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129 Norwegian (NCL) Tampa Cruise Reviews

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
Staff simply showed no effort or attentiveness to make the passenger expierence enjoyable Specifically the entertainment staff and shore excursion staff The specialty restaurants were nice, food good but expensive and noisy. ... Read More
Staff simply showed no effort or attentiveness to make the passenger expierence enjoyable Specifically the entertainment staff and shore excursion staff The specialty restaurants were nice, food good but expensive and noisy. Pool always crowded. No attention paid to not leaving towels out to reserve seats. Most chairs blocked for the day by 8am With drink packages offered as inducement to book with Ncl most had it. Turning into carnival booze cruise for middle aged. That said they seem to be making it more difficult to get beverages during meals, staff no longer circulate for drinks, you must go to a mini bar set up Shore excursions offered credits per port. When asked how to obtain the credit the dept head explained in a thick accent the credits would be applied the day after the excursion. When asked if that was true for excursions booked before the offer she simply said as I said, the credits will be .... I asked her to dial it back and respond to the question asked. She smiled and took care of the next person in line Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My sister in law and brother treated my husband and myself to this cruise, we were. Ot told about the trailer park boys and there groupies being in the ship. They had multiple restraints and lounges closed for private events. We were not ... Read More
My sister in law and brother treated my husband and myself to this cruise, we were. Ot told about the trailer park boys and there groupies being in the ship. They had multiple restraints and lounges closed for private events. We were not able to go to the island due to weather they said, we went to Freeport which was awful they stayed from three oclock to eight o'clock. We lost out on our excursions. I was not impressed with the buffet Nd I didnt even know who my steward was . The safe broke.. should I go on. The bed was hard no room to get into the bed . The noise was out of control could not sleep.i think they need to offer something to the passengers that were not with the trailer park boys since we lost out on alot of experiences. Oh and the pot smoking was out of control. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise happened to fall into dates we would be in Florida for conference. Wanted to have a small honeymoon combined with birthday celebration. Sadly, it wasn't as we expected. Problems with the cruise - our luggage was ... Read More
This cruise happened to fall into dates we would be in Florida for conference. Wanted to have a small honeymoon combined with birthday celebration. Sadly, it wasn't as we expected. Problems with the cruise - our luggage was delivered to the wrong room - the tv remote control was missing. Even though they didn't believe us when we called to notify them of this and it took a couple trips for them to replace it, they managed to get us a new one. - The safety briefing at the start of the cruise was poorly orchestrated. No one knew where they were supposed to be, you couldn't understand the person speaking, and it seemed to be excessive amount of time to wait for the amount of information we were given. - our door broke and only way to keep it closed was to lock it from inside cabin. It took nine hours and multiple contact efforts to fix it (i.e. front desk, cleaning lady). - there was one rude bartender on the back of the boat who refused to give me another drink after he incorrectly made the first one because he said there were people waiting. This was after waiting 20 minutes to order my drink. (I was so angered and appalled at how rude he was, I took a picture) - we were not told that this was meant to be a Trailer Park Boys cruise beforehand (we felt bad for those with children!) - due to trailer Park boys many of the rooms were closed for private events so we did not have full access of the ship - we were told that we could not go to Great Stirrup Cay due to weather yet there was no indication of bad weather - Some scheduled events were canceled without notification (still showed up on the daily agenda and tv screen in hallways) - we ended up in Freeport with only a few hours on land, not enough to spend the additional money to travel the island and the tourist trap shopping that greeted us was not what we had in mind. (We waited in line to get scooters for 30 minutes or more before deciding to just go back to the boat.) - our excursion was cancelled since we were redirected; no one notified us of alternative excursions, but they were wrangling people for excursions in Freeport once we got there. Seems excursions in Freeport were not provided to us. - our "premium" package that included the "premium" level restaurant deal was a bit confusing and misleading. The food was average to poor and how many visits were covered was confusing. It would have been just as well to stick with cafe. - Indian food in cafe was great and our go-to - our cleaning lady was amazingly wonderful... responsive, efficient, and kind! Sadly, service on the boat was otherwise average (likely due to built in tipping... no incentive). - in looking up what the staff might be getting paid, we became a bit depressed. No wonder they were grumpy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my first cruise. When it was booked I never would have booked it if I would have been informed that there was a private charter going on this cruise. The people in the charter were rude, obnoxious, and used a lot of foul language ... Read More
This was my first cruise. When it was booked I never would have booked it if I would have been informed that there was a private charter going on this cruise. The people in the charter were rude, obnoxious, and used a lot of foul language in front of everyone. This normally wouldn't bother me because I can ignore people like that but there were children present and children repeat things. They also told me, and a few other people that they were special and we will get the leftovers of privileges after they were done. We weren't able to get into different areas because of them, they had a few fights occur, and were just all around disrespect towards the other cruisers. The bar near the customer service had the rudest employees. They really need to separate the coffee, and soda pop away from the alcohol bar. We ended up going to Freeport instead of the private island. Never arrived there until 3 pm and had to be back onboard by 730 pm. Very disappointing. The cruise director scheduled to many raffles at the same time. You needed to be present to win if your name was called so you had to pick and choose. Went every night where the nighttime snacks were to be, and they were never there. The food was excellent, and our cabin steward was the sweetest young gentleman by the name of Henry. My cabin was excellent.We also enjoyed talking with a very special gentleman that worked in the jewelry . He was polite, kind, excellent conversationalist, and all over enjoyable man to talk to. I wish I could spell his name but can tell you it began with a Ny. The acrobatic show was very good. The singers were not to my taste so left shortly after the shows began. So overall this cruise was a big disappointment. I did send Norwegian a 3 to 4 page email about what all occurred. They never responded. I doubt that I will give them a second chance when they couldn't even respond to my email Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We arrived a day early and stayed at the Barrymore in Tampa. Other than the great bottle of wine from the bar, our meal at the restaurant we have nothing good to say about this old, run down hotel. We went on the Dawn last January 2018 and ... Read More
We arrived a day early and stayed at the Barrymore in Tampa. Other than the great bottle of wine from the bar, our meal at the restaurant we have nothing good to say about this old, run down hotel. We went on the Dawn last January 2018 and thought of doing the same time this year, just chose a different ship. We like the smaller ones so we stayed in the jewel class, choosing the eastern Caribbean this year. We absolutely loved NCL from our last trip, not so much this time. Embarkation was very smooth and quick, as well as disembarkation. It’s the in between we were disappointed by. Rude people, dirty pool deck and food were our issues, which pretty much sums up how our time was spent. Breakfasts at the cafe is where we went for an omelette every morning. We didn’t do lunch very often, just a snack wherever we were. We were going to try main dining-once being turned away because my husband was in shorts, other times because I heard Indigo was nothing special. Cagneys was very good as well as o’Sheehans. We mostly ate dinners at the buffet because we always had luck finding salad, soup, and whatever else looked good. There was entirely too much Indian and Mexican food, not enough variety and no comfort foods ie., mashed potatoes. One days entrees were made with last nights leftovers. I did not have one desert worth mentioning other than jello. Even the whip cream for the desert wasn’t real. If you weren’t on deck by 8 am, sea days by 6 am you didn’t get a lounge chair for sun bathing, which we enjoy doing a lot. lol. The issues continued out there as well. 2 beverage servers for the entire deck (we ended up standing in line at the bar because it was quicker), crap floating in the pool (straws, bandaids, dirt), dirty floors, overcrowded sitting areas-need I say more?! The entertainment was sub par. Legends in Concert was awful-including “Elton John” and “Tina Turner” who couldn’t carry a tune. But “Michael Jackson” stole the show. The so called “Cirque du Soleil” entertainer juggler was mind numbing. OMG, the 4 girls were so off tune my ears hurt. I had an opportunity to visit the spa for some pain management acupuncture with Dr Jin- she is amazing with a capital A! Our room steward Rosario was very attentive and greeted us every day. If you have the opportunity to go on NCL, just choose a different ship. Unfortunately after this trip my husband is considering other cruise lines. We do have a trip in the works on the Dawn next year, let’s hope they delight us as much as 2018!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My husband and I decided to take a quick cruise to relax and defrost! We coined it the "Chill and Thaw Cruise". By the time we booked, there was limited room selection, so we opted to spring for the DOS. We've done Haven ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a quick cruise to relax and defrost! We coined it the "Chill and Thaw Cruise". By the time we booked, there was limited room selection, so we opted to spring for the DOS. We've done Haven and non Haven rooms in the past. Disappointment started when I contacted precruise concierge to order my 3 bottles of liquor. I was told because it was only a 5 day cruise, that "recently" 3 bottles had been reduced to 1. They also referred to them as complimentary bottles. Funny, I thought that was rolled into the HUGE price tag of the Haven rooms. Their website still states 3 (even as I write this). When we got to the room none of the other requests where there, so, useless waste of time. Embarkation went smoothly. Lunch as Cagney's was good. Same menu as always. Our room was very nice. Our butler, room steward and concierge were also very good. The deck is lovely and the private hot tub was great. Note: it was out of order for about 24 hours, which on a 5 day cruise is a lot. It also rendered the deck unusable during the day because they had it torn apart and men working on it. I know these things happen and they did give us a 200 OBC, but I mention it because I think it happens a lot and if it's going to bother you, consider it. First night headed down for a predinner drink and that is where we first learned of the new alcohol pricing from a bartender. Crazy prices. I'm fine with Tito's instead of Grey Goose, but really 20 for a drink with Grey Goose, not even in Vegas or NYC is that a thing. Wines are awful and equally crazy expensive. $15 dollars a glass for bad wine is robbery. I ordered a glass of champagne at LeBistro for 23.99 and was told it had recently changed to 37.00, even though the menu stated 23.99. When the table captain came over to see how things were I mentioned that and he said "blame Miami". Apparently, they had change the prices so fast they didn't have time to print up new menus. If you're sensing a trend at this point you are correct. We had the dining plan and are Platinum members so we were able to eat specialty dining all but one night. La Cuccina was awful, except for my risotto app. My husband and I each ordered the Cianti and the waiter opened a bottle and charged us for it. There was a language barrier, but I kept asking him why would I order a bottle and pay for it when I could have 20 glasses that I already paid for. Nothing was getting through. He told me I could go to Guest Services with my receipt. On a 5 day cruise the last thing I want to do is hangout with Guest Services over $30. We had a 7:30 reservation and there was only one other couple in the restaurant. Cagney's also awful on two visits. My steak was super tough. My husband couldn't even eat his grilled fisherman's platter. He couldn't even tell what type of fish it was. Dessert was good. On the second trip, my lamb chops were good. I didn't care for the sweet almost bbq sauce they were in, but they were cooked well. My husband's salmon was a strange lucid pink color, it looked under cooked, but it wasn't and he said the texture was off. He thought maybe it had been cooked, then frozen and recooked?? LeBistro was solid. We had great food one night at the buffet. Had them made to order crepes plain and then added chicken and vegetables. Hit up the pasta area and had them make some nice pasta dishes. By far the best dinner on the cruise. Entertainment was good. Dailies were pretty much the same old, same old. Ship is in good shape. Love the layout of this class of ships. No problem with the crew, they were attentive and pleasant. Disembarking was a breeze. I found this cruise to be a bit more formal than the Gem (NYC 1/18) and the Getaway (8/18). Not stuffy, but people were dressed nicely in the evenings, which was nice. I actually felt under dressed. I waffled between a 2 and 3 rating, this cruise has not turned me totally off to NCL, but it will have to check a lot of boxes for it to be a choice. I'm booked again on a 14 day out of Boston in March. I would have considered cancelling, if we were not passed final payment. Who knows, maybe it will be my turn around trip. Let's hope. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I don't think I'll cruise with Norwegian again, and certainly not out of Tampa. There was not a lot that was better than other cruises I have been on in the past, and plenty that was much worse. First of all, we were affected ... Read More
I don't think I'll cruise with Norwegian again, and certainly not out of Tampa. There was not a lot that was better than other cruises I have been on in the past, and plenty that was much worse. First of all, we were affected by a fog delay. Obviously, that part is not controllable by the cruise line, but their handling of the issue was terrible. We had separate reservations for three different cabins and I was the only one to receive notifications about the delay (via text). If we had been coordinating with the others, they probably wouldn't have been notified at all. Additionally, as this cruise was departing on 12/30 (which I guess is considered a holiday by the company) they shut down their customer service line early, while there were literally thousands of people lined up outside with no guidance. I actually did speak with the a representative earlier that day, who was very pleasant and nice, but gave me very different information than everybody else gave me. The lady actually told me that because I was traveling with two small children (1 year-old and 2 year-old), as well as my 75-year old mother, that we would be able to join the priority boarding given how late the boarding was. We were slotted for a 10am boarding time (with scheduled 1pm departure) but we were told to arrive at 9pm (first, it was 6pm) due to the fog delay, which meant that we had nowhere to go (we ended up having to pay for a hotel room just so our kids could rest). We ended up waiting in line for 4-5 hours, which as you can imagine, was utter hell for our family. We had understandably tired, screaming and restless children, who were being kept in a line until 1am when they normally go to be at 8pm. At no point, were there any announcements made to the crowd. The only representatives we saw were only addressing people in Haven (premiere level) and suites to move them to priority boarding. The next day, we found out that we would be skipping one of the four ports of call and I don't ever remember getting any notification other than some paltry onboard credit that appeared on the account with no explanation. The cruise itself was hit or miss. Many of the staff were very pleasant, but I have found that to be the case on all of the cruises (Carnival, Royal Caribbean). There were also a handful of staff that didn't have the best attitude, but they were in the minority. We went into this trip knowing that Norwegian wasn't as toddler friendly (no drop-off care/activities for children under 3 years old, etc.), but it was still worse than expected. They planned all of the toddler activities (parent participation required, which was fine) at the most awkward times for toddlers (prime toddler meal times like noon and 5pm), and they located the smoking section of the deck right next to the kiddie pool area. They also seemed to have a systematic system for filling their dining rooms, with no regard for small children. They would start at one end of the restaurant and then fill tables back, but I thought this was weird because they were sticking us with our loud children next to people that wanted to enjoy a nice meal. This was less of an issue for us, but I felt bad for the people near us. At one point, an old lady yelled "QUIET!" in a nearby table when my 1 year-old started screaming (he's admittedly loud). Also worth noting is that about half of the high chairs had broken buckles, which was not the biggest deal but certainly not ideal. Our cabin was pretty standard for a cruise, but no big complaints. While we really like our room steward, I think they didn't do the normal level of initial cleaning due to the chaos with the fog delay (my mother's room had an old sippy cup under the bed filled with old yogurt). Our bathtub also leaked water from sides (maintenance took care of this). The biggest annoyance was the lack of beside power ports. The only ports within reach of the bed were single USB ports in the bottom of the beside lights. The main cafeteria (Garden Cafe) was ok, but the seating was very cramped. It would have been fine if everybody was between the ages of 5 and 60, but obviously that's not the case with a cruise. A very significant percentage of the people had walkers, wheelchairs and motorized scooters (along with the few people like us with strollers and high chairs). This was what made it tough to walk through the seating area. We enjoyed the specialty dining, particularly Cagny's (steakhouse) and Moderno (Brazilian grill). We had fun at Teppanyaki, but like all American hibachi grills, it was very salty. Two other quick negatives. First, this was the first cruise I've been on where they seemed to change the itinerary with no notification. We always try to plan out our vacation (dinners, activities, etc.) based on the schedule so it's a bit annoying when they move things around without telling us (although I recognize that this is clearly their right based on the disclosures). Second, we opted not to book excursions with the little kids, but my family did and they said Grand Cayman was poorly executed (they had booked the stingray city and snorkel tour through NCL). At the dock, there are lots of people so they were told to gather in a certain area. Apparently, a tour guide came by and quickly said to follow them and then took off at a brisk pace (which is tough given the demographics of the cruise ship). Many were left behind confused. I also heard the tour guide on the boat was all-around rude (stark contrast to the great service for the catamaran snorkel tour in Roatan). The next part is not NCL's fault, but to top it all off, there were so many ships in port that day, that there weren't many stingrays around by the time they got there (2-4). On the positive side, the drinks were pretty decent (nice variety around the boat) and the bartenders were generally friendly (especially Guillermo). And they didn't seem to nickel and dime you too much on the beverage package, which was nice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our trip started out with a 12 delay, no fault of Norwegians, there was fog in the Tampa area and the ship could not come into port. We finally boarded the ship about midnight. I truly expected them to greet us in an over the top way, due ... Read More
Our trip started out with a 12 delay, no fault of Norwegians, there was fog in the Tampa area and the ship could not come into port. We finally boarded the ship about midnight. I truly expected them to greet us in an over the top way, due to us missing our entire first day on the ship, didn't happen, no music or any kind of special welcome. The food on this cruise was mediocre at best, sadly. We ate at 3 of the specialty restaurants, the steak house, the Italian restaurant and the Japanese restaurant. The Japanese one was probably the best out of the 3, however NONE of the we great, service was just was not good at the steak house or the Italian restaurant. Service at the bars on the pool decks was slow, one bar never opened the whole time on board and we were never greeted with a smile or friendly service. The cruise director "Jodie" who is supposed to make the entertainment on your ship amazing, did a very poor job of that. Music on the pool deck was nearly non-existent. There were a few hours a couple afternoons where a band did play for maybe an hour-play some piped in music for heavens sake, it's better than nothing! We ran into Jodie on 3 different occasions on our trip and not once did she acknowledge us!! Not even a "hello". Jodie, we rarely saw out and about or running any games or shows. Her assistant "Tara-Tiara", was friendly, fun and very visible through out the ship.The singers on board we ok, nothing fabulous except the Michael Jackson impersonator and the acrobats. Not all bars or buffets were always open and closed during annoying times. We were in port with Norwegians sister ship Jade once. When we arrived back after a day off the ship, the Jade staff was hosting an amazing dance party to welcome their guests back, singers, loud music dancer, drinks, towels etc. We turned the corner to board the Pearl, 2 attendants were there handing out towels, no music, no dancers, no party!!! Positives: we had problems with our AC unit, they did come to fix it twice and "Julie" in guest services sent us a bottle of champagne and some chocolate covered strawberries. The ship was clean as was our cabin, they were very diligent about keeping guests hands sanitized. We have cruised Carnival previously and they knocked the ball out of the park with service, food, friendliness, entertainment and music on pool decks. That cruise director was amazing, ALWAYS visible making things fun. My vote 1 Carnival ) Norwegian :( Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I decided to take a Christmas trip with my family and to celebrate our honeymoon. We have sailed multiple times before, but this was our worst experience to date. Check-in at the port terminal was total chaos and that ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a Christmas trip with my family and to celebrate our honeymoon. We have sailed multiple times before, but this was our worst experience to date. Check-in at the port terminal was total chaos and that chaos continued for the entire week. Getting on and off of the ship for shore excursions was a fiasco. At one port, we tendered to shore, only to be shoved into lines with passengers of a Royal Caribbean ship. There were no signs, no Norwegian staff there to help....passengers were at a complete loss. At another port, you were supposed to get tender tickets to get to shore if you were not taking a shore excursion. After waiting in line for over a half hour, NCL ran out of tender tickets and told us we would just have to get off after everyone else with tickets. This meant getting off of the ship at 12:30, leaving only a few hours before we had to be back on the boat. A few hours is not enough time to explore much of anything. We were late into every port and late leaving every port. There was no sense of organization, especially with the activity staff. Even activities on the boat started late (the few that there were). One day a group was told they would be catching tenders in 2 minutes...25 minutes later, they were still sitting in the theater. After cruising with other companies, I found it hard to believe that NCL charged for absolutely everything, even many of the activities. They were charging for bowling ($7 per game per person!), for bingo, for Deal or No Deal, and various other activities. After trying a couple of activities, we quit going because we weren't going to pay for all of the entertainment. The shows were decent. The pools were not heated, making them uncomfortable. Lastly, this was a cruise during Christmas....other than a few decorations in the centrum and some gingerbread houses around the ship, there was no sense of festiveness or celebration. Food on the ship was ok, but the service was slow in the main dining rooms. With the Freestyle set-up, the wait staff is getting short-changed. Because you don't have the same waiters each meal, you don't get to know them and people tend not to tip. With no incentive to provide excellent service, no wonder it was suspect. Overall, I was extremely disappointed with my NCL experience. There wasn't much to do on the ship, the lack of organization made everyone irritable, and getting on and off the boat was a total nightmare. Unless there is a destination I really want to see and NCL is the only option, I won't be sailing Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Staff and servers were wonderful. Staterooms were very nice with plenty of room for 2 people. Attendant was very good. Ports were fun as long as we did our own thing. My biggest complaint is the pool deck ambience. Many patrons asked ... Read More
Staff and servers were wonderful. Staterooms were very nice with plenty of room for 2 people. Attendant was very good. Ports were fun as long as we did our own thing. My biggest complaint is the pool deck ambience. Many patrons asked for music but were refused over and over. Don't understand why a pool deck can't have music playing. Lots of cancelations of live music and activities. Food not good. Didnt realize all the dining rooms serve the same thing. Food never was changed up. Same entres over and over for 14 days. Desserts were awful. Only thing eatable was ice cream. Excursion desk was never open. When it was lines we extremely long. Agents new nothing about excurions except what they could read from the computer. Entertai ment was very poor. Not many activities worth doing. Many cancelled or just not happening. Embarking and disembarking was lines around the buildings and ships. Poor planning. We still had the trip of a lifetime and we made the best of it, but I didn't think the food and entertainment were going to be so disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful ... Read More
This was our first NCL cruise - we have been on 41 cruises. It was a promotion through our local casino. As we read about the ship we actually started to get excited. The specialty restaurants were enticing, the spa looked wonderful and, we love the countries that we were to visit. Besides, it was a Casino at Sea so we planned to have fun in the casino. Our first warning was the embarkation. When we got to the terminal at 11:30, people were still disembarking. We found our Casino at Seas line at 11:50 - zipped right through security because of our scooter. Only one couple was ahead of us. We got on board at 1:50! Crazy. The ship was beautiful, the service (especially our room steward) was wonderful and the shows were great. But, that's where it stops. The menus were great but the food was mediocre at best. The Moderno Brazilian Restaurant's signature meat (Sirloin roast) was dry, tough and inedible. Cagney Steakhouse was good ... a step above Longhorn but not as good as a Ruth Chris (which Carnival's steakhouses are comparable). My biggest disappointment was Le Bistro, the French restaurant. Though the food was good, it was not French. Menu was French but not the food. I ordered their most expensive ($24.95) item (a shrimp dish). I've had more flavor and bigger and more tasty shrimp at Olive Garden, and trust me Olive Garden is not all that great. The main dining rooms also disappointed. Who fries stuffed mushrooms caps? Everything was just blah. The buffet was actually better than the main dining rooms. The Spa ... I prepaid for the Thermal Suite with its "therapy" pools. Well, I am 70 and have mobility issues. The two "therapy" pools are not accessible and there is no lift. You have to be able to climb a ladder. I have only been in three Thermal Suites (all on Carnival). Both the Breeze and the Splendor are wonderful. You can walk in on steps with solid handrails. The Vista was a joke ... easy to get into but smaller than a hot tub. When I discussed my problems with the staff, they were indifferent and said "they are working on that." The Casino - well, it was small, expensive ($10 minimum for tables) and had very limited variety of slots. There were a few tournaments (no discount for Casino at Sea folk) and no promotional games, except for one hour hot seat. Two of the four ports we went to were "fake" ports that have a handful of shops (no real native crafts, clothing or jewelry). But getting on and off was very easy. Disembarkation was weird. If you carry your own luggage you can get off willy-nilly. Causes quite a bit of congestion. We started to get off the ship at 9:45 (our group was suppose to be called at 9:15) and we got on the road about noon. Valet parking was very inefficient. NCL has beautiful ships, a caring staff and great shows. But that is the wrapping paper and Tiffany box. The food, ports of call, embarkation and disembarkation, is from the Dollar Store. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Disappointing experience overall. Started with embarkation in Tampa. Was there at time selected, 12pm, stood outside on line in sun and heat for over 2 hours. would not let us in to terminal, no water, no information. One older ... Read More
Disappointing experience overall. Started with embarkation in Tampa. Was there at time selected, 12pm, stood outside on line in sun and heat for over 2 hours. would not let us in to terminal, no water, no information. One older gentleman passed out, request for wheelchair by a woman was denied. Food overall was terrible. Low quality beef that could not be chewed, burnt or overdone pasta dishes, scallops that were so small they must have been embryos, shrimp so small they looked like the canned shrimp used for dips, veal in the specialty restaurant that was chopped veal not sliced scallopine, overcooked dry omelets. Desserts were the only good thing. No organization of tours, gangways crowded with people jumping lines, pushing etc. Long walks from piers to transportation with no help for people with walking problems. Had specialty dining package. was told didn't have to make reservatons before we left by NCL agent. Resulted in our not being able to use one of the discounts because they were booked until 9pm. Disembarking was slightly better than embarking but still disorganized with long lines and no staff to control or organize the process. Will not be taking this cruise line again . Cruising used to be a luxurious way to travel, sadly this freestyle cruising has taken that away. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This is our 10th cruise with ncl and we all noticed a change for the worse with regard to customer service, dining, activities and general ship maintenance. From embarkation, which was disorganized and had 2000 people standing room only ... Read More
This is our 10th cruise with ncl and we all noticed a change for the worse with regard to customer service, dining, activities and general ship maintenance. From embarkation, which was disorganized and had 2000 people standing room only without water or chairs for two plus hours, to disembarkation, also unorganized, we found the cruise lacking from previous times. We were a party of 5 and all felt a lack of concern from the entire crew, who frequently complained about their job. It seems we waited in lines for 30 minutes for anything we needed from guest services to shore excursions and even dining (felt like we wasted a lot of our vacation time waiting). And when we did get to our turn they seemed rushed and unable to accommodate our needs. Also, seems that their budget is really cut for customer service, food quality, and activities and entertainment. Feel like it is time to try royal Caribbean or princess next time. Enrichment activities were origami, and watching officers compete in towel folding? Again, no budget for something really interesting. Casino just okay, again budget conscious and hit and miss with service. Also, I think this lower quality of service put other cruisers in a bad mood, people seemed a little rude to each other. Our room steward changed the towels and made our bed but otherwise not very friendly. Ports of call okay, some so impoverished and just constant solicitation. Enjoyed Cartagena and costa maya and Panama Canal even though we didn’t get off ship in colon (only 3 hours there and Didn’t seem like somewhere to go out at night) Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose this cruise because of the Norwegian reputation and the promotion offered. This cruise was one step above the worst ever!. The embarkation process was horrible as we sat an hour and a half AFTER the supposed boarding time with ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the Norwegian reputation and the promotion offered. This cruise was one step above the worst ever!. The embarkation process was horrible as we sat an hour and a half AFTER the supposed boarding time with people lines up outside and around the block. This was only made worse by the 3+ hours standing in line to disembark. Our cabin was OK, but for the money we paid for a Junior Suite it was not up to the standards of other lines we traveled on. Tee dining was OK, but the choices were not all that great, we ended up with the Classic Favorites over half the time. The entertainment was boorish, the service was so so; if it weren't for a cople of waitresses it would have been horrible. As to Ports - WOW, several were a waste of time and money. In Santa Marta we were parked in a huge coal, yes black coal, dock. We were told before shipping out we would be stopping in Belize CIty and made plans, while at sea change to the biggest waste, Norweigans own island, HA! nothing there to do. Colon, stores all closed when we arrived, opened for a couple of hours AFTER dark. Only good excusion was the Chocolate Excursion in Guatemala. We will cruise again, but I highly doubt it will EVER be on Norweigian again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
First had to wait 3 hours to board ship due to Coast Guard inspection of ship.Second,NCL put me on a cash only basis on the ship. This was due to a NCL foul up with my credit card at the pier at check in.Third there a NCL foul up with my ... Read More
First had to wait 3 hours to board ship due to Coast Guard inspection of ship.Second,NCL put me on a cash only basis on the ship. This was due to a NCL foul up with my credit card at the pier at check in.Third there a NCL foul up with my shore excursions and it took 6 people to straighten it out. This really got my wife upset, The fifth day of the cruise she got a severe nose bleed and went to the ships medical facility. The doctor said it was caused by high blood pressure caused by these problems. The ships doctor could not completely stop the bleeding and said we will be sent to a local hospital for treatment and return to the ship.This did not happen. Briefly what happened my wife spent over 2 days in a hospital where no one spoke English and had to stay in a hotel where no one spoke English. An interperter was assigned to use to translate.They kept running all sorts of tests on my wife and she had no idea what they were. We had no contact with the outside world where we were which was Santa Marta, Columbia.This made for a very uncomfortable feeling, NCL had not given us any info as hoe to catch up with the cruise, We had to fly home from Santa Marta to Bogota to Miami to Charlotte to Greensboro,NC, 15 hours in transit. Bottom line is $3,000 medical bill from NCL and $9,000 for hospital, hotel, taxi, ambulance and air fare in Santa Marta. After 14 cruises with NCL I expected some more help than what I received. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was not the best cruise we have ever taken - actually one of the poorest. I will start with the embarkation process which took over 2 hours of standing in line waiting to board the ship. When we finally get through security, its ... Read More
This was not the best cruise we have ever taken - actually one of the poorest. I will start with the embarkation process which took over 2 hours of standing in line waiting to board the ship. When we finally get through security, its chaos trying to fill out health forms etc and standing in another queue to checkin. Get onboard prior to sailing and have to go directly to muster. Once onboard, the ship is old and not laid out in a good manner. You have floors that are blocked midship with restaurants and have to remember which floors you are on to go up or down to get between front and back of boat. Only one lounge with activities at night which never had seating available. The restaurant staff was unfriendly and took forever to get drinks poolside - couldn't get waiters to stop for order because we were on a drink package. The ports were okay but very limited shore excursions to choose from based on our experience with other cruise lines. Actually booked two of our excursions directly in port because the ship didn't offer beforehand. Harvest Caye was disappointing as there is really only the beach and pool to do so have to take a ferry to the village. However village caters to excursions so wasted 2 hours trying to find food once we got off ship and waited for ferry. Cabins were tight - we had a balcony room which has metal enclosure around balcony so limits your views. No counter space for belongings in the cabin - hard to get ready with kids and husband. Pool entertainment at day of sea consisted of a band for 2 hours and one activity by staff - disappointed based on past experience. Also, late night food and the buffet choices were lacking. I am used to bigger selections in the buffet and having late night options. Also, we booked two rooms and had separate reservations so it was a pain every time we had to give cabin numbers etc. All of our paperwork and such had to be done twice - one for each cabin which makes no sense to not link them. The disembarkation process was awful - if you dont carry your bags off you have to wait. Used to getting off the ship shortly after docking - it was 3 hours after docking before we could get off. Dont get me wrong - there were some positives. The cabin steward was great! He knew if was my husbands bday and brought a cupcake to celebrate. Very nice and friendly. The food was good but not great! I really enjoyed the theater entertainment at night - it was very good. Also liked that they had photographers setup each night so we got some really good family pics - even though they are super expensive. I would not recommend this ship - not sure if some of the issue we encountered was because of the ship or Norwegian itself but will not book Norwegian again. I will stick with Royal Caribbean from now on. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Last year I thought I went on budget cruise doing a Carnival so thinking NCL was a step up I was very excited for a class act, nothing could be more untrue, first we got hit with buying bottled water for an exorbitant price. We at ... Read More
Last year I thought I went on budget cruise doing a Carnival so thinking NCL was a step up I was very excited for a class act, nothing could be more untrue, first we got hit with buying bottled water for an exorbitant price. We at ate at the dining room for both breakfast and dinner if you ordered eggs scrambled they were liquid and or powered eggs, The dinners were basic dishes and when they finally had a seafood dish that I may like, it was described as prawns over linguini they size of a nickel. That was not a prawn all the dishes I was expecting. The all inclusive drink package if you did not specify the alcoholic of choice you got some off brand vodka or other. When I specify Titos they ran out. The bar on the pool deck was small and always packed with a line. The snack bar/food at the pool was hamburgers, hotdogs and some other grilled meat, we went into the buffet one time for lunch the food was terrible. I have not been on a an NCL in 30 years this was my first time back and wont be returning. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We live near the Port of Tampa, so this was a convenient choice. We've cruised the Dawn before, and had good experiences in the past; unfortunately, this was different (and not at all the best experience we've had with NCL and ... Read More
We live near the Port of Tampa, so this was a convenient choice. We've cruised the Dawn before, and had good experiences in the past; unfortunately, this was different (and not at all the best experience we've had with NCL and the Dawn). We do plan to send a letter to NCL management in order to notify upper levels of management of the changes we witnessed on this cruise. If you're interested in specifics, here's just a few... *The overall attitude of the majority of the crew was extremely poor -- from the first day until the last. Even during the disembarkation process, I overhead an employee at the Guest Services desk screaming, "I am full! Take my contract and tear it up." *We were actually harassed by a masseuse who refused to give us directions to a specific location UNLESS we would "get into his chair for a massage first!" We were NOT in the spa when this happened -- we were actually walking down a public hallway near elevators. Completely unacceptable! *Every beach towel we were given had stains from drinks and sunscreen. NO JOKE -- every beach towel we received! *We were not provided with bath towels on the last evening of our trip even though we called and notified Guest Services. We phoned before 10pm when we discovered NO towels, and phoned again over an hour later because we wanted to go to sleep! Since our bath towels never arrived, we dried off the next morning with our stained beach towels. Not acceptable! *We found the comedian's entertainment to be inappropriate, as well as very juvenile (poop jokes! really?!?!). *Many of the locks in the women's public restrooms did NOT function. In one restroom specifically, HALF of the locks did not work! *In our cabin, we had to keep the thermostat at the highest heating level in order for us to be comfortable. Any level lower than the highest heat level and we were freezing. In an effort to provide a balanced review, I will say that the food served in the sit-down restaurant options (including the free dining options) was quite good. Also, there were several medical emergencies on our cruise, and we felt the Captain did an exceptional job handling each of those situations (at least from our perspective -- we were not personally involved in any of the medical emergency situations). Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Will never again take a cruise where unlimited bar is offered as an incinitive. This cruise was full of drunks. Felt more like a cheap juk-joint than a vacation. Service in dining rooms mediocre, at best. Food just okay. Too many ... Read More
Will never again take a cruise where unlimited bar is offered as an incinitive. This cruise was full of drunks. Felt more like a cheap juk-joint than a vacation. Service in dining rooms mediocre, at best. Food just okay. Too many teens running around unsupervised. Loud neighbors, whatever they(two guys) were doing actually shook the wall and our bed. Harvest Caye a total waste. Bathroom is too small. Faulty toilet. Had to report non-working toilet twice. Toilet area to small for an average size person to turn around in. Shows in the Stardust theater was too loud. Which to me indicates lack of talent. Shows in the Atrium were excellent. Did not take any ship sponsored excursions because they are too expensive. Took the WiFi package incinitive for this cruise. But was not informed that the time included in the offer starts counting down as soon as a log on is created and you must log out through a special url every time or the count down continues. 250 min of WiFi was gone in less that five hours. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Stayed in Mini Suite on deck 11 aft 11676 kept up most night till midnight while they bowled or something on my ceiling even went up to yell at them and did't do any good. Had priority embarkation and disembarkation was a joke was not ... Read More
Stayed in Mini Suite on deck 11 aft 11676 kept up most night till midnight while they bowled or something on my ceiling even went up to yell at them and did't do any good. Had priority embarkation and disembarkation was a joke was not any better than regular. Disembarkation was horrible Tampa is a stickler for non american check in and they have no procedure for getting non citizens to check in on ship we were stuck for 1 1/2 hours till these people were checked in went through same thing 3 years ago on another Norwegian ship that one took 2 hours think they could have figured it out by now. Windy weather caused us to miss a port and we got no compensation and they had nothing set up to keep people entertained they used to have omelet station and eggs benedict station but did away with it so eggs benedict was over cooked and just luke warm. Information on disembarkation was not forth coming had to figure our ourselves. Shore excursions were a joke went on atvs. which were junk barley able to run and trail was ridiculous not level 2 but 3 and machines not up to the task all they said was welcome to Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My husband and myself, 2 family members and 2 friends decided to take the NCL cruise out of Tampa for a 7 day trip to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan and Belize as a warm weather get away. This is the second time my husband and I and the 2 ... Read More
My husband and myself, 2 family members and 2 friends decided to take the NCL cruise out of Tampa for a 7 day trip to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan and Belize as a warm weather get away. This is the second time my husband and I and the 2 friends have been on NCL (other time out of Miami in Spring of 2017...experience just as bad). The four of us agree this will be our last with NCL. We have cruised 15+ times on Princess, about 5 times on Holland, 1 time on Royal Caribbean and 2 times on Carnival so we have other comparisons. The boarding and disembarkation process was the absolute worse we have ever seen. Took about 2 1/2 hours to board the ship and about 2 hours to get off. The port staff for onboarding seemed very disorganized and kept directing people in the lines to go this way then that. Once on ship the rooms were not ready. Food on the trip was OK, but breakfast and other meals just became a boring repeat of the day before. There is only so much you can do to disguise leftovers! Much like the movie Ground Hog Day! The ship activities each day for for the most part were just a repeat of the day before just change the date on daily paper and it was done. My husband and I were in a mini-suite and for approximately 40% of the time we had no hot water in our cabin, 30% it was luke warm and remaining 20% had hot water but never knew when. Ended up taking 90 second cold showers most of the trip. Reported it to guest services and once was told the plumber showed up and we had do not disturb sign on door so he did not enter. This was not true because during the time he said he came (9:00 am) we had left the ship at 7:30am that morning for a shore excursion and had turned the room dial to "make up cabin". Repeatedly reported it and was told was fixed only to discover had not. Morning of our departure still not fixed. NCL website leaves a lot to be desired and can do very little on it. Ended up cancelling an excursion in Mexico because of all the warnings by the US government of ferry explosions and american tourist kidnapping. Which other cruise lines were sending info to passengers, but never received anything from NCL. Ended up on phone for 50+ minutes. Should be able to do this online. The post cruise survey was a joke. Asked select the box answers with no room for comments. Overall NCL suffers poor communication and lack luster cruise experience. If this were our first ever cruise it would have been our last. Hope the first time cruisers give another cruise line a chance. Positive point....bed was very comfortable in room and we had the "free" drink package (which was not really free). If you are planning to cruise search other options. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My 87 yer old wheelchair/limited mobility mother booked this cruise as a family trip. The handicap designated family suite was problematic. The comfortable king bed was at 28" from the floor so NOT transferable from wheelchair, my ... Read More
My 87 yer old wheelchair/limited mobility mother booked this cruise as a family trip. The handicap designated family suite was problematic. The comfortable king bed was at 28" from the floor so NOT transferable from wheelchair, my mother was given a step unit (she is a large woman recently surviving cancer) that she fell off of twice each time injuring herself (no breaks, but deep lacerations) The other bed in the suite is a hard pleather sofa bed (full size) with crate foam on top not comfortable nor does it have it's own lamp/light. Possibly ok for children traveling, but NCL claims it is for 4 people. The last 2 nights of the trip my mother and her husband had to sleep on couch bed as after hurting herself no longer trusted climbing the step unit. On arrival the safety bar separating shower in bathroom was rickety and only attached by 2 screws I reported this and it was addressed and 2 more bolts were added. I would also advise earplugs as the location is off the pool deck area and dance parties at night boomed bass into room (mostly over by midnight) The service is excellent, food in specialty restaurants was good. And if you like a quiet space booking the spa thermal lounge pass is a good idea. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This is our second but last time on Norwegian Cruises. The last on the Epic was fantastic but the Dawn really disappointed us. The ship is OK for a mid sized vessel and the room is pretty much as expected. Sadly the lack of customer ... Read More
This is our second but last time on Norwegian Cruises. The last on the Epic was fantastic but the Dawn really disappointed us. The ship is OK for a mid sized vessel and the room is pretty much as expected. Sadly the lack of customer service let’s the brand down badly. There is also very limited entertainment on board. Our first taste of the bad attitude was when being herded like sheep at the terminal with security personnel that were outright rude. Onboard the excursion counter personnel acted as if everything was too much effort. One of our party had a stand up shouting match with customer service when the woman was rude. In the restaurants we had to send cutlery and crockery back for being dirty. When we did this (5 times in 7 nights) only once was there an apology. I’m not nitpicking this either. The last time was at breakfast when I was served yogurt with lipstick still on the glass from a previous patron. Meals in the specialty restaurants are OK but at the buffet and normal restaurants the food is average to poor. Unfortunately we saw a lot of wasted food because a lot of it didn’t taste great. The last straw was when Norwegian saw fit to charge $3 for a rain poncho that couldn’t cost more than 20 cents, talk about killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Many customers commented on just how poorly that reflects on the cruise line. We also overheard many customers saying “worst cruise ever”. This is sad for the staff members who do try and there are some who are excellent. Another thing to look out for is their unlimited beverage deal. Bottled water, canned soda and cappuccino are all examples of things that are NOT beverages by NCL standards. I think the problem is the compulsory service charge. If staff had to perform for their tips they would do a better job. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
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