1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
When I made the reservation for my friend and I and our husbands, I mentioned to NCL agent that we are celebrating my 44 year anniversary. Big year right? Who can say that these days! The agent told me they will send us a cake with a card ... Read More
When I made the reservation for my friend and I and our husbands, I mentioned to NCL agent that we are celebrating my 44 year anniversary. Big year right? Who can say that these days! The agent told me they will send us a cake with a card to celebrate our special occasion..We were left empty!! Our mattress was so uncomfortable that my husband and I received back pain. One week later, we are still experiencing pain..... We tried the food at different restaurants and everything we were served was very cold. Also, the menu was same every night. Overall quality of the food within the Buffet was unacceptable. The ship had over 2000 passengers and all of us could not be accommodated in the dining halls. There were not enough tables to sit and this left us all wandering around to find a table to sit. It was a very uncomfortable experience for all of us. All PA announcements were not clear and we could not understand the anything said. This is worrying in times of emergency. WIFI was part of my package at the time of reservation and I was not able to use it. I personally went to the front desk asking for help but no one knew how to do it. Let’s just say I’m a veteran. I’ve been on 20 cruises in my life and overall this was the worst experience I’ve had to date. Both my husband and I along with our friends were disappointed in taking Norwegian. I chose this cruise to celebrate an important anniversary and it did not meet any of our expectations. I will not recommend this to anyone especially those who want to celebrate an important occasion. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Leaving from NYC was great. We had a great evening the night before our cruise and were really excited to try a new cruise line for our honeymoon. Embarkation was very quick and easy, no troubles there. When we got to our room, we were ... Read More
Leaving from NYC was great. We had a great evening the night before our cruise and were really excited to try a new cruise line for our honeymoon. Embarkation was very quick and easy, no troubles there. When we got to our room, we were pleased with the size, and aesthetics considering we paid for an inside cabin room. Then we set sail... They charge you extra for EVERYTHING. We are used to other cruise lines where you pay a heftier price, but it's worth it. Here are some of the charges we usually get for free on other cruise lines: $10 inside cabin movie rentals $250 Saunas for the week $30 Shows/Entertainment $$ Restaurants for good food Entertainment was awful. There were no theaters to watch movies, or have popcorn. They closed the hot tubs some evenings merely because no one was near by and used the "inclement weather" excuse despite the clear skies and calm seas. The shows were TERRIBLE. "Brat Pack" was supposed to be a throwback to the 80s, but all it was was 10 or so characters screaming at each other and using profane language. The story line made no sense. The dinner shows were awful (which you're charged to eat off one menu preselected for you which you cant make alterations). The venue is small and you better get there early or you'll be stuck sitting behind poles which impedes your view to the stage. Food was awful. They had pretty much the same menu on all of the complimentary restaurants, all you were changing was the ambiance. The food in the "Garden Cafe" buffet all tasted bland or flavorless. I mean EVERYTHING. Either they weren't using enough ingredients or their ingredients were of really poor quality. Everything seemed off - like fruit tart with chocolate custard? Watered down nacho cheese. Eclairs with bland chocolate filling? We decided to try two speciality restaurants, the Brazilian steakhouse moderno and food republic. service at moderno was was worse than your typical chain restaurant. We were never asked for refills, deserts, coffee, etc. We certainly felt forgotten which was interesting because we were in the middle of the room. Oh, and none of the desserts were actually typical Brazilian desserts. Food republic was better, but should a guest really have to pay extra to eat okay food? Service was the worst. Bad attitudes, inflexible, mug faces, etc. And when they weren't seemingly unhappy, they were obnoxious roaming around yelling and singing trying to get people to wash hands or eat their tasteless foods. The aesthetics of the ship was really nice. Its a new ship and it was evident and nice to look at. However, if you wanted a quiet place with a view, to just lounge and relax - good luck! They had no reading room or quiet board gaming lounge. (Actually, their library was perhaps a 10x10 claustrophobic room). The ports were awful. Perhaps would've been better with better weather, but there was not much to do anywhere so when we wanted to relax and have some downtime.. we were stuck in our room where movie rentals were $10 a movie. Needless to say - we couldn't wait to get off the boring ship (and folks we met throughout the last few days couldn't wait to get off either). Luckily for us, disembarkation was smooth and quick! Sorry Norwegian, we wont be sailing with you anytime in the near future. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Where to start, and apologies in advance for the length of this but when you are spending this amount of money knowing the line and ship is critical. First, we are experienced cruisers having been on Holland American, Celebrity, Royal ... Read More
Where to start, and apologies in advance for the length of this but when you are spending this amount of money knowing the line and ship is critical. First, we are experienced cruisers having been on Holland American, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Viking and Brendan. This was our first and last cruise on NCL. It started before we sailed. We actually chose the cruise based on the Maritime ports we wanted to visit. Even before we sailed NCL dropped one of the ports we wanted to see but it was too late to cancel our trip without a penalty. Then NCL asked if we wanted to “bid” on a cabin upgrade. We had selected a lovely cabin on the picturesque side of the NCL Dawn for this cruise but thought, what the heck, and put in a minimal bid for an upgrade, big mistake. We got an “upgrade” to a mini suite. Unfortunately it was on the other side of the ship directly under the buffet. We researched the suite, 11150 on the Dawn, which got terrible reviews for constant noise from the buffet restaurant above. We called NCL immediately but were told “ sorry, no cancellations or changes;” we even asked to go back to our old room and forfeit our bid, no deal, so we purchased ear plugs and hoped for the best. On to our trip. We were supposed to be met at the Boston airport upon arrival, well we arrived, got our bags and still no agent. After calling we were told the agent would be there shortly. After 20 minutes she arrived and said she needed to check with her supervisor for when we would get transportation. We finally got a van 30 minutes after that, so one hour after we had our luggage we were on our way to the port. Now on board, the observations. The Dawn is a smaller, older ship, refurbished a few years ago but still showing some age. Being smaller the entertainment is nice but no big shows. The theater stage is small and old theater type seating a bit uncomfortable and tight. There are no tables for drinks or even cup holders. Some have renamed NCL to “Nickel and Dime” as they really seem to push selling raffle tickets, bingo cards, art and wine auctions. Every venue you go to they are pushing some raffle. On board internet is absurd at almost $35/day for unlimited access for one device and you need to book it for your entire cruise. You can pay $1.00 per minute plus $4.00 activation charge for basic email and web but no audio, video or VPN. It was sometimes hard to find a quiet spot just to read especially if weather was a bit inclement and everyone was inside. Our cabin was decent from an appointment perspective but if you are a light sleeper make sure you have ear plugs. In this suite you will hear every chair scooch and cart from the restaurant above all day until 10:00 pm and then again from breakfast setup starting at 5:30 am. Next, don’t get the Ultimate Drink Package unless you are a true alcoholic. At $89.00 per day per person this may seem like a deal but what is in the fine print is the additional 20% automatic “tip” additionally added to your bill, so break even is about 10 drinks a day per person and it doesn’t cover specially coffee, soft drinks, bottled water or juices. The staff onboard were friendly and amenable but not exceptional. With the combination of NCL’s automatic daily, per person service charge and freestyle dining, where you were constantly with different staff no one seemed motivated to do anything special. Some bar staff would engage a bit more when we slipped them a couple of bucks on drink orders. Beyond basic room services, folded towel animals were the extent of our steward service. The biggest disappointment on this ship was the food. The food in the “free” dining rooms, Aqua, Venetian and O’Sheehan’s doesn’t even qualify as average. You will find 200% better quality at your local casual dining spot. Everything is geared to drive you to their premium,”pay for” restaurants. At least the Garden Cafe is what you would expect for an average buffet. Personally we ended up enjoying making sandwiches from the cheese and cold cuts and getting our expensive “Ultimate Drink Package” drinks and taking our food and sitting by the pool. This cruise was my first experience with “freestyle” dining and I don’t think I like it. First we were told that you could make reservations either by the onboard app, on the tv or by phone. What they didn’t tell you was that was for the pay restaurants only. They would take reservations for the free restaurants only by phone and then only for specific times. Being freestyle all the free restaurants were in a hurry to turn the table so every dinner seemed rushed; frequently we would get our appetizers even before our drinks. Even the speciality restaurants were a bit of a disappointment as here we were in oyster, mussel and lobster heaven and not one restaurant had any of these on the menu any night. If you do decide you are willing to pay extra for decent food book your tables days in advance especially for “at sea” days or you will find nothing available until after 9:00 pm if there is even an opening. The “pay” dining has good but not great food. On our cruise we dined in the Italian and Japanese restaurants and both were good but the quality was what we have had on other cruises in the main dining rooms yet here we had to pay an additional $30/person with an automatic 20% tip. Shore excursions. So we came to the Maritimes to enjoy the scenery and most importantly the fresh seafood. Needless to say we never saw “fresh seafood “ on board but thought we would at least enjoy it on shore in the excursions. In Nova Scotia we took the excursion to Peggy’s Cove with a billed lunch at Murphy’s Seafood Restaurant. When we boarded the tour our guide asked how many people wanted a lobster roll for lunch and how many wanted pasta. So we went to Peggy’s Cove and saw all these lovely, fresh lobster spots and started salivating for our lunch. Then we rolled back into Halifax around 2:00 pm only to turn into a strip mall Steak and Stein not for a fresh lobster roll but for a “lobster wrap” and salad, something I would have expected from a chain sandwich place. On P.E.I. known for lobster, mussels and oysters, our included lunch was the choice of a boxed turkey or ham sandwich. Luckily we got back to the pier early enough to buy and enjoy a lobster roll. Also, these are small ports and typically have three and maybe even four ships in port at any given time so all the buses end up at the same locations simultaneously. My recommendation is skip the NCL tours, get off the boat early and either hire or rent a car see what is important to you then find a nice spot for some wonderful local food. Although we enjoyed seeing the Maritimes the NCL “Cruise Experience” was a big disappointment. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we have always had a great time on NCL. We love being able to eat at many different places. When we arrived at the terminal to board, it was raining very hard( not the cruise lines fault for sure) but there ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have always had a great time on NCL. We love being able to eat at many different places. When we arrived at the terminal to board, it was raining very hard( not the cruise lines fault for sure) but there was no overhang to exit the taxi and our clothes in our luggage got soaking wet waiting to be loaded on the ship. The terminal was in a large tent. we spent two days drying our clothes out. Additionally, when you walked from the tent to the ship, it was not covered and you got soaking wet trying to board the ship. At least by the second day, a crew member had umbrellas to assist the guests as the rain was still coming. We had to walk back to the train station ( 20 minutes) to find a taxi. You would think the cruise lines and tourism dept in Quebec could make arrangements to have taxis available. We asked the guest services staff on the ship if they had taxi numbers and the clerk said that's not their job. Ok so you step off a ship into a tent and no one can help you. The second day they did run a shuttle bus downtown. After we went downtown we told our taxi driver where we needed to go back to the ship and he got lost. Couldn't find the ship. We told him to go to the train station and we could walk. Only day at sea, second day of cruise, we decided to try the Venetian Dining room for lunch. There were four of us on the cruise( two couples) . My wife was at the podium with me and the nice hostess had handed the waiter our menus to seat us. Our friends were talking to someone right outside the door we had met on the train a couple of days earlier. I stepped through the open door and told them our table was ready and this officer comes yelling at me and my friends to go back and get in the back of the line. He yells at us that we are not to break into the line. The hostess, waiter and others all saw what really happened and we couldn't believe that an officer would raise his voice that way to a paying customer. The hostess and waiter tried to apologize and I reported it to the maitre d who brushed us off ( this officer we found out was his boss.). We all took our seats and ate our lunch. Honestly, this put a real damper on the rest of the cruise. After spending thousands of dollars on tours, food, drinks and the cruise, hard to believe someone like that is aboard the ship and in hospitality. a couple of things... The shopping port talk had no suggestions on St John. he had no map of the city or recommended stores. In his talk he basically said there is nothing to do. We found it an excellent stop and the market in the center of the city quite lovely. We have sailed on Dawn at least four other times but never this itinerary. It is obviously the ship doesn't go there that often. We only took one tour with the cruise line and it was wonderful. We booked private cars in Halifax and Bar Harbor and we had great experiences with Halifax tour guy and MDI tours in Bar Harbor. I would recommend one of the other lines that parks downtown at the regular terminal and one that sails there more often. Obviously NCL is not the best one for this itinerary but we still love the dining options and will give them another chance next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
This ship went to the towns that I wanted to visit and ended up in Quebec City, Canada, which was important to me. The rooms were itty-bitty. The bath had doors to toilet, etc. but no more than 1/2 of a person could fit in there at ... Read More
This ship went to the towns that I wanted to visit and ended up in Quebec City, Canada, which was important to me. The rooms were itty-bitty. The bath had doors to toilet, etc. but no more than 1/2 of a person could fit in there at a time and I am not a large person. I could only raise my arms to shampoo my hair if I turned on a diagonal. The food was terrible and served over and over. There wasn't a truly good meal the entire trip except maybe the prime rib on the last night. That too was thin and covered with an indescribable sauce. A few dishes of fish were ok, no shellfish except tiny, cut in half shrimp. The steak was terrible. Everything was overcooked and then covered with unrecognizable sauce. They had several days at the buffet with very strong Indian food that I could not eat, so it was back to salads and eggs. The tours were abominable based on what people said and I had read that earlier in the reviews. Most towns were easily walked in about an hour so tours were mostly unnecessary. I did take a Hop On-Hop Off Bus in Boston and asked why they were charging $69 for one person when I remember it being much cheaper last time I was in Boston, or any other city for that matter. The staff at the kiosk said it was because NCL owned the buses. At the very least, they had a connection. Never mention that you are on the NCL! The staff was remarkable but usually unhappy, we saw some cry while working. Entertainment was 2 days of real entertainment. There was a juggler/comic who couldn't. In the bars there was a piano player who was wonderful but they made him sing, which was awful. Being tone deaf would help the audience immensely. I have been on Holland America, Princess, and even Carnival (although I wouldn't recommend them either) I have loved the first two. I heard so many people complain, almost everyone I met. Also directions to exit were barely posted, not even the floor number so we had to ask other guests or follow any line we saw. Speakers didn't usually work in our room. Directions for the next day weren't even printed. Plus events were canceled so eventually we stopped going. Never again on NCL!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Involved no flights, was able to drive to Boston and the weather and pink sandy beaches in Bermuda! Received a text message while we were enroute to Boston that the itinerary had been changed to Canada and Maine due to weather. I live in ... Read More
Involved no flights, was able to drive to Boston and the weather and pink sandy beaches in Bermuda! Received a text message while we were enroute to Boston that the itinerary had been changed to Canada and Maine due to weather. I live in NE and my corporate offices are in Halifax. I was packed for Bermuda. Food was nothing special. I got the drink package only to find out they were out of Michelob Ultra and the Margaritas were premixed and I'm pretty sure that they forgot to put in the Tequila. Hostess at the restaurant was very rude and the pool bar was understaffed with waiters/waitresses and bartenders. I stood in line for 45 minutes for drinks numerous times. Bingo was $ 50 for three games - ouch! I've been on 2 Norwegian cruises and 3 Carnival cruises and never experienced anything like I did on this one! On a positive note - Luz and Pedro were great! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was the MOST boring cruise of my life. That would have been a minor complaint had Norwegian not completely dropped the ball on every single aspect of the cruise. Our dinner at the Steakhouse was average at best. The steaks were ... Read More
This was the MOST boring cruise of my life. That would have been a minor complaint had Norwegian not completely dropped the ball on every single aspect of the cruise. Our dinner at the Steakhouse was average at best. The steaks were mediocre. We had to send 2 back that were way overcooked. The Chinese restaurant was the worst I ever had. I am not kidding. The worst ever. The takeout place next to your grocery store is WAY better. I tried to eat, left and got wings. Normal dining room: 45 minute wait for a table. 3 hour dinner, totaling just under FOUR HOURS. I sent a steak back. They also got an order wrong. By the time my son got his steak, everyone else was nearly done eating. We waited over 2 hours for our main dish. Myself, and my kids, spit out our disgusting dessert and left. Can you imagine, KIDS refusing to eat sweets? At one point a woman came by and asked how our meal was. I responded, "I wasn't going to complain, but since you asked, this was by far the worst cruise dinner I ever had." She said, "OK." and walked away. The cruise is no fun if you want to party. The Casino bar closes when they want. The last night they closed at midnight. On Carnival I usually stay out until 2am, and on some night up to 4am. The late night buffet was inedible. I threw the food away, once again got wings from O'Sheehans (I did like that place). Because there is so little to do, 90% of the ship is in bed by 10pm. On a Carnival 7 day cruise, there are usually 4 comedians and 14 adult shows and 7 family friendly shows. On the Norwegian Gen, there was 1 single show, performed 2 times!!!! ONE SHOW!! SEVEN NIGHTS!!! No sing along piano bar like on Carnival. Instead there is a piano player in the Atrium that plays Sinatra to the delight of the elderly patrons. I hoped to show my 11 yr son a good time at the kids club. He absolutely loved the Carnival Kids on Club. We took him there 3 times. The first time they said it's late (as if 10:30 is late) we are closing. The second time they gave him a hoola-hoop. The third time they put a ball on the floor and told him it was an island that he was stranded on and had to survive. He said, "I don't EVER want to go back there!" We slept in 1 morning and called room service for a pot of coffee. They wanted $9!!! They said that had we called 5 minutes earlier, it would have been free. Carnivall is free 24 hours. The room steward gave us 4 pillows for 4 people, we called to get more. She gave us 2 coffee cups and coffee for only 2 people. We called for more. She gave us 2 pool towels for 4 people. We called for 2 more. She didn’t change the couch bed back to a couch. We had 4 people with nowhere to sit. We called to have this fixed. We aren't spoiled whiners. I haven't had a complaint in 20 cruises. We had 4 complaints in the first 24 hours. After our 4th complaint, the head of the room stewards replaced her with a really good guy and gave us top-notch attention after that. Jonathon was awesome, and we awarded him for improving our cruise experience. Thanks Jonathon. So friendly, and does a great job. The slot machines were very tight. I didn't see nearly the nice jackpots as I usually see on Carnival. So we didn't do well at gambling, which is usually expected. We're not careless, we lost what we were willing and able to lose, so my review is not based on being a bad sport. That said, when we play that much on carnival we get complimentary spa packages, room credits, even got a free cruise once. Norwegian? You guessed it. NOTHING. They hoard every penny. Their casino raffle wasn't a raffle where someone wins. Instead it was five lottery numbers from 0 to 60. So your odds of winning the $2000 were about the same odds as hitting the Power-ball for $300M. Worst of all, we booked a vow renewal for our parents celebrating their 50th Anniversary, and they emailed us telling us to pay on the ship. Then we get an email THE DAY BEFORE the cruise saying that it was cancelled because we didn’t pay. My wife called and we are told there is nothing they can do, the offices closed until Monday. So my wife was in a total panic. She set this all up. We had 12 people in our party. Some flew to New York from as far away as Hawaii. She is in New York, calling people in Maine frantically trying to set up the vow renewal, and got everything set up for a ceremony in Maine. (This was supposed to be a surprise, but the surprised was ruined thanks to this Norwegian screw up). We got on the ship, and a guy calls our room to set up the ceremony, so it WASN'T cancelled. Norwegian screwed up again. Then we have to scramble to cancel everything in Maine. It was a nightmare. The ceremony was nice. They had a photographer for the ceremony. He charged $400 for a single picture, and 5 more photos, digital copies ONLY, on a memory card. We spend nearly $1000 for a 5 minute ceremony and a picture (and no, it wasn't performed by the captain as we were told it would be). Our group probably spent well over $50,000 that week and it was boring and stressful. I will never cruise Norwegian again. If we didn’t have a fun party of 12 people, it would have been horrible. We made our own fun since there wan't anything to do. On the last day, the band was on the deck, and we were all in the hot tub singing loudly to the live band (which was pretty fun by the way, and I liked the band). They brought the microphone to us so we were doing the singing. Best time we had all week. The whole ship was filming us. Like we were having fun and they were so shocked that they filmed us. I started yelling: “Look everybody, a Carnival cruise just broke out on Norwegian!” 12 people singing was rare enough on Norwegian to be filmed I guess. So ends our vacation. Overall, the ports were great and we made the vacation great in spite of Norwegian's efforts to ruin it. I'm already starting to plan my next cruise (not on Norwegian). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We sailed the Jade 3 yrs ago and it was the BEST CRUISE EVER. We were looking forward to the ship, the itinerary (We had never done a Fall Color trip), the ports, everything.We did not get an invite to the frequent cruisers cocktail ... Read More
We sailed the Jade 3 yrs ago and it was the BEST CRUISE EVER. We were looking forward to the ship, the itinerary (We had never done a Fall Color trip), the ports, everything.We did not get an invite to the frequent cruisers cocktail party. There was only one "formal" night on a 10 dsy cruise. The shop did not have weather appropriate garments for purchase. The bars were closed more often than open and were short on staff. The time in ports was cut back drastically from what was sold to us. Two of our four tours were cancelled, one while on board. Most of the tourist shops and restaurants were closed, as it was "end of season", another detail not disclosed. The food, even in the "specialty" restaurants was mediocre, st best. The crew was poorly trained, not helpful, and seemed bored with having to do their job. WORST CRUISE EVER!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Absolutely every time I go on NCL I notice more and more staffing cuts which are severely affecting the overall quality of cruising taking it down to an all time low. No service on the pool deck for drinks (have to stand in line at the ... Read More
Absolutely every time I go on NCL I notice more and more staffing cuts which are severely affecting the overall quality of cruising taking it down to an all time low. No service on the pool deck for drinks (have to stand in line at the bar), no service in the martini/champagne lounge/bar (have to stand in line at the bar), no assistance from any staff in the buffet. NCL has become like a do-it-yourself cruise - no service whatsoever!! The icing on the cake though, was, I requested assistance for disembarkation in advance, due to being status post a Total Knee Replacement this year and still being in quite a bit of pain. The day of the disembarkation my friend and myself went to our check-in for assistance and waited a full one-hour with no sign of us getting any assistance, I had to walk off the ship in severe pain, and even go down a lot of stairs (almost falling). If NCL cuts their staff any further - maybe the customers can even drive the ship!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were a party of 5 wome 60+. We paid for a 2 bedroom suite that was not suitable for us. The balcony held 2 chairs and the 2nd bedroom was no bigger than a closet. One of the group slept on a pull down bunk not suitable for a child. ... Read More
We were a party of 5 wome 60+. We paid for a 2 bedroom suite that was not suitable for us. The balcony held 2 chairs and the 2nd bedroom was no bigger than a closet. One of the group slept on a pull down bunk not suitable for a child. Our enmities were not available until the 4th day of our cruise. Countless trips to Guest Services did nothing. The food was excellent and the wait staff, butler and steward were all excellent. The cons. was not very attentive and really did not answer our any complaints. The suite should not be advertised as a sleep 6 -- The dining was excellent except for the Chinese restaurant. Every other restaurant was very good. The shore excursions were just ok. The embarkation was terrible. We stood in line for an hour and 1/2 and did not have one person from the ship come out and inform us what was happening. Of course, it was blamed on the port. There are enough cruise personnel on board that could have kept the lines informed. Not ONE person came. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Email me when prices drop