We chose this cruise because it was value for money and it was my wifes birhday and our wedding anniversary in the same week. Every day and night was an adventure.We went on all the shore tours at every port. Each one was perfectly timed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was value for money and it was my wifes birhday and our wedding anniversary in the same week. Every day and night was an adventure.We went on all the shore tours at every port. Each one was perfectly timed and organised. The onboard entertainment was top shelf quality. I have reommended this cruise to so many people as an awesme experience. We went to Rome ,Mt Vesuvious, Piza, Barceona, Miorca, The pools were fantasic day and night. Our cabin was one on the port side and had a balcony so every time we docked we could watch the whole procedure.In the cabin we had a double bed and large tv also a sitting area. We met another couple and dined with them each evening in a different restaurant after having our pre coctails. Even though this cruise was such a fantstic experience I dont think I could go on it again because it would spoil the memoroble experience we had Read Less
It was my first cruise and Norwegian seemed to have the most to offer. Norwegian employees were very friendly and the ship was kept very clean. Bermuda was absolutely gorgeous - must rent a moped and see the entire island. There are plenty ... Read More
It was my first cruise and Norwegian seemed to have the most to offer. Norwegian employees were very friendly and the ship was kept very clean. Bermuda was absolutely gorgeous - must rent a moped and see the entire island. There are plenty of shopping spots and places to wine and dine on the island. Take a moped ride all the way to the other end of the island - Hamilton - go to the pink beach - a must see! This island has a lot to offer and the natives are very friendly. We played the Port Royal golf course - if you are a golfer this is a must play course!!! The cruise ship docks right at the Royal Naval Dockyard - take a walk through the museum - there is a lot of fascinating history to see there. Swim with the dolphins right at the dockyard. Plenty of things to do right there. Read Less
Saturday, September 5th
We arrived from the Miami Airport via an Uber cab ride that was free for us because we had a $20 off coupon. We were dropped at the NCL pier terminal B where our baggage was collected and promptly processed ... Read More
Saturday, September 5th
We arrived from the Miami Airport via an Uber cab ride that was free for us because we had a $20 off coupon. We were dropped at the NCL pier terminal B where our baggage was collected and promptly processed through the ship's Latitude Members line. The other couple we were meeting aboard said the line was a lot longer and much more "toasty" at noon when they arrived. We were a bit later than them as earlier that day we drove in from our Sanibel Island pre-cruise vacation and had to drop off our rental car at the airport. Fashionably late seemed to work in this case.
Our cabins were not ready yet so we met our friends at Sugarcane Mojito Bar where we discovered the ladies' favorite drink of the trip: Pineapple Coconut Mojitos. We had to toast the Getaway with something fruity in our hands!! It was a lovely sendoff even though it was pretty humid and cloudy leaving Miami.
We went to our rooms to unpack after we finished our drinks. Both of us were feeling hungry and we knew it was going to be a late dinner, so we decided to try some of O'sheehans wings. The place was super busy but the only server in sight, Mykesh, seemed to be handling it well. He gave us excellent service. They were about average for wings, and I would definitely get the hot flavor if you like any heat at all. The wing sauce seemed to be tomato based and was unlike a traditional buffalo wing sauce. I ate them three times so I definitely liked them! Hubs enjoyed their fish and chips. As we were eating, we realized it was 5:00 and that I was supposed to meet my girlfriend at the spa for the raffle. I dashed up to the spa and caught the tail end of it, but didn't win anything for my efforts. The spa area is amazing with views of the ocean. I did get there in time to check out the debarkation special they were running which they called a "Head to Toe" for $149. It included a 75 minute full body massage, foot & scalp massage, and a facial. I had some birthday money and didn't get a massage before I came, so I justified signing up for one at 6:30 that evening. I am so glad I did! My masseuse, Summer, had a heavenly touch. She used Elemis products. It was an incredible way to unwind before the trip began and my skin was absolutely glowing. Hubs enjoyed the first of many naps while I was gone. When I got back to the cabin I was in a mad dash to get my hair and make-up done before the Illusionarium Dinner and Show @ 8:30.
The Illusionarium was a must-see! It was an additional charge of $39/pp but well worth it. Hubs said it was by far the best show he saw on the ship. Upon walking into the place you want to take your time because it is interestingly decorated a la Steampunk. It was an entertaining show and an above average surf and turf meal with salad and dessert. There were several magicians and an amazing mentalist performing. We talked to some of the audience members afterwards that the mentalist picked, and they had no idea how he was able to guess the words and phrases that they appeared to have chosen on their own at random. The performers engaged the audience and it was a well run show. The only complaint amongst our group was that the seating in the rows is a bit tight from person to person and there was a good deal of elbow jostling during the dinner portion of the evening.
Sunday, September 6th
For breakfast we went to the Garden Cafe buffet, which is the ship’s main buffet area. Personally I enjoy the omelet station where they cook one to order for you. It was crowded and sometimes finding a seat is difficult as it is a popular destination for people on the ship. At 10:45 we went down to Cagney's to get ready for the Meet n Greet for our Cruise Critic roll call. I helped to organize the meet and greet and gave some brief comments about the forum activity. It was a very active roll call as over 120 people signed up online to attend. There was a pretty good turnout with 67 singing in on the sheet. Many of the officers and crew showed up and introduced themselves, and even Sponge Bob came and welcomed us aboard. Afterwards, another cruise critic member led us on a Cabin Crawl where we got to see the different types of cabins and what we could expect if to find if we up- or down-graded in the future. We saw about 8 different types of cabins, including the Haven, and it took a couple of hours. He also put poker hands into the mix for each cabin with a payout at the end, which added more fun to the crawl. I fell in love with the Haven spa suite on deck 14. The cabin was not actually in the Haven but you get the haven amenities when you book it in addition to full spa amenities. At 3:00 another cruise critic member organized a slot pull. If you are reading this, make sure to sign up for the roll call for your cruise on cruise critic to join in the fun and get to know people on your next cruise!
For lunch we went to the Flamingo Grill for their Puerto Rican food. I had chicken, pork, rice, beans, cilantro sauce, sweet potatoes and caramel flan. Hubs had the rice pudding. This turned out to be one of my favorite and less publically frequented places to eat breakfast and lunch on the rear of the ship behind the water slides. After lunch, Hubs took a nap and I checked out the Spice H2O club with some newly made friends from the meet n greet. It is an adult’s only area with wading, seating, waterfalls and hot tubs. There is a big screen TV and of course a bar area, and it is a nice place to relax and hang out. During the day it is quiet and tranquil but at night it gets hopping with various party events.
Next we had a mixer at the Grammy Experience, where we toured the grammy memorabilia on deck 8 forward. For dinner that evening we booked a couples night at Cagney's steak house for $30/pp. Hubs said it was the best steak on the ship. He also picked the best appetizer - the lump crab - whereas I picked the shrimp cocktail. Don't you just love that NCL will bring you another if you ask (and I did), so they gave me a lump crab appetizer as well! I enjoyed my lobster but it wasn't as good as the one I had the next night at Ocean Blue. Next time at Cagney's I will stick with what they do best, grilling a slab of beef over a flame. It was very good, mind you, but the Ocean Blue lobster was exquisite. The atmosphere, food, and the service made for a wonderful evening. We had originally planned to watch Burn the Floor but I was too tired and we chose to take our dessert to our extra large balcony. I used my UBP this night and hadn't been taking naps so it was all catching up to me. We chose the UBP as our free perk as opposed to the UDP because the Illusionarium and Ocean Blue are not included in the UDP and the only other two places we planned on eating at during the cruise with cover charges were Cagney's and Teppenyaki.
Monday, September 7th
This morning we had breakfast at the Flamingo Grill and tried their Key Lime SIN-ammon rolls! These cinnamon rolls alone are why I gained 5 pounds on the trip. They are so delicious. I also had a bagel w/smoked salmon, cream cheese and capers. While attempting to walk off the cinnamon rolls afterwards, we ran across the Carlos Bakery where we had to try some cupcakes. So much for the “healthy exercise” – you can’t walk 100 feet on the ship without running into a distribution center for sugar, trans-fats, or liquor! Hubs got the carrot cake and I saved my peanut butter chocolate for later because I was still full. By now we had a refrigerator full of desserts in our cabin mini fridge. We played a little in the Casino until it was time for me to meet up with my girlfriend for "Wine Lovers the Musical - Wine Tasting Luncheon", which was another hit show. I was surprised how many men were there as it was a musical, but then again it was also a wine tasting.
It was held in the Illusionarium so there was much to see. There was an additional charge of $25 for the show, but it was very worth it. The host/narrator was excellent and we ended up seeing the actors in other shows later such as Legally Blonde. They really work these people! The lunch was peking duck salad, sirloin steak with breaded shrimp, lovely potatoes and mochaccino cheesecake. It lasted about two hours and we tasted five different glasses of wine, one of which was a special NCL blend. There was education and entertainment rolled into the mix.
The guys were back in the casino gambling away their 401k funds - somehow we did end up cash flow positive for the gambling portion of the trip. Us girls did a little shopping and then met them at Sugarcane on the outside deck where we were served by our favorite bartender, "Clarence the Chocolate Cowboy" as he calls himself. We tasted more mojitos and the Cucumber Jalapeno comes in at #2 for my tastes.
Dinner reservations that night were at Ocean Blue for $40/pp at 7:00, and for all involved it was the favorite meal of the cruise. We were seated by the window to view the ocean. The white tablecloth and formal upscale atmosphere were perfect for celebrating our friends' anniversary. The service was excellent, with wine suggestions and a good attention to detail. I started with clams in broth for an appetizer and us girls had the lobster. It was the best I've ever had. It was split and cooked to absolute perfection just ready to dip in the velvety clarified butter. For dessert I had the lemon meringue tart. Hubs had the lobster risotto and a huge slice of apple strudel that was the size of a brick. In addition, the NCL waiters served us champagne and chocolate cake to celebrate their anniversary. We of course ended up with more dessert added to our mini-fridge of dieting doom.
Tuesday, September 8th
This day we were at port in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands). The four of us met in the auditorium and took the NCL sponsored B.O.S.S. excursion, which stands for Breathing Observation Submersible Scooter. It was a unique experience for those who aren't certified divers to get the chance to go underwater and see fish and corals. It starts with a 45 minute scenic boat trip to the spot where we went snorkeling while waiting for our turns on the motorized water scooters. There were reefs and a shipwreck to see. An underwater camera is a must for this excursion, and the crew will even take your camera and photograph you and your group with it underwater. I got some kind of bites in the water while snorkeling that we are still are unsure about. I was a good distance from the main group and may have encountered some baby jellyfish or fire coral.
When we got back we attempted to get something to eat shipside at Senor Frogs, but they had extremely slow service so we decided to get back on the ship and eat. We found out later that another cruise ship had caught fire and evacuated, so many restaurants were overrun and some were even out of food. I was itching and uncomfortable from the snorkeling bites, so I just wanted a shower and some benadryl. While I did that, Hubs ordered room service. We ordered a cobb salad because I was feeling the need for some vegetables to counteract the previous day's meals, as well as a turkey club sandwich and a hamburger and fries for the Hubs. There is a $7.95 charge for room service now but I was glad we did it! It was great to just relax in the room and have the food delivered to us. The cobb salad had four whole pieces of bacon and an entire avocado in a gigantic bowl. We took it out on our balcony to eat but almost as soon as we sat down water a waterfall from the deck above us poured onto our table. You never saw anyone move so fast to save their salad. I didn't read the daily where they clean the decks on port days and water showers are to be expected on the balconies! I ended up eating most of my gargantuan salad and half the turkey sandwich. Those water sports make a gal hungry!
This day, I too took a nap as I was worn out. Then we toured the ship some more and played the 9 hole miniature golf, which Hubs beat me at.
Dinner was Prime Rib night at O'sheehans. It was average and a bit chewy. Hubs said that it needed a spice rub and to be slow cooked overnight, but I guess feeding that many people you don't have the time. I had wings again as an appetizer and some yummy mozzarella sticks.
We arrived back at our room to more cute towel animals and turn down service by our wonderful room steward, Claudia!
Wednesday, September 9th
This day we docked in Tortolla (British Virgin Islands). We left the ship and began our mini-excursion hunt for dock C. The entire area was under construction and poorly marked, so we had to rely on information from the locals on which way to go, and it ended up being a good 20 minute walk to the dock by the time we finally found it. Here we boarded the catamaran Lionheart for a beautiful day of snorkeling hosted by Captain Steve. We visited three different sites including Norman Island and the Indians, and took many fantastic underwater pictures of fish, jelly fish and corals. We were served assorted beer, sodas and rum punch. First Mate Darrell put together a buffet of luncheon meats, cheeses, 3 or 4 different salads, deviled eggs, breads and hot dogs. It was a great day and I would most definitely do it again! We arranged the trip through our cruise critic forum and met up with some of them. Altogether there were 12-15 of us which fit comfortably on the Cat.
Upon arriving back at the ship, the four of us had a 5:30 Reservation for Teppenyaki at 30$/pp. This dining experience is one of our favorite venues from our previous cruise, especially when traveling with friends. It is a Japanese hibachi restaurant that is loud and entertaining in addition to its merits as a good meal. The chef slices, dices and juggles your dinner as he grills. I had the seafood combination. The scallops were nice, lobster was overdone but the calamari was perfectly tender. Hubs had the steak and chicken which was excellent. I'm not sure what they marinate their chicken in but it is good.
At 7:30 we saw the Legally Blonde Musical. There was no extra charge but you do need reservations for seating. There were enough sparkles and pink in the show to fuel an entire beauty pageant. It’s worth seeing!
Thursday, September 10th
For breakfast we went to Savor. We got lucky and scooped a window seat so that we had a nice view. I had a mimosa and their eggs benedict. Hubs had pancakes, hash browns and sausages. On this day the service was slow. Afterwards we did a little souvenir shopping, where I finally hunted down an NCL ship magnet after being told earlier in the week that they were not to be found on the ship anywhere. With the postcards and scrapbook materials I also picked up, I am all set for my Smashbook creation when we get home. The previous day we had received a bingo card in our NCL daily, so we went at 11:00 to check that out. We bought a few more cards for the excitement of high-stakes bingo, and of course we ended up not winning anything.
At noon we were invited to an event at the Svedka/Inniskillin Ice Bar where we donned fur lined capes and gloves. We were escorted into the area where we toured the bar with all of its ice sculptures. There were two vodka drinks being served in ice chalices. The drinks were mango and lemon and both were tasty. I was glad to have prepared by wearing jeans and tennis shoes because it is literally a freezer with a bar inside of it. Hubs had a great photo opportunity sitting in the ice chair holding up his chalice. This was worth seeing once, but a little underwhelming.
This being our last at sea day, I wanted to finally try the waterslides. None of my party was willing so I went off while the three of them went to the arcade. My first slide was the orange one which turned out to be my favorite. It was the right combination of turns with just the right amount of speed. The blue/green Free Fall Slides were not open until later but I DID IT, once, and I got my free neti pot. That's all I have to say. I laid in the chairs on the deck, got some sun, and had the bartender bring me drinks. It was nice until the trio found me. We ate lunch nearby at the Flamingo Grill, and finished it up with lovely coconut pastries.
For dinner we went to the Tropicana where we had reservations for the Burn the Floor show. We had a table right by the floor so the view was amazing. For an appetizer I had a tasty ceviche and hubs had gnocchi. For dinner, I chose their evening special which was billed as a "whole turkey dinner". Much to my Hubs disappointment, they didn’t roll out an entire 20 lb turkey for me on a serving cart. Instead, what they gave me was both white and dark meat smothered in delicious brown gravy. On the side were brussel sprouts that were undercooked, dressing and cranberry sauce. The service was outstanding and the show was wonderful. The dancers were amazing! Some of the dances showcased were swing, salsa, and pasodoble. For desert we had Opera cake while a band played after the dance show. They were accompanied by an enterprising young toddler who owned the dance floor by herself for a good 15 minutes. We later joined the Glow Party at the Spice H2O club. There was quite a turn out for the party, so I was glad that we got there early to claim a table for ourselves. All in all it was a very nice evening indeed.
Friday, September, 11th
In port at Nassau (The Bahamas) , we ate breakfast again at Flamingo Grill. I couldn't get enough of those addictive Key Lime cinnamon rolls, plus it is a less crowded breakfast option and we were running late for our dolphin adventure excursion. We left the ship and walked to the ferry line for the Blue Lagoon. Our friends signed up for the excursion through NCL, but we went ahead and bought our tickets the day of directly from the tour agency. We saved a bit of money as it was $185 for the Dolphin Swim for me and $30 for Hubs to observe (the NCL price for the swim was roughly $250 a person). The ferry ride is about 40 minutes long and on the way you see many lush waterfront celebrity homes. Upon arrival at the lagoon, eight of us had about an hour and a half of interaction with a pair of dolphins. We got to touch them, hug them, kiss them and take a ride through the water as they pushed on our feet. I was disappointed that there was not enough time to do anything but the dolphin swim, take quick shower and grab an expensive snack. I would advise bringing something to eat with you because there is not much at their snack bar except chips, cookies and ice cream. It looks like there is a lot more to do on the Island but our ship didn't get us to port early enough to do anything more. I still feel like the dolphin swim was a once in a lifetime opportunity and was completely worth it. As hubs didn't participate we got some great pictures and video for free!
After our excursion the enthusiastic crew greeted us outside the ship with water spritzers, icees, and cool towels. It was so refreshing and welcoming! Read Less
This review is LONG overdue and have been meaning to post it for a long time! Let me start by saying that at the time of this cruise I had not had a full 7 day week off in about 5 years, needless to say I was REALLY looking forward to ... Read More
This review is LONG overdue and have been meaning to post it for a long time! Let me start by saying that at the time of this cruise I had not had a full 7 day week off in about 5 years, needless to say I was REALLY looking forward to this vacation. Between the cruise fare, gratuity fees, shore excursions, casino etc. we spent about $3,500 which to us is a pretty nice chunk of change.
Overall the food & service was pretty awful which are two of the main things cruise lines are typically on top of. We also felt nickle & dimed the entire time, everything good or worthwhile was an extra fee. The first night on the cruise we attempted to go to the Manhattan room for dinner which was over an hour wait; we then figured we would try our luck at Taste or Savor which are the other two complimentary dining rooms. I can’t remember which we wound up at but the two are right across from each other with a bar in the middle. The wait was about 20 mins which I didn’t think was too bad, we figured we would get a drink at the middle bar while we waited. After standing at multiple spots at the bar I couldn’t get any service for 20+ mins! By that time we finally got seated and waited about 30-40 mins and couldn’t even get a waiter to come over to us for a cocktail order. Fed up with the entire dining situation we made our way to the Garden Cafe (buffet).
The buffet was basically a bunch of cheap food almost like a Golden Corral or local Chinese buffet would have. Mostly Chicken fingers, mac & cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, subs, etc. We at a little bit of the food that had been sitting under heat lamps for the past 8 hours and left, needless to say it was awful. We figured we would try the dining halls again I thought that maybe it was just a busy time and we caught them on a crazy hour. We wound up back at Taste/Savor this time service was slow but still a little better. Cortney ordered a Sirloin Steak and was brought out two pieces of Roast Beef, I ordered the Duck and was given noodles and tiny chunks of meat similar to eating Hamburger helper. Needless to say awful again, we then left.
The next night we paid extra to go to the French restaurant Le Bistro. When we got there and looked at the menu we realized the extra fee didn’t include everything on the menu, if you wanted the really good items like Lobster you had to pay another fee! The Lobster dish was another $20 on top of the $20 cover charge, I felt as if I should have just stayed home and paid regular price to go out to eat. I wound up getting the lamb which was much better then the dining hall but portions were extremely small. Service was better than the first night but still slow so I had to accept that service just wasn’t going to be too quick all week. Overall the restaurant was ok but not really worth extra fees.
The 3rd day we went to Florida and didn’t get off the ship, the port wasn’t close enough to Disney/Universal so we felt it wasn’t worth the money paying for only 4 hours or so at the parks. One of the Disney charges was close to $300 per person just for the day, and it was an hour each way to get there so you lose 2 hours in the park just with transportation. We wanted to have a nice relaxing pool day and figured that maybe the pool wouldn’t be so crowded, God were we wrong! The pool was so tiny it was similar to one somebody would have in there backyard, for a 4,000 passenger ship this was a complete joke! There were also only 4 hot tubs surrounding the pool so basically they had 1 hot tub for every 1,000 people on the ship! The pool & hot tub situation was completely horrible and I couldn’t believe a ship this large would make a mistake like this on design.
Luckily when we first got on the ship we purchased passes to the private Vibe Club in which they only let 75 people into. We had our own private hot tubs, bar, chairs but of course like everything else it was an extra fee of $99 per person. The NCL website advertised them for $79 each but they wouldn’t even honor their own website price, I was told that it was incorrect & had went up. This club was our only chance to get away from the insanely overcrowded pool area and be able to get into a hot tub, it’s a shame that the only way to get some relaxation and a chair is to pay extra for it. Later that night we went to the Manhattan Dining Hall which was ok better then the first night but service was so slow! I felt like every time we sat down and ate it would be a 2 hour process for just the two of us!
In regards to fees even though we had the ultimate beverage package and could drink top shelf liquor all week we couldn’t get a bottle of water without paying for it. Water was close to $6, a bottle $5.84 to be exact, another thing we just felt nickel and dimed for. Coffees at the Atrium were also extra. We also went to the ice bar one day and they charged us $20 each just to walk in! It was the size of a small meat locker and we paid $40 just to see it for 5 minutes. The Thermal Suite in the Spa was also an extra $199 per person for the week, this didn’t include any treatments this was just to walk in the steam rooms, hot tub, salt room etc. We didn’t think it was worth paying an extra $400 for the both of us on top of the other $99 each we just paid for the Vibe Club. The Cirque Du Soleil show was also another $50 per person, even Martini tasting was $15 each even though we could get our own Martini’s free with the drink package! Also when you go out to specialty restaurants regardless if it’s bad service you still get hit with an extra 18% gratuity on top of the extra cover charge. One other thing I noticed was that even when I charged money to my room on the slot machine to play with (and lose) in their casino it was another fee! It wasn’t a lot but it was just the principle of paying an extra fee to spend money in there damn casino!
Another point I would like to touch on was lunch, if you wanted to sit down and have lunch at a dining hall or speciality restaurant you had to do it before 1:30. Everywhere except the buffet stops serving lunch at 1:30 which is ridiculous especially when you are on a vacation! 1:30 is typically when I want to have lunch, not end it! I felt like I was on my lunch hour at work and had to eat between 12-1. The Ocean Blue and the Wasabi Bar which have nice outdoor seating on the oceanfront you cannot eat at during the day even when it’s gorgeous out! I was even willing to pay the extra fee and they still wouldn’t let me. I arrived at the Wasabi bar one day around 2:00PM and it was full of people eating, we were told we couldn’t eat and all the people that were already eating got there before us. I tried to go to taste/savor after that which were also full of people eating and was told the same thing! This was another big disappointment to us, basically between 1:30-5:30 you couldn’t eat anywhere except that awful buffet. Every time I tired they kept trying to push me to go to that crappy cheap buffet! I didn’t go on vacation to eat cheap garbage sitting under a heat lamp for 8 hours. All of the good stuff you go on vacation to eat King Crab, Lobster, Filet Mignon, Shrimp cocktail, Sea bass, Mahi Mahi, etc. was non-existent at any of the complementary restaurants regardless if it was lunch or dinner. Most dishes were cheap like chicken, roast beef, or Tilapia.
When it came time to go to the private island we were dying to get off this boat. We were really looking forward to having a nice beach day and not fighting for space at the pool. I had planned on renting some Jet Skis as well. Of course we weren’t able to go to the private island due to the water being too rough. It didn’t seem that bad but I guess since they don’t have a port at their island they have to tender us in on smaller boats. Another huge failure from NCL, we had to suffer because they are too cheap to build a port at there own island.
Finally the next day we got to Nassau Bahamas and we were itching to get off the ship. We did the Atlantis Aqua Adventure which was close to $300 ($141 per person). The best part of the entire vacation was getting off this god forsaken ship and going to the Atlantis. This hotel was wonderful the sad part is we didn’t want to leave! We were contemplating getting all of our luggage and just staying there for the remainder of the trip. This resort was flawless, perfect, clean, beautiful pools, excellent service, the whole nine yards! I wish we just stayed there for the week, the Atlantis knows how to take care of there guests & we weren’t even staying there! NCL needs to take a few lessons out of their book on how to run things! We also spoke to people that were on the other Carnival ships docked beside us, all of them raved about how awesome their vacations/cruises were which made us even more upset.
Also just to add a little more fun to our vacation, the power and the air conditioning went out in the room one night. When I called the front desk we were told that Cortney shouldn’t be using her own hair dryer & hair straightener in the outlets which was completely ridiculous and never mentioned. We spoke to somebody a few rooms down and they had both things plugged in and everything was fine. So before dinner Cortney had to use a public restroom to finish doing her hair because the could not give us a time frame for when someone would be there to fix it. The AC also doesn’t work if the balcony door is open we made sure the door was closed and still no air conditioning.
Overall the cruise was pretty terrible. It’s really a shame, NCL has this big beautiful ship with awful food, bad service, and a tiny pool which are all huge factors that people go on vacations for. After speaking to the staff we also found out they work 8 months straight without a day off! Then it all made sense as to why service was so awful, these people are just burnt out! I know typically cruise ship employees do work a lot on all cruise lines, but to not give these people off at least 1 day a week in completely insane. There is no reason why they cannot rotate shifts so they can at least have a day off every week. We were also told Jan/Feb. is there off time so by the end of Nov. they have already been working 6+ months straight without any days off. NCL should really focus on having more crew and working them a little bit less rather than not having enough and working them like slaves.
We also spoke with about 25+ people who all were having the same experience we were. Not one single person on our cruise we spoke to said they were having a really good time. Halfway through the cruise most of us just wanted to go the hell home! Needless to say we will NOT be going on another Norwegian cruise! Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess from now on. I wanted to make sure I eventually posted this on here so nobody would ever waste there money on this garbage again! My comp casino cruises from Carnival are 10 times better and way less expensive! Carnival had way better service, way more included food that wasn't an up charge and 3 pools for a ship half the size. Carnival is definitely making a big come back and turning there reputation around. When I had my travel agent contact NCL all they offered was a $100 credit towards another cruise LOL! What a disgrace! Read Less
We have sailed with NCL on three separate occasions. East, West and Southern Caribbean. We long ago decided NCL was a 5 Star experience all the way. The booking staff wernt over and above our expectations. They were excellent. Well done ... Read More
We have sailed with NCL on three separate occasions. East, West and Southern Caribbean. We long ago decided NCL was a 5 Star experience all the way. The booking staff wernt over and above our expectations. They were excellent. Well done Susie. The incredible low price. My bank account always smiled and reminded me this was a very good choice. The cabins. Never too small. Our room was always very comfortable and we always felt warm and cozy. We were so happy with the inside and downstairs. Exactly what we asked for. One thing for sure we always had a good night's sleep.
Breakfast delivered every morning to our cabin. Thank you NCL. What is important to me and what always impressed me is the very high standard NCL sets for itself. The very best of the food. NCL always has an excellent way of doing business. Especially when it comes to eating out. Our choice was simple. Pick from a number of fine dining restaurants. The menu was always so interesting. We made a different choice every single night. Not forgetting their famous Irish pub and enough said about the Guinness.
My wife and I love the more relaxed atmosphere of NCL. It's always impresses me their come and go as you please. They call it Freestyle, I had never heard that phrase before our first cruise. Pure gold. Freestyle appears to be the mantra of all things NCL. Eat in, eat out, whenever you want off for a sleep, go sit at the pool. The upper deck & relaxation, drinky poo all day long. Morning, noon and night. Great outdoor music and ievery kind of style. All partying is included. Best of all and what I love about NCL is their unique philosophy '"It's all about you and we are honored to have you aboard" The staff work very, very hard to pamper each and every passenger. Remember they are always working. They are not your Facebook friend. Smile and they'll smile back. If time allows they will stay and chat. If you give or do the high five you get one. Be kind, always be respectfull remember to be patient. If you need a little cheer, need a kind word, heck thet would even tuck you in if it was allowed. Remember, happiness and good company is all included if you are willing to make the first move. We always appreciate that they are working far away from their family. Not one staff members are rich and yet they always make this poor Irishman feel like a millionaire.
I'm like so many in this continent. A meat and two veg kind of fella. Yet for one week I'm allowed to feel well pleased with my lot in life. Another highlight of being on board any NCL ship is it's always worth the price in itself. It is also one of the things that keeps me and my family coming back to NCL. Listen to this... you can eat when you want, in whatever restaurant you want and best of all, you can sit wherever you want. We have met so many wonderful, kind people over a very enjoyable meal. It makes my wife and I feel that every meal aboard NCL is a special occasion. I understand that there are some folks who complain about their own experiences with NCL I respect that. For me it's zero complaints, many, many thanks. See you soon. Peter Grogan, Ontario Canada Read Less
Our first open sea cruise having only experienced European river cruises previously. However the timing was right and friends who have done multiple cruises before (although not with Norwegian) highly recommended them.
On the plus ... Read More
Our first open sea cruise having only experienced European river cruises previously. However the timing was right and friends who have done multiple cruises before (although not with Norwegian) highly recommended them.
On the plus side, if we had sailed the scheduled cruise, we would have run through storms and high seas so the line (or perhaps the skipper) decided to run the cruise in reverse order. That must have required a huge logistical effort to rearrange berthing dates, excursion dates and supplies but it was handled extremely well and appreciated by most.
As we were travelling through Christmas and were actually scheduled for a day at sea on Christmas Day, this did mean some places were not open or were not as active on the new dates of call and some excursions were cancelled or shortened but this was understandable in the circumstances.
The quality of the excursions was very good - our only suggestion is that the Avignon & Marseille tour have less free time in Avignon where there was not a lot to do and spend that time in Old Marseille which we did not have time to stop at.
But for the ship and on board portion of the cruise, we were not satisfied. Most of the staff were pleasant and capable - there were some notable exceptions. The proficiency levels were mixed with some outstanding members of the crew and some mediocre.
The food - we had 4 nights in specialty restaurants and 3 nights in the general restaurants. Of the 4 specialty restaurants, all were excellent with the exception of the Italian restaurant which had a mediocre menu selection and the food quality was just ok - 2 of us selected the Osso Bucco and although it looked great when served, was dry and over cooked inside. No one raved about their dinner. Of the general restaurants, Windows,was the a la carte option. The restaurant presents very well. The head staff were very proficient. The wait staff were a lucky dip. Some were fantastic whilst others were perhaps in training or if not, were in need of retraining. The food selection was much better than we expected. The issue was getting a hot meal and/or hot tea and coffee. It seems the galley for this restaurant is located elsewhere and all meals come in with a warming cover to retain the heat - not successfully. This process added to the time taken to deliver meals. If at breakfast you were unlucky enough to get an inept wait person along with the delay in delivery of the meal, you had to decide whether you were going to wait or going to leave so you could get to your excursion (excursions leave around 8am and we thought getting there for 6:30 would give ample time for a standard breakfast with tea and coffee - wrong - so we ended up having breakfasts at the buffet from day 3 on. The buffet selections were very good and the food was at least what you would expect from a buffet.
The entertainment - our river cruises all had excellent entertainment and our friends having travelled on other cruises all spoke in glowing terms of onboard entertainment and shows. Unfortunately that was not the case with Spirit. Our first experience was a duo who performed nightly in the Galaxy of the Stars lounge around departure time each night. Their bracket selection was "varied" to say the least and they were often off key. It got to the point we would head off to dinner when they came on. The "shows" were definitely sub standard. The "production team" were either over choreographed or under rehearsed as you could almost see them counting 1 2 3 4 as they performed their routines. The quality of the sound system did not help them and they were often missing notes. The off-broadway show they did (and granted it was at short notice) was ample reason to confirm why they were not actually on broadway. The acrobatic show was a couple who had been very good at one time but are now living off that reputation. We had wanted to go to some of the themed entertainments advertised prior to departure but these were all around 10 or 11pm which when you have to get up at 6 to get to breakfast at 6:30 so you can get to your excursion on time was just not feasible.
Bar staff were either very good or very bad - getting 2 cocktails the same was a challenge - even the cocktails of the day.
The accomodation - we selected the 11th floor (top accomodation floor) midship balcony staterooms. They were smallish but quite adequate and very acceptable. Our steward was exceptional. Every night around 10:30pm there was the sound of running on our roof. We can only assume that there was a fitness class at that time of night and they were using the pool area rather than the running track on the 13th floor. But then every morning between 5:30am and 6:30 am there was a scraping and banging on the roof. We couldn't figure out what it was and after 5 days I went upstairs to find that the staff were putting out the deck chairs. They had a big stack which they dragged around making the scraping noise. They would then take a chair off and plonk it on the ground and then another and then another and then drag the stack along further. I couldn't blame the staff as they were only doing as ordered. But who in their right mind would schedule that for that time - people arent going to be using them (if at all in winter) until at least 8 in summer and no sooner than 9 in winter. We were not the only ones to experience this - every cabin below the pool area had the same issue. We did not pay the additional cost for this standard of stateroom to be woken every morning to that.
Our tour ended with receiving the account. Because of the excursion downgrades and cancellations, we had a credit balance (and once again, we have no criticism of why these occurred). We expected this to be credited to our card which Norwegian hold on file for settlement of their invoice. However we were told this was not so and that Norwegian would send us a cheque for that amount in due course. That was unsatisfactory - if we owed them money for additional items, they would deduct immediately from our credit card so it is a blatant rort for them to "put a cheque in the mail" in USD which we would then have to pay a minimum $25 clearance/exchange fee to get our own funds. We have communicated with them via the only means they provide (with the exception of a USA phone call) through their web site and have a standard response that someone will look at the email within 28 days - again unsatisfactory. As we bought our tickets through an Australian Travel agent and paid in AUD, our contract with Norwegian is subject to Australian law and we will be lodging a formal complaint to the Australian Government Fair Trade to resolve this promptly.
Would we go on another open sea cruise - probably. Would we use Norwegian again - MOST DEFINITELY NOT. Read Less
Fabulous service, very good attention, very clean and new cabins, plenty of entertainment on the boat and very good casino. This cruise was all about relaxing for us.
We chose this cruise because of the date, and cruising out of NY is ... Read More
Fabulous service, very good attention, very clean and new cabins, plenty of entertainment on the boat and very good casino. This cruise was all about relaxing for us.
We chose this cruise because of the date, and cruising out of NY is very convenient for us. The food was excellent everywhere,
We arrived at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal and were boarding within 15 minutes. (Getting to the cruise terminal was easy. Embarkation was quick.)
The cabin was small but adequate. Enough storage space for the two of us. We did enjoy the Ports, even with the bad weather which is certainly not Norwegian's faullt.
We did not visit any of the specialty dining rooms as the food was so good in the regular dining spaces. Overall, the ship was very nice, staff was very nice and accommodating, and the entertainment was very good. We are already looking forward to planning our next cruise! Read Less
Took my 18 year old grand daughter just out of high school on the Escape May 2016. Was great, picked the right cruise for a young person. To begin with the cabin was wonderful. Roomy for a cruise cabin lots of storage and the bathroom had ... Read More
Took my 18 year old grand daughter just out of high school on the Escape May 2016. Was great, picked the right cruise for a young person. To begin with the cabin was wonderful. Roomy for a cruise cabin lots of storage and the bathroom had a double sink !!! Fresh carpeting. The bed were very comfortable. After asking the room steward they were arranged in two twin beds for us instead of the queen. Shows were fast paced and very energetic, made you want to get up and dance. I spent my fare share of time in the Casino, which was good to me. The food lacked a little to be desired and service could be slow at times. We found Jimmy Buffett's Margarittaville and ate there a couple of times. Cruise director was so full of life, he was everywhere at once. The ship is loud but it is fun. Read Less
Very good cruise. We had cruised on the Breakaway in 2013, and were interested to see what we thought of the smaller ship. Honestly don't have a preference. Food was great, service was great, entertainment was great. Ship was in ... Read More
Very good cruise. We had cruised on the Breakaway in 2013, and were interested to see what we thought of the smaller ship. Honestly don't have a preference. Food was great, service was great, entertainment was great. Ship was in great shape. You would never know it was built in 2007.
Grand Pacific: great main dining room. Good for both dinner and lunch. Of course, lunch was much less crowded. Busier didn't seem to mean service suffered. Food was very good.
Magenta: quieter, darker main dining room. Food and service also excellent.
Orchid Garden: food ok, service a little slower
O'Sheehan's: good food, good service. Nice to drop by late at night for some snacks.
Garden Café/Great Outdoors/Topsiders: good food quick. Garden Café had a good variety from day to day.
Ports: Tortola (changed from Antigua due to a medical chopper evac), St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, debark at San Juan
Tortola was fine for a bit of port shopping. Had my beer stolen by a monkey in St. Kitts. The Yoda Guy museum in St. Maarten was a must for movie buffs. Butterfly Garden in St. Thomas was a nice little attraction. We were back on board by lunch each day for a bite and a swim (ship was very empty while in port).
Entertainment: Karaoke was always fun in Bliss. Trivia in Grand Atrium a nice little diversion. Pure Variety show in main theatre was excellent, as was comic juggler Dan Bennett. Second City shows were hilarious, as were the Newlywed Game, Perfect Couple and Quest game shows.
Photography department was excellent. Very friendly, and great work (we had a package of 50 standard photos, and made sure to take advantage).
Cruise staff were all great. Cruise director Drew and assistant Zach, as well as Sarah, Ash (Mr. Sum Ting Wong - hilarious), JoJo, Beancka, Bin etc.
Cabin was inside stateroom. Perfect for our needs. Seemed a little smaller than Breakaway, but made up for by what seemed to be larger washroom and much larger shower.
Our cabin steward made a few mistakes (breaking wife's glasses, charging us by mistake for mini-bar). Was very apologetic, but a little disappointing.
Met some great new friends from Georgia, Pennsylvania, Washington, Nebraska.
Was a little seasick on the first few days (all at sea), but settled down when we got closer to the islands.
Overall, would go with Norwegian again. We love the Freestyle concept. One has to watch pricing, and be certain to watch on-board spending (especially with a shopaholic wife), but all in all, a very good cruise. Read Less
Growing up my parents favorite thing to do was cruise so every summer, winter break, spring break, birthday well you get the point, I have been on a lot of cruises. So in July me and my boyfriend went on a cruise with my family for my ... Read More
Growing up my parents favorite thing to do was cruise so every summer, winter break, spring break, birthday well you get the point, I have been on a lot of cruises. So in July me and my boyfriend went on a cruise with my family for my birthday. We had 3 balcony rooms which were OUTSTANDING, when we first got to the room they had strawberry's and a bottle of champagne waiting for us. We did the dinning package and ate at the restaurants every night and every single meal was unbelievable, service was better very attentive and very good. We had the ultimate drink package which if you drink i would 10/10 recommend, you could get any drink you wanted when ever you wanted. My favorite part was the cruise director, Tyler. We had seen him the Christmas before on Norwegian Sky and loved him on that ship as well. He was very interactive with the guests and has a great personality. At night, i saw him in the night club till it closed having a good time with guests. To top it off we got engaged and the second to last night and the next day, it was like every crew member knew! Not once did we walk past a crew member and they didn't say congratulations!! We will definitely will be sticking with Norwegian and would absolutely recommend Norwegian Escape the next time you cruise!! You wont be disappointed!! Read Less
We cruised with a large group of friends and we all had rooms within the same area, which we requested and they accommodated us with a smile. The food and the entertainment were great. The staff was the best part, they were so friendly and ... Read More
We cruised with a large group of friends and we all had rooms within the same area, which we requested and they accommodated us with a smile. The food and the entertainment were great. The staff was the best part, they were so friendly and helpful and had great attitudes ALWAYS!! Would highly recommend this cruise, especially if you are going with a group of friends. So much to do. Boarding and disembarkment a little slow, but bearable. The food was wonderful and most of the time we ate cafeteria style and each night something g different was served. I was disappointed with the desserts, but I'm picky about my desserts. Breakfast was the best!! Restaurants were always clean
Love, love, loved everything about the breakaway!
I was concerned that after 4-5 days I would get bored, but I was sooo wrong.
Only 1 complaint, the pool area should be bigger. It's really a small pool for such a large ship. Read Less
The boarding presses went fast, as did the departure from the ship. The whole cruise was fantastic! The staff were all very friendly and helpful. There were plenty of activities on and off the cruise ship. Shore excursions were great, with ... Read More
The boarding presses went fast, as did the departure from the ship. The whole cruise was fantastic! The staff were all very friendly and helpful. There were plenty of activities on and off the cruise ship. Shore excursions were great, with plenty to choose from and ease of booking and attending them. Food was fantastic, loved the 'Freestyle' cruising aspect. Ship was very clean and it was great having the buffet open late. There were plenty of restaurants to choose from and a lot of variation in food choices choices every day. Daily activities and performances were great; there was always something new going on, on-board the ship. Aside from the pools being a little crowded, it was a complete positive cruise. Overall, this was a wonderful experience to cruise Norwegian. Myself and my family greatly enjoyed the whole trip! I would recommend NCL to any looking for a great vacation. I would definitely cruise with Norwegian again! Read Less
My husband and I cruised after a seven day absolutely amazing independent land tour through Alaska Tour and Travel. We choose Norwegian because it is more casual and we would not need as much luggage for the two weeks since we would not ... Read More
My husband and I cruised after a seven day absolutely amazing independent land tour through Alaska Tour and Travel. We choose Norwegian because it is more casual and we would not need as much luggage for the two weeks since we would not need as many dress clothes and shoes. Limiting luggage for the land portion is important.
We spent two nights in Seward and those days were great. We took the shuttle to exit glacier and went on the ranger hike. It was very enjoyable and inexpensive. The second day we went on the Kenai Fjords eight hour trip with Fox Island. It was the the number one favorite of the entire trip with the train to Denali and To Seward a close second.
There Is no question that the land portion was a much better experience than the cruise.
Since we stayed overnight in Seward we checked out and went directly to board during the first time slot. It was a very quick and easy process. Lunch was ready and we ate while waiting on the room to be ready. We had a balcony and it was very nice. However I would not get it again because it was too cold to sit out. We preferred to view the glaciers from the observation lounge and deck. Yes the ship turns so you can see from all sides but that is only when it gets to the glacier. However the views are stunning from afar as the ship approaches the glacier straight ahead. So we went early and got seats in the warm lounge and just read or chatted and went out on the deck to watch until we got cold and back and forth. Then when we arrived at the glacier we scooted right out again to watch from the rail outside. So I would have saved the money for the balcony,
I was unhappy with this cruise for several reasons. our itenary was changed several weeks before sailing but NCL denied it. I knew because we had booked two private excursions and both companies contacted me cancelling the trips and refunding the money. But when I called to confirm NCL said there were no changes for that week. My travel agent then got involved and they told her no changes. She contacted the excursion companies who forwarded her emails from both NCL and the port authorities saying the itenary had been changed due to water treatment difficulties. There is absolutely no excuse for lying. We needed to know so we could make different plans for another port.
Secondly, dining was an issue for me. We had the dining package so three nights we had specialty dining. We ate at Cagneys which was outstanding, at Le Bistro which was so delicious and had spectacular views as we sailed the inner passage. The third night we ate at Moderno And it was ok but not great. My problem is with the main dining room. There is an up charge on a large number of the entrees. This is just wrong. The extra charges should only apply to the specialty restaurants. My oldest son and his wife sailed Royal carribean to Mediterranean and my youngest son and wife sailed Royal carribean western carribean this summer as well and everything on their menu was free and they had nice steak cuts and great seafood options. The only choices we had free were the cheaper steak cuts and the seafood free choices were pasta or rice dishes. Yes we had plenty to eat but again this is just wrong in my opinion.
Next, the entertainment was often spoiled by the cruise director who was just plain silly. Not funny, silly. The comedians were so so. The game shows and other entertainment in the lounge were much better. There was a good band also several nights. Karioke was not good because there were so many really bad singers for the few good ones but that is not the fault of the ship. They can't control the talent of the guests. But the staff in charge had to beg to get enough to compete in the talent show at the end. I enjoyed the Zumba and line dancing lessons but they were very short about half an hour.
Finally the amount of time we spent in the ports wAs pretty short so we really couldn't do as much as we wanted.
It was my husband's first cruise and he says he will never do another. He says you can only eat so much and he is a big eater! I liked it but will definitely try another line because of the flat out lying and the dining room charges.
In juneau we went whale watching. It was amazing. We did not book through cruise because there are over a hundred people on the boat. We had booked through Harv and marv but that was cancelled because of itenary change and they had no vacancies the different date so we booked through whales galore.t carries about 14 more than Harv and marv and for less time and more money but still better than 140 for sure. We saw many many whales breaching and were lucky to see the bubbling which is not common but so impressive. It was great. We had no time to go on the tram or see anything else in Junea.
Scagway got eliminated and we went to Sitka instead. My husband booked a private fly fishing trip and he said it was one of the best experiences of his life. I went on the cruise excursion 4 wheeling bear watching. It was pretty lame. We saw some bear poop. The best part wAs boat ride over and back to get to the site. We saw a whale and some scenery. The jeep ride was fair. I think a kid would have liked it but there wasn't much to it. It was better than just staying on ship and I have no interest in Russian history.
Icy Straight was very good. We wLked into the little town and it was a beautiful easy walk. I felt like I was seeing the authentic Alaska. I would have preferred to walk but my husband doesn't like it as much as I so we took the shuttle back. We didn't want to go back to the ship so we booked the bear watching trip and were so glad we did. We saw a cub salmon inn in the stream and then he came up very close eating berries.. We had a very nice walk through the woods and along the stream. We later learned that the fishing was great there so my husband would have booked that if he had known.
Ketchikan was a port we were so looking forwRd to but ended up being the worst. Long before sailing we had researched and booked up a charter salmon and halibut fishing trip through Baronoff. We booked privately but the raise used them as well. It wAs to be a long trip getting back just in time for sailing. My husband who had done nothing but rave about his fishing trip and guide in Sitka had not one good thing to say about Baronoff. He said they spent most of the time riding to and fro and little time fishing. And they got back to the ship long before the trip was to end. He said it was boat riding listening to a rude guide bragging on himself and his exploits. A very serious waste of money. I was excited to go on the ship excursion to Misty Fjords by the floatplane catamar combo. It ,however, was cancelled due to fog and rain. So I booked the bear watching trip. It was the ABSOLUTE worst. The van had poor viewing. I had been told I was first in line for that vehicle and could sit up front. However a large man boarded and complained it was hard to get in and out so I was made to go to the Backand could see absolutely nothing riding . we stopped to see an eagle nest and then rode to a spot where we got out and walked a few feet to see a stream. We stood there maybe five muinutes and headed back to the van. I asked if we weren't going to go further and he said the rest was private land. So I asked if we were headed to another spot. He said no there wasn't time to go anywhere else. So we rode through the town with him pointing out things you couldn't see and then to this place that had totem poles and of course to the gift shop which was obviously the purpose of the entire bait and switch excursion. I would rather have thrown my forty bucks in the ocean and read my book because it was a miserable experience. Read Less
We chose this cruise because we heard great things about it, and because we wanted to go to Alaska. The ship was in great condition, and the staff were all helpful and friendly. We were very impressed by the entertainment onboard the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we heard great things about it, and because we wanted to go to Alaska. The ship was in great condition, and the staff were all helpful and friendly. We were very impressed by the entertainment onboard the Pearl in the evenings. The acts were fabulous - a comic, a cirque soleil performance, and a show. The sightseeing was great, and the ship even pulled up to a Glacier so the passengers could see it closely. The announcements were great and very informative. We enjoyed having a nature guide come onboard the ship to educate the guests about the wilderness of Alaska. Getting off and on the boat was very organized and easy. This was our first cruise, and we would recommend this ship. The choices of ports were great, and the excursions that we booked through the company were great. Overall, it was a wonderful trip. Read Less
This was my first cruise so I had no clue what to expect. I went on it totally surprised and never looked up the ship beforehand. I knew water slides, and crazy stuff were on ships but I didn't know the one I'd be going on ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I had no clue what to expect. I went on it totally surprised and never looked up the ship beforehand. I knew water slides, and crazy stuff were on ships but I didn't know the one I'd be going on didn't have that.
The ship was a bit old, and outdated but was fine. The pool deck was constantly crowded, which made it not enjoyable to hangout there. I was with 4 other people and after being in constant heat all day we wanted to go swimming and just cool off, but the pool was constantly over crowded. There was an adult pool, and family pool. Both understandably small but were constantly crowded. It was impossible to swim. The food on the ship was average, nothing to rave about. The buffet area was pretty much open whenever we would pass it.
We had both an interior room and a balcony room on the 10th floor. The balcony room was nice but the pull out bed was so small. If you're taller than 5'1 like me, I don't recommend that bed. Interior room was clean and what you'd expect. There was many shows and events all day on the ship, and a small arcade for kids. There's a couple bars scattered around the ship.
I do not want to go back on this ship, just because I would rather be on one with a water slide, and more outdoor activities. However for taking it easy it was nice. Read Less
I went on the eastern Caribbean cruise in August I forgot the exact dates but yes this is a late review. We had a mid ship balcony suite which is really at the bare minimum of what you need space wise, anything less than that it's ... Read More
I went on the eastern Caribbean cruise in August I forgot the exact dates but yes this is a late review. We had a mid ship balcony suite which is really at the bare minimum of what you need space wise, anything less than that it's just to small imagine trying to live in an average size bathroom for days. The room was great except there was weird stain on the bed I can only imagine what ir was and raised the issue with the room stewards and they apologized and quickly replaced that part of the bedding. The bed it self is very firm and of hotel quality definitely built to last everything else in the room is above average.
THE SHIP: It's a very well laid out ship the only hectic part was boarding people everywhere trying to get a elevator to get into your room, here is a good tip don't get on at 10 am or the earliest possible boarding time you will wait in long lines, fight people to get into an elevator, you may be trampled by an electric scooter or too, and your room probably won't be ready remember there are only 6 room stewards per floor they have over 500 staterooms to turn over, which means around 80 rooms for each steward to turn over in a few hours, people have gotten off the boat as early as 6am and others as late as 9 am your getting on at 10 nothing will be ready.
The ship has plenty of entertainment my recommendations is to go to the kiosk that you swipe your ship key card on and book all your dinning and shows as soon as you get on the boat if you wait you probably will not be seeing a show or eating at your favorite specialty rest. extremely late. Best overall value on the specialty dining is the Brazilian steak house, and the tappayanki rest. the others aren't much better than the buffet food and aren't worth the cover charge of $20- 25 per person. Shows are top notch saw burn the floor and rock of ages high quality shows definitely a cut above!! Also every day your room steward will drop off a daily guide called free style daily and this gives you a breakdown from 5am until about 1am of what is going on through out the ship. Plenty of bars to get a drink, check out carlos bake shop great snacks that can't be beaten, play your favorite board game in the library, pool side table tennis, waterslides, bake in the sun at spice h20 while having a cold one or two, and go under the waterfall to periodically cool off.
Pool is always crowded on sea days get there early like 7am for a seat, people will put their personal stuff on the chairs so it looks like someone is sitting there, and they will go off and do other things so they can always have a seat by the pool, trick is to come back in 20 min if no one is sitting there just move their stuff and take their seat, you will probably be gone anyway by the time they come back!!
Buffet food is decent they certainly know how to serve volume and quality on the Breakaway , even have vegan food which is a huge plus for a lot of people, salad bar, workers constantly cleaning and refilling food to ensure it's always fresh and keep people fed. Have never had bad service on the breakaway and I have been on it 6 times. Mini golf, wall climb, obstacle course, walk a plank and get your picture taken stories above the open ocean, arcade games, kids activities, bowling, basketball courts, exercise at the gym, spa is over priced, duty free shopping is good for alcohol and cigarettes but jewelry is realty low quality and over priced, don't believe me make the mistake of buying it and bring it to a jeweler on land and they would have sold it to you half priced for the same thing, the sales people work on commission they will tell you anything and everything to sell you jewelry or watch.
*******CASINO WARNING***********the games in that casino have higher limits than a typical casino, slot machines are extremely tight and do not pay out anything significant. Black jack automatic shufflers, save your money no one wins anything.
overall I have always had a great experience on the Breakaway definitely worth the $$$ and time to see these amazing places.
I had a great time at all the destinations we stopped at such as San Juan, St. Thomas, Tortola, Bermuda basically just beach hopped all day as you only have 5-8 hours at each stop. I wish they didn't spend so much time getting there so we have more time in each port. Should be set up so you get into each port at 5am and leave at 11pm and sail overnight to ports. Shore excursions through NCL are sometimes worth it and sometimes they are 2x as much as what you can book it yourself for if you just wait to get to port and go straight to a tour operator for example glass bottom boat was $50 per person through ncl but I found a different tour operator for glass bottom boat for $30 right on the pier and that was in Bermuda, so if you have extra cash and don't mind paying a little extra NCL shore excursions make it easy. If you look at the price of the cruise you do get what you pay for if they charged less you wouldn't have the same experience because they would have to cut back on food quality, staff, cleanliness , or amenities.
****Very clean even have workers walking around with buckets and clean cotton towels cleaning hand rails, elevator buttons, inside elevators, food establishments are clean everything was clean they don't want anyone getting sick. Plenty to do tons of activities if your bored your doing something horrendously wrong, Read Less
My overall vacation experience was terrible. I was not able to enjoy my vacation week at the Escape because it was extremely crowded (5,100+ souls). We travel in a group of 4 couples and NEVER were able to get not even one chair in the ... Read More
My overall vacation experience was terrible. I was not able to enjoy my vacation week at the Escape because it was extremely crowded (5,100+ souls). We travel in a group of 4 couples and NEVER were able to get not even one chair in the pool. The pool area it is extremely small for such a huge ship. We had to go hang out at the H2O area and still had a hard time fishing for chairs and shade. There are not so many umbrellas in that area. People leave their belongings holding the chairs and leave and nobody else is able to use them. We reported the issue and they told us that there was people monitoring it but there were not.
In my opinion there are not enough trash cans in the big common areas, so people leave garbage everywhere, it is discounting! Since there were so many guests the ratio of crew members by guest was not enough. Crew members were constantly overwhelmed by people complaining about several issues.
We had to waste time waiting on the elevators, waiting in line to go into the restaurants and the lines for the entertainments were so long that we did not get to enjoy them at all… trying to book a show or an excursion was a mission. The whole experienced was not pleasant at all, you could feel the discomfort of many people on the ship. Honestly I was frustrated most of the time. To order a drink in any bar you had to wait in line; the breakfast room was always packed and there was people eating standing. I have travel on other ships and cruise lines (Celebrity, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, and Princess) and unfortunately I can say this has been the worst experience ever. I’m really disappointed about the level of service of some crew members, that need to be train better on hospitality, they don’t seem to have any patient what so ever, they need to realize that we the guest are on vacation, but in a way I understand that they were overwhelmed therefore, the guests and the crew members were victims of an overbooked ship.
We paid for an Internet package as well as the App and both systems were horrible, the Internet was extremely slow and the App not even work to make phone calls while the ship was at sea. The entertainment in the ship was good, there were a couple of fun parties but the shows are totally average. There is not a variety of shows. Nothing compare to the level of productions on other ships. We enjoy our mini suite and having a balcony, but the idea of being on a ship it is not to stay at your cabin, which we choose to do because the rest of the ship was packed. Our stateroom stewards was great as well as a couple of the bar tenders in the H2O area. I would not recommend to travel with this cruise line to anyone. Read Less
I meant to write this quite some time ago but as usual back to land and back to work and life's every day doings.
Let me preface this by saying I have been cruising for 19 years now. I have sailed on everything from Carnival to ... Read More
I meant to write this quite some time ago but as usual back to land and back to work and life's every day doings.
Let me preface this by saying I have been cruising for 19 years now. I have sailed on everything from Carnival to Disney to Celebrity to NCL most recently. However, I miss Carnival and looking forward to going back next Oct!
I am a single woman late 30's - again also just for reference.
The Norwegian Gem is such an amazing ship, the refurb was beautiful, I did enjoy the new look of it especially the photo area. Very hip, crisp and fresh.
The food this time around was excellent, can't say enough about it. We dined twice at Teppanyaki and both times were excellent! Love the Green Tea Ice Cream for dessert and we were even there for a proposal the 2nd time!
We also ate at Cagney's my personal favorite, service was above par
La Cucina we ate 2 nights there, food and service were great as was our server, he took very good care of us both nights!
We did also eat at Sheehan's the 24 hour "Diner" as I refer to it, sorry I am from New Jersey. it was good, but wish they did have a better variety of choices before it changed I thought the menu was a bit better.
We had beautiful weather for the week a little bit of rain in Nassau but we found cover and all was fine within 15 minutes.
We had a lovely Balcony cabin an Excellent room Steward, he gave us great Towel Animals every night and used props from our room!! I loved it!!
One of our other favorite parts of the Norwegian Gem was the Thermal Suite, I feel it is the best one so far on NCL ( have not been on the Getaway or Escape ) Never felt crowded and love those hot stone chairs and the hydro pool, so very relaxing. Well worth the money for the week. We were there everyday. If you want to relax what a great way to do it!
We did not go to any of the Big shows in the Stardust theatre as they have not changed since the first time I cruise on the Gem ( this was my 5th time on this ship)
However, we did enjoy the entertainment in the Spinnaker Lounge, that was where we spent most of our evenings, good game shows, good parties. Very enjoyable and Cesar the Bartender is THE BEST!!! We met him the first day at the Pool and he was the head guy and he took excellent care of us, even if we just wanted a Club Soda with Lemon. he saw me coming up to the bar and he gave me a nod and a smile and I nodded back and he had my Club soda with Lemon all ready
My only disappointment this time was the overall entertainment and cruise staff. We were spoiled because on our last cruise on the Gem we had the top Team on NCL and they were fantastic, this time around not as great and I felt it was missing something. Now they may have not had a lot of experience either so they might have been just trying to find their place. Read Less
This was my first cruise for pleasure - had previously been on the PO Oriana and Aurora for business and I have to say I much preferred the Epic.
Went on this cruise with my sister.
Fantastic ship, on this cruise we had an inside ... Read More
This was my first cruise for pleasure - had previously been on the PO Oriana and Aurora for business and I have to say I much preferred the Epic.
Went on this cruise with my sister.
Fantastic ship, on this cruise we had an inside cabin, it wasn't small but decor made it seem bit dull but we didn't spend to much time in the cabin.
Loved the "casual cruising" style - no fixed dining room, set table or times for eating - eat where and when you pleased. We pre purchased 3 speciality meal deal and the choice of restaurants is fantastic we chose - Cagney's Steakhouse, the Teppanyaki and the French Bistro - on these nights we chose to get dressed for dinner and the food was second to none. In saying that the other restaurants on board were great with the Chinese restaurant being another of our favourites.
We also had unlimited use of the Spa and this helped make our holiday was so relaxing.
We also had the ultimate drinks package included in our holiday so had cocktails every night - wouldn't go on these cruises without this.
The entertainment on this line is second to none we saw Priscilla Queen of the desert and dance show Burn the floor.
We enjoyed the cruise so much we have booked again to go again June 2017 and have booked a cabin with a balcony this time.
We didn't go on any of the excursions as we wanted the experience of the ship - plus we have already visited all the ports the ship visited.
Would recommend this cruise line and especially the ship the Epic to everyone. Read Less
My cousin recommended this cruise for us to go on for our honeymoon and it was by far the best vacations my husband and I went on. The cabins were actually spacious as well as the bathroom because I was expecting them to be smaller. ... Read More
My cousin recommended this cruise for us to go on for our honeymoon and it was by far the best vacations my husband and I went on. The cabins were actually spacious as well as the bathroom because I was expecting them to be smaller. Even though the room next to us had children we couldn't hear them unless they were on the balcony. The service was good and the food was one of my favorite parts especially the "Asian Bar". I tried different types of food that I would never have thought to try before. I enjoyed my entertainment and activities that they had for us to do. The room attendant always make sure that our room was cleaned, bed were made, towels and toilet paper were stocked. He even made origami animals for us. The first port was St.Thomas and we loved it, we caught a taxi and went to the beach then after leaving the beach we went to the gift shops and walked around before getting back on the ship. After St. Thomas we went to Tortola British Virgin Island and Nassau, Bahamas. I'm beginning to plan my next cruise with Norwegian for 2018. Read Less
This was our first experience with Norwegian. We thought the ship was beautiful. It had recently been refurbished (although we never saw it before the changes). Really liked the Irish Pub that took over entire Atrium area. Also enjoyed the ... Read More
This was our first experience with Norwegian. We thought the ship was beautiful. It had recently been refurbished (although we never saw it before the changes). Really liked the Irish Pub that took over entire Atrium area. Also enjoyed the Mondavi Wine Bar. Port cities were all great, except for maybe Sydney. Food was fine. However, there are more pay restaurants than regular restaurants. Part of cruising is supposed to be food included. I notice no longer can we get lobster or high end steaks with regular cruise fair.
Biggest gripe is no laundry facility for us to use ourselves. We tend to add a cruise on in the middle of a longer vacation. Count on doing our laundry at the end of the cruise so that we have all clean clothes again for the rest of our vacation. That way only need to pack half as much. We were offered a special laundry deal where Norwegian did our laundry, however it was offered 3rd day in. Still had 5 nights to go of using clothes that we could not wash. This ship also seemed to have an older crowd that the Princess cruises we had taken in the past. We always cruise spring or fall when school is in, however this crowd still older (we are 57 and 65 - almost youngest on the ship). However, ship and crew were great. Read Less
The embarkation was long and drawn out in Quebec City. Could have been arranged much better. But, once we were on the ship things went much better. We felt the problem was people on board wanting to disembark were hindering the ... Read More
The embarkation was long and drawn out in Quebec City. Could have been arranged much better. But, once we were on the ship things went much better. We felt the problem was people on board wanting to disembark were hindering the embarkation process. it was not well organized at all.
Dinner upgrades to French bistro , Cagneys steakhouse, Teppanyaki , and la cucina all added to our experience with the great promotions we were offered. Truly enjoyable.
O'sheehans bar and grill was a highlight for all other meals whether it was breakfast or a snack in between meals.
we really enjoy the exercise walking area to get our steps in daily after meals.
We were fortunate our room and balcony were located very well on the ninth floor not too far from the atrium and central area for entertainment. During the day we could play cards in the lounge area close by. At night we had our great dining, then off to casino for a bit. We always had fab evening entertainment close at hand just down from our room on 9th floor yet the sound was not a problem. Read Less
My wife and I were going on a vacation to Hawaii and my wife wanted to see all of the major islands (no children). Our choice was to pack up every couple of days and arrange flights between islands along with rental cars, or take a cruise ... Read More
My wife and I were going on a vacation to Hawaii and my wife wanted to see all of the major islands (no children). Our choice was to pack up every couple of days and arrange flights between islands along with rental cars, or take a cruise around the Hawaiian islands. We found only one cruise that originates in Hawaii and goes to all of the major Hawaiian Islands, the NCL Pride of America. You depart and arrive back to Honolulu. The itinerary is great. Two days in Maui with an overnight, one day in Hilo, one Day in Kona, and two days in Kauai with an overnight. The ship only sails at night so there are no full days at sea. As this cruise is a 100% American cruise and never leaves US waters, there is no casino and no bingo (for money).
We took the cruise to see all of the islands, and were not disappointed! The excursions from the cruise ship were excellent. We only needed to use a tender from one port. All the others, we docked on shore. The cabin was very small, especially by the new cruise ship standards. The shower was barely big enough to turn around in! The one thing that caught our attention was that the crew were almost all 100% American Citizens or resided in the US. This was quite different than all of the other cruises that we have been on, as the crew on those ships was mostly international and had almost no crew from the US. On all other cruises, our room steward introduced him/herself as soon as possible and made themselves available to us. On this cruise, even after 7 days, we never met or knew the name of our room steward. Just not as hospitable as other cruises we have been on.
I was quite surprised at the main dining rooms. These have typically been no charge dining facilities. Not so on this cruise. If you wanted something special on the menu, even in the main dining rooms, there was a charge. Now don't get me wrong, you can eat for no charge in the main dining rooms, but the better entrees are all for purchase! On all other cruises, there has always been an evening where we had a Lobster Tail. Not on this cruise. That is a for purchase option. As far as entertainment in the evening, this was great. The theater was more than adequate to hold audiences at 7 pm and 9 pm. We went only to the 7 pm shows so can not talk about the later night shows. There was a magician who was excellent as well as a comedian, and of course, the variety shows put on by the cruise company. All were fantastic. As we were most interested in visiting the islands, the service issues we had did not affect the way that we felt about the experience. It was really a great way to see all of the islands! Read Less
The Pride of America to the Hawaiian islands was our first cruise. We had no idea what to expect. We were happy with the food, entertainment was fun, it was pretty easy getting off and on for our tours; but the thing that I liked the ... Read More
The Pride of America to the Hawaiian islands was our first cruise. We had no idea what to expect. We were happy with the food, entertainment was fun, it was pretty easy getting off and on for our tours; but the thing that I liked the best was the customer service given to us through the entire cruise. The stewards, wait staff, bartenders, etc were terrific. We were treated as if we were the only people there. My husband and I would definitely cruise with NCL again. I've been looking at trips for next year already.
We happened to be cruising with our friends who have been on many cruise ships. I asked them at the end of the cruise what they thought of Pride of America. They both agreed that it was a nice ship with good food and entertainment. Our female friend was confused at the size of the ship, thinking it should have more pools. Now the last ship they sailed on was the Anthem, a very large ship. Our male friend felt very positive about the Pride. They were both pleasantly surprised since they had seen reviews that were nothing like they had experienced. Read Less
My friends and I had a nice time on the cruise. It was a nice ship even though it was older the entertainment was ok. our steward cabin was awesome and made us feel great. to go to Greece was amazing I highly recommend it. And the food was ... Read More
My friends and I had a nice time on the cruise. It was a nice ship even though it was older the entertainment was ok. our steward cabin was awesome and made us feel great. to go to Greece was amazing I highly recommend it. And the food was wonderful. I felt it was a little better than on the Breakaway.
The Staff was accommodating including customer service. we didn't have a problem.
The only problem we had was when people were smoking at other balconies which it is a non smoking cruise ship. but other than that. my friends and I had a lovely time and will definitely cruise again on Norwegian. we actually just booked our next cruise on the Norwegian Escape. and look forward to that as well. And see what Bermuda has to offer us.
I hear the ship is really good like the breakaway ship Read Less