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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the longest embark that we had to endure after a long flight from US to Hong Kong one day prior. We were tired and hungry, but all of the restaurants were closed by the time we got on board because it was time for Muster. Our package included premium beverage, four specialty dining restaurants, unlimited internet, which was nice although the internet was crawling most of the time, and 120 free phone calls of which we used 55 minutes. We were extremely dissapponted to find out that we had to pay NCL $69 each to get a Viet Nam Visa and $89 each for a Cambodia Visa at embark. Of course, we were not aware of getting visas in advance because we planned not to get off in Cambodia because the ship only port one day there, and because we were in Cambodia 2017. The River Cruise Company advised us in advance that we had to get visa for Nam and Cambodia, but NCL did not. Moreover, Viet Nam charges $25 for its Visa; Cambodia charges $30, and it took us less than 5 weeks to get both visa. NCL charged $69 and $89, 3x the charge??? When several passengers asked the crews at the reception, one said because it was an emergency visas; other said to me because they “are merchant” visas. I pointed to that crew member the Viet Nam visa that was stapled to my passports in 2017 indicating that was a “merchant” visa, too, yet, I didn’t have to pay $69 and I got to keep the visa. I don’t know if that crew member got trained appropriately or he thought he could fool me into believing his feeble infor. On this trip, we had to turn in our Nam Visa on the last port day in Nam. So for those who want to keep it for souvenir are of our luck! The food in the Specialty Dining Restaurants was mediocre and poor in some instances. The restaurants’ staffs seemed trying but the execution was poor. At Cagney’s Steak house, I asked for a medium rare filet mignon, it came out rare. The server took it back, the kitchen recooked the steak that I already cut into instead of giving me a new one. What happened if I were sick with a cold or have some kind of contagious illness? Some thoughts for the management. Another incident at Chin Chin, Asian Fusion Restaurant, a line item on the menu, “Chinese Chicken...” one of the passengers asked the server, “what is Chinese Chicken?” The server responded with a laugh, “may be it’s small...” He then apologized later knowing what he said was inappropriate. Note for NCL management, there should be no Chinese Chickens, no American Chickens, and etc...on the menu. There were many more that we could name. In summary, we have cruised many times on large cruise ships and many more on river cruise ships, our experiences were better than NCL, which was our first time. We are not so sure if we want to give NCL a second chance! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I’ve travelled a lot, but this was my first cruise. And it may well be my last. It was the worst vacation I have ever experienced. I chose this mode of travel as I am single and have a deadly allergy to all nuts and peanuts. After ... Read More
I’ve travelled a lot, but this was my first cruise. And it may well be my last. It was the worst vacation I have ever experienced. I chose this mode of travel as I am single and have a deadly allergy to all nuts and peanuts. After several emails, medical questionnaires and a phone conversation with Norwegian, I was advised that they could safely handle my special dietary needs. I was very excited, as I didn’t think I could ever visit these countries; countries rich in nut and peanut products. Well as it turned out, my allergy was just one of many issues I encountered while on the Norwegian Jewel for 2 weeks visiting Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. On a positive note, I found the ship and my cabin to be very clean and comfortable. There were plenty of staff everywhere, greeting and cleaning as they went. In fact the ratio of staff to customers was incredible at almost 3:1. However, the efficiency and productivity of the Jewel’s team was very low and their customer service was appalling. In fact, Guest Services’ attitude was…”if you don’t like it, there’s the door. Let us know when you are leaving on your way out”! That’s exactly what they told some friends I met, who had booked a room for 4 but only got beds for 3! My experience at Guest Services wasn’t any better. Even though I had a letter advising that on arrival the Executive Chef would meet with me to discuss my special dietary needs, they snarled at me with a look and tone of voice that was shocking. They told me the chefs were very busy and could not attend to any special needs. It took me hours to sort through that one, but as it turned out…I think they were right!! Eventually I was able to pre-order my meals so they could be prepared nut free, but I worried about everything I put in my mouth. I couldn’t trust them from one meal to the next, as it was clear they didn’t understand or didn’t care about cross contamination. Luckily I only had one minor incident. Besides the safety of the food for me, the overall dining experience was very poor. There was always a team of restaurant staff close by to remove your dirty glass or fork before you even put it down, but it took forever to have a request like ketchup, tea or a glass of wine fulfilled. The food started off very good, but deteriorated to very bad as the days went by. The last few days it was almost inedible. More people than not were returning their meals. It made for a very unpleasant dining experience. Customer service at the Excursions desk wasn’t any better. It didn’t matter that I’d pre-paid for one of their expensive excursions every day. They seemed to treat everybody in line terribly! The Manager was no better. At least I didn’t mind the 2-2.5 hr highway drives from the pier to the destinations (one way), as I got to see some of the countryside, but it wasn’t great travel time. In my opinion, leadership was sadly lacking on this ship. Management’s response to everything was “it’s not our fault” and as a result they took no responsibility for anything. In turn, they took little to no action in resolving anything. Communication between departments was totally absent and communication with customers wasn’t much better. Things often don’t work out in business the way we planned, but I think how you handle such incidents is critical and very telling. The team on this ship avoided and deflected issues coming at them. They simply didn’t seem to have the ability to problem solve on their feet. And that attitude and lack of training cascaded down throughout the entire organization. It was very evident on the pier at Ko Samui during our first excursion. People were passing out in the blazing sun for hours with no shade, water, proper line ups or communication, while we waited for tendering that went awry. A mob mentality almost took over as people struggled for basic survival and Sr. Officers stood by chatting and laughing amongst themselves. It was utter disorganization and disbelief for passengers, as many could be heard wondering out loud how this crew would handle a disaster at sea. It was no wonder people laughed out loud as the Captain addressed the ship’s passengers some 3-4 days later about that incident, saying that safety was his #1 priority. These are just a few examples from my trip with the Jewel. It was a stressful vacation. When I wasn’t sorting out my own issues, I was listening to others vent about their own terrible experiences on board and others who even called Head Office to no avail. I was happy to get off that boat. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise line/ship for the itinerary. Never sailed NCL before and never will again. We have sailed many, many times with Celebrity, Royal, Carnival and princess to name a few and this cruise line fell far below each of those. ... Read More
Chose this cruise line/ship for the itinerary. Never sailed NCL before and never will again. We have sailed many, many times with Celebrity, Royal, Carnival and princess to name a few and this cruise line fell far below each of those. Complete disorganization with tours to the point we waited over 4 hours in the hot sun for a tender to the ship because the crew did not realize low tide was coming in. There were no announcements in fact it took the crew from ANOTHER CRUISE LINE docked there to try and assist. Saw a few of the crew laughing and thought that this was funny....no apologies from NCL - they could care less. Really, are you not a cruise line? The ship was older and no bells or whistles at all. The crew was just average with no one going "out of their way" and while the food was OK, we were not impressed at all. The only positive was the entertainment on the ship which was surprisingly very good. Cabin was typical and again nothing impressive. I would choose Royal or Celebrity in the future and never sail NCL again. Paid quite a bit of money for a disappointing cruise in Asia. In reviewing the actual ship, I would again say it has no bells or whistle. No outdoor movie screens, small grand entrance. Cabins are what you would expect and one feature that I did like was the ability to close a door to the toilet (even though it was clear). Pillows were much nicer then previous cruises. The staff was average but most seemed to just "do their job" and not go above and beyond. While some did have the approach of being super friendly, the majority did not and when they did, it seemed very forced. The entertainment was outstanding. They had shows that you would see in Vegas and I was very impressed that they were able to carry these out on a ship. I would say, this cruise probably had the best entertainment with the exception of Allure of the Seas. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Lots of issues This is the worst experience we had with NCL. A/C not working, hot water & cold change during shower, shower door jam would not close, problem with ship engine, not getting to port on schedule and leaving early, staffs ... Read More
Lots of issues This is the worst experience we had with NCL. A/C not working, hot water & cold change during shower, shower door jam would not close, problem with ship engine, not getting to port on schedule and leaving early, staffs not train (service terrible). for example, the waiter pour coffee for our friends but forget to pour it for us. In the past, our room were service for 3 times a day, on this cruise skip the morning service. We spoke with a lot of guests on this cruise, they also also indicated NCL have cut back on their service. Over all we had a bad experience. we were hoping for some compensation but no offer of compensation were made. No A/C in rm for hrs. No TV for couple days. Staff not trained, poor service. Rm cleaned late afternoon. No Port talks given and little info on ship. Arrive Ports late and cuts. Worst cruise experience! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Having booked what I thought would be the trip of a lifetime I have been left very dissapionted.Embarkation was a joke!3 hours queing in high 20 degree temperatures with no information or as much as a glass of water because ncl had not ... Read More
Having booked what I thought would be the trip of a lifetime I have been left very dissapionted.Embarkation was a joke!3 hours queing in high 20 degree temperatures with no information or as much as a glass of water because ncl had not informed passengers of the need for 2 passport photo copies.Booking in was then not completed properly with no credit card details taken,only to receive a rude letter 2days later informing me of delays dissembarking because I had chosen to pay by cash.The ship was very overcrowded,there were always ques at the dining rooms and it was almost impossible to get a seat at the buffet resturant.Whilst I understand that this is a freestyle ship what little dress code there is for the resturants was not enforced with hoodys flipflops,heavily printed t-shirts apparently all acceptible.The food was very good and the service from the onboard staff excellant.The entertainment was of very poor quality,with only 1 45 minute show per day even on sea days.Every bar had loud music of poor quality.On disembarkation my case was destroyed,this has happened before on another cruise line and I had my case replaced,but ncl just washed there hands of it saying that they are not responsible for losses due to luggage handling.This was not my first cruise but is was my first with ncl and it will be my last with them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The food and the service was the worst I have ever experienced in comparing to the 19 cruises I had before. Menu in the complimentary restaurants were almost the same every day for 15 days. We chose to eat outside of the ship as many ... Read More
The food and the service was the worst I have ever experienced in comparing to the 19 cruises I had before. Menu in the complimentary restaurants were almost the same every day for 15 days. We chose to eat outside of the ship as many times as possible. Waiters and most of the crew members never greeted any guests, including sales personnel in the shops, they just ignored you. Shows were terrible, only the shows by Lisa Anna Ching and the acrobat show at the end of the cruise were good in a 15-night cruise. Shuttle bus for Kagoshima was $15 per person which was a ripoff and no shutter bus was arranged in Shanghai which was a distance from the nearest subway station. Due to the visa problem of a few guests, the ship was delayed to arrive in Hong Kong which had created problems in the shuttle bus service. I definitely will not take any NCL cruise again and use the same money to go for other cruise lines. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
In 2016, we enjoyed our earlier cruise with NCL Star for 21 days in a Suite and had absolutely no issues. This is what enticed us to take another cruise with Norwegian. This cruise with Jewel was only for 11 days from March 21 to April 1, ... Read More
In 2016, we enjoyed our earlier cruise with NCL Star for 21 days in a Suite and had absolutely no issues. This is what enticed us to take another cruise with Norwegian. This cruise with Jewel was only for 11 days from March 21 to April 1, 2018. The best part of the cruise is the fact that our Mini-Suite was kept immaculately tidy by our steward. The whole ship always looked tidy. Unfortunately, the positives stop there. NCL Jewel is a highly disorganized ship and the reasons are as follows: (1) from the initial port in HK up to disembarkation. People in HK were not even properly identified as NCL staff. They were grabbing the suitcases from our hotel limo as we arrived. (2)Furthermore, NO ONE in the check in counter in HK knew what Latitudes was. Only those in the Suites were assisted even if the Latitudes program supposedly provided for assistance on embarkation for those in Gold upwards (3)Restaurant reservation made online prior to the start of the cruise did not sync with the ship's system. Hence, I just wasted all that time planning the restaurants that we wanted to dine in. (4)The worst part is the staff at Azura ( on the first night) were demanding a print out from me for the proof of my reservation. I obviously do not walk around with hard copies of the reservation when it is supposed to be in their system as per my NCL account. I did not appreciate this because there were other patrons behind and I never expected to be treated in such fashion when the meal in question is an inclusion and not even a specialty restaurant. I later found out that the whole reservation system was not working for the entire length of the cruise(5) Water purchased in advance were not delivered to our room until after 3 follow ups. We were told that it would be delivered the next day which is unacceptable as my husband and I require such for our medication. (6) Shore excursion organizers at the start were not organized with guests even requesting that a line be formed during the process. This is disappointing as the staff should have organized the whole process better. I started wondering if they had trainees organizing these excursions. Also, some guests of the boat were complaining that the ship ran out of shore excursion openings for most of the tours. It is only for 11 days – how can they get it so wrong. (7) Room service did not deliver an order for nearly 3 hours because they supposedly failed to get our room number. We could not have our breakfast at the restaurants that morning as we were dealing with a family emergency over the phones. This was the height of how dysfunctional room service was. To order for beer at around 10 pm would take at least an hour to be delivered. (8) Food in the specialty restaurants are mostly SALTY. The dishes we enjoyed at the NCL Star are also offered at the Jewel but for some reason almost everything is about 3 times saltier. This made most of our dining experiences not enjoyable. Menus in the main dining areas/complimentary do not change at all. Azura and Tsar have near similar menus ( 9) Staff in the Garden Cafe are NOT very helpful and would really rather stand around than assist guests when the place is packed during meal time. The same goes with Azura. The staff members seem to be overwhelmed during peak times. Hence, guests are left waiting to be attended to. We dined there twice and it is sad to see that the main dining area could hardly cope and not get its act together. (10) As we had to leave the ship earlier than scheduled due to a family emergency, we had to disembark by ourselves. We have paid for the cruise until 01 April but had to leave by 30 March. We were supposed to disembark at around 11 am as our flight was at 3:00 pm. By 9:30 am, housekeeping wanted to check if we were still in our rooms. Yes, the very same room that we have paid for in full till April 1 including the unlimited internet charges I have paid for UNTIL April 1. An hour later, someone in guest relations also went to our room to check if we were still around. This was weird because they all knew we were only leaving past 11 am. I could not understand why they were rushing to get us out when the ship will still be docked until 7 or 8 pm in Kobe. Later, the disembarkation officer was VERY VERY rude and even raised her voice infront of everyone when I said that all I wanted was to get out of this ship once and for all. She should not be in hospitality if that is how she treats guests. Prior to our disembarkation and after having raised some of the issues above with customer relations, the Hotel Director Steven even offered to compensate us with US$200 off our bill for all the inconveniences we encountered. We find that insulting as we did not raise our issues to get freebies. We actually look down on people who try to pull that sort of stuff. In the long run, we believe people with legitimate issues suffer when an establishment assumes that people only whinge because they want to get freebies. We declined the offer and told him to use the funds instead towards boosting staff training and morale. He also later on sent a bottle of wine and some chocolates to our Mini- Suite. We also sent that back and politely said thank you BUT no thank you to the messenger. Over-all we regret taking this cruise. It was only for 11 days but I think it stressed us out in the 9 days that we were inside that ship. We were so impressed with NCL Star that we even made 3 CruiseNext deposits in 2016. We are not regretting that decision. Since coming back to Australia, we have read some reviews other passengers have given Jewel and all I can conclude is that we are not alone with our findings. They also are the same with the sentiments of most of the people we interacted with on the boat. Most of them even swearing this would be the final time with NCL. I hope I am wrong to assume that NCL only treats guests from the Suites better than the rest. If someone in a Mini Suite this time cannot get decent satisfaction from a cruise liner then I don’t know what hope the other guests in the lower decks would feel. The ship is running very poorly because of low staff morale and inadequate training. Suffice to say, I will surely think thrice before recommending this vessel for a cruise. The Jewel is destroying the NCL brand and needs an overhaul. It has management and staff issues. We have cruised with both Princess and Celebrity on both levels, Suite and Mini Suite, and had absolutely none of these issues. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise for the variety of ports. When we discovered in December that 2 ports had been discontinued due to propulsion system failure. We (2 couples) immediately requested a cancellation refund as we were concerned about ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the variety of ports. When we discovered in December that 2 ports had been discontinued due to propulsion system failure. We (2 couples) immediately requested a cancellation refund as we were concerned about cancellation of additional ports and safety if the ship should lose power. Despite 3 requests, we were denied and forced to sail. The December 10th cruise received a 100% refund and 50% future cruise credit. The 22nd sailing were offered a 100% refund, 50% future credit. January 5, a 20% refund. We received a laughable $200. Cabin credit. As feared, January 26th, we were advised 3 additional ports were cancelled. including Brisbane where we were to disembark. We were summarily given an additional $800. Per cabin. Through continued passenger pressure requesting a full refund, Norwegian Cruise Line Corporate Office made a final offer of 100% future cruise credit which we find unacceptable. Precedents were set on past cruises. The offer comes with extraordinary restrictive conditions. We simply want a refund of the amount paid for the cruise. Five of Ten Ports cancelled... No assistance from NCL other than the use of 4 computers and 1 telephone line, maximum 8 hours a day for 5 days, 2000 plus passengers! On one of the 2 ports left, Darwin, we were were forced to spend our time in a shipboard meeting arranged by NCL and the afternoon in a mall, advising friends of our non arrival, cancelling car rental, rescheduling accommodation arrival, arranging transportation to Sydney Airport and flights back to the Gold Coast, no financial compensation. The front desk and customer service staff were ill informed, rude and were actually found to be purposely providing incorrect information. The captain blatantly lied, stating the ship was safe and absolutely would not lose power. NCL has continued to board unwary passengers on a compromised ship. Our concerns about the Norwegian Star were confirmed when all engines failed 70 miles from Melbourne, drifted 2 days before being towed to port. With this event we hope that NCL will now acknowledge our anxiety and justified concerns by offering a realistic refund. Despite the pressure of extra sea days and anxious passengers, all staff, Cabin, Dining Room, Casino, Pool, Restaurant, provided friendly, professional service. Our cabin was comfortable, drink service was prompt, we enjoyed the specialty dining and onboard entertainment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia were areas we were very interested in seeing. NCL had problems early December but would not cancel cruises in order to fix the problem instead ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Australia were areas we were very interested in seeing. NCL had problems early December but would not cancel cruises in order to fix the problem instead they failed to notify passengers of loss of ports before we entered the terminal to board ship. Problems increased as we sailed. After only 3 ports they had additional problems with ship and they canceled 3 more ports. So they had canceled 5 of 10 ports. Their compensation was $500 per person for up to 2 people in a cabin and 1/2 next cruise within 12 months. This was wrong. Dining was okay but have had better. Crew and staff did their best considering the angry passengers. Entertainment was okay. Our cabin, balcony on deck 10 was smallest we have had in quite a while. Did not trust the ships seaworthiness. Embarkation absolutely the worst we have ever experienced--this was our 14th cruise. NCL is on my no cruise list. Hope their bottom line is better than our cruise experience with them. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
1. They changed the itinerary twice due to mechanical problems, which caused us to lose money on hotels. Thailand, which was the highlight of the cruise, was cancelled. 2. Prior to leaving we called about visas and both Norwegian and ... Read More
1. They changed the itinerary twice due to mechanical problems, which caused us to lose money on hotels. Thailand, which was the highlight of the cruise, was cancelled. 2. Prior to leaving we called about visas and both Norwegian and Visa Central employees and websites provided wrong information. The employees on the cruise did not want to take responsibility for misinformation. 3. Poor quality food. Tasteless. If you'd like to lose weight you should go on this cruise. 4. There should have been more activities. I was a bit bored on sea days. 5. This was my first cruise and I was very disappointed by the experience, especially with the visa issues. It was in very poor taste for them to not take responsibility for what was written not their website. Their employees are poorly trained and don't really seem to know much about what they are selling. The highlights of the trip were the shore excursions, which we booked privately. Many passengers complained about the excursions provided by Norwegian. I will never travel with Norwegian again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
First time cruiser so did not know what to expect. Arrived in Hong Kong to Commence Holiday on the 19th was informed of major itinerary changes due to propulsion problems on the 21st even though NCL knew of issues over a week prior. Too ... Read More
First time cruiser so did not know what to expect. Arrived in Hong Kong to Commence Holiday on the 19th was informed of major itinerary changes due to propulsion problems on the 21st even though NCL knew of issues over a week prior. Too later to cancel any holiday plan without an expense. 4 destinations were removed and an additional 5 days at sea were added. Also lost 5 star hotel night stay in Bangkok which we could have changed or cancelled if we were informed as we should have been before the 17th by NCL. Not a good start as we were already questioning the integrity of the company before we even got on the ship. NCL will provide a 50% discount on the cruise and a 50% discount on a future cruise (must be within 12 months) which I will not be taking up. When looking at back at the experience a 100% refund would have been more appropriate. The experience on the boat was mixed the good points amazing food and the majority of the staff were lovely. Not so good points was poor entertainment during the day especially considering how many extra days at sea we were given. At times children and teens were running riot all over the boat especially in pool and dining areas. Services that would have filled my time nicely were available such as spa and massage treatments but they were so overpriced that I did not have any. Ports were all very far away from the few city destinations we stopped in in Ho Chi Min and Bangkok. Many of our interactions with other passengers also involved exchanging feelings of dissatisfaction about the way things were handled. For my first cruise not many good things to say. Would I do another cruise? Never say never but never with NCL. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We had planned on a large family reunion and had focused our search in the south-east Asia region. Living in Canada, none of us had ever travelled to this part of the world due to the very lengthy flight to get there. NCL had advertised ... Read More
We had planned on a large family reunion and had focused our search in the south-east Asia region. Living in Canada, none of us had ever travelled to this part of the world due to the very lengthy flight to get there. NCL had advertised an itinerary that was quite frankly exceptional, as it would be touching upon nine ports. Based on this itinerary, we booked the cruise more than a year in advance. Also based on the itinerary and dates, we had booked all the flights and several independent shore excursions. People had booked off vacation time. Our sense of anticipation grew as the travel date got closer. However, just four days prior to our departure, we were informed that the ship has some mechanical issues, specifically one of the azipods was disabled. In order to offset the ship's reduced speed, they deleted four ports and we would have to spend many more days at sea. This was extremely short notice, especially since the azipod issue was known to NCL several weeks in advance. They offered a compensation of 50% refund and a 50% credit for a future cruise (as long as it was taken within a year). This may have been fine for someone who hadn't booked so far in advance was travelling in a small group. However, the logistics of a family reunion are difficult to try and redo again and they didn't recognize the degree to which they compromised our travel plans. I understand that mechanical problems can happen to any ship, regardless of cruise line. My bigger frustration with NCL is their customer service (or lack of). I have been diligently trying to talk to management on the ship as well as reach senior customer management personnel at their head office. However, they continue to exploit their bureaucracy and hide behind front-line telephone operators. They haven't answered any of my questions, but submit vague statements such as "we understand your concern and we can't do anything for you". A true service oriented company would have had their senior management reach out to me and better understand my concerns and try to address them in a more individual manner. At least they would have better articulated their reasons for reaching certain conclusions. I have lost all trust with NCL as they have lost what it means to empathize and properly deal with customers. As a result, it is unlikely that I will ever travel with them again, regardless of the 50% discount they are providing. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was the worst cruise ever-saved up my leave to take this break-Hong Kong to Singapore (22 Dec16-6Jan17)-itinerary changed several times 1st informed morning of cruise but already in Hong Kong-only 2 ports visited between above ... Read More
This was the worst cruise ever-saved up my leave to take this break-Hong Kong to Singapore (22 Dec16-6Jan17)-itinerary changed several times 1st informed morning of cruise but already in Hong Kong-only 2 ports visited between above ports-ship's azipod propulsion system failed losing power-same issue 18mths previously reported by fellow passenger-19 Feb17 ship stranded off Melbourne coast heading to NZ with same issue-so much for fixing issue: http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/travel-troubles/89291043/norwegian-star-cruise-ship-breaks-down-near-australia .Treat the passengers and crew dreadfully-promised 50%refund +50%for another cruise-still waiting for refund-no apology on ship-no ships porter to take cases to cabin -self-service and no direction of where cabin situated-cabin good but found dirty underwear in draws-complained and night porter removed said items with gloves but did not clean it-then tried to blame the cabin porter for not doing his job!!- thermal spa treatment is a joke-nothing but 2 chlorinated pools with bubbles-lap pool was only up to knees one end and mid body other end-3 arm flips and you are at end of lap pool-sit outside if you want to sweat as steam room did not work for most of the sea days-reported this sometimes 5x in the hour but problem often not rectified and never offered refund for inconvenience. Non-smokers beware- smokers are everywhere-don't stick to designated areas-if you report this takes crew so long to attend that the smokers have finished cigar/fag or moved on or no penalty if caught.If you buy water from ship to take off shore note that they wont let you bring it back on even though they have sold it to you in the first place! Cant manage dietary requirements well even though they were aware of these prior to us boarding. Very disappointed with menu-same for 14days so if dietary issues, virtually zero choices-asked for several vegetarian options but not able to provide in restaurant although they did have in the McDonalds style cafe.Couldn't choose where one sat for meals in restaurants only in the McDonalds café. Evening entertainment very average at best and little options available.Crew & passengers were kept in dark regarding ships' issue but no apology made during 14 dy cruise or letters in cabins for guest on arrival. During cruise did not berth near the cities but in commercial docks with no facilities around. This meant additional taxi rides of up to 2.5hrs each way to reach the city before starting to sight sea-told this was so ship could be fixed-obviously never happened. Shore excursions are very expensive and say they are taking you to places others don't go-don't believe, others do take you to wherever you want to go and they are often much cheaper! No apology for those of us, having booked short excursions independently of ship, for ports which we later did not stop at. Asked to be dropped off at the Orchard hotel in Singapore but told I had to book the shore excursion of US$109 to do so-lies the hotel provides a free shuttle bus from the ship. No help with asking for directions or costs of transport or free services available at the port. Overall a very unimpressed and upsettingv14days with most days at sea because of reduced speed (sea days decrease my sea tolerance)-sick for 3 days including 1 day in port.Would ALWAYS RECOMMEND AVOIDING this ship or its sister ships given the way they operate unless you are a smoker-SMOKERS RULE even around children!..so much for all the health warnings regarding smoking and smoking related illnesses. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The Norwegian Star had propulsion problems. According to Cruise Critic reviews, this happened in October also, but I don't know. When I read about the problems on Wednesday, December 14, I called Norwegian Cruise line and was told ... Read More
The Norwegian Star had propulsion problems. According to Cruise Critic reviews, this happened in October also, but I don't know. When I read about the problems on Wednesday, December 14, I called Norwegian Cruise line and was told nothing was wrong. December 16, they emailed one person in our party (not everyone) telling them exactly what I read about the change in itinerary. So five days before sailing, we were given the choice of not going and receiving a full refund, or going and receiving a 50% refund. We chose the 50% refund and going because we already paid for visas, airfare, etc. and couldn't get that money back. The itinerary changed five more times beginning on the day of our arrival. The original itinerary had 10 days at ports in six countries with five days at sea. The final itinerary had five days at port at three countries with ten days at sea. We docked at Singapore at 9:30 pm the night before we were to finish the cruise at 7:25 a.m. so I am not counting Singapore because we weren't able to see any of it but the airport. *They didn't change on-board entertainment to fit the new itinerary, so they showed movies while we were docked and only showed one movie during the ten days at sea. *They didn't arrange for dock space for the changed itinerary so although we were supposed to be able to leave the ship at 3pm, we weren't able to dock until 5:30 pm, missing some shore excursions *They didn't offer more things to do even though we were stuck on the ship. *They didn't offer discounts on shore excursions or on-board entertainment even though we were in ports longer so they could fix the ship. They had 2000 passengers bored and complaining, and didn't seem to try to be flexible and change on-board activities to fit the changes in itinerary. It was a big WASTE of money and time. Ratting explaination - Cabin furniture didn't fit the space (had to climb over the bed to get in bed) + Dining spaces were clean and comfortable - There weren't enough enrichment activities or entertainment - Pool too small - Not enough deck chairs in shaded areas (on deck 7) - Theater seats need replacing, they all slope from wear. + Service was generally excellent except for the sports bar. - There were not enough people working at the front desk so always a long wait. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Okay - here goes. I never actually review cruises on this site. I usually use it for planning group excursions and meeting other critics etc. But, this cruise was so terrible, I felt I had to review it. Let me set the scene by telling ... Read More
Okay - here goes. I never actually review cruises on this site. I usually use it for planning group excursions and meeting other critics etc. But, this cruise was so terrible, I felt I had to review it. Let me set the scene by telling you I am a Gold Latitudes Member, cruise critic and exclusive NCL cruiser (with the exception of one cruise). Let's start from the beginning.... Embarkation in Singapore was THE WORST I have ever been through. I am a Gold Latitudes member so I was in the gold/platinum line and what should have been a 20 min procedure took 1 1/2 hours. It was so long standing still that the lady in line in front of me fainted and my husband caught her on the way down! Next to me in the Silver Latitudes line I was told it was a 2 1/2hr wait and in the ordinary line I heard first-hand reports of people waiting 4 HOURS! I honestly did a quick time and it was taking about 20 mins per group in the gold/platinum line. The captain apologised for this in his announcement and said that it was due to "greater than expected number of people wanting Vietnam visas" which was a lie because that part of the process was a 2 second signature on a form. Once on the ship, a few hours after what should have been our leaving time, the captain announced there was an "issue" with one of the engines and that as long as they could fix it by 2am, we would still get to Koh Samui on time. My husband and I got up to go to the bathroom at about 1am and felt the ship moving (and therefore assumed we were on our way) but then found out all that had happened was they moved us to the Singapore Bay to allow another ship to take its allocated berth. We spent the first 'sea day' in the Bay of Singapore and went back into the port that night. The engine had failed and we were told they were flying in experts from USA and Europe to fix it, so we had some hope we may still get back on track. Little did we know that the experts weren't being flown in to fix the engine, they were being flown in to certify that it was safe to continue the cruise on one engine. We were issued a 'new itinerary' which had a whole 3 ports (one completely new which I had made no plans for) and were offered via announcement from the captain "A full refund plus 50% off your next cruise" which made it a lot easier to take. However, once we investigated the 50% off the next cruise, we soon realised that it was 50% of what we paid on THIS cruise towards another cruise which, while still a generous offer, was not the expectation created by the captain in his announcement. Some people got the cruise for about $800 and so were bitterly disappointed in their $400 towards another cruise! I am not denying that this was still a good offer, but they set expectations in that announcement and when we found out the truth we started to doubt the honesty of NCL. When we got back into Singapore, NCL told people they were welcome to leave the ship if they desired, but that NCL would not be paying for their flights etc if they did go. We just went into Singapore for the day and had another look, used the wifi at the port to cancel all our tours and got back on that night. What we didn't realise is that apparently approx 10% of the ship disembarked. As a result about 100 people (who I assumed were at the front desk demanding perks) were upgraded to better rooms!! I was told it was for free by people who were speaking to those upgraded. One guy was travelling with his son and got his son his own room! Considering the atrocious room we had (cabin feedback below), I was FURIOUS that being a Gold latitudes member and a cruise critic obviously meant nothing when they were handing out upgrades. We went to the desk to see if there was even another inside state room we could have and the front desk staff were so infuriatingly smug and condescending!!! I couldn't believe the way in which they treated us! I wasn't being rude or angry when I asked! I was perfectly friendly and pleasant. The rest of the trip basically consisted of us rolling back and forth in the South China Sea for about 7 days straight. Our stop in Nha Trang was cancelled due to weather (devastating but totally understandable give the weather!) so that left only 2 ports. The night before Nha Trang was so rocky that I did not sleep the entire night. Apparently a lot of people were very sick. We arrived at Chan May (near Hoi An and Hue) in Vietnam late one afternoon. Luckily for us, we honeymooned in Hoi An and had the contact details of a driver who we texted from the ship to come get us. Luckily they turned on the Maritime network so we could text! We paid him $100 USD for a return trip to Hoi An, but because it was an unexpected stop and super expensive wifi on the ship, other people had to either book a ridiculously overpriced ships tour which spent the majority of the time in museums and shops, or take a local taxi which we heard people paid $150 USD ONE WAY! I thought considering it was an unexpected stop, the ship would put on a shuttle in and out of Hoi An, but the Shore Excursion staff smugly told me that wasn't happening (this is before I thought to contact our driver). The people who went on the ships tours were scathing in their comments on how poor they were. I found the shore excursion staff as condescending as the front desk staff. I heard several stories of them lying about situations to get you to book the ships tours. Sanya was an absolute debacle! We got Chinese visas and therefore didn't need the ships tour to go ashore (although we heard later that was a lie from Shore Excursions too and apparently as long as you arrived by ship to Sanya and were leaving within 72hrs you didn't need a visa at all! One guy confirmed this with the Chinese immigration staff!). However, in true NCL style, they gave full preference to those on ships tours and told us we could only get our passports back at 9am (docking time!). NCL underestimated the amount of Chinese citizens on the ship and the queue to get our passports was mammoth!!! The floor we were getting the passports on was the same floor as the gangway and as a result there was an enormous crowd of people on that floor squashed together and very unhappy! I took a photo of the crowd but it doesn't do it justice. It took a good 2 hours to get off the ship and through immigration and once we saw what a disappointing place it was, we got back on the ship a few hours later. NCL made every excuse under the sun about the delay (and even called the Chinese government corrupt etc) but everyone said the same, that it was a 2-way street and a 2-part process and NCL handing out passports at docking time was ridiculous! One lady said to me (in line waiting to get out to Sanya) that it should be called "NWL" - "Norwegian Waiting Line" for all the times we queued and waited for them to get their act together. On the second last day (day before docking) NCL decided they would offer to pay people out their account balances in CASH (USD only) so there were huge lines of people settling bills and trying to get their cash paid. At some stage, they ran out of money and then just offered the usual cheque. What annoyed me was, as with everything else on this cruise, the staff gave inconsistent information and incorrect information. Being from Australia, a payment in USD cash is useless to us and we wanted the amount to be paid in USD onto a special credit card we have which has an excellent exchange rate. We were told by one Italian Manager that this was not possible, that NCL would send us a cheque in USD and if we wanted anything differently we would have to call the Australian NCL office and request it. When we got home, we found the amount was paid onto that credit card already. Not a big deal but it highlights the distinct lack of knowledge of the staff and inconsistencies being told (we discussed with other Australians and they had been told something completely different). Disembarkation was a breeze. Here is the crux of what I want to say about this cruise... The engine failing was a preventable event. I know this because I am a maintenance engineer and I know what a critical piece of plant the engine is for a cruise ship. My husband was a bit more forgiving of this event, but I know this was purely their mistake and for that I am furious because we went on this cruise purely for the itinerary. The cruise refund does not compensate for the $4,000 we spent on flights/transfers/accom either side of the cruise in order to do the cruise, or lost deposits on our private tours. Despite this, the cruise was defined by how this event was handled - and in my opinion it was not handled well at all. We were treated DISGRACEFULLY by all management staff constantly. They spoke condescendingly and smugly with every question or request we had. Information was not consistent or correct. Everyone was told something different and most of the time what we were told was not true. Being a Gold Latitudes member and cruise critic means absolutely nothing to NCL but demanding perks at the front desk obviously gets rewarded. If you are not taking a ships tour, they don't give two hoots about you, and the staff at the shore excursions aren't completely honest in an attempt to scare you into taking a ships tour. I am extremely disappointed in how this cruise was handled. I have cruised exclusively with NCL for 6 cruises in a row now, but it will take an enormous amount to get me to give them my money again after this. Even with a '50%' credit. Congratulations, NCL in 50 years of sailing and congratulations in delivering the worst holiday of my life. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The ship broke down in Singapour and the staff instead of being super gentle with the customers, most of the crew were horrible, from the customer service agent to the supervisor and manager. I will not go back to any Norwegian ship ... Read More
The ship broke down in Singapour and the staff instead of being super gentle with the customers, most of the crew were horrible, from the customer service agent to the supervisor and manager. I will not go back to any Norwegian ship again. PD: My grandma got sick and one night at the cruise hospital the bill was $8,000. Forget it.It It was very irresponsible that the company knew that the ship was broken with one motor and we were 6 nights in a row in the ocean because we were working with only half the power. Now I need to work 3 more years to pay for the hospital care which was over priced. We choose a room for 4 people and there was no space for the 4 beds and the luggage. One bed was literally in the middle of the entrance of the cabin, so they had to built and bring down the 4th bed everyday so we could walk through the cabin. Read Less
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