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797 Norwegian (NCL) Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

Our first Norwegian cruise but it will not be the last. the refitted Jewel was a pleasure, the sky lounge, multiple bars and sitting areas allowed us to view Alaska as we sailed by and hang out as a multi-generational family. The ... Read More
Our first Norwegian cruise but it will not be the last. the refitted Jewel was a pleasure, the sky lounge, multiple bars and sitting areas allowed us to view Alaska as we sailed by and hang out as a multi-generational family. The entertainment was outstanding, especially Ana and Vlad and the Circus Bijou. The food was great, plenty f choice in the buffet, the Irish bar had a great selection as did the Chin Chin Asian restaurant but e mainly ate in the Tsar's main dining room where Alex and team, the special diets co-ordinator made my cruise. Eating out with severe allergies and food restrictions can be a nerve-racking operation with limited choices and constant fears of cross-contamination. Not so on the Jewel. Every day Alex and team brought menus, from whichever restaurant I wanted for me to pre-select, then they and the chef created my food, brought special items (the gluten-free breads were the best I've ever had), the smoked salmon benedict and cinnamon french toast for breakfast were outstanding and every dining experience a delight. Thank you so much. PS Alaska was amazing too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
the staff was great, food was good, ports horrible and worst of all was the casino is on floor 7 open to 6 and 8 by the 3 story open staircases. This allows all the smoke from casino to filter up and down to the major gathering areas. It ... Read More
the staff was great, food was good, ports horrible and worst of all was the casino is on floor 7 open to 6 and 8 by the 3 story open staircases. This allows all the smoke from casino to filter up and down to the major gathering areas. It is so bad that it stings the eyes leaves you smelling of smoke. I am a former smoker and could not stay in casino for more than a few minutes. The library and game room was closed and no other choices were provided. Every seat we sat in in the theater was broken slating down to floor and very uncomfortable. The staff was very good the food was good cruise food a good selection we stay with the included dining and was pleased we did not like the Manhatten room it was very noisy. The garden buffet was good but was growded. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I have taken two additional cruises on Princess, and with us taking our son (15 yo) with us, we wanted one that had a more kid friendly environment (arcade, wall-climbing, slides, and a club for his age (Entourage)) and others ... Read More
My wife and I have taken two additional cruises on Princess, and with us taking our son (15 yo) with us, we wanted one that had a more kid friendly environment (arcade, wall-climbing, slides, and a club for his age (Entourage)) and others who had taken Norwegian recommended them as a kid friendly company. Check in at Miami was great. We had a small amount of waiting time, but once we passed through, we had a great time touring the ship to locate where things were at. The layout of the ship was significantly different than the other Princess ships we had been on. I wasn't sure how I was going to like the layout, which in my opinion, never did grow on me. We arrived at the boat at 11 am. Once we got access to our room at 1pm, it was nicely set up, about what we expected with a Balcony room. Our bags arrived shortly there after. However, not all of our bags arrived. We went to Guest Services to locate them, and they could not find them. We proposed the idea that they may have been placed in my fathers room. They called his room and verified that the bags were placed in the wrong room. Upon finding the bags, I verified that the tags put on the bags were identified to my room, solidifying the conclusion that the staff had made a mistake with our bags. On board activities fill up fast, and being as some of them need to be made when you arrive, it should be on your list of things to do as soon as you get onboard. There is difficulty on setting up reservations when you don't know your schedule 3 or 4 days in the future. When the daily schedule does come out every evening, it may require you to shuffle your schedule to meet obligations on the cruise. That part was very irritating. Our first show reservation did not go as planned. We had "Burn the Floor" scheduled on the first evening, but when we made it to our room, we found out that our reservation was moved to the next night at a different time, requiring us to shuffle our evening as we already had a dinner planned with family. We had to leave the restaurant early to make it to the show. When we arrived to our reservation at 7:27 pm for a 7:30 pm show, we were told our reservations that we made months in advance, which was changed to the following evening, had been given away to others as we didn't arrive 10 minutes prior to the show start. We were told it was standing room only. The Box Office staff were very unhelpful and rude, and asked us to leave the Theater. We did not know about the 10 minute requirement, which made us reschedule the show 5 days later. The mobile app and NCL.com doesn't mention the 10 minute requirement as well. Our first excursion port was in Roatan, Honduras. Roatan seemed very cluttered and not very picturesque. We bought the Ultimate Big French Key excursion. The excursion included either a snorkeling or boat tour. We decided to do the snorkeling. My wife an I wanted to document some pictures underwater, so we bought one of the phone bag/selfie sticks onboard for $40. When we bought it, I was skeptical on its protection of the phone in water. We all jumped into the water, and my wife told me the phone had come off the stick and fell into the water down to the bottom. We told the tour guide and he managed to dive down ~50 ft and retrieved my wife's brand new iPhone 11 Pro from the reef. We never expected him to do that, and this impressed us greatly. The phone bag maintained the seal from water and protected my wife's phone from water. The tour guide received a great tip from that. Once we returned to the beach, we relaxed for another couple of hours and the food was great. Overall, the excursion was great, and the tour guides turned our crappy vacation into a great one. We would definitely recommend this excursion to others. The next day, we went to Harvest Caye, Belize. It sounds like a legit name, however, this is just a name for Norwegian's private island. You don't actually get to see Belize's mainland. That being said, my family purchased the Villa's for $700 a pop. I was skeptical on the quality for the price. We arrived to the Villa by cart, and found a beautiful room and our own private beach and amenities. This part surpassed my initial thought. It was definitely a nice experience, but I don't think it is worth the $700 as you still have to buy your own drinks and food on top of it. Even though the island is owned by Norwegian and we had the beverage/alcohol/food packages, everything you buy is for an additional cost. We did the paddleboat excursion, which was far more activity than we expected, but it was good for the $29 my wife and I paid as a whole, not individually. Next up, we had a parasailing excursion at 1pm. The staff were very helpful and nice. When we got out to the parasailing site, we were told that it was cancelled due to inclimate weather (lightning). We were bummed that it was cancelled, but we knew we were getting our money back. We had a nice relaxing part of the day. Our concierge assigned to our Villa heard about the excursion cancellation and expressed sorrow. However, later in the day at 3pm she came and told us there were openings for the parasailing, which we capitalized on. The excursion went well, and my wife has a newfound likeness toward parasailing. Overall, a very good day in Harvest Caye. Would definitely recommend the parasailing and the Villa. Paddleboat maybe not as much. Next up, Costa Maya. Back in 2003, my wife and I took our honeymoon and this place had just opened up. We did not have a very good experience and were dreading visiting this place again. This time we decided to take the Maya Waterpark excursion. Upon arriving at the meeting area, the area is much bigger and full of more activities than we remember. There is a dolphin adventure, more places to eat and drink, and more shops to shop in. The meeting area was difficult to locate, but we found it. We took the bus to the park and went in. The park looks bigger than it actually is. The park has a large man made Mayan temple to which all of the water slides are attached at different levels. They also have zip lines over the park, but we didn't do that. The bad part, they only have 2 elevators for the multitude of floors. making elevator wait times bad. The alternative is to climb the stairs to the level you want. Of the slides we went on, they were very good. We did get tired of climbing stairs, so we went to their lazy river which was very nice, with the exception of another day of inclimate weather (rain/lightning). We didn't spend much time at the park due to the weather, but we felt we got our money's worth and we returned to the main area of Costa Maya. We walked around a bit and returned to the ship a little early. Overall, a nice day and the area is significant improvement from what we experienced in 2003. Excursion is worth the time and money, as long as the weather plays nice. Final excursion port, Cozumel, Mexico. In the past, this had become my wife's favorite port due to the activities and the shopping. We decided to do the Xel-ha all-inclusive water park. This was scheduled in advance for $129 a person. All three of us were booked. This excursion was different than the others, as we had to meet up in the Breakaway Theater where other excursions made us meet up on the pier. We didn't understand that part. It wasted a lot of our time. It was at this point that we found out we had to go to the mainland for the excursion. Once our group was called, we exited the ship and made our way to the ferry, which was about a 40 minute ride to the mainland to Playa del Carmen. Once we arrived, we had to find the right tour. Once we found it, we waited in line about 20 minutes before we started to mobilize. We moved further up into a shopping center, where again, we waitied about another 15 minutes. More time lost. We mobilized once again to walk to the bus which was to take us to the park. We boarded the bus and rode it for another 35 to 40 minutes to reach the park. Keep in mind, our day started at 7:50 am in the theater. We arrived at the park at 11am and were told we had to meet up at 2:30pm to leave for the ship. This was only allowing us 3 and a half hours for an all-inlcusive excursion! The tour guide told us we couldn't use our sunblock due to natural concerns in their park, so we had to buy theirs which was a small aerosol spray for $17. It was very expensive. We felt rushed through the park. The food and drinks were very good. The river tube and snorkeling were fun, what we had of it. We met up at 2:30pm to leave at the entrance, where we waited another 20 minutes for everyone to arrive. We took the bus and the ferry back to Cozumel and arrived 15 minutes behind schedule. Guess what though? No shopping. My wife was very upset about the excursion and the time wasted which we could have used to buy gifts for others. We would definitely not recommend this excursion to others. This is something best for an all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen and not for Cruise takers. There is just not enough time to get all you want done with the transit times being so long. For a place we looked into visiting once again, it turned to be a complete disappointment. Upon arrival back at the ship at 4:45 pm, many of the Xel-ha excursion proceeded to the Guest Services desk as the Shore Excursion desk was vacant. Guest Services told us that there was nothing they could do because it fell on the Shore Excursion desk, which wasn't going to be manned until 6pm. Many of us were upset. Guest Services would not get someone from Shore Excursions to alleviate our concerns. It seemed as if they were hoping we would go back to our room and cool down and forget about going to the Shore Excursion desk as a group. My wife caught one of the Officer's attention which happened to be the General Manager. We expressed our unhappiness, and he called the Shore Excursion manager up to the desk. The General Manager remained until the Shore Excursion manager arrived. As a group, we expressed our concerns and unhappiness to the Shore Excursion manager. He looked into it, and we did receive half of our money back from the excursion. Now the overall cruise comments. Food at the specialty restaurants is exceptional. Food as the Main Dining Rooms (Manhattan, Savor, and Taste) can take quite a long time with larger groups. We had a party of twelve, and our dinners were taking on average about 2 hours. When we had a party of three, we were finished within an hour. I understand it will take a little more time and coordination with the larger party, but it was an extra hour. When we did eat at Margaritaville, my wife's chicken had an unexpected bone in it. Other than that, Margaritaville was great. Garden Cafe Buffet has a great selection of food, but the quality is noticeable when compared to the other restaurants. Onboard shows were great. had a good time at each one we went to (Burn the Floor, Rock of Ages, and Wine Lovers). They also had a "Deal or No Deal" show frequently during the cruise. It was a good time. Every ticket is $25 and lasts for that days show in the Atrium. Even though you may not be called up to the front, you still play along and have a potential to win something. A couple of nights we went to Syd Norman's Pour House. If you like Rock music, that is the place to go. Good atmosphere and great music. We did do the Skyy Ice bar. For $15 a person, you effectively go into a freezer, have a couple of included drinks with ice sculptures around you and leave. Not a bad experience for the cost. Some subtle things were different when compared to our previous cruises with Princess. At no time during this Norwegian cruise did we have animals made out of towels or mints on the pillows as we did with Princess. Pools and jacuzzis close at 10pm. At that time, nets are put up, preventing access until the next morning. Kind of irritating as that is the perfect time to relax after a busy day of activities. Now the conclusion. All we have to compare it with are those we took with Princess. We did have a good time and the days were busy with activities. The beverage and food packages assisted in maintaining the cost low, but there is still some money to be spent even though everything was prearranged before the cruise began. At the end, we ended spending an additional $300 which is quite low. With the experiences we had, my wife and I would not recommend Norwegian to others, and will more than likely go back to Princess Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We thought this would be a nice cruise with great ports for my 76 yr old mom and handicapped sister for a girls getaway. I also use a cane. Food was ok, nothing special. Buffet was limited at night to one type of cuisine, main ... Read More
We thought this would be a nice cruise with great ports for my 76 yr old mom and handicapped sister for a girls getaway. I also use a cane. Food was ok, nothing special. Buffet was limited at night to one type of cuisine, main restaurants took very long for the three courses, which were very small portioned. (I am glad my husband wasn’t there, he would have had to order two entrees!) I expected more out of the cuisine, The ship is nice, clean, but very crowded. Common spaces were always full. And the main customer service area always had a long line. Difficult to get a deck chair. Entertainment lacked any interesting premise. Felt like watching high school entertainment, although the singers had wonderful voices, the shows were juvenile. And the stand up comedy shows needed some better comedians. Activities were the usual, bingo, trivia, music at the pool. I never saw the cruise director except when he introduced himself at the beginning of a show. And they were always selling raffle tickets at every show. I found that everything revolves around how much they can get you to spend onboard. Our room was sufficient and clean, although the step up into the bathroom was higher than anticipated and mom tripped into the bathroom one night. The step should have a light up or glow in the dark strip not just a small notice near the door the same color as the wall. The crew is very nice and helpful. This was my second cruise this year with Norwegian and I didn’t find the first one much better so I will not be using Norwegian for cruising again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I went on this cruise to see the glaciers in Juno. It was absolutely breathtaking! The services in general on the cruise was wonderful. And the food at the restaurants were very tasty. The shows were spectacular. I also met some sweet and ... Read More
I went on this cruise to see the glaciers in Juno. It was absolutely breathtaking! The services in general on the cruise was wonderful. And the food at the restaurants were very tasty. The shows were spectacular. I also met some sweet and friendly people on board, including a couple of Australian sisters named Robyn and Jennifer, a nurse name Warren and his wife Shannon, an Irish couple named Dominic and Yvonne. My only regret is that I did not exchange my contact information with them. I don’t know how, But I hope to get in touch with them again. Maybe one of them will give me, Harry Potter, a shout. Overall, this was a fun cruise with lots of activities for our ages. I Will go on this cruise again because Norwegian was so good to guests with vision and mobility disabilities. This is important because my father has two bad knees and I have low vision. Clin729@gmail.com Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had a great time on the Breakaway. Our only disappointment was the behaviour of the other passengers who we found to be most unreasonable given the difficult circumstances the captain had to face. Sadly one passenger had to be ... Read More
We had a great time on the Breakaway. Our only disappointment was the behaviour of the other passengers who we found to be most unreasonable given the difficult circumstances the captain had to face. Sadly one passenger had to be medically evacuated from the ship (I can’t imagine how worried their family would have been.) The captains actions could have saved that persons life. Yet people were complaining that we missed the Bahamas since the ship had to turn around and backtrack a long way in order for the helicopter to be in range for the evacuation. St Thomas was another missed call due to a tropical storm, I’m glad we were kept safe in the port of San Juan. I understand no other cruise ships made it to St Thomas that day too. We loved the ship and the entertainment too, particularly the duelling pianos in headliners they were hilarious! We enjoyed watching a show every night in the theatre. The food was great, we used the garden cafe quite often as we have a teenage daughter and the great variety suited us all. Also dined in Savour and The Manhattan lounge with Late nights in O Sheehan’s after the casino too! Sometimes the bar service was a little slow but we still got served. We’ve already taken advantage of the cruise next deal and look forward to sailing with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have been on 5 cruises previously with 4 different cruiselines (including Disney, Princess, and Royal Carribean). My experience on Norwegian Gem was by far the worst. 1. The stateroom is poorly designed, with no outlets near the ... Read More
I have been on 5 cruises previously with 4 different cruiselines (including Disney, Princess, and Royal Carribean). My experience on Norwegian Gem was by far the worst. 1. The stateroom is poorly designed, with no outlets near the head of the bed. Family members with CPAP machines had to run extension cords across the entire room to be able to use their medical device. 2. Stateroom did not seem fully stocked. I found out halfway through the cruise that hand/body lotion is readily available but was never stocked in my room for no clear reason. 3. The food was one of the biggest disappointments. Many dishes came out cold, and the portions for the appetizers are laughable. The food taste was mediocre at best. In particular, the quality of the food at Orchid Garden is not tasty at all. The buffet has poor variety. Despite having a large space, each food station is duplicated, so there is really only half the selection. And attempts at cost-saving were obvious... other cruises have smoked salmon, and this cruise had salmon spread. The tikka masala was always some vegetable rather than chicken. Just a few examples. 4. Having to tender to ports is terrible, and I left with the sense that my cruise experience was diminished due to cost-saving decisions by the cruiseline. 2 ports were cancelled due to weather preventing safe use of tender boats, but other cruise boats were able to dock at those ports on the same day as their cruiselines booked the pier rather than resorting to using tender boats. At one of the ports we actually made it to, delays in the tendering process led to our group having to wait 3.5 hours after our arrival time to actually make it onto a tender boat, so the time available to actually enjoy the port was lessened. 5. When ports were canceled due to weather, the cruise staff revised the activity options. But all I could see were more sales and charged activities (wine/whisky tastings). It's bad enough to miss out on a port, but then to have the cruiseline only open up activities that you have to pay more for is ridiculous. 6. My cruise benefit was to save $50 per port on shore excursions, and I was unable to use that benefit as half the ports were canceled. I had unused "non-refundable" credit that I asked be applied to the service charge since I was unable to use it on a shore excursion, and I was told that wasn't allowed. If a port is canceled, I would hope the cruiseline would go out of their way to try and improve the experience rather than make it more frustrating. 7. The cruise staff was overall friendly but one staff member (female cruise staff member from USA) was rude. She was managing elevator use while it was restricted for 4 hours due to tender boats. 8. The layout of the boat is poorly planned. With disabled members in our party, it was frustrating to have to take elevators up to a certain floor to walk across the boat and then take another elevator down to get to the main dining hall (which is a location we needed to get to 1-2x every day). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose Norwegian bc I was told it was one of the best. I had gone on a Carnival cruise in the past and wanted to compare my experience. The 1st thing you should know is that due to weather we missed 2 of our 4 ports. The last port being ... Read More
I chose Norwegian bc I was told it was one of the best. I had gone on a Carnival cruise in the past and wanted to compare my experience. The 1st thing you should know is that due to weather we missed 2 of our 4 ports. The last port being cut was a bit of a surprise. We didn't think the water was that bad (we would have taken a boat to shore). Obviously NCL cannot control the weather, but 2 sea days in place of port days is not an equivalent value in my book. The 2 ports we missed were our beach/snorkeling days so we managed to pay for a Caribbean vacation and not set foot on a beach! Extremely disappointed. I had booked a package that included port credits and was not even offered those credits as onboard credits. I understand that cruise lines write contracts to ensure they make money but I think expecting the customer to take all the loss in this case is poor customer service! I would be interested to know how other cruise lines have handled this kind of situation. Booking experience: My husband booked our last cruise 5 years ago, so I don't recall if we were a bit blindsided by tipping fees after booking or not. But bc they wanted tips paid up front when I included drink and meal upgrades I assumed that all tips were included and got an unpleasant surprise. They also didn't tell me that there was a cut-off for informing them of food allergies. I had missed the cut off date bc they want 25 days notice, but since no one mentioned it at booking I stumbled upon this info when I asked about bringing snacks a few days after the deadline. Allergy accommodations: In spite of missing the deadline the staff on board was largely very kind and understanding. I do have to mention that the lack of communication of procedures to me and lack of communication with each other at times was frustrating. No one told me that I had to preorder my meals for the next day, so at my first breakfast the server was a bit curt with me about needing to preorder. I told her that I was unaware of the procedure and her response was "well, I am telling you now." There is also no alternative menu for ppl with allergies. It would have made the ordering process easier if I knew what they were capable of, but in stead they want me to tell them what I want so they can shoot it down until I say something they can accommodate. Before you start thinking the lack of preparation was due to me missing the deadline you should know that I was told there was another GF and dairy-free person on board! Whatsmore they didn't have much on board to assist in this process, i.e. butter and cheese alternative, GF baked goods other than bread. Milk alternative was not listed on the menu. The only dessert offering was lemon sorbet. While I am used to being left out while others enjoy fine dining it is no less frustrating when you consider all the products out there that are readily available now. General Dining: My mom and sister were rarely impressed. We enjoyed Le Bistro, but that is an upgrade. We dined in the Four Seasons or Seven Seas most often bc my mom preferred to be waited on due to mobility issues. There was one occasion that my sister had to send biscuits and gravy back bc it was "disgusting" and several times that they commented that the presentation was promising but the flavor was mediocre. I would not consider either of them picky eaters or accustomed to fine dining, so to underwhelm them is saying something. The service was generally very good. Our Stateroom: I booked for 3. I was told that we would have 2 twin beds and a foldout couch. When we arrived it was a queen and the couch didn't fold out. Apparently they push twins together to make a queen so that was easily corrected. I just don't know why they wouldn't look at my booking and have it prepared. We had to wait quite some time in the chaos of onboarding before it was corrected. Since the couch didn't fold out as I was told we requested an egg crate pad for additional comfort but my sister was still quite uncomfortable. No expected a foldout couch to be stellar but what we got was substandard. We enjoyed the balcony but in spite of the sign that said the balcony was a no smoking area ppl still smoked! There was no enforcement of the rule. So at times the balcony that I paid extra for was unusable. Entertainment: I remember enjoying Carnival's shows more. I am sure it is personal taste or maybe bad luck. For example, the comedian on this trip was good during the "family show" and OK during the adult show. The comedian on Carnival had me laughing till I couldn't breathe! The game shows were ok. Lots of activities required a fee. Karaoke was ok. It was a machine setup vs a live band set up on Carnival, so way more cool to sing with a band and nice to have someone that would jump in for struggling singers. The vibe was just so much more fun on Carnival. Excursions: They need more detail in the descriptions and need to incentivize reviews. We booked level 1 due to my mom's mobility issues. She walks with a cane. The Key West Land and Sea was appropriately leveled 1. But bc we had to walk 3 blocks to get to the bus tour in Nassau (meaning the bus could not pick us up in front of the boat like in the Keys) it was not appropriately leveled so we were underprepared. I am not sure they would have allowed us to take a wheelchair off the boat even if we paid the $150 rental fee, so I don't know if we could have prevented her discomfort. The tours themselves were nice enough. The Fury glass bottom boat in the Keys was a little disappointing in that the boat is set up so you have to stand around the glass bottom instead of sit. Other glass bottom boats I have been on have bench seats facing the viewing area. Again an issue for my mom. The ride was good otherwise, but it must have taken longer than expected since the land tour was not exactly as described. The description mentioned a couple of stops so passengers could get off for a break or to get a pic and that did not happen. Also the seating on the trolley was uncomfortable for me bc I have long legs. Sitting askew for a hour ride with no break was hard! In contrast, once we were past the long walk to the bus in Nassau, the bus ride itself was as described and the seating was better and the bus had AC! We had a few breaks as described also. We were able to visit the fort, queens staircase, Atlantis, and have rum cake! As mentioned previously we missed out on our beach excursion ports so I cannot speak to those. Would I go again? Not likely any time soon. I had hoped for more for my Mom's birthday cruise experience. She had not been one one for over 40 years and she even mentioned enjoying her last one more for reasons unrelated to her age and mobility. It is hard to pay so much for a mediocre experience and knowing the weather could take half your vacation! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first time cruising, so we researched several cruise lines and cruises destinations. We decided on Norwegian because it suited our style and price the best. We heard so many good things about Norwegian from friends as well! ... Read More
This was our first time cruising, so we researched several cruise lines and cruises destinations. We decided on Norwegian because it suited our style and price the best. We heard so many good things about Norwegian from friends as well! I can say we were not disappointed! We used GoPort from our hotel to the ship terminal. Door to door was easy and worry free trying to find the right terminal and parking. From beginning to end Norwegian staff was attentive and gracious. The excursions we took in Key West and Nassau were great plus getting on and off the ship was stress free. Seven Seas restaurant was our favorite dining place all the way around! I think our choice of a balcony cabin was the best choice for my husband and me. We regularly sat on the balcony enjoying the blue ocean and stars. We are already planning another Norwegian cruise. Next up The British Isles! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We love NCL, always have. The staff is wonderful and always helpful and smiling. We were treated like VIP's and even had a decorated cake for our anniversary. Using a cane is sometimes difficult but not on this vacation. Special ... Read More
We love NCL, always have. The staff is wonderful and always helpful and smiling. We were treated like VIP's and even had a decorated cake for our anniversary. Using a cane is sometimes difficult but not on this vacation. Special care was given to make me not feel I was holding anyone up when on excursions. The ship itself is beautiful and so well kept. The food again, was excellent. Too good actually as I gained 8 lbs. My next cruise will be back to Hawaii via NCL with my daughters as I want them to experience the time I had.The entertainment was excellent as well. There was a Polynesian show, magician and comedian as well as two excellent broadway type shows by their own production crew. We made ribbon leis, oragami and enjoyed the fact they encouraged familes to participate. Look forward to our next cruise which will be back to hawaii with my daughters this time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have sailed with Norwegian twice before, and have always loved the destinations, the value, and the service. We chose this tour because we had always wanted to see Quebec and the surrounding territories in the fall. Although the colors ... Read More
We have sailed with Norwegian twice before, and have always loved the destinations, the value, and the service. We chose this tour because we had always wanted to see Quebec and the surrounding territories in the fall. Although the colors were not yet vibrant, we did see some fall foliage and the weather was perfect. Be aware that travel to Quebec can be problematic: major airlines only land in Montreal which is 3-1/2 hours away. For us, the train was a good option (Via Rail). Once at the Port, embarkation was disorganized: there were no staff to direct us and we had to wait about 3 hours for a wheelchair assist, even though we had a scheduled arrival time. No one seemed to know if there was a line or where to drop luggage and none of the employees were available to ask. Once on board we were impressed with the cleanliness of our stateroom (we had a mini-suite), the efficiency of our steward (Lillies), and the beautiful public areas of the ship. I loved the Promenade for my morning walks as it goes the full circle of the ship with no stairs and plenty of room. We sailed about 3 hours late for some reason--there was no announcement from the captain or explanation given. In fact, communication could be improved on the Gem. One example was a notice that all guests must submit documents to immigration, starting at 7:45 and ending at 9:00 am. Groups were to be called.... those with excursions were to be in the first group, but for well over an hour there were no announcements at all, and people were stressed about missing their excursion buses. The Gem offers plenty to do onboard as well as on shore, and they even did our laundry for us one day (a big bag for 19.99). We got the Thermal Spa Package--highly recommended for relaxing and being pampered! We enjoyed listening to music every evening in the lounges and attending the nightly shows. The piano man, Nathanael Reed, was especially talented! We did not do many excursions this time, but we went ashore at the ports to shop, visit restaurants, and walk downtown. I also enjoyed going ashore for a bicycle ride in Sydney--"I Bike Sydney" offered many varieties of bicycles to rent right on the dock, and there was an adjoining parkway for riding. One excursion we did take was to Acadia Park and Carriage Ride. It was scenic and relaxing, very memorable, and now we want to go back again. Disembarkation was the exact opposite of embarkation--fast, easy and organized. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
wanted to see the Maritimes, hopefully with fall colors, but too early for that, up the St Lawrence was great, lots of little , villages. fantastic homes in Newport, must hv been nice to have money in those days only downfall was number ... Read More
wanted to see the Maritimes, hopefully with fall colors, but too early for that, up the St Lawrence was great, lots of little , villages. fantastic homes in Newport, must hv been nice to have money in those days only downfall was number of ports where you had to tender in, some were 25 min each direction ship was very modern, wonderful staff in rooms & eating places ate all meals in Garden Cafe where food was very varied and good dress was casual which I prefer , entertainment in Stardust lounge very good enjoyed Halifax, Pier 21 was very enjoyable ( this is where immigrants landed, and had a Titanic exhibit, weather was good, sea rough coming into Rhode Island, end of hurricane Dorian Did not leave ship in most ports because of tendering and I use a cane to get me around very happy with trip and will most likely do it again Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Previously sailed on the Epic twice, this was the third time but never again. The standard of the Haven facilities have seriously deteriorated, whilst the cabins areof a very high standard, the facilities and added luxury have ... Read More
Previously sailed on the Epic twice, this was the third time but never again. The standard of the Haven facilities have seriously deteriorated, whilst the cabins areof a very high standard, the facilities and added luxury have demised. On previous sailings the Haven had certain parts of the ship that accommodated smokers One being in the posh bar where you could have a relaxing drink and a cigarette the other being on the top deck. When we went to the posh bar we where told that this facility had been stopped and you were not allowed to smoke in either areas. We actually booked this cruise because it had smoking facilities and would not have Paid £6000+ to be told that if we wanted to smoke we had to leave the Haven and go Into the main part of the ship to smoke. The main part of the ship had two smoking areas One on deck 15 and one in the 02 bar. On asking why the facility had been stopped In the Haven areas none of the management could give as to why. So we advise any one who enjoyed a cigarette on their cruise do not go to the expense of booking the Haven save £3000 and go in the normal part of the ship NCL NEED TO STATE THAT ON THE EPIC HAVEN THERE ARE NO SMOKING IN THE HAVEN The food in the Haven was very mundane, the same menu every night so we went to the other restaurants on board. The night we had steak in the Haven restaurant my husband couldn’t eat his on complaining he was told it must have been the supplier and did offer an additional meal We only ate once for breakfast, because most mornings the breakfast was only served Until 9am, we like to stay out at night on holiday and think breakfast should be offered until 10am at least, again in the main part of the ship you could have breakfast till 11.30 So once again your better off not booking the expensive Haven. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first cruise but NOT my last. I even though we have a “change of plans” because of the hurricane, it was my BEST VACATION EVER!!! Fine dining at a slow & easy pace. Letting enjoy the meal & not rush. The boat gently ... Read More
This was my first cruise but NOT my last. I even though we have a “change of plans” because of the hurricane, it was my BEST VACATION EVER!!! Fine dining at a slow & easy pace. Letting enjoy the meal & not rush. The boat gently rocking my to sleep at night. The quiet library were I could read and not be distracted. The games and trivia plus the lounges ... there was lots of quiet places to get away from the action. At port it was enjoy to walk around and go back to the boat early & just relax. This was my most relaxing vacation in a long while. The water was so Beautiful & I saw dolphins. The Spinnaker lounge was the BEST leisure lounge during the day. Quiet & bright, easy to get a day and just decompress. We took photos each day with the ship & got a cute photo album. The was an unique souvenir. Plus, their were free gifts and cheap gifts with a bazaar in the atrium on our Sea Day. Some games had prizes, like dinners or drinks or gift baskets. We purchase the Bon voyage package ... it was exceptional from the decor to the food. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are in our 60s. We took the cruise because we wanted to visit new places up North before it got too cold. We knew no kids would be onboard as school started that week. So 8/31/19 12-day cruise was a Grandma & Grandpa crowd. ... Read More
We are in our 60s. We took the cruise because we wanted to visit new places up North before it got too cold. We knew no kids would be onboard as school started that week. So 8/31/19 12-day cruise was a Grandma & Grandpa crowd. Entertainment was great, & staterooms too. But food onboard gets a 3 out of 5. Soups were poor. Brown watery cream of mushroom soup. Minestrone was not a soup but a clear broth with 6 macaroni and 8 beans. Most soups missed the mark; 'brothy' and clear. Bakery was great. Dining room - everything had at least 1 flavor/ingredient added too much. Garden Buffet every sandwich had mayonnaise on each slice of bread, everything! Corned beef sandwiches one day, pastrami hogie next day, every panini all week, plus turkey & Swiss, you name the sandwich served daily and it had mayonnaise on it. And on both sides of the bread! Nobody could make me a sandwich w/o mayo no matter who I asked. I have high cholesterol and take Lipitor like many other seniors on a senior cruise might have, but this 90% fat condiment (look at the nutrition label) was on every sandwich all the time and I couldn't get anyone to accommodate me and make me a non-mayo sandwich, not once. Everybody has a niche in life. I have diabetes and high cholesterol, but I'm allowed certain foods in moderation 2-3 times a week. But never mayonnaise, which was in a bowl to add to your sandwich in at least 2 places along the buffet line. Mustard (only salad mustard & no spicy brown anywhere, UGH!) and ketchup were at each table. I can have unlimited ketchup and mustard, but I would have been mayo overwhelmed if I ate any sandwich served (other than the make your own franks and burgers). If they had ready made franks in buns or burgers on rolls, they too would have been drenched in mayonnaise. The chef was mayonnaise-happy, I guess. There was plenty else to eat, I didn't go hungry, but I would have liked a corned beef or pastrami or turkey sandwich the 1 day it was offered if done so w/o the mayo, Even the seafood sandwich was topped with Sirachi mayonnaise. PLEASE LOSE THE MAYO. I can always add it, it's right there on the buffet but I couldn't take it off after they drenched both sides of the bread and sandwich that way. Service in the dining room was hit or miss each night depending on which random waiter you got. Smoked salmon ONLY served in the dining room at breakfast, but herring in the buffet. The herring looked like the bait I use to go fishing. One night we had our dining room orders taken and were each served the wrong soups, then corrected, and followed by the wrong salads next. Salt and pepper were in grinders that were identical, no P or S or other distinction on the grinder and I ruined a dish by adding salt by mistake instead of pepper. The foods had a dozen ingredients each where 9 or 10 would have been fine if you know what I mean. This wasn't Master Chef or Chopped, after all. But I didn't go hungry. Just overkill. And PLEASE lose all that cholesterol laden Mayo, PLEASE! I'll add it if I want it. The 'midnight' snack buffet on an earlier cruise was from 11:30-12:30AM. This cruise it was 9:30-10:30. Way, way too early for me. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because frankly, we live by Cruise Port Boston, love Bermuda and spent our honeymoon on the Norwegian Gem on its transatlantic portion of its maiden voyage back in 2007 and wanted to see whether the cruise ship really ... Read More
We chose this cruise because frankly, we live by Cruise Port Boston, love Bermuda and spent our honeymoon on the Norwegian Gem on its transatlantic portion of its maiden voyage back in 2007 and wanted to see whether the cruise ship really was as awesome as we remembered. It was, and then some. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Sure, twelve years has taken its toll on the ship, but it wasn't that visible. The Dale Chihuly Glass Sculpture in the Atrium of the Gem still wows. The service was great. Our balcony stateroom was consistently kept immaculately clean. The food in the buffet was so delicious it kept us coming back for more. The variety in the buffet, with its different themes each night, was terrific. Even the free coffee was delicious. The staff showed pride in their work, and the attention to detail showed. We attended four major shows in the Stardust Theater, Swing, Blazing Boots, the Chernov Brothers - Circus Dance Show and Get Down Tonight which we very much enjoyed. We were able to walk to Snorkel Park Beach in Bermuda three days in a row and took the free ferry to St. George. We traveled with our nine year old son who is on the autism spectrum, and he had a great time. We went last year on the Norwegian Dawn (August 2018) and will go again on August 21, 2020. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Alaska is always a great destination, even when it was cold and rainy. But my concern is that the food on NCL seems to have gone downhill rapidly since our last cruise on the Jade last September. It was bland. Buffet looked like they ... Read More
Alaska is always a great destination, even when it was cold and rainy. But my concern is that the food on NCL seems to have gone downhill rapidly since our last cruise on the Jade last September. It was bland. Buffet looked like they had thrown together and mashed the food together from the night before on several occasions. Even the meals in the dining room sub par. My daughter had to remind the waiter on 3 occasions about missed things and one night a waiter got the orders wrong 4 different times. He just wasn't listening. Nodding his head and off he went. That happened more often then usual from our past cruises. We were Mid ship 5067 and 5069. Inside. But don't ever book anything in that area because the bars are above you and all you get until 2 in the morning is banging, sliding of equipment and noises I never knew existed. Sleep was challenging to say the least. If you have any mobility problems don't do the Thermal Spa. Trying to get in and out of the hot tubs was difficult. I wasted $186 and could only go there once. I was terrified I'd fall trying to get in and out. I was not the only one who felt that way. Others had the same concerns. Unfortunately when they refurbished by the Jewel and the Jade they left the seats in the Stardust theatre with no upgrades. When you sit down it is almost like falling onto the floor and the seats are slanted downward so it is uncomfortable. Unless there is a destination only NCL does at a decent price, I am not sure I would cruise with them again. The specialty restaurants were okay but found the ones on the Jade better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were a group of 10 people (8 adults and 2 children) celebrating my parent's 50 Anniversary and thought the cruise would be the perfect holiday for everyone to bond and spend quality time. We live in Dubai hence we approached ... Read More
We were a group of 10 people (8 adults and 2 children) celebrating my parent's 50 Anniversary and thought the cruise would be the perfect holiday for everyone to bond and spend quality time. We live in Dubai hence we approached Imagine Cruising (The authorised agent for the UAE) for our bookings. We finalized 3 Balcony rooms next to each other and were pretty excited about the arrangements. We paid approx USD 6300 for a family of four for the 9 day full board cruise. On embarking we realised that there were people who had booked directly from NCL who got great deals on beverages, alcohol, speciality restaurants which we were never made aware of by imagine cruising. One of the things that really irritated us was the fact that on arrival the cabin had two bottles of water - One still and one sparkling. Being travelers and been to our share of hotels, usually bottles kept out meant complimentary, however we were told later that sparkling bottle costed USD 6 odd and since the bottle was big and didn't fit in the mini bar it was kept out. When we argued with the guest services that there was no mention of the charges, their reply was "well, it doesn't say that it is free either" WOW!! That's when the distrust started with the cruiseliner...Imagine straight off in the first 15 mins of people embarking the cruiseliner makes approx USD 9 per cabin for the water consumed by unassuming people. Around the fifth day we became aware of a charge called gratuity fee which is USD 15 per person per day. For a family of 4 it came to USD 540 which was never communicated by Imagine cruising to us. We started freaking out coz we had budgets for our trip and this was serious curveball. We are happy to pay gratuity if we are told about these expenses and we raised it with the guest services. It took them 2 days to reverse the fees and we were stressed for 2 days as 3 families were going to get hit with approx USD 1300. We were charged for mini bar consumption which we debated and was reversed. People go on holidays to forget stress but we had it in abundance on this cruise. Everyday we didn't know if we would get a seat at any of the complimentary restaurants, wait time was 40 mins. Garden Cafe Buffet is where we ate our Breakfast/lunch and dinner for about 5 days. O'sheehan's would have a special for the day which would be served till 9pm only and then regular food would be served again with no change in the menu. We didn't understand the concept of having 3 complimentary restaurants with the same menu for 9 days! You basically are finding ways to push people to go for the speciality restaurants out of sheer boredom! A lot of the arcade games across the ship were money making machines, people playing were getting frustrated losing their money. Being travelers we understand that you are docking at lesser known countries like Poland, Estonia to increase their tourism and generating revenue but Poland as a port can be missed entirely as the scenic tour wasn't great. Estonia was a pleasant surprise and St Petersburg was bustling. For some reason when docking at St. Petersburg all gambling activities on the ship ceased leaving us very little to do in the evening time. Good things on the cruise was the food across the restaurants we ate in. The service was good and staff was friendly and helpful. Very good layout of the ship allowed people of different age groups to do their own thing. All in all we could have had a much better and relaxed experience had all the money related problems not been there. I don't think we will sail with NCL again as I don't trust them to be transparent in their dealings, charges and overall approach to customer service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Had a great Time! Travel agent of 32 years, Been to Hawaii quite a few times. I thought it was great for being a older ship. Great for first timers, honeymooners, Family or groups. If your use to 5 or 6 star cruise ships this is not for ... Read More
Had a great Time! Travel agent of 32 years, Been to Hawaii quite a few times. I thought it was great for being a older ship. Great for first timers, honeymooners, Family or groups. If your use to 5 or 6 star cruise ships this is not for you. We had a mid-ship interior, sound proof was good compared to other ships. Shower was compariable to other ships. Erika- Great cabin Steward. Jami -cruise director was Wonderful!! China- Hawaii Ambassador-Was FANTASTIC!!! learned so much from her. Did Skyline and Liberty Dining room everyday. Entrees were good, some desserts need help. 96 percent of wait-staff was nice to us, a lot of them work very hard, 7 days a wk, 8 months straight. standard on most ships. Maui- Rented car from Hertz-Maui hotel .Walk 4 long blocks or take Uber there. Shuttle only M-F. Sat till 2p only. After hrs drop off on Sundays. Airport is 9 mins from pier-reach by taxi or Uber only. Hilo- Took $20 shuttle off Pier to downtown Hilo, gardens, Rainbow Falls, Candy Factory and 2 Beach stops on Hoppa on Hoppa off shuttle- very organized. Kona- not able to tender in due to waves, we spent more time in Kauai. Napili coast was AMAZING, you can take pictures either going or the return trip off the coast. Kauai-Took Free shuttle to Wal-Mart, Hilo Hattie's- 4min walk between the two, Harbor shops and Anchor Cove shops- great Beach right behind (walking distance), ABC stores-great place to pick up everything. Took Trolley from Harbor Shops-$50 pp to tour some of the island, open air seating 2 1/2 hrs Great Tour!. China such a wonderful lady, had classes on making real flower leis, Kukui nut and Ribbon Leis, Loved every single class. We learned the Hula and line dancing-what a workout! Entertainment was good- Broadway like shows-new crew. We planned where we boarded around 3p and unloaded the ship (around 9am) no lines, very easy. We used a transport chair for my mom to get around easy thru elevators and shows and to the cabin with no problems. We took Uber from Pier to Waikiki (about $20.00) 10mins. There is a Locker storage at the Pier $5 per bag ,they hold bags till 5pm. closed 10a-11a for lunch. We had a FANTASTIC Trip and we would go BACK! Thank you NCL!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My youngest niece said "Daddy, can we go to Venice?" and that started a domino effect of trip planning so that by the time we booked, there were a total of 15 people travelling, two extended families including three kids, two ... Read More
My youngest niece said "Daddy, can we go to Venice?" and that started a domino effect of trip planning so that by the time we booked, there were a total of 15 people travelling, two extended families including three kids, two teenagers, five adults and five seniors, two with limited mobility. Once we got to the terminal at the Port of Venice where NCL handlers expertly took care of my mom in her wheelchair, we were fine but it was a nightmare before that. Our privately booked wheelchair accessible vaporetto had to cancel because it was too rough to transfer my mother safely so we took the regular Alilaguna to the cruise terminal. We were shocked to find absolutely no porters or baggage trolleys at the pier and the embarkation was nearly a kilometre away in 40 degree heat! I left my folks and the luggage in the shade and went ahead with my sister's family to see if I could find a shuttle to the ship or at least a porter. No luck. The security guys said they couldn't help because of union rules. Finally, I waved a 20 Euro bill at a taxi stand and said, "I need HELP!" None of that was NCL's fault but it might have been nice if there had been an NCL employee stationed at that end of the terminal to radio for assistance. We were treated like royalty once we got the bags dropped off and into the VIP check-in area. Embarkation took approximately 20 minutes and we were on-board not long after that. Dining would have been a lot easier if our group would have split into more manageable groups of 4 or 5 because trying to arrange 15 people at one table was near impossible. Some of our group was pretty unreasonable regarding times because they didn't want to miss a show but Karin the Concierge did her best to coordinate with our needs. Again, that's on us, not on NCL. I didn't care where or with whom I sat, I just wanted to enjoy the great food. As suite guests, we visited Moderno every morning for breakfast and wow, left-over churrascaria filet mignon for my steak and eggs...YES, PLEASE!!!!!! That was the best part of my trip, hands down but all of the restaurants were good. Our fantastic butler was Rosevy and she was always bringing us plates of fresh fruit and replenishing our ice bucket and helping my mom! She would let herself in, quiet as a mouse and we would find all kinds of surprises and treats when we awoke from a nap! This was my first time staying in a suite and honestly, I would never have thought the extra cost compared to an inside cabin was worth it...but now, I'm a bit spoiled. Never having to wait in line to get on the ship was a really nice perk. *sigh* I'm just going to have to sell some vital organs or pray to the upgrade fairy for my next cruise. *sigh* Our group loved the Trivia activity many times every day and it became our gathering spot to check in with one another. I personally didn't attend any entertainment so I cannot comment but I was most often found floating in the pool. On the last day of the cruise, I purchased a day-pass for the Thermal Suites and spent several hours soaking, lounging and snoring in the relaxation room. oops, sorry about that! It was so much quieter than the pool area. Since we had such a large group, we organized private tours at most of the ports of call and that suited our needs. Santorini in particular was a beautiful port. My dad had a bit of difficulty but it was his choice to go ashore and he was a trooper! The cruise did make it clear that it would be challenging to get around. When it came time to disembark, we had absolutely no problems. The entire process was swift and easy. Overall, the Norwegian Star was the perfect venue for our Mediterranean Family Adventure. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I love cruising, and when planning another group trip, going with Norweigen was a no brainer. You get the biggest bang for your buck! I was going with a large group of 21 with mixed ages from 16 to 83 and wheelchair bound. I have to ... Read More
I love cruising, and when planning another group trip, going with Norweigen was a no brainer. You get the biggest bang for your buck! I was going with a large group of 21 with mixed ages from 16 to 83 and wheelchair bound. I have to say I was getting a little worried when I started reading recent reviews, but then I reminded myself to be open minded. I am a true believer that every vacation is what you make it! The embarkation was so easy and very efficient, this time they split the embarkation/ check in into two groups depending on cabin floor, which created shorter lines to get room key and then to get onto the ship. Ship: The ship was beautiful, with some areas that maybe can use some retouching, but thats to be expected with the amount of passengers that come through weekly. But I found it easy to navigate and plenty of signs to guide passengers. Don't get me wrong, it's a huge ship, so sometimes it gets confusing, but there is a diagram by the elevators that show each floor, especially for the dining rooms and bars. Cabin: Cabin was a balcony cabin midship, level 11. Loved my cabin it was clean and as roomy as you can expect for a ship cabin, you walk in the bathroom is right there, then the bed with a closet next to it, and then couch before the balcony door, on opposite side was a small vanity with small shelves, the mini bar and TV on wall. The closet has decent space for clothing, and what I did was use my suitcase as a draw and slid under bed. Our room steward Veeraj was awesome and very attentive. Dining: So, I was a little worried here because of all the reviews/ complaints about reservations and such. I am not sure what people complain about because I had NO trouble with obtaining reservations at ANY of the dining rooms. I made 3 reservations prior to boarding the ship, but the rest were made once on ship, and they never gave us an issue, and that is with a large party! Every restaurant was accommodating, my recommendation is that if you like to eat during prime time 7-730 make reservations early on, Personally I like eating early and the 5-545 reservations were perfect. The staff at all the restaurants were on point. Polite, and went out of their way to make our meals perfect. Moderno- Great salad bar and the meats were great quality, and not heavy on salt. the cheesy bread is amazing La Cucina - Way too much food,( I had meal plan, included 5 courses) the pizza is great to share with a few people. The pasta carbonara was divine. Cagneys- What can I say , my favorite meal, I had the surf and turf, and the filet was cooked perfectly. The apple crisp for desert was my favorite Taste/ Savor- ate at both restaurants and the food was good, smaller portions but filing. The deserts there were not my favorites. O'sheehans- So we decided to skip the buffet this trip and the majority of my group ate breakfast here every morning, The staff was exceptional, especially the maitre'D , Leandra. She went out of her way to make us feel welcome and personally greeted us every morning. The younger adults in my group also raved about the late night snacks/ wings/ and . ice cream served there Margaritaville: Food was excellent and the charge was cheapt at $15 pp. The Nachos are delish. My one complaint about the dining, is I wish the specialty Restaurants were open for lunch, but thats a personal opinion. Bars: I love my drinks, and I had many over the course of the week, all of them were tasty and well made, I will say that the bar staff does seem overwhelmed, and could use some more help, especially the first couple of days, maybe even having more servers around the pool for drinks would alleviate the mob around the bars. A few times I would have bartenders who were borderline snotty, but most of them were fantastic. My favorite drinks are the painkiller, mudslide, Bahama mama, margaritas. I did try a few drinks from margaritaville, I cant recall the name of them. Pools Okay, big downside here, there are 2 small pools one for adults/ one for kids. the adult pool was very packed, which it were bigger, especially with size of ship! Thermal spa My husband and I purchased the spa package, unfortunately the first time we tried to use it people were reserving the heated loungers while they were not there, this was very annoying! I did get to enjoy it once or twice, and the thermal pool was wonderful. Don't think I would spend the $200 again, unless it was a winter cruise. PS. Do Not Recommend this for handicapped people. My in laws tried to use it, as they are both wheel chair bound, and it was challanging for them because of the height of the loung chairs, and the tiles were very slippery, they did not feel safe moving in the room, thankfully NCL refunded them since they couldn't use it . Entertainment: The choir of men show was great, the comedians also were a hit, howl at the moon, the piano dueling was also fun. The after midnight show was horrible in my opinion, while the performers were definitely talented, there was no storyline, I wasn't a fan, but a few people in my group did enjoy that. There ware some fun events throughout the week that were fun and many passengers participated in, the theme night parties in H20 were great , although they got packed out quick. Service: Overall the service was great, we went to customer service about a small mistake and they were very sweet, and made every effort to get to the bottom of it. Never had long wait there. We also dealt with the Cruise Next staff, and they also were fantastic with the questions I had. Highly recommend purchasing this if you plan to cruise in next few years. this is my second time using the cruise next vouchers. The elevators are a bit slow, I prefer the stairs,,but with wheelchair family, we had to rely on them. Pictures: Tons of opportunity for pictures, I just hated picking a few. I wish they would offer all the pictures digitally for one price! Just my opinion. Port: Went to Bermuda, was beautiful as always. This is my third trip there. People in my party went to horseshoe bay/ tobacco bay and said the beaches were wonderful, with a ton of fish swimming alongside. There is a wave-runner vendor right outside the ship that a few of us went on, and it was a blast. the shops around the dockyard are also cute , overall Bermuda is pricey when it comes to shopping. There are ferries cheap ($5) to take to Hamilton or St.George for more shopping. I preferred to hang on the ship for 2/3 days at port, which was lovely because the pool was basically empty! and plenty of lounge chairs available. Disembarkation- WOW is all I can say, last time I was on the ship with a group was 3 years ago and it was a complete hot mess with disembarkation. I was so nervous, but the system they set up to get the passengers off the boat in a safe manner without tons of lines is incredible. We were off an hour earlier than we thought, and our luggage retrieval went off without a hitch, and even customs was a breeze, I was completely shocked! Way to go NCL, obviously they listened to the complaints from the past cruisers! Overall I am so happy with the entire trip, we had a blast, and we are already booked on another cruise, the Encore 01/2021! Cant wait! For the future Escape Cruisers keep an open mind and you will have fun. If you have questions feel free to ask me Hscally1088@yahoo.com Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
we just returned from our cruise with ncl bliss. i just wanted to say if you use a mobility scooter and are concerned about getting around with the scooter in ketchikan, juneau, skagway or victoria dont be. we traveled to these ports. my ... Read More
we just returned from our cruise with ncl bliss. i just wanted to say if you use a mobility scooter and are concerned about getting around with the scooter in ketchikan, juneau, skagway or victoria dont be. we traveled to these ports. my husband and granddaughter went their own way and i was by myself with the scooter. ketchikan i took myself up to creek street and while i didnt see salmon there i walked up a street on the left followed the stream up and the salmon. went way up past where all the people were and there they were thousands of salmon. wonderful site! in skagway i took the ocean raft wildlife adventure. these ladies went out of their way to make sure i was able to walk (which i couldnt) and brought the bus where they could. in juneau i went to mendenhall glacier. the bus drivers took the scooter and put it under the bus. scooters MUST BE FOLDABLE. otherwise they will not take you. went out 2 miles to nugget falls. wonderful site. great photos. i probably could have done the helicopter and raft excursion but im afraid of heights. went thru the towns w/o any problem including the wood slated walkways. there is nothing to fear but fear itself. so give it a try. you didnt spend all that money to sit on the ship. enjoy! as for ncl bliss itself. i cannot say enough about the service or accommodations on this ship. i saw a waiter go over to a man and cut up his meat. even though this person was with his family and his wife was sitting right next to him. staff at the buffet would ask if i needed a table or if they could get something for me because i was in the scooter. they would ask if i needed assistance with an elevator. embarkation was wonderful. disembarkation in victoria was a bit annoying but then again the staff/crew handled it the best they could and even brought me down a "secret" elevator. the food was great. entertainment at all levels was wonderful. a cruise is what you make of it. we sat quietly in the observation deck reading & playing a game or two. we went to the comics and different bands, and saw havana and jersey boys, played bingo and daily games. its certainly what you make of it. sit like a bump on a log and you'll not enjoy yourself. i have been on other cruises. ncl was by far the best we have been on. a shout out to the maitre d in manhattan who made sure i had my cappuccino in a glass. even though he gave me his card, im sorry i misplaced it. my only complaint was at seattle airport. SMS & Sons Int'l. i did not pick up my luggage at the airport to board flight to nyc. jason who is the 'DIRECTOR' was a rude, nasty, arrogant person. even if i was wrong, he deals w/the public and should be able to control himself, which he cannot. how SMS has this person working for them amazes me and is a loose cannon. cant tell me i am the only one who left their luggage and he tells me 'the fact that you left your luggage @ the airport tells me something about you." i was furious w/this comment and made him know it. glad i spoke w/him after the cruise as he did not ruin it. but management should certainly pay attention to him. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My review - NCL Dawn This is my 10th NCL Cruise and my 1st on the Dawn. I've been on the Gem and the Breakaway and was very very happy. Also - the last 4 cruises I have been in the Haven. So I definitely have an expectation for ... Read More
My review - NCL Dawn This is my 10th NCL Cruise and my 1st on the Dawn. I've been on the Gem and the Breakaway and was very very happy. Also - the last 4 cruises I have been in the Haven. So I definitely have an expectation for a level of service - and have always thought that NCL was a *bit* better than others. it's a good mix of 'mr. sexy legs' and 'quiet reading on the deck'. We got to the dock and have always left from NYC/NJ. I also continue on NCL because I am Platinum. When I got to the dock - no one seemed to know what to tell me. We were discouraged by two folks to not go to the VIP/Platinum line. I finally asked where to go, the lady rolled her eyes at me and said - ok - over there. Hmmm. I also want to mention that this was after my friend (who has MS) would have had a very difficult time waiting on the 1 hour line for security and then 1 hour to get checked-in. He asked if he could use the handicapped line (which he has plenty of documentation) and she again rolled her eyes. She said, “you can’t use this line without a wheel chair”. (Lots of folks have disabilities that don’t require a wheelchair). So we asked for a wheel chair. “Well… we don’t have them (they do).” The entire process seemed very uninformed and unprofessional. The check-in was flawless and was on the ship about 30 minutes later. We arrived around 11:30 am so getting on the ship around noon/12:15 is pretty good for me. I try my best to avoid the buffet usually - but especially on embarkation day. As I had read in other reviews - the main dining room is open - but many MANY NCL crew members try to steer you away and towards the buffet. I'm glad I knew better. It was quiet start to the cruise. Always start your cruise with a rebellious fish (or two or three). Ship: The ship shows its age - but the crew does an excellent job on keeping her VERY clean and sparkling. Once in a while I found an 'out of order' sign - to be expected - but it was always cleared up the very next day. I found the ship very familiar experience to the Gem which I found very comforting. I loved the Breakaway (and will take the Escape in October) - but it's so very large. This size of ship - to me - is perfect. Not too big - not too small. Cabin: The first one or the second one? :-) Here is my story - I booked a balcony state room - and was offered an upgrade. I did this once before and got a Haven Spa Suite - so cool. So we bid on the upgrade and hoped for the best we could get. They did upgrade us - from a balcony to a mini-suite. YES! oh no! The older ships the better rooms are on higher up decks. That means the mini-suites are DIRECTLY UNDER THE POOL DECK. But I roll with the punches - it's going to be a great curise!! I love crusing! Nope - first night - they were moving deck chairs - and when I say moving - I mean DRAGGING - the deck chairs at midnight - then at 1:30 am - then at 2:30 am - then again at 5:30 am. Now the Dawn is an older ship, as I said - and they don't have a huge pool - they have many more deck chairs on multiple stepped levels - all facing the pool. That's important. So - it was a restless night - no amount of extra rebellious fishes could have solved this problem. Long story short - AVOID the rooms under the pool deck if noise bothers you. I've heard - the rooms under the buffet are worse. But then - during the day? Anytime there is something going on the pool deck (read: pool party) then you hear the sound in your room. I like a nap after time in the sun - but there are generally lots of music happening all day - and then a break for dinner - and then again until about 10/10:30 pm. It was so loud - we really would strain to hear a conversation on our balcony over the loud music on the pool deck. My advice - for the bit of extra room - and extra $$ - stick to the balcony rooms on older ships like the dawn. It's just not worth the extra aggravation. Bright lining - after my cabin mate - complained (not really the right word :-) they *found* me a new room. Still a mini-suite, but just about 5 rooms from the end of the ship (next to the spa). Now - if you really want a mini-suite, that's the best location. Plus - I always get the spa pass - very easy access to spa - main dining room, etc... a great room. My advice: pay VERY close attention to what is above you and below you. And if you are 50/50 on getting the room - be conservative - and careful. It wasn't an upgrade at all. Original room: 11072 . New Room: 11676 Dining: We at at 3 specially restaurants and the Aqua Restaurant. Moderno: Churrascaria. I have to admit that I'm very spoiled living in NYC with GREAT steak places and churrascaria places. They have one of the BEST salad bar I've had. They tell you not to fill up on salad - go for it. The meat - was tough - overcooked - and over-salted. We all made sure we took our BP medication that night. Cagneys: Steakhouse. Here is where we diverged. I had a T-bone and so did my friend. I loved mine - his was VERY tough. But it's a great stop. Le Bistro: French - the best meal of the cruise. The mushroom soup is a NEVER miss item. We had many many drinks and entrees and the service was impeccable. We had our other meals in the Aqua - because you can wear shorts - and it's the same menu as the Main Dining Room. The food was hit-or-miss. I had some spectacular meals (the lamb shank for instance) and had some lack-luster meals. Overall a solid B+/A- My advice - don't be afraid to order more than one thing - and ask for another if you really enjoyed the dish. And if you don't like something - get something else. They will bring you as much and whatever you wish. Don't be timid. Entertainment and Activities: We did a few of the shows. I know they vary by weeks - the performance shows - the Showdown American Idol type of show was blah (remember I live 20 minutes from Broadway) but entertaining enough. The Elements show was quite good. I always like the comedians. Other than that - it was OK. But by idea of a good time is drinks by the pool all day. I don't cruise for the shows. Service: This is where the cruise was hit or miss. One thing I really like - and please don't think I'm petty - but I like a pitcher of water in my room to drink in the evening. It was everyone else's problem - no one could find one and deliver one. I was always told - you can call this one or call that one. Plus - we wanted to re-arrange reservations for the specialty restaurants - and we had the concierge to help us. After leaving a message for two days - I was told (lectured really) that I should call sooner because he can't make changes last minute. And then kept going. I hung up. Ports and Shore excursions: Again to be fair - my cruise mantra is - I pay all this money to get on the ship, why would I pay again to get off the ship?!? The one thing I want to everyone be careful about - in Florida - there were a few other ships in dock - and we got the LAST parking spot. This meant that it was a 15-20 minute walk to the place where you can meet your shore excursion transportation. It was HOT and HUMID and I would have not appreciated that walk... but again - I didn't get off the ship. Plus - remember in Florida - you get in at 1 pm and must be back on the ship at 8:30 pm. The only way I get off the ship is to do Disney. That's not that long in the park - especially when it's super busy in the summer. Overall - it was a fun vacation - lots of great drinks and good food and had a blast. I love to cruise - but some things could have been better. Oh - and I always get the Thermal Spa week pass - what a great value. A few days I was the only person in the spa!!! I swear the pool is bigger than the deck pool - and it's sans kids!! A great value! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, ... Read More
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, the pool aria is way to small for the size of the ship. We were not happy to get up early in the morning just to be able to save six seats together. About embarkation processes: We are PA residents and we are never experienced so many rude people. They were screaming, cutting of lines, pushing, and embarkation staff was NOT care at all. Regarding the ship staff: Extremely hard workers, it’s obvious. The shows were an outstanding, spectacular. Choir of man is an excellent performance. These guys are hugely talented. “After Midnight” show is also extremely good. The dancing, the singing, the band were amazing. Overall, we had a good experience on this cruse, but NOT grate. Bigger ship it is not always better. It just means more people on board. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I got off the Norwegian Sun today after a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas with my mom. Are you ready for this tale? After boarding on the first day, nothing was open and the rooms weren't ready. When we went to the room, we were given ... Read More
I got off the Norwegian Sun today after a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas with my mom. Are you ready for this tale? After boarding on the first day, nothing was open and the rooms weren't ready. When we went to the room, we were given a single bed even though we booked a double beds. We feared my mother's luggage was lost, since it was several hours without it at the room. I spoke with another guest who said that his luggage was put on the wrong ship. We tried to call our room attendant "Brianna", but the number was a busy signal. We called Guest Services, but the number was also busy. The luggage finally arrived around 9 PM while we were eating what tasted like frozen food or bad airplane food in the main dining hall. We then met our real room attendant who explained that the number didn't work because "she went home today on vacation." Not sure why they couldn't replace the card with the correct attendant's name and number? Shortly after eating/drinking on the ship, we would get horrible cramps. We did not know the cause until after looking up the symptoms on the internet today (the cruise charged $35 per device each day for WiFi) that we had contracted THE NOROVIRUS! Why did we contract the Norovirus? "Washy Washy" was not everywhere on the ship and we watched the workers clean the tables without gloves and without disinfectant. The ship was dirty and we saw crumbs on the floor and on the tables everywhere. The tables were cleaned with wet rags and food everywhere was not bussed. So much so, that seagulls would have feasts on the deck outside on the questionable food no one seemed to enjoy. Comfortable sleep did not happen because we didn't have working AC the entire trip. We called maintenance the first night to fix the AC, but there still was no cold air circulating in our room. We would feel cold air while passing other guests' rooms and in other parts of the ship. The repair man explained that the coldest our room was allowed to get is 73 degrees and the ship utilizes "chilled recycled ocean water." However, 73 degrees would have been tolerable unlike the 80 degree room that we had. We were sweating laying on top of the covers every night tossing and turning. Everytime we reached out to Guest Services, a person who could not understand English very well would get confused and tell us everything was fine. To make matters worse, our toliet would not flush and the sink constantly made a loud gurgling sound. The toliet was fixed a total of 4 times and the AC was "fixed" about the same amount if not more. The bathroom smelled of rank sewage, so we had to constantly spray hair spray in there to not gag every time we had to enter. The shower was also repaired twice, since only scalding hot water came out. We spoke with 4 other guests that claimed their room FLOODED! The toliet and shower eventually worked on the last day of the trip, but the AC never worked. We are leaving the trip completely exausted (and sick). The entertainment on the ship was beyond cheesy and usually involved the ship begging for more money. The ship's shops were desperate money grabs, much like the $5.50 bottle of Aquafina placed in our room to "tempt" us. The food was subpar and every meal oredered was taking a chance. During one dinner, I ordered French Onion soup because I thought how can you mess that up? Much to my suprise, that was bad too. The soup tasted like only beef stock and had no flavors of onion, salt, or bouillon. The ship also kept trying to pass off certain foods as gourmet. For example, one appetizer on the menu was "cream cheese and crab stuffed wonton with a sweet chilli sauce". Isn't that called, "crab rangoon"? We noticed a lot of interesting menu items that we believed to be recycled leftovers from other meals like adding bacon to sauerkraut. We picked snorkeling/beach day for our excursion in Freeport, Bahamas which came be to around $150. When we arrived to get on the bus for the excursion, we were informed that the snorkeling was canceled due to weather. The ship did not inform us earlier of this and instead loaded up a tour bus full of guests whom we suspect were charged the full amount for a 15 minute shuttle to the beach. Instead, we went back to the ship and asked for a refund. We then caught a taxi which only came to $14 for both of us. The White Party/Glow Party was held from 10:30 PM-12:00 AM the night before a port of call was 7 AM. The party took place by the pool deck and it was raining. The workers were squeegeeing the deck and the DJ was trying to get the crowd to come out from hiding from the rain. After the rain stopped, the crowd came out to dance and consisted mainly of small children. The DJ played EDM music for a bit, then switched to explicit rap much to the horror of the parents in attendance. They had a twerk contest on the stage and parents were taking their children to leave. A woman with a see through dress and a thong on got in the splits and began dancing like a stripper on the stage for everyone to see, kids and adults alike. There were other people on stage dancing that kept it clean, but she had to be pulled off stage because she was showing her buttcrack/vagina. There looked to be children watching as young as 5-12 years old. The DJ was blasting Cardi B songs and asked the crowd of kids to sing along to the explicitly laced lyrics. I left after that, since I had no interest in twerking around little kids. Small things such as crew members not knowing guests' names, no towel animals, and no drinks being served by the beach chairs were also a disappointment. We cruised with NCL in 2015 and had a fantastic time, so we suspect there must have been a restructuring within management. The cruise reaked of budget cuts and corporate greed. We suspect that the workers were paid very little and we were told that they rarely get to go home to their families in their home countries. Sorry if this was too much to read, but I did not want to spare any of the details. I posted this on NCL's Facebook page, but it was taken down by the moderators (suprise). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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