1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews

1,095 Norwegian (NCL) Miami Cruise Reviews

Negatives: Spring break cruise, my MISTAKE. Screaming, drinking, banging on doors in the middle of the night, singing " coronavirus in the hallways" at 3am. Watched a couple of spring breakers who coughed without covering ... Read More
Negatives: Spring break cruise, my MISTAKE. Screaming, drinking, banging on doors in the middle of the night, singing " coronavirus in the hallways" at 3am. Watched a couple of spring breakers who coughed without covering mouth and/or putting head into sleeve or anything more than one time, tried to avoid them as much as possible. Lesson learned! The balcony staterooms have been changed to have 1 glass door and a port hole design which was unexpected as we have always experienced 2 glass doors which helps you not feel confined in such a small area. Do NOT like the new design. Will never book SKY again. 1)Cruise rep: Purchased cruise credits from previous cruise, after booking new cruise called back to inquire if they could be used as discount, NO. I had to mention it at time of booking, she suggested to save for next cruise. It's on our account why didn't our cruise rep inquire if any certificates /discounts to be used when booking? Had questions from other persons traveling with us to be clear on what the "free amenities" were was asked not to send emails but to call her. She was a little condescending at times. 2)Itinerary @sea, Day 1: Was advised our trip had to be changed due to weather so we went opposite direction only to find that weather prevented us from our PRIMARY excursion and port. We did not even stop (all day at sea) but found out later that another cruise line simply waited an hour and was given permission to dock. This was first time was feeling the movement of ship as many people were crying and complained of nausea. It was horrible. Since we lost our excursion villa ($350) we tried in vain to get another one at next port, service desk rep says he could try, we began that request at 9:10 am, checked back in 4 times at the desk to hear that NCL had not received a response from folks @ Pearl Island. No courtesy feedback from NCL service desk to say, cannot confirm suggest you try something else. Day 2: docked then ran to service desk to pay $99 each ($600 for our party) to board a 15 minute boat ride (raining & overcast) to a new area "Pearl Island" that it was first come first serve to get a cabana but no one knew the "additional" cost. Literally people jumped off the boat and hurried to get that premiere spot. Society shows itself in times such as this. Talked to Pearl Island Manager to find the cost of the cabana for 6 was a mere $500 additional which included pillows, no food, drinks or private access to beach. There were other cabanas for rent maximum party of 2 adults , 1 child for $450 each no guarantee of getting 2 together so ended up on beach loungers for free. FYI: ALL of the cabanas were EMPTY the whole time, we offered half the price for the big one but were turned down. Be AWARE, NO easy access to the beach on certain areas where there are chairs, a stone wall 3-4', no steps, had to step down a good 12-15 inches into the sand with sharp shells this is OK if you are young and strong legs , horrible if older in age. On the return boat ride in the HOT sun we were given an informative lesson on who the rich and famous are in the area and a look at their homes only to see on the opposite side of the area appeared to be the working mans area which was totally depressing.. I filled out the excursion card with positive reviews for the crew but that's all. Day 3: docked @ last port, burnt from sun so stayed onboard only to find due to port laws all fun things to do are closed as not to take business away from port. Bummer. It may appear that if we kept original routing everything would have worked out as weather was better on return. My opinions are strong because my expectations were high as we never experienced disappointment with NCL and to top it off we were dealing with the corona virus pandemic...We could NOT cancel because NCL would not give refunds/credits until March 10th which was a day after we embarked. What a joke! Positives: Mar 09:Embarkation was wonderful, thank you. The Palace for lunch, server "Remian" PERFECT. Cagneys for dinner as expected- 10/10 food & service. Mar 10: Food gallery very impressive as so many choices and delicious. Lunch @ Palace recommended. Dinner @ Crossings which was a pleasant surprise. Mar 11: At port all day. Dinner @Le Bistro is undeniably our favorite worth the money. Food outstanding, server Leila was top notch. To our surprise after having the best experience ever..while walking out of LeBistro was the TOP CHEF herself as seen on NCL TV as part of the crew. She was as nice in person as she appeared on TV so we thanked her for a delicious dinner, a wonderful memory and complimented her on her dance routine on TV. Mar 12: Our favorite bar tender worked primarily in The Local bar located AFT on the ship from 6pm- closing, gave us his name as Tom Cruise... OK. Dinner @the Local was very good, pub/ bar food but a great way to end the cruise. Most often during this cruise, spring breakers were polite, but there are always a few that break the mold. It was obvious this was a success to them so good for them! Favorites: Leila. Le Bistro Tom cruise The Local Andresthia. Cabin attendant. (Adorable woman). Ramein. Crossings& The Palace Disembarking was much easier than expected, breezed through it once we were "released" by Miami. Glad to be home. Found an Uber and to the airport which is another story to be told. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Plain and simple - disappointing. To say the least we were very mislead. This was not a cheap vacation and we didn’t expect it to be, but we also expected it to be at least worth what we paid. We chose this cruise because it matched our ... Read More
Plain and simple - disappointing. To say the least we were very mislead. This was not a cheap vacation and we didn’t expect it to be, but we also expected it to be at least worth what we paid. We chose this cruise because it matched our travel dates, budgets, and it had a great itinerary. We loved the idea of freestyle dining. No set times, no dress codes, and we didn’t have to eat at tables with strangers - this was the best part about NCL, Freestyle Dining. The port staff in Miami were very rude and rushed us through without allowing us to ask questions. We arrived in our stateroom to have it not be the stateroom that we booked. Guest relations was able to get it situated. Our steward was very sweet, however I was in complete disbelief at how incredibly rude, unfriendly, and unwelcoming the staff on board was. I was literally yelled at numerous times for asking simple questions. The restaurant staff in the specialty restaurants were extremely professional and good at what they do. The buffet was a nightmare. The food is odd - absolutely terrible in complimentary dining rooms (and all serve the same food at the same time, including the buffet) - absolutely outstanding in the specialty restaurants. The bartenders were slower than snails. Inside bartenders were more attentive than outside ones. They couldn’t care less outside, and the “cocktail servers” hid in corners and talked most the time. We were usually right in schedule or early arriving into ports which was nice, however tendering was a total nightmare. Some of us waiting over 4 hours and most people with excursions canceled. It was very disorganized, there was no communication from the directors - it was the equivalent to waiting in an airport terminal for a very delayed flight. What a way to spend vacation. The excursions were well worth it, but any cruise line utilizes them so I don’t feel NCL deserves the credit for these. If you visit Roátan, I highly recommend Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkeling - these guys are a blast and it’s an absolutely great time! There were people of all ages from early teens to 70s. Mandy, our Cruise Director, as well as the rest of the entertainment staff were great. Mandy was the only Crewmember on board to even stop and ask our how our day was. She was so personable and really kept us entertained. There is ALWAYS something going on at all times of the day and night. If you aren’t much for excursions or want something more low-key and private, I highly recommend day passes to the Mandara Spa. It is so relaxing and quiet. They were $246 per person but we used our moneys worth. Unfortunately it closed early the last night of the cruise without notice, so I was very disappointed when I went to get my last steam room session in. The ship was clean and there was a lot to do. Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus, our amenities were limited to literally the pool, casino, and shops. Everything else was closed the entire cruise. The water slides, minigolf, shuffleboard, ropes course, all closed and no staff anywhere to tell anyone. I get the circumstances, but it was a bit insane and nobody was even apologetic. All in all, we probably will not be back to NCL after this. We were also really looking forward to our first time on NCL with this cruise, to take advantage of the CruiseNext for our group cruise coming up, however as good as the deal was, I wouldn’t waste my money on this line. I did not feel valued or welcomed hardly at all on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose to do an eastern Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Encore because of the destinations. We were quite unhappy with multiple aspects of the cruise starting with the 2 hour boarding process. The rooms seemed significantly smaller ... Read More
We chose to do an eastern Caribbean cruise on the Norwegian Encore because of the destinations. We were quite unhappy with multiple aspects of the cruise starting with the 2 hour boarding process. The rooms seemed significantly smaller than the Carnival cruise. We even booked a more expensive balcony room but still preferred our basic Carnival room. This ship is new to the water and we were not impressed at all with the amount of motion the ship had. Granted we did have rough weather, we have had rough weather on other cruises and never felt it as much as this. The entire trip had a lot of unappreciated motion even by my standards (I am a sport fisherman). The cost structure is designed to give the bare minimum and charge additional for most commodities. Im sorry, but if I buy a drink package I would like to be able to get a bottle of water without paying $5 for it. The pool was closed at times because it was a liability with the amount of sway of the ship. We spend approx. $5500 in cruise and airfare fees and were not even allowed to do our main destination (Bahamas) because the tender boats could not get to the ship. However right next to us there were (2) Royal Carribbean ships that had a dock on their private island and were able to disembark. No compensation was given. Their lack of infrastructure on their private Grand Stirrup Cay made us spend a day on a rough sea instead of the prime destination. I would say about half of the usable deck space on the ship was reserved for an even higher cost package which limited the majority of the ship to (1) adult pool. Lounge chairs, chairs, and even pool deck seating was next to impossible unless you went out at 7am to reserve a spot. The food was also much better on Carnival. Our specialty dining package allowed us into (3) restaurants of our choosing with caveats. Reservations to some places needed to be made months before even boarding the ship. In addition to that multiple menu items had additional costs above and beyond buying the premium dining package. All in all we were quite disappointed with this ship and will not use it or potentially Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
After waiting 4 hours just to get on the ship, my expectations were pretty low. Finally got on about 4pm and rushed to get food. Staff was trying to rush us to leave for the muster stations but people were still getting onboard. Finally ... Read More
After waiting 4 hours just to get on the ship, my expectations were pretty low. Finally got on about 4pm and rushed to get food. Staff was trying to rush us to leave for the muster stations but people were still getting onboard. Finally announced that muster was delayed until 5:30pm. Odd that staff was oblivious to the lengthy embarkation. They were so disorganized that they couldn’t even get all passengers onboard in time for the safety brief. Also recording room numbers for towels on paper then not recording returned towels. Really not efficient or organized. Food was okay. Pool wasn’t great as it was busy and cold. As well as only having 1 pool for families. The inside room was tiny although the bathroom was very nice. Really no storage so we were living out of a suitcase. Evening entertainment was mediocre although Choir of Man was very good. Daughter just turned 18 and absolutely nothing for that age group. They had a 18-25 meet and greet but my daughter isn’t going to hang out with people who can drink. Not an appropriate age mix. Also missed one of the ports (Costa Maya) which was disappointing and the revised schedule for the day was underwhelming at best. Received a phone call morning of disembarkation that we had a credit on our account. Luckily we had time to go to customer service as it was money from the excursion we missed when the ship couldn’t dock. Paid out in cash with no proper receipt for us to look at. Not sure what would have happened if we hadn’t been available to collect our cash. The Norwegian Escape Is really nothing special and there was an enormous amount of lining up and waiting. Royal Caribbean is far superior. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I would not cruise on the Encore again. If you like Norwegian, try the Breakaway or Getaway instead. Overall, the food in the main dining rooms and buffet was good. We were a party of 8 and never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a ... Read More
I would not cruise on the Encore again. If you like Norwegian, try the Breakaway or Getaway instead. Overall, the food in the main dining rooms and buffet was good. We were a party of 8 and never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a table at dinner without a reservation (we only made a reservation the first night on the ship) We didn't go to any of the specialty restaurants, however many people on the cruise said that Cagney's was the best. We primarily went to Taste and Savor for dinner and never had an issue finding something we would eat (many times we ordered multiple appetizers, entrees or desserts). We did have dinner one night in the Manhattan Room and found it to be a little more formal. It was also dark and the service was slow. For breakfast and lunch, we split the time between the dining rooms and the buffet. The buffet had a variety of options, including a station for Indian and Asian selections which were great. At breakfast, there was an omelet station to get made to order omelets and eggs. The kids loved the soft server ice cream stations, pizza, and mac-n-cheese. My only negative is that there wasn't a formal night with a more fancier menu (surf and turf, crab legs etc...) The Go-Carts, Laser Tag, and Galaxy Pavilion are all additional charges. $15 for each Go-Cart Ride, $9.95 for each Laser Tag, and $8 for each virtual ride in the Galaxy Pavilion. We paid for 2 Go-Cart Rides, 2 Laser Tags, and 1 day session for the Galaxy Pavilion which was $49 for the day for our 15 year old. They do have unlimited packages for each or all, however they were expensive and not worth the extra money. Also, making reservations for the Go-Carts and Laser Tag didn't matter, because you still had to wait at least a half hour after your scheduled time slot. As for the Pools, both the adult and kids pool were small (and closed the first 2 days at sea) and there wasn't enough open deck space or chairs for the amount of people on this ship. If you didn't get to the pool area by 8:00 AM, forget about finding 2 chairs together. Choir of Man is definitely the star show on this cruise. Kinky Boots was just OK. The musicians were average at best and the DJ's should just stick to playing top 40 and Reggae. I'm an avid music listener and found that I only knew 1 out of every 5 songs they played the entire week on the pool deck. The MC's at the nightly parties were annoying and it would have been better if they just had the DJ. My 15 year old son and his friends joined the Entourage Club but found that there wasn't much to do there other than a single air hockey table, foosball table, and a few game consoles. And the daily teen activities (other than 1 game of dodgeball) were not very fun or interesting. How about planning a scavenger hunt, a tour of the non-public parts of the ship, more competitions etc... Service for the most part was good, but nothing to rave about. Never had to wait long at any of the bars to get a drink. The waiters were nice, but not very personable. I would much rather of had the same table and waitstaff each night at dinner to get to know them and for them to get to know us (know what drink we wanted each night, any dessert we particularly liked etc..). The room stewards did a great job of making sure our beds were made and turn-down service done each night when we got to our rooms. My wife was disappointed they didn't make any animals with the towels like they had on other cruises. All other personnel on the ship were friendly and accommodating. I would give 5 stars to the ship's cleanliness, however the design of the ship is poor. Too much space allocated to Vibe, Go-Carts, and Laser Tag and too little space allocated to pool and sundecks. Also, a sports court would have been a better use of the space that the laser tag takes up. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
You're already paying a huge amount to go and then they charge you insane daily service fees for nothing just to be in you room you paid for. We always had "do not disturb" on room door so we never used the stewardess cause ... Read More
You're already paying a huge amount to go and then they charge you insane daily service fees for nothing just to be in you room you paid for. We always had "do not disturb" on room door so we never used the stewardess cause we are already neat and clean. WE ate the buffet only which is all included in the prices... Limited on drinks, cofffee is horrible. ALL the cakes and dessert are like fancy cardboard (sure taste like it). Only the ice cream was decent. Gym is so tiny and crowded. The observer deck is horribly laid out, only limited chaise lounges (ocean view)... all the rest are just coffee table and chairs which people would sit and wait to grab a chaise as soon as person stood up. They note on the LAST night that the service fees charged to your room are mandatory. What the ! Didn't know we were charged 7nights of service fee for nothing. Obsurd! Restrooms always had issues. Most of the toilets DO NOT work properly. even some soap dispensers dont work. just save yourself the money and headache book another cruise line.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This is a very new ship with some cool stuff on it BUT NCL built it wrong. There's 4,000 people on this ship and the pool area is the size of a pea. The race track takes up needed space for another pool and decking space. There is a ... Read More
This is a very new ship with some cool stuff on it BUT NCL built it wrong. There's 4,000 people on this ship and the pool area is the size of a pea. The race track takes up needed space for another pool and decking space. There is a second pool on the ship but it's in the private club. Which needs to be opened to the general public in order to have enough space to lounge. When you do find a seat at the pool and the so called entertainment starts they have it cranked up so loud you can hardly stand listening to thier sub par band. I like to party but they have to turn it down a notch. Every cruise I've been on I've known the cruise staffs names and they knew me. Except this one. Without the pool space they are hardly outside doing their jobs. Waiting for a drink at times is another experience. Inside is beautiful but again their entertainment rooms are WAY too small for the amount of people on the ship. Standing in line is not my idea of fun. Having to make reservations b4 you get on the ship for the restaurants is crap too. Theater is nice. Food was good. Steakhouse was great but dont we pay enough to get that in regular dining? In all beautiful Big ship. Too many people not enough space. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I just finished shed my second cruise, first one being only 13 mos ago on the Norwegian Sky to the Bahamas for 4 days total. This cruise was on the Norwegian Pearl 6 days total to Belize and Costa Maya. My first cruise experience made ... Read More
I just finished shed my second cruise, first one being only 13 mos ago on the Norwegian Sky to the Bahamas for 4 days total. This cruise was on the Norwegian Pearl 6 days total to Belize and Costa Maya. My first cruise experience made me want to book another right away. We docked every day, had a lot of fun during the evenings on the ship, didn’t have a bad meal, and even with three of us in a small (no window/balcony) room we had a wonderful time. Again, I came back didn’t I? I convinced my mom she had to go with me this winter. We found a good rate, again on the lower deck inexpensive cabin. Last cruise we were placed in a room that was “better located” and this time we were the VERY front and it was quite loud. This time of year or route was also much choppier, but nothing they can do about that. As for the loudness at that part of the ship, you get what you pay for, and the price was reasonable for my mom and I. If you want to upgrade, I’m sure the rooms are quieter and more spacious. The showers in the Pearl were larger than the ones in the sky. In my opinion the positives that outweigh the sky stop there. I preferred the sky layout better than the Pearl and the talent. Talent on Pearl was fine, and great the last night. I wish the dancers would have performed one more night considering it was sat-thurs. The game shows are always good for a laugh, crew was kind and clean, rooms cleaned thoroughly....on BOTH cruises, so again, even in those senses. The MAIN complaint I have was the food on the Pearl. I hate to mark this as “Pearl” bc it could have been a new cooking staff (also, my tummy was a little off this cruise and the first time I was fine) but I truly didn’t eat a single dish I loved, and on the sky I loved 95% of my meals. I only tried the 3 restaurants included, and of course the buffet many times, all restaurants were not to my liking, not my mothers, but her tummy felt fine so she would eat her order. Example- egg drop soup at the lotus cafe had canned creamed corn in it as far as I could tell. I also ordered a basic dish (hoping for a better outcome) mushroom Alfredo pasta and was so bland I didn’t even waste the calorie intake and just ordered dessert after one bite. The food is my personal biggest draw to “cruise life” bc I’m not much of a drinker, in fact we didn’t drink at all, maybe that was our problem HaHa. The fact I didn’t enjoy a single meal thoroughly was a huge disappointment and that’s why I rated this cruise only 2 stars, whereas the Sky I’d rate 4 stars! Let’s move onto the excursions. I was prepared for the cluster of people, Americanized, expensive (pay for anything and everything) small space we were herded to bc I remembered how my first cruise ports were. I was pleasantly surprised to see on Belize, due to NCL owning this port area, the pool/chairs/beach were all part of it for you to enjoy for free. The restaurants were reasonably priced, I even talked to a group of 4 who rented a golf cart to explore the actual city and ate/drank for $15/couple, WOW! My mom and I had booked snorkeling through the ship which took up over half of our time at the port. Due to having to take a small boat to land we had a total of, at most, 6 hours on land. We had to go straight to snorkeling, get settled, etc and by the time we got back to the pool/beach area is was near 2:00, and we had to be back no later than 5. As for the snorkeling, it was a large group, 45, and groups of 8 HAD to stay near their guide in the water and we covered a very small area considering the crowd size. Water was a bit murky (they can’t help that) but all I saw were a handful of fish and lots of coral. A previous snorkeling excursion through NCL was similar in size but no in-water guide, so free to swim around and not constantly look up out of the water in case you lost your guide/group. Another snorkeling experience I had in the Bahamas was not booked through the cruise (do this at your own discretion) and it was a small boat which meant only 8 of us went with one guide, a man from the island making extra money. We all know they are there, and we all wonder how it would go...well this particular experience is my favorite travel story. It was beautiful and so many fish and very laid back! Costa Maya port was more what I expected with the crowded blocked off small area where you pay to sit, swim, beach, everything! We did an excursion through NCL which was a Mayan holistic wellness hour of ritual relaxation. It includes a bath soak, face mask, massage, and lots of knowledge. I’d suggest this excursion, you have access to a small pool but only after check in, so maybe try for an early appointment to be able to use it longer? Our final morning my mom and I were in a hurry, yes we were those people who went against cruise suggestion and booked a 9:40am flight. In our defense, my sister had just come back from a cruise and made it to the same airport leisurely by 8:30, and WE DID MAKE IT. Anyway, the direction for free style disembarkation was very vague and semi incorrect. We were told to meet mid ship deck 7 near front desk area, so people were there as early as 6:30 ready to get off sometime between 7-7:30 per the instruction. We ended up making our own line, as people do so not to crowd or be unfair. 7:30 rolls around and an announcement is finally made and whispers are happening that our line was made by ourselves and there is no “line.” We then finally find out that two areas will be letting people off the ENDS of the ship. This made early risers who had been in line, or so they thought, extremely upset and this is the last thought they’ll have for the cruise. The main issue was the lack of communication from the crew as we all are standing there and their defensive stern answers when asked. I will say, other than this ONE incident the crew was extremely helpful and friendly. I won’t let this mix up change my mind for that. Luckily my mom and I quickly got through the security, grabbed a Lyft, no traffic, and made it just in time to get my bag checked and enjoy a coffee! My lesson is cruise with an open mind and read reviews! 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
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
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
This cruise was a total waste of time and money! Chose this ship to take our grandson age 11 thinking it would offer many different activities to keep him occupied. I had pre booked the arcade package, but found out that you are limited ... Read More
This cruise was a total waste of time and money! Chose this ship to take our grandson age 11 thinking it would offer many different activities to keep him occupied. I had pre booked the arcade package, but found out that you are limited to a very few baby games and had to pay extra for any of the other games. The race track was ok, but had to book in advance to ride (at $15 a pop) and the times were ridiculous (book Tues morning to get a Friday ride), you could go in the stand by lane and possibly get on quicker. The virtual reality room was more fun for him, but you either had to pay $50 for a day pass or $8.00 for each game you played. You have 2 water slides, one for very small children which my grandson didn't want to participate with, the other you had to be 120 lbs to ride so that was out for him. The swimming pool and hot tubs were always overcrowded and restricted to adults (children could go in with an adult). Overall not a friendly ship for a pre teen. We had a mini suite that was almost a 3rd smaller than other mini suites on the Norwegian line, but the bathroom was much larger and very nice. We managed ok, but was not impressed. Our cabin steward kept our room great. All the food venues (except buffet) had to be pre booked and unless you had a reservation, which was almost impossible to get, you either ate very early or very late or at the buffet. The first few night in the buffet all food was served to you, no option to take what you wanted, so this slowed down the lines and they did get long at some stations We had 5 specialty dinners, was able to use 4 and lost the last one only getting in by being there at 5:30pm before the crowds descended. The food was only average, nothing special. To see any show was also a joke. Again had to pre book. Shows in main theater (only 2) are at 7:30pm or 10:30pm. They had attendants swiping your card at enterance that act like the gestapo, not very friendly at all. To see any of the smaller venues, again pre book or stand in standby lane. The rooms were so crowded that seeing a show was almost impossible and not a pleasant experience. The smoking area was also a joke. You were relegated to an enclosed room about 8 x 20, with about 30 people at any given time, they did open an area on upper deck with room for about 15 people, and an enclosed room in the casino, but you had to be gambling to go in there. If you were outside the marked area you were fined (many were) and some even had their room key restricted if you complained. I am a smoker (yes I know all the negatives), but I paid my fare just as every one else on this ship and felt very discriminated against. I do have to give the Encore its due. The public areas were beautiful and spacious, but of the almost 4000 people very few used the common areas. The shore excursions were also very badly planned. Arriving in Puerto Rico at 5:30pm and leaving at midnight?? About the only thing most people could do was walk the boardwalk area with all the vendors out doing their business. St. Thomas, again arriving at 6amish and leaving at 2:30pm. What chance do you have of doing anything in that time frame except shopping. Tortola was the only port with enough time to go swimming/snorkelling. Going to Norwegians own island on the last day, again a disappointment. The 2 excursions we booked were cancelled due to high winds, so sitting on the beach was about the only option. They do supply a buffet and a hamburg/hotdog stand. They also had a couple of bars set up. Overall we were very disappointed with this cruise and never again would I book the Encore. Please note that if you choose this ship, book anything you want to do well in advance of cruise date to hopefully get to do what you would like and not be disappointed when you arrive. I did not know (my own fault) in advance the problems associated with not booking ahead. We have cruised with Norwegian many times almost always on their mid size ships and have been treated like royalty. This sure was a big disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This ship was built for more passengers but they neglected to enlarge the public spaces. Reservations are required for most everything making it a scramble every day to book restaurants and even the theater Up charges and fees for ... Read More
This ship was built for more passengers but they neglected to enlarge the public spaces. Reservations are required for most everything making it a scramble every day to book restaurants and even the theater Up charges and fees for every activity. The pool area is not separated from the kids pool, hot tubs are one deck up from the pool - only 2 on each side and they’re tiny and filled with children. There is no quiet adult area unless you pay $200 pp for the Vibe beach club which is just a sun deck with a bar and 2 small hot tubs. Cabins seem smaller than usual as are the balconies. Our cabin has the bed up against the tiny tiny closet so only 1 person get get at it at a time. No drawers, no hooks for clothes and very few shelves Dining was ok. Tough gettimg reservations at specialty restaurants due to number of passengers. The French Bistro was not available at all due to a large party booking it for the entire cruise. Smoking: smokers are relegated to a box (like in airports) on deck 8 ( where if you dare go out of the box the smoking police give you a ticket for a fine)or is a sealed off section of the casino. Gambling is REQUIRED OR THEY KICK YOU OUT. All in all it was the worst ship and the most frustrating and annoying cruise I’ve ever taken. Never again Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I joined friends who had booked Encore. We have cruised more than 20 times on 5 different lines and this was the worst. New clean ship with little room for most passengers. Picture a ship with 4000 passengers and one small ... Read More
My wife and I joined friends who had booked Encore. We have cruised more than 20 times on 5 different lines and this was the worst. New clean ship with little room for most passengers. Picture a ship with 4000 passengers and one small adult pool. Chairs 5 deep packed in like sardines. Why? Because too much space is wasted on Aqua racer, Laser tag, The Haven, and The Vibe Club. The fitness center is the smallest I've seen on any ship yet the Spa is three times larger. FOOD is below average for any ship we've been on. The specialty restaurants are a little better than the open seating ones but nothing terrific. CABIN We had a spa mini suite cabin. The cabin is no bigger than a regular balcony cabin and the balcony is smaller. However, the bathroom is larger with a walk-in shower and a double faucet sink. Very nice. STAFF Contrary to other reviews we found the staff pleasant and accommodating. Our cabin steward, Caesar was excellent. ITINERARY is ridiculous. Arrive in San Juan at 5:30 p.m. and leave at midnight. Tortola, arrive at 6:00 a.m. and depart at 2:00 p.m. We had booked a beach excursion only to find out they change the departing time to 6;:30 a.m. No thank you. We booked an excursion on St. Thomas "Downtown Shopping and Magen's Bay Beach" The beach is nice but it was overcrowded. No chairs, you had to rent them which we did. Three attendants sat on their rear ends and pointed to a stack of chairs and told us to drag them to an open spot. I'm 75 years old, dragging chairs through the water (high tide) about 100 yards. To get our deposit back we had to drag them back. We complained to Norwegian who called the tour operator, Virgin Excursions. They could care less! So, if you are looking for an overcrowded ship and like to wait on line for substandard food, entertainment, and the like, then Encore is for you. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have always wanted to sail on a new ship so that's why we selected this cruise. I have always sailed Celebrity or Royal Carribean and this was our first Norwegian cruise. Like many of the other reviews have stated this ship is WAY ... Read More
I have always wanted to sail on a new ship so that's why we selected this cruise. I have always sailed Celebrity or Royal Carribean and this was our first Norwegian cruise. Like many of the other reviews have stated this ship is WAY too crowded. Good luck getting a spot at the pool or on the sun deck if you want to sleep in. We tried many times to find chairs to lay in and we failed all but once and it was in the late afternoon. We ended up sitting on our balcony which was luckily getting sun. All of the public areas felt crowded except for the activities that were an upcharge. Speaking of activities and upcharges, I really felt like I was being nickeled and dimed on this entire cruise. Since every activity had a cost and they weren't that great after doing them once there was nothing to do and no space to hang out by the pool. The only redeeming thing about this ship is that it has a cigar lounge where I spent many hours since there wasn't much else to do. The food is what you would expect on a cruise, nothing exceptional but pretty good. Now on to the most annoying part. The ship itself. I have never been on a cruise with such smooth seas, I'm talking glass smoothe, not a wave in sight almost the entire time, and somehow this ship was still moving/rocking quite a bit. Myself and the other guests couldn't figure out why. There was also a constant very annoying mechanical vibration. The table cloth on the dinner table would shake, I would shake as I laid in bed, the one time we were on the pool deck we were shaking in our lounge chairs. One of the old-timers I spoke with actually timed the vibrations as it was bothering him and his wife. I could keep going but it is getting too long already, I would not recommend this cruise ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The only excellent thing about this cruise was the check in. Very quick and efficient.It was downhill from there. We are are Platinum Plus cruisers with NCL having cruised twenty times with them over the past 15 years and this was the ... Read More
The only excellent thing about this cruise was the check in. Very quick and efficient.It was downhill from there. We are are Platinum Plus cruisers with NCL having cruised twenty times with them over the past 15 years and this was the absolute worst, least relaxing cruise. It has caused us to consider other lines for our next trip. The ship is a beautiful new boat very large, but much of the space is devoted to nonsensical underused areas like a gocart track, laser tag area and virtual reality area. This has caused NCL to shrink the pool and other areas to a comparatively smaller area of the boat so it is less likely getting to enjoy it. We did not use the pool area the entire cruise. (Seems NCL wants to compete with Disney with this boat so stay away unless you are, or have kids.) They do sell passes for an 18+ beach club on deck 20 for 200 US$ but there are only hot tubs up there. The other hot tubs above the pool are basically packed with kiddos and may as well be renamed the childrens piss pod. Steer clear unless you have a weird fetish. Restaurant reservations are required if you don't want to wait so forget the "freestyle" they brag of. The reservation system did not work so while we had the unlimited dining package we were only able to use it once and did enjoy that restaurant. The included dining was OK. Not great and not terrible. The atrium area is often loud and noisy due to nonsensical trivia and bingo that goes on in there. The local restaurant in the atruim on deck 7 is very busy and cramped with rushed service and mediocre food as well as all the noise from the atrium, not enjoyable at all. We went once and did not go back. Reservations are also needed to see shows on this boat. Very hard to get, and also totally against their freestyle reputation. We reserved a comedy show and the kinky boots show. As soon as we entered the comedy show they announced the bar was closing. This was 10 minutes prior to the show. What comedy club closes the bar? We left. The Kinky boots show was cancelled for what they said was due to choppy seas. Having cruised several times I call bull on that. Anyway, the result was no shows for us. The decent restaurants and some shows are extra pay. Something NCL seems to be gravitating to. Bar service was acceptable. Got busy at times. NCL had a problem when they turned their bars from a profit center to a cost center with the unlimited drink packages a few years back. On this boat the service was acceptable so I think NCL has finally figured this out. The gym was OK. A bit small for this boat. I also prefer there to be showers at the gym so I don't have to walk back to the room all sweaty but all that room was taken up for the kiddy gocart, lasertag etc areas so the gym could get pretty packed. Our cabin was a minisuite. It was very small and a couple of days the worst cabin service we have ever experienced on NCL. Also the hall was very smelly, sewer like smell and sometimes bathroom like smells in our room. It was just gross. The absolute worst on the boat was Guest Services. Bunch of idiots. After calling three times at midnight about noise coming from the pool, I had to get dressed and go down there because they are just useless on the phone. What good is a meaningless apology from an uncaring and incompetent employee? I could go on and on but basically unless you have kids and love to wait and love crowds and love to pay extra for this that and the other, stay away. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Food was average for cruise line but did not offer lobster in main dining room or other included options. Lobster was offered in the a la carte restaurant (Gagneys) but it was extra cost ($19) on dining package. Staff were very good, ... Read More
Food was average for cruise line but did not offer lobster in main dining room or other included options. Lobster was offered in the a la carte restaurant (Gagneys) but it was extra cost ($19) on dining package. Staff were very good, clean rooms and pleasant waiters. Poorly organized cruise all around. With over 4000 guests how is a 800 theatre to accomodate? Good luck seeing any of the entertainment. Cannot reserve shows before boarding and by the time you get on ship all shows are sold out, you have to wait in line to see if people don't show up. I pre booked all my excursions only to have one cancelled the night before as they overbooked. How is that possible if pre booked? Getting off ship was a nightmare, 2.5hours in hot sun waiting for Fort Lauderdale bus. ( they changed our flight from Miami to FLL). No NCL staff outside to direct guests at all. Not enough outside seating, only found chairs on pool level and deck 8. Book with Celebrity or Royal Caribbean save the headaches. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The cruise itself was fairly good, but their hidden service fee that was $180 for a 2 1/2 day trip is excessive. They hide it up front, add it to your account bill which you only get at the last minute, and if you don't ask to get it ... Read More
The cruise itself was fairly good, but their hidden service fee that was $180 for a 2 1/2 day trip is excessive. They hide it up front, add it to your account bill which you only get at the last minute, and if you don't ask to get it adjusted before you leave the boat they won't refund it or adjust it. $180 amounts to a 15% increase in the cost of a ticket. I'm all for tipping, and would have left a generous one, but the deception and trickery used by cruise ships to force a tip amount is just wrong. In regard to the overall trip the ship had lots of dining options and the food was good. We traveled Royal Caribbean before and the ship was a bit less dated, but the difference was minimal. Almost all of the onboard staff was helpful and friendly. The only other issue I had is the keycards they gave us on entering didn't work, which meant we had to go to guest service as soon as we got on the ship to get them fixed. Guest services had long lines and it was a pain. Not a good start, and I'd suggest that when there is an error on their part they try to fix it in a customer friendly way instead of making the customer stand in a line for an hour because of their mistake. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise because it was a good deal on a 5 night western Caribbean cruise. I had only sailed on Royal Caribbean and Carnival prior to this cruise and was very excited for this new trip. Food was a major disappointment. Buffet ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a good deal on a 5 night western Caribbean cruise. I had only sailed on Royal Caribbean and Carnival prior to this cruise and was very excited for this new trip. Food was a major disappointment. Buffet food was lack luster and the sit down dining was not good. Appetizers were ranked highest at a 5/10 and main entrees probably 3/10. Entrees seemed to mainly consist of chicken or beef for every dish. Fish i ordered twice was mushy. Chicken was ALWAYS dry and beef lacked flavor. I was amazed when I found out there would be no lobster, shrimp, scallops, or other seafood that I always looked forward to on a cruise. Bottom line, food was a big disappointment. Room was fine. We had an interior room and it was enough room for both of us. Bathroom was nice and shower was spacious. Entertainment was another negative. I was not very impressed. The comedian, Alex, however was very funny. The staff was very friendly and helpful in every aspect. Our stateroom housekeeper was awesome and so was our waitress in the Indigo. While the food was not good she made our night and we kept making sure we got her each night for dinner. Pool space was too small. 2 small pools and 4 small hot tubs. No interior pools or hot tubs unless you want to pay an up charge. This was another negative of the cruise. It seems as if you have to pay extra for everything that normal cruise lines include. Destinations were great. No complaints. Almost the entire cruise the ship was rocking heavily. Not sure if this is normal but the ship is older so maybe it is. Unfortunately this cruise did not live up to my expectations. I will not be sailing on NCL again after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
AVOID this ship if you have any BREATHING/HEALTH ISSUES and if you want to avoid SECOND-HAND SMOKE. The Casino, where smoking is permitted, is not enclosed, but is part of a passageway necessary to move around the ship. The smoke ... Read More
AVOID this ship if you have any BREATHING/HEALTH ISSUES and if you want to avoid SECOND-HAND SMOKE. The Casino, where smoking is permitted, is not enclosed, but is part of a passageway necessary to move around the ship. The smoke emanating from the casino spreads freely to Deck 6 & Deck 7, including the lounge areas, Asian complimentary restaurant, Starlight theatre, Indigo dining hall, to name a few. Smoking is also permitted at the Sky-High Bar, even though Customer Service did not identify it as a smoking area. "Customer Service" is a misnomer - it should be called "Customer DIS-Service". Unfortunately the smoke situation detracted from every other part of the cruise. The food at the Summer Palace was excellent in both presentation and flavour. But inexplicably, the hostess tried to sit us next to the service area stacked with dirty dishes two of the four times we dined there. The indoor and outdoor buffets were excellent - lots of variety, but the desserts were just average. The entertainment was good in the venues we could attend (away from smoky areas) and Tiara the cruise director was hilarious. The cabin was a decent size (oceanview picture window) and all the cabin stewards we encountered in the hallways were very pleasant. This was our 9th cruise and our 3rd one with NCL. Due to the smoke situation and the Customer Dis-Service, it will very likely be our last NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is a brand new ship and I was very excited. We cruised on the Escape and Getaway and we had great experiences. We spent thousands of dollars on this cruise thinking it was going to be awesome. Right away I realized I made a terrible ... Read More
This is a brand new ship and I was very excited. We cruised on the Escape and Getaway and we had great experiences. We spent thousands of dollars on this cruise thinking it was going to be awesome. Right away I realized I made a terrible mistake. The entertainment was not so good. The pool area was crowded all the time and not enough chairs for 4000 people. My daughter end up tanning in our balcony. At night they had parties by the pool area and only one bar open. We had to take the elevator to the 8th deck to get a drink at the Mojito bar and decided not to go back to the party. I don't understand why they would close the second bar by the pool during the parties. Room service is nonexistent. We stayed in a balcony mini suite. The cabin was very nice with a large shower. The bed was very comfortable, but they didn't change our towels for 3 days, so I called room service several time and no one picked up the phone, I continued to call until someone pick up the phone and hung up the phone several times. I think they thought I was going to stop calling, I don't even know how many times I called until finally a lady answered the phone. Our TV broke and the maintenance guy told us that we should get a new TV by 10am the next day. I begged like a little kid for another TV and he got it for us within few minutes. We spent a lot of money on this cruise and expected better service. The shows were okay. We couldn't see any comedian, all the shows were booked from day 1. The buffet food was horrible. The staff at the buffet were not friendly and most of them avoided eye contact. It seems they didn't want to be bother. The 3 specialty restaurants we used were excellent. Los Lobos, Cagneys, and the Italian Restaurant. The food was delicious and all the staff there were very friendly and attentive. For the smokers this ship is not for you. They have a smoking box outside on deck 8 without ventilation, even the smokers in there were suffocating. If you smoke cigars there is a very nice Cigar room. The Atrium was beautiful but they didn't use it like on the other ships. They had kids dancing classes during the day. At night I didn't see anything worth going there to see. The band was a 2 people band. The only night club was crowded and hot. I took many naps during the day since I didn't have anything to do. This cruise ship was overrated and overpriced for us. I enjoyed other cruises with Norwegian, but not this one. I forgot to mention the go karts. For $15 per person you can ride it for 8 minutes and only if you are lucky enough and able to book it. We did and it was fun, but 8min is not enough time to really enjoy it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This sailing was 2 days after my wedding and it was one of the worst I have been on (this was my 10th cruise). The food in the specialty restaurants and buffet were great.. The free dining areas (sit down).. service was slow and the ... Read More
This sailing was 2 days after my wedding and it was one of the worst I have been on (this was my 10th cruise). The food in the specialty restaurants and buffet were great.. The free dining areas (sit down).. service was slow and the food, in my opinion, was better in the buffet. We were sailing with our 3 children (6,5 and 1) everything for them to do, was an upcharge.. the go carts, laser tag. they charged for everything. The kids camp was free until 10:30 but if they lost their bracelet.. it was a $5 charge for a new one. Laser tag they had a cool snake thing but you werent allowed to climb underneath or over them..so hiding during laser tag isnt possible. SMOKING.. im a smoker.. and i felt like a caged animal. They have an outside area (literally a box..no windows.. totally enclosed) on deck 8 for smokers. How in the hell they expect people with children to enjoy a smoke.. is beyond me. and yes, they still sell smokes on board.. if you go right outside the box and smoke, they will fine you $250.00, which happened while i was on board. Security came around and grabbed everyones cards. The casino is non-smoking expect..once again.. in the box they have for smokers but you have to play the games while in there. I get smoking is a bad habit.. but to feel like an animal in a cage bc of my bad habit, made the trip so much worse. This will honestly be our last Norwegian cruise. The people were rude and just came off like they had better things to do than to help you. Just an awful experience. Cabins got smaller.. The ship is huge but its all rooms.. not much to do on the sea days either. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We’ve cruised many times in the past, both with and without kids. We booked this trip in March and counted down the days and wound up being very disappointed in the whole thing!!! Pros: You’re not at work. Drinks are ... Read More
We’ve cruised many times in the past, both with and without kids. We booked this trip in March and counted down the days and wound up being very disappointed in the whole thing!!! Pros: You’re not at work. Drinks are “free” for the most part if you have the drink package. Buffet workers and the cabin Stewart were delightful. Now to the longer list of cons: EVERYTHING is a extra charge. Race cars? $15. Virtual reality? $8 a game. Escape room? $15 bucks a pop! Workers are not happy. Very rarely did anyone outside of the buffet or our cabin worker smile or offer to do more. We spent a lot of money on this and would think that that cost would include smiles!!! Shut down and broken amentities: the escape room malfunctioned and my husband and daughter did not truly escape. Nothing worked and they were eventually given their money back. Also, the slides had very tight hours. One slide was open for a bit in the morning and a bit in the afternoon. And the bigger, more excited slide was open from exactly 2pm to 5pm. And lines lasted the entire time!!! The adult pool shut down one day due to someone being sick in it (no fault of the cruise lines), which left one small pool for the entire ship (unless you paid for the vibe, which was $205 a week per person). Many toilets didn’t flush and I rarely got a paper towel dispenser to work. My biggest issue was the pool deck. You are only allowed to leave you’re chairs for 15 minutes or they removed your items and your chairs were quickly taken. This left our family not able to eat together, go on slides together or even run to the room together. We constantly feared our chairs being taken. A imposing woman walked around looking at items that were left and taking then if they were there past the time. We actually saw a loud argument happen over chairs. You’re not supposed to have to stress over chairs on vacation. There were not close to enough chairs for people to sit in, so you had to wake up early to get a spot. Even then, no spots were guaranteed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were 50 people on this cruise and not one of us enjoyed our experience. Thank God we had each other or it would’ve been the worst trip ever. Most of the staff (with an exception of some) were extremely rude. The waitresses/ waiters ... Read More
We were 50 people on this cruise and not one of us enjoyed our experience. Thank God we had each other or it would’ve been the worst trip ever. Most of the staff (with an exception of some) were extremely rude. The waitresses/ waiters were especially rude. They appeared very annoyed when we’d ask for something. Most of them appeared to hate their job. It made us all very uncomfortable and irritated. It took staff a very, very long time to get us drinks at every bar. The bars all closed by midnight. Although, did have a night club and casino open late. We were all super excited to attend comedy shows, laser tag and go-carting, however, they were all sold out and most of us weren’t able to enjoy any activities. They did have average food, I’ll give them that. The specialty restaurants were pretty good, however, some of them charged additional fees for certain items. For example, the seafood restaurant had a $2 up-charge for Brussels sprouts. It was pathetic, the steak was included but we had to pay an up charge for some sides? This was the most expensive cruise I’ve ever been on. We paid for for this trip than we ever did with royal Caribbean, celebrity or carnival. This was our first time on a Norwegian ship and it will be our last. I have never written a review because I’ve never had a bad experience on any cruise. I always enjoyed cruises, until now. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We needed a trip to the Virgin Islands around the holidays to take our group of 9 (4 adults and 5 kids, ages 12 - 18) to scatter my mother’s remains. There were a couple ships/trips that fit the bill but this one was recommended by our ... Read More
We needed a trip to the Virgin Islands around the holidays to take our group of 9 (4 adults and 5 kids, ages 12 - 18) to scatter my mother’s remains. There were a couple ships/trips that fit the bill but this one was recommended by our travel agent due to it’s newness and activities. After looking at the specs we agreed. Go karts at sea? Laser tag? Virtual reality experiences? Water slides? Tons of dining options? Broadway shows? “Free” perks? Though it was expensive, it appeared to be everything we needed to keep the kids and adults as busy and entertained as we wanted to be. Unfortunately, it fell short in way more areas than it succeeded and left everyone disappointed. Pros first as I want to give credit where it’s due.. PROS - The ship is huge and “checks lots of boxes”. If your goal is to be able to tell people that you drove on the longest go kart track at sea or played laser tag on the back of a ship, well, you can say you’ve done it. The staff that assisted with the business of sending Mom into the Caribbean were excellent. They showed sensitivity and reverence and set up a nice private area at the rear corner of the boat for us to have our little ceremony. It was even decorated with flowers and they had a rose for each of us. Very well done at jno extra cost. Our staterooms were well-appointed and comfortable. We had 4 “mini suites”, which were a necessary upgrade to get adjoining rooms for the kids. The mini suite gets you a larger bathroom than the normal balcony room and, in my opinion, is worth it. You spend time every evening getting ready for dinner/shows, etc., and having the double sink and extra space was nice. Embarkation/Debarkation was as smooth as getting that many people on/off the boat could be. We had a couple stand-out meals. Teppanyaki on New Year’s Eve was great. The chef was top-notch and entertaining. Some of the best fillet mignon I’ve had. Food Republic was also great. It’s more of a casual/lunch-type place, but if you’re a foodie, they’ve got a fun menu of fusion dishes that combine Asian with Latin. Sounds weird but it works. The theatre shows were great. As reported by others, Choir of Man is fantastic. Kinky boots is a bit cliche in its gender-bending political correctness, but well done nonetheless. CONS - The advertised capacity of this ship is 4000 but it feels like 10,000. Everything is crowded and chaotic. The buffet was busy every time we visited, including what would typically be considered off-hours. Norwegian have dedicated the front third of the ship to the private “The Haven” and the back third of the ship to go karts and laser tag, leaving precious little space (especially for a huge ship) for everyone to gather in the middle third. Sea days were a painful exercise in trying to carve out a little space for yourself. Chairs around the “public” pool were literally butted next to each other which made walking around the deck difficult. Though saving chairs longer than 15 mins was against Norwegian’s stated policy, there was no enforcement. If you didn’t get to the pool deck by 8:00 am, you were S.O.L., as there would be a towel on every chair. I’m sure the experience in the The Haven or Vibe beach club is quite different, but honestly, if I’m looking for a luxury experience I’m probably just going to book a Viking or Seabourn cruise. There are not enough advertised activities to go around. Despite what it looks like on paper, our kids were quickly bored and even us adults were starting to wonder. We were excited about go karts, but were quickly disappointed to learn that at best, we might get one ride, ALL WEEK! The same was true for the laser tag. All of the activities are a significant extra fee and in short supply. It really felt like a bait-and-switch and I had a bad feeling about it all from the very first day. Our kids are pretty content to just have a pool to swim in and even that was a challenge on this boat. Of the two small pools, one was reserved for adults and the other was 3ft deep and full of little kids, leaving nothing for teens. Additionally, one of the two slides had a 120lb minimum weight that none of our kiddos could do. The other slide was a tube slide that was short and slow. If your kids have been to ANY water park, they will find this one lame. Restaurants, shows, the Vibe, etc., book up fast and some will be completely booked before you step on the boat. Many seats are apparently set aside for The Haven guests. This adds a stress to your vacation that many will not find enjoyable and sets you up for disappointment when you learn that something you’ve been anticipating, possibly for as much as a year, isn’t going to happen. Other than while in port, the boat NEVER STOPPED SWAYING, even with seas that were relatively calm. Although none of us got sick, it was peculiar and at times a little annoying. There were also times when a low frequency rumble could be felt shaking the ship. I’ve been on smaller vessels that felt much more solid. The “free perks” are anything but free. Norwegian charges automatic gratuities on all food and beverages, even when they’re “free”. This adds up to real money by the end of the week and, in my opinion, takes away from personal experience of directly tipping for service. Service was spotty for a cruise ship and felt a bit “canned”. Our steward was crabby all week and when my sister once returned to her room in the middle of the day he said “people are wondering why you are here”, basically “why are you interrupting me. It was kinda funny but also embarrassing and not at all appropriate. In summary, this wasn’t our first cruise, but it was our first on Norwegian. Unfortunately, it will likely be our last. Almost every aspect of this trip felt like a money grab, something that I loathe on vacation. Maybe their other ships are different, but we spent a ton of money on this trip and came away disappointed. Buyer beware. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click