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264 Norwegian (NCL) Europe Cruise Reviews

My sister and I worked hard to find the vacation of a lifetime that our family of nine could all enjoy, including our 80 year old physically challenged mother who was gifting us this trip, our husbands, three 20-something kids and my 15 ... Read More
My sister and I worked hard to find the vacation of a lifetime that our family of nine could all enjoy, including our 80 year old physically challenged mother who was gifting us this trip, our husbands, three 20-something kids and my 15 year old daughter. A fabulous experience seemed to present itself in an NCL Spirit 11-Day Holiday Celebration leaving Rome on December 22, 2019 that would take us, together, into new ports and the New Year. We booked our cruise and airfare directly through NCL Group Sales assuming that by doing so we would be ensured efficient and safe travel from our homes in New Jersey to meet the ship in Rome prior to sailing. When the booking information arrived, we were immediately concerned because some of our children were booked on flights different from the rest of us and horrified that we had to figure out ourselves that the flights you booked them on were not even going to put them in Rome until the day after the cruise set sail!! We called more than once as we were very concerned that there wasn't enough time between the flights in Lisbon, especially with a special needs traveler, but were assured all would work out well. We could not leave the day before, as we had hoped, since one of our college students had a final until 7PM that night! Uggh. We were right! We did not land in Lisbon until 6:25AM, at which point there was no way possible to make our connection on the next flight which closed its door at 6:40AM, especially as we had to clear a customs and immigration entry point with an hour long line. We were dismayed to learn that there had been a 10AM flight out of Lisbon all along and, had we been booked on that from the start, it was much more likely that we would have made it to the ship before it was scheduled to depart at 5PM. Of course, the 10AM flight was full by the time we were stuck in Lisbon and could not be accommodated. Utterly disappointed, we came to terms with the fact that we would have to wait to board the ship in Venice, missing the first few days of fun and excitement that the rest of the travellers would have at embarkation. We were rebooked on a Tuesday, December 24th flight from Lisbon to Venice. While still in the Lisbon airport Sunday morning, we tried desperately to reach anyone at NCL to help us and we left urgent messages for our Group Sales agent Shanice, which were never returned. The call to NCL’s emergency numbers took several tries before we finally reached someone at Total Travel Marine named Tania. Tania explained that she was just at a call center but would forward our information via email to NCL and advise them that we would be meeting the ship in Venice. Tania's email, which I have a copy of, clearly states our phone number and asks for someone at NCL to call us as soon as possible. To date we have heard from no one at NCL. We had pre-arranged for a van to pick the nine of us up at the Rome airport Sunday to transport us to the ship and since it was too late to cancel, we were charged for the missed pick up. Luckily we were able to schedule with the same company for pick up at the Venice airport on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, when our next flight was scheduled to arrive. All of these calls and efforts to reschedule our vacation had us at the airline counter until after 1PM. Exhausted, confused and frustrated, the nine of us trudged to the Lost Baggage area of the Lisbon airport expecting to retrieve our luggage. Another two hours later, the search for our luggage began but no one could find any information on them anywhere. By 6PM we finally left, being told by TAP that “there were well over 2,000 bags in their holding” but that ours would be located and placed on our flight two days later to Venice. On Monday, December 23rd, I tried to call our NCL group sales agent again in Florida, at an hour that I assumed the US staff would be working. While I was never able to reach her directly and left several more voice messages, I finally got to a general customer service agent. I cannot tell you how flabbergasted I was when she actually said to me, “had you purchased your travel insurance through us, we would help you but since you didn’t, once your ship left port, you are now considered a closed case”. Is this really how NCL has trained their customer support team to respond to travellers in distress? On Tuesday morning, Christmas Eve, we left the hotel at 4:20AM and headed back to the Lisbon airport to make our 6AM flight. At the Lisbon airport we went directly to the wheelchair area to get mom assistance but were told we would have to wait. We gave it until 5:30AM but concerned at how long it would take us to get to the gate, and afraid to miss our flight, we grabbed a chair and pushed her ourselves. We finally settled into our flight to Venice, exhausted, dirty and stressed but ready to grab our bags and meet our cruise and begin our holiday together. Two hours later, watching an empty baggage carousel spin by with no luggage in hand, we dejected made our way to the lost luggage counter at the Venice airport. We told the agent that our ship would be in Venice until 5PM on Wednesday 12/25/19 and she assured us that our nine bags would be flown to Venice in time to be delivered to the ship before we set sail again. After dealing with this, we headed out of the baggage claim area to meet our driver. It was now just before noon and although our ship was not due into Venice port until 5PM, we figured our best option was to be dropped at the port and wait. We arrived at the gate to the port around 12:30PM only to be advised that the ship had hit bad weather between Rome and Venice and would not be arriving until after midnight and we would have to stay in another hotel overnight and meet the ship the next morning. So Christmas Eve would not be spent celebrating on our special cruise, but instead in a cheap hotel near the port of Venice, cramped three to a room. We were now also on day three in the same clothes and we did not have anything nearly warm enough to wear, nor any toiletries and we could not board a cruise uncertain that we would ever have our necessities. We found a local mall and purchase a few necessities that we believed we would need until our luggage would be brought on board later the next day. Later that night, I called the Lost Baggage Service to track our bags and was asked to email them a copy of our cruise itinerary, which I did. The next morning we were finally delivered to the ship where we boarded and found our staterooms. My mother and children (a 21 year old man and 15 year old teenager) were booked to share a balcony room. Once the beds were opened at night, there was literally no room to move. The floor was nothing but bed and my son had to climb over my daughter to go to sleep! I can’t even imagine that this is not a safety hazard waiting to happen. When we boarded, NCL staff did provide us each with a bag that contained a tee shirt, a tiny toiletries bag and one ticket each for free laundry service (the best part of the bag!). However, the shirts were all one size (XL) which were too big for most of the women and too small for two of the men. Christmas evening dinner in the dining room was very nice, although we thought it would have been even nicer if we had the special outfits we had purchased and packed to wear for pictures since we had a 20 Picture Package that we had chosen as our on-board promotion. That did not seem to be much of an issue, however, since no photographer ever came into a public space we were in the entire time we were on the ship. The two times we had pictures taken were when we got off the ship in a port or if we found the photographer and their backdrop in the main lobby. This too had been a disappointment as we had first been advised that we could choose the Soda Package in our room as our on-board promotion since we do not drink alcohol. I was even quoted that we would be charged $17.49 per person for the 11 days in service charges, to which I had agreed. When I did not see that package on my itinerary closer to sailing, I was then informed that this was not actually a choice I could have made, that the only choice would have been to choose the “free alcohol package” that would have cost me $400 for the stateroom in service charges. REALLY?? Clearly this package was made available to some travellers, why not to us? Of course, by the time we sailed out of Venice on Wednesday evening, our luggage had not been delivered as promised. We were assured it would be flown to Dubrovnik and would meet our ship the next day, Thursday, 12/26/19. On Thursday morning, 12/26/19, we headed into Dubrovnik for a day of sightseeing. Freezing cold without our warm clothes, we bought some more warm things to wear for the day. Upon arrival back on board at 5:00PM, we were advised that two pieces of our family’s luggage had arrive on board, but the remaining 7 bags were hopefully going to be found and brought on board before we left port at 10PM. By 9:30PM the ship had already started moving and no luggage had been delivered. The next day we tendered into Kotor. By now it had been six days without our belongings and little more than a change of underwear and a toothbrush. Our first stop that morning was to a pharmacy because, by now, my husband had a headcold and needed medication which I would have had if I had any luggage. As soon as we got near a local restaurant with free WIFI I checked my email to discover I had received a notice from the Lost Luggage company stating that our bags had been delivered and the case was considered closed. Since we had only received two of our bags by that point, we were quite concerned and immediately had to tender back to the ship, missing any opportunity for real sightseeing in Kotor. Back aboard, we called Lost Luggage again and were advised that all of our bags had been sent to Venice but that seven of them had then been re-routed to Munich for some unknown reason rather than delivered to the ship with the first two! Almost an hour more was spent on the phone with the agent from the Lost Luggage company before he advised me that our bags would be flown from Munich to Pisa where they would be sent by courier to meet the ship when we arrived in Livorno on 12/29/19. So, on top of everything else we had missed already, we missed Kotor as well. We spent the next day, Saturday, 12/28/19 on board the ship in our barest clothing while having our bits and pieces washed at the laundry so that we had clean clothes again to wear when we arrived in Livorno on Sunday, 12/29/19. We spent the day Sunday with a tour of Lucca and Pisa and returned to the ship at 6:30PM, initially excited to hear that our bags were finally waiting for us at our stateroom, then utterly dejected to discover that one bag had been completely destroyed and was being held together with packing tape. Two others had been damaged to the point of having to be replaced as well. We spent part of our day in Barcelona purchasing new luggage in order to repack for the trip back home. We began this trip with the highest of hopes for an unforgettable family vacation. Unforgettable is certainly what we got. We are BRONZE level NCL cruisers who would have been one day short of reaching SILVER level when we disembarked at the end of this trip and couldn’t wait to begin thinking about where that next adventure would be. As of today, because meeting the ship in Rome had been taken away from us, we only got credit for 8 days on the ship and although I assume that we will be financially compensated for the missed days, the cost to my Latitudes account is just one more way we are feeling let down by NCL. Fruthermore, had we known at booking that the Spirit was going into dry dock at the end of our trip for a complete refurbishment, we would very likely have made other vacation plans from the start. What a difference this ship was from the NCL Gem, a previous NCL ship that we sailed on. While their staff, as always, was courteous and professional, we noticed the little touches that were missing. As I mentioned, no photographer throughout the ship. No towel animals ever appeared in any of our rooms on any night. My daughter’s dinner order placed the night before (she has a life-threating nut allergy) was forgotten one evening so that she had to wait for her dinner while everyone else was served. Even the chocolates put out at the dining hall on Christmas were old and stale (they had already turned white inside the wrappers!). We were on the Norwegien GEM from Christmas to New Years Eve so we had a reasonable expectation that the Spirit would be a similar experience. We could not believe that after the hubub of midnight passed on New Years Eve, there was not a morsel of food available to ship full of drinking passengers! Truly not a cracker or a cookie, the buffet room was locked up tight. While the lost luggage fiasco was technically not NCL's fault, the bottom line is that we spent a great deal of money booking our trip as a whole unit directly with NCL because it was our belief that NCL would be best qualified to ensure we were safely and reasonably delivered from our home to their ship. Had we realized how “hands-off” their group sales and travel departments would be as soon as our check cleared, we not only would have booked our own flights, and now know to do so for the future, but we probably would have booked either through a separate travel agent or with a different cruise line altogether. Travel insurance will cover the cost of a hotel or new piece of luggage, but when we were scared and stranded in a foreign country in the middle of a voyage that a company scheduled and booked for us, it is hard to believe that NCL's customer care policy is to "not care". We found out after returning home that NOT taking the cruise line's insurance policy was one of the smartest thing we could have done for ourselves. Frankly, although it saddens me to feel like this, it is very likely good-bye from our family to the NCL family. There are just too many other cruise lines we can choose from who we hope will treat us like we matter. I only hope that when I share this story, it will save other families from making the mistake we made. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I just came back from a 7 days Mediterranean cruise with my family by NCL. My cabin was very nice and comfortable. The food was the best of the 3 cruise lines. However, entertainment, shopping and customer service were the worst of ... Read More
I just came back from a 7 days Mediterranean cruise with my family by NCL. My cabin was very nice and comfortable. The food was the best of the 3 cruise lines. However, entertainment, shopping and customer service were the worst of the 3 other lines. The shore excursions were very expensive. What bothered me the most was the bad smell in the elevator. It smelled dead fish. The embark and disembark were great. When I got home I noticed that several pieces of my jewelry were missing. I cruised many times with different cruise lines but it was my first time with NCL and the first time I had my belongings missing as well. So I decided to google if anybody had the same experience, and to my surprise, It is overwhelming the number of cases of theft in-room cabin. I am hating myself for being so naive. I guess I learned a lesson! I would not go cruise again with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our last 5 cruises in a row have been on various Norwegian ships with various itineraries. They were all excellent. We like Norwegian because it is economical, has great ports of call, have sufficient time in each port and do not have ... Read More
Our last 5 cruises in a row have been on various Norwegian ships with various itineraries. They were all excellent. We like Norwegian because it is economical, has great ports of call, have sufficient time in each port and do not have specific dinner times. However, on this cruise we had a few issues. Our toilet didn't work off and on for a couple days, some of the dining room staff in the Windows dining room seem to be indifferent (Garden restaurant was better) and our last port of call Livorno/Florence was cancelled inexplicably because of high winds. The toilet was fixed (the ship is going in for an update soon) but in the interim we had to go up a couple floors to the public washrooms (none down near the rooms). Our room steward was excellent (we tipped her separately) as was some of the table clean-up staff which we got to know and talk to but some the Windows dining staff and some counter staff were terse and short with us. Our last stop Livorno was cancelled because of high winds even though the weather report said it was fine a couple of hours later. We returned to Civitavecchia a day early and had to scramble to find transportation to Rome and find something else to do in Rome (we spent 3 days there at the start). My wife had private transportation booked to Florence (Norwegian transportation and tours are generally over-priced) but couldn't get all her money back. Announcements on the ship were difficult to hear and there was only one live show, the rest were singers singing old songs and acrobats. My wife likes to do the painting classes but they were painting the same picture she did in 2013 and 2016. This was our worst experience yet with Norwegian but is 5 out of 6 acceptable? Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Saw an add, took a chance. Did not regret it! Yes, there is probably more luxurious etc., but this was absolutely wonderful for my husband and I. The Freestyle model is great. The staff detail on cleanliness was very appreciated. ... Read More
Saw an add, took a chance. Did not regret it! Yes, there is probably more luxurious etc., but this was absolutely wonderful for my husband and I. The Freestyle model is great. The staff detail on cleanliness was very appreciated. They watched, just like they should, over patrons and ensured that everything met expectations. I would probably ask for a Wi-Fi package next time but it is really expensive. I would recommend that soft drinks be available at the Raffles buffet. Having to visit the bar for a Pepsi or Ginger Ale is not necessary. We were disappointed by the lack of recycling facilities for plastic, paper. Nowadays, it should be standard. It probably is hard onboard a ship, but still, a little effort would go a long ways. Perhaps public places where people could drop the recycling. The ship is not new but has a warm, inviting atmosphere. Again, the cleanliness is worth mentioning. It is not one of the larger cruise ships but I liked it that way, not too intimidating for a first time cruiser. We went to a couple of entertainment shows, quite enjoyable, very professional looking. We went to the Japanese restaurant, and the Windows restaurant. Very good food, no complaint there. The service was very good in these restaurants, and exceptional throughout the rest of the ship. We had three excursions with Norwegian: Belfast, Liverpool, Dublin. Extremely knowledgeable guides and nice buses. In Kirkwall, we disembarked through the use of tenders (small covered boats housing about 100 persons). This is an interesting experience even though one of the tenders (ours) experienced a technical problem. We were brought to the boat safely, though. We had a great time, we fully intend to use Norwegian Cruises again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as a family cruise with my brother's family and my Father so there was 11 of us on the cruise. We have never Cruised the British Isles and thought this would be a great experience for the family. We have cruised ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family cruise with my brother's family and my Father so there was 11 of us on the cruise. We have never Cruised the British Isles and thought this would be a great experience for the family. We have cruised with Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean in the past multiple times. This was our First Norwegian Cruise and will be our last. We have never been on a cruise where the family didn't want to go the dinning room. We ate in the Window's dinning room and the food and service were not up to standards. Many times we had to ask for water glasses to be filled and then when they went around and the pitcher got empty the never came back to fill the rest of the glasses until we asked them again. This happened multiple nights. The food wasn't up to the standards of the other cruises and half of the family most nights ended up not finding anything they liked on the menu and when up to the buffet or the Blue lagoon to eat. The Entertainment of ship was ok. The singers and dancers were excellent, but the Magician was better suited for small children. My 11 year old was not impressed and all of his tricks were just hidden box tricks. And unfortunately since the Magician is so intricate to the elements show it was as my kids say "cringey". The cruise staff was ok but the cruise director was not very engaging on all the other ships usually the cruise director comes out after the shows and explains what is happening the next day and is very outgoing, this cruise director was not. The Tender process was horrible and unorganized good thing they only tender twice, but one of the Tender's we are only in port for 4 hours and by the time they were done with excursions tendering off the boat people only had 2 hrs in port. When you get off the boat many of the Docks you dock at are working docks so transportation is required to get off the Dock. Usually they have 2 types of buses one that you pay to get to "city Center" which is usually 10-15 dollars or one that is free that just takes you through the dock. The free ones would work if they actually would take you out of the port. The one in Dublin doesn't even get you out of port or to a decent drop of place. Once they drop you off it is about a mile to 2 miles to get to the bus or Tram area. Overall the was a major disappointment for the family and we will not be going on a Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My cabin was 9210 which was an aft suite. In this letter I will be detailing my experience onboard your vessel. Just a little background this was our sixth cruise with your company and have had a wonderful time previously. We have ... Read More
My cabin was 9210 which was an aft suite. In this letter I will be detailing my experience onboard your vessel. Just a little background this was our sixth cruise with your company and have had a wonderful time previously. We have cruised on the Getaway, Escape, Jade and Pearl. This was a honeymoon cruise for us and we had invited 2 other couples to cruise with us neither have even been on an NCL cruise before. Upon boarding the ship with great enthusiasm and excitement as we have been planning this trip for well over a year. The ship was delayed departing as it had a mechanical issue and did not depart till 1:30 AM the next morning. That is when things turned sour. In order for the ship to make up time it was cruising at a 22-24 knots according to the information screen. This caused our suite to vibrate uncontrollably with glassware clanging, draws opening and the safe door banging it was like traveling on the New York City subway. Everything started rattling, draws sliding open, safe door clanging, and bathroom items falling into the sink and to the floor. Please note in the pictures provided the vibration is so severe, the bathroom tiles had cracked and vibrated loose leaving it uneven. Monday July 22 upon us going to breakfast we spoke to the Concierge about being up all night and her response was she was going to look into it. Well the day progressed as the speed stayed consistence and at 5PM we went to guest services to speak with the manager, unfortunately the guest services rep had to be asked 4 times before my husband finally said that he was not happy and that he would start yelling if his request was not attended to. Finally, the front end manager came out along with the Concierge. Upon speaking with The supervisor we found out that the vibration problem was a known issue. She had said that vibration tests were done in our Suite and that the vibration occurred around 19 knots. She said that she would send an email to the Miami offices informing them of the issue. The immediate solution was to give us a room on deck 6 closer to the front of the ship with a window. So, on nights that the ship was going over 19 knots I was supposed to pack a bag and sleep in another cabin. We found this extremely inconvenient and ridiculous. We then asked for a schedule of cruising speed so we would have knowledge of sleeping arrangements. Well it was supplied but not exactly accurate we learned after the second sleepless night to add 5-10 knots per numbers supplied. By the third day after falling asleep on the bus rides for our excursions (yes paying a lot and missing a lot) I decided to set up an appointment with the Front-End Manager. Again, we found out that he was also aware of the vibration problem on the ship. By this time, I cannot understand how your company would still take $10,000 for a cabin with known issues and think it is OK. This is stealing money from your customers. So, we paid for a suite that could not be used when the ship was moving, and was offered a cabin with a window. Also, I do not understand why the concierge that did not utter a word to us after the first day. Not any staff member offered us any assistance to transition from one cabin to another as we slept in the other cabin for 6 nights. You would have thought that knowing the problem the staff would have been more accommodating and helpful to try to smooth over all of our discomfort. We then thought upon spending the night in Dublin we could stay in our cabin, the captain said that to prepare for dry dock in January they were going to be weighing the ship at night. The cruise director added that they were doing water testing. Well with the staff knowing the issues of our cabin you would think that someone would have suggested us to sleep in our other cabin. Well let me tell you what they did. The crew filled the ballast with water after moving the ship away from the dock. From 1:00am to 5:30am the crew was revving the engines up and down causing our suite to vibrate violently. I tried calling guest service but that was worthless as no one answered the phone. I find it comical how the entire ship knew the issue with the aft cabins but could not care about the guests occupying them. Later that day we had an appointment with management to hear the response from NCL corporate. They read us the response from corporate and My wife was in tears. After spending over $10,000 for the cruise it was like a slap in the face not only were we sleep deprived, falling asleep on buses to and from excursion locations and totally frustrated as not only did we have 2 other couples traveling with us this was my HONEYMOON that is being totally ruined. I felt that I was not considered a valued guest as with this cruise I was going to be a platinum member which does show the loyalty I had with your company. On top of the vibration issues, I was looking forward to a bath at night before bed. The tub had disgusting mold growing around it, and the staff had to step in and out of the tub to pull shade up or down. We had spent over 10,000 dollars for this cruise for a cabin we picked over a year ago, so we could entertain our friends with cocktails and cheese plates (which were ordered in advance). The vibration and noise did not allow any of this. I am not sure if you or a company representative have seen the condition of this ship but it should have been dry docked long ago. The bathroom tiles are cracked and have uneven surfaces as you could not walk barefoot to the toilet. The furniture was stained and looked dirty. The staff was very passive and inattentive. We heard the same issues from our neighbors, it was like the staff did not want to speak with us for fear of hearing more complaints. The service was not up to par with any other cruises we had taken with your company. Where the ship’s staff and corporate offices had knowledge of all the issues long before we had boarded, especially where vibration testing that had been done, these cabins should have never been sold or occupied. To take a customer’s money in advance and knowingly sell a room that does not allow for quiet enjoyment is stealing the customers money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise because of my quite good experience with the Norwegian cruise line and because of iternerary (20th of July-3rd of August, Great Britain and Ireland). What was good? I give a high mark for the food and cabin service. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of my quite good experience with the Norwegian cruise line and because of iternerary (20th of July-3rd of August, Great Britain and Ireland). What was good? I give a high mark for the food and cabin service. What was really bad? 1. Safety drill was provide at the deck where the passengers could not hear or see anything. It was just a formally done, but it would cost lives in a case of a disaster. It was especially important for this very old ship. 2. No supervision from the top crew members. That is why the deck service, sanitary service (toilets, spraying sanitizer at the entrance to the dinning facilities, etc.), were disgusting. 90 % of stuff members (deck workers, waiters, bartenders,etc) spent their time speaking to each other or being busy with their cell phones. They did not pay attention to the passengers' needs. They looked at us with clear expression: "How did you dare to ask for this?", or "What else? We are busy!". They allowed to speak rude with passengers or neglect them. They were always looked sleepy and lazy. The public toilets and sauna were really filthy almost all the time. There were exceptions, of course (about 10 % of waiters, deck workers, etc did their work very good). The top managers and officers did not supervise and did not care of all that was going on. To get back our passports we had to wait in lane 40 minutes! We did not even know who was our cruise director, because almost no intertainment was there. Disastrous cruise in spite of very interesting ports we could visit. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise was not our first by a long shot ...but we may not choose Norwegian again ..our room 6076 was very noisy ..under Henry's Pub and right across from the crew door which opened every day at 4:40 am ..as did the carts rolling ... Read More
This cruise was not our first by a long shot ...but we may not choose Norwegian again ..our room 6076 was very noisy ..under Henry's Pub and right across from the crew door which opened every day at 4:40 am ..as did the carts rolling overhead. Our bed was hard ...but the frosting on the cake was the Noro virus and NO Communication ...we never got an announcement from the captain telling us daily which level to disembark on...AND the people taking excursions thru Norwegian always got preferential treatment by getting off first... We had to find out for ourselves most mornings ...then there was the coughing ...but no one warned us it could be noro ...the infirmary on board will not file insurance for you and is expensive ..the ship needed an engine overhaul in Southampton and we were almost 12 hours late leaving messing up our paid for excursions through other companies, something that most people today are wise to do...food was basic ..only good meal was in the French restaurant..I chose this for the itinerary but if they do this poor of s job I hope some other line steps up and takes this slot ... Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have been on the Spirit before. Actually we have been on 5 NCL ships. However, this time, the Spirit needs to go in for an overhaul, sooner rather than later. If your room was at the back of the ship, the extreme shaking and ... Read More
We have been on the Spirit before. Actually we have been on 5 NCL ships. However, this time, the Spirit needs to go in for an overhaul, sooner rather than later. If your room was at the back of the ship, the extreme shaking and vibrations from the engine were quite unbelievable. While you were swayed by waves in the other parts of the ship.....we were in a giant mixmaster, complete with rattling and banging of everything in our room when the ship picked up speed. We lost much sleep on this trip. As for the tender ports ...two of them....Hopefully you don't mind taking 2-3 hours to get off the ship. Only people with NCL excursions had no complaints about this. Everything else on the ship is fine, other the odd rude employee which you can get anywhere. But your room is an integral part of the vacation, and NCl should have spoken to all who were complaining and having this experience. DON'T get a room in the back if you have to take this ship. Otherwise, avoid taking it at all. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I love to cruise and fortunately do numerous ones each year!! Unfortunately I chose to be on NCL SPIRIT!! Having done three previous ones with NCL my only concern pre cruise was their twenty minute or longer response time to phone ... Read More
I love to cruise and fortunately do numerous ones each year!! Unfortunately I chose to be on NCL SPIRIT!! Having done three previous ones with NCL my only concern pre cruise was their twenty minute or longer response time to phone calls.( told they'd just hired 100 new staff..WOW!!) But it was a warning in hindsight that NCL does not effectively communicate. Examples 1. Never published use of tenders and or shuttles at most ports 2. To distribute tender tickets at 630 am yet when I arrived then they were out and getting more tickets printed! Asked Cruise Director and she said distributed early. I suggested announcing it and she replied she only does as instructed. 3. Speaking of Cruise Director only job she did was screaming to ask the audience for applauding entertainers. She had a captivate audience to announce port information. Instead there was 2 to 3 lines in the newsletter left each evening. 4. Getting off the ship at each port was problematic. Priority always given to passengers on ship purchased excursions. But that was problematic too as Instead of releasing each tour separately they dismissed everyone at once always creating a bottleneck. For people departing independent announcement made after hundreds already allowed off because staff afraid of a stampede. Poor crowd control which only built over course of Cruise. One day a passenger dared them to stop him from leaving staying "I've been patient everyday only be to be delayed for my tour !!". 5. Port times shortened...example in Kirkwall published as 7 until 1p. In fact because tender port passengers getting off independently couldn't get off until 9am and had to take tender back at 11am. Why??? Later tenders for passengers who bought excursions from NCL!!! I have lovely picture of people waiting. I spoke to a lot of folks regarding port issues. Some thought ports shouldn't allow ships to sail in. I view it as the responsibility of cruise line to let passengers know in information prebooking. Is info in contract which says they can treat passengers anyway they want?? 7. Returning of passport was a nightmare with folks standing in line for upwards of an hour. At some points was one staff member searching for them. I personally witnessed one staff member searching 15 minutes for 2 passports misplaced while one other staff handling remainder of crowd. Several passengers complained to guest services without any change to the process. 8. Beds were sleeping on hard floors!! But we did complain and got foam which helped minimally. 9. Phone issues..wake up calls couldn't be set. 10. At most ports had to pay to actually get to true port you paid to see!!! Charged $15 !!! Only 9ne port Portland had free shuttle provided by town not NCL!! POSITIVES 1. Food fine and plentiful. 2. Dining room staff excellent. 3. Entertainment excellent. Some performers had consistently standing room only. One example was Melvin in Henry's Pub. Sad cruise Director never realized so he could have been relocated to large lounge behind casino which was always empry!! Front desk knew!! As I stated earlier I love to cruise and sad such a great itinerary was overshadowed by poor and or lacking communication. Is it NCL or just management of this ship?! If a cruise Director responds to a suggestion by saying she does only as instructed it's a fundamental problem!! She represent NCL and she's saying the passengers concerns don't matter!! Because of NCL lack of response I'm writing this first public review!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. As frequent (Platinum) and long-time cruisers of NCL and other cruise lines, we expected more from our experience. Our balcony cabin was very antiquated, décor in the bathroom looked like ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. As frequent (Platinum) and long-time cruisers of NCL and other cruise lines, we expected more from our experience. Our balcony cabin was very antiquated, décor in the bathroom looked like something out the '80s. Size not as large as we remembered in past cabins on other NCL ships. Safe located in bottom of closet, very inconvenient. Food in main dining rooms adequate, at best. However, food in specialty restaurants, especially Le Bistro, was very good. Entertainment very good in main theatre and in bars. Tours were mostly good, although lunch served in Invergordon terrible. This was all the good part. Our air travel to and from, arranged by NCL, was a nightmare. Weather delay at the onset, missed connection in Philly and lost luggage. However, this was not the fault of NCL. Towards the end of the cruise, we noticed our return airline tickets were booked for 1 day after the ship was docked at Southhampton. When we inquired at customer service, we were told it was a special rate and not able to be changed. We had no place to stay the night before these return flights and asked for help with booking a hotel in the terminal. We were told they could not help us, we would have to find our own hotel and pay for it. The rep then ushered us over to a computer and said help yourself! So at the end of our London tour, we were dropped off at Heathrow and had to make our own way to the Hilton Hotel, where we had booked a room. During our stay, we attempted to check-in online for our return flights on Virgin Atlantic to JFK, then on to Tampa via Delta. We were unable to do so. The next day at the airport, we were again unable to check-in. At customer service they informed us that we had no flights booked, that our original reservation had been cancelled and refunded!!! What a shock! So there we were, stranded at Heathrow! The Virgin Atlantic staff were very helpful and sympathetic, however, our only choice at that point was to rebook our flights, one-way, and pay for it ourselves to the tune of $4,921.75!! So we got on the flight. Towards the end of that leg of the return trip, 2 Virgin Atlantic crew members informed us we would not make our connection at JFK to Tampa......but they would book us on a flight the next day and put us up at a nearby Radisson Hotel at no cost to us. We finally arrived home back in Tampa on Sunday, 8/4 - exhausted and so disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Overall I struggle with rating average or poor. We have cruised before with NCL and changed from Princess to NCL for our cruise around the British Islands as they had less ports with tenders and the service has previously been excellent. ... Read More
Overall I struggle with rating average or poor. We have cruised before with NCL and changed from Princess to NCL for our cruise around the British Islands as they had less ports with tenders and the service has previously been excellent. Once again, the embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. The ship departed almost 12 hours late with no communication whatsoever. We were finally able to piece together from other passengers that NCL came very close to cancelling the cruise and sending us all back to London. After denying that this delay would not impact our shore excursions, they had to make another announcement owning up to the truth. The staff at the shore excursion desk were doing what they could given the circumstances. Clearer communication from the cruise director would have saved a lot of heartache and waiting in lines. We saw very few happy employees on board the ship in every department. They were putting forward minimal effort. Food on the buffet was not hot; boring; and, tasteless. Service in the sit down restaurants was less than acceptable. Finally with the help of an assistant Matri D, we were able to find a very fun and helpful server who we requested the rest of the cruise. The ship needs a lot of work and is scheduled for upgrading soon. It needs it. Not up to NCL standards at all, and may I add NCL has basically average standards. Thankfully, the lounge acts and shows were very good and the ports of call did not disappoint. We had purchased Cruise Next on our previous cruise with NCL so we are stuck taking one more cruise with NCL. It was hard not to look at the people discussing Cruise Next options and recommend "don't do it". We will be seeking another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. What could be better than the British Isles in the summer time! While I have travelled on Norwegian many times I have been somewhat disillusioned with my recent cruises. Sa s a result my ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. What could be better than the British Isles in the summer time! While I have travelled on Norwegian many times I have been somewhat disillusioned with my recent cruises. Sa s a result my recent cruises have been with Viking river and ocean and RCL. Both lines was an upgrade to my recent Norwegian experiences, nonetheless I purchased this cruise and have to say I was extremely pleased. While the Spirit is the oldest ship in the fleet the upgrades made over the years made this ship a favorite. The crew was attentive and caring about the passengers. We had two complementary meals and I have to say the Windows dinning room was just as good. The daily menu met both my wife and my food preferences very well. The daily buffet was very serviceable and as good as other cruise lines. As I said the ship is the oldest (built in 1998) in the fleet and it does show, the most inconvenient part is there was only one 120 volt electrical outlet per cabin. This made charging our electronic devises very problematic, especially as the cabinet attendants had instructions to unplug any unattended outlets. The entertainment was outstanding. A lot of this was because while the ship is small the stage was large and allowed for audience participation and a dramatic (forgot the name) show on the second from the last day on the trip. They had the usual singers and dancers both ship company and fly ins. One group sang Motown and at passenger requests they had an additional performance prior to leaving the ship. Other Norwegian ships have a broadway type of presentation this was more Cirque du Soleil and was very impressive. In fact, even the meet the crew was entertaining as the crew singers sang as the crew came on stage. As I said we choose this trip because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. The only port we did not do a ship tour was the last stop. Weymouth England, and it proved to be one of the more interesting stops. Because it was Saturday, and the sun was shinning the locals were out along with our ships passengers. It was a typical England port and reminded me of any tourist seaside port here in the US. With quant shops to pubs with food and beverages. Our first port Gangemouth was a tender port and weather came up during the day and it resulted in delays getting back onboard. Some passengers were upset that it took several hours to get back on board, but as the captain explained they had to relocate the anchorage for safety sake and they could only load on one side of the ship. Everyone got on board safely so I would call it a good day. We also were able to see the Open golf course in Portrush Bushmills Northern Ireland. Pretty cool!!! British Isle weather sucks but we were very lucky only one hour of rain and mostly high 60 temperatures. It is a shame that Norwegian only does this trip a couple of times a year, but if it meets your timetable I would strongly recommend both the itinerary and Norwegian Spirit. Oh did I mention it is going in for a 5 week refurb in March so it should be better than ever. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
From the min. We boarded to the time we departed all we did was try and not get sick . We did not want to miss the different ports of call , We ended up mostly staying in our cabin except to go on the excursions and eat. What a waste ... Read More
From the min. We boarded to the time we departed all we did was try and not get sick . We did not want to miss the different ports of call , We ended up mostly staying in our cabin except to go on the excursions and eat. What a waste of getting to know and see the ship . Generally we ate only in the Resturant’s for our meals . We stayed away from buffet in fear of catching the virus that was spreading rapidly around the ship . The captain threatened to kick anyone who was sick and caught roaming the ship off at the next port . If I hear Washy Washy one more time !¥£€$#@##$ . When I asked the crew if more were getting sick they just looked at me and shook their heads . Our excursions were either delayed or cut short . We had little time if any to eat or shop , We waited 20 mins on three excursions for people to come back to the bus only to leave them . I would give a “ 3 “ to most of our excursions. (Except for when we had to tender 20mins coming and going and they only had 2 tenders to start ) we lost an hour and half on this one .this would receive a “ 0 “ I did however feel sorry for all the shore excursion crew , they did try very hard to help the passengers . We did have many people on our 11th floor ILL .Saw the medical crew many times in our hallways . Got to know them in passing . Our idea of a fun cruise was not sitting in our room day and night . Who ever brought this on the ship thanks . Or was it on the ship before we boarded .????? Again thanks !!!! Being that people were getting sick from day one I might believe it was there when we boarded .... We never did see any entertainment . This was not what you would call a fun cruise experience. We did get to see Ireland ,France.London, and Brussels . Mainly because we stayed in our room and avoided contact with people . We have been on NCL Many times . Alaska . Panama Canal , west Coast . Hawaii 3 times Caribbean . Plus many more . NCL was our favorite line to cruise until now ..... Note : We were celebrating our 41 st anniversary Only one last thing to say. .............. WASHY. WASHY ...... Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The itinerary was exactly what I was looking for. However, as soon as we were on board, the upsell was relentless. I began to feel very very pressured and uncomfortable. The cruise across the Atlantic was wild. However, it was ... Read More
The itinerary was exactly what I was looking for. However, as soon as we were on board, the upsell was relentless. I began to feel very very pressured and uncomfortable. The cruise across the Atlantic was wild. However, it was unnerving when the captain came on and said he didn't anticipate the weather. We were rocking bad ... 12 to 15 ft waves. I thought they could avoid those issues. Then the noro virus hit. We heard over half the passengers were quarantined ... and 200 crew. The captain came on and said anyone trying to leave their cabin would be removed from the ship!!!! Many of the staff were saying they had never seen it this bad. The food was less than appetizing and we spoke with one family who got food poisoning. The food was consistently repeated (tasteless and some seemed rotten). There was nothing high end other than the specialty restaurants. The entertainment tried, but it appears they just couldn't afford or didn't attempt to gather decent entertainment. There was nothing much to do all day with 6 days at sea. I was expecting activities all day. We ended up watching the same 4 movies the entire trip. They just kept repeating themselves. Even airlines have a better choice of movies. My friend (who was not sick) ... went to medical to purchase some Imodium (accidentally forgot it) and they charged her $219 for 10 pills. He never examined her, just sold her the pills. It appeared the crew was instructed not to discuss anything with passengers after a few days, and they began to get irritable (probably double and triple shifts). Dublin (beautiful city) was a horror trying to get off the ship. Six shuttles for over 1000 people. Nightmare!!! I would not recommend this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
FIrst it’s interesting not to see a lot more comments since there were Cruise Critic Members on board. Unless you had Specialty dining the food was fair to poor. A comment by a staff member in one specialty restaurant even said, ... Read More
FIrst it’s interesting not to see a lot more comments since there were Cruise Critic Members on board. Unless you had Specialty dining the food was fair to poor. A comment by a staff member in one specialty restaurant even said, “yes, we should teach them how to cook”! Even one of the specialty restaurants was so bad that our friends cancelled a dinner. The restaurant service was poor, very inconsistent. Bar service was always good, consistent. My opinion they saved the day. The virus reeked havoc everywhere. Closing facilities like the gym, library and game room leaving passengers with limited places to hang out. The weather was not good so there was no escape outside. Excursions were the biggest disappointment with staffing not communicating causing our excursions to be late our cut short. Dublin was a disaster, I hope they fix it or drop it. London was terrible due to late start, Little communication, tour company not communicating while being transferred on their bus. France equally had issues getting us out at our scheduled time. Finally in Belgium they got it going, though I suspect some passengers missed their excursions because they assumed it’d be another delayed day. Our Brugge On Your Own tour was great, that tour company gets an A+. All and all I won’t be rushing to book myself on NCL anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was an itinerary that I really wanted o do. The price seemed right, but that was the last thing that went well. I had a little stomach upset on the first day, Went to the medical office to buy some Imodium. (they do not sell it ... Read More
This was an itinerary that I really wanted o do. The price seemed right, but that was the last thing that went well. I had a little stomach upset on the first day, Went to the medical office to buy some Imodium. (they do not sell it in the gift shop) They refused to sell it to me unless I had an 'exam' from the ship's doctor. I was charged $216 for a 10 pack. The false medical report that stated I received an complete exam when the doctor never touched me although his report says differently. (ps...no fever and a BP of 110/72, I was fine and they knew it. This was just another way to make extra money.) Then there was the extras $268.00 cost for the Spa's Thermal room. It was only completely open for four days. We were offered a $36.00 credit which barely covered the lost days...but it didn't really matter, because we never got the credit anyway. The food choices were repeated every couple of days...poor choices and very little flavor. The captain steered us into a major storm, which he said was "unexpected" My phone shows the weather 10 days in advance; maybe I should have offered it to him. Then the virus hit. Half the ship was sick and confined to their staterooms, The crew had over 200 people down with the illness. We had six days at sea and very few activities to help fill the time. Bingo was $39.00 for three cards, each day. Deal or No Deal was 25.00 and lasted about 20 minutes. The afternoon movies were the same four movies repeated again and again. They were shown in the center of the ship right next to guest services. Even if you wanted to watch them, you couldn't hear them. I am a true believe that you make your own fun; but there was NOTHING that could have saved this trip. I have cruised NCL a few times before and was expecting much better. I cannot recommend this line anymore. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose the cruise for the itinerary. I was traveling with my 80 year old mother and we really liked the ports. Both of us are well traveled but never could we have expected such a disaster of a cruise. I can let the terrible weather ... Read More
I chose the cruise for the itinerary. I was traveling with my 80 year old mother and we really liked the ports. Both of us are well traveled but never could we have expected such a disaster of a cruise. I can let the terrible weather not bother me. Or even find fun in the 50 mPH winds with 30degree F wind chill. That’s Mother Nature and what can you do. Since we didn’t get sea sick it was almost calming feeling the sway. But unfortunately that was not the case for many. I feel we had an experienced captain who thinks it’s ok to threaten everyone that he will throw you off the ship if you don’t do what he says. I also feel that based on the fact that I heard the number of sick people by day 3 was 27 and by day 10 was over 1000 of the 2500 passengers. Even if it was your traveling companion sick you too were quarantined to your cabin. They ACTUALLY sent in these poor crew members dressed in hazmat type gear to clean up after these sick people. I’m very sure the cruise company made a lot of money by forcing people to see the ship doctor at $200 minimum a visit. Even room service is an extra charge at $7.95 per person if you use it and that is per time you use it. I was told Norwegian doesn’t like seeing dirty dishes in the hallways, so this stops people from ordering in the middle of night. So no dishes in hallways, but there were ALWAYS cleaning carts blocking halls. You are also not allowed to bring even a water bottle on board. The crew will happily make you pour it out. They lie and say it’s security like at the airport. But that is a lie. It’s to force passengers to do it one way only and that's to spend on Norwegian. This company is a bunch of people acting like Natzi’s and risking our lives from poor cleaning, poor security and a crew that liked to bully passengers. Even if an announcement was very very important they weren’t smart enough to have it in every room instead only in some. It’s their way of keeping the passengers in the dark. The excursion company that Norwegian used is more than awful. Plus in Dublin since my excursion was in the afternoon and you had to use your excursion tickets as your tender ticket, the Pearl crew would not let me off early to go into Dublin. Since my excursion was in the countryside, I didn’t get to see ANY of Dublin. They wouldn’t let us off the ship. People also got hurt on tenders due to not having caring staff helping people get on and off. If I hadn’t. Even there for my 80 year old mother I’m sure she would have fallen. I’m Le Havre the Security was a joke. The terminal staff left promptly at their end of shift regardless of people standing in line to get packages, purses and bags scanned, and for people to walk through scanners. Norwegian let more than 50 people just walk on like it didn’t matter. In FRANCE!! Are they kidding me. Even things like broken locks on doors to balcony’s didn’t matter. I reported my two locks broken 8 times. Nothing in mini fridge and was accused if asking for an empty mini bar. It took 5 days to get mini bar partially filled. Was told by cabin steward that no Diet Pepsi was available for mini bars but bar manager said it would be filled. I got used to three things being a constant comment from the guest relations staff. One-just lie, two, say you don’t know, and three just say no. Not one map of one town or any info was included in nightly program like on every other cruise line. This cruise line is cheap and even if you have a mini suite you get the same amenities as a inside cheaper room. Sure there are free packages for drinks but the tipping for two people on this so called free drink package was in excess of $550 total for 2. Then there is extra tipping on the so called free specialty restaurants. They just keep asking for more money and gave less quality, less everything! I probably would have saved by going on a more expensive cruise line then with all the nickel and diming Norwegian does. We were given one of those really small bars of soap for two people to share for 13nights. Even when it fell into pieces we weren’t given a new one. Many days we couldn’t even get a bath mat for the tub/shower. And forget getting more than one body, one hand and one wash cloth for towels per person. No way no how. Do not go on this line for any reason. Even though we were treated like crap and it was our first cruise with Norwegian, they treated people who had spent more than 150 nights traveling with them worse. What a horrible company!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I choose this cruise for the itinerary. I thought this cruise line was suppose to be good. I have traveled on cruises many, many times. I have never been on such a horrible trip. This trip had Nora virus on board. 3 days out all ... Read More
I choose this cruise for the itinerary. I thought this cruise line was suppose to be good. I have traveled on cruises many, many times. I have never been on such a horrible trip. This trip had Nora virus on board. 3 days out all passengers had to go to the sun deck and walk around in front of Irish immigration people. Imagine over 2000 people doing that. One person threw up in front of the immigration people. No body cleaned it up or even put chairs over it so no one would walk threw it. As a result the disease rapidly spread. Many parts of the ship were closed due to the Nora virus. So no one was able to enjoy the facilities that they had paid for. The cruise was a second class cruise and not worth the money spent. The attitude of the crew kept going down and down as the trip went on. They were working all hours trying to stop the spread of the virus. They washed the walls down with a bleach solution. But the virus was in the carpet from people walking threw the vomit earlier. The ship was out of control. 3 days out on our cruise there were 27 sick people. At the end there were over a 1000. That was just passagers many of the crew were sick too. I got this information from the front desk. As for food, I ordered a steak in the main dining room. It was so tough and tasteless I could only eat a few bits. The service in the dining rooms was sparse and poor. The food overall was poor. We went to specialty restaurants. Their food was marginally better. At the end we had one specialty restaurant to go to which we had paid for. We did not bother, knowing the food would be poor. I was looking forward to good food but got marginal food. Our next door neighbor was thrown off the ship one port before Amsterdam. He had said he was going to the media about the ship. They came for him at 7:30 in the morning, an officer, photographer and a security guard. They said he was immediately to get off the ship. He told him he needed time to pack. They packed and then were told as he was escorted off the ship threw the crew passages "if they made a fuss they would get the Chinese to escort them off and they would hurt them." They had to pay themselves to get to the next port. The captain was out of line to do this. All they said was they would go the media about the cruise. In our country we have freedom of speech, I hope he does go to the media. You do not pay money to be abused and this was abuse of power. I cannot imagine going on another Norwegian cruise. It was unbelievably stressful to experience this. I truly was scared as to what would happen next and worried about my daughter's and my own safety as I had seen and heard to much. EJW Cabin 18008 Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
35th anniversary, wanted to get to some highlights in northern Europe - first cruise (and most likely last ever) My wife rolled her ankle the day of the cruise and was experiencing some discomfort so we went to the medical services on ... Read More
35th anniversary, wanted to get to some highlights in northern Europe - first cruise (and most likely last ever) My wife rolled her ankle the day of the cruise and was experiencing some discomfort so we went to the medical services on the ship. There was a couple there before us, the wife looked like death warmed over and we listened to them fill out a form of where they ate over the last 3 days. They went into the doctor's office first, when they came out the doctor gave the woman some pills and told them they were quarantined in their cabin. Then the doctor asked us in the office and placed my wife on the examination table, checked her out and then talked to us while we sat in the chairs in his office. The seas were pretty rough on the Atlantic... first time on the ocean... already got charged $180 from the doctor for the ankle... so when my wife got sick we presumed it was motion sickness - at least at the start. They forced us all to go through customs on the boat, called us large numbers forcing us to stand outside in the cold and waves - my wife threw up standing in line - good times. She got better, then I came down with it - I have never had sweat drip off my nose like that. The doctors quarantined me, we missed the first excursion (one of the few days without rain). While we were quarantined, the captain came on and told everyone if the were caught outside their room we would be kicked of the ship at the next port - then he repeated it in the same announcement. My first response was - this is our out!!! My second response was - sick people probably won't report themselves as being sick now. My biggest complaint is that they waited too long to get serious about the sickness (shutting down the gym, controlling the dining areas). For days after the quarantine you still won't enjoy food again - especially when you have to see someone else's puke on the floor in the dining room. The excursion disembarkation needed some help with planning - at the end of the day I wouldn't mind a 3 hour delay if I could have stayed in my room or grabbed some breakfast - imagine several hundred people waiting in a room, booing the cruise activity director as she asked them to please be patient (for the 40th time). The longest delay involved tethered boats. My wife and I finally got on the tethered boat and it was pretty frightening - big gaps as the boat separated away from the boat, raised higher than the step off landing, and dropped away from the step off landing. They helped us on the lifeboat then we were on our own - there was an older woman screaming in horror, I lost my footing and hit a corner with my shoulder (glad it wasn't my wife's head). A young Norwegian employee performed the sign of the cross and later put on a life vest (I got that on video). They ended up disconnecting the boat before it was full (separating one of the families) - they re-positioned the lifeboat on the other side of the ship to finish loading. There was a lot of pressure to get folks off that ship - but that was dangerous. The dude who cleaned our rooms was awesome - the folks who served us in the dining areas were great - customer service... not so much (they should plant some secret cruise testers to try to call the front desk from their rooms) Its not how low you go, its how far you fall - we were both so excited about our first cruise Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Have cruised with NLC in the past. Never again- Ship was shabby Food average Entertainment was not good Service was lacking But most of all the virus going through the shop was gross- Dirty dishes in hall that sick people ... Read More
Have cruised with NLC in the past. Never again- Ship was shabby Food average Entertainment was not good Service was lacking But most of all the virus going through the shop was gross- Dirty dishes in hall that sick people put outside their rooms- Never getting a straight answer of what was going on- Couldn't wait to leave (Did not stay for the whole cruise) Both my Husband and Myself got sick. What a awful waste of money But the best part no one cared. Embarkation to Dublin was dangerous and not planned out at all This was nerve racking not a bit of pleasure on this cruise No one is looking for something for free but something should of been done this was a crime People work to hard for their money to be treated like this. This was supposed to be a trip of a life time What a joke. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A bit of background. We have sailed (cruised) with at least 8 different lines over the past 24 years, have taken short 3 day and two trans-Atlantic trips, and stayed in insides to suites. I only offer this because I didn't believe ... Read More
A bit of background. We have sailed (cruised) with at least 8 different lines over the past 24 years, have taken short 3 day and two trans-Atlantic trips, and stayed in insides to suites. I only offer this because I didn't believe this trans-Atlantic cruise could turn out so poorly. Pros were entertainment, cruise director and his activities, ship layout, venues for eating and/or drinking were numerous, food was usually very good, and the ports of call looked great on paper. How could this cruise be so bad? Embarkation was normal, especially from the NYC port, the usual lines that slowly move forward. For many decks the cabins were not ready when we boarded around 2pm, ours was supposed to be. We take our luggage on board as it was lost on one rock and roll cruise with Royal (but eventually turned up … it's only when that happens when you learn what the on board shops don't sell). Our key cards did not work so I went to have them fixed. When I returned I found my wife in the cabin. Turns out the steward locked himself in, who knows why as he didn't leave with anything or come back, which prevented our cards/keys from working. A plus I forgot, which I really appreciated, the shower was much larger than usual. The food was very good, but, could you get it? The main dining rooms were hit and miss for service. Either excellent, the usual on other ships, or you sat for 15 minutes until they brought you silverware or a water glass. The fine dining, I paid for 6 of those, was very good as well with excellent service. Only issue was each of us got sick after eating at Terrayaki and the Brazilian place. My wife and the woman she sat next to from the Japanese venue and me from the Brazilian venue. Cons so far, readiness of the ship for embarkation, service in the dining venues, and cleanliness of either the staff or the venues. You see the AGE, as they called it, aka the Novo Virus, was prevalent after the second or third day of the cruise. Constant reminders over the PA system to washy washy, use the hand sanitizers, etc.. Things deteriorated from here. Eventually you could not serve yourself at any dining venue (including the buffets), you pointed and the staff put food on your plate. Eventually all of the public rest room doors were blocked open to discourage use I guess. Eventually much of the spa area and the gym were closed, and no mention of reimbursement for those of us who paid extra for use of the spa facilities. The staff was typically unfriendly, if you mentioned that you were sick (like we did) the doc and an assistant would show up, give you a shot of who knows what, provide pills, and quarantine you to your cabin for 48 hours. Good timing for us as the first day of quarantine was the first day we reached land. We did miss the screw up with the tenders that took almost 5 hours to get people ashore in Dublin, many never made it as it would have taken too long to get back on board. My personal opinion is this ship was infected badly from the previous port prior to reaching NYC and NCL was well aware. They had to save a fortune on food and drink as you could not even get yourself a cup of coffee, EVERYTHING was dolled out by the staff as you waited in line. NO one seemed to care. No offers of compensation, oh wait !, they did offer some guests a free short glass of prosecco as they had to wait for their meal service on the last night … what about the breakfasts, lunches, and all the other dinners ?? 2018 we crossed the Atlantic on Viking, 2019 we crossed the Atlantic on NCL Pearl, NO COMPARISON, and I even bought the drink package, the spa package, and the dining package to attempt to make it similar with NCL. Second cruise with NCL, may be my last. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First Europe cruise with what we were told would be one of the best cruise companies out there. What we ended up with is one of the worse cruises I have ever been on. To be fair most of the passengers that we spoke with commented that they ... Read More
First Europe cruise with what we were told would be one of the best cruise companies out there. What we ended up with is one of the worse cruises I have ever been on. To be fair most of the passengers that we spoke with commented that they have always had good cruises with Norwegian and they could not figure out why this cruise was so bad, sorry to say this was my fist with this company. First the good, room was good, clean and well maintained. Bars and cocktails were fine. Approximately 60% of the staff went out of their way to make it a enjoyable cruise. The bad, top on the list was the food. I have never been on a cruise that had such poor quality food and lack of changing the menu from day to day. The exception was with 3 out of 4 dinner houses (specialty dining). Some of the rudest staff was found at the dining halls/restraint (not the Specialty dining), customer service area and the casino.It was so bad we tried to avoid these areas which is a shame because I actually like to go to the casino, but the machines was so tight and staff was so rude I just didn't go. Saved some money at least. Worst of all we took the cruise to see other countries and every excursion was screwed up. Staging all excursions from one location is stupid specially sense we were always late leaving the boat. They also did not keep to the advertised time table resulting in my wife and I missing 2 of our paid excursions (not Norwegian Excursions which was screwed up also). One excursion they anchored a mile off and took us in using their life boats, what a messed up operation. They boarded us on the seaward side in swells with old people falling everywhere and being beat-up until they realized there may be a safety issue ( I have video of this disaster). Overall the cruise left me thinking that Norwegian may not be as good as everyone told me, they differently ruined my first European cruise. But my wife and many other of the passengers swear this was not a typical Norwegian vacation. I can not say I will not try another Norwegian cruise, but I can diffidently say I will not ever book a trip on the Pearl again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Why this cruise? I enjoy sea days more than port days and was excited to take my first Transatlantic Crossing (13 days from NYC to Amsterdam, with 7 sea days) on Norwegian. This would also mark my first cruise with NCL, to whom I was ... Read More
Why this cruise? I enjoy sea days more than port days and was excited to take my first Transatlantic Crossing (13 days from NYC to Amsterdam, with 7 sea days) on Norwegian. This would also mark my first cruise with NCL, to whom I was attracted by the many consecutive sea days, ports of call, Free Style Dining, Deal or No Deal Game Show, attractive rate, and that it left from NYC, where I live. I booked via a travel agency and did not qualify for any perks based on my category/rate (Inside Guarantee). This cruise also marked my introduction to Cruise Critic, where I spent many hours pre-cruise reading forums and tips, as well as interacting with others in my Roll Call. I was delighted to connect with others from the Cruise Critic Roll Call and ended up having lots of fun at the events which were hosted by other CC members: Meet and Greet, Slot Pull, Cabin Crawl, Specialty Dining with a new friend (Thanks, Jo!), and even a fantastic excursion to Mont St. Michel in France which was not offered by NCL (Thanks, Cherie!). NCL Supplements I added: * 3-Meal Specialty Dining Package (booked pre-cruise). Were I to travel with NCL again, I would add this again. * 250 Internet Minutes (booked pre-cruise). Were I to travel with NCL again, I would add this again. Next time, however, I would use the wisdom gleaned from a fellow traveler: answer emails in an offline word processing document and then connect to the internet when the response is ready to send...a much better use of the precious internet minutes! * Thermal Suite Pass (booked on embarkation day) Based on my experience, were I to travel with NCL again, I would NOT add this again. Dining I used my 3-Meal Dining Package at Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro, and Teppanyaki; I did not dine in Moderno or La Cucina. I eat a lacto/ovo/pescetarian diet and was able to enjoy a variety of options on-board. Of the three specialty restaurants I dined in, I enjoyed the food at Le Bistro the most, though all three were good and the package price was more affordable than dining purely a la carte. Incidentally, as a solo traveler, I was able to book dining reservations for 1 person pre-cruise at Cagney's and LeBistro, but not at Teppanyaki. I was able to make a reservation for 1 person for Teppanyaki on Embarkation Day at the Restaurant Reservations Desk immediately after boarding. I ate one lunch in the Lotus Garden (which was fine, but not exceptional) and all of the other meals in the Garden Cafe (buffet), O'Sheehan's, or the Summer Palace. I did not dine in Indigo, though Summer Palace evidently shares the same kitchen and an identical menu to Indigo’s. Overall, the food everywhere was good, and I was glad I had peppered in some Specialty Dining to add more variety to the dining. (I have cruised on Celebrity in the past and their cuisine was definitely on a higher par with more subtle seasonings, more "quality" selections etc, but the prices are also higher, so you get what you pay for. :) ) As a vegetarian-ish diner, I found it annoying that veggie burger patties could only be gotten in the Garden Cafe/buffet, instead of also at the Great Outdoors Grill or Topsiders Grill, where burgers were the mainstay, but it ended up being that both of these venues were closed much of the time because of weather and/or the virus which was spreading during this cruise. I know that other vegetarians had issues with the Garden Cafe’s grill simultaneously sharing cooking space for both meat products and veggie burgers, or there not being a large variety of vegetarian options, but for my needs, there was plenty of variety (from fresh fruits and veggies to vegetarian Indian cuisine to roasted vegetables, etc.) and I chose not to focus on the "mixed" aspect of the grill itself. I really enjoyed the concept of Free Style Dining, which ended up being my favorite aspect of cruising with NCL. A few times when dining solo, I offered to share my table with other diners or was invited to share theirs, and ended up meeting some great folks along the way. Activities and Issues The rating-lowering factor for me regarding this cruise was, in a word, communication, or rather the lack thereof. For example, the ship hosted a Solo Traveler's Dinner each night, but, on the first night of these dinners, there was no manifest printed out (to indicate which rooms housed solo travelers) and subsequently the staff were "surprised" that nearly 50 Solos showed up when they were "expecting 2-5 people." Although only around 30 people ended up dining with the Solos the first night, many others stopped by, witnessed the chaos, and never came back on subsequent nights, even though the ship eventually provided a dedicated host for the dinners, as well as a separate dining area. On this first night, it took over 3 hours for several of us to receive our 3 course dinner. Had the actual number of Solo Travelers been communicated to the hosting department and the restaurant beforehand, this debacle could have been avoided. Following this initial Solos Dinner (before there was a plan for an ample reservation or separate dining space for the Solos), I went to Guest Services to talk about the experience. The response from Guest Services was not one of empathy, but literally, "Who told you to come here? This is not our issue." When I asked to whom I should be speaking instead, I was told, "Cruise Staff." When I asked if the Cruise Staff had a desk to go talk to someone, I was told, "No. This is the only Service Desk." So, I asked if there was someone from Cruise Staff with whom I could talk. I was told, "No one is available because of the game show, but someone will contact you from the Cruise Staff by 9 AM tomorrow." No one contacted me the next morning, nor ever throughout the duration of the cruise, despite several written followup requests left at Guest Services in the GM's comment box. This was Day 2 of the trip and a perfect example of the old adage: "You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression." I attended all four days of Deal or No Deal (the 5th Day was cancelled because they were "not selling enough game cards to justify the expense of the license for the game show") and had a great time each day. For $25, you got to play two separate games in conjunction with the person who was selected to be on stage, with a chance at winning from $.01 to $1,000 (if selected to be onstage) or from an "Instant Win" Pull Tab all the way up to $5,000 or a Caribbean Cruise for 2 (if playing along in the audience with your game card). Although I only ended up winning $3 on $100 in spent over the 4 days, I definitely had $97 worth of fun along the way! Also, for what it's worth, most Bingo games carried costs of $39 for the least expensive card packet with a possible win of $150 versus the $25 Deal or No Deal cards, with their much higher prize payouts. Although I attended a couple of the other game shows on-board, I found the sense of humor of some of the hosting Cruise Staff or Guest Judges to be "mean," making fun of the guests who were participating instead of having fun, but not at a guest's expense. After I observed this a few times, I stopped going to the other contests and game shows, with the exception of Bingo on the final Sea Day. Even being told by the hosting Cruise Staff to "boo" a fellow contestant who is getting close to a Bingo seemed somewhat mean-spirited and off-putting to me. Everyone is there to have fun and that fun doesn’t need to come at another’s expense. I attended the violinist’s show, as well as both the "regular" and "adult" versions of the comedian's show. Both of these acts were fun and entertaining. Having watched snippets of the other acts on the ship's TV channel, I opted to skip those, in favor of the movies in the Atrium or in my room instead. The selection of movies in the Atrium (and also available complimentary on the stateroom TV) was great, though there were never enough chairs available, and Guest Services was often talking too loudly in the background to make the experience wholly enjoyable. I did write a comment card suggesting more chairs be added based on attendance, and though some chairs were added a few nights, there were still less seats than viewers in the Atrium throughout the cruise. As has been mentioned in other reviews, this was the cruise where the A.G.E. Virus (a variety of Norovirus) was spreading after only a day or two at sea. I commend NCL and their hard working staff for taking the measures that they did to contain the virus, including eliminating self service in the buffet, providing paper menus and cutlery only after being seated, propping open restroom doors in public areas, continually washing the hallway walls and handrails, constantly reminding passengers about hand washing, and quarantining sick passengers as necessary. However, I was disappointed and frustrated by other containment measures which lacked communication and empathy from the staff and management. For example, supposedly only 100 passengers (most of whom are represented by couples in the same cabin) are sold the Thermal Suite Pass. Purportedly, in an effort to contain the virus, the cold plunge pool, hot tubs, and large pool in the Spa were closed and/or emptied of water on several days (not including the rough sea days when they could not keep water in the pools because of the ship's rocking), the steam room would be intermittently closed, and even the dry sauna was closed periodically too, leaving only the 7 heated lounge chairs available to enjoy (as well as non-heated, regular lounge chairs). While I sincerely appreciated the efforts to contain the virus and maintain guest and staff health, these measures could have easily been communicated to the 100 guests who had purchased the Pass (again, most of whom were in the same cabin thereby representing even less than 100 explanations). Instead, the Spa Manager was never available for a conversation or explanation, nor did she respond to a written request for the same. In fact, though I went to Guest Relations and also completed the Dear Cary (GM of Hotel Operations) comment card asking for some communication several times, I never received a response from anyone on the ship during the 13 day cruise. Apparently due to the virus, eventually the gym, library, game room, etc. were closed, as well as several scheduled events. Unfortunately, instead of closures like this being clearly communicated over the intercom system or via a letter left in the stateroom, it was often indicated by a note posted on the door of the facility. Then, when the hot tubs and pool in the Spa were closed "because of the virus" (with no notification to the 100 guests who had Passes), strangely the hot tubs available to the entire ship on Deck 12 were open and available. Furthermore, the Casino, where you can’t not touch a machine in order to play, remained open throughout the cruise. Contradictions like this, with no explanation, made it feel like "the virus" became a convenient way to avoid communication with the guests. And, again, if ANYONE had been communicating or showing empathy for the guest experience, this would not have been an issue and would have created a much better overall experience. I did eventually hear from Guest Relations, about a month after writing a complaint, six weeks after the cruise ended. NCL’s form tells you that you can expect a response within 15 Business Days. Thankfully, another traveler reported that they had inquired post cruise about the delayed response from NCL Guest Relations, and evidently, they were backlogged with issues from this cruise and would not be responding until closer to 30 days. BUT EVEN THAT illustrates my point: the delay and its reasons could have been COMMUNICATED by NCL to any pending claimants, but was not. Had it not been for that other cruiser sharing the information in our Roll Call, many might still be wondering what is/was going on. Hospitality is about making guests feel acknowledged (at the least) and appreciated (when done well). And a cruise is supposedly about hospitality, not just transportation from Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, my experience was soured enough by the lack of communication that I ended up returning the Cruise Next Deposits I had purchased, 30 days after purchase, at which point I had still not heard from Guest Relations following my post-cruise written comments. At the end of the day, though there were certainly aspects of the cruise I enjoyed, NCL's lack of ANY direct communication until six weeks after the cruise left me feeling like they are unconcerned with genuine customer care...and that experience is definitely below “Average” or, using the CC rating system, “Poor.” For these reasons, it is unlikely that I will recommend NCL, nor am I likely to spend my money to travel with NCL again. Ports/Excursions Cobh, Ireland I took the local train from Cobh to Cork where I had reservations for a Free Walking Tour. The suggested tip amount was roughly $10/person/hour so I paid 20 Euros for what ended up being an excellent, informative, 2-hour walking tour. Dublin, Ireland (Port of Dun Laoghaire) Particularly in Dun Laoghaire where tenders were used to reach shore, many people missed their non-NCL excursions. I met a local friend here; no excursion. I had a tender pass for Group 8 and was able to join the tender around 10:30am, arriving into Dun Laoghaire around 11am. Le Havre, France Based on what happened to travelers in Dun Laoghaire who did not have excursions booked via NCL and ended up missing their excursions, I was grateful that the excursion I had planned via some CC organizers for Mont St. Michel was not pre-paid in case we were delayed. This excursion was not offered by NCL and was a highlight of the trip for me. The travel time to/from the Mont in Normandy was about 2.5 hours each way, and the climb up to the Abbey atop the island and the ensuing tour was fascinating. Following the tour, there was time for a quick lunch/short shop in the village below. This full day excursion was well worth the trip and as promised, our guide had us back to the ship in time for departure. Many thanks again to Cherie from our CC Roll Call for arranging this wonderful trip! Tilbury (London), England Having been to London on another visit to the UK, I decided to explore nearby Gravesend, just across the river from where we were docked, and accessible via a water shuttle for a nominal fee. Highlights of the visit included antique shopping, seeing the Pocahontas Statue, having authentic fish and chips at one establishment, followed by classic afternoon tea at another. Zeebrugge, Belgium I ended up taking public transportation (tram first, then train) from Zeebrugge to Bruges. The round trip cost for both was slightly less than the 20 Euro shuttle which was available near the port. Highlights of the trip included taking photos of the quaint medieval city itself and feasting on chocolates at Chocolatier Dumon, The Chocolate Story, and other chocolatiers. Amsterdam, Netherlands I stayed for 2 nights following the cruise at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton. I selected this location because I could book via Hilton Honors Points and because it was walkable from the cruise ship terminal and also to the main train station (to get to the airport for the return flight home). While in Amsterdam, highlights included the Free Walking Tour: Classic version, the Anne Frank House Tour, and the Houseboat Tour. Purchase tickets to the Anne Frank House before the cruise, as this self guided tour sells out quickly. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
It had the itinerary we were looking for. This would be our 8th cruise with NCL. It was transatlantic and we find the six days at sea very relaxing. Unfortunately on the second day out a virus out break hit and many of the facilitys were ... Read More
It had the itinerary we were looking for. This would be our 8th cruise with NCL. It was transatlantic and we find the six days at sea very relaxing. Unfortunately on the second day out a virus out break hit and many of the facilitys were closed or restricted. It was kind of a disaster. My wife and I didn't get sick and that was a good thing. Now the two excursions we were looking forward to Dublin Ireland and London England turned out to be a disaster too. In Dublin you tender from the port of Dun Laoghaire, if you see that don't book. Tendering process was terrible. We lost so much time in the process we didn't get what I paid for. In London we were at the port of Tilbury . Same thing terrible process to get off the ship. Wound up with maybe 3hrs. in London but was dropped off far from the main tourist areas. Didn't get what I paid for there. It was a mess ship times changed from what was listed. Now to be fair the excursions at Cork, Ireland Le Havre, France and Bruges,Belgium were great. The dining rooms and specialty restaurants were fine. The cabin was ok and the crew we came across were friendly and helpful and restaurant service was great. For my part this is the second NCL cruise in row were I have left a little disappointed. Maybe river cruising would be better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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