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58 Norwegian (NCL) Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Reviews

This is our 8th cruise overall and our 7th since the newer class of ships have been coming out about the last 10 years. We are also new to the Norwegian cruise company as we took our first cruise just about 5 months before this one which ... Read More
This is our 8th cruise overall and our 7th since the newer class of ships have been coming out about the last 10 years. We are also new to the Norwegian cruise company as we took our first cruise just about 5 months before this one which was in July on the NCL Escape. The two ships are almost identical with just a few features and options, but both ships are beautiful and amazing and are mega size ships. On this cruise we decided to stay in the Haven penthouse aft room #14272. The embarkation was incredible as there was a line that was about 2 hours long and we were taken to a special entrance and were on the ship within 10-15 minutes. The room has plenty of storage. a huge master bathroom with a full-size tub and walk-in shower as well as double sinks, only downside in my opinion is privacy as these type suites only offer a curtain to pull that separates the bathroom from the bedroom. I think they should have put a door even a pocket door would have worked. The room also has a 2nd bathroom which is by the front door in the living room area, this is a full bathroom with shower etc but is super super small. The living room is very nice with a couch that turns into almost a full-size bed, also has a tv, dining table & chairs as well as a large coffee and espresso maker. The master bedroom is small but a decent size with a small make-up table and mirror, TV and a king size bed with the best mattress we have EVER slept on during a cruise. Last but not least the balcony is also huge with table and chairs as well as 2 chair beds. We had a butler named Bennie, I believe he may be new as he did not have many answers to my questions and several times when we requested something he asked US to call someone else. We were later told that he should have taken care of that as that is the service he was suppose to offer. Being a Haven suite we also were able to dine in the Haven dinning room as well as use the Haven pool and other Haven amenities. Here is where I would change this in the future, you are paying a premium to stay in the Haven suites and when you are at the aft of the ship ALL of the Haven amenities are at the bow of the ship and again this is a mega ship. We truly don't feel we got the most of what we paid as it is a hike to go to the Haven lounge and pool each time. When you stay in the Haven at the front of the ship your room is in a special section thats locked which is also near the pool, lounge dinning room, concierge etc etc and have a key to get into it. At the back of the boat you ahem no special amenities and we also received a lot of grit and stuff from the smoke stacks that left a residue all over our chairs and table on the balcony. Don't get me wrong the Haven is great as we never had to wait in line at any port to get off or on the boat, they would skip us ahead of the line and I saw people get upset but remember you are paying a big premium for this service. The food in the Haven restaurant is incredible and you also get all the 5 free options that NCL offers when booking a Haven suite. The service and concierge is second to none in the Haven, I would say the butler thing is a training issue. Again when you book as I will do in the future just book the Haven rooms at the front of the boat. Lastly getting off the ship was just as easy as were were taken down a set of rear service elevators so we didn't have to wait in any line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First time on this cruise. The first show of the cruise had a charge of 45$ per person, food not very tasty, beds, are not very comfortable. Gym is free but for the rest you have to pay. 245$ for using the Spa (steam/salt/sauna) ... Read More
First time on this cruise. The first show of the cruise had a charge of 45$ per person, food not very tasty, beds, are not very comfortable. Gym is free but for the rest you have to pay. 245$ for using the Spa (steam/salt/sauna) Complementary restaurants are ok, but only 5, VERY STRONG SMELL of cigarette on deck 6 to 8 (nasty) Chairs on sun deck were always locked, boat rocked a lot, they don't have big entertainment at night. Midnight food limited to one only place, no variety. The final day of the cruise, desembarking was terrible. One single line that went two decks and more of two hours in a line to get out. people were stressed and angry at the way they handled. The terminal at Miami couldn't be worst. Dated crowded and long lines as well. The only thing good is that they know how to take your money in a polite way It was a total disappointment . NORWEGIAN NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We decided to try the NCL line after many years of absence. We are a mature couple more aligned to celebrity and Oceania, having cruised since 1980 and we were looking forward to the Escape because of its association with Frank Del Rio ... Read More
We decided to try the NCL line after many years of absence. We are a mature couple more aligned to celebrity and Oceania, having cruised since 1980 and we were looking forward to the Escape because of its association with Frank Del Rio from Oceania, and the food showed it. We opted for 6 nights of specialty restaurants and the UDP, both great ideas. The room on 12 was ok and fit our needs, no problems with elevators, Breakfast buffet was fine and lunch there was ok. Rating the specialty restaurants Cagneys 2, Bistro 2, La Cuccina Manhattan, best to weakest. The entertainment was directed more to the Generation X. the shows are just ok and the MC left a lot to be desired. We wished for a nice piano bar for late evening after dinner, none available. The best bar for us was Cagneys bar, great bar tenders and knew how to mix drinks. We missed Nassau (not our favorite) and received $32 in taxes and $50 shipboard credit, we questioned the 3 ports equaled $ 300 per person and received $16. Not a happy camper! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Good cruise. Very small balcony - but good enough. Very narrow hallways - but good enough. Food was great. Second night at sea was seafood at the buffet - don't miss it, the shrimp was great and plentiful. The Tropicana dining ... Read More
Good cruise. Very small balcony - but good enough. Very narrow hallways - but good enough. Food was great. Second night at sea was seafood at the buffet - don't miss it, the shrimp was great and plentiful. The Tropicana dining room had a dance floor and some enjoyable entertainment. The shows were terrific. We went back a second time to enjoy them again... "Burn the Floor" and "Million Dollar Quartet." No lobster dinner offered (unless you pay extra). No formal nights. Very casual dress, even at dinner jeans were worn. Movies were shown in atrium, but the kids playroom was right next to the screen and a bar was set up behind the chairs so you couldn't hear the movie. They did, however, have captions. The chairs were very deep but I found a cushion which greatly helped. I'm short (5'3"). The chairs in the theater had a metal bar in the back, so you couldn't sit straight up. You need to sit forward somewhat to avoid that bar. Like most cruises, there were very few activities for adults in the daytime. The kids were having lots of fun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Positives: Staff was very cordial, until the last day when some seemed to be in a bad mood. Maybe they were going to miss us? Drink plan was a good value. Internet, while expensive, worked. Cereal in individuals serving size ... Read More
Positives: Staff was very cordial, until the last day when some seemed to be in a bad mood. Maybe they were going to miss us? Drink plan was a good value. Internet, while expensive, worked. Cereal in individuals serving size boxes was a big plus. Bed was super-comfortable Embarking and disembarking was smooth. Negatives: This ship should be retired, seriously. The majority of the restaurants required extra fees The "embellished" art was a joke - it's hard to believe they get away with selling it The entertainment truly is the ship's crew - which was kind of funny the first night but got old quickly Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I have cruised approximately 50 times. On small ships and very big ships such as the Oasis...In fact I have cruised frequently on NCL and we are "Platinum" members as of this last cruise...Frankly, that is what I want it to ... Read More
I have cruised approximately 50 times. On small ships and very big ships such as the Oasis...In fact I have cruised frequently on NCL and we are "Platinum" members as of this last cruise...Frankly, that is what I want it to be...my last cruise on NCL... They called us several days before the cruise telling us to get there early because there was going to be heavy traffic...there wasn't and when we got to the terminal we were pushed about and I have MS and there was no place for me to sit or anything... When we did get on the ship we were able to go directly to the cabin...My cabin was 9102 at the very front of the ship...no one told me what kind of a walk it would be from the elevator...and we were at the opposite end of the ship for the dining areas...the gym was so small I couldn't get in it, but no worries there as I got in over 3 miles a day just walking from place to place on the ship... We took our older grandchildren with us...girl of just about 16 and boy just about 13...He was able to enjoy the kids club...but not the girl...she said there were beer cans in front of the teen age club and she knew three of the girls and they were underage, not to mention there was a rumor of Cannibas being smoked...didn't see it myself, but girl is not a liar... The specialty restaurants were not only surcharging to go, but for stuff like "mushroom soup" on the Le Bistro menu...and noises at night from outside the cabin window...they had no rooms to move me to I was told. Then a room became available 2 doors down and they wouldn't move me there...I guess because it was a balcony and we had an "ocean" view...which was actually a view of the helicopter landing pad where the crew could sun themselves...The one good thing about my room was my room steward... The Ports were St Thomas, Tortolla and Bahamas...if you are going to buy jewelry...don't bother...Actually, I priced a Baby G and it was $5 cheaper on Amazon...Alex & Ani bracelets are the same price as the states..just no tax...the shops are all the same on all the stops...and you better bring a jewelers loop to make sure you are getting good quality gemstones...and that includes on the ship...the tours are extremely expensive... The bed and pillows in the room were comfortable. Plenty of storage and they do have an ironing board and iron on ship...there is only one channel for movies and if you rent a movie it is $10... The GLOW party was awful because you couldn't move and you certainly cannot put all the people (and this was Spring Break ) who want to go in the area provided... The Ropes course and the slides were great...and I even rode the middle slide...once...couldn't get near the pool... We had gone on an NCL ship that had fantastic acts in the Atrium...nope...not this time... Getting off and going through customs was fast...thank God...never so happy to get home! PS...The one show we did watch with the tap dancers and singers was above and beyond the best...real taps and no syncing to a tape...we met the singers on a tour and we told them how wonderful they were and they were...the reason I rate entertainment as terrible is because in 7 days that was it... Do buy the picture package and go take a bazillion pictures...that was a good deal... The food was excellent... too many people and not enough pool space...Entertainment was eh... Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We sailed on the Escape with our family who ranged from five years old to 82 years old. Embarkment was a breeze. We had check in from 10 to 1030 and I think we waited until about 1130 to board. We walked around the ship until ... Read More
We sailed on the Escape with our family who ranged from five years old to 82 years old. Embarkment was a breeze. We had check in from 10 to 1030 and I think we waited until about 1130 to board. We walked around the ship until sailaway. When we sailed on get away they had the party on the back of the ship which was great because there was quite a bit of room for this Sail away we were in the central area of the pool deck and it was very crowded. My biggest complaint about Escape is that I felt the crowds all the time. I loved Getaway. The escape was very similar except I think the added three floors of people without adding more recreational spaces. I absolutely love that the restaurants are all facing the ocean that there is seating outside at night we would get drinks and sit on the deck and watch the stars it was beautiful . The ship itself was very clean. The crew they were all absolutely amazing very friendly and hard-working . The kids all really like the kids club we had a five-year-old and Two seven year-olds. The staff in the kids area where always super friendly the kids had a great time. We ate at Margaritaville and I thought the food was average. It was free initially when we booked but because it was getting so crowded they changed it to a fee. I understand why they did this but I think they should've added another free option. I thought the saying was really good with many choices . We ate in the dining room a couple nights and thought the food was great there as well . We always do Teppenyaki. This was good as well. We also ate at Food Republic. It was just ok. In Saint Thomas we went to coki beach. We have done this before and it was a little more crowded this time and the waves were actually a little more rough but still beautiful. We did the virgin Gorda baths in Tortola. We had done this about 10 years ago and I didn't remember it being quite so difficult to maneuver through the rocks maybe it's because I'm 10 years older. The beach is really pretty . We did at Atlantis Hotel in Nassau and we loved it. We had done it before but this time we did it on her own through the comfort suites it was super easy I found all the information on the cruise critic boards on how to do it. We had a balcony room and the only complaint I would have is that I wish there was more drawer space but it was a really nice room and I loved having a balcony. The pool deck was very crowded you could not get a chair unless you went out really early. I'm not sure how you fix the situation there are just too many people for the size of the pool. We all loved the slides and the ropes course was super fun. Everyone that we went with had a wonderful time we did play slots and probably came out even. There was tons to do we did not get to do everything because we ran out of time. You can't beat the value when we had kids sale free and the ultimate beverage package . Overall I gave it a 4 only because the crowds. I prefer Getaway. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I had been through the canal six times on the USS Boston (three tours of duty in VN) and wanted my wife to see the canal. We watched from the lounge and it proved to be a wonder for all the folks that were in with us. We ate most of ... Read More
I had been through the canal six times on the USS Boston (three tours of duty in VN) and wanted my wife to see the canal. We watched from the lounge and it proved to be a wonder for all the folks that were in with us. We ate most of our meals in the buffet and the food was outstanding. We did not go into Colon because there just wasn't anything that tickled our fancy. The timing was really a question and I called the Norwegian folks to find out about it and truthfully they lady I talked to did not have a clue. T found out about the timing by asking the question on Cruise Critic. The answer is - if you have signed up for an excursion you get off the ship via tender in Gatun Lake and go into Colon, before she turns around. We contacted Dora the Explorer via the internet to arrange for a tour in Cartagena. Dora is great BUT if you do not want to walk throughout the entire city, this is not for you. Dora tried to be as accommodating as possible but my wife and a couple of others were really exhausted by the end. Did not go into Costa Rica or Belize for no other reason that we were tired and enjoyed the pool for the day. In Honduras we went on the B.O.S.S and had a great time. The excursion is riding a scooter under the water while your head is in a "bubble" of air. We really enjoy this and this is our third time on this excursion. Then a bad thing happened on my way out of the excursion office - - a street vendor got in my face, I slipped on the last step and broke my leg. A rep from customer service was on the excursion with us and when we got back to the ship she arranged for a wheelchair to get me aboard and down to "sick bay". I have to say that the staff at the "sick bay" was absolutely the best. I was treated at no cost to me and I was told that this was because I had booked the excursion thru Norwegian. Needless to say we had to forfeit our deposit to the Caribbean Fly Fishing School in Costa Maya. The last three days were a total waste. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Very confused in peoples reviews of the Norwegian escape. Many things can go wrong with a trip but you have to go with it and enjoy. My biggest joy about this ship was the staff. Many of the reviews I've read make comments on how ... Read More
Very confused in peoples reviews of the Norwegian escape. Many things can go wrong with a trip but you have to go with it and enjoy. My biggest joy about this ship was the staff. Many of the reviews I've read make comments on how horrible the staff was and that they seemed very unhappy. All I have to say about that is " treat people how you expect to be treated ". Every staff member I experienced was great and my daughter thought the ropes coarse and water slide staff was amazing. They knew her and my nieces names within a day. A shout goes out to Lesley, Romeo S, Noel ,Lindi, Donny, Jo Jo and Cornelius all of the deck staff. You are the best!! I would also like to say The Brewhouse staff was great. Wish we had of spent a little more then just the last night there. Room stewards were all pleasant. The food and all the dinning rooms were all exceptional. I found their was a great variety of food. Between the buffet,main dinning rooms and Oshehan's their was plenty to choose from food wise.only disappointment was that Margaritaville wasn't complimentary now but didn't effect my trip at all. Booked to go see After Midnight but was having way to much fun to go. The adult area and the Grotto in the back of the ship was great. Pools were a great size. Overall the ship was beautiful, clean and impressive. I am now looking at booking my second cruise with Norwegian. I am a new fan!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Normally this is a 7 day cruise that goes to Bahamas. We opted for the 6 day so we could take a couple days pre-departure and check out Key West. If I had to rate the cruise I would give it a B- We hired a private tour for Jamaica which ... Read More
Normally this is a 7 day cruise that goes to Bahamas. We opted for the 6 day so we could take a couple days pre-departure and check out Key West. If I had to rate the cruise I would give it a B- We hired a private tour for Jamaica which was not bad - $100 for 2 plus tip and we got a great overview of the island, plus lunch. Cayman Islands we did a public tour - when you get off the ship there were plenty of group tours available. If you get a chance, do a water activity. Stingray City was raved about. Cozumel, we hired a taxi for the day- $40 pp and we went to the other side of the island, which is beautiful. Our favorite spot. Shopping- Jamaica- you can barter at the duty free shops, our driver told us this and was he correct. In Cozumel, barter for the silver. $120 soon became $20 US cash. As for the cruise itself, we did not have the drink package, it was not included in our fare. We are not big drinkers, but do enjoy a few adult beverages. Buying wine or blended drinks was around $10 a drink. I had learned from an avid cruiser that you can call NCL and ask for a bar to be set up in your room. We bought a bottle for the room and you get 3 mixes for the room. Our steward kept our ice bucket filled. The cost was $100, but considering we didn't have the soda / booze package, this worked well for us and we ordered frozen drinks a la carte. We also brought a case of water and diet coke and put a room tag on them and they were delivered to our room. Sound cheap- look up the price of bottled water for your room LOL. This was our first NCL cruise and we have cruised on Celebrity prior- the food on Celebrity was far superior. While there are different restaurants that are included with the cruise, the menu is recycled. The Garden Cafe (Cafeteria) was okay- seafood night was "salmon" compared to other cruises where it was crab/ lobster. We went up early one morning around 1 am and there was nothing in there- it was closed except for coffee and lemonade. If you want to pay to eat at an upscale restaurant it's about $20 -$30 pp more and you need to make reservations. The shows were good- Illusionarium (extra cost), Legally Blonde was good but we enjoyed Headliners (comedy) and Dueling Pianos the most. Like other reviewers comment, this ship caters to children (3/4th cruise for free promos) there are a lot of small children on the ship . We did pay to have a hot rock massage, which was great- until the end when they try to upsell you with additional products and services, we declined, but the poor employees must rated on sales or make commission because it was a hard sell, very frustrating after a 90 minute massage- kind of defeats the purpose. All in all, if you are looking for a cruise ship that has nice cabins, plenty of activities for all age ranges, a very casual setting, okay food, then this is a good choice. If you like things a little more "upscale" and like to dress up for dinner and prefer not to have Nickelodeon characters walking around, then you might consider an other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I will begin by saying I very much enjoyed this cruise. The ship was beautiful and very clean. The staff was fun and entertaining. I traveled with my niece who was in her 20s. It was the first cruise boat for her and she was very ... Read More
I will begin by saying I very much enjoyed this cruise. The ship was beautiful and very clean. The staff was fun and entertaining. I traveled with my niece who was in her 20s. It was the first cruise boat for her and she was very impressed. I had read the cruise critic prior to going to make the most of my experience. We booked a lovely SPA Balcony room and it was well worth it. The extra products in the room and the robes/sleepers were a nice touch. We both spent a lot of time in the SPA as our cruise had two days at sea. This is my 6th Cruise and my 4th on the NCL line. NCL is awful about up charges. It seems like I was on an airline paying for a "extra" for three more inches of space. First, the food was average. The only food which suited my taste were the speciality restaurants. I expected to have a few nights in such restaurants, but I probably would have had a better experience if I ate in the specialities on all nights. Even the main dining rooms were not good. This was certainly a big disappointment to me as I had not experienced this with NCL prior. The spa staff were so pushy with selling services that on my second service with them, I had to tell the girl that I had already decided I didn't want to be sold on anything. All she could speak about was when my next service will be.......I evenly had to simply say not to speak with me. It was so annoying. There are packages and they try to work the numbers and have you spend money on everything. Yuk..... Lovely Spa, but please, if I want to buy products or services I will let you know. I don't need to be asked over and over during my visit.... All about the money here!!! There is a nice sized gym but again if you want to enjoy classes you have to pay for them. Really? That was the first time I had seen this on a cruise. Again, once you're in, they try to sell you more to take. Ask for the pass to the VIBE. I'm a little convinced that if my young niece was not with me I would not have gotten in BUT luckily we did! This is a more private section of the boat for sunning but there is no cool water pool in this area. BUT again, its something like $80 for the pass and you're at sea for only two days.... The bars/drinks were good and tasty. We opted for the beverage pass which was a good choice for us. the Mojoito bar is a kick! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Our room itself was very very nice, but that was about the best thing regarding this particular cruise. I have cruised many times before, and this was my third cruise on NCL and it will be my last for sure. The ship was overcrowded with ... Read More
Our room itself was very very nice, but that was about the best thing regarding this particular cruise. I have cruised many times before, and this was my third cruise on NCL and it will be my last for sure. The ship was overcrowded with reduced common areas and replaced by additional cabins compared to other ships of similar size. The ship also rocked a great deal the entire time, which should not be the case for a ship that size in calm waters, this seemed to be a common complaint. You really can see how they have turned this ship into a revenue producing machine. They tried a waterfront theme instead of the normal promenade and is an epic failure. The outdoor spaces were either closed or it was too windy or hot to enjoy them. But the WORST PART was our service, we had several rude servers who were very angry, disrespectful and nasty, which was sad because my wife and I are extremely easy going, kind and friendly people, not to mention I always tipped at least 20% on top of the included gratuity . We do not expect much and have a great deal of patience, but there was several occasions we waited for more than 55 minutes for our meals to be served in the complimentary restaurants and specialty restaurants, when others dining around us where in and out before we ever received any food. Our room Stuart was awful as well. She missed our cabin one day and tried to say we were in the room so she could not clean it, but we honestly were out of the room at 7am and did not return until 3pm. She was also in the middle of cleaning our room the next day when we popped in to grab something out of our safe and she came running in, while yelling on her cell phone complaining about another passenger, and then yelled at us to get out of the room because she cannot clean when we are in there. I understand that you have things happen from time to time and that you cannot always have good service, but we were made to feel like we were an inconvenience the entire time. I wish I had not paid any gratuity in advanced. There is a list a mile long of instances of things like this and other things that were lacking on this ship. I feel that NCL really tarnished the experience of our Honeymoon and we were excited to get off the ship as soon as possible, and I love cruises and usually dread having to get off the ship. The disembarkation was also a disaster, not organized and a madhouse with guest all fighting with each other as they had multiple lines setup and then tried to tell one line that they had to move to the back of the other line, even though we were told to wait there and did so for over 2 hours. If I could I would demand my money back, and that would not even be enough, for we will never be able to have our first honeymoon trip together again. I would not recommend this cruise despite the good reviews I have read. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having cruised before a few times on a couple other lines, I was hopeful that my first taste of 'cruising like a Norwegian' would be a really fun experience... I am sad to say that it was quite the disappointment. I took my ... Read More
Having cruised before a few times on a couple other lines, I was hopeful that my first taste of 'cruising like a Norwegian' would be a really fun experience... I am sad to say that it was quite the disappointment. I took my parents with me as a birthday present. (my mum was turning 56 on Jan 20th and my father 53 on Jan 21st) Having considered RCCL as usual, I checked dates for what was available around my vacation time allotted to me by my work, opting for this one instead due to some advice from a friend who said she had went with NCL before and enjoyed them. Touted them as "better than RCCL and I don't have to go on RCCL to know this." Reading many reviews before making my choice, red bells kinda went off when I heard that the food was sub par and the room layouts were very odd. But the deciding factor was that RCCL's cruise that fit into my vacation time at work was only a 4 day, where the NCL Epic was a 7 day and had a lower price than the 4 day bohemian cruise I would have went on otherwise. So I booked the 7 day cruise on NCL's Epic. Now, style is subjective, so I am not really including this in my overall scoring of the cruise, but the first thing I noticed upon entering the ship is that the decor really isn't as nice looking as I am used to seeing. Aesthetically, I actually tend to like RCCL ships a lot more on the exterior, so it kind of didn't surprise me that it would be the same on the interior. Upon getting to our room, I got to see just exactly what the reviews meant by awkward staterooms. There is no bathroom. I mean, there's a toilet, sure and a shower, but there is no bathroom. The sink is attached to this tiny counter and is smaller than some of my serving bowls at home. The bed takes up most of the space where it is impossible to get around someone in the room without them having to climb on it. The closet is also quite tiny, and we found it easier just to keep all our things in our suit cases just taking out the nice clothes for the closet so they wouldn't wrinkle. (Dresses, suits, good pants/dinner wear etc) The couch would be impossible to sleep on for someone of my height, so our stateroom attendant would pull down the bunk bed from the ceiling. -- I found that bed quite nice to sleep on and kinda fun, as I could choose to look out at the balcony towards the sea, or I could turn around and watch TV at lot better than I would were I on the couch -- However, getting into the bunk bed was a lot easier than getting down. There was this ladder that there was literally NO ROOM to climb down, again this room layout was tiny and horrible. To get down from the bunk, I found it easiest to just jump onto the main bed and climb up from the main bed as there was no where to put the ladder without opening the back door to the balcony. The space between the couch/bed and the tiny counter/closet was about 1 foot or so, so you can see how it would be hard to fit my self between them. Changing in the room was kind of awkward as all we had were these curtains that could pull across in front of the shower and at the balcony door. With no bathroom, if someone wanted to use the shower, we would have to pull the curtain across and change and shower behind that, but if more than one person needed to get dressed, one of us would have to do it on the balcony. Anyways, enough about the room. In short, it was impractical and terrible and also a lot smaller than the balconies on the other lines I've sailed. The smallness may have been due to the way the room was designed though, as the balcony it's self was a nice size. So, after we got to the room, my dad went down to the front desk to borrow an extension cord, as he uses a CPAP machine to breathe when he sleeps at night -- more on this later. My mum has medical problems as well, so she brought a heating pad, but -- and this may just be the electrical voltage on the ship but -- her heating pad would not heat. It was on, but it barely got even remotely warm. Thank god I purchased her the spa package. The hot rock beds and hot tub/sauna/steam rooms really helped her with her pain. More on that later as well -- that is actually one of the more positive things I have to say about Epic. So next thing - the food. It was indeed sub par in areas, just as the reviews I read had said. However, a few things to note: The food it's self wasn't always bad. It was just that it was often served cold. I will go to detail about that when I get to the service. The ice cream was actually something special though. I loved it. The self serve ice cream dispenser was actually something a kin to Dairy Queen and the hard ice cream in the buffet was really good as well. This was something that NCL apparently does better than Royal and I can agree with this fully, as Royal's self serve ice cream is more like ice milk, where this is the GOOD stuff. The jello on Epic was quite good as well. Sharp tasting and not chewy and rubbery like a lot of Jello I have had from many places, cruises and land buffets in general. The food at O'sheehan's was actually pretty good as well - minus breakfast. I had their breakfast and it was only alright. Nothing to dance around about. This was the case for most of the food I had. Things noteworthy - O'Sheehan's Mozzarella sticks and Chicken Wings. They were pretty tasty. Everything else was meh. Food at taste was meh as well, same as the food in the Manhattan room. Their idea of "real maple syrup" makes me sad. Their syrup is not real. It's Aunt Jamima - or tastes like it. I don't mind aunt Jamima Syrup. I eat it at home. What bothers me, is that they called it "maple syrup" and when asked if it was real maple syrup they said yes. Once you've had the real stuff, you can never be fooled again about it. Maybe the staff never had real maple syrup before. Now on to the service. So, where should I start? My parents got the ultimate beverage package. That's 420$/p person. I was disappointed to learn that for that much money, there was still a limit. First of all, the package does not include room service, super and ultra premium brands, freshly squeezed juice, canned soda or energy drinks, specialty coffee or bottled water. You would think that it would considering how much it is. On top of that, they were watering down the drinks. Not just the booze, but the Orange Juice as well. When they didn't water it down it was good, but boy could you tell when they did. My dad went back to the bar to have them make the drink again when he ordered something called a dirty banana. It should have had ice cream in it, and it did the first time but when he got another one for mum, it was watery. Turns out the bar tender made it with ice that time instead of ice cream. When we went to dinner, we would be waiting forever to get our food. We go in, sit down, order. Another couple comes in and sits near us at another table. That couple was served, ate and left before we even got our appetizers and when we did get them, they were often cold. This happened quite a few times. My mum had ordered wine and the lady went to go bring her some, but when she returned, she had dirty glasses. The lady who was going to pour my mum a glass of wine almost poured it into the dirty glass that still had someones red lip stick print on it!! We had to point it out to her before she noticed. The cutlery was also unclean in some cases and had to be replaced. I asked for lemonade and had to ask 3 times during dinner before they brought it to me one night. There were other times where I wasn't given the thing I ordered. This was mostly in the Manhattan room but this also happened during breakfast at Taste. Room service is terrible. We ordered breakfast room service one day and didn't get half of what we ordered. I ordered cereal, some milk and a bowl to put it in. Hot chocolate, tea and orange juice. Mum ordered a couple bananas, some peach yogurt and breakfast pastries. Dad ordered a muffin. I got my cereal. No milk or bowl for it. A packet of hot chocolate and nothing to make it with. Some hot water for tea as well as sugar and my orange juice. Mum got her bananas. She also got some peaches. No Yogurt though and only some of the pastries. Dad got his muffin. So in general I found the service was quite bad, with cold food a lot of the time. Now on to something more positive. The entertainment-- It was actually pretty good. I didn't have much interest in things like Blue Man group or Cirque dining or whatever it was, but the cabaret thing in the Manhattan room was actually really well done, if a little loud. The volume was actually quite bad if you wanted to have a nice conversation over dinner, as you couldn't hear anyone even with them sitting next to you, but seeing the show for the first time was cool. Got old though after that. We went to the Second City thing and that was kinda bad. I am impressed at how quick the actors/comedians can think on their feet though. It was impressive, but not really funny. The jokes that were meant to be funny were just lame and kinda stupid. But that aside, the Blues Band in Fat Catz was really good!! I was quite impressed that a lot of the entertainment actually sang their own stuff and played their own music. RCCL's stuff is all dancing and Lip Sync from what I have seen so I actually commend these artists for their work. Dueling pianos was fun and I liked that they were talented enough to take requests. So in short: Entertainment is pretty good on this ship. Somewhat of a side note: I was sad about the lack of pools on the ship. The adult pool is something laughable as you can't even swim in it and it is about as big as a table. Mostly people went into it to socialize and it was very... well lets just say it didn't really look clean, or that much like a pool. The kids pools were so filled with children that I didn't really care to swim in them and I don't care much for water slides, so my parents went on them without me. Dad says the slides were fun. By the time we got to Jamaica I was craving a swim so bad I went to the beach in the rain just to get some salt water time. Another major positive - The Spa was amazing. If the pools on the pool deck were crap (which they were) the hot tub- if you wanna call it that- in the spa was exactly the opposite. That hot tub was more like a hot pool! There was room to swim around in it, and there was this one room with jets that were so powerful that if you didn't hang on to the wheel thing in the middle, it would shoot you out back into the main area again. They felt really good on you when you had a long day on shore. The hot rock beds were lovely to lay on and the steam room with eucalyptus and other various smells were so great and cleared up my skin something nice. The sauna's weren't that hot, but they had a great view with full length windows and were a great place to relax after sweating in the steam room. Over all, the best place on the whole ship and well worth the 200$ I spent on it per person. (For mum and my self) So to finish off this review, I didn't really do any shore excursions, but I did get off at port in Grand Cayman and Jamaica and those were super fun. The last bad service thing we had to endure was that the night before we left, dad returned the extension cord for his CPAP, but when we went to leave they had no record that he did. We were not happy about that. The staff just kept dropping the ball again and again and if it wasn't for the ports, nice weather and that spa package I purchased, I would have felt that this was just one huge waste of money. In short, I will never sail again with NCL. It was a nice vacation, and I was glad to get away from the snow for a while, but I think next time I am going to stick to what I know and like. I've heard great things from my parents about Cunard. I think that will be my next venture. Thank you all for reading. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
The problem we had was the noise level of the bands that would play in the Tropicana room was EXTREMELY LOUD to the point that we could not hold any kind of conversation with any of the other guests at the table. The last night we were on ... Read More
The problem we had was the noise level of the bands that would play in the Tropicana room was EXTREMELY LOUD to the point that we could not hold any kind of conversation with any of the other guests at the table. The last night we were on board our table actually clapped when the band went on break, so we could talk to each other. We talked to the wait staff about the noise level, but they couldn't do anything about it. That is why we enjoy free style dinning is meeting new people at dinner every night. We were not sitting in front of the speakers either, we were at least ¾ of the way back, and off to the side. We would wish that the seating staff would make more of an effort to fill up a table, a couple of times we sat at a 6 top and no other people joined us. The last thing is very small compared to the noise level of the music, and that is the guests attire in the Tropicana, if you post that no flip flops, or shorts, than it would be nice if you would enforce it. I enjoy running around in t shirts and shorts all day, but at dinner especially a nice restaurant, then lets dress nice. We have been on cruises that they have turned people away for not dressing correctly. Now the Great things We liked how JC was out there learning the dance steps We LOVED the dance classes, the more the better for us (which should tell you that the The Burn the Floor show, was one of are all time favorites for all the cruises we have been on) Please more Zumba classes   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We are a retired couple from Ft. Lauderdale and decided on this cruise last minute. The price was really good and we were able to get an outside accessible cabin, which was great. (Cabin 5738 video on youtube). The cabin was very ... Read More
We are a retired couple from Ft. Lauderdale and decided on this cruise last minute. The price was really good and we were able to get an outside accessible cabin, which was great. (Cabin 5738 video on youtube). The cabin was very comfortable and very well appointed. Our cabin was kept very clean and the cabin steward was very attentive, even got me an egg crate for the bed upon request. Embarkation and debarkation were painless, we carried out luggage with us on and off the ship and had no problem. The ship is beautiful, and large, but no problems with crowds whatsoever. The ship is kept very clean and the crew is really accommodating. The entertainment was good, Burn the Floor was outstanding, Legally Blonde was good, the comedians were funny for a one time only show, the other shows were sort of a repeat. We enjoyed Wine lovers the musical, very entertaining, but the best were the Haul at the Moon guys, they always had the people going, it was lots of fun. Their Dancing with the stars version was hilarious. We love Joey, the cruise director, he was everywhere always with a smile and always stopping to ask how we were doing and if we were having a good time. The entertainment crew was excellent, from Joey all the way to the Burn the Floor dancers, they did a beautiful job. We had lunch at Taste on embarkation day and it was sooooo good!! We ate at the Tropicana every night, never had to wait more than a few minutes, the food was always great and so was the music. We had dinner once at La Cuccina and we loved it, my Osso Bucco was delicious. The Flamingo Grill is very Caribbean (mostly cuban) the sweet plantains were always perfectly ripe, better than some restaurants. The pastelitos were very authentic, coco, guava, cheese and guava and cheese, almost like you will find in a cuban bakery. We loved the parties on H2O, they were lots of fun. Especially the night of the fireworks. The ports we had previously visited several times so we only got off on St. Marteen, for a little while. We loved the ship and the crew and will not hesitate to sail on her again.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was out 81st cruise (12/14 Norwegian Epic sailing) and we did not have very high expectations. This was not the most luxurious cruise we have ever taken but one of the most satisfying. The crew is the friendliest and most helpful we ... Read More
This was out 81st cruise (12/14 Norwegian Epic sailing) and we did not have very high expectations. This was not the most luxurious cruise we have ever taken but one of the most satisfying. The crew is the friendliest and most helpful we have encountered including those on upper scale lines like Crystal, Celebrity, Holland, Radisson etc.etc. We had a handicapped balcony cabin at the rear of deck 13 and this was the most accommodating cabin we have ever had with more than ample room to manuver the mobility scooter. The bathroom was very large with wonderful shower facilities. The sink in the main part of the room was different but not a problem. One small suggestion would be to place the sink next to a counter with an opening underneath for a chair since some handicapped passengers cannot stand to use the sink. There also was not a chair or couch in the room but we brought one in from the balcony and it worked fine for my husband. The room was VERY clean and the bed was exceedingly comfortable. If you like firm or semi-firm pillows consider bringing your own as theirs are very soft - not a problem for us though.There is an immense amount of storage in the room. The carpeting did need to be replaced but the rest of the cabin was pristine (and I am a cleanliness nut) so I notice everything. I fell in the middle of the night (my fault totally) and my husband could not help me get up and had to call for help. Four security officers responded and were kind as well as concerned and got me off the floor and back in bed - no easy task. A medic accompanied them but the only damage done was to my pride. The ship responded immediately and the staff could not have been more helpful. We ate in a different specialty restaurant every evening and all were beautifully appointed. La Cucina and Cagney's were our favorites but the food in Shanghai's was great. Le Bistro is elegant and the food was very good. We did not like Moderno but that may have been just a result of our palates.The Manager at Cagney's, Daniel O., was outstanding; we saw him in other food venues and he was always very friendly remembering our names and tastes. We observed him handle some sticky situations (no fault of Norwegian) with some very difficult passengers with supreme grace and patience. If we still had our business, we would have tried to hire him to work for us. We did not eat in the main dining room but did have lunch in Taste (smaller DR) several times and it was excellent. We ate in O'Sheahan's several times and the food there is edible (barely), but the service is friendly and professional - just a limited menu of poorly prepared food. The Garden Cafe buffet was fine, no better or worse than most. Room Service was prompt with personable and helpful servers. Embarkation and disembarkation was easy and well organized. Entertainment is a matter of taste so we will not address that. What really impressed us was the quality of the staff at all levels. I do not know if this is true on all Norwegian ships, but we found this crew to be extraordinarily well trained and friendly. I avoid buffets since I am scooter-bound but, on the one occasion I did go to the Garden Cafe, I was bombarded with offers of help. Even the ship's officers stopped frequently to speak with passengers. This was our fourth Norwegian sailing (the others were a long time ago) and we booked since the Epic is now leaving the US permanently. We will soon book on the GETAWAY and can only hope the crew there is near the same level as Epic's. I cannot stress enough the high caliber of this crew and we know the difference given the number of cruises we have taken. Congratulations to the Captain and to the Training Manager - exceptional service by a crew with wonderful attitudes, a rarity on many cruise lines these days. P>S> The elevators are dark and depressing, particularly for those with elevator issues......lighten them up when refurbishing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Wanted to try a larger ship. I've been on 20+ and this was the worst. Starting with the Terrible room layout when you walk in the room the toilet is in a small area on the left shielded by a frosted door and the shower is on the ... Read More
Wanted to try a larger ship. I've been on 20+ and this was the worst. Starting with the Terrible room layout when you walk in the room the toilet is in a small area on the left shielded by a frosted door and the shower is on the other side of the entry...the sink was actually in the main cabin at the foot of the bed. So you go to the bathroom and then walk to the main area to wash your hands or brush your teeth..just a bad idea.. Seemed to lines for everything Shows, restaurants and events even if you had reservations you waited more than a half hour just to be seated. I called to reservations explaining my medical issued made it difficult for me to stand in line was told to come 40 minutes early to be seated for the Dinner show when I arrived the line was really long so I asked who I could talk to regarding my problem they just said sorry nothing I can do. The food was fair at best. I will not sail on Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I am gainfully employed. Even thought I'm 65, I enjoy working. However, a cruise is the one thing I have always looked forward to. Short or long, any cruise puts my nerves to rest. I have also been in the catering industry, so I know ... Read More
I am gainfully employed. Even thought I'm 65, I enjoy working. However, a cruise is the one thing I have always looked forward to. Short or long, any cruise puts my nerves to rest. I have also been in the catering industry, so I know good food when I eat it and am always looking for exciting and new culinary experiences........ and THIS CERTAINLY WAS THE SINGLE WORST EXPERIENCE I'VE EVER HAD AND I WANTED TO MAKE CERTAIN NO ONE ELSE EXPERIENCES IT. Left from Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale. A zoo, would be the best way of describibg what it was like trying to check in. Totally disorganized. I'm not sure if they had a tring crew, but they were issuing conflicting directions and instructions. No matter...... we make it to our check in and somehow got our room keys and we get on board a few minutes later. We are now trying to get into our relaxed mode. Additionally, we are excited about a weekend cruise with some friends, I had made arrangements and paid in advance for dining at the one of each specialty resteraunts, for each night of our cruise. DO NOT DO THIS. Not only is the food and service SUB PAR for the cruise experience, the experience simply isn't worth it. Not only do you get TERRIBLE SERVICE, the food is a joke. Tak our experience in Le Bistro. Supposedly a HIGH END FRENCH experience.............. I ordered a Coquille St. Jacques.......... they served Seared Scallops. I told them there must be a mistake......... reordered the Coquille....... got Seared Scallops again. Enquired if there was some misunderstanding........ they brought out the Chef.,,,,,,, told me that Coquille St. Jacques is "prepared differently, in different parts of the world........... and they way they prepared it was to out right "sear the scallops with some seasoning on it"........ Ordered the Pork......... it was WAY UNDERCOOKED........ so to make sure it was cooked right,,,,,,, they thin sliced the pork loin and grilled it ON A GRILL............... drying it out nicely :) I am currently arguing with them on getting a refund for the $20 per person upcharge............. They refuse to reimburse me, until I drop my dispute I placed through American Express.............. Norwegian Cruise Lines is a complete JOKE........ If you are serious about cruises......Cruise Royal Caribbean.......... To make certain I do not miss any of the details I'm being asked to include to submit this review. Cruise Ship: Norwegian Sky Cruise date: September 12 to Septemebr 15, 2014 Port: Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdlae, Florida Stateroom: 9223........ Below average condition. Dining: 1st night at Il Adagio.... terrible food, fair service. 2nd night at Cagneys good food, good service. 3rd night Le Bistro, WORST DINING EXPERIENCE EVER. Activities: Many to chose from.Children's club: N/A Staff & Service: The most incompetent group to ever sail the high seas. Entertainment: REading this site is SUBSTANTIALLY more entertaining. Shore Excursions: Been there, done that,,,, we went on our own Disembarkation: The best part of the whole cruise....... disembarking, PERIOD! Summary: Never on Norwegian Cruise LInes, again.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
The Getaway is a brand new ship and NCL are having teething problems.  The ships design centres around the activities on deck 15 with the kids splash academy, ropes course, rock climbing wall etc.  When kids are in school and most ... Read More
The Getaway is a brand new ship and NCL are having teething problems.  The ships design centres around the activities on deck 15 with the kids splash academy, ropes course, rock climbing wall etc.  When kids are in school and most cruiser are adults the ship does not work.  There are very few large bars for the usual activities trivia,karaoke, bingo etc plastic Ikea chairs in the atrium do not work. The biggest complaint from many is the large casino on 7th deck mid which allows smoking. This drift down to the 6th Bistro restaurant which has a patio that is made unusable. They are ruining a brand new ship because of this.  Princess lines have no-smoking days in their casinos and they are packed on those days.  NCL should take note. The food/service is excellent in Gagney's,The Bistro, Teppanyaki,Taste and The Garden Cafe. The La Cucina as an Italian restaurant is worse than the Main Tropicana dining room which is only average.(not worth the $15 charge)  All in al the ship is too small for the 4000 passengers and it feels that way. The H2O deck in the back gets covered with soot from the funnel when the wind is directly along the ship, and I am sure some of the balconies in the back do as well.  The cabins are well appointed and the bathrooms large and ship is very stable and no engine vibration. The two current shows Burn the flow and Legally Blonde are top rate.  There are three sizes of balconies small,mid sized and larger.A small just about fits two chairs !.  They also need to change the ports St Maarten and St Thomas its becoming repetitive.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We are hooked on cruising and over the past 40 years, we have been on RCCL, Holland, Princess, Celebrity, Costa, Carnival and NCL. Living near both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale ports affords us the opportunity to take advantage of last minute ... Read More
We are hooked on cruising and over the past 40 years, we have been on RCCL, Holland, Princess, Celebrity, Costa, Carnival and NCL. Living near both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale ports affords us the opportunity to take advantage of last minute cruising. We have seen a lot of changes on cruise ships, but there is always room for improvement. Here is my take on the Getaway. Very quick embarkation. First impression was cleanliness. Hands were sprayed with sanitizer as we stepped foot on deck 7.."washy, washy" was heard many times a day- especially by the buffet. The Garden Cafe located on deck 15 was large and airy with lots of inside and outside seating on both sides of the deck. A wide variety of hot and cold food was available but nothing special. Our room(mid ship -mini suite with balcony) was ready at 1:00. Pleasant surprises: coffee pot; stocked refrigerator; bathroom had full size shower equipped with jets and glass frameless doors; large rectangular sink with double faucets; HELPFUL HINT: you have to insert your key card in a slot next to the bathroom door to turn on the electricity. No directions listed.. we just figured it out. Balcony was a little small with 2 chairs and small table. View Looking down was lifeboats on deck 8. Read your "Freestyle Daily" - and take advantage of the free guided ship tour at 1:30. We missed it because we didn't know about it. There's lots to do every single day.... or just chill out and do nothing. There are some wicker chairs and couches on deck 8 to rest and read or nap. Make sure you have reservations for Ilusionarium magic show and dinner on the 1st nite, because it is free. Other nites there is a fee. It was my favorite show and dinner of steak and shrimp was good. Make your reservations for shows and dinners on your room tv or the interactive boards in the public areas by the elevators. Very easy and convenient. Dining: There are 6 complimentary dining areas and 9 restaurants with a fee. A pizza can be ordered and delivered to you anywhere for $5. We had the Ultimate Dining Package- and here is where we ate: Cagney's Steakhouse- best steak and lobster. The staff addresses you by your first name, which is a welcoming feeling. Service was first class. Teppanyaki- entertaining and large portions. Fun chef and the other 6 people were very friendly. LaCucina - outside dining was a pleasant place to watch the sunset and food was tasty. Le Bistro - disappointed in service and crepes were not on the menu! Ocean Blue- not included in the package but got 20% discount. Overpriced - but enjoyed by lobster risotto entree. Could not understand why "burnt broccoli" was a side dish. It was the worst thing I ever tasted! Savor and Taste were 2 smaller versions of the MDR which we ate in for breakfast. Service was slow. We did not eat in the MDR- Tropicana Room- It had a dance floor in the center for entertainment. Entertainment - Illusionarium magic show- you asked yourself..how did he do that??? A little too much talk though Burn the Floor - Latin dancing was good... but 30 minutes too long.... Repetitive routines Comedians - Funny and entertaining Legally Blonde - not a fan...music too loud and drowned out the words. All Shows in the Atrium were my favorite. Audience participation was great! A Must see !! Fireworks display - lasted 10 minutes and could see them from our port side balcony. Glow Party and 70's, 80's, 90's Deck Parties..... very loud music but fun to people watch Farewell Show - keep your eye on Joel- the cruise director in this show. HILARIOUS!! Lots more to see!! Things to do - or just chill out! Rope course, walk the plank, mini golf, rock wall climb, water slides, game room, trivia contests, zumba, yoga, exercise classes, spa treatments, art auction, informational health talks, pool games, bingo, shuffleboard, chess, dance classes, arts and crafts, 3D movies, bowling, circus workshop, blackjack tournaments, rum tasting, Q&A sessions with staff. etc. and that is only a few suggestions. Destinations: Been to St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Nassau so many times before. Really would rather skip the Bahamas and go to their private island. 4 ships in port made it impossible to move around. Final Words: The song "Happy" by Pharell is the perfect theme song for this ship...and is still in my head. The staff video dancing to the song was priceless. Don't miss it on your room tv. You will be singing the tune too! Behind the Scenes tour aboard the ship visiting the galley, laundry and bridge was great but pricey.($79.00 per person) Very informational - everything you wanted to know on how things work on the ship. Ship was very clean and still looked new. Disembarkation went smoothly and right on time. Room for Improvement The only adult pool on the ship was too deep (6'8") and way too small. The jogging track was a misplaced on the ship. Too small through a crowded areas The corn beef sandwich in O'Sheehans was more like a limp ham sandwich. Skip it!! Ice Bar- $20 fee includes 2 drinks per person. Only 4-6 people at a time allowed in. Why charge so much for this? They didn't even let us look in. Skipped it! I did not think the majority of the staff was friendly They only spoke if spoken to first. Very few greeted you with a hello. The senior staff were visible in the Atrium and always acknowledge people. My husband and I had a great time but our favorite ship is still Allure of the Seas. Next cruise in December is on the new Princess Royal. Can't wait!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Just got off the Norwegian Getaway! Sailed with hubby, just the two of us, and left our kids home for the first time in a long time! Embarkation - smooth sailing - we arrived at 11am and had to wait in a holding area for probably 30 mins ... Read More
Just got off the Norwegian Getaway! Sailed with hubby, just the two of us, and left our kids home for the first time in a long time! Embarkation - smooth sailing - we arrived at 11am and had to wait in a holding area for probably 30 mins but there was enough seats and coffee so it was fine. Our rooms were ready at 1pm. Cabin We had a spa balcony - 14104 - it smells great in this area and is 1 deck below the spa itself. The locations was great for us since we spent so much time at the spa. Movement wasn't an issue. Noise - not a problem in general - it was only a little annoying that there was always a lot of crew going in and out of our hallway slamming doors because they have cabins on this end of the ship. Once you are in room, it's pretty quiet. Space - the cabin itself was the smallest balcony cabin we ever had and the smallest balcony we have ever had - it's funny what a difference just a few square feet can make - if w had the kiddos with us it would have been WAY too small and I would have been upset, but with just the two of us, we were fine. Our cabin steward - shashank - was great! Beds and pillows are very comfy - TV was good size, some good free movies was nice. Storage space was fine for 2, but more than that would have been tough. Spa - We booked this cruise mainly because of the spa and entertainment - our spa room included a weeks spa pass which was great! We also did 2 spa treatments while on board. Tips, tricks, positives and negatives: Tip to ncl - Spa itself is kind of hidden from general public - other ships have a nice big opening so others are enticed to enjoy it more! The gym had a good amount of equipment - and looks onto ocean which is nice. The machines have a tv built in - so bring your headphones - and also a ledge for your phone or iPad and a water holding area - perfect. Spa locker rooms are nice - robes and towels are complementary and if you have a spa room you get nice spa flip flops too. The spa features a hot tub, a thalassotherapy pool with many jets and seating areas and bubbles - it is not salt water - the first day it was cold but after much complaining from passengers it was a perfect body temp - nice strong jets and very pretty. There are also several chairs - probably 15 tiled warming chairs and 30 cushy relaxing chairs. A fresh fruit water and tea station are complementary. There is a sanarium - a sauna with some humidity, a dry sauna, a salt room and a steam room, plus showers outside to cool off in. These special rooms were never too busy and very relaxing. The salt room turns on a almost unnoticeable mist of salt every 20 mins and is room temp. The steam room was supposed to have eucalyptus smell but don't think that was working. There are only 2 negatives - there needs to be probably 10 more tiled chairs - they were almost always full and people like to chair hog - but the staff is pretty serious about removing people's towels to clear the chairs if they are not sitting there, so I could usually get one if I wanted to. The other problem is bigger - the pool and hot tub need to be in a separate room - not only are they loud but the people in them talking over all the jets are loud too so if you want to relax in the chairs you can't with all the noise. The design of other spa ships is Better with separate rooms for each area. Spa treatments - tell them you don't want to be sold products and they won't- otherwise they push hard. Our couples massage was excellent and my Thai poultice massage was nice - each day there is a deal - wait to book until each morning to find out what it is -they get a better deal the later in the cruise u get. The spa raffle drawing the first day - don't enter unless u are willing to be present to win at 5pm. Be prepared to sit through sales talks about Spa services and art for 45 mins during drawing. Food We had reserved our restaurants and shows ahead of time, so that was no problem. We ate at pay restaurants every night. Breakfast at the buffet or taste/savor/flamingo - it was the same quality whether u were at the sit down restaurants or the buffet. The buffet beverage selection was good - better than some cruises. The food - not so good, but not much different than any other cruise. I will say that if this ship did not have pay restaurants or we didn't do them, the main dining rooms would have been disappointing, but I think they design it that way so people do the pay restaurants. Moderno - very good salad bar - an antipasto style - all the meats saved were very good but they will rush you if you don't tell them to slow down - if you don't want a meat when they bring it - tell them to come back with it and only have small bites or you will explode! Le bistro - this is right below the casino in an open area so if you aren't far from the door. It smells like smoke. The escargot - super oily - the scallops - lackluster - the duck was good. Cagneys - very good overall Teppenyaki - entertaining and tasty - great Italian la cucina - surprisingly my favorite - great pizza and Osso bucco - best bread on the ship Sushi - they did a great job - the menu lacks choice but if you ask the chef to surprise you with something not on the menu it's always good! Raw bar - delicious ceviche O sheehans - good wings - ice cream not very flavorful Carlos bakery - desserts at restaurants were just as good Coffee - no different than any other cruise ship, but the free coffee was just awful - the pay coffee was good, but only available in one place, so you had to plan ahead. The one problem there was that there was always a Lot of staff waiting in line to get coffee as well - I have never seen that before - they must not have access to good coffee anywhere else either. Noodle bar - very good Service at the pay restaurants was great but at taste and savor not so much There was the lack of a simple salad and sandwich cafe - the salad bar options at the buffet were pathetic. We did not do room service but someone who did all the time said it consistently took 45 mins Entertainment Illusionarium - very good show - cool room it's in - their seating is an issue - they should just assign it based on when you boom because you have to stand in line 45 mins before to get front seats. Also make sure you ask for a forward facing seat - they have tables line up the long way where you have to crane your neck to see - therre are also poles in the way - but again show itself is really good - food is fine - filet mignonette and veggies and shrimp - vegetarian option is eggplant Parmesan Wine lovers musical - entertaining but quite flamboyant - fun show - same food and room as magic show Burn the floor - missed it unfortunately Legally blonde - totally disappointing - I love the movie and the story line was quite different - over the top flamboyant - they were good singers and dancers but the sound in that room was not right - the balance was off - a good view from any seat, though. I was surprised to see this show was carnival quality as opposed to ncl epic quality. Comedy - we saw both comedians - they had the same opening guy - they were all good but the show was too short - seemed only 45 mins with the main comedian ! Howl at the moon - by far the best entertainment on the ship - 3 pianists / singers switched off - one could also play harmonica and one could also play violin and guitar - they were funny and really good musicians and it's amazing how many songs they know! Bring cash to get your songs played! There was always trivia or a game or a movie being played in the atrium, which was good but not quite big enough of a venue. A lot of times the main theatre would have been a better spot for those activities Karaoke - good when they had it but didn't seem to have it much There is arcades and bowling and pool and darts - nice $ time fillers. The ship itself is pretty and lots of nice art - very tasTeful. Deck 8 is nice to sit (away from smoking area) and have a walk or a drink - strangely the running lane was located in deck 16 and was very short and also wet from the pool often. We didn't play shuffleboard or chess or use the game room but they were all there. The shops on board were lackluster unless you wanted to spend a lot of money on jewelry watches or perfume - a strange lack of souvenir shop offerings. The pool - there was not many kids on our cruise but you didn't see those that we're at the adult pool so that was good. Plenty of hot tubs. Adult pool is small on sea days and finding a chair that isn't in the blazing sun is impossible. Use the pool on port days and it's great. The water slides are all fun and not too long a wait The ropes course - which includes zip line and walk the plank was really fun and wasn't as tough as I thought it would be One big problem was on the last day - we wanted to check into our flight 24 hrs before and they we're only going to let us if we paid for Internet! Every other cruise line we have been on has allowed flight check ins fee of charge! Wet put up a stink and they let us go into a back room to check in but how ridiculous is that?! I will have to fight for that each time? Ridiculous! So overall a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise - lots of fun, sun, spa, drink and good food! Problems were minor. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Overall, the ship is very nice...The good points: new, clean , beautiful restaurants, the Waterfront, great bar staff, O'Sheehans Neighborhood a Bar and Grill. The not-so-good stuff: although I had a Studio room which was ... Read More
Overall, the ship is very nice...The good points: new, clean , beautiful restaurants, the Waterfront, great bar staff, O'Sheehans Neighborhood a Bar and Grill. The not-so-good stuff: although I had a Studio room which was surprisingly fine despite its small size, I heard lots of toilets flushing and water draining. I think I had a bad room as others did not have the same problem - but still, there should be better insulation. The room service was awful. Called and was told the wait would be 45 minutes...after 1hr and 45 minutes, still no food and no one could explain the problem. The pool area is the worst I've ever seen on a ship (I've been on at least 15 other ships)....way too cramped. They dedicate room for The Marketplace by the pool...just ridiculous ...and just another aspect of the feeling that they are trying to squeeze another dime out of you. It's too bad that they could have had a great ship but prefer to sacrifice that goal just to try and get people to spend more money   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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