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Sail Date: January 2018
Ship very tired & not maintained. Query had it missed it’s turn in dry dock? Food warm, but not hot unless we paid for speciality restaurants where food cooked to order & meal chouces extremely repetative. Staff miserable & ... Read More
Ship very tired & not maintained. Query had it missed it’s turn in dry dock? Food warm, but not hot unless we paid for speciality restaurants where food cooked to order & meal chouces extremely repetative. Staff miserable & rude. Think this due to fact that tips included so they didn’t have to put the effort in. Aircon didn’t work in room & even though reported was never fixed. Totally freezing room constantly. Had to sit in bed to read during day as so cold. Freedom Dining a joke! Were offered table at 5.30 ( too early) or 9.00 ( too late). Only way we managed a table at a reasonable time was with assistance of Maitre De. Didn’t cater for our friend who was gluten free wirhout a fuss. Excursion staff excellent. Will never travel with this cruise company again. Only pleased we were with friends as we kept each other sane Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I'm sorry to have to report this was the worst experience on a cruise we have ever had. This is my 17th crusie and I've used several other crusie lines including a Norwegian crusie once before. From the start things we ... Read More
I'm sorry to have to report this was the worst experience on a cruise we have ever had. This is my 17th crusie and I've used several other crusie lines including a Norwegian crusie once before. From the start things we questionable. When going to a muster drill we asked a staff member where we were to muster. After looking at the fine print on his map we were directed to the wrong location. Since these drills a done at each set sail, I lacked confidence in our staff. The food was sad. The buffet was by far the worst We had ever seen. The food was unappealing, tasteless and just a bunch of low budget meals. The selection was limited. When going to the main dining room, the food was a bit of a dissapontment as well. Staff was limited and service was marginal. The staff in the dining room was friendly though. Customer service was not great. When a issue was brought to the reception desk, the staff acted like you were imposing on them. Room service needs improvement. We used room service several times. When placing our order via the phone the order was always repeated back, but when delivered we found iitems missing thus requiring the staff to come back to the cabin sometimes twice to complete our order. This resulted in one person eating alone or the food getting cold while we waited for the rest of our order. To us, the staff didn't seem impowered to assist you, I really appears to be an upper management issue to us. The ultimate beverage package did not include water so be prepared to spend some money. This is the first time water was not include on other cruises. These are just a few of the things we found, there are too many issues to write here. On a postive note, we used the child care program. We took our 5 year old grandson with us. The staff was excellent and our grandson loved going to e play center. So over all, we would not take a Norwegian Cruise again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
When you talk to people about cruising you hear about how great the food was. That's almost all you hear, it's for sure the first thing people say... Well, this food was disgusting. The first week was shocking...a raw grey ... Read More
When you talk to people about cruising you hear about how great the food was. That's almost all you hear, it's for sure the first thing people say... Well, this food was disgusting. The first week was shocking...a raw grey hamburger, fishy fish, meat that was subpar, and a salad bar with dirty at times and wilted lettuce. The specialty restaurants (the french Bistro and La Cucina) had dreadful service. At La Cucina, the waiter had no idea how food was prepared and what a simple steak was marinated in...he told us Soy Sauce...turns out we THINK it might have been marinated in balsamic vinegar. I wanted a plain grilled steak, no marinade and he said that was impossible they were ALL marinated. I ordered a salad with dressing on the side and it came on the side but also ON the salad. At La Bistro the food was decent, but since the service was so slow our scallops were cold and my swordfish way over cooked. The good restaurants were Cagny's and Moderna. Azura had one good waiter...Prassad. He was great...but only one meal there was good...one night they had grouper and it was actually delicious. out of a 2 week cruise I had one great meal at AZURA. one at Cagny's and one at moderna. The other thing is this cruise line NICKLE and DIMES you...NOTHING IS INCLUDED. In the 'ULTIMATE' beverage package, you can't even get a bottle of peregrino...that isn't ULTIMATE and to have to pay $5.50 for a bottle of aquafina and then a service charge on top of that...unreal. We loved the volcano in Nicaragua and the zip lining in Costa Rica and the snorkel in Cabo. Great excursions. Mostly the staff were great. One bartender, a heavy set fellow at the Fyzz lounge, charged us for drinks without our knowledge. He claimed we were buying them for others. He never TOLD us he was going to charge us and so when we saw our final bill and the charges were there we disputed it. The person at the desk was rude about it..he grilled my husband "did you drink these drinks?" he did in fact drink them. Here's the thing, DO NOT PUT SOMETHING ON OUR BILL WITHOUT TELLING US... we saw the receipt, there was no signature. It was charged to us because that bartender was punitive. He was a BAD and NASTY bartender. We think he might be related to the front desk clerk because he wouldn't give us his name or let us keep a copy of the receipt (there were two copies) DO NOT GO ON THIS CRUISE. PICK ANOTHER more fair and reasonable and BETTER VALUED cruise. WE spent A LOT OF MONEY on this cruise.... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
Do not book this ship unless you are looking for a terrible experience. It started with a 3 hour delay leaving the Port of Miami and then being charged tax on all drinks because we were still in Port. Purchased the internet package ... Read More
Do not book this ship unless you are looking for a terrible experience. It started with a 3 hour delay leaving the Port of Miami and then being charged tax on all drinks because we were still in Port. Purchased the internet package ($24.99 per day) only to find out that we could not stream and MBL playoff games. We were told that they were working on the connection and we would be able to stream, never happened. We had a AFT cabin and shook violently for 2 hours, every time we went into Port. We were offered 2 other cabins, the 1st was right next to the elevator, you could hear the dinging of the elevator. And the 2nd, had just re-carpeted and the smell was unbearable. Housekeeping had dirty dish trays and laundry bags outside our cabin everyday. Made coffee in the cabin, after 2 days, I had to place the coffee pot on the corner of the cabinet, with the coffee grinds on top. The cabin stewart took the grids and put the dirty coffee pot back on the burner. Got sucked into a massage on the pool deck and was told 15 mins for $20.00, then when she came back with my card, she said she made a mistake and the price was $25.00. Are you kidding me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2016
This was our 69th cruise, but our first AND LAST on NCL! First, they transposed two numbers of our room, and had our credit card registered to another passenger. It took about 45 minutes in line at the embarkation desk to get it straight. ... Read More
This was our 69th cruise, but our first AND LAST on NCL! First, they transposed two numbers of our room, and had our credit card registered to another passenger. It took about 45 minutes in line at the embarkation desk to get it straight. NCL wouldn't even have noticed if I hadn't questioned the clerk about which credit card they had on file. The service and food in the dining rooms were ridiculously poor. The trivia games were a joke, and the ship needs major refurbishing. The excursions were so disappointing and expensive. The air conditioning on our bus in Acapulco was not working well, and it was scorching hot! We all begged the tour guide to take us back to the ship, but he refused and forced us to go to a "mall" consisting of one over-priced shop. In Cartagena, we were in the last carriage and couldn't hear a word on our ear pieces. Then, when we got off the carriage, we looked around and couldn't find a soul from our group! He hadn't told us when or where to meet the bus, and we were frantic! After searching up and down the crowded sidewalk, we finally saw someone we recognized. For the first time ever, I was anxious to get off a ship and go home! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We like the value. Good cruise for a decent price. We like the smaller ships, i.e Sun, Pearl, Star. Entertainment was very good. Our mini-suite was very good, except we would have perferred two easy chairs instead of the sofa. Stateroom ... Read More
We like the value. Good cruise for a decent price. We like the smaller ships, i.e Sun, Pearl, Star. Entertainment was very good. Our mini-suite was very good, except we would have perferred two easy chairs instead of the sofa. Stateroom to stateroom noise was somewhat of a problem, as was passageway to stateroom noise; not impossible, but annoying for early bedtimes. Food, excellent. Dinning options, places and times, excellent. Cabin very comfortable and suitable for 16 day cruise. Crew was fantastic. We loved Komang playing guitar at breakfast in the Garden Cafe! Cannot say enought about Roberto Holgado, our steward! What a fine attendant to our needs. Norwegian is our kind of experience, plentry of things to do or easy to "fly under the radar" and just enjoyt the ship and being at sea. Shore excursions - watch our for tours that start about 10 am and end at 2:00 pm of after that do not provide or have time for lunch. FANTASTICK TRIP Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My wife and I were looking forward to this trip and were very disappointed in the quality of experience on the NCL pearl. We have taken 5 cruises in the last 9 years, the last three with Norwegian. I expect to continue to cruise ... Read More
My wife and I were looking forward to this trip and were very disappointed in the quality of experience on the NCL pearl. We have taken 5 cruises in the last 9 years, the last three with Norwegian. I expect to continue to cruise frequently in the future, however, I will never sail with NCL again. Thie lack of basic performance and complete lack of concern for passengers was astonishing. Complaints were not addressed or the staff was unresponsive. Activities appeared to be scheduled to ensure most guests would or could not participate. Individually these items would not be enough for us to not cruise with NCL again, but as a whole, it has made us realize that there is not any value in a NCL cruise and we will go with other lines who consistently went above and beyond to ensure an enjoyable experience and are not trying to nickel and dime their guests. There were a few people who seemed to care about guest experience, but overall the following issues just show that management and leadership appear to be lacking. A few of the issues that I experienced: 1. It took over an hour every time we went to a restaurant just to get food delivered to the table. Over an hour from us completing the order to the food actually arriving was by far the best service we had received. It usually took much longer. Maybe some people like a long meal, but we wound up being late for many of the shows and could not get great seating at the show, unless we started dinner at 5pm. We like the concept of freestyle cruising, but it should not take 2.5 hours for the restaurants. 2. NCL App, NCL Smart boards throughout the ship and the What’s happening today newsletter were not accurate or conflicted. The APP and the Smart boards were not updated and were not inclusive of activities. While scheduled times for activities were not adhered to and locations sometimes were different. No notification of changes was ever made. The app and the interactive screens listed events that did not often occur and did not match the freestyle magazine 3. Activities failed to start on time or just did not occur; no notice was given or posted. 4. NCL recommended Spinnaker Lounge as the best place to watch the passage through the Panama Canal yet the cruise ship failed to play the broadcasted history of the canal into the lounge, so everyone in the lounge missed the entire broadcast. 5. Service on the cruise was minimal and there seemed to be no incentive for anyone to perform their jobs well. I did not see any real desire to make this cruise a quality experience from anyone and since the gratuities were prepaid where was the incentive to go the extra step when they were receiving tips anyway. 6. Was told when we got onboard that the rooms were still being made up but we could put our bags in the room; when we got back, bags had been removed and placed who knows where. It took a while to get the room steward to understand what we were looking for and when we finally got the bags back a few small things were missing and we had to replace at ships elevated prices. 7. NCL damaged two TSA locks; 2 of 3 were broken, since locks are metal this required extremely rough handling or a deliberate attempts to open the locks. 8. “NCL Policy is to not inform shore excursion participants of canceled excursions”. A shore excursion was canceled with plenty of time to notify the participants of it not occurring. Instead NCL had those participants get off the ship, wander down the pier to the meeting location find the 1 person trying to organize a thousand excursion participants onto different venues to get an update and then had to rebook with that same person (which she failed to mention when she told us the excursion was cancelled) if that is your choice or make your way back up to the ship on your own. 9. The family we were traveling with came back to their room to find the safe open, when they clearly remember checking to make sure the door was sealed when they left. 10. When I had an issue with service, the only manager is unavailable, and that manager's Boss is guest relations in Miami which is currently closed. When I finally tracked down the Shore Excursion Manger after 2 days, his response was “The hotel director is my boss I have no Idea why the main guest relations desk would have not informed you of that. But no, I cannot set a meeting for you to talk with my boss, you would have to go the same people who claim he doesn’t exist to set up that meeting”. They knew we were annoyed; they should have contacted us instead of making us jump through hoops to find the right person. a. Guest relations while able to call the 1 individual on the dock, could not call the excursion manger or his Boss, since they claimed he did not have a boss on the ship. No resolution to issue and no real desire to improve in the future. It seemed like the message was “ This is our policy and really you are not that important.” 11. Lack of coordination among or within departments, so failures are not corrected or overcome just accepted as ok. 12. Internet service was slow and seemed to be set up to ensure lag time and wasted minutes, increasing amount spent on Wifi packages, cell phone service also seemed jammed at ports for people who have international service. Had to get off the ship as the phones did not work on balconies. 13. Pool towels were taken for cleaning and not replaced. However if towels were not in our room on the last night, I would be charged for them. So why would housekeeping take them and not replace them? I needed them for an early excursion the next day and I should not need to go up to pool deck to get replacements every day. 14. All in our room had to have the Unlimited Beverage Package, however, staff continually requested that I have both room cards to order 2 drinks at the same time or were charged for the second. 15 dollar limit was not applied to wine bottles or champagne. That should be a direct $30 discount on anything purchased from a room with 2 packages. You could drink a bottle worth of wine glass by glass but had to pay for the bottle without any significant discount and had to pay the gratuity again, even though those were pre-paid. Taxes for beverage package when in Miami, ports where tax would be additional were not identified anywhere, now were we asked to sign for those charges at the bar, an all-inclusive package should be just that, tax should not be subjective to the port, unless it drives cost over the $15 limit. 15. Bingo was ridiculously expensive and no clear instructions about different packages; staff was unclear when asked any questions. Bowling should have been free. It appears NCL was just trying to gouge everyone for everything. 16. Selection of beer was inadequate. You have an Irish pub without any Irish beer? Despite Sam Adams Seasonal craft beer on menu, it was never available in any venue. 17. No announcements in the room, have to open door or turn on TV (which takes a few minutes)- NCL should have a button in room to allow you option of getting announcements in room. 18. People would reserve pool chairs at 7 am and then would not be in those chairs for most of the day. NCL should monitor when people are reserving and not using loungers, very poor consideration for all guests. More reserved chairs than people in them or in the pool area. 19. Photo atrium, pictures were constantly being moved about and were hard to find. Found out on day 9 that we could pull ours and place in a folder until ready to buy- no instructions about that process. 20. Dining areas over crowded with tables, once you got in to your seat you could not get out again, there was no room to move between them. 21. Smoke from casinos could be smelled up on 7 at Fusion restaurant as well as in the Stardust theatre, need doors outside the casino! Highly allergic, it caused a sinus infection that lasted last half of cruise. 22. Chanel 21 only started displaying info on day 10, until then it stayed on the credit card screen, that screen would have been helpful from day 1. 23. Shopping seminars; for her 2nd one, she stated that all in attendance would receive tanzanite earrings. Not true, instead a voucher was given out that entitled the holder to attend another sails pitch at a future port once and required you to try on something else at Diamonds international. If it states something is to be given for attendance why wasn’t it? There was no mention of additional steps or requirements to get the earrings. Poor communications and at best dishonest practices. 24. We brought some extra large Ziploc bags with us for wet items and they were removed from our room. They were nowhere near the trash bin to be mistaken as trash however, the empty beer bottle stayed in my room for 3 days. 25. Last day at sea, the pool and deck area seemed to be roped off so they could set up for the next cruise and things in the room were not refreshed as if the company knew we were getting off in the morning and they did not need to concern themselves with what guests needed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Let me begin this letter with the fact that my wife and I are Latitudes members and have always enjoyed our trips on Norwegian ships. My son started cruising with us years ago and now takes one or two Norwegian cruises each year with his ... Read More
Let me begin this letter with the fact that my wife and I are Latitudes members and have always enjoyed our trips on Norwegian ships. My son started cruising with us years ago and now takes one or two Norwegian cruises each year with his family. Little did we know that the late departure of our cruise, on the Norwegian Pearl, from Miami on October 18, 2015 was a foreshadowing of things to come. We were scheduled to depart at 4PM but instead were notified by the Captain that we would be delayed till 5PM. Shortly after that announcement, he made another stating that we would not be departing till 7PM. He again notified us that another change was being made and we would be leaving at 6PM. We did leave at 6PM but were informed that we could not purchase the water package since there was not a sufficient supply of water on board. We had lunch in the Garden Café while waiting for our room to be readied. The cushions were badly split and the springs did not support the guests. After eating, many guests needed assistance in order to stand up since they were seated so low and sinking into the seat. Our stateroom, 9110, had a railing that was down to the raw wood, no varnish at all. The pipes that were above and down the one side, were bare in spots and other areas had peeling paint and rust. There were white paint spots on the balcony floor.The glass panels on the balcony were filthy and needed a good cleaning. The light on the balcony could not be turned on at night. There were spots on the sofa as well as the carpet. Our cabin steward was friendly and tried to improve the cabin conditions and cleaned the glass panels the next day. He truly was one of the best parts of the entire cruise. One night, the water and toilets were turned off at about 2AM and were off for a few hours so the toilets could not be flushed. On October 20, our group of 8 went for dinner to La Cuccina. We were all on the UDP and had made the reservation for this dinner, and three other restaurants, many months in advance. We were greeted by the hostess and brought to a large “picnic” table and were given benches to sit on. Everyone in the group is over 70 years old. We requested a regular table with chairs but were told nothing was available. There were many empty tables at the time and also tables continued to be empty up to the time that we had finished our meal. We complained to the Asst. Maitre d’ Ramon Roberto but received no satisfaction. One of our group suffered with back pains for several days while another had neck pains after this incident. As for the tours that were booked on the Pearl, most were disastrous. The Ferry tour, that some friends were on, lasted for more than 8 hours. While on the Ferry, there was no toilet paper, the toilets backed up and flooded the decks. They had to wait many hours at the opening of the Panama Canal before their ferry was permitted to enter. The tour I was on had a fantastic tour guide who was very informative. All on this tour had a wonderful time until we were bused to Colon to meet and re-board the Pearl. We had to wait in a extremely hot holding room, most of us standing, for two hours. When the time came to re-board the ship, we had to leave the building we were in and proceed outside to another entrance. There was no supervision for a crowd of about 1,000. Many of the older guests, using canes, had trouble standing for almost one hour to enter the ship. There were no ropes to organize the crowd that began pushing toward the single open door. A few people fainted and had to be taken back into the original holding room. We had been told that this would be a 4 hour tour but took 7 hours from when we left the ship till they began the re-boarding. At Costa Rica, we were told that there would be a shuttle to take us to the visitor shops. We stood at the shuttle sign from 11 to noon, with no shuttle appearing. I then asked a Pearl representative when the shuttle would come. He told me that it would not start till 1PM. We went back into the ship because of the heat. From our balcony, we could see other guests forming a line at the shuttle sign. No one told them that the shuttle wouldn’t be there for some time. When we returned at 2PM, the shuttle sign was gone and we were told that there would not be any more shuttles. I returned to the ship after visiting Cartagena Columbia and set off the metal detector, (I have two full knee replacements) but no one questioned me. I was allowed to proceed onto the ship without any inquiry or examination. I feel there was a lack of security in this situation. One evening, we were instructed to set our clocks ahead 1 hour, however when we got back to our room, there was a printed notice saying to set the clock back 1 hour. This is another example of a lack of leadership and communication on the part of the crew. We were constantly asked to wash our hands before and after meals. Spray was available throughout the ship. This was a very positive point however sanitary procedures was not followed by some crew members. Example: An assistant cruise director ran a Trivia game. He passed out pencils and paper to those who wished to participate in the game. As he began to ask the questions, he sneezed many times. He asked a passenger to take over reading the questions because his nose was running and he couldn’t talk. He handed the microphone he was using to this passenger who then used it. He later returned after clearing his throat and nose and continued the game. We had numerous bad meals in the Summer Palace dinning room. One “Signature” dish was veal scaloppini. Five of our group ordered this dish and four could not eat their meal. The meat could not be cut and was burnt black. The Maitre d’ was embarrassed and brought the “Chef” to the table, to see the bad food. One of the four ordered a salad while the other three just did not want to eat anything. Strawberries were sent to our rooms. After this and a previous similar incident, the majority of the 30 guests in our group ate at the buffet, rather than have bad food in the dining room. Guest Michael Whitty had a reservation for two for October 27 at Le Bistro. We called the night before, in the attempt to be added to his table, making it a table of four. We were told that the restaurant was completely full for the next night and could not be added. The next morning when we saw Mike, he informed us that he and his wife were seated at a table for four. He also stated that there were numerous empty tables in the restaurant from when they arrived through the time they finished dining. As I stated at the beginning of this letter, my wife and I have always enjoyed our Norwegian cruises. We have told our friends of our experiences and encouraged them to book a cruise. After this experience, when we couldn’t wait to get off the Pearl and return home, I doubt that we will be returning to Norwegian again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
On Sunday, February 16 of this year I embarked, along with eight friends, on the Norwegian Star for a cruise from Miami via the Panama Canal to Los Angeles. I shared cabin 8505 with my friend. The first night my bed was so ... Read More
On Sunday, February 16 of this year I embarked, along with eight friends, on the Norwegian Star for a cruise from Miami via the Panama Canal to Los Angeles. I shared cabin 8505 with my friend. The first night my bed was so uncomfortable that I slept badly and woke with back pain. I requested another cabin and was told that the ship was fully booked and that no other cabins were available. I then asked that the mattress be changed. I don't know if this was done, but a piece of egg crate foam was put on the bed, which did very little to ameliorate the discomfort, and I woke with back pain every morning of the voyage. Subsequently one member of my party and a mother and daughter we had met on the ship were offered other cabins. It was also the case that the service at dinner was very slow. On at least two occasions we reserved a table in Versailles for 6:15 pm and were not finished until 8:00 pm. The servers were very diligent and hurried with orders, but it appears that the dining room and kitchen were understaffed, leading to long delays between courses. On Friday, February 20, I had a health concern that necessitated a trip to the ship's medical center. I was wheeled back to my cabin and instructed to return to the medical center at 9:00 pm in a wheelchair. I called Guest Services at 7:30 pm to request that a wheelchair be brought up at 8:45 pm and was told that they could not take an order in advance, but that I would have to call 15 minutes before I needed the wheelchair. I called back at 8:30 pm and was kept on hold for 25 minutes before someone in Guest Services answered the phone. In the early morning hours of February 24 I was awakened by tremendous banging noises. The ship was pitching and the banging seemed to be in concert with the movement of the ship. It sounded as if some huge metal door was loose. The noise continued for hours and was alarming to the extent that I wondered if the ship could be foundering. Needless to say, sleep was impossible. That same day, because it was suspected that I might have DVT, I was to be taken ashore by NCL's port agent to the hospital in Huatulco for an ultrasound. (I was not sent ashore in Puntarenas because the hospital there was two hours from the dock.) When I arrived at the ship's medical center there was an emergency and the port agent left with that person, leaving me in the care of a young man who spoke no English (I do not speak Spanish) who took me into the town in his car. He stopped several times to ask where the hospital was and finally indicated to me that we had arrived. I got out of the car and he immediately drove off. The building he had pointed out contained a small clinic that had no equipment and was certainly not a hospital. When I enquired where the hospital was (a difficult procedure since I do not speak the language), a person there pointed up the street. I walked up the street to the other location only to find that it was a slightly larger clinic, and, although they appeared to have an ultrasound machine, the doctor there declined to do this procedure, examined my leg (he did not wash his hands or wear gloves), and told me that I needed to be taking diuretics. For this cursory exam I was charged $50. I then had to take a taxi back to the ship without finding out if I was indeed suffering from DVT. It was very hot and humid that day, I had a health concern that was preying on my mind, and I felt utterly abandoned by the NCL company. On the morning of February 25, my cabin mate stepped into the bathroom, only to find it flooded with noxious brown water. A cleaning crew arrived very quickly and did a thorough clean-up of the bathroom. Unfortunately the fumes from whatever cleaning agents they used affected my eyes and I had to get drops from Dr. Lombard. I was subsequently told that the crew was aware there was a problem with the pipes in that area. On February 27 I went to Guest Services to see how the medical bills were to be handled (we had purchased trip insurance through NCL's BookSafe Travel Protection Plan) and was told that I had to submit the bills myself, that it could not be done by the ship's staff. This seems to me to be an unnecessary and onerous additional step, since it is NCL's own insurance. On February 28 I went to the medical center in the morning for a final shot (I had been given shots of Heparin twice daily since my initial visit to the doctor on February 20) and was told that I would be taken by ambulance the next morning to The Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro, and that Guest Services would call me with the final details. When I had not heard from Guest Services by 1:30 pm I went down and spoke to a man at that desk. He looked up my name on the computer and said that there was no arrangement for an ambulance and that I was to walk off the ship with the other passengers. It seemed to me that if I did that, the insurance would no longer be in force. I questioned him about this and he directed me to go down to the medical center and talk to the people there. I asked him if, instead of that, he would phone them, which he did, but apparently the person on the other end concurred that there would be no ambulance. Thoroughly confused and worried I went down to the medical center only to find that it was closed until 4:00 pm that afternoon. When the center opened I went in to ask what was happening, and was told that I was indeed to be taken off by ambulance. On disembarkation day, March 1, I went to the ship's medical center at 7:00 am. There were several passengers to be taken off by ambulance including one who was also suspected of having DVT. For this reason we were to travel in the same ambulance, with her husband accompanying her. Because there were three of us, there was no room for our luggage to go with us. I was very concerned about this, but was assured that our luggage would be sent right after us to the hospital. By the time we had been admitted to the hospital, the procedure done and the results analyzed, it was 11:15 am. The result of the ultrasound being negative, I was free to go. When I asked where my luggage was, I was told it had not been sent from the ship. One of the hospital staff called the ship for me, and was told that the luggage had not been sent "because they didn't know where to send it". Despite the fact that the hospital was less than 15 minutes from the ship, my luggage did not arrive until 12:11 pm and, when it came, it was only mine. I was bitterly disappointed with this cruise, especially since it was my third on Norwegian, and my second on the Star. I was unable to sleep comfortably, misled about available cabin changes, abandoned in a foreign country, kept waiting for an unacceptable amount of time on the telephone, and exposed to chemicals which hurt my eyes. I have returned home physically and emotionally exhausted by this experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
If you are disabled, handicapped or have a special need think twice before "pearling"...37 night..four cruises back to back and with almost 400 other Aussies onboard this crew had NO IDEA! Immigration and disembarkation were ... Read More
If you are disabled, handicapped or have a special need think twice before "pearling"...37 night..four cruises back to back and with almost 400 other Aussies onboard this crew had NO IDEA! Immigration and disembarkation were disasters particularly in San Diego (crew admitted they did lots wrong.,) elderly in queues for up to 1 and a half hours.....on a wet deck...queue from front to rear of ship. Took them 40 minutes to pull the handicapped and disabled out of the queue...when previously asked one staff member refused! yep- refused to assist a disabled passenger!...Long letter of complaint to Head Office. Wheelchair bound passenger left on wharf missing a tour and the list went on. One disaster after another. Had a disabled cabin and yet....passengers totally ignore handicapped seating in both garden cafe and Stardust Theatre. Crew do NOT police this and claim they cannot ask offenders to move on. Why have rules if you don,t police them? Avoided mandatory life raft drill (5 of us) knowing we were not on any list and we were right! These guys (Administration and Guest Services) have no idea how to run a ship. Demographics of age of passengers not even glimpsed I would suggest. 1500 "spring breakers" would have loved the queues and got drunk! however.... Best week was the one I spent ill in my cabin! Through or continuing cruising passengers with tours not given desembarkation preference over those going home and the list went on and on. NEVER,NEVER again Norwegian and in particular Pearl. Cold meals, argumentive staff, the cattle pen that was the Garden Cafe and poor facilities for the handicapped I,m afraid left me very cold and it wasn,t the climate. I doubt Norwegian have ever dealt with passengers doing four cruises back to back. There were exceptions of course and they were seen to in the right manner and in the right light and credit given where due. Demanded a return of the 12$ per day service fee due to all of the above and duly received same. Note that this fee is a "discretionary" fee. Most other lines have removed it or you can remove it on boarding.,it is NOT mandatory or compulsory contrary to what Norwegian might like you to think. Aussies tip who we feel deserve it - not as a matter of right..call it a service fee or whatever does not make it right. They also have to stop offering every complainant a free bottle of wine..that does not cut it with me ---solve the original problem--you cannot wash it away with a free bottle of wine! Must cost them a fortune in give away free wine! Food problems, language problems, poor comedy acts and it went on and on. I think you have my message by now. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
The cruise we recently took on the Norwegian Star through the Panama Canal was .the worst in over 100 days, and 6 lines of cruising. It was our third NCL and our last. Our trip started at a Hotel in LA. (Well actually it started on a ... Read More
The cruise we recently took on the Norwegian Star through the Panama Canal was .the worst in over 100 days, and 6 lines of cruising. It was our third NCL and our last. Our trip started at a Hotel in LA. (Well actually it started on a FANTASTIC, first time ever, on Virgin Air flight). The hotel was OK. Expensive, but right at the port. Nothing fancy, no free coffee, and the Hot Tubs did not open unit 8am - making it hard to get started on our vacation early. The worst part was the fact that the hotel only had ONE 12 person shuttle. We stood in line for almost an hour just to get on the shuttle. NEXT time we stay farther from the airport and pay for our own transportation. Once at the terminal the lines got WORSE and organization was non-existent. We were dropped, with our bags, about 100 yards from the terminal entrance. Once inside the line wound round and round and round. Must have been a mile long. Fortunately for us we were with my mother (78) who had a hip replaced about 5 years ago. Someone noticed she was limping and rushed us to the front of the line. Hence, it took us only 45 mins. to check-in, and get on the ship. WEW! The ship and our stateroom were filthy and falling apart. Shower leaked all over the bathroom floor. Ceiling scratched and squeeky. One drawer would not stay shut. The closet door opened and closed and banged all night. The bathroom was moldy and disgusting. The coffee was the worse I've ever tasted. Our E-docs said we could bring wine on board, but IF we drank in the dining room we would have to pay corkage. NCL ilegaly has defined corkage as ANY wine brought on board any where any time. Room service consisted of five items. You had to pay for room service pizza. There was one specialty item for dinner in the dining room but the menu was exactly the same for 14 days. Excursions were overpriced with poor guides and WAY too many people. The room cleaning schedule was erratic. There were cases of gastrointestinal illness reported which necessitated staff hand out food and drinks, a good thing, but took forever. There was NO good plan for this, AND staff regularly did TERRIBLE things to cause contamination. I brought this to the attention of two officers and got nothing but an argument. I am a business owner, and MUST conduct business while on the ship. NCL made it impossible to do so. I paid the $2.50 per min. for cell phone service (this is typical). I did NOT pay the $0.75 per min for SLOW internet. Instead I got a Global Data Plan thru Verizon. 100mb for $25. Unfortunately the service only worked for about 45 mins. As we went into and out of the port. NCL blocked the signal while at sea, and of course had to turn off their cell tower while at sea. We complained to Verizon, but Verizon says NCL CLAIMS 100% coverage on the Star - so contact NCL. NO luck there. We got MANY photos taken while on board. My wife and I just started as Associate Travel agents. We wanted to use them for Social Media purposes. We TOLD staff this. Since we were silver we were SUPPOSED to get a discount on photos. We picked out 10 photos, plus the flash drive copy. Then were told NOPE, no discount for this. Flash drive is NOT a photo. Can't discount the photos. Again, went to a supervisor who gave us a copy of the Silver Rules that said we were eligible for the discount. Back to the photographer, still no go. Then went to another supervisor, and told us she would check on this and leave a message on our phone. NO message. NOTHING. We were quite willing to pay about $150 for photos that were otherwise going in the trash. Instead NCL asked for $180 and got nothing. We would STILL like copies, but NOBODY at NCL will return calls or correspondence. As agents we are now PUSHING Royal's free kids, not NCL. My wife lost her passport while leaving the ship. NOBODY at NCL has contacted us since leaving. We have left messages with MANY MANY phone numbers and contacts. We follow-up and nobody has done anything. Contacted the port authority, the they said to contact NCL. Just a run around. Port authority says the passport would be at NCL lost and found (on the boat). You would think SOMEONE could get back to us one way or another. There were very few chaises on the decks, passengers had to fight over getting a seat. Many of them were simply broken and dissfunctional. We were never given a chance to voice complaints - not eve a questionnaire, at the end of the cruise. I wrote three letters while on the boat. Rather than fix things, the Matri’d sent us a bottle of complimentary wine - what I really wanted was SERVICE in the dining room: a full cup of water, coffee, salt, and pepper, all served in reasonablely functional fashion. We felt the goal was to pinch the pennies of those on board and sign up new suckers. I won't ever be back. Norwegian has a severely bad management problem. In addition, it took us 2 1/2 hours standing in line, no chairs for older people, to get off ship. Norwegian did nothing. My Mom and Sister came with us on this cruise. I “convinced” them it would be great. They are not “into” cruising, like me and my wife. They had done one previous cruise, Alaska, on Carnival - and that was only because it was the ONLY way to see Alaska. This cruise, the Panama Canal, was the same. They felt the food on Carnival was MUCH MUCH better. They also thought the service was poor, the lower level staff was overworked, and management did not care. The first three nights the slept well. The fourth night there was an incessant banging, all night, in their cabin. The fifth night they called someone about the noise. Three staff members came down to check on it. They were told “It really is not all that bad, is it?” However, once in the hall they could overhear them talking about it, and saying how bad it was. They returned about 30 mins later, said they could not find the source of the noise, but it had stopped. The next night the banging resumed. My sister thought it was a door. She went to the deck above and found a restroom door that was banging. She secured it, and the noise quit. In the mean time, customer service brought them ear plugs for the noise. The loose door was reported, but NOBODY would fix it. Just earplugs. One late night my mother went to use the toilet. She flushed it, and the water kept coming, and coming. She woke my sister who started putting towels in the bathroom door while my mom called for help. After MANY MANY rings she got someone who said she would let someone know, and they would get a call back. It took 20 mins. For someone to call back. Meanwhile the toilet was overflowing, and my sister was bailing water into the shower. The caller asked “Is it bad? Do we need to send someone at night?” UGH! 40 mins later a maint. Guy came, fixed the broken part. He said he would call housekeeping to come clean up the mess (wet towels and soaked carpet). An HOUR after he left they were again awakened - this time by housekeeping. They came, sprayed the wet carpet with something, and left the wet towels. In the morning the room steward was left to pick up wet towels (they had none to use for their shower) and HE brought a fan to dry the carpet. NO apology, NO were sorry. NO response from anyone other than the room steward who was stuck with the mess. ALL of us complained about the mattresses. It took all four of us about a week, after returning to our own beds, to recover. Ship is old, so no doubt beds are too. Getting off the ship was a nightmare. Called ALL the “colors” an hour early. Closed most of the ship (yes I know someone needs to get it ready for the next group). Unfortunately the only place to go was in the line, outside. The line went out the starboard atrium door onto the promenade deck, then wound its way to the front of the ship, back down the port side, past the atrium doors, and then finally to the ramp into the terminal. Once in the terminal we had a line at the escalator. Another line in a stinky nasty hall. And finally a group of 12 lines for customs. ALL with our suitcases in tow. It was the crowning end to poor customer treatment. MANAGEMENT is the problem. Nobody cares, Nobody listens. Nobody does ANYTHING to fix problems. And there are MANY. Just read the web. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Had to wait several hours to board as ship was being sanitized after voyage where passengers had Norovirus. New passengers were not allowed to touch the food or drinks. Had a terrible cabin with view almost totally obstructed (not ... Read More
Had to wait several hours to board as ship was being sanitized after voyage where passengers had Norovirus. New passengers were not allowed to touch the food or drinks. Had a terrible cabin with view almost totally obstructed (not partially obstructed) . Theatre seats were awful and left one with a sore tush at end of performance. Food in dining rooms was bland. Several days where the boat rocked excessively. Cabin had a tender outside which blocked view and workmen were constantly passing by our window so we were forced to keep blinds closed. Tender launching on last port visit was really noisy and very early in the a.m. Also light outside lit up the room so sleeping was difficult. Staff was exceptionally pleasant and very helpful but guests lined up in both directions to get food and drinks. We took several shore excursions offered by the ship and the last 3 were awful (Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas). The guides started their description before everyone arrived, we couldn't hear them, it was difficult to understand them, etc. No more NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Just got off the NCL Star on January 19, 2014, after surviving the worst vacation experience of my life. Lost Luggage, outbreak of Norovirus (so NCL claims) and entirely inadequate service and compensation from NCL. Our entire vacation ... Read More
Just got off the NCL Star on January 19, 2014, after surviving the worst vacation experience of my life. Lost Luggage, outbreak of Norovirus (so NCL claims) and entirely inadequate service and compensation from NCL. Our entire vacation package had been booked with NCL (air, transfers, cabins). First problem - luggage lost for 5 days since flight connection time in Dallas was way to short for our bags to make it through. We do not have time to make a baggage claim with AA since the NCL transfer staff are rushing us onto the bus, again because the flights are scheduled too close to ship departure time. NCL Customer service on board the ship tell us for 3 days that they are working on our baggage issue. Since I do not want to wear the same underwear for another day I phone AA myself. Guess what - AA has no knowledge of our lost luggage and no claim has been filed! I file the claim and AA forwards the luggage to us in a timely manner and I expect at considerable cost. (Thank you American Airlines!) The level of poor customer service on NCL can not be highlighted here enough! I am not sure if the staff are just overworked, or if they are just really badly trained. But, the level of incompetence and rudeness is remarkable. I have never been made to feel like I was such a bother to someone who is supposed to be helping me. The biggest issue however, was the outbreak of a gastro-intestinal bug. Rumours on the ship are that over 100 guests and many staff are affected, however the official announcements from the ship captain are vague about numbers and clearly state that the issue is a virus that was "brought on board" in Costa Rica (clearly implying that a passenger is the cause of the outbreak and not NCL). I was violently ill as was my mother and a family friend we were travelling with. We were all quarantined in our inside cabins until 12 hours after our last symptoms. For me that meant that I was isolated alone (as a single traveller) in my inside cabin, in the dark with no fresh air, for about 36 hours. I was released on disembarkation day, with a phone call from the medical team at 6:00am. Convenient for NCL don't you think? When I inquired at the customer "no service" service desk about compensation for my lost days, I was told that there was none. To top it all off, it took 2 and a half hours waiting in line ups to disembark the ship. Of course, we arrive at MIami airport on our NCL scheduled transfer to get our NCL booked flight only to find out that we are too late to board the flight and AA will need to sell us new tickets at a cost of $350 each. After about an hour on the phone with NCL with only vague reassurances that they will fix our problem, we head back to the AA airlines desk. Again AA comes through for us and agrees to put us on a direct flight home, at an increased cost of only $75 per person. So far, I have heard nothing from NCL and I really don't expect to, since they are completely incompetent and uncaring. As for the ship and the staff and the food. Ship is old and getting dirty. It is very 3 star - sort of like staying at a cheap hotel on the Las Vegas strip for 2 weeks. Food is okay, but I would stay away from anything that has been left out at a buffet that is not heated, as the cooled food really does not stay cool. Do NOT eat cold meats, mayonnaise or salads with mayonnaise that are on the buffets!! Cruise staff, other than customer service, seem to be working really hard, and my heart goes out to them as I think that their working conditions must be appalling. (If they treat the staff as poorly as the paying passengers then they must be miserable.) PLEASE, please, please do not cruise with NCL.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
having traveled from the U K to L A we were greeted at check in to find total chaos, we had checked in online 72 hours previously but still had to sit around untill we were called to board. once onboard we found our cabin the luggage ... Read More
having traveled from the U K to L A we were greeted at check in to find total chaos, we had checked in online 72 hours previously but still had to sit around untill we were called to board. once onboard we found our cabin the luggage arrived things started to look good.The first day at sea fine , a meal in aqua fine .then it was show time (OH WHAT A NIGHT) an imported act i presume what a show it was fantastic unfortunatly every thing went down hill from there on.It will take me too long to give a full description of our experience on the the ship but briefly . The evening entertainment in the theatre was very poor to say the least (my grand children have given better performaces at school) The food in the restaurants mediocre with the same menu throughout the whole 14 days with the exeption of the chefs special and that was only one item.on once occasion we were left standing for 20 minutes in the centre of the restaurant waiting for a waiter to call us to our table we eventually we walked out, this was not the fault of the waiter but the person directing operations. The shore excusions were over priced compared with other cruise lines The only saving grace were the bar and restaurant staff they were fantastic !. .To sum up not the best cruise we have experienced.in future we will go back to cruising with royal carribean,princess and thomsons.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Never Again. Ship: NCL Star Cruise: Panama Canal Itinerary: LA to Tampa October 1 to October 16, 2011. Background: We cruised with a group of 10 other people all of whom had cruised many times before. Our group's average ... Read More
Never Again. Ship: NCL Star Cruise: Panama Canal Itinerary: LA to Tampa October 1 to October 16, 2011. Background: We cruised with a group of 10 other people all of whom had cruised many times before. Our group's average age was probably 62 or so. We had no children/teenagers or young adults with our group, so I will not comment on activities for that age group. Hotel: Westin at LAX September 30, 2011. The hotel was clean and comfortable. The Concierge turned us on to a GREAT pizza carryout at an incredible bargain price for LA. Transport/ Luggage: We departed the Westin on Saturday morning (October 1, 2011) for our pre-arranged transport to the pier. Our departure from the hotel was somewhat chaotic due to conflicting instructions from the travel agency and NCL. Three of the ladies who traveled with us had luggage issues. One lady got hers on the day of sailing, but two of the ladies did not get theirs until we reached Cabo. Their luggage had been put on the Norwegian Pearl, which sailed the day before us. They plan to address this with both Norwegian and the Westin since the problem started with the staff at the Westin. When we arrived at the pier in San Pedro a porter boarded the bus and proceeded to imply that our bags might not make it onto the ship without a tip, even though our transport voucher was supposed to cover the bus ride, driver tip and bag loading/transport to the ship. Many of the people on the bus were intimidated into extra tipping for the driver and porters to "guarantee" their bags got on the ship. Many of the passengers were not from the United States and were very confused about what was going on. Some of the passengers even dragged their luggage all the way to the gate because they were afraid they would not be loaded. Shame on the bus driver, porters and the LA port authority for allowing this to happen! The pier also did not have adequate security/crowd control. We were waiting in a line about two blocks long to enter the terminal when two or three other busses pulled up and dropped their passengers who proceeded to form a second line directly at the terminal entrance and push their way into the existing line. According to the "Line Jumpers" they were told to do this by their bus drivers. We thought there was going to be a riot. There was a lot of pushing and shouting before a lone security officer turned up to restore order. Another black eye for the LA port authority. We love to cruise and met great people on this voyage but the common theme of conversation was disappointment...about the food, over crowding in general, all of the sales pitches and extra-cost to get quality meals and service that used to be the industry standard on a cruise. Stateroom: Very hard beds. We had to request extra padding for the beds two times so we could sleep. Clean, but we did find a pair of black panties under the bed on day five that did not belong to either of us. Also, if you select a cabin with a balcony, be careful where it is located on the ship. The balconies near the front of the ship where we were located had a more confined view than the others located amidships. Entertainment: Some was good some not so good. I'm not a live show person so I won't comment any further except to note that many of the seats in the auditorium were broken. Port & Shore Excursions: We only did one in Key West. It rained pretty hard so it was not very enjoyable. Obviously, not the cruise line's fault. General Comments: Most every activity involved selling -â€" From how and why to buy art, emeralds, pearls, to acupuncture, specialty dinning and hypnotism. The hypnotist was entertaining during his evening performances but the additional sales pitches were annoying. Smoking was our number one complaint. Every time we returned to our stateroom it reeked of smoke and it was not from the cabin steward. We had smokers in the rooms on both sides of our cabin and it was nasty. We could not believe that NCL still allows smoking inside the staterooms! Especially when they make a point of telling you during the first lifeboat drill that FIRE is the NUMBER ONE Danger aboard a ship! DUH! Even in the outside areas and bars there was no attempt to limit the smoking to one side of the ship or specific areas of the decks. The Biergarten bar outside on deck 13 was a smokers paradise. I felt sorry for the crew members who had to work there. The ashtrays all over the ship were typically filled to over flowing and rarely ever emptied. NOISE: The noise level on the ship was painful you couldn't carry on a conversation in a normal tone anywhere except the library. Constant music blasting and very loud announcements about where to spend even more money. We never used the main pool area because you could not even speak to one another. DINING: The Market Cafe' food was mediocre at best as were both of the "Free" dining rooms. The ice cream parlor typically had only two flavors of watery tasting ice cream. One thing I noticed while eating at the buffet: a worker from the kitchen brought in a very large pot of soup to replenish the "potato soup" container on the buffet. I watched in amazement as he poured only broth into the buffet container. The potatoes were retained in the larger container, which he returned to the kitchen. Kind of makes you wonder what they had planned for those potatoes, doesn't it? Main Dining Rooms: I thought the service was pretty bad. The staff never asked what you wanted to drink with your meals unless it was something from the Bar. One night I had to ask three times to get a glass of milk! Water glasses repeatedly went unfilled, but they would break their necks to get you something with an up-charge. The whole goal of "Freestyle Dining" seems to be to push the passengers into paying an up-charge for every meal. There was almost nowhere to wait to get into the main dining areas. People had to sit on the stairs. The elevators and the buffet areas were also too crowded at times. "Specialty dining" is an insult to anyone who has ever cruised before. You now must pay 15 to 25 dollars per person to get meals that used to be the industry standard. Your only other option is the regular dining rooms, where the same 8 oz mediocre sirloin steak was offered every day. Other entrees were not any better. DISEMBARKATION: Departure from the ship was completely mismanaged. Our group was the first to be called. When we got there, we faced an extremely long line where virtually 1/2 the passengers had already lined up. We told them we were in the first group, but were instructed to go to the back of the line. It took over an hour to go through the line. SUMMARY/CONCLUSION: This cruise fell far short of our expectations and led to our decision to never cruise on Norwegian again. I believe that two general trends have combined to lower the overall satisfaction of Cruising: Pre-Paid Tipping and Add-On Dining Charges. NCL is clearly not interested in passenger critique because, although the guest feedback system is now online, the only way you get to comment on your experience is if you are part of the "randomly selected guests" who provided their E-Mail address during the check-in process before the cruise (Which we all did). It has now been over 15 days since the end of our cruise and not one of the 12 people in our group has been "Invited" to give feedback! However, we all get daily E-Mails from NCL promoting future cruises. No Thank You NCL. I hope this critique will help future cruisers to make informed choices. thepplking@insightbb.com Thursday, November 03, 2011 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2005
My husband and I sailed the FIRST true cruise through the Panama Canal on June 25th. We weren't the "Regis and Kelly" show guests nor did we receive a "special invitation" for a 2-night preview. We were full-fare ... Read More
My husband and I sailed the FIRST true cruise through the Panama Canal on June 25th. We weren't the "Regis and Kelly" show guests nor did we receive a "special invitation" for a 2-night preview. We were full-fare paying passengers. Embarkation.. not a problem. I wouldn't give it a 6, but personnel was friendly and made it less stressful. This was our sixth cruise and we've had it worse. The ship itself as far as appearance goes is very impressive, once inside. What was suppose to be a memorable trip for us, especially since we've been dreaming of cruising the Panama Canal for sometime, turned into 12 days of regrets. Once in the stateroom, we discovered traces of previous guests. They were given to a crew member that happened to be walking by because it was total chaos on that ship at that time. Our neighbors discovered dirty underwear in a drawer along with a disgusting bowel movement in their toilet. After numerous calls for housekeeping, they used the restroom in the public areas. The dirty underwear were never picked up so they were tossed by the elevator hoping some crew member walking by would do their job. We heard so many similar complaints from other passengers. Aside from the housekeeping, the a/c was uncontrollable or they didn't know what the heck they were doing. Taking it to the other end, we were informed that an elderly couple down the hall from us had no power in their room for a day. That makes everything else seem trivial. Our safe malfunctioned on the 2nd day. After numerous crew members were called in to check it out, ship security finally handled the situation. It took him almost four hours to rectify because orders on what to do had to come from Miami. The safe had to eventually be drilled out and replaced. There were numerous complaints on safes, as well. Other passengers that had the same problem were told they could not replace their safe and they would be able to use one obtained from their office. A little inconvenient, isn't it when one has to go down to reception to get something from the safe! The Freestyle iTV was not operational. There was no navigational system available on TV to inform us of our location. Overall, the cabins are very small with only a few drawers and a very tiny closet. The bathroom is also tiny. I'm a small person and I found it difficult to move around in it. The restaurants...Our first day, we went to the Cadillac Diner, waited about 10 minutes for a seat and an hour and a half for our meal. That was very disappointing. We didn't go back there until the last full day of our cruise, hoping that service had improved. What a joke. We were seated right away but waited AGAIN an hour and a half for our meal. Well, at least my meal. I ordered a hamburger (well done) and when it was brought to me, was still pink and soggy in the middle. What could they have done in an hour and half !?!?!?! My husband had been served 20 minutes prior to my meal being served and this just ruined the entire meal for both of us. Service...what does it say when the maitre D' is clearing tables while his crew members are standing around talking ? Sounds like bad management to me, and not at this level. It goes up to the top. Someone up there that should be overseeing this entire operation isn't doing HIS job. We went to the Taste of Italy on our last night and that was a disappointment, not to mention a pain in the belly. I consumed bad food that had me wanting to be sucked up by that vacuum line in the toilets. I was too sick to move and if I moved I felt even worse. We usually ate at the Aloha Cafe because we didn't feel that we should have to pay for the specialty restaurants but this was at times unbearable too. There were gas fumes that overcame the rear of the back of the ship. We heard passengers complaining that the fumes went all the way down to their cabins on deck 5. The Aloha Cafe is on deck 11. That is totally unacceptable. The other complaint is that the some of the food in the Aloha Cafe was not labeled. My husband has an allergy to shellfish and almost served himself fettucine but when he asked what the sauce contained, he was told that it was a white sauce with some sort of shellfish. That would have been tragic had he not asked. They had one working ice cream machine, which was a joke. The coffee machines were another joke. They were either down or needed coffee. Once I was told to go to the other side of the ship if I wanted coffee. That was the only working coffee machine at the time. After trying other restaurants, we finally decided just to bear it and eat at the Aloha Cafe. The wait was too long in the main dining rooms and at times the food was just mediocre. Not what one would expect from a main dining room. The shore excursions were almost sold out when we went down to book on our first day. We ended up with the leftovers that no one else wanted. I guess we should have booked on-line but without knowing more about the excursions, one is hesitant. Our stop in Roatan could have been skipped and wouldn't have mattered. Costa Rica on both sides was ok. The Panama Canal is what were mainly interested in and that was something that I'll never forget. Our stop in Cabo San Lucas was VERY short. By the time the tenders got the last of passengers on land, they had 2 hours to run around and be back to make NCL deadline. This was one stop that most of the passengers were very upset about. I found the tenders to be extremely dangerous in the loading and unloading. I don't believe NCL was prepared. The spa....the massage that I booked was great, however, when entering the ladies changing room I found a male crew member that was in there (possibly cleaning?). There was a female crew member fixing her hair and neither one of them batted on eye when I walked in. Is this procedure? Well, maybe I expected too much from NCL. Needless to say, I didn't want to interrupt their routine so I just walked out. My husband, on the other hand, had to go to our stateroom to shower after getting his massage. He asked for soap and towels because the men's changing room had none. Needless to say, he waited quite a while and ended up walking out in a an oil-covered body. What a sight !! The entertainment...The guests entertainers were great, especially pianist, Juan Pablo. NCL entertainers were just mediocre. We attended 2 of the 3 shows they performed and found them to be lacking something. I understand this is a very young crew and they're just getting started, so perhaps quite a few years down the line there will be an improvement. However, they do get an "A" for effort. The Captain and other heads of departments appeared before the passengers in what was called "Captains Profile". This happened just a few days before the end of the cruise. The was a short question and answer session where most of these complaints were voiced. The a/c dilemma, we were told, was "being worked on" and the gas fume dilemma was also "being worked on". Other complaints were answered by merely saying that this was a new crew and everyone was doing their best. There were still many kinks to work out and eventually it would happen. We have traveled other cruise lines before and I can honestly say that I would take Carnival any day over NCL. It was pointed out by the hotel director, Scott Hamby, that having an ALL AMERICAN crew had it's advantages and one of them is not having a language barrier. Well, that may be so but we found that even with a language barrier on other lines, the service received was phenomenal. Most of the crew on this ship has to be in the 20-25 yr old category. This is a very young crew and most of them don't know what real work is about. We heard their disenchantment with NCL all through the cruise on many of the decks. Many of these kids couldn't wait to get off the ship. Many of them stated they were in it just long enough to pay off their college bills. These aren't crew members that want to be committed to doing this for the long haul and somewhere along the line work ethics becomes a problem. That was very evident on this ship. Many of these kids did not want to work. They wanted to go back to their hometown or back to their Mom and Dad. I also have to recognize the few that really worked their hineys off. They earned their fair share and their co-worker's share as well. We weren't all as fortunate as the first reviewer. He received an invitation for a 2-night preview, had the pleasure of enjoying two deck parties. One with a mechanical bull and the other with a mechanical surfboard. He was obviously treated better. NCL was more attentive with him than they were with us. We were never treated with such a show. Upon disembarking, he also received a commemorative inaugural gift. Well, that was very generous of NCL. One would think that the the passengers that had been the true "inaugural" passengers, that paid the price with both money and aggravation, that had made the first "true" cruise to their destination would be the ones to receive such a gift. Once again, NCL has shown their true colors. For those of you that are considering traveling NCL on this ship, read the reviews and reconsider. Remember, "they're still working on it" !!!!! Read Less
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