1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews

2,754 Norwegian (NCL) Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We initially chose this cruise because a rum cake went terribly wrong! I made a rum cake using my husband’s prized rum from Grand Cayman. Learning that this was no ordinary rum and it was impossible to replace here in New Mexico, I knew ... Read More
We initially chose this cruise because a rum cake went terribly wrong! I made a rum cake using my husband’s prized rum from Grand Cayman. Learning that this was no ordinary rum and it was impossible to replace here in New Mexico, I knew a cruise to the Cayman Islands was in our future. Fortunately, we were able to find this 9 day cruise headed to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Roatán, Belize and Costa Maya. My husband and I joined the Cruise Critic roll call and volunteered to start a Meet and Greet group. It was a great experience with 226 attendees, had volunteers to host a pub crawl, slot pull, LCR dice games and gift exchange. It was a great way to meet fellow cruisers on a one to one basis. We conducted the gift exchange by matching couples with others from different parts of the country and had them meet and exchange their gifts face to face. We also made the name tags and added birthday and anniversary stickers so that they would be recognized celebrating a special occasion. Door prizes were given for signing up and helping at the meet and greet, thus showing it pays to attend! The event staff was fantastic...easy to work with and very accommodating..true cruise Heroes. Embarkation in New Orleans was a mess but totally unavoidable as the weather and a medical emergency delayed us by 3-5 hours. We snaked around in line for hours, hot, exhausted and confused but totally happy to be on vacation. Once on board, we were greeted by name by our room steward, Grace, who was exceptional! Our stateroom, 14714, spa balcony, was always clean, well stocked and comfortable. The whole ship was clean and well kept. The staff in every dining room was excellent! We did Teppanyaki twice, Cagney’s twice, Moderno, Noodle Bar, Wasabi, Savor and Taste. Friendly and they always went above and beyond to make our dining experience a delight...even fulfilling special requests for my family for tortillas, hot silli peppers and corn beef hash! Only bad experience was Ocean Blue, My son who was wearing long pants but was not wearing a collared shirt was not allowed in. Staff member was very rude about it, so we, as a family walked away. The best ports for us were Harvest Caye and Grand Cayman. Beautiful facilities and great tours. We did the taste of Cayman tour and had a great time. Harvest Caye, we did the Black swan electric boat...fascinating and educational. Our guides were very good. We also enjoyed Roatán, Jolly Rogers snorkeling...gorgeous! Jamaica and Costa Maya were ok, but been there, done that. Entertainment was great...really enjoyed million dollar quartet! Burn the Floor was fine but too loud. Enjoyed many of the activities in the Atrium too! We opted to walk off with our luggage, which saved some time. It was fast and we were off in 20 minutes even with a line. We booked a private tour with Tours by Locals because we had 3 hours before we had to be at the airport. He was on time, met us in a private car and did a great tour. He was knowledgeable about everything from architectural homes, levees, music venues and food..even did a quick stop at Cafe Dumond for Beignets and coffee! This cruise was everything we hoped for and would do it again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just like so many of you, I came to cruise critic to read reviews before I booked my 9 Day Caribbean Cruise on NCL's Breakaway. After reading so many negative comments I still booked on NCL, because I've sailed on NCL several ... Read More
Just like so many of you, I came to cruise critic to read reviews before I booked my 9 Day Caribbean Cruise on NCL's Breakaway. After reading so many negative comments I still booked on NCL, because I've sailed on NCL several times before without any issues. I believe that some people return home after a cruise and then use Cruise Critic to complain about everything. Some people will complain about anything and you just can't satisfy them. I read about unfriendly workers on the ship (couldn't be farther from the truth). I read about how the employees seemed overworked (again, although they work long hours), they didn't seem lifeless or tired to me. I read that the food is not good, perhaps other reviewers were eating on-shore or expected 5 Star Dining...hey this is cruise ship serving over 4,000 people, 3+ meals a day....is it 5 Star dining, not likely, but I found the food very good and nothing really to complain about. In fact, my wife is Gluten Free and the ship had many options for her and took big steps to make sure she was happy...and she was. So please beware of "complainers: on this site. So here's my review: We departed out of New Orleans and unfortunately the ship was late in it's arrival, due to rough seas and a medical emergency that required a helicopter to pick up a sick passenger on the way to port. Because people will leaving the ship as thousands of new passengers were arriving to board, it created quite a large group of people coming and going...thus it took longer than expected to check in and board...all we heard around us is how upset people were to have to wait so long to board...i keep telling everyone to relax, you're now on vacation. It took us 1:45 mins and I heard from others that it took them 3 hours. Things happen, chill out. When we finally boarded we went to our cabin, dropped off our carry-ons and went to lunch at Taste. We had a nice relaxing meal. Cabin is what we expected, but the balcony was a bit smaller than normal. But enough space to sit and read and enjoy the passing seas. There is a great deal of storage space, but you have to look for it. There are even drawers under the sofa/bed. Keep looking there is more storage space then you think. Only two AC outlets, but we always bring a small 5 plug power bar. Hair dryer is included. Shower a bit larger than on some ships, but still small. I don't know how the large people on board (and there are a lot of them) fit in there??? Let's talk about food. Buffet, pretty standard fare, we dined at Taste, Savour, The Tropicana (main dining room) and for our comp dining package (4 meals), Cagney's (steak was perfect), Teppanyaki (fun and very filling), La Cucina (nothing to write home about) and Moderno (skip the salad bar, you don't want to fill up there) where they come to your table 11 times with different choices of meat, they slice it off for you, and there is an extraordinary array of flavors to enjoy. This was my favorite! Here's a secret, in a hurry and want to skip the crowds at the buffet...Margaritaville (deck 16) serves breakfast and no one was ever there. We also liked O'Sheenan's for breakfast. No matter where we went, we were seated within minutes for breakfast, lunch or dinner.. A must - book your entertainment & restaurants on line right after you book your trip. things can sell out fast. Especially Cirque Dreams and Steam. And, arrive early for a better seat for this dinner and the incredible show. Now, let's talk entertainment - The comedians were okay, but I laughed till I cried at the comedy magic show performance of Levent. Arrive early, sit in the 3 or 4th row and get ready to have a great time with lots of laughs. "Burn the Floor" is the most amazing dance show I've ever seen...how can these performers do this twice in one night. This show has world class competitive dancers, who have been competing since they were young kids. OMG! "Million Dollar Quartet", also not to be missed, for this one there's not a bad seat in the house. There is so much to do, you won't bored for a second. Casino - Slot are as tight as I've ever seen on a cruise ship. Fortunately I play poker, it's a 2/5 game with an outrageous 10% rake on every hand (max $25.00). Game started every night around 9 pm, Only one table so if you're on the wait list be prepared to wait a while. Same basic players every night. Skip the Poker Tournament, it's a joke with re-buys and add-ons Cruise ports: My wife and i have been to everyone of these ports before and I have one word of advice, if you're booking an excursion you'll save a ton by simply going ashore and signing up for a excursion from one of the many booths in every port. Cruise ships charge a huge premium to book through them. Use NCL's website to choose what you'd like to do and then just go ashore and you'll find many companies offering the same excursion at a lower rate. Harvest Cay - NCL's private island. Wonderful, tons of lounge chairs, great big beautiful swimming pool with swim up bar. No complaints about any of the ports, my wife loves to shop and I love to people watch and take photos...felt safe every where we went. This was our 13th cruise, 5th on NCL. We love cruising and honestly, you won't be disappointing with the Breakaway. If you have any specific questions, I'm happy to answer. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for the itinary and free offerings. The embarkation was not very good but no fault of Norwegian, weather conditions delayed entry into the Mississippi river. The actual check in process was slow due to Norwegian check ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinary and free offerings. The embarkation was not very good but no fault of Norwegian, weather conditions delayed entry into the Mississippi river. The actual check in process was slow due to Norwegian check in people thoroughly examining all passports for travel to and from China. Our stateroom 11832 mini suite and balcony was smaller than we were used to but the bathroom size made up for that. The stateroom attendant was not to good, the closet doors still had hand marks from the previous occupants, the mirrors were not cleaned all cruise and no vacuuming was done. The Tropicana dining room is too large for the staff to handle and if you are seated by the stage, conversation is difficult. We used the Taste and Savor dining rooms and they were very good nice and intimate and service was good even though the menus were the same. We found the pool too small and having two bars right there, people were sitting around the edges of it. The barstaff were good but even better when we dropped them a dollar each time we got a drink. The Skyye Ice bar was a novelty but disappointing because it was just a freezer with a block of ice in it as a throne. One port call was a farce getting off as there was no direction from staff to which elevators were being used, consequently people were standing in the wrong lineup. All shore excursions were ok except the Stingray city sandbar one which was a rip off. There were to many people in such a small area, The guides were pushing people to have photos done with a Ray. This was very cruel for the Rays due to the guides picking them out of the water and posing them with people. There was no way you could film Rays actually swimming freely. Apart from the negatives all in all it was a good cruise Disembarking in New Orleans was a breeze and the airport transfer was fine. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Departure city Our cruise departed out of New Orleans. We chose to arrive on Wednesday, two days early, and utilized the free/reduced airfare offered by NCL paying only the $25 fee for our flights. Our flight was out of Ohare Airport in ... Read More
Departure city Our cruise departed out of New Orleans. We chose to arrive on Wednesday, two days early, and utilized the free/reduced airfare offered by NCL paying only the $25 fee for our flights. Our flight was out of Ohare Airport in Chicago through Delta connecting to a Delta flight out of Atlanta. We arrived in New Orleans around 6pm and had an easy time getting an Uber out of the airport. The drive was about 30min to our hotel right next to the French Quarter. We were able to walk to the restaurant Napoleons and Café Beignet that night. Thursday we took the streetcar to the WWII museum and toured the Garden district. We went to Deanie's Seafood restaurant for dinner and walked around Jackson Square as well. All in all, the small taste of New Orleans we had was perfect before our cruise and made me want to go back to have a full experience soon! _______________________________________ Embarkation and Debarkation The ship was late into port due to conditions entering the Mississippi the night before. Because of this embarkation was a little messy. We had plans to arrive at the port around 11am since our boarding time was noon. On our way to the port that morning we received a text saying no to arrive before 1pm since they were running off schedule. Seeing as we were already on our way we just kept going and hoped for the best. This was our first cruise, and to be honest we personally did not think that the embarkation process was that bad. We dropped off our luggage and got into line for security. The line for security and checking in was a little backed up, but nothing that I wasn't expecting with 4,000+ people all trying to go through one area. They checked our passports to ensure we had not been to China in the past 30 days due to the coronavirus outbreak and we were on our way to the seating area. Refreshments were provided and we sat down for only around 15 min before our group number was called. We arrived at the port around 11am, had group 7 assigned upon check in, and were walking onto the ship by 12:30pm. Debarkation was relatively easy. We received our information for debarkation 2 nights before. They gave us the luggage tags for our bags to be taken off the ship and we placed our bags out in the hall the last night around 9pm. They were very good at going down the halls and grabbing bags as they were placed out so that your items were not left out in the hall for long. In the morning they had the buffet and main dining rooms open for breakfast until 8:30a, and you had to be out of your room by 9am. We ate in the main dining room and then sat in the atrium where they had a video playing with clips from the cruise. Our luggage tag color was called around 9:15am and then we waited in line to leave the ship. Our luggage was easy to find and the line for customs was not long at all. We then got in line for the airport transfer, which we waited for about 20 min for. The shuttle was comfortable enough for the 30 min drive. _______________________________________ Ship ​This was our first cruise. The ship itself was huge! There were many places to go and get away from other people if needed. The waterfront was my personal favorite place to go. You can walk all the way around the ship and even eat and drink outside as well. The seating outside on the waterfront was great as well and we never had trouble finding somewhere to relax. The pool area was usually crowded as expected but when we wanted to get into the pool we never felt like it was to full. Finding a seat around the pool deck never took more than 5 min of looking. We usually were able to find a spot in the shade and near the stage to watch any of the performances. _______________________________________ Cabin ​Our room was just as expected. We had the mini suite room. The room part of it was the same as a regular cabin, but the bathroom we had was much larger. The larger shower area and the double sinks came in handy a lot throughout our trip. We were both able to get ready in the morning and evening without feeling like we were getting in each others way. The closet space was perfect for us, and we utilized the vanity area to house our electronics and documents. The pillows and blankets were comfortable enough, but the bed left something to be desired. It was hard and had a seam in the middle where the two twin beds were pushed together. _______________________________________ Dining ​We ate in multiple places on the ship. All were amazing. The buffet was great for quick turn around in our schedule and always had something for my pescatarian diet. The main dining rooms had great service and plenty of options. We never had to wait for a seat no matter the time that we dined. They had the dinner menu on display next to the elevators near the main dining rooms every day as well. We ate in Osheehans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner multiple times. It was a nice middle ground from the buffet and the main dining room. Quick service and amazing food. We ate at 4 of the specialty restaurants; Cagneys, modern, Le Bistro, and Ocean Blue. All of them were great, but I would say my favorite was Ocean Blue. Every course of the meal was absolutely phenomenal and the area was nice and cozy feeling. I would like to mention that if you are dining inside at any of the specialty restaurants men must be wearing full length pants (jeans or slacks), or else you will be seated in the outside areas. ​We ordered room service for early port days and that was sufficient. We just got the items that were included such as; cereals, muffins, fruit, yogurt. It was always delivered right on time and we had no complaints. _______________________________________ Entertainment and activities ​There were plenty of things to do on the ship day to day. We went to Burn the Floor, Million Dollar Quartet, Comedy shows, Howl and the moon dueling pianos, trivia, bingo, and many more. All were amazing and very entertaining. There are things happening every day and your freestyle daily as well as your ncl app has the full schedule every day. Our favorite of all the shows was the Million Dollar Quartet. The entire show was very entertaining and the performers were great. _______________________________________ Ports and excursions ​Ocho Rios - In Jamaica we did the bobsledding and dunn's river falls. We took a shuttle to Mystic Mountain for the bobsledding. You take a ski lift up the mountain that had great views of the ocean and our ship as well. At the top they had restrooms, a shop, a small place for food, and lockers to rent for $6. You have to put your items into a locker, and the locker easily fit both of our small backpacks. The line for the bobsledding was not long at all. We waited maybe 15 min in line before it was our turn. The ride was fun, and when we were done we went back down the ski lift to catch our shuttle to Dunn's river falls. The shuttle leaves every 30 min from mystic mountain and you can do it all at your own pace which was nice if you wanted to spend more time at the top of the mountain. We were told that we would be getting wet head to toe and they were correct. They have lockers for rent for $5 (+$3 deposit that you get back when you return the key). You will need water shoes for the falls, and I recommend bringing a towel to put in the locker as well so that you can dry off at the end. You hike up the waterfall with a guide and are told exactly where to step. Our group was kind of large and it sort of felt a bit rushed. Hiking up the waterfall was difficult for older guests and children, therefore I would not recommend this for people that are not physically fit. It is a 45 min hike up slippery rocks. We brought a phone with a waterproof case for pictures and videos, but they do take pictures and videos as you go, and they try to sell it to you at the end. We did not purchase. Our ship did have to dock in a construction port area since the main port was taken by another ship, therefore our immediate port area was cramped and confusing to find our excursion area. As much as we enjoyed the actual things that we did during our time in Ocho Rios, I personally will never go back. Everyone we encountered was practically begging for tips and constantly mentioning tipping them and even blatantly demanding for tips. As you leave the falls area there are a bunch of shop people trying to sell you things and they are very very pushy. It was slightly worrying navigating around that area as they all called out to your trying to sell small nik naks. The total for our excursions was $125 each. We got one ride on the bobsled and the escorted hike up the falls. The bobsledding price separately at mystic mountain was $22 for 2 rides and around $50 for 5 rides. The falls were great, but we saw people there without guides and they were doing just fine. We felt like we might have had a better time doing both of these items on our own without going through NCL, but you pay for the security of getting back to the ship on time and the shuttles I guess. ******************* George town, Grand cayman - This was by far our favorite port. We started the day meeting in the theater area with they early morning people for our tender to the shore. We had gotten tender group C, but they called for anyone ready to go for the first tender around 7am. Someone in our group found a private excursion with the company Sail with Friends. They helped us set up a ride from the port area for $14 a person to the dock and we took a catamaran boat with just our group of 12 including 2 young children. They took us to see stingrays, star fish, snorkeling, a private beach area, and just cruising around on the boat. They had drinks, fruit, and even served us pizza in the water. The price was around $100 per person. We made it back to tender back to the ship with plenty of time. ******************* Rotan Bay Islands - This day we did the NCL discover scuba excursion at Anthony's key resort. This was an amazing experience. The ride to the resort was about 20 min in a small shuttle, but it wasn't terrible. They put you through a 1 hour class to learn about the gear you will be using and safety information. Then you get on the boat and they get you all set up with your gear, including goggles and fins. We did not use body suits since the water was warm. We then went to a shallow area (next to the dolphins, so we got a peek at them for free) to test out our gear. You were able to stand in this area if needed. We were placed in groups of 4 with 1 instructor. You are then instructed to go under water onto your knees. This is where you really get a feel for it and if diving will be for you. Breathing with the regulator is definitely not easy. It took me a few minutes under water in the shallow area to get a feel for it and get comfortable with this way of breathing. Knowing that I could stand up and breath if needed was definitely helpful, as I did get scared for a few moments with the breathing. A woman in our group actually could not handle it and panicked. She was not able to continue with the dive. I do not believe she received a refund for this trip. Once we tested out our breathing, we went through some instruction on how to clean out our masks under water and how to retrieve a dropped regulator under water we were good to go into the deep water. They took us to a reef area where we went down to 40 feet. It was absolutely amazing. We saw a puffer fish, turtle, and loads of other sea life. It was beautiful. After the excursion they took us back to the dock at Anthony's key resort and let us rinse off in a fresh water shower. While scuba diving they were taking pictures and video of us. They have the video and pictures playing for you to watch for free. We ended up getting 2 photos for $30. You then take a shuttle back with your group to the port. ******************* Harvest Caye - We did not have anything planned for this day excursion wise. We just went to the pool on the island and relaxed. The pool is very big and was very nice since it was so hot out that day. We never felt like the pool area was crowded or anything. ******************* Costa Maya - This day we chose to do the Mayan Ruins tour. We met our excursion group inside the port area and got onto a big air conditioned shuttle. We had a tour guide during the 1 hour ride to the ruins telling us about the Mexican culture and about the Mayan history and calendar. There is not much to see during the drive as you are mostly on country roads with just fields on both sides. Upon arriving at the site there was a gift shop, snacks for purchase, and restrooms. During the tour our guide told us what the different sites were and gave plenty of time to look around for yourself and take photos. On the ride back to the port the tour guide was quiet which allowed some of us to take a nap since the tour ended around 11am. We then walked around the port area which had restaurants, a lot of shops, bars, and even a shallow pool. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I am 62 and my wife is 57 and we are from Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is our third cruise. We were on the NCL Epic last year when there were numerous engine problems and our ship crashed into mooring pillars in San Juan. We received ... Read More
I am 62 and my wife is 57 and we are from Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is our third cruise. We were on the NCL Epic last year when there were numerous engine problems and our ship crashed into mooring pillars in San Juan. We received 100% credit for that cruise…this is our replacement cruise. Pre-Cruise: New Orleans We wanted to experience New Orleans, so we decided to spend a couple of extra days downtown. We arrived around 4pm at the Marriott Springhill Suites after a bumpy flight from Minneapolis (with a layover in Atlanta). We easily found a cab at the airport and the ride to our hotel was quick ($37). It’s an easy walk from hotels near the cruise terminal or casino area to the Bourbon Street area (about 8-10 blocks). We ate at two restaurants Ralph Brennan’s Redfish Grill and Pier 424 Seafood Market. Both were excellent for getting authentic Louisiana seafood dishes. We enjoyed walking up and down Bourbon Street, listening to the street musicians. We also stopped into several bars to listen to some great live music. Another can’t miss attraction is the Cafe Du Monde at the French Market. We had to try the Coffee and Beignets. They were delicious. Other attractions that we checked out were Jackson Square, the St. Louis Cathedral-Basilica and the RiverWalk. We did some shopping at the RiverWalk Outlet Mall and hopped on the trolley ($3 for 24 hours) to get around. Our Itinerary: Day 1 - New Orleans Day 2 - At Sea Day 3 - At Sea Day 4 - Ocho Rios, Jamaica Day 5 - George Town - Grand Cayman Day 6 - Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras Day 7 - Harvest Caye, Belize Day 8 - Costa Maya, Mexico Day 9 - At Sea Day 10 - New Orleans Embarkation: WHAT A MESS! We walked to the Outlet Mall (next to cruise terminal) at 9:30am for some last minute purchases. The Getaway was just docking at that time (it was scheduled to disembark at 7:00am). This made us worry, since we had an 11:05am return flight at the end of our cruise. We waited until 11:15 to head to the terminal (5-10 minute walk). As we got close, there were porters collecting our baggage. We dropped them off and then went into the terminal. People were just starting to leave the ship and there were already 200-300 people in line for check-in. The line stretched down the hall intended for the returning passengers, so things were getting crowded and chaotic. After an hour of waiting, the line started moving. It went fairly well, though it seemed to take a long time having our passports checked. There was additional staff looking at each page (assume looking for recent China stamps…Coronavirus). After getting our key cards, we sat in the waiting area until 1pm (we were in boarding group 4). Even though we never heard an announcement calling any group numbers, they told a few in group 1 that they could start boarding. Immediately, everybody got up and crowded the line (including us). I guess we were lucky, as we were let through right away, but those behind us were stacked pretty deep pushing for position. We were on the ship by 1:15. Later, I talked with many who waited in line for 4 plus hours before boarding. One guy I talked to showed up at the terminal at 1pm and didn’t get on the ship until 5:30. He missed muster and had to do that on Day 2. We wanted Vibe passes, so we did as noted on CC and went straight to guest services. They pointed us back to Headliners. So we went there and were given a number for Vibe passes (we got #24 & #25). The line was short, so we didn’t have problems getting the passes. ($229 each). Next, we went to the next line (still at Headliners) and made or adjusted all our dinner reservations for the week. Stateroom: Our stateroom was 14870 (BC). It was on starboard side, the last room before the aft facing balconies. It was a very convenient location. We had a short walk to stairs/elevators to go up to 15 (Garden Café/main pool area) or 16 (H20 Spice, Margaritaville, Vibe Beach Club). At night we spent time on decks 6-8, then took one last trip back up to stateroom. There was plenty of storage in the room. The bathroom was well designed, and the shower was roomy with plenty of water pressure. Last year on Epic, we had our steward put one lounger on the balcony and still had room for 1 chair and small table. On Getaway, this was not possible. The balcony was way too small for a lounger. NCL states that this room has a queen bed. It was very comfortable, but seemed more like a king size to me, though somewhat short for me at 6’ 1”. There was one duplex outlet on the counter across from the sofa. We plugged a 3-gang outlet into one side and were able to keep 4 devices charging at one time (2 phones, Kindle, Bluetooth speaker, Fitbit, Galaxy watch). There were zero USB outlets in the room. Being on the 14th deck aft meant that we could feel the ship move more than I am used to. We had to take some hangers out of the closet…they were banging against the wall as the ship rocked back and forth. As far as sleeping, we both slept well and the rocking didn’t bother us. Our cabin steward was Keshena. She was very friendly and did a great job keeping our stateroom in order. Dining: We had the specialty dining package (4 dinners). Our daughter also bought us the Romance Package, which included one more specialty dining dinner. In general, we were very happy with the specialty options. A quick summary: Teppenyaki – Good food, but very noisy environment. We didn’t think food was as good as last year on Epic Moderno – The salad bar was very good. I thought the sushi was delicious. The table service for the meat entrees was timely. The meat was good, but nothing exceptional. The server also brought by roasted pineapple. We both were full and declined. He insisted that we try it. We’re glad that we did. It was wonderful. Le Bistro – This was the best meal of the entire cruise! La Cucina (Romance Package) – The dinner was OK. We had Tiramisu and Cannoli as desert, both were excellent. Cirque Dreams + Steam – Another very good meal. The Cirque show was very entertaining. Main Dining – We also ate at all 3 MDR. The atmosphere in the Tropicana room was busier. They did have live music performances, but we ate early and had a show to see, so we missed this. Both Savor and Taste were much quieter and the food at all three venues was above average. We also had 2 breakfasts at Taste. The breakfast menu had plenty of choices and the food was served timely and were tasty. O’Sheehans – We had 2 lunches here. Both were very good. I sampled the BBQ wings and we had Fajitas and Open Face Beef Sandwich. All were excellent. Garden Café: Lunch – I was not impressed with the lunch at the Garden Café. Compared to last year on the Epic, I thought the selection was limited and didn’t change much day to day. We usually stopped in buffet if we were in a hurry and wanted a quick bite to eat. The burgers and hot dog buns were very dry, pizza was not very good. We did find things to eat, but it never seemed like I was having to choose between two things that I liked. We usually just settled for something. Garden Café: Breakfast – We had several of our breakfasts in here. I always went to the omelet station and had the made-to-order omelet. Always a good choice. Margaritaville – The also had a limited breakfast buffet at Margaritaville each morning. The had the basics (French toast, pancakes, eggs benedict, sausage, bacon, fruit, cereal) along with cook to order egg station. This became our location of choice from breakfast. Specialty Lunch Buffets – On several days, there were special complementary buffets in Moderno (extra seating in Cagney’s) for lunch (12:00pm – 1:30pm). We at there for their BBQ and Mexican buffets. Both were very good, but get there early, since it got busy. Vibe Beach Club: As stated earlier, we decided to get Vibe Beach Club passes. The Vibe area on the Getaway is significantly bigger than what is shown on the several YouTube videos that I watched. After entering, the entire left side of deck 16 if Vibe, as well as bar area and area where cabanas and hot tubs are located. On the sea days, it was extremely windy in Vibe. There was one section on port side (farthest forward section of Vibe) that supported about 30 loungers with umbrellas. Once those filled up, the staff tried as best they could to find other spots to place people out of the wind. The bartenders did a great job and kept things light and fun when sitting at the bar. The bar waiters were prompt in keeping drinks coming, bringing carafes of water and fruit kabobs. Each day, we would hang out at the Vibe bar in midafternoon. We met some fun people and enjoyed this part of each day. I asked the waiter about the Vibe capacity. He stated that they limit sales to 200 passes and on our cruise, they only sold 90. Bars: The Getaway has numerous bars throughout the ship. We especially liked these: Sid Normans – the outside bar on the waterfront has 8-10 barstools and additional seating nearby for about 25 people. This was a fun spot to hang out, especially if there was live music inside and it was too crowded. Sugarcanes Mojito Bar – Both the inside and outside areas had totally different experiences. Outside, on the waterfront, it was very relaxing and quiet. Plenty of seating with small tables. Inside, there is a pianist performing most evenings. The nights started out quiet inside, but seemed to get quite busy later at night. Still a lot of fun. Skyy Vodka Ice Bar – Why? For me, I just step out of my Minnesota kitchen door in January and I’m there…no charge. Generally speaking, we usually were able to find a drink without a long wait anywhere on the ship. Entertainment: This is why we choose Norwegian! We had a great time last year on the Epic and this year’s options were even better. Burn the Floor – Saw this on the Epic and enjoyed seeing again on Getaway. The production was simpler, but the dancing was still fantastic. Million Dollar Quartet – Fantastic! Excellent musicians. We didn’t have any problems imagining any of the actors as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins or Jerry Lee Lewis. The story was interesting, and the music was very enjoyable. Cirque Dreams + Steam – This act was a combination of acrobatics, balancing acts and juggling. The talent is amazing. The show lasted about 45 minutes but seemed much shorter. One of the stunts was quite scary; one slip-up and an 8’ x 8’ square pipe (spinning) would have flown wildly into the audience. Headliners Comedy Club – We saw comedy acts at Headliners and also in the Getaway Theater. The host comedian was Ivan Martin. He did a great job of warming up the audience. The two headliners were Clinton Jackson and Tyrone Hawkins. Both were very funny. We saw the Clinton Jackson show after 11pm and expected a more adult theme. His show was still funny and could have played well on network TV. There was a short wait for some of the shows but arriving 5-10 minutes early was all that was needed. Howl at the Moon – We usually finished up each night with some time listening to the dueling pianos show. The show usually started at 8:30pm and lasted until 12:30am. Two pianists were always performing while the third took a 30 minute break. All three were entertaining. Cal and Anna have been performing together for over 10 years and could cover almost any genre. Tom (we saw him on Epic last year), was also entertaining and usually started or ended his sets with a toast…funny, but not often repeatable. Be sure to bring cash if you want to hear your favorite song. Howl wasn’t as popular as I remember…we never had to wait for a seat and usually could sit near the front. Syd Norman’s Pour House – Syd’s was our go-to place. We first heard the Rock the Pour House (house band). We arrived late and had to stand near the door. It was very crowded. For their second set, we waited in the bar and found a seat. We thought the band was very good, covering many 80’s hits from Bon Jovi to Michael Jackson. On the next night, we got in line 20 minutes early and got a good seat for the second band, Back in the Day (from Boston). They were another 80’s cover band focusing on hair bands. They were fantastic! We ended up seeing them 3 more times and also went to the Getaway Theater on the last night for their final show. Disembarkation: We had an early flight out (11:05am) of New Orleans and were worried since the previous cruise got in three hours late due to high winds in the Mississippi delta. Nothing to worry about, we docked at 5:30am. We got up early, finished packing and went to Garden Café for breakfast. We were in line for Self Assist by 6:45am. The line was long and wound throughout deck 7. At 7:05, they announced that customs had cleared the ship. The line moved to customs quickly, though there was about a ten-foot section open to the pouring rain. Once through customs, we found a signup table for the Norwegian transfer to the airport ($20 each). We opted in, got our passes and headed to the bus. It was a coach bus. We missed the first bus but were the first people on the second bus. This meant a 20-minute wait before we left for the airport. Still we were at the airport well before 9:00am. After getting through TSA security, we still had to wait almost an hour before boarding. Ports We had decided before the cruise not to do any shore excursions. We enjoyed the port days in the Vibe Beach Club. We did go ashore to shop in Roatan and Costa Maya. At Harvest Caye in Belize, we were looking forward to a day on the beach. We found out two days prior that we would be tendering into Harvest Caye (no explanation why). We later found out the the pier had been damaged recently. We waited until all of the tender groups had been called and headed down to catch a ride to the island. Each tender held 300 people, so it took a while to fill up. We finally got to shore around 11:00am. We searched and finally found a couple of loungers on the beach under a palm tree. I swam in the ocean and in the giant pool. It was very nice and clean. We headed back to Vibe about 2:30pm. The tender ride was about 20 minutes each way. Final Thoughts New Orleans is a fun city to cruise out of, though the cruise terminal is small and only seems to work if everything goes as scheduled. The Getaway is a beautiful ship and we will cruise on her again. We experienced some minor frustrations at times, but had a great time and will never let the small things ruin a vacation. I never felt crowded. Sure, Syd Normans, Headliners and the Getaway Theater were full for some performances, but this can’t be avoided with 4000 passengers. Anytime of the day or night, we were able to find a quiet spot to relax. The Water Front on Deck 8 is a great area to see the seas, feel the sea breezes and get away. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise for its itinerary, many nice good ports. Food is pretty good, most of the people are nice. This is a pretty large ship but it’s like being in a marathon wherever you go. I like cruising for the nighttime options, you ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its itinerary, many nice good ports. Food is pretty good, most of the people are nice. This is a pretty large ship but it’s like being in a marathon wherever you go. I like cruising for the nighttime options, you can usually walk around to different bars and shows throughout the evening and find what you like, not here, everything is packed, nowhere to sit or watch a show unless it's on deck at night or maybe get lucky once in a while, mostly standing room only, if that. Over 4000 people on our boat, you need reservations for everything except the main dining room if you get there before 6pm, food is really good. Specialty restaurants and main shows are mostly sold out before the cruise starts. You’re not allowed to bring water on board but can buy a case for $53 plus 20% tip. Well drinks average $11-$13 each. Internet is really expensive compared to other lines, crazy! There is a 20% tip added to everything on board and a $15 daily service fee per person, the highest of the major lines that I have seen. Deck space and chairs are near impossible to find if you don’t get outside early. Our cruise had a Latin theme with Latin music and Latin subtitles on the movies even though the passengers were 95% Caucasian from Canada. You can bring wine onboard the first day but are charged a $15 corkage fee even if it’s consumed in your cabin. Today was the last straw when I returned back to the ship with my sealed $$$water bottle that I bought from the ship and wasn’t allowed to bring back on. I will never cruise on Norwegian again, absolutely worst value of any of the 15 ships I’ve sailed, I can’t state enough how how disappointed I am in this vacation!. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We've been on a dozen or so cruises and this was our 5th NCL cruise. We chose this cruise because my husband was working in San Juan. It seemed to make for a convenient departure and the ship would hit a lot of islands we were ... Read More
We've been on a dozen or so cruises and this was our 5th NCL cruise. We chose this cruise because my husband was working in San Juan. It seemed to make for a convenient departure and the ship would hit a lot of islands we were interested in visiting again. We stayed at the Courtyard Miramar and it was fine for a pre-cruise stay. EMBARKATION was a breeze. We arrived about 1/2 hour before the assigned time of one of our party as three of us were given check in time that was an hour later. From taxi arrival at the port to the moment we stepped onto the ship was about 30 minutes. I did not receive my luggage until 8:30pm so Le Bistro had to accept me in my shorts and tank top. The SHIP is large and our cruise was sold out so it was also very full of people. The ship is in relatively good condition and it's laid out in a sensible way except for the elevators. Due to it's design, there are not true mid-ship elevators. They're either quite aft or forward so you're walking. A lot. Our CABIN, 11075 was on the back side of the forward "hump" and offered a HUGE balcony that included two lounge chairs and and two regular chairs. The cabin, however, was a big disappointment. The bed was curved and our feet hung off the bed. (I'm 5'8" and husband is significantly taller). It was so narrow, especially at the curved couch and bed that my husband and I could not stand up together in those areas. And the shower and toilet in a tube situation was disturbing at best. Let's just put it this way, sounds and smells are not contained by the opaque plexi-glass. It was tight, uncomfortable and smelly. DINING was a general disappointment with flashes of good. Our experience in Cagney's did not live up to the hype. We made a reservation three months in advance for a table for four. When we arrived our table was not ready and we waited a half hour until lit was. Once we ordered it all went downhill. Most of our food was delivered late and not together. My husband never received his salad. Once we received our entrees, two of them were not cooked correctly. At that point, we didn't say a word because we had been there almost three hours and had already missed our show. When we spoke to the maitre'd, he apologized and offered to make it right by sending something special to our room. Nothing ever showed up and we never heard from anyone in regards to that meal. La Cucina and Le Bistro were nice and the food was good but neither were meals I would have actually paid for if we did not have the specialty dining package. Moderno was quite tasty and the servings were generous. Some of the best grilled and seasoned filet I've ever had. Johanna at the bar in Moderno was AMAZING. We're so sorry we didn't find her until near the end of the cruise. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES were extensive but so many of them were ticketed shows that we couldn't get into. The Beatles group was really amazing but we only could see them once they were in the Epic theatre on the second to last night. Seeing them in the smaller venue earlier in the week was impossible as there was often up to a 90 minute wait to get in. The gym was really nice but for the first few days there was little or no drinking water that was coming out of the fountain and there were no chilled water tanks or anything. Not just disappointing but dangerous to not offer water for those of us who were working out. Casino was very large and had many newer slot machines and multiple tables. The bad side? The smoking was so heavy on most nights and the smoke leached over into the small non-smoking section, making the whole place reek. Most of the dealers seemed bored with all of us but a few were good so we just played the tables where they were dealing. SPA was beautiful but service was not very welcoming and the females in our party decided early on that we were not going to utilize the spa services because of the lack of service. PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS were all fine. Disembarkation for morning excursions was like being in kindergarten. The person directing us in the Epic Theatre offered instructions as if we were 5 years old. Just a little obnoxious, I guess. We did enjoy our excursions. Glad we booked Nicole's Table in Antigua on our own because NCL ended up cancelling the ship's excursion. It's amazing and if you get a chance to do it, give it a try! SERVICE Our room steward, Made was nice but didn't knock our socks off. He gave us good service but didn't go above and beyond. We had superior service from two bar wait staff - Ida and Diogo. They were in the martini bar and were always eager to serve. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for it's Southern Caribbean stops. It's a very big ship and with that are challenges different than other cruise ships. From the start, things were weird. We had 11 people in 4 cabins working with an NCL ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's Southern Caribbean stops. It's a very big ship and with that are challenges different than other cruise ships. From the start, things were weird. We had 11 people in 4 cabins working with an NCL agent to reserve. We saw that friends and family travel free - not so much. We understand that there's a per person fee, but we found that to get 4 people in a room, we had to upgrade to a family room and the cost difference nearly used up all of the "free" for our 2 people. You can get a glass of wine with your drink package, but don't get a bottle - that's not covered. We were told that, when we called to make a reservation before embarking, the $50/$100 per room is applied, as opposed to making the reservation on-line. Not so. We had to pay the full price for each excursion and the Bonus was applied only after the excursion was taken. A letter explaining this was provided on day 3. This meant that my family who budgeted based on the reduced rate had their Credit Cards rejected because they did not have enough in that account to cover the full price and had to come up with $300 cash for their account. It all resolved by the end of the cruise, but having the information before hand would have helped. The cabin setup is just weird and cramped. There are actually many storage areas, under couch, in wall cabinets...so take time to find them all. Still, even with the bunk up, on the family floor 13, it's a very very cramped area. With the bunks down, movement is nearly impossible, with the bunk ladder in place, movement was impossible. Food was not as good as on other NCL ships - even in specialty restaurants, much of the food was dry and overcooked or either bland or SPICY. Note that there is only 1 menu for children (the same at all restaurants) and using that is free but if your child is bored with PBJ, Hotdog, tenders or burger and wants some of the specialty items from adult menus, you get to pay for that food ala cart. Knowing this ahead of time would have made a difference in our planning. Service at restaurants was often slow or missing or crazy. My 7 year old order came out, in total, before even our appetizers arrived. One of us missed dinner to go with her once she was done - since there was then nothing for her at that restaurant. At Moderno, a drinking glass broke. A waiter picked up the big piece but left the mess and the rest of the glass on the table. We never saw him again. Teppanyaki was kind of fun, but so loud. Only one section of the Cafe and O'Sheehans were open late night/all night. Spice H2O was a total bore - even before the rain on White night - there was virtually nothing happening. The setup at that location was crazy. Stadium seating surround the pool turned dance floor - so adults were on display when swimming. Getting to the Sports area meant kids had to go through Spice - despite big signs saying "must be 18". The Spider slide was for kids over 42" and under 120# and was broken. The sports deck is obviously under used. Climbing wall needs some organization. The Repel site is not used. The smaller climbing walls were not used. My 7 year old made it to ring a bell and then froze and for nearly 20 minutes clung to the wall - in tears. One crew member finally got her to let go and slowly slid her down, but we couldn't figure out why someone didn't go up and get her. Splash for my 7 year old was so bad she didn't want to go. With more boys than girls - the special events turned into high energy gym for kids - no fashion show, no paparazzi. Bliss music was so loud (guess that means high energy) we couldn't talk and it's too loud to dance. Entertainment was slightly different than we found on other ships, but essentially the same shows with different performers; worth seeing once but not more. Neighbors openly smoked in their cabin. When they didn't stop we complained but nothing was done until we were able to prove that they were actively smoking by staying in our cabin until they smoked and then called. The odor was so obvious that the steward " should have" reported. Trip hazards exist on several stair landings. These we reported but none were repaired and no warnings or closings were provided. Elevators on our floor had 2 broken and once set of buttons broken. Waits were often very long. While the music deckside was fun, the fun ended at 10 or so. On other cruises, the fun competitions mid-ship were packed - not so much. Bars had few common drinks, so finding one we liked required going to back to only that bar. Excursion team was great. Excursion experience - not so much. Several NCL excursions were not as advertised. Moderate effort "Touch the Piton" was a walk through a garden - with a few steps. Moderate "Virgin Baths" received warnings that the lines were long and if you didn't get to the baths before it was time to leave, no refund is provided. Pirate ship didn't have planks to walks, nor cannons to shoot. Some snorkeling had fish and turtles because they feed them when we were out. Others didn't feed - but still saw creatures. Descriptions did not define their plan. Some snorkeling crews provided boundaries with what to expect within each, other held us tightly packed in one area. 20 days before we left, we get the letter telling us to get notarized signature from both parents for our granddaughter. No explanation in the letter or from reservation staff for how to handle it with her missing mom, but most of the service group was very friendly, quick and helpful. We did have trouble leaving the ship on 3 occasions because neither mom nor dad were with us. Took a while to resolve even though we explained that all approvals and authorizations, including temporary power of attorney were on file with this ship. Once, they didn't want to let her off the ship. Embarkment and disembarkment were smooth. Crew was in the right places, helped, directed, smiled, sang. All in all, though the cruise had some wonderful moments and we had a generally great time, we won't be going back because the food, entertainment and much of the crew were not good or fun. Certainly don't want to see the same things, again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We selected the Epic based on our work schedule and the ship’s itinerary. It was a 10-day cruise out of San Juan with stops in Bonaire, Aruba, St. Lucia, Antigua, Tortola, Barbados, and St. Thomas. It included ‘extras’ Beverage, 4 ... Read More
We selected the Epic based on our work schedule and the ship’s itinerary. It was a 10-day cruise out of San Juan with stops in Bonaire, Aruba, St. Lucia, Antigua, Tortola, Barbados, and St. Thomas. It included ‘extras’ Beverage, 4 specialty dinners, 250 Wi-Fi minutes and $50 shore excursion reductions per port packages. The total cost for 2 was $4,500 including gratuity for a Category B5 Family Balcony. We spent $600 for shore excursions in 5 ports. See later what we did. We booked the cruise within 4 weeks of the sailing date. Based on feedback on this site, we knew the ship was large. We still did it. The first 4 days, we were extremely disappointed. Too often it was difficult to get a drink. Not knowing better, we were not able to secure a reservation for certain shows. There was a line for that, we did not want to wait and did not feel like we should be planning our daily schedule in advance. The specialty restaurants were the same. Prior to boarding, we secured two restaurant reservations between 5:30 and 7:30. On board our choices were very limited for these times. Cagney’s had availability only after 9PM. We did secure two reservations, but honestly not on the days we wanted, we had to be flexible and then committed to those times. Once we understood this, they did open more shows toward the end of the cruise, I now understood I could book through my room’s TV and I was successful. We went back everyday to see if there was a cancellation at Cagney’s at a reasonable time and we lucked out. In summary, for specialty dining and shows requiring reservations make them as soon as you can from home or once onboard. How did we enjoy the ship? The pools are limited, there is a waterslide that is nice, but it took space away for an additional pool. Sea days, tough to get a seat, but that is true of any ship. Sea Day 1 we did not know better and went up at 11, there was no available seats. Day 2 my wife saved seats at 8:30, she said that 75% of chairs already taken. The adult pool area seating has no shade. The lounges were OK. The chairs were not comfortable and heavy to move. One lounge missing was an Observation lounge. We find that it is desirable to getting drink prior to and after dinner and look at the sea. No lounge had any natural light except for the Shakers on Deck 7, but near the windows are the lifeboats. The bar staff I felt bad for as when their lounge got crowded, some passengers became rude. Not the bar staff fault at all. The worst seemed to be on the pool deck. At Sea Days, not much else to do than drink and the natives get restless for their drink. Most staff work hard and are sincere to provide a positive experience. The food was of low quality, taste and selection at the Garden Café. An alternative is O’Sheeans, but at crowded times like lunch, it takes too long. The Main Dining and Shanghai had tasty offerings and a very solid level of food quality. These were good Dinner alternatives, but lunch on days in port, the main dining room was not available. The specialty dining offerings were very good quality with great taste. (It would be nice if they offered this in the main dining room.) For us, too much food was available, and I could not get desert, otherwise I would feel beyond stuffed. I never I had the nerve to ask for a doggy bag, but the food would had been great to have the next day. We ate at the Italian, Brazilian, Steakhouse and French. My favorite was the Brazilian. I liked the slower pace of eating small portions multiple times. The main shows are of higher quality than other cruises. They were more challenging to get into since you needed a reservation or people lined up 45 minutes before the comedy and dueling piano shows. During the trip talking to other passengers, I did not come across anyone who really liked the Epic, the highest compliment received was acceptable. I asked if anyone had been on a similar size passenger ship and a couple people said yes and they really liked the NCL Joy. While we will travel on NCL in the future, I don’t know if I ever could do a 4,000-passenger ship again. We have been on older NCL ships like the Gem, Spirit and Sun which are cozy with 2,000 passengers. Even the newer Celebrity Reflection and Silhouette with 3,000 passengers was very enjoyable. We base the cruise on our work schedule and itinerary. I hope NCL does not provide that combination for us in the future on the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We used Go Puerto Rico. They were waiting for us at the airport with our name on a placard. We stayed in Old San Juan PR the night before we embarked in a small Boutique BNB called 352 Guesthouse run by lovely and helpful people. They ... Read More
We used Go Puerto Rico. They were waiting for us at the airport with our name on a placard. We stayed in Old San Juan PR the night before we embarked in a small Boutique BNB called 352 Guesthouse run by lovely and helpful people. They scored our luggage until we were ready to go to the port. Fantastic service! Great rooftop area. Old town is like an old European city, cobbled narrow street. Colorful building and “protected” by two walled forts. We chose this cruise for the itinerary even after reading the many poor reviews about the staterooms, food, service and ship overall. We were happy we did. The food and service were great. We experienced The Manhattan room, Cagney’s, Le Bistro, La Cucina and Teppanyaki. All the food was great, but exceptional at Le Bistro and Teppanyaki. The service was exceptional except for Cagney’s where we waited in between courses for a long time, making dinner last more than 2 hours. We saw Burn to the floor which was fantastic. Cirque was good. Priscilla was tired and 1/2 an hour too long (Husband says an hour and a half too long!). Believe the other reviews about the balcony rooms (bathroom especially, small etc.) And when you book make sure the couch is near the front otherwise the sink will be at the foot of the bed. The elevators can be slow at times. The pools are small. No outdoor space other than deck 16. The non-reservable shows have very long lines. We were unable to see Howl at the Moon or Beatles because you had to line up long before the shows start. They should be moved to the Theater. We would like to try a different Norwegian ship but would go again on the Epic if the itinerary was as good as this one. Embarkation: Used Go Puerto Rico again for 8 people. EASY-Peazy! our departure time was 9pm. 8 of us arrived about 3:30 to short lines and quick check-in. BONAIRE: we rented golf cart from Bonairecruiser to self-tour the island. Not a typical tropical Island as it is desert. Saw flamingos. ARUBA: we did NCL De Palm Island. All inclusive. Good excursion. BARBADOS: we did on our own. Took a cab ($5 @ person) to the Boatyard on Carlisle Bay. $25 @ person entry gets a welcome drink, lounger, umbrella, boat excursion to snorkel a ship wreck and titles and stingrays. Well worth the entry fee on its own. Plus your cab back to the ship included ST LUCIA: NCL Segway and beach. Very fun. Easy to learn to do even though we’re in our 60’s. Tour on the way to the beach was narrated by Eddo and very informative. Once at the beach we had fresh fruit before heading to swim at Reduit Beach ( a little crowded). ANTIGUA: Lobster lunch and 2 beaches. Lunch was delish! Beaches were okay. Stick to the beer, the rum punch will sneak up on you! Not sure the price was worth it TORTOLA BVI: NCL Virgin Gorda and the Baths. If you haven’t been go. It’s a little crowded but the two snorkel spots we lovely. Keep in mind it is a rough 40 minute boat ride. A few of our group of 8 were seasick. ST. THOMAS USVI: Coral world and Coki Beach. We used SEG-don’t recommend them. The people in charge of it were unorganized to the point I thought we would get there. One hour late departing for Coral world. Coral world it self was interesting. The snorkeling was the best here for seeing fish. Coki beach was crowded though. Debarkation was a breeze. We stayed 3 nights after, at Isla Verde on the beach at The Courtyard. Lovely pool area. Rooms were large and clean. Enjoyed our stay. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
First off, embarkation was awesome! We arrived at the San Juan Port at 12:30 p.m. Got in line, dumped our checked bags, got to the main hall, NCL cards, on the ship, up to the 15th floor and had an ice cold bevvy in our hands by 1:40 ... Read More
First off, embarkation was awesome! We arrived at the San Juan Port at 12:30 p.m. Got in line, dumped our checked bags, got to the main hall, NCL cards, on the ship, up to the 15th floor and had an ice cold bevvy in our hands by 1:40 p.m. – 70 minutes total – start to finish – awesome! We went to the 70’s Party – a total riot! The trio from Quebec decked out in full 70’s Hair, Clothing and Shoes were a crowd favourite. We didn’t get any a la carte restaurants. We ate suppers a couple of times at the Manhattan room, a few at Taste, and only had brekky a few times at the Garden Café Buffet. Seriously, the food was excellent, we always had great service. One Night we had a 30 minute show from Burn The Floor in the Manhattan Room – it was awesome! What we did use, and took great advantage of, was room service and their continental breakfast options. Got carafes of hot coffee (much better than what they serve at the buffet), pastries, croissants, fresh fruit plates, cold cereal, juices, milk, etc. I think we used Breakfast Room Service 5 or 6 times. Best part – it arrived usually 5-10 minutes early (used it on Debarkation day), and it was FREE, FREE, FREE! We booked all of our diving excursions ourselves. The ones in Bonaire (Dive Friends Bonaire) and Aruba (Jads) were great, but not St. Lucia. We booked through the Tikaye Spa & Resort, which turned out to be the dive shop that NCL uses. We were 10 divers – 1 woman had done a refresher in Bonaire, and the Tikaye Dive Shop wouldn’t accept it. So she wasn’t allowed to dive with us. Our group ranged in age from mid 20’s to mid-late 60’s, and a variety of skill levels. A Divemaster (DM) is supposed to give everyone a dive plan for each dive, go over safety, what happens if you lose someone, blah, blah, blah. Our DM didn’t do that and I was lax in calling him out on it. That won’t happen again. So we did our 1st dive close to shore – 9 divers – 1 DM. PADI allows for 5 divers per DM, so what we did wasn’t safe or sactioned. The 1st dive, we dove literally beside fisherman who were dropping 20-30 foot nets into the ocean. Besides us, there were 2 catamarans on shore with dozens of people snorkeling. Obviously, St. Lucia doesn’t have a protected marine area, and it was pretty weird to be diving right beside fishing nets filled with 1000s of smelt-like fish, and watching snorkelers above us, close to the nets. Our 2nd dive was pretty disastrous. Again, a 9 to 1 ratio, and this time the DM misjudged the current. Frankly, I think he knew what he was getting into, but was too lazy to take us to a more sheltered site. The DM was so far ahead of us, and everyone was struggling against a very strong current to try to stay with him. That resulted in everyone using far too much energy and air from the tanks. At one point, at least 2 in our group lagged back, as they just couldn’t keep up, and the DM lost them. Finally, as I was using air like crazy, I got his attention and told him my air level. That’s when he decided to turn the group around, and have us go with the current. Our dive was to be 45 minutes, but it was more like 35 minutes. We met up with the straggler 2 dives on our way back. When we got on the boat, I told him that the dive was crap – and that he had no control of the group. He was pretty sheepish, but not apologetic. I hope one of the other divers lets NCL know about this – we should have had 2 DMS, 1 in the front and 1 in the back of the group. I felt bad for the others in the group, as they had paid literally double what we had, by going through NCL. We did see a few shows – saw 2 Comedians in the Comedy Club, and then watched all 3 perform at the Epic Theatre. We saw Burn The Floor, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and The Beatles in the Epic Theatre as well. We bought VIP Cirque tickets and it was totally worth it. By far the BEST supper we had on the ship and the Entertainment was amazing! Did a couple of nights watching Karaoke in the Chill Bar – again, amazing talent from other Cruisers. We also went to the Motown Night – and that was so much fun! We went to the Captain’s Meet & Greet – which was okay, but really not worth the effort. We scored some appetizers, and a few glasses of bubbly. We did the Samba Lesson in the Atrium with a few others we were with – OMG – we were so uncoordinated, but we had a blast. We also went to the Martini Bar to listen to Jazz a couple of times – also really good. We figured out quite quickly which Bars could make a proper Champagne Cocktail – so that’s where we headed. At the Atrium Bar, there was a bartender from Serbia named Zeljko who took making a Champagne Cocktail to a new art form. EVERYONE at the bar kept asking what I was ordering – I may have started a trend! I tipped him well, and on the last day, gave him a package of Maple Fudge. My husband thanked him for keeping his wife happy, and Zeljko turned 50 shades of red! Food, Drinks, and Shows on the Epic were all great. Our room was a standard balcony cabin - 9056. Our steward Chris was very friendly and attentive. I tipped him about $40 USD over the 10 days. I also gave him a couple of packages of Canadian Maple Fudge, which he was very grateful for. He’d been on the Epic for 5 years – I cannot imagine. Our room was okay. We had a Mini Suite on the Escape, so this room was a definite downgrade. The bed was short, and my husband who’s 5’10” had his feet hanging off – definitely designed for short people. We didn’t have an issue with the weird bathroom configuration, it just felt really small with the curvy couch and roundish bed. Lighting in the room itself was terrible. Thankfully, I’d grab my mirror and do my make up close to the patio doors, and use the natural light. I can’t imagine trying to put on makeup at 7 p.m., when it’s completely dark outside. Friends on the ship said they struggled to get their contacts in because of the poor lighting (they had inside cabins). Hopefully that will be addressed when the ship goes into dry dock. Storage was definitely a big drawback to our room. On the NCL Escape there was shelving – but not on the Epic – it only had narrow, shallow drawers. I use packing cubes, and found the drawers annoying, and basically useless. I hope when the ship gets retrofitted, they address that. The one ½ cupboard in our room (closest to the patio doors) could easily just have shelves in it, and that would alleviate the lack of storage. Also, I really hope that NCL gets it act together with regard to plug ins by the bed. Both my husband and I have CPAPs, so we had to string a power bar, that we brought, across the floor in order to have power. Plus I am lucky I have a fairly small CPAP machine, as there was barely room to put it beside me. Someone with an older and larger CPAP would have issues finding a place to put it beside them. Debarkation was fabulous! We were lavender (9:45 a.m.). We were in the Atrium and at 9 a.m. told we could leave. We got off the ship, grabbed our checked luggage, went through in Customs, and outside to a Taxi by 9:07 a.m. I am sure a 7 minute debarkation is a Guinness World Book record! We are booked on NCL for September 2021. We are doing a 10 day Croatia and Greek Isles cruise, with relatives. We leave and arrive in Rome. I haven’t had a chance to do any research, but we may upgrade to a minisuite if this ship has the same sort of layout as/size as our room on the Epic. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Read a lot of negative reviews after we booked this cruise. Yes the sink is in a awkward location but certainly not a show stopper. The elevator were a bit crowded on port days but should be expected when 4 thousand people are trying to ... Read More
Read a lot of negative reviews after we booked this cruise. Yes the sink is in a awkward location but certainly not a show stopper. The elevator were a bit crowded on port days but should be expected when 4 thousand people are trying to all leave at the same time. That said... the food and entertainment were top notch. The staff was friendly and attentive. We never had to wait for a drink or to be seated at a restaurant. We ate at Cagney's, le Bistro, teppanyaki and the Italian restaurant and enjoyed all four. We loved the itinerary to the Southern Caribbean islands. All the port had easy transportation if you wanted to go on your own. We planned excursions at 4 stops and went on our on the remaining stops. We thought the ultimate drink package was wonderful and a great deal since it was included. There were very few drinks we could not order with this package. The embarkation and debarkation at San Juan was smooth despite the fact that every passport page was reviewed on the embarkation side. The Beatle's show was excellent but should be played in the larger epic theater. Burn the floor was fantastic! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 12th cruise. It was our fifth cruise with Norwegian. I am evaluating this cruise in comparison to the other 11 cruises we’ve taken. I believe food is 50% of the total experience, Service is 20% of the total experience, ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise. It was our fifth cruise with Norwegian. I am evaluating this cruise in comparison to the other 11 cruises we’ve taken. I believe food is 50% of the total experience, Service is 20% of the total experience, entertainment is 20% of the total experience and bars are 10% of the total experience. I am not factoring in anything for shore excursions because due to a previous poor experience using Norwegian for the shore excursions, we elected to use an Internet site in titled shoreexcursions.com rather than using Norwegian. Food 2 out of 5 Cruising has changed dramatically in the past 15 years. In their quest to keep cost under control, the cruise lines have reduced the value of the meals in the main dining room. They offer specialty dining at an up charge. This is where you will find your nicer meals. Main Dining Room Dinner Meals were generally overcooked and dry. There wasn’t a huge variety of higher end entrées offered. They always had rotisserie chicken, a half inch thick New York strip steak which would be of a choice quality, and fried flounder. I had to rotisserie chicken twice and found the portions to be very large and surprisingly the chicken was cooked perfectly. The other meals that I selected were mostly served very dry and Overcooked, especially the seafood. Note that lobster is no longer offered whatsoever on Norwegian Cruise lines and there was a limited amount of shrimp and other higher and Seafoods available. Specialty Dining Teppanyaki. 4 of 5 The show was great and the food was very good. There was a very large amount of fried rice available which was tasty. The filet was very lean and tasty as were the shrimp which were large and properly cooked. Specialty Dining LaCucina 3 of 5 Not a particularly memorable meal. The one outstanding item was the caprese salad which came with a very large (approximately four ounce) Of fresh mozzarella cheese. The cheese was rich and creamy and very tasty. The rest of the meal was nothing special. If I could do it over, we would skip La Cucina and dine at Le Bistro for a second time. Cagney’s Steahouse. 3 of 5 Overall the steak was pretty good, I had the ribeye. Unfortunately, they do not have steak sauce. Sounds crazy right, after all it is a steakhouse. They offer special sauces such as béarnaise etc., but do not have anything like A-1, HP or my favorite Heinz 57. When I asked for steak sauce I was first told they did not have any. Then a small metal container of cocktail sauce, the kind that you would place on a shrimp cocktail was presented as their in-house made special steak sauce. I tried to explain to the server that this was cocktail sauce that was meant to be used on seafood and not to be used on steak. He Insisted that this was their special steak sauce. I just gave up trying to explain the difference to him and really didn’t eat much of my steak because I don’t like steak without steak sauce. Never in 1 million years would I have thought that a steakhouse would not have steak sauce. So how can I give them anything above three? Specialty Dining Moderno 3 of 5 Moderno is a Brazilian steakhouse. It has an awesome salad bar with over 43 items, all of which were fresh and tasty. The meat service continues until you were full. There were various types of meat ranging from pork sausages to filet mignon. In addition they serve a cinnamon coated grilled pineapple which is amazing. Interestingly once again a Brazilian steakhouse did not have steak sauce. I did notice that a one steak sauce was available on the buffet line in the garden café. I almost got up from the table and went to the 12th floor to the Garden Café to retrieve a bottle. Needless to say I didn’t eat much steak without the sauce again. Specialty Dining LeBistro 4 of 5 Beware, Le Bistro is one of the few restaurants on the ship that has a dress code. Men must be in collared shirts and long pants with clothes shoes. I ordered a T-bone steak which did not appear on the regular menu, but which a fellow cruiser recommended. It was prepared perfectly and very tasty. And yes they actually had steak sauce, A-1. Unfortunately, both a table made and I ordered the escargot. I really like escargot and this was the only offering I saw of escargot on the ship. Both of us became extremely ill later that evening. We both believe the escargot was not fresh. That only a rating of four. Given a chance I would do Le Bistro two out of the five specially Dining meals that are included in the package, avoiding Los Lobos which is the Mexican food and La Cucina which is the Italian food. Garden Cafe Buffet, lunch and breakfast 1 of 5 The garden café actually ran out of skim milk one full day before the cruise was over. In addition they ran out of raisin bran. They had removed the raisin bran about one week into the cruise, but if you asked for it they would bring it to you. This was before they ran out. To me running out of food before the cruise is completed Is simply inexcusable. In this day of big data, a well run operation should never have this happen. In addition the organization of the buffet line was insane. First you gathered your plate in the very next thing on the buffet line was the condiment station, with catchup, mustard, A1 steak sauce etc. Now since you don’t know what you’re going to select to eat, you have no way of knowing which condiments you would like. So what happens is everyone gets their food and then hast to cut back in line to get the condiments. This simply created turmoil. I brought this to the attention of the supervisor who seem confused because they had previously removed the catchup and mustard from the tables and placed it in the buffet line due to the spread of a stomach virus which they believed was coming from people touching the condiment bottles. I am fine with removing the bottles to help reduce the spread of disease. This just makes sense. Replacing them where they did in the buffet line made no sense at all and the supervisor seem to have difficulty in understanding this. The coffee bar was similarly disorganized. Entertainment 2 of 5 The entertainment was poor overall. In this category I am including the house band, which was excellent, particularly Steffi, The featured entertainment, the afternoon activities, pool activities and the evening activities as well as the cruise director. House band, 5 out of 5 stars. A very talented group of musicians. Jennifer Fair. 1 of 5. Really If I could give a zero I would. She totally missed the mark with the audience in both her performance is where she sang with she loved as opposed to what the audience could relate to. She is a classical singer and performed opera which really nobody enjoyed. When she said she was leaving the ship on Saturday, which was in the middle of the cruise, no one said awe. I kind of felt bad for her. Tom Frankel pianist 5 of 5 Well it may sound odd to give a pianist a five out of five rating, but Tom earned it. he plays the piano behind his back, On his head and in other crazy positions. His song choices were outstanding in both his performances. People were genuinely disappointed when he left the ship in the middle of the cruise. Derek the Irish comedian 5 of 5 This guy was hysterical, particularly in his late night comedy show. He’s currently appearing on prime. People were really laughing at his jokes. Magician 3 of 5 I really like the magicians, so I enjoyed both the magicians acts along with the afternoon activities where he taught you how to perform card tricks. I have to admit that his illusions were very basic and his show but nonetheless enjoyable. Violinist Gary Levino 3 of 5 His first show was OK but his second show was very good. He had a very strong selection of songs for a second show which the audience loved. They were all recognizable including several Star Wars songs Pool Activities 1 of 5 It was in extremely limited number of pool activities for a 14 day cruise. I can recall three specifically, sexy legs for men, Best Buy subs for women, and a volleyball competition. For a two week cruise there needed to be many more activities around the pool, particularly with over five days at sea. Other day time and evening activities 1 of 5 Again there just weren’t a lot of activities for a 14 day cruise. They had the newlywed game one evening which was very funny. They had a hoedown which was poorly attended and ended early. They also had a fruit buffet which was very nice. Cruise Director 1 of 5 Jodie, our cruise director was absolutely the worst cruise director we experienced in our 12 cruises. She seem to enjoy introducing the entertainment and was present at anything that had to do with the line dancing, but other than that you never saw her around the ship. On other cruises we would see the cruise director several times each day. I also placed the lack of activities in particular the lack of pool activities at the foot of Jody since she is the director. We learned on the final night of the cruise that Jodie was leaving the ship as her contract was up. It just seemed that her heart was not into this cruise. And it showed. Service 3 of 5 Our cabin steward appear to be a hard-working guy and our room was always meet up and clean. But this is the standard, it earns a three. There were no tile animals present at any time throughout the cruise in our cabin however on Valentine’s Day he did form a heart with the blanket. He did not come around and introduce himself when the crew started, and we did not even see him until late on the fourth day of the cruise, but I place the blame on Norwegian for not providing proper training. We did tip him extra because he seem to be a very hard-working individual. With proper training I believe he could become an outstanding cabin steward. Food Service Aside from the aforementioned the bottles with the steak sauce in the organization of the buffet line coffee bar, one of my pet peeve‘s is when a server reaches across other diners to provide water water to deliver the food, particularly when there was ample space for him to walk around the table and serve it properly. This happened on numerous occasions. Norwegian needs to do a better job of training it’s waiters. People pay a lot of money to go on a cruise and I do believe have the right to expect superior service. Embarkation 2 of 5 This is probably an anomaly, but the system crashed on the day of embarkation causing a one hour plus delay in the ability to board the ship. Once the system came up the process flowed smoothly. Bar Service 3 of 5 Nothing spectacular, except in O’Sheehans, where the service range from above average to occasionally been excellent. . Nickel and Dime you When you were in US waters, the ship is required to pay sales tax to the local municipality. They charge you for the sales tax which ran about $.80 per drink. I would like to believe that when we paid over $8000 to take the cruise that they could’ve found a way to absorb this cost. My total sales tax for the entire cruise was less than $10. This just seem to be very petty on Norwegians part. Norwegian has a nice online app the permit you to message him to call other parties on the ship if they have signed up for the app. The cost is $9.95 per person, not per cabin. At $9.95 per cabin, this would be a good value if the app worked properly. There were lengthy delays between the sending and the receipt of the text messages. This ultimately Led to me not using the app at all due to its unreliability. Once they get the app working properly, in my opinion they should give it to the members of their latitude club. The latitude club is their version of a frequent customer plan. It really does not provide much in the way of benefits other than priority check-in and a bottle of sparkling wine in your room (which doesn’t do much when you were on the unlimited drink plan). It would be a nice perk for their loyal customers. Overall we thought the value received for an expenditure in excess of $8000 was just not there. We selected the cruise based upon the ports that were visited and we were very happy with port visits. However based upon the poor food and average entertainment we will most likely use another cruise line in the future. For reference purposes we have cruised on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean in addition to Norwegian Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have been cruising with NCL for 19 years and we are Latitudes Gold members. We took this 14 day cruise because the itinerary looked fabulous. Overall the quality of this cruise was only average and NCL in general has declined. Gone are ... Read More
We have been cruising with NCL for 19 years and we are Latitudes Gold members. We took this 14 day cruise because the itinerary looked fabulous. Overall the quality of this cruise was only average and NCL in general has declined. Gone are the towel animals, lobster/shrimp dinners, midnight chocolate buffet, and other perks that simply made the cruise special. NCL has chosen instead to up charge everything. The cost of dining in any speciality restaurant without a purchased dining package is absurd, and would have cost our party of two over $100. A water package is $35 for a case of stale water that tastes like plastic. We got two free waters and a bottle of sparkling wine free in our cabin for being gold members. Despite cruising with them for 19 years we were not offered any upgrade or onboard credit. The latitudes program is just not worth it to stay loyal to NCL. Food: We dined in the Venetian restaurant every night and the food was just average, nothing special. The dress code is too relaxed, shorts and tee shirts are now allowed at dinner and we did not like it at all. Gone are the days of dressing up for dinner. The lunch menu never changed in the Venetian, for a 14 day cruise this is not acceptable. The buffet had a nice variety but we were scared of using the same tongs touched by many people. We noticed many people did not wash before entering the buffet lines. People were filling water bottles and coffee mugs despite signs saying not to do that and NCL was lax in that regard. A water bottle filling station is very much needed. Chairs in both the garden cafe and Venetian restaurants were dirty, they need to be deep cleaned. The decor in the Venetian needs to be overhauled, the paintings did not make any sense. Many people saved chairs around the pool and it was next to impossible to sit out in that area. Long lines were encountered during embarking and there was no real process for priority boarding for gold members. Disembarkation was very fast, we chose to walk off with our bags. We were simply directed out the doors to the cabs and bypassed any customs procedures. The ports were all fabulous although ST. Martin was hit very bad with hurricane Irma. The French side of the island was still devastated with abandoned cars, boats overturned and many buildings not rebuilt. We should have been informed of that situation before booking the island tour excursion with NCL. Cost of excursions in general has gone up. Also be aware, any bottles of alcohol are confiscated, we used to be able to board with a bottle of wine, now NCL charges $15 a bottle to bring one onboard. Our souvenir bottle of Guavaberry Liquor was taken, and we would never have consumed that on board. In general, the quality of a NCL cruise is just not there. I doubt we will cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Relatively good cruise. It was our longest but it was over before we knew it. The embarkation process was problematic. We had to sit in wheelchair access section and wait to be called. That section was in the direct line of the sun. I ... Read More
Relatively good cruise. It was our longest but it was over before we knew it. The embarkation process was problematic. We had to sit in wheelchair access section and wait to be called. That section was in the direct line of the sun. I was sunburned before I got on the ship. Plus there was a computer problem that shut down the the baggage check just as we stepped up the the conveyor belt. It was a tediously & long (maybe 15 minutes) wait on a cane, after sitting in a hot sun-whipped melting chair before checking in. Waiting on staff with the wheelchair was an additional wait, but access went smooth after we boarded. The Dawn has been refurbished, but still ranked "old" for the wife and I. One of the main reasons is because it only had one U.S./American electrical outlet. Luckily we were smart enough to bring a surge extension that included 4 additional outlets & 3 USB recharge ports. We had a mini-suite on deck 11 (11572). The bathroom toilet area smelled of urine, but we did not alert the cabin steward because we did not want a bleachy and/or air fragrance odor applied. We had some issues with the room safe & had to call for service twice. It was discovered that my code would not work because at least 3-4 numbers on the keypad were not working. No new safes were available nor a technician that could remedy the situation so I just changed my code to include only those numbers that worked. Other than that the cabin was fine. Our cabin steward was Bernard and did did a great job of keeping our cabin clean (beds made, ice delivered daily, linen changed, trash removed promptly, etc.) Food: The main dining rooms were good (Aqua & the Venetian) and we had little trouble with our early dinner or breakfast arrangements. The Garden buffet was okay, but many times the beef & chicken entrees were dry & tough. The other choices were much better (i.e., salads, paninis, pizza, oxtails, fries, mixed roasted vegies, etc.) The loved Bamboo & Los Lobos but got some tough meat mostly beef) was served to us at Moderno. The chicken & filet mignon were exceptional. La Cucina, Le Bistro, O'Sheehans & Cagney's Steakhouse were all good. Entertainment: The Rockaway Duo was top-notch 5-star and we followed them every evening to the Atrium. The sound system was good & the ambiance of the Atrium venue (4- see-thru elevators behind the stage sandwiched in the middle by a 4-tier balcony, surrounded by a 2 level balcony for additional seating & listening enjoyment.) The song choices were mostly country with some R&B oldies mixed in. Unfortunately some evenings slow ballads were sung and that was a bad choice for folks who were generally older and getting tired anyway. We would have liked to listen to the jazz from the house band but they played too late at night. Music performed at poolside was generally good but more variety with reggae & Caribbean music should have been included. The workers: All of the servers, bartenders, customer service staff, room stewards, food servers/cooks & managers were excellent people....very courteous, friendly, easily approachable and ready assist. Our excursion: Since we don't walk that well in uneven areas, stairs & skip the beach scenes we only went on one excursion..in Puerto Rico. The Fiesta Latina which included performances & Latino history from 80-year old open-hand guitar legend Juan Carlos. He & the dancers were fabulous, but we had a few issues beforehand on where we were to meet for the transportation. By the time we figured out where we were to meet we were at the back of the line. No problem! Once we disembarked our air conditioned coach (& after 8-10 unexpected steps leading up & into the venue) we were treated to a tasty cup of sangria & then a great small stage show. Loved it. All in all our 14-day cruise was quite enjoyable. Initially we dreaded that it might be too long, but the time flashed by so fast we were envious of those staying on-board to go out again on the next sailing. We also met some great guests on-board that help make the cruise a bit more colorful. We can't wait to sail again. next year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are loyal NCL Cruisers having sailed only with NCL. This is our 2nd time on the Dawn.... a great mid size ship..... big enough to have lots of amenities but small enough not be overwhelming. Perhaps because this was a 2 week cruise, ... Read More
We are loyal NCL Cruisers having sailed only with NCL. This is our 2nd time on the Dawn.... a great mid size ship..... big enough to have lots of amenities but small enough not be overwhelming. Perhaps because this was a 2 week cruise, the itinerary or the size of the ship, this Cruise was primarily people in their 50's-70's with very few children. So most activities and entertainment was geared to this age group and the Cruise Director and her staff did an amazing job. We chose this particular cruise because it was 2 weeks, went to many Ports in the Southern Caribbean that we had not been and when we booked (14months prior) we received great perks including a Distinctive Voyage Pkg. Embarkation/ Disembarkation - Due to a computer glitch, there was a delay Embarking, but once the process started, from security, through check in.... we were sitting at the Venetian for lunch within 30min. Disembarkation was the quickest we've ever experienced. Tampa Terminal is easy to get to. Parkway Parking was great. Cabin - Balcony - Deck 9 AFT - Our cabin was perfect for the 2 of us. NCL could upgrade their balcony chairs for something more comfy but all in all, all was good. Our Cabin Steward was friendly, always greeted us and immediately took care of any requests. We had him remove everything for sale out of our fridge etc which gave us room for our own water etc. Meals - We enjoyed all our meals in the main dining rooms and other Complimentary Venues. We did not frequent the buffet but if you want an omelet or fresh eggs cooked the way you like, you are better going there for breakfast. We usually took our breakfast from the buffet to Los Cabos or to the pool deck to eat where it was much quieter and less hectic in the morning. We enjoyed La Cuccina and Le Bistro was a special excellent dinner. Water - While NCL does not use 'single use' plastic water bottles and have implemented biodegradable water 'bottles', they really need to install water filling stations for the many people ( like us) who use our own refillable water bottles. Entertainment - We enjoyed the Stardust theater most nights. Jennifer Fair - great voice but we're not big fans of Opera type music, Soul Rockin Nights- the Dawn Production Cast were excellent. Jackson Rayne - Illusionist- very good. Tom Frankel - amazing pianist, singer and entertainer. Gary Lovini - great violinist. Derek Richards, comedian - good but can be offensive at times. Aaron Shaw- good singer, but also not one of our favorite styles. Elements - totally amazing Music Everywhere - There were 2 or 3 other entertainment options every evening in the Lounges, Atrium and or the Bliss Lounge. Sonata, Rockaway Duo, Al Vendetti, Angel Flavors and DJ Remy - all good with the Rockaway Duo being very popular. The 7 piece Dawn Showband were excellent - played Jazz as well as accompanying many other entertainers in their performances. Stephanie is an incredibly talented and versatile young lady. Bliss Lounge - The Cruise Staff were everywhere, very enthusiastic, inclusive and seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. They led many Dances, 'game' show's and contests in the Bliss Lounge nightly and all around the ship at various times. Special Events - Chef JJ Johnson was a great addition. We did not attend any of the 'fee' events but enjoyed his cooking presentation in the Atrium. There was also the usual Art Auctions, lots of Photography opportunities, some 'workshops' in the Spa/ Exercise Area (all hoping to sell you something), 'lecture' with fung shei person (not so good) Bars- Staff at Topsiders and O'Sheehans were awesome. Also the staff at Cellars ( great wine bar) where we went most nights for a glass of wine before Dinner. Gatsby's had great staff as well, but the lounge area smelled like cigar/ cigarette smoke from the Cigar lounge and Casino which was too bad as there was good entertainment there as well. Also often crowded. Enjoyed the lounge on 9th floor surrounding the Atrium for Entertainment. We did not take advantage of the Spa, Pulse Fitness or Photography Service's so can't comment on that. Nor did we go to other Specialty Restaurants. NCL App - this was very helpful to check on Activities around the ship. Pool and Sun Deck - We're not always big fans of cruise pools or needing to have a lounge chair near the pool. Instead we found great sun time on the bow -deck 13/14 … a quieter, relaxing area with views of the ocean and not crowds of people. Ports and Shore Excursions: Grand Cayman - Friends who lived in Grand Cayman picked us up and we had a great, personal tour of almost the whole Island..... stopping in Hell, the Rum Beach for snorkeling, the Rum Factory for a few tastings, lunch, local beers and other points of interest not always on the tourist route. Previously we had snorkeled with the sting ray and on reef - a great experience. Aruba - Tour with Kukoo Kanuka - fun bus ride, learning lots about the local culture and sights while getting into a fun Island spirit. Enjoyed going to the little Chapel at Alta Vista - interesting ride up there, great views of the ocean and amazing amount of cactus. Casabari Rock Formation - neat to see and climb for views. Dropped at Surfside Beach -(near airport) ok but no snorkeling. Opted to stay longer and walked (15min.) back along the shore stopping at a Bar on the Beach (near Port) for a local beer. Bonaire - Champagne Fun Cruise & Snorkel- Captain and his 'mermaids' were a good crew of their 40 foot cruiser ( not catamaran). Smaller group was nice. Quite windy morning so may be why we did not cruise very far. Stopped twice on reef in Marine Park.... not far from shore to snorkel. Good. Complimentary champagne & snack. Double Dip Snorkel with Sea Cow in the afternoon was great if you really want to experience the reef off Klein Bonaire. This is a guided drift snorkel - great. Wandered around the touristy port and found the Bonaire Craft Brewery - okay. Barbados- Walked a ways from Port but since it was Sunday.... nothing open. Did the Harrison's Cave & Scenic Drive - not much of a scenic drive and our driver/ guide was 'soso'. He left us at the entrance to cave with no real explanation where we waited about 45min. to enter the cave. Found out later there were some trails we could have walked. The Caves were amazing and that part of the tour was worth it. St. Lucia - Soufriere by Land & Sea was a great excursion. Although we wish the Bus ride through, up & down along the very winding road from Soufriere was the first part, we mostly enjoyed the Catamaran part of tour and seeing the Pitons from the water. The staff were excellent. The waterfalls stop was refreshing. The Plantation was interesting and lunch was a typical Caribbean style affair. Antigua - Rainforest Canopy Tour - 12 ziplines, 4 swing bridges, staff were focused on safety and fun. A great adventure. Bus ride there was not guided..... just a ride. Walked through 'town' to St. John's Church... historical, beautiful. St. Martin - our 3rd visit here where we previously did Sailing Race, and a great day long boat tour all around the Island so this time we opted for a Bus Tour taking us from the Dutch side to the French & back. Enjoyed learning about the history & culture. Included was a 45min. catamaran tour of Simpson's Bay - best part of tour. On our own, we went to Caribbean Brewing - a new Craft Brewery only 5 min. walk from the gate of the Port. Met the owner and had a great tour and tastings - best beer we had at any of the Ports. If you like Craft Breweries, make this part of your day for sure. San Yuan - Bus tour to El Junque Rain Forest - Nice buses, excellent tour guide, very organized. A unique experience to be in the this well preserved rain forest. Wandered Old San Yuan on our own and found our way to LaTaberno - a bar with huge selection of craft beers. Interesting narrow streets and local culture. All in all, we were so glad to have two weeks on this cruise.... so much to see and do. Very relaxing and lots of fun. While there may be little things we could critique, there were minor in comparison to all the great aspects that we chose to focus on. Thank you NCL for all the ways you thought to make this an enjoyable experience and insuring our safety at Sea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We've cruised for the past few years at this time so we wanted to keep up the tradition even though this year would be without Dad, who passed away only a few weeks after our last cruise in march 2019. This ship was great in that ... Read More
We've cruised for the past few years at this time so we wanted to keep up the tradition even though this year would be without Dad, who passed away only a few weeks after our last cruise in march 2019. This ship was great in that it wasn't so large, so Mom could manage it easily, and it was going to a couple new places we hadn't been before. We traveled on it 8 years ago to Bermuda and although I don't remember it exactly from back then, the updates were fine. Some computer glitch hampered the embarkation but once on, things were good. Thought the meals were great, though not a fan of Bamboo. Shows were good and entertaining. Crew and staff were fine. Only had an issue with trying to get room changed that never happened but we managed. We left before the coronavirus blew up but we did notice that the buffet wasn't self serve for the first few days. Then once it seemed no one was seriously ill, it went back to self serve. Would definitely recommend the ship and itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We like to avoid the Midwest winters so we have been somewhat regular cruisers (usually with NCL) since 1978 on the Skyward. Memorable cruises have included the Norway. We were on the cruise prior to the unfortunate, tragic 2003 Miami ... Read More
We like to avoid the Midwest winters so we have been somewhat regular cruisers (usually with NCL) since 1978 on the Skyward. Memorable cruises have included the Norway. We were on the cruise prior to the unfortunate, tragic 2003 Miami boiler room explosion that was the beginning of the end for that beautiful ship. Another memorable cruise was the slow passage by Monserrat shortly after that deadly volcanic eruption. The captain narrated the best "excursion" we have ever experienced as we passed the island and viewed the somber devastation. It was like an Alaskan glacier experience but more awesome in scope. So resuming, we had the "free air" package and flew from Chicago to Charlotte (about 1.5 hour gap) then on to Tampa on American. We had a nonstop return from Tampa on American. All went smooth including our one day in advance Park,Stay,andFly from Hyatt Regency O'Hare. For the price of a reasonable one night hotel stay we had parking provided at no additional cost for the duration in their covered parking tower. Shuttle was free to O'Hare for our morning flight. We paid the $25 deviation fee for our Tampa flight to insure we arrived a day prior. We know that snow and flight delays can cause anxiety and frustration to embarkation. So we stayed at the Holiday Inn Westshore the night before our cruise. Shuttle provided from airport and we arranged a shuttle to cruise port for $10 per person Waiting lines developed at Tampa cruise dock #2. A computer glitch was described as the cause for the delay. The mainly senior citizen crowd were surprisingly understanding-I think the boarding staff were quite surprised. All of the usual photo ops etc. were abandoned to avoid more delay. On board, we quickly observed the buffet had crew serving all the food, passengers were not permitted to self serve for three more days. Obviously Coronavirus was a concern to all passengers now and at that time. I was impressed with NCL's response. It was later rumored the prior cruise had a number of guests who had experienced gastrointestinal issues on their cruise. I won't elaborate, I have no proof, just hearsay but it might explain the food serving situation as we started our cruise. I thought the crew was doing an enormous amount of cleaning throughout the ship, especially in the lodging areas. At any rate, the food was always enjoyable from all the venues. We are Latitudes Platinum and had booked an obstructed ocean view, our bids for balcony were rejected despite being good on the for-cast meter. We were fine but we both missed the loveseat provided in balcony or suite. Sitting upright has some advantages but the view and natural sunlight were more than adequate. Despite being Platinum for years it was my first time attending the Captain's Latitude reception. Nobody really talks to the crew anyway. I don't need the recognition aspect but enjoyed the free beer. Am I describing myself too accurately? My wife and went on the "behind the scenes tour" for Latitudes members and enjoyed it immensely. Three categories were displayed-Stardust Theatre backstage, laundry facilities, and finally the galley kitchen area. It's incredible that the dancers and performers basically run behind stage and change costumes on stairwells and hallways. Their dressing rooms are further removed and not available during performances. The shows seamless transitions are remarkable. The laundry facilities were surprising in volume of activity but somewhat loud, I had trouble listening to the explanation of the tour. The galley or kitchens would impress almost anyone. We concentrated on the food prep areas. On a prior cruise tour I got to experience the frozen freezers and dairy coolers which I admire greatly having been in the supermarket business for my entire career. We didn't tour these reserve areas this cruise. The seas were some of the smoothest we have ever experienced although one or two people claimed they experienced some issues, none for us in that respect. Our internet service was probably the worst we've ever experienced. It took forever to get a connection. We had a 250 minute package but couldn't even use it-I could hardly get wifi. When I needed to confirm our return flights I went to the internet café and the mgr. got me right in so I admire him-he was helpful. We like to walk a loop around deck 7 Promenade, four times around is 1.4 miles. Some people walk or run around the sun deck however. The shows were always good to great as we think NCL always provides. I'm always ultra impressed with NCL's show bands. These professionals are always exceptional. All the entertainers were complementing Steffie, the female leader and sax player of the band. I won't go to much length about our excursions but Barbados was impressive-I wasn't impressed years ago. The la Soufriere volcano in St. Lucia was interesting although some of the poverty is depressing. In defense of Caribbean islanders, imagine what life would be like if one had to experience hurricanes frequently basically destroying all progress. The Grand Cayman brewery and distillery were fun, Aruba and Bonaire were beautiful and they are outside of the hurricane zone, maybe explaining their more affluent appearance. As we approached our last island, Puerto Rico, I expected to see a disheveled environment but was very pleasantly surprised. We have been there at least four times in forty years and the recent development was impressive. I was told that the more provincial areas are hurting but that the government has concentrated efforts in San Juan because of the tourism industry and it appeared true. The old downtown charm was nice and some of the change near the coast of San Juan was grand in appearance. I came down with a case of gastrointestinal issues near the end of our cruise. My symptoms were severe but short lived. I share this, not to scare anyone, but to say that stuff happens. I have no idea how or where I caught this as I am very careful but fortunately it was over swiftly. I self reported to the ship doctor and was isolated in my room for 24 hours. My wife never got ill despite being by my side much of the time. I never had a headache, fever, chills or body ache so after my initial discomfort was not miserable-just didn't want to infect anyone else. I'll probably get a bill for the doctor, but oh well. Our embarkation was perhaps our smoothest ever. We boarded a bus that took us to Tampa airport. They have become more sophisticated, disembarkation used to be so disorganized. A word about service, the entire crew was very congenial and helpful, couldn't have been much better. We plan to cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii in September. Although the cruise industry is projected to endure some bumps from Corona it's probably an opportune time to catch some respectable pricing advantages. We will see what the future holds. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
To start I have sailed with Norwegian 7 previous times on boats like epic getaway and breakaway. I have always loved them and hence bought into The cruise next which is a program that if you give them money to book again they give you ... Read More
To start I have sailed with Norwegian 7 previous times on boats like epic getaway and breakaway. I have always loved them and hence bought into The cruise next which is a program that if you give them money to book again they give you some extra money. I would never sail on the encore again. I will start out saying the room and employees were good and that was not my issue We booked everything with Norwegian including flight and transport to from the ship to airport. That is were the problems began. When we arrived in ft Lauderdale it was complete mess. People had been waiting since 8 am for a shuttle. We arrived at 11. Every other cruise line was very organized and had shuttle times and great communication. Norwegian had none of this. They kept telling us things like the shuttle wasn’t coming or they only had room for half of our family. At 200pm with the boat leaving at 4 and still no info on a shuttle coming we had to spend 300 dollars to cab the 11 of us to the ship. When we arrived at boat it took 6 tries for them to get me checked in and kept trying to give me keys with other people’s name on them. There were 30 to 50 people in line behind me. I ended up being the last one checked in. Because of that we had a really hard time booking things that you could only book on the boat as they were all sold out. Including passes to the go kart track. Which was main reason to go on this boat. The ship was very nice and clean. The boat had 2 water slides both fun but the ocean loop was barely ever open. The last day we left the beach just so we could do it one last time as the day before it was closed only to find out again it was closed for maintenance yet no one was working on it. Do not bring kids on this boat unless you have lots of money to spend. The laser tag and go karts cost 2 dollars a minute and are really only fun at night. The arcade and new vr games average a dollar a minute. There was no mini golf even thou they advertised that there is. There is no rock climbing wall or ropes coarse so there is very very little for kids to do. There is absolutely no night life on this ship at all. All the clubs and bars closed at midnight except a very small disco. Ever other ship has had piano bars and live music or something going on past midnight. You have a choose of 4 restaurants and a buffet. They only thing is that the 3 restaurant unlike other ships all have the same menu. The buffet was good but same things day after day. The local which is the new osheehan on other boats was good. It is open late but you also can’t get drinks after 12. The haven which is Norwegian’s high end rooms is 10 times the size of other ships and has its own buffet and restaurants. This leaves less room on ship for the things that others have. If you can afford haven I am sure you would enjoy this cruise. We took 11 people on this cruise not one of us wouldn’t rate this as the worst cruise we have ever been on. We have all done at least 12 cruises with Norwegian carnival royal Caribbean and Disney. It’s very sad this trip was not as advertised. It was very expensive This trip has completely turned me off of Norwegian cruise which is hard to believe that after the first 6 I thought and paid into cruise next because we were going to cruise Norwegian exclusively once a year as a group for ever. This trip actually broke my heart and love affair with Norwegian. I think the new ceo is looking to nickel and dime you instead of giving you a vacation you pay for. Final note the choir of men was fantastic Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This cruise was a total waste of time and money! Chose this ship to take our grandson age 11 thinking it would offer many different activities to keep him occupied. I had pre booked the arcade package, but found out that you are limited ... Read More
This cruise was a total waste of time and money! Chose this ship to take our grandson age 11 thinking it would offer many different activities to keep him occupied. I had pre booked the arcade package, but found out that you are limited to a very few baby games and had to pay extra for any of the other games. The race track was ok, but had to book in advance to ride (at $15 a pop) and the times were ridiculous (book Tues morning to get a Friday ride), you could go in the stand by lane and possibly get on quicker. The virtual reality room was more fun for him, but you either had to pay $50 for a day pass or $8.00 for each game you played. You have 2 water slides, one for very small children which my grandson didn't want to participate with, the other you had to be 120 lbs to ride so that was out for him. The swimming pool and hot tubs were always overcrowded and restricted to adults (children could go in with an adult). Overall not a friendly ship for a pre teen. We had a mini suite that was almost a 3rd smaller than other mini suites on the Norwegian line, but the bathroom was much larger and very nice. We managed ok, but was not impressed. Our cabin steward kept our room great. All the food venues (except buffet) had to be pre booked and unless you had a reservation, which was almost impossible to get, you either ate very early or very late or at the buffet. The first few night in the buffet all food was served to you, no option to take what you wanted, so this slowed down the lines and they did get long at some stations We had 5 specialty dinners, was able to use 4 and lost the last one only getting in by being there at 5:30pm before the crowds descended. The food was only average, nothing special. To see any show was also a joke. Again had to pre book. Shows in main theater (only 2) are at 7:30pm or 10:30pm. They had attendants swiping your card at enterance that act like the gestapo, not very friendly at all. To see any of the smaller venues, again pre book or stand in standby lane. The rooms were so crowded that seeing a show was almost impossible and not a pleasant experience. The smoking area was also a joke. You were relegated to an enclosed room about 8 x 20, with about 30 people at any given time, they did open an area on upper deck with room for about 15 people, and an enclosed room in the casino, but you had to be gambling to go in there. If you were outside the marked area you were fined (many were) and some even had their room key restricted if you complained. I am a smoker (yes I know all the negatives), but I paid my fare just as every one else on this ship and felt very discriminated against. I do have to give the Encore its due. The public areas were beautiful and spacious, but of the almost 4000 people very few used the common areas. The shore excursions were also very badly planned. Arriving in Puerto Rico at 5:30pm and leaving at midnight?? About the only thing most people could do was walk the boardwalk area with all the vendors out doing their business. St. Thomas, again arriving at 6amish and leaving at 2:30pm. What chance do you have of doing anything in that time frame except shopping. Tortola was the only port with enough time to go swimming/snorkelling. Going to Norwegians own island on the last day, again a disappointment. The 2 excursions we booked were cancelled due to high winds, so sitting on the beach was about the only option. They do supply a buffet and a hamburg/hotdog stand. They also had a couple of bars set up. Overall we were very disappointed with this cruise and never again would I book the Encore. Please note that if you choose this ship, book anything you want to do well in advance of cruise date to hopefully get to do what you would like and not be disappointed when you arrive. I did not know (my own fault) in advance the problems associated with not booking ahead. We have cruised with Norwegian many times almost always on their mid size ships and have been treated like royalty. This sure was a big disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because it was a new ship and we love cruising and have had great experiences with Norwegian. We love freestyle and being able to eat when we want and where we want. However, in light of all of the new family themed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a new ship and we love cruising and have had great experiences with Norwegian. We love freestyle and being able to eat when we want and where we want. However, in light of all of the new family themed additions to this ship like the speedway, the kids waterpark, laser tag, and the regular water slides, it was almost impossible to find a deck chair anywhere near the pool if you arrive topside later than 10 am. They say you are not allowed to hold seats for more than 15 minutes or your items will be collected for pickup. At any given time of the day there are as many empty seats with towels and people's belongings on chairs as there are with actual people sitting in chairs. This was a deal breaker for me. Since we travelled from the northeast for warmth and sunshine, it was hard to find on this ship. The food and staff at the buffet (main dining room) was totally amazing, and went out of their way at every interaction to make you feel welcomed and valued as a guest. We loved the movie nights on the pool deck, and the cruise director was awesome and fun and great at making us laugh and have a great time. Casino was fairly large and had a lot of different games to offer. Bars and dining options were aplenty! We did not particularly care for our dinner at Onda. Our waiter made us feel very uncomfortable throughout our dinner, food was disappointing. Choir of Man was an awesome show and highly recommend!! High energy and loved the engagement of the audience. Vocals were so awesome, performers were amazing!! Also went to Kinky Boots, this was very disappointing. Felt like I was at a middle school performance where performers were off key and forgot their lines. Set was boring and non engaging. We loved the deck options with nice comfy outdoor sofas which is where we spent a lot of time just relaxing in the shade or sun, depending on starboard or portside and time of day. Nice place to chill with a good book!! If I were traveling with children, this would be my first choice. However, traveling as an early senior couple. This ship was not for us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were excited to try this new cruise ship. Everything went great on check in and getting to our room. Very efficient process for such a large ship. We got to our room and I use a CPAP and looked for a plug beside our bed. The closest ... Read More
We were excited to try this new cruise ship. Everything went great on check in and getting to our room. Very efficient process for such a large ship. We got to our room and I use a CPAP and looked for a plug beside our bed. The closest outlet was across the room and guess what, my electrical cord did not reach across the room. (BAD DESIGN). I asked our stewart what was up? He apologized and said he would try and get me an extension cord. Two days later he brought me a +/- 20' extension cord that took up a lot of space in our room. The room was ok, my wife liked that it had a bath tub. There was a flyer on our bed when we got there offering a 48 pack of water for $48.00. I trashed it because we bought the beverage package. Little did I know that bottled water was not included in the beverage package. Later we found out that bottled water was $5.00 each. We needed to buy the PREMIUM Beverage Package to get bottled water. HOLY COW..I could get 50 vodkas a day but no bottled water. My wife asked for fresh squeezed orange juice for breakfast. This was not included in our Beverage Package. She could get 50 oranges at the breakfast buffet but would have to squeeze them herself. The food was very good. We got the 3 specialty restaurant package, however we could not get reservations in any of the specialty restaurants. The only availability were the 8:30 - 9:00. This was a waste of money. The Manhattan Room ( the main dining room ) was great. Don't know about the others but we spent money on something that we could not use. The fitness center was small for a ship of this size. I went to the spa to use the steam room, that is an extra charge. The staff tried to sell me a week's use of the steam room for $250.00. I have been on several cruise ships and this is the first time I have been asked to pay for this feature. On their private island the tender was horrible as they jam 450 people on a tender boat. Had to wait in line coming and going. We picked beach chairs on their private beach, we sat down and one of the employees came up and asked us for our room #. I said I thought the chairs were free, guess what there was a beach umbrella that was closed up beside our chairs and the charge was $21.00 per person to have an umbrella beside your chair. We got up and move one chair over. I think they are out to nickel and dime you to death. I would pay more for the cruise if they included some of the simple things in the rate. I think next time we will definitely look for a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embarkation - It was a breeze. The only issue I had was we got off at Building A when we should have gone to Building C. The process was very quick through security. The lines were a little confusing because they had two entrances to ... Read More
Embarkation - It was a breeze. The only issue I had was we got off at Building A when we should have gone to Building C. The process was very quick through security. The lines were a little confusing because they had two entrances to the same place in line. We arrived around 12:45 pm. The whole process took us 15 minutes. As soon as we got on board they make sure to spray your hands with sanitizer before stepping onto the ship. Which I thought was pretty cool. As soon as we got on, we went to the sixth floor and signed up for comedy shows, escape room, laser tag, and Prohibition Musical. We had already signed up for our three specialty dining, Choir of Man(I wish I would have signed up twice) and Kinky Boots. Then we proceed to go to Taste Dining room for lunch since our room was not ready. Food - The food was excellent. I loved the fact they had buffalo wings 24/7 and you did not have to pay extra for it. I also loved the fact you can preorder your food if you have an allergy-like my husband and me. We were able to order any item that we wanted. However, if you preorder your meal at Taste or Savior, then you can only eat at one of those two restaurants. If you preorder at Manhattan, then you can only eat that pre-ordered meal in Manhattan. My rating for food went down because of finding a piece of hair in my burger at the Local. We showed the Maitre D. He investigated and sent some chocolate covered strawberries to the room as an apology. Walkways - The walkways were so small to me. You were not able to pass someone. You have to stand to the side and let that person pass. The deck was a nightmare. There were deck chairs everywhere. You barely had any space to walk from one side to the other. My husband and I pretty much stayed away from the deck area during the day. Especially after we found out he could not do some of the activites on the deck floor. Entertainment - Choir of Man, Kinky Boots, and Prohibition Musical were very good. I did not care too much for the comedy shows and the Beatle show in the Encore Theater. The one in the Cavern Club was good. I guess I was not a fan of that decade of their music. Any games done by the Entertainment staff were boring to me. If it was on the deck then we did not go due to the crowd of people. Galaxy Pavillion - It was fun for the first three VR rides but after the fourth/fifth ride, my husband and I were dizzy. So we did not complete the full hour that we paid for and went down to our room to sleep off the dizziness. We were able to get on six in forty-five minutes. We went at 1pm on the first sea day. Escape Room - We kept on being the only people to show up. It is not fun to do it we just two people. After the third time of just being the two of us, we decided not to do it and save our money. Laser Tag - We scheduled laser tag on the same day as Galaxy Pavillion. So we were too dizzy to do the laser tag and canceled. Go-Karts - My husband did not meet the weight requirement so we did not schedule this activity. My husband wanted at least one of us to try it out. So I stood in the stand-by line for ten minutes and was able to ride. It was nice to do it but I am do not have to do it again. Itinerary - I was not a fan of the itinerary. Going to Puerto Rico at night and leaving St. Thomas at 2pm was not the best. I could have skipped the private island in the Bahamas. Internet Package - We upgraded our free at sea perk to the unlimited package. It worked great for us. I was able to keep in contact with my kids back home. Disembarkation - We were one of the last groups to go out. We paid a luggage handler and so it took 15 minutes to go through customs. I did not like the way they had us to take the scenic route around the seventh floor to disembark from the ship. Overall we had a good time but will not go back on this particular ship for Norwegian. This was our first Norwegian ship. We prefer a ship that has more deck space and free activities for you to do like the basketball court and rock climbing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 39 th cruise, 8th NCL, 6 th Haven. I read the reviews before booking and didn’t have high expectations however I did expect more being in the Haven. Let me start by saying when arriving at the port there were no Haven reps ... Read More
This was our 39 th cruise, 8th NCL, 6 th Haven. I read the reviews before booking and didn’t have high expectations however I did expect more being in the Haven. Let me start by saying when arriving at the port there were no Haven reps so we got in the very long security line while my husband went up to find someone to ask, about 15 mins later he came and got us and a guy took us through the security (we just did this in Miami 3 weeks prior with no wait on the Encore as they had a kiosk booth) the. The man actually asked my husband for a tip! That was a first for us. We waited in there for another 20 mins and finally got escorted onto the ship. Our service from our Butler was wonderful and the staff in the area was great in that they greeted us by name when seeing us in the halls. The smaller ships allow for that personalized experience and we like that. We had a two bedroom next to the Haven pool which was fantastic in size even though it is dated a bit. The cabin should have been cleaner there was hair and other things indicating it wasn’t cleaned properly. I always bring Clorox wipes so I got to work however they seemed to clean throughout the rest of our cruise. The upper sun deck for the Haven was nice also really loved that. In general food was ok. This ship to us was great for a weekend in the Haven but our disappointment continued because we paid $2,900.00 for 2 people in a 2 bedroom for a 3 night cruise thinking we were getting some what of a Haven experience. This is not like any Haven I’ve been in. I realized we had to go to the restaurant for dinners but didn’t realize we had no way to get drinks but to go downstairs to the bars to get in line to get our drinks. For that price it’s a big deal! There’s no escort to shows or reservations, no concierge desks or even area for them just an ext. if you want to contact them. The private island had to be cancelled so we spent a day at sea, it happens but unfortunately we had planned to spend money so pre-paid $500.00 OBC as we reserved a villa at GSC also. Now that was canceled we had a credit and concierge confirmed we had to go and stand in a pretty long line at guest services to give us cash back said it could not be put back on the credit card we charged it with. We tried to spend it but the spa but it was booked and the shops didn’t have shirts or much with the Pearl logo on it. I felt sorry for the guest service team they were no stop dealing with people over this mess of giving us all cash back. So if I was to book this ship again because I really liked the itinerary I’d consider the Haven like this, you’re paying for a nice cabin and priority disembarkation, complimentary room service and you get to get the extra perks like drinks, and shore excursions credit per day, but I’ve seen NCL offering those with out Haven and is it worth the extra money since there’s no restaurant, no bar, no concierge desk, the Haven area is hard to access unlike other Havens I’ve been in with key card access. I would consider sailing this ship again if there were really good deals with the understanding I’ll be in long lines for everything (it was hard to get a drink) but never pay the Haven prices again, it’s just simply not worth it in my opinion Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This cruise was recommended from our travel agent. What a great choice. So much for the kids all ages to do. The embarkation and disembarkation went so smoothly I missed the leaving of Miami. Everything was clean and the entertainment was ... Read More
This cruise was recommended from our travel agent. What a great choice. So much for the kids all ages to do. The embarkation and disembarkation went so smoothly I missed the leaving of Miami. Everything was clean and the entertainment was good. I would go again no problem, but we like to try and see different ships. The service was good, the food was yummy, and never ran out of anything. We were a group of 11 and never had a problem sitting together. 9 of the 11 of us were first timers and they all were amazed at this experience. I found we had to pay for a few things that I figure should have been included like the go-carts and laser tag. the slides were alot of fun. At 62 years old I never thought I would be droped in a slide, but I did it. Great fun. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click