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1,932 Norwegian (NCL) Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Reviews

Well folks gonna try and make this review as honest as I can.This was our first time time on NCL and on the Sun. I made reservations in early in Nov for the 5 day Eastern Cruise on 12/2/19 from Port Canaveral to Costa Maya and Cozumel the ... Read More
Well folks gonna try and make this review as honest as I can.This was our first time time on NCL and on the Sun. I made reservations in early in Nov for the 5 day Eastern Cruise on 12/2/19 from Port Canaveral to Costa Maya and Cozumel the price was right and we've been to both ports before so we knew what to expect. I booked a ocean view cabin on deck 7 which was a forward cabin and you could choose 2 perks with that booking. I chose the drink package and dinning package for 2 nights. Even though those are considered free you have to pay gratuities up front which was $99.00 /pp for drink package and $15.50/pp for dining .Average drinks on board cost about 7-15 dollars for beer and mixed and drinks up to 15 dollars are included on your package. For top tier liquor it cost more. So if you drink more than 15 drinks on the cruise you'll pay for your up front money.Be aware if you are in Port on day of embarkation you'll be charged Fl state taxes which was about 60-80 cents per drink.Hope that info helps on your packages.Now as for the Cruise itself. About a week after I booked the the cruise I got a offer to to "Bid" on a upgrade from our ocean view room to a balcony or a mini suite room so for the heck of it I bid the lowest I could for each room which was 50.00/pp for the balcony and 75.00/pp for the mini suite. After reading some boards I saw where if you were a first time cruiser on NCL and you put in a low bid you probably wouldn't get a upgrade. About a week before the cruise I was notified they accepted my bid for the balcony so for 100.00 I got moved from deck 7 to deck 10 mid-ship balcony. So it's worth a shot to bid for upgrade. Embarkation went smooth took about 10 mins to check in and get your key card. We waited for about 45-60 mins in terminal as we got there a little after 10 am and they started boarding at about 11:30 am. The ship it self is a smaller vessel and doesn't have a lot of amenities of the newer and larger ships.I really wouldn't recommend for kids it as there is not much for kids to do once on board but they do have a kids camp.I felt the ship was kept up and clean along with our cabin no issues at all. Our cabin steward did a good job of keeping up the room.As for the food I thought it was decent and was mostly your standard buffet choices and like most of the buffets I've been to the food could have been warmer on some of the dishes.Over all I thought the choices were good and flavorful.We also ate at the main dinning room for both breakfast and dinner . For breakfast It seemed to me they have about the same choices as other cruise lines I've been on nothing out of the ordinary. I thought the food was good. As for dinner I thought to choices of food they gave you was a good variety and the choices I chose was tasty.The service could have been a little better but the more crowded it got the slower the service became.I think the servers get overwhelmed. The 2 specialty dinning venues we chose was the Japanese which was great and our cook was funny and and entertaining and the food was very good. The second we chose was the Italian and the food and service there was excellent. Now for the bar service.When i went to any of the bars on board it never took me over 5 mins to get a drink and they made a good drink no issues there. Now if ya laying out on deck or in a lounge the service is slow. Sometimes it's best to waddle up to bar to get your own.I thought they had a good variety of things to do during the day and evening. We went to 1 show and the they did a good job of performing and we enjoyed it. The other place we spent most of our evenings was at the Windjammer lounge and listened to a solo guitarist name Jason. He was very entertaining and would take requests and played a variety of music.We really enjoyed him. We also thought the other entertainment we saw did a good job. Disembarkation went very smoothly as we chose to carry our luggage and get off of ship early. However we did have one snafu which disappointed us.When we docked back at the port we ended up docking at terminal 6 instead of terminal 10 were we had left. There was no announcement of this change prior to us leaving the ship. So for those of us who parked at 10 we had to take a shuttle bus back to terminal 10 parking garage and our poor bus driver didn't have clue as to where he was going so after driving around for a bit we finally made it back to our parking garage.Over all We thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise on NCL Sun, it wasn't perfect but then again there always some glitches that go along with cruising however we would sail on the ship again.Hope this review was helpful to you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my 28th Cruise, but first on NCL and I was surprised with my experience, considering the negative reviews I read before booking and sailing. We invited a recently widowed friend as our 3rd person, so we decided to book a Penthouse ... Read More
This was my 28th Cruise, but first on NCL and I was surprised with my experience, considering the negative reviews I read before booking and sailing. We invited a recently widowed friend as our 3rd person, so we decided to book a Penthouse Suite. We sailed in room 9202, which also accommodated my special needs father in his scooter. Our butler, Francis and Concierge Armando made this cruise nearly flawless. We were met by both at check-in and immediately knew that they had great personalities and would add to our fun on board. The room was large, beds comfortable and they both heard my request for extra pillows. We had breakfast and lunch in Cagney's, specialty dining in Tempanyaki and Cagney's for dinner and they made sure we were booked in Four Seasons and Seven Seas on other nights. I preferred Seven Seas since it seemed to have more formal attention than the Four Seasons dining room. The food at every meal was amazing! I was nervous after reading poor food reviews, but was never disappointed. We even had wings in the Sports bar and they were fantastic. The chefs in Tempanyaki were entertaining and the steak and chicken were cooked perfectly. We laughed through the entire meal. We had the pleasure of meeting the senior officers and the General Manager Igor even took time to get to know us throughout the cruise. Any issue we had was heard by Igor and he was receptive to our comments. We rarely watch the shows in the evenings on other ships, but were present 4 of the 5 nights on this cruise. The entertainment was excellent and we loved the comedian, Juli Barr. We had some very rude guests during her show, but she handled them with grace and they thankfully left her show without incident. The only "complaints" I have are only comparisons to other cruise lines. For the expense of the drink package on NCL, I feel they could provide a better drink menu for each specific bar, better olives for martinis and more uniform mixology among the staff at each of the bars. We normally develop a rapport with bar staff and this was not an option on this ship, except for one bartender in the pool bar named Mark. I did notice that they had a bar in the dining room, which cut down on the time we had to wait for drinks and wine during dinner and dessert. Costa Maya was a great port and had lots to do without leaving the area. It was easily accessible for a wheelchair or scooter and had plenty of shopping and dining options. We unfortunately had to tender in Cozumel, which meant my father couldn't get off the ship due to the 13 ships in port that day. We did book several spa services, including massages and facials. I regret not learning the name of the blond staff member in the spa, as she called us by name every time she saw us on the ship. The massages were perfect, as was the facial, and the staff made us feel at home. Overall, we truly enjoyed this small ship and were pleased with our first experience on a Norwegian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We decided to go on our first cruise with Norwegian, joining a group of friends. Since we both have been on other cruises we thought this would be great fun. Very disappointing. Starting from the moment we went online to book. We used ... Read More
We decided to go on our first cruise with Norwegian, joining a group of friends. Since we both have been on other cruises we thought this would be great fun. Very disappointing. Starting from the moment we went online to book. We used NCL.com made our reservations. Once done we still had questions, and also wanted to purchase other packages. We called the reservation number listed. They could not help us because it shows that we booked our cruise through South Africa. It is not possible to even get on to those sites from the USA. We tried on three different computers. Three days later, countless hours and people, we finally got to one in corporate who was most helpful and frustrated that no one was able to fix the issue. Took him minutes to make our reservation a domestic one. The initial deposit for the cruise was processed at the Bank of England. We informed the cruise line of our travel times. We purchased the hotel and transportation through NCL. Arriving at Orlando airport, met up with the NCL reps. They had not record of us for the transport to the hotel. Fortunately the hotel has a shuttle service. Embarking on to the ship was okay. A little disappointing to enter the ship into a hallway. Past cruises you've entered into a main area that is quite impressive. Add to the fact the bathroom in the entrance area was out of order. The rooms were ready quite quickly. However, the hair dryer was broken. Actually broken, as in the handle not attached anymore. The faucet in the bathroom would come on scalding hot and take forever to get cool water. The paper products in the bathroom, the absolute cheapest you could get. The toilet tissue is one sided its so thin. From that day forward this just went downhill. The staff is very hit and miss. You will find a few that seem to enjoy their job and are quite helpful. You will meet many more who do not like their job, and it shows. The ship is lacking details maintenance. Rusting showing on our balcony, and all around the ship. Stained furniture, worn carpets, broken lounge chairs, very sloppy painting, dripping and over painting throughout. Be prepared to wait for everything. Getting a watered down drink can take as long as half an hour. For the most part there are only two bartenders trying to serve hundreds. No constancy in the drinks. Order the same drink from different bars and they will all taste different. Dinning, reservation all taken. You are expected to reserved way before you've even gotten onto the ship. They are very concerned about the guest health. But I witnessed so many things that put the guest's health in jeopardy. One case in point, the bars serve up bar mix (nuts and crackers mix) in glasses. I watched a guest pour them into their mouth, lips touching the glass, put it back empty. The bartender refilled the same glass with mix and give it to another guest. From then on I watch as they just reused and reserved the bar glasses with the bar mix over and over. It was gross. The food is pretty unexciting. The buffet, ugh! Biscuits are hokey pucks, chewy waffles and pancakes, I'd swear powered eggs. Much of it way over cooked, to the point of burnt. Try going to the individual restaurants. A step up. But still just okay. Hour cabin stewart was excellent. Very helpful and attentive. Customer Service desk, not so much. We took our issues to them, and all we got was I'll note your account. The excursions were great. However, there will be lots and lots of people. From NCL's descriptions they make is sound like an intimate time at a secluded beach. You and five thousand of your closest acquaintances. There were other cruise ships docked so you have all of them to deal with too. I could go on and on. Needless to say, this was not a pleasant experience at all. Save your money and the frustration, take a different cruise line. Then executives of NCL need to get their butts out of their offices and go undercover and cruise their ships like a regular guest. Then maybe there would be some improvements. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We did not choose the cruise as friends of ours picked it, but we did not think it could be as terrible as it was. Literally from the second we booked we had problems. I booked online and when I tried calling them to make changes they told ... Read More
We did not choose the cruise as friends of ours picked it, but we did not think it could be as terrible as it was. Literally from the second we booked we had problems. I booked online and when I tried calling them to make changes they told me they couldn’t help because we booked through the South African website...meanwhile we are in PA. We were recommended to call the international line (which we can’t since we are in the US!!) After going on for 10 minutes on how she couldn’t help us with anything cause she “wasn’t allowed to touch it” due to it somehow being an international booking, she says “can I help you with anything else?” To which I responded, “you literally told us you can’t help with anything so why would you say that?!?” And hung up. We got another girl on the phone and she said she couldn’t do anything and that we would be paying for the cruise through the bank of London for it being an international booking...which AGAIN we did not do, and we’d have to pay an exchange fee for the money. It took hours and hours and multiple different calls to finally get our reservation changed. After all that we booked our transportation through NCL (BIG MISTAKE). Not one person had us on their list for pickup from the airport, and all they even did was call the hotel which we could have done. AND on top of that the hotel took 30 minutes to pick us up. After debarking we were supposed to go back to the same hotel for one night but the transportation people had us going to the airport and said they are only going to the airport...HOW ARE WE PAYING FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS AND THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE DOING?!?!?. After a solid 45 minutes they told us to get on one bus, we sat for 10 minutes and they told us to get off as it’s a different bus going to the hotel, only come to find out that that bus we get on has to go to the airport first.... Everything about the ship was horrible save for a handful of crew members. Even getting on the ship was so lackluster...you get on on just a random deck in a hallway with no idea how to get anywhere and no crew member explaining anything. At least with other Disney and Royal Caribbean cruises you enter into a grand atrium or something, this we just had to take a walk around the outside deck only to enter into a thousand people waiting for elevators. A solid 80% of the crew members had no idea what they were doing nor did they know anything about the ship or its services. First day we ask guest services how our drink package works. She says we can get anything we want and there is no limit....of course we didn’t trust this and had to find someone else who explained how it actually worked. Their dining reservations team were also completely useless...they had no idea what they were doing and had ZERO customer service skills. Just getting their attention for them to look up from their computers was hard enough and when a guy finally did, he just told us that the reservation we wanted was unavailable and he went back to whatever he was doing, instead of trying to find something else for us. It was much easier using the touchscreens for reservation, so you wouldn’t have to deal with actual people. Most of the host/hostesses of the restaurants would barely look up from what they were doing when people approached, you just had to guess if you were supposed to go up to them or not. They would flat out ignore anyone who stepped up to their podiums until they felt like helping someone. Half of the wait staff was like this too, they would only go to your table maybe once to take your order, and then you would never see them again, only the staff who would bring the food to the tables. Again, there were some staff members who were terrific and really stood out, it was very HIT OR MISS with all of the staff onboard. Now for the ship and how poorly it is taken care of. It is also terribly organized. Everything is extremely cramped and you truly do feel the other thousands of people onboard. All restaurants and activities are crammed either on 6,7, or 8 or 15. Walking on 6,7, or 8 you almost always had to navigate a maze of people and there were lines galore. That’s probably because of the bars being staffed with only 2 bar tenders each who would only help the guests who were the loudest and most obnoxious. And with the drinks, almost every bar made them differently, no consistency with drinks. I had bar tenders look at me multiple times as I tried to order a drink, and they would flat out ignore me and help the loud drunk woman who just walked up to the bar. Here’s another instance of terrible customer service. While getting back on the ship after one of the ports, they had two lines open for the metal detectors. Everyone was splitting up going to whichever line was lower in numbers. Only all of the sudden a woman in security just stopped one line and rudely forced guests to wait in the longer line, only to open up her side for random guests. There was no rhyme or reason to what she was doing. Lastly, we did one shore excursion and it was NOT AT ALL what it was described as. It said it was supposed to be a relaxing beach break on Tortola, only to find out they drop you off with the other thousands of tourists on a tiny beach where there was nowhere to sit unless you walked 100yards down to the other side of the beach. Overall would definitely not ever go on another NCL cruise, NOT worth the money!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My best friend and I have been friends for 25 years and to celebrate her and I decided to take this cruise. This became an extremely stressful vacation and we weren’t able to enjoy our time. I have cruised before but it was her first ... Read More
My best friend and I have been friends for 25 years and to celebrate her and I decided to take this cruise. This became an extremely stressful vacation and we weren’t able to enjoy our time. I have cruised before but it was her first time. The ship was not beautiful, the night club DJ played bad wedding music such as the hussle and the food was disappointing. The staff caused us enormous amounts of hassle which we ended up spending the majority of our time at guest services taking care of mistakes made by the staff. Here is a list of our experiences: Housekeeping left out my friends insulin from the refrigerator and she is diabetic which became a medical emergency and the medical center gave us a difficult time by trying to charge us for their services and the medicine. The housekeeper also took the ice pack we needed in order to travel off the ship on port days and he left an open beef jerky package in our refrigerator from the prior guests. During our trip their was a malfunction of our toilet in our cabin. The glow night DJ had only played the same song over and over. The ship was extremely rocky the first two days at sea. The rumor on the ship was that they neglected to utilize the stabilizers. We were surprised to find out that our soda package that we both purchased did not include virgin daiquiris and bottled water so we asked to be refunded because we both don’t drink soda and the staff changed both our key cards but only did a refund for one of us until we went back to guest services to explain their mistake. We also purchased the water bottle package after that and ordered 12 bottles and only received 6 bottles so we went back to guest services to have them reimburse us for the difference in that price as well. We were disappointed in our cruise that we had long awaited to experience together. We came away feeling we did not get the value and great experience we had hoped for. Obviously we are very disappointed in every aspect of our cruise vacation and how things were handled by the staff causing us enormous amounts of energy resolving issues instead of having fun. We hope that Norwegian takes our bad experiences seriously and compensates us for the lost opportunity to enjoy our cruising vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship is very large, but appeared to have the same amount of crew as their smaller ships resulting in very poor service. The venues are small and most are difficult to get into. If you get the specialty restaurant good luck on getting ... Read More
The ship is very large, but appeared to have the same amount of crew as their smaller ships resulting in very poor service. The venues are small and most are difficult to get into. If you get the specialty restaurant good luck on getting a dining time before 9 pm unless you book early. Overall the food was disappointing in both O Sheehan’s and the buffet, with only 1/3 of the buffet lines open at any time resulting in to many people and poor food selection. We waited quite awhile for our food in O Sheehans and thought we lost our server a few times as they didn’t check back on us to see if our food was delivered or needed drink refills The bar service was extremely poor, again not all bars open and those that were were understaffed. Room service was good and came at the scheduled time and our room steward was outstanding. Entertainment required reservations as well and was not up to the standards we have grown to expect from this cruise line. Other than the beautiful weather and great ports the trip was a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I'd like to thank NCL for directing me to Cruise Critic (probably unknowingly) by only allowing me one little space in the survey for my comments. I have a story to tell and that little "block" wasn't going to cut ... Read More
I'd like to thank NCL for directing me to Cruise Critic (probably unknowingly) by only allowing me one little space in the survey for my comments. I have a story to tell and that little "block" wasn't going to cut it… We boarded our cruise ship on Nov. 30 (Day 1) and apparently there were a lot of new people who didn't have answers to some of our questions. We were going thru the line and as my sister-in-law was paying for her wine corkage fee, we tried to do the same only to be told that they would "charge us" prior to our luggage being delivered to the room as we were having our luggage brought on by the staff. However that was not the case as when we finally had all of our luggage delivered we discovered a note telling us we had "attempted to bring prohibited items onboard," and where we could go to retrieve them. This was after the fiasco of entering our room and trying in vain to turn on the lights because despite sending us numerous emails asking if we would like to upgrade our room we never received a single email telling us that our card key turned on our lights. So, we walked in and tried in vain to turn on the lights – more on this later. We were flipping everything. This was of course after I tried to turn on the lights to go to the bathroom only to discover that: a.) I could not turn them on and b.) There is this little lip at the bottom of the entry way which I could not see because the lights wouldn’t come on and so I fell. Lovely. That’s a vacation memory everyone likes to have. The problem with my falling is that it colored the rest of my vacation. I had pain in my leg from scraping the lip of the doorway, I had the pain in my backside where I made contact with the metal frame of the doorway and I had pain in my arms and shoulders from trying to stop my plummet to the floor of the bathroom. I had to explain the bruise to the spa lady 5 days later while having my massage. After all that is done with and we are getting settled in our room we find that 2 of the shows we had scheduled have been cancelled and rescheduled to other nights. We meticulously scheduled everything so we’d have something to do every day and not have everything jumbled up at the end of the trip. Our St. Thomas zip lining excursion paperwork was not included and so this required another trip to customer service. This was the third trip to customer service in a few hours. The next day (Day 2 At Sea) I spent quite some time looking for the Ladies Pamper Party which was apparently scheduled at the same time as the Fabulous Hair Show. The app and the paper itinerary didn’t always seem to coordinate very well. I never did find the Pamper party. C’est la vie. That evening we discovered that our room had not been cleaned and the only towels we had were the dirty ones on the floor. Another trip to customer service. Remember when I mentioned that we were flipping everything to attempt to turn on the lights? Well, we apparently flipped on the do not disturb light outside. Now, I personally could go the entire trip with just fresh towels and making my own bed – so that was not the issue – the issue was that after the hubs went to request fresh towels, our steward was told to deliver them and apparently reprimanded for not doing his job. That’s what bothered me the most. A simple little note, handed to us with our card key would have: 1.) told us how to turn on the lights 2.) Prevented my fall 3.) Stopped us from flipping everything in a vain attempt to turn the lights on and 4.) Our steward would not have been reprimanded by his superior for something he had no control over. (Day 3 At Sea) Still having issues with app as it was not showing any itinerary at all. I checked at 7:20 in the morning and it showed no events for the day. We were also charged for a game in the game room that wouldn’t play and after another trip to customer service to have the charge removed we found on the last day that it was still there. I’ll be calling Norwegian Cruise Lines to take care of that later. (Day 4 Tortola) Not everyone met in the atrium for trips to the islands. We met our people in line and went directly ashore. So we missed the information telling us NOT to being back shells and rocks from the island back to the ship. A note included on the paper itinerary would have been helpful in that people would have been aware and this would have prevented about 80% of the others from doing so and would be sped up the process of returning to the ship as well as spare embarrassment of having aforementioned items removed from bags and thrown into the trash for quite a few of the passengers. (Day 5 St. Thomas) We had two excursions planned for the day. We were up bright and early and ready to leave the ship after breakfast. We listened to the announcements and got in line ASAP. The zip lining tour required us to meet on the pier at 7:45 and then we were going on the sky ride afterwards for shopping, picture taking of the “breathtaking views” to be followed by a leisurely lunch and the sky ride back. Getting off the ship was a fiasco. The areas for the line were not roped off. People standing in line for an hour had to deal with people getting off the elevators and just pushing themselves into the line. It was chaotic and not handled well at all. People were coming in from the elevators as well as the doors on four sides of the area. We never knew if the issue with our being able to leave the ship was due to an issue of miscommunication from the ship to shore or shore to ship. Either way we were delayed getting off the ship by about an hour. We totally missed out 7:45 zip lining time and were re-scheduled for 9:15. The problem with that was we had nowhere to go for about 45 minutes as the shops were not open yet. There was limited shade and even at that early time it was getting pretty warm. Once again people found themselves waiting and tempers were flaring. We had no choice but to stand around and wait until we could be squeezed into the schedule. We had to wait for a ride to be lined up as well to take us to the zip lining. Even though the return time was pushed back to 2:30 we still did not have time to do the sky ride as planned. Sure, we could have zipped up and then right back down, but that would have left no time for shopping or lunch, so we opted to skip that and shop near the pier and return to the ship for an extremely late lunch. Another trip to customer service where we asked for and were given a refund for the missed sky ride. Our agent seemed to understand that we were unable to do the sky ride because we couldn’t do the other activities as well but some of the other agents were telling passengers that they really did have the time to do the sky ride and were NOT granting refunds. That is wrong because the information on the NCL website presents the sky ride as a package excursion. To sky ride up, shop, take in the breathtaking views, take beautiful photos and have a leisurely lunch before returning down the sky ride. That clearly was not going to happen for most of the guests. (Day 6 At Sea) I have to say the show “Velvet” was absolutely awesome! But at this point I was beginning to realize that the ship had turned into a kind of “infomercial trip.” All of the “island shopping” presentations were slanted towards certain stores. My massage was turned into segue for me to buy products geared towards my “problem” areas. Many of the Port shopping talks, hair parties, pamper parties and such were really geared towards getting you to purchase particular items. Our first cruise on the Norway was nothing like that. (Day 7 Stirrup Cay) Snorkeling was awesome! Lunch was pretty good and the beach was beautiful. Day 8 Disembarkation) Disembarkation was fantastic! Why couldn’t Wednesday have been like that? Provide people with color coded tickets so they don’t all try to leave at the same time. Highest priority for those with shore excursions that they have already paid for. That could have reduced friction, missed excursions and possibly reduced the line of people in line at customer service requesting refunds. The food served at the Velvet show was superb. The food at the two dining rooms, Savor & Taste were good however the food served at the buffet was okay at best. It was fairly bland although there were a couple of dishes that were pretty spicy and delish. They seemed to be fairly shorthanded when we first boarded the ship and we heard from someone that a group of staff were stranded back in Orlando for some reason. The wait staff, for the most part, was pretty good – again they appeared to be shorthanded so I am sure they were doing their best. The bartenders we encountered could use a little refresher course in customer interaction. We ordered four bottles to take to our room (and share with our group) and paid for them, including tip. However, retrieving them proved to be problematic. The first bartender showed his displeasure when my husband presented his ticket for the first bottle. On the second night we went to another bar and the second bartender pretty much ignored us as he served everyone around us while my husband stood there with his wine voucher in hand. When he finally acknowledged us he informed my husband that it would be ten – fifteen minutes before he could even go to GET the wine and then it would take him a while to go the cellar to retrieve it. It was apparent that he was in no mood to do so. My husband decided to try going to the 15th floor to get the remaining 3 bottles and to see if he would have better luck there. That bartender was awesome! He was pleased as punch to do so and so much so that my husband ordered an additional glass of wine so that he could leave him a nice tip. The lady at the Starbuck Lounge gets a star for the week – she was absolutely awesome and helpful! After a hot day of standing in line for our ride to zip lining, zip lining & walking back to the ship all my husband wanted was an ice cold ice tea. They don’t serve ice tea there but she gave us a tall cup of ice water with instructions to take it upstairs after I finished by coffee and cupcake to fill it with iced tea from the buffet. It was a kind and much appreciated gesture. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my first cruise experience and, it will be my last. I booked as part of a group celebrating a couple's 10 year wedding anniversary. While checking in at the port, all the staff were so friendly, happy and welcoming. ... Read More
This was my first cruise experience and, it will be my last. I booked as part of a group celebrating a couple's 10 year wedding anniversary. While checking in at the port, all the staff were so friendly, happy and welcoming. Unfortunately, this was not a reflection of what I would find on the ship. While some of the servers were great, a vast many were downright rude. On the first day at sea, at the H2O Lounge, myself and 3 friends gave our drink orders (first of the day) to the server who came around. (We had all gotten a premium drink package.) This order included 3 alcoholic beverages and 2 waters. When my friend ordered a mojito, the server told her that the bartender doesn't like making those and that whenever he comes back with that order it upsets the bartender because it takes too long to make. After taking our order, the server went around to get orders from more people. Over 20 minutes later (reasonable) the server returned with 1 of our alcoholic beverages and handed us a stack of room cards and told us to pick our out, leaving to give other people their drinks. These cards have our name and room number on them and are associated with our credit cards. As four single women who are cognizant of our safety, we were very unimpressed. We took our room cards from the stack and passed the remainder to the couple next to us (who we did not know) who had also ordered drinks. It took over an hour to get the three alcoholic beverages we ordered (that were brought out in three separate rounds) and we ended up going to the bar ourselves for the water. When the mojito was brought, it was clearly not made properly. The limes were not muddled (perfectly intact) and the mint was sitting on top of the ice, completely dry. One of the women in our group asked to speak to a bar manager. The server was hesitant to comply and came back to us several times to try and convince that we were taking the situation the wrong way. When the bar manager did come he was happy we had brought this to his attention and, we thought that this would be a one off for the trip. Prior to November 30th, I had never been told off by a bartended in my life. On this cruise, I was told off by several. One the first day or two, I was just ordering "vodka sodas." On the second or third day when I received my drink (at the H2O Lounge) it tasted like paint thinner. I said to the bartender, "excuse me, could you tell me what kind of vodka this was made with?" he told me to hold on and walked away. The second bartender walked up and told me in a very rude way that if I want a specific kind of alcohol I need to ask for it and, if I don't, I will get whatever kind of alcohol they choose to put in it. I said that's fine, now I know for next time but can I order another drink please? He said I need to pay for another one because he wasn't just going to remake it because I didn't like it. I said I wasn't asking him to. He walked away to make me another drink and scan my card and, the first bartender returned to tell me off in the same fashion, even though I said I was already helped by the other gentleman. Following the bartender's advice and ordering the specific kind of liquor I wanted did not work any better for me. I tried ordering coconut Bacardi and cranberry juice at several bars. A couple times the bartender poured Malibu and was upset when I tried to stop them and say I wanted Coconut Bacardi, not Malibu. One gentleman told me they are the same thing. I said no, they are not. He then proceeded to take the cap off, smell it, and say "well, smells exactly the same to me." Not only were a significant amount of bartenders rude, they were also very slow and lazy, without an ounce of hustle in their body. During the "Glow Night" which was what we expected to be the big party of the trip, the bartenders moved at a pace that I have never seen before and honestly acted like they would rather be anywhere else in the world. I would say that event was such a failure largely due to their service. The bartender in the Ice Bar was exceptional. As were all the staff at Tappanyaki and, Cagney's Steak House. The server we had a Cagney's was hands down the best employee we interacted with on the ship. She was cheerful, polite, and extremely good at her job and, went above and beyond for one of the members in our group who was coming down with a cold. On one of the at-sea days when we had hoped to see more of the shows/programs on board, the NCL app was not correct and we ended up missing a lot of what we wanted to see. On other days we did see two standup comedians (Frank Townsend and another gentleman whose name I forget) and they were hilarious. We thoroughly enjoyed their shows, as well as "Burn the Floor". I did not end up using the water slides because on the first at sea day they were shut down because a child had been cut going down one of them. They re-opened after receiving repairs, however, I did not want to risk being injured. Some members of our group did use them and said they were fine if you sat up but, hurt your back if you laid down. The public washrooms were kept very clean and the Ports were beautiful (although full of jelly fish that stung five members of our group). If I realized I could have requested that the automatic gratuity be taken off my account, I would have done that and tipped only for good service. As I said, I will not be doing a cruise vacation again. I cannot believe the treatment we received, especially for the amount of money we spent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We didn’t know what to expect as this was our first Norwegian Cruise! The boarding was seamless and very good after that it was total confusion, handed a map of the ship and told to go to deck 15 buffet! We purchased an interior room ... Read More
We didn’t know what to expect as this was our first Norwegian Cruise! The boarding was seamless and very good after that it was total confusion, handed a map of the ship and told to go to deck 15 buffet! We purchased an interior room with the drink package including gratuity. The room was not cleaned when we arrived there was toothpaste, toothbrushes, disposable razors, tissue paper and bathroom glasses were not cleaned and had lip markings on them! We did contact housekeeping and they fixed after three times! This went on for the cruise would seldom empty trash and did not replace with clean glasses daily. The TV stopped working for updates and had to call several times finally worked last day of cruise. No price on Dasani Water was not listed as a charge but we were charged $6 per bottle. Mold in shower visible! We had to ask daily for additional towels and wash cloths. Overall meals were a 4-5 out of ten! Buffet was the same everyday for breakfast and lunch nothing special! They only had servers around the pool and upper decks for a time period of 11-2:30 daily! Bar area was very undermanned. On port days no lounge chairs setup on upper decks. The Spice H2O was so bad with smoke if you did not smoke you couldn’t be there! Did not go to the casino or restaurant by there cause smoke was so bad and just overwhelmed the areas with stale smoke! The island was nice! The one thing I would really have to say is the crew and island crew need to smile and be welcoming we had one cart driver almost hit us and didn’t even stop as we were guest and it was like we were interrupting him! Also they were doing construction right there on the beach a crane was working 100’ from guest - really! We were just like at the end would we go again - not sure the price was great but as always you get what you pay for! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my 6th cruise with NCL and there was definitely something amiss with this trip. Food - HORRIBLE (taste, selection, temperature) at all restaurants we visited (Taste, Savor, Manhattan Room, O'Sheehan's). The only ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise with NCL and there was definitely something amiss with this trip. Food - HORRIBLE (taste, selection, temperature) at all restaurants we visited (Taste, Savor, Manhattan Room, O'Sheehan's). The only decent meal was at the Buffet for breakfast where you could get a hot made to order omelet. It is evident that they want you to pay for Specialty Dining if you want a decent meal. Service - Total lack of organization. In port they would announce that disembarkation would be on Deck 4; however, what they fail to tell you is that they have the elevators turned off at Deck 6. You could go to the Guest Services Desk desk in the A.M. to ask a question then go back in the P.M., ask the same question and get a totally different answer. The Room Steward had no training. If he had he would know that a bottom sheet is tucked underneath the mattress, wouldn't he/she? We had to remake the bed every day. On Day 1 we were missing one of our bags and were basically told to "walk around and see if you can find it". On a more positive note; the Mandara Spa staff was incredible. And for the most part the servers in the restaurants where pleasant and friendly, it wasn't there fault the food was crap. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because we sailed other ships in NCL's fleet previously and had an awesome experience each time. While the Breakaway is relatively new and modern, the staterooms were smaller than I was expecting, especially ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we sailed other ships in NCL's fleet previously and had an awesome experience each time. While the Breakaway is relatively new and modern, the staterooms were smaller than I was expecting, especially when compared to similar class of staterooms on other Norwegian ships we've taken The food in the Garden Buffet was good but as the week wore on, seemed became repetitious/boring. The on board game shows and activities were fun The public areas were clean and well maintained. Our room steward Roel was excellent The low point and major detraction of this cruise for me, unfortunately were the excursions that we took. The Paradise Bay Tour in Tortola, BVI was billed by NCL as a sightseeing/shopping and beach visit tour. While the views of the island while in the mountains were breathtaking, this tours did not offer any real insight into the history/culture/people of the BVI. The 'shopping' consisted of a stop at mostly ramshackle stalls that sold cheap island mementos. The shopping was next to the beach, which had no seating--unless you wanted to shell out $20/per day for a beach chair--(we were only there for 1 hr). The bathrooms at the site were flooded, with one working toilet and no toilet paper. Not worth the $ paid. The Paradise Bay Tour seemed grand when compared to our Excursion in St Thomas, VI I was seriously underwhelmed at the Harbor Safari Tour, another Norwegian Cruise Lines excursion out of St Thomas. The experience of this 'tour' was one of abject frustration and dissatisfaction There was confusion from the beginning of this 'tour'. No clearly marked meeting point for the excursion's participants. We ended up having to walk over 1/2 mile to the dock where we boarded a boat/water taxi to take a short 10 minute ride to the other side of the harbor, where we were let off in front of the shopping district, with no clear direction from the boat operator of when they'd come back to pick us up to take us back to the boat. After about an hour of walking around the shopping district, we ended up taking a taxi back to the ship, This tour is a RIP-OFF!! Don't book it!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I initially was going on this cruise for our 40th anniversary, but as the time got closer, my husband decided he really did not want to go as it is tooooo much walking for him. So I chose to take my sister instead. I had gone to the ... Read More
I initially was going on this cruise for our 40th anniversary, but as the time got closer, my husband decided he really did not want to go as it is tooooo much walking for him. So I chose to take my sister instead. I had gone to the expense of the Haven so that we would not have to walk and stand in lines for the bar & restaurants and a smaller pool & spa area too. The Haven and our suite were wonderful and we spent most of our time there as the rest of the areas were just too busy for us to enjoy. We also took advantage of the Madera Spa getting facials and massages the 3 days at sea. The Haven needs to have a small musical entertainment or even piped music of the islands to keep us there. We never did hear any Bob Marley type music to get everyone mixing. We went to the French restaurant one night and then cancelled our reservation to the Italian one because of the smell of cigars in the Atriam was overwhelming to us. So we just stayed up in the Haven for drinks & dinner. Our suite was beautiful and the largest shower ever. We had 2 balconies on the bow and it was usually too windy to use them much but the views were beautiful. I actually got a bad fish sandwich the 1st lunch and had trouble smelling seafood the rest of the trip, but the beef was great. Overall, I liked our 4 day cruises the best and a smaller ship and the food quality was much higher on the Sky than this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were on the November 30, 2019 Breakaway Sail. As you will see from our cruise history, we are Platinum Plus and have sailed many times including several sails in a suite/the Haven. Most of our sails have been reviewed on here. This ... Read More
We were on the November 30, 2019 Breakaway Sail. As you will see from our cruise history, we are Platinum Plus and have sailed many times including several sails in a suite/the Haven. Most of our sails have been reviewed on here. This sail was also a Haven sail. As such, the majority of the review focuses on the Haven. We had several issues this cruise most of which were resolved on board, although the biggest issue we had was with the Butler initially assigned to our room. This issue was only resolved on the 4th day after the Housekeeping Manager, got involved. We were able to speak with him after running into him at the Haven Restaurant one morning. The specific issues were: 1. Butler Service. Our originally assigned Butler, met with us the first day as usual practice. He noted our requests which were minimal (a nightly cheese plate to be delivered at 9pm, M&Ms, and that for snacks we preferred not to have anything with Mayonnaise). I also note that these requests were also submitted in advance to the Haven pre-cruise concierge. We watched him write this all down, we parted ways and went on to enjoy our first afternoon and evening on the ship which was Saturday. When we arrived back at the room around 11pm, none of our requested items had been delivered. We then called the night Butler who told us he “wasn’t sure he could bring that” when we asked for the cheese plate to be delivered as requested and promised. The next morning we spoke to the concierge about the entire situation, and when he looked into the issue we found that the Butler “wrote down the wrong cabin number” and that is why we didn’t get our order. We replaced our order for that night (Sunday) which was delivered that evening as requested. On Monday, the remnants of those snacks remained in our room until nearly noontime which made absolutely no sense given that our Steward (Francis, who was the absolute best!) had cleaned the room that morning while we were at breakfast. We asked whose responsibility it was to clean up food items, etc. and we were told that is the Butler which the Concierge confirmed. We do not understand why food leftovers sat in our room for nearly 12 hours before being cleaned up. Our room was in the Courtyard and all week long we saw other butlers, constantly. Our Butler was rarely, if ever, seen in our hallway. We asked to speak with someone above the Concierge about this issue and he assured us he would handle it and that going over his head was not necessary. Simultaneously, we also had an improperly functioning shower door. The two doors would not stay shut, we surmised due to a missing rubber stripping. We brought this to the attention of the Concierge as we were already speaking to him about the Butler issues, and the answer was that it was not his responsibility to call maintenance for us but that we had to do it ourselves. This was surprising. Finally, the morning of the 4th day we happened to see the Housekeeping Manager who was having breakfast in the Haven restaurant and requested to speak with him. He said he was aware of the issues and that he had been told they had been resolved to which we said they were not. Ultimately, the end result was to have our Butler replaced for the final three days. Our replacement Butler was wonderful and we had no issues with his service. He was kind, smiling and always around – typical of the Butler service we have become accustomed to. As a side note, we spoke to others in the Haven who had received little to no service from their respective Butlers either. One couple stated that their Butler did not even know who they were by the time the debarkation info session took place at the end of the cruise! This has definitely not been our experience in other Havens. We typically ask for the bare minimum from our butler – just the daily snacks, a cheese plate at the same time every night, and once awhile a dinner in the room. Our requests were far from what we have seen and heard about other passengers requesting. This should not have been a difficult task or burden for our initial Butler to provide. 2. Available Alcohol at the Haven Bar. By day 5 certain alcohols that were being consumed on a regular basis by several patrons ran out. There was no effort to restock. These alcohols were available at other bars on the ship, so it wasn’t like the ship ran out. 3. Haven Courtyard. For some odd reason, the retractable roof in the Haven Courtyard was closed all week, even for the “dining under the stars” special dinner on Tuesday evening. The answer we were given was that it was “too cold” to have it open. We had beautiful weather all week no rain, and it was hardly cold. Very disappointing as the end result was the Courtyard being very humid and warm all week (although this did not deter us from utilizing the space). Lastly, unrelated to the Haven, was the meal at the Velvet dinner theater. While the show was excellent, the dinner was the worst meal we’ve ever eaten in any venue on any NCL ship. Also, the service was abhorrent. At our table (and other tables) staff were placing the next course on the table before the prior course had been cleared. They would also serve by reaching across the table rather than serving from the person’s right. I understand this is a new show but the Speigel Tent and dinner theater is not new to the ship. Had we paid the $29.99 per person we would have complained on board. But we had used our dining package and received the 2 for 1 promo on the meal so we let it go. But NCL should know about this service issue. Also a nice option would be to offer tickets for dinner and the show as well as tickets for just the show. We gave up a fantastic meal in the Haven restaurant (or another specialty) for this experience and the meal was just awful. We saw Six, the show that replaced Rock of Ages. I did not care for it, my fiancé loved it. We skipped Burn the Floor as we’ve seen it several times. Howl at the Moon was always fantastic. Specialties were very good – we ate at Cagneys and LaCucina. We had additional meals available but we much prefer the Haven restaurant meals and menu so we stayed up there. All breakfast and lunch was eaten in the Haven as well. Shows and specialties were the only times we left the Haven. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise because it suited our dates and we were able to get a cabin in The Haven. We are not fans of large ships but since we got into Haven which is a smallish enclave with its own facilities we thought to give it a try. We ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it suited our dates and we were able to get a cabin in The Haven. We are not fans of large ships but since we got into Haven which is a smallish enclave with its own facilities we thought to give it a try. We only left the boat once in Tortola and remained on board during the sea days - very quiet and relaxing. Because we were not on decks 15-16 where the Haven is located, we had long waits for the elevators and it was a very long way from our cabin to the nearest elevator. Not recommended for mobility issues. Embarkation was made difficult because we had arrived later than expected due to a serious road accident which slowed us down. No one greeted us at the boat and we had difficulty getting information as to where to check in, etc. Getting off this giant ship was truly a zoo... huge lines of people, massive crowds, - definitely not our thing! We ate mainly in the Haven's dining room. It served an excellent breakfast with many options. Breakfast and lunch can be taken on the pool deck as well as in the main dining room. Both lunches and dinners were very good with a wide ranging choice. We also ate in the three specialty restaurants which were part of our package. The highlight of the three was Ocean Blue which served superb oysters and very good chowders. The Italian restaurant was good but not special and the Latin American type steakhouse which brought different servers each with a different cut of meat directly to the table was also quite good. Overall the service in the dining areas was excellent. We did not participate in any activities except the swimming pool at the Haven. The pool is very small and is to be used mainly as an exercise pool. It was also good for children who seemed to enjoy jumping in and out of it. The hot tubs were comfortable and not too hot or too strong. We did only one shore excursion to Long beach in Tortola which was a bit crowded but the water nice and calm and not too cold. Despite the excellence of the service, some good food and a more private enclave, we do not intend to cruise on a boat this size again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
NCL booked all of our flights and transfers. They booked us a non-stop from Boston to Orlando, but our return flight stopped at JFK on the way back. There were dozens of non-stop flights from Orlando to Boston that day at a similar price ... Read More
NCL booked all of our flights and transfers. They booked us a non-stop from Boston to Orlando, but our return flight stopped at JFK on the way back. There were dozens of non-stop flights from Orlando to Boston that day at a similar price - not sure why NCL picked the flight thru JFK that got us home hours 2-3 later. We flew into Orlando the day before our cruise and stayed at a Hampton Inn near the airport. The hotel shuttle picked us up and dropped us off at the airport the next morning so we could catch the NCL bus to Port Canaveral. We got to the airport at 10am and were passengers #204 & #205 waiting for the bus. At about 11am we were called to board our bus. Our bus left at 11:20am and we got to the Port Canaveral terminal building shortly after noon. Lots of NCL people were there to direct us and security & registration was fairly quick. On the ship about 12:45. After fixing some dinner reservations at the customer service desk, we headed up to the Garden Cafe to meet-up with other family members that were already on board. We checked out our balcony cabin at about 2 and had the lifeboat drill at about 3pm. Our assembly station was D1 which was somewhere on deck 7. Lifeboat drill was a bit confusing as the crew waited until hundreds of people were wandering around on deck 7 before they brought out the assembly station signs and people knew where to go. Also one crew was walking around talking thru a bullhorn - I couldn't understand a single work he said. Dinner for our group of 10 was in the Manhattan Room at 6pm. Food was good, service was slow (took 30 minutes for our orders to be taken and dessert was served 2 hours after we were seated.) We missed the 7:30 show. Next 2 days were at sea. We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet and got to chat with other cruisers. We enjoyed our balcony cabin. We had most of our meals in the Garden Cafe. We went to Moderno for an Asian food lunch. Dinners were in Savor and Cagneys. We attended the Burn the Floor show but the drums were too loud for my wife (she has ear/hearing issues) and we left the theater after about 15 minutes. Because of my wife's hearing issues we generally don't spend much time on the pool deck or other loud public areas. Next day we pulled into Tortola. Our excursion was to Long Bay beach on Beef Island. Once off the ship, it was easy to identify where to go and who to follow to get to our open-air safari bus. After about a 30 minute ride, we were dropped off at the beach. The excursion was supposed to be 3 hours - subtract two 30 minute rides - leaves us with 2 hours on the beach. But our driver told us that he would return in 1.5 hours to pick us up - this didn't seem right. The beach was lovely - nice sand, blue, warm water and no annoying vendors to pester us. We were charged $25 for an umbrella and 2 beach chairs (for 1.5 hours) - were we scammed? Once in the water, there was a 3ft drop-off that was a bit of a pain to navigate. Back at the port we checked out the stores, bought some souvenirs. Again, the vendors were polite and did not harass us or pressure us into purchasing anything. Getting back on the ship was quick and easy. Next day we pulled into St Thomas. The Breakaway was the third big ship to pull in and our arrival was delayed until the first two ships were secured and checked in. Then the port authorities took extra time to check us in so we got off the ship later than we had planned. Our excursion was to Coral World for SNUBA. It was about a 25 minute open-air safari bus ride there. We got to Coral World later than planned and missed our SNUBA slot and had to wait 2 hours for the next available slot. SNUBA was awesome! But when we were done, we had to run thru the park and just barely made it back to bus (still dripping wet). Since the Breakaway got in late and left early, we didn't have any time to check out the shopping. Next day was at sea. Our NCL package included 250 free minutes of internet, so we visited the Internet Cafe and tried to connect. We were able to connect to email and Facebook messenger, but the connection was really slow - slower that dial-up from 20 yeas ago. That evening we ate at Moderno and saw the musical SIX. My wife was able to tolerate the volume of this production. Next day we visited Great Stirrup Cay. Tendering is always a pain and this was no different. Thankfully my cousin had reserved a Cabana - which was awesome. It may seem expensive, but if several people can chip-in, these Cabanas are really very affordable and well worth the price. We had lunch at the food truck and later I visited the barbecue beach grill and had some ribs. Water was warm and we all were able to just walk in. We did notice some small, clear jelly fish in the water - but they didn't seem to bother anyone. After a full day we tendered back to the ship. Since there was only one place on the ship for the tenders to dock, we had to wait for about a half hour while two tenders ahead of us were unloaded. NCL really should have had more than one place on the ship for tenders to unload. That evening our group of 10 had dinner in the Manhattan room. Unfortunately there was a very loud jazz band playing and my wife could not tolerate the noise. Next day we were back in Port Canaveral. Debarkation went smoothly - except for some troublesome face recognizance systems. NCL bus brought us back to Orlando airport 5 hours before our return flight home. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We took a eastern Caribbean cruise which went to Tortolla, St Thomas and Great Stirrup Cay. As, always, we choose to stay in The Haven. It is well worth the extra money and takes all the hassles out of cruising. Embarkation is a breeze and ... Read More
We took a eastern Caribbean cruise which went to Tortolla, St Thomas and Great Stirrup Cay. As, always, we choose to stay in The Haven. It is well worth the extra money and takes all the hassles out of cruising. Embarkation is a breeze and once we made it trough security, our check in took less than ten minutes. We were escorted directly to the Haven area. We met our butler and then went to the Haven restaurant for lunch. There is always a great selection of delectable meals or you can pretty much order what you want. They will cater to your individual tastes. The house wine selection is more than adequate and there selection of premium wines is outstanding. One of our favorite places was the Haven bar area. It makes for a great gathering place to meet the other Haven guests. There are no lines to wait in or people trying to push past you. The bartenders are the best of the best and take delight in creating new drinks. Our favorite bartender created an Amaretto, Baileys and pineapple juice drink that was unbelievable. Our room was keep in order by our room steward who would great us by name no matter how far down the hall he was working. When we left our room, he would ensure it was made up by the time we returned. Our butler catered to our specific needs. He paid attention to what portion of afternoon room snacks we would eat or not eat. If we did t eat it, he would not bring that item again. We loved the fresh baked cookies which he kept us well supplied. The concierge made sure we made it on and off the ship with no hassles and always found us the best seats at the shows. He was always there to book our excursions and made sure we made to our meeting point on time with no waiting in lines. Bottom line, if you love to cruise but are tired of waiting in lines and fighting for privacy, then the NCL Haven needs to be in your future plans. It’s not cheap, but to my wife and I, it is well worth the extra money. Once you experience The Haven, it will be hard to look forward to a cruise without it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The food was so bad in every outlet. In normal dining the food compares with Golden Coral. We decided to pay to go to the steak outlet and the rib eye was so tough you couldn't chew it. When the server asked how it was after I left ... Read More
The food was so bad in every outlet. In normal dining the food compares with Golden Coral. We decided to pay to go to the steak outlet and the rib eye was so tough you couldn't chew it. When the server asked how it was after I left more than 2/3 of the steak, I told her bad and unable to eat. She said that was nice. Still charged us over $100.00. AC didn't work very well in our room. Called and complained 5 times over a 3 hour time frame and some guy came by and felt the air and said it was fine. We spent most of our cruise in the hall or other cooler locations. Was hard to sleep in the hot room at night. The sewage smell was so bad in the bathroom it made my wife sick. We went to the bathroom in the public areas and held our nose while taking a short shower. Called guest services but no one did anything about it. The food issue is the employee's fault, the company is buying cheap quality food to save money. This is my 6th cruise but first with Norwegian and will be my last. If I could have found a flight back, l would have gotten off a the first port. Carnival has MUCH better food at a cheaper cruise price. I would have been willing to pay for the upgraded food package if the food had been any better. I've been in the hospitality industry for more than 40 years running both hotels and restaurants and would never serve that poor of quality food nor do nothing to help my guests. No one I spoke with knew what to do other than, I'll tell my manager. No one called or do anything to make it better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The cruise fit the Thanksgiving holiday time period and left out of Port Canaveral which was convenient. Plus, I had no reason to expect such a poor experience. Below is a more complete explanation of why this cruise was such a ... Read More
The cruise fit the Thanksgiving holiday time period and left out of Port Canaveral which was convenient. Plus, I had no reason to expect such a poor experience. Below is a more complete explanation of why this cruise was such a disappointment, but the problems were mainly in two areas, cabin service, and food. Our cabin attendant routinely moved and removed items from our room, so that every time we returned to our cabins, we had to search for personal items that had been put away, phones, iPad, books, kindles, even articles of clothing. Plus, on four occasions, food which had been brought to the room specifically for snacks ( we had a small child with us) were removed. Secondly, as also mentioned below, the quality of the food left a lot to be desired. There is no doubt there was plenty of food, but it was mainly meat or carb based, and not a lot of higher nutritional value vegetables. A lot of fruit was tinned, and one day the cheese was definitely so processed that it seemed as if it might have come in a box. Plus, having requested vegetarian options, and being assured that was no problem, we found out that it was indeed a problem. And the Norwegian Sun made it a problem by offering almost nothing that was specifically vegetarian, and stating that vegetarian meals should be requested 24 hours in advance by working with the food services at individual restaurant. That’s hardly a vacation. I do meal planning at home. One night in the dining room there were two options available, which was a nice surprise, and a veggie burger was cooked especially, although there was a long wait. If Norwegian Sun doesn’t want to cater to vegetarians, it would be appreciated if they just said so. The children’s menu lacked variety and nutritional value. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We planned to have a family Thanksgiving on this cruise, we were terribly disappointed with the servers at dinner and the overall staff - very unfriendly. We had to wait at least 45 minutes before our orders were taken each evening at ... Read More
We planned to have a family Thanksgiving on this cruise, we were terribly disappointed with the servers at dinner and the overall staff - very unfriendly. We had to wait at least 45 minutes before our orders were taken each evening at dinner and dinner generally took 2 hours to complete due to the wait for our food and servers. They were not friendly and one evening at dinner in the Four Seasons dining room, they were incompetent. We had two specialty dinners - one at the Italian restaurant which was terrible. Food was not tasty and the wait, once again, took over 2 hrs. We had reservations, but it took them over an hour to get us seated and take drink orders. We were disappointed in the shows - the comedian, Julie Barr, was good, but nothing else was interesting. The ship was very clean and they did continually keep it that way. Our steward was friendly, but did not do anything special besides make the bed and keep us with fresh towels. Usually on a cruise, we would enjoy getting to know our steward and dinner staff - the steward did not do anything with towels (making cute animals, etc) - this may seem not necessary, but it would always give us a smile! We had the beverage package and it did not include bottle water - this was such a disappointment since bottle water was $6.00! I cannot recommend this cruise for anyone Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Me, my 2 teens, my GF and her 2 teens went on cruise over Thanksgiving. Service and staff were great. Very friendly and helpful. We had an interior and GF and her kids had mini suite. I was a little nervous at first glance of the ... Read More
Me, my 2 teens, my GF and her 2 teens went on cruise over Thanksgiving. Service and staff were great. Very friendly and helpful. We had an interior and GF and her kids had mini suite. I was a little nervous at first glance of the interior bc it was 2 twin beds and a couch but there was not enough room to pull out the couch. I thought there was a mix up. On our booking page on NCL website it had a stock photo of the interior room and it said sleeps 3/4 and looked like it had one of those pull down beds. I asked the room steward and he said he would get 3rd bed made up in the evening. He basically took the cushions off the couch and added some bedding. It wasn't bad but the room was just too small. I thought the food in the MDRs was really really good. I am a picky eater and there were always a couple apps and a couple entrees I wanted to order. Breakfast in the MDR is 100X better than the buffet. I wasn't disappointed in any of the meals in the MDRs. I thought the MDR food was much better than the last few Carnival cruises I have been on. The buffet on the Sun is a bit blah and is very crowded. I did find some Asian dishes on the buffet that were decent. Tip - upon boarding don't let them steer you to the outside buffet at the back of the ship, This just had hamburgers and hot dogs and some other lame items. The indoor buffet is much better. Also, I was astounded how many people opted for the craziness of the buffet vs going to sit down MDR. The MDR were never crowded but we ate fairly early - between 6-7. Alcohol is very expensive. The ultimate beverage package is like $95/day (before tips I think). I didn't get it and opted for the self-assist rum runner package (lol) which lasted most of the cruise. I did get a classic margarita (maybe 8 Oz) and it was $15. Only big gripe relates to the sports bar. I am a big college football fan. Me an my son went there on Friday after Thanksgiving to watch college football. It was late afternoon and they were not serving food. The ship only gets ONE sports channel. They showed the Turkish basketball league on all 10+ TVs in the sports bar. The next day (Saturday)was even bigger day for college football. They had European soccer on. I asked someone and he said they only show NFL games. Fortunately we were in port and found a Hooters in Cozumel to watch the big game. Overall it is a nice ship, nothing fancy, but nice. Again the food in the MDR was really good. I didn't have any problems aside from being charged for a couple sodas at dinner while having the soda package but they cleared those off no problem. I would do this cruise again but get a balcony room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The ship was very clean and I appreciate the crew manning the buffets to spray every single person's hands with sanitizer. People are gross and I'm positive the majority of them had no intention of washing their hands before ... Read More
The ship was very clean and I appreciate the crew manning the buffets to spray every single person's hands with sanitizer. People are gross and I'm positive the majority of them had no intention of washing their hands before handling serving utensils that a thousand other people would need to use too. There were even hand washing stations in the buffet areas and I never witnessed anyone, other than myself, using them. Our stateroom was nice and the stateroom steward (if that's the right title) was very friendly. I don't recall his name, but he was great. In fact, everyone on the staff were very, very friendly and would go above and beyond to help wherever needed. The only con for the ship was the lack of an adult only area. We've been on other cruises that have an entire section with a separate buffet and pool deck for adults only. No screeching, whiny kids putting their snot covered hands on everything. Not a fan of kids when there's no space to escape them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have exclusively sailed Disney Cruise Line. We wanted to sail during Thanksgiving week and DCL was very expensive for the same itinerary and ports (minus Grand Bahama). NCL was for the right price and decided to give it a try. It seems ... Read More
We have exclusively sailed Disney Cruise Line. We wanted to sail during Thanksgiving week and DCL was very expensive for the same itinerary and ports (minus Grand Bahama). NCL was for the right price and decided to give it a try. It seems that NCL's schtick is Free at Sea. We booked a balcony cabin which allowed you to choose all Free at Sea offers. This meant we would receive (for 1st and 2nd guests only) a beverage package, 100 minutes internet (1st guest only), $50 shore excursion credit (1st guest only), and dining package (1 meal for 1st and 2nd guest). We booked early. We didn't realize that prices go down closer to sailing. DCL only goes up. We were following the DCL pricing model. We didn't book excursions ahead of time because if you book online, they have to be pre-paid. That wasn't an issue. Everything we wanted to do was available to book on the ship. We prepaid the service charges before our cruise. The free beverage package isn't truly free because you have to prepay the gratuities for it at the time of booking. Plus, depending on your port, you may pay taxes on the drinks. At that point, we were good. We paid everything and prepared for our trip. One last-minute change was room. I upgraded from a balcony to a mini-suite. When all was said it done, I only paid $60 extra for the upgrade. Embarkation: As we pull in, we follow the road signs directing us to Terminal 5. The person directing traffic points us to the proper parking deck marking the last occasion we’d get information on how to embark. We park the car, follow some folks towards a terminal. There are no signs welcoming you, no signs informing you where to drop bags off or check in, and no signs even indicating you’re here for an NCL cruise. We make our way to the top floor of the terminal with bags still in tow and are greeted by an NCL agent who sees us and says right this way to pass security and check in. Ok, maybe they take our bags after security, again we only know DCL. Next, we are greeted by another NCL agent prior to security who directs us to the security queue. We pass through security and are greeted by another agent who sees we still have our bags but directs us to check in. We wait in line for a few minutes when we meet our check in agent. She starts checking us in (she was very nice and helpful) and we finally ask “when do you take our bags?” She responds with “oh no, another one? They should have told you to take them to the porters”. Mr. NCL manager made his way over and confirmed that we need to exit through security and take our luggage down the escalators to the porters then come back through security again. Once we had that taken care of, we waited about 20 minutes to board the ship. That process was surprisingly smooth. Ship: The sun artwork on the hull is very nice. I really like this aspect of Norwegian ships. For the most part, everything was clean. Rust could be seen in a few areas and the windows were always dirty on the outside. There was never a clear window outside except for our stateroom. The tables were not bussed in a timely manner or there was some trash in the common areas. The ship was easy to navigate and we never had any issues getting around. Dining: All the food bordered on terrible.There are a ton of options, but the quality just wasn't there. The MDR team was slow and we honestly felt the couldn't have cared less. The best item I had was potato salad in Moderno on the first day of the cruise. Entertainment - NCL wants you in the casino. I believe they purposely have nothing past 8 pm to give you no other choice for entertainment. Dance parties were happening, but I would rather have activities over dancing. The cruise director, Jeimy, just needs to go. I know no one can compare to #tonyfromspain, but she came across as completely fake. She hosted a few of the activities, but was hardly seen. One specific game show, which was being filmed, the audience didn't respond to her introduction the way she preferred. She made them introduce her again. The cruise team staff, however, were pretty good. Paul Newman and Mark from the Philippines and Tina from Argentina did well and tried to really make sure the guests were having a great time. The pool and pool deck were the general hub of activity during the day. There were games and live music. The techs need to work on the volume. The music of the live bands was so loud that it made it being on deck uncomfortable. A couple of surprising things about the pool were that it was saltwater and there was only one lifeguard. There was absolutely NO WAY he could watch two pools at once. However, each lifeguard (during each shift) would make sure the little kids had adults watching them, and if they didn't, he wouldn't let them in the pool. Activities - There were a lot of things to do and plenty of activities to keep one busy, but that really ended around 8 pm. Service - Well, this one is tricky. The MDR dining team wasn't great. Our stateroom host was fine and kept the room clean. The bar team was excellent. The bars were hopping about 90% of time and the bartenders kept the drinks and crowds moving. They are definitely worth the service charge on the drink package. They were as good or better than DCL. Ports and Shore Excursions - It was easy to reserve shore excursions. We went to the shore excursion desk. The agent was very helpful. We docked at Nassau and did the seahorse snorkel. The catamaran was packed. Probably around 50 people. Imagine that number on two separate catamarans and put all of those guests in one small reef to snorkel. The only fish we really saw was when a guest vomited over the side in the snorkel area. The fish took care of it. On Great Stirrup Cay, we chose the Swimming with Pigs excursion. Keep in mind, you will not actually swim with pigs, but this was still a great excursion. It was fun and the number of cruisers to pig ratio was low. There were tiny piglets and giant pigs. The guides were great and we had a ton of fun. The island itself was fine. Both the Sun and Sky tendered, so it was a little crowded. The water was nice and it was a fabulous day of weather. Disney's Castaway Cay is better by a long shot. No tendering needed with DCL. If you needed to go back to the ship for something with NCL, it could take you an hour. We traveled with our 17-year-old. She didn't partake in the kids club for her age. She went to the shows and activities we attended. She said she had a good time. There were not many little children on this cruise. Maybe this is normal. We only know DCL in comparison. Debarkation - Well, NCL one upped themselves. We happened to be awake as we approached Port Canaveral. It quickly became apparent that we were docking at a different terminal than where we embarked. What’s the big deal you say? Well our parking deck was now at least a quarter mile away across the port with no way to walk to it. We eat breakfast and then head to guest services to inquire about shuttle service. I asked if there would be a shuttle to terminal in which we were directed to park for embarkation. The NCL agent looked at me funny and said “Why did you even park there when we are docking here?” I informed her that we were directed to park there since it was attached to the terminal we left from. She said oh no, you should have parked over here and taken a shuttle over. I reiterate that we were directed by NCL agents to park there and now want to know if they will have a shuttle. She makes a call and learns that they have several shuttles waiting for us to take us back to our parking deck. She ends her conversation with “you will take one of those shuttles like you should have before the cruise.” After all that is sorted out, debarkation was a breeze. You pass through customs on the ship and they use face recognition (DCL does not). Time from exiting the ship to exiting the parking garage was about 40 minutes. Bottom line: Would we do this again? It would have to be a great deal with the free at sea options. The food was terrible, all of the common areas on the inside smelled of smoke and the service (minus the bar team) just wasn't there. We definitely learned that you get what you pay for when it comes to cruising. There were only a couple of things that NCL did better than DCL. The internet is by minute and not megabyte and the bar service team. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had 2 adjoining mini-suites. The cabins were really nice however I didn't see the cabin steward the entire cruise. The only way I knew someone had been in our room is they would pick up the dirty towels off the floor after 2 days ... Read More
We had 2 adjoining mini-suites. The cabins were really nice however I didn't see the cabin steward the entire cruise. The only way I knew someone had been in our room is they would pick up the dirty towels off the floor after 2 days & replace them, semi made the bed daily & charged me for minibar items that weren't in the cabin when I boarded. In fact, I had to wait in line 45 minutes on disembarkation day to have the minibar charges removed. Not acceptable!!! Ship: The bathrooms were dirty all the time. The other public spaces were fine. Dining: NOT IMPRESSED!!! * Buffet: Extremely disappointed!!! The food is better at Piccadilly Cafeteria. * Main Dining Rooms (Manhattan Room, Savor & Taste): After being seated it took a minimum of 30 minutes for someone to take our drink order. As for the food quality...I've had better food at Chili's. Of the 3 main dining rooms...the atmosphere at Manhattan Room was the best with a dance floor, music & entertainment on some days. * Specialty Restaurants: Cagney's & Ocean Blue had better service & better food. Still not as good as what I've had on previous cruises. I wasn't a fan of La Cucina. * O'Sheehan's: Food was good, service was awful! Entertainment: I only rated Entertainment 4 of 5 because of the dueling pianos & the Pour House band. * Burn the Floor: The music almost put me to sleep. It's unfortunate because I think the dancers could have been great with upbeat music. Kids HATED the show! * Six: It was okay - again kids HATED the show. * Howl at the Moon: This place was a lot of fun & the musicians were extremely talented. * Syd Norman's Pour House: The Pour House Band was AMAZING!!! And the Bartender....Dr L...was the best on the ship!!! Activities: Beware...if the wind is over 35 knots they close the activities and of course this happened on both "At Sea" days. * Water Slides: The 2 big ones for older kinds (we had a 12 & 15 year old with us) we closed most of the cruise. We were told the vendor was on board & they would be working with a few days. The Freefall Water Slide was broken the entire cruise. When I asked how long it had been broken the crew wouldn't say. After disembarking I found out it's been closed since Sept 2019. The Whip Water Slide was open the 1st day & then was shut down because they discovered leaks. Neither water slide was fixed & opened before the end of the cruise. * Minigolf: The course needs maintenance. * Rock Climbing Wall: When it was open It was fun however there was only 1 person working so only 1 person could climb at a time. * Ropes Course: It was fun. * Bingo: EXPENSIVE!!! Ports & Shore Excursions: We started to book our shore excursions the day we boarded & were told they NEVER sell out so there wasn't a reason to book them at that time. TOTAL LIE!!! We missed out on the excursion we wanted to book in Grand Cayman & Cozumel. * Private Island: Basically just a beach, snorkeling wasn't worth the cost of the mask...thankfully we had a $50 credit to pay. Long line to board the tender when returning to the ship. * Ocho Rios, Jamaica: Total chaos at the port when trying to meet up with the shore excursion. There has to be a better way. The River Tubing was good...relaxing & beautiful river. * Georgetown, Grand Cayman: All shore excursions were sold out so we ended up with the White House beach day. DO NOT BELIEVE THE DESCRIPTION. The place was NOT a luxury resort & the power was out when we arrived. Long line to board the tender when returning to the ship. * Cozumel, Mexico: We didn't do a shore excursion because the good ones were sold out. We ended up taking a taxi for $18 USD to a place with a restaurant, rocky beach, snorkeling, shopping & massages. For $15 USD per person we got a drink, unlimited snorkeling equipment, 30 minutes of kayaking. Snorkeling was great!! The funny part is the shore excursions came to the same location for snorkeling at a much higher cost. Service: On a ship of 1,600 crew members I could tell you only 5 crew members which provided good service (Dr L, my waiter in Cagney's, my waiter in Ocean Blue, a bartender in Margaritaville & a bartender at the pool). Otherwise the service was TERRIBLE! Youth Programs: *Splash Academy: This activity was for kids ages 3-12. We had an almost 13 year old with us & he didn't want anything to do with this group since there were so many younger kids. NCL should make an exception to allow 12 years into Entourage however there were issues there as well. * Entourage: The teen club was full every night with a line so most kids could even participate in the activities. Disembarkation: LONG lines & took over 1.5 hours. Overall impression: Book Royal Caribbean - it's work the extra cost!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We made the best of our family vacation but to be honest it was very stressful. My mother inlaw is disabled and has to use a walker to get around due to a stroke. We rented a scooter for her to make it the best possible vacation we ... Read More
We made the best of our family vacation but to be honest it was very stressful. My mother inlaw is disabled and has to use a walker to get around due to a stroke. We rented a scooter for her to make it the best possible vacation we could... that being said NCL needs to get with the program when it comes to handicap guests, or guests with small children in strollers. Disembarking was a nightmare. We waited for 45min to try to get an elevator, any other cruise line I have taken as always had staff to assist with this. Disembarking at ports where horrendous very unorganized. Jamaica was an absolutely mess, people had no idea where to go for their excursions. I wouldn't be surprised if some people got injured in the mass crowd. Bar service on the ship was a 30/45 min wait, not that it was the bartender's fault because it was not. In my opinion it seems you cut the staff and they can't keep up. In common places with 200 guest 1 bartender is not going to keep up and they shouldn't be expected too!!! Staff through out the ship seemed exhausted and overall not as friendly as every other cruise I have been on. Having to reserve specialty dining and shows was a stress too. First you have no idea what's going on that you may want to participate in. You can reserve online before your cruise for dining but again you have no idea of the activities going on. I wouldnt suggest the dinner show the food was not that good and the show.....made absolutely no sense. Performance was good but show itself not so good. And note you get served your full course meal then the show. I like just being able to go to a comedy show or a show in the theater with out the hassle of reservations, I dont mind going a little early to get a seat if it means I dont have to stress about registering for it. Our bed was 2 pushed together to make a king with a big canyon in the middle. You could visibly see the dips in each bed (need new mattresses). Every now and then we would get a smell of sewage from our bathroom. You had to beat on the button to flush the toilet. The show's in the theater had great dancing talent The food in the specialty dining restaurants....Great!!!! But again staff seemed almost distracted like they really didnt care how your experience. My 2 year old had a blast in the kids pool area with the slide and sprayers. The only thing I would suggest is a life guard because some parents dont watch their children and the older kids where climbing on top of the animals. I am not likely to cruise with NCL again anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our 14th cruise our 5th on Norwegian. I am 72 years old and my wife is 69. She uses a rollator to get around. We chose to leave out of Cape Canaveral as it is close to our home. We parked at a remote lot and took the bus to the ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise our 5th on Norwegian. I am 72 years old and my wife is 69. She uses a rollator to get around. We chose to leave out of Cape Canaveral as it is close to our home. We parked at a remote lot and took the bus to the ship That was great. Embarkation was fast and easy. Because of my wife's problems and since there were no disabled cabins available we took a Mini Suite. Outside of a bathtub there is no difference from a regular cabin except the price!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The steward was not the best ie no clean towels at night. The ship itself seemed to be poorly designed with reguard's to the public areas. Sound whet from the atrium and blended with the smoke from the casino and you had trouble ordering at some of the dining rooms due to the noise and the smell of old smoking from the casino. The Lifeboat drill was not well organized It took oven an hour with no place to sit for most people at there stations. The cruise director's English was hard to understand. While the food was good in the dining rooms the specialty rooms were better. The 3 ports were ok but the Great Stirip cay was not worth getting off the ship. The only good thing was getting to see and rind in the tenders from the OLD Norway! All in all the trip was not of the quality and value of past Norwegian Trips The entertainment was ok but again not up to the past trips. Disembarkation was fast and easy Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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