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28 New York (Manhattan) to Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

In retrospect I wish I didn't Never will cruise Norwegian again. Horrible service. Food was just as bad. Entertainment sub par. Worst cruise ever. I have gone on more than 10 cruises and first and last NCL cruise. Cabin was old and ... Read More
In retrospect I wish I didn't Never will cruise Norwegian again. Horrible service. Food was just as bad. Entertainment sub par. Worst cruise ever. I have gone on more than 10 cruises and first and last NCL cruise. Cabin was old and worn. Shower door broken. Bathroom door broken. A/C made terrible noise. Ship cannot comfortably accommodate number of passengers on a sold out cruise especially in inclement weather. They are short on staff and the attitude of the staff was the worst I have ever seen. You can seriously get better service at a fast food restaurant. Specialty restaurants are a joke. Same type of food and service just a different setting. Pool deck vastly overcrowded and on a 10 day cruise the 2 pools were only open once at the same time. For certain types of liquor you had to go to more than one bar to find it. Overall Royal Caribbean, Princess or Celebrity are better by far at the same price point. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Where should I start on that. I'm normally not someone who easily complaints about issues and who is willing to overlook things but this cruise was the worst cruise I have ever done. I mean we spend over $10K just for the cruise which ... Read More
Where should I start on that. I'm normally not someone who easily complaints about issues and who is willing to overlook things but this cruise was the worst cruise I have ever done. I mean we spend over $10K just for the cruise which was nothing what came close to what NCL is promising in their advertisements. But from the Beginning: Embarkation: We had chosen (My parents, my Fiance and my two boys) that we will take the 10am time slot as the ship were supposed to leave at 4pm and the Intrepid Museum is next door of the cruise terminal. Then we arrived there was already a huge line in front of the security control and announcements were made that the computer system isn't working and they will open the check in soon (I don't want to even know how people felt who had the 8am check in time). After about 15min wait the line actually started to move and we were all still in a good mood. Check in was quite easy and it didn't was anything different from any other American Cruise line we have sailed on (the European ones are much better organized and faster (AIDA, TuiCruises)). We were told not to leave the waiting area as boarding would start at 12pm anyways which we didn't really like as we wanted to go to the Museum with our boys but which we accepted. So at around 11.45 we found a seat and started to wait. Till 1pm nothing happened until an NCL crew member made the announcement that the ship has arrived late and they have to go through the procedure with the Port Authority which will take till 2.30pm. Uff. I mean our boys are easy to entertain but 2 1/2 hours in a waiting hall where nothing was is quite interesting. In between where were more announcements made that maybe it will be a little bit earlier and they will try everything to get us on board as soon as possible. At 2.30pm the next announcement was made that they will start any minute with the boarding. We had to wait till nearly 4pm to finally get on board of the ship (just a reminder 6 hours from arrival with two little boys (5 and 8)). Cabin: Okay at least we were on board now and could start enjoying our vacation. As we arrived in our cabin it was obvious that it wasn't really cleaned. We found the trash and the room card from the ones who were traveling in that cabin the cruise before. The mirrors had finger prints (and then I say fingerprint I mean dirt) and the tables were all sticky. I have slept in hotels in China which were below the 1 star rating and I didn't had any issues. But I knew what I paid for and what I had to expect. This stateroom wasn't anything near what I would expect for that amount of money spend. The good thing about the room was that the toilet was separate from the shower and the sink in its little own "room". Dining/Food/Crew: Exhausted from this start we just wanted to have some dinner so we thought it would be a good idea to go to the dinner restaurant so that we don't have to get our food from the buffet. We didn't have to wait at all to get seated and were really surprised that we had a table that fast. The waiter greeted us and asked what we would like to drink. As we had the Ultimate Beverage Package (includes Alcohol and sodas/juices and so on, but don't include coffee or sparkling water (to get that you have to buy another package for an additional $39 per day(!)). So we asked for a few sodas and apple juice for the boys. This was the first time we got eyed rolled on us (and not the last time). It took just 15-20 minutes to get our drinks, which means our waiter wasn't seen for the same amount of time. Her back we started with ordering food and I did the mistake and asked for a 2nd starter which made me earn the next comment in Chinese and rolled eyes. By the time then the starters arrived (another 15 minutes later) we had drunk our sodas and juices but our waiter ignored that we had either water nor any thing else left in our glasses and just didn't asked if we would like to have anything. So I asked if we could get refills and earned the next pair of rolled eyes and rudeness. I think I have never been treated like that before. Unfortunately this attitude stayed the same the whole cruise with one exception. After we had complaint to the customer service the next evening dinning we had the restaurant manager and his staff at our table every 5 minutes so that it didn’t feel genuine as more as a thing they had to do. I didn't feel any better with that and honestly the interaction with our kids was quite creepy. Overall the service was very slow (one exception was the Moderno were the bar is right around the corner), inattentive and most of the times not friendly at all. They gave us the feeling we were just a burden and they have to do their job. By the way, I haven’t seen the Captain or his first officer or the hotel manager or the entertainment manager once during the whole cruise. This is not really a good thing. On top of that the food was nothing close to anything we had on different other cruise ships. I mean I can taste the difference between fresh mashed potatoes and instant ones. These were definitely not fresh ones. And when you bite on clumps of instant powder in a soup then you know that this one isn't made fresh either. The breakfast buffet didn't have had any variation (the same cheese every day, two types of ham, no honey, the same baked beans, the same pancakes, waffles and so on). I mean no variation at all. It was quite similar with the lunch and the dinner buffet but not as bad as the breakfast. This food was hardly enjoyable and had nothing from premium concept NCL is advertising. Entertainment: If you have kids stay away from the Norwegian Gem. There was nearly nothing to do for kids and we got most of the times the feeling they are just annoying and in the wrong place. I never had that my kids were treated with such a small amount of attention. Yes there were two exceptions who were awesome and super nice but unfortunately it were only two crew members. Other than that the entertainment was okay but nothing really exciting nor was it so much that we couldn’t decide. Money: Money is a big thing for Norwegian because as soon as you enter the ship it feels like they want to rip you off. I mean the Arcades for the kids were $1 (!!!) per minute. Yes you could buy a game pass for unlimited games for $175 for the cruise per kid (!). Before nearly every show they tried to sell their "awesome" offer to buy the next cruise and make the down payment and you get up to $500 on board credit for “free” (if you made a down payment for $1,000 at the same time). The photographer were rude and very pushy and in general we got the feeling they had to reach a certain amount of sales. During our specialty dinners the photographer pushed us to make a photo with him just to show us the result at the end of our dinner where we just wanted to enjoy our desert. The price tag for that picture was a cheap $25 for one (!) picture which wasn’t even really good. And then you say friendly “no thank you” you get either “Why? Isn’t it a good picture?” or “Are you really sure?” or they rip the photo out of your hand and just leave without any comment. As written before, having certain packages doesn't mean it is for free as they try to get still things paid on top. For example we had the dinning package (4 times special dinning for the 1st and 2nd person in our cabin but due to corporate policy (which is not written or shown on the website) we weren’t allowed to share this dinning package with our children who were cruising in the same cabin. There wasn’t even the possibility to buy these packages for the 3rd and 4th person cruising in the same stateroom. It wasn’t like I wanted to give it to another person on the ship to invite them. It was for our own children in the same stateroom. The restaurant manager just answered to our complaint that this is normal and they have the same complaints at least a few times per cruise. Why doesn’t NCL change it if this is such a big complaint or at least mention it on their website or somewhere. Ports/ Excursions: When we booked our cruise we had Saint Kitts in our itinerary but do to schedule issues NCL changed the itinerary to St. Marteen/St. Martin which was fine with me as I always wanted to see the famous beach where the planes land just a couple of feet above your head. But in general the planning of NCL for their ports is horrible. I mean then they say you will be at 4pm in the Port they are either early or late. I never have made such experiences with any other cruise line. I mean being early by half an hour or having some issues with clearing the boat so that it is a little bit later (half an hour) but most of the ports I have visited with other cruise lines were on time. Not with NCL. One port we arrived like 4 hours early another port late and none of the ports on time. I mean I stopped to look in to the cruise journal as it didn’t matter at all what was written for the arrival time. It wouldn’t work anyways so it was easier just to accept that we will be there then we are there. And it isn’t such a big issue as we still had our fun on the different islands but what was really annoying that NCL canceled our last port because of a “storm” on our route and they want to make up the time they will lose in the storm so that we can be “safer”. Sounds at the beginning right and good that the company is taking that good care of us. But then you find out that you are back in the NY port by 3am docked while it was planned to dock at 10am and you miss going by the Statue of Liberty in daylight which was one of the main reasons why we booked this cruise when you get the first questions. When you then hear that this was the last cruise on this route and the ship goes without passengers to Boston afterwards then this is getting even more irritating. Especially then I let you know how the disembarkation worked. Disembarkation: Two days before the arrival you had the choice to get tags for your suitcases for either going from board with your luggage or at a certain time. We decided to take the latest possible time which was 12pm for going of board. The evening before we arrived we got the information from our steward that we have to leave the cabin no later than 8am. Okay, but we thought okay we will find a place in the restaurant or on deck. No big issue. Next morning we got ready so that we could leave the cabin by 8am as we were told to do so. At 7.30am the first announcement came that now all individuals with luggage can leave the boat. We thought wow they are starting early with disembarkation especially as we were not planned to be back in port before 10am. But we didn’t thought anything bad and went for breakfast. At 8.30 they called the first passengers with luggage tags and only 15 minutes the next group. Our group was called at 9am. Again we were supposed to be not from board before 12pm and made our travel arrangements accordingly. So we thought okay it is just a nice information that our luggage is now available. And again we were so wrong. At 9.15am they called again all groups and at 9.30am they made the last call for all passengers. 9.30am (!). Half an hour before we were even supposed to arrive back in New York. So we made our way to the check out where the next surprise was waiting for us. While everyone out of my family was allowed to leave the ship I was quite rude informed that I have to go back to the customer service because there is an account issue. Not that we were waiting already in line for getting off board for 20 minutes and not that this was the time to inform passengers about another corporate policy no you wait till check out and then you have one of your big security guards moving you out of the line. As I got to know afterwards the security was even more rude to my children and my family as the wanted to either go with me or at least wait for me as they didn’t know anything of what was going on. Nevertheless, I went back to the customer service where the customer manager informed me that I have some board credit left on my account. When I asked him what the problem is as they have my Credit Card on file where they could have easily booked the money to I just got the answer it is corporate policy to pay it out cash. I never had any issues with board credit not being able to get it back in my account but it seems like all what NCL can do is charging. So all of this trouble only for paying my board credit in cash and this as rude as possible. Fun fact about safety with NCL: We had to use an escalator for going down to our luggage. When my son (5 years) stepped onto the escalator I wanted to follow immediately as how it is done by good parents not expecting what would come next. Instead of making my way on the escalator I got stopped very rudely from another NCL employee with a stick until my son was already a few steps down. Then the stick was lifted and I was allowed to enter the escalator. The same with the rest of my family and other passengers behind us. As I wanted to get to my son as he has sometimes trouble to get of the escalator I moved forward which earned me a again a very rude: “Sir, don’t move on the escalator”. Just in case you don’t know how to use the escalator just ask NCL. They will tell you! In general the employees at the check out and in the terminal were very rude. Waiting for family members where answered with: “SIR, KEEP moving!”. I mean we were within the last passengers going of the boat so that there not really more masses on people to expect but yeah the nearly empty arrival hall was still to small to make it possible for me to wait for my children and my family. Overall Yeah, I think you know my conclusion and what I want to say. But another fun fact before I come to the conclusion everyone is expecting. It was a lucky coincident that my son was chosen to draw the lucky winner of a future cruise with NCL and he drew the couple sitting next to us. After the draw then a person from NCL had explained everything to the couple I asked them if I could get to know what kind of cruise it is. They answered that it is a 5 day Caribbean cruise but that all the taxes, port fees, gratuities and so on aren’t included in the “free” cruise. Just to let you know if you get a “free” cruise from NCL be careful, it might not be for free. Okay but now to my conclusion. If you are a foody or you are travelling with your family or your taste buds are still working in a good way or you like to relax and have a friendly atmosphere, then run and don’t book with NCL. If you don’t know what to do with your money, and you like instant and frozen food, and you want to get bothered by employees trying to sell you what you have already bought then NCL is the right cruise line for you. For me I can say that I will NEVER ever cruise with NCL again because if I would have the feeling it was just this ship then I would be like “meah” lets try another ship but this experience has shown pretty much that this is a corporate issue and not a ship or crew issue. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My husband and I area living in New York, then we decided to take this ship + Caribbean route. We are in mid-40-50 and most of the cruisers were much older, few youngers. Embarkation & Desembarkation (New York port): We have been ... Read More
My husband and I area living in New York, then we decided to take this ship + Caribbean route. We are in mid-40-50 and most of the cruisers were much older, few youngers. Embarkation & Desembarkation (New York port): We have been cruising with other cruise lines (Royal, Celebrity and Carnival. First with NCL and probable the last. The embarkation and disembarkation are very disorganized. DINING We had one night at ‘Moderno’ Restaurant (Brazilian steakhouse), that was very disappointing. First, we are Brazilians and the way they serve the food is not the same. Rice and beans are served together in Brazil. At Moderno, rice was on the buffet and beans are served as a side dish, later. The meat was very spicy and salty. The service was very slow also. It was my birthday dinner ... The waitresses sang a ‘Happy Birthday’ and gave me a very hard and old cake, as a gift. I tried to eat but I just couldn’t. We went twice to ‘Garden Café’, complementary, we felt very chaotic and the food was not good, not healthy at all. To get a table, we were having breakfast before 7:00am and lunch before noon. The rest of the days and nights we had dinner and lunch at the ‘Grand Pacific’, which the food was OK, nothing special, the lunch menu was the same every day, the dinner had a daily variation with few options. DAYS AT THE SEA We felt bored with few options of entertainment. Sales onboard were range for cheap stuff (in quality) to expensive jewelry/watches. Very few options to buy as a souvenir. EXCURSIONS: • Most of the NCL shore Excursions which include a beach do not mention the name of the beach. Pay attention!!! Puerto Rico: We docked at 4:00pm in San Juan and decided to walk around the Old San Juan, El Morro and churches. We had few time at El Morro before closing. The weather was very windy and started raining. Were Back to the ship at 6:00pm. Supposed to left at 10:00pm, but We left only at 11:00pm due to a late excursion. We book shore excursions for all the other Ports through NCL. Philipsburg, St Maarten, St Martin: We had a city tour on both sides of the island (Dutch and French) + 1 hour at the beach (Dutch side). The island still has a lot of destruction from previous hurricanes, If you don’t like to see it, go straight to the beach. This trip was booked on September/2018 for March sailing. St Kitts was scheduled for the second Port, but all the sudden NCL changed for St Maarten with no announcement. St Lucia, Castries – It was a lovely day with a city tour to the Pitons, Prayer Garden and volcano. Antigua, St John – We choose the ‘Hop on Hop Off’ catamaran com option to visit 2 beaches. (90 minutes per beach) Dickenson Bay beach (beer $10) and Runaway beach. Be careful on Runaway beach Restaurant, we ordered beers (we get it) + fish burger (which we never get it). We had only 1 hour at that beach and they had all excuses (a lot of orders, we are doing our best, etc. We had to take a taxi on order to be on time for ship time, the catamaran was overboard taking people from Dickenson beach and left us at Runway beach. Not only our group (8), but more than 50 people from other cruise ship/excursions. St Thomas, US Virgin Islands – we spend 2 hours at Maegan’s Beach. Lovely beach. Previouly, we are supposed to arrived at 8:00am and leave St Thomas only at 5:00pm. Again, NCL changed with no announcement and we left St Thomas at 1:00pm. Will I cruise again? Yes, but with other cruise Companies, NCL never again. After bad reviews about WIFI onboard, we decided not go for a 39.99 per day. We also had a big issue, that was resolved only after 5 days of disembarkation. We always book our cruises through a Travel Agent, always receive a credit onboard. NCL not only denied our credit during our trip but also my Travel Agent had to fight with them for many days and finally they admitted their mistake. I complained on board (NCL customer service) 3 times, even call my Agent. What a stress! Be careful! Another annoying part from NCL are the pre-payment that are placed few days before the end of the cruise on your credit card, that only disappear 4 days after the end of cruise. Not mention, the full invoice already charged on your credit card on the last day. Good point: the size of our balcony + bed was good + size of the bathroom shower. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are not first time cruisers, but this was our first (and last) cruise with Norwegian. We chose this cruise because of its date and itinerary. We hadnt heard anything bad about Norwegian so we figured we'd give them a try. A ... Read More
We are not first time cruisers, but this was our first (and last) cruise with Norwegian. We chose this cruise because of its date and itinerary. We hadnt heard anything bad about Norwegian so we figured we'd give them a try. A series of unfortunate events turned our 11 day cruise into a 10 day cruise. We understood the weather is something no one can control so that is not Norwegians fault. However the day before our departure day and even departure sail we recieved about a dozen notifications that the ship would be departing 2 hours late. (Bad weather had delayed its return to New York) Because of the weather our plane was delayed. We were worried we'd miss the departure but fortunately we landed and met uo with our Norwegian tranfer rep. She got us on our shuttle reassuring us we'd made it in time. Got to the peir.... no ship! Now informed the ship was not able to safely dock. Its about 2pm. (This cruise leaves earlier in the day to travel as far as we were to go) With no help from Norwegian we are dropped off to find a place to stay overnight. We had never been to New York before so we took a bit of time to find a hotel that was a reasonable price and distance to the peir. This extra night in New York was not cheap. We had burgers for dinner at a chain restaurant with a pop each (just my husband and I) and that came to about $80. Plus the $300 for a hotel room, breakfast not included there so another meal about $50 more. The whole time we were trying to keep our spirits up. Also the rumour from the other guests was Norwegian would help with the costs. Finally at 4pm we got the first text message that the cruise would not be sailing this day. (Of course we already know a couple hours before) How can they send us so many notices for a 2 hour delay but then nothing on the sail date. They knew for at least 2 hours before sending any notices. We boarded the next day to only discover that our 11 day 6 port cruise would now be a 10 day 4 port cruise. No explanation from anyone as to why we had lost 1 day but 2 ports. Still kept spirits up. Disappointed of course. We found the service was just ok. As was the food. My husband and I both work in customer service and it drove us both crazy to see how it seemed like the staff didnt really care to be there. No one looked happy really. Smile while beside a guest, look unhappy away from guests. I dont expect people to be jolly all the time but they just looked like they were going through the paces. No one did anything extra for a guest. We saw a few times where someone was waiting for service or a table and the staff would see them too. No acknowledgment was made and even saw a table get up and leave. Towards the end of the cruise my husband and I went to ask about getting money back for our missed day and for any help for expenses. They told us that we would have to submit for expenses and to watch the website and our Visa for the days refund. A week after returning home we finally saw our days refund. We got a whopping $149. We were happy to see we did get our shuttle fare back, since we had to get our own transportation to the ship. (The second try!) A few days later we heard that Norwegian will not be helping in anyway towards expenses in new york. My husband had taken the number of days of the cruise and divded it by the cruise total. Came to $300, not $149. Theres never been anything on their website or any emails. Nothing in our Norwegian account. No communication. The deals they were offering to try to get cruises to return were fantastic but the lack of service and the no communication we've had with Norwegian has left us realizing we will never cruise Norwegian again. We are escalating our complaints with Norwegian. Hopefully we at least get a full day refunded. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My wife and I have been on several cruises before but this was our first and last cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Their lack of communication and unwillingness to take any responsibility for anything is astounding. Our departure was ... Read More
My wife and I have been on several cruises before but this was our first and last cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Their lack of communication and unwillingness to take any responsibility for anything is astounding. Our departure was delayed by one day because of bad weather which we understand. However, we do not understand why Norwegian did not communicate that to us. Instead our Norwegian shuttle picked us up at the airport and drove us to the pier where the dock hand informed us that our ship would not be arriving until the next day. Our shuttle driver unloaded our luggage and told us we would have to find ourselves a hotel for the night. There we were wondering the unfamiliar streets of New York City looking for a hotel that had room along with the other 2000 guests of the ship that were in the same predicament. The next morning at embarkation they handed us a sheet of paper telling us that because of the delay in departure they had cancelled 2 of our scheduled ports with no reason given and that they would be refunding us for 1 day of our cruise. It is now more than a month since the cruise ended and we are still fighting for our 1 day refund and they will not even reply to my emails. It was not the cruise itself that we have a problem with it is Norwegian's complete lack of customer service that we find unacceptable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
had terrible service at bars. bar tenders worked hard, but needed help to keep up. Drink package extremely too high. traveling friend did not drink, but was forced to pay $1,700 for both if interested. I just didn't drink that ... Read More
had terrible service at bars. bar tenders worked hard, but needed help to keep up. Drink package extremely too high. traveling friend did not drink, but was forced to pay $1,700 for both if interested. I just didn't drink that much on cruise. Just ok service at restaurants, even the specialty ones (3). Both cabin beds felt like they had nails poking out of them. Had to take pain pills to get thru the night. A lot of over charges that I am having to dispute. A lot of double charges. Charged for lot of drinks I did not receive and don't have receipts for so going to have to dispute those also. Embarkation took over hour and half after we got to pier just waiting in cab. Once inside like chaos boarding. Same for disembarking. Mile long waiting lines to get off! I waited until latest point to go get final bill so it would more likely be close to accurate only to find when I got home and checking credit card bill os all the erroneous charges that even put me over my limit several thousand dollars and effect my credit rating negatively. This was fourth time on this particular ship with prior cruises OK. They just did about everything you could do wrong on this voyage and charged me dearly for it. They don't like it when you win in the casino and was told so! Everyone just suppose to act like sheep and lose a thousand or so and go home happy. Not good business and very unprofessional This is first time after about 65 cruises that I have complained. I just felt this time I had to let other cruisers know things don't always go right but this was awful. Thanks, Im getting writers cramp so will bid you farewell for now. Already have had another cruise planned for April on Symphony of the Seas. Will be first time on this ship. I sure hope things go better.. Bye Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was part of back to back cruises. There was an outbreak of Neuro Virus on the cruise before. At check in they continuously gave false info kept people waiting for hours overloading the terminal. They never said outright at ... Read More
This was part of back to back cruises. There was an outbreak of Neuro Virus on the cruise before. At check in they continuously gave false info kept people waiting for hours overloading the terminal. They never said outright at terminal there was an outbreak. They did not give us option to cancel at pier and get money back. When on board we called NCL and my agent called NCL. They refused to offer us a thing. The ship was a complete mess Everything was cleared away. No menus on bars no spa no vacuum for a week. Service was just absolutely awful and NCL just has terrible customer relations and just don't care. Other cruise lines that had this kind of outbreak offered you option to not sail and refund your money or sail get partial money back and large discounts on next cruise On top of that right while we were sailing they removed tons of drinks from the menu and made their prices outrageous You now have to buy a premium drinks package above the regular one at $35 a day to cover it. That was not available yet. The only thing was after a wrote a stinging not to hotel director did customer service supervisor do something for me on second part of cruise. The Epic just had a crash and NCL refused to give any money back. Only 50% off on next cruise. This CEO is really something. No customer relations at all. They just don't care about anything or anybody. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our cruise left a lot to be desired. We are platinum members of ncl and this cruise was my 16th cruise and the worst, maybe even my last. We arrived at terminal 11:30am. As platinum we should have priority boarding .. We did not ...in ... Read More
Our cruise left a lot to be desired. We are platinum members of ncl and this cruise was my 16th cruise and the worst, maybe even my last. We arrived at terminal 11:30am. As platinum we should have priority boarding .. We did not ...in fact, when we asked about it we were asked..."are you haven?" we said, "no, we are platinum"  she smerked, "only haven is priority". That turned out to be the theme of our cruise, that AND the ship was filthy, full of airborne sickness and the crew was angry We sat and waited for over 4 hours packed in the terminal with over 4k other people. The ship was quarantined due to a bug effecting over 300 staff and/or passengers. We were not told this until after we were on the ship!!! We were not able to leave and rebook! We were not given a choice. Nope we were forced to embark on a journey trapped with an airborne and contact virus that could cause fatality in the elderly or immunocompromised. Once onboard, the rooms were unavailable for about 4 move hours with passengers standing with their carry on baggage or sitting on the stairways and such. eerie, quite, cold, and none of the staff smiling, as they were clearly exhausted from the previous cruise and seemed to be angry that "we were now there". When the rooms were said to be available they were filthy, yes clearly unvacuumed, with smudged mirrors, walls and doors and oh yes the sheets weren't changed on the bed in our mini suite. Yes, that's what over $6,000 before service charges and excursions got us. It was not only our cabin --it was all over the ship. The walls were dripping with sanitizer water. You could not touch anything. Every surface was dripping. Lines to customer service were very long; even at midnight people were complaining that they did not have their cabins cleaned and their bed were still upside down. Several of the crew were running around with breathing masks wiping walls and your door and handles leaving them dripping and wet. With a foul smelling disinfectant while passengers were forced to tolerate the breathing conditions with nothing. We did nothing at the first port due to late departure from ny it was supposed to be 3pm and we left at 7pm. Many brands of drinks were removed from the so called ultimate drinking package. The communication from the management was tight lipped and unavailable. From their own customer service people, "the home office is aware of the problem and has given us no answer". The food was warm to cold when served. Very bland and constantly the same. The worst food of any vacation ever. Passengers were not allowed to touch anything in the restaurants or buffett unless it was handed to us. Lines, lines and more lines. Angry, pushy staff constantly yelling about watching our handwashing and constantly trying to spray us with their mixture instead of letting us use the gel. I had to try and comfort a fellow guest who was literally shaking after being chased by a crew member because she didn't want to be sprayed. We were treated like we brought a plague on the ship, when in reality, they withheld the fact that the ship was contagious until after we were at sea giving us no way to back out of the cruise as we had insurance for cancellation. I don't know how that was even legal. Except for one comedian and the choir of men, the entertainment was awful and the only show that we booked prior to cruising (the brat pack) was canceled. The onboard activities were mediocre at best. The debarkation was just as awful as getting on the cruise. The ship had to be steamed/fogged due to the norovirus so we had to get out of our rooms early and stand around for hours so they could be ready for the next cruise. My husband and i became sick that first night home and for six days after from the recirculated air on the ship full of bacteria and germs. Who knows what all the sprays and disinfectants along with the germs being recirculated throughout the ship did to us. We had paid for insurance, but they made sure we couldn't use it by not telling us until we were at sea. So disappointed in ncl. Will think about this awful experience when booking our next cruise. Not even a follow up apology or credit on for a future cruise. Are we a valued customer? Guess not. Why does ncl have a loyalty program when they are not loyal to us? Does ncl read these reviews or pay attention to the ones we took the time to fill out for them post cruise? We haven't heard a peep from ncl. I heard jim cramer say ncl was a stock worth buying because the ceo said he had great things planned for the future and it made me more excited for the cruise. I guess i learned my lesson about loyalty programs, they only care about the haven now. New people, double the money, but i think ncl will be sad to learn that those people will expect return loyalty as well by the time ncl sees that,we will switch cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I am platinum latitude member and it was my 9th cruise. And it was the worse cruise I have ever had. I will try to tell you why…. The embarkation was total chaos. They postponed it for 3 hours. It started only at 1 pm. It looked like ... Read More
I am platinum latitude member and it was my 9th cruise. And it was the worse cruise I have ever had. I will try to tell you why…. The embarkation was total chaos. They postponed it for 3 hours. It started only at 1 pm. It looked like 4,000 passengers were trapped in a single terminal room without water and poor air. There were a lot of old people and a couple of them fainted. Having so many people in one room could have been deadly in an emergency. It was very different just to walk into the ship: Quite and cold, unwelcome, none of the staff cheering, laughing, and no washi-washi songs. They were clearly exhausted from the previous cruise. People were moving slowly in complete silence. When they finally admitted us to the ship, cabins were not ready. Beds were upside down, dirty cabins, showers with hair on the floor. It was not only our cabin --it was all over the ship. The crew were washing every wall, elevator, railings, and buttons, everywhere. The walls were dripping with sanitizer water. You could not touch anything. Every surface was dripping. Lines to customer service were very long; even at midnight people were complaining that they did not have their cabins cleaned and their bed were still upside down. They did not vacuum our cabins or any floors until the last day of the cruise. We had to wipe the dust, hair, and filth off our feet before climbing into bed each night. In the cafe: we were not allowed to touch anything. They handed us plates and silverware, cups, etc. We had to be served all food and drinks. This caused long lines everywhere and a lot of anger. The salt and pepper shakers ketchup, mustard disappeared from the tables. To get it you had to stay on line again. To get tea, juice, or water – stay on line. To use the same plate or cup was not allowed. All cushions were removed from the seats. In the lounges, people were sitting or lying on bare foam for the first week of the cruise. Seat covers did not begin to be replaced until the second week. Some were never replaced. People were not allowed to get to the cafe without washing hands before entering the café (which is a good safety measure at any time). They also started a mandatory announcement from the CDC three times a day during the whole cruise, up until the last three days. It was very annoying, but also very instructional. We learned that the CDC requires this level of response for up to three days after the last case of disease. Since they made this announcement and kept up the strict hospital situation until three days before our return that means there were continual outbreaks of disease throughout OUR cruise, even though the announcement said there was a problem ONLY on the last cruise. Library and spa were closed almost all the cruise. Fridges in mostly of cabins were locked, no coffee machine in the room, no glasses for water, nothing. At every meal at the restaurant chairs and tables were moved to the side for disinfectant (my daughter took a video where people in hazmat suits rushed disinfect a contaminated table). Men with air masks all over the ship spraying something in the cabins. They pulled large fogging machines to fill rooms with mist disinfectant. This covered all our belongings. Many passengers claimed they could not stay in their rooms because of the smell. In every port, passengers were not allowed to get in and out of the ship without spraying sanitizer on their hands. The crew was overwhelmed, and we learned many staff were quarantined due to illness. The passengers were also overwhelmed and not happy… Disembarkation: they accumulated people in the restaurant area and halls and kept them there for 2 hours as well. This is typical, however. I think the New York terminal has more problems than any other. I am actually surprised that there is no information about how awful was this particular cruise…. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
After arriving at the port at approximately 10:30 am as directed. We sat and waiting for over 4 hours packed in the terminal with over 4k other people. The ship was quarantined due to a bug effecting over 300 passengers. Once boarding the ... Read More
After arriving at the port at approximately 10:30 am as directed. We sat and waiting for over 4 hours packed in the terminal with over 4k other people. The ship was quarantined due to a bug effecting over 300 passengers. Once boarding the ship the state rooms were unavailable from 3 hours to well over 5 hours with passengers sitting with their carry on baggage on the floor and where ever they could find a seat. The rooms when they were available lacked towels, no vacuums run for 10 days. Dinning there were no salt or pepper shakers available on the 6th day they were giving out packages in some dinning areas and not in others. You were not allowed to get your own plate, retrieve your own silverware, or even get your own coffee. You stood in lines waiting with the other 4 thousand plus people. Dominica Republic was removed as a stop and replaced with Puerto Rico with no explanation. Several of the crew were running around with breathing mask wiping walls and your door and handles leaving them dripping and wet. With a foul smelling disinfectant while passengers were to tolerate the breathing conditions with nothing. All excursions were cancelled in Puerto Rico due to the late departure from NY it was supposed to be 3pm and we left at 7pm. Many brands of drinks were removed from the so called ultimate drinking package. The communication from the management was tight lipped and unavailable. From their own customer service people, "The home office is aware of the problem and has given us no answer". Find another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We arrived at the cruise port in New York City just after 10:30 AM, People were left standing for hours to check in and get on board. We finally got on board after 3:00 PM. We were told that our rooms were not ready yet and had to wait. ... Read More
We arrived at the cruise port in New York City just after 10:30 AM, People were left standing for hours to check in and get on board. We finally got on board after 3:00 PM. We were told that our rooms were not ready yet and had to wait. around 4:30 they finally said that the staterooms on our deck were ready. We went to our cabin to find that it still was not ready, we had to look for a room steward just to get toilet paper. Our luggage still did not arrive so we waited and waited. At 1:00 AM another passenger told us that we would have to look for our luggage somewhere on our deck. I found our luggage way down the hall, they just left our luggage where ever they could, we had to search for it ourselves. We found out that the cruise before us had a virus on board, so now we were subject to chemicales for the whole trip, they were spraying and wiping the walls, doors, door handles, elevators, rest rooms. What ever was sprayed or wiped was left driping wet. They had people in hazmat suites and masks mixing the chemicales in the halls, all passengers were subject to the chemicals. The staff on the ship were taken from their usual tasks to help with the spraying and wiping, so the passangers were short changed, there were days when our room was not made untill after 5:00 PM. The ship has to many people and was poorly managed, it was very loud and has no place outside of your cabin for peace and quiet. Dining was short changed with not enough help and a menu that had very little changes. The buffet was just ok nothing to write home about where it was often hard to find a seat and then you were sitting on top of one another. When we disembarked from the ship they called our color and had us wait in line outside in the cold untill we got into customs where there was another long line. Getting off the ship took over two hours. Standing in that long line you knew they just wanted every one off the ship for their convenience and without regard for the customers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I am a platinum member, but after this cruise I am not going with NCL anymore. They had gastrointestinal virus outbreak on cruise before us, we weren’t informed until we got to the port. 5000 people were standing and waiting for check in ... Read More
I am a platinum member, but after this cruise I am not going with NCL anymore. They had gastrointestinal virus outbreak on cruise before us, we weren’t informed until we got to the port. 5000 people were standing and waiting for check in to start until 3 pm, rooms were not ready for another hours. People were sitting on the floor and staircases. And it’s only beginning. All cruise was a disaster. NCL upper managers don’t care about their guests. They didn’t have enough crew members to serve guests. Absolutely total mismanagement. But I must say our Stuart did a great job. He was great. Service in specialty restaurants was good, but in complimentary restaurants below average. Entertainment below, below average, Nothing to do on the ship. Such a disappointment. Waist of money and vacation. First time we could not wait to get out of ship. Nothing more to say. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Ship was 3 1/2 hours late boarding and departing. No explanation was given in the terminal. NCL didn't offer anything while thousands of people just stood around (no seating available). Could have at least had a bottle of water or a ... Read More
Ship was 3 1/2 hours late boarding and departing. No explanation was given in the terminal. NCL didn't offer anything while thousands of people just stood around (no seating available). Could have at least had a bottle of water or a snack. Had to sanitize because people were sick on the previous cruise. The ship was dirty when we boarded. Our cabin was filthy with dirt on the floor and a layer of dust on everything. it wasn't cleaned until day 12 of the two week cruise. The cabin was small. We could barely get our bags in the closet. No table in front of the sofa. Small veranda with two non-reclining seats and a 1 sqft table. Small bath. I could barely move in the shower without bouncing off the walls, and I am not big. Several entertainment events were cancelled. Deck activities were not available for the first week. Food was very low end, unless you pay extra for the specialty restaurants. No quiet relaxing place anywhere on the ship. All places were completely disorganized and extremely slow. it took over an hour to get a bagel for breakfast. Crew, while not overly rude, were far from polite. Fitness center never had any towels. Two days the doors were closed with people standing outside waiting for them to open. An officer walked right through without saying a word and never came back to open the doors. Finally we just opened the doors ourselves and went in. They continued to sanitize for the entire cruise. That is good, except the chemicals were very irritating. About 1/2 the passengers were constantly coughing. And since they never cleaned anything, the dirt and dust made it worse. The entertainment was so-so. Two of the comedians were good. For the main show, After Midnight, many people either walked out or wanted to leave. The bands seemed to be competing for the greatest vol. They were so loud they were painful. It was impossible to hold a conversation whenever they were playing, either in the atrium or on the deck. That made it even louder with everyone yelling at each other over the sound of the music. Tobacco road stunk up the entire deck. The smoke odor was so strong we had to leave the game area there. We could even smell smoke on our deck 14 veranda (possibly from someone smoking in their room). Restrooms were never attended and almost constantly dirty. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have been using NCL for almost a decade, even had our wedding on Breakaway in 2015, but Escape is same class ship tuned down on interior design. Ship is simple design with no personally, practical floating hotel. We stayed in balcony ... Read More
We have been using NCL for almost a decade, even had our wedding on Breakaway in 2015, but Escape is same class ship tuned down on interior design. Ship is simple design with no personally, practical floating hotel. We stayed in balcony room with a baby and toddler and it was OK, steward was OK, always busy and barely have time to anyone to talk. Management of the ship was an amazing crew, and anyone under was complete mess. Waiters in restaurants don't know what they doing and would screw up any simple order. Food in restaurants was OK, but buffet food is awful, minimum choices, a lot of cheap meat, no seafood or even NCL signature Norwegian lox. Specialties restaurant's food was amazing, and pricey and will make your wallet cry! In 14 days cruise we had only 2 free show After Midnight, Brat Pack, second one did not made any sense. Choir of Man show, is paid show with prefix dinner setting, was OK. We had one stop cancel due to 2 heliocopter lifts from the ship first two days with no explanation, and remaining stops were simple beach destinations. We end up spending more time on the ship due to cancelled stop, and there is nothing to do there. Kids sevice is ok for 3+ and for baby you have to pay $20 for 1 hour 50 min selected slot time. Overall experience of this cruise, is that NCL is cutting their cost by taking quality out of scope in any possible way they can. NCL becoming low class, no frills cruise line. Based off our last 14 day cruise, we are not coming back with NCL to cruise and will be looking for more classy company to cruise with. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
With every cruise, you have the good with the bad. I've cruised many times before on different lines. My cruise rankings thus far: Disney, Royal, NCL/Carnival (tie). I will not be cruising Norwegian or Carnival again. ... Read More
With every cruise, you have the good with the bad. I've cruised many times before on different lines. My cruise rankings thus far: Disney, Royal, NCL/Carnival (tie). I will not be cruising Norwegian or Carnival again. -Service. This may be due to the freestyle dining and the fact that you never have the same server twice, but the service is just like any restaurant it would be anywhere. With cruising, i'm used to the service being over the top fun and fantastic. Other than the 'happy happy, washy washy' exuberant hand wash women, I'd say the service was just ok. Bare minimum standard, ok. Some better and some worse than others. -Ship. This ship is small. For 10 days (originally scheduled for 5 sea days), there is not enough to do. The pools are fun but the deck allows for only a pitiful number of chairs. People were literally on deck at 7 am to claim chairs and I saw multiple arguments regarding whether or not a chair was saved or not. -Food. The food was ok. Like any mass produced food, you can generally tell it's mass produced. We were happy with the buffet and there are stations where you can have food made to order. When pretty much the same food was served in the restaurants, we were not impressed. The specialty restaurants were delicious. Our room came with 4 dinners. We did Hibachi, Le Bistro, and Moderno and each one was amazing and would have been worth getting a dining package if it wasn't included. Room Service food was as expected. We liked eating on the balcony. -Shows. The Magician (comedian) was hilarious. The acrobats were awesome. The comedian was funny. We enjoyed these shows. The dancers were ok. Cruise ship dancers and shows. Fun but nothing you would go see if you had other options. Although we did love the acrobats we heard several guests complaining that they had seen the exact same show, with no alterations, on the Gem 2 years ago. They were wondering why the shows had not been updated at all. -Room. We booked the 2 bedroom suite. The room was great. There is a huge bedroom and amazing bathroom. If you are thinking of sharing this suite with adults, don't. The 2nd bedroom is much smaller than an inside cabin. No storage. No robes. No special shampoo in the bathroom. I could not understand, even if this room was occupied by children, that this bedroom would not include these minor amenities. Otherwise, the suite was wonderful. Large balcony, and the living area was a great space for the kids to move around without being on top of everyone. -Value. I don't want to go on a cruise so that I can be a target for terrible sales. I did not see value in anything offered on the ship other than to get more money from you. I'm fine with paying money for something, but I then expect that something to be what was promised. This cruise was a poor value for the money, and even worse, a poor value for my vacation time that I feel is precious and was wasted on this trip, more than my money. A few examples: -Painting class: When you sign up for a painting class, there are canvases displayed (perhaps 14"x20"), normal art canvas and a nice painting. Great, we signed up. When we got to the class, they handed out these flat canvas things that were smaller and were much smaller and did not have the wood backer. Why would they not just show the painting on this type of smaller canvas? The 'teacher' was terrible. As in, he had obviously never painted before and my 12 year old daughters painting was better than his. His teaching was even worse. It was that bad. -Shuffleboard tournament: A fun little break for the family. We joined the shuffleboard tournament. The gentleman running the tournament kept talking on his phone and looking at his watch the entire time. This was supposed to be a guy encouraging other people to have fun. A woman came in about 3 minutes late and he told her we didn't have time to add her. The other guests were fun and we encouraged each other, but the cruise guy was terrible. So bored and couldn't be bothered. This was the feel we got from most of the staff on board. At least a fun little prize for the winner? Nope. keychain? Nothing. -Suite benefits: The best part about the suite was the super crazy easy embark/disembark process. You literally just show up and walk on/walk off. At the ports you also get escorted right off the ship. There is no priority line to get back on, which generally took 30-45 minutes waiting in line, but getting off was awesome. You also get to eat in nice restaurants for breakfast and lunch, but its the same menu every day so it got old. The suite of course, very nice. The butler brought us snacks one a day which was a nice little treat. The movies on the TV are all included. -Overall: We had a fun cruise. The islands stops were very commercial but we always have a great time. We knew by day 3 we would not be cruising on NCL again, but still made the most of our trip and had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
After 26 cruises, I think I have a little experience to rate this cruise. I purposely waited to see if I would see things differently after settling down after the cruise. After 2 weeks, I don't see things differently, however. The ... Read More
After 26 cruises, I think I have a little experience to rate this cruise. I purposely waited to see if I would see things differently after settling down after the cruise. After 2 weeks, I don't see things differently, however. The menus left a lot to be desired. The food was not appetizing. The service was terribly slow. Appetizers (taco chips) arrived after the main meal in O'Sheehans Pub. I mean, how long does it take to 'prepare' taco chips? I never received a second glass of water when I requested it twice. The hostess explained that food service was slow because there was not enough grill space to accommodate all of the patrons that were inside because of strong winds outside. We ran out of butter on the 3rd day. The buffet area was often crowded and we had to wait a lot. Then, no seats were available to eat! Choices were minimal. On the other hand, the entertainment was fantastic. The Magician, comedy professionals, and dancers were superb! The clubs were nice. Public areas were clean. Drink service was non-existent though. I thought that Norwegian was supposed to be a step up. Not so. Very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My husband and I, set sail on the Gem in January 2018... we are a younger couple late 20's and have a 4 year old son. STAFF was amazing, very accommodating and friendly, ports were FUN but if your looking for a ship to have fun on... ... Read More
My husband and I, set sail on the Gem in January 2018... we are a younger couple late 20's and have a 4 year old son. STAFF was amazing, very accommodating and friendly, ports were FUN but if your looking for a ship to have fun on... this isn't the one... which blows my mind, because we were almost 6 days at sea... which I thought would be engaging, by at least more family activities... NOT Shows are boring and poor, the cruise director Evan isn't so friendly, and the overall atmosphere of the ship is TIRED. With a small child, and nothing entertaining outside of the ship TV is a MUST! but the channels aboard the GEM were horrible, we watched rerun after rerun of the same pathetic 5 shows. Food and service in all of the dinning halls were okay... they tried to spice life up with Mexican, asian and carribean nights... which was nice, servers were wonderful, but I will not travel Norwegian again. we did not really Love our trip and for the money we paid for ALL of us to sail, I would have really liked to LOVE it Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose the western caribbean because of the sea days in between ports and booked with 3 other couples and 4 children. Since our last Breakaway cruise in Nov.2016, the fee was added for Margaritaville which was disappointing. We used to ... Read More
We chose the western caribbean because of the sea days in between ports and booked with 3 other couples and 4 children. Since our last Breakaway cruise in Nov.2016, the fee was added for Margaritaville which was disappointing. We used to go there a lot but not this time; not paying $10 p/p when there’s 13 of us! The addition of the 2 “private” islands is a joke! Especially since they don’t allow you to use your room card for purchases on what they call Belize! Was not Belize, nor was there any tours available to go there! Don’t get me wrong, the 17 acre property that NCL acquired is gorgeous, but it is NCL....looking to get more money out of us! As for the ship, it had suffered major dr damages from the previous voyage. The stabilizers were not operational and therefore, during evenings ( when ship was moving faster ) the motion was worse than I have experienced on a RC during hurricane. The ship left 3 hours later than expected f from NYC, due to these problems and ported almost 4 1/2 hours late in Port Canaveral and cut our 7hour Florida port to 3 hours! The water slides suffered damages as well and did not open until the 4 th- 5 th day, and even then, only 1 would open at a time. Not until almost our 11day, did all 3 slides operate. The rumor was they needed to be “ inspected”, but according to the crew that was repairing things on the ship, it was the damage from the previous voyage. There was a lot of injuries on the ship due to motion while moving fast, including myself f falling in my cabin while walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night requiring an ER visit and 8 stitches to my head! Another guy fell off the high bar stool in Maltings and had even more stitches to his head. As for the “upgrade. program”, I bid on a minisuite from a balcony and ended up in a room that looked all beat up in the bathroom and the hallway by my cabin door. The tub facia had a huge whole cracked out of it and when my husband took a shower, the whole panel fell out! I was also put next door to a screaming baby who screamed every 1 1/2 hr, so bad that I had to call the front desk at midnight to complain. I asked in person the next morning to have my cabin changed as I would not be enjoying my vacation with the baby next door and was told that they were at full capacity and they could not change my room. Not until the third day after I split my head open, did they accommodate my wishes. I recommend travel insurance regardless of goioing out from your ho home port. I did not purchase it and my ER bill was $845! The dr sewed a piece of gauze on to my scalp ( to help with clotting he claimed) and then charged another $245 to remove it the following day! What a scam! I paid out of pocket and am waiting on reimbursement from my insurance, and all i received from NCL for my injury was 3 chocolate covered strawberries and a $4 bottle of wine! That was from the Guest Supervisor for my re reimbursement for the $$ I didn’t get back for my upgrade!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This will be the last time I book a cruise on NCL. The line has gone downhill very badly. I would recommend others take any other cruise line but NCL if they stay the way they are now. The service was horrendous, sometimes waiting for 30 ... Read More
This will be the last time I book a cruise on NCL. The line has gone downhill very badly. I would recommend others take any other cruise line but NCL if they stay the way they are now. The service was horrendous, sometimes waiting for 30 minutes just to get a glass of water. The menu for lunch was exactly the same every day for 14 days! At one point, we had to call around to get towels in our stateroom. The pool was closed more days than it was open. The advertised slides were never opened. The ropes course was always closed. We spent 4 days of a fourteen day cruise on land. Terrible!!! They knew there were problems; we knew it at the meet and greet when the staff came in, said hello, and left, no questions and answers, nothing! In speaking to a number of staff (waiters, etc), I learned how unhappy they were as well. It was reflected in how they treated the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had cruised previously with NCL so decided to mark my husbands 60th birthday with a Carribean cruise. Booked early as NCL encourage you to do, picked our rooms,paid for drinks and meal packages and looked forward to it for months. We ... Read More
We had cruised previously with NCL so decided to mark my husbands 60th birthday with a Carribean cruise. Booked early as NCL encourage you to do, picked our rooms,paid for drinks and meal packages and looked forward to it for months. We were to fly to JFK New York on 4th January, this was the day the "snow bomb" hit the east coast of America. We flew out with Delta who were fantastic. We were diverted to Detroit for the night then flew to New York the next day. They treated us really well. We received an e mail informing us that because of the severe weather the ship would sail a day late, although we had missed our night in New York we understood that no one controls the weather. We had paid for transfers from the airport to the port and assumed as we had booked it all through NCL the transfer would be waiting a day later for us, it wasn't. JFK was chaotic and the line for a cab was about three hours long. A very kind lady at the information desk allowed me to use her phone and I called NCL customer service. I was on that call for forty minutes only to be told that there was nothing she could do to help us, there was no transfer and we were on our own. Again our kind lady suggested a private cab number and we paid $120 to get to the port. It was -15 outside, we didn't know where we were or where we were going, thanks NCL. Then the fun really began, at the port we handed over our luggage and entered the embarkation building, it was awful. Tanoy announcements were barked out, there wasn't enough seating, the staff were horrible and it took more than four hours for us to get into the line to board. Nobody smiled, no welcome, computers were crashing, it felt like we were a huge inconvenience to them and after travelling for 24 hours it was not the welcome we hoped for. STATEROOM . We were on 14th floor with a very small balcony, there was thick ice on the inside of the balcony doors and the carpet was wet. However we do like to enjoy ourselves so made the most of it and headed out to get something to eat. The carpets in the corridors were also wet and there was a smell in the air. Large driers were on most of the time. Down on 7th floor it was extremely busy and noisy but we managed to get a meal and a few drinks and started to relax. PORTS We knew a few of the original ports would not be visited due to the recent hurricane so we looked forward to Aruba. However because of our late departure it would only be an afternoon visit. Sadly a passenger had to be airlifted from the ship and this delayed us further so it was decided that we would miss this port too. Nothing they could do about this, they gave us $11 tax back. The rest of the ports went relatively smoothly but have to say they were nothing to write home about, the port areas were really tired and were all very alike. DINING. On the whole the food was nice, some restaurants better than others and the food was never very hot. You could eat 24/7 and the staff were all very attentive. We paid for the dining package, not sure I would do that again. ENTERTAINMENT. A lot of the activities were held in the Atrium, it was always very noisy and if you were at guest services you couldn't hear what the assistants were saying. It was impossible to have a normal conversation and how these poor people work in these conditions every day I don't know. There was a huge theatre that may have been more suitable for these events and there was never enough seats n the atrium. The shows were good, not great, they had bingo that was ridiculously expensive, the quizzes were popular but again never enough seats. SERVICE. The service at the bars and restaurants was great. The staff were very attentive, they smiled all day and night and they worked a lot of hours. They had no problem with our Scottish accent at all and couldn't do enough for you. For me, they saved this holiday, if it hadn't been for them I would have been miserable. The service at guest services however was not great. There were queues all day everyday and some, not all of the staff were not interested in the least, but having to work in that din every day I'm not surprised. SHIP. wasn't really fit for purpose. It was damp and smelly, outside bars just didn't open, we were kept inside for the first two days because of the weather we were told but we all knew it was being repaired because of the previous trip. Not enough seating in busy public areas and very little information given on the whole trip from the crew. Our friends that travelled with us along with many other people were ill for a few days during the cruise with sickness and diarrhoea, that was ignored. We approached Guest services to complain about the treatment whilst boarding and the fact that we were left to find our own way to the ship and that we had paid for services we hadn't received. We were told to wait until we went home and raise it then, however one girl finally logged it and gave us a case number. Needless to say NCL have offered my husband and I and our friends "cruise credit" for our troubles and after several emails refuse point blank to offer anything else and advise we take our case to abta, which we will do. We have travelled all over the world in a lot of different ways and have never been treated like NCL have treated us, we will NEVER holiday with them again. The disembarkation procedure was also chaotic. Your colour was shouted, you went, you got sent back, no senior crew to be seen, it took ages to get off the ship, disabled people were given no help, we queued on the dock for almost an hour in minus 2 to get into the customs building and our luggage was scattered all over the place. People were fainting, crying and shouting. It was horrible. Then when we finally got through there were no transfers to the airport, we had paid for them, but they were not there. We had to raise a rumpus before they did something about it. Shame on you NCL. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Cruising with NCL was not a good experience for my family at all. I have cruised with other companies and I wanted to give NCL a try. I am very disappointment with their service overall. Some of their embarkation crew were very rude and ... Read More
Cruising with NCL was not a good experience for my family at all. I have cruised with other companies and I wanted to give NCL a try. I am very disappointment with their service overall. Some of their embarkation crew were very rude and ending up getting in an argument with us, after having us wait for almost an hour to check my husband in. The food was ok, but after a while I feel like the had the same thing every day at the Garden Cafe. For a 14 day cruise there was not much entertainment since we spend most of our days on sea. Their main entertainment for children (the waterslide) was out of service during the whole cruise and my kids did not get to use it not one day. Security was not the best at the Bliss Club where another cruiser attacked my son. I would not cruise with NCL again. NL Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
First of all, let me start by saying that my sister and I have been cruising for 20+ years and in all those years this is the worst cruise we have ever been on. We booked this a month before sailing with vouchers from a cancelled cruise ... Read More
First of all, let me start by saying that my sister and I have been cruising for 20+ years and in all those years this is the worst cruise we have ever been on. We booked this a month before sailing with vouchers from a cancelled cruise leaving Oct 13 requiring us to fly back from hurricane devastated Puerto Rico which we felt was not safe for 2 senior ladies so we re-booked on the Oct 29 cruise flying home from safer Miami. We hired our car service which took us to the Manhattan pier only to discover that Viking "forgot" to tell us that the ship was rescheduled to leave out of Brooklyn. They called it an "oversight" on their part as we are frantically trying to figure out where the ship is in the middle of Manhattan. They admitted it was their mistake but never even apologized. What a way to start a vacation - there is nothing quite like coming to a pier and NO SHIP! Thank God for our driver who took us to the Brooklyn pier. When we complained to Guest Services the only thing they did for us was a $100 each room credit for the cost of the car to NYC. Big deal! Due to severe weather we skipped Bermuda and everyone we spoke to on the cruise received vouchers for a future cruise in the amounts of $600 to $1000 pp. Except us! We received nothing - hmmmm - little vindictiveness at the Viking Guest Services?? We kept asking, and they kept saying we got them - but we didn't. Liars. Seven days into the trip we both became severely ill with a respiratory illness. We wanted to cancel our Aruba jeep driving tour two days before because we knew we couldn't manage because we were too ill. Guest Services said they could not refund our money for the tour ($109.00 each) unless we had our tickets stamped by the medical office. We went to the medical office where the nurse confirmed we were running fevers and sold us some medicine but would not stamp our tickets for a refund unless we had an $85.00 "consultation" with the doctor. We refused, and of course got stiffed out of $109.00 each. Extortionists! Any other cruise line would have refunded that money instantly under the circumstances. We also had $20.00 each left on our vouchers which Guest Services would also not honor. All they had to do was look at our invoice and calculate the numbers but they just insisted it wasn't there - IT WAS. Thieves. Called three weeks before because we had not received luggage tags. We were told it was "too late" to send them and they don't send them over email for printing out. Techno peasants. The most appalling one of all - When we booked in Sept with our vouchers I was told that the vouchers would take 24 to 48 hours to come through (even thought they had already emailed them to me) and as a "condition" of booking, they would have to charge my credit card for the full amount. The vouchers covered more than the entire amount of the cruise. The charge was to be removed within the 24-48 hours after the vouchers "came through". Four weeks later, the charge was still on my credit card. They finally removed it, at the behest of my credit card company, the night before we sailed. Disgusting. My overall impression of Viking Ocean Cruises is that they are not an ethical company. Once they have your money - watch out. This cruise was not cheap and a total waste of our money and our time which we spent with a lot of time being aggravated. A vacation it was NOT! Do yourself a favor and book a Celebrity or a Royal Caribbean. They are far more ethical and have so much more to offer on their ships than some boring lectures, movies and lame shows. The ship is elegant, but very beige, and the housekeeping and dining staff work hard. The food is mediocre - nothing special - and the free wine is awful. Snacks in your mini-fridge are 1 tiny bag of potato chips and 1 Halloween size Trix bar and 1 Halloween size Mars bar, along with some soft drinks. Meh. Also, beware of the pools. They have very steep ladders that can be difficult to negotiate for senior citizens. They also seem to be only half full and it looks like your swimming in a deep hole. Very weird. In closing, I and my sister are not serial complainers, nor do we ask for anything that we are not entitled to. As a luxury cruise line, we expected Viking to be a cut above, but they fell short by quite a bit. As with everything in life, you win some, you lose some, and we lost big time with Viking. If Viking makes any of the above issues right, I will add that to this review. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Truth in advertising: I went into this cruise with a fairly negative attitude toward NCL based on problems with essentially this same cruise last year. I still have tried to make this as honest a review as possible, not letting my previous ... Read More
Truth in advertising: I went into this cruise with a fairly negative attitude toward NCL based on problems with essentially this same cruise last year. I still have tried to make this as honest a review as possible, not letting my previous concerns influence me. As with any cruise, there are some things that went well, some that didn’t. The ship is certainly attractive and still manages to handle the large number of passengers very well, with only a few times that we ever had lines or crowds. The balcony is small compared to other ships, and the room is sometimes difficult to navigate with the couch making access to the closet a challenge, but the shower size in a regular balcony is reasonable. Perhaps the best aspect of the cruise was the almost always excellent entertainment. Certainly the marquee events were first-rate, but the smaller venues were often more than enjoyable, too. We especially enjoyed Howl at the Moon dueling pianos, Second City shows, and the various atrium musicians (although we wish that the latter weren’t so loud). The food remains overall very good, although with more disappointments than last year and often over-salted for my tastes (and health). One positive point: it was our first time dining in Ocean Blue and, as in our previous experiences, the food and service were excellent, although the otherwise excellent potatoes au gratin were very salty. One concern about NCL’s commitment to passenger satisfaction: last year I put in a comment on board saying that 3 crackers on the cheese plate is inadequate when they’re giving you 5 pieces of cheese. Afterwards, whenever I ordered the cheese plate, it had more crackers. Now the plate is again delivered with 3 crackers. Are crackers that expensive that a special request to get one per chunk of cheese is needed? Speaking of expensive, the cost of almost everything on the ship appears significantly overpriced. As a few examples: - Without a two bottle discount, Johnnie Walker Blue is $207 (more than in NJ). At most ports it is $135 - $150. Yes, they will price match, but why not give the business to the place that priced it best initially? - A Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon was $40 a bottle in the restaurants. It retails for $7.95 in NYC, for a 400% markup. - A tour going only to a 2 hour stop Balata Gardens in Martinique was (I believe) $83 pp from NCL. Doing an identical tour for 3 people, using the (unusually expensive) taxis lining the street by the port, would be about $50 pp, $20 pp if you know how to find the bus to the gardens. Similarly, in Tortola we took an island tour from the taxis lining the street by the port for $20 pp. Similar tours, except for an hour at a beach stop (short for a beach stop), were about $69+ pp from NCL. - On board, there were watches were for sale with discounts “up to 75%.” On Groupon the same watches are available with better discounts, some of 90% and more! - According to a recent CruiseCritic article, only 3 ships charge 18% gratuity instead of 15%. NCL and its sister line, Oceania, are 2 of them. - In a brief search, NCL appears to have by far the most expensive cost for its beverage package, and is the only one I saw that did not include specialty coffees and water, which is $5.50 a bottle. One very upsetting difference between this year and last year starts with the 23.4% increase (!!) in the price of the “Ultimate Beverage Package.” Yes, this can usually be had as a bonus, but you will always pay NCL’s 18% gratuity on the “cost,” unlike lines where free means free. In any case, the cost went up dramatically, the cost of the beverages went up somewhat, but the cost of the beverages allowed under the plan stayed the same. This meant that the few single malts and cognac I enjoy the most were no longer available. And unlike at least one other cruise I’ve taken with a competitor, if you want a higher priced option you pay the full price, not the difference. The selection of wines available by the glass is very limited and not especially exciting. The service was always pleasant and friendly, but not always accurate. At many meals we were served the wrong dish or (more commonly) a requested dish was never brought to the table until a second request was made. Other areas also had uncertain service. Probably the most constantly annoying part of the cruise was the constant effort by NCL to extract more money from their passengers, instead of trying to maximize the passenger’s experience. This includes not only added cost dining venues but extra cost options at the “free” restaurants, constant “sales” that weren’t any bargain as previously noted, extra cost entertainment (like shows and games), art sales masquerading as auctions, selling raffle tickets at the start of shows, and more than I cared to remember. They charge solo passengers a substantial premium yet, unlike most of the competition we’ve used, they offer no benefit like double the Latitudes points. Our friend is unlikely to return to NCL for this alone, as she is platinum on Princess but only silver on NCL, yet with more cruises on NCL. In any case, the “frequent cruiser” rewards are not very meaningful, especially at the lower levels. This ship has what must be the world’s largest collection of uncomfortable chairs, especially those on the outside decks and in the Atrium. My bottom line: NCL often advertises what appear to be unbeatable deals on their cruises, but unless you work at avoiding their extra and/or overly high charges, you might do better monetarily, and have a less stressful time, with the competition. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
have been on 5 cruises this was 2nd time for the carnival and Im just so very disappointed in the whole experience, to begin with the lay out of this ship is terrible you have to go through a very smoky casino to get to dinner the ship is ... Read More
have been on 5 cruises this was 2nd time for the carnival and Im just so very disappointed in the whole experience, to begin with the lay out of this ship is terrible you have to go through a very smoky casino to get to dinner the ship is way to small for the amount of people. Not much to do. The main shows in liquid lounge where awful they need to change them they really can not sing. the food was the worst i've ever had although our waiters were great Wisnawa and Kermith and a few others but our table placement was bad we where next to a pole and every night 2-3 times during our meal 3 of us had to get up push our chairs in so people could get by with walkers and wheelchairs. Never have i had such bad food. some of the crew where also very rude which i have never experienced before . My sister was told I didn't ask you if you wanted a drink when she was approached by a waiter and said no thank you she thought he was going to ask her if she wanted a drink I was shocked by how he talked to her. Then we had teenage kids running up and down our hallway screaming at anytime between 1-4 in the morning we where awoken 7 of the 9 nights with this kind of behavior we did complain but nothing was done. Our room service tags where also removed by these kids We are not the only floor that had this problem my daughter and her family where on deck 7 we where on 8 and they had the same problem also talked to people on deck 6 that also had this problem. My sister who is 76 was almost completely knocked off her feet twice by 5-7 teenagers when we was walking around pool area by the same group of kids. they never even tried to apologize or even act respectful at all. Disembarkation was a complete joke didnt get off until 10.45. We had hired a driver to be there at 10. I thought that was plenty late enough. well he wouldn't wait so we had to try and find another ride which ended in us having to take 2 cabs at double the cost of our original driver.. We did however never have a hard time finding a chair around the pool at anytime. This cruise cost me almost the same as my last cruise on the Celebrity going on a 14 day trip. I would never recommend this ship to anyone. Save your money go on a Celebrity  Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I had a great experience 12 years ago with Norwegian Dawn when it first came out and thought things would be the same this time, I was wrong. I received horrible customer service, I was away from my family members, my cabin was unclean ... Read More
I had a great experience 12 years ago with Norwegian Dawn when it first came out and thought things would be the same this time, I was wrong. I received horrible customer service, I was away from my family members, my cabin was unclean (when I arrived). I had to changed rooms twice(not enough beds to accommodate my family) due to poor communication from manager. The toilet in my room was malfunctioned, would not stop flushing woke me up from sleep. Loud construction noises awaked me everyday between 5-6 o'clock. I had a wonderful stateroom steward who was kind and polite. There were a lot of activities to choose from, dining was great. I enjoyed the choices of food. I dislike buying expensive water(to me that was a rip off), but had to. I did not like the fact that the cruise line had to decide who gets my daily service charge. I felt like my rights were taken away. The private island was nice including the shore excursions. My children did not enjoy the cruise much because of the proximity of family members' room . I will definitely not go on any of NCL's cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016

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