1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Four senior couples enjoyed sailing from Miami through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles. We picked January for our trip in an attempt to get away from winter weather. However, we had no way of know temperatures in the States would ... Read More
Four senior couples enjoyed sailing from Miami through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles. We picked January for our trip in an attempt to get away from winter weather. However, we had no way of know temperatures in the States would drop to record lows in some places. We experienced sunny skies and ideal temperatures for the entire duration of our trip. Everyone felt pampered as we enjoyed breakfasts and dinners as a group in the formal dining rooms. It was agreed that the food was better than some of the other cruise lines we had experienced. Entertainment on the ship was very good. Between the various ports of calls and the nightly shows at sea our time passed quickly. From the ship's captain down everyone was well pleased with the professionalism and friendliness of the staff. The captain made himself available to anyone who wished to speak to him which is not always the case on cruises. Two of our group had to visit the female ship's doctor and both were effusive in their praise of her skills and her ability to assist them. Finding agreement among eight seniors is not easy, but everyone in our group concluded we would all travel on NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
The selection of the itinerary for this cruise was well planned. The staff is fabulous. Everyone as so kind, friendly and polite and eager to please. We had nice cozy cabin, that was always kept clean by staff. Every evening my daughter ... Read More
The selection of the itinerary for this cruise was well planned. The staff is fabulous. Everyone as so kind, friendly and polite and eager to please. We had nice cozy cabin, that was always kept clean by staff. Every evening my daughter was ecstatic to see the new towel animal that Sherlito made for her. He even took time to teach her to make a few different ones. The restaurants all served good food. Versailles was our favorite one to dine in. From beginning o the end of the service Renalto was impeccable. He never missed anything in his attendance to our table. He's extremely professional and such friendly pleasant attitude. The entertainment on the ship was great! Vegas show style, and fully f excitement. Marabola was the acrobatic show so unique and full of awe. Far better than your usual Cirque de Solei. The shore excursions are definitely worth the expense, fun, educational about lifestyle, culture, history, food, and activities relative o each location. My daughter loved the Splash Academy, thanks o Minion and Ready Eddie for making each day fun day for her. Thank you Tracy M. from South Africa for giving my daughter her first experience in receiving a youth's body massage and for teaching her about her skin care. My full body massage by Tracy M. was incredible. I've had many professional massages in my life but none as good as hers. I felt so good after hers I literally cried. The experience was beautiful. We are definitely going cruising with Norwegian again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
wanted to see the panama canal it was a awesome experince we had an inside cabin 5531 not large but adequate the ship is showing its age but the casino was run well open lots of hours service was on par did not overly plus the drinks but ... Read More
wanted to see the panama canal it was a awesome experince we had an inside cabin 5531 not large but adequate the ship is showing its age but the casino was run well open lots of hours service was on par did not overly plus the drinks but were there when needed heard lots of complaints about the smokeing on deck 12 and in the casino but you did not have to go thru if it bothered you getting on and off the ship went well entertainment was just ok could use more things to do the dineing in aqua the first day was not so good but the speacialty and versailles was very good dissappointed they dont do chefs table tendering was ok getting around was akward haveing to go up one level to get down one level at the resurant wasnt great also haveing to pay for a spa pass to use steam and sauna just isnt right Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I wanted a cruise going through the Panama Canal on my birthday, and found this one - I had previously been on the Norwegian Star, and knew and liked the ship. See cabin revview below for more details. I love the Freestyle cruising - ... Read More
I wanted a cruise going through the Panama Canal on my birthday, and found this one - I had previously been on the Norwegian Star, and knew and liked the ship. See cabin revview below for more details. I love the Freestyle cruising - we went to all the restaurants but the Italian one, and partularly enjoyed the Japanese restaurants, including sushi. There were few kids on this cruise - great for me, since I don't have kids and worry sometimes they will be in the way. Plenty of older people (surprising how many were in the gym before 8:00am!) but this also meant many of the late evening activities were dead. We purchased the gym package to do yoga, TRX, body sculpting, etc. Did not use as much as we would have liked to, but worth it, though much easier than OTF or other high-intensity workouts. The gym "seminars" were OK, though some geared toward selling you something, but definitively kept us from drinking too much outside the gym. Bars - plentiful! Sports Bar types will like the 5 O'clock Somewhere (or the Spice H2O), which continually show sports games (football playoff games this time of year, and also, strangely, cricket). My friends loved the Martini Bar, but there's also a Sake Bar and a Mojito Bar. Do note that as every bar specializes in something different, you cannot get your Bushwhacker or frozen margarita everywhere, and a margarita or Bahama Mam will taste different depending upon where you order it. They really should have a bar on Deck Seven, but instead, they have a specialty coffee café. A little weird. Restaurants - I loved them all, but service fluctuated. Our waiter in Le Bistro just could not get anything straight (medium well vs. medium rare, e.g.) but the food was awesome. We never had a problem getting in anywhere, because our suite concierge did all the work for us, and we never had to wait. The shrimp was particularly fantastic, everywhere, in any way on the Star. But the fish was sometimes fishy. The Topsider Grill would make me a veggie burger whenever I wanted one, 5 minute wait. We only ate at the Garden Buffet once - I think it was Cuban day/night, and the food was good (black beans, yucca, Cuban rice, plantains). Entertainment - not a big deal for me, but I did attend all the shows with the ship's performers and all but one were fantastic (Particularly Paradis, awesome, but the Burt Bacharach show was meh). There were way too many activities for me to take advantage of (just chilling by the pool while not on a shore excursion is fine for me) - though I did join my friends who actually won the progressive trivia. I have sailed this boat (Norwegian Star) twice and it's my favorite so far. I hope to do it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose this cruise because of the destination - to make a full transit of the Panama Canal. Additionally, our travel agent was able to find us a pre-cruise option to go to the New Years Day 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the destination - to make a full transit of the Panama Canal. Additionally, our travel agent was able to find us a pre-cruise option to go to the New Years Day 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA prior to going on the cruise. The NCL Star was the perfect ship for us as we are very low - maintenance cruisers I guess. We did not want a big ship, we wanted to just relax and do what we wanted to do. So Free-Style Cursing on the NCL Star worked very well for us. Can't say enough good things on the just plain Excellent food, entertainment, accommodations we chose, or most importantly of all the service we received from the entire staff and crew. The shore excursions we choose were all very good and well worth the price we thought. However,we could see adding a port - of - call after the Panama Canal (we sailed west to east btw), and dropping one of the ports - of - call before going through the Canal. Having a stop in Panama itself would have been interesting. We did not travel with children, and were looking for a itinerary, ship and time of sailing that would not have a lot of kids on it. Yes, we would most certainly sail on Norwegian Cruise Lines again....and we will! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This past January, my friend and I were looking for a fun way to escape our winter weather and see another part of the world. We ultimately chose to do a 14 day cruise through the Panama Canal and it did not disappoint. It fact, it was ... Read More
This past January, my friend and I were looking for a fun way to escape our winter weather and see another part of the world. We ultimately chose to do a 14 day cruise through the Panama Canal and it did not disappoint. It fact, it was absolutely awesome! We were very fortunate to book a cruise that was reasonably priced, included free flights and transfers, as well as a specialty dining package (complementary dinners in four of the ship's exclusive restaurants). Our itinerary was amazing: leaving Los Angeles, with stops in Mexico (Cabo and Acapulco), Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, through the Panama Canal to Cartagena, Columbia and finishing up in Miami! I highly recommend it!! It was an excellent blend of sightseeing, history, beach life, and natural beauty. We explored some ports on our own, did a few excursions with the ship (one to Antigua, Guatemala and the other, an eco-tour in Costa Rica), and arranged a few taxi adventures with others we met on board. It worked out really well. I was a bit worried about choosing an inside cabin, but I ended up loving our cozy stateroom. Special shout out to Arnold who was warm and personable took great care of us every morning and evening. The entertainment and the recreation team (Roberto, Phillip, Una, Marta, and others) were absolutely A-1!! Every single performance in the theatre was impressive and showcased so many excellent musicians and dancers. Morning, noon, and night, the upbeat and hard-working staffers were SO MUCH FUN!! While we indulged in a custom made omelet most mornings from the buffet, we explored various venues at midday. We ventured to O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill only once and were underwhelmed, so from then on, tended to pick and choose lunch most days from the Garden Cafe. We opted to dine at the Versailles dining room for most dinners - couldn't understand why so many went to the buffet instead. The food and service at the Versailles was outstanding, offering a delicious array of starters, entrees, and desserts. To help counter the effects of all the great food, we circled the deck several times a day, took the stairs every time we moved from deck to deck, and even went to workout when we had time. I was really impressed by the facilities, especially the gym. During our days at sea, we spent a lot of time by the Oasis pool; reading, sunning, and watching the passing parade. Things really came to life when there were groups performing there, or when the crew organized games or a bit of dancing. All 'n' all, mine was a great first cruise and I look forward to booking another trip in the near future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We signed up for this Panama Canal cruise in May 2017 while we were cruising with NCL in Alaska. After our 20 months wait, this cruise was finally a reality. We arrived a day early to ensure our flight was not delayed due to winter weather ... Read More
We signed up for this Panama Canal cruise in May 2017 while we were cruising with NCL in Alaska. After our 20 months wait, this cruise was finally a reality. We arrived a day early to ensure our flight was not delayed due to winter weather and stayed at a hotel in San Pedro, CA. We had a fun time in San Pedro and would recommend it for a pre-cruise day before hand. Things started out perfectly as we arrived at the Los Angeles Cruise Port on Friday 04 Jan 2019 and quickly went through the embarkation process. This was the smoothest we've experienced during our six (6) cruises. Our Kudos to all involved. The NCL Star is the same size of ship that we've sailed on with RCCL and NCL so we were prepared for it and easily found ourselves at home on it. The Star looked attractive, clean, and well maintained considering the constant use it is put through. The crew was seen actively cleaning all areas daily. We found dining to be excellent to outstanding. We are not pampered guests from our daily lifestyle so we appreciated the hospitality shown to us in all dining venues on the Star. Did we like everything they offered? Of course not, it depends on our likes and dislikes. Did we find really yummy food? Yes, just about all the time for every meal. More Kudos to the Star's chefs and serving staff. We dined in both MDRs, the Garden Cafe Buffet, O'Sheehan's Bar & Grill, Topsiders Bar & Grill, Cagney's, La Cuchina, Moderno, Teppanyaki, and Ginza Asian Dining Room. Our only dining complaint was our meal at the Ginza Asian Dining Room. The group of five (5) of us were all disappointed with the taste of the food served there and recommend NCL take a closer look at the taste of the items offered there. This one unsatisfying meal did not over shadow the rest of the great food we experienced on the Star. Entertainment was a designed to fit most people on board. The two nightly shows (7:30pm & 9:30 pm) in the Stardust theater ran from 40 minutes to one hour long. The only drawback was uncomfortable seating. The ship's Star Show Band was outstanding on stage and then when they played jazz in the Bliss lounge at different times. The ship's singers and dancers worked hard to please everyone with their four production shows as well as the other performances they supported. Well done ladies and gentlemen. We loved the juggler Randy Cabral. The other musical groups that moved throughout the ship provided a good mix of music and some of them became our favorites as the cruise went on for two weeks. The cruise director Roberto was all over the ship involved with a little bit of everything each day. He was very personal, easy to approach, and made us feel welcome on board. Kudos to Roberto. His staff conducted themselves in a similar manner so there was smiles and fun to go around daily. You just had to find something that fit your interest. We've worn ourselves out doing too many excursions on past cruises so we limited ourselves to whale watching in Cabo. The operator of this excursion was Cabo Wave who provided an outstanding time for two (2) hours. We highly recommend this excursion. At the other ports, we were happy to visit the shops that were available there. The Panama Canal crossing was our MAIN EVENT and it was fantastic! NCL brought a narrator on board who provided details of the canal crossing process which took ten (10) hours to complete. Thank you NCL as this person was invaluable for making this the most memorable event of our cruise. Looking back at the two weeks we spent on the NCL Star it was a trip of a life time. Our expectations/wishes for a great time were met and exceeded. We would recommend this cruise to anyone seeking another cruise adventure. Well done NCL Star and crew! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my ultimate cruise. I got to spend time in the Caribbean, South America, go through the Panama Canal, stops on Central America and Mexico..80 degree weather in January, very little train or bad weather... What's not to love? ... Read More
This was my ultimate cruise. I got to spend time in the Caribbean, South America, go through the Panama Canal, stops on Central America and Mexico..80 degree weather in January, very little train or bad weather... What's not to love? There are always a few bumps in the road but generally it was terrific. I'm disabled, traveled solo and use an electric wheelchair and had to cancel my whale watching tour in Cabo because they have to tender there and can't take the electric wheelchair but apparently no one realized that when I bought the excursion. Overall, NCL was very helpful finding me shore excursions that were accessible. I especially enjoyed the Tarcoles River excursion in Costa Rica. Food was good, buffet was a little cold from time to time but I always found something to satisfy my taste. I noticed the last day on the breakfast buffet the "Mountain of Bacon" dwindled to a small pile.. Guess that was their way of saying "We're done feeding you folks" lol. Magenta was very good, Cagney's and Moderno was excellent. The staff was always friendly and helpful. I especially enjoyed the very helpful bar staff at the Java Cafe. My cabin steward Andrean was always very helpful and smiled all the time. He would brighten every day. Entertainment was ok. I enjoyed the performance of "Swing" the most. There is a little monotony that sets in during an 18 day cruise but I always found something to do. I wish they could find a way to do a better variety of TV shows. It's very limited. I downloaded a bunch of movies and shows from Netflix and Amazon on my tablet. Be aware they are time limited so pay attention to how long you have to each them. We saw lots of whales and porpoises after we left Cabo from the ship so that was fun. There was a nice mix of people on board, quite an international group. I heard one lady complain the people Spanish too much. Apparently the fact we were in Latin America escaped her. Generally friendly, I meet some very interesting people on board. We had some nice conversations. Folks were always helpful with wheelchair of I needed a hand. In Puerto Vallarta, we did a walking tour and the sidewalks had ramps but some were step and not flat, kinda scary. They had to help me walk down one that was too steep, but the tour operator and fold on the tour were helpful. The tour operator's and bus drivers were all excellent. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
The itinerary through the Panama Canal intrigued us.We wanted a Winter get away and leaving out of New York was convenient .We have sailed with Celebrity on 4 prior cruises and wanted to try something different ..We stayed in a midship ... Read More
The itinerary through the Panama Canal intrigued us.We wanted a Winter get away and leaving out of New York was convenient .We have sailed with Celebrity on 4 prior cruises and wanted to try something different ..We stayed in a midship balcony on th 9th floor.The ship was impeccably clean and our room was cleaned regularly and efficiently.The wait staff couldn’t do enough for us.The bar tenders knew us by name and were extremely friendly and attentive.The ports of call were great and the Panama Canal was an experience of a life time , including the sites and ongoing commentary .We were graced with phenomenal weather throughout the cruise .We ate at the specialty restaurants( Le Bistro and Cagney’s steakhouse) and we’re extremely pleased with both. We enjoyed the Grand Pacific as well as The Magenta.The Garden Cafe was great for breakfast and lunch and offered great variety.The outdoor poolside bbq was equally great offering wonderful daily themed options..We had the ultimate beverage package and I would say our only disappointment was that bottled water was not included . I would highly recommend this cruise and NCL Gem will not disappoint . T & M from Montreal Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
So first off, I’m the guy that brought the bike. I boarded the ship in New York on January 02nd and got off the ship February 15th 2019 in New York. This was my escape from wither in the north east and chance to explore several new ... Read More
So first off, I’m the guy that brought the bike. I boarded the ship in New York on January 02nd and got off the ship February 15th 2019 in New York. This was my escape from wither in the north east and chance to explore several new ports that I had not been to before and after this 44 day voyage I enjoyed this ship and it’s staff very much. I had a great and memorable experience from really every department onboard. Spending that much time on board the ship I think I really got to know the cruise director and recreation staff well. Some even remembered me from my previous September 2018 trip on this ship, or perhaps the bicycle helped them remember too. Security staff definitely remembered me and the bike from September. But I was really surprised with how many of the overall ships crew called me by my first name when just walking by even though I had very little interaction with them. For me, during the cruise I always kept in mind that for most of the staff on board they are here on a 6 month contract and even though they don’t have a day off and work around 10 hours or more a day, they still start every day as if their goal was to make sure that my trip was going as best as it could. I didn’t do any drinking or gambling and I think I booked a total of 0 shore excursions and purchased about the same amount of photos but I still had a great time. Yes, the bike played a huge roll too. Since there was a lot of overlap on the ports that we would be visiting, when in port, I treated the 1st leg (west bound journey) as an exploration trip and the east bound journey I applied what I learned and explored the port more efficiently. The bike also helped a lot. Regarding the bicycle, it’s a folding bike, (specifically a Citizen Miami). The bike retails new for $275.00 but I purchased off of craig’s list for $100. I upgraded the original seat to a gelled saddle and I also brought with me: a helmet with a GoPro, an air pump and lastly the padded seat underwear. I also know now that I should bring a bike tire repair kit too, however I was able to find a bike repair shop while we were in Santa Marta, Colombia that replaced the tube, tire and the shop had WiFi for a total of 16,000 Colombian Pesos (or $5.16 USD). While not in use the bike went under my bed, and I didn’t have to worry about checking in the bike at the airport as luggage since I was doing a round trip from NY. I walked the bike on board and there was no additional fee for bringing it. Yes I also received many offers from the crew about purchasing the bike from me. I can not put to words on how welcome the cruise ship staff made me feel while on this entire voyage, but it was really great. Every department did a fantastic job. I think security had the toughest roll as they get the least appreciation for keeping people safe especially as people were climbing over ropes, railings and each other during the panama canal transit which lasted about 5 hours. The cruise director staff came in a close 2nd as they have to keep everyone as happy as possible over the entire journey but in my opinion every crew member on board did a fantastic job. I enjoyed the food very much, but my problem is really with portion control. I felt that Breakfast in the grand pacific dining room was the right way to start my morning. Glen, the only female waitress on board named Glen is the best waiter on board this ship. In regards to the evening entertainment, I would try to go to both evening shows whenever possible but I would sit in 2 totally different areas in the theater which gave me a totally different perspective of the show. Special shout out from me is included to the sign language interpreter they had on board for the east bound (LA-NY) journey. While she wasn’t meant to be part of the entertainment she was both very entertaining, informative, educational and really added a layer to the show that I had never experienced before. I learned later that some times, like for the ventriloquist or comedian, a rehearsal performance is not available so the translation is just live action and there is no pause button available to look terms up. It was also really nice to talk and interact with the entertainers when they weren’t performing on stage. While the Gem’s cast performers can also be found working in places like the ship’s library, the guest performers were friendly and approachable in all areas of the ship like the gym, restaurants or even just random encounters in the elevators and hallways. Yes I also encountered people who were not enjoying the cruise, but from my perspective they were either asking for too much, just ignorant of the rules and policies, just totally missed stuff that was clearly listed in the daily schedule or just really novice cruise ship travellers (aka noobs). But yes I also had the upper had when it came to ports that we had visited before so I knew what to expect. I myself knew that I had to be a bother to the ship’s hotel director because I kept stopping by his office looking for his secretary’s signature for the ship’s scavenger hunt but kept running in to him instead. But he seemed ok with it or at least understanding and just kept telling me to keep trying to find her each time I visited. Lastly, I highly suggesting doing the behind the scenes tour for a great perspective on what goes on onboard and how and why things operate as they do. It’s free to do for platinum latitude members. Thank you very much for a very enjoyable voyage. I’m strongly considering doing this voyage again next year and I hope you next voyage on the Gem is just as enjoyable. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise as a holiday cruise just for my husband and I. The ship was smaller than the ships we have recently sailed on, but this ship was pristine and decorated very festively for the Christmas, New Year holiday. Embarkation ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a holiday cruise just for my husband and I. The ship was smaller than the ships we have recently sailed on, but this ship was pristine and decorated very festively for the Christmas, New Year holiday. Embarkation was very easy. We had a transfer through Norwegian for transfer from the airport to the ship and from the ship to the airport. We did not have to wait long at all for embarking and disembarking went very smooth, as well. Most of the wait staff was very friendly, and the ports of call were fantastic. We were unable to dock at Costa Rica, but it was explained by the captain that it was not safe to dock due to the swells. The swells may have moved the ship from the disembarkation stations, making it unsafe to disembark. I appreciate that he put the safety of the passengers first, even though I am sure he knew he would have a lot of disappointed guests. The cruise staff did an excellent job of putting together some activities and extra entertainment for the unexpected sea day! I still gave a 5 star rating for the cruise! We took a private excursion we booked off the ship for Roatan. The tender process could have gone more smoothly. We were encouraged to get our tenders when we were "absolutely ready" to go ashore. We got our tender number at 7:30 am, but we were in group #5. We did not get to shore until 10:30 am, making us an hour and a half late getting to our meeting point for our private excursion. Thankfully, our guide waited for us, realizing they were having tender problems. We took "The Shape of Panama" excursion that the ship offered for Panama. We saw a lot of scenery, but we were on the bus for 3 hours before taking a restroom break. Some of the passengers needed to stop way before this. I would give this particular excursion only a 3 star rating, as our guide kept telling us we would stop for a restroom break in a "few minutes" but took quite a while to stop. Other than that, the excursion was okay. Harvest Caye was clean, the beach beautiful, and the swimming pool was large. Plenty of chairs and shade! Columbia was fantastic. We took the ship's excursion "Cartagena through the camera lens" and was thrilled. We had excellent guides, and only 8 guests on the excursion, making it easy to get around. We just walked into Costa Maya and visited the souvenir shops and ate lunch. The port of calls were varied and was a good itinerary. Being a smaller ship, I did feel the movement, the rocking of the boat, most days, but my husband and I can handle some rocking without difficulty. I know some passengers were slightly nauseated from the ships movement, but most seemed okay with it. Our cabin steward was excellent. We never had to wait for our room to be made up or turned down. The food was excellent. We had a 4 night specialty restaurant package as an amenity when booking, as well as 2 free specialty restaurant meals sue to being on the Platinum tier, and we had fantastic meals at Teppanyaki's, Moderno's, La Cucina's, and Cagney's, (Our favorite restaurant is Cagney's,) The Grand Pacific and Alizar main dining rooms were also very good. We usually ate our lunches in the main dining room, but had our breakfasts at the Garden Cafe almost every morning. The entertainment, for the most part, was good. Blazing Boots, Elements, and Palace of Lights were really good, but the comedian and juggler were a little weak. The illusionist and the aerial duo were quite good and entertaining. We had the Jersey Boys Musical in the theater and the British Finest in the Cavern Club on our last cruise while on the Bliss, which was excellent, but you have to consider it was a larger ship and could offer this type of venues. There was music offered in the Bliss and the Atrium throughout the day and night. I have already booked another cruise over the Christmas/New Year for this year and looking forward to another wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Myself and my family had an amazing time on the Jade. All the speciality restaurants we ate at were delicious and the staff on the entire ship were outstanding! Poolside (C Notes) and evening (Mary Simon) entertainment was spot on! ... Read More
Myself and my family had an amazing time on the Jade. All the speciality restaurants we ate at were delicious and the staff on the entire ship were outstanding! Poolside (C Notes) and evening (Mary Simon) entertainment was spot on! The ports were amazing. This is a winning itinerary! My only criticism is that the buffet never changed. Always the same offerings at lunch and the dinner buffet only minimally changed each day. Dining room and bar staff delivered first class guest service and hospitality with a smile everyday. This ship needs to up its fitness class game! Classes were offered the same time whether it was a port day or day at sea which is poor planning when you have be off the ship for an excursion. The number and variety of classes was lacking and staff were more interesting in selling things than being available. Book this trip! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Always wanted to go on the Pearl and to the Panama Canal. It was a great cruise other than the weather got kind of rough . The food was good but after the first week started looking all the same. Loved O'Sheehens Bar. Our ... Read More
Always wanted to go on the Pearl and to the Panama Canal. It was a great cruise other than the weather got kind of rough . The food was good but after the first week started looking all the same. Loved O'Sheehens Bar. Our bartender Will from China was the greatest and made the best drinks. There was a waitress there that was also great. I just can't remember her name Our cabin steward was always willing to help and was really good . Entertainment was also good just wish they had more of the shows with the dancers. Cabin was small but great for 2 people not anymore than that. We didn't get to go to Grand Cayman because of rough weather and in Cartegena the tour bus drivers went on strike so we missed that excursion, the others were really good. Even with some of the not so good things that happened I would go again on the Pearl , she is a very pretty ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The Panama Canal Cruise on the star was a wonderful trip, perhaps our best cruise yet. The service, staff, food, entertainment and overall experience was excellent. The entertainment in the evenings was superior, with shows to meet most ... Read More
The Panama Canal Cruise on the star was a wonderful trip, perhaps our best cruise yet. The service, staff, food, entertainment and overall experience was excellent. The entertainment in the evenings was superior, with shows to meet most interests. A few port days were a little short, but some things can’t be controlled by the ship. We went with our daughter and son-in-law, it was their first cruise, and we all had a great time with game shows, special activities, etc. There was only one hick up early in the trip concerning making dinner reservations. I think this can be attributed partially to a language interpretation. The response by the head of restaurants, food services was very poor as he committed to looking into it and getting back to us - we never heard from him again. However, the response from his staff when they heard of the mixup, more than compensated for his lack of service and interest. Dining staff were so great it outshined their supervisors ineptness. Bottom line we give 4.8 out of 5. Truly enjoyable and memorable trip, with great staff. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We booked suite 9732 Aft penthouse suite. Our service was excellent, our concierge Monica was amazing. The whole staff worked hard to work at pleasing our every whim. It was a one and a lifetime experience and it could not have happened ... Read More
We booked suite 9732 Aft penthouse suite. Our service was excellent, our concierge Monica was amazing. The whole staff worked hard to work at pleasing our every whim. It was a one and a lifetime experience and it could not have happened without the staff, the entertainment it was a once in a lifetime experience and it could not have happened without the staff, the entertainment, Great excursion, and outstanding food. Our excursions were very educational very timely and and Embarking went very smooth. There was a variety of entertainment, all exceptional, there where magic shows,juggling shows,shows from Las Vegas, and a circus Paris show. We were entertained in each bar by the bartenders who knew how to make all kinds of exotic drinks and were friendly and courteous. We are looking forward to traveling with our Norwegian family again to another wonderful Destiination could not have had a better vacation it was beyond our expectations! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We had a really great time on the Norwegian Star Panama Canal Cruise. We have cruised on many cruise lines and enjoyed this one. The ship was in good shape for being a bit older (but remodeled recently). One good thing about the older ... Read More
We had a really great time on the Norwegian Star Panama Canal Cruise. We have cruised on many cruise lines and enjoyed this one. The ship was in good shape for being a bit older (but remodeled recently). One good thing about the older ships, the room size is larger than some of the newer ones. Our room was great and everyone on the ship, very helpful. Some advice, if you are going to do specialty dining, book for first few nights. The dining rooms are slammed the first few nights, until everyone gets the hang of things, then it runs smoother. The ports on the Panama Canal cruise are not your typical "Caribbean" ports, not much there and shopping is iffy at best. There are some fun excursions, but for some ports, we just stayed on the ship and actually enjoyed it. Quiet and easy to get around. The Panama Canal was everything we envisioned and more. It took 12 hours to go through the whole thing and was extremely hot (close to 90). Make sure you put on sunscreen that day, since you will be outside most all day. There were a lot of burnt people from it, and several almost passed out from dehydration (though the crew was constantly telling people to drink water). This is not one of those ships with lots of "extras" such as rock wall, go carts, etc. but for what we were doing, it was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Loved the smaller ship. Perhaps because it was right after a holiday, there were very few children. Of course, the bigger ships have more for kids to do. The crew were wonderful. We love the Norwegian freestyle where we can dine where and ... Read More
Loved the smaller ship. Perhaps because it was right after a holiday, there were very few children. Of course, the bigger ships have more for kids to do. The crew were wonderful. We love the Norwegian freestyle where we can dine where and when we like. It’s so laid back. We liked the way the buffet is divided into stations with many ethnic foods. It was much easier to get around, and we loved the outdoor space where they had another buffet area. There was a Panamanian narrator on board who talked us through the locks providing history and information we would never have known otherwise. Our mini-suite was the nicest cruise cabin we’ve ever had, and our steward was awesome. We enjoyed the thermal suites, although they were divided into male and female which meant we couldn’t stay together. We thought the entertainment was mediocre, although others really liked it. We thought 11 days might be too long, but we loved it. Disembarkation was not good, delays and very long lines. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was a great 11-day Cruise. The Ship was great, the Staff was great and the Cruise Director Vincent was outstanding!!!! The food was pretty good. I have to say the Buffet was just ok -- seems as though the same food was there every ... Read More
This was a great 11-day Cruise. The Ship was great, the Staff was great and the Cruise Director Vincent was outstanding!!!! The food was pretty good. I have to say the Buffet was just ok -- seems as though the same food was there every single day of the cruise with some variety - which wasn't too impressive but still no complaints - I don't complain too much about cruise ship food at all - it was just ok. Did eat at Teppenyaki and as always that was outstanding! We did not get to go to Columbia due to mechanical issues with the Jade on the previous cruise so we stayed in Miami for the 1st day - which was totally fine with me! Everything was great! Panama...... i have to say the best thing about this place is the locks itself - amazing to watch and to see but the City itself - no. It is really sad what a run down place it is and very dirty -- I have been on quite a few cruises and have seen quite a few places but this one I have to say was 1 of the worst I have seen and the excursion "Train by 2 Oceans" - do not do! It was a horrible and very boring excursion.... the train ride was only 55 mins and didn't see anything but trees go by and we were on a bus alllll day and really didn't see much at all - do not recommend at all! Costa Rica was nice - did the River excursion and it was ok - nothing impressive just saw alot of birds - which doesn't impress me too much - but our tour guide Alonso was great. Honduras !!! Beautiful!!! We had a great excursion -- come to find out we were the ONLY ones that booked a private bungalow on the water and all inclusive -- and we were the ONLY ones to EVER book this excursion it was brand new --- OUTSTANDING excursion and outstanding place -- private bungalow over the water, our own bartender and the food was wayyyyyyy too much - but delicious!!! Had the Lobster and Shrimp and Shrimp cocktails and dessert and it was outstanding. The water was great, the weather was great the excursion was outstanding! Belize was great and Beautiful as always -- did Havest Caye - never been there - NCL private island and it was beautiful - booked a private cabana. Costa Maya - always fun! The Jade was great - would for sure go on her again! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I enjoyed the cruise very much. The ship was in good shape, the crew was as friendly as always, and the service was excellent. The dining was very good as well. I only dined in two of the specialty restaurants, Le Bistro and La Cucina, ... Read More
I enjoyed the cruise very much. The ship was in good shape, the crew was as friendly as always, and the service was excellent. The dining was very good as well. I only dined in two of the specialty restaurants, Le Bistro and La Cucina, and they were both excellent. I had been to most of the ports prior to this cruise, but the new ones were interesting. I did take in a few shows, three comedians and the illusionist, and they wre very entertaining. The sea days were very relaxing and restful. I did not have any negative experiences at all on this cruise. My compliments to the officers and staff aboard the NCL Jade for a wonderful trip. The Ship's Officers were very friendly and I saw most of them throughout the ship every day of the cruise. I complimented the Head Chef on the quality of the food that was available on board. I have sailed with NCL close to a dozen times and this was probably the best dining experience I have had. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Wife and I had previously sailed on Pearl about 8 years ago and loved the ship. Found it just as nice now, if not better. Ten ports in 14 nights and sailing into Lake Gatun through the Panama Canal was a wonderful experience. Our balcony ... Read More
Wife and I had previously sailed on Pearl about 8 years ago and loved the ship. Found it just as nice now, if not better. Ten ports in 14 nights and sailing into Lake Gatun through the Panama Canal was a wonderful experience. Our balcony stateroom (Deck 9) was clean and comfortable but lacked a little in storage for a 14 night cruise. We had the Ultimate Booze Package and a 4 meal Ultimate Dining Package. Drinks were excellent. We ate 3 times in Cagney's (Outstanding) and once in Le Bistro (Excellent.) The entire shipboard experience was beyond expectations. Some ports, especially Columbia, had too many locals in your face to buy something or to give them money. We succumbed several times! There were very few young adults or children, which was fine. Average age possibly 50 to 60. Many singles and lots of planned activities in the Freestyle Daily newspaper. Great value for the money and we would definitely do it all over again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My husband and I took this cruise with his grandparents with the intent of having a lot of quality family time together. This was our fourth cruise, second with Norwegian. We had previously sailed on Norwegian Jade and actually came ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise with his grandparents with the intent of having a lot of quality family time together. This was our fourth cruise, second with Norwegian. We had previously sailed on Norwegian Jade and actually came away quite disappointed, but we were willing to give NCL a second chance, and we are VERY happy that we did! This has been our favourite cruise of the four we've taken (two now with NCL, one with RCI and one with Celebrity), and our favourite ship, as well. Knowing that Jade and Pearl are sister ships, we knew what to expect size-wise from Pearl. We were very happy with the size of the ship (we were told that all rooms were sold and we were at about 2300 guests on board). It's not too big that it feels daunting if you need to get from fore to aft Very rarely did we feel crowded or have to wait at a bar or restaurant. The refurb to the Pearl (in comparison to our experience on the non-refurbed Jade) is GORGEOUS. The room decor is beautiful, clean and modern, and the public spaces are generally stunning. Service across the board was generally excellent. Drinks were the best we've been served on a cruise line -- very high quality bar-tending! Loved the bar area at Magnums/Shakers/Maltings, great atmosphere and a lot of fun. We also spent a lot of late afternoons at the bar in The Great Outdoors, nice to be in the shade but still enjoy the weather! It was rarely busy at all up there, and my husband enjoyed watching football and soccer on their TVs. Overall the food and service in the MDRs, Specialty Dining, and O'Sheehan's was very good (with the exception of the spinach dip at O'Sheehan's.... just don't bother). We are not very much buffet people, but we did grab a plate of snacks now and then to eat at the Great Outdoors bar. Buffet food looked varied and quite tasty. We had one poor wait staff experience in Moderno, where we felt very ignored by our waitress, but we didn't let that ruin the evening. Wait staff in O'Sheehan's seem the least well-trained -- any time you go off-menu or make special requests, it seems like it is very difficult for them to process. For example: I prefer milk over cream or half-n-half for my coffee. Twice when I asked for milk, I was brought warm milk, which is.... weird? I learned to clarify after that! We also visited Teppanyaki (delicious and fun, definitely get the steak!), Cagney's (SO GOOD, an the giant chocolate cake is 100% worth saving room for!) and Le Bistro (very tasty, with excellent service!). I definitely wish there was some kind of "Brunch" option on sea days. I'm on vacation, I don't want to be up and dressed for breakfast before 9am, but a 10am-12pm sit-down brunch in one of the MDRs would be just perfect! We purchased the Thermal Suite pass for the two week cruise, and it was just WONDERFUL. Beautiful space to relax, rarely crowded. We especially loved the heated loungers and the Thalassotherapy pool, but I felt the sauna and steam room temperatures were a bit high. Really well located at the front of the ship, it was a great space to view our Panama Canal transit with it's panoramic windows and tons of loungers. We got mani-pedis at the spa, the nail technicians were great and we had a lot of fun. Embarkation in Tampa was a mess. Huge lines of traffic to get into the port. Lines everywhere with no clear signage or direction as to what the line was for. Not enough porters so huge mobs of people with baggage milling about trying to check their bags... Once we finally handed over our bags and got through the first round of security, things went more smoothly. Husband and I, being returning NCL cruisers, were able to check in to the Latitudes line, and were allowed to bring the grandparents with us, even though they didn't have Latitudes status, which was quite nice. Arrived at the port around 11am, were on board at around 1:30pm. Debarkation in Tampa was a total disaster. We had train tickets for 12:30pm departure (the train station is a 5 minute drive from the port) so we chose the latest debarkation time, 10:00am thinking we'd have plenty of time to collect our bags and get to the station. THIS WAS A HUGE MISTAKE. We spent over 1 hour in line ON THE SHIP before we could even swipe off the ship!!!. Poor grandma can't stand for this long, so at about the 45-minute mark we managed to flag down an NCL employee with a wheelchair for her. At this point, seeing the status of the lines, I spoke with several NCL and port employees about our train departure time, and asked could we be escorted through the lines quicker (as we had seen several other groups go!) but to no avail. We were told there were only two customs officials clearing our ship, which explained the long delays. Luckily the wheelchair got us into ADA lines which were shorter, and the gentleman pushing it for us just kept on pushing through! Another hour in line and we had cleared customs and were flagging a cab, and so made it to the train station with a few minutes to spare. I would allow a LARGE buffer of time for Embarkation and Debarkation in Tampa port, and pack your patience. It is a disorganized mess. Ports of call were generally wonderful. 1. George Town, Grand Cayman: We booked a beach cabana at Royal Palms beach club. Great beach, wonderful service. Did some jewellry shopping in the port and came away happy with the service and prices. 2. Ocho Rios, Jamaica: We took a private cab who drove us through Fern Gully, to a few local merchant malls, and to some scenic lookouts, then to a beach for a few hours. Very friendly cab driver, beautiful scenery. 3. Santa Marta, Colombia: Again, we took a private cab who drove us to a scenic overlook and through the old town for shopping and to view the local architecture. VERY hot, we elected to return to the ship quite early. 4. Cartagena, Colombia: Another private cab day, with obligatory stop at an emerald shop. Merchants in Cartagena are VERY aggressive, you couldn't walk 5 feet without jewelry, tablecloths and knock-off sunglasses being waved in your face. The aggression really took away from our visit, it was hard to enjoy the beautiful city. 5. Panama Canal: We elected to remain on board for the day. Spent time relaxing and enjoying the view of the passage through the canal. 6. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica: We booked a tour through NCL: Aerial Tram & Rainforest Adventure. It was PERFECT! 2h bus ride with a knowledgeable and entertaining guide teaching us all about life in Costa Rica. The tram ride through the rain forest was stunning, beautiful and wild and peaceful all at the same time. Lunch was delicious local fare, beans and rice and meats, with beer and desserts available to purchase. Bus ride home went WAY longer than expected due to construction and multiple accidents, but the ship waited about 30 minutes extra for our return. Would recommend this tour to anyone, and also recommend to take through the ship due to the distance to travel. 7. Santo Tomas, Guatemala: We had booked a tour through NCL: Discover Rio Dulce, but ended up cancelling it. Our excursion ticket came with a note describing the panga boats which we would travel in as being hard to get in and out of and not recommended for anyone with difficulty walking. Well... grandma can't handle that, so we cancelled. The description when we booked it called the difficulty level "1", but obviously this was inaccurate to the actual reality of the tour. All but one other excursion offered through the ship used these panga boats, so we elected to remain on board for the day. Watching other guests board the boats for their tours confirmed our decision, they looked very difficult to maneouver in and out of. Disappointing, but it was nice to have an extra day to relax! 8. Harvest Caye, Belize: BEAUTIFUL beach, great place to spend the day hopping in-and-out of the water. Obviously over-commercialized and expensive, but we expected that going in and just enjoyed relaxing in the sun for the day. 9. Costa Maya, Mexico: We booked a tour through NCL: Chacchoben Mayan Ruins & All Inclusive Blue Lagoon. Ruins are INCREDIBLE, but at all wheelchair-friendly. We struggled pushing grandma around. Unfortunately it poured rain the entire time we were at the Blue Lagoon; luckily there was a covered picnic area for lunch. The trip to the ruins was wonderful and worthwhile, but even in better weather I'm not sure how much value the Blue Lagoon added. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
It seemed obvious early in the cruise that there were a lot of people interested in trivia. It seemed that they adjusted the schedule to add more trivia and moved it to a bigger venue to accommodate the crowds. Well done! Our cabin ... Read More
It seemed obvious early in the cruise that there were a lot of people interested in trivia. It seemed that they adjusted the schedule to add more trivia and moved it to a bigger venue to accommodate the crowds. Well done! Our cabin was very comfortable and well suited for our needs. We tried many of the dining options and found them quite to our liking. The Brazilian Steak House was much improved over our previous experience there. We will return. We took part in many of the activities and enjoyed them all. The shows we saw were wonderful. The adult oriented shows were particularly crowded and overwhelmed the venue. They should be afforded more room. The Cruise Director, Assistant Cruise Director as well as our Cabin Steward and most of the Wait Staff were terrific. We really enjoyed the cruise. We were more relaxed than usual and found it to enhance the experience. We ate when we were hungry instead of trying to stick to a schedule. Forget the Trolley Town tour in Santo Tomas. It wasn't worth the cheap price we paid to go. It ran through pot holes the size of wash tubs, showed us little and finally at the end passed out the one can of warm beer. Panama Canal was really a grand sight to see. Disappointed that with all of the Millions of $$$ taken in each day that they had folks very nearby that lived in what looked like bombed out apartments with no electricity. Sad to see the little kids running around in that. We met a couple that we had been friends with for a couple of years that we didn't know would be there. Nice addition. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Panama Canal was on our bucket list and a dream. It was an amazing experience and a very humbling Embarkation was very unorganized and a nightmare. But finally was on the ship. Meet & Greet was nice even though not too many ... Read More
Panama Canal was on our bucket list and a dream. It was an amazing experience and a very humbling Embarkation was very unorganized and a nightmare. But finally was on the ship. Meet & Greet was nice even though not too many people showed up also had a follow up at the end of the cruise. Which was actually nice. Our reasonable Feed back was listened. Only thing I did not appreciate by our fellow cruiser was that staff should not free time and George Town Grand Cayman - Discover Cayman- Tender Port, it was pretty hot nice informative tour. Loved the turtle farm. Trip to hell and back was little spooky Overall view was nice. Felt safe walking around. Crossing street might have been the only challenge Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Ocho Rios Highlights- Visit to rain forest was very informative. Tally was really knowledgable. Rest was a waste of time. We were told that we do go to Dunn River Fallls - not true. Drove past infact most of the trip was just driving around. Coffee & banana bread was nice. Better not to shop at the place they take you. I was able to find the same thing cheaper near the port of Ocho Rios which was walking distance from the port and was safe. Santa Marta, Columbia - Highlights of Santa Marta- $99 is too much for this excursion. If I am ever here again, I would not leave the ship. As expected Hot hot hot. Very industrial port. In fact ship is docked next to all the Shipping containers. Vendors do not take no for an answer. Even a mom had an infant trying to sell something. Loved the trip to the Church. Beach was nice, Dancers beautiful. Cartagena, Columbia - Old City & Spanish Fortress- Beautiful and had an amazing place. Would love to visit again. Again as expected hot hot hot. Walk up to the fort was challenging. View was breath taking Cartagena had their great wall of 11 miles. Shopping was ok. Going thru the inquisition museum was so sad. Panama Canal / Gatun Lake/ Colon - The shape of Panama-Tender Amazing.Going thru the locks is a once in a life time (May Be) Experience every penny was worth this experience.Was not hot as expected. However rain jacket, came handy. Went to old city new city. Did a walking tour Jorge was a very informative guide. Ship did not go thru the locks till after 8:30 tour started 2 + hours later due to Ship not getting clearance and NCL was awesome about giving us extra time at Colon. Bravo. At Colon did some last minute shopping. Lots of ruins of churches and convents. Awesome Tour guide. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - Banana Plantation : Scenic Drive & Shopping -waste of time. Except for seeing Banana plantation from the bus, all we saw was the cleaning and packing of Bananas. Appreciated the effort of guide trying to speak English. Shopping was like 1 overpriced store & 1 street vendor. Beef Patty for $1 was actually very good. Should have stayed on the ship Santo Tomas de castilla, Guatemala - Guatemala Highlights & Beach Resort - Highlight means taking you from the pier to this resort which had this pool and cheap watered bar & some overpriced Americanized food . Nachos were like $13 and waiter said he prefers the tip in cash. Tour guide is like what do you want to know. Pretty much everybody was in the bus before the set 3 hours. Bus hardly had air condition either. Once he started talking about caravan, bus was quiet . Guide was apparently a very educated person. He is a lawyer, accountant and a tour guide Harvest Cayes, Belize - Glass Bottom Reef Explorer - Disappointed. I was so looking forward however due to rain, Boat Captain recommended that it may be a rough ride so we ended up cancelling. Refunded the $ Costa Maya, Mexico - Salsa cooking & dancing w beach break. - Had an Awesometime. Got 2 blue margarita; learned to make 2 different salsa & Gaucamole. OMG those margaritas were strong… got totally drunk. Nice would like to do it again. Had fun Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The Jade and her crew are outstanding! We had the perfection vacation from beginning to end. Specialty dining was awesome! Cagney’s remains our all- time favorite. The quality of food and the attentiveness of the wait staff keep us ... Read More
The Jade and her crew are outstanding! We had the perfection vacation from beginning to end. Specialty dining was awesome! Cagney’s remains our all- time favorite. The quality of food and the attentiveness of the wait staff keep us coming back for more. Norwegian UBP and SDP makes the trip very affordable. The entertainment was top notch! We enjoyed the nightly show. The casino was also fun. However, one could say the slots are a little tight. The crew does a superb job keeping the ship neat and tidy. There were plenty of lounge chairs on the pool deck. Our only issue was transportation at disembarkation. We purchased the Norwegian airport shuttle and waited over 90 minutes for a bus. We ended up taking the rental car bus back to the airport. We were out $48 and about 2 hours of our day planned for Miami. I intended to contact my cruise specialist to see what she can do about this situation. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This cruise was a 'bucket list' vacation for us as was the Alaska cruise that we've done twice. We ALWAYS sail with Norwegian because of their 'free style cruising' in terms of dining experience. We prefer to not ... Read More
This cruise was a 'bucket list' vacation for us as was the Alaska cruise that we've done twice. We ALWAYS sail with Norwegian because of their 'free style cruising' in terms of dining experience. We prefer to not be tied to a specific time/table for dining and their specialty restaurants are very nice, particularly Cagney's and Moderno's. We were in one of the Haven suites, so were able to dine in these restaurants for all meals and never had to go to the 'buffet' dining. We had an outstanding concierge (Effern), butler(Camillia) and steward(Jieve) that saw to our every need and then some. No problems with embarkation/disembarkations, they were organized and orderly. This line caters more to an older crowd which is really to our liking, so not a lot of kids/young people running around. They offer certain packages like the drink & specialty restaurants that are worth the money to get full experience. The shows at night were very good with a nice variety of performances. Some of the excursions were rated a '2' on level of exertion that I thought should have been rated '3' as they involved a lot more walking up inclines and stairs than expected. The climate was extremely warm and humid (it's a rain forest) that was a little hard to take, but the Panama canal process was most interesting. We have advanced to platinum level cruising with Norwegian and don't plan to sail with anyone else; experiences have always been positive. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise