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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Our captain took us right into the Bomb Cyclone in the middle of our cruise. It was clear that the weather was getting back when we arrived at Norwegian's private island in the Bahamas on January 2. They should never have let anyone off ... Read More
Our captain took us right into the Bomb Cyclone in the middle of our cruise. It was clear that the weather was getting back when we arrived at Norwegian's private island in the Bahamas on January 2. They should never have let anyone off the boat that day. We watched the tender returning to the ship at noon. The waves were so rough, the boat looked like it was going to capsize. People were screaming. According to a couple we spoke to who were on the tender, there were barely any life jackets, and people were vomiting everywhere. Instead of docking in the Bahamas to wait the storm out, or leaving earlier to try and beat it, our captain took us right into it. For two and a half days, we were hit with 30-foot waves. Water was leaking in on almost every floor. Carpets were soaked through. Doors, windows and glass were broken. Many people slept in the atrium one night to comfort one another. This was the first time in my life that I genuinely thought I was going to die. Nearly every show and event on the ship was cancelled during the second half of the voyage, due to the extreme turbulence. Our captain failed to keep us updated on our location and status. He checked in every few hours to regurgitate the same vague comments -- that we were optimizing our speed to lessen the movement of the vessel, that we were sailing through rough waters, that no one was allowed to go outside on the balconies, etc. He lied to us about the size of the waves, saying they were only 15-feet high. I don't have a single positive thing to say except that the crew did an amazing job. They were as scared as us, but they smiled and powered through to keep everyone calm. Norwegian has refused to accept responsibility for how they put our lives in jeopardy. They are trying to downplay the trauma we experienced, claiming that weather can be "unpredictable." They never very well that this storm was coming. Every other cruise line that docked in Fort Lauderdale on New Year's Eve took the necessary safety precautions to avoid this storm. Ours was the only ship, as far as I know, that sailed right into it. The reason for this was simple greed. There was a 14-day cruise scheduled to take off when we got back to New York on January 5. They wanted to get us back on time so they wouldn't have to issue any refunds. We ended up getting in 8 hours late anyway, and guess what? The passengers on the cruise after us got a one-day refund. I've heard that there is a stomach flu going around on the ship currently. That's likely due to the fact that the crew had no time to clean up all the vomit and water leakage in one day before embarking again. We have so far been offered a discount on a future cruise that must be used within 12 months. I wonder how many of the 4,000 terrified passengers even want to cruise again after this? It was surreal seeing all of the lifeboats frozen to the side of the ship when we finally docked in New York. This cruise was my mom's Christmas gift to our family, and instead it turned into the worst experience of our lives. NCL cares more about revenue than they do about keeping their passengers safe. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This ship and crew were TOTALLY unprepared to cope with the effects of heavy seas and 4500 guests with nothing to do. No additional inside activities, no additional food services etc...crew in general were not very friendly. Cabin staff ... Read More
This ship and crew were TOTALLY unprepared to cope with the effects of heavy seas and 4500 guests with nothing to do. No additional inside activities, no additional food services etc...crew in general were not very friendly. Cabin staff HORRIBLE and did little to keep my cabin fresh. If you are a solo traveller, do NOT think about the STUDIO cabins - small, dark, unwelcoming, claustrophobic.....and the 'lounge' they refer to is nothing but a small room in which selfserve snacks are left all day. Simply second rate - disembarkation was a NIGHTMARE of disorganization and chaos - closing staircases while people were on then, having elevators bypass disembarkation floor without telling anyone...just poor communication all around. Crew's english skills also seemed spotty at best. And the hallways where I was were CONSTANTLY cluttered with cleaning carts but no one was actually cleaning anything. I am a confirmed Disney cruiser and will stay that way - goodbye NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Took a Bahamas cruise over the New Year. Terrible! 1. Food - Cafe food did not taste good. If you want to stuff yourself - go ahead! Cagneys and La Cucina - excellent food Ocean Blue - decent meal, but not worth extra money ... Read More
Took a Bahamas cruise over the New Year. Terrible! 1. Food - Cafe food did not taste good. If you want to stuff yourself - go ahead! Cagneys and La Cucina - excellent food Ocean Blue - decent meal, but not worth extra money even with the meal plan Manhattan - good food, but some of the staff just does not care. For example, our server, Serafina, was standing for a couple of minutes talking to another server in Hindu and holding our ice cream for a couple of minutes. Never smiled, spilled my wine and just "oops, the ship is rocking!" 2. The New Year Celebration - horrendous! Decent music in the atrium, but the are is too small to hold the celebration on the ship of this size. True, there were a few other places - also, overcrowded and nothing special. Even the crew admitted. For comparison, took the New Year cruises on Sun and Pride Of America - excellent! The organizers cared about the decorations, passengers! Sorry, should have posted my thanks before! 3. The captain - this should have been the first item! Incompetent! He took the ship into the storm, knowing what kind of storm it was - 30 ft waves! And, not a single announcement! we could not sleep all night! Leak in the cabin. My wife complained to Hotel Director. His attitude - 4,000 passengers and only 60-80 sleeping in the atrium during the storm, everyone else is OK. This was not true! People slept by the elevators on their decks! Everyone who we talked to, did not sleep, stayed in their cabins and prayed! My wife was able to fall asleep at 11 AM in atrium in a middle of the entertainment! The captain started to make announcements after her complaint. But some nonsense, like we are in the middle of the storm, optimizing the speed and the course! They took us off the last island 5-6 hours earlier! Couldn't they waited out the storm in some port or anchor behind some island to minimize the damage? They knew what kind of storm was ahead of us. And all we got - $23 per person refund (not even sure what is that for!). And, still, they got to port 8 hours late, supposedly, due to the port being closed in NY. Could have waited out the storm and had a pleasant voyage back home. 4. Disembarkation - poorly handled! True, a lot depends on the passengers. This was the first time that disembarkation was taking hours and hours! Was hot on the 7th deck, nowhere to get water! 5. Cabins - small balconies! We were on the smaller ship, Sun, and had 2 sun beds fit on the balcony. This one - 2 chairs and a table. Closet - next to a bed, where only one person can get to. We moved the bed a little away from it to maximize the space. And, still, only one person at a time could get to it. 6. Entertainment - first time i encountered entertainment that I had to pay for! I rate it poor only because of that! Hey Norwegian, are you going to reimburse for most of the cruise to hell? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We have traveled on Cruises before. This was our 1st time traveling on Norwegian. First, the good: Embarkation, getting aboard the ship was very easy. The ship is kept in fantastic condition. The Staterooms, dining rooms, ... Read More
We have traveled on Cruises before. This was our 1st time traveling on Norwegian. First, the good: Embarkation, getting aboard the ship was very easy. The ship is kept in fantastic condition. The Staterooms, dining rooms, theatre, bathrooms are all kept in excellent condition. Our Room Steward was wonderful. Food in the Specialty Restaurants (especially Ocean Blue) was delicious. We had the unlimited drink package and it worked beautifully. The bad: While the crew seems polite, for the most part they lacked warmth. With open seating, you have different servers each seating, so no building a rapport. The Atrium, where lots of activities take place has limited seating. In addition, the Internet area is adjacent to the Atrium; people take the Internet users chairs to get some additional seating. We never had a chair to sit in while checking emails. There should be someone at the Internet desk making sure this does not happen. There should also be additional folding chairs for guests that want to take part in the Atrium activities. The Gym, where cardio equipment is located is NOT nearly large enough. There needs to be more elliptical machines (and they need to be in working condition). It was always difficult to get a machine and when you finally got on one, it was not working correctly. While two of our shows were canceled during the storm, the shows we did see, Burn the Floor (which was to long with just a lot of the same dancing) and Rock of Ages were just okay. The ugly: During our cruise we sailed directly through a Nor'Easter. Our Captain was vague in keeping us informed, and he was very difficult to understand. The carpets became saturated during the storm and there was not enough crew members on the decks to help people or keep them from falling near restaurants and elevators. The Ugliest: Disembarking was a total nightmare for anyone carrying off their luggage. We were told to be on Deck 7, but yet, the elevators wouldn't stop on Deck 7. Actually, no passengers disembarking later could even get on an elevator. People were using the stairs and their was people stuck on the stairs as everyone was waiting. There was no crew to be found anywhere handing out water or offering help. We had to get off at Deck 8 wait about an hour and a half to two hours to begin to travel one deck down by steps. VERY UNORGANIZED. Other cruise lines had passengers with luggage disembark using 'Crew Only' elevators, so other passengers could still have access to passenger elevators. Norwegian needs to re-evalutate the way they disembark. A family with strollers were told to wait for help and 2 hours later, help hadn't come and no crew member seemed to care until passengers got involved. Previous to this cruise, we have NEVER, EVER witnessed this chaos aboard a ship before. My husband and I would take another cruise, but not sure it would be on Norwegian Cruise Line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because we liked the free three specialty restaurants, booking for only 150 down and drink package. We were caught in a very unusual storm and not sure if it could have been avoided since I am not a captain. I thought ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the free three specialty restaurants, booking for only 150 down and drink package. We were caught in a very unusual storm and not sure if it could have been avoided since I am not a captain. I thought the crew and captain handled it very well. Especially the crew! They were great. We had to evacuate Great Stirup Cay, but that may have been a good thing, the drinks were too good, LOL. The buffet area could have been set up better for 4000 plus people. There was no flow. Plates at both ends. The atrium is too small to accommodate this many people. The dining and regular restaurants were overcrowded. Slow service. The show Burn the Floor was phenomal! Howl at the moon was great. Casino, bingo and deal was fun. The drinks did not seem to have much liquor in them. Maybe because we had the drink package. The margaritas were not that good. The olives were weird, they had pickles stuck in them. The specialites, Cagneys, Moderno and Teppinaki were great!!! I am not sure if I will cruise Norwegian again. But, it was a good deal, we did have fun! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
MY wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on December 30, 2017 while on board the Norwegian Breakaway. We decided to try the Haven for our celebration. We had aft suite 10912. Loved the suite and it had a huge balcony. ... Read More
MY wife and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on December 30, 2017 while on board the Norwegian Breakaway. We decided to try the Haven for our celebration. We had aft suite 10912. Loved the suite and it had a huge balcony. Soaking tub and big shower and two lavatories. Also, a second bathroom with a shower. The aft balcony was great for taking photos as we left New York. It was too cold to enjoy the balcony for the first couple of days but we were able to enjoy it in Port Canaveral and Nassau. The Haven was on Deck 16 so it was not close to our suite but we did not mind as we enjoy the aft balconies. The expedited boarding provided to Haven guests was nice. The staff in the Haven and throughout the ship were great. Friendly and most helpful when needed. We did not see our butler the first day as we thought we would. He came to our room when we were out but he finally caught up with us as we were dining in the Haven restaurant and introduced himself to us. We did not ask much of him during the cruise but each day he left some snacks in our suite except for the last day (4th). Also, we did not see him the last couple of days although had we really needed him we could have called and he would have been available. We just thought he might check on us more often than he did. He was nice and helpful however. Jay, did an excellent job of keeping our room clean and with the towel art which my wife loves. Everything went well until the day we arrived at GSC. The winds picked up and after the first guests were tendered to the island it became too rough for others to go and they canceled the days activities on the island. This was the correct call. They immediately brought those who had gotten to the island back to the ship. From that point on the rest of the cruise was not very enjoyable. Either the captain or the corporate office decided we could follow the bomb cyclone storm Grayson up the Atlantic. Big mistake. The seas got rough and the boat was rocking and listing. Things slid off our table during the night. We got very little sleep due to the rocking ship and the drawers in the cabinet kept opening and closing causing banging noises all night. Our sofa slid across the room. Our chairs and loungers had to be strapped down on the balcony so as not to slide and possibly blow away. Many folks got sick from the rough ride. We were told by one of the staff that a couple of the glass deck doors just exploded. Many people in some of the state rooms had to sleep in the atrium. Water was leaking down the stairs. Only 2 elevators were working. Shows canceled. The staff we dealt with are to be commended for putting on a happy face and working all day after a night when most that we talked with did not get any sleep at all. They were pleasant and professional even though they must have really been feeling badly and fatigued. I do feel Norwegian made a huge mistake by following such a strong storm like they did as the weather forecast was known. They tried to keep their schedule for the next cruise so obviously their profits were foremost in their mind over their concern for their passengers. We did miss our flight due to being late and had to catch a flight for the following night out of JFK which also had its problems. Another story. Although my wife and I tried to make the best of the bad last few days of the cruise we did miss out on some things. Shows had to be canceled that we booked due to the unsafe conditions for the entertainers. Also, we did not get the full benefit of our nice balcony. NCL did the right thing by not allowing anyone on the balconies of course but we should never have been put in that position. This was our 5th cruise with NCL and we have enjoyed cruising with them. Based on their decision to cruise in a storm makes me question their judgment when in circumstances such as we encountered. NCL President and CEO, Frank Del Rio was reportedly quoted as saying, . . . "weather can be unpredictable . . . and that's what happened this weekend . . . the great news is our ship is back in the Caribbean carrying 4,000 happy cruisers . . . so . . . all good." Pretty much tells what his motives are. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
My sister and I wanted to go on a Christmas/New Year cruise and the Norwegian Gem fit our schedules. My sister had been on the Norwegian Breakaway 3 years ago at the holidays and said it was wonderful. I had been on the Norwegian Jewel ... Read More
My sister and I wanted to go on a Christmas/New Year cruise and the Norwegian Gem fit our schedules. My sister had been on the Norwegian Breakaway 3 years ago at the holidays and said it was wonderful. I had been on the Norwegian Jewel many years ago and my memories were also wonderful. I had always considered Norwegian to be a cut above some of the other lines. Well, my cruise on the Gem from Dec 23rd, 2017 to January 3, 2018 was VERY DISAPPOINTING. If you are a "foodie" THIS IS NOT THE CRUISE FOR YOU. The quality and variety of the food was extremely disappointing, not at all like I remembered it to be. If we had not taken the Upscale dining package as one of our "perks" we would not have had any quality meals. Food yes, but quality and tasty meals, No. When I went to the buffet on deck 12 I felt like I was in a hospital cafeteria. If you go to the buffet during meal times it is very difficult to get a table. Cold cuts on the buffet consisted of ham, bologna, mortadella, salami or pepperoni and mostly american cheese. Only time I saw roast beef or turkey was when it was part of a hero that they sliced and gave you a piece. Hamburgers and hot dogs a staple but I NEVER saw a chicken tender or chicken nugget. The upscale dining was good but that was what I had expected in the main dining room. On my first night in the dining room (Grand Pacific) I started with the crab cake. It was 90% bread crumbs and 10% fish that tasted more like old salmon and not crab. The soup and main dish was SO SALTY I could not eat it. Even my 25 year nephew who eats a lot of "junk food" said the food was salty. I finally ordered a steak, Medium Rare. It arrived with a grayish color like it came out of a microwave. I cut it open and it was Medium Well, not medium rare. Needless to say I had cheese and crackers that night. Most other nights the food had one flavor....SALT. Meat quality was Choice if that. Desserts was another story. The predominant buffet dessert was pound cake or a sheet cake with horrible, buttercream frosting of different flavors in the middle. So many times I took one bite and did not swallow. Good way not to gain weight on a cruise. Food that came out of the kitchen was inconsistent. One night, my sister and I ordered the same thing. She got potatoes on her plate & I did not. Stateroom was average but bathroom was extremely small. If you are a large person it is definitely a challenge. The stateroom steward had beautiful towel animals waiting for us each evening in our room. Chocolates on the pillow were not to be found. I guess that's a thing of the past. Although considering what I paid for the cruise, I really was expecting chocolates. The entertainers at the shows were very talented but the overall production had very little pizazz. The show on the first night was a blank stage with a sad, lopsided, Christmas tree on each end No backdrops, no special lighting. Give me a break...this was a Holiday Cruise. Many activities on the ship had an extra charge, unless you wanted to play shuffleboard, go to the overpriced art show, or listen to music in the evening. Every night at 10:30 PM they would have a movie in the Atrium. This was situated in the center of the ship where the customer service and shore excursion desk was. It was also one of the floors that went from bow to stern so there was much traffic. This theater setting had seating for 50. YES, THAT IS FIFTY and the ship had 2700 passengers. Popcorn was not available even if you wanted to buy it. The screen was 2 stories tall but unless you sat up front you could not hear clearly or see the words on the bottom of the screen. Why they did not show a movie in the Stardust theater where the shows were held was beyond my comprehension. THe shows were over by 10 PM and was empty all day. In the past I always booked shore excursions when I got aboard. I tried to do that the first day and was sold out in two ports. I could go on and on but I think you feel my sentiments. I do not believe I will travel with NCL again. S.G.L. Hollywood, FL Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
First time with NCL. Chose this cruise initially because of the original itenary which included St Maarten but this schedule was cancelled because of storm damage, this could not be helped. Got off to a bad start at airport flew in from UK ... Read More
First time with NCL. Chose this cruise initially because of the original itenary which included St Maarten but this schedule was cancelled because of storm damage, this could not be helped. Got off to a bad start at airport flew in from UK expecting transfer only to be told transfer had left. However the rep agreed to arrange another vehicle but only after a one hour wait and another half hour wait in another terminal for further passengers. Food selection in buffet restaurant very limited and the same most days. Paid for all inclusive package UBP+CJ This means unlimited drinks including coffee and juice. Coffee was not readily available unless you are in main dining rooms and then when coffee was ordered the waiter had to go to atrium to get coffee. If you presented card personally at atrium coffee bar they refused to accept order and said free coffee only available in restaurants. Ordered an Aviation cocktail Bombay sapphire gin was the main ingredient but waiter put in cheaper alternative gin when I questioned him he became argumentative. Went on shore excursion to Megan’s Bay beach driver said pick up at 11:45, went to to pick up point at said time no driver. Left wondering do we get a taxi or wait. On board ship time was 12:30. After approx 10 minute driver turns up. Not a big issue you may think but if a time is arranged it should be adhered to good money is paid for peace of mind. It was a Christmas/ new year cruise, hardly noticed it was Christmas more effort was made for New Year’s Eve. A couple of other small issues but we had already decided NCL is not for us Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We took NCL Gem from NYC to eastern Caribbean, from 12/23 to 01/03, 2 adults and a teen and had a wonderful time. Embarkation: Smooth, great service by miss Ferguson, cabins were ready right away Cabin: We BID for a balcony cabin, ... Read More
We took NCL Gem from NYC to eastern Caribbean, from 12/23 to 01/03, 2 adults and a teen and had a wonderful time. Embarkation: Smooth, great service by miss Ferguson, cabins were ready right away Cabin: We BID for a balcony cabin, and got a midship cabin, smalller than other cruise lines, but enough storage space and coffee in the room. Sofa bed was hard, so we requested a egg crater mattress and it help. We got the water package delivered to our cabin and paid for the internet package, totally worthed, we used over 7000 minutes online. You can share with your family, just using a device at a time.We got the Ultimate beverage package ( which is great, but excludes bottle of water and specialty coffees, such as caffe latte) , the dining package, and room credit. Also, we bought the soda package for our son. Ship: Nice and clean, small pool area for the size of the ship, not really an adult area which I missed, comparing to other cruises. Dining: superior , even at the main restaurants, make reservations in advance on specialty restaurant, loved Cagney and Le bistro, Hibashi was fun. Entertainment:, so-so, the cruise Director Lorena, was great and tried to keep the party going, but some shows were very disappointing. The comedian, nice guy, but not funny at all. We liked the country and 70's shows, the Latin party, the acrobats and the disco. Daily activities that were fun was Deal or not deal, although expensive, cake wars, and pool games. Too many seminars trying to sell you services, no freebies. Teen center was ok, my son made some friends, movies in the ship, were of a poor selection, specially on Christmas Eve, and who can enjoy a movie , next to a bar, were people were screaming , laughing and walking around the screen all the time, poor design. Ports/Excursions: St croix: just walk around town, seems hurt by the hurricane, local beach ok, felt safe St. lucia: took the arias tram and canopy excursion ( Zipline), expectacular Barbados: use Hilton Barbados for resort for a day, beautiful beach , pool and delicious lunch. We have been in Barbados before, for first timers I will recommend snorkeling and swimming with turtles St kits: 4x4 excursion And beach , good enough if you want to tour the island, too short of a break on the beach. St Thomas: we just shop around the port, some parts of the island did not have electricity. Casino: Tipical small smoky casino, delicious snacks at night, only one roulette table Spa , art center, library: did not use Gym; nice, my husband found it adequate TIPS: Cabins, they are small, get the bigger category you can afford or BID for an upgrade. Avoid 8th floor, it is like walking in a maze. Get free breakfast room service if you need to get out of the ship early in am. Mini bar expensive. Order water bottles, you can keep one in the mini fridge. Free offers: ultimate drinking package was well worthed, if you like to drink, specialty dining, wonderful for foddies. Free gratuities and internet were good if you can get four. Most of the excursion were over 50 dollars, do I would not recommend the free excursion as a top choice. Dining: make especiallty restaurant reservations before boarding the ship, online or by calling, you can change them later , free of charge , if your plans change. Shows/ Entertainment: Country, 70's, acrobats and Latin party. Shows are at 7pm and 9 pm, get 30 minutes early for front road, anytime if you like to seat in the back Pools/ Hot tubs: get your chair early, or use it on port days, gets very congested. Hot tubes, great at night, hardly anybody on them after the 2nd day. Avoid karoeke, unless your family is singing, it was a painful experience to listen to most of the people. Read Less
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