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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I was told by many people Norwegian was an upscale cruise line. DON’T BELIEVE IT. No one knows what is going on and they seem not to care. The employees don’t go out of their way an inch. The famous work Is “no”. There are a ... Read More
I was told by many people Norwegian was an upscale cruise line. DON’T BELIEVE IT. No one knows what is going on and they seem not to care. The employees don’t go out of their way an inch. The famous work Is “no”. There are a few crew members that actually will get you information but they are the minority. Not many crew members smile and if you have a question or ask “why” for any reason they will argue with you. The food is terrible if you don’t pay for the upgraded restaurants. Do yourself a favor if you still plan on going on this cruise line, , take the upgraded food package and insurance. There is an epidemic of the Niro Virus. I was told over 200 crew members were quarantined and a lot of passengers. All the food cases are wrapped and you have to be handed what you want. They will not let anyone take it themselves. There are crew members spraying your hands entering and exiting the food areas. The captain made an announcement that all the people that had the virus were not allowed to leave their rooms. The ride into Dublin was a disaster. They had 6 tenders and over 1000 people. The lines were long and people missed their excursions. No one on the cruise line seemed to care. I have a horrible allergy to mushrooms and asked for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because I could not chance eating the items that were available in the buffet. I was told to call room service by a supervisor in the buffet restaurant. Everything about this cruise was a struggle and very uncomfortable.. You will be taking a Hugh chance on this cruise ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
It was 13 days from NYC to Amsterdam I'm an experienced cruiser. This is the first time I have experienced such a sick ship. Norovirus was rampant from day two! Sick passengers or crew were allowed aboard this ship! This was 13 ... Read More
It was 13 days from NYC to Amsterdam I'm an experienced cruiser. This is the first time I have experienced such a sick ship. Norovirus was rampant from day two! Sick passengers or crew were allowed aboard this ship! This was 13 days of pure displeasure. Many of the crew had bad attitudes. I experienced one of the Supervisors making excuses regarding sanitation methodology. With this type of Management attitude, no wonder the virus continued to expand. I missed two ports and NEVER once heard an apology from the staff. The gym was closed. Many other on board amenities were curtailed -- however, the Casino was always open when not in Port. Self-service at the buffet was curtailed. You had to beg for sugar, salt, pepper, catsup, etc. If you contacted the norovirus, you were quarenteened in your cabin, with your cabin key confiscated. You food was delivered to you on paper plates with plastic utensils. If you had a cabin mate, you could sneak out with them and continue to spread the germs, with no reprocussions unless caught! Thanks to a "sneaker", to whom apparently rules do not apply, I got sick and so did one of my friends! Norwegian, you need better sanitation and better monitoring of sick passengers. I was very disappointed with my cruise and will think long and hard before booking another NCL cruise. The specialty dining was great at Le Bistro, good at La Cuchina, very good at Moderno. I missed the dinner at Cagney's due to the Norovirus. The two dining rooms had very good food, but they tend to seat solo cruisers in the middle of the floor, and couple's get the better tables. Us solo cruisers DO PAY FOR TWO, and only eat for one. The service was hit or miss. Many of the crew had bad attitudes, probably because they had to do the work of multiple crew members because of the crew members who were sick with the Norovirus. I missed a lot of the entertainment, trying to avoid the Norovirus. When I did go to a show, there were groups of passengers talking and being disruptive during the shows. The entertainers were very talented. The trivia was strange, not really testing knowledge, but asking a crew member's age. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I usually do not write reviews but I had to in this case. This trip was just under $7000.00 dollars, not an inexpensive trip! Yet we booked this trip because in our minds this was a trip of a lifetime! As a seasoned cruiser I had wanted to ... Read More
I usually do not write reviews but I had to in this case. This trip was just under $7000.00 dollars, not an inexpensive trip! Yet we booked this trip because in our minds this was a trip of a lifetime! As a seasoned cruiser I had wanted to go to Ireland and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.... boy was I wrong! From the minute we got to NYC to get on the ship we had problems! First, not enough space on the bus that shuttled people from the airport to the terminal. People were left on the curb! Then the noro virus hit! We were confined in our cabin for 48 hours. Missed the port in Ireland, which was why we choose this itinerary in the first place. To say we were disappointed is an understatement! We went almost 24 hours without food and water since room service was really busy.... they did not answer the phone.... we did not get clean towels or any compensation for the fact that we missed 2 days of our vacation. The excursions when we were released were unorganized and were not rated correctly for difficulty. The food was okay, nothing extraordinary and there was not enough activities on the sea days. As an example they had cooking demonstrations in the main atrium and they only had enough seats for maybe 75 when there were 2000 passenger. Let me end with this. I understand that it isn’t NCL’s fault that a passenger came on sick but I certainly can fault them for the very poor way they handled a bad situation! NCL needs a course in customer service! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I had a card in my cabin for a special occasion that they were giving me a cake.The cake did not show up but the 10 days of ice cold water in my cabin and 3 like warm showers did.most of the ship had Noro Virus.They quartered people in ... Read More
I had a card in my cabin for a special occasion that they were giving me a cake.The cake did not show up but the 10 days of ice cold water in my cabin and 3 like warm showers did.most of the ship had Noro Virus.They quartered people in their cabin by taking away their key cards because the virus highly contagious. They left uneaten food that these contaminated people half ate in the hallway. In the summer palace restuarant I found a dead fly in my salad and at monderno restaurant the server had chicken on a skewer and it slid off bounced on the table and hit the floor.He then kicked it under the table.i paid $500.00 for two thermal spa passes for 13 days.they closed the pool for 5 and said if they prorate the cost they would charge me more.so be happy with it. Then to top it off ,Norwegian air lost my bags for two days. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
What a total disaster of a ship. I can’t say one good thing about it. The staff was uninformed, food was horrible, excursions horrible, entertainment horrible. There’s just not one good thing I can say. NCL owes everyone on that ... Read More
What a total disaster of a ship. I can’t say one good thing about it. The staff was uninformed, food was horrible, excursions horrible, entertainment horrible. There’s just not one good thing I can say. NCL owes everyone on that ship a refund. They totally failed on everything including how the virus epidemic was handled. Up until this cruise I had become a NCL fan. Enjoyed my last 3 cruises this year with them. Never again. In fact I’m giving my cruisenext funds to a family member. The best day was departing the ship and spending the day in Amsterdam. Sorry for anyone who has a future cruise in the Pearl. The captain and cruise director stink at their jobs. Stay away for the medical team at all cost. They are rude and condescending and won’t even answer a question. The customer service crew is all new and uninformed. We were constantly misled by their information. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The first day aboard, I was pleasantly surprised. Our inside cabin was nicer than expected. My sister and I had plenty of room and the bathroom had a lovely shower. Our steward was excellent during the whole cruise. However, it went ... Read More
The first day aboard, I was pleasantly surprised. Our inside cabin was nicer than expected. My sister and I had plenty of room and the bathroom had a lovely shower. Our steward was excellent during the whole cruise. However, it went down hill fast. We were notified on the 2nd day that a virus was discovered on board. By the 4th day everything in the Buffet was covered with plastic and we had to be served our food by employees who didn't know what they were doing. By the time we got to our table our food was cold. It was really depressing, so we started to eat in the main dining rooms. Here the food was slightly better and usually warm but the service again was terrible. I might add that the food was bland everywhere and the desserts all had some kind of gelatin in them. Even the cheesecake!! The precautions the staff were taking to contain the virus was ridiculous. We had to have our hands sprayed upon entering any dining room and we were given paper menus. However, I seldom saw the staff disinfect their own hands and cleaning the tables in the Buffet was a joke. I did not see anyone in the public areas with disinfection. There were 2 nights where they supposedly disinfected the halls and some public areas but a lot of germs could be around between cleanings. They were constantly making announcements about washing our hands and staying in our rooms if we were ill. But they gave no information as to the viirus' containment. They cancelled the Behind the Scenes Tour and a few other events with flimsy excuses when we all knew it was because of the virus. Just be upfront about it! On top of all of that, we had very choppy seas for about 3 to 4 days. Obviously that was not the cruise line's fault but it just added another layer of discomfort. The excursions were very expensive and disappointing. We went to Cork and arrived in Kinsdale to find there was a big rugby game going on and as it was Sunday most of the shops were closed! The London excursion was a joke. We went through some neighborhood that had warehouses converted to apartments. I can see that at home! Then we stopped at the Tower of London and waited 20 min. while our guide got the tickets. Once we got in, we should have been allowed to wander around and meet up at a certain point. Instead we ALL had to wait at least 30 min while everyone used the rest rooms and then we saw the crown jewels and barely had enough time to get back to the bus. We never saw the cells or armour. We only had an hour for lunch which left no time to shop. The bus driver didn't even slow down so we could get some pictures. I have never been on Norwegian before and after this I never will be on it again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Ncl provided the lowest grade of food possible whenever they could. Poor grades of meat & fish in main ding rooms and buffet. The menus were very limited in both dining rooms and buffet. Wait staff was mostly inattentive and poorly ... Read More
Ncl provided the lowest grade of food possible whenever they could. Poor grades of meat & fish in main ding rooms and buffet. The menus were very limited in both dining rooms and buffet. Wait staff was mostly inattentive and poorly trained. This was certainly not the type of service we have come to expect after 51 cruises! The weather was bad (not ncl's fault) so all outside venues were closed, including the outside buffets and seating. Ncl did nothing to compensate for this. Seating was very limited in buffet because of this. Ncl also did not add any inside activities or entertainment considering the weather. They were not flexible in any way. Theyn did not even bother to change the daily schedule to reflect the closings etc. There was a severe outbreak of the norovirus, so ncl removed all condiments from tables, kept bathroom doors open, cleaned constantly, did not allow cruisers to get their own food or drinks in buffet, etc. But did leave casino open where people were touching slot machines. I guess the money factor was more important than health in that regard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had sailed with Norwegian twice before (Alaska and transAtlantic) and thoroughly enjoyed the experiences. We'd had a difficult, stressful year and decided another transAtlantic crossing followed by some European travel was just ... Read More
We had sailed with Norwegian twice before (Alaska and transAtlantic) and thoroughly enjoyed the experiences. We'd had a difficult, stressful year and decided another transAtlantic crossing followed by some European travel was just what we needed. I need a low-sodium diet and on my two previous Norwegian cruises I had pre-ordered my dinner every day and received a no-salt version of whatever I ordered that was totally delicious. I know the drill and followed it this trip. The first evening my dinner was as ordered - a no-salt version of the menu item I ordered. Then things fell apart. Everyday I pre-ordered and received a baked potato and steamed broccoli as my side dish. Example: I ordered pineapple chicken with black beans and coconut rice. I received the chicken and a baked potato and steamed broccoli. Night after night the same story. Whatever meat or fish I ordered but no side except baked potato and broccoli. I talked to customer service and they said "talk to the waiter." I did so, he brought over the assistant mater 'd. He cancelled my pre order and sent me a bowl of assorted vegetables and rice. The following day I talked to the chief master 'd. That night I got what I ordered. However the following nigh it was back to baked potato and steamed broccoli. At that point I gave up and simply ordered from the menu. My low-sodium diet is critical to my health. Norwegian has accommodated me before and I've enjoyed delicious dinners evening after evening. A 14-day Atlantic crossing with no escape from baked potatoes and broccoli is unacceptable. I am very unlikely to trust Norwegian again. If you need a special diet I recommend you be very wary before you sail with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because it left from New York, a city I love & was going east, one of my firsts, having done 2 TAs from Europe. Another first was the roll call which was quite active but toxic sometimes. Never been on a roll ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it left from New York, a city I love & was going east, one of my firsts, having done 2 TAs from Europe. Another first was the roll call which was quite active but toxic sometimes. Never been on a roll call before where posts were removed!! I had hoped to finally visit the Guggenheim Museum while in NYC but that didn't happen, instead I lined up around the block to eat at Ellen's Stardust Diner, a place I had never gotten to before. I must say it was worth the wait, the food was good as was the entertainment. I really liked my room at the Pod Hotel on 42nd Street, it had quite the view, was close to the Port Authority Building where the Newark Express bus drops one off & also close to a Cake Boss bakery! I took a cab to the port asking the driver to let me off at the corner of 49th & 12th as recommended by my friend. He didn't & we sat in traffic 'til he could turn into the port which cost me about $20 quite a bit more than the $6.50 if he'd let me off where I requested. Met my friends inside then waited a little while, I think we were group 3 or 5 & both Platinum Plus. We headed straight away for lunch at O'Sheehan's where I had a Reuben sandwich with potato chips & a Coke that should have cost me $4+. SO the cruise begins with 6 sea days ahead, lots of meals, entertainment, lectures, gambling etc. The weather wasn't the best & there was one day where it was a little rocky. Unlike a lot of people onboard I had a great time which could have been because of the people I hung out with but also because I did not contract the noro virus or have any problems with guest services. Being on a ship with noro virus was a first I could have done without. I was amazed at the measures NCL took to avoid it spreading & the captain's tough position saying anybody who broke quarantine would be put off at the next port. I found the food to be to my liking wherever I ate & for the 1st time I had a 4 dinner package as well as my 2 Platinum specialty dinners. This cruise I had more perks than I'd ever had before thanks to a roll call member mentionning a new offer. I also had 200 minutes of phone calls which came in handy for calling my sister & good friend on their special birthdays, as well as hubby at home. The calls were really clear, just had a little delay. The entertainment was varied & mostly good. I really enjoyed the Legends in Concert: Michael Jackson, Tina Turner & Elvis. Deal or No Deal was fun to watch as were the Newlywed Game & the Dancing with the Stars type show. The lecture lady about all things Irish & the other one about having a better life were informative. The ports were the major attraction for me on this cruise as it would be my 1st visit to Ireland, country of my grandad's birth. I mostly booked private tours with other CC members & really had a good time. The ones I did through NCL from Zeebrugge (Flanders Fields) & Tilbury (Canterbury Cathedral) were fine too & the guides really good. I don't mind traveling on the big buses like some do. My cabin steward Emerson was good, friendly, brought me ice when it was allowed & made me many towel animals which I always look forward to He was quick to rearrange my beds when requested. I was surprised by the free movies on the tv, recent ones such a Green Book, A Star is Born, A Dog's Way Home & Instant Family. A guide to movies shown is available at guest services although it's a bit hard to read. I didn't interact with the CD Pedro or his staff as I didn't attend any trivia on this ship, also a first! I went to one Bingo & found the caller did it at a nice speed, sometimes it really drags on but he was quick. The photographic staff were really nice & took some good/fun pictures. The internet cafe manager was a gem, funny & patient even with the long line ups the 1st couple of days. I had 250 free minutes but upgraded to unlimited which was expensive IMO but worth it to me as I love my phone. Some things were different, maybe because of the noro virus or whatever it was like no farewell show. The solo meet up the 2nd night was overwhelming with over 30 people attending. I met a nice male friend there but didn't usually attend the gatherings or meals as I had new friends onboard to do things with. Solo travel is so much better on the bigger NCL ships with studio cabins. I did self disembarkation after one last breakfast at O'Sheehan's, a restaurant I really enjoyed throughout the cruise. That's all I can think of at the moment but will conclude by saying I really enjoyed the cruise & wasn't disappointed at all. I also had a great time with my Dutch friend I'd met on the Epic in 2011, who showed me around Amsterdam for 2 days. The Avenue Hotel where I stayed for 2 nights was great, lovely room, big breakfast & really close to a lot of places especially Centraal Station. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it ... Read More
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it every time. The ship is in great repair and the staff is always friendly. The food on every cruise we have made on the Pearl is always above par to say the least. Embarkation out of New York was a breeze and getting off the ship in Amsterdam was just as easy. No issues or time wasted on either end of the 2 week trip. Our stateroom was amazing and had its own private hot tub on the balcony along with a tub and seperate shower in the stateroom. The haven area was great, as it was on all our other trips on the Pearl. In two weeks we ate in every resturant at least once and some twice and they were all above other cruise lines dining experiences. The entertainment was equal to or above what we have had on other ships. The Ports were all really exciting and we had an excursion picked for every port so there was no disappointment there either. All our excursions were booked thru NCL and they were worth the money. Our only regret was we had to come back to the real world of work at the end of our cruise. We have come to feel like we know this ship better than most other ships we have been on and we have never been disappointed with anything on the Pearl. Service, food, entertainment, staterooms and public areas are always the best that can be expected of a cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We will never cruise Norwegian Cruise Lines again. They were very expensive but low quality compared to any other cruise line we've sailed. Didn't even include water or coffee in their vert expensive drink package. Even their ... Read More
We will never cruise Norwegian Cruise Lines again. They were very expensive but low quality compared to any other cruise line we've sailed. Didn't even include water or coffee in their vert expensive drink package. Even their Specialty dining was terrible. They nichol and dime you to death....literally bill you for 20% gratuities. We were with a friend group of 7, and we all agreed we will never sail Norwegian again. The only thing good we have to say about Norwegian is they had the best on board Musicians we have seen on a cruise, and our room stuard was excellent. They had the most inconsistent mixed drinks I have ever had. They say they care about customers satisfaction, but it is apparent that their profit is their only true concern. We had a back to back transatlantic 24 day cruise and never saw a person win a decent prize at bingo even though they charged more for bingo than any other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I like transatlantic cruises because I get to Europe in a comfortable, leisurely and entertaining way.and without jet lag. I was disappointed with the kitchen and the dining room servers. In my estimation they were understaffed, ... Read More
I like transatlantic cruises because I get to Europe in a comfortable, leisurely and entertaining way.and without jet lag. I was disappointed with the kitchen and the dining room servers. In my estimation they were understaffed, inefficient, and ill-trained. The manager tried very hard to correct the immediate issues, but because it was freestyle dining we got different servers every meal, and it seemed as if each server disappointed us in a different way. Just a few examples.. Mistakes causing delays which caused us to rush the end of the meal or miss our following event. Some vegetables, like onions and garlic often had the outside paper skin. Sloppy pouring of water, coffee and wine. Mostly it seemed they were slow and didn't pay attention. Many of the handrails were loose and many handrails were sticky (soiled). The entertainment was mediocre, the violinist and the aerial acts were excellent, the saxophonist was inaudible above the accompanying musicians, the escape artist and the tango dancers were boring, the comedians were somewhat entertaining. We did not go through passport control in Europe which means there is no entry stamp which could actually mean that I am illegally in Europe. The cabin and cabin steward were excellent. Overall, I would not recommend NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We just got off the Jade TA from NYC to Mediterranean. The ship was a bit small but good. kept very clean, great service. The cabin steward and bartenders were wonderful. Visit Domingo in the Whisky bar - makes the best drinks. ... Read More
We just got off the Jade TA from NYC to Mediterranean. The ship was a bit small but good. kept very clean, great service. The cabin steward and bartenders were wonderful. Visit Domingo in the Whisky bar - makes the best drinks. Entertainment was ok but you were able to see all the shows. Ports were good. The biggest issue we had was the poor excursions booked thru the ship. Not organized, too expensive for what you got, late getting off the boat, wasted time waiting around. We did three and cancelled the rest after those experiences. Oh and just a note - if you have a terrible excursion you must complain that day or they will not do anything for you. (lesson learned) Of course Norwegian says they are not part of them so they cannot do anything for you. So future if you sail book excursions from outside companies you get a better experience for your money...or less money for that matter. And if you go into a port that your have to be ferried over to port from the boat don't expect to get off for a few hours. It took us three hours to get into port. The experiences from the excursions may have cost them a customer. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Transatlantic cruise was wonderful, so smooth. Dining, as always was very good. We went to several specialty restaurants, they were all great. Carney’s Steak house was fantastic. Entertainment was a little disappointing after seeing ... Read More
Transatlantic cruise was wonderful, so smooth. Dining, as always was very good. We went to several specialty restaurants, they were all great. Carney’s Steak house was fantastic. Entertainment was a little disappointing after seeing “Blue Man Group”, “The Legends”, and Electric guitar group on our last Transatlantic cruise. Need to ramp up the talent! Activities that I enjoyed were the MJ Thriller dance class and cupcake class as well. Service in O’Sheehans was horrible, staff was not well trained. Shore excursions were great, we did a few on our own as well. Excursion that we really enjoyed included a lunch in a Tuscany Winery, it was fabulous. Our last night on board after 25 days was wonderful as we enjoyed music in the Atrium. We returned to our room to put our suitcases out in hall for pickup. However after turning over our luggage the nite before debarkation-13 pieces of my clothing was stolen from 2 cases. The thieves had plenty of time to find what they liked-they actually paired items to create outfits! 13 pieces would require a couple shopping bags to cart off. I believe they were taken overnite in NCL storage, where was the security?? Plenty of time for these thieves to steal from me! Very angry, and getting thru to NCL Cust. Service has proved fruitless. I have always been very comfortable turning over our bags to NCL the nite before debarking, that feeling of security isn’t there anymore. I have to provide receipts and more paperwork. Not to mention shop for a swimsuit, favorite jeans and other missing items. Very disappointed!! Where was NCL security?. This is a huge inconvience and lots of time spent on this. It doesn’t help that Customer service doesn’t have your back - they never answered phone call about this. It has been 2 weeks now and we have not heard from NCL with an apology, a security report or any communication regarding our loses. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this trip last minute got an excellent price. Sea was calm all the way. Nice ship overall plus great entertainment. Don't like the fact that room service has a fee. NCL app free to download but if u want to use it to text ... Read More
We booked this trip last minute got an excellent price. Sea was calm all the way. Nice ship overall plus great entertainment. Don't like the fact that room service has a fee. NCL app free to download but if u want to use it to text cruise mates each person is charged $9.95. This is free on HAL. Drinks are expensive food was ok. Wish offered more selection at the buffet same fare every day. Plus no theme nights can you believe they did not have any celebration for Cinco de Mayo! Also the TV channels had no MSNBC or CNN just FOX, whats the deal with that? So if you wan't real news you had to watch BBC, but even that was turned off toward the end. I think Holland America is better because they offer the NY Times online or printed copies for no charge.But being a captive audience on a transatlantic cruise with only FOX news! That aside we loved the cruise the price and itinerary was fantastic! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
While the cruise itself was pretty good, the total mess up be NCL of the disembarkment killed all the joy we had. 2 1/2 hours to get a taxi because guest services on the ship told us they would be at the port so we didn’t need to ... Read More
While the cruise itself was pretty good, the total mess up be NCL of the disembarkment killed all the joy we had. 2 1/2 hours to get a taxi because guest services on the ship told us they would be at the port so we didn’t need to schedule one. That was a joke. It was our first cruise and maybe our last. Everything we did on board they wanted money to give us the information we were supposed to get in the seminar. I.e., how to increase your metabolism. Teas to heal the body. Bingo etc. the ports were nice as we booked excursions at each. We did find out we could have picked someone at port for the same excursion at half the price. Go figure! The shows were ok. A few better than the rest. And you couldn’t swim in the pool the water was to cold for us. The only issue with the room was the size. Had to squeeze by to get to the other side of the bed. And the toilet area was a joke. We had a mid ship balcony on the 10th floor. Well good thing we didn’t put down a deposit for another cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Have always been a great believer and loyal fan of Norwegian but that is decreasing. First, I made reservations for four persons to go from Miami to Barcelona and that is what our first itinerary stated. At some point, the port of ... Read More
Have always been a great believer and loyal fan of Norwegian but that is decreasing. First, I made reservations for four persons to go from Miami to Barcelona and that is what our first itinerary stated. At some point, the port of disembarkation being Barcelona, was changed to Tarragona, Spain. We were never notified of the change but just happened to pull up a more current copy of the itinerary that now stated Tarragona instead of Barcelona. I called my NCL contact person and verified the change without any explanation of why the change. NCL arranged a transfer to Barcelona from Tarragona with more than a reasonable charge. Would we have not gone on the cruise if we knew that we were not departing in Barcelona. I am not sure. I am 80 years young and to get their "drink package", it would be an additional $1300 for a couple. Okay, don't take the drink package, which we didn't. Most of the people on the cruise were in my age bracket. We all (the ones that I talked to) fully agreed that the ship kept the temperature about refrigerator cold throughout the common areas of the ship. Very miserable. Some travel companies keep their repeat travelers very happy but NCL is not doing a very good job of that for our last few cruises. We belong to Latitudes but other than two dinners in one of the Specialty Dining Rooms, what is it worth to belong. The aisles in the Buffet (crowded beyond belief) were laid out by someone that had never been on much more than a row boat. Lastly, the staff of the Star, as have been on all of the other NCL ships, still a very great bunch of of people. All very friendly and helpful. One of the biggest reasons that we keep coming back to NCL. BUT, we are now starting to look at other cruise lines. MSC has given us credit for all of the points that have earned on NCL, We'll see what the future brings us. We are certainly not as loyal as we once were. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My second TA cruise and my second time on the Star. Huge improvement in ship decor and design with new additions like Spice H2O and Bliss lounge, refurbished Garden Cafe. I had an inside cabin on Deck 9. The 2018 Drydock provided as ... Read More
My second TA cruise and my second time on the Star. Huge improvement in ship decor and design with new additions like Spice H2O and Bliss lounge, refurbished Garden Cafe. I had an inside cabin on Deck 9. The 2018 Drydock provided as much needed face-lift on this 19 year old ship. I know the layout of this ship very well and really enjoyed most venues including the specialty restaurants Moderno, La Cucina and Le Bistro. 6 days at sea may not work for everyone, but it was exactly what I was wanted with no work emails or phone calls to return. Cutting the digital cord allowed me to completely relax. Ports were good, no complaints l had never been to Punto Del Gado or the Azores or Madeira and their beauty did not disappoint. Seville and Granada were wonderful trips, as Was Tarragona, our final port for debarkation. Entertainment was ok, not quite the calbre or as polished as on the bigger NCL ships, but not bad. Service was good to excellent in all dining venues, one exception was a Guest Services person who was a tad condescending when i asked to have a bar charge removed from a dining bill. I was charged for 6 glasses of wine when I had ordered just 2. I was a bit annoyed that i had to insist the charge was not accurate. I then had to revisit the same issue 2 more times to get the charge removed. Weather on our cruise was fantastic and the Atlantic was like glass. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our first transatlantic cruise! Originally scheduled to reach Barcelona but was diverted to Tarragona. Weather during the crossing was fabulous. Sunshine, warm temps and smooth seas. The Star was refurbished last year and was is great ... Read More
Our first transatlantic cruise! Originally scheduled to reach Barcelona but was diverted to Tarragona. Weather during the crossing was fabulous. Sunshine, warm temps and smooth seas. The Star was refurbished last year and was is great shape. Crew was wonderful. Entertainment ranged from great to hohum. Food was up to NCL standard. Ports were great. Could easily use NCL or go on your own. The Roman theatre in Cartagena should not be missed. The nightmare began when we disembarked. We were warned that Tarragona was a small town with limited taxis and to allow extra time. We were not told that Tarragona is an industrial port and not equipped to handle cruise ships. First, the gang plank was extremely steep and dangerous for people with mobility issues and trying to carry off luggage. Then we got into the taxi line with 2000 other people only to learn there were only 5 taxis servicing the pier. There was no pedestrian walkway and the pier was lined coal and other industrial materials so it wasn’t safe to walk off. We waited 3 hours before they finally got a bus to start taking us to the city center and then we walked about 3 blocks to the train station where we had to buy new tickets since we missed our train. We thought allowing 3 hours was reasonable for a 2.8km trip. We never saw an NCL staff person of any authority on the pier accessing the situation. I don’t know how elderly or people with mobility issues endured this situation. It was such a shame to end such a wonderful cruise at such a horrible port. Avoid Tarragona. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was appealing and it had good value. We did not have time to explore Miami before we left, but we had been there before and found it to be a nice city if you can handle high humidity. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary was appealing and it had good value. We did not have time to explore Miami before we left, but we had been there before and found it to be a nice city if you can handle high humidity. Embarkation went fairly smoothly. We were on the ship by 12 enjoying our first cocktail of the cruise. On the other hand, disembarkation was a complete nightmare. It was the worst experience we have EVER had leaving a ship. The original, final port was supposed to be Barcelona. However, at some point in time, the final destination was changed to Tarragona with Barcelona in parenthesis, which on other cruises indicates an alternate name for the same city or a city located close at hand. Ex. Thira (Santorini) The reason our ship was shunted to Tarragona, which as it turns out, was more than an hour away from Barcelona, was because Norwegian had also scheduled the Epic, a mega ship with our EXACT itinerary. GRRRR! Just hours away from Epic, the Jade was also scheduled & appeared in port at least once with us. That meant a mad scramble for cabs and overcrowding in historic sites and eateries. Also, the Epic was so monstrous, that Barcelona could not accommodate both ships. That meant, our ship was dumped at an industrial port with no clue how to process passengers through immigration. It was a mad house. We couldn't leave on foot because of security. We waited for our own charter bus they wouldn't let in, because all the ship's shuttle buses had priority. (Norwegian had offered to "help" people get to Barcelona for a mere $30 pp. via their shuttles.) While trying to exit the ship, crew members had been given conflicting information about how to direct people and there was an area where 2 different lines were snaking in opposite directions. In short, it was an awful experience and by the time we got our pre-reserved ride, we arrived in Barcelona 5 hours later. This disembarkation fiasco and the double booking of other Norwegian ships at the same ports, will be at the forefront of our minds when considering whether to sail with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I sailed on NCL's April 27 repositioning cruise from Miami to Tarragona. Overall, I had a great time. The cabin, dining room, bar and entertainment staff were all great other than the customer service desk, internet desk and ... Read More
I sailed on NCL's April 27 repositioning cruise from Miami to Tarragona. Overall, I had a great time. The cabin, dining room, bar and entertainment staff were all great other than the customer service desk, internet desk and excursion staff. The latter three categories got the brunt of passenger problems and showed the strain. They were brusk and unhelpful. One more negative: Disembarkation was a nightmare. Originally the cruise was to end in Barcelona. A few months before departure NCL changed the end to Tarragona, 40 or so miles south on the Spanish coast (without notifying people, there were a number of unhappy passengers who had booked hotels in Barcelona). Tarragona is fairly small and didn't have near enough taxis to accommodate a couple of thousand people in the space of a couple of hours. NCL appeared to think its responsibility ended when you got to the bottom of the gangway. There you were in a line (more a scrum) of a few hundred people jostling for a ride into town. It took about an hour and a half to get a cab. NCL earned a lot of dissatisfaction that morning. On to the good. Staff: The cabin steward was pretty much perfect. Whatever you might want seemed to appear before you thought to ask. He went so far as to straighten a pair of shoes I'd thrown in a corner. The restaurants and bars had great service with a smile. The exception was O'Sheehan's, the restaurant, not the bar. The servers were slow and made a number of mistakes in orders. Food: The food was good not great for the most part with the exception, again, of O'Sheehan's which put out pretty bad food. The main dining rooms were on a par with most chain white table cloths restaurants. The buffet? Well it was a buffet, that about says it. Great omelets though. It could get a bit crowded during the mealtime rushes. I ate at the Sushi bar, great; Cagney's, very good; the Asian restaurant whose name escapes me, good and, Le Bistro, excellent. Reservation times were honored; but, the restaurants were never overcrowded, I never had to wait for a table. Internet: I know most people don't care about internet on a cruise. Unfortunately, I need internet to work, even on vacation. The internet was barely adequate and quit working on the last two sea days before getting to the Azores. No notice from NCL as to why it was out or when it would come back on. After twenty minutes standing in line I learned that someone in Miami forgot to "tune" a satellite. And the internet never worked in Spice H2O which is a shame as the area is a really nice place to relax and have a coffee or a glass of wine. Latitude check in: None that I could find. Activities: There were a bunch, none of which interested me. Ports/excursions: I booked one excursion through NCL in Cadiz to the "White Villages" which are about an hour away. The scenery was great, the guide, not so much. Her English was not very good and she spoke it very fast, although that really didn't matter as she set a pace that left most of the, let's call us no longer young, group twenty or so yards away from her so that we couldn't hear what she said anyway. I enjoyed wandering around all of the ports through great architectural neighborhoods, stopping for a cappuccino or glass of wine. Food and drink at the cafes and restaurants was dirt cheap by American standards. Drink packages: You'd have to drink from breakfast until going to bed to make the cost of a drink package pay off (well maybe not quite that much). But, if you get one of the higher priced packages and get it as a perk, the $20 a day mandatory tip is a pretty good deal if you look at it as the cost of the drinks and a tip. I'm mostly a wine drinker and while the offerings weren't great, they were quite drinkable. The backbars looked to have most of the "top shelf" liquors you would expect. Entertainment: The primetime acts/shows that I saw were all very good. The lounge and pool deck singers and musicians were okay. NCL app: It worked nicely, showing what you have spent, what the entertainment schedule for the day was and what reservations you had. iMessage, for those with an iPhone, worked well. A couple of other things: I was apprehensive about the ship being crowded as it was sold out, or close to it. Other than in the buffet, I never felt crowded. I'd say the median age of passengers was mid to late sixties. If you are young and looking for some nightlife, you might want to stay away from a transatlantic cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because my husband had never been on a cruise before. That may sound crazy but I knew if I'd picked a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean he would have thought it far too hectic and would have said 'no more'; ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my husband had never been on a cruise before. That may sound crazy but I knew if I'd picked a 7 day cruise to the Caribbean he would have thought it far too hectic and would have said 'no more'; the six days at sea just relaxing was the perfect introduction to cruising. We are from Ontario but have a place in Florida on the Gulf coast. We decided to leave our car in Gulfport and do a one-way only rental to get to Miami port. It was very reasonable and easy to get to the ship since the car rental company had numerous shuttles to the port. Not having to leave our vehicle in long time parking was another plus. Embarkation was smooth and in no time we were sitting in O'Sheehan's having Shepherd's Pie and enjoying a glass of wine. After lunch we did a cursory exploration of the ship while waiting for our stateroom. I've never been on NCL before but even without experiencing the Star pre-refurbishment I have to say based on older images of the pool area, the removal of the slides has vastly improved the vibe. I liked the layout of the ship, its smaller size and the fact you can walk the perimeter on one deck. Our starboard balcony stateroom was near the aft on deck 9. The size was agreeable, the beds comfortable, and it had plenty of storage for our belonging in the closet, in the drawers and under the bed. The bathroom was laid out well. Everything was in perfect working order. We brought a universal plug to increase versatility for using our tablets and phones. We asked our room steward, who was low key and very efficient to remove the bar contents since we had brought our own wine. We don't care about towel animals and won't judge a person's ability to do their job based on the lack thereof. I think they are overworked enough without the added burden of providing towel animals for our entertainment. Being fairly small the only thing I was a little disappointed in was the haze on the glass balcony spoiling my view. But not to fear! A scrubbie and some cleaner got rid of it pretty quick! When we booked we got all the freebies: the specialty restaurants, the drinks package, the strawberries, wine, and internet. I figured because we were on a 15 day cruise I'd purchase an additional 4 specialty restaurant packages so we could alternate between the specialty restaurants and the regular dining venues but decided we wouldn't purchase anymore since it's really a lot of food. We were pleasantly surprised by the food in the regular dining venues. Everything we ate was very good and I loved having breakfast in Versailles and getting perfectly cooked poached eggs and properly brewed tea. With the exception of a tough as shoe leather steak which was traded in for a better entree and some mashed potatoes the consistency of glue we enjoyed the food. We didn't go to all the performances in the theatre but the ones we did go to we enjoyed, especially the Barricade Boys. There were quite a few bands playing around the ship and on the whole they were quite good but one band near the pool had a female singer who was always off-key. I found they were heavily geared to salsa or Spanish music which may have been due to the final destination. I would have liked to hear more jazz. The ports were wonderful. With the exception of the Hop On Hop On buses, we didn't do any excursions, just strolled around the ports, perusing the stores and enjoying the architecture, the gardens, and leisurely lunches. We stayed an extra three days in Barcelona and fell in love with the place. We are planning to do this cruise again next year so we can stay longer in Barcelona. I'd like to say the crowning moment was a smooth disembarkation but that would be a lie. It was smooth going until you got off the ship into a chaotic scene. Huge lineups for non-existent taxis. Lineups for pre-ordered private hire cars or mini buses that couldn't get into the port because of the buses NCL organized for a price. No one knew what the hell was going on. Every person you spoke to who seemed to be in charge gave you conflicting advice: you could walk out of the port, you couldn't walk out of the port, it was forbidden to walk out the port, it was Tarragona's fault, there weren't enough cabs, etc, etc. etc. One police officer I spoke to said the whole debacle was the fault of NCL because they had made no provisions for their passengers to leave the port. Eventually, after an ominous change from sheer frustration to outward anger to their predicaments, the police officer advised that Tarragona was going to provide buses, free of charge, to move out all these people who had been waiting for hours. People missed their train connections, their flights, endured uncomfortable conditions, and NCL staff who refused to get off the ship to talk to passengers. It was pretty shocking. And a quick review of the schedule for cruise ships to dock at Tarragona for 2019 and 2020 shows that they regularly host cruise ships, some much bigger than ours, and have been doing so for a while but in CONJUNCTION with cruise lines who obviously know what the limitations of the port are (industrial) and plan accordingly. I am very disappointed in this introduction to NCL. I am even more disappointed in their continued lack of acknowledgement for this egregious oversight, choosing to take the cowards way out and blame it solely on the port. Not cool, NCL. 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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. ... Read More
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. Enjoyed a well appointed, clean and spacious cabin with a lovely picture window meticulously serviced by our gracious steward Johnson who provided an unsurpassed level of care. The ship was well maintained and seemed efficiently operated. Some service desk agents provided erroneous information about such information as provisions for obtaining currency from debit card charges resulting in wasted time. Many of the procedures of the service desk seemed overwrought and inefficient frequently resulting in unnecessarily long waits at the service desk . The only other mildly sour note for us was poorly coordinated disembarkation on the last day resulting in confrontations between flustered passengers. Overall, we were impressed with our first experience and plan to cruise again soon. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it was sailing across the Atlantic. Neither of us had ever partaken of a cruise before. It exceeded all our expectations. As first time cruisers we were completely at a loss what to do, where to go, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was sailing across the Atlantic. Neither of us had ever partaken of a cruise before. It exceeded all our expectations. As first time cruisers we were completely at a loss what to do, where to go, procedure once we boarded the Star. Although staff at the passageway door, no real instructions provided not even when we asked. Some sort of orientation session would have been nice for the few of us who had never cruised before. 99% of the time the staff was fantastic doing everything they could to ensure we had the best time of our lives. The only negative related to staff was the information/customer service desk. We learned quickly that if you asked a question, even about important stuff (lost items, disembarkation/customs procedures) the answer would be different with each staff person you asked. Dining was incredible. So much variety and so well prepared and tasty even at the buffet, the available restaurants were icing on the cake. Ginza was our only disappointment. Tried it twice. Food not bad, just not very good compared to everywhere else. Loved the crossing best of all. Ideal port/shore excursion scenario for us would be to alternate shore days with sea days. Enjoyed the shore excursions on the islands immensely. Soon realized that one could have just as rich a shore experience on our own at mainland ports without the extra expense of booking a tour and without the 'forced shopping' stops as one person put it. The entertainment each night was spectacular. Such talent on the production team (singers, dancers, musicians) as well as the guest performers. The musicians who performed on a daily basis throughout the ship varied in style and ability. The best by far was Duo 4:40. It showed by the audience they drew. No matter the venue they played at, it was always packed. All in all a wonderful, marvelous experience that went far about our expectations. Definitely go for it!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
It was a glorious error that I ended up on this cruise ship! I had the most amazing time on this Transatlantic cruise from Miami’s to Spain. The passengers were friendly, considerate and there was no drama. The staff focused on our ... Read More
It was a glorious error that I ended up on this cruise ship! I had the most amazing time on this Transatlantic cruise from Miami’s to Spain. The passengers were friendly, considerate and there was no drama. The staff focused on our happiness, wellbeing and safety. The entertainment onboard was fun and engaging. The show on the last few nights were memorable. The sailing over the transatlantic was so smooth and we were always on time or even earlier than promised at the ports. The food onboard was delicious (Buffett and specialty restaurants), the selections were varied, the distinctions for adult and family entertainment/venues were clear and followed. I greatly enjoyed my time aboard the Norwegian Star. The veterans group was the best group of folks. I made new friends and the staff was amazing. I feel like they were a part of my family! Would cruise with them again in a heartbeat. Read Less
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