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529 Norwegian (NCL) Fitness Cruise Reviews

I received a really good offer from a travel place and had never sailed Norwegian so thought I would try it. The food and the service were both awful. We tried several restaurants and each time the food was luke warm at best. We actually ... Read More
I received a really good offer from a travel place and had never sailed Norwegian so thought I would try it. The food and the service were both awful. We tried several restaurants and each time the food was luke warm at best. We actually had to go to the buffet after leaving one restaurant because my husband never got his meal. Our room steward never cleaned our room until late in the afternoon even when we were gone all day. He never vacuumed and rarely replaced the coffee or tea bags. They broke my husbands suitcase and after being told I could use my onboard credit for gratuities. I was charged the full amount and told I couldn’t. I lost $100.00 in onboard credits because of misinformation. Do not recommend this cruise line. It took us hours to go through embarkation. While this cruise took place during the beginning of the Coronavirus, the ship sanitization process was very unpredictable. We couldn’t play mini golf, but the casino was wide open and machines/chips were not sanitized. Overall the worst cruise experience I have ever had. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This is my second NCL cruise, and like the first one embarkation & disembarkation was the smoothest of all the cruises I’ve been on. (Been on Carnival and Royal Caribbean, 15 cruises in total) This ship never really felt crowed, ... Read More
This is my second NCL cruise, and like the first one embarkation & disembarkation was the smoothest of all the cruises I’ve been on. (Been on Carnival and Royal Caribbean, 15 cruises in total) This ship never really felt crowed, except a few times in the Garden Cafe - When people are breathing down you back to get an extra piece of bacon (I’m positive they didn’t run out of bacon). I thought all the bartenders were very attentive, specialty dinning was awesome, especially Moderno. My ATV excursion was cancelled the day before we arrived in St. Kitts - So we walked around, and that was a disaster. I’ll preface it by adding that we did that last year, and enjoyed the shopping area, and ventured into the town - and completely enjoyed it. However, this year we were bombarded by taxi drivers, monkey handlers, and hair braiders. And when I left the tourist shopping area, I become very concerned of suspect people watching and eyeballing my wife and me - So we immediately left and got back on the ship. Room service was very good, but my mini-suite was not worth the money. Very narrow, and the toilet and shower were situated separately, in which I would call a “pod”. Very strange!!!! And the deck for a mini-suite was on the small size. (I’ve had mini-suites on multiple ships and cruise lines, and this was the worst. Overall, we love cruises, and we’ll be on Breakaway in May with the entire family. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Whoever designed these ships most have been on some drugs. When you hold all your games and talks in the Atrium, which has future cruises, guest services and and tours, you are asking for trouble. You have to yell at the person you are ... Read More
Whoever designed these ships most have been on some drugs. When you hold all your games and talks in the Atrium, which has future cruises, guest services and and tours, you are asking for trouble. You have to yell at the person you are talking to. For a show in the Atrium, they put out folding chairs, pay all that money to sit in a folding chair. They have a very nice theater which is underused. Why not show a movie on a sea day. Food is now right bad. No taste, weird things and slow service, even if they remember who got what. We had 8 of us and they either forgot things or gave them to the wrong people. The paid restaurants were not much better, Japanese was good and Ocean Blue, might have been the best restaurant I have ever been in while on a cruise. Service Fantastic, food better then any other place on the ship. Footloose was great, the other shows not very good. Worst comedians that I have ever seen with the female comedian disgusting. Nice things, the cabin, although it was dirty when we arrived, the bathroom great. The crew very nice. When it takes an hour to board and close to two hours to get off there is something wrong. Our tour of LA was cut short. The tour was suppose to leave at 9 and we left at 11:15. Come on if you had a tour let us off first. Last time for this line. Just the little things that they make you pay for. Try another cruise line, if you want service and better food. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed on NCL Bliss on 14-day Western Caribbean cruises out of NYC so on Feb 2, 2020s. The ship visited Cape Canaveral. Great Stirrup Bay in Bahamas, Ochorios in Jamaica, George Town in Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, Maya coast and ... Read More
We sailed on NCL Bliss on 14-day Western Caribbean cruises out of NYC so on Feb 2, 2020s. The ship visited Cape Canaveral. Great Stirrup Bay in Bahamas, Ochorios in Jamaica, George Town in Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, Maya coast and Cozumel Mexico. Great cruise and good staff. We had a standard balcony cabin 12722 on deck 12 with plenty of room for the two of us. Nice ship with lots specialty restaurants good. Buffet was great - better quality food than the general dining (hotter, more variety, very nicely prepared and presented. The only 'complaint' is that there is too much salt added to food throughout. We don't use salt at home, so really notice it We didn't participate in any of the 'activities' like bingo or quiz shows but they had some good entertainment. the 'Beatles' group was standing room only at every show - they needed a bigger venue! They had a rock/pop band who did a good job, and the 'Jersey Boys' was a great performance. Six Boleyn was also good musical described life of King Henry VIII through his 6 wives. There was live music in moist lounges (District Brew House, Mojito bar, atrium and observation lounge). The observation lounge was a great place to get a comfy chair and snack, I spent my days there reading the book, “SEA OF POPPIES” by Amitav Ghosh describing the story of Opium production and trade by the British India company. ON 2nd day Sea day we had cruise critic meet and Greet met the GM of the ship. Sharon complained about lack of body lotion in the bathroom. He took our cabin number and instructed our room attended to supply steady supply of Bulgari body lotion. Afterwards I mentioned him today is Sharon’s birthday. After we came back from lunch our cabin was decorated with Happy birthday sign, Streamers and balloons. He also sent some specialty Chocolate, a bottle of wine. Sharon, her cousin and Aunt enjoyed the wine. I was not happy with luncheon menu at the main dining room. I complained to the Maître Dee. He said I should eat at taste of India. I looked up the Executive Chef Sreekanth Sundram and spoke to him. He informed me Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available for vegetarians at the” Taste of India”. Next morning to my surprise I had an excellent breakfast with Vada, Uthappam, Sambar, Chutney, poori, Potato, with Masala Chai. I also met Rohith Gokulakrishnan Executive Sous Chef from Chennai, Chef Balappan. Everyday I had a feast for breakfast, lunch and dinner We went on Shore excursion on Airboat and crocodile farm in Florida, tour of countryside of Jamaica, Roatan tour to see mangrove reserve, shipwreck and to a beach to watch a local show. Next day we visited the Maya ruins and spice farm in Belize. 9th we visited Mayan coast to see Mayan temple. At Cozumel we visited Mayan Chocolate Farms to learn about history of Chocolates use by Mayans and how Spaniards modified to fit the western taste. Then we visited Mayan Honeybee farm amid the forest. I learned there is no pure Mayan blood descendant, most of them descent of Mayan and Spanish descendants, the last Mayan died in 1850 Overall this cruise is excellent on a new ship with 4,000 capacity. May be less than 10% were people under 40 years old. Most of the guests were seniors, some on walking with Canes, others cruising around on their scooters which took most of the space on the elevators. We were on Deck 12. Most of the entertainments and dining rooms are on Deck 6-8. The Garden Café is deck 16 and lounge is on Deck 15. It is really a struggle to get into the elevators during breakfast, lunch and dinner time. There are 16 elevators for 4,000 peoples which is a handicap. Sometimes I used stairs with huffing and puffing. WE returned on Sunday the 16th after dropping Sharon’s aunt and cousin at the airport for their onward journey to the frozen tundra of Saskatchewan Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My BF and I were short on time but desperate to get away so the 5-day Western Caribbean itinerary to Belize and Mexico was perfect for us. We booked just prior to Christmas and got a great price. Food: We generally ate in the buffet ... Read More
My BF and I were short on time but desperate to get away so the 5-day Western Caribbean itinerary to Belize and Mexico was perfect for us. We booked just prior to Christmas and got a great price. Food: We generally ate in the buffet in the morning because we wanted to control our portions and wanted lots of choice. The aft outdoor location (Great Outdoors) was perfect and since we were up and at it early, it generally wasn't busy. This opened at 7:30 but sometimes we would grab specific items on the inside location and just take our plates outside. Overall the food would get a 3.5 - 4 out of five. We are super fussy, however I always found something to enjoy and generally was very pleased. My only complaint is watching people feel the need to carry two stacked plates at a time. We ate in Le Bistro at additional charge and it was well worth it. It ran about $100 CDN for two, gratuities included for three good courses. Cagney's was fully booked so we didn't get a chance to experience it. Indigo was very good and the atmosphere was much nicer for us than the main dining room (Summer Palace). If you do the buffet for lunch, don't miss the Indian/Indonesian food station. Some of the better butter chicken I've had, made very well and super fresh. Entertainment: For me, I would give the entertainment 5/5. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the performers and shows. Big kudos to Orly Penate and Alex Ortiz as well as the NCL person responsible for booking them. Absolutely fabulous! The final evening we took in the Legends in Concert show in the Stardust Theater. Great acoustics and lovely set up, comfortable seats. This show also wowed me in the quality. Don't miss it! Staff: Overall, the staff was very good. I think when some people think they are poor quality, they don't understand that for some, there is a bit of a language barrier and their job is incredibly hard. Eight months on, two months off is a tough gig. I wonder if NCL should consider different options or opportunities if they can find a cost-effective way to manage. Activities: If you can't find something to do that interests you on this ship... it's you, not them. I was disappointed in some of the guests and their need to do nothing but sloth by the pool, drinking too much. However, we found a great location every day and very much enjoyed the sun. We also signed up (at extra cost) to have full access to all of the classes at the fitness centre. Big shout out to Jared and Suynesh (sp?) for their attention, professionalism and knowledge. We very much enjoyed our interactions with both and it was worth the extra cost. Shore Excursions: For me, this is the chink in the armor on this trip. I found both ports to be pretty much a waste of time because I like to experience the authentic side of a country. They are overly commercial and a bit of a money grab. We did enjoy both beaches however and in Costa Maya we took a taxi to Mahahual where we found a great stand for empanadas and sopas. We ended up going back to the ship early and very much enjoyed how quiet it was on board lol. Overall a very nice experience with great people. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I decided to surprise my adult son with a cruise and spent months planning the trip. We were very excited about the trip and had excursions booked but couldn't decide about a specialty dining package so we chose to wait until onboard. ... Read More
I decided to surprise my adult son with a cruise and spent months planning the trip. We were very excited about the trip and had excursions booked but couldn't decide about a specialty dining package so we chose to wait until onboard. I've cruised before so knew what to expect but it was my son's first so it was important to leave a good impression. Embarking was quick and easy, despite waiting for over two hours at Enterprise for a shuttle. Our cabin was inside no window and incredibly small. We made it work but only had one electric port and our steward would not allow anything to remain plugged in while we were out of the cabin which was most of the time. (Make sure you have good batteries for whatever you are using for pictures!) We had the free drink package and headed to a smoking area H20 to grab our first drink. We ordered and were told no I'm not making that I will make you this, and were handed drinks! Not the best way to start off but we blew it off as a communication barrier or maybe he misheard us, and our second drinks were what we requested. Btw, they use some pretty awful drink mixes and a pina colada tastes horrid. There are only two smoking areas on the entire ship besides a small area within the casino, and they fill up fast. Standing room only if you don't get a seat. One is half of a side of a back deck called H20 and then a box of sorts on the 15th deck by the pool. We vape and felt like second class people stuffed into a noisy chatbot as if we were in time out. H20 played football on a large screen alot so if your not into the sports bar scene...good luck. No drink runners to be found any of the times I was in the casino and extremely tight slots. Bartenders so rude at poolside we ended up getting managers involved. Waited about 10 mins to be served and even though the bartenders were making eye contact, they kept helping others. It got so obvious we were being ignored that a group of other people were literally yelling at the staff to assist us!! Bartenders just looked at us and walked away!! We just stood there a bit dumbfounded but got taken care of by the supervisors after we said something. I hate to make complaints..I'm on vacation and nobody has time for that!! Cleaning staff was friendly and the staff at the buffet entrance were awesome. Room steward was punctual..cleaned twice a day and knew our schedule right off as well as our names. No cute towel animals the entire trip though. Missed two ports for weather-so they said. All inclusive days at the private island appear to be hard to come by if you read other reviews. Missed Costa Maya. We were refunded 12 dollars and change for those port misses. Lots of hidden charges on this ship. Drinks are taxed while in US port....and we had some random charge for seeing a comedy show in the theater but by the time this cruise was done and we reviewed our bill, we decided not to bother because the lines to everything were long and staff just wasn't all that friendly. The food was fair...some days really good, other days not so much. Big on handwashing but food was cooler than should be allowed and the seafood was usually undercooked with a strong fishy taste. I'm a huge seafood lover so that was also disappointing. Met a few people that got food poisoning right at the start of the cruise. We were only able to get one reservation for specialty dining so I'm glad we didn't buy the package. We went to LeBistro which was amazing!! Top notch food and service, a highlight for our trip really. Book things as early as you can, shows, tenders, etc or you won't get in or will have to wait in large crowds. Very disorganized. Elevators constantly full and hard to come by. Pool area incredibly small and chair savers made sure no room to lounge. Ship pretty much shuts down at 10pm unless you like nightclubs with the you get crowd. Pot smokers in the smokers box with staff right there. No one did a thing about it. Pot smokers in H20...no one batted an eye. The end of our trip was the straw that broke the camel's back. Our last night we pulled put everything to pack and decided to head to dinner before the packing began. We put on the do not disturb light so our steward wouldn't stroke out on the mess we made and headed out. We had been very diligent utilizing our safe for valuables up to this point but felt safe with our light on knowing we wouldn't be too long. WRONG!!! We came back to find that someone had placed our shore bought liquor in the room and we were missing a kindle tablet and sunglasses that were on our desk before we left!! My son went to guest services about the sunglasses but we knew for a fact the kindle was there because I was going to plug it in and decided against it last minute. I was pretty much in shock knowing that someone breached our security despite the do not disturb light on and failed to make a claim until we got home the day after disembarking. After making a claim I emailed the VP of guest services Paula and was told an investigation would be done. Was later told it was our steward who brought the liquor, and that the security cameras showed him opening our door and placing things inside but that he didn't go in. HA!! Our bottles were in next to our desk...where the missing kindle was placed ....and unless his arms are 8 feet long, he DID absolutely go inside!! After a back and forth with her I realized nothing would come of it (obviously lied to me about not entering the room) and even though things were taken, the biggest issue as far as I'm concerned was that someone came in with a do not disturb light on!! What if I had been in the shower, or worse???? Worst guest service ever!! Will never, ever book again with this cruise line. Save your money!! The service is barely rateable and it appears to be a crooked company with the crap I encountered. Despite it all...our vacation was fun but NCL won't be getting another red cent from our family!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was a Christmas cruise and did not disappoint. The ship is in fine condition, the gym is new and excellent, food was great, but most of all, the entertainment was the best we've ever seen on a cruise. Every single bit was ... Read More
This was a Christmas cruise and did not disappoint. The ship is in fine condition, the gym is new and excellent, food was great, but most of all, the entertainment was the best we've ever seen on a cruise. Every single bit was outstanding - the magician, the comedian, the acrobat, and most of all, the dancers. They use a live band and these dancers are so good, so professional and so entertaining that I actually LIKED watching them ... and I'm not usually into watching such things. How they worked the magician into the "Elements" show was just superb, and he's just a guest entertainer. Wow! As for the food, we enjoyed Teppanyaki enough to do it twice but discovered that Cagney's is actually better food. The service on this cruise was also first rate; unfortunately we had to call in a complaint about our next-door neighbor smoking on the balcony after putting up with it for the first two days ... his smoke would blow right into our balcony and our room. NCL spoke to him twice before he finally quit ... or we just didn't notice it anymore. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This year my family and I decided to take a cruise to celebrate the Christmas holiday. We took the 7 day our of Puerto Rico. We had a total of 12 people (6 Adults and 6 Children). Here is the review. Check in: Be aware that this ... Read More
This year my family and I decided to take a cruise to celebrate the Christmas holiday. We took the 7 day our of Puerto Rico. We had a total of 12 people (6 Adults and 6 Children). Here is the review. Check in: Be aware that this takes time. The road to the cruise terminal is a two lane street. Prepare yourself that it takes about an hour before you get on the ship. Once you get to the terminal, its fast. Food: The food was great as always. Really enjoyed the complementary restaurants as well as the specialty restaurants. Whats awesome about the Epic is the Chinese restaurant is included. Very nice. The Manhattan room was our favorite in terms of atmosphere. French is our favorite for the specialty restaurant. Beverage: The open bar feature is the best at sea. Almost all call brands are included, and they allow you to get 2 drinks at a time. Plenty of options and service is fast. Best value at sea. Cabin: Our cabin was an inside room with plenty of room for two people. Three or Four maybe a little tight. Everything worked and it was very clean. The beds are very comfortable. Service: This is really one of the best part of our trip. The service was excellent. Everyone was in a great spirit. The hotel director (Nelson) was always interacting with guests and making sure everyone was having a good vacation. Bartenders and Servers went above and beyond your expectations. Entertainment: The kids loved the watersides and the bowling alley. Kids club kept them occupied and they met some new friends. The Shows are great and are similar quality of what you find on Broadway. Ports: This was a very heavy port focused cruise. We enjoyed all of the islands and was nice to see islands that we normally wouldn't go to. Overall, we all had a great time. Very nice to be on the boat during the holiday season. The cruise line made a big effort to spread the holiday cheer. Will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The ports of call were tourist traps. Belize was NOT a good port, as it was a small area of shops and a pool built for NCL to dump off the passengers. It is not anywhere near the "real" Belize. Each port was the same, a ... Read More
The ports of call were tourist traps. Belize was NOT a good port, as it was a small area of shops and a pool built for NCL to dump off the passengers. It is not anywhere near the "real" Belize. Each port was the same, a tourist trap. Cozumel would have been a good port, but it was scratched due to high winds. The food was not good enough for everyone that I talked to. Everybody was complaining about the poor choices and poor quality of the food. The embarkation and debarkation in Tampa was not organized. NCL is short handed. Also, this ship seemed to be a training ship as several of the crew were "learning" about being a crew member on this ship. The attitude of many of the crew was not friendly, as if they were just passing time, and could not care less about the passengers, such as in the O'Sheehan restaurant and in the other reastaurants, as the greeters are working solo when there should be at least two more people at each restaurant in order to seat the passengers. This is a bare bones type of cruise as everything is a la carte. If you want to connect to the NCL cellphone service for ONLY on the ship, passenger to passenger, they charge $10 per cellphone to connect. The payout at the bingo is rediculous. They are paying out less than 20% of the amount collected for bingos. On the last day of bingo, there were several hundred passengers playing, and the 3 bingo winners got a total of approximately $1500, when they charged an amount in excess of at least $9000 to play, as we calculated. The Casino did not pay out at all. Everyone was complaining about that. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, DO NOT BOOK THE DAWN, as you will be disappointed if you are a seasoned cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
So before I start this is my first review I have ever done. This alone should show my dissatisfaction with this cruise line. After being on multiple cruises we decided to book a Norwegian Cruise, as we had not been on this cruise line ... Read More
So before I start this is my first review I have ever done. This alone should show my dissatisfaction with this cruise line. After being on multiple cruises we decided to book a Norwegian Cruise, as we had not been on this cruise line yet. Typically we do one cruise per year with a group of friends. This year we had a group of 13 leaving out of New Orleans, LA traveling to Cozumel and Progresso Mexico on the Norwegian Getaway. Having been to both ports we all knew what to expect, however, everyone was excited for a new cruise line that we were thinking was an upscale cruise. This was not the case. I'll start with the ship. The ship was very well kept. It had a different layout than we were used to but no big deal. Typically the Atrium surrounds all the busy floors. The Atrium was a total of 3, maybe, 4 levels. These levels stretched both forward and aft with different venue's in each floor. My complaint about this is the venue's were extremely small, not near big enough to accommodate everyone. The bars, especially the live entertainment, such as Sid's Pour House, was typically shoulder to shoulder with no room to sit. This bar was by far the best spot on the ship. The staff. Horrible. Any time we went to any staff member whether it was the bartender, customer service, waiter/waitress, etc. we all felt as if we were an inconvenience to them. Very few staff members seemed happy to be on the ship. As a matter of fact, one of the servers from our specialty dining stated this was his first Norwegian and would also be his last the day we arrive back to port. This shipped was understaffed. On the Pool Deck there were 2 bars surrounding the pool. These bars typically had only 2 bartenders in each. Drinks on average took 15-20 minutes to get. There were very few bartenders walking around on the top decks as well, where the lounge chairs were. IF you were lucky enough to find one it was most likely a 30 minute wait. Nickel and Diming. There was always something they would try to charge you for, even if you had paid for it. We had purchased the beverage packages as well as upscale dining, etc. Well folks, be prepared to spend more money when you get on this ship as it in no way is all inclusive. The spa, what a joke. Upwards of $200 for a spa pass, and yes you have to pay this if you want to do something as simple as the sauna or steam room. Walking past the spa was like being chased down by a timeshare salesman. Food. Woof. All I wanted when I got back was a basic fast food cheeseburger. I would rather eat a lifetime of frozen dinners than set foot back in their buffet. The food was sub-par for any standard. The main dining was OK but nothing to write home about. Upscale dinning's were a little better but I could just as easy go to a restaurant at home or cook my own meal and be just as happy. After meeting multiple people on the cruise that had the same complaints we knew there was something wrong and it was not just us. I will gladly take a Carnival any day over this line. Norwegian should do a better job as advertising themselves as a "budget" cruise line. If you are truly looking for a good vacation Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, or Princess cruises offers a hands down experience, My advice - #nevernorwegian Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Caribbean cruise to San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola with NCL. Overall okay but not worth the money. The pool was either closed or half full of water. When open, the water was ice cold. The big water slide was closed on the entire cruise. ... Read More
Caribbean cruise to San Juan, St. Thomas and Tortola with NCL. Overall okay but not worth the money. The pool was either closed or half full of water. When open, the water was ice cold. The big water slide was closed on the entire cruise. Paying an extra $1000 for family access to the Mandarin Spa, you would NOT expect it to be overfilled with people and the toilets not working. Paying through the roof for unlimited streaming WiFi, you would expect it to be streaming and not below 1Mbps 99% of the time. Paying full price for the virtual reality section and then discover that hardly half of the things we're working and the staff just giving excuses. Have cruised on Escape and Bliss, we found that the selections in the Garden Cafe were minimal. Some staff extremely friendly and helpful but this time we discovered more staff than earlier who was not very friendly. The outside bar on deck 8 had one waiter and a long line, then suddenly he walked away, and nobody came back for more than 30 minutes. Not a big deal as there are plenty of other bars, but it's just not what you expect. The ship was rolling all the time as we have never experienced before, but maybe their stabilizers were not working (as many other things) on this trip. We have this sneeking feeling that Norwegian is trying to save in a lot in different areas. We love the free style cruising and the fact we can eat when we like. On this cruise we were not alowed in one day to the Garden cafe for a late lunch. They explained the Garden cafe was closed but would open later for dinner. We never had that experience on Escape or Bliss. The wait time at the go cart track came to about 45 minutes despite reservation. The safety breefing was done by a staff member sitting in a cart with all drivers outside the fence and we could hear nothing. The carts despite being electric was fast enough and it was fun to try. However we think that there is too much go cart track on the ship and too little open space for guests in the pool area that most of the time was over crowded. On the last day we tried to get information about disembarkation procedures and times but could find nothing in the cabin or on the TV. We called Guest Services multiple times, but they never answered the phone. But no worries, we did get off although it was a heck of a walk through the ship and terminals and took more than an hour. We spent like $8,000 plus for three people and did not feel it was worth the money. NCL emailed a survey today, and after answering for 20 minutes and being 65% finished, they asked if I would give a review on Cruise Critic and when I answered yes, the survey was terminated abruptly, and I was sent to the NCL homepage. No "thank you screen" for spending time giving them honest feedback. Overall it's hard to see why we would choose Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Went with another couple, they picked this cruise. Our first cruise, a 7 day western Caribbean. We got a thermal spa access with the balcony, well worth it. Our steward Roberto was the nicest man, anything that we needed all we had to ... Read More
Went with another couple, they picked this cruise. Our first cruise, a 7 day western Caribbean. We got a thermal spa access with the balcony, well worth it. Our steward Roberto was the nicest man, anything that we needed all we had to do was ask. Turn down service, directions, suggestions, Roberto was the man. We also bought the drink package and included on the 3 specialty dinning package. Our first specialty was the Cirque de Dream/Steam, it was the best meal that we had the entire time. The costumes before the show are amazing. The show itself was really good. Moderno, I wouldn't do it again. What a waste. Got seated, no spoons for the soup at the salad bar, then our server left us for dead, almost died of thirst before I could get a refill on my water. Meats weren't that special, and if you expect a dress code, this is it: No ball caps. Pretty much everything else went, flip flops, shorts, tee shirts, at least I didn't see swimwear. Cagney's, you're going to wait, wait, and maybe wait some more, then you're going to wish that you had saved that money for a good steak at Saltgrass, Texas Road House, hell even IHOP. The pool bars are chaos and it seemed that only Raphael knew how to make a banana daiquiri. Bob and his magic show was funny, both times that we went. If you're thinking about catching any show at Syd Normans, get there early, and be ready for it to be crowded, no max capacity crowded, we ran for our lives crowded. Taste, Savor and Tropicana all have the SAME menu. You'll be so sick of the same 5 tv shows that you got to watch in your stateroom. All in all a great cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose the NCL Bliss, because it is big and new and will bring us to our long planned destination -- South Caribbean. Unfortunately, captain announced after get onboard that we had to skip Puerto Rico due to waves (each passenger got $16 ... Read More
We chose the NCL Bliss, because it is big and new and will bring us to our long planned destination -- South Caribbean. Unfortunately, captain announced after get onboard that we had to skip Puerto Rico due to waves (each passenger got $16 refund.) The previously NCL advertised Free bar, Free shore excursions, Free WIFI, Free specialty dining were not available at all. (You probably have to pay more to upgrade your cabins.) Forgot to bring books to read? Playing ping pong was then a major activity for many of us to kill time. (New ship has no basket ball court.) It was a really disappointment. The indoor game has been still placed on an almost open area, though mostly covered ceiling. Wind and rain blowing through the open glass panels and balls flying in all directions or ditches. You had to chase balls towards underneath many beach chairs. The glaring sun beans made players put sun glasses to play in the afternoon. The dim light made playing almost impossible after 5:00pm. The worst scenario was that ping pong balls kept shooting out of ship and fell into the sea. Shame on NCL to pollute the sea! It might be the similar set up on other cruise ships. Cannot understand why they did not cover up the glass panels like lower deck and put up some boards around to curb balls. I promise that will be a good attraction if they did so. I will not choose Bliss or NCL if it's not improved. Many people also complained about the Garden Café (buffet) whose food has never changed through the 12 days. Indian taste section was authentic prepared by Indian chef, but had attracted very few people. Hope they will add other Asian taste like Chinese. Other dilemma is that in public areas, you did not know which direction you were heading. Garden Café is at the front while the gym is afterward. You could tell between staterooms, as the little fishes tell you the direction. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was suppose to be a trip of a lifetime to Hawaii ! The coordination between the NCL cruise line and the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort was poor. Even though the rooms were prepaid we had to wait in line for almost 2 hours to check ... Read More
This was suppose to be a trip of a lifetime to Hawaii ! The coordination between the NCL cruise line and the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort was poor. Even though the rooms were prepaid we had to wait in line for almost 2 hours to check into the hotel. There was no representative at the hotel from NCL to coordinate the land portion of the tour. Once on the ship, we were amazed at the lack of service from our room steward/stewardess. We had to leave daily reminders (in writing) to get anything done. Many of the help in the restaurants were either surly or rude. The entertainment was good, the shows were lively, the comedian was great, the magician was amazing. The quality of the food was good, not great. The Asian food choices were very limited. Being in Hawaii we were expecting more variety. The specialty dining rooms were overall disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
If you utilize Cruise Critics, you are somewhat obligated to review your cruises as they happen. I would like to follow-through on that commitment. I recently went on the NCL Getaway, November 24, 2019 to December 1, 2019. It departed ... Read More
If you utilize Cruise Critics, you are somewhat obligated to review your cruises as they happen. I would like to follow-through on that commitment. I recently went on the NCL Getaway, November 24, 2019 to December 1, 2019. It departed out of the port of New Orleans. Understand the Reviewer: I am 62. My first cruise was when I was 22 for my honeymoon. That was a stateroom with now windows and bunk beds on the NCL SS Norway. It was a great cruise and one of the best cruise experience. My wife and family have gone on over 20 cruises over the years. 10 years ago, my family started to cruise in suites class. Our family motto is, “Any cruise is what you make of it. Do the details up front, engage with people and go with the flow.” I am a very detailed person. I love to study everything about a cruise prior to going on it. This cruise was no exception. I love the process so take that under advisement when reading this review. Overview: To fully understand this review, I will start by saying we were in the NCL Haven Spa Suite. So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Said elephant is the question, “Is the Haven worth the premium?” The answer is, YES (to my wife and myself). Quite frankly in every way. This cruise was one of the very best of my 40 years of cruising. From start to finish, it was as close to perfect as possible. Happy to explain below, just needed everyone to understand a bit about me and that my review focuses on my Haven Experience. Pre-Cruise: I received a U.S. Mail letter from NCL Haven Desk 60 days prior. It welcomed me to the upcoming cruise and the fact that I was staying in the Haven. It gave me a phone number and an email to take care of any of my needs prior to boarding. I took full advantage of that offer. I had them fix my specialty restaurant reservations and times; excursion data; confirmation on perks; need for special water for my CPAP and especially the Premium Plus Drink Program. These few details only scratch the surface of my pre-cruise requests. It is very important to note that having this advanced ability to handle details, made a huge difference for this or any future cruise. Embark: Got to the port at 10:45 AM. Through security in less then 2 minutes. Found the Haven check-in area. Check in was 10 minutes tops, with no wait. My wife and I were escorted to the Haven Guest pre-boarding port lounge. The lounge was private, a bit small and kind of make shift. Still very nice. A cup of coffee and my first of many smoked salmon snacks was being consumed within 20 minutes of arriving at the port. In the lounge for about 15 minutes waiting on the ship to be cleared. Once cleared, we were escorted to the ship and up to the Haven lounge where the party started instantly. We were given sliders, a welcome aboard drink and waited a few minutes for the Haven Restaurant for lunch. They offered either the Haven Restaurant or Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for our lunch. Little hint, do the Haven Restaurant and get the huge pork chop. Another note, while at the port, they will give you a drink eventually. The issue is they must charge you tax even if you have the beverage package and it is a pain in the butt for them. Dinning: Dinning was the best I have every had on any cruise, ever. I am not talking about the specialty restaurants, buffet or main restaurant. I am talking about the Haven Restaurant. Last year I had a similar experience on the Celebrity Equinox in their suites restaurant called the Lumina. Similar however the Haven was better in every way from food, staffing and service. • Haven Restaurant: Only for Haven Guests. Even though the menu never changed from day to day, it was simply incredible. The service, attention to detail, quality and taste. My wife and I started the cruise on the Keto diet. We both lost huge weight prior to cruising. We stayed on Keto for most of the cruise. I lasted 6 hours on day one until I cheated BIG. It was on the chocolate cake alamode and it was earth shattering. I had it three more times during the week. My favorite meal is and will always be breakfast with French press coffee; steak & eggs; smoked salmon; almond Danish and the list goes on. The plates were heated so the food stayed warm. Everything was cooked perfectly. Lunch was no different. Three-inch pork chop; poached salmon; and chief salad were just a few choices. Dinner I had some of the best prime rib of my life. Flawless in all accounts. I really like to eat but I am also super picky. • Cagney’s Steak House (Cost Option): Save you money folks. This steak house is average to below average at best. It used to be something special. The only reason we went there was because we got four (4) specialty restaurants as perks. Now don’t get me wrong, it was OK and a cut above Outback™, especially the service and atmosphere. Remember I said I was picky. I was hoping for a GREAT steak like at a New York steakhouse. • La Cucina Italian (Cost Option): Not spectacular but had promise. The bread looks better than it really was. I had a filet mignon that was huge and good. The rest of the meal was good but not memorable. Service was average which was surprising. We skipped the desert and went back to our suite. We called our butler (I love saying that) and had him bring us the incredible chocolate cake alamode from the Haven and coffee. So darn good. Not Keto. • Le Bistro French (Cost Option): Now we are talking. Let me say that this was a perk from American Express Platinum Card. If you paid for your entire cruise on the card, you got $300.00 on board credit and dinner for two at Le Bistro. Lovely from start to finish. I had the veal and it was good. What made it better was the presentation which was a huge stainless steam cap pull off to display the course. The bread was over the top and the sauce on the veal was to die for. My desert was three scoops of vanilla ice cream, in a French pastry, topped with three different kind of chocolate candies and finally hot chocolate sauce. Don’t miss this place. • Ocean Blue Seafood (Cost Option): The best clam chowder ever. Great bread. The fish selection was very good. I have a habit of doing way too much red meat. If I say I liked this restaurant, then it must be good. I have to say. We said next to a couple that was our entertainment for the evening. They were married forever and seemed like they hated each other. She was so loud and never stopped talking to us. He did not say much but rolled his eyes at his wife all night. It seems as the story goes, she gambles a lot and this cruise was a perk. Yet they argued about the coast of the appetizer. Great dinner show. • Buffet (Complementary): It was exactly what you would expect a buffet to be. Looks great, lots of average food and filling. My wife was still doing Keto and she got a piece of pizza. She scraped off the meat and cheese and said it was good. I am old and have had my fair share of cruise buffets. To each his own. • O’Sheehan’s Bar and Grill (Complementary): I hated it. I was spoiled by this time. My wings were just OK, and my burger was a hockey puck. I did not eat my food. We left and went to the Haven pool. There I got a cheese burger with not bun. It was great. Take my advice and just go to the buffet. • Final Note: I only review where I eat. Lots of food choice on this ship. I am also not a foodie. I like basic things like meat, fish and chicken. If I am at McDonalds, I know what I am going to get and enjoy it. If I am at a bar and grill, a McDonalds burger won’t due. All that said, if the food served is bad or just not to my liking, I don’t eat it. When I do, I liked it. Adult Drink Package: Here we go again with the Elephant in the room. “Is it worth it?” NCL usually gives the “Premium Drink Package” as a perk. It is a very nice perk and you should take it if you drink at all. I got that perk and upgraded to the “Premium Plus Drink Package” for about $250.00 per person per week additional. Think I am crazy, “nah, nah, I say!”. My reasoning; I was on vacation and we like nice wines and alcohol. Let’s start with how my wife and I used this package. At lunch and dinner, this package allowed my wife to get a bottle of great wine. Not all wines so the ones you can order has a star next to them on the wine menu. The bottle was listed at $89.00 a bottle. My wife usually drinks $9.95 litters. Therefore, this wine was the ultimate treat for her. If she did not finish the whole bottle at the meal (she did sometimes finish it), it would be delivered to the room at no extra charge, DING. Bottle water (with and without gas), energy drinks and specialty coffees were not included on the regular drink package. These were included on the Premium Plus Drink Package. I love bottled water and took it back to the room if not finished. There was no $15.00 per drink limit on the Premium Plus Drink Package. I was drinking Cuervo 1800 silver, spectacular red wine by the glass all week. They lost money this trip on our drink package, I assure you. I am now home going cold turkey at home on the 12-step program. That is a joke and I mean no ill intent. Haven Suite: On this cruise, my wife and I had a Haven Spa Suite. It was very nice yet not the nicest suite we have ever had. Not a very large suite with a rather small veranda. In the room, it did have a Jacuzzi built for two that allowed you to see out the huge window at the sea. The spa suite comes was complementary access to the Spa Thermal Facilities. Now that was a very nice perk. The suite bed, bedding towels, robe, in-room espresso machine all were over the top from a quality standpoint. This was the least expensive Haven suite ($2,099.00 per person), it was perfect for my wife and me. Future side note, I am taking my family of five (5) in a huge Haven two-bedroom Family Villa on the brand new NCL Encore in May 2020. Now that will be a suite to be remembered. No complaints about the Haven Spa Suite though. Just book it early before they sell out. Room Steward: We drove him nuts. First as part of my planning, we had everything in the mini-refrigerator that cost additional taken out. We would leave and come back to quickly for him to get the room completely finished. He never complained. Then we finally got the idea on the button’s located on the side of the door. Press one button, the room steward would clear your room. From then on, we were all in sync. His tip was part of the $18.00 per person per day while in the Haven. Butler: I studied on past cruises what to do with the butler. I had a two-page document with all our needs and requests. I told you I was very detailed. Everything from no candy, cookie, fruit or sugar snacks due to being on the Keto Diet. Special water for CPAP Machine. Replace the complementary champagne with Wine. Nuts, cheese and meats would be our afternoon snack. We ordered breakfast room service once and desert once. The main reason for this was the room was too small for full meals. Every item we outlined or needed was handled. I tipped him $100.00 at the end of the week. Entertainment: The best of any cruise ship for many years. I did not do everything, but I did do more then I have ever done in the past. Let me break it down: • Burn the Floor: This was incredible. From start to finish, high powered Latin dance. My wife is super critical on these shows. We can sit up front but choose to sit in the last row on the isle, so we can leave early and not embarrass ourselves. Not this time. When the show was over, my wife was the first one on her feet doing a standing ovation. I was right after her. Broadway quality. • Million Dollar Quartet: This was a Broadway show. It is about four past superstars of music and how they met for one session, on one night for Sun Records. What made this show great was the actors were also doing all the music and singing. Very talented folks doing a really nice job. Again, completely professional with a quality cast. • Other Entertainment: There was a dinner theatre show but we did not attend. We heard good things about it. I personally did not want to waste an evening with average food. There was a wine lover show, another pass for us. I did not hear much about the comedy shows except they were very crowded and first come, first seated. Activities: So many to do and not enough time to do them. Here are some of my favorites. First and foremost, the water slides. Even at 62 years old, they were awesome. Game shows in main area done very well. Thermal Spa was awesome. Cigars in the Haven Sun deck was simply over the top for me. I went to the humidor room however it was small and being outside was much more enjoyable. Excursions: I have been on many cruises. After going on some good and bad excursions, I have my Favorite. It was and always be Cabana’s or Bungalows. These are also the most expensive excursions. On this cruise, it is the same. We did the “All Inclusive Bungalow” on Rutan. Great time even though the tender ride was one hour off the ship. We also did the Tequila tasting which was educational, fun and very much recommended. We had a Snorkel and Catamaran trip, but the waters were to choppy. Conclusion: My wife and I had a GREAT time. Was it perfect? Never is on any cruise. The key is take responsibility for your own cruise. I learned that lesson early on when cruising. Yes, the Haven is worth every penny. However, once you do Haven, there is no going back. I had a plan going on this cruise, I worked my plan and finally my plan worked out. Preparation is everything and reduces disappointment. The one thing I will say, I was completely impressed with every member of the crew and staff. Not just in the Haven; on the entire ship. Anyone who reads this and doesn’t know me personally, I am a very tough critic. Let me tell you, I am NOT easy to please. I had such a good time and loved the size of the ship so much, I cancelled my upcoming June 2020 NCL Pearl cruise and re-booked the NCL Encore in May 2020. I hope the time I took to do this review helps you decide. Happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This being my first cruise I wasn't sure what I would expect. I live on Long island so driving to Manhattan Cruise terminal was not a big deal. Arrived early walk through security very quickly. Waiting no more than 15 to 20 minutes. ... Read More
This being my first cruise I wasn't sure what I would expect. I live on Long island so driving to Manhattan Cruise terminal was not a big deal. Arrived early walk through security very quickly. Waiting no more than 15 to 20 minutes. Proceeded to go to the line that matched our edocs. just one tip this is where they give you your boarding number. Then proceeded to go to check in and set up our pictures and cruise cards. Then we took one picture by picture of the ship. ( and let me add this was the only time during the whole entire cruise that anyone bothered us to take a picture, we did see photographers and if you chose to take a picture we could have spoke to them. So people who say that they are bothered and they're very pushy are extremely exaggerating). Sat down and waited to be boarded. As I was sitting down I realized everyone but us had a boarding number. Ask one of the crew members that were they are what we should do, he told us as soon as they start calling numbers come up to him and he'll put us in a line. So we were able to board the ship right after the Haven customers. The whole process took maybe 40 minutes at most before we were on the ship and drinking. The ship itself was very very clean and beautiful. I will say that the smell of smoke is very strong in the casino. We were on the ship even before anyone was in the casino smoking,so if you're sensitive to smoke I can see it being a problem. Immediately booked our shows and change some dinner reservations. Very easy to do at the touch screens. Found another bar and had a few more drinks. Had the ultimate drink package that was one of our perks in the cruise and I would never cruise without one. Nothing that we drank the whole Cruise was over the $15 limit..No need to switch and pay for the more premium drink package it's not necessary. Had lunch in the Savoy restaurant. It was practically empty, I'm sure everyone was at the buffet or at the pub. By the time we were done with lunch our room was ready. We were on the 15th floor in the back of the ship with an angled balcony. The rooms I can see being on the small side but for two people it was more than enough,four people though I can see it being a tight squeeze. We had extra space on all balcony which was wonderful. But I will say if you're prone to seasickness definitely do not have the back of the ship cabins. You can really feel the ship moving. Met our room Stewart, Rochelle, immediately. She was absolutely wonderful the whole trip. Anything we needed we got. Our room was always clean and neat. Not a problem at all. By this time we attended the muster drill, it took about 30 minutes and it was over we proceeded to go to" it's 5 somewhere bar"and sit outside for departure. Got to see everything from this location, all the buildings, statue of liberty, and it was beautiful. Then because the weather is still a little cold in November in New York we went to the spa. We paid for the weeks pass prior to leaving, and it was worth every penny. It was wonderful and we never had a problem of anyone from the spa trying to upsell us any of their products or sessions. Also it would be quite impossible for people who don't have the pass to sneak into the spa. You have to go past the whole entire desk of employees and they have to open the door with a different key. You also have to leave your card at the front desk. So people who left other reviews stating that anyone can get in the spa is a lie.The only negative thing about the spa was that the snow room was closed. It wouldn't be much of a big deal if I happen to know that it was closed and August and also October. So it doesn't look like it's a priority to Norwegian to fix. Would have loved to gone from the steam room to the snow room. But even with that it was worth the money. I would have to say that all the food even at the buffet was very good. Service in the restaurants that come with the cruise was excellent. We never received are meal right on top of our appetizers. The servers in those restaurants do an excellent job. All the bar staff that we dealt with through the cruise was top-notch. Allall the crew that we've came in contact with throughout the whole entire ship was always smiling polite and happy. Never saw anyone that wasn't smiling.Hardly ever had to wait for a drink at all. Went to the two specialty restaurants, and they were also very good. At the Brazilian steakhouse BBQ I will say that the service was a little slow. We also saw all the shows that the ship had to offer. I felt they were all done very very well. Not everyone has the same taste, but the cast and everything we saw was top-notch. The pool itself I will completely with most reviews I've read, is very very small for 4,000 people. We spent most of our time up in the spice H2O lounge which was adults only. But the cruise being in November when most children have school there weren't many kids on the ship. If you have a problem dealing with children I would suggest taking a cruise when school is in session. Disembarking the ship in Manhattan was a little chaotic. The elevators open on people on the lines, everyone yelling not to cut them off, not enough Norwegian crew out to keep the lines in order. But got on top of it as quickly as they could, and it only took about 45 minutes to disembark the ship with the self checkout. I would highly recommend Norwegian to anyone who would like to take a cruise. Enjoyed the trip immensely. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We went on this cruise to get a good sampling of the Southern Caribbean. The service was excellent and all of the staff were truly happy to part of your vacation. I have mixed feeling about the freestyle cruise.On one hand I enjoyed the ... Read More
We went on this cruise to get a good sampling of the Southern Caribbean. The service was excellent and all of the staff were truly happy to part of your vacation. I have mixed feeling about the freestyle cruise.On one hand I enjoyed the freedom and flexibility, it also I believe lead to some fast food attempts for some at the restaurants. Although we did not travel with kids, there were a lot of onboard activities and areas for kids. These areas were somewhat out of the way so those that did not have kids wouldn't necessarily know there were any onboard, a very good design. The activities on at see days were great for learning culture history and being entertained, the staff were excellent and really made the trip worth while. Overall I would definitely consider using Norwegian again over the 3 others cruise lines I have traveled with. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
because of need, requirement!, to reserve show times i never saw a show. both early showings of jersey boys where reserved out by 4.30 on day of sailing and could sign up on line before cruise. boat had not left the dock and i could ... Read More
because of need, requirement!, to reserve show times i never saw a show. both early showings of jersey boys where reserved out by 4.30 on day of sailing and could sign up on line before cruise. boat had not left the dock and i could not reserve a seat. many of the other shows had same requirement -- did not see a show!! spa was a complete rip off -- they wanted more for 7 day cruise then i paid on longer cruise, 12-21 days. after heavy handed spa tour where u are solicited for all their service u are provided card for free drawing BUT u most be present to win. if i had been told that i had to come back at 5.30 to win i would never have submitted myself to 20 minutes of time share type sales pitch as i had bought package before and new all about the spa benefits. oh and no steam or sauna room access after work out, some ships allow, not the bliss did love the many food locations -- it made for short lines in buffet and main dinning rooms. BUT did wait for more than 20 minutes for service in craft beer venue, left w/o buying a beer. EMBARKATION - NCL still has not got this figured out, some people had waits of over an hour. ADVICE either show up WAY early or WAY late if u don't want to stand in a VERY LONG LINE. NCL seems to be the only cruise that has a serious problem getting people on and off their ships Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went on this cruise for my play daughters birthday. Although the bliss is a beautiful ship the service sucked. i payed for specialty dinners for two. i try not to eat off of a buffet because l don’t eat meat nor anything cooked with ... Read More
I went on this cruise for my play daughters birthday. Although the bliss is a beautiful ship the service sucked. i payed for specialty dinners for two. i try not to eat off of a buffet because l don’t eat meat nor anything cooked with meat. i could not get any reservations at the seafood restaurant or any of the specialty restaurants . I was not informed in advanced that getting reservations was going to be so difficult. the last two days of the trip i was finally told to go to the restaurants and see if they could seat us. The seafood restaurant told us no but cagney’s was very caring and understood my dilemma. They also were able to make room for my daughter that is wheelchair bound. Cootos to cagney’s and the people that helped us. when all the other specialty restaurants told me no, they said no problem. The buffet food, i’ll just say for lunch and dinner was bread and salad for me. This is the first cruise i did not know my stewards name or who he or she was. i cruised for 7 days, the first two days my room was not made up at all. the third day it was after 6 and they came to make up my room and i wouldn’t let them because i traveled with three disabled adults that were going to sleep. Even though i asked that my room be made up no later than 6 the day before. AND THEY DID NOT MAKE ONE ANIMAL NOR DID THEY DO ANYTHING SPECIAL TO MAKE US FEEL WELCOME Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The ship was beautifully and tastefully decorated. The cabins were cleaned perfectly. Rose was great at cleaning our rooms multiple times a day. All of the latest technologies with touch screens, key card tap entry to the cabins, and ... Read More
The ship was beautifully and tastefully decorated. The cabins were cleaned perfectly. Rose was great at cleaning our rooms multiple times a day. All of the latest technologies with touch screens, key card tap entry to the cabins, and outside activities. The shows "six" and "Jersey boys" were spectacular. So much talent!! A large variety of complementary food was available 24 hours a day in many different places. The only complaint I had, was not being able to bring any type of soda or water, only Pepsi products were available. We are Dr.pepper fans. The photos were nice, expensive as usual. Getting on and off the shop was relatively smooth. The staff was friendly and always helpful. Joy ,a waitress in the Manhattan dining room made the cruise for us. So glad that we tried Norwegian again after the first bad experience. Extremely relaxing week!! We will definitely be back.... Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We can’t wait to get off this cruise ship. This is the last day of our cruise on the Norwegian Bliss from Vancouver to LA. We stayed in a balcony room in 10246. The room is spacious and modern, but it’s not sound proof enough so we ... Read More
We can’t wait to get off this cruise ship. This is the last day of our cruise on the Norwegian Bliss from Vancouver to LA. We stayed in a balcony room in 10246. The room is spacious and modern, but it’s not sound proof enough so we constantly hear the TV from the next room at night when we’re trying to sleep, people “doing it” at night, and just general stomping noises and people slamming their doors. The worst part is the food. It’s terrible. The teppanyaki served really salty food, and the Q Texas had the worst food we’ve had all year. The buffet and main dining rooms also had either really salty or bad food. It’s worse than a mall food court sometimes. The only good meal we had was at Cagneys, but you pay extra for that. Also, the gym was very good with excellent weight machines. The onboard process was long and terrible, and it pissed off a lot of people. We were supposed to board at 7:30pm, and we didn’t board until 10pm because they were disorganized and boarded late. We had 30 minutes to grab something to eat at the extremely crowded buffet (we were not offered food or drinks in the 3-4 hour wait to board the ship) before we were told to go to the muster station. After our Seattle port was cancelled, they offered each stateroom a $100 onboard credit. Nothing we could do about that. However, when we got to SF and had to clear customs, they called floor by floor to try and be efficient, but everyone still had to stand in line for almost an hour. They could have organized it to minimize the wait time. I’ve done customs clearing on another ship and it was done within ten minutes! Just very thoughtless and inconsiderate. The last straw was that we spent $50 to purchase a couple of photos, and the photographer said I could download the digital copy from the Norwegian app. I could not find the photos so I went to the photo station. The guy then told me that if I wanted the digital copies, I’d have to pay another $50 for the two photos. I asked if I could exchange the physical prints for the digital copies, he said no, you have to buy the prints first, then you can buy the digital copies. That would cost $100 for two photos! We will not cruise with Norwegian again. Going to try Celebrity next based on other equally unhappy cruisers’ suggestion! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First time cruising in many years. Very impressed with friendliness of staff on board. Food was excellent t (I only ate in the dining room). No real concerns with waiting around in line. Generally short lines everywhere other than boarding ... Read More
First time cruising in many years. Very impressed with friendliness of staff on board. Food was excellent t (I only ate in the dining room). No real concerns with waiting around in line. Generally short lines everywhere other than boarding in Quebec City. Quebec I chose this itinerary as it features some excellent ports for bike riding. Connected with local bike shops in Charlottetown and Sydney to rent a road bike. Did a 70km route along the Confederation Trail in Charlottetown and 50km route Along the coastline in Sydney. E-bike tour in Halifax and mountain biking in Bar Harbour. On board environment is what you make of it. Want laid back, head to thermal suite or join a trivia session. Want late night activities head to Spinnaker lounge. Production shows very good. Others perfectly fine. The Gem is not the newest ship with loads to do for young families, but recent updates give it a new modern look. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I decided to take vacations the last moment (needed a break from a stressful work assignment) so once I decided on the destination, an Alaska cruise, I got what was still available so it wasn't really a thorough choice. Some other ... Read More
I decided to take vacations the last moment (needed a break from a stressful work assignment) so once I decided on the destination, an Alaska cruise, I got what was still available so it wasn't really a thorough choice. Some other lines were selling out fast, the Norwegian Bliss still had a mini-suite (better accommodations were sold out) so I took it. This was my first cruise so I didn't know what to expect, but I was overall pleasantly surprised, with many ups, but also, there were a few downs. The good: the Norwegian Bliss is a very new ship, and it is tastefully decorated, with everything in top shape and working order. The service is unbelievable, with extremely friendly and helpful staff everywhere. We didn't have a single negative experience with the staff. We were impressed with how they were always willing to help, with a smile, and were very efficient, knowledgeable, and professional. The Norwegian Cruise Line must have an excellent training center for the staff! We felt pampered! Some of the food was surprisingly good. The La Cucina restaurant served one of the best Italian meals I've ever had, and I'm half-Italian (I'm a dual citizen of Italy and the United States), I know Italian cuisine very well. Food Republic was delicious with original items, very well-presented. Los Lobos was very tasty too, with Mexican food that benefits from a modern touch. The one meal we had at the complimentary Manhattan was excellent and almost as good as what we had in the paid specialty venues above. Breakfast at The Local was tasty and peaceful. The swimming pool area and the hot tubs were clean and pleasant, and never too crowded. The Observation Lounge is a very cool and relaxing space, and they have tasty snacks and a nice piano bar. I really enjoyed the cast of the musical Six (the other musical, Jersey Boys, I didn't attend because I had seen it already), and the Beatles cover band at The Cavern. A duo of Phillipino male pianist and female singer were excellent. The silent disco with earphones at the Social was cool. The bar that specializes in Mojitos was good too. The wine bar The Cellar was excellent, with very good tasting events, including lectures by a very knowledgeable sommelier. I've been studying and tasting wine for decades and still, he surprised me with some information that I didn't know. The stand-up comedians were very, very funny! My wife very much enjoyed the Spa. She had several treatments there, and found the staff to be competent, and with prices similar to what she pays elsewhere. I didn't frequent it. She also liked the Gym with Yoga and Aerobic classes. Gift shops were good; my wife gave me a beautiful Scuderia Ferrari watch and I gave her a nice necklace. These were both well-priced. Other guests were friendly, polite, and we had some nice conversations. Embarkation was easy and fast. Disembarkation, however, was rather slow, with long lines and long waiting times. The bad: The Norwegian Bliss, together with the similar Norwegian Joy, are two of the biggest ships in the business, and the elevators, 16 in total, were overwhelmed. Often, the elevators were full when they reached our deck, and we had to wait and wait for an opportunity to get in. This ship should have the double of the number of elevators they offer. It's a pity that obviously, this can't be changed. The architects should have planned it better: for a ship this size, add more elevators! Some of the food was rather mediocre. The two restaurants with the best reputation, Ocean Blue and Le Bistro, were paradoxically very weak. For example, I had a steak with five peppers at Le Bistro, and I had to abundantly add more pepper to get any flavor at all, and the meat was overcooked although I asked for medium rare. Again, I lived in Paris, France, for 5 years and I know French cuisine very well. Everything we had at Le Bistro was bland and a pale imitation of good French cooking. Ocean Blue was also rather unremarkable. We had better seafood in the other venues, as compared to this one that specializes in seafood. Weird. Two of the three main complimentary restaurants, Taste and Savor, were also very mediocre. The Garden Cafe serves a buffet, and the food there was rather unappealing as well, not to forget, it was very crowded and chaotic. A particular breakfast at Savor was almost disgusting, with a croissant with scrambled eggs that looked like it was microwaved, so mushy the croissant was, and Eggs Benedict that were pretty dry and chewy. Some of the live music was atrocious. First of all, the selection is geared towards Country and Pop, two genres I don't care for. There was absolutely no venue that played jazz. For a cruise line that is registered in the United States (as well as the Bahamas) and sails to and from mostly American cities (with the exception of Victoria, BC) with most guests being American, it is weird that they don't present at all the most quintessential American genre, jazz. I also enjoy classical music and there was none to be found. The blonde female pianist was terrible, often botching the musical lines. The rock band Blue 4, oh my God, they must be the worst I've ever heard! Slow, low energy, poor playing, and mediocre voices. I can't believe the cruise line can't find better musicians. As a matter of fact, in the talent show featuring members of the crew, there were two waiters who sang much better than most singers who were hired for the live music! It would be nice to have an indoor swimming pool for the cold weather. Apparently they do have one in The Haven, the upscale section of the ship, but it's only for the guests of that section, which was sold out when I booked my cruise. The shore excursions in general were expensive and not a good value. Some were enjoyable but others were rushed and confusing, including, it was hard to find the correct buses outside. Maybe it's the luck of the draw since there are so many options, but unfortunately some of the ones we picked weren't that great. We bought them from the cruise line website and later realized that the same excursions are offered elsewhere for much cheaper prices. Oh well, I guess next cruise I'll be smarter. A couple of them were good, though. The art auctions weren't good. We found most of the art being sold, to be very tacky. Funny enough, the one piece we liked inside the art venue, wasn't for sale; it was part of the permanent ship decor. So, overall, I'm pleased with the Norwegian Bliss, but I do think they need to hire better musicians, be a bit more even in terms of food quality, and it would be lovely to have more elevators and an indoor swimming pool, although these structural issues are set in stone and can't be changed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised on NCL many times. The Breakaway is an awesome ship with solid service. The Epic is the opposite in every way. Service is awful and staff, especially front desk, is rude, condescending and scattered (e.g. the first rep ... Read More
We have cruised on NCL many times. The Breakaway is an awesome ship with solid service. The Epic is the opposite in every way. Service is awful and staff, especially front desk, is rude, condescending and scattered (e.g. the first rep we talked with had no idea what the Posh Beach Club is). BTW, Posh is nothing like the amazing Vibe Beach Club on the Breakaway. It has no hot tub, just a boring, hot deck for which a pass costs way more than it's worth. The Epic cabins are old, musty and poorly designed; with the toilet separate from the sink which is unfortunately the first thing you see. The cheap glass door makes sounds & smells from the toilet a constant nuisance. The gym had two of three exercise bikes "out of order," the ice machines were constantly broken and the Garden Cafe was closed too many times to count. Great itinerary (Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Cannes, Palma) but overall, this is the worst NCL cruise we've ever taken. Epic Failure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The crew - all of them - were friendly, professional, knowledgeable and helpful. The head chef was great; he showed care, consideration and understanding for my vegan companion's dietary needs, and was genuinely interested in our ... Read More
The crew - all of them - were friendly, professional, knowledgeable and helpful. The head chef was great; he showed care, consideration and understanding for my vegan companion's dietary needs, and was genuinely interested in our dining experience. He even explained how she could use the signage color coding to determine vegan vs non-vegan food offerings. Speaking of which - the Breakaway has the best dining experience I've had in over 10 years and 15+ cruises. The variety, taste, quality and presentation was fantastic no matter if we ate in the buffet or any of the specialty restaurants. We had a 2-person occupancy balcony room that was more than adequate for our needs. The bed, however, was very firm - fine for me but too hard for my Significant Other. Our cabin steward also made our cruising experience excellent. I cannot say enough about how wonderful her service was. There was plenty of entertainment options on-board the ship, along with activities for adults, young adults and children. [The kids and teens will love deck 16 aft - water slides, obstacle course, I ran into several of the "unseen staff" - the engineers, maintenance personnel, etc. - thanks to my insomnia. They were all professional, friendly and helpful. They even gave me great tips on shore locations, ship events, etc. The art auction staff was very helpful and pleasant. They were incredibly helpful with information on appraisals for my existing art purchases. [My only "complaint" - can you please stop pushing the Peter Max artwork? Please???? ;-)] The ship appeared to be well maintained, clean and organized, with just the right level of lighting throughout. There were plenty of shore excursions and port shopping. [Unfortunately, I cannot comment with any authority on the shore excursions as I didn't take any this trip - I was taking a "complete rest" vacation cruise for a change.] There were a couple minor complaints: 1. This is the first ship I've been on where there were no locker rooms/showers available for users of the gym. I was not the only passenger that commented on the lack of shower facilities at the gym. 2. The H2O adult-only deck needs shade - desperately! This deck area is awash in sun - too much sun. [This was area that other passengers commented upon; makes this deck area undesirable.] 3. Jimmy Buffet's seemed like a neglected afterthought by the ship's designers when they discovered they had unused deck space. The lack of activities or events there was palpable. And, IMHO, a waste of a great name, trademark brand and NCL investment. No Happy Hour. No "Kid's Only" non-alcoholic events (a pity since Buffet's is located adjacent to the kids recreation area). No special events/tastings/demonstrations/celebrations. Why is it this venue even there if NCL isn't going to take advantage of the Jimmy Buffet "island/laid back/soft partying" experience that is the Jimmy Buffet experience? 4. Bring your own coffee/cold drink container: I forgot to bring my cold drink bottle, so I broke down and bought one from the ship's stores. Someone at NCL needs to find new suppliers for this merchandise. I bought one cold drink cup and its lid broke within 3 hours. A second was defective. The third - exchanged the evening before disembarkation - broke its lid right after leaving the port building. I wouldn't comment if I did something stupid like dropping them, because they would be my fault and problem, not NCL's. But, they all broke on their own accord after little or no use. 5. Disembarkation: This seemed to take much longer than the entire check-in and embarkation process. I noticed that disembarkation was often held up by long pauses as certain people passed through NCL security; NCL Security personnel often had to take 1-2 minutes typing something into the computerized profiles of the just-exited passenger before resuming disembarkation. US Border and Customs Enforcement was not the source of any delays. 6. The safety drill prior to launch: Seemed a bit disorganized compared to the other ships I've cruised, including prior NCL cruises. In summary, these "complaints" are minor; no situation or facility is perfect. The overall experience was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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