1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
It was my wife's 70th birthday and we wanted to do something grand and special so this fit the bill. A trip through the Panama Canal had always been on my "bucket list" and this was a chance to visit many different ... Read More
It was my wife's 70th birthday and we wanted to do something grand and special so this fit the bill. A trip through the Panama Canal had always been on my "bucket list" and this was a chance to visit many different countries. Interacting with the "locals" was wonderful. Enjoyed our hop-on hop-off bus tour in Cartegena, and the submarine excursion in Aruba was exciting ... beautiful coral and colourful fish. The ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaco) were a treat, very friend people, colourful buildings, easy to walk around. The ship itself was thoroughly enjoyable ... never a lack of things to do. Every show in the Theatre was excellent, and we especially enjoyed the Cirque du Soleil duo. We are not "formal" people, so free-style cruising suits us well. The casino was good because the "odds" on the slots were set high enough that you could enjoy some decent play time. The only drawback is that smoking is allowed. The only improvement I would suggest to the itinerary would be to include a stop in either Nassau or San Juan to break up the final three and a half days at sea. All in all, a wonderful trip and we plan on continuing to "cruise like a Norwegian". Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
After cruising in many ships worldwide, we decided to take our first cruise with NCL because the route with NCL Gem was fantastic; The Panama Canal! In general terms the cruise was fine. The ship is great with beautiful public areas, ... Read More
After cruising in many ships worldwide, we decided to take our first cruise with NCL because the route with NCL Gem was fantastic; The Panama Canal! In general terms the cruise was fine. The ship is great with beautiful public areas, excellent facilities and good cabins, and above all, a very good crew and staff, In terms of recreation and activities they were very good. The shows were fantastic with excellent dancers and singers. The orquestra and musical groups on the ship were also very good. Regarding the food served as "complimentary" in the main dinning rooms and swimming pool area, was not good enough to be aligned with the top quality of the ship. Food quality, variety, presentation, and flavor was really poor. Sometimes during lunch time it was really difficult to decide what to eat because the food available was really "cheap" . The current chef is from India. We took this cruise with another couple of friends and they had exactly the same opinion. After so many cruises it is very easy for us to assess the quality of ships and services aboard, Everything was great, except the food ! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Panama Canal was on our Bucket list and with 19 days aboard the Gem, we couldn't resist. First a little information about us, I would consider us Newbies to cruising since we only sailed on NCL ( this was our 13th cruise ). NCL ... Read More
Panama Canal was on our Bucket list and with 19 days aboard the Gem, we couldn't resist. First a little information about us, I would consider us Newbies to cruising since we only sailed on NCL ( this was our 13th cruise ). NCL makes sense for us since they offer different ships/types and itineraries out of NYC. This was our 6th time aboard the Gem. Here are my random observations. We flew out to Vegas for a few days before the cruise, then an early Sunday morning flight into LAX. We took the NCL shuttle to the pier, had no issues in locating the reps. Short wait for the bus. Since it was Sunday morning the ride to the pier took about 30 mins. From the time we got off the bus to board the ship, it was less than 45 mins. Our cabin, 8604 ( type OA, ocean view ) was right down the hall from O'Sheehan's was available around 2 PM. We had issues with the shower drain backing up into the drain under the sink but it was finally corrected on the second day. Cabin Steward was excellent ( first cruise back from vacation ), and by the third day knew our routine. The ship was in great shape ( last dry dock 2015 ), all public areas were well kept. Maintenance and painting was observed daily. Only negative comment is for the railing on deck #13 near the basketball court. They used a 2x4 to replace the rail and it was a rough finish that could cause a splinter. We purchased a 6 meal plan and along with our 2 free meals ( Platinum perk ) we spent several nights at Cagney's. It was strange that on most nights it was almost empty. Our only complaint was that they changed the mac n cheese to Kraft, it was terrible. Food and service was top notch. We had two meals in LeBristo, service was exceptional but the food seemed to be off compared to our last cruise aboard the Breakaway. Taste was bland to me. We also had one meal in La Cucina, food was OK but I kept feeling like we are eating in the Buffet. Other nights were spent in Magenta, had no issues in getting a table if you arrived before 6pm. Had to laugh at the folks standing in line at the Grand Pacific, while there was none at Magenta. Can a guy get a hamburger? O'Sheehan's - burnt, every time. Topsiders - raw, most of the time. Before I forget, the crew, from the captain to washy washy girls, fantastic, one of the best if not the best. Bars - Great time, great bartenders ( Sherwin - Boom Boom at Spinnaker and Lennie \ crew at Shakers ). Never had to wait more than a few minutes before getting served. PAX, I was told the average age was 64 but some nights up in Spinnaker I thought it was a Holland America cruise. The entertainment at bar central ( Shakers ) was exceptional, from Leo to Vibe quartet to the Gem band. Only two main shows standout for me, the piano guy and that checkerboard guy. Everything else was average Cruise Director staff, have to say it, bad. Poor attendance / cancelled Bingo sessions. Announced that they had a $2000 dollar pull tab winner but kept selling out of the same box. Morning show was a joke, stopped watching by the third day. The cruise director was OK but the staff is a reflection of her. Ports of call. Mexico - Tender in on our first two stops, tender process was real slow on the first stop, Cabo. The second stop, Puerto Vallarta had a dock issue. Almost a two foot drop from the tender to the dock, those who had a mobility issues had problems. These two stops felt safe in both, just wander around. Manzanillo, stayed close to the ship. Puerto Quetzal - Guatemala and Corinto - Nicaragua as per the State Department warnings stayed real close to the ship. The visitor center ( new cruise terminal ? ) in Guatemala even had a guard tower, manned. Puntarenas, Costa Rica - Walked around the town in the morning and took an NCL excursion in the afternoon. Panama Canal, Transit - Exceptional performance by NCL. Cartagena, Columbia - Great place to visit except for the hawkers. Made it almost impossible to enjoy the city. Very pushing and relentless. Santa Marta, Columbia - container port, they could have skipped this port too. ABC islands - always a great, safe place to visit. Finally, Thank you to the CC members who attended the meet and mingle, slot pull, pub crawl, to the members who arranged shore excursions and the cruise T shirt Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I have just returned from a great Panama Canal cruise. I do not have allegiance to any one cruise line, but choose the cruise according to their itinerary and dates available. First of all, a few comments about the cruise itself on ... Read More
I have just returned from a great Panama Canal cruise. I do not have allegiance to any one cruise line, but choose the cruise according to their itinerary and dates available. First of all, a few comments about the cruise itself on Norwegian Star. This itinerary was for a very hot climate - I would have appreciated more lounge chairs outdoors in shaded areas - these were always at a premium - at times, having to put up with cigarette smoke just to get out of the sun.The meals were not as great as I have become accustomed to while cruising - there wasn't anything wrong with them, but they lacked the variety and "pizzaz" I would have liked. Breakfasts in the buffet were the same every day for 2 weeks. They did offer a variety of foods, but my quest for that "something a little different" each morning went unanswered. FreeStyle Dining means that jeans, shorts and even HATS are allowed in the main dining rooms at dinner - this took away from MY experience of elegant dining while cruising. With this cruise being for 2 weeks in Jan, there were very few children on board. Now for the ports and excursions: We were very fortunate to be the only cruise ship in each of the ports that we attended. We booked all of our excursions through NCL for safety reasons. In Cartagena, Columbia we took the Exclusive Hop On Hop Off Bus - we quite enjoyed this tour but did not have time to hop off and back on again - the bus toured the city and then included a 1 hr walking tour of the Old City. The only negative was all of the people trying to sell you something in the Old City and they were very persistent - our guide seemed to have his favourites that he didn't mind recommending, and he stopped for certain street performers to ensure they received tips. Don't miss out on the "Nature Reserve" hidden in a corner of the pier - it's free and a great chance to see lots of birds and animals. The cruise of the Panama Canal was great - we took someone's advise and got up early to stake out our claim for a lounge chair in a shady spot and were very happy we did. We enjoyed the narration of what we were seeing as we passed through the different sets of locks. In Puntarenas, Costa Rica we enjoyed the Pacific Train, Bus and Boat Adventure. Although, not quite as nice as the train ride we had previously enjoyed in St Maartens, this train ride was enjoyable and gave one an opportunity to see the conditions under which some people actually live in this county. The boat ride was enjoyable and we were able to see a large variety of birds and small animals, but I yearned for more time to try and see that "big crocodile". Oscar was a great guide. After the tour, we strolled along the beach at the pier for awhile, amazed at how black our feet turned from the volcanic sand. Corinto, Nicaragua: we did not book an excursion here due to the long drive out and back to see the attractions, such as Antigua. I was a little anxious re even getting off the ship after reading some older reviews (2009) but was pleasantly surprised! The port was very industrial with trucks loading and unloading in the area where we disembarked from the ship, but there were guards managing this traffic. The locals were very friendly, asking us where we were from, if we spoke French (we're Canadian) , and even giving us directions to the "beach and restaurants". When the many vendors approached you, they quietly went on their way when you said "no, thanks". There were lovely costumed people dancing in the town square and a lovely park to rest in the shade. I got the impression that the people were trying very hard to impress us and bring more cruise ships and more money into their desolate town. I would love to return in a few years to see their progress. Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala: Coffee Plantation - Wow - to watch smoke erupting from several live volcanoes as we drove towards the city - incredible! And then to see the site where one of these volcanoes erupted on June 3 of last year, killing many and closing the road we are driving on for 3 months - truly amazing! -work continues to be done on this road but it is very easy to see where the streams of ash rolled down the side of the mountain and the damage it caused. The tour of the coffee plantation was also lovely, getting to stroll through the coffee fields, learn about the processing and enjoy a great cup of coffee. Our guide was very informative, giving us inside information about the politics, health care and education system. Acapulco, Mexico: Again I wasn't too sure about safety here, considering the US Dept of State has issued a Travel Warning. We booked the Bay Cruise and Cliff Divers and enjoyed a wonderful tour of the bay, enjoying unlimited beer and margaritas as we cruised, with lots of space to enjoy the sun or shade. Viewing the La Quebrada cliff divers from the perspective of the bay was great with some of the divers swimming out and boarding our boat after their jumps - of course they were after tips, but they were very friendly, offering to have their pictures taken with many of us. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: unfortunately we docked here at 7 am and left by 2 pm - much to short a time to enjoy such as wonderful place. We enjoyed the Famous Arch, Sea Lions and Whales tour. We did see several sets of whales from our ship that morning before the tour, but were able to get much closer on our fast, inflatable boat, seeing one breach not far from us, as well as many tail splashes and even a fin flap! In the small inflatable boat we were able to get a good view of The Arch and Sea Lion colony. Our guide Beth came a great running commentary the entire 2 hours of our tour. After our tour, we stopped by the Dolphin Encounter and were able to sit and watch people swim with the dolphins (no admission charge to just watch). Our one disappointment was the Beachfronts and Beverly Hills ending at Airport in Los Angeles - the reviews weren't great but we needed something to do while we waited for our 11 pm flight out of LAX and didn't want to carry our luggage around with us all day. This was a 5 hour tour, but I would have enjoyed it so much more if it had taken about 8 hrs to complete. The scenic coastal drive to Beverly Hills was on the freeway with lots of traffic and I seemed to be on the wrong side of the bus to view everything that was pointed out. We did a walking tour of Rodeo Drive but had no time to shop as it was difficult keeping 30 people of varying athletic abilities together, getting through stop lights, etc and it was very difficult to hear our guide Allan due to the distance we were often away from him. Our next stop was the Santa Monica pier where we were given 1 hr - the problem was it took 15 min to walk to the pier, another 15 min to walk back and were expected to get ourselves some lunch during this time. Our last stop at Venice was even more rushed - only 15 min total, with it taking 5 min to walk to the beach boardwalk and another 5 min to walk back - that left 5 min to take a few quick pictures - no time for a lovely stroll along the boardwalk. Our guide, Allan, was very personable, but wasn't very helpful when he would state "if you look over there" you will see such-and-such without giving directions to those of us in the back as to where we should be looking. He chatted quite heartily with those in the front of the bus, but those of us in the back were not included in the conversations. All in all, a very enjoyable 2 week tour. Another trip off of my bucket list :) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband and I are mid-60's early 70's. The cruise had only a handful of children and we were pleased. This trip through the Panama Canal was 14 days from Miami to Los Angeles. We were a little worried about the food on ... Read More
My husband and I are mid-60's early 70's. The cruise had only a handful of children and we were pleased. This trip through the Panama Canal was 14 days from Miami to Los Angeles. We were a little worried about the food on this ship after reading some of the previous reviews. However, we were on this ship for 14 days and did not have one disappointing meal. We ate at 3 of the speciality restaurants (Cagney's (twice), Teppenaki, and Le Bistro). Never had a problem getting drinks although a few of the bartenders weren't that friendly. The room was great and I didn't feel to crowded. Loved the toilet/shower area. You have a door that you can close while you're on the toilet leaving the sink & shower open for your roommate. I loved having the coffee maker in the room so I could have my tea first thing. We went on several excursions: -Magnificent Cartagena - Nice bus trip. -Beach Day at Monterrico (Guatemala) - Beautiful Resort - no food or drinks provided but we purchased some. Food was great and reasonably priced. -Scenic Costa Rica - OK bus trip. (Not sure it was worth the price) Did enjoy the local dancers. Did think the word "scenic" is misleading. -Up Close Whale Watching by Zodiac - Wonderful trip in Cabo San Lucas. We saw so many whales I can't count them all. There were a lot of trips offered when you go off board the ship that would have been 50% cheaper. I'd do that if I was coming back. - Nicaragra & Acapulco - These stops were not that great for us. We did walk the town of Acapulco and found it not that impressive. Wouldn't care to go back. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
In looking for a Panama Canal Cruise, we chose Norwegian because of the itinerary (1) beginning in Miami and ending in LA. (as we planned on spending the month of February in California anyway) and (2) being two weeks long. This was ... Read More
In looking for a Panama Canal Cruise, we chose Norwegian because of the itinerary (1) beginning in Miami and ending in LA. (as we planned on spending the month of February in California anyway) and (2) being two weeks long. This was the first time we had sailed on Norwegian, previously having sailed on Royal Caribbean several times. Overall, I would rate Royal Caribbean higher. On this cruise,we had some issues with not very accommodating customer service staff and not very good service in the main dining room a couple of nights; a balcony room with a lay out that made it seem rather tight and we actually cleaned our own balcony glass because it was so dirty. The activities by the pool and then in the evening were at sometimes just dumb and actually embarrassing. We’ve participated in games on RC before and had great laughs with them. The Norwegian activities group seemed to aim for humiliating guests to get laughs. The evening entertainment was very good. We went to the shows almost every night. They had a good variety of acts. The sommelier for the Chocolate and Wine tasting and the Blind Wine tasting was excellent. She had a very practical approach to enjoying wine. We also had fun at the martini and mojito tastings that were offered on the days at sea. We came home with new recipes to try. The speaker for the enrichment series was not an expert on most topics she spoke on. My husband and I had read the book, “The Path between the Seas” by McCullough. We knew more about the Panama Canal after having just read that one book and would have had more interesting information about it than the speaker. She also was inaccurate on a few points. Not sure why they hired her as their expert. I could have researched any of the topics she presented and put on a better presentation. There was a good variety of shore excursions from which to choose. I will review those we chose separately from this. Two tips: (1) definitely do the Bay Cruise and Cliff Divers excursion in Acapulco. We had a beautiful day to be out on the water and got a tour of the bay with all the beautiful homes. They served all you could drink margaritas and beer though it was a bit early for me when we first started out. Then, watching the cliff divers was amazing. A very good buffet lunch was served on the way back to the dock. (2) pacaya Volcano Hike in Guatemala. The highest number is a 3 on Nowegian’s scale of difficulty for excursions. They need to bump that up for this excursion. It is nothing like the Forest Sky Walk excursion we did in Costa Rica which was also rated a 3. Comparably, the volcano should have been at least a 5! This is straight up the volcano. Fortunately for people who couldn’t continue, young Guatemala boys followed with their horses and would offer a ride to the top for $5. Quite a few people ended up choosing this option. While we loved the excursions and seeing the engineering marvel that is the Panama Canal we would probably choose a different cruise line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Always wanted to travel through the Panama Canal and the Star provided an excellent way. The ship and it’s crew did not disappoint. The service was excellent, the food and beverages did not disappoint. Most of the entertainment was ... Read More
Always wanted to travel through the Panama Canal and the Star provided an excellent way. The ship and it’s crew did not disappoint. The service was excellent, the food and beverages did not disappoint. Most of the entertainment was good. The shore excursions left something to be desired. The descriptions overly exaggerated the actual excursion. Things described were not seen. For example, in Cartagena our Walking Tour was 50% stop the bus so street vendors could solicit their wears to a point of major annoyance. Our time on the ship was a positive experience. We would recommend table sharing to shorten the wait for seating at dinner and this would also promote interaction amongst guests. The Gatsby Bar was five star for drinks and the bartenders but two stars for entertainment since the same person played there for at least twelve of our fourteen nights playing to a limited fan club. Our experience on a previous NCL cruise was that the entertainment changed more often. We would choose NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I went on this cruise with my parents because my dad had wanted to go through the Panama Canal. I enjoyed the Panama Canal and Costa Rica the best. We didn’t get off the ship in Nicaragua because it was very windy that day and we ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my parents because my dad had wanted to go through the Panama Canal. I enjoyed the Panama Canal and Costa Rica the best. We didn’t get off the ship in Nicaragua because it was very windy that day and we needed to use tenders to go go ashore, also there weren’t any excursions we were interested in. If it were up to me, 8 would rather have had 2 days in Costa Rica and skip Nicaragua all together. I was also not impressed with Acapulco - the Cliff divers were ok but not as spectacular as I expected. 14 days was the most we had ever been on a ship and it was about 3 days too long. I could also skip Colombia - it’s a big city with lots of hotels and shopping. Except I did really like the Eco Park right next to the ship dock - that was the highlight for me! The specialty restaurants are small and fill up quickly so make your reservations early. We had the dining package but only used 2 of the 4 dinners because we couldn’t get reservations. We ate at La Cucina and Moderno and both were good but our favorite restaurant ended up being Aqua. Great food, excellent service and nice atmosphere. We enjoyed the activities put on by the ship’s cruise director team were great! We liked Bingo, quiz shows, movie sketches, pool contests, really everything - they work really hard to keep you entertained and busy, especially on sea days and there are lots of sea days. The shows were also good - especially the production staff shows. On this trip we didn’t like the comedian, the magician or the hypnotist. While we would not do this cruise again, it’s a bit too long and once you’ve seen the Panama Canal you don’t really need to see it again. We do plan to sail with Norwegian again, we like the freestyle flexibility and the ships general approach works for us. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose the cruise to transit the Canal, which was the highlight. As expected from Norwegian, the ship experience was excellent. Food and beverage service excellent. Cabin staff were excellent. The nightly shows were professional and ... Read More
Chose the cruise to transit the Canal, which was the highlight. As expected from Norwegian, the ship experience was excellent. Food and beverage service excellent. Cabin staff were excellent. The nightly shows were professional and entertaining. Embarkcation and disembarkcation were a breeze. The only exception was the H2O Bar. I am not sure what the thinking was in setting up this bar up on prime ship real estate. The bar itself was fine. But the hot tubs and lounging beds??? Sorry, I did enjoy seeing people laying around in day beds. The excursion in Guatamala was okay. Although the destination was excellent, the trip through the slums was disappointing. The Nicaragua excursion was surprisingly excellent. The destination was beautiful, food was excellent and the people was extremely friendly. The bus, train, boat excursion in Costa Rica was horrible. I have been to Costa Rica previously and enjoyed the country and the poeple. But this excursion was a hugh let down. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
One of our friends mother works for Expedia and she set up the cruise for fourteen of us. It was decided on New Years Eve 2017 as we had done a similar thing with 10 people in 2016. The cruise was non stop fun. The entertainment was ... Read More
One of our friends mother works for Expedia and she set up the cruise for fourteen of us. It was decided on New Years Eve 2017 as we had done a similar thing with 10 people in 2016. The cruise was non stop fun. The entertainment was first class and the cruise director, “Roberto”, was very good. The food was OK, but should have been better. Other cruises I have taken not with NCL we’re far superior. Some of the stuff serve I would never given to guest in my house. Our stateroom was well maintained by housekeeping but our toilet never worked the entire vacation. We had the plumber come 5 different times to fix it but was unable to actually fix in permanently. It would stop working within a day. This forced us to use the public washrooms. This was very poor in retrospect. The bars spread around the boat were very good as well as the programs both on and off the boat. The exercise room was good, but still below expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise, so most folks asked us : Why an 18 day cruise? Our answer was we're from Alaska and we want to be gone from the cold and dark, and of course to see the Panama Canal. New York to LA. was also in the mix. ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so most folks asked us : Why an 18 day cruise? Our answer was we're from Alaska and we want to be gone from the cold and dark, and of course to see the Panama Canal. New York to LA. was also in the mix. Freestyle cruising fit our plan as we didn't want to dress up every night, although we did a couple of nights. As newbie cruisers, I would say it's all about the ship and the crew and the people on board. We are in our early sixties so our expectations were folks our age and older. For the most part, that proved to be true. People who have had many cruise experiences see the cruise in many different ways comparing one to another. Food, entertainment, ports of call, etc. First off for me, I've never been surrounded by so much food. It was good. Speciality dining was fun! There is no reason to complain. Just pick something else! The crew and all the staff want you to be happy. They take their job seriously. Entertainment was all day and into the night! Something for everyone. Beautiful people who truly try to make your vacation memorable. Really enjoyed the "hot white" party. Service was excellent. They washed and folded my clothes for a fair price. The spa was superb! I would recommend it to anyone. It's expensive, but for a vacation to get ones mind off the work waiting for you at home-- a bargain. I gave my wife the 18 day spa pass and that was a bargain too! The Gem is truly a wonderful ship. I read its fact sheet. Its' crew international. Really makes it fun. Norwegian in my mind strives to be a class act. Sign me up- I'd do it again. I didn't think about work once. Therefore it was a true vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary and have sailed Norwegian before and have always had a good time onboard. Service- this was hit and miss. Some of the hostesses aren't very friendly. The girl in Sheehan's never smiled ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary and have sailed Norwegian before and have always had a good time onboard. Service- this was hit and miss. Some of the hostesses aren't very friendly. The girl in Sheehan's never smiled or made me feel welcome. I'm a former hostess- so this bothers me. My cabin steward kept my room clean, but even though I'd put the "Make Up Room" sign up by 7AM (I'm an early riser)- the room was never made up until 10AM. Also, I go to bed early- and my room was never made up in the evening before 9PM. Given that it was an 18-night cruise- The cabin steward should have recognized my routine but didn't care. I had to ask for things and he wasn't friendly until the last night of the cruise- when he probably hoped for an extra tip. I didn't give him one because he hadn't gone the extra mile- like most cabin stewards do. I generally tip extra, but not this time. Ship- the ship was in very good condition- there were some places that needed repainting on the exterior and my friend's cabin (5096) had what looked like mold on the ceiling. It turned out to be paint but it was unsightly. Internet- You can pay $.99 a minute or you have to buy a package. The only way to get the 24 hour unlimited use is to buy a package for the entire voyage. Expensive. Entertainment- I was never bored. There were plenty of activities to participate in. Show that I went to were very good. I loved Brad Stevens the pianist. Food- I dined for most meals in the Grand Pacific Dining Room. We usually showed up between 5;30- 6:30 and there wasn't much of a wait. The meals were hit and miss. Meat dishes- steaks and ribs (and even the Hungarian Goulash) were inedible. Too tough. Perhaps the head chef is a vegetarian but he needs to have someone taste test the food. I'm sure there were many complaints and plates of food sent back to the kitchen. I ended up referring to this as the "bird and fish" cruise because those dishes and the vegetarian dishes were good. The bananas foster were bananas cut lengthwise and plopped into butterscotch and rum. Gross. My "key lime parfait" was really key lime mousse. Tasted good but did not resemble a "parfait". The corn fritters were flat pancakes with a kernel of corn in each one. The salads were lacking in anything other than mixed greens and they ran out of spinach midway through the cruise. Le Bistro was good- but the cost of the food was excessive- given that meals are included in the passage. The up charge shouldn't be $17.99 for a good steak. The buffet was ok. The outside burger stand was good and on sea days they did really nice bar-b-ques by the pool. The best dish was a seafood medley. Yum! Drinks- I thought the price of wine was reasonable. I noticed my chardonnay was cheaper at Magnums than other venues. Don't know why. Unless you are a full-fledged alcoholic- don't bother with a drink package. Average drink price is $10. Excursions and Ports Curacao- We pre-purchased $60 resort passes (through Resorts for a Day) for the Hilton Hotel. It was fabulous. They welcomed us- provided towels and we were free to use the beach and pool areas. Our passes included $25 food and beverage vouchers, which was enough for us to drink four drinks and split a delicious Quesadilla. Highly recommend this place. Taxis to and from the Hilton were $20 each way. Aruba- We winged it and were so glad we did. There are school buses (decorated with graffiti) offering $25 pp island tours. We went to a rock formation, a church, a lighthouse (where there are food and beverage trucks. Get a fruit smoothie for $5- delicious!). Then we were dropped off at Eagle Beach for two hours and then returned to the ship. It was awesome. The beach chairs rent for $10. Santa Marta- very poor industrial port. Our excursion to a waterfall was underwhelming and there was too much walking (and wading through streams) for some of the passengers. I'm only 53 so the mostly shaded walk didn't bother me (it's over a mile each way) but my 71 year old travel companion it was too much for- especially with wading through the streams 8 times. I should have read the fine print about shoes getting wet. The waterfall may be more impressive when there isn't a drought but it was puny. The banios (toilets) were very gross and you have to pay $1 to use them. Norwegian should drop this port IMO and do two nights in Cartegena. Cartegena- Loved this city. Very pretty architecture. The vendors are ridiculous though. My suggestion is ignore them. Someone in my group made the mistake of buying something and then was swarmed by other vendors. To get away from the them- nip into on of the Juan Valdez coffee shops (Columbia's Starbucks). The coffee is good and inexpensive. They only take pesos or credit cards. Shops took US dollars though. Panama Canal- Wow! Was a wonderful experience. I got up early and managed to score a seat at the bow in Spinnacker at 6:45. Transit started around 8AM but it was neat waiting in line for the Canal. Sailing through the lake while eating lunch at one of the aft window tables in the Grand Pacific Dining Room was one of my favorite trip experiences. Costa Rica- We went to an animal rescue with NCL where we saw many birds, moneys, and animals. We were treated to fresh fruit- which was very delicious . Highly recommend Nicaragua- We went to the Botanical Gardens and Leon with NCL. Our guide Gabriel was very good but the trip to and from was long and we were underwhelmed with the Botanical Gardens. There were no flowers at all. The only thing worth seeing was the green parrot. Guatemala- I stayed onboard. I'd had enough of long bus rides through poverty stricken areas for a lifetime at this point. Manzanilla- We went on the NCL excursion to Barcelo Karmina Resort. This was close to the ship and a very nice all-inclusive which we enjoyed. The town however is industrial and polluted. I think NCL should take it off the itinerary. Puerto Vallarta- I stayed on the ship but if you like to shop there is a big mall and a Walmart. Cabo- Great way to end our trip. Tendering was fast and easy. The town is beautiful. We went to Casa Dorada resort with NCL. Our tour group had access to a hotel suite which we could access from the pool area. We had a complimentary buffet lunch and a free beverage (any). I had a Bahama Mama which was good. Margaritas were good too. Make sure to be out on deck at sailaway to watch the whales. We saw many, many whales. This was a great way to end our trip. I'd go back to Cabo. Overall- I had a great time on the cruise and would sail NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Our booking agent Janet at NCL was also fantastic and always answered our questions promptly. Overall, the ship staff, amenities, and dining were great. Being new to having limited mobility I found that the ship and the staff - aside from ... Read More
Our booking agent Janet at NCL was also fantastic and always answered our questions promptly. Overall, the ship staff, amenities, and dining were great. Being new to having limited mobility I found that the ship and the staff - aside from the shore excursion team - were fantastic at managing mobility issues. Lots of disabled restrooms, staff was always eager to assist. The room was clean, and had enough room for a family of four, and our balcony was fantastic. Our steward Biency was always available, always called us by our names, consistently asked us if we needed anything and was generally accommodating. We always had what we needed in our room and it was made-up/turned-down at good times. He was a true highlight. The restaurants and bars were always well stocked and had a good selection. I would like to see the service at O'Sheehan's improve and some additional things added to the menu (a BLT or club sandwich, onion rings, guac & salsa for the nachos etc). Also the quality of the food at O'Sheehans varied dramatically every time we went in. The shore excursions and the shore excursion team were below what I would expect for the price point. I feel like that NCL should have staff that is knowledgable about the excursions because someone on the team has taken it and has done a write-up for the other members of staff & made notes that cruisers would find helpful. They were clueless with answering questions and just kept repeating what I could already read on the app. We also waiting in the theatre one day when the SE staff walked way without calling our tour. When a man asked about it they waved their hand as they walked away and said, "oh yeah, that one is ready, you can go." Also, the activity levels were useless and not at all indicative of the actual difficulty. I ended up injured on a shore excursion due to their ignorance and their attitude was "oh well." NCL needs to ramp up the ports of call for this cruise and have better timing at ports. Having to drive an hour or more at most ports just to see places of interest is a hassle. A Panama City stop would have also been a good choice for this itinerary. There were 20 kids on this cruise and I felt the Splash Academy struggled to manage this small amount even with all their staff. I don't know how they do with a boat full of kids! We kept repeating instructions to keep a certain chid away from our child but we constantly got feedback that they kept letting them interact and therefore had continued negative occurrences despite our instructions. To be quite honest, our child was harassed by this other child and the staff only reacted when my child retaliated. The staff didn't really feel like they knew much about children or how to redirect their behaviour. I would like them to get more training on conflict resolution because their solution seemed to be to throw their hands in the air. Having said all that, the ship was a great size, the Panama canal portion of the itinerary was worth it for the narration and information alone, the dining and bar staff was consistently fantastic, and some of the excursions were well worth the time and money. This was our first time on NCL (we've done two other companies in the past) and I feel that it was good enough to give it another go, should my complaint about the excursions get resolved. There were a lot of long time cruisers complaining on this cruise but we didn't feel that our experience was negative overall, just some training for Shore Excursions and the Splash Academy. Everything else was great. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My goal in life is to see as much of the world before I leave this good earth so I choose this cruise because it went to South America a place i've never been and stopped at 11 different ports which would have cost me a fortune had I ... Read More
My goal in life is to see as much of the world before I leave this good earth so I choose this cruise because it went to South America a place i've never been and stopped at 11 different ports which would have cost me a fortune had I taken these trips individually, one cruise 11 different countries; We also went thru the Panama Canal which was just place i heard and read about and wonder what that looks like, I was lucky to have experience it, it was awesome. While we were at sea going from one country to the next the ship did not disappoint they kept us quite entertained with lots of food, games, seminars, swimming, the spa, the Casino and first class live stage performances, thank you Norwegian Gem I really enjoyed myself. My state room was lovely with a king size bed and the service was impeccable, after 18 days of having being catered to I am still trying to get back to normal now that I am home. I traveled by my self because most of my friends were not able to get away for such a long period of time but I never felt alone the staff and the other guests were all very friendly and I felt very comfortable, can't wait for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose this trip because of the timing primarily but also because of the itinerary. The longest cruise we had been on before was 7 days so at day 7 it was so nice to know we still had 11 more days. I really enjoyed the activities by ... Read More
I chose this trip because of the timing primarily but also because of the itinerary. The longest cruise we had been on before was 7 days so at day 7 it was so nice to know we still had 11 more days. I really enjoyed the activities by the pool on the "sea days" so you could enjoy the pool and sunshine! With 10 "ports of call" there was ample opportunity to enjoy shore excursions mixed in with relaxing by the pools. We had only been to Cabo San Lucas before so the other 9 ports were all new to us and real treat to discover. We especially enjoyed Guatamala. Who'da thought? And of course the Panama Canal was extra special. We added an extra day in New York City to begin and L. A. at the end and really enjoyed this addition to our trip. It really added extra relaxation and excitement to our trip. Overall, I believe our experience with Norwegian was great and I'm really happy that we upgraded to a mini suite for that little extra cabin space. I had booked a balcony and then submitted bids to upgrade and managed to get upgraded. We will forever remember this cruise for the people we met and all of the fabulous experiences on ship and on shore. In addition, we would like to thank the wonderful crew members!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise for the itinerary, specifically a chance to experience the Panama Canal. I was not disappointed. There was a thorough explanation of the workings of the canal as we went through. The other ports were fine, the ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary, specifically a chance to experience the Panama Canal. I was not disappointed. There was a thorough explanation of the workings of the canal as we went through. The other ports were fine, the Gumbalimba Preserve in Honduras was another highlight for me. The ship was clean and though reportedly recently refurbished, it was somewhat dated. The cabin was small, but adequate. This was my first NCL cruise and I was told by some who had cruised with them before that the Jade was not a good representative of the line as a whole. I am taking the word for it and purchased a Next Cruise package. First the Positives. I prefer to sail on a ship the size of the Jade. Even though it was completely booked, there were no long waits for the elevators or the restaurants as there are on some of the larger ships. All staff and crew I encountered were thoroughly efficient and polite. I found the service excellent in all the restaurants and enjoyed the food. I had the specialty dining package and enjoyed all of the specialty restaurants. I also enjoyed the buffet. I purchased a Thermal Suite pass and it was well worth the money. It was peaceful and quiet and a good way to escape the crowd at the pool, especially on days at sea. There was an extensive list of activities that I enjoyed, a special shout-out to Vincent the Cruise Director who brought a lot of fun and energy to the cruise. I especially liked the dance lessons. Neutral The Two Oceans by Railway excursion was pleasant, but I don't think it was worth the price. You spend more time on the bus getting to and from the train than on the train itself. Also there really was not a lot to see from the train. The negatives I have previously cruised on Royal Caribbean during the holidays and in comparison, the meager Christmas and New Year's decorations on the Jade were totally underwhelming. Likewise, I found the entertainment disappointing. The juggler was excellent but the other entertainers on the ship were amateurish. Dee Jay Cee Jay, however, is a fabulous DJ and lots of fun. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
NCL Jade was a great ship, staff were very friendly especially in the O'Sheehans restaurant. We had a handicap oceanview on deck 8, cabin 8602 which was listed as obstructed view. Except for a view of the top of a lifeboat, the ... Read More
NCL Jade was a great ship, staff were very friendly especially in the O'Sheehans restaurant. We had a handicap oceanview on deck 8, cabin 8602 which was listed as obstructed view. Except for a view of the top of a lifeboat, the view was not that obstructed. My only down comment was in regards to the handicap room was where they sent us for lifeboat drill. Instead of directing us to O'Sheehans down the walk way from the cabin we were sent to deck 6 dining room, where only 1 of 4 elevators would go to that level. Needless to say we never went to that restaurant for dinner. We had the drink package, 4 specialty dinner package, and setup unlimited wifi. We visited the Moderno (brazilian steakhouse), where the best food was the sirlion steak & pineapple. Cagney's - wow great steaks (on our next cruise we will here more than once). La Cucina - italian, was just so so. Teppanyaki - can't go wrong here, always good. It was great the ship had an Adults pool - though the occasional parent took their kid there. As with any cruise people are very rude about getting out there early and marking chairs, then not returning for 1/2 the day. Even though all cruises make reference to being able to remove towels after 1/2 hour, most people do not. Bingo is overpriced, and deal or No Deal is fun but kind of dull, and suggestion of you matching cases not very likely. Most I saw anyone match after 4 games was 4. Harvest Caye - caught a Beach Villa on early booking of tour for $350 which was a steal (once onboard it goes for $599). Best tour we did. Bad comment for Harvest Caye was the shops - my partner got caught purchasing a chess set for ($150), which store owner proclaimed was their best price, then saw same in Costa Maya for only $40. Buyer beware on this stop. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We are a family of 5 (NCL platinum) and split into two mini suites for this trip. Embarkation We drove down from North Carolina (I know, ridiculous but we wanted to visit friends in South Florida before the cruise). Parked in the ... Read More
We are a family of 5 (NCL platinum) and split into two mini suites for this trip. Embarkation We drove down from North Carolina (I know, ridiculous but we wanted to visit friends in South Florida before the cruise). Parked in the garage about 10:15 a.m. and hauled our luggage to the nearest porter to be brought on the ship. Waited in a pretty crowded waiting area for about an hour (we were in boarding group 2) and then headed onto the ship. The ship We had been on the Jade before for a European cruise a couple of years prior. It's a smaller ship which we prefer as there are fewer people and it’s easier to move around. The ship is in good shape and with a couple of minor exceptions the crew was friendly and helpful. Unlike other ships we have been on, the fitness was usually busy but not overcrowded. We never had trouble getting on a cardio machine. The stretching/free weights area is tiny but it usually is on ship gyms. We did not use the spa. Dining We had specialty dining for 4 nights as part of the package-we did Moderno twice (the kids really like it), Cagney's, and Teppanyaki. Great food and good service in all specialty restaurants. The Garden Café was not usually too crowded and we never minded walking through to the Great Outdoors to get away from the hordes. We ate in Alizar and Grand Pacific a few times and O’Sheehans for lunch and breakfast. For some reason, this is the first time we had eaten at O’Sheehans for breakfast on any cruise and it was a very pleasant, relaxed experience. The Kids My son had just aged out of the Splash Academy. He LOVES the Splash Academy and was excited about trying out the teen activities (Entourage). Unfortunately, because he was the youngest, he had a hard time fitting in with the older kids and did not love the many scavenger and other “hunts” that were the planned activities. It would have been great if Entourage had more open hours so kids could come in and play foosball and PS4 without having to participate in group events. My daughter is 17 and wanted nothing to do with the Teens area. She mostly hung out with us. Entertainment We attend the shows mostly as a diversion for our 17 year old. There are usually a couple of good performers and the people watching is at least as entertaining as the shows themselves. We don’t gamble and I’ve only been in the casino when I’ve gotten lost. Drink package Because we travel in two staterooms, we usually try to divide up the “free at sea” offers. This cruise each stateroom received two “free at sea” offers. My husband and I took the Ultimate Beverage Package and Specialty Dining. My Mom and the kids had 250 Internet minutes and Specialty Dining. We shared the 250 internet minutes and most days it worked though it was slow. Mom doesn’t drink alcohol but does like a virgin Mudslide and a Diet Pepsi once a day. The kids like Shirley Temples and Pepsis. We never had a problem ordering drinks for everyone with just one card. I always leave an extra tip (bring dollar bills) but I really don’t think I received any special treatment. Ports Cartagena We were most excited to visit this port and I wish that we had more time there. I would definitely go back. I had read all of the warnings about safety but we felt very safe the entire time. We got off the ship promptly at 7 a.m. and walked through the touristy terminal with parrots, flamingos, and a gift shop. We walked out to the taxi stand and negotiated for a van that would hold ten people. The driver was from Switzerland and spoke perfect English, good Spanish, and some German. We then recruited a German family to join us in the van. The cost was $5 per person and he took us to the Old Town. We wandered around the Old Town for awhile and walked the wall before it got too hot. I bought my son a Colombian soccer jersey for $10. Negotiations started at $45. We stopped for a snack of gelato and then walked to the Castillo (Fortress). There was quite a line to enter but we eventually made it up the hill to explore the very impressive building. ` I speak enough Spanish to get by but most people wanted to practice their English with me so I would speak in Spanish and they would respond in English. Everywhere we went took USD or credit card. We had no issues communicating except the cab driver on the way back to the ship did not speak English. I would definitely bring sunscreen and water. After the Castillo, we had to back on the ship by 1:30 so we caught a small cab back to the cruise terminal (terminal de cruceros). Negotiated price was $10 total but traffic was so bad and it took us so long (35 minutes-should have been about 10-12 minutes), I gave him $20. Panama Canal/Gatun Lake We got up at sunrise to watch the ships enter the locks. It was very cool but honestly the return trip had a much better view for us and I could have slept in! Because only NCL excursions could tender from the ship and the shore excursions were not that interesting and were pricey, we stayed on board. A lot of passengers cleared out and it was a great day to just hang out and watch all of the cargo ships coming and going. For the return trip through the locks, we watched from our balconies and then walked in the Colon terminal just to say we had “been” in Panama. Colon terminal has a couple of photo ops and a pretty neat grocery store that we wandered through (it takes USD and credit cards) but we had a hard time stretching this out to even 45 minutes off the boat. We ended up just walking within the terminal area to get our steps in. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica This was the second most anticipated stop. We got up early so we could meet our private guide at 7 a.m. We watched the ship try to dock several times. Finally, the ship started to pull away and an announcement was made that it was not safe to dock and we would not be staying in Costa Rica. We instead headed early for Harvest Caye. We were NOT happy. I emailed our tour guide and he also expressed his disappointment and the economic impact on the entire area that was looking forward to hosting the ship. Harvest Caye Because we missed Costa Rica, we were on the ship for two sea days before Harvest Caye and we were ready to get off! Before we left, I reserved a 6 seater golf cart from Captain Jak’s for $55 for 4 hours. We bought ferry tickets to Placencia from the Shore Excursion desk (See story below about tender tickets for Roatan. Initially we were also told we could not buy ferry tickets on the ship but I kept asking different people until I was directed to Shore Excursions). Tickets were $20 per person round trip. We were given a set time (10:50) and told we had three hours on Placencia. I emailed Captain Jak’s and gave them our ETA and they offered to meet me at the docks. Once we arrived on Harvest Caye, I went to the ferry desk and asked if they had an earlier ferry. They did and we boarded about 30 minutes. I called Captain Jak’s and they were kind enough to meet us early. Once we arrived, we hopped in the golf cart and took off to explore the island. We stopped at the beach and several stores and had a great time on our self-excursion. The return ferry was scheduled for us at 1:30. We may have been able to get on a later ferry but they only have 61 seats and if we missed our guaranteed time and there was no space on a later ferry, it wouldn’t be good. We then spent a couple of hours relaxing and exploring Harvest Caye. We found seats by the pool and there were also tons of seats near the beach. There were lots of local vendors and places to eat. Roatan We used a tour guide we have used before, George Lemus of Roatan Custom Tours. George is fantastic. He speaks excellent English, is very responsive to emails, and has great ideas for activities. We toured the island in a large van, did a little shopping, and then hung out at Paradise Beach Club for $20/pp for the rest of the day. We walked down the beach and did some of the best snorkeling that we have done in years (we brought our own snorkel equipment). Great water clarity and lots of fish. Paradise Beach Club has a restaurant and bar and we ordered food for the kids and Monkey LaLas for the rest of us. They reported the chicken fingers were very good. My husband, Mom, and I walked down the alley to Omay’s local food stand. We ordered fried fish with plantains, rice and beans for $15 a plate. Two plates were more than enough for 3 of us. Costa Maya We had been here before and went back to Maya Chan. I can’t say enough good things about Maya Chan even though the day we visited the weather wasn’t great and the beach had a lot of sea grass (obviously, neither of which they control). The service is exceptional, the food AMAZING, and the location perfect. I got a massage (one hour-$45) and the kids played in the new pool, kayaked, built sand castles, and roamed around. There was another large party there but we barely noticed them. The taxi ride back to port was dominated by a couple who had imbibed too much and were the definition of ugly Americans but it just made for a teachable moment and a funny story later. My difficult-to-please 17 year old declared it the best stop on the cruise. Disembarkation We were scheduled to arrive at 7 a.m. and since we were driving home (not a good idea), we wanted to get up and out early. Unfortunately, we were not let off the ship until after 8 a.m. We always use the walk off process with our own luggage and the line moved pretty quickly. Immigration was a cursory glance at our passports and if there was any customs scrutiny, I missed it. We were in the van and on the road by 8:40. Norwegian Generally As I mentioned, we are platinum with NCL so clearly we keep coming back. However, there are things that need improvement and now I just plan for NCL screw ups. One is the specialty dining reservations and transportation reservations. There are always discrepancies between what the NCL app says, our confirmation print out says, and the reservation desk says. ALWAYS, check and double check the times and names of any reservation and print out your confirmations. Second is the lack of communication. On the day we were tendering for Roatan, I found out in an email about 4 p.m. the day before from our tour guide that we were tendering. NCL did not mention it until the Daily came out that night. We have had horrible experiences tendering before where the ticket acquisition is unmanaged and chaotic and the lines are endless so I was immediately suspicious. I walked down to Guest Services to confirm that we were tendering. Yes, we were. I asked where and how do we get tickets? 7 p.m. in Bliss Lounge. Ok. So we drew straws to see who would go down to Bliss Lounge and wait in a long line for part of the evening to make sure we got tickets. But then I had another suspicion. NCL usually tells me the wrong answer at least once. So, I called down to Guest Services to inquire and was told that tickets would be issued at 7 a.m. the following morning before tendering began at 8 a.m. I then asked if we get priority tender tickets because we have platinum reward status. The answer was yes but she couldn’t tell me how we acquired the tender tickets with the status. She thought I could just show up. The next morning, I continued my fretting (as I noted we have been burned before on the tender process) so my husband dutifully went down to Bliss at 7 a.m. to get tender tickets. After waiting in line, he was told that because we are platinum, we cannot obtain tender tickets and we should just show up, flash our cards and we will have priority boarding. Theoretically good. However, when we did just that, the very nice dancer who was pulling duty as queue director did not know this policy. I politely told her what we had been told and then we just kept on walking to the tender. So, yes it all worked out. But I have been on cruises where it did not work out because of poor communication between passengers and crew and these situations could be easily avoided. Maybe NCL staff are trying to give me the run around. I don’t know. I really think it’s just the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing and then does not communicate internally to the crew and externally to the passengers. I should not have to hear from my tour guide in Roatan about our tender process before NCL tells me. Tips We have Tmobile and our package allows us to call the U.S. for .25/minute and data and texting are free. So anytime we were in port, it was great to check in and allowed us to preserve our 250 minutes over 11 days. We always bring lots of dollar bills and small denominations so we can tip and pay taxis and vendors easily with exact change. Water bottles are handy to take when in port and we always bring ziplocs so we can pack some snacks for our time off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it spanned both Christmas and New Year, and travelled to many of the Central American destinations we wanted to visit. Ship was clean and well maintained. Dining was Freestyle, meaning you wear what you want ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it spanned both Christmas and New Year, and travelled to many of the Central American destinations we wanted to visit. Ship was clean and well maintained. Dining was Freestyle, meaning you wear what you want and dine whenever the facilities are open. The normal dining venues were so good that we didn't even use the Specialty dining tickets that came with the package. Main evening Entertainment shows were very good. Daily activities were okay, there were several choices of things to do, however I thought more variety would be better. Live music at the several lounges was very good. All ship personnel were pleasant and helpful. Easier at this point to tell about the negatives: The shore excursions aren't cheap, and if you don't book early enough you lose out... the excursion will be full. The cabins aren't soundproof. We were disturbed by children/young adults running through the hallways, noise from adjoining cabins, etc. Also there were underage teenagers crashing the adult bars/lounges and being served alcohol. Not a major problem if they were well-behaved, but they were not. We're talking about groups of teens taking over the venue and being drunk & disorderly... having verbal altercations with the adults. So... all in all it was a good cruise and I'd take another one at some point in time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise by the Ports that I have not seen yet. The price was good so I did some research of the ship and just winged it at the ports, all worked out well as it could possibly be. The ship is kept clean, as there are ... Read More
I chose this cruise by the Ports that I have not seen yet. The price was good so I did some research of the ship and just winged it at the ports, all worked out well as it could possibly be. The ship is kept clean, as there are always crew members working around the ship wiping, vacuuming and shining. the cabin was small but livable for the 2 week cruise. Cabin steward was good at keeping us happy and there was always a towel animal at nights turn down. Dining was good at both main dining rooms and the buffet as well. I have no complaints of the service there. There is an abundance of musical entertainment thought-out the ship going everyday. The latin band, Avalon, was great, but were mostly in the Atrium where there is rug, so dancing was a laborious effort. We found that we could dance on the deck above, deck 8 in front of the O'Sheehans restaurant on a Vinyl floor with no trouble to anyone. There is a dance floor on deck 13 in the Spinnaker lounge where bands are rotated in daily, so that was a nice change from the rug in the Atrium. The productions shows in the Theater were all good, as well as guest entertainers and the crew productions. The crew on NCL are a happy crew, always greeting you and respectful. The ports were interesting, with shuttles to get out of the container area of the port in Columbia then easy walk or taxi to see the city. Most of the other ports like Colon, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Jamaica, you could walk in to town or catch a taxi right in port. I was never wowed on this cruise, I have been wowed before with NCL but not this time. It was good but not a "wow"! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Timing was good for this 2 week cruise, schools not out yet, Christmas holidays not started. I enjoyed the exercise we were able to get while walking the decks, climbing the stairs. There was so much food available all the time, instead of ... Read More
Timing was good for this 2 week cruise, schools not out yet, Christmas holidays not started. I enjoyed the exercise we were able to get while walking the decks, climbing the stairs. There was so much food available all the time, instead of pigging out we elected to eat at the Indigo Restaurant every night. Small Portions of delicious food were served to us by friendly waiters. It was a better experience than eating in the busy Garden cafe. The gym was very nice, I had a new experience while running on the treadmill in choppy seas, swaying side to side, recruits a lot more muscles! Every morning we had fresh coffee and continental breakfast delivered to our cabin, this is complimentary and was much appreciated.As long as one places the order card outside the cabin before 4am. Our main focus was to see the Panama Canal and visit Cartagena and Santa Marta in Colombia. We were blown away by the cruise ship passage through the Panama canal. So happy we had our own balcony to watch it all. Grand Cayman was cancelled due to bad weather, we were not bothered, we found the other ports in Ochos Rios, Puerto Limon and especially Costa Maya in Mexico to be tourist traps. One had to dodge a lot of touts and taxis, which we did, we had to walk quite far to try to find authentic areas. Costa Maya was a total tourist trap, so we chilled at a cafe in sight of the ship and enjoyed decent wifi for a change. We didn't do any of the shore excursions, preferring to explore on our own. Harvest Caye in Belize, is a man made island constructed by Norwegian cruise lines, for their exclusive use. So we never saw anything of the real Belize, but actually enjoyed a lovely day on a very nice beach with lots of comfortable beach chairs. It was good to escape from the ship for a while and get away from an abundance of mobility scooters on board. We enjoyed the Jacuzzi on the pool deck, we went in the evenings when everyone else was having dinner. Very relaxing for sore muscles. I appreciated that we had beach towels put in our cabin. The room stewardess was outstanding. Fresh towels and sheets and the place was spick and span every day. The wifi on board is terrible. Even though we bought the package. It is well worth it to buy the in house texting app they offer on board NCL for around $9.95. As you can communicate with all friends or family on board the ship, Texting and sending pix and also scroll through daily event calendar. We did not enjoy the ships entertainment much, except for an exceptional Latin band called Avalon, they were terrific. Everyone danced when they performed.We found a lot of the organized activities on offer a bit childish and uninteresting for us. Others may enjoy them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We were looking for an alternative to flying to our destination and decided to try a cruise. It just so happened our travel agent found this cruise which met our travel dates. We convinced our brother-in-law & his wife the join us, ... Read More
We were looking for an alternative to flying to our destination and decided to try a cruise. It just so happened our travel agent found this cruise which met our travel dates. We convinced our brother-in-law & his wife the join us, too! We were pretty excited and really had no expectations. From arriving in Miami, the Pullman Hotel we felt very well taken care of. Once aboard the ship we were impressed with the decorations in celebration of Christmas. We liked the size of the ship, not so big that we were overwhelmed. Safety first with a drill organized before departing. We would highly recommend a room with a balcony. We upgraded with absolutely no regrets. It was also appreciated how relaxed the dress code was. You could get dressed up when you felt like it or not. The dining rooms were terrific! The staff left you wanting for nothing & many with a great sense of humour which we appreciated too. We can honestly say we never had the same meal twice! The buffet was amazing, we found we ate most breakfasts & lunch there! The shows were outstanding, a bit chilly in the theatre at times so bring a sweater! We booked a couple of excursions which were well organized and felt very safe. The ship was kept so clean! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because we mainly cruise with NCL and we wanted to experience the Panama Canal. We live in Florida so there was no exploring before we left the port. The embarkation was smooth although we were disappointed that ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we mainly cruise with NCL and we wanted to experience the Panama Canal. We live in Florida so there was no exploring before we left the port. The embarkation was smooth although we were disappointed that there were three times as many agents checking in Platinum and above while the line was very long for all others trying to check in. We are Gold members. The ship had a recent refurbish and they did an excellent job. The cabin was as to be expected. No surprises there. The dining was also as usual. The renamed Aqua restaurant was very quant and homey for a dinner later on in the evening. The entertainment was average on the stage. The sound was too loud and drowned out the singers in many instances. The service at all venues we visited was outstanding at all locations. We made more friends of staff than ever before. The excursions were good as well and most were worth cost we paid. Going through the Canal was the most Awesome experience ever. I hope everyone has a chance to experience it! We did not travel with children and there were very few on this two week trip which was a bonus for us. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Wife and I had a great time on the ship. We had bumps in the road per say though. Administratively it was very poor. The ship had broke down the week before and Norwegian concealed that the ship wasn't repaired. They lied that the ... Read More
Wife and I had a great time on the ship. We had bumps in the road per say though. Administratively it was very poor. The ship had broke down the week before and Norwegian concealed that the ship wasn't repaired. They lied that the ship was repaired and there would be no delays even after several phone calls after I found out about the problem from a friend who seen the ship was broke down in Puerto Rico. They never contacted me by phone nor email in the week prior. After finding out there was a problem and a delay by accident several hours before in a hotel room, I contacted Norwegian and they still continued denying a problem and delay. After checking in at the port terminal, I was handed a notification of the situation and found out the ship would not be sailing on time. We ended staying in the Miami port, delayed for a full day. They in turn insulted everyone on board by offering a $50.00 ship credit for the delay. We lost a 1 full day of the cruise and losing a port of call Cartegena,Columbia. This was one of the stops I was looking forward to going to. One of the main reasons I booked the trip. They ended taking back the monies back, because we were in port and now had to pay taxes on any drinks we consumed on board because we were stuck in the Miami Port. So there was not a real credit. One of the excursion's I do not recommend taking The Rain forest walk, Tortugero Canal cruise & Country side tour in Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. It was a waste of time and money. The canal cruise consisted of looking at a dirty canal with trash and plastic bottle down stream, no wildlife that was promised and a country side tour of a vegetable and fruit stand. The driver was scary and erratic, drove at high speeds on turns and gulley's. Almost drove off the edge a few times, all for $75.00 a person. What a rip-off and then looked for a tip. Other then that the JADE was a fun time on board, the shows were 5 star, comedy acts, singer Natalie Toro, Julie Barr the comedian, trivia contests and other activities. The crew and staff were fun people, and they made the cruise a great time. Hats off to Fabi, Monica and a few other. The cabins were clean , small but comfortable . The steward Julius ALQUIZAR , was great . He made himself available at all times but not annoying. He kept the place very clean and was great with the making of towel animals. The dining was very good at the Grand Pacific , food was hot and the drinks cold. The waiters bent over backward to make the dining experience great. There could have been a better selection on the menu is was close to being the same every night. It never changed much. I was impressed how clean the buffets were. They were good and the staff kept the ship as clean as a whistle. I don't know how they kept up with things . The stop in Belize was a good one ,beautiful beaches and amenities. The stop in Rotan, Honduras was a fun time also. Got to see the wildlife and had a small comfortable and enjoyable beach. The main attraction the Panama Canal was very interesting . Bring a camera if you go. Took quite a while t get through the canal but it was worth it. You only will see it once. Don't take any of the side excursions in Panama. You get to see everything you need aboard ship. The stop to avoid is Limon in Panama. Stay aboard ship. Its very dangerous with nothing to see. Don't get caught there when the sun goes down. All in all we had a great time aboard ship but the Administrative people tried to make the trip a disaster. Thank Goodness for the young staff that made it a fun trip. Would I do it again? Probably NOT because of the way we were treated and lied to before hand. Norwegian itself put a sour taste in my mouth before the ship left port .When I called them back both before the trip and after the trip , telling them of my experience , they had an attitude. They are not the only game in town for them to be that way Though the crew aboard put it back on track. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We missed one port due breakdown on previous cruise but NCL reimbursed us.Ship was very well maintained.Food quality in buffet was good as long as you didn't order eggs sunny side up or over easy.La Cucina menu lacked many Italian ... Read More
We missed one port due breakdown on previous cruise but NCL reimbursed us.Ship was very well maintained.Food quality in buffet was good as long as you didn't order eggs sunny side up or over easy.La Cucina menu lacked many Italian basics such as lasagna etc.Moderno was OK but the steaks were overcooked and tough.Cagney's food quality was EXCELLENT.Service in all fine dining was excellent.The main dining in Great Pacific and Alizar was as expected but Alizar was much noisier The cabin was good ,however there wasn't really enough shelf or drawer space.The bathroom was so small you had to enter in the direction you were going to use it in.Our cabin steward left much to be desired. I am one of those cursed,nasty smokers but there were quite a few of us on board.It would be really nice to have a coffee station closer to the smoking area as this area is always full early in the A.M. I guess smokers don' t sleep late. We took the historic bus tour from Gatun lake and it was much,much too long.We got on at 11A.M. and didn't get back until 5:45 and we really didn't see anything but the canal welcome center.From talking to other people,the train tour was worse.We all spent much of the tours stuck in traffic. The tour we took in Costa Rica was on a bus and took us to a banana plantation.Our tour guide made it truly worthwhile. The disembarkation in Miami was horrific.Totally unorganized trying to find luggage.Hint,there is another room that you can't see if you follow the herd where they put luggage but there is nobody from the cruise line there to direct you to it. Most importantly.DO NOT use Best Cruise parking.It took us 1 1/2 hours to get to the ship when embarking and we waited over an hour and a half to be picked up after disembarkation and they never showed up.Had to take a cab.When's we got to the parking garage it was even more of a mess.Because we had to take a cab they tell you to walk up to your car(6 flights).No elevators or restrooms.Finally one of the young guys that work there went up and got my car after waiting what seemed like a lifetime.I truly felt sorry for the young guys that work there for all the abuse they had to take.It wasn't their fault.They are victims of a very,very poorly organized environment. I have taken more than 50 cruises and even with all the complaining I seem to be doing It really was a rather pleasant cruise.Although I think there could have been some better activities the evening shows were very good. 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