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86 Norwegian (NCL) Tampa Cruise Reviews

My husband and I, along with my 15 year old granddaughter cruised on the Dawn for the week of Thanksgiving. I wanted to give Norwegian a try. SO SORRY! This was the absolute worst cruise we've been on. I've been on four Carnival ... Read More
My husband and I, along with my 15 year old granddaughter cruised on the Dawn for the week of Thanksgiving. I wanted to give Norwegian a try. SO SORRY! This was the absolute worst cruise we've been on. I've been on four Carnival cruises that were all far better in every way then the Norwegian Dawn. Lets start with the cabin. I had a balcony. When the third bed was pulled out, you couldn't get to the balcony. The cabin was quite small compared to other cruise line. The desk area was soooo small with very poor lighting for doing makeup. I did like the shower, which was a nice size and had a slider rather than a curtain. The rest of the bathroom area was small with little space to put your toiletries, etc. There were several burned out lights in the room and the shower. The bed was comfortable enough. The food in the buffet was poor quality and limited selection. We thought we would have Thanksgiving dinner in the buffet thinking they would have all the trimmings. Wrong. They had sliced turkey and a pile of mush they called stuffing. No mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, or any other of the typical Thanksgiving fare. The pumpkin pie was pink pumpkin flavored moose in a crust. Yuck! We did eat in Moderno one night and it was much better then the complimentary eating venues. If you want a decent meal you will have to use the pay per meals. The pool area is small and I have to say down right ugly. I didn't spend any time out there at all. My husband and I got the weekly spa pass. This was the saving grace to the cruise. We spend time in there every day. Nice pool. Nice facilities. The entertainment was mostly geared toward the over seventy crowd so we didn't really participate in much of that. The embarkation and disembarkation was horrible. We arrived at 10:30 and didn't get on the ship until 1:30. Disembarkation - the self assist was supposed to start at 8:00 per the flyer they left in the room but they announced they were starting self assist at 7:00. We got to the gangway at 7:45 and didn't get through immigration until 9:45. Waited in a line the entire time. Needless to say, we will never, ever cruise Norwegian again.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
My family (17 total) and I sailed on the Dawn for the Thanksgiving cruise this year. It was our first cruise with Norwegian, and based on this experience, will be our last. It was an unmitigated disaster from start to finish. Things got ... Read More
My family (17 total) and I sailed on the Dawn for the Thanksgiving cruise this year. It was our first cruise with Norwegian, and based on this experience, will be our last. It was an unmitigated disaster from start to finish. Things got off to a bad start due to the utter failure that occurred during embarkation. I understand this topic has been discussed in other threads, so I won't expound on the subject, but the cruise terminal personnel and the cruise ship personnel continually told different stories of what went wrong. It would have been different if they had been honest, or possibly had even made some sort of "complimentary drink" available, but no....just the lies. From there , things only got worse. The toilet in our stateroom didn't flush properly for six of the seven days. It was reported to guest services a minimum of three times a day. No apology. No offer to move us to a different cabin. Just a comment that they would get the information to the appropriate department. We made the mistake of paying to go to the La Cuccina restaurant for the Jazz Brunch. The food, when it finally arrived after roughly 40 minutes, was cold. When it was brought to the server's attention, the response was "What do you want me to do about it". Breakfast at the Garden Cafe was also poor. It was impossible to find a working coffee machine. The buffet was very poorly maintained. (If you wanted bacon, you had better hope you liked crumbs instead of strips) Then there's the Venetian main dining room. The hostess was just flat out rude (Didn't have the temperment for the job). Service was bad. It was nearly impossible to even get a refill on a glass of water. We would e seated around 5:30PM and the service was so slow, we had to scramble to make 8:30PM shows. During the comedian's performance, the people in the tech booth were having an extremely loud, disruptive conversation. Several people tried, unsuccessfully to get them to be quiet (they were wearing headphones). During the shows, which were excellent, the sound mix was horrible. I have mixed sound for everything from live bands to orchestras to choral concerts and I know it isn't that difficult to get it right. I observed people actually plugging their ears or getting up and leaving because it was so poorly engineered. Three of the four shore excursions we booked were cancelled due to weather. While I realize this isn't the ship's fault, when you ad it on top of the other issues, it magnifies. This ship has a "Smoking Lounge" or "Cigar Lounge" if you prefer. On three different evenings, the smoke detector went off....for over an hour. The response from ship's personnel was "Stop smoking". Seriously? In the smoking lounge? All of this was laid out to guest services prior to debarkation, which was another disaster. No apology was offered. This information has also been presented to Norwegian, both in the "post cruise survey" and in an email to corporate. I haven't heard a word from them. We have sailed Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and family members have sailed on Disney. We have NEVER had this kind of experience on any other ship. We all work hard for our money, and have a choice where to spend our vacation dollars. I would advise thinking very seriously about choosing to spend your money somewhere other than with Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was my honeymoon and it was horrible!!! I was reduced to tears on more than once due to 1- The terrible food (fake eggs served in main dining rooms, low quality food (slop) served daily. Nothing cooked to order unless you are in a ... Read More
This was my honeymoon and it was horrible!!! I was reduced to tears on more than once due to 1- The terrible food (fake eggs served in main dining rooms, low quality food (slop) served daily. Nothing cooked to order unless you are in a specialty restaurant. Everything from foods to desserts were store bought/canned or previously frozen. Hamb/hot dogs served EVERYDAY for lunch. One day during the afternoon it was Mexican cuisine day in the buffet. It has pork in beans, red beans and black beans all served seperately on the buffet. That evening in the Venetian restaurant, they combined all 3 of these items into one pot and served it as a side item with the pork chops. This totally took the cake and again i was in tears being kept hostage on a boat in the middle of the sea and being served TRASH. 2- The service was horrible as in the dining rooms, you must wait and seek out servers. 3- The public bathrooms were disgusting and poorly maintained. Loads of water on the floors at all times. The smell of sewage was always present. 4- The tables in the pool area were never cleaned/readied as trash/leftover foods stayed on the tables for hours at a time without clearing. 5- At the very end of the cruise, we met Chef Brown in the specialty restaurant Le Bistro who I told my plight to. He is a great CHEF (most likely the only real chef onboard). He prepared a special meal for my new husband and I both Friday and Saturday nights. These were most likely the best meals we had on or off the ship in awhile. Yes, we paid the 20.00 per person fees but it was well worth every dime. 6- The maitre d explained they only serve real eggs on request on the entire ship!!! Otherwise the fake eggs is Norwegians standard practice for everyone. When at the egg station at the buffet, the "chef" making the omelettes had to call over a co-worker EVERYDAY when asked for fresh eggs instead of the egg substitute product. WHAT??? A 'chef' cannot crack eggs??? 7- I had another Norwegian cruise already booked for 9/6/13 on the Sun. I was so dissapointed and outraged at the overall conditions that I spent over 45.00 while onboard to call cruises.com and cancel that upcoming reservation. I NEVER desire to have another norwegian experience again!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We were a large group (18) that took the NCL Norwegian Dawn a week ago, and returned to Tampa yesterday morning. Have many issues to address. Let's start with some of the idiotic policies that NCL imposes upon their passengers. ... Read More
We were a large group (18) that took the NCL Norwegian Dawn a week ago, and returned to Tampa yesterday morning. Have many issues to address. Let's start with some of the idiotic policies that NCL imposes upon their passengers. First, many of us wanted to purchase their "Ultimate Beverage Package". The issue? NCL requires every "eligible" passenger in a booked cabin to purchase the package. I drink, my husband does not. My best friend does not drink, her husband does. Out of 18 people, we had several who were made up of a drinker, rooming with a non-drinker. I even went to the front desk to request they bend their policy, as I wanted to purchase the UBP. They refused and said it was impossible to override the policy in the computer. In addition, through no fault of NCL, there was heavy fog on Sunday 24th, and the port of Tampa was closed until late in the afternoon on Sunday the 24th and we could not board the ship until 11 p.m. on Sunday evening, (losing an entire day on the boat), and basically we were all rushed on just in time to go to bed. Those couples that did buy two packages for their cabin were not credited with one day, and were told by NCL that they would not refund an unused day on the UBP. So, they paid for 7 days for only got 6 days of value. Three trips down to Customer Relations by one particular passenger (a friend of mine) still resulted in no satisfaction. NCL absolutely refused to adjust the price of the package. So, I ended up purchasing a wine package from them, which cost me approximately $200. Had I been able to purchase the UBP, I would have spent $400. To require all eligible adults in a cabin to purchase the Ultimate Beverage Package is ridiculous. There are many reasons why certain passengers would not want, or should not buy, the package. Diabetics, alcoholics, Mormons, people taking certain medication regimens...there are many reasons why a passenger shouldn't HAVE to buy the package. This policy stinks. The second issue? The service. It was dreadful. There was one exception: The Pearly King's Pub was the only place on the ship where the service was excellent. In the dining rooms, the shops, the cruise director staff...everyone working on the Dawn seemed to be pissed off at the entire world. There were 18 of us, and we all hung in different groups at different times, went on separate excursions, and we all had stories to tell about the crappy service, attitudes and behaviours of the crew. One couple had a wine glass sit in their cabin for 5 straight days, untouched, as well as their coffee pot uncleaned and unemptied for 5 straight days. Back to my wine package, which I bought because I was assured that I could have my wine anywhere on the ship, at any venue, I was at the Bimini lounge and gave the bartender my slip for a bottle of wine, and was told flat out "I'm not going down to the wine cellar to get that," and he slapped the slip back on the counter. We were the only ones in the bar at the time, and there were three bartenders, so it wasn't as if he would have to leave the place unattended to retrieve my wine. He just didn't want to bother. If this had been our first cruise, we would have come away with a resolve to never cruise again. It was not our first cruise, but it will be our last with NCL. From start to finish, it was dreadful. The only thing that made it tolerable was the fact that we were all traveling together. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Embarkation: We arrived in Tampa for the cruise and caught a cab from the airport which was a 15 minute drive. We checked our luggage and proceeded up to check in. The line entering the building was getting long and the NCL rep told us to ... Read More
Embarkation: We arrived in Tampa for the cruise and caught a cab from the airport which was a 15 minute drive. We checked our luggage and proceeded up to check in. The line entering the building was getting long and the NCL rep told us to form 2 lines. Upon getting to the terminal door, we went into one line. I guess two shorter lines outside will make you think you're proceeding faster. As we went thru the security check, a lady was being told by the Cl rep to go thru a different line, and then was told by another to get back in line. The first rep started yelling at her so she did what he told her. Then the second guy started yelling at her to go back. She was an elderly lady and was confused, but the two men finally talked to each other and she was taken thru the express lane.After going thru security, you got into another line to turn i9n your Health survey. One person handled this, so another slow line. We then went and took care of the cruise docs and finally proceeded on board. Shipboard: We went to our cabin. It was forward by the elevator and we were pleasantly surprised. It had the largest shower we have ever had on any cruise line. That took a little out of the room, but was well worth it. Balcony was also refreshing. One thing, no ice in the ice bucket. No big deal as it usually is chaotic on the first afternoon. We proceeded up to the buffet and this is where we had read was a problem with NCL. Everything I had read, was now coming true. The food was barely warm, lettuce was brown like it was old, drink glasses the smallest I ever saw, and tasted bland. Service also was non existent. We only ate 1/3 of what we put on the plate, which wasn't much to begin with. We ventured thru out the ship to find it was older and showed lack of maintenance. Bathrooms were small and had rust on the stall walls.I normally get the "Bottomless Soda," so I went to get it. I had to go to 3 different bars to find it. Princess and RCCL have it as soon as you get on the ship. Not NCL. Seems they want you to purchase a soda every time. That evening we tried the Freesystle Dining. Good luck getting in when you want. We went to the Venetian Room where we received a pager. Was told there is a 45 minute wait. The podium for this dining room is stationed one floor above the entrance of the dining room. Finally we were paged and headed down to the dining room. We we entered, the dining room was 1/3 empty. Tables ready without people at them and many tables with dirty dishes on them. We sat down and handed the menu. We ordered and the food was warm like at the buffet and lacked taste. Service was terrible. Had to almost tackle the waitress to get my water glass filled. Unlike what we have had on other cruise lines, you have a waiter/waitress and that's it. No assistant. Looked to me NCL is way understaffed. The tables that had dishes on them took between 15 to 25 minutes to be redone. And then the were left open. Many large tables never were used while we were there. After dinner, back to the room and the bed was turned down as expected. Still had not met our room steward. Ice bucket was also empty. Had to call to get ice. The next evenings meal was worse. for a table of four, 1 hour 45 minute service. And we ate the food as soon as it hit the table. That night there was almost a riot at the door as people were upset as to the wait. Ship gave out Champagne to settle people waiting. And yes, there were tables available. Breakfast service matched dinner. Ordered eggs, over easy,and sausage, got an omelet and these things they called hash browns. They were they size of a silver dollar and cold. I figured go for it because who knew what would be delivered next. We even tried the specialty Japanese restaurant. Service there was as expected, very good, but, the food was not. Where in this world is Kung Pao Chicken made with jalapeno peppers? At it had a green color to it. Didn't taste anything like any Kung Pao I've eaten elsewhere. One dinner, in the Aqua Room, had decent service. We even tried making reservations for dinner and was told no reservations for groups under 6 before 8PM. So Freesyle cruising is a joke. Oh, the Bimini Bar and Grill, only place to get hot food consistently, but the grill was closed more then it was open. We went on this trip with my parents. They had picked this cruise due to the ports involved. Even they, who have cruised before, were very disappointed with the service. They normally cruise on Holland America. We will not ever go on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I probably would not choose NCL again for a cruise. First note that we were thrilled by Christian , our cabin steward. He always greeted us by name, and was friendly and attentive! We were not happy with this cruise or ship - beginning ... Read More
I probably would not choose NCL again for a cruise. First note that we were thrilled by Christian , our cabin steward. He always greeted us by name, and was friendly and attentive! We were not happy with this cruise or ship - beginning with embarkation, which was delayed and the delay was poorly handled by the cruise lines. We ordered gift items to be in our cabin at arrival, and they were not there (we got to our cabin at 3:30 PM - arrived at the terminal at 1:15PM!!!!). Had a balcony mini-suite (cabin 11130) and my husband immediately noted a moldy order from the closet and his side of the bed. A day or two later I had water drip on my head as I walked at the foot of the bed toward the sitting area. We discovered there was water dripping from the ceiling, plus the rug at the head of the bed and the closet was wet! The bathroom floor was also always wet, even when we were not there all day! We notified our cabin steward and had several people in to service our room - they told us there was a leaky pipe, but there was nothing they could do while we were in the cabin! Never offered another room or any compensation for this problem. We also found the food and service in the main dining rooms to be sub-par, probably because they want you to spend $20 pp per day to eat good food in the other restaurants! No excuse for the prro service (had to ask for bread and drinks, and never offered refills), food delivery was slow. I posted on facebook, got an email to tell them of all my problems, which I did 6 days ago, and have had no reply. Seems they really do not care about customer satisfaction. When I went to the front desk to adjust the tips, instead of voicing concern for my poor experience, the girl got very defensive, telling me the tips were also for "behind the scenes" people. We did adjust the tips, but it was not easy.I was also upset by the fact that we had to search out a server on deck (which was empty because we were in port) after 30 minutes of not receiving a drink order, even though we were still in the hot tub where we ordered the drink. And this person still got the included 30% tip! NCL has a lot of work to do on there service and wait staff! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
I was so disappointed with this ship! Took us over an hour to board, and an hour and half to get off! The food was tasteless! I can not believe they have a chef on board. The spring rolls were not rolled correctly!One bite and they fell ... Read More
I was so disappointed with this ship! Took us over an hour to board, and an hour and half to get off! The food was tasteless! I can not believe they have a chef on board. The spring rolls were not rolled correctly!One bite and they fell apart! The steak was 1 inch at best and tuff!(like shoe leather) The next night I ordered pork chop (I should of known better)and it was just like the steak! Ice cream was of poor quality! Soft serve ice cream was ice milk no ice cream and it had no taste! Breakfast and Lunch menu never changes. Ordered waffles for breakfast and couldn't cut into them!(I used a knife) Pancakes were small and heavy like a ROCK!!!Scramble eggs.....not sure they were eggs....taste more like powdered, and no taste! The buffet was like elementary school and not displayed very well! I tried several things and couldn't eat any of it. Most of the food looked like it was frozen food and of very low quality. The bakery food taste like they are bought it from Sam's club....no wait, they weren't that good! We tried some of the special restaurants....don't waste your money! (several other guest said the same thing) The Fountain at the center of the ship was dirty (I took pictures of it)The towels they gave you in your cabin were scratchy. The TV in the cabin was 12 inches....and they had about 4 to 5 channels for NCL and the rest of the stations were only about 5.....if you didn't watch CNN you were out of luck! Not much for the young kids to do but play in the pool and video games. So a lot of the times kids were running around the ship and in the halls! In your room they didn't give you bar soaps or shampoo or lotions. The soap they gave you was in a dispenser on the wall and no matter how much you get it will not lather! Talked to a lady who was on the NCL Dream she said it was like the Star. I started to think maybe I was the only one so I would ask other guest how they liked NCL Star........One person said it was like cruising walmart! I talked to about 30 to 40 people and they all said they would never sail NCL again! I know I won't! On the positive side........the Staff was GREAT!!! VERY nice and helpful! NCL I thought was better than this! NCL if you are listening.........get HELP!!! Stop cutting corners, it shows.......the other cruise lines are not doing this and you are losing customers! As for me........NEVER AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We have cruised on many different ships in the past and we originally had this trip booked with Princess. We were trying to get all of our siblings, their children, and our parents to go for an extended family, once-in-a-lifetime cruise ... Read More
We have cruised on many different ships in the past and we originally had this trip booked with Princess. We were trying to get all of our siblings, their children, and our parents to go for an extended family, once-in-a-lifetime cruise and knew that we would have a great time with Princess. My sister did not have the money to book until late in the year and by the time she had the money, Princess was closed to bookings with children because they were at max capacity to keep their children services up to standard. We changed our cruise to Norwegian Star and from there,it all went down-hill. The service on the Star was decent. The staff seemed friendly. This part of our Norwegian experience was far better than our first experience on the Epic. A major problem that we have found with Norwegian is that they just don't have enough or enough of a variety of things to do while on the ship. We found ourselves reading and playing games instead of any kind of cruise entertainment that we have participated in with other cruise lines. Our teenagers were EXTREMELY bored. There were other teenagers on board, but Norwegian is severely lacking in fun things to do with teens. The times that my kids tried to go to the teen zone, there were no teens there because even that was boring for them. Because of the freestyle dining experience with Norwegian, our family of 18 never got to eat together. The paid dining rooms were to expensive for those of us paying for 7 and and the free dining areas were just not equipped for a large group. Also along the dining experience line, the menu on the Norwegian ships is very substandard among the cruise industry. Princess, Royal Caribbean, and even Carnival have better menus that change daily instead of the same standard menu that only has a few changes each day. Plus, the desserts on Norwegian are NOT GOOD. This was our 12th cruise and WE WILL NEVER CRUISE NORWEGIAN AGAIN. This was my brother and sisters first cruise and we have assured them that if they cruise any other line, their experience will be better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We (bf and I) chose this cruise because we wanted to see Mayan ruins and it worked out with our schedules. The cruise was a fabulous deal and left out of Tampa which is easy and cheap for us to get too. Based on the reviews we had read ... Read More
We (bf and I) chose this cruise because we wanted to see Mayan ruins and it worked out with our schedules. The cruise was a fabulous deal and left out of Tampa which is easy and cheap for us to get too. Based on the reviews we had read we had pretty low expectations - but we did plan on actually being on the ship that much as the highlight of our cruising adventures are typically the shore excursions. (1) Tampa's port. This was easy - easier than San Juan's or Rome's port. We flew into Tampa's airport, arrived around 11:30 am took a short $25 cab ride to the pier stood in line for 30 minutes, went through security, checked in and we were on the boat shortly after that. The first sign of weirdness to us was other passengers carrying on cases of soda and waters. I have never seen this before and thought it was a little weird. (2) Our Room. We decided to just get an ocean view room this time, we usually get a veranda - but spend such a small amount of time we went ocean view. The room turned out to be beyond disgusting. There was a spot on the carpet in front of the desk that was always soaking wet - the day we arrived through the very end - the spot backed up to the shower so I can only guess that the shower was always leaking. I didn't see it because the carpet was dark - but I stepped in it and was completely gross out. I also set my backpack on it a few days later thinking it had to have dried out. Not so much. However, even more disgusting was the blood stained bed sheets. There is simply no excuse for this. We complained to guest services and they changed the sheets - but they should have never been put on that bed or begin with (I've convinced myself that the sheets had been changed since the last cruise - but sitting here I am not certain.) The new sheets had a giant hole in them that I could stick my foot through - we joked that they may have never even changed out the sheets - just cut the blood stain out. (3) Dining. There are a couple of serious problems with the dining. The Freestyle concept may work for some - but all we saw were a large number of elderly folks trying to eat at a particular time, but ending up standing in line in the hallways and on stairs - a fire marshal's worst nightmare. We ate only one night in the complimentary dining room. The service was terrible and the food was worse. My bf ordered a beer when we first sat down and it wasn't delivered to our table until desert. The couple next to us ordered a bottle of wine, their server poured them each a glass and then never brought the bottle back to refill their glasses - they asked for the server to bring it over at least 4 times. We ate every other dinner on the ship at one of the specialty up-charge restaurants. These were okay - Ginzu was the best. The Italian restaurant La Cucina was comparable to an Olive Garden in my opinion. The French restaurant Le Bistro was okay, but the tables are really close together and the couple next to us complained about every dish that was brought to their table and that got to be rather annoying. We ate at Endless Summer the Mexican restauarant once - it was texmex, and probably a step above a chain in the US. Eating at the specialty restaurants adds up pretty quickly and we both agreed we would have rather been on a cruise that had better food that we would have paid more for. Also, no matter which restaurant we ate in - it was obvious to us that the majority of the food was not made fresh - much of it had clearly been frozen and just reheated. The buffet was disappointing too - I love a good salad from a buffet - but the selection was very limited. (4) Bar Service. There are a couple of fabulous bar tenders on the ship that were fun and made our time there more enjoyable. Al in the Red Lion (and he can sing a tune) and Jimmy in the Spinnaker. We enjoyed some of the bar specials. (5) Entertainment. For how bad the food was and how gross the room was - the ship's Cruise Director, her staff and the entertainment were incredibly good. They encouraged passengers to really have a fun time. We ended up playing bingo and other cruise games that we really enjoyed. Second City is a great comedy group out of Chicago (Tina Fey and other SNL peeps came out of there). We've seen them in Atlanta on tour so we were very excited to see them twice. (6) Other passengers. I have never seen so many cheap cranky people in one place. The first day at sea was very rough. I wore a patch and had back-up anti-nausea pills so I was fine. But when the ship's staff suggested green apples and ginger ale - some of the other passengers started complaining very loudly that they shouldn't have to pay for the ginger ale. I really don't get it. Unless you buy a drink package (which NCL only has for sodas - not alcohol) you pay for soda - so why would you make a scene about it? Another odd thing was people bringing very young children into the nightclub very late at night and then getting belligerent when reminded that the nightclub was 18 or 21 and up. (7) Towel Service. In order to get a pool towel, we were required to sign off on a $25 towel deposit per towel. If you returned the towel the attendant ripped the slip. Every towel I got was stained - these towels could not have cost more than $5 brand new. I suggest bringing your own towel. (8) Disembarkment. We carried our bags on and off - so we got off early and caught a cab back to the airport. I suspect it got more chaotic as the day progressed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We have been on 7 Carnival Cruises and were looking for an "upgrade". Our cruising with Carnival always seemed to happen based on a deal or other friends taking the same cruise......I think only twice did we actually select ... Read More
We have been on 7 Carnival Cruises and were looking for an "upgrade". Our cruising with Carnival always seemed to happen based on a deal or other friends taking the same cruise......I think only twice did we actually select Carnival as a conscience choice. Anyway, we paid significantly more for this cruise than most of our Carnival Cruises and assumed that the services would be far better.....we were soooo wrong. Irritations you will see if you have cruised before: 1. Buffet's have the SAME food every day. 2. Buffet presentation reminds me of a hospital cafeteria 9used to Carnival's ice sculptures and hoopla). 3. Paying for my meal separately (after this cruise already cost 25% more) was a bit ridiculous. $15pp for a steak?? Seriously?? 4. The "freestyle" dining was a joke....four menu items, different servers every night, different tables, waiting in line to get in, etc.... 5. Based on the above answers you would think I care about food.....and I DON'T!!! But the above items were so annoying they had to be mentioned.... 6. The cruise ship itself seems very dated.....I missed the teak wood flooring of a Carnival Ship, the comfortable bedding (the bedding was like sleeping on the floor). 7. Cabins are TINY!! My wife is 5'3" and 115lbs and we could move around without bumping into each other. 8. Overall service of the staff was marginal....they just weren't up to the standards we got used to with Carnival....no smiling, not friendly at all. Anyway....these are the items i remember off the top of my head. I WOULD NEVER recommend Norwegian to anyone.....Without doubt I would recommend Carnival.....and we intend to try Royal next as everyone we know speaks highly of Royal. Good luck!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
First off my Husband and I cruise at least 1 to 2 times a year. We have cruised Carnival, Royal Caribbean, & Celebrity and loved all of them. We decided to try NCL Star for our first cruise with NCL and were very disappointed!!! We ... Read More
First off my Husband and I cruise at least 1 to 2 times a year. We have cruised Carnival, Royal Caribbean, & Celebrity and loved all of them. We decided to try NCL Star for our first cruise with NCL and were very disappointed!!! We set sail on the 23rd for a 7 day cruise. Departure was very disorganized but was able to be overlooked. We got on the boat and decided to get lunch since we were traveling with our 2 small children (age 2 & 6). First impression of the food was it was very bland then my son's food had not 1 but 3 pieces of hair in it. We laughed that off and hoped that it would get better but it didn't. By the end of the cruise my son's food had contained 5 pieces of hair & a bug in it & my daughter's had 2 pieces of hair! Also this was the first cruise that we have been on that only offers tea & coffee for free through out the day. Any thing else including juices you had to pay for. In there defense they did have cranberry & oj until 10 am available. Not to mention both children ended up with food poison & were stuck in the room after seeing the doctor for 24 hours sleeping it off! I will say the only good food we had was at Cagney's steakhouse and was worth the $25. The service was mediocre at best. The only thing that bumped it up in my opinion was a server on the pool deck named Vincent that was very attentive. Our room steward decided not to make up our room 2 of the days at all. We asked for ice and finally got some on day 4. We also asked if we could get our safe opened since it was locked and were never able to get that achieved. Since my children were stuck in the room with food poison I asked for a room service menu since we did not have one. Room service told me that they could not give me one or tell me what they had on the menu. So I went to the service desk the lady told me she didn't have one to find my room steward. I tried looking for her could not. Finally 2 hours later on a different floor I found someone that gave me one. My son was complaining one night that his skin was burning. I looked him over and found at least 10 bites on him. My husband looked around and found an odd bug that looked like a cross between a bee and an ant. Since there was a hurricane in the Caribbean we assumed that the Captain would changed direction to a different port of just do the ports in the opposite order to ensure better weather.....we were wrong!!!! Instead we continued in the same direction even though ever other cruise ship changed there itinerary. We had all but 2 days of rainy rough seas. Cozumel we didn't go to at all because of the weather. My husband went to the reception desk to inform them about our concerns and he was told "Sir what do you expect this is only our second cruise in the Caribbean with a new staff" For those cruising with children the camp was good for my daughter who is 6. She had a lot of fun. My son did not like it. It also makes it very hard to go to any of the shows if you have little ones. My children's normal bed time is 7:30 but we allowed them to stay up later on vacation. Bad news is that if your children are sleeping they will not allow them to go to camp. When I asked one of the counselors how they expected a 2 year old to stay up that late so we could see the show she told me that it was a rule and we should just try to keep him up. I have never been on a cruise where I actually counted down the days to go home until this cruise! I was so happy to get off that boat!! I thought we were the only ones that were disappointed at first until talking to many other people that had the very same opinion. My opinion is to cruise any other line or boat then the NCL Star!!!! My brother was on a cruise with Carnival at the very same time and raved about not only the service but the good weather. He said their Captain changed routes and every day was beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
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