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2,518 Norwegian (NCL) Senior Cruise Reviews

Negatives: Spring break cruise, my MISTAKE. Screaming, drinking, banging on doors in the middle of the night, singing " coronavirus in the hallways" at 3am. Watched a couple of spring breakers who coughed without covering ... Read More
Negatives: Spring break cruise, my MISTAKE. Screaming, drinking, banging on doors in the middle of the night, singing " coronavirus in the hallways" at 3am. Watched a couple of spring breakers who coughed without covering mouth and/or putting head into sleeve or anything more than one time, tried to avoid them as much as possible. Lesson learned! The balcony staterooms have been changed to have 1 glass door and a port hole design which was unexpected as we have always experienced 2 glass doors which helps you not feel confined in such a small area. Do NOT like the new design. Will never book SKY again. 1)Cruise rep: Purchased cruise credits from previous cruise, after booking new cruise called back to inquire if they could be used as discount, NO. I had to mention it at time of booking, she suggested to save for next cruise. It's on our account why didn't our cruise rep inquire if any certificates /discounts to be used when booking? Had questions from other persons traveling with us to be clear on what the "free amenities" were was asked not to send emails but to call her. She was a little condescending at times. 2)Itinerary @sea, Day 1: Was advised our trip had to be changed due to weather so we went opposite direction only to find that weather prevented us from our PRIMARY excursion and port. We did not even stop (all day at sea) but found out later that another cruise line simply waited an hour and was given permission to dock. This was first time was feeling the movement of ship as many people were crying and complained of nausea. It was horrible. Since we lost our excursion villa ($350) we tried in vain to get another one at next port, service desk rep says he could try, we began that request at 9:10 am, checked back in 4 times at the desk to hear that NCL had not received a response from folks @ Pearl Island. No courtesy feedback from NCL service desk to say, cannot confirm suggest you try something else. Day 2: docked then ran to service desk to pay $99 each ($600 for our party) to board a 15 minute boat ride (raining & overcast) to a new area "Pearl Island" that it was first come first serve to get a cabana but no one knew the "additional" cost. Literally people jumped off the boat and hurried to get that premiere spot. Society shows itself in times such as this. Talked to Pearl Island Manager to find the cost of the cabana for 6 was a mere $500 additional which included pillows, no food, drinks or private access to beach. There were other cabanas for rent maximum party of 2 adults , 1 child for $450 each no guarantee of getting 2 together so ended up on beach loungers for free. FYI: ALL of the cabanas were EMPTY the whole time, we offered half the price for the big one but were turned down. Be AWARE, NO easy access to the beach on certain areas where there are chairs, a stone wall 3-4', no steps, had to step down a good 12-15 inches into the sand with sharp shells this is OK if you are young and strong legs , horrible if older in age. On the return boat ride in the HOT sun we were given an informative lesson on who the rich and famous are in the area and a look at their homes only to see on the opposite side of the area appeared to be the working mans area which was totally depressing.. I filled out the excursion card with positive reviews for the crew but that's all. Day 3: docked @ last port, burnt from sun so stayed onboard only to find due to port laws all fun things to do are closed as not to take business away from port. Bummer. It may appear that if we kept original routing everything would have worked out as weather was better on return. My opinions are strong because my expectations were high as we never experienced disappointment with NCL and to top it off we were dealing with the corona virus pandemic...We could NOT cancel because NCL would not give refunds/credits until March 10th which was a day after we embarked. What a joke! Positives: Mar 09:Embarkation was wonderful, thank you. The Palace for lunch, server "Remian" PERFECT. Cagneys for dinner as expected- 10/10 food & service. Mar 10: Food gallery very impressive as so many choices and delicious. Lunch @ Palace recommended. Dinner @ Crossings which was a pleasant surprise. Mar 11: At port all day. Dinner @Le Bistro is undeniably our favorite worth the money. Food outstanding, server Leila was top notch. To our surprise after having the best experience ever..while walking out of LeBistro was the TOP CHEF herself as seen on NCL TV as part of the crew. She was as nice in person as she appeared on TV so we thanked her for a delicious dinner, a wonderful memory and complimented her on her dance routine on TV. Mar 12: Our favorite bar tender worked primarily in The Local bar located AFT on the ship from 6pm- closing, gave us his name as Tom Cruise... OK. Dinner @the Local was very good, pub/ bar food but a great way to end the cruise. Most often during this cruise, spring breakers were polite, but there are always a few that break the mold. It was obvious this was a success to them so good for them! Favorites: Leila. Le Bistro Tom cruise The Local Andresthia. Cabin attendant. (Adorable woman). Ramein. Crossings& The Palace Disembarking was much easier than expected, breezed through it once we were "released" by Miami. Glad to be home. Found an Uber and to the airport which is another story to be told. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Due to having to use tenders, one port was canceled. At the other two, it took hours to re-board. The cruise director did a TERRIBLE job of communicating in Cozumel. Yes, there were a lot of ships which I understand makes it more ... Read More
Due to having to use tenders, one port was canceled. At the other two, it took hours to re-board. The cruise director did a TERRIBLE job of communicating in Cozumel. Yes, there were a lot of ships which I understand makes it more congested. However, they refused to communicate over the loudspeakers as to how we were to disembark on the tenders, leading to mass confusion. It took us 4 hours to get off the ship. We were told they were going to make sure we got there for the excursion, but that time came and went. Then they said the excursions would wait, but when we finally got ashore we were told they left without us. We had a grand total of 2 hours at the port before we stood in line another 2 hours to get back on the boat. I completely blame the cruise director and the crew for their terrible communication and organization. They made an already difficult situation 10 times worse and ruined our vacation. I used to love Norwegian but I will never sail with them again after this. Learn how to make proper announcements so people can plan accordingly and disembark in an organized manner. The dining was actually good, especially Ocean Blue. Many of the cruise staff were amazing through everything, but several were really obnoxious. We missed our first port because of choppy waters, but Jamaica and Grand Cayman were awesome. I highly recommend the ATV excursion in Jamaica and checking out Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman. The parties on the ship were lackluster at best, and we really missed the white party which they normally have on Norwegian but didn't this time. Syd Norman Pour House was cool for music but usually too crowded to enjoy. Same thing for the pool. The shows were great as well. We loved Six! All in all, I would not go on another huge ship like the Breakaway again. Q Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise for a 65 birthday occasion, and for snorkelling. This is our 10th cruise (all but one Norwegian) and we’re looking forward to it. Paid extra for Vibe, and then suffered from lack of service. First two days closed ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a 65 birthday occasion, and for snorkelling. This is our 10th cruise (all but one Norwegian) and we’re looking forward to it. Paid extra for Vibe, and then suffered from lack of service. First two days closed (but that was the weather). I understand th ere is “no refunds for weather” but really, when you pay over $400 that is too much for like max 6 hours use. Also the bartender (s) spent too much time at the outsid bar, three times we had to go there to be served. Paid for the spa upgrade and for 2 days there was no hot tub and no water/tea Fruit. Food was ok, esp in specialty restaurants, and manhattan room. Six was great! Took too long for tenders on Cozumel. And it seemed “groups” were given priority, not platinum level members or ncl booked shore excursions. So out three snorkelling trips turned out to be one half excursion. Not enough trivia! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We booked a cruise from Dubai to Cape Town on the Norwegian Spirit because it had an interesting itinerary but, after just 3 stops, we ended up with 16 consecutive days at sea. During embarkation we were disappointed to learn that the ... Read More
We booked a cruise from Dubai to Cape Town on the Norwegian Spirit because it had an interesting itinerary but, after just 3 stops, we ended up with 16 consecutive days at sea. During embarkation we were disappointed to learn that the stop at Nosy Be, Madagascar, had been cancelled but an alternative call at La Digue, Seychelles was scheduled. A few days later, stops at the Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion were also cancelled and passengers were then informed that excursions to Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth, in South Africa, had also been cancelled. NCL clearly knew that we would not be stopping but did not have the decency to admit it. Throughout the cruise, the Captain and Cruise Director, Alvin, remained in hiding and Alvin was only ever seen after show time in the theatre. Alvin’s announcements were clear, unlike the Captain, but contained no relevant information until we eventually started to dock at Cape Town. Communication was abysmal with no announcements to inform passengers that ports were being closed and we had to rely upon gossip and the occasional randomly distributed note to discover what was happening. It soon became evident that insufficient provisions had been taken on board initially and basic items, like fruit juice and vegetables started to run out after just a few days. We had paid £250 each for a Premium Drinks Package but most dry white wines and various spirits had run out after 4 or 5 days. Food in the speciality restaurants was excellent initially but we had an abysmal meal in Cagney’s towards the end of the cruise. Cagney’s is supposed to be a steak house but had no decent steak or vegetables left. After a few days, service in Windows restaurant had deteriorated to the point where it took 1½ to 2 hours for a mediocre meal, so we were obliged to use the busy Garden Café buffet instead. Protections against the Coronavirus clearly contributed to delays but the waiters were going around empty handed. Service in the cramped Taste restaurant was better than Windows. The refurbished ship looked good, apart from signs of work still in progress and ongoing plumbing issues. However, part of the ceiling in the Spinnaker lounge collapsed resulting in overcrowding elsewhere for several days, whilst major repairs were in progress. Our tiny inside cabin (10067) was extremely noisy, with constant banging from the adjacent service area throughout the night. This may be due to the ship’s age but is totally unacceptable and should have been investigated. Fortunately, there were no infected passengers on board, after 16 days of isolation at sea. It was, therefore, an absolute disgrace for NCL to take us to the airport 7 hours before our flight, which exposed everybody travelling to an avoidable and unacceptable risk. Clearly NCL has total disregard for passenger safety, which was also evident from their shambolic emergency drill on the open deck. NCL initially credited each cabin with 200 USD on board credit and later promised a 50% refund, which has yet to materialize. NCL’s offer of 75% off a future cruise, which is currently conditional upon starting the cruise before 2 March 2021, is a worthless gesture as passengers are still likely to be at risk. A window of at least 2 years would seem more reasonable for any passengers still willing to travel with NCL. We had cruised with NCL back in 2002 and said “never again” but gave them a second chance, as we liked the itinerary. Having enjoyed many cruises with Princess since then, we felt NCL’s entertainment and speciality dining was excellent but in all other respects, including food, Princess Cruises is so much better. To finish on a positive note, we would like to thank the cheerful, hard-working crew who are, presumably, still stuck on board and compliment the resident entertainers for some excellent shows. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I found myself very unhappy with the Pearl. My opinions are because I'm a accustomed to the Breakaway, Getaway and even the Sky was better. The Pearl's buffet was the same nightly with the exception of the meat. They served ... Read More
I found myself very unhappy with the Pearl. My opinions are because I'm a accustomed to the Breakaway, Getaway and even the Sky was better. The Pearl's buffet was the same nightly with the exception of the meat. They served the same dishes from lunch to dinner aswell such as the pasta. On the other ships, they had themed nights and a ton of variety. I also found the entertainment options to be much less. On the others, there were the regular shows at 1930 adult only shows past 2130. They also had much better side shows such as the dueling pianos, or amazing instrument players, they also had dinner shows (extra cost) but still much more options. On the Pearl, they had the boring instrument players who used recordings more than actually playing. Also after the 1930 and 2130 shows, there wasn't much to do other than a club. Very underwhelming!! I just feel awful paying for what I got compared to what I'm used to with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Embarkation in NOLA was fast. I estimate that we were onboard within 15 minutes from the time we got in line. They said our room would be ready around 1:30 pm and it was. The Free Dining rooms food was not as good as it was 3 years ago ... Read More
Embarkation in NOLA was fast. I estimate that we were onboard within 15 minutes from the time we got in line. They said our room would be ready around 1:30 pm and it was. The Free Dining rooms food was not as good as it was 3 years ago on NCL Jewel or last year on the Dawn. Twice we looked at the MDR menu and decided to just eat at the buffet. Great shows in the Getaway Theater, especially Million Dollar Quartet. I did not see the comedians since it was always in one of there smaller venues and we would arrive too late for a seat and did not want to stand for 45 minutes. Some game shows were in the Atrium which you could be heard while talking to a Guest Service person and on the next deck above. Ports were ok. Staff was ok. I heard some people were left behind at Costa Maya because they did not make the 1:30 pm onboard return time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
- Summary: we have cruised a number of lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, Oceania.) This was our first cruise on NCL and was the best experience we have had on a mass-market line. Excluding Oceania ... Read More
- Summary: we have cruised a number of lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, Oceania.) This was our first cruise on NCL and was the best experience we have had on a mass-market line. Excluding Oceania which is our favorite but in a different price bracket. We would definitely use NCL again if they have itineraries/prices that suit us. - This cruise was chosen for price (free at sea items), departure port rather than destinations. - Embarkation smooth and fast, disembarkation not so good (lack of info) - Ship was in excellent condition, décor understated but pleasing. - Even although the ship is large (4000 passengers) it never felt crowded and the layout meant you never really see huge masses of people in one place. - Observation lounge is amazing and a great place to pass time, get light food and drinks. It was never crowded even on a sea day when the pool deck was closed due to weather. - Speciality restaurants most nights had spare tables. We did 4 of them. All of them (Teppanyaki, Cagneys, Ocean Blue, La Cucina) had good menus and the food was great. Teppanyaki was the best, La Cucina the worst (not that it was bad but the menu was pretty bland standard americanized italian) - Main dining rooms - Food was better than we expected based on CC forums. Savour - had to send a beef tenderloin back because it was over-cooked. The dish was replaced very quickly and courteously with apologies. - Restaurant staff were prompt and very friendly although it was obvious they were not familiar with the rules re the wine packages. - Bar staff were friendly but rushed. I like a scotch sour (whisky sour using Scotch) - only Maltings made a decent one. Some that I ordered were not even worth drinking. Manager of wine cellar was excellent! - Entertainment (atrium shows, Jersey Boys, Six) was excellent. We did not use the go karts or water slides (being seniors...) Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We had a mid ship mini suite on the Encore. There was plenty of storage and a gorgeous bathroom that had a double sink and a step in shower. We booked all our entertainment and dining either online before we embarked or the day of ... Read More
We had a mid ship mini suite on the Encore. There was plenty of storage and a gorgeous bathroom that had a double sink and a step in shower. We booked all our entertainment and dining either online before we embarked or the day of embarkation. We had absolutely no problem scheduling all the things we wanted to do. Anyone who complains about doing this is flat out not computer literate or they are not calling NCL. The food in the free restaurants and Specialty dining was excellent. The service was top notch. Once again those that are complaining must eat 5 star quality at all their meals! The ports were all well scheduled and embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. The ship does not move anymore than other ships we have sailed. We have been on Disney, Holland and Royal Caribbean and NCL compared with all of them. Now people have complained about seating at the pool. Well I am here to tell you that all the pools on the 15 voyages we have been on are small. If cruise lines made them bigger there would be no seats to speak of. Get a balcony if u don’t like crowds. We would sail this ship again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We have travelled all the other continents and wanted to experience South America. This trip was very interesting and educational. The crew members made this very exciting and easy to cope on the high seas.Crew members from the dining ... Read More
We have travelled all the other continents and wanted to experience South America. This trip was very interesting and educational. The crew members made this very exciting and easy to cope on the high seas.Crew members from the dining areas and Aqua dining room made our stay a joyous one .Garnell Graham an Executive Sous Chef is an extraordinary person,he is one of my hero on this trip. He gave me a surprise birthday cake and recognition on March 4th. This was one of the sweetest thing someone has ever done for me.I will always remember this occasion. I am a picky eater and he always provide me with the necessary meal for dinner. God bless you always. Thanks My wife and I would also like to recognize Codrington,Oliver Robert and Scarlett Rodriquiz for their very attentive and kind attitude in steering us to choose the best menu for picky eaters.The matraD and the waitress would together to provide a suitable meal for us .These three crew members were our vacation heroes . Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We received a promotion through tour company from our time share. We rejected sales pitches much to their dismay, cruise paid so no worries about canceling. We have been on Celebrity & Carnival this was our fifth cruise in 10 years. ... Read More
We received a promotion through tour company from our time share. We rejected sales pitches much to their dismay, cruise paid so no worries about canceling. We have been on Celebrity & Carnival this was our fifth cruise in 10 years. Hubby just retired so we drove from Iowa and to POM I watched videos and due to good timing we arrived for embarkation at 10:15. Trying to drop off our luggage proved interesting, we kept getting waived off of NCL area after 2nd time around Disney porter got NCL and he said he would stay with the luggage until it was on the ship. He was given a generous 25$ tip for 2 suitcases, luggage arrived at our cabin at 4pm. We had a 3 hour wait to board! Some fool tried to stowaway we later heard. I embarked by wheelchair some other senior citizens had a very very difficult time in line! There aren’t many chairs. Our cabin was a balcony 15714 best thing about NCL was a nesspresso coffee maker! Otherwise this was the smallest balcony & cabin we ever have had, no way 4 adults would be comfortable. Staff were fabulous the friendliest, we have experienced. Best cruise critic meeting, free beer, cider appetizers, most staff attended we have Ever been too. 2011 Celebrity had a great one on the Eclipse, this surpasses that. We got free champagne and chocolate covered strawberries delivered free to our room. Loved all the complimentary restaurants, Cagney and le Bistro excellent, la Cucina had issues, noisy, confused new staff delivered wrong orders, food cold sat too long, toughest Veal I’ve ever had, offer to exchange but I declined hubby almost done , by that time I wanted to leave. These were free perks we received. Rough seas for Costa Maya port closed. Some confusion about going on and off ports for mobility impaired and which elevator to access. Other cruise lines have staff situated at elevators to give priority access. I’m glad we tried NCL we will have to see if we try again, not sure the bigger ships are as comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise because my senior community was running a group trip including bus transportation to/from NY port. Embarkation was orderly, but the lines to check in were very long, but once we got to the desk it was a breeze from ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my senior community was running a group trip including bus transportation to/from NY port. Embarkation was orderly, but the lines to check in were very long, but once we got to the desk it was a breeze from there. We ate lunch at the maining dining room then our rooms were ready. Our balcony cabin "BA" was the only balcony room choice we had. We did try to upgrade to Jr. Suite but I guess since we were in a group reservation, it was not available. The room and bathroom size was the major disappointment on the ship. Altho the balcony itself was a nice size, the bedroom area was difficult for two people to maneuver around, constantly needing to step aside to allow other person to get by. Bathroom: shower size was fine for us, but the toilet area was ridiculously small. I don't know how an over weight/size person can sit on toilet without banging knees on wall. My sister and I are both under 5'2" and it was a challenge. Ship is a good size overall with plenty of places to gather for reading/games/cards, etc. We really enjoyed the Atrium area, to sit while room attendant cleaned our room, to watch participate in daily tv games. I did expect the main pool would be a bit larger, but I am not a pool person so it didn't directly affect me. Plenty of great activities in pool area. Ferdie out Cruise Director was exceptionally good. He was everywhere ! Plenty of energy ! Joey too ! We did not eat in buffet area due to Coronavirus fears. Main dining room was slightly disappointing. The windows (some) were encrusted with something preventing total view, they really need to replace those. Loved the floor to ceiling windows though and views were great. Food in main was average to very good. We preferred the Magenta dining room (complimentary) for dinner, better choices. If anyone said they were bored, they need not cruise because there were more events for all ages that we had time for ! Shows were great, we mainly went to Spinnaker Lounge, not as over-crowded as Stardust Theatre. Our room was 9064 and our room attendant, Kadek Yogantara, was fabulous and so accommodating. All the staff were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We went mainly because we got a good deal. Free drink package etc. I read all the reviews before we went and a lot of them were not good. However I thought we should give it a try. We will never cruise Norwegian again. The food is subpar, ... Read More
We went mainly because we got a good deal. Free drink package etc. I read all the reviews before we went and a lot of them were not good. However I thought we should give it a try. We will never cruise Norwegian again. The food is subpar, They are terribly understaffed at every bar on the ship and the pool area is not big enough for 150 let alone the 3900 on ship. One of the main dining areas was not even open, the ropes section I never saw anyone use it at all. All it does is take up a ton of room on the ship that could be used for other things. The layout of the ship it’s self it’s confusing and half the time you don’t know which direction to go. The adults only section there is no water at all to get in and there is no music whatsoever it is completely quiet in the most boring place on the ship. The room was great and the room attendant was excellent I thought the entertainment was decent . We have been on carnival Princess Royal Caribbean and now Norwegian and I would take any of them over Norwegian. Once you have been on Royal Caribbean there is absolutely no comparison between the two Royal Caribbean is so much better in every aspect. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Let me start by saying I have been on many cruises. CCL, NCL, RCL, Disney and on the River Nile. Any time in the Caribbean in February is nothing I can complain about. Embarkation was pretty smooth. Debarkation was chaotic. I ... Read More
Let me start by saying I have been on many cruises. CCL, NCL, RCL, Disney and on the River Nile. Any time in the Caribbean in February is nothing I can complain about. Embarkation was pretty smooth. Debarkation was chaotic. I don't understand why St. Thomas was such a short stop. Either you went to the beach for a couple of hours or you shopped. No real time to explore St. Thomas or St. John. The ship was absolutely packed to the gills. Only two elevator banks for that many people? We thought we remembered more on the Getaway two years ago, or different location for them. Perhaps someone elss knows if I am wrong about that. The bars were ridiculous. You had to wait way too long for drinka. When you know you have that many who have the alcohol pkg, you should increase your number of bartenders. The bartenders did an amazing job considering that challenge. The food. Boring pretty much in the main dining. Nothing special. No filet or lobster night. And their salad bars are a joke. That is one of the things I most look forward to on Carnival ships. They have an amazing salad bar. Upcharge restaurants - it is true, no more crab at Ocean Blue. Cagney's was pretty good, except that we hsd a couple of crew, young performers on the ship clearly on their first date, and they gossiped about many of their colleagues by name all during the meal. Moderno was pretty good. Best salad bar on the boat, and never-ending meat, some of which was overcooked. The pool area. What pools? One pool for over 4,000 people? It looked like spring in Cancun. And the hot tubs were crawling with children all day. We thought we remembered at least another pool on the Getaway back by the Spice H2O area. The thermal suite was amazing. Well worth the money. The rest of tg h ed spa is just expensive, as usual. Entertainment - good. We saw Six, which I really liked. Those girls can sing and dance. We did not see Velvet. Escape The Big Top was sold out. The 80s band, Switch, at Syd's Pour House was good. The other band that played there I thought was only ok. Nowhere near as big a crowd. Didn't go in the disco. Stateroom - We upgrade bidded for a spa balcony. Probably paid too much, but I'm not sure of that. It was fine, deck 14 way up front near the bridge. Alot of people had problems with their toilet not flushing.no more towel animals and our room steward had absolutely no personality but he did an ok job. I think that is all I have to say. Maybe I will think of more. But I will not go on the Breakaway again. Too many others to choose from. And I am selling my cruise credits. A friend of mine was cruising Royal at the same time, and he posted a picture of them all dining on filet one night, and 30 lobster tails to share between 10 of them. This was in the regular dining room. You still get that on Carnival in the regular dining. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise based on departure port and date. I really didn't care where it was going. The ship was nothing fancy. In fact, if I didn't know I would have thought it was a refurbished ship. My room balcony was blah... ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on departure port and date. I really didn't care where it was going. The ship was nothing fancy. In fact, if I didn't know I would have thought it was a refurbished ship. My room balcony was blah... brown/beige rug with dirt stains, brown curtains that were ripped, a linoleum bathroom floor with stains ? hair dye. and brown cabinetry.The sofa was so dirty and worn out. I asked for a flat sheet to throw over so I could sit on it. I photographed all. The bathroom counter had a rust stain and the shower with hair in the drain. Great shower pressure and plenty of very hot water. But to top all off the first nite I lay on grit??? I collected it up on paper back book and took a photo to show room steward who got defensive. It appeared to be large coarse salt particles!!! I told him this isn't up for a debate just please change the sheets and get hair out of shower stall. The balcony very small. Only room for two small upright chairs and very small table. Room was never made up to late in afternoon after 2 pm just when I returned to relax a bit. I rarely, if ever, saw the room attendant. No towels animals in which I could care less about except I relied on them for extra towels to use after showering. Gone are the chocolates on your pillow. The entire fleet appeared overworked and grumpy . In fact I witnessed an employee (woman) yell at a passenger! I was shocked. The buffets looked dried out and not attended well. If an item was gone platters not replenished or removed! The two "washy washy" guys at entrance to Garden Buffet sang and played Tamborine much to annoyance of older guests.If this cruise ship cared about hand washing so much then why only two very small sinks at the entrance of buffet for 4 thousands guests???? I observed many strange reactions to some odd practices by this fleet. The restaurants were average not bad not fabulous. The artwork some of the best at sea. The embarkation/debarkation worst of any of my 20 plus cruises. The tender procedure strange, long lines to wait in big theater for two large boats to offload 4 thousand people! The shows were average at best some better than others. Dinner shows with Carole's Kings very nice. With so many cruise choices I would avoid this ship. Ceilings low elevators small and dark painted black and red. Pool area horribly cramped and industrial looking. Pay extra, go to an upcharge designated sunning area without a pool but guaranteed a nice lounge chair for the day. Of note no outside eating venues. Must go inside for piece of cardboard I mean pizza or salad. There was nothing that would bring me back except escaping the cold on a last minute cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
this was an easy local cruise because we live in the Tampa area. So it is convenient. This time we used Terminal 2 which is small and does not accomodate the crows on enmabkation day. The ship is old and in need of updating and cleaning. ... Read More
this was an easy local cruise because we live in the Tampa area. So it is convenient. This time we used Terminal 2 which is small and does not accomodate the crows on enmabkation day. The ship is old and in need of updating and cleaning. The food was very good in the Buffet. We though that the Bistro has gone down hill as has Cagneys. Moderno was very good. The ship layout is not good and is confusing. We had been on the Star which is a sister ship and still had issues getting from point A to point B for a few days. The service staff was on the whole great except for the bartenders an the Mohito bar which was slow and surly. We didn't make it to any shows so can't comment on those. Not to be snobish but a lot of the crowd did seem like thw circus just arrived in town. I think Norwegian is going to have to stop the free booze program if they want any decent people who are not drunks to cruise with them. They used to be a better value than Royal but I will not cruise with them again for a one week carribean cruise unless somthing changes Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were on the Encore for a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise departing on Feb 16th in accessible room 10886.  Automatic room door was a great help.  My husband in his wheelchair could handle room access unassisted.  The roll-in shower ... Read More
We were on the Encore for a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise departing on Feb 16th in accessible room 10886.  Automatic room door was a great help.  My husband in his wheelchair could handle room access unassisted.  The roll-in shower arrangement was excellent - no water to mop up after showers.  The ramping to the balcony was easy to use because there was no drop off going out the door onto the balcony.  There was enough space to maneuver both his manual day chair and commode wheelchair. As the caregiver, I was disappointed that the only chair in the cabin was an uncomfortable desk chair.  When it was too cool to sit on the balcony, I sat on the bed.  We were disappointed with accessible seating in entertainment venues.  This was quite a surprise given how well our room has been designed for accessibility.  When we attempted to enter The Cavern, his wheelchair got stuck between the two entrance doors.  Seating at the rear of the theater had too high of a blockage for a short person to see the stage.  I was also surprised that the only wheelchair companion seating was a hard plastic folding chair.  For those who can take a few steps, they can park their wheelchair or walker at the top and move to handicapped seating.  Since my husband cannot walk,  theater staff then directed me to go to Customer Service to request access to the wheelchair seating in the front of the theater.  Marina Caparros was very helpful at making access arrangements once we connected with her.  Seating at the front of the theater requires access thru crew areas and when you get to the wheelchair area, there is no reserved handicapped companion seating is marked.  Sometimes these seats were already taken so I had to sit elsewhere.  I felt public entertainment venues  were not welcoming or well planned for wheelchairs.  This is my 16th cruise with a wheelchair.  Never before was it necessary to work with an access coordinator to access public spaces on previous cruises. The entertainment, Choir of Men and Kinky Boots, were well done. Maneuvering the Garden Cafe for someone in a wheelchair was very challenging.  Difficult to find a table with wheelchair access and way to crowded.  Almost had a plate of food dumped on my husband's head by another passenger who didn't see him because of the height of a wheelchair.  So we avoided this whenever possible.   Getting from one end of the ship to the other with a wheelchair took several tries before we found what worked for us.   After one attempt to go from one end of the ship to the other via the pool decks, it became obvious that it is NOT a pathway for wheelchairs.  We had to ask several people to move their chairs out of the pathway so we could get through.  Attempting to go cross ship in cabin hallways resulted in needing to move multiple carts so we could get through.  Because going across the ship on 6-8 was mostly carpeted and difficult to push a wheelchair, when weather permitted, we used the Waterfront to traverse the distance between elevators.  The Waterfront and Observation Lounge  were wonderful.  Automatic doors often required push button activation and activation buttons were not consistently located.  Some automatic doors closed too quickly to enable a wheelchair to pass though.  On sea days the Observation Lounge had several groups of very enthusiastic teens.  More separate space is needed for teens.  With 4600 passengers there was insufficient public spaces on sea days.  I would hate to see what this is like when school is out....    Of all the eating venues, it was much easier to maneuver a wheelchair in Taste and Savor.  Portion size was hard to predict.  Some appetizers were entree size.  Maitre 'D Scott Goes ensured that our dining experience was excellent.  Our primary server, Odessa and her assistant, Alyanna, did an outstanding job.    This is a lovely ship with good food and entertainment.  We wanted to give it a try.  A smaller ship that is less congested works better for us.  Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
NCL Encore is the newest ship currently. NCL has really improved in traffic flow, decreasing congestion, a wide range of activities for all ages. Nightly bars, shows, comedy clubs, entertaining music all occurring at the same time in so ... Read More
NCL Encore is the newest ship currently. NCL has really improved in traffic flow, decreasing congestion, a wide range of activities for all ages. Nightly bars, shows, comedy clubs, entertaining music all occurring at the same time in so many different areas. We stayed on deck 15, close to the observation lounge. We thoroughly enjoyed the food presented at different stations, views, bar etc. Coffee, tea, water was always available. NCL really improved the Garden Cafe. Many different stations well placed to ease traffic flow. You no longer felt like you were a sardine in a can. The Comedy Club had family shows and adult shows. M Simone and Tom were excellent. Kept the audience laughing. My husband is telling their jokes to family amid many laughs. The band Guns and Rojas was very entertaining. They had a wide range of music and knew how to engage the audience. Dining was great. Complimentary and specialty both. The two sit down restaurants with a bar in between served delicious food. And staff would work with you to individualize orders. Q restaurant had outstanding barbecue sides and choices. Cagney’s, Los Lobos , and don’t forget the chicken wings at the Grill. We did several shore excursions. Kevin for St John by Land and Sea was excellent, informative and really talked to the group. Lance the Florida Everglades was superb. Very entertaining, brought a wealth of information, and different objects such as alligators teeth, alligator objects, for us to see and handle. During the Everglades Park part of the tour he stayed with the group providing additional information. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We did this cruise 6 years ago and really enjoyed the islands tour. Our favorite islands when all was said and done are Maui and Kauai. Ship is smaller and being American flagged means the crew gets decent pay and US work rules which ... Read More
We did this cruise 6 years ago and really enjoyed the islands tour. Our favorite islands when all was said and done are Maui and Kauai. Ship is smaller and being American flagged means the crew gets decent pay and US work rules which translates to high morale. Recommend 2 days minimum in Oahu on front end to adjust time zones and relax a bit. You don't have to stay on the crowded Waikki Beach area. Check out the North Shore area for a quieter venue. P of A Complimemtary Food quality B+. The upgrade restaurants were enjoyable. We did the French Jefferson's Bistro (A) and the Brazilian churrasco restaurant (A) which had an impressive salad bar and of course meats in the Texas de Brazil tradition. Most popular option was Cagneys Steak which no longer has a special surf and turf night. Shell fish now just on the menu. If you like to eat early, reservations not always needed but wise on the more popular venues. For our cruise, the first 3 days had more restricted buffet access (no self serve) for virus precautions but that was relaxed back to normal ops for last days of trip. Recommend bring your own coffee for the room machine-- we like the Starbucks powder straws with hot water from machine. CPAP users... you can order distilled water in advance delivered to your room. Bring 2 X 9 foot extension cords. Maui Like the first cruise, we rented a car and rode the shuttle from the pier to the closeby airport to get a car. Bad news....there is now no overnight parking lot across from the pier area if you want to keep the car for day 2. However there are about 6 disability parking spots inside the gate perimeter at the pier so bring your disability parking tag with you as it might enable you get a permit to use those slots during your stay. Kauai Ditto on the rental care but the area around the pier has no overnight parking options period. You need to park at the shopping area a quarter mile from ship for 20.00. With the ship leaving the next day around 2pm we are not sure keeping the car a second day is worth it. Maui Drove up the mountain to the Lavender Farm near Kula-- wife loved it!! Helicopter Tours Have flown on Blue Hawaiian 3 times and the third was on this trip out of Hilo on the "Circle of Fire" tour of the volcano areas. Wife has bad knee and the multi hour drive and walking to the national park was not a player. The air tour was SPECTACULAR and well worth it. Contact Blue Hawaiian direct to take advantage of military discounts! If you have the concentration to watch, you can see the humpback whales from the ship here and there. No spectacular water breaches but water spouts and big tails visible. Lastly, if you have transportation, hit the Costco on Maui or Kauai for a great selection of Hawaiian shirts etc at much better prices than the ship gift shop. Cheap gas for the rental car refills as well. Mahalo and Aloha!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We just returned from a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. It was a very nice ship. I thought the best feature was the steam room in the Thermal Suite. Most steam rooms aren't hot enough but this one was just right. The ship is ... Read More
We just returned from a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. It was a very nice ship. I thought the best feature was the steam room in the Thermal Suite. Most steam rooms aren't hot enough but this one was just right. The ship is very attractive and easy to get around. We thought that breakfast and lunch at the buffet was especially good. There was a large choice of items and despite the large crowds, we were always able to find somewhere to sit even at peak eating times. Our favorite at lunch was the chicken salad. I thought the food at dinner in the dining rooms wasn't quite as good as previous cruises. However, if you can't find something that you like at breakfast, lunch, and dinner I don't think you are looking very hard. The water was too rough to tender in at Great Stirrup Cay which was a disappointment and at Cozumel there were 8 ships docked so we had to fight the crowds. All of the crew were great--especially Joel, our room steward. As on most cruises, we saw a few passengers who were obstreperous which was embarrassing for the passengers who follow the rules and act appropriately. Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. All in all it was a very good cruise and we thought everyone at NCL tried hard to make sure we had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just recently returned from NCL Spirit cruise that was suppose to be 21 days from Rome-Dubai, leaving on Feb. 11. This was changed because the ship was being refurbished and it was not ready. New date Feb. 14. We were not notified until 5 ... Read More
Just recently returned from NCL Spirit cruise that was suppose to be 21 days from Rome-Dubai, leaving on Feb. 11. This was changed because the ship was being refurbished and it was not ready. New date Feb. 14. We were not notified until 5 days before sailing, after we were in route to spend a few days in Rome. Because of this there were 4 ports that were deleted. They offered $300 for flight changes. We had already left so flights was not an issue but they would not offer the money towards hotels if not needed for flights. Which is ridiculous. It took 4 hours to board the ship because they were so unorganized. The ship should have never been able to depart. Toilets around the ship and in cabins did not work. No hot water for days. Flooding in the halls and around elevator, squishy wet carpet everywhere. Terrible smells from carpet glue and other construction. People were sick from the smell. Lights in some cabins never worked. Our cabin door did not lock and close properly. The staff was clearly not trained. No one knew what to do. Lines were huge at customer service desk with no resolve. Took three hours to debark ship at first port because they were so unorganized. We lost half a day in Jerusalem. Took almost two hours to get main entree in dinning room. Finally just ate at buffet. Jets did not work in Jacuzzi's. Games and events around the ship were very poor. They had you carry around a card they signed when you went to the games. After 10 signatures you turned it in for for a bottle opener or deck of cards. Hardly any shopping areas. The shows were very poor except for their dancers which were very good. Said they would give us 25% off cruise and another 25% towards another which I have not seen. I have reached out to them about this but no answer as yet. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Almost a year before the cruise, we started researching what was available to visit countries that were a part of our ancient history. Time in Israel was a primary consideration. The initial 21 day Mediterranean cruise was our choice ... Read More
Almost a year before the cruise, we started researching what was available to visit countries that were a part of our ancient history. Time in Israel was a primary consideration. The initial 21 day Mediterranean cruise was our choice which we booked in February 2019 and booked our air-fare shortly after. And the dollar-coaster ride began. Between February and July there were three price reductions bringing the balcony cabin cost from $188 per night to $140 per night. In September we were advised that the cruise was to be shortened to 20 days and be embarking 2/11 instead of 2/10. Also 2 price reductions bringing the nightly cost to $119. It needs to be mentioned that every time the reservation is rewritten, there is a $100 processing fee payable to the travel agent. In January, the Spirit went in for a 40 day refurbishment. We would be the first to sail on the new Spirit, how exciting! We arrived in Rome on February 5th planning to do some sightseeing before we boarded the ship on February 11th. While we were in the air, NCL sent out a notice to some, but not all passengers on the upcoming cruise that said, because of a dock worker strike, the cruise was being delayed for 4 days and would not leave until February 14? We would also be losing stops in Greece and Limassol. Because of the delay our cruise cost would be reduced by 25%. (The cruise was now 1/4 of what it was initially). There was no assistance offered for the extra cost in hotels, food, flight changes and other ancillary expenses. Embarkation day and no more changes. The shuttle took us to the terminal where the boarding process began. NCL staff was friendly but everyone had a different answer to our requests for wheelchair assistance. Our temperatures were taken, passports traded for room keys and we were on our way. Once onboard, we had lunch in Windows – the main dining room. Wait staff was friendly, professional and fun to talk to. One of our waitresses was from Wuhan China. She told us more than once that she was safe, the significance of her statement did not sink in until later. Lunch was good except french fries were cold – this was an issue throughout the cruise. It appears to be mission impossible to get french fries from the kitchen to the table still hot. For the most part NCL staff were wonderful.. Easy to talk to and very good at their jobs. They would admit to the difficulties of the delay in departure but would only talk about it briefly. I must confess to being uncomfortable about being a “guinea pig” for the refurbishment process. Drains drained slowly, toilets didn’t flush or only flushed partially, some toilets didn’t have toilet seats, handicap restroom doors didn’t open or close properly, stair rails were not attached, there was banging and hammering all night long as the work continued to bring the ship up to par.. The line at customer service was horrible and remained that way for the majority of the trip. Staff that worked the counter were for the most part, attentive and understanding. We had an ongoing issue with a premium beverage package, it took 10 days to finally get it straightened out. As a meet and greet activity for members of our group, we had a Pub Crawl that was a combination of bingo and a poker hand. The Cruise Director and Beverage Manager were great to work with. The Champagne Bar over looks the atrium. Evening entertainment was excellent. Of note was a piano player that played several evenings and he was absolutely wonderful. He had an extensive knowledge of piano classics and it was possible to talk without yelling. But I date myself. The addition of Starbucks was a plus for me, but I miss the towel animals and chocolates that used to be a part of turn down service. Cagney’s Steakhouse and Le Bistro remain my favorites for good food and excellent service. The new Omada was excellent as well. A very nice addition was the certified wine sommeliers. The new color scheme is a modern greys, blues and burgundies. I miss the three color coded carpeting (you knew if you were up front, midship or aft by the color of the carpet), it is all the same color now. I will probably sail with NCL again.although I sincerely hope that I never have to go through the difficulties we faced dealing with the corporate offices and trying to adjust on the fly to the changes we had to work with on this cruise. Despite my disappointment at not being able to visit Greece, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and UAE were all I had hoped for. In addition, the folk on the Cruise Critic blog were the best and the cruise staff is what made the cruise special once we finally boarded. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Our trip was fabulous. We love Norwegian. We prefer the mid size ships of about 2000 people. The elevators are never crowded and the garden cafe is smaller. We got lost so many times in the garden cafe on the Escape and the Breakaway. ... Read More
Our trip was fabulous. We love Norwegian. We prefer the mid size ships of about 2000 people. The elevators are never crowded and the garden cafe is smaller. We got lost so many times in the garden cafe on the Escape and the Breakaway. We also love to sit in the Spinnaker lounge and the bigger ships don’t have this large beautiful view at the top of the ship. It was sorely missed on the Breakaway/Escape. From passing the statue of liberty and. Verranzano bridge to coming into ports. It is a great room for music and dancing. No other room on the ship does what the spinnaker does. The food was excellent. We actually had a very bad night at Cagneys, with a waiter that disappeared for a long time and we think, neglected to put our food orders in. We waited 2 hours for our steaks. We were livid and complained. They satisfied us with more complimentary dinners etc and we subsequently had a very special dinner at Cagney's later in the week with stellar service. All food was wonderful. I could complain about a few dessert brownies and a profiterole that was very dry and hard. All you have to do is order something else! Also this ship had sugar free chocolate ice cream! Helps my diet so much! Service was terrific to stellar. Everyone tried to accommodate us in every way possible. The freestyle dining is a bit of a myth. We like to eat 6:30, 7:00, or the latest 7:30. It was a constant struggle to find a place to eat during our window. We usually make reservations 90 days before the trip so we get what we want. But this time, we were with another couple and our reservations were not all intact when we boarded ship. It took away from our relaxation to have to.be worrying about dinner reservations and have to beg hostesses to allow us to eat earlier. We ate at special restaurants 6 nights out of 10. But the reservations became a big hassle. Down side: Kids allowed unsupervised in hot tubs. They monopolize them. Should be a time limit. Deal or no deal is a rip off. $25. A card for nothing. They make huge amounts of money on bingo. Prizes are not commensurate. Kids are found at adult comedy shows. I sat next to a 13 yr old. No parents with him. Unacceptable. I suggest they add some newer activities. For instance, bands, guitar players are so boring they put you to sleep. We need more rock, dance music . More games like name that tune, jeopardy, wheel of fortune, etc instead of trivia. Our favorite shows on other NCL ships have been Jersey Boys, Rock of Ages, and the Buddy Holly Tribute. Absolutely fabulous! Comedy shows we love too. Especially adult comics. Keep the kids out!! They should get a spray tan salon. I would get a spray tan for a reasonable fee. This is a real money making idea! Also, a chiropractor on board giving adjustments would be helpful. What about glamour shots where someone makes you over before pictures? Last criticism: I am a video poker player in the casino with only 14 poker machines! Terrible. Our casinos in the USA devote at least 30-40% of slot machines to video poker. On this trip there were many VP players all fighting for 14 seats. I lose interest in playing with only 14 machines. We will be back on the Gem in March, our last effort to escape winter in NJ. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This entire cruise was fabulous from start to finish. My husband and I traveled with 38 of our neighbors. It was my 4th cruise on NCL and I’m liking this cruise line more and more. Embarkation was easy and staff was very friendly. We ... Read More
This entire cruise was fabulous from start to finish. My husband and I traveled with 38 of our neighbors. It was my 4th cruise on NCL and I’m liking this cruise line more and more. Embarkation was easy and staff was very friendly. We had to go an extra step and fill in a form regarding the new corona virus but that’s fine by me. We had a balcony cabin on the 12th deck. Our stateroom and balcony seemed to be the same size as the ones we had on the Breakaway and Getaway. Perfect for a cruise! Our cabin stewardess was Maria Lourdes Villaverde who was very personable and kept our cabin spic & span for the duration of our cruise. We requested an extension cord and distilled water as soon as we boarded because my husband and I both have CPAP machines and they were delivered within 15 minutes...that’s outstanding service. We especially liked the fact that the cruise line has installed USB outlets on the lamps above the bed as well as spotlight reading lights! We ate twice in Cagney’s, once in Ocean Blue and once at Teppenyaki. Everything was superbly presented and incredibly delicious. All the other meals were either at Taste, Savor or Manhattan dining rooms. We don’t ever go to the Garden Buffet especially with so many children on board, many of whom enjoy touching the food with their grubby hands! We spent quite a bit of time in the mostly peaceful Observation Lounge reading and chatting with friends because neither of us are sun worshipers! Several times throughout the day a light buffet is set up at various locations in the Observation Lounge with many healthy food choices. We did have a few snacks from that impeccably clean and tidy buffet. Service at the bar there was splendid. Though we did buy the drink package, I don’t think we will in the future because I found that we drank more than we normally do at home just because we had the package! Who needs all those empty calories? All of the entertainment was fantastic with the exception of the Prohibition Show that we paid $35/per person. It truly should have been included as free entertainment. It wasn’t anything special at all and we weren’t the only ones with that opinion. We particularly loved Choir of Man and comedian Warren B. Hall. Kinky Boots was excellent but difficult to understand because they all had thick Cockney British accents. We didn’t go on any excursions as we just did the same itinerary on the Breakaway in November and did some great tours booked thru NCL. Sadly, Cruise #52 came to an end this morning. Disembarkation was very organized and easy — much easier than when we debarked the Breakaway in our New York to Bermuda cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We used Go Puerto Rico. They were waiting for us at the airport with our name on a placard. We stayed in Old San Juan PR the night before we embarked in a small Boutique BNB called 352 Guesthouse run by lovely and helpful people. They ... Read More
We used Go Puerto Rico. They were waiting for us at the airport with our name on a placard. We stayed in Old San Juan PR the night before we embarked in a small Boutique BNB called 352 Guesthouse run by lovely and helpful people. They scored our luggage until we were ready to go to the port. Fantastic service! Great rooftop area. Old town is like an old European city, cobbled narrow street. Colorful building and “protected” by two walled forts. We chose this cruise for the itinerary even after reading the many poor reviews about the staterooms, food, service and ship overall. We were happy we did. The food and service were great. We experienced The Manhattan room, Cagney’s, Le Bistro, La Cucina and Teppanyaki. All the food was great, but exceptional at Le Bistro and Teppanyaki. The service was exceptional except for Cagney’s where we waited in between courses for a long time, making dinner last more than 2 hours. We saw Burn to the floor which was fantastic. Cirque was good. Priscilla was tired and 1/2 an hour too long (Husband says an hour and a half too long!). Believe the other reviews about the balcony rooms (bathroom especially, small etc.) And when you book make sure the couch is near the front otherwise the sink will be at the foot of the bed. The elevators can be slow at times. The pools are small. No outdoor space other than deck 16. The non-reservable shows have very long lines. We were unable to see Howl at the Moon or Beatles because you had to line up long before the shows start. They should be moved to the Theater. We would like to try a different Norwegian ship but would go again on the Epic if the itinerary was as good as this one. Embarkation: Used Go Puerto Rico again for 8 people. EASY-Peazy! our departure time was 9pm. 8 of us arrived about 3:30 to short lines and quick check-in. BONAIRE: we rented golf cart from Bonairecruiser to self-tour the island. Not a typical tropical Island as it is desert. Saw flamingos. ARUBA: we did NCL De Palm Island. All inclusive. Good excursion. BARBADOS: we did on our own. Took a cab ($5 @ person) to the Boatyard on Carlisle Bay. $25 @ person entry gets a welcome drink, lounger, umbrella, boat excursion to snorkel a ship wreck and titles and stingrays. Well worth the entry fee on its own. Plus your cab back to the ship included ST LUCIA: NCL Segway and beach. Very fun. Easy to learn to do even though we’re in our 60’s. Tour on the way to the beach was narrated by Eddo and very informative. Once at the beach we had fresh fruit before heading to swim at Reduit Beach ( a little crowded). ANTIGUA: Lobster lunch and 2 beaches. Lunch was delish! Beaches were okay. Stick to the beer, the rum punch will sneak up on you! Not sure the price was worth it TORTOLA BVI: NCL Virgin Gorda and the Baths. If you haven’t been go. It’s a little crowded but the two snorkel spots we lovely. Keep in mind it is a rough 40 minute boat ride. A few of our group of 8 were seasick. ST. THOMAS USVI: Coral world and Coki Beach. We used SEG-don’t recommend them. The people in charge of it were unorganized to the point I thought we would get there. One hour late departing for Coral world. Coral world it self was interesting. The snorkeling was the best here for seeing fish. Coki beach was crowded though. Debarkation was a breeze. We stayed 3 nights after, at Isla Verde on the beach at The Courtyard. Lovely pool area. Rooms were large and clean. Enjoyed our stay. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Relatively good cruise. It was our longest but it was over before we knew it. The embarkation process was problematic. We had to sit in wheelchair access section and wait to be called. That section was in the direct line of the sun. I ... Read More
Relatively good cruise. It was our longest but it was over before we knew it. The embarkation process was problematic. We had to sit in wheelchair access section and wait to be called. That section was in the direct line of the sun. I was sunburned before I got on the ship. Plus there was a computer problem that shut down the the baggage check just as we stepped up the the conveyor belt. It was a tediously & long (maybe 15 minutes) wait on a cane, after sitting in a hot sun-whipped melting chair before checking in. Waiting on staff with the wheelchair was an additional wait, but access went smooth after we boarded. The Dawn has been refurbished, but still ranked "old" for the wife and I. One of the main reasons is because it only had one U.S./American electrical outlet. Luckily we were smart enough to bring a surge extension that included 4 additional outlets & 3 USB recharge ports. We had a mini-suite on deck 11 (11572). The bathroom toilet area smelled of urine, but we did not alert the cabin steward because we did not want a bleachy and/or air fragrance odor applied. We had some issues with the room safe & had to call for service twice. It was discovered that my code would not work because at least 3-4 numbers on the keypad were not working. No new safes were available nor a technician that could remedy the situation so I just changed my code to include only those numbers that worked. Other than that the cabin was fine. Our cabin steward was Bernard and did did a great job of keeping our cabin clean (beds made, ice delivered daily, linen changed, trash removed promptly, etc.) Food: The main dining rooms were good (Aqua & the Venetian) and we had little trouble with our early dinner or breakfast arrangements. The Garden buffet was okay, but many times the beef & chicken entrees were dry & tough. The other choices were much better (i.e., salads, paninis, pizza, oxtails, fries, mixed roasted vegies, etc.) The loved Bamboo & Los Lobos but got some tough meat mostly beef) was served to us at Moderno. The chicken & filet mignon were exceptional. La Cucina, Le Bistro, O'Sheehans & Cagney's Steakhouse were all good. Entertainment: The Rockaway Duo was top-notch 5-star and we followed them every evening to the Atrium. The sound system was good & the ambiance of the Atrium venue (4- see-thru elevators behind the stage sandwiched in the middle by a 4-tier balcony, surrounded by a 2 level balcony for additional seating & listening enjoyment.) The song choices were mostly country with some R&B oldies mixed in. Unfortunately some evenings slow ballads were sung and that was a bad choice for folks who were generally older and getting tired anyway. We would have liked to listen to the jazz from the house band but they played too late at night. Music performed at poolside was generally good but more variety with reggae & Caribbean music should have been included. The workers: All of the servers, bartenders, customer service staff, room stewards, food servers/cooks & managers were excellent people....very courteous, friendly, easily approachable and ready assist. Our excursion: Since we don't walk that well in uneven areas, stairs & skip the beach scenes we only went on one excursion..in Puerto Rico. The Fiesta Latina which included performances & Latino history from 80-year old open-hand guitar legend Juan Carlos. He & the dancers were fabulous, but we had a few issues beforehand on where we were to meet for the transportation. By the time we figured out where we were to meet we were at the back of the line. No problem! Once we disembarked our air conditioned coach (& after 8-10 unexpected steps leading up & into the venue) we were treated to a tasty cup of sangria & then a great small stage show. Loved it. All in all our 14-day cruise was quite enjoyable. Initially we dreaded that it might be too long, but the time flashed by so fast we were envious of those staying on-board to go out again on the next sailing. We also met some great guests on-board that help make the cruise a bit more colorful. We can't wait to sail again. next year. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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