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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise simply because of the Itinary. Been on many cruises with rcl and po.(why do people insist of asking how many cruises you’ve been on as soon as you start a conversation only to take over the conversation telling you ... Read More
We chose this cruise simply because of the Itinary. Been on many cruises with rcl and po.(why do people insist of asking how many cruises you’ve been on as soon as you start a conversation only to take over the conversation telling you all about THEIR cruises )..... Only room we could get was inside so decided we would try and upgrade on board, so straight to guest services as soon as onboard to be met with signs “cruise fully booked “ Went to room as we left Venice to be met with a thunderous sound in cabin. Phoned guest services they said we will send a supervisor , as I put phone down cabin boy knocked and during our chat said the noise will leave now as we enter open water. As we spoke it stopped ...I phone guest services and cancelled complaint (that was a mistake). All good for a few days then three day in at 6am we were awoken with a crashing and banging noise from next door (store room) phoned gs and ll went quiet after 10 mins.no reply to complaint was sent by phone message or letter to room.. The following morning at 6.15 the thunderous noise started again !! I put bow cam on and noticed that we were going into terminal and that side thrusters were working , phoned gs and complained and they sent a supervisor. He came and said nothing to do with him as he was housekeeping !, what a waste of time !, back to gs and lodged a complaint they said they will look into it and get back to me. Later that day we returned spoke to another person who said well we left you a message yesterday and you never came back to us ??? At this point I asked for the gs supervisor who came and listened as I told her there had been no communication either by phone or letter and that if there had we would not be wasting our holiday time. At this point without explanation as to what happened she offered us a change of room (as there was a medical emergency) $100 added to our account and Chocs and wine in room. We took that and on return to our room to pack there were 2 phone messages asking us to contact gs plus two letters doing the same (covering their backsides I think). Apparently they are were still investigating where the noise comes from !!!! With dozens of highly trained engineers on that ship a two minute phone call would give them the answer they need (side thrusters ) but something tells me they already know what the issue is and realise they should not be letting that room out EVER !!! The rest of cruise was great apart from entertainment which in comparison to other cruises was poor. Oh and if you go to Santorini do not walk up or down to the town from cruise terminal as you’ll experience poor donkeys climbing and descending that steep incline in terrible conditions you’ll also have to avoid them if you walk as they push you up against the wall !!! And ladies don’t wear open toe shoes if you choose to walk, it’s not nice between your toes if you know what I mean........... Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because we always wanted to visit Bermuda. My wife had just completed another Norwegian cruise on the "Sky" to Cuba. The Norwegian Escape is a much larger ship. Too many passengers for the ships facilities - ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we always wanted to visit Bermuda. My wife had just completed another Norwegian cruise on the "Sky" to Cuba. The Norwegian Escape is a much larger ship. Too many passengers for the ships facilities - specifically the pool area(s) and the buffet area and the outdoor bars. I do NOT recommend this cruise or cruise line! The ship had over 4200 passengers and the pool could only hold maybe 50! Add to that, there were signs posted around the pool area ADULTS ONLY. These were routinely ignored by "parents" who let their little ones fill up the two (count them, two) hot tubs. The food , especially at the "Upscale" restaurants was mediocre at best. All side dishes were served cold in temperature. The dining service was terrible. Long long waits (in excess of 20 minutes) between courses. Beyond that there were tons of OUT OF CONTROL kids and teenagers. No cruise personnel did a single thing to correct these problems. I will NEVER cruise on a "Mega Ship" again, especially Norwegian cruise line which has evidently become the "Carnival" of cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, ... Read More
We have cruised on Norwegian Breakaway two years ago, also out of NYC. The ship is almost exactly same layout and same size, but on Escape was much more people. It’s to crowd. We went on this cruise with 6 people. In our opinion, the pool aria is way to small for the size of the ship. We were not happy to get up early in the morning just to be able to save six seats together. About embarkation processes: We are PA residents and we are never experienced so many rude people. They were screaming, cutting of lines, pushing, and embarkation staff was NOT care at all. Regarding the ship staff: Extremely hard workers, it’s obvious. The shows were an outstanding, spectacular. Choir of man is an excellent performance. These guys are hugely talented. “After Midnight” show is also extremely good. The dancing, the singing, the band were amazing. Overall, we had a good experience on this cruse, but NOT grate. Bigger ship it is not always better. It just means more people on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was chosen by my cousin, to celebrate my aunt’s 60th birthday. There was a party of about 12 of us. I looked into it and thought it looked awesome, so we went ahead and booked. We live in NYC, but departed from Miami. We ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by my cousin, to celebrate my aunt’s 60th birthday. There was a party of about 12 of us. I looked into it and thought it looked awesome, so we went ahead and booked. We live in NYC, but departed from Miami. We didn’t explore Miami, as we had vacationed there earlier this year. We flew into West Palm Beach, which I wouldn’t do again, because it was really too far from the part. We flew out of Fort Lauderdale, which was a comfortable distance. I recommend flying directly in and out of Miami if possible, however JetBlue, our favorite airline, does not fly there. Embarkation and disembarkation were seamless. We had two adjacent cabins for my immediate family, which consisted of myself and my husband, then our three year old daughter and my mom. We originally wanted to all stay in the same cabin, but I’m so glad we didn’t, because it definitely would’ve been too tight for four people. There is also only one bathroom in each stateroom. The food in every restaurant was excellent. I enjoyed the vast variety of cuisines, usually for dinner. We mostly spent breakfast and lunch at the main buffet. The ports of call and shore excursions were very nice. We docked in Port Lucaya, Castaway Cay and Freeport, Bahamas. In Freeport we took a guided round trip tour of the island, which began at the Rum Cake Factory and ended at Atlantis. While on the ship, we enjoyed the pool and hot tub. The pool games were cute and I loved how interactive the staff was. There was live entertainment on the deck in the evenings, usually a cover band with a great singer. There were basketball courts and a mini golf area, that looked fun. Plenty for teenagers to do. Our three year old definitely enjoyed herself, and while she’s usually a picky eater, everyday there was something she wanted to try. The white party was probably my favorite party. We danced to a variety of music and there was an after party at a lounge on the ship. I cannot rave enough about the staff on our trip. These people were kind, courteous and genuinely interested in making our trip amazing. I was literally blown away by how hospitable everyone was. Our rooms were spotless everyday and attended to twice a day. All in all I definitely can’t wait to go on another Norwegian Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We were two families of three generations (including grandparents and children) excited to be traveling to Baltic destinations. We stayed in a balcony family cabin (14814) that had a Pullman bed. I had previously sailed twice with ... Read More
We were two families of three generations (including grandparents and children) excited to be traveling to Baltic destinations. We stayed in a balcony family cabin (14814) that had a Pullman bed. I had previously sailed twice with my family on Royal Caribbean with similar accommodation so had an idea of what to expect. Overalll Royal Caribbean was by far more organised, pleasant and enjoyable. Left NCL in its wake. In summary: Good points: Easy booking Easy NCL bus transfer from airport to cruise terminal and cruise terminal to city Centre Loved Million Dollar Quartet Show Loved the Magician show Engaging staff at onboard bars Loved St Petersburg Clean cabin Spacious bathroom Enjoyed the water slides, climbing wall, mini golf and sports deck Bad points: Felt chaotic and overcrowded when first boarding the ship. I wanted to get off as soon as I got on. Absolutely terrible safety briefing- the children and I were crammed into the casino which stank of cigarettes and we couldn’t see anything because of the number of people The actual briefing was relayed in several languages which made the briefing excruciatingly long. RC was out on the deck in small groups and was far less time consuming My daughters Pullman bed was not made until almost midnight on our first night!!! Guest services was located opposite the central atrium which meant that you could not hear a thing the service personnel was saying if there was a band or other entertainment playing. I have excellent hearing and could not hear, so I felt sorry for the elderly people with hearing aides in the queue. Seriously bad location for guest services! The casino was centrally located in the middle of the ship on a middle deck. This meant that you had to walk through it to get to restaurants, bars or other services. As you are allowed to smoke in the casino it was disgusting to smell cigarettes whilst at the nearby noodle restaurant or to have to walk through it with children. RC has the casino at the bottom of the ship and out of the way. On the first day there was a problem with my credit card and when I went to guest services to sort it out I was quickly made aware that I was not the only one with problems. The queue was enormous. People had been waiting in line for hours!!!! Yet again, there was a band playing which made the whole experience frustrating. The queue was there the next two nights!! The free buffet restaurant The Garden Cafe, was nowhere near as good as the Windjammer on RC. The layout was like that of a school canteen with all the food stations located in a rectangular central hub that you walked around. The food was okay but not very exciting. The RC windjammer was more open and visually appealing with tastier food options. Paying 5USD for a bottle of water was absolutely absurd. The smoking area was right near the main swimming pool in the middle of the deck!!!! It was on the same deck as the outdoor seating for the Garden Cafe so on occasion the waft of cigarette smoke would blow towards you whilst eating. Disgusting! You would also have to walk past the smokers to get to the ping pong tables. Smoking on a ship is a health and safety risk. At the very least the smoking station should be away from areas that children and non smokers use. Specialty dining restaurants were not so special. Ocean Blue was the best of the lot. The others were all the same. The poor ship layout, food choices and inferior qualities compared to RC means I would never sail with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Seven days on the Round trip Seattle to Alaska , inside passage! numerous activities for grandchildren, They loved the Go Karts, waterslides, variety of food options. The Haven for us. We loved unlimited bar, 24 hour butler, Private ... Read More
Seven days on the Round trip Seattle to Alaska , inside passage! numerous activities for grandchildren, They loved the Go Karts, waterslides, variety of food options. The Haven for us. We loved unlimited bar, 24 hour butler, Private escort to excursions, embarkation and disembarking. Food.was amazing! Haven restaurant had beautiful presentation and service was impeccable. The kids loved the waffles. We enjoyed eggs Benedict and the smoked salmon frittata. The filet and prawns and lamb at dinner we favorites. Our butler delivered coffee and juice each morning and afternoon tapas. Each day we had a complimentary bottle of champagne. The excursion were well organized and lots of variety. We loved the Skagway Railway, Sled Dog and puppies! Ketchikan we saw a Lumberjack Show outside but undercover with heat lamps. The Saxman Native Village had a dance presentation as well as Totem Pole Craving demonstration. The village have many Totom Poles and our guide explained the history and meaning. In Juneau we went on the Mendenhall Glacier Explorer. Enjoyed the visitor center and great hike with views of the glacier and waterfall.Cruising Glacier Bay for the day was amazing. The ship circled the bay so so everyone had up close views. Glacier Bay Ranger came aboard for informative narrative as well as Junior Ranger Program. In Ketchikan our son and daughter went Ziplining. Challenging with expert instruction.In Victoria my son and I did city sunset tour and Escape Room. The Haven was beyond, beyond! Private dining, pool, bar, lounge,observation deck. Beyond pampering! Loved the spa thermal suite with wave tub and waterfall, snow grotto and steam and salt room. The heated lounges were so relaxing!The men’s facial and shave was excellent! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because I had never been to Alaska and since I’m an NCL Latitudes member I was excited to experience the newest ship in the fleet that was built especially for Alaska. I persuaded a friend who lives in Seattle to go ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had never been to Alaska and since I’m an NCL Latitudes member I was excited to experience the newest ship in the fleet that was built especially for Alaska. I persuaded a friend who lives in Seattle to go with me although she was reluctant as she had only cruised once before, years ago before the stabilizers, and had gotten seasick. I’m not sure she believed me when I told her how smooth it would likely be. Embarkation and disembarkation were an unbelievable breeze….the best I’ve every experienced….NCL has this people moving thing down pat. When we embarked we immediately went to The Local and had lunch. By the time we were done, our bags were at our stateroom door. I very carefully chose our cabin because I knew that the size of the ship and the number of passengers would irritate my friend. It couldn’t have turned out better for us. I chose a Spa Balcony cabin that was directly under the spa so it was not noisy. We were on the same deck as the Observation Lounge and also had our own private balcony. Up one flight of steps and we were in the spa (passes were included in our category) or we could go to the buffet for a quick bite to eat. The Observation Deck also had light breakfast and lunch and an awesome bar. All those venues had great ocean views and with the exception of the buffet, a good amount of privacy. I love the spa and because a limited number of passes are sold, I never had to wait for a heated lounger. Even the Observation Lounge was pretty uncrowded when we were there….usually early in the morning or late at night. We did go to activities in other areas of the ship but the point is, we wouldn’t have had to…..everything we needed and wanted was right on those 2 decks. So for those who don’t like the big ship experience (and I see a lot of those complaints in these reviews) this is what I would recommend. Also, book everything you want to do as soon as NCL will let you….you can always cancel and other cruisers will be happy to fill your slot but there are many things that fill up fast and then you’re probably out of luck. The cabin itself was well laid out (beds by the balcony rather than the closet) and was plenty of room for 2 people, although no one could call it spacious. I can’t imagine having 3 in a room like this although it is advertised to accommodate 3, maybe a couple and a small child. We really enjoyed the beverage package. It was fun to try drinks we’d never had before and I discovered I like White Russians. The first time I ordered it the bartender made it with cream (as it is supposed to be) and it was wonderful but every subsequent bartender told me they only had milk. So I’d go to the coffee bar and get half and half and hand it to them. I don’t think I was very popular with the bartenders…lol. Anyway I would suggest that NCL make cream available behind all the bars. Never had a problem getting a bartenders attention or a drink in a timely manner. The dining package was fabulous too. We did Cagney’s, Teppanyaki, and La Cucina. The food was fantastic in all of them. One small complaint about Teppanyaki is I think they sit too many people at a table. We were the last to arrive for our table and I was seated on the end by a woman who was left handed. I didn’t notice until we were well into the meal or I would have requested a change of seating because her elbow was in my space the entire meal. We only did 2 shore excursions, the rail trip in Skagway and the Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan. They were OK. I wished I had done something where we could see wildlife. I had thought we would see some in Glacier Bay but we didn’t. My fault for not doing more research. We did see a lot of humpback whales though and I was surprised that they came so close to the ship. They would breach and blow through their blowholes….quite an experience….I had only ever seen orcas before. The only difficulty we had on this cruise was when we were in Glacier Bay. They had park rangers come on the boat and talk about the glaciers. They said if you go outside you can hear the glaciers, especially if they are calving. We went out on the balcony to listen and enjoy the serenity only to find that one of the ship’s photographers was 3 decks below us, taking pictures and yelling at his subjects to get them in certain poses and reactions. I called guest services to complain and have him stop. Unfortunately I had to make 3 calls before it stopped and then we think they only moved him to the other side of the ship but we were glad to no longer have him disrupting our enjoyment. Management sent us some sweet treats to apologize and we were happy again. All in all a great cruise and I am doing this ship again in October on the Mexican Riviera. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise and this ship were, all-around, an excellent experience. Friendly and helpful crew, top notch entertainment, excellent food and food venues!! Smaller ship with many passengers so it was full of energy and crowded at ... Read More
This cruise and this ship were, all-around, an excellent experience. Friendly and helpful crew, top notch entertainment, excellent food and food venues!! Smaller ship with many passengers so it was full of energy and crowded at times,but, never-the- less, a relaxing vacation where you could set your own pace and schedule. Beautiful decor throughout the ship, easy to access all areas and easy to learn the lay-out in a very short time. Specialty restaurants were wonderful with masterfully prepared food that was just the right size portion. We can say enough to praise the pastry chefs on this ship. Every day different creations were delicious, as were all entrees. The view of the sunsets and sunrises from our cabin balcony was breathtaking at time. Organization of debarkation for Castaway Cay was poorly done with poor oversight in the lobby area (Atrium) so confusion reigned! However, this is the only negative I can say about this cruise. For the first time cruisers that we were, it introduced us in a wonderful manner to cruising....we will most probably return in the future! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We originally were booked for the Cuba cruise but that was changed and everyone knows that story. So our destination was truly the ship and it’s amenities because we live in Florida and know Freeport and Nassau like the back of our hand. ... Read More
We originally were booked for the Cuba cruise but that was changed and everyone knows that story. So our destination was truly the ship and it’s amenities because we live in Florida and know Freeport and Nassau like the back of our hand. So we were booked in the Owners Suite number 9201. This comes with a butler and concierge. I’ve been booked in the Captains Suite on the Carnival Conquest and Victory and they are spacious with two bathrooms. However, the service on the Sky was far superior to the Carnival ships. Our butler’s name was Navi and our Concierge’s name was Orlando. Whatever we wanted or needed it was taken care of. Now to the refit of the ship, it looked brand new. They upgraded everything so nothing looked tired or old school. We ate breakfast and lunch at Cagneys every day which was part of our suite package. Great breakfast and lunch. One night we ate at the Palace which was a big mistake because it took forever for our food to come. But with that said, the food was good. We did room service one night and that was fast and good. And on our last night we ate at La Cucina’s which was quite good too. But I would rate Cagneys as the best. Never ate at the buffet so I can’t rate that. We had a hot tub on our balcony. We turned it into a cool tub because it was too hot to use as a hot tub. The two bathrooms were amazing as was the suite. I can’t say enough good things about the Sky and the people aboard her. Also did pretty darn good in casino. So I booked her for next year at this time of the year only changed one thing and that was the suite. Someone on the CC boards told me that Suite 8201 was better than 9201 so I’m booked 8201 next year. A wonderful experience, thank you NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise as a family cruise. My self, wife , son, 2 grandkids and my 92 tear old mother. Cabin: Our cabin was 9545 and is the worst cabin by far that I have had on any cruise. Your could here the toilet flush in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a family cruise. My self, wife , son, 2 grandkids and my 92 tear old mother. Cabin: Our cabin was 9545 and is the worst cabin by far that I have had on any cruise. Your could here the toilet flush in the rooms around us. I don't know if there was a crew walk way, the other side of the wall at the back of the stateroom, Often through out the night we would get a loud rumbling sound that sounded like a loud clap of thunder. The hose to our shower was leaking where it was connected to the shower head. Cabin steward was notified the second day of the cruise. It was still leaking at the end of the cruise. Room was clean and made up good everyday. Dinning: Main dinning Hall: We had 2 dinner and a breakfast in the main dinning hall. The breakfast was wonderful. Eggs, waffles hash browns and corn beef hash. First dinner nothing memorable. I can't even remember what I had. The second meal I had seafood pasta. I didn't finish the dish. Chin Chin was nothing=g more than the middle of the road Chinese. I had the Orange Beef. Buffet: We had most meals their. The menu pretty much didn't change. I know the mixed berries were not fresh but frozen. I had chunks that hadn't thawed yet in my dish. I suspect that the pastries were frozen also. Over all just buffet food. I have been on 3 Royal Caribbean cruises, 2 Carnival cruises and 2 American Steamship cruises and the food by far would rank at the bottom. Crew: The crew was very friendly and extremely helpful to us. Especially my 92 year old mother. Entertainment and Activities: We did not attend the Stardust shows but the entertainment in the bars was real good. As far as activities go, I felt they were lacking on sea days compared to past cruises. Shore excursions: We went on 2 and they were both great. Juneau we went on one of the mushing trips. It was very interesting and the scenery was beautiful. Skagway we booked the railroad and gold panning excursion. It was well worth the price. Cruise was northbound July 15 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined ... Read More
We did the Norwegian Epic cruise out of Barcelona, Spain on July 14 - July 21, 2019. To be honest, I was very apprehensive about the cruise after reading so many negative reviews on cruise critic BUT it was WONDERFUL!!! In fact, I joined cruise critics roll call and was able to gain a lot of insight from other travelers on what to do and things that others had learned. We are avid cruisers and Disney is one of our favorite cruise lines but we decided to do Norwegian because of the price. I will attempt to give an overview. We boarded in Barcelona. We took a cab from the airport to the port. It was a fixed price of 36 or 39 euros. Check in was so smooth and fast! I did the on-line check in prior to us leaving and it was one of the fastest check-ins that I have experienced. The ship was very well maintained. I did not see dirty or stained areas. We were on floor 8 in a balcony cabin. I did not care for the lay out of the room but we only got ready and slept in the room. There were 3 of us in our cabin. I did not like the frosted shower-like doors for the toilet area but we lived with it. Once again, we just got ready and slept in the room. The dining was amazing. We had 3 free specialty dinings (for the first 2 of us) and we paid for my daughter. We ate at La Cucina, Le Bistro, and Cagney's. The food and service was superb. This was our first time to ever do any extra charge restaurants because I think you already have so much on a cruise, but since it was free, we tried it. I will say we loved it!! You felt so special, at ease and relaxed and knew you had one-on-one service. BUT, there free dining is also amazing. There is such a variety of foods. The buffet had a different them each night. (Mexican, Mediterranean, Grilled, Italian and I don't remember the others.) Also, there was a person making fresh, made to order crepes at the buffet. That may have been all nights but I used it Tuesday - Thursday for sure. Everyone in the dining rooms and dining areas were very attentive. The dining rooms and buffet areas were beautiful. They all had windows where you could look out and view the water. The front dining room at The Garden Cafe buffet was beautiful and all windows. LOVELY VIEWS!! The food reminded me of when we first started cruising 20+ years ago and that was what you looked forward to. I cannot give an honest opinion of the activities because we were off the ship each day in port and by the time we came back, got ready, and ate, we were ready to crash for the night. We did go to Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, but left. I knew it would have drag queens but there were too many other things that I felt were inappropriate and were not for me nor my family. We did see a comedian and he was funny but they really needed to use a larger venue because we were packed into one of the areas and there was standing room only. We missed Burn the Floor and we choose not to do Cirque Dreams because we did not want to pay for a show. We saw the Beatles Mania show and it was enjoyable. Our cabin steward was very nice and always checking on us. He checked with us each day to see if everything was OK and if there was anything that we needed. I did want extra blankets and when we got back to the room, they were on our bed. Everyone on the ship, from guest services to the gift shops, seemed pleasant and friendly. I know some people asked about laundry and ironing of clothes. They have a laundry service on the boat but of course it is high. On Wednesday, there was a flyer in the room that advertised that you could fill a bag with clothes and they would be washed and returned to you by Friday. The cost was $19.95. We did fill a bag with our underclothes and tshirts and they were washed and back in the room by Friday evening--all for $19.95 You do have to write the special or promotion on the bag of laundry in order to receive it. I will try to give a run down of what we did each day. We did not book any excursions through Norwegian. We used outside tour companies that were less expensive and fewer people. I gave them a poor on shore excursions because of the prices. I learned this a few years ago when we did a cruise around the Greek Isles. Day 1, we embarked on Sunday in Barcelona and Day 2, Monday was a day at sea. Thank goodness for that!! We were exhausted after our flight from the US. We slept in and just roamed around a little on Monday. Every other day, you are at a port. The day of rest helped us--- I don't know if I could have gotten on in Civitavecchia and then had to do ports with no rest, if I could have made it! Day 3 - Tuesday was Naples Italy. We used Italy Tours and booked Pompeii, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast. There were 14 people in our van and it was wonderful. Our driver met us at the port, we loaded into the van and started our tour. We got back to Naples about 1 1/2 hours before we had to be on board, so there was time to go into Naples if you wanted. Day 4 - Civitavecchia (Rome)--We did not book a tour because we visited Rome for several days in 2016 so we did our own thing. We got off the ship and there were many people at the port where you could book tours or take a bus to Rome. We got on one of the Smart Tours buses and once the bus was full, they brought you to Rome. You were dropped off at a point near the Vatican and then they gave you a time to be back and the bus picked you back up at the same spot and brought you back to Civitavecchia to board the ship. The cost was 23 or 25 euros per person and you had to pay cash. They did not accept credit cards. When we got on the bus, it was almost full so we only had to sit about 15 minutes before leaving. From what I heard, some people sat on the bus almost 1 hour waiting for others to get off the ship and board. You may want to keep that in mind. Italy Tours had some small group tours for Rome but since we had spent several days here a few years ago, we just walked and revisited some of our favorite things and took our own tour. :) We stayed far away from the Vatican that day because it was Wednesday and the Pope was doing mass so it was VERY CROWDED. Make sure to get gelato. This will help cool you off and Rome gelato is so very good. Day 5 - Livorno - We did a small group tour with Italy Tours. There were 7 of us in our group plus the driver. We did the tour called the Best of Florence and Pisa. Our driver met us at the small port (it was very easy to find him) and we went to Pisa first and then to Florence. We got to Pisa by 8:15 and the first group allowed to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa is not until 9:00 so we were able to get our tickets and be in the first group to climb the tower. Walking and viewing the grounds was great! It was a highlight for us to be able to climb to the top of the tower. After doing this, I would suggest being in the beginning groups. The lines get longer as the day goes on and it gets HOTTER!! Also, you could not bring any bags in the tower. You had to lock purses and backpacks up in a secure area before climbing the tower. We then went to Florence and met up with a guide and were put with some other group for this guide. Florence was beautiful and even with the other group, we were still only 15 and our guide. Our tour company offered to add the skip the line tickets, which we purchased, and went to the academia to see the original David. The additional group of people that we joined up with in Florence did have an elderly lady who had trouble walking and keeping up and those persons eventually left the tour and said they would go on their own. Florence is an amazing city--the bridge with the shops on it is just amazing. Day 6 - Cannes - We did not do a tour with an outside company (but if you start early enough, you should be able to). You have to tender into Cannes. Make sure to book your tender early and don't waste 1/2 day on the ship waiting to catch a tender to get off. Once in Cannes, we went to Monaco. You can take a train from Cannes to Monaco and it is about a 50 minute ride. If you decide to do this on your own, here are a few tips that we learned the hard way! :) To get to the train station, once you walk out of the port area and get to the main road, take a right. When you get to the Cannes tourism office (it is a big mirrored building on the right), take a left onto the street that is across from the tourism office. You will walk several blocks down that road and then you will see the train/bus station. If in doubt, ASK. Once inside, DO NOT try to use the kiosk to buy your own tickets. Go in the station and go to the ticket office to the left (it is inside more glass doors and it has a working AC). Once inside, pull a number ticket and wait for your number to come up and then ask the agent to help you buy a ticket to Monaco. It was 36 euros for all 3 of us. BEFORE you board the train to Monaco/Nice, make sure you find the yellow VALIDATION machine and validate your ticket. I think you get in major trouble if you do not validate your ticket before boarding. If you don't see a machine, ask someone where to validate the ticket and they will show you. Take the train to Monaco and then follow the signs (brown, historical) to the palace. There are lots of things to see and quaint little shops near that area. We did not go to the casino but that is also available. When you are ready to leave Monaco, you can get off the train in Nice on the way back to Cannes and do some wandering there. We did not do this because we lost time trying to find the train station and getting the wrong kind of ticket and having to switch out. If you have plenty of time, others say this is wonderful to do. We spent all of our time looking around Monaco and then we were having to sprint to make it back to the ship!! Day 7 - Palma De Mallorca - To be honest, when we booked this trip, I had never even heard of this place. I was thinking in my mind that we would probably be so tired from our other tours and adventures, we could just stay on the ship. DON'T STAY ON THE SHIP!!! This place is beautiful. It is the largest island in all of Spain. Once again, we did not book any tour. There are shuttle buses that take you from the port to the town center. BOOK YOUR SHUTTLE RIDE BEFORE SATURDAY MORNING. The shuttle ride from the ship to town is $15 per person. Book your shuttle Thursday night or Friday. If not, you will spend a long time in line on Saturday morning to buy a shuttle ticket. For those who do book their shuttle ticket prior to Saturday morning--when you get off the ship and you see a LONG line of people that look like they are waiting to get on a shuttle, do not go to the end of the line and get in line. These are the people who are waiting to purchase their shuttle ride. Let someone know that you already purchased your shuttle ticket, and they will tell you to go straight to the shuttle bus. Meaning, you will by-pass this long line of people who did not pre-purchase. Once you ride the shuttle, it will bring you into town near the church. There is a hop-on hop off bus tour you can buy here that will bring you around the entire island. I think the HOHO bus tour was 18 euros per person. This island has many sights to see and some amazing shopping. It is beautiful and I think it would be a great place to visit on a future vacation. Once again, this was an AMAZING CRUISE, with amazing food and ports of call. For all of those who are concerned because of the negative reviews, my advice would be to ignore them and go expecting a great time and have an awesome vacation. We loved it and will definitely be trying more Norwegian cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of ... Read More
We flew from Sydney, Australia, to visit the Baltic region for the first time. We have cruised once before on NCL (Rome to Spain round-trip). We choose NCL usually because it offers a variety of entertainment and similar standard of service that we like. We would be happy to travel again on this ship. Here are some observations. DINING Good: Variety of dining options. O'sheehans is often a favourite. We had 4 additional choices as part of our package. Le Bistro, Cagneys and Moderno are always winners (usually an add on). Needs tweaking: The garden cafe is good for all but close table seating made it difficult to move around when necessary. This can be managed by choosing to dine in Savor or Taste restaurants. Sometimes in the garden cafe, there were dishes that were cold by the time you sat down to eat at the table. For example, scrambled eggs, meat dishes that are meant to be hot, and Indian dishes. I imagine that could cause food to be wasted. I prefer hot food to be eaten at that same temperature. Specialty restaurants did not have this problem. Service: All good during our stay and in all areas of the ship. Entertainment: We love listening to live music. The Syd Norman Pour House had a band with a variety of vocalists that really worked hard to sing and engage the crowd. Definitely a winner for me to sing along with 70,80,90's music. The venue was often crowded. Burn the floor was a good show too. Any longer would have been repetitive. Their energy is amazing. Ancora was an opera/classical group of 4 that were simply fantastic. The range and quality of their voices was breathtaking. I didn't go to see the Cirque show. The additional cost was not the issue. I'm just not into the circus theme. There were other entertainment options too. I liked the interactive games on level 6 that engaged the audience. Nothing complicated, but amusing Room: We had a mini suite on deck 9 forward. While close to level 8 entertainment venue, we slept soundly. Fixtures and fittings are beginning to show some signs of age but, this did not impact on our comfort. Recommendations: Based on personal preference. More ping pong tables so that adults can play, not just the kids. Maybe more area in the gym for stretching, cooling etc in peak time. Also, a big thank you to Mario who was helpful in meeting the needs of the Cruise critic team when docking in Russia. Thanks to Tammy and Patrick (friendly cruise critic cruisers) too. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Well my daughter and son booked the cruise months ago. My husband booked it for us a week before he passed away! My children & doctor thought it would be good for me to go and he would want me too! well everyone was right it was good ... Read More
Well my daughter and son booked the cruise months ago. My husband booked it for us a week before he passed away! My children & doctor thought it would be good for me to go and he would want me too! well everyone was right it was good for me. I felt he was there with us! I asked my sister to go with me, so she was my new roommate! I enjoyed watching my grandchildren at the pool going down the slide, the shows were awesome, the newly wed game, deal of no deal, the restaurants very good! So many choices, the food excellent! I took my two granddaughters to the spa and had there hair braided! And we tried out the casino too! I can't say enough about the staff! our steward manuel was wonderful, taking care of our room, making cute towel animals and if you needed anything he would get it. Diana in the buffet very helpful, always offering to carry are food to the table. And you have the best cruise director in luz and assistant joey! I could go on and on! We also saw one of my granddaughters swim with the dolphins. Then my sister and i did a bus tour of the island of bermuda! I had flown there with my husband in the past. So all and all a great vacation i was relaxed. A much needed one. I would recommend a cruise to anyone! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the Jewel to Alaska for several reasons. Entertainment, good food, Alaskan ports to visit, and the NCL family. Entertainment on the ship is always available. Our favorite venue is the Stardust evening shows. The cruise ... Read More
We chose the Jewel to Alaska for several reasons. Entertainment, good food, Alaskan ports to visit, and the NCL family. Entertainment on the ship is always available. Our favorite venue is the Stardust evening shows. The cruise performers put on three outstanding shows. The first was Velvet, a music and dance production with many costume changes and a fantastic light show set to the music. The second was a collection of songs and dances. It also had the wonderful voices, lights, dancing, along with the stage band. The last performance showcased the acrobatic abilities of the cast. Amazing!!! Other nightly shows included a very funny comedian with a late night bonus. He could really work the crowd. There was a Russian couple that performed feats of strength and balance, as well as aerials. Good food was found everywhere. Our favorite was the Garden Cafe. Rowen Luna, an assistant chef, was at a carving station. His salmon was the best on the ship, and I tried a couple different salmon dishes. He always greeted us and wished us an enjoyable cruise. He also took the time to explain how the meats were prepared in the big ovens. His roast suckling pig was a work of art and flavor. Of course, NCL strives to make everyone feel welcome and part of their family. That is the main reason we prefer NCL over the other cruise lines. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This is our second cruise with Norwegian and we will use them again, Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. This ship was updated and quite nice. Our cabin on deck 10 was great. Housekeeping was always pleasant and friendly. All ... Read More
This is our second cruise with Norwegian and we will use them again, Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. This ship was updated and quite nice. Our cabin on deck 10 was great. Housekeeping was always pleasant and friendly. All cruise staff appeared happy and friendly. Dining was excellent. All the restaurants we tried were great. Our favourite was LaBistro. Elegant. The entertainment was great for the most part. We Thoroughly enjoyed the dancers and aerialists. The destinations were beautiful. Each place had its own unique flair; for spectacular blues, stark whites, dark greens, breathtaking beaches etc. You need to watch as the ship goes through the fiords to Montenegro. Shore excursions were well worth it. We saw more locations the we would have on our own. Be careful of hop on hop off cruise excursion in Venice. The ship docks later there so we didn’t get to go to many of the stops because the hop on hop off ends too soon from when the ship docks. Overall I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was chosen because we were traveling with another couple. We have only been on one other cruise (Royal Caribbean) but I would have to say it was only average. Royal Caribbean has better food and excursions. The food was ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because we were traveling with another couple. We have only been on one other cruise (Royal Caribbean) but I would have to say it was only average. Royal Caribbean has better food and excursions. The food was somewhat disappointing in quality, desserts especially. The employees were mostly very friendly and helpful.We did have frustrating problems with the internet and texting on the app.Texting cost $10 per person and was not worth it because it did not work well. I spent too much of my vacation in the guest services line for help with problems. The entertainment on board was excellent! Jersey Boys was the best, Also saw Havana! and Beatles tribute band. Even the various singers throughout the ship were really good. Be prepared to use the stairs due to elevators always full. Excursions were disappointing except for the train ride in Skagway. Don't miss it! Cabin with balcony was not worth the extra cost. Getting on and off the ship went fairly smooth. Some of the activities were not planned well for seating of passengers. Norwegian is just average. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Omg the 1st time I ever went on a cruise and it was amazing the cruise director was amazing my housekeeper was Amazing as well the boat was fun and exciting and the ports was easy to get off and on. I love trying new experience and ... Read More
Omg the 1st time I ever went on a cruise and it was amazing the cruise director was amazing my housekeeper was Amazing as well the boat was fun and exciting and the ports was easy to get off and on. I love trying new experience and I'm glad I did it with norwegian. Already set my 2nd cruise. The entertainment was amazing as well. The bingo was good too a lil expensive but it was fun. I enjoyed everything on this ship and I recommend this to anyone trying to experience their 1st time cruise. It's the best and I was a judge for the sexy man legs. It was super fun. The director kept us busy at all times. The magic show was a plus. My family and I truly enjoyed the private island that we ported at. The water was blue and the sand was white. U could swim with the pigs imagine that.the ports was easy to get to. The shopping is amazing but be careful and don't get duped my the locals they are a little dishonest I saw when they was charging people 2 dollars to use the public bathroom and they like to over charge so be careful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The NCL Pride of America is the only American based ship that stops on four Hawaiian islands, without a stop out of the country, ie, a Polynesian Island. This means the ship has different "rules". There is no casino, the drink ... Read More
The NCL Pride of America is the only American based ship that stops on four Hawaiian islands, without a stop out of the country, ie, a Polynesian Island. This means the ship has different "rules". There is no casino, the drink packages are overpriced, everything has a service charge, it is an all American crew, and all American chefs. The cruise departs from Honolulu and stops in Maui for two days, Hilo, Kona, Kauai for two days and then back to Honolulu. For reference, the cruise cost us $7,100 for two people. If you did what we did with a land only trip, you would spend close to $13,000 without airfare. If you go into the cruise being aware of its deficiencies, then it's easier to look past them and enjoy the trip. The port in Honolulu is clean and was easy to navigate. Took an Uber to the port, dropped us off right at door. We used a porter to get our bags to security and waited in a small line to get on the ship. I think going later in the day, after 3pm helped with the lines and time for embarkation. Debarkation was a little less organized as a lines formed on the sixth deck to get off the trip. Took about 30-45 minutes. The ship as a whole is old and run down. It needs a lot of updating. Due to the fact that this cruise is routinely sold out, it seems NCL doesn't think it's necessary to update the ship. There are two dining rooms, a buffet, a 24-hour diner and five specialty restaurants. All were mediocre, except Cagney's Steakhouse. That was by far the best meal of the trip. All the stops were fine. We recommend renting your own car and doing things on your own. The costs of the excursions is high. We also recommend finding your own Luau. The one run by the ship ran our of food according to reports and was drawn out. Finally, keep an eye on your bill. They nickel and dime you for everything on that ship, including 29$ for an umbrella and 5$ for a poncho. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My cousin's wife picked the tour because of the itinerary. We have traveled Norwegian many, many times and always had a good experience. We are senior citizens and felt that due to the size of the ship we missed a lot of things. VERY ... Read More
My cousin's wife picked the tour because of the itinerary. We have traveled Norwegian many, many times and always had a good experience. We are senior citizens and felt that due to the size of the ship we missed a lot of things. VERY long lines, reservations for entertainment venues, LONG tracks up and down the docks to load. These were things we should have expected due to the huge size of this boat. Dining with all of the choices was very, very nice and we enjoyed all of the food that we were served. Our excursions were booked with Cruise Critic folks and we REALLY did like meeting the folks on these trips. The entertainment that we were able to see was generally good. We felt much lack of dancing venues and any subdued piano, etc. was very, very hard to find. The lines at customer service, excursions and anything else you really needed tended to run into half hour/hour waits and that was just not good. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was on my bucket list, with Panama canal, & a friend was interested enough to come with me. We arrived in Vancouver the evening before embarkation & overnighted in an airport hotel, as it was Canada Day we started ... Read More
This cruise was on my bucket list, with Panama canal, & a friend was interested enough to come with me. We arrived in Vancouver the evening before embarkation & overnighted in an airport hotel, as it was Canada Day we started off for the port quite early, utilising the train service to get there. The streets around the port were crowded, but there were lots of people giving directions & we quickly found where to drop off our luggage. We were pretty early for our check in slot, so we made the most of the carnival atmosphere, sporting flags & temporary (we hoped) maple leaf tattoos. Once it was time to check in we proceeded to the hall, which is where it all went a little awry. As UK passport holders we were directed to a separate queue, this was smaller than the main queue, but it appeared there was only 1 (or possible 2) counters serving us compared to a dozen or so for the main, it moved incredible slowly. Then suddenly they started sending people to all different desks & things sped up, when we got to a desk the woman asked us how long we'd been there & seemed shocked at our response, considering we were processed in less than 5 minutes, I really don't know why it all took so long & can't really understand the logic in the separation to begin with. Anyway, after that we were quite soon aboard. We decided to check if the luggage had been delivered, it had, put in the cabin, take a quick look around, then go for our 1st cocktail of the cruise & a bite to eat. Our steward was often about when we were in the corridor & was always polite & friendly, tho I'm not sure he always understood what my friend was going on about, the room was always tidy & supplies stocked up. I found nearly all the officers & crew very polite & friendly, (there was 1 guy in one of the bars who always looked a bit fed up, but maybe that was just his face), the staff in the MDRs often had a quick chat, as Europeans I think we tended to eat later than a lot of the Americans, so it wasn't as busy as earlier in the evening, & the staff in the bar we mostly frequented realised quite quickly we didn't want 1/2 an iceberg in our drinks. We only used the included restaurants, mostly Azura & Tsar, we tried O'Sheenehan for lunch one day & one evening Chin Chin, the only one to disappoint. We didn't feel the need to go to the specialist places, also my friend is a mostly vegetarian (adding fish for this holiday). We did 2 excursions via NCL & 2 with another company, plus some independently. The NCL were in Ketchican, we went to the Rainforest Sanctuary & Alaska Raptor centre, we didn't see any wildlife, a matter of luck as the group 5-10 mins behind us saw 3 bears, but it was a very informative walk thro the Tongass forest with a naturalist & at the Raptor centre we had a flight demonstration and got pretty close to a large female bald eagle, the centre cares for & rehabilitates injured, but keep some which would be unable to survive in the wild. We also did a duck tour, something I've always planned to do on the Thames, which was fun. In Juneau we did a whale watching tour on a small boat with marine biologist & another naturalist, we saw several whales including a mother & calf, plus a sealion fighting off several gulls who were trying to steal it's salmon. We also went out to Mendenhall glacier & walked the path to Nugget Falls. Our last excursion was in Skagway where we did a coach trip up thro the Canadian border to Yukon, stopping at various interesting spots, a quite relaxing trip. The only shows we didn't attend were the comedian, I find them in general very polarising, but thought all the others very good. The best was undoubtedly Le Circe Bijou, although I also really enjoyed the couple who did the dancing/acrobatic show, but I overheard a woman who thought it was rubbish, horses for courses I suppose. All in all we had a very enjoyable week on board NCL Jewel, I hadn't known what to expect, all my previous cruises having been on European lines, but I would certainly travel with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Chose NCL for Activities to entertain a 13 year old boy, amenities for two 80 year olds. Destination to beautiful Bermuda. The ship was at capacity; much too crowded for our party of 5. LONG lines on all kid friendly activities. Most ... Read More
Chose NCL for Activities to entertain a 13 year old boy, amenities for two 80 year olds. Destination to beautiful Bermuda. The ship was at capacity; much too crowded for our party of 5. LONG lines on all kid friendly activities. Most shows sold out. Specialty dining reservations extremely difficult to make. Childrens pool too small and too crowded. Would suggest including a tween/teen pool, or allowing tween/teen time in adult pool. The ship lack the ability to accommodate so many travelers. Guest services staff not empowered to solve issues; simply offer smiles, apologize and re-iterate that the experience was fully booked. Long lines at guest services. Long waits at elevators. Bars not adequately staffed. Staff told us several times the ship was crowded and sailing at capacity. 13 year old spent more time in cabin reading than opting to wait to participate in activites. He did not consider his time on board as fun/vacation. We LOVED our dining experience at Manhattan Room, Moderno and Cagneys; Cagneys and Moderno not our first choice. First choice Tapenyaki, sold out. Beyamo sold out. Beverly at Tapenyaki most helpful representative. LaCucina, noisy, average food, hair found in sons pizza. Eddie our steward, Excellent. Excellent experience with K & S watersports...parasailing excursion on land not available thru NCL. Also beach day at Elbow beach, booked through resortforaday. Snorkeling Catamaran excursion booked thru NCL, thoroughy enjoyed by all. Information before cruise not forthcoming unless we called. Couldn't book dining for 5. yet on board, couldn't reserve dining for less than 8. Many opportunities and emails received to spend more money for upgrade. Onboard WIFI minutes not explained. We thought we'd be able to talk among our five travellers. This requires a $10/day/person fee. On board bowling, $6 per game. Gaming pass for the week....$170. All onboard charges applied to credit card....if paid with a travellers check would result in waiting on a line to "cash out" at the end of our trip. Disembarking goes quickly....a problem if you have a car service reserved to get you. Needed to leave cabin at 8:30am; yet our disembarking time 9:45am. We were told to plan luggage would be available 10:30. It was available at 9:15. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
It was for our Son & Daughter-In-Laws 30th Anniversary. We went with them and our Daughter and Son-In-Law, so there were 6 of us to celebrate. Our cruise started out with our Daughter-In-Law volunteering us for the married over 50 ... Read More
It was for our Son & Daughter-In-Laws 30th Anniversary. We went with them and our Daughter and Son-In-Law, so there were 6 of us to celebrate. Our cruise started out with our Daughter-In-Law volunteering us for the married over 50 year couple at the Not So Newlywed Game. It was fun to do it with the love and support from our married children. From that moment on we were referred to The Campers by anyone who was at the show, we could not get on or off an elevator without a funny comment. It made the whole week fun. The food was delicious and there were plenty of choices, I was disappointed that escargot, filet mignon, and lobster tails were not offered. We had the creme brulee after one dinner but it was not offered again, it is one of our favorites and it was delicious. We enjoyed the selection at the Garden Cafe, it was always stocked with fresh food, clean and neat. The personnel were friendly, helpful and nice. We also went to the Grand Pacific on embarkation day but did not go back as our stateroom was forward and it was a long walk. We enjoyed our dinner at the Orchid Garden, the food was also very good. Our favorite's were mid ship at O'Sheehan's and Magenta. Less crowded, always friendly and the service was wonderful. O"Sheehan's was a relaxing place to hang out for the shows in the atrium or just sit by a window to watch the ocean go by. Or just sit on our balcony and relax. We had a really good time with our family on this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I did a B2B 6/17 to 7/1/19 because it was cheaper than one week if you consider how much more it was for the one way airfare to Vancouver and from Seward over the roundtrip to Vancouver. I don't know how much faith you can put into ... Read More
I did a B2B 6/17 to 7/1/19 because it was cheaper than one week if you consider how much more it was for the one way airfare to Vancouver and from Seward over the roundtrip to Vancouver. I don't know how much faith you can put into my review because these were my 10th and 11th cruise and I have enjoyed them all. Some were better than others but I had a good time on each one. The Jewel is my new favorite ship. It was cleaner and neater than most I have been on and I love the buffet layout. The buffet has 5 islands rather than long lines. If there is a line at the carving station, you can move to the other entrees and circle back later. I never had more than 3 people ahead of me for any item. Usually I had open access to the item I wanted. Part of what made this a great cruise is the Solo program. We had a great group and there were several of us doing a B2B. The solo hosts Raphael and Queena did a great job too. The Captain got us in close to the glaciers and seemed to do his best to make sure we got to see the sights. We had very good weather too, which didn't hurt. I saw the General Manager pick abandoned drink cups off the deck while wearing his dress uniform. This dedication to cleanliness and detail carries over to the crew too. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. ... Read More
We booked a Haven room on the Norwegian Getaway for our Baltic Sea trip. The Haven is the luxury level on some Norwegian ships. Our room was a Family Villa - two bedrooms, which was perfect for my wife and I and our adult daughter. First the good: beautiful room, lots of storage, very attractive. The Haven has a restricted access pool and sun area, as well as its own dining room and concierge services. The servers and bartenders are very good in the Haven. I think the best get promoted here. The ship made all stops on time and the entertainment on board was decent, though always extremely crowded. If you are in to casino play, there is a huge casino on board, well-used. The bad: We should have figured out that family villas would mean lots of kids. We thought that sailing during the school year and the extra cost of the Haven would restrict the number of young kids. We were wrong! Crying children, tantrums, running around the dining room spoiled pretty well every meal in the Haven dining room. This dining room is undersized for the 320 people in the Haven area, and the dining room is consequently crowded. You can almost always count on waiting for a table, and the noise level was always so high that meals there were uncomfortable. We compensated by eating elsewhere most of the time. The concierge staff in the Haven were generally unhelpful unless the service you were requested brought in more money to the company. Probably the worst concierge staff we have experienced in our dozen or so cruises. They were very good at saying no. The ship itself has about 4000 cruisers and a lack of facilities for this many. All entertainment venues were overcrowded and we had to always arrive 20 minutes of so early to get a seat, except in the large theatre, which has sufficient seating, but is quite unattractive. The venue we missed most on this boat is a nice, quiet piano bar where we could dance to pleasant piano songs. In summary: The Haven rooms and facilities are quite outstanding, except for the dining room. The servers, bar staff and room stewards are outstanding, though we were disappointed with the concierge staff and the butler was OK, but not great. The specialty restaurants are decent but not great. The ship's venues are crowded and loud. We will probably not return to the Haven on Norwegian. We were the wrong people for this ship. We'll return to the luxury lines we have enjoyed in the past. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
First, sorry for such a long review.... This was our first NCL cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We have sailed quite a bit previously on Carnival, Celebrity and Princess. The ports we visited were excellent. ... Read More
First, sorry for such a long review.... This was our first NCL cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We have sailed quite a bit previously on Carnival, Celebrity and Princess. The ports we visited were excellent. Warnemünde/Rostock, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. As with most cruises, there were good, bad, average, exceptional throughout the 9 days. The ship sailed near or at capacity, 4000+, and for the most part it always felt crowded and lines everywhere, with the exception of a few times at dinner around 7-7:30pm in Savor, Taste and Tropicana. We were new to making reservations for nearly everything in advance but were tipped off and did so several weeks prior to departing. Unfortunately twice we arrived at specialty dinners only to be told we had no reservations and they were completely sold out nothing could be done about it. Following a rather brief and somewhat rude conversation the first time, I returned minutes later with confirmation of our reservation on my iPad. Miraculously a table appeared and all was suddenly good and we’re sorry for the computer error. The first was at Teppanyaki (very rude), the second was at Cirque Dreams where they were very accommodating and apologetic. The final bad experience was at our excursion. Our tickets said to meet at 7:15pm for an evening show in St Petersburg. We exited the ship and arrived at the busses. No signs or direction for which bus and the only workers were sitting and chatting with each other. We finally found our bus after getting help from a security guard. We started to check in and a woman from either NCL or the bus company not sure which began to berate us and threatened the bus was just about to depart without us. I checked my watch and we were right on time, but decided not to engage her and just get on the bus, which by the way did not depart for another 10 min or so. We try not to let a couple of bad individuals be the face of an entire company. So much for the bad. We did enjoy the anytime very casual dining format. The many dining choices, and most of the time the food was very good. We loved Moderno and Cirque Dreams and Steam was not to be missed. Be sure to book floor seats and sit close to the stage. Burn the floor was a mixed review, my wife loved it, I thought it was just ok. Nearly every worker who came into contact with us were excellent and friendly. We had a balcony room on deck 11. It was rather small compared to other cruise lines but otherwise sufficient. We met our cabin steward the first day and only saw him once or twice more passing in the hallway. He did a good job with our cabin each day. We did have a coffee maker in the cabin with a selection of coffees and tea’s. We didn’t like having to make so many reservations in advance to be sure we didn’t miss out on things or dining times. Be sure to keep your confirmations in case there are any problems. Their internet plans are pretty expensive and only work for one device at a time. Meaning two people cannot be online at the same time. Reaching a live person at customer service prior to the cruise at times was frustrating with waits up to 30 min at times. At the end of the day, none of the bad things were enough to ruin our cruise only minor nuisances. The ship was clean, and modern. Embarkation was pretty easy and not too long, maybe 30 min. Disembarkation was pretty orderly and went as they stated. Port embark and disembark was good except for day one in St Petersburg which had some long lines. Day two was very quick since they had all of your info already. In trying to be fair, we are going to give NCL’s shortcomings a pass try them again in the future. Not judging an entire fleet and company based on one ship and one experience. Read Less
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