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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I made a crossing from New York to Southampton on the QM2 in late May. The weather cooperated pretty well except for the first day that was very windy with high seas. The paper bags were out for those who needed them. I did ... Read More
My wife and I made a crossing from New York to Southampton on the QM2 in late May. The weather cooperated pretty well except for the first day that was very windy with high seas. The paper bags were out for those who needed them. I did take a Bonine tab myself and felt fine for the rest of the day. The service on the ship was great and the list of lecturers and performers was also first rate. The food fell back into the "almost as good as" category as it was very British, as to say drab. Even the steak at the Veranda was a notch below what I would expect from a steakhouse in a major city. But the sad part of the ship experience was the lack of technology. The WiFi was definitely in the last century as far as performance and the lack of any apps to keep track of the events onboard or to communicate with others in your party was amazing to me after recent cruises on Princess and Disney. I know this is not a cruise ship but that is no excuse for falling so far behind the curve in this area. Also, the ship design itself was a series of ups and downs to get anywhere. If you wanted to get to the ballroom in front on level 3 you had to go down to level 2. All around the ship there were small lifts for people in wheelchairs because of the poor layout. It may be too late to fix the layout problems without a major overhaul but the technology items need to be looked at now. Why do I still give it a Very Good rating? Because, though it is on the edge of being only good it was certainly not an average voyage. The room, entertainment and education features were excellent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Six months since our last holiday, by May 2019 it was time for a break. I am a firm believer in the HR notion that a break every six months is restorative (if not to ones bank account, at least for the soul). So I looked for a cruise that ... Read More
Six months since our last holiday, by May 2019 it was time for a break. I am a firm believer in the HR notion that a break every six months is restorative (if not to ones bank account, at least for the soul). So I looked for a cruise that would please me and my wife. A bit about us: we are late middle-aged (later 50's, early 60's), one of us still works, and we have done many cruises since 2001. Mostly on Holland America, yet more recently on Seabourn. We very much liked the almost all-inclusive nature of our Seabourn cruises, as well as the smaller ships. In May 2019 Seabourn had an interesting cruise option, yet on that ship the verandah cabin guarantee offered may well have come with the opaque (metal) balcony railings. That is a show-stopper for my wife, who wants to be able to see out her balcony while seated. Seabourn would put us in a balcony with the Plexiglas railing--yet only if we ponied up another $2 grand each. It looked like we would not be cruising after all in May. Happily, searching the usual websites, I found this interesting Regent cruise--a trans-Atlantic, which we like (the days at sea can be quite restful), some interesting ports, a departure from New York, which is only an hours flight from Toronto, and with the airfare and shore excursions included. We also would have a proper balcony in the verandah cabin, with no metal railing blocking the view. All this, including business class air for the transatlantic flight home, for about the same price as Seabourn wanted for the obstructed view balcony. Hmmm, it was time to give Regent a try. Cutting to the chase for any impatient readers, we quite enjoyed our Regent cruise and would return to them. This line is now on our list, along with Seabourn. We would also return to HAL, even though we do like not having to sign for most things, for the right itinerary and pricing. It is nice to have options and choices. We found Regent a well organized operator. Their shore staff met us at Newark airport, and we were escorted to the van (we were the only passengers) provided to take us to the port of Manhattan. Ironically, the drive from the airport took longer than our 1.3 hour flight. It was nice, accordingly, that I did not have to pay for a taxi or limo, and that such ground transportation was included. As we checked in around 2PM, we had missed the rush. On board quickly, we headed to the Verandah for a casual lunch. This was the first of many very good meals on board. Ultimately to our cabin--we had received and accepted an upsell offer for a penthouse. The basic amenity was that the cabin, same size as the verandah cabin but better located, came with a butler, who was excellent! Between the butler and our stewardess, and her assistant, we were very well looked after for the next 15 days. Having never had a butler before, and wondering what we would use him for, now I wonder how we could survive without one! The cabin was a little tight compared with what we are used to. On HAL we get a Neptune Suite, and on Seabourn a regular verandah. Yet the Seabourn ships are newer than this particular ship, Navigator, which is about 20 years old. We found that there was not quite as much drawer space or storage generally, as we have had on Seabourn in the regular verandah cabins--yet we managed to get everything put away. Still, I would not have wanted a room service dinner in the cabin. Again, other than having the daily snacks which the butler brought, it was a tad tight for dining. We were not impressed with the lifeboat drill. Held partly inside, and then being taken out to the boat deck was superfluous, as the boats you were shown at the drill may well not be the boat to which you would be assigned when you gather in the event of an emergency. In my view this is not well thought out. Either do the entire drill outside, or inside. I would also think specific lifeboats should be assigned per cabin, so everyone knows exactly where to go in case of an emergency. Other lines do this in a more organized fashion. We had a little difficulty in getting the cabin stocked with my wife's favourite Vodka, Chopin, a potato-based vodka. A substitute was provided, and Chopin was available in the bars. Ultimately, our butler scrounged us a bottle for the cabin. Unfortunately, we were told that Chopin was no longer to be provided on Regent once current inventory was finished. Too bad, as it is an excellent luxury brand. The included/available Scotches were also not quite top drawer. I mean, seriously, Johnny Walker Red? Yes, they had Black, Chivas Regal (my daily tipple), and some single malts. Yet for a luxury cruise line, at a minimum 12 year old single malts (not just one, but a choice of several) should be included, and frankly, they should provide 15 year old Scotch without a surcharge. In addition to most friendly, warm, welcoming, and personable cabin staff, the same could be said about all the bar staff. They were great. It was nice to be seated, and ones regular drink brought around without having to say a word. Kudos to them for fostering a welcoming and clubby atmosphere. The food quality was truly excellent--and we are foodies. It was the best we have experienced on any cruise. Being fair, HAL provides in our experience very good Banquet style meals. Seabourn provides very good meals as well, just not a lot of variety at times, and at times, overly salted. Regent's food was not overly salted, yet was well seasoned. There was also plenty of variety at lunch, and especially at dinner in the main restaurant. Some of the "always available" dinner items included genuine whole Dover Sole, which would be filleted table-side--a pleasure to watch. We found the food prepared "a la minute", and was an example of fine dining. Not every dish was a success, but the effort was clearly present. We were surprised that someone on the cruise after ours, a Veterans charter, did not enjoy the food. Yet that may have been because it was a charter. We enjoyed the dining room or the upstairs casual restaurant which becomes an Italian restaurant at night. Happily, it was not a buffet, unless one wanted to go up and select items. We much preferred the lovely Italian servers bringing us our meal. We also enjoyed two meals in the steakhouse. We found the personnel there most welcoming and accommodating, too. The beef was very good. Yet, as I have a great local butcher, and enjoy making a BBQ during decent weather, unlike some I do not get all excited about a steakhouse! Service in the dining room, however, was not quite as good as was the food. Some of the servers were great: warm, friendly, yet also competent. Over 15 days there can be one or two food items that are not to ones taste--the better wait staff knew to check and to quickly rectify the situation. Alas, not all of the servers fit into that category. We are used to on HAL our fixed table at 8PM, where we build a rapport with the same team of waiter, assistant waiter, and wine waiter over the cruise. While we do appreciate the flexibility of open seating available on smaller ships, one sacrifices, to some extent, that personal rapport which can, if one is lucky (and we have always had good luck on HAL in that regard), develop between server and customer. The challenge for Regent and Seabourn is to imbue their wait staff with the feeling that, even if for one night, each passenger is "their" passenger, and the goal should be to make the evening special, for each guest. Not easy to accomplish, but worth aiming for. In any case on this cruise we had a word with hotel management about some initial service issues, and happily, things improved. The ports included Bermuda, and the shore excursions, also included, were very good. Unfortunately, a couple of the afternoon tours were cancelled. As I get up early most weekday mornings, the last thing I want to do on any cruise is get up early to go on tour. I prefer a leisurely morning. In most European ports, Regent did offer afternoon tours, and again, we enjoyed them. We found the laundry to be expensive, albeit thankfully we were using "Monopoly money" (our ship-board credits) for that. Seabourn offers laundry at $50 for as much as one can stuff into a bag. Regent should follow that example. If I did not have sufficient credits, the cost of laundry would be a factor worth considering, along with the other factors such as included shore excursions, included air-fare, etc. There are, it seems, always trade-offs to be made. The lectures were in our view poorly timed. The fellow who spoke at 10 AM I would have preferred hearing in the afternoon, and I could have skipped the afternoon guy who talked about photography. The onboard shows were decent, although the layout of the theatre makes it hard to find an unobstructed view unless you arrive early. Some of the specialty performers were excellent! The piano bar was ok. While the piano player could play, he often mangled the lyrics. A little more practice to make perfect may help. Bar staff there, however, were great. The demographics of this cruise included, in our view, a somewhat older crowd. That made us feel comparatively younger (not a bad thing!). Still, we met a few folk to, on occasion, have a drink with. People were quite pleasant for the most part. We were surprised that the dress code on Regent was specified as "elegant-casual" each night. Apparently for cruises of 15 days or less, there are no formal-optional nights. I had brought a couple of ties, yet never wore one. In the main dining room, however, most men did wear a sports-jacket or the ubiquitous navy blazer. People were for the most part indeed elegantly casual. We flew home on May 30, and have to say that Amsterdam's airport is very disorganized. I would also warn folks not to connect through London-Heathrow, as the security and other line ups are horrendous. In hindsight, I would have tried for a non-stop flight which, as we all know, is the best bet. Generally, and if the price is right, we would definitely return to Regent. Yet right now they seem to be charging nearly $1,000.00 per person per day. That is far more than what we paid for this cruise. So, if one can afford it, go for it--yet it pays to shop around. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I came to enjoy the cruise with my wife. Upgraded to suite and met some lovely people while on board. We have had some weather challenges snd couldnt dock, but overall enjoyed the day by day experience. Met nice restaurant team, ... Read More
I came to enjoy the cruise with my wife. Upgraded to suite and met some lovely people while on board. We have had some weather challenges snd couldnt dock, but overall enjoyed the day by day experience. Met nice restaurant team, housekeeping guy, Captain and funny Hotel Manager. Great welcome speech by the way. When we spoke with him all the things got way better! Chef Gundi we loved and his food. When we received a sad info that cruise got cancelled due to technical issues we tried to save and solve this cruise, we encountered a terrible and unfriendly person on expedition desk, black hair expedition coordinator. She is the most unfriendly.snd unprofessional person we met in the past 20 year cruising. Very rude and she ignores our questions. I am not sure how can you hire this person. One man on reception bolded, he ignored our questions and directed wrong. Hire a person who is a guest oriented. All in all Reception and other team helped us out. Thank you so much, but coordinator and guest relation manager ruined our day and cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I had a card in my cabin for a special occasion that they were giving me a cake.The cake did not show up but the 10 days of ice cold water in my cabin and 3 like warm showers did.most of the ship had Noro Virus.They quartered people in ... Read More
I had a card in my cabin for a special occasion that they were giving me a cake.The cake did not show up but the 10 days of ice cold water in my cabin and 3 like warm showers did.most of the ship had Noro Virus.They quartered people in their cabin by taking away their key cards because the virus highly contagious. They left uneaten food that these contaminated people half ate in the hallway. In the summer palace restuarant I found a dead fly in my salad and at monderno restaurant the server had chicken on a skewer and it slid off bounced on the table and hit the floor.He then kicked it under the table.i paid $500.00 for two thermal spa passes for 13 days.they closed the pool for 5 and said if they prorate the cost they would charge me more.so be happy with it. Then to top it off ,Norwegian air lost my bags for two days. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
It was 13 days from NYC to Amsterdam I'm an experienced cruiser. This is the first time I have experienced such a sick ship. Norovirus was rampant from day two! Sick passengers or crew were allowed aboard this ship! This was 13 ... Read More
It was 13 days from NYC to Amsterdam I'm an experienced cruiser. This is the first time I have experienced such a sick ship. Norovirus was rampant from day two! Sick passengers or crew were allowed aboard this ship! This was 13 days of pure displeasure. Many of the crew had bad attitudes. I experienced one of the Supervisors making excuses regarding sanitation methodology. With this type of Management attitude, no wonder the virus continued to expand. I missed two ports and NEVER once heard an apology from the staff. The gym was closed. Many other on board amenities were curtailed -- however, the Casino was always open when not in Port. Self-service at the buffet was curtailed. You had to beg for sugar, salt, pepper, catsup, etc. If you contacted the norovirus, you were quarenteened in your cabin, with your cabin key confiscated. You food was delivered to you on paper plates with plastic utensils. If you had a cabin mate, you could sneak out with them and continue to spread the germs, with no reprocussions unless caught! Thanks to a "sneaker", to whom apparently rules do not apply, I got sick and so did one of my friends! Norwegian, you need better sanitation and better monitoring of sick passengers. I was very disappointed with my cruise and will think long and hard before booking another NCL cruise. The specialty dining was great at Le Bistro, good at La Cuchina, very good at Moderno. I missed the dinner at Cagney's due to the Norovirus. The two dining rooms had very good food, but they tend to seat solo cruisers in the middle of the floor, and couple's get the better tables. Us solo cruisers DO PAY FOR TWO, and only eat for one. The service was hit or miss. Many of the crew had bad attitudes, probably because they had to do the work of multiple crew members because of the crew members who were sick with the Norovirus. I missed a lot of the entertainment, trying to avoid the Norovirus. When I did go to a show, there were groups of passengers talking and being disruptive during the shows. The entertainers were very talented. The trivia was strange, not really testing knowledge, but asking a crew member's age. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had sailed with Norwegian twice before (Alaska and transAtlantic) and thoroughly enjoyed the experiences. We'd had a difficult, stressful year and decided another transAtlantic crossing followed by some European travel was just ... Read More
We had sailed with Norwegian twice before (Alaska and transAtlantic) and thoroughly enjoyed the experiences. We'd had a difficult, stressful year and decided another transAtlantic crossing followed by some European travel was just what we needed. I need a low-sodium diet and on my two previous Norwegian cruises I had pre-ordered my dinner every day and received a no-salt version of whatever I ordered that was totally delicious. I know the drill and followed it this trip. The first evening my dinner was as ordered - a no-salt version of the menu item I ordered. Then things fell apart. Everyday I pre-ordered and received a baked potato and steamed broccoli as my side dish. Example: I ordered pineapple chicken with black beans and coconut rice. I received the chicken and a baked potato and steamed broccoli. Night after night the same story. Whatever meat or fish I ordered but no side except baked potato and broccoli. I talked to customer service and they said "talk to the waiter." I did so, he brought over the assistant mater 'd. He cancelled my pre order and sent me a bowl of assorted vegetables and rice. The following day I talked to the chief master 'd. That night I got what I ordered. However the following nigh it was back to baked potato and steamed broccoli. At that point I gave up and simply ordered from the menu. My low-sodium diet is critical to my health. Norwegian has accommodated me before and I've enjoyed delicious dinners evening after evening. A 14-day Atlantic crossing with no escape from baked potatoes and broccoli is unacceptable. I am very unlikely to trust Norwegian again. If you need a special diet I recommend you be very wary before you sail with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because it left from New York, a city I love & was going east, one of my firsts, having done 2 TAs from Europe. Another first was the roll call which was quite active but toxic sometimes. Never been on a roll ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it left from New York, a city I love & was going east, one of my firsts, having done 2 TAs from Europe. Another first was the roll call which was quite active but toxic sometimes. Never been on a roll call before where posts were removed!! I had hoped to finally visit the Guggenheim Museum while in NYC but that didn't happen, instead I lined up around the block to eat at Ellen's Stardust Diner, a place I had never gotten to before. I must say it was worth the wait, the food was good as was the entertainment. I really liked my room at the Pod Hotel on 42nd Street, it had quite the view, was close to the Port Authority Building where the Newark Express bus drops one off & also close to a Cake Boss bakery! I took a cab to the port asking the driver to let me off at the corner of 49th & 12th as recommended by my friend. He didn't & we sat in traffic 'til he could turn into the port which cost me about $20 quite a bit more than the $6.50 if he'd let me off where I requested. Met my friends inside then waited a little while, I think we were group 3 or 5 & both Platinum Plus. We headed straight away for lunch at O'Sheehan's where I had a Reuben sandwich with potato chips & a Coke that should have cost me $4+. SO the cruise begins with 6 sea days ahead, lots of meals, entertainment, lectures, gambling etc. The weather wasn't the best & there was one day where it was a little rocky. Unlike a lot of people onboard I had a great time which could have been because of the people I hung out with but also because I did not contract the noro virus or have any problems with guest services. Being on a ship with noro virus was a first I could have done without. I was amazed at the measures NCL took to avoid it spreading & the captain's tough position saying anybody who broke quarantine would be put off at the next port. I found the food to be to my liking wherever I ate & for the 1st time I had a 4 dinner package as well as my 2 Platinum specialty dinners. This cruise I had more perks than I'd ever had before thanks to a roll call member mentionning a new offer. I also had 200 minutes of phone calls which came in handy for calling my sister & good friend on their special birthdays, as well as hubby at home. The calls were really clear, just had a little delay. The entertainment was varied & mostly good. I really enjoyed the Legends in Concert: Michael Jackson, Tina Turner & Elvis. Deal or No Deal was fun to watch as were the Newlywed Game & the Dancing with the Stars type show. The lecture lady about all things Irish & the other one about having a better life were informative. The ports were the major attraction for me on this cruise as it would be my 1st visit to Ireland, country of my grandad's birth. I mostly booked private tours with other CC members & really had a good time. The ones I did through NCL from Zeebrugge (Flanders Fields) & Tilbury (Canterbury Cathedral) were fine too & the guides really good. I don't mind traveling on the big buses like some do. My cabin steward Emerson was good, friendly, brought me ice when it was allowed & made me many towel animals which I always look forward to He was quick to rearrange my beds when requested. I was surprised by the free movies on the tv, recent ones such a Green Book, A Star is Born, A Dog's Way Home & Instant Family. A guide to movies shown is available at guest services although it's a bit hard to read. I didn't interact with the CD Pedro or his staff as I didn't attend any trivia on this ship, also a first! I went to one Bingo & found the caller did it at a nice speed, sometimes it really drags on but he was quick. The photographic staff were really nice & took some good/fun pictures. The internet cafe manager was a gem, funny & patient even with the long line ups the 1st couple of days. I had 250 free minutes but upgraded to unlimited which was expensive IMO but worth it to me as I love my phone. Some things were different, maybe because of the noro virus or whatever it was like no farewell show. The solo meet up the 2nd night was overwhelming with over 30 people attending. I met a nice male friend there but didn't usually attend the gatherings or meals as I had new friends onboard to do things with. Solo travel is so much better on the bigger NCL ships with studio cabins. I did self disembarkation after one last breakfast at O'Sheehan's, a restaurant I really enjoyed throughout the cruise. That's all I can think of at the moment but will conclude by saying I really enjoyed the cruise & wasn't disappointed at all. I also had a great time with my Dutch friend I'd met on the Epic in 2011, who showed me around Amsterdam for 2 days. The Avenue Hotel where I stayed for 2 nights was great, lovely room, big breakfast & really close to a lot of places especially Centraal Station. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The first day aboard, I was pleasantly surprised. Our inside cabin was nicer than expected. My sister and I had plenty of room and the bathroom had a lovely shower. Our steward was excellent during the whole cruise. However, it went ... Read More
The first day aboard, I was pleasantly surprised. Our inside cabin was nicer than expected. My sister and I had plenty of room and the bathroom had a lovely shower. Our steward was excellent during the whole cruise. However, it went down hill fast. We were notified on the 2nd day that a virus was discovered on board. By the 4th day everything in the Buffet was covered with plastic and we had to be served our food by employees who didn't know what they were doing. By the time we got to our table our food was cold. It was really depressing, so we started to eat in the main dining rooms. Here the food was slightly better and usually warm but the service again was terrible. I might add that the food was bland everywhere and the desserts all had some kind of gelatin in them. Even the cheesecake!! The precautions the staff were taking to contain the virus was ridiculous. We had to have our hands sprayed upon entering any dining room and we were given paper menus. However, I seldom saw the staff disinfect their own hands and cleaning the tables in the Buffet was a joke. I did not see anyone in the public areas with disinfection. There were 2 nights where they supposedly disinfected the halls and some public areas but a lot of germs could be around between cleanings. They were constantly making announcements about washing our hands and staying in our rooms if we were ill. But they gave no information as to the viirus' containment. They cancelled the Behind the Scenes Tour and a few other events with flimsy excuses when we all knew it was because of the virus. Just be upfront about it! On top of all of that, we had very choppy seas for about 3 to 4 days. Obviously that was not the cruise line's fault but it just added another layer of discomfort. The excursions were very expensive and disappointing. We went to Cork and arrived in Kinsdale to find there was a big rugby game going on and as it was Sunday most of the shops were closed! The London excursion was a joke. We went through some neighborhood that had warehouses converted to apartments. I can see that at home! Then we stopped at the Tower of London and waited 20 min. while our guide got the tickets. Once we got in, we should have been allowed to wander around and meet up at a certain point. Instead we ALL had to wait at least 30 min while everyone used the rest rooms and then we saw the crown jewels and barely had enough time to get back to the bus. We never saw the cells or armour. We only had an hour for lunch which left no time to shop. The bus driver didn't even slow down so we could get some pictures. I have never been on Norwegian before and after this I never will be on it again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it ... Read More
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it every time. The ship is in great repair and the staff is always friendly. The food on every cruise we have made on the Pearl is always above par to say the least. Embarkation out of New York was a breeze and getting off the ship in Amsterdam was just as easy. No issues or time wasted on either end of the 2 week trip. Our stateroom was amazing and had its own private hot tub on the balcony along with a tub and seperate shower in the stateroom. The haven area was great, as it was on all our other trips on the Pearl. In two weeks we ate in every resturant at least once and some twice and they were all above other cruise lines dining experiences. The entertainment was equal to or above what we have had on other ships. The Ports were all really exciting and we had an excursion picked for every port so there was no disappointment there either. All our excursions were booked thru NCL and they were worth the money. Our only regret was we had to come back to the real world of work at the end of our cruise. We have come to feel like we know this ship better than most other ships we have been on and we have never been disappointed with anything on the Pearl. Service, food, entertainment, staterooms and public areas are always the best that can be expected of a cruise ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I was told by many people Norwegian was an upscale cruise line. DON’T BELIEVE IT. No one knows what is going on and they seem not to care. The employees don’t go out of their way an inch. The famous work Is “no”. There are a ... Read More
I was told by many people Norwegian was an upscale cruise line. DON’T BELIEVE IT. No one knows what is going on and they seem not to care. The employees don’t go out of their way an inch. The famous work Is “no”. There are a few crew members that actually will get you information but they are the minority. Not many crew members smile and if you have a question or ask “why” for any reason they will argue with you. The food is terrible if you don’t pay for the upgraded restaurants. Do yourself a favor if you still plan on going on this cruise line, , take the upgraded food package and insurance. There is an epidemic of the Niro Virus. I was told over 200 crew members were quarantined and a lot of passengers. All the food cases are wrapped and you have to be handed what you want. They will not let anyone take it themselves. There are crew members spraying your hands entering and exiting the food areas. The captain made an announcement that all the people that had the virus were not allowed to leave their rooms. The ride into Dublin was a disaster. They had 6 tenders and over 1000 people. The lines were long and people missed their excursions. No one on the cruise line seemed to care. I have a horrible allergy to mushrooms and asked for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I could not chance eating the items that were available in the buffet. I was told to call room service by a supervisor in the buffet restaurant. Everything about this cruise was a struggle and very uncomfortable.. You will be taking a Hugh chance on this cruise ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I usually do not write reviews but I had to in this case. This trip was just under $7000.00 dollars, not an inexpensive trip! Yet we booked this trip because in our minds this was a trip of a lifetime! As a seasoned cruiser I had wanted to ... Read More
I usually do not write reviews but I had to in this case. This trip was just under $7000.00 dollars, not an inexpensive trip! Yet we booked this trip because in our minds this was a trip of a lifetime! As a seasoned cruiser I had wanted to go to Ireland and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.... boy was I wrong! From the minute we got to NYC to get on the ship we had problems! First, not enough space on the bus that shuttled people from the airport to the terminal. People were left on the curb! Then the noro virus hit! We were confined in our cabin for 48 hours. Missed the port in Ireland, which was why we choose this itinerary in the first place. To say we were disappointed is an understatement! We went almost 24 hours without food and water since room service was really busy.... they did not answer the phone.... we did not get clean towels or any compensation for the fact that we missed 2 days of our vacation. The excursions when we were released were unorganized and were not rated correctly for difficulty. The food was okay, nothing extraordinary and there was not enough activities on the sea days. As an example they had cooking demonstrations in the main atrium and they only had enough seats for maybe 75 when there were 2000 passenger. Let me end with this. I understand that it isn’t NCL’s fault that a passenger came on sick but I certainly can fault them for the very poor way they handled a bad situation! NCL needs a course in customer service! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
What a total disaster of a ship. I can’t say one good thing about it. The staff was uninformed, food was horrible, excursions horrible, entertainment horrible. There’s just not one good thing I can say. NCL owes everyone on that ... Read More
What a total disaster of a ship. I can’t say one good thing about it. The staff was uninformed, food was horrible, excursions horrible, entertainment horrible. There’s just not one good thing I can say. NCL owes everyone on that ship a refund. They totally failed on everything including how the virus epidemic was handled. Up until this cruise I had become a NCL fan. Enjoyed my last 3 cruises this year with them. Never again. In fact I’m giving my cruisenext funds to a family member. The best day was departing the ship and spending the day in Amsterdam. Sorry for anyone who has a future cruise in the Pearl. The captain and cruise director stink at their jobs. Stay away for the medical team at all cost. They are rude and condescending and won’t even answer a question. The customer service crew is all new and uninformed. We were constantly misled by their information. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Ncl provided the lowest grade of food possible whenever they could. Poor grades of meat & fish in main ding rooms and buffet. The menus were very limited in both dining rooms and buffet. Wait staff was mostly inattentive and poorly ... Read More
Ncl provided the lowest grade of food possible whenever they could. Poor grades of meat & fish in main ding rooms and buffet. The menus were very limited in both dining rooms and buffet. Wait staff was mostly inattentive and poorly trained. This was certainly not the type of service we have come to expect after 51 cruises! The weather was bad (not ncl's fault) so all outside venues were closed, including the outside buffets and seating. Ncl did nothing to compensate for this. Seating was very limited in buffet because of this. Ncl also did not add any inside activities or entertainment considering the weather. They were not flexible in any way. Theyn did not even bother to change the daily schedule to reflect the closings etc. There was a severe outbreak of the norovirus, so ncl removed all condiments from tables, kept bathroom doors open, cleaned constantly, did not allow cruisers to get their own food or drinks in buffet, etc. But did leave casino open where people were touching slot machines. I guess the money factor was more important than health in that regard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The 12 day cruise included ports that we wanted to visit - but NCL shortened it a week before departure to 10 days and cut out the 2 ports that we were interested in!!! Our prearranged hotel and other travel arrangements could not be ... Read More
The 12 day cruise included ports that we wanted to visit - but NCL shortened it a week before departure to 10 days and cut out the 2 ports that we were interested in!!! Our prearranged hotel and other travel arrangements could not be changed at such a late date forcing us to book elsewhere to fill in the time at very short notice. All food on the ship was served Luke warm instead of hot with the exception of the pasta which was heated to order. In the buffet, the selection of teas available varied minute by minute with the most popular flavours being unavailable most of the time. Some food items (most notably the sausages) had their name changed with no discernable difference in flavour and some items with the same name were a totally different product on the other side of the ship! The quality of cabin cleaning and replenishment of supplies was variable however the cabin itself was incredibly quiet and the bed extremely comfortable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
As the title suggests, lukewarm food on Deck 6 was the main letdown. I found the food in the Deck 15 buffet more enjoyable because it was hot. Take note, the powers-that-be who read these reviews. The lukewarm food in Savor and Taste was a ... Read More
As the title suggests, lukewarm food on Deck 6 was the main letdown. I found the food in the Deck 15 buffet more enjoyable because it was hot. Take note, the powers-that-be who read these reviews. The lukewarm food in Savor and Taste was a regular occurrence. NCL, you need to get the food to the table much more quickly. And why not heat the plates? That would help. Cabin 9196 had a bad odour coming from the bathroom drains. This was not fixed until I asked the attendant. He knew of this problem but did nothing until I raised the issue. Chemicals were then used to fix the problem. The bed was very comfortable and the pillows were just right. I'd like to see a few more movie channels made available in the cabins. The movies that were played in the Atrium needed tho have the volume turned down. It made the Atrium area very noisy. Oswald, who worked the bar adjacent Savor and Taste, was a real professional. He learnt the regulars' names as well as their favourite drinks. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I wanted to visit the Azores and try a transatlantic cruise for the first time. Unfortunately a week before the cruise NCL decided to shorten our 12 day to a 10 day and eliminated 50% of our ports, I never saw the Azores. They canceled ... Read More
I wanted to visit the Azores and try a transatlantic cruise for the first time. Unfortunately a week before the cruise NCL decided to shorten our 12 day to a 10 day and eliminated 50% of our ports, I never saw the Azores. They canceled Portland England as well which we could have dealt with. They did all this to displace their guests in order to put the Getaway to dry dock earlier than anticipated. Saw the dry dock results, looks like Starbucks was added onboard and new furniture. I'm not sure why that was necessary to ruin our vacation to complete this upgrade earlier for NCL. The ship itself was dirty, service slow and passengers mostly upset. We made the best of the situation making some great people but still very disappointed with NCL's decision. Also the 25% credit towards a future cruise was what you had paid for the room charges only on the Getaway? Seemed like yet another way to disappoint us. Carnival has given us 25% off before, due to a hurricane cancellation and it was a % off the future cruise price itself. Was definitely able to see the NCL customer service difference, they don't seem to have any. The ship was dirty, public bathrooms smelt so bad they propped the doors open. Glassware was dirty, received a lot of drinks with a side of lipstick. The entertainment and enrichment activities were lacking. Either sold out so you couldn't attend, or completely pointless like Burn the Floor. Interpretive dance is meant to tell a story, no one seems to know what that was. The rock climbing, ropes course and water slides were closed most of the trip. Not enough shore excursions for the passengers after the last minute change in itinerary. The one we did manage to book, everyone was sick from the cruise. There was some respiratory bug that went around. Just overall a bad cruise experience, I've been on a lot of cruises and I have never experienced anything like this. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise to spend 12 days on vacation. It was my second NCL transatlantic experience and I had a great time on the first. I expected four nice ports and lots of relaxing, fun days at sea. A week before we sailed we were ... Read More
I chose this cruise to spend 12 days on vacation. It was my second NCL transatlantic experience and I had a great time on the first. I expected four nice ports and lots of relaxing, fun days at sea. A week before we sailed we were informed that we were cut to ten days, with two marginal at best ports. After much noise we got two better ports back, but the chaos caused by the changes were not worth the trouble. The changes caused a massive amount of upheaval and required multiple visits to the guest services and shore excursions desks to try to correct overcharges, cancelled excursions, etc. After being reassured for four days that I was on the list for a shore excursion I had booked and paid for, when tickets were issued to others I was told I had in fact not made the list and was out of luck. Not even an apology. There were not enough excursions for the number of passengers and the port changes were not planned for or handled well. I have a mobility issue that prevents long walks, multiple stairs, etc, but I do not need a wheelchair or other assistive device. There were minimal excursions planned at "Level 1" and the online sales descriptions were not complete. On the ship I was told I could not participate in the other two I had booked that I had been rebooked for because of the physical requirements. The only excuse given was "it's Europe". Again, not even "sorry". I am still waiting for refunds for the shore excursions that were taken away. We were redirected to a more northern shipping lane, resulting in it being too cold to spend any time outside. Almost 4000 people were crammed into the indoor spaces, resulting in MANY passengers coughing and reporting respiratory infections. One major annoyance was that from what some passengers reported, a very large block of rooms was sold at a low price to a large group of rude, unpleasant people. This group mostly pretended not to speak English as the pushed through lines and led their friends past people who'd been waiting patiently. They overwhelmed public spaces and the Garden Cafe, taking up full tables of seating all day, refusing to share, pushing through lines and hoarding food. They took over spaces with events scheduled for their own purposes and ignored requests to allow the events to take place. I personally witnessed this at least twice. The staff worked hard to deal with the changes and angry guests. There were many clogged toilets, many soap dispensers not working in public bathrooms. Twice I was served drinks in glasses with lipstick on them. Not mine! Cleanliness was next to impossible apparently. This could account for the many illnesses onboard. It was not all bad. My cabin and steward were wonderful, most of the specialty restaurants had good service and decent food. The O'Sheehan's staff did a wonderful job at breakfast no matter how large the crowd. Million Dollar Quartet was an exceptionally good show. Cirque Dreams and Steam was very entertaining. Burn the Floor was good but is getting a bit tired. The entertainment in the Atrium ranged from really good (music in the evenings) to horribly lame. The daytime events were always at volume that was much too high for the setting. The afternoon movies were too loud to even allow sitting in the general area. I have hearing issues from years of rock concerts and it was still too loud for me! I am not ready to give up on NCL yet, but I may not cruise out of NYC again if the partial charter nightmare continues. I hope they made enough money from the group to make up from the lost business from the people who's vacations were ruined by the constant stress of dealing with pushing, shoving and general rudeness. Lack of cleanliness is inexcusable when so many people are packing indoors in a relatively small space. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 12th NCL cruise and we've always been pleased but this transatlantic cruise going to Europe was not good. It started to go bad when NCL cut the cruise down from 12 days 10 days a week before the cruise (cutting out two ... Read More
This was our 12th NCL cruise and we've always been pleased but this transatlantic cruise going to Europe was not good. It started to go bad when NCL cut the cruise down from 12 days 10 days a week before the cruise (cutting out two of the four ports). We had to scramble to change our other travel arrangements. The $300 per person reimbursement that they offered is not going to cover what it costs us to change our flights to Paris, two extra hotel days in Paris and the transfer to Heathrow. We will have to use some of the 25% refund that they are supposed to be giving to help defray the costs. Dining was a problem for breakfast and lunch for the first 2-3 days. There were huge lines for the two smaller dining rooms Savor and Taste (largest dining room not open for breakfast or lunch). I've never seen it like that before. I attribute that to a very high number of Latitudes members - something like 435 Latitudes Platinum and Platinum Plus with a huge number of Gold and Silver. The passengers were also an older crowd. With the Latitudes members and the age of passengers, I think that a lot people wanted to be waited on instead of having to go to the buffet. To make matters worse. The daily sheet only listed Savor open for breakfast and lunch, which was not actually the case. Don't know if they were trying to make a lot of people think that they had to go to the buffet. We discovered after a couple of days that Taste was also open and we got in without much trouble. As far as the quality of the food goes, the food in the dining rooms for dinner seem to have improved from our last cruise and we were very satisfied. The food in the buffet continues to decline in quality and selection. The desserts are especially bad with the the cake toppings made with chemical-laden ingredients. The lunch menu in the dining rooms need to have more variation. As always with us, we had one meal at Le Bistro and it was wonderful as usual. We also had one at Moderno. The Moderno salad bar is fabulous but their meat is not of good quality. They also slice it wrongly (with the grain and not against as one needs to do with less tender cuts). The meal for the Cirque show was great (surf and turf). For the first time in our 12 NCL cruises, our cabin attendant was not very good. In fact he was lazy. We had a difficult time getting clean glassware and didn't clean the bathroom sink very well. Disembarkation was terrible - worst of our 12 cruises and it could have been prevented. There was a disembarkation schedule with tags for the luggage color-coded for the time but it wasn't enforced. The problem was that tags are not given for carry-on luggage, which is what people have with them when they are disembarking so there was no way for the staff to tell if people were disembarking at the proper time. It was a free-for-all with terrible lines. I know that some people missed their bus for a London excursion. Also, there was not supposed to be people going through the disembarkation/customs process with all their luggage and that caused a bigger mess. I heard many people say that they wouldn't take another NCL cruise. I would not recommend doing an Europe bound transatlantic cruise. It was way too difficult to adjust to 6 nightly time changes losing an ho fqur each time. It's way easier for me to doing it all at once. We were constantly exhausted. We've gone on a transatlantic cruise in the other direction and it was fine. Since we're Latitudes Platinum and get quite a few perks, we'll stay with NCL but if this had been our first cruise with them, we'd never sail with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had booked this cruise two months before the date and were looking forward to the 12-day transatlantic itinerary with a more southerly route from NYC to Ponta Delgada, Azores. I had previously been on the Getaway on its inaugural season ... Read More
We had booked this cruise two months before the date and were looking forward to the 12-day transatlantic itinerary with a more southerly route from NYC to Ponta Delgada, Azores. I had previously been on the Getaway on its inaugural season in the Caribbean out of Miami so was looking forward to being a returning guest. One week before our departure, NCL decided to let the passengers know that the 12 day itinerary had been cut to a 10 day and two ports (Le Havre and Zeebrugge) would be dropped. The only compensation would be a limited amount for airfare changes and 25% off the cruise fare. After serious backlash by passengers the compensation was increased, however just a few days before the cruise the itinerary was changed again, this time adding the previously dropped ports and dropping Portland UK (who cares) and Ponta Delgada, which of course ended any chance of warm weather on the crossing. These last minute changes that NCL claimed were due to 'circumstances beyond their control' caused a lot of grief and stress for us on what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation. We had negative feelings about our cruise before it even began and were hoping the staff would go above and beyond to make up for the disappointing changes. This however did not take place and the cruise itself was just as bad as the initial issues. Throughout the cruise there were long waits (20-40 mins) just to get into the complimentary dining venues. I had been on the Escape in December for Christmas with an above capacity 5000+ passengers and never waited more than 5 minutes yet on this under capacity transatlantic cruise we had to wait 40 minutes just to get into O'Sheehans, unacceptable! I have done 5 NCL Cruises and can tell you the service in the speciality restaurants on the Getaway was not on par with NCL standards. We asked for water refills multiple times and waited 5-10 minutes. Long waits between all courses. Our visit to Cagneys was over 2,5hours and this was not by our choice and by 2.5 hours our order for dessert was still not taken and we just gave up and left. We asked for extra bread in Le Bistro and this was forgotten and had a bottle of wine and no one offered to refill our glasses, we had to reach over and refill our glasses by ourselves, embarrassing and unacceptable when you are paying a hefty extra sum!!! The buffet was a total zoo which surprised me since there were barely any kids on this itinerary. Garbage food in the buffet, we went twice and gave up. The watermelon would always run out. The entertainment on board was not adequate for a transatlantic itinerary. There was barely any activities between 10am and 7pm. We enjoyed the guest lecturer at 9:30am but wish there would have been another enrichment activity in the early afternoon. Our favourite entertainment activities were the ABBA and Adele Tributes. In the theatre we went to Matt Johnson Magician Show which we enjoyed. We did not attend any other shows but heard they were all excellent. Entertainment in the night was fine, but daytime activities were scant, unacceptable for a cold weather cruise where everyone is inside and bored. If you wanted to do rock climbing and ropes course there were no waits, we did both. The service at the bars was the one bright spot for service on this cruise, and we frequented MIXX between Taste and Savour. We booked the D-Day landings excursion for Le Havre. Meeting time was 7:30am and we did not get off the ship until 8:45 ugh. Disembarkation was very disorganized on both port days. The tour buses were not ready for us when we arrived Sunday Morning in Le Havre, because of the delay, we missed an hour of our excursion which was the rushed. 20 minutes at the US Cemetery in Omaha Beach is not enough!! We felt ripped off on this excursion and would not recommend. D-Day beaches require multiple days to be properly experienced. We did however enjoy our Flanders Fields excursion in Zeebrugge. It was much more organized. Always long waits at Guest Services and Shore EX, but was mostly due to butchered itinerary. Overall we enjoyed our vacation albeit not due to this ship! A cruise is a cruise, we still had unlimited food, booze and thermal suite access so we cannot say it was a terrible time, however this cruise did not meet the previous standards I experienced with NCL and the unprofessionalism regarding last minute changes ruined our perception of the cruise line. We felt that the crew and staff just wanted to get us off the ship and get into dry dock. When we docked in Southhampton, crews were immediately on board and began work in front of us. We were to disembark at 12pm, and by 11am the buffet and all bars were closed shut. When I asked a crew member in the Garden Cafe where I could get drinking water she replied with an indifferent "I don't know, we're closed" we could not even get a glass of water to take with medications, How is that allowed? They just wanted us off the ship. We got that vibe throughout the cruise. In the minds of NCL it was just a repositioning of the ship, not a vacation of a lifetime for the guests. Avoid this ship! I enjoyed the Bliss and Escape, large ships but still had good service. This cruise however left us with a bitter taste of NCL and we will not be eager to cruise with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Transatlantic crossing. My husband and I have sailed many times on NCL (Platinum Members) and thought a transatlantic crossing would be different and exciting. It sure was. Although seas were calm, it was cold and/or raining. No ... Read More
Transatlantic crossing. My husband and I have sailed many times on NCL (Platinum Members) and thought a transatlantic crossing would be different and exciting. It sure was. Although seas were calm, it was cold and/or raining. No outdoor activities to be had so indoors 95% of the journey. The ship was big and confusing, sectioned off, not flowing like most ships. Some areas were off limits entire cruise and we never were able to explore the entire ship. We found some public restrooms in a deplorable state. It was a first for us, we never experienced that before on NCL. Crew always pleasant, our room steward Fedilia was excellent, sweet and pleasant. Dining was good except buffet wasn't as exciting as previous cruises - pretty much same food every day. Only one dining room experience at Taste was bad due to incompetent rude servers. We were served bread with no plates or silverware. My husband flagged a waiter to set our table. We ordered cocktails and immediately the food waiter came to ask for our order. We said we'll order when we're done having our cocktails and the waiter walked away. During cocktails, another waiter came by and took all the silverware off the table. One minute later, 2 entrees came, neither was ours. Waiter said sorry and walked away and never replaced the utensils that had been removed earlier. My husband flagged our waiter and asked for our utensils back. Waiter gave him a snarky look and walked away to get them. During cocktails my husband could see two staff - our waiter and the one who delivered wrong entrees, talking and staring at us while giving the stink eye. Ordered dinners, then came dessert. Waiter shoved a menu in front of me from behind without saying a word. Did the same to my husband from the front of him. Rude, inappropriate behavior for dining staff. We never returned. We're not big show people but did see Cirque's Steam which was excellent. We're big Cirque fans. The itinerary was changed twice, first time was just 1 week before and it completely burst our bubble building up to this vacation. So much confusion and indifference to passenger travel arrangements that they changed the itinerary again 3 days before disembarkation to appease the onslaught of complaints and possibly legal threats. Two countries were added back. We originally booked a 12 day cruise and ended up with 10 days. Originally 5 ports, actual ports 3, LaHavre(Paris), Brussels/Brugges Belguim and Southampton/London. Excursions are always great, after all that's why we travel - the destinations. This time there just wasn't enough ports and 7 days straight at sea without being able to enjoy the outdoors was a bit much. At the end the ship docked in Southampton and we were prepared for a tour of London before flying home. Our mistake was booking an excursion that was 7 hrs and our flight was within 5. We were reimbursed immediately and grabbed a cab to Heathrow. The itinerary changes were due to NCLs decision to go to dry dock 2 days earlier than originally advertised. We never experienced a cruise before with so many disgruntled and disappointed loyal NCL passengers as this one. Collectively it was not a happy bunch. My husband and I made the best of it. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
n my whole life I’ve never ever had a cruise so awful as that on the Getaway Sail date 27th April from New York to Southampton. Here are the bulletin points 1/ The expensive cruise I paid for was not the cruise I experienced. Cruise ... Read More
n my whole life I’ve never ever had a cruise so awful as that on the Getaway Sail date 27th April from New York to Southampton. Here are the bulletin points 1/ The expensive cruise I paid for was not the cruise I experienced. Cruise was cut short at the last minute 5 days before we sailed and even then it was changed the next day. 2/ Stateroom was filthy and unprepared 3/ The food was disgusting usually cold . The head Chef should be ashamed. 4/ The crew on board where arrogant, unhelpful and downright rude. They should have pulled out the stops for us but instead they did the opposite 5/ We sailed a northerly route 430 nautical miles from where the cruise I booked should have sailed. Result instead of some warmth we froze and out doors was blocked . 6/When it was opened the pool was freezing and unheated, when I enquired I might as well have asked a wall for all the guest service did in fact he never answered me 7/ We lost an hour for several nights did the hotel manager on board think about that no he still opened the breakfast restaurants at the same time closing at 9am . No interest in the passengers well being being considered and overcrowding in the Garden Cafe which I suspect was intentional as food was defiantly left over muck. 8/ Service in O’Sheehan’s was a mess we where allocated a table did anyone attend to us No and it was not that busy , not a cup or glass put on the table. We alerted an Officer who did nothing. I then spoke to a waiter who didn’t know what Manager meant so I shouted Boss that did the trick but I ask you what a disgrace. He did take out room number. 9/ Shanghai food awful spring roll frozen in the middle!!! 10/ The tension on the ship was awful passengers upset annoyed the staff sullen and unhelpful. 11/ The ship was sailing in the Atlantic and was cold with 11.5feet waves and the Cruise director behaved as if we where in the Caribbean I ask youth knew how upset passengers felt. 12/ last day Breakfast Your daily news said it opened at 6 but the staff despite many people in line said 6.30 . A retired Royal Navy Officer decided to approach the officer in charge who argued that it was 6.30 but ended up phoning to be told it was 6. We were glowered at during breakfast by her and deliberately served last. 13/ I had asked why we had 2 days taken off and the reason for dry dock No one from NCL replied However the Taxi driver at Southampton did!! 400 workers coming on board that day and repairs to the engines oh and the lovely fresh food seen at Southampton going on board for them!!!??? This was a demonstration of the lax arrangement of the crew on broad this ship. What a disgrace your 25% goes no way towards the loss and disappointment but I have done my research and you have your terms and conditions well slanted in you favour. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Around a week before our start date, NCL changed the itinerary by reducing the cruise from 12 to 10 nights and removing La Harve and Zeebrugge. A few days later it changed again adding La Harve and Zeebrugge again but removing the Azores ... Read More
Around a week before our start date, NCL changed the itinerary by reducing the cruise from 12 to 10 nights and removing La Harve and Zeebrugge. A few days later it changed again adding La Harve and Zeebrugge again but removing the Azores and Portland. So before the cruise started we had to re-arrange travel and could only claims our expenses back after the start of the cruise. Once onboard a lot of the shows required everyone to book in advance and then queue up 30 minutes before the show starts. If you didn't manage to book in advance you had to queue even longer. The issue was there was no organisation of the queue, so people who hadn’t booked were in the wrong queue and vice versa. Once they decided to open the door to the theatre or headliners everybody needed their cruise card to be scanned, slowing down the process even more. The most stupid part of the process, is that it wasn’t for all shows. The shows that didn’t require booking as you may have guessed were very well organised and nobody had to queue at all. A plus point on the entertainment for us was duelling pianos at the Headliners bar and you didn’t need to book it. The food was generally quite good, but there were problems with service. Sometimes very slow then other times too quick, we had main meals arrive, while we were still eating starters, toast arrived after we had eaten breakfast and there are other examples. Two days before we left the ship, we informed customer services that we had a early flight and needed to leave early but the earliest time they would give us is 8.15 unless we paid them $72(55ish) to book a transfer to Southampton airport which is about 6 miles away and a £27 taxi ride. We started the leave the ship at 8.15, but didn’t get off until 9.15 and our flight was at 10.25. Despite the inadequacies of NCL we arrived at the airport at 9.40, 15 minutes after luggage drop off. But Southampton airport was great and we still managed to get our flight. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, but would have preferred the itinerary we originally booked, better organisation in the restaurants, no booking for any of the free shows and a guest services team that listened. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
"We just completed a transatlantic trip on the Norwegian Getaway. A 12 day trip with intended stops in the Azores, Portland UK, Le Havre, Brugge and Southampton became a 10 day trip when the cruise company decided to cut it short. ... Read More
"We just completed a transatlantic trip on the Norwegian Getaway. A 12 day trip with intended stops in the Azores, Portland UK, Le Havre, Brugge and Southampton became a 10 day trip when the cruise company decided to cut it short. They changed ports dropping the French and Brussles area only to change again dropping the Azores and Portland. Having done that and accepted the changes, they provide a 25% discount on the trip and some refund on travel plan changes. Once the drama was over, (for us it was compounded by the fact that we were originally on the Oasis of the Seas which had an accident in dry-dock eliminating our trip), things went very well. While North Atlantic is notoriously unpredictable in Spring, it provided us with cold and rain but very smooth sailing. Because we were able to secure a spa suit and were in The Haven, a smaller area of the ship with a private dining and lounge area, we truly enjoyed the passage. The ship had great activities and good food. We enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I still wonder how Norwegian was unaware until the last minute that the long scheduled passage was to be cut 2 days short for a refitting in dry dock." Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This experience with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) was so bad, I'd already filed a fraud claim with my state attorney general before I left. Let's do this first, though. The cruise itself was good. The on-board staff were, ... Read More
This experience with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) was so bad, I'd already filed a fraud claim with my state attorney general before I left. Let's do this first, though. The cruise itself was good. The on-board staff were, for the most part, great. The Vibe Beach club remains the best deal and investment at sea, bar none. And the meals and entertainment were solid, even occasionally outstanding. If that was it, I'd have given this cruise four out of five marks. But that isn't it. The cruise I bought was to depart New York City for a 12 day, transatlantic trip with stops in the Azores, Western England, Belgium, France and finally in Southampton (London). Then six days before departure, NCL says they've decided to skip half the stops, canceling Belgium and France entirely AND arriving in London two days earlier, for which I've made no plans, no hotel, no activities, nothing. To compensate, NCL offers a 25% refund and a reimbursement of up to $300 per person for expenses. But if you've ever tried to book a hotel in London two weeks out, you know $300 is a joke. Not to mention the tours I had to cancel, the tickets I have to eat and so on and so on. By the way, no refunds. NCL says it was past the refund window. So I can blow 75% of my vacation and stay home or go on a cruise that is not the one I booked. It's shorter and does not go where I wanted to go. So, naturally, I am outraged. But I make the most of it, I book new activities, train tickets for a day in Paris, and get a hotel in London for the two days I'm there unexpectedly, which is WAY more than $300. And I cancel the stuff in Belgium and France and eat that cost. Then, two days before we go, I happen to notice on my trip summary page a whole new itinerary. This one cancels western England, where I'd already booked a tour to Stonehenge and Salisbury and skips the Azores where, likewise, I'd booked tours. And this new schedule puts back France and Belgium, but on new days so my original plans, now canceled, cannot be reinstated. I have to book a third set of tours, out of pocket. And here's the kicker, you won't believe this. The reason for the yo-yo about where we're going and the shorter cruise is that they (NCL) have decided to get the ship (The Breakaway) into dry dock two days early to start a long-planned refurbishment. Not weather, not emergency, not safety - they wanted to get started early on renovations. Since I'm pretty sure you don't just show up at dry dock with a 4,000 passenger cruise liner, I'm pretty sure someone knew this was possible a long, long time ago. Which means NCL sold me a cruse they knew they likely would not deliver. Like months ago. Someone figured it was cheaper for them to jerk me around and issue a 25% refund with no possibility of cancellations and start refurbishment early. Oh and thanks for letting me know I'll be the last person to sail on this ship before you make it better. That's nice. There were literally people from the Miami corporate office on the ship walking around in front of guests pointing out all the old, outdated stuff they were about to fix for the next cruise. Classy. But I digress. In addition to the 25% refund, NCL also wrote, "...as a genuine gesture of concern, we are extending an additional 25% future cruise credit which may be used towards any upcoming sailing with us." So even if you'd consider setting foot on an NCL cruise ever again, even that 25% "future cruise credit" isn't. What they said was clear, what they actually mean (and didn't tell anyone until we were on board) is that they will apply the amount of the 25% refund for THIS CRUISE to a future one. Not 25% off, but the value of the existing 25% refund. So if you paid $2,000 for this cruise, and they reimburse you $500, you get a $500 credit for a future cruise, not 25% off. How cheap can you possibly be? Oh, and that 25% refund - just the fare. Not taxes, not fees. So if you paid $2,000, for example, your refund is actually like $300. Frankly, I'm beyond angry, I feel defrauded. Outright mislead and stolen from. This is now a sham wrapped snugly in a farce. And here's why - this is like that scene in Vacation where Clark Griswald is about to leave for vacation and goes to get the new car he ordered. When he arrives, he is given a completely different car than than the one he ordered. Outraged, he tries to leave to find out the dealer has already crushed his trade-in and he has no choice - take the substitute car he does not want or cancel vacation. By not allow refunds for cancellation, that's exactly what NCL did. I ordered a red convertible. A week before delivery, they tell me I'm getting a blue mini-van and I cannot cancel the deal. It's not even the blue mini-van or nothing, it's the blue mini-van period. And since the blue mini-van of the ten day cruise costs less than the red convertible of the 12-day cruise to the Azores that I bought, NCL gets zero credit for the 25% refund. In fact, it's not a refund. The car/cruise they actually gave me costs less. They sold me x, delivered me y, in a contract they said I could not cancel. That they adjusted the price to reflect only y and called it a refund is not good business, it's dishonesty. "Hey, good news. I'm only charging you the thing you did not want. I'm great, right?" And I'm not the only one who's angry. Everyone I spoke with on the ship was simmering. It's clear here that NCL put their greed of an early dry dock above keeping faith with their customers. That's too bad. They could have at least offered a cancellation refund when they trashed half the ports. But they didn't. Refused to. It's sad because vacations matter, people save and spend on them. They are spiritually important. That is, unless you invest your money and hopes with Norwegian. Then, you know, dry dock and good luck to you, shame on you for thinking NCL would actually deliver the cruise you bought. They can break the contract, you can't. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
There is so much to say... First, this was our first cruise as Norwegian Platinum members. We chose this cruise because we like Transatlantic voyages, it was very reasonably priced and it was the only cruise that fit our specific time ... Read More
There is so much to say... First, this was our first cruise as Norwegian Platinum members. We chose this cruise because we like Transatlantic voyages, it was very reasonably priced and it was the only cruise that fit our specific time frame. We live in NYC and love the ability to take a cab directly to the ship. The motivating force was a desperate need to have a vacation after a hard winter. Also, we had never been to either the Azores or Belgium, so that was a plus. We booked a sail-away balcony (our first time not booking a specific cabin). We were assigned a decent cabin on deck 8 that turned out to be really well located for this cruise. One week and one day before sailing (late in the afternoon on Good Friday) we got an email from NCL announcing an itinerary change that shortened the cruise by two days and eliminated the French and Belgian ports. Much has been written on the roll call thread about this fiasco. In short, NCL managed to screw up, piss a lot of people off, and then, in their attempt to fix the screwup (by bringing back the French and Belgium stops at the cost of the Azores and Portland stops) pissed off even more people. In our case, we just booked two more nights in London to cover the earlier arrival and adjusted our other arrangements to suit. As Platinum customers, embarkation was an absolute breeze. We were checked in and eating lunch in no time (although seating in the cafe was insufficient). We had previously sailed twice on the Breakaway, a ship we really didn’t care for. This cruise convinced us never to book a large ship again. There may be some really great large ships on other lines, but we don’t feel like finding out. The large NCL ships feel much more cramped than the Jewel class, a class we have cruised multiple times and have really loved. Let’s break down the issues: The biggest one is that whenever any area in the ship is crowded, it feels like being stuck in rush hour traffic. We came to avoid the atrium completely. It’s a mess. Much too small, too loud, too few chairs and, worse, it also acts as a thoroughfare. We completely avoided all of the events held there, some of which we wanted to attend. The Garden cafe is too loud, and suffers from the same design problem, it is almost impossible to walk through without bumping into people who are hauling plates of food in seemingly random patterns. Also there is just not enough seating. The aforementioned fiasco meant that there was always a long line at guest services. Exceptionally poor communication from NCL about refunds and bill adjustments made any interaction with them difficult because of the crowds. In short, the ship design with poor traffic management, and a claustrophobic feel and an emphasis on outdoor space better suited to warm climates meant that the whole experience was cramped. Disembarkation was slow. The itinerary change meant that we couldn’t pick up the immigration officials in the Azores which meant another long line to be navigated upon arrival all the while watching the clock to see if we we would make our train (we didn’t but there was a subsequent train, so there was no real issue). As usual, the crew was quite good. What our cabin steward lacked in friendliness, he more than made up for in ruthless efficiency. Our room was always done quickly and correctly without impacting our use thereof. The wait staff was friendly, as was everyone else we dealt with. As for food, we felt that the free sit-down restaurants were hit-or-miss. We had a couple of good meals (prime rib one night, a solid burger another at O’Sheehans), a couple of meals that were poor at Taste and Savor and one good and one not-so-good at the Tropicana. As for the Garden Cafe, it was okay, not as good as we have experienced before. The specialty restaurants were much better. The filet at Cagney’s was excellent. That was comped as a Platinum perk. We paid a la Carte at Le Bistro, a meal I was really looking forward to, as I had loved both the Trois Cornets appetizer and the Canard a l’Orange on previous voyages. Both are gone from the menu, a big disappointment. The other comped meal at Moderno was exceptional. The waiter comped our glasses of wine as well. As for the journey, we found it hard to deal with the constant time changes. There is no getting around the fact that crossing time zones is difficult, but by the third or fourth one, we just wanted it to be over. The weather, although cold and mostly gray, was good. As for entertainment, the Million Dollar Quartet show was a standout, we also enjoyed the Cirque Dreams dinner show although, despite being first in line and having paid extra for floor seats, discovering that we had poor sight lines because the Haven guests got the best seats (something that we didn’t know would happen) was a bit frustrating. Music about the ship suffered from the poor design. The open atrium made for terrible acoustics and an unwelcoming experience. The ship open-space performers were just okay, in my opinion. We were looking forward to hearing some decent blues in the Fat Cats club (as we had on the Breakaway) but it was taken over by Karaoke almost every night and, as far as I could tell, nobody on board could play or sing the blues. We paid extra for access to the thermal suite, something we have done on every NCL cruise. Our normal routine is to hit the gym, shower off and soak. The gym was always crowded. Some of the equipment was broken and there were times when it wasn’t possible go work out. The thermal spa was, likewise, fairly crowded. The staff is doing a better job of policing the reservation of both the heated and regular lounge chairs, a consistent problem in the past, so that is an improvement, Despite all of my issues with the ship, it was a very enjoyable cruise. That, largely, was due to some of our fellow passengers and our decision to be more social than in the past. We made some initial connections via the roll call thread that led to one of the best times, the mad beer-sampling dash through Bruges. In LeHavre, we walked into town determined to have coffee, baguettes and butter which we found in the Sunday market in the center of town. We were determined not to let the problems ruin our vacation and we have succeeded. It is clear, however, that our non-stop string of being NCL-only customers is at an end. The emphasis on packing people in is taking its toll. I do recognize that what you get for your money is still a good deal, but it may no longer be for us. NCL has cut both service and some quality in recent years and we would prefer for our cruise experiences not to resemble traveling on budget airlines where the emphasis is on upcharges and post-sales opportunities, Read Less

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