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Cruise Ratings
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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this particular cruise to try out the bigger ships (had to try the go Karts) The embarkation out of Seattle was not a good experience, not even taking the construction into account. Of course there were huge lineups, but only ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise to try out the bigger ships (had to try the go Karts) The embarkation out of Seattle was not a good experience, not even taking the construction into account. Of course there were huge lineups, but only The Haven and the regular line was available. What happened to Platinum and suite lines? There also seemed to be 2 levels and one Haven couple was sent from one level to the next only to be told go back. Very confusing. We were not given a Group # card, I assumed because Platinum got on early. But when I asked as handicapped were getting on, I was told "you must have gotten here really late.....no actually we were among the first to arrive.. Once onboard everything went smoothly. We had an Oceanview at the very front overlooking the bow. Great view of the "burgy bits" while staying warm. Trick to get a window in the dining rooms, go right at opening. Love being able to make reservations. There were computer screens all over the ship to make or cancel reservations, or see how the restaurants were filling up. The observation lounge was really nice, windows all across the front and quite a few loungers (although I never managed to snag one). The 2 shows and 2 comedies we saw were excellent. Costumes were incredible. Food was great no matter where you ate. All in all a great trip. Did not do any excursions because we have been to Alaska many times, but would go again, just for the trip...lol Disembarkation went much smoother I'm glad to say. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This one was the only one that we could find that spent an overnight in Cuba. We also liked that it was a short trip because it was my and my sister's first cruise experience. They had numerous promotions at the time that we booked, ... Read More
This one was the only one that we could find that spent an overnight in Cuba. We also liked that it was a short trip because it was my and my sister's first cruise experience. They had numerous promotions at the time that we booked, which made our experience even better - especially the specialty dining promotion that my husband and I used to celebrate our anniversary. The cabin was larger than I expected and the cruise decor was lovely. There were lots of entertainment options for all walks of life and the staff was wonderful. The embarkation process was disorganized and frustrating but it was a small hiccup. Disembarkation was much better. Also, the food at the buffets were hit or miss but there were several options to at least find something to satisfy. I loved visiting Cuba and wish the cruise would have stayed longer. As for onboard entertainment, their main DJ SUCKED. He played the same songs over and over and it included a lot of techno remixes, which appealed to a small portion of the crowd. He really needed more versatile music. This was true for the karaoke machine too...needed more options. When visiting Cuba, I HIGHLY recommend researching your own tours versus booking through the cruise line. Even with their excursion credits, we would have paid an insane amount of money. We found local tours that were either free or low-cost and OFAC-compliant. Overall, it was a memorable and lovely experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I are avid cruisers. We're usually among the younger couples on a cruise, but we've literally cruise around the world on many cruise lines and many many ships. But, I had never cruised on NCL. After hearing some good ... Read More
My wife and I are avid cruisers. We're usually among the younger couples on a cruise, but we've literally cruise around the world on many cruise lines and many many ships. But, I had never cruised on NCL. After hearing some good NCL reviews from my inlaws, we all planned a family trip together and off we went... Let me start by saying our first day started with car troubles. It happens. But on our ride down to Miami we read our cruise documents and were a bit concerned with the 2pm deadline to be on the ship. The ship wasn't scheduled to leave until 4:30pm and having been on many cruises, we know some people take their sweet time getting on last minute. Still, we called NCL to be cautious (car issues we had made it a tight window to get there by 2). The NCL rep on the phone said 2:30pm was the cut off. Our in laws, who had boarded, asked and were told 3:30pm. It would be nice for NCL just to be honest and clear with this information. Despite best efforts, emergencies do occur and people need to know the honest time. If they cant make it, let them know and they can turn around before driving all the way there just to be turned around. The embarkation process was smooth as people mentioned. But no, there's no excitement, dancing or extreme friendliness. In fact, the security at the metal detector consists mainly of a group of gril gossiping about their lives and not really caring about the guests. I actually tried to make friendly comments and was ignored because they were too busy with non work related drama talk. But got on board quickly and our room was ready. It's true there was no guidance or assistance, just hop on and go find your room. Room: The room was a balcony and nice size. Plenty of shelf space. My wife LOVED the dryer in the room next to the TV as it actually warmed up and worked. Many cruises we've been on, she's left with wet hair as you cant bring one on board and well...cruise ships are notorious for weak hairdryers in the bathroom. Bathroom was larger than we're used to with plenty of storage. Shower was larger than normal and I liked the glass enclosure so you dont have to worry about water getting outside of the shower curtain because all is enclosed. Balcony was nice sized although I did have to make 3 requests which took 4 or 5 days to have the balcony sliding glass door tracks greased (it made loud squealing noises while being opened/closed which would wake the dead). Steward: a bit weird that he never came and enthusiastically introduced himself. I actually never met him but went looking for him about day 4 about the balcony door and I spoke into an opened room and he was in there cleaning. My wife said he DID check that we got all of our luggage on the first day but I guess we're just used to a formal "Hi my name is ... I'll be taking care of your room." We never had a talk, etc. But our room care was fine. Food: I researched a lot and we chose this for food quality. We were not disappointed. I never ate at the buffet (I'm over cruise buffets). Each night we went to either Taste, Savor, or Manhattan. Food was good and servers were friendly, good, and generally fast. We LOVED Manhattan. All 3 are free but Manhattan clearly shines with decor and dance floor with live music. I had some memorable deserts there. But memories of dancing with my wife were best. Taste and Savor have the exact same menus as Manhattan. Savor and Taste are the same, but across from each other. But are good. O'Sheehans: food was good. SERVICE IS HORRIBLE. I'd try to each lunch here as the menu is tasty, it's not a buffet, and it's free. First day...fine. Second day: I waited an hour and a half and never got my food. People in all tables around me would get up and complain to matrade in white uniform about not getting food, no service, not getting meals although others at table were done already, etc. But there was no look of concern on the guy's face. I sat there and attempted to not add to the drama. He never checked on me once or asked how I was. Eventually I left hungry. I order a chicken sandwich which is all I ordered. Apparently an hour and a half for a chicken sandwich isnt long enough. I went to the hostess stand and asked to talk to him. She called him and asked me to wait. After waiting 30 minutes for a seat and an hour and a half for food that never came, I waited 5 minutes and he never showed. I asked that he called my room. I walked away and a server chased me and said my food was almost ready. I refused to return after 2 hours of being ignored. Btw: I'm 6'4"...I stand out. I didn't think I'd get a call so I called guests services. He returned my call and offered to treat my wife and I to dinner at La Cucina the following night, which sounded good. But the main thing is I wanted service at O'sheehans to improve and be acknowledged. I returned the next day and he was working hard to correct the issue. Seems it took this to get things turned around. Unfortunately, the service at La Cucina the following night was horrible. We never saw our server after our order. People around us left without ordering desert although they were still hungry. Our food was "ok" but not great. My wife thought the salmon was salty. My meal was cold. We weren't offered desert under the "apologized arrangement " so we left and went downstairs to another restaurant. While there we ran into the original matrade who was wondering why we had not had desert at La Cucina. We informed him that we weren't offered it. He insisted on bringing my wife tiramisu from the restaurant and she enjoyed it. Apparently there was another misunderstanding and we should have been offered desert. Anyways, his efforts were appreciated. But bare in mind that that meal would have costs us $120 had we paid (it's an ala carte restaurant) and all meals in free Taste, Savor and Manhattan were better. O'Sheehans is definitely a sore spot regarding service on this ship. Excursions: didn't do any. We've been to these ports many times and opted for walks or beach days. Pool area: full of all sorts of people who never get out of the pool yet drink all day. HMMM...pool was always packed never got near it. SHOWS: Saw Burn the Floor and Rock the Ages. Loved both. Also see Burn the Floor at Manhattan dinner one night. They're very talented. BANDS: Jamaican band in atrium and in Manhattan played hits from many groups like The Righteous Brothers and are great. Activities: didnt do many. The "escape room" isn't really an escape room. Its disorganized and doesn't make sense. We did mini gulf upstairs and it was fun. People did rope course and rock wall and seemed to enjoy. There's 4 water slides. Didn't do casino or bingo but theatre seemed full of bingo players. If you eat at the Noodle Restaurant prepare to SMELL LIKE SMOKE due to casino smokers sharing the space. DISEMBARKING: Great and quick. Inlaws got stuck for nearly 2 hours though. Guess its luck of the draw. Fitness Center: big for a cruise. Tons of cardio equipment. Dumbbells but no barbells. 2 Smith machines. A stretching room and a spin cycle room. I liked how they didnt try to jam spa packages down your throat like most cruises. Comedies: weren't very funny. Photographs: photographers seemed inexperienced and unsure of angles, people arrangement or what to do with rude guests who walk in front of their shots. But I do like how they don't annoy you with photo attempts the entire cruise. Also, the photo area is VERY organized with photos in individual cases, not laid out everywhere. Stores: same ole same ship stores with cheap invicta watches thatv you've seen on ALL CRUISES. Gave cruise 4 out of 5. Would have been 5 if not for O'Sheehans service and watching many people experience what I did many times and on many different days. It's an issue. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
It's one of the few ships that offers a studio room for solo travellers. This makes cruising much more affordable so I can cruise more often. The solo concierge is excellent and ensures that everyone is taken care of and the solo ... Read More
It's one of the few ships that offers a studio room for solo travellers. This makes cruising much more affordable so I can cruise more often. The solo concierge is excellent and ensures that everyone is taken care of and the solo lounge is a great place to escape from noisy children and obnoxious people. The coffee in the solo lounge is the best on the ship. There are plenty of places to dine with The Local being one of my favourites, but Taste and Savour are also excellent The adult area on the aft deck has two hot tubs and a bar and is a wonderful place to enjoy the scenery. It was the perfect place to view the Golden Gate Bridge sailing out of San Francisco. The crew are attentive and the food was always good. Certainly heard no complaints. The port in Victoria was excellent although a long walk from the city, however again no complaints. The weather was perfect and there was plenty to see and the path to the city was well marked. Embarkation in Los Angeles was a breeze and went much better than I expected. Disembarkation in Vancouver was also quick and painless. I would recommend this ship, especially to solo travellers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was appealing and it had good value. We did not have time to explore Miami before we left, but we had been there before and found it to be a nice city if you can handle high humidity. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was appealing and it had good value. We did not have time to explore Miami before we left, but we had been there before and found it to be a nice city if you can handle high humidity. Embarkation went fairly smoothly. We were on the ship by 12 enjoying our first cocktail of the cruise. On the other hand, disembarkation was a complete nightmare. It was the worst experience we have EVER had leaving a ship. The original, final port was supposed to be Barcelona. However, at some point in time, the final destination was changed to Tarragona with Barcelona in parenthesis, which on other cruises indicates an alternate name for the same city or a city located close at hand. Ex. Thira (Santorini) The reason our ship was shunted to Tarragona, which as it turns out, was more than an hour away from Barcelona, was because Norwegian had also scheduled the Epic, a mega ship with our EXACT itinerary. GRRRR! Just hours away from Epic, the Jade was also scheduled & appeared in port at least once with us. That meant a mad scramble for cabs and overcrowding in historic sites and eateries. Also, the Epic was so monstrous, that Barcelona could not accommodate both ships. That meant, our ship was dumped at an industrial port with no clue how to process passengers through immigration. It was a mad house. We couldn't leave on foot because of security. We waited for our own charter bus they wouldn't let in, because all the ship's shuttle buses had priority. (Norwegian had offered to "help" people get to Barcelona for a mere $30 pp. via their shuttles.) While trying to exit the ship, crew members had been given conflicting information about how to direct people and there was an area where 2 different lines were snaking in opposite directions. In short, it was an awful experience and by the time we got our pre-reserved ride, we arrived in Barcelona 5 hours later. This disembarkation fiasco and the double booking of other Norwegian ships at the same ports, will be at the forefront of our minds when considering whether to sail with Norwegian again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I gave this review a very good. Here are the positives: Must see entertainment, Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams of Steam, and Million Dollar Quartet. Casino review: Blackjack very bad to play house had extreme advantage because the Casino ... Read More
I gave this review a very good. Here are the positives: Must see entertainment, Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams of Steam, and Million Dollar Quartet. Casino review: Blackjack very bad to play house had extreme advantage because the Casino uses a shufflemaster. For people who dont understand this the cards played are put right back into the hopper so theres no rhyme or reason as to what card would be coming out next. Poker Tournaments were two days supposed to be 3 days but one was cancelled when private island tour was skipped because of weather at sea. Overall tournaments were satisfactory I wasnt very pleased that after playing an hour or so and there were only 8 of us left that someone could buy in and play the final table with us with a buy in of 100 for 2000 chips and an addon for 4000 chips. It gave a distinct advantage to the new player. Deal or No Deal game was very entertaining. The Spa seemed crowded in hot tub area and was uncomfortable when people jumped in IE 4 guys in one tub just didint sit right with me. Should maybe be some times scheduled for the Hot tub for individuals. Salt room was nice and showers there were very good . Staff and crew members were very cordial and friendly. Maid service impeccable. Casino hosts were very professional. Food everywhere exceptional. Cons: They lost our luggage on 1st night and we missed out on formal dinner with suits and nice dresses because of it. Also when we arrived at Port Canaveral for stopover it was only 4 hours to visit Sea World and after hr drive made it 3 hrs or less. Private Island trip cancelled missed out on snorkeling . Also rooms were lit by a key card and you need this card to use the bathroom too this would have been a nice thing to know upon entering the stateroom. Enjoy Your Cruise!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I were split. I wanted to travel to Hawaii and rent a house/condo and do some island hopping so we could spend more time in each place and he wanted to cruise. The NCL Pride of America offered a bit of both. We spent two ... Read More
My husband and I were split. I wanted to travel to Hawaii and rent a house/condo and do some island hopping so we could spend more time in each place and he wanted to cruise. The NCL Pride of America offered a bit of both. We spent two nights in ports, so you didn't have that rush to get back to the boat which was a nice change of pace. The ship was clean and well-maintained, but the stateroom was a little smaller than other cruise lines. There was plenty of room to spread out and enjoy yourself. Overall the cruise was a great experience and I would highly recommend it. This was our first time cruising NCL, so things were a little different. First is the "anytime dining." We prefer to have a reservation, sit at the same table each night and get to know the wait staff. Here you sit somewhere different every night, even in the same restaurant. We learned once you get on board that you can make reservations at all of the restaurants (except buffet), but you sit at a different table each night. And note, the times fill up quickly, so don't delay if you want a specific time. Turned out to still be really fun because the wait staff were delightful! We met waiters and waitresses from all over the US and they remembered us from night to night. They would come over to our new table and greet us and ask about our day. One staff member saw us in port and yelled to us "Hey, North Carolina friends..." and then came to talk to us. She didn't have to take her limited shore time to say hi, but she did. Another member of the wait staff is Turkish and my mother speaks Turkish, so they spoke to each other for days. I say all of this to emphasize that the personal touch was still there. There were a variety of activities during the day and evening that appealed to a variety of age groups and interests. We particularly enjoyed the piano entertainer/singer as he played music from the 50s to the 90s. It was great because the age range on the boat varied by that or more! We were a little disappointed in a few of the other entertainment options. The show times also made it tough for people who choose to eat a little later. We often dined at 7:30 which meant we couldn't see the later shows at 8 or 8:30 p.m. Yes, we could have chosen to eat earlier or quickly, but we like to hang by the pool until around 4 or 4:30 p.m., go back and take a nap, then get ready for dinner and have a drink before going into the dining room. And clearly, based on what times were available when we tried to make reservations, many others preferred to dine a little later, too. So this wasn't just us. Napa Wine Bar was a delightful place to have a quiet drink and chat before dinner! It was dark and quiet so it really helped set the mood for a relaxing dinner. Our 14 year old son is a sports fanatic, so he enjoyed dropping by the Gold Rush Saloon to check sports scores from time-to-time. The back pool bar also had a TV and we were able to keep an eye on the NFL draft from there. Another disappointment was that they put a great guitar player in the Gold Rush Saloon and that was a poor choice. TVs were on with sports and people were rowdy, so you couldn't hear him. He would have been much better somewhere else. We learned while on the ship that because it sails under the US flag, 75% of the crew members are US citizens. Just an interesting fact since most other ships employ crew members from many different countries. We enjoyed meeting crew members from NC (our home state) and hearing their stories about why they chose to work on a cruise ships when we asked. My parents also traveled with us. My father is a Vietnam veteran and really appreciated the veteran reception the ship hosted. He said there weren't many people there, but it was a nice way to recognize their service and meet others on the ship who also served. There are PLENTY of shore excursions designed to meet your interests, so you are never at a loss for things to do. However, they are pricey. In most ports you can find the exact same excursion for much less if you are willing to do a little legwork. We talked to a lot of people who rented a car in port and did their own exploring. In Hawaii (Hilo I think), there was a Hop On Hop Off bus for $20 that made 7 or 8 stops. A lot of people did this and really enjoyed it! We chose one excursion a day and did most of them in the morning. We were up anyway since we are from the east coast. We would get back to the ship by 12:30 or 1:30 p.m. and that allowed us time to eat and still get some pool/relaxation time every day. We went rappelling down the waterfalls. Note here - this is a level 3 activity and it was every bit of that! IF YOU AREN'T IN GOOD SHAPE, DO NOT sign up for this. But if you are in good shape and looking for an adventure, this is a great one. Beautiful views and super fun guides! Our 14 year old son did this with us and LOVED IT! There are several opportunities to take a helicopter tour. We did ours over Kilauea. I was expecting a smoking/lava volcano and that is NOT what we got, but we are still glad we did it. We saw an older volcano that had the smoke plumes coming out of the top, but Kilauea was just a small fissure and none of them had any lava or red/glowing rocks like you see in the pics. The views were spectacular, the guide gave us so much history about the Volcano National Park and the volcanos within the park and could answer all of our questions. We also went around some of the coastal areas and the views were fabulous! Other excursions included zip lining in Kauai, the mud bugs(ATV) in Kauai, a bus trip up to the Haleakala volcano, and snorkeling and dolphin trip in Kona where we saw 4 or 5 different pods of spinner and bottlenose dolphins right there at our boat! The trip up to Haleakala included a long, hairpin turns filled road. If you easily get motion sick, take some ginger candy and motion sickness pills. The ride up they gave you multiple opportunities to get off the bus and walk around, but there are no stops on the way down. Two people on our bus got sick coming back down. The mud bugs were fun, but it hadn't rained much so the trip was very dusty and pricey. Definitely one you can book on your own. But boy the views were awesome! Lots of movies filmed within the craters where we were traveling, including Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. Finally to the point of the second part of my review title...the extra charges. We paid for everything up front, or so we thought. Once we got on board, both my husband and father checked our accounts. We discovered that you still have to pay taxes on all of your drinks (usually about $0.50/drink) AND you pay $15+ a day/person for tips. We knew we had paid a service charge up front. When we went to guest relations, they explained that was for food and beverage. The other $15+/person/day is for the rest of the cruise staff. We certainly don't mind tipping but that was NOT made clear up front, nor do we recall seeing anything about that on the website. We ended up paying several hundred $$ extra that we weren't aware of. It isn't a big deal for us, but if you have a budget, make note of this and plan accordingly. The other pain point we had was disembarkation. What a cluster compared to other ships. First, you could select your departure time by picking up colored tags. That's great except they put the tags out on Thursday night at 6 p.m. when 1/3 of the ship's passengers were off at the luau. On Sat. morning, we woke up to lines snaking down the halls and room corridors with people and their gigantic suitcases all trying to get on the elevators to go down to the departure floor. The ship offers to take your luggage and you pick it up in the terminal, but it looked like half the ship chose to keep their bags and take them off personally. You couldn't move around all the people and luggage. My parents had an excursion that morning back in Honolulu and barely made it because they were stuck on the stairs for more than 30 min. No one from the ship offered to help them get off and make their tour. As for my family, we chose to put our luggage outside the door Friday night and let the ship's crew handle it for us. So we waited patiently for our disembarkation color to be called...and we waited...and we waited. They kept calling other colors, but never called orange. Finally they put an all call out for any passengers remaining on the boat to leave now. Several of us looked at each other and realized that we were all orange and they never called our color. So we left the ship and went to get our luggage. Three of our four suitcases were there, but one was missing. We filed a report before leaving and it's now 48 hours later and no word from anyone. I looked at our report yesterday when we got home and at the bottom is says, "Don't call us..." and if they don't find our luggage in 7 days they will email us and tell us how to file a claim, but we will only get $100 back for our loss. That suitcase included most of my dinner dresses, a pair of Jack Rogers sandals and another pair of shoes, at least 3 pairs of my shorts and several of our bathing suits, plus other items that I just haven't discovered yet. $100 won't touch the replacement cost for those items. We've also cruised Royal Caribbean and Princess. At the end of the day, if we have a choice, we'll likely go back to one of those. But for this trip, NCL offered the best option. You didn't waste 3-4 days sailing from LA to HI before getting to land. We were able to spend 7 full days on the islands and really take advantage of the beauty and splendor of Hawaii! Bottom line...take the trip! You will love it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Cruise director was wonderful. Waitstaff was kind, rooms were always clean. Atrium bartenders were not great. Shakers was amazing, as were all fine dining experiences. Entertainment staff were a hit or miss. Some were wonderful, others ... Read More
Cruise director was wonderful. Waitstaff was kind, rooms were always clean. Atrium bartenders were not great. Shakers was amazing, as were all fine dining experiences. Entertainment staff were a hit or miss. Some were wonderful, others were rude (without much of a reason) towards guests -I can recall the female British insulting another guest rather curtly and want too impressed. Costa maya is a bust of a shopping port, could do without it as a port since there wasn’t much to do and most of the shops are repeats of one another. If you fond something you’re interested in excursion wise just do it. Although there aren’t many interesting excursions in Costa Maya, which was a bummer. Harvest Caye is a letdown without the drink package. The beach and pool were fine if that’s how you’re looking to spend your day. Cozumel is wonderful! We went to Chichen Itza and loved it! Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. We wished we had more time in Cozumel. Roatan is nice but a bit dodgy in some areas. Just pay a cab driver to take you around the island. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted to see Bermuda, and spend more than one day in port - this cruise fit the bill. Overall, a very good cruise, but there is room for improvement. First, the big positives: 1 - Balcony room was very nice - good bed, largest ... Read More
We wanted to see Bermuda, and spend more than one day in port - this cruise fit the bill. Overall, a very good cruise, but there is room for improvement. First, the big positives: 1 - Balcony room was very nice - good bed, largest shower (by comparison to other ships) we've seen, and a super room steward (friendly and helpful). 2 - Great cruise director and staff - personable and a lot of fun - no shortage of talent there. 3 - Good variety of entertainment options. 4 - Overall, a clean, nice ship. Room for improvement: 1 - While food was good, overall it was not as good as food we have had on Royal Caribbean and Princess. Less variety at the buffets than on Royal Caribbean and Princess. 2 - Maybe it was because it was a busy holiday week (Easter), but the bartenders were not as cheerful as we have seen on other ships. Also, while rest of crew was friendly, we received less "Good Morning" greetings than we have on other ships. While it might seem like a small, minor point, I think it definitely reflects on the overall friendliness of the entire crew. 3 - Deck 6 Atrium is a great place for the interactive shows and contests onboard with its neat high-definition wall screen. However, the overall size was too small for many of the events conducted there, leading to overcrowding and people fighting to get seats there, with the crowd overflowing into the Guest Services area. The situation could have been improved by moving the popular comedic adult games shows to a larger venue like the theater with more room. The games were a lot of fun, but the overcrowding hampered many from truly enjoying the shows. I have discussed the good, the bad, and now the UGLY: 1 - Only one truly poor thing, but unfortunately it was the last impression we had. The disembarking procedure was a horrible joke!! Two hours in a line winding from bow to stern, through halls and mazes in the main dining room, then on to the Customs maze (which only took about 15-20 minutes. No organization whatsoever, and a lot of angry passengers stuck forever between decks on staircases. Although groups of passengers were assigned departure times, none were observed or controlled by the ship personnel. Plus, handling your own bags made things move even slower. NCL - Take some lessons from Royal Caribbean - they have disembarking down to a science. When cruising on the Allure of the Seas, with 6,300 passengers, I was able to disembark, including Customs, in 15 minutes. With 4,000 on this NCL ship, it took another member of our group of friends over 3 hours - a total joke that quickly soured a lot of us to NCL. Again, overall a very good cruise, but if NCL could get its disembarking procedure totally changed, and tweak the few things I mentioned, it could have been a 5 star cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We had an amazing time! Awesome cabin steward, room was very spacious although the sofa/bed where my son slept was not so comfortable--we didn't know until late in the week to ask the steward for something to help (our first cruise). ... Read More
We had an amazing time! Awesome cabin steward, room was very spacious although the sofa/bed where my son slept was not so comfortable--we didn't know until late in the week to ask the steward for something to help (our first cruise). Food was wonderful, private island was fun. Pool was too small and too crowded. There were actually 2 pools, one was designated for adults only and the child friendly pool was full of 4 and 5 year olds--no fun for my 14 year old. Good news is the water slides were fun and he LOVED the basketball court!! There was more than enough activities on board (we did not partake in some) and the shows were fantastic!!! My son loved the comedians--and most were family friendly! My biggest complaint is the awful dirty ashtray smell from the casino. It was gross and unavoidable. Not sure why they still allow smoking on board, kind of nerve wracking since we were in the middle of the ocean and God forbid there was a fire. We are excited for cruise # 2 next year! Beautiful ship!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise because it was an easy ride to New York port. Also it was going to the Bahamas. We had a great time. I don’t know why I see a lot of negative reviews. We had a mini suite with balcony. It was not very big, but ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was an easy ride to New York port. Also it was going to the Bahamas. We had a great time. I don’t know why I see a lot of negative reviews. We had a mini suite with balcony. It was not very big, but no cabins are. We did not hear any noises from other cabins. The food was very good, but service a bit slow. Being a large ship, it was sometimes crowded in areas but no where to what I expected, so not too bad. Pool is a bit small. We were able to see all the shows we wanted to see without a problem. We sometimes had to wait for an elevator, but we made a game out of it. It is what you make it. Either you go to have fun and do so, or you let little things ruin it. I would do this cruise again. If you want perfection, I don’t know what vacation would fit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Great way to see the Hawaiian Islands. The ship is a nice floating hotel with free food. You travel while you sleep. Friendly crew, very solid entertainment, and well established things to do while at port. Aloha cafe handled the ... Read More
Great way to see the Hawaiian Islands. The ship is a nice floating hotel with free food. You travel while you sleep. Friendly crew, very solid entertainment, and well established things to do while at port. Aloha cafe handled the crowds well and the crew kept up with the crowds. Liberty and Skyline restaurants were well managed and food was quite good. La Cucina gets two thumbs up while Moderno gets two thumbs down. Staff was slow and did not give a good representation of that style of dining. Could not compare to the experience we had while on the Pearl last August in Alaska. It would have been nice if the outdoor (key west bar and grill) was open for more hours and had healthy items to snack on while enjoying the views and great Hawaiian climate. On the one day we did not dock on a pier the process was very slow and the lines were too long. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We had fabulous weather. The ports were very nice and of course the crew were exceptional as always on a NCL ship. However, the ship is too large and too crowded to really give everyone the attention they deserve. Embarking was like ... Read More
We had fabulous weather. The ports were very nice and of course the crew were exceptional as always on a NCL ship. However, the ship is too large and too crowded to really give everyone the attention they deserve. Embarking was like herding cattle. Not like any haven embarkation I've ever seen. Especially since we are platinum latitudes level. Even though we had a haven suite we were unable to enjoy the haven pool area as it was so crowded and filled with children. The elevators were jam packed. The haven epic club restaurant was fabulous. Staff and food were excellent. In fact I would forego the specialty dining and just eat there if I had to do it over again. There are just way too many haven passengers to make you feel you are getting your money's worth for anything other than the restaurant. The concierge, David, never came to our room to introduce himself or check on our needs. If you visited him at his desk there were often long lines. However, his assistant, Lillian, was fabulous. I gave her the tip. Singh, our Butler was exceptional. He took care of everything we needed and was available anytime I needed something. I did not go to any show. Apparently with so many people you had to make reservations. And some were an extra charge. What is up with that??? Even the musicians and singers at the smaller bars were so crowded you couldn't get a seat. I like the ultimate beverage package but it seems that with so many people having this option the servers are no longer coming to take your drink orders. The lines are so long as a result. All in all I was not impressed and felt I did not get much value for the amount I spent on this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The Pearl was it very first cruise 10 years ago and w still love it. But we noticed one thing, the drink lines were very long and it seemed like there were less staff. We still had a wonderful time and we got our credit to cruise again. I ... Read More
The Pearl was it very first cruise 10 years ago and w still love it. But we noticed one thing, the drink lines were very long and it seemed like there were less staff. We still had a wonderful time and we got our credit to cruise again. I tried the accupunture this time, it was okay but I don't think it's a long enough time to get good results. We absolutely love the thermal spa for adults only. It was great to go relax every night and relax in the hot tub that was not filled with kids. We loved the excursions, we always try to do something that's we cannot do where we live. There monkeys and the turtles were definitely the highlight for us. The guides are always informative and interesting to talk to. We feel safer to book with the cruise so we know they will wait if the excursion gets delayed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
All in all we had a really great time on this 7 day cruise out of New Orleans to Cozumel, Belize City, Harvest Cay Belize and Costa Maya. There were 35 of us in our group of family and friends! This was our first ever cruise with NCL ... Read More
All in all we had a really great time on this 7 day cruise out of New Orleans to Cozumel, Belize City, Harvest Cay Belize and Costa Maya. There were 35 of us in our group of family and friends! This was our first ever cruise with NCL and it was very different from our previous cruising experiences, both with Princess. The ship was EXTREMELY BUSY, which is just fine. We expected that given the spring break holiday and the overall carrying capacity of the boat. We really enjoyed the dining and bar/lounge options on this ship. We never wanted for anything in either regard. We love the variety and availability of both. There really was something for everyone in our group. We really liked the cruise director and his staff. They were a lot of fun and very personable. They excelled without a doubt. We enjoyed the different spaces on the ship as well. It could be as slow and peaceful or as fast paced and loud as we wanted it to be and there were plenty of opportunities to enjoy both given the offerings on this ship. And most importantly, there was always something to do for everyone, regardless of their age. Our biggest complaint, and it was not just our group as we spoke with at least a dozen other passengers that felt the same, overall the service was lacking. Our housekeeping service was good, but not friendly at all. Just people doing their jobs, which is fine, just not what we expected given our past history on Princess. The other thing about the housekeeping was the carts were always in the hallways. There was a family with a child in a wheelchair on our floor and they always struggled getting to their stateroom because of the carts. The restaurant staff did their job well, they just lacked friendliness. There weren't a lot of smiles going around. Much like the housekeeping staff, they seemed to be doing their jobs to a satisfactory standard, but they weren't joyful or even friendly. The bar and lounge staff was actually the low light of this journey. And it really was the talk of the ship in regards to anything negative. It truly felt as though they worked slower because almost everyone was on the drink package. The boat was not making a profit with each drink served and as a result it really felt as though they were told to work slowly to limit how many drinks were served. It was also very recognizable in the limited bar staff available. It seemed as though the same couple of individuals were working the same bars and lounges all the time, morning, noon and night. We were frustrated at the slow rate of service but also empathetic because their shifts were LONG, DAY AFTER DAY. NCL needs to find a way to address this for their staff members' sake as well as for their customers. The other disappointing thing on this trip was the price for excursions. We cruise about every 4-5 years, so maybe prices have increased across the board no matter what cruise line you take. But in regards to this trip, our family of 5 couldn't do an excursion for under $500-$600. Our last cruise was not nearly as expensive. The pool area and surrounding bars on the NCL Breakaway leave something to be desired. It is simply a very congested layout. The pool was always shoulder to shoulder and PACKED. The bars had LONG lines and there are no tables mixed in with the loungers unfortunately which made it difficult for the older people in our group to sit with us and enjoy the sun and family time in that area. Again it wasn't awful, its just different than my previous experiences. The staterooms are fantastic. We found them to be very roomy compared to our trips with Princess. Our family of 5 was able to function just fine in our balcony stateroom. Storage, closets, etc. were abundant. The bathroom was bigger than we expected as well. The balcony was sufficient but it would have been cool if it was a little larger. The entertainment on the ship is another hit. From Burn the Floor to Headliners Comedy Club we enjoyed it all. We didn't purchase tickets for any shows that charged a fee, but the free options were great. Bingo, however, was expensive and short. We played once and never went back and that is something we love to do. It just wasn't worth the cost on this trip. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. The staff for that was very helpful. The ports were not my favorite, but that's not the cruise lines fault. Harvest Cay is expensive and EVERYTHING costs money except sitting in the pool or on the beach. That was disappointing. Food and drinks there were VERY EXPENSIVE. All in all we had a great time. We would cruise with NCL again, but we might hesitate to get back on this specific ship. However, if the itinerary was right we would probably do it. New Orleans and cruising down the Mississippi was a VERY COOL experience, everyone should do it at least once! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We were on our honeymoon and decided to go all out. We did the 10 day Oahu explorer trip so we were put up in a hotel in Waikiki for the first 3 days. The bus trips were fun and very well planned. Getting on and off the boat was a breeze. ... Read More
We were on our honeymoon and decided to go all out. We did the 10 day Oahu explorer trip so we were put up in a hotel in Waikiki for the first 3 days. The bus trips were fun and very well planned. Getting on and off the boat was a breeze. The activities on the boat were a little lacking. There is no casino since Hawaii is a non gaming state. Most of the entertainment was geared towards an older crowd, which most of the boat was. Even most of the bars closed early. For as much fun as the trip was I would not cruise Hawaii again. It’s was a long flight and older crowd. I would definitely do the Caribbean again before Hawaii. The shore excursions were fun but again it was an older crowd. The highlight of the trip for us was having the penthouse with our own butler. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this ship based on the destination and port of departure. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and uneventful. The layout of the ship was a little disjointed. There was almost always seating at the bars and the shows. ... Read More
We chose this ship based on the destination and port of departure. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and uneventful. The layout of the ship was a little disjointed. There was almost always seating at the bars and the shows. The specialty dining was impossible to get into if you didn't already have a reservation. The shows were all very good. Not great, but very good. The shore excursion we talked about was not worth the money for sure. Mostly sitting and little real exposure to the island. (Volcano tour St. Lucia) The Bar Staff, was great at The Mixers/Magnums, only marginal at the great outdoors. The Cabin was small but comfortable, more than enough room for how little time we spent in the room. The balcony fit us well. We would take this ship again if the itinerary fit our needs. The food in the restaurants was very good, but the deserts were iffy at best. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I have never cruised Norwegian and they came highly recommended. There were MANY teens and kids on board making it impossible to get Deck Chairs or even a place to sit on pool Deck. While having an international crew was wonderful, they ... Read More
I have never cruised Norwegian and they came highly recommended. There were MANY teens and kids on board making it impossible to get Deck Chairs or even a place to sit on pool Deck. While having an international crew was wonderful, they had extremely poor command of the English language making communication very difficult at times. Our cabin steward was awesome, very attentive and thorough and made the cruise wonderful kudos to Marvin for being a special part of our cruise. The issues I had were very minor but somewhat annoying when you pay that kind of money. I did my homework and planned my own excursions which were not disappointing at all. The food on the ship was second to none and I never had an issue at a bar, I was always served immediately and the drinks were not weak at all. Our cruise director Jacky was phenomenal and energetic although many of the staff often made negative remarks in regard to their salaries, Norwegian and even some of the guests. The entertainment was top notch for the most part although often times the better entertainers were scheduled in venues that were too small, leaving no seats while others played larger venues with many empty seats.Overall great time but I would not be opposed to trying other Cruise Lines Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Ship is in excellent shape. However, it was too crowded and the number of passengers on the ship was too many for the amenities available. The pool area on the top deck was always super busy and it was very difficult to get a chair. The ... Read More
Ship is in excellent shape. However, it was too crowded and the number of passengers on the ship was too many for the amenities available. The pool area on the top deck was always super busy and it was very difficult to get a chair. The adult pool is very small. I don't think the layout on the top deck is very good. There is also a smoking area with open doors so one could smell the smoke when walking by it on the way the the buffet Garden Cafe restaurant. I hope Norwegian ban all smoking on their ships soon. Lots of restaurants and food in general was excellent. No complaints here at all. Cabin was good for 2 adults and 1 12-year old child. Balcony was small but still usable. Washroom is usable by a single person at a time. The service was excellent throughout. The ship waited 15-20 minutes past scheduled departure time as there were cruisers coming back late to the ship every port we went to. Some people are so inconsiderate. Shore excursions were a mixed bag. In Roatan, we went to the Gambalimba animal preserve where you get to have big parrots and little monkeys sit on top of your head, shoulders and arms; lots of fun. Also went to Tabyana beach. Beach itself was beautiful but there are lots of locals trying to sell you stuff. In Harvest Caye we stayed at the resort by the port, which has a huge swimming pool and a nice beach. Be prepared to overpay big time for food and drinks here or go back to the ship ( a short 10-minute walk) for free food. In Costa Maya the water park was fun with ziplining and lazy river. In Cozumel, we did Fury Catamarans snorkling and beach excursion. Snorkling was a joke with about 80 people thrown into the water and bumping into one another for 20 minutes. They should not advertise this as snorkling as you hardly get to do any of it. The boat ride, which took about half the time of the excursion, was actually fun and the private beach (you get about an hour there) was beautiful. Disembarkation was very smooth and we were off the ship in less than 20 minutes. I highly recommend you choose the option where you carry your own luggage out of the ship. We also arranged with Norwegian for airport transportation, which took about 20 minutes. We were at the airport by 8:40 am. Overall, a fun trip with excellent service from the staff and delicious food but the timing in mid March seems to be bad as the ship was overcrowded. Also, the pool area on the ship is not good at all and shore excursions are a hit and miss. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
New ship just wanted to try it out. Needs bigger & more pools! Needs more options after midnight!!! Also no welcoming music or staff dancing as we entered ship. Not festive at all!!! Our steward was very nice but I needed ... Read More
New ship just wanted to try it out. Needs bigger & more pools! Needs more options after midnight!!! Also no welcoming music or staff dancing as we entered ship. Not festive at all!!! Our steward was very nice but I needed to ask for ice every day & he put it in a plastic bag that dripped & soaked my beach bag & 3 handbags!!! My husbands luggage didn’t arrive until Tuesday & the staff were helpful to his needs. The announcements should be heard in our rooms so we don’t have to rush to the door to listen. Also the staff in the photo room were very rude. I felt their deals were unfair & the pictures were poor!!! Our crowd of 22 people felt like it wasn’t easy to find specialty restaurants in fact there were a few we never saw! Also all the entertainment is very short!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Three of us, ages ranging from 42-75, traveled on the Epic for a 5 day cruise (Cozumel and Great Stirrup Cay). We had done our research ahead of time which really paid off! Here are our take aways: EMBARKATION: Easy but long lines. ... Read More
Three of us, ages ranging from 42-75, traveled on the Epic for a 5 day cruise (Cozumel and Great Stirrup Cay). We had done our research ahead of time which really paid off! Here are our take aways: EMBARKATION: Easy but long lines. Lucky for us, we were traveling with someone who was on a knee scooter so we were able to use the elevator and not wait in the line for the escalator. We arrived at 11:30am and were on the ship by 12:45pm. CABIN: We were in a handicap accessible cabin (8188) which was much bigger than most balcony cabins. There was plenty of storage, drawers, hangers, etc. Definitely bring an adaptor because there are only 2 plugs (one European and one American). Our only issue was with the bathroom. The water did not fully drain after showers so there was still water on the floor in the bathroom which made it difficult for people to use the toilet without getting their feet wet. DINING: We took advantage of the "free" 3 night specialty dining plan. We ate at Cagneys (OK) and Le Bistro (AMAZING! So much so, that we went back a second time). Cagneys did not blow us away like we thought it would (our steaks were overcooked). However, at Le Bistro , all of our meals were amazing! The Frisse salad, Scallop appetizer, Mushroom soup, Onion soup, Escargot, Filet, Scallops (main course), Veal, the vegetable puff pastry dish and every single dessert we had were wonderful. The only complaint we had was that it is situated under Cirque so sometimes you would hear a huge BOOM!, and it was the acrobats on the deck above us. We also dined at Taste one evening and Manhattan one evening. Both were good but not nearly as good as the Specialty restaurants. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch, and the food was fine. The coffee at the buffet, by the way, was as good as the specialty coffee shop. Don't waste your money. ENTERTAINMENT: Pricilla and the dance show were both very good but definitely not appropriate for kids. I was surprised at how many people brought their young kids to these shows. Mandy who was our cruise director, the Dailies, etc did a great job of warning parents of the content of the shows. The talent of these dancers, singers and actors was amazing. We were unable to get into Howl at the Moon, etc. If you didn't line up 45 mins ahead of time, you couldn't get in (they didn't take reservations). FREESTYLE CRUISING: Norwegian likes to pride itself on its Freestyle Cruising but it really isn't true Freestyle Cruising. We had done our research ahead of time and knew that if you didn't make dinner and show reservations before you boarded, you probably weren't getting in. Example: We waited to book the Cirque show until we got on the ship, and it was too late. We also went to the Spa at around 3pm on embarkation day to book massages and the only day we could get in was a port day in the afternoon. Sea days were already booked. We met people who didn't book anything until they got onboard and they didn't get to eat all of their 3 specialty dining restaurants nights because they couldn't get in anywhere. My suggestion would be to book everything you can weeks before you board. EXCURSIONS: We did the Dolphin Encounter at Cozumel which was nice but not as nice as the one at Atlantis in the Bahamas. We also did the Stingray excursion on Great Stirrup Cay. That was amazing! Our guides were so knowledgable and helpful. I would highly recommend it. SPRING BREAK: We went during college Spring Break so we were prepared for utter mayhem. And it was! The pool deck was beyond capacity, as was the pool bar. Even though we are early birds, we rarely got a lounger at the pool (deck 18-non Haven side was Ok the first 2 days but then everyone else caught on). All the bars on deck 6 were packed all day long. Deck 7 bars were much more manageable, especially during the day. SERVICE: We had read horror stories about service on the Epic and how none of the employees were happy, etc. We had a totally different experience thank goodness! Our room stewart was so friendly, everyone we passed in the hallways said hello to us, the bartenders (although very over worked) were friendly, and all the servers in the restaurants were very nice and helpful. I think if you have a positive outlook, smile and are friendly to the employees, they will be friendly to you. DEBARKATION: Super easy. We walked off with our luggage at 7:45am and were on the bus at 8am. Side note: we highly recommend Go Port Canaveral for either a Park and Ride or Stay and Ride package. We flew into Orlando Airport, stayed at the Embassy Suites Airport and were picked up the next morning but the Go Port Canaveral bus at 10:30am. The same bus drove us back to the airport after the cruise. All of that was included for one price (~$100 per person). Overall, we had a great time on the Epic. Yes, it was crowded and yes it was crazy with the Spring Breakers, but we had fun! The one thing we missed from other cruises (RC and Disney) is the outdoor decks. The Epic is very dark and closed off. There is no place to walk outside to get away on the Epic (unless you go to the pool deck which is always crazy). The Epic also has very small theaters, etc. The Headliners club should have been built much bigger, etc. Would we go again? Probably but we would definitely try a different Norwegian ship first. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My wife and I went on our first NCL cruise for a onboard wedding of friends. Booked a midship mini-suite on deck 11, which was a convenient location halfway between the recreation decks and restaurants. On the PLUS side - we loved all ... Read More
My wife and I went on our first NCL cruise for a onboard wedding of friends. Booked a midship mini-suite on deck 11, which was a convenient location halfway between the recreation decks and restaurants. On the PLUS side - we loved all the specialty restaurants, having a wide choice of cuisine and delicious food. Went to Le Bistro, La Cucina, Cagneys and Teppanyaki. The best service was at the Japanese restaurant. Food was quite tasty at all places with a wide assortment of dishes. Even the main dining rooms were very classy, since they were split into 3 different locations - Taste, Savor and Tropicana; each with it own ambiance. Loved the Waterfront deck, walking at night around the ship was enjoyable. Entertainment was very diverse, from comics to dueling pianos to dance shows. Recreation was great fun, with several waterslides and a Ropes course on the top deck. On the NEGATIVE side - did not like the crowd of people, over 4,000 total. The worst part was going to some of the smaller shows in the Atrium area, which can only seat 100 or so. For the popular events, you had to get there a hour before to get a seat or stand up. The big shows in the main theater was fine, since you could make reservations for them. Overall, entertainment and food was better than Carnival or RCL but not up to par with Celebrity or Regent. If you love a mega ship and crave lots of entertainment choices, then Getaway is for you. We tend to enjoy the smaller ships, 2000 or less passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I really enjoy this cruise. This a must if you are looking to party in the sea! There was not a dull moment in this ship, the staff (bartenders) are not as friendly because everyone got open bar but a few dollar tip take you ... Read More
My husband and I really enjoy this cruise. This a must if you are looking to party in the sea! There was not a dull moment in this ship, the staff (bartenders) are not as friendly because everyone got open bar but a few dollar tip take you a long way. We stay in a balcony room it was spacious and amazing. I would not recommend this itinerary if traveling with children, this more like a party itinerary, is full all around. It was amazing i would definetly do it again for a fun weekend in the sea. The private island is a very relaxing place. The sushi restaurant is a must is very affordable the bartender Jillmet there is amazing and beyond friendly. Make sure to pack something white for the white party this is a must. Cons- food overall is not the worst but is also not the best, is very average. While in the private island we did jet ski thia was the most exiting and amazing cant wait to it again, and in Nassau we decided to rent a 4 wheeler and drive around the island, this was also very exiting! Love it!! Totally worth it get a bacony room and enjoy the views! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a couples cruise to Asia covering Singapore (2 nights Pre-cruise) Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Hong Kong (2 nights post cruise) as part of celebrating my retirement Positives include quality of the ship (Refurbished in ... Read More
This was a couples cruise to Asia covering Singapore (2 nights Pre-cruise) Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Hong Kong (2 nights post cruise) as part of celebrating my retirement Positives include quality of the ship (Refurbished in 2018), quality of the food & choice of restaurants and shows performed by the ship’s cast were of a very high standard Negatives & where NCL really need to up their game are 1. Lack of organisational skills especially on-shore excursions. We booked 2 thru NCL & both times there was considerable delays in getting bus numbers allocated & getting all guests ashore. Worse was on Koh Samui where tenders were required & NCL only used 5 to transport around 2000 people over a journey that too 20 minutes each way. No surprise that we were 3 hours delayed on leaving port that night!! One other complaint about staff were those involved in teh excursions team. It is normal that they will have local knowledge & experience of the various local ports as well as fact sheets that help guests doing their ‘own thing’. NCL staff had neither & could only provide detail on the shore excursions that they offered 2. Costs - altho NCL came in around the same package cost as other cruise lines the fact they offered extras in the form of on-board credit & internet access anything that had to be paid for on the ship was way more expensive than experienced with other cruise lines. Average cost per excursion was €99 some of which we could have done ourselves at a fraction of the cost. We were also forced to purchase a Visa for Cambodia even if we were NOT going on-shore & staying on the ship. I enquired Pre-cruise & the embassy could provide this @ €35 per person it didn’t state that we would need a visa if we were not disembarking however, NCL billed us €99 per person. Considerable admin fee in my opinion 3 altho the ship’s cast provided excellent shows the acts brought on-board were less than impressive. In fact out of the 5 acts only one, Mary Jess, provided the standard of performance experienced on other ship’s 4. The locations visited were part of the reason we booked the cruise however, was surprised that the ship docked in what can only be described as container yards or working shipyards with the majority miles from the locations that we wanted to visit. For example, in Da Nang it was a 30 minute shuttle bus transfer (@$15pp) to the town/beach & that was the best/closest. Worse was Bangkok (2.5hr drive) & Hanoi (3hr drive) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our ... Read More
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our departure was at 9:00pm) was very quick and easy - as I boarded at 1:00pm. Food in the Garden Cafe was available, and our room became available at approximately 3:00pm. We also booked three specialty dinning options, and our reservation times were all met. Teppanyaki: By far was my favorite. Great service, outstanding food from the edamame, fried rice and sea food selection was all worth it. Cagney’s: Was a close second on favorites. Great porterhouse steak. Le Bistro: Although the least favorite, it was worth the up charge. As for other food options, the Garden Cafe was OK - but not bad. The Venetian, Aqua and Bamboo were all good options if not at the specialty dinning location. Also, classy touch to provide appetizers at the casino later in the evening. We booked a few excursions, however the one that stood out was ANUD1011 Kayak & Snorkel Adventure on Antiqua. At $70.00 per person, we believe this excursion gave the most bang for the buck. Besides a ride thru the countryside, we kayaked thru the man grooves, hiked to a mountain top to view the Atlantic Ocean, then snorkeled. After our boat back to catch a bus back to the ship, water, rum punch and snacks we available. What really stood out was the professionalism and work ethic of the staff. Never a let down throughout the cruise - always courteous, and providing great service. The other thing that stood out was the ship never felt over crowded, and lines were minimal and always moved. If there was any negatives, general announcements were very hard to hear. The smoking room which was located on the sixth floor, sometimes leaked smoke into the bar area - and can be a bit overwhelming for non-smokers. Lastly, our Cabin Steward was very good, and besides the normal gratuities, I gave him an additional tip in person - but he didn’t seem happy. Not sure if I’m reading him wrong, or he was insulted. Overall, an oddly laid out ship really became its strength and appeal. And I took advantage of almost all of the ship, from sunning and swimming, sitting on my personal deck, multiple dinning locations, bars and gambling too - With my experience being excellent. I miss it, and would book another NCL cruise again. Read Less
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