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2,754 Norwegian (NCL) Caribbean Cruise Reviews

Our trip was fabulous. We love Norwegian. We prefer the mid size ships of about 2000 people. The elevators are never crowded and the garden cafe is smaller. We got lost so many times in the garden cafe on the Escape and the Breakaway. ... Read More
Our trip was fabulous. We love Norwegian. We prefer the mid size ships of about 2000 people. The elevators are never crowded and the garden cafe is smaller. We got lost so many times in the garden cafe on the Escape and the Breakaway. We also love to sit in the Spinnaker lounge and the bigger ships don’t have this large beautiful view at the top of the ship. It was sorely missed on the Breakaway/Escape. From passing the statue of liberty and. Verranzano bridge to coming into ports. It is a great room for music and dancing. No other room on the ship does what the spinnaker does. The food was excellent. We actually had a very bad night at Cagneys, with a waiter that disappeared for a long time and we think, neglected to put our food orders in. We waited 2 hours for our steaks. We were livid and complained. They satisfied us with more complimentary dinners etc and we subsequently had a very special dinner at Cagney's later in the week with stellar service. All food was wonderful. I could complain about a few dessert brownies and a profiterole that was very dry and hard. All you have to do is order something else! Also this ship had sugar free chocolate ice cream! Helps my diet so much! Service was terrific to stellar. Everyone tried to accommodate us in every way possible. The freestyle dining is a bit of a myth. We like to eat 6:30, 7:00, or the latest 7:30. It was a constant struggle to find a place to eat during our window. We usually make reservations 90 days before the trip so we get what we want. But this time, we were with another couple and our reservations were not all intact when we boarded ship. It took away from our relaxation to have to.be worrying about dinner reservations and have to beg hostesses to allow us to eat earlier. We ate at special restaurants 6 nights out of 10. But the reservations became a big hassle. Down side: Kids allowed unsupervised in hot tubs. They monopolize them. Should be a time limit. Deal or no deal is a rip off. $25. A card for nothing. They make huge amounts of money on bingo. Prizes are not commensurate. Kids are found at adult comedy shows. I sat next to a 13 yr old. No parents with him. Unacceptable. I suggest they add some newer activities. For instance, bands, guitar players are so boring they put you to sleep. We need more rock, dance music . More games like name that tune, jeopardy, wheel of fortune, etc instead of trivia. Our favorite shows on other NCL ships have been Jersey Boys, Rock of Ages, and the Buddy Holly Tribute. Absolutely fabulous! Comedy shows we love too. Especially adult comics. Keep the kids out!! They should get a spray tan salon. I would get a spray tan for a reasonable fee. This is a real money making idea! Also, a chiropractor on board giving adjustments would be helpful. What about glamour shots where someone makes you over before pictures? Last criticism: I am a video poker player in the casino with only 14 poker machines! Terrible. Our casinos in the USA devote at least 30-40% of slot machines to video poker. On this trip there were many VP players all fighting for 14 seats. I lose interest in playing with only 14 machines. We will be back on the Gem in March, our last effort to escape winter in NJ. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband and I cruise each February so are not new to this vacation type We were new to Norwegian. We were joining other family on this cruise. our other cruises have been with Celebrity and once on Holland America. I ha e never had an ... Read More
My husband and I cruise each February so are not new to this vacation type We were new to Norwegian. We were joining other family on this cruise. our other cruises have been with Celebrity and once on Holland America. I ha e never had an experience where staff especially guest services was so rude. The ship is brand new. There is only 1 adult pool so imagine sea days. They put in a go cart track instead of a pool and laser tag all of which cost extra. There is 2 water slides only 1 was open the 7 days the second for 1 day only. Food was the same in the buffet and in their dining rooms. Who is serving corn on the cob in your main dining room? The custom restaurants were nice and food excellent. If you are a smoker this is not the ship for you. My husband is a smoker always smokes outside away from others. The smoking area is a 10x15 glass room no ventilation for hundreds of people. They created a second one after complaints right next to the out door bar but no smokers were ever offered a beverage if you were sitting in this area. The servers ignored you. These guest were treated horrible less than any other paying guest. Guest services response regarding smoking was “ you should have chosen another cruise line” we would have if it was advertised as a non smoking cruise. $ 250.00 fine for not smoking in the smoking area and cameras everywhere. Don’t risk the fine we saw many who did as there was no room in the smoking area. A passenger near our room was using a scooter to get around. It didn’t not fit into her room and she paid for a bigger handicap room. Our rooms were balcony rooms on the 9 th floor. Beverage package does not include bottled water or any canned soda. You need to buy a water package. All soda was fountain no cans. If you didn’t order a water package bottled water starts at $5.00. Entertainment was good but if you do not have a reservation you will not get in. I was surprised at the lack of activities on sea days. On celebrity there are multiple activities each hour not here. Our cabin steward was the nicest employee on the ship. Norwegian is not a cruise line I would recommend. A big waste of money this year Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are seasoned cruisers and have been on NCL, Royal, Celebrity and Holland, and I can easily say that this was our least favorite ship. If you are traveling with children, take one of the Royal giant ships of Symphony, Allure, Harmony or ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers and have been on NCL, Royal, Celebrity and Holland, and I can easily say that this was our least favorite ship. If you are traveling with children, take one of the Royal giant ships of Symphony, Allure, Harmony or Oasis. We've been on Symphony and Allure and the Encore isn't even in the same league. Those ships are amazing and Encore seemed like the designer looked at all the goods things about those ships and decided to do the opposite. Encore seems like it was designed for cold weather itineraries, as the pool deck area is laughably small for a 4,000 passenger ship. NCL needs to dismantle the race track and laser tag and build another pool on this ship. The good: - Service was very good for the most part. General attitude of staff is more pleasant than we have found on other lines. - The food was the best we've experienced on any ship. From the Garden Cafe to the dining rooms to the specialty restaurants, we found everything to be above average for a cruise. - Choir of Man is a must see show on water or land. Beatles tribute was very entertaining. The BBQ restaurant had a country band playing mainstream country hits every night and is a very fun venue. - Our 7 and 6 year old kids loved the kids camp and said it was better than Royal although they couldn't really explain why. The bad: - The absolute worst thing about this ship is everything about the design and layout. More than a third of the ship's upper decks is devoted to outdoor space for the Haven suites and the beach club ($200/extra per person and that doesn't buy you access to the Haven pool). Another third is wasted on the go cart track and laser tag which were fun for the 10 minutes each takes (at an extra charge) but are a novelty that aren't worth the space they take on the ship. That leaves less than a third of the ship for the pool area which has two fairly small pools, one of which is adults only and the other while not kids only, basically is kids only. There are not nearly enough chairs for the amount of passengers and we witnessed several arguments over chairs as well as people lying on the floor. Of the chairs there are, maybe at most 100 are in the sun at any given moment. Also, if you're not outside by 9am, you will not get a chair for the rest of the day. - One other major engineering issue is there seems to be something wrong with the ships stabilizers. Having been on many ships of varying sizes, I've never felt a ship rocking in even rough seas, the way this one does in calm seas. There was never a moment, even when the ocean looked like a still lake, where you didn't feel this ship rolling from side to side. At night when moving at speed, it felt like we were sailing through a hurricane. The hangers in our closest were swaying back and forth and things in our room were creaking so loud we all had trouble sleeping. This happened every night. I can't believe this ship really rocks like this and have to think the stabilizers weren't working correctly. - The ship has two slides. One utilizes a tube and is so tame it's like a toddler slide. The other is a vertical drop looping slide which was broken and only opened to the second to last day for about 10 minutes and the last day for about 30 minutes. Of the maybe 10 people who were able to use it, about half got stuck and had to be let out an emergency hatch. The reason the slide was broken and closed was never made clear and many people were told different things. Compare this to the big royal ships which have three slides of varying excitement and lines that move very quickly. - While many reviews say this is a great ship for kids I couldn't disagree more. The fact that NCL includes a beverage package causes too many people to drink way too much. We experienced was too many incidents of drunk people acting inappropriately around children in public spaces to ever consider NCL again. When you're travelling with kids, its disconcerting to see 100s of people drinking alcohol at 8:30am, which many are at the pool for because you can forget getting a chair after 9am. While we thought service was mostly excellent, the bartenders in most venues were painfully slow and didn't seem to care, which again, I think is the product of nearly everyone having an unlimted drink package. - This ship has no open space where you don't feel cramped. I'm 5'11' and could touch the ceiling in every area of the shop except the atrium but even that area is very narrow and not a grand space. Compared to the Oasis class ships and their huge open neighborhoods, this feels like a ship built decades ago before designers found ways to open things up. Again, compared to Oasis class and its mall like promenade, the shopping area of this ship is a bit of a joke. Many reviews praise the observation deck which is fairly open but fully inside. This might be great for relaxing with great views on an Alaskan cruise but for the Caribbean we had no reason to be in there and the few times we walked through there were very few people using this area. There is no level where you can walk fully around the ship; the closes thing is walking around the middle pool deck, again, compare to Oasis class which has a 1/5 mile track around the ship. The 8th floor has and outdoor deck on both sides with restaurants and bars that have indoor/outdoor seating but the outdoor seating is useless when the ship is in motion at dinner time as the wind makes it unbearable. Compare to Oasis where Central Park area has outdoor seating full protected from the wind. - While the shows were entertaining and Choir of Man was excellent, they don't hold a candle to the shows on Oasis class which include a Vegas quality show on the multi story outdoor arena, an ice skating show complete with dozens of drones that put on a light show, and shows in a theater that is twice the size and three times the height allowing for more set, scenery and effects. - Finally, the phone app, room tv and hallway info centers are great in theory but don't actually work. We were never sure what show and restaurant reservations we actually had as all three systems displayed different information to us the entire cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I was given this cruise as a gift. The up-charges started before I got there. Admin/Port fees were charged. The "free" beverage package came with another $200+ in fees (how can you call something free when it isnt?) The ... Read More
I was given this cruise as a gift. The up-charges started before I got there. Admin/Port fees were charged. The "free" beverage package came with another $200+ in fees (how can you call something free when it isnt?) The ship holds 4000 "guests". There are lines everywhere. For the elevators, on the stairs, at every bar. Could not get reservations at the PREMIUM (extra charge) venues....always prebooked. Only had one time option for the headliner shows. One was cancelled due to cast illness, no notices, just showed up and found out at 10:30pm. They did add a showtime, and reschedule us, and the show (Choir of Man) was great. Also saw Kinky Boots, which was also very good. The staff was great, the food was good. Just had too many people in my way -all-of-the-time- Next time I will pick a smaller cruise ship, or skip the boat and go direct to the islands instead NCL = No Cash Left lol One word of caution.....if you buy jewelry at a port -when they say "tax and duty free"....That only applies to LOCAL taxes and duties. When you re-enter the US, you are going to get hit for 3% on the first $1000 and 6% over $1000 So, buy a nice ring, or watch and you are going to get hit with $500 or $600 extra duties. If you try to sneak something in, and get caught the fines are huge!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embark and Disembark were handled smoothly out of Miami. Multiple time cruiser with Norwegian. Very good food dining options on the Upscale Dining Program. Cagney's and Los Lobos continue to be awesome. LeBistro and Ocean Blue ... Read More
Embark and Disembark were handled smoothly out of Miami. Multiple time cruiser with Norwegian. Very good food dining options on the Upscale Dining Program. Cagney's and Los Lobos continue to be awesome. LeBistro and Ocean Blue have modified menus so that was a nice change. Q and Food Republic are definitely worth a whirl. I will say that while food quality was good, the portions in some dining areas has clearly been diminished in size. Great Cabin and I had a balcony. Great room steward which is typical. The entertainment on board is great. Choir of Man and Kinky Boots are both great shows. Very enjoyable and I highly recommend giving both a whirl. The Silent Disco is a MUST DO. Great pool experience and was always able to find a chair with no major wait time or delays. Upper Decks have become pay and that is a bit of a change for me but not a dealbreaker. Escape Room is a must do as is the Galaxy Pavilion and Laser Tag. I recommend the $29 one hour pass to do it all and it's more than enough time. Mandara Spa is always great and I used it daily and had a great massage. Finally, my only complaint, while all in favor of every discernible equal rights offering, I am not sure if it was a particular event or a group but the large LGBT community on board was very cliquish and almost took over the ship at times on programs. As someone who flies the rainbow flag, I support the community but the need to "take over" events and to be so unhospitable to others is just not a good look. All in all, a great ship and one that I would highly recommend for a frequent NCL customer, for a family seeking fun, for a great getaway and for some refreshing new options from cruising. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I have been on over 10 NCL cruises. All have been on the larger ships as I enjoy have the option of a studio cabin. Lately, I have been traveling with friends, so 2 or 3 cabins are used. The cabins were fine. They spa colors are a ... Read More
I have been on over 10 NCL cruises. All have been on the larger ships as I enjoy have the option of a studio cabin. Lately, I have been traveling with friends, so 2 or 3 cabins are used. The cabins were fine. They spa colors are a nice change. The layout was a bit rough for us, as it was super difficult to get to the closet (there is a couch blocking access). The bathroom was a perfect size for a boat. We have enjoyed the new observation area on other ships, and this one is no exception. Its a nice getaway from the bustle of the rest of the ship. What happened to the adults only pool/ bar area, Spice H2O? Because it isn't on this ship, the main pool area was terribly full. Our only pool time was when we were in-port and people were on excursions. The pool was so full of people, you couldn't move and every lounge and chair were taken. Also, they replaced 1/3 of the lounge chairs with double the deck chairs and took away the drink tables. You are inches from your neighbor. It was very disappointing for us. Slides looked fun, but the loop one was brocken down the whole crusse. And, the fun innertube one was bigger but less fast and fun. Plus they didn't allow two tubes to go down at the same time as they do on other strips. Staff on the slide were grumps too! Race cars and virtual reality area were fun! I like that there are lots of dining options on the ship, as there are on all the large NCL ships. The specialty restaurants continue to evolve. The new Italian offering is much better than the old one. The diner, still empty like Margaritaville is on other ships. I miss the burger window near the pool. Food Republic still a big question mark (empty and not very good). This trip, we were pleasantly surprised that a couple complimentary meals in the large dining rooms were "specialty" quality. Our favorites, on this boat, are Q and Teppanyaki. Cagneys, which is usually my favorite was good, but not great. I was excited to have lobster available as the surf to the turf (other ships have had only shrimp). The lobster was super small, as to three bites and the steak was warm as if it had sat under a warmer. Most food was "warm" not hot. Maybe that's why we love the Teppanyaki place as it is hot off the grill. On this cruise, we had better food temp experiences in the buffet rather than the dining rooms. And room service was cold-food. Cold pizza, cold chicken strips, cold fries... Our chicken was even raw inside. Plus, we paid $10 for delivery. We didn't eat the food, called them, and placed it back in the hallway. Still had the $10 service charge. The nightclub was hopping (it isn't on other ships). This is partially due to here not being a nighttime adult deck party, as on other ships. Other areas, other than the pool, were reasonable populated. We still couldn't get into a comedy show but enjoyed the musicians in other areas of the ship. The service was good on Encore. With the automatic gratuities, other ship's staff isn't always friendly (especially the bartenders). We tipped 8 people extra amount at the end of this cruise for regularly making our experience a good one. And, our Steward knew our names...day 1. We are looking forward to our next NCL cruise. We will do a smaller ship next time and, certainly, not the Encore. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This entire cruise was fabulous from start to finish. My husband and I traveled with 38 of our neighbors. It was my 4th cruise on NCL and I’m liking this cruise line more and more. Embarkation was easy and staff was very friendly. We ... Read More
This entire cruise was fabulous from start to finish. My husband and I traveled with 38 of our neighbors. It was my 4th cruise on NCL and I’m liking this cruise line more and more. Embarkation was easy and staff was very friendly. We had to go an extra step and fill in a form regarding the new corona virus but that’s fine by me. We had a balcony cabin on the 12th deck. Our stateroom and balcony seemed to be the same size as the ones we had on the Breakaway and Getaway. Perfect for a cruise! Our cabin stewardess was Maria Lourdes Villaverde who was very personable and kept our cabin spic & span for the duration of our cruise. We requested an extension cord and distilled water as soon as we boarded because my husband and I both have CPAP machines and they were delivered within 15 minutes...that’s outstanding service. We especially liked the fact that the cruise line has installed USB outlets on the lamps above the bed as well as spotlight reading lights! We ate twice in Cagney’s, once in Ocean Blue and once at Teppenyaki. Everything was superbly presented and incredibly delicious. All the other meals were either at Taste, Savor or Manhattan dining rooms. We don’t ever go to the Garden Buffet especially with so many children on board, many of whom enjoy touching the food with their grubby hands! We spent quite a bit of time in the mostly peaceful Observation Lounge reading and chatting with friends because neither of us are sun worshipers! Several times throughout the day a light buffet is set up at various locations in the Observation Lounge with many healthy food choices. We did have a few snacks from that impeccably clean and tidy buffet. Service at the bar there was splendid. Though we did buy the drink package, I don’t think we will in the future because I found that we drank more than we normally do at home just because we had the package! Who needs all those empty calories? All of the entertainment was fantastic with the exception of the Prohibition Show that we paid $35/per person. It truly should have been included as free entertainment. It wasn’t anything special at all and we weren’t the only ones with that opinion. We particularly loved Choir of Man and comedian Warren B. Hall. Kinky Boots was excellent but difficult to understand because they all had thick Cockney British accents. We didn’t go on any excursions as we just did the same itinerary on the Breakaway in November and did some great tours booked thru NCL. Sadly, Cruise #52 came to an end this morning. Disembarkation was very organized and easy — much easier than when we debarked the Breakaway in our New York to Bermuda cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I am writing this review based on my experience as an avid cruiser. It is also based on my wife and I specific experience. We did not choose this cruise for the carts, laser tag or arcade. We wanted great entertainment at night and ... Read More
I am writing this review based on my experience as an avid cruiser. It is also based on my wife and I specific experience. We did not choose this cruise for the carts, laser tag or arcade. We wanted great entertainment at night and good food and beautiful ship. In addition relaxing daytime. For us NCL nailed it for those reasons. I must at this time make a disclaimer and it’s a BIG ONE. We had the Vibe Beach Club for the week. If we did not figure that cost into my cruise I would have been unhappy sitting around main pool because I would not have done it. But we experienced what we felt like a private yacht. Quite, peaceful,no crowds amazing bar service everywhere. $400 week for couple well worth it. For us it was a necessity. Only wish could sign up for club before you get on ship. Would take away much anxiety. But if your willing pay for club I promise you the entertainment from choir of man, Beatles, comedy, Guns and Rojas and I can go on and on was AWESOME. You will not find better evening entertainment. Book as soon as you can online or don’t cry because you can’t get into venues. I would book again and again if I could guarantee getting into vibe beach club. Food is very good. Only line I rate better for food is Celebrity except for specialty dining where Celebrity has nothing over NCL. VERY FRIENDLY SERVICE. if your hoping go on do all the rides etc might be disappointed because crowded and heard hard get reservations when you board. We personally had no interest in these but had fun watching others. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I read every review of the new NCL Encore before going on our cruise that I booked in August 2019 and almost felt like I was not going to enjoy my vacation. I rarely write reviews, but felt obligated to do so after reading all the ... Read More
I read every review of the new NCL Encore before going on our cruise that I booked in August 2019 and almost felt like I was not going to enjoy my vacation. I rarely write reviews, but felt obligated to do so after reading all the whining and bad reviews about this ship, crew and itinerary. I am a single, late 30's male and went with my sister, nephew, Mom and Dad, this was my 2nd cruise ever and only with Norwegian..... Embarking was easy, as I stated earlier we planned this cruise in August 2019 so I was aware of all the things than need to be booked ahead of time to ensure a great cruise, with that being said we got to the port at 10am to be first on board to get Vibe passes and got them!! Then we also booked Go Carts and other thing WE wanted to do, including Choir of Men, GREAT SHOW. Prohibition Musical was good, it was an extra $35 for the drinks you get. I had an aft cabin with the biggest balcony available. Thanks Ralph Donatien (my NCL cruise guy) Smoking: I am a smoker and understood there were 2 places to smoke, not a big deal It's my problem I smoke, On our cruise, the 3rd day they did open an area up on the pool deck which was awesome of the crew to do. THANKS!! The pool area on sea days was packed as almost anyone would expect, but had no problems getting a chair or two when we wanted. The Ocean Loop water slide was only running for about two hours on one day, again not ideal, but there is no way a broken water slide is going ruin my vacation. The food was what is expected for buffet style eating. As for the specialty restaurants we did Teppanyaki: GREAT Onda: THE BEST and Cagney's: Disappointed (just got a bad piece of meat) again one bad meal was not going to ruin my vacation. Ports: In San Juan we did the Night Time Zip Line it was my nephews favorite part of the cruise. In USVI we did the jet boat, lasted about an hour and was informative and fun, we got WET. We then took a cab to Megan's Bay beach, lots of people, but no issues with food or drink lines at all, had a wonderful time on a breathtakingly beautiful beach. I did read several reviews about people whining about having to carry the chairs you rent, that is true, but again not a big deal. The rental personal have a job to do, and that job is not to be your personal beach boy for day. Grow up and grow a pair. In BVI we did the Escape to Jost Van Dyke, the catamaran ride to the island took about an hour because of the seas, but no biggie we made it to Soggy Dollar bar and had a blast. The catamaran crew were awesome. THANKS! Overall I had an amazing time on my 2nd cruise ever with Norwegian, will I book Encore again, yes if the itinerary is something I like. I am in retail as a profession, so understand how difficult some people can be, and assume the bad reviews are from folks who can never be happy. Be polite, understanding, and empathetic to others and you may enjoy your next vacation more and those around you may enjoy doing their job a little more... GREAT JOB NCL ENCORE CREW!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because our son and his family were sailing on it and since we were going to be in Florida at the time we decided to join them. I was hesitant about it because the ship was so big. However I was pleasantly surprised, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our son and his family were sailing on it and since we were going to be in Florida at the time we decided to join them. I was hesitant about it because the ship was so big. However I was pleasantly surprised, and ended up loving it! The public spaces were so generous. The Observation Lounge was a favorite. The view was beautiful and there were always seats available. The bar service there was great as well. The entertainment on the ship was top-notch. We saw the Beatles Show in the Cavern Club as well as the last show in the theatre. We saw the Choir of Man--excellent! We saw Kinky Boots--fabulous! We were able to get reservations for one of the comedy shows which was really good too. The only complaint we had about the entertainment was Prohibition, the Musical. It was fine, but the charge for it--almost $40 pp--was way out of line. Yes, it included 5 small cocktails, but we had the drink package so the charge was just unreasonable. And it wasn't near as good of a production as any of the free shows. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants we tried, with the exception of Q, the Texas Bar-b-q restaurant. We just weren't impressed with that one, compared to the others that we tried. Cagney's did not disappoint. Food and service were excellent. Onde, the Italian restaurant, was our favorite. Starting with the bread, which I could have made a complete meal out of. The service was excellent, as was the entire meal. The rest of our evening meals we took in either Taste, Savory or the Local. We also attended 2 art lectures. They were really interesting. Much better than an art auction. Since we are both in our 60's we had no interest in all of the VR, go kart track or water slides. Our son's family used some of it, but were not happy with the charges or need for reservations for so many activities. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Can't go wrong with Norwegian. Everything from embarkation to disembarkation was excellent. Encore not our favorite ship. No sports court or mini golf because of go cart race track. We did the go carts and they were tons of fun ... Read More
Can't go wrong with Norwegian. Everything from embarkation to disembarkation was excellent. Encore not our favorite ship. No sports court or mini golf because of go cart race track. We did the go carts and they were tons of fun but do like the configuration of other ships better. Also no bowling alley on this ship. So far Escape is our favorite ship. Jim Badger was on this ship and he is one of the best entertainers you will ever see. He was in the District, we saw him on the Escape a few years back. If you like to laugh and laugh lots he is a must see. Food and drinks excellent as always. Choir of Man was one of the main shows and one of the best we have ever seen. Kingy Boots was the other show and it was okay. Top Shelf country band was in the Q and they were awesome (and we are not huge country music fans). Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We loved our first 2 Norwegian cruises on the Sky, but I heard from 2 other passengers that it is now just a drunken party ship. This one, we couldn't wait to get off! We talked to several other guests who had similar experiences. ... Read More
We loved our first 2 Norwegian cruises on the Sky, but I heard from 2 other passengers that it is now just a drunken party ship. This one, we couldn't wait to get off! We talked to several other guests who had similar experiences. Really too many to relate. Food wss mediocre- at best. Same thing on the buffet every day, somethings appeared to be leftover from last night's dinner. The waitstaff in dining rooms were very nice, however food was SLOW getting to us. Went to O'Sheehan's 3 times. Lunch and dinner were good, service poor! We have never seen so many drunk passengers. Every day drunks with thong bathing suits dirty dancing with multiple guys on the ledge of the MAIN pool--by the children's area, not the 18 and over pool, where they should have been. We were on top deck waiting for the sunset and looked down at the pool. The girl with the thong was bent over with a guy on her behind, and her face in another guys crotch.....really?? Should that have been allowed at the main deck? Other passengers found it disgusting as well. We were told an excursion was sold out, only to find there were really 10 available, after we booked a different one. Tried to make reservations for shows when we got on the ship, however NO reservations were available. Had to make reservations for the tender for private Island. It took nearly 2 hours from waiting in the theater to stepping foot on the Island, and then they were not even going by the letters we were given. We were sharing the Island with the Norwegian Sky, so it was packed. BBQ on the Island was late. No information about getting luggage tickets for disembarking. People were asking each other on the elevator what to do. Another group told us of their experience of a passenger taking the cue ball off the pool table when they started their game because he was mad that all the balls didn't come down when he played his game, so now he was not going to let them play. When the wives tried to get security to come, they got no help from the staff! And when it came to picking up our 4 pieces of luggage....all 4 were in different areas of the luggage "warehouse". At least half the people we talked to or overheard said- never again. We were more than disappointed. We have chosen Norwegian in the past for our family cruise, because it seemed like they were family oriented. Not anymore. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We’ve been on many cruises but this was our 2nd with NCL. Second only because our first one was a disaster on the Epic Feb/19 and we were given a 100% future cruise credit. We had both the ultimate beverage package and the soda ... Read More
We’ve been on many cruises but this was our 2nd with NCL. Second only because our first one was a disaster on the Epic Feb/19 and we were given a 100% future cruise credit. We had both the ultimate beverage package and the soda package for the kids. More than once we were charged for the kids pops. When we complained they made many excuses why they couldn’t refund it until we returned to port. We asked them to put a credit on our account in the same amount but they wouldn’t. We went to guest services 4 times trying to resolve it. No compensation. We also had many mishaps with our room not being cleaned. We complained about this too with no apologies. We had issues with our toilet not flushing and were told this is common on all NCL ships. Although for the most part the food quality was fine we had terrible service in one of the speciality restaurants. The server completely ignored us and we sat for 45 mins with our finished dinner plates in front of us. The tender process was long and drawn out. There was zero communication from the staff. There only seemed to be one tender ship shuttling passengers to the island. It took nearly 2 hours from start to finish and this is with a reservation in group B. The kids were disappointed that ropes course wasn’t opened until day 4. They really enjoyed it once it opened up. The entertainment is great but you must have a reservation. We missed out on a few shows because we didn’t know on day 1 that we needed to book in advance for future shows. Two of the shows we were able to book reservations prior to the cruise. If you think freestyle means you can eat whenever you want, think again. A reservation is needed for Manhattan room and specialty dining. Dinner line ups, even if you have a reservation, are pure chaos. Even the staff couldn’t tell us where the line up starts. We won’t be sailing again with NCL. We will stick to the cruise lines that offer better value and customer service. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised on NCL 6 times now. The 5 previous cruises were on the Sun, Sky and Pearl. We loved those ships. They were smaller and more passenger friendly. We decided to try one of NCL's larger ships. This was a disappointing ... Read More
We have cruised on NCL 6 times now. The 5 previous cruises were on the Sun, Sky and Pearl. We loved those ships. They were smaller and more passenger friendly. We decided to try one of NCL's larger ships. This was a disappointing cruise. The freebies they offer are a ruse to get you to book with them. the free drink package is NOT free. You get a hefty service charge addition to your fare. The 3 free specialty dining packages are another joke. We tried making reservations 3 months before our sailing date. Could not get reservations at any of the restaurants. We had to make 8:30 or 9:00 pm reservations. The WiFi package is useless. We did use the onboard smart phone feature. $9,95 per person. This is pretty much a hit or miss feature. It did save us from spending hours wondering around looking for each other. There were 7 of us on this ship together. expect to get some messages hours after they were sent. The good shows are the ones not in the main theaters, the bad part is there is so little room for people to attend that you end up standing during almost all of those shows. very small areas to have the good shows in. This is our first cruise with the all you can drink package, consider yourself lucky if somebody doesn't spill a drink on you. It made for a ship full of stupid drunk people. The food was not good enough to turn dinner into an event. The time it took to eat dinner was over 2 hours. eat at the smaller places. we decided that from now on we will search out cruise ships that have a maximum of 2500 passengers or less. NCL has been so consumed with making money they forgot about the reason they are afloat, the passengers! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We went on this cruise with others who had already booked. The Norwegian crew were excellent in every area. They were helpful and seemed to be happy in their jobs. The ship was clean and seemed to be well maintained. Embarkation was easy ... Read More
We went on this cruise with others who had already booked. The Norwegian crew were excellent in every area. They were helpful and seemed to be happy in their jobs. The ship was clean and seemed to be well maintained. Embarkation was easy and pretty quick when we arrived around 10:30. However after boarding the ship you realize how confining the ship is. Seemed like only one bar was open in O'Sheehans when we boarded so service was slow. NCL gives the drink package away so you would think they would be better prepared. Lifeboat drill was confusing, crowded, we sat in the casino hallway and could not really see anything. Then, since they only have two 2 elevator areas the crowd leaving the drill was HORRIBLE! People shoving trying to get on stairs was bad. Elevators were full and packed all week. Since casino is located in an OPEN area in the middle of deck 7 you immediately smell stale cigarette smoke on the ship, especially on deck 6,7, and 8 in the middle.which is where all the restaurants are. Getting into speciality restaurants was a JOKE.NCL gives the dining package away also as a freebie but they had no seats available when we boarded the ship. But we saw tables go empty all night. We asked every night but Ocean Blue was always full but tables stayed empty all night. We did manage to sit on the waterfront and order Ocean Blue menu. Getting off the ship for the private island and disembarkation was long and tedious. Halls are narrow and our mini suite is the smallest we have been in. Closet located next to bed was awful. No dressing area. Person sitting on couch had to move every time someone needed to use desk or go out the balcony. Food was good in the main dining room. Food was very good in Ocean Blue. Bar servers were overworked almost everywhere bc of Free drink package but they were all good at it. Not their fault NCL needed to hire more help. Overall enjoyed the cruise with friends but will never cruise on this Breakaway class of ship. I don't smoke but feel like I smoked a pack of cigarettes this week. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have sailed many cruise lines and this is a one and done for us. Customer service is poor to non existent. Never heard a staff member ever say anything gratuitis. They never greet you nor do they say thank you, have a great ... Read More
We have sailed many cruise lines and this is a one and done for us. Customer service is poor to non existent. Never heard a staff member ever say anything gratuitis. They never greet you nor do they say thank you, have a great day....nothing. Even when they screw up, they dont apologize, they just look at you and insinuate its you problem not theirs. Food was barely ok. Not cruise caliber at all. If you plan on specialty dining, book before you board or be prepared to hit the buffet often. The complimentary restaurants are ok but usually serve the same food. Definately try the noodle bar. There private island is nice but dont ask a crew member a question unless you want the run around and no answer. Ask fellow cruisers, you get a better answer or at the very least some help. The free bbq was ok but all the cold items are placed on the table (cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, pasta salad and cole slaw)...NO attempt to keep it cold/safe so get there when they open and not after its been sitting out for an hour. We saw 2 shows on the cruise, Six and Burn the Floor. They were both excellent. If you like to see shows, book before you leave or day one when you board otherwise good luck getting in. This includes comedy shows, art classes etc......limited seating and no wait list is offered if someone cancels. The staff suggestion was "you can wait here and see if someone dosent show up". Zero customer service skills. The Pool??? 4000 guests on the boat and its smaller than the pool in your back yard. Chairs....go at 5 am and put your stuff on chairs or you want or you wont get one....and the staff dosent police it nor do they remove towels if someone isnt in the chair like better more customer service oriented cruise lines do. There are 2 big bars poolside and always a long wait for a drink.....a total joke. This cruise seems to nickel and dime you any way they can...up charges on so much. Customer service is terrible. Entertainment venus way too small. AND HOW IS THERE NO 24 HOUR PIZZA? My family and I had a good time anyway because we make the most of any situation....thats why I give it 3 stars. For the money....book with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our first, and unfortunately, our last cruise experience. The ship is beautiful, but 4000 people crammed in one ship, no matter how big, is just too much. Embarkation was quick and easy and we booked an excursion so had priority ... Read More
This was our first, and unfortunately, our last cruise experience. The ship is beautiful, but 4000 people crammed in one ship, no matter how big, is just too much. Embarkation was quick and easy and we booked an excursion so had priority disembarkation. Can't comment on what it would've been like if we hadn't had an excursion. OVERALL GOOD: The service from our room stewart and dining attendants was wonderful. We had a spa room with unlimited access to the thermal suite and it was the saving grace of the entire cruise. The therapy pool, sauna and loungers were wonderful and provided some peace and quiet away from the crowds. OVERALL BAD: San Juan port had a major water main break and there were NO restrooms available in the entire city. Guests were not informed of this before getting off the ship which was ridiculous! And don't get me started on the tender process in Great Stirrup Cay. Save yourself the trouble and stay on the ship. It was completely disorganized with most people waiting hours to get on a tender only to wait at least another hour to get back on again. One of the ship employees said that they were short on tenders that day, but I read reviews complaining about this very issue before our cruise so it's not something new. Royal Caribbean's private island is right next to GSC and they have a dock, so I see no reason NCL couldn't build one too. DINING: our favorite speciality restaurant was Ocean Blue and our least favorite Moderno. Cagney's was nice, but nothing you can't get at any good steakhouse stateside. We really enjoyed the buffet for breakfast. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
So for our Honeymoon we decided to splurge on a suite and decided to cruise with Norwegian because of the Haven suites. We got a spa suite and the room was very nice. having a full king bed was way better than two twins squeezed together. ... Read More
So for our Honeymoon we decided to splurge on a suite and decided to cruise with Norwegian because of the Haven suites. We got a spa suite and the room was very nice. having a full king bed was way better than two twins squeezed together. Our Butler Percy, the Steward Emmanuel, and the Concierge Bowen were all top notch. So on to the part about the Haven suite not being worth the money. The embarkation process was a mess. We were told to go the Haven Suite waiting area. We get there and there are already groups of people standing around. After talking to a few of the other guests we find out who we're behind in line. A lady from the counter instructs us to sit down and we would be checked in. As we are sitting and waiting, more people show up and then are checked in before we are even though we have been waiting. How hard is it to pass out numbers and then call the next person who is waiting? The process was very unorganized and got people upset. Then onward to the Haven restaurant, by far the worst service that we received on the whole ship. we weren't offer bread and had to ask for it for our first meal there. Then we had breakfast there the next morning and it wasn't anything special. So we decided to give it another chance for dinner. We had a reservation and were promptly seated at 8:00 pm. Once again we did were not offered bread although all the other tables had bread baskets. We ordered and our appetizers did not arrive until 9:00 pm. An hour after we arrived. We did not get our food until 9:40 PM. I had to speed eat my food because we had a show to catch at 10:00 pm. That was the last time we ever went back to the Haven restaurant. As far as the private Haven pool area, we never went because there were always kids there. It would've been a lot nicer if it was an adults only area. I get it, families booked the suites as well and they are entitled to use the area just like everyone else so we just stayed away. The thermal spa was a pretty area. The problem is that Norwegian asks that you don't reserve seats and limit your use of the heated seats to 30 minutes but it was never enforced. The hot tub was more of a warm tub and the thermal pool was luke warm as well but I'm pretty sure that's how it was intended to be.The nicest part of that areas was the steam room which was really nice and the salt room. We were offered priority embarkation which was pretty much useless in Tortola and Puerto Rico since we docked. It came in handy in Stirrup Cay when we had to tender. My only complaint was once we got off the elevator we immediately ran into a line of people waiting to get off the ship as well. The people that had been waiting looked at us as if we were cutting in line. Norwegian should have someone escort the guests to the front of the line and then tell the Security officer that these are suite guests with priority disembarkation for the tenders. We paid over $2000 more for the suite versus a balcony room and the amenities we got in my opinion were not worth it. On a side note, the food on the ship was average. Cagney's Steakhouse was mediocre as well as La Cucina. Moderno Churrascaria was a pleasant surprise. We ended up there when we couldn't get reservations for Ocean Blue. Moderno had the best service and the best food on the whole ship. Hopefully this review is read by people in the Norwegian company and proper steps are taken to make the Haven amenities more worthwhile for people that pay the extra money. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Freestyle dining is great. Included dining was very good. Extra dining was excellent. Aft Balcony room was great. Service and bars were fantastic. Entertainment was great. Dinner show Velvet was the best. Crowded pool area and people ... Read More
Freestyle dining is great. Included dining was very good. Extra dining was excellent. Aft Balcony room was great. Service and bars were fantastic. Entertainment was great. Dinner show Velvet was the best. Crowded pool area and people saving deck chairs was very frustrating. Pool area seemed small for such a large ship. Excursions were good, but swimming with stingrays was advertised as a 1 and stated that didn't need to be a good swimmer. My girlfriend doesn't swim very well and you had to swim in deep water for a short distance so she was afraid to go in. I enjoyed it though. Embarkation and disembarkation were quick and easy. Public areas on the ship were beautiful and all of the staff was friendly and helpful. Stirrup Caye was wonderful other than the problem with the excursion. Great value for the money. Drink package, dining package, excursion package and reduced air fare were included. Ship is perfect size (other than pool deck). Met many friendly people on board. Diverse group of people. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband, sister and brother in law sailed in early February. This was my 14th cruise, 4th with NCL and my brother-in-law's first cruise. After reading some of the recent reviews, I was afraid my brother in law would think cruising ... Read More
My husband, sister and brother in law sailed in early February. This was my 14th cruise, 4th with NCL and my brother-in-law's first cruise. After reading some of the recent reviews, I was afraid my brother in law would think cruising is the absolute worst, but that was not the case and he is ready to sail again! We arrived at the port just after 12pm, and were on the ship around 1245pm. The atrium bar was extremely busy as it is the first bar people walk by when boarding the ship, so we went to the pool bar, ordered two drinks each (to save us time from going up again soon) and went to the buffet. * Dining: We really enjoyed the buffet for breakfast and lunch throughout the week. While food stays the same, there is so much food to choose from, that you could easily have a new meal each day. The breakfast buffet has eggs benedict which are only at the start of the buffet so be sure to get these right when you walk in. Mid week, we learned Moderno offers a smaller breakfast buffet and it was really enjoyable! We put our meals together and sat outside listening to the waves and enjoying the sunshine. Cagneys is really good but I wish they would adjust the lighting--it was very dim in the restaurant and a decent amount of people used their cell phones for extra light.The Italian restaurant is also very good and if you plan on Hibacchi, go hungry as the portions are very large! At all the restaurants we had polite servers and bartenders. We were in and out of most places in an hour or so. * Stateroom: We had a balcony on deck 11 and it was very quiet. Pillows were very soft, too soft for my liking so I took a bathroom towel and folded it into the pillow case and that helped me sleep. I recommend bringing a night light to place in the bathroom. If you need to go overnight, you have to use the main bathroom light and it will be very bright on your eyes. * Ports: We booked the cruise to go back to the Baths in Tortola and it was amazing! In San Juan, we walked around and explored city on our own. We were one of the lucky sailings that stopped at their private island in the Bahamas and it was beautiful! There was entertainment and it is basically a giant beach day. * Entertainment: There is plenty to do on the ship. So much, that no one could ever be bored. We saw Burn the Floor., the magic show and I ended up winning $300 on a slot machine! You can easily find a quiet spot to read, or a show to watch or participate in. We only had one day of cloudy weather so we played Uno and drank wine at a bar which was very entertaining. I would sail this ship again in a heart beat. I was actually more nervous, than excited going on this cruise based on the reviews I read. But that was not the case at all, and I felt that I was looking for things to go wrong but they didnt. Dont stress and you will have fun! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had experienced RCL's 2 bedroom suite but our family was intrigued with the Haven concept. We found it to be almost everything we had anticipated with one or two flaws. We were on Deck 15 and the main Haven area was on 16 which ... Read More
We had experienced RCL's 2 bedroom suite but our family was intrigued with the Haven concept. We found it to be almost everything we had anticipated with one or two flaws. We were on Deck 15 and the main Haven area was on 16 which required a flight of 17 stairs, difficult for me at 93. So we needed to use the elevator which meant going out of the Haven area, use the main bank of elevators and often wait longer than we liked. Other than that, it was wonderful. Our butler was attentive, available and thoughtful and the concierge scrounged up tickets for us when they were scarce. The pool area is small, but comfortable and not crowded. The roof is supposed to open, but never budged so we did not get the fresh air of the open skies. Embarkation and debarkation was the best it could be. Getting on board we were escorted directly to our cabin after quick check in and got our 2 bedroom suite settled in no time. Baggage did take a while to be delivered but it was no problem. Debarkation was fantastic. We met in the Haven lounge, went to a service elevator and were taken off the ship and out of the terminal with facial recognition taking the place of immigration passport check. We were actually home in our Rockledge, FL home by 9:00 AM after a full breakfast. Food in the restaurant was excellent although the menu never changed, but there were enough selections to keep most people happy and quality and quantity were great. My two daughters cwere vegans and the chef made their meals special just for them. I only saw one show which was fine, and have to say most of our group said others were good as well. Casino was as usual too smokey to make any stay there pleasant. Tendering at the out island was pretty congested but the Haven crew did their best to get us on the tender painlessly. On the island the snorkeling was good but the canopy we rented was pretty much a waste. The cabin was fine, but the layout made me question the thought behind the plan. Master bedroom had a huge bathtub with a picture window so the bath area had a better view than the living room. Second bedroom was small but with full bath. Living area furnitute was also a puzzle with only one chair and the sofa for seating. But all in all, we felt pampered and special in most all the areas and would do it again, but on Deck 16, not 15. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 3rd NCL cruise, but the 1st on a boat with nearly 4,000 passengers. This is a lengthy and hopefully an informative review. Executive Summary - It’s in the title of the review, NCL Stayaway or as some other passengers ... Read More
This was our 3rd NCL cruise, but the 1st on a boat with nearly 4,000 passengers. This is a lengthy and hopefully an informative review. Executive Summary - It’s in the title of the review, NCL Stayaway or as some other passengers referred to it, Get-in-line vice Getaway. Your money and time can be better spent. Although, some passengers rationalized the inadequacies in service, line ups, etc. as any vacation is a good vacation, my counter is NOT if you are spending it waiting in lines. Departure port - New Orleans Cruise dates 7-16 February 2020 Ports - Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Honduras, Harvest Caye, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico Pre-cruise - stayed at the Hyatt Centric, perfectly located, excellent service, facilities and steps away from the French Quarter. Pre-cruise tours - followed the advice of another Cruise Critic reviewer and booked Foodie and Cocktail walking tours through New Orleans Secrets before we left home and both were awesome and informative. Getting to the cruise terminal was difficult. Normally a 15 minute ride from the French Quarter took 1 1/2 hours due to construction, road blockages and traffic. Even the NCL new crew bus took over an hour to get to the cruise terminal. We received a text message from NCL at approximately 11 a.m. day of departure that we were requested to NOT arrive before 1 p.m. due to late arrival of Getaway because of weather. I can’t remember how we found out, but 4 p.m. departure was pushed to 6 p.m., but I think we departed closer to 6:30 p.m. or later. Upon arrival at the New Orleans cruise terminal it was clear that something was not right. There were multiple lines streaming out of the cruise terminal and unsecured luggage all over the place, even on the roadway. We spent over an hour in line outside the cruise terminal, so it was fortunate that it was not raining. There were actually two lines on either side of the main roadway leading to door #1 and I estimated that there were approximately 800-1,000 passengers lined up outside. Upon entering the cruise terminal the line up of passengers stretched the entire length of the cruise terminal (door #1 to door #4 and beyond) and back again to go through security. In total we spent approximately 3 1/2 hours in line awaiting security and getting our ship pass before getting on the boat. A few low-lights. There wasn’t anyone from NCL providing information as to the lengthy delays. Someone in authority could have at least come through the cruise terminal, provided some information and their regrets as to the delay. There were lots of people in wheel chairs and we saw people pleading with cruise terminal staff to help the people in the wheel chairs, as they did not have adequate access to restroom facilities. Unfortunately, we saw at least one person in a wheel chair that was crying and another that had soiled themselves due to the long time in the line up. Despite the pleas of their significant others or other people, absolutely nothing was done to alleviate their predicaments. In addition, due to the long line ups, many older people were having a hard time standing for the 3 1/2 hours and were requesting wheels chairs. Again cruise terminal staff did nothing except to wave their arms that wheel chairs were “over there”, when in fact there were none. There were some chairs for people to sit near door one, so typically, if a couple, one person would sit, while the other person trudged along in the line up. Again, not one person in authority or in charge were to be seen. This was truly a lack of leadership on both the cruise terminal and NCL Getaway and is shameful. I had the opportunity to meet with NCL Getaway’s Assistant General Manager and the lead for excursions after I submitted a complaint to guest services. The A/GM’s response was basically, we are only concerned with the passenger’s welfare or we are not to blame until the passenger is on the boat. I think that is flawed thinking and that NCL Corporate would likely see the situation differently, but in reality they probably don’t care, as very few passengers complain directly to NCL. That is not to say they don’t complain, as I heard plenty of complaints by passengers while waiting in the various line ups and venues. Hearing people saying that they are never going to cruise with Norwegian ever again or that they will never take another cruise based on their experience on NCL Getaway should be of concern to NCL Corporate. There was the opportunity for NCL Getaway leadership to rectify the situation, as they could have either taken a phased approach to the embarkation process, just like the debarkation process and/or installed the aft gangway for embarkation. Instead they did nothing and this showed lack of initiative and leadership on the part of NCL Getaway senior officers. Security - given the emphasis on “security” it was unbelievable that there was unsecured luggage piled inside, outside and on the roadway. It is not hard to imagine a variety of scenarios that could impact the security of passengers, the cruise terminal and the boat. Accident waiting to happen. On a positive note, plenty of people were able to “smuggle” various types of bottles onboard the boat, whether it was alcohol or soda/pop. Health screening - there was lots of speculation as to the delay being related to Corona Virus screening and pro-active health screening, all of which was totally false. Health screening consisted of filling out forms, self identifying whether you had recently visited China, felt poorly, had a fever, etc. This certainly wasn’t due diligence on the part of the New Orleans cruise terminal authority, nor NCL. Given the length of time that passengers spent waiting in line, a more pro-active health screening would have at least given the passengers a sense of security that both agencies were taking health screening serious, again a clear lack of leadership of the cruise terminal and NCL. Passenger welfare - basically none on the part of the cruise terminal, nor NCL. Although some lemonade and water was offered to those in the line up, after about 2+ hours of waiting in the line up. I know at this point, that had we been able to pack the whole cruise in and not lose what we have paid, we would have jumped at the opportunity and returned home. We have cruised many times, on several different cruise lines and we have never seen a Gong Show as we did on the embarkation process of NCL Getaway (aka NCL Stayaway). Once we had our SeaPass and were onboard the chaos did not get any better. Given that all boarding was via the Forward set of elevators it created a huge backlog of people waiting to get an elevator. People in wheel chairs had no chance of securing an elevator unless they parked themselves in front of an elevator. Recurring theme here is lack of initiative and leadership to have NCL Getaway staff positioned to direct and take charge of the elevators. To add to the confusion, were those passengers that had already boarded and were “exploring” the boat and riding the elevators. Simple solution, would have been to ask those inconsiderate people, with plates of food and drinks to use the aft set of elevators, to allow those passengers that had finally made it onto ship to at least get to their state room. Our stateroom was what we expected. Although the lack of forethought by NCL corporate to have plug-in near the bed for such things as CPAPs and USB plug-ins for electronic showed their lack of knowing what passengers want. If you are a CPAP user, the first thing on your list for housekeeping is to ask for an extension cord. Complimentary Dining - Garden Cafe (buffet), Savor, Taste and Tropicana Room. Standard dishes, nothing special. We enjoyed the Tropicana Room, as they had music, people could dance or just eat and listen to the music and watch people dancing. If you want to have a conversation with your dining partner(s) or don’t like loud music, make sure you don’t get seated anywhere near the dance floor or turn off your hearing aids. Never had to wait long to be seated. O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill - not a bad option, decent wings, fish & chip fix, burgers not so great. Serving staff poorly trained, unmotivated or a combination of both. We jokingly referred to it as “the penalty box”, as we imagined that was where they sent the problem servers. Menu Choices - the menus were lack lustre, in the whole cruise there were only a couple of really difference and flavourful offerings. Although they do try to trick you into thinking that the menu is different, but changing the order of starters, entrees on the menu (e.g. Onion Soup, amongst others), so it was sort of like “Where’s Waldo” looking for where they had moved the previous nights menu items. Maybe they think that all the passengers memories are going, but it’s just smoke & mirrors on NCL’s part. Gratuities & Service Charges - be forewarned, they are everywhere, even with the “free” perks. You can even rack up a gratuity when serving yourself from the mini-fridge in your stateroom. Of course, it is always “for your convenience” that they nickel and dime you to death. The days of pre-paid gratuities are over, although it is advertised as “for your convenience”. Let the cruise lines pay their staff adequately, who work very hard, particularly housekeeping, instead of having passengers subsidize their wages. We will alway give our stateroom attendant gratuities directly because they go above and beyond. I have no confidence that all of the gratuities make it to the people that most deserve it. So the key here is to not pre-pay gratuities and/or make sure your go to guest services and have them stop the daily gratuity charge. Give what you can afford to your stateroom attendant and anybody else you think deserves it. We usually give them some pre-paid calling cards and a little sweet or something that we buy in one of the ports (e.g. Roatan Rum Factory Cakes) in addition to the money. Ocho Rios - why do they even stop here any longer? We booked a tour here, were told to meet in the theatre, sat there over an hour before they announced that the tour operator would be another 15-20 minutes, but offered refunds, which plenty of passengers took them up on their offer. The rational was because the boat was parked in an “industrial area” there was limited room for folks to wait for the buses, and the buses had to be “organized”. We had been here before, and didn’t recall other cruise lines having the same problems. So we walked off the boat into town. The aspect that we hate about Ocho Rios and Jamaica as a whole is the aggressive vendors and tour operators shouting and actually placing bracelets on your wrists and badgering you. Do they think this actually works and a good approach. Perhaps the local business improvement group can get this toned down a lot, as it reflects poorly on Ocho Rios. Oh, and after saying NO, it’s probably in poor taste to them offer to sell drugs, “smoke”, etc. to cruise passengers. Shopping - barter. A Jamaican coffee cup (made in China) was advertised as $24.99, but they said it was 50% off today, so $12, I offered $5 and we settled on $7. I imagine it is the same for pretty much everything Grand Cayman - tendered. This was a gong show, over an hour to get off the boat and into Georgetown. Whoever is responsible for organizing tendering, either failed that part of the job description or thinks that passengers want to wait in lines. Grand Cayman - very nice, tours offered politely and you don’t feel the same aggressiveness as Ocho Rios. Plenty of alternatives to NCL provide tours and less pricey. Don’t buy the excuse that NCL excursions guarantee to get you back to the boat on time. All tours are local tour operators, priced better than NCL and Cruise Critic is an excellent source for potential tours, based on other cruiser’s experiences. Roatan - best port of the cruise. Searching through Cruise Critic, we followed the recommendations of previous cruisers and booked online, before we left home a personal/private tour with Victor Bodden Tours. Our tour guide Worthy was excellent and made sure we say what we wanted. Namely, holding a sloth, monkeys, parrots/macaws on our heads, plus a variety of other stops, Roatan is a unique place and we would like to visit it again. Outside of the main complex in Roatan there are booths with tour operators that are as aggressive as those in Jamaica, but they are confined to their allotted booth space, but they are all shouting at you and it feels like you are walking a gauntlet or a prison corridor and everybody is shouting at you. The local tourist authority might want to see if they can do something about the situation, because it reflects poorly on them. Harvest Caye - NCL’s “private” island, was a waste of time. Lots of reviews related to Harvest Caye on Cruise Critic, and it’s accurate. Note to NCL Corporate, if you are going to build ships or have a “private” island, you might want to be able to dock the boat vice tender. Poorly planned and poorly executed concept. We already paid for the cruise, we shouldn’t have to pay to get fed. Costa Maya - we were pleasantly surprised by this port, thought it was going to be another Cozumel. Swim with dolphins, some decent shops, etc. Long walk along the pier, but nice to stretch the legs. They do have a people mover for those that need it, but it seemed to be primarily the lazy riding it. It was very funny that the “engine” had run low on gas or something, have disconnected from the “wagon” and had gone to refuel. When we walked by the “wagon” we heard people complaining that they had been on the “wagon” for over 30 minutes, yet they were only about 50 feet from the shopping village. Might want to consider walking the last few steps if able and leave the people mover for those that truly need it. Mississippi River - it’s a shame that transiting the Mississippi is done in the dark both ways. It’s a long way from New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, but if you turn your TV to the bridge channel and wait for some lights to show up, then go to your balcony. It’s amazing to see tankers and other cruise ships passing so close to one another. Debarkation - Airport transfer well worth it, otherwise lots of cabs available right at door #1, plus Uber & Lyft. If you can carry your own bags off the boat, do it. Time slot for doing so is 7:15 - 9 a.m. Although we had to endure one last Get-in-line on the Getaway. This line-up stretched from the forward elevators, through the Casino and back again to the forward exit. We were on one of the first buses to the airport. Once at the airport, if you have a couple of hours before your flight and don’t have access to the Sky Lounge or similar clubs, there is a lounge called “The Club” near gate A1. The cost was ~$78 for two people and you have Internet access, food, bar, comfortable seating and even a shower. Well worth it and NO service charge “for your convenience” So that’s it, that’s all. Won’t sail on a large capacity boat again, regardless of the cruise line, and most certainly not NCL. Overall Stayaway from NCL Getaway. NCL certainly won’t go out of business from the loss of our business, but we will feel a whole lot better spending our money on a cruise line that provides better service, has more interesting ports, unique menus (without charging you extra), even if it costs us more per cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Our grandson enjoyed the high ropes and climbing wall Our room only had about 16 inches between our couch and our dresser. Compared to other cruise lines we have been on this was very small and hard to walk around but the room steward ... Read More
Our grandson enjoyed the high ropes and climbing wall Our room only had about 16 inches between our couch and our dresser. Compared to other cruise lines we have been on this was very small and hard to walk around but the room steward did keep our room clean and tidy. We purchased our excursions through Norwegian CL. We did the Bobsled in Jamaica which was enjoyable especially the ride up to the top but it was very expensive for 1 trip down the mountain. The trip up Dunn's falls was very nice. But be aware that in Jamaica you will be badgered by everyone wanting a tip. At Dunn's falls the guy who followed us taking pictures of us climbing the falls chased us across an open area and demanded a tip even though we didn't want the pictures. Don't walk through the souvenir area go around !!! When we went Reef and Wreck snorkeling at Grand Cayman, the boat was 1 hour late for a 2 1/2 hour trip but we returned to the ship at the scheduled time even though it wasn't leaving anytime soon. We sat on the dock in our bus for 45 minutes at Roat'an Bay before our excursion to Gumbalimba Preserve. This was a very enjoyable trip but we were rushed back to the bus and people who wanted to purchase pictures of their family with with the birds were told there wasn't enough time to look at the photos. The dinner that comes with this excursion was very good and my family enjoyed the beach afterwords. Harvest Caye is Norwegians own island and the only one we were on time for. It was mainly a beach and swim area with several local shops. At Costa Maya Mexico the ship was at the end of a pier that was literally 1/2 mile long ( keep in mind if you have trouble walking). The Guide for the Chacchoben ruins was very good and kept us entertained both at the ruins and the 1 hour bus ride to and from the ruins. The buffet dining was good however the sit down evening dining meals were mediocre at best with very little selection. The waiters did take care of us fairly quickly. The Million Dollar Quartet show was well worth the time but we found the other shows run of the mill. Note : If you fly in winter you may be sent north with less than an hour layover and if the plane is delayed you will be responsible to catch the boat at your own expense if you don't have insurance Would I travel on Norwegian Getaway again? never Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We choose this cruise because we had not been to most of the stops nor traveled with Norwegian and wanted to give it a try. Aside from the embarkation which was a NIGHTMARE because we waited in lines for over 3 hours with absolutely no ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we had not been to most of the stops nor traveled with Norwegian and wanted to give it a try. Aside from the embarkation which was a NIGHTMARE because we waited in lines for over 3 hours with absolutely no communication from anyone regarding what was going on! People were lined up on the street for what seemed like miles. We heard rumor the ship was 3 hours late getting into port from the previous cruise but no idea if that was true. We finally set sail at 7PM rather than 4PM. Entertainment was amazing...an 80’s throwback band; Back In The Day was awesome...we saw them 6 times! The house band at Syd Norman’s was also great! Steven, Alli, and Emma are wonderful singers. The dueling pianos and comedy shows where also great. Really enjoy the Cirque du soleil show and meal but think it should have been included rather than pay an additional fee. The Million Dollar Quartet show was great as well which was included. Overall it was a wonderful trip, just need better communication regarding delays. We ate in the Taste and Savor restaurants most nights and had a delightful server named Muyuk (not spelt right) from India...hands down best ever on any vacation and deserves to be recognized as some other servers were not good at all! We had the drink package which was worth it even if you are not big drinkers but know bottled water is not included in this package which is insane to me! Drinks were good and lots of variety and decent amount of alcohol in them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Overall we enjoyed our cruise, although we found the ship to be too big. We prefer smaller ships. Food, complimentary or other was very good and fresh. Service is always great. Service for drinks was great at several venues. Our favs ... Read More
Overall we enjoyed our cruise, although we found the ship to be too big. We prefer smaller ships. Food, complimentary or other was very good and fresh. Service is always great. Service for drinks was great at several venues. Our favs were th eSunset Bar with Neli and Ray, And O Shenans Bar. Getting on the ship was a long process but not NCL 's fault. They were late coming in due to bad weather, but there were 2 other ships already in port in New Orleans. The fault lies with the New Orleans Port of Authority who are not properly organized for all the marine and pedestrian traffic at all!! They need to more properly organize space for taxis and pedestrians Disembarking was quick and easy. Again, outside trying to get a taxi is disorganized thanks to Port of Authority! But have to say that options for smokers are truly AWFUL and disgusting.!!! Certainly better conditions can be made available???? Space is too small and not well ventillated. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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