1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this ship because we wanted to go to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. We flew into Orlando and took the Go Port Canaveral transfer package from airport/ to hotel/ to the ship/ to the airport. It was an easy process. It took ... Read More
We chose this ship because we wanted to go to Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. We flew into Orlando and took the Go Port Canaveral transfer package from airport/ to hotel/ to the ship/ to the airport. It was an easy process. It took about an hour to get from the hotel to the port. IMPORTANT TIP: To speed past much of the line, find the elevator. It drops you at the top of the stairs! At that point, it still took 45 minutes to get on the boat. So, any shortcut helps! We stayed in a mini suite on the 13 floor. This was a good location, as it was a short 2 floors up the stairs to the pool deck and buffet. The gym was up one deck. The room was very strange, as many reported. We adjusted without much problem. There was a lot of storage space and closet space. However, electric outlets were sparse. They were located under the cabinet opposite the bed. Not very convenient at all. Bring your own body wash and shampoo. They have some stinky herbal stuff that was short of disgusting. And lady's, there is no conditioner!!! Bring your own. Last year we were in a suite on the Dawn, and had some awesome Bvlgari products. This is our 3rd Norwegian cruise. This was our worst in terms of service. We had the drink package. It was hard to find a bartender that was attentive or not rude. No one smiled. They seemed annoyed to be there. We never experienced that on other ships. We were in Spice H20 most of the time during the day. Finding waiters was difficult, at best. We waived, yelled, etc.. to get their attention (when there was one to be seen). They would wave and then make their way after 5 minutes or so. Again, annoyed to be there and no smile or friendly words. The restaurants were OK. The menu never changed, so if you wanted variety, you needed to try another entre or go to a specialty restaurant. NOTE: We usually dress up for dinner and got great service in the Manhattan. However, we ate in Cagney's twice- both times the service was without a smile. The experience in Teppanyaki was good. It was entertaining. The food was just ok. I had steak. It was under seasoned. So was the rice. My wife had shrimp and scallops. The scallops were very fishy and seemed undercooked. The Garden Cafe was fine, however, many of the "American" dishes were far from tasting that way. I think they need to invest in an American cookbook, because American staples should look and taste accordingly. Pool Deck- get there early and reserve a spot, or you may find slim pickings on finding chairs- especially at Spice H20. We like being in the hot tubs. One day they were very hot, other days cool or luke warm. No consistency. Entertainment- I thought Norwegian was supposed to be "freestyle"? There were many venues that required reservations. Even tenders? We reserved the Burn the Floor show several months in advance. Upon boarding the ship, we had a letter in our cabin that said we were bumped, and rescheduled to another show (on the last night of the cruise). Not cool. Also, we paid for premium seats for the Cirque show and were seated upstairs. We didn't get what we paid for. The show was outstanding, but we got the bait and switch. The Epic Beatles were also very good, however, get there at least an hour early if you want a chance at getting to sit down. The bartender is not very friendly in there either. We got into the dueling piano bar, which was OK... I've seen better singers. We never were able to get tickets to Escape the Big Top. This ship is big and crowded. Tours- In Jamaica, we went to Dunn's River Falls plus the VIP Beach tour. This was a very good experience. In Cayman- we went shopping and went to a restaurant and had lobster tails for lunch. When we returned, we found many people who reserved tours had them canceled due to rough seas. We decided not to go to the private island. The tender reservation schedule just wasn't worth the hassle. We heard there wasn't much shade, the food wasn't very good and the beach was crowded. Glad we skipped it. Next time, we will be more selective to not book cruises with more than one tender. Gym- The gym had plenty of equipment and machines. However, there were no towels the first few days, which was annoying. Also, no attendants there. Maid- She was great, pleasant, smiling and very friendly! We tipped her extra! All together, we like Norwegian, but this trip just seemed like less service and less for our money. Maybe that's what you get with the bigger ships? We still had fun and made the best of it. It just wan't for us. So, we won't be cruising on the Epic again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We a take a trip every year with a biking group and this was their itinerary this year. The balcony room was lovely, with a really nice bathroom. There were several things to do onboard and the entertainment was excellent. We had two ... Read More
We a take a trip every year with a biking group and this was their itinerary this year. The balcony room was lovely, with a really nice bathroom. There were several things to do onboard and the entertainment was excellent. We had two problems. The casino is in the middle of the ship and we had to walk through it several times. The smoke was quite noticeable on the floor the casino was on and the two floors below it, including the atrium. The menu in the French restaurant was changed and it did not meet our expectations. The shows were really good. Cirque and Steam was fresh and very good. The Burn the Floor Show was really good. We saw the dancers in a Tropicana floor show. We able to get seats very close and really enjoyed this. The Million Dollar Quartet was really good. As we saw the last show on the ship, it seemed that the players gave an extra good show. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Cruise management very good and advanced. Cleanliness is their priority. All crew members doing their best. Food is fresh and lots of variety. Food and drinks unlimited. I am Indian and I recommend Norwegian cruise management to Hire ... Read More
Cruise management very good and advanced. Cleanliness is their priority. All crew members doing their best. Food is fresh and lots of variety. Food and drinks unlimited. I am Indian and I recommend Norwegian cruise management to Hire good Indian Origin Chef / cook on board they can cook all kinds of food on board with taste. Only thing I missing on cruise is original Asian food taste. Cruise have lots of activities for all ages but need to increase more activities for kids between age 6 to 18 like more movies , fun activities , competitions like art , crafts. My kids struggle to find more activities on cruise as they have few on board like painting, cup cake decoration , t-shirt painting but still required more continues activities in evening time like other adults and seniors people like live shows , entertainment But overall very good experience. No doubt I choose Norwegian cruise again next vacation... Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
It's hard to say anything bad being on the water and sailing for 14 days so I will just list some pros and cons. This is my first time on Norwegian and this is about my 25th cruise. Cabin#10842 - balcony cabin on the slant. ... Read More
It's hard to say anything bad being on the water and sailing for 14 days so I will just list some pros and cons. This is my first time on Norwegian and this is about my 25th cruise. Cabin#10842 - balcony cabin on the slant. Traveling with my friend. First: Booked directly through Norwegian. Asked for a Mini-Suite but was told that the beds could not be separated. Called back and asked again and was told by same guy the same after he asked someone. So had to take a smaller balcony room. Was totally MIFFED to find out that wasn't the case and that the beds can be separated. Disappointing to say the least. Second: let me cover some shout outs to staffs and thumbs down to others: Thumbs down: To the hostess for Blue Ocean. She is a snob, rarely smiles and needs to be retrained. Sorry we inconvenienced to seat us in the empty restaurant and explain the menu. THUMBS UP: * Our cabin steward, Garfield was fantastic and always upbeat, helpful and went out of his way to make us happy. * Cagney's Bar: Jay is the bartender and he will take good care of you. Fast, personable and what you want in the perfect bartender. * Ice Bar Hostess: Thanks for smiling and saying hello everytime we walked by. * The Towel Girl (young woman) in the ladies spa locker room. She was a delight to talk with and very sweet. PROS *Itinerary was really great. 14 days in the Caribbean/Mexico. * CABIN: Nice room, comfortable beds. Great pillows. Shower gel (no soap) and Shampoo Dispenser in shower. A good blow dryer. * DINING: A good variety of restaurants! - FYI: the dining packages: it's a limited menu at the specialty (a la cart) restaurants, but still a great selection. The buffet selection was surprisingly really good. Easy to find a table! Super nice staff. We didn't use the general dining rooms but chose a la cart restaurants and buffets. - Bakery: Cupcakes! But they charge you! :( - Scooped ice cream/sherbet and yummy desserts. - Healthy choices at the buffet. * ICE BAR – So cool! Wear something warm to stay awhile. The bartender was a delight and will make you laugh. * EXCURSIONS: Well organized and nicely done. We only did the plantation tour on Jamaica and thought it was fantastic. * ENTERTAINMENT: Burn the Floor was fabulous!! Don't miss it! Broadway level performance. The Cirque show was fantastic. If you have seen the show, Absinthe in Vegas, think of it as a taster/trailer for that show. * ACTIVITIES: Ropes course is awesome! Walk the plank! The jogging path was good (but it's January and no people on the lounge chairs to trip over). So in the daytime you can drink, try the rope course, decorate a cake, play bingo or trivia, buy mass produced art, learn the cha-cha. Lots of mindless fun! The card rooms are nice and quiet. You can also just walk around and explore. It's a HUGE ship. * SPA: Workout room has plenty of equipment and the wait during busy times was normally short. We worked out almost every day. * CASINO: Weird layout but a good amount of machines and super nice staff. * Guest Services: Fast service. Friendly. Helpful. * SHIP: Touchscreen wall units on every floor near the elevator makes it super easy to figure out where you are and what activities are going on throughout the ship. CONS/Info They nickel and dime you to death. $18.00 for a Hendricks and soda. * CABIN: Balconies are small even on the slant. Lack of storage in cabin and bathroom. no mirrors position so that you can see the back of yourself (which is probably good come to think of it). but it's nice to see the back of your hair when you are doing the "do" :) * BATHROOM: Bring your own hair products/conditioner/lotion * SHIP 1. Stairwells: People sit all over them.... I tripped over one guy and about did a face plant. They should consider adding benches against the wall below the clocks for people the sit and wait for whoever they are waiting for. 2. Atrium: Crowded, Cluttered with chairs. Hard to move around the bar and not enough bartenders to deal with the amount of people. a bottle neck trying to get to elevators. 3. 4200 people and it felt like 4200 people. But it’s January and most people were inside rather than spread outside, so I will give them that. * CASINO: Smokers everywhere. * INTERNET: WiFi: TOTAL RIPOFF. I received 1000mb with my package. After about the 3- or 4th day when I ran out of mb (I am a business traveler and need to work - most is done over the internet- I went down to the desk to purchase the unlimited data plan for $24.99/day and was told "no" and "that that package is only good to purchase for the first 2 days" and so it will force you to purchase 1000mb for $125... I wasn't up to spending $600 for internet. Celebrity Cruises and RCI charge $150 or $200 for the entire cruise (long cruises). Norwegian has an opportunity to attract business travelers/virtual workforce passengers. * SPA: 1. we both paid $349 for the spa package. Overpriced. People are living in there (hyperbole). Tile beds that they really push at you during the sales process they should have also said that they are full of snoring people or readers who lay on them throughout the day without budging, and others save the lounge chairs for when they show up later.... I realized for the same price I could have upgraded to the Haven – unless that are all mini-suites ☹ 2. The SPA PEOPLE! OMG! THEY ATTACK YOU AT EVERY STAIRWELL AND AT ALL THE ELEVATORS. CONSTANTLY SELLING YOU MASSAGES! FACIALS! SO Annoying! GO AWAY! It really takes away from your day when you are constantly asked to buy something. Am I leaving the gates of Jamaica or am I on a cruise ship? I was ready for one of them to ask me if I wanted a taxi to the beach. They really need to rope the SPA Marketing in a bit. 3. Bought a pedicure. Paid $80. Stone pedicure She picked up the stone, put it on my leg for about 3-4 seconds. my nail polish had two thin coats. I took picture of my $80 pedicure to remind me to not treat myself to a $14 pedicure sold as an $80 pedicure ever again. They give you a choice of 16 colors, half are summer colors. It's January. and then the entire time she is trying to sell my skin products, feet products....couldn't even relax. I'll save that $80 for a few margarita's next time...that will relax me :) *DINING: The banging!! tambourine woman and the guitar singer from the morning shift at the buffet. It's so loud you hear it everywhere you dine in the buffet area. Bang! Bang! Bang! They are good and I enjoy them! But not at 8AM in the morning. It's worse than an alarm clock, at least your alarm clock you can turn off. Room Service is $10!! And they served us green bananas and the order was 1/2 wrong. thanks. The ART Space: Ugh. Mass produced and many are just old looking art. So many great new artists out there! I’ve seen a lot of this art for years. Need something fresh and new! *ACTIVITIES: No Enrichment Series... no Astronomy speaker ... just bingo and cake decorating.... :( Overall, it was a good cruise and I am rating it average-plus, because the my Norwegian agent doesn’t know the cabins, yet he sells them for Norwegian and instead of asking someone for help, he lied to me and chuckled when I told him about the mini-suites having beds that separate (a day before my cruise) and he said, “well next time….”… well humph. The overselling of the spa treatments everywhere you turn is just cheesy and too much in your face marketing – I work virtually –and the Wifi pricing is archaic compared to other lines. It’s a nice ship with lots to do, but until they correct the internet pricing and tame the out of control spa marketing army, I will choose another line. But we really enjoyed the trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We choose this ship because of the itinerary and also how need the ship was and the amenities. We also wanted to just have a relaxing time and reconnect as a couple away from the stresses of everyday life My wife loved the Spa and by ... Read More
We choose this ship because of the itinerary and also how need the ship was and the amenities. We also wanted to just have a relaxing time and reconnect as a couple away from the stresses of everyday life My wife loved the Spa and by far was the activity that she found the most value in as for myself I enjoyed the casino and just how smoke free it was and also the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Our Stateroom was immaculate and the steward was so attentive and always looking to go the extra mile which was indicative of all the staff that we encounter with Norwegian. The value on this trip was outstanding, the food was top notch and I definitely recommend the specialty Dinning Moderno it was amazing. Ocho Rios was our favorite Port as we loved the Best Of Ocho excursion loved learning about Jamaica and the Jamaican culture Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Summary This was a fun way to get a quick visit to each of the major islands, while having a constant home base. Food was good but not amazing. Staff was generally very friendly and helpful. Cabin was as expected. Pre-Cruise We ... Read More
Summary This was a fun way to get a quick visit to each of the major islands, while having a constant home base. Food was good but not amazing. Staff was generally very friendly and helpful. Cabin was as expected. Pre-Cruise We booked through Norwegian Directly, and they were very good about emailing with updates and things. One thing I didn't love was that I wasn't able to get an idea of the specific activities (White Hot Party, Fabba, etc) that would have been nice to know about when packing. Also, when I called Norwegian to ask a question about the cruise, the person at Norwegian didn't really have any information about our specific cruise (didn't even realize that two of the ports--Hilo and Kona--were on the same island). We booked air travel and pre-cruise hotel through Norwegian as well, but it was very difficult to get any information about the specific flights, and there was no way to change any aspects of the flights that they picked. I understand that it is part of them scheduling group rates, but the airfare seemed about what normal price would have been, but we had no flexibility in scheduling flights. The flights are made through a separate travel agency (not Norwegian) and they weren't very helpful or friendly when I was trying to get information about our specific flights, and the possibility of staying a few extra days. Also, had a hard time finding out from Norwegian about when the shuttle from the hotel to the ship would be leaving so we could plan the day in advance. Finally, when I called the hotel, they looked up some past times for the shuttle, and was able to get a ballpark idea. The flight itself was a good direct flight, and at a convenient time. Shuttle from airport to hotel was friendly and efficient. We stayed at the Aston Waikiki Beach hotel. It was a solid hotel, and we liked that it was one of the closest to Diamond Head, since we planned to hike Diamond Head early the next morning to watch the sunrise. That hike was AWESOME and I would completely recommend it to those who like hiking. We walked from the hotel to the crater (2.1 easy miles on sidewalk but with a definite uphill trend) then hiked to the summit (0.8 miles moderate to strenuous on a mix of sidewalk, and somewhat uneven trail with a significant elevation gain). Views along the way are very nice, and from the top are amazing. Start early to avoid the heat! It does cost $1 per person to enter the crater. Embarkation Luggage pickup was between 10 and noon and the shuttle left for us between noon and 1 PM. The shuttle process was very smooth, and it was nice not to have to mess with luggage. Check-in was efficient and friendly. They do have limitation on what liquids you can bring on, but we were able to bring snacks and other foods without problem. We were on board by about 2:30 and went to the Aloha Cafe buffet right away. Our rooms were ready by about 3:30. Cabin We had an inside cabin, and it was great for what we needed. The shower was smaller than what we had experienced on other cruises, but otherwise we found the room very consistent with other cruise lines. There was good closet and storage space, and plenty of lighting, including lights right by the bed for easy access. I did wish there was an alarm clock or something else to check the time quickly when waking up in the early morning, but we made do with our cell phones. In the future I will just bring a small clock. Our room steward was very friendly, and did a great job of keeping the room tidied, and providing us with the next day's itinerary. We didn't spend much time in the cabin, so it was actually the second to the last day of the cruise when I finally met him. Dining We mainly used the Aloha Cafe Buffet because of the convenience and time elements. The food was very good in my opinion with lots of options, including fresh fruit, and salad options. I am a vegetarian, and was pleased with the options available to me. The Indian, and Asian food part of the buffet was particularly good. We dined twice in the main dining halls, and once in the East Meets West specialty dining room. The food in the Skyline and Liberty were good, but nothing amazing. Options for vegetarians were very limited, and that was part of why we didn't use it more often. We also felt that the difference in the quality of the food wasn't really worth the extra time and hassle. The service was good but again, not amazing. East Meets West was the best dining experience we had. The food was very good, and the presentation was great. Dining staff was very friendly and helpful. Seating was quick and easy. We did take the advice of another cruise critic reviewer and made sandwiches for the day trips on multiple days. I would recommend that, just bring some ziploc bags if you plan on doing that. Overall, the food was good but nothing amazing. Entertainment We watched the opening preview show, and loved the comedian, and made sure to see his shows during the week. We felt like the general dance/singing crew was decent, but clearly more singers than dancers, and didn't make it to any of their later shows. The magician seemed good too, but we didn't feel like it was worth it to choose his shows over other activities. We did make it to several trivia challenges, game shows, and bingo. We loved each of these that we attended. The cruise staff was outstanding. They did a great job of having good energy, and were funny and friendly. The pool volleyball game with the officers was also a highlight. Fun activity to have. I was impressed with the fact that the cruise staff remembered people from the activities, and would chat with them and us later on the ship. We didn't make it to any of the dance parties, mainly because we were tired after fun days adventuring on the various islands. They seemed like fun though! As I mentioned earlier, it would have been nice if they had sent out an email or something about these beforehand so we could have packed for some of the special party nights. The comic was Michael Somerville, and he was fabulous. Extremely funny and topical without being crass or offensive. Even his 'adult' show was very tasteful, and didn't rely on dropping the F-bomb for humor. Just good solid comic content, and even had a great message. Liked it enough to buy his DVD, and will recommend him to others. Ports and Shore Excursions We didn't schedule any excursions through the cruise ship, since we have been to the islands a few times already. We did have an awesome time though! I will preface this with the following disclaimer. I love adventure type activities. Things that get me out into beautiful natural settings and let me use my own legs to get there are my preference. So, here is my take. Maui Loved the Road to Hana. We rented an SUV for 6 of us (there are shuttles to the airport rental places), and downloaded the Shaka Guide to my phone for the trip. I would say this is a MUST for anyone planning on doing this excursion. Everyone in our party loved it, and asked what other guides the company makes. It provided precise and accurate directions to cool stops on the way, including some less traveled ones that weren't on the commercial tours. Had info and recommendations for everything from bathrooms stops to food to waterfalls. The stories the guide has as you drive made the whole thing fun and even the background music was a plus. It was a great day. My only suggestion is to start EARLY! The Road to Hana is an all day adventure, and isn't something I would recommend driving back in the dark. If you can make it all the way to the 7 Sacred Pools and the lower portion of the Haleakala National Park, I would highly recommend it. If you are keeping the car overnight, there are a couple of options for parking. The safest option is to park overnight in the airport parking. That is $15 for overnight, but is monitored, and you are guaranteed not to get ticketed or towed. It does add 45 mins or so to the process though. You can also park in the shopping center parking lot close to the port. It has signs warning that there is no overnight parking, so there is a chance you could get ticketed and/or towed, but several people on the cruise did it and no one had any problems. The shopping center is within easy 5 minute walking distance of the port. We did Haleakala Summit the next day. The sunrise experience there is phenomenal, but you have to make reservations WELL in advance, so be sure to plan ahead. We used the Shaka Guide again, and loved the stories about the Hawaiian hero Maui, as well as tips for places along the way. Be sure to have warm clothing for the summit, since the temperatures are in the 30's and 40's typically. The summit is almost otherworldly in a barren, Martian planet kind of way. If you aren't into that, then it might not be worth the drive. Other people in our group did the Atlantis Submarine tour and a whale watching tour and said both were fantastic. So, if you are more into those things I would recommend that. Big Island We did this one a little differently to do something unique. We disembarked in Hilo and rented a car (again shuttles to the airport rental places), then stayed overnight on the island to see the lava glow at night. If you are going to do this you do need to let guest services know, and we also notified our room steward to save him the trouble on the room. This was really the highlight of the trip. You can find places to stay in Kalapana (the town that was wiped out by the flow in the 90’s) on Airbnb for anywhere from $70-300. Getting out to where the active flow is involves a fairly significant hike across open lava fields. It is tiring, but for me was indescribably worth it. We literally walked among the active flows, and could get as close as we wanted to it. We poked a stick in the moving lava and watched it instantly disappear. It was unbelievably cool, and physically very hot. We did part of the hike at night, but had headlamps and flashlights. If you want tips for this part of the trip I can give you some in a message. The next day we hiked out to the sea cliffs formed by the flows and saw that end of the process. Another amazing experience. We decided to drive around the north side of the Big Island and hit a few waterfalls along the way. Rainbow falls is super cool, and a very short side trip. Akaka falls is also a neat stop, and there are some cool little shops on the way to Akaka Falls State park ($1/person or $5 per car). The first part of the drive around the north-east side of the island is one beautiful valley with waterfalls after another. If you have the time get out and hike in some of these for some road less traveled fun. In Waimea we stopped at the bright blue food truck offering malasadas and roasted corn. Several locals said they were the best on the island and it did not disappoint! Delicious beyond words! If you have the option, the Kailua-Kona airport isn’t the easiest place to return or pick up a rental car, and there aren’t shuttles to the port. So, you will need a taxi or Uber (each about $20-30) if you use an airport location. In Kona you are also tendered on and off the ship, so leave a little extra time for that. The line gets quite long. Kauai We rented a car (shuttles to airport locations), and this time we made a quick trip to Kailua falls. It is a quick stop kind of thing with very limited parking and not a whole lot to do other than snap a quick photo or two, but it is beautiful. Next we did a group ATV tour with Kipu Ranch. It was a fun excursion, and we got to see several places where movies were filmed and a couple of small waterfalls. You can rope-swing into the river where Harrison Ford did it in Raiders of the Lost Ark. You get dusty or muddy, depending on how wet or dry the day is, but it was more fun than I expected (I prefer using my own two feet to get around generally), and the lunch provided was good. Our guides Kyle and Ryan had a fantastic dynamic, and made it lots more fun that it would otherwise have been. We then drove up to Waimea Canyon, which I would consider a must-see element. Amazing views regardless of whether or not you hike into the canyon itself. You can get spectacular pictures just from the road and the overlooks. If you are keeping a car overnight, there is some good parking close to the ship on the side of the road just after you turn right off of the road to the port. The spots on the road are free, but they do fill up if you are coming in late. You can also pay to park overnight in the shopping center closest to the port. It is $20 for that parking. Kauai day two is a short one, and you have to be back on board by 1:30, which meant dropping off the rental car around 1 pm. We opted to do a zipline tour through Outfitters Kauai. It was a fun time, and the Flyline was a particularly fun element. You lay face down as you zoom above the forest and grasses for over 4000 feet. Kind of a fun twist if you are into ziplines. There are other activities that you can do on the island, but you probably want to stay fairly close to Lihue since traffic can get pretty bad. Na Pali Coast cruise The reason for the early departure on Friday is so the ship can cruise past the Pali coast. This is really pretty spectacular. You get a chance to see the rugged cliffs and beaches of one of the most beautiful places on the planet. You can watch from the decks on the port side of the ship, or if you are lucky you can get a window table at one of the restaurants and watch while you eat. I think the direct view from the decks is better and you might get to see whales (we did), and then you can watch the sunset as you turn back toward Oahu. Disembark Process We had the added excitement of being at breakfast on board Saturday morning when the Incoming Missile warning hit everyone’s phones. There were some pretty freaked out people, and obviously the crew didn’t know any more about it than other people, so disembarkation was delayed until it was discovered that it was a false alarm. The crew did a great job of handling the situation, including bringing extra personnel into the common areas to help with the increased traffic caused by the delay. The disembark was pretty smooth, but it is kind of a hassle to get anywhere from the port if you haven’t arranged transportation beforehand. A taxi to the airport is about $30, and everyone will have all their luggage. There are some rental car places that will provide a shuttle to their location, but none of the airport car rental places have shuttles to the port. Final Notes Overall, we had a really good time, and the cruise really is kind of like a tasting menu of Hawaii. You get to sample each of the main islands, and use your sleep time for traveling. While some of the aspects of the ship itself weren’t quite as nice as other cruises we have done, I think this cruise is all about the time off the ship, and it does a great job of providing that. Parties you might want to pack special clothing for. Fabba-Celebration of Abba music, so bring your most fabulous 70’s digs. White Hot Dance party—all the crew are in all white, so if you want to be extra cool bring some whites. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise as a winter break trip for a group of college senior girls who play lacrosse together. New Orleans was closer than Miami for us to drive. We stayed at the Marriott Convention Center as it is directly across the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a winter break trip for a group of college senior girls who play lacrosse together. New Orleans was closer than Miami for us to drive. We stayed at the Marriott Convention Center as it is directly across the street from the port. We parked our car at neworleansparking.com--secure and again walkable from the port. Last time we cruised out of NO, we stayed at Holiday Inn Superdome, which included parking, but was comparable in price to Marriott plus the price we paid for parking. I would stay at Marriott again. Went to Bourbon street the day before and, of course, Cafe DuMonde. Awesome! We had 9:30 embarkation, and got on the ship around 11:00. Quick and easy. I went directly to dining reservations because we had such a large group. Our rooms were ready by 1:00. Ate at O'Sheehans for lunch and met our favorite bartender who took care of us the entire trip. Just a reminder, the ship must charge tax on your drinks even if you have UBP until they get out of the Mississippi River. My husband and I have cruised 5 times on NCL, 3 times on RC, and 2 times on Carnival. We love NCL's Ultimate Beverage Package as it is not unusual for us to each have 5 drinks throughout the day. The bill we got on the other cruise lines was pretty hefty. DINING: We dined in Indigo the first night, but preferred Summer Palace overall--although no shorts or flip flops in this included dining. We had 3 upscale dining in our package and the service was much better than the included restaurants, but the service in the main dining wasn't bad. Our favorite foods included Beef tenderloin, lamb, and lava cake! We enjoyed Moderno although I am not a meat lover--I loved the pineapple and salad bar and the filet mignon--the experience and service was exceptional. Cagney's service was excellent too, but our favorite was Teppanaki! I would ask for the funniest chef as he had us in tears laughing and the food was outstanding. We loved Lotus Garden and went there 2 evenings as well--awesome potstickers, calamari, kung po, and soups! We ate at O'Sheehans often for lunch--awesome wings, fajitas, artichoke/spinach dip, and I loved to get the side salad with the fajita chicken breast. We also love the Caramel marshmallow brownie cheesecake!! ENTERTAINMENT: We missed the opening show, but loved the Cirque show, the impersonator show (Michael Jackson was awesome), the comedy show, and 80's show! All good! Not Broadway quality like RC Oasis and Allure, but better than many I've seen. Also, we saw the crew talent show during the day because it was raining--super funny! They did a great New Year's Eve party! Pretty much anything they did at night by the pool was great dancing. Otherwise, we headed to Spinnaker (which is nice to go during the day to look out the front of the boat). We missed having the Quest show on this ship--NCL usually has it on every cruise. ONBOARD: Basketball tournament was fun, Sexy legs contest, and the golf cages! Great fitness center--busy, but I could always get on a machine when I went between 8:30-9:00. PORTS: COZUMEL: We usually shop at this port, but it was New Year's Day, so we headed to Hooters to see the Bowl games and get free wifi..ugh. Some did an excursion through the ship to a beach which they loved. GRAND CAYMAN: Love this port to go swim with the stingrays--it was our 2nd trip out with Stingray Sailing (see trip advisor), and while the ship changed docks, times, and everything, they found us, and made sure to accommodate us. Captain Chip and Captain Chris BOTH took our group out, and it was a fantastic time--we couldn't do the sailing because the ship required us to get back early. Snorkeling was great, and the equipment was perfect. ROATAN: Last time we were here, we went to the numbered excursion booths you see when you get off the ship, paid $15 pp for the shuttle to a resort where we paid another $10 pp to use the pool, beach, bathrooms, etc for the day. Loved the snorkeling there! This time, it was pouring rain, but we did it again--but they took us to a resort that was further from the reef and weren't honest about the price. We decided to head back and get our money back, but our van broke down! We had not cell service and the guys pushed the van up the hill through a questionable part of the city!! YIKES! It was an adventure and we saw the island and got our money back--still tipped the driver though. Would do it again, but maybe reserve ahead through bananorama ($30 pp), but you don't have to haggle and nicer transportation. BELIZE--private island It felt like a beautiful all inclusive resort, but nothing was included but the beach chairs. We packed some fruit and waters for the day and enjoyed swimming in the ocean and the abundant beach chairs. The pool had a nice swim up bar, but the water was colder than the ocean..enjoyed our time here! COSTA MAYA We've been here several times, but never went to Mahahaul beach--WHY? It was awesome! $3 pp trolley ride there and $2 pp cab back. You can catch a cab there and save $1, but you have to walk a little ways. We reserved chairs at Tropicante, and I would highly recommend--no charge, but a great walkable beach, with amazing food (guacamole--and nachos--so authentic-yum!) massages $20 for a 1/2 hour and $30 for an hour plus tip. For 5 of us, we got 12 beers, 3 half hour massages, chips and guac, and nachos for $100 for the day--awesome! Overall, I was pleased! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We had a 10 day cruise on the NCL Jade, departing on the 18th Dec, sailing around the Southern Caribbean. We were away over Christmas which is really why we chose this cruise. I am a first time cruiser so I didn't know what to expect, but ... Read More
We had a 10 day cruise on the NCL Jade, departing on the 18th Dec, sailing around the Southern Caribbean. We were away over Christmas which is really why we chose this cruise. I am a first time cruiser so I didn't know what to expect, but my expectations were exceeded! NCL Jade is a mid size ship which old approximately 2,300 guests and just over 1000 crew Embarkation day: We arrived around noon and the queue was winding out the main doors of the terminal. This being said, the queue did move quickly. Once in, we quickly got through security and then we had another queue to stand in for about an hour and a half to finally check in. Non of this bothered me in the slightest! I was on holiday after all! I loved walking up the gang way and onto the ship - vacation had began! Once on the ship we headed straight to O'sheeans bar on deck 8 for a well deserved first drink. An hour later we were at our muster station for the muster briefing. (The briefing literally lasted 5 minutes) We were able to get into our cabins at about 4pm - our bags arrived at about 6pm. We had packed a change of clothing and essentials into our carry on Cabins: We had an inside state room, deck 5. The cabin did exceed my expectations, nice décor, good size, plenty of storage (cases can slide under the bed!) Good TV with some good movie channels! The bathroom was very spacious and the shower was excellent! One of the best showers I've had on a vacation. Above all it was very clean, our cabin steward was called Jason and he was beyond attentive, excellent service! Room cleaned/turned down twice a day. It was so quiet too! you literally could not hear anything from above, below, left or right. The bed was super comfy! I slept so well every night! Bars: There are plenty of bars on board! We had the ultimate drinks package. I found this value for money. You could select drinks up to a value of $15 (which includes most drinks) If you specifically want a premium brand, eg; Grey Goose, that may cost $17 - therefore you just pay the $2 extra. During the day You could easily find a quiet bar (if that was your preference) and there were also more "active bars" such as Pit stop (pool bar) We spent time at the "great outdoor bar" which is on deck 12 at the very back of the ship - relaxing, amazing views and weather (Renzo the bar manager was A*) We would also go to the Pit stop bar and O'sheeans. In the evening we would go to "Bliss" and then later on Spinnakers. The selection of drinks is Immense and I guarantee you will find somewhere you can sit and enjoy. Dining: The dining on the ship in my opinion is fantastic. The selection is brilliant. The garden café is the buffet where they literally cater for all tastes - it's a buffet so yes it will be busy but I found the service, quality and quantity of food fantastic! The complementary restaurants are all very good. We did go to Le Bistro one night and the food and service again were excellent! I cannot understand reviews where complaints are related to the food...you will 100% be catered for. Plus the service was fantastic, service with a smile and again the crew work incredibly hard keeping everything clean and today **O'Sheeans, deck 8 is 24 hours. I thoroughly enjoyed the food here! chicken wings are a must and it was nice to have breakfast here as this was cooked fresh and table service. Entertainment: I am not a fan of "shows" therefore we never went t them so I can't comment on the shows (sorry) During the Day there would also be some form of entertainment around the ship (more so on sea days) Live bands/singing on the sun deck, main atrium and spinnakers. At night there would always be entertainment in Bliss and Spinnakers, whether it was Live bands, Karaoke or "Mr and Mrs game" Entertainment at night was usually wrapped up at 10:30pm which then just left a disco in Spinnakers. On sea days they went to town on activities, you will always find something to take your interest - however, Bingo at the cost of $70 is a little expensive in my opinion Spa/Gym. We went to the gym most mornings and the gym itself was really well equipped. Plenty of cardio and weights - sanitising wipes and towels. They also did classes such as spinning. We never went to the Spa and I really wish we did. On embarkation day you can by a Spa pass for the duration on the cruise $110 reduced from $240 dollars - but with this you could access the Spa, anytime during opening hours for as long as you want for the duration of the cruise. The spa looked beautiful, plunge pool, heated recliners, steam, sauna.... plus the had a communal area then an area just for females and the same for males. Kids/Clubs. There were a good amount of Kids on the ship (we do not have children) I think with the Jade they may some what lack in Kids activities compared to other ships like the Escpae or Breakway. The only activities they had were a basketball/football court, table tennis, a pool and an arcade. They had a Kids club but I couldn't tell you what activities they provided. If you are looking for a ship with climbing walls, water slides, Flo - ridas, bowling ally, mini golf - this would not be the ship for you. Breakway, Epic and Escape would be! Disembarkation: Wow, they like to get you off quick!!! (I know that the next cruise passengers embark from 11am) The main buffet was Manic on disembarkation morning! It is the only place open for Breakfast and they reduce the opening times! We decided to "walk off" and we were the last group of passengers to leave the ship at 9.30am. Be prepared for disembarkation, pack everything the night before and get up early. The lifts are literally gridlocked! You disembark from deck 7 so if you are on deck 6 or 8 for example, use the stairs! Overall: I 100% thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and we are booking a cruise again for Christmas, Being on the ship over Christmas was brilliant. Christmas trees, decorations and music everywhere! Plus on Christmas eve there was a really good atmosphere, people dressed up as Santa, elves etc... On Christmas morning Father Christmas arrived at 8am in the atrium with gifts for all children who wanted to see him! Plus the main buffet was just a Christmas dinner feat!!! You are completely catered for, food, drink, service, variety and no washing up! Now that's a Christmas day I like! The crew are fantastic! They go above and beyond and they actually make the cruise. Nothing is too much trouble, they work long hours and they keep the ship spic and span. We had not "sickness" outbreak, no bad weather or crossings. I would 100% book with NCL again and I would also go the JADE again (like I said earlier, we are looking at which cruise to book this December 2018) Tips: Take a universal adaptor and magnets Do get a drinks package - it is value for money and also piece of mind You will be charged $13.99 per person per day for gratuities. You may be happy to pay this or you may wish to "pay as you go" gratuities. This is added to your bill at the end of the cruise. You can "opt out" of paying this - go to the concierge desk and ask to opt out - you just need to sign a form Book early for speciality restaurants Take your own bath robe - good to have if you're sunbathing, around the pool Thank you to all crew on the NCL Jade Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Our 11 day cruise was wonderful for relaxing and enjoying family time together as 4 grown adults. Food was good; we used the main dining rooms as we never felt the specialty dining was worth the extra money. We enjoyed the unlimited ... Read More
Our 11 day cruise was wonderful for relaxing and enjoying family time together as 4 grown adults. Food was good; we used the main dining rooms as we never felt the specialty dining was worth the extra money. We enjoyed the unlimited beverage package to the max!. The 6' deep swimming pool was wonderful, shore excursions were excellent (mostly beach days and low key ones) and Anita, excursion specialist, was fabulous to work with. Room stewards were good to excellent (our 2 rooms had different stewards and vastly different service). Ship was clean and well run. Due to an injury, I needed special handicap assistance and the ship's crew were always willing and ready to help. The disembarkation was a disaster and took several hours due to congestion caused by faulty elevator service. Due to the uncertainty of cab and uber service due to the hurricanes, we took the expensive ground transportation from airport to ship ($25/person one way or $100 for 4 people vs. $26/ one way for a cab ride for 4 people). We waited for well over an hour for the shuttle and at one time, they completely forgot about us. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and we had a memorable time together as a family over Christmas. We have already used the generous perks for booking another cruise next Christmas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Need to get away; get a good break; a change of vacation; Normally would travel by plane/or bus; Package deals. The cruise was very nice; relaxing; you meet nice people from all different ethnic groups; The food service was ... Read More
Need to get away; get a good break; a change of vacation; Normally would travel by plane/or bus; Package deals. The cruise was very nice; relaxing; you meet nice people from all different ethnic groups; The food service was excellent; everything to sum it all; everything was wonderful. I just wish we had got a chance to go to Jamaica; this would give me a chance to learn about my people/and culture. And hopefully in 2018 to go back to see Jamaica and other islands; of the Caribbean. And hopefully in 2018 to do a European cruise as well. This is my first cruise; so is learning more about cruising. It may take some time to get use to the things they have to offer. This cruise line caters to the travelers needs; and cruise staff was very friendly; have noticed they was for everybody of the ship. So nice ok Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise