Excellent experience. Ship was fully staffed. Never had to wait for a drink at the bars. Public areas kept tidy and clean. Made reservations in advance for the shows and select dining. Found we did not need reservations in two of the ... Read More
Excellent experience. Ship was fully staffed. Never had to wait for a drink at the bars. Public areas kept tidy and clean. Made reservations in advance for the shows and select dining. Found we did not need reservations in two of the main rooms. Taste and Savor, we were walk right up and get a table with little wait. Heard it can be hard to find quiet spots on board. The sunset lounge was our favorite bar, located in the middle of the ship on the inside. Never too crowded or boisterous. Take the time and spend the money to see the cirque dreams steam punk dinner show. Very good production for a ship. The best shipboard entertainment I have ever seen. Burn the floor is good too. Just make your reservations before setting sail! Syd Norman’s Pour House had excellent rock cover band. Very entertaining there. For shot excursions, be sure to explore non ship options. We booked privately with Alla Tours for both St. Petersburg and Stockholm. We saved a ton of money compared to the excursions (relatively identitcal itineraries) by booking with Alla. Do it about 3 months in advance, They take care of your Visas for Russia, no worries! Read Less
We had two rooms 14716 and 13639. Both rooms were wonderful and we all were well taken care of by our room attendants.
The staff was friendly and helpful through out the ship.
At Cagneys they offered to deliver our deserts to our ... Read More
We had two rooms 14716 and 13639. Both rooms were wonderful and we all were well taken care of by our room attendants.
The staff was friendly and helpful through out the ship.
At Cagneys they offered to deliver our deserts to our rooms since we didn't have room after dinner.
The spa was a nice quiet retreat, especially, after a day in the ports. The staff was wonderful and attentive. Massage was nice and relaxing. Lots of port specials.
The Vibe was nice but the price was surprisingly higher than last year.it was over $200 per person. We felt we didn't get enough use out of it to justify the price.
The casino had lots of hand pays and the staff was friendly and fun. We had a good give and take relationship with the slots. I won a few handpays which always makes for an exciting time. The drink servers were very attentive. Loved the casino hosts! Always upbeat and fun.
Loved going to the main dining rooms, especially for breakfast. The food was good and there was never a long wait.
Entertainment was good. Really enjoyed comedy magician.
Ports were fun. We booked all inusive excursions for Cozumel and Costa Maya. We will do this again next year.
We had a wonderful time on the Breakaway. Would highly recommend this ship. Will be booking again. Read Less
Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth.
I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being ... Read More
Embarkation was easy and as I'm disabled, we got to skip the line. Was nice and smooth.
I had an inside cabin. I also peeked into other cabins as they were being cleaned so I got a look at oceanview and balcony ones too. In general , they were a lot smaller than other ships I've been on. I also wasn't keen on the bathroom set up. Basically, the toilet is to the left of the door when you enter the room, and the shower is to the right. There's a curtain you can pull across that will cover them both up. I was sharing with my dad so showering was a bit challenging if he wasn't in the room, as I was always worried that he'd enter and be able to see me naked!
I had requested twin beds but this didn't seem to reach NCL (maybe my agent didn't pass it on). On other ships I've been on, the stateroom attendant happily changed it, but the one we had on this ship was obviously really annoyed and almost lectured us for not requesting it at the outset.
When we looked in our mini-bar, there was an empty can of soda. I obviously didn't want charged for this to advised guest services. I think that made the stateroom attendant hate us for the rest of the trip!
Bars and Restaurants
One thing I did like was that there was a choice of restaurants included, not just the main or buffet restaurants. There was an Asian restaurant, 2 main restaurants, a buffet one that was much calmer than Royal Caribbeans, with more seats available, and an Irish bar. This gave the potential for more variety without having to spend more money.
When we ate at the Manhattan Room, I was really disappointed that the jazz band stopped playing shortly after we got there. This band doesn't seem to be utilised anywhere else so why not have them playing for the whole time the restaurant is open. It went from having a really nice atmosphere to a horrible one as there wasn't even any other background music turned on.
I'd have liked to have been able to view the menus from the restaurants in one place so I didn't have to walk all over the ship to compare them. You have the interactive boards where you can book restaurants for future dates, but you can't seem to do it for that night, which is a real pain. They also don't seem to show the menus. I'm used to being able to view the menus on my TVs, but you don't seem to have that feature.
The service at the pool bar was atrocious! We regularly waited 25 minutes to get served. This was mainly because there weren't enough staff based there, but also because those that were didn't have the ability to remember which customers had arrived first. One guy kept only serving those who were right in front of them, anyone outside his initial field of vision just had to keep waiting, getting more and more frustrated!
I was disappointed with O'Sheehans. It was really noisy because you had noise coming from the atrium venue, the bowling alley, the casino, and the bars above when they had live music. It all clashed into a horrible racket. I was also really disappointed that the menu, at least for dinner, never changed. It felt like there were often dirty tables when you tried to get a seat. I struggled with there being a lot of high tables as I can't use them being disabled. It was also weird that you couldn't eat at the table that's facing down to the atrium, but you can at the same type of seating that's at one of the speciality restaurants. That doesn't make any sense.
On sea days, there literally wasn't ever any day time activities I was interested in doing. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean have way more variety, e.g. colouring classes, table tennis tournaments, board/card game sessions, etc., with multiple free activities happening at each time slot so that there was something for everyone.
I was extremely disappointed by the evening entertainment. I am used to there being a stage show every night, with 2 performances per night on every cruise I've done previously. What was on felt dated, e.g. I saw Priscilla on Royal Caribbean last year.
Howl at the Moon was on far too much - there needs to be more variety. I can't believe that the Headliners Comedy Club never once had any comedy on! Royal Caribbean have musicals, ice shows, comedians, game shows, etc. every single night, and we often struggle to fit them all in, whereas on this cruise I often found myself bored as there wasn't any entertainment I was interested in!
One activity we were actually interested in was karaoke. The bar was always full when it was on and everyone was having a good time. However, as soon as it ended, the bar emptied. This shows that it should definitely be on for a longer duration, even all night, as it was so popular! The first time we went, the entertainment staff member running it (I don't know his name - I think he was Japanese) could not have sounded more depressed! I have never been to karaoke before where the host wasn't standing on the stage in person, which gives more energy and a personal touch, but even offstage, he needed an injection of energy and personality. He was honestly monotone and sounded like he'd rather be anywhere else! The guy that did it the next time we went was more enthusiastic, thankfully!
In general, the ship was very noisy. I'm used to bars being like the Cavern Club where you go into them and enter the atmosphere of that bar, whereas the majority on Epic are out in the open so you have the noise of the casino, the bowling alley, music from other venues, people walking past, etc. The atrium was a particularly horrible venue for drinks and entertainment. I felt like I couldn't find a quieter spot that was comfortable. The day we were doing search and rescue, I really wanted a bar that had comfortable sofa style seating where I could relax but still get brought drinks, and that really just didn't exist.
I'm also used to their being some themed nights on the cruise that everyone gets involved in, like 80s night or white night, etc. There wasn't anything like this on Epic.
I understand why they have people boarding and leaving at different ports in that it increases sales as it fits in with everyone's vacation dates, however what it does do is change the dynamics on board. I'm used to everyone being in a real party mood when we sail away and then there being a final night party too. I appreciate that's not something you can change, but it did change it for me.
Pools & Spa
I had booked a spa offer that said it gave a mini facial and access to the thermal suite. However, I felt it was missold to me as it actually was sitting in a room with other people getting sold Elemis products and getting tests of these to put on our faces ourselves. That's not a facial in my book! Another thing I wasn't expecting was that there was no sauna or steam room available to all. On other ships I've been on, these were accessible to everyone in the fitness suite. Another reason why it wasn't good value for money.
I normally enjoy using the hot tubs on the ship pretty much every day to easy my aching muscles. However, I found that the ones on Epic were barely luke-warm so I often quickly got cold and had to leave.
I think this is the first cruise I've been on where the sauna and steam room wasn't accessible to everyone. The thermal suite is really nice, but it's expensive - 60 USD a visit or you can buy a package - so that made the cruise seem like less value.
The drinks package covered drinks up to 15USD. It didn't include the mini bar or the atrium cafe, which did speciality teas, coffees, and cakes. I was disappointed that bottled water wasn't included in my premium beverage package either. These have always been included on other cruises, so this reduced the feeling of value for money on the drinks package.
Also, all previous cruises have given you a large drinks cup so that you could get it refilled at machines yourself or at bars, which makes it easier for you as a guest, but also is more environmentally friendly, and it's something you can take away as a souvenier, which adds value to your drinks package.
It felt like the casino was too big, dominating almost an entire level. Travelling with someone who's had a gambling problem in the past, it was challenging as it felt impossible at times to avoid the casino! You could smoke in the casino if you were playing games.
I couldn't believe there wasn't any duty free on sale on the ship. I now understand why this is (when it's entirely within Europe, they're not allowed to sell it), but a sign telling us that before we boarded would have been useful so that we could have chosen to buy cigarettes in the duty free shop at Barcelona.
The sales staff for jewellery were very in your face whenever you passed through the shops as you couldn't avoid the shops if you were on that level.
Ports of Call
This is the first cruise I've done in Europe. You visit a port most days and the port days tend to be long hours. You're walking a lot in the European cities too so it's generally a pretty tiring week.
We didn't book any shore excursions with the cruise line as they're really expensive. I did pre-book a couple of tours with 3rd parties. One for Florence and Pisa as it was just the same price as making your own way there, and one for the Vatican in Rome. We made our own way to Rome by taking the port shuttle to the town, then a local bus to the train station, and finally, a train to Roma St Peters. We walked from there. The tour started at 10am and we were just able to get there on time by getting off the ship as soon as it was ready for debarkation. We did have a problem getting back though as the train was delayed. There were about 14 people on that train with us, and thankfully, some of them were on a ship organised tour so the boat waited for us (we were about 40 minutes late in the end!). I'd therefore say if you're doing Rome on your own, make sure you're at the train station by 3.30pm for a 6.30pm all aboard time.
The tenders were really badly organised. To not be given any indication of when your colour might be called was a nightmare because it meant we had to be up and ready early then sitting around for hours when we could have been having a long lie! I have never had a tender done this way before.
On all the other cruises I've done, the staff have been really happy and friendly, always trying to pre-empt your needs, and nothing you asked was too big of a problem. The stateroom attendant didn't look happy whenever I saw her, though that's maybe because she may have gotten into trouble when we had to report that there was an empty can of Sprite in our mini bar from the previous guests! She took away one of our pool towels and never replaced it too.
I also expected our bedding to be changed at least a couple of times during our trip, but I know it wasn't as there was a dirty mark on my duvet cover from near the beginning of the cruise, and it remained there throughout.
One of the hostesses at O'Sheehans also looked miserable, and I felt like I was causing her a problem by asking for a table, particularly when she had to clean one for me. When all the staff seem to be unhappy, it makes me question how life is for them on the ship, and how they're treated.
Value for Money
I felt like I was constantly being pushed to spend more money. It was very in my face, way more than any other cruise I've been on. It felt like most of the activities during the day I might have been interested in doing were at an additional cost, which means what had initially seemed a good price for the cruise, actually wasn't great value.
Again, on the theme of being pressured into buying things, it was really hard to make the photography staff take no for an answer. Getting on and off the ship, they were jumping in front of you and following you even after you'd said, "no thanks" several times!
We had to get our luggage tags the day before disembarking from guest services. We could choose the time we got off as long as the corresponding colour of tag was still available. Bags had to be placed outside the room by 11pm the night before departure unless you were going to take them off yourself in the morning.
The one positive about not everyone's cruise ending on the same day was that we could take our time having breakfast and getting off the ship as it was staying in port all day.
For me, this cruise was really disappointing when I compared it to the others I've done (Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Celebrity). The entertainment was particularly poor, I didn't like constantly being hassled to buy more/spend money, and I didn't get the energetic, enthusiastic, friendly, and helpful crew I'm used to. It's put me off sailing with Norwegian again in future, and I won't be recommending them to anyone else. Read Less
I chose this cruise for a mother daughter trip. Mom 62, DH’s 38 & 36. We started with a good embarkation.
Day 1 Arrived at port June 2 at 10am and we were onboard by 10:30. So my platinum status was doing well. We headed to ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a mother daughter trip. Mom 62, DH’s 38 & 36. We started with a good embarkation.
Day 1 Arrived at port June 2 at 10am and we were onboard by 10:30. So my platinum status was doing well. We headed to the coffee shop for a nice cold coffee. Ate lunch in Taste it was good. We were in our state room a mini balcony suite 11234 by 12:15. Nice space for 3. I really liked the double sink and large shower. Room Seward never did introduce himself but had several opportunities that day. Dinner at cagneys started our many mishaps. For One of my daughters I had bought her a four meal plan (other daughter was on my three free dinner plan). Cagneys couldn’t find the four meal plan purchased so they just said they’d charge al cart. I was to have my concierge adjust it later. We had excellent steaks, kinda odd that the one prime rib had a piece of fat bigger than a fillet. Never heard from concierge that day. No towel animals that night. Girls missed that just because it’s a cruising thing.
Day 2 sea day- getting ready in the morning we blow a fuse? On the vanity so no plug ins to use. This was at 8 am. So we leave a note thinking they’d fix it when they make up the room. Going back to room several times during day. Room not done. It took 7 hours to clean but still no electricity. So I called the front desk and asked if it could please get done by 4 pm so we could get ready for dinner. At 4:15 it was fixed. So when they made up room they left a blue wet rag laying on my packing cube, never replaced dirty towels with clean ones, never made up couch for third person, and no towel animals again. So I had to call guest services again. Still never met room steward or concierge that day Saw burn the floor in theater it was good. After the show officers were introduced. One was in charge of towel animals. My girls looked at me cause I thought maybe they did away with them. Nope!
Day 3- San Juan day. room service finally got things together after this day. Maybe we had a new one? Called concierge about daughters meal plan. He found it so I wasn’t crazy about purchasing it before cruise. We ate in o’Sheehans that day. Had my favorite Shepard’s pie. It was cold and potato’s on top were dry as a bone. Girls went zip lining and had a great time. I left a note on couch in evening for turn down service Towel animals? We have towel animals!!
Day 4-St Thomas. We took kon tiki party barge and went to water island beach. Beach wasn’t that nice. Not a lot of chairs. We ate at the Manhattan dining room. Very nice
Day 5-Tortola. We took Land and sea. Saw beautiful scenery. Ate at margaritaville for lunch which was a mistake. It took 1 1/2 hours to get all of our food. Which was good once we got it. Never again unless it’s free! Ate at le bistro for supper . Excellent food
Day 6 relaxing sea day. We attended wine lovers the musical at noon. Show was excellent. We had a very rude group of women next to us visit the whole time loudly. My daughter and I asked our waitress twice if they could be told to keep it down. After the show was over a couple of ladies congratulated us for not knocking their blocks off. lol. They were so rude but we still liked the show. Had supper at Cagneys with my platinum status coupon. Again excellent food.
Day 7- great stirrup cay. We had a small cabana and were told we had priority tender but it never happened. But I heard from other people that it took 2 hours to get off the ship. We enjoyed the beach and cabana. Headed back to look in shops before last tenders at 5. So it was 4 but the line was so long we just got in it. It took 45 minutes of waiting in line under very hot sun to tender back. My daughter had an umbrella so that helped. Would have loved to spent more time at the cabana but with the tendering situation it wasn’t all that worth it. Saw rock of ages. So good! We ate in moderno that night. Kinda a slow experience but good.
So after this cruise with Norwegian I’m thinking of trying celebrity. I spoke with my concierge several times on the phone but never once did he contact me. I’m a platinum member but didn’t really feel it this time. This was my 14th ncl cruise and my 31st overall cruise. So I’m not a newby and usually not a complainer. But I just had to step in and voice my concerns way too many times this cruise. I didn’t have time to check my bill before we left but that one dinner that my daughter was charged for at cagneys was still on there after the concierge said he’d take care of it. My fault for not looking. Read Less
Dedicated NCL membersDisembarkation took 3 hours. They lost our souvenirs which they were holding for us and then were nasty about it. Two nights for dinner at Cagneys were fair at best. Our potatoes came first followed 10 minutes later ... Read More
Dedicated NCL membersDisembarkation took 3 hours. They lost our souvenirs which they were holding for us and then were nasty about it. Two nights for dinner at Cagneys were fair at best. Our potatoes came first followed 10 minutes later by our steaks which were not cooked properly. Dinner at La Cucina was not up to par. Food came late again. The first 7 nights were otherwise great. Dinner at Le Bistro and the Manhattan room were terrific. We were invited to a beer tasting which was great. We have travelled on the Escape four times and the first 3 were excellent which is why we went back again. Embarkation was smooth and our room was ready and the luggage came timely. The regular General Manager Deepak was not on the ship this time and I wonder if the service slipped because of this. We will come back hoping this was an isolated incident. Read Less
This was our first time on the Escape. Embarkation was quicker than our previous cruises from Manhattan. Our dining experience was the best of the four NCL cruises we’ve been on. We dined in Chaney’s and Le Bistro and were extremely ... Read More
This was our first time on the Escape. Embarkation was quicker than our previous cruises from Manhattan. Our dining experience was the best of the four NCL cruises we’ve been on. We dined in Chaney’s and Le Bistro and were extremely pleased with the selections and the quality of our meals. We also fined in Taste and Savor and enjoyed our meals and the ambiance. The entertainment was first rate. We especially enjoyed the Choir of Man so much that we saw it twice. Howl st the Moon and Carole’s King were also very entertaining. Our only criticism was regarding the Atrium. There were a number of shows, games, demonstrations there but the area was too small to accommodate all the passengers watching the events. In addition, the venue was too close to the passenger services desks such as excursions, cruise next, and guest services which meant that the noise from the atrium made it extremely difficult to communicate at those desks. All in all this cruise was first class. Read Less
Bermuda has always been a bucket list item for us and what better way to travel than a cruise! I thought the port time was long enough and was able to get to the major sites I wanted to see. I have been on a few cruises before and here is ... Read More
Bermuda has always been a bucket list item for us and what better way to travel than a cruise! I thought the port time was long enough and was able to get to the major sites I wanted to see. I have been on a few cruises before and here is what I loved about Norwegian.
The Free Style dining is great! My husband and I did not keep any kind of regular schedule and it was nice to breakfast at 7:30am or 11am and dinner at 5pm or 9pm. Definitely would recommend late night reservations at the Manhattan Room for their late night live music starting at 8pm. On the flip side, the optional "formal night" was kind of lame and not well promoted. We actually missed it and just decided to wear our formal clothes to dinner the next day.
The Open Bar Package as your Free at Sea offer is definitely the way to go. I loved the huge option of Bars and Cocktail Lounges. We barely had time for all of them but the interior designed and menus are terrific. And the bartenders are fast and professional. make sure you check out the water front in the mornings and afternoons, it is always quiet there! We only went to one specialty dining restaurant, Le Bistro, and the additional prices were extremely reasonable. We had a great waiter and the food presentation was beautiful.
My husband and I loved the Thermal Spa and Suite. We got the whole week pass and it was totally worth it. We spent about 2 hours a day there just enjoying the quiet and hot stone lounge chairs. I especially appreciated the Hydro-therapy Pool and Steam/Salt rooms. I had a bit of a cold while we were traveling. I am glad we had the passes because there was never a hot tub open anywhere on the main Pool deck. We only spent the first day there and avoided it because it was too crowded the rest of the trip.
The Choir of Man show was AMAZING! We had planned to go the first night but I got seasick so we went to a later show in the week and it was totally worth it! The songs and talent were great. After Midnight had a strong cast however, I thought the content of the show was a little dated (problematic). Especially since it was a fully black cast of performers bopping around the "Cotton Club". Could probably use a bit more diversity on the production team. The Cruise Director was very energetic and hilarious we had a ton of fun at the 80's night and the White Night.
Also the ropes course is legit! It is not physically strenuous but definitely thrilling! I was kind of relieved the upper level course was out of service due to high winds. Make sure you bring sneakers for this otherwise they will not let you participate!
Overall we would definitely consider Norwegian again for their wide variety of activities, bars, and nightlife on the Escape. The Ship was definitely packed but having a few quiet places to retreat to made it feel like we were on an Ocean Oasis. Read Less
It's always been on our bucket list to check out Alaska. Our three previous cruises had been on NCL to the Carribean, Transatlantic, and Mediterranean, so we booked this one with NCL a year in advance. Embarkation & ... Read More
It's always been on our bucket list to check out Alaska. Our three previous cruises had been on NCL to the Carribean, Transatlantic, and Mediterranean, so we booked this one with NCL a year in advance. Embarkation & Disembarkation went smoothly. The ship was clean but you can tell it was older and a little tired. It was a lot smaller than the others I had been on, and I think I do prefer the larger ones. Our cabin was fine, the ports were fine, the two excursions we went on were fine.The service was fine and all the help were very friendly. They did not have a "Broadway" style show, but did have a nice circus type show. We very much enjoyed their comedian.
What was VERY disappointing was the food. From the buffet to the specialty dining, it all seemed to fall short. The exception was the French Restaurant, it was the only really nice meal we had. Cagney's had been my favorite on other cruises and I could not wait to order my steak and the best fries I had ever had, Parmesian Truffle Fries. After it was served, it tasted like regular fries so I asked the waiter and he grinned at me and said they were out of the truffle oil. I would think I should have been told that at the time I placed my order so I had the choice to change my order. I could not seem to get anyone that knew how to cook eggs over medium. In truth, I was so over the no taste food on that ship.
It seems like every time we take a cruise on NCL we find new things that are no longer available. When they first came out with the UBP, they had a really great selection of Whiskeys & Bourbons. On our next cruise they had cut the selection in half, and the next cut it to barely any choice, which really did not make my hubby happy. I had a drink I always liked, a Mudslide. Imagine my surprise when I ordered it on this cruise and they forgot the whip cream on top. When I questioned the bartender, he said they cut out having whip cream since they returned from Asia. I know for us, the food and drinks are a great part of feeling we are on vacation.
I think it is time for us to revisit other cruise lines. I liked NCL's free styling dining and casual dress, but it seems they are making free with cutting the quality of food and drinks and that don't work for us. Read Less
We traveled May 18-26
-Staff is friendly and nice
-u spent the most in excursions
Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd)
... Read More
We traveled May 18-26
-Staff is friendly and nice
-u spent the most in excursions
Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd)
-cruise tries to charge u in anything possible. U go to restaurant - boom $15 charge per person even though my package included gratuities. We tipped all the way but they do anyway. Go to the desk and ask to sign a form to pay on ur own - that’s $210 deduction on the spot for 2ppl
- room is terribly small. Don’t even think taking a stateroom, upgrade to bigger and with balcony. Otherwise u will feel trapped
- get a package for specialty dining, it’s truly better and delicious
- internet is TERRIBLE, never works in the room. My emails didn’t update for couple of days. I tried disputing the charges with the cruise, THEY DIDNT —- I’m definitely disputing charges with my credit card company. I took photos of my phone and the last date it updated emails.
- the worst experience when ship arrived to Cannes. There is no port there so ppl are being transported on little ships (which fit around 200 ppl). The line is outrageous and the wait was tiring. We waited 50m on the line, got pisses off and left tanning on the ship
- shows are great. Especially the dancing and cirque shows Read Less
Just to keep it simple... the entertainment was fantastic! Cruise entertainment staff were wonderful, friendly, and encouraged everyone to participate. We took our son to Rock of Ages and we all loved it, sang along the whole time. Syd ... Read More
Just to keep it simple... the entertainment was fantastic! Cruise entertainment staff were wonderful, friendly, and encouraged everyone to participate. We took our son to Rock of Ages and we all loved it, sang along the whole time. Syd Norman’s was our favorite place all week, along with Howl at the Moon. The band, Switched, was so great as well.. I’m amazed I have a voice left. Lol
Our food was really great, and it was an amazing time.
Excursions.. we did Maya Cay in Belize. Loved this excursion - great beach time with a bucket of beer and no worries. We found a beach at a Harvest Cay and spent the day there. At Costa Maya, we visited the shops, had some lunch at the restaurant that overlooks the dolphin excursion, and returned to the ship. It was incredibly hot that day. Saw people being tended to by EMS, some appeared to be suffering from heat exposure and some appeared highly intoxicated. Not sure which, but either way, make sure you stay hydrated. Cozumel, do the Fury Cat excursion! Our second time and it just gets better!
Highly recommend this for families looking for a fun time for all! Read Less
We were a group of ten and we all had a wonderful experience! Will we do it again? Most definitely, we are actually planning the next cruise lol! Our 3young one had a great time. Also all the adults had a fabulous vacation... In our ... Read More
We were a group of ten and we all had a wonderful experience! Will we do it again? Most definitely, we are actually planning the next cruise lol! Our 3young one had a great time. Also all the adults had a fabulous vacation... In our opinion the service and entertainment in this cruise was fantastic. The crew was great and my favorite the CAS host and casino crew was my definite Cruise Heroes! Can’t wait for our next NCL cruise. Before I forget we also had a Meet and Greet with the ship officer and they’re amazing and very very friendly... I have known most people f the ship officers from our previous NCL cruises and I’m happy when I get a chance to see and say hello to them again. Our service at the main restaurants were great. Our cabin a large balcony had 2lounger chairs and 2 small chairs. Kids club for the kids was excellent. Overall I recommend this ship and itenerary Escape to Bermuda Read Less
This has been my 7th NCL Cruise. Everything was perfect. Food was wonderful, service was impressive and we loved all the entertainment also. Ship is kept spotless and the crew is tirelessly working for us. We also enjoyed beautiful ... Read More
This has been my 7th NCL Cruise. Everything was perfect. Food was wonderful, service was impressive and we loved all the entertainment also. Ship is kept spotless and the crew is tirelessly working for us. We also enjoyed beautiful weather and very smooth seas!
Eating at Cagneys is always a treat! Lobster bisque is amazing and rib eyes and filets were delicious. We also had a fabulous meal at LaCucina.
The one negative about the Escape is the fact that the ship does not have a large public, windowed room at the top, for that panoramic view. The Spinnaker lounge on the Pearl or the Gem has it. Ship seemed crowded at times. People hog chairs by the pool all day. This happens on all ships, but we couldn’t find two chairs together on sea days.
We bid on an upgrade from an ocean view to an aft balcony and received it. We were very happy. Room was comfortable with a nice size shower. Shower has an adjustable shower head for short people. I love it! Read Less
We chose this ship for its touring of Glacier National Park and for the onboard amenities like race track, laser tag, etc. What strikes me is the utter lack of good service. Every restaurant we went too, the servers were not happy and ... Read More
We chose this ship for its touring of Glacier National Park and for the onboard amenities like race track, laser tag, etc. What strikes me is the utter lack of good service. Every restaurant we went too, the servers were not happy and provide only basic service. You had to ask multiple times for refills. They reached over people when serving, even spilled water down the back of some poor lady. Often they pressed themselves against me to reach across the table to fill coffee and water. The served our food in random orders, some getting soup while others got appetizers and then serving the others soup while the remaining got soup.It appears they have not been trained on proper serving techniques. Often, you have to flag them down to get items forgotten. We paid a surcharge and ate at all the upscale restaurants. Found 3 hairs in our food at Ocean Blue- one in salad, one in my son's drink and one on our steak. We pulled them out and let them see them. They apologized but we left...this is the restaurant that you pay for specialty fees and then pay another surge of 12 per person to eat and believe if or not, after essentially paying 3 different charges to eat here, if you order lobster or shrimp, you will be charged an additional fee. Once again, the service was slow, inattentive and ungracious. The food in all of these restaurants was just okay. We did not attend one bar or one restaurant where the wait staff was happy or civil. The noise on the ship is at a very high decibel. It is very unsettling. The cruise director screams in the microphone near the main areas , restaurant and coffees so you can't enjoy this areas unless you can stand the LOUD annoucements he makes as he plays games. The Buffett was pretty highly traffic and loud. Seats very hard to find. The observation deck is where most people went and camped out all day, sleeping and sitting on the floors. It was soothing and quite a beautiful area. Bartenders here are the happiest We are pretty laid back and don't expect a lot but the basics are lacking on this ship. This cruise line charges you for everything they can think of and its wearisome. You reach for you wallet every minute. All said and done, this ship costs a great deal more than others that offer a much better product. From what we heard from fellow passengers, this cruise was not a good one. I would rate this cruise below average in food, service and entertainment. Honestly, we regret going on NCL. Princess, Royal or Celebrity would have been same dollar wise. Read Less
My husband won a cruise from the casino. My husband play the tables and is very good at it. Our family call it his part time job, however he calls it fun. We cruise every other year on Royal Caribbean and when we received the cruise as a ... Read More
My husband won a cruise from the casino. My husband play the tables and is very good at it. Our family call it his part time job, however he calls it fun. We cruise every other year on Royal Caribbean and when we received the cruise as a gift we took a chance. First we upgraded the room etc. which cost over $2500.00. I cant live in an interior room on any cruise line. We left from New york $300.00 pier parking arrived @ 10 am. The pier was packed because of other events which was an inconvenience because we were left to look for other parking garages. None the less we were excited to get away.
The Dawn was filthy, unable to capture the views because the windows were dirty/cloudy etc. The toilets kept getting backed up. The casino had no air condition, can you imagine smoke and no air. The crew didn't provide any pleasantries. The crew didn't thank you, smile and the dining room staff including the specialty restaurants were RUDE. The entertainment I would give 1 star same group of people doing something. The ship doesn't have many activities, trivia hosted by people who barely spoke English. There's nothing to do on the ship, not a slide, hang glide, bumper car, Broadway show. They have 1 pool for over 20000 guest which is deceptive in depth, too deep. The pool claim to be 6ft well over, my husband is 6'3 water well over his head. I couldn't wait to get off of this ship. Their private island is awful nothing to do there except to look at Royal Caribbean Island which had a slide and plenty of activities. I was so disappointed when we took our shore excursion to Atlantis we started to cut our losses and stay at Atlantis and fly back to New york and get our car. The bed was slat with a dip in it, mattress need to be replaced. I had to keep calling to housekeeping to have someone change the sheets. Read Less
My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with our first cruise on Norweigian Dawn from NYC. We both flew from Western Canada to join this cruise and we both were extremely impressed for the following reasons. First, the staff at ... Read More
My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with our first cruise on Norweigian Dawn from NYC. We both flew from Western Canada to join this cruise and we both were extremely impressed for the following reasons. First, the staff at Norweigian we're very helpful, energetic and amazing individuals. From the housekeeping, waiters, cooks, cruise staff, ship operations and entertainers these people are the back bone of your operation and I am very impressed how much preparation, thought and well executed everything was. We were very happy with the food experience as food in Garden Cafe (buffet) continually changed so often. Only lack lustre food was at Bamboo which was less than quality of food court Chinese food. The restaurants Aqua, Venetien, O'Sheehans were all fantastic with great food and great wait staff. All the ports of call were well organized and good options. This was the most excellent experience my wife and I have been on and we're very thankful to all the hard working staff. All the shows, comedian, magician and entertainers were amazing. The games were activities on board were fun too. Most shows/entertainment was geared towards demographics of 50-70 years old so therefore most of the songs we had no idea since we are in our early 30's. It would be nice to have songs that encapsulate a broader demographic. The ports of Port Canaveral wouldn't have enough time at Disney World (only 4 hours there) so we spent time at Disney Springs. There's not much to do at Disney Springs. Next time I think I would choose the Space station tour. At the Great Stirrup Cay it was an amazing little island with great service, beaches and fun snorkelling. At Nassau it was nice to see Atlantis. We were on Deck 5 and were quite happy with the accomodations having a window. The housekeeping was very good making sure everything was clean and in order. We were very happy with everything but we didn't win anything at Bingo, Deal or No deal, or got picked for any of the games. We would definately choose this ship or NCL again! Read Less
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our ... Read More
We were excited about visiting several countries we had never been to, including Russia. Really did not consider the onboard entertainment; but it was super! The only real issue was excursions. We booked two through NCL and two on our on. the two we booked were phenomenal, but both the Hop on Hop off in Finland and the guided excursion in Gdansk had issues. To NCL's credit they refunded part of our payment in both cases.
Our cabin was very nice, but the cabin steward must have been new. He was very nice, but left things out of place when he cleaned.
The bar and restaurant staff were exceptional. A little disappointed in the food in La Bistro and Moderno, but pleased everywhere else.
The gym was too warm and we did most of our excersize on the promonade deck even thouigh it was very cool and windy mast days.
Overall my wife and I really enjoyed the Pearl and the iternary was once in a lifetime for us. Read Less
The destinations and timing were the primary reason for the selection of the ship after my family narrowed our choice of cruise line to NCL. My teenager selected the Joy because of its VR and go-kart track. This was our first time on the ... Read More
The destinations and timing were the primary reason for the selection of the ship after my family narrowed our choice of cruise line to NCL. My teenager selected the Joy because of its VR and go-kart track. This was our first time on the NCL line, so I spent many hours researching excursions and additional charges prior to leaving. However, some items are not obviously a good or poor value until you experience the cruise. More on additional costs later. My family arrived in Seattle early to visit local sites of interest to use prior to the cruise. The day and a half in Seattle ahead of the cruise was completely worthwhile. Pike Street Market, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Microsoft Visitor's Center (pretty far afield but of great interest to techies), the Space Needle, and trying local foods were all worthwhile.
We used Uber to get to the ship from our hotel. Drop off and pick up at Pier 66 in Seattle is a rather scary and dangerous proposition. My family observed one fender bender and several near misses during drop off and pick up. The lanes for pick up and drop off have three minute limits with no clear enforcement and many drivers making their own lanes.
I liked the staggered embarkation and debarkation. Although the lines were still quite long during both events, I suspect a less structured handling would have led to much worse lines. Getting on and off the ship at each port throughout the cruise was probably one of the best experiences I could imagine.
The ship card for all services is another useful aspect of the cruise. Other than getting back on in some ports, the ship card was all anyone needed to get off or on the ship, to eat or drink, or to take advantage of any amenities. Unfortunately, the amenities often cam at an extra cost.
If you wanted really amazing food, you pretty much had to go to one of the specialty restaurants, which cost extra. NCL offers the ability to prepay for these restaurants allegedly. It seemed like a good deal at ~$26 per person for each meal. Unfortunately, we found out that the prepaid meals were not honored by Food Republic, American Diner, or Teppanyaki. It turns out that American Diner SHOULD have been accepted but good luck getting that money back. I spent 30 minutes waiting in line a guest services to get the $42 spent credited back to my account only to find out the restaurant has to handle the refund. The restaurant staff never bothered to answer the call from guest services. So my ~$300 prepaid meals for four meals got me exactly one meal at Le Bistro that even with the choices my family made would have set us back a whopping ~$25 per person. Every place we had complimentary food was mediocre at best. The foods that were best were pastries and any Asian style foods. Eggs and Southern or Southwestern US foods were generally terrible.
Another huge disappointment was the onboard activities. The ship offered game show after game show every day and the occasional dance party. The comedy shows were good and the Elements show was okay if you like modern dance mixed with magic. Footloose was a terrible movie and story, so we skipped that show. The various musicians were good but you can only listen to so many Rat Pack songs before those get old, too. The activities that were most enjoyable...cost extra. Go-kart, VR and Laser Tag all received high marks but were costly. Nearly everything extra also needed a reservation. We ended up spending at least a thousand dollars above the cost of the cruise for the meals, soda package, and onboard activities that were extra,
The shore excursions were a mixed bag. I was happy with my decisions to manage my own excursions in Ketchikan and Victoria. We did a self-guided walking tour in Ketchikan and had a great time doing that but it was a significant physical effort even if the walk is only a couple of miles. We did a tour in Juneau to see the gold mine. It was informative but too short. Thankfully, when we ended up at the Alaska equivalent of the cruise line private island, we had a whaling excursion. This was probably the most valuable and enjoyable excursion we could have selected and at the right stop -- the stop designed to make more money for the cruise lines. Finally, in Victoria, we took the $10 CAD Victoria cab to downtown then walked around ourselves. For $20 CAD plus tip you can see the old hotels, the legislative buildings, an amazing park, and even set up a high tea (extra cost). Unlike the expensive trip to the Butchart Gardens, Beacon Hill is 55 acres of free beautiful park with flora and fauna to enjoy two blocks from the parliamentary building.
The cruise staff and officers were all very nice and helpful. The ship was kept very clean and the crew took cleanliness seriously unlike some of the passengers who needed to learn proper buffet etiquette.
Some of the highlights of the trip:
Beautiful vistas at every stop
Clean, well-kept ship
Spacious cabins with good storage and steward service
Excellent ship service
Negatives outweighed the positives:
Many extra costs
Terrible value for meal packages
Pepsi products for mixers (Rum and Pepsi, Bourbon and Pepsi, 7 and Sierra Mist?? These do not make sense)
Terrible free activities onboard
Mediocre free foods Read Less
Everyone talks about how awesome cruises are. On Norwegian I had just the opposite experience. To start I was pleasantly surprised by the quickness of boarding the ship that was awesome. In heading to my room on the 10th floor upon ... Read More
Everyone talks about how awesome cruises are. On Norwegian I had just the opposite experience. To start I was pleasantly surprised by the quickness of boarding the ship that was awesome. In heading to my room on the 10th floor upon opening the elevator I was startled by the smell of raw sewage. To be honest if I wanted to smell raw sewage I’ll go get a job at the local water treatment plant. This smell never went away the whole cruise. It then became everywhere I went even on the top pool deck. It’s a good thing this cruise is unlimited drinks because it made this some what bearable. After getting to Cuba I really enjoyed the quickness of boarding on and off the boat. I loved getting to hang out there away from the septic tank called “Norwegian Sky”. After getting back on the boat and enjoying some fair food at the buffet we headed for bed. Our room was located just next to a room labeled “pool maintenance”. I’m not sure if you have ever had the cops come kick your door down in the middle of the night but that is what that room sounded like at all hours of the night making sleeping properly a chore. I was left tired throughout most of the cruise. That was really a big disappointment. How can you relax on vacation without even being able to sleep. The adults pool was also closed for a day and a half during this time which seemed ridiculous. So after leaving Cuba I got some cool pics from the back of the boat of the harbor which was cool. It made me wonder though why on most of the decks there is limited views due to dirty windows that extend all the way up. I thought being on the water on a cruise I would get some better views. Headed off to the Bahamas turned the pool deck into a party which was cool if there was enough pool space to entertain the whole party. The pool that day went from clear to yellow by the afternoon which is why I stayed clear of taking a dip in. I also thought the entertainment by the pool was super cheesy most of the day. I was informed by the lifeguard that this was the only cruise ship you can’t have a drink near the pool which I thought was rediculous. I couldn’t even sit in the edge of the pool with a beer. I did like the reggae banned that played though they were great. I did like the bartenders at the pool deck too. In getting to the Bahamas I was looking forward to stretching my legs and getting away from the septic tank. We then found out that that we weren’t going to make that stop which is a total let down. I was informed it’s pretty common for this maybe 1/3 of the time. I think that’s a bit higher than it should be. So back to sea brought another busy day probably busiest day yet on the pool deck. Today I was just ready to be back home and away from the septic tank so I decided to not drink any alcohol and drink water that was located on the bar in a huge jug. I am not sure how they fill this but I think it made me sick. I was deathly ill by the time we made it to Miami. I am still recovering from being sick and missing already 2 days of work. So we made reservations the night before at the palace which a pretty limited menu. I thought my steak was over cooked and sub par. This night we decided to try the crossings which had the exact same menu. Why not call it the same restaurant if it’s literally the same menu. Again I was let down. After getting to Miami I was surprised again by u loading times and speed. Thank god because it was the worst vacation I have ever had and take 5-6 a year for last 25 years. Overall I have mostly nothing but bad things to say for the cruise ship. I don’t know if this was the worst renovation I have ever seen on a boat that just needs to be retired and put back in the dry dock to be brought to the scrap yard. This experience on the boat has left a sour taste in my mouth about cruises. I am tempted to try another cruise line due to all my friends raving about them but I honestly don’t know if I can take another step on a septic tank or know if they all are septic tanks on the ocean. This experience I rated as poor because the cons greatly out way the pros in this ship. I would beware to anyone booking a cruise on the “Norwegian Sky”. Read Less
We have been on several cruises from Carnival, Royal Carribean, and Disney Cruise Line. We have spent as little as $200 to as much as $1,000 per person on cruises. Before leaving we made sure we dotted all our “I’s” and crossed all ... Read More
We have been on several cruises from Carnival, Royal Carribean, and Disney Cruise Line. We have spent as little as $200 to as much as $1,000 per person on cruises. Before leaving we made sure we dotted all our “I’s” and crossed all of our “t’s” as far as passport and visas go. My husband has dual citizenship (Brazilian, and American) and his American passport was expired so we made sure that we could leave the country and come back with his Brazilian passport and naturalization certificate. We called a total of six times to the port and NCL to make sure we were good to cruise with those documents. Both the port of Canaveral and NCL customer services assured us that we were good to go with those documents. On May 20th we were ready to go (so we thought)…. We arrived at the port and the lady that was taking care of us seemed a little confused. Her name was Miranda. She was a very sweet lady however didn’t really know how to input our information etc… She asked a very nice lady (I’m assuming a manager) and the lady said our documents were fine etc…. Miranda continued to be confused as she had other questions so another manager by the name of David Johnson came to us and immediately urged us to go to the managers desk. We gladly went assuming that he would help us and expedite our check in. We reach the managers desk and another lady by the name of Kathleen Bianchi kept asking us if we could go home and get his “American passport”. We explained that it was expired and that we called six times to make sure we could travel with the Brazilian passport blah blah blah….. She insisted on us giving her names of people that we spoke to which we didn’t have. In the mean time Mr. David made copies of all of our paperwork and asked me bluntly, “Mam, I need to know if you will be boarding today without your husband?”. I was in shock!!!! I didn’t even know that it was a possibility that my husband couldn’t get on the boat. They NEVER apologized and acted in any way sorry for what was happening to us. There were NO lamentable feelings from them AT ALL…. We remained calm and very politely asked them to please check with immigration because we knew that we were ok to travel to Cuba with his Brazilian passport. Mr. David said it wasn’t “his job” to make sure of anything. It was “our” duty to ensure we had the appropriate paperwork. In the meantime, I advised my husband to call the duty officer at “custom and border patrol” (located downstairs from where we were). We called and spoke to officer Dusan who assured us that we were good to travel with the documents we had. He even advised us to ask Mr. David to look up the website page where it specifies the necessary documents. Again Mr. David refused. At this point Im done. Im thinking we’re not going to board and we should have just cancelled our cruise. My husband saw the young manager that initially helped us going to the bathroom. He ran to wait for her outside the ladies bathroom so that when she came out he explained our situation. She quickly spoke with Kathleen (whom at this point felt she could do something to help us) both ladies went downstairs and within FIVE minutes came back with the okay for us to board. O.K…… at this point, 3 hours later, I am exhausted, but relieved! Now it was time to enjoy our very much-needed vacation. We purchased our cruise for $1,546.18 (for two). We had done a Disney cruise a couple months prior for about the same price. I mention that because we expected this to be just as nice as the Disney Cruise. To our dismay…. It WASN’T!!!! We went to customer service every single day asking for the gift that our travel agent bought us and they denied the gift. Customer service kept saying the gift was never purchased and we needed proof. Unfortunately we didn’t snap a picture of the “proof” so we never received our gift. NO biggie….. Then, we purchased the water bottle package on our second day of the cruise. We only received it on the last day of our cruise. Everyday, I would walk to the bar and remind them that we didn’t get our water bottles and they kept saying it was on the way but we only got it the last day. When we looked up our cruise there was a deal going on that we had an option to receive one out of five perks for free. Since this was an open bar cruise, we decided to opt for free wifi. Again, customer service looked me in the eye and said we were not eligible for the free perk since we paid the cheapest rate for our cruise. Cheapest rate??? Really???? I didn’t think that almost $800 per person was the cheapest rate for a cruise. Oh…. Since this was an open bar cruise the service at the bar was horrible to say the least. I wont even get into those details. Food was “okay”… hit or miss. I was given a butter knife to cut through a steak that was super chewy and inedible. Server never checked back after food was served. Buffet food was disgusting. We ate at the buffet just once and couldn’t even go back because it was gross. I NEVER fill out surveys, I NEVER give bad reviews… I just don’t have the time to do it. However, the rollercoaster of feelings that occurred before we even boarded was so disheartening that I couldn’t let this go without saying something. It’s interesting that in the end, Kathleen (one of the managers) said this to us, “you know, in hindsight, I regret not taking 5 minutes of my time to go downstairs and gather the correct information for you guys”. That’s my whole point in writing this review! It would have all been a very different story if they had only taken 5 MINUTES of their “clock time” to make sure there was nothing that could have been done for us. We are hard working middle class people that was looking forward to a little getaway, and without any regards for us, NCL was quick to deny our cruise and never even offered any remuneration of any kind. For the reasons stated above, I would NEVER suggest anyone getting on the Norwegian cruise line…. EVER….. and I am writing this in hope that this never happens to anyone else. If we had “given up” we would have been out of luck. We would not have boarded and we would have lost our money. Read Less
The ship was beautiful, new & the service was good. My first time on NCL previously cruised on Carnival(would never sail again) and Princess(was excellent). Heard so much about Alaska unfortunately it was such a letdown. The ports ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, new & the service was good. My first time on NCL previously cruised on Carnival(would never sail again) and Princess(was excellent). Heard so much about Alaska unfortunately it was such a letdown. The ports were terrible Juno, Skagway and Ketchikan are tiny, depressed/little towns with a few blocks and the same shops that are probably owned by the cruise companies themselves, Diamond international, Tanzanite international etc. Here you could be at each from 8-11 hours at these ports. Trust me you could walk around each of these towns and be back on the ship within an hour. Glacier Bay was OK sad to see how global warming has really had an effect on glaciers there really isn’t much to see. The nicest port was Victoria British Columbia. Where we had only 3 hours, you arrive at 8:30 pm-11:30 pm! Ridiculous The nicest town & we arrive at Night!! At night most of the shops and restaurants are closed. Disappointing how this was done logistically.
At Victoria BC make note it takes 25min to get to town by shuttle bus(long wait line) majority of shops/restaurants are closed. When onshore at all ports expect to pay $74.99 for 1 Alaskan King crab LEG!!
The food on the Bliss was awful I give it a 4. Breakfast was good, desserts were ok (6) but lunch and dinner was just awful (2). Majority of all options were very ethnic and spicy if that’s your preference. For a cruise to Alaska I would expect to have an abundant option of seafood dishes. The Seafood dishes were awful very hard to get a simple fish dish that wasn’t spicy, over cooked or full of sauce! The complementary restaurants are basically Buffet but being served by a waiter. You could only substitute sides but you can’t ask for a dish like the Thai spiced Tilapia dinner cooked plain...very disappointing not many different options each nite! I was told I’d have to go to the alternate restaurants and pay especially for any Read Less
We had beautiful weather. No rain at all. In Juneau it was about 78 and Skagway about 72. The ride through Glacier Bay was beautiful. You don’t stop. Book your tours ahead of time through Viatour. So much cheaper than ship prices!! In ... Read More
We had beautiful weather. No rain at all. In Juneau it was about 78 and Skagway about 72. The ride through Glacier Bay was beautiful. You don’t stop. Book your tours ahead of time through Viatour. So much cheaper than ship prices!! In Ketchikan we walked to Creek Street and did all our shopping there and very good prices for all souvenirs.
You must do the Yukon tour in Skagway. Don’t do the train. Everyone was disappointed since you can’t really get pictures, do the Yukon bus tour instead. Lots of stops and so beautiful. In Juneau we did whale watching (not great) and Mendenhall Glacier. Go to Nugget Falls there! So worth the hike!!
The smoking area is only on Floor 17 in a small area but we had so much fun up there and made great friends!
Food is all pretty good. We did Cagneys, Italian and Ocean Blue. Didn’t love the Italian but at Ocean Blue you can get lobster for a $10 upcharge.
The Beatles and Jersey Boys were great. Didn’t make it to Havana.
Beautiful ship, very clean. We had a great time!! Read Less
More details later, but a quick explanation of the ear plugs. NCL has the volume turned up WAY TOO LOUD on all speaker systems. Even with my ear plugs in, it hurt my ears. Other than this, we really enjoyed the cruise. Celebrating our ... Read More
More details later, but a quick explanation of the ear plugs. NCL has the volume turned up WAY TOO LOUD on all speaker systems. Even with my ear plugs in, it hurt my ears. Other than this, we really enjoyed the cruise. Celebrating our 20th anniversary and friend's 35 anniversary, the 4 our us ventured to Seattle to leave on an Alaskan cruise aboard the NCL Bliss. We spent 2 fun days in Seattle prior to leaving and had a wonderful time. We stayed at the Fairmont Olympic (beautiful) and toured the Japanese Garden, Arboretum, Space Needle, Chihuly Glass Museum and Garden, Pike's Market, and the Waterfront. I recommend spending a few days in Seattle before your trip. It was a wonderful way to begin. The Bliss is a fantastic boat. Clean, well organized, wonderful service, fantastic food, SO much to do, and love the observation lounge. This was our 8th cruise with NCL and I must say, pick a newer ship when you can. NCL has done a great job designing and creating their new ships. Not that the older ones are bad, even refurbished, they just can't offer what the newer ships can. The Bliss offers something for everyone and every age. My only disappointment was the entertainment. The volume was SO ridiculously LOUD that we couldn't enjoy it. Entertainment has always been one of my favorite things about a cruise, but such a disappointment on the Bliss. We couldn't participate because of the volume (even with ear plugs). And all entertainment from the music around the pool, to the game shows/events in the Atrium, to the musicals offered in the auditorium was too loud for all of us. We were only able to participate in 2 things - the comedians (wonderfully outstanding) and the silent disco (you can adjust the volume). We left both Havana and Jersey Boys because the volume was too high. For the few atrium activities, we had to stand way down the hall (where you can only listen, not see) because of the speaker volume was TOO LOUD. I can only imagine the damage being done to the staff's ears!! Also, I wish NCL would go back to a variety of entertainment instead of all musicals. I missed the magician and the acrobats and other varieties of entertainment that I am used to. Since it was too loud, I guess it didn't matter anyway, but it sad to see that NCL seems to be going to all musicals on their newer ships. As much as we have enjoyed NCL in the past, because of this change, we will be trying other cruise lines as entertainment is a big reason we go on cruises. I will say, we enjoyed the laser tag and go carts - but count that more as ship activities not so much entertainment. Also, the water slides were fun. The pool looks nice, but the music was too loud to enjoy spending any time there. Most meals were at Taste, Savor, or the Manhattan room. In all 3, we consistently had delicious food and good service. We did try 3 specialty dining restaurants - French, Mexican, and Steakhouse. French and Mexican = Delicious!! If you go to Cagney's (their steakhouse) don't order steak - get the lamb instead. Their steak is only ok, but the lamb is fantastic. Oh, and the raspberry creme brûlée's is outstanding! At the French one, be sure to order the onion soup (wow!!). As for Mexican - table side guacamole and the corn = Devine!! If you like margaritas, be sure to order at the table, not the bar. They are different. Bar = undrinkable. Table = delicious. But I think you can only have 1 at the table. Two of group ordered a second one. The second one obviously came from the bar (different glass) and was undrinkable. Speaking of bars, our favorite one was in the observation lounge. If you are ordering beer or wine, it doesn't matter which bar you go to. But, if you like mixed drinks, try a few until you find the bartenders you like. For us, it was in the observation lounge, the Local, and (if you could catch the right bartender) the Atrium. It also seemed that the bars do have themes. So depending on what you are ordering, go with the correct theme to get a good drink. As for bartenders, I'm guessing some have more experience than others and they do switch around. So, watch for your favorites. As for the itinerary, we enjoyed everything. Felt like we had a fun taste of Alaska. For excursions we did a helicopter ride, train into the Yukon, and rainforest hike. All were very fun. I recommend getting out of the towns unless you want to shop. Lots of shopping, otherwise, you have to book something that takes you away from the towns. All in all, we very much enjoyed the cruise and would recommended it to anyone. Just, be sure to bring ear plugs! Read Less
We are retired and have done 9 cruise's in the last 4 1/2 years with 5 different lines. Went on a 7 day on the NCL Gem. Had a great time food was wonderful and people were grand. We bought NCL dollars for the next cruise. Book a Spain ... Read More
We are retired and have done 9 cruise's in the last 4 1/2 years with 5 different lines. Went on a 7 day on the NCL Gem. Had a great time food was wonderful and people were grand. We bought NCL dollars for the next cruise. Book a Spain trip and brought family. Started with the life boat drill. Staff did not even have a life jacket to show people. The Engineer that was head of our station was more into talk with other workers and laugh that you could not hear and was not taken with any responsibiliey. We have all done them before but very unnerving. The Spirit is In my opinion is one of the best ship's in lay out and size we have been on. It dose show its age. The ship is so dated and worn out. The bath room always smelled of sewage and a lot of other had the same problem. Not very many Ice or water points and they never had the pool side station open.
First port came we had paid for a tour. Getting off the boat you had to pay again to take a bus out of port. This turns out on all ports. You could not walk and was more the attitude of the cruise. They never had any maps you had to buy at the local tour office. They did not know anything about the ports and could give NO help. They just took your money again for the bus and you were on your own. Yes we had some very wonderful people on the cruise. But I have never seen so many workers than were unhappy. No smiles and just putting in there time. It was from the heads of departments.
Morning breakfast with all early tours. In the main buffet trying to eat had the women that did the fresh juice yell at 5 of us as the was no yogurt and the women asked her about it. She began YELLING " not my Job" loud enough that the manager came around the corner took her away for a second then she returned to just stand there and give the hate looks. The mornings we had early tours and were trying to eat and get out they would have the poor girl clean the bathrooms during the middle of us all trying to do what we needed and get off the ship. Just SO much poor or no planning and for site. Getting on the tours in the stage was a total joke. The manager was no where to be seen. In Window dinning three nights we could get no water. Could never get a second glass of wine. And took close to 2 hours to eat. Manager was told all for not. Others bought the drink package and could not get refills more times than they could. Managers were what I saw the problem. So many servier just doing what they had to. NO Smiles nothing extra Very depressing. The food was so plain. No taste or spice. Nothing like the Gem. More like some of the other cheep lines. Read Less
Friends sailed on the sky the crew was so helpful and outstanding to serve us , Bencar the Butler made our cruise so enjoyable we are ready to plan another, the Cagney restaurant was so amazing food was excellent.we loved the cruise we ... Read More
Friends sailed on the sky the crew was so helpful and outstanding to serve us , Bencar the Butler made our cruise so enjoyable we are ready to plan another, the Cagney restaurant was so amazing food was excellent.we loved the cruise we missed out on some of the pictures but plan to get more on our next trip, the room and room services were outstanding, cant wait to stay on board again. The islanders we visited were so outstanding, had a great time explaining them. There was always something to do on board, would recommend this sky ship to all. It was like one big parity. We did miss the island excursion to stir up cay and plan to see it on our next trip. We had champagne every night it was such a delight, it was so easy to bland the cruise and exit the boat as well. Can’t wait to sail again. Read Less
I was travelling with a group of 13 ages 55-65, the ship is very nicely refurbished not the neon colors like some others.
Dining options are good, there is the Venetian which is the main dining room, the Aqua, another nice dining room ... Read More
I was travelling with a group of 13 ages 55-65, the ship is very nicely refurbished not the neon colors like some others.
Dining options are good, there is the Venetian which is the main dining room, the Aqua, another nice dining room but more intimate, O'Shannesey's Pub a fun bar and restaurant and the buffet. We ate at the venetian for breakfast most days, as we got to warmer climates outside the temperature rose in that room, it was hot, not sure if there was an AC issue. The Aqua is only open for dinner but was comfortable, menu is the same as the Venetian which offers many good options and was cooler. O'Shannesey's Pub had more pub food choices although each night they have a special, one night was prime rib. The buffet was actually very good, we ate there 2 nights and everything was fresh and well seasoned. Breakfast and lunch was a mad house each day, people sit at their table after they are done eating, play cards or scrabble leaving folks with no place to sit, it is rude!
The Casino was fun, adequate amount of slot machines, craps, black jack and roulette tables but is of course smoky as they allow smoking but this was another area that was very warm. I'm guessing the temp was low 80's so there was no air flow, there was a huge lack of ventilation in the casino.
Entertainment: We enjoyed the shows in the Stardust theater especially "Elements" a cirque de solei type show, it was fantastic. As far as general music around the ship they really missed an opportunity here. They offered 80's tribute music and our group was excited to attend but it turned out to be one woman on a piano playing mellow 80's, same for the Beatles tribute, the band VIP performed Beatles songs but chose all mellow, slow dance songs, again boring. We did really enjoy the DIsco night.
We took 5 shore excursions, all were good with the exception of Peggy's Cove, we drove around town for an hour or so looking at historical homes which only left us 50 minutes at Peggy's Cove, it was lunch time so we quickly ordered lunch at the So eastern which was very good but we had to take half to go and never got to really spend time in and around Peggy's Cove. Too bad because it was beautiful there! Read Less