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104 Norwegian (NCL) Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

We were aboard the Jewel for the annual repositioning cruise from Alaska to the winter itinerary. There were several really great things about the ship that deserve 5 stars. But there were also several dismal things about the ship that ... Read More
We were aboard the Jewel for the annual repositioning cruise from Alaska to the winter itinerary. There were several really great things about the ship that deserve 5 stars. But there were also several dismal things about the ship that deserve 0 stars. First, the good news. I was highly impressed by the efficiency in embarkation and disembarkation. It went so smoothly! Very orderly and methodical. This was the first time that we were able to get on board at Noon, eat lunch, and go directly to our cabin by 1 PM. Disembarkation was simple too, using the Walk Off program. US Customs came onboard and the process was very easy. The ship was super-clean and tastefully decorated. The cabin was a standard balcony cabin, small but in perfect condition. The room steward, Eric, was excellent, too! Very friendly and hard working! We appreciated his efforts. End of good news. Sadly, there is more bad news than good. Let's start with the food. The breakfast buffet was always excellent, but lunch and dinner food was low quality. You could really tell that Norwegian was trying to stretch a dollar. For example, in the Azura dining room, they served scallops as an appetizer. Sounds good, right? It might have been if they weren't BAY SCALLOPS! That's right, five teeny, tiny bay scallops on a plate. If you can't serve real SEA SCALLOPS, then don't bother serving scallops at all! Cuts of meat were pounded paper thin and there were no expensive fish dishes in the main dining rooms. Lots of tilapia-type dishes, but no shrimp cocktail, lobster, etc. Unlike the luxury cruises, which of course, Norwegian is not. Now to the specialty restaurants that we tried: The Chin Chin restaurant (Asian) is horrible. I took one bite of the chicken dish and spit it out. Disgusting! If you are used to good Asian cuisine, don't bother going here, even though it is free. Cagney's Steakhouse was OK, but not great. A sad note about Cagney's - if you are a Platinum Latitudes member, you get a comp for Cagney's. This would be good BUT the comp limits you to only $35 per person. Which doesn't go far in a steakhouse. Be aware if you use the comp. The Brazilian steakhouse was the high point of dining. It is excellent. However, if you use your Latitudes comp, be aware that it only covers about one half the cost of dinner, which is typically $39 per person. The absolute WORSE thing about the ship is the Spa. What a joke. The hot tubs weren't hot, the saunas were broken, and there was a male crew member in the Ladies locker room while there were women in it getting dressed! I complained to the Spa manager, and asked for a refund. She said that she couldn't refund me for my thermal spa package, since I had bought it online, so I had to wait until I got home to call Norwegian. (I went to Guest Services onboard, though, who quickly processed a refund. Strange that they could help me but the Spa Manager could not.) My final complaint about the ship is the choice of onboard activities. I would honestly guess that half of the activities are designed to sell you something. For example, the Look 10 Years Younger seminar is a sales pitch for Botox. The Wine and Chocolate Paring is a chance to sell you a $19 sample of wine and chocolate. The list goes on and on. I was really getting tired of being "nickeled and dimed at activities", so I stopped going. We will take another Norwegian cruise for sure, but we have learned what to do, and not do, while on board these ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Jewel, four times aboard her now and this was the best trip yet. That isn’t saying much since I am attracted by her itineraries more so than by what it delivers. That being said, it really was the best of the four trips. The trip ... Read More
The Jewel, four times aboard her now and this was the best trip yet. That isn’t saying much since I am attracted by her itineraries more so than by what it delivers. That being said, it really was the best of the four trips. The trip was booked well in advance as it was our first time to be able to take advantage of a repositioning cruise. The trip went from Vancouver, to Victoria, to Astoria. Then there was a sea day before visiting San Francisco and Monterrey and finishing in Los Angeles. We flew up to Vancouver a couple of days early and stayed at the Accent Inn out near the airport. Nice place- fun “punny” signage and easy access. We rented a car out at the airport and spent Sunday seeing the sites in Vancouver. Stanley Park was very nice with the fall foliage adding some color. On Monday we took the AirTrain to the Cruiseport. It could not have been any easier. We checked in earlier than we had planned, and apparently many others did as well. There used to be special lines that NCL would use for repeat customers that were members of Latitudes, but this time the only ones able to skip the lines were Haven and Suites guests. We were in line for over an hour, though it was constantly moving. We carried our bags on ourselves, and the rooms were immediately available when we boarded about 2:00. Our friends hadn’t been on the ship before, so we toured and saw some of the newly improved areas from the last drydock. We were a little late setting sail, but not as late as the Norwegian Joy had been the day before. They missed low tide and had to sit in Vancouver overnight since they couldn’t fit under the bridge. The word from the unhappy customers was that they were losing their day in Victoria due to the problem. It was no problem for the Jewel and we were only about an hour late- and Victoria was plenty close. We dined in the main dining room that evening and I think we got the best seat in the house- at the very back of the ship with a tremendous view. This is where they used to place the Captain’s Table back in the days before Freestyle dining. Victoria was glorious. We have visited there before, but this was the first time we ventured out to Butchart Gardens. Simply said- they were magnificent. We will return there on future visits to Victoria. We had about 30 minutes of rain, but that was the only weather we had all trip long. Not bad for early October in the Pacific Northwest. Astoria didn’t have a car available to rent by the time I got around to shopping for one. We went on the ship’s tour out to Fort Stevens. There isn’t much to see, and having a car would have been cheaper, but it turned out well. We visited the “Tower” in town and had some beautiful views both from the base and after we went up the 164 step circular staircase to the top. Then we headed across the bridge to Ft. Stevens State Park. The waves crashing on the beach was something out of a movie. The actual Fort Stevens stop was not that interesting. Our tour guide, Dita, was funny so she made the trip better than it would have been. We took the local transit bus into town, but instead of being on the bus we were give a ride in a 1926 Dodge Brothers car. That was a blast. The drive pointed out a fish and chips place just across the street from the Maritime Museum that is a converted fishing boat- and we had a wonderful lunch there. We spent the sea day quietly. The hot tubs were not overly crowded so we were able to stay in for as long as we liked. Then just some reading and relaxing, along with a single visit to the nicely furnished fitness facility. San Francisco has become such a disaster that we decided to stay only in the touristy areas. We hadn’t ridden the trolley cars for years so we rode on up, then watched the Marine Band give a mini-concert and rode another back down. We then walked over to Fisherman’s Wharf and had a great lunch of Clam Chowder and Sourdough bowls at Boudin’s on the Wharf. We then returned back to the ship in anticipation of the air show that was being put on due to it being “Fleet Week” in the Bay Area. The Blue Angels did not disappoint and the fantail area up on Deck 12 was the perfect place to watch it. The ship even got buzzed at the start of the show- when no one was expecting it so we got off to a rousing start. Monterrey once again did not have a car available. The only car rental there was an Enterprise office that you could not pick up a car before 9, and had to return it by 12. We just decided to stay onboard ship and relax again. Getting off in Los Angeles was simple. Again we just carried our bags off and left when we wanted to. Since we live only about 30 miles away our son came over and picked us up about 8 AM. We had the Specialty Dining Package for three nights. The Teppanyaki Grill was fabulous, probably the best meat and meal available on the ship, and the presentation was done well. They have their shtick down to a science. We also dined at Le Bistro one night and had a very good meal. La Cucina- now that is a different story. This was the last time I let my friends choose which specialty restaurant to go to as it was really not good at all. To give you an idea the best tasting thing on the menu was the antipasti appetizer! We dined in the main dining room twice and thought the food and service was better than our last couple of trips on the Jewel. The other night we walked up to Chin Chin early without a reservation. The food was good, but the service was non-existent. Both times we ordered food different foods came out from what we had ordered. Geronimo just didn’t have a clue! The MDR was a better experience, contrary to our last visit on the Jewel. The buffet was where we ate breakfast each morning. The food is the same every day so it is a struggle to change things up a little. I do appreciate that you can order freshly cooked eggs at the Omelette station. I’ll have mine over easy please! Entertainment was pretty good, but not outstanding. We don’t do magic or comedy shows but enjoy the musical performances. Candice Glover, from American Idol Season 12, was the headliner the last couple of nights. She has an amazing voice, but has very little stage presence. She needed to have Dan the Man, the Cruise Director, up there cracking jokes to keep the audience entertained….but he wasn’t there…… The room, an Oceanview on Deck 5, was just fine. We got a guaranteed room last time and got stuck behind a support structure so we appreciated the big window in the room. The attendant never introduced himself but everything was cleaned up every time we came back to the room. They have a hard job so his efforts were appreciated. The safe in the room was not in working order, but we just dealt with it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went on this cruise with my DD for a little getaway. Embarkation was very good on the ship in 15 min. Debarkation was also good. We didn't get to stop in Victoria, however we have been before so it was fine. We had customs ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my DD for a little getaway. Embarkation was very good on the ship in 15 min. Debarkation was also good. We didn't get to stop in Victoria, however we have been before so it was fine. We had customs in San Francisco, which was fairly long getting off the ship, so a shorter time in port. However we walked to Pier 39 and enjoyed the Aquarium, shopping and all that was there. The Ship was big and new and clean. The atrium had a beautiful chandelier and staircase, but the rest of the ship I wouldn't say was fancy. We enjoyed laser tag. The race cars were fun, but there was a long wait, even with reservations. The Galaxy Pavilion was too expensive for only a couple minutes, so we didn't do any of the VR games. There were 3 main dinning rooms , serving the same thing in all of them. I liked the smaller atmosphere of Taste & Savor restaurants, besides these there is the Local that has a small menu, breakfast was fine, but we tried the fish & chips and they were like fish sticks. Then there is the Buffet and the Observation Lounge with a smaller buffet that is complimentary. Everything else is A La Carte restaurants. We did not go to any of them. The Service was very good. Very friendly staff. The entertainment we saw, Elements was well done, kind of different, but good. We did not like Foot Loose. Our Cabin was a balcony. I found it to be small compared to other cruiselines, but it was fine. I might go again, but I'm not sure. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Recently returned from a repositioning cruise from Vancouver on 6th October and arriving in LA on 11th October. Originally the itinerary included two ports 1. Victoria, BC and 2. San Francisco. Sadly a few days prior to departing, we ... Read More
Recently returned from a repositioning cruise from Vancouver on 6th October and arriving in LA on 11th October. Originally the itinerary included two ports 1. Victoria, BC and 2. San Francisco. Sadly a few days prior to departing, we were informed Victoria had to be cancelled due to tidal issues and this resulted in a delay of departure from Vancouver due to passing under Lions Bridge. Naturally this was quite disappointing for such a short cruise however we were issued $50 onboard credit. We were not issued any refund of port fees though. Embarkation: Relatively straight forward and I was on the ship within 15 minutes. I had completed everything online so it was a matter of collecting my sea pass and signing paperwork. Cabin: I had 13162 which was on deck 13 (ironically the medical centre is also located on this deck) and this was a port side mid ship balcony. The cabin was fine with plenty of storage space and a nice (albeit small) balcony. I liked the location as I wasn't far from the stairs and just two levels up to the Observation Deck and close to the Garden Café. My attendant was friendly enough but I wouldn't say he went above and beyond. On one day close to the end, he didn't even bother removing the glasses from my room or wiping the coffee from the side table. Savour: I had breakfast here three times during the trip. I liked sitting by the window and watching the World go by. I found the service to be very good as was the food. I highly recommend the chocolate pancakes. Also try the cinnamon rolls - literally the best ever!! I had lunch here and the cheese burger was very disappointing however the philly steak sandwich was good. Personally I found The Local to be better for the fast food types such as hot dogs/burgers. I had dinner and it was very nice. The menu was the same each night though and the same in all restaurants (Savour/Taste/The Manhattan). Taste/The Manhattan: I had dinner in both and as mentioned above the menu is the same. The service was excellent in The Manhattan and fine in Taste. One point to note on the service in the restaurants, every time someone interacted with me they were shocked I was dining alone. In the end it was comical but also rather draining. Women are able to dine alone and it's not some sad affair. Garden café: The worse place ever! So chaotic. I only went once for breakfast and it was awful. The food was average but trying to get a table was awful. Walking around with your food and having to rush for a table is not enjoyable. American Diner: I decided to try breakfast here one day and it was fine, nothing special. Limited buffet available but nice service. La Cucina Italian: I had two specialist dinning available, sadly I regret dining here. The food was average at best. Pear salad was nice but on the main dining menu and I can't even remember my mine so it shows how uneventful that was. Ocean blue: This was the best meal of my cruise. Incredible sea food and lovely service. Try the scallops for starter (they are very small!) and the mixed seafood for main - perfect. Just a note with the specialist dining, they were very restrictive with when you could book. I was informed they were fully booked however both times I was seated, there were plenty of free tables. This is disappointing as I could've switched my reservation to Cagney's but they said they were full. The Local: I had lunch here on embarkment and it was bit manic but the nachos were good. I had another lunch here and whilst the line was long to be seated, it went fairly quickly and the hot dog was great. Again lovely service. The Observation Deck: Snacks were regularly available during the day here although I didn't eat any. They had soups and salad for lunch and a few other items. I would often fill up my water bottle here and grab a decaff coffee before heading to bed. I won't comment on each bar but all had a great selection of drinks. I do want to say how wonderful Jomar Parculos and Maxime Mathurin at the H20 spice bar were. Always so friendly and happy. H20 Spice: I loved coming here in the afternoon for a dip in the hot tub. It was great being adults only. Only suggestion would be to show a film or something on the big screen. Whilst the beach pictures were nice, it could have been put to better use. Pools/Slides: Great adults only pool, very deep. Sadly a little chilly for our cruise. The hot tubs on the pool deck were full of unaccompanied children - not good. Maximum capacity in the hot tubs were always over due to the amount of kids in there. I did the water slide with the ring. This was great fun with the lights however I whimpered out of the ocean loop. Although it was only a few seconds long, it looked so scary and some lighter people were getting stuck. Pulse fitness centre: The gym was average size but always pretty busy (surprisingly). People were often using equipment and had no clue how to do it safely. Wearing sandals and man bags on the cross trainer was ridiculous. They held a stretch class (7am) and abs class (7.30am) in The Cavan Club. I assume they held it there as there is no room in the gym. Go karting: Again this seemed to be fully booked all the time but I managed to secure a slot. It was worth the wait as it was fun but it was very difficult to overtake other drivers. Worth the $15. Footloose: An excellent show! I was so impressed with the singing and dancing. You must go watch the show. Elements: Unbelievably disappointing. Everything they did, I could have done (I'm intermediate aerialist). I expected the show to be a lot better. It was very colourful so I think that's what makes people think it's great when the actual acrobatics was pretty tame. Personally the issue I had was the lack of quality entertainment. It felt like there wasn't much going on, especially in the evenings. If you couldn't get a show booked then the other entertainment was in the Atrium. Sometimes it was good and other times not such much. There wasn't much going on during the day either. Hardly any activities. Overall I was impressed with my first NCL cruise. I personally prefer bigger ships so perhaps I should consider that in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is our 8th cruise - and it keeps getting better. Staff service was outstanding. Ship was clean, very well organized. We had a balcony suite on the 14th floor - everything working. I love the fact that there is no more bathtubs - ... Read More
This is our 8th cruise - and it keeps getting better. Staff service was outstanding. Ship was clean, very well organized. We had a balcony suite on the 14th floor - everything working. I love the fact that there is no more bathtubs - efficient layout. A lot of dining options - we went to Cagney's, Teppanyaki, Local Grill, Garden Buffet, Savor, Taste, and Teppanyaki. Not everything was perfect, but the little hiccups can easily be looked over because of the awesome service. Was a little bummed that Victoria was cancelled, but can't fight the elements of the weather. A lot of activities on the ship as well. In the end, this trip brought our family awesome memories. A family member went on the racetrack. Yes, the charge extra, but it was so worth it. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from our balcony was priceless... really priceless. The port in Vancouver was clean and beautiful. Granted that we did not depart on the original schedule, they made it up in activities. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My family and I decided to finally do a cruise since we have always wanted to do one but never had the chance. Until our friends wanted to the same so we booked it. Arriving to the ship it was an easy process getting on and they even take ... Read More
My family and I decided to finally do a cruise since we have always wanted to do one but never had the chance. Until our friends wanted to the same so we booked it. Arriving to the ship it was an easy process getting on and they even take your bags to your room. When you get on the boat you already have the key to your room and your bags will be waiting their for you. The cruise we went on had only been five days. The only downfall was that we weren’t able to stop in Victoria Canada due to the low tide. Which then they had gifted everyone $50 for credit to spend however you wished. My kids really enjoyed the Entourage since they had the opportunity to interact and make friends with other kids on the boat. They also enjoyed the activities that they had planned. As well as there teen counselors Wakanda and WiFi. They said that they were overall fun and funny people to be around and because of them my kids would like to go on another cruise and have them as their teen counselors again. Overall would definitely see myself planning another family cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We took advantage of Ncl free flight, that was a mistake. We landed at 8pm and had to be checked in by 10. When we arrived at cruiseport they treated us as if we were a huge inconvenience. They gave us our cards and told us to checkin ... Read More
We took advantage of Ncl free flight, that was a mistake. We landed at 8pm and had to be checked in by 10. When we arrived at cruiseport they treated us as if we were a huge inconvenience. They gave us our cards and told us to checkin onboard deck 6. The crew would not let us onboard said to go back and check in, after several minutes of arguing we were escorted to guest service. Our escort spoke with a guest service agent who clearly wanted nothing to do with us. After 10 minutes it was clear he had no idea how to check us in and went to get someone else. She took our cards never acknowledged us, smiled, or made any eye contact. At least she knew how to check in. The ship is beautiful but our experience with crew continued. They did not smile, make eye contact and quite frequently made you feel like you were an inconvenience. I think I heard washee washee twice the whole cruise. We were unable to stop at Victoria, so only San Francisco port. It took 1 1/2 hours to get off., and we were one of first groups called. One person taking key cards for entire ship. Customs not well organized. No one was allowed back on until almost 2pm, apparently they had a few passengers that they could not find. Food is good, plentiful of course. Cagney's is excellent. Never saw cruise director. Enjoyed Footloose and Elements. Racetrack has increased price. Laser tag is now 1 game for 9.95. Enjoyed the 7d and indy car. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Ship was great but It’s been really frustrating. Couldn’t book dinner and activities prior to cruise. Can’t get reservations onboard. Go karts completely booked the entire cruise, my kids can’t go. Only able to have dinner in main ... Read More
Ship was great but It’s been really frustrating. Couldn’t book dinner and activities prior to cruise. Can’t get reservations onboard. Go karts completely booked the entire cruise, my kids can’t go. Only able to have dinner in main dining room twice on 5 night cruise. Missed port in Vancouver. Currently been in line for 1 hour 20 minutes to get off boat in San Francisco. Every time we call concierge, it goes to front desk. Room is great, concierge service is non existent and total waste of money. Credit card went missing from our account, couldn’t play in casino last night. Onboard credits were t correct on our account. I can’t tell you how much time was wasted calling about reservations, accounts, credits etc. not relaxing! Inside family cabin was awesome! Lots of space and storage. Loved having two bathrooms. Best cabin we’ve stayed in! Never again. We’ll stick with land vacations or RCI. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Let's start at the beginning. Ist port victoria cancelled, received email 3 day before sailing tides too high to get under bridge. When you are only stopping at one other port on a five day cruise it seems almost like a cruise to ... Read More
Let's start at the beginning. Ist port victoria cancelled, received email 3 day before sailing tides too high to get under bridge. When you are only stopping at one other port on a five day cruise it seems almost like a cruise to nowhere. First day got right on ship and was in cabin by 11am. This was due to ship being deboarded the day before. Crew party that night, which left some of the staff hungover (things were not up to snuff on day 1, food and restaurant service) .Service and food were much better as the cruise went on. First night Manhattan room, then Savor or Taste the remainder. Did not experience the specialty restaurants. What was once the standard on cruise ships is now an extra priced option. Our cabin steward was great, Putu was his name. We played a lot of Video poker at the bar in the casino and the bartenders were all pretty good. Both shows ere excellent, footloose and elements, and Rob Little comedy was superb! I was disappointed that the ship did not have the thermal spa as I would have paid extra for that. We had the drink package , but had to pay an additional $20 for 6 one liter bottles of water (gratuity included). what a ripoff. The gym was large with a bunch of treadmills but only about 8 machines which I didn't care for. They would be better off with Cybex or Life Fitness than the ones they had. Buffet was good with a large variety of food, mostly tasty and fresh. Our cabin 10132 was towards the front port side of ship. It was quiet, had great view out of balcony, but was a bit extra walk from forward bank of elevators. Elevators almost always busy, I guess a fact of life with a near full ship? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We can’t wait to get off this cruise ship. This is the last day of our cruise on the Norwegian Bliss from Vancouver to LA. We stayed in a balcony room in 10246. The room is spacious and modern, but it’s not sound proof enough so we ... Read More
We can’t wait to get off this cruise ship. This is the last day of our cruise on the Norwegian Bliss from Vancouver to LA. We stayed in a balcony room in 10246. The room is spacious and modern, but it’s not sound proof enough so we constantly hear the TV from the next room at night when we’re trying to sleep, people “doing it” at night, and just general stomping noises and people slamming their doors. The worst part is the food. It’s terrible. The teppanyaki served really salty food, and the Q Texas had the worst food we’ve had all year. The buffet and main dining rooms also had either really salty or bad food. It’s worse than a mall food court sometimes. The only good meal we had was at Cagneys, but you pay extra for that. Also, the gym was very good with excellent weight machines. The onboard process was long and terrible, and it pissed off a lot of people. We were supposed to board at 7:30pm, and we didn’t board until 10pm because they were disorganized and boarded late. We had 30 minutes to grab something to eat at the extremely crowded buffet (we were not offered food or drinks in the 3-4 hour wait to board the ship) before we were told to go to the muster station. After our Seattle port was cancelled, they offered each stateroom a $100 onboard credit. Nothing we could do about that. However, when we got to SF and had to clear customs, they called floor by floor to try and be efficient, but everyone still had to stand in line for almost an hour. They could have organized it to minimize the wait time. I’ve done customs clearing on another ship and it was done within ten minutes! Just very thoughtless and inconsiderate. The last straw was that we spent $50 to purchase a couple of photos, and the photographer said I could download the digital copy from the Norwegian app. I could not find the photos so I went to the photo station. The guy then told me that if I wanted the digital copies, I’d have to pay another $50 for the two photos. I asked if I could exchange the physical prints for the digital copies, he said no, you have to buy the prints first, then you can buy the digital copies. That would cost $100 for two photos! We will not cruise with Norwegian again. Going to try Celebrity next based on other equally unhappy cruisers’ suggestion! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Good - Beautiful ship, great colors & decoration - Explorer lounge on deck 15 very nice - Loved the shows. Jersey Boys, Six & The Liverpool Beatles. Clinton Jackson is an entertaining comedian. The bands around the ... Read More
The Good - Beautiful ship, great colors & decoration - Explorer lounge on deck 15 very nice - Loved the shows. Jersey Boys, Six & The Liverpool Beatles. Clinton Jackson is an entertaining comedian. The bands around the ship were pleasant. - The cabin steward did a decent job. - Disembarkation was good since we did not have to clear customs. It started early. The Bad - Most of the employees did not seem that friendly and excited serving the passengers. - Lines in the Garden Café were long. Tables were hard to find. The buffet is too small for the number of passengers on the ship. Food was comparable to most cruise lines. - It was hard to get a reservation for any of the shows mid cruise. You can stand-by and it looked like every stand-by got into each show I attended. Don’t be reluctant to stand-by for shows. - I did not hear the Captain address the ship. I am used to a once a day update from the bridge. - If you like lines and a crowded cruise, then this is the cruise for you. - We had a good location for our cabin but it was noisy. Many slamming doors and you can hear your neighbor’s TV since it is right against your wall. - We were supposed to board at 7pm and didn’t get on the ship until 9:30pm. NCL still charged us for 6 days of gratuities even though we lost the 1st day of the cruise. It was advertised as a 6-day cruise with boarding at 7pm. - Muster drill at 11pm the 1st day. Many passengers sleeping through the drill after waiting hours in line to board. The Ugly - Embarkation was a disaster. We signed up for a 7pm check-in. There were at least 3000 people in line when we arrived. The line snaked all around the cruise terminal and outside into the cold. Some water was provided. No food. The ship docked at 5:30pm after sitting all day out in the harbor waiting for 3 other ships to sail. For some reason boarding was delayed. Very bad way to start a cruise. - As we boarded the ship, we were given a notice that our 1st stop in Seattle was cancelled due to an expected excessive time to clear customs. We got an extra day in Victoria instead. NCL gave a $100 non-refundable credit per cabin to our account to compensate. The cruise was poorly planned by NCL. Vancouver-Seattle-Victoria-San Francisco-Los Angeles. Two times to clear US customs. - Clearing customs in San Francisco was a disaster. We started at 08:00am but did not get off the ship until 11:45am. Long snaking lines through the ship. There were still two decks to clear behind us. We lost almost half of our port call in San Francisco. - I have never been on a cruise with so many unhappy passengers. The ship is beautiful but just too big for the infrastructure. I will avoid NCL and the mega ships in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to explore Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle and San Francisco with a total of 4 couples. We arrived several days early to Vancouver to explore the beautiful city. It was a great day. Already we had been told within the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to explore Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle and San Francisco with a total of 4 couples. We arrived several days early to Vancouver to explore the beautiful city. It was a great day. Already we had been told within the week prior that boarding would not be at 12 noon as sold Finally the day to embark arrived. We saw the ship sitting in the harbor long after all other ships left their berth. Decided to go to a restaurant to eat since it was so late. Our 7:30 pm boarding time came and left. We stood in line until 10:15pm when we finally picked up our cabin card. Finally making it into the cabin we discover a letter that all our specialty restaurants reservations were worthless. The tickets for the Jersey Boys was changed to another night -conflicting with the 2 hr minimums the restaurants required. We were in a balcony room and had adjoining rooms which was fun. Didn’t notice the noise through the walls. DAY 1 of the cruise was over about 11:30 pm as we were just sitting on the bed! I think the ship pulled out about 2:30 am. DAY 2. Notice was given that our next stop Seattle was CANCELLED. yup. All the plans and reservations were done for - no harbor cruise, hop on/off bus tour, Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass museum. We were less than 24 hours notice so NO Refunds!! About $250 for each couple. Viator is an outside company that have great tours and prices but they need 24 hours advance notice to cancel. We were in Victoria BC. Beautiful city with lovely gardens. We had scheduled a 2.5 PediCab ride around the town. The owner sent a text early on that stated,” it seems your ship is in port, want to go today?” We did and had a delightful personal tour of the city. Ryan our pedal driver was quick witted and knew Victoria history. We visited parks and heard some tantalizing stories of old government with the hanging alley. Ate at the Garden Cafe for dinner. It was jammed, with mediocre cafeteria food. People didn’t know what to do. No scheduled entertainment. Seems the JB didn’t get picked up in Seattle!! Listened to a couple of singers in the atrium area that were good. DAY 3. Still in Victoria. Almost every thing, place or activity on the ship is closed. We are in port. Limited bars, no racetrack, lazer tag, casino, stores. What do 4400 people do for another 24 hours. Nothing to do. Dinner at the Q Smokehouse- hard to go wrong with a chicken breast and baked beans! At 10:30 pm We enjoyed the production of SIX-Louis VIII six wives. Action paced and very cleverly done. We are now underway to San Francisco.. DAY4. Cruise in under the Golden Gate Bridge. That was amazing so quiet at 6:30 am. Dressed and ready to go. Hop on/ off bus tour, get some sourdough bread and have clam chowder in the City. We are all excited to go @ 8 am. We have all day until 6:30 pm in town. Wait, it’s Noon and we are still on board! Seems NCL didn’t pick up the Immigration official in Seattle. So 4400 people wait. We were off by 1 pm. So we did the bus tour. Went out to Sausalito, crossed the GGB 4 times due to bus route, saw a jumper and made it back at 5 ish. No clam chowder, no sourdough to take home. Specialty dinner in Ocean Blue was fantastic. Giant scallops, shrimp and blue fish were plated well and the dinner was a success. Finally got to see Jersey Boys at 10:30 and it was fantastic. The songs were easy to listen to and enjoy. The cast of both shows are outstanding. Day 5 at sea so headed out to some activities. Alaskan beer tasting. The District. Double doors closed before 2 pm. Showed up with about 30 others. After 15 minutes waiting, I went around to the wine event and got an employee to go inside to see if there was a problem. Barman stated no one was there so he cancelled it. Guess he should have opened the door!! Not an apology to anyone. Nothing available for the racetrack, or laser tag, casino, did our bit to give back to the ship. . Ate dinner at the Manhattan Room. Was pleasant and complimentary. Not hurried like the Cafe. Day 6. Pull into LA. Cruise is over. Disembarking and getting luggage was easy. Was looking forward to fun time doing things with friends and family. It was uneventful. Can’t say I would recommend NCL after this fiasco. We have enjoyed Royal Caribbean and carnival over the years. Carl our room steward was delightful. The room was tidy each day. Loved the continental breakfast each morning. Didn’t have to fight the elevator masses for coffee. The Observation Deck was very pleasant. Light food and drinks available with wonderful views. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked this cruise only 30 days before sailing. Reading the reviews, many people had booked this 6 day cruise well over a year ago. This was billed as a 6 day cruise, and everyone paid tips for a 6 day cruise. It was really 5 days. ... Read More
We booked this cruise only 30 days before sailing. Reading the reviews, many people had booked this 6 day cruise well over a year ago. This was billed as a 6 day cruise, and everyone paid tips for a 6 day cruise. It was really 5 days. The ship arrived at the pier in Vancouver at about 6:30PM and check in was slated to start at 7PM. Guess what happened at boarding? Most people started lining up at 4PM and by 7 there were several thousand people standing in a line that wound around Canada place. This is part of the ugly. We had done 2 other late departure NCL repositioning cruises from Vancouver before. The first was really bad and a woman waiting actually had to be taken away by ambulance due to a panic attack it was so bad. Well this time we did not even show up to check in until 9:40pm! We still waited about 10 minutes in line and we were just about the last 2 passengers to board the ship. We tried to eat as soon as we boarded but we had our drill and everything was shut down. Still the ugly! When we arrived in our room, we found a letter letting us know our itinerary had changed. Since the cruise was announced it had its first day in Seattle. Now it was changed to eliminate Seattle and we had an overnight in Victoria. This was OK for us but many passengers were disappointed. The excuse was not having enough time to notify the US authorities for immigration purposes. Now, all 4,000+ pax had to go through US customs in San Francisco! We did the drill and enjoyed the ship. The next morning we arrived in Victoria. This would be the good for us. Victoria is a beautiful place to visit and we had a beautiful day there. We took a nice walk to Craigdarroch Castle (about 3 miles) as we had never visited there. Well worth the visit. Then we headed back to town and enjoyed happy hour! Swan's was our first stop then we visited Canoe. Both fun places for adult beverages! We had enough energy left and walked back to the ship. The Liverpool Beatles did a show at 7:30 in the showroom and it was standing room only. They did early Beatles in this show and everyone enjoyed it. The next day we were to leave at 2PM so we just walked into town and back. Again it was a beautiful day. Sail away was nice and we just explored the ship. We had dinner at the Q which was good. DW stayed and to watch the CW band (ok but not great). I went to the Cavern club and got there early enough to get one of the last seats there. The 9PM Beatles show was the early years. This was great for me as a Beatles fan to see these guys performing in a small club environment and I could imagine what it was like to see them in Liverpool in 62/63! Now for our first sea day. We received a notice that we would be refunded our port charges for Seattle and they gave each cabin $100 OBC. This was a positive move as NCL knew full well the immigration situation long before our cruise but did not tell the passengers until we were onboard and could do nothing about it! Our Cruise Critic M&G was at noon. This was also the time the ship scheduled the Veterans get together at Maltings. I went to the Veterans and DW went to the M&G at the District Brewhouse. I visited with the one other Vet at the bar for a few minutes and then wet off to join in the M&G. NO SHIPS OFFICERS attended the M&G but they did have champagne for us (nice touch). There were 30-40 cruisers there. Great to meet those we were chatting with on the roll call. The schedule said there would be an Alaskan Beer tasting at 2PM at the District Brewhouse. I was in a group of 10-20 standing outside the closed doors to the District at 2 pm. I just left and came back about 10 minutes later figuring I could join in the tasting a little late. When I got to the District, it was empty. They had kept the doors closed and then the bartender said nobody was there at 2 so he just cancelled the tasting! Poor management! Dinner was at the buffet and it was fine. Then we went to Six. DW liked it, she was listening to each of the "wives" as they sang about their life with King Henry. I was a well done show but not up my alley! Overall, the sea day was good. Now for San Francisco. Since we now needed to clear customs in SF (which was originally going to be handled in Seattle) it meant that EVERYONE would be getting off the ship when we arrived. We had booked a trip to Alcatraz on our own for 10:30AM. I had gone to the front desk on the sea day and managed to get with the correct person to assist us in getting off the ship in the first group to go through customs. This did work fine and we were walking around in SF by 8:30AM. I heard the ship was cleared by around 11AM. We had a good day and BEAUTIFUL weather in SF. On Alcatraz, they were saying how unusually beautiful and clear the day was. Parts of the island were opened to the public that normally are off limits. We spent the remainder of our day walking in the Fisherman's Wharf area. We would have ridden the cable cars but it was way expensive and a long line just to get on. Not for us. Back to the ship and the buffet for dinner. We finished dinner and it was about 7 so we wandered by the theater. There was no line so instead of sail away we went into the Jersey Boys show. Mistake missing sail away! Jersey Boys was an excellent show right up until the point in the show where they dropped the first "F" bomb! There was an audible gasp in the theater. To be fair NCL does have a sentence to warn passengers in the Daily and a piece of paper size sign at the theater when you walk in. We never saw either of these. That just tainted our enjoyment of what otherwise was a great show. It is just sad that NCL feels like this language is necessary in their primary entertainment show for a ship that is marketed to families! The language could be changed without damaging the performance. Another example for us of the BAD! We did eat breakfast and lunch at the local. They did an outstanding job and the food was fresh and hot. Dinner on our last sea day was at La Cuchina and it was good food and the service was good. We just wandered a bit and packed. The ship is new. It is well maintained and the crew were all happy. We did not care for the size of the ship. You have 3 levels of shops, shows and places to eat (6,7 and *8). Then you have 7 levels of hotel and 15 and 16 for food and pools. The only place they used for games, trivia, presentations etc was the atrium. This is typical of NCL in that they really do not pay attention to those types of activities. The atrium in big and impersonal and when we cruise, we typically make friendships at trivia and other small group activities. Not so much on NCL. Disembarkation went great. We walked off with our bags. That started at 7:30 and we left at 8 with NO LINES! this was a good! We have continued to try NCL but sometimes it is just not a good fit. I tried to add photos but the review would not allow it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on 25 cruises, 3 so far this year. We have been on multiple NCL cruises and we were excited to try out the Bliss! The cruise did not start out well and was lacking through out the entire cruise. The Good: 1. We loved ... Read More
We have been on 25 cruises, 3 so far this year. We have been on multiple NCL cruises and we were excited to try out the Bliss! The cruise did not start out well and was lacking through out the entire cruise. The Good: 1. We loved the observation lounge. 2. The entertainment was good. We loved SIX and the Beatles. The bands were good. 3. We enjoyed the Laser Tag. 4. The ship was extremely clean. 5. We liked our balcony stateroom, especially the shower size! The Okay: 1. Food was hit or miss, with not much variety. 2. Raceway cars were pretty slow, overpriced, and you had a hard time passing people. The Bad: 1. Embarkation was delayed due to NCL issues, which meant one less day onboard that we paid for. The process was 2 1/2 hours. We finally got on board around 9 pm. The only dinner that was offered to us was an overcrowded buffet for 1st night. 2. The first port, Seattle, was cancelled due to NCL problems. After guests complaints the compensated guests $50pp, which is about the cost of the port fee we paid for Seatle. They let us know about the cancellation only 10 hours before we were supposed to arrive. 3. Customs/immigration in San Francisco was done very poorly, causing 3-4 hours delay in getting off the ship. They only had one extremely, long, slow line that snaked throughout the ship. There was lots of misinformation with the process. 4. The service was poor through out the ship. It seemed like there were lots of new or improperly trained staff. The service in the dining rooms was slow. We were directed many times to certain areas, only to be re-directed somewhere else. Several times when we returned to our room in the evening for a brief moment our steward who ask: "If we needed service for that night." We have never experienced this on any other cruise. We are pretty flexible and know that there might be some problems or mishaps on a cruise. The negatives far outweighed the positives on this cruise. The attitude of NCL has been extremely disappointing. It seems like everyone has downplayed any and all problems and dismissed the guests’ concerns as unimportant and irrelevant. When problems arise you find out quickly who values their customers and acts with integrity. Norwegian has shown that they do not value their customers. There are many good choices in cruising industry and unfortunately, we can no longer count Norwegian Cruise Line as a good choice. It will be a very long time, if ever, if we choose to cruise NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are frequent cruisers. We got together with two other couples on this cruise - just to enjoy a new ship. We had all been to all the ports so we figured we would just enjoy each other's company. When we booked the cruise, it said ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers. We got together with two other couples on this cruise - just to enjoy a new ship. We had all been to all the ports so we figured we would just enjoy each other's company. When we booked the cruise, it said that the ship would depart Vancouver at 3:30 PM. So we made our airfare and other travel arrangements accordingly. When we checked in on line, our boarding time came up as 7PM. They had accepted our 6:30 dinner reservations so we were confused. After several calls to our travel agent and NCL, we were told that the 7PM must have been a mistake and that we should go to the pier and would probably be on board after 12 noon. Two weeks before the cruise we get a letter from NCL that stated the ship would not be docked until 7PM and that we should not go to the pier before then. Our travel arrangements could not be altered so we got up at 4AM and travelled getting into Vancouver around 9:45. We purchased transportation to the pier and had to walk around Vancouver all day after turning in our luggage. We were tired so went to the pier at 4:00. No where to sit. The ship was in the harbor since 2:30 AM but couldn't get to the pier because 3 other ships were there. Boarding was terrible. Meals were cold and long waits - didn't go to Seattle as planned. Whole experience was terrible. Restaurants were crowded and food came to the table slow and not hot. The dining rooms are decorated beautifully - very contemporary. French, Italian and Steak house food was excellent, but of course there was a hot food issue everywhere. As far as entertainment, the Jersey Boys show was wonderful, but on that size ship shows had to be done more than 1 night (each was two nights) so we didn't have a show to go to every night. One show, Prohibition, was a surcharge of $39 - never heard of that. The race track and laser tag on the top deck along with the slides were for the younger guest so we didn't frequent. At cocktail time before dinner, most of the bars we went to service was so poor that we went to the bar to get our own drinks. - Also never had that happen. We didn't use any shore excursions as they were VERY pricy and we had already been to these ports. Please note - they took away Seattle too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I took the Pacific Coast re-positioning cruise on 9/30 which was supposed to stop in Victoria, Seattle, and San Francisco. As others have pointed out, boarding was a nightmare. When we booked the cruise many months before, boarding was ... Read More
I took the Pacific Coast re-positioning cruise on 9/30 which was supposed to stop in Victoria, Seattle, and San Francisco. As others have pointed out, boarding was a nightmare. When we booked the cruise many months before, boarding was supposed to be at 3:30 PM. Then when we received our luggage tags in the mail, the boarding time had magically changed to 7:30 PM. Then, due to the ridiculous line on the departure day, we didn't actually get on the ship until at least 10:00 PM. This was particularly crappy, because we have have a 6-year-old and had to return our rental car before 6:00 PM. And obviously we had to check out of our hotel much earlier in the day. So we ended up hanging out at a food court across the street from the cruise terminal for hours after 6:00 PM. Pretty awful. Once on board, we read that the itinerary had changed such that we were no longer stopping in Seattle. Of course, there was no legitimate or concrete reason provided for this, nor did the Captain or anyone else bother to explain or apologize for ripping us off. I was eating at the buffet one day, and one of the head dudes on the ship (not the captain, but the second or third in command) was going around talking to people. When he approached me, I asked him why we didn't stop in Seattle. He made up some excuse about not being able to coordinate enough Customs workers to process passengers. As if this was all new to them and the ship didn't spend all summer going in and out of Seattle. Ridiculous. I suspect the real reason we didn't go is because of extreme disorganization/incompetence on the part of the crew/ Cruise line which was a common theme throughout the trip. We eventually got a $100 credit to our cabin for the missed port. How generous. Just as others experienced, getting off in San Francisco was also a nightmare. It took 45 minutes to get off the ship, and this was with a few line cuts (thanks to some of the crew) because we had an excursion that we were late for. This was not our fault, as we were initially told that we had to disembark the ship floor-by-floor, and were supposed to wait for our floor to be called before disembarking. Regarding the ship, it was reasonably nice, but I felt that there was not enough common space for the number of passengers aboard, and this was consistently evident based on virtually everywhere being overcrowded when at sea. I think they should have designed the ship with fewer cabins and more common areas, but of course, this would yield a few less dollars, so I guess it may not have been tenable. Even though the weather was starting to cool down, I went on the water slides. There weren't even that many people in line for either of the slides, but the wait was still extremely long to use them. I can't imagine how miserable it must be waiting for the slides in a more temperate climate such as the Caribbean. Our balcony cabin was very average, nothing special. It was a bit loud and we could hear toilets flushing and some voices from other rooms. The toilets were also unreasonably loud. The free TV choices were extremely limited, and movies cost $10 each. Total rip off. Also a ripoff was the "free" internet package we received. It was a hassle to log on and off (this is undoubtedly intentional so that people don't use it as much), and we weren't even able to access YouTube or other streaming sites unless we paid for upgraded internet. Also, we were limited to using one device at a time. Again, a total ripoff. Regarding the food, I felt it was very average. Not amazing, not terrible. All in all, this was probably one of the the worst cruises I've been on all things considered. I actually think that Disney is worse than NCL (bad food, no casino, too expensive for what you get), but the wife and kid like Disney at least. None of us liked NCL much, and for this reason, we probably wont be back on an NCL ship for a very long time. They really blew it with this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation in vancouver was a disaster! embarkation staff was incompetent and overwhelmed by the number of passengers. there was no special line for handicap or platinum members. Lifeboat drill was at 1100 p.m.-stupid time to have ... Read More
Embarkation in vancouver was a disaster! embarkation staff was incompetent and overwhelmed by the number of passengers. there was no special line for handicap or platinum members. Lifeboat drill was at 1100 p.m.-stupid time to have it. passengers were tired after being up all day then waiting for the embarkation process. Our seattle stop was cancelled-we were not informed of this until later that night. had we have known in advance that we were not going to seattle then we would have changed our booking. overheard several passengers saying they had friends/family meetings in seattle. a big disappointment for a lot of people. Ncl's excuse was that it would take too long to disembark and embark at the seattle port. bs: they should have known from experience how much time was involved and planned accordingly. Main dining staff was "lost". they were getting orders messed up and appeared as though this was the first cruise ship they had ever been on. besides being incompetent, most were not friendly. The first day of using the spa facility, there was a constant flow of perspective clients being toured through-so much for peace and quiet! Last year we were on the bliss for a 7 day cruise and it was fantastic. this time it was not. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband purchased this cruise for me as a holiday gift - we love cruising, and have cruised several times with NCL. The fact that Jersey Boys (one of my favorite musicals) was on-board was the proverbial icing on the cake! We were ... Read More
My husband purchased this cruise for me as a holiday gift - we love cruising, and have cruised several times with NCL. The fact that Jersey Boys (one of my favorite musicals) was on-board was the proverbial icing on the cake! We were excited! We flew into Vancouver late the night before, with the expectation of boarding the boat in the late afternoon. We enjoyed the sites, ate a really good lunch, and proceeded to the cruise terminal. At this point (after receiving an email) we knew that the embarkation process was delayed, and that boarding would begin at 7pm. There was a line 3,800 strong. Luckily, we were seated in a holding room due to the fact that my husband is a disabled veteran. But it went down hill from here. The check-in process did NOT go smoothly. I had entered my CC information online prior to leaving home, but the agent at the desk failed to notify me that it didn't save. Once we stepped on the ship we found out that one of the ports had been cancelled (Seattle). (This was especially disturbing as I had forgotten some medication and had arranged and paid my neighbor to overnight it the port for pick up - except, now.... ). Then, by the time the agents make it through the line, we have the mandatory safety drill at 11PM - no one is "feeling it" at this point and tempers are flaring, including the lady doing the demonstration who actually yelled at passengers to SHUT UP! at one point. Nice. We awake the next morning to a letter that a cash deposit is required, since there is no credit card on file and we proceed down to the guest services desk and wait another hour or so in line. (they tired to close the line just in front of me, but I wasn't having anything to do with that. I made them listen. I am not a rude nor normally pushy person by nature, but I was already pretty dissatisfied.) My husband and I decided to schedule a spa day. We arrive for our appointment in the spa (couples massage) and are taken to a "pre-massage" relaxation room... that has 10 warmed beds, music, curtains in between for privacy, except 9 of the 10 bed are full and there are two of us - hence the couples massage. We offer to reschedule, however they WILL NOT let us leave (obviously fearing missing out on the up-charges) and throw my husband and I into the spa haven place where others have paid to enjoy private saunas and jacuzzis. Whatever. The massage was decent. Thank goodness! I'm not sure if it was the sheer size of this ship - now the largest in Norwegian's fleet - or the way this vacation started, but it really felt like one huge disappointment. Like when you're excited because you're going to Disneyland and you know you're going to have a fun filled day - except you spend all day waiting in line! That's this cruise to a "T"! LOWLIGHTS that make me say skip it: *Staff was not as welcoming or friendly as other NCL trips we have been on *Ship is SO large that you wait to dine anywhere or even to see a show *Don't dare ask for a non-alcoholic cocktail *Buffet food could be fresher at times *No where to sit - again, too many people, not enough planning *Lack of options for food during non peak meal times *No fun towel animals on the bed - c'mon, this makes you feel special! *Feeling like numbered cattle HIGHLIGHTS that make me say consider it: *The entertainment was PHENOMENAL!!!! *99% of the food we had - outside of the buffet - was out of this world! *Hey, you're on a boat! All in all, two thumbs down on this one. And this previously hard-core loyal NCL sailor is seriously reconsidering if they earned my loyalty on this one. This ship itself is beautiful, but I would not sail on this vessel again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise and first on Norwegian. It was a cruise from hell! We booked a boarding time of 10:30 a.m., so booked a flight from Calgary to Vancouver arriving at 9:00 a.m. Got to the port and advised that boarding had ... Read More
This was our second cruise and first on Norwegian. It was a cruise from hell! We booked a boarding time of 10:30 a.m., so booked a flight from Calgary to Vancouver arriving at 9:00 a.m. Got to the port and advised that boarding had been changed to 7:00 p.m. We had the whole day to kill so were given a recommendation to take the seabus to North Vancouver. We did that, and thankfully the weather was nice. Walked around and basically watched our ship floating in the middle of the water - all day. The onboarding process was horrendous and no one was happy. We were supposed to board at 7:00 pm - waited in line since 6:30 pm. We were herded like cattle into a gymnasium type area and sat there with no water or communication. Long process!! Finally got on the ship around 9:30 p.m. Had to go to the muster stations at 11:00 p.m. - had no food at that point and the crew were not pleasant. Didn't get our luggage until midnight. The next morning I noticed a $30.00 service charge to our room. We didn't cruise the first day and they still had the gall to charge us. I complained to customer service and their only answer was that they couldn't do anything about it. The food in the buffet was terrible. Very bland and no variety. Part of our package included 3 specialty dining restaurants. What they don't tell you is that only includes limited items on the menu. You can't order the 35.00 steak. The Local was about the only place that had great food. We loved their chicken wings and decided to order them one night to take to our room. I asked for a plate and when asked why I said we wanted to take it to our room. We were told that wasn't allowed due to "sanitary" reason, but we could order room service (and pay for it) and that would be okay. Really?? Not sanitary for us to take it - but hell - you can load up at the buffet and take it to your room - that's okay. They nickel and dime you to death. This was was advertised as a 6 day cruise, but with leaving Vancouver at 2:30 a.m., and sitting in Victoria for two days (Seattle was cancelled) - this should be touted as a 5 day cruise and we should be refunded for a day. We didn't find the staff exceptionally pleasant - most of them were flying back home after the cruise, and I think they just wanted to get off as well. We will NEVER, EVER take Norwegian again - even if it was free. You would still get nickel and dimed to death on everything else. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on many cruises usually 2 or 3 a year and we looked forward to trying out NCL and their newest ship the Bliss. Right from the beginning it was frustrating. The drink packages are way over priced. $99 a Day is crazy compared to ... Read More
We have been on many cruises usually 2 or 3 a year and we looked forward to trying out NCL and their newest ship the Bliss. Right from the beginning it was frustrating. The drink packages are way over priced. $99 a Day is crazy compared to other cruise lines. Most of the Shore Excursions were way over priced. I rented a car for the day and drove all over San Francisco and Victoria. It was far cheaper and a much better value for the money. Then we finally get to the day of departure and I had been speaking to NCL by phone asking to get instructions for getting to handicap and elderly parents aboard. And was told to ask at the pier. We dropped luggage very early in the day and asked at the pier...to no avail. They said it will be set up when we embark later that evening. We stood on line with two elderly handicap parents for 2 1/2 hours to board the ship. It was a disaster. Not only for us but many people with elderly parents or young children. I have been on 20 cruises and this was the worst process I have ever seen. Not a single NCL person around. Only people employed by the pier. I have not experienced a more chaotic departure. We were doing our safety meeting at 11:30pm ... that’s tough on the elderly and young kids. Not to mention anyone. Then many of us were surprised to find out the next morning that NCL decided not to got to Seattle like scheduled ... and just go directly to Victoria. We saw the piece of paper at 11pm the night before but a vast majority of the people had no idea. You would think NCL would make arrangements for the arrival into Victoria and it was a ghost town at the pier for transportation. Again, No NCL people on the pier. 70 people waiting to get a cab into downtown ... not one cab. We started calling all of the cab companies and they had no idea the ship was there. Peoples book shore excursions were a mess. I could not make this up if I tried. The NCL staff on board the ship are very good. The dinning was great. The Beatles shows were amazing... but there were so many organization issues on this cruise. We will stick with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
A beautiful ship with excellent people serving the guests. The overall trip was ruined by in competent senior staff on board, and incompetent senior management at Norwegian Cruise Lines. The trip started out as a disaster from Vancouver. ... Read More
A beautiful ship with excellent people serving the guests. The overall trip was ruined by in competent senior staff on board, and incompetent senior management at Norwegian Cruise Lines. The trip started out as a disaster from Vancouver. The ship was originally scheduled to board at 7PM. The original cruise documents said boarding could begin an hour earlier (6PM). However, this changed the day of departure, and no one was allowed to board until 7PM. You can imagine what it was like when 4,000 passengers all showed up at 7PM to board the ship. There was one line that twisted and turned the full length of the terminal and wound around and doubled back outside the terminal. We stood in line from 7PM until 9:30 when we finally boarded. We paid the extra fare to stay in the Haven, because of the additional perks included. One of those perks was supposed to be expedited boarding. After two hours and 15 minutes in line, a guy finally came down the line with a Haven sign and led us to the Haven check-in line. Never once while in line, nor after we boarded did anyone explain what had gone wrong. No announcement over the loudspeakers apologizing for the disastrous start. Instead, to add insult to injury, they came over the loudspeaker and announced that everyone had to go through the lifeboat drill at 11:00 at night. Even after they covered all of the information on how to put on your life vest in case of an emergency, the Captain didn’t bother to come on the speaker, explain what had caused the horrible delays, and apologize for the disastrous start to the cruise. Next morning we wake up to find out that our scheduled port of call in Seattle had been cancelled. Instead we spent two days tied up at the first port of call in Victoria, B.C. On our next port of call, after a day at sea, was San Francisco. The night before arriving there a note is left on our bed telling us to meet the concierge in the Haven Lounge the next day at 7:45AM to get off of the ship because everyone on board had to get off the ship and go through customs, since this was the first stop at a US port. Furthermore, no one would be allowed to get back on the ship until everyone on board had exited and gone though customs. So, regardless of what you may have wanted to do that day, you had to hang out in the terminal for about two hours before getting back on board. I fully understand that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Glitches occur. However, great companies develop contingency plans to handle unforeseen circumstances. And the very best o take extra seps to see to it their customers either never know a problem existed, or that they far exceed their customers expectations when addressing the problem. From my perspective after this Cruise, Norwegian Cruise Lines hasn’t got a clue about how to deal with uncertainties when they occur. That’s actually scary when you think about being in a boat on the open seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I had high hopes for this cruise since some friends of ours took it just a few months ago. Unfortunately, my husband and I were a bit disappointed. I have cruised many times on different liners and have always been in awe of the friendly ... Read More
I had high hopes for this cruise since some friends of ours took it just a few months ago. Unfortunately, my husband and I were a bit disappointed. I have cruised many times on different liners and have always been in awe of the friendly smiling crew. This cruise was very limited on that. We were not greeted with smiles, some of the bar staff were rude, some of the servers in the restaurants were rude and not many staff members had smiles on their faces and were ready to help if you were "lost". One night our group of 9 wanted to take some pictures since we were all celebrating our 55th birthdays. We got dressed up and went in search of some of the ships photographers. the very first photographer we saw stated that he would take the pictures yet we had to do exactly what he said, when he said it and a few of us would have to "LAY" on the ground. He saw we were all dressed in dresses and suits. We left there immediately and moved on. The photographer at the Atrium stairs was wonderful and help us and also let us do some "fun and cute" pictures. Another photographer we went to would not let us do a "fun" picture. She also kept telling someone in our group to smile and she was waiting to take the picture until she smiled. The woman in our group DOES NOT smile (for personal reasons) and we kept telling her to just take the picture. It was uncomfortable. The bartender and wait staff (Antonio) in the Mojito bar was FABULOUS! The specialty dining was amazing yet the food in some of the other dining areas was dry and not that good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was such a disappointment Took over 4 hours to board the ship and it was disorganized. By the time we boarded ship it was after 10 pm. Missed out on dinner as there was a mandatory safely meeting at 11pm Completely missed out on ... Read More
This was such a disappointment Took over 4 hours to board the ship and it was disorganized. By the time we boarded ship it was after 10 pm. Missed out on dinner as there was a mandatory safely meeting at 11pm Completely missed out on porting in Seattle. So because we missed out in Seattle spent an extra day in Victoria Was looking forward to San Francisco and we couldn’t get off the ship until after noon even though ship was ported in the early morning. Not what our itinerary had told us Public washrooms we’re discussing. Toilets seemed to not be flushing properly and guesses continued to use them..... Food was undercooked a few times and service was terrible. We had two dining speciality packages and one of those evenings our waiter forgot to submit our food order and it took nearly an hour and 40 minutes to receive our food Terrible experience all around! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are a platinum latitude member but normally took a NCL cruise on a small ship. My wife and I wanted to try a larger ship. The embarkation was a disaster. It took us more than 4 hours to check in and embark. Personnel at the pier in ... Read More
We are a platinum latitude member but normally took a NCL cruise on a small ship. My wife and I wanted to try a larger ship. The embarkation was a disaster. It took us more than 4 hours to check in and embark. Personnel at the pier in Vancouver were so disorganized and they waited until 7pm to start the process. They could have started earlier and gave us our passenger pass. NCL deleted our stop at Seattle without any prior notice. We found out this deletion when we boarded the ship. NCL however compensated us with $50 each. Entertainment were mostly Broadway musicals without any variety. Some of the entertainment has an entrance fee. The inside room was smaller than the smaller ship. When we reached San Francisco, all passengers must check with the immigration at the terminal building. With more than 4000 passengers to process, NCL provided only 1 checkout counter to check IDs. No wonder the cue was really long. Because of this long line, I started to get sick and passed out while on the line. Per my wife, NO NCL PERSONNEL assisted us while I was laying on the floor. Thank God, one of the passenger called 911. I was taken to the emergency room of California Pacific Medical Center. It took the hospital more than 5 hours to complete the medical tests and diagnosis. I missed the ship and NCL provided us a hotel room and a flight home to Los Angeles the following day. I believe the long line gave me the stress and sickness. I will never a large NCL ship cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cruise was spoiled by problems with embarking, disembarking, cancellation of Port of Seattle, very late night safety drill and lack of half day on ship in Vancouver. Cruise also spent too long in Port of Victoria, where we live. Management ... Read More
Cruise was spoiled by problems with embarking, disembarking, cancellation of Port of Seattle, very late night safety drill and lack of half day on ship in Vancouver. Cruise also spent too long in Port of Victoria, where we live. Management blamed the tides on our loading problems, which was ridiculous because tide conditions are posted months in advance. Our ship came up empty from Seattle and had plenty of time to dock and let passengers on to enjoy the ship before we embarked. Maybe they forgot to reserve a spot on the jetty? Two meals, lunch and supper were missed. Getting on the ship (3 1/2 hours plus) was a nightmare with too long lines, being kept in holding rooms where no refreshments were served. Not enough crew were hired to assist, as they knew they had to process 4000 plus people. Passengers who had sailed with Norwegian before said this had not happened before. Why this time? Why not do the safety drill when we were held in holding rooms? I realize the drill is mandatory, but 10:45 is ridiculous. Why couldn’t people with small children, send one parent and let the kids sleep? We were not shown where the life jackets were, which is foolish in an emergency. Why wait until we were boarding to inform us by letter that Port of Seattle was cancelled. What was the real reason? Many people were meeting loved ones in Seattle or had their day planned. Others chose this cruise because it was the only one going to Seattle. We were lucky to get off the ship quickly in San Franscico, but many were not. Floor 9 didn’t get off until after 1:00 which ruined their days’ plans. When did the lower decks finally get off? We heard the crew didn’t get any shore leave. Customer service lineups seemed to at least twenty people deep whenever we went. We were also charged for 6 days gratuities when we didn’t get our day in Vancouver. Disembarking in Los Angeles was smooth because management hired some Princess cruise staff to assist. Finally. Staff on ship were very good. Loved the observation lounge for reading and light lunches. Jersey Boys were excellent. Food in Cafe was good but maybe a bit bland without spices. Loved the food choices. Great weather. Hop on and off in San Francisco was excellent and visiting Pier 39 for outstanding clam chowder in a sourdough bowl was yummy. Unfortunately, the Management planning was terrible and needs to be vastly improved Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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