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6,175 Norwegian (NCL) Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

Four friends just returned 02/12/20 from Norwegian Sun cruise to Costa Maya and Cozumel. The entire cruise was wonderful from the stateroom to the yummy food to the entertainment. We ate at two specialty restaurants, La Cucina and ... Read More
Four friends just returned 02/12/20 from Norwegian Sun cruise to Costa Maya and Cozumel. The entire cruise was wonderful from the stateroom to the yummy food to the entertainment. We ate at two specialty restaurants, La Cucina and Cagney’s. The food in La Cucina was delicious. Two people ordered the tbone steak. It was great. Cagney’s was simply superb! Best steak any of us had ever had. And the OMG cheesecake was delicious. Our steward was very attentive. When we arrived the bottom drawer was broken. We told Elias and it was fixed early the next day. One day, our air quit working. When we reported it to Elias, he told us it was already reported because he noticed it was hot in there. It was fixed promptly. Dinners at Seven Seas or Four Seasons were delicious. Breakfast and lunches at the Garden Cafe and the Outdoor Cafe were good. Bar staff were jovial and made drinks to our specifica. Crew had smiles on the time. The adult comedy show was really funny. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Good: Beautiful Ship. Well appointed. Very clean & nice graphics. This was our 20th cruise. Second on Norwegian. Room Steward was great. Bad: First experience was on the Dawn. was not good but, wanted to try again. Will not be a ... Read More
Good: Beautiful Ship. Well appointed. Very clean & nice graphics. This was our 20th cruise. Second on Norwegian. Room Steward was great. Bad: First experience was on the Dawn. was not good but, wanted to try again. Will not be a third time. Embarkation was slow. We were with 3 other couples and stopped at security and two of us had items confiscated. Pair of pliers and a small fan. Did not see a list of these items prior to boarding. Then we had to pay a corking fee for our wine before we could board. Cannot bring any water or soda aboard but is available at a cost on board. Rooms were not ready so we had a beer and cocktail while we waited. Total cost was $9.06 for beer and 13.00 for cocktail. Around 3 pm the rooms were ready. Balcony room was good except for the Balcony its self. Very small and I am a thin person but has to turn chairs sideways to stretch my feet out. Pool is very small and very crowded. Smoking hut is very close to it. Gym was unmanned and no towels available. No beach towels in room. Had to go to appointed stations to obtain. Meals were served by Norwegian employees ( including Buffet) and slowed whole process down. Had to go to a plate station to get a plate. After three days this was changed back to normal. Most everything had to be reserved. Ugly: Ship holds over 4,000 guests. None of there entertainment areas were built to hold this capacity. Therefore you have to reserve almost any non cost event. Space fills up very quickly. We were overcharged on drinks every day for the three days we drank at a certain restaurant. Food orders were wrong also. Went to Cagney's steak house. A paid venue and everything was Al a carte. Small baked potato was $7.00. Came with no butter or sour cream. Waiter disappeared so we had to get the hostess to find him so we can get butter & sour cream. Steak was OK but time we had a few items bill was $72.00 and that was with us splitting a steak. Overall ship seems understaffed. Service waits are lengthy and not acceptable. Comedy club was booked up every night. We are seasoned cruisers and we know this is not representative of the industry. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We decided on this cruise because of the great price offered by NCL. We had a mid ship balcony and took advantage of the 4 perk deal. I will review the items and places we visited and if not mentioned it's due to the fact we just ... Read More
We decided on this cruise because of the great price offered by NCL. We had a mid ship balcony and took advantage of the 4 perk deal. I will review the items and places we visited and if not mentioned it's due to the fact we just didn't use that facility. Getting the ship was a breeze. We paid $100 for the VIP check in. What a great decision on that. We arrived at the ship around 1130 and security took about 5 minutes. We went up the elevator and there were probably 200 folks in line for check in. The VIP line had NOBODY. We were checked in and headed to the boat in less than 5 minutes. Walked onto the Sun by 1150. We purchased our water for th We trip and it was delivered to the room later in the day. We went to the MDR for lunch and to just settle down a little after a lot of walking and standing. A++++ for getting onboard. We ate in the MDR several times during the cruise. We had three breakfasts, three dinners, and one lunch in the MDR. The one consistent factor for every meal was slow service. Several meals took over an hour and it wasn't busy at all. Drinks were fine, coffee was delivered fast, but the main course just seemed to take forever. The food was good, not great, the servers were very friendly and seemed to apologize a lot for the slow service. We had lunch at Garden Cafe once and it was really good. Good service and good burgers and hot dogs. Our two nights of fine dining consisted of Cagney's and Moderno. The food was really good at Cagney's but the service was bad. Same with Moderno. Others seemed to be getting much better service, so hit or miss. ett We had breakfast room service twice, larger menu included free with the VIP check in package. Both days the order was completely messed up. Two things of hot water and no coffee the first day. Second day was no syrup with waffles, no milk for cereal. They seem to be trying but NCL just didn't seem to have the small things down like other cruise lines. Wife used the spa service twice. First time toes and fingers and the 2nd time 90 minute hot stone massage. Both were well done and wife stated the masseuse worked her problem areas and she did a great job. I had drinks, several at some of them, at most of the bars. Service was fine, the pool area bars got busy during the day but that is normal. The table/lounger service could be better and that would shorten the lines at the bar. I tried to enjoy a cigar or two but the only place to smoke was the Topsider Bar. The wind was blowing around 20-60 mph most days so not really good at all. No indoor smoking and that's OK but don't sell cigars in a bar (Spinnaker Bar) and then say no smoking. Drinks were good, we are a coke family and this is a pepsi ship. Coffee was very good everywhere I drank it. Miller Lite was always cold and refreshing. The pools were terrible, water temp around 35 it seemed. Most people in the pool that we saw was maybe 5 at a time. Hot tubs busy but pools not so much. Pool music was really good both life and recorded. We went to one show and it was OK. The music in the bars at night seemed really good and there were large crowds for some acts. The casino was good, we made a few bucks during the week. Disembarking was great. We carried our bags and left our room at 710. At 722 we were off the ship waiting for our ride to our car. There was not customs, just a face recognition camera and keep on walking. We filled out no paperwork, no questions, no hiding the extra bottle, just a great experience getting off the ship. We have cruised Carnival 5 times. Celebrity twice (another this April) and this was our first NCL trip. We may try NCL again with a larger ship. Costa Maya was nothing great. We enjoy Cozumel and went downtown for a great lunch and some shopping. We had to tender in Cozumel as there were 9 ships in port. We had no problem with the tenders but others had terrible experiences (they can write about them since not really my experience). NCL has a lot of good going for them, but seem a little short in regards to service. Those working on the ship were very friendly and always said hello or good morning and called you by name after running your card for your purchase. We did not travel with kids or with a group. Not a lot of children on the ship and average age would be around 51for the guests. Cruise entertainers seemed to be very upbeat and engaging with guests. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Chose this cruise on a bit of a last minute special. We got Balcony Cabin for a great deal. I was a little skeptical due to the other reviews but don't listen to those negative cruisers. This was a fantastic cruise for my wife ... Read More
Chose this cruise on a bit of a last minute special. We got Balcony Cabin for a great deal. I was a little skeptical due to the other reviews but don't listen to those negative cruisers. This was a fantastic cruise for my wife and I and worth every penny. The ship is bit older but still in great shape, clean, and serviceable where it counts. BE AWARE OF THIS THOUGH: It is best for adults and not first time cruisers. There is an extreme lack of outdoor kid activities versus what the big mega-ships are offering these days. There is no water slide, splash pad, etc. There did seem to be a kids club of some sort but not many children on the boat. If I were a first time cruiser I might be slightly disappointed. Embarkation: Security was very easy and fast. Just a normal Xray and walk-through metal detector. Everything was fast. We waited for the 12pm rush to die down before getting into the line and it went perfect...was on the boat in about 15 minutes. Cabin: We had Cabin 9075. It is located in far aft port side of the ship. I was skeptical but the room was PERFECT. A bit smaller inside (not much smaller) but the extended balcony more than made up for it. We had two chairs and two loungers to relax on. It was great! People reviewed that beds were uncomfortable. Couldn't disagree more...I thought the bed was very comfortable. One minor complaint is not being able to hear the announcements in the cabin. Food: We are not "foodies" but we enjoyed almost everything we had. We had dinner at Cagney's and La Cucina for the specialty restaurants. Both were spectacular. For dinner we also did Four Seasons and Seven Seas. Both were great but service was pretty slow. We had to rush the end of dinner at Four Seasons in order to make the magic show. Entertainment: Keith Bender, the comedian, was pretty funny and like-able...worth seeing. The magician was awesome. This was the best show of the cruise. We also saw the "broadway" style show called Rock You Tonight. Pretty cheesy and could have done without. The house band was terrific though. Be sure to catch their Cole Porter tribute in the Atrium. They are true musicians. Ports: Costa Maya and Cozumel. I'm always a bit frustrated with the lack of time in ports but both were nice. Did booked excursions that were not through NCL. Overall I would love to do this cruise again anytime. If you are wondering if it's worth it just now that it's very relaxing vs. many other cruises. It's a bit of an older crowd. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Decided to try NCL due to price and Free at Sea promotion. I’ve cruised previously with Princess and Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately, NCL paled in comparison. Food quality was good in the main dining room and specialty restaurants. ... Read More
Decided to try NCL due to price and Free at Sea promotion. I’ve cruised previously with Princess and Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately, NCL paled in comparison. Food quality was good in the main dining room and specialty restaurants. The buffet Food quality and selection was underwhelming. Comedy show at Headliners was entertaining. If you want to see other entertainment, make sure you reserve your spot early through NCL’s website. We didn’t, and the only available show times were at 10pm or later, which doesn’t work when you have a shore excursion at 7-8 the next morning. The casino slot machines gobbled up our money like PacMan. Other games like Deal or No Deal, Bingo, and pull tab cards were just tacky money grabs by NCL. The Deal or No Deal cards cost $29 each, and there were over 100 participants in the game I attended. Only 2 people won slightly more than $50. We had a mid ship balcony room. We called guest services immediately because we had no electricity in room. They told us to put room key in slot near door to turn it on. HEY NCL, HOW ABOUT TELLING PASSENGERS THAT BEFORE THEY ENTER THEIR ROOMS?!? Room size was adequate for 2. The balcony was small. The furnished shampoo/conditioner combo dried out my hair like straw. Bring your own! Cabin steward, Omar, did an excellent job and was one of the bright spots of the cruise. Disembarkation was a frustrating, disorganized cluster. The only instruction provided was a vaguely worded paragraph in their daily newsletter. On the final day, Passengers who were handling their own luggage, which was most of them, were instructed via loudspeaker to disembark first. The exit deck (7) got too congested, so access to that deck was closed off, and passengers were directed to deck 8. Those passengers had to carry their luggage down the stairs from deck 8 to 7. We saw elderly women struggling to carry their large suitcases down the stairs. Totally appalling and a major safety hazard. NCL needs to assign departure times and stations to all passengers like the other lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Pricing was very low on this Balcony cabin. We are seasoned cruisers with 20 thus far and had been on the Dawn prior to this and had not had a great experience, so decided to give Norwegian another try. Start with embarkation. We traveled ... Read More
Pricing was very low on this Balcony cabin. We are seasoned cruisers with 20 thus far and had been on the Dawn prior to this and had not had a great experience, so decided to give Norwegian another try. Start with embarkation. We traveled with 3 other couples 2 couples had various items confiscated. Small fan, Pliers for vapor cigarette. Had these items been posted on website we would not have bothered. Then it was on to paying a corking charge for wine $30.00. Cannot bring water or any soft drinks on the ship. Finally on board it was around one pm. Room was not ready. Around 3.00 room was ready. Balcony room was ok but balcony its self was very small. Had to turn chairs sideways to have leg room. On to bookings. You have to reserve everything on this ship. Reservations are required. Same with dining if you chose not to go freestyle, Comedy clubs etc. Alcohol is very expensive. $9.06 for a beer and upward of 12 to 15 dollars for a mixed drink. All include a 20% gratuity. Dining in Dining room was adequate. Quality of the food was average. We did find a little sit down restaurant on Deck 7 that had a morning special on Mimosas & Bloody Mary's from 7 to 11 for $5.95. Just by chance though as this is not advertised, Pool area is very small and crowded as this ship has over 4,000 passengers, Best part was our Room Steward he was sensitive to our needs and kept room very clean. They do not furnish towels in room for offshore activities. You have to check those out at a certain area. Were no towels or staff members in the gym also. There also just two sets of elevators were most cruise ships have three. Ship had outstanding graphics and was beautifully decorated. Very clean. Overall there were some other plus items for us but our thinking was when you add all the extras that other lines allow as a courtesy and high Alcohol costs and cost of some services it was not for us. Will not repeat. Disembarkation was delayed by several hours due to high winds which was unavoidable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 4th cruise with Norwegian first on the Breakaway. I have never experienced a more reluctant crew to provide service. Many staff members were too busy talking/visiting with each other or cell phones. Here is our list of ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Norwegian first on the Breakaway. I have never experienced a more reluctant crew to provide service. Many staff members were too busy talking/visiting with each other or cell phones. Here is our list of disappointments regarding poor customer service on our 7 day excursion. 1. Stateroom- steward removed our opened wine bottle and our chocolates that we set aside. I called and he claimed he didn’t do it. 2. Never had a casino host come to welcome us. (We are Casino at sea members- spend $1-4K each trip) 3. Casino bar staff never came to us we always had to stop them as they were headed elsewhere. 4. Buffet was messy, food mediocre at best. 5. Staff never says “I’m sorry, let’s see what we can do.” Instead they try to give you an excuse. 6. Disembarkation was a little confusing- at the end 2 lines but no warning or reason. We got in line and asked for documents. ??? We have passports- then told one line for passports, one for people without and some sort of Stickers/documents. What does that mean? Why not a sign stating - Passports this line no passports this line?? Pretty simple instead of getting in wrong line! 7. Last night of trip vacuum was running in our hallway at 1:30 ! a.m. ! Then we had our do not disturb sign on at 8:15 a.m. and had a knock on door wanting to check mini bar. I think they could wait until it was our turn to get in line for disembarking. 8. We even tipped cash - additional to wait staff in casino bar hoping that would entice them to come back to take drink order again- but that didn’t work either. 9. Many of the hand sanitizers stations were empty multiple days. During the Corona virus scar you would think it would be a high priority. 10. Restrooms in high congregation places were closed during high use. Many times this happened- at least once every evening. Find a better way to schedule this or don’t close completely during evening dinner times 11. I asked for comment card on last night. I was told they were out. I again asked for something to write a review on and was given a “hero” card. The cards I was given were already filled out. I asked the same customer service person for one that was blank. He walked a few steps and again gave me “hero” cards. I used one of those to give a review. 12. During disembarkation again multiple hand sanitizers either not working or empty. 13. In my opinion perhaps the guaranteed gratuity that is added is expected by staff and they don’t seem interested in going above and beyond. I receive multiple Norwegian certificates from Caesars rewards each year. I suggest that Caesars use a different cruise line in the future if their patrons are treated this way. Not sure if I will use another certificate with Norwegian. Caesars casino treats their clients much better! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
It's been years since we sailed on NCL, but we thought we would give it a try. Major disappointment. The show/entertainment was sub-par. The food in the dining room ms and buffet were awful, but the service was good. Our room Stewart ... Read More
It's been years since we sailed on NCL, but we thought we would give it a try. Major disappointment. The show/entertainment was sub-par. The food in the dining room ms and buffet were awful, but the service was good. Our room Stewart was very rude. The casino set up was cool. Embarkation was smooth. The entire cruise seemed disorganized. We had a storm which stopped the tenders from running, so we ended up with an unexpected sea day. Our next excursion was to the beach in Jamaica. It was raining when we left, but the coordinator said we were going to the other side of the island and it would take about an hour, do the rain should pass. It didn't, and we got torential rains all day. When we returned to the ship and complained, they did give us 25 percent back.... oh boy. The cruise director had no idea what to do and people were all sitting around looking lost. NCL just kept nickel and diming us the entire cruise. We prefer Carnival and will be headed back, fast! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was first time on Norwegian, maybe 9th cruise all in all. We had a 7 day cruise stopping in Great Stirrup Cay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Sadly, we skipped Great Stirrup Cay, which I found out happens on a regular basis. I do ... Read More
This was first time on Norwegian, maybe 9th cruise all in all. We had a 7 day cruise stopping in Great Stirrup Cay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Sadly, we skipped Great Stirrup Cay, which I found out happens on a regular basis. I do understand the wind and waves are out of the control of Norwegian, but it seems to happen way too much. Another passenger on the ship said the last three times he took the cruise it was skipped. That was one of the top two that we were looking forward to. In my opinion Jamaica was a pit. Admittedly, I did not take a excursion, but I heard from several people who did that they were very disappointed in the day, and/or scared of the drivers skills and the other traffic on the road. We walked ourselves off the ship and to the first two shopping centers we came from. The entire way we were harassed by taxi drivers, excursion drivers and people selling everything from drugs to hair braiding. We tried to politely saying “no thank you,” but they would still follow you for almost a block. The first shopping center we came from had a lot of the stores closed and what was there was mediocre junk. Walked onto the second one and then just turned around and went back to the ship. Of course we had to walk through the gauntlet going the other direction as well. The third step was Grand Cayman and that was absolutely lovely. We had intended to take the city bus down to 7 Mile Beach, but the local tender driver directed us in a better direction to a very uncrowded little beautiful beach. He pointed to all the crew ships in the harbor and said that half of those people are going to be at the beach and it’s going to be extremely crowded. You were very thankful. Shopping was great, and nobody harassed us trying to get us to buy things. The only part I have been in Mexico before was Ensenada. I found Cozumel a huge improvement. They’ve made quite an effort to beautify the whole area around the port. It felt safe, there were lots of restaurants to choose to eat up, and lots of stores to buy souvenirs that. The water was a beautiful blue and all in all it was a good time. As far as the food on the cruise I found it mediocre. Because the hubby likes to eat mostly at the buffet we did that for breakfast and several of the dinners. I do recognize it’s hard to cook for large amounts of people and the food wasn’t bad it just wasn’t that wonderful. I ate three times in the dining room had some wonderful salmon, but the two beef dishes I got were kind of blah. We ate a couple meals at the Shanghai noodle bar which Anna was a fun experience but the food didn’t have a lot of flavor. It was kind of bland. I would’ve had more soy sauce or seasoning but I didn’t see any. this was my first completely freestyle cruise. Personally I like being put at a table for dinner and getting to meet the other people at your table and having the same waiters. But I definitely did not like was having to try to reserve all my entertainment. I really wanted to see a magician magic show but never got to because every time I tried it was packed. We did book our cruise only two weeks before and when I tried to book things most were already full. I did wait in the standby line several times and was let in, but it’s hard to plan your night when you don’t know if you’re going to get in after waiting a half hour in line. We got an interior cabin and I thought the cabinet was actually more than fine. It was quiet, and very dark in the morning which was a nice change for me. Our room steward was a very sweet man and we had absolutely no issues. The pool deck was very loud with the music, and it was kind of a stressful to try to get a chaise lounge on sea days. Of course there’s always those people that leave their towel in the chair and then don’t come back for hours hogging the chair for anyone else that might want to just sit for an hour or two. I could tell there were some passengers who had cruised often on Norwegian who simply remove peoples towels when they were not there for a half an hour. I wasn’t that brave. The casino was very large. I’m not a gambler, but you had to walk quite a distance through that casino with the heavy smoke every time you wanted to go to the noodle bar or some other locations. Then the smokers had what amounted to a plastic cage hear the pool where they were smoking too. The smoke definitely traveled toward the chaise lounges. Waterslides were kick and they were never more than three or four people in line ahead of you. I wanted to do the ropes course and plan to the last day but it was windy and rainy and it wasn’t open for good reason. In a nutshell I felt that the ship seemed very crowded. Especially when it was cold rainy outside. There never seem to be enough seating in any of the events or common areas to accommodate everybody. The one thing they did very well was the entertainment. We saw Burn the Floor, and a production called Six about Henry the Eights six wives. The dancers and musicians were absolutely amazing in both shows. We found the comedians very funny and would highly recommend the dueling piano bar Howl at the Moon. I went to karaoke twice. The first time was great and they were some wonderful adult singing. But the last night they were far too many kids in the bar signing up to sing karaoke. Keep in mind there is a whole area for teens but we had kids anywhere from 9 to 12 signing up for 2, 3, and 4 songs. I’m all for supporting the family, but they would get up there and giggle or you couldn’t even hear them singing. We left after half an hour. I think there’s just a time and a place, and a karaoke for families in the afternoon would’ve been just perfect. But after 8 o’clock at night I don’t believe that they all belong on the stage. It’s not what other travelers want to see. I will say the host did her best to cycle them in with lots of space in between them. I really enjoyed a couple Q and A sessions one with the dancers and entertainment staff, and one with the captain and the first two officers. Both were very informative and I found all the people very nice. One thing I really love was the ships decor. I found some ships seem to look like a giant Vegas casino, but this one had distinct separate areas like Headliners Comedy Club, or Syd Norman‘s Pour House, or Maltimgs Bar that were really nicely decorated and gave a break from all the glitz. I intended to use the gym, but never got around to it. We did walk up there though, and it did look very nice. Embarkation was very smooth, and as we were in a hurry the day we left to go see friends, we walked out suitcases off. I’ve never seen a smoother disembarkation. It was early though. The staff was friendly- and some of the hardest working people I have seen. Kudos to them. This includes the port staff- all friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Due to illness the ship made it to where you couldn’t service your self, so eating anywhere was a headache. The ship wouldn’t disclose if someone was ill just saying it was precautionary. For this being a large ship everything sold out ... Read More
Due to illness the ship made it to where you couldn’t service your self, so eating anywhere was a headache. The ship wouldn’t disclose if someone was ill just saying it was precautionary. For this being a large ship everything sold out quickly, they weren’t stocked enough. Shows said sold out but then almost half was empty! Same with restaurants. Last year 2019 we went on the Jade which is half the size had a much better time and experience. One thing I always looked forward to is the towel animals they leave on your bed.. nope not one for 7 day cruise!! Total disappointment! As for the special restaurants we did Cagney twice first time was terrible second time was much better with better service! The attitude of the service was horrible they weren’t smiling or even nice, seems like they was tired and didn’t want to help! Our flights were a total joke! Coming to New Orleans we didn’t get in till after 8pm and going home they didn’t give us flights till 540! So here we sit all day in an airport! All on top of I paid extra to come a day early to be able to hang out in New Orleans and we had enough time to eat dinner and back to hotel to sleep to board the next day! I don’t think we will book again with NCL after this joke of a vacation! Oh and to be upgraded to mini suite total disappointment as it’s no larger than a balcony room we had on the Jade! Outside activities weren’t open all the time! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this ship because of a casino promotion. Had never sailed on NCL before, but wanted to try them. We quickly learned that with the free at sea promotion, you have to plan your dinner reservations out months. As a result, it became ... Read More
Chose this ship because of a casino promotion. Had never sailed on NCL before, but wanted to try them. We quickly learned that with the free at sea promotion, you have to plan your dinner reservations out months. As a result, it became very difficult to even use our specialty dining package. The first few days one of the biggest impressions the ship left on us was that the bathrooms were small, oddly layed out, smelled bad, and we're dirty. On the 3rd to last day fears of virus led to the ship receiving a more thorough cleaning, bringing the cleanliness on par with past ships we've been on. The virus precautions were not well communicated at all. For 12 hours the passengers were left wondering why the buffet was no longer self serve and all room keys were dipped in sanitizer before any announcement was made that it was directed by NCL HQ "out of an abundance of caution." That one and only mention still left everyone onboard wondering if we had sick passengers on the ship or if it was fleet wide due to Coronavirus. Overall the crew was nice, but did not go out of their way to do things like greet you when walking by and servers in complimentary restaurants seemed like they were always rushing you. Of course there were some shining stars who did epitomize customer service. The food was average to below average. My past 2 cruises have been with Celebrity, so I know I'm a bit spoiled, but I was surprised that Le Bistro wasn't even up to the standard of the main dining room on other ships I've been on, particularly when it came to service. The casino itself is probably one of the biggest and nicest of any cruise ship casino I've seen. They have a large, friendly, casino staff and do a good job advertising tournaments. Cabins are average size, but balconies are the smallest I have ever seen. NCL did not go out of their way to create additional storage space in cabins like Celebrity did with their S-Class ships. The entertainment was much like the dining. You either had to book way in advance or pay to see shows. Only a handful were shows that allowed people to come and go as they please. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Overall, I'd say this was a pretty average experience. I am used to cruising on RC and I found Norwegian a little subpar on just about everything...except the price of course. You get what you pay for I guess. Pros: Great ... Read More
Overall, I'd say this was a pretty average experience. I am used to cruising on RC and I found Norwegian a little subpar on just about everything...except the price of course. You get what you pay for I guess. Pros: Great Entertainment Cons: Cramped ship Excursions were a nightmare Dining Continual nickel and diming Port - New Orleans - Getting on the boat was pretty easy. We parked at the hotel (Holiday Inn and Superdome) and taxied over. I don't recommend this however. Holiday Inn used to have a shuttle, which made their stay and sail deal worth it. They no longer have the shuttle. So the money you save parking at the hotel vs port will be eaten up in taxi or uber fees. Might as well just park at port. We were with Platinum Norwegian members so we got to board first. Not sure how long others waited but boarding was simple and easy. ***One caveat. Like a rookie, I forgot to preprint our luggage tags. Big mistake. The porter had tags of course, which he supposedly attached to our luggage. No biggie, until our luggage didn't show up to our cabin. A few moments of panic on the first day. But went to customer service desk and they had our luggage set aside as unclaimed. There were no tags on all 3 of our suitcases. Not sure if they porter didn't attach them or they came off. Regardless it was scary for a bit. But no real harm done. Entertainment - This was the one place where the Getaway really shined. The million dollar quarter was the very best show I've seen on a cruise ship, hands down. It was fabulous. My wife and I see a ton of musicals and this compared to anything we've seen. So, so, good. The steam show was also amazing and the food was good. Hated that it cost extra but...nickel and diming...such is the Norwegian way. The Burn the Floor show was good, but it went on a little long. The Howl at the Moon dueling pianos were fabulous. We closed them down every night. Just as good as your local piano bar I promise you, and probably actually much much better. Those guys were great. The comedians were good as well. Ship Layout - The ship itself is big, but it felt cramped. I know this cruise was super packed and it felt that way. The getaway doesn't have great common areas in my opinion. It seems more space is devoted to cabins than common areas. The area around O'Sheehans was always packed. The atrium was always packed. I'm sued to the RC Allure and Oasis with gigantic outdoor theatres, the boardwalk, and central park. Some great common areas. The getaway did not have good common areas. The pool was tiny. The bar next to the pool as you can imagine, always super packed. **Two things of note. If you have a problem with cigarette smoke, you will have a real problem with this ship. The smoker's box is right next to the pool! This I could not believe. You could smell it from the pool itself. Gross. This by itself is reason enough for me not to pick this ship again. Also, you must travel through the casino to get from one end of the ship to the other on deck 7, which is the main deck (6, 7, and 8). I personally love drawing in a few lungfuls of cigarette smoke on the way to dinner. Give me a break. Again, this by itself is enough to make me not choose this ship again. *On the flip side, this ship has 4 great water slides. There were very few kids on this ship so the slides were always open. As a 40 year old man, I took advantage. I wished I had had my boys with me. They would have loved the water slides and the ropes course. Dining - The food was average. Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible. The only specialty restaurant we took advantage of was Steam and the food there was good. The show was amazing as mentioned above. Buffet - food was decent. Not as many choices as I was used to at the Windjammer on RC Allure and Oasis. But I think the buffet food might have been a tad tastier than the Windjammer. O'Sheehans food was good. But hard to get a table. Main dining food again, good, nothing special. **A word about the dining in general. This was the first time we ever did freestyle dining and I hated it. We had a party of 10 and there was always a wait, and never any reservations available anywhere. Further, our stateroom came with 2 specialty dining comps. We were unable to use them because we didn't book in advance. There were literally no reservations available except at 9:30 at any specialty restaurant. Again, this was a bit of a rookie mistake as I should have booked far out, but I didn't think reservations would be that hard to get and having never been on this ship before I wasn't sure what was 'must eat'. Also, I couldn't believe how hard it was to get a seat in the main dining room. Again, I'm used to having a set dining time with RC, early or late. That system works out so much better. While early people are eating, the late eaters see their shows and then they switch. Very easy and efficient. Not sure why Norwegian doesn't do this. Excursions - Let me move on to the very worst part of the trip. Excursions. We had 3 excursions booked: Cozumel - Playa de Mia Beach Break Grand Cayman - Dolphin swim and Stingray island Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Aqua River Tublng and Bamboo Beach VIP Cozumel - Playa de Mia Beach Break - we decided not to do this excursion because we were tired and wanted to stay on the boat. Looking back, probably should have went ahead and done it. But we'd been to Cozumel before and we were having a good time on the boat. Oh, well. No biggie. Do you think Norwegian gave me a refund when I tried to cancel the day before? Ha. Yeah right. This is Norwegian we're talking about. Grand Cayman - Dolphin swim and Stingray island - This was not terrible. We had to tender in, which was a hassle but that was expected. When we got on land, it wasn't bad, they took us straight to the bus. Ride to the dolphins wasn't overally long. The dolphin experience itself was amazing. I enjoyed it, even though I wasn't necessarily super hyped about swinning with dolphin. It's very controlled. You take turns letting them push you by your foot, kissing them, and holding on to their flippers. But just seeing how incredibly trained and intelligent the dolphins were was amazing. The stingray section was okay. For some reason, we only had a few stingrays. Everyone said the place is actually covered up with stingrays everywhere. I didn't get that. Not sure if it was the time of day or season or what, but we just had a few stingrays here and there. In a way, this part felt like a giant photo op. They pull the stingray up, and you take turns taking pictures with it kissing it or letting it flap on you. I swam around a bunch while everyone else was taking pics, which was fun but the excursion itself didn't blow me away. The boat ride from dolphins to stingrays was pleasant. Not overly long, the boat was big and comfortable, and the crew was good. Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Aqua River Tublng and Bamboo Beach VIP - Definitely the low point of the trip. DO NOT DO THIS EXCURSION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER. In fact, do not even get off the boat in Jamaica if you know what's good for you. This excursion was absolute cluster from the word go. They gathered everyone going to Bamboo Beach in the theatre at 9:15. Here we waited pointlessly. There was absolutely no reason for this. Why? Because after we were all gathered and had waited, they simply sent us out onto the pier with everyone else. We got in the herd and headed down the pier with all the other sheep. So, so pointless. Here is where the excursion goes from bad to nightmarish. If you are used to lining up on the pier at a certain number and having your guide escort you to the bus, you can forget that right now. Every excursion met in a tiny building meant to hold 100 people, not 3000. EVERY excursion booked through the ship met in this building. It was absolutely impossible to get in there. This meant that there was a giant line extending out of the building and down the pier. We waited in this line for 1 solid HOUR!!!! In the hot Jamaican sun. With 3,000 of our closest friends. Had the excursion itself actually been good, it would not have been worth this hellish experience. Never again. After we finally, finally, found our guide and got on a bus, we proceeded up to the river for the tubing. Many of the reviews said this drive was completely insane and it was. We were on a huge charter bus, traveling on tiny roads built for bicycles on the side of a cliff. At one point, we had to back down the mountain to let another bus coming down the mountain pass us because there wasn't room for both. Good times. It didn't actually bother me, I kind of enjoyed the adventure, but it made some of the other passengers nervous. The scenery on the trip will make you be thankful for what you have, as you pass some of the poorest people living in shacks you've likely ever seen. Several times the driver had to turn the A/C off in the bus to make it up the mountain. It was hot. The river itself was kind of nice. It was beautiful no doubt and the tubing was fun. You do have to stay attached to your group the entire time which wasn't ideal, but it is what it is. ***You can leave your stuff on the bus.*** The official excursion description from Norwegian says you cannot leave your stuff on the bus. That is not accurate. You can. That being said, I still took my valuables with me in a dry bag on the tube. It is Jamaica after all. But I was one of the few who did this. Most ppl left their stuff on the bus. The river itself was mostly calm. Yes, there were a couple of nice rapids, but nothing overly exciting. Some reviews I read said it was too much rapids and they flipped over and hit their heads on a rock. I didn't get that at all. I wanted more rapids personally. After the river was done, we tipped our river guides and got back on the bus from hell. Ah, the river was such a nice respite. Oh well.... The next thing we do is go back down the mountain to the port to shop. BOOOO!!!!!! This was pointless. We stopped outside a tiny little store and the guide told us we would be there for 20 minutes and to go in and shop. Our entire bus almost rioted and chants of 'Beach! Beach! Beach!' broke out. Only one couple got off the bus. They were ceremoniously booed as they got off and cheered when they got back on. They were inside for like 5 minutes and they got back on and we took off. Pointless. Now, the real fun begins. How does a hot 45 minute bus ride across Jamaica sound to you? Great! By the time we reached the beach, we were starving. No problem. They serve lunch, right? WRONG! We waited almost 3 HOURS to get our food. This was the most inefficient operation I'd ever seen. It almost rivaled the cattle call at the port. When we got there, the morning group hadn't yet cleared out. So there was nowhere to sit. Once we finally fought someone off their beach chair, we waited and waited and waited. Your tour guide is also your waitress. They move at an absolute snail's pace. They have to walk way across the beach to get your food and then walk way back to where you are sitting. The ones that were not your tour guide will not wait on you. The food, when we got it at 3:00 (five minutes before we left) was delicious. But we were close to starving at that point so anything would have been good. The 'VIP' section of the beach is a joke. There is no VIP. There was a tiny little sign to specify the VIP section vs the rest of the beach. The only difference I could tell was the VIP section was further away from the food so your waitress guide had to walk farther. It was also farther from the bar. Btw, the bar service was okay but drinks were expensive. The rum punch was free but also lukewarm. The beach itself was okay. Kind of rocky. Water was pretty. A bit of sand but not much. We were supposed to have been there 1.5 hours. We ended up staying 3. That might sound great, but when you are tired and starving, it's not great. When it was time go, we filed back onto the bus. Here is where it gets really fun. B/c you had so many rednecks drinking free rum punch with nothing to eat, half the bus was sloshed. And there were loud. And they were very obnoxious. Very. There's nothing worse than a hot 45 minute bus ride after you are exhausted with a load of loud drunks. Love it. Service - was a bit surprised with how lackluster the service was. No one was rude. But no crew member went out of their way to be friendly either. I'm used to RC servers and stewards going out of their way to talk to me. Oh well, no biggie, room was clean that's all that matters. One last thing on the experience overall. As a whole, this being our first experience with NCL, it seemed the nickel and diming was too much. For example, they sell you wifi then upsell you to unlimited. Then they charge you $10 bucks for the communication piece of the app. Really? All of this is free on RC. Also, there was cup you could refill for drinks like they have on RC. That is convenient. Otherwise, there is no place to get a drink on this ship. Unless you buy the premium PREMIUM drink package. LOL. We ran into this kind of stuff over and over again. All in all, can't say I'm dying to go on a NCL cruise again. If my friends go, I would but wouldn't be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I chose this cruise mainly based on price. We traveled on our own to New Orleans and spent two nights there before the cruise. We enjoyed Bourbon Street, a ride on the streetcars, and the World War 2 Museum. The museum ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise mainly based on price. We traveled on our own to New Orleans and spent two nights there before the cruise. We enjoyed Bourbon Street, a ride on the streetcars, and the World War 2 Museum. The museum was awesome. We stayed at the Lafayette Hotel and were able to walk to the ship. If you don't have a lot of heavy luggage, and are staying the the Warehouse/Arts District or in the French Quarter, you might want consider walking to the Julia Street Cruise Ship Terminal. If you take a taxi, ask to be dropped off at the intersection of Julia Street and Convention Center Blvd. If you are walking, aim for this intersection. From this intersection you will see the ship. Walk toward it either at street level (passing an opening in the concrete flood wall and over two sets of railroad tracks) or go up the escalator to the second floor of the shopping mall and take the nearby elevator back down to street level. The entrance to the cruise port will be evident with either pathway. We arrived at the cruise terminal at about 2 p.m., breezed onto the ship with no delays, and had lunch at the Garden Buffet before the muster drill. We did not do any of the "free at sea" options. All of our evening meals were at Taste, Savor or Tropicana. Other meals were either at these dining rooms or at the Garden Cafe Buffet on the 15th floor. We made reservations for dining and entertainment about two months before our cruise. We never had to wait for a table in the dining room. There were only two (free) entertainment events that allowed for reservations - Burn the Floor and Million Dollar Quarter. Both were excellent. If "sold out" go standby for the later show. There were available seats at the later shows. Some of the other free entertainment was in smaller venues. At some of these, all available seats were taken when the show started but seats would open up - so try back later. This is especially true for "Howl at the Moon." This three-some would play for three hours straight on some nights (two would play while one member took a break). Get there one hour into their performance and you will find a place to sit. We did not take any excursions offered by the ship. We stopped at Cozumel, Grand Cayman Island, and Ocho Rios Cozumel: The ship docked at the Punta Langosta Pier, which is in downtown San Miguel. We walked around, went to Mega Store (like a Walmart), and had a simple lunch at the beach-side restaurant. Make sure that you venture beyond the confines of the Pier stores and out into the local economy. Grand Cayman Island: There were 5 other ships that were in port that day. All ships remain about one-half mile from the land and people on all ships are tendered to and from the island. It took a while for the tenders to catch up with demand for ship passengers to travel to the island. Getting back to the ship later in the day went much faster. We took a "public bus," actually a 12 to 14 passenger van (for $2.50 U.S. each person each direction) to the Turtle Center. Paid $18 each at the Turtle Center. It was too expensive for what you actually saw (big turtle and small turtles). I do not recommend the Turtle Center. Instead take the public bus someone else, such as one of the beaches on Seven Mile Beach. Ocho Rios (Jamaica): You will be pestered by literally dozens of people selling trinkets, taxi rides and tours when you walk off the pier. Be ready to say "no thank you" and continue walking. We went before the port vendors, took a left on the main road, walked 5 or 10 minutes and then took a route (pronounced "root") taxi to the entrance road to Dunn's River Falls. The price was $1 U.S. per person one-way. Make sure you take lots of $1 bills. Dunn's River Falls was excellent. We disembarked the ship at about 9 a.m. and all went smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Just spent a week on the Getaway, January 26 - February 2. I see others have reviewed this cruise and wonder...were we actually on the same cruise?? We have cruised Princess, Cunard and Avalon (river) prior, first time on Norwegian. We ... Read More
Just spent a week on the Getaway, January 26 - February 2. I see others have reviewed this cruise and wonder...were we actually on the same cruise?? We have cruised Princess, Cunard and Avalon (river) prior, first time on Norwegian. We loved it and are sold on mega ships! Yes, there can be a little crowding in some places at some times, but you can just avoid those places and go somewhere else. People act SHOCKED that there 4,000 people on this cruise...did you do your research? It's not a secret people. You simply cannot beat the value for the money with Norwegian. If you are not looking for a huge boat with casual atmosphere, then look at another cruiseline. It's not the cruiseline's fault...they deliver what they advertise. You just chose the wrong cruise for you. So here's our summary of the trip: Were were a group of eight. Four "50-somethings" and Four "20-somethings". Ebarkation: Flew into New Orleans a day early with the "free" Norwegian flights. Arrived at 11am, had the whole day to explore the city. Next morning took Uber approx. 1.5 miles from our hotel to cruiseport at 10:30 am. He dropped us right next to the luggage drop area. Walked into terminal, about 2 minutes to registration desk, a couple of minutes there, got boarding group 6. Waited about 20 minutes - was on the ship by 11:30am. Easy peasy. Had lunch in Taste dining room, our room was ready after that and our luggage showed up about 2pm. Could not have been easier. Cabin: Had large balcony room on deck nine. Balcony had 2 loungers, a table and 2 chairs. Awesome set up. Cabin exactly as pictured online. Tons of storage, didn't use most of it. Loved having the couch by the balcony doors. Was glad to have US news channels to keep up on news while away. Bathroom was spacious and well laid out with plenty of storage. Huge shout out to our room steward Waisul, he was awesome! Always around, always smiling, greeted us by name every time, was willing to chat and share a bit about himself when we asked. Food: My husband is a professionally trained chef (Culinary Institute of America) and he was really impressed with both the food quality and service in all of the restaurants we ate at. Did we absolutely love everything we ate? Of course not, there will always be something you don't care for, but you can always order something else so no big deal. He is generally not a big buffet person but thought the offerings on the main buffet were plentiful, attractively displayed and most were delicious. We frequented the main dining rooms for breakfast and a couple of dinners and they did not disappoint. Most of the servers were really friendly. We had the dining package and were able to make reservations for Moderno and the Cirque dinner show about 4 weeks out. The others were showing sold out prior to sailing, but we were able to make reservations for Cagney's and Ocean Blue once on board with no problems. Cagney's was amazing, the best of the four. Most of the meal at Ocean Blue was wonderful, one of the entrees not so much but not a deal breaker. Moderno was our least favorite, but probably more the syle of the meal and we were with a group of eight for a friend's birthday...it was his choice. We ate dinner one night at the Shanghai Noodle Bar, no reservations but we showed up at 6pm and they gave us a little pager to be called when our table was ready. Waited about 30 minutes, you can go to one of the nearby bars for a drink while you wait. Loved the spring rolls and potstickers as well as the pork noodle bowl I ordered. We grabbed snacks, including late night, at O'Sheehans several times and they fit the bill for the munchie fix. Bars: We had the drinks package and took total advantage of it, LOL! My husband is really into wine and there were several wines by the glass that he was quite happy with. You can choose more expensive wines by the glass and just pay the difference (between the $15 maximum and the glass price). We loved the mojito bar, the margaritas at Jimmy Buffets and the chocolate martinis at the Prime Meridan bar by Cagney's ( this out-of-the-way bar was a hidden treasure!) I loved the prosecco offered by the glass, and tried a whole bunch of different frozen drinks during the week. Found out several days in that they offered cans of spiked seltzer (Truly, Bon Viv) at the pool bar and it was really refreshing on the rocks. I would not sail without a drinks package, the menu prices are crazy!!! Entertainment: We are not really "show" people, but several in our group urged us to come with them to the shows so we reserved Burn the Floor and Million Dollar Quartet before sailing. While we are not "show" people, we were impressed and the productions were over the top. We LOVED the Cirque show. Our favorite though was Syd Norman's. The House Band was awesome and we also enjoyed the Foreigner tribute band. Yes...it is crowded in there, but if you are persistant you can get seats. We went in during the trivia that was running prior to the music and stood in the back. When trivia was over a lot of people left and we got seats. The Foreigner band also played in the main theater at the end of the week, so more people got to see them there. We went to the Ship Q&A in the theater with the captain, cruise director and engineer. It was very informative. Played in the casino a little, broke even on that. Played a lot of mini golf, shuffle board and the giant chess board. Waited too long to do the ropes course, it was closed on our last sea day due to wind/weather. Lesson learned...don't wait! Ports: We had not planned to do any excursions. Got of the ship briefly in Cozumel and Ocho Rios to walk around. Grand Cayman was a bit of a project getting off because of the tenders but we knew that from doing our research. We signed up for a tender group the day before and got off by 11. Took a cab up 7 mile beach to check out a resort we are considering visiting. Had lunch there, walked the beach and took a swim. Cab back to port, waited about 45 minutes to tender back. Others in our group did NCL excursions at all ports and reported no problems and a great time. Disembarkation: Did "self assist" for luggage since we travel light. Had breakfast in the buffet, walked off the ship at 10:30. Took 10 - 15 minutes to clear immigration,etc. We had booked the NCL shuttle to the airport. Arrived at the airport around 11:30. No problems with flights home. Time to plan our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this cruise for a couple of reasons. Wanted a nice little winter getaway, western Caribbean is always good for that. Had not sailed out of New Orleans yet and wanted to do this. Had not been on the Getaway or any ships of this size, ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a couple of reasons. Wanted a nice little winter getaway, western Caribbean is always good for that. Had not sailed out of New Orleans yet and wanted to do this. Had not been on the Getaway or any ships of this size, in the past we have sailed the Jewel Class ships and really enjoy this size of ship. New Orleans is a great city, been there before a couple of times. Flew in the day before embark. Stayed at the Marriott Renaissance Pere Marquette French Quarter area hotel. Nice place, fun atmosphere, nice restaurant on site with good food and cocktails. The Tacklebox. A short Uber ride to the port terminal. Fairly easy access to the unload area at the Julia Street Terminal, handing off you luggage was easy and quick. Getting through the check in process was efficient, did not take long at all, we did not have to wait for a group # to board, from the time we walked in the terminal to boarding the ship was about 30 minutes. We waited until close to noon to go to the terminal, thus no wait. The Getaway is a beautiful ship! She is a big ship with a large guest capacity, most places did not feel all that crowded, ever. I think O'Sheehan's probably had the most conjestion and crowds most of the time. It's a great pub and hangout spot with good bar tenders, so ya, popular place. All of the dining venues we ate at were all very good. Great food. Service was stellar, especially in Ocean Blue. Service throughout the ship was very good. Staff and crew were great. Sanitary measures were top notch as always. Much appreciate NCL's efforts here trying to keep us all healthy. Our cabin, 10302 balcony room, nice spacious room. Decent storage, great bathroom with really good water pressure. Fun to have a balcony, first time we had done this. Bed was comfy and pillows were nice. I think the only complaint I have regarding the cabin - there is not one USB port plug in. There are two regular plug in outlets right next to the coffee maker on the little counter and that's it! We were very surprised at this, especially since the Getaway was refurbished last summer. Found this to be quite odd. The Jade and the Pearl both have USB ports next to both sides of the bed. So readers be aware and go prepared. The itinerary.... it's the western Caribbean, everything and all places are gorgeous, just enjoy. On Cozumel we did a Dune Buggy and snorkel shore excursion. Very enjoyable, highly recommend. On Grand Cayman we did the island tour that stops at Hell and the Stingray City excursion. This was so much fun! The stingrays are amazing! The guides that took us out to the stingrays were very skilled and helpful. What an experience. A must do if you like stuff like this. On Jamaica we did the Bobsled and Zipline excursion. Another super fun side trip! Also recommend. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first time taking a cruise and we had a great time! We got a great deal that included our airfare and free dining package, drink package, internet, excursion credit and a cabin credit. We arrived in Nola around 1:30 on ... Read More
This was our first time taking a cruise and we had a great time! We got a great deal that included our airfare and free dining package, drink package, internet, excursion credit and a cabin credit. We arrived in Nola around 1:30 on Saturday and had some time to explore the city. We arrived at the cruise terminal at 9:30 the following morning and were part of boarding group #2. Everything was super smooth, there were no lines and we were able to get on the ship and get the Vibe passes we desired. Our 10th floor balcony room was spacious and clean and had a lot of smart storage allowing us ample room to unpack and get settled in for our week stay. During our stay we had wonderful service from our cabin steward, Nelson. He always greeted us with a smile, called us by name and kept our room stocked with towels and anything else we needed. The ship was also very clean and well kept, the only dirtiness we saw was from other passengers leaving drink cups and/or plates random places for the crew to pick up after them. Prior to our trip I had done a lot of research and had booked 2 group dinners several weeks ahead of time online at the specialty restaurants we wanted to try during our vacation so getting reservations wasn't an issue that a lot of people mention in these reviews. In my opinion, if you know you're going to go on vacation, taking a few minutes to book a reservation ahead of time to ensure you get the time you want is a smart idea and you can always cancel it or change it when you get on the ship. We ate at the tepanyaki grill, Cagney's steakhouse and Moderno's - they were all very good. For our other meals, we usually ate at the buffet, which offered a decent selection for every meal. We did try the noodle bar, which we thought was delicious and O'Sheehan's, Savor and Tropicana. We did think Tropicana was our least favorite of all, but it is a large venue and the staff did their best. Nothing we ate was terrible, in fact the majority of it was good to very good quality. The only show we went to was the Burn the Floor dance show, it was decent. We spent a lot of time up at the Vibe beach club, in our opinion it was 100% worth the extra charge for the week pass. We enjoyed some relaxation and quiet and enjoyed the bartenders and staff that were working up there. We did go down the water slides a couple of times in the main pool area, they were super fun and super fast! The only Norwegian port excursion we went on was to the Discovery Bay Beach Break in Jamaica, the beach was nice but the stay was short, we didn't realize it would be about a 45 minute drive to the beach and did not love the mandatory stop at the shops on our way back to the port. We did two private excursions at Cozumel and Grand Cayman which were excellent. For the amount of people we thought the getting on and off the ship at all the ports, EVEN THE TENDERING at Grand Cayman were really smooth and organized. Getting off the ship was also smooth, the line was long but moved quickly - we walked a couple blocks away from the chaos and called an uber and made our way to the airport. Overall we thought everything was great - but we are pretty easy to please people. I feel like the majority of people forget you're on a ship with almost 4,000 other people and that the world does indeed NOT revolve around them. Be courteous and have some patience and some grace and remember you are on VACATION - it's better than being at work! No need to be in a rush all the time, slow down and appreciate the view and the opportunity to see these beautiful places and realize how hard the crew is working to make an operation of that size run pretty dang smooth. We couldn't really think of any complaints the entire week, we had fun, we made memories and we would definitely cruise with NCL again. :) Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have cruised with NCL a handful of times, and have always been satisfied with the value for your money. This would be my first trip where I don’t feel that way. To be fair, the weather can never be predicted - but other cruises I ... Read More
I have cruised with NCL a handful of times, and have always been satisfied with the value for your money. This would be my first trip where I don’t feel that way. To be fair, the weather can never be predicted - but other cruises I have been on with inclement weather seemed to have better contingency plans. I haven’t cruised on a ship this small or old before, so I definitely will book any future cruises based more off of the ship vs the dates and destinations. The ship feels very old, and the rough waters during this cruise were unbearable. I never get sea sick, but there were plates flying on the floor in the restaurants and my closet door even swung open and broke off of the hinges due to the turbulence. The power went out in the casino as I walked through, and even some of the crew members called in sick due to extreme conditions. The outside areas of the ship were virtually useless for a majority of the trip, so most events were moved to the crowded Bliss Lounge. There wasn’t a lot of entertainment on the ship, with the exception of Bingo, Deal or No Deal, board games, and a comedian. Many of the locations and activities didn’t have active servers during the events, like most NCL cruises I have been on before. Some areas even had the bars closed during events, making it inconvenient for our travel party. On day 2, my husband booked an eyebrow wax at the spa. We have done this on other NCL cruises, and he gets them at home every 4-6 weeks. The spa employee completely ripped the skin off of the top and bottom of both brows. Either the wax was too hot or the technique was incorrect, but my husband had scabs around his eyes from day 2 through disembarking. We did show the spa manager, and he was very concerned and conceded that it had to have been a technique issue. He refunded the service, but my husband was forced to wear sunglasses for the remainder of the trip to cover the bloody scabs around his eyes. The dining was very limited compared to the other ships I have been on (even the staple Garden Cafe seemed to rotate hamburgers and hot dogs every day, and lacked variety). We went to the Sports Bar late one evening, and waited 20 minutes without being served, so we left and ordered room service. We dined as a large group at the Four Seasons a couple of times, and the service and food there was great. We brought 16 people, and a few of them were first time cruisers. I kept reassuring them that this wasn’t normal, but I felt bad that their first experiences had so many issues. The crew did a decent job, but many of them were noticeably off of their game due to the conditions. Dave (Trippong) P at guest services was very helpful. I had to visit the desk nightly to get sea sickness medicine. I’m hoping that this trip was a fluke, because NCL has been my preferred cruise line the past 4-5 years, but I definitely won’t go on the Sun ever again. My family is still worn out and seasick a day later. *I hadn’t cruised from Port Canaveral before, and the embarking/disembarking process was the easiest I’ve ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I know that my title for the review seems bad but it’s a good thing! Look, there’s no beating around the bush. The Norwegian Sun is an older ship- it’s from 2001 so compared to these new mega ships with water parks, ice skating, ... Read More
I know that my title for the review seems bad but it’s a good thing! Look, there’s no beating around the bush. The Norwegian Sun is an older ship- it’s from 2001 so compared to these new mega ships with water parks, ice skating, parks, and even go kart tracks- it’s hard to match up. But this ship is an excellent small to midsize ship. This ship is great if you are 1. A first time cruiser 2. On a budget like me 3. You just like the simple things about cruising. Despite not having the crazy amenities that the newer ships have, this ship still feels like your average cruise with non stop activities, modern and updated lounged and restaurants, and overall great service. Some staff members seemed to care less to be there with the majority was wonderful, patient, and kind. Many of the staff were friendly and took time to socialize with us a bit more than I’m used to which was great- especially the cruise director! He seemed to know most of the guests names including ours. The majority of the crew really do seem to care. Getting on the ship was by far the fastest, most simple process I’ve ever been a part of not just for cruising but for any type of major travel. All in all from the type we got dropped off by our family to the time we stepped foot onto the boat, it took less than 15 minutes maybe even 10. Despite crummy weather in Canaveral on day one, we had a nice time and the drinks were flowing! Quite a mixed crowd but mostly middle aged couples or elderly with some families or young couples here or there. We were definitely one of the youngest couples on the ship (24 and 21 year old males.) but we loved befriending many of our fellow passengers regardless of their age and we felt everyone was nice and up for a good time. The food is overall great! Some dishes were okay while others were outstanding. We did eat at 2 of the speciality dining venues Moderno and Los Lobos. Both were fairly good for the price and I don’t regret spending the extra money especially since service was outstanding at both. The ship feels somewhat small once you’ve gotten the hang of it but I sort of liked this. Perfect for a 4-5 day cruise. I didn’t like the way much of the decks were laid out compared to other ships but Just a small complaint. For example- to get across deck 6 you has to go through Bliss Lounge which took up the entirety of the deck and after certain times it’s adults only club. I feel as though Norwegians decks seem to have odd layouts compared to the competition but nothing that ruins your day lol. This isn’t the most amazing or best ship- but it certainly gets the job done. We had a great time on our budget vacation and got a killer deal with drinks included. I would travel on Norwegian again but maybe next time on a new ship to try something different! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great experience just got off NCL Sun. Was very pleased with our overall cruise experience. Pros: Service in MDR was phenomenal. Ask for Vanessa, she was our server and an absolutely amazing one too. We requested her every meal after ... Read More
Great experience just got off NCL Sun. Was very pleased with our overall cruise experience. Pros: Service in MDR was phenomenal. Ask for Vanessa, she was our server and an absolutely amazing one too. We requested her every meal after night 1 because her service was so great. Drinks came out fast and were good. Unpopular opinion, I prefer the ship with people being gifted the beverage package or purchasing it. I sailed the Sky in April and I preferred the experience I had on the Sun. Casino staff were great. Very pleased with the staff in the casino as well. Everyone friendly and inclusive. Very willing to teach people new games. Cons are going to be limited. Entertainment feels repetitive. The shows are VERY standard cruise fare. Are the performers talented? Of course. Is it a show or something similar to what you might have experienced elsewhere? Also yes. Food felt repetitive too. Buffet is small and can’t flow crowds super well and feels repetitive at times. Lunch buffet is better, I recommend dining at Moderno for lunch. Dinner in MDR was good but also not always “wowing”. Service was always great and we never went hungry. Very enjoyable ship, we were pleased with the cruise director, Richard Matic who was VERY present. It was a nice touch to see him often at the pier during port and like all cruise directors he was running around like a mad man the entire night. Expect to see him out and mingling with guest. You often don’t see that on large ships or even medium sized ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Had a wonderful time on the Sun. This was a short cruise for me, 5 days, but always had something to do. Had previously read negative things about the Sun, but I thought I would see for myself. A cruise it what you make it. This was a ... Read More
Had a wonderful time on the Sun. This was a short cruise for me, 5 days, but always had something to do. Had previously read negative things about the Sun, but I thought I would see for myself. A cruise it what you make it. This was a joint birthday cruise taken with my grand-daughter, as we share the same day. The food in the MDR, Tepanyaki, Moderno, and even at the Garden Buffet was very good. Had plenty of choices. Enjoyed the musical show and especially the Adult Comedy. The cruise director Richard Matic was hilarious and such a fun person. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment. Participated in the Glow night on the pool deck. Had designs painted on our face with glow paint. Glow sticks were given out and everyone was just having such an amazing time dancing the night away. Enjoyed Battle of the Cake masters where the Pastry Chef, Cruise Director Richard and a Passenger were putting together a Black Forest cake. The Cruise Director was just doing his own thing and making everyone laugh. The crew and officers were all very friendly and greeted you whenever passing by. I have to say I truly enjoyed this cruise and would definitely cruise again on this ship or another NCL ship. This was my 38th cruise but only the second with NCL. I will definitely sail again with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The timing worked out for this cruise as we were planning to be in Orlando at this time and this cruise was leaving Port Canaveral. Also, we had never taken an NCL cruise so after over 20 cruises on five other lines we wanted to try this ... Read More
The timing worked out for this cruise as we were planning to be in Orlando at this time and this cruise was leaving Port Canaveral. Also, we had never taken an NCL cruise so after over 20 cruises on five other lines we wanted to try this one. We opted for the Sail Away oceanview state room. This allowed NCL to select our room. In spite of the words in their disclaimer we never thought they would assign us an oceanview room that did not have a view of the ocean. It viewed a crew break area at the front of the ship. I had no idea a ship would ever be constructed this way. Also, we were asked to close our curtain at night so we didn't distract the Bridge with any light from our room. During the day we had to keep it closed for privacy from the crew. One of our traveling partners believed she got sick on the dining room food. We did not care for the design of the ship. It had a small pool area for 4100 passengers to use. The ports were average. The Roatan port was under construction and very congested. Will never be as nice as Mahogany Bay. The Belize port was nice but accessible involves a long hot walk. Entertainment was good but one show required buying a ticket. This is typical for NCL as they focus on "on board revenue ". We will not consider NCL in the future. There are too many other better options to consider. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My daughter-in-law chose this to see it such a great time on their last cruise however, we found this ship to be overcrowded with very few amenities. They call it freestyle however we need to get reservations for all shows comedy clubs and ... Read More
My daughter-in-law chose this to see it such a great time on their last cruise however, we found this ship to be overcrowded with very few amenities. They call it freestyle however we need to get reservations for all shows comedy clubs and dinners. We tried to do them all online however it would not allow us to do several we had to wait until we were on the ship and do it by phone. The Buffett was mediocre at best with not much changes other than leftovers from the day before to create a new sort of dish… Not impressed. On the last day the bag removed from my cabin with my expensive sunglasses and thrown away by room service and took no responsibility of the incident. My son also had an issue when he opted to remove the automatic tip imposed and they promptly placed it back on his bill. It appears they also located the casino in the middle of the inside dining areas so you had to walk through the smoke-filled hallways to get to your destination. Also, Be aware that the excursions are very expensive and could be done as a fraction of the cost on your own with the cabs waiting outside from the local companies. When you get your excursion receipt you will realize that the cruise ship takes no accountability or responsibility for your safety therefore you are on your own. Living in South Florida I have taken many cruises and I found this to be the worst experience bar none! For those who know how to read reviews Well find those who have issues to be the most accurate… Good luck, you’ve been warned. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My mom booked this cruise almost a year ago so you could imagine the anticipation we had to go on this big ship. We normally cruise with Carnival so we thought this would be a good "upgrade". I knew because we sailed in January ... Read More
My mom booked this cruise almost a year ago so you could imagine the anticipation we had to go on this big ship. We normally cruise with Carnival so we thought this would be a good "upgrade". I knew because we sailed in January that there would be more older people than younger but daaaamn ! Most activities and shows were aimed more towards the older crowd which I can understand but at least include some things for us under 30 ! I will admit the food was much better than our last few cruises with Carnival but you could tell the decrease in quality of some foods from when we left to when we came back. Most of the staff was very friendly and our room steward was awesome. They did a very good job at keeping everybody sanitized at every location of the ship. We reserved our specialty dining weeks ahead but didn't know you needed to reserve showtimes so when we finally realized what we needed to do, it was too late and we ended up seeing no shows. The ship is so big I'm pretty sure we missed a few things. It was almost like I was being forced to go back to the casino every couple of hours or hangout with the grandma's and grandpa's at the bar. If you want to watch tv in your stateroom then I hope you know there is only a few channels to watch. One movie channel with repeated movies. And one show channel with repeated episodes. Almost like they want you to have to rent a movie for $10. It also sucked that we couldn't get to see Great Stirrup Caye. It's almost like they didn't want us to use our benefits with the drinks package on their own island knowing they would lose money. They said the water was too choppy but idk. Apparently that has been happening to alot of ppl for that particular island. Anyways, would I give it another try ? Maybe in the spring or summer with gf or friends but definitely not jumping back on anytime soon..... maybe when I turn 45 Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
BEWARE: Extremely overcrowded!!! We chose this cruise because of the extra perks with the purchase of cruise. The extra perks were: Open Bar (all drinks included); 250 Wi-fi minutes; free specialty dining meals. The embarkation ... Read More
BEWARE: Extremely overcrowded!!! We chose this cruise because of the extra perks with the purchase of cruise. The extra perks were: Open Bar (all drinks included); 250 Wi-fi minutes; free specialty dining meals. The embarkation from Port Canaveral was smooth, the disembarkation was a nightmare extremely disorganized. Cabin and cabin steward were excellent, as well as, most other ship crew. The pool area is small due to the kiddie pool and water slides, which produced an extreme shortage of lounge chairs at the pool. People get up as early as 7 a.m. to reserve a pool chair - usually with a towel, misc. So good luck finding a chair later in the day. Be aware -RESERVATIONS NEEDED for specialty dining AND entertainment in the large theater. If one does not make reservations BEFORE the cruise, good luck getting in. Wish we would have know this before booking cruise. We tried 3 months ahead of time and not successful as our specialty dining reservations were lost! Would recommend Ocean Blue restaurant, best on the ship. Entertainment mediocre at best. Hollowing dueling pianos best entertainment on ship, with the exception of Iguana Duo. Ports: Nothing special - Roatan Honduras was fun, great snorkeling with Jolly Roger. Would not sail with this cruise again......... Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We almost cancelled this cruise as the Breakaway has such horrible reviews. They are to be believed. We made 6 trips to guest services in total. They really need retrained in customers service, they are horrible. The story is very long ... Read More
We almost cancelled this cruise as the Breakaway has such horrible reviews. They are to be believed. We made 6 trips to guest services in total. They really need retrained in customers service, they are horrible. The story is very long but involves our onboard credit account. We will not be sailing with NCL again. The staff in the complimentary dining rooms are snotty at best. The bars open and close at odd hours.. try and get a soda; that is not happening. This is how they treat platinum members. We will be trying a different cruise line thay pays more attention to customer service. Perhaps NCL needs to read these reviews to make a better experience for all of their passengers. On a side note, we went with a group of almost 200 members of Cruise Critic. The captian didn't even show for the meet and greet. That about says it all. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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