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Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: September 2019
The only thing that was hard to hold on to is self-discipline. The quarters, people, and facilities are stunning. I couldn't leave my cabin without finding it made up and snacks replaced with other snacks I couldn't walk ... Read More
The only thing that was hard to hold on to is self-discipline. The quarters, people, and facilities are stunning. I couldn't leave my cabin without finding it made up and snacks replaced with other snacks I couldn't walk around the Haven (ship within the ship for upscale cruisers) without someone asking if I needed them to get me anything. Haven restaurant served gourmet food every meal The off-shore excursions were easily arranged by the concierge. The 24-hour butler was just a phone call away. The scale of the scenery was grand and awe inspiring. The Jersey Boys show was magnificent. I almost had withdrawal symptoms when I got back home. Want to do it again. One of the things I really like is the opportunity to leave feedback on any crew members that stood out for superb customer service. I had to name quite a few. If you decide to go on a cruise, take this one and book a suite in the Haven if possible. I was very pleased. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
First time on a Norwegian Cruise ship. I have be told by others that Norwegian is the best cruise line. I have taken Princess and Carnival Cruise. My best experience was on the Viking Cruise one Seine River in Europe. Several of your ... Read More
First time on a Norwegian Cruise ship. I have be told by others that Norwegian is the best cruise line. I have taken Princess and Carnival Cruise. My best experience was on the Viking Cruise one Seine River in Europe. Several of your restaurants like the Manhattan and Taste are at the 5 star level. My children are grown. But I enjoyed seeing the staff playing with the children and believe my grandchildren would enjoy this ship. The cabins were well designed with balconies. I enjoyed the many choices of lounges and quiet areas to rest,read, sleep or just look at the beautiful ocean. I chose to go to the beaches. I did not wish to take any excursions. I traveled with a group of 14 people who either attend my church or are close friends of members in the group. We have traveled together before. We wish to THANK THE NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE in arranging the buses and chartered airplanes to enable us all in returning to Miami. Thank GOD for a caring Cruiseline with a caring staff who are able to plan and make adjustments as needed. A special Thank You to the Captain of this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The cabin (balcony stateroom) was roomy, bed was comfortable, tons of storage, clean, beautiful bathroom, and the steward was remarkable. And that just about sums up the pros. This was a humongous, obnoxious ship filled with way ... Read More
The cabin (balcony stateroom) was roomy, bed was comfortable, tons of storage, clean, beautiful bathroom, and the steward was remarkable. And that just about sums up the pros. This was a humongous, obnoxious ship filled with way WAY too many obnoxious people. It felt like a Cancun spring break for the middle-aged. I saw some really shocking behavior, and the cruise line didn't do anything to prevent it. In fact, some of the bartenders seemed intent on getting their guests as drunk and rowdy as possible. It was really difficult to find a quiet space to view the unbelievably beautiful scenery. The buffet dining room is actually scary. It's loud and pushy and, honestly, you get a little worried about your own safety, especially if you are blocking the pound of bacon someone is eyeballing for their breakfast. The crew doesn't enforce common codes of decency and health. People were sleeping like vagrants on the lounges and couches on the observation deck, even though that isn't permitted. I saw a guy puking into the public sink for pre-meal hand washing and it took me two tries--one with a crew member on duty and a later call to housekeeping--to get someone to promise to disinfect the area. (I didn't trust that enough to use those sinks again!). And forget about them keeping a tranquil atmosphere in spa. [ Do NOT pay for the spa pass. The people are noisy and obnoxious, partying like teenagers, yelling to each other and drinking booze--in glasses--in the therapeutic pools. The incident with the woman bleeding profusely who went back into the pool while the staff let us all continuing using it pushed me over the edge. After some, well, energetic complaining, they did refund my membership.] The food was pretty good, but I did send back several meals, either because the servers didn't understand my order and got it wrong or, on two occasions, because the pasta was undercooked. I'm not much for the theater so I can't comment on any of the shows. I did, however, come to view Deck 6--where the games and weird activities were held--as the 6th ring of hell. Pretty much every time you turn around someone is trying to up-sell you or get you to pay an enormous amount for services. I mean, a massage for $200?? Really? And you can't provide free WiFi? And, the NCL app doesn't work unless you pay for the WiFi ($15/day was the cheapest price I saw. $187 for the week was the highest!). Better prices for excursions can be found online from private companies. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
My family and I wanted to take a end of the summer vacation together. We cruised August 16-19th. We honestly decided to cruise Norwegian because of the open bar, because we normally cruise Royal Caribbean but drink packages for 20 is a tad ... Read More
My family and I wanted to take a end of the summer vacation together. We cruised August 16-19th. We honestly decided to cruise Norwegian because of the open bar, because we normally cruise Royal Caribbean but drink packages for 20 is a tad expensive. Norwegian open bar was really not worth it the staff was so rude and made the guest feel unwelcome like we were annoying them. The food on the ship was disappointing. A lot of the food was like hospital food with little flavor. The service from the staff was horrible. The majority of the staff including the bartenders and waiters was that they appeared to be annoyed by the guests and seem to have a careless attitude about providing good service. I have travelled on other cruise lines so I understand what quality customer service is and it was not there on this trip. When I would approach a staff member with a simple question no one ever seem to have an answer and the majority of the staff was not able to communicate basic english to answer questions like “where is the bathroom”? Or “what time are we scheduled to be at our next destination?” We upgraded one of our rooms to a balcony and it wasn’t worth it. The room was so tight that you literally had to jump over one bed to get in the room. I really wish I had a picture of that mess. Also, before cruising I was told I had to put a $300 hold per room. I did not have to do that my room key was disabled from making purchases which was fine I did not want to make any purchases. So if your wondering I set my payment to cash on checkin and never went to the service desk to change it. No $300 hold and cards disabled. For smokers they don’t sell Newport’s so don’t run out. Based on this experience this will most likely be our last cruise with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
When I began the cruise experience with the company my expectations were extremely high due to the reviews I had read. Not being able to go to Cuba was a huge let down and knowing we were not going due to unforeseen circumstances was ... Read More
When I began the cruise experience with the company my expectations were extremely high due to the reviews I had read. Not being able to go to Cuba was a huge let down and knowing we were not going due to unforeseen circumstances was understandable but at the same time I was traveling with a group of 13 including myself and some were not able to get in contact with the travel agent. I was told one thing about onboard credits and when we arrived on the Sky it was completely different from staff members. Some staff members were rude and instead of being friendly they either ignored me or rolled there eyes. Which is completely unacceptable due to me on a cruise on vacation with a large group. Also when we arrived I'm the main point of contact for the group of 13 which means I brought alot of people some who hadn't cruise before to enjoy this time with me and to get the experience which for some they weren't impressed. Breakdown from start to finish. Get out of the car we are greeted with someone who is taking our bags then they say can I get a complimentary tip (as if its a demand). We then get to the security area where they what I thought was 1 person working I look over to find that there is another line open but the employee isn't saying anything to anyone. I arrive at check in which the person doesn't even give me a map of the ship just a key card and tells me my room number. Get on Board not alot of people saying anything other than hello. No knowledge of a specific location to go to for food. Yes we have the app but we are also not trying to be tied to our phones (WE ARE ON VACATION). CREDITS FOR EXCURSIONS..... They were per room instead of per person. My cabin mate was a friend of mine and it should of at least been split down the middle. They just did things as if everyone was a couple and that wasn't the case for many in my group. Food: Not the best and were on repeat which got old after being on a boat by like day 2. Service overall: Guest service slightly rude Cafeteria staff very rude Crew working the floor we stayed on were the most polite and very attentive. Overall not the best and not very happy I have a $250 credit with them due to not staying with our actual course. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
came along as a group of 25. wish we had chosen either another ship or different time of year to sail. my least favorite of all cruises i have been on. second cruise to alaska. suffice it to say, i am not a megaship kind of cruiser. ... Read More
came along as a group of 25. wish we had chosen either another ship or different time of year to sail. my least favorite of all cruises i have been on. second cruise to alaska. suffice it to say, i am not a megaship kind of cruiser. breakfast in the buffet? good luck finding a table. dinner at the buffet? good luck finding a table. oh...and reserve everything beforehand. everything. i am not that kind of planner...if you are, you are a good fit for this ship. while it is perhaps well suited for others, the layout of the ship with all activities taking place in the atrium is not my cup of tea. you cannot hear anything at the guest services or excursion desk if you are trying to get info. too loud from the game shows and other stuff going on. the plus side is everything you might want to do is very centralized on decks 6, 7 and 8. smallest mini suite cabin i have ever had and most expensive cruise i have ever taken. seriously not worth what i spent. the ports are beautiful, but owing to a medical emergency the night before, our time in ketchikan was cut to about 3 hrs . good thing we had been there before and knew exactly where we wanted to go. elevators had quite the wait. disembarkation was one of the worst experiences if not THE worst of any ship i have sailed. 1.5 hrs just off the thing, never mind the almost 1hr wait for our bus transfer to the airport. can't help that...the traffic in seattle is a cluster you know what on cruise days. choose another port to sail from...seriously...if you are not big on being patient. will i sail her again? nope. will i sail any megaship again? nope. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had wanted to do a different cruise than our normal Italy/Spain vacation and thought this sounded like a perfect fit. We flew in from a 3 day stop in Iceland and landed in Copenhagen late the night before we boarded. I don't ... Read More
We had wanted to do a different cruise than our normal Italy/Spain vacation and thought this sounded like a perfect fit. We flew in from a 3 day stop in Iceland and landed in Copenhagen late the night before we boarded. I don't like arriving the same day as embarking. The boarding process was painless. The ship has been recently renovated and was lovely. The only complaint I had about the room is having the bed dead center in the room, allowing very little area to walk around the bed. It seemed to be a waste of space to have the bed blocking the seating area. There was plenty of storage room and the bathroom was spacious; even had a tub. The food was the high point on this cruise. Normally I am sick of the buffets by day 3 of cruising but that was not the case on this trip. The food was always fresh and there was a large assortment. We also ate at of 4 of the restaurants; they were awesome! The entertainment was good; not great but there was plenty to do in the evenings. I feel the gym could have had more equipment. There were quite a few times where there were no open machines when I tried to work out and I tried several different times of the day. The shore excursions were my biggest complaint on this trip. The Berlin tour was good. I wanted more information on WW I and WW II, not just the Berlin Wall. One of the members of our group went on the tour of the concentration camp and seemed to enjoy that one better. Tallinn was amazing and we did that on our own. A little research and we were good to go. We were told we would have two days in St. Petersburg but realistically it is 24 hours. Upon docking, we did the Evening at the Hermitage which was nice but the museum was actually closed when we took the tour. A lot of the lighting was turned off and none of the shops were open. However, it is only open for cruise tours and when you see the line during the day, you are grateful to have the experience you had. I had booked the Catherine's Palace and the St. Petersburg church tour before we left the US and was told it would be fine; two tours in one day. However personnel on the ship told me I couldn't make it and they would not refund money if we did not get back in time for the second tour. One of the people in our group went on the Catherine's Palace and had plenty of time when he got back before the second tour started. I was disappointed to say the least and the four hour St. Petersburg tour I took instead was very poorly done. It was basically driving around town in a bus looking at buildings. We were leaving port 24 hours after we got there. Not a two day stay. The last two excursions were a total waste of time. We did the hop on/hop off options for Stockholm and Helsinki and didn't have even enough time to make it around the entire route once. We were in town for a very short period of time and the options were very limited. I would have liked to have a more time in port and a later time to leave. We did the Copenhagen to the airport option and that was perfect. We had plenty of time to see the city with a great guide and then we were dropped at the airport. Two of us stayed with the luggage and the rest of us took the metro back into town and went to Tivoli Gardens and spent a few hours there. I would definitely do this tour again but would hope more time could be spent in port in some of the towns and less time between each destination. The distance is not so great we couldn't have more time in port. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the uniqueness of the destination, the Baltic Countries. a great experience on the cruise but couple of things left us angry and wanting 1) Seafood Paella being served was a highlight as we love seafood and Paella, we know Halal is not offered but the paella had PORK sausages even though pork was not mentioned on the menu description. With the number of Muslims cruising with NCL, I would think they would at least be clear about that. live cooking omelets in the breakfast saw spatulas being used to turn ham filled and normal eggs, The Indian Dishes , in the garden Cafe had beef and pork dishes along with the vegetarian choices, which sort of says NCL does not care about the sensitivities of this segment of the market. The pullman beds were left out for the duration of the cruise and not closed daily which would have made the day time cabin use pleasant. Value for money, being specific an 1 year old infant being charged full 3rd person cost is not value for money in anyway as there is nothing infant friendly available or provided by the cruise line, Freestyle for adults is definitely a great way to cruise and value for money, but NCL has to look into the Muslim cruising market by making sure pork is properly marked and the utensils not used, at least by the crew handling the food, in an interchangeable manner, may be even take some pointers from other cruise line on how to avoid the same, like Carnival. We had 8 seniors in the group, for who there was no on board activity, that they could enjoy, These avoidable incidents would have enhanced the good experience Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was picked as a VIP Park West Gallery art auction cruise. We did not directly pay for this cruise but we are glad we chose it. Park West Gallery paid in full for Cruise, drinks, gratuities, and special dinning. The only real ... Read More
This cruise was picked as a VIP Park West Gallery art auction cruise. We did not directly pay for this cruise but we are glad we chose it. Park West Gallery paid in full for Cruise, drinks, gratuities, and special dinning. The only real down side was the specialty dinning. It was not very good. Service was poor and the food was just ok. Got a backed potato at one dinning and did not even receive butter or sour cream, or anything other then the potato. We had charges on our bill that were not correct, the customer service desk had us back and forth several times for the same reason. Just seemed like they were not concerned. We were unable to use the go cart track as it was booked full the second day of the cruise. I would just think that they would have there act together if they were concerned about the customer. I did enjoy the cruise and most of our complaints are small, overall it was a nice cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The food was bad, the waiter was good but there seemed to be no excitement from the staff. The freestyle meals are cold and not friendly. The smoke on the ship from the casino was horrible. You could smell it 2 floors down in the ... Read More
The food was bad, the waiter was good but there seemed to be no excitement from the staff. The freestyle meals are cold and not friendly. The smoke on the ship from the casino was horrible. You could smell it 2 floors down in the dining area. The staff on the ship were not educated on events and where to go many times we asked. We have cruises many times and this was probably the most disappointing cruise we have ever been on. Our cabin was nice and we enjoyed having a balcony but when we tried to sit out there the people in cabin 8051 were smoking. We were not told this ship allowed smoking or we would not have scheduled a cruise in this ship. The staff when we got off the ship in customs were very rude to everyone getting off of the ship. We will probably not cruise with Norwegian again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
With a group of 13 adults the embarkation & disembarkation were surprisingly QUICK & EASY, other cruise lines could learn for your company procedure. My balcony suite was perfect for me & Jose(Angel) did an amazing job keeping ... Read More
With a group of 13 adults the embarkation & disembarkation were surprisingly QUICK & EASY, other cruise lines could learn for your company procedure. My balcony suite was perfect for me & Jose(Angel) did an amazing job keeping it clean and keeping me stocked with towels. The food was really good, everywhere we ate. Pool deck service was amazing Kevin & Felipe kept the drinks coming. Comedian Jay Moore was HILARIOUS!! It was nice to have the movie option in the afternoon for those that needed a break from the sun. Cruise director Jasper was very entertaining & funny hosting the dance contest. I cant remember the name of the Spanish Band that played but the Selena tribute was REALLY GOOD. Nina was very friendly and entertaining during the trivia game. The private island was really nice, good was good and Felipe kept the drinks flowing. I wasn't in the casino long but the staff was friendly when I was there. The only thing I didn't like was the muster, it was to HOT, crowded and uncomfortable to be standing for so long. But the info was good to know incase. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My parents booked this cruise as a gift to me for my 22nd birthday , (07/14) . From the second I got there , I was treated far better than any all inclusive resort in Cancun or Punta Cana . I had a studio room , the studio is small but ... Read More
My parents booked this cruise as a gift to me for my 22nd birthday , (07/14) . From the second I got there , I was treated far better than any all inclusive resort in Cancun or Punta Cana . I had a studio room , the studio is small but full of everything u need . Shower , toilet , sink , very comfortable bed , closet , tv , and these party lights installed all throughout our he room which really changed the mood of the whole trip . The buffet food at the restaurant was okay , however the exclusive restaurant were out of this world . Le bistro, was superb , the Manhattan was great , moderno had amazing meats . The drinks were made to perfection . Nothing watered down, all drinks premium and perfect with the alcohol . The amount of friends I made on this cruise is unreal . Norwegian does everything they can to make it as easy as possible to have a good time . If you are early 20s or late teens , definitely book a cruise with Norwegian because they give you everything you need , full of activities , you just have to make the best and most fun of it . Which is fairy easy Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship is renovated on the inside and nicely done. The Pool on this ship is way too small for the number of people. I found the kiddie pool on front of ship was more relaxing then main pool. The pool deck had a trashy party atmosphere- ... Read More
The ship is renovated on the inside and nicely done. The Pool on this ship is way too small for the number of people. I found the kiddie pool on front of ship was more relaxing then main pool. The pool deck had a trashy party atmosphere- women were twerking on pool deck. The DJ at the white party was playing obscene music- with children present. The Norwegian Sky Bahamas cruise is more of a booze cruise. However, this will be ending soon as they are stopping the free open bar as of September. And people will then not drink as much because they will have to pay. For a first time cruiser the ship and cruise may be enjoyable but for people who have been on other cruise lines and larger ships this cruise is average at best. The buffet lines were lit and I felt like I was in a school cafeteria, or prison. The dining room was a pleasant experience. The service was excellent on the ship in every department which made the cruise more enjoyable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Well my daughter and son booked the cruise months ago. My husband booked it for us a week before he passed away! My children & doctor thought it would be good for me to go and he would want me too! well everyone was right it was good ... Read More
Well my daughter and son booked the cruise months ago. My husband booked it for us a week before he passed away! My children & doctor thought it would be good for me to go and he would want me too! well everyone was right it was good for me. I felt he was there with us! I asked my sister to go with me, so she was my new roommate! I enjoyed watching my grandchildren at the pool going down the slide, the shows were awesome, the newly wed game, deal of no deal, the restaurants very good! So many choices, the food excellent! I took my two granddaughters to the spa and had there hair braided! And we tried out the casino too! I can't say enough about the staff! our steward manuel was wonderful, taking care of our room, making cute towel animals and if you needed anything he would get it. Diana in the buffet very helpful, always offering to carry are food to the table. And you have the best cruise director in luz and assistant joey! I could go on and on! We also saw one of my granddaughters swim with the dolphins. Then my sister and i did a bus tour of the island of bermuda! I had flown there with my husband in the past. So all and all a great vacation i was relaxed. A much needed one. I would recommend a cruise to anyone! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I would just concur with the poster who wrote "Marginal and Loud" as their headline. If you like really big, really loud, really overcrowded, and really under-serviced ships, then this ones for you. Otherwise I would run and ... Read More
I would just concur with the poster who wrote "Marginal and Loud" as their headline. If you like really big, really loud, really overcrowded, and really under-serviced ships, then this ones for you. Otherwise I would run and "Getaway" as fast as you can. The ports were great though. The room attendants were friendly and spot on, so I will give kudos where due. The Starbucks was great. The sushi restaurant was not half bad, and the steak place was downright good. The rest, well...just mediocre to bad. The wait times for tables, the feeding troughes at the buffet (literally not to be able to find a table at the buffet and having to eat outside where its 50 degrees is unacceptable for any ship), the nickel and dime fees for everything, the cacophony of noise in the main sections of the ship. I waited 3 days for them to bring me a case of water I purchased the minute I got there, which I'm pretty sure is the same water that comes out of the tap but that's besides the point. At some point at day 2 I had to buy liters of water at the bars because I didn't know if I was ever going to get it. Water, you know, it's kind of important to some people. I recommend buying the bar water btw and not the case water, the bar water is actual good quality bottled water, not their crappy filtered water. I have become used to smaller ships after many years of cruising and don't like crowds, so this just wasn't the ship for me. I chose this ship because we were traveling with 4 teens and I wanted them to have more activities like the ropes course and slides etc. But with 5K people and very limited hours that these facilities were open, no one used them from my group anyway. The only saving grace for my group was the Haven which is worth the money if purchased on day 1. It's the only area of relative quiet and the pools and saunas are nice. All in all this felt like a Carnival ship sailing in the Baltic. So if you like Carnival, you'll like the Getaway. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The entertainment on the ship was amazing! We went to see Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams and Steam, the Magic Show and the Million Dollar Quartet. They were all fantastic and you could tell that the performers were very experienced. The ... Read More
The entertainment on the ship was amazing! We went to see Burn the Floor, Cirque Dreams and Steam, the Magic Show and the Million Dollar Quartet. They were all fantastic and you could tell that the performers were very experienced. The dining was okay. Garden Cafe had lots of options when it came to different cuisines. The teppanyaki restaurant and La Cuchina were nice but it was really annoying because kids have to eat from the kids' menu in the specialty restaurants. The service was so-so. It took a long time for the staff to get the drinks. The pools and hot tubs were very nice. I liked that the pools were not saltwater like many other cruises I have been on. The ports were amazing. The only problem that I had was that it was a bit chilly so you need to make sure to bring jackets. I have a special recommendation for a man named Kashif from Zimbabwe. He was a photographer on our cruise and he was very kind and he is one of the best staff members on our cruise. He definitely deserves a raise!!! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
DH and I took 16 of our closest friends and family on the Norwegian Joy last week for our wedding ceremony. The itinerary was Seattle - Ketchikan - Juneau - Icy Strait Point - Victoria - Seattle. We had an absolutely wonderful time. ... Read More
DH and I took 16 of our closest friends and family on the Norwegian Joy last week for our wedding ceremony. The itinerary was Seattle - Ketchikan - Juneau - Icy Strait Point - Victoria - Seattle. We had an absolutely wonderful time. I'll preface this with the fact that I'm a first time cruiser, so I admittedly have nothing to compare it to. However, I felt that the ship was quite spectacular, the food options plentiful, and the staff really excellent. Food and Beverages: For specialty dining, we ate at Cagney's for our wedding reception dinner. Many in our group (quite a few of whom are foodies) said that their steaks were some of the best they have ever had. The portions at Q were enormous, and the meal was delicious. I think if one were from a state that had world renowned BBQ it might be old-hat, but for this Canadian it was fabulous. Between the group, we had most of the sides on offer and all were really well done. The meal at Ocean Blue was exceptional (the jumbo shrimp cocktail is a must, worth the upcharge imo), and the service was very attentive. I did not eat at La Cucina, but those in our group who did raved about it. Teppanyaki was amazing. The steak was absolutely mouth watering, and our chef was very entertaining. The Garden Cafe buffet is certainly a busy spot (if you're the kind of person that can eat at off peak times, you should consider that for the buffet), and at times it was difficult to find a table. However, as others have mentioned, it's very easy to grab a plate and head down to the Observation Lounge one floor down to find a spot to eat. Much more relaxing. The food is all adequate and satisfying, and what one would expect from buffet fare. And yes, there was a seafood buffet on night two, although we did not get to attend because we were at Cagney's. I thought the food in the main dining rooms was all very well prepared, and it was not difficult to get a seat without a reservation, even in peak times. We bought the Premium Plus Drinks Package, and for us it was good value (top shelf liquors, higher end wines, specialty beers as District Brew House, etc). However, if you are to get one of these packages, do keep an eye on your on board account. I had to have them reverse charges three times, and that was even with purchases where we had told our server we had the PPB. This requires a trip to guest services each time, which is a bit of an inconvenience to be sure. We found out later that the computer in the District Brew House wasn't registering PPB purchases properly, and I wonder if that wasn't the case with a couple of other places too. Also, not all servers were well versed in what was covered under the package, so it is worth ensuring each time that they know what should be keyed in. I'm not sure if I had the option that I would do it again, I'd probably stick with the regular drinks package. Entertainment I really enjoyed the production of Footloose. It was certainly not the apocalyptic marathon that it had previously been described as... The leads had amazing voices, and there was an enthusiastic cast. I ran into more than a few people who went to see it multiple times. I didn't get to Elements, so cannot offer an opinion there. My brother and I went to karaoke with Alvin a couple of times at the Cavern Club, always packed, and always a supportive crowd! Although I will note there was a fair bit of turnover, so not difficult to get a seat if one waited at the bar fro a bit. Our group did line dancing at Q one night, which was a bit of fun, and the country band was very good. We steered clear from the Atrium activities because that area can be quite loud and busy, not really our scene. But there is so much going on it is easy to find something outside of the Atrium, or a quiet spot if needed! I was impressed with the varied range of activities, though. Really something for everyone, from vegetable carving to trivia, to dancing lessons. Amenities The go-karts were closed for the majority of the week due to the rain and high winds. We did get on at the end of the week and it was a lot of fun. Do be aware to budget at least an hour for this activity. The "heats" are usually running a bit behind, and it take a while to get everyone kitted out. Don't do what we did and wedge it next to a dinner reservation that we were then worried about missing... Laser tag was similarly closed for a lot of the time, as it's open air. We managed to get in on the last night, and while it is only 10 mins, that was enough for us! I imagine smaller, more energetic children would find it not enough time and want to have several goes on it. It was fun for all ages, though, and they do make safety a priority so little ones are (hopefully) not being bowled over by larger kids (or adults living out a Stormship Troopers fantasy). I did not go to the Galaxy Pavilion, but DH took his niece. He described it as a place designed to separate parents from their money at an alarming pace. The Virtual Reality games are $10 a go, so it adds up quickly. The other games are about $1.60 a play. Our group really enjoyed the hot tub at Spice H20. The first evening it was a little lukewarm, but they had turned up the temperature by the following day. I appreciated that the staff enforced the "adults-only" rule, not because I dislike children, but because it meant that the hot tub was never packed, whereas the hot tubs in the main swimming area got quite busy with young ones. Port Stops Ketchikan is a fabulous, quirky, frontier town. I highly recommend strolling down Creek Street. I would say that if you are looking for Alaska souvenirs, this is the place to get them (for this itinerary). Sam McGees had by far the best and most interesting selection (that wasn't just a sea of similar looking tchotchkes). The Totem Pole museum is worth a visit, and if you're interested in doing some hiking, I recommend grabbing a cab and asking to go to the head of the Rainbird Trail at the University of Alaska parking lot. It's a 45 min hike of moderate intensity with a couple of stunning vistas, and huge old growth trees. Well worth it. You can arrange for a cab to come and grab you at the other end. About $8 each way and a 5 minute drive. The Joy's itinerary has it in Juneau from 7:00am - 12:30pm or so. Most things in Juneau don't open before 9:00am or 10:00am, be forewarned. There is a free shuttle into town, or you can walk it in about 20 mins. If you want to skip the excursion costs, it is possible to arrange a taxi cab to the Mendenhall Glacier to walk around on your own (more economical if you're in a group). There's a great interpretive centre and a number of short walking trails. There is a $17 per person park fee to get in which will be collected by your taxi driver, so don't think it's a scam. The afternoon that we left Juneau, the ship traveled up Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier. This is absolutely a time to be near a window. We were in the observation deck for much of the afternoon because of the high winds and the rain (along with most of the ship), but the visibility was still good and the views were spectacular. There were also a number of small icebergs and a few whale sightings. Once we were near the glacier, we went out onto the "Waterfront" on Deck 8 to get a better look. There was staff there with bonebroth and ginger to warm us up, which was a lovely touch! The captain turned the ship around 360 degrees so everyone could take in the views. It was really something. It's also no small task for a ship the size of the Joy to navigate those waters, the crew really should be commended. Icy Strait Point is a privately owned cruise ship port owned and operated by a native Alaskan owned company. There is a small museum about the history of the area interspersed between the gift shops on the main boardwalk, which I found quite informative, along with the exhibits of fish canning machinery. Most of the excursions at this port will sell out beforehand because there is no competition, and the costs will be at a premium. It is home to the longest zipline in the world, which looked terrifying to me, but may be other's cup of tea. Bring your binoculars because there are many bald eagles flying around. There is a nice beach walk along the shore for those who want a leisurely pace. The Jewel is docked here at the same time, albeit with tenders, which means that it gets VERY busy. We disembarked first thing in the morning and had a nice, leisurely walk around, with a reasonable amount of space between bodies, but by the time we were headed back to the ship at around noon, it was unbearably busy. There is a shuttle into Hoonah, a town about 1.5 miles away, for $5 per person. Unfortunately, when we were there they were only running two school buses back and forth, which was not enough to keep up with demand, and there was at least an hour wait. If you're mobile, it's worth either walking into Hoonah (along a very nice trail), or renting a bike for $15 for the hour and heading in that way. Both DH and I have lived in Victoria before, so we chose that day to stay on the ship. High tea at the Empress Hotel is always lovely, and Victoria is home to some great craft breweries near the downtown, if that's your thing. There are also many whale watching tours about. As others have mentioned, when in Victoria the rule is only one bar per deck can be open, so be aware of that for planning purposes if you're planning to stay on the ship. Overall, I really enjoyed our time on the Joy. The front line staff were all more than eager to assist, and bend over backwards to be friendly and kind. The ship was kept very clean, the food was amazing and plentiful (too plentiful, says my jeans...), there were definitely parts of the ship that were busier than others, but always a place to get a drink, and to get away from the crowds if necessary. And the views of the Alaskan landscape could not be beat. A fabulous cruise to be sure! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We chose to embark from Barcelona because it was much closer to the port and I prefer starting my cruise on a weekend day. The embarkation was very easy and stress free. We were on the ship in ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary. We chose to embark from Barcelona because it was much closer to the port and I prefer starting my cruise on a weekend day. The embarkation was very easy and stress free. We were on the ship in less than 15 minutes. Disembarkation was also easy. Very orderly and quick. The ship was pretty good. Cabin location was ideal for me. It was at the back of the ship but had cabins above and below therefore it was quite. The balcony was covered and offered some privacy unlike the ones directly below. I actually like the odd layout of the bathroom, it made getting ready quite easy for 2 people. I had both the unlimited drink and 4 specialty dining package. The dining was awesome. Cagneys, the Italian, French and the Teppanyaki were very good. Also ate at the Manhattan Room twice for dinner. Taste twice for breakfast and the Garden Cafe several times because it was more convenient for those really early mornings excursions. We also did Cirque Dreams which was a dinner show. It was very good entertainment. There were actually really good entertainment onboard. I enjoyed Burn the Floor. Priscilla was interesting. Overall service was good. Ports were excellent but we missed the last port due to passenger falling overboard. All my excursions were booked independently for size and economic reasons. We had no issues with that at all. We were a group of 26 adults. I would definitely do the itinerary again. Now we are looking at Greece/Croatia or Hawaii. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We had beautiful weather. No rain at all. In Juneau it was about 78 and Skagway about 72. The ride through Glacier Bay was beautiful. You don’t stop. Book your tours ahead of time through Viatour. So much cheaper than ship prices!! In ... Read More
We had beautiful weather. No rain at all. In Juneau it was about 78 and Skagway about 72. The ride through Glacier Bay was beautiful. You don’t stop. Book your tours ahead of time through Viatour. So much cheaper than ship prices!! In Ketchikan we walked to Creek Street and did all our shopping there and very good prices for all souvenirs. You must do the Yukon tour in Skagway. Don’t do the train. Everyone was disappointed since you can’t really get pictures, do the Yukon bus tour instead. Lots of stops and so beautiful. In Juneau we did whale watching (not great) and Mendenhall Glacier. Go to Nugget Falls there! So worth the hike!! The smoking area is only on Floor 17 in a small area but we had so much fun up there and made great friends! Food is all pretty good. We did Cagneys, Italian and Ocean Blue. Didn’t love the Italian but at Ocean Blue you can get lobster for a $10 upcharge. The Beatles and Jersey Boys were great. Didn’t make it to Havana. Beautiful ship, very clean. We had a great time!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Went on Key West-Cuba cruise as part of a group.. Very disappointed with customer service both on board and contact with company. First day they closed the pool all day due to love bug infestation as well as Great Outdoors Cafe but did ... Read More
Went on Key West-Cuba cruise as part of a group.. Very disappointed with customer service both on board and contact with company. First day they closed the pool all day due to love bug infestation as well as Great Outdoors Cafe but did have it ready by Day 2.. Had "handicap accessible" room which was fine-our room attendant was wonderful. Chose the 3 night specialty dining pkg. as one of our choices (also did shipboard credit).All 3 specialty restaurants were good-Le Bistro, Moderno Churrascaria and La Cucina( veal dish was very salty)-all had excellent wait service and food was very good.However, unless you know where they are and how to get to them it can be a challenge. Ate in Main dining room last night-was supposed to eat with our group but the the reservation time was changed by the staff and the person in charge of our group wasn't told, so we ate by ourselves. Food was good-nothing to rave about. Asked for a Coke and got a cappuccino instead. Did eat in the Garden Cafe and Great Outdoors Cafe for lunch a couple of times-food was okay-again nothing to rave about but wait staff were very good. Only one entertainment show nightly in the main theater, except last night had an extra "adult" show. Key West port-we had to be transported by trolley b/c ship pulled into military port and brought back the same way, but there were enough trolleys/trams running every 10-15 min back to ship. Ship was pretty quiet-not many kids on board. Cuba portion was good-ship pulled into main terminal-easy access into town. Did not like the fact that you have to pay for bottled water esp. if you need it for medical reasons-found out after 2 days I could get ice water delivered to room if requested but can't bring back any water/drinks from outside ship back on board-you can bring back empty bottles/travel containers. Also was told I had to pay for regular coffee in restaurant but not up in buffet/cafe (which I found out later on was incorrect-only specialty coffees are a fee). Drinks were okay-part of our pkg. but watered down. No real duty-free shopping to speak of-small place on deck 7 next to smoky casino-1 store divided into sections, and jewelry place across from it. Was a small place selling Cuba-theme items on Atrium level open after we got to Cuba and did have a few table on Atrium selling cheaper jewelry. Ship layout is poor-restaurants all on one side and had to go up/down 1 level to get to Main dining room from Level 5. Had to go through main buffet place to get to Garden Cafe. Too much Cuban/Spanish music-would have liked them to have a variety but the same type every day by the pool was a bit much. Did not partake in the shipboard activities-none really were very appealing or caught our interest. Some of the staff should be able to understand English and seem to not understand at times when I asked basic questions-if they were not sure then they should be told to ask another staff member to help (the coffee issue). I don't think I will travel on this ship again and not sure if I would travel again on Norwegian- wrote to customer service after trip and still haven't heard back from them (it is now July). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I was travelling with a group of 13 ages 55-65, the ship is very nicely refurbished not the neon colors like some others. Dining options are good, there is the Venetian which is the main dining room, the Aqua, another nice dining room ... Read More
I was travelling with a group of 13 ages 55-65, the ship is very nicely refurbished not the neon colors like some others. Dining options are good, there is the Venetian which is the main dining room, the Aqua, another nice dining room but more intimate, O'Shannesey's Pub a fun bar and restaurant and the buffet. We ate at the venetian for breakfast most days, as we got to warmer climates outside the temperature rose in that room, it was hot, not sure if there was an AC issue. The Aqua is only open for dinner but was comfortable, menu is the same as the Venetian which offers many good options and was cooler. O'Shannesey's Pub had more pub food choices although each night they have a special, one night was prime rib. The buffet was actually very good, we ate there 2 nights and everything was fresh and well seasoned. Breakfast and lunch was a mad house each day, people sit at their table after they are done eating, play cards or scrabble leaving folks with no place to sit, it is rude! The Casino was fun, adequate amount of slot machines, craps, black jack and roulette tables but is of course smoky as they allow smoking but this was another area that was very warm. I'm guessing the temp was low 80's so there was no air flow, there was a huge lack of ventilation in the casino. Entertainment: We enjoyed the shows in the Stardust theater especially "Elements" a cirque de solei type show, it was fantastic. As far as general music around the ship they really missed an opportunity here. They offered 80's tribute music and our group was excited to attend but it turned out to be one woman on a piano playing mellow 80's, same for the Beatles tribute, the band VIP performed Beatles songs but chose all mellow, slow dance songs, again boring. We did really enjoy the DIsco night. We took 5 shore excursions, all were good with the exception of Peggy's Cove, we drove around town for an hour or so looking at historical homes which only left us 50 minutes at Peggy's Cove, it was lunch time so we quickly ordered lunch at the So eastern which was very good but we had to take half to go and never got to really spend time in and around Peggy's Cove. Too bad because it was beautiful there! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our second NCL cruise. Our first was on the Escape. Comparable experiences. The food at the Garden Cafe was mediocre. Long lines for omelettes, as usual. Soft serve ice cream was usually too soft. Salad selection never changed. We ... Read More
This was our second NCL cruise. Our first was on the Escape. Comparable experiences. The food at the Garden Cafe was mediocre. Long lines for omelettes, as usual. Soft serve ice cream was usually too soft. Salad selection never changed. We ate breakfast at Savour...much better ambiance and service!!! Great service! We ate mostly at the specialty dining restaurants. Ocean Blue was phenomenal! Le Bistro came in #2. The menu in The Manhattan Room and Taste were identical, at least on the nights were were eating there. We had an aft cabin, port side...which was awesome. Quiet but close to Entourage (our 13 yr old lived there all week) and Spice H2O. It was a little noisy on Glow night but we were there partying, too! I would choose this section again. Some disembarking was done in the aft section (not just mid-section)...which made port days easier. I found final day disembarking long (45min) but there was a delay getting clearance which backed everyone up. We took our own bags off the ship. Some complained of delays retrieving their baggage. Ports... Anthony's Caye in Roatan...the hubby will write a Trip Advisor complaint. It was our second time there. Great experience! Our daughter loved the dolphins which were in ocean water...not a chlorinated pool! However, they jerk d us around with our booking time which created a delay for our returning taxi! We hadn't left the pier and our cab driver was back to get us! Harvest Caye...loved it but NCL should have had food and beverages for free, like NCLs sister island in Bahamas, I believe. Booze and food were not cheap. Also, it's hot as HELL there! We rented a sun shade for $40...worth every penny. Costa Maya...we just toured the shopping area. Cozumel...I got inked! I researched Tattoo parlours...did my homework. Contacted Sailor Ink and am very pleased with the art! Plus they speak perfect English. Sea days were crowded onboard...no surprise! Wake up early to grab lounge chairs! Entertainment was fabulous!!! Burn The Floor, Rick of Ages, Howl at the Moon, the comedians...all top notch! Our CD JC Sanchez.. the king Phillipino of the ship! He's blinged out in a glittery, sequin way. Our captain was very nice. All the staff were friendly and accommodating. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Cruise director was wonderful. Waitstaff was kind, rooms were always clean. Atrium bartenders were not great. Shakers was amazing, as were all fine dining experiences. Entertainment staff were a hit or miss. Some were wonderful, others ... Read More
Cruise director was wonderful. Waitstaff was kind, rooms were always clean. Atrium bartenders were not great. Shakers was amazing, as were all fine dining experiences. Entertainment staff were a hit or miss. Some were wonderful, others were rude (without much of a reason) towards guests -I can recall the female British insulting another guest rather curtly and want too impressed. Costa maya is a bust of a shopping port, could do without it as a port since there wasn’t much to do and most of the shops are repeats of one another. If you fond something you’re interested in excursion wise just do it. Although there aren’t many interesting excursions in Costa Maya, which was a bummer. Harvest Caye is a letdown without the drink package. The beach and pool were fine if that’s how you’re looking to spend your day. Cozumel is wonderful! We went to Chichen Itza and loved it! Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. We wished we had more time in Cozumel. Roatan is nice but a bit dodgy in some areas. Just pay a cab driver to take you around the island. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I have been cruising for 40 years. My very fist cruise was on NCL Starward in 1984. This was a theme cruise which it why I chose it. The Summer Palace was beautiful, the dining room staff was very pleasant, but the food. OMG! Terrible is ... Read More
I have been cruising for 40 years. My very fist cruise was on NCL Starward in 1984. This was a theme cruise which it why I chose it. The Summer Palace was beautiful, the dining room staff was very pleasant, but the food. OMG! Terrible is an understatement for the worst dining room food I have ever experienced. I am amazed at how bad it was! The menu never changed, & the menu descriptions did not describe what they brought out. Crispy fish that came out poached, Bourbon chicken that was really BBQ, mystery sauces on everything! I never went back after day 3 except to look at the menu. The buffet was OK, & I mean just OK. My 1st cabin smelled liked sewage. But, lucky me, there was a water pipe break day 2 which flooded most of the deck, I was able to pack up & move, but my new cabin was in a less than desirable location, over loud equipment used by the staff in the early AM & right under The Stardust Theatre. But at least it didn't smell. Cabin stewards were nice. Most of the people on the ship seemed to be miserable working there & the officers seemed quite unfriendly. Once you are trapped at sea, they nickel & dime you to death! I would swear the ships stabilizers were broken it was so rough. I have never been sea sick before, so I don't if it was that or the bad food, but I stayed queasy for 7 days. I do not believe in saying never, will I will never sail with nor recommend NC to anyone. This ship needs a total remodel. AVOID! Up side, I lost 5 pounds. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Cruised with a large group (over 70 people and families) and planned trip for over a year. Between the stateroom, flights, extras and on board upgrades we spent 8,000 on this vacation and felt like we were cattle the entire week. ... Read More
Cruised with a large group (over 70 people and families) and planned trip for over a year. Between the stateroom, flights, extras and on board upgrades we spent 8,000 on this vacation and felt like we were cattle the entire week. Getting on the boat: was raining in Nola and process was ok. Many people pointing you in what direction to go but otherwise went smoothly. Once on the boat you are kind of clueless as to what to do or where to go. Staterooms not open yet so do you eat? Drink? Explore? None of the crew was especially welcoming. Playing loud party music as we got on does not suppliment for genuinely happy crew members who look forward to taking care of you. While the boat is still in the Mississippi, you have to pay tax on any drinks you order. Ports were terrible. Not enough time to truly enjoy anything and not a lot of culture or excursion options. We went to a resort in Cozumel, kids had fun but the place was run down and the food was absolutely terrible, no taste at all. Belize was nice but wow do they find ways to nickel and dime you at every corner! If you have the premium beverage package be prepared to pay out of pocket all day for your drinks on this private make believe island owned by NCL. When we docked at costa maya, there were two other ships at the port. 12,000+ potential people walking around a small, crowded money trap and only 3-4 hours to do it. Absolute mess. Dining options: Here’s another chance for NCL to Create and illusion for you! Freestyle dining is anything but. They claim to have upgraded restaurants for an additional charge. The problem is, you can’t get in to any of them. You see, you have to make reservations for most of these upgraded dining options and by the first night of the cruise, our party found it very difficult to book a table at any of these places. When we finally got a table at Ocean Blue and wanted to add a few more to our table, we were told the restaurant was booked for the night. Weird considering that only 2 other tables were seated during our 2 hour meal. The real truth is they don’t want you to eat there!!! They want you at the buffet or main dining rooms. It was the best meal we had on the ship. Buffet was repetitive and main dining rooms were only ok. Also are at the sushi place and Shanghai noodle and sheehans. We also ordered room service which they charge an additional $8 to deliver your order which is nearly guaranteed to arrive way later than quoted estimate and cold. Oh and if you want a pop from room service you have to pay extra for an entire can even if you have the premium bev package. Service at the bars was terrible. Long lines and not enough staff and sometimes waiting 30 minutes for a drink order. Pool deck was crowded and pools were overcrowded. Made room to room calls and was charged $5 for each call. Tried to download the on board app but never successfully got it to work which made communication with our children difficult when they wanted to be up at the sports court or running around with their friends. They also don’t tell you the app costs $10 to download so we were billed $40 for something that never worked the entire trip. Arcade was small and another way for you to spend more money on board. The extra game shows (deal or no deal for example) were fun but again, $25 card to play and you’d think everyone might win a little something but only about 10 people won a chance to win something on the days we attended. The friendliest staff we encountered were in the duty free shopping area. Getting off the boat they herded us through the casino area which smelled terribly of stale smoke, not ideal for children or families. Overall totally unimpressed with the cruise ship, staff, and all aspects of this trip. Read Less
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