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Sail Date: July 2019
Family of 6 chose this cruise because of the ports and the time of sailing (vacation days) and because we wanted to spend pre cruise in London. Check in at ship was fast and boarding, luggage to stateroom, excellent. We are experienced ... Read More
Family of 6 chose this cruise because of the ports and the time of sailing (vacation days) and because we wanted to spend pre cruise in London. Check in at ship was fast and boarding, luggage to stateroom, excellent. We are experienced cruisers but first time on NCL. As stated in other reviews of this cruise there were problems on the old ship Spirit. Left port well after intended time but the only sea day was day 1 so it really didnt matter. We had balcony rooms on 9 th floor... our rooms were small, balcony tiny, but we were prepared for this. The problems on this ship were about staff management. Clearing of tables in Raffles was so slow we often sat at dirty tables with other's dishes pushed to the side. getting off to our private tours at most ports was ridiculous...tickets given for that procedure were a joke as there was only one gangway available when docked and ship excursion folks got off first. On tender days the lines backed up and time was limited in port. The worst mess was when passports were handed back. One ship staff member was assigned this task and too many rooms/decks were called at one time. I waited in line for over an hour only to find our passports in different boxes. Other staff were called to help out eventually when the one person got overwhelmed but the boxes of passports were jumbled. A Mess. Our room steward was great and we found a waitress in Windows that was terrific...food was mediocre at best altho at The Bistro...it was very good...and the steakhouse. We'll pass on NCL in future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We always sail with NCL. We enjoy their ships and services. We usually get the drink package, dinner package for free, and on our next cruise we are getting the drink package, dinner package, free WIFI (100min.) and 50$ off ever shore ... Read More
We always sail with NCL. We enjoy their ships and services. We usually get the drink package, dinner package for free, and on our next cruise we are getting the drink package, dinner package, free WIFI (100min.) and 50$ off ever shore excursion. We are very comfortable and we know what to expect. We are also the type of people that go out on our own and walk most ports. We drove to Southampton, UK from Germany. Very easy to park and find cruise port. We like that most of the cruises we have gone on with NCL do not have a lot of young children. We are a mid 50, couple who travel together and like to party. The Spirit is NCL smallest and holdest ship. It is going in for refit in Feb 2020. They were always working on the ship to keep it well maintained in the common areas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We just completed a British Isle cruise on the Jade and were really looking forward to the newly renovated ship. However, though the décor colours were updated to be more classic and subdued there was really no other wow factor that we ... Read More
We just completed a British Isle cruise on the Jade and were really looking forward to the newly renovated ship. However, though the décor colours were updated to be more classic and subdued there was really no other wow factor that we noticed having sailed on the Jade previously. Our cabin on the 11 deck was fine for an inside cabin, however the toilet was poorly placed in the bathroom and so it was impossible for us to sit properly on it. We are average sized people but had to turnside ways on the toilet to use it, there was no room for our legs otherwise as the wall was in the way. . House keeping must have been cut back because our room was often not made up until 3pm, which was inconvienent on sea days. As well, our soap and lotion was not replaced when it ran out. The buffet quality has improved somewhat but the menu at the buffet was pretty much the same each night, which was boring. They would serve roasted chicken for instance most nights, just the seasoning would change. We could not tolerate the very long wait times to be served in the dining room. After the first night of sitting though a 2 hour dinner service in the dining room my husband refused to return. The specialty restaurants are OK, but not fantastic. Entertainment on the Jade is top notch and the production shows are fantastic. Shopping is very limited. One salesperson was very aggressive and fought over getting the commission on a jewelry sale to us because she had shown us a piece earlier in the cruise and she felt that a couple of days later, when another salesperson helped us buy the piece, she was entitled to the commission. We had tried to reconnect with her but she ignored us in favor of a customer spending more money, so we sought out another salesperson. Very awkward and her manager was clearly embarrised by her behaviour. We did have a good time on this ship but found it a bit boring. The on and off procedures were very well run. My last issue was with the itinerary as we had a planned stop in a tender port and it was missed due to port weather conditions. We later heard that the port is missed very often and with a large ship like the Jade is now, it is rarer to be able to tender there. So, I wonder why this stop would be included as part of the itinerary, instead of perhaps avoiding it and scheduling a more feasible port of call? Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise because it had the destinations I was looking for. The British Isles. I didn't care which cruise line it was, the destination was the purpose of the trip. We got on and off the ship very easily. Didn't like ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it had the destinations I was looking for. The British Isles. I didn't care which cruise line it was, the destination was the purpose of the trip. We got on and off the ship very easily. Didn't like giving up our passports right off the bat, but they did return them as promised. We did not travel with children. Our cabin was a standard inside room. Clean and updated. However, the toilet is placed at an angle and your knees bang the wall every time you use it. VERY uncomfortable and annoying. Our steward was very nice and kept things clean for us the whole time. It was nice having the charging ports at the head of the bed so you could easily charge devices. I loved the fish on the carpet that told you which way you were going. Very helpful. The entertainment was very good with the exception of the Claude fellow. He was not very good and he was twice. Everyone else was very good and even for a small ship very entertaining. The drawback of this ship was the food. There were very few meals that were excellent and nothing at all that wowed us. The food was bland and just not that good - and the options were not excellent either. It would have been nice to have more choices at meal time. Most of the people were very nice. There was a gentleman at the front desk that was always short and seemed put out to have to answer questions. The photo people never smiled. But most everyone else was very pleasant. Most of the servers seemed to enjoy what they were doing. The shore excursions filled up fast and no efforts were made to procure another bus to accomodate the waiting list folks. That would have been helpful. I liked that I wasn't barraged with drink requests. I missed the photographers. We like getting photos taken at different times and there wasn't a lot of traveling photographers. The ports of call were perfect. The ship was a way to get there. I did not feel special - like it used to be 10 years ago. Thank you Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We choose our cruises based on itinerary and price. We have focused on seeing Europe the past few years and have always wanted to do a British Isles cruise but the cost was substantially more than the Mediterranean cruises. The opportunity ... Read More
We choose our cruises based on itinerary and price. We have focused on seeing Europe the past few years and have always wanted to do a British Isles cruise but the cost was substantially more than the Mediterranean cruises. The opportunity to grab a “sail-away inside’ cabin at a bargain rate was all that was needed to convince us. As a DIY cruiser the idea of cruising an English-speaking area also appealed to us. The fact that this was our first cruise as “platinum” latitudes members also weighed into our decision. The opportunity to have flights to Glasgow and a return from London without additional costs also factored into our decision. I will complete this review using the CC recommended categories as well as providing information on the ports of call. Dining : We traditionally eat all our breakfasts and lunches at the buffet. We eat all our dinners in the MDRs with maybe 1 in the buffet and the occasional Cagney’s as a treat. I feel “dining” was the only area that did not meet our expectations and our expectations are not that high. The fact that we only ate in the MDRs 3 times on a 12-night cruise speak volumes to the selections available. We had no memorable meals in the MDR and had issues with 3 dishes on 3 different occasions. Upon speaking with the food and beverage officer, it was communicated to us that the Jade is currently serving a menu that would be rolled out fleetwide in the upcoming months. That’s not good news for MDR diners as we feel the divide between Specialty and MDR has never been greater. The buffet was the usual fare with a memorable meal the first night of prime rib. I asked for a ¾” cut and it was excellent and tender. The best dishes in the buffet tended to be dishes that were stewed or braised. The fact that the “carvery” offered 3 nights of roasted chicken and 3 nights of a lesser cut of roast beef was not appealing to us. Being “platinum” allowed us to eat at Le Bistro and Moderno. We couldn’t book a decent time at Cagney’s so chose Moderno and it was way better than we remembered on the POA. The filet mignon and the lambchops were outstanding though they didn’t come through the dining room as often as the chicken. I didn’t see any prawns or seafood offered. We ate at O’Sheehan twice and probably should have eaten there more. I loved their Thai chili wings. The new MDR menus will not deter me from cruising NCL but I will factor a Specialty meal plan into my costs. Embarkation: We arrived at noon and went though the lineup without a stoppage. The line for non-preference boarding was not very long at all. It was one of the smoothest embarkations that we’ve ever had. Enrichment Activities: Non-existent as there were no cultural port seminars and limited information. If you’re not a DIY, you’re at the mercy of their excursions. Entertainment: The production cast and singers were probably the best group that we’ve had on any of our cruises. The singers could actually sing well and the “Blazing Boots” and “Elements” show were excellent. The illusionist was okay but the comedian was offensive mimicking old school Chinese accents ala Mickey Rooney in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The ventriloquist was horrible and we had to walk out mid-show. Fitness & Recreation: Weather was chilly so there was very little activity around the pool or outdoor activities in general. Onboard Experience: There was one entertainer that was excellent and drawing large crowds in the lounge areas singing folk and pop songs. I wasn’t wowed by any of the other entertainers. The daily activities were the same and did not change throughout the cruise. Assorted trivia and “toss” games were the usual cruise staff activities. We chose not to visit the art, merchandise, and service seminars or sales. Public Rooms: The ship is in very good shape and DW noticed improvements from her “Jewel” sister ship cruise a few months earlier. Service: Good but nothing exceptional. Lloyd (Philippines) and Monika (Hungary) from the cruise staff seemed a step above the others. Shore Excursions: The choices were expensive and usually involved a long time on a bus as well. Some ports offered free shuttles but when NCL provided them, a $15us fee was charged. Value for Money: With the sail-away aft inside cabin assignment, this cruise fell within my cruise budget. Summary: This cruise had a very different feel and vibe compared to the many European cruises listed on my signature. I believe that it was due to the make-up of the passenger ratio. It was announced that there were 1500 Americans, 400 Canadians and 400 others from 38 assorted countries. It felt more like an Alaskan cruise than a European cruise. Ports of call: (we had spent 6 days in Scotland pre-cruise so wanted a less hectic start to the cruise) Guernsey, Channel Islands: I planned a walk using “google maps” to the German signal HQ, Victor Hugo’s house, high street, and Castle Cornet. We docked outside St. Peter’s and tendered into Albert’s pier. Locals were surprised that we made it in due to winds in the morning. We started the morning late and landed on shore around 11:00 am. We were advised by shore volunteers that Victor Hugo house was closed so we had plenty of time to wander. We took the 25-minute hike to the German signal HQ ($4gbp) only to find that it didn’t open till noon. We had passed the Victoria Tower on our way and double back to spend some time admiring the monument to Queen Victoria and the WW2 cannons in the area. The German HQ was quite interesting because of Guernsey’s location and the breaking of their codes (Imitation Games). DW had also read “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Pie Society” book which shed some light on what it was like in Guernsey. We then walked to Castle Cornet ($11.5gbp) via “high street” browsing and spent the rest of the time there before heading back to the tender pier. Portland UK: We docked at Dorset Pier and took the free port shuttle to Weymouth. The shuttle drops off at Brewers Quay and when we reached the river, we turned right for a hike to Fort Nothe ($5gbp). The fort was maintained by volunteers and was in excellent shape. We spent more time there than I had planned but it worked out well. Weymouth is a resort town and I wasn’t interested in walking along the beach or shopping. During peak season, sandcastles are supposed to be a highlight. Cobh, Ireland: our original plan was to take the train to Cork and then transfer on a train to Blarney Castle. It was raining hard on and off so we decided to explore Cobh and maybe go to Cork afterwards time permitting. The ship docks in front of the train station and the heritage center. We decided to do the Titanic experience ($9.5eur) thinking it was a museum but was pleasantly surprised. We received a boarding pass of an actual passenger and visited the pier in which they were tendered to the Titanic. We then heard stories and accounts of some of its passengers from the guide as well as interactive displays. At the end of the tour, we learned the fate of the person listed on our boarding pass. As the rains came down, we took an opportunity to use the free WIFI at a local fast food joint and wait it out. After the rain subsided, we stopped off at the Lusitania Memorial and headed for St. Coleman’s Cathedral up the hill. From the cathedral we took a hike to the Titanic Memorial Garden and had a good sightline of where the Titanic would have been anchored. We didn’t end up going to Cork and spent late afternoon back onboard. Dublin, Ireland: As the ship docks a way from town, we decided to take the NCL ($15usd) shuttle instead of trying to find our way by public transit. I had “googled map” a walk to the Molly Malone statue, the Spire, St. Margaret’s cathedral, Trinity College/Book of Kells, Temple Bar area, and Dublin Castle ($8eur). The Dublin Castle tour was excellent as we went underground to see the original walls as well as visiting the chapel/church. The chapel is no longer in use but the condition, styling was different and spectacular. We didn’t have time to see the Book of Kells as the lines were long and we didn’t pre-book. It was cultural night so the museums were open and free in the evening. We ended our visit at the National Gallery. Needless to say, we will return to Dublin as there’s so much more to see and the vibe of the city is exciting. Belfast, Northern Ireland: We pre-arranged a ($30gbp) tour to Giant’s Causeway from irishtourtickets.com. We took the 10:30 Express tour as DW is not an early riser. Our guide Ian was prompt and we were on our way on time without a stop at the town center as our ship filled the tour with Viator bookings. There was an 8:30 tour for $35gbp which was 8 hours available as well. Ian had a lot of stories and antidotes so the ride did not seem very long. We had about 90 minutes to explore the causeway and would of like more. We also stopped at Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Dunluce castle, and the peace wall for a photo op. The driver’s emotion and passion could be felt as he tried to explain the conflict between the Protestants and the Catholics of years past. He promised and delivered us back to the ship 1 hour before sail-away. Kirkwall, Scotland: I was so looking forward to this port as there was a possible opportunity to see the northern lights entering or leaving Kirkwall. I had tracked the possibility on the Shetland Aurora site and stayed up till 11:30 in hopes of a glimpse but gave up because of all the cloud cover. It was mentioned by the captain that shortly after Kirkwall some passengers had mentioned a sighting. We docked at Hatson Pier in Kirkwall and a free port shuttle bus dropped us off at the town information and bus center. From there you could walk into town or catch the bus. There were 2 buses that provided a 3.5-hour tour of the area that people called a HOHO but it is not a true HOHO. It allowed you to stop at a site for a limited time and if you missed the cut-off, you were on your own getting back as it does only 1 loop. With limited availability, we didn’t plan for the bus trip. We had pre-booked a $10gbp tasting and tour at the Highland Park Distillery for noon. As we arrived into town early, we visited St Magnus Cathedral before catching the bus for $.75gbp to the distillery. We were lucky to have pre-booked the tour on-line for $10gbp as many from the ship were turned away. It seems NCL has many of the bookings combined with an island tour. The small group of 15 tour was informative and outstanding value. We received a tasting of their 10 yr. old and 12 yr. old scotch along with a commemorative glass each. The tour also gave you a $2gbp savings on any bottle purchased. I chose to purchase a 10 yr. old 700ml bottle commemorating Inspector John Rebus for $29gbp that available only at the distillery. I don’t drink scotch but SIL does. Surprisingly, I brought it back onboard without it having being taken away. We had planned to walk back to town but didn’t see anything on the way up so we took the bus back. Back in town, we visited the Bishop and Earl’s Palaces for $4gbp. Invergordon, UK: We had planned to go into Inverness but there wasn’t anything that DW wanted to see so we stayed in Invergordon. It was bitterly cold and windy but we managed to buy a couple of pairs of leather thinsulate gloves at the dollar store for $7gbp each. The winds were 20+ kms a hour so we headed back to the ship after visiting the cathedral and seeing the town murals. This is a stop that I would consider a tour or head into Inverness. Newhaven, Scotland: Edinburgh was cancelled due to wind and rough seas. A big disappointment for many as there was no way of doing a 30 minute tender and not have ½ the tender get sick. I was so happy to have visited 3 days pre-cruise but had planned to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia close to port. Tyne, UK: Many took tours to Newcastle but we decided to stay in Tyne. We decided to take the free port shuttle into town and look around. We headed towards the Tynmouth priory and Castle for a look see. Just when you think you’ve had your fill of castles and cathedrals we stumble upon the remains of a castle, priory, and cemetery at such a spectacular setting. Paid $6gbp and spent a few hours on the site. The views were spectacular. We wandered through town and headed back to the shuttle pickup spot. On the way back to the ship, we got dropped off at an outlet mall 10 minutes from the ship. DW did some shopping while I got caught up with the free WIFI available. Southampton, UK: We disembarked at 10:00 and walked into town to drop our luggage off at Ocean’s Gift shop. They charged $5gbp to store each suitcase for the day. DW and I did some shopping before our 1:30 Southampton $6gbp walking tour which lasted 90 minutes. After a quick meal, we had a 5:00 bus to catch to Gatwick. Pre-cruise adventure: Our original plan was to fly into Glasgow and split our time there and Edinburgh before making our way to London. We were convinced by friends to spend a majority of our time in Edinburgh and my DW said we should visit St. Andrews as golf is a passion of mine. So, with the new agenda we flew into Glasgow for a night before making our way to St Andrews and Edinburgh. Glasgow, Scotland: We landed at Glasgow at 10:00 am and took the $8gbp airporter bus to Buchanan bus station. Buchanan bus station was 3 blocks from the hotel that I selected. As we were just staying the night to shake off the jetlag I prepaid for a hotel room at the Point A hotel. It was an inside room with no windows. I was shocked to see how nice the room was for $49us through Hotels.com and would stay there again without a problem. I may spring for a window room for an extended stay though. We had to stay awake to try to adjust to the time change but we had been up for 20 hour already. We walked to the National piping center which was a museum as well as a bag pipe school. I got to try the bagpipes and managed to get a note. As we were tired, we took the HOHO for a circuit of the city. We didn’t get off at any of the stops but didn’t feel we missed anything that we would regret. We had dinner at a pub around the corner from the hotel and then called it a day. We had a 8:00am train to catch at Queen Street station which was 3 blocks from the hotel. The train to Dundee cost $7gbp and took 90 minutes. Dundee, Scotland: As I wanted a hotel close to the train station and the bus stop to St. Andrews, I chose the SleeperZ. It’s a new hotel above the train station for $69us through Hotels.com. I’m feeling pretty good about the hotel choices as my Edinburgh stay is at the Marriott on points. The bus stop to St. Andrew was only about 100 yards from the hotel and took less than 30 minutes. I snuck onto the course for a photo on the Swilcan Bridge and just watched a couple of groups of golfers play the hole. We then made our way to the St. Andrews ladies putting club and paid $1gbp to play/putt 9 holes as we couldn’t do 18 before the members only times. They don’t call the course “The Himalayas” for nothing. Had a blast putting and then lunch in the clubhouse. We then made our way to the White Sands Beach (Chariots of Fire, opening scene) before visiting the British Golf Museum with our 2 for 1 coupon online. We had a great day at St. Andrews and headed back to Dundee for dinner in town. Another $7gbp 90 minute train ride to Edinburgh Waverly was scheduled in the morning. Edinburgh, Scotland: A wonderful 3 days spent in the city and plan to be back. Our first afternoon was spent visiting the monuments at Calton Hill, Waverly Station, and the hotel area. Day 2 was spent at Holyrood Palace for a tour in the morning and a “gilding” craft class in the afternoon. DW found the workshop on their website and insisted that we experience it. It was a highlight of her trip. Day 3 was spent with a Royal Mile walk and visit to Edinburgh Castle. It is highly recommended that you pre-book entrance to both the Palace and Castle or you may risk a long wait and possibly a missed opportunity if it’s a port day visit. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I took a 28 day cruise in September-October 2018. We chose this to see the British Isles and Iceland...a few items on our bucket lists. We flew directly from Denver to Gatwick on Norwegian Air Shuttle. The flight was ... Read More
My husband and I took a 28 day cruise in September-October 2018. We chose this to see the British Isles and Iceland...a few items on our bucket lists. We flew directly from Denver to Gatwick on Norwegian Air Shuttle. The flight was fine (exit row seats!), but they demolished my husbands' suitcase. They say they've made a direct payment to my bank for the suitcase and lost items, but it hasn't arrived yet. We took the direct train from Gatwick to Southampton in about an hour and a half. Glad we didn't need to change trains, as the suitcase was put in a trash bag. Since we arrived a couple of days early, we had time to buy him a new one before boarding the ship. Embarkation was wonderful. From leaving our hotel to arriving at a bar on the ship, it couldn't have taken more than 40 minutes. 2nd best embarkation EVER (and the best was Regent, so there's really no comparison). Disembarkation was also wonderful. As we're platinum members, we got lots of laundry done for free, so we didn't pack a lot. That allowed us to "self-assist" and leave when we were ready. The cabin was fine. Small for that amount of time, but we didn't spend a lot of time there, anyway. For the first leg, I found my bed to be so hard that I was bruising. Our steward put an extra duvet under the bottom sheet. For the second leg, he added an egg crate which made it wonderfully comfortable. We always take a non-surge-suppressed power strip, but didn't need it. We had 3 plugs, including one way up high in the bathroom for the razor, plus 2 USB ports built into the bedside lamps. We've used one on the TV, in the past, but didn't need it. Plenty of power to keep our gadgets working! BTW, I still miss the nightly chocolates on the pillows.... Our room steward was friendly, but by the second leg, he asked if he could skip making towel animals and had a couple of other favors which he probably shouldn't have asked for. I think he considered us friends, after 12 days, but at one point my husband asked me if he worked for us or we worked for him. I won't go into details, but it was a little off-putting. The food: With the exception of Le Bistro and Cagney's, I was sorely disappointed with the choices. Having sailed on NCL for 20 years, I've watched the quality slide. The meat was tough at Moderno's (we ate there twice and both times were VERY disappointing between cold food, poor service, and tough meat). On other ships, this venue is a favorite. La Cucina wasn't up to my standards either, though my husband loved the lamb shank. First time it was a lamb shank...second time it was a slice of sheep leg....not what was expected. The buffet didn't have much variety. The dining rooms were hit or miss...but the "hit" wasn't an "A" grade; Rather, it was more like a "C". The misses were obvious...poor service, cold food, not what was ordered, etc. O'Sheehan's was fair. The nachos have a nasty cheese sauce on them rather than cheddar. The wings kept getting smaller. By the end, folks were joking that they weren't chicken, but rather seagull. Still, it was a fair place to eat if you wanted a burger and beer. The entertainment: There was ONE musical act we enjoyed. Sean sang and played guitar (his contract ended the day we disembarked). He also took requests. We followed him most nights. Didn't enjoy any of the rest, though. Only one show was good enough to see on both legs of our trip....Blazing Boots. Though I don't care for Country music, it was by far the best that was offered. The magician/acrobats/headline singers just didn't do it for us. Granted, both food and entertainment are subjective, but in our opinions, NCL entertainment and food have deteriorated a LOT over the years. Activities: The cruise director's staff was excellent. Lots of trivia and games. We stayed busy. UBP: This is the third cruise where we've had the drink package. Funny thing....you could drink all day and not get buzzed. In ports, stopping at a pub, two pints would give you a buzz....not so on the ship. I don't know what they're serving, but it doesn't work....except for their rum punch. It seems that every time something happens which upsets a lot of passengers, they bring out rum punch (this has happened to us twice out the last 3 NCL cruises we've been on). In this case, it was skipping Edinburgh due to rough seas. They said they'd be pouring it all afternoon, but only came around once. I'm not sure what they put in it, but it packs a punch! Shore excursions: We took 4 of NCL's excursions. The HOHO bus is always a win for us. Giant's Causeway was a big disappointment, and the guide wasn't much of a talker. The best was in NYC where we took the subway to Greenwich Village for the afternoon. Very informative guide! We also did a lot on our own or through groups formed on Cruise Critic. In all, we stayed busy. One more example of cutting corners has happened on our last 2 NCL cruises. They advertised a port as Inverness, yet docked in Invergordon. If you wanted to go to a city, it was up to you to either join a tour or find your own way via taxi or train. This was the same in the Baltics and at many ports on this trip. Had it not been for free port authority buses or pay-for NCL buses to get out of port, we'd have been stuck on the ship. Is this NCL or is it happening on other lines? I don't know, as my last 3 cruises have been on NCL. The medical center and staff: When we embarked, we went to Topsiders for a drink. After that, we went to the main dining room for lunch. As the hostess was seating us, she was coughing into her elbow. As the cruise continued, more and more people got sick, myself included. I went on for over a week before my husband dragged me to the medical center. Turns out, I got a lung infection which had to be treated with IV antibiotics and nebulizer treatments for a total of nearly 4 hours a day (2 hours, twice a day for 3 days). That meant that I had an IV in my arm for days. The language barrier made it a bit tough, but the nurses were terrific. The cost was crazy expensive and I'm working with my own insurance prior to putting a claim on my travel insurance. Don't cruise without it, as an extra $5,500 wasn't in our projected budget for this trip! BTW, I've been home for 11 days and am STILL coughing! A nurse-friend has suggested that I get tested for TB, in a couple of months..... Will I use NCL again? Yes, if they offer an itinerary and a price I like. Would I consider other cruise lines? Of course! For the value, I'm perfectly happy with Carnival! We've sailed on multiple cruise lines and will continue to do so. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise for the wonderful itinerary as well as the “Jewel class” series which is my favorite. I also cruised on the NCL Pearl in Dec. 2017. I am a Platinum latitudes member and have been on over 10 NCL cruises. And ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the wonderful itinerary as well as the “Jewel class” series which is my favorite. I also cruised on the NCL Pearl in Dec. 2017. I am a Platinum latitudes member and have been on over 10 NCL cruises. And even though I still feel that they are a great cruise line; I have been very disappointed in the decline in the service as well as the decrease in the number of staff. I have really noticed this decline increase more and more on each subsequent cruise. I will list a few examples on this last cruise. We had only 1 room steward instead of our usual 2. There was only one staff person working the entire gym and all the fitness classes. And on another occasion, we waited 45 minutes and finally had to grab a waiter to wait on us in the Irish pub restaurant. There were also no photo classes offered on any Sea day. They also ran out of my favorite wine, Pinot Noir early in the cruise which is very disappointing when you have paid for the drinking package. I did enjoy the food and the entertainment. And I do think that the cruise is a good value for the money. However I can definitely see a decline in the service and the attitude of the service personnel. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
My group of 5 chose this cruise because of the itinerary - seeing many ports around the UK, and only two days at sea. Thoughts: Boarding: Very good, very fast. I thought Norwegian did a very good job of getting us onboard with ... Read More
My group of 5 chose this cruise because of the itinerary - seeing many ports around the UK, and only two days at sea. Thoughts: Boarding: Very good, very fast. I thought Norwegian did a very good job of getting us onboard with minimum fuss and hassle. Room: 5526. We thought is was a very good outside cabin. Forward, Port, far enough from the elevators that we didn't get any noise, but close enough to allow us to move around the ship quickly. Food: Has really gone downhill since my last Norwegian cruise. I was disappointed. O'Sheahans was the exception, where the chicken wings were very good. Specialty dining in Cagney's and Le Bistro was very good, as usual, and we had several good meals at the Sushi bar and main Jasmine dining area. I'd like to see Norwegian step up its game with the food. Entertainment: Poor overall. The main production shows were bad, but a few of the guest performers were good: Duo aerialists, Stevie Jo, the violinist, Claudio Di Negri's first show (the second was a dud). Ports: Guernsey - unexpectedly good. Gill Girard tour. Portland - good. Dorset Day Tour with Daren Gapper. Cork - better than expected. Paddywagon Tour. Dublin - excellent - Dublin Tour Guides with Cathal Sheahan. Belfast - OK. Titanic Museum and the Hop On / Hop Off bus. Kirkwall - interesting. Orkney Uncovered Tour with Kinlay Francis. Invergordon - excellent. Invergordon Tours with Gavin Nicholson. Edinburgh - cancelled when the ship couldn't hold position for tendering. Newcastle - better than expected. Iles Tours with Alex Iles. London - excellent with Your Way Tours and Ray Sharman. Disembarking: We chose the independent process of leaving the ship early, moving our own luggage, and it went quickly and smoothly. Most of the staff on the ship were very friendly and went out of their way to help. The Customer Service Desk was the exception, where I was met with sour faces and a hesitation to help with my simple questions (specifically, I only wanted to confirm whether the onboard credit promised by my travel agent had in fact made it to my onboard account). Would I cruise with Norwegian again? Maybe / probably. The value they offer is excellent, but the downside is that the food is marginal. Maybe I need to eat more often in the specialty restaurants….. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise to check off the British Isles from our bucket list and found it to be in our price range. Overall, the cruise was wonderful, the ports of call were perfect however there were a few downfalls on the part of NCL: 1- ... Read More
We chose this cruise to check off the British Isles from our bucket list and found it to be in our price range. Overall, the cruise was wonderful, the ports of call were perfect however there were a few downfalls on the part of NCL: 1- the main dining room (Alizar) had sub par service and the food was only 2-3 star. 2- The Specialty Restaurants were 5 star and well worth the price to add onto your cruise or take advantage of on your own. Service and food was excellent. 3- The bars and lounges were all well staffed and drinks were all very good and of god value, although we had the beverage package so this did not matter so much to us. 4- the shore excursions from NCL were just okay with regard to the price and what you received. The timing of the excursions was not managed well and therefore we did not have enough time to really tour the areas of interest, like Stone Henge and Salisbury. Additionally, the staff at the Excursion desk were not very attentive to needs and complaints, actually they were indifferent to my complaint, even though I gave them possible recommendations. We recommend getting private tours, first of all you get off the boat first and beat the crowds to the sites - and you have more personalized service. Shop around, you can get them for less than the NCL tours. Please let me state that not all the NCL tours were so bad, some of the guides were very knowledgeable and helpful, it appears that the timing was the biggest offender. 5- And last but not least, the entertainment on the ship was 5 star. "By far the best that we have experienced in cruising so far. YEAH! Embarkation and disembarkation was perfect. If you need to get from London Heathrow to Southampton, recommend the National Express bus that goes directly from the airport to the bus station in Southampton. Then it is only a 7 pound taxi ride to the port terminal or to many of the hotels nearby. We stayed at the Jury Inn and it was fabulous, great service and value. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Overall the experience was positive. The main dining room was good but not great. The Garden Café (buffet) was also good but not great. The Garden Café was open for longer hours than on our last cruise on Royal Caribbean. The ... Read More
Overall the experience was positive. The main dining room was good but not great. The Garden Café (buffet) was also good but not great. The Garden Café was open for longer hours than on our last cruise on Royal Caribbean. The condition of the ship was good, some worn carpet in a few areas but very clean. The shore excursions was all good except for last one on the disembarkation day. We took a bus tour of London with drop off at the airport. They said we would be dropped off at terminal 5 but they dropped us off at terminal 3 instead. Heathrow is very large airport and the trains between terminals were not running so it was a major inconvenience. NCL should not work with tour operations that don’t do what they say they will do. The staff were excellent and clearly work very hard. The on board entertainers were also very good. Some of the guest entertainers were not so great. The comedian was good as was the cruise director. The magician’s show was not very good. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
There were a few changes in NCL policies on the ship that we were not aware of at the beginning of our trip. The policy on straws was a little bit of an issue. We could have brought our own had we known about the change. Also, the ... Read More
There were a few changes in NCL policies on the ship that we were not aware of at the beginning of our trip. The policy on straws was a little bit of an issue. We could have brought our own had we known about the change. Also, the policy on taking food to your room or ordering at a restaurant and being able to take it back to your room. We were informed it was a health issue, but yet you could get room service. We think the policy was to have you request room service and get charged the fees. Disembarkations were easier this time and not an issue. They had plenty of boats and we also had plenty of time in the port so there wasn't this rush and bottle necking on the ship. The entertainment was great. They had an excellent cast of regulars and The Knights put on a great show. I with they would give the cast a little more of a highlight like in a program or in the daily newsletter. They were excellent. The service was difficult, it seemed to be an issue of language barrier and policies. I asked for a fried egg instead of a scrambled, but instead of just swapping the egg preparation, they wanted me to get the entire dish that had a fried egg. Substitutions were definitely an issue and difficult to convey to the staff. One friend wanted a drink with aviator gin and they kept bringing and a cocktail called the Aviation. The excursions were good, we just didn't like the late notification of the time changes to earlier or the regrouping of the excursions. We skipped out on a couple excursions we had booked in advance, because of this. We had a schedule in mind and then they would change it. Dining was not all that great this time. I remember on the last cruise the food was excellent and there were places we wanted to go back to have a dish or dessert again. This time there was not that experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We took a trip on Norwegian Sep 18 to Norway, Iceland, and Scotland. We stayed in London for a week before the cruise visiting Southern England (Winchester, Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, Windsor and Cotswolds). The trip destinations were ... Read More
We took a trip on Norwegian Sep 18 to Norway, Iceland, and Scotland. We stayed in London for a week before the cruise visiting Southern England (Winchester, Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford, Windsor and Cotswolds). The trip destinations were awesome and the excursions. The WiFi service was bad as with most ships. I suggested they add a WiFi education session and they asked for my advice. I prepared a PowerPoint prevention for them to advise customers on how to get the most from their Ship WiFi. The Internet desk copied my file and they promised to compose something for the future. I hope they do, because it was very confusing to use and set up properly. For instance, if you had to login with Android you had to use Google Chrome, not Google. Cabin and dining was just ok and room attendant excellent. The ship was very clean. Drinks were very expensive. Overall it was just and average cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Wanted to see Norway & Iceland was a bonus. You do spend quite a bit of time on buses going to the different sites, but there is a lot of beautiful scenery. It is a 14 day cruise, so a little long for some, but the itinerary is well ... Read More
Wanted to see Norway & Iceland was a bonus. You do spend quite a bit of time on buses going to the different sites, but there is a lot of beautiful scenery. It is a 14 day cruise, so a little long for some, but the itinerary is well worth the time spent. Would have liked to have been given more time in Scotland, especially at St. Andrew's as it was very crowded & took way too much time to get lunch on your own. Plan to grab a snack so you can see more as you just don't get enough time. Excursions are expensive, so plan on spending extra money if you do an excursion at each port & they only give you a $50 per port credit & that is not even per person, that is per cabin. The food & the service in the main dining room was a bit of a disappointment. Since we had a group of 10 people, they would only give us the 8:30 dining time, so it seems that it really slowed the service down & the servers were not very attentive at that time. Most time took 2 hours to have dinner & things were not very hot and the quality of the food did not seem to be up to the standard that I has on my last NCL cruises. Specialty restaurants were much better, service & food! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Overall we had a very pleasurable experience. The crew and staff worked very hard to make our experience a happy one. The main entertainment shows were outstanding and the performers in the smaller venues were generally excellent. There ... Read More
Overall we had a very pleasurable experience. The crew and staff worked very hard to make our experience a happy one. The main entertainment shows were outstanding and the performers in the smaller venues were generally excellent. There could have been more educational presentations especially just prior to visitng a port. Menu choices in the Open Seating "cafeteria" were good. However, more regional dishes should have been offered. For example, tilipia was offered every day but nothing from the world's best fishing region (Iceland). We understand NCL's desire to sell their own excursions but Guest Services needs to offer more information regarding available services at ports. For example, availability of taxis, location of Tourist Centers, free WiFi, Hop-On Buses,etc. Please provide a map for each port!! We were very impressed with the sanatization efforts, including spraying hands. Please enforce the rule of NOT directly filling personal water bottles at water dispensers. Overall, we would chose NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Ninth cruise with Norwegian, and have already booked a 10th! It seems that the majority of comments made about Norwegian - or any cruise ship - is the negativity. Well, I've been a Norwegian cruise off Australia where the ... Read More
Ninth cruise with Norwegian, and have already booked a 10th! It seems that the majority of comments made about Norwegian - or any cruise ship - is the negativity. Well, I've been a Norwegian cruise off Australia where the propulsion system broke and left us being towed back to Melbourne for 4 more days. We missed all the New Zealand ports. But people die and machines do break, and we made the best of it. Norwegian did everything possible to be accommodating, as well as refunding us for the cruise. We've been on 3 cruises with them since, and they're as professional now as they were then. With the Norwegian Jade, it was the Norway, Iceland, and Scotland cruise out of Southampton, England. The idea of a cruise is to be relaxed and see ports and places you've dreamed about. The trip there should be entertaining and with the dining option to eat when you feel the appetite. Excursions, Well, seeing and bathing at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland was a highlight! The Blazing Boots production put on by the Jade cast was entertaining and boot stomping! The violinist from Iceland was unbelievable in her talent and stage presence. No wonder she was a finalist with the European's version of American Idol! A couple of the stage productions were mediocre - but overshadowed by a pair of great aerialists, Blazing Boots, and the final "Elements" cast performance. Unfortunately, the magician broke his nail after the first show and couldn't perform his part for the 2nd show - disappointing the waiting guests, as well as the rest of the production cast who probably wanted to perform the final "Elements" signature show. And lastly,... the crews on these ships deal with a multitude of people. And the majority of the guests are a respectful bunch and excited to be cruising. But there's that 1% who should be offered the opportunity to walk the plank rather than allow them to verbally abuse and disrespect the hard working crew members. I watched a restaurant hostess display patience, professionalism, and a calm demeanor while being verbally attacked by an unruly guest demanding more, and more, and more for over 5 minutes. Management finally stepped in to try and accommodate this guest, to no avail. He even got after the waiter once he was seated. The hostess had tears in her eyes as my wife got up and gave her a hug - complementing her on how she handled the situation. Unfortunately, we heard that the hostess was written up for the incident and told that it should have been handled differently. Differently? That's where the gangplank should come in for this guest,.... After being in management, customer relations, and a business owner, I don't know how she could have handled this person any more professionally than how she did. Perhaps NCL should have more of the management available and instructed to immediately respond to these situations immediately. It's a shame to have other guests in line at the restaurant - leave to go elsewhere rather than stand behind the arguing guest waving his arms and creating an ugly scene. NCL (and all cruise lines) you can try and please everyone, but you never will. Just remember, your employees are your greatest asset. And sometimes you just need to protect these crew members, and protect the rest of the guests from that 1% you choose to chase after - down the plank. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Just returned from our first cruise on the Norwegian Jade. The staff were so welcoming, polite and friendly. The service the staff offered was exceptional in all areas, from house keeping, restaurants and bar staff. We expect less but got ... Read More
Just returned from our first cruise on the Norwegian Jade. The staff were so welcoming, polite and friendly. The service the staff offered was exceptional in all areas, from house keeping, restaurants and bar staff. We expect less but got more . The entertainment was the finest we have watched from the Stardust theatre with an excellent magician, acrobats, singers and dancers, all put together very professionally.We ate in the Grande Pacific, Alizar all offering really super food being served by fantastic staff. We chose an inside cabin, compact, but certainly very comfortable and kept extremely clean. more than adequate for our needs.We were able to sit together and eat where we wanted and at what time we requested . The food and service was amazing at grand via and we found no need to pay extra to visit the speciality restaurants as food standard and selection was great at main dining rooms This Ship is run with precision and its guests are at the heart of this ship. We have come away definitely wanting to book another Cruise with Norwegian Cruise Liner. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: a chance to visit Bergen, Iceland and smaller islands in Scotland. The ship was recently renovated and had wonderful bars and public spaces and lots of them. We got to know the bar waitstaff ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: a chance to visit Bergen, Iceland and smaller islands in Scotland. The ship was recently renovated and had wonderful bars and public spaces and lots of them. We got to know the bar waitstaff and they always greeted us with a smile and welcome back! This enabled us to take full advantage of our drink package. Getting on and off the ship went smoothly, tendering in two ports went smoothly. There were no problems. Entertainment was not to our tastes. We did like easy listening music with Sean and Duo but didn't care for Nathaniel or Azalea. Shows with ship's cast are always lame, would prefer a movie on a big screen or a talk about the history of places we are visiting. We spent some time in the Casino which we enjoyed. We only took a few of the NCL excursions as we booked many on our own. We booked the Bergen excursion with NCL and it was a total waste of money. There were 5 ships in port that day so we spent all our time waiting for the funicular. Our guide was surly and didn't not make waiting any more pleasant. The view is spectacular and worth doing but I would suggest doing Bergen on your own, walking into town or taking a cab. Alesund not much of a town but Lerwick had enjoyable shopping. NCL provided free buses into downtown Reykjavik where there was lots of shopping. Golden Circle Tour which we booked with Iceland Guided Tours is worth doing. We passed on Blue Lagoon and Northern Lights. Too expensive and not our thing. Akureyri is more shopping. Kirkwall we booked Highland Park Distillery tour on our own. Highly recommend it. Inverness and Edinburgh were more shopping. We did the Edinburgh bus tour with Rabbies which saved us from climbing the hill to the castle. We took the NCL bus into Edinburgh from Envergordon to be sure we would make it back to the ship on time. Worked out, we were on one of the last tenders before the ship sailed. We had a great time and would recommend this ship and this cruise to others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We liked the destinations as well as the fact that the ship was not super big. The early booking perks were also a plus - free drink package and $50 credit per shore excursion in each port. We had been on the ship before and were very ... Read More
We liked the destinations as well as the fact that the ship was not super big. The early booking perks were also a plus - free drink package and $50 credit per shore excursion in each port. We had been on the ship before and were very satisfied with our prior experience. We choose our cruises mainly for the ports of call and these did not disappoint. We normally do not travel in the summer due to the crowds, but our choice of itinerary necessitated a summer trip. We had no issues until we reached Scotland where there were thousands of tourists - no super crowd issues until our last stop. Our land excursions were booked through the cruise line and they were quite satisfactory. Our room was always immaculate and we had a wonderful room steward. Since the cruise was two weeks, we, by choice, requested the same servers in the restaurant - Dorejean and Lyndell - and were give excellent service. They quickly learned our drink preferences - wines, iced tea, decaf coffee. We looked forward to seeing them each evening. All in all, a great trip for two senior citizens! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
To get acquainted with Norwegian we booked a mini cruise on the Jade. We have sailed with other companies and they are all well liked, we were very curious in advance and were looking forward to this weekend. However, this was a mini ... Read More
To get acquainted with Norwegian we booked a mini cruise on the Jade. We have sailed with other companies and they are all well liked, we were very curious in advance and were looking forward to this weekend. However, this was a mini cruise that was pretty disappointing. Try to keep it short, the free drinks (all under $ 15), probably in combination with the beautiful weather, a lot of passengers were drunk (there was also plenty of liquor offered) and this gradually became more noticeable. Especially at the pool deck and in the restaurants, there was an aggressive atmosphere at a certain point with a number of guests. We witnessed a group of Germans who would have had a reservation at Teppanyaki, we were waiting at the bar at the Jasmine Garden before we were given a table. The lady behind the counter apparently made it clear that something was wrong, on which a discussion arose between the group of men and this lady. This got pretty out of hand, many guests have seen and especially heard it. The men were drunk and behaved horribly, several managers were called in to get the group calm again. The atmosphere was therefore very uncomfortable, crew in the Jasmine were also a lot less nice. The people under the influence were numerous and that gave a strange atmosphere during this cruise. Security was present on the ship, but not seen once! On the pool deck, guests in all four jacuzzis were drinking a lot and even eating a plate of chicken wings. Despite appealing from a crewmember this did not stop, crew walked around it at a certain moment, their facial expression already told me enough. These are probably incidents that I noticed, especially on such a mini cruise. Saw a group of 30 women in a kind of bachelor party that managed to clear a complete O'Sheehan's, bar staff who made it clear that they had enough of it, but nothing was done with it. And so I can still write down some notable things. Our balcony cabin was fine, the crew member was very precise and did more than his best. The food was pretty disappointing with the exception of Grand Pasific, especially the buffet of the Garden Cafe was bad (lukewarm food and indeed on plastic plates). Furthermore, we noticed that there is music in every public room, which is pretty present, a normal conversation is impossible in some restaurants, you have to talk pretty loud if you want to understand each other. The behavior of some people towards the crew is quite bizarre, do not understand that the crew has to accept all this. You also understand that a part of the crew is fed up with this, but some do keep their smile on. But good show must go on and they know that on the Jade, but at the cost of what. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This is my second cruise on NCL and first on the Jade. I was looking forward to a smaller ship due to more personal service and personable crew. The ship's pools were a bit small for the sold-out two-day voyage I was on; restaurants ... Read More
This is my second cruise on NCL and first on the Jade. I was looking forward to a smaller ship due to more personal service and personable crew. The ship's pools were a bit small for the sold-out two-day voyage I was on; restaurants sometimes packed and entertainment was only okay (for a cruise ship). I had an inner cabin which was just fine and located upstairs aft which was convenient. The quality of the food was overall okay The food and beverage staff were all tremendously friendly. Guest services, however, was anything but. I only had a minor problem but being dismissed by each person I talked to in guest services, and being told there was no manager to talk to, really sealed the deal for me. Other guests on this cruise had similar experiences, to the point of multiple people complaining throughout the cruise, all falling on deaf ears. What a disappointing experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
For a too-short two-day cruise, I had cabin 11018, the Sapphire Penthouse. Amazing space. With a butler, champagne (not just sparkling wine) and a doorbell. Not to mention a window in the tub and a window in the shower. With special ... Read More
For a too-short two-day cruise, I had cabin 11018, the Sapphire Penthouse. Amazing space. With a butler, champagne (not just sparkling wine) and a doorbell. Not to mention a window in the tub and a window in the shower. With special breakfast settings in The Moderno and lunch in Cagney's, the cruise was special. This is the second time I have taken the Southampton-to-Hamburg cruise and embarkation is always organised. What I didn't realise was that I was supposed to be in the VIP check-in. My fault because, when the receptionist ask me my cabin, I simply responded that I was Latitudes Silver and she put me in the Latitudes queue. If I had shown the papers, I would have been moved to the correct place. Still, once in the right place, we were the first to board. And then it was straight to O'Sheaghans for wings. It has become a bit of a tradition. Both dining rooms are comparable, tho Alizar a bit smaller. Choose according to personal preference and style. Getting off the ship couldn't have been much easier. A small queue for immigration - but that was probably 8 minutes max Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We have cruised before on Royal Caribbean” independence of the seas” , Princess cruises “Grand princess “ and P&O “ Ventura and Azura “ , so this is a comparison with other cruise lines.. to give you an idea... We decided ... Read More
We have cruised before on Royal Caribbean” independence of the seas” , Princess cruises “Grand princess “ and P&O “ Ventura and Azura “ , so this is a comparison with other cruise lines.. to give you an idea... We decided to go on this cruise as the price was good and,we didn’t have to fly. Southampton to Norwegian Fjords and Shetland Islands for 9 days . Check in at Southampton was ok not the quickest but didn’t mind waiting as we were so excited for the cruise. When we got to the room our bags weren’t delivered and we waited for 4 hours which was the longest time we had to wait ever .On previous cruises our bags will be already in front of the cabin ... we were dissapointed as we wanted to get our stuff and we feel we wasted time hanging around . We had a inside cabin which was nice but small ,you can see the photos to give you an idea of space , we were impressed with the toilet and shower that was a nice size ,more like a double shower that always had hot water .Toiletries provided were of low standards and only used once .. also I have never seen such thin toilet paper ever ... next time I’ll take my paper from home hahahahaha. The inside room don’t offer a kettle or mugs to have hot drinks ,I asked for one and was told “ sorry no “ with all other cruise lines we always had the facilities biscuits and sweets replenished daily. We had breakfast in the buffet and the food was very nice but you could never find a free table ,almost every day had to share a table with other people which we didn’t like ... the outside area it was very nice if you were lucky to find a table . We used the posh didning room that were free and we enjoyed the atmosphere was relaxed and not a strict dress code ,but we felt that the waiters were always so busy and we had to wait a long time to be served. Most of the time the foood will be nice and hot but other times was not presented nice and almost cold... The entertainment on this ship it was the most disappointing , it felt so amateur , the singing production felt like it was for kids and so loud .... The last show production “ Elements” was the only one we enjoyed ,The magician was the worst we had seen ,really ? ?? The flamenco guy was ok but after 2 songs we were bored . There was a band 24 karat which we listened to in the Bliss bar and they were really good.. We enjoyed the atmosphere around the ship so many nationalities like we never seen on other cruises before ... and the fact that the majority were adults and not many children. On one day I decided to have a hair cut and made an appointment ,I was told it will be $56 to cut wash and dry . The hairdresser man did Not listen to anything I said ,I showed him pictures what I want and he was ignoring me,pulling my hair very rough I felt like he was not competent and in the end my hair was very short and the bill was $94 which shocked me ... the worse experience on the ship. The ports we visited were beautiful such nice scenery like we never seen before ,we enjoyed it all. the organisation to get to the port was very poor and on 3 ocassions we had to use the tenders... no explanation was given ... I would highly recommend this itinerary!!!! Lots to be improved on this ship , overall nice atmosphere very relaxed but we still prefer Princess cruises as it offers a lot more . Princess cruises our number 1 , P&O the worst we have been on ,and NCL and royal carribean somewhere in the middle . Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Our 4th NCL cruise and the first with problems which left a bad taste and leave me thinking time to try a new cruiseline. Firstly, Guest Services had a problem with verifying my credit card. And dealt with it by blocking my account ... Read More
Our 4th NCL cruise and the first with problems which left a bad taste and leave me thinking time to try a new cruiseline. Firstly, Guest Services had a problem with verifying my credit card. And dealt with it by blocking my account until it was sorted. Made it a pain to even get a drink...even though I had the beverage package! I was charged for items I had pre-paid (speciality dining) and not given credit for that was part of my package (discount on shore excursions / onboard credits). Despite providing evidence, I got very patronizing and stock answers from guest services...in effect I must be wrong, NCL is never wrong. What happened to the customer is always right?! Finally...getting off the ship. 1 port the card scanners weren't working which caused delays as security couldn't scan anyone on/off. 2 tender ports, taking almost 2 hours to get off. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Interested in ports of call. Shuttle service to and from the ship is a must. Overall staff was helpful and pleasant. We enjoy the smaller ship, it's easier to navigate. Food was very good ,unfortunately the cafeteria is too small. ... Read More
Interested in ports of call. Shuttle service to and from the ship is a must. Overall staff was helpful and pleasant. We enjoy the smaller ship, it's easier to navigate. Food was very good ,unfortunately the cafeteria is too small. We were hoping for a seafood night. We had an ocean view cabin and was very disappointed there was no couch or chair . Not very convenient. Service charge has been added , just seems another expense. Rather disappointed in the entertainment except for the finale the last night. Some easy listening music would be an asset where we could sit and chat with a drink. Service was good. We enjoyed the ports , tendering tickets for Edinburgh was a fiasco. Should be better organized. Excursion in Iceland was interesting. Too bad many of the excursions are so pricey . Embarkation and disembarkation was well organized. Smooth sailing thank you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
The only reason I chose this cruise with NCL is because the itinerary included places I absolutely wanted to go - starting in Southampton, it had stops in Norway (Bergen, Alesund), Iceland (Reykjavik, Akureyri) and Scotland (Shetland ... Read More
The only reason I chose this cruise with NCL is because the itinerary included places I absolutely wanted to go - starting in Southampton, it had stops in Norway (Bergen, Alesund), Iceland (Reykjavik, Akureyri) and Scotland (Shetland Islands, Orkney Islands, Inverness and Edinburgh). We were so fortunate to have good weather at almost all of the ports. POSITIVES: The cruise ship was spacious and clean, the staff accommodating and pleasant. We were particularly happy with the dance classes taught by the cruise staff and loved our training in waltz, fox trot, salsa, cha cha and line dancing. We also really enjoyed the trivia games that immediately followed the dance lessons. Our favorite location on the ship was what they call the "Great Outdoors," the back of the Garden Cafe and an outdoor patio that allows you to look back over the wake. We loved having our meals here, making use of its bar, and taking pictures as we moved in and out of the ports. To accommodate the overflow in the Garden Cafe food area, another buffet line (smaller) was set up in the back, as well as a coffee/tea station. We utilized this area frequently and were grateful not to have to go back into the busy larger food area to replenish our plates. We had an interior cabin, which is always our choice as we spend so little time in it. The soundproofing was perfect, the bed very comfortable and the shower perfect for our preferences. Our cabin steward, Richard, was not only extremely efficient, but he made the most intricately detailed towel creatures we have seen on any cruise! We also enjoyed the Bow Cam channel as it gave us a window to the outside. The shore excursions were wonderful, eputable companies and engaging guides. All but one of our excursions were through the ship. We very much enjoyed all of them. Our favorite restaurant on the ship was Le Bistro (which fills quickly). The service was top quality and the food even better. Our waiter, Henrique, deserves "Best Waiter" awards. We wished we had booked more reservations here. Lovely in every way. NEGATIVES: My only negative comment has to do with their use of hand sanitizer. I am a retired health director so please forgive me being picky here - I just understand the seriousness of viral spread on the close quarters of a ship and want to share my concerns: Every time we entered the Garden Cafe, there was a staff member at each door with a spray bottle to provide guests with a "squirt" of hand sanitizer. This didn’t work for two reasons… the first reason is the amount provided was barely enough to cover your hands and not anywhere near the amount you could get by using one of the ball-shaped units stationed at each door - the second reason is that person was not always at the door waiting for you. Sometimes you’d see them talking to guests or another staff member and the area would have many guests just moving into the dining area without cleaning their hands. As important as hand washing is anywhere, and most especially on a cruise ship, the only instruction provided in this safety technique came on the Safety channel, one of the TV choices in the cabin. If you didn’t specifically watch this channel, you would miss important information about hand washing, life jackets and the ship’s alarms. This channel is not required viewing - I just happened upon it when I was flipping stations around - nor was hand washing covered during the life jacket muster where all the information we needed about the alarms and how to don the gear was covered thoroughly. I have been on many cruises and my favorite cruise company tries a different approach and seems to get very good results. During the muster, all guests are required to watch a brief video on how to wash their hands. In addition, this same video is played at strategic times when it can be viewed by many - for example, before the beginning of an entertainment show in the large theater, or in a bar on the video screen. By the end of the cruise, I had seen that video many times. This same company also had staff stationed at the doors to their buffet restaurant but, instead of administering the hand sanitizer themselves, they directed each passenger either to a hand washing sink area, or to the large ball-shaped unit, and required them to clean their hands using one of these methods before entering the food area. Guests learned quickly that this was part of the meal process so people engaged in one of these whether a staff member was there or not. The mistake that NCL makes is not training the guests to take responsibility for their own hand cleaning by doing it for them - and then in an insufficient manner. This results in the guests becoming dependent on employee availability. During the times the employee wasn't available, most guests walked directly into the dining area without cleaning their hands. NCL should revisit their hand sanitization practice - perhaps even doing a survey of sorts to see how frequently people clean their hands in the absence of one of the "squirters." When a virus can spread so quickly in such close surroundings, this should be one of the first concerns of any cruise line. Truly, this was a lovely cruise and I'd sail with NCL again - but I'd avoid the staff with spray bottles and stick with the bal-shapedl units so you know your hands are clean! Read Less
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