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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
10 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
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