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2,437 Norwegian (NCL) Barcelona Cruise Reviews

I chose the cruise for the low price. and I also did the follow-on cruise from Miami to Chile. As I've come to expect, more of the ship was given over to "pay extra" venues. And the food continues to go downhill. In four ... Read More
I chose the cruise for the low price. and I also did the follow-on cruise from Miami to Chile. As I've come to expect, more of the ship was given over to "pay extra" venues. And the food continues to go downhill. In four weeks there was never prime rib. Of course no lobster, but even shrimp and crab were very scarce. They are cutting corners wherever possible. But the main issue is them cutting out or changing ports and offering no compensation. Their communication about that was horrible. They are arrogant and secretive about all such decisions. Rumors abounded about mechanical problems with the ship. They were never addressed. I suspect that something they couldn't or didn't want to fix accounted for our port changes. Mum was the word. Don't tell the passengers anything was the policy. NCL really has become awful. It seems the business plan is to squeeze every last dollar out of every passenger and cut every cost. Profit this year is all that matters. They no longer care about long-term customer satisfaction. Hey, we'll all die off soon and they'll attract new customers with low prices. They are the Spirit Airlines of the sea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Where was middle management? So many issues with poor service and no one handling basic issues. It seemed like there is a complete lack of basic hospitality-service training. Here are but a few things to mention: -honey packets so ... Read More
Where was middle management? So many issues with poor service and no one handling basic issues. It seemed like there is a complete lack of basic hospitality-service training. Here are but a few things to mention: -honey packets so sticky in Garden Cafe each day, you have to wash your hands after handling. I told a woman in uniform...yet same sticky situation every day after -salt grinders that didn't work at all in Aqua. They gave me 5 different ones-just so I could have salt. I bet they still don't work. -listening to the sound of silverware being thrown toward the dishwasher while seated in Aqua. So loud. Why are the kitchen doors propped open to the dining room? -Versaille-all the cabinet doors in center seating area were left open. Messy look to a supposedly fine-dining space -waiters who ask you each time if you want more water. "Excuse me miss, do you want more water?" Just fill the water glass-it's standard service. -waiters who say "excuse me miss" when they are behind you and bringing the food. Just approach the table and put the plate down. Why should a diner have to respond to the waiter behind them bringing food? -waiters who wanted me to move aside so they could put the plate down, when they could have easily approached from my left (serve from the left) and placed the dish without disturbing the conversation -3 types of french fries served on lunch menu is Versailles, but the kind you're supposed to get with your order are not what you get -items as described on menu rarely what you receive -shrimp burger in Versaille-undercooked, Who can tolerate undercooked shrimp? Health hazard -Fish ceviche on Great Stirrup Cay also raw-but not in a ceviche way. Should look white from chemical cooking by lime juice, That fish was clear-not white. so not ceviche -loud noises everywhere. The LOUDEST experiences all the time. Art auction so loud we can't talk in Ginza. Central are bands so loud that working in internet cafe is impossible. -internet cafe-"Cafe"? There's no food there-just noise. Why is there no quiet space to work if one needs to? -internet cafe- no outlets near the tables. I actually needed to plug in my computer! -strong smell of cigarette smoke in fitness center and on back deck-clearly coming from Crew deck below -games in Library are standards from the 1970's. So antiquated. Chutes and Ladders, Checkers, Chess. ugh! Invest a few hundred dollars in updated games -invest $500 quarterly on several copies of best sellers for the library. Why not offer a "good read" as an experience? It'd be so cheap and so easy to do -Ginza-so far from anything remotely Japanese. Seaweed salad came with a creamy dressing (?). Supposedly there was a Sake Bar advertised, but when we asked for a Sake Menu the server said there were just 2 kinds(?) One was "creamy". Creamy sake(?) -Music-the worst! Heavy metal music every day by the pool. Heavy metal is not a very popular musical choice, especially for the cruising population. I had to leave the deck every day when they started. The other band that intro'd every song they sang- and they sang them poorly. They chose a Pat Boone song. The DJ had no sense of energizing the crowd. The first night I ventured to Bliss he was playing a song from the movie Grease. I never bothered to go back. On the deck-people want to hear rhythms and dance beats or tropical vacation music. He'd ruin a vibe as soon as he stumbled on one. Playing Elvis' "Why Do Fool's Rush In" is an end-the night song, not a keep-this-vibe-going song. So many missed opportunities for the slightest bit of energy and entertainment -cocktail waiters that never offer you a drink. The entire 2 weeks I was on the ship, only one time did a server approach me to suggest I order a drink. In 2 weeks-only once! This is just a short list of issues the cruise line should work on. Training, motivation, and initiative seem to be severely lacking. I came away thinking at least I didn't gain weight, because the food was pretty bad and service was so annoying. And I didn't spend money, because there was little impetus to buy anything onboard. Is that what corporate wants to read? I doubt it. It really wouldn't take much to make this a better experience. But does anybody care? Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I like the organization of exterior public spaces. Most outward facing railing is composed of evenly spaced vertically oriented glass panels. Panels range in height from four to eight feet. All panels are about a foot wide and every gap ... Read More
I like the organization of exterior public spaces. Most outward facing railing is composed of evenly spaced vertically oriented glass panels. Panels range in height from four to eight feet. All panels are about a foot wide and every gap between those panes is about 3 inches. It serves perfectly it’s intended perfectly in three ways. First, you can see everything. They may get a bit obscured with sea spray, but that just means that the spray is not on you. Second, they foil wind. Though forty knot wind was making the rigging howl, behind this screen I felt only a breeze. Finally the gaps between the panels are just the right size for a camera. Most of the topside around the midship swimming pool is chaise lounge sized tiers. It’s easy to navigate with a plate full of food and there is plenty of space for everybody. I like the complimentary restaurant meals. They were consistently well prepared. The portions were consistently well prepared and small, which is as it should be. If you need a larger meal, you simply order more courses. For example, I ordered five scallop appetizer courses, and skipped the entree. A major shortcoming that I found for the Star is that it lacks a public quiet interior space with a view of the sea. All those seeking an interior space to pull threads or read or play card are banished to artificially lit cave like places. On the Star, all the interior, sunny comfortable places serve the purpose of dining, drinking and watching sports. This shortcoming could be easily remedied by eliminating one of the upper mid-ship specialty restaurants or eliminate the interior portion of the “owners suite” or eliminating a half dozen cabins fwd of the library on deck 12. I did not like the access to the main dining room, Versaille, located at the rear of the ship. The room can seat probably 500 and is beautifully decorated. It’s well lit in the evenings. The problem is the entrance. The Access is gained by descending a stair from deck 7 down to the dining room floor on Deck 6. Midway down the flight is a landing that serves as the entrance to the room, and is where the maitre-de sorts party sizes and assigns tables. The stairs from the Maitre-de to the floor are ornate and inside the room. It makes for a very dramatic entrance, however for those guests who cannot take stairs very easily the only way in is via a single elevator shaft. What I mean is that on deck seven, directly adjacent to the dining room entry stairwell, is a bank of four elevator shafts serving Deck seven thru thirteen. Only one of those four shafts goes down to the floor level of the Versaille. To add to the insult, those shafts do not serve stateroom decks five or four either. For residents on those decks, travel to the Versaille dining room always requires a trip to deck seven. From the floor of the restaurant, decks five and four cannot be accessed directly by stairwell either. I did not like the Stardust Theatre. I’ve sat in stadiums with more comfortable seating than the orchestra seats. Many are broken. All are uncomfortable. In the current configuration all stalls seating must be accessed via two central aisles. Seating on the extreme right and left of the theatre extend straight to the walls. As human nature dictates aisle seating is taken first and the theatre filles progressively outward toward the walls. Because there is no aisle access at the extremes, much standing and jockeying is forced upon those seated at the aisle. If three or so dozen seats were removed from next to the walls to create additional aisles, human traffic would flow much more smoothly. The upper “box” seating is more comfortable. The “box” seating is a set of two heavily cushioned benches where the railings are composed of a series of glass panels. From the outermost, front, box bench the view of the stage is adequate. The second row view is not. In order to view the stage one must stand, which I was compelled to do because the ships steady dance troupe put on was wonderful. The live musical entertainment was too loud. Music for a sober mid-day crowd should not be louder than normal conversation. Mid day and sunny afternoons before an audience of middle aged and older adults is not a setting where entertainment should make itself the center of attention. Nor inside the atrium during dinner hours. At these times, in these places, musicians purpose is simply to set a mood. “Loud” is for the “not so sober” crowds later in the evening. For those of us that take care to wear ear protection when working with power tools, being exposed to the Star’s musical entertainment is (was) counterproductive. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The timeline fit well for us and the price was great. The food in the dining rooms was mostly tasty, but not always hot. The service seemed to be a bit better in the Aqua restaurant, and Aqua was less noisy. You did not need to make ... Read More
The timeline fit well for us and the price was great. The food in the dining rooms was mostly tasty, but not always hot. The service seemed to be a bit better in the Aqua restaurant, and Aqua was less noisy. You did not need to make reservations, but you could if you wanted to. We did not try any a la carte restaurants, and we heard mixed reviews from those that did. We were treated to dinner with the officers (we put our name in a "hat" and they chose us), and we enjoyed it very much. The gala night was not well advertised, so we missed it. The cinnamon buns are not as good as Holland America (those of you that have enjoyed HAL cinnamon buns know what I mean). The buffet served scones with cream and jam around 3 pm for tea. We enjoy classical music, and there was very little of it, but we did enjoy the violinist from Poland. The evening entertainment was good with a good variety including comedian, magician, contortionist, gymnast, acrobatics, Adele impersonator, violinist, the Norwegian star orchestra, singers, and dancers. Robert was a gifted pianist which we also enjoyed in the Gatsby lounge. The daytime or sea day entertainment was a bit lacking unless you liked art auctions, bingo, casino activities, or trivia.I did enjoy the odd lecture from a geologist, and sometimes they showed a movie in the theater. There are many seminars available to promote their spa services or to purchase their health products. There is a library, and board games are available there to use. There is no puzzle room, but there is an internet cafe. The photo area is very modern. You can check your photos on one of the many computers, or they have a binder for each cabin where you can check out the printed photos. The photographers were very good at their work. The gym has no change room or showers. It is located at the back of the ship and is quite dark. I appreciated the morning stretch and ab classes in the morning, however the room got very crowded some mornings. There are no animal towels in your cabin, no bathrobes, no chocolates on your pillow. There was a mini fridge and mini bar in our room. This was a bare bones cruise compared to some other ships that we have been on, but overall, we enjoyed ourselves. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were planning on a trip to Barcelona for week and decided to try a transatlantic experience. Barcelona is great city and we had a great week. Having read previous reviews, we realized that the Star was an older ship that had a ... Read More
We were planning on a trip to Barcelona for week and decided to try a transatlantic experience. Barcelona is great city and we had a great week. Having read previous reviews, we realized that the Star was an older ship that had a refurbishment, so we knew it wouldn't be perfect. All in all, it's not one of the best, but it is pretty good ship. We had a mini suite which had a couple of nice features including a full size bath tub which was very nice. The cabin was a good size. The bed was bit too firm. The sofa was like sitting on a rock. I've never understood why NCL hasn't made these couches more comfortable for daily use. We like to spend some time in the cabin and a more comfortable couch would have made all the difference! Our cabin location was on deck 11, under the pool deck. A bit of noise in the early mornings from pool deck furniture being moved around, but not a deal breaker. The glass on the balcony is getting pretty old. Not as clear as you'd find on a newer ship. Our cabin attendant Ricardo was amazing. He did a great job and we were very lucky to have had him look after us. The majority of the crew were great as well. Very friendly ser Food was average. Celebrity was much better. This was our first experience with freestyle dinning and it was a good idea. Points to NCL for coming up with this concept. The buffet was average, but the staff were really good. There are very few areas on the ship where you could go and sit for an hour or two of relative quiet to read or just relax. The other thing that was annoying was the additional 20% tip you were charged every time you ordered a drink. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem paying the daily tips and giving our cabin attendant a well deserved extra tip, but the 20% gratuity on every drink is stupid. No, we didn't get a drink package and I'm okay in paying for drinks as you go. To get your money's worth out of the drink package, you'd have to be a borderline alcoholic. Just being honest folks! The ports of call were nice. The one downer was losing our last port in the Azores due to weather. They stopped in the Bahamas at the NCL Island which was a disappointment. An extra day in Madeira would have been much better. We like doing our own thing instead of paying for excursions, so can't comment on the ones provided for by NCL. This was our first time on NCL. We had sailed on MSC and Celebrity before this one. Would we do it again? Probably not. Maybe Holland America next time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise to cross the Atlantic. Cabin was nice. Service was somewhat lacking. Food on the buffet was on par with other cruise lines, but dining room food was very poor. No steak and lobster, not even once. No dress up night or ... Read More
Chose this cruise to cross the Atlantic. Cabin was nice. Service was somewhat lacking. Food on the buffet was on par with other cruise lines, but dining room food was very poor. No steak and lobster, not even once. No dress up night or even a Captains dinner. I would compare the cruise to traveling in coach on a discount airline. Not one of the crew ever called us by our name. Entertainment for the most part was top notch. Nowhere onboard to buy a bottled drink (i.e. gatoraid), only in the bars. Even the restaurants that you had to pay for were average at best. Purchased the transfer for leaving the ship, going to the airport. Disembarkation was late, took more than an hour to load each bus, then the process started over. After standing in line for more than an hour, had to take a taxi to make our flight. Will not cruise on NCL again Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife has taught Kindergarten for 39 years. She only had only item on her bucket -- to take repositioning cruise just to experience doing something that isn't in the high seasons: summer, Christmas, Easter. Norwegian was ... Read More
My wife has taught Kindergarten for 39 years. She only had only item on her bucket -- to take repositioning cruise just to experience doing something that isn't in the high seasons: summer, Christmas, Easter. Norwegian was the obvious choice -- it puts more effort into adding some interesting ports of call at one end of a transatlantic crossing, and the price was the most competitive. So, this cruise had stops in Spain and Madeira. Because of rough seas in the Azores, we couldn't pull in there; we took a more southern route to Miami. Our only big disappointment was that Norwegian chose to substitute that port with a second last day stop at their own island in the Bahamas. We think they could have been more creative: how about an extra night in Madeira, a stop in the Canary Islands, or a "real" port in the Caribbean? We were really happy with the cruise. For us, food is number one on a cruise. Perhaps we were a little nervous knowing how much Norwegian promotes specialty dining. But, the main dining room Versailles was where we spent most of our time for meals since we enjoyed just about everything. The staff were incredible, and if we were patient, we could often get seated in a section with the same waiters -- something we enjoy in getting to know people better. Norwegian doesn't offer the most expensive choices -- prime rib and lobster and some other seafood -- in the "free" restaurants; yet the quality of food is great. It is served hot (even something like fish and chips). The recipes are tasty. I have yet to be on any cruise ship that can make a decent pastry or pie crust; therefore, I wasn't surprised that those kinds of food related items were not all that great. We have been on about 8 cruises with other cruise lines in the same price category -- and we can say Norwegian has the best entertainment in the main theatre. No corny musical reviews. The productions with singers and dancers were more sophisticated. And for the other nights with specialty acts, the comedians, acrobats, singers, violinist, magician were all top notch -- standing ovations each time. The show band, in whole or individually, played in other venues. They were really personable and allowed us to get to know them. The Star also featured other musical individuals or groups throughout the 14 days. We had heard that Norwegian was the "nickel and dime" cruise. Certainly, you get charged for more things than on other cruises. With the emphasis on specialty dining, we tried a three night package. In our view, they are not worth the $80 per couple per night upcharge; but it seemed as if they were popular. I think some people had them somehow included as part of their initial purchase for the cruise. Booze is expensive. No deals like a 5 or 7 bottle wine package. $9 for a draft beer seems steep. The specialty drinks at a minimum of $11 were not always prepared properly. And, it is a little annoying that in order to use the For us, the real pleasure of a cruise is getting to know the people who serve us. They are so hard working and dedicated, in spite of being so separated from their families for 8 months at a time. We wish Norwegian could give them more opportunity to somehow connect more regularly with their loved ones back home. If anyone gets an opportunity to be served by these people, you will feel special indeed: Room stewards Mohamed Rosidik, and Angel Ramirez, Dining room waiters Dora Xiao Joe Yang and Ericson Nasol; Wine Steward Roshan Mathias; Dining room attendant Johnson Miranda; Hostesses Ksenija and Maricris; Maitre D' Jasime; Spa attendant Jessica DeGraca. We will definitely cruise with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We just completed our first Transatlantic Crossing on the Norwegian Star. It was a fabulous trip...and even in November the weather was fantastic...in the hot tub every day. The Star is an older ship but a crew was wonderful. The best ... Read More
We just completed our first Transatlantic Crossing on the Norwegian Star. It was a fabulous trip...and even in November the weather was fantastic...in the hot tub every day. The Star is an older ship but a crew was wonderful. The best port call was Madeira....Due to a storm, we missed the port call at the Azores but they more than made up for it with a final day port call at their private island, Great Stirrup Cay....a gorgeous sunny day on the beach was perfect to close out the cruise. We did mainly upgraded dining...so the food was great. We particularly loved the Sushi bar. And our meals that we did in Aqua and Versailles were very good. The one show we attended was the Las Vegas review which we first class...great story along with awesome choreography and music. Our cabin steward, Charles, was very attentive. The bar staff (Marcello, Tiger, Matt, Jamie, and Mohammed) were very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cruised on the Norwegian Star several years ago and really enjoyed the experience on a mid size ship. The cruise itself was pure pleasure with wonderful food and service and great entertainment. The staff did everything in their power to ... Read More
Cruised on the Norwegian Star several years ago and really enjoyed the experience on a mid size ship. The cruise itself was pure pleasure with wonderful food and service and great entertainment. The staff did everything in their power to insure that their guests had a great time. The entertainment package provided was first rate and especially enjoyed the big band musical presentations. Since this was a repositioning cruise there were many and varied presentations and social activities. The only low point of the cruise was the embarkation process which was a total horror show. Total disorganization was the order of the day and compared with other cruise lines Norwegian rates a distant last place. That was the only negative for the entire cruise experience. One other added note was the selection of Cadiz as a port stop. It was my first time in this beautiful and charming city and a high point of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
You tell me if you think this cruise worth going for: Room door lock latches are hardly working every time it’s a hassle to open the door with the key card. There are no mattress covers, sheets are going directly onto spring ... Read More
You tell me if you think this cruise worth going for: Room door lock latches are hardly working every time it’s a hassle to open the door with the key card. There are no mattress covers, sheets are going directly onto spring mattresses, which is against all means of hygiene There are 2 floors of entertainment, though one is 70% covered with gambling machines and casino tables where people are actually allowed to smoke at tables, while the smoke goes all over the ship. Another level is more than half facilitated with shops of jewelry, watched and perfumes. As for pharmacy non-prescription medicines, there is none, unless you pay $150 to just to see a doctor, even if you want to only find out if they have any particular medicine onboard. Paid extra $210 to use the spa, but the cooled water and teas have been removed from there without explanation. There is no place on the ship to fill a bottle with drinking water. On every drinking station a sign warning that it’s not allowed. There are no daily water bottles in rooms either, only at $6 for 0.5L in the bar fridge. On the last days of the cruise, we have received a letter saying there is a $15 per person per day charge for services. And nowhere on that note, it explains that the fee is optional. At some ports, it takes hours to stand in a queue to wait for exiting the ship Every onboard radio announcement sounds unclear, for a ship full of foreigners to understand important announcement of someone with very strong accents is impossible. A lot of information is missed. On TV only two channels in English; one is news another is documentary, which repeats over and over. Another channel with movies in different languages, but there are around 5-7 of them and they repeat over every day. Buffets food is repeating itself and no variety of fruits, no fresh berries were during the cruise. As well there was no seafood at any point available in the buffet. ..... Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I have been on previous repositioning Epic cruises. My cousin traveled with me and she has been on 9 repositioning Epic cruises at this same time of year. It seemed like a sure thing....BUT surprise! This cruise was a nightmare from ... Read More
I have been on previous repositioning Epic cruises. My cousin traveled with me and she has been on 9 repositioning Epic cruises at this same time of year. It seemed like a sure thing....BUT surprise! This cruise was a nightmare from start to finish! Embarkation was a nightmare. We are both disabled and the embarkation staff didn't know what to do with us. Then my cousin was asking for a wheelchair and she waited 3 hours for one. People were still boarding the ship during the lifeboat drill. Epic tried to blame this mess on the immigration staff, but they were the ones responsible for getting wheelchairs and helping disabled passengers through the line and they were non existent! The cruise only went downhill from there. As a disabled cruiser, I have always found NCL accommodating and helpful. Not this time! Hallways were exceptionally cluttered and impossible to navigate. Elevators were packed (with only 8 total elevators and 4000 passengers). Staff from those in the theater to excursions knew nothing and treated us rudely. There are many examples of this...while waiting for our excursion in the theater, one poor lady was begging for a chair and in pain. A crew member herded us in the corner and no one helped her, despite my efforts on her behalf! They never gave us instructions and we all finally left the ship on our own, found our way through the terminal and to the buses, no help from NCL at all! Our first excursion was a bus to the "city" for sightseeing and shopping. It ended on a 4 lane highway, a mile from the cathedral and no shops in sight. I returned to the ship via a different bus and had to retrieve my own walker from under the bus! Second excursion was no better. No one at all to help disabled people at entrance to theater, and we went on our own to find bus again. This is after battling elevators for 20 minutes. The tour was labeled activity level 1, minimal activity. Actually it involved a brisk 45 min.walking tour over a mile and included steps. With other passengers helping on steps, I managed, but my cousin had to sit and wait for us. The one good part was the shore excursion manager, Catalina...she refunded the first trip and half of the second, then personally looked out for us at the buses for the remainder of the trip. She was having quite the time training her new staff! Shows in the theater on deck 6 had a roped off seating area marked disabled for us. But no staff to move the rope and heavy stand. Our first show in the theater a crew member berated an elderly couple and said they couldn't sit there because they weren't in a wheelchair...they were very clearly unable to navigate steps! The rest of the trip crew stayed away, and healthy young people (not part of a disabled person's party) took over the area! Finally, I booked an excursion and asked the crew member if I was allowed to use my walker, showing him that the tour description said no wheelchairs due to space limitations. He glibly said sure that should be fine, but days later I got a call from the manager that I couldn't go on the tour. Totally disorganized, and with the exception on the wonderful manager, uncaring! The ship was filled to capacity and was as noisy as a school cafeteria in the atrium and dining areas. I couldn't attend many functions that didn't require reservations, despite early arrivals...just no space anywhere. It was like being a sardine in a can with screeching dolphins! Supposedly the ship was not filling up and since it was their first debarkation in Puerto Rico, they pushed deals there. 3200 Puerto Ricans came onboard, packing us to capacity. Most were large groups of celebrating families and friends, raising the noise level to intolerable levels. Let me tell you, I tolerate a lot of noise, as a former elementary teacher, but this was unreal!! I tried 3 times before I could squeeze into the cavern club for their Beatle group. Packed to the brim, even then. The entertainment for such a long cruise was pretty good, I will say. Different musicians, hypnotist, comedy, magic, etc. Nice variety. The standards were Priscilla and Burn the Floor. Those required tickets ahead of time. The first Priscilla was cancelled due to mechanical problems. Speaking of mechanical problems, the midship escalator was broken the first few days, which only added to the crowded elevators! Many crew were new to the ship and confused. Service was spotty everywhere, even in specialty restaurants. Food was inconsistent, not cooked to order, cold, someone else's order, you name it! Not what you'd expect for all of the extra fees. Oh, speaking of food, I had to order room service on my first night! I couldn't get in an elevator despite 45 min. of trying. They didn't charge me the service charge for the order, but it was a disappointment for my first night onboard. Communication was poor. NCL seems to only care about making money at this point. Phones flashed messages with ads for purchasing trip credits, attending functions, shopping, money, money, money! I felt it was an invasion of privacy. The ship announcements by the captain were difficult to understand due to his accent and impossible to hear from the dining room or atrium due to noise levels. On our last night we were delayed in port with police boats at our bow and stern for 6 hours! No announcements were made and passengers got quite concerned. Now for the medical situation...a letter was issued at embarkation saying that the norovirus had been present on the last cruise and they were disinfecting the ship. If anyone wanted to cancel their cruise, they would receive credit for a future cruise. OK, here is the issue...I was not told of this notice, only reading it after boarding the ship. Plus, I had traveled overnight for many hours, flying to Barcelona. Still, I might have elected to not travel if I had known before boarding. I definitely would have not gone if they had been courteous enough to notify me before I left home. With a serious heart problem and upcoming surgery it would have not been worth the risk. Naturally, they didn't tell us a day before because they would lose money! Now it gets interesting...onboard there were many sick passengers, some with norovirus, some with upper respiratory issues. Coughing was heard all over the ship. I was afraid to breathe! Norovirus patients were confined to cabins and given free medical care, not the others. My cousin was perfectly healthy upon arrival, but a week into the cruise she fell victim to the respiratory illness. Her trip to the sickbay netted her a bill of $2500, which was even more for her in Canadian dollars. Sure, she has insurance, but this bill had to be paid before disembarking and now she has to go through the insurance headache. AND the dr. visit didn't help. She was wheezing and having difficulty breathing the rest of the time. Getting a wheelchair to disembark was only available by traveling to the cavern club and began a 8 am, but her bus left at 7:45. Front desk replied, That's our policy. Sheesh! Some compassion, NCL! I hope you appreciate all the money passengers spent on medical care this trip! Debarkation in Puerto Rico was a disaster. 3 large ships in port, and no room in the terminal. After part of the first group headed for early flight departures had disembarked, they halted all disembarkation for 3 hours. It ended with free alcohol on deck 5 to compensate. Just what they needed with everyone packed on that deck, shoulder to shoulder, sprawled all over the floor, waiting to get to deck 4 to get off the ship. Drunk passengers should help that situation a lot...way to go NCL! I stayed on deck 15 with the patient, quiet few! Overall, if this is the new normal for NCL I will part ways with them gladly. Cruising has always been a joy, but I was never so glad to be back on land and at home. I did send NCL a poor review and asked for management to respond to me. We will see. My cousin had already booked the same cruise for next year, but says now she will cancel. It is such a shame. Cruising NCL at one time was a delight. Now I guess only the Haven passengers can expect a good cruise. Before you say anything, my hubby and I were in the Haven twice and loved it, but also have had many other wonderful cruises on lower decks! I am not a grumpy passenger and have never posted a poor review. Shame on you, NCL for this horrendous trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Norwegian simply does not know how to manage a ship with 4,000 passengers. 3 hour wait outside to embark / check in 2 hour delay in disembarking (almost missed flight) A couple of ports that were just a waste because a ship the ... Read More
Norwegian simply does not know how to manage a ship with 4,000 passengers. 3 hour wait outside to embark / check in 2 hour delay in disembarking (almost missed flight) A couple of ports that were just a waste because a ship the size of Epic apparently has to dock far away from more convenient docks. After the embarkation disaster they made the statement, "We know it was terrible but it wasn't our fault. I'd like to tell you that this will not happen again this cruise but I can't promise that." He was right. One of the main dining rooms, Taste, seemed to be a hodge-podge of decor styles. The center section was white, classy and contemporary. The 2 wings of the dining area were exactly like a 1975 vintage Shakey's Pizza. Old fake brick with ugly-ugly colored plexiglass that vaguely resembles stained glass. Who decorated that mess? O'Sheehan's Pub had amazingly poor service. Twice we were seated but waiter never came to the table. We left after 15-20 minutes. And when it was slower / less hectic, staff was much more focused on chatting to each other rather than providing service. Similarly, in Cavern Club bar the drink service was always indifferent, at best. Positives: Good food, decent service in dining rooms, ship clean. Negatives: I've described a few of the serious problems but too many to mention them all. Activities loosely organized by one of many cruise director assistants. Lots of 'em, but none seemed experienced or skilled. They made an effort but did not seem nearly as capable as we've enjoyed on many past cruises on other lines. Needless to say, I would not go on the Norwegian Epic again. Strongly suggest you find another ship for your trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We took a 16-day cruise on the EPIC. An epic mistake. With no desire to impugn the people of Puerto Rico, the fact that what appeared to be ¾ of the passengers seemed to be from there, led to some of our complaints and culture shock. ... Read More
We took a 16-day cruise on the EPIC. An epic mistake. With no desire to impugn the people of Puerto Rico, the fact that what appeared to be ¾ of the passengers seemed to be from there, led to some of our complaints and culture shock. Here are some of the issues we found with this trip: • Embarkation was delayed hours due to there having been an outbreak of some illness on the prior cruise. This caused us to have to stand in line for a little over two hours to embark. • A note from the captain indicated that “more than 2 %” of the prior guests and crew were affected by the illness. (was it 2.5%, 25%, 50%????) The lack of communication was the beginning of a trend. • We were shown to our stateroom and were surprised at how small it was. Approximately 8’ x 20’. So small that two people could not walk past the bed at the same time. The bulkheads were curved to lessen the visual impact that you were in a cell. The toilet was on one side as you entered, the shower on the opposite side and the sink was in the middle of the room. A bathroom with a bed in it. • Then after standing in line for hours we boarded and discovered that if you want water, you have to pay for it. We did spring for a $6.00 bottle of water (+ 20 % gratuity). They will sell you a water “package” with bottled water (+ 20% gratuity). You are not permitted to bring water (or anything else) on to the ship • Our veranda was about 8’ wide by about 6’ deep. It held 2 chairs and 12” square table. • What really made the veranda fun was when the crew was hosing off the upper decks with fresh water and it cascaded down the side of the ship until it left up to an inch of water on the veranda. Incredibly, there were no drains to allow this water to escape. We had to wait for it to dry. • The headboard on the bed was curved to conform with the shape of the bulkhead, which meant your feet hung over the end of the bed. • There was a sofa, also curved, that was uncomfortable, and slid away from the wall once in a while. • With 4,100 passengers, there were lines for pretty much everything but especially elevators. • The ship has a public announcement system that is self-defeating. The volume is so loud, and the number of speakers so prolific, that only when the cruise director was delivering a message in English could we understand most of it. This was followed by a rapid fire Spanish translation. Then, just about every day our captain got on to give us information. Here the system really did him a disservice. Our captain was a native Italian speaker with a fairly heavy accent when speaking English. We were lucky to pick up a word here or there. If you are sitting or standing near one of the speakers when the announcements come on you will be deafened. • The guests from Puerto Rico seemed to be treated differently than we were. For example, one night the Bliss Lounge was closed for a private event attended by our fellow guests from Puerto Rico. On another night, with two other couples, we attended the Cirque Dreams performance with preferred seating for dinner and the show. We had to ask for wine to be served and the groups at two adjoining tables had servers hovering over them with bottles of wine for refills. We got one glass of wine. The tables next to ours were two groups of about 10 to 12 guests. • The volume of the music, largely salsa and latin, being played in the area around the pool and the waves bar was sometimes so loud you could not be heard by the person next to you • This cruise line seems to all about charging the guests for every possible thing. For example, you are charged $15.00 per day/person for gratuities, and then, you are charged an additional 20% gratuity on top of anything else you purchase. • You get phone messages telling you about sales being held aboard. The daily newsletter has inserts every day about things you can buy aboard. They hold sales at counters that are in the middle of the main hallway. One day the people were 3 and 4 deep at the counter making passage difficult. In short, they bombard you with sales pitches (don’t forget to add the 20% gratuity) • Our last day was a real treat. We were not able to stay in our staterooms after 8:30am. We were given color-coded tags for our luggage and told we would be called out by color to leave the ship and collect our bags. Without being told why, we were kept on the ship for close to 3 hours. The only announcement was that this was caused by a CBP issue. We did watch our fellow guests from Puerto Rico walk off the ship while we waited. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise for the Itinerary, price and perks. Have enjoyed NCL in the past (platinum member) but this cruise was different. The embarkation was a disaster, 21/2 to 3 hours in line, with no communication as to what was going on! ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the Itinerary, price and perks. Have enjoyed NCL in the past (platinum member) but this cruise was different. The embarkation was a disaster, 21/2 to 3 hours in line, with no communication as to what was going on! And lack of communication was evident at other times during the cruise. The crew was hit and miss on friendliness, and we unfortunately had an outright unfriendly room steward, which is a 1st. The balcony room had plenty of storage but did not like the small sink out in the bedroom area. We found the specialty restaurants good, but the regular dining just Ok. And finally disembarkation was another disaster with long delays and lines.I prefer to do only positive reviews but this was a disappointment. I think NCL needs to look at how they operate. Communication on what is happening was lacking on this cruise and should be improved. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I arrived 5 days prior to the start of our cruise and loved Barcelona, giving us the opportunity to explore many of the sites there. We were excited about trying NCL, not ever having cruised with them before (we have ... Read More
My husband and I arrived 5 days prior to the start of our cruise and loved Barcelona, giving us the opportunity to explore many of the sites there. We were excited about trying NCL, not ever having cruised with them before (we have cruised on Holland and Princess before for a total of 10 cruises). The price of this cruise was fabulous and included free specialty restaurants, excursion credit in each port, free WiFi minutes, a free drink package and onboard credit of $150. However, the ship was not as we had hoped. Our embarkation took over 3 1/2 hours of standing in line, and then when we got to our cabin, the layout is different than what we’ve experienced on other ships with the bathroom divided, the toilet is on one side and the shower is in the other with only frosted acrylic doors that don’t provide ANY privacy and rattle when the seas are at all rough. The storage cabins are not deep, thereby limiting what fits in them. The couch and headboard are both curved so sitting on either is not comfortable. We knew the layout was different but did not expect it to be as unwelcoming as it was. In addition, the bed itself squeaked and the mattress was not very comfortable. The tv options are limited, the lighting is poor if you are trying to apply makeup, and the water temperature fluctuated to sometimes scalding levels. We always book a mini suite cabin because we like to relax in our own space. This particular cruise had 5 sea days crossing the Atlantic and were looking forward to spending time on our balcony or relaxing in our cabin, but this cabin layout is not conducive to that at all. As for the cruise itself, we liked the Free Style option with no set dining times and no formal evenings unless a person chose to dress formally. This type of cruising allowed us to try different restaurants on board, all wonderful, and plan our excursions or attend the on board shows, which we fabulous, how we wanted to arrange them. Even with 4100 passengers, we never felt overwhelmed with crowds because the layout of the ship has lots of areas to hangout in. The excursions offered by NCL were good and were reasonably priced. The cruise staff was very good and the only problem was trying to get a minibar change which wasn’t ours, reversed, that took 5 trips to Customer Service and 3 phone calls to Housekeeping and even when we left the ship, we still didn’t know till the final charge to our credit card if they had reversed the charge. We disembarked in Puerto Rico and again, this process was not very efficient and we had a 2 hour delay. We were told that the cruise line doesn’t manage this process and that the city is in charge of those arrangements but it’s still a reflection on the cruise line especially if someone is trying to make a flight, which were weren’t. Because we did like most of the cruise and the staff, we will entertain cruising again on NCL but will NOT EVER chose to go on the Epic in the future, it is thankfully the only ship with the cabin layout described above. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We've never been on a transatlantic cruise or to Barcelona, so when we saw this cruise at a good price, we couldn't resist. We spent several days in Barcelona - a great city - before getting on the ship. I've been on ... Read More
We've never been on a transatlantic cruise or to Barcelona, so when we saw this cruise at a good price, we couldn't resist. We spent several days in Barcelona - a great city - before getting on the ship. I've been on about twenty cruises; this is the first with Norwegian. I don't know whether this is typical of the line, but embarkation was very bad. We arrived about twenty minutes before the beginning of boarding (scheduled for noon) to a huge line and it took about three hours to get on the ship. Thankfully it had stopped raining earlier that morning; because there was no cover and it took about two hours before we were able to enter the building where we were processed. On previous cruises on different lines we were given an hour window when to show up and were on the ship in about a half hour. When we were finally on the ship we couldn't go to our cabin because it wasn't ready. We chose an MX category mini-suite (the line chose the cabin - it was significantly cheaper than choosing our own location) and that was spacious and clean with plenty of storage. The negatives of the cabins on the Epic are legend; the sink is next to the bed, the toilet and shower were on either side of the entry, making it noisy and less than private - but we were prepared for those negatives. Another issue is that the beds are short. Anyone taller than about 5'8" would have there feet hanging off the bed. The ship itself felt crowded and noisy, particularly 5th and 6th levels where most things happened. There were very few places that you sit quietly near a window and read. My biggest complaint was with the food. Unless you ate at specialty restaurants - at a significant extra cost - items typical at no extra cost on other ships I've been on (Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean) were not available in the main dining rooms. No lobster tails, crab cakes, prime rib, filet mignon, escargot or shrimp cocktails; salmon was on the menu once in 16 days. And what was available was on the bland side. The buffet was also lacking, with meat generally overcooked and dry. I saw no eggs benedict or smoked salmon (available daily at the buffet on my last Princess cruise), Perhaps they were available in the dining room, but that was only open for two hours and fairly early even on sea days. Entertainment was great and varied except the movies which were older and not very good. The Broadway show Priscilla Queen of the Desert was a delight. There were numerous musical venues, comedians, a magician and hypnotist. The singer NIcola Ward was fantastic. The casino was better than most, with plenty of machines and table games. However, when you made a room charge to play (who carries cash these days?), the charge was 3%. So $100 would cost $103 - $500 would cost $515, This is only time I've been charged a casino fee of this kind to make a room charge on a cruise. Considering a ten year CD pays less than 2% I found the charge exorbitant. Unfortunately I'm a cigarette smoker. There were only two areas, both outside and only one covered that one could smoke. The cigar lounge was banned to cigarette smokers - a first on any cruise I've been on. That means on cold and rainy days it was pretty miserable. Smoking was allowed in parts of the casino, but only when it was open and only if gambling. Service was fine. We were happy with our cabin steward Charles, and with the various waiters in the dining rooms. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Trans Atlantic and stops at three island groups to which we had not been as well as departing from Barcelona to which we have not been - we choose cruises based upon itinerary first. We think the ship is too large and prefer smaller ships. ... Read More
Trans Atlantic and stops at three island groups to which we had not been as well as departing from Barcelona to which we have not been - we choose cruises based upon itinerary first. We think the ship is too large and prefer smaller ships. The cabins (we had aft-facing balcony) were smaller than normal and cramped. The food was not as good as expected. However, the crew/staff made everything worthwhile - they were great! We spent 3 days in Barcelona before the cruise. We should very much like to return. We took 2 TripAdvisor tours and were surprised at how good they were - very pleased. We applaud Max & Natalia (TripAdvisor). Embarkation was awful because of disinfecting the ship from previous problems. It seems hardly possible, but disembarkation was worse apparently because Norwegian failed to estimate baggage (we were told anyway) - delayed several hours. We were concerned about making our flight, but did so; however, we know some missed flights including a couple of friends. There was a high percentage of passengers who were local and the disembarkation should have been controlled instead of pandemonium allowing passengers with flights off first and then locals. Entertainment was good, but especially "Howl at the Moon" - the best I've ever seen on a cruise. The crew and staff were extraordinary and made things enjoyable. We have been 6 times with Norwegian and would go again but on a smaller ship (whatever cruise line as we are itinerary based)' Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We have sailed Norwegian once before (The Jade). Our cruise started with a 1/2 hr line to drop off our luggage and then 2 1/2 hours in line to checkin. Luckily it was not a rainy day but it was hot. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We have sailed Norwegian once before (The Jade). Our cruise started with a 1/2 hr line to drop off our luggage and then 2 1/2 hours in line to checkin. Luckily it was not a rainy day but it was hot. No adequate explanation- just blamed the port people. With 4100 passengers on board elevator access was often an issue. On disembarkation day there was over a 2 hour delay getting off due “to terminal congestion”. We had most of our breakfasts in the dining room and all dinners in the Taste dining room. We never had to share a table unless we wanted to. All dining staff were very good. We thoroughly enjoyed the Cirque Epicurean dinner show, Pricilla Queen of the desert and the dance troupe Burn the Floor. The Beatles cover band in the Cavern was very popular but seating was full typically an hour before show time. Over all entertainment was very good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Although I have done many cruises with different cruise companies, this was my first time with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It started off very poorly. It took us over 2 hours standing in line, with my partner who has mobility issues, to get ... Read More
Although I have done many cruises with different cruise companies, this was my first time with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It started off very poorly. It took us over 2 hours standing in line, with my partner who has mobility issues, to get registered for boarding. We had an issue with our beverage package which was not accepted although I showed them the paper work. Guest services was not very helpful and just kept saying that they will send a note to head office. I had to get our travel agent involved and it still took 7 days to totally resolve. The highlight of the cruise was the very good entertainment available. Every evening there were a number of choices of live music or shows to attend. There were a number of good speciality restaurants however the Brazilian restaurant was excellent both is service and quality of food, I highly recommend everyone to try it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a repositioning cruise, so it had both a great number of ports, and a reasonable cost. On the Pro side: - Ports were Good. Arrecife and Tortola are a bit underwhelming, but otherwise, the ports were very nice. My ... Read More
This was a repositioning cruise, so it had both a great number of ports, and a reasonable cost. On the Pro side: - Ports were Good. Arrecife and Tortola are a bit underwhelming, but otherwise, the ports were very nice. My favorites were Palma and Funchal. - the ship was nice. Clean, lots of eating space. - the balcony was great. The weather allowed us to really enjoy it. - The food was good to great. One of the best steaks I've had in the main dining room - Entertainment was plentiful. We didn't partake in much, but that was our choice. They have lots for you to do. - Our room was perfect. Many complained about the layout, but it worked well for us. On the Con side: - Iced Tea was a disaster. Hardly drinkable. - Booze was expensive, as we didn't have the booze package. - Embarcation took 3.25 hours. Disembarkation took 2 hours to self leave... (NCL blamed Customs and Border Patrol - not sure if that's true or not, but it was a gong show) - A lack of comfortable places to just sit and relax. About the only choice was on deck in a deckchair which turned out ok once we got a bit south, where it was warm enough, but the first few days, well we couldn't find a quiet comfortable place to read. - O'Sheehans restaurant was poor I felt. It's super busy at lunch and during the day and quiet at dinner. The wait staff seemed disinterested, where we didn't get that feeling in the main restaurants. Overall we were pretty happy with our cruise and would probably do it again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I like NCL cruise line just was not happy with this cruise experience this has not been my first cruise with the company. I do enjoy some things like free at sea that they offer and i didn not enjoy other this like they could have done ... Read More
I like NCL cruise line just was not happy with this cruise experience this has not been my first cruise with the company. I do enjoy some things like free at sea that they offer and i didn not enjoy other this like they could have done more activities during the sea days but it was kind of monotone thru the sea days. I was really disappointed with the glow party i was expecting a little more in the party. What i was the most disappointed was the fact that the club was separated with Latin music and the regular american music. We felt a little discriminated.The overall food was very decent, We enjoy very La cucina was my favorite and Moderno restaurant.. The music selection was awesome in howl at the moon and Sabor latino was amazing.The only negative i would have to say for very long days at sea they needed more activities. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this ship after reading so many reviews, but during my time onboard I fell in love with this ship and wouldn’t hesitate to go on the Epic again. We boarded in Barcelona, and were met with long ... Read More
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this ship after reading so many reviews, but during my time onboard I fell in love with this ship and wouldn’t hesitate to go on the Epic again. We boarded in Barcelona, and were met with long lines checking in at the terminal. While I found this a bit of a speed bump to the start of our cruise I didn’t let it bother me. Everyone was doing their best to get us onboard as quickly as possible, and let’s face it sometimes that takes time. The layout of the ship didn’t bother me too much. Every ship has its own quirks. I did miss the lack of windows and quiet spaces to sit during the day, but they do make the specialty restaurants available to use when they are closed so there are still plenty of quiet places to go. I also missed the running track, but this ship has the biggest and best set up gym I’ve seen on any ship. I found it easy to find my way around the ship. I agree they are missing a bank of elevators, but I have no problem taking stairs. Also if you don’t mind walking a little you can usually find elevators that aren’t busy. The food was fantastic, and the service was amazing in the restaurants. I didn’t eat at the buffet because I just am not a buffet person. My only time up there was to get ice cream and I have no complaints there. Disembarking was a bit of a process. Not sure what happened but they halted disembarking for at least an hour just as we were going to get our stuff out of our cabin. Our cabin steward told us to just stay there and relax until they started to allow people off the ship again. Which was sweet that he offered this to us. We left our luggage in our cabin and walked around the ship a little so they could still get in and do as much as they could to get the cabin ready. When it was time to get off the ship we were off in 15 minutes. I think the crew got handed some tough situations on this cruise with the embarkation and disembarkation, but I feel that they handled everything as best as they could and very professionally. I was very impressed. I would also like to add that I haven’t see a crew work together so well and genuinely like each other. You could tell these guys are all family. Like I said earlier I wouldn’t hesitate to book a cruise on the Epic again. I loved my time with her and the crew. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
As I said, we particularly like cruises with time at sea. Also, I have always wanted to go to Spain, so this was a perfect combination for us. Additionally, The Haven (for us) is worth the additional cost. It's like being on a ... Read More
As I said, we particularly like cruises with time at sea. Also, I have always wanted to go to Spain, so this was a perfect combination for us. Additionally, The Haven (for us) is worth the additional cost. It's like being on a small ship if you choose to stay in that area, but if you want to enjoy the entertainment that's available on a large ship, you can do that. The Haven Our cabin was perfect for us -- a two bedroom suite. We have traveled in that type of a cabin before so we knew we would like it. The dining room for The Haven is delightful and the servers recognized us after the first day. The concierge & his assistant were very helpful as were the butler & cabin steward. We really enjoyed the entertainment. We went to most of the shows which were available. My favorite was "Burn the Floor". The only problems were the embarkation & debarkation. The Spanish gov't did not have enough customs officials to expedite the process & at debarkation we were not allowed to leave the ship because of some problems with customs Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cabin was as expected. Steward very nice and considerate. Room service prompt, food good delivery cost of $8 for 24 hr. Service was reasonable. Did not want to spend a great amount of money as i am recently widowed and was trying to watch ... Read More
Cabin was as expected. Steward very nice and considerate. Room service prompt, food good delivery cost of $8 for 24 hr. Service was reasonable. Did not want to spend a great amount of money as i am recently widowed and was trying to watch my costs. I have so much more i could say like i was abandoned in rome, had to pay taxi 200euros to drive me to the port as fast as possible (he made a 2 hr drive in 90 min.) ship was still in dock, but would not let me board. I sat in taxi and cried as i watched norwegian epic pull out. had to find a hotel for the night and learn how to navigate the train to ships next port, livorno. 2 hr. Wait for train, 4 hr train ride. Finally arrived, but missed excursion to florence and pisa. Cruise line is a money sucking outfit everytime you turn around. have all kinds of policies they don't tell you about. notices on booklet regarding mini-bar costs not covered by drink package in book provided are written so are so small that even with a pair of +250 magnification eyeglasses i just happened to have with me that were my husband's, i could barely read the print. I only realized this after checking my on board charges. Guest services, excursion refund request person walked away when i lost my temper trying to get credit for trips i missed because of rome debacle. i stood and waited until he finally returned and said he would help since i had calmed down. required a doctor's report and receipt another policy previously not known) which i had only because after rome-livorno 24 hour trauma, awoke with extreme anxiety attack at 3:00 am and could not see doctor until 6:00 p.m. That night (15 hours of anxiety attack with no medication to take). medical center only open daily from 6:00 pm -7:30 p.m. and before they will see you, they make it clear it will cost $149 plus costs of meds. By the time i arrived i was almost ready to collapse. Blood pressure was 172/109 by then. others in line before me but nurse took one look at me and took me first. Medical center staff very knowledgeable and efficient. hours are ridiculous and need to be expanded though for cases of extreme need. Charge of $15 per day per person added automatically to your bill for gratuities. however, maybe i missed something but found out later that this did not cover bar service, spa, (or restaurant service)? television is just one big infomercial to sell you on onboard. lots of movies for $9.95 rental. They never tell you that there are actually free channels to watch sports, movies, and the bbc for news. I found out about those from another passenger 5 days into the trip. I would say stay away from the spa unless you want to pay out 1/3 of your next social security check. i made the mistake of opting for the additional free 25 extra minutes only good on the day of embarkation. the massage was excellent, so no complaints there, except the total price was $181, plus $187 for product which i never used and left in the cabin because it was not returnable. i was continually pushed to buy the spa package for either $239 or $269 which i kept trying to turn down. I was told it included the hot tub which was the only hot tub on the ship. not so! two free hot tubs were on the pool deck. I looked again to make sure, and there they were. I don't like being lied to or high pressured into something. I had another spa appointment made for me which i later tried to cancel. i was told that if i cancelled, i would be charged 1/2 of the price of the service scheduled (over $100). if i would re-schedule, i would then only pay for the $200+ cost of the wrap. I declined, became agitated and told them i would not re-schedule. they tried and tried to get me to. i finally said to charge the +$100 to my account which was better than spending another $100 and hung up. I was never advised of this "policy" prior to the attempt to cancel. The massage therapist called back and said she would not charge me the cancellation fee-guess it was clear i was upset. now to the onboard credit services. Another surprise 'policy". tried to obtain euros necessary to take a scheduled excursion the next day. was told by guest services i would have to return next morning to credit person. 6:am returned to be told policy was to provide euros of only 100 per day per stateroom. I required 210 by the excursion group that was leaving that morning. Without the euros i could not go. The gentleman who had been in front of me told her i was saying the same thing he was trying to tell her. She curtly turned to him and told him he had already been assisted and she was now assisting "this guest". She insisted she could only give me 100 euros. Needless to say i threw another "hissy-fit". the woman behind me stepped forward with documentation of what the gentleman and i were telling her. she said she would have to talk to her boss to see if she could make an exception to the policy. Finally she had to fill out forms for the exception but gave us the necessary euros. Such major hassles everytime you turned around. i could continue this with stories told to me by several other passengers, but i think you get the idea. I will never, ever, sail with norwegian again. I have cruised with 4 other cruise lines over the years, but never have been milked for money, or treated so disrespectful. i will post this info on my facebook, trip advisor and genius. on two separate occasions i had made serious plans to get off the ship, go to the nearest international airport and come home. that's how bad it was. Do not cruise with norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
12 Day Mediterranean cruise on the Epic, Barcelona RT. My main criticism of this cruise was the Epic as a cruise ship. Having a friend who sailed on the Epic's maiden voyage and she giving it a less than sterling review I can now ... Read More
12 Day Mediterranean cruise on the Epic, Barcelona RT. My main criticism of this cruise was the Epic as a cruise ship. Having a friend who sailed on the Epic's maiden voyage and she giving it a less than sterling review I can now understand why. This ship would be ideal for children, teens, and adults who enjoy all the water features on this ship except all that equipment came came at the expense of pool size. They could be could be filled with two teacups. in less than five minutes. On a transatlantic or cooler climes on the planet the top deck is mostly useless. The other group who would enjoy this ship are the confirmed gamblers who love a very large, very smelly casino located almost mid-ship. To traverse the ship on deck six one has to wend your way through the people, noise, and smell of the casino to access the aft elevators. Elevators... only two banks of elevators,, one fore and one aft. Always long waits and once inside very dark, a muggers paradise :) . Cute little Christmas tree lights on the ceiling of the elevators and trying to see the floor buttons is impossible because they are not lit. Public spaces are always crowded, with over 4000 persons on board what can you expect? The only public outside promenade deck is only on one side of the ship and the lifeboats are hung outside blocking all views of the ocean. All the public spaces, with the exception of the Garden Cafe (most window tables "hogged" by certain groups of people) have NO outside views. It is like the entire ship is an inside cabin with NO cross ventilation, ocean views or a chance to breathe fresh air. The "atrium" with its two story screen and low ceiling is LOUD beyond belief. All music on this ship is ear splitting in the venues and even the theatre... LOUD DOES NOT MAKE MUSIC BETTER~! Food was the biggest disappointment I have ever experienced aboard a NCL ship (I just became a Longitude Platinum member on this cruise) with the exception of TASTE, LA CUCINA, and CAGNEY'S . At this point I must add that I will not be reviewing staterooms because we had decided to try an inside cabin and one of the big ships on this cruise.... NCL assigned us a Disability cabin and other than the "all in one" shower/toilet wet room and the Barbie sized sink in the main room, it was about 50% larger than the standard inside cabin and afforded more storage space. Now NCL tv is another gripe... knowing NCL wants to up sale you a movie pkg. The only news station was BBC... world's most boring and uninformative news outlet. The movies they did show were geared to the mindless sci-fi genre or the equally slow minded teen aged girls. My travel partner was a Latitude Platinum member and received two specialty dinners each. When we booked we were afforded two "Free at Sea" upgrades and as usual we chose the Beverage pkg. and two upgraded dining opportunities. Thus, making four specialty dinners for the 12 day voyage. We were informed we would only be eligible for the two upgrade dinners because we chose the 30 min. wifi option. We have NEVER used wifi on any cruise and as a Platinum member he was automatically issued 30 min. wifi. Guest services rudely informed us we would have to use the two Platinum vouchers for the dinners and they had no control what the Reservations Agents promise and what the Guest Services were obligated to provide. Also stating they are two different departments.....and that was that. Disappointed with NCL customer service. Two things in closing: Our room Steward was AMAZING. Waiters, service personnel were outstanding and if anything there was NOT enough help in some areas for the NCL service we had become used to. The other thing is just how ugly and cumbersome this ship appears. With the elimination of a wonderful comfortable quiet observation area in order to expand the Haven category thus giving the appearance of the profile of The Elephant Man. I could say more but in closing I admit I am JADED~! because of the layout and comfort of a smaller ship, i.e., THE JADE (4 cruises on this Noble Lady two of which were TA)~! Being an older cruiser, celebrated my 75th birthday on the last night of this cruise, I will be sticking with smaller NCL ships without the hordes of people~! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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