1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This is our third cruise with NCL. Our previous sailings were on Pride of America and Escape. We love NCL and would recommend this cruise line for quality, cleanliness, and service. Embarkation: Very smooth and didn’t take long ... Read More
This is our third cruise with NCL. Our previous sailings were on Pride of America and Escape. We love NCL and would recommend this cruise line for quality, cleanliness, and service. Embarkation: Very smooth and didn’t take long at all. They segmented everyone into groups in the order in which you arrived. They would go through a group in about 15 minutes. From the time we arrived at the terminal until we were onboard was about 30 – 40 minutes. There was plenty of seating and accommodations available such as restrooms, free water, and a snack bar. The waiting area was air conditioned, clean, and comfortable. The embarking operation was organized, adequately staffed, and well ran. Boarding: When you board the ship there was nobody to greet you. You just follow the line of people in front of you and, SHAZAM, you find yourself on board wondering where to go next. Carnival does a good job greeting and welcoming. NCL could improve this part of the experience. Food: It seemed that the food selection at the buffet was scaled back somewhat from what we have experienced on the other two NCL ships. Maybe this is done to entice people into the restaurants? Nevertheless, the food quality was good and there was still a great selection. I am on the Keto diet and my wife is vegan vegetarian. Food selection and quality are important to us, and NCL certainly does this better than Carnival; hands down! Cleanliness: The ship was 5 Star Spotless. NCL does this very well. The ship is always well staffed, and workers are always nearby whenever a mess is made to clean it up immediately. This is also true for the rooms. The cabin attendants are full service, friendly, and helpful. They keep our room neat and maintained around the clock. Beverages: This is the first time that we’ve ever used a beverage package on any cruise line. My wife and I simply do not drink enough for them to come close to being worth the price. However, in this case, it was offered to us as a promotional at a significantly reduced price of $125 per person. With a total cost of $250 for the two of us it fell into the category of good value. This should not be a promotional price; it should be the full-time rate as it is a good rate for both the cruise line and the customer. We did not drink anywhere near $250 worth of retail liquor, beer, or wine. But we did drink more than $250 worth of ship priced liquor-by-the-drink beverages. If ships sold these for a flat rate of $125 per person for every cruise, I am convinced they would enjoy a larger number of customers buying them and netting themselves a larger revenue. As for the customer, they would enjoy a carefree cruise by having a prepaid beverage package which eliminates the worry of sticker shock at the end. Spa: We did not use any spa services this time around. It has been our experience that what you get is never worth the price. We decided to focus our money on more off-the-ship activities this time around. Pools & Hot Tubs: We didn’t swim at any pools, but we did use the “warm tubs” at Spice H2O. I say “Warm Tubs” because they are nowhere near hot. Aside from water temperature the areas are clean and well maintained. Service at the H20 bar was quick and easy. On-Board Entertainment: • Bingo – We always enjoy playing bingo. • Atrium Game Shows – These are fun to do for those in between times. Love them! • Pricilla – Mediocre • Helen Ward Jackson Adel Tribute – Fantastic, highly talented, fun, energetic • Burn The Floor – We never got to see it. They tell you to register, so we did. We registered the day we got on the ship for the only night that was available. As it turned out it was not a show night, it was at the restaurant act. We missed the show. I wish they’d do away with reservations for these shows and go back to just showing up for them. On-Board Shopping: We didn’t do any shopping this time around. None of the stores are open while the ship is docked, which is everyday except one on this itinerary. The ship gets underway around supper time each evening and the stores open then. But our time was spent on other activities during evening hours. Excursions: • Countryside & Wine Tasting @ Florence/Pisa: Fantastic – 5 Star – Totally Recommend • Grasse & St. Paul De Vence @ Cannes: Great – 4 Star – Recommend • Local Wines & Panorama @ Palma Majorca – 4 Star – Recommend • Hop On & Hop Off Bus @ Barcelona – 1 Star – Don’t Recommend, very little information or guidance on where to go, what to do, or how to do it. You’re left to your own wit to figure it out. • Hop On & Hop Off Bus @ Naples – 1 Star – Don’t Recommend, SUCKED! These should be named “Shove’em on a bus and let them figure it out” tours Disembarkation: Leaving the ship was very organized, easy, and quick. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We wanted to visit the Greek Isles and Italy and chose this cruise as the most economical way to go about it. While the itinerary was packed with exciting destinations and fun places to explore, the on board experience was ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Greek Isles and Italy and chose this cruise as the most economical way to go about it. While the itinerary was packed with exciting destinations and fun places to explore, the on board experience was lacking—significantly. With the exception of a hand full of crew members (yes out of over 1,000+ staff), the service was sub par—with the majority of the staff seemingly unhappy and quite rude. If you plan to cruise with teens as we did, don't think you will get any good entertainment on the ship. The "Entourage" teen program is boring and unstructured and other than the 2 small pools, ONE ping pong table (which was never available), shuffleboard, a very small and dated arcade, and a seemingly great basketball court (that you were not able to play on after 5:30 PM because it was directly over a restaurant, which meant on this itinerary, my kids could never use it since we were off ship practically every day)... the entertainment was TERRIBLE. The cruise director was a joke. His cocky attitude and off-color commentary lacked professionalism and hospitality. While the food was overall very good, the service was not worthy of ever recommending this cruise or line to anyone. My parents, who are frequent cruisers and don't complain, were shocked at how unfriendly and lacking in service this cruise was. ** LACK OF SAFETY ** We were using the cabin hairdryer, and sparks began to fly out and we were horrified, dialed 911 and they said "we'll send someone up right away" and NEVER came. When we called back 10 minutes later, same response. After 45 minutes and no electricity, they claimed they didn't come in because the "do not disturb sign was on the door." I was fascinated. An actual fire on the ship and NOBODY came to help. As if someone would change their door sign during an emergency situation! If you're ready to be nickel and dimed and receive POOR service in the process, this is the cruise for you. Otherwise, Royal Caribbean seems like a better option for a cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We have cruised four times before on a different cruise line. We chose this particular cruise with Norwegian due to the amazing itinerary in the Mediterranean. We arrived in Rome four days before our cruise and had time to explore all ... Read More
We have cruised four times before on a different cruise line. We chose this particular cruise with Norwegian due to the amazing itinerary in the Mediterranean. We arrived in Rome four days before our cruise and had time to explore all the tourist spots and get acclimated to the time zone. We had six of us and decided to book the 2-Bedroom Family Suite because it was not much more than two separate balcony rooms and the amenities were much better, and I'm so glad we did. Our initial embarkation was so smooth, and we were whisked to the VIP area while we waited to board the ship. We met our concierge (Bruno) and butler (Leo), both of whom could not have been nicer or more accommodating, and we were escorted onto the ship to our private dining room for suite holders (at Cagney's) for lunch. The quality of that meal was above average, but nothing extraordinary or special, and unfortunately, the lunch menu at that restaurant did not change for eleven days. Once we finished our meal, we found our suite, which was incredible. The master bedroom/bathroom was spacious with lots of storage, and we were able to fit both my sons' hanging clothes in the closet with ours. The master bed was king-size and very comfortable. My teen boys slept in the living room, where the sofa converted to a queen bed, which was as comfortable as expected. My college-aged daughter and her best friend stayed in the second bedroom, which is basically an interior room with a couch that converts to a full bed and a pull-down bed, both of which were not as comfortable. The second bathroom was more spacious than expected. The best part of the suite, other than the master bathroom shower and tub that overlooked the ocean, was the level of service from our concierge, butler, and housekeeper. All three of them made sure our room was clean, ready, we had afternoon snacks, and that getting on and off the ship was quick and painless. The worst part of our particular suite was that it is located right beneath the gym, and apparently people enjoy running on the treadmill very early and very late. While the accommodations and suite service were wonderful, many other parts of the cruise were not so wonderful. My husband and I had the premium beverage package, and there was quite a variety of wines and beers, but the mixed drinks were usually disappointing if not horrible. We also had four nights of specialty dining, which we were incredibly grateful for, since all of the complimentary dining places we visited were not great. Most of the food was comparable to Applebee's or Chili's. We usually ate breakfast and lunch in the suite-holder's dining areas, but as stated, the menu was exactly the same every day. The specialty restaurants we visited were all good - La Cucina, Le Bistro, Moderno, and Cagney's - with the best being Cagney's and Le Bistro. The service in the specialty restaurants was great, but the service in the complimentary restaurants and bar areas was not very consistent. We were very surprised that there were not bar staff roaming the pool decks and other open areas for drink orders. The entertainment on board was generally superior quality to the other cruise line we have experienced, with the musicians stealing the show. The acrobats were also stellar. The magician was cheesy, however. I wish we had seen the comedian and some of the other entertainment, but we were honestly exhausted by all of our excursions at each port. We did not try our luck at the casino, but did hang out by the pool a few times, which was always crowded and busy. We enjoyed karaoke one night, and the college kids went dancing a few times, but the cruise was mostly about the ports for us. We all experienced the spa, which was very expensive for the quality. The boys got excellent haircuts at the salon for a reasonable price, however. Most of our excursions were booked outside of Norwegian, but as suite holders, we were always able to get off our ship in time. The two excursions we booked with Norwegian were excellent (Highlights of Rhodes and Ultimate Florence and Pisa). In all, if we were booking another cruise and wanted to experience a great cruise, we would likely choose a different cruise line. However, Norwegian has great itineraries and prices that the other cruise lines are not competing with in Europe especially, so it is possible we would choose Norwegian again for that reason. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We are in Canada, so we flew in Rome 2 days early to ease the time change and visited Rome at the same time. Embarkation and disembarkation were a piece of cake, they were well organised; we followed the instructions and everything went ... Read More
We are in Canada, so we flew in Rome 2 days early to ease the time change and visited Rome at the same time. Embarkation and disembarkation were a piece of cake, they were well organised; we followed the instructions and everything went well. We had a cabin with a balcony. This is not a huge cabin but it has everything one may need and lots of space for clothes and stuff. For us, the size was sufficient. We bought a 4 restaurants diner package before we left and we picked the restaurants and nights on the first day. All the other meals were taken at the buffet style dining room. The restaurant packages evenings need to be coordinated with the excursions one is buying: if you come back from an excursion at 1800, you don't want a reservation at the same time. The food was great (the Steakhouse is fantastic for a great steak), everything is clean and the staff do everything they can to assure a great meal experience. Great entertainment and I like the fact that there were great musical acts early in the evening. Services were great. All the staff are doing an excellent job. The biggest problem I had was with the internet. I bought a unlimited social media for two for the 11 days. It cost me almost $300.00 CAD. For that kind of money, I thought I was going to get top quality internet: I did not. I got slow and unreliable wifi. Big let down. We took 4 excursions and they were well organised even if at some times, I was left wondering if I got my money worth. The company run the outfit in a very professional manner and I will be looking at them first when I decide to go on my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
21 July- We catch the 11.12 train from Rome to civitavechia (€4.60 each). We arrive an hour later and pay another 2€ to get the bus right to the ship, rather than push the bags along 2km of cobblestones. We board the Norwegian jade ... Read More
21 July- We catch the 11.12 train from Rome to civitavechia (€4.60 each). We arrive an hour later and pay another 2€ to get the bus right to the ship, rather than push the bags along 2km of cobblestones. We board the Norwegian jade within 10 minutes and are soon having lunch on board with a glass of Chardonnay. We do the lifeboat drill at 4 and are sailing away by 5pm. We see the opening show which is not inspiring, and do some trivia. 22 July- Sea day today, so I go to dance aerobics , ping pong and we play 3 different trivia, winning 2 and making many new friends. There are 2 different bands by the pool- a Latino one with great kudos but bad singer, and a Phillipino duet with an good singer! But they are all sooooooo loud!! The progressive trivia tonight is about American sports stars and we think we are pretty disadvantaged when the Americans start complaining that they are all obscure, in fact one is a picture of an American female soccer player that played 10 min in a reserve game. They get so angry its like a mutiny and the poor Chinese host doesn't know what to do, but promise better questions tomorrow! After dinner we do the battle of the sexes game which I play in, then see the production show called blazing boots, which is a mess of unknown country and driving songs with hard choreography done well. Trouble is they tried to link songs that just don't work, and the singing is only ok. 23 July- Santorini. We play a quick trivia at 9 before getting the first tender to the old port ( the advantage of being a gold member) where we pay 15€ to get on a large boat and go around the coast to Oia, then back to Fira by bus. When we arrive it's a little crowded and we see the amazing vistas by walking around the small town. Many Europeans and Asians have worn their best clothing (big flowing cotton dresses) and spend hours posing for pics at beautiful locations. We see the famous windmill houses and the blue roofed buildings and then the crowds of 4 cruise ships hit and it turns unpleasant in the tiny overcrowded cobble streets. We try to catch the 1pm bus to Fira, but it's stuck in traffic and can't get through, so we don't arrive there until 2pm. We walk around the village here ,all built along the cliff top, see the cable car that carries people up the hill, but decide to walk down the stairs , pass many people coming up on the biggest donkeys ever- some must be crossed with draught horses! We go by the pool for a late swim, some more trivia, dinner, the true or false game and a Scottish singer concert. 24 July- Piraeus. We thought we would like to see the Athens riviera today, but there is no scooter hire and the hop on and off bus won't work as we would have to do the Athens city loop first, then meet with the Riviera bus which is only hourly. There is no tourist office around, so we think about bus 80 direct from port to the acropolis, but we can't get info on the return trip. So we opt to walk the 3km into Piraeus from our pier ( which is the farthest). We ask for directions many times but eventually find the metro station and buy tickets each way for € 1.40 with trains every 20 min. We know to get off at Monastika station, but the sign says another word and the station master said 7 stops and it's only been 5, but I realise at Odeon we have gone too far, so we catch the train back a stop. As soon as we exit the station we see the Byzantine church in the plaza and are very close to the roman agora, which we walk around.( though after turkey they look like incomplete ruins) .We then head for Adrian's gate and see many other historic ruins and churches on the way. We go to the base of the acropolis but don't go up today as we did this last time, and walk back along the narrow streets to the flea market and then catch the train back from Monastika station. We walk more directly back to the ship this time, and enjoy a beer/ wine with a late lunch and tired feet after another 14km walking day. Tonight's trivia is on strange animals so most are Australian so we win, then have dinner at the Chinese before seeing a Glen miller tribute played by the jade band. 25 July - Mykonos. We are shuttled by bus for the 5 min drive into town and start by walking around the very windy old port, with its white houses and azure sea. It is a maze of metre wide streets with tiny vans trying to pass pedestrians .We find the area they call little Venice which is medieval old houses with shuttered balconies overlooking the sea. Most of these are now restaurants with St Mark’s square prices to match. We wander up the hill to take the classic Mykonos shot of the old windmills on the hill. We decide to hire a 50cc 2 stroke scooter (25€ for 3 hours) and we soon find out why he asked if we were experienced riders as no normal person could handle the super touchy throttle and poor brakes. The bike whines with a ring ding ding around to some beautiful beaches including Kotfos and Ornos which are opposite each other on a little spit. We ride up the hill and around to paradise beach which is where many from the boat have headed to for the day (30€ for 2 sun lounges and an umbrella). It's pleasant enough now but we can see at night it has over 100 speakers and spotlights...living hell! The rooms are small, basic and aimed at the 20s crowd. We ride back via Pinkys beach and a few more that have over 100 foot boats moored near. We return the bike, though he can't find my licence for a while and we get back boat quickly realising that there is little to do on these islands other than lay on the beach, eat, drink and shop. Tonight we see the production cast do a Broadway cabaret, and a visual comedy show- of which both are underwhelming (but we do win beers of the world trivia with help from our Italian friends.) 26 July- Rhodes- Now this is my sort of port...within 5 min walk from the ship you are at the edge of medieval town, surrounded by high walls with many majestic gate entrances. We enter through St Catherine's gate (go me!) and walk through the perfectly maintained old buildings, easily imagining the knights of St. John strolling here. We walk up Sokratous Street, which is mostly shopping, then see the mosque of Mustafa pasha and a high clock tower. We buy a 10€ combined ticket to access the close sights- a 14C church, the archaeological museum (which was a 15C hospital in which the architecture is much more interesting than the exhibits) , and the grand masters palace. This sits at the top of a fully medieval street called the knights way, and houses architectural exhibits on the ground floor, and has more rooms with furniture etc on the top floor- all 3 are worth seeing and make the ticket great value. We then walk out of the old town via the water and see another harbour guarded by 2 dears on towers next to St Nicholas light house and tower. We see many beaches including Elli beach that have crystal clear water, but it is a steep rocky entry to the water and quite windy, so we walk back to the old town where Glen realises his wallet is missing. He thinks he brought it but isn't sure, so we go back to the boat to check through everything, and it's not there. We walk back into the tourist office that had Wi-Fi to cancel his credit card as he is convinced he has been robbed. We were going to have a swim on the beach just near the ship but are now both hungry and thirsty .Back on to the ship, and our extra wallet hunt has bumped our 11km day up to 15km.. We then get changed for the pool, and he finds his wallet in another pocket of the shirts he is still wearing arghhhh!! Afternoon and evening trivia and a spa fill the afternoon before another production show based on Havana (again random unknown songs) and the 60 seconds to win it game. 27 July- This morning we dock outside the tiny town of Chania in Crete for just a few hours, so we skip brekky and get the local bus (€3.40 return) in by 7.30. We visit the old local markets with their fresh meat, including rabbits with the fur left on the feet and many skinned lamb heads?? We again see old synagogues, Catholic Churches, mosques and Greek Orthodox all within a few streets and built between the 13 and 19 th centuries. The most interesting is the unique shape of the Kioutsouk Hasan mosque built in a renaissance style with flying buttresses on a dome roof. The Venetian harbour and lighthouse are picturesque and there is an old Fort right on the corner. We wander again through the tiny cobbled streets and pat the many cats before returning the 20 min to the ship by the bus. We are moving again by midday so read, listen to music, swim and play games through the afternoon. We see a great French acrobatic show tonight after we play a music mania game and win blow up guitars?? 28 July- We play shuffleboard and morning trivia as we don't dock until lunchtime at Valletta in Malta. As we enter the harbour we see amazing forts and cathedrals all around and realise this is 3 cities in one. But we settle for a walk around Valletta and are stunned by its history and beauty. We get a tourist walking map at the dock and catch the lift up to the town for 1 € and arrive in upper Barrakka gardens. We look at the thick Fort walls and the many canons all around and love the view of the water and other cities. We do 14km walking around the Castillo, St James and johns bastion, the royal opera house the triton fountain, grand masters palace and many more. Unfortunately it is Sunday afternoon so the famous St. John cathedral is actually closed, as are all the churches. We walk through the steep lanes and down to the ferry crossing, passing old buildings constantly. It's the first day I haven't brought swimmers with me and we see such enticing water! We do the whole loop including Fort st Elmo and the lower gardens, then find the only open church, which is the shipwreck church of St. Paul and it is stunning. It has a crypt and decadent decorations and has two strange artefacts- the wrist bone of St. Paul from when he broke it in Valletta, and part of the plinth from where he was beheaded in Rome. It's in a quiet little backstreet but is a real gem. As we approach the ship in our loop back we see gondola type boats doing tours of the harbour for 8€ and crossing to the other side for 2€, which we would have done if it was earlier as it looks great. We sail out as the sun has just set and see the wonderful old buildings all flood lit, before another show with the singer Lilly Jane. 29 July- We are off the boat soon after docking in Messina, Sicily as we would like to visit Taormina, a hillside old town with a 2000 year old amphitheatre and pretty buildings and churches set near steep cliffs and blue sea. We catch the inter bus there (€4.30) which leaves next to the station ( a 10 min walk from the dock) at 9am, passing through some interesting and dirty areas , and arrive up in the village around 10.15, though the bus is way too big for the tiny roads and it's a hair raising trip up the final hill. We don't go the theatre as it's 10€ and an hour wait, so decide to walk the Corso Umberta which runs through the town and has most of the historic buildings and churches on it, ranging from the 11th century. When we reach the end we can see Mt Etna really well, including pockets of smoke leaking out. We then catch the cable car down (3€) to the bottom of the hill where there are amazing beaches including isola Bella, and Mazzaro where I have a lovely swim in the floaty water and explore the ruined castle and its secret entries from the water. The whole area is just stunning, but we look forward to the return train journey along the water’s edge, which doesn't disappoint (after getting another local bus to the station). We get back to Messina with time for a quick wander to a few sights including the church of Santa Maria del Anna which looks a little like a mosque, the huge and grand cathedral in piazza del duomo, and happen to be there right on the hour to see a small movement of the mechanical clock in the bell tower, which has its main performance at midday. We are really pleased we didn't take the offer of a taxi at the start of the day which only offered an hour in Taormina as so much more time is needed, and the train and bus were easy and cheap. More trivia, food and a feature violinist tonight. 30 July - We dock at 7 in Naples, so leave early as we plan to travel to Sorrento. We ask at the tourist information about ferries as I have read they travel there, and she just says she doesn't know, and gives us a poorly photocopied map of Naples which is so pale it's not readable. We walk to the ferry terminal just beside the port, but it's so crowded we get no help and there are ticket windows to everywhere but Sorrento, so we decide to take the train. We walk the 4km to central station, but then find out it's a metro line so we could have caught a closer one to the port, but we catch the 9.10 to Sorrento for €3.50. It's interesting passing mount Vesuvius and hearing the many unusual train buskers, including a family where mum carries the speakers playing piano accordion music, the son has a Turkish drum and dad proudly plays the tambourine...not worth a tip. The train is very slow and not air conditioned so we at arrive 10.30. Very hit and ready to get off. We wander around the piazzas and cathedrals then walk down to the marina, where we find there is a return ferry, but it's at either 12 or 2 and it's more expensive. We see the sheer cliffs with fancy hotels on top and the many beach clubs right on the water (that really doesn’t look that appealing). We catch the lift back up to the other end of town and stroll some more, and realise we have seen enough, so run down the steps to catch the 12 o'clock ferry which we find is not €26 each, but for 2. We sit topside and watch the coastal scenery in the breeze as we return to Naples, where we have a walk around the churches , opera house and glass roofed shopping mall before boarding the ship. Swim, Trivia, dinner and the best show we have seen called elements, combining the production cast, gymnastics and magicians. 31 July - We dock at Livorno today at 9 and most people are going to Florence, but we decide we need more than a few hours in Florence so we opt for Pisa. All must pay 5€ to get out of the port area as you are not allowed to walk. We are the 3rd ship here today, and plan to catch the € 15 bus straight to Pisa, but by 9.10 when we get off, the buses are booked up to 11am, so we catch a local bus € 1.40 to the station, and catch the train (only 20 min and €5.30 return). We walk through the old streets admiring many churches and buildings from the 10 to 13 century, most open for a quick look inside. We see grand piazzas with highly decorated buildings then the huge cathedral, tower and Baptisma, all in white stone with the finest decorations carved throughout. Large crowds take their pics with the famous leaning tower, and we look at walking up it, but it's a 3 hour wait as tickets are very restricted (17€) and it's a bit pricey. You can see the cathedral for free in a scheduled ticket, but again this is not for a few hours, so we opt to pay the 5€ for the Baptisma , and you get the cathedral for free anytime. Both buildings are ornate and stunning. The cathedral has huge paintings throughout from the 15 and 1600s, an exposed saints tombs, as well as a golden ceiling and stunning carved pulpit all nearly 1000 years old. We walk back to the station via different roads, and almost as great scenery including a cute church on the edge of the river. The train soon comes, and we bus it back to the shuttle stop, then the ship...it all takes around 1 hour. One last afternoon of sun, swimming and trivia before we swap our game and trivia winning tickets for prizes. 1 August- we begin the long journey home , with a bus to the airport direct from the port( 20€ ) , a few hours wait, a 6 hour flight to Dubai, more hours wait and a 14 hour flight to Sydney. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My family and i enjoyed every moment of this cruise from the ports of call, the great service we received and the best food we ever ate. we spent 2 days in rome first and was able to see all rome had to offer. then we got on the boat ... Read More
My family and i enjoyed every moment of this cruise from the ports of call, the great service we received and the best food we ever ate. we spent 2 days in rome first and was able to see all rome had to offer. then we got on the boat which took about 35 minutes from check in to our first meal. our first shore excursion time was 9:30 am when i made the reservation. it was changed to 8:00 and i was not aware of the change. when the staff saw how upset i was they contacted the shore excursion manager, dana, who went out of her way to get us on the same excursion with their sister ship at noon. the way they went above and beyond for my family will never be forgotten. for this reason alone i will only cruise norwegian. i can't thank them enough for the special attention i received to make it the best cruise for me and my family. One of the best things about free style dining is I was able to make a reservation for diner 1 hour after all my tours ended. Each day was a different time so going to a diner at the same time everyday would not have worked. And may I say we did not have one bad meal. Plenty to choose from and everything was great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We are new to cruising this was our second and booked it through an agent SCC, it was good to have everything organised for us, I done it myself first time. We booked all inclusive with an balcony, the room was ok albeit a bit on the ... Read More
We are new to cruising this was our second and booked it through an agent SCC, it was good to have everything organised for us, I done it myself first time. We booked all inclusive with an balcony, the room was ok albeit a bit on the small size, never met the steward until we sought him out for more coffee, I had to bring my tea down from the buffet not provided in the room. The ship itself was fine although very noisy and busy, felt like I was in a zoo at meal times. Restaurant not much better, service leaned towards> OMG we are so busy lets get this over with!!! Food was fine nothing special. We were overcharged by the Spa only found out because our door key wouldn't work customer services said our payment was refused by our bank, showed us our bill to date and we found the over charge 245euros. We changed our payment method to another card, only to find out that the money was taken from the original account!! What's that all about??? Bank knows nothing about this supposed refusal as funds were always available. I personally found the hard sell to purchase other various things during the cruise very invasive and the shore excursions were expensive for the content, even with the 50euros off per excursion. If you like queueing/or lines as they refer to, then this is the cruise for you on and off shore. All inclusive is not quite accurate as you have taxes to pay for drinks when docked, never knew that one until we saw it on the bill, couldn't use the free spend to cover that, unsure why not!! Cruising is a learning experience as we are finding out. The really excellent parts of the cruise, was the weather Brilliant and seeing a volcano erupting Stromboli at night and guess what those were free LOL Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise as an alternative to my 13 day cruise which was cancelled day before I was scheduled to leave for Rome. Overall cruise was good but NCL charges you for everything. (WiFi extra, soda extra, fancier restaurants, bowling ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an alternative to my 13 day cruise which was cancelled day before I was scheduled to leave for Rome. Overall cruise was good but NCL charges you for everything. (WiFi extra, soda extra, fancier restaurants, bowling extra, excursions extra, daily per person service charges, transfers from airport extra) Ship was average, but 2 pools are not enough for the amount of people. Cabins were kept up very well by stewards. Dining was average about the level of average Marriott hotel food. Evening sit down meals were better but again NCL charges extra for steakhouse, Italian, and Japanese. Excursions are too expensive and I was better off booking them myself. Ports were good and bad. Santorini, Mykonos were amazing. Florence, Messina, and Napoli were good. Kotor and Dubrovnik were very dirty and not much to see. Service in restaurants was hit or miss but overall a bit better than average. Entertainment was actually surprisingly good. Magic show, acrobats and cruise director were excellent. Spa services were solid but pricey as expected. Fitness center although small was functional. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient but the rendering process was not fair as some people got tendering tickets early because they had excursions planned so you would loose a lot of the day waiting. Staff was awesome during reboarding offering hot towels and drinks. “Red” was awesome, he greeted people with a smile and songs when you would enter the Garden Cafe and was super chearful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Let me start with the good: we had a Jr. suite and I thought the cabin was great as was the steward service. Nothing like sitting in a balcony enjoying the sea around you. The ship was in general very clean. Another thing I liked was the ... Read More
Let me start with the good: we had a Jr. suite and I thought the cabin was great as was the steward service. Nothing like sitting in a balcony enjoying the sea around you. The ship was in general very clean. Another thing I liked was the food options: being vegan I thought it would be challenging, but the crew tried to accommodate and I had multiple options at every meal. Entertainment was ok with a couple of standouts like the ballroom couple, they were magnificent. We also LOVED the parties and the cruise director Scott. Now to the not so good: First of all, the lack of free drinkable water. The one that was served in restaurants was so chlorinated and of such poor quality that my family couldn’t drink it. Come on, Norwegian! Water filters are not so expensive! The alternative was to shed off $50 for 20 bottles, which we had to do multiple times. The pool on our ship was a joke, given we had close to 1000 people on the ship. It was tiny and deep, and always crowded. So my kids haven’t used it a single time, such a disappointment! Lastly, the spa- avoid at any cost!!! First of all, the quality of services is below average. I had a massage and a pedicure. Massage was in an icy cold room, with a massagist that never heard my wishes, we were booked at the end of the day and were rushed out at the end without given a chance to use amenities. And this is for $300! Crazy!!! Later in the cruise the put fliers for reduced services and some deals, so if you are set to go at least wait till day 3 or 4. The pedicure was ok until the lady cut into my finger despite me saying multiple times that it hurt. I had an infection on my toe for the rest of the cruise. That pedicure was $120! In all, I enjoyed the experience of being so close to the sea,l while traveling, but would probably either try a different cruise company or opt for land Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise for the low price and interesting ports. I won’t cruise NCL again. Complimentary restaurants too crowded, loud & busy with multiple children running around. Overabundance of specialty (fee based) restaurants crowd ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the low price and interesting ports. I won’t cruise NCL again. Complimentary restaurants too crowded, loud & busy with multiple children running around. Overabundance of specialty (fee based) restaurants crowd the complimentary ones. Prices for specialty restaurants, bottled water, beverage packages, photos, room service & shore excursions were excessive. Shore excursion staff only interested in sales not helpful or informative. Shore excursion disembark exit typically empty- general exit > 1 hour wait for some ports. Guest service personnel not friendly. Beverage service areas signage prohibit filling water bottles; embarkation staff prohibits bring bottled water aboard forcing purchase of expensive NCL logo water. NCL App useless without expensive WiFi charges/person which are exorbitant! Most disappointing was continued plethora of emails boasting free WiFi, beverage, restaurant & shore excursion packages for latitudes members which I AM! However, NCL refused to honor any offers after booking. My overall opinion: NCL is so worried about getting $$$ from the passengers they forget the passengers! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise started out in the hole due to substandard technology and inefficient customer service. Customer service has no capabilities of emailing you or calling you back. 15 phone calls and nearly 10 hours on hold was frustrating. ... Read More
This cruise started out in the hole due to substandard technology and inefficient customer service. Customer service has no capabilities of emailing you or calling you back. 15 phone calls and nearly 10 hours on hold was frustrating. This was necessary for correcting air tickets set up for the wrong day (eventually corrected), no access to e-docs (never fixed), misinformation received that warranted another phone call to hear a different story, Setting up drop off from excursion to a hotel that they had not booked us at, then finding out they hadn’t made a reservation at the hotel they had charged me for. I wound up having to make hotel and transportation plans and spending another $600 on the spot. After 2 more phone calls I found out that I would have to File a formal request for my refund and that would take 3 weeks for them to review and decide if they would refund my money. Seems like a long time for a company who required immediate payment for every new addition to the tour. While trying to get info from Customer relations on the ship they would have to contact NCL in Miami and had no access to invoices prior to trip. The right had did not know what the left hand had done. However, the food, ship, excursions and atmosphere was great. Tour guides for the tours were exceptional in their knowledge of the venues and locales. So in spite of NCL and their concerted effort to screw this trip up, we had a good time. NOTE: Service by food staff and housekeeping was excellent. The customer service staff were ineffective and I believe that is because of the misinformation they were given. I was given 3 different responses to the same problem by 3 different staff members. Plus shore excursion and customer service staff bounced clients back and forth in the hopes the other knew what was going on. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Friends recommend the liner. We stopped at lovely places and had fantastic experiences. The restaurant staff were absolutely incredible. Attentive, friendly, professional, knowledgeable. Couldn't have been better. Our cabin was awful ... Read More
Friends recommend the liner. We stopped at lovely places and had fantastic experiences. The restaurant staff were absolutely incredible. Attentive, friendly, professional, knowledgeable. Couldn't have been better. Our cabin was awful on the 4th level, but we did book an open allocation hoping for a better one, so that was partly our own fault. However I think that NCL aught to warn passengers and they shouldn't really have cabins in those parts of the ship at that high price! We were above the laundry and at the front so it was very noisy at night. If the waves were high it made a very loud crashing noise all night against our wall! We had a dripping sound in the wall between us and the cabin next door and a loud thudding from the laundry presumably. We liked the free dining options and the food was excellent everywhere we ate. The pool was crowded and not much fun..too small for the number of people. Overall, as cruise ships go, this is probably a good one. We just had a lousy cabin which coloured the trip for us! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
All of the staff were amazing, engaged and helpful. The crew is what makes or breaks the experience. The Cruise Director was not overbearing, the crew was polite, and not in your face. Jasmine restaurant was excellent! Loved the people ... Read More
All of the staff were amazing, engaged and helpful. The crew is what makes or breaks the experience. The Cruise Director was not overbearing, the crew was polite, and not in your face. Jasmine restaurant was excellent! Loved the people that engaged in the dancing activities and the shows were great! The food in the Garden Cafe was Excellent !!!! Loved the White party and the mood on the ship all the time. The ship was always clean, the casino was a lot of fun. The drinks were pricey, but I guess that is part of the business. I do recommend this cruise to people. Wish my son, who is 12, could have participated in the teen activities. Being with the little kids was embarrassing for him. Luckily, he enjoyed the game room. That was a great help. Also, should have more options for late night snacking. Should not have to go to a sit down dinner. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We have done a lot of cruising and have never seen a cruise ship set up like this! Rooms were the worst. You open the door to look at a shower with a frosted glass door on your right and a toilet with a frosted glass door on your left. If ... Read More
We have done a lot of cruising and have never seen a cruise ship set up like this! Rooms were the worst. You open the door to look at a shower with a frosted glass door on your right and a toilet with a frosted glass door on your left. If you are using either of these and some one walks in the room they will see you! You can see and hear everything in those! Absolutely no privacy. The bed was AWFUL. A rounded headboard and 2 twin mattresses making it a king size bed. But they are rounded on the top and bottom so your feet hang off all night. I’m only 5’2”. Absolutely horrible lighting. You can’t even read a book or put make up on. The hair dryer plugs in below the desk and it’s almost impossible to stretch the cord to reach your head. Ours was not working anyway so had to ask for another one. No storage. The drawers were so narrow you couldn’t put clothes in them. Room stewards were hardly around and not very friendly. I was never called by my name when he was around. Rug was filthy too. Hallways were curved and very strange. The 2 pools were like postage stamps crammed with people and kids. Water temp was in the 90’s. The kiddie pool area had a spraying part which did not work at all. Buffet was very mediocre and service horrible. The main dining room food was just ok & horrible service. I can’t say anyone working for them went out of their way to be friendly except for the washy washy girl when you entered the buffet. They rest of the staff should take a few lessons from her. Not many photo shooting opportunities in the evening and we were a group of 11 family members with kid 3,4,7,16 and the one photographer said she couldn’t take pictures of a group that big...what?? And if someone was having a photo shoot where they were doing it was so inconvenient that there was no room to walk around them. You either interrupted them or had to wait to get by. Shows were practically non existent. The good things were the upgraded dining rooms and staff. Excellent! The main reason I chose this ship were the ports they went to and that did not disappoint. Wonderful but I hired all private excursions which were also wonderful and less money then the ship charges & just our family. We did not realize that this ship has two ports for boarding and embarkation. Talk about confusion getting off the ship that day for an excursion. Tried to get a taxi at Barcelona port and waited over an hour. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I sailed on three NCL ships including this one with family. The last time I went was about 4 years ago and my experience was amazing. The food was amazing, the entertainment was fun. It was just a great time. and I emphasize again how ... Read More
I sailed on three NCL ships including this one with family. The last time I went was about 4 years ago and my experience was amazing. The food was amazing, the entertainment was fun. It was just a great time. and I emphasize again how amazing the food was. This time I felt like, to get anything of reasonable quality, I had to empty my pockets. I will take you through my journey. Lets start with the good: Crew is very nice, and the service is excellent. The ship is huge and doesn't feel too overcrowded. Cabin was comfortable and well taken care of. Good bed, nice shower/bathroom set up. Now the bad: I tried every free restaurant and the buffet. The only good one was O'Sheehans. Everything else was completely sub par. As the days progressed I felt hunger leaving my body as I walked through the buffet. I decided to try 'Manhattan' diner. My steak was cooked as I requested - medium. yet I felt I was chewing on beef jerky. My girlfriend ordered chicken. It tasted like water. The next day we tried 'Taste' diner. Guess what.... Taste diner has the same exact menu as Manhattan diner. I asked whats the difference, they said "In manhattan diner you have to wear long pants, here you can wear shorts." On the last day I saw where my scrambled eggs were coming from. Those were the only edible things and it was coming from a frozen milk carton. I gagged and lost my appetite - Fresh fruit it is! I was not going to spend $39 at their 'premium' restaurants. They lost my trust. Internet costs $1 per minute if you don't get a deal, and about $3 to activate... its' download speed is about 1mb. Saw a guy tearing his hair out because he just couldn't do what he needed but the money was being sucked from his account. So you pay $800 to go on a cruise. You pay $240 extra for service. You pay $5 - 15 for the bus to take you from the ship to another transportation system. And you still can't get decent food. When they say 'chocolate mousse" or 'strawberry mousse', they don't really know what mousse means. They are jello cakes. pizza - tasteless burgers - burned meat patties water - fresh from the toilet The pools are TINY. about the size of your small cabin. The "Washy washy happy happy" Got old FAST. I felt like I had to cough up cash to have a good sneeze. Soon they will charge premium for breathable air. Shanghai noodle bar - overcooked chicken (as usual on this ship). Ordered noodles with chicken and shrimp. I received exactly two tiny shrimps and exactly 2 tiny pieces of chicken - tasted good though. and the 5 spice chocolate cake is decent. $4 for bottled water - lol. Entertainment - comedian was alright. Deal or no deal was fun to watch. But of course you have to pay to even have a slim chance to participate. Enrichment activities... where? Soccer tournament - got to play for 8 minutes. k. Shore excursions... lol $300 per person. The locals were nicer to us about excursions than the cruiseline. They wanted $60 per person to drive us to the airport. Locals did it for $20. Spent a total of $1850 to eat eggs out of a milk carton for 7 days. You really lost your touch, NCL. 3rd trip, and you've now lost me and my family forever. Wish I could get my money and time back. PS: I should have taken the photo of the boxed eggs but I was too nauseated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the ... Read More
This was my first NCL cruise and I booked through Costco Travel which offered a couple of perks (two complimentary premium dinners) in the process. I also booked the premium beverage package and the daily spa package which made the cruise a bit more expensive but well worth the cost. The Epic is a large ship staffed with a great crew that always seemed committed to offering gracious and friendly service. Traveling with a friend, we were able to book and hold a handicap-equipped cabin which gave us a bit more floor space as well as the balcony which was great. The only down side was that the door to the combined restroom/shower was broken so we had to make due with a curtain hung by velcro -- not exactly the best privacy set up but we were advised that the repair was planned for shortly after our trip. Pro's: Amazing fitness center and Spa -- we opted for the daily spa access and took advantage of both the workout area and jacuzzi every day. The food was always good and because of the variety offered, even the most picky eaters will find ample options. The kids on board seemed to really love the pizza and I agree -- it's very good! The water flume rides are fun and the wait times were reasonable. The entertainment was also top notch. Con's: Very few issues to mention but here are a couple: the ice machines in the restaurants were overwhelmed at times and sometimes the crew could not keep up with the demand for clean cups. The piped in relaxation music in the spa is just one short tune played over and over. They really need to add more relaxing music because the monotonous one song detracts from the calming experience. While the public restrooms were kept clean, there were some metal support pieces in the toilet stalls that seem dingy and need to be polished. I also noticed that some painted surfaces outside the dining room windows that were showing rust. Lastly, the swimming pools themselves are very small for such a large ship. The water in the pools was also very warm and not refreshing. The ports of call on this trip were interesting and the excursion options were plentiful. To be able to visit three countries in 7 days and only unpack once is definitely a great reason to cruise and overall the NCL Epic was a fantastic vessel for my summer vacation! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Epic Family Cruise on the Med This was a three generation family cruise undertaken to celebrate our two milestone birth anniversaries – my 75th and my wife’s 70th birthdays that occurred earlier in the year. Happily it also ... Read More
Epic Family Cruise on the Med This was a three generation family cruise undertaken to celebrate our two milestone birth anniversaries – my 75th and my wife’s 70th birthdays that occurred earlier in the year. Happily it also coincided with the pending 50th birthday of our daughter-in-law, so we actually had three reasons to celebrate during the cruise. It also provided us the opportunity to introduce our family to the wonderful world of cruising, so we especially wanted an experience that would be meaningful and enjoyable for our two children, their spouses and our four grandchildren aged 12 through to 18. We had certain limitations in selecting an appropriate cruise. It firstly had to synchronise with school and university holidays giving us a window of only the first ten days or so of July. Secondly, we wanted our family to have an inclusive cruising experience with pre-paid gratuities, speciality dining and beverage packages. Thirdly, it was important that each family unit of four had inter-leading balcony cabins, and finally, we hoped for an itinerary that would introduce first-time cruisers to a number of iconic destinations in the Mediterranean. And all of this at an affordable cost! The scheduled Norwegian Epic cruise from 03 to 10 July of the Western Mediterranean was the only one that ticked all the boxes so we took the plunge and booked with NCL. We did so with some trepidation, primarily because of the size of this mega ship knowing that at the height of the holiday season the ship would be filled to capacity and we were especially concerned about the crowds and inevitable queues at restaurants, bars and entertainment venues and when embarking and disembarking over 4800 passengers at each port of call. But more so, we were worried about the negative reviews we had read on Cruise Critic about the Epic. Our concerns were unfounded and the Epic exceeded our expectations at virtually all levels. Sure, there are a number of (in the greater scheme of things minor) matters one may take issue with but, in our view as relatively experienced cruisers having taken some twenty cruises over the past fifteen or so years with primarily five star cruise companies, the Norwegian Epic offers a far better cruise experience than one would be led to believe when reading some comments on the web. Let’s get our main negative out of the way before proceeding with the review. NCL has a reputation for “nickel and diming” and we believe this is due to their strange practice of not fully disclosing the price of products on sale up front. Whatever one purchases is also subject to an undisclosed tax so one always ends up paying more for a product or service than the prominently published price. A case in point is their cost (ridiculously high in any event) of bottled water which passengers are forced to purchase on board as NCL will not allow bottled water purchased on shore to be brought on board. We purchased a package of 24 one litre bottles at a published cost of $44 only to find that the actual amount charged to our account was $58 – a premium of 32%! The additional costs were a 20% service gratuity and the balance a sales tax. We cannot understand why one has to pay a service gratuity and additional sales tax for purchasing a bottle of water but, if that is NCL’s policy, we believe the company should be upfront with its pricing and not mislead passengers with its non-inclusive pricing policy (applicable to all goods and services). We lodged a complaint about the cost of the bottled water package with Guest Relations but did not get any response whatsoever to our query. The only other minor issue we had was with the high cost of shuttle bus services offered by NCL. Being a mega ship, ships the size of the Epic more often than not, have to berth some distance from the places of interest in the ports visited. Using some form of transportation to get downtown is therefore pretty much a necessity and in such circumstances we believe the ship company should at worst, provided such a shuttle service at cost and not make an additional profit from their passengers. Often if one was prepared to walk 500 meters or so, one could get much cheaper transport from taxis, on-shore tour operators or even public transport. Enough of the negative rants! Much more productive to focus on the positives of the cruise. As already mentioned, we were pleasantly surprised by our Epic experience. Some random observations include: The ship: Clean and well maintained throughout, the Epic is a beautiful mega ship even though it is showing notable signs of wear and tear. We were impressed with the layout of many dining options available on the ship and even though the ship was fully booked, we seldom got the sense of being over crowded. The Epic is a fun boat with the focus on entertainment and activities. Consequently, there are virtually no areas where one can just sit and relax. There is a constant buzz going on, but it would still be nice to find a quiet lounge area where one could just relax and read a book. Initially, the layout and configuration of the vessel can be confusing but once one understands that everything really happens on either the pool deck or on decks 5 and 6 where most of the dining options, theatre, bars, entertainment venues and casino are located, it becomes relatively easy to find ones way around the boat. Elevators are only located at the two ends of the ship making it almost mandatory to walk through the entertainment decks to get anywhere. Unfortunately this means that one cannot escape the smoke ridden casino to access certain venues! NCL should seriously reconsider its practice of permitting smoking in the casino – a practice that has been banned in every other cruise line ship we have sailed. Staterooms: We booked two sets of inter-leading balcony cabins to accommodate each family unit and a mini suite for ourselves. All accommodations were more than adequate with plenty of storage space. The mini suite is slightly larger than the standard balcony cabin but has the same layout – including the strange shower and toilet configuration which takes some getting used to. We understand that this bathroom layout has never been re-emulated on any other NCL ship and will be changed when the Epic undergoes a major refurbishment in the next year or so. Dining: The Epic has multiple dining options. Given the size of the ship, it is advisable to pre book one’s preferred dining venue for dinners especially if one likes to dine during peak hours. Our travel consultant had arranged to pre book dinners for our entire party of ten for each night of the cruise at a selected range of included and speciality dining venues. This helped immeasurably as we never had to queue or wait for a table at any of the selected venues. Food, in terms of both quality and presentation was invariably of a good to excellent standard. The buffet Garden Café was our chosen venue for most breakfasts and lunches. We found the quality and range of options to be surprisingly good for a buffet and would rank the Epic’s buffet restaurant as one of the best we have yet experienced on a cruise line. We had a table served breakfast on two occasions in the Trellis restaurant and, again, were more than satisfied with the fare on offer. For dinners we experimented with a range of venues. We dined at both of the included restaurants (Trellis and Manhattan) which both offer the same menu each evening. The Trellis is a more casual venue while the Manhattan offers a more upmarket experience. Both are well laid out and furnished with attentive service. We found the food to be good and attractively presented. Where the Epic shines is in the variety and quality of its speciality dining options. We experienced three and they all met or exceeded our expectations. As mentioned, we were celebrating three milestone birth anniversaries on this cruise so we chose to celebrate a different birthday at each of the speciality restaurants we selected. At two of these, the Le Bistro and La Cucina, we were even surprised with special birthday cakes delivered to the table even though we had only indicated we were celebrating a milestone birthday once we were seated at our table. A nice, unexpected touch! Food at the French Le Bistro restaurant was exceptional – typically small potions, but beautifully presented and delicious all round. Teppanyaki, the Japanese inspired restaurant was a really fun experience. The delightfully humorous Chef kept us all in fits of laughter as he cooked and served food of surprisingly high quality. We also could not find fault with the service and food quality at the Italian La Cucina restaurant . Our experience at all three speciality restaurants we dined at more than met our expectations. The only marginally disappointing dining experiences were in the Shanghai noodle restaurant and at O’Sheehans Pub where we found the fare to be unappetizing and bland. However, the younger members of the family enjoyed the pub food at O’Sheehans especially the chicken wings and fajitas! Entertainment: A wide range of entertainment options are offered – there is something going on all the time so one can never be bored! The main theatre show “Priscilla of the Desert” was exceptional, equivalent in standard to anything we have previously experienced on board a cruise ship, or even on Broadway or the West End for that matter. None of our party enjoyed the other main theatre production “Burn the Floor”, a sentiment obviously shared by many other passengers as the venue was less than half full even though this show has to be pre-booked. We found it repetitive and frankly boring. On the other hand the nightly “Howl at the Moon” productions in the Headliners Comedy Club were great fun with plenty of good, noisy music and repartee between two dueling pianists. The Beatles Cavern Club show was a bit disappointing but perhaps this was due to the small venue being so overcrowded on the night we attended the show. In addition to the more formal productions, two exceptionally talented singer/pianists entertained passengers at a variety of venues each evening. Good sing along music and good fun. We thought Roberto, the Cruise Director, to be one of the best we have yet had over our years of cruising. Efficient, engaging, informative and understated, sans all the false over the top bonhomie one generally finds with Cruise Directors on cruise ships Bars: There are so many bars situated throughout the ship that one is never in danger of becoming thirsty! We had a beverage package as an included amenity on our booking. This is a virtual necessity on the Epic as the price of liquor is exorbitant and otherwise would be a major dampener for those of us who are inclined to enjoy the occasional tipple or two! Our favoured venue was the Shakers cocktail bar where we can attest they can fix a mean martini! The whole family unit of ten participated in the Ice Bar experience. It was fun but ridiculously overpriced at $20 per person plus tax even though two cocktails are thrown in as part of the deal. Anoraks and gloves are provided but, on reflection, it really is quite masochistic to pay good money to stand in a fridge for an hour! Service: Along with our general experiences with other cruise lines, we found the standard of service on the Epic from staff at all levels (stateroom attendants, waiters, barmen etc.), to be excellent, always available to provide attentive service with a smile. It was evident also that most staff appeared to be proud to be employed by NCL so the company must be doing something right in its employment and training processes. Itinerary: One of the reasons we chose this cruise was to give or family, who had not cruise before, the opportunity of visiting some of the iconic ports of the Western Mediterranean. As we had been to most places on a few occasions beforehand, we did our own thing in all the ports except Palma Mallorca, allowing the rest of the family to explore the ports and adjacent locales unencumbered by their ageing parents! They pre-booked private tours of Pisa/Florence and of Naples/Pompei/Sorrento/Amalfi Coast and explored other destinations on their own. They were more than happy with their experiences and would recommend the private tour option which ends up much cheaper than the equivalent ship excursions and also allows for more flexibility and the option to custom design the experience should one so wish. Our primary objective with this cruise was to give our children and grandchildren a taste of the joys of cruising that we have been privileged to enjoy for so many years. After all the less than complimentary reviews we had read about what to expect on the Epic, we were truly concerned that their experiences on the ship would not be all we wished for. We need not have worried! Did they enjoy the cruise? Hell yeah! So mission accomplished. Indeed, we think we may just have produced another two generations of cruise aficionados!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed in early July with our two teenagers, ages 14 and 18. We had a spectacular vacation! We stayed in the Haven, which gave the four of us all the space and privacy we needed and then some. We flew into Rome two days early. ... Read More
We sailed in early July with our two teenagers, ages 14 and 18. We had a spectacular vacation! We stayed in the Haven, which gave the four of us all the space and privacy we needed and then some. We flew into Rome two days early. There's a quick train from Rome to the port city of Civitavecchia. We had no trouble getting around and made it to the ship in plenty of time. Civitavecchia has many restaurants and gelato places close by to stop at before boarding. Embarkation was a breeze. If you can swing the Haven, it's absolutely the way to go. Our room had two private bedrooms, a spacious living area, and two full bathrooms. The main bathroom shower had room for a small village of people! There was plenty of storage space and the niceties like robes and slippers and upgraded toiletries. The Haven comes with a butler and he was wonderful. He brought us snacks each afternoon and also handles room service if you desire. Our room was equipped with an espresso machine and a minibar. The Haven also has it's own restaurant and cocktail lounge; both are outstanding as well as its own small pool and jacuzzi. Our cabin was 16003 which is a forward cabin. Our bathroom had floor to ceiling windows in the showers (with shades for when you're actually showering) and provide a gorgeous view out the front of the ship. We had the same view as the bridge, which was kind of neat. Dining is "freestyle", so you decide where and when you want to eat. There is the usual cruise buffet, as well as two more formal dining rooms. Buffets are not my thing, but as far as they go, this one had plenty of options including Indian food, hamburgers/hot dogs, and themed hot entrees and was a nice break for my younger teen who just wanted to eat in his swimsuit and be done with it. The other two dining rooms, Taste and Manhattan were both top notch with typical cruise fares - starter, meat/fish, starch, veggies, and dessert. The wine lists were extensive and reasonably priced. There is also a pub which services quick burgers, sandwiches, and the like which has extended hours. The pub also had pool tables and other arcade games. You can also do specialty dining - some is an extra charge, some is included, but all need reservations to assure your spot. They included a French restaurant, teppanyaki, noodle bar, and a traditional American steakhouse. The French restaurant, Le Bistro, requires (no exceptions) long pants for everyone over 12. My one son ate dinner in his pajama pants, which was not a problem for the maitre'd. All the other restaurants are generally relaxed on dress code - some people were all dressed up and others were in shorts and tshirts. There is also a coffee bar to get espressos and blended coffee drinks for an additional charge. Definitely get the beverage package so you don't have to think about it. The ship will serve your 18 year old beer and wine if they have your permission. In port, people offered our 18 year old booze consistently. Not a problem for us, but be mindful if this is a concern for you. In fact, in Rome, they served our 14 year old lemoncello. He was not a fan..... We loved the live music; there's a Beatles tribute band, a sing along Elton John show, and themed shows featuring music of Stevie Wonder and others. We didn't attend either of the two main shows which require reservations - we just didn't get to it and our kids weren't super interested in either. They also have a dueling piano show - it was very popular. Not our favorite, but just a matter of personal taste. During the "at sea" day, they had an "escape room" type activity which we really enjoyed as a family. The main lounge midship, The Atrium, often had games like "Deal or No Deal" and bingo for an additional charge. We aren't gamblers, but the casino was hopping and seemed very popular. Smoking is allowed there, and there is an actual cigar lounge/smoking lounge as well. There is a three lane bowling alley, along with the pool, water slides, rock climbing wall, and sport court. Our 14 year old went to the teen club, which he mostly enjoyed. There are a lot of organized activities, and he was hoping for more "free play" time where he could come and hang out and play video games. That said, he enjoyed the activities (trivia, charades, game shows) that he participated in. It was kind of a bummer that our (newly) 18 year old couldn't participate with his brother there, but we get it. Since we embarked in Civitavecchia, our ports were Florence (Livorno), Cannes, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Day at Sea, Naples, and then back to Civitavecchia. I actually think this itinerary lay out is better than boarding in Barcelona. Florence is a slog - it's quite a distance from the port - maybe 90 minutes - so after that and then rapid fire action, we were grateful for the day at sea. I wouldn't have wanted to have that right on the front end of the cruise. In Livorno, we did Pisa/Florence "on your own" which basically provides transportation and then some tour information but mostly you just explore. It was ridiculously hot and there is a lot of walking from the bus to the actual sites, so be prepared. Pisa was magnificent and I'm so glad we didn't skip it. Florence was super crowded and oppressively hot. Pace yourself! In Cannes, we needed an easy day after Florence, so we took the tender from the boat and just wandered through downtown. You can do tours to Monaco or Monte Carlo, but we found a place along the waterfront for lunch, explored the streets, had french desserts, and headed back to the ship. The tender process is easy, but you do need reservations if you want to get an early start. Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona were our two favorite days and we are already talking about a separate trip to Spain. We went on foot both days and found outstanding tapas restaurants in both. Mallorca was wonderful just to explore and walk around the city. In Barcelona, we went to the Pablo Picasso museum and then went to the arch and Citadel Park. There were some great tours, but we had made reservations for the museum and had to work around that. Sundays are free at the museum, but you have to make reservations ahead. In Naples, we struggled because there were so many choices; Sorrento, Amalfi coast, Capri, and Pompeii. We ended up walking into Naples which is right at the port and found a tiny little pizza restaurant and had a pizza we're still talking about. We took the cruise's tour to Pompeii in the afternoon; they have two, "Pompeii excavations" and "Pompeii on your own". I highly recommend excavations. Pompeii is a huge area and is a maze. We really benefited from having someone to walk us around inside and show us the highlights. If we had gone by ourselves, we might still be finding our way out. Debarkation, although EARLY, was a breeze. We walked right off without problem and collected our bags at the port. There is a free bus that will take you from the ship to the entry to the port. From there, you can take a bus for 2 Euro to the train station in Civitavecchia. There is an express train that will get you into the main terminal in Rome in about 45 minutes. We spent three more days in Rome after the cruise before heading home. After 14 days, we were ready to get back, but it was an absolutely wonderful trip. We will sail Norwegian again and would absolutely go on the Epic again. Bon voyage! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
The food was terrible. No one got sick but the food was disgusting. We dined in the "nice" restaurant for one night and we left, my pasta tasted like spaghetti OS and my husband steak was covered in gravy tasted like microwave ... Read More
The food was terrible. No one got sick but the food was disgusting. We dined in the "nice" restaurant for one night and we left, my pasta tasted like spaghetti OS and my husband steak was covered in gravy tasted like microwave dinner. The room across from us had their toilet overflow and the whole trip smelled like poop as the carpet in the hallway stuck and the shower and sink were letting up sewer smells.The excursions cost 3 times as much as independent groups and didnt do anything fun. We took a on your own trip to pompeii through the cruise, we got 2 hours but when we got their the line took an hour for all of us to get our tickets so we got one hour. We saw 2 shows they were both like watching a middle school performance. We vacation 4 times a year and this was twice as much as our normal vacations and was a 1 star experience. I do not recommend ncl. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First of all if you have never been on the Jade before some of the changes you will not know off. The ship is very clean with excellent bar and waiter staff who are so helpful and friendly. Having sail before on the jade we have notice ... Read More
First of all if you have never been on the Jade before some of the changes you will not know off. The ship is very clean with excellent bar and waiter staff who are so helpful and friendly. Having sail before on the jade we have notice some small but important changes, Cabins very clean and are of average size and the balcony are very small (not worth £10 never mind the £1000 they charge. forget about having breakfast there its far to small. (comparing to the celebrity ships) If your are not a smoker forget this part, smoking areas have been cut back. One half of the top bar which opens at 2 in the afternoon and closes early so your left with a few ash trays on port side which is always crowded with smokers. (no where to go) also if you are not a player in the casino you cannot smoke. WHY? As for the casino the staff seem to be very poorly trained if they make a mistake in the payment off hands be prepared for them to say 5 minutes later that THEY made a error on a hand and want their money back in front off everyone at table. This happen on 5 occasions once with myself which was very embarrassing they just don't care. Stopped playing after this after wanting to make a formal complaint you cant, just a apology from manager and a offer of a drink (we have a drinks package thankyou) Finished off by wanting to tell us a Irish joke we are from Ireland talk about rubbing salt into a wound. The dining rooms are excellent quick service excellent food could not find fault in any of them. Entertainment was very poor in the theatre unless you like volin or magic. not one show on entire cruise. No stage shows with cast just individual artists. Shore excursions were very very expensive luckly we have been on lots of cruises and have been to many of the places before. Please do not get me wrong this was our third time with Norwegian cruises but standards have dropped badly, would I go back not a chance, when you see what others offer at sometimes a cheaper price I would say think very carefully its a lot of money to make a mistake. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and loved it. Embarkation was fast and easy. Our cabin steward was great and brought us all the extra things we asked for. The rooms are smaller than other cruise lines, but the mini-suite was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and loved it. Embarkation was fast and easy. Our cabin steward was great and brought us all the extra things we asked for. The rooms are smaller than other cruise lines, but the mini-suite was worth it for the nice tub and shower. Not a lot of storage. The movie channel often did not work and the movies are repeated throughout the week. The drink package was disappointing in the fact that there were very few wines available. We like to try different wines, but they were out of most of the wines that were in the package and $20 bottles of wine at Bevmo were $24 a glass on the ship - which was $9 per glass more than the package would allow. The sommelier was not the friendliest woman we have encountered. I'm not sure why we always fall for the drawings and raffles - always a disappointment with long sales pitches (especially the Spa raffle). Most of the entertainment was good, dancers better than singers, and those dancers work so hard! The Elements show was definitely the best of the week. The adult pool was great. Overall the staff was friendly throughout the ship. The steakhouse was the best restaurant on the ship, the Italian restaurant was fantastic, but the main dining room was not bad either. We didn't take any excursions but loved renting cars and taking the buses all over the islands instead. Much cheaper and way more fun to have the freedom to roam at your own pace. We ended up getting off a day early in Livorno and went to Florence for a few days instead of going back to Rome. It was a great way to get off the ship - easy and whatever time we wanted to - but it was expensive to get to Florence. All in all - it was the wonderful ports that made it a great trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We recently sailed on NCL Jade on 11-day Mediterranean itinerary. We had not sailed in many years and never on Norwegian but took advantage of partnership with Caesars Total Rewards program. Our trip was fantastic from start to finish. ... Read More
We recently sailed on NCL Jade on 11-day Mediterranean itinerary. We had not sailed in many years and never on Norwegian but took advantage of partnership with Caesars Total Rewards program. Our trip was fantastic from start to finish. I have read some negative reviews of Jade on this board and suffice it to say we had a completely different experience. Not perfect in every respect but totally positive experience overall. We booked in Haven class and while I cannot speak to how it may be in other cabins or experiences, but all of the staff we met went the extra mile to make sure that we were happy. Prompt and friendly at all times, eager to help. They seemed to have an attitude in general to make your vacation as positive as possible. Bottom line: we are actively looking as to when we can sail the Jade and NCL again. Ship is not huge but big enough. Generally seemed clean and well kept. Not a mega ship by any means but plenty of space and activities. Our 13-year-old enjoyed the teen club and many events. Our cabin (10004) was great. Well appointed and plenty of space. Shower was plenty big and closet had more than enough room for everything. Dining area that we did not use except for maybe one time. Best aspect - two balconies, one in front (bow) and one on the side. Bow was great for sailing in and sailing out, but too windy to use on sea days or once ship picks up speed. Beautiful sunsets from the front of the ship and a great way to see ports as you sailed in and out. From the front balcony you basically had the same view as the bridge crew. When front balcony could not be used, you also have a side balcony to watch the ocean on sea days, read, enjoy fresh air, etc. Dining: We did not make use of all of the outlets and actually never went to the main formal dining room one time. Free venues we went the buffet several times and the food was quick and very good. Some options rotated, some were consistent. Great for a quick breakfast when we had tours. Jasmine the Chinese was also good and we went to O'Sheehans a few times. Our son thought O'Sheehan's was the best food he ever had. Specialty dining we went to Cagney's, La Cucina, Moderno, and Teppanyaki and all were excellent. As Haven class passengers, we had Moderno exclusively for breakfast and Cagney's for lunch. We used Moderno much more frequently to get away from the hustle and bustle of people of rushing to their various tours. They had a little buffet of pastry and yogurt and also food to order. In short, it was great to have this additional option. Activities: We did not do any of the usual cruise activities but they seemed fun and the crew had a lot of energy. Our son loved the teen club and the staff. Met a lot of new friends there and they had great activities. Casino was fine, never particularly crowded. Again friendly and helpful staff. Lots of tournaments and other fun events. We went to three shows: Blazing Boots (entertaining although I am not a country person); Imagika (or something like that - magic guy), which also passed the time although not amazing, and Elements, which was great. Other shows we missed were the singer, acrobats, and violinist. Showroom includes Haven class seats which were not the best seats in the house, but nice to know they were there and you didn't have to worry about arriving early. Spent time in the Spinnaker lounge listening to music. Large venue, great views, good drinks. Enjoyable place for downtime. We are not huge drinkers and generally avoided the busier/party areas including the pool. We did use the Haven deck pool on a few occasions and the Haven sundeck. The latter was never very crowded at all and was a great option. My wife used both the gym and spa and said they were great. I opted to leave my workouts at home. They also have a card room with board games and other games, which we used on occasion. Video arcade had Guitar Hero and some other fun games. Service: As stated, everyone in all aspects of the ship seemed very committed to our enjoyment and needs. All questions were answered, all needs were met. In Haven class, you have use of a concierge and a butler (Bruno and Leo for us), who were both fantastic. Whatever need you had, whatever question you asked, they had it covered. One night I got sick, Leo brought room service and movies. Bruno had all of the information on the ports and what to do and what to avoid. Came around at breakfast and asked you for your plans and gave you suggestions. He also had periodic meetings/presentations to go over critical information and the ports. If you had cruise excursions (we did only one instead opting for private), Bruno and his team got you to your bus first. As a Haven/suite guest, the concierge team also takes you down the back stairs to get off the ship when you are ready so you skip the line. This was great as on the first day, the line for tender tickets at Santorini was about 400 people long (we got right on a tender when we were ready), and the last day at Livorno we got in late due to a port mishap of some kind. The line to get off the ship was 3 decks long up the stairs. We went right downstairs as soon as the ship was cleared. Leo also kept our room stocked with drinks and water for our excursions. These types of benefits and peace of mind made the Haven completely worth it, even aside from our awesome and spacious cabin. Excursions: We opted for mostly private excursions so we could control timing. A few suggestions regarding the various ports: Santorini: When you get off the ship the line for the cable car to Fira was enormous. Instead we took the water taxi straight to Oia. No line, hopped right on the boat. A bit of a walk up the hill to a bus but in the end, far better and Oia is much more scenic than Fira. Rhodes: Underestimated how great this city was. We hired a driver when we got off the ship and ended up being worth it. Saw so much more than we anticipated! Malta: Very underrated stop. Beautiful sail in. We were there on Sunday so much was closed, so still very interesting. We enjoyed the palace and museum with a history of the medieval knights. Livorno: We booked a Pisa/Florence excursion but in my view, it was too much for one day. Nice to see many things but not enough time at any location to appreciate anything. Pisa only or Pisa/Lucca might have been better. We did see David statue which was great. Your view may vary. Embarkation/Disembarkation: Another huge benefit of Haven class. At embarkation, you skip the line completely to a separate area. Maybe 50-75 people on line when we got to port. Instead, we went to separate area, no line and on the ship eating lunch 15 minutes later. Disembarkation you do not get a set time. Concierge team takes you off the ship whenever you like in the window. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before departing. Bottom Line: We loved our trip on the Jade and it was fantastic in every major respect. I would sail NCL and the Jade again without hesitation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We hgad an amazing trip on NCL Jade 30th June. We originally booked IX cabin and got allocated 1E deck 4 midship almost immediately/8 months out. Price drop at 90 days we were offered oceanview or $ back. We took the $ and then bid on ... Read More
We hgad an amazing trip on NCL Jade 30th June. We originally booked IX cabin and got allocated 1E deck 4 midship almost immediately/8 months out. Price drop at 90 days we were offered oceanview or $ back. We took the $ and then bid on upgrade. Our friends were successful at 60 days and got B1 aft. We got the sorry no upgrade 48 hours before we departed Rome. We were really happy with our inside on 4 and it was so easy to get off at our 9 ports. The ship and crew were amazing. Some people can be rude, but we find it we interact with them, ask them about themselves and their family it makes it really enjoyable. The food was good, the entertainment was great and we did not have any issues at all. Embarkation was so easy. We arrived at 11am after a Cabs Roma shared shuttle. We were on the ship by 11.20am and were able to leave our hand luggage in cabin and meet our cabin steward. Bags did not arrive until around 5pm which was ok so take what you need for the afternoon. My Daughter 14 had a great time at Entourage 13-17yrs. She met some great friends. The family we travelled with had a 12yr 9 month old and she was not able to join them. They are really strict with age 13 or have to turn 13 during the cruise. Disembarking was a breeze. We chose 8.30 which meant luggage had to be out 11pm night before, -we had breakfast, walked off, collected luggage in 10 mins and was on our shared shuttle with NCC airport at 9am on the way to airport. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We love the med cruises and wanted to cruise again with the Jade after her dry dock. The ship is in excellent conditions and the refurbishment shows its effects. The Atrium is just gorgeous. The speciality restaurants are very good ... Read More
We love the med cruises and wanted to cruise again with the Jade after her dry dock. The ship is in excellent conditions and the refurbishment shows its effects. The Atrium is just gorgeous. The speciality restaurants are very good and we loved the new location of the Moderno, serving excellent meat as in Brazil. Service allover is perfect . We were a little bit disappointed with the quality of the buffet and thought it was much better in the past. Breakfast service in the Great Outdoors should be improved to match the other parts: empty milk cans every morning,1 day toaster not working, another day one coffee machine down. Improvement needed on: - the mineral water which is not a true -mineral- water and is therefore way too expensive - reservations management of the specialty restaurants; they say full but often empty tables during a long period of time - wifi performance: sometimes very poor even at night when everybody sleeps ! Great entertainment almost every evening, excellent shows. Don't miss the show on the penultimate evening. Shore excursions: we took 2 tours organized with NCL and we were glad we had private arrangements in the other ports: expensive compared to renting a chauffeur-driven vehicle, local operators not always under control, huge delay in Livorno which made us missed a spa arrangement. Embarkation in Civitavecchia: ok according to the circumstances; NCL does its best to cope with the poor local facilities. we had to wait for more than 1 hour with some fellow cruisers for a shuttle at the official bus stop Molo Dei Bicchiere ( no NCL local number to call) Disembarkation: quick and well-organized. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Great ports and length. The Room was amazing! perfect size. We reserved a mini suite with balcony 11th floor ( i think it was termed a mini suite). We have 4 in the room, 2 parents and 2 teens. plenty of space, awesome beds and storage. ... Read More
Great ports and length. The Room was amazing! perfect size. We reserved a mini suite with balcony 11th floor ( i think it was termed a mini suite). We have 4 in the room, 2 parents and 2 teens. plenty of space, awesome beds and storage. great balcony. Bathroom is amazing for a cruise ship! extra sliding door in bathroom helped with teens. The room divide was so helpful!! Loved the Great outdoors and all the specialty dining, loved the Pub too!! Great spa area, we added thermal bath passes which were perfect after long excursions. Would have liked the older teen room to be open better hours. The teens activities were all closed 7-9 and had activities too late for my teens ( 15 and 16). They would have liked more activities but with long amazing port excursions they dont stay up late. most teen activities were way too late. amazing staff. love starbucks on board. wish it was a full starbucks that took starbucks app like some cruise ships do, but the barista was a joy every day ( BingQing Xia). amazingly easy getting on board . we had carry ons so that was a bit confusing getting on board, but it was still a breeze. getting off a breeze. i would rather have more inclusive pricing, wifi, alcohol, soda package etc.... that would make a better experience. The excursion and dining reservation system is less than stellar ( disney has dining reservations and activity reservations in their app that is the way to go) , the app was great for texting but should have been able to make dining reservations in the app. the online reservation system prior to boarding was also not stellar. 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