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732 Norwegian (NCL) Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

The ship was very compartmentalized. No large open area atrium to enjoy. The food was absolutely horrible. We have traveled NCL and other cruise lines in the past and have never experienced such a bad experience related to the food. ... Read More
The ship was very compartmentalized. No large open area atrium to enjoy. The food was absolutely horrible. We have traveled NCL and other cruise lines in the past and have never experienced such a bad experience related to the food. Buffet was the same things every day with little variety. The main complimentary dining rooms were bland and like warm. By the time we realized the food issue, the pay for dining reservations were booked. Everyone we talked to had the same experience. Getting off the ship at ports was slow, unorganized and disappointing. Do NOT choose stateroom 8570. This obstructed view cabin has NO view, just light coming in. Additionally, the lifeboat outside the room is used for tendering. Each morning it is a rude noisy awakening and good luck resting after a long day at the ports. Overall horrible experience. We traveled on the Escape a year before and it was awesome. Not sure why this experience was on the opposite end of the scale. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose the cruise because it was going someplace that we haven't been to three times before, not because of the ship. The housekeeping staff was fantastic. With that said, I'm glad this was our 4th NCL cruse for me and fifth ... Read More
We chose the cruise because it was going someplace that we haven't been to three times before, not because of the ship. The housekeeping staff was fantastic. With that said, I'm glad this was our 4th NCL cruse for me and fifth for my wife and not our first NCL cr,uise. That's how I know NCL can do better. I've heard lots of complaints about NCL's Garden Cafes. I thought they were all bogus. I've enjoyed all of them except for this last one. (What happened to the omelettes made to order? All the Escape had was premade omelettes. And they weren't even omelettes. They were just scrambled eggs folded over, nothing inside. Yuck. Those made to omelettes are the high point of cruising and they totally screwed that.) The cigar lounge had a better view of the ocean than the Gem's, though, for the only other positive aspect of the cruise. I will never again sail on a ship that big. (A lady bumped into me and actually apologized, explaining that she doesn't have good peripheral vision on her right side. My only thought, was "Lady, people have been bumping into me for the past 5 days and you're the only one to offer an excuse!" It was like bumper cars in there except they were using people instead of cars.) Getting off the ship at cruise end was horrible. Their color coding scheme to schedule departures didn't work at all. They made it *seem* like all 4000 people were trying to get off the ship at once. That boat should be renamed Titanic and scuttled. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary of cruising upper New England and Canada to view the Fall Colors appealed to us. We are recently retired and have enjoyed cruising with Princess and Celebrity, so we expect to cruise regularly in ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary of cruising upper New England and Canada to view the Fall Colors appealed to us. We are recently retired and have enjoyed cruising with Princess and Celebrity, so we expect to cruise regularly in the future. We decided to give Norwegian a try. Big mistake. Embarkation was disorganized and confused. Once on board the problems and disappointment continued. The massive ship felt crowded everywhere. We had problems with our onboard account (Norwegian lost our credit card number and deactivated our account without our knowledge), the food in the crowded dining rooms was bland and uninspired (my guess is they want you to visit the Specialty Restaurants for an additional charge), and the food in the buffet wasn’t worthy of a Golden Corral. They were pushing drink packages so the ship was full of drunk, rude people. And rather surprisingly, many of the crew seemed very unhappy, some even surly. If you’re considering cruising, there are much better choices out there. I cannot imagine ever cruising with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have sailed on 22 cruises decided to take in a little cold after the hot summer we had in Maryland. We got a great Casino price so we took this one. This was our 5th NCL Cruise in the past few years. The Ship is beautiful and clean. ... Read More
We have sailed on 22 cruises decided to take in a little cold after the hot summer we had in Maryland. We got a great Casino price so we took this one. This was our 5th NCL Cruise in the past few years. The Ship is beautiful and clean. Staff was wonderful. Cabin was to small, we opted for inside since the temps would be to cold for BC tried to bid to OV but none was available. Dining was just so so. Nothing made us want to get more of anything. We did not go to the extra ala cart dining rooms, just the compliminary ones. The ala cart prices have gone crazy. Comedy club was good, we saw the same guy three nights, the production shows were great, After Midnight, and Choir of Man. It was a port intensive cruise, we stopped four ports four days, two sea days. Canada was very cold this early in the year. We did two ship excursions, hop on hop off in St. John, not impressed. Halifax did the harbor hopper, freezing cold, it was to windy to go on the water, so instead we got a condensed version of the town tour. Tour guide and driver were great, just not alot to see. Because of the cold we did not find enough to do on ship days, or after being on shore. It was bingo, deal or no deal, or casino. This was a much older crowd and slower thats for sure, we think the average age must be 60. There were only 80 children on this sailing. I think we might wait again before sailing in NCL to see if they make a few changes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The trip was definitely uneven starting with the loading process. We waited online for about 1.5 hours to get on the ship and found that most of the employees were not helpful at this point until someone complained to management and they ... Read More
The trip was definitely uneven starting with the loading process. We waited online for about 1.5 hours to get on the ship and found that most of the employees were not helpful at this point until someone complained to management and they came and started to direct the lines. If all of your paperwork is printed out, there is no reason that people should take more than 3-4 minutes at the counter. Cases that become more complicated should be directed to a different help desk. Most of the people working on the ship were wonderful. They had very positive attitudes. I didn't expect the overall sleezy feeling that people were always trying to sell me something. For instance, I went to a lecture on metabolism not realizing until after 40 minutes they were now going to try to sell me a product to help cleanse my system. Most talks ended up being some type of sales pitch. I truly enjoyed the Thermal Suite but resented the blatant lying about how many passes they were selling. When I bought my pass, I was told there were 20 passes left and the limit was 120. A couple of hours later, I went back for a raffle and again heard how there were only 20 passes left. Then I realized that they were also selling day passes as the cruise went on. To be honest, I only felt crowded once during my time there, but the unnecessary lying seemed foolish. Another major issue was communication. I wanted to get off at Bar Harbor a couple of hours before my tour which started at 12:50 from inside the ship. I was discouraged by the crew saying they would not be responsible if I didn't find the group off of the ship (turns out very easy to find them)- hence I stayed on the ship. Other people I met were told sure meet the tour in front of the ship and yet others were told that they could absolutely not leave the ship. Overall, the food was fine and the staff serving were exceptional. As stated- it was a very up and down experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
A group of six of us, three couples, chose this cruise to celebrate a birthday and an anniversary. The overall cruise was OK, not impressive and I never had the feeling that Norwegian went out of his way to impress their customers. We ... Read More
A group of six of us, three couples, chose this cruise to celebrate a birthday and an anniversary. The overall cruise was OK, not impressive and I never had the feeling that Norwegian went out of his way to impress their customers. We have been on more than 40 cruises and while there were many parts of the screws that were nice they were also many parts that were very frustrating. The transfer that we were required to buy because of our reduced airfare was a complete disorganized disaster. We did finally make it to the pier only to find that the embarkation process is also not very organized and difficult to endure. I think additional information and personnel at the pier to let passengers know which line to go in and to help manage expectations would be very much appreciated by passengers. The immigration process that we went through at Bar Harbor was also a complete mess. There were almost no Norwegian employees out to direct people and give proper information. When you have the Muster drill you have an employee at every stairway on every level to help give directions even half that much effort for the immigration process would’ve made things very much smoother and make passengers less reliant upon the information gotten from other passengers to be in the right Place. The food and the Brazilian steakhouse was excellent! The food in the Italian restaurant was also very good. The rest of the food on the ship was passable but lacked excitement, imagination, And originality. This was a Canada and New England cruise, so the weather was cold and very few people hung out at the pool and for this reason possibly I think the boat Felt more crowded than usual. Overall while this was an enjoyable week it is not a cruise that I could recommend to a friend or relative. I am also somewhat frustrated with Norwegians advertising and pricing schemes where there is nothing actually free as advertised but everything has a cost associated with it or required purchase such as the transfers that accompany the free or reduced airfare. The mandatory tips that I paid on my drink package or more than I would’ve paid had I not had a drink package and just bought the drinks out right. We didn’t use the excursion credit for each port because of the cruise lines cost for the excursions, they seem to be much higher than what we could accomplish on our own making the $50 credit irrelevant. The ship in our cabin were very nice but Norwegian as a cruise line is not one that I would recommend somebody go out of their way did take a cruise on unless they had a specific itinerary in deed or ship that you’re interested in. I think there is a better value, better customer service and a better product available elsewhere . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise trying to get away from the stifling heat with hopes of enjoying the fall foliage season. Unfortunately there were no beautiful colors this year. I understand Mother Nature controls that. The ports had delicious ... Read More
We chose this cruise trying to get away from the stifling heat with hopes of enjoying the fall foliage season. Unfortunately there were no beautiful colors this year. I understand Mother Nature controls that. The ports had delicious lobster and chowder but that was about it. Our balcony cabin felt more cramped than ships in the past with the closet in the cabin area leaving no privacy or extra sleep for your partner while one dresses. The staff on the ship was excellent but our cabin steward lacking. We had no tissue at times and to get a couple of washcloths exhausting. By far the worst part of the Escape was the unbearable cigarette smell permeating the ship. Actually nauseating at times. The food was average except our La Cucina visit. Cannot recommend that restaurant. Getting on and off the ship was fine choosing to use disembark carrying our own luggage. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first time cruising with NCL. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly from the ship. The terminal was another story. The ship was big, beautiful and clean. All of the staff (except one) we encountered throughout the ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with NCL. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly from the ship. The terminal was another story. The ship was big, beautiful and clean. All of the staff (except one) we encountered throughout the entire week were excellent. They we courteous, friendly and accommodating. We got a mini family suite and the room was a decent size for 4 of us. The USB ports were broken which was a bummer but all in all our room was great. The elevators were also VERY SLOW and always so crowded we had to call elevators many times as they would be too full to fit us in. The free dining options were good and the specialty dining options were superb! We traveled with a 9 and 18 year old. The 9 year old was a bit bored in the kids area but that could be because there were very few kids in the cruise we went on. The 18 year old made some friends and had a good time. We enjoyed the comedians on the ship. They were hilarious and we looked forward to seeing them every time they performed. We also really enjoyed the Wine tasting events as well. It was too cold to use the water slides but they looked like they would’ve been a lot of fun. My whole family enjoyed the ropes course and the miniature golf. I was however very disappointed in one of the ports we went to (Halifax). There was nothing to do except shop in the port terminals or go to a local pub. Other than that it was mostly industrial. All of the excursions for the Canada/New England ports were very underwhelming and very high priced per person for what you got. I will definitely cruise NCL again. I will just pick better ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We traveled on the Norwegian Escape for the third time this year last week departing from NYC going to Canada and Maine. Obviously we love his ship because 1) the friendliness and service from the entire staff on the Escape, 2) the food is ... Read More
We traveled on the Norwegian Escape for the third time this year last week departing from NYC going to Canada and Maine. Obviously we love his ship because 1) the friendliness and service from the entire staff on the Escape, 2) the food is exceptional, 3) the entertainment, 4) the thermal SPA, 5) the Ship, there is always something to do and there are many quiet zones to go an relax. Now there is one thing everyone should remember when on a cruise sometimes but not very often things are not perfect, that being said all it takes is a nice gesture or suggestion and the staff will take care of you, remember there are thousands of people on the ship and the Escape crew goes beyond your expectations to take care of you. NCL has these cards on the ship that says tell us about your vacation hero, well that’s difficult because we would spend a day filling out these cards, so for this trip we had many hero’s, Rami the bartender in District, Erwin Cabigas bartender, Enrique Bautista bartender and K2 bartender, these guys come to mind because of their exceptional service. Alvin the cruise director keeps the entertainment going from start to finish. From this cruise and one of our previous ones our room stewards on the 15th deck Alan and Jefferson. We also received a warm welcome from Manuel Santos asst. Maître D’ every time he saw us he’s a very nice man, there were many others including Dionne asst. Maître’, Melroy Rebeiro restaurant manager and last but not least Zdravko Kojakovic food and beverage director this guy is on top of his game! Thank You Escape staff for a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our Children gave us the cruise as a 40th anniversary present.....we had no idea what to expect as we had never been on a cruise before. When we arrived at the ship we were in awe of its size and beauty, once on board we walked and ... Read More
Our Children gave us the cruise as a 40th anniversary present.....we had no idea what to expect as we had never been on a cruise before. When we arrived at the ship we were in awe of its size and beauty, once on board we walked and explored the ship, met some of the crew and visited the garden café.....our departure time of 4:00 pm allowed us to acquaint ourselves with the ship before we actually left the port of NY. Once we were underway we marveled at the smoothness and quietness of the ship, it was smooth sailing all the way to our first port of call. As we cruised thru the north Atlantic, we enjoyed the many eating choices on board, sampled some of the ships on board activities and later in the evening took in our first of many shows that the ship offered. The next seven days were filled with eating, shore excursions and fun on the ship, the crew treated us like we were important, the ports of call were fantastic and we had, without a doubt, the best vacation we have ever been on. We were so enamored with our cruise that we already have made a deposit on a future one....we will be cruising with NCL once again and we will definitely be sailing one of her Mega-ships....the Escape was as much the star of our cruise as the ships crew was.....we are in love and can't wait to cruise again!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am an experienced cruiser having sailed at least 20 times in Alaska, Europe, the Caribbean, and Canada/New England. Most of my experience has been with Celebrity, which I love, but I have also cruised with Princes, Carnival, Royal ... Read More
I am an experienced cruiser having sailed at least 20 times in Alaska, Europe, the Caribbean, and Canada/New England. Most of my experience has been with Celebrity, which I love, but I have also cruised with Princes, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Holland America. This was my first cruise on Norwegian and I will not be back. Here is why. The drinking water policy on the ship is obviously Norwegian’s strategy to get its guests to fork over money for what is a health necessity. You cannot bring any bottled drinking water on the ship. It will be confiscated. If you want to avoid paying for NCL’s bottled water, then you are forced to use the tap in your bathroom or the water dispensers up in the buffet. Both of these options will give you water that smells and tastes of chlorine. Yuk! The water dispensers are not without additional problems, because despite posted directions to the contrary, people fill their germy water bottles and used glasses directly under these dispensers. If you want to avoid these contaminated dispensers and purchase NCL’s bottled water, you will be forced to pay $6 per liter bottle or $16.95 for 6 bottles, $29.95 for 12 or $44.95 for 24 bottles of NCL’s “purified water,” which is not spring water and tastes exactly like the stuff out of the tap or dispensers.. For all of these prices, add a 20% gratuity as well. Really, NCL? I understand your wanting to make money on people’s desire for soda or alcohol, but water? That is pushing the limits of common decency for making a buck off of your guests. I won’t cruise with you again specifically because of this policy. My friend and I found out about the water policy when we each purchased two sealed bottles of water in a port and tried to bring them back onboard the ship. They were confiscated as we entered the ship. When we went to Guest Services to talk to them about this event, we were dealt with very shabbily. One representative pointed to a tiny blue box titled Agricultural Notice on the daily events sheet which said that “Due to public health regulations, food of any kind (hot, raw or unpacked/packed) is not allowed to be brought onboard or taken off the ship at any time. Beverages cannot be brought onboard. Wine or liquor purchased in any port of call will be stored by the ship and given back to the guest on the evening before disembarkation or the morning of disembarkation.” I understand the food restrictions for health reasons and the wine and liquor restrictions for making money, but not the restriction on bringing in water. It is not justified under any circumstances and the policy should be dropped. If NCL is going to continue such a policy to fleece their passengers, then they should make an announcement explicitly telling passengers leaving the ship to not purchase water as it will be confiscated upon their return to the ship. Don’t hide such information behind a notice regarding health restrictions and the prohibition of carrying alcohol onboard. Additional sources of irritation on the Gem were the lack of entertainment options if you did not want to go to the live shows in the theater. Forget the casino; it reeks of smoke and there is no designated movie theater on the ship like you will find on Celebrity and Holland America. Movies are played at 10:30 at night in the very public area of the atrium where you will also find a bar, Guest Services, the Excursions desk and the future cruise desk. Movies will sometimes be played here in the afternoon as well, but with all of those other services and people walking through the area to get to other portions of the ship, good luck seeing and hearing the movie. Besides, most seats there lack backs and are very uncomfortable. Very limited television options await guests in their cramped cabins. There is a movie channel but it does not always play movies and what movies there are repeat throughout the week. We found that A Star is Born was playing at least three nights on this channel. If you want more movie selections, then fork over $9.95 per movie for a just few more more films, less than a dozen. I remember that Holland America offers a huge collection of free in-room movies and the guests have their choice of numerous DVDs that can be picked up or delivered from the guest services desk. Seating for the buffet upstairs is very limited and we found that our food often got cold while we searched for a place to sit. I think this is because, unlike all other cruise ships I have been on, the buffet seating is limited to only one side of the ship. A pay restaurant and its kitchen takes up the space on the other side. You can sit in it’s very limited dining space in the morning and afternoon up until about 2 pm, but after that, it’s given over to the paying guests. While you are in there, you are bombarded with the noise of a basketball court above you. What a joke! We didn’t take any ship excursions, which are always overpriced and herded into big busses. We hired cabs and shared them with other cruisers off the Gem. If you haven’t ever done this, try it. Stand around outside and ask if anyone is interested in joining you. Negotiate a price with the cab driver and enjoy your small group excursion. The cabbie will always get you back to the ship in plenty of time and you won’t be traveling with 39 other people. Sadly, I wanted to like this cruise line, but I didn’t. That ridiculous drinking water policy ended my cruising with NCL. I won’t be back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After witnessing how badly passengers were treated on the recent NCL Spririt Mystical Fjords Cruise, With an appalling 25% discount on a future cruise, it has become obvious NCL sees customers only as livestock. Ship is old(2005), ... Read More
After witnessing how badly passengers were treated on the recent NCL Spririt Mystical Fjords Cruise, With an appalling 25% discount on a future cruise, it has become obvious NCL sees customers only as livestock. Ship is old(2005), refurb in 2015. Jewel class ships now look worn and dated. The lack of amenities compared with the newer Breakaway/Bliss class of ships is very evident. The Norwegian formula is easily summarized: nickel & dime the passengers with up charges, and make food look appealing with cheap ingredients. They make a killing on beverages including bottled water, and use cheap Philippine /Indonesian labor wherever possible. It seems even their cruise directors are now cheap labor with incomprehensible English. The head chef is Indian, leading to baffling food items like chicken tandoori paninis!? All of the food is prepared by untrained cheap labor following a cook-by-numbers approach. Food lost in translation. The soulless minions of profit have removed slightly more expensive items like butter and cream. Now witness the result: Omelettes cooked in oil “pan release”, ice cream with little cream, and cheese cake with little cream cheese. Pastries made with margarine and minimal filling, not worth the calories. Grilled cheese sandwiches which contain spongy bread and unmelted cheese. Veritable Frankenfood! Food lost in translation. Since they are not under any supervision, are we being fed trans fats, banned in first world counties? A prior Canadian maritime cruise visited St John’s & Bay of Fundie - but our cruise had lopped off that additional leg (because it cost Norwegian port charges) and instead we were a captive audience, relentlessly upsold for 2 days at sea while they crept at 5 mph from Halifax to Portland .. a mere 100 miles. This cruise is now less of a tour of the Maritime provinces, and more of a floating bar & casino. NCL entertainment was good! Particularly the company which staged Swing, Blazing Boots, and Get Down Tonight. Unfortunately the theater seats were mostly worn out and broken. Sadly, the remaining experience is an exercise in appearance versus reality - assuming passengers can be fooled by something which looks good, even if it isn’t good. This isn’t good. It’s a sad commentary on the gullibility and dumbing-down and exploitability of most Americans. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
If you're used to spending your holidays in the hands of Celebrity or better cruise lines, I would not recommend you try Norwegian because you'll be disappointed several times per hour. Their processes are efficient and ... Read More
If you're used to spending your holidays in the hands of Celebrity or better cruise lines, I would not recommend you try Norwegian because you'll be disappointed several times per hour. Their processes are efficient and streamlined, but the quality of everything on board is rather poor. We found it took us more than half hour to find a place to sit in the garden cafe since the weather wasn't good and everyone was trying to eat there. Once we found an empty table, it seemed rude not to offer the two extra rooms to other passengers who were also waiting, and the experience turned out more of a school cafeteria in a rush than a vacation. There was nothing wrong with those other people, they were as hungry as we were! Other nights we were refused from all dining rooms since they were full. I realize the whole ethos of this line is based around "Freedom" and being "Free to choose" whenever and whenever you want to eat, but on the Norwegian Gem there just aren't enough seats for every passenger indoors when the ship is full and the weather outside is rainy. Yes, you can always go and pick up some poorly prepared items at the buffet and eat standing up, or room service has a delivery charge. I can go on and on about how the dishes elegantly described in their dining room menus were shockingly disappointing once they arrived at the table. Presentation was rather good to mask the poor quality of ingredients/preparation. The first night we were pretty sure that the steak had been pumped with something to make it fluffier and cooked on a george foreman grill. It tasted fine but the texture was artificial. Didn't order that again. The entertainment was wholesome and included several acts with one man and his guitar, as well as dance sketches from the ship dancing crew and an acrobatics show that was very good in athleticism but had very poor production and artistry. Since we felt like we were trapped at a suburban mall on this Norwegian Gem ship while traveling from port to port, we did the best we could, relaxed and tried to find the positive aspects. However, if you think it's going to be like their brochures and videos promise, beware it will likely not be like that. Also it was a bit shocking that smoking was allowed in the casino, so passing through isn't pleasant if you are allergic to cigarrette smoke. The ship needs maintenance, and there were some workers doing their repairs, etc.. a lot of painting is needed in public areas, some of the banisters and furniture were broken and fixed with tape... all in all it was cheap but not too cheerful. Kudos for their sanitary procedures which were excellent, as well as their port services Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Destinations were good, a bit boring at Sydney Nova Scotia Miss communication between ncl rep and agency rep and ncl online. I choiced shore credit and was told final destination could be one,,however after booking I was told by shore ... Read More
Destinations were good, a bit boring at Sydney Nova Scotia Miss communication between ncl rep and agency rep and ncl online. I choiced shore credit and was told final destination could be one,,however after booking I was told by shore excursion offc that not true, however the beginning of the cruise port Quebec I could use it for..but wasn't able to due to the miscommunication. Also book as soon as possible since alot of the better excursions were already sold out prior to sailing. Also alot of the extra cost for drinks, ex: water pkg was better to buy on ship to save money Also wasn't told we will be doing a tandem in Sydney which of course they used the life boats and started to make noise at 06:00. Food everywhere was tasteless and mostly cold..also they never change the menu, main dining room has a few more options and apparently changed those few options nightly. The specialty Italian was adequate in taste temperature and quality and quantity. Service was Wonderful there. Elsewhere not so good. Seemed like they always were in a rush. No Lobster or crab in restaurants..come on we're doing a Canadian and New England cruise Will not book NCL most likely again. At least not on the GEM Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because I am single now, and I had friend going on this sailing. I sailed NCL in1987 and had been very happy with the experience. On the plus side I found the staff very pleasant and helpful. Officers did not engage ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I am single now, and I had friend going on this sailing. I sailed NCL in1987 and had been very happy with the experience. On the plus side I found the staff very pleasant and helpful. Officers did not engage at all. The ship was very clean and my cabin comfortable with plenty of closet space. The food was hit and miss, my visit to the Italian specialty restaurant was disappointing, food Luke warm, sent back, still not hot. I gave up. The entertainment was low budget, but I found that I enjoyed most of the entertainers. We missed three of our ports due to poor weather, all needed to be tendered, I don’t recommend this ship if you have a disability, tendering difficult with lots of stairs. I would have gone on NCL again, if I had friends going, but this is the deal breaker. They having smoking in their casinos, putting their employees and customers in a proven unsafe health environment. With what we know of the hazards of secondhand smoke, this is unforgivable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Great value I had a great time and would definitely do it again. The ports were well chosen, just the time at the ports could be longer. It was sometimes a little bit rushy. The food onboard is great, a final cake walk would be ... Read More
Great value I had a great time and would definitely do it again. The ports were well chosen, just the time at the ports could be longer. It was sometimes a little bit rushy. The food onboard is great, a final cake walk would be great, and thr prizes at the specialty restaurants are too high.the food there is great though. Overall, there is a good chance beeing again onboard NCL The staff is friendly, the entertainment was great and the bar tenders new their job well. However adding 20%on every single onboard service is unreasonable. Also the prices for excursions are far too high, you can make some excursions in half prize, if you do them by yourself. Both are things not related with the cruise, more likely with the policy of NCL. Freestylecruising is a good invention and makes the cruise enjoyable for everybody. Overall, well done and save sailings Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My friend and I were excited to be cruising on the Norwegian Dawn, that quickly changed. We’ve both have been on 12 cruises each, and this had to be the worst experience we’ve had on any ship. The food in the dining room was like basic ... Read More
My friend and I were excited to be cruising on the Norwegian Dawn, that quickly changed. We’ve both have been on 12 cruises each, and this had to be the worst experience we’ve had on any ship. The food in the dining room was like basic “diner food” - Absolutely No- 5 star unless you wanted to pay$$ at one of their seven restaurants. There was not enough staff in the dining room and it would take over an hour to get your food. Not a lot of actives going on around the cruise ship, so we would go sit in our cabins to watch the same movies played over and over again. The last 3 days of our cruise I noticed red bite marks on my skin that were extremely itchy...I was scared it might have been bed bugs. Today, I decided to looked into bed bug complaints on the NCL Dawn and found a news story about a family that were bitten by bed bugs, on deck 8 of the Norwegian Dawn, last year. Obviously, the bed bug situation is still a PROBLEM. Our cabin was #8003 on deck 8 - and when we disembarked they were turning the ship around and going back to New York for 12 days. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Norwegian has decided to nickel and dime people as a way to become more and more profitable. It became baffling. Buying water to drink as it was not included in the beverage package we ordered. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Norwegian has decided to nickel and dime people as a way to become more and more profitable. It became baffling. Buying water to drink as it was not included in the beverage package we ordered. Paying a gratuity for a free beverage package. Specialty coffees not included in the package either. The cruise director was active and all around the ship however as he was Filipino his accent was at times very hard to understand. There was also a Japanese member of his team that I never could understand. Entertainment was quite good however. The food experience was average. Service in the complementary restaurants was quite slow to get started but when orders were finally able to be placed the food was delivered in a timely manner. I had a package for specialty restaurants. The steakhouse and the French restaurant would both terrific. The Italian restaurant was, I hate to say it, disgusting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The destination was my primary reason for choosing this cruise line. I had never traveled with Norwegian, but heard it was good. We had problems with the setup of room and accessibility to outlets for my laptop. The cost of the ... Read More
The destination was my primary reason for choosing this cruise line. I had never traveled with Norwegian, but heard it was good. We had problems with the setup of room and accessibility to outlets for my laptop. The cost of the internet was way above other ships I have traveled with. The room was not cleaned from the previous people. Mirrors on the outside of the bathroom needed cleaning and an empty liquor bottle was left behind the night stand. Food was average to less than average and not hot on the buffet. The buffet was more like cafeteria food. I was VERY disappointed in the lack of friendliness of dining staff, the lack of glitz or niceties that most ships offer - like towel animals, etc. The ship was fine. The entertainment very good, especially Jose and Patti. They made the cruise for me. Shore excursions were quite expensive. I will not travel this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Returned yesterday from New England 8 Day Cruise. Where to begin with issues. First, our Mini-suite is more like a coffin with a bath, not nearly as nice as RC Jr. Suites. Day 2, locked out of cabin (as were several others on our deck). ... Read More
Returned yesterday from New England 8 Day Cruise. Where to begin with issues. First, our Mini-suite is more like a coffin with a bath, not nearly as nice as RC Jr. Suites. Day 2, locked out of cabin (as were several others on our deck). Guest Services could not resolve keycard issue until following morning causing us to use a credit card to keep the lights on and locked in room overnight. Then, 6th set of replacement cards did not work when re-boarding ship at first port causing us to be told to stand aside and wait for GS to come down to clear up matter. But, GS did call 4 days later to see if we resolved the issue. REALLY? Next up reboarding tender in Bar Harbor had to use a 2 step plastic stair (similar to starting block for diving into pools with no rail or banister, just 2 NCL staff standing next to it). The dock floated twice away from the boat while strattling the top step one leg on step and other on boat. Almost falling into water 2x. Thankfully fellow passenger held me and assisted me on board. When reporting safety issue to GS and told by rep and her supervisor their pat answer to every issue "sorry for your concern" and that guests are told in advance there are 15 steps with railing to get on to ship. Yes, true when getting onto ship, however, not when getting back on to tender. She could care less and did not comprehend the issue. Next up TV remote did not work, when speaking with GS was asked if we tried to turn it on and if we had the lights on? Really, no I am in a dark cabin groping for the phone to call you. then, our shore excursion cancelled for Halifax (due to climate change protest) late in the morning, no announcement, only message left in cabin. Leaving us sitting in hot room for 1 hour only to be told it was cancelled and no other options available. Thanks. Specialty Bars - Mojito, Margaretville and District Brew had very limited hours. Visited several times only to be told to come back tomorrow. Again, thanks. Bathrooms adjacent to busy venues such as theatres on decks 6 and 7 could be cleaned more frequently as they are extremely busy areas especially in the evenings. On a positive note, the entertainment was outstanding especially The Knights, Choir of Men and Howl at the Moon. Brazilian and Italian Specially restaurants were very good Steakhouse not so much. Dining Room food selection was nice, well presented and favorable. Waitstaff were fantastic in all restaurants and bars. Activities staff were entertaining and nightly parties fun. Excursions to Portland, Bar Harbor and St. John were well coordinated with fantastic guides. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was an extremely average cruise, and by the time we were done, I felt like our "good deal" had become "a little too expensive." I have written a very detailed review below, but if you want a TL;DR here you go: The ... Read More
This was an extremely average cruise, and by the time we were done, I felt like our "good deal" had become "a little too expensive." I have written a very detailed review below, but if you want a TL;DR here you go: The service was horrible, the food was one step above hotel catering if you paid extra and right at cheap convention center quality for free dining, the wine is overpriced but delicious, the shows and entertainment are excellent but require extra fees and/or reservations, the spa is worth every penny, the ship is too big for comfort, and the app is garbage. On, and expect to smell cigarette smoke everywhere but your stateroom and the main theater which was super gross. We booked on a promotion which offered the ultimate beverage package and 3 upgraded dining options at no additional charge (but plus the gratuity for the packages) and we prepaid our general gratuities. More on the beverage package below. The initial cost for 2 adults splitting a balcony room was about half of the cost for 2 adults in an inside room on our preferred cruise line (DCL) for a similar itinerary. Ship: The ship itself is in good shape and things were in good repair and good working order. The crew could be seen working to clean and maintain the ship daily, which is a good thing. There are eight elevators at the banks located fore and aft, but no easy way to access the center of the ship. Wait times for the elevators could range from a few seconds with empty cars to a 10-15 minute wait. I thought the ship was too big- it was difficult to make plans to meet people and I almost never just "stumbled" on folks I had met at other activities in the evenings- things were just too big. This also means all the relaxation areas were constantly full- it was difficult to find seats on the Waterfront or in the bars at night. The overall decor of the ship is mid-range casino glitzy, if you're into that kind of thing- I prefer classy or elegant. The main atrium, which is not where the LED chandelier in all the pictures is located, looks like a 1990s living room done in taupe and boring. The three story centerpiece with the light was a design mistake- while it is striking to look down from the waterfront interior shops or up from the ground floor restaurants, the middle is open to the casino...and that means the cigarette smoke goes everywhere- into every restaurant, bar, and venue open to decks 6, 7 and 8. Truly disgusting. Dining: The food is about cheap hotel catering quality for free dining. I was underwhelmed by the quality of the food and there were no innovative or interesting regional offerings or signature cocktails in the paid restaurants. O'Sheehans food comes from the buffet. The upcharge dining at Cagneys was pretty delicious, at Modern Chiaroscuro was mediocre, and at Teppanyaki was very salty (even for someone who loves soy sauce.) Margaritaville isn't work the charge- don't waste your money- it is buffet food on a colorful plate. The buffet had lots of variety for lunch, themed dinners each night, and a standard breakfast rotation with made-to-order omelets, amazing french toast, cold waffles, and the usual assortment of hash/potato/scrambled eggs/bacon/cereal/etc. It closes at the same time as the restaurants, so forget late night nosh or second dessert. Room service has a flat additional charge of $8/order (plus gratuity) except continental breakfast, which is free. The cheesecake was a standout surprise- order it every chance you get if you love NY-style cheesecake, and also the tiramisu. Otherwise, nothing stands out enough to recommend it. The service in the regular dining rooms was slow and inconsistent- we were not impressed. There was always a fifteen minute + wait to be seated as well. Dining package: if it is free, take it. Otherwise, plan on adding $300-$400 to your tab to enjoy actual cruise-level dining variety and experiences. The service is slightly better and more entertaining in the upcharge dining rooms, but still not to my standard for 'fine' dining. The alcohol package. So, Norwegian changed the package the week before we sailed and offered to "upgrade" us for $90 more (plus gratuity) to the NEW premium plan. Basically, they marked up all the single malt scotches and higher-end liquors to be $25-30 oz instead of $15-20, moved most of the bold reds to bottle-only (not included on package) or marked up the by-the-glass wines from $10-18 a glass to $15-35/glass. There are a slew of really mediocre table wines at $9/glass and then everything is either by the bottle, or outside the package limits without the new upgrade. This was very disappointing, and terrible customer service considering our booking terms. We used our drink package for traditional cocktails. Do yourself a favor and just order everything a double- trust me, you might get a single serving of alcohol if you order the doubles. If you order all doubles, the package is worth it. If you order all doubles and drink lots of wine and nicer liquor neat (which is not diluted, yay!) then upgrade your package. Definitely visit the Mojito bar and make sure you visit the bar INSIDE Margaritaville on deck 17 for good margaritas- don't be fooled by the crappy "5'o clock somewhere" bar on deck 8- their menu is not the same and it is subpar. The wine on the ship is pretty great, but very overpriced. Sign up for tastings if you can. The Macallan "Experience" tasting is a great way to get 3-4 oz of scotch for 20 bucks and you can order it any time at Tobacco Road. Head's up- the actual tasting is sponsored by Macallan and it shows in the spiel- do your own research before you pay asking price for any of the "special" scotches on sale. I drink whisky all the time- the flight was a great deal, but that's it- the rest is marketing gimmick and markup. Smoking: seriously, who allows smoking all over ships these days? Norwegian, apparently. Smoking is permitted in the casino when it is open, and the casino is open to all three floors due to the atrium and the rotunda. It pollutes everything. There is also smoking on the forward port side of the pool deck and apparently also in Spice H2O, which totally ruined the adults-only section of the ship. Again, prepare to shell out an additional $200 to access the Vibe Beach Club if you want access to a pool deck that doesn't smell like smoke. Spa: Beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful. Well worth the upcharge, I spent 2-3 hours here every single day. I can't recommend it enough. The water therapy pool was a lot of fun and surprisingly effective. The sauna, sanarium and steam room were excellent (although the aromatics in the steam room are STRONG.) I didn't really notice the salt room working that well and a lot of the crystals had degraded, but it was warm and pleasant. The snow room was AWESOME but they closed it on our last full-sea day. Kind of lame. I did receive a therapy treatment and the treatment rooms are beautiful, clean, serene and tasteful. The spa was easily the best part of the ship experience. Housekeeping: Our experience was awful. Our housekeeper rarely came by the room and often explained to us she would have to finish our room the next day because she ran out of time. She refilled washcloths and pulled the sheets straight- and usually removed the dirty dishes- but that's it. When we wanted towels, pillows, refills for the coffee maker, or anything else we had to call and ask for it. This includes missing refills for toilet paper and tissues. There were never fun surprises at turndown. DCL now uses the bed blankets for the 'animals' to save on waste with clean towels- we were luck if our beds were made. The blankets were "put away" by her after the first night and we never saw them again (even when they were needed.) It felt like cheap hotel housekeeping, and we did not tip extra. Ports and Excursions: Meh, this was a rough itinerary. We went to Portland (Maine), Bar Harbor, Saint Johns (NB) and Halifax. Other than Bar Harbor, none of these towns are really ready to accept cruising visitors and they are not easy walking towns unless you like to climb hills. Halifax was definitely my second favorite port but I wish I hadn't disembarked for Saint Johns. I look forward to returning after a few years as they grow their cruise market. The lobster in every port was well worth finding. Entertainment and Activities: The shows are fantastic, but they cost extra and/or require reservations. Reservations don't work well with free-style dining. My travel partner had good luck walking up to shows and waiting for cancellations to see things- I don't have time to wait around for stuff like that. I can't recommend the Wine Musical enough- it was amazing!! It also cost $30 (including tip) per person, so there's that. All of the 'fun' stuff in OSheehan's costs money. Bowling is $6.50/person (not per game.) Outrageous. Skiball, table hockey, pool, mariokart, and basketball range in price from $2-$5/person. The ropes course got rave reviews from my family. The minigolf was frustrating at sea (but hilarious- make it a drinking game!) and usually closed in port. The pools and hot tubs were always crowded except late at night or early in the morning. There were plenty of sunny chairs, but I think that is because we were in cold-weather ports the whole time. The water slides received great reviews from my family. At the end of the day, you're still on a cruise ship and that is awesome. We accepted the lower service and expectations as the cost of booking a cheaper cruise. I may sail Norwegian again, but it will be to sit in the spa. The entertainment was pretty great, but the reservation system was difficult to work with given the lack of assigned dining. I got tired of getting charged for every little thing (six dollars a person to bowl. Seriously- A PERSON.) and it was frustrating that things were always crowded. I never really found a 'space' for me to hang out in like I have on other ships and adventures. Personally, the extra cost for that sense of personal service is really a worthy investment. Your personal travel style will greatly impact whether or not this bothers you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise based solely on the itinerary as we wanted a relaxing cruise to Canada. The ports did not disappoint as we found good things in all of the ports, especially going to Peggy’s Cove in Halifax. If you like lighthouses, ... Read More
We chose this cruise based solely on the itinerary as we wanted a relaxing cruise to Canada. The ports did not disappoint as we found good things in all of the ports, especially going to Peggy’s Cove in Halifax. If you like lighthouses, it is the best one to visit. Bar Harbor was also awesome, and we were lucky to have great weather the whole time. We had a cabin on Deck 11 which was average at best. I would say most everything about the ship was average or below, except that we very much enjoyed the Howl at the Moon dueling pianos shows and karaoke. This was my first NCL cruise, and I was surprised about the below average quality of the meals. The buffet was disappointing, and the main dining room choices were not much better. The two biggest issues with cruises in general are crowds and pushy sales gimmicks. We experienced both. My wife got a massage at the spa, and she said from the moment she went in she was pressured to get more services and buy products. The Atrium was used for all the game shows and events, and it was way overcrowded almost every time. Other than for the itinerary, I would not recommend this cruise Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
New England/Canada Staff is top notch however I have traveled on Royal Caribbean and was disappointed with the amentaties Norwegian offered. Restaurants were hard to get reservations for. MargaritaVille was only open 12:00 to 5:00 ... Read More
New England/Canada Staff is top notch however I have traveled on Royal Caribbean and was disappointed with the amentaties Norwegian offered. Restaurants were hard to get reservations for. MargaritaVille was only open 12:00 to 5:00 which was disappointing because you were in port doing excursions at that time. The buffet was average. At times would wait 10 minutes or more just to get a soda compared to Royal Caribbean were you had a cup if you got the drink package and could access soda at all times. Not many activities compared to the ship's I have traveled on with Royal Caribbean. But as I said at the beginning the staff was excellent very friendly and helpful. If not for the staff I would have been totally disappointed with cruise. Talked with many others on ship and most shared the same thoughts. If I would have cruised with Norwegian first would have been happy but traveling another cruise line first and knowing what they offer let me a little disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Ship as chosen for the New England, S Canada experience.. Loved the outside decks for walking and relaxing. Staff was very polite, friendly and accommodating.Good choices of food and restaurants on board. Size of the ship meant a lot of ... Read More
Ship as chosen for the New England, S Canada experience.. Loved the outside decks for walking and relaxing. Staff was very polite, friendly and accommodating.Good choices of food and restaurants on board. Size of the ship meant a lot of walking and stair climbing and long waits for elevators. Wished a free WiFi service could be provided to contact friends on board. A bit hectic embarking and disembarking the ship because of the number of people on the ship, especially on the NYCity port in finding luggage and busses. Small pool for the size of the ship. Larger areas for the entertainment shows. Health office was closed for several hours during the day. Frustrated always in finding our room with the number of rooms on the ship. Enjoyed the ports and the daily newspaper informing us of the events of the day. We were blessed with great weather and calm seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We went on this cruise for my in-laws 60th wedding Anniversary, we anticipated it would an older crowd and we weren't wrong. The cruise staff was fantastic, the passengers weren’t your typical rowdy pool crowds. Finding deck chairs ... Read More
We went on this cruise for my in-laws 60th wedding Anniversary, we anticipated it would an older crowd and we weren't wrong. The cruise staff was fantastic, the passengers weren’t your typical rowdy pool crowds. Finding deck chairs at the pool was no issue. Our Cabin steward Rod was amazing,. This was our second time on the ship, it is showing some wear but still a great ship. They are trying to control the smoke smell in the hallways around the casino, however it is still very noticeable. Howl at the moon is a must, sad this isn’t on the newer ships. The food was really good, especially Carney’s, LaCucina and Teppanyaki. We really didn’t have a bad meal on the ship. If there was a downer to the cruise it was the whale watching in Bar Harbor, save your money. We knew it wasn’t a guaranty to see one however when we were talking to one of the workers she had said the whales were staying out further away. The meeting time was 11:45, when we arrive at 11:30 they had boarded all the independent paying customers and all seats on the top levels were already taken. We ended up standing for the first 2 1/2 hours. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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