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431 Norwegian (NCL) Entertainment Cruise Reviews

Now we are at Day 7 and will disembark tomorrow. I feel like I have to write something before I go. This is our second time cruising. The first time was with Regal Princess and everything was just fine. This time we are looking for ... Read More
Now we are at Day 7 and will disembark tomorrow. I feel like I have to write something before I go. This is our second time cruising. The first time was with Regal Princess and everything was just fine. This time we are looking for something more thrill and exciting, so we chose Norwegian Encore. The ship itself is super new and beautiful, and the design of cabin is modern and simplistic which we all like it. One thing we all feel regret about this ship is the port of calls — only three of them and two are very similar. I cannot believe they stopped at San Juan from 6PM-12AM — and it was raining heavily. Who will go to San Juan in a rainy and windy night? You can barely see nothing on the street because everything is so dark. St. Thomas was okay because the helmet diving was fun ( and pricey). But Tortola is so similar and close to St. Thomas. The sugar cane beach was crowed, small, and not many water activities. We would rather like the ship just spends one day at Norwegian’s own island so that at least we can have more water activities. So, that’s three days of our 7-day trip. What about the other four days? We are super bored and want to go to more activities on board. And here comes the question: cancellation all the times. My dad liked the brew house a lot and there was a beer tasting event, but when my dad got there, he was told the event is cancelled. We really want to see the kinky boots and it is fully booked. We finally got seats on Day 6 but it was canceled due to the actor’s sickness. It’s okay because we have one more day on board. Surprisingly, on day 7, it is cancelled AGAIN because of the same reason. Fine, we ended up seeing nothing before we left. We also booked the Speedway Kart on day 7 at 12:30 PM— why day 7? because it’s fully booked on day 1 as well. We were super excited and looking forward to go kart on the sea, so we arrived earlier and wanted to be on the car ASAP. Surprisingly, we got rescheduled to 2 PM because of the mechanical problem. They were calling the manufacturer in Germany to fix the problem. Okay, we totally understand. So we ordered some drinks from the poolside bar and took a nap on the sundeck chair, and set an alarm rat 1:45PM to make sure that we would be there on time. Finally, it’s 1:45. We ran up to Deck 18 and waited in the line, but (maybe not) surprisingly, they told us they are still fixing the problem and we can not reschedule again because it is fully booked after 2. The only thing we can do is to cancel it and get a refund. We ended up doing nothing in the last a few days onboard but taking naps. Also I want to mention the food part. The specialty dining is excellent. We tried the steakhouse, ocean blue and the teppanyaki and they are all good. But the buffet is kind of disappointing. We have the same breakfast everyday and there are not many variety on lunch and dinner with very few seafood choices. We barely see shrimps provided, they are all mixed in other dishes with a small portion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
For a trans Atlantic cruise, this itinerary had great ports of call. Started in Barcelona, a great city in itself, and then 6 more ports of call, before we started on our crossing. We then had another 2 ports of call before docking in ... Read More
For a trans Atlantic cruise, this itinerary had great ports of call. Started in Barcelona, a great city in itself, and then 6 more ports of call, before we started on our crossing. We then had another 2 ports of call before docking in San Juan! Although we enjoyed ourselves, this was the largest ship we have been on in 13 cruises, and would really have to give thought to a ship this large in the future, and probably for sure, not the Norwegian Epic again. Whomever designed the bathroom layout in the cabins must of had a grudge to settle with Norwegian. And who would of approved such a design.? I cannot imagine anyone thinking this a great design. Elevators were continuously overcrowded and often had to wait in long lines in the buffet for average just barely warm food. Had several occasions were our toilet would not flush for several hours at a time. Beds are short for a 6 foot tall person like myself. High marks for the entertainment, especially Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Burn the Floor, along with the Cirque show. Disembarkation in ports of call seemed to be fairly efficient, however the same cannot be said for the initial embarking. Did not appreciate that water was not included in drink package, and could not bring on board so much as a couple ounces left in a bottle from a shore excursion. Seems like nothing but a money grab to me. All drink stations had a sign asking you not to refill water bottles, which I blatantly ignored. Bar staff, did their best, but at many times definitely overworked, or under staffed. Before we ever sail on Norwegian Epic again, these issues would have to be addressed.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Cruised in December 2019- Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, and Costa Maya Arrival-1:45 pm New Orleans port- was dropped off by a friend- after removing luggage from vehicle- a crew was immediately available to take luggage. Easily allowed us ... Read More
Cruised in December 2019- Cozumel, Belize, Honduras, and Costa Maya Arrival-1:45 pm New Orleans port- was dropped off by a friend- after removing luggage from vehicle- a crew was immediately available to take luggage. Easily allowed us to check in without the worries of rolling luggage. Check in was efficient- best ive encountered. On ship within 20 minutes Food- Garden Cafe buffet- much like most buffets- mediocre. Taste and Savor- same menu, across from each other. Either ine you choose- same food just different view from ship. great food though portions were very small. You'll need to order two of everything- appetizer and main course. But don't be embarrassed bc everyone pretty did this. Tropicana - order from daily specials as the regular menu remains unchanged. Did not do specialty restaurants as they were always booked. If you plan to eat in a specialty rest- book early. Staff Cruise Director was somewhat non existent. He did his daily emceeing for certain games/entertainment- never saw him again. He had a very dry sense of humor. Was not as funny as past directors Room steward- disappointed. Never saw her. Our last steward left us daily notes, animal sculptures from towels, and always was visibly available. Staff in restaurants and other venues- excellent. Ports Cozumel- Playa Mia day pass- sadly ocean was too dangerous to swim- very cloudy day. No fault of anyone except mother nature. Roatan, Bay Islands Honduras South shore zip line- talk about efficient- these people got you in and eat quickly which was nice bc there was nothing around the zip line to explore- gave more time to explore off pier. I did inquire after our excursion- we paid $99 each; There was an organized excursion place by local companies. They wanted to charge $99 for 2 people but that price included a better zipline and taken to beach. If you are comfortable with doing that- i would advise. We didn't bc it was just myself and my daughter- 2 females. Harvest Caye- private island owned by NCL When you get your shore excursion list- they only list NCL excursions on their private island. (Very sneaky) if youblook on shore excursion order form- there are other excursions. We Took an excursion to Placencia Village Ferry. Do NOT go here. It is very desolate- which can perks for some- but you are targets for locals. Immediately felt uneasy about place- there were only 9 of on ferry - most of us went to rent snorkel gear. Sign said $25 full face gear. Told us $25 for nose mask snorkel only, no flippers. When inquired about full face- stated not doing it yet though there were several masks there. Clearly knew we all needed and would gouge any price. While in beach- had some items stolen from my beach bag. Again- so few people on beach- they are aware of departure times for ferry- and they will target you. Costa Maya No excursion- just stayed locally off pier- this port was 7am-1pm- didn't feel necessary to fo an excursion in such a short amount of time. On board activities- i repeat- make reservations immediately when on ship. If you don't- they will be booked 3000+ people - limited spaces - not everyone will see shows/entertainment. We did Burn the Floor- excellent and Big Top- very difficult escape room. Cirque Steam - sold out so couldn't attend. Spa Snotty workers- seem to look down to you. Seemed very inconvenienced when asked to see spa area (even though they didnt give us a tour- we just looked on our own) They have overpriced massages $200+ an hour massage. Don't waste your time nor money . Casino- dont waste your money- Whatever you take- plan to lose all of it. Slots don't pay. Leaving ship- Just as organized as entering. NCL is quite efficient and one of the best things about their cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because of the ease of sailing out of NYC and not having to fly to get to the cruise, plus the dates worked well. The ship was large enough to house 5,000 people, but beyond that, we were like sardines or ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the ease of sailing out of NYC and not having to fly to get to the cruise, plus the dates worked well. The ship was large enough to house 5,000 people, but beyond that, we were like sardines or cockroaches running around trying to find space to eat, sit and explore the ship. The ship itself was not that big, believe it or not, as the area in which to explore was very limited, limited being the operative word. The majority of the ships space was devoted to the rooms in which to house the patrons. Onto the food.... It was good and tasty but not of the same caliber as Holland America. There was no grilled fish in the Garden Cafe (the all inclusive food area), there was no sautéed shrimp nor any of the more expensive variety of foods. What was very good and tasty was the Indian food and hamburgers. The activities were positively limited. My young boys didn’t even get to do the go carts because they were filled up or closed half the time. That is one of the reasons why I booked this cruise, so disappointed would be an understatement. All activities on board were very expensive and any miscellaneous desires were very costly as well. Plus, they add 15 bucks for each day each passenger sails, so that was just shy of 500 bucks for my family of four. I paid a lot for this cruise, so I didn’t account for this extra charge. I gave tips out to those who accommodated me during sailing. I found the crew as a whole to be kind, warm smiles and overall very helpful. The Jersey Boys was fabulous and so was Six. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
the food was excellent. If we ate at the buffet or at the restaurants and the service also was top notch. The ship was very clean, restrooms kept at their best. Getting on the ship was a breeze. The ship decor was like a medium priced ... Read More
the food was excellent. If we ate at the buffet or at the restaurants and the service also was top notch. The ship was very clean, restrooms kept at their best. Getting on the ship was a breeze. The ship decor was like a medium priced hotel, nothing special. now not so good. We were not told of a 15.00 surcharge a day for the tipping policy. I am not sure how the servers are paid these funds, and it looks like the drink servers were not included in this package. If i had known this at time of sailing i would have tipped the runners. Just about everything has a extra charge. The virtual image thing was fun, but was $8.00 and lasted a minute . The games were the same way. The audience participation was limited to Deal or No Deal with a charge. The games were Held in the Atrium and people had to pull couches and chairs into that area, as the seating was very limited. If you did not sign up for the shows and specialty dining before the cruise, there was no availability. Forget the pool. There was one adult pool and it was the size of my condo pool and there was 3000 people on board. I will never sail on this large of a ship again. It will Be a smaller NCL boal Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Open space has been reduced to sardines in a can, it irked me to no end to see the free open space turned into a paying super expensive Vibe club. Outrageous!!!!!....Stop it already with the money grab trying to squeeze more and more ... Read More
Open space has been reduced to sardines in a can, it irked me to no end to see the free open space turned into a paying super expensive Vibe club. Outrageous!!!!!....Stop it already with the money grab trying to squeeze more and more money from us. You now have anywhere between 2000 to 2500 people using a tiny pool, hardly any space on the pool deck. I would consider another ship. Then there are the employees following around at the shops like you are some kind of thief ready to pounce on a cheap bracelet I can buy at the dollar store. Annoying and just rude. The good stuff: Buffet was very good, the specialty restaurants excellent food. Most of the staff was friendly, the ship was super clean. The enterteinment was excellent as well. The many games in the Galaxy Pavilion we enjoyed very much, we did the zombie kill, the spaceship, and the dinosaur park. All very good. We did not do the go cars, or the laser tag. My husband did the water slide and loved it. I will cruise again with norwegian but not on the encore. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were a party of 4 people and have always cruised with Royal Caribbean and wanted to try Norwegian. The ship is very large and updated and they do a great job of keeping it clean while you are cruising. When talking about the food here ... Read More
We were a party of 4 people and have always cruised with Royal Caribbean and wanted to try Norwegian. The ship is very large and updated and they do a great job of keeping it clean while you are cruising. When talking about the food here the buffet was not very good compared with our previous experience with Royal but when compared with the dining hall experience the food was very good and many different choices and not the same food as we had found in the buffet so this was our main choice. We eat 3 special restaurants on board Cagney Steakhouse was a let down steaks we’re almost unbeatable for all of us the second was Monderno which is a Brazilian buffet and it was good but the best was the Japanese steakhouse It is worth eating every night and the entertainment while they were cooking was awesome. We booked a excursion 4 weeks before sailing pain in full only to find out once we were on the ship that they had sold out of the excursion but the bad part is that we only found out because I went to the desk to ask for the tickets and let me say that the customer service was horrible they acted like it was no big deal and there is no communication at all about how things are done on the ship such as having to book any shows everything got booked up the first day. We had no idea you had to book shows and such we were use to just freestyle and showing up at your convenience to a show with Royal but would have been better if they could have told us but we found out on our own. The rooms were the typical small rooms you find on any ship ours was under I think the laundry room because we heard water and dryer running the whole cruise so least to say we didn’t have much rest. Overall we have been there and tried Norwegian but we will not try them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
If you want to do anything fun and enjoyable on this ship, you have to pay extra for it. The complimentary dining options were poor. However, the specialty restaurants were great. A lot of people make dinner reservations on the first day ... Read More
If you want to do anything fun and enjoyable on this ship, you have to pay extra for it. The complimentary dining options were poor. However, the specialty restaurants were great. A lot of people make dinner reservations on the first day of the cruise so it leaves little if no time for last minute plans. The service in the complimentary restaurants was horrible. A simple dinner would take 2 hours in a main dining room. Food would come out cold or not cooked properly. There were not enough options for entertainment. You can easily find yourself with nothing to do on sea days. For the times they had events, there would be so many people crammed in a small space that it would not be enjoyable. Norwegian needs to utilize their space better. Disembarkation when tendering to port is a nightmare. It took hours to get off of the ship, leaving only a short time in port. The ports were disappointing. If you did not have a shore excursion, you would find yourself in an area where there was not much to see or do. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The Good: Food was excellent. Footloose was excellent. The Beatles revolution was great but make sure you show up an hour early if you want a seat at the cavern. Magic Show was okay. Elements was great! Go Karts surprisingly a lot of ... Read More
The Good: Food was excellent. Footloose was excellent. The Beatles revolution was great but make sure you show up an hour early if you want a seat at the cavern. Magic Show was okay. Elements was great! Go Karts surprisingly a lot of fun. They were faster then I expected. Most of the singers in the restaurants were not that great except for Katie Weddle who was one of the best singers I have ever heard. The ports of call were great except for Cabo San Lucas which kinda sucked because people were really aggressive trying to get my business. The Bad: I found myself bored often on this ship. between 6pm to 11pm there is stuff to do. Other times it's very hit or miss. The nightlife was terrible the first few days on the ship. If you like to always have something to do I would not recommend this ship. Also the specialty restaurant Q is not that great. The portions are way to big and quite frankly there are much better barbecue places in the world. The fact that Go Karts, Laser Tag and the Arcade cost extra is a bummer. The 7d game in the arcade is awesome though. I really missed not having a sports complex. They didn't have a ping pong tournament. Lots of little extra things like that seemed to be missing which made it boring at times. The dance lessons offered on the ship were not that good. The Gym seemed a little small. The public bathroom doors were left open all the time every day on the ship. It was gross. You could both hear and smell things at time. Not to mention I don't enjoy people being able to see me use a urinal. Also, you better bring your own band aides because they will charge you an arm and a leg if you need one. Ridiculous. Overall I enjoyed myself but would not do this ship again as I like to have more things to do on a ship. I've done the Norwegian Getaway which I believe is the same class of ship and liked that boat a lot more! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise because of the departure port and Caribbean tour. Enjoyed NCL cruise a couple of years ago so decided to stick with the line. Overall, the trip was meh. Had no expectations, and that was good. The folks who wrote ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the departure port and Caribbean tour. Enjoyed NCL cruise a couple of years ago so decided to stick with the line. Overall, the trip was meh. Had no expectations, and that was good. The folks who wrote five-star reviews of this ship were definitely sailing on a different ship. Embarkation: The Gem got into port late that morning so it was extreme chaos and took many hours. I expected and was prepared to wait but not for as many hours as we did. Finally boarded and first impression was crazy crowd of people trying to squeeze onto the few elevators. Total madness. Hiked down to cabin; it was ready and fine. Time to dine. Food: Lines for complimentary restaurants looked long so hiked all the way up to Garden Buffet. Food that night was poor at best - there were just two things I would eat - and there were no seats except the outside section, which was open even though it was snowing. Ate dinner standing up at perimeter like many others. Staff was working hard but was overwhelmed b/c ship is small - you can easily see out of windows on each side if you turn your head - and it was full. (Complimentary restaurants in following days were better choices.) Did not get seasick, but saw others suffering - this ship does not have the heavy stabilization system of large ships where you feel nothing, and it rocked like a manic cradle in rough seas. Something to know. (I found it hilarious but felt bad for the folks who got sick.) At sea: Three long days before first port, as we knew. Pool deck always crowded - hard to find a seat - Jamrock band that played for hours was too loud and could not make out one single word sung. (And I really love reggae btw.) It was not at all relaxing to sit on crowded deck listening to neverending noise - um, music - but that was your only choice if you wanted to enjoy the sun. Thankfully, bartenders there and everywhere with one exception (Topsider) were absolutely fantastic, especially Reggie. Casino visited at night of course was simply a money vacuum but fun until cash was gone. The dealers looked terribly sad. Positives: Good weather, very clean, very pretty ship and very few children - win-win-win. And bartenders. Bless them all. You will really need them. They served us quickly with a smile and they cared. Thank you, bartenders! Ports: Aruba was the best; beach we went to on our own was very beautiful and relaxing. Other ports were nice, however leaving Bonaire and St. Lucia (?) at 1 p.m. was a bit early. We knew it was a tasting menu of islands of course; just be aware of the schedule and be sure to reset your watch when the ship time changes. (Had no problems, thank goodness, but can see that catching folks by surprise.) Entertainment: Bliss was a cool lounge. Went there a couple of times. Piano player/singer was good. Did not see shows after the one starring the highly vaunted juggler-comedian, who thoroughly embarrassed himself and his audience and did not care. Movies on the large screen were mostly very old and also poor choices. Huge missed opportunity - previous NCL ship knew how to do movie nights right and they were much enjoyed by many. Some diversions and contests also, but many too many sales presentations. We avoided the art sale events and the ubiquitous photographers because we know the goods are very poor and shockingly overpriced. Positives: Most of the staff works very, very hard and we really appreciated that. Thank you, NCL staff! Did not have to wait to eat in complimentary restaurants - that was terrific. Some of the food was good and some was not - kind of a gamble really - but the service was consistently very good. (If you value food quantity over quality you will be totally thrilled - you can eat till you burst.) Small size of Gem means you learned the layout pretty quickly, and the signage at the elevators was excellent. The bridge room viewing area was very cool. Most passengers were cool and many were friendly. There were loud exceptions of course. Didn't socialize a lot because I found the crowds a bit intimidating, but we met two nice couples and I did see folks wading in to crowds on the top deck and having good times. Decided when I stepped onboard to enjoy my trip no matter what, and so I did. Attitude is everything. Definitely felt relaxed once home. Sunning oneself in the winter is fun. Sharing my impressions, good and not, with you in the hope of being helpful. (Re my title, it honestly did feel like "Survivor: Cruise Edition" at points though. It was challenging; many issues are not detailed here and high points were few and far between. And short.) I was more than happy when we finally arrived at our home port. Disembarking was not as crazy as embarkation, but still took three-quarters of forever and tested everyone. Carry your own luggage and pack extra patience if you go. Will be exploring other cruise lines personally. ... Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Went with another couple, they picked this cruise. Our first cruise, a 7 day western Caribbean. We got a thermal spa access with the balcony, well worth it. Our steward Roberto was the nicest man, anything that we needed all we had to ... Read More
Went with another couple, they picked this cruise. Our first cruise, a 7 day western Caribbean. We got a thermal spa access with the balcony, well worth it. Our steward Roberto was the nicest man, anything that we needed all we had to do was ask. Turn down service, directions, suggestions, Roberto was the man. We also bought the drink package and included on the 3 specialty dinning package. Our first specialty was the Cirque de Dream/Steam, it was the best meal that we had the entire time. The costumes before the show are amazing. The show itself was really good. Moderno, I wouldn't do it again. What a waste. Got seated, no spoons for the soup at the salad bar, then our server left us for dead, almost died of thirst before I could get a refill on my water. Meats weren't that special, and if you expect a dress code, this is it: No ball caps. Pretty much everything else went, flip flops, shorts, tee shirts, at least I didn't see swimwear. Cagney's, you're going to wait, wait, and maybe wait some more, then you're going to wish that you had saved that money for a good steak at Saltgrass, Texas Road House, hell even IHOP. The pool bars are chaos and it seemed that only Raphael knew how to make a banana daiquiri. Bob and his magic show was funny, both times that we went. If you're thinking about catching any show at Syd Normans, get there early, and be ready for it to be crowded, no max capacity crowded, we ran for our lives crowded. Taste, Savor and Tropicana all have the SAME menu. You'll be so sick of the same 5 tv shows that you got to watch in your stateroom. All in all a great cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We booked our cruise three weeks prior to sailing. The Encore is a beautiful ship. As Platinum past NCL guests we get two complimentary specialty dinners. We could not make reservations prior to sailing. We were able to book Cagneys ... Read More
We booked our cruise three weeks prior to sailing. The Encore is a beautiful ship. As Platinum past NCL guests we get two complimentary specialty dinners. We could not make reservations prior to sailing. We were able to book Cagneys Steak once on ship, but it was after standing in a long line upon boarding the ship. We couldn’t book a time suitable for our schedule, but eventually get in. The restaurant was overbooked & noisy. They were bringing servers from the BBQ restaurant to help out. Food was good, service fair. We booked the Italian restaurant, food was excellent, and service was excellent. Our first port was San Juan where we docked around 5:00 pm and left around 11:00 pm. My wife had the drink package, but since we were in port for the evening, she was charged port tax on her alcoholic beverages. ( not good). Overall this is a beautiful ship, but not freestyle like Norwegian advertises. Reservations are required for the two available major shows as well as the comedy shows. We were charged a delivery charge when we bought their water package. Additional charges are for the upper deck and go carts. We do not plan to ever sail on Norwegian ‘s large ships again. Way too many people and too difficult to enjoy the shows, etc. The Liverpool Beatle group sounded like a cat got his tail ran over by a rocking chair. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I went on this cruise with a number of friends. We had a stateroom with a balcony overlooking the sea, on the 10th deck. We departed from Miami, went through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We did three excursions and saw several shows ... Read More
I went on this cruise with a number of friends. We had a stateroom with a balcony overlooking the sea, on the 10th deck. We departed from Miami, went through Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. We did three excursions and saw several shows on board. I enjoyed the dining options. The buffet was delicious and varied. The freedom to remove food from the buffet was invaluable. The Local had a number of good food options. That said, the dining hours were a little difficult to navigate on a vacation schedule. I would have liked more late-night food options--a slightly more substantial buffet offering for the wee hours and between meals, for example. Kinky Boots was great fun. The cast was good and even with a technical pause in the middle of the show it was a worthwhile expenditure of time. My wife and I took the beverage package--not the most elite package, the one right below that. It was more than sufficient. The best drink on board is the raspberry-guava mojito at the mojito bar. I wish they had more bartenders there because demand was almost always high, but I 100% recommend this drink. The biggest issue my wife and I had with this trip was the lack of pool and recreation space. On the Encore, much more space is dedicated to amenities like the go-kart track, lazer tag, escape room, virtual reality arcade, and so forth. There are two pools available for average cruisegoers--a children's pool, and a tiny, TINY, general usage pool. Seriously, the main pool is so SMALL. Unless, of course, you're staying in the Haven. The upper few decks are premium content that cost an additional fee, and include more hot tubs, relaxation spaces, and better pool. Without being in the Haven, I felt like a second-class citizen. There was a lot to do but I was looking forward to relaxing in a pool environment and that's simply not a good option unless you pay for the Haven. We had a massage at the spa which was excellent. The excursions were also quite fun. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Warning! The Interconnecting Cabins you booked on NCL Encore may NOT interconnect! We are on the November 24th sailing, and booked two interconnecting mini-series on deck 15. We paid extra for the interconnecting cabins, and NCL ... Read More
Warning! The Interconnecting Cabins you booked on NCL Encore may NOT interconnect! We are on the November 24th sailing, and booked two interconnecting mini-series on deck 15. We paid extra for the interconnecting cabins, and NCL assured us, verbally and in writing, that our cabins had an interior interconnecting door. When we got to our cabins we immediately realized that the cabins do NOT interconnect. The deck plans for Encore's deck 15 clearly show our cabins as interconnecting. Guest Services simply told us they were sorry, the deck plans are wrong and have not been updated. They offered us $100 shipboard credit for the inconvenience of my wife and I having to sleep in separate cabins (one parent with each child) for the duration of the cruise. Not very romantic, and $100 shipboard credit obviously doesn't cut it. We ran into another couple with the same problem on deck 13. If you booked an interconnecting cabin for a future cruise, and especially one on deck 13 or 15, contact NCL or your travel agent NOW to confirm. Get it in writing if you can. The NCL onshore reservations department needs to get their facts straight with regard to the Encore's room categories. Spending a week in separate, non-connecting cabins puts a real damper on the cruise. The ship is very nice, and the food and service is also very good. Go karts are hit and miss. If you have a 10:30am go kart reservation, don't expect to actually get on until about 11:45am, especially if you want a double passenger kart, which are only available a few hours per day. Laser tag is fun, but the system has been down with glitches. The complimentary restaurants are just as good as the surcharge restaurants, and the entertainment is also quite good. The cabins are nice, but we gave them a 1-bubble rating due to the screw up. Just bear in mind that, if you are traveling with kids and really need the interconnecting cabins, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. The whole ordeal may have been a bit more comical had we not been on the ill-fated NCL Jade voyage that broke down in Puerto Rico this time last year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The embarkation process to get on the ship was great, very fast and efficient. The disembarkation process was ridiculous and unorganized, some workers would split the main line into lines only to get to a bottle neck where they merged the ... Read More
The embarkation process to get on the ship was great, very fast and efficient. The disembarkation process was ridiculous and unorganized, some workers would split the main line into lines only to get to a bottle neck where they merged the two back together which took so much longer. We ate at 3 specialty dining locations (cagneys steak, le bistro and teppanyaki), le bistro and teppanyaki were awesome experiences, but Cagneys was a huge disappointment and I would have been furious at paying that much for a steak that was dried out if it hasn’t been on our plan. Both fillets minions (myself and my husband) had been flattened to the point where it was no thinker than a strip steak and where so charbroiled they had crunchy spots. If you want a great steak that melts in your mouth try le beuf at le Bisro (you can cut it with a butter knife). As far as getting on and off the boat at the islands that process was always super quick and easy as well. I think my biggest issue was I just got tired of being in lines for absolutely everything. Also we never got to use the pool because on the first and last day (days at sea) the pool was so crowded with everyone sitting on the sides there was no where to get in and we got out there by 10am, for a boat of that size it’s crazy to me that their one pool was so small. Overall the islands were cool, belieze was amazing but costa maya was a big let down, the main beach we visited was peppered with people trying to sell you trinkets every 5 min, finally got so annoyed we just left cause the same people kept coming around non stop. We had a balcony room which was deff well with the money and we found the staff to be always super friendly. The food outside the specialty restaurants was just okay but deff recommend the nicer dining options Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship is beautiful. The decor is really done well. The food is awesome. The layout of the ship is fine. However on some levels you have use the stairs move around to different parts of the ship. You can use the elevators but its a ... Read More
The ship is beautiful. The decor is really done well. The food is awesome. The layout of the ship is fine. However on some levels you have use the stairs move around to different parts of the ship. You can use the elevators but its a little confusing. I enjoyed the ice shop and the comedy club, The bars are similar to most ships. There is not enough real security to take care of real problems on the ship. I wish there was someone really monitoring people taking advantage of other other passengers. Some people like to enjoy a cigar on the ship but there is no protection for people who follow the rules for smoking. If you smoke cigars. You can forget it. The cigar lounge is taken over by cigarette smokers. Even though there are signs posted in the “The Humidor Cigar Lounge”, "No cigarettes allowed". There is no enforcement. It’s a joke. Every time I would goto to the cigar lounge I was accosted by cigarette smokers. The servers would ask them to leave but the would not. Not interested in going on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship was clean and the food was plentiful. From my past experiences on cruised, hsf spptix 4600 people. IIt was hard to find a quiet area on the ship. I did not get the Caribbean feel with the constant blasting of music that was ... Read More
The ship was clean and the food was plentiful. From my past experiences on cruised, hsf spptix 4600 people. IIt was hard to find a quiet area on the ship. I did not get the Caribbean feel with the constant blasting of music that was playing. We enjoyed Belize Roatan and Cozumel. The excursions were necessary to actually find areas that were quieter and felt more like the cultural experience that we expected. The cruise is a great way to spend time with family and to just relax and have fun. The entertainment offered a nice variety of shows in the evening. Our biggest challenge and disappointment was the sanitation system. We had challenges with flushing for 4 or 5 days and every time we asked about it we were told that that whole side of the ship was experiencing a problem and that was being worked on. Again, this did not happen just one day, this happened for about four days for five days and it started on day one. Since this is a basic need on the ship, I was surprised that the ship sailed knowing there were issues with the sanitation waste disposal. I hope that that is tended to properly for the next group going on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My review of the 9 day inaugural NCL Getaway cruise out of New Orleans: This adventure had a rough start from the beginning. The traffic going into the port terminal was the worst I have ever experienced in New Orleans. I have cruised ... Read More
My review of the 9 day inaugural NCL Getaway cruise out of New Orleans: This adventure had a rough start from the beginning. The traffic going into the port terminal was the worst I have ever experienced in New Orleans. I have cruised several previous times out of New Orleans, and reside in the metro area, and there was literally gridlock. It took nearly 3 hours to drop off the luggage, get through security, and to check in with NCL. In my opinion this process took way to long to complete and unacceptable. Our cabin was a mini suite located on the starboard side, mid-ship. We were totally satisfied with the cabin, except for the very NARROW balcony. (See cabin 9836 review) We were pretty happy with the service staff, the staff in the three main dining rooms was hit or miss, but our cabin steward was excellent. In this particular cruise, we did not use any of the specialty dining restaurants available on the Getaway. We ate our breakfast meals in the Garden Cafe Buffet. There was the usual selection of breakfast items, and omelets made to order. The quality of the breakfast was consistently good or acceptable, but never near excellent. When aboard ship, we ate our lunch meal at O'Sheenan's Bar & Grill. The service was always slow, but the food here was very good. We were disappointed that O'Sheenan's had eliminated the prime rib night. Our evening meals were at one of the three main dining rooms aboard the Getaway. The menu is identical in all three dining rooms; only the decor is different. The service again was just average and far from excellent. My only complaint is that the menu really did not change much from day to day, unlike on past cruises. The food in the main dining rooms was good, but not up to standards that we had experienced on previous NCL cruises. The quality, quantity, and variety of the main dining room menu has obviously been slashed by NCL, in an effort to promote specialty dining restaurants and to boost profits. The Getaway is a beautiful ship inside and out and is well maintained and clean. There are plenty of activities on-board, such as pirate golf, a suspension obstacle coarse, which included a "walk the plank" option and small zipline, and a climbing wall. There was no extra charges for using these optional activities! The main pool area is very small for such a large ship, despite having a separate children's area. My ONLY MAJOR COMPLAINTS were with the NCL management for the tendering FIASCOS in Grand Cayman and Roatan (yes Roatan). This cruise,when it was being marketed, originally had one tendering port which was Grand Cayman. I have been tendered before at this port on NCL with only minor acceptable waits for tendering. This time it took 2.5 hours of standing in the heat to get tendered back to the ship. To make matters worse the next day at Roatan turned into a tender port. It seems that NCL failed to secure docking rights at Roatan for this date in a timely manner. RCL jumped into the docking rights. If you did not have your shore excursions booked through NCL, you waited up to three hours to get off the ship!!! Luckily we were booked for a NCL excursion, however, that did nothing to prevent the 3 hour line to be tendered back onto the Getaway that evening!!! Many of the lifeboat (tenders) pilots were incapable of landing (docking) the lifeboats; taking three, four and even five attempts before docking in calm waters! This was, in my opinion, was the cause for the tendering delays in both ports. The following morning, after the Roatan disaster, the ship Captain did apologize for the fiascos in both Grand Cayman and Roatan, and lack of preparation by NCL. As evidence at Harvest Caye, several of the lifeboats were launched and the crews practiced tendering docking!!! Overall it was a good trip, but I just find that NCL management is cutting corners and services that previous customers had come to expect from NCL. Once my remaining future cruise credits are used with NCL, we may very well take our business to another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I am 42 my wife is 35 we have 160 cruise days on various lines. 2nd ncl cruise and probably the last although who knows. Some great things were the 2 main shows. I don’t care for the music but they were awesome. Same with the ... Read More
I am 42 my wife is 35 we have 160 cruise days on various lines. 2nd ncl cruise and probably the last although who knows. Some great things were the 2 main shows. I don’t care for the music but they were awesome. Same with the Cirque show. Get to the shows 20 minutes early for better seats. Disembarkation was easy we parked across the street for 9 or 10 dollars a night. Left room at 715 in car at private garage by 800 Embarkation was a little slow but leaving our luggage where we did seemed a little shady The weather was awesome and the ports were all enjoyable as well. There was plenty of shade on deck. The ship was clean and the kids scarce. I liked they had the buffet open after we came back from excursions. Also no lines really for the buffet all cruise. The food was ok Atrium game shows were mostly very funny and enjoyable but not enough seating. Felt bad for the activities team and their pronunciation. Like me trying to speak Spanish. Luckily the crowd would always help if needed For some reason they were showing soccer when the LSU Alabama game was on. Everyone was watching on their laptops Included dining service was good only if you went early or late otherwise it was REALLY SLOW. My expectation is 90 minutes to 2 hours. Food was pretty good but not enough variety Besides the 2 main shows we had the same 2 comedians and 1 juggler (who did 2 main shows) for the ENTIRE 9 DAYS. Where is the entertainment???? Bartender s were really busy and not enough servers so mostly I waited and got my own beers Did not do any ship excursions River tube in Jamaica was ok. Not as good as Dunn’s river falls though Grand cayman stingray city and snorkel was awesome Roatan monkey and sloth and snorkel was good. Only had 15 minutes at a beautiful beach see below Belieze we stayed by the pool. Drinks were 15 dollars after tax and gratuity and we had the drink package so we just relaxed and were glad there was not a tender Costa maya we ATV for 90 minutes then went to a nice beach. 100 people trying to sell stuff to everyone The tenders were a downright embarrassment for NCL. I waited about 20 minutes to get off grand cayman then another 20 for the very short ride. Hot but not too bad. Getting back on the line was over an hour so we sat across the street and had a few brews till the line went down. Very hot for older people to wait that long. Very hot in tender boats no windows open very poor drivers. In roatan we waited 2 hours to get off. Excursion was cut short. Got back at 600. Line was 2 hours to get back on. At least it was dark and cooler. So 4 hours of the day was tendering. Still had a good time overall but nothing remarkable. Don’t let bad reviews scare you if your booked just hope for no tendering Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We sailed on 11/2/19, we decided to upgrade to the Haven. Big mistake. The up charge was not worth what we received. No priority embarkation, staff at the pier was rude and discourteous, no special service in the room or from the butler. ... Read More
We sailed on 11/2/19, we decided to upgrade to the Haven. Big mistake. The up charge was not worth what we received. No priority embarkation, staff at the pier was rude and discourteous, no special service in the room or from the butler. Butler did bring our meals when requested. Room service would have done the same for a fee of $8 per delivery, which is much cheaper than the Haven up charge, only had 4 deliveries through out the week. Asked to have our suit case unpacked, 24 hours later he sent the room steward, by then it was already done. There is no separate Haven area on the Dawn. Basically its a nicer room with amenities. We were directed to eat breakfast and lunch at Cagneys or Moderno. Each had the same menu so it did not matter which you choose. The menu never changed and the selections were boring. Dinner was on us as to where we wanted to eat. We used our specialty dinners for 3 nights and the buffet for the remainder. The buffet did not change at all. Again very boring. Our room steward Siri was wonderful she was pleasant and actually seemed happy to see us and engaged in short, but fun and happy conversations. Our butler never spoke to us but did listen and fulfill our requests, which consisted of food orders. The cruise itself was OK. The embarkation was horrible, we were stalled getting on the ship as it was late getting into port when we were to embark. The disembarkation was also horrible, we decided to have the crew take our luggage, again mistake. I recommend taking your luggage off by yourself or you will be the last off the boat. The trip itself was what I had anticipated, but was very disappointed in the Haven upgrade. Next time will try a ship that has a Haven section, because for us I did not see the return for the investment. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had a wonderful time on our cruise. However, when the boat shook in the middle of the night, “code bravo” was said over the intercom and there was very poor communication. We were only told that there were “mechanical issues.” ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our cruise. However, when the boat shook in the middle of the night, “code bravo” was said over the intercom and there was very poor communication. We were only told that there were “mechanical issues.” This caused wild gossip throughout passengers on the ship, which could have ceases with proper communication. The truth probably wasn’t as bad as the stories people were making up. Our Game of Thrones Tour and stop In Dubrovnik were cancelled as a result of the ship’s problems. On the positive side, our cabin steward was very nice. We enjoyed the food more in Ginza and the Irish bar on board and would choose these over the main dining room. The ship was clean and our bathroom was bigger than other cruise ships I have been on. We bought the pass to the thermal spa and would definitely do that again. Jessica in the spa was especially wonderful and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had a very fun cruise because we were traveling with several family members. The Norwegian Joy is a fairly new ship and had many good things about it. However the ship only had two banks of elevators and two stairways, which made it ... Read More
We had a very fun cruise because we were traveling with several family members. The Norwegian Joy is a fairly new ship and had many good things about it. However the ship only had two banks of elevators and two stairways, which made it seems very congested. The food was very good and the dine any time/any place policy was enjoyable. We didn't like the constant efforts to sale us something and get us to buy stuff. - "See it, like it, but it". They were always trying to "sign up for our next cruise". A little of the sales pitch was fine, but it because very annoying. The ship had a very nice 900 seat theater and good entertainment. The Footloose and Elements productions shows were by far the best we have seem on any cruise. We wish there were more activity options during the day like dance classes that were at a different time other than 5:00 PM. My wife was disappointed that there were not any Zumba classes. We were on a Princess cruise to Alaska in May 2019 and they had a great variety of Zumba and dance classes - which were very fun for my wife. We wish there were more and better lectures about the Panama Canal and other ports of call. There was one short lecture about the canal held in the small Atrium area. It was packed with people and many could not hear or see the lecture. This should have been held in the large theater. This was very poor planning. We also had to listen to a long presentation about signing up for our next cruise before the lecture started. Going through the Panama Canal was the highlight on the trip. The Customer Service staff, housekeeping staff, and waiters were all very friendly and helpful. We were also disappointed that there were no places to play games with my family. We had a group of 8 people and the ship had a very small game room. We had use the tables in the buffet area when they were not busy. This was certainly not ideal. Our cabin was very nice. The bed was great, and the bathroom was a little larger than many ship we have been on. The shower was especially nice. After many difference cabin types on many curses, we decided that a balcony room works best for us. It makes the room feel a little larger and certainly more bright and sunny. Even though the balcony was small it was very nice to go out side and see what was happening. It was especially nice when we went through the Panama Canal. We when on three shore excursions. Two were good, but the Cartagena Hop on Hop off tour was very poor. the bus was late arriving and we stand in the heat for about an hour. One passenger had heat stroke problems while waiting. The bus was so crowded and the various stops where we were supposed to "hop off" had many people waiting to "hop on" so we didn't dare get off because we could probably never get back on and would miss the ship departure. The narration on the bus was very poor. Not a good tour. The disembarkation process was a disaster. The crew seemed confused on what was happening and where we should go. We needed to disembark early and we were delayed for about an hour. The ship computer system failed and delayed passengers for 1 and 1/2 hours. This is not impact us, but it did cause problems for others in our group. Overall the cruise was fun but I thought Norwegian could have done many things better. I would travel with Norwegian again, but they are not my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
because of need, requirement!, to reserve show times i never saw a show. both early showings of jersey boys where reserved out by 4.30 on day of sailing and could sign up on line before cruise. boat had not left the dock and i could ... Read More
because of need, requirement!, to reserve show times i never saw a show. both early showings of jersey boys where reserved out by 4.30 on day of sailing and could sign up on line before cruise. boat had not left the dock and i could not reserve a seat. many of the other shows had same requirement -- did not see a show!! spa was a complete rip off -- they wanted more for 7 day cruise then i paid on longer cruise, 12-21 days. after heavy handed spa tour where u are solicited for all their service u are provided card for free drawing BUT u most be present to win. if i had been told that i had to come back at 5.30 to win i would never have submitted myself to 20 minutes of time share type sales pitch as i had bought package before and new all about the spa benefits. oh and no steam or sauna room access after work out, some ships allow, not the bliss did love the many food locations -- it made for short lines in buffet and main dinning rooms. BUT did wait for more than 20 minutes for service in craft beer venue, left w/o buying a beer. EMBARKATION - NCL still has not got this figured out, some people had waits of over an hour. ADVICE either show up WAY early or WAY late if u don't want to stand in a VERY LONG LINE. NCL seems to be the only cruise that has a serious problem getting people on and off their ships Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I joined this cruise because a friend from my past cruise told me about it. My brother joined me on this cruise. It was his first cruise, my third. We both had transfers from and to the airport thru Norwegian. My brother got in 2 hours ... Read More
I joined this cruise because a friend from my past cruise told me about it. My brother joined me on this cruise. It was his first cruise, my third. We both had transfers from and to the airport thru Norwegian. My brother got in 2 hours before me and it took 30 minutes to find the transfer person that would eventually get him to ship 2 hours later. I never found the transfer person at my baggage claim terminal. I wasted an hour and a half asking the info desk where they were, being sent to 2 other terminals, calling and being disconnected from 3 NCL customer services reps, and finally having to take a 50.00 lift ride to the ship. Once we got to the port gate, the port authority guard said they closed the gate at 2:45pm, It was 2:50pm. There were 7 others in front of me and 4 others came after me with the same issue.We all tried to call NCL customer reps, to let them know we weren't being let thru the gate, and all of us got hung up on or disconnected in the process. I ended up calling my brother, who was already onboard, to let the customer service desk on board, that 12 people had been left at the airport by the transfer company. After talking to 4 people, one of the reps got a hold of the port authority guard and they finally cleared us to go thru the gate. No one ever apologized as we went through the check in process. we got on board around 4pm after going through all that mess. Once on board, the cruise went fairly smoothly. The ship, overall, was a beautiful ship. I thought the pool area was poorly designed compared to my 2 other cruises on the Getaway and Breakaway. But I also realize this ship was designed to go to Alaska most of the time, and not to the Mexican Riviera. The dining was great for the most part. A couple people, in our group of 10 to 15 people, had some bad experiences a couple of the nights. The entertainment was pretty good. Jersey Boys and the Beatles put on great shows and the comedians were really good. The ports of call were beautiful, but the excursion variety was lacking for my taste. We did our own thing on 2 of the ports and did one boat sight seeing excursion on Cabo. Not quite as advertised. The service on the ship was excellent, as always. As opposed to the issues getting on the ship, Getting off was the quickest I've seen in my 3 cruises. LAX is possibly the worst airport I have ever flown in or out of. It is a train wreck. The best thing to come from this cruise was all the new friends we made. We met a couple people from my last cruise on day one. within the next 2 days we had a fun group of 10 to 15 people hanging together at different times and places. We always met up in the Solo Lounge at 5pm to get the nights started. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. My party originally booked on Royal Caribbean, but we wanted to go to Keywest so we changed to the Norwegian Sun. Norwegian was also offering some nice incentives, the reasonably priced ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. My party originally booked on Royal Caribbean, but we wanted to go to Keywest so we changed to the Norwegian Sun. Norwegian was also offering some nice incentives, the reasonably priced beverage package. Norwegian does some things really well. The beverage package was the best of any of the lines I have been on. The bar service was great, fast, friendly, and the drinks were good. The entertainment at sea was fun, with the entertainment staff doing a good job of keeping us smiling. The music was really good, upbeat. The live bands were great. The biggest complaint that I have about Norwegian is their food. The food in the main dining rooms was not good, it was not hot, and it appeared they were using the same base for every cream soup, the same beef for every beef dish. Although the servers were nice, they were really slow at serving us. If it wasn't for the food, Norwegian would probably rise to the top in my book. To date I have cruised on: Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival, and now Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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