3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted to try NCL for the first time, we have cruised Disney and Princess for year. The ship and food were great, but the customer service was really bad. Honestly about 50-50, half the staff were very friendly the other half were ... Read More
We wanted to try NCL for the first time, we have cruised Disney and Princess for year. The ship and food were great, but the customer service was really bad. Honestly about 50-50, half the staff were very friendly the other half were very rude. I do not think we will be going back on NCL after this experience. It is a shame because we really liked the ship and the food. I did hear from crew this ship in particular has a bad reputation for the management, so hopefully that is the case. It is also not family friendly in any of the entertainment, so with all the activities for kids the nightlife has nothing for the kids. Spa is behind right now so they are pushing very hard to sell you anything if you have any treatments. We really enjoyed the specialty dining apart from the service by the staff. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Was looking forward to the 11 day cruise out of New Orleans. Have sailed on the Getaway twice and as the Breakaway is basically identical, could find my way around. I really love the Boardwalk feature as it provides a calm oasis away from ... Read More
Was looking forward to the 11 day cruise out of New Orleans. Have sailed on the Getaway twice and as the Breakaway is basically identical, could find my way around. I really love the Boardwalk feature as it provides a calm oasis away from the poolside hustle and noise, Always found a comfy chair to read or relax. Embarkation was smooth and quick once my friend was provided a wheelchair and staff assistance, FOOD- a bit of a letdown in both Savor and Taste, entrees ranged from very good to just passable. Only ate occasionally in Garden Cafe so cant review it, Always east breakfast at O'Sheehan's and often lunch as well after shore excursions, We both liked Moderno and La Cucina, and i enjoyed Teppanyaki. Jimmy Buffet's was awful and had poor service. Did not get to Oceans Blue or Cagney's on this trip but have tried them on the Getaway previously. Manhattan Dining Room was usually very good and consistent, SERVICE: This was a huge letdown, First day on board, we asked a staff person for directions and she literally rolled her eyes at us, Wow, We found the service level to be all over the place and really inconsistent, My friend and I are not demanding travelers and are willing to overlook small waits, On one occasion, we waited 20 minutes for my drink to arrive while eating our appetizer and then the server had the wrong order. Activities: Good always enough to do, even enjoyed the ropes course, Excursions: Enjoyed Jamaica, Belize, Grand Cayman and Harvest Caye. Isla De Cozumel is always fun as i have been there before, You have to pick wisely as you tend to get what you pay for, Debarkation: Fine no issues as we both had a late airport transfer, Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Me and my wife took the cruise for our honeymoon and first vacation ever to ourselfs. I was surprised at the selections of food they had on the cruise. Me and my wife definately did not go hungry, if anything we gained a few pounds while ... Read More
Me and my wife took the cruise for our honeymoon and first vacation ever to ourselfs. I was surprised at the selections of food they had on the cruise. Me and my wife definately did not go hungry, if anything we gained a few pounds while on our cruise. The sun decks were perfect for many people to enjoy the sun as well as other company. I enjoyed trying my hand at many games in the casino, even thou I didn't win anything. My wife enjoyed a couple of the games in the video arcade, at least the easy ones. The pool side movies were a nice touch, even thou I only got to watch one of the many they showed. The cabin was spacious for two people to share, might've been crowed if more than two had the same room. The steward we had, Junaedi, was very nice and helpful with any request. We thoroughly enjoyed our excursion we decided at the last minute to go snorkeling and eat a Mexican lunch with tequila tastings with Claudia. I would highly recommend taking the cruise with the triumph going to Cozumel, Mexico. Just make sure to bring plenty of spending cash. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Choose this cruise for the Panama Canal itinerary. Had great weather which helps, but really an amazing cruise start to finish. Ship was in great shape, staff were fantastic and hard working. Met lots of great people. I was very ... Read More
Choose this cruise for the Panama Canal itinerary. Had great weather which helps, but really an amazing cruise start to finish. Ship was in great shape, staff were fantastic and hard working. Met lots of great people. I was very impressed with this NCL cruise. Food was great and available all the time so were cold drinks. Buffet is laid out nicely so line ups are minimal. It was so popular the only issue was finding a seat but often they would open La Cucina for extra seating. Never had to go too far to find a place to sit. Maintenance of this ship was excellent. They had a major water leak on deck 5 one day and fixed it and had us operational and cleaned up in record time. Dining room always had a great selection of appetizers and entrees and repetition was minimal for a 21 day cruise...I challenge people to do that in their own home. The gym is great all the equipment was in excellent working order. I really enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
A Panama Canal crossing has long been a bucket list, and the opportunity to see so many other countries was also an attraction. Unfortunately, NCL dropped Honduras and Guatemala from the ports of call, substituting another port for ... Read More
A Panama Canal crossing has long been a bucket list, and the opportunity to see so many other countries was also an attraction. Unfortunately, NCL dropped Honduras and Guatemala from the ports of call, substituting another port for Honduras and gaining another sea day instead of Guatemala. We never did get a clear answer regarding why Guatemela was dropped, and the email communications from NCL were rather curt and uninformative. Embarkation and disembarkation were both very efficient. We took advantage of the Port Valet program in Seattle in which we received our Alaska Airlines boarding passes on board, our luggage was whisked away to the airport and we didn't see it again until we landed at SFO! Excursions were handled efficiently with buses usually waiting on the pier for us. A tender was needed only in Cabo San Lucas. Not all of the excursions were accurately described on the NCL site, however, particularly the day in Nicaragua during which we spent 75% of the 8 hour day bouncing around on bumpy roads for 2 short visits to Old and Colonial Leon. I will review those on the NCL site. I chose the $50 per port excursion credit, but had to go up to the excursion desk (twice) and get that credit applied to my account. It wasn't done automatically. Both Costa Maya and Harvest Caye are Disneyland-style ports of call - perfectly manicured with loud music, entertainers, cabanas, beach chairs, fruity drinks, overpriced food, etc. We avoided those altogether and took excursions onto the mainland. If hanging out on a beach is your thing, you will enjoy these perfect ports, but I really wanted to experience at least a taste of the country we were visiting. We purchased a 7-meal dining plan and booked the restaurants in advance on sea days. We thoroughly enjoyed every restaurant, and ate at Cagney's and Moderno twice. All are first class dining experiences and the service was exemplary. Though the 2 main dining rooms are quite nice, these premium restaurants are well worth the upgrade price. We alternated other meals between The Summer Palace, Indigo, O'Sheehan's and the buffet. We were so overwhelmed by the buffet on the first few days that we vowed to eat elsewhere as much as possible, but eventually we learned the best times to go and found quieter places to sit. Eating in the dining rooms also helps to curb any impulses to overeat, as the plated meals always have modestly sized portions. Breakfast in The Summer Palace was always peaceful, quite and lovely. The buffet is noisy, often messy with people spilling food on the floor, bumping into each other, and the food is lukewarm by the time you find a seat and dig in... I was impressed with the variety of food offered, and we didn't get bored even on such a long cruise. Some of the offerings were rather mediocre. They really don't know how to do Mexican food - the nacho sauce looked like Velveeta cheese :) The last day on the buffet at The Great Outdoors was an unexpected treat - it was German food day with sauerbraten, a whole pig, wienerschnitzel, dumplings, and other main courses; apple strudel with vanilla sauce and black forest cake for dessert! Let's just say that the diet has started now that we're home. Sea days were busy enough, with a choice of lectures, trivia, arts & crafts, language lessons, or just hanging out in one of the lounges reading or playing games. I do wish there were more intellectually stimulating lectures and learning opportunities. The single guest lecturer on board spoke almost every sea day, but I would have liked other similar offerings. We walked a lot on the promenade until we reached the Pacific Ocean when it became too cold and windy. I wish I had brought along a fleece or windbreaker! The "cruise cough" was rampant by the end of the first week on the cruise. I washed my hands obsessively, and used the hand sanitizers so often that my cuticles were peeling; nevertheless I succumbed. The ship's staff cleans constantly, but unless each and every person on the ship does their part to prevent the spread of germs, it's futile. I think the gift shop did a brisk business in selling throat lozenges. In my case, it wasn't a debilitating condition, but I did hear that some guests became quite ill and just stayed in their rooms. Panama Canal Day was exciting and definitely the highlight for us. We had attended several lectures in the preceding days, and the local commentator, Joe, came on the ship before dawn and announced the sites from the bridge throughout the day. I took hundreds of pictures and will eventually make a slide show to commemorate the day. The variety and quality of the entertainment on the ship was commendable and memorable. I feared that we would have the same singers and dancers over and over for 3 weeks, but there was no duplication. We had a juggler, comedians, magicians, broadway singers, an acrobatic couple, the ships production crew presenting several different shows, pianists and more. The ship's production band were quite impressive, given the many genres and pieces of music that they had to master. Each lounge had musicians throughout the day and well into the evening. We went to the White Hot Party (everyone is encouraged to dress in white), but didn't stay long because the music was rather frenetic. We didn't hang out by the pool, since it was really hot and crowded while we were in the Caribbean. I really dislike the strategy of staking out a lounge chair early in the morning by placing a towel or other object on it in case you feel like using the chair later in the day. If people want to "reserve" a chair for the whole day, they should pay a reservation fee! I never did find an empty chair until we reached L.A. I had about 2 hours after returning from the excursion before the ship departed to enjoy a relatively uncrowded deck. The crowd definitely thinned out after we started heading north on the Pacific Ocean. I did not use the gym because I got my exercise by walking the Promenade as often as possible. I also did not use the spa because I found their various treatments to be quite overpriced. The average age of guests on a 21-day cruise in the low season (i.e. when schools are in session) is definitely high - probably well over 60 on this cruise. Most guests were retired. There were 18 children on the ship, so we definitely didn't have to deal with kids running rampant, but the kids we saw definitely seemed to be having fun. We cruised on The Pearl in 2009 when she was just 3 years old, and I was concerned that she might be a bit tired by now in her 12th year of cruising. But after a comprehensive retrofit in 2017, she is still fresh and impressive. The lounges were completely overhauled with more sophisticated colors and finishes. The only sign of wear that I saw was the slightly soiled and tattered carpeting on some of the stairwells. The ship's crew is constantly repairing and repainting. The bollards that were used to attach the cables that guided us through the Canal were repainted within 24 hours! It was a very impressive and memorable cruise in every way, and we look forward to cruising again with NCL; I bought two CruiseNext deposits to ensure that I do so soon! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Been cruising for over 30 years. This was the first time on NCL and we took this cruise because of the "ports of call". First, two ports were cancelled and one was added before sailing. many things went wrong as soon as we ... Read More
Been cruising for over 30 years. This was the first time on NCL and we took this cruise because of the "ports of call". First, two ports were cancelled and one was added before sailing. many things went wrong as soon as we got underway. -Plumbing problems (2X) in the cabin, no cold water -Small light fell out of the ceiling -Pre-order of meals screwed up 3X. Request was for no salt. -Hall carpets needed cleaning, badly -Food was boring after a few days. The buffet was better towards the end of the trip but still only average. Most specialty items like lobster was missing, lots of cost cutting noted. -We and most everyone around us got sick with cold like symptoms. The last 2/3rds of the trip were spent just trying to come back to health. This ship is worse then most when it comes to sanitation. The hand sanitizers were at awkward locations to be most effective, often requiring to use handrails after applying but before you reached your table. -Workers were friendly but middle management left something to be desired. -Entertainment was weak. Ship did not have a feeling of being up to date. -Drinking seems to be the pastime of many and of course NCL encourages it with wild drink packages. -Gratuities are mandatory and they were raised recently. -And the problems go on and on...... My wife and I saw no reason to ever return to NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
I chose this cruise because of the multiple ports offered many of which I had not visited. The Norwegian Pearl is a beautiful well maintained ship which is staffed by the most amazing crew ever. I have cruised multiple times and have ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the multiple ports offered many of which I had not visited. The Norwegian Pearl is a beautiful well maintained ship which is staffed by the most amazing crew ever. I have cruised multiple times and have enjoyed most all of the staff on all my cruises, but the Pearl's staff seemed to genuinely enjoy their work and their coworkers. They were all friendly and out-going and eager to assist passengers and each other at every turn. I would recommend a balcony cabin for passing through the Panama Canal and Port side was best for us to view the procedure when passing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. The food aboard the Pearl was as good as I have had in any 4 Star restaurant and this was in the main dining room. The specialty restaurants were especially nice. We tried all the restaurants on the ship and the only one we did not love was the "Lotus Garden" Cafe. The food at this one location was not on par with the other venues on board this ship. The service in every restaurant was special. The Assistant Maitre'D in the Summer Garden Restaurant, Milos Stankovic, made his rounds to each table at every meal to assure that all you needs/wants were met. One of our waiters, Gautam Kabiraj, must be mentioned for he went over and above to make sure every one of our wishes were met when we dined there and also when we dined in Le Bistro where he also worked. We found the perfect little bar up on the 13th deck mid-ship called Sugarcane's. Billy, the bartender in that bar, was so efficient and made outstanding concoctions that we all enjoyed. One of my favorite excursions was the Outback & Camel Safari at Cobo San Lucia, Mexico. This excursion was very diverse and Ted our guide was so very knowledgeable and capable. One of the members of our tour had some ambulatory difficulties and he made sure that she was safely able to participate in every activity. If you have the opportunity to make this trip, do it. You won't regret it. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I wanted to go through the Panama Canal The food was not up to the level I have been use to it was just so so They ran out of items before we reached out destination which is unacceptable The officers were not very friendly they were not ... Read More
I wanted to go through the Panama Canal The food was not up to the level I have been use to it was just so so They ran out of items before we reached out destination which is unacceptable The officers were not very friendly they were not around much and when they were very sour faced I did not see the captain accept at picture time I have been on other cruise lines where officers and the captain were around and approachable Our cabin was neat and clean and well stocked but the lightning for doing your makeup was terrible It was a very tight squeeze between closet and bathroom and I wished I didn't always have to move the bed to see in full length mirror Dennis was great on the guitar and atrium bar was the best you could go there to meet friends as very central the trivia's should have been played up in sky lounge as there was never enough room to play for all the teams also you were not allowed to take snack food out of O'Sheenins which is crazy if you wanted to watch the movie Also popcorn machine during movie time would have been a great add Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My life goal is to visit at least half of the countries of the world (98). When I saw this cruise advertised, it had four countries in Central American that I had never been to, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Early in 2018 (I ... Read More
My life goal is to visit at least half of the countries of the world (98). When I saw this cruise advertised, it had four countries in Central American that I had never been to, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Early in 2018 (I booked in August), prior to sailing we were told that Honduras was taken off the itinerary, then a few weeks later they decided to bypass Guatemala. In its place were two more stops in Mexico and one more sea day. I was very disappointed, had airlines scheduled and a hotel booked for a three day pre trip stay in New Orleans which would of cost me money if I cancelled the cruise. I decided to keep the trip thinking that it would be very picturesque to sail out of the “Big Easy” along the Mississippi into the Gulf. Wrong! The ship was more than four hours late leaving port after eight p.m. in the dark. Other than some light sources on the shore, we saw nothing. The first morning I woke up, I went into my bathroom to use the toilet. The configuration was such that the front of the seat was less than twelve inches from the wall. I will admit that I am 6’4” but the width of my backside was probably less than half the passengers on the ship. The point is, that to use that toilet, I had to sit “side saddle” which was very uncomfortable. I contacted the cruise staff who told me that there was no other place to move me to. In a little note they apologized to me, gave me a bottle of wine and a cheese plate (an effort to bung me up?). My inside room was the smallest I have ever encountered on a ship which was made even smaller by a bunk bed attached to the wall. It took me several days to realize a padded keg was a chair. Another disappointment was the constant “nickel and diming” that the ship was charging for everything. They even charged for a behind the scene tour aboard the ship, which I have done for free on two other ships. Their Cruise Director, Vincent was a voice that we heard way to often very often flogging money making scenarios from the ship in his loud shrill voice numerous times during the day for the entire cruise. Now for the good news, the lesser staff were fantastic including the porters, busboys, waiters, cleaners and all were super friendly. Definitely made my cruise much more enjoyable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We did this cruise because of the ports of call. Left from new orleans and went to seattle. The ship is very nice and clean, room also very good. The crew was always happy and friendly. Food was better than expected. We missed two ... Read More
We did this cruise because of the ports of call. Left from new orleans and went to seattle. The ship is very nice and clean, room also very good. The crew was always happy and friendly. Food was better than expected. We missed two ports of call and were not told was not told why, this is one reason we chose this trip was for the ports of call. Smoking was really bad on the ship as they have a cigar room inside the ship bt the piano bar which was full of cig smokers who liked to hold the door wide open for a period on time and let all the smoke out into the bar. Also the casino let the smoke out at both ends and into the theatreall the was into the balcony. This will make us think twice to cruise with nicl again.We also liked the amount of bars and dining rooms. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I have taken cruises before and I have cruised on several different cruise lines. This was my first repositioning cruise and I hope to answer some of the questions I had about this type of cruise. We chose this trip because of the ... Read More
I have taken cruises before and I have cruised on several different cruise lines. This was my first repositioning cruise and I hope to answer some of the questions I had about this type of cruise. We chose this trip because of the departure port and the itinerary. New Orleans Embarkation: We live a few hours from New Orleans and took the train down the day before. Our assigned check-in time was 10:30 AM. The cruise terminal was busy but the NCL staff were efficient during checking in. We had a few minutes wait before embarkation began and the seating area filled. We were assigned groups for boarding and this made the flow onto the ship very easy. The staterooms were not ready yet so we went to the main dining room, Summer Palace, for a relaxing three course lunch. This is a helpful tip for those who don’t like the crowded buffet lines on the first day. Usually the main dining room is open on the first day for a limited time but most people go to the buffet. During our meal the announcement was made that the staterooms were ready. We checked out the room and explored some of the ship. Our luggage arrived before sail away. Packing and attire: Packing for a 25 day trip can be a challenge. The Pearl does not have self-serve washing machines/dryers but does offer a laundry service. Given the length of the cruise they did offer a discounted rate at certain times and Latitude members also got a discount. A friend used the service and was satisfied with the results. The attire on the ship was mostly casual with a few people dressing up a little more for dinner. There were a few who wore a cocktail dress, evening attire, or suit but they were definitely the minority. There was only one official “night on the town”- Norwegian’s version of a formal night but people would occasionally dress for a special occasion, specialty dining or just because they could. This was one question I had about the 21 day cruise. I had expected at least one dress-up night a week but we only had one for the entire cruise. Dining and Food: Food was plentiful, fresh and well prepared. The buffets offered the most variety with many different stations and types of food to choose. Our group used the buffet when we needed quick meals or the occasional afternoon snack of ice cream or beverages. The Summer Palace-the largest dining room at the back of the ship was our go-to place. We enjoyed the relaxed pace and time to sit down and enjoy our meals without the bustle of the buffet. The breakfast menu did not change. There were several options of fruits, cereals, egg dishes, and traditional American breakfasts. They also offered smoked salmon, omelets made to order, pancakes and waffles. The lunch menus were rotated and we saw several of the menus multiple times but there was no pattern. There were days when we saw the same menu back to back. This was another question I had about repositioning cruises. There was no routine to the menu rotation-probably based on food availability. We looked at this as an opportunity to try more than one thing from a menu or to have something we really liked a second time. I will admit that toward the end of the cruise it was refreshing if there was something new/different offered. The dinner menus were also rotated with no specific pattern. We tended to eat around or before 7 PM and never had to wait to be seated. The wait staff were outstanding and we were visited by the assistant maître Ds almost every meal. They were a very cohesive staff and were eager to please. They were concerned if we didn’t eat the entire meal and were sincere in wanting feedback. We vote Gautam as the outstanding waiter. He went above and beyond for his “Mississippi Spice Girls” and we felt like family. He would check on us even if we were not in his assigned area. Julius was also very good and had a big smile and greeting whenever we met. Both Milos and Dollarich (not sure of spelling), the Assistant Maitre D’s checked with us frequently to ensure we were pleased with the food and the service. There were so many others who were also very efficient and friendly. The food was good and well prepared. The portions were ample but not huge. There were always beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian options. O’Sheehans is a nice alternative for a quicker meal at breakfast and lunch or different bar type foods for a snack. It does fill up on port days when the main dining is not open. We encountered a 40 minute wait once and opted for the buffet. Specialty Dining: We alternated the specialty restaurants with the main dining which broke up what could have become repetitive in the main dining area. We tried all of the specialty dining restaurants at least once and all were outstanding with one exception; Lotus Garden. Others seemed to like it and perhaps we just got a bad meal but all three of us were disappointed. The food was a giant salt bomb. There were too many other good options to try again. Moderno is best experienced when you are really hungry. I always make a huge salad and end up not getting to try all of the meat choices. The salad bar is smaller than it used to be but the options are wonderful. The filet was very tender and flavorful, one friend really enjoyed the lamb, and the chicken was also tasty. We all adore the grilled pineapple. I wish I could have that every day. Teppanyaki is just fun with chefs who have crazy knife skills making corny jokes and outstanding food. The weakest part of this meal is the desserts but who needs those after soup, salad, rice, vegetables, and meats. La Cucina is a charming space that transports one to Italy. Soft music and dim lighting encourage one to linger. Everything we had here was scrumptious. I liked my meal so much that when we went back a second time I had the same meal again: Ensaleta Caprese, Carbonara, and pork scaloppini. Cagney’s Steakhouse is always popular for a reason. We had remarkable meals here as well. The steaks were prepared as ordered and the accompaniments were delicious. Le Bistro is a favorite. The rich French prepared food is equaled by the attentiveness and service of the staff. One friend was not up for the rich meal and excused herself after the soup. The staff were very concerned and wanted to serve the remainder of her meal to her in the room. I really think the maître D might have delivered it himself if she had accepted the offer. We also observed the staff members turning a champagne bucket upside down to elevate the foot of a woman with an injury. They definitely strive to please. Delectable food from escargot to chocolate tort and everything in between. Ship: The Norwegian Pearl is a beautiful ship both inside and out. The décor is cheerful without being gaudy in most instances and the public spaces are easily accessible and flow nicely throughout the ship. The carpet is a useful navigation tool. The fishes swim forward except for the little red renegade fish who are swimming toward the back. Food is general located toward the back and entertainment toward the front. Public Spaces: Public spaces were rarely crowded although finding a seat for popular activities could be a challenge. I will mention at this point that the seating in several areas uses a barrel type chair that is bulky and not very comfortable. The crystal atrium in the center of the ship is a hub for most everything. It’s a beautiful space featuring a Chihuly glass display and high ceiling. A large screen displays mostly nature screens when not in use and a curving staircase leads up to O’Sheehans. A bar provides additional seating and refreshment. We rarely had waits at the elevators except when the theatre show was letting out or everyone was trying to go into port. Often moving to another set of elevators eliminated this problem. The Stardust Theatre is a gorgeous space with ample seating. We never had a problem finding seats but the prime ones usually filled about 30 minutes before a show. The sightlines on the outer seating were a bit of a challenge with the angle and poles. The Bliss Lounge seemed to have an identity crisis and I have to admit we did not spend much time here. The room is dark, the walls are lined with slot machines and then there are bowling alley lanes. The center has a small stage and the sides are decorated with ornate chairs, oversized couches, and canopy beds. It had a boudoir feel with red velvet and gold being prominent. There are also sectioned off parlor rooms. It does not match the rest of the ship. The Spinnaker Lounge at the top front of the ship on deck 13 is a bright spacious area that is multi-purpose. Early in the morning it is a great spot to find quiet and gaze out over the ocean. We saw dolphins and whales from here. People come here to read, gather, and play cards in addition to many activities that are held in this area. It has a night club feel at night with music and dancing. A small chapel is located next to the Spinnaker. Various bars are located throughout the ship but don’t expect to get the same drinks. The drink menus are different. We had the unlimited beverage package and enjoyed trying new things. I was frustrated that I could get an Irish Coffee at O’Sheehans as part of the package but if I ordered one at Spinnaker or the Stardust I was told it would be an additional charge for the coffee (the constant up-selling gets old). Our favorite bar area was the Sugarcane Bar located outside of Moderno’s overlooking the pool. This is a great location but limited seating and hours. The bar opened at 5:00 PM with Billy tending bar. He was an outstanding person on our trip because he always had a warm smile and friendly greeting. He was always busy. The card room was a nice place, although always cold, but too small. More often than not we could not get a table at 10:30 in the morning, thus the overflow into the Spinnaker. There were quiet little nooks to find in the photo gallery when not open, the hallway outside of the Lotus Garden on deck 7 or deck 6. These were also great spots in the evening for people watching and visiting with new friends as they passed by. The promenade deck has a few lounge chairs and is a wonderful place for walking, viewing the location, or getting some fresh air. I was disappointed that parts of it were shut down during the Panama Canal Transit. This seemed to be necessary for ship operations but could have been a great place for viewing. Staff and crew: The staff and crew on this ship were efficient, hardworking, and friendly. They seemed to be happy as they worked with many humming, singing and laughing. Having been on ships where this is not the case it was pleasant to see. They also tried to make personal connections and do things to make passengers feel unique and special. Rarely did I pass a crew member who did not offer a greeting. A bottle of wine with a personal note sent from the cruise director was a memorable delight as was having crew members remember and call us by name. Entertainment and cruise staff activities: I wondered how the evening entertainment would be scheduled for a repositioning cruise and if shows would be repeated-they were not. The production crew did their two main shows- the Variety Show during the first part of the cruise and the Legends in Concert Production toward the end of the cruise. Every evening had entertainment but it was usually solo performers. We had singers, pianist, comedians, aerialists, a hypnotist and a magician who rotated on and off the ship. They sometimes performed twice but with a different performance. A group known as Uptown deserves a special mention for their outstanding performances and Ivan Rutherford, a vocalist did two outstanding shows. The aerialist Dual Essence were also amazing to watch. The various activities offered by the cruise staff were typical and fun with a wide variety from sporting activities, walking, fitness, trivia, and dance lessons to origami and demonstrations. We developed an immediate repour with Vincent the cruise director and enjoyed our short interactions and encounters with him and his crazy suits. Amenities: Tradewinds: I am not a shopper but there were stores available onboard for souvenirs, liqueur, and jewelry. Internet Café: I won 60 minutes of internet service but it was so slow it took 15 minutes to send an e-mail and I am still not sure it went through. The photo gallery was easily accessed and people were helpful. The photos were printed quickly. I opted to purchase a photo package and was overall happy with this decision. It’s much more affordable purchasing before the cruise and we just poised when the photographers were around rather than constantly having to say no to photographs. At the end of the cruise I sorted through the pictures and chose the ones I wanted. I was irritated that we posed for a photo in the Teppanyaki restaurant and they tried to sale the photo in a special cover with chopsticks. They would not include the photo in my package-again trying to up-sell. Spa: I did utilize the services of the spa and was pleased with the services. Christine is one of the therapist and I would definitely recommend her for massage therapy. At the end of each treatment there was the sales pitch to purchase the products, again with the up-sale. Ports, excursions, and lots of changes: I was disappointed after booking this cruise to receive notification from NCL that one of our ports was being changed from Roaten Honduras to Costa Maya Mexico. While I like both ports I was surprised at the change. Even more unexpected was an e-mail on March 16th for our April 8th sail date that cancelled one of our ports, Guatemala, completely. It also rearranged the remainder of our port days. The reason cited was for bunkering and evacuation Chute maintenance. I had been looking forward to seeing Guatemala so this was a definite disappointment. One would think that these routine activities would have been planned by NCL as part of setting the itinerary. These changes are what prompted me to be on the phone with NCL on multiple occasions with extended waiting periods to talk with the excursion staff. Since we had already booked excursions through the cruise line they had to be cancelled and refunded. For those ports where the date changed, the cruise line also cancelled the excursions and required rebooking rather than moving the reservation. The long waits for telephone assistance were aggravating and show a lack of concern for passengers once they are booked. Cozumel: We were originally scheduled to go to the mainland for an excursion. After hearing about explosives on the ferries we cancelled this excursion around the first part of March. NCL did not put out a statement or contact us about this. Other cruise lines seemed to be more pro-active. NCL did cancel all excursions going by ferry. I am guessing we would have learned about this the night before our port had we not been aware and made plans earlier. We opted for an excursion close to the cruise ship. Our excursion was scheduled later than arrival time so we had no wait to exit the ship. We walked off directly onto the pier and met our group at the end of the pier. We did the Salsa Salsa excursion which is a fun, silly way to enjoy a day. We were transported to a resort, greeted with margaritas and learned how to make 5 different types of salsa and two types of margaritas. We then learned a few steps of salsa dancing and were transported back to the pier. Costa Maya: We did a catamaran snorkel trip with a pirate crew. They did an excellent job with the right mix of entertainment, safety, and instruction. The sea was a bit rough and some were concerned about sea sickness. We had a few minutes of a bumpy ride but the snorkeling site was protected behind the reef. The rough surf did effect visibility. We were divided into three groups, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each person was given a new snorkel to keep. Each group had a guide who lead the snorkel and pointed out interesting flora and fauna. We saw many different types of fish, sting rays, shells and coral. There was a platform and stairs-ideal for anyone who might have difficulties with ladders. It was the easiest entry to a boat I have ever experienced. Cold beverages awaited us back on the boat. There is a lot to do at this port since it was built specifically for the cruise ships. One could easily spend the day browsing shops and participating in the activities offered here without going on an excursion. A short taxi will also take you into a picturesque little town right on the beach. Harvest Cay Belize: I was fortunate to be on the inaugural ship to this private island and looked forward to seeing how the landscape is maturing. It’s a beautiful location for those who want to lay around the pool or find a chair beach side. There are plenty of places to hang out. Getting off the ship here was a little chaotic. We had booked a wildlife boat tour and were in the first group to get off the ship. Many people were trying to get off early (wanting the best locations if I had to guess) so we moved with a crowd all the way to the excursion area. It would have been nice if the staff had taken those with early excursions off the ship before opening the flood gate of people. We had a very pleasant boat tour which included spotting manatees and a few other wildlife. We rode into the mangroves and learned about the ecology of the area. After our tour we had a cold beverage at one of the restaurants, toured the butterfly house and looked at the birds. We had booked parasailing for the afternoon but received a notice the evening before that it had been cancelled due to mechanical issues. It was a pleasant walk back to the ship because the crowds had dispersed. Columbia: This was my first trip to Columbia. The entrance coming into the harbor was well worth getting up early to see. We passed an old fort, small fishing boats and then the very modern city with skyscrapers appearing behind mountains before coming into clear view. We chose the walking tour of Cartagena as our tour. We loaded onto buses at the pier and drove first for a view and photo opportunities of the fort. It was a beautiful structure to see. The people selling items at the tourist areas were persistent, insistent, and relentless. Women in native attire would try to get you to pose for pictures by grabbing your arm and insist on payment. After only a few minutes I was ready to return to the bus. Next was the obligatory market stop where more people swarmed to sell us things. We also listened to a brief presentation on Columbian emeralds. Finally we got to the walking part of our tour. We walked a few blocks through the colonial part of Cartegena. There were a lot of people and more people selling. The architecture was beautiful. We were then taken to the gold museum which was very crowded and only given 10 minutes to view. It was a very quick walk through and more frustrating than enjoyable. I liked Columbia but not the aggression of the people selling trinkets. This tour was not a favorite. The group was too large to really hear the guide and it felt rushed. Panama Canal Transit: I have been to Panama and transited part of the canal before but I was still excited for this day. I woke up early to see the sea wall in Colon. I spent most of the day on our balcony watching our ship and others go through the locks, looked for familiar landmarks, observed the ship traffic, admired the scenery, and watched for wildlife on the shorelines. Port side definitely has more activity if you are transiting from Atlantic to Pacific. The transit took 8 and half hours before Panama City came into view and we sailed out into the Pacific. We took a right turn toward Costa Rica. It was odd to transverse the entire country of Panama without having a port call here. Costa Rica: Another excursion change received the night before our port. Our planned excursion by train, bus and boat had been cancelled. They had refunded our tour then booked us onto the boat tour. The reason again was mechanical issues. We were also rebooked to a tour time later than the original one we chose. Given that this was for wildlife viewing I would much rather have had the earlier time. The tour was good with a bus ride through the countryside where our guide told us about the country, its people and its landscape. Our driver stopped to show us items of interest like cashews growing on trees and iguanas sunning. The facilities before the bus trip were new and functional. We loaded onto a boat and headed out onto the river. Our guide and the boat captain immediately started spotting wildlife. We saw many birds including wood storks, several types of herons, egrets, cormorants, pelicans, king fishers, rosette spoonbills and song birds. We also saw several crocodiles both in and out of the water including the 15 foot long Osama Bin Laudon and Lady GaGa. Black and green iguanas were spotted near the water’s edge and Jesus Christ Lizards sunned on low branches. We took a side trip into the mangroves and all the way to the mouth of the river where it meets the Pacific Ocean. This trip definitely offers many opportunities to see wildlife. Nicaragua: This was not a smooth debarkation from ship. There were delays from the scheduled time because of getting the gangway down due to the tide. We met in the theatre and sat for almost an hour before the staff told us to head downstairs for our tour. At this point everyone on the ship was also trying to get off the ship and we bottlenecked in the hallways. I felt sorry for the people trying to get to their cabins through the crowds. Once off the ship the buses were waiting nearby. We did the old and new Lyon City Tours. This was a long tour taking close to 7 hours. The trip to Old Lyon gave us an opportunity to see the countryside and several volcanos including an active one that vented gases into the air. The ruins of the city were interesting but the excavation has barely been started. It sounds like there is much more to unearth. We had a delicious, authentic meal served buffet style in an open air restaurant before loading back on the bus and heading to the new city of Lyon. We drove through a few of the streets of this colonial style city and stopped at the square outside of the cathedral. We toured the cathedral and had the opportunity to climb to the roof for beautiful views and a unique perspective. The ship was waiting for our tour to return and we sailed shortly thereafter. Acapulco: The arrival into the harbor of Acapulco is very impressive. It is a beautiful port and they were certainly trying to make it appear welcome and safe. There was definitely a visible security presence with armed military on the pier as well as police. The US state department had issued a level 4 “Do not Travel” alert for this city so we chose to stay onboard the ship. I question NCL’s decision to port where there are so many safety concerns and I was surprised that many of my fellow passengers were not even aware that safety is a concern in this area. NCL did not acknowledge or address the safety issues while other cruise lines have stopped going to this port. Fellow passengers said they enjoyed the cliff divers and many noted a high level of police presence in the tourist areas. We would have liked to visit the port but did not think it worth the risk. Cabo San Lucas: This is another beautiful port to arrive with cliffs and the stone arch visible from the harbor. The contrast of the beautiful blue water to the brown desert and cliffs along the shore is striking. We had to anchor and tender into the port. There was a constant rocking of the tender which made the transition difficult for those who are unsteady. The crew was very cautious and helpful with those needing assistance. There are a lot of shops and restaurants at the pier and a very nice area for gathering groups for tours. We did the outback and camel ride which was a fantastic experience. We loaded onto a bus for a short trip out into the desert. We arrived at a ranch and were broken into small groups of no more than 14. Our guide, Ted, was knowledgeable and passionate about our having a good time. He started with an overview then nature walk along a canyon rim. We then climbed down into the canyon and got on our all-terrain truck for a ride the beach. Here we met, kissed and were photographed with Louis the Camel. Next we donned safety helmets, climbed to a platform and mounted camels where we did a loop along the beach. The area is gorgeous with the contrast of desert and ocean. The camel ride was fun. The animals were well tended and not over worked. We ended our tour with a fabulous lunch of authentic Mexican food including handmade tortillas and a tequila tasting. Los Angeles: This port was a different experience for a lot of reasons. We arrived at midnight. Given that this is the largest US shipping port it would have been wonderful to see the arrival in the daytime. There are shipping containers and cranes for as far as the eye can see. At 2:00 AM I was awakened (on the 10th floor mind you) by the men yelling who were bunkering down below. Bunkering is the transfer of gas/oil onto the ship. Why could this not be done during the day as not to disturb passengers? This was our first entry back into a US port and therefore we all, including crew, had to go through customs. Many people simply got off the ship, waited and then got back on board. The NCL port is actually in San Pedro which is a long way from the city of Los Angeles. We opted not to do an excursion here because the few offered were either transfers or bus tours. We had hoped to do the trolley of San Pedro but were told it wasn’t running by one of the employees working in the terminal. We discovered when we returned that it was indeed working. The terminal staff should be better informed. We took a taxi to Long Beach ($35.00) and walked around there. We saw the waterfront and the Queen Mary. Early in the day there was not much happening. By the time we decided to visit the Aquarium there were numerous school buses present so we did a little shopping and returned to the ship. Not a very exciting port stop. Sea Days: We had a number of sea days for a cruise of this duration. They were a welcome rest after multiple port days and they gave us the opportunity to really get acquainted with fellow passengers and the ship. Being onboard the ship forced use to slow down and relax. Our group is not sun worshippers so laying out on the deck was not part of our routine. We participated in some of the ship’s activities, visited with fellow passengers, played cards, read, napped, sat and watched the water, utilized the spa services, shopped, lingered at meals, enjoyed the entertainment and strolled the promenade. Seattle Debarkation: We arrived in Seattle at 7:00 AM. The approach into the city was beautiful. We started seeing land the evening before and it is another approach I wish we could have made during the day. We had obtained luggage tags for an 8:30 AM departure and had our suitcases outside before midnight the night before. We had time for one more breakfast and a few goodbyes in the Summer Palace. We were able to wait in our rooms until our luggage time/color was called. We joined others in the line off the ship. We zigged and zagged a little but the line kept moving. We were surprised that we did not have to go through another customs check. We were out on the curb by the taxis before 9:00 AM. Pros The Norwegian Pearl is a beautiful ship, the size is nice without being crowded or overwhelming. The crew on the ship was outstanding. The overall ports provided a nice variety. Assortment of activities offered on excursions in most ports. The transit of the Panama Canal is an amazing sight. Cons NCLs decision to change one port (Roaten) and cancel another (Guatemala) long after booking had occurred. NCL not addressing the safety issues in Cozumel until the cruise was under way (by cancelling excursions that used ferries). NCL did not address the safety issues in Acapulco despite a US State Department warning not to travel to this city. Many changes to booked excursions either by cancelling and or changing the times booked. At least 6 of 8 tours were cancelled or changed. The constant up-sell by the cruise line is tiresome. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to sail through the Panama Canal, and along the way, we made stops at Cartagena, Columbia; Costa Rica; Leon, Nicaragua; Antigua, Guatemala, Acapulco, Mexico; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Los Angeles and finally Seattle. We live ... Read More
We wanted to sail through the Panama Canal, and along the way, we made stops at Cartagena, Columbia; Costa Rica; Leon, Nicaragua; Antigua, Guatemala, Acapulco, Mexico; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Los Angeles and finally Seattle. We live three hours from Seattle, and it was great not having to fly across the country again to get home. We loved Jim Badger's piano playing and jokes onboard each evening. We loved the shows and fine dining each evening. We loved the Shore Excursions at each port. Norwegian had a deal that made them somewhat reasonable. We so enjoyed our shore excursions to Cartagena and Antigua. They are both historic jewels. We were amazed at the Palace of Inquisition in Cartagena, and all the cobble-stoned streets in Antigua. The people in all the Central American countries are so poor. We bought souvenirs to help them out. It was an exciting trip, and the Panama Canal was a highlight of the entire 21 days onboard. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Had always dreamed of going to New Orleans and visiting the South. This cruise seemed to include most places we wanted to see and we were not disappointed. It exceeded our expectations with the ports of call and excursions. We ... Read More
Had always dreamed of going to New Orleans and visiting the South. This cruise seemed to include most places we wanted to see and we were not disappointed. It exceeded our expectations with the ports of call and excursions. We enjoyed the small ship feeling but our single staterooms were very roomy with all of the amenities needed. The food was superb, best seafood I have had in along time. Best crab cakes I've ever eaten. There were a lot of choices, even for the Vegans. The crew were so enthusiastic and did a great job of looking after us. The positive attitude of everyone was a breath of fresh air and they were very professional even though most of them were new to the cruise. Kudos to the Hotel Manager, Jason, who kept everything under control. We enjoyed the experience so much that have booked another cruise for 2020. We look forward to travelling with American Cruises again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I can only do short cruises any more because I am on Dialysis.. we have done about 30 cruises in the past.. this one seemed like fun with a short stop in Cozumel... problem started when Hurricane Nate showed up... Cozumel got cancelled ... Read More
I can only do short cruises any more because I am on Dialysis.. we have done about 30 cruises in the past.. this one seemed like fun with a short stop in Cozumel... problem started when Hurricane Nate showed up... Cozumel got cancelled and the cruise turned into a 4 day cruise to nowhere... however we were happy to hear part way thru that Carnival managed to arrange a stop in Key West...very nice Getting on the ship was very easy and the port people were wonderful.. I was a little upset that Carnival makes no special attempts to handle people with disabilities.. I have a little 3 wheel scooter and it honestly was quite difficult to get around in many areas of the ship.. including getting off and on at KeyWest. The scooter would not fit in the room and we were told it could not be parked in the hallway... (which I do understand) but we found a nice little corner by the elevators and parked there.. (nobody ever complained) I was also very happy with the Service people in the dining room when they always let me ride the cart to the table then they took it and parked it in a safe place and were more than happy to go get it when we were done eating.. our Waiters and wait staff were amazing.. the food was delicious in EVERY place we ate.. especially loved the burgers at Guys Burgers... Yum.. Our room attendant was very cool and helpful with all our needs... Then only thing I have to complain about was the condition of the ship.. lots of dust everywhere.. rust on the deck and just overall upkeep was lacking.. I must stress again that everyone on the ship was doing an amazing job.. the entertainment and food were excellent.. but the ship needs an overhaul.. Thanks for listening.. Ken Donner Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I went on this cruise with my husband, sister, brother-in-law. I had a great time. Embarkation was great because my sister had a suite and they let us embark with them instead of waiting in the cattle call...definitely a bonus! Our room ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my husband, sister, brother-in-law. I had a great time. Embarkation was great because my sister had a suite and they let us embark with them instead of waiting in the cattle call...definitely a bonus! Our room Steward, Goodeye (pronounced Good Day), was the sweetest thing. He did a great job keeping our tiny room clean and his towel animals were the best. I was disappointed in the room because we got a room with the bed in the wall instead of the couch, but we made it work and I was literally only in there to sleep. Our dinner at Cagney's was awesome as was our dinner at Teppyanaki's. The food at O'Sheehan's was fair at best, so we didn't go there often. The steak at La Cucina's was awesome. We did love the pot stickers and spring rolls at Bamboo...will definitely go there again on the October 2018 cruise we are planning. I wasn't overly impressed with the cruise director staff this trip. I thought Gio was rather boring...definitely have had better experiences on other cruises, although Troy was a sweetheart. We had good experiences with the staff in the Aqua. Most of the servers at the pool were great. The bar service in the casino was horrible...you would think they would keep the drinks flowing to keep you gambling, but that definitely was not the case. The shows were okay. The variety show was boring. The hypnotist should stick to hypnotism and step away from singing..it was painful and we ended up leaving. There didn't seem to be as many activities on sea days as there have been in the past. There were some days when we found we didn't have anything that we wanted to do and that's not like us. Overall, it my traveling companions that made this a great cruise. Not to mention we met some awesome people that we will keep in touch with. Most of the ports were good. If I'm ever on a cruise where Columbia is part of the itinerary, I will probably stay on the ship. It was horrible! I'm sure it's beautiful, but I was so aggravated by the beggars, it made it miserable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
This cruise was from New Orleans to Boston 12 days with five port. It s à repositioning cruise. The price was very good for 12 days. The cabin was ok clean and fonctionnal. The food was overall good to very good for the most part. We have ... Read More
This cruise was from New Orleans to Boston 12 days with five port. It s à repositioning cruise. The price was very good for 12 days. The cabin was ok clean and fonctionnal. The food was overall good to very good for the most part. We have been to every show at night in the stardust theater ( Musical comedy, Humor, Hypnosis, Magician ) Service at the different bar was a little bit slow but what to complain about we re in vacation .... no hurry. We took a 8 bottles win package and save about 10 to 15 dollars per bottle. Négative point for my part is that you have to buy water bottle on the boat. At the end of the cruises the ask us to be in a room before 7h AM for the custom agent. That showed only around 8h30 very badly organized. Overall we have enjoyed the cruise ....mostly the entertainment Excuse my writing I am French speaking person Sylvain Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
It was chaos in New Orleans for embarkation but disembarkation in Boston went very smoothly. Jose and Patti who were entertainment in the atrium were an amazing husband and wife duet. The buffet was a bit lacking, this was my first cruise ... Read More
It was chaos in New Orleans for embarkation but disembarkation in Boston went very smoothly. Jose and Patti who were entertainment in the atrium were an amazing husband and wife duet. The buffet was a bit lacking, this was my first cruise ever where I only got mashed potatoes once and I am a mashed potato lover and am used to getting them at buffet for lunch or dinner. Was very confused as to why that was the case. Scalloped potatoes were there several days but other that that it was fried or wedges? The meats were the same everyday. Only had meat at the carvery at the buffet twice? Usually something is there everyday. Specialty meals were awesome as always. Our room was a sideways OK category and we loved it. Passion Island in Cozumel was beautiful. Cruisenext team on this ship is not as friendly and helpful as I've found others to be. Shows in the theater were great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
This is about the 5th time we have done a Dawn repositioning from New Orleans to Boston, or the fall reverse. As always, we find the repositioning to be a great value, as well as the added advantage of walking off the ship and being home ... Read More
This is about the 5th time we have done a Dawn repositioning from New Orleans to Boston, or the fall reverse. As always, we find the repositioning to be a great value, as well as the added advantage of walking off the ship and being home in 40 minutes without the hassle of boarding a plane. Our goal on vacation is sleep late, drink lots, and eat good food. This cruise fulfilled all the above. We have a tendency to eat the whole time in the premium dining rooms and find them well worth the expense when purchased with the dinning package. The food and the service is well worth the $11 per meal extra charge. Our cabin was an inside on deck 8, 8089. We have always loved deck 8. One floor above the promenade and with O'sheehan's 24 hour restaurant on the same deck, and a view of the nightly shows in the atrium and sea day afternoons. Our cabin was one of those turned sideways to the hall. I have for a while wanted to experience one of these, and to be honest it was OK, but I think a bit tighter on the real estate. Next time I will opt for the standard Port to Starboard configuration. A couple nights you could hear the BOOM-BOOM of a base, but it was tough to tell if it was coming from the musicians on deck 6 or a party on deck around the pool. Very little hall traffic was notices. We have been to all the ports we visited a bunch of times and as this is a ship review with not comment on them in this ship review. The ship was in excellent condition, with only two exceptions, first the carpet in front of the Java café on deck 7 was soaked, and gave off a noticeable stink of...well, wet carpet. The seam closest to the bar was open, stretched and a trip hazard. Probably from guest repeatable spilling drinks, and the crew wet vacuuming daily. The other issue is during the refit last year, some really poor interior decorator or art consultant defaced the are in the Venetian Dining room. I spook to the Restaurant manager regarding it, and she agreed and stated she gets at least one complaint about it every day. She did not expect NCL to change and correct it as apparently, it was performing as expected and sparking continues controversy.... The food overall was excellent. If you have sailed with NCL in the past I have always found the main dining room food at breakfast came out cold and mediocre. On this trip, it was delicious, hot and cooked the way it was ordered. The main dining room lunch is still locked basically on one menu, but it was all dine very well and delicious. I will give them credit for offering a special one lunch of "Weiner-snitzel" that made me want to order a second. Cagney's has slid down a little as the steaks appeared to be slightly smaller, and from what I understand the giant portion steaks as the 38 oz. Tomahawk and the equally overwhelming T bone will be dropping from the menu. Which also reminded me that Lobster is no longer available, even as an add in the main dining room. One of my favorites the Beef Wellington was also regrettably recently dropped. La Bistro remains the same with basically the same menu it as had for years. Great food and excellent service. One note to make, the window seats look nice and wrap around your head. They look nice, but are extremely low, uncomfortable, and with the wings, almost impossible to communicate or rubberneck to the side. I liked it to being placed in a coffin at a viewing. Ask for another table if seated at one. There is nothing to see at night on an open sea. Crystal the Matre d, is quick witted, and fun to tease and spar with. Los Lobos - One of those good surprises. The guacamole is made tableside, and delicious. The skirt steak was very good, and my wife enjoyed the fish tacos. Much improved and was a busy place the two nights we visited. If you elected not to take the dinner package, this would be a good place to try a-la cart. as the prices were inexpensive. (Bar drinks were very limited as they push Tequila so if you drink scotch, get one before you go.) This restaurant was manned 100% by Philipino's. The Maitre D, Emelinda, spends the whole night turning ripe avocados into delicious mush. La Cucina - This was another surprise. A couple years ago the meal was poor to OK. Last fall it was good, this time it was great, the menu has changed and honestly, I had the best steak of the cruise here. The restaurant is lit well, and very comfortable. Certainly on our list to return to. Mario, has been the matre d, is a bit, I would say, nervous. He has held the position for the last year. A new hostess or host (I called him Mario 2, but I believe his name is Manual, runs the front of the house very well as Mario 1 lurks from around the corners and come out of the shadows when he thinks it safe. O'Sheehan's - When we didn't have anything else to do, this was our destination. It overlooks the Atrium or main lobby. Food is non-stop 24 hours, super hot as it is always cooked to order, and delicious comfort food. The bar is one of the largest on the ship and drinks are quick to come by. While at sea and at night there always seems to be some type of entertainment such as live music, demonstrations or Q and A's with department heads. I was lucky to be recognized by Komang the nightly maître d. A small stocky dark skinned guy from Bali. His grin is truly from ear to ear. We seemed to adopt each other from the first day, and he went way out his way to assure every aspect of our cruise was to our liking. I can not say enough for the things he did for us. The last name I want to drop is the Restaurant Manager, Ionela. A very tall Romania beautiful woman with a warm personality. She always made time to talk to us ever night, despite how busy things seemed to be. If you have ANY issues with any restaurant issue I'm sure she can straighten it out. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because it was a re-positioning cruise with multiple ports we had not been to, many sea days which we love and because it was on the Dawn and we had done a repo cruise 2 years ago and LOVED it. What makes the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a re-positioning cruise with multiple ports we had not been to, many sea days which we love and because it was on the Dawn and we had done a repo cruise 2 years ago and LOVED it. What makes the ship and this trip so great? The officers and crew who go out of their way to make sure you're having a great time. The ship is not too big so you have the opportunity to meet the same people over and over. There's a great variety of restaurants and their newest one, Los Lobos, is fantastic!!! We've been on several ships. The Dawn has some of the best entertainment we've come across. The finale show is just amazing. We've seen a few Cirque shows and feel the show on the Dawn is well above. The music everywhere has something for all genres. Plenty to do or do nothing at all, it's your choice which makes it so appealing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Had done a previous relocation from NO to Boston and loved it. It had been one of our favorite cruises. This one was good but not as good as the relocation in 2015. We liked the 2015 ports better and had a suite. We sail NCL when it offers ... Read More
Had done a previous relocation from NO to Boston and loved it. It had been one of our favorite cruises. This one was good but not as good as the relocation in 2015. We liked the 2015 ports better and had a suite. We sail NCL when it offers the value and ports we are interested in. NCL is our first choice. We were disappointed that the aft section of deck 12 was a kiddie area, rather than small pool and bar and dining. The entertainment was very good, the food choices and quality were very good. We enjoyed the spacious mini suite with tub/shower. Had several sea days and enjoyed the spacious balcony. Adult beverage service was excellent. Wish the bars offering entertainment had more seating as the performers were excellent. Had intended to purchase a spa pass, but the spa suite is very lacking---check Carnival Dream Spa--- it is A+. We are committed to NCL and purchased the maximum Next Cruise package. PLan to sail soon! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because we tend to enjoy the longer cruises as well as the re-positioning cruises. It was my husband, a friend and I in one cabin and my sister and her husband in another. We love traveling together with my sister ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we tend to enjoy the longer cruises as well as the re-positioning cruises. It was my husband, a friend and I in one cabin and my sister and her husband in another. We love traveling together with my sister and her husband. We didn't really care for the itinerary as much as ones in the past. In Cozumel, Mexico, our 2nd time to this island, we did the Fury Catamaran Snorkel & Beach Party. This was a good excursion. The snorkeling wasn't the best, but wasn't the worst we have done. The reef was ok and the fish were all the same, but I'm sure that comes with the location of the snorkel. The crew was good and the beach had plenty to do. In Roatan, Honduras, our 1st time to this island, we did the Jolly Roger Catamaran Sailing & Snorkeling with Lunch excursion. This was one of the best, by far, excursions we have been on. The crew was great, lunch was awesome, the reefs were fantastic and the fish were if many varieties. The only this I could say that might be a little negative was that there were too many people so if you stayed with the group, you wound up getting kicked. My husband & I stayed in the way back of the group, whereas my sister did not and was one of the ones getting kicked. I would definitely do this excursion again! In Cartegena,Columbia, our 1st time to this island, was one that if I was to go back too I would just get off the ship and go to the Bird Sanctuary. We did the Hop On/Hop Off Bus excursion and only got off at a couple stops because the people swarming you to buy stuff was overwhelming, especially on an extremely hot & humid day. In Puerto Rico, our 3rd time to this island, we finally found a beach, and a gorgeous one at that. My sister and I sat on the beach, under an umbrella, because it was raining, while the lonely men entertained themselves. My husband did some metal detecting and my sister's husband did some body/wave surfing. I will definitely go back to this beach. I will have to figure out which one it was, but that won't be too hard. We got a taxi ride there and when it was time to leave, we called the same taxi to bring us back and he arrived very quickly. The guy we rented the chairs and umbrella from was also great. this was an all around great time had by all:) In Tortola, BVI we did the Norman Island Snorkel excursion. This one was also a great one. The boat ride over to Norman Island was a little rocky but once we got there the snorkel site and fish were awesome. The crew was also great on this one. I would also do this one again. Now about NCL... I have been on 9 cruises, all with NCL; 1 on the Majesty, 1 on the Dream, 2 on the Gem and 5 on the Dawn. I have found the NCL to be going downhill from when I first started cruising. Some of he employees, not all seem like they don't want to be there. They aren't as outgoing as they used to be...maybe that is because they are required to work a normal work week of 70 hours or more, which is ridiculous. NCL has also taken away extras that used to be given to the guest, Andy's candies on their pillows at night, ship pins when different levels have been reached, and perks like an extra point/per day (latitudes) on cruises booked 9 months or later in advance. I think that if NCL doesn't bring back some of the stuff they have taken away, it will cause people to look to other cruise lines for their trips. NCL seems to care only about themselves, as a business, and not about their customers or employees. I have never cruised on another cruise line but after this last one, I will consider looking at others. Please bring NCL back to where they were before this new CEO. Sincerely, Kelly J Marti Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I will start by saying we have cruised with NCL 18 times, and have never complained. My attitude is "If you can't find the good , that is your problem." This was the 8th time on the Dawn the 4th re-po.We chose this cruise ... Read More
I will start by saying we have cruised with NCL 18 times, and have never complained. My attitude is "If you can't find the good , that is your problem." This was the 8th time on the Dawn the 4th re-po.We chose this cruise because we love taking reposition cruises, especially if Boston is at the beginning or end. We live in central MA which allows for only one way flight. We spent 2 days in NOLA. We stayed at the Greenhouse Inn in the garden district. The Inn was very quaint and relaxing. We enjoyed the city using the day passes on the trolley. Embarkation was very confusing, with conflicting instructions. The service on the ship was excellent, however the itinerary was poorly planned. We went to San Juan after Cartagena which require all cruisers and staff had to leave the ship for customs . Wasting 3 hours of our day to get off the ship. We seemed to get the "bad" pier everywhere we went. In Cozumel and San Juan we were at the Royal Caribbean pier leaving us far away from the usual shopping . In Cozumel we were in a port with high rent shops. We went on the semi submersible sub which was excellent. Roatann we were tendered in, where we went to The Tabyana Beach Party which was fair. In Cartagena we went on the Horse Drawn Old City tour. The idea is very nice, but it was so hot inside the walls no breeze. The city is beautiful. When ever we stopped we were "attacked" by venders. I wanted to purchase some emeralds and the only shop we went to was ridiculous. She started at $480, I declined she went to $360 .again I declined then she asked me how much I would spend. at the point I told her I was not interested. In Tortola we went to Jost Van Dyke. That was the best excursion we had ,"Best Day Ever". We met some wonderful new friends in the staff. We enjoyed breakfast in O'Sheehans every day, and enjoyed Patti and Jose' in the evenings. We also made new friends up in the Bimini. Wilfred, Ana ,Krista, and Leo all very attentive and friendly. Our biggest problem with this cruise was it seemed like we were an afterthought to who ever arranged the cruise. If San Juan cannot be the first port it should be skipped due to the need of having customs done before entering a US port. Non American cruisers were treated like criminals. Disembarking was the usual mess. The idea of having everyone off the ship in 2.5 hours is an enormous task, to be turned around in 4 hours . Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because of the length and locations it was going too. We had never been to the Western Caribbean. Since we had a Family Suite with a balcony we received the privilages that come with this. Once we arrived at the pier ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the length and locations it was going too. We had never been to the Western Caribbean. Since we had a Family Suite with a balcony we received the privilages that come with this. Once we arrived at the pier we looked for the location where people in Suites checked in. They first tried having us go in line with everyone else but I knew better so I looked around and sure enough I found the sign and walked right up and checked in. Once checked in we were escorted to a Suite Lounge area to wait and board the ship. While waiting we had a long table of foods available for us to select from and various drinks (no liquer). We met some of the Conceriges who were there to help you with anything you might need help with such as making sure any specialty restaurant you wanted reservations in were made. Once the ship was ready for passengers we were the first to be escorted onto the ship. The next 12 days for us were glorious, and relaxing. When we got to our cabin we met our Butler, Romel who was terrific the whole cruise. Later we met our concerige who was Roel along with our Room Steward Felix. Each of them were terrific. Our dining reservations all met our expectations with the exception of the Lu Cinca which we addressed immediately. We took advantage eating in the Moderno most mornings which is for Suite guests only, loved the petite filet mignon and eggs. We didn't go to the buffet at all. We had the Butler bring lunch to us in the cabin on several occasions. Entertainment was generally very good with the exception of one night they had a Cabera Show, not good. We had 2 excursions on this cruise they both were okay. Love it when in Cartegena we got off the ship and didn't have an excursion but went into the gift shop and right behind it was like a small wildlife santuary with monkeys running around and beautiful birds. This didn't cost anything and was a highlight of the cruise along with Pusser's Outpost in Tortola. Overall we had a great time. If you didn't have a good time you have no one to blame but yourself. I read one review where the person did nothing but complain my advice to them would be stay home, all cruises are subjective when it comes to reviews, the people work hard and with so many different folks it is very hard to please everyone! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Twelve days is NOT too much, we LOVED IT!! We chose this cruise because we always wanted to do a reposition cruise. Leaving out of NOLA allowed us to visit with family who live there and arriving back in Boston sealed the deal since this ... Read More
Twelve days is NOT too much, we LOVED IT!! We chose this cruise because we always wanted to do a reposition cruise. Leaving out of NOLA allowed us to visit with family who live there and arriving back in Boston sealed the deal since this is where we live. Thanks to our niece and nephew, we got to see a great deal of New Orleans via walking and by car the day before the cruise. It is s beautiful city. We stayed at Hyatt Place Convention Center which is very near the port (you could actually walk there). I would definitely recommend this hotel. Clean room and fabulous free breakfast!! Since we were in a suite, embarkation was very smooth, although the first couple of people you meet at the port don't look to see what type or room you have or what latitude level you may be, but if you have cruised before you usually know if you have special embarkation available. We waited a short time and were brought up in small groups to our suite. Ours (the Amber Suite 11560) was not completely ready, but we were able to comfortably wait there and enjoy the living room area and balcony until word was given that we could go to have lunch. The main space was lovely, but the second bedroom not so great. It was suppose to be a couch that converted to a queen bed, but the bed didn't have legs to it and was just a mattress on the floor. Adults were staying in that room. It was very difficult getting in and out of bed when you are on the floor!!! Our room steward was great and always available. Since it was a suite, we had a butler, Henry. He was very pleasant and always available. We may not have utilized his services too much but he spoke to us daily to see if we needed or wanted anything and always brought goodies to the room. Dining options are good. All the restaurants specialty and MDRs were good. I would like to see a little more variation the MDRs. In the main dining rooms, the left side of the menu stays the same and the right side varies a little. The food was excellent though. I feel Norwegian is really pushing the specialty restaurants. Entertainment was very good. I had seen a couple of the shows on a previous Dawn trip in 2016, but enjoyed the show anyway. The Irish storyteller, Harry O'Donoghue was very good and very funny. Another show, The Comedy of David Naster, was not comedy or funny, but he was more of a motivational speaker. Definitely not what it was billed as. Had I not been in the middle of the row, I would have left. Then there was a hypnotist, Kellie Karl. The usual, pick a couple of people to hypnotize and make do things that the audience didn't look like they believed at all. Then the rest of her show was questions and answers about how she could use hypnotism to help you lose weight, stop smoking, etc. Not a fan. The nightly music in the atrium (Java Café area) and Gatsby's lounge were great and usually crowded. This cruise was 12 days and with 5 ports, 2, Cozumel and Roatan, which we had been to multiple times. The other 3, Cartagena, Columbia, San Juan and Tortola, we did take excursions. Both Cartagena and San Juan we took bus trips around each city. Part of the Cartagena trip, going into the fort, was cancelled, for reasons unknown, so they kept us on the bus longer. Lots of street venders that crowded you and made you not feel too safe. Would not get off the boat if a trip took us there again. Same with San Juan, while there were less street venders to deal with, the fort and walled city were ok. Again, we would not get off the boat again here also. Tortola, we took a land and sea tour. The sea tour was on a comfortable boat and was very informative. They left us off on the opposite side of the island and the land tour took over, again, very informative and a beautiful island. A little scary traveling their narrow, very steep roads, but worth the trip. I found the service on the ship excellent., No long lines anywhere. Great service always with a smile. While we did not win in the casino, but we had a load of fun, especially at the craps table where the table crew allowed us to really be loud and have fun. Joanah, one of the bar servers was very attentive and always greeted us and asked if we needed anything. One of the casino hosts, John, was very pleasant and upbeat. Too bad they moved him to the Breakaway halfway through the trip. The casino lost a little energy without him. Overall, loved the cruise and the amount of days (12). We truly wish there were more options from Boston since we have done Boston/Bermuda multiple times. Not quite sure why Norwegian cannot do round trip Boston to Quebec, they do it from NY. We would definitely cruise more if we didn't have to fly everywhere to get a ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Flew to New Orleans to take the ship which ended in Boston where I live. Everything was perfect.. Very attentive butler. We were in a suite which was a great experience. Taking a suite is just not the better cabin, but all of the perks ... Read More
Flew to New Orleans to take the ship which ended in Boston where I live. Everything was perfect.. Very attentive butler. We were in a suite which was a great experience. Taking a suite is just not the better cabin, but all of the perks that come along with it. Every move you make is a priority over everyone else on the ship. A suite is the only way to cruise. Norwegian did it up perfectly. The ship was great, and the islands were very nice, sunny, and warm the entire time., On the third day of sailing you know that you are heading north because of the cold and uninviting temperatures. I will definitely take Norwegian again. I love the sailings to and from Boston which makes it very easy for local residence. The Dawn was revamped last year and has a whole new look inside. For an older ship, it has been given a now and fresh overhaul. Read Less

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