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13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Where to start? Let me start with the positives , I found the crew (except for the hostess in Chin Chin) to be universally cheerful and helpful. The Cast and Crew of the stage entertainment were excellent and professional - I really ... Read More
Where to start? Let me start with the positives , I found the crew (except for the hostess in Chin Chin) to be universally cheerful and helpful. The Cast and Crew of the stage entertainment were excellent and professional - I really enjoyed the cast shows. And that's it.... Now lets look at the negatives. Our Balcony room , especially the bathroom was tiny. It was the same size of my inside cabin on the P&O Oriana......and THAT was lacking in the cat swinging facilities. The bed was comfortable , the balcony area was the smallest I have used in all my cruises. Excursions. I booked 3 with CruiseExcursions.com and all were half the cost of the Norwegian offerings (for the same tour). Thankfully , the debacle of the tendering at Ko Samui seems to have been sorted , in fact , to give them their due , it was probably the most efficient operation I have experienced.The three excursions that I booked with Norwegian occured as expected. One problem with the itinerary of this Cruise was that the cities advertised were a very long distance from the ports used , Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi were all at least a 4 hour round trip. We had an overnight stay in 'Bangkok' but there was no real prospect of sampling its infamous nightlife because of the travelling time . This was a wasted overnight stay , a far better option would have been to overnight in Ha Long Bay which seemed to offer many excellent sightseeing opportunities and could be walked to in 15 mins!. Norwegian charged $99 for a Cambodian Visa , irrespective if you left the ship or not , now it may be Cambodian law that a visa must be issued , but the visa in my passport cost $30.... a $70 profit filched by Norwegian left a very bad taste in my mouth. Entertainment. I hardly saw the Cruise Director at all, and the offerings during the day were a mixture of quizzes and deck sports. There were however , a large choice of Pay activities . The Pool areas were clean and there were plenty of sunbeds. Evening entertainment consisted of a variety of one , two or four piece bands that played in all the main lounges and bars , in fact it was difficult to find some peace and quiet . entertainment finished early , the deck parties closed down when there were hundreds still partying, and most venues shut at midnight, despite having guests using them eg: Karaoke bar!. Food . I found the food palatable but not exciting . We tried Tsars Palace and Azure for evening meals , portions were small. There was no problem about getting a table for 2 , in fact we were never asked if we wanted to share a table....so imagine our surprise when a couple were sat at our table in Azure! Luckily , we enjoy sharing......... The buffet restaurant was good for variety , but they should install some microwaves for guests to reheat the lukewarm offerings. The Jewel is the smallest ship in NCL's fleet, TBH it was tooo small for me , there wasn't the breadth of entertainment that you get on the larger ships . This visit for me didn't give me any reason to book NCL in the future, i'm off back to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We joined a group of friends who had selected this cruise. The food in the dining room at dinner time was inconsistent, ranging from very good to inedible (eg steaks). Our server Marie was excellent. Breakfast and lunch in the ... Read More
We joined a group of friends who had selected this cruise. The food in the dining room at dinner time was inconsistent, ranging from very good to inedible (eg steaks). Our server Marie was excellent. Breakfast and lunch in the dining room was consistently very good. Our cabin midship on the fourth deck by the tender gangway should not be used for guests. There was consistent irritating noises day and night from ship operations. The on-board entertainment and musicians were excellent. We particularly enjoyed listening to the Love Brothers and Lira. Other than the Tsar’s Palace main dining room we ate in O’Sheehan’s which we found quite good. We did not eat at the Garden Cafe buffet or any of the specialty restaurants. The alcohol prices were more than we were willing to pay even though we enjoy a glass of wine at dinner time. The majority of our alcohol consumption was while we were in port. We chose private shore excursions with our group of twelve rather than ship excursions. We prefer the chance to customize our own tours at a cost savings. For example the Ancient Temples Tour in Ko Samui, Thailand listed at $149.00 per person from the ship was done by our group by private tour arranged on shore for $20.00 per person for basically the same tour. Activities listed in the daily schedule were mostly money making for the cruise line. In summary it is highly unlikely that we will sail with Norwegian again unless they are the only ones that have an itinerary that we want to do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Chosen for the timing, stops, and convenience from Taiwan. The problems started with embarkation. 4 huge seating areas. A few wandering workers. You get a number for the 15 service desks. Turns out 50 people have the same number. Worse, ... Read More
Chosen for the timing, stops, and convenience from Taiwan. The problems started with embarkation. 4 huge seating areas. A few wandering workers. You get a number for the 15 service desks. Turns out 50 people have the same number. Worse, the announcement of the number is called out by someone walking the aisles amid the din. The cabin was the tiniest ever encountered, with stool angled from the wall but not enough to put a leg over. Supplies would run out, and no morning service until after noon. There was not a decent steak on board, not at the buffet, not at the dining room, not at the steakhouse. No lobster. I was informed they stopped serving libster 10 years ago, though the NCL booking agent assured mre there would be a lobster night. In contrast, Holland America has at least 1 lobster night on every cruise we've been on, as well as great steak every night. Very few activities on board, and no happy hour at all. That's enough. My wife said never again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Was booked on Voyage of the Seas out of Singapore but as friends pulled out of the holiday, we cancelled our RC cruise and booked with Norwegian as the dates matched our flight times.....wished we hadn’t now. We’re big fans of ... Read More
Was booked on Voyage of the Seas out of Singapore but as friends pulled out of the holiday, we cancelled our RC cruise and booked with Norwegian as the dates matched our flight times.....wished we hadn’t now. We’re big fans of Norwegian hence why we swapped to this trip. We couldn’t fault our previous cruise on the Breakaway so we had high hopes for our first cruise to the Far East. Firstly, let me say the places we visited were excellent as were the people and our only complaint would be that we didn’t have enough time in them so we are planning to return and spend a few days in each as one day in Bangkok for example just isn’t enough. But as for the cruise itself.... we weren’t happy. The good parts.... as mentioned, the itinerary was great, the frontline cruise staff (waiting staff, cabin steward, bar staff etc) were all great, polite and lovely as they usually are. Food in the Garden Cafe buffet restaurant, Chin Chin’s and Cagney’s speciality restaurant was excellent. The ship’s public areas were nice and smart due to a recent refurb and the ship itself was a smooth sailer. Now for the bad/frustrating elements...... the food in the main Azura restaurant (other than the meal on the last night) wasn’t great and neither was Cucina, Le Bistro & Moderna speciality restaurants. I had a filet mignon in Le Bistro that was so dry, I had to take mouthfuls of water just to swallow it. The oceanview cabin we had was probably the smallest we have ever had with a tiny, weird offset toilet and a bed where we couldn’t walk down the sides to the bed as the overhang of the unused pull down bed meant I had to climb over the bed each night to get into it. As part of the refit, the cabins have been largely left but they’ve replaced the old square tv’s with flat widescreen ones but when open, they overhang the narrow walkway to the door and/or bathroom so it’s easy to unexpectedly walk into at night. The onboard internet was a joke. You don’t need an internet package to access the NCL app functions but the WiFi wouldn’t hold the signal unless I activated our minutes package so I was effectively using up internet minutes to access onboard info. Sometimes it would but most times, it wouldn’t stay connected? In the main, the ship seemed understaffed. Hardly any drinks waiting staff around the ship for example on the pool deck or the buffet so you end up going to the bars, which in itself isn’t a problem. But when you get there and there are often 8+ customers waiting to order various drinks and cocktails and there is only one guy serving? The big single issues.... Embarkation was a nightmare. We were in group 1 as we were amongst the first to check in and despite being Latitidues members, it seemed your status wasn’t as relevant as the queue you started in as the latitudes queued people were given different group identifiers (colours as opposed to number) and were called forward before anyone else. Then the lady with the mic finally called out Group 1, exactly the same as she had called the other groups, so we all stood and started heading towards the ship before she then said ‘don’t go yet....just get ready’?? So we had all moved off our seats whereby newly checked in passengers were now coming through and sitting in them and she’s telling us not to go but to get prepared. Then she said it again and held us in limbo. It was like she was winding us up. Eventually, we get told to go towards the ship. All in all, we had our paperwork checked 6 or 7 times from the time we entered the terminal before going aboard. Why? Completely unnecessary and time consuming as people had put away their documents and just retained their sail away cards and then had to keep retrieving them so someone else could check them.... just wasting time. The first port was Koh Samui which was a tender port. We obeyed the cruise directors instructions to be actually ready to leave the ship before getting a tender ticket. Big mistake..... they didn’t launch enough tenders and we waited for over 2 hours to be called and it was 2 hours 40 minutes before we got to Koh Samui. There were big gaps in calling groups forward. Tenders were taking roughly 10 minutes to load, 20 minutes to cross and approx 5 mins to unload before returning to the ship for the next group. They only had 6 tenders running. So we didn’t get to Koh Samui until 11.40 ish and the last tender was scheduled for 4pm which meant we would only have 3-4 hours in port. Anyway, we headed back around 2.45pm as we didn’t have enough time to go exploring and there was already a long queue on the pier. Instead of loading 2 tenders at a time (as there was 2 loading/unloading points when discharging passengers earlier), NCL was only boarding from 1 point for some reason? The queue was getting longer and longer behind us and people were getting tetchy as some passengers seemingly decided that queuing wasn’t for them and pushed past everyone towards the front, which caused upset for some who were queuing in the hot sunshine. We watched as the NCL crew were seemingly messing around with one of the tenders and after 20 minutes or so, they had to throw a line onto it and tow it. At first we weren’t sure what was going on and thought it had perhaps broken down but it became apparent the tender had run aground as the tide was going out and the NCL crew hadn’t anticipated this. Then all the waiting tenders (there were 4 waiting by this point) turned around and sailed off. Bearing in mind we were watching this fiasco and had no idea what was happening as in typical fashion, we weren’t being told anything. We were towards the middle/front of the queue and didn’t hear anything informing us of what was occurring but we noticed that the queue behind were all moving back down the pier and we could see a mass of people heading towards another pier. So we followed and realised they were changing the boarding location of the tenders to where the other cruise ships (Tui and Aida) we’re boarding from. It was chaos with people rushing and we ended up in a mass crowd near where we think the tenders might now be boarding from. The reason I say that is that we still hadn’t any info from NCL so we were following everyone else like sheep without direct info. There must have been over 1500 people all crowded in. It was very hot, chaotic and a nightmare. We didn’t get back on the ship until 6.20pm (3 hours 35 mins after we joined the initial queue). So all in all, we spent something like 6 hours and 15 minutes waiting for and on a tender. It was a complete joke where we wasted loads of time instead of enjoying the actual port we wanted to visit. The ship left much later than planned..... Tui and Aida didn’t seem to have any problems. In Cambodia, when we got to the pier, there was a line for the shuttle bus. We had to sign up for the $15 tickets so boarded the bus to the town where we ended up hiring a Tuk Tuk type taxi. What we didn’t know was there was a free shuttle bus to the port gate, which is what we would have taken to get a Tuk Tuk, but this wasn’t signposted. When we got to the next port (Phu My), we opted to hire a taxi to go to Saigon. Our relatives decided to take the shuttle to the local town again at a cost of $15. So they went to the desk on the pier exactly as we did at the port before but they, along with everyone else, were told they had to go back on board and get tickets from Reception?? So people were going back and forwards as the procedure kept changing. At the next port, it was tickets on the pier again?? Just disorganised and chaotic. Now with regards to Cambodia, we need a visa for entry and you can get them on arrival. This visa is around $30 so when passengers were being charged $89, they were kicking up. Prior to us leaving the UK, we were told by NCL that visas for different countries could be between $29 and $89 and passengers from different countries may have different visas levered upon them. NCL didn’t specify the prices for different ports. It would be logical to assume that different countries have different charges but to charge $89 for a $30 visa is criminal. NCL are charging almost twice the price of the actual visa for printing out a form that we could have filled out ourselves but they didn’t give us the option. Some people had applied for an online e visa but it didn’t apply to the port of Sihanoukville. It applied to Sihanoukville airport down the road but not the sea port? So some passengers had paid for one visa ($30) and then got charged $89 by NCL regardless of whether they got off the ship or not. Loads of people were complaining at reception and removing their onboard gratuities. One receptionist was even advising it?? And this was for just one day in Cambodia and due to Sihanoukville being subjected to mass building works across the city amongst severe poverty, some cruise ship staff were even advising against bothering to go ashore as they said ‘it wasn’t very nice’?? You couldn’t make it up. We went to a few of the theatre shows. Whilst watching shows, we often had to get up and down multiple times as guests were arriving 10 minutes, 15 minutes and then 20 minutes after the show had began. Personally, I think it’s discourteous to arrive so late and interrupt passengers trying to watch a show but there obviously wasn’t anyone from NCL stopping people from entering the theatre so late so it continued unabated. I saw people across the theatre from us getting up to let people in 30 minutes after the start time?? Lastly, at disembarkation in Hong Kong, we had flights departing at 14.25 so thought we had loads of time to kill in the morning as on pretty much all cruises we’ve been on, disembarkation is usually pretty swift. But no, just to finish the cruise in the same manner the rest of the disorganised chaos had been, we came off the ship and into a departure hall that was chock full of people in a huge, meandering queue where you couldn’t work out where the end of the line was. It took 2 hours to get out of this and into another long queue for taxis. So despite having what we thought was loads of time, we ended up rushing to make our flight. Luckily, we ended up seeing a limo driver who was touting for fares and pulled us out of the queue and into his MPV in the car park above. We headed off to the airport where we just made our check in. If we had stayed in the taxi queue, we wouldn’t have made it. There were no NCL staff around and despite seeing this chaos, NCL on the ship didn’t think to change tack and call passengers who needed to make flights as a priority. The whole cruise from start to finish was a disorganised mess. It felt like the managing senior staff on the NCL Jewel hadn’t operated on cruises before as pretty much every aspect was disorganised and dysfunctional. In that regard, I felt for the front line staff who had to put up with passengers complaints and sour moods when it wasn’t their fault. In my opinion, it seems to me that NCL are trying to have a presence in the Far East as it looks good when advertising how far and wide their ships sail. They achieve this by having one ship doing multiple itinerary’s in far off places BUT they aren’t operating in these various regions all season so do not know the peculiarities of each port and end up in distant berths and having other problems. NCL need to decide if they want to run these routes and if so, do it properly or maybe with a senior crew who are capable of adapting to changing and varying ports/conditions as opposed to ones who are perhaps used to going through the motions in ports they visit week in, week out. For us in the future, we will have to weigh up the likelihood of a positive experience on NCL on far out routes versus an alternative cruise line with more experience in the region. It might be a better option?? Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We've been on a few cruises but consider ourselves newbies. We book a SE asia cruise on Norwegian Jewel. I don't know if my comments are strictly about Norwegian but about cruising in general. Our primary concern is the lack ... Read More
We've been on a few cruises but consider ourselves newbies. We book a SE asia cruise on Norwegian Jewel. I don't know if my comments are strictly about Norwegian but about cruising in general. Our primary concern is the lack of complete information upfront. Costs exceeded our expecttions. When we booked our cruise I looked at the price and decided it was within our budget. We saw some promotions being offered and liked them. However as we got deeper into the purchase we discovered a number of surprises: 1. onboard credit was advertised as $1,000 but found it depended on the price of the cabin. 2. the $500 credit only applied if we had a mastercard. I had to find a relative to supply. 3. beverage package was "free" but added a charge for "gratuities". The gratuity charge would pay for a month of drinks in most bars. 4. bought an independent tour and was unable to use it because the tender time was over 20 minutes and priority was given to "frequent flyiers" and tours purchased from the cruise line. 5. paid for medical support but was still charged $480 for a visit when my wife got sick. 6. $29 per day for room charges (2 people) should have been included in the purchase price or made optional. 7. visas were required for Vietnam and Cambodia but there web site indicated that the cruise ship was taking care of it. Almost $400 was added to our charges. 8. no easy to find email address to send questions into the cruise line. instead we had to wait 30-45 minutes to talk to a live person. since we booked through expedia instead of the cruise line directly. we got transferred to a different person each time. 9. disclosures about how long it would take to get to cities should be listed on web site. it was 2 hours to Bangkok, 2.5 hours to Saigon and over 3 hours to get to Hamoi. If we forget all the "surprise" charges for inexperienced cruisers the trip was enjoyable. and the low tide which prevented the tenders from returning to the ship as planned probably wasn't the fault of the cruise ship (unless they checked with the tide timetable).. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
NCL Jewel South East Asia March 2019 - 12 day cruise. We are a couple from Montreal, Canada and travelling with a 6-yr old who enjoys adventure and travel as much as we do. This is not our first cruise, but first time on an NCL cruise. ... Read More
NCL Jewel South East Asia March 2019 - 12 day cruise. We are a couple from Montreal, Canada and travelling with a 6-yr old who enjoys adventure and travel as much as we do. This is not our first cruise, but first time on an NCL cruise. TRAVEL AGENCY We booked this cruise through a travel agency thinking that there could be some benefits that we could not otherwise access. None that I can see, but $100 to open our files. Once I gave my credit card info, my stateroom was booked, at the very front of the ship ( yes - the bow, and steps further ahead you are in the ocean) without my knowledge. I have just read an interesting article going over one of the most exciting step in the cruise is finding and booking the stateroom. Well not for us, and could do nothing to change it, without paying extra. This is a 294m ship long, with the buffet restaurant at the other end of the ship, and most other activities in mid-ship. This became, by default, our daily walking exercise. The last 2 days of the cruise, the ship was going through rough seas and I can tell you that it was not pleasant to be at either end of the ship. We opted to prepay the ship service charge and going for the unlimited beverage package, to avoid the pressure of thinking twice before ordering drinks. This package does not include freshly pressed fruit juices, bottled water or alcoholic drinks over US$15. RESEARCH I must have spent 100's of hours planning, researching and documenting to plan for this NCL South East Asia cruise. Info that I extracted from internet is very fragmented, incomplete, and at times contradictory. Many coming from some arrogant contributors. SOME TIPS Things that we brought along 1. Travel Adaptors (Canada uses 110-120V, Far East 220-240V) Just make sure that your electronic devices are dual voltage. The Adaptor is just a device to make your electronics fit in the holes. Adaptors are not power converters. 2. Battery Chargers (must be with your carry on, NOT allowed in checked-in Luggage) 3. Spare unlocked smart phone (used as hotspot for other devices and laptops to connect to ) 4. Photocopy Passport ( 40cs colour copy at Office Depot). NCL keeps all Passports and return them on the day prior to final destination. You will need a copy of your passport if you buy a SIM card. If crumpled, difficult for the SIM card cashier to scan to complete your purchase). If offshore and requested by local authorities, you need to show your room card key and a govt picture ID. This is where the copy passport also comes in handy. 5. Deet Insect Repellent. We got bitten just once (luckily!) close to the docks at dusk. 6. Roll of toilet paper (off shore excursions). 7. Singapore $300 in cash (CAD306) for 2 days. 8. Thai Bhat 8,000 in cash (CAD365) for 2 days 9. Hong Kong $4,000 in cash (CAD706) for 4 days. We did self-guided tours for Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. You can certainly use less cash and more credit. We used credit cards for hotels/lodgings and higher value purchases in reliable establishments. Canadians do not need visa for these 3 countries above. For Cambodia and Vietnam, while self-guided tours are possible, if you stay close to the Port, we opted to book local tour guides to play it safe. PRE-PLANNING We online ordered a SIM card (Smart Comfort - SIM Card Asia) from SIM OPTIONS for US$39.90 + 9.90 = US$49.80 (CAD$68.45) delivered to our Hotel in Singapore. This gives us 12GB internet, 3G+ connection, valid for 30 days from first use, plug and play and valid for Singapore, Vietnam and Hongkong. The card will barely work where the ship docks, with fluctuating on-off signals. On land, and just simple emails, you would be ok. I am used to 135Mbps download speed at home, and that SIM card speed is nowhere comparable, but nevertheless acceptable and useful when on shore. If you find the speed too slow, relatively easy to buy sim in all 3 countries above. Singapore sells the 3-day sim at 7-11 convenience store (they all speak English) for S$13. I bought a sim in Phu My, Vietnam at a phone store, 10 mins taxi ride from the cruise port, for 140,000 VD (CAD$8). I wanted their fastest data SIM card for minimum of 3 days. Could not get myself understood, even with the help of Google Translate on my phone. My taxi driver with his very limited English, rescued me. They did not accept payment in US$. Once again, driver came to the rescue and lent me local money. HEADING TOWARDS CRUISE From our hotel in Singapore, we took a taxi to the Marina Cruise Centre. If you let Hotel concierge book the taxi for you, they do not tell you that there is a S$2 fee to your cab fares. Lots of taxis coming in to drop passengers off, all the time, that we took instead. We arrived at the Cruise Centre just after 2 pm, with a huge line up, with a good number of NCL staff to welcome and guide us. We left our tagged luggages at the entrance, and got them later just outside our stateroom. We got in the queue while filling up our profile forms and authorization for NCL to charge for Cambodia and Vietnam visa. (No Thailand visa required for Canadians). When we completed our forms, well over 200 people had joined the queue after us. US$89 per person for visa to go ashore in Sihanoukville, Cambodia is crazily expensive, given that this is only a one day (actually only 6-7 hours since ship leaves at 5pm) offshore excursion and total ripoff by NCL US$69 per person for visa to go ashore in Vietnamese ports is equally brutal in price. For a family of 3, the cost of these 2 visa would be a hefty US$474 (CAD640) We will now include this visa factor when evaluating costs for future cruises. Internet research to procure a visa for these 2 countries revealed it is easier said than done, as there are misleading, contradicting and incomplete information in any cruise forums/Trip advisor, and even "official" site. NCL takes advantage of this visa situation to make some good easy money from us all. Some reliable post claims that Celebrity cruise charges a single digit visa fee per person. Besides the very long wait in the queue, actual check-in was painless and our pictures were taken that would be used when embarking and disembarking the ship. We were told that NCL would use these same pictures taken for visa purposes. We downloaded the NCL app to view features of the ship and facilities offered. The app is only focused on advertising for their paid restaurants and offshore excursions. The rest is totally useless. No other pertinent information that’s worth hanging on to the app. 2 hours later, we finally went onboard. Our stateroom was ready when we got on board, reasonably clean and fully equipped. 2 single beds - Let housekeeping join them together to make a queen size bed, or the beds will somehow separate by next morning! Child wall overhead foldable bed 30” Flat TV Shower stall, toilet & sink. Shower gel and shampoo dispenser Soap bar, body lotion. Bath towels and beach towels Tissue paper Toilet paper (Dollar store quality) Safe (did not work), hair dryer, hangers, ice bucket. 2 bottled water labelled $5.50 each Mini fridge Room thermostat. Shelves to store stuffs. Two pouffes Two night tables with lamps. Three outlets on each of the 2 mini workspace: For laptop, double usb and a 3-prong. We used our travel adapter on the 3-prong outlets for charging other dual voltage devices. As we moved the night table around to maximize space, we found a pair of sunglasses behind, which we handed to our housekeeper. This therefore tells us that the room is not necessarily spick and span, as one would have liked it to be. Housekeeping is done daily. Twice daily actually. At about 5pm there was a mandatory drill regarding safety protocol where everyone has to attend (staff updating attendance register to ensure everyone attended) for about 30 mins. Ordering drinks at the bar was painless as our adult card keys were marked with the prepaid beverage code. We only needed to show 1 card to order for our 2 drinks. Long line up on the very first day. ONBOARD INTERNET NCL has a number of options, all crazily expensive. - Unlimited WIFI US$25.50 per day online purchase prior to cruise (Otherwise US$29.99) No VPN, no streaming. - Unlimited WIFI with VPN and streaming US$29.50 per day online purchase prior to cruise (Otherwise US$34.99) - 250 Anytime minutes for US$105 online purchase prior to cruise (Otherwise US$125). No VPN and no streaming. Need to log out when done, to stop the minutes counter. Note that for the unlimited options above, you will have to pay for the entire duration of the cruise, as there is no pro-rata charge. You therefore cannot purchase for a few days only, as I originally thought I could do. It's all or nothing unlimited package. After the 4th day of the cruise, the unlimited options are no longer available. Signals strength is best in common areas, but works to a lesser degree in the stateroom. Our first day on the ship was very promising and eager to start our adventure ... On the second day, a sea day, at 6am we were surprised that the Garden Cafe, and other restaurants were not open. Later in the same morning, we went to the restaurant reservation and politely enquired about opening hours of restaurants, to plan our offshore excursions. Arlene, on the customer service, raised her ducky squeeky voice to reply with such an attitude that took us all by surprise. For sure one of the worst staff we have ever encountered on any cruise ship. Ever. She sometimes worked at Chin Chin restaurant that my 6-yr old avoided like the pest. Seriously! We then realized that many of the staff, in general, on board the NCL Jewel are either ill-mannered or totally did not give a . Very cold treatment at the Tsar restaurant before we got seated. On the eve of the last day, on Friday Mar 15, at 7.54pm, I ordered a Scotch at the Atrium and the barman stated that he will give me a premium Scotch. I responded, that as long as I do not get billed, since I have a prepaid package. He stated that he will key in a lower grade Scotch. Another barman called vmal murmured, loud enough for me to hear: "Why such a fuss? This is the last night of the cruise" and turned his back on me without me having a chance to respond. I am flabbergasted with these kind of remarks. They sometimes forget that we are the customer. CRUISE REVIEW 1. The itinerary to South East Asia is splendid. 2. The ship itself has been renovated recently and feels like new. 3. Our stateroom was small but descent and contains everything one would require. 4. Staff attitude is perhaps one of the triggering point in liking or not liking a cruise line. While there are many lovely and polite staff on board, there is an equal if not more unpleasant staff on the NCL Jewel. Too many. 5. Process for check-in takes way too long. 6. The charge for visa is grossly exaggerated. 7. There is limited upfront information to a lot of things. The actual location where the ship docks at each port seems to be kept in secrecy. I arranged for a driver to pick us up in Phu My, Vietnam (as indicated on all documents we have) and have a nasty surprise that we docked at Cai Mep and had difficulty to contact the driver for this new location. In Sihanoukville, Cambodia we walked from the docks to the gate to meet our guide. In fact, there is a free shuttle to the gate but it was not advertised. What was advertised was $15 shuttle from docks to the City. 8. Going ashore using tender (In Ko Samui, Thailand) is a nightmare. Chaotic and totally disorganized. 9. Everyday struggle at the Garden Cafe Buffet to find a table, as the restaurant is too small to cater for the number of passengers. 10. Only a couple of good night entertainment show, and the rest is mediocre. Overall, the worst cruise line experience we have had. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Was the first time we cruised with Norwegian and very likely the last. The cruise line policy includes many extra charges that make the value for the money poor. It starts with drinking water (!), the cruise offers for sale packages of ... Read More
Was the first time we cruised with Norwegian and very likely the last. The cruise line policy includes many extra charges that make the value for the money poor. It starts with drinking water (!), the cruise offers for sale packages of NCL branded drinking water. If you want any other brand, you need to buy it from the bar where the price (including automatically 20% service) comes to over $6. 20% service is for handing you the bottle. Specialty restaurants are extra. Best choices for shore tours are sold at a price too high for the level of this cruise. The activities may become overcrowded in particular in shore tours. From the specialty restaurants. we preferred the steakhouse Cagney's and Chin Chin Chinese, Sushi). Chin Chin is included except sushi, Cagney's is extra with prices on a la carte menu. It is worth to purchase the specialty restaurant package that basically includes 5 meals in any specialty restaurant. Out of 8 entertainment opportunities, only 2 were of good quality, both in the last days of the cruise. There is one shore trip included in each port, however we found out that in about 50% of the ports we preferred to purchase non included shore tours which are relative expensive. If you want to enjoy, plan to spend around $2000 extra per cabin - that would include gratuities, specialty restaurants, shore tours and reasonable drinking. The unlimited drink package is about $100/pp/day, for a 14 days cruise, only this may be $2,800..... Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
From the time we lined up to get on the ship for over 2 hours we knew we were in trouble. Then they took our passports everyone was freaking out not to be returned till end of cruise. We splurged and got a mini suite aft what a waste of ... Read More
From the time we lined up to get on the ship for over 2 hours we knew we were in trouble. Then they took our passports everyone was freaking out not to be returned till end of cruise. We splurged and got a mini suite aft what a waste of money. The bathroom has a bath but its very high and narrow i have bad knees and it was a struggle my husband is 6'6 and he had to bend over to wash his hair. Bed was big very firm no extras at all . Food was fantastic we ate in Cagneys, Teppanyaki and La Bistro all amazing food and staff. Buffet was excellent great selection, lovely out door area at the back to have breakfast. Drinks good get a food and drink package we did. Water very expensive, coffee ok and cheap. We were on 7 days and only had 2 shows they were spectacular but you need that every night. Bingo big rip off costs double the other companies. Nothing ever runs on time and there was very little to do during the day. Staff had there moments and some didn't understand or didnt want to. Will never go near Norwegian again . No gluten free desserts or food only bread in dining room. Specialty restaurants offered g/f options. On this cruise everything was a fair distance no assistance offered from jewel. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
It was a very disappointment. Overpriced liquor, A beer was charged $9 dollars. tasteless food. very poor quality menu, If you like dry fish, they are abundant on the dinner menu, No lobster served. The prime rib was so thin, it looks ... Read More
It was a very disappointment. Overpriced liquor, A beer was charged $9 dollars. tasteless food. very poor quality menu, If you like dry fish, they are abundant on the dinner menu, No lobster served. The prime rib was so thin, it looks like roast beef on a mount of mash potatoes. There is a chinese optional restaurant on the ship. It was the worst chinese food I ever had. Frozen chinese food from the market tasted better. I ordered the Hot and sour soup, which is very easy to make. I tasted it and spit it out. It was that bad. The dumplings were just as bad. The dumplings at Trader Joe taste much better that this. Be aware. We had a balcony room and it was so small that we can not walk around the same time . the public areas were remodeled and decent looking The service on the ship was decent. Servers were nice and polite. Choose a different Cruise line !!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
1. Food not great although we did enjoy some of the food in Tsar main dining room. 2 Chin Chin chinese not as good than that from our local chinese. 3 Ship late in two ports. In Kuala Lumpur, we departed at 9.00 am instead of 2.00 ... Read More
1. Food not great although we did enjoy some of the food in Tsar main dining room. 2 Chin Chin chinese not as good than that from our local chinese. 3 Ship late in two ports. In Kuala Lumpur, we departed at 9.00 am instead of 2.00 pm. Captain and crew did not communicate why this was necessary. 4. Many staff seemed unable to provide basic information. Our steward was not contactable when we needed . It may be a lack of appropriate training 5 Cocktails served in plastic cups with little or no garnishes. Ecomy measure? 6 Guest services not a happy lot. Unsmiling, not friendly, officious and at times rude 7 Embarkation was a disaster. Many staff were inexperienced. Disembarkation was however a dream. 8 Some of the shows were good : others not so much. 9 Leisure activities offered did not reallynsuit us It was a poor experince aboard the NorwegianJewel. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
In 2017 we sailed on the Norwegian Getaway, in the Haven, and it was terrific. Everything went well. But, this year we chose the Jewel for the itinerary and it was not even in the same league as the Getaway (again, we were in the Haven). ... Read More
In 2017 we sailed on the Norwegian Getaway, in the Haven, and it was terrific. Everything went well. But, this year we chose the Jewel for the itinerary and it was not even in the same league as the Getaway (again, we were in the Haven). Started out trying to get onboard. Should have had "priority" check-in. Took about 6 agents before someone actually knew there was a priority check-in line and where it was. The Jewel had a "mini-Haven" (no restaurant or lounge) but we knew that in advance. Had a special place for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner or a bar. Turned out to be a bigger deal than we thought. The TV rarely worked correctly. Even the ship navigation page had the wrong information on it to include time of day - which was kind of important since we crossed time zones twice. The TV does not have an account status page and that was a real downer. Communications delivered to the cabin were often incorrect or conflicting. It was like the ship staff did not communicate with the hotel staff. The sundry shop was part of the duty free store so you could not get a pack of aspirin when you were in port. But, the worst thing was the internet. We bought the all-you-can-eat package since one of us had to connect with work during the cruise. The internet was so slow the VPN timed out before it could make a connection. Could not get to email because comcast streams videos so they blocked comcast. BUT, we tried to book two future cruises (on a different ship) and they could not do it because their internet was too slow!!! However, the staff was outstanding! Even better than the year prior and I didn't think that was possible. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Chose this cruise because of the places visited Found the food and service on the ship to be poor the only "wow " meal we had was a paid meal in the French Bistro , even then this must be the only french bistro that did not ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the places visited Found the food and service on the ship to be poor the only "wow " meal we had was a paid meal in the French Bistro , even then this must be the only french bistro that did not have French wine available !!! Disembarking at ports was a shambles in particular in Hong Kong where hours were spent waiting to go ashore only to find only one half hourly shuttle bus ( to a shopping centre ) was available. Very little information was given as to transport etc on shore . The balcony cabin was excellent on deck 9 The nightly entertainment was also excellent the drinks prices would have been reasonable if not for the 20% surcharge on every drink The drinks packages were far too expensive considering how much time was spent onshore It was a pity that the ship overall wasn't as good Front of house staff seemed disinterested and were little help once you got to the front of the incessant queues Perhaps others will sail with NCL again but not me Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Good things: Emerson – our cabin steward Waitresses in Azura Restaurant Food – only 1 bad meal (in LaCachina) Entertainment – very good Throughout the cruise – The windows all over the ship, both common areas and ... Read More
Good things: Emerson – our cabin steward Waitresses in Azura Restaurant Food – only 1 bad meal (in LaCachina) Entertainment – very good Throughout the cruise – The windows all over the ship, both common areas and rooms are filthy. I paid extra for a room with a larger window and could barely see out of it because it was sooo dirty. Most of the crew were from the Philippines. Most of the passengers were oriental. Those of us who weren’t, were ignored a lot of the time. This was one of the first cruises NCL has run with this itinerary and that's the excuse they used for every screw up. Why should this itinerary be any different than any other? Got on board the first day and even though I had ordered and thought I had paid for soda and water pkgs., I had the NCL payment confirmation pages to back me up, I was told by the surly customer service person that there was no 'total' on the page and that I should have known that the charge never went thru. But, that I could buy the pkgs. on board with a 20% up charge. No need to speak to the manager, he would tell you the same thing. 2nd day, notified by my credit card company that there was a large charge on my credit card. It was a hold placed by NCL for $2610. That charge went thru and the others didn't??? There weren't many good days after that and I was very glad to leave the ship! Never to return to NCL. We were platinum members with NCL, but never again. This was our 3rd bad cruise in a row. The only reason we were on it was for the itinerary. When I wrote to them about this cruise, I was offered a $100 onboard ship credit if we took another cruise in the next 12 months. REALLY!!! Talked to a lot of people on this cruise and we all came to the same conclusion, we would never sail NCL again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
seemed a good price for what was offered, 4 of us booked together for the south east asia cruise, asking for cabins at least on the same deck as we have always had on previous events cruises with ncl, royal caribbean and p and o. well we ... Read More
seemed a good price for what was offered, 4 of us booked together for the south east asia cruise, asking for cabins at least on the same deck as we have always had on previous events cruises with ncl, royal caribbean and p and o. well we were at the front on deck 5 and our friends were aft on deck 8. we spoke to infinity cruises who we booked through, the paperwork and organisation for infinity leaves a lot to be desired(at one time we had 2 extra people on our booking we had never heard off) they said it was the fault of ncl, ncl said it was infinity’s fault but offered to upgrade us for £700 per person(they must have thought that we would be happy to be ripped off) eventually we boarded the jewel, cafe and restaurant staff were top quality, customer services were also excellent as were the bar staff, food really good. trying to get a seat in the garden cafe at times was impossible, spent a lot of time wandering round trying to find seats. shore excursion staff had no idea about the places we were visiting, and got the feeling one of the staff was full of his own importance. communication was awful, the morning announcement over the speaker system was next to useless as you could not hear a word in the garden cafe, thought a member of staff would have told someone. the cabin was noisy, window was misted up so did not see a lot sometimes, the housekeeper i think did his own thing, 15 20 on 2 days before the room was made up, think he had difficulty getting up in the morning, was not the best housekeeper we have had by a mile. towards the end they ran out of some draught and bottled bears, and soft drinks. the organisation for the trips was chaos with everyone queuing up to wait in the theatre at once. we were told to collect our passports between 5 am and 7 am (yes 5am 7am) on the day we disembark, but then changed their minds and made it after 2pm the day we were in. altogether we have cruise 6 times with ncl, but this ship seemed dysfunctional with no coordination, will not go with ncl again, or will we book through infinity. i must say that the entertainment was first class. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We choose this cruise because of its destinations and we have cruised with Norwegian previously and had a very good experience on the spirit. Hence we thought we would experience the same level of service on the jewel however we were ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of its destinations and we have cruised with Norwegian previously and had a very good experience on the spirit. Hence we thought we would experience the same level of service on the jewel however we were thoroughly disappointed this time around. The excursions were disappointing and on one we had no opportunity of purchasing food / drink after spending 5 hrs in a coach in 82 degrees heat. We were given a 300ml bottle of warm water to drink the whole day from 1pm until arriving back on ship at 7.45 this is in humane and unacceptable . When making our complaint to Marcus the tour manager on board he was very dismissive and rude never in our lives have we been spoken to in this manner truly shocking way to treat your customers. The tendering was a major issue and we wasted many hours at each port of call queuing and tendering to/from ship in hot stuffy conditions. Two day advertised stops became one in reality we missed out on evening trip ashore for dinner in Bali as we didn't get back on board ship from our day excursion until 7.45 . This was our pearl anniversary cruise and we wanted it to be memorable and special however I'm sad to say it was disappointing and memorable for the wrong reasons. We will never cruise with Norwegian again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise only for the ports of calls. We have had less than stellar experience with NCL in the past but thought we would try them again. Only to confirm our thoughts of NCL not the choice of cruise lines we would choose again. ... Read More
We chose this cruise only for the ports of calls. We have had less than stellar experience with NCL in the past but thought we would try them again. Only to confirm our thoughts of NCL not the choice of cruise lines we would choose again. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The port of calls were amazing. But the Star ship definitely has been neglected terribly. The food was edible but nothing to write home about. Our cabin was a bit old but clean. Rust spots on outside deck. Room steward was great. The meeting places such as the theater, all seats need to be replaced they were all slanting down towards the floor so you were sliding out of the chair constantly. Very uncomfortable and impossible to sit still for a 45 minute show. Shows were ok... again nothing to write home about. The bar tenders in all bars couldn't mix a drink properly if their life depended on it. We had the drink package for two. What a waste. The only drink your could get properly is if it was a straight shot, wine or beer in a bottle. HORRIBLE! We would not cruise with NCL again unless it was a to die for itinerary, and then we would definitely have to really decide is it worth it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This ship is just not comfortable. Firstly our outside cabin was very small and required the double bed to be separated to have any room at all. Also there was no comfortable lounge in the cabin as there usually is, instead there was a ... Read More
This ship is just not comfortable. Firstly our outside cabin was very small and required the double bed to be separated to have any room at all. Also there was no comfortable lounge in the cabin as there usually is, instead there was a hard backed vinyl chair. You had to be quite agile to manage the constricted toilet. In summary too small and uncomfortable. Secondly the ship has no inside lounge areas to sit in comfort and just read a book. Such areas were ripped out and replaced with specialty restaurants and super expensive accommodation. Result is a very crowded feeling in the ship whenever the weather drives people indoors. The entertainment overall was second rate and front desk service indifferent. The only real positive on this ship was the food and restaurants, especially the Aqua and O'Sheehans bar. Finally they made a mistake with our final account which we are now told will take at least 6 weeks to coorect. We would not go with NCL again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We joined the ship in Hong Kong having selected this cruise as a special holiday to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. We had already been advised that two ports of call were cancelled because of an Azipod engine problem. When ... Read More
We joined the ship in Hong Kong having selected this cruise as a special holiday to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. We had already been advised that two ports of call were cancelled because of an Azipod engine problem. When coming back on board we at Bali we were told that three more stops were cancelled due to ongoing problems. The initial compensation offer was pathetic but was increased after the passengers almost mutinied. Although the offer was better it does not compensate for the loss of half of the scheduled stops. In all we spent 15 out of 21 days at sea, including two lots of 3 days. Since we left the ship in Sydney we have heard the second engine broke down while cruising from Melbourne to Hobart and she has had to be towed back to dry dock in Melbourne. As for things on the ship I must say the staff were excellent, always smiling and helpful. The food was OK but not as good as on other cruise lines we have used. Some of the shows were excellent while the others were, at best, average. Were it not for the future cruise credit that is included in the compensation package I would not consider booking with NCL ever again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise for the new and exciting ports of call on the original itinerary. However, in Dec 2016, the NCL Star had one engine problem forcing them to drop Ho Chi Min City and Bangkok from the itinerary. We only found out about ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the new and exciting ports of call on the original itinerary. However, in Dec 2016, the NCL Star had one engine problem forcing them to drop Ho Chi Min City and Bangkok from the itinerary. We only found out about this by reading Cruise Critic This occurred after final payment and NCL would not give us a full refund to cancel the cruise, they only offered a $200 onboard credit per person. So we went on to the cruise and flew to Hong Kong a few days prior and then boarded the ship there and noticed the ship could make only 9-10 knots. After 2 sea days we made Na Trang, Vietnam, which was not nearly as interesting as Ho Chi Min City would have been. Then after another two sea days we made Singapore which is a beautiful modern city that was very interesting. We stayed overnight in Singapore to allow NCL to make engine repairs, which they did. We had two more sea days while we sped at 21 knots to Bali, Indonesia, which was a tender port. NCL Star's tendering operation allowed all of their tours to tender before others could tender which meant we had a three hour wait before we could get off the ship! To our surprise, a driver for the Ubud tour with Bali Sun Tours we booked thru Shore Excursions Group, was still there waiting for us and we had a nice "private" tour driving through the Bali "countryside" to visit the arts and crafts businesses in Ubud. After a shortened Bali tour, we got back in the huge line to tender back to the ship. As we sat down for dinner that evening as the ship is sailing out of Bali, the captain came on the PA and said that the other engine is now broken and they would have to drop three more ports of call from our itinerary (Komodo Island, Airlie Beach, and Brisbane), meaning a total of 5 out of 10 original ports would be skipped. And we didn't find out until later that NCL was only offering $250 per person plus a 50% future cruise credit for this itinerary change. The mood of most passengers instantly went downhill and an impromptu meeting of passengers in the atrium started a petition to NCL to reconsider their poor offer. I believe there were some youtube videos that show the action there. So now it took us three more sea days to make Darwin, Australia, and we were told by the captain that an NCL representative from Miami would come on board to hear the passenger complaints. However, when we get to Darwin, the NCL rep was from the Sydney office, and to be able to hear him, we had to skip leaving the ship early in Darwin. The NCL rep did say that he had no power to change the offer but he would listen to our concerns. He did get an ear full of complaints. And the next day, we got another offer from NCL that was a reimbursement of $500 per person (max $1000 per cabin) and a 100% future cruise credit (up to the cost of the current cruise less taxes and fees, etc). More passengers were happy with this offer, but we noted that we wished we had been able to cancel this cruise and recoup some of our travel expenses. Anyway, we did visit Darwin and took the Hop-on Hop-off bus and Darwin was a nice place to visit even though it was rather hot. One local in a downtown cafe told us that it was just a little warm. Then we had two sea days and then we ported "near" Cairns, near being at Yorkey's Knob where the slow tendering process began again. Originally, we had booked the NCL tour to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef at Airlie Beach, but NCL cancelled that tour, but since we had booked that one early, they set up another GBR snorkel tour at Cairns and I got to be one of about 80 passengers allowed to sign up for it. The tour's catamaran pulled right up to the Star and we boarded for an hour cruise to the GBR dive/snorkel site. The seas had some big swells so the barf bags were passed out. We were at the site about 5 hours and I made 2 long snorkel trips and made many underwater pictures but the site was not very colorful but it was very interesting and I'm glad I got to see it. I felt sorry for the other passengers that weren't allowed to make this tour. We had three more sea days after Cairns until we wound up into Sydney. The captain was anxious to get into Sydney early, so the sail in to Sydney Harbor occurred around 3am, so we skipped watching the sail-in. The Overseas Passenger Terminal is right in the middle of the Sydney harbor, so we had great views of the Opera House on one side and the Sydney Harbor Bridge on the other. We had been to Sydney before on another cruise, but it is one of our favorite places. We spent a couple of days there walking around "The Rocks" and visiting the Opera House before flying on to Auckland (for 3 days) and then back home to the US. The Norwegian Star is a decent ship if both engines are working. We had a "cove" balcony cabin on deck 8 forward and our cabin was decent sized and our steward kept it very clean. Our only complaint with the cabin design is that the cabinet shelves are on the inside of the closet making it very difficult to see and reach for things stored there. The bath space is good (similar to the Jade and Dawn). And the cove balcony seems to help keep the wind and sun from bother us too much. Since this was our fourth time on the Star, we had seen all of the cast shows but we were impressed by the Star's cast singers and dancers. We don't particularly care for Acrobatics, Aerialists, Magicians, which they had, but the singing acts they had were very good. The dance band, Exotique, in the Spinnaker Lounger, are great, especially when they do their Motown set. And the Melodic Trio in the Atrium are good at times. We think the food overall on the Star has gotten worse since our last cruise with them in June, 2016. The Versailles Dining room menu didn't have enough variety in their dishes and vegetables (but it was a 21-day cruise). Note the menu also had "paid" items like surf and turf which would cost you extra, which we think is another crass attempt by NCL to nickel and dime their passengers. It seemed that the service in the Versailles was very slow compared to other cruises, too. The buffet was unappetizing. We ate at O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill many times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, since the service there was much better. Thanks to our Platinum Latitudes status, we had a free meal in La Cucina Italian restaurant and Le Bistro French restaurant, and they were both good! If we had made all of our original ports of call, this would have been an exciting and interesting cruise. However, this was too many sea days on a ship we've sailed on too many times, and so I would have to give it a poor rating. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Have cruised NCL several times before with few problems. Wanted to see Australia and New Zealand. The ship lost one of its two engines in early December. NCL never informed us of this. I found out from on line reviews. It continued ... Read More
Have cruised NCL several times before with few problems. Wanted to see Australia and New Zealand. The ship lost one of its two engines in early December. NCL never informed us of this. I found out from on line reviews. It continued to sail on one engine. Our Jan 16 cruise had two ports dropped. NCL hoped to fix it in Singapore on Jan 22. They say they fixed it. Some 32 hours later, a loud boom, and we were back to one engine. Forty hours later, they finally told us and cancelled 3 more ports, 2 of them in Australia. When NCL offered crap as compensation, and the captain said that he appreciated our understanding, a protest and near riot erupted. A spokesman from "corporate" was going to meet us. A salesman from Sydney showed up. We were given "future cruise credits" as compensation for missing half of our ports. NCL management sucks! We arrived in Sydney on Feb 6, in time to start the second leg of our cruise, with 3 ports dropped.. The Norwegian Star is probably the worst ship in the cruise business. It has a long list of failures. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We planned this cruise for over a year. We saved so we could afford it and enjoy seeing the Far East side of the World and we booked back to back cruises to continue on the ship for the Australia/New Zealand cruise. We have sailed with ... Read More
We planned this cruise for over a year. We saved so we could afford it and enjoy seeing the Far East side of the World and we booked back to back cruises to continue on the ship for the Australia/New Zealand cruise. We have sailed with Norwegian for more than 25 years and have never been so disappointed with any cruise line as we were with the responses received from NCL regarding the problems on the cruises that was to be "our trip of a lifetime". It certainly was that but not for the right reasons. The ship broke but that was only half of the problem. The fact that Norwegian continued to sail a ship that they knew was broken was a huge problem and eventually caused the ultimate problem of being adrift at sea with no engines and having to be towed back to port. This could have been a disastrous situation had the ship gotten any further out into the Tasman Sea. They were lucky that the final breakdown happened only 77 miles from port and we were not in any rough seas. I honestly believe that Norwegian put my and all the passengers on the ship at risk by sailing a ship with a known problem and only one propulsion engine working. Ports were canceled on the first cruise and on the last cruise to New Zealand all ports were canceled. The NCL response to the passengers for this was the absolute poorest I have ever seen from a company and I am sure there will be litigation to come based on their attitude toward the passengers. The ship breaking and the missed ports might have been forgiven if the company attitude had been appropriate. Please DO NOT book any sailings on this ship - It is OLD and needs to be put to dry dock, there is no telling what could happen next. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Really not a lot to laud about NCL's Asia cruise on the Star. First, the Star itself is an antiquity, particularly when compared with any vessel in Royal Caribbean's fleet, and I'm being truly objective. The Star and the ... Read More
Really not a lot to laud about NCL's Asia cruise on the Star. First, the Star itself is an antiquity, particularly when compared with any vessel in Royal Caribbean's fleet, and I'm being truly objective. The Star and the Jewel are well below industry standard and NCL doesn't seem concerned a bit. We've cruised on the Star twice in the last three years and the Jewell once, to Alaska, last year. This will our last. This trip the ship experienced mechanical problems which resulted in NCL's cancelling the Thailand visit all together and adding an additional (and terrible stop) in Vietnam. All and all the stops were subpar at best. Tours booked through NCl, on this trip, have been disappointing, too. Three tours so far and in each case the tour guides were too difficult to understand. Their english skills are not up to standard. Although they were all very kind, the language barriers more often than not brought disappointment from those taking the tours. Perhaps this isn't entirely NCL's fault but it is their problem. Not stating that language barriers are problematic from the outset is unfair. NCL should be professional enough to mention to their customers that the language barrier at times can not be overcome. Our balcony is fine and kept, but it is very outdated and dark. When compared to Royal Caribbean, it's laughable. The Star's staff has been fine thus far, and the food is okay. We've dined at all the Star's restaurants and they've been fine or quite good each time. The Star's and NCL's entertainment is just okay but perhaps we're being unfair. Many people seem to enjoy them and we're seen same acts multiple times because we've cruised with NCL three times. It seems to us that they could limit the repeating performers. The Casino is a joke. It's not Vegas style in terms of rules and etiquette, and the Casino staff are amateurs, particularly management. For example, a man next to me was dealt a BLACKJACK and the dealer managed to misdeal herself (I'll spare you the details) and even so the Casino didn't honor the BLACKJACK, or our winning hands. It was shocking. Everybody at the table cashed out. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise based solely on itinerary. We have a dozen cruises on NCL which we prefer because of its informality and its short, port heavy itineraries. And the food quality, presentation and choices have demonstrably improved ... Read More
We chose this cruise based solely on itinerary. We have a dozen cruises on NCL which we prefer because of its informality and its short, port heavy itineraries. And the food quality, presentation and choices have demonstrably improved over the recent past. So it was disappointing how NCL handled the engine failure on the Star that occurred 3 weeks prior to embarkation. The itinerary had to be revised as a result of the reduced speed to eliminate the Thai ports which were the highlight of the cruise. Many of the passengers, including us, had made plans for an overnight in Bangkok which required prepaid arrangements. In fact, without the Thai ports, the cruise was not worth our time or money. NCL refused our request to rebook a similar itinerary. And while they compensated the preceding cruise with generous cruise credits, our cruise was limited to a 20 percent credit on the fare, excluding port charges and taxes, hardly enough to cover the canceled Bangkok overnights. This led to a sour mood among the cruisers throughout the 11 day cruise. And the Star itself is a dated and poorly designed ship. The fitness room is located inside aft so you watch yourself in a mirror while working out. The spinnaker lounge is on 7th deck aft instead of 13th deck forward. And the buffet usually located on the 12th deck aft outside where you could eat a late breakfast and bask in the sun has been eliminated. There is no card room. But the crew did their best. The stage shows were entertaining. The revised port visits were interesting. And the Captain did his best to keep us informed of all the changes and defend the company. The food service was spotty. Many of the dishes were too salty. We noticed that smoked salmon was eliminated from the breakfast buffet. And the menus were somewhat misleading. For instance, I ordered caprese, described on the menu as a buffalo tomato slice with mozzarella which came on a cut up plum tomato with small pieces of mozzarella. The bistro menu has been slimmed down, it seemed. So, all in all, it was a very disappointing cruise on an old poorly designed cruise ship and not what we have come to expect from NCL. And we travelled a long way for a once in a lifetime itinerary. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We have cruised aboard the NCL Star before and this cruise had the usual friendly yet often terrible service. Even in the specialty restaurants NCL expected one server to serve our party of ten along with another table of 4, 6 or 8. It ... Read More
We have cruised aboard the NCL Star before and this cruise had the usual friendly yet often terrible service. Even in the specialty restaurants NCL expected one server to serve our party of ten along with another table of 4, 6 or 8. It is impossible for anyone to serve food to 14 to 18 people and keep up with demanding drinkers on the drink package. Dinners often lasted over 3 hours with no food coming in the first hour and no coffee or drinks at the end of the meal. The food service problem was helped by various complaints, the staff does improve if you want to spend your vacation complaining. La Cucina was terrible, Le Bistro just so, so, and Cagney's was good. The Versailles ran hot and cold, but the food selection was lacking, how about 5 different pasta entrees at one meal? The bigger problem was the lack of communication, lack of information and downright lies spread by the NCL home office. Some of our party of 10 was booked through travel agents and some through NCL direct. Some of us were notified when the ship broke down and the sailing date and ports were changed, and some of us were not. When the sailing date was changed a 2nd time, NONE of us were told, and we had a hell of a time getting aboard the ship based on the schedule NCL supplied. Note, I will never sail on NCL again without rechecking the sailing schedule the three days prior to sailing. When they have a change they blame the entire problem on your travel agent. If I were an agent I would NOT book NCL. They had NO excuse for failing to notify the passengers booked through NCL. They also gave out misinformation on the various visas required, saying they would supply same and failing to mention they would charge for this service. In addition, they charge 95 cents a minute for wifi that is the worst. Many in our party could not send or receive emails. I was able to get two emails out in just 19 minutes. We got fantastic wifi for free on the tour bus in Vietnam. Do not buy the NCL wifi. It's sad the crew tries so hard to help, but the experience is ruined by the home office. They should have a special desk for exotic locations, every time you have a question NCL takes forever to answer, as if they had never thought about the details before. The answer, after an hour or so on the phone, is often, ask your travel agent, who then has to call NCL and go through the wait and misinformation again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We had experienced one cruise previously, on the Jewel, so that is all I can compare to. Despite several itinerary changes due to a failed azipod drive, more days at sea, no Thai stop and no website excursions, we were still attracted ... Read More
We had experienced one cruise previously, on the Jewel, so that is all I can compare to. Despite several itinerary changes due to a failed azipod drive, more days at sea, no Thai stop and no website excursions, we were still attracted by the extra stop off days in Vietnam. After boarding we found in our cabin a list of excursions to choose. What looked like two days at Ho Chi Minh City was only actually 27 hours so we decided to do only the Mekong Delta tour, being the longest on offer. This was a long drive but interesting and worth the effort. We passed through the organised chaos of Ho Chi Minh City but did not stop. The Mekong Delta is a rural area had much to offer from a cultural perspective. We enjoyed the canals in traditional canoes, the floating markets to sample tropical fruits, visited local hand made confectionary and noodle traditional factories and had a very nice lunch at a nice resort. For the Na Trang and Da Nang stops I had booked private tours before the cruise due to nothing on the NCL website. Both destinations are great places to visit. The only problem with Na Trang is that the ship could not dock and we were tendered in from the middle of the harbour. Because we organised private tours we had to wait until the ships were tendered in first. So despite being first in line for tender tickets we were still had to wait for over 60 minutes. We used all the complementary restaurants during the cruise. Our favourite was the Ginza as we like Asian food and second was the Versailles which had well designed dishes and a nice atmosphere. The Market Cafe buffet had a good range of foods with healthy choices and quality was above average. All staff on board were polite and competent, except perhaps for Customer Services which I will mention in the Cabin Review. The main pool was all deep and not suitable for non-swimmers. The were two separate water slides which were popular with kids. All the four jacuzzi's temps were very hot and the air jets were unable to be switched off which made it unpleasant to stay in for long. There was a special children's pool right at the stern but we noticed the air to be contaminated by ships exhaust fumes and never saw one child there. The Spinnaker Lounge is at the stern and seems small and dark with few windows (compared with the same on the Jewel which faces fwd). Cocktails at all the bars were well made. The gym is also near the stern with few windows and no panoramic outlook as there was on the Jewel. This makes it a little claustrophobic and I only visited once. Read Less
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