1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our first cruise with Norwegian and we have to say we enjoy Princess much more! The embarkation was fine but seemed a slower than others we have had. Onboard entertainment was ok, but there were charges for almost anything extra ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Norwegian and we have to say we enjoy Princess much more! The embarkation was fine but seemed a slower than others we have had. Onboard entertainment was ok, but there were charges for almost anything extra - golf, bowling, game shows, etc. They charge a $7.95 service fee for room service while other lines don't. We got two drinks and it was almost $30.00 and included a 20% gratuity which we thought was ridiculous! The ship never got into a port and cleared at the time as stated on our itinerary. The port times were short and gave us hardly any time for walking around. I recommend getting excursions off the ship. I booked an evening whale watch in Juneau and paid $100 - while the same excursion on the ship was over $200. I learned that in Alaska all licensed tour operators must get you back to your ship on time or they will pay for your hotel/transportation to the next port - so there is no downside to booking off ship. We paid $54 at the shore excursion desk for the lumberjack show in Ketchikan and it was $37 at the door - there was no transportation included - you had to walk there. Disembarkation was chaotic - we were about an hour late being cleared to get off the boat - and then at the transportation buses it was a mess - we were told to get on one, then had to get off, watched our luggage get left on the sidewalk as the bus pulled away - and had to stop them to go back and get it. The food in the buffet and dining rooms was fine and comparable to other lines, although there is no waitstaff in the buffet for drinks. The food at O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill is excellent! The casino closed down on day 6 at 1:00 - even though we did not get into Victoria until after 6:30 and never re-opened. Getting a drink in the casino was hit and miss at best and most of the time you just had to walk up to the bar as the cocktail waiters/waitresses were not very attentive. Our inside stateroom was clean and roomier than we expected - the size of the shower is impressive compared to others we have been in and the water pressure was consistent. It did not seem like they had a whole lot of entertainment in the day that didn't involve an extra charge. Overall we rate our cruise at fair but think NCL can do much better! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This was my first cruise so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Embarkation was definitely an experience, but I assume that's to be expected when you're trying to get a couple thousand people onto a ship as quickly as possible. Overall I ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Embarkation was definitely an experience, but I assume that's to be expected when you're trying to get a couple thousand people onto a ship as quickly as possible. Overall I was pretty happy with our mini-suite with one exception - the couch may very well be the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I've ever sat on. I had hoped to spend some time reading on the cruise, but that definitely wasn't going to happen on that couch. The Pearl itself was pretty impressive. Again, this was my first cruise so I don't have anything to compare it to, but everything seemed to be well-maintained and clean. I think the Pearl was decorated nicely and seemed to have been refurbished somewhat recently. Dining was kind of a mixed bag. We ate at three of the specialty restaurants during the cruise - all of which were excellent. We ate at Cagney's, Moderno (my favorite), and Teppanyaki. The service at all three was great and the food was delicious. Absolutely no complaints. The free dining was another matter however. The buffets were a negative experience since it was pretty rare to actually find a place to sit. At least half the time we ended up taking our food back to our room to eat. In and around Glacier Bay was probably the worst since a lot of people were using the tables to just sit and watch the scenery rather than eating. The food itself at the buffets was just okay, but I wasn't too surprised by that. O’Sheehan’s was probably the biggest disappointment. The food wasn't very good and the service was poor. This brings me to my biggest complaint about the whole cruise. The service overall was very hit or miss. Some employees were very helpful and friendly while others were the opposite. For many of them English was not their first language so there always seemed to be a bit of challenge to understand what was being said. I don't think there's anything wrong with having an international staff on the ship, but we all need to be able to clearly communicate with one another. We requested an extra blanket which never arrived. We didn't receive tickets to one of our shore excursions and had to ask about them three different times only to get 3 different answers. Overall I did have a great time on my cruise and don't regret it. At the same time, considering how much we paid for it, I would have expected the service and food to be a bit better. I'll definitely go on another cruise - currently researching some Canada and New England cruises - but I'm definitely open to going on another cruise line. Unfortunately NCL hasn't quite won me over as a returning customer. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Just returned from a 7-night cruise on NCL Pearl to Alaska from Seattle with Glacier Bay. My wife and I, this is our 4th cruise, 3rd on NCL cruise ships. We traveled alone - the two of us, a celebration for her upcoming birthday. ... Read More
Just returned from a 7-night cruise on NCL Pearl to Alaska from Seattle with Glacier Bay. My wife and I, this is our 4th cruise, 3rd on NCL cruise ships. We traveled alone - the two of us, a celebration for her upcoming birthday. The ship was packed to capacity with approx. 2500 passengers; there were no empty cabins. Still, until we disembarked 7-days later, the cruise ship did not feel full. Embarkation process was EXCELLENT! Boarding 2,500 passengers was not easy and I applaud NCL for the excellent execution. Our ship left port on-time and our Alaska adventure had begun. The waters were rough the first day as the ship cruised from Seattle Washington to Juneau Alaska. In open waters with high clouds, there were big swells that were felt. Our cabin was very well located (5th deck mid-ship) to absorb the effects of the big ocean swells. Juneau was a cold wet day with a weather system. Skagway was breezy with high clouds. Glacier Bay started with low overcast that lifted by mid-morning giving us cold but otherwise nice weather. Ketchikan was a cool & wet day; once we traveled out of Alaska's islands, we had clear skies into Victoria on Saturday and partly-cloudy in Seattle on Sunday. We had a very enjoyable trip. Shore excursions we chose were all very good although Juneau disembarking on shore excursions was NOT well organized at all; other ports, disembarking on shore excursions was better organized. I do not blame NCL 100% for this but they do share the blame for the madhouse in Juneau with the shore excursion tour organizers. Highly recommend the Misty Fjords Wilderness Explorer tour in Ketchikan. During the visit to Glacier Bay, we saw 3-4 glaciers up-close. Three National park rangers boarded the NCL Pearl and gave talks and discussed the route and what they hoped we would see, One glacier, we experienced white thunder as the corner broke-off from the glacier and fell into Glacier Bay with a noise that resembled regular thunder. The cruise ship rocked with the swells it generated in Glacier Bay's waters. Seeing Glacier Bay was the cruise highlight! Dining was wonderful! We ate often in the Summer Palace Main Dining Room. We did have the three dinner upgrade and dined at Morderno Steakhouse (Waiter Jeffrey was wonderful!), Teppanyaki (fun dining experience!), and La Cucina (Italian food was great!). We tried Indigo Main Dining Room once and had an unpleasant experience; the sliced Beef Sirloin had a tough gristle through it and I asked fir a replacement and the maître d' (not our waiter but the head person) told us no with no explanation and walked away; we wrapped up eating and exited very swiftly. I sensed the maître d' was not well versed in English. That said, we enjoyed the Summer Palace and our other dining experiences. The food served (with the one exception) was excellent! Entertainment was also EXCELLENT! Each day, there was an event that captivated audiences. Legends in Concert was good! Another evening, the Duo Quintessence, a duo performed breath-taking acrobatic & ballet acts. Another evening had a variety show. Another evening had a singer (Laura Wright) perform songs that my wife and I enjoyed hearing. Another evening was a comedian (Steven Scott). All was GREAT! There were day-time activities we participated. BINGO, casino, and nature talks were common. We took the BEHIND THE SCENES tour of the cruise ship. That was an excellent tour. Disembarking the cruise ship at cruise's end was a living nightmare. There must have been 1,800 passengers choosing the WALK-OFF option. It took us over 1 1/2 hours to disembark and clear US Customs. Then the transfer bus broke down and we were switched to another bus. Arrived at SEATTLE AIRPORT and checked in for our flight and we had another winding line to join for airport security check; after 45-minutes in that line, we made our way to the gate for our flight back to Portland Oregon. Overall, even with the littler GOTCHAS we rate this cruise an A++ experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We originally booked a slightly different itinerary on the Sun, the first ship we ever sailed on. That cruise was cancelled and we were rebooked onto this one. We did thoroughly enjoy the cruise. Embarkation had a few hiccups; in spite ... Read More
We originally booked a slightly different itinerary on the Sun, the first ship we ever sailed on. That cruise was cancelled and we were rebooked onto this one. We did thoroughly enjoy the cruise. Embarkation had a few hiccups; in spite of being Platinum members AND with a power wheelchair, we were directed to wait until general boarding. The important thing is that we got onboard. Disembarkation couldn’t have been easier. We carried our luggage off, cleared Customs, and found a wheelchair taxi rather quickly. We dined in most of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed them. Food is well presented and tasty. The ship is so much like the other Jewel class ships that finding our way around was fairly easy. We really appreciate the wheelchair platform in Stardust Theater. Would like to see it extended across to the other side. Love to see a similar addition to the other like ships! Entertainment was great, and we were delighted to see Dingo Dave again after s few years and another ship. The entire crew was friendly, helpful, and delightful! The only drawback we experienced from the excursions was the time limitations. We had precious little time to wander the ports. Guess we’ll need to plan another Alaska cruise for more time in the ports! Our OK category wheelchair cabin was much tighter than we expected. We got the most floor space by having the beds on opposite walls. With the beds as one, there wasn’t adequate space to have my wheelchair close to the bedside. It was still nearly impossible for me to use the closet. The bathroom was plenty maneuverable. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We have taken several cruises from 1979 to now and have never been on a ship that was so disorganized and had so many issues. embarkation and disembarkation was chaotic. we had a customs check while on the cruise and that was a total ... Read More
We have taken several cruises from 1979 to now and have never been on a ship that was so disorganized and had so many issues. embarkation and disembarkation was chaotic. we had a customs check while on the cruise and that was a total disaster. ncl told everyone to be ready at 8 am, but customs did not get onboard until 10 am, and when approached about being late. the customs agents said they were not scheduled for 8 am, but were exactly on time at 10 am. all the excursions were late and as a result we were rushed through the excursion. another thing the excursions in alaska and canada were very expensive and not worth the cost. the only excursion that was worth the money was the train ride. we went on the fjords wilderness cruise, and it was explained that wildlife is frequent, but not guaranteed, but as soon as we boarded the boat, we were told that "they didn't want to lie to us" we would not be seeing wildlife, as they were migrating and going into hibernation that time of year. That is a far cry from sightings being frequent, but not guaranteed! since we are from florida and have idea about this, ncl should have informed us that this was the case. we would not have spend over $400 for another boat ride!!! as far as the food, it was just fair, nothing special. we asked what night lobster would be served (as all cruise ships have a night for serving lobster) and we were told ncl stopped doing that a couple of years ago. the best way to describe the service in the dining room was that they were "detached" and robot like in the service. of course, there were a couple of waiters that were more friendly and more like what we are used to sailing on celebrity, princess and carnival. The best thing on the ship was the entertainment. also, the "free" drink package they give you is not free you have to pay a big "additional service fee which was $149.00 each. on the other cruise lines free is actually free!!!! unfortunately, we already bookd a cuba cruise with ncl when we booked this alaska cruise. the cost for cuba went down $200 per person and ncl would not upgrade telling our agent there were no rooms open other than a 25sf bigger room. this was not true, as i went on the site and there were still rooms available to book in a higher category for less $$ than we were paying. again, no customer service. this feed reduction happened to us on princess and they immediately upgraded our room to a balcony suite which was in the price line we were paying at that time. WE WILL NEVER CRUISE NCL AGAIN, AND WILL TELL AS MANY PEOPLE OF THESE BAD EXPERIENCES AS I CAN Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I have mixed feeling about this cruise. This is my first Cruise with NCL. Apart from Astoria, most of the ports were interesting, and for this time of the year we were very lucky with the weather for all ports except Juneau. The ... Read More
I have mixed feeling about this cruise. This is my first Cruise with NCL. Apart from Astoria, most of the ports were interesting, and for this time of the year we were very lucky with the weather for all ports except Juneau. The passengers on board were a good mix from a variety of countries and cultures, and very few children. The following were our observations during the trip, and hope it provides feedback for NCL. At Vancouver the check in process took over 1.5 hours from arrival at the terminal to walking aboard the ship. Doing the lifeboat drill in 3 languages is just too much. Many of the older people found it very difficult to stand in one spot for such a long time. Other ships have a video that runs in multiple languages for those who are not fluent in English. I don't know how long it actually took, but it felt like hours, first waiting for stragglers, then the complete drill 3 times, once in each language. We spent most of the Sail away on the Aft deck. There were not enough bar staff for the sail away on the aft deck. Staff that were there lacked any enthusiasm or motivation to get drinks out quickly. It's not a great first impression, and not good enough where service charges are mandatory. There were no coffee cups at the rear deck, so had to go to the garden café for coffee. In the garden café there were cups, but the milk was empty. So had to go back to the rear deck for milk. Many tables had no knifes or forks. Have to take them from tables where people were already sitting. We went to the teppanyaki for dinner. I had prepaid both the meal and the tip. At the end the bill came and it does not show the tip as being prepaid. I told the waiter that I already prepaid the tip and it was not showing. He told me that the money I paid goes to corporate and he gets nothing unless I pay again. This was awkward and does not feel right. I then went to customer service to confirm that I had already prepaid the tips, which they confirmed. This experience spoiled the evening. None of the spa jets work in any of the 4 jacuzzi spas (for the entire cruise), only the blowers work which provide bubbles. 2 spas also have broken jet function buttons. I advised staff on a few occasions, but they were never fixed. On the last sea day I also asked the chief Engineer during the Q&A, but he was unaware of the issue. Children are allowed into the adult only spas, staff do not enforce the rules. A lot of the breakfast pastry items have cinnamon in them. Not everyone likes cinnamon and the original French recipes for these pastries does not have cinnamon. Went to 10:30 sushi making class, but the crew forgot to organise the event. We left at 11:00 to attend a private event and they still had not started making sushi. Plates in the garden café are cold and the food in the buffet is only warm. So by the time you find a table the food is often almost cold. Went to the Mega ships presentation only to find it had been cancelled and rescheduled for a different day The lift buttons on level 9 aft Port side are around the wrong way. If you want to go up you need to press down and press down to go up. not a big problem, but once an up lift arrives, you cannot go down in it and visa versa. I repeatedly helped confused passengers. It's literally a 5 minute fix, 2 screws and swap 2 wires, but despite advising staff and even the Chief engineer it was never fixed entire cruise. The soft serve machine in the aft buffet was often out of order. When asking for a cup of water from bar staff, it’s like they are doing you a favour serving you. Either provide self service water at bar locations or improve staff attitudes to non revenue requests. Apart from the jogging track, gym, and Buffets there are no other water fountains on the ship. The towels are quite thick but small. Sheets and towels often have Stains or tears. Judging by the stained sheet we had, I believe the sheets were only changed once on a 10 day cruise. The majority of the cruise directors staff have heavy foreign accents, and when they run shows, most Americans have great difficulty understanding what they are saying during events in the Dazzle lounge. I was often translating for people sitting near me. This is even more of a problem for the trivia games where they cannot pronounce the questions properly making it impossible to play the games. The cruise directors staff are unable to read the room when trying to get people more enthusiastic about the show they are running. They are on cruise where the average age is over 50. Saying that they will not continue the show unless the audience is more enthusiastic is not how to win over this demographic. More than half of the onboard "entertainment" were really just aimed at upselling and extracting more money from passengers. The Dazzles lounge is not a good venue for games that require audience participation, like 55 to win it or battle of the sexes. The majority of the audience cannot see what is going on. These types of shows should be in the stardust theatre, or have a camera capture the event and show it on a screen for the audience to see. Why aren’t shows in the stardust theatre shown in the cabin TVs? The Dazzles Lounge and Stardust Lounge are both overdue for a makeover with torn upholstery and broken chairs. We had many drinks charged to our room that did not belong to us. You cannot query room charges over the phone. Have to go in person to reception which is a constant pain. Menu items in four seasons are not as expected. For example Peking duck was just 3 small slices of duck on a salad. Not crispy skin duck in a pancake as you would expect. Escargot cassoulet had only 3 small slivers of snail, mostly mushrooms. Teriyaki beef was more ginger beef than teriyaki. The Sacher Torte was just a chocolate sponge cake with jam, not a dense chocolate cake. The staff in four seasons are poorly trained about what they are serving. When asked about menu items they cannot explain what the dishes are. The Chinese staff in main Dining rooms appear to have had no training at all prior to starting on the ship. You would not expect staff being trained the basics like which side to serve from while on a cruise. surely they should have had some land based training school before serving paying passengers. In general all beef dishes are dry and chewy in both the garden café and four seasons. In the Brazilian specialty upcharge restaurant, the garlic beef was over cooked, chewy and horrible. The first slice of lamb was lovely. Pink in the middle and the bark was crispy and delicious. When the second slice came around it was over cooked on the inside and chewy, yet there was no bark formed, it was just chewy fat. The fillet steak was lovely and tender, but over peppered. Even scraping the pepper off could not rescue the steak. The only winner here was the Beef ribs which were perfect. In general the variety of meals was ok, but nothing special. I was disappointed that Alaskan Crab was not served even on one night. The bagels are stale most mornings. Would have thought they would be baked fresh each day (found out they were a frozen product). This is the smallest ship in the NCL fleet, and 3 of the specialty restaurants are put into the one room (Sushi, Teppenyaki, & Cagneys). This feels odd and it does not feel very special when dining here and the décor is pretty basic and dated. Entry into Astoria Oregon was hopeless. We were told that customs clearance would start at 8am. But actually did not start till after 10am. The cruise director blamed the delay on customs officials late arrival, but when I called the rental car agency advising of the delay they advised that the port had our arrival time as 10am. So not sure who stuffed up. PA announcements should be carried on channel 21, just like when the national parks guide was aboard. This would make it much easier to listen for announcements while waiting in the room. Especially in Astoria where we had to wait for over 2 hours in our rooms till customs arrived. This gives people the option of hearing announcement in their rooms if they like. After the first couple of days about half of the condiment holders on the aft deck were missing the salt dispensers. They had pepper only. In general even after spending more than $250 per night per person, we still felt like we were being nickel and dimed throughout the cruise. And with service charges automatically added there is no incentive for the crew to provide good service. Being my first NCL cruise I did like the Freestyle Dinning system and the general casual attire allowed aboard compared to other cruises I have been on. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Not the best cruise I've ever been on, but not bad either. Wanted to go to Alaska and found a pretty good deal from Vancouver ending in San Francisco. With 3 ships at the dock, embarcation was the usual cattle call, however there ... Read More
Not the best cruise I've ever been on, but not bad either. Wanted to go to Alaska and found a pretty good deal from Vancouver ending in San Francisco. With 3 ships at the dock, embarcation was the usual cattle call, however there were plenty of helpful port "hosts" to point you in the right direction. The muster drill was not much fun. It went on too long, with everyone having to stand the entire time. Is it really necessary to state everything 3 times in 3 different languages? Passengers were literally groaning near the end..... The food was pretty good, especially the prime rib on the first night, which was superb; as good as any on land. It was served again the last night, but unfortunately it wasn't as good. The croissants in the morning were excellent, especially if they were still hot out of the oven. The other breads and desserts were good, except for the souffle. It tasted emulsified and not as a real one should. But then again, I've never had a decent souffle on a ship and they all should probably stop making them. I did like the more casual atmosphere in the dining room. The service was one the whole, very good. My room was comfortable. Only complaint is the shower was quite small. The gym was also a little smaller than I would've liked, but it was never crowded. There was a major mix up in Astoria, where border patrol didn't board this ship until 2 hours after we tied up. Not sure who's fault that was. I didn't particularly care because I didn't have anything planned on shore, but for those who did, yikes. All in all, an enjoyable cruise and a good value for what I paid. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We love cruising Freestyle with NCL! First time on the Sun and though it is a smaller and older ship it was well maintained and very clean. Our Balcony Cabin was comfortable and perfectly located. This itinerary was very full with only a ... Read More
We love cruising Freestyle with NCL! First time on the Sun and though it is a smaller and older ship it was well maintained and very clean. Our Balcony Cabin was comfortable and perfectly located. This itinerary was very full with only a few sea days so we only saw a few shows and attended a few trivia events. Casino was nice and shops had sales on all Alaska items as this was the last Alaskan cruise for the Sun. Purchased several Tee shirts for around $6.00 each and these are pretty good quality shirts. Food was wonderful at Restaurants. Tried to avoid the buffet except for coffee in early morning. The Great Outdoors was less crowded usually. Great Fish and Chips at the Sports Bar and open all night which was nice. Our meals at Cagney's and La Cucina were fabulous. Service was good on the ship and staff was friendly for the most part. The only bad experience we had was the morning we arrived in Astoria, Oregon. Customs Agents were to board the ship to meet all passengers face to face and check our Passports. We were told to be at the Four Seasons Restaurant at 8am if we had a shore excursion to go to. We waited until 10am before Customs Agents showed up to board the ship. This was a very stressful situation for all. NCL really should have organized this better. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Just returned home from Alaska on Norwegian Sun, always wanted to visit Alaska and had reservations on cruising. Having travelled from Vancouver to Junneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria BC and Astoria disembarking in San ... Read More
Just returned home from Alaska on Norwegian Sun, always wanted to visit Alaska and had reservations on cruising. Having travelled from Vancouver to Junneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria BC and Astoria disembarking in San Francisco. All i can say is WOOOOW words do not do either Alaska or The Norwegian Sun enough credit! Alaska is amazing , stunning scenery everything you would expect and more ive waited years to do this cruise it was worth the wait balcony was priceless for a trip like this, great trips ashore a little pricey but its once in a lifetime stuff, the Norwegian Sun was fantastic, great food and crew were so friendly and helpful we couldnt find any faults and will be returning to both Alaska and Norwegian Sun. Thats the biggest compliment we can pay we will return too both, hopefully in the very near future. Sold on Alaska, worth the flight from UK! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. We were expecting rain the whole time, but were greatly surprised with rain only in Juneau. This is our 11 NCL cruise. We enjoyed the food in the main dining rooms. Great service and ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on this cruise. We were expecting rain the whole time, but were greatly surprised with rain only in Juneau. This is our 11 NCL cruise. We enjoyed the food in the main dining rooms. Great service and surroundings. Our favorite specialty restaurant was Cucina. The 18 oz T-bone melted in my mouth. Much better than Cagneys! The on-deck BBQs were fun and delicious. They tried to keep mixing things up on seadays. Our porthole view room was well appointed with space for everything. Our steward was very good and efficient. The production staff, singers, dancers and NCL Sun band were fantastic! It was the first time we have seen these shows and greatly enjoyed them. Glacier Bay was amazing. The Captain rescheduled our day to take advantage of clear weather after a disappointing morning of fog. He stayed in the bay for several hours completely turning the ship in circles to allow people of the forward, aft and balconies to get close-up, excellent views. The rangers on board answered lots of questions. Another great cruise for us. Thanks! Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise