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1,100 Norwegian (NCL) Tampa Cruise Reviews

I have been cruising for 40 years. My very fist cruise was on NCL Starward in 1984. This was a theme cruise which it why I chose it. The Summer Palace was beautiful, the dining room staff was very pleasant, but the food. OMG! Terrible is ... Read More
I have been cruising for 40 years. My very fist cruise was on NCL Starward in 1984. This was a theme cruise which it why I chose it. The Summer Palace was beautiful, the dining room staff was very pleasant, but the food. OMG! Terrible is an understatement for the worst dining room food I have ever experienced. I am amazed at how bad it was! The menu never changed, & the menu descriptions did not describe what they brought out. Crispy fish that came out poached, Bourbon chicken that was really BBQ, mystery sauces on everything! I never went back after day 3 except to look at the menu. The buffet was OK, & I mean just OK. My 1st cabin smelled liked sewage. But, lucky me, there was a water pipe break day 2 which flooded most of the deck, I was able to pack up & move, but my new cabin was in a less than desirable location, over loud equipment used by the staff in the early AM & right under The Stardust Theatre. But at least it didn't smell. Cabin stewards were nice. Most of the people on the ship seemed to be miserable working there & the officers seemed quite unfriendly. Once you are trapped at sea, they nickel & dime you to death! I would swear the ships stabilizers were broken it was so rough. I have never been sea sick before, so I don't if it was that or the bad food, but I stayed queasy for 7 days. I do not believe in saying never, will I will never sail with nor recommend NC to anyone. This ship needs a total remodel. AVOID! Up side, I lost 5 pounds. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We never sailed Norwegian before but have been on all the other lines previously and this being our tenth cruise I will compare it to other experiences. We did not want a mega ship so we choose the Pearl for this reason and the ports it ... Read More
We never sailed Norwegian before but have been on all the other lines previously and this being our tenth cruise I will compare it to other experiences. We did not want a mega ship so we choose the Pearl for this reason and the ports it was stopping at and being 11 nights also appealed to us. The embarkation took about an hour we arrived at noon on their transfer service the lines were not too bad overall. First impressions of the Summer Palace dining room was that it seemed out of date with the décor however the service and the lunch were fine. We are not buffet people but utilized 2 times once for breakfast due to an early excursion and it served it's purpose nothing out of the ordinary. Lunch one time we had a 1.00pm departure from St. Thomas and the only option for lunch was the buffet what a disaster!!!! not enough seats for everyone and lots of confusion we ended up eating in separate tables because I wasn't facing that mob again!! We only had to eat the main dining room 3 times and specialty restaurants the remainder the dinners were uninspiring similar to Applebee's or Bob Evans quality in my opinion. The specialty restaurants were great we tried them all except Teppenyaki service and quality of the food was fine dining too bad it will cost you after tip roughly $100.00 for 2 people not counting drinks. This is where cruising has downgraded the last 20 years the food budget 10 years was cut 50% per passenger and further since there wasn't any specialty restaurants because the food in the main dining room was excellent! The ports were fine and getting back on the ship was painless I just wish that we did not leave at 1.00pm at 2 of the ports 5 hours limits your excursion choices. Norwegian's entertainment was lackluster and so repetitive the same 4 acts 5 times during our cruise really! The comic was good and the legends show were the best. The daily entertainment especially on sea days was a snooze fest activities with prizes takes away all incentive for people to participate. Norwegians upcharge fest was annoying by the end of the cruise I mean there is a fee for everything!! Wine tastings=fee Tequila Tastings=fee Deal or no deal=fee the list goes on and on. We had the ultimate beverage package as a promo which was nice but limited be sure what you order is covered before they pour or it's a upcharge! We had a good time and met some exceptional staff members and I filled our comment cards on all of them this is where Norwegian shines the staff and keeping everything clean and you will never be wanting for a drink!! We haven't cruised for 6 years and visited resorts instead we will cruise again but II think it will a more intimate experience that will be more like the golden age of cruising and all inclusive no surprises or upselling Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Being the first time on Norwegian we weren’t sure what to expect but we were quite underwhelmed overall. The ship was clean and easy to get around but there was no grandeur when you first step into the atrium as we had with any and ... Read More
Being the first time on Norwegian we weren’t sure what to expect but we were quite underwhelmed overall. The ship was clean and easy to get around but there was no grandeur when you first step into the atrium as we had with any and all of the seven Carnival ships we’ve cruised on. We ate in the both of the main dining rooms (same menu in both - disappointing as you had to dress a little more formal for summer palace) and we kept waiting for some real seafood which didn’t happen until the third or fourth night and then it was coconut fried shrimp... no Lobster EVER. On a 7+ day cruise Carnival still serves lobster! The Asian fusion restaurant did have a garlic lemon shrimp that was amazing this was our go to restaurant the remainder of the cruise although the menu is the exact same every night. The rooms were fine small but we always choose an interior for cost as we are rarely in the cabin. The shower however is wonderful and goes to Norwegian! Carnivals have a small corner shower with a curtain that tends to get stuck to you where Norwegian has a large sliding door! We did not participate in the drink package however this too goes to Norwegian as they are unlimited and you can get two at a time unlike Carnival where you get 1 every fifteen minutes and max out at 15. The entertainment was blah and the same old same old! Carnival has the comedy club which we love with different comedians and both family and adult shows nightly. Ports of call were amazing, my favorite itinerary to date! Grand Cayman - tender port and a little pricey. Aruba beautiful, friendly and welcoming. Bonaire - snorkeled here on Kline island and wow is all I can say. St. Lucia - toured the island and then to beach! All was great with exception of volcano...a little misleading as they say you go into the volcano but still interesting. St Kitts gorgeous beaches and island. St. Thomas Meghan’s bay is a must do! Embarking and disembarking was easy with no huge waits! Overall a great cruise with sunny weather but we will stick with Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 7th overall cruise. It was an enjoyable experience and we saw many Caribbean islands we had never been to before. The ship was clean and had enough public space that passengers could spread out in. ... Read More
This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 7th overall cruise. It was an enjoyable experience and we saw many Caribbean islands we had never been to before. The ship was clean and had enough public space that passengers could spread out in. It's a nice sized ship (2400 passengers) which is manageable - and our preference over the huge ships. It was easy to find your way around, although the only small challenge is that the 6th deck doesn't run straight through. So if you want to access the Summer Palace main dining on the 6th, you have to go up to 7, to go back down to 6. It's a beautiful dining room, and worth finding! Our balcony cabin was perfect for 2 people - lots of storage, a small couch and decent sized balcony for a cruise ship. We unpacked for our 11-day cruise easily finding space for everything, and stowed our luggage under the bed. The only small issue was that the lighting was not great after the sun goes down, so for women getting ready for dinner, it was a bit of a challenge to see in mirrors. A big thank you to Rommel, our awesome Cabin Steward, for doing an excellent job! We found the main dining rooms (Summer Palace and Indigo), and specialty dining were wonderful - we experienced great service and delicious food! Le Bistro and Teppanyaki were our favourite specialty dining venues, and Cagney's and Moderno were really good as well. The Lotus Garden, which is NOT a specialty dining venue, was great - don't miss out! However, we were less than impressed with the quality of food at the buffet, and at O'Sheehan's Pub...yuck. We ended up going to the main dining rooms for breakfast/lunch instead. We spent some time at the casino and experienced the best service from all staff: special mention - Eka, Carlver and Hong Wang were amazing, we really appreciate their hard work. The casino has a good variety of slots machines and tables, it got busy after the shows finished, but was always well-managed. We never had to wait for drink service, and the staff was always friendly and accommodating. Embarkation was quite easy and much faster than anticipated - the lines were very long, but we were on the ship within an hour of arriving at the port in Tampa. Our rooms were ready by 1:30 or 2pm, and luggage was promptly delivered to the cabin that afternoon. Disembarkation in NYC was not quite as smooth, but overall not bad. We only docked at 10am to even begin the disembarkation process, but had to be out of our cabins by 9am. The only food option available at that time was the buffet - so 2400 people waiting in public spaces for hours to depart, and food/coffee on only one deck. We booked shore excursions only after we got on the ship - and managed to get every excursions we wanted except for one - but there was another decent option available and we took that one instead. I would recommend however that you book excursions (and speciality dining reservations) before getting on the ship to be sure you are not disappointed. The excursions were very well-run and organized, we enjoyed all of them. Overall, this was a very good cruise experience. What made it extra enjoyable were the staff who work on the ship - they all work so hard and such long hours, we truly appreciate them! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first cruise EVER with any cruise line. Our expectation when we purchased the cruise from Costco was that everything was included. Clearly not the case. Little things kept on adding up. For instance the fees and gratuities ... Read More
This was our first cruise EVER with any cruise line. Our expectation when we purchased the cruise from Costco was that everything was included. Clearly not the case. Little things kept on adding up. For instance the fees and gratuities added to the "FREE" drink package and "FREE" specialty restaurants that we chose. That is the first extras on top of our rate, and then the surprise daily rate of gratuities and whatever which happened to be a per person and that was another $421 added to our cruise price. NCL excursions are way higher priced then any of the companies that you can get at ports, several of excursions through NCL were more then double of what could be found at port. We did 2 NCL excursions and 3 private. Entertainment was a bit of a disappointment. Chris Burke, the Legends Show and Patricia Watson were excellent, I was expecting more though..... I always hear that there are Cirque shows and really good entertainment on board ships but I didnt find anything more then what I could find at a Caribbean Resort. I didnt like the fact that we got the daily notifications of the events not prior to boarding, it would be nice to prep for some of these parties like the White Party. The food: Tappanaki was awesome. I ordered sake on the first night, we were well out of port, and I was charged port taxes which came as a surprise. We had Teppanaki a second time a couple days later and had the exact same dishes and Sake and no tax on the the Sake. The entertainment was good, the food was tasty. I wish there was a lobster option even if its pay more, but we all know lobster is dirt cheap in caribbean so if you are putting crab in Seafood Jumbalya in the buffet, there is no reason that you cant serve lobster at the Teppanaki. Indigo was not good. My wifes pasta dish was flavourless, and my beef could have walked off my plate it was so rare (I usually order Medium Rare, but this was really rare) and so we went to the buffet after we ate there and had a proper meal. After our shore excursion at the Grand Caymans we came back and went to the Lotus Room; We ordered several orders of dumplings, and spring rolls, and I ordered a Spyder Roll from the Sushi Bar. So I am not a stranger to Spyder Rolls, I order this roll on a regular basis. The fried soft shell crab is usually delicious. My wife ate a dumpling and spat it out, saying there was something rotten in it, and I ate a similar one and there was a taste of ginger but also something rotten in it. We called the waitress and told them, and they brought it back to the kitchen and brought us back some other dumplings which my wife didnt want to touch another one so i ate all the orders of dumplings. I loved the presentation of the Spyder Roll, but after about four pieces the crab started to taste off, it was mushy and fishy I looked down at it and took a picture of the crab meat being brown, green and very discoloured nothing I had ever seen before. I though I was fine because I left the pieces that were bad on the side of my plate. My wife ordered a dish that didnt come so we cancelled that dish. I did enjoy the dessert though, but we still went up to the buffet afterwards to get my wife some food. I usually have a stomach of steel and can eat anything. Within two hours I was super ill from both ends, and I had a major fever. I was up all night long. I had to take immodium to control my diarrhea the next day while we were in Aruba. Right when we got back on the ship I went directly to my room and my wife tended to me by bringing me broth and crackers until we could get everything out of my system. She then went and complained because Aruba was a pretty big disaster for us, we also werent able to utilize our drink package or even our food package due to this illness. This went on for 2 days, and both days were when we had excursions planned. It sucked. I think it was a nice gesture that the Executive Chef sent us chocolate covered strawberries, and a dinner at La Cuccinna but honestly for the price of our cruise, and all the extras that we paid for dinner and strawberries is a very small gesture, nice but not worth me changing how dissatisfied i was, or how many people I tell I got food poisoning. So that was Sushi / Lotus. Cagneys was awesome, the beef tenderloin was to die for. I am a huge fan. I also had Beef Tenderloin at La Cuccina twice. I feel there should be more then two pieces of ravioli however I wont complain about the tenderloin. My wifes Chicken Cacchitore was disappointing, the chicken was tough and over cooked. The Tiramisu was delicious on both nights we were there. When we were in St Kitts we ran into a doctor that we previously talked to when I had a food poisoning, she was a doctor by profession on holidays and she explained to us that her daughter also got food poisoning from the Sushi Bar several days back...... If you are still reading I will explaining more about this later. Moderno was disappointing. I felt the salad bar was mainly preservatives, and the meat, not really my thing. The beef was tough. I tried a little lamb, but I found it tough and flavourless also. My wife and I are foodies, so we do know what to expect. We rode the elevator down with another couple that have ate at Moderno on different ships and they did say this was not the best Moderno's. I dont know what to compare it to, but I hope next time is better. The buffet was great. However some of the desserts were bland. I loved the soft serve and could eat that any time. Its better the Dairy Queen and that makes me happy. The bars made great drinks although, I dont understand how I can get a Glen Morange single malt Scotch, but cant get a Hendricks Gin and Tonic; it makes no sense to me at all because where I am from 750ml of Glenmorange is $84, and 750ml of Hendricks is $38, so how does the scotch fall under the drink package while the gin doesn't? I wish there was a better selection of single malts under the drink package. Roger at O'Sheehans is the best bartender on the boat. He was brilliant and he kept our drinks full all the time. The cigar room should only be for cigars. Its disgusting when you are smoking a fine cigar and someone comes in a smokes a cigarette. Its even more disgusting when someone brings their food in there. It should be for cigars only. Bottom line. Front Desk / Customer Service - On the first day, you need more people up there. It took close to 90 min standing in line waiting to ask simple questions. Even on the second day it was busy. And my last concern was CruiseNext. We did enjoy the cruise and we put money down for a future cruise. The Manager that signed us up clearly told us that he would give us 2 coupons for 2 cruises. Not 4 coupons for 4 cruises, only to discover when we got home we received 4 coupons. I just wish some things were more organized so we wouldnt have all these surprises and extra costs. We had a good time, but surprise after surprise is not what we want. Tell us what the full price is. We stay at resorts all the time, the full price is right in our face with no extras. Thats what i want to know. I dont want surprises. Lastly, on our last night leaving La Cuccina we spoke to the Director of Food and Beverage, and it was almost like he didnt believe I was sick. He tells us that after he got the report, they went to the infirmary to check if there was a report of food poisoning. First, off; unless I am dying or contagious with something; I am not checking into see your doctor. Second, he tells us about all the specific regulations that cruise ships have to follow for their food.... Again, all restaurants have to follow these regulations at least where I live in Canada. Plain and simple the food was rotten, I have a picture of it, soft shell crab is not supposed to look like a raw oyster. I am not new to soft shell crab, this is one of the only rolls I have eaten consistently for the last 15 years at Sushi restaurants. So regulations or not, the dumplings and sushi that night were not good. Bottom line, something was wrong and it wasnt only me getting sick because on the last day at Bingo the lady in front of me told me that she got food poisoning from the Lotus Garden the night we were in Bonaire, I asked if she reported it to anyone and she said no, but she was going to. All in all, I answered the questions honestly, and we will come back on a Norwegian Cruise on day. It was a great break from our kids, and maybe one day we can take them to. Maybe on a boat that has bigger swimming pools. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Aruba, St. Lucia) and the fact that it ended in NYC so we could visit there as well when we got off the ship. We had a wonderful time, found the service to be excellent (in particular the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Aruba, St. Lucia) and the fact that it ended in NYC so we could visit there as well when we got off the ship. We had a wonderful time, found the service to be excellent (in particular the bartenders), and always found there was something to keep up occupied. We often dined at the buffet for breakfast and lunch, we found their to be a great selection, only downside was the limited seating at peak meal times. Most dinners we dined at Indigo and for the most part really enjoyed the food and service. We booked our own shore excursions (not through NCL) and found that worked fine for us. Tough to get a deck chair on the main pool deck but never had a problem finding one on the second or third decks. All in all we had a great experience and have recommended NCL to our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Never having cruise NCL before and reading the reviews about freestyle cruising our expectations were set fairly low, but I have to admit now it was much much better than expected. This cruise left from Tampa and we stayed at the ... Read More
Never having cruise NCL before and reading the reviews about freestyle cruising our expectations were set fairly low, but I have to admit now it was much much better than expected. This cruise left from Tampa and we stayed at the Westin Waterside. You could almost walk to the terminal/ship from there. Lots to see and do in Tampa and we wish we had a little more time to do so. The Tampa embarkation terminal was fairly small and there was a bit of standing around, but on the whole it was pretty simple getting on the ship and our room was ready shortly after arriving onboard. Overall, the ship was clean and well maintained and we never felt crowded. We did our typical first day tour and one of the highlights was the fitness center, spa and thermal suite. It was light, bright and friendly. We ended up using the free morning stretch and ab classes nearly every day. We bought the thermal suite package too and it was a great addition to our daily routine. Our room layout was as expected, but the comfortable bed was a bonus. We put a little research into it's selection and chose a mini-suite near the rear of the ship. This particular room had a much larger than standard balcony and afforded us a lounger, two chairs and a table. We traveled with another couple that had the same room directly opposite ours on the port side of the ship and they had the same set up. We couldn't have been more pleased. Interestingly, there was a big pipe break/water leak in the room next to ours. It was bad enough to move the occupants. The crew spent a day making repairs and we had a blower and dehumidifier in the hall for a few days. Other than a little noise during the day it didn't really effect us. I guess because of the inconvenience the ship gave us a $100 OBC. It was a very nice move on there part. We ate at Cagney's Le Bistro and La Cucina - all were great and highly recommended. The food was really good in all three. We also ate twice in the complementary Chinese restaurant and it was also pretty good. If I had to do it all over again, I would not eat in the main dining room. The service/staff was fantastic, but frankly the food wasn't all that good. It wasn't what I would call restaurant quality. The food in the main dining room is really my only complaint and why I rated it the way I did, The entertainment was pretty good too. Comedy, juggiling and hypnotist along with a Legends show. As for the ports - we spent most of our time at beaches and the water was a little cooler than expected. But then it was the end of the season and maybe that should be expected. Other than that, it was the standard mall of the Caribbean in every port. The bottom line for us - NCL was great and we would certainly cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Very relaxed, flexible dining options, times and location. Did not have to be scheduled ever day hence the term vacation. Many excursions to choose from. Sea days were welcomed as were the excursion days, good ratio. Crew were friendly ... Read More
Very relaxed, flexible dining options, times and location. Did not have to be scheduled ever day hence the term vacation. Many excursions to choose from. Sea days were welcomed as were the excursion days, good ratio. Crew were friendly including cabin crew.Would do it again. The entertainment was lovely, with 2 showing times for the theatre shows. Loved the female cuban singer as well as the De Luz guitarist. Theatre was full on two occasions, had to stand. Guess that means great response from cruisers. Casino entertainment was good, slots not too tight. The drink free drink options were not clear as to what was allowed. The night time allotted was late, past midnight which was good for those who enjoyed staying out at the slots late. Disembarking was smoother than embarking, seems that the time was cut in half but overall no hangups. Lines were long and sometimes confusing coming into the port building, had to get in another line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose Norwegian based on a friends recommendation. He and his family had cruised on multiple different Norwegian ships and he had nothing but praise for all. We are cruise newbies and we trusted our friend and boy are we glad we did! We ... Read More
We chose Norwegian based on a friends recommendation. He and his family had cruised on multiple different Norwegian ships and he had nothing but praise for all. We are cruise newbies and we trusted our friend and boy are we glad we did! We picked this specific cruise as it checked a lot of boxes for us. The flight from Boston to Tampa was inexpensive and there was a one way flight that was timed perfectly. Once in Tampa, we were greeted at the baggage claim by Norwegian employees who directed us to our transport bus to the port. It was busy but we were comfortable and the trip was fairly short. The port in Tampa was extremely busy and we waited for a very long time. We were early and I do not think they were working to fully capacity when we arrived. Many people in line said that it was odd to have to wait for so long to do the embarkation process. Once we cleared the security check, we got our room keys and were directed to the ship itself. We were extremely overwhelmed as we did not know what to do (or expect). We decided to just go to our room and see if it was ready. Luckily for us it was so we settled in. Once we did, we went and grabbed the first of our incredible meals on the trip. One thing our travel agent did not tell us about (we found out 8 days into the trip) is that we had 4 specialty dining meals and the ultimate beverage package. Once we figured that out we certainly took fully advantage of it. In short, the food choices were many and all excellent. We never once had to wait for a meal except for one night when we made a late reservation at Le Bistro and they were extremely busy. Otherwise we walked up to the staff and were immediately seated. The wait staff was outstanding. They encouraged us many times to try anything we wanted. We are not big eaters but we definitely once again took advantage of this. The Freestyle Daily flyer handed out each night was excellent. We used it to plan our next days adventures. We did four short excursions as well. Our first stop was Grand Cayman which was very beautiful. We took a tender (the only port which we had to do so) and that was a bit of a pain but it is what it is. The excursion was out of this world! We swam with the sting rays and did the dolphin excursion. The next stop was Aruba and since this is a place we have visited over 30 times we knew exactly what to do. We rented a car and cruised the island for the day. Very nice! Next stop was Bonaire where we did a history excursion. All good for sure. St. Lucia was the "Green to Sand" excursion which was fun and refreshing (the water!). We did the scenic rail excursion in St. Kitts which was excellent. Maybe a little long but otherwise excellent. St. Thomas was just ok. Back to the ship! The entertainment options were all excellent! We met a lot of people including a couple from California who had done dozens of cruises. One of the shows we saw was Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Elvis Presley impersonators. They were outstanding and our friends from CA said it was the best show they had ever seen on any cruise before. The cruise director Pedro was extremely friendly, funny and approachable. He seemed to be everywhere and always smiling. We did other things like played bingo, Deal or No Deal, trivia, etc. All were outstanding. Every public area of the ship was well maintained, cleaned and well stocked (bathrooms). The service was absolutely outstanding everywhere! A stand out was at the Mojito bar where our bar tenders were just so engaging they kept us coming back for more. This trip was just myself and my fiance. We had a 10th deck balcony stateroom which was excellent. Only complaint would be the bathroom which we both felt was a bit on the small side, especially the toilet. It was however always clean, well stocked and quiet. We cruised to Manhattan and had arranged for a rental car to drive the 3 1/2 hours back home. The disembarkation was a bit of a cluster to be honest. People were a bit cranky and they were a definite lack of organization on the ship. And then there is the New York cruise terminal employees. What can I say? Well, we certainly had a fantastic voyage and have already booked another aboard the Norwegian Bliss next May....coming soon Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose the 11 day cruise to the Southern Carribean mainly because it was a repositioning cruise back to NY. Last month we were on the Dawn & visited the majority of the islands offered on the Pearl. All the islands are beautiful, ... Read More
We chose the 11 day cruise to the Southern Carribean mainly because it was a repositioning cruise back to NY. Last month we were on the Dawn & visited the majority of the islands offered on the Pearl. All the islands are beautiful, & worth seeing again however on a repositioning cruise your time is quite limited on some of the islands. Cruise population were mainly east coast people because of the convenience of NYC end point. This is our 2nd time on the Pearl & we have an 11 day Panama Canal cruise booked for November 2019 on the Pearl. The Pearl was our 1st NCL ship & probably my favorite ship because of its staff/crew. A lot of the Pearl's employees are on a 2nd or 3rd contracts with that ship so it was wonderful to see people that remembered you from previous visits. The employees on this ship are probably the friendliest I have encountered on a whole on my 6 cruises with NCL. Embarkation in Tampa was effortless and despite the previous cruise being a charter cruise we were on the ship within 45 mins. Disembarkation in NYC was orderly & fast too. Food on the cruise was good although on a lengthier cruise you tend to get tired of the same daily menu. For the 1st time on a NCL cruise, we had a horrible cabin steward. We tend to stay up late in the casino & get up early for daily activities so we spend hardly any time in our cabin yet our cabin was hardly ever made up. We met our steward the 1st day & he seemed lovely. However, on a sea day he was very annoyed that my husband was sleeping in late because it was a "early" day for him. We had a towel animal once in 11 days & I laughed because I couldn't figure out if it was actually an animal or if he just dumped extra towels on the bed. I decided to call it a sting ray without a tail. I've read that NCL is limiting their towel animals so maybe our steward decided to implement that policy immediately. There was a new cruise director on this ship, Pedro & the assistant cruise director was Tiara. Both were good. However, all games & activities on NCL ships are scripted & the same on every ship, down to the jokes they tell. Some cruise directors do better with the material, others are just flat. As always, entertainment is variable. The show Legends was outstanding! The aerialists are always wonderful on every ship. The production staff was really good but the stand out show for me was a singer that got on the boat at St. Lucia & was doing 2 cruises back to back. Chris Burke was amazing! He had a beautiful voice & was so humbled to be performing to a crowd that clearly adored hm. He loves what he does & it was reflected in his performances. There was a comedian named Puck that people enjoyed. I intended to see his performances but when you're doing well in the casino it's hard to leave a winning table. There was also a hypnotist named Dale k that people enjoyed. He does 2 shows on the cruise; general admission to all & adults only. Casino was more busy, consistently then other boats I have been on. All the casino staff are outstanding! All the islands are beautiful. We got to Bonaire (1 of my favorite islands) are 7am & nothing opens in Bonaire until 9:30am. St. Lucia on a Saturday is market day so except it to be hectic & crowded. St. Kitts is a beautiful island & you'll love it if you want pictures with little monkeys or to see monkeys in the wild. Once it port, don't be surprised if you unexpectedly have a monkey in your arms & your camera is clicking pictures. For $10 you can exchange the monkey for your camera/cell phone. The monkey "owners" are very adapt at maneuvering their monkey & your camera in seconds. St. Thomas was also a short visit from 7am to 1pm. Probably the most memorable for me on this cruise was entering NYC. I've lived in NYC my whole life but to see the faces & emotions of the crew/staff seeing NYC for the 1st time was amazing! A lot of the crew were emotionally taken aback seeing NYC for the 1st time & sending pictures back to their families at home. There were a lot of tears & a lot of happiness & joy seeing a famous city for the 1st time & disbelief that they were actually looking at the statute of liberty or freedom tower. Overall, a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to several islands we have never visited before. It also ended in New York City, which is a place we've wanted to revisit again. Plus, we had to use our "bonus" dollars before they ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to several islands we have never visited before. It also ended in New York City, which is a place we've wanted to revisit again. Plus, we had to use our "bonus" dollars before they expired, so the timing, places and events were perfect. We really enjoyed the nightly entertainment in the Theater and the extra planned evenings. I think Pedro and Tiara were the BEST Ship Hosts we have ever had - and hope they will continue on as a team in the future! We also loved eating in the Summer Palace every evening with our friendly and competent table servers. They are exceptionally well-trained. The hostesses were also very accomodating. We made friends at our tables every evening. The food was also varied and well planned. We chose the Dining hall due to the smaller portions. Fred, the comedian was hilarious - but were disappointed in his Adult show. The Crew and Staff and musicians were excellent. We spent every evening Dancing in the Starlight Lounge, as well as listening to the fun songs with Patricia. Thank you for keeping the entertainment decent and family-oriented. Thank you, too, for the bottle of champagne for our 50th anniversary!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The itinerary caught my eye, embark Tampa , visit 6 Caribbean ports, disembark NYC.We arrived the evening before the cruise, ate locally and got a good night's sleep at the Quality Inn. Arrived on Sunday at the port with everyone else ... Read More
The itinerary caught my eye, embark Tampa , visit 6 Caribbean ports, disembark NYC.We arrived the evening before the cruise, ate locally and got a good night's sleep at the Quality Inn. Arrived on Sunday at the port with everyone else going on the cruise ( or so it seemed) ,boarded about 1 hour 15 minutes after arriving. The Pearl is an older, smaller ship but in my opinion a nice ship to spend 11 days aboard. An adult pool as well as a children's pool is always a nice touch. The chair hogs were out in force & policing was near non existent which takes away from those fun in the sun sea days by the pool. We found ourselves hiking up to the sun deck to find chairs,ok but not easy to take a dip in the pool. The bars ,restaurants and public areas were all enjoyable.Getting reservations in the specialty restaurants was a challenge. We were forced to take an early evening dinner reservation toward the end of our cruise, either hat or a 9-10PM seating,no thanks. Indigo & Summer Palace were excellent food & service ,only one night were we made to wait for a table. The cabin was on deck 5,outside window, noise level, very quiet ( restaurant above so no noise at night).We saw several shows, all good, Stardust Theater seats were not comfortable for any length of time. The lounge entertainment was good. Casino , only one roulette table & it was always crowded.The service throughout the ship was exceptional, thank you to the crew for a great time aboard The Pearl.Loved the ports with the exception of St. Lucia ,nice Island but the excursion detoured us to a beach that was over run with locals in your face selling booze & trinkets,sometimes uncomfortably, almost threatening. Don't do the St,Lucia Beach break. We loved the other ports and the excursions chosen, all professionally run, We will sail with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our eighth cruise with Norwegian, and I am happy to say they did not disappoint ! This was one of the most relaxing and fun trips I have been on. The staff was outstanding! I found them to be friendly and very helpful. Rachiel ... Read More
This was our eighth cruise with Norwegian, and I am happy to say they did not disappoint ! This was one of the most relaxing and fun trips I have been on. The staff was outstanding! I found them to be friendly and very helpful. Rachiel and Christina, both restaurant hostesses, were especially kind and helpful. They always greeted me by my name and a big smile every time they saw me. They never once forgot my name ! I found the food to be very good. My favorite, is the Le Bistro, a French cuisine restaurant. We ate there a couple times because we enjoyed it so much. Cagney's and Teppeyaki was also very good. The complimentary restaurants were just as good. The servers always made sure every meal was the way we wanted it. Our cabins were always well taken care of. No one had any complaints with them at all. We always get balconies and it is great to have your morning coffee on the balcony. You can get coffee and rolls and fruit delivered to your cabin free of charge. It is definitely worth the effort. We went to Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Lucia, St. Kitt's and St. Thomas. The excursions to choose from were plentiful, We enjoyed the catamarans, snorkling and beaches. Just gorgeous ! I especially loved the BOSS Underwater Scooter Adventure in St. Thomas. It is just what it sounds like, an underwater scooter. It was the coolest thing I have done in quite awhile. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Everyone should look into this excursion. We were underwater for about a half an hour and saw all kinds of fish and sea life. We left from Tampa, but came back into New York City. It was pretty neat to pass the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island coming into port. Overall, it was a wonderful trip. We have already booked our next cruise on Norwegian. I am looking forward to our next trip! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We recently cruised for 11 days to 6 different islands in the Southern Carribean on the Norwegian Pearl. Everything from beginning to end was absolutely wonderful! It was a repositioning cruise starting in Tampa, FL and ending in NYC! We ... Read More
We recently cruised for 11 days to 6 different islands in the Southern Carribean on the Norwegian Pearl. Everything from beginning to end was absolutely wonderful! It was a repositioning cruise starting in Tampa, FL and ending in NYC! We went to the Cayman Islands, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and NYC. We took port exercusions to all these beautiful islands, each being a little different from each other making it special. We ended with a tour of NYC...always a fun time! On the ship we were treated like royalty. Every sincle crew person made us feel special. Loved our cabin steward who always would smile and ask us about our day, did an excellent job taking care of our cabin. We LOVED the beautiful Summer Palace dining room and spent every single dinner there. Our waiter Rocky was absolutely the best. We became good friends and he was an excellent waiter knowing what kind of beverages we liked and making our cruise extra special! The food on the ship was excellent. the french onion soup was the best Ive ever tasted. We were so pleased to see Kit Kat Guadalupe, Guest Services Director, and Pedro, Cruise Director who we had met on another NCL Cruise. They were warm and welcoming. We loved the shows on the ship (except for the juggler...didnt care for him...more of a childrens act), especially the Legends in Concert which included the singers and dancers on the ship...excellent! We enjoyed the dances in the Spinnaker Lounge nightly as well as the game shows (so much fun, I participated in one) and the trivia games. This was our 6th NCL cruise...already booked on another one...love NCL!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise would be perfect as a first cruise. It gives you a taste of everything cruise without being overwhelming. However, when comparing it to other cruise experiences, it was not one of my favorites. It tended to lean more towards ... Read More
This cruise would be perfect as a first cruise. It gives you a taste of everything cruise without being overwhelming. However, when comparing it to other cruise experiences, it was not one of my favorites. It tended to lean more towards an older population as did the activities. The best part was Cagny’s. It was wonderful. The most annoying part was the hard-sell personal trainers in the spa. I just wanted to use the thermal spa in peace but was aggressively approached by them several times when I went there. The cabins are fine. Small but well kept. The room steward was good. The layout of the cabin is nice and the furnishings were decent. The bed was very comfortable. The on-board entertainment was mediocre. There wasn’t much happening in the evenings that made us want to stay up late and party. We chose to book excursions on our own. We enjoyed what we did but we found them on trip advisor. They were more appealing and less than half the price. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We decided to book this trip as we had never spent any extended time in the Caribbean. This cruise worked because it coincided with my spring break. Having traveled previously with Norwegian we knew what to basically expect. Embarkment ... Read More
We decided to book this trip as we had never spent any extended time in the Caribbean. This cruise worked because it coincided with my spring break. Having traveled previously with Norwegian we knew what to basically expect. Embarkment was a disaster, never have experienced such confusion, or long lines in our previous four cruises. We arranged for the shuttle from the airport to the dock, via Norwegian, that part of the experience was fine, easy and moved smoothly. The bus dropped us off in front of the line that was wrapped around the street...but we still waited about an hour to get on the ship. During this extended time porters kept coming up to us asking us for tips....it was crazy, as the porters hadn't moved any of our luggage. The porters kept asking their supervisor to tell us to tip them. We are generous tippers but this was outrageous. Thankfully the weather was beautiful but I can only imagine how troublesome this would be if it was raining or cold. For those of you who have cruised with Norwegian before you may want to rethink cruising out of TAMPA. Also Haven members have to wait in this long line as well...as do people who have "priority embarkment privileges". Your priority starts once you get upstairs in the port building. The rest of the trip was fine, and we enjoyed ourselves. We enjoyed our speciality meals at Teppanyaki, and Cagney's. Moderno's was a disappointment but because we weren't paying for it didn't bother us to much. Lunch at Summer Palace was great and not crowded at all, and we also enjoyed lunch at Lotus Garden. As stated earlier we spent a lot of time in OSheehan's watching the NCCA basketball tournament. This was fun but the menu never changed. I never tried the breakfast buffet, lunches at the Great Outdoors was better than those offered at the pool. The pool deck was always packed and some days it was difficult to find a lounge chair. People would get up very early to grab a chair. Tip, put a few personal items on the chair and the pool people cant remove them. There is suppose to be a two hour rule, but it was not enforced. My one complaint was there was always a line at the pool bars and there didn't seem to be enough crew to handle the crowds. On previous cruises with NCL I don't recall this being the case. Internet was spotty, that was to be expected. Shout out to Mark at OSheehan's great bar tender and enjoyed our conversations with him. Shows were OK and musical performers were hit or miss. The comedian was a hoot. Enjoy a cocktail in the Spinnaker's lounge before dinner, such a great spot. This might be out last NCL cruise as I think we enjoy the River Cruises more, better attention, service, decor and food. It is true you get what you pay for...having said that it was still a wonderful vacation and nice to get away from the cold. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
1st time on the Pearl. We have been on several NCL ships, so it looked a lot like other NCL ships. We had to go bowling, something you can't do on many ships. We did not see the rock wall open, but lots of kids playing basketball. ... Read More
1st time on the Pearl. We have been on several NCL ships, so it looked a lot like other NCL ships. We had to go bowling, something you can't do on many ships. We did not see the rock wall open, but lots of kids playing basketball. The entertainment was all very good. We enjoyed it all; from the groups out by the pool, to individual preformers, to larger productions. Though sometimes a singer was very good, but she was in the atrium, which seemed the wrong accustical venue for them. The food in the dining rooms was good, but not amazing. If you want something special, go to one of the specialty restaurant. We missed that they no longer serve Caribbean lobster as they did in years past. Liked Teppanyaki, but no flaming volcano. Met a couple from CruiseCritic & had a great time touring Roatan on our own. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The Pearl was it very first cruise 10 years ago and w still love it. But we noticed one thing, the drink lines were very long and it seemed like there were less staff. We still had a wonderful time and we got our credit to cruise again. I ... Read More
The Pearl was it very first cruise 10 years ago and w still love it. But we noticed one thing, the drink lines were very long and it seemed like there were less staff. We still had a wonderful time and we got our credit to cruise again. I tried the accupunture this time, it was okay but I don't think it's a long enough time to get good results. We absolutely love the thermal spa for adults only. It was great to go relax every night and relax in the hot tub that was not filled with kids. We loved the excursions, we always try to do something that's we cannot do where we live. There monkeys and the turtles were definitely the highlight for us. The guides are always informative and interesting to talk to. We feel safer to book with the cruise so we know they will wait if the excursion gets delayed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are both in our 60's and sailed for the second time this year on the Pearl, this time in a balcony cabin on the 10th Deck. Our previous cabin was an oceanview on the 8th Deck. I have sailed 16 times on various NCL ships and enjoy ... Read More
We are both in our 60's and sailed for the second time this year on the Pearl, this time in a balcony cabin on the 10th Deck. Our previous cabin was an oceanview on the 8th Deck. I have sailed 16 times on various NCL ships and enjoy the benefits that come with Platinum status. Embarkation at the Tampa pier was quite an ordeal this time. In January, we basically walked directly through security to the Platinum desk, got our keys and were onboard within about 15 minutes. This time we arrived at the pier as directed - boarding began at noon, the ship was scheduled to sail at 3 and our documents stated we needed to be on board 2 hours before departure. The line at noon was approximately 3 city blocks long. We used a parking service and were dropped off in the area relegated to parking shuttles across from the port area. There were no porters available to take our luggage. We were forced to drag our bags the 6 city blocks (3 to get to the end of the line and 3 more to get back to the port doorway) before a porter was close enough for us to run our bags over without losing our place in line. Another couple who had taken the same shuttle told us a porter came into the shuttle area just after we left it to get in line. It took us approximately one hour from the time we arrived until we were onboard. There was no Platinum advantage until we passed Security. Once in the building, there was only a minor wait. It was not a happy beginning. Our cabin was 10566, very nice although somewhat small. The layout was more difficult to maneuver with 2 people than our outside cabin had been because of the location of the bed. It seemed the closet was smaller in the balcony cabin also. We had a small coffee maker that was not provided in the outside cabin. While this was great, there was very little counter top space for it, the phone, etc. Our cabin steward was very efficient. We rarely saw him except for a minute or two in the morning but our cabin was kept very clean. I'm a coffee-aholic and very picky about the coffee I drink because I normally take it black and don't hide the taste with cream and sugar. Surprisingly, the coffee in the cabin was fairly good. Also, the coffee in the various areas of the buffet was very good - one nice change. We did note that actual coffee was used at least in the back seating area of the buffet. It was not the coffee syrup product we've seen elsewhere. Thumbs up for that! Our cruise included 3 package choices. We took the beverage package, 3-dinner dining package and internet. NCL changed the prices for various alcoholic beverages so that Belvedere vodka and Glenmorangie scotch were included in the beverage package this time, unlike in January. Another thumbs up! Dinners were at Teppenyaki twice, LeBistro twice, Moderno once, Jade Garden once and Indigo once. Unfortunately, our experience in Moderno was unlike the experience we had in January. While the salad bar was very good, especially the soup, the meat was terribly tough - actually unchewable. Even the filet was not as good as it had previously been. Our waiter was good and can't be blamed for the quality of the meats. Dinner in Jade Garden was very good. The hot and sour soup was spicy but tasty. We tried the spring rolls, dumplings and chicken dishes. Everything was tasty and good and service was exceptional. Dinners in Teppanyaki were every bit as good as in January. The filet mignon prepared by the chef was melt in your mouth delicious and the show he put on both times was fun. Service there was also very good. The food in LeBistro was fabulous! I had filet for one of my dinners and veal once. Both were excellent. Our waiter in LeBistro was Erly. She was the nicest young woman and was so efficient. Right through to dessert she took care of our every want/need. I hope to see her again on a future cruise. We ate the majority of our breakfasts in Summer Palace. The breakfast there is awesome. The service was spotty on debarkation day but even then, the food was good. A couple of days breakfast was served in Indigo. We tried it there once and much preferred the ambience and food in Summer Palace. I think they use the same kitchen so possibly that was an off day. We only ate breakfast at the buffet twice. The hustle and bustle and search for a table while carrying your food was not fun. I always in the past just ate breakfast at the buffet but the last few cruises have convinced me that the dining room is a far more relaxing place to start your day. We are not theatre goers and only attended the comedian's show there. He was funny and we had a few laughs. Other nights we mostly went to the martini bar and listened to Peter the pianist play. He engaged members of the audience and made it a really good time for all. I believe he said he was leaving the ship after our cruise. Our other activities were casino play time and listening to Roxy in the Atrium. The casino slot machines were not good but the hosts were very nice. Because I have a Sapphire card with the casino, they treated me to $200 on board credit and free premium drinks in the casino - this included water, Perrier, San Pellegrino, red bull and cappucino drinks as well as alcoholic beverages. I hope NCL is listening: One huge improvement this cruise compared to our cruise in January was that smoking was no longer permitted on the pool deck. Last cruise, the entire port side allowed smoking. It was a major complaint of mine and I very much appreciated that it was no longer allowed. Thumbs up again! Another huge improvement was the enforcement of the no chair saving rule. We watched as towels were removed from chairs by the deck attendants. They only took them if the seats were vacant for more than an hour. What an improvement! The process was kind of hit or miss but hopefully they will begin to enforce the rules 100% of the time in the future. Yet another thumbs up for this effort! We remained on the ship the entire cruise. We had planned to get off in Roatan but it was pouring rain when we got there and took a couple of hours to clear up. By then, we had lost interest. Maybe next time. All in all we had a great time. The staff was excellent as always. Food except as mentioned was very good, drinks were made as requested and service was great. I'll be on the Bliss in May and can't wait. I hope the staff, food, entertainment is as good as on the Pearl. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I traveled with my fiance March 24th to the 30th aboard the Norwegian Pearl, a smaller but fully refurbished ship. Getting onto the ship did take some time, but it was well worth the wait! Once getting on to the ship we were greeted ... Read More
I traveled with my fiance March 24th to the 30th aboard the Norwegian Pearl, a smaller but fully refurbished ship. Getting onto the ship did take some time, but it was well worth the wait! Once getting on to the ship we were greeted instantly by the friendly staff, and given a map of the ship. Our stateroom was 8113, an inside room with an additional third bed. We were happy to see that the two smaller beds when put together make a king-size bed. The stateroom had plenty of room for the two of us. Additionally, the hard working staff had our rooms ready for occupancy with in an hour of arriving on the ship. The cruise we selected left out of Tampa and sailed to Harvest Caye (Norwegian's private island) in Belize. The island was clean and perfect! From there we stopped in Costa Maya Mexico. The port was very clean and inviting, but didn't feel very authentic. My fiance and I did an excursion to Chacchoben, one of the Mayan Ruins! This really made the stop worth it! From there we sailed to Roatan Bay in Honduras. The port was small and was undergoing major construction while we were there. We didn't book any excursions and wanted to explore by foot. That was a mistake! As soon as we walked out of the port we were instantly inundated with locals trying to sell us this, that, and everything else. We managed to walk past the large group, but, we were followed by locals. While we never felt unsafe, something just didn't feel right. We went back to the port and enjoyed the many bars they had to offer, and let the bartender fill us in on the area. Finally, we had our last stop in George Town on Grand Cayman. This was by far the best stop we had. The island was clean, and the locals were amazing. We were able to walk all around and explore the many beaches, shops, and local watering holes! As for the quality of the on-board experience, we didn't have a bad meal or cocktail! We dined in the main dinning rooms (Indigo & Summer Palace), the staff were top-notch and so was the food. Overall, we were impressed by NCL and plan to take another cruise before the end of the year! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is our 4th NCL cruise and by far the decline in everything was noticed. We were in a Penthouse Suite so that made a great difference in our service and we tip well after all of the extra service charges NCL adds,so the staff we ... Read More
This is our 4th NCL cruise and by far the decline in everything was noticed. We were in a Penthouse Suite so that made a great difference in our service and we tip well after all of the extra service charges NCL adds,so the staff we worked with were super. A few extra dollars goes a long way. We chose a suite due to wheel chair and space needs. Our suite 9672 was wonderful and accessible for seniors or people who need a walk in shower and not a tub. Location: Overall it is nice to see the area and the beautiful blue waters. NCL keeps you in their areas IE Harvest Caye so you dont always see the real culture. They are really building their own areas so they can keep the $$ you spend in house. Cabin: Very Nice and well worth the upgrade. Big Balcony only downfall were those smoking around us. It is now all NON smoking in rooms and balconies and if caught they will fine you. Dining: Most of our meals were in specialty locations so most of it was good. Our servers were beyond wonderful. The specialty dinners were not as good as in years past. Meat was a bit tough I had a ribeye one night and could not chew any of it. Stick with the Filet. The buffets looked sad. The salmon is now a salmon spread, mixed fruit a blob of fruit mushed I could go on but wont. Do not go on NCL for the food unless you are in a suite/haven. The basic food keeps getting downgraded. Staff: German Escobar our NCL consultant highly recommend. Book through NCL and they will tell you everything you need. Including that the 7 day cruise only is only 3 add on meals not 7 as people assume. Online bookings do not explain things like the meals or drinks. Anoop Concierge went out of his way to assist. Highly recommend him and Vergil our Butler as well as our Steward were all great. The crew in Cagneys and Moderno for the meals were top notch. Embarkation: Tampa Port should be ashamed of the mess they have there. So much confusion on where to go as there was construction. Signage was horrible. The officers directing traffic were super and helped everyone. Once we made it to the NCL controlled area (inside) everything was great. Outside a nice woman named Deb helped and made the day. Enrichment Activities: Most of the activities were a pay to play which has changed from years past. Another nickle and dime of NCL. Entertainment: Ledgends was ok but the rest was pretty poor. NCL really needs to invest in their entertainers. This was one of the lamest of all cruises. The crew singing in the morning were better than the entertainment at night. Spa: Well worth the addition. Not crowded and well kept up. Public Rooms: Everything was cleaned each night. I watched the staff clean at all hours and they worked hard. The ship was just rehabed so everything was still in pretty good shape. Service: The servers overall were great we were in specialty so taken care of well and those extra tips go a long way. Mary Anne and the crew that assisted us were super. The crew in the buffet worked hard but hardly smiled. They look overworked and underpaid. Shore Excursions: I would not recommend the Black Swan boat tour in Belize it was a waste of money. We went out in the water and drove around. Did not see much and the guide was filling in so was in a rush to get us back. It was nice hearing about life on the island but not something to do again. The swim with the Dolphin in Costa Maya is a small area of dirty water where dolphins take you about 1/2 block in the water back and forth. Wait to do this in Honduras it was better. NCL offers a $50 credit per port but then you add on those in your party and it adds up. We went away from the port and found tours of 1/3 of the price. Be aware that you are guided to NCL activities but if you leave the port you will see many options. Just pick and choose because they are pretty aggressive. The swim with the dolphin Value for the Money: It was ok but a lot of those in the suites said they would go on other cruise lines in the future because NCL was downgrading everything and up- charging for so much that they did not in the past. Be prepared to pay $4.99 for shrimp in Cagneys they just added this. Also if having a drink before the ship leaves port you will be charged local taxes. Keep an eye on your bill and check it daily. There were a few things that were added here and there that made no sense. Overall we enjoyed the cruise because of the staff and the people. We have been loyal NCL cruisers however are going to try a different cruise line in the future to compare. It seems like NCL is going in the super economy direction with less quality and add ons for everything. Disembarking was great as we had priority and this went well. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I have not been on a vacation in three years and my son has never been on a cruise so my go to cruise ship is NCL as I have been on four other cruises with them. As always, I have never been disappointed. There is always something to do ... Read More
I have not been on a vacation in three years and my son has never been on a cruise so my go to cruise ship is NCL as I have been on four other cruises with them. As always, I have never been disappointed. There is always something to do for everyone. The Norwegian Pearl is one of the smaller ships with around 2500 guests thus there is less entertainment venues but I was not disappointed with what was provided. The food, service and shore excursions were fantastic especially the Salsa, Guacamole and Tequila excursion. The tour guides were over the top with entertainment, laughter and just down right funny. Afterwards, you could stay at the beach and the massages were great and just for 20 dollars!! The ship was friendly with a positive atmosphere. I didn't want my vacation to end. I can't wait to return. See you soon NCL!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I was looking for a cruise that was low-key, relaxing, yet helped me check off some things on my bucket list. I was interested in the ports that this cruise took and I'll just say I was not disappointed! The ship itself was very ... Read More
I was looking for a cruise that was low-key, relaxing, yet helped me check off some things on my bucket list. I was interested in the ports that this cruise took and I'll just say I was not disappointed! The ship itself was very nice - the kids had a great time at the pool, they really liked the fun activities and the friendly people at the "Splash Academy" kids club. The food was great - the kids lived on ice cream and pizza while we were able to enjoy some very nice meals at the complimentary and paid restaurants. The shows were great, we always found something to do whether just walking the decks, watching a movie, bowling, shuffleboard, giant checkers. The only complaint I would have is that the pool deck was extremely crowded at all times, but that's to be expected on a sunny cruise. So many people saved their seats on deck and left for lunch or activities and you couldn't take their seats which we didn't think was fair, but that's how it works. Also - getting on the boat and off the boat wasn't great - we waited in line for a very long time (over an hour) to get both on and off the boat. I don't know if that had to do with the cruise line though, or the Tampa port itself, but I didn't remember having to wait that long when we went on our Alaskan cruise through another cruise line. Our shore excursions were definitely the highlight! The bought all of our excursions through the cruise line itself which was the way to go - one of our excursions ran long because our small boat had engine issues so we were late getting back, but we were with a big group from the ship so they waited for us. The staff was very friendly - we enjoyed the entire trip immensely! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Bad stuff: The food doesn't change, and the dishes served are butchered horribly. The tip is forced onto you no matter what. Maybe instead of putting the responsibility of sustaining the staff financially on the customers, the NCL ... Read More
Bad stuff: The food doesn't change, and the dishes served are butchered horribly. The tip is forced onto you no matter what. Maybe instead of putting the responsibility of sustaining the staff financially on the customers, the NCL could actually pay their employees. The excursions are ridiculously boring, since everything is staged for wealthy tourist entertainment. You will not see any of the real culture anywhere. The best part is that on top of paying $2000+ for your trip you will not be able to see anything at all unless you are willing to put down another $500-$1000 for the excursions. Day activities were often cancelled due to wind like they don't know that there will obviously be wind in the middle of the Carribean. Good stuff: The gym is excellent. Every new day included group workouts and yoga sessions, as well as open gym time. The equipment is in very good state. The night entertainment is very diverse and the staff is very nice and kind. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I won this cruise but paid to upgrade to balcony. I hope this is not the norm w/ Norwegian. The staff is not organized and not helpful. Not many served drinks - never cruised where I stood in line to get a drink! Food was just “ok”. ... Read More
I won this cruise but paid to upgrade to balcony. I hope this is not the norm w/ Norwegian. The staff is not organized and not helpful. Not many served drinks - never cruised where I stood in line to get a drink! Food was just “ok”. Nothing spectacular. Restaurants were dated and could use some sprucing up. Entertainment was bad. The only semi decent show was the comedian. Housekeeping was just bad. Ship was a little raunchy too. The majority of the wait staff could not look you in the eye! Some were pleasant but those were usually the hostesses. Bar tenders hardly spoke. No joy in their faces. Cruise director while nice was not very engaging. Do not expect great service on this boat. Maybe I’m spoiled as my only experience has been with Royal Caribbean? Not impressed ! Hope you have a better experience than I did. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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