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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the ages of kids camp - kids activities! We were disappointed! The kids camps had way too many rules! My kids have cruised at least once a year for their entire life and they hated the kids clubs! This is the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ages of kids camp - kids activities! We were disappointed! The kids camps had way too many rules! My kids have cruised at least once a year for their entire life and they hated the kids clubs! This is the first cruise that they did not enjoy the camps! (They have cruise ncl two other times and we did not find it to be so restrictive as this time!) Main dining food was just okay but the add on dinners were amazing!! Comedians were amazing! Sids Pour house(forget full name) has amazing shows! Dialing pianos were great! We also booked “Velvet” and wish we had not taken our youngest to it- definitely not appropriate for kids! The show was great, though. Food was okay. 12152 and 12154 never went 12 hours without having to call maintenance to fix the flushing mechanism for toilet! It was a pain to not have a working toilet all the time!! Feel bad for anyone who gets those rooms until they fix the problem! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our second cruise on NCL, the first one was on the escape, which we loved. Again if you do your research and plan ahead NCL can be amazing. Things that were great: -stateroom: I love the balcony stateroom and the bathroom ... Read More
This was our second cruise on NCL, the first one was on the escape, which we loved. Again if you do your research and plan ahead NCL can be amazing. Things that were great: -stateroom: I love the balcony stateroom and the bathroom size. Get a balcony. -Ship: NCL does their ships right, clean, beautiful. Really amazing. -Activities on the ship: from adding the observation lounge (the escape doesn’t have it), to go karts, laser tag, water slides and all of the others. You can never be bored. -Speciality Restaurants- food and service: if you want good food and great to amazing service go to the speciality dining. They have the option to add an additional tip this leads the waiters to really go above and beyond to earn extra money. -alaska stops: I loved all three stops...still recommend finding off boat excursions for cheaper pricing. However the crab boat Tour In Ketchikan was worth it along with the train rides in Skagway. Victoria is also beautiful wish we had more time. Only so much you can do in 7 days though. -Jersey Boys and overall entertainment was spot on. (Just don’t go to Havana- waste of 45 minutes) Reading all of this you would think we should give 5 stars. However there were negatives. Minor -Food in main dining rooms have gone down hill, i remember better food on the escape. Also one breakfast took over two hours in taste and came out cold. However I did complain (hate to do it but two hours and the waiter being no where to be found leads you too it) however the service from then on was better but still not great. Except for Manhattan room, they always had great service. However we had 8 people so not that big of hit. Now the major negatives: -Cabin Steward: I usually love the stewards and loved ours on the escape. However our guy was the worse steward I have ever had on a ship. Never replaced towels, skipped out on cleaning our room making up an excuse (the steward next door through him under the bus, the only reason I knew). Walked in on my wife and I even with the do not disturb on after only knocking once giving us no time to get to the door...to check the mini bar...then kicking us out of our room an hour early on disembarkation. That was the final straw and complained to guest services and will be sending an email. I get they have hard jobs but why bother have the lights on if you ignore them. Disembarkation- an utter mess is all I’m going to say. Crew members not knowing what is going on. Passengers seemed to know more then the crew. However I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to go and we will most likely give NCL another go. Maybe with a detour back to Royal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I sailed on the Joy out of Seattle on June 1,2019. She is fresh out of her $50 million remodel for the US market and looked shiny and new. Really a beautiful ship. I sailed with my 13 year old grandson. Embarkation: Easiest and ... Read More
I sailed on the Joy out of Seattle on June 1,2019. She is fresh out of her $50 million remodel for the US market and looked shiny and new. Really a beautiful ship. I sailed with my 13 year old grandson. Embarkation: Easiest and smoothest ever. We dropped our bags off at 9:00 AM at the pier. This was prior to them opening for boarding but we stayed across the street at the Marriott so it was easy and NCL was accepting luggage. We went back at 11;30 AM and we were on the ship in 10 minutes. Absolutely no line and plenty of friendly staff available to assist. Stateroom: Clean and roomy balcony. Our steward Kleward was awesome. Always friendly and available. Food; No complaints. We ate in the no extra fee venues Savor and Taste as well as the Garden Buffet. The food was good and plentiful. I do wish they would serve the food (like HAL) in the buffet rather than allow self serve. Some passengers were seen by us just grabbing food with their hands YUK! I did notify staff and food was promptly removed and replaced. Entertainment: Did not really participate much so can't comment other than say the ship felt overcrowded in the entertainment areas. This is just a personal preference and I believe most did not mind the crowds. Ports: What can I say it was beautiful Alaska! Stunning. Weather was very nice so we really enjoyed our visits. Service: Really good most everywhere. One complaint hire and staff Guest Services better. Lines were consistently long even with staff trying to help people waiting in line. Disembarkation: Same great experience as embarkation! Love Port Valet! Final thoughts Our Meet and Greet had about 100+ people and all the officers (including the captain) were there. It was very impressive and they provided lots of snacks. Overall it was a wonderful week. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
The first thing I noticed about this ship and continued to experience was the amazing staff. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. This was our first time with NCL. I found that the ship was not as easy to find my way around as some ... Read More
The first thing I noticed about this ship and continued to experience was the amazing staff. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. This was our first time with NCL. I found that the ship was not as easy to find my way around as some Royal Carribean ships. But otherwise the different options for eating, the pool area, and lounges added a lot of variety. My biggest complaint is the buffett. The food area was all in one area that got super crowded and seating was hard to find or you had to sit far away from the food. I was also disappointed in the food options at the buffett. For kids that do not go to the kids club there are very little options. There is no more than one baby group a day for 45 mins. There is a great kids pool. We were unable to enjoy any shows because of the kids but I heard they were great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I have cruised since 1975. This would be #23. It had been 10yrs since my last cruise. As a SENIOR I did not look for all the ship activities I would have looked for as my family was growing up; rock climbing flumes etc. This ship was ideal ... Read More
I have cruised since 1975. This would be #23. It had been 10yrs since my last cruise. As a SENIOR I did not look for all the ship activities I would have looked for as my family was growing up; rock climbing flumes etc. This ship was ideal for my return to cruising. I love the smaller ship with it's lack of long lines; finding a quite spot; not fighting for a seat etc. Embarkation swift and easy. Parked adjacent to ship at 10:45 sitting in Garden Grill Buffet at 11:50. Like the washy washy hand sanitizing crew from the start. The focus on sanitary precaution well worth it. There were 3 food options 2 buffets plus pizza in rear of ship. Crew cleared area and checked on beverage refills. Food was plentiful and had many options for all tastes. We were 4 woman sharing a balcony cabin; adequate storage. Within an hour we had established a smooth working system for 4 woman. Example in AM my Grand daughter got all of us coffee. I retreated to balcony as others showered; hit the wi-fi or just woke up. Speaking of wi-fi we took unlimited and my grand had service entire cruise to what's app family at home or her social contacts. Cabin steward immediately filled request for 2 robes, an addition chair for balcony, empty frig and keep plenty of coffee pods in stock. Room kept neat and clean. We enjoyed 2 stage shows. Only con 1 show at 8. Should be at 9; race to see. Enjoyed White Hot deck party as spectator. Enough variety of entertainment for the various ages in our group. We ate most of our meals in the restaurants; the Seven Seas being our favorite for it view and décor. I enjoyed the fact I could have a glass of wine each night. My family also enjoyed the drinks offered free of charge. They also took in and enjoyed games. It is sad to say we were the last docking of the Sun in Havana. We took air conditioned bus with a guide who spoke perfect English. This was basically our only option due to traveling companion's. Classic cars stirred memories of my teen yrs This was the real reason I choose Sun. Havana is such a different port. I enjoyed all the architectural diversity. Since I love history I enjoyed the background info and highlights of Old Havana and the look of New Havana. There were areas that broke your heart and you could see the glory Havana was. I hope that this port will reopen sometime in future. It is thru inter action that people learn from each other. We had priority disembarking so we ate breakfast at 7, met our escort at 8, off ship by 8:20. Luggage picked up by red cap and in our car by 8:35. Home in Orlando area by 10;15 On drive home we all discussed our trip and how we would do it again Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of our budget, the free perks like 3rd and 4th passenger sail free, the smaller ship size, and the itinerary, specifically to see Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. I highly recommend NCL Jewel for families ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of our budget, the free perks like 3rd and 4th passenger sail free, the smaller ship size, and the itinerary, specifically to see Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier. I highly recommend NCL Jewel for families with young kids. The kids center, Splash Academy, was open from 9 am until 10:30 pm (and even later for a fee) every day! We thought that the closing time would be too late for our 4 and 8 year old but they loved it so much and never wanted to leave. We gave up on 8 pm bedtimes. The staff did an awesome job with keeping the kids entertained and happy. There were theme nights, active games, silly songs and jokes, sports, prizes, and at the end of the cruise, they had the kids put on a circus show. My hubby and I really enjoyed our free time! Some of the food was just okay but some of the food was fantastic too. Garden Buffet had hits and misses but was decent overall. The kids loved the Garden Buffet. Fruit, tomatoes and salad greens were super fresh at the beginning of the cruise but started to look wilted at the end. The grilled fish, burgers, prime rib (served only the first 2 nights), raita, were good but other dishes like stir fries, fried rice, indian dishes, casseroles, and stews, basically any hot entrée with sauce weren't that good. Salads, fruit, made to order omelettes, made to order pastas, bacon, and eggs benedict were good. Desserts weren't that good. Self service coffee and espressos weren't good but passable. We had 2 really good meals at Tsar's Palace and 1 that wasn't. Desserts were good. The sirloin steak at Azura was cooked perfectly but the peppercorn sauce wasn't good. O'Sheehans burgers and fries were fine. But the nachos were terrible and the fish and chips weren't that good. We didn't try it for breakfast but wouldn't recommend it for lunch or dinner. The fee based dining at Cagneys, Le Bistro and Moderno were EXCELLENT. We ordered macaroni and cheese for my 5 year old; it's her favorite; and it was a terrible dish at all the restaurants. The worst mac and cheese ever. Even Kraft Dinner would have been better. I couldn't tell what was is in it. It was orange and looked good but it was awful, had a powdered chicken soup stock after taste. I spoke with serving staff and they agreed that it was really bad. At Tsars Palace, Azura and O'Sheehans, some of the staff were friendly, helpful and fast, even going beyond, while I felt ignored by some of the staff. For example, we didn't get any water for 15 minutes one time at Tsar's, I normally wouldn't have noticed it but we were super thirsty, and it seemed like there was confusion on who was looking after us. But one server at Tsar's would pleasantly fill my wine glass without me asking, sourced out the french baguette that my fussy 5 year old would only eat, and even offered us complimentary cappuccinos. Service at the fee based dining was wonderful. I didn't really see our room steward, although he was friendly, that much while I did see the neighboring steward often. On our first day, we noticed all these brown reddish flakes on our bed. The neighboring steward cleaned it up because our room steward was returning in the evening from his time off. The neighboring steward thought that it came from the AC/heating element. We didn't have that problem again. The main pool was salt water and pleasantly warm. We enjoyed the pool even on rainy days. The production cast shows were FANTASTIC. They are so talented! We enjoyed Velvet, Rock You Tonight, Aerial Duo and Le Cirque Bijou. On our second night, we kept hearing a consistent banging below. We were on deck 9. Someone from guest services came up and determined that because the water was so choppy, that a lifeboat on deck 8 was likely making that noise. He apologized for the noise and we said that it's no trouble and it's out of their control. Later, we heard someone working on the lifeboat below while water spray was hitting our 9th deck window! The banging stop and I felt so sorry for the person who had to work in that weather. We were lucky to not have booked any excursions in Skagway, one of the scheduled ports, because the Captain decided to stop in Haines instead, explaining that there had been a barge carrier jet fuel leak where we were supposed to berth. But then I heard all these different stories from other people, and they were angry and just wanted the truth. The bars were good. We really enjoyed the drinks from the bar in the Atrium. The bar in the Spinnaker Lounge (at the front of the ship) wasn't as good as the Atrium one. We had the best pina coladas at atrium, and mojitos at Topsiders (even better than the mojito bar). The driving range, and tennis/basketball court/soccer field were fun. Embarkation and disembarkation from all ports were efficient and smooth. Luggage management was efficient and fast. The Discovery Center in Ketchikan was fantastic and informative. Our kids earned a cool junior ranger badge there. Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay were awe inspiring. But it was depressing to see how much Glacier Bay has retreated and to learn from the Park Ranger that it, and other glaciers, will be gone in 20 years because of climate change. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the ... Read More
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the four of us I believe it might not be should you have more than four people. The service in our suite was superior and give most of the credit for that to our concierge Dilip he made sure we were happy and brought everything we could wish for, he helped us get off the ship very easily at the different ports of call he escorted us off at each port of call.Dilip also helped us get to the entertainment we wanted to see. My only regret is that I purchased a spa pass I probably would not have purchased had I known that the roof of the Haven Center Spa was covered, on some other cruises sometimes the roof area of the Haven Pools have not been covered and it gets too cold. The food was excellent and the spa services were very good, however they did not have acupuncture on this cruise, which really disappointed me as that was one of things I was really looking forward to. I got a shave and tooth whitening from Lynda and she knew her stuff it was the best I have ever had, she is brilliant. The other spa treatments I had where three massages from Rumbi, Should you need a massage she is the best. ‘:The food was very good especially at the specialty restaurants.9 Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Alaska was on our "bucket list" so we started out with a 6 day NCL Land Tour from Fairbanks, ending in Seward. That trip alone was well worth it...but on to the cruise! Embarkation from Seward was a piece of cake. The first ... Read More
Alaska was on our "bucket list" so we started out with a 6 day NCL Land Tour from Fairbanks, ending in Seward. That trip alone was well worth it...but on to the cruise! Embarkation from Seward was a piece of cake. The first meal in Azura was bit slow and clunky but the food was good and we weren't in any big hurry! Overall the meals were fine, particularly the specialty restaurants. The food in the main dining rooms was "good", and the service was more than adequate. Specialty restaurants were SUPERB, especially Le Bistro and La Cucina! Our mini-suite was perfect and our Room Steward, Rolando did an excellent job keeping it clean and tending to any of our requests...kudos to Rolando! The extra USB ports were a nice add. Overall the refurbished ship was clean and redecorated nicely. I was a bit disappointed that the seats in the Stardust Theater were not replaced during the refurb. They were low and uncomfortable two years ago and they are the same now. We were so busy, we managed only one show..."Rock You Tonight". It was GREAT...wonderful singers, dancers and band. An awesome production! I do like the smaller ships like the Jewel where you do not need to make reservations to get into every event. The ship entertainment was good...some very talented folks. Lots of pop music & jazz. I do wish there was some "Classical" music on board, maybe in the main lobby. It might give the ship kind of a "high class" feel. (There is a grand piano there which I have never seen used.) The gym was clean and all the machines seem to be working. The bar service was spot on. I will say the wine in the wine tasting event was a step lower that those I've been to in the past...and believe me I am not a wine snob. But I did pay extra for some GREAT wine in the specialty restaurants. Of course you go to Alaska for the spectacular views and scenery. The glacier viewing was excellent. I did spot humpbacks on three occasions from our balcony. Lots of good "Kodak Moments". Just staring out the balcony at the snow capped peaks was awe inspiring (especially for a couple from "flat" Florida!) The best part of the cruise were the ports and excursions. We did the Zip Rider/Wale watching tour...WOO HOO, what an adrenaline rush! We did the Helicopter Ride to the Glacier and Dog Sled Mushing, which was probably the best shore excursion we've ever been on! We also did the Wilderness Glacier trip where we canoed up to a glacier...also an outstanding trip! Between my camera and my Go-Pro I took over 2100 pics...many great memories. Overall the ship, crew and cruise met all of our expectations. Kudos to General Manager Steve for running a tight ship. Kudos to Jenny, Group services Coordinator for coordinating the Meet & Mingle and kudos to Dilip our Concierge who was always ready to assist us! Now that Alaska is crossed off the bucket list, it's time for French Polynesia/Hawaii in 2020. THANKS NCL! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
There were 8 people in our family group, 6 adults and two children aged 8 and 12. Previous cruise experience ranged from none to 4 cruises. None of us had been on Norwegian or the Jewel. We had 4 cabins: 11012 (SC 2 bedroom Suite) ... Read More
There were 8 people in our family group, 6 adults and two children aged 8 and 12. Previous cruise experience ranged from none to 4 cruises. None of us had been on Norwegian or the Jewel. We had 4 cabins: 11012 (SC 2 bedroom Suite) 11628 (MB Minisuite port side near stern) 11554-11156 (connecting aft-facing M1 Minisuites). All seemed quite pleased with their cabins and experienced no real noise issues. The SC was under the library, the MB under La Cucina and the M1s under Great Outdoors. Public Spaces. We enjoyed the Great Outdoors quite a bit, both for food and drink. Dining. We enjoyed the Great Outdoors quite a bit, both for food and drink. We had dinner in Tsar’s Palace once and Azura 3 times. The food was neither outstanding nor awful. A couple of our group had breakfast in Tsar’s Palace once or twice. Our first specialty dinner was in Cagney’s, no complaints. It isn’t Ruth’s Chris but pretty good for a cruise ship. Moderno was a hit, most not having eaten in a churrascaria before. Our final specialty restaurant was La Cucina, which was my favorite. Being in a suite I had breakfast in Moderno one time. If I didn’t have family with me I would have eaten there for breakfast and lunch more frequently. We didn’t make it to Le Bistro, Teppanyaki or Chin Chin. Chin Chin doesn’t take reservations and there always seemed to be a line. I liked O’Sheehan’s, had a couple of lunches there and one breakfast there. The fish and chips were good, but the corned beef hash didn’t live up to its hype. The butler brought us breakfast in our suite most days. I’m not a fan of buffets. I only had breakfast there once and it was cereal and bananas. Oddly the milk choices were whole milk and skim. I am used to seeing 2%. I didn’t find much that interested me for lunch. The pizza was not very good, even when it first came out of the oven. The crust was doughy and the sauce bland. My doctor would have liked me to have a turkey burger or a garden burger, but the sign said it would take 15 minutes to prepare. They were making paninis a couple of the days. The Cuban one was tasty, the Mexican one not so much. My wife liked the buffet a lot. Drink. We found ourselves at Magnum/Shakers/Maltings fairly frequently, nice place for a before dinner drink or for a night cap. Topsiders and the Pit Stop were the closest bars to our suite, limited selection but a quick and easy place to grab a drink for the cabin. One pet peeve was that the menus listed Bulleitt Rye but no bars had it. Twice I ordered it and saw the bartender grab the bottle of Bulleitt Bourbon. I spoke with the Beverage Manager about this, and he said he’d look into it, but it never materialized. Service. Our butler (Lazaro), concierge (Dilip) and steward (Jonex) were great. We had sent a letter in advance asking for help in setting up a brief Bon Voyage party/toast. We didn’t arrive at the port until 5 pm, and the party was set for 6:45. I had my doubts about it getting set up, having read reports that such requests are typically ignored, but everything was ready and perfect. We had to tender in Icy Strait Point because the Norwegian Joy behemoth was in port. Dilip arranged priority tendering for our entire party of eight. The bus crew in the buffet were way too intrusive, often trying to grab one’s plate before it was finished. In dining rooms, on a couple of occasions, I had my glass of San Pellegrino ($6 a bottle with gratuity) “refreshed” with iced tap water. Fitness Center. We used the Fitness Center a couple of times. There was plenty of modern well-maintained equipment. My only criticism was that there were only 4 bikes (2 upright, 2 recumbent), making them often unavailable. In another room on Deck 12 (labeled Aerobics on the deck plan) there were a large number of bikes not in use, apparently for some sort of spinning class. Based on the demand I saw, some of these should be moved the Fitness Center. Splash Academy. There weren’t a lot of kids onboard, given that school was still in session in parts of the country. Age groups were combined. Our 8-year-old granddaughter had a blast. Her 12-year-old sister went once and did not return, not being interest in hanging out with little kids. Entertainment. Stage shows are not our thing, did not attend. The lounge and pool side performers seemed talented. Cruise Director. Don’t normally care but this guy’s voice was extremely annoying. Excursions. Icy Strait Point. We did the “Wildlife and Bear Search Tour” from Alaska Shore Excursions. We were aware that May was not the best time to see bears, but we did see a few and several eagles. The tour guide was informative and entertaining. The best option in ISP may well be whale watching, but all in our group had done a whale watching tour out of Dana Point a few years earlier. We all had fun and he dropped a few of us in Hoonah on the way back. We had beers in a brewery pub and walked back to town. Juneau. “Dogsledding on Mendenhall Glacier by Helicopter” This was our only NCL excursion. Worth every penny of it, once in a lifetime experience. Copter ride over mountains and glaciers landing on Mendenhall Glacier at the dogsled camp. We all got to take different positions on the sleds, way cool. Got to know the dogs as well. Skagway. We rented two Jeeps from DIY Jeep Tours. The jeeps had CB radios to communicate back and forth, as well as audio narration. I had also purchased Murray’s Guide to the South Klondike highway. We did a round trip to Emerald Lake in the Yukon. The rental place was a bit disorganized. Make it clear when making the reservation that you want the included lunch and be aware that you are going to have to refill the tank when you are done. This took us much farther than the White Pass Railway, we saw a lot of the same scenery and were able to stop and take pictures when we wanted to. Skagway is a nice little town and much less of a tourist trap than Ketchikan or Juneau. Ketchikan. Not much to see here, lots of opportunities to separate you from your money. Creek Street is a nice photo op. We just walked around, shopped, found a dive bar. Transfers. Embarkation. This cruise was in a tight window and half of our group didn’t get into Anchorage until late the night before embarkation. The train to Seward is quite popular be it leaves way too early to suit our late arrivals. We purchased the “Anchorage to Seward Wildlife Tour & Transfer” from Alaska Shore Experts. Nice scenery and narration along the way, a stop at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and a 5 pm arrival at the port. It suited our needs well Disembarkation. We bought the $15 transfer to the Vancouver Airport from NCL. It was awful. We stood in line in a hot room for nearly an hour waiting to board the bus. Overall. We really liked the Jewel. If we were to cruise on Norwegian again we’d definitely seek out a Jewel class ship if it were an option. I find it ironic that it is considered a small, old ship. It carries 2367 passengers and was christened in 2005. That makes it about the same size as others ships we been on (discounting the 700 passenger Adonia) and the newest ship. It looked sharp after its dry dock. The size made it not seem crowded, didn’t see any long lines (although the concierge helped a couple of times). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation was fairly swift, but lacked information for passengers who had not used NCL before. The Epic is getting tired and jaded and there was a general feeling of cutbacks being made. In addition, it cannot cope with the volume of ... Read More
Embarkation was fairly swift, but lacked information for passengers who had not used NCL before. The Epic is getting tired and jaded and there was a general feeling of cutbacks being made. In addition, it cannot cope with the volume of passengers, especially on sea days. The pool for very small children was closed on several occasions and there was a definite question with regard to hygiene standards in all the the pools Entertainment was the same old, same old. Taste restaurant was of good standard, both in quality of food and service. Staff at Guest Services need to go back to the drawing board with their customer care training, they were very unimpressive in attitude and knowledge. The cabin layout makes for a feeling of being cramped, especially with young children although we booked more than one cabin. This was not our first trip on the Epic, but it will be our last. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We previously sailed in the Haven on the Escape. We were in the Haven Spa Suites on the Breakaway. The Haven was fantastic- great staff. Bartenders outstanding. Food in Haven either fantastic or bad. Also service very slow- two plus hours ... Read More
We previously sailed in the Haven on the Escape. We were in the Haven Spa Suites on the Breakaway. The Haven was fantastic- great staff. Bartenders outstanding. Food in Haven either fantastic or bad. Also service very slow- two plus hours for dinner or fast. Lunch over an hour a couple times. Spa was great. Specialty dining Cagneys horrible- cold then next undercooked. Teppinayki- average at best La Cucina was great Shows were good - Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages enjoyable Howl at the Moon- not good Main areas of ship crowded with rude people. Chair hogs and those who crammed into elevator when no room. Buffet nasty. Kids cutting in line on slides- 4 year old with no parents watching. Person clipping toes on pool deck. Expect that on Carnival not NCL. Escape much nicer ship. There were good and bad things. Would cruise NCL again but not Breakaway. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Went with family as a celebration of life for my dad who is ill. We stayed in the haven and was treated like royalty. Food was great, staff was AMAZING, things to do were great. The band at Syd Norman’s bar was great. My only upset ... Read More
Went with family as a celebration of life for my dad who is ill. We stayed in the haven and was treated like royalty. Food was great, staff was AMAZING, things to do were great. The band at Syd Norman’s bar was great. My only upset was the spa pool was cold and on past cruises it was really warm to hot. We went ahead and got 8 cruise next vouchers and can’t wait to go again. This cruise was one of the best. If I had any complaint was the spa pool and maybe the Cozumel port area not my favorite to use. In past cruises we got off on the first port with everything closer to boat and not two story. The two excursions we did were snorkeling in Honduras and th guys went fishing in Belize. The pool there was great but the cabana was not worth the money Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Just to keep it simple... the entertainment was fantastic! Cruise entertainment staff were wonderful, friendly, and encouraged everyone to participate. We took our son to Rock of Ages and we all loved it, sang along the whole time. Syd ... Read More
Just to keep it simple... the entertainment was fantastic! Cruise entertainment staff were wonderful, friendly, and encouraged everyone to participate. We took our son to Rock of Ages and we all loved it, sang along the whole time. Syd Norman’s was our favorite place all week, along with Howl at the Moon. The band, Switched, was so great as well.. I’m amazed I have a voice left. Lol Our food was really great, and it was an amazing time. Excursions.. we did Maya Cay in Belize. Loved this excursion - great beach time with a bucket of beer and no worries. We found a beach at a Harvest Cay and spent the day there. At Costa Maya, we visited the shops, had some lunch at the restaurant that overlooks the dolphin excursion, and returned to the ship. It was incredibly hot that day. Saw people being tended to by EMS, some appeared to be suffering from heat exposure and some appeared highly intoxicated. Not sure which, but either way, make sure you stay hydrated. Cozumel, do the Fury Cat excursion! Our second time and it just gets better! Highly recommend this for families looking for a fun time for all! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We were a group of ten and we all had a wonderful experience! Will we do it again? Most definitely, we are actually planning the next cruise lol! Our 3young one had a great time. Also all the adults had a fabulous vacation... In our ... Read More
We were a group of ten and we all had a wonderful experience! Will we do it again? Most definitely, we are actually planning the next cruise lol! Our 3young one had a great time. Also all the adults had a fabulous vacation... In our opinion the service and entertainment in this cruise was fantastic. The crew was great and my favorite the CAS host and casino crew was my definite Cruise Heroes! Can’t wait for our next NCL cruise. Before I forget we also had a Meet and Greet with the ship officer and they’re amazing and very very friendly... I have known most people f the ship officers from our previous NCL cruises and I’m happy when I get a chance to see and say hello to them again. Our service at the main restaurants were great. Our cabin a large balcony had 2lounger chairs and 2 small chairs. Kids club for the kids was excellent. Overall I recommend this ship and itenerary Escape to Bermuda Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I always choose to sail out of NYC because it's easy for me to get there and NO FLYING!! I love cruising with NCL because of the "do what you want to do" atmosphere. There's always fun night parties and passengers ... Read More
I always choose to sail out of NYC because it's easy for me to get there and NO FLYING!! I love cruising with NCL because of the "do what you want to do" atmosphere. There's always fun night parties and passengers of all ages attend and seem to really have a great time. The dining options are very wide, and although I did not do specialty dining this time, I have in the past and they are worth the experience. The main dining room menus offer a good variety of food AND you can always order 2 entrees so we can try different foods. The servers were a bit slow on some nights. Our balcony room was perfect and spotless. The Island of Bermuda is the most beautiful island. I have been there 4 times and it does not get old. Horseshoe Bay Beach is outstanding. There are taxis right at the port that can take you for a flat fee of $7.00 per person one way, plus the cab driver gives you information about the island, all you have to do is start the conversation. Enjoy!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We found cruising NCL to be super relaxing and a lot of fun! The Escape is a beautiful ship with a fun and helpful crew. We definitely plan to sail on The Escape again! Embarkation was a smooth process, very organized. Our overall ... Read More
We found cruising NCL to be super relaxing and a lot of fun! The Escape is a beautiful ship with a fun and helpful crew. We definitely plan to sail on The Escape again! Embarkation was a smooth process, very organized. Our overall food and beverage experience was excellent. We chose to eat at Cagney's Steakhouse, LeBistro French Restaurant, Moderno Churrascaria, the buffet, O'Sheehan's, Savor, Taste, and The Manhattan Dining Room. Cagney's, LeBistro, and Moderno (all premium restaurants) were all wonderful - delicious food, great service, and excellent options. We were also pleasantly surprised by the buffet - delicious food, lots of options for all meals. Savor, Taste, and the Manhattan room were very good as well. Our experience at O'Sheehan's was hit or miss, but overall not bad. I wasn't thrilled with the cupcake I purchased at the bake shop (white chocolate strawberry); in my opinion the icing was way too stiff and the cake part was sticky. But the complimentary desserts were all hits with our family. Everyone on the NCL staff was professional and helpful. Our room steward checked with us every day and kept our room spotless. He even left me an extra box of tissues and an extra pillow when I came down with a cold during the cruise. The food staff was perfectly attentive without being overbearing and were VERY helpful with food allergies again without being overbearing. They were knowledgeable about how the food was prepared and double checked anything we ordered. We had plenty of allergy-safe options from which to choose. (For reference, our allergy concerns were Tree-nut, Peanut, and Shellfish.) There are plenty of onboard activities for all ages. Our family enjoyed the rope course, water slides, dance parties, pool, H2O, and the Grotto. The Grotto in H2O is a beautiful, peaceful retreat! There's plenty of entertainment on board. Here's our overall rating of the shows we attended: 18+ Comedy Show: Just meh. Not all that funny. After Midnight: High energy show, great dancing, beautiful costumes. Very enjoyable. Dueling Pianos: Very talented musicians, funnier than the comedian, but same kinds of jokes at each performance - once is enough. Don't ask them to play any Billy Joel or Elton John - they obviously hate it and will either not play your request while insulting you for asking or totally destroy the song with their own lyrics. Choir of Man: Fantastic show! We even purchased the CD afterward. This is the show to see! 5 stars. As for excursions, we did the Sunset Bermuda Triangle Glass Bottom Boat excursion through NCL and the Restless Native Catamaran Snorkel excursion through our excellent travel agents (Rick & Marian at Dream Vacations). Both were excellent! -The Sunset cruise was funny and very interesting. -The Restless Native crew were a lot of fun and the the snorkeling took place in water that we could stand in, making it accessible for everyone, and the more adventurous passengers could swim out into deeper water to see the reef. -On our own, we took a cab ($45 for six adult passengers) to Warwick Long Bay. The cab driver was friendly and helpful, the beach was beautiful and uncrowded, and we even found a little cove with lots of fish! Everyone in Bermuda was friendly and helpful. -I also recommend trying the Afternoon Tea at The Princess Hotel in Hamilton - delicious! A reservation is helpful, but not needed. If you do not have a reservation, just allow about 30 minutes for them to prepare your food - everything is made fresh! Disembarkation was a smooth process. Lines were long, but that's to be expected on a cruise carrying 5000 passengers. My disembarkation tip: Get a NYC porter for your luggage! No charge - just a tip (which they definitely deserve!), and they will get you through to your car or taxi super fast! Overall, a great trip I would love to do again! I'm hoping the Escape will get some improvements to it's professional entertainment, but at the very least Choir of Man is now included and is amazing! Yes, there are a variety of offerings onboard for an upcharge, but there's plenty to enjoy for no additional cost. Great cruise on a beautiful ship! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this ship for its touring of Glacier National Park and for the onboard amenities like race track, laser tag, etc. What strikes me is the utter lack of good service. Every restaurant we went too, the servers were not happy and ... Read More
We chose this ship for its touring of Glacier National Park and for the onboard amenities like race track, laser tag, etc. What strikes me is the utter lack of good service. Every restaurant we went too, the servers were not happy and provide only basic service. You had to ask multiple times for refills. They reached over people when serving, even spilled water down the back of some poor lady. Often they pressed themselves against me to reach across the table to fill coffee and water. The served our food in random orders, some getting soup while others got appetizers and then serving the others soup while the remaining got soup.It appears they have not been trained on proper serving techniques. Often, you have to flag them down to get items forgotten. We paid a surcharge and ate at all the upscale restaurants. Found 3 hairs in our food at Ocean Blue- one in salad, one in my son's drink and one on our steak. We pulled them out and let them see them. They apologized but we left...this is the restaurant that you pay for specialty fees and then pay another surge of 12 per person to eat and believe if or not, after essentially paying 3 different charges to eat here, if you order lobster or shrimp, you will be charged an additional fee. Once again, the service was slow, inattentive and ungracious. The food in all of these restaurants was just okay. We did not attend one bar or one restaurant where the wait staff was happy or civil. The noise on the ship is at a very high decibel. It is very unsettling. The cruise director screams in the microphone near the main areas , restaurant and coffees so you can't enjoy this areas unless you can stand the LOUD annoucements he makes as he plays games. The Buffett was pretty highly traffic and loud. Seats very hard to find. The observation deck is where most people went and camped out all day, sleeping and sitting on the floors. It was soothing and quite a beautiful area. Bartenders here are the happiest We are pretty laid back and don't expect a lot but the basics are lacking on this ship. This cruise line charges you for everything they can think of and its wearisome. You reach for you wallet every minute. All said and done, this ship costs a great deal more than others that offer a much better product. From what we heard from fellow passengers, this cruise was not a good one. I would rate this cruise below average in food, service and entertainment. Honestly, we regret going on NCL. Princess, Royal or Celebrity would have been same dollar wise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We have been on 14 cruises and this was our first with Norweigan, there will not be a second. Of course what you enjoy is very personal, but we were very disappointed with the options on board for our teen and under 10 yr old. Basically, ... Read More
We have been on 14 cruises and this was our first with Norweigan, there will not be a second. Of course what you enjoy is very personal, but we were very disappointed with the options on board for our teen and under 10 yr old. Basically, you have the kids club (one of which housed kids from 3-12 in one area) or you spend money for the race track, laser tag, or arcade. They did have a couple of ping pong tables - for over 4K passengers. My youngest was crying when we picked him up from the one time he would go to the camp; they had not reached out to us at all and just said, “Well there are a LOT of kids in here tonight”). The teen last 30 minutes and checked himself out, refusing to return. The ship had movies we could attend together.... at 11pm that were decades old like Field of Dreams or Sully. Two of the musicals were not kid-appropriate at all and note that even the Jersey Boys has cursing in it if that is a concern for you. The menu was extremely repetitive. The same every day in the non-buffet for breakfast and lunch, a couple changes for dinner. Kids menu was pizza, hot dog, burger or chicken strips for lunch and dinner, not a vegetable to be had. And really odd offerings for the adults like “loaded potato skins” loaded with just crabmeat. The servers seemed very new. We had the wrong items brought to us often, they seemed perplex by their own ordering system, they would forget to take one member’s order, they were arguing in front of the guests, and stacks of plates were dropped on a daily basis. When I asked for soy milk for my youngest, I was told to go to the top of the ship, because nowhere else had it - this was while I was in the restaurant. Nearly every time, we had to call the server over to ask for a refills, perhaps they spread them out too thinly. While on one of the excursions, it was almost all Norweigan passengers and the guide receive a loud “No!” from almost everyone when she asked if they were feeding us well. We saw our room steward once on the entire cruise. Most of the time, we had to go to Guest Services to get the daily paper that gives the details off events or required forms. They left the bunk beds down each day, so that our room felt smaller than it already was. This may not seem so bad, but you are charged $15 per person per day (little kids included), so that was $420 for really lousy service for us. Also, they broke the handle on our new luggage and left it outside of our door without a word - if this happens to you, take it to Guest Services because they have to fill out a report if you want to fill out a claim afterwards. Again, the group that attending the towel folding session responded “No!” when asked if they had seen the towel animals shown because the majority had no turndown service over the cruise. We did like the observation lounge and the embark/disembark processes went smoothly. Alaska, of course, was absolutely gorgeous. However this was certainly not the cruise line for us. The kids have begged us not to go back (never a reaction to a cruise previously) so it will be “No!” to NCL for us. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Cruised with family. We had a great time! Food in the Local and LeBistro were fantastic, other venues was sub-par. Cagney's was a total letdown on this cruise. We have had much better on other cruises from that venue. Haven ... Read More
Cruised with family. We had a great time! Food in the Local and LeBistro were fantastic, other venues was sub-par. Cagney's was a total letdown on this cruise. We have had much better on other cruises from that venue. Haven room, restaurant, and bar were heavenly. Service was fantastic and food was outstanding. Our Butler (little Cindy) made our grand-daughter's day when she showed up with peanut M&Ms and gummy bears. Our cabin steward (Magic Mike) was fantastic at making animals for the kids every night and went out of the way to make sure they were happy with them. Had the worst margarita in my life from the A-List bar. If you like lime juice and no alcohol it will be perfect for you. Weather held out for us and had fantastic views of glaciers, mountains and sea. Thoroughly enjoyed the Prohibition and Jersey Boys. Go for a pedicure - they definitely pamper you. Kids loved the go-carts and the kids club. Our grand-daughter couldn't get enough of the virtual roller coaster and arcade. Thought that the prices for the excursions were way overpriced. Will do this cruise again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this particular cruise based availability for the week we wanted to travel, then compared cabin rooms between the 2-3 different cruise lines/ships. Our departure and arrival ports were Seattle. Our stops included Juneau, Skagway, ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise based availability for the week we wanted to travel, then compared cabin rooms between the 2-3 different cruise lines/ships. Our departure and arrival ports were Seattle. Our stops included Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and finally Victoria, BC. We had a great experience and I would definitely recommend this cruise. We had two balcony rooms next to each other on Deck 12. We paid for the mid-ship location but did not pay extra for the larger room which just gives you a larger bathroom/larger shower. Depending on the room layout and if you have the beds put together for a king size, it can be a little tight to get around the bed. No big deal but worth mentioning. The onboard entertainment was fun. We typically don't do the shows or games. I did like the live music they had at most times during the afternoon and evening in different locations. All the staff we encountered were helpful and friendly. My biggest (but small) issue was the unlimited soda/water package we got for our two teenage kids. Unlike Royal Caribbean who gives you a refillable cup and self serve stations to refill, on NCL the kids had to go to one of the bars and ask for a glass of soda. Not very convenient at all. For the amount of times this actually happened, I should have skipped this package and just ordered the sodas when my wife and I went up for a cocktail. We had the adult unlimited drink package so it would have worked out and saved us some money. I hope NCL changes this in the future. The fitness center is smaller on this ship than the ones we experienced on Royal Caribbean. I was still able to get on a treadmill when needed. Spin class was ok. The fitness manager/instructor was nice but I don't think he had much training as a spin instructor. Anyone who tells you to pedal at 130 to 150 rpms is in need of some training. They overbooked the first spin class since passengers could sign up in person or on their onboard app. Shore excursions were spectacular. In Juneau we did Alaska's Whales, Glaciers & Rainforest Trails by Gastineau Guiding. Grace was our guide and she was great. We saw whales and actually saw one breach the water. Awesome. In Skagway we splurged and did the Glacier Discovery by Helicopter with Temsco. If you can swing the expense, this is truly one of the best things I've ever done. Great guides as well. After Skagway the ship went thru the Glacier Bay area. Absolutely spectacular scenery and should be part of any Alaskan cruise. In Ketchikan we did Backcountry Jeep & Canoe Safari with Alaska Travel Adventures. Another great excursion. If you don't like a little off-roading and bumpy roads you may want to skip this one, but my family thought it was a great time. We did not do any excursions in Victoria. The ship was only there for 3.5 hours so we just meandered around town and bought a few souvenirs. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Juneau: I guess there are so many FAKE reviews for WHALE WATCHING. So i purchased Whale Watching with the Mendenhall Glacier and it was a waste of money! We paid $137.00 per person ( a deal compared to some of the other companies). ... Read More
Juneau: I guess there are so many FAKE reviews for WHALE WATCHING. So i purchased Whale Watching with the Mendenhall Glacier and it was a waste of money! We paid $137.00 per person ( a deal compared to some of the other companies). However, we saw a few whales so far away that it was stupid. You guys wanna see whales? Go to a decent aquarium like the one in Seattle instead!! Whale Watching is a total waste of time. Me and my hubby had a joke "you missed it" the entire trip. So you're on a boat and someone spots a whale; everyone goes running to that view and within seconds the whale is gone. You only see a slight of the whale and they consider seeing a whale if you see it snort and then see the tail. Again, this is 200 yards out (by law they have to maintain a 100-200 foot distance) and the view is nothing really. Skagaway: We did a glassblowing excursion. Cost was around $125 a person or so. Another disappointment! You don't get to pick which item you'll make. We were given ornaments: a round ball. It was cool to see how THEY make it. You kinda just get to point and say which 2 colors and which shape you want the round tiny ball to be. Ketchikan: Hovercraft. $299 a person (what a HUGEEEE dissapointment!) This was another WHALE WATCHING nonsense. You missed it!!!! oh look a wahle? SAW IT? NO? SORRY you missed it!! Hovercraft was not smooth and not fast. Oh the highlight was that it was 1 of the only 2 commercially operated hovercrafts in the USA. i paid $300 per person for that crap. THe good: Bliss was quite blissful. Great service great balcony rooms. I read reviews that you shoudln't book balcony rooms. DUMB! IT WAS THE best thing i did!!!! the balcony rooms were sooooo awesome. I loved waking up to that view. Overall, the best of Alaska tour was GLASIER BAY. Stunning views. awesome!. Food: Bliss has the most amazing buffet!! It was 6 out of a 5! No need to pay for extra restaurants. Complaint: Norwegian is not very nice when it comes to $$$. THe price of the balcony dropped 2-3 weeks after we booked to $200 per person ($200 * 4 = $800 LOSS) and we were 4 traveling (including the infant who was charged fully). They said they can give us $75per cabin ( we had 2) and when i got on the ship they said what credit? What are you talking about? I couldn't fight this on the ship. They said you have to wait for cruise to be over. The cruise is over and now they say write a letter. Very disappointing!!! Just for that I won't be taking Norwegian ever again. Principle of the matter and they're getting written up for it!!! DUMB OVER $150 BUCKS!!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My husband won a cruise from the casino. My husband play the tables and is very good at it. Our family call it his part time job, however he calls it fun. We cruise every other year on Royal Caribbean and when we received the cruise as a ... Read More
My husband won a cruise from the casino. My husband play the tables and is very good at it. Our family call it his part time job, however he calls it fun. We cruise every other year on Royal Caribbean and when we received the cruise as a gift we took a chance. First we upgraded the room etc. which cost over $2500.00. I cant live in an interior room on any cruise line. We left from New york $300.00 pier parking arrived @ 10 am. The pier was packed because of other events which was an inconvenience because we were left to look for other parking garages. None the less we were excited to get away. The Dawn was filthy, unable to capture the views because the windows were dirty/cloudy etc. The toilets kept getting backed up. The casino had no air condition, can you imagine smoke and no air. The crew didn't provide any pleasantries. The crew didn't thank you, smile and the dining room staff including the specialty restaurants were RUDE. The entertainment I would give 1 star same group of people doing something. The ship doesn't have many activities, trivia hosted by people who barely spoke English. There's nothing to do on the ship, not a slide, hang glide, bumper car, Broadway show. They have 1 pool for over 20000 guest which is deceptive in depth, too deep. The pool claim to be 6ft well over, my husband is 6'3 water well over his head. I couldn't wait to get off of this ship. Their private island is awful nothing to do there except to look at Royal Caribbean Island which had a slide and plenty of activities. I was so disappointed when we took our shore excursion to Atlantis we started to cut our losses and stay at Atlantis and fly back to New york and get our car. The bed was slat with a dip in it, mattress need to be replaced. I had to keep calling to housekeeping to have someone change the sheets. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with our first cruise on Norweigian Dawn from NYC. We both flew from Western Canada to join this cruise and we both were extremely impressed for the following reasons. First, the staff at ... Read More
My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with our first cruise on Norweigian Dawn from NYC. We both flew from Western Canada to join this cruise and we both were extremely impressed for the following reasons. First, the staff at Norweigian we're very helpful, energetic and amazing individuals. From the housekeeping, waiters, cooks, cruise staff, ship operations and entertainers these people are the back bone of your operation and I am very impressed how much preparation, thought and well executed everything was. We were very happy with the food experience as food in Garden Cafe (buffet) continually changed so often. Only lack lustre food was at Bamboo which was less than quality of food court Chinese food. The restaurants Aqua, Venetien, O'Sheehans were all fantastic with great food and great wait staff. All the ports of call were well organized and good options. This was the most excellent experience my wife and I have been on and we're very thankful to all the hard working staff. All the shows, comedian, magician and entertainers were amazing. The games were activities on board were fun too. Most shows/entertainment was geared towards demographics of 50-70 years old so therefore most of the songs we had no idea since we are in our early 30's. It would be nice to have songs that encapsulate a broader demographic. The ports of Port Canaveral wouldn't have enough time at Disney World (only 4 hours there) so we spent time at Disney Springs. There's not much to do at Disney Springs. Next time I think I would choose the Space station tour. At the Great Stirrup Cay it was an amazing little island with great service, beaches and fun snorkelling. At Nassau it was nice to see Atlantis. We were on Deck 5 and were quite happy with the accomodations having a window. The housekeeping was very good making sure everything was clean and in order. We were very happy with everything but we didn't win anything at Bingo, Deal or No deal, or got picked for any of the games. We would definately choose this ship or NCL again! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We had previously cruised with NCL. Consequently the cruise did meet our expectations but did not necessarily exceed those expectations. The staff throughout the ship were wonderful; entertainment and activities were very good; however, ... Read More
We had previously cruised with NCL. Consequently the cruise did meet our expectations but did not necessarily exceed those expectations. The staff throughout the ship were wonderful; entertainment and activities were very good; however, food was average. The food in the specialty restaurants was quite good and I would submit well worth the additional charges. Shore excursions were egregiously expensive and save and except for one or two excursions, the excursions were not very informative. While I understand that it is difficult to provide an overview of a city within 3 to 4 hours, I feel it is important to have the excursions provide some substantive content and allow passengers the opportunity to disembark from the coach and actually experience the city, e.g. a museum and actually see the landmarks. Some of the excursions were simply drive by without any real opportunity to see the landmark that had been pointed out. There was also essentially no time set aside for shopping or free time. Internet usage was also very expensive; it was essential for me to have access to the internet as I was still working on the cruise. Notwithstanding the aforesaid, we would cruise with NCL again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The destinations and timing were the primary reason for the selection of the ship after my family narrowed our choice of cruise line to NCL. My teenager selected the Joy because of its VR and go-kart track. This was our first time on the ... Read More
The destinations and timing were the primary reason for the selection of the ship after my family narrowed our choice of cruise line to NCL. My teenager selected the Joy because of its VR and go-kart track. This was our first time on the NCL line, so I spent many hours researching excursions and additional charges prior to leaving. However, some items are not obviously a good or poor value until you experience the cruise. More on additional costs later. My family arrived in Seattle early to visit local sites of interest to use prior to the cruise. The day and a half in Seattle ahead of the cruise was completely worthwhile. Pike Street Market, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Microsoft Visitor's Center (pretty far afield but of great interest to techies), the Space Needle, and trying local foods were all worthwhile. We used Uber to get to the ship from our hotel. Drop off and pick up at Pier 66 in Seattle is a rather scary and dangerous proposition. My family observed one fender bender and several near misses during drop off and pick up. The lanes for pick up and drop off have three minute limits with no clear enforcement and many drivers making their own lanes. I liked the staggered embarkation and debarkation. Although the lines were still quite long during both events, I suspect a less structured handling would have led to much worse lines. Getting on and off the ship at each port throughout the cruise was probably one of the best experiences I could imagine. The ship card for all services is another useful aspect of the cruise. Other than getting back on in some ports, the ship card was all anyone needed to get off or on the ship, to eat or drink, or to take advantage of any amenities. Unfortunately, the amenities often cam at an extra cost. If you wanted really amazing food, you pretty much had to go to one of the specialty restaurants, which cost extra. NCL offers the ability to prepay for these restaurants allegedly. It seemed like a good deal at ~$26 per person for each meal. Unfortunately, we found out that the prepaid meals were not honored by Food Republic, American Diner, or Teppanyaki. It turns out that American Diner SHOULD have been accepted but good luck getting that money back. I spent 30 minutes waiting in line a guest services to get the $42 spent credited back to my account only to find out the restaurant has to handle the refund. The restaurant staff never bothered to answer the call from guest services. So my ~$300 prepaid meals for four meals got me exactly one meal at Le Bistro that even with the choices my family made would have set us back a whopping ~$25 per person. Every place we had complimentary food was mediocre at best. The foods that were best were pastries and any Asian style foods. Eggs and Southern or Southwestern US foods were generally terrible. Another huge disappointment was the onboard activities. The ship offered game show after game show every day and the occasional dance party. The comedy shows were good and the Elements show was okay if you like modern dance mixed with magic. Footloose was a terrible movie and story, so we skipped that show. The various musicians were good but you can only listen to so many Rat Pack songs before those get old, too. The activities that were most enjoyable...cost extra. Go-kart, VR and Laser Tag all received high marks but were costly. Nearly everything extra also needed a reservation. We ended up spending at least a thousand dollars above the cost of the cruise for the meals, soda package, and onboard activities that were extra, The shore excursions were a mixed bag. I was happy with my decisions to manage my own excursions in Ketchikan and Victoria. We did a self-guided walking tour in Ketchikan and had a great time doing that but it was a significant physical effort even if the walk is only a couple of miles. We did a tour in Juneau to see the gold mine. It was informative but too short. Thankfully, when we ended up at the Alaska equivalent of the cruise line private island, we had a whaling excursion. This was probably the most valuable and enjoyable excursion we could have selected and at the right stop -- the stop designed to make more money for the cruise lines. Finally, in Victoria, we took the $10 CAD Victoria cab to downtown then walked around ourselves. For $20 CAD plus tip you can see the old hotels, the legislative buildings, an amazing park, and even set up a high tea (extra cost). Unlike the expensive trip to the Butchart Gardens, Beacon Hill is 55 acres of free beautiful park with flora and fauna to enjoy two blocks from the parliamentary building. The cruise staff and officers were all very nice and helpful. The ship was kept very clean and the crew took cleanliness seriously unlike some of the passengers who needed to learn proper buffet etiquette. Some of the highlights of the trip: Beautiful vistas at every stop Clean, well-kept ship Spacious cabins with good storage and steward service Excellent ship service Negatives outweighed the positives: Many extra costs Terrible value for meal packages Pepsi products for mixers (Rum and Pepsi, Bourbon and Pepsi, 7 and Sierra Mist?? These do not make sense) Terrible free activities onboard Limited shopping Mediocre free foods Read Less
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