (around 1 PM) the ship announced the staterooms were ready. I dropped off my luggage in my AFT balcony. See my review on the cabin (FYI) Cabin 12908 was the best Aft Balcony room I've ever been in - see my short review - I will upload pictures. And the Steward, Harvey, was a kind and wonderful young man from the Philippines. I discover each room steward oversees about 16-18 rooms a day. They make up those rooms sometimes 3 times a day! Wow. That's work. DINING: Dining generally was very good. The Best experience was at BAYAMO - truly stellar - NOTE: there is an up-charge of $15 added to your specialty meal package, but it is well worth it. I had the Tuna and watermelon appetizer, a tomato salad, Scallops with Oxtail in a cuban inspired green chile sauce (really great!) and for dessert a flan and coffee. I had one sub-par experience at Cagney's where for some strange reason they couldn't cook my steak to the right temperature. I ordered it 3 times (medium rare) and it was always over cooked to medium well. I finally gave up ordering -- I didn't complain or ask for new steaks -- instead the waiter noticed every time I cut into the steak that the steak was over cooked. He brought the restaurant manager to apologize, and he gave me complete credit on my bill for the meal. (I really did not complain) My theory is that they were still training undercooks - the temperature should not have been a problem for this level of service - but all the side items were perfect. I had garlic potatoes and Asparagus. The next day I got Chocolate covered Strawberries and a bottle of wine from the Hospitality Director, Jovo - and an apology card from the Restaurant Director. (I really DIDN'T complain - so this really surprised me!) Thank you Jovo! (As a side point -- I knew when I was comped the bill for this meal at Cagney's that the wait staff would not earn the gratuity -- so I handed them cash ~$10. They really do work hard, and the steak was not their fault -- it's nice to remember these folks work hard to send money back home - they depend on the tips). Other than the experience at Cagney's, the food was good in all the restaurants. The Prime Rib and Short Ribs offered in the complementary dining rooms were very good! Don't miss those meals. I also dined at Le Bistro and at La Cuchina. Both were lovely and had nice atmosphere. Service was attentive. I avoided the Deck 16 Buffet because I don't like the noise and rush - rush. I usually grabbed rolls, fresh fruit (oranges or banana) and pastries late at night (9PM) in the Buffet and took them to my stateroom to save overnight for the next day breakfast - the coffee maker was a welcome addition to the room and made good hot coffee -- and was more than fine for breakfast on my balcony. ENTERTAINMENT: I went to FOR THE RECORD: BRAT PACK (A Hoot!) It was a very fun 1980's road trip, AFTER MIDNIGHT (Sexy and stunning tap and dance) a 1930-40-50s style Harlem Jazz scenes that combined to make you feel back in the hot days of Harlem. I also went to the CABARET DINER CLUB which was very good and had a gourmet 5 course dinner. That show was mostly 1950s and 60s Torch singing. Fun and sexy. Not quite a cabaret, but more like a 1950s style singing review. SERVICE: I've already covered this above. I found the service very good when I put forth effort to be friendly. I'm a naturally curious person, and want to know about others around me. I know some people don't approach traveling in the same way and expect constant smiles. This ship had few smiles initially, but I found the smiles and greetings came easier after I asked a few questions about their name, their day, and where they were from as well. A few moments of genuine interest brought smiles every day and warm greetings of "Hello Madam, Are you having a good day?" It was well worth the effort on the first and second day for a pleasant trip all week. PORTS and SHORE EXCURSIONS: I visited St. Thomas, USVI; Tortoga (BVI), and Nassau, Bahamas. I lived for a while on St. Thomas so I was not in any way shy about going onshore and going to the beach. This is a US protectorate -- US dollars. If you want upscale -- get a pass online for Sapphire Beach Resort (It is a resort style beach with clean white sands and upscale security). You can take a taxi and get there for about $20. It is a resort and can call a taxi when you need to return. If you want a local guided tour of St. Thomas that has lots of local color use Brenda and Franko's Fun tours. They are Island Locals all the way -- they will usually take you to Coki Beach which can be crowded on cruise day or to Magan's Bay -- both can be a little hectic but the beaches are wonderful and warm and soft sand. The tour guides are attentive and will take you to all the tourist places on the Island (and get you a few cups of free rum punch on the side). The cost is about $35 for a tour and beach day -- it lasts about 5 hours (beach about 2 hours). I went to Secret Habour. It is not frequented by the Cruise companies, and is very quiet, it has change rooms, and a small restaurant and is a local beach. It is about 20 minutes by taxi. If you take a taxi make sure you can call them for pick up and return. The Beach is also part of a resort but is public, and there might be people who will offer to get you a beach chair for $5 -- it's up to you. It is also a great beach for snorkeling. Just be aware of your return time back to the Cruise ship and plan to leave early -- all the Cruise line taxis return at the same time and traffic will go slow into the port at Charlotte Amalie. So plan on being back to the ship at least an hour before ship sails -- and make sure you arrange a set time for pick up at the beach. TORTOLA: Tortola is actually only 45 minutes by boat from St. Thomas (FYI) but the Escape cruises 9 hours in a circle and docks early (about 6 AM). I took the 7 AM Ships' tour to Virgin Gorda and the Baths. It was the Snorkel ashore tour -- I used to snorkel so this was not a problem. After snorkeling ashore (about 200 yards) make sure you turn with your back to shore and let the waves bring you in -- its much easier. The water was warm, the waves high, and the walk through the Baths Stones a little challenging for those with weak knees. I would NOT recommend this for anyone with back problems, bad knees or ankles. Take a submergible camera (all digital cameras will die in the wet here) - but- there are so many great pictures to take! I liked this tour and would do it again, but next time I would hopefully find a tour with a smaller boat (there were 80 passengers on this boat, so it was a little hard to get everyone coordinated and moving on time). FYI NASSAU: I didn't go ashore. I had been here several times and decided to stay on ship. IT was wonderful. The ship was quiet and relaxed. I could sit by the pool and read or have pool to swim in without any interruptions! THE CASINO: This Casino was all right. I found it rather confusing as it was situated in the atrium and in the middle of Deck 7. I played the slots with friends and made back about 75% of my money. I considered it entertainment for the cost of about 2 cups of Latte Coffee :) DISEMBARKATION: The disembarkation was smooth. I chose to leave the ship with the "PURPLE" group at about 9:15 AM. It was fairly easy to find my checked luggage for Customs, and I was out into the Taxi area by about 10 AM. HINT:; If you have a late departure at MIA International (mine was at 8 PM) you can take a Taxi to the Airport, check your luggage in and go back downtown to Miami on the Metro rail for only a few dollars. I checked in my luggage with my airline. I didn't have much of a carry on, so I went to the Metro Rail station in the Airport Station and bought a DADE Metro Rail pass for the Day ($6 for the day) and I went down to South Miami and hanged around the South Miami Shopping mall area. It is Cuban area with GREAT Cuban food. I ate at Casa Cuba -- and wandered around the upscale shopping area. Around 5:20 I took the ORANGE LINE back to the MIA Airport. I was through the TSA check point and back at the gate by 7 PM. What a nice way to end a cruise! Happy Cruising! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The Getaway was our 3rd cruise this year and by far our favorite!! The service was fantastic and our cabin steward, Rhey made us happy everyday with our adorable towel animals and clean room (balcony room, mid-ship room #14782). We only ... Read More
The Getaway was our 3rd cruise this year and by far our favorite!! The service was fantastic and our cabin steward, Rhey made us happy everyday with our adorable towel animals and clean room (balcony room, mid-ship room #14782). We only encountered one rude bartender but we did not count off for him because everyone else was so wonderful. There is always something going on, our at sea day was rainy but somehow every moment was filled. The atrium is a happening spot (Trivia, live music, Deal or No Deal, games, etc..) Embarkation: Easy and quick! Below is a rating of our experiences on the ship. Dining (Favorite is #1) 1. Teppanayki - chef was a blast and the food was wonderful. Steak & Lobster 2. Ocean Blue - order the Stone Crab Claws, they were YUMMY! Outstanding service. 3. Wasabi Sushi Bar - loved the Stone Crab Claws so much we ordered them here too! Loved the Rock and Roll but heard all of the rolls are excellent. 4. Cagney's - my birthday dinner was almost ruined by extremely slow service. Waiter was very nice but overwhelmed. Food was good. Filet & Lobster. If you ask for a decanter, be prepared to wait. 5. O'Sheehan's - 24 hour service and we ate here multiple times. If you like a Rueban I highly recommend! Breaded chicken wings and nachos were good. 6. La Cucina - food was average but much better than the same restaurant on the NCL Sky. 7. Shanghai Noodle Bar - we ate here our first night and thought it was very good and it is free which made it even better! We shared potstickers, spring rolls, fried rice and glass noodles with chicken. 8. Savor / Taste - the free dining rooms. We only ate breakfast twice (eggs Benedict was outstanding), lunch once (go for the steak and cheese) and dinner once (dinner was not memorable). 9. Buffet - as expected, good not great. 10. Illusionarium - food was terrible. (Review of show is below) Drinks: We got the Ultimate Beverage Package and thoroughly enjoyable. Bring some one dollar bills for small tips and you will get the best service of your life and you will never have to wait for a drink. (Especially if you visit the same person) Shows: 1. Million Dollar Quartet - this show is Broadway worthy, husband actually saw it on Broadway and thought it was just as good as seeing it there. 2. Burn the Floor - we loved this show! It was filled with energy and sensuality. We loved it so much we took Salsa lessons a few days later. 3. Illusionarium - kind of silly but entertaining. We really enjoyed the mind reader! Ports: (in order of date not best to worst) 1. Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras (06/07/16) - went on a scuba dive trip through the ship. The island is very poor and trash is everywhere. We were very surprised that we were expected to put all of our gear together, I have been on over 100 dives and this was the first time I have done this since my training. Although it was disorganized it was still enjoyable and absolutely beautiful. 2. Belize City, Belize (06/18/16) - Zip line and cave tubing excursion. Our tour leader "Shanna Banana" was wonderful, she was so proud of her country. The bus ride was over an hour to the park. The hike to the cave4. was easy and we loved the tubing; zip line was fun but the zip lines were short. Lunch was good but we waited over an hour to leave knowing we had an hour bus ride back, this was our only issue. We loved how clean and beautiful Belize was and plan on visiting again. 3. Cozumel, Mexico (06/09/16) - another day of diving and it was wonderful! 4. Costa Maya, Mexico (06/10/16) - we were shocked at how beautiful this city was! We thoroughly enjoyed our Salsa and Salsa excursion. We were taught to make outstanding guacomole, fresh salsas and margaritas, then were taught to dance the salsa. We ended the tour with several hours on the beautiful beach and went back to shop at the port, where we continued to drink more margaritas. Be careful at the stores, several people tried to sell my husband drugs. Lol Sea Days: Sea day #1 - 06/06/16 - very rainy which gave us the chance to play BINGO. Husband won Bingo King which allowed him to play for free the rest of the week. He also won blackout which gave us $560 to play later in the casino. He was quite the celebrity. Sea day #2 - uneventful but beautiful day. We were able to enjoy our beach chairs that we rented in the private adult beach area, Vibe. This is well worth the money, otherwise you need to get out of your cabin by 7:30 am to save a chair. Disembarkation: We decided to take our luggage off ourselves in order to get an early time, unfortunately I believe 3/4 of the passengers shared our idea. The line to get off wrapped around half the ship and took close to an hour to disembark. It was still very organized, just time consuming. Closing: We would highly recommend this ship to anyone! We had so much fun we already booked our next cruise for Thanksgiving on the NCL Pride of America to the Hawaian Islands. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I cruise for the first time with NCL after being on Carnival twice previously. The Ship is gorgeous as its pretty new to the sea. The adult pool felt a little small for the size of the ship. The cabins were decent sized. (I had a balcony). ... Read More
I cruise for the first time with NCL after being on Carnival twice previously. The Ship is gorgeous as its pretty new to the sea. The adult pool felt a little small for the size of the ship. The cabins were decent sized. (I had a balcony). Our steward Brian was THE BEST. Whenever we needed something he was there for us. The dining was great! Food was phenomenal! We had the 4 nights of ultimate dining. We dined at La Cucina (italian), Tappenyaki (japenese hibachi), Moderno (brazilian churrascaria), and Cagney's Steakhouse. The portions were generous and extremely tasty. The main dining room Savor we only tried one night and the food and service there was great as well. As for entertainment and activities, the events held from time to time in the Atrium Bar were great. I DID NOT like the fact that I had to reserve seating for headliners or other shows on the ship. I was used to a first come first serve basis from Carnival. Service was great although I did not need much assistance while cruising. Steward was attentive like I mentioned before. Ports were amazing on the Western Caribbean. Honduras, Belize, Cozumel & Costa Maya were breath-taking. I would recommend this ship for future cruisers. Although I would probably explore other ships before going back on to another NCL ship. Read Less

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