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2,920 Norwegian (NCL) Alaska Cruise Reviews

I chose the cruise because it departs from Vancouver from our home town, cost is extremely high for what's it's worth. Wifi is expensive and unreliable, dining room and buffet menu selection is poor and limited and almost all ... Read More
I chose the cruise because it departs from Vancouver from our home town, cost is extremely high for what's it's worth. Wifi is expensive and unreliable, dining room and buffet menu selection is poor and limited and almost all meat is overcooked, sitting area is also limited and spread out, only one section of buffet, if you can't find a table close by (which most likely is occupied), you have to walked three blocks to get to the food station, very poor design, should at least put the buffet in the center, only a few items of food with displayed with limited selection and quantity. Hot noodles was served with three to four string of noodles (why bother) almost all customers asks for 3-4 portions Salad varieties is so terrible and only couple of bottle thousand island and French dressing Fruit varieties is poor and limited. mostly not quite ready, maybe worry they would go bad? I lost weight at the cruise by doing and eating nothing. I feel totally ripped off and no one anywhere to complain We were denied access to the theatre because I was pushing a stroller, claimed that the hall is full and yet they allowed someone else to walk in and invite them to stand at the back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Meh
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my ... Read More
One and done, complied with bucket list and 7k poorer. I upgraded, I thought to a larger cabin facing but it turned out to be a basic hotel room size, bed hard as a rock couch hard as a rock but it was my first time so maybe my expectations were too high. And also the Wi-Fi that I paid for sucks so bad that nobody should buy it, just do without. I know it’s a satellite-based Wi-Fi but they shouldn’t try to sell it if it doesn’t work. The room TV was nice except it didn’t work unless you want to watch commercials for people trying to sell you watches, diamonds and artwork, up selling everything on the ship when I see there’s not much to look at when on the high seas. Crew was very friendly and the excursions made the trip. If I had to do it again I’d fly to Ketchikan and use that as my base of operations. The people of Alaska make it a great place to visit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our first Norwegian cruise but it will not be the last. the refitted Jewel was a pleasure, the sky lounge, multiple bars and sitting areas allowed us to view Alaska as we sailed by and hang out as a multi-generational family. The ... Read More
Our first Norwegian cruise but it will not be the last. the refitted Jewel was a pleasure, the sky lounge, multiple bars and sitting areas allowed us to view Alaska as we sailed by and hang out as a multi-generational family. The entertainment was outstanding, especially Ana and Vlad and the Circus Bijou. The food was great, plenty f choice in the buffet, the Irish bar had a great selection as did the Chin Chin Asian restaurant but e mainly ate in the Tsar's main dining room where Alex and team, the special diets co-ordinator made my cruise. Eating out with severe allergies and food restrictions can be a nerve-racking operation with limited choices and constant fears of cross-contamination. Not so on the Jewel. Every day Alex and team brought menus, from whichever restaurant I wanted for me to pre-select, then they and the chef created my food, brought special items (the gluten-free breads were the best I've ever had), the smoked salmon benedict and cinnamon french toast for breakfast were outstanding and every dining experience a delight. Thank you so much. PS Alaska was amazing too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on many cruises and have sailed on just about every cruise line and found this ship to be very well planned with ample space so as not to feel crowded with a full ship. Be sure to head to the observatory- best spot on the ... Read More
We have been on many cruises and have sailed on just about every cruise line and found this ship to be very well planned with ample space so as not to feel crowded with a full ship. Be sure to head to the observatory- best spot on the ship! Embarkation was very fast and easy. Luggage was delivered to the room within 3 hours to the room. A few items missing upon check-in however any issue that arose was handled swiftly, there was never a need to ask for anything twice. If you have an issue that can wait until the second day regarding customer service I highly suggest waiting. The line during the first few hours at customer service was very long. Shows were hit or miss with Elements being the highlight during our cruise. It was worth the extra $15 per person for the go carts so much fun! With that being said, there are things that are just missing from this ship. The small things we have become accustomed to..no chocolates on pillows at night, no towel animals, no one really circulating asking if you wanted a drink from the bar, very rushed dinners, $8 convenience fee for room service, $10 to watch a movie in your room. Nickel and dime as others have said. If you are a smoker the only place to smoke cigarettes was a tiny area on the 17th floor and a glass enclosed small space in the Casino when it was open. No cigarettes in the Cigar lounge which many of us found to be ridiculous and sexist. At times there were well over 100 people crammed into a small uncovered area with no tables and limited seating. We were certainly treated like third class citizens on the Joy. We had the dining package and ate at Cagney’s Twice - beware these specialty dining restaurants are a la cartel NOT flat fee per person and our bills were $150 each night without drinks which were zerod out afterward. Best food and dining experience onboard, the crab cakes were second to none! The Bistro was very good. Many other cruisers were not happy with the BBQ restaurant and the Italian restaurant. The main dining halls were efficient and just “ok”. The buffet was also limited but still plenty to chose from. Many excursions by helicopter and airplane were cancelled due to weather. Even with a $50 per port credit the excursions were very overpriced. Do not take the Skagway excursion found in port that says “Bear sighting Guaranteed” it was the worst excursion we have ever taken (not through the ship). The Train was nice but again overpriced at 300 for 2 people in bad weather - couldn’t see much at all with window fogging up and bad weather. Disembarkation went smoothly once it opened. Plenty of options to get to the airport easily and we’ll organized. I would certainly go on another cruise on the Joy but only if we have the dining package. I would like to see this ship in a warmer climate to try the awesome water Slide! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife, daughter and I have cruised three times on Norwegian, twice with Royal Caribbean and once with MSC and we looked forward to this trip to the beside the shores of Alaska and BC. The cruise overall was wonderful! My wife ... Read More
My wife, daughter and I have cruised three times on Norwegian, twice with Royal Caribbean and once with MSC and we looked forward to this trip to the beside the shores of Alaska and BC. The cruise overall was wonderful! My wife generously upgraded our balcony room to a Haven suite as a birthday gift. We've had suites before on RC and MSC, but this one was significantly larger including a separate second bedroom / bathroom for our seven year old. The Haven itself is fantastic. Haven areas are on the restricted decks (14 and 15) and include private dining for breakfast and lunch in Moderno, a covered pool/hot-tub that is nice and warm on the coldest/windiest of Alaskan days, a private area on top of the ship (on deck 15) where you can enjoy 360 degree views, butler service, a dedicated concierge, priority seating in the theater, priority embarkation and debarkation, etc. Truly awesome! We were very spoiled for the week! Overall, this is the way to see the coastline. There are some places where it just makes sense to go by ship. Norway (which we did on MSC after Norwegian canceled our cruise without explanation) and Alaska glacier areas are two examples. We spent innumerable hours watching gorgeous scenery out of our balcony with hours and hours going by with no sight of humans. Spectacular! OK, but onto the cruise stuff you guys might care to read about. First, service. We were pretty segregated the whole trip, so we didn't interact much in the public areas of the ship with the exception of listening to music in a bar or two. Our cabin steward, butler (Loy) and concierge (John) were all great. We asked a lot from John during the trip and he was intelligent, helpful and fully understood the context of what his guests would want. In our experience, not many crew members (especially non-native English speakers) are very good at getting the nuances of American culture even after a decade or more working on ships. John just "got it" and made our cruise much better that it would have been without his assistance. Such staff are worth attracting to the ship because they can accomplish more than a dozen 'newbs' can. We spent a bit of time chatting with the General Manager as well, who I think has one of the coolest jobs. OK, so all-in-all the service we received was great. Public service, I really can't say one way or the other albeit we ran into a couple service staff that would randomly bring up how they had toddlers at home that they only got to see every 8 months. We have run into this story many times before (always from SouthEast Asian staff) and I'm cool with it as long as it doesn't sound like a pity story in an effort to get additional gratuity. If we have been speaking with you frequently and we ask, fine, but don't bring it up out of the blue, please people. It's odd. Music: We had a Spanish guitarist that was quite talented and my daughter danced (mostly alone) for at least an hour. We didn't get much in the way of jazz which was surprising for a cruise full of retirees. The show band did a bit and were quite good. None of the other musicians did much for us. There was a Phillipino group singing pop tunes which was pretty awful, but there were enough people watching so at least some people thought it was OK. At least there wasn't a Calypso band on board. Entertainment: We thought it was surprisingly good. Generally the shows don't do much for us. We saw a hypnotist that we had seen before in the Canary Islands, a couple shows with the main dance/musicians, a smart comedian (geared to older age audiences) and a couple shows that were "Cirque" themed. The Cirque stuff was the best. The rest were quite good as well. Cabin: Mostly covered above, but overall it was excellent. Some of the tiles on the bathroom floor were loose and there was an odd frame thing around the master bath toilet flushing button, but the rest was in good shape and very clean. Specialty Dining: We didn't eat in any non-specialty restaurants this trip unless you count having sushi and other stuff at Chin Chin. Everything cost extra in the specialty dining, of course, but we were surprised by how much more expensive it was as compared to Norweigan's prior cover-charge approach. The prices were comparable to what I would expect to pay for a similar restaurant at home, which didn't take into account what we weren't eating at the main dining room / buffet, etc. I am fine with paying 'a la carte, but at least make the pricing reasonable, folks! Perhaps that was why many of the restaurants looked pretty empty at least at the early-ish times were were eating. OK, for the details; Chin Chin: the cheapest of the bunch as most of the food is free. The food was quite good quality and our service there was excellent. It was a bit loud and crowded, but that's fully understandable. We got the last available table which was by the entrance to Teppanyaki, so my daughter got to watch the show (again). The show band was playing for part of dinner downstairs, so that was pleasurable. The sushi from Sushi was excellent. In retrospect, I would have repeated this place more than once. La Cucina: Any Italian would lose their mind in this place. The food was 'meh', albeit the pasta dish we had was prepared perfectly. Italian cuisine must consist of the freshest seasonal ingredients, and the rule is to not screw up the great ingredients by overcooking or over-embellishing. I got the Osso Bucco and was sadly disappointed. It was of poor quality, not prepared well, not flavorful, and didn't even come with the marrow fork. I asked for one and the (Filipino) staff had no clue what I was talking about. Who serves Osso Bucco without a marrow fork?! Not anyone that has familiarity with Italian cuisine. Anyway, I viewed this as a symptom of not hiring more people that are familiar with the cuisines and service expected from a restaurant of that theme. C'mon Norwegian, stop hiring 90% of your staff from the Philippines just because they are cheap and can't sue foreign countries. We know what you are doing! Teppanyaki: This is a typical cheap Japanese steak house. Sit around the grill and get a little show. Service was poor, the food was fine, and the "Japanese chef" was almost as good as you'd find in a comparable place back home. Le Bistro: Good food, good service, somewhat limited menu, and a nice view out the windows (we were eating while passing whales which was really cool). Cagney's: This was the best restaurant in our opinion. The steaks and veal were excellent. The sides were priced separately and were quite expensive but tiny portions. What the heck? Very good service from our favorite server. The sommelier however was really irritating and had no clue what he was doing. He showed up at our table like Lenny and Squiggy arriving at Laverne and Shirley's apartment with a loud "Hello!". He then proceeded to open and pour our wine, but poured my glass and then my wife's. The rules are simple people: The one who orders the wine is asked to taste. Then you serve it to the oldest woman down to the youngest and then the men. Oh and he poured massive pours. What the heck? I was visibly irritated and made a comment to our server. I'm sure anyone server on the ship could have served the wine properly. Why this guy couldn't is a mystery, but I ran into him again at Moderno. This time he obnoxiously pretended to speak Spanish (he was Filipino) and was desperate to point me to a bottle. (I can choose my own wine, thank you very much!) I later complained about his boorish behavior to John, our concierge who relayed it to the head sommelier. Moderno: We ate here for breakfast and lunch every day as we were in the Haven. Service was excellent and the food quality was good, but the menu never changed over the seven days. We mentioned it to the General Manager, but he didn't think it was an issue except on longer cruises. For dinner it is a Brazilian steakhouse that gets its food from the kitchen in Cagney's. The food quality was good, but some of the staff didn't understand the whole 'red card means stop, green card means go' thing. Its basic rules for a Brazillian steakhouse people. The servers bringing the meat should know this. Beverages: Good, but overpriced. Oh, I forgot to mention that we selected a beverage package as one of our free incentives for booking the cruise in the first place, but when my wife upgraded to a Haven Suite, they took this benefit away without telling us. It became a whole two days of trying to sort it out through our concierge, who ended up losing that battle on our behalf. They charge a lot for drinks on this ship. A typical mixed drink was $11+ and a can of soda was $3.50. The drink packages are really expensive too. After a day or two we figured out that we'd never drink enough to make the package worthwhile even at the high prices, so we just paid for what we wanted. We bought bottles of wine every night (which were reasonably priced), so at least that was fine. Fitness Center: They have a whole room full of nice bikes that they only allow to be used when there is a spin class. The rest of the bikes were awful, my wife tells me. I used the treadmill once, which was fine, then I started running on the track on deck 13 instead which involves frequently asking people to move when they are blocking the track. Shore Excursions: We did our own for the most part. We took a helicopter flight and landed on a glacier, we took a cool train ride into Yukon territory (that one was cruise arranged), we kayaked with sea lions, seals and humpback whales, and we did a sled-dog training event. All were awesome and the ones we arranged were cheaper than the ship excursions, but they were still pricey. That said, all were worth it! Why This is Our Last Large Ship Cruise: We just learned how much these ships pollute the air. One cruise line in its European cruises pollutes MORE than every car in Europe combined. What the heck?! It turns out that they could "scrub" the exhaust, but then it just dumps sulfuric acid into the ocean directly. It appears that having your hotel / restaurants move around with you everywhere is wasteful. Who knew? Anyway, we'll just do more fly and drive trips which albeit bad, have much less of a carbon impact than a big ship. Time to go nuclear, folks! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was recommended to me by United Cruises once I told them I was interested in an Alaska cruise. i was given several choices, but I was interested in doing SE Alaska because years ago I had done a different Alaska cruise which ... Read More
This cruise was recommended to me by United Cruises once I told them I was interested in an Alaska cruise. i was given several choices, but I was interested in doing SE Alaska because years ago I had done a different Alaska cruise which took me to Sitka, Valdez and ended up in Anchorage where I got to see Delani National Park, which was quite a treat for the senses. Everything was really nice onboard except the food. I found it to be very average in every sense. I never ate anything that mesmerized me. I guess Norwegian has to cut corners somewhere. Otherwise, the cruise was very enjoyable. The entertainment was OK. The highlight of the entertainment for me was the winner of American idol 12 season, a lady whose last name was Glover. She was amazingly good and she performed flawlessly to the delight of the entire theater which gave her a standing ovation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was a bit worried about a "cold weather" cruise because I'd never experienced one. Surprise! The weather did not in any way interfere with our great time and wonderful experiences. We saw the Northern Lights!!! The ... Read More
I was a bit worried about a "cold weather" cruise because I'd never experienced one. Surprise! The weather did not in any way interfere with our great time and wonderful experiences. We saw the Northern Lights!!! The scenery was incredible and so very much to see. We dressed in layers for the weather but other than that, an a tiny bit of rain in Juneau, the weather was never mentioned, discussed or thought about. All port stops were extraordinary. My favorite, of all three which are favorites, was Ketchikan. Ketchikan was the most picturesque village we saw. I very much enjoyed the entertainment on board; especially the Cirque du Bijou (I think that's the correct name). Those folks were simply amazing. Our dining experiences were are pretty okay. I did not care for Chin Chin at all. We waited thirty minutes to be seated and then an additional thirty minutes to order. Our food order was incomplete and very bland. We did not mention the incomplete order because we didn't want to waste any more time. Just not my favorite at all. We were very fond of O'Sheehan's Grill & Pub. There were always friendly staff and guests around to visit with. Service was perfect. Great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation took a long time as it seemed all 2380 passengers arrived within a 30-minute window so the queues took well over an hour to check in. Luggage arrived to our stateroom promptly though (just after we boarded), which was amazing. ... Read More
Embarkation took a long time as it seemed all 2380 passengers arrived within a 30-minute window so the queues took well over an hour to check in. Luggage arrived to our stateroom promptly though (just after we boarded), which was amazing. The ship is quite nice but does have a few rust spots here and there even though it was just refurbished late 2018. The staff are excellent overall - special mention goes to Najat from the cruise director's team. She was amazing, very friendly and welcoming. She was chosen to host the LGBT+ meetups, and she was awesome. She's a straight ally, and seemed to love joking around with us gay guys. We made sure to give her an extra gratuity at the end of our cruise to show our appreciation for her welcome. We reserved a balcony cabin, and were lucky to be assigned an oversized wheelchair accessible room - fantastic! The walk-in shower was great and there was lots of space. Lots of storage cubby holes, in-room safe, minibar/fridge (we didn't use it), etc, etc. Condition of the cabin was very good too, although the sofa looked a little worn already. Bed was nice & comfy, and we slept quite well. Restaurants were very good. The Garden Cafe buffet is decent, but feels very busy and like feeding livestock (hehe). We ate in 3 specialty restaurants - Le Select (a very nice French style restaurant), Moderno (a so-so Brazilian steakhouse - it could have been better), and Cagney's (an excellent American style steakhouse). The main dining rooms Azura and Tsar's Palace were very good too - although the food could be a bit hotter in Tsar's Palace. Heating the plates before service would help, but I also understand that on a ship there are limitations. We saw 3 different shows while on board, and they were all excellent. It still boggles my mind that a cruise ship can have a huge theatre on board. This has been our first ever ocean cruise (we only did 1 other when we traveled to China, on the Yangtze River), but we'll definitely be back to Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this Cruise along with my fellow friends. ( Choir and Ukelele Groups. ) I was able to utilize my Scooter on-board and that allowed myself to enjoy every adventure and opportunity offered. I had a Wheelchair accessible Cabin and ... Read More
I chose this Cruise along with my fellow friends. ( Choir and Ukelele Groups. ) I was able to utilize my Scooter on-board and that allowed myself to enjoy every adventure and opportunity offered. I had a Wheelchair accessible Cabin and it was just perfect. Room for my scooter and plenty of room left for every other need we may have had. The cabin was lovely and the care given every day to keep it clean and lovely was without any doubt, exemplary. The ship was beautiful and at all times well kept and clean and enjoyable to be aboard. The staff were absolutely magnificent.......always pleasant, helpful, thoughtful and very attentive. ( Always a Smile and a Hello. Some made a point of trying to remember your name.) Every need that one could have was met and More. The excursions offered were many and covered so many different interests. There was something for Everyone who may have wanted an adventure in Port. The activities and entertainment onboard were top of the line and very enjoyable. ( The only suggestion that I would like to make is to reduce the cost of the Bingo Games so that more people could participate and perhaps there should be more games than just 3 and larger prizes.) The help getting onto and off of the ship was just great. The staff knew what they were doing and made it very easy for all the passengers to follow the directions and get to the correct place and any help that may have been required was provided. This was my first cruise but it certainly will not be my last.......I am excited and can hardly wait to do it again. Thank you for a wonderful adventure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I went on this cruise to see the glaciers in Juno. It was absolutely breathtaking! The services in general on the cruise was wonderful. And the food at the restaurants were very tasty. The shows were spectacular. I also met some sweet and ... Read More
I went on this cruise to see the glaciers in Juno. It was absolutely breathtaking! The services in general on the cruise was wonderful. And the food at the restaurants were very tasty. The shows were spectacular. I also met some sweet and friendly people on board, including a couple of Australian sisters named Robyn and Jennifer, a nurse name Warren and his wife Shannon, an Irish couple named Dominic and Yvonne. My only regret is that I did not exchange my contact information with them. I don’t know how, But I hope to get in touch with them again. Maybe one of them will give me, Harry Potter, a shout. Overall, this was a fun cruise with lots of activities for our ages. I Will go on this cruise again because Norwegian was so good to guests with vision and mobility disabilities. This is important because my father has two bad knees and I have low vision. Clin729@gmail.com Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
High marks for Norwegian Cruise Line! The ship was wonderful, the service was very good, and the scenery was tremendous. It was a great way for my wife and I to celebrate our 25th anniversary. A few minor annoyances worth noting: 1) There ... Read More
High marks for Norwegian Cruise Line! The ship was wonderful, the service was very good, and the scenery was tremendous. It was a great way for my wife and I to celebrate our 25th anniversary. A few minor annoyances worth noting: 1) There aren't enough elevators for a ship this large, so plan on waiting several minutes before one becomes available; 2) Every time you walk onto the ship or into a dining area, a staff member with hand sanitizer will chant, "Washy, washy, happy, happy," which gets old quickly; 3) The daily menus for the main dining rooms aren't posted in the on-board app or shown on one of the ship's informational TV channels, so you won't know what's being served until you go to the restaurants; 4) Specialty restaurants are VERY expensive, with prices significantly higher than other cruise lines; 5) The ship was only in the Ketchikan and Victoria ports for about 4 hours each, which doesn't leave much time for sightseeing -- not to mention that we didn't arrive in Victoria until 8 p.m., when it was dark and places of interest were closing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a cruise in memory of a good friend and a bucket list kind if thing. This was also my family's first cruise. We went on this cruise With a group of friends that have cruised before and told us this was the most ... Read More
This cruise was a cruise in memory of a good friend and a bucket list kind if thing. This was also my family's first cruise. We went on this cruise With a group of friends that have cruised before and told us this was the most incredible ship that they have been on. The food was amazing in every restaurant we went to: The buffet was our favorite we also went to the Manhattan for an adult dinner and it was amazing. When joyed the local and Taste and Savory. The one restaurant we didnt enjoy was Los Lobos, The service was slow and the food was not that great. Other than that the water slides were open every day the race track was open every day as was laser tag. I can't say enough about the people that they have working on the ship always very friendly got to know us and made our trip feel like we were at home. I am already getting ready to book my 2nd cruise with Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first Cruise, it was great to see Alaska. I would like to say that Jake the cruise director was lots of fun and did a great job in keeping everyone happy and laughing all the time. Being our first cruise I would like to say ... Read More
This was our first Cruise, it was great to see Alaska. I would like to say that Jake the cruise director was lots of fun and did a great job in keeping everyone happy and laughing all the time. Being our first cruise I would like to say that the food was fair, went to a few of the show and they were great. Some of the special dinning were fair to middle. The store were lots of fun to shop at. The service of the cabin was great. leaving the ship was nice but the trip to the towns were a little stuff in the trams. But I would like to say the over view of the total cruise was great. Great staff and Entertainment. The ports were lots of fun. Really enjoyed Skagway Alaska. I would recommend this cruise line to everyone who wants to take an cruise. The Bliss was very beautiful and very clean. Great crew and really enjoy the ships talent show and entertainment on board the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I wanted to explore a new destination Alaska and what better way than on a cruise ship especially the Norwegian Bliss which was designed for Alaska Cruises. I've been on several Norwegian Cruises over the years and to me they are very ... Read More
I wanted to explore a new destination Alaska and what better way than on a cruise ship especially the Norwegian Bliss which was designed for Alaska Cruises. I've been on several Norwegian Cruises over the years and to me they are very well organized especially with both the embarkation and disembarkation. A lot of people don't understand that the disembarkation process depends a lot on custom but once clearance has been given from customs, Norwegian has a very well organized options for getting off the ship. I always get the spa pass and on this trip it was very important for me since I had acute back pain/sciatica nerve pain throughout my trip. I also had a 3 specialty dining package which I enjoyed very much plus 2 free specialty dinning options with 1 free bottle of wine as a courtesy for being a Platinum Lattitude Member. Norwegian always has a nice line up of great entertainment consisting of music venues, shows etc. I saw a Beatles cover band which were awesome but missed the theatre shows on account of being ill with the back pain issues on some evenings but overall I made the best of it and still had a relaxing vacation. I did one excursion in Skagway which was a 6 hour bus tour of the Yukon which included a nice lunch and the option to get off the bus several time during the road trip to take some awesome pictures. It was a very well run excursion which I booked through Norwegian. As a platinum member I received a 10% discount. Overall Norwegian offers a great value on their cruises with great dinning options, entertainment, excursions and they offer generous perks to their repeat cruises through the Lattitude Program. I even had all my clothes washed and folded for free for my Platinum Lattitude status which I appreciate.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We left from Seattle, and arrived the day before ship departure. We stayed at Hotel Ändra, highly recommended and great location. We were pleasantly surprised and had a great time exploring Pike Market, Space Needle etc. We actually ... Read More
We left from Seattle, and arrived the day before ship departure. We stayed at Hotel Ändra, highly recommended and great location. We were pleasantly surprised and had a great time exploring Pike Market, Space Needle etc. We actually would have spent more time here! But we came for a cruise, and it sure delivered. This ship is absolutely fantastic, but what makes it even more of a spectacular experience is the multi cultural staff and the personality of the staff. ALL of the staff was amazing, smiling, pleasant, eager to help and just happy! Embarking was so smooth, came at allotted time and we were literally never waiting for more than a few minutes in a line. Very well organized. Same with disembarking, we never new they set up the paths or anything and it was smooth sailing. We used the shuttle service to the airport and had our bags shipped to our destination and that as well went without any problems. We had a stateroom with a balcony and it was roomy, clean and beautiful views at all time. I’m so happy we did this because I enjoyed sun out on that balcony more than once and enjoyed grabbing fresh air in privat. We chose 250 WIFI minutes and I have to say I checked in w my adult kids daily and never used up the minutes. We also had the beverage package and high end beer/wine and liquor was part of that so we could vacation “properly”. For us it was well worth it! We also chose to do the upgraded dining package for 4 days. We chose this because we wanted to try out some of the restaurants and wanted to be able to have reservation...we realized after you could still make reservation at the main dining room but we were blown away with the Mexican Los Lobos and Cagneys....food was to die for!!! Elizabeth at Los Lobos was the best waitress we’ve ever had!!! The food is so good everywhere though and you will never go hungry, never. For excursions we had chosen to do a whale watch in Juneau followed by a quick tour to the Mendenhall Glacier. We saw plenty of whales and the tour was awesome, they even provided binoculars! We saw the glacier right before it got dark so we were happy! The second excursion was in Skagway where we did the train ride, goldpanning and dog sledding. We learned so much this day we’re still in awe. The train ride was spectacular and our guide, Klondike Mike, was incredible at telling the history! We’ll definitely be following the Iditarod race in March! So overall, the excursions where absolutely worth the money. We did our own thing in Ketchikan, which worked out perfect for us. We travelled with another group of 3 other couples but had already decided we were doing our own thing. It was easy communicating with our company through the app so we could meet up whenever. There were always some activity going on if you were up for it. I ended up splurging and got the spa pass for the week and enjoyed the time in there immensely. If there was something I would “suggest” changing it would be the Beatles show, we never got to see that show because you had to stand in line for at least 45 min everyday, how about reservations for that? And the Observatory Lounge is such beautiful space to take in all the views,how about a child free section? There were times when groups of 10-15 people with their young children took over whole areas for a full day. We absolutely recommend this trip and are already thinking about where our next cruise will bring us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were on the last cruise of the Alaska season for the NCL Bliss. The people where excellent even for the last cruise. The food was great. The ship was beautiful with lots of activities. The race track was a lot of fun. We really ... Read More
We were on the last cruise of the Alaska season for the NCL Bliss. The people where excellent even for the last cruise. The food was great. The ship was beautiful with lots of activities. The race track was a lot of fun. We really enjoyed the comedians. Saving the best for last - the casino was non smoking. They have a glassed in Casino for the smokers. We ate dinner at 3 specialty places - Teppanyaki, Cagney steakhouse, and the Le Bistro. Teppanyaki was the best. We also ate in all three free restaurants and they was all good. The only issue that I had was the price of the shore excursion to the craft brewery and whiskey tasting. The price charged by the cruise line was $89. When we arrived they were advertising the tour for $24.95. So we paid the difference of $64 for a bus ride. Price was too much for excursion. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Every staff person we came across was friendly and very helpful. These people work hard to make our cruise the best possible. We got a card to pick a Hero on the cruise. I couldn't pick just one. They all were heroes. There is so ... Read More
Every staff person we came across was friendly and very helpful. These people work hard to make our cruise the best possible. We got a card to pick a Hero on the cruise. I couldn't pick just one. They all were heroes. There is so much hard work that goes on behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly. I don't think we even saw a small portion of what all these people do for us. From our Stewart to the servers in the restaurants, they all had a smile and greeted every guest as if they were the most important person on the ship. This was my husband and I's first cruise. The experience was wonderful. The Bliss is a beautiful ship. The shows were awesome. The food was the best we have ever experienced. The verity of food, beverages, and entertainment was wonderful. So much to see do and try. We are excited to cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Daughter and Son in law took this cruise in July 2019, They loved it. I found the web page and customer service via phone to be outstanding. Easily changed a return flight so as to get back the last day. Wife and I (first time) had ... Read More
Daughter and Son in law took this cruise in July 2019, They loved it. I found the web page and customer service via phone to be outstanding. Easily changed a return flight so as to get back the last day. Wife and I (first time) had a great time. The ship was great. The Staff was excellent. Daryrl was in charge of the room. Talked to a young waitress Christine and found her very Friendly. I noticed one of the Restaurant managers once in The French Bistro and in the Taste. She was an excellent manager(blond short hair) of her staff and treated all the customers with respect. This being the last cruise of the season, I expected lost stops for weather. None happened, the weather turned out great and turned warm enough to use the pool. Entertainment was great, Six, Jersey Boys, Prohibition, music in the atrium and Beatles review. Excursions were outstanding and the bus drivers were professional and friendly. I found Juneau to be very interesting even in the rain. We took the Skagway rail ride, it was great the views and guides full of information. Ketchikan took the pub crawl. the young lady who took us on the tour was a local and full of knowledge. I intend to take another cruise next year and will use NCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
20 cruises over 25 years and it certainly isn’t getting better. Every other activity on the daily schedule was either pay for it or they’re trying to sell something. Food quality is way down activities are almost nil unless you pay ... Read More
20 cruises over 25 years and it certainly isn’t getting better. Every other activity on the daily schedule was either pay for it or they’re trying to sell something. Food quality is way down activities are almost nil unless you pay for them. Norwegian joy to Alaska is booked as a one day at sea when it was actually three days. So much for truth in advertising. One stop in Victoria BC is from 8 PM to 12 midnight that’s one of the days at sea in my opinion. I would suggest buying the dining package because the food on deck is fair at best. No more 24 hour pizza at one end and burgers at the other no more midnight chocolate buffets. The ship was built in 2017 and was quite elegant but lacked in any sports activities. Race track for kids and adults but quite expensive huge arcade also very expensive. Service overall was very good especially in the dining room and cabin. Shore excursions when booked through the cruise line are outrageously priced although Alaska tends to be more expensive. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After booking a cruise with Norwegian Joy on her new itinerary to Alaska, I obsessively read the reviews on this site and others. Yes, the beginning reviews were not so great, but then got better, so I worried less. However, my husband and ... Read More
After booking a cruise with Norwegian Joy on her new itinerary to Alaska, I obsessively read the reviews on this site and others. Yes, the beginning reviews were not so great, but then got better, so I worried less. However, my husband and I personally had nothing to worry about since the incredible staff in the Haven enclave took such great care of us. If you can, book a Haven suite...post-pone your cruise, save your money and book a Haven suite! The enclave included an indoor pool, hot tub, outdoor sun deck with two additional hot tubs, two lounges, a bar, an observatory, a library, concierge, and of course the wonderful Haven restaurant. Within this peaceful place we experienced the awe of Alaska. I was simply overwhelmed by the personal service the staff gave us. They all, always greeted us by name, knew our drink preferences, went out of the way to indulge us in any way they could, think...bowlfuls of gummy bears and peanut M&M's in our room, not once but four times. The head concierge came to each specialty restaurant and searched out his Haven people to inquire about our experience and to make sure it lived up to his standards for each of us. These wonderful people smiled, laughed, conversed and even sang. They were fun, interesting and incredibly professional. They work so very hard to give each person an ideal cruise experience. Having just gushed about our experience, I will have to say that I can very much understand people's comments concerning the rest of the ship, and unfortunately the staff. When we emerged from our fantasy Haven-land the crowds were very apparent. Several times I walked the ship and looked around the shops, restaurants, bars, deck 15 Observatory, and buffet. All were very crowded and very loud. It's understandable since the approximately 3600 other passengers were left with very little inside space. The layout of the ship felt cramped and dark with the exception of the Observatory and some bars. The two "atriums" were small and felt closed in by the floors above and/or below. It was so apparent that this ship, with the exception of the Observatories, was not planned with Alaska in mind. When you have that many people crowding in an inside space because of the cold outside, you are bound to have stress and tension. That, in my humble opinion, is not the way anyone should experience the incredible awe and wonder that is Alaska. As a result of the overcrowding, many of the staff were not happy and it showed. The one time I inquired about the general library hours at guest services I got a pretty much a sneer when I asked why they were only open two hours a day. In the Brew House District bar, which we enjoyed all the great beers, we never got a smile or even eye contact when we ordered at the bar though there were only two other couples in the entire place. The service in the specialty restaurants felt rushed and very impersonal. But it was easy to see why since they were soooo busy and crowded. Many staff members I met were polite and professional, yet the ones that weren't unfortunately stand out. I know they all work so hard, get little sleep and must also be overwhelmed by the noise and crowds. I just wish that at dry dock Norwegian execs would have made the decision to have fewer cabins and thus a smaller crowd for the sake of their customers and staff. I will say that while I believe Norwegian Joy is the wrong ship for an Alaskan cruise, if you cannot afford the Haven, it is probably just fine for a warmer climate cruise. I love the thought of dining and having drinks on the Waterfront overlooking a warm sea, but this outdoor space was truly underutilized in the cold weather. Again, my true appreciation and respect to the marvelous staff that took care of us. After thirty cruises my Alaskan adventure in the Haven was absolutely the best. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Alaska was a bucket list trip for my mother and father. Unfortunately, my mother passed away and my father is starting to lose mobility. So, this was a very important trip for my sister and I to take with my father, and Alaska did not ... Read More
Alaska was a bucket list trip for my mother and father. Unfortunately, my mother passed away and my father is starting to lose mobility. So, this was a very important trip for my sister and I to take with my father, and Alaska did not disappoint. The embarkation went smoothly, we were on the ship by 11:30 am which is a very impressive turnaround time. The ship is amazing as always. NCL ships tend to have a very similar layout, so I already knew my way around the 19 deck (20 if you include laser tag) floating luxury hotel. On the Joy they also have Galaxy Pavilion which is a virtual reality arcade. I walked around it with my sister and it seemed really interesting and an unique idea for a cruise ship. Spice H20 has a huge hot top much bigger than their other ships. Of course, I was most impressed by being able to sit in a hot top while staring at glaciers. The dinning I have mixed views on: Buffet: Convenient, easy to grab something quick, great for an easy breakfast, the omelette station is good for getting fresh eggs, but the food did not really stand out. Observation Lounge: Great place for getting a snack! The first day I had a spinach focaccia bread that was delicious, I kept going back hoping they would have more, but it was only there the first day. Surprisingly, the deserts they had there were different than the ones at the buffet and better! If you like carrot cake look for it at the observation lounge! Local: Their appetizers are great; they have a Greek watermelon feta salad that's good. Their burgers are burgers and a bit over-cooked to my taste (I was surprised that they did not ask me how I wanted it) Taste/Savor/Manhattan Room: Their main dinning is good. Their steak/beef menu options are nothing to write home about. (Granted I have to take into account that I may have been a bit spoiled by my first two nights at specialty restaurants) I was however impressed by their appetizers in fact one night I order 3 apps instead of getting an entree. Their deserts were fabulous! NCL knows how to do desserts across every restaurant that they have on board. Temppanyaki: Was spectacular! The show was good, the fried rice and vegetables were good, but most importantly the filet mignon melted in your mouth. This restaurant is a must! I love hibachi and NCL out does most if not all of the hibachi places I have been to. Cagney's: The service here was beyond compare. You can tell NCL takes pride in this restaurant! The steak was great and do not even get me started on how amazing the truffle mash potatoes were. La Cucina: This was my least favorite out of the specialty restaurants. It was good and better than main dinning (though the service was not anything special, and I had some great waiter in the main dining rooms that were more attentive) The burrata was my favorite part and the pesto gnocchi was also very good. Entertainment was pretty good. I really enjoyed elements it was different, engaging, and had amazing special effects, it is a must see! The performers were also friendly and fun! The game shows were always nice to stop and watch in the atrium, I love the shows that include guests, they are always funny, and a good time. There were some days that not much in the itinerary seemed interesting, but I grabbed some friends I met on board and started a game of cards in the observation lounge which was just as fun. Dan Dan the cruise director was great, and I really enjoyed him in late night entertainment. If you like dancing the social is the place to go however, I do have some mixed feelings there. For the most part the service was spectacular. However, I did have an unfortunate incident (which happened to be on my birthday) where a crew member yelled at me, then my sister and it caused my sister to get upset because she is shy and quiet. (Which made me more upset) The next day my sister ran the cruise critic and I met the officers. Martin Ivanov the general manager said to come with him to with any concerns, and without much detail I told him it was my Birthday and this crew member was a jerk and provided him with a picture of the crew members badge. I have to say both him and Ana Maria Malata really took care of me and helped make my birthday special, I was blown away. My cabin Steward was amazing I some how do not have a picture of his badge but I his name was Joevi (I probably misspelled that) He decorated my cabin and hand wrote a birthday card for me. I felt bad about making a compliant and was so impressed by the crew that I thought “whatever everyone has bad days.” Unfortunately, the second to last night at the 80’s party in the social. The crew member that I said was a “jerk” confronted me saying that I got him in trouble. (I am not using his name because I really do not want anyone to be in trouble) He might have meant well, but he was in no way apologizing and, even kind of threatened me, so awkward. I work in corporate management and it made me cringe to think of employee confronting a complaint/ threatening a client. It is a bit sad that I had to avoid a crew member on the ship, but at that point the cruise was almost over and I really did not want to be involved, I just wanted to enjoy my vacation. The rest of the crew was amazing, and I really hope if I go on another NCL cruise that I will not have to deal with an angry crew member, and that no other future passenger does either. Excursions: Juno: Canoeing/Glaciers Fun but there was no wildlife, they did provide rain gear which was a bonus Skagway: Kayaking Cold, but beautiful. I saw bald eagles, a bear, and tons of salmon! Ketchikan: Lumberjack Show/ Totem Park Lumberjack show was a bit cheesy but fun and learning the history of clans in Alaska through Totem stories was a cool experience. Glacier Bay: Not an excursion but still an amazing day on the boat. NCL opened the bow of the boat for close viewing, provided blankets, and even had an expert on board to talk about the glaciers. Disembarkation was well organized even though there was a line/wait to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First time cruising with Norwegian.. I would go again but I would not let them book my flights again. Getting off the airplane and to the ship was no problem for us. For our connecting flight in Atlanta we had to run so we wouldn’t miss ... Read More
First time cruising with Norwegian.. I would go again but I would not let them book my flights again. Getting off the airplane and to the ship was no problem for us. For our connecting flight in Atlanta we had to run so we wouldn’t miss our flight we literally got on board and they shut the door. My dad’s experience was not so great at 79 years old everyone at the airport for Norwegian was gone so he had to lug his own suitcase to the bus pick up area. He almost didn’t make it to the ship. He was so stressed. Going home our flights weren’t any better we had to sit in the airport for over 12 hours and having to stay awake for more than 24 hours not the best way to end the vacation. Onto food.. The buffet was good but in my opinion they could have switched up the food better and had more options. When we did get food from there it was cold. The free fancy restaurants were amazing and the food was great. While I liked the “freestyle” dining I did miss seeing everyone dressed up. They need better photographers on board most of our pictures were not taken well. While on board my card was de-activated this was due to the girl at the check in counter using my pass port to identify me which has my maiden name. This threw off all my information I had entered months ago when I booked the cruise. Then I had to prove who I was. The guest services lines were very long. My dad who is a smoker only had one place to go smoke all the way in the back of the ship on the 17th floor. Long walk for all the elderly smokers on board. Getting off the ship at each port was a breeze and each port was amazing… Our excursions was amazing as well. Getting off the ship was a nightmare a lot of mad people being told different things as to which line to be in. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'm so glad we went despite some of the negative reviews. I have not one complaint! Although every trip has a snag or two, I just don't sweat the small stuff. We loved our mini suite. Yes, it may be as big as other ships suites, ... Read More
I'm so glad we went despite some of the negative reviews. I have not one complaint! Although every trip has a snag or two, I just don't sweat the small stuff. We loved our mini suite. Yes, it may be as big as other ships suites, but it was certainly big enough The larger bathroom with the nice shower was great! The room steward was nice and friendly and we were obliged in every request I read lots of complaints about food before we left but I thought it was excellent. So many choices we didn't hit them all. We could find something 24 hours a day. The bars were great! We had the drink package and felt it was well worth the money. I'm not even a big drinker but 7 days I sure put some away and it was worry free. Some people I met did not have the package and regretted that in about day 5. The excursions were well organized and we had a great time on each one. We had the sea plane excursion and it was canceled due to weather. Once again, although disappointing i just didn't sweat it. We just picked something else and I was happy I could go on and on but I just feel if everyone could just relax and remember the staff are trying to please about 4000 people at once it brings things into perspective. You may encounter that one crew member that isn't as friendly or helpful as they should be but that is just a one off. Don't sweat it, find someone else to ask Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is my first cruise so I have nothing to compare it too but we had and amazing room, the ship was beautiful and there was a ton to do and see. Getting on the ship was painless, we were in a concierge suite so had priority ... Read More
This is my first cruise so I have nothing to compare it too but we had and amazing room, the ship was beautiful and there was a ton to do and see. Getting on the ship was painless, we were in a concierge suite so had priority embarkment and got on the ship quickly. We were able to schedule meals and entertainment quickly so we were able to relax and start enjoying our trip right away. Our cabin was great, we were in a Concierge Family Suite with balcony and it was a great room - lots of space, comfortable bed and big balcony. Our room steward was friendly and did a great job keeping our room clean and tidy. We ate at both the complimentary and specialty dinning. We also had the option to eat at La Cucina for breakfast and lunch as perk of out concierge suite. Overall the food was anywhere from good to great. Most of what we ate at the complimentary restaurants was pretty tasty and the service was always good, although felt a little rushed (understandable as there are lots of people who need to eat). La Cucina for our breakfasts and lunch was great the food was very good and service was wonderful. For out specialty dinners we ate at Cagney's, Food Republic, Le Bistro and Q. Cagney's and Le Bistro were very good - Cagney's had the best service and ambiance but Le Bistro had the best food. Q was pretty good and kind of a nice change of pace from the other food on the ship; the service was fine but perhaps the least consistent. The service and food republic was great and the food was ok but if you regularly eat asian/Japanese food will probably find it underwhelming flavor wise. There are lots of great bars and lounges on the boat. I personally liked the A-list the best and trying the mojito's at the mojito bar the most fun to drinks to try. There is a ton to do on the ship but we didn't take part in a lot of it. I enjoyed doing morning trivia, getting a chai latte and hanging out in the observation lounge, we did a painting class that was fun, I tried out the water slide it was cold so no lines, I got a pedicure with the most amazing view of glacier bay, we saw a comedy show that was quite funny and did two wine tastings. The sommelier was fantastic and learned a lot about wine and champagne. We didn't plan and excursions and they only one we were interested in was sold out (we waited until the last min so our bad) so just wondered around the ports. Juneau and Skagway were beautiful but nothing really to do but shop without going on an excursion. Ketchikan seemed the most interesting to wonder through and I really enjoyed walking around the Salmon Run. Glacier Bay was extraordinary. Elevators can get pretty jammed up if you want to take an elevator at the front of the boat but the ones at the back were almost always easy to get on. Out cabin was as far as you could go forward on our floor so it was a bit of a trek but generally easier. It was a great vacation and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I cruised on the Jewel from Anchorage to Vancouver. We have now cruised 27 times, mostly on Carnival, Princess, and Norwegian (six times). I occasionally post cruise reviews here, but only when the experience is pretty good ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the Jewel from Anchorage to Vancouver. We have now cruised 27 times, mostly on Carnival, Princess, and Norwegian (six times). I occasionally post cruise reviews here, but only when the experience is pretty good or pretty bad. Our recent Alaska cruise on the Jewel qualifies in both categories. So here goes, starting with the good.. Fairly good cruise fare pricing for this shoulder season Alaska trip. The best production shows we have EVER seen on a cruise ship. The Jewel shows were fast-paced, high-tech, well-choreographed shows with excellent sound and visual effects -- but virtually all the cruise lines and ships we have been on have the same in their shows. What set the Jewel shows apart were the singers and the show band. Usually on a cruise you expect maybe one very strong voice -- sometimes male, sometimes female -- with one or two so-so voices. On the Jewel they had FOUR superb singers. So the shows featured one great solo after another. And, needless to say, the songs that involved duets, trios, or even foursomes were simply wonderful. The show band featured a saxophone, trumpet, and trombone who were all of true professional quality. On some of the band tunes you could close your eyes and say “That is Kenny G!” Not that Kenny G is the be all and end all, lol, but you get my drift. Our interior cabin was small, but updated and well laid out. The bathroom was quite nice, with a fairly large shower with a sliding door so no water on the floor. The bed did not sag, a definite plus. As for the itinerary, the ship got so close to the massive Hubbard Glacier that we felt like we could reach out and touch it. This, of course, was just fortuity: Clear, calm weather, and a current that was pushing the ice flotsam away from the ship gave us this once-in-a-lifetime glacier experience. Now the bad: Norwegian nickels and dimes you for everything, including things as small as sqeezed juice at breakfast And these fees are generally higher than what other cruise lines charge for similar items. For example, $15 per person per day for the standard gratuity on the Jewel was higher than any other cruise line we have been on. Another example: Norwegian charges you a 3% fee to play slot machines using money from your sail and sign account. None of the other cruise lines we have been on charge this sort of fee. And then there is the auto gratuity of 20% Norwegian adds to purchases of beverages, specialty meals, and the like. Other cruise lines only charge 15% to 18% auto gratuities on these sorts of items. In the past, we have enjoyed some of the specialty restaurants on the Norwegian ships, but no longer. On previous Norwegian cruises we have bought package specialty dining deals (four or more nights). But this past summer Norwegian jacked the prices on these packages, to upwards of $30 per person per meal!! Not worth it, particularly when the quality in these resaurants is not discernibly better than you can get on land for similar meals (e.g., comparing La Cucina on the ship with Olive Garden at home I will take Olive Garden!). The a la carte prices at the Norwegian specialty restaurants are even more expensive on a per-meal basis than with the dining packages. With the price increases the Norwegian Specialty restaurants now charge, on average, significantly more than other cruise lines charge for their specialty restaurants. My guess is that this big increase in prices is an attempt to get customers to buy the “free at sea” cruise packages, and then to view the included specialty meals as some sort of a great “free” deal. But for us the economics of all this just don’t make sense. And that leads me generally to the food in the buffet and the main dining rooms. Not good. In the buffet it got to the point that I would take a tiny bit of 10 or 15 different items, hoping to find something I particularly liked, and then would dump my original plate and go back for the few items I liked. Simple things like rice (plain rice, chinese fried rice, or Indian rice) simply lacked flavor. Even the pizza and hamburgers were meh. The main dining room was also nothing to look forward to. I particularly remember the time I ordered cherry pie as a desert and got some sort of gelatinous red filling with no discernible fruit. On another occasions my wife ordered a dessert called “Pot De Creme.” yuck. It was closer to Pot de Cr*p. Oh, what a disappointment. Which left my wife and I wondering if we will take another Norwegian cruise. If we knew that we could get similar production shows on other ships in the Norwegian fleet, I would say OK, definitely yes, yes . . . but we think maybe the Jewel shows were an anomaly. On the other hand, we doubt the poor food offerings in the buffet and MDR were an anomaly, given how badly Norwegian must want everyone to eat in their specialty restaurants. So, after a bit of debate, my wife and I decided not to put money down on the “cruise next” deposit, as we figured we just won’t be enticed to use it on another Norwegian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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