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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: February 2018
We enjoyed this cruise very much Food and service were good Loved the convenience of departing from NYC Entertainment was good We loved the band Sonata Our third cruise on the Gem We would do it again Ultimate ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise very much Food and service were good Loved the convenience of departing from NYC Entertainment was good We loved the band Sonata Our third cruise on the Gem We would do it again Ultimate Beverage package for free was a big selling point Smooth sailing from New York St Kitts was beautiful St Lucia was nice but the locals on the beach were very annoying. They did not take no for an answer. They would not leave you alone..It never stopped I bought a necklace for $20 just to get them to leave me alone..It's worth about a dollar! We left early because of them Barbados beaches were fabulous Antigua was beautiful. Locals were peddling on the beach but they took no for an answer San Juan was raining and we were only there until noon so we did not go ashore. Afraid to venture too far due to the short stop Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Boarded the Norwegian Gem at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. We drove from Ontario and stayed a night in New Jersey. The Hampton Inn Ridgefield Park had a park and cruise package which included a transfer to and from the Pier. The ... Read More
Boarded the Norwegian Gem at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal. We drove from Ontario and stayed a night in New Jersey. The Hampton Inn Ridgefield Park had a park and cruise package which included a transfer to and from the Pier. The Gem is a lovely ship. Very modern and clean. We took advantage of most of the restaurants. We especially had a lot of meals in O'Sheehan's which is hot, fresh food 24hrs hours a day. We only ate in the Dining Rooms twice and had 4 specialty restaurants. La Cuchina and Cagney's were fabulous. La Moderna was good but if you are not a meat-eater it might not be your cup of tea. Lots of medium rare meats are served and they keep serving you until you tap out! We had a mini-suite with a balcony. The storage was over the top! We had credits for Shore excursions but felt they were overpriced. We ended up taking our own taxi to the beach once we arrived in port. A $5 taxi is much better than $59 per person to go to the same beach! The ship has a kiddie pool area and an adult area which is great. Two hot tubs are also dedicated to the adults. They also had a nice BBQ poolside on the dates we were at sea. Entertainment was awesome. We saw a Comedian, a Comedian/Juggler who was a finalist on American's Got Talent, a Comedian/Magician, a Cirque de Solei performance, an Andrew Lloyd Webber tribute and the house dance cast are fantastic. We also went to a lot of the audience participation events like 'Honeymooners' 'Dance Clash' and 'Who's the Best Couple' All I can say is 'Two Wigs!' Anyone who was at the Dance Clash will know what I mean! Lol. Staff was incredible. Lots of friendly smiling faces, 'Washy, Washy, Happy, Happy' is now in our vocabulary. Our steward decorated our room with balloons on my birthday and brought me a special chocolate platter and a spa gift certificate. We had the Ultimate Drink Package but honestly didn't use it much. The drinks were good and service was great .....we just didn't need it. Since you have to pay the 20% gratuity, it really wasn't worth the $400 we had to pay for the free perk. There's no way we drank that much. Next time, we likely won't opt for the drink package. We purchased CruiseNext credits so we will be booking with Norwegian again soon! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Great relaxing cruise from New York City to St Kitts, St Lucia, Antigua, & San Juan. The NCL Gem is a very good ship with outstanding staff. The entertainment in the theater is professional and a good variety for everyone. Other ... Read More
Great relaxing cruise from New York City to St Kitts, St Lucia, Antigua, & San Juan. The NCL Gem is a very good ship with outstanding staff. The entertainment in the theater is professional and a good variety for everyone. Other entertaining musicians were available each evening in sereval different locations to offer a variety. Embarkation and disembarkation was very easy. We used a car service to drops off and pick us up after the cruise. No problems at the pier. The cabin was clean, well maintained. We had an ocean view that was booked about three weeks in advance. Got a good price. Did the zip line tour in the rainforest in Antigua, would recommend it for everyone. There were several older folks, a few children and the rest in the middle in our group. The rangers at the zip line assisted everyone to make it an enjoyable outing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I chose this cruise because it was a music cruise and we've been on several before. It went out of NOLA and that was great. Embarkation went smoothly WE THOUGHT. Shortly after we got on the ship we found out that they dropped our ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a music cruise and we've been on several before. It went out of NOLA and that was great. Embarkation went smoothly WE THOUGHT. Shortly after we got on the ship we found out that they dropped our suitcase into the Mississippi River. Yea, you read that right!! Everything in it was soaked. First off they tried to deny what happened. Then tried to blame it on us. Um....a whole pallet of bags went in! They did launder the stuff but tried to balk at my instructions. I did NOT want our stuff ruined. They replaced the destroyed meds but I had to chase that down. I should not have had to do that. Other than that there was nada. NOTHING! I lost hours of my vacation chasing down things that they should have done. I finally gave up on the NCL staff trying to salvage my vacation. The company that puts the concerts on was great! They offered remuneration and a few perks while on board. That was much appreciated but really, it wasn't their deal. NCL should have been more sympathetic to the customers. If it weren't for the music cruises we love being on the Pearl we'd never EVER do a cruise on NCL again! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Everyone and everything was great. Couldn't have asked for more. Unless you lower the prices and include more than the 1st 2 people in the room to have the drink package special. Great shows. Awesome Waiters/waitresses. So much to do ... Read More
Everyone and everything was great. Couldn't have asked for more. Unless you lower the prices and include more than the 1st 2 people in the room to have the drink package special. Great shows. Awesome Waiters/waitresses. So much to do and not enough time to do it all. We did 2 excursions, Swimming with the rays and Mayan ruin/Spice Farm and both where super good!! Didn't really care for Roatan Honduras, there just didn't seem to be anything to do or see other than high priced shops that wont price haggle with you. Belize is pretty and has a friendly atmosphere. Costa Maya was my favorite of the 4 ports we visited with a trolley or cab ride to the beach with beautiful scenery and lots of local shopping!!! I'm not into working out so I didn't visit the Fitness Center or the Spa. The ship has a very nice large selection of gold and diamond jewelry. I would definitely go for this itinerary again even though Roatan wasn't my thing. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We flew in the day before and enjoyed a lovely day in Cocoa Beach prior to the cruise. Our hotel overlooked the ocean and we could relax and enjoy a beach day before heading to the ship. On the recommendation of TripAdvisor, we went to ... Read More
We flew in the day before and enjoyed a lovely day in Cocoa Beach prior to the cruise. Our hotel overlooked the ocean and we could relax and enjoy a beach day before heading to the ship. On the recommendation of TripAdvisor, we went to Florida's Fresh Grill for dinner and it was by far the best dining experience of our vacation. Highly recommend! We have always liked sailing on the bigger ships and booked this cruise for it's Eastern itinerary and to try NCL for the first time. Unfortunately, due to the hurricanes last season, our trip got switched to Western. Obviously, this was done due to damage at ports, and we did get an extra port because of the change, but it is disappointing to pay for Eastern and get the less expensive Western for the same price. The ship itself was disappointing from first sight. It is very boxy and has none of the styling of previous ships we've been on. It looked like a giant floating hotel, rather than a ship. The layout was awful, from the weird bathroom arrangements to the lack of outdoor space on all but the top decks. Due to the amount of balcony cabins, there was no space on lower levels to get out and explore the ship. Only went on deck 7 once on the outside and there was no view (obstructed by lifeboats) and full of smokers. The casino is in the middle of deck 6 and open to below in Taste, one of the MDRs. There was no way to avoid the smoke and it permeated several areas surrounding it. Even some closed off bars nearby (the Cavern, O'Shean's) were smelling strongly of smoke. I heard many others complaining of this throughout the week. Due to the layouts of decks 5,6,and 7, it was difficult to go from one end to the other without getting cutoff by a dining room or the casino. The shops were also not that exciting, with one (the one with the booze and sundries) being completely separate from the others, making it harder to locate. We also found the deck layout tough. With so many passengers onboard, all looking to get some sun, the loungers were taken up by 8am by chair hogs and with half the deck dedicated to smokers, there really wasn't too many options. The dining was ok. Not great by any means, but hubby and I love cooking and found the food quite boring. It seemed that all the attention was given to the specialty dining so if you wanted a great meal, you had to pay. We have never felt the need to book a specialty restaurant - the MDR food has always been very good to excellent on each of our previous cruises. Three times hubby ordered the steak from the "every night available" side of the menu because there were no appealing options. I ordered the linguine with clams one night and it was really good with the pasta cooked perfectly. Hubby ordered the spaghetti carbonara the next night and it was so salty he could barely eat a few bites. The chicken cordon bleu was inedible, prime rib was awful, there was no lobster night (which has been offered on all of our other cruises), and desserts were boring. Highlights were the braised lamb shanks, steak, and french onion soup. We also had the Cirque Dreams dinner experience and the meal was a caprese salad with prosciutto, filet and garlic shrimp and a trio of desserts. Aside from the steak being a little too overcooked for my liking, it was very well done. The show, costumes and staff were amazing! Entertainment was the absolute highlight of the cruise. Everything was top notch. We saw Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, two comedians and the Epic Beatles. Book ahead of time for everything ( we booked before the cruise for what we could). Every show was sold out during the cruise with some standby seating. The only thing I missed that I would have liked was the Escape the High Top, an escape room type of event. We also enjoyed the Ice Bar just for the experience of it. Drinks were WAY too strong but it was a fun time. Service was friendly for the most part. The washy-washy-happy-happy girl spraying your hands with disinfectant at the buffet was always smiling, our room steward was nice and we had a clean room every day and towel animals most days. The entertainment staff were fun and lively. Bar service was slow but to be expected with the large amount of passengers on board. Bartenders were always friendly but I didn't have a "favourite" that I would recommend. We had only booked one shore excursion (the stingrays in Grand Cayman) and that was cancelled due to the waves. We ended up taking a shuttle to 7 mile beach instead. For Nassau, I researched ahead and planned a self guided walking tour which let us explore on our own. We enjoyed our day there and ended with a light lunch before heading back to the ship. In Falmouth, we stayed only in the secure area and shopped in the port before heading back to the beach. We paid half the price for my husband's watch than was quoted on board. The perfume I wanted was also $20 less in Falmouth than on the ship. We really enjoyed our day in Great Stirrup Cay. It was relaxing and sunny and we headed to the third beach area which was substantially less crowded than the other two. They are building towers to allow for zip lining in the future so there will be lots to do there when it is completed. There were plenty of loungers, and all cabanas and clamshells were sold out prior to our arrival so if that's what you're looking for, book early. People were parasailing, lounging on floaters, snorkeling and generally having a great time. Disembarkation was easy and quick. The lineup after we got our luggage looked huge but only took us about 10 minutes to get through. I would try NCL again but would NEVER want to try the Epic again. Even crew members at the NextCruise desk were quick to let us know that other ships had different layouts. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was the largest ship I had been on. There were alot of people and the elevators could not keep up with it. We waited for endless minutes for the elevators and then when they hit our deck, there was no room for another person. ... Read More
This was the largest ship I had been on. There were alot of people and the elevators could not keep up with it. We waited for endless minutes for the elevators and then when they hit our deck, there was no room for another person. Usually would do the stairs but was traveling with family member that could not do the stairs. Cabin stewart was very friendly but not very attentive. Had to beg to have towel animals on our bed (c'mon thats the excitement of the cabin) forget to give us fresh bath towels and didnt take our plates and cups that were empty in the room. The food was very good. The speciality restaurants were outstanding....definetely try Moderno and Cucina. Cant say enough about the entertainment. The Epic Beatles......WOW! the Cirque Dreams Epicurean was outstanding....Acoustic sessions with Ben....WONDERFUL! all of the islands visited were amazing....nothing to compares to Great Stirrup Cay private island, it was a beautiful day and not a care in the world. Just a few small complaints, but overall enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
`this cruise was complimentary from Akwasasne Casino in our area. `We usually go with Royal Caribbean however NCL is very up to par. `The pool was a bit small but I believe this was to accomodate the seating. What i really ... Read More
`this cruise was complimentary from Akwasasne Casino in our area. `We usually go with Royal Caribbean however NCL is very up to par. `The pool was a bit small but I believe this was to accomodate the seating. What i really appreciated was the staff would see a chair with 'saved' towels on them, they would sticker them with a time and in 1 hour remove the items on that chair if the person was not back. Saving chairs is very juevenile, in my opinion you shouldn't be able to at all. `The tender process was very organized getting on and off the ship. `Disembarkment was the same, very organized. I would suggest the detailed information on the in room TVs be 'slowed' down in order to read. The slides are extremely quick to change and hard to read. I am a quick reader so i think it would be difficult for others as the info is important especially around the Disembarkment process and Border Security info. `The restaurants and food was fantastic, excellent chefs! Quick seating and service. `We paid for the Ultimate Beverage Package - $112.00 each, very very worth it!! you were able to use this beverage card on Great Stirrup Cay as well as for food. `Entertainment inside and out was great, never a dull moment. `Photo selection was easy, binders holding your photos all numbered as per your keycard, so you didn't have to wait in line except to pay for them. As well computers in area to swipe your card and your photos come up. `On all decks in the elevator areas, touch screens offer you to book events, tenders, haircuts, etc, the list goes on. `Bars were quick, we laid a $10 tip the first day and received excellent service all week as well as my husband became good friends with many of the staff, they certainly liked 'Peter the dancer'. GREAT EXPERIENCE AND WOULD CRUISE NCL AGAIN!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This is my 7th cruise and my first on Norwegian and this is my fav so far. You can't beat free open bar. How amazing! I went with my boyfriend to celebrate my birthday with a weekend getaway. We found the ship one of the easiest ... Read More
This is my 7th cruise and my first on Norwegian and this is my fav so far. You can't beat free open bar. How amazing! I went with my boyfriend to celebrate my birthday with a weekend getaway. We found the ship one of the easiest to navigate. The BEST part of this cruise was the entertainment! We did about 4 activities every night from dodgeball, to bingo, to the audience participation shows, comedy shows, and nightly dance and sing shows. We had a blast. I loved the free style dining so we could take our time and not feel rushed. We went jet skiing at their private island and had a blast! We had enought time at each port to really enjoy it. There never seemed to be a long wait anywhere on the ship which was nice. The cabin was average in comparison with other cruises. We loved the cruise director! We would definitely do this cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this 4 night cruise because it was an incredible value, ESPECIALLY considering the all inclusive drink package for every guest on board. We booked an oceanview room - a new experience for me, I've previously only booked ... Read More
We chose this 4 night cruise because it was an incredible value, ESPECIALLY considering the all inclusive drink package for every guest on board. We booked an oceanview room - a new experience for me, I've previously only booked weeklong balcony cruises. the OV room was just fine. everyone that worked for NCL on this boat was a pure delight. Most of the cruisers were looking for a bit of a party and most found it. The Sky is a little older and smaller than other ships we've cruised on but it certainly wasn't an issue. We knew the "limitiations" ahead of time and almost everything we had any concern about turned out to be a non-issue. FOOD - very decent buffet, better than most in peer group. DRINKS - some top shelf brands were off the drink package plan but they were easily identifiable and suitable almost comparable options were readily available. not having to present a sail and sign card for every drink was 100% awesome, a big time saver. we never had to wait more than a few moments for a drink. CASINO - as good as any in peer group SHOPS - somewhat limited. DINING - only did the MDR, very comparable to other cruise lines. SPA - wife loved it. my hidden gem - behind the aft buffet there is a big area outside where you can dine right next to a good sized bar. the entire area is covered by canvas treatment and it greatly reduces wind shear while at sea. I loved eating there after 9pm. suggestions to NCL - update the main theater, maybe with stadium seating? I highly recommend offering Marlboro lights in the shop, that's probably the #1 brand in the usa. odd it wasn't offered for sale. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I booked this cruise to surprise my husband for our 20th wedding anniversary. The price for this cruise was fantastic and the bonus was that all adult beverages were included. We had a mid ship balcony room. The room was more than ... Read More
I booked this cruise to surprise my husband for our 20th wedding anniversary. The price for this cruise was fantastic and the bonus was that all adult beverages were included. We had a mid ship balcony room. The room was more than adequate for two people and the views from the balcony were priceless. The pictures I was able to take looked like they were from a magazine. The cruise we chose was the 4 nights in the Bahamas. Our first stop was Norwegian private island, Great Stirrup Cay. The weather was beautiful and we had no issues tendering to the island. My husband and I rented snorkel equipment and got to enjoy the beautiful clear turquoise water. We had no problem securing two beach chairs in the shade. After enjoying a well deserved nap we did some souvenir shopping at the straw market and then headed back to ship. That night I had the best dessert ever at dinner. If the warm banana soufflé with butterscotch whiskey sauce is on the menu get it. It's soooo good you may decide to get two.....I did! The next day was Nassau. The immediate area to shop was ok, otherwise nothing overwhelmingly special except for the fact the weather was perfect. Our third stop was in Freeport. We decided to book the glass bottom boat shore excursion. It was one of the best decisions we could have made. The boat ride was exciting, you leave from the Lucaya harbor. The water was so clear, we got to see and feed the fish, but the most exciting part was getting to see sharks. You could easily see them from the sides of the boat along with the glass bottom windows. I would recommend this excursion to anyone who gets a chance to visit beautiful Lucaya. The next day we were back at the Port of Miami and heading home. This cruise was more fun then we could ever ask for. I would do this cruise again in a heartbeat!!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
My husband and I had a nice time on the Jade. We enjoyed the tasty food in both the dinning room and buffet. Each evening we enjoyed the entertainment. It was an older crowd on board maybe due to the length of the trip, which was a little ... Read More
My husband and I had a nice time on the Jade. We enjoyed the tasty food in both the dinning room and buffet. Each evening we enjoyed the entertainment. It was an older crowd on board maybe due to the length of the trip, which was a little too long for us. House keeping did a wonderful job keeping the ship in top shape. I had a facial and massage which was worth the money. My husband got a shave which he totally enjoyed. Each day we worked out in the fitness center and never had to wait for a machine. The only concern we have is with our excursion at the Panama canal. We chose the two ocean railroad trip. It was not worth the money and pretty boring. It was just a train ride through the woods seeing some of the canal. They did offer lunch and snacks but that still didn't make it any more pleasant. Our favorite excursion was the snorkel Jolly Roger trip in Roatan. I would take the Jade again, but not this trip. Been there done that. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this ship because of the destinations/ports of various countries...it just happened to be an 11 night cruise. After it's all over I'd say it was just long enough for us. We traveled with 3 couples and I think that helps ... Read More
We chose this ship because of the destinations/ports of various countries...it just happened to be an 11 night cruise. After it's all over I'd say it was just long enough for us. We traveled with 3 couples and I think that helps fill the time. The days at sea were fun and nice to relax by the pool. We had some very rough seas and if seasickness is an issue I'd prepare for it. Dining was good. Not great. We tried about everything that was included. We did not do any of the additional cost restaurants. Jasmine's was our favorite. O'Sheehans - was a fun place but I can't say the Irish food was anything to brag about. The wings were the best thing we had.. Entertainment and activities were very good. Almost too many things to do and you can't do them all. That made for a good variety of activities you could attend all day long. Ports and excursions were good/fair. Harvest Caye it rained and that made for a disappointment of our day. We had rented a $600 villa. We enjoyed ourselves because that is who we are...but I don't think I'd ever go there again. There is no real culture or city to view. It's just a big resort on a beach type feel. Drinks were expensive. It was hard to justify leaving the unlimited beverage package we had on the ship. Because this island is owned by NCL - it would be nice to carry over your ship credit and use it on the island as well. Other ports were nice - just not enough time to really feel the culture. Panama was interesting and nice to say we did it. No need to go do it again. And who cannot have fun in Key West! Magnum's Wine Bar was amazing - if you like wine, you will not be disappointed with the selection of both white and reds. Service was amazing by the ship staff. Bartenders and servers always friendly. Would we do it all over again? Yes - but would not get off on Harvest Caye. Would take a cab directly to old town Cartagena and explore (beware of people approaching you to buy their items). There are many things at each port to choose to do...so yes we could make another choice and probably have just as much fun! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Was actually a music cruise that I attended. The music was fantastic but this review just concerns the ship. I admit I am used to Oceania. This was a first time on NCL for me. I read all the reviews and info previously posted and it was ... Read More
Was actually a music cruise that I attended. The music was fantastic but this review just concerns the ship. I admit I am used to Oceania. This was a first time on NCL for me. I read all the reviews and info previously posted and it was helpful so I just want to add my info. Getting on and off went smoothly. Bought the spa package as I was warned only one smaller pool was accessible (band stage took up other pool). It was $138 pre-cruise and $168 after boarding. For me it was a waste of money as I did not like the thermolasso pool in the common area - basically a big hot tub with strong currents. Not at all comfortable for more than a few minutes. This area is also very noisy so no relaxing here. The women's area has relaxing loungers but they play this "mood" music incessantly and loudly so it is hard to read. There is NO outdoor space. All areas are contained and no fresh sea air. The best thing about it is the salt scrub for the shower. Also, when on this end of the ship and have to use the bathroom, it was convenient to pop in. I would not spend money on this again. Staff was OK to me although my roommate had a problem when her massage appointment was "lost" and they refused to give her the opening day discount (I was there when she booked.) Fitness Center - Actually was excellent. Treadmills were not too bouncy - decks were firm and could watch news. Jogging track was also pretty good - just a couple sharp turns around obstacles. Food - well, mediocre at best. I ate 2 dinners at O'Sheehans Pub, 2 dinners at Summer Palace and rest at Garden Cafe (buffet). Service at O'Sheehans was the best and they have good salads. Service at Summer Palace was very slow and food was not great. My friends said they served sauces on the steaks for a reason. The buffet carving station had Prime Rib one night, rest were chicken or pork. The Indian food station was always a very heavy curry although the Raita and samosas were pretty good. I learned the best dish to eat was the steamed vegetables (always perfectly done) and any bean dish. Whoever the chef was for cooking beans did amazing things. Salad station was curious - only 4-5 different toppings all week until the last day and then had 9. Cucumbers were always there and always had seen better days - mushy and tasteless. I would not do this cruise again for the food, that's for sure. As for music venues - many of the seats in Stardust are broken or slanted down so are not the most comfortable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because I'd always heard good things about Norwegian Cruise Lines and we liked the ports of call for this trip - slightly different than the "usual" Caribbean stops. The ship was amazing - ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I'd always heard good things about Norwegian Cruise Lines and we liked the ports of call for this trip - slightly different than the "usual" Caribbean stops. The ship was amazing - beautiful, massive yet not overwhelming, clean. There were so so many different settings all on one ship (i.e. different types of bars, restaurants, entertainment)! At any given time there were things to do - we needed more time as we did not get to do a few things we'd planned on. The entertainment was diverse and there was plenty of it. While the dueling pianos did not actually duel, the performers were very talented. The two shows in the theatre were Broadway quality and fabulous! Couldn't help but tap your feet! Staff were absolutely amazing 99.9% of the time - so extremely polite and friendly and upbeat (especially Paul our steward - SUCH a nice, professional and hard-working young man!). The food and drinks were consistently good. The buffet is what I expected - so many options and good solid food, but not a "wow" dining experience. Desserts lacked a little (of course, we went only at breakfast so maybe they changed later in the day.) Loved Savor and Taste and Tropicana - fine dining from start to finish. We got a balcony cabin and I henceforth I will never go without, having experienced falling asleep to the sound of the waves against the boat! It was a good size space and private and we spent all of our spare moments out there. Even saw a double rainbow one day at sea! Having a balcony also made coming and going more exciting, being able to see the ports. When not at sea we went on day treks, then came back and took naps, went to dinner then entertainment, and finished off our nights dancing under the stars on the upper deck. It was fabulous - something I should have done years ago!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I wanted to cruise around Cape Horn and I wanted to get out of the winter weather. Everything thing began wonderfully in Beunes Aires with a Flamingo Dance before we got on the ship! Once we set sail I enjoyed early stretching classes ... Read More
I wanted to cruise around Cape Horn and I wanted to get out of the winter weather. Everything thing began wonderfully in Beunes Aires with a Flamingo Dance before we got on the ship! Once we set sail I enjoyed early stretching classes every morning followed by Fab Abs and then yoga and a message while at sea. The sea was calm the whole way down to the cape and we enjoyed local excursions to take in the sites. The Dancing shows on the ship were also excellent and I would have taken lessons with my husband, however, he sprained his ankle during our first day at sea playing volleyball. When we approached the Cape Horn the water got rough but the scenery and the glaciers were magnificent. The food was excellent and the service was wonderful. I love eating in the beautiful dining rooms and listening to the live musicians. The Classical strings trio was fabulous! However, on our way to Santiago, many people were getting sick with a virus and I also got it. The ship offered free medical assistance but then quarantined both my husband and me to the room for 48hrs so we missed one of the ports of call. I thought they might offer us a voucher or something but it did not happen. We went horse riding in one of the last ports of call and had a great time. This was the only Norwegian arranged excursion and it was terrific. All in all, it was a great vacation with a few bumps here and there. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We (two retired female friends) chose this cruise because the P of A spends so much time on the islands, with all traveling done at night. We spent two days on Oahu before the cruise, got to see a big wave surf competition, and the Kualoa ... Read More
We (two retired female friends) chose this cruise because the P of A spends so much time on the islands, with all traveling done at night. We spent two days on Oahu before the cruise, got to see a big wave surf competition, and the Kualoa Ranch. (Both excellent). Arrived at Hanauma Bay, prepared to snorkel, and found that they close at 5:30, not 7 p.m. as advertised everywhere. So we missed what I now assume to be the best snorkeling spot in Hawaii. We arrived at the port around 12:30 p.m. and were on the ship within the hour. Went to the buffet for lunch and all rooms were announced to be ready before we were finished. We had anytine dining with reservations for 6:30 on most days. Never had to wait for a table, had same waitresses every night, and a window table. Most food was pretty good. Went to the french restaurant one night. Service was impeccable. Food so-so (big disappointment). Cream puff dessert was highlight. Whether it was because there was no casino or that we were so busy off the ship all day, every day, we found that we went to sleep pretty early every night but not before seeing shows and laba flow! Entertainment was great! Comedian was a riot! We saw him twice, two different shows. Magician was very good. The four guys in the rock and roll band were excellent! We had planned much of our dinner times around being able to get to shows and were very glad that we did. The ship let everyone know that we would be passing the lava flowing on the big island at 10:45 one night and we made sure to get front row standing. You can see the streams of red on the mountain but not that it actually enters the ocean You can see it from starboard side of ship. They get as close as they are allowed, I am sure and linger about 15 minutes. Viewing the Napali Coast is seen from the port side of the ship. Awesome. We had alot of fog but it was still beautiful. Bring over the door shoe holder for odds and ends. We also brought 4 small magnets which we could use both inside the cabin and on the balcony to hang wet bathing suits on to dry. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
I joined my sister and brother-in-law for this cruise. They had been on 9 previous cruises including one on the Gem which made in easier for me. Embarkation was very well organized and so was disembarkation. It's worthwhile to ... Read More
I joined my sister and brother-in-law for this cruise. They had been on 9 previous cruises including one on the Gem which made in easier for me. Embarkation was very well organized and so was disembarkation. It's worthwhile to recommend that people use the colour system for suitcases at disembarkation as there is less confusion. Leaving it at the door the night before is easy and you don't have to worry about managing suitcases when disembarking. The service all through the ship was excellent. Special thanks to Erik and Justin at the Bali Hai Bar and Grill on the 13th floor. Dining is exceptional, I did not have one bad meal. I was impressed as how all breads and pastries were always fresh and delicious. Whether it was at buffet or specialty restaurants, everything was excellent. We joined excursions at every port and my only wish is that the beach excursions would have been a bit longer. I would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This cruise had the itinerary changed because of the hurricanes. We had some new islands to check out and it was very exciting. I loved checking out the pitons and volcano in St Lucia. It was the most exciting excursion I had been to. ... Read More
This cruise had the itinerary changed because of the hurricanes. We had some new islands to check out and it was very exciting. I loved checking out the pitons and volcano in St Lucia. It was the most exciting excursion I had been to. Went to Megan's Bay for the second time and it is still a beautiful and peaceful beach. They are still getting over the hurricane, but it is still very beautiful. Antigua city tour was very good and we had a great guide, Tony. Unfortunately, the beach was supposed to come with chairs and they didn't have any available. He said they were supposed to space the tours, so we were out of luck. It also included lunch, which was awful. The food is always good. If you can't find something good to eat on a cruise, I can't figure it out. There's so many choices and if you don't like something, order something else. We went to Cagney's 3 times-always good. Their filet and grilled shrimp is fabulous and always cooked to perfection. I could make a meal of just their appetizers, as they are all good. La Cucina was very good as was Tempanyaki and Le Bistro. I used to love the mussels in Le Bistro, but they changed the sauce and there isn't much flavor. I might skip those next time. Orchid is their free Asian restaurant. I really enjoy that also. They also have one of my favorite desserts-Tapioca with mango. Delicious. We only ate once in the main dining room. I had one of my favorite meals there. It was veal with button mushrooms and noodles in a butter sauce. It was so good. Of course, I had to end with the chocolate lava cake. I have to have that at least once every cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were both easy enough. You just have to do some waiting. I like to get there early, to get on the ship as soon as possible. Easy walk off is easy, but you also have to wait. I understand they have to wait for clearance and don't mind waiting. It's the price I pay to get off early. I felt the entertainment was the best I've seen on NCL. Maybe it's because I'm kind of bored with the same shows over and over on the BA and the Dawn. I haven't been on the Gem in 2 years and everything was new. They had an excellent soul singer who did Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. She was so good. The comedian and magician were entertaining, though once woud be enough. I felt the comedian was funny because a woman in front kept yelling things to him. She was funny. The service is always good on NCL. I've never dealt with anyone who was rude or unhelpful. Loved the Washy Washy girl in the buffet. The buffet was good for breakfast and a good salad for lunch. They also have a pool bbq, which is good for lunch. The casino is very tight. Not many hits or wins. Seemed that most people winning max bet on every machine. I can't bet that high and came home a loser. Still had a great time and casino staff were very friendly and always there to offer drinks. The ship was pretty smooth for a February cruise from NY. I get sea sick in rough seas and only felt slightly queasy the second night. Overall a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
The entertainment onboard the Epic is the BEST at sea!! Production shows, musician, and variety of entertainment are all amazing!!! The staff is also wonderful... very attentive, helpful and friendly. The ship's layout is very ... Read More
The entertainment onboard the Epic is the BEST at sea!! Production shows, musician, and variety of entertainment are all amazing!!! The staff is also wonderful... very attentive, helpful and friendly. The ship's layout is very poor. There is no mid-ship elevator... and either end elevator is missing at least one floor, meaning you frequently have to walk from one end of the ship to the other to take the elevator to your destination. For anyone with any difficulty walking the 1000+ feet length of the ship (as is the case with my mom), this ship is VERY difficult to navigate. Embarkment: Port Canaveral doesn't have any wheelchairs available until you've already gone through security (read: long line standing and waiting), and walked the length of the entire terminal and gone through your registration process... THEN you can get a wheelchair to board. Food: The only specialty restaurant we dinned at was Shanghai's... the service was great, the food was marginal at best. The buffet was loud, crowded, and food was average to poor. BUT... we ate MANY means in The Manhattan Club and O'Sheenahan's. Service in both of these restaurants was great and the food in Manhattan Club was spectacular!!! Plus they have live music, a dance floor and avery quiet/upscale atmosphere. Taste serves the exact same menu as Manhattan club, but is less formal. Taste is also much louder and we didn't enjoy it as much. The outdoor dinning was impossible to enjoy because there was always so much wind up there. One morning we ate there, and the wind blew the coffee out of the cup!!! Breakfast ANYWHERE on the ship is marginal at best, and basically is over at 9 or 9:30am. There is a large 'gab' mid-day when the only place to dine is O'Sheenahan's (but their food is great). Entertainment: DON'T MISS Burn The Floor!!! It is amazing!! Also the dueling pianos in Howl at the Moon were great!! Priscilla Queen of the Desert was a hoot, with amazing costumes, wigs, music, etc... but it is NOT for those who are easily offended. Cirque Dreams was a wonderful show, but the food was poor. Buy the standard ticket & skip the meal. DO try to take part in the activities in the atrium... game shows, dance lessons, singing contests, etc. At first I thought this was silly and didn't want to go... but once I DID, I wished I'd gone sooner! The staff makes these shows amazing! Plan on attending the "GLOW PARTY"... it is REALLY FUN!!! No matter your age, you'll find it a real trip. Also, this is the first ship I've been on that specifically made accommodations to help single travelers meet fellow passengers. Stateroom: We were in a Family Balcony Mini-suite. The room was quite large and has TONS of storage!! We put everything away and still had several empty cupboards!!! The bathroom wasn't as bad as I thought it might be... BUT our 'shower' was in a tub and it had a VERY high side (much higher than yours at home would). VERY difficult to get in and out of. The balcony was large but the chairs were in poor shape, and one was broke, plus only table there was a tiny little side table... not room to eat there. The hallways are a bit confusing, but what ship isn't? Some other thoughts: Additional charges: THIS was one of the real bug-a-boos on this cruise... I felt like I was being nickle and dimed to death!!!! The beauty of cruising is it's all inclusive... not with Norwegian! Even the "complementary" restaurants have menu items that require an 'up charge'. And of course, there are about half the restaurants that are specialty and require an additional charge. PLUS... if you want a Pepsi (they don't have Coke) anywhere, be prepared to pay! I hate the way they bill the gratuity, daily/per person on the bill. It makes your bill VERY lengthy and it felt like every time I looked at it it was another page long!! Many of the onboard 'activities' required an additional charge, and even the Cirque Dreams show (without the meal) requires an additional charge. AND... although they sell this as 'free style cruising'... you must make a reservation to do anything!!! I understand that with 4000+ people on the ship, but it really removes any option for being spontaneous. Also... there is no central atrium... no mid-ship elevator... and the elevators that are there, are totally enclosed and dark!!! When I saw the first one open, I felt like I was stepping into an elevator in Las Vegas in 1980! Overall the ship's entertainment and staff were AMAZING and in many ways made up for the defects of the ship itself. However I doubt I would take Epic again... the ship was too big and had too many people on board. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
After 5 cruises with NCL, this was the worst one. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what we expect with NCL. THE GOOD: - The entertainment was the best of any of the cruises I have done with NCL or Royal Caribbean. - The ... Read More
After 5 cruises with NCL, this was the worst one. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what we expect with NCL. THE GOOD: - The entertainment was the best of any of the cruises I have done with NCL or Royal Caribbean. - The ship is huge but they did a great job making it feel like a normal ship. - Bartenders are all nice and can make good drinks. - Posh is amazing - Water slides are fun - Casino was big THE OK: - My wife has a food allergy. Normally NCL is amazing with pre-orders, this time it was a little more of a challenge but she got her food in the end. - Casino table games start more than many vegas casinos -- Pai Gow $25 THE BAD: - Food is not as good as every other ship we have been on, even the specialty restaurants weren't as good as the Jewel class ships. Food service wasn't great. - The curve design of the rooms is annoying. I knew this going in but it does render the couch totally useless. - Pools suck, small and too warm - DJ from the Glow (white Hot) party wasn't good and the party was kinda lame Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Our daughter has cruised this ship before and liked it. Liked the restaurants and entertainment. Did not like the smoky casino. Also, the elevator nearest us did not go to 5th floor. This was a major inconvenience. Would like to try ... Read More
Our daughter has cruised this ship before and liked it. Liked the restaurants and entertainment. Did not like the smoky casino. Also, the elevator nearest us did not go to 5th floor. This was a major inconvenience. Would like to try another ship out of Port Canaveral. Shore excursion folks could not help us in determining if excursions would accept a disabled person. Guest services did not know about access on shore excursions. This disability office did not help either. After docking at Cozumel we discovered we could have done an excursion after all. Visited the spa services of acupuncture and massage/mini facial. Appreciated the special prices on port day. We saw the Newlywed Game, Cirqe, Priscilla: Queen of the desert, Burn the floor and musician/illusionist. Enjoyed all of them. Liked the evening music by Ben. Major complaint was the casino. It smells so bad and and makes the other floors smell, too. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We choose cruises based upon itineraries. The opportunity to visit Chichen Itza was the determining factor for this particular line and trip. Our Mid-ship Balcony cabin was nothing at all like the pictures they show, it was cramped and ... Read More
We choose cruises based upon itineraries. The opportunity to visit Chichen Itza was the determining factor for this particular line and trip. Our Mid-ship Balcony cabin was nothing at all like the pictures they show, it was cramped and poorly designed. When you opened the door you walked into the bed and the 6" of space between the bed and the counter made it virtually impossible to move around the room easily. We spent more time crawling over the bed than sleeping in it it seemed. Our cabin steward would only allow us 2 bath towels per day, and it was our responsibility to exchange our beach towels from our excursions according to him. It wasn't until we spoke to the Housekeeping manager that we could get extra towels and he started to do his job. It would take multiple requests to get our cabin refreshed after returning from excursions and changing for dinner, and turn down service was only performed the last 2 nights of a 7 night cruise. The wait staff in the Main Dining rooms were slow and uninterested in making your dining experience something to look forward to. If you would like a glass of wine or other adult beverage with your meal you had better order it immediately when they bring you your water or don't expect it until you are almost finished with your entree. NCL recently did away with tipping in favor of an automatic service charge added to your invoice daily. It appears that in so doing, they have also done away with any expectation of service from their employees and they have become disincentivized. We have never been on any cruise ship before where we were treated as an afterthought by the staff. DO NOT expect anything but mediocre to poor service from these employees. The bar and lounge staff do go beyond expectations, as do the spa and buffet workers. but the taste of bad service from the cabin stewards and wait staff spoil any thoughts of a first class operation. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
​First off, I'm a very positive person. If you read any other review I've done, I try to see the best first, and give suggested solutions, not just complain, when I have to place a negative review. This was our 6th cruise, ... Read More
​First off, I'm a very positive person. If you read any other review I've done, I try to see the best first, and give suggested solutions, not just complain, when I have to place a negative review. This was our 6th cruise, second with Norwegian. This was a​ ​family Christmas gift, my husband and I paid for us, as our 2 adult children and their spouses, all upgraded to balcony suites, so it wasn't cheap. We thought it would be such a treat, as two of them had not cruised before. My sister and her husband decided up join, so 8 of us, in 4 rooms. ​We got the alcoholic beverage packages, the dining package, and the wi-fi package​. So, first impressions, the boat is so beautiful! The water park, the atrium, the pool side, just beautiful! The rooms, nothing impressive, but we tend not to spend much time in them. The upgrade we paid for, for my husband and I, was literally the exact same room as our kids, with a larger bathroom/shower, nothing else. We arrived to our room, went to the bathroom, literally NO toilet paper!​ No​​ half roll, no spare roll, none. Bad start using Kleenex! ​The ice bucket had the previous persons warm water left in it, and it stayed that way the entire week. We had one pool towel, not two. The mirrors were not wiped down at all. The bed was made, but I had to question whether or not the sheets were clean, since it appeared no attention had been paid to the room. The entire trip, we saw our attendant ​4​ times, and he didn't even know our names. I had to call for assistance, and you could't leave a message, we received a recording telling us to try again later. ​The foo​d was good, the entire time. Although they boast 28 restaurants, the ones included were the poolside buffet/.cafe, O'Sheehans Pub, and the 2 Dining Rooms. The dining rooms had the same menu each day, just different ambiance. The specialty dining package was nice, with many more options, but, you have to pay a surcharge to use most of them, so not "Free". The room service for breakfast, was a surcharge as well, if you wanted something other than continental. They only had a few choices for hot food, and they were truly inedible. The Tapa's Restaurant was just awesome, though, and well worth the service charge! They did not have the typical "seafood" night, at all. No crab, no lobster, just peel and eat shrimp, mussels, and such. That was a great disappointment, It seems corners are being cut to save them money, but they didn't pass the savings along to the patrons. Since they sell the heck out of the drink packages, that you prepay for, you can guess right in the fact that you couldn't find a server poolside or out and about! We literally had to wait in lines at the bars to get a drink. That is so unlike any cruise we have ever been on, they keep the drinks flowing, so long as they are making money on it! Since they already made the money, service was not a concern. The shows were spectacular! We really enjoyed them. Although the comedy was the same night after night, when you went to a different room, you assumed different people were performing, but they moved from one showroom to the next. One show, we arrived literally 3 minutes late to, and were told we couldn't go. We were furious, especially because the attendant told us we had to be there fifteen minutes before the show started, and our tickets did not show that. We showed her the tickets to prove it. Finally she allowed us to enter, and the show was great. Their Perspective Photo Studio, separate from the cruise photos, was wonderful, and worth the money we spent with them, over $1,500! The photographers gave our family a photo shoot of a lifetime, throughout the ship, they spent hours with us, capturing our families personalities, separately and together. The Haven, which is their "cruise with the cruise" was very high end, and the patrons there were treated like royalty. They paid for that luxury, but it became annoying to everyone that paid a lot, that they were treated with special lines to get off and on the ship, to dine, to go to shows, etc. Everyone should be treated special on the cruise, not just the super elite. Overall, we didn't get what we paid for. It felt like a "budget friendly" vacation, but it was not cheap. The venue was great, the staff was not. This is the first time we have cruised that the staff seemed terribly unfriendly, unhappy, uncaring, and unconcerned. It has not ruined cruising for me, overall, but it has ruined Norwegian Cruises for me. They have a culture issue going on, that they need to look closer at, as there is a high expectation when you spend the kind of money we spent. To not feel special, attended to, cared about, etc., is a shame. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We were with a party of 31, but we were the only couple of our group who booked the Haven 2 Bedroom suite with two baths. Cabin 17118... With 4200 passengers, the ship is just too big for comfort. HUGE ship. Overeating crowds are ... Read More
We were with a party of 31, but we were the only couple of our group who booked the Haven 2 Bedroom suite with two baths. Cabin 17118... With 4200 passengers, the ship is just too big for comfort. HUGE ship. Overeating crowds are everywhere. THE HAVEN: Rooms are well appointed in the Haven, I can not speak for the cabins outside of this private suite area. Since The Haven is a private access via card only area, it is what a relaxing cruise should be. Do not bring a hairdryer or magnifying mirror, both are excellent- there were 2 dryers in the family suite. Serving staff is awesome, but I always tip when I get there and again when I leave, even if tips are included in the fare, I just hope most people recognize how hard these people work and do the same. Everyone in this area is top notch when it comes to service. Bed was very comfortable, slept like a baby. Main bathroom fully equipped with soaking tub, over sized shower with multiple jets. Second bath in the kids section adequate when two are getting ready at the same time. The ship was one of the most STABLE I have cruised on, and I was aft. & had a couple from Chicago with three kids in the identical unit next to us, and never heard them in their cabin. Suffice to stay walls must be well insulated. Book your restaurants well in advance. FOOD: Food was excellent, but we did utilize the private dining area for breakfast offered to the Haven guests. We ate at Taste, the Brazilian restaurant, The Bistro and the Manhattan. I do not recommend the Manhattan as it is very noisy and service is just not what I expect. ENTERTAINMENT: Entertainment was great, we went to a couple shows, dueling pianos, and the Supper Club featuring "The Company Men" who do mash up songs (as many as 4 songs simultaneously in harmony) they are just awesome performers. AGAIN, BOOK VENUES IN ADVANCE. PORTS: There was a "Medical Emergency" on the ship and we had to sail back to Miami, which reversed the itinerary, eliminated one port (Bahamas) and forced us to dock at Ochp Rios (hate it there) instead of Falmouth in Jamaica. We booked Mr Sanchos privately in Cozumel, I recommend booking a cabana at Royal Palms in Grand Cayman way in advance as the beaches the cabbies will take you are awful. AS far as Jamaica, it was a waste of time docking at Ocho Rios. If that ever happens to you, book a day pass at a luxury resort. It is just a mess there and has been, with hurricanes, without hurricanes or while being renovated-I have been there during all three scenarios. Too much ganja I suppose. CHILDREN: I did not travel with children, but there is plenty for them to do on the ship. Giant waterslides, small zipline, play areas, and many activities. RETURN TRIP? Not sure I would ever go on this ship again, as it is just Tooooooooooo Big. If you like crowds then this is the ship for you, just do not expect a big pool. There isn't one! Read Less
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