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761 Norwegian (NCL) Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

I have cruised with NCL a handful of times, and have always been satisfied with the value for your money. This would be my first trip where I don’t feel that way. To be fair, the weather can never be predicted - but other cruises I ... Read More
I have cruised with NCL a handful of times, and have always been satisfied with the value for your money. This would be my first trip where I don’t feel that way. To be fair, the weather can never be predicted - but other cruises I have been on with inclement weather seemed to have better contingency plans. I haven’t cruised on a ship this small or old before, so I definitely will book any future cruises based more off of the ship vs the dates and destinations. The ship feels very old, and the rough waters during this cruise were unbearable. I never get sea sick, but there were plates flying on the floor in the restaurants and my closet door even swung open and broke off of the hinges due to the turbulence. The power went out in the casino as I walked through, and even some of the crew members called in sick due to extreme conditions. The outside areas of the ship were virtually useless for a majority of the trip, so most events were moved to the crowded Bliss Lounge. There wasn’t a lot of entertainment on the ship, with the exception of Bingo, Deal or No Deal, board games, and a comedian. Many of the locations and activities didn’t have active servers during the events, like most NCL cruises I have been on before. Some areas even had the bars closed during events, making it inconvenient for our travel party. On day 2, my husband booked an eyebrow wax at the spa. We have done this on other NCL cruises, and he gets them at home every 4-6 weeks. The spa employee completely ripped the skin off of the top and bottom of both brows. Either the wax was too hot or the technique was incorrect, but my husband had scabs around his eyes from day 2 through disembarking. We did show the spa manager, and he was very concerned and conceded that it had to have been a technique issue. He refunded the service, but my husband was forced to wear sunglasses for the remainder of the trip to cover the bloody scabs around his eyes. The dining was very limited compared to the other ships I have been on (even the staple Garden Cafe seemed to rotate hamburgers and hot dogs every day, and lacked variety). We went to the Sports Bar late one evening, and waited 20 minutes without being served, so we left and ordered room service. We dined as a large group at the Four Seasons a couple of times, and the service and food there was great. We brought 16 people, and a few of them were first time cruisers. I kept reassuring them that this wasn’t normal, but I felt bad that their first experiences had so many issues. The crew did a decent job, but many of them were noticeably off of their game due to the conditions. Dave (Trippong) P at guest services was very helpful. I had to visit the desk nightly to get sea sickness medicine. I’m hoping that this trip was a fluke, because NCL has been my preferred cruise line the past 4-5 years, but I definitely won’t go on the Sun ever again. My family is still worn out and seasick a day later. *I hadn’t cruised from Port Canaveral before, and the embarking/disembarking process was the easiest I’ve ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sail on Norwegian out of Manhattan because it is very convenient. However, The Bliss seemed to have too many people for the facilities on the ship. The main areas were always crowded with people. There was congestion around the ... Read More
We sail on Norwegian out of Manhattan because it is very convenient. However, The Bliss seemed to have too many people for the facilities on the ship. The main areas were always crowded with people. There was congestion around the elevators, difficulty finding a table at the buffet, not enough room for the more popular attractions in the Atrium. Guests were actually moving chairs from the meeting rooms and library because of lack of seating. The embarkation and disembarkation were poorly organized. The Observation Lounge was very nice and a good gathering spot but seats were at a premium because it was the only quiet area inside. We enjoyed the Texas Smokehouse restaurant and the country western band although there was not much of a dance floor. The Chocolate bar in the buffet was delicious on the few occasions it was available. The photographers did not push for taking photos. Some of the cruise director’s staff were very good but others made up their own rules for the games and even became a little snippy with the guests about it. And, of course, the pattern of fish on the hallway carpeting showing direction was a real plus. There were two outstanding shows during the cruise, Six and Jersey Boys. They were two of the best performances we have ever had on our cruises. However, the shows definitely had to be booked prior to the cruise to be assured of a seat. There was a long line each performance in the Standby line. Not everyone could get in to see the show, again, too many people for the facilities on board. The first day ballroom dancing was on the schedule, quite a few people arrived to find a dance floor packed with chairs and no one around to remedy the situation. Once the floor was cleared, it was a fun experience that a good crowd enjoyed. However, the next time it was scheduled, the floor was so sticky that it was extremely difficult to dance and many of the people left. The third time the dance floor had not improved even after complaining for 3 days about the conditions and the crowd dwindled. After that there was no more ballroom dancing scheduled. On the night of the 70’s party at H2O, the floor was wet and that made for treacherous conditions. Sugercane drew a lot of people for Latin dancing but the dance area was small and even more restricted with the addition of tables on the dance floor. We visited Guest Services on a few occasions and, at times, they were not very helpful or not knowledgeable and, in fact, made a mistake on my account that took 5 more trips and a supervisor and the supervisor’s supervisor to straighten out. As the cruise went on and the problems multiplied, some of the little things started to become annoying. There were onions in everything in the buffet, the mini gold course had no clubs or balls available, there were no salt and pepper shakers or sugar on the tables but just a few days before the cruise ended they magically appeared. On other cruise lines there are precooked fried eggs available at the buffet to cut the wait time at the omelet stations. I really missed that. The Norwegian Bliss is a pleasant looking ship but definitely not a lot of pizzazz there. The theater was nondescript but the performances made up for that. Norwegian had an onboard app that I found was not very useful. All in all, the Norwegian Bliss was not one of my favorite cruise choices. However, some of the crew gave us exceptional service: Komang Pariana - (Waiter in the Q) Kind and thoughtful, he went overboard in being helpful to us and was sure to stop by and greet we each time we visited the Q. Priscilla Mupfururi - (Hostess in the Q) Smiling and personable, she kept us country all during the cruise by giving us tables in the Q close to the dance floor each night. Oscar Aranas - (Room Steward) Hard working and efficient. He kept us comfortable and supplied us with everything we needed for our room. Garmo Gaye - (Greeter at Garden Café) A beautiful, happy person. If everyone could be greeted each morning as happily as Gamo did for us, the world would be a better place. Didia - (Maitra D in Cagneys) Concerned and friendly, she always stopped to talk a while. Even when on her way to clean up late at night. Rico SaFranca Hermaso - (Waiter in Manhattan) Considerate and pleasant, he even went out of his way to get a special salad for our group each night. Made dining pleasurable. Darlyn Melendres - (Assistant waiter in Manhattan) With a sweet smile and gentle manner, she was always in the background waiting to be of service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Just got back from a 5 day cruise. I have to say I will never go with this cruise line again. The food was absolutely horrible and service was beyond bad. We had a "penthouse" if you want to call it this that was to have a ... Read More
Just got back from a 5 day cruise. I have to say I will never go with this cruise line again. The food was absolutely horrible and service was beyond bad. We had a "penthouse" if you want to call it this that was to have a butler. When we got to our room we noticed we needed converters for our phones and computers. No where on the site does it say we needed to bring converters. There was 1 110 outlet. We called the butler to see about getting a converter and were told to call customer service. We did and they said you need to come down and get in line. What do we have a butler for if we can't use this service? We called only 3 times for this service and every time told to go to customer service. The rooms are very dated and the bathrooms are old and very small. Especially for a penthouse. The ONLY person we found on the ship to be polite and happy was our guy that cleaned our room, Mel. He was the exception and we took care of him as well. Getting on the ship is a rat race and exiting was horrible even being a prefered guest. You would of thought this was the first time doing this. They exited us off the ship and said "follow the line" don't tell you anything else. The bar on the 13th floor that was outside was already out of spirits the 1st day. We had just set sail. How do you run out the first day? It was busy but not expecting a bar to run out. Once this was brought to the attention of the manager by another guest this is when the bar was finally stocked the rest of the trip. The bartenders were not thrilled working and didn't want to talk or even greet you. It wasn't until we tipped them we finally got good service even after we bought the upgraded beverage package. Oh and the premium package guess what there is an even hight package when you get there if you want top shelf. I don't get it. Tip each day if you want good service or it won't happen. We did this a lot just to finally get decent service. We usually do this at the end of our cruises but this time we did each day. We had the entire boat reserved with our company or this would not have been the cruise line I would go on. If you want cold and dried up food and you see people sending back several meals all the time then you have the right ship. Seems like they need to work on customer service as well since they don't seem to know what's happening on the ship either. Pool is extremely small but they do have lots of chairs. Cigar bar was a joke. Only cigarette smokers were ever there and cigar people had to go outside. The entire 6th floor reeked of cigarette smoke. If you don't smoke don't book on this floor. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Overall, I would do this ship again. My first cruise was the Dawn and it definitely brought back some memories. I think I am biased to the smaller ships! I think the food was pretty good. I've seen others complain about it and the ... Read More
Overall, I would do this ship again. My first cruise was the Dawn and it definitely brought back some memories. I think I am biased to the smaller ships! I think the food was pretty good. I've seen others complain about it and the only real complaint I have is that the food from the buffet was a bit bland which I think is to be expected. It is why they give you salt and pepper at your table. I loved, loved, loved the Great Outdoors buffet/bar area. It was awesome for late night snacks and even to sit outside when the buffet was a bit more crowded. Speaking of which, the buffet was tinier then the Dawn's, but the seating area was larger. We found seating whenever we went, even if it was busy. There are 2 pools which I think was great. Even on the busy sea days we were able to find chairs. They didn't host a single thing outside at night if you are into that. We did the Thermal package and spent an hour to 2 there every day. I loved the warm rock/ceramic chairs. I always ended up dozing off they made me so relaxed! They hosted a lot in the Spinnaker Lounge which I thought was really cool. It is in the front of the ship, so it can be a bit rockier, but there was a lot of room and the view was so neat! The shows in the Stardust were cool! The comedian was hilarious (we went to the adult show) and the Legends of Rock show was seriously so great I didn't want it to end! The acrobats/flyers were good, but not really our style. Our cruise director was Tiara. We weren't huge fans of her (we love Richard Matic, so we are spoiled lol). She didn't really host much. Left most of it to her Assistant CD and staff. The staff was so good and one of them was a phenomenal DJ! We bowled which was not easy, but a cool experience! We had an inside room near the front stairs and there was no noise at night at all. Would definitely do an inside room again, even if we did sleep a little later since it was like sleeping in a cave lol Everyone on the ship was super helpful and very nice to talk to, especially when you treated them with respect! We stopped at Harvest Caye and Costa Maya, Mexico. Harvest Caye was great and the pool was sooooo nice. You do have to pay out of pocket for stuff, but we went back to the ship and had lunch. I thought the Wildlife Experience was super cool! Costa Maya is definitely a tourist port, but it was still really neat to experience. The water is a beautiful blue!! Disembarking was a bit of a pain, but not NCLs fault. Customs seemed really slow. Took us maybe an hour to get off the ship and through customs. We did self-disembarkation as well (carried our own luggage). The ship is a bit older and not really made for kids. My husband is 30 and I'm 25. We both have a bit of older souls so I think we fit the crowd great! Would 100% do again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I decided to surprise my adult son with a cruise and spent months planning the trip. We were very excited about the trip and had excursions booked but couldn't decide about a specialty dining package so we chose to wait until onboard. ... Read More
I decided to surprise my adult son with a cruise and spent months planning the trip. We were very excited about the trip and had excursions booked but couldn't decide about a specialty dining package so we chose to wait until onboard. I've cruised before so knew what to expect but it was my son's first so it was important to leave a good impression. Embarking was quick and easy, despite waiting for over two hours at Enterprise for a shuttle. Our cabin was inside no window and incredibly small. We made it work but only had one electric port and our steward would not allow anything to remain plugged in while we were out of the cabin which was most of the time. (Make sure you have good batteries for whatever you are using for pictures!) We had the free drink package and headed to a smoking area H20 to grab our first drink. We ordered and were told no I'm not making that I will make you this, and were handed drinks! Not the best way to start off but we blew it off as a communication barrier or maybe he misheard us, and our second drinks were what we requested. Btw, they use some pretty awful drink mixes and a pina colada tastes horrid. There are only two smoking areas on the entire ship besides a small area within the casino, and they fill up fast. Standing room only if you don't get a seat. One is half of a side of a back deck called H20 and then a box of sorts on the 15th deck by the pool. We vape and felt like second class people stuffed into a noisy chatbot as if we were in time out. H20 played football on a large screen alot so if your not into the sports bar scene...good luck. No drink runners to be found any of the times I was in the casino and extremely tight slots. Bartenders so rude at poolside we ended up getting managers involved. Waited about 10 mins to be served and even though the bartenders were making eye contact, they kept helping others. It got so obvious we were being ignored that a group of other people were literally yelling at the staff to assist us!! Bartenders just looked at us and walked away!! We just stood there a bit dumbfounded but got taken care of by the supervisors after we said something. I hate to make complaints..I'm on vacation and nobody has time for that!! Cleaning staff was friendly and the staff at the buffet entrance were awesome. Room steward was punctual..cleaned twice a day and knew our schedule right off as well as our names. No cute towel animals the entire trip though. Missed two ports for weather-so they said. All inclusive days at the private island appear to be hard to come by if you read other reviews. Missed Costa Maya. We were refunded 12 dollars and change for those port misses. Lots of hidden charges on this ship. Drinks are taxed while in US port....and we had some random charge for seeing a comedy show in the theater but by the time this cruise was done and we reviewed our bill, we decided not to bother because the lines to everything were long and staff just wasn't all that friendly. The food was fair...some days really good, other days not so much. Big on handwashing but food was cooler than should be allowed and the seafood was usually undercooked with a strong fishy taste. I'm a huge seafood lover so that was also disappointing. Met a few people that got food poisoning right at the start of the cruise. We were only able to get one reservation for specialty dining so I'm glad we didn't buy the package. We went to LeBistro which was amazing!! Top notch food and service, a highlight for our trip really. Book things as early as you can, shows, tenders, etc or you won't get in or will have to wait in large crowds. Very disorganized. Elevators constantly full and hard to come by. Pool area incredibly small and chair savers made sure no room to lounge. Ship pretty much shuts down at 10pm unless you like nightclubs with the you get crowd. Pot smokers in the smokers box with staff right there. No one did a thing about it. Pot smokers in H20...no one batted an eye. The end of our trip was the straw that broke the camel's back. Our last night we pulled put everything to pack and decided to head to dinner before the packing began. We put on the do not disturb light so our steward wouldn't stroke out on the mess we made and headed out. We had been very diligent utilizing our safe for valuables up to this point but felt safe with our light on knowing we wouldn't be too long. WRONG!!! We came back to find that someone had placed our shore bought liquor in the room and we were missing a kindle tablet and sunglasses that were on our desk before we left!! My son went to guest services about the sunglasses but we knew for a fact the kindle was there because I was going to plug it in and decided against it last minute. I was pretty much in shock knowing that someone breached our security despite the do not disturb light on and failed to make a claim until we got home the day after disembarking. After making a claim I emailed the VP of guest services Paula and was told an investigation would be done. Was later told it was our steward who brought the liquor, and that the security cameras showed him opening our door and placing things inside but that he didn't go in. HA!! Our bottles were in next to our desk...where the missing kindle was placed ....and unless his arms are 8 feet long, he DID absolutely go inside!! After a back and forth with her I realized nothing would come of it (obviously lied to me about not entering the room) and even though things were taken, the biggest issue as far as I'm concerned was that someone came in with a do not disturb light on!! What if I had been in the shower, or worse???? Worst guest service ever!! Will never, ever book again with this cruise line. Save your money!! The service is barely rateable and it appears to be a crooked company with the crap I encountered. Despite it all...our vacation was fun but NCL won't be getting another red cent from our family!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Because of ports and price. We thought the food choices were not what we expected. First time on Norweigan and probably will not use them again. we missed two ports due to Weather and very rough rocking of ship. No shrimp offered and ... Read More
Because of ports and price. We thought the food choices were not what we expected. First time on Norweigan and probably will not use them again. we missed two ports due to Weather and very rough rocking of ship. No shrimp offered and the smoke in casino was TERRIBLE. People were smoking in the non smoking areas. The last night I ordered strip steak and it was about 1/4” thick. We have always traveled with Royal Caribbean and I guess my expectations were too high for Norweigan. One night in the Manhattan Dining Room we had terrible service we had to ask our waiter for water and bread three times before he brought them to us. Our cabin steward was very good his name was Trevor and he was very helpful whenever we needed anything. We were hoping that this cruise would have been better as we wanted to try a new cruise line. Also there were 8 In our party and two couples were on the 13th deck and the other two were in the 11th deck and they were on opposite ends of the deck seems to me they could have accommodated us better as we booked together. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My friends and I have been on 3 Norwegian cruises and this last one topped them all. Although we missed out on 2 of our ports due to weather and it was 2nd time not being able to see Great Stirrup Caye, we still had a blast thanks to the ... Read More
My friends and I have been on 3 Norwegian cruises and this last one topped them all. Although we missed out on 2 of our ports due to weather and it was 2nd time not being able to see Great Stirrup Caye, we still had a blast thanks to the staff. Kasi, one of the bartenders made every day special. His personality and helpfulness was above and beyond what I expected. By the end of the trip he had me drinking Campari shots like it was nothing. Having to say goodbye to him was my least favorite part but now I have a friend for life. Along with Kasi their were a few other crew members that made our trip amazing. Marcus one of the bar waiters felt like family by the end, Iwana created a drink just for us that we named after him, Lee was another great bartender, Deadra from Osheeans dealt with all our drunk loudness after bliss each night, Predrag another bar waiter played the floor is lava with us every time we saw him in passing, Gustav- Guss(our housekeeper) cleaned our 3 rooms with no complaints always helpful and always smiling. These people deserve praise for all the hard work they put in each day and night. Belize was one of our favorite ports because we got the private cabana just steps away the the ocean. It was absolutely beautiful. Another favorite was Nassau Bahamas and Cozumel Mexico. Gian guided us during our tequila tasting for my birthday. He was so informative and genuinely nice. I didn’t expect to like Cozumel as much as I did but now I can’t wait to go back! I could go on and on about how much fun we had. I will definitely recommend this cruise to everyone I know! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are frequent cruisers but had not cruised on NCL for 10 years. This cruise on the Sun was a very pleasant surprise. The ship is in great shape - all the money spent in renovations during dry dock really shows! The food was very ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers but had not cruised on NCL for 10 years. This cruise on the Sun was a very pleasant surprise. The ship is in great shape - all the money spent in renovations during dry dock really shows! The food was very good in all the venues we tried. The food and service was excellent in the Seven Seas MDR. Norwegian is a much more relaxed "freestyle" experience and we enjoyed that after cruising on other lines not quite so relaxed. There were many, many activities available during the day and night with a good amount of live music around the pool, in the atrium, in the Bliss Lounge and sometimes in the Spinnaker Lounge on deck 12. My husband and I are dancers - social ballroom, country and western, Carolina Shag - and none of the venues had great dance floors. The production shows were good. The performers were very young with LOTS of energy in their routines! The comedian and magician were pretty bad. The two ports - Costa Maya and Cozumel were enjoyable and the weather was great with temperatures in the low 80s. We had a little rain one day, but other than that, it was a great January cruise. Our cabin was a mini-suite on the 8th floor. The room was great and had been updated during the dry dock. The balcony was a large aft balcony with a nice view of the ship's wake. One negative note - the aft rooms on the 8th deck are over the theater so there's noise during the shows and when they are practicing during the day. Port Canaveral is a very nice little port. People are more friendly and you don't have all the rush and stress of a large port like Port Everglades. I would definitely take this cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The islands that we did go to was really nice the food was okay the problem that i had is im a platinum plus and we had more than one room our daughters room was never done when we arrived we complained more than 2 times just to get there ... Read More
The islands that we did go to was really nice the food was okay the problem that i had is im a platinum plus and we had more than one room our daughters room was never done when we arrived we complained more than 2 times just to get there rooms done by then it was after midnight, we never got our stuff that was due to us like champagne, chocolate strawberries, water we have not gotten that until the 3rd day and we have called and went to the front desk, our room was never cleaned and when it was it was lome 8 at night buy the way we was out our room almost all day,we could not use our dinner package and we had 5 because they was already book solid, the staff was by far the worst i have came cross you ask them a question the answer nasty they pay you no mind you have to ask 3 and 4 times just to get it ,and on top of all that i get pull by security for my pass port as i was leaving the ship for buying to much liquor. And this was my husband birthday no cake nothing i have been traveling on Norwegian with my family anout 8 cruises and i have been treated horrible this was the worst. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
You don’t go to Bonaire. According to the port authorities in Bonaire, the Epic is not registered to port there ever. The port is being sold as part of the curies package next month, Jan. 2020, but this ship is not allowed to port in ... Read More
You don’t go to Bonaire. According to the port authorities in Bonaire, the Epic is not registered to port there ever. The port is being sold as part of the curies package next month, Jan. 2020, but this ship is not allowed to port in Bonaire, apparently because of its size. It was sold to us as part of the package but 60 days out we received a letter that we would instead, enjoy our balconies’ for an extra day. This is fraud! Our first day at see was spent in the harbor. When I complained I was told, “You’re on the ship so it counts”. Not in my book. Our seven day cruise was cut short to 6 days without compensation. Then there is the part everyone else is talking about. The heinous way were treated at the port. Over a mile backup in traffic, five hour delay getting boarded, no help from crew or security. People jumping line, passengers finding wheel chairs for the elderly and a few people passed out and one in front of me was injured. I was told by a member at the Latitudes counter that the ship had been boarded one day before and the Coast Guard required the papers of all crew members. It was not stated but implied that many of them were not legal. Then the Coast Guard again boarded the same day we were to ship out. According to the latitudes representative they searched and the crew had to present papers again. This set them behind by 12 hours. I have no way to neither prove nor disprove his accounting. Beyond this, our excursion reservations were lost, and when we reported this to Haley, we were told it was our fault for not taking care of it the day we launched. Everyone else in our group got theirs but not us. We also found out we were supposed to get a bottle of champion , but that never came. When I asked for it I was then made to feel like I was asking for an extra bottle. Here is what the company needs to hear from me. My wife and I were planning on surprising our family with a cruise with Norwegian for May or 202. Because of the discount of booking on while on board we decided to wait until we were at sea to book this trip, total of 6 tickets, three rooms. Because of the inability of Norwegian to live up to its reputation we have decided to go with another company. I know this will not break the company and it is all about the money. But you have lost a total of 12 customers for life because of you ham-handed dealings with me and my family. A few odd things also happened. Our first morning I opened the drapes and a pair of men’s red under-wear came falling out at my feet. That was strange. Our apps failed and internet use was unreliable. Three contracts I wrote on the ship never made it to the recipients. After eating in the Garden café we noticed each day that stewards were staring agape out the windows as if this was their first day away from their home. While they were mesmerized at the vista our plates piled up and we ended up moving tables. I found it odd that there was not a single comfortable seat on the entire ship. it was as if it is a concerted effort to keep you moving. I was told that the black jack seats were very comfortable. I didn't play. One more odd thing. At the ice/water stations we were not allowed to fill out water bottles. Ice stations were usually empty of ice and when we asked for ice we were pointed to another station at a different part of the chip or another deck for ice. One last warning. Don’t fall for the “please take a towel with you” trick. They plan on your losing your towel and then charging you $25 for every one that does not come back. Look at your cabin number on the sing out sheet as they sign you out a beach towels. Right beside that you see “price $25.00” I do want to say that the entertainment was good and the food was good. I really enjoyed Doug, guitarist, and the dance company, Burn the Floor. I was put off by the main event being a drag show. Drag queens are not appropriate for family friendly cruises. I don’t know why the leadership at Epic doesn’t know this. If I ever do cruise this line again it will never be out of PR nor will it be a big ship. It’s just not worth the overcrowding and lines after lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I have read several reviews that have incorrect prices listed, or what seems to just be a rant and less of a helpful review. As some background info, I booked this vacation with my girlfriend (were 28 years old) and spent a grand total of ... Read More
I have read several reviews that have incorrect prices listed, or what seems to just be a rant and less of a helpful review. As some background info, I booked this vacation with my girlfriend (were 28 years old) and spent a grand total of about $1,800 ($900) each. For this value, I left the cruise feeling as I got a great value and overall trip. I plan to break this down further, as this cruise has MANY upcharges depending on what you want to do allowing one to customize their own experience. For other comments of couples who have spent over $4,000, I can certainly understand being upset. In my opinion, much of this is their fault, as these fees (for the most part) are clearly available through the NCL website, and many other sources. EMBARKATION: Quick and easy. Passengers are called up by groups but we just got in line and no one stopped us. When you get on the ship, everyone runs straight to the wall kiosk’s or in long lines at The Social to book entertainment for the week. Some events can be booked online, which I would suggest. Other entertainment options must be booked online. There are available kiosks throughout the ship so don’t waste your time in long lines, ride up a few floors and use an empty kiosk. Specialty dining options and comedy/Broadway shows book fast. Laser tag, escape room, go-karts were mostly available through the week. VIBE CLUB: With some of the ship modifications in comparison to others in the class, free to the public deck spare is very packed and sun spots are few. Many comments state that buying a vibe pass is the only choice, but this depends on your goals. Does a lounge chair, a quieter atmosphere, and a spot in the hot tub matter to you? Vibe may be your option. At $209 per person, these spots are not cheap. Tickets should be more easily available than other Norwegian cruises, as the Vibe has 230 or so seats. We were able to purchase these passes at 1:00pm on embarkation, so get there early but you don’t have to make a mad dash. Is a chair in the shade, close access to waterslides and the pool, a loud atmosphere, your atmosphere? Then do not worry about Vibe. SHIP ATMOSPHERE/STAFF: Although this was my first Norwegian cruise what may have made it most enjoyable was the other passengers. There was always a lively atmosphere with extremely friendly people. Not to say other cruises were not, but normally people seem to keep to themselves. There were also many younger people, and couples on this cruise making it much more lively. Staff, as you will find on any cruise, were extremely hard working, helpful, and enjoyable to speak with. This cruise also had a big LGBTQ following, so anyone part of the community would enjoy many of the activities geared towards this. I also found wheelchair access to be extremely helpful for these individuals. ENTERTAINMENT: Choir of Man was a fantastic show. It runs about 45 minutes and IS free (some reviews say it isn’t). Kinky Boots is one hour and forty-five minutes long and is great as well if you are into Broadway plays. There are two comedians who run 18+ shows, and a regular show. Both of the comedians were pretty good as well. Go-karts run in half hour blocks, cost $15 (or $199 for the week), and are about 20 minutes long. These are pretty fun, and go faster than you would expect. Laster tag runs in half hour blocks, is $10 per person and lasts about 15 minutes. I had originally signed up for this but after hearing many complaints cancelled my reservation. I was surprised at how few people seemed to visit the galaxy pavilion. Each ride in there besides one of the race cars and the escape room are $8 per ride (or you can buy a one hour block for $30). Each ride lasts about 5 minutes. I couldn’t find anyone on the cruise who had tried the escape room, and noticed many open spots were available all week for it. In general, all these activities had availability through the week, so don’t feel pressured to immediately book them. Only one waterslide was functioning during our cruise. The slide that drops passengers was closed due to plastic cutting them. The other slide was fun, a bit more slow paced, and always had about a 15 minute waiting line. The bars on the cruise were a nice stand out. Each bar from the brew house, country bar, Beatles show, Latin show at the mojito bar, the late night club, and the atrium band had a very different feel and were a lot of fun. Each bar has different specialty drinks and I spent a good amount of time at each bar. This was a highlight that really stood out, and I feel Norwegian did a good job here. A final thing to keep in mind is there are many upcharges you may not fully expect. If you want to communicate over the messenger on the Norwegian app it will cost $10/person. If you want to see the Probation stage play it will cost $30/person. If you want to play bingo, deal or no deal, or some other on board games you have to pay. This appears to upset many people which is understandable, but it also allows you to customize your experience while not having to battle large crowds to enjoy it. FOOD: The food on board was great. I only dined at the free to eat places, which were all amazing and had something for everyone. Seating at the main dining area is always available and I never had to wait. Specialty dining is quite popular. Many cruisers I heard from particularly enjoyed Cagney’s steak house, Food republic (sushi), Le Bistro (French), and Los Lobos (Mexican). STATEROOM: I stayed in the cheapest basic stateroom. I found the room to be clean and staff were very helpful. There is a lighting system when you need your room made up or if you do not want to be disturbed. The bathroom felt more spacious than other cruises even with the smallest stateroom. There are also USB ports on the bedside lamps to charge your phone. I spoke with many who had balconies and loved the experience. ISLANDS: San Juan stopped at 5:30PM – 11:59PM. This was a different stop but gave an opportunity to see the night life at San Juan if you like that idea. One thing to keep in mind is that even if you have the alcohol package, you will be charged tax for each drink while in San Juan (12% tax) and in Miami before leaving. St. Thomas: we visited Magen’s Bay as many do. This is a beautiful cove with calm and shallow water that extends out, making it ideal for families with young ones as well. There are excursions with strict time standards that are quite expensive through Norwegian. We found that taking a taxi on land was much cheaper. Round trip for two of up costs $32 ($16 each), and be aware that there is a $5 charge per person to enter the beach. This is to keep the area maintained and beautiful, and to pay for the lifeguards as well. Tortola: Many on board made the water taxi trip to The Baths which everyone raved about. We took a cheap route and visited Cane Garden Bay through a taxi on the island (also $32, but no charge for the beach). This was a nice area with shallow calm waters within a cove like Meghan’s bay, but much smaller and a bit crowded. DISEMBARKATION: Quick and easy process. If you plan on getting breakfast before a travel home, make sure to be up early. The buffet was entirely emptied out by about 8:30, and most everyone was off the ship around 9:00. You can choose to exit yourself, or if you have lots of luggage they will have you put your bags out the night before and dismiss you off the ship by groups as many other cruise lines do. FINAL THOUGHTS: Don’t forget that if you do buy into the alcohol package offer, this does NOT include gratuity, which will be another extra charge for you ($138). Also, 15$ per person is charged per day for inside state rooms totaling $210 for the week. I believe this is a bit higher if you have a larger room. Sometimes these fees can sneak up on you, so it is good to know. I would also strongly suggest looking up gift vouchers through eBay and other related websites. I was able to buy a $500 voucher for $350, which was very exciting to have that instant savings. These vouchers are pretty easy to find. . Personally, for the price I paid I really enjoyed the Norwegian Encore and had a great time. If I were to be looking to spend around that $3,000+ price, I would look at other cruise ship options. In the end, your experience is what you make of it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have always loved Norwegian Cruise Lines and its super friendly/entertaining atmosphere and staff before this last cruise we just took in December on the Norwegian Sun. However, after this cruise my family and I just took we were all ... Read More
We have always loved Norwegian Cruise Lines and its super friendly/entertaining atmosphere and staff before this last cruise we just took in December on the Norwegian Sun. However, after this cruise my family and I just took we were all highly disappointed with our cruising experience. While there were some positive aspects of our vacation, such as the photography services and the friendly staff that helped us choose and buy our family photos taken onboard, the disappointing aspects of our experience outweighed the positive aspects. Firstly, our dining experience onboard was subpar at best. When we would go to the Garden Cafe for a meal, there were not many options and variety available to choose from and eat. Especially with our family being vegetarian, finding options and options that were tasty were pretty difficult; this is true in the complimentary restaurants as well. Our family even went to the specialty Mexican restaurant Los Lobos; however our family could only choose and eat 1 entree because it was the only vegetarian option (even the rice and beans had meat in them!). Secondly, the staff was noticeably less visible and friendly on this cruise compared to our last two cruises, for example our cruise director Jamie only introduced the first show and only hosted one event (the Newlywed Game Show) and we did not see or hear of her at all for the rest of the cruise. Our housekeeping staff was also not too friendly, even rudely telling my sister and I that we have to leave the room within 10 minutes so they can clean it (the housekeepers waited outside the cabin door knocking for us to leave). Another experience with rude staff was in the Garden Cafe, I was apparently blocking the plate stack while I was serving myself some food and the worker was tapping his foot behind me and gave me an attitude to move over so he could put more plates on the stack, even though it had only been a couple seconds that I was standing there. Lastly, the entertainment felt lazy and unimaginative. All the game shows and events were exactly the same from our past NCL cruises and nothing felt innovative or exciting. Also, the biggest disappointment with the entertainment was that most of the “fun” events were for additional fees, which seems very greedy and vicious from NCL seeing as though everyone has already spend a hefty amount of money to already be on the cruise. It was the constant additional fees and the constant selling/advertising that made me lose most of my respect for NCL and its ethics, they don't seem genuine anymore and it seems that all the company wants to do is suck their consumers out of as much money as they can. Overall, my family and I had a pretty subpar/bad experience this time around on NCL even though we have been loyal to them in the past and are Latitudes Rewards members. I am unsure of if we will choose NCL again for our future cruises after this last experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I won this cruise playing Texas Holdem'. It included a cruise for 2 in an Inside Cabin and a seat in the $600,000 NCL Poker Challenge Main Event. We chose not to upgrade. I was fine with the tiny cabin but my wife was not (too ... Read More
I won this cruise playing Texas Holdem'. It included a cruise for 2 in an Inside Cabin and a seat in the $600,000 NCL Poker Challenge Main Event. We chose not to upgrade. I was fine with the tiny cabin but my wife was not (too small and she missed "her balcony") so this will be the last Inside cabin we will ever cruise in. Overall it was a great cruise. The entertainment was incredible. The food in the Specialty restaurants was very good. The food in the MDR's (Savor & Taste) was not very impressive though. The buffet was better than some but not overly impressive. Service was great everywhere - except one morning in the Taste dining room. Embarkation was quick and painless. We were in group 13 but because we were guests of the casino we received priority boarding. Debarkation was fast. We did self-assist because we had an early flight out of MSY. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I didn’t choose this cruise it chose me. I won the trip playing poker and my husband and daughter were unable to join me so it turned into a friends trip. It was a great time and the cruise was wonderful. The weather was great and ... Read More
I didn’t choose this cruise it chose me. I won the trip playing poker and my husband and daughter were unable to join me so it turned into a friends trip. It was a great time and the cruise was wonderful. The weather was great and everything on the ship was terrific. The mojito bar —AWESOME highly recommend Saw Aerosmith tribute band - (draw the line) was hooked we saw every show— if they are on ship it’s a must see. Food was great, service was good. If I had to find something to complain about it would be that I would have liked more time in Cozumel. The stops were really great and again weather was wonderful. Did dolphin encounter in Cozumel and it was the best dolphin encounter I’ve done. The place was spectacular the trainers were well versed and the exhibit and encounter was over the top. Worth every cent and will do it again in November! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my first cruise experience and, it will be my last. I booked as part of a group celebrating a couple's 10 year wedding anniversary. While checking in at the port, all the staff were so friendly, happy and welcoming. ... Read More
This was my first cruise experience and, it will be my last. I booked as part of a group celebrating a couple's 10 year wedding anniversary. While checking in at the port, all the staff were so friendly, happy and welcoming. Unfortunately, this was not a reflection of what I would find on the ship. While some of the servers were great, a vast many were downright rude. On the first day at sea, at the H2O Lounge, myself and 3 friends gave our drink orders (first of the day) to the server who came around. (We had all gotten a premium drink package.) This order included 3 alcoholic beverages and 2 waters. When my friend ordered a mojito, the server told her that the bartender doesn't like making those and that whenever he comes back with that order it upsets the bartender because it takes too long to make. After taking our order, the server went around to get orders from more people. Over 20 minutes later (reasonable) the server returned with 1 of our alcoholic beverages and handed us a stack of room cards and told us to pick our out, leaving to give other people their drinks. These cards have our name and room number on them and are associated with our credit cards. As four single women who are cognizant of our safety, we were very unimpressed. We took our room cards from the stack and passed the remainder to the couple next to us (who we did not know) who had also ordered drinks. It took over an hour to get the three alcoholic beverages we ordered (that were brought out in three separate rounds) and we ended up going to the bar ourselves for the water. When the mojito was brought, it was clearly not made properly. The limes were not muddled (perfectly intact) and the mint was sitting on top of the ice, completely dry. One of the women in our group asked to speak to a bar manager. The server was hesitant to comply and came back to us several times to try and convince that we were taking the situation the wrong way. When the bar manager did come he was happy we had brought this to his attention and, we thought that this would be a one off for the trip. Prior to November 30th, I had never been told off by a bartended in my life. On this cruise, I was told off by several. One the first day or two, I was just ordering "vodka sodas." On the second or third day when I received my drink (at the H2O Lounge) it tasted like paint thinner. I said to the bartender, "excuse me, could you tell me what kind of vodka this was made with?" he told me to hold on and walked away. The second bartender walked up and told me in a very rude way that if I want a specific kind of alcohol I need to ask for it and, if I don't, I will get whatever kind of alcohol they choose to put in it. I said that's fine, now I know for next time but can I order another drink please? He said I need to pay for another one because he wasn't just going to remake it because I didn't like it. I said I wasn't asking him to. He walked away to make me another drink and scan my card and, the first bartender returned to tell me off in the same fashion, even though I said I was already helped by the other gentleman. Following the bartender's advice and ordering the specific kind of liquor I wanted did not work any better for me. I tried ordering coconut Bacardi and cranberry juice at several bars. A couple times the bartender poured Malibu and was upset when I tried to stop them and say I wanted Coconut Bacardi, not Malibu. One gentleman told me they are the same thing. I said no, they are not. He then proceeded to take the cap off, smell it, and say "well, smells exactly the same to me." Not only were a significant amount of bartenders rude, they were also very slow and lazy, without an ounce of hustle in their body. During the "Glow Night" which was what we expected to be the big party of the trip, the bartenders moved at a pace that I have never seen before and honestly acted like they would rather be anywhere else in the world. I would say that event was such a failure largely due to their service. The bartender in the Ice Bar was exceptional. As were all the staff at Tappanyaki and, Cagney's Steak House. The server we had a Cagney's was hands down the best employee we interacted with on the ship. She was cheerful, polite, and extremely good at her job and, went above and beyond for one of the members in our group who was coming down with a cold. On one of the at-sea days when we had hoped to see more of the shows/programs on board, the NCL app was not correct and we ended up missing a lot of what we wanted to see. On other days we did see two standup comedians (Frank Townsend and another gentleman whose name I forget) and they were hilarious. We thoroughly enjoyed their shows, as well as "Burn the Floor". I did not end up using the water slides because on the first at sea day they were shut down because a child had been cut going down one of them. They re-opened after receiving repairs, however, I did not want to risk being injured. Some members of our group did use them and said they were fine if you sat up but, hurt your back if you laid down. The public washrooms were kept very clean and the Ports were beautiful (although full of jelly fish that stung five members of our group). If I realized I could have requested that the automatic gratuity be taken off my account, I would have done that and tipped only for good service. As I said, I will not be doing a cruise vacation again. I cannot believe the treatment we received, especially for the amount of money we spent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My friend actually won this cruise and asked me to go with her. I was thrilled to have this opportunity to enjoy this beautiful ship and meet new friends along the way. I was a little shocked when we were boarding the ship and they handed ... Read More
My friend actually won this cruise and asked me to go with her. I was thrilled to have this opportunity to enjoy this beautiful ship and meet new friends along the way. I was a little shocked when we were boarding the ship and they handed us a piece of paper that explained the situation regarding the nonavirus but was quickly calmed by the explanation of them scrubbing down the ship before we could get on it. When we were finally able to enter we were greeted by sanitation stations all over the ship, some were people physically squirting sanitation on our hands and others were do it yourself stations. I was amazed at seeing the employees literally scrubbing down the walls and handrails to our stateroom twice a day. We were lucky enough to have a cabin with a balcony and the cabin was great. Honestly I was thinking it would be so small you could barely move but it was spacious and well thought out. Despite the situation I thought that the crew really did everything in their power to keep all of the people on this ship is safe as possible. I had a really great time on this beautiful ship and would diffidently recommend anyone to enjoy this ship and crew. The cruise director Roberto and Assistant cruise director Bianca were amazing at keeping everything so lively, fun, and entertaining. I have to give a shout out to a couple workers in the Garden Cafe. The food was surprisingly good with a good selection for different pallets. The special shout out has to go to June, Clyde and Mark because they were friendly and kind and were always willing to help whenever they could. Thank you all for making this cruise amazing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my 4th cruise on NCL. I sailed on the brand new Norwegian Encore. Unfortunately, out of the 20 plus cruises that I have taken, this was the worst cruise. The service was very poor. Long lines to get drinks and waited 20-25 ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise on NCL. I sailed on the brand new Norwegian Encore. Unfortunately, out of the 20 plus cruises that I have taken, this was the worst cruise. The service was very poor. Long lines to get drinks and waited 20-25 minutes in line at guest services both times. The rooms were very small and the room steward was not personable nor did he do anything extra in any way. Actually, none of the staff were very personable at all, unlike all other cruises. The food was OK but certainly not excellent like you would expect on a brand new ship. They also "nickled and dimed" you for everything. The specialty restaurants are not longer a $20-35 upcharge only. They now charge" a la carte" pricing. We ate at the French restaurant, just 2 of us, no alcoholic beverages included, and our tab was $120. That did not make us happy. The sofa that my 11 year old sleep on (3 to our cabin) was the most uncomfortable thing ever. Even my 65 lb., 11 year old was sore and uncomfortable. The race track and the laser tag were additional "pricey" charges, but that was not advertised to us when we watched the commercial and subsequently booked this new ship. I could go on and on. There were 13 of us and not one person enjoyed this ship. If this is the way NCL does things now, then that is the last time we cruise with them. Just booked a cruise on MSC for the first time. Sure hope that it's a good one. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my third cruise and the 2nd in the Caribbean. Spent close to two days in Miami before boarding the ship. Had an enjoyable time on our one whole day there. Very impressed with the ship. I've suffered from sea sickness on past ... Read More
This was my third cruise and the 2nd in the Caribbean. Spent close to two days in Miami before boarding the ship. Had an enjoyable time on our one whole day there. Very impressed with the ship. I've suffered from sea sickness on past trips but had not a moment of sea sickness on this cruise! Service at all restaurants was fine as was the buffet. The entertainment was enjoyable. Loved the upper deck with the pool and jacuzzi and the nightclub on the top deck. Beautiful weather as well! Loved the movies that were shown on the giant screen as well. I was not too happy with the port of call in Honduras. Did not like the fact that we had to wait a long time to board boats to bring us to the port and the transportation once we were there was not reliable. I did love Belize and the two stops in Mexico. The Maya ruins in Costa Maya were one of the best parts of the trip and our tour guide was very friendly and knowledgable! Overall I would take take another Norwegian Cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My daughter chose the Cruise for her Destination Wedding in Freeport Bahamas. We had nearly 30 people in our total group. Over half of us were first time cruisers. Overall, I think most everyone would go on a second cruise. The ... Read More
My daughter chose the Cruise for her Destination Wedding in Freeport Bahamas. We had nearly 30 people in our total group. Over half of us were first time cruisers. Overall, I think most everyone would go on a second cruise. The food was as good as we expected for a cruise. The dining food is a little better than the buffet food. The pizza bar was the ultimate in a lot of our eyes and worked great when you needed a mid-meal snack without going to the buffet or dining room. The food service employees never failed in the service department. They were always friendly, personable and accommodating. Loved the hand sanitize greeters at the entrances of the buffets. The dining room staff messed up our request for the after wedding dinner seating arrangements, which my daughter was able to resolve quickly with the room manager, but she seemed disgruntle and hesitant about giving us the large table in the middle of the room as requested prior to the cruise. A bridal tea had been schedule prior to the cruise for the night before the wedding. This was an intricate part of the whole wedding itinerary. The Tea was supposed to be set up in the Bridal suite at a set time. It was moved to a meeting room, decided by the crew, it was unannounced and caused a lot of confusion and delay in letting approx 15 women on a cruise know that it had been moved. Thank goodness we had a dry erase board on the outside of the suite door, but it still caused delay in the Tea beginning. Hor devours, specifically finger sandwiches and such were requested along with a few small deserts. We only received a small variety of deserts with a few small bowls of peanuts. There was no attempt at decorating at all. The service was average and they were apologetic. I believe they did offer a discount on the charges that were paid for the party. The bars are busy and for the most part the bartenders were having a good time and doing their best to hand out drinks non-stop for hours on end. There were a couple times that some of the bartenders appeared to have had to work an unexpected extra shift and didn't seem to be as excited to be there, but they still provided your drinks with a smile. A few members of our party, including myself did not receive their specialty packages that came with the cruise and some that had paid for additional packages were not set up on their card on the first night. I believe most of the group had this resolved by the second day. Going to customer service was sometimes timely and there was a line a lot of times, especially the first day. Timing is key and they typically resolve the issue pretty quickly. We stayed in a balcony cabin, but we spent time in an interior room, a suite and a port window room at some point or another during the cruise. All the rooms, especially the suite were clean and well maintained by the concierge. They are small, but organization is the key to prevent it feeling even smaller. Most of your time should be outside of your room, so they size didn't bother anyone that I knew of. All of the concierge throughout the whole ship were very friendly, personal and accommodating. They were busy busy in the morning and were always working very hard to get in, clean and get out of the way of the guests. A well oiled machine. The bridal suite had a personal concierge that acted more like a butler. From what I experienced he was on call day and night and treated the bride and groom very special the entire cruise. We lost one of our ports, the wedding port actually from the Hurricane damage. We were able to move the wedding to a different port and things went better than expected. Freeport turned into a day at sea. I think I will probably always try to get a cruise that has a day at sea from here on out. It gave everyone an opportunity to actually spend more time and take advantage of the experiences on the ship. They had extra activities for all the guests and it seemed everyone had a great time. Both ports that we did get to do were awesome. The crew has it down to a pat getting everyone on and off the ship. You have to go through a security when getting back on the boat and I never experience a long line or delay in the process. Debarking day is a whole other story. They did well at that to. They did as good as could be expected for nearly 2000 people trying to leave the cruise by a certain time in the morning. They have a system and it seems to work as well as can be expected. Take advantage of the luggage pick up. You will wait in long lines, I'd guess it took between 45 mins to an hour to get completely through, retrieve your luggage and leave or board the bus to the airport. Just be prepared for it and it's really not that bad. Everyone seemed to just go with the flow and I never personally experienced any negative situations. I didn't do any shore excursions and I'm pretty sure the rest of our group didn't either. The first port Key West, FL was the wedding location and we couldn't have asked for anything better. The Wedding was held and the Key West Tropical Forest and Botanical Gardens. We only had 6 hours in port. We didn't know that when we made all the arrangements. Vendors, the NCL app and travel agent all confirmed that we would be in port for 4 hours. It would have been great to have known about the extra couple hours prior to disembarking, but it worked out since a lot of the group was able to spend an hour exploring Key West. The Wedding venue was perfect in every way. We provided transportation so everyone had to arrive with the bridal party a little more than an hour before the wedding, but with plenty of enjoyment available within the gardens all were entertained while they waited and after the ceremony. All the vendors we hired for the wedding went above and beyond to make sure my daughter got the wedding of her dreams. Exactly what she had pictured in her head. It was simple and elegant with a very relaxed atmosphere. The second port, Nassau Bahamas was enjoyed by all. No bad experiences were had by anyone. Everyone in the group went their separate ways and found others as the day went on. There were plenty of adventures without booking excursions. All in all, we all had a great time. Some are already planning future cruises. There is talk of trying other cruise lines to compare the overall experience. No kids included in the group, but still had a range in age from mid 20's to early 60's and everyone kept busy and having good times. There were only the two disappointments, the Bridal Tea fail, which was a huge disappointment, especially since we paid extra fees in order to have it. The specialty package mess up was frustrating, but resolved pretty easily. The biggest aggravation of the whole thing was the cruise director. Since we were a group and special event we made a lot of confirmations, checks and double checks regarding the wedding and arrangements. We went through two different cruise directors that absolutely failed us in every way. We thought the second one was going to make up for the lack of service we received from the first cruise director, but she failed us as well. We checked and checked on the specialty packages that were supposed to be provided to us to end up still having to go to customer service on the ship. I'd recommend a travel agent when you book your cruise, but even that seemed to take time as they will have to wait on an answer if they don't know it. The family member that set up the Bridal Tea set that up through the travel agent and it still didn't get taken care of properly. The service on the ship was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We thought Norwegian would be a cut above our typical Carnival cruise. We are all over 40, and seasoned travelers. We were sadly disappointed. The food was awful, I mean awful. I mean all of it was either bland, burnt or undercooked in ... Read More
We thought Norwegian would be a cut above our typical Carnival cruise. We are all over 40, and seasoned travelers. We were sadly disappointed. The food was awful, I mean awful. I mean all of it was either bland, burnt or undercooked in ever place we dined. Carnival has MUCH better food! The only good food was at the Japanese Hibachi restaurant. The bar drinks were watered down and the lines too get one too long. On top of that we bought the unlimited drink package and they kept charging us for drinks. We had to get our bills adjusted multiple times. The baristas at the in shop Starbucks were bickering daily with one another and couldn’t get anyone’s drink orders right. Also, if you want clean water to drink be prepared to pay big bucks or drink the recycled sewage water on the ship. Absolutely disgusting. A friend finally bought a 24 case of water to alleviate this...charge....$60!!! Highway robbery for a basic human right. We noticed that the crew were all working excessively long work days and some were doing jobs that they weren’t trained for. Some of the “free” entertainment consisted of a napkin folding seminar and other weird things that were absolutely boring. We had 4 rooms, (group of 7) and all of our bathrooms had severe plumbing issues ranging from no water to no ability to flush the toilet. This happened over and over again. We paid extra for balcony rooms but that didn’t matter at all. All activities on the shop were already booked before we could get on board and get situated. So we couldn’t go to any of the shows except for SIX and although the singers were talented what a horrible and confusing show!! We all fell asleep in the middle of it. Then the port in Belize was manufactured and owned by Norwegian. As if that isn’t bad enough the ship dumped its sewage and it all wafted onshore before we disembarked into Belieze. We paid $800 for a cabana and later found that money went back to Norwegian and ...the water was filled with sewage!!! To make matters worse doe to the sewage issues when we got back to the rook we couldn’t shower. When we removed our bathing suits there were weird pebbles in them that we later realized were some type of sewage treatment material typically found in diapers. I will not be sailing with Norwegian again. Nothing about this trip was good. Huge waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I wanted to visit Costa Costa Maya and Belize. I was looking forward to see the Ruinas Mayas. We had a wonderful cruise and we feel to not enough time to see and enjoyed all the activities that the ship offer to the cruisers. from the ... Read More
I wanted to visit Costa Costa Maya and Belize. I was looking forward to see the Ruinas Mayas. We had a wonderful cruise and we feel to not enough time to see and enjoyed all the activities that the ship offer to the cruisers. from the weather to the food, drinks, music and service everything was great. The cabin was clean and very comfortable like in my previous cruises. The staff is very attentive to all the guests. Not a second to be bored. Also something that I noticed and I liked was that the lines moved faster coming in and out of the ship. We had fun and we loved the music. At Shakers we danced for hours.. The group Vox and Keys..omg we loved it. I need more cruising days..six days is nothing.. I’m very happy with NCL this is my third cruise and hopefully many more with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We just got back from a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas on the Norwegian Sky as part of a girl’s weekend. This was my first time on Norwegian. I have cruised 2x before with Royal Caribbean and was excited to see how this cruise line ... Read More
We just got back from a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas on the Norwegian Sky as part of a girl’s weekend. This was my first time on Norwegian. I have cruised 2x before with Royal Caribbean and was excited to see how this cruise line compared. Sorry this is long but I know when I am looking at reviews, I like to see some details not just yeah it was fun! The Ship: First this is a small ship compared to what I was on before. Pretty basic type of ship no real frills. 2 pools on the main pool deck with hot tubs and a tiny pool at the front of the ship tucked away. Maybe I missed it, but I like to find little quiet spots on the cruise away from the hustle and bustle of people to enjoy a drink, read my book, stare at the water and sit in the shade (I am a very pale skin the sun loves to burn). I did not find that on this cruise but again that is my own personal preference. As in any cruise the beach chairs are quickly snagged up in the morning so if you are sun person be prepared to live there. The Stateroom (9th floor balcony): We were a party of 3 girls sharing a balcony room. A big complaint of mine was the balcony door was not a sliding door but a single paned door with a big port window. Again, my own preference but I like to watch the water from inside the room which I could only see a portion of the sea. My biggest complaint of all - DO NOT PUT 3 ADULTS IN THIS TINY ROOM. This room is by far the smallest cabins I have been in. 2 people would bump into each other in this smaller than normal cabin. The pullout couch literally when pulled out blocked the access to the balcony and butted up against the only table in the room. You could not access the balcony without stepping on the 3rd person. As it was, I fell off of the corner of the pullout bed trying to maneuver over it and got a nice bruise to show for the entire cruise. Suitcases were a nightmare as there was no place to put them as the closet only had 3 small drawers for clothes. The shelves at the top of the closet was reserved for the flotation devices. I originally put my suitcase under the bed but once that couch is pulled out you can not access that suitcase and with no other drawers or shelving, I had no choose but to live out of my suitcase. For 3 women this was strategically not ideal for getting dressed or pulling out clothes. The regular beds were a little firm but fairly comfortable. The pull out couch my friend said was fairly comfortable except for the bar would dig into her body. May want to think about adding another thicker blanket for that. Pillows were soft so your head sank. We saw our steward (while extremely polite and nice) whenever he wanted to turn down the room but that was it. He did give us a requested third chair for the balcony. But we had glasses left on the bathroom sink that wasn’t touched for 2 days. On the 3rd day our water went out and it took them awhile to get it fixed and then it was a trickle, again for 3 women no water is a major issue! It was fixed by the next morning. A suggestion for the room maybe they could add some kind of shelving and/or hooks in the room to make up for the lack of drawer space. The Food: The food was hit or miss and dependent on the person. To me food is subjective so it’s hard to review. We ate at Cagney’s the specialty Steakhouse and while my companions enjoyed it, I thought it was basic and not worth the extra $ except that the staff did go out of their way to make you feel special. My friends had the drink package, I did not but I am not a huge drinker. Drinks ranged in price but average that I ordered seemed to be about $11. And FYI save yourself a trip to Guest Services - Miami has an alcohol tax which we weren't expecting. Also, one nice thing that they had over Royal Caribbean was the anytime dining. I loved not having to make reservations at the main dining hall just walk in (you do need reservations for the specialty restaurants though). Excursions and Great Stirrup Cay: A huge problem I had was their tender system to get to Great Stirrup Cay. There really isn't too much communication and what is written in your daily planner is confusing. If you have a pre bought excursion you don’t need to pick up a tender ticket. But they do not tell you where to go. Unless it was in the announcement over the loud speaker which you do not hear in your cabin. It is very garbled sounding and that’s if you hear it at all. But their tender system was ridiculous! We had a prebought excursion luckily the time for later in the day (which FYI they have the right to change the time so look at your tickets when you get them because ours was a different time then our itinerary said). They directed us to go down to deck 3 and there we found just people standing everywhere in the staircase corridor and we were directed to the "back of the line" which was the entire length of the crew’s hallway. Nowhere to go at the end because it was cut off by a door to a crew only area. Not only was this a fire hazard they kept directing people down there so you had 2 lines in a narrow hallway! The most ridiculous thing I have ever encountered. Not what I want to do on my vacay was stand in line in a narrow hallway! But they did warn in the planner to expect 45 mins to get to the island I just wasn’t prepared to be lined up in a tiny hallway 2 people deep. They need a better system for this!!!! Once on the island you can eat, go to the sectioned off beach which is crowded to the hilt with people or find your excursion. We did the swim with Pigs and it wasn't quite what I understood it to be. And this is not a knock on the hardworking men that handle the excursion. They were very knowledgeable and explained that the area was under construction so maybe in the future this would be a worthwhile excursion but right now I felt it was a waste of $109. It is more like you take a boat ride to a little island and in a small section you can go and feed a variety of pigs. Some baby pigs but a bunch of way bigger pigs and one up to 500 lb pigs in the water. And it is not really swimming more like petting and feeding in the water where they proceed to poop because they eat a lot of apples (hey they are animals after all). So not my type of excursion as I didn’t want to wade into water with floating poop (and yes, they do scoop up the floating poop fairly quickly). But yes, the baby pigs are cute to look at. Just my opinion, but maybe some sinks/shower to wash up in or some hand sanitizer stations would be nice. On the way back to the tender boat we had to wait in about an hour line to go back to the ship. So, budget your time wisely. They do hand out water and cool washcloths while you wait. The next day we got out at the Port at Nassau. That process was smooth and efficient and we were off the ship within minutes. So, ports process easy Tendering never again! Unfortunately, Nassau I realize I just don't enjoy because the locals hawk you for everything and are nonstop harassing you the entire way around the port. Unfortunately for our day a cold front moved in and it poured as we got into the city so we hunkered down at Senor Frogs and spent the day there. We didn’t get to enjoy the beach but you can't control the weather. But if you do go to Senor Frogs make sure someone is in charge getting you back to the ship on time. I could totally see getting lost in time in that place! Another unfortunate part of the cold front was the seas were angry that night which did not make for a fun night for our seasick friends. TV and Guest Services: Not something I normally critique because I am usually not in the room much but with the angry seas, I found myself in the room a little more than usual. They have about 5 channels that are about the ship but no real information is on there more informercial style just trying to sell you more cruises or show you the one entertainment item that they recorded from the first night! I just want to know about the ship that I am currently on! Although they did have 4 channels of movies and pretty new movies playing on a loop. Another thing I was surprised was that the only way to look and monitor your bill was to go to Guest Services. I liked Royal Caribbean you can see it right on your screen. No wasted time standing in a line wasting your valuable vacation time! I spent about 45mins waiting for my itemized bill and I spotted an error from the Spa and had to go to the back of the line and wait again! A tip book any spas or specialty restaurants first day but watch your bill. They charged me when I booked the spa and then again when I actually had my appointment. Ship Activities: Again, I hate to compare one cruise line to another but the onboard activities were I guess to me a little boring. The night life is a little sad. They had no real shows on ship just some things like Lip Sync battle, Battle of the Sexes and a version of Name that Tune. Cute but again more a passing of time because there was nothing else to do kind of thing. Unfortunately, some of the crew women seemed like they wanted to be anywhere else then being subjected to another Lip-sync and their faces showed it. The last night was a comedian/magician and a heavily attended Not So Newlyweds game. Which they held in a lounge where chairs were a premium so go early. They do have a decent sized theatre but not much is held in there except the Welcome Show and the Magician or at least they I know of. Disembarkation: This was actually very smooth as we opted to take our bags ourselves and we were quickly on our way to our already booked shuttle to the airport. This was very organized and the smoothest I have seen. Synopsis after this long review: All in all, we made the best of an ok cruise. As the Social Director said, this is what you make of it. Was this my favorite cruise line NO was it a fun trip YES because we made a ton of new memories. This was my first Norwegian cruise and I don’t know if I will go on another one of theirs? My friend who has been on another Norwegian said this experience combined with her last one, she will not choose this cruise line again. The ship may be refurbished but it is an older, smaller ship and you may want to take that into account before you go. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because it fit to our availability and because we liked the extraordinary itinerary with lots of highlights. We knew this ship from a previous cruise. The ship is huge but not as huge as other ships. Entertainment ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fit to our availability and because we liked the extraordinary itinerary with lots of highlights. We knew this ship from a previous cruise. The ship is huge but not as huge as other ships. Entertainment is perfect and above the average. Free dining options are very good, especially in the a-la-carte Grand Pacific restaurant. Special dietary needs are perfectly handled. The variety of food is amazing; in 21 days we hardly had to choose the same dish twice. However it must be said that the way how dishes are prepared is very much American style with lots of cream everywhere. Taste is lacking. Pizza and pasta quality does not match ordinary European standards. Probably you can cruise with this ship not paying too much but if you ask for more they charge you a lot. This is the case for all kind of extra beverages. Alcohol is overpriced. For us it was a perfect way to stay away from alcohol which, when at home, we enjoy on a regular basis. However what made us really suffer were the totally overpriced excursions. Unless you are well-prepared and able to organize yourself your shore excursions, you hardly have any chance to avoid their way of charging you. The alternative would have been to onboard. But would you do this when it comes to a once-in-a-life visit to Luxor or Petra? Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my first time ever on a cruise and I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. I’ll start by saying the staff on the sun were absolutely amazing and extremely helpful. Not only did the staff do an amazing job, but they made us ... Read More
This was my first time ever on a cruise and I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. I’ll start by saying the staff on the sun were absolutely amazing and extremely helpful. Not only did the staff do an amazing job, but they made us feel at home and went beyond their job titles to make everyone feel welcome and special. Our room was amazing and extremely clean everyday. Very thankful for our housekeeper. We ate dinner every night at the Seven Seas and it was absolutely amazing. The menu was amazing and there were endless possibilities for dinner. We celebrated two birthdays on board and they were amazing thanks to everyone who took part in the experience. All of the staff in each lounge were very helpful and made sure we had the best experiences possible. Jamie the cruise director was amazing at her job and coordinated a great trip with so many great things to do on board. Definitely enjoyed everyday out on the islands. Everything was great from getting off the boat to the beech and even back on board . The private island exceeded my expectations with the cleanliness and fun atmosphere. Also very thankful for Irma and her advice on how to shop in Nassau. With her help we were able to find many great gifts to bring back home and enjoy. I took part in the stingray city excursion on November 8th and it was by far the most fun I’ve ever had. Our guide Miguel was super nice and made sure to make our experience far more than just taking photos with the rays. I would highly recommend traveling with Norwegian Cruise Line to anyone looking for a get away. I most definitely will be looking back into traveling with Norwegian again in the future. Thank you so much for the great staff and the unforgettable memories made! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Ports of call where the reason I selected the ship. I didn't explore Barcelona as much as I would have liked due to jet lag. I didn't know that I could have selected the port to start my cruise. Had I known this, I would have ... Read More
Ports of call where the reason I selected the ship. I didn't explore Barcelona as much as I would have liked due to jet lag. I didn't know that I could have selected the port to start my cruise. Had I known this, I would have started in Rome to have extra time there. This should be advertised better. The epic ship was ok. Since it was November, it was too cold for the pool. Norwegian should make the pools heated in colder weather. I upgraded my cabin to have more space. I viewed 2 shows (Burn the Floor and Priscilla)...both were amazing! I traveled with a group of 30 people, including children. The kids thought the cruise was designed for older people instead of a younger audience. The customer service desk with the worst part of the experience. The employees gave out incorrect information on multiple occassions. This took so much time out that we could have spent doing other things. I requested an iron and never received it. I always would have liked to wash my own clothes on the ship but was unable to do so. I still haven't decided if I would book another cruise with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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