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757 Norwegian (NCL) Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

Let me start by disclosing that this is a fairly lengthy review, which I would loved to have had before we left. Bear with me please. There were some very nice things about the Norwegian Dawn, its crew and our experiences you should ... Read More
Let me start by disclosing that this is a fairly lengthy review, which I would loved to have had before we left. Bear with me please. There were some very nice things about the Norwegian Dawn, its crew and our experiences you should know about. There are also some things to be critical of as to our destinations, the time of year we chose and the excursions we experienced as well. It is important to not just levy criticisms without pointing out bright spots. We picked the NCL cruise ship Norwegian Dawn for a two week, Northeastern Canada and New England tour. It included Quebec City, Halifax and Sydney, Bay of St. John, Nova Scotia and Corner Brook, Newfoundland. There were stops in Boston, Portland, Maine and Newport Rhode Island also. New York City was the final destination but we did not get to see it as we just barely got in in time to get our flights home. We missed The Rhode Island stop as well due to a storm which cut our trip slightly short. Our trip started with two quick jaunts from Virginia to New York City, then to Montreal, where we were to be bused to Quebec City. That's right, bused. It's a four-hour drive, and that's what comes with the $99 airfare package coupled with the $200 transportation package. Note this straight away, and here's why. After customs in Canada, they begin filtering you like salmon onto a few buses waiting outside for you. Our bus came with no air conditioning, apparently, and that's a fun three and a half hours with 50 other people. In case you absolutely had to, and many did as you could imagine within four hours, there was a latrine on the bus that stunk to high heaven. It apparently had not been serviced, pretty much, ever. The stench was ghastly and I felt badly for the four people seated around it. Along with the heat and the stink, there was no water for passengers, no food, no nothing. Everyone had just come off of long flights cross country and gone through customs as well. The driver did not care and did not stop anywhere for anything or anybody. It was a frightful way to start a vacation, for sure. Note that this is part of Norwegian Cruise Line's passenger transport package, which they are not good at, is the takeaway. It is an abominable attempt at service; they should stick to cruises and get out of this line of business. It is absolutely inexcusable. (To note: In a case where you don't fly directly to the ship's embark destination, next time I would stay away from the cheap cruise line transport package and pay a little more, as some did, and book direct flights to the destination to and from the ship - at least in the case of a Norwegian cruise. We did not have this issue with Holland America, for example, who also provided constant supplies, food, water and rest room stops for any bus rides you might be doing). Now, as for the ship, the Norwegian Dawn. Things got better as we found the crew and ship's staff were excellent, diligent and friendly. The ship was in excellent shape and fairly attractive if slightly drab, was exceedingly clean and neat well-kept. The crew worked round the clock to keep it that way, cleaning, wiping and sprucing continuously. Even the on-board restrooms were beautiful and pristine. Not one case of Norovirus was heard of for the entire two weeks, and that is as much a testament to the diligence of the crew of the Dawn as it is impressive. The food in the main dining rooms, the Aqua and the Venetian, ranged from decent to just edible. Their soups were very good and they had a wonderful Caesar salad. The main entrees were repetitive and average, at best. The service and staff in the main dining rooms, however, were excellent. They often would share what to stay away from and what was pretty fair and would bring whatever you wanted. They were friendly and personable, and, like all of the ship's staff, were a joy to be around. We did not and would not venture near the daily buffet line, but heard it was worse. I should add that each day, our upgraded cabin came with breakfast at Moderno, a specialty restaurant, and it was very good and came with the attention of its exquisite staff. Starting every day with a cappuccino and view of the pool and bow of the ship and wherever we were docked was a very bright spot on this long trip. We dined half of the trip for dinner in the two main dining rooms previously mentioned, and the other half was spent in the specialty restaurants. Attending the pay restaurants was part of our perk package, and there are some very good things to say about these places. Overall, the five specialty restaurants we attended ranged from very good to outstanding. Our favorites were Moderno's, which while was the same place we attended for breakfast, had Brazilian fare in the evenings, and was really well done. The other fave was Cagney's steak house, which was Arnie Morton's and Ruth's Chris good. I've not had a better ribeye than the one they served, anywhere, ever. They had top-quality prime beef here and you could see the soux chef preparing all the cuts as you walk in. The Mexican restaurant, the Chinese restaurant, The Japanese Benihana-style restaurant all tied for second place but were very good, if slightly different than what you might be used to at home. Le Bistro was a failed attempt at continental cuisine, grading out at borderline fair to poor. Frozen/thawed mussels and seafood was rubbery and tasteless. It was to be avoided, for sure. Getting to the entertainment portion, which, with the exception of two shows, average and not overwhelming. I thought Princess and Holland America both excelled with their entertainment offerings, but the Dawn's gets an overall 7 out of 10. The very first night's Soul Rockin' Nights and the very last, Elements, were both excellent. Elements, being the very last performance on board this cruise, involved representatives from every facet of service on board and it was fun to see the people who had been with you helping you for two weeks get the spotlight. The magic act was fairly pedestrian and pandered to children, though there was seriously only one child and two teens on this entire ship. Those poor kids must have been bored out of their minds. The acrobatic duo were very adept, but the performance was long, wandering and repetitive. There were two comedians on board, one woman - who was very funny the first night and not so much the second; and an Irishman, who was more down home-ish and really very funny. The last night's Elements was a medley of all of the performances and they all were much better served up that way. There was a husband/wife duo who sang oldies in the ship's main Atrium lounge and were quite good, but again, sort of a one-trick pony here. I will say the older folks just flocked each and every night to hear them, so I feel like I should mention that. There was an excellent big-band and jazz style group who were as good as any of the many Hollywood studio players I knew and worked with over the years. Comprised of a couple of Ukranian guys: the pianist and a fantastic horn player (trumpet); a kid from Mexico, an excellent drummer; a young US guitarist and a Brit band leader who was a sax player and a vocalist with a lovely voice - overall a very enjoyable and a very talented group. The shore excursions were flat disappointing and overpriced. If one ever goes to New England or Northeast Canada, book your own tours with the locals. Don't mess with the Norwegian offerings, as with the exception of the Corner Brook, Newfoundland nature hike, they all failed badly and we way overpriced. We had a horrid experience in Sydney, Nova Scotia, which placed the lives of 42 mostly elderly, (some handicapped), people at risk. The issues: a.) Elderly people being made to stand in a torrential downpour outside the disembark terminal waiting for the bus to arrive. No cover whatever. b.) The bus wouldn't defog in the rain and the tour guide was forced to wipe the windshield with paper towels while standing - in a moving bus, weaving in and out of the oncoming lane with moderate traffic - next to the driver, OMG - just so he could see through a small hole in the fog (!!!) and c.) the inexperienced driver who did not know how to fix the defog issue or how the basic heater function worked. This driver, who apparently just got his license, (I heard him say after the trip, "Boy I didn't know much about this but I sure learned a lot today!"), was barely able to see to the point that passengers were frightened and screaming for him to stop. I mean, holy Lord, you have got to be kidding with this. Amateur hour on a bus with 42 lives at stake? Really? It was positively horrifying and should never have happened in a torrential downpour to this ridiculous museum. On a nicer day, the scenery to and from the museum would have been exquisite, as the foliage there was absolutely popping. During the few moments when you weren't fearing for your life, you could wipe a small hole with your sleeve on the window and peer out at the gorgeous color. My wife said I should say something positive. There it is. Five hours of hell, money out and time you can't get back and no recompense from Norwegian, not even an apology. "The show must go on," was basically the company line. "We go rain or shine," was what they told me. I told the excursion director of the ship, Miguel, the story and he said he had not heard any other complaints about it. Odd, seeing as how the concierge we used to book the trip heard plenty. Anyway, they gave us $30 back, like that would help. This trip could have ended in disaster for forty-two families and for Norwegian, and at the very least was a lawsuit waiting to happen. Thing is, you have to look at this as an overall part of how they care more about getting paid for excursions rather than the safety and satisfaction of their passengers. HUGE FAIL here. Our cruise got cut short by a storm and so instead of getting to Newport, RI and New York City in time to see them, we sat in the Gulf of Maine, Cape Cod Bay, basically, just off Boston, and waited almost two days for the seas to become navigational. It's part of what happens when you book a cruise in the North Atlantic in October. It comes with weather. It rains a lot up in Northeast Canada in the summer also and tends to be very cool. We met people at LaGuardia who had been on a Princess cruise that followed us which got pretty drastically truncated due to the weather. Lastly, the disembark process was no picnic either. This is never fun, on any cruise, as there are 2,000 people with luggage waiting to get off the ship. There were also 3,000 people from a Princess cruise also getting off of their cruise, too. They attempt to organize groups and times, but our concierge grabbed us and said, "Just go now," which I guess was considerate, but once you get down the gangway you see you are a collective throng trying to get to buses with all of your luggage. The buses are random, and nobody knows which is theirs as they all have various destinations out of New York, Newark, JFK and LaGuardia. People are just standing in a clump waiting for direction, and the bus drivers wind up being your last tour guides. They really did as well as they could, and one guy loads 50 people at a time's multi-bags underneath the bus. My wife and I got on first and so helped the older folks with their bags and gave them to the driver to stow them. There are so many fragile people on these cruises, and you really wind up looking out for one another out there. So, a long review, but all of it is important - for me - to note. If someone had shared this with me beforehand, we probably would have just driven up to New England from Virginia and gone to our usual fave places: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Boston and maybe Niagara Falls and Toronto. FINAL GRADES: OVERALL SHIP APPEARANCE, PRESENTATION AND CREW: A+ OVERALL FOOD AND BEVERAGE: B ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT: B- OVERALL TOUR AND EXCURSION EXPERIENCE: D OVERALL TRANSPORT PACKAGE TO AND FROM SHIP: D- Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise to see the Fall colours in Canada. This was our first cruise with NCL and we had no reason to be biased. We travelled with 3 other couple, one of whom had traveled on a NCL ship before and told us they enjoyed the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Fall colours in Canada. This was our first cruise with NCL and we had no reason to be biased. We travelled with 3 other couple, one of whom had traveled on a NCL ship before and told us they enjoyed the cruise around the Hawaiian Islands and the food was good. Our experience was just the opposite. It began well but my wife ate some food, probably a salad on the ship, and experienced severe abdominal cramps the whole night. Therefore, she decided to go to see the ship's doctor the very next morning. We met another man who also went to see the doctor for similar symptoms. Her condition was diagnosed as gastroenteritis. She was quarantined in her cabin for 24 hrs. The only food she could order in were 5 items from room service. Because of that she missed a private shore tour that we had arranged. After 24 hrs she was released but we were most unhappy because we did not get the impression that the ship was going to investigate the cause of it. Gastroenteritis, according to the Mayo Clinic website, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/viral-gastroenteritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378847, is caused either through contact with an infected person or ingesting contaminated food or water. Since she was on the ship, the only source of that was ship food. So I wrote to the General Manager and ask that he looked into the matter and sought redress. We were asked to see an officer who was most unsympathetic. She said words to the effect that there were over 2000 passengers on the ship and they cannot be examining what the cause just because a few of them were sick eating the food!!! She told us that we ought to be very happy that the ship has waived the doctor's charges but we told them that wasn't our concern as well could recover that from our travel insurance. She also said that as far as compensation or redress for the loss for missing the private tour, again, we could claim from our insurance. They were not able to do anything on the ship but that they would refer the case to their headquarters and asked us to write to them. My wife wrote to the captain to see if she could a response sooner and guess what? He never bothered to reply. We were given the case details and told to write after our cruise. We told the officer who met us, given their attitude, that we are not going to write but asked her to tell their head office to write to us if they wish. Not unexpectedly, we have not heard from anyone from NCL. Secondly the food was below par overall. The specialty restaurants were better but even then at best average. The last night of the cruise was billed as Asian night. Being Asians, we looked forward to it. What they billed as "Tom Yum Soup" was nothing like the real version from Thailand. What they billed as "Satay" was a poor version. What was even worse was the sauce, the most important ingredient of satay was not anything like what it should be. If the cooks can't prepare those dishes, that is fine. But why pass those dishes off to other passengers by those names? I cannot understand why they want to do so! Finally, we signed up for the ship's internet service. But no one told us how to log in and even worse how to log out. We were not the only ones who had this problem and during the first day at sea, a whole line of people lined up to see the Internet manager. There was only one person and it took an hour to get to her. On my last night, I tried to log in but could not. Sorry, the Internet manager only worked certain hours and she is no longer available. That is what the reception told me. Is it a wonder that we will never ever travel on NCL again? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My mom, a Florida resident, wanted to see the fall foliage and thought a cruise through Canada and New England would be a good way to do it. That said, we saw the most foliage in Quebec City, which is a beautiful town; in Port Charlotte, ... Read More
My mom, a Florida resident, wanted to see the fall foliage and thought a cruise through Canada and New England would be a good way to do it. That said, we saw the most foliage in Quebec City, which is a beautiful town; in Port Charlotte, also very nice; and on a shore excursion to Lunenberg (from Halifax). As for watching the foliage from our balcony on the ship... the weather wasn't good and we were generally too far to be able to see much. As a first time cruiser, I think I expected more than we received. Embarkation was a bit of a cattle call. The line to reach initial passenger drop-off took 30 minutes, after which we were herded a bit like cattle on to the ship. It took a surprisingly long time to receive our luggage. Shore excursion disembarking and returning was a bit better, but not much. Arrival in Boston was also laborious. I think there has to be a much more pleasant way to handle moving people on and off-board. Since we arrived before we could get into our room, we went to the Garden Cafe (buffet restaurant). The food in the Garden Cafe was ok, but finding seating was terrible. This proved to be even more challenging in subsequent days. My mom is a little unsteady with a moving ship and we often had to have one of us find a table while the other went through the buffet and vice-versa. It was not possible to share enjoyable meal together at the Garden Cafe. We also ate at the Grand Pacific where you were seated by the host and ordered from a menu. The food and service here was good. And, we ate 3 or 4 times at O'Sheehans, where food and service was just average. Fortunately our cruise package included three premium dinners. Le Bistro was nice on our first night, Cagney's Steak House very nice on our last, and Cucina in the middle was just an average Italian restaurant. We spent more time onboard than I would have liked. We had one scheduled "At Sea" day, and one unscheduled due to rough seas (the Portland ME port of call was canceled). The workout facility was nice, clean and not too busy; and it was possible to do walking laps on Deck 13, though that was possibly because the weather wasn't great. It might have been tough if the pool deck was full. Overall, I probably won't cruise again with NCL. The staff were very friendly, but I thought the ship was nothing special and I had the sense that many of the cruisers weren't really there for the ports of call, but rather the on-ship experience. If I cruise again, I'll choose a different cruise company and experience which emphasizes the history and culture of geography it visits. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Food lacked seasoning but there was salt on every table. It was basically the same for the entire week. Desserts were especially boring. Cabin lacked maintenance but was clean. And why the hangers with the ball on the top - who steals ... Read More
Food lacked seasoning but there was salt on every table. It was basically the same for the entire week. Desserts were especially boring. Cabin lacked maintenance but was clean. And why the hangers with the ball on the top - who steals hangers? Especially difficult to use when ship was rocking. A couple of the shows were very good - dancing and singing by the crew members. The magician did, I think, 4 tricks in an hour - not interesting. The comic did the same show stretched out over an hour that he did in 10 minutes on the first night. We could not dock in Portland so spend a rough day at sea with nothing extra to do. One would think that they would have a plan in place. Perhaps even special food or free drinks when one port is cancelled. We really looked forward to being on shore and being able to have a meal in a restaurant that was tasty. The band (trombone, trumpet, sax, etc.) were excellent. Beds were extremely hard. Not enough seating in public areas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I wanted to see Canada during colorful Fall weather and I was NOT disappointed. Love that we have graduated to suite category now. Butler and Concierge are really nice touches. Was not as impressed with Teppanyaki chefs as I have been on ... Read More
I wanted to see Canada during colorful Fall weather and I was NOT disappointed. Love that we have graduated to suite category now. Butler and Concierge are really nice touches. Was not as impressed with Teppanyaki chefs as I have been on other ships. Although the food was good, their flare was not impressive.. Cagney's Steakhouse was great. Moderno Brazillian Steakhouse was not great except for the filet mingion, which was delicious. The other cuts were cooked too done, even tho I told them medium. .Breakfast there was good.. Shows were good and a great variety.. I do not like the fact that very few cabins have shower stalls. Majority have tub/shower combo and this one was too deep for me to get my leg over. I wish they would take this into consideration of us older folks. . It was not a handicapped room, but there was a grab bar by the toilet, which I appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise option had the best port schedule for a Canada cruise. Disappointed that Portland Maine port was cancelled. Day at sea as a result was very rough. Room was terrific, as was our steward. Enjoyed Norwegian's flexible ... Read More
This cruise option had the best port schedule for a Canada cruise. Disappointed that Portland Maine port was cancelled. Day at sea as a result was very rough. Room was terrific, as was our steward. Enjoyed Norwegian's flexible meal schedule options, did not miss having an assigned waitstaff. Ship layout was easy to follow after the first few days. Spa and spa services were terrific. Liked the readily available places to take a seat throughout the ship, if you need a rest. Sales were fun, found inexpensive gifts/souveniers to bring home. Booked all our excursions prior to the cruise, which took a lot of stress off the trip. Recommend booking spa services and spa membership prior to departure as well. Other cruises have a hard sell on board about specialty dining and beverage packages, appreciated no hard sell from Norwegian. Other than one day of bad weather, had great trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Selected a Fall time cruise in the North East with three other couples. Had a good time on the cruise because of the company. But the food and beverage service was the worst I have ever experienced on a cruise ( I believe this was my ... Read More
Selected a Fall time cruise in the North East with three other couples. Had a good time on the cruise because of the company. But the food and beverage service was the worst I have ever experienced on a cruise ( I believe this was my 15th) Suite cabin and specialty restraints were good. In the main dining room there were 4 occasions where it took well over an hour to receive the main course. In all cases in the main dining room, the food we received was not hot, but luke warm. There was a similar experience the Bamboo room were the soup we were served was Luke warm and the vegetables in the soup were way under cooked. The bars did not carry all of the advertised liquor.....Bulleit and Jack Jacket Daniels Rye were frequently not available ( my bourbons of choice). On port days, main dining rooms were not open for lunch ( Ok....call that a blessing) , the buffet served an extremely scaled back selection; hot dogs, hamburgers, limited salad ingredient selection. To further demonstrate the cost squeeze exercised on this ship, there was a rare day when the sunshine was beaming down and providing rare warmth around the Bimini Bar. There was a large group of customers enjoying the sunshine in that specific area, but the bar was not opened....I guess the profit incentive trumped customer service and satisfaction because of pre paid beverage packages..? In general the staffs attitudes were good, but in all suffered from understaffing and active management assistance. I will avoid this ship in the future unless Cruise Critic reviews show a marked improvement. There should be a change of management on this ship. I regrettably purchased some Cruise Next deposits at the beginning of the trip. Hopefully this substandard experience is unique to the Dawn and not reflective of a general decline in performance of NCL as a whole. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I choose the cruise based on a lot of ports and few sea days. Found out that that was no shuttle from the train station to the ship. Had to walk a half mile with my cane leading the way. Our room was under the bridge and was very drafty ... Read More
I choose the cruise based on a lot of ports and few sea days. Found out that that was no shuttle from the train station to the ship. Had to walk a half mile with my cane leading the way. Our room was under the bridge and was very drafty with wind coming in around the balcony door most of the trip. It was next to impossible at every port to get a wheelchair for disembarking the ship. I had to wait sometime 15 minutes, even though there were plenty of wheelchairs, just not at the exit! Food at the specialty restaurants was very good, except for Moderno. Service was very slow and the meats when they did come were tough as leather. The worse part of the excursions were a lack of flexibility in going on the trips. One day we had heavy rain and wind all day to the point that our bus driver could not see the road very well. NCL should have given us the option of not going on the excursion with no penalty. Due to the weather, our ship was diverted to Boston instead of Newport. NCL was not able to arrange any excursions or even a shuttle. The buffet restaurant was typical cruise food, but nobody bothered to tell us that the lines served totally different items from each other. The biggest aggravation for us was the lack of standard 110 outlets in the cabin, which I found out is the same issue ship wide. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Restaurants: special dinning was not worth the price. the food was not great quality and served warm. The servers were very good and tried their best to assist. The meat in Cagney's was extremely poor quality and stringy. The ... Read More
Restaurants: special dinning was not worth the price. the food was not great quality and served warm. The servers were very good and tried their best to assist. The meat in Cagney's was extremely poor quality and stringy. The main dinning room turned out to be better than the special restaurants (disappointing) Entertainment: the acts in the theater were excellent as was the entertainers throughout the ship. The Irish comedian and the female comedian were great. the dancers and the band were very good. Captain: Many thanks for keeping us safe during the storm and seeking safe shelter. He made the right choice, even though I missed my night in New York and lost my money for theater tickets. Better safe than sorry! Ports: Boston was a surprise but an excellent stop. You should consider spending two days because of all the attractions. Quebec City was enjoyable as was the excursion at Portland. Overall, the cruise was relaxing and mostly enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Very disappointing cruise. Not the agenda but the overall vibe and feel of the experience. My expectations for the price paid was first class yet from cabin cleanliness , management team to the buffet food, I would rate it very below ... Read More
Very disappointing cruise. Not the agenda but the overall vibe and feel of the experience. My expectations for the price paid was first class yet from cabin cleanliness , management team to the buffet food, I would rate it very below average. Many employees especially senior staff avoided interaction by being on the ships phones as they walked by. Cabins was dirty and attendant did nothing more than make a bed. No table cleaning, no dusting, no vacuuming no scrubbing of toilet floor or tub. Caught the steward on at least 4 occasions just loafing in the room or daydreaming on the balcony. Food quality very average at best. Too much repeat ( or slight variation with different names] does anyone really like bread pudding that much to have it everyday ? Soups all tasted same, salad bar was poor choices and actually ran out of lettuce day 10. As for itinerary, great as originally planned and switching Boston from Newport was a bonus but missing the full day and overnight in New York City was a negative. Appreciate NCL taking cover from the storm overnight on Wednesday but trying to get answers why the ship didn’t sail earlier on Thursday to reach New York to arrive at least by noon on Friday. Shortly after leaving the cove north of Boston at 6 pm The Bridge report on the TV showed arrival at 10 am Friday which would have been acceptable. It also seems it would have been achievable at approximately 300 nautical miles assuming 20-22 knots speed. Ship never achieved more than 11-12 knots and actually headed towards Nantucket to hang out most of the day on Friday. My guess is they were trying to save $$$$ on docking costs instead of trying to please the paying customers. Many guests were questioning staff but very poor communication and answers as to WHY! As if NCL was afraid to be honest about it. Final complaint was the number of tender ports even though the ports had usable piers that were occupied by other cruise lines. This seems to me that NCL made the decision that it is cheaper to tender than pay dock fees. Tendering is a time waste for the paying client when there are piers available. Is this way for cruise line to improve their Gross Profit? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise for the itererary and timing - peak fall colors in Canada and New England. Food was average, service was slow, dining room service was very slow. Ports of call and disembarkation was smooth except for the last one - New ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itererary and timing - peak fall colors in Canada and New England. Food was average, service was slow, dining room service was very slow. Ports of call and disembarkation was smooth except for the last one - New York City. Got in late, very disorganized exit and the transportation to the airport was a mess. No one knew which bus went to Newark, which one went to Kennedy and which one went to LaGuardia. Entertainment on the ship was very good. The cabin was small and the layout hard to maneuver. Shore excursions were average, seemed priced about average. One thing missing on the ship was any link to the ports we were going to see - only one presentation on any of the ports and this was well after the midpoint of the cruise. Information about the ports we had visited and then some about the ones coming up. Other cruises have a presentation for each port the day before arrival with tips about local foods, drinks, attractions, warnings(about pickpockets) and something interesting about the port that only someone that had been there would have. One port was substituted due to weather - going to a dock instead of tendering. Also lost the last day of NYC as we were anchored riding out high seas and high winds. I would recommend the trip to others but would also set their expectations based on our experience. Great fall colors, easy travel, average food and room, good entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
While the ship and sailing company were chosen for us, as this originally started as big group/family trip, I wouldn't have chosen any other for our first cruise experience. The ship was fun, full of entertainment, food was delicious ... Read More
While the ship and sailing company were chosen for us, as this originally started as big group/family trip, I wouldn't have chosen any other for our first cruise experience. The ship was fun, full of entertainment, food was delicious and abundant, but most of all we are extremely pleased with how incredibly clean the entire ship was maintained! We had the pleasure of being able to enjoy the mini golf course and above ropes courses multiple times. The various water slides were definitely fun and a huge hit with the kids! The food was delicious, the variety was plenty and the service was excellent. We had the opportunity to participate in multiple game and competition shows and it was a great way to have fun and even win some great prizes! Highly recommend watching the shows Burn the floor and Rock of ages as both were incredible and full of amazing talent! While we never left the boat at any of the ports, we still had fun while relaxing and an amazing time surrounded by stunning views! It was an incredible first cruising experience and now this family is hooked! Can't wait for our next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Very good cruise and experience. To see the fall colors was spectacular and the daily tours were well organized and wonderful. We ate in the specialty restaurants 6 nights of the 13, and the Cafe other nights. We also enjoyed ... Read More
Very good cruise and experience. To see the fall colors was spectacular and the daily tours were well organized and wonderful. We ate in the specialty restaurants 6 nights of the 13, and the Cafe other nights. We also enjoyed O'Sheenans for lunches. Originally from upstate NY, we just had never been to the provinces, except Quebec. They were delightful and all so different. Returning to our cabin was a relief and Cris would surprise us with fresh fruit, cookies and chocolates daily. We also ordered breakfast each day in our room: hot chocolate, rolls, egg dishes, juice and milk. You could select the time you wanted it delivered also. We were well taken care of on the cruise also by Francisco our steward. Between he and Cris, we had ice in the bucket all day long- we love cold water. The room also had a very comfortable king size bed- a luxurious shower and a spa tub. The Library was easily reached for my daily puzzles! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
Food was mediocre, dining room service needs improvement, line to get off the ship was more than an hour, Announcement and staff were hard to understand, shows not so good. Did not use shore excursions from ship. I used vacations to ... Read More
Food was mediocre, dining room service needs improvement, line to get off the ship was more than an hour, Announcement and staff were hard to understand, shows not so good. Did not use shore excursions from ship. I used vacations to go. The room service was fine and very friendly. Furniture (love seat) had to be moved against balcony window so we could access the 2 twin beds. Still very tight to get between them and in and out. I am used to dining with many waiters at my table, more elegant decor, and far better food. Many items on the menu were the same every night. Had technical problems with my phone changing to weird times and sometimes not changing when new time zones. We missed one tour that we paid for due to this. Overall I would not sail on Norwegian again. I had planned on Hawaii Islands with them but will choose another line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Received as a free cruise from Hard Rock in Biloxi. I was excited about receiving the free cruise off as it was the first time I was going to be going on NCL. I had heard a lot of good remarks from previous cruisers. My experience had ... Read More
Received as a free cruise from Hard Rock in Biloxi. I was excited about receiving the free cruise off as it was the first time I was going to be going on NCL. I had heard a lot of good remarks from previous cruisers. My experience had good and bad reviews. Not real sure I like the freestyle concept. If you do not want to wait for 30-45 mins for a table if you go anytime after 6pm, make sure you make previous dining reservations. Then after waiting for your pager to go off, you have to expect 1-1.5 hours for dinner. Service is EXTREMELY slow, wait staff is not in any rush whatsoever to clear your empty dishes nor refill your beverages. Our group (6j made reservations at La Corcina, what a DIASTER that was. This dinner took over 3 hours.....the excuse was they had just gotten a new chef and they did not know the kitchen and was having issues finding what he needed. Really are the kitchens on the ship all that different????? We were approached the next afternoon by the Guest Relations manager whom was fact finding on what we thought of ALL the service areas. I believe our concerns were given to the appropriate parties, as EVERY night after the first two nights of HORRIABLE dinner service the Restaurant manager appeared wherever it was our group was having dinner and service was impeccable. Why should it take going to measures of complaining to receive such service? Have the crew members gotten so complacent with the fact that they are guaranteed tips since you prepay your gratuities, that they feel it doesn’t matter what their attitude or service is like???? Other than the restaurant fiasco we really enjoyed our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was not my favorite cruise or favorite ship, but I still enjoyed it. The ship was very clean and the staff on any line is always amazing, they try to help with whatever need you have. Never ate in a premium restaurant,but the food ... Read More
This was not my favorite cruise or favorite ship, but I still enjoyed it. The ship was very clean and the staff on any line is always amazing, they try to help with whatever need you have. Never ate in a premium restaurant,but the food was presented very well, not always the best I have had, but plenty of it, can't leave hungry. The main theater had a group of singers who were good and the dancers with them were amazing, they never stopped moving, and stayed together perfectly. Not so crazy about the other main theater evening entertainers, but I rarely think a comedian is funny,, especially when they think they have to be a little off color to be humorous. The lounge acts were very good, if you can not find the type of music you want to listen to you are not trying! I love activities, a variety of music to choose from, and so I am happy on any big ship. 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 are avid cruisers. The ship was beautiful, clean, alive with activities and the staff was AMAZING! Staff was amazing helping me with my Keto diet!! Above and beyond helpful!!! I could easily order meals without carbs, but it was ... Read More
We are avid cruisers. The ship was beautiful, clean, alive with activities and the staff was AMAZING! Staff was amazing helping me with my Keto diet!! Above and beyond helpful!!! I could easily order meals without carbs, but it was sad to have no dessert. Sugar Free is different from Carb Free. So I spoke to the head chef, and he assigned an assistant maitre’d to help me. They ended up creating a special carb free dessert for me for every night! I felt so cared for!! It was amazing! That assistant maitre’d phoned me regularly in our cabin and left information for each meal. It was unbelievable!! The only downside to this sailing was that it was far too crowded. Perhaps it is the nature of the cold-weather cruise for the inside gathering areas to be crowded. People were fighting for seats in the Atrium. Groups would stake out seats in the Atrium first thing in the morning, and then take turns saving those seats throughout the day. Staff always brought in folding chairs, but we were on a cruise for comfort and relaxation. Folding chairs did not meet our needs. That’s why they put the wonderful, cozy furniture in the Atrium. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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