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10,967 Norwegian (NCL) Miami Cruise Reviews

We have sailed on many of Norwegian’s different size ships, but we keep coming back to the Jewel Class 2340 passenger size as our favorite. This ship has the perfect mix of fine and casual dining options and plenty of deck room around ... Read More
We have sailed on many of Norwegian’s different size ships, but we keep coming back to the Jewel Class 2340 passenger size as our favorite. This ship has the perfect mix of fine and casual dining options and plenty of deck room around pool area for tanning days at sea. The service staff was excellent! Especially our cabin steward! The only negative thing we encountered was the transfers back to the airport. Long lines and over priced! After waiting we left the line and used uberXl and traveled to the airport in a well appointed suburban which was cheaper than we paid for the bus transfer. In closing The Pearl is a excellent mid size ship with great service and lots great itineraries! This ship is best suited for couples as it doesn’t have all the waterslides and go carts you encounter on the Giant 5000plus passenger ships. Happy sailings! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Pearl. Everything from embarking to disembarking went smoothly. The Pearl is a beautiful ship. We thought the food was delicious in the Summer Palace dining room. We also ... Read More
We just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Pearl. Everything from embarking to disembarking went smoothly. The Pearl is a beautiful ship. We thought the food was delicious in the Summer Palace dining room. We also had 2 specialty dinners. Cagney’s gets an A+ and Moderno a B. All crew members,except for one pool deck waiter, were extremely pleasant and attentive. We decided this was going to be an R & R cruise so we didn’t book any shire excursions. Harvest Caye was beautiful. We enjoyed lounging on the beach and swimming in the pool. Lunch was ok. The lagoon where the water sports was offered was lovely. We had planned on walking around the port of Costa Maya but ended up staying on the ship. Met some interesting people and lost track of time. We would cruise on the Pearl again if there was an itinerary we like. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Beautiful ship and friendly crew. The entertainment is top notch. Food was good, but not spectacular. The boarding process took nearly 2 hours even though we had paid for priority boarding. 1st Tender Port: was told to wait in the ... Read More
Beautiful ship and friendly crew. The entertainment is top notch. Food was good, but not spectacular. The boarding process took nearly 2 hours even though we had paid for priority boarding. 1st Tender Port: was told to wait in the main dining room for our group to be called (again we paid for priority boarding). Waited almost 2 hours. Was an hour late for our shore excursion. Took another hour to board the tender to get back. Very unorganized. Had breakfast delivered to the room each morning. Was never correct. Asked for cereal. Received a box of cereal and milk, no bowl. (Just one example) Crew was courteous and helpful but not engaging. We Passed many crew members in the hall. Barely received a hello. Other cruises go out of their way to Stop and ask how your day is going. Ship is VERY LOUD. Band in the casino was so loud we could barely talk. Band in the Manhattan dining room was quieter but still very difficult to talk to our friends. Music by the pool was incredibly loud. And yet they make fun of Carnival as a rowdy party ship. The pool is very small (only one small pool for over 4,000 guest). An hour wait to use the water slides. Theater only holds 800 people. Shows book up very quickly. Most people we talked to only got to see one or two shows and missed the rest as they were “sold out” even though they were free. Overall a disappointing cruise on a beautiful ship. I’ll stick with slightly smaller ships or a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise based on departure port and date. I really didn't care where it was going. The ship was nothing fancy. In fact, if I didn't know I would have thought it was a refurbished ship. My room balcony was blah... ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on departure port and date. I really didn't care where it was going. The ship was nothing fancy. In fact, if I didn't know I would have thought it was a refurbished ship. My room balcony was blah... brown/beige rug with dirt stains, brown curtains that were ripped, a linoleum bathroom floor with stains ? hair dye. and brown cabinetry.The sofa was so dirty and worn out. I asked for a flat sheet to throw over so I could sit on it. I photographed all. The bathroom counter had a rust stain and the shower with hair in the drain. Great shower pressure and plenty of very hot water. But to top all off the first nite I lay on grit??? I collected it up on paper back book and took a photo to show room steward who got defensive. It appeared to be large coarse salt particles!!! I told him this isn't up for a debate just please change the sheets and get hair out of shower stall. The balcony very small. Only room for two small upright chairs and very small table. Room was never made up to late in afternoon after 2 pm just when I returned to relax a bit. I rarely, if ever, saw the room attendant. No towels animals in which I could care less about except I relied on them for extra towels to use after showering. Gone are the chocolates on your pillow. The entire fleet appeared overworked and grumpy . In fact I witnessed an employee (woman) yell at a passenger! I was shocked. The buffets looked dried out and not attended well. If an item was gone platters not replenished or removed! The two "washy washy" guys at entrance to Garden Buffet sang and played Tamborine much to annoyance of older guests.If this cruise ship cared about hand washing so much then why only two very small sinks at the entrance of buffet for 4 thousands guests???? I observed many strange reactions to some odd practices by this fleet. The restaurants were average not bad not fabulous. The artwork some of the best at sea. The embarkation/debarkation worst of any of my 20 plus cruises. The tender procedure strange, long lines to wait in big theater for two large boats to offload 4 thousand people! The shows were average at best some better than others. Dinner shows with Carole's Kings very nice. With so many cruise choices I would avoid this ship. Ceilings low elevators small and dark painted black and red. Pool area horribly cramped and industrial looking. Pay extra, go to an upcharge designated sunning area without a pool but guaranteed a nice lounge chair for the day. Of note no outside eating venues. Must go inside for piece of cardboard I mean pizza or salad. There was nothing that would bring me back except escaping the cold on a last minute cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband and I picked Encore for our 15 year wedding anniversary getaway. The first one without kids. We were so looking forward to poolside relaxation and sunshine. The promise and allure of a shiny new ship seemed wonderful. After ... Read More
My husband and I picked Encore for our 15 year wedding anniversary getaway. The first one without kids. We were so looking forward to poolside relaxation and sunshine. The promise and allure of a shiny new ship seemed wonderful. After we started reading reviews after its initial voyages, we could tell there were going to be problems. I contacted customer support in advance of my cruise to see if there was something we could do- anticipating this ship would not be conducive to the romantic getaway I planned (go on another ship, get access to the Haven or Vibe). No one ever responded . I called, and he assured me someone would be calling me back. No one ever did. We went on the trip, crossing our fingers to have a different experience- but the problems reported online were more severe than we had even read about because it was school vacation week. Pros: - Food and bar service was actually better than expected. We were unable to get a reservation at Cagney's until the last minute on the last day, however. - Our favorite bar/ bartender was Clarence at Mojito Bar. -Entertainment was top notch. We thoroughly enjoyed Choir of Man, Kinky Boots, Guns and Rojas and more. -Excursions were great. We were really disappointed when Bahamas was cancelled though (we needed to get off that ship). - Decor and rooms were well appointed and although small- worked fine. - While most customer service on board the ship was really non-responsive (after walking around the pool deck for 2 hours unable to find a chair- I went to guest services only to wait an hour to speak to a manager- who proceeded to offer me a chair in the shade, and then another manager offered to come walk around with me to look. This is hardly resolution). Candy finally came through for us on the last days- meeting me on deck 17 at 7 am with reserved chairs after all of my challenges. Cons: -The ship was SEVERELY deficient of pool space, hot tub space and lounge chairs- just general access to the sun. For a ship with 5000 people, one adult pool seems absurd. There were literally 3 layers of people around the pool at all times- we never even tried to get in. There were 4 small hot tubs that were always teeming with people. The 2 times I got in, kids started piling in swimming over and under my legs. - More regulation is needed. There is a 15 minute chair reservation policy, but every morning I'd go out at 7 am, and women with large ziplock bags with clips were already setting up long rows of chairs. I finally started taking time stamped pictures and showing them to the staff to get chairs freed up- it shouldn't have been on me to regulate ship rules. There also should be regulation of kids in the hot tubs. The kids have their own pool, water park, waterslides- there should be at least a few hottubs that are adult only. Most times I couldn't even get in the hot tubs because they were full of kids swimming around. -Chairs were literally RIGHT next to each other. It was impossible to maneuver. Chairs were also on top of the jogging track, which made for an utter cluster in the morning when joggers/ walkers and lounge chair seekers were colliding into eachother all morning. -The ship was the rockiest we've ever been on. It felt like you were rolling in bed, as you listened to the hangers banging the walls. It seems the top heavy ship caused it to be rockier than most. -Flights were the most inconvenient as could be possible. We had a 5 am departure with a connection the first day and then we docked at 7 am the last day and didn't have a flight out until 8 pm. You are not allowed to change them because they are bulk purchased. -Our package came with a $50 shore excursion credit per port. It was only in the fine print that it stated it was only for the 1st person. -Our package came with 250 minutes of wifi. THey don't tell you that after you go online you need to go to "logout.com" to end your session. And the wifi is so poor, it literally took 20 minutes just to check e-mail. We had to go to the communications desk to reset minutes twice because it was so buggy. - We were NOT the only people that felt this way. This was the common theme in all discussions of the patrons of the ship. This will be our last NCL voyage. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my first voyage with NCL and I chose Encore due to it being a new vessel and even though I have cruised several times before I had yet to sail on a brand new ship and was excited at the prospect. The ship is indeed beautiful but ... Read More
This was my first voyage with NCL and I chose Encore due to it being a new vessel and even though I have cruised several times before I had yet to sail on a brand new ship and was excited at the prospect. The ship is indeed beautiful but with most things new there were some glitches that need to be worked out and in my opinion, policies that need some fine tuning. For starters too many things had an extra up charge attached to it, whether it was an activity, an amusement, a location such as the Vibe Beach Club ($209.00 for the week) and some food items such as crab cakes or a lobster tail for example. This was bothersome and by far was a common complaint among many of the other passengers I had spoken with during the voyage. Three standouts include what would be considered "selling points" such as the Go Kart track, Laser tag which offered a week long pass and Galaxy Pavilion which offered a tiered pricing option to experience the VR attractions (I chose the $29 for one hour option) but if you wanted to try the full size SR8 race car, for instance, there was an additional charge of $15 on top of the charges previously mentioned, so basically you pay an up charge on top of an up charge area and there simply is no need of it. Another policy that was frustrating was that reservations had to be made for the chance to experience many things on this ship but what seemed to be equally frustrating was that while some could be made ahead of time online or thru NCL, others had to be done onboard and it was a mad dash on Day 1 to get these or be shut out before the ship ever leaves the dock. If you are a first time passenger you may not even know of this policy and run the risk of a ruined vacation. Cabin: I traveled as a solo and wanted to try the solo studio area and this experience was quite simply a home run. The cabins are perfectly laid out for one with ample closet space and shelving, a roomy stand up shower and private enclosed toilet. The sink is adequate but the traditional desk is not very wide so a lap top wouldn't fit on it. There is a safe available for items such as a wallet or other such small items. The other thing of not is that there is no mini fridge in the room but overall it was a perfect cabin for the solo traveler. The area is exclusive in that a key card is required to enter the area and contains a private and spacious lounge with it's own coffee machine and a daily assortment of fruits, cookies or cakes, orange juice and ice water. My dining experiences pretty much follow other reviews here just beware of up charges for certain menu items as mentioned earlier. As far as entertainment goes I didn't really experience much however I did see the Beatles cover band in the Cavern Club and they were ok but wasn't able to get in to see the comedian, which I would have liked. There is one stand out, again, in my opinion, that is Choir of Man. The show is fantastic and I saw it twice and my only regret is that I couldn't see it a third or fourth time. The whole idea revolves around the guys at the pub and they sing and dance and tell "stories" through their songs and dance. The cast is tremendously talented, approachable and personable. They clearly love what they do, as does the audience and the two feed off each other for a tremendously enjoyable evening....and they'll even serve up a pint for their guests on stage for their "mates" at the pub. A must see! One other item worth mentioning is the ships smoking policy. Even though it is a touchy subject with some cruisers, it needs to be mentioned that there were only 3 relatively small areas for smokers, one was The Humidor for cigar smokers only at the Whiskey Bar, where cigarette smokers were told point blank to leave and for cigarette smokers there is a narrow enclosure on Deck 8 towards the aft of the ship and an enclosed room in the Casino where those who wished to have a cigarette while gambling (I actually applaud this decision due to smoke infiltrating the casino area and surrounding hallways etc.) However to utilize this room you had to gamble or be asked to leave there as well. The ship did cordon off a small area on Deck 16 out doors and that was for cigarette smokers and anyone found smoking a cigar, a pipe or used a vape pen were also told to leave that area. This policy needs an overhaul in my view because with the monies invested by smoking passengers is exactly the same as non smokers and should not have to worry about being singled out and embarrassed by being thrown out of a certain area of the ship in front of other passengers. That's not right My experience with the service on the ship was positive from bartenders, servers to the cabin steward and the coordinator assigned to the solo travelers who tended to the solo guests. Again, a huge positive. Overall, I may give Norwegian another shot but I would do so on a different ship that has the Spice H20 area and a more spacious pool deck but certainly without the ridiculous amount of up charges that Encore requires. I hope this review was helpful. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I am an NCL loyalist and have been on 6 other NCL cruises. I’ve also cruised with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. My husband and I booked this cruise a year ago and were very excited to sail on this brand new ship. Sadly, we ... Read More
I am an NCL loyalist and have been on 6 other NCL cruises. I’ve also cruised with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. My husband and I booked this cruise a year ago and were very excited to sail on this brand new ship. Sadly, we were a bit disappointed with this cruise. Embarkation was a breeze. The ship itself is immaculate and the crew was overall very friendly. With the exception of the bad experiences we had at some of the specialty restaurants, the service onboard was very good. Entertainment throughout the ship was really good. Our room steward did a fantastic job of keeping our cabin clean. The specialty dining was hit or miss. We loved Le Bistro, Food Republic, Los Lobos and Onda. Service and food at all of these restaurants was excellent. We were bitterly disappointed with Ocean Blue. Service was terrible and the food was beyond bad. I’ve had better seafood at Red Lobster. They claim to have a dress code that requires gentlemen to wear long pants and collared shirts. However, there were several men wearing shorts and t-shirts the night we went there. Cagneys, normally the crown jewel of the NCL specialty dining, was also a huge disappointment both in terms of food and service. Both Ocean Blue and Cagneys added a $19.00 upcharge to people who have a dining package for surf and turf. Upcharges were added for certain appetizers as well. We just sailed on Escape 6 months ago and this was not being done at that time. We really enjoyed our meal at The Manhattan Room and had a great lunch every day at The Local. The American Diner was empty pretty much the entire cruise just like Margaritaville is on other NCL ships. Such a waste of space. The pool is considerably smaller than on Bliss or Escape. Way too small for the 4,000+ passengers. Also, they have eliminated Spice H2O from this ship so the only option to get away from the crowds at the pool is the Vibe Beach Club at $200 pp for the week. They claim you are not allowed to save pool chairs; however this was not enforced. The chairs were full of towels with no one sitting in them all day every day. We couldn’t get a seat out there the entire week. The laser tag, galaxy pavillion and race track are cool things to have but they come with a hefty price tag. If you want an unlimited ticket for all three it will set you back $400. We rode the speedway once and it was hard to get a reservation for one ride!! One ride is $15.00 pp. The clear tube slide was closed pretty much the whole cruise. Not sure why. I felt movement and vibration on this ship more than any of the other NCL ships I’ve been on. It just didn’t feel very stable. There are constant creaking noises throughout the ship too. The time in all the ports was ridiculously short. They cancelled our stop at Great Stirrup Cay because the seas were too rough for the tender boats. Royal Caribbean has a dock at their Coco Cay. I can’t understand why NCL doesn’t build one too. From what I’ve read they cancel this stop more often than they actually go there. The thermal suite was amazing. I went there every day. Also loved the observation room; however, the people sprawled all over the couches in their bare feet sleeping all day was really annoying. They claim in your daily paper this is not allowed but, again, this policy was not enforced. I would still sail with NCL but never again on this ship. I would choose Bliss over Encore any day. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were on the Encore for a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise departing on Feb 16th in accessible room 10886.  Automatic room door was a great help.  My husband in his wheelchair could handle room access unassisted.  The roll-in shower ... Read More
We were on the Encore for a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise departing on Feb 16th in accessible room 10886.  Automatic room door was a great help.  My husband in his wheelchair could handle room access unassisted.  The roll-in shower arrangement was excellent - no water to mop up after showers.  The ramping to the balcony was easy to use because there was no drop off going out the door onto the balcony.  There was enough space to maneuver both his manual day chair and commode wheelchair. As the caregiver, I was disappointed that the only chair in the cabin was an uncomfortable desk chair.  When it was too cool to sit on the balcony, I sat on the bed.  We were disappointed with accessible seating in entertainment venues.  This was quite a surprise given how well our room has been designed for accessibility.  When we attempted to enter The Cavern, his wheelchair got stuck between the two entrance doors.  Seating at the rear of the theater had too high of a blockage for a short person to see the stage.  I was also surprised that the only wheelchair companion seating was a hard plastic folding chair.  For those who can take a few steps, they can park their wheelchair or walker at the top and move to handicapped seating.  Since my husband cannot walk,  theater staff then directed me to go to Customer Service to request access to the wheelchair seating in the front of the theater.  Marina Caparros was very helpful at making access arrangements once we connected with her.  Seating at the front of the theater requires access thru crew areas and when you get to the wheelchair area, there is no reserved handicapped companion seating is marked.  Sometimes these seats were already taken so I had to sit elsewhere.  I felt public entertainment venues  were not welcoming or well planned for wheelchairs.  This is my 16th cruise with a wheelchair.  Never before was it necessary to work with an access coordinator to access public spaces on previous cruises. The entertainment, Choir of Men and Kinky Boots, were well done. Maneuvering the Garden Cafe for someone in a wheelchair was very challenging.  Difficult to find a table with wheelchair access and way to crowded.  Almost had a plate of food dumped on my husband's head by another passenger who didn't see him because of the height of a wheelchair.  So we avoided this whenever possible.   Getting from one end of the ship to the other with a wheelchair took several tries before we found what worked for us.   After one attempt to go from one end of the ship to the other via the pool decks, it became obvious that it is NOT a pathway for wheelchairs.  We had to ask several people to move their chairs out of the pathway so we could get through.  Attempting to go cross ship in cabin hallways resulted in needing to move multiple carts so we could get through.  Because going across the ship on 6-8 was mostly carpeted and difficult to push a wheelchair, when weather permitted, we used the Waterfront to traverse the distance between elevators.  The Waterfront and Observation Lounge  were wonderful.  Automatic doors often required push button activation and activation buttons were not consistently located.  Some automatic doors closed too quickly to enable a wheelchair to pass though.  On sea days the Observation Lounge had several groups of very enthusiastic teens.  More separate space is needed for teens.  With 4600 passengers there was insufficient public spaces on sea days.  I would hate to see what this is like when school is out....    Of all the eating venues, it was much easier to maneuver a wheelchair in Taste and Savor.  Portion size was hard to predict.  Some appetizers were entree size.  Maitre 'D Scott Goes ensured that our dining experience was excellent.  Our primary server, Odessa and her assistant, Alyanna, did an outstanding job.    This is a lovely ship with good food and entertainment.  We wanted to give it a try.  A smaller ship that is less congested works better for us.  Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise primarily because it was a new ship and we wanted to experience the latest and greatest in cruise ship offerings. This was also our longest cruise to date (7 nights) so we spent the extra money on a balcony suite, ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because it was a new ship and we wanted to experience the latest and greatest in cruise ship offerings. This was also our longest cruise to date (7 nights) so we spent the extra money on a balcony suite, especially since there were a couple total days at sea. As for the ship itself, it was quite beautiful and clean, as you might expect a new ship to be. However, our biggest complaint (and the complaint of many others we spoke with) was that there were not enough common deck areas where you could just lay out and enjoy some sunshine. A large amount of what would appear as common area were actually upgrade areas. Part is reserved for Haven guests, which is an understandable upgrade... but an incredibly large area is reserved for the Vibe Beach club which is an extra $209 per person for the week of cruising! If you weren't out on deck by 7:30 am, don't expect to find a deck chair in the sun. Another issue was that many of the deck chairs that were available were in areas where the sun was obscured by the go-kart track, water slides or other features (all of which were also an extra charge). There are 4500 passengers on this ship and maybe 2 or 3 hundred common area deck chairs in the sun. We tried to buy the upgrade to the Vibe Beach club but all were already sold out, yet the area remained largely empty anytime I looked. Also on deck are two small pools. One for the kids and one for the adults. Very small pools and that's it. Aside for four tiny hot tubs on the upper deck loop, that was all of the common pool area. There is not even a pool in the Vibe Beach Club area. Also, with 4500 passengers, it was almost impossible to book dining, quality shore excursions or any shows on board. On previous cruises on smaller NCL ships we could just walk into anywhere and did not realize, in advance, that you would have to book so much so far ahead. We actually called customer service when we were trying to make various reservations and she actually laughed at us saying "oh, people book this stuff MONTHS in advance". Mind you, we paid about 3800 for our balcony suite. This is not small change but yet so many things were still upcharges if you wanted to partake. The Virtual Reality lounge, Go-kart track, water slides, premium deck space... all extra bucks. I was also surprised at how much the ship moved even in fairly calm seas. A few days the seas were a little higher and when the ship moved that much, everything creaked and popped. Maybe it was just that it was all so new that it sounded louder than a ship that was "worn in". But, for such a big ship, it moved way more than expected. Here's the good stuff. Our balcony suite was quite nice and roomy. The balcony was a little tight but was a great place to sit out and relax with my wife. For half the cruise, it was the only place to get sun (for the other half of the cruise it was on the shade side of the ship). The young man who cared for our room new our names by heart. He was fantastic and just as helpful and accommodating as you could ever want. I can't say enough what a great job he did. The rest of the crew was also amazing, for the most part. Cheerful, helpful, kind and just top notch all the way around. I think of the long days they work, 7 days a week, and am even more impressed at the incredible quality of service they provide. Honestly, they were the saving grace of this cruise. "Washy washy, happy happy!"... the lady who squirts your hands with sanitizer before you enter the buffet area is like a ship icon and mascot! Speaking of the buffet, the food was amazing and plentiful! We did eat well and the selections were seemingly endless. Private dining, for what we could book (only late bookings were left for us), was good. We ate at the Q Smokehouse where the food was ok and the service was incredible. We ate at the Mexican restaurant which we didn't care for but the service was the best of all and then we ate at the Japanese hibachi place which was delicious and entertaining. Those were our complimentary specialty dining credit choices. Even though we could only get bookings for after 9pm, we were able to call or stop in earlier and they adjusted our times to something reasonable... so there's a great tip for you if you're stuck in our situation. We dined our last night in the nice complimentary restaurant in the front of the ship (I forget the name)... the food was good and the service was fantastic. My wife has vowed never to sail this ship again. I am not as much of a lay-out-in-the-sun guy but am still upset by the principle of paying almost 4k for a week cruise and not having the option. Far too many extra charges and far too few entertainment and relaxation options included. We had far better experiences on their older, smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I choose this cruise because I wanted to bring my four grown sons to Jost Van Dyke an Excursion offered while in Tortola on 2/20. The excursion got sold out & the time being there was changed from 8:00 to 5:00 pm to 6:00am to 2:00pm. ... Read More
I choose this cruise because I wanted to bring my four grown sons to Jost Van Dyke an Excursion offered while in Tortola on 2/20. The excursion got sold out & the time being there was changed from 8:00 to 5:00 pm to 6:00am to 2:00pm. & was not notified. I called the cruise line To ask about being added for this excursion and was told I could put my name on a waitlist once onboard the ship. When I got onboard I went to guest services and was told there were 17 people on the waitlist ahead of us & it was very unlikely we would get to go. The reason they changed the itinerary was so that the ship could stop at their private island GREAT STIRRUP CAY in the Bahamas instead of a day at sea. Well on the day of that stop we were told it was too windy and not safe to go there due to tendering. So for a 7 day cruise we only had 1 full day in St. Thomas. So being on the ship 75% of the time...the place to hang was at the pool...if you did not get up by 8:00 am or earlier & get a seat by the pool you were outta luck. The big screen at the pool had a sign up for the entire 7 days....you can’t save chairs...if you were not present for 15 minutes they would take your belongings off your chair. So if you wanted to go eat ...you lost your chairs. It was a nightmare to say the least! Any place more civil on the ship to hang outside was an extra charge and that was sold out too! On the first nites dinner....asked for a glass of Pinot Grigio and was told at the Onda at Scarpetta restaurant that they did not have any...only to walk out of restaurant after dinner and pass wine cellar....attached to the restaurant to see 10 bottles of Pinot Grigio on the shelf! This was my second Norwegian Cruise and I would not cruise them again! Back to Royal Caribbean❤️ Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just returned from a week on Encore. It is a fabulous new ship with tons to do on it and decorated to NCL's high standard. Unfortunately for us we chose a school holiday week, being from the UK this was unknown to us. However, with ... Read More
Just returned from a week on Encore. It is a fabulous new ship with tons to do on it and decorated to NCL's high standard. Unfortunately for us we chose a school holiday week, being from the UK this was unknown to us. However, with that said the 1000+ children on board didn't really bother us, other then sitting on stair cases and running the cabin corridors, then I did get a bit peed off with them! With all the things to do on this ship like Go carts, VR room and Laser Tag it is always going to attracted more families. We had an inside cabin (13665) which was plenty big enough or the 2 of us and was fine as we don't spend much time in there. It was spotlessly clean and had everything we needed. The reason I haven't given this ship 5 stars is due to the lack of quiet sunbathing space. H2O has been removed on this ship to make way for the VR room so that leaves Vibe, which I refuse to pay extra for! We spent our sea days sitting on the Waterfront, this has now also turned into sun bathing deck as some people were laying on towels on the walk way or dragging chairs out blocking the walk way in order to catch some sun. I am aware that there is always space available on the pool deck but it is far too busy and loud for us. We ate at Taste, The Local (breakfast) Garden cafe (lunch), observation lounge (lunch), Teppenyaki, Cagney's and Los Lobos. All were great with wonderful service. The only negative i can find is that Cagney's is so over booked that they are always running late with tables and its far from a nice relaxing environment to have dinner, tables crammed in and even spilling out into the A List bar. All the entertainment we seen was really good, Choir of Man is unmissable and we loved Jim Badgers humour! Unfortunately we didn't make it to see Kinky Boots but I heard others say it was great. Over all we had a great time, met some great people really liked Encore but it wouldn't be my first choice of ship in future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The laser tag and speedway are very cool but quite expensive. They seem to have taken the place of other free activities like basketball etc. which we missed. There are not enough chairs on the Pool deck perhaps forcing people to pay for ... Read More
The laser tag and speedway are very cool but quite expensive. They seem to have taken the place of other free activities like basketball etc. which we missed. There are not enough chairs on the Pool deck perhaps forcing people to pay for the beach club. The main dining rooms were every bit as good if not better than the specialty restaurants. We loved the deck 8 big blue couches and chairs and camped out there on all at sea days including the day that was supposed to be the private island, some usb plugs by all those chairs and sofas, may be helpful. Perhaps a dock at the private island would be a good idea rather than tendering so people can actually use the private island because it seems to be cancelled often due to safety issues with tendering. Our stateroom was very well appointed and our attendant was great. All the bar staff treated us well. The Chocolate Cowboy as he liked to call himself at sugarcane mojito bar outside on deck 8 was awesome. The cruise director was fine when we saw him, but not the best one we have ever had. Tortola needed to be way longer, no one wants to go snorkeling at 7:30 in the morning, especially when anyone who checked the weather report knew we weren’t getting off the ship the next day at the private island. We really enjoyed the Choir of Man, Kinky Boots was good but not for smaller children, we didn’t see the one you had to pay for, because really, we paid enough already, entertainment should be free. Overall, you have a beautiful ship that with a few tweaks would make me try again. For now, I will stick with Royal Caribbean or Disney. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience a brand new ship. I’m glad we cruised on the Encore. It’s a stunning ship. There is lots to like, but some legitimate drawbacks in a couple areas. I would cruise again with NCL, ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience a brand new ship. I’m glad we cruised on the Encore. It’s a stunning ship. There is lots to like, but some legitimate drawbacks in a couple areas. I would cruise again with NCL, but probably not on this particular ship. A bit about us. We are in our early 50s and do not have children. We like cruises, but every vacation is not a cruise vacation. We have taken cruises with Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Viking (a river cruise). This was our second cruise with NCL. The ship is indeed beautiful and offers to many choices of activities, dining, and entertainment. Our cabin (10226) was a mini-suite with a balcony. It was large enough for a couple. For a family, it would be tight. (The sofa could turn into a bed, and there was an upper bunk that could be pulled down from the ceiling, if desired.) The bathroom was the largest one we have ever had on a ship. The shower is nearly full-sized and a most welcome improvement over the telephone booth style showers we have encountered on some other ships. The shower head was quite fancy. It featured different spray options. Water pressure was good and the range of water temperatures was excellent. There is a trough-style double sink. A double sink was useless for us, but it could be helpful for a family. There are two dispensers in the shower: one containing shower gel and the other containing a combined shampoo & hair conditioner. Both my husband & I have short hair, so this was not a big deal. If you have longer hair, you might want to bring your own hair products. The shampoo/conditioner did not rinse as “cleanly” as I would have liked, but this was a minor issue. There is no standard waste receptacle in the bathroom, which I found odd and inconvenient. Instead, there is a very small waste container in a drawer below the sink. The bed was comfortable. There was plenty of storage space for two people. The TV worked well, but it seemed a little small. If you enjoy quiet time on your balcony, this is NOT the cabin for you. We were located two decks above the Sugar Cane Mojito Bar on the Waterfront. I could hear the bartender shaking drinks. As long as the bar was open, it was quite noisy on our balcony. Speaking of the Waterfront, I was looking forward to this set-up as it sounded like a great idea…in concept. We never saw anyone dine outside the specialty restaurants on the Waterfront. It was either too warm, too windy, or too chilly…and we were in the Caribbean. There is lots of seating scattered throughout the Waterfront, and these areas were popular with families and large groups, and probably people looking to escape interior cabins. I missed having a deck that we could walk around the entire ship, as we have done on other cruises. There is nothing comparable on the Encore. (The jogging track above the main pool area is a joke.) Many reviewers have commented about the lack of pool space and deck chairs, and this is very fair criticism of this ship. There is not nearly enough public pool and deck area for a ship with this many passengers. The hot tubs were packed full. The music was way too loud. It gave us a headache just to walk through the area. We did not pay for the more exclusive pool area because we never use the pools, so I can’t comment on conditions there. Some have commented about poor service on the Encore. That was NOT our experience at all. In nearly every instance – wait staff, our cabin steward (Elan), spa, guest services, and excursions, the service was outstanding. In most cases, the food was very good. Food in the specialty restaurants was OUTSTANDING. We ate at Cagney’s, Onda, Q, Los Lobos, and the American Diner. Food in The Local Bar was okay. I did like the set-up. Food was a little bland there, except for the hot dog. The basic level wine & alcoholic beverage package was included in our cruise fare, and worked well for me. I’m a wine drinker and fully enjoyed the wines (had to be less than $15 per glass) that qualified under the basic package. Without prompting, the wait staff always offered to refill a glass. The Garden Café (buffet) was my least favorite eating area. There were lots of choices, but it was always way too crowded and difficult to find a table. Pizza ordered through room service was okay. We've had much better pizza on other cruise lines and ships. The Observatory Lounge on Deck 15 is a GREAT space. It is really a unique area of this ship. It is a quiet space where many families gathered to play board games or complete puzzles during the sea days. Singles and couples read books there, or just sat and enjoyed a drink. There was always an abundant and varied offering of snacks, desserts and other food items – all complimentary. The panoramic view is amazing. The spa was nice. I enjoyed two different massages there. Ask for Raj. Yes, they do subject you to the usual sales pitch, which always annoys me. I would pay more just to avoid the stupid sales pitch and health “coaching”. To the question “What are you doing to reduce stress?”, I responded, “I am taking this cruise.” Raj thought that was funny. We went to Choir of Man on the Encore. I highly recommend it, and we generally don’t get all that excited about musicals and shows. The cast was incredibly talented, and the music was infectious. The entire audience was participating by the latter half of the show. We also enjoyed the piano player (can’t recall his name) in the Atrium. There were a lot of children and teenagers on this cruise. Nothing against children and teenagers, just against parents who don’t believe in teaching their children to respect others and behave reasonably. There were quite a few “entitled” young folks on this cruise. My husband summed it up, “I know I sound like a grumpy old person, but I never hear these young folks say ‘thank you’”. We tried the race track. It was fun, but once was enough. I think most people would have been much happier with this ship if the space dedicated to the race track was instead dedicated to more pool and lounging deck space. Don’t bother with the Internet and Wi-Fi packages offered on the ship. Connections (when available) are SLOW. Ditch the electronics and use it as a good excuse to unplug and get away. We participated in shore excursions offered by NCL in San Juan, St. Thomas, and Tortola. We did “Sips & Bites” in San Juan. I was hoping for more history about San Juan and Puerto Rico. Instead, the guide got really detailed about the “art” of “craft cocktails”. I love a good cocktail, but this guy acted like they were finding a cure for cancer -- took himself way too seriously. We had some nice cocktails and appetizers, but definitely not worth the price for this excursion. In both St. Thomas and Tortola we opted for the standard minibus tour of each island. On the St. Thomas tour, they forced way too many people into the wagon. Be prepared to get to know your seatmates very well. Due to choppy waters and poor weather, the Great Stirrup Cay stop was cancelled and became a sea day instead. By this point in the cruise, I was getting stir crazy and ready to get off the ship, so that was my least favorite day. The disembarkation process was very disorganized. Embarkation was okay. Many cabins were not ready until 3:00 or 3:30 pm. In summary, I'm glad we experienced the Encore, but I don't need to experience it again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We go for the newest ships, often sucked in by the gimmicks plus the itinerary. In this case it was the race track and laser tag and the chance to try a new line. This was our 8th cruise -- previously we've been on Disney, Royal ... Read More
We go for the newest ships, often sucked in by the gimmicks plus the itinerary. In this case it was the race track and laser tag and the chance to try a new line. This was our 8th cruise -- previously we've been on Disney, Royal Caribbean and Carnival. For our "free perks" I had selected 3 specialty dining (Cagney's, LeBistro, Ocean Blue), 250 minutes of wifi, and the drink package. Food I felt was on par with other lines except not many complimentary choices for lunch. For example nothing on the pool deck except the buffet. I've never done specialty restaurants before. It's fine if it's included but I wouldn't pay for them. Main dining room is perfectly sufficient for us. Staff I felt was on par with other lines. Typically if you're friendly and treat people with respect they respond in kind. Not very happy about all the extra activity fees. $10 for laser tag. $15 for race track. $30 for an hour in Galaxy Pavilion. They should let everybody do each thing once and pay for extra times. I ended up paying almost $400 for activities for the four of us (including a $160 arcade pass). Thankfully my wife thinks the spa is too expensive and didn't go there. I waited a year in order for my kids to be tall enough for the race track but my youngest still wasn't tall enough. But at least they have double car sessions and he could ride with me. Note even though this is supposed to be "free style," you seriously need to plan out and reserve dinners, shows and activities -- especially laser tag, race track and escape -- if you want to be assured that you can do them. So planning was actually a little tiring, especially since many items you can't reserve until you get on board. We had intended to do the escape room but I didn't book it fast enough and all the slots disappeared by day 2. But it's just as well based on the feedback I've read. I didn't realize until after I booked that all these gimmicks seriously impacted other areas on the ship. For example there is no adults only area unless you want to pay extra for the Vibe. There is just one small pool and a small shallow one for the kids. And four small hot tubs (capacity of 6-7 adults but typically was full of kids). This is the first cruise I ever went on where I didn't get in the hot tub. The pool was salt water so my kids didn't care to go in a second time as it burned their eyes and tasted nasty if it got in their mouths. The tube water slide was fun but we only did it once. Not really worth waiting for 30 minutes each time. The Ocean Loop slide is a failure due to poor design or implementation only people weighing 130 lbs or more could go on it. And even though I'm well over 130 lbs I failed to go through the first time. The second time I took off my rash guard (shirt) and made it through. And lounging space on the pool deck is extremely limited. Since we prefer shade it wasn't a big issue for us. The tv system and app is decent but doesn't have the ability to book certain things and you can't cancel anything either. So I had to visit guest services a number of times. If the app was more comprehensive this would not have been necessary. Texting via the app worked well. I think this should be a complimentary feature, not $10/device. The free wifi was so-so but it generally worked well enough. Trying to limit kid's accounts was very difficult. I couldn't put a dollar limit, it was either leave open or close it. I closed it just to be safe but that caused various problems (for example it wouldn't let me book laser tag for my son even though I was using my card to do it). So I shouldn't have bothered. My kids know enough not to charge stuff wantonly. I had only been doing it just in case. At least the kids activities and kids club was not an extra charge. We didn't use it much but my younger son spent about 5-6 hours total there. He enjoyed it enough to ask to go back after the first time. For some dumb reason they didn't properly accommodate smokers at launch so they scrambled to add an outdoor smoking area on the pool deck. They should have planned for this in the first place. I love that the main casino is smoke-free. You can actually walk through it without gagging. We thought the shows and entertainment (Choir of Men, Kinky Boots, Beatles) were quite good and entertaining. I refuse to pay extra for a show so I didn't attempt to see Prohibition. Bottom line is go for this ship if you are interested in race track, laser tag and galaxy pavilion. Or the overall itinerary. But if you won't use those anyway pick a ship that has the adults area (Spice H2O) and more space for the traditional areas. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I was anxious to come home and write this review after reading so many negative reviews since encore set sail in November. I can 100% say I don’t know why so many have complaints from this ship. This is my 4th Norwegian Cruise and it did ... Read More
I was anxious to come home and write this review after reading so many negative reviews since encore set sail in November. I can 100% say I don’t know why so many have complaints from this ship. This is my 4th Norwegian Cruise and it did not disappoint. The biggest complaint I read was the pool and lack of chairs. Is the pool a little smaller, yes. Was it full even once, no. Chairs on a 4000 person ship are never going to be Enough. I noticed people coming down at 12 complaining. No matter what ship your on, chairs will be an issue coming down at noon. Never once in 7 days did I not get chairs. Sometimes they were in the shade and I moved up when people moved. The not saving chair notices were in effect. A lady walked around and removed towels from seat savers. Impossible to be 100% effective though. As for the activities, yes people you need to book them. We booked first day and were able to make reservations for go carts and laser tag twice and an escape room. The galaxi pavilion you don’t need to book and they did offer a day pass for $50, which we picked our day at sea. All these new exciting options are pricy but worth every penny. We knew ahead of time so budgeted accordingly. The shows were amazing. Food amazing. Overall layout of ship was great, plenty of room everywhere. I read complaints of not getting in to see the Beatles. They now moved them to the big theater 2x during the cruise, so no issues getting to see them. The extra parties were so much fun. Silent disco and glow party were huge hits with my group. So my only advice for this cruise is bring a sweater cause this ship can be chilly in certain rooms. Other than that relax and ignore the negative reviews, this ship rocks!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
NCL Encore is the newest ship currently. NCL has really improved in traffic flow, decreasing congestion, a wide range of activities for all ages. Nightly bars, shows, comedy clubs, entertaining music all occurring at the same time in so ... Read More
NCL Encore is the newest ship currently. NCL has really improved in traffic flow, decreasing congestion, a wide range of activities for all ages. Nightly bars, shows, comedy clubs, entertaining music all occurring at the same time in so many different areas. We stayed on deck 15, close to the observation lounge. We thoroughly enjoyed the food presented at different stations, views, bar etc. Coffee, tea, water was always available. NCL really improved the Garden Cafe. Many different stations well placed to ease traffic flow. You no longer felt like you were a sardine in a can. The Comedy Club had family shows and adult shows. M Simone and Tom were excellent. Kept the audience laughing. My husband is telling their jokes to family amid many laughs. The band Guns and Rojas was very entertaining. They had a wide range of music and knew how to engage the audience. Dining was great. Complimentary and specialty both. The two sit down restaurants with a bar in between served delicious food. And staff would work with you to individualize orders. Q restaurant had outstanding barbecue sides and choices. Cagney’s, Los Lobos , and don’t forget the chicken wings at the Grill. We did several shore excursions. Kevin for St John by Land and Sea was excellent, informative and really talked to the group. Lance the Florida Everglades was superb. Very entertaining, brought a wealth of information, and different objects such as alligators teeth, alligator objects, for us to see and handle. During the Everglades Park part of the tour he stayed with the group providing additional information. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
For starters it blows my mind that people are actually complaining about the amount of kids on the ship. You're looking at a cruise ship that headline a go kart track, waterslides, laser tag, and virtual reality. You should know just ... Read More
For starters it blows my mind that people are actually complaining about the amount of kids on the ship. You're looking at a cruise ship that headline a go kart track, waterslides, laser tag, and virtual reality. You should know just by the look of this ship it's going to have plenty of families on it. I've seen a lot of complaints about the upcharges on the ship also for having to pay extra for a lot of the activities. Yes, this might be a shock if you don't look into it and go on the ship expecting it all to be included but it states online that these things do cost extra money so research it and go in budgeting accordingly. Also have seen a lot of complaints about people upset that you need to make reservations for things such as the go karts, laser tag, and the escape room. The ship does this to be organized so go on the first day of your cruise to make these reservations and you'll be stress free the rest of the time. For people wanting to sunbathe and complaining about the seating there is always seating if you walk up two levels from the pool for perfect sun seats. If you're going to try to get seats by the pool past noon you shouldn't expect to find seats together. There is a kid pool and an adult pool but the whole trip both pools were never even close to being full or had over 10 people in them at a time. The Choir of Man show is the best show on the ship make sure you go to that! Participate in the themed nights and games shows too, they're awesome! The food was great at every single place & every activity on the ship (go karts, virtual reality, laser tag, etc) was well worth the money and a great experience. TIP FOR WIFI** I purchased the unlimited social media wifi it cost me around a total of $90 for the week. I was able to use all social media with no problem and I was also able to iMessage and FaceTime. This was well worth the money! The only complaint I have was that my group was a big fan of going to karaoke which they had almost every single night but they don't have any classic songs or anything even remotely updated on the list which I know was extremely frustrating to many people who were trying to have a good time. Don't let the negative reviews drive you away, this ship was incredible! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Other family members chose it for convenance, there were 23 of us, we flew U.K to Miami to join them complete with my wheelchair. Boarding was made easy for me staff were helpful, the cabin which had a walk in shower was a long way ... Read More
Other family members chose it for convenance, there were 23 of us, we flew U.K to Miami to join them complete with my wheelchair. Boarding was made easy for me staff were helpful, the cabin which had a walk in shower was a long way from the lift, the very narrow corridors were stuffed with cases this made using the wheelchair almost impossible, this proved to be a theme for the week when it was not cases it was housekeeping carts, embarrassing and upsetting at times. The dining and stateroom staff were very helpful and kind, the food was great, entertainment was good. We chose the cruise partly as four stops seemed good and chose disabled friendly excursions, however it was made clear to me after I boarded that I could not get of at Belize as tenders are required to get there and they are not disabled friendly, I was not impressed but again the staff and one manager were great. Others in my party did not seem impressed with that stop and one of the kids was bitten by jellyfish. The place I really wanted to visit was cancelled due to a port strike, so only two out of four stops happened. Lots of disabled toilets available, they have press button doors I got out of the chair to go into the toilet my husband pushed the button the door swung back and floored me leaving me bruised and shaken also embarrassed. The children loved it and had fun one child had a birthday and was given a lovely cake and the staff sang happy birthday, they were good with the babies. Given we travelled 4000 miles to get there I would not repeat the experience but it was fun and an adventure and we met great people so no regrets. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port ... Read More
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port at 12pm on a rainy day in Miami only to find a massive line up, in which parts of it left you standing in the rain. It took approximately 2.5 hrs to board the Escape. Upon entering I was blown away by its beauty and pure size- I couldn’t wait to explore! I quickly learned that the lineup I dreaded having to deal with to board would follow me wherever I went on the ship- food, drinks, washroom, you name it. Which quickly becomes frustrating when you are trying to have a relaxing vacation. On our first sail day we went to go to the pool, only to find it was a sea of bodies in the pool and no chairs to be found. Sadly the Escape has a pool not much bigger than the average backyard pool that is somehow supposed to fit +4000 people. I was very disappointed to know I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere close to the pool. Our first stop was Roatan and we chose to do the Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkelling. Everything was perfect. The staff were friendly, and very helpful when teaching how to snorkel. And the Reef was absolutely stunning! Second stop was Harvest Caye, Belize. I was very interested for this stop as I knew the island was owned by NCL and operated by locals. We chose to not do an excursion that day and just explore and relax on the island. What I was not aware of is that our food and drink package are not included on the island. 2 daiquiri’s were a whopping $25! It was refreshing to have a large pool to sit next to as this was my first day being able to go in a pool on our vacation. After lunch we decided to go back to the ship as it was too expensive to be buying drinks when we already had paid for a very costly drink package. Third stop was supposed to be Costa Maya but unfortunately got cancelled due to a local strike. In turn we had a half day at sea as they continued onward to Cozumel. Having over 24 hrs in Cozumel actually worked quite well as we were able to do extra exploring and not be in a hurry to get back to the ship. We went and swam with the dolphins and stingray. It was a 5 min cab ride to the aquarium. Overall it was an amazing experience! The highlight of the cruise was the food. Le Bistro was hands down my favourite restaurant. Most of the staff throughout the ship were friendly and very attentive. The only staff member I can complain about was a bartender at the Mojito bar. We went there every night before dinner and he was always straight to the point and we witnessed him yell at various customers. If NCL is reading this, I would say their app is very helpful when on-board and we caught ourselves always referring to it. You can message fellow passengers through it for a very expensive price. I would like to see them change that so you can message your family members on the cruise through the app for free. Overall it was a great trip and I was able to bring home lots of amazing memories. I do feel like I could use some time away from people though. Personally I would not recommend Harvest Caye but Roatan and Cozumel were lovely. If I go on another cruise it will have to be with less people and more pool options. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose Norwegian Escape because his itinerary and packages included . Having the balcony is a must and thermal Spa this will get to be well relax and enjoy your trip. The only drawback is the amount of people using the pool and the ... Read More
We chose Norwegian Escape because his itinerary and packages included . Having the balcony is a must and thermal Spa this will get to be well relax and enjoy your trip. The only drawback is the amount of people using the pool and the jacuzzi is like having a human soup, it is pack all day long. The food is OK the ship had with multiple restaurants for different taste I recommend the drinking And specialty packages. In any of the restaurants they Desserts are no bueno, pastries tasted and looked like been defrost the day before and then served to the passengers. Asian food was great with multiple plates presented but at the same time very spicy(hot). Shows were great with full of talent. Must see the dueling pianos show they sound the best. Multiple activities around the ship were very good. We enjoy our cabin which have the balcony this was great . Plenty is space for our 3 suitcases and clothes for two the bathroom was small but enough space to put all your wife’s things and yours . Regarding Excursion, be beware of Roatan . That Island sucks it is very poor and below average beach. The best was Harvest Caye (cabanas) and Cozumel, Chankanaab natural park great snorkeling time and beach relaxing time. My complains is your drinking and food plan can not be use at their private island were a bottle of a draft beer will cost you $9 ..... Enjoy your trip and Escape Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed from Miami on a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise. This was our first cruise ever. 12 family members went with ages ranging from 55 to 2. This was our first cruise ever. Everything was just amazing. Ship was fully booked and for ... Read More
We sailed from Miami on a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise. This was our first cruise ever. 12 family members went with ages ranging from 55 to 2. This was our first cruise ever. Everything was just amazing. Ship was fully booked and for 4000+ passengers the embarkation and disembarkation was quicker and smoother than expected at each port. The freestyle food was good and at least two nights the crew accommodated our religious dietary restrictions without prior notice or us asking at all. They prepared for us a special meal which was delicious at no extra costs. The ship had a complimentary daycare for 3 and up and a nursery for younger kids which was anything but a typical daycare. My kids had a blast and would want to go everyday which made our trip even more enjoyable. Even with the ship being fully booked and our three room being scattered throughout the ship due to last minute booking and sail away option it was not much of an inconvenience as far as communication (via in-room and ship wide phones), seating availability at dining, entertainment, pools, slides and other activity venues. We timed everything where the rush would be minimal. There was never a dull moment and it was difficult to find a lull moment. One incident I would report is that the ship skipped a port due to local issues at Costa Maya, however, that was not an issue as we docked at Cozumel for two days and it was great! Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and the staff was extremely professional and kind. The freestyle dining was great as we ate at odd hours of the day. I can’t imagine it getting any better! Would definitely recommend this cruise line and ship and looking forward to going again soon! One of my children experienced motion sickness the last night or maybe it was too much ice cream, however, he vomited in the middle of the night and staff showed up in less than 10 minutes cleaned/sanitized the room, replaced the mattresses and sheets right away. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our second Norwegian Cruise. Our first was out of Manhattan in 2014 on the Breakaway to Bermuda. We made use of none of the specialty restaurants, ship sponsored shore excursions or drink packages. In spite, we enjoyed it and ... Read More
This was our second Norwegian Cruise. Our first was out of Manhattan in 2014 on the Breakaway to Bermuda. We made use of none of the specialty restaurants, ship sponsored shore excursions or drink packages. In spite, we enjoyed it and rebooked on the Escape our of Miami in Feb 15, 2020. Pros: the staff, to include general manager and assistance general manager were easily accessible and accommodating. Very much so! We had a small problem and called Duncan, the assistant GM and he was fabulous. Our problem wasn’t solvable, but Duncan spent a lot of time sorting the issue out. The staff was beyond gracious and friendly! The ship was immaculate. There were so many people on board, but we never waited in line to eat, see a show or play the slots, or just get around the ship. Pretty impressive feat. A large vessel with a small bouy feel to it! Our Steward was a hard working man named Mario (although I believe his actual name was Olayao). He was in and out of our cabin three or four times a day keeping it clean and comfortable. He was the Steward for 12208. Another noted worthy staff memeber was a waitress, Lourdes, from Cagney’s steakhouse. She may be the finest waitress I’ve ever had. Friendly, prompt, professional, courteous. Norwegian is lucky to have Duncan, Lourdes and Mario! They are the reason we will cruise again with NCL. The cons: Belize’s Harvest Caye is a manufactured island, I believe solely for NCL. It was expensive and offered no real local feel. Everything was touristy and artificial. Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful little island, but felt a little like a low budget theme park. It should be part of the meal and drink package, particularly if it is solely a NCL property. Because we dropped anchor rather than moor pierside, the liberty launches (tendering vessels) were madness boarding on each end. The lines getting off the ship were decks long and the lines getting onto the liberty launch back to ship was a quarter mile long! It took 2 1/2 hours to back aboard. The wait was all on the harvest Caye end. Boarding from the liberty launch was pretty quick. The lines on and off the ship were a challenge. Specifically boarding on the first day. It took literally 3 1/2 hours to get aboard. Made me wonder if the Haven is worth the extra money? Once aboard, the ship absorbed the people very well. We were very impressed by that. Our stateroom had an adjoining stateroom with my son and daughter, but we had different stewards. This seemed odd, but we accepted it. I tipped both Stewards on day one handsomely in hopes that great service would follow. In Stateroom 12210 (The children) that did not happen. We didn’t see the steward but once or twice the entire week. On the last day he was making up the room for the next guest while we were at breakfast and our things were still in the room. Mind you, that was at 7am. Ridiculous!! I guess he was going to try and get off the ship between cruises. I get efficiency, but not rudeness. He didn’t remember our names, nor the names of my children. Plainly, he stunk! I tipped him zero when we left. Can’t remember his name! NCL should be aware of him. He was terrible. In sum, the food, drink, entertainment, restaurants, relaxation, friendliness of staff, accessibility of ships officers was beyond our expectation. When I was offered a assistant GM’s card, I never expected to use, but moreover, NEVER expected the wonderful attention he gave our concern, the follow up by him personally with a phone calls and then an invitation to air it out with someone if we felt the need. None of which was our intention more desire. The crew was fantastic. I cannot overstate that. This is a top shelf sailing company! Money well spent and a lot of value for our dollar! I chose to rate the individual categories based on our stateroom, not our children’s. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Whoever designed these ships most have been on some drugs. When you hold all your games and talks in the Atrium, which has future cruises, guest services and and tours, you are asking for trouble. You have to yell at the person you are ... Read More
Whoever designed these ships most have been on some drugs. When you hold all your games and talks in the Atrium, which has future cruises, guest services and and tours, you are asking for trouble. You have to yell at the person you are talking to. For a show in the Atrium, they put out folding chairs, pay all that money to sit in a folding chair. They have a very nice theater which is underused. Why not show a movie on a sea day. Food is now right bad. No taste, weird things and slow service, even if they remember who got what. We had 8 of us and they either forgot things or gave them to the wrong people. The paid restaurants were not much better, Japanese was good and Ocean Blue, might have been the best restaurant I have ever been in while on a cruise. Service Fantastic, food better then any other place on the ship. Footloose was great, the other shows not very good. Worst comedians that I have ever seen with the female comedian disgusting. Nice things, the cabin, although it was dirty when we arrived, the bathroom great. The crew very nice. When it takes an hour to board and close to two hours to get off there is something wrong. Our tour of LA was cut short. The tour was suppose to leave at 9 and we left at 11:15. Come on if you had a tour let us off first. Last time for this line. Just the little things that they make you pay for. Try another cruise line, if you want service and better food. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose Norwegian because we cruised Mexico last year and just returned from a Panama Canal cruise. Both cruises have been enjoyable, but recent news, if true will make me think twice about cruising with them again. News is today that they ... Read More
I chose Norwegian because we cruised Mexico last year and just returned from a Panama Canal cruise. Both cruises have been enjoyable, but recent news, if true will make me think twice about cruising with them again. News is today that they are encouraging their sales force to tell people how safe it is on their ships and not to worry about Corona virus. To me, that is just plain stupid with the virus being most anywhere. Cruise ships are a giant Petri dish no matter how well they are cleaned. You have 3 to 5 thousand people living, eating and eliminating in a confined area. No matter how careful you are, you are going to touch something that has been contaminated. Personally, if I were to be considering a cruise right now, I would cancel out, especially if Norwegian messing with the truth in their sales department. That aside, I will say that we enjoyed the trip thru the Panama canal, but wished there had been different ports on the western side as we had just been to three of them last year. Our rooms were kept up very well and they were really encouraging people to wash their hand or use sanitizer all over the ship. One thing that we have found to be going downhill is the food service in the ship buffet. Most all foods served on this trip were barely warm, some were actually cool. This is a dangerous way to serve food in my opinion. The dining room food was excellent and hot. We ate a five of the specialty restaurants on board and found the staff and food EXCELLENT in the Ocean Blue. The food and staff was also very good in the LeBistro restaurant, but were disappointed that they had run out of escargot on the 13th day of our 16 day cruise. They also ran out of food items in the buffet,{Cafe}. When we went to Mexico last year on the Bliss, we really enjoyed the whiskey bar, but on the Joy, it seems like the bar was dark, dingy and unfriendly. I do want to compliment Norwegian on the drink package. The drinks were great and the bar staff, with the exception of the Joy's whiskey bar was great. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Overall a wonderful trip. The ship is magnificent. Boarded in Miami and was so glad to have just moved up to platinum as my line to get on was 10 minutes long, the others were in the hundreds and took 3 hours to get on. There must be a ... Read More
Overall a wonderful trip. The ship is magnificent. Boarded in Miami and was so glad to have just moved up to platinum as my line to get on was 10 minutes long, the others were in the hundreds and took 3 hours to get on. There must be a better process not a good way to start. The ship is beautiful, the staff is excellent and the food is best I’ve had on a cruise except the buffet. It was constantly cold and all tasted the same. The room was great, spotless at all times with a very personable nice steward. Room 9878 sits on top of a bar on the waterfront and had extremely loud music until 10:30 every night but then was quiet. Just don’t plan on a quiet night in. One big issue was Re boarding the ship in Cartegena. There were 3 long lines and a short Haven line which is fine, they pay plenty for that service but then 2 buses arrived and those 100 people were allowed to create their own line and cut in causing the rest of us an additional hour in the 100 heat to snake our way up. This is the fault of ncl not organizing and moving lines. There sure were plenty of staff handing out washcloths that could hVe controlled traffic, just frustrating when hot and exhausted. The smoking situation is an issue on this ship. It’s great to have an open deck area on 17 in Spice to go but in the casino it’s a small room that is is normally ventilated very well except on sea days when crowded. Also they have 5 table games in there that in 17 days ionly saw 2 with a player. I suggested they remove 2 and add more slots as times we were standing in line to play. It would have been nice to have like on others ships an ashtray outside on deck 8 where you could duck out and smoke a quick cigarette and get back in. There are many more closet smokers than you would expect. The staff on this ship were excellent. The specialty restaurants obviously have the best servers but we found some trying very hard in main dining rooms. Ocean blue was a great surprise for us. The seafood was wonderful as well as the service. Also no I Sheehan’s, name change to local. Served a great fast breakfast and menu upgrade. Overall a great trip Oh it did take 3 hours to get off ship thanks to customs border protection wow lots missed shuttles and tours was really ugly.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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