1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First of all, the employees were awesome and the onboard entertainment was very good; otherwise, we were very disappointed. Our room was an inside room on the 10th floor. There were loud noises from the ship all night long. We never got ... Read More
First of all, the employees were awesome and the onboard entertainment was very good; otherwise, we were very disappointed. Our room was an inside room on the 10th floor. There were loud noises from the ship all night long. We never got a good nights sleep. The noises were NOT from other rooms, it was definitely from the ship. The food was also disappointing. We had 1 evening it was okay. Getting off the ship for excursions was a nightmare as they stopped running the elevators during that time. People were backed up for floors trying to get off. Getting back on was fine. They changed the time on one of our excursions without letting us know and would not work with us to be sure we were able to make it. We didn't and lost our money for it. Overall, we were very disappointed... I would not suggest this cruise!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this for an extended family cruise (3 suites) for our 50th anniversary. Panama Canal on our bucket list. The cabin was nice, cabin steward attentive, and the restaurants were OK but not something to write home about. Entertainment ... Read More
Chose this for an extended family cruise (3 suites) for our 50th anniversary. Panama Canal on our bucket list. The cabin was nice, cabin steward attentive, and the restaurants were OK but not something to write home about. Entertainment meh. We did enjoy the talks about the Canal. Customer service desk personnel were unacceptable and mostly just angered us by blaming ship problems on us (it was somehow our fault that the batteries in the cabin door locks failed twice). The Bistro restaurant was our first choice (we did 4 extra-cost dining experiences). The main dining rooms (Versailles and Aqua were OK, but the food was only OK. Strangely, the onion soup at the Bistro was excellent but really poor at both Versailles and Aqua). Tepanyaki restaurant gave a very good show; food was like Benihana. There's a big current focus on using hand sanitizers--understandable given norovirus outbreaks. There was one "washy washy" girl (as they called themselves) in the Garden Cafe who made the most of this--super friendly and entertaining. Kudos to Hannah. Promises that we would somehow be compensated for 2 days without toilets, 1 day without water, and having to lock our door fail twice proved to be empty promises, However, I did have a long talk with the head of hotel operations, and he seemed genuinely concerned about our experiences. By the way, it wasn't just our room that had major plumbing problems. The 12th deck bathroom immediately above our room overflowed into the hallway and many other cabins suffered without toilets for some days (including one of our daughters' cabins). The internet only worked sporadically and was basically down for most of 2 days in a row. The average age of passengers was noticeably older than previous cruises we've been on. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We picked this cruise because it traversed the Panama canal and had ports of call we had not been to. We were very disappointed in NCL. The crew ranged from outright hostility to complete indifference. The menu was not varied enough for ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it traversed the Panama canal and had ports of call we had not been to. We were very disappointed in NCL. The crew ranged from outright hostility to complete indifference. The menu was not varied enough for such a lengthy cruise, and the food only mediocre at best. And they up charge for everything. This has not been my experience in other lines (Royal Caribbean, Holland America). The day before the cruise ended we didn't even get any disembarkation information or luggage tags. I had to go back up to the service desk and even then was only directed to a table with a few colored tags and no information. Ports of call: I really liked Cartagena Columbia and Costa Rica. Guatemala - the closest area of interest is 90 minutes one way from the cruise dock. Further, it was Passion day, so none of the tours were going into the city proper, they would drop you off outside the city. NCL not only didn't cancel the tours, but they didn't reduce the price on them either. Needless to say, we explored the market at the dock and got back on the ship. The entertainment on the ship was a mixed bag. Jersey Boys was great, as was the Beatles tribute band. Havana was ok, but not great. Aside from the shows, a lot of the "entertainment" listed in the freestyle daily were events trying to sell you something, limited to certain guests, or outright cost money. It just seemed like the planning and running of the daily ship events was so poor. This isn't their first rodeo, I expected better. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
After working on the Celebrity Zenith 2004-2005, possibly I'm being too critical? This was my first cruise as a passenger and 2005 was a long time ago, but I wouldn't think that service would be so bad on this cruise. It seemed ... Read More
After working on the Celebrity Zenith 2004-2005, possibly I'm being too critical? This was my first cruise as a passenger and 2005 was a long time ago, but I wouldn't think that service would be so bad on this cruise. It seemed like many of the crew were crabby all the time if not downright rude. I prepaid my gratuity and the only person who deserved it was my room steward plus, we gave him an extra $100. I didn't understand that I could get some of that money refunded by going to Guest Services. Also, I don't drink much and didn't get any drink or dinner packages and didn't understand that I could book a room that had some of these perks. I also didn't know that every single time you ordered a drink, a coffee, anything there was a 20% gratuity automatically added to the price. Big shock. Also, who knew how dumb I could be booking my first cruise by myself through the agent, but I didn't ask enough questions. The food was good. I paid to go to Cagney's and the food was excellent. The food in the buffet got real old after a while. It seemed that every restaurant or bar we went to we were ignored and sat for a long time before someone came to the table even when it wasn't busy. The balcony stateroom was very nice. We went to one show and it was fun. The worst part of the cruise were the ports. I know cruise line has their own private Caye, but I didn't know that Costa Maya was owned by several cruise lines and it was packed. I almost started having panic attacks because people vendors were on us like crazy, We had something to eat which was supposed to be Mexican food, because we were in Mexico and it was some crappy American/Mexican. The bill was $70. for 2 meals and 2 drinks. The food was cold and horrible and I didn't have any qualms telling them about it. We did make it to the beach in Mahahual which was nice. I was extremely disappointed in most of the ports, Limon was filthy and I don't remember being in that port before when I worked on the ship or maybe we never got off there because of that. Roatan was beautiful, but we accidentally got in a tour cab and we wanted to go to the Grand Roatan Hotel West Bay Beach to get away from the crowds, but it didn't work that way. We still found a nice part of the beach that was semi-quiet and didn't have to pay for a chair and drinks were reasonably priced. The Panama Canal was nice. We did a zip line somewhere, but I have a short memory and don't remember where it was at. The worst thing about the trip is that I went with an old friend who I hadn't seen for a long time. She's a vegetarian, complained a lot, she got sick. So because I was so unfulfilled by the cruise, I just booked another one to Bermuda for May 19th on the Norwegian Escape ALL BY MYSELF! I cruised back and forth between New York and Bermuda every week for almost my whole 8 month contract so I pretty much know where things are. It will be the first time docking at the Dockyard since we docked in Hamilton. I can't wait! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
2/15/19 - 3/1/19 NCL Star Panama Canal Voyage Top screw ups 1. Free internet, ha ha, ha, 250 minute perk what doesn’t work properly or frequently; isn’t free or useful. Waits at Internet cafe could be as much as 60 minutes. ... Read More
2/15/19 - 3/1/19 NCL Star Panama Canal Voyage Top screw ups 1. Free internet, ha ha, ha, 250 minute perk what doesn’t work properly or frequently; isn’t free or useful. Waits at Internet cafe could be as much as 60 minutes. 2. Cable/internet stations FOX, MSNBC, BBC, were very frequently not available as is the case right now as I write this, Thursday, 2/28/19 beginning at 6:40 AM and continuing unabated at present. The Sunday, 2/24/19 Oscars was not shown. 3. You will pay $4.64 for a glass of soda if you do not elect a plan. However most of time Diet Sierra Mist was poured by can to glass not by fountain spray but only 50% of time would server give you the balance of the can; note: only Pepsi products are available but Pepsi No Sugar was not. 4. Watch out for catamaran whale watch from Cabo it’s run by children who seem more interested in loud music and serving you prodigious quantities of alcohol; but to be fair soft drinks and water are available and you paid for it all inside the ticket fee. Like a party boat for mid lifers. They considered a whale sighting to be a spout or the whale’s tail as they dive. Never closer than a 1000 meters. One of the kids is the Cetaecian expert he plays loud whale sounds and provides much inaccurate information about humpback whales. 5. Avoid the Garden Cafe at almost all costs; except for periods of time when large numbers of eaters are gone. All enjoyed slopping at the Garden Cafe trough. Soft pretzel nirvana! 6. Avoid all specialty dining except for steak at Cagneys. If steak is your thing; there’s plenty of burned meat odor and taste there for you! 7. Be aware of cultural anomalies among some of your fellow passengers; like their general aversion to order, inability to patiently wait in line for their turn and the need for necessary occasional silence when and where it’s called as a need!!!!! 8. When you arrive at NCL TERMINAL at the Miami cruise port carefully assess what the greeters for NCL are telling you to do as it may be sufficiently botched or confused that you won’t know what you heard. This was something I thought NCL had down but not on 2/15/19 9. NCL will send you color coded luggage tags for embark; but you HAVE TO ASK FOR THEM. Otherwise you’ll need 8 ft of tape and print out cutouts online and then attach them yourself. 10. All Ports of Call are at best marginal and depressed. Let’s face it if they were all St Barth’s it would be a lot more expensive and after all you get to see how the Canal works. 11. Disembarking on 3/1/19 was an exercise in futility; for 3 and 1/2 hours we waited 3 hours of it in line to get out of NCL terminal. No announcements of any kind were ever made and no explanation was ever made to explain the delay; no bathroom facilities were identified; there were a number of fatigued or ill older people who should have been treated better; best bet appeared to be to claim wheelchair access need with the requirement for NCL staff to push the chair; which allowed for express debarkation of the person in the chair and their entourage, which was often as many as 3 additional people blithely passing those waiting for hours in line. - [x] People with apparent disability, which I defined as being in a wheelchair or similar conveyance, were present on the ship in what appeared to be anecdotally but positively high numbers to their and NCL’s credit! What was not clear were the express rides which all wheelchairs seemed to get as described above. It was simply unfair as NCL had asked passengers, able bodied and otherwise, to declare their need for early debarkation to get to airports for early flights. These express rides were much later in the debarkation process. NCL needs to mend fences with CPB In Miami FL to get a better working relationship with them rather than the blame put on CPB for the line and delay by at least one NCL agent. CPB needs to be open to such negotiations and to work equally hard to reach agreement and reduce their mutual disagreement which VICTIMIZED ALL DEBARKING PASSENGERS and nobody else. I’m confident that all NCL and CPB staff were paid for their work. Right now I can’t see myself returning to NCL to cruise again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We sailed on the Norwegian Gem on the Panama Canal cruise from January 27 through February 15, 2019. The cruise was sold out. The formal dining facilities are very nice. The buffet ... well, not so much. Caution - if you choose the ... Read More
We sailed on the Norwegian Gem on the Panama Canal cruise from January 27 through February 15, 2019. The cruise was sold out. The formal dining facilities are very nice. The buffet ... well, not so much. Caution - if you choose the complimentary beverage package (provided it is available), you have to pay the 18% gratuity on the overly inflated "retail value" of the package. I believe the gratuity alone was over $300 per person, or $600 per cabin. I suspect we drank less than $600 of drinks while we were on the ship. Our stateroom location was a nightmare. See further description below. Though the room steward was outstanding. Pool bar bartenders were rude and pool wait staff were nearly non-existent. We had to get our drinks ourselves ... after having paid a $300+ gratuity up-front. There is clearly not enough public space for all passengers on board. Ship excursions were fairly boring and the tendering process was horrendous. What was supposed to be the cruise of a lifetime turned into a huge disappointment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise with NCL and chose this cruise due to the 11 ports included in this daylight Panama Canal transit. The ports were all great and enjoyable. The spacing of sea days and ports was excellent. 3 days of ports, 1 ... Read More
This was our first cruise with NCL and chose this cruise due to the 11 ports included in this daylight Panama Canal transit. The ports were all great and enjoyable. The spacing of sea days and ports was excellent. 3 days of ports, 1 sea day, 3 days of ports, 1 sea day, etc. Embarkation was smooth, with the normal delays. Disembarkation was a disaster, stood in line for more than 90 minutes after our purple 2 code was called. Then received extremely rude and poor transfer service from the NCL contracted bus line. Bus driver intentionally dropped off half the passengers at the wrong terminal. Ship: In good shape, and common areas were clean and constantly cleaned Cabin: 8590. this is a sideways cabin, partially obstructed view and the location was convenient and quiet. Dining: Food in the main dining rooms and buffet was consistently stale and Luke warm. We only got a decent meal if it was an omelet prepared in front of us or something that was intended to be cold like a salad. The fountain drinks were watered down. Entertainment: Best I've seen after 15 cruises. If you cruise with NCL and SWING is the show do NOT miss it. Broadway quality. Great show band, with 3 piece brass section Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Great Itinerary. Embarkation in LA was very easy. Stayed in Mini Suite 11020. Room was quite clean and had plenty of storage. Our room steward was excellent. I was very disappointed with the entertainment in the main venue. This was a ... Read More
Great Itinerary. Embarkation in LA was very easy. Stayed in Mini Suite 11020. Room was quite clean and had plenty of storage. Our room steward was excellent. I was very disappointed with the entertainment in the main venue. This was a 19-day cruise and the ensemble only performed 3 times on the main stage. The 3 performances were excellent! I have been on shorter cruises and the ensembles performed much more. The remaining acts were quite average. There was a singer who professed to be a "Soul Singer" and he was really bad. The highlight of shipboard entertainment was in the various lounges where there was an excellent band, an above average piano -man, and a most excellent Singer/guitarist named Leo Joelstad. The restaurant service was much slower than I have come to expect on NCL. This was true in all restaurants. Bar service was mostly good. The food...By far the poorest quality of food that I have encountered at sea. This is my 7th NCL cruise and I have never felt this way about the food. Shore excursions were typical, had a really good tour to Antigua, Guatemala. My wife raved about a tour to a "horse ranch" in Nicaragua. Wonderful "Beach Time" in Cabo. Others onboard raved about excursions in Cartagena, Colombia. Oh yeah, wonderful snorkel tour in Bonaire!! Disembarkation in NYC was by far the worst of any ship I have been on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
My friend and I chose this cruise for a winter getaway to some new places and to revisit others. We both speak Spanish and are comfortable on our own in Spanish-speaking countries. Embarkation was organized out of LA; no major hiccups; ... Read More
My friend and I chose this cruise for a winter getaway to some new places and to revisit others. We both speak Spanish and are comfortable on our own in Spanish-speaking countries. Embarkation was organized out of LA; no major hiccups; the typical long lines. Our luggage made its way to our cabin in a reasonable amount of time. We boarded and ate lunch in the main cafeteria shortly afterwards. While there was someone at the entryways with a bottle of hand sanitizer, plus dispensers at each entry, I was surprised that guests were allowed to serve themselves even on the first day. I haven't cruised in a few years - maybe things have changed. I'm more familiar with being served the first few days in an attempt to cut down on germs. We had an inside cabin - and a WONDERFUL steward. Biency is very friendly, immediately learned our names, and was quick to provide whatever he needed. His daily towel animals are treasures. I had the joy of sleeping next the bunk for the third person - had to be careful not to hit my head on the vertical mattress. Since one spends little time in the stateroom, I imagine a family of three could do fine in the cabin. Toiletries and linens were maintained quite well. The shower had a clothesline; I brought plastic hangers and some clothes pins for our 'shower/sink laundry'. Note that Norwegian ships lack public laundries; guests may have their laundry done for $20 per bag. We preferred to do our own. The acoustics in most public areas of the ship are horrendous. Dining was a noisy, and often slow, affair. The seating in the cafeteria was poor and made for a lot of unutilized space. Tables for four with a bench and two chairs usually had two people on the chairs; the benches were low even for tall guests. Circular booths were hard to use; guests used chairs around the exterior and did not use the booths themselves. More so than on any other cruise I have experienced, I found we had to search for too long to find an empty table or else sit in the uncomfortable part of a table with other guests. Food in the cafeteria was basically reminiscent of leftovers. Meat too well cooked; eggs benedict pre-prepared and thus not fresh. They did offer omelets and fried eggs to suit every morning. Plenty of melon, bread, cereal and some yogurt. Bananas and oranges became rather scarce as the days went by. Desserts were not tempting - I did enjoy ice cream on several occasions. Dining rooms were fair, at best. Same problem with acoustics and a few times we were served the wrong food - and after waiting a LONG time. The steaks were unremarkable - seemed cheap and tough. The Orchid Garden is nice; shrimp were overcooked, though. Their menu does not change. Best meals were a couple of outside grilled lunches we had on the last few days of the cruise. Freshly grilled chicken and seafood. The ship has few nooks and crannies - just a few lounges with loud music - and poor singers. Only a few shops - I'm not a shopper; my friend was disappointed. There were only one or two days of shopping on the pool deck; if you bought trinkets in volume you got a reasonably good deal. The ship does have a nice little library - watch the hours as one can only borrow a book at very limited times during the day. The library was always open - a nice quiet respite with a good outside view. The library also has an exchange - so you can give them the book you read on the plane in exchange for one another guest left. Nightly entertainment at 7pm and 9pm - a mix of some good musicians with some not so good juggling and such. Still, an enjoyable experience. During the Panama Canal transit, they opened the bow area for better viewing - as long as you had a front row position - or are tall. They put up a canopy to allow people a chance to get in the shade and kept a flow of food and beverages going throughout the transit. While going through the canal is interesting, I'd personally recommend a land visit to the Miraflores and Gatun locks/visitor centers for a better overall view and understanding. The Miraflores visitor center is a wonderful museum - worthy of a day's adventure. The ship does not stop in Panama; there are no Panama shore excursions. Not a problem for me; some people noted a desire to stop in Panama. I thought the itinerary was clear - pick another cruise if you want a Panamanian stop. Or better, spend a week there. It's marvelous. Pay attention to the shore excursion reviews; too many of them are more about shopping than seeing the sights. The "Discover Puerto Vallarta" tour turned into a shopping tour. We learned nothing about Puerto Vallarta, the economy, etc. Guide left a good half dozen people at one store. When I couldn't find my friend in our group, three blocks later, I told her we had left her at the last shop. Turns out several people did not see her wave her bandanna to let us know we were departing. As with most ship tours, there are stops at stores where the guide presumably gets a cut. It would be way better to have a half hour of free time in a shopping area than 5 or ten minutes in a store. (Or, how about no shopping??? Free time at the end with a later bus pick up for those who want to shop. I personally seek out grocery stores and markets where the locals shop. Not tourist traps.) The online shore excursions for Antigua were not available - due to a timing glitch in the system, I was told, weeks before we cruised. They never fixed it so we could see what the ship offered, so we had to wait until the cruise started. I visited Santa Marta on my own; great experience at the Gold Museum. Free, clean, not crowded, descriptions in English and Spanish. What a marvelous collection of history and artifacts! Lovely old cathedral - and a real grocery store. Good coffee at 1/4 the price of the tourist shops. I had an nice time on this cruise - best parts were Santa Marta on my own and cruising into New York harbor. Americans were by far NOT the only ones waiting to see the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. Impressive skyline. As on most ships, a great escape is a deck chair on the promenade. Only problem was the smoking areas on both the port and starboard sides. It would be great to limit smoking to only one side - if at all. I also smelled smoke at times inside. It permeates; hard to escape. I wouldn't jump to cruise on this ship, or even NCL, again. If the itinerary were perfect, I'd go. But I'd say that Princess and Holland America both offer better overall experiences. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I would have expected the quality of the food to be as good as Denny’s. It did not come close When you go to specialty restaurants 20%is automatically added to your check. Then the tip line is left blank. “ in case you want to ... Read More
I would have expected the quality of the food to be as good as Denny’s. It did not come close When you go to specialty restaurants 20%is automatically added to your check. Then the tip line is left blank. “ in case you want to add more!” Even the onboard internet to make on ship texts and calls was charged for I won’t be doing another Norwegian Cruise. All the other products n the same price range are MUCH better. Of course the service from all the onboard services were very nice and cordial. All the prices for the shore excursions were way out of line. The on board entertainment had singers out of tune, the speakers that they sang through were frequently distorted. I finally stopped going to the shows. There two singers that sang on key, the rest either could not hear the music, or were just told to sing loudly Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We choose this cruise to go through the Panama Canal. From day one, it started out bad. Our one son purchased the Ultimate Drinking package, but it didn't show up on his account. Even before leaving Los Angeles, we went to the front ... Read More
We choose this cruise to go through the Panama Canal. From day one, it started out bad. Our one son purchased the Ultimate Drinking package, but it didn't show up on his account. Even before leaving Los Angeles, we went to the front desk and said he had it on his account. We called the agency we had booked the trip and told her the issue, she contacted someone at NCL and he sent 4 emails to the ship, which they said they never received. He even showed them a snapshot on their website showing he had the drink package. It took 24 hours before they said he had it. The staff from the waiters to bartenders seemed like they didn't care if you were there or not. Entertainment was terrible, shore excursions were expensive, and if you get sick, prepare yourself for a hefty bill. My husband got sick with bronchitis and his medical bill for 2 days of treatment was over $5700. My one son went down to medical for a bad cold and his bill was over $1000 and charged him $150 for a box of Cold and Flu 24 gel tabs. GET MEDICAL TRAVEL INSURANCE before you leave. Because your gratuity is automatically added to account daily, the staff really doesn't care. We tipped the servers individually who gave great service. You can also go down to the front desk and ask for your gratuities to be taken off your bill. Quite a few passengers were doing this. It seems like NCL doesn't really care about your complaints, although when we sailed on the Epic, it was extremely good. I doubt we will ever sail on NCL again. We did meet fantastic fellow passengers and all of us agreed that this was one of the worst cruises they had taken. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This ship definitely due for a refurbish as evidenced by railing on top deck having been replaced by unpainted patch work 2x4 planking. First ship ever to offer splinters while leaning on railing. Theater seating uncomfortable and ... Read More
This ship definitely due for a refurbish as evidenced by railing on top deck having been replaced by unpainted patch work 2x4 planking. First ship ever to offer splinters while leaning on railing. Theater seating uncomfortable and entertainment well below prior sailings with NCL. Food was mediocre and the Big Screen TV area had seating for about 80 people on a ship transporting over 2000...go figure. Television viewing in-room was on a very small screen with one movie station, one tv station other than 3 news and 2 sports. walking deck 7 frequently had closed areas for maintenance though none was witnessed. Upper decks were often closed for high winds. given the fact the ship traveled at 23 knots I have come to expect high winds to be a given on Cruise Ships. Why else surround the deck with glass panels? Cagney Steak restaurant served my steak RARE and draining blood.... although ordered MEDIUM. Even after sending back to kitchen for additional cooking it came back medium RARE...less blood but at least warm in center...the baked potato was well cooked and delicious. I should not complain though as it was a complimentary dinner for my Platinum traveler status and it came with a very good Australian wine. The Vintage Railway shore excursion in Costa Rico was well below advertisement. After discussing with the onboard representative they offered a 30% discount...which never showed on room billing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I have just returned from the Panama Canal cruise out of New York in January 19. We travelled with adult friends and no children. The embarkation in New York was easy to get to, well organised and very smooth - not the same ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from the Panama Canal cruise out of New York in January 19. We travelled with adult friends and no children. The embarkation in New York was easy to get to, well organised and very smooth - not the same could be said for the disembarkation in LA - what a disaster. Whilst the cruise itinerary, restaurant and bar staff were great, the food lacked variety and was very limited - one of our friends is diabetic and it was very limiting for him (NCL you have done better than this). Being on the ship for 18 days - some variation in the buffet section for lunch and supper would have been welcome, the breakfast was not much better. The fruit provided on board was generally disgusting. We basically had the same food for 18 days. The ship docked in very remote industrial ports resulting in additional costs for travel into town - almost forcing the NCL excursions on us. In one case we were to dock in Puntarenas but were taken to Puerto Caldera and advised that it would cost $15.00 per person for a bus into Puntarenas. The live bands and musical entertainment was the poorest I have experienced on a cruise ship to date. The internet service provided was expensive and slow. The positives - the cabin was clean and well serviced. The staff ( with exception of the administration) was excellent. The narrator providing us with facts and information on the Panama Canal was excellent. Overall - the ship is showing its age - not what I expect from our preferred cruise line! you can do better than this NCL - I know this because I have experienced it in the past. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose the Panama canal cruise on the because it listed Belize and Costa Rica as some of the ports. Stability:Norwegian Jade is small and the ship seemed to sway even with the small waves. I have been on The princess in much rougher ... Read More
I chose the Panama canal cruise on the because it listed Belize and Costa Rica as some of the ports. Stability:Norwegian Jade is small and the ship seemed to sway even with the small waves. I have been on The princess in much rougher seas and not felt it rock like this ship. It could not dock in Costa Rica which was disappointing. Cruise Itinerary;The 11 days had far too many sea days and just a few hours in each port of the 5 ports we saw on 5 of the days .The sea days did not include many interesting topics but instead seminars just appeared focussed on selling excursion ,diamonds or art. Restaurants:We were given fresh cutlery with old food stuck on it more than once . Hair in the food in the buffet as well as in sit down restaurant. We liked the Alizar restaurant the best. The Jasmine disappointing.O sheehans good for 24 hr food.Waiters were excellent.I would rate food as better on Princess . Norwegian maybe equal to or slightly better than Carnival in regards to food but worse in regards to cleanliness,You could find drinking water only when restaurant is open no containers of drinking water anywhere else unlike Princess or carnival that had areas where lemonade and water was available. Evening Entertainment was excellent better than Princess. A lot of staff were from other countries and some had limited fluency in English. Princess had better items on sale in the ship stores at better prices Shore excursions; Prior to embarkation; cruise consultant and pre board shore excursion staff had limited knowledge .You were put on hold hung up on several times and they appeared uninterested and even slightly rude unless you were buying without asking questions.We booked the excursions before we got on the ship and avoided long lines on board ,We were allowed to cancel 48 hrs before the excursion. Belize stop was Harvest Caye a Norwegian privately owned area -seemed artificial to me.Similar for Costa Maya port in Mexico both did not make you feel you saw the country. Some of the excursions in Roatan snorkeling in Westbay was enjoyable -Glass bottom boat in Belize was interesting not a lot of colourful fish to see but if you don't snorkel this is at least an option to see the coral etc. The ship going through the Panama Canal was interesting. Gatun lake a long drive and saw a few animals but atleast saw a little bit of the country during the few hours stop . Hop on Hop off in Cartagena gives a quick view of the city. Shore excursion are available in most ports even if you have limited walking ability so this is a big plus. Would I recommend this cruise as value for money - probably not Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise based solely on the itinerary and although the boat, food & service were pretty sub-par, ports we did get to visit were great! Travel time to and from the excursions ate up the entire time at the ports which really ... Read More
We chose this cruise based solely on the itinerary and although the boat, food & service were pretty sub-par, ports we did get to visit were great! Travel time to and from the excursions ate up the entire time at the ports which really stunk! In all honesty, this may be our first and last cruise with Norwegian or any other ship all together since it left such a “bad taste in our mouths.” We felt that there wasn’t enough to do on the boat UNLESS we wanted to incur more charges. (Bingo, Deal or No Deal, yoga... nothing was included) We paid extra, a lot extra ($3500 on onboard charges) for specialty restaurants, spa services and other miscellaneous games, taxes etc. only to be greatly disappointed in the quality. Beyond the control of anyone was the 11-15’ wave swell that lasted about 8 of the 11 days. Because of the rough seas, not only was the pool closed at numerous times, but we could not dock in Costa Rica. It took them over 30 minutes of sailing AWAY from port to even tell anyone- pretty sure we’d figured it out by then! My daughter visited the teen club and barely spent time in there because she said there was nothing to do in there other than video games and foosball. The only glowing review we can give of this cruise was our room steward Roberto and the spa staff. Other than that, waaaaay too much money spent on a basic boat where we felt we got nickel and dimed every where we turned. And why on earth are there little to no trash cans? Empty cups, plates and food were left about for what seemed hours at a time. Never once when sitting on deck did a staff member approach us to ask if we needed anything. Does no one work in the boat? Just overall not a pleasant experience at all. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We had a group of 12 of us sail aboard the NCL Jade over Christmas and New Years for an 11 day Panama Canal Cruise. Food - We had 4 specialty dining reservations to use on our cruise. We did the Teppanyaki and Cagney's which were ... Read More
We had a group of 12 of us sail aboard the NCL Jade over Christmas and New Years for an 11 day Panama Canal Cruise. Food - We had 4 specialty dining reservations to use on our cruise. We did the Teppanyaki and Cagney's which were very good. Teppanyaki was entertaining and the food was good. Cagney's was very good, steak was tender and cooked perfect. Service in both these restaurants was good. We also did Moderno and La Cucina. The service was good in both but the food left a lot to be desired. Moderno's salad bar was great but the meats served were very dry and tasteless. La Cucina just didn't do it for us. Now outside of these specialty dining restaurants we ate in both the Pacific and Alizar dining rooms. We made reservations due to being a group of 12 rather than taking our chances on going in at anytime and trying to get a table large enough for us. The service in the dining rooms was atrocious! Other than the hostesses welcoming you no one even said hi. The servers would come right over and expect you to know exactly what you want without even time to review the menu. Often your drinks would arrive after your meal. God forbid they ever come back and check on how you are or ask if you'd like another drink. The food was not good and the combinations of items was bizarre, almost seemed like what ever was left from the buffet earlier in the day or the next day was thrown in as the side or to create a recipe. We ate at Jasmine Café one night for dinner and it took over 30 minutes from the time we were seated for anyone to even come over. O'Sheehan's was so bad one day my cousin went down to the buffet and brought up some pizza and small stuff for the kids to eat so they could stop waiting. The buffet was repetitive and not very tasty. Activities and Entertainment - Let's start by the only activity is the pool, there is really nothing on this boat to do. The kids were so bored. The kids club was a bit too babyish for the 9 and 12 year old. The teen club was pretty good for the 15 year old. The 19 and 21 year old were bored to death. The best shows were those that involved the audience in the spinnaker lounge such as Newlywed Game and Dancing with the stars, these were very entertaining. The planned shows in the theater were ok. This boat might be ok for a short cruise but after 11 days all we wanted to do was get off. There is not even a movie screen out at the pool or anywhere on the boat. The gym was very small. I paid for unlimited classes, $80. I would not do that again as they were only $12 per class and I only ended up going to 3. The pm times always conflicted with dinner and the am times only worked for non port days. Customer Service - did not exist! The cruise director was very nice and always around other than that though I am not sure I had a single staff member say hi or how are you throughout the 11 days. Wait service at the pool was only on the pool level, and since there was nothing to do on the ship except the pool that is where everyone was and most days you need to go 2 decks above the pool to get a seat. Ports - Columbia - The port itself was very nice, they did a good job here. You could just come off the boat and enjoy the animals in the port. We took a cab into the walled city, about 25 dollars each way. Leave the port to get the cab, if you get one of them inside the port gates they want $120 and don't believe them when they tell you that you won't be able to get a cab back. I recommend having international on your phone as we used Google Translate to communicate with our cab driver. We walked around ourselves without a guide and it was fine. We did need to find an ATM because most all the stores only took Columbian Pesos. Panama - Get up early and go to the Spinnakar lounge for a front row seat as you go through the locks. I also recommend spending the money and doing an excursion as it is the only way to get off the boat at Guatan Lake. We did not and regretted it. Once you get to Colon you can get off, but this port was horrible. There was a casino, a restaurant and a couple of shops. Harvest Caye - This port was great. We opted to rent pool cabanas and enjoyed having an area to ourselves with couches, tables to eat at and shade. Getting a chair at the pool did not seem to be an issue though. Be aware though the cabanas are for 5 people and they will not let more than 5 in. We just relaxed here an enjoyed the pool. Plenty of other things to do on the island though. Roatan - We did a private excursion to Little French Key and it was wonderful. They were at the port to pick us up. Short drive to the "ferry" which is just a small floating dock to bring you across to the private island. Very nice lagoon type area to swim and snorkel in. Costa Rica - Our ship skipped this port, they told us the swells were too high to dock. This was very disappointing as we had planned a private excursion to Cahuita National Park. Costa Maya - Not knowing what to expect we booked private transfer to a beach resort. If I were to go back I would not spend any money here on an excursion. The port itself is very nice, large and lots of activities. Get off the boat early and grab chairs by the large free pool. The aviary was great at the port and worth the $12. You can also swim with dolphins. Plenty of places to eat and drink. Even though they say there's a beach there is really just chairs overlooking the water, not really anywhere to swim Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Staff and servers were wonderful. Staterooms were very nice with plenty of room for 2 people. Attendant was very good. Ports were fun as long as we did our own thing. My biggest complaint is the pool deck ambience. Many patrons asked ... Read More
Staff and servers were wonderful. Staterooms were very nice with plenty of room for 2 people. Attendant was very good. Ports were fun as long as we did our own thing. My biggest complaint is the pool deck ambience. Many patrons asked for music but were refused over and over. Don't understand why a pool deck can't have music playing. Lots of cancelations of live music and activities. Food not good. Didnt realize all the dining rooms serve the same thing. Food never was changed up. Same entres over and over for 14 days. Desserts were awful. Only thing eatable was ice cream. Excursion desk was never open. When it was lines we extremely long. Agents new nothing about excurions except what they could read from the computer. Entertai ment was very poor. Not many activities worth doing. Many cancelled or just not happening. Embarking and disembarking was lines around the buildings and ships. Poor planning. We still had the trip of a lifetime and we made the best of it, but I didn't think the food and entertainment were going to be so disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Just finished a Panama Canal cruise on the "newly refurbished" NCL Star. While not a major cruiser (15 cruises total) I unfortunately have to rate the Star's layout as Poor. While not important to some, I feel cruise ships ... Read More
Just finished a Panama Canal cruise on the "newly refurbished" NCL Star. While not a major cruiser (15 cruises total) I unfortunately have to rate the Star's layout as Poor. While not important to some, I feel cruise ships should have a bar or siting area that is enclosed and shows a view of the ocean or pool area. The Star has neither. It does have an open area on deck 14 that views the pool but on windy or cold days...it isn't a place that I wish to sit at. In addition, the Garden Café buffet area is not set up well for either private or small groups...basically either square or rectangular tables that seat 2 to 4. Also, this is my first ever cruise that I have dined in a buffet seating that never was I asked if I wanted coffee, a water, a juice or even a refill. Poor to say the least. Maybe I have just had above average service on my other cruises. For the okay or good about the Star. It was clean and nice looking in the common areas. Food was okay but nothing special (I did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants. Bars were well staffed and wait times wasn't a problem. Quality of wine and drinks was very good. Wait times at the Chinese (free) restaurant could be one hour. Quality of service in the Main Dining room was OK...but, plan to take at least one hour if you have an appetizer, a main item and a desert. Only one time was I asked if I wanted coffee with desert. I rate the Main Dining room food and service as only good. Overall: Boat in good to great shape. Food OK but nothing special. Service has to be rated as on fair to sometimes good. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I do not believe I will ever travel on NCL again. The staff was fair to say the least, of course there were some that were excellent but they were very few. Most were not very personable. The dinning and food was terrible unless you were ... Read More
I do not believe I will ever travel on NCL again. The staff was fair to say the least, of course there were some that were excellent but they were very few. Most were not very personable. The dinning and food was terrible unless you were in the specialty dinning areas (which you have to pay more for). The anytime dinning was not convenient, if you did not pre-book your time before your cruise you had to wait to get a seat or go late at night, Or go to the buffet (which I did not care very mush for that food). The seats in the theater were so tight that anyone over 5.5 feet tall their knees hit the seat in front of them. There was very few areas to just sit and read or play cards and if you had more then 4 people in your party you could not find a table anywhere to play cards. The shore excursions were nothing to write home about and the entertainment shows were just awful, except for one show. Embarkation was just fair but again the staff seemed a little grumpy, not the sunshine smiles I am use to on other cruise lines. Disembarkation was the worse I have ever been through. And something that I have never seen before, we found mouse droppings in our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We looked forward to this cruise for over a year. Last time we cruised with NCL meals were awesome, entertainment top notch, service was excellent and staff very friendly. We purchased extras on this cruise, unlimited beverage package, ... Read More
We looked forward to this cruise for over a year. Last time we cruised with NCL meals were awesome, entertainment top notch, service was excellent and staff very friendly. We purchased extras on this cruise, unlimited beverage package, tour package and paid gratuities. During this cruise it was very hard to have someone to take a drink order while around the pool, you had to go to bar and order your own drinks. Highlight of the cruise was our waitress in the Gatsby Lounge she was awesome and spectacular, along with our speciality restaurant Cagneys. The Garden grill had same boring meals breakfast, lunch and dinner. Complimentary Dining Versailles and Aqua hands same meals each night. If Lobster is on your plan or a nice steak sorry your out of luck. Size of appetizers are so small, I ordered Rack of lamb and was looking forward to it and was completely taken back when plate came to me with some kind of shaved meat. Every meal I ordered was the same except for when I order the Fish and Chips from O'Sheeans it was LongJohn Silver quality. The tour in Cano San Lucas highlight of tours. Not sure I will cruise with NCL again unless changes are made. Disappointed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are very active cruisers and although not 100% loyal we are mainly loyal Norwegian cruisers. Let me start by saying that the itinerary and overall travel experience was good. We had been into the canal but never through the canal and up ... Read More
We are very active cruisers and although not 100% loyal we are mainly loyal Norwegian cruisers. Let me start by saying that the itinerary and overall travel experience was good. We had been into the canal but never through the canal and up the coastline so this was our opportunity. We had a veranda stateroom (9222) that was in very good shape on the Starboard side. First off the service for the dining rooms including O'Sheehan's was very, very slow. We found O'Sheehans to be the worst. On multiple occasions we witnessed very disappointed customers complaining and even getting up and walking out. This involved both getting initial service (15 minute waits just for water) followed by long waits for food. I have to be honest here we have cruised on 5 other Norwegian ships multiple times and the service dining on the Star was by far worst than any other experience. I did take the time to speak with Adine (I seem to recall that name) the Restaurant Manager and he assured me we had just hit an "off afternoon" but that was not so as it continued with a little improvement only. He was very polite so I am not trying to throw him under the bus here but he stated " Star had recently been renovated and 80 seats added to "O Sheehans without enlarging the kitchen and it is an issue." Maybe Norwegian Executives need to know this and help correct the problem? Our other dining venues were not nearly as bad as O'Sheehans, although there seems to be the "specialty" missing from the upcharge specialty restaurants as we ate 5 meals in them and there really is nothing special about them anymore. Because of the recent renovation the ship was in good shape so no complaints here. The Housekeeping team was great and earned our rave review as they took care of everything on a timely basis! The entertainment was up and down. This could be because of our preference though as others may have felt all was great. We really liked the Comedian and the Flashback Four. Amazing talents the sang very difficult selections. The bar staff was over-all good especially at 5:00 Somewhere lounge. I do wish that lounge was open earlier in the day though. I thought the Captain and his staff were ok but not nearly as visible around the ship as we are used to from the other Norwegian ships we have cruised on. On opening night the Captain gave his opening welcome chat and did not promise a great cruise but "guaranteed" it...…….something he could not follow through on. The cruise Director was less engaged than we are used to seeing but his Assistants Phillip and Marta and his team were very engaged......kudo's to each of them! Finally the ports were ok but I certainly felt skipping Acapulco for a safer port that offered more would be appropriate. It's hard to feel safe with all the Military and Police carrying automatic weapons and lots of them. We really enjoyed Cabo and spent the day at a marvelous "All Inclusive" called Breathless. It was very nice and relaxing. I would recommend this cruise as the canal is amazing and the narrator on board was very informative. I think that other Norwegian ships would have made the trip more enjoyable and that there is room for much improvement with this crew, hopefully these shortcomings will be addressed. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This is our fourth NCL cruise. We chose this particular ship because of itinerary and dates of cruise. We have really enjoyed our past three NCL cruises (all on different ships). We found this ship/crew to be lacking in the service based ... Read More
This is our fourth NCL cruise. We chose this particular ship because of itinerary and dates of cruise. We have really enjoyed our past three NCL cruises (all on different ships). We found this ship/crew to be lacking in the service based on past trips. We felt that if you chose to dine in one of the free dining rooms they both really lacked the level of service we received on past cruises and the food was hit and miss. When we dined in the specialty dining rooms (at a pricey cost), the service and food were both wonderful. However, we don't feel you should have to pay extra to get excellent service. The buffets were alright (what you would expect from a buffet). We were on deck 10 in a balcony room.Very disappointed all around. Debarkation was an absolute zoo. We were released 1 hour later than we were scheduled. The ship arrived in Miami early so it wasn't Customs fault. Will definitely shop a different cruise line for our next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This is our 10th cruise with ncl and we all noticed a change for the worse with regard to customer service, dining, activities and general ship maintenance. From embarkation, which was disorganized and had 2000 people standing room only ... Read More
This is our 10th cruise with ncl and we all noticed a change for the worse with regard to customer service, dining, activities and general ship maintenance. From embarkation, which was disorganized and had 2000 people standing room only without water or chairs for two plus hours, to disembarkation, also unorganized, we found the cruise lacking from previous times. We were a party of 5 and all felt a lack of concern from the entire crew, who frequently complained about their job. It seems we waited in lines for 30 minutes for anything we needed from guest services to shore excursions and even dining (felt like we wasted a lot of our vacation time waiting). And when we did get to our turn they seemed rushed and unable to accommodate our needs. Also, seems that their budget is really cut for customer service, food quality, and activities and entertainment. Feel like it is time to try royal Caribbean or princess next time. Enrichment activities were origami, and watching officers compete in towel folding? Again, no budget for something really interesting. Casino just okay, again budget conscious and hit and miss with service. Also, I think this lower quality of service put other cruisers in a bad mood, people seemed a little rude to each other. Our room steward changed the towels and made our bed but otherwise not very friendly. Ports of call okay, some so impoverished and just constant solicitation. Enjoyed Cartagena and costa maya and Panama Canal even though we didn’t get off ship in colon (only 3 hours there and Didn’t seem like somewhere to go out at night) Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise because of the Norwegian reputation and the promotion offered. This cruise was one step above the worst ever!. The embarkation process was horrible as we sat an hour and a half AFTER the supposed boarding time with ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the Norwegian reputation and the promotion offered. This cruise was one step above the worst ever!. The embarkation process was horrible as we sat an hour and a half AFTER the supposed boarding time with people lines up outside and around the block. This was only made worse by the 3+ hours standing in line to disembark. Our cabin was OK, but for the money we paid for a Junior Suite it was not up to the standards of other lines we traveled on. Tee dining was OK, but the choices were not all that great, we ended up with the Classic Favorites over half the time. The entertainment was boorish, the service was so so; if it weren't for a cople of waitresses it would have been horrible. As to Ports - WOW, several were a waste of time and money. In Santa Marta we were parked in a huge coal, yes black coal, dock. We were told before shipping out we would be stopping in Belize CIty and made plans, while at sea change to the biggest waste, Norweigans own island, HA! nothing there to do. Colon, stores all closed when we arrived, opened for a couple of hours AFTER dark. Only good excusion was the Chocolate Excursion in Guatemala. We will cruise again, but I highly doubt it will EVER be on Norweigian again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
First had to wait 3 hours to board ship due to Coast Guard inspection of ship.Second,NCL put me on a cash only basis on the ship. This was due to a NCL foul up with my credit card at the pier at check in.Third there a NCL foul up with my ... Read More
First had to wait 3 hours to board ship due to Coast Guard inspection of ship.Second,NCL put me on a cash only basis on the ship. This was due to a NCL foul up with my credit card at the pier at check in.Third there a NCL foul up with my shore excursions and it took 6 people to straighten it out. This really got my wife upset, The fifth day of the cruise she got a severe nose bleed and went to the ships medical facility. The doctor said it was caused by high blood pressure caused by these problems. The ships doctor could not completely stop the bleeding and said we will be sent to a local hospital for treatment and return to the ship.This did not happen. Briefly what happened my wife spent over 2 days in a hospital where no one spoke English and had to stay in a hotel where no one spoke English. An interperter was assigned to use to translate.They kept running all sorts of tests on my wife and she had no idea what they were. We had no contact with the outside world where we were which was Santa Marta, Columbia.This made for a very uncomfortable feeling, NCL had not given us any info as hoe to catch up with the cruise, We had to fly home from Santa Marta to Bogota to Miami to Charlotte to Greensboro,NC, 15 hours in transit. Bottom line is $3,000 medical bill from NCL and $9,000 for hospital, hotel, taxi, ambulance and air fare in Santa Marta. After 14 cruises with NCL I expected some more help than what I received. 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