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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise and this ship were, all-around, an excellent experience. Friendly and helpful crew, top notch entertainment, excellent food and food venues!! Smaller ship with many passengers so it was full of energy and crowded at ... Read More
This cruise and this ship were, all-around, an excellent experience. Friendly and helpful crew, top notch entertainment, excellent food and food venues!! Smaller ship with many passengers so it was full of energy and crowded at times,but, never-the- less, a relaxing vacation where you could set your own pace and schedule. Beautiful decor throughout the ship, easy to access all areas and easy to learn the lay-out in a very short time. Specialty restaurants were wonderful with masterfully prepared food that was just the right size portion. We can say enough to praise the pastry chefs on this ship. Every day different creations were delicious, as were all entrees. The view of the sunsets and sunrises from our cabin balcony was breathtaking at time. Organization of debarkation for Castaway Cay was poorly done with poor oversight in the lobby area (Atrium) so confusion reigned! However, this is the only negative I can say about this cruise. For the first time cruisers that we were, it introduced us in a wonderful manner to cruising....we will most probably return in the future! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to run away from the heat of summer at least for a week and to experience the relaxing sights of Alaska. Ship: The ship looks amazing. Very clean and contemporary décor. Staff continuously cleans and maintains ... Read More
We chose this cruise to run away from the heat of summer at least for a week and to experience the relaxing sights of Alaska. Ship: The ship looks amazing. Very clean and contemporary décor. Staff continuously cleans and maintains the ship in neat condition. The onboard staff was always courteous and helpful. Bad experience with NCL air travel: We had a very stressful experience with our air travel arrangements booked directly with NCL air. Due to a last minute rescheduling of the our outbound flight, we almost missed our cruise and the NCL emergency assistance line/nor the air travel department were available to help! From the initial booking of the reservation, the staff did not bother to sit our family of four together, which included two small children. Our seats were assigned all over the plane. Ports: One of the ports visited was Hoonah/Icy Strait for an entire day and in my opinion, it would have been a better value as a customer to have that much time at different port (Ketchikan, Juneau). At his point, the town itself needs further development and the frequency of the shuttles from the port to town needs to be increase during ship arrival dates. There is a nice shopping area and some restaurants as you get off the ship plus shore excursions. We wandered into town via the $5 shuttle and found some street vendors but the area needs significant tourist development. Unless you're willing to pay for $hore excursion$ at this point there is not a lot going on there. Food: The food at specialty restaurants was excellent, specially Cagney's Steakhouse. We liked it so much that we ended up dining at Cagney's twice! The food was also good at the buffet, and to my surprise they also had a section for Indian food which seemed to be very popular. I tried some of it and it was delicious. The complimentary restaurants as well as the specialty restaurants offer a wide variety of food choices. For the specialty restaurants, we tried Teppanyaki (Hibachi). and Cagney's (Steakhouse) . Portions at both specialty restaurant were VERY generous. The Hibachi staff was fun but compared to a 'land' Hibachi restaurant the food wasn't 'great'. Cagney's steakhouse was exceptional. From the service of the staff to the quality of the food and drinks. Cabin: We had a balcony cabin and it was well worth it! Would definitely recommend it as we could see glaciers and at some point whales as the cruise sailed! Bed: The bed in our cabin was very uncomfortable as well as the bunk bed + sleeper sofa. We asked our steward for extra padding but still I was waking up daily with body and neck pain : ( Onboard kids club/arcade: For the nicer games (ex. virtual reality, race track, laser tag), you have to pay extra per use. I'd wish they had some sort of packaged deal as some are $7/use and some others are $20/use per person. They have a coloring interactive station free of charge in the galaxy room that was pretty cool. Be sure to check the daily schedules for other no-charge events. They had a shirt glow paint event where they provide T-shirts and paint so the family can create a souvenir with glow pain. Make sure kids wear clothes that can be stained with permanent paint! Useful tips; Make sure to download the NCL app PRIOR to getting on the ship. You will be able to check the daily activities from your phone and mark your favorites. There is no charge for connecting to the ship Wi-Fi to use this app. The only enhancement I'd do to the app would be to specify which activities have an additional fee (ex. wine tastings, etc...). They also have the traditional daily schedule of activities printed and delivered to your room. The ship provides a FREE port valet service in Seattle that allows to check in your luggage all the way to your airline from the ship! The paperwork is provided in your cabin but they will have signs all over the ship at around Tuesday/Wednesday for this service. This is particularly useful if you're planning to walk around Seattle. You will still need to take a cab to the airport but don't have to carry your luggage around. Unfortunately, we were not able to use this service due to issue with NCL air travel. There is also a concierge service outside the terminal that charges $5 per piece of luggage but must pick up by 3 pm. In summary: We would do it again, but would choose an itinerary that does not include Icy Strait, as this port still has a few years to go to warrant spending so many hours of my precious vacation time. Would much rather have longer stays in Ketchikan, Juneau or Skagway. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The food was bad, the waiter was good but there seemed to be no excitement from the staff. The freestyle meals are cold and not friendly. The smoke on the ship from the casino was horrible. You could smell it 2 floors down in the ... Read More
The food was bad, the waiter was good but there seemed to be no excitement from the staff. The freestyle meals are cold and not friendly. The smoke on the ship from the casino was horrible. You could smell it 2 floors down in the dining area. The staff on the ship were not educated on events and where to go many times we asked. We have cruises many times and this was probably the most disappointing cruise we have ever been on. Our cabin was nice and we enjoyed having a balcony but when we tried to sit out there the people in cabin 8051 were smoking. We were not told this ship allowed smoking or we would not have scheduled a cruise in this ship. The staff when we got off the ship in customs were very rude to everyone getting off of the ship. We will probably not cruise with Norwegian again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My Wife and I are a dual income, no kids couple (aka DINKS) and we vacation frequently with the notion of work hard, play hard and have no problems paying for luxury experiences. We had heard great things about the Boston to Bermuda NCL ... Read More
My Wife and I are a dual income, no kids couple (aka DINKS) and we vacation frequently with the notion of work hard, play hard and have no problems paying for luxury experiences. We had heard great things about the Boston to Bermuda NCL cruise. Being local, we absolutely LOVED the idea of getting dropped off at the ship and hopping right on to start our vacation. We decided to book the Owner's Suite with the large balcony, Hot Tub, King bed, large bathroom, Butler and Concierge service. The Hot Tub did not have a heater and it did not bubble,which caused us to sit and wait for it to be repaired on our first day. We usually book the more luxurious trips because we like the memorable experience it offers along with the pampering we do not receive on a day to day basis. Our summer Boston to Bermuda cruise left quite a bit to be desired and unfortunately, DID NOT meet our expectations. Given that we booked the Blue Diamond Suite on the Gem, our expectations were Extremely HIGH!! Day one of vacation came and embarkation on the ship as a Haven guest was as expected, we were greeted by the very professional MassPort personnel and shown to the Priority boarding area. There were some light refreshments and we met our concierge (Anoop) who was pleasant and provided an excellent vacation experience. He checked in with us at every dinner, helped to switch dinner reservations and provided ideas for a free day that we had in Bermuda. We do not consider ourselves High Maintenance guests and we appreciated Anoop's pleasant demeanor and his daily if not 2-3/day checking in with us to see if we needed anything. That being said, this is Actually the kind of thing one expects when you are spending the money to have the HAVEN experience, furthermore to be guests in the OWNERS Suite. One of the disappointing experiences was being told at dinner we had to pay for the $27 bottle of wine, champagne and cappuccino (it's espresso people) above and beyond what we ALREADY PAID. I understand it costs money to run a ship, overhead, etc, but we did not expect to be able to drink as much wine, champagne and coffee as we want when we went to the bar or in our room and not at dinner. It just doesn't make sense. Our Butler upon our arrival informed us that we are provided with 3 bottles of alcohol which included wine and liquor, and 1 complimentary bottle of champagne which of course makes sense. However, when after hours of sitting in the room waiting for the Hot Tub to be repaired (by very nice mechanics), I asked her if we can get more champagne while the sun is shining and it's 85 degrees and I'd like to start my vacation. There was no suggestion of the bottle being complimentary until I had suggested that some more champagne would alleviate the "inconvenience". I will say our Butler, Josephine, was pleasant, hard working and took good care of us, but if we needed anything we had to summon her. We certainly didn't feel like she was checking in on us and she did stock our fridge with 2 bottles of Prosecco the next day after considering my suggestion. Another rather disconcerting event happened near the end of our cruise in the Haven Courtyard. Apparently only cruisers who booked HAVEN Rooms are allowed in the Haven Courtyard. Given this was our first cruise, I was not aware of this because while hanging out in the Haven Courtyard two days prior, several of us who were staying in the Haven had a impromptu Pool party with buckets of Adult Beverages for everyone, good conversation, laughter etc, While socializing I realized that it was obvious several of my fellow passengers had brought their friends who were NOT HAVEN Guests up to the courtyard, I assumed that this was allowed and it seemed reasonable to me. All the guests at our impromptu pool party were great people, classy and we were all having a really good time. So, when I brought a friend who happened to be on the ship serendipitously, I of course thought it was fine. Hey, rules are rules, I totally understand. However, our concierge (Anoop) sent a younger HAVEN Staff member (Made, the Haven Courtyard Valet) to address this issue with me in front of my Guest and my wife, I was MORTIFIED. Listen, we've all been kicked out of bars or nightclubs when we're in our twenties for too much celebrating etc., but when you pay a pretty hefty sum of cash to stay in a premier room and are scolded and treated with such utter DISRESPECT over a misunderstanding I have a bit of an issue. Anoop, (The Concierge and the BOSS) should've take it upon himself to have a private conversation with me and clarify the rules, not send his subordinate over and embarrass me in front of my wife and friend. This small incident was the final straw in what we thought was going to be a 5-Star White Glove Service. In Summary, this was our fault, we lacked experience cruising and with NCL in particular. We had an EXCELLENT Vacation but We did NOT get the VALUE for the money we spent. The NCL Gem is obviously not a luxury based ship and trying to provide white glove 5 star service with their HAVEN option was not up to par. We would've been better off and less disappointed if we booked a much less expensive option for the experience we had. If NCL wants to provide high level white glove experiences to guests who are willing to pay then they need to stop nickel and diming their guests and offer more 'all inclusive' type packages with attention to detail if they are looking to garner a higher level clientele who are willing to pay. We would definitely go on another Boston to Bermuda NCL cruise, however, we will absolutely book a much more cost effective package. Booking the package we booked along with our disappointment is akin to going to Outback Steakhouse and believing you are going to get the same kind of Filet that one gets at Del Friscos or similar high end steakhouse that in short, is basically the experience we had. I love to have some Kukkaburrow wings while wearing jeans and a t-shirt but you will not catch me ordering a premium steak and at the very least having the expectation that it will be 5 star!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise as an alternative to my 13 day cruise which was cancelled day before I was scheduled to leave for Rome. Overall cruise was good but NCL charges you for everything. (WiFi extra, soda extra, fancier restaurants, bowling ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an alternative to my 13 day cruise which was cancelled day before I was scheduled to leave for Rome. Overall cruise was good but NCL charges you for everything. (WiFi extra, soda extra, fancier restaurants, bowling extra, excursions extra, daily per person service charges, transfers from airport extra) Ship was average, but 2 pools are not enough for the amount of people. Cabins were kept up very well by stewards. Dining was average about the level of average Marriott hotel food. Evening sit down meals were better but again NCL charges extra for steakhouse, Italian, and Japanese. Excursions are too expensive and I was better off booking them myself. Ports were good and bad. Santorini, Mykonos were amazing. Florence, Messina, and Napoli were good. Kotor and Dubrovnik were very dirty and not much to see. Service in restaurants was hit or miss but overall a bit better than average. Entertainment was actually surprisingly good. Magic show, acrobats and cruise director were excellent. Spa services were solid but pricey as expected. Fitness center although small was functional. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient but the rendering process was not fair as some people got tendering tickets early because they had excursions planned so you would loose a lot of the day waiting. Staff was awesome during reboarding offering hot towels and drinks. “Red” was awesome, he greeted people with a smile and songs when you would enter the Garden Cafe and was super chearful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
With a group of 13 adults the embarkation & disembarkation were surprisingly QUICK & EASY, other cruise lines could learn for your company procedure. My balcony suite was perfect for me & Jose(Angel) did an amazing job keeping ... Read More
With a group of 13 adults the embarkation & disembarkation were surprisingly QUICK & EASY, other cruise lines could learn for your company procedure. My balcony suite was perfect for me & Jose(Angel) did an amazing job keeping it clean and keeping me stocked with towels. The food was really good, everywhere we ate. Pool deck service was amazing Kevin & Felipe kept the drinks coming. Comedian Jay Moore was HILARIOUS!! It was nice to have the movie option in the afternoon for those that needed a break from the sun. Cruise director Jasper was very entertaining & funny hosting the dance contest. I cant remember the name of the Spanish Band that played but the Selena tribute was REALLY GOOD. Nina was very friendly and entertaining during the trivia game. The private island was really nice, good was good and Felipe kept the drinks flowing. I wasn't in the casino long but the staff was friendly when I was there. The only thing I didn't like was the muster, it was to HOT, crowded and uncomfortable to be standing for so long. But the info was good to know incase. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because it offers solo cabins that are very comfortable, beautiful and affordable. The Embarkation and and disembarkation was outstanding. The individuals at each port and shore excursions go above and beyond to leave ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it offers solo cabins that are very comfortable, beautiful and affordable. The Embarkation and and disembarkation was outstanding. The individuals at each port and shore excursions go above and beyond to leave on time. The buses are coach motor buses, air conditioned, with tour guides that are super friendly and full of knowledge. My favorite tour was from Florence and Pisa. This ship is full of entertainment, activities, music and simply fun. The decor of this ship is amazing. The main dinning experience I loved, because there is no "set time" to eat. I felt very relax when it comes to dinning. The only negative thing I would add is that there is a need for more VEGAN or Vegetarian options...But I manage to go around the limitations. My cabin was outstanding and my room service lady (Jiotti) was amazing. She made sure my cabin was cleaned at all times (fresh towels, bed made, everything fresh). The solo VIP area was kept full of goodies, tea, ice, coffee, fruits, etc. I will book another trip with Norwegian. I want to note, that I will NOT book AIR with them. It was very complicated to arrange seats and to find my reservation. I had to do a lot of research. The flight back from Barcelona to JFK was a nightmare due to gate distances and I had to take a shuttle. Then the flight from JFK to FLL was another nightmare. Delays and gate changes. I will book my cruise with Norwegian, BUT NOT AIR... The trip was amazing and It was outstanding. I made TONS OF FRIENDS that our friendship will last forever. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The cruise was amazing! The food was fantastic, especially the specialty dining! The service was great, very hard working people that always went above and beyond. Thr entertainment was amazing! I saw Burn the Floor twice, rock of ages ... Read More
The cruise was amazing! The food was fantastic, especially the specialty dining! The service was great, very hard working people that always went above and beyond. Thr entertainment was amazing! I saw Burn the Floor twice, rock of ages was playing and Deuling pianos was super fun to watch! There is always something to do on the ship. The main pool was always packed with people and great entertainment on the stage. It took me a little bit of time to get use to the ship because it's so big.  The excursion were great! I did zip lining, a resort but that didnt cost anything, visit a Mayan family and dolphin encounter.  I see why people cruise all the time. I would do it again with NCL Breakaway! This time I traveled solo, but next time I would travel with friends and family! Its definately something to experience with others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We have been on several other lines, RCL, Carnival, etc. We couldn't have been happier with NCL and now wouldn't go back. the freestyle dining and drinking was tremendous! there was never a time i couldn't sit and get a ... Read More
We have been on several other lines, RCL, Carnival, etc. We couldn't have been happier with NCL and now wouldn't go back. the freestyle dining and drinking was tremendous! there was never a time i couldn't sit and get a drink. 22 bars keep it uncrowded. We had no trouble getting on or off the ship. the food was great. and there was plenty of it. And it was hot. i love the room cold. My room was freezing, thanks to Roberto. i suppose the Oasis had something this ship didn't_ more shopping. I dont cruise to be in a mall. the Waterfront was a great stroll. Syd Normans was a true highlight for us 80's rockers! The service was outstanding. our room was cleaned twice a day, bathroom too. nothing is perfect. the internet sucked and was overpriced. we have been all over the world. we recommend NCL Have Fun Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We celebrated my moms 80th bday on the break away. We took this cruise because of the offers. I never sailed the western carribean before . The unlimited drinks, great entertainement . Speciality dining was awesome. The variety of food ... Read More
We celebrated my moms 80th bday on the break away. We took this cruise because of the offers. I never sailed the western carribean before . The unlimited drinks, great entertainement . Speciality dining was awesome. The variety of food choices superb. Catered to all ages and the staff at the customer service desk was amazing. Some more than others especially since i was going there all the time to correct an issue. Special kudos to Pamela , at the desk. Strong who cleaned my moms rm. The restaurant manager at Savor Alan. Overall all the staff qas above and beyond. The ship was clean and the staff was working akways. I was dissapointed that i did not get a rm i requested for my mlom a special disabilty rm. Eventually they moved her to accomodate her by moving her to another rm. It still was not what we requested. . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Had a wonderful time on Norwegian (as always). Choose this line over others because of the specialty restaurants offered. Teppanyaki is always a crowd pleaser. If I could change one thing about cruises would be the size of the pools. ... Read More
Had a wonderful time on Norwegian (as always). Choose this line over others because of the specialty restaurants offered. Teppanyaki is always a crowd pleaser. If I could change one thing about cruises would be the size of the pools. Always too small. Really really enjoyed The Choir of Man - fun and entertaining. Did not so much care for Cotton Club - singing and dancing were great but no story line to connect it. LaCuccina did not live up to its name - guess I'm just a more down home Italian food person. Cabins were nice sized - just enough for the two of us. View from balcony was unobstructed. Again, only complaint was pool size. Casino was fun as always. Cruise games like trivia were fun - might could be a few more though. Liked that we stayed in Bermuda for couple of days instead of moving from port to port. Can't wait for next years cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My parents booked this cruise as a gift to me for my 22nd birthday , (07/14) . From the second I got there , I was treated far better than any all inclusive resort in Cancun or Punta Cana . I had a studio room , the studio is small but ... Read More
My parents booked this cruise as a gift to me for my 22nd birthday , (07/14) . From the second I got there , I was treated far better than any all inclusive resort in Cancun or Punta Cana . I had a studio room , the studio is small but full of everything u need . Shower , toilet , sink , very comfortable bed , closet , tv , and these party lights installed all throughout our he room which really changed the mood of the whole trip . The buffet food at the restaurant was okay , however the exclusive restaurant were out of this world . Le bistro, was superb , the Manhattan was great , moderno had amazing meats . The drinks were made to perfection . Nothing watered down, all drinks premium and perfect with the alcohol . The amount of friends I made on this cruise is unreal . Norwegian does everything they can to make it as easy as possible to have a good time . If you are early 20s or late teens , definitely book a cruise with Norwegian because they give you everything you need , full of activities , you just have to make the best and most fun of it . Which is fairy easy Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the Bliss because it was built for Alaska Cruising. It was a fantastic voyage in every way. Although no cruise/ship is perfect, the Bliss did not disappoint. We booked an M6 Mini Suite w/ large balcony on deck 8/ forward. It waa a ... Read More
We chose the Bliss because it was built for Alaska Cruising. It was a fantastic voyage in every way. Although no cruise/ship is perfect, the Bliss did not disappoint. We booked an M6 Mini Suite w/ large balcony on deck 8/ forward. It waa a great location as everything we wanted was very close by. Dining was Awesome. We had the 3 specialty dining package included, and went to Cagney’s, LaCuccina and Texas Smokehouse ( all were great) we also dined in The Manhattan, Savor and Taste dining rooms ( also great) We loved going to the Local for lunch pretty much every day. Entertainment was also very good. Our favorites were Jersey Boys, the Beatles and the Comedy Club. Siglo was the Awesome House band. Silas our cruise director and JoJo ( his assistant) were Awesome as well. Overall a great cruise experience, and nothing negative to say Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of ... Read More
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of service that we like. We would be happy to travel again on this ship. Here are some observations. DINING Good: Variety of dining options. O'sheehans is often a favourite. We had 4 additional choices as part of our package. Le Bistro, Cagneys and Moderno are always winners (usually an add on). Needs tweaking: The garden cafe is good for all but close table seating made it difficult to move around when necessary. This can be managed by choosing to dine in Savor or Taste restaurants. Sometimes in the garden cafe, there were dishes that were cold by the time you sat down to eat at the table. For example, scrambled eggs, meat dishes that are meant to be hot, and Indian dishes. I imagine that could cause food to be wasted. I prefer hot food to be eaten at that same temperature. Specialty restaurants did not have this problem. Service: All good during our stay and in all areas of the ship. Entertainment: We love listening to live music. The Syd Norman Pour House had a band with a variety of vocalists that really worked hard to sing and engage the crowd. Definitely a winner for me to sing along with 70,80,90's music. The venue was often crowded. Burn the floor was a good show too. Any longer would have been repetitive. Their energy is amazing. Ancora was an opera/classical group of 4 that were simply fantastic. The range and quality of their voices was breathtaking. I didn't go to see the Cirque show. The additional cost was not the issue. I'm just not into the circus theme. There were other entertainment options too. I liked the interactive games on level 6 that engaged the audience. Nothing complicated, but amusing Room: We had a mini suite on deck 9 forward. While close to level 8 entertainment venue, we slept soundly. Fixtures and fittings are beginning to show some signs of age but, this did not impact on our comfort. Recommendations: Based on personal preference. More ping pong tables so that adults can play, not just the kids. Maybe more area in the gym for stretching, cooling etc in peak time. Also, a big thank you to Mario who was helpful in meeting the needs of the Cruise critic team when docking in Russia. Thanks to Tammy and Patrick (friendly cruise critic cruisers) too. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Offer received through Latitudes Rewards. Loved the ship itself. Much better than the Star. Everything was clean and shiny new. Loved how many options you had available to keep you occupied. Decent pricing on cruise itself, but a ... Read More
Offer received through Latitudes Rewards. Loved the ship itself. Much better than the Star. Everything was clean and shiny new. Loved how many options you had available to keep you occupied. Decent pricing on cruise itself, but a nightmare upgrading the drink package. Got a cocktail when I got on ship (Long Island) which was absolutely awful. Switched to Vodka Cranberry and then got the receipt for it. Almost $26 per drink!! I went to upgrade and had to pay over $800. Paying that much, I still got charged extra for drinks from the mini bar!!! With that much money spent to drink anything anywhere I want, I should be able to get a drink in my room without paying through the nose for it. NOT happy about all that. There was a total of 1 smoking area on the ship. Yes....ONE! We were put in a corner like a child being put in time out. The area was very small too. In my opinion, doing this will make smokers (lepers of society now) to not want to take a cruise again. I'm not asking to allow us to smoke inside, but having a small space without proper coverage (rained on many times) is just not very nice! On that note....the bartenders and staff by the Leper's corner (17th deck) were absolutely wonderful! Especially Michael! He always checked on me and the others there constantly and made us feel welcome every day. Warm welcomes every time I got there made me feel a bit better about the whole "corner" situation for us smokers. He remembered everyone's name and what we drank. Very impressive! Thank you Michael!! Dining was ok at complimentary restaurants. Deserts were questionable at times. In my opinion, Boston Cream pie should be made of cream, not gelatin. Peach Cobbler was also off a bit. Q was absolutely wonderful. Best salmon I had on the ship. Hibachi restaurant was amazing as well. Best fried rice I've ever had! All in all. Good food options. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Well my daughter and son booked the cruise months ago. My husband booked it for us a week before he passed away! My children & doctor thought it would be good for me to go and he would want me too! well everyone was right it was good ... Read More
Well my daughter and son booked the cruise months ago. My husband booked it for us a week before he passed away! My children & doctor thought it would be good for me to go and he would want me too! well everyone was right it was good for me. I felt he was there with us! I asked my sister to go with me, so she was my new roommate! I enjoyed watching my grandchildren at the pool going down the slide, the shows were awesome, the newly wed game, deal of no deal, the restaurants very good! So many choices, the food excellent! I took my two granddaughters to the spa and had there hair braided! And we tried out the casino too! I can't say enough about the staff! our steward manuel was wonderful, taking care of our room, making cute towel animals and if you needed anything he would get it. Diana in the buffet very helpful, always offering to carry are food to the table. And you have the best cruise director in luz and assistant joey! I could go on and on! We also saw one of my granddaughters swim with the dolphins. Then my sister and i did a bus tour of the island of bermuda! I had flown there with my husband in the past. So all and all a great vacation i was relaxed. A much needed one. I would recommend a cruise to anyone! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We always sail with NCL. We enjoy their ships and services. We usually get the drink package, dinner package for free, and on our next cruise we are getting the drink package, dinner package, free WIFI (100min.) and 50$ off ever shore ... Read More
We always sail with NCL. We enjoy their ships and services. We usually get the drink package, dinner package for free, and on our next cruise we are getting the drink package, dinner package, free WIFI (100min.) and 50$ off ever shore excursion. We are very comfortable and we know what to expect. We are also the type of people that go out on our own and walk most ports. We drove to Southampton, UK from Germany. Very easy to park and find cruise port. We like that most of the cruises we have gone on with NCL do not have a lot of young children. We are a mid 50, couple who travel together and like to party. The Spirit is NCL smallest and holdest ship. It is going in for refit in Feb 2020. They were always working on the ship to keep it well maintained in the common areas. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with ... Read More
NORWEGIAN EPIC REVIEW Some background on me to begin. I’m a 32 year old male bachelor. Norwegian Epic was my 17th cruise overall, and the 2nd that I’ve taken with NCL. Others include 9 with Celebrity, 5 with MSC, and 1 with Carnival. Like many of my cruises, I sailed with my 76 yr old father who has some health issues. —And although, it’s a cruise to spend some father/son time together as we live in different states, he usually goes to bed quite early, and I enjoy the night life well into the wee hours of the morning… So, inevitably It ends up becoming a “singles” cruise for me. Before I describe the ship and everything else about this amazing cruise, I think it’s important to point out a Difference with Norwegian as I see them.... First off, this is not going to be a doom and gloom review... As I do view this cruise, and ship very favorably.... But I’ll start out with a fundamental disagreement that I have overall with NCL. As Compared to the other lines that I’ve sailed with....(Twice now with NCL), they are the Kings and Queens of overly casual. Very few people dress up. I guess that I’m a rare traditionalist millennial when it comes to this opinion....I wear a sport coat often to work, and that’s in south Louisiana where it’s needless to say, quite warm for most of the year. I also, as a bachelor enjoy when women take the time dress up. Cruising is the last romantic way to vacation. There’s something about going to sleep at 2AM with a bottle in your hand in the middle of a beautiful ocean and awaking in an exotic location somewhere in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Buuuuttt, in a nutshell, I guess that I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “Freestyle Cruising”. —It’s not so much the dress attire that turns me off, it’s the fact that very little if anything is structured at all. For instance, virtually every other cruise line particularly my 2 favorites (Celebrity and MSC) have two main entrainment shows per night. —You organize your dinners(whether it’s a specialty restaurant, or one of the main dinning rooms around whichever show that you choose to attend.) —It’s a real simplistic way to cruise. There’s no overthinking it...It comes a little more natural. Freestyle cruising is more like trying to decide most of your shows, dinners, and evening hour activities on the first day of the cruise or even pre-cruise. Nothing is actually “freestyle” about it... You’re forced to decide your show times, or speciality restaurant times or even dinning room times in some cases by the end of the first evening unless you want your dinner at 11pm. I get what Norwegian is trying to do with freestyle cruising. —I understand that they want to give passengers options...And I truly see why they’ve had so much success doing this... **But I also see why other lines have been reluctant to head in their direction. And I get it now. ON TO THE POSITIVES: The EPIC might be the perfect cruise ship for the Mediterranean. It’s not quite Norwegian’s best or biggest ship. As I thought that the ESCAPE(which I sailed in 2017 was nicer and much more updated and had better social gathering points and creature comforts and cabins). But it has all of the things that modern cruisers want(including me). Plus your itinerary, and getting to see some of the cradles’ of civilization(especially those in Europe) is something to greatly credit. Although the ship holds over 4000 passengers, you rarely ever feel crowded. That’s a small advantage to a ship that was built 10 years ago, as opposed to some of the newer ships that are only a few years old that I’ve taken recently. The ship was also refitted 5 years ago... So you hardly notice any wear and tear at all. The ship also flows very well. Unlike some of the newest ships, there’s very few instances to where you can’t walk from one end of a deck to the other. —It really helps with getting around. EMBARKATION: A+ If you’re reading this about to take a Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona or Civitavecchia, do yourself a favor and opt-in on the transfer from the airport to the cruise port. —You can do this directly on the NCL website. Well worth the $50(round trip) per person. So $100 total for two people. We were sailing out of Barcelona and took the transfer charter bus from the Barcelona Airport to the cruise port(which took around 20-25 mins or so with traffic). —It’s only about 10 miles apart. It really is the easiest route to go. The cruise port check-in was a breeze. Maybe 20-25 mins from entering the port to stepping on the ship. Barcelona only has 3 cruise ships on a Sunday, so it doesn’t seem to back up with people quite as much as Miami, or Lauderdale. Also, we arrived pretty early at the port as our flight was a red-eye into Barcelona. (We were on one of the first transfer buses from the airport to cruise port)....And credit to Norwegian for allowing you into your stateroom by noon. It was great to set down cary-on bags and get a view of the stateroom before exploring the ship. THE SHIP ITSELF OVERALL: A- I found the ship pretty easily navigable. My advice would be to take the time to really explore the ship on the first day, and you should be pretty good to go by day two. I tend to explore any ship that I sail as much as I can on the first day and make it a point to have a drink at every bar. —That usually gets you around pretty well ;) My advice, if you’re sailing the Mediterranean, and flying in that day from the U.S., make sure to do a little exploring around the ship before you pass out for your cat nap before the vacation begins. STARTING FROM THE TOP The Pool Deck(s): A+ The Pool Deck is spacious, and really has A TON of deck chairs that they’ve found every nook and cranny to put in. Like most cruises, deck chairs fill up quickly with towel clips, bags, and magazines holding chairs for sometimes hours before they’re actually occupied. But, I legitimately found very little overcrowding on any of the pool decks(including the actual pool deck 15). There was always available lounge chairs at any time of day(including sea days). Like the majority of newer NCL ships, slides and kiddo pool areas take up a large portion of the deck, but they really weren’t a nuisance(even if you’re looking for less kids and more relaxation).... If somehow the slides or kid areas near the main pool do bother you, EPIC smartly made “Spice H20” which is a smaller pool deck towards the back of the ship also on deck 15. —It’s an adult only pool. But I seriously found plenty of relaxing areas in the main pool area. Spice H2O also has several nighttime parties throughout the cruise. There’s also a Pool deck up high(even if you’re not a Haven passenger) on Deck 18. You access this via the main pool deck right near the outdoor part of the Buffett. Not much on 18 except deck chairs. The Bars/Lounges/Clubs: A- EPIC really does have a solid variety of bars to satisfy most tastes. I really enjoyed “Shakers Martini Bar” as the best overall bar itself. VERY VERY good drinks. It’s also near several of the speciality restaurants on Deck 7, and is right above the casino and near the theater. “Shakers” also has several pianists who play sing along music in a subtle non-annoying way. My other favorite drinking spot on the ship was “Bliss Ultra Lounge”. It typically starts off in the evening as a karaoke bar, and transcends later in the night to a full night club. Trust me, if you’re young and single, this is most likely where you’ll find your cruise romance lol. There were other honorable mention bars as well. The main pool deck bar(name escapes me as I write) is one of the largest pool deck bars at sea. Although it’s probably one of the most crowded on the ship, again you rarely have to wait more than a min or two before your drink order is taken. Also, if you’re a big craft beer person, O’Sheeans Irish Pub is very popular. O’Sheeans also has bar food like wings, cheese sticks ETC... Casino, Shops, and General Areas B+  As it’s well published, NCL EPIC has one of, if not THE largest casinos at sea. It seems to go on over half of the entire Deck 6. Stretching from Manhattan Main Dinning Restaurant(rear of the ship) all the way to O’Sheeans Irish Pub(which is mid-to-forward of the ship) If you like the tables, slots, or simply watching the action like me, It’s truly a massive entertainment center of the ship. If you’re a player, this is YOUR SHIP. SHOPS: Some of you might not care much about the shopping of the ship considering the destinations within your itinerary. I found the shops decent. (Not great/not bad)… The best store in terms of variety on the ship is the cosmetics and fragrance store(don’t remember the name). The watch store also has a pretty good variety. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. Seems to have fewer shops and duty free alcohol stores or much smaller than ships equal of Epic’s size. —Not a big deal as like me, I’m sure very few of you choose a ship for the shopping. GENERAL AREAS: The general areas on Epic are pretty good minus one glaring exception…The vast majority of newer ships have main promenades(which serve as the central gathering points of the interior of the ship). —You’ll typically have bars, a dance floor, restaurants nearby, and a view of either 3 or 4 decks at one time. --Those of you who like Celebrity know that that area of the boat is near the martini bar on Solstice Class ships, and the Edge. Those who like MSC know that that area is around the Swarovski Staircases. NCL EPIC doesn’t seem to know where to send people in the interior, and it almost spreads people out too thin, limiting the action and interaction between passengers. Again, seeming to cater to the “Freestyle” cruising idea. In other words, “you choose wherever you wanna go”....Even Norwegian’s newer ships like the ESCAPE do a better job having a true main promenade. Again, some of you might roll your eyes at that, or think that I’m knit-picking on that one. But, if you cruise often like me, and aren’t necessarily entirely loyal to one line, you might get what I’m trying to say. The interior of the ship is very very nice though with lot’s of variety. No complaints at all about the condition of the ship, or the décor. All very nice! –I’m sure that this was improved during the refitting in 2014-2015. THE FAMED AND CONTROVERSIAL EPIC STATEROOM LAYOUT DEBATE: B+ Like pretty much all cruise ship cabins, it was small and served it’s purpose. Like I said earlier, I am a 32 year old bachelor... and although I always get a balcony room on any ship that I sail on, I can’t tell you that I ever spend much time in my state room other than to sleep and get dressed. But, for what it’s worth, the state room was very nice, and modern. You are on a cruise ship to have a good time, and be around other people, and get some sun. —You can’t do any of those things by staying in your room. One huge plus is the closet/drawer space. —Amazing for your sized stateroom. On to the big debate about the bathroom lol... I’m sure that most of you have read the controversy over the bathroom set up. There is no doubt that many others have nailed the fact that it is definitely unconventional....The toilet is on one side of the entrance of the stateroom with a sliding fogged glass door for privacy. And the shower is virtually a twin copy of that on the other side. Then, the sink is just outside of the shower openly in the stateroom. —I really think people overly pan this situation unfairly. —It’s really not that bad. One big argument to play the devils advocate for those hatters of this situation is that if you’re a married couple, one spouse can shower while the other is using the sink to get ready without being on top of each other like you’d be in a regular cruise bathroom. Also throw a kid into the room with that couple, and it’s logical and realistic that a wife can be doing her makeup at the sink, the husband is showering, and the kid can still use the bathroom all at the same time without stepping on each other. What other conventional stateroom can you do that in??? It’s really NOT THAT BAD. Buuuuutttt, strange layout nonetheless. THE PASSENGERS AND CREW: A+ This cruise had a very fun crowd! I was absolutely shocked at how many millennials and Gen-“X”ers were on this cruise considering the expense for American’s to take a Mediterranean cruise, and the added costs associated with traveling to get to Europe in the first place. But, there were many young professionals on the ship. Norwegian seems to do a great job at attracting younger passengers without stooping to the spring break Carnival college kid crowd. Although there were lots of younger people on the ship, NOT ONE AGE GROUP seemed to dominate the masses. One of the most balanced cruise crowds that I’ve ever seen. I was shocked at how balanced the crowd was. Also, tons of single millennials on the ship to hang out/flirt with. I’m not saying that I was necessarily looking for a “target rich” environment… But It certainly makes things more interesting if you catch my drift haha. ***Although, I have no data to back up my numbers…. I would guess that the age of passengers on the ship was: 30% Gen X, 25 % Millennials, 20% Baby Boomers, 15% Seniors, 10% Gen Z/Children Nationalities on board were: 45% of passengers were American, 40% European, 10% Latin-American, 5% from other parts of the world. Crew: I cannot say enough great things about the EPIC staff! These people, no matter whether they’re a stateroom attendant, buffet bus person, or an officer were simply perfect. They’ve mastered the art of service. I would give you specific examples, but we’d be here all day. One thing that I’ll point out was the bartenders were great! All were friendly, fast, and after a few days would remember your drink. —Truly remarkable for thousands of people circulating in and out week after week. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS, MAIN DINING ROOMS, AND BUFFET My father and I ate at 5 of the 7 speciality restaurants on board. This isn’t super typical of everyone who adds speciality dinning to their cruise, as most people will eat at between 2 or 3 restaurants. In no particular order, opinions/grades on the 5 that we ate at: * Le Bistro (French) B+ The food at Le Bistro was pretty good. Not great. I heard several others sitting around us that they were really enjoying the cuisine but there’s a huge caveat for me with the fact that I’m from Louisiana and live in New Orleans. Please understand that I have access to some of the best French food available in the US on a daily basis. * La Cucina (Italian) A+ The food at La Cucina was excellent! Great starter salads, beautiful charcuterie board/antipasto and ton’s of Italian favorites. I had the veal and it was excellent! * Shanghai's Chinese Restaurant B- The meal was decent. But Not nearly the best Chinese food that I’ve had at sea. Much better Chinese on Celebrity Equinox....Called “Silk Harvest”. Their biggest problem is that they are missing some of the American favorites of Chinese. No General Tso Chicken and many other thing’s that Americans would expect from a Chinese restaurant. * Cagney’s Steakhouse D+ Unfortunately one of the worst meals that I’ve ever had at sea. I ordered my ribeye “medium”, and it came out still mooing. Also, the ribeye was 50% fat. I love ribeyes and cook steak often at home, and understand that that cut of meat will have extra marbling, but this was absurd. My father ordered his steak medium-well, and it came like a piece of leather. We both ended up just eating our salads and sides(which were fair at best), and cast aside the steaks. —The staff tried to make it right though. (Plain and simple, Cagney’s just sucks. Tried it on the NCL Escape as well, and thought the exact same thing). —You’d think a steakhouse would be one of the easiest to operate. * Teppanyaki (Japanese hibachi) A+ This was the second best meal that we had behind La Cucina. The food was excellent, as was the enjoyment of the hibachi experience. And the hibachi chef’s were entertaining and hilarious. The food was excellent. Great variety of Steak, chicken, shrimp, muscles, veggies, and rice. ***As you can see from above, 4 of the 5 were good, with 2 being great. Very disappointed in Cagneys on both the Escape and the Epic. MAIN DINNING ROOMS: A+ There are two main dinning rooms on EPIC. “Manhattan” and “Taste”. Manhattan is a little dressier with a little bit more formal setting. Whereas Taste is a little more laid back with more of a traditional menu. We only ate at Manhattan once, and both really liked it. —Very similar menus and atmosphere to other comparable ships. BUFFET: A+ Good choices for breakfast and lots of variety. Pretty typical for a mega ship buffet, but added variety. They seem to a little better job on breakfast than other lines (particularly with omelette stations)... They have omelette stations and other quick to order stations all over to try and get it to you fast. Although we only ate lunch once at the buffet, again there was a good variety of American favorites and various salad bars, and other ethnic cuisine. One thing that we loved was the burger/grilled items outside near the pool deck. Easy to grab lunch and to get back to your deck chair. ENTERTAINMENT: B+ If you remember my opening, you know that I don’t particularly care for “freestyle cruising” because of having to schedule everything so early... Nothing is more prevalent of that than the main theater shows on EPIC. THE SHOWS: “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor," are the Two main headliner shows in the theater. Both were entertaining and high energy. Really liked “Burn The Floor”. Drag isn’t necessarily my thing, but still thought Priscilla was hilarious. Unlike most cruise lines, I do give NCL a lot of credit for their (what I call) “sub-shows”. —Which are smaller venues with comedians, or other shows within smaller venues around the ship. The best show on the ship hands down was called “Cirque Dreams Epicurean” Held in the “Spiegel Tent”. —Which a smaller dinner theater near the main theater. Given the small theater and the rapid changing of the various stages, you feel like the actors and acrobats are right on top of you! It’s interactive as well! There is a charge for this show as they serve dinner as well. It was about the price of a specialty restaurant. Book early! The shows fill up rapidly and were sold out for most of the cruise. Another “sub-show” was “Howl At The Moon” located in Headliners Comedy Club —Free and open to anyone, three musicians play various instruments and take requests from the audience for hours... They were AWESOME! Plus, you can come and go as you please. They typically play for about 4 hours. 8-11PM is clean in case kids are there. After 11PM is uncensored(which is more enjoyable) Speaking of Comedy....One MASSIVE negative which robbed my ENTERTAINMENT GRADE OF BEING AN “A” was no comedy show at all! —Not Even in the comedy club! —I’m not sure if this was just for this cruise, or whether NCL plans on ceasing comedy shows or what the deal was??? MISCELLANEOUS POSITIVES: -I found a lot less nickel & diming on EPIC. -One of the biggest varieties of speciality dinning, along with free speciality dinning options. -The ship really does well with excursions which is important when you’re in Europe given the language differences. -NCL Might have the best premium drink package on earth! Way less expensive than Celebrity and MSC, and you can order virtually anything. They also don’t “drink count” as I call it. In other words, if I ordered two drinks at a time, I didn’t need two cruise cards. They just did it(Believe me my friends, that is rare) MISCELLANEOUS NEGATIVES: -The WiFi was the worst I’ve ever had at sea. Mind you that both my father and I bought the premium unlimited packages on that. Had to constantly re-boot and try for sometimes 7 to 8 times to just to sign on. I get it, I was on vacation and some of you will say that I should’ve unplugged. But, I’m in management with a media company and have to check my email once a day during weekdays for emergencies even when on vacation. -No free bottled water. —Seriously. With a premium drink package, you can order all the Patron, Grey Goose, or Johnny Walker Blue Label you want, BUT NOT bottled water unless you want to pay out of pocket. Otherwise, you get a glass of tap water. Never seen that on 17 cruises except this. IN CLOSING: This cruise was amazing because of the three main factors. 1.) The itinerary, 2.) the people on the ship 3.) the crew. Yes, the ship is nice. But you’d be dazzled by some of the newer ships that other lines have come out with recently. I give the overall grade of B+ to the entire cruise. Inconsistencies in the food, the WiFi, freestyle cruising and a few lesser things narrowly cost EPIC an “A”. —Still a great cruise. Cheers to you on your next voyage! -Matthew from New Orleans, Louisiana Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Embarkation was simple and easy. Went right into ship. However, very little direction given once you were on the ship. Room - Room was nice 9244. I suggest that room if you can get it as it has an oversize balcony. Service in ... Read More
Embarkation was simple and easy. Went right into ship. However, very little direction given once you were on the ship. Room - Room was nice 9244. I suggest that room if you can get it as it has an oversize balcony. Service in the room is far below what we have experienced on Royal Caribbean and/or Carnival. Simply, he made our bed and changed towels. Nothing more. The issue in the room was he charged us on the first day for a bottle of whisky and a red bull. However, we had never even opened the refrigerator. We finally (on the last day) got the charges off. The service wasn't bad it was just nothing like other cruise lines. Food - Simply put the idea of free style dinning is a farce. They tell you that you can choose from many different restaurants every night that are complimentary. However, they all serve the same menu. The food was usually luke warm at best as it is made in a central kitchen and then delivered around the ship. The food was simply mediocre. I have had better food at a Dennys. The first night we ate at O'Sheens (not sure how to spell it) it was without a doubt the worst service and worst meal we have ever had on a cruise ship. We were provided three waters and then our "waiter" took our order. Then we never saw from him again for over an hour. When they did finally deliver our prime ribs, they were disgusting. WAY over cooked and not even warm. The waiter set them down and walked away without speaking. It was so bad we simply left and went to the buffet. The buffet on the 15th floor is pretty good actually. Well staffed and well stocked. The service and attendants were awesome and friendly. Food was what you expected it to be.. Shows - Burning the Floor was one of the best I have seen on a ship, Broadway worthy. However, many shows cost extra money and you had to rush on the ship to make reservations. This is no an all inclusive ship. You have to pay for many many many things. They are constantly hounding you to attend an way over priced art action that is the same art you find on almost every ship and cruise line. Comedy shows were a bit raunchy for what was supposedly a PG13 show. Casino - STINKS, smells like an ashtray. The MALE dealers were almost all rude and unfriendly. The claimed to have $10 black jack tables but then rarely opened them up. The casino is in the central walk was so you are forced to walk through it. Then they are rude to children who stop and look at the lights. The casino was a serious letdown because of the attitude of the dealers. Numerous other players complained about the contrast between the male and female dealers. COMMUNICATIONS APP - DONT BUY IT. IT doesn't work. We spent $30 for all three of us to use it. The phone portion of the app never worked,...... NOT ONCE. We couldnt even call the front desk. The text messaging simply did not work. You would send the messages and the other person would never receive them. When you are using this to communicate with children this is a problem. I went to the desk to ask for a refund and was told they would not do it as it is all done electronically. Trivia games - These games were often and fun. Allowed for lots of people to play and participate. However, it is located next to and beneath an open air bar and many times you could not hear the game or movie that was playing. The staff who manages and run these fun games was outstanding. Children's games. They had many games around the ship and a full game room. However, $160 to play a video game is unbelievable. These are games that are .25 cents. The game rooms were mostly empty the entire cruise. The rock climbing wall only had one person running it with a line 50 people deep. He was eastern European with a serious rude attitude. The head three ropes and courses but only one attendant. The wait time exceeded two hours. Even after numerous people complained there was no change during the entire cruise. Putt Putt golf course did not have enough putters or balls. The game room had many games but not one had all the pieces. This room was a total wast. Both the game room and the library were full of kids screaming and yelling. There were no cruise staff there to maintain it in any way. Internet - When it worked it was "ok" at best. However, the round every minute so if you use it for 1 minute and 3 seconds they deduct 2 minutes. Since it takes a full minute to get connected, you are charged usually 3 -5 minutes to connect. If it is NOT free, dont pay for it. \ Excursions - we did the beach and snorkeling in Honduras. Enjoyed it. However, we basically paid $300 to ride a bus to a beach, borrow a make, snorkel and fins. The lunch that was served was terrible and not very good. This was our 18th cruise and first on Norwegian. We will most likely never cruise with them again. The free style dinning is not very good and the food is mediocre to below average. I would not cruise this cruise line again unless it was an unbelievable deal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and l tried to take in everything you had to offer: Comedy shows: Excellent!!! Dueling piano bar: Excellent!!! They did a fabulous job taking requests and miraculously pulled off 80% of them JP’s Magic show: ... Read More
My wife and l tried to take in everything you had to offer: Comedy shows: Excellent!!! Dueling piano bar: Excellent!!! They did a fabulous job taking requests and miraculously pulled off 80% of them JP’s Magic show: Excellent!!! Sid Norman’s Pour House band: Excellent voices, dancing and chemistry amongst the band!!! Pool party (not my scene, but it looked just like the movies with a lot of smiles, laughs and drinks... oh, and a bouncing beachball) Since the crowded pool was not my scene l was glad that we signed up for the thermal spa package. Not crowded, plenty of lounge chairs and air conditioned (plenty of heat in the jacuzzi and sauna but the AC is really nice when you need it). And also saw Velvet (a great acrobatic show set to music featuring some very talented artists/ acrobats). And everything was spotlessly clean I expected the excursions to be my favorite parts, and even though I had a lot of fun with them, my best memories were on the boat (and that doesn’t even take into account our honeymoon-related activities, which also took place on the boat). Seems most people ate at the Garden Cafe buffet. I wonder if they realize that Moderno, Savor, Taste, O’Sheahan’s don’t charge extra for bfast, lunch or dinner. The food was great!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The quality of the crew, their attentiveness and professionalism was far lacking. It was apparent they did not care to be on the ship. From boarding to disboarding the overall attitude toward passengers made me wish I was not there. The ... Read More
The quality of the crew, their attentiveness and professionalism was far lacking. It was apparent they did not care to be on the ship. From boarding to disboarding the overall attitude toward passengers made me wish I was not there. The quality of the food was horrendous, soups had no whole ingredients and were clearly powdered. I myself was sick the entire trip! The setup on ship was a detriment to anyone not there with a whole family as they corralled guests into areas such as Skyline for evening parties (an area much too small for all guests) and then closed the only place to get a drink when passengers engaged in fighting due to the cramped conditions. The adult only pools/ hot tubs were nearly never enforced! I never got to enjoy the pool/ hot tub areas due to an excess of children present at all times splashing and screaming. When I put forth the money to get a spa experience in hopes of some kind of relaxation I was shorted the whole service (tip to toe) including a collagen eye treatment I never received even after asking about completing the service. It was nearly impossible to find a quiet space or other singles on the ship. I spent more money on this cruise than my last and am utterly shocked by my experience with Norwegian as a whole. No kind of vacation I would choose for myself again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the ... Read More
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the cruise a bit more expensive but well worth the cost. The Epic is a large ship staffed with a great crew that always seemed committed to offering gracious and friendly service. Traveling with a friend, we were able to book and hold a handicap-equipped cabin which gave us a bit more floor space as well as the balcony which was great. The only down side was that the door to the combined restroom/shower was broken so we had to make due with a curtain hung by velcro -- not exactly the best privacy set up but we were advised that the repair was planned for shortly after our trip. Pro's: Amazing fitness center and Spa -- we opted for the daily spa access and took advantage of both the workout area and jacuzzi every day. The food was always good and because of the variety offered, even the most picky eaters will find ample options. The kids on board seemed to really love the pizza and I agree -- it's very good! The water flume rides are fun and the wait times were reasonable. The entertainment was also top notch. Con's: Very few issues to mention but here are a couple: the ice machines in the restaurants were overwhelmed at times and sometimes the crew could not keep up with the demand for clean cups. The piped in relaxation music in the spa is just one short tune played over and over. They really need to add more relaxing music because the monotonous one song detracts from the calming experience. While the public restrooms were kept clean, there were some metal support pieces in the toilet stalls that seem dingy and need to be polished. I also noticed that some painted surfaces outside the dining room windows that were showing rust. Lastly, the swimming pools themselves are very small for such a large ship. The water in the pools was also very warm and not refreshing. The ports of call on this trip were interesting and the excursion options were plentiful. To be able to visit three countries in 7 days and only unpack once is definitely a great reason to cruise and overall the NCL Epic was a fantastic vessel for my summer vacation! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I've been sailing with Norwegian for many years. My first time on board the Sun. The cabin was excellent, the overall decor of the ship was very well done. However, unlike the alcohol the beer selection was very limited with basically ... Read More
I've been sailing with Norwegian for many years. My first time on board the Sun. The cabin was excellent, the overall decor of the ship was very well done. However, unlike the alcohol the beer selection was very limited with basically domestic beer. The food in the buffet was not what I've experienced on the Epic. Overall, the selection was limited, tasteless and totally unappetizing. We decided not to dine at the dinning room but bought a dinning package which turned out to be a great choice. Their food and service by the staff was outstanding. Well worth the extra cost during the cruise. On another note, the nightly entertainment was very good from Broadway type shows to Comedy. The staff as usual very accommodating and professional. Our embarkation was a breeze on board within 30 minutes. I will continue to cruise with Norwegian but would rather sail the bigger ships in the future. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First of all if you have never been on the Jade before some of the changes you will not know off. The ship is very clean with excellent bar and waiter staff who are so helpful and friendly. Having sail before on the jade we have notice ... Read More
First of all if you have never been on the Jade before some of the changes you will not know off. The ship is very clean with excellent bar and waiter staff who are so helpful and friendly. Having sail before on the jade we have notice some small but important changes, Cabins very clean and are of average size and the balcony are very small (not worth £10 never mind the £1000 they charge. forget about having breakfast there its far to small. (comparing to the celebrity ships) If your are not a smoker forget this part, smoking areas have been cut back. One half of the top bar which opens at 2 in the afternoon and closes early so your left with a few ash trays on port side which is always crowded with smokers. (no where to go) also if you are not a player in the casino you cannot smoke. WHY? As for the casino the staff seem to be very poorly trained if they make a mistake in the payment off hands be prepared for them to say 5 minutes later that THEY made a error on a hand and want their money back in front off everyone at table. This happen on 5 occasions once with myself which was very embarrassing they just don't care. Stopped playing after this after wanting to make a formal complaint you cant, just a apology from manager and a offer of a drink (we have a drinks package thankyou) Finished off by wanting to tell us a Irish joke we are from Ireland talk about rubbing salt into a wound. The dining rooms are excellent quick service excellent food could not find fault in any of them. Entertainment was very poor in the theatre unless you like volin or magic. not one show on entire cruise. No stage shows with cast just individual artists. Shore excursions were very very expensive luckly we have been on lots of cruises and have been to many of the places before. Please do not get me wrong this was our third time with Norwegian cruises but standards have dropped badly, would I go back not a chance, when you see what others offer at sometimes a cheaper price I would say think very carefully its a lot of money to make a mistake. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We love the med cruises and wanted to cruise again with the Jade after her dry dock. The ship is in excellent conditions and the refurbishment shows its effects. The Atrium is just gorgeous. The speciality restaurants are very good ... Read More
We love the med cruises and wanted to cruise again with the Jade after her dry dock. The ship is in excellent conditions and the refurbishment shows its effects. The Atrium is just gorgeous. The speciality restaurants are very good and we loved the new location of the Moderno, serving excellent meat as in Brazil. Service allover is perfect . We were a little bit disappointed with the quality of the buffet and thought it was much better in the past. Breakfast service in the Great Outdoors should be improved to match the other parts: empty milk cans every morning,1 day toaster not working, another day one coffee machine down. Improvement needed on: - the mineral water which is not a true -mineral- water and is therefore way too expensive - reservations management of the specialty restaurants; they say full but often empty tables during a long period of time - wifi performance: sometimes very poor even at night when everybody sleeps ! Great entertainment almost every evening, excellent shows. Don't miss the show on the penultimate evening. Shore excursions: we took 2 tours organized with NCL and we were glad we had private arrangements in the other ports: expensive compared to renting a chauffeur-driven vehicle, local operators not always under control, huge delay in Livorno which made us missed a spa arrangement. Embarkation in Civitavecchia: ok according to the circumstances; NCL does its best to cope with the poor local facilities. we had to wait for more than 1 hour with some fellow cruisers for a shuttle at the official bus stop Molo Dei Bicchiere ( no NCL local number to call) Disembarkation: quick and well-organized. Read Less
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