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246 Norwegian (NCL) Entertainment Cruise Reviews

we were going with a group of family members whom most ended up cancelling at the last minute. It was going to be a group of 30 of us and ended up being a group of 6 of us. All Adults. We upgraded from a balcony to a mini suite and ... Read More
we were going with a group of family members whom most ended up cancelling at the last minute. It was going to be a group of 30 of us and ended up being a group of 6 of us. All Adults. We upgraded from a balcony to a mini suite and was disappointed. The only difference was a bigger bathroom with big shower. We could hear our neighbors on both sides of us. I could even tell you what they were doing for the day cause we heard them talking through the walls. The ship was very crowded. Dining was ok. We did 3 specialty Restaurants, the dining rooms, The buffet, & O'sheehans (which ended up being our favorite). Service was not not good at all. we would be seated at our tables and have long waits until a waiter came over to us. There was hair in our food in one of the main dining rooms. We asked for something and they would say that they would bring it right over and we would never receive it. We bought the photo package and struggled to use it. The only times our photo were taken was when we were getting on the ship and in port at Florida. No photos were taken at Nassau when we got off. Also none at any of the dining rooms. Never even seen the photographer taking snap shot photos. One of our specialty meals was at Tappenyaki, where they took at photo. However, they said that we had to buy it that it was not included in the photo package! We were on the Getaway on Nov 2017 and had professional photos taken with the backdrops, so when it came to taking these pictures on the Breakaway it turned out that all of the backdrops and props were all of the same. Why would I want all of the same photos again? So we got 4 pictures out of the photo package that I purchased cause no more were ever taken. Those where the only photos taken of us. I went to the Photo Dept Manager and he said that he could not do anything for me that I would have to take the loss if I didn't want the same pictures. I was very unhappy with his attitude and the situation. Entertainment and activities were either all together or nothing. They had a lot of shows in the atrium which is very limited seating. With the ship being so crowded we just didn't understand why they didn't move them to the Theatre which is a much bigger venue. It was hard getting drinks at any of the bars cause the lines were always so long. Plus the drink menus in every single bar area were the same! We also do not understand why Specialty coffee is not included in the drink packages. We hardly ever seen our cabin steward. We have been cruising for years and believe now that gratuities are automatically charge to us that the workers do not take as much pride in their work as they did before. Prices have gone up but service has gone down. We definitely will NOT be going on this cruise ship again. It was very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Cruise the Hawaiian islands, NCL placed fees and charges at every turn. Daily service charge was 40% higher than other cruises. There was a “corking fee” for the one bottle of wine packed for use in the stateroom. No other cruise ... Read More
Cruise the Hawaiian islands, NCL placed fees and charges at every turn. Daily service charge was 40% higher than other cruises. There was a “corking fee” for the one bottle of wine packed for use in the stateroom. No other cruise line has done this in the past. Fees plus tips were added to bar orders. Stateroom and balcony were very small.Cabin steward was attentive and friendly. Food at the buffet (especially for breakfast) was better than the dining room. However, guests had to get their own coffee, juice, and water. The ports of call were interesting and shore excursions were expensive, but usually worthwhile, Helicopter ride was cancelled due to weather, so we were taken on a very long van ride and charged $100. We were unable to cancel this part of the tour. Much rain in the month of March. Would recommend a drier month. Their daily newspaper was minimally informative. Didn’t have information about a special dress night until it was over, I would not recommend NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We recently cruised the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles on March 16- 31st, 2018 on the Norwegian Sun. The day we left port we witnessed multiple pallets lining our muster stations/ emergency exits and life boat areas with toxic ... Read More
We recently cruised the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles on March 16- 31st, 2018 on the Norwegian Sun. The day we left port we witnessed multiple pallets lining our muster stations/ emergency exits and life boat areas with toxic chemicals (5 gallon buckets of flooring agents, lacquer, strippers, sandal primer, etc.). Talk on board said they had a dry dock coming in Victoria, BC (Canada), for 16 days, and then picking up passengers in Seattle for a return trip on April 19th back to Port Canaveral, FL. We believed it was only to transport them to BC. We were wrong! In just the first day we bean noticing workers breaking these pallets open and blocking off the 6th deck (jogging track and muster areas), as well as the 11th and 12th decks (pool side), to begin work on resurfacing. This continued the entirety of the cruise, to a point we were being herded like cattle to avoid certain areas while they worked. This blocked certain bars and pool side areas for over 2000 passengers, and restricted access to emergency exits. This was MUCH more than maintenance, it was dry dock construction while at sea. Workers used sand blasting, hammer drills, belt sanders and highly toxic chemicals the entirety of our cruise. Dust and toxic smell covered the ship depending on the wind direction, noise was waking people up from sleep at early hours, and people have videos and pictures to back it up, myself included. My wife woke up coughing at night 2x until we asked out cabin staff to change our bedding. It was essentially dust particles coming in through the A/C returns, and where filters do not catch everything. This dust blanketed ship balconies, the lounge and pool areas, as well as getting into people's food, the pool, bar areas and more. Passengers then organized a meeting to confront the situation. The Captain walked out after 3 minutes because he could not handle the level of people's frustration. People booed him off the stage as he walked away. NCL did offer passengers a small 25% credit back from this cruise, but only to use on a future cruise, and within a year's time. This is totally unacceptable! People, including myself don't take big vacations like this accept maybe every 5 years. I work, as does my wife. We are basically being strapped into spending more money at NCL and forced to use their ships again, when they clearly did not care about our well being. People with respiratory issues were exposed to harmful toxins and dust, while they wore masks and respirators. The CEO of NCL and whoever was involved in this atrocity should step down to save face for the company. Even in the event of a short dry dock in Canada, they used this opportunity for financial benefits for NCL, and yet collected a higher than normal ticket during Spring Break, and yet did NOT notify anyone, or disclose this would be going on! I feel taken advantage of, and deceived. Somehow though this, we managed to make the most of it and met great new friends and enjoyed the staff on board. Many of the employees expressed anger towards the work being done to us, but can't do anything about it. We feel as though we are due more than they offered, and we want to let all travelers aboard future NCL cruises to ask questions, contact corporate offices in Miami and get the detail before you sail. I probably will NOT use NCL again because of this! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We thought we would try NCL, we have cruised before but not on NCL. Our group found a cruise that would fit our timetable and also with the beverage option that suited us. Getting on board was easy and the cabin was clean and ready when ... Read More
We thought we would try NCL, we have cruised before but not on NCL. Our group found a cruise that would fit our timetable and also with the beverage option that suited us. Getting on board was easy and the cabin was clean and ready when promised. I was very disappointed in the beverage wait staff and bartenders. It seemed that once they knew we had the beverage package we seemed to be ignored, I tried for over an hour to get the attention of a waiter, I went to the bar myself and stood in line for 45 minutes and while the progressed people sitting at the bar got served 3 times during this time period. Once I got to the front of the line, I got the bartender attention a couple of times and started to give my order and he served other people. After the third time of being ignored, I gave up. Going to dinner was very eventful also, I did not see that I needed to make dinner reservations at any complimentary restaurant or dress code at a couple until I went back and reread the Freestyle Daily, in small print I found it.. I did find out the people were making reservations back in January for this cruise in March. A little heads up for us first time cruisers sure would have helped. This cruise has put a bad taste, I doubt if we will cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The service on this cruise was awful due to lack of experienced staff pitched in to a spring break environment. It was the same on the private island cruise stop in fact it was even worse. The customer service were not interested and ... Read More
The service on this cruise was awful due to lack of experienced staff pitched in to a spring break environment. It was the same on the private island cruise stop in fact it was even worse. The customer service were not interested and seemed to be resigned to this. The food was continuously served up cold and you literally had to fight your way in to the bars to get a drink and then attract the attention of one of the bar staff if you could at all. I would have thought NCL knowing the timing would have compensated by increasing their staff numbers. We hand drinks packages to which they added service charges prior to departure which is a cheek when the service is as poor as this. We also had specialist restaurants package which we could not access because they had been fully booked before we got on the ship again I assume with service charges added to the cruise account. This was most annoying since it was the major reason for booking this cruise. The prices on board were extortio so beware if you sail without the packages. This is the second time we have been on this ship and our first experience was similar. In conclusion not the best cruise we have been on by far. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We went on the Norwegian Epic in March 2018, and it really wasn't great, not even sure if I would rate it good. It is one of the bigger ships in the fleet, and it was clean and well-maintained. My biggest issue was the lack of service ... Read More
We went on the Norwegian Epic in March 2018, and it really wasn't great, not even sure if I would rate it good. It is one of the bigger ships in the fleet, and it was clean and well-maintained. My biggest issue was the lack of service and staff throughout the entire cruise. We apparently made the mistake of sailing during part of the spring break times, and the service was terrible. The ship was close, if not at capacity, and there did not appear to be adequate staff to deal with the numbers. The line is marketing "Free at Sea" which includes a drink package. The ship/line knows how many people sign up for the package, but don't staff for it. For the entire cruise, it took a minimum of 20 minutes to get an alcoholic beverage no matter where we went. All the bars (pool-side, clubs, and entertainment) always had at least 5-6 people deep waiting for a bartender to wait on them. At each restaurant, it took over 20 minutes to get alcoholic beverages. At Great Stirrup Cay, they let 3,000+ people off the boat and were serviced by two bars (total) and four bartenders. For the entire day, there was a 30 minute line. And there were very few roaming bartenders working the various areas. For the "adult only" pool at the back of the boat, they had one server waiting on over 100 people and taking drink orders. It was pitiful. I have never had such poor service consistently for 4 days. I don't understand why there wasn't sufficient staff for the amount of people. The previous cruises we've gone on had about half of the passenger capacity as the Epic, but I feel like they had more staff available than the Epic. Over and over, the only way to get a server or bartender to wait on you was to literally flash cash. If there was not money in hand during the ordering, they would not even wait on you. You pay for Free at Sea and for the gratuities, and a service charge for each day of the drink package, but can't be waited on without tipping up front. I am happy to tip, but it shouldn't be a prerequisite to getting service. While at O'Sheehans, we had been sitting for some time and unable to get anyone to stop at the table. I held a $20 bill in the air and, no joke, in less than 15 seconds, a waiter appeared at my elbow. It was like watching a B-movie comedy, but it actually happened in real life. And then on to the food. Other than our dinner at Cagney's, I am not sure I ate a single meal that was above room-temperature. The main buffet seemed to leave food out indefinitely hoping for it to move, regardless of how cold it had gotten. We also tried the upgraded dining, and that food was cold too. All of the entertainment activities were always packed to capacity and more. We tried each night to get into Howl at the Moon, and it was standing room only. We tried the British Invasion pub, standing room only. It seemed like everywhere we went there was another line or another long wait for something that should be simple and quick. They crammed more people into the ship, but didn't seem to care if they could be accommodated. And the cabins. How small can they be? We got a balcony because they tend to be a little bigger, but there was only a minimal amount of walking space. The Couch, which was used to hold our suitcases, seems to take up half the room and is never used since the television is lined up with the bed. What is the couch for...to look at the closet? Or the sink? Maybe the toilet and shower that aren't separated from the rest of the suite? I won't be sailing on Norwegian again. They aren't the cheapest, and they definitely are NOT the best. They need to work harder on the service part if they want to cram 4000+ people onto a boat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We joined friends who had done this trip before. First, left NY very late., never learned why. Enjoyed our first meal that night. Discovered that the included restaurants are all the same menu, except the noodle bar that's a long ... Read More
We joined friends who had done this trip before. First, left NY very late., never learned why. Enjoyed our first meal that night. Discovered that the included restaurants are all the same menu, except the noodle bar that's a long wait. First breakfast was Maderno, very good. We had a few servers that were fun, at the Atrium and Shakers. I feel the staff is stretched too thin for the very large ship. Too much time at sea. I think we should be compensated a better dinner or something for skipping the barbecue on the island. I know they can't control the weather but just felt crowded. And waited a long time for service.also, wasted our money on the Vibe, probably shouldn't even allow it at certain times of year. Overall, I would not go on a ship that big again or go in March again. Our friends treated us to Brazilian Barba cue and it was great, could've enjoyed just that salad bar more than once. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The layout of the common areas of the ship were nice. However, the layout of the inside state cabin was good. I was sharing a room with a girlfriend and I did not believe the bathroom stall or the shower stall offered enough privacy and ... Read More
The layout of the common areas of the ship were nice. However, the layout of the inside state cabin was good. I was sharing a room with a girlfriend and I did not believe the bathroom stall or the shower stall offered enough privacy and it was inconvenient to pull the curtain every time we used the restroom. The only sink being in the common area of the bedroom did not provide much privacy. The lines from beginning to end were long and consumed a lot of time that could have otherwise been spend enjoying. There were so many teens at the bars doing double fisted drinking and shots while my friend and I tried to push through just to wait to even be noticed in all the chaos. I have a tradition of enjoying a nice glass of champagne every evening and most evenings I did not even get one because it was too much of a hassle. The entertainment was definitely a bright spot on the cruise. We were very pleased with the evening entertainment and really appreciated the 80's dance party so that we could enjoy music we were actually familiar with instead of the disco techno stuff. Another highlight was the cabin service. The gentleman who maintained our cabin did a great job and even left towel animals which my roommate requested (she is a big kid at heart.) I would like to think this experience was a one time disappointment but I am honestly do not think I would pay for another Norwegian Cruise to find out. I have been on Disney, Royal, Celebrity and Carnival multiple times each but this was my first and probably only Norwegian experience. I will applaud the staff for saving the young lady who went overboard. I think that as a miracle! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
It started off not getting the perks like chocolate covered strawberries and when I called to ask why , they thought I was mistaken . A trip to the desk , did not help. Drink service was slow , it would take 5 to 10 minutes before the ... Read More
It started off not getting the perks like chocolate covered strawberries and when I called to ask why , they thought I was mistaken . A trip to the desk , did not help. Drink service was slow , it would take 5 to 10 minutes before the bartenders would even look up and because of this they did not know who was next. The problem was worst at the pool bars but found itself contagious as it moved to the casino and the Bliss lounge. The kicker was when my coffee cups and glasses in my room did not look clean. I marked the bottom of them and used them in the morning and when I returned from breakfast there they were the marks on the same cups that had been wiped out but not sent to the kitchen . When I asked at the front desk if this was the policy , the girl assured me that it was not. Then again it must be my fault . I wonder if this could be one reason cruise ships have medical outbreaks. All the shows were great and I saw most of them. The port were great , except I wish they would go back to Belize City instead of Harvest Cay, but we know that will not happen , Harvest Cay is Norwegian owned. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Chose the cruise because of departure and ports of call. The entertainment was 1st class as was the service. Line ups at the dining rooms were long and when you got a table the first thing you noticed were all the empty tables around you. ... Read More
Chose the cruise because of departure and ports of call. The entertainment was 1st class as was the service. Line ups at the dining rooms were long and when you got a table the first thing you noticed were all the empty tables around you. It seemed that there was not enough staff to bus the tables as people left. The food was great as was the service once you had a table. A reservation was needed for everything right down to the tenders, not exactly my idea of freestyle.lines were long for everything.the room was poorly laid out and way too small. Even though smoking was prohibited on balcony, this didn't seem to apply to my neighours and continued even after my complaint to guest services.at 5his point the money spent on the balcony($1,000.00) was completely wasted.had a very unpleasant encounter with a member of the security staff over 2 small bottles diet coke which after a few rude comments he grabbed from my hand and threw into the trash. I didn't feel that this was a suitable way to treat my personal property. If it had been rum they would have held it and returned it at the end of the trip. His supervisor didn't seem to have a problem with his attitude or his actions.next time we will return to princess. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I had done this Panama Canal cruise on the Norwegian Sun in the opposite direction from Miami to Cabo San Lucas and it was wonderful. This was the 'cruise from hell' from beginning to end. The problems began in Santiago, ... Read More
I had done this Panama Canal cruise on the Norwegian Sun in the opposite direction from Miami to Cabo San Lucas and it was wonderful. This was the 'cruise from hell' from beginning to end. The problems began in Santiago, Chile where the airport was full of scammers pretending to be helpful with badges on indicating they were airport employees there to help you when in reality there were there to misdirect you and take as much of your money as they could get. Norwegian should have alerted their guests to: 1) Beware of scammers at the Santiago airport. 2) The cruise port has been moved from Valpraiso to San Antonio so there is no need to go to or book a hotel in Valpraiso. You will end up paying double cab fare. 3) What the legitimate amount of cab far is from Santiago to San Antonio. 4) There are very few hotels in San Antonio so stay in Santiago and get a transfer from Norwegian to the correct cruise port. Norwegian was able to send a text message to all passengers telling them not to come to the cruise port before 1:00 pm on the day of embarkation, but they never mentioned the reason for this until we were all onboard and sailing away. The reason was that there had been a FLU EPIDEMIC on the previous cruise and they needed extra time to clean and sanitize everything. This would have been nice to know prior to boarding the ship along with a choice of boarding or not. We didn't have this choice. We were not allowed to touch anything during the whole cruise. All food and beverages were covered and could only be obtained from crew members. You couldn't even pick up a plate or silverware. Nothing was put on the tables - no salt and pepper or condiments. Everything had to be obtained from the crew. There were no glasses, ice buckets, etc. in the cabins. We were never told which cabins the sick people had occupied so you never really knew if your cabin was one of those affected. While they should be commended for taking these precautions, it wasn't conducive to a very pleasant cruise and you never knew from one day to the next if you would be the next victim of the bug. The captain and officers were nowhere to be seen until the very end of the cruise. Just about everything about the cruise was not what I had become accustomed to from Norwegian Cruise Lines. It was very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
WE choose this cruise because we wanted to try the west coast cruise ports and we also wanted to see the Panama Canal. I have been on many cruises all over the world. The Star was ok ... We had an inside room..Very small.. you had to ... Read More
WE choose this cruise because we wanted to try the west coast cruise ports and we also wanted to see the Panama Canal. I have been on many cruises all over the world. The Star was ok ... We had an inside room..Very small.. you had to wait till your turn to get to the closets..there was no where you could pass each other without bumping... It had great closet space. In fact it is the best of all the cruises I have been on. Plenty of shelves, a large hanging cloths closet, 3 deep drawers, and several shelves with closing doors to hide your personal items. Also there is a small refrigerator ... it comes stocked with a selection of pay as you use . soda/ beer/ wine. If you don't want these things taking of room that you can use for your water bottles ..leave a note for your room attendant to remove them. The bath did not much for shelves. They offer a 4 inch shelf by about 20 inches to hold both your room~mate and your things. There is an larger shelf down below that holds the trash that you can sit some things on. The shower was great with an adjustable & re~moveable hose. There was also a cloths line in the shower you could hang your towels and swim suits on to dry. Bed was okay... a little on the soft side for me..plenty of pillows and clean linens. The young man who took care of tidying our room each day did a wonderful job. Food is always available 24/14... The bar restaurant is open 24 hours.. It offers decent food. We ate there several times...The (free) restaurants offer identical menus... and the taste of the food is on the bland side. The cafeteria serves breakfast, lunch and dinner... but the food looks the same day in and day out... Deserts are again not tasty at all....I never once got a piece of cake that wasn't stale and make with sub par ingredients. I saw several passengers that became angry over the selections of food... no kidding... At least you won't have to worry about dieting when you get home.. Pool ...It is in located just off the cafeteria... Small, offers 12 lounge chairs on each side(one side is for smokers, cough cough)...and about 20 in the length. ( the pool is small and the deck is small because they have used half of it for a water slid which was open about once or twice. There is a more lounge chairs available on the stairs. You must claim a chair practically at sun rise in order to have one... Nighttime entertainment was good... dancers ~singers~ sets were all enjoyable. Several nights they offered a hypnotist that lectured then had the volunteers come down from the audience ... He was very funny. A couple nights they will have a comedy act.. He it also funny and enjoyable to watch..... Only problem with going in the theater was the seats were sooooo . close together... any man over 5' 7'' . had his knees up to his chest..... Casino... don't bother, after the first two nights the casino was like a grave yard,,, except the table games stayed active.. If you are a beach lover this is not the cruise for you... except for 2 stops ~ . otherwise the beach is there but so dangerous you can't get in... Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I just cruised the NCL Gem to the Southern Caribbean from NYC from 2/13 - 2/24/2018. The Gem staff as a whole was less than helpful. When asked about specific items it seemed to bother them. One instance of this occurred in the gift ... Read More
I just cruised the NCL Gem to the Southern Caribbean from NYC from 2/13 - 2/24/2018. The Gem staff as a whole was less than helpful. When asked about specific items it seemed to bother them. One instance of this occurred in the gift shop where a staff member sighed rolled her eyes and said she didn't want to display a certain item of jewelry (the charm bracelets) because it was "too much work". Another instance occurred when a friend was looking to purchase one of the silver CZ rings. Of the two sales persons there, neither was willing to help her look for her size, "It's just what you see there", said one dismissively. In addition, the staff as a whole did not have proper command of the English language. There were several areas of miscommunication due to this issue. One time I was told the Internet staff would be there at 5 and when I returned about a half hour later at 5, the line was around the corner. I went back to customer service and through her poor broken English I realized she meant staff would be there in 5 minutes not 5 o"clock! It made the staff seem not to be knowledgeable and dismissive. Other cruiselines educate their staff better. This was the worst experience I have had due to this language issue and I have been on over a dozen cruises. This doesn't happen on Royal! In addition, I was shocked at the low level food served at the dining halls. No lobster, no escargot??? Never have I experienced this. Even if there was a nominal charge I would understand. But to not have upscale options in the main dining hall absolutely soured my experience. Also, the desserts were not up to par either. The lava cake was overcooked, cheesecake not always available. Lastly, there was a night where the sea was very rocky. The Captain never even mentioned it! There was no announcement as to why some areas were closing, how long do we expect to be in the storm, nothing, nada. Unbelievable!!! Also, for a recently refurbished ship, the decor was old, dark and dated. I have sailed on NCL Breakaway and had a really good experience. The Gem gets two thumbs down!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I chose this cruise because it was a music cruise and we've been on several before. It went out of NOLA and that was great. Embarkation went smoothly WE THOUGHT. Shortly after we got on the ship we found out that they dropped our ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a music cruise and we've been on several before. It went out of NOLA and that was great. Embarkation went smoothly WE THOUGHT. Shortly after we got on the ship we found out that they dropped our suitcase into the Mississippi River. Yea, you read that right!! Everything in it was soaked. First off they tried to deny what happened. Then tried to blame it on us. Um....a whole pallet of bags went in! They did launder the stuff but tried to balk at my instructions. I did NOT want our stuff ruined. They replaced the destroyed meds but I had to chase that down. I should not have had to do that. Other than that there was nada. NOTHING! I lost hours of my vacation chasing down things that they should have done. I finally gave up on the NCL staff trying to salvage my vacation. The company that puts the concerts on was great! They offered remuneration and a few perks while on board. That was much appreciated but really, it wasn't their deal. NCL should have been more sympathetic to the customers. If it weren't for the music cruises we love being on the Pearl we'd never EVER do a cruise on NCL again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We choose cruises based upon itineraries. The opportunity to visit Chichen Itza was the determining factor for this particular line and trip. Our Mid-ship Balcony cabin was nothing at all like the pictures they show, it was cramped and ... Read More
We choose cruises based upon itineraries. The opportunity to visit Chichen Itza was the determining factor for this particular line and trip. Our Mid-ship Balcony cabin was nothing at all like the pictures they show, it was cramped and poorly designed. When you opened the door you walked into the bed and the 6" of space between the bed and the counter made it virtually impossible to move around the room easily. We spent more time crawling over the bed than sleeping in it it seemed. Our cabin steward would only allow us 2 bath towels per day, and it was our responsibility to exchange our beach towels from our excursions according to him. It wasn't until we spoke to the Housekeeping manager that we could get extra towels and he started to do his job. It would take multiple requests to get our cabin refreshed after returning from excursions and changing for dinner, and turn down service was only performed the last 2 nights of a 7 night cruise. The wait staff in the Main Dining rooms were slow and uninterested in making your dining experience something to look forward to. If you would like a glass of wine or other adult beverage with your meal you had better order it immediately when they bring you your water or don't expect it until you are almost finished with your entree. NCL recently did away with tipping in favor of an automatic service charge added to your invoice daily. It appears that in so doing, they have also done away with any expectation of service from their employees and they have become disincentivized. We have never been on any cruise ship before where we were treated as an afterthought by the staff. DO NOT expect anything but mediocre to poor service from these employees. The bar and lounge staff do go beyond expectations, as do the spa and buffet workers. but the taste of bad service from the cabin stewards and wait staff spoil any thoughts of a first class operation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
​First off, I'm a very positive person. If you read any other review I've done, I try to see the best first, and give suggested solutions, not just complain, when I have to place a negative review. This was our 6th cruise, ... Read More
​First off, I'm a very positive person. If you read any other review I've done, I try to see the best first, and give suggested solutions, not just complain, when I have to place a negative review. This was our 6th cruise, second with Norwegian. This was a​ ​family Christmas gift, my husband and I paid for us, as our 2 adult children and their spouses, all upgraded to balcony suites, so it wasn't cheap. We thought it would be such a treat, as two of them had not cruised before. My sister and her husband decided up join, so 8 of us, in 4 rooms. ​We got the alcoholic beverage packages, the dining package, and the wi-fi package​. So, first impressions, the boat is so beautiful! The water park, the atrium, the pool side, just beautiful! The rooms, nothing impressive, but we tend not to spend much time in them. The upgrade we paid for, for my husband and I, was literally the exact same room as our kids, with a larger bathroom/shower, nothing else. We arrived to our room, went to the bathroom, literally NO toilet paper!​ No​​ half roll, no spare roll, none. Bad start using Kleenex! ​The ice bucket had the previous persons warm water left in it, and it stayed that way the entire week. We had one pool towel, not two. The mirrors were not wiped down at all. The bed was made, but I had to question whether or not the sheets were clean, since it appeared no attention had been paid to the room. The entire trip, we saw our attendant ​4​ times, and he didn't even know our names. I had to call for assistance, and you could't leave a message, we received a recording telling us to try again later. ​The foo​d was good, the entire time. Although they boast 28 restaurants, the ones included were the poolside buffet/.cafe, O'Sheehans Pub, and the 2 Dining Rooms. The dining rooms had the same menu each day, just different ambiance. The specialty dining package was nice, with many more options, but, you have to pay a surcharge to use most of them, so not "Free". The room service for breakfast, was a surcharge as well, if you wanted something other than continental. They only had a few choices for hot food, and they were truly inedible. The Tapa's Restaurant was just awesome, though, and well worth the service charge! They did not have the typical "seafood" night, at all. No crab, no lobster, just peel and eat shrimp, mussels, and such. That was a great disappointment, It seems corners are being cut to save them money, but they didn't pass the savings along to the patrons. Since they sell the heck out of the drink packages, that you prepay for, you can guess right in the fact that you couldn't find a server poolside or out and about! We literally had to wait in lines at the bars to get a drink. That is so unlike any cruise we have ever been on, they keep the drinks flowing, so long as they are making money on it! Since they already made the money, service was not a concern. The shows were spectacular! We really enjoyed them. Although the comedy was the same night after night, when you went to a different room, you assumed different people were performing, but they moved from one showroom to the next. One show, we arrived literally 3 minutes late to, and were told we couldn't go. We were furious, especially because the attendant told us we had to be there fifteen minutes before the show started, and our tickets did not show that. We showed her the tickets to prove it. Finally she allowed us to enter, and the show was great. Their Perspective Photo Studio, separate from the cruise photos, was wonderful, and worth the money we spent with them, over $1,500! The photographers gave our family a photo shoot of a lifetime, throughout the ship, they spent hours with us, capturing our families personalities, separately and together. The Haven, which is their "cruise with the cruise" was very high end, and the patrons there were treated like royalty. They paid for that luxury, but it became annoying to everyone that paid a lot, that they were treated with special lines to get off and on the ship, to dine, to go to shows, etc. Everyone should be treated special on the cruise, not just the super elite. Overall, we didn't get what we paid for. It felt like a "budget friendly" vacation, but it was not cheap. The venue was great, the staff was not. This is the first time we have cruised that the staff seemed terribly unfriendly, unhappy, uncaring, and unconcerned. It has not ruined cruising for me, overall, but it has ruined Norwegian Cruises for me. They have a culture issue going on, that they need to look closer at, as there is a high expectation when you spend the kind of money we spent. To not feel special, attended to, cared about, etc., is a shame. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We were looking forward to our first NCL cruise for a year and can say (among many others we encountered who echoed the same sentiment) that we will not be returning. The Norwegian Epic had it's bright spots, but overall we were more ... Read More
We were looking forward to our first NCL cruise for a year and can say (among many others we encountered who echoed the same sentiment) that we will not be returning. The Norwegian Epic had it's bright spots, but overall we were more disappointed than anything. Lets start with the ship itself. Embarkation was typical. A few delays, but the ship holds thousands of passengers so some waiting is to be expected. Once on the ship, catching an elevator is almost as difficult as hitting the lottery. NCL really needs to increase the production on these things. If you're looking for a vacation where you never close your wallet, well you've found it. NCL charges for so many things. Most shows, some seminars, games, bowling, any offered classes - it's all extra. This is in addition to the restaurants, which some are not only an initial fee, but the menu is also a la carte. The Garden Café (buffet) seating is ample, but the food was often cold and average. O'Sheehans turned out to be our favorite spot. The drink prices and drinks themselves throughout the bars were highly inconsistent - we got the same drink for 2 different prices and two completely different tastes within half an hour one day - one $3+ more than the other. You're charged $17+ for a 6 pack of water, which the crew then confiscates from you upon returning from certain ports. Totally logical. You're required to have a ticket for even the complimentary shows, and making reservations for tendered ports is definitely encouraged. NCL's highly touted 'Freestyle Cruising' is actually quite regimented and limiting due to this setup. The pools are very small and narrow, deck chairs were consistently reserved with towels beginning very early in the morning, and the crew stacked them up relatively early in the evening. The shops, art gallery, and sundries shops have all the typical cruise items. The ship overall was HOT everywhere other than the 5th floor. Our stewards were very friendly, fast, and attentive. They kept the cabins very nice. We went to the Svendka Ice Bar which is open in the evenings with reservation, costs $23+ (entry fee and 2 drinks included), but is definitely fun to see. There's things to do on the ship, but at the same time, there's not really a lot going on. NCL really just counts on spending money at the bars and specialty restaurants as your entertainment. Let's talk about ports. Our first port was NCL's private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. The beach was nice enough, but it's really the only thing to do, which is great if you're looking forward to a beach chair and swimming all day. There is a small straw market which takes about 15 minutes to see the entire area, and a complimentary bbq or taco lunch. Past that, you have to pay for anything else. This is a tendered port, so be sure to get in line on time. Guests of The Haven are also given preference over the rest of us cruisers and taken to the front of the line regardless of how long others have waited. Our 2nd port was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Corporate NCL seriously needs to walk thru and see the condition of this port. We docked at a pier which appeared to be an old dilapidated freight port. We then had to walk a good 20 minutes down a mountain on a crumbling sidewalk full of holes, trash, beggars, congested with speeding drivers, locals handing you 'gifts' and then demanding money, locals attempting to take you for a ride/tour, physically grabbing and holding onto your arms and hands, and offering/attempting to sell all types of drugs and stuffing small bags of them into the peoples pockets who made the mistake of buying whatever the individual was selling. The word 'No' is totally disregarded by the residents. Once you finally reach the town, you find a downtown that is filthy, crowded, more narrow sidewalks, stores full of cheap trinkets, and locals who stand out front and harass you to buy something. To top it all off, Jamaica was under a State of Emergency and Travel Advisory during our trip due to crime, which NCL conveniently forgot to mention. We turned back within an hour. 90% of our ship was also returning due to the same thoughts about Ocho Rios so at least we could travel in more of a pack for safety. NCL needs to remove this stop from their itinerary immediately. It is not somewhere visitors need to be. 3rd port was George Town, Grand Cayman. No complaints. A very nice port town, ample shopping, nobody bothering you, clean, beautiful water, and lots to do in addition to shore excursions. You're on a tender here also, so arrive in ample time. 4th port was Cozumel, Mexico. Cozumel's water was clear in spots. We docked at 1 of the 2 piers and the better shopping seemed to be to our south, we just chose not to take a taxi. The shops were clean, but not much variety. More locals bothering you to come into their stores and the agent prior to getting back onto the ship snatched a fellow passengers money out of her passport when checking ID's, attempted to hide it, then claimed it was a joke, but this port was still a monumental improvement from Ocho Rios. Onto our mini suite cabin. The Epic's staterooms have a 'Wave' design and it just doesn't work in all the rooms. The beds were at the front of this room and were practically in the bathroom area. You could lean over and wash your hands in the sink. The beds can't be separated further than 6 inches because they are locked in a curve, the bathroom and shower are across from one another on either side of the room and the sink is outside of the bathroom area. The shower and toilet are separated from the rest of the cabin by a curtain with the sink and mirror outside of the curtain. The bathroom is small, beyond small. We had 3 cabins - all in one day! Our first cabin the air conditioning barely cooled, but the main problem was the cabin flooded in the very early morning hours due to something going wrong in the wall from the neighboring cabin's plumbing. We had a temporary cabin in the afternoon which was a regular balcony cabin. Due to the wave setup, this room was very small - spring for the mini suite. We were then moved late that night to another mini suite where the air worked and the beds were at the end of the wave by the balcony doors, which was WAY more efficient. And this room didn't flood! The Head Guest services manager did rectify the entire bad situation which we were satisfied with. The room itself is decorated in warm tones with mahogany and plentiful storage, the balcony is larger than most ships, so the appearance is nice, just not so much the aesthetics. We wanted to love this ship and this line. Unfortunately, NCL misses the mark and they're not worth spending the money on. At least the Epic sure isn't. They're trying to be luxurious, but have yet to master simplicity. First cruise with NCL, last cruise with NCL. Epic fail. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Great ports and a fun winter getaway. The weather was awful, but it was still better than sitting in the office. Now for the bad, there was a large group of at least 1200 people on the ship. The name of the group was Groan and Sexy. They ... Read More
Great ports and a fun winter getaway. The weather was awful, but it was still better than sitting in the office. Now for the bad, there was a large group of at least 1200 people on the ship. The name of the group was Groan and Sexy. They completely took over the ship and were so loud the rest of the passengers did anything they could to try and escape to a quiet space. They made the cruise unenjoyable. There were some many private events day and night, that we didn't get to visit our favorite locations on the ship many times. It is my understanding that his group has an open lifestyle and from the groans and noise I heard from the cabin next door I can assure you that, that is probably an accurate statement. I did end up having to call security on them at one point. Also, the only day that the weather was good on this trip and we could be around the pool, this group decided the rules didn't apply to them about the number of people that could be in the hot tub and one lady was even smoking a cigar. No one ever came over and told her to put she could smoke in the hot-tub. You could never get to the bar in the Atrium because they were always gathered around the bar screaming and wouldn't let anyone else in to get a drink. The wait staff couldn't keep up, so forget someone coming around to ask you if you needed anything. I understand that they are in the business to sell out the ship. However, when you have a group that large that it should be required for them to buy out the entire ship. NCL should really give the passengers that were not a part of this group some type of concession. There are no words to convey how awful, inconsiderate and rude this folks were. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I Cruise a lot and this was my first time on the Norwegian. NEVER AGAIN!! They served the same food everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only changes to the meals were the soups and having pasta/ carrot and potato salads ... Read More
I Cruise a lot and this was my first time on the Norwegian. NEVER AGAIN!! They served the same food everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only changes to the meals were the soups and having pasta/ carrot and potato salads different days in the case with the toss salads. Most of the staff were very unpleasant. I got tired of hearing from people "Oh that's just their culture"... No! you are in customer service point blank. Speak and smile. We got the beverage package and most of the bartenders were so tight to pour more than a shot in a drink or got made when you asked to make a drink that was already in a premade container. Listen it's paid for and there is no way anyone will drink 10 drinks a day and I didn't like how the premade drinks was mostly mix or juice. I think it was so rude for wait staff to reach over you and and your food at the table while you are still eating to grab an empty plate. SAY excuse me and ask for it! And to make things even worst, I fell on a wet floor and was in a brace for most of the trip. They treated me like I did something. The asian gurl was so rude and unconcerning about my pain. I am still trying to get the incident report for my doctor. The prices were so high in the stores to buy liquor or gifts...UGH I can go on but you get the picture. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had been on several cruises and this was the first and last on Norwegian.The boarding process was a nightmare with thousand stuffed into a room which was way to small and many young and old had to sit on the dirty floor. The key cards ... Read More
We had been on several cruises and this was the first and last on Norwegian.The boarding process was a nightmare with thousand stuffed into a room which was way to small and many young and old had to sit on the dirty floor. The key cards that we were issued did not work and the rude woman told us to get out of line and stand on the side for another 20 minutes. The ship was clean and the Tropicana restaurant had excellent food and service. Now to the ports we visited. Roatan was dirty and they had children selling cheap junky jewelry. All around there were emaciated dogs on the brink of starvation. Second port was Belize which was a total waste of time - a few tourist shops nothing else. Next came Costa Maya which again had a few tourist shops and nothing else. Cozumel was the best of the lot. There were lots of kids on board and most were not supervised. There were 2 hot tubs that children could use and they did, it is not a safe practice to have young children in a hot tub not supervised. There is a casino on board which has a smoking and non-smoking section. Forget it people smoke where ever they like and no one stops them. There are a lot of cruise companies that are a much better value. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The beverage package is made full use of on this ship, its not for anyone who is looking for a quiet cruise, if you like lots of high fives and whooping this is the ship for you. Be prepared to enjoy the company overly lubricated ... Read More
The beverage package is made full use of on this ship, its not for anyone who is looking for a quiet cruise, if you like lots of high fives and whooping this is the ship for you. Be prepared to enjoy the company overly lubricated passengers on a daily basis. It you are a smoker or travelling with smokers in your party then forget this boat. Smokers are treated as if they have some terrible contagious disease, The Sunset bar is the main smoking area in the forward part of the ship , it has 8 stools at the bar and another 8 in an adjacent area . When its raining with the wind to starboard, the whole area is soaked and its impossible to use the area. Its always crowded. The alternative smoking area is a part the casino ( closed when in port) and the Spice H2o aft, on the starboard side which has a seating capacity for smokers of about 20 to 30. Again its always packed and its in the open and is useless in wet weather . So that's a total of less than 50 seats for smokers on a ship with of over 4000 and in wet weather when in port that reduces to ZERO. Come on NCL your sailing a ship belching out diesel fumes by the bucket load, and encouraging heavy drinking but punishing the smokers for enjoying tobacco . On the plus side, the entertainment in the theater was brilliant, the shows Burn the floor and the Million dollar quartet was of the highest standard Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My wife and I love NCL, with that said our experience on the Epic left us disappointed. We would not go on the Epic again nor would we recommend it. Not enough space for seating during meal times, not sure what they were thinking when ... Read More
My wife and I love NCL, with that said our experience on the Epic left us disappointed. We would not go on the Epic again nor would we recommend it. Not enough space for seating during meal times, not sure what they were thinking when designing the ship. Even the main dinning area you must have reservations or wait long periods to get in. The show's you need to have reservations, we have never experienced this with any other cruise we have taken, even with other cruise lines. To get a tender we waited 1 3/4 hour. This appeared to be poor management, only saw two tenders used. On the return to the ship they had 5 tenders, they had many upset people complaining, probably why they bumped up the tenders for the return. No privacy in the restroom area. It was clear to us that the ship size is more about making money than customer service. We will certainly do NCL again, but we will stay to the smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I chose cruise for itinerary and price. Our cabin was adorable, loved the shower. It was small, interior cabin midship on the fourth floor. I enjoyed being so close to the exits at each port. I thought the shows were great. Lots of ... Read More
I chose cruise for itinerary and price. Our cabin was adorable, loved the shower. It was small, interior cabin midship on the fourth floor. I enjoyed being so close to the exits at each port. I thought the shows were great. Lots of variety. It's the medical facility and the food (taste, service, quality) that I am complaining about here. I got sick on the third day of our 14 day cruise (everyone on the ship seemed sick already.) $325 for over the counter cold treatments and what the "doctor" said was a zpac. I just got sicker and sicker. At one point, I had trouble even breathing because of asthma and coughing. "doctor" wanted to charge me again! I went to pharmacies in ports and got some actually helpful medications and advice (steroids and throat spray.) The food was tasteless. Even specialty restaurants offered lackluster choices. Service could take an hour to an hour and one half. Our room steward was uninterested in our needs or anything more than basic turndown service. The gym offered classes with surcharge (about $15 a class.) but did not include anything other than the equipment and towels. There was no sauna or showers or even a changing room. Daily activities were a joke or included a hefty price tag. Afternoon tea was cookies at 3:00 pm in the buffet! Shore excursions were better left to when you got off the ship. We paid for "cliff divers and Fort of San Diego" but when we got there, there were additional entry charges. Night life for the over 40 crowd seemed hopping but I was too sick to care. I love cruises for the food and service. I get to live like I don't have to care about prices and laundry and working. I felt this cruise lacked that "everyone is special" treatment that my cruise price usually buys. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I We live near Port Canaveral and decided to try Norwegian as we have never been on one of their ships. The boarding process took no more time than the Oasis ofthr Seas that we had taken last year but there the similarities ended. Our ... Read More
I We live near Port Canaveral and decided to try Norwegian as we have never been on one of their ships. The boarding process took no more time than the Oasis ofthr Seas that we had taken last year but there the similarities ended. Our cabin, inside, was quite small. We usually book and oceanview but the incentives to take an inside cabin far outweighed those offered for an oceanview so I figured it would be Ok for a week. Everything was in the room! The toilet, the shower and the tiny sink. True there was frosted glass enclosures around both the toilet and the shower but there was no sense of privacy. We found that we were constantly walking through the Smokey casino to either reach the entertainment area at one end or the main dining rooms at the other end. With the exception of the Epic theater all areas seemed very congested. We’re as the Oasis with it’s 5000 passanger count never seemed crowded. The food was just OK, much better on the Oasis. The entertainment was good but we had trouble listening to some of the vocal groups as they were in small lounges with not enough seating. I’ll stick with Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Ship, Cabin, and Dining: By far, the worst cruise I've been on. The ship itself is old. The cabin had not been renovated and had similarities to a motel. Dining was disappointing throughout the cruise. NCL is proud of their ... Read More
Ship, Cabin, and Dining: By far, the worst cruise I've been on. The ship itself is old. The cabin had not been renovated and had similarities to a motel. Dining was disappointing throughout the cruise. NCL is proud of their flexibility when it comes to dining - dine when you want, where you want. They have a few complimentary dining (Aqua, Versailles, O'Sheehan, Ginza, & Buffet). Despite the different restaurants, they offer the same food except Ginza. I go to O'Sheehan for breakfast to only realize the food plated is the same food from the buffet. I go to Aqua for dinner and realize they have the same dinner menu as the other restaurants. No variety. Ginza is supposed to specialize in Chinese food. My family (who is Chinese) was not impressed and commented that Panda Express is better. Overall dining service is negative stars because (1) many servers did not know what they were doing and (2) the food was not impressive. I'm used to servers taking drinking orders from all around the table but for some reason, servers walked away after taking only 3 drink orders for a party of 6. To stop the server to complete the drink order was unpleasant, because they were visibly unhappy. To sum up the food, the child in the party was the first to mention the saltiness of the food haha. Never thought I'd have a child who said the food was too salty. Entertainment and Activities: Be prepared for this is Vegas on a ship. Majority of the daily activities was an opportunity for NCL to sell raffle tickets and other items. If you're not interested in things being sold to you, there's not much you can do. Many on the ship were playing board games in the bar/lounge or on the sports deck. However with 3 days at sea, you get bored easily. It's definitely a cruise I describe best for older folks who enjoys lounging around, playing at the casino, and napping. For myself (late 20s), this cruise was not a good fit. Service: Service throughout the ship was terrible. Majority of the staff onboard were very rude and unapproachable. When you walk up to the restaurant host, the first thing they ask is for your room card. There is no smile or greeting. I was expecting "Welcome to Aqua, how many are in your party?" or "Good evening, how was your day?" with a smile. When the staff doesn't greet you or even smile, it ruins the whole experience. Negativity is contagious. The Art Auction staff is also rude. I won a artwork through a raffle at the auction and was instructed to meet with a specific staff after the auction. I informed her that I won the raffle and the first thing she says is "740" with (I should mention again) NO SMILE. In my head, I thought that was the amount I had to pay for the artwork. She corrected me and said that I can meet with her at 7:40 to discuss shipping. Since that time conflicted with the show time (7:30), I just passed on the free artwork. Sat in the Art Auction for 1.5 hours, left with nothing, and felt like I wasted my time. To top it off, I passed by her every day in the art lounge sitting at the desk doing nothing. Overall the staff was unwelcoming, unhappy, and non-accommodating. The only staff that made my day was the "Washie Washie, Happy Happy" ladies who greet you with smiles, laughter, and a spray bottle of hand sanitizer. Ports and Shore Excursions: I did excursions at 2/3 ports. The service at these excursions was 5 stars! My family commented the service at the ports were extremely better than on the ship. However descriptions of the excursions are not accurate to the paperwork distributed at the "Shore Excursion" counter on the ship. One excursion took me to places that were not described on the handout which made me nervous because (1) I was far from the ship at this point and (2) Mexico has an increase in criminal activities to tourists. But I made it back safely! The second excursion mentioned a tour in a military-type vehicle. That didn't happen and I was a bit disappointed. Note: If you do a dolphin experience excursion, the "Observer" ticket they sell you onboard for $55 only works if those swimming the dolphin is 18+. So if you're a parent wanting to watch your child interact with the dolphin, you will have to get in the water with them. The "Shore Excursion" counter does not tell you this when they sell it to you. I know because a member of my family was only notified once off the ship and in the hands of the excursion guide. They had to purchase another ticket. Some of my party has sailed with NCL before and said this was the worst experience they've had with NCL. It could be just the ship, the staff, or that it was over the holidays. But for me sailing with NCL for the first time, I would not return. I've had better experiences on other cruise lines. I hope my review prompts NCL to look into this particular cruise line because I spent $1,000+ and felt like I wasted my money. On top of that, I hope NCL looks into improving the service on the cruise because an automatic charge of $14 per person/per day does not reflect the service you receive. I know I'm not the only one who was dissatisfied because other guests I've encountered on the cruise felt the same way. I highly recommend for cruisers to try a different cruise line from NCL - not Mexican Riviera with Norwegian Star. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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