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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Myself and my friend had a week stay in Salou then jumped on board the Epic at Barcelona for a week. My first thoughts on day one was of excitement and thought the ship looked amazing. I couldn’t wait to sample all the ship had to offer. ... Read More
Myself and my friend had a week stay in Salou then jumped on board the Epic at Barcelona for a week. My first thoughts on day one was of excitement and thought the ship looked amazing. I couldn’t wait to sample all the ship had to offer. So here the story begins. We had paid for all inclusive. Including tips and “ultimate food and beverages package inc coffee” - Epic’s wording. Well this didn’t include every brand of alcohol (not that I’m a huge drinker). It only included coffee from the machine at the snack bar (which one cup could have tarred the whole M25) If you wanted a cappuccino or latte etc you had to pay extra. Also not all the restaurants were included in this all inclusive package either. Quite a few you had to pay extra for and pay an extremely handsome price too! We were told it was our travel agent that should have told us that all inclusive wasn’t actually all inclusive. And our ultimate drinks package wasn’t actually very ultimate. As for the food on board, what we did have we couldn’t fault at all. Next complaint......TOO MANY PEOPLE ON BOARD. Now I know what a can of sardines feels like. It just had far too many people on it. This just made it all feel like a huge cattle market. People had no manners and just barged there way in to anything. I have never seen so many rude and ill mannered adults and children in one place. I don’t think they realised that there was enough food to go round everyone about 10 times over. Next complaint- I had items stolen from my cabin. Nothing if any great value, just small gifts I had bought for my son and some friends. Maybe 40 euros in total so not a financial loss. Never got to the bottom of it. And lastly, if you did have anything to sort out (or complain about), you were never alone......the queue at guest services was never quiet or short. I wonder why!! The great thing about the cruise was getting off the ship and seeing some beautiful places. So folks....word of warning....double check and triple check what you are actually getting in your package before you board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We live close to Port Canaveral and decided to take a weekend getaway with two other couples. All of us are regular cruisers and have been on just about every line out of, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades and Miami. Knowing that 3 day ... Read More
We live close to Port Canaveral and decided to take a weekend getaway with two other couples. All of us are regular cruisers and have been on just about every line out of, Port Canaveral, Port Everglades and Miami. Knowing that 3 day cruises are party boats, my expectations were not high. The service on this ship was great. My cabin steward took great care of us, bar service was terrific and all dining room staff were accommodating and efficient. It was an old ship, but updated nicely and clean. Private island has a spa and when you get services you get a wonderful and healthy Buffett, free drinks and private beach access with the use of free floats. I cannot say enough about what a great day we had at the private club on the island. Didn’t do the general population on the island, but people on the tenders said that was great too. Entertainment was adequate, nothing special, but enjoyable. Cruise director and staff were friendly. Bar staff and service was great at all he bars and wait staff by the pool was plentiful. Now for the issues: I like to play blackjack. Lowest table limit was $15. I thought that was exorbitant. Princess, Celebrity, RCCL and Carnival all have 5, 6 or 10 dollar tables. Also the slot machines were not any of the newer games that are on the other ships. When I asked about lowering the limits the person who came to chat with me was arrogant, condescending and basically said tough. Another thing the smoke in the casino was horrendous. Another issue is the sports bar. They have many televisions, but only one channel. I wanted to watch a football game that was on, but was told they only get 1 channel. Obviously, this has been an ongoing issue for fans. The bartender was very sweet and basically just referred me to guest services. He did not want to say much, but I got the impression Norwegian doesn’t want to pay for the package that includes the sports channel. Let’s talk food. Dining room was good, but everything was very salty. Only ate at the Buffett twice and was not impressed. Didn’t eat most of my meal. Last issue I had were with the public restrooms. They were clean, but all had a horrible odor. Let me be clear, I had fun, but the above issues were enough to say, I probably will use other lines for future weekend cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This itinerary through Italy, Spain, and Cannes was really appealing to us. Checked off a lot of boxes for us. Cruising allowed us to visit many sites (Pompeii, Vatican, Florence, and more) conveniently. I am a teacher and I have a ... Read More
This itinerary through Italy, Spain, and Cannes was really appealing to us. Checked off a lot of boxes for us. Cruising allowed us to visit many sites (Pompeii, Vatican, Florence, and more) conveniently. I am a teacher and I have a very defined time that I can travel each summer. This specific schedule fit our calendar perfectly. Our cabin was clean, the food was excellent, the ship set sail and docked efficiently and on time. The security of having record of us boarding and disembarking at each port gave us peace of mind. The cons for us was that the ship was crowded. And every time we had a question, no one could answer or resolve anything except going and standing in line at Guest Services. I must have done that once a day! They are most competent, but less than friendly. It was usually a demeaning experience! The other aspect of this trip that really got us started off in a less than relaxing manner was having us wait for nearly four hours on the ship, just milling around with our carry on luggage, without being able to go to our rooms. We were led to believe from all of the info sent to us that we would be separated from our luggage for a time period and to have things with us that we would need, but we were never alerted to the time lag for getting into our room and being able to chill a little. I'm sure there's some reason for it, but it was not a great start to our trip. We grew so weary of being nickel and dimed throughout the week. Internet should be included. $30/day for Internet access is ridiculous. So is the mini-bar charges for beer, wine, and other drinks that are available at no extra charge at the bar. There are so many ways you can streamline general operations to make things a little more convenient and relaxing for guests and still make your money. For the most part, I felt like cattle being herded around - on the boat, off the boat, into a bus, waiting for dinner (although I will say meals were handled quite efficiently and the dining staff really had wonderful, welcoming customer service skills!). I felt tolerated, not warmly welcomed. Others we spoke with along the way had the same general feeling. I can say that this cruise served its purpose for us. We might do another when we have some ground we want to cover. But the experience itself was not the quiet, relaxing vacation we anticipated. This was, by far, the most expensive vacation we have ever had and, frankly, expected a tad more welcoming and pampering, but really I was the most average overall experience we have had in our travels, except for the sites we got to see. Those we will remember! The staff works so very hard and I appreciate their effort so much. But one of the crew told me that they are signed on for one-year contracts and work with only two half-days off each week, for 10 months straight. I think they need some time off occasionally to recharge their batteries a little more for themselves and for the guests. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I will try to be brief and to the point. First the hits 1. Embarkation was very smooth. You go in by groups and can be enjoying the buffet by 12:30. 2. The entertainment is very good. The "Rock of Ages is killing it, ... Read More
I will try to be brief and to the point. First the hits 1. Embarkation was very smooth. You go in by groups and can be enjoying the buffet by 12:30. 2. The entertainment is very good. The "Rock of Ages is killing it, however it is not appropriate for children or guests who are easily offended by sexual innuendo and scantly clad dancers. Burn the floor is excellent though I recommend their show in the Manhattan room, and it is only 30 minutes and the numbers are fast paced. The game shows are great but do depend on the craziness of the guests.I did not see the velvet show. The comedians were simply ok, same ole jokes about cruisers. The magician was very entertaining as he uses shy guests as examples. 3. Food was mediocre to just ok. I found nothing outstanding. I did not try the pay restaurants because why pay twice for food? 4. Service was again ok. I had very nice servers in the Manhattan room, Rihzel and Jeffrey were awesome. Other than that nothing special. 5. Ports Rotaan was fun, Harvest caye useless, Coste Maya a little seaweedy, and Cozumel was awesome, I went to an adventure park and snorkel for three hours. 6. Debarkation was again very smooth, off the ship in less than an hour. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Generally the ship was nice and clean. The food was above average. Entertainment was very good. Staff was courteous and always helpful. Biggest problem with ship is the swimming pool situation and no real adult area. That makes this ... Read More
Generally the ship was nice and clean. The food was above average. Entertainment was very good. Staff was courteous and always helpful. Biggest problem with ship is the swimming pool situation and no real adult area. That makes this ship a very poor choice for me and most adults I know. Hard to believe whoever designed this ship missed on this one. First time i cruised Norwegian, but I will need to check ship out in more detail before I cruise with them again. The agent I booked with said there was an adult pool and area. He was correct, but the pool was tiny, there was only one adult hot tub and there were kids all over the place. Also, whats the point of having a small pool and the entire thing is 6'8" deep. everyone was hanging on the sides because no one like treading water in the middle when you are trying to relax and talk to friends. design people really messed up big time. I was not the only one complaining. It seemed to be what many people talked about everyday. Variety of bars was great, but usually difficult to get a drink. What makes it worse is paying for the drink package and spending half you time trying to get drinks just to get your moneys worth. Also for the price you pay for drink package, they should have bottled water. Very poor! Agent told me they did have bottled water with package, but was wrong. Very disappointed, as i am a water drinker more than an alcohol drinker. I had to spend money to buy bottled water. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I think it's important before leaving a rating to understand the frame of mind of the traveler and their expectation levels before cruising. Let me say that in my case - I love cruising. To be it's about relaxation, the ... Read More
I think it's important before leaving a rating to understand the frame of mind of the traveler and their expectation levels before cruising. Let me say that in my case - I love cruising. To be it's about relaxation, the vacation coming to you, the full itinerary, the work is done for you, and the fact that everything is settled in advance. You go, you don't have to think too much about spending a fortune, you unwind, recharge, and when you get back, you don't feel like you need another vacation. That said on The Escape... The service was absolutely excellent, the food was excellent. The shows (Choir of Man and After Midnight, their Magic duo) were excellent. Our weather and our "ride" to an fro were excellent. So why just a 3-star review? The Escape loses points because it is simply overcrowded, there are not enough "open" spaces to just conversate or relax unless you want to tan on the upper deck and even that is way too overcrowded, and a little unruly and dirty (not their fault, the guests just leave food and drinks and dirty towels everywhere and the staff can't keep up). A lot of the indoor functions took place in the Theatre or the "Atrium," and it too was way overcrowded. The Theatre was fine, uncomfortable and rather small considering that there are 4000 guests on the ship. Spice H2O is a great party space, but again, way too overcrowded. This made it uncomfortable for my kind of tastes. As NY'ers, we go on a cruise to get away from that shoulder-to-shoulder discomfort, not to enter into it. Bars were hit or miss with service. O'Sheehan's., the main bar overlooking the Atrium was incredibly understaffed at the bar, and on a number of occasions we were simply ignored for 10-15 minutes at a time. Thankfully, there are other bars where it's easier to score a drink...no big deal. Felt a bit nickel-and-dimed at times (do they really have to charge $5.50 for a bottle of water in the room, especially when they charge guests $15 a day already?), and way, way, way too much space designated to art and photography. that's just a money grab and a waste of good space. On nights when photographers were around you had stairways blocked, cues of lines in hallways just to pass, it was rather obnoxious at times. It's a problem because the Escape just doesn't have a lot of usable space for a ship this large, there is simply too much congestion, and then throw in blocked hallways and staircases into the mix simply to take a portrait, c'mon now! And to do it for the final 4 nights on the cruise is a little too much. Choose a single night to do that, people dress up, take your picture, and be done with it. The Escape just hits you over the head with that nonsense. The automated bingo with predetermined winners was a letdown and way too expensive. Deal or no Deal and some of the other "game shows" were really boring and a letdown, but because that's not why I choose to cruise it didn't lose too many points. The bottom line is this - the Escape is NOT cheap and it is a good time. Where it needs to deliver - Food, drink, service, cleanliness, embarkation process - it truly is fantastic! but there a lot of minor annoyances that certainly will have me looking to "try something different" next time around, not because it's a bad ship but because I didn't walk away saying, "Wow, that ship is amazing" and that's simply what I want when I cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My Wife and I are a dual income, no kids couple (aka DINKS) and we vacation frequently with the notion of work hard, play hard and have no problems paying for luxury experiences. We had heard great things about the Boston to Bermuda NCL ... Read More
My Wife and I are a dual income, no kids couple (aka DINKS) and we vacation frequently with the notion of work hard, play hard and have no problems paying for luxury experiences. We had heard great things about the Boston to Bermuda NCL cruise. Being local, we absolutely LOVED the idea of getting dropped off at the ship and hopping right on to start our vacation. We decided to book the Owner's Suite with the large balcony, Hot Tub, King bed, large bathroom, Butler and Concierge service. The Hot Tub did not have a heater and it did not bubble,which caused us to sit and wait for it to be repaired on our first day. We usually book the more luxurious trips because we like the memorable experience it offers along with the pampering we do not receive on a day to day basis. Our summer Boston to Bermuda cruise left quite a bit to be desired and unfortunately, DID NOT meet our expectations. Given that we booked the Blue Diamond Suite on the Gem, our expectations were Extremely HIGH!! Day one of vacation came and embarkation on the ship as a Haven guest was as expected, we were greeted by the very professional MassPort personnel and shown to the Priority boarding area. There were some light refreshments and we met our concierge (Anoop) who was pleasant and provided an excellent vacation experience. He checked in with us at every dinner, helped to switch dinner reservations and provided ideas for a free day that we had in Bermuda. We do not consider ourselves High Maintenance guests and we appreciated Anoop's pleasant demeanor and his daily if not 2-3/day checking in with us to see if we needed anything. That being said, this is Actually the kind of thing one expects when you are spending the money to have the HAVEN experience, furthermore to be guests in the OWNERS Suite. One of the disappointing experiences was being told at dinner we had to pay for the $27 bottle of wine, champagne and cappuccino (it's espresso people) above and beyond what we ALREADY PAID. I understand it costs money to run a ship, overhead, etc, but we did not expect to be able to drink as much wine, champagne and coffee as we want when we went to the bar or in our room and not at dinner. It just doesn't make sense. Our Butler upon our arrival informed us that we are provided with 3 bottles of alcohol which included wine and liquor, and 1 complimentary bottle of champagne which of course makes sense. However, when after hours of sitting in the room waiting for the Hot Tub to be repaired (by very nice mechanics), I asked her if we can get more champagne while the sun is shining and it's 85 degrees and I'd like to start my vacation. There was no suggestion of the bottle being complimentary until I had suggested that some more champagne would alleviate the "inconvenience". I will say our Butler, Josephine, was pleasant, hard working and took good care of us, but if we needed anything we had to summon her. We certainly didn't feel like she was checking in on us and she did stock our fridge with 2 bottles of Prosecco the next day after considering my suggestion. Another rather disconcerting event happened near the end of our cruise in the Haven Courtyard. Apparently only cruisers who booked HAVEN Rooms are allowed in the Haven Courtyard. Given this was our first cruise, I was not aware of this because while hanging out in the Haven Courtyard two days prior, several of us who were staying in the Haven had a impromptu Pool party with buckets of Adult Beverages for everyone, good conversation, laughter etc, While socializing I realized that it was obvious several of my fellow passengers had brought their friends who were NOT HAVEN Guests up to the courtyard, I assumed that this was allowed and it seemed reasonable to me. All the guests at our impromptu pool party were great people, classy and we were all having a really good time. So, when I brought a friend who happened to be on the ship serendipitously, I of course thought it was fine. Hey, rules are rules, I totally understand. However, our concierge (Anoop) sent a younger HAVEN Staff member (Made, the Haven Courtyard Valet) to address this issue with me in front of my Guest and my wife, I was MORTIFIED. Listen, we've all been kicked out of bars or nightclubs when we're in our twenties for too much celebrating etc., but when you pay a pretty hefty sum of cash to stay in a premier room and are scolded and treated with such utter DISRESPECT over a misunderstanding I have a bit of an issue. Anoop, (The Concierge and the BOSS) should've take it upon himself to have a private conversation with me and clarify the rules, not send his subordinate over and embarrass me in front of my wife and friend. This small incident was the final straw in what we thought was going to be a 5-Star White Glove Service. In Summary, this was our fault, we lacked experience cruising and with NCL in particular. We had an EXCELLENT Vacation but We did NOT get the VALUE for the money we spent. The NCL Gem is obviously not a luxury based ship and trying to provide white glove 5 star service with their HAVEN option was not up to par. We would've been better off and less disappointed if we booked a much less expensive option for the experience we had. If NCL wants to provide high level white glove experiences to guests who are willing to pay then they need to stop nickel and diming their guests and offer more 'all inclusive' type packages with attention to detail if they are looking to garner a higher level clientele who are willing to pay. We would definitely go on another Boston to Bermuda NCL cruise, however, we will absolutely book a much more cost effective package. Booking the package we booked along with our disappointment is akin to going to Outback Steakhouse and believing you are going to get the same kind of Filet that one gets at Del Friscos or similar high end steakhouse that in short, is basically the experience we had. I love to have some Kukkaburrow wings while wearing jeans and a t-shirt but you will not catch me ordering a premium steak and at the very least having the expectation that it will be 5 star!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise as an alternative to my 13 day cruise which was cancelled day before I was scheduled to leave for Rome. Overall cruise was good but NCL charges you for everything. (WiFi extra, soda extra, fancier restaurants, bowling ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an alternative to my 13 day cruise which was cancelled day before I was scheduled to leave for Rome. Overall cruise was good but NCL charges you for everything. (WiFi extra, soda extra, fancier restaurants, bowling extra, excursions extra, daily per person service charges, transfers from airport extra) Ship was average, but 2 pools are not enough for the amount of people. Cabins were kept up very well by stewards. Dining was average about the level of average Marriott hotel food. Evening sit down meals were better but again NCL charges extra for steakhouse, Italian, and Japanese. Excursions are too expensive and I was better off booking them myself. Ports were good and bad. Santorini, Mykonos were amazing. Florence, Messina, and Napoli were good. Kotor and Dubrovnik were very dirty and not much to see. Service in restaurants was hit or miss but overall a bit better than average. Entertainment was actually surprisingly good. Magic show, acrobats and cruise director were excellent. Spa services were solid but pricey as expected. Fitness center although small was functional. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient but the rendering process was not fair as some people got tendering tickets early because they had excursions planned so you would loose a lot of the day waiting. Staff was awesome during reboarding offering hot towels and drinks. “Red” was awesome, he greeted people with a smile and songs when you would enter the Garden Cafe and was super chearful. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First of all if you have never been on the Jade before some of the changes you will not know off. The ship is very clean with excellent bar and waiter staff who are so helpful and friendly. Having sail before on the jade we have notice ... Read More
First of all if you have never been on the Jade before some of the changes you will not know off. The ship is very clean with excellent bar and waiter staff who are so helpful and friendly. Having sail before on the jade we have notice some small but important changes, Cabins very clean and are of average size and the balcony are very small (not worth £10 never mind the £1000 they charge. forget about having breakfast there its far to small. (comparing to the celebrity ships) If your are not a smoker forget this part, smoking areas have been cut back. One half of the top bar which opens at 2 in the afternoon and closes early so your left with a few ash trays on port side which is always crowded with smokers. (no where to go) also if you are not a player in the casino you cannot smoke. WHY? As for the casino the staff seem to be very poorly trained if they make a mistake in the payment off hands be prepared for them to say 5 minutes later that THEY made a error on a hand and want their money back in front off everyone at table. This happen on 5 occasions once with myself which was very embarrassing they just don't care. Stopped playing after this after wanting to make a formal complaint you cant, just a apology from manager and a offer of a drink (we have a drinks package thankyou) Finished off by wanting to tell us a Irish joke we are from Ireland talk about rubbing salt into a wound. The dining rooms are excellent quick service excellent food could not find fault in any of them. Entertainment was very poor in the theatre unless you like volin or magic. not one show on entire cruise. No stage shows with cast just individual artists. Shore excursions were very very expensive luckly we have been on lots of cruises and have been to many of the places before. Please do not get me wrong this was our third time with Norwegian cruises but standards have dropped badly, would I go back not a chance, when you see what others offer at sometimes a cheaper price I would say think very carefully its a lot of money to make a mistake. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Beware of what you think you are paying for!! Most likely it is NOT SO!! So I chose this cruise being that I had the Forth of July week off from my job. This fit great in to my plans, and I didn't have to rush back to work on ... Read More
Beware of what you think you are paying for!! Most likely it is NOT SO!! So I chose this cruise being that I had the Forth of July week off from my job. This fit great in to my plans, and I didn't have to rush back to work on Tuesday...Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth! That being said..... I didn't have big expectations for the ship, although the Norwegian Sun was refurbished in 2018 and the public rooms and cabins had the refreshed look, the feel of the ship was still old and out dated. Also, I wasn't aware that every passenger on the ship had the free drink package...so really, this is a "drunk" cruise. Beware! It felt like a half step up from a Carnival party cruise. On that note, one thing I was disappointed in was that there were no enrichment activities available during the day, such as classes or tastings, etc., that I have always enjoyed on other cruises. I believe that that this is due to the open bar policy, and Norwegian doesn't expect that a bunch of drunk cruisers would have the need for learning anything. They did have PLENY of BINGO though! yay :( I upgraded to a balcony cabin so that we could receive the "Take all" package offered to balcony guests. This is where I had the most problems with this cruise. BEWARE BEWARE!!! This offer included the top shelf drinks package, 100 minutes of WIFI and specialty dining for all nights of our cruise. There was also a $50 credit for a shore excursion for ONLY 1 passenger per cabin, but because most of the excursions cost a lot more than needed to be, we opted to not book one. The only package to be worth this upgrade was the drink package. We did enjoy top shelf alcohol (Grey Goose and Hendricks martinis, and a very nice bottle of champagne at dinner. at no additional charge!) very enjoyable! As far as the specialty dining, I made reservations for the Cagney's steak house the first night, followed by the Italian restaurant the 2nd night, and the French place on the 3rd night. After reserving these dining options, I was prompted to add them to a shopping cart, and then 'check out'. So, if you don't have the dining package like I was offered, you would see the cost of the restaurants in your cart, and have the option to pay the upgrade as these specialty places are not included in the included cost of the cruise. In my cart, however, the extra cost for my reservations came out $0.00, so no extra charge for the 3 nights dinners. Or so I thought! On the first night we had an outstanding dinner at Cagney's complete with a fantastic bottle of wine and absolutely exceptional service from our waitress Rhoda! We couldn't wait for the next specialty dinner. However, When we arrived for our table the next night at the Italian restaurant, we were informed that we had been entitled to 1 specialty dining experience for the length of the cruise and we had used that the last night, and it would cost us each $40 additional to eat there. I brought my printed payment proof document down the customer service desk to find out what was up and was told that according to my cruise card we were only assigned 1 specialty experience. I then showed the annoyed rep that I had made the 3 reservations and that the payment came out to $0. This is where I really feel that Norwegian has lost my business forever...back and forth the reps went with each other for over 20 minutes, only to conclude that they didn't feel that we had the bookings according to the "Ultimate Dining Package" that I had upgraded to receive, only reservations. Anyway, I got the same response as many other passengers I had talked to, that they would send a message to the Miami headquarters, and hopefully receive a response the next day, or later. This made me really confused as I asked how was that going allow me to eat at the specialty restaurants without having to pay for them as my package entitled me to? Needless to say, we never heard one word from customer service, or from the Miami office since and it left me with a very disappointed feeling overall for the cruise experience! Also, the "free" WIFI was useless, as neither me nor my roommate was ever able to get a web page on our phones or my tablet...just kept loading, while using up the free minutes! Very inadequate system. In conclusion, I know that this is a way too long review, but I am just trying to warn folks to beware of the so called 'free perks', as they may not be as expected. This cruise cost us over $800. each for 3 nights. I feel that we could have saved a lot by booking on Carnival for a similar, but much cheaper experience! Thanks for listening. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise for a mother daughter trip. Mom 62, DH’s 38 & 36. We started with a good embarkation. Day 1 Arrived at port June 2 at 10am and we were onboard by 10:30. So my platinum status was doing well. We headed to ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a mother daughter trip. Mom 62, DH’s 38 & 36. We started with a good embarkation. Day 1 Arrived at port June 2 at 10am and we were onboard by 10:30. So my platinum status was doing well. We headed to the coffee shop for a nice cold coffee. Ate lunch in Taste it was good. We were in our state room a mini balcony suite 11234 by 12:15. Nice space for 3. I really liked the double sink and large shower. Room Seward never did introduce himself but had several opportunities that day. Dinner at cagneys started our many mishaps. For One of my daughters I had bought her a four meal plan (other daughter was on my three free dinner plan). Cagneys couldn’t find the four meal plan purchased so they just said they’d charge al cart. I was to have my concierge adjust it later. We had excellent steaks, kinda odd that the one prime rib had a piece of fat bigger than a fillet. Never heard from concierge that day. No towel animals that night. Girls missed that just because it’s a cruising thing. Day 2 sea day- getting ready in the morning we blow a fuse? On the vanity so no plug ins to use. This was at 8 am. So we leave a note thinking they’d fix it when they make up the room. Going back to room several times during day. Room not done. It took 7 hours to clean but still no electricity. So I called the front desk and asked if it could please get done by 4 pm so we could get ready for dinner. At 4:15 it was fixed. So when they made up room they left a blue wet rag laying on my packing cube, never replaced dirty towels with clean ones, never made up couch for third person, and no towel animals again. So I had to call guest services again. Still never met room steward or concierge that day Saw burn the floor in theater it was good. After the show officers were introduced. One was in charge of towel animals. My girls looked at me cause I thought maybe they did away with them. Nope! Day 3- San Juan day. room service finally got things together after this day. Maybe we had a new one? Called concierge about daughters meal plan. He found it so I wasn’t crazy about purchasing it before cruise. We ate in o’Sheehans that day. Had my favorite Shepard’s pie. It was cold and potato’s on top were dry as a bone. Girls went zip lining and had a great time. I left a note on couch in evening for turn down service Towel animals? We have towel animals!! Day 4-St Thomas. We took kon tiki party barge and went to water island beach. Beach wasn’t that nice. Not a lot of chairs. We ate at the Manhattan dining room. Very nice Day 5-Tortola. We took Land and sea. Saw beautiful scenery. Ate at margaritaville for lunch which was a mistake. It took 1 1/2 hours to get all of our food. Which was good once we got it. Never again unless it’s free! Ate at le bistro for supper . Excellent food Day 6 relaxing sea day. We attended wine lovers the musical at noon. Show was excellent. We had a very rude group of women next to us visit the whole time loudly. My daughter and I asked our waitress twice if they could be told to keep it down. After the show was over a couple of ladies congratulated us for not knocking their blocks off. lol. They were so rude but we still liked the show. Had supper at Cagneys with my platinum status coupon. Again excellent food. Day 7- great stirrup cay. We had a small cabana and were told we had priority tender but it never happened. But I heard from other people that it took 2 hours to get off the ship. We enjoyed the beach and cabana. Headed back to look in shops before last tenders at 5. So it was 4 but the line was so long we just got in it. It took 45 minutes of waiting in line under very hot sun to tender back. My daughter had an umbrella so that helped. Would have loved to spent more time at the cabana but with the tendering situation it wasn’t all that worth it. Saw rock of ages. So good! We ate in moderno that night. Kinda a slow experience but good. So after this cruise with Norwegian I’m thinking of trying celebrity. I spoke with my concierge several times on the phone but never once did he contact me. I’m a platinum member but didn’t really feel it this time. This was my 14th ncl cruise and my 31st overall cruise. So I’m not a newby and usually not a complainer. But I just had to step in and voice my concerns way too many times this cruise. I didn’t have time to check my bill before we left but that one dinner that my daughter was charged for at cagneys was still on there after the concierge said he’d take care of it. My fault for not looking. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Dedicated NCL membersDisembarkation took 3 hours. They lost our souvenirs which they were holding for us and then were nasty about it. Two nights for dinner at Cagneys were fair at best. Our potatoes came first followed 10 minutes later ... Read More
Dedicated NCL membersDisembarkation took 3 hours. They lost our souvenirs which they were holding for us and then were nasty about it. Two nights for dinner at Cagneys were fair at best. Our potatoes came first followed 10 minutes later by our steaks which were not cooked properly. Dinner at La Cucina was not up to par. Food came late again. The first 7 nights were otherwise great. Dinner at Le Bistro and the Manhattan room were terrific. We were invited to a beer tasting which was great. We have travelled on the Escape four times and the first 3 were excellent which is why we went back again. Embarkation was smooth and our room was ready and the luggage came timely. The regular General Manager Deepak was not on the ship this time and I wonder if the service slipped because of this. We will come back hoping this was an isolated incident. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We traveled May 18-26 -Staff is friendly and nice -u spent the most in excursions Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd) ... Read More
We traveled May 18-26 -Staff is friendly and nice -u spent the most in excursions Take a private guide and even taking a taxi is better than taking the excursions the ship offers (u feel like one of members of horse Herd) -cruise tries to charge u in anything possible. U go to restaurant - boom $15 charge per person even though my package included gratuities. We tipped all the way but they do anyway. Go to the desk and ask to sign a form to pay on ur own - that’s $210 deduction on the spot for 2ppl - room is terribly small. Don’t even think taking a stateroom, upgrade to bigger and with balcony. Otherwise u will feel trapped - get a package for specialty dining, it’s truly better and delicious - internet is TERRIBLE, never works in the room. My emails didn’t update for couple of days. I tried disputing the charges with the cruise, THEY DIDNT —- I’m definitely disputing charges with my credit card company. I took photos of my phone and the last date it updated emails. - the worst experience when ship arrived to Cannes. There is no port there so ppl are being transported on little ships (which fit around 200 ppl). The line is outrageous and the wait was tiring. We waited 50m on the line, got pisses off and left tanning on the ship - shows are great. Especially the dancing and cirque shows Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We were a group of ten and we all had a wonderful experience! Will we do it again? Most definitely, we are actually planning the next cruise lol! Our 3young one had a great time. Also all the adults had a fabulous vacation... In our ... Read More
We were a group of ten and we all had a wonderful experience! Will we do it again? Most definitely, we are actually planning the next cruise lol! Our 3young one had a great time. Also all the adults had a fabulous vacation... In our opinion the service and entertainment in this cruise was fantastic. The crew was great and my favorite the CAS host and casino crew was my definite Cruise Heroes! Can’t wait for our next NCL cruise. Before I forget we also had a Meet and Greet with the ship officer and they’re amazing and very very friendly... I have known most people f the ship officers from our previous NCL cruises and I’m happy when I get a chance to see and say hello to them again. Our service at the main restaurants were great. Our cabin a large balcony had 2lounger chairs and 2 small chairs. Kids club for the kids was excellent. Overall I recommend this ship and itenerary Escape to Bermuda Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The destinations and timing were the primary reason for the selection of the ship after my family narrowed our choice of cruise line to NCL. My teenager selected the Joy because of its VR and go-kart track. This was our first time on the ... Read More
The destinations and timing were the primary reason for the selection of the ship after my family narrowed our choice of cruise line to NCL. My teenager selected the Joy because of its VR and go-kart track. This was our first time on the NCL line, so I spent many hours researching excursions and additional charges prior to leaving. However, some items are not obviously a good or poor value until you experience the cruise. More on additional costs later. My family arrived in Seattle early to visit local sites of interest to use prior to the cruise. The day and a half in Seattle ahead of the cruise was completely worthwhile. Pike Street Market, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Microsoft Visitor's Center (pretty far afield but of great interest to techies), the Space Needle, and trying local foods were all worthwhile. We used Uber to get to the ship from our hotel. Drop off and pick up at Pier 66 in Seattle is a rather scary and dangerous proposition. My family observed one fender bender and several near misses during drop off and pick up. The lanes for pick up and drop off have three minute limits with no clear enforcement and many drivers making their own lanes. I liked the staggered embarkation and debarkation. Although the lines were still quite long during both events, I suspect a less structured handling would have led to much worse lines. Getting on and off the ship at each port throughout the cruise was probably one of the best experiences I could imagine. The ship card for all services is another useful aspect of the cruise. Other than getting back on in some ports, the ship card was all anyone needed to get off or on the ship, to eat or drink, or to take advantage of any amenities. Unfortunately, the amenities often cam at an extra cost. If you wanted really amazing food, you pretty much had to go to one of the specialty restaurants, which cost extra. NCL offers the ability to prepay for these restaurants allegedly. It seemed like a good deal at ~$26 per person for each meal. Unfortunately, we found out that the prepaid meals were not honored by Food Republic, American Diner, or Teppanyaki. It turns out that American Diner SHOULD have been accepted but good luck getting that money back. I spent 30 minutes waiting in line a guest services to get the $42 spent credited back to my account only to find out the restaurant has to handle the refund. The restaurant staff never bothered to answer the call from guest services. So my ~$300 prepaid meals for four meals got me exactly one meal at Le Bistro that even with the choices my family made would have set us back a whopping ~$25 per person. Every place we had complimentary food was mediocre at best. The foods that were best were pastries and any Asian style foods. Eggs and Southern or Southwestern US foods were generally terrible. Another huge disappointment was the onboard activities. The ship offered game show after game show every day and the occasional dance party. The comedy shows were good and the Elements show was okay if you like modern dance mixed with magic. Footloose was a terrible movie and story, so we skipped that show. The various musicians were good but you can only listen to so many Rat Pack songs before those get old, too. The activities that were most enjoyable...cost extra. Go-kart, VR and Laser Tag all received high marks but were costly. Nearly everything extra also needed a reservation. We ended up spending at least a thousand dollars above the cost of the cruise for the meals, soda package, and onboard activities that were extra, The shore excursions were a mixed bag. I was happy with my decisions to manage my own excursions in Ketchikan and Victoria. We did a self-guided walking tour in Ketchikan and had a great time doing that but it was a significant physical effort even if the walk is only a couple of miles. We did a tour in Juneau to see the gold mine. It was informative but too short. Thankfully, when we ended up at the Alaska equivalent of the cruise line private island, we had a whaling excursion. This was probably the most valuable and enjoyable excursion we could have selected and at the right stop -- the stop designed to make more money for the cruise lines. Finally, in Victoria, we took the $10 CAD Victoria cab to downtown then walked around ourselves. For $20 CAD plus tip you can see the old hotels, the legislative buildings, an amazing park, and even set up a high tea (extra cost). Unlike the expensive trip to the Butchart Gardens, Beacon Hill is 55 acres of free beautiful park with flora and fauna to enjoy two blocks from the parliamentary building. The cruise staff and officers were all very nice and helpful. The ship was kept very clean and the crew took cleanliness seriously unlike some of the passengers who needed to learn proper buffet etiquette. Some of the highlights of the trip: Beautiful vistas at every stop Clean, well-kept ship Spacious cabins with good storage and steward service Excellent ship service Negatives outweighed the positives: Many extra costs Terrible value for meal packages Pepsi products for mixers (Rum and Pepsi, Bourbon and Pepsi, 7 and Sierra Mist?? These do not make sense) Terrible free activities onboard Limited shopping Mediocre free foods Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The ship was beautiful, new & the service was good. My first time on NCL previously cruised on Carnival(would never sail again) and Princess(was excellent). Heard so much about Alaska unfortunately it was such a letdown. The ports ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, new & the service was good. My first time on NCL previously cruised on Carnival(would never sail again) and Princess(was excellent). Heard so much about Alaska unfortunately it was such a letdown. The ports were terrible Juno, Skagway and Ketchikan are tiny, depressed/little towns with a few blocks and the same shops that are probably owned by the cruise companies themselves, Diamond international, Tanzanite international etc. Here you could be at each from 8-11 hours at these ports. Trust me you could walk around each of these towns and be back on the ship within an hour. Glacier Bay was OK sad to see how global warming has really had an effect on glaciers there really isn’t much to see. The nicest port was Victoria British Columbia. Where we had only 3 hours, you arrive at 8:30 pm-11:30 pm! Ridiculous The nicest town & we arrive at Night!! At night most of the shops and restaurants are closed. Disappointing how this was done logistically. At Victoria BC make note it takes 25min to get to town by shuttle bus(long wait line) majority of shops/restaurants are closed. When onshore at all ports expect to pay $74.99 for 1 Alaskan King crab LEG!! The food on the Bliss was awful I give it a 4. Breakfast was good, desserts were ok (6) but lunch and dinner was just awful (2). Majority of all options were very ethnic and spicy if that’s your preference. For a cruise to Alaska I would expect to have an abundant option of seafood dishes. The Seafood dishes were awful very hard to get a simple fish dish that wasn’t spicy, over cooked or full of sauce! The complementary restaurants are basically Buffet but being served by a waiter. You could only substitute sides but you can’t ask for a dish like the Thai spiced Tilapia dinner cooked plain...very disappointing not many different options each nite! I was told I’d have to go to the alternate restaurants and pay especially for any Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We are retired and have done 9 cruise's in the last 4 1/2 years with 5 different lines. Went on a 7 day on the NCL Gem. Had a great time food was wonderful and people were grand. We bought NCL dollars for the next cruise. Book a Spain ... Read More
We are retired and have done 9 cruise's in the last 4 1/2 years with 5 different lines. Went on a 7 day on the NCL Gem. Had a great time food was wonderful and people were grand. We bought NCL dollars for the next cruise. Book a Spain trip and brought family. Started with the life boat drill. Staff did not even have a life jacket to show people. The Engineer that was head of our station was more into talk with other workers and laugh that you could not hear and was not taken with any responsibiliey. We have all done them before but very unnerving. The Spirit is In my opinion is one of the best ship's in lay out and size we have been on. It dose show its age. The ship is so dated and worn out. The bath room always smelled of sewage and a lot of other had the same problem. Not very many Ice or water points and they never had the pool side station open. First port came we had paid for a tour. Getting off the boat you had to pay again to take a bus out of port. This turns out on all ports. You could not walk and was more the attitude of the cruise. They never had any maps you had to buy at the local tour office. They did not know anything about the ports and could give NO help. They just took your money again for the bus and you were on your own. Yes we had some very wonderful people on the cruise. But I have never seen so many workers than were unhappy. No smiles and just putting in there time. It was from the heads of departments. Morning breakfast with all early tours. In the main buffet trying to eat had the women that did the fresh juice yell at 5 of us as the was no yogurt and the women asked her about it. She began YELLING " not my Job" loud enough that the manager came around the corner took her away for a second then she returned to just stand there and give the hate looks. The mornings we had early tours and were trying to eat and get out they would have the poor girl clean the bathrooms during the middle of us all trying to do what we needed and get off the ship. Just SO much poor or no planning and for site. Getting on the tours in the stage was a total joke. The manager was no where to be seen. In Window dinning three nights we could get no water. Could never get a second glass of wine. And took close to 2 hours to eat. Manager was told all for not. Others bought the drink package and could not get refills more times than they could. Managers were what I saw the problem. So many servier just doing what they had to. NO Smiles nothing extra Very depressing. The food was so plain. No taste or spice. Nothing like the Gem. More like some of the other cheep lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The ship and crew were exceptional, great cruise director Jamie, lots of entertainment, attention, loved the all inclusive package. We were extremely disappointed in the 2 main restaurants and the buffet, the food was terrible, the service ... Read More
The ship and crew were exceptional, great cruise director Jamie, lots of entertainment, attention, loved the all inclusive package. We were extremely disappointed in the 2 main restaurants and the buffet, the food was terrible, the service was o.k. at best. At the Four Seasons and Seven Seas dining rooms the food came out cold, overcooked, tough and the coffee was like mud, even dessert was just o.k.. At the buffet the lines were long and the food was not up to the standard we have come to expect on a cruise. The cabin was nice and everywhere else, pub, bars night life was all fun, with good food and drink. We spent one day by the pool and the service was above and beyond what we expected. We also had the opportunity to go to two of the specialty restaurants (Mexican and French) and they were exceptional, the food was great and so was the service, the staff treated us like royalty. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Cruise was pleasant but the ship was so crowded it almost seemed overbooked! Having to reserve shows and events on ship was a must. Several on ship touch screens were malfunctioning and made this a chore. Norwegian takes every opportunity ... Read More
Cruise was pleasant but the ship was so crowded it almost seemed overbooked! Having to reserve shows and events on ship was a must. Several on ship touch screens were malfunctioning and made this a chore. Norwegian takes every opportunity to nickel and dime you with extra costs and upgrades around every corner. Ridiculous charging extra for WIFI these days! Should be included. The "only" adult pool was extremely small and always overcrowded. people waited in groves for the pool and hot tubs to open each morning so that they could actually get into the water. The room steward did a great job in keeping the room tidy. Buffet food was ok, but often gave me a case of the runs. the included cost "complimentary" sit down dinners were very nice. The excursion to Punta Gorda baths was nice. A bit over priced. Other stops we managed to find great beaches ourselves. Overall though I think if I cruise again, I will be looking at Royal Caribbean or even Carnival next time. I may even look into a flight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I have heard great things about this place. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my third cruise with NCL to Alaska, first on the Joy. The boarding process was a breeze! We were greeted by very friendly staff and our rooms were ready when we got on the ship. The stateroom steward was very friendly and ... Read More
This was my third cruise with NCL to Alaska, first on the Joy. The boarding process was a breeze! We were greeted by very friendly staff and our rooms were ready when we got on the ship. The stateroom steward was very friendly and attentive. We saw the live shows Footloose and Elements. Both were beyond amazing!!! I wish we would have seen them more than once! The buffet food was decent but never seemed to be hot by the time we got to our table. It was impossible to find a free table, even during slower times. If we did find a table we would have to track down a busser to clear the table from the prior people because they weren't cleared in a timely manner. I felt the ethnic options were better on past cruises. There wasn't a lot of options in the buffet, just numerous stations serving the same things. The Local was a good place to stop for a quick bite. Service was good. We ate one meal at Savor. We sat over 5 minutes before even getting water. The menu options were very limited. I ordered a fish sandwich with waffle fries. It was served without the fries initially and the waitress said she would get the waffle fries. 15 minutes later I was served a dish of cold regular fries. We had to practically beg to get our drinks refilled. Needless to say we didn't go back there. I was traveling with a cigar smoker and a cigarette smoker. On past cruises with NCL they allowed both in the Cigar Lounge. This time they were not allowing cigarette smokers in the cigar lounge and only had one spot on the entire ship for all cigarette smokers to go. It was outside with no covering or tables. There was no drink service in the cigar lounge like there has been on prior ships and to purchase a cigar, there was a phone number posted on the wall but no phone to use so you'd have to go back to your room and call and run back down to meet the person to get the cigar. One member of our group has limited mobility and uses a walker. There were flatter handicapped accessible ramps when we got off in ports but at one Port when we came back the ramp was down but not able to be used because they didn't have adequate staff to work it. They had us wait for over 20 minutes and still didn't have staffing. I finally ended up pulling the walker and the family member with limited mobility up the very steep ramp to get back on the ship. They were also using the same ramp as an exit ramp which caused some major issues. The staff at the District bar was incredible. I can't say enough good things about them!!! The variety of onboard activities was limited. There were a lot of singing/dancing options. On prior cruises there was a lot more options such as Crafters meet-ups. I spent hours over the week cruise in line at guest services. My first cruise was under my married name, all cruises since have been under my maiden name. For some reason this time they kept trying to use my old married name. I showed them my certified divorce paperwork with the name change, photo id with the correct name and they couldn't seem to get it fixed. Almost every day I'd have to go to guest services because of another name issue. Disembark was a disaster to say the least. I have never seen such a disorganized mess of a disembark process. It was not a great way to end the cruise. I will definitely cruise Norwegian again but will be avoiding the Joy and if issues like this come up again I'll be switching to a different cruise company. That's a lot of money to deal with that many issues. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Me and my husband decided to try Norwegian after being on 3 Royal Caribbean cruises. The ship is pretty new and clean. The cabin was great and clean we had an oceanview cabin. Things that we didn’t like: Service was very poor ... Read More
Me and my husband decided to try Norwegian after being on 3 Royal Caribbean cruises. The ship is pretty new and clean. The cabin was great and clean we had an oceanview cabin. Things that we didn’t like: Service was very poor comparing to Royal Caribbean. I really enjoyed dining at Manhattan Room – I liked the live music and the restaurant is beautiful, but most of the time service was so slow and the selection of food was poor. I asked for French Onion soup and was expecting the cheese to be melted on top like it’s supposed to be but no, the cheese was inside (it’s little things like that). Italian Restaurant and the Brazilian steakhouse were nice! Service was better! Alcohol: We were told we could bring 2 bottles of wine which we did. We didn’t get our luggage not until very late that night. The two bottles were taken away. I did not like that they opened the luggage without asking us for approval. Apparently the corking fee is $15 for each bottle. That’s horrible. Entertainment: I enjoyed the games by the pool! It was truly a great time! But I can’t believe that they have only 1 pool for 3,000 people. That’s insane! It’s very hard to find space near the pool too. I also think there weren’t a lot of things to do on the ship. No good shows. It was getting kind of boring after the dinner. I was very excited to watch the “Love and Marriage show” or whatever it’s called. But when we arrived to the Atrium, there were barely any place to stand I’m not even talking about sits. It would be better for them to do the show at the theater, so that way everyone can sit down and enjoy it. Disembarkation day: It took us more than an hour to leave the ship and we were carrying our own luggage. It was way too long. We won’t be back. Honestly in our opinion RCI is so much better. The food, the service, entertainment was so much better. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First, let me say that we have not cruised in about 10 years. We are retirement age people who cruised often as a family with our 2 children. They enjoyed it more than we did. Recently, we decided to give it a try again and visit some ... Read More
First, let me say that we have not cruised in about 10 years. We are retirement age people who cruised often as a family with our 2 children. They enjoyed it more than we did. Recently, we decided to give it a try again and visit some cities we've never been before, namely Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia. In the past, we cruised on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. These were standard size ships (2,500 to 3,000 passengers). The Bliss is a new (almost 1 year old) "Mega" vessel with a capacity of over 6,000 passengers (although the ship lists it at 4,000 passengers). And despite its immense size, no matter where you go, you were always jammed in with a huge crowd of people. On this ship, be prepared to do a lot of walking. From the back end of the ship to the front (or other way around). Or going up or down stairs from one deck to the next. The elevators on the ship were always jammed with passengers all day and night long. My wife found it very difficult to get around, having had knee replacement surgery recently. • I'll list all the "pros" of my experience first: • Entertainment: "Jersey Boys" was the best show on the ship. Standing ovation. Get your seat a 1/2 hour before the show starts, because it fills up fast. "Havana" was a good latin song and dance review. Elaborate costumes and stage decor. The stand-up comedians were terrific, hosted by Tim and featuring Jay Black and Larry Omaha. Book your seats on your first day on the cruise at the theater asap. I did not go to the Cavern Club shows. Way too late for us. However, "Siglo", their resident rock band that played at functions around the ship (the atrium and the pool) throughout the day were awesome. Be sure to go to the functions at the atrium, there's a lot games and shows with lots of audience participation. If you can find an empty seat, grab it fast. • Food: The best specialty restaurant for us was Cagney's steakhouse by far. Great Prime Rib (16 oz). La Cucina was good, not great. But "Q" was very disappointing and hardly anyone besides us were in the restaurant. I guess they got the word of mouth on it. The main dining rooms are good, The Manhattan room is the best of the mains, be sure to book a dinner reservation (even in the main dining rooms) or else you will wait in a long line before you are seated. Beware the breakfast and lunch service in the main dining rooms are slow, but sometimes a better alternative than the buffet. The Garden Cafe (the buffet, on deck 16) is a mad house. It's the largest buffet restaurant we have ever experienced anywhere and you can have ANY kind of food that you can imagine (asian, italian, mexican, deli, salads, on and on). But you have to scramble to find an empty table and you have to dodge and weave around the other passengers getting their food. Overall, the food at the buffet is standard in quality. Our cabin: see my separate review • The observation lounge: what could be bad about lying on a long lounge chair with a pillow behind your head and overlooking the ocean along with a drink and a snack, This is the observation lounge, a quiet area one deck below the buffet. • The Cons: • The elevators were always jam packed! I would have taken the stairs if my wife wasn't with me. • Excursions: because of scheduling problems, our time at the cities were very limited to a short quick afternoon. Plus, because of the number of passengers, we were very slow in disembarking the ship. Very frustrating. Overall, the cruise had some great aspects with a few not so great aspects. If you come in with a positive attitude and are not annoyed by the bad aspects, you'll have a great time. If you read this review you will know what to expect and figure out how to avoid the bad and indulge in the good. Good luck. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This is my first cruise on Norwegian. Since I've done 2 RCL last year, those experiences were still fresh on my mind so I compare the three ships. Sadly I must say that Norwegian is like many had lamented, lagging behind other leading ... Read More
This is my first cruise on Norwegian. Since I've done 2 RCL last year, those experiences were still fresh on my mind so I compare the three ships. Sadly I must say that Norwegian is like many had lamented, lagging behind other leading cruise lines now. Ship: Escape is quite impressive in size and plan. I like the water slides/park, rope course, and very nice mini golf course. Escape also seems to be rocking harder at similar weather, and definitely shakes (at 6th floor MDR you can clearly feel the tremble - as if someone's shaking legs at your table, and you can feel it at times even in the 16th floor Garden Cafe!). Can't help but think of the listing incident. Our last day had huge wind - 70+ miles, waves several meters high, but we were safe. I do like the casino not being as smelly as some other ships, and the atrium always having some interesting activities. Summary: RCL wins because they offer surf simulator and flight simulator. Skating rinks, rock climbing etc. And overall smoother ride. Cabin: Had mini suite on Escape, and Balcony on Allure/Anthem. I like Escape's cabin number plate, with "make up room", "at home", "do not disturb" indicators. Size wise they seem similar, but mini suite had bigger/nicer bathroom. The biggest complaints I have against Escape are listed further down in cabin review Summary: Easy win for RCL here. Food: MDR was a semi-disaster. Even if you go there at an early time, you might have to wait a bit to get in. The menu had few things special usually, and you have to wait a super long time for any course. The waiting staff were slow refilling (my water glass was empty and 10 mins past no one filled it up. I finally got a chance to ask the waitress and it took another 10 mins to get it). It was so bad that after the first 2 days, we went to Garden Cafe pretty much all the time. Norwegian claimed "Nobody does dining like Norwegian". They're right - we haven't seen a slower MDR on Carnival, RCL, or Celebrity! Anthem/Allure MDR was quite efficient and always had something interesting to order. I think it's not that Escape staff was bad, but they seem very short on hand in MDR. One waiter has to deal with many tables. It almost makes one think Norwegian deliberately drove traffic to Garden Cafe. But at least Garden Cafe is its saving grace. It's much better than RCL's horrendous windjammer. There's barely any long lines in Garden Cafe AND never ever had one had to wait outside the Cafe waiting to get in. Windjammer of RCL is small and jampacked, had food that's not that good and a few times had lines 20-30 mins long waiting outside to get in! We ended up mostly using MDR on RCL. Summary: RCL edges out, only slightly. Much better buffet on Escape can't fully compensate for the huge lack of finer dining option (sans paying extra for specialty dining). Entertainment: We booked every show, including escape room (you should book them right after you get on ship, in the box office) on Escape. The main, Broadway-quality show, After Midnight - nearly everyone of us fell asleep during some part of it. It's great singing, great showcase of jazz. But not including other music style AND without a real plot made it boring. The comedy shows were fine, same quality as other ships. The staff talent show - I was wowed. Grace from the O'Sheehan packed a powerful voice. She's in the wrong line of work and deserves a better stage. The Chinese dancer was quite professional and chose music nicely with good choreography. The magician was fine. Later ones were not as good but still quite impressive. The Knights - a huge letdown. They picked mostly obscure songs from the most famous knighted singers, and the few that were famous, you can't tell until the 3rd line! Somehow they managed to take every song and sign it in their own way, and not a good way! Their voices were ranging from OK to very good, but they shouldn't be singing pop songs. One of them should be belting out Broadway hits instead. Dizzy the magician was great! He's really funny and had some very nice tricks that I still scratch my head. But the real surprise was Choir of Men. I never heard of them before but they were fantastic! Like Knights, they took famous songs and sang in their own way, except it's a very good way! One of the Knights member joked at the end of their show said a Choir of Men member "came to watch their show on his off day, just to see how it shouldn't be done". It's actually true. Where Knights failed miserably, Choir of Men triumphed. From a powerful rendition of Adele's Hello to touching love ballade (not sure whose song was it). They chose different voices for different songs and nailed most of them. The bar tender, sadly, did not have a great voice but was tasked on two songs not well suited for him, particularly Sia's Chandelier?? He couldn't really do it, despite the nice harmony created by the team. But overall this is a 5-star show. I'd say don't miss Dizzy's show and definitely not Choir of Men! Activities wise it's similar to RCL, and the atrium big screen is nice for both simultcast and other activities. Summary: RCL still wins out easily. Anthem had We will rock you and Allure betters with Mamma Mia. Both had some impressive acts flown in to perform some shows and every show on RCL ships were quite good. The escape room on Escape is very similar to the one in 270 on Anthem, so that's even. Pool: Didn't really use it much. Hot tub usually quite busy, including spice H2O. The waterfall was quite gimmicky. Summary: RCL edges out slightly with bigger and better equipped solarium vs the small spice H2O. Fitness: Escape has decent size, and better classes at a slightly lower price for unlimited. It's way more packed the first two days than both of the RCL ships too. But one equipment had a bad seat from beginning till end of cruise despite that they said they called it in a while ago. Summary: This might be the only Norwegian win here. Port: Bermuda is nice! I like the beaches all looking different. View from lighthouse was very nice too. We heard various opinions that said Elbow Beach had the pinkest sand, or Horseshoe had the pinkest sad. But as we discovered, Jobson's Cove definitely had the pinkest sand of the 3, and possibly all beaches! One thing though - don't pick up anything translucent on the beach. And if you don't have place for your snorkeling gear, don't worry. Most of the beaches had few fishes. Horseshoe had like 10, Jobson's Cove had 4. My son said he saw more fish at the Garden Cafe... (There is actually reasonable number of fish at Tobacco Bay though, which has nice rock formations too). BTW surprisingly, even though the water's cold, once you get in, it wasn't so bad. On nice sunny April days, you can swim. We didn't book any excursions and didn't feel the need to. Took Escape's ferry to St. George and most other times were using public bus and ferry (bought bus tickets in post office). That was fine - the bus was slow and no clear schedule at individual stops, so we took taxi at times too. Final verdit: While we enjoyed our trip quite a bit, Norwegian was disappointing as it had the same price as RCL but definitely failed to provide the same entertainment and service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Not even sure where to start for this review. Let's start with embarkation process, normal and not to bad. This ship had 4100 guests on it. By far more than anyone needs to deal with. Every restaurant we ate at was at least a 2 plus ... Read More
Not even sure where to start for this review. Let's start with embarkation process, normal and not to bad. This ship had 4100 guests on it. By far more than anyone needs to deal with. Every restaurant we ate at was at least a 2 plus hour dining experience. Once you received your food you never saw your waiter again. It took forever for them to take your order and then forever to receive your food and then you never saw staff again. I understand that with 4100 people there will be a wait with anything you do. Entertainment: The shows themselves were Excellent! Priscilla and Burn the Floor were absolutely amazing!! BUT no matter what you do on this cruise you HAVE to have reservations or you will most likely not be able to see it. The comedy shows we waited in line over 45 minutes PRIOR to the show and still only standing room only. The Room: We had a balcony. GORGEOUS views but the toilet and shower were literally surrounding the front door so if someone was showering you can't leave unless you expose the person in the shower. The disembarkation: a literal safety hazard. Took us over 2 hours to leave and we were all stuck in the stairwells. Terrible. Excursions: We felt rushed on everyone of the excursions. There were to many people and we were all kicking and pushing each other when trying to snorkel. Overall, I would try NCL again but never a cruise ship with this many people. Having to get to a comedy club an hour or more before it starts just to get a seat is ridiculous. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose for the cruise for destination and ports. Service in dining rooms left much to be desired. Hostesses were rude and made you feel as though you were an imposition and not a guest. Servers were polite but very slow. Had to wait ... Read More
Chose for the cruise for destination and ports. Service in dining rooms left much to be desired. Hostesses were rude and made you feel as though you were an imposition and not a guest. Servers were polite but very slow. Had to wait 40 minutes for our brealfast to be served. We watched our food sitting for 15+ minutes, on several occasions, before being served. When it was served, food was always just lukewarm. Special requests were not honored. Often food ordered didn't arrive. I believe the prepaid gratuities lessened the service. In the past servers had to earn their tips. The specialty dining was very good. Food was excellent and service was excelllent. On deck barbeque was great! Room steward was great. Friendly and very attentive! Entertainment was enjoyable. Some of the recreational activities would have been nice to participate in but very expensive. The least expensive buy in for Bingo was $49.00. Overall it was an average cruise experience. Read Less
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