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99 Norwegian (NCL) Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

First the good. The breakfast buffet was the best I've ever encountered on any cruise line. All food was hot, not just lukewarm. Eggs Benedict was made to order, not left on the buffet line with congealed hollandaise sauce over ... Read More
First the good. The breakfast buffet was the best I've ever encountered on any cruise line. All food was hot, not just lukewarm. Eggs Benedict was made to order, not left on the buffet line with congealed hollandaise sauce over cold eggs. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and quick. Other than a long delay in Quebec when the gangplank malfunctioned, port disembarkations were relatively fast. Music in the bars was pretty good. Now the bad. I've never paid much attention to the ship itself and don't usually notice small things that aren't up to standard. But, it seemed like everywhere I turned, there was something not quite right. There was scalding (and I do mean scalding) hot water that came out of all faucets in one public restroom and was never fixed (when I actually pointed it out to a crew member who I ran into in that restroom, he said it had been that way for awhile. When I asked why he hadn't reported it, he said it wasn't his responsibility). There were faucets and dryers in several restrooms that never worked. Several automatic doors had to be forced open rather than opening when you walked up. There was a 30-40 minute wait virtually every night for dinner in the MDR. Specialty restaurants were completely booked for the entire cruise after the first day, so the only way to eat at one was to try walking up and hoping for no-shows. The food in the MDR was pretty bad as well. I only expect mediocrity anyway, but this failed to even meet that. If you like Indian food, you may like the buffet, but I'm not a fan and found very little else that interested me. Lunch menus in the MDR never changed, so after a couple of visits, we stuck it out with the buffet for lunch. I think I had a hamburger there most days. The strangest thing about the buffet was that one morning it would be self-serve, but lunch would be served by the staff as if there was a norovirus outbreak. The next day, it might be reversed with breakfast served by staff, but lunch self-serve. You never knew what to expect, and it was never explained why they would change. Our biggest complaint was the lack of interesting activities on board. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of activities, but day after day we struggled to find even one thing that we thought sounded worthwhile. There were a ton of the same old, tired game shows and a ton of things that NCL charged a fee for, but it seemed that there was little else. I'm guessing that many other passengers felt the same way because I would walk by venues with scheduled activities and see one or two passengers in the seats. We ended up reading a lot of books during this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Chose this cruise to visit Quebec and see the fall foliage. They had to cut the time down in each port because we could not sail faster than 10 knots in the St Lawrence due to Whale migration. This was our 6th cruise with NCL and our last. ... Read More
Chose this cruise to visit Quebec and see the fall foliage. They had to cut the time down in each port because we could not sail faster than 10 knots in the St Lawrence due to Whale migration. This was our 6th cruise with NCL and our last. 27 cruises total on all different lines. So I have some experience, and this was one the cheapest quality cruises we have ever been on. I have never complained about a cruise ever. I don't mind paying for something but I do expect some value for what I pay for. NCL is now the the #1 nickel and dime cruise line. They put there hand in your pocket from the time you step on the ship till you get off. For instance if you go to the Dining room and not a "Specialty Restaurant" the only fish you will see is the fake fish Tilapea. There is no shrimp no lobster no nothing from the Ocean. There are pot pies and goulash though on the menu and rotisserie chicken. I thought that was novel. You always had to wait a 1/2 hour to get a table in the dining room, and if you tried to go to a Specialty Restaurant you could't as they were all booked, everyday. A Newcastle beer was 10 dollars, why???. A pina colada is now in the neighborhood of 12 dollars, and it's a mix. If you cruised in the 70s and 80s you would know everything was fresh made. There are no midnight buffets and O'Sheehans on the Jade has a very small menu. The entertainment on the other hand was very very good and varied. The crew was especially nice, always helpful, always a hello. Weather was great. NCL hasn't started charging for nice weather yet. All in all you make your own good time, but it will be on another cruise line for sure. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The food was the worst on any crusie we have ever taken, i.e. Eggs Benedict in Main dining room were hard bolied with no canadian bacon on bread and very little hollandase, plus ti took an hour to be served. Pancakes in the Garden cafe ... Read More
The food was the worst on any crusie we have ever taken, i.e. Eggs Benedict in Main dining room were hard bolied with no canadian bacon on bread and very little hollandase, plus ti took an hour to be served. Pancakes in the Garden cafe were stone cold, and the scrambled eggs looked like soup. The French Onion soup was slightly colored water with cheese you could not cut or bite, just awful. Now the pan fried flounder and steaks were consistantly good and great ceaser salad. We ate in 4 specialty restaurants, all good, the best being Le Bistro. We chose this cruise because of the ports, and excursions in Quebec City country side and Prince Edward Island were great. Halifax and Sydney NS were a dissapointment ! Halifax stores on the boardwalk were closed up for the season already, and in Sydney not much to see in the City. We were shorted time in Quebec and Prince Edward because the ship had to slow up due to whales in the shipping lanes. Now whales migrate about the same time every year and NCL doesn't know this ??? Come on. After over 60 cruises, this will be rated as one of the worst, and I was the one pushing for NCL over HAL and RCL. The entertainment and bands were really good and NCL always has the best parties, but hard to overcome bad food, shorted time, and not good ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Spoiler alert: This is quite long! But if you’re contemplating taking a cruise on the Norwegian Dawn, the few minutes that it takes to read this will help you make an informed choice as to whether or not this vacation is for you. In ... Read More
Spoiler alert: This is quite long! But if you’re contemplating taking a cruise on the Norwegian Dawn, the few minutes that it takes to read this will help you make an informed choice as to whether or not this vacation is for you. In today’s world of technological marvels, there are many amazing cruise ships providing warm and memorable experiences for travelers across the world. The Norwegian Dawn is NOT one of them! This was our second cruise; the first being on a Royal Caribbean ship about 12 years ago. The two experiences could hardly have been any different. Though the Norwegian Dawn was fully refurbished in 2016, this 2001 ship is really starting to show its age and lacks many of the cool features found on the more modern cruisers. Additionally, some of the most basic comforts and amenities are missing that would have made this trip so much more enjoyable. We were off to a rocky start right at embarkation. We were told to arrive by 10:00 AM, and were there ten minutes ahead of schedule. It was an absolute free-for-all! No one at the dock had any useful information, cabs were backed up all over the place, the handlers were slinging bags onto carts with total disregard, and we ended up having to drag our own luggage several hundred yards to check it in. We were told to go way and return at noon, only to now find ourselves at the back of the queue and waiting for well over an hour in a tent to be boarded! We couldn’t get to our rooms for another hour or two, and what was left of our luggage didn’t arrive until around 4:00 PM. They absolutely destroyed my wife’s new suitcase: one handle missing, and the other broken on one end. On the second night out, I found out why some folks had nick-named the ship “Galloping Gertie” (after the highly-unstable Tacoma Narrows bridge that ultimately shook itself apart!) The Dawn seemed to handle seas up to six feet fairly well, but when we hit those six-to-nine foot waves (not that uncommon in the Atlantic during a storm), you had to hold the handrail with one hand and brace against the hallway with the other just to stay upright. Finally, at about 4:00 AM, I’d had all I could stand, and went down to the restaurant to have a cup of coffee and try to ride it out. I was surprised to find several other folks already there, doing the same thing. Well, at least I made a few new friends due to my lack of sleep. But the whole time I was looking out the window, the words to "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" kept running through my mind! Another issue that we ran into continuously was the language barrier. They claim to have dozens of different nationalities represented on the ship. However, reportedly 60% of the staff is from the Philippines and for most, their English skills are highly lacking. Whether it was ordering a drink, selecting a meal, or a simple request for directions, it was typically a toss-up as to whether or not they’d get it right. This seemed to be the chief complaint from everyone I talked to. Oh, as an aside, I was told that they had a grand total of 10 Americans on the ship. I guess that it’s hard to get folks to work 10 hours a day, seven days a week for nine months at a stretch! The only person on the ship who provided excellent service was our room steward. When he noticed that I was struggling with sinus issues, he brought me two boxes of somewhat softer tissues. Well, softer than the sandpaper they had in the room as standard issue. He was highly attentive and took great care of us and the room. As it turned out, he was the notable exception on the ship. Pretty much the rest of the crew were short, terse and of no help at all. They were always saying “if anything’s not right, let us know and we’ll make it right.” But when you did, you’d better be ready for a healthy dose of snarky attitude and a full-on fight. One of the best examples of this was when we were waiting in the main theater to get called upon for the shore excursion. When someone questioned something regarding the process they were using—a simple and justified question asked in a respectable manner—the guy in charge responded “because that’s just the way it is.” In other words, we know what’s best for you, so go along with the program and don’t ask questions! This was indicative of the “customer service” we experienced from the first contact to the last with everyone we met from the cruise line. The thing that worried me most about being on this ship was their cavalier attitude toward safety. Their idea of a “safety drill” was to have everyone muster in a common area and await further instructions. In our case, it was the ~2,000 seat theater. Can you imagine if they had a fire or other serious incident on-board, and 2,000 folks were all crammed in a crowded theater with limited access via steep stairways with no handrails? Add to this nightmare scenario a crew with limited English skills and sorely lacking leadership, and you have the recipe for disaster. At no time were we instructed on how to egress to the life boats or how to respond in an emergency other than to go into the hallways and throw ourselves at the mercy of the crew. My advice is to anyone travelling by sea is to scout out the two quickest, safest routes to the lifeboats, and walk it with your entire family until you are 100% confident you can do it in an emergency by memory. And by all means, bring a couple of reliable pocket-sized flashlights and keep one with you at all times! Speaking of safety, another big frustration was the lack of lids for the coffee cups so you could easily take a cup back to your room or out on the deck. I just couldn’t figure out why’d they’d risk their passengers burning their hands with scalding hot coffee for the lack of a two-cent lid. Then it occurred to me that what they would prefer you do is have room service deliver the coffee to your room at an outrageous charge. Of course, you could always go to their coffee bar and order some $5 concoction and they’d be happy to give you a lid. When I challenged the director in charge of food and beverage about this policy, he became highly flustered with me, cut the conversation off, and ignored me completely. To make matters worse, the other thing that irritated me incessantly was that they always served your glass by grabbing it by the rim. Given that you’re always just one step from a virus outbreak on a ship like this, I couldn’t believe that no one ever called them out on this highly unsanitary practice! Getting around the vessel also proved to be a real challenge. We were constantly running into locked doors and dead ends. It wasn’t until day two that I figured out that the only sure-fire way to get from one end of the ship to the other was on the seventh floor. Of course, to work your way through this main concourse, you had to dodge the relentless photographers trying to take your photo, crew members hawking everything from T-shirts to spa treatments, the casino, the jewelry store (one bracelet for $14.99, or two for just $30.00), and every other scheme they had contrived to effectively separate you from your money! This also meant that every time there was a big show, event, or return from shore, there would be a mad dash for the elevators, and the subsequent long wait to get one that wasn’t already at capacity. I’d always heard how incredible the food was on these cruises, and indeed that was the case on our last one. Not so on the Dawn! We had one or two pretty good meals at the specialty restaurants (which is not included in the basic package), but even those were nothing spectacular. My requested medium steak came about two shades beyond well done, and by the time they brought out a replacement, my wife had completely finished her meal. At the Chinese restaurant, it took us 45 minutes to even get a glass of tea, and nearly 90 minutes to get our food. The buffet was pretty much the same grub day in and day out. It wasn’t terrible, but it was a long way from what I’d enjoyed on our previous cruise with Holland America. Instead of gaining several pounds as I had anticipated, I ended up losing five. It’s a very expensive weight-loss plan that I heartily don’t recommend! Unfortunately, the quality of the entertainment wasn’t much either. There was only one show that was up to the quality you’d expect from a major cruise line. Most of the others were variants the used the same cast (or members of the crew) over and over. They even somehow managed to merge the acrobatic show, the magic show, and one other act into some sort of disjointed, incoherent menagerie toward the end of the cruise. Nearly all of the singing acts were what you’d expect to find at an average piano bar. For those who may have the illusion of actually getting anything done via the Internet while out to sea, you can forget that unless you want to get up at 3:00 AM—and even then there was pretty limited throughput. I asked the “engineer” about the lack of stability and bandwidth as he was rebooting the system for the umpteenth time, and he said that dropped signals were just a way of life on the ship—despite the $200+ charge for unlimited Internet for the duration of the cruise. When I asked about throughput, he said to expect 30 megabits. And oh, that’s not to your room; that’s for the entire ship to share! For those who aren’t familiar with download speeds, that’s about one-half to one-fourth of the throughput to the average US home. The thing that just ate at me relentlessly was how deceitful they were about all of the charges and services. For example, they offered to do a full bag of laundry for $19.95. However, when I got the bag, it was thin as toilet tissue! You could barely get two or three garments in it without it tearing wide open. This, of course, was their way of limiting how much laundry you could include in each bag. And again, something so cheap and simple that could have been a positive customer experience turned into yet another exasperating incident. We had also been told that if we chose the ultimately beverage package (three of these premium packages were included in our deal), then we could have unlimited drinks of any kind every day of the cruise. I’m not much of a drinker, but given what they charged for sodas, and bottled water ($36 for 12 bottles of water!), we chose this as one of our options. However, when we got on the ship, we were informed that sodas and bottled water were NOT included in the deal. And of course, you’re strictly prohibited from bringing any drink—including a single bottle of Coke or water—on-board at any time. An oh, they don’t have Coke, just Pepsi. Gak! So it went for the whole trip: One frustration after another, one deception after another, and one disappointment after another. I’m not sure what next year’s vacation may include, but you can be sure that thanks to this experience, this will be my absolute last cruise! I’ll close with a quote from a friend: “A cruise is like being in prison, but with a much greater chance of drowning.” Several times during this trip, drowning was starting to seem like a much better option! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Chose this cruise with two other couples. The purpose was to relax for 10 days. Issues started getting into line. 1. Why have designated times to get on the ship when it takes more than an hour to get on the ship after the designated ... Read More
Chose this cruise with two other couples. The purpose was to relax for 10 days. Issues started getting into line. 1. Why have designated times to get on the ship when it takes more than an hour to get on the ship after the designated time? 2. Customer service prior to the trip gave different answers for the same questions. 3. Tours were booked before the cruise, so we didn't get the tours we wanted. Ended up with two private tours, less price and better quality. 4. Front desk/Travel Desk have stock answers - Don't have authority... 5. Have mini Suite - AC didn't work for two days, Heat didn't work for 24 hrs. Called to front desk and didn't get response for 24hrs. Flood in bathroom from leaking shower. Didn't get repaired tor 48 hrs. 6. Restaurants - have 4 restaurant package. All restaurants were booked the first night with open seating. Doesn't work. Meals in restaurants have slow service and waiters didn't come to table for long periods of time. Never came back to ask how food is. Best plan is to have specialty plan like Gluten Free, No Salt, etc. 7. Internet - Don't plan on communicating. Use Wifi in ports. Internet contractor answer is always, this is what we offer, take it or leave it... Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Waiting in line – let me count the ways 1. 2+ Hour embarkation Process – great way to start the cruise 2. We never tendered on this cruise so getting off and on the ship should have been streamlined – but it wasn’t. I ... Read More
Waiting in line – let me count the ways 1. 2+ Hour embarkation Process – great way to start the cruise 2. We never tendered on this cruise so getting off and on the ship should have been streamlined – but it wasn’t. I should emphasize this cruise had a large population of seniors meaning many wheel chairs and walkers – that translates to slow movement. Typically there was only a single gangway for 2400+ guests and 1000+ crew; often with only one security officer to check in and out with. Typically it took 45 minutes to get off and sometimes almost 30 minutes to get on the ship. As we were waiting to depart there were constant announcements asking us to delay departure to let the line go down. Does it cost that much more to have more than one gangway at each port? 3. Freestyle Dining: means you don’t have preassigned time and table for dinner. That requires waiting in line every evening to be seated at a different table with a different waiter each night. 4. Disembarkation took over an hour even though we walked off with our luggage – but I am going to blame New York City Customs for that. 5. Elevators – As I mentioned there were many seniors on this cruise so the elevators were in constant demand. The main four elevators in mid-ship had one with a sign on it saying, “Temporarily out of order” – Translation: it won’t be working for the entire cruise. Often waiting five minutes or longer for an elevator. 6. An elderly guest who was travelling alone discovered she had locked herself out of her room upon returning from the hot tub. We immediately called housekeeping for her as she was stuck in the hallway wearing only a wet swimsuit and towel. We were told “room stewards have no way to let clients in their room when not cleaning” (Really?). We then called guest relations who didn’t answer their phone. We then went up to guest relations and waited in line on behalf of this passenger, until a staff person finally came down with us to let her in. All told it took 40 minutes get this sweet lady back into her room. Dining: 1. The food was good, and there was a lot of variety. On a scale of 1-10 we would give the food a solid 7. 2. The service in the main dining rooms was deplorable and that was due to staffing. On previous cruises with other cruise lines we were assigned a waiter, assistant waiter, a sommelier, and a bar steward. On the NCL Jade we had a single waiter that had to perform all of those tasks. To cut down on waiting time we established a standing reservation at 5:45pm (as suggested by members of Cruise Critics) for our party of nine in the Alizar dining room. The three dinners we ate there took over three hours to complete due to the limited staff and resulting poor service. This meant we either had to leave in the middle of dinner to make it to the show our group was planning, or find another alternative for dinner which is what we did for the other seven nights. It also meant the food was often cold, and we had to send dishes back on multiple occasions to be warmed up. I want to emphasize that this is not a “waiter” problem, but a staffing problem. I think NCL was trying to cut corners to save money. We ended up eating at the buffet much more often than we would have liked. 3. O’Sheehan’s Sports bar is the only 24/7 dining option on the ship. The menu is limited, but the food and service were good meaning we could get in and out of a meal in an hour. I should emphasize that a more accurate name would be “sport” bar. Even though there were many televisions, we were told there was only one sports station (and it wasn’t ESPN) so every screen had the same channel and it was usually soccer or hockey. 4. We secured the Unlimited Beverage package, and enjoyed the drink selection from many of the bars. It was a little frustrating that not all of the drinks were available at all of the bars. My wife enjoyed the Lavender Patch served in Mixers bar, but when she tried to order the same drink in the Spinnaker bar they said it wasn’t available, and only carried in Mixers. You should also be aware that the beverage package doesn’t include specialty coffees (about $5) or the Fresh fruit/vegetable juice bar in the buffet at Breakfast (also about $4-5). 5. You should also be aware that any drink ordered while the ship is in New York Harbor is subject to New York Sales tax that will be added to your bill. This isn’t NCL’s fault, but they should do a better job letting people know about it. Rooms: 1. The rooms are small, and the bed was positioned near the wall desk. This allowed 3-4 four inches between the bed and desk, and my wife hit her knee on multiple occasions (causing a visible bruise) while getting up to use the bathroom during the night. We talked with other people in our group and their solution was to dive onto the bed to avoid walking around it. We asked them if there was something they could do, and they moved the bed over increasing the space to 6 inches. 2. The beds were hard, so if you like a firm mattress you will love these. We had previous cruises on other ships with hard mattresses and when asked they provided us with an egg crate which helped tremendously. When we checked with our room steward they brought out a pad approximately ¾ inch deep that helped a little. 3. Our room steward was new (first cruise ever), and he did a GREAT job on the towel animals. The unfortunate thing was whoever was overseeing him neglected to insure he provided us with his name, and how to get in contact during the first few days of our cruise when we would have the most questions. The placard with that information was eventually placed in our room on day three of the cruise. Entertainment: We enjoyed really enjoyed all of the shows we went to. I think NCL did a great job securing the entertainment for our cruise. Shows were at 7:30pm and 9:30pm, and you should plan on arriving early as desired seating fills up fast. Communication: Poor. I’m not a big fan of sail away parties, but leaving from New York Harbor would be the exception. Passing by the new Freedom Tower, and Statue of Liberty is an amazing experience. Our cruise was scheduled to depart at 4pm. The deck was packed as many were looking forward to our departure, but 4pm came and went without any announcement from the Bridge. 4:30pm – still at the dock. 5pm, still in port, and many people were now leaving the deck to get ready for dinner. The shipped finally left at 5:30pm for a glorious cruise past those amazing icons, but unfortunately most of the people had left. Very anticlimactic. Around 6pm there was an announcement stating the departure was delayed due to having additional supplies being brought on board, and waiting for the departure of a Disney ship that left at 5:10pm before us. There was another time on this cruise when the boat was dead in the water. A number of people looked out the window and said, “the ships not moving”. There was never an announcement as to why, and we only found out by asking bar staff that “thought” there may have been an ill passenger that was airlifted off of the ship; even though we never heard a helicopter. Miscellaneous 1. Twice during our 10 day cruise NCL offered a Laundry option where you fill a good sized bag with as many clothes as you can fit in, and they would wash/dry/fold them for $20. GREAT OPTION 2. Hot Tub temperatures were “tepid” at best. We asked one of the staff if they would turn it up, which they said they did. After 20 minutes we noticed no difference. I understand their concern for safety, but this temperature didn’t provide a pleasant experience at all. 3. We have been on three previous NCL cruises, and have our Latitudes numbers from those cruises. But those cruises were more than 13 years ago, so they had us listed as new cruisers (none of the perks for having cruised with them in the past). Almost three weeks before our departure we had our travel agent get in touch with the Latitudes department, and they couldn’t find documentation of our previous cruises even though we had our Latitudes numbers. We then sent approximate dates and photos from each of our previous cruises proving we were on those sailings. The Latitudes department couldn’t straighten this issue out before we left, and now after one month we still have heard nothing. Very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Boarding process was ridiculously long and disorganized. Overheard supervisor telling staff that they were making too many mistakes. Our onboard credit account was not set up and we had to wait in yet another long line the day after ... Read More
Boarding process was ridiculously long and disorganized. Overheard supervisor telling staff that they were making too many mistakes. Our onboard credit account was not set up and we had to wait in yet another long line the day after boarding to get it implemented. Random aid for handicapped. incredibly long steep ramp for boarding in NYC and not enough wheelchair assistance. We were supposed to stay in Quebec overnight but were informed by email two weeks before sailing that due to maritime law regarding right whales we would only be in Quebec one day. Contacted NCL re cancelling and were told cruise contract states that cruise line has right to change itinerary. Yet they were still advertising overnight on 10/23/17 cruise. called NCL reservations and at first was told 10/23/17 sailing would definitely be an overnight and when I asked how that could be possible in light of maritime law, the agent checked further and admitted 10/23/17 also would not be an overnight but NCL was still advertising it as such. As far as not being special there was no determinable dress code that was enforced; no candy on the pillow; no lobster night; long wait for seating even tho empty seats; long drawn out waits in between courses; not one meal was memorable. Drink prices are exorbitant; "Free" drinks aren't really free as a steep service charge is added to your bill. We were on deck 8 and there was a distinct sewage like odor in the hallways. Toilet in bathroom is in such a tight space its not possible to sit foursquare unless you are under 5 feet tall! Pillows smelled like old laundry. We have sailed on NCL numerous times since 1996 but had not sailed recently. We are 8 points away from platinum status but will never achieve it as we would not sail on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Let me start by saying, our weather was wonderful the seas were like glass. The food was good. Our room was lovely and very clean. And because of that I have given this a 2 rating. However please continue to read so that this does not ... Read More
Let me start by saying, our weather was wonderful the seas were like glass. The food was good. Our room was lovely and very clean. And because of that I have given this a 2 rating. However please continue to read so that this does not happen to anyone else again. We had booked the aft penthouse suite 8132. We paid full price and did not get any discount for upgrades. This is our 6th time booking a suite with NCL., and have always had been treated with VIP service,until this cruise. Even as I am writing this, I don’t know why this had to happen. NCL lost our “cruise identity”, and this snowballed into a blizzard of problems. When we arrived to the port of NY, we were directed by 5 different agents to the Gold Members check in line,( this is our 6th suite with NCL and always had priority check-in).We have ALWAYS been greeted by a priority/concierge member. What is going on we thought? So after 2 hours in line, we allowed to check in. Indeed we showed all of our paperwork, gave a credit card and took our picture. Then the attendant looked puzzled, and after a few minutes of computer work looked up at us and said “Oh here is the problem. You are NOT in 8132, you are in 9132! Don’t worry I fixed it! We KNEW this was not right and our first knee jerk response was where is our luggage going? Is this a suite? We paid for a suite! Where is our concierge? He told us to go to Priority check in, Really?? Now you can send us there. Our Concierge Cholette met us and said do not worry you are in suite 8132 I have your key card here. I will fix everything, (and we believed she would.) They then escorted us onto the ship. We went to board the ship and have our key card swiped. The security agent looked up and asked us to step out as we were not checked in. What? We just waited over 2 hours? He said you never took a picture. (OF COURSE we took a picture) Stood on the deck for over 45 minutes while the Concierge staff made phone calls, finally we were escorted to Cagneys, and in front of everyone we were asked for our passport and keycard! Mortifying! What is going on! The next morning we met with our Concierge, told her this is unacceptable, we had lost several hours of our first day, she said she would see what she could do. Later that day she called and told us there was nothing that could be done. It was not their fault! Really? But wait, this was only the beginning. We returned to our room and there was a letter stating that because we had not swiped a credit card we would not be allowed to make any purchases until we reported to guest services. What? We went and asked them to check 9132 for our card, after at least half hour The guest services representative returned and said; yes we found it linked to 9132. She was very apologetic and said she fixed it. And, we believed everything was fixed. Our concierge called our room later that day and said she was very sorry, but there was nothing they could do for us. The port staff is not part of NCL. Really? ( our first lesson learned, port staff is not employed by the cruise line) Later at the Captains cocktail hour we sat with Humberto – manager of guest services, he listened to our tale and apologized. I said this is NCL, I know you will be able to make this right. Why have I wasted my first 2 days arguing for a mistake I did not cause and could not get fixed?? He got back to us the next day and said all he could do was give us $50 OBC. I stated, “You do realize we will never cruise with NCL again?” He said “I am sorry to hear that” But wait there’s more! The next day we have our first port, Sydney ,and hand our key card to security. We were informed that we must report to guest services because the only photo attached is from our pass port. Humiliated, embarrassed and degraded and now drained of energy from fighting every day. I started to cry. he said “ Go enjoy your day, I will make sure you get back on board the ship and go to guest relations when you return”. We of course went to guest services and she AGAIN apologized. We said “is this fixed now?” She replied,” Yes I believe it is.” We heard from Humberto again, he has now given us $125 per person OBC. He asked if we wanted to make a formal complaint with a case #. I said no. We had given up a lot of time already and frankly wanted to go on with our vacation. But wait there’s more. This affected our internet package. When we went to log on. A notice said we said we didn’t have one. It is one of the perks of having a suite, we knew we had one. The internet café tech was great, yes, it was linked to the other room, and after 4 HOURS was able to fix it. Said he had never seen this problem before. Our specialty restaurant reservations were now listed as a table for 4 (my guess is that we were now linked to the other room) No one was able to get that corrected. Very upsetting that every time we went to a specialty restaurant the had to find us a table for 2, not 4.We are now the couple from 8132 who complains about everything. Staff is starting to avoid making eye contact at this point. Our photos? Oh yeah, they were nowhere to be found. My guess is that they were linked to the other room. Every day we had to go to guest services to check on our credit statement. This problem followed us around for the entire cruise. So the lessons we have learned are invaluable: When things don’t seem right at embarkation ask for a manager immediately. Most of your cruise is linked to everything they swipe and enter into the computer. One mistake can ruin everything. This should never have happened, but it did. I have made a formal complaint since I have been home. I truly have lost my confidence in NCL to be able to make this right. Time will tell. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Itinerary was what attracted us to this cruise. We have been on many cruises with this line. This one was certainly not the best one. Embarkation was brutal. All the platinum members were allowed to cut in front of our line even though ... Read More
Itinerary was what attracted us to this cruise. We have been on many cruises with this line. This one was certainly not the best one. Embarkation was brutal. All the platinum members were allowed to cut in front of our line even though there were 2 regular boarding registering lines. Our line slowed to a crawl. Very poorly organized. Our tender port was another disaster. We were not able to get on a tender until after 11:10 a.m. It cut our time in port by half. The toilets in our cabin were inoperable several times during the cruise. I reported this to staff but no one gave any information about the problem. There had to be a pink eye outbreak occurring on the ship as I got the first symptoms of it the last day of the cruise. No one spoke about it or announced anything concerning pink eye as I am sure the cruise line realizes this would hurt business. I did notice a diminishing crew presence on the last 2 days of the cruise. Only one boarding line was open at the last ports even though there were 2 x ray machines available. The officers in charge seemed to "mail it in" as they should have been present at the bottlenecks in order to remedy the situation. Our cabin steward was the one bright spot as he rendered great service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We had sailed on the Norwegian Jewel three years ago and were very happy with the cruise. So, we chose Norwegian again. The quality of the cruise line seems to have gone way down. We heard many complaints from passengers throughout the ... Read More
We had sailed on the Norwegian Jewel three years ago and were very happy with the cruise. So, we chose Norwegian again. The quality of the cruise line seems to have gone way down. We heard many complaints from passengers throughout the trip and rightfully so. Deceptive advertising of free drinks but charged us almost $400 service charge for our two week cruise. 250 minutes of free internet but twice last over 100 minutes - no fault of our own which we had to prove to them - reluctantly gave us part of the minutes back. Constantly trying go get more money out of us with raffles, bingo, casino, specialty dining, and so on. Food was of a much poorer quality except in the specialty restaurants. Very long waits to board and disembark. Poor organization on board, would tell us one thing and change it without notifying us. After the trip, I called Norwegian to share my frustration and was given a web page to write it up which said they would get back to me within 14 days. Now after 22 days I haven't heard a thing. Very disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Two and a half hours in line for boarding security!! They only had one scanner for 2,500 guests. I don't know why this is even required, the checked luggage could contain anything, and since we spent the first day in port, we were ... Read More
Two and a half hours in line for boarding security!! They only had one scanner for 2,500 guests. I don't know why this is even required, the checked luggage could contain anything, and since we spent the first day in port, we were free to leave the ship and return later as soon as we had checked in. None of the other ports required a security scan. The port authority security folks didn't impress me as professional after this either, with walkways poorly marked and rude officiers directing pedestrians. After this, we only saw the negatives of the ship and the trip: the cabin was late getting made up, the food was ordinary, everywhere we went we were harangued to buy something (photos, drinks, merchandise, spa treatments, dinner reservations etc.). The ship did have good entertainment, and the cabins were adequate, actually quite nice. On the bright side, the ship was stable, and we got into some fairly rough water, I'd still recommend motion sickness patches if you're at all sensitive to such things. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The norwegian gem offered really good entertainment. we bought the added beverage package which in itself was a great deal. bars were well equipped and generous with the pours of top shelf alcohols. The bar tenders were gracious and ... Read More
The norwegian gem offered really good entertainment. we bought the added beverage package which in itself was a great deal. bars were well equipped and generous with the pours of top shelf alcohols. The bar tenders were gracious and happy to serve doubles. it was surprising that even though we had an all inclusive added beverage package that we paid extra for bottled water, which was not included. Our bar refrigerator in the room had soda and alcohol in it but it was an additional charge even though we bought the all inclusive beverage package. none of this was disclosed with our initial reservation. At every turn of this cruise there were extra charges, including signing up and paying for water as soon as you board the ship, and paying for many raffles, photo packages and high priced bingo ($39 for three chances to win.) Let's start with the food was not good, especially the buffets. food did not seem fresh. if you order peaches and blueberries at the main dining room you will get canned peaches with 5 little fresh blueberries. on two different occasions at the main dining room and at the irish pub, i was served sandwiches where the bread was stale and hard as a rock. Salads were served with brown lettuce. and beware of the lobster bisque at a couple of the specialty restaurants. it is really brown gravy with no lobster meat in it. i did appreciate the omelet station at the breakfast buffet line where i could request my omelet cooked the way i like it and with fresh ingredients. the ship should offer more cooking stations so you can help the help cook. Perhaps the cooking staff needs more supervision. The chile served at lunch was canned and the nachos at the irish pub had cheese from a can poured on top of stale chips. i ordered several desserts which were not edible. we did have a great meal at the french bistro. It would be my advice to eat there exclusively. (except that it is only open for dinner.) the most disheartening thing of all was that we would go down for breakfast and be carrying our plates and drinks and there would be no seating. we would have to walk forever with our arms full trying to find a place to eat. the ship would send us off to a restaurant far away to eat. the ship was not even full, and so i am not sure why they don't have enough seating. Boarding the ship was very confusing. there was no one to give us instructions especially about the drill. We went to what we thought was our station and waited in line, Only to be told to "go over there." we went there and got the same instructions, "go over there." we were so confused.....finally we found our assigned location and tried to explain to the cruise person in charge of us and he didn't even care. oh, my and to think that this confusion was the basis of our safety. What if there was an emergency, "Who would really help us?" This brings us to another problem on this ship. so many long lines! customs was a nightmare.....even though they said they would space us out, they called everyone so quickly. The line went on forever and ever and ever...when i tried to ask a cruise employee what was going on, he pretended he didn't speak english. and to think he is in charge of my safety! The biggest disappointment was that we were at sea 7 days and had four days of ports. believe me when i say, you do look forward to going to port. one of our ports got cancelled because of the fog and the ferry boats couldn't pick us up. i know this happens, but i should have picked a cruise that offered more ports in the event one is cancelled. it was very upsetting, as we did not get told we were not going to shore until the last second, and we were up early and all dressed and ready to go. The ship did not offer one concession for their lack of ability to offer the port. well, they said, "go to bingo and there were be a $3,000 prize." so 400 people show up for bingo and they close the $3,000 prize at 47 for cover all. no one won! this was false advertising. plus they gave us only three games to win a prize. with 400 playing, and a minimum of $39 to play we figured the house made $16.000 and they paid out two $200 winners and one $400 winner. we all felt cheated, so i would advise not playing bingo on this cruise. It all started off bad, when we tried to find somewhere to seat outside for the first sail- away. the back of the boat was full, the pool area full, and so we went up on top at the front of the boat. It was beautiful up there....but no help. the chairs were all piled up and locked up, so we had to sit on little side tables....and there were not enough side tables for all the people up there to sit so we were sharing. The cruise director did a fine job and worked hard to keep us posted. but the first night our cabin didn't get the list of activities or the champagne that the other cabins got. when i asked our cabin girl, she said it was because i didn't change the sign by the door to say turn down cabin. sorry to say, i didn't know about that. but our friends didn't turn their sign and they got the list of activities and champagne. We did love the shows and the entertainers. we had a very talented, young couple, the duo quintessence that did acrobatics, balancing and dance and they were terrific....probably one of the best i have ever seen. they were the highlight of the entire cruise. So, all in all, we made a big mistake booking with the norwegian gem. thomas the person on the phone who signed me up was not informative at all. the cruise did not care about all the long lines. the food was the biggest disappointment of all. i felt like i needed to go back to the kitchen and instruct them on food preparation. we really did enjoy our excursions and the three ports were we able to visit. the food on shore was absolutely delicious. don't miss out on a new england crab roll! I am sorry to say, i saved for a year for this trip and this was my first cruise. i love to travel, but i am scared to ever cruise again. are all ships like this? Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose this cruise for the New England/Canada itinerary. Embarkation: Worst any of us ever experienced. Not only are you in a winding line for approximately 1 hour, but they are giving you papers to fill out with no pens and nothing to ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the New England/Canada itinerary. Embarkation: Worst any of us ever experienced. Not only are you in a winding line for approximately 1 hour, but they are giving you papers to fill out with no pens and nothing to write on. So as the line slowly moves forward you are searching for/borrowing a pen and writing on the palm of your hand. It would have been nice to be able to print out these forms from the computer, like you do with your Boarding Pass. Once you get your ship card, you are on the ship within a few minutes. Room was ready when we boarded (about 2:30), but we didn’t go down for a while and our luggage was there as well. Dining: We made a standing 5:30 dinner reservation prior to sailing. We ate every night but one in the Pacific dining room, which is lovely and was never completely full. We had a great location each night. However: When you get to the dining desk, there is one line for both people with reservations and people without. So, even though we made advance 5:30 reservations, we were in line with everyone else and were given no priority over those who had no reservation. Service at the table was exceedingly slow. So slow that we started going at 5:00, instead of 5:30 so we could make the 7:00 entertainment. We only ordered dessert once or twice, opting to go up to the buffet after the show for dessert. I have sailed Carnival, Celebrity and Princess. Norwegian has the worst food by far of any of these. After the first night we actually started ordering 2 entrees and 2 appetizers each so that when one of them was terrible, we had another option. Buffet food was standard but unfortunately was basically the same every morning, noon and night – with few exceptions. Desserts – we must have tried every single one and probably finished 1 out of 20. Just not good enough to finish or take more than a couple bites. Once we found delicious homemade cookies at one of the outdoor buffets, but could never find our way back to that place. We ate at the complimentary Orchid (Asian) restaurant one night for dinner. The appetizers were very good, but none of the entrees we ordered were satisfactory. Also ate at O’Sheehans, the complimentary Pub restaurant. Very limited menu with very ordinary food. No better than the buffet and again, very slow service. Although the menu looked good, it tasted so bad we never went back. Entertainment: The gymnastic duo was very good. The Swing show was ok, but don’t expect more than 2-3 “swing” numbers. Most of the numbers were be-bop, jazz, etc. The lead singer was excellent. The casino is very smoky, but I had better luck with slots on this cruise than on any other. I played for hours and wound up spending $21 for the entire cruise! We looked throughout the cruise for an Adults Only area, either inside or outside, where we could read or quietly chat and listen to light music in comfortable chairs. Never found any place. This was very disappointing. Just when you think you’ve found a spot – either Bingo starts, funky music starts or they kick you out for a private function. Crew: The crew was, with one exception, excellent and helpful. This one exception, which we find universal among all cruise ships, is the ladies who check you in at the main dining room. Condescending, abrupt and snotty without exception. Disembarkation: Worst any of us had experienced. Again, standing in line for about an hour, but now you are outside. So, being in New York in late September, it was quite windy and chilly. I don’t know how cruisers do this in the middle of winter! Once you leave the ship, there are police directing you to the taxi line and helping you find the right size taxi for you. Very helpful and surprising! The ship itself has a very pretty décor. In general, the four of us were very disappointed in the choice of activities throughout the day. A lot goes on in the main Atrium, where some people hang out, drinking and socializing all day long. So, when there is a Trivia game or other activity actually scheduled in this area, the people who are always there fill up most of the limited seats, leaving very few seats to the people actually coming for the activity. With all of the empty places throughout the ship, I don’t know why the activities can’t be scheduled for their own location and not have to complete for space in the Atrium. Also, isn’t it time to give us something to do during days at sea that is different? How about less napkin folding and some education about upcoming ports other than where to shop! All in all, the four of us have probably been on a total of 35-40 cruises and we found this the most disappointing cruise/cruise line of any we have sailed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose this cruise for the ports. Overall the ship was nice, tastefully decorated and clean. Premium drink package should be label alcohol package as one could not even get bottled water with the package. This necessitates the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports. Overall the ship was nice, tastefully decorated and clean. Premium drink package should be label alcohol package as one could not even get bottled water with the package. This necessitates the purchase of 2 drink packages. Not a way one wants to start the cruise. Norwegian up sales premium dinner package as an incentive, but then are unable to book reservations. I attempted to reserve online, but was unable to do so. Excursions needs to book online prior to the cruise or you will not be able to get your 1 st choice. Dining feels cafeteria style. They stand over your should with pad and pen, while you attempt to make your selection. Food quality is poor. Dinner was often left uneaten. Embarkation and disembarkation took over 60 minutes. Tender ships were over 45 minutes wait time. Room 8134 should come with a disclaimer as you will not be able to sleep until after 2 a.m. It is located over the Bliss lounge. Wine selection is very, very limited. Served 1 chardonnay on the "Premium Drink Package", the entire week Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my third cruise with Norwegian cruise line and I was very disappointed in the trip. The ship seemed to need maintenance. Their was rust and areas needing paint. I had requested a special diet and thought my meals would be ... Read More
This was my third cruise with Norwegian cruise line and I was very disappointed in the trip. The ship seemed to need maintenance. Their was rust and areas needing paint. I had requested a special diet and thought my meals would be specifically made to accommodate my needs. However, the staff would recommend already prepared food to me that was gluten free instead of making the entrees in a different form. Often this meant that I was not provided the sauces or some of the items on the entree. I had to request things like gluten free bread every evening. The staff in the main dining room seemed to have more tables than they could handle. Anytime dining create tables within an area at different points in their meal and this caused us to either recieve food early or delayed. Several times my appetizer and entree arrived together causing one to get cold while I ate the other. Many meails are food was very late and we had to request portions of our meal multiple times. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
toilet services out 3 days. room dusty. everything seemed dirty. I took a shower as soon as I got home. the disembarkation was TERRIBLE. did I say TERRIBLE? 3 hours ?! realllllly ?! nobody knew what they were doing !!! ... Read More
toilet services out 3 days. room dusty. everything seemed dirty. I took a shower as soon as I got home. the disembarkation was TERRIBLE. did I say TERRIBLE? 3 hours ?! realllllly ?! nobody knew what they were doing !!! lining people up but not letting them off !! kept reading a piece of paper but wouldn't let people off at 9:30 am !!!!! Asian food. too much. Asian food again. and again. no variety. same ole same ole. ate at specialty restaurant. portions very very small. no milk. juice running out. ice not consistent in stateroom. waited 3 days to received my sparkling wine. nice sale off NCL !!!!! REALLLLLY ?!?! ONE smoking area. I was told by staff. stormy and the stairs were closed to smoking area. REALLLLY ?!?! bartenders hiding the good liquor. not organized in embarkation. info desk lady told me that she couldn't relate to my dilemma cuz she was on the THIRD FLOOR. very tacky !! not sure that I want to sail with NCL again. maybe that's why yall kept calling and bugging me to book another cruise !!! I've been on some fine cruises. this wasn't one of them ! NOT UP TO PAR for NCL Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was a "casino at seas" reward cruise. embarkation took over 1 hour. When we got to the desk it went well. Dining service for early dining was slow and careless. We felt as if we were a bother by being there. The menus ... Read More
This was a "casino at seas" reward cruise. embarkation took over 1 hour. When we got to the desk it went well. Dining service for early dining was slow and careless. We felt as if we were a bother by being there. The menus was literally the same each night. Request for coffee slow. The cabin person was helpful in fixing our tv, the first two nights it did not work. Our cabin was always clean and kept up. The casino dealers were condescending and insulting. Now i know you are not going to beat them, but the sheer entertainment of gambling was not there. Did not feel as if you were ever going to win a hand. We just got the ol' "sorry" look. It was more like "you should have known better than to sit down." The big grins and smiles when the whole table lost, did not help with attitude. It just was not any fun. I do know how to lose and still enjoy the game. That was not the case. The dealers and cards were changed the moment it appeared the players had a a moment of an advantage. Shore excursions in Halifax, two of the five highlights were closed due to restoration, but no one advised us not to take the tour, nor were we advised when we got off the bus. Trying to get off the ship to disembark was a nightmare. It literally took hours of standing in line. Would I go again? Not on the Gem. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my family's first time on Norwegian, we have done Disney and Carnival in the past. The destination really set the tone for the trip, Im convinced that if this ship was going to the Carribean, it would have been more fun. The ... Read More
This was my family's first time on Norwegian, we have done Disney and Carnival in the past. The destination really set the tone for the trip, Im convinced that if this ship was going to the Carribean, it would have been more fun. The crowd was older which definitely effected the activities planned, which is while understandable, still disappointing for families and younger people. The teen club was god awful, the counselours were uptight and not fit to be working with teens. On the last day they actually scolded them for being such "Bad Guests", something you should never hear from any cruise staff. The teens often found themselves wandering the ship desperate for something to do and trying to sneak into the adult clubs, which is a tell tale sign of a weak kids program. They definitely nickle and dime you on Norwegian but this was pretty expected. The ports themselves were beautiful and an amazing time, the only thing I would recommend is booking some form of excursion in New Brunswick because the town isnt too exciting. Halifax was AMAZING and we found a segway tour which was DEFINITELY the way to do Halifax and i would recommend the NS Segway group, cheap, easy, and close to the port. If you are looking for a cruise with an older crowd, subpar food, and historic ports, this is definitely the cruise for you. I wouldnt dare label this a family cruise so I would recommend finding more of a tropical intienary for that. The food was really disappointing for a cruise, definitely book dining ahead of time even if it is the complimentary. The service was great and the staff was friendly, our cabin was just right but kind of had an odor. Disembark was easy and embarking was quick also. NCL definitely tried their best, but really should make a much larger effort for the onship expierence because that was brutal. The entertainment was enjoyable and probably the only good part of the onboard experience Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Having been on a number of cruise lines and ships - Silver Sea, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess - my wife and I and two other couples we travel with are a good judge of what does and does not make for a wonderful cruise ... Read More
Having been on a number of cruise lines and ships - Silver Sea, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess - my wife and I and two other couples we travel with are a good judge of what does and does not make for a wonderful cruise experience. Check in - embarkation and disembarkation - excellent, smooth and efficient. Our veranda cabin - small is an understatement. Barely 18” from the foot of the bed to the wall and maybe 9” on one side of the bed to the wall housing a night table the length of the phone. The opposite side of the bed butted against a small couch. The overall lighting was poor and there were no reading lights over the bed. If you close the sliding door to the toilet it becomes claustrophobic. The lighting in the shower was also poor. Our cabin steward did a great job. The missing little amenities on the Gem - bathrobe, slippers, chocolate at turndown and the condensed version of the New York Times - was in stark contrast to the other ships on which we cruised. Yes, we were greeted by a towel animal nightly. The veranda was poorly maintained. Standing water, dirt, stains and rust everywhere. Not an enjoyable place to sit and enjoy the ocean or read a book. The plexiglass had not been washed in a very long time. It was poor planning to schedule a crew fire drill with sulfur smelling smoke during the customs inspection of all of the ship's passengers. Food Service: As the NCL website touted - ‘locally sourced ingredients bring the freshest local ingredients from each port’. NOT TRUE. This was a Canadian and Maine itinerary. Lobster and haddock were not found any night or in any restaurant. Neither was blueberry pie, usually made from Maine blueberries. All of the windows throughout the ship were filthy. It was difficult to enjoy the views while dining. Grand Pacific - Food and menu selections for dinner and breakfast were exceptional. We did not have the same waiter for four nights and each morning and that contributed to the waiter/assistant waiter not knowing our little idiosyncrasies and slowed down the pace of the meal. Our two wine stewards were very helpful and informative. O’Sheehan’s, a hidden gem - An Irish Pub atmosphere which served delicious fish and chips, shepherd's pie and more. Since it was not listed with other dining options it was never crowded. Breakfast was very limited and did not offer fruit or yogurt. It was listed with room service under 24/7 options. Room service - no other ship that we have been on charges a $7.95 convenience fee for hot items. Beverage package - no bottled water included. Specialty Restaurants: As one of the ‘perks’ we chose three specialty restaurants. On other cruises the specialty restaurants use the most highly trained wait staff. Not so on the GEM. English proficiency was poor in the Steakhouse. We prepaid a service charge which was much higher than a standard 20% gratuity on any items we could have selected. La Cucina – Italian - Excellent menu choices and excellent service. Top Notch! Le Bistro – French - The experience started with waiting 20 minutes for bread. If you like heavily salted food then this is the place for you. For the six of us most of the dishes could not be eaten. No one really checked on our progress. During dessert someone did come by and wanted to replace our meals. Too little, too late. Cagney’s Steakhouse - we thought we saved the best for last. There was no wine steward and, as mentioned, the caliber of service and the level of English proficiency was lacking. The first course, Oysters Rockefeller for half the table, was sent back because they were spoiled. The meal took 2 hours and 40 minutes and the wait for our entrees was one hour and twenty minutes. No manager ever came by to check on us. Here, too, a heavy hand with salt. Poolside BBQ - nice job on the variety of food, especially Paella. Garden Cafe Buffet - as to be expected. Nice selection of food choices, very crowded and getting seats was challenging. They ran out of coffee cups at breakfast and substituted paper cups every morning. REALLY??? Entertainment - The theatre and shows were better than most ships. The production numbers were very well done and the lighting and special effects were exceptional. Beverage service in the theatre was just about nonexistent. Our Conclusion - The cons outweighed the pros. We would rate the ship and cruise 2 stars. With all of the competition in the cruise market and the vast differences between NCL and the others there would have to be an exceptional reason to get any of the three couples back anywhere on the NCL fleet. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Our travel agent suggested this cruise line/ship when I expressed interest in a "Fall Foliage Tour" to Canada from Manhattan. From the moment we arrived in the port, we were disappointed. Horrendously long wait-time and lines at ... Read More
Our travel agent suggested this cruise line/ship when I expressed interest in a "Fall Foliage Tour" to Canada from Manhattan. From the moment we arrived in the port, we were disappointed. Horrendously long wait-time and lines at check-in. Our first sensation upon arriving onboard was that the ship felt old. Our balcony cabin was the smallest we've ever encountered on any ship (this was our 7th cruise). The bathroom was so small that we had to come out into the cabin for enough room to towel dry after a shower. If a passenger is taller than 5'7", their knees will hit the wall when sitting on the toilet. There are no bath ceiling fans and they don't use disinfectant while cleaning so odors build up in the room. The cabin furnishings are very "seasoned" and the mini-sofa cover didn't feel clean. There were stains on the carpet. The highlight of our trip was Halifax but we arrived (unknowingly to passengers) on Canadian Thanksgiving and the town was asleep -nothing was open on the famed "boardwalk" which is a town highlight. An expensive bus trip to Peggy's Cove was interesting but a heavy storm didn't make for a perfect picture day (no fault of Norwegian). The comfort center there was standing room only but when they lost electricity, those who hadn't already 'discomforted' themselves were out of luck because the toilets stopped working. A 6-hour port excursion in Newport was shortened to 5 hours because of high winds and the need to reposition the ship. Once tender embarkation began, the lines were so impossibly long (1800 people being tendered on eight lifeboats) that we feared we might not get back on the returning tenders in time to board the ship so we never saw Newport, RI! The restaurant staff on the Gem, although plentiful, were poorly trained and their skill of English was very poor. Restaurant service was sporadically bad to OK. Entertainment was boring! The cruise staff sold raffle tickets at every entertaining venue (telling the crowd that no one had won the $2,000 prize in two months which translates to another revenue source for the Norwegian Gem). It felt as if we were attending a not-for-profit event. The ship extracts a 3% surcharge in the casino if using a ship card instead of hard/cold cash. Sea day programs such as art class is limited to 12 people but the daily newsletter doesn't mention that OR the $35.00 charge for the class. There were many other unhappy campers on board the Norwegian Gem for the same reasons I mention here. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
After waiting years to take a New England cruise I booked on for the month of October knowing the weather would be colder and the leaves changing colors, Unfortunately, we were not able to enjoy all the amenities of the ship, Withe every ... Read More
After waiting years to take a New England cruise I booked on for the month of October knowing the weather would be colder and the leaves changing colors, Unfortunately, we were not able to enjoy all the amenities of the ship, Withe every sail away the weather being cold , no one wanting to freeze outside , the Gem has a room in the Bow of the ship called the Spinnaker lounge, but it was booked the entire cruise from the hours of 5-8 pm. on every sail away no one could use the room. Also the Bliss lounge in the Aft of the ship was also closed due to another function, If I would have know we would not been able to enjoy the entire ship I would have booked a different week. I also do not think a ship should book one of the most important rooms for viewing for only 350 passengers. and forget about the other 2,500 of us wanting to enjoy the sail away. I must add the age of most passengers being over 60 on this date, none could handle the cold outside. SO from lesson learned, I will check to make sure when I book a cruise we will be able to enjoy the entire ship , not just the casino or bars.......Also the entertainment was almost nonexistent on the ship, very few trivia games and the games they did have were held in the ATRIUM WHERE there were no seating. This ship really needs to refocus on customers and their needs while on board. The ship did have a big screen TV... also located in the Atrium, only holding about 25 seats at most to watch the football games or any movie they may have shown.. We will not go on this ship again. on the plus side, the ship was clean, the staff on board were great, also the food was perfect. Dining room was small, but comfortable, wait staff amazing. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I have travelled this itinerary for the past 7 years. Our trip this year was somewhat disheartening. The balcony cabin and cabin steward were good, although the steward was fully aware of the free laundry services we were ... Read More
My wife and I have travelled this itinerary for the past 7 years. Our trip this year was somewhat disheartening. The balcony cabin and cabin steward were good, although the steward was fully aware of the free laundry services we were qualified for and tried to tell us about he promotional fee for this service, Breakfast buffets were always good but nothing to rave about and food presentation was fair. Lunch buffets were of ordinary appearance to say the least. We found Salmon slices and Prosciutto were no longer offered and the cold cuts offered were not very appealing. Specialty Restaurants were fair and the menu changed and item deletions took away an elegance in dining. Lounge entertainers were fair to say the least. The 9:30 - 11:30 pm 12th floor limited nightly food offerings presentation was the pits Casino etiquette at an all time low, E.G. Roulette dealers continually rushing guests to place bets and then not giving enough time to finish disallowing bets to be completed, No-Class what-so-ever NCL, you have certainly TAKEN AWAY THE GLAMOUR IN CRUISING! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I chose this cruise as part of a casino junket. Rooms and bathrooms are very small. Food at buffet was terrible every day. Tried to order their specialty dining program in advance and they did not honor their advertisement because they ... Read More
I chose this cruise as part of a casino junket. Rooms and bathrooms are very small. Food at buffet was terrible every day. Tried to order their specialty dining program in advance and they did not honor their advertisement because they said I forgot to click on a box, so they charged me a la carte. Based on how I was treated at the guest services desk, and the quality of the food, I will NEVER cruise with Norwegian again. The quality of the entertainment in the lounges was TERRIBLE. I can't believe anyone actually auditioned these people. I decided on this cruise because I could drive to New York. My other option was taking the Allure of The Seas out of Fort Lauderdale. I love that ship and am REALLY SORRY I did not use them for this trip. I have cruised with them many times and have yet to be disappointed. Best food I have ever had on a cruise was with Oceania. Best service, amenities and food. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Was not impressed overall. The staff always seemed unimpressed at their choice of employment and even were as candid as stating since Oceania took over things have been on the decline. The bartenders were probably the least friendly staff ... Read More
Was not impressed overall. The staff always seemed unimpressed at their choice of employment and even were as candid as stating since Oceania took over things have been on the decline. The bartenders were probably the least friendly staff members of all which was a bit of a shock. The food was usually tasty but you could tell they were trying to save money any high priced ingredients were used sparingly. A salmon ceviche only included 4-5 small cubes of salmon and 70% rice - not what I was expecting. The supplement options on the dinning room menu was also disappointing to see. The room was incredibly small. My biggest complaint was that ALL the public restrooms smelt like diapers (there were less than 20 children on board and even less in diapers) to equate for the smell. As well many faucets wouldn't work and at the end of the 14 days saw at least 4 stalls in separate restrooms out of order. Many things advertised on the daily planner never happened such as alcohol tastings and overall there was not much selection of activities to do. Ports were good, got a good snapshot of the maritimes. Good sight seeing itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Dining options were poor... If you want good food you have to pay extra even in complementary dining rooms. No offerings of surf and turf or lobster on a new england cruise? free offerings were very limited, portions small and meat was ... Read More
Dining options were poor... If you want good food you have to pay extra even in complementary dining rooms. No offerings of surf and turf or lobster on a new england cruise? free offerings were very limited, portions small and meat was tough. I tried the steak 2 nights and both times "medium" was served as well over-done... Comment to server was answered with a "sorry"... Staff are exhausted. They work 8 months without a day off and do not even get more than 6 hours straight rest time per day. Entertainment was not bad but the venues filled up fast and we often could not get a seat for some of the shows. Washroom in the cabin had a bad smell. There was no insulation in the cabin walls... I could hear every word the neighbors said! Long lines for guest services... Full of very upset people. Promenade deck was constanly closed in areas so I couldnt even walk around the ship easily. I wont sail Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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