1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Norwegian Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews

6,307 Norwegian (NCL) Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We enjoyed our cruise very much. This was the next-to-last sailing before the COVID 19 shut down NCL, and we approached it warily. We observed no especially stringent sanitation efforts, other than an inescapable sing-song "we are ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise very much. This was the next-to-last sailing before the COVID 19 shut down NCL, and we approached it warily. We observed no especially stringent sanitation efforts, other than an inescapable sing-song "we are washee you" in the buffet, which got real old real fast. We're casino creatures, and found the one aboard quite the best we've ever encountered at sea: large, good spacing between machines, tolerable noise, payouts about as expected. Good luck finding a cocktail server. More often than not, we had to go to the bar to get our own drinks. TV offerings in the cabin were inadequate (especially compared with those on the Royal Princess on which we'd recently sailed): not much other than news unless you want to fork over $10 for a movie rental. Portions in Cagney's Steakhouse were obscenely huge. My prime rib could have fed a family of four. Ridiculously wasteful. I suggest NCL offer a more modest portion at the diner's option. We had a dining package and were able to eat in four of the upscale restaurants--Cagney's, Le Bistro, Ls Cucina, and Bayamo by Blue Lagoon. The only real standout was Bayamo, but what a standout it was! As an appetizer, I had the crab cake, which was sensational. Main course was the filet, literally fork-tender and perfectly cooked. And, oh, the brussel sprouts! Words fail me. The bread was soft and delicious, made with mascarpone and caramelized onion, and by itself worth the price of admission. The restaurant manager, Sandra Brown, was kind enough to get me the recipe (now I just need an occasion to make bread for 50 people). Most reviewers, it seems, wax poetic about the Choir of Man show, but I found it slightly off-putting--mostly unfamiliar songs, and a kind of forced levity among the performers, who are undeniably talented. On the other hand, After Midnight at the Cotton Club had me applauding wildly. The performers--all--are exceptionally talented, and the staging and costumes were terrific. One performer sang a wordless lament the memory of which still gives me goosebumps. The (maybe) dying art of tap dancing was forefront. I went to see it twice, and would gladly go again. I found it odd (and not a little disrespectful) that quite a few people walked out mid-performance. After Midnight. Cotton Club. Harlem. What didn't you get? Maybe I'm wrong. Hope so. Don't miss the crew staff talent show. Because of an NCL promotion (children cruise free!) there were children in abundance, but most were quite well behaved. The only time I got knocked down was by an adult. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
One of the main reasons I chose this crusie was the Free at Sea promotion that included the drink package. I find that purchasing this separately almost doubles the cost of your cruise. Although I originally booked one of the cute looking ... Read More
One of the main reasons I chose this crusie was the Free at Sea promotion that included the drink package. I find that purchasing this separately almost doubles the cost of your cruise. Although I originally booked one of the cute looking studio rooms, I ended up upgrading to a balcony room and really enjoyed my time with NCL. Embarkation was a bit of a challenge because the previous cruise had docked a little later than expected and the terminal building was being shared with a large ship from another cruise company, so the wait times were extended by quite some time. We were lucky and got to the terminal early, so our wait time was not as long as some of my other fellow cruisers who had to wait 3 hours or more to board. I think when NCLs new terminal gets built, embarkation times should be more efficient. I also think that NCL should make sure that they install speakers in the back part of the upper waiting area of the terminal since we had to keep running into the front section to hear when our Group Number was called. Had we not done this, we may have missed boarding at the appropriate time. The NCL Escape is a beautiful ship that is not very long, but is relatively tall. There are 2 sets of elevators that go to differing levels, so if you are wanting to go all the way up, be mindful to press the buttons for the lifts that go to the floors you want. There are staircases located near each set of elevators. There are maps on each floor at the elevators so you could easily see where you are as well as interactive panels closer to the stairs that also allowed you to book shows and dinner reservations as well as act as wayfinding devices. Even though there were almost 5000 cruisers on board, the ship did not feel crowded. I did not really spend much time in the Garden Cafe area where the buffet was, but enjoyed all of the other restaurants that we ate at with O'Sheehan's being a favourite complimentary restaurant, although the food at all was very good. I loved the Freestyle dining which allowed you to dine whenever you wanted which made the cruise feel less regimented and more relaxed, although we did book our dinner reservations early throught the online NCL website. Our favourite entertainment included the amazing Choir of Man, the fabulous Howl at the Moon dueling pianos (Rhonda, Jarren and Steve are all fab!!!) and the Wine Lovers Musical lunch show. The other shows at the Supper Club were also enjoyable as were the other entertainment throughout the ship. Although we missed a port due to high winds, I really enjoyed the itinerary of this ship and had a great time on all of my excursions. The staff at Guest Services and the Shore Excursions desk were also friendly and helpful when their services were needed. Although I would have preferred more pools on the ship, I did like that there were several hot tubs scattered about. I also really enjoyed the spa area with the heated loungers and thalossotherapy pool and sauna and snow room and thought the extra cost was worth it. The waterslides were wild and the ropes course was challenging, but safe and fun. Because of the positive experience we had on this cruise, and the amazing Free at Sea promotions offered, as well as the amazing customer service from everyone I encountered, NCL may have just gained another loyal customer! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Even with the Carona scare the embarkation was quick. And debarkation even quicker. The food was good overall, my only negative would be the buffet. They have super reduced the variety at the buffet. The food at the buffet was ok, ... Read More
Even with the Carona scare the embarkation was quick. And debarkation even quicker. The food was good overall, my only negative would be the buffet. They have super reduced the variety at the buffet. The food at the buffet was ok, but not something that I would get excited about. The main dining rooms were good. I like the European speed of eating a meal (one and a half to two hours). It encourages conversation and a relaxed meal. So if you are looking for something faster you are going to be disappointed. The specialty restaurants are good. They are not going to be the best food you have ever eaten, but you will leave satisfied. The cruise director, Richard, is one of the best that I have experienced. He is funny, engaging, and highly entertaining. I especially like the Cake Bake Off. The service all over the ship was great. With the exception of the bar staff. I assume that since so many people are on the drinks package that Norwegian under staffs the bars to slow the pace down. The entertainment was good. Liked the magician and the comedian. The dance troop are standard across most cruise lines. Cabins were smallish but good. Loved the redesigned public rooms. They did a good job during the last dry dock. I would recommend this cruise to most people. Drinks package tends to attract a more social crowd. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my 7th cruise and my first time on NCL. I have to say I was very impressed. Upon reading the previous reviews, I was nervous about the food but the quality exceeded my expectations. The buffet, dinning room, and sports bar were ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise and my first time on NCL. I have to say I was very impressed. Upon reading the previous reviews, I was nervous about the food but the quality exceeded my expectations. The buffet, dinning room, and sports bar were really good. We never had to wait in line at the buffet which was nice. The ship was renovated and had a newer look. Although, it is small. I actually enjoyed it as it was more intimate and you didn't get lost in the crowds. Staff was attentive and friendly. The entertainment was really good, such as the productions shows, magician, and comedian. My only complaint, which is more of a remark, is that I found it was strange that the pool bars only served drinks in plastic beer cups. This is really not eco friendly due to the amounts of cups being used. The other thing is the ship was very rocky, I believe this was due to it not having stabilizers (read this in a previous comment), therefore the movements of the ship were constantly felt. Overall, I was very impressed with the cruise and will definitely be trying out NCL again. I would really like to try out one of their newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised over 15 times, the last four ( with in 2 yrs) with NCL. This was disappointment from the time we entered the ship. We always upgrade to a suite and have been very pleased. This is the first time I used a NCL ... Read More
We have cruised over 15 times, the last four ( with in 2 yrs) with NCL. This was disappointment from the time we entered the ship. We always upgrade to a suite and have been very pleased. This is the first time I used a NCL representative to book and I feel he talked us into the worse suite on the ship. It has a water sealing door instead of an extended window. It was in front of the ship so very, very windy. If we would have been advised, we would have picked a different suite. I feel I would have done better on my own on the website. When boarding the ship there was confusion with the concierge, while we asked to purchase an additional dining package, we were hurried onto the ship and Christopher assured us that this could be done thru the Dining reservation desk. Needless to say, it was never taken care of. It was an issue two nights at diner. We booked a "Catch and Release" fishing excursion. We met in the show room 5 minutes early. We went right to the front and asked the person in charge if we could show him our tickets, to confirm we were in the right place. He asked us to sit down without looking at our tickets. 20 minutes later when again, I indicated we were past the time, he asked what excursion we were going on, radioed someone and then let us know we missed the excursion. This individual was rude and had no customer service skills. We were able to do a later excursion at a higher price. We paid extra for a suite to include Butler and Concierge and I felt as if we were a bother to them. One evening, our Butler knocked on the door and wanted to pick up dirty items. I was in my robe and my husband was in the shower. I indicated we did not need it at the time, he insisted on coming in to clean up. We were advised to meet our concierge by 9:30 on the day of departure. We arrived at 9:00am and waited until 9:30. He did not show up. We got off the ship and that is not the point. We paid to upgrade to get a higher level of service that we did not get. It felt as is the ship was understaffed and service was mediocre. On a positive note, our room steward, Rusty (sp) was great. He always greeted us, watched for us to leave and made up our room. The suite has one electrical outlet. The Dawn does not make up the animals out of your towels that most people have come to expect. The attention to detail is absent. I have learned a couple of things; look at the age of the ship carefully. Just because it has been renovated does not indicate it has spruced up and book your room yourself. Do the research and you will be better off than using a NCL sales person. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The food was cold at every station, even the fine dining. Cold and served raw hamburger. I was quarantined from gastroenteritis complications. Symptoms of hot and cold runny nose soar throat brain fog muscle break down fever loss of ... Read More
The food was cold at every station, even the fine dining. Cold and served raw hamburger. I was quarantined from gastroenteritis complications. Symptoms of hot and cold runny nose soar throat brain fog muscle break down fever loss of appetite cough diarrhea, vomiting. I was so sick the ship hospital cost me 4K. So I paid for something that ship infected me with! I was also treated with disrespect at a time when I could not defend myself. The cabin smelled like diesel fuel and I could not get fresh air. Smoking on the ship was everywhere. There was no relief, even in the non smoking section people would light up. Every little thing cost money. Bingo for example the best deal was $69. US. Ridiculous. The entertainment was limited and clearly cheap. The administrators had problems with technical equipment. It felt has if the workers had zero experience. I could not wait to get off that damn ship. It was a horrible experience! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I decided on this cruise to provide a special experience for my daughter and granddaughter who wanted to see wildlife of Central America. The Roatan Honduras stop would provide that. Picked up the cruise package that included free ... Read More
I decided on this cruise to provide a special experience for my daughter and granddaughter who wanted to see wildlife of Central America. The Roatan Honduras stop would provide that. Picked up the cruise package that included free airfare. Hint: ncl booked the cheapest fare which may not suit your travel needs. In my case they booked a 1;10am sun flight with plane change which got us to port at noon on sun. So from west coast over 24 hours without sleep. At port the typical crowd was awaiting boarding. It was fast and smooth and our cabin was ready for us to catch up on some sleep. We were on the 8th deck and liked the overall access to the restrauants and level 7 from our room. The cabin was clean and functional. Here is what as a return ncl traveler I discovered abd missed. No more togga or white night cekebration. No prime rib special night no chocolate night and no more animal towels in the room eack night. Those were things I looked forward to having my guests experience. We took several excursions but only one with ncl which was snorkeling at Harvest Cay. I would have preferred a true cultural experience of porting in Belize City as ncl used to do before developing their own island. Debating in Tampa was fast as we did walk off. Customs took about 30 minutes. For those who want to get through faster, pay a porter to bring the bags to curbside. It speeds the wait through the line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This is my first cruise, and honeymoon. I spent a good amount of money on the room with the specialty dining package, drink package, and excursions. From what I’ve been told the food is really good and drinks plentiful, I guess we will ... Read More
This is my first cruise, and honeymoon. I spent a good amount of money on the room with the specialty dining package, drink package, and excursions. From what I’ve been told the food is really good and drinks plentiful, I guess we will see. Day 1: Onboarding Arrived at Tampa Port via Uber, nice lady, she was distraught by the law enforcements persona, the way they “directed” her. Exiting the vehicle freshly married and ready for our destination we were hustled by our luggage carrier, in the middle of a fleet of incoming traffic, we were ridiculed by one worker while I halted a bus to allow our passage to the line. Little distraught, we marched toward our destination. On board and only 3 hours of sleep, I had a blast, lots of booze, and old people, more than I expected. The room with the balcony was very nice for an upgraded cabin. Food was decent. We had Bamboo this night, it was very good. ***Breaking News**** Extra precaution is taken for citizens onboarding the Norwegian Dawn: Fact: There was only a paper survey filled out and no temperatures were taken upon boarding this ship. This will be referenced later… Day 2: Sailing Woke up after an amazing night of sleep in the comfortable bed, the swaying of the sea knocked me out. Unfortunately, the next morning after a bunch of celebratory booze and the sway, the Vancian was super warm and in the back of the ship where I was not a happy camper after receiving my eggs. After taking some motion sickness pills and touring the spa, which they wanted more money for and walking a few rounds around the deck, I was able to get some real food, so we headed to the Irish Pub – the wings were breaded and not enough blue cheese , drinks were on point the entire trip, corn beef reuben could have been better. Dinner was at Aqua, my steak was served with French fries. Mashed potatoes and gravy would have been nice, maybe some broccoli and cheese. There was a nice couple from Montreal sitting next to us, and when they were replaced with another couple, the man was clearly sick. Red face, coughing and sneezing in his table napkin. Thankfully we were wrapping up desert, and we notified the staff. Day 3: Costa Maya All day trip to the ruins of Kohunlich and Dzibanche. Our guide was very informative, but the drive there and back was about 2.5 hours. Pretty sketchy on the way, but once we arrived, it was worth the trip. If you are not comfortable going on walks through the woods, you will not like this. I suggest good walking shoes, and something lite to wear so you don’t get too hot. Almost forgot to mention, the guys sitting next to us at dinner the night before, he is in a stretcher getting off the boat the next morning as we were getting off the ship. Day 4: Belize – Norwegian private island I grew up working in a seafood restaurant, I know how to cook and love great food, so my opinion may not always be the same as others regarding food: Finally, good food, even though I had to pay for it. The fish taco’s and plantains on the island were amazing. Bought a bunch of overpriced drinks and hung out in the big pool, the pool on the Dawn is easily overrun. Another ship ran into the dock (it a Norwegian island) and we had to take a tender boat to shore, it was hot and uncomfortable. The group that escorted us parasailing was on point, this was our first time. We have this specialty dining package, and little to my knowledge, getting a reservation to one of these places is tough. One of the staff was clearly put off by the fact I did not understand this reservation thing. I mean how do you reserve the WHOLE restaurant. When I asked to be put on the waiting list, she said she would call my room... I’m like… I’m not staying in my room, waiting for you to call, have you heard of a paging system… Even when I wanted to go to the bar and eat, I was told only chips and dip at the Mexican place. The places do not open until 5:30pm, and most places we could not get seated until at least 6:30 I typically eat my heaviest meal at around 3-4, that is how my body works… So, the “freesytle” theory did not work with me. I was pretty pissed this night; we went to the Venetian for dinner and the food was disappointing. The comedian performing in the theatre came through though and had me in tears. Day 5: Honduras – Rotan Rotan is a very beautiful island; we went to the west side of the island where we enjoyed local beers $2.50 and amazing views. Our excursion included a ride on this part sub-boat, where you can see the coral reef and all the fish, I strongly suggest this tour for families. We ended up using one of the specialty dining packages for sushi at Bamboo back on the ship. I was very impressed with the sushi. Day 6: Cozumel – Playa del Carmen – Xcaret The water was very rough, and we took this Jetferry to Playa del Carmen. I have been looking forward to this stop since I booked the trip. The Xcaret Park is a must do for the family. There is some walking, but nothing extreme. I would bring water shoes for this day. The park is mainly shaded with areas of direct or dappled sun. Our authentic Mexican meal and views from the park was grand. Back on the boat: 2nd Specialty dining at the Italian place – The seabass and snapper was good, I expected some noodles being in an Italian place, but the service and atmosphere was great. We were seated just outside the restaurant where we could still enjoy the live music from the champagne bar. Day 7: Rough day at Sea home Since it is the last day, people were out having a great time. The weather was super windy and cold though. The “Elements” show was good. 3rd Specialty dining at the Mexican place – I’ve been looking forward to this place, because I love Mexican food. The food was okay. Day 8: Back in Tampa The Aquarium was nice, we were able to check our bags in and tour the park and surrounding area since we had a late flight. The food at the park was good, I loved the live music and amount of family’s having a good time. Summary: The food is okay – don’t do all reservations for your specialty dining, if you sell it, you should be able to support it. Fix the coffee machines in the buffet area, it is way too strong with no options for good coffee. Most of the people on the boat were friendly, but some were not. People may not remember what you say, but they always remember how you make them feel. Good job having people with sanitizing hand wash everywhere, but you should have been taking temperatures. As a first time cruiser, I thought it may just not be for me, I like the stops, but the boat should be just as enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
With the Beverage package, 3 free specialty restaurants, internet minutes and discount of $ 50 on the excursions included in the price of this cruise it did not feel like we were nickeled and dimed to death! This really helped make our ... Read More
With the Beverage package, 3 free specialty restaurants, internet minutes and discount of $ 50 on the excursions included in the price of this cruise it did not feel like we were nickeled and dimed to death! This really helped make our cruise more inclusive and frankly less stressful not worrying if we were spending too much at the lounges. Pros, pretty good entertainment, food was average to good, crew mostly friendly and smiling, a few on the first day were not happy, (O'Sheegans hostess was beside herself as people were coming into restaurant in the wrong direction and she was getting upset, need to make sign bigger or put Exit only on the non entrance side)! But overall with a few exceptions most staff we interacted with were nice, some were exceptionally good. Kudos to the internet manager who understood our dilemma and fixed it. Excursions we took were very good, Costa Mayo excursion was cancelled due to being too windy, Costa Maya itself is just a small area with a bunch of shops we didn't go out of this area but while we were there, a total of 3 cruise ships came in so it made for a very crowded experience. Harvest Cay, we took a electric boat ride was OK free Wi-Fi and rum punch made it a lot more enjoyable and listening to the captain explain Belize life. The pool and beach there in this private area were very good, clean and inviting. We had to tender there and back so it made for a hot and sticky ride. Didn't see much of Belize but this was our fault. By far Roatan was the most interesting excursion we travelled by bus to the Gumbalimba Animal Reserve and this was very interesting, with Parrots and small monkeys crawling over you. Was a great experience, especially funny when a monkey stole someone sunglasses, climbed up the tree and tried to put them on, you are warned about this that they will take things from you not secured!! Cozumel is a big tourist trap but if you like shopping this is the place for you. We went to the manatee and Sea Lion encounter and it was also really good , got to kiss and be kissed by the sea lion and also swam with some manatees and interacted with them, holding them, feeding them and yes kissing them they are wonderful animals. Cons: small room, busy buffet area for breakfast and lunch, noisy room where you could hear everyone scarping there chairs on the balconies and it sounded like they were in your room. Probably one of the better cruises we were on for value and entertainment not so much for seeing the countries visited but we could have taken excursions that were more in-land that may have helped this. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Tampa is a convenient port. Easy check in and local parking. Like Harvest Caye. Nice beach. We were only ship there that day so not crowded. Specialty restaurants a bit disappointing. Location and shape of Cagneys is weird - and too much ... Read More
Tampa is a convenient port. Easy check in and local parking. Like Harvest Caye. Nice beach. We were only ship there that day so not crowded. Specialty restaurants a bit disappointing. Location and shape of Cagneys is weird - and too much foot traffic with servers going between kitchen and Modesto next door. La Cucina was meh. Le Bistro did not disappoint. Don't miss a quiet happy hour in the wine cellar. Worth stopping by. Note: the glass-walled "cigar bar" filled with cigarette smokers is centrally located and unsightly. Dining room is great for 'sit down and be served' breakfast. But I wish it didn't close at 9:30. We're on vacation. Don't need to set the alarm. All and all, it's a good value for the money. Everything felt clean. Public restrooms well maintained. The staff was universally great: servers, bartenders, hosts, stewards, etc. Love the casual dress code. Suggestion: charge a bit more money and do less nickel and dimeing of guests all week. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just off the Dawn. This was our 12th cruise. 10th with NCL. We have done this itinerary before, but this was what was available from Tampa, a day after a wedding we attended. No issues with service from staff, from stewards to waiters ... Read More
Just off the Dawn. This was our 12th cruise. 10th with NCL. We have done this itinerary before, but this was what was available from Tampa, a day after a wedding we attended. No issues with service from staff, from stewards to waiters to bar staff, all good. We had the 3 day SDP, and went to Moderno, La Cuchina, and Cagney's all were good. We did one night at Bamboo, our first time it was OK, not great. We had one dinner at O'Sheehans as we wanted to make the early show, quick service. 2 nights in MDR. It seems that menu choices are declining. Had lunches in the Buffet, we always found something to eat, but again the food choices just don't seem as good as when I started cruising years ago. I would like to say the General Mgr Alaine from France was very visible, saw him several times during the week, and he is very personable. We enjoyed the week, but we were not wowed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I didn't know much about cruises before booking this as my first (my plus one's second), and I started to get nervous once I saw poor reviews for the ship after paying in full. The food was better than I expected and always hot ... Read More
I didn't know much about cruises before booking this as my first (my plus one's second), and I started to get nervous once I saw poor reviews for the ship after paying in full. The food was better than I expected and always hot (we did no specialty dining - ate mostly in the Venetian) but my +1 had eaten lobster and filet frequently on his Carnival cruise so was a bit underwhelmed by the options. We weren't impressed by 95% of our servers. The room was decent for inside, our steward was excellent and made our bed twice each day. We didn't do many activities on board aside from every one of the shows, but we were only strongly interested in a handful of the other options per day. We would have liked to do some of the fitness classes or gameshows or tastings but weren't interested in paying extra. The pool area seemed too small for the ship. Our tender to Harvest Caye wasn't fun and the Tampa port staff for embarkation/disembark got the job done but the staff seemed rude. We didn't find the Sugarcane mojito bar until the last night, which was a bummer... head there first! This trip got the job done for the money. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I usually choose Norwegian as our preferred cruise line, although we have used several others. We like the casual attitude, the overall friendliness of the staff and the Free Style dining and, so far at least, have preferred ... Read More
My wife and I usually choose Norwegian as our preferred cruise line, although we have used several others. We like the casual attitude, the overall friendliness of the staff and the Free Style dining and, so far at least, have preferred the smaller ships to the new mega-giants. This was our fifth NCL cruise. In fact, our last time at sea, two years ago, was on the Dawn and the same itinerary. We enjoyed it enough then to try it again, although we had been somewhat disappointed last time in both the entertainment and the food. But I believe in second chances and it fit our schedule and budget, so we booked it again. The ship still looks great; fresh and bright and clean. The embarkation process was relatively quick. We were aboard and looked forward to a relaxing week. We were not disappointed. We did book three specialty dinners (Teppanyaki, Cagney's and Le Bistro). Frankly, we've often found the specialty restaurants to be overrated in the past but not this time. All three were excellent. I'm not usually a fan of French cuisine but thought we'd try Le Bistro and we unanimously picked it as our favorite of the cruise. The mussels, mushroom and French onion soups and peppercorn tenderloins were off the charts great! Teppanyaki was not only entertaining but delicious and Cagney's was premier as well. Great prime rib! O'Sheehan's served great American food and both complimentary restaurants served fantastic meals and the wait staff was terrific. We literally had no complaints whatsoever. Service on board is always good and the Dawn's staff did not disappoint. They were outstanding. Our cabin was small. We're used to that on NCL but it's efficient, at least. I do think in the future we'll spring for a larger cabin, though. It's a bit cramped but we spend little time there. The entertainment was much improved over two years ago. I'm a fan of guitar players and there was an excellent one on board. Angel played a wide variety of songs and sang well. He could appeal to virtually any audience and I was impressed with his relaxed style and his talent and ready smile. In addition, the main band also displayed an amazing playlist from disco to Queen and the Beatles, all of which was played and sung beautifully. My only regret is that the cruise only lasted a week. More great memories were made on this, our fifth NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 1st cruise and it didn't disappoint. The ship looked great. Layout a little confusing at first but after day 1 no problems. We had a balcony cabin and we liked sitting out there is the morning drinking our coffee. ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise and it didn't disappoint. The ship looked great. Layout a little confusing at first but after day 1 no problems. We had a balcony cabin and we liked sitting out there is the morning drinking our coffee. We didnt like the garden cafe so we ate in the main dining rooms mostly. We did do the Japanese steak house, must do again, Brazilian steak house, go hungry, and the French restaurant, our waitress was fantastic! We loved all the entertainment, we went to all of it. The comedian was so funny and we got to talk with him after the show. All of our service was outstanding, very friendly and willing to help. Shout out to Angelo and Vladimir you both made the trip. All shore excursions were great. We will be coming back. We got 2 vouchers for our next cruise. Now have to decide where to go! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Norweigan Getaway FEB 2020 Review The booking experience was a nightmare (I booked directly thru Norweigan). I ended up talking with several different NCL consultants and hands down they were rude and several mis informed me. I should ... Read More
Norweigan Getaway FEB 2020 Review The booking experience was a nightmare (I booked directly thru Norweigan). I ended up talking with several different NCL consultants and hands down they were rude and several mis informed me. I should have stopped there. I thought we were getting a good deal and liked the options so i proceeded with booking two cabins (two people in each cabin). First of all, NCL booked us on flights departing the wrong day. I spent at least three hours on several phone calls to get our flights switched to the correct departing day. The return flight had us leaving 10 hours after the ship pulled in resulting in us arriving home after 1am. On the day of the return flight we were able to pay direct to Delta to change the flight. Second problem with booking: we specifically requested (and paid extra) to have rooms with adjoining balconies and doors together. Our rooms were next to each other, but not with doors next to each other; this is not a deal breaker but disappointing and demonstrates a lack of knowledge by the NCL “professional”. After getting on the ship, we learned the particular ship we booked does not even allow the partition between adjoining balconies to be opened. Again - this demonstrates a lack of knowledge from the NCL consultant or she was flat out lying to me. The other major problem I had with the ship has to do with the smoke. The casino was mid ship Deck 7 and was open to the bars and restaurants on Decks 6 and 8. The smoke smell was strong enough that it made our throats hurt and eyes burn. Then when we left the ship, they had the line going thru the casino; this was absolutely terrible. By the time we got off the ship we had sore throats, red eyes, and headaches. I know they have to line up people to get off in a civilized manner but there has to be a better way than to make people do a slow death march thru the stale smokey area. Now a few positive comments - the ship is beautiful and very clean. The service was excellent in most cases except in the adults only bar all the way aft where the servers were rude. We loved the hand washing stations (yes - actual sinks with soap!) by the restaurants and there was always someone there spraying everyone’s hands with sanitizer. After booking i was assigned a cruise consultant who was very helpful, but limited in what she could do. The food was excellent (even the buffet). The specialty dining places were excellent (a few had pushy wine stewards that would trick you into buying wine that was not included in the package so we quickly learned to ask the price of things before we ordered). I have cruised on Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines and the overall experience on all of those lines was monumentally better than Norweigan. I contacted NCL before the cruise to voice my dissatisfaction and they did absolutely nothing to try to remedy the booking errors (even after they pulled up the recording and confirmed that the booking consultant provided us false information. I will never book NCL again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I booked this cruise for my husband’s 40th birthday. I chose this ship mainly for the family suite option in The Haven for our family of 5. After having traveled with other cruise lines, here’s my takeaway from our time on the ... Read More
I booked this cruise for my husband’s 40th birthday. I chose this ship mainly for the family suite option in The Haven for our family of 5. After having traveled with other cruise lines, here’s my takeaway from our time on the Norwegian: Cons: Food and drinks well below average. The Haven dining room was the exception and we are most of our meals there given that everywhere else we ate was hardly edible. The downside to The Haven dining: not one item on the menu for children. What 5 year old wants to eat lobster or filet? Service was horrendous. We paid a lot more to have butler, concierge service. While our butler was good, nothing else was. Concierge was incompetent, housekeeping even worse, and you could ask 5 different staff members the exact same question and get 5 different answers. It’s became clear quite early on our trip that Norwegian does a terrible job at training their employees. Norwegian is not a family friendly line. Yes they have water slides and kids club, but overall it was very apparent that they do not cater to families or children, and that most cruisers are over 50 and want nothing to do with the children on the boat. No gift shop on the boat. There is a hallway with some open cabinets where you can grab a few items, but there is not one actual shop on the boat containing basic essentials you may need along your trip. Pros: although the Norwegian is not a family-friendly cruise line, my 3 children did enjoy the kids club. This was a welcomed surprise given how negatively everything else was on our trip. Haven: you get priority debarkation for your excursions. The activities aboard the ship were underwhelming. Other than eating mediocre food there isn’t a lot to do. The ship spends more time trying to convince you to buy a rare emerald or stock up on “duty free” liquor than actually putting that energy into entertainment that isn’t super cheesy or geared for 60+ years old age group. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise due to NCL's private island and the stop at Costa Maya. Usually, we prefer Eastern or Southern Caribbean, but change it up sometimes. Our last NCL cruise was the same itinerary but on the Dawn, which was going ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to NCL's private island and the stop at Costa Maya. Usually, we prefer Eastern or Southern Caribbean, but change it up sometimes. Our last NCL cruise was the same itinerary but on the Dawn, which was going INTO dry dock, and the Getaway was coming OUT of a recent dry dock, so we expected more. We were disappointed. First off, the balcony was the TINIEST I've ever experienced in all of my 21 prior cruises. It was so shallow you could literally not sit facing the sea, as you had no room for your feet or legs. NCL is also apparently not spending any of its money on staff. I saw our room steward ONE TIME the entire cruise, and my husband never saw him. We upgraded our drink package to the premium, but as others have said, it was torture getting a bar tender to wait on you. They were nice enough, but there simply were not enough of them to handle the crowd at every bar. And, EVERY SINGLE TIME we tried to order a bottle of water, or Starbucks, or fresh squeezed juice, or premium wine/drinks we were told "it's not in your package." We had to correct them EVERY TIME. Then, the patent answer became, "we don't have that at this bar. You have to go to the Atrium Bar." Then, at the Atrium Bar, were told, "you have to go to the bar outside Cagney's," but that bar does not open until 5pm. We had specialty dining 6 nights (all but embarkation day). Cagney's was very good, however the tomahawk steak and the steak and lobster are both additional charges in addition to being a paid restaurant. Le Bistro and Teppanyaki were both acceptable, both in service and food quality. La Cucina was not good at all. Obviously, their wait staff were not the preferred waiters, and the food was cold both times I ate there. We chose La Cucina because on the Dawn, it had THE BEST LASAGNA, but on the Getaway, there is no lasagna option - no lasagna at an Italian restaurant??? Who does that? The room, a spa balcony, was tiny with little storage. The couch was so close to the closet you could not get to the hanging side without stepping on the couch. The spa - hydrotherapy pool with heated loungers is nice in concept, but the jets/motors on the pool/hottub was so loud that people were literally yelling to speak to each other, which made quiet time on the heated loungers nearly impossible. I much prefer other ships which put these in separate rooms. Also, like on deck, people would leave towels to save their loungers for literally hours on end. Once, someone complained and a spa worker removed the towels. Other items: 1. it seemed like there was absolutely NO place on the ship that was quiet. All spaces are public spaces, open to the walkways, etc. All trivia, games, etc are played in the atrium where three decks have people overlooking and yelling, including the casino noises and smoke. 2. everything had an upcharge. Games, areas, dinner shows, etc. 3. you must have a reservation for the shows or stand in a line for a change at a seat - they'll open that line 10 minutes before the show starts. 4. it seemed that every bar/club/room (i.e. Pour House, Ice Bar, etc.) was not open for business, except for a very limited window on certain days, but no explanation of when that would be... We gave NCL one more try after the Dawn, but this sealed the deal. No more NCL for us. There are simply too many other lines with better service. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We went mainly because we got a good deal. Free drink package etc. I read all the reviews before we went and a lot of them were not good. However I thought we should give it a try. We will never cruise Norwegian again. The food is subpar, ... Read More
We went mainly because we got a good deal. Free drink package etc. I read all the reviews before we went and a lot of them were not good. However I thought we should give it a try. We will never cruise Norwegian again. The food is subpar, They are terribly understaffed at every bar on the ship and the pool area is not big enough for 150 let alone the 3900 on ship. One of the main dining areas was not even open, the ropes section I never saw anyone use it at all. All it does is take up a ton of room on the ship that could be used for other things. The layout of the ship it’s self it’s confusing and half the time you don’t know which direction to go. The adults only section there is no water at all to get in and there is no music whatsoever it is completely quiet in the most boring place on the ship. The room was great and the room attendant was excellent I thought the entertainment was decent . We have been on carnival Princess Royal Caribbean and now Norwegian and I would take any of them over Norwegian. Once you have been on Royal Caribbean there is absolutely no comparison between the two Royal Caribbean is so much better in every aspect. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We booked this cruise only a couple of months in advance to get out of town at Mardi Gras. We usually do go somewhere Mardi Gras week because school is out for the week. Although we had just cruised on the Getaway at Thanksgiving 2019, we ... Read More
We booked this cruise only a couple of months in advance to get out of town at Mardi Gras. We usually do go somewhere Mardi Gras week because school is out for the week. Although we had just cruised on the Getaway at Thanksgiving 2019, we figured why not? Because we are local to the New Orleans area, it is not necessary to fly to cruise for us, and that’s convenient. We love cruising. We already knew the ship, so we knew what to expect. Lots of locals, and it was a sold out cruise. But we knew how to avoid a crowded feel. We had a chance for the experiences we missed the first time on the Getaway, and we could relax a little more. The only downfall was that our specialty dining and entertainment reservations which we had so carefully planned and so carefully made on line were lost in an abyss when we boarded the ship. We showed up at our specialty dining restaurant on day two only to be told there were no reservations in the system. We found out we were not the only ones. One lady said she would not cruise Norwegian again. For some unknown reason, Norwegian cruise line does not communicate the reservations with the ship. That’s what we were told. Luckily we had printed our reservations confirmation. When guest services told us there was nothing they could do, we found an officer, who efficiently restored our reservations. They found room for us, though we had to alter one time slightly. When we asked how to keep that from happening again, we were told to call to make reservations and to confirm once we boarded (a two step process). Why should we be forced to do that when we already diligently made our reservations, especially with long lines on embarkation day? They also told us that they are currently working on the issue. Norwegian encourages guests to make reservations online ahead of time, and we knew from experience, during our Thanksgiving Cruise, that we should definitely do that, especially on a large crowded ship. It was very disappointing and a surprise to be told by guest services there was nothing to be done. My advice would be to call and confirm, once onboard. Norwegian really needs to remedy the reservations problem. On a lighter note, we were instantly recognized by the bartenders in the atrium, Oliver and Jay, and they remembered what we drank. That was a pleasant surprise. Around the ship, due to the crowds, it was sometimes difficult to get a drink, especially by the pool. We went to Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, and Cagney’s. We have been to La Cucina before. Our favorite specialty restaurant is Cagney’s. We will do that twice next time. We do Teppanyaki because our granddaughter loves it. We found the dining service on this cruise improved compared to our previous experience. The entertainment is good. Million Dollar Quartet is amazing! The band in Syd Norman’s Pour House is amazing. Get there early! It fills up quickly to standing room only. It is not a large venue. We loved the comedy talent onboard this time! Dueling pianos at Headliners is always fun. We do find it necessary to line up in advance at (least 30 minutes) to obtain good seats for the comedy shows and dueling pianos. Our granddaughter enjoyed the teen club, Entourage. It was her first time being able to go there because she just turned 13. There are lots of activities for them. During Mardi Gras week, there was a Mardi Gras party, too. The ports are typical Caribbean ports. The dock at Harvest Caye was broken, and the rendering process was tedious. The tenders were big (that helps), but lines were long, especially returning to the ship. It cut down on our time on the island, and we like this island very much. We always enjoy Costa Maya. We just wish it were a longer day there. I think that the itinerary on our upcoming Thanksgiving Cruise this year allows for that. In Cozumel, we enjoyed the Playa Mia excursion. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and the ship for the second time. It will be our second Breakaway Cruise this Thanksgiving week. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I wanted to take a cruise and get away to just destress and recharge so I booked a Western Caribbean cruise on the Getaway that would let me check off two boxes on my to do list. Be in NOLA during Mardi Gras and this would complete my ... Read More
I wanted to take a cruise and get away to just destress and recharge so I booked a Western Caribbean cruise on the Getaway that would let me check off two boxes on my to do list. Be in NOLA during Mardi Gras and this would complete my cruising of the Caribbean so I have done all the islands. Would definitely love to go see some again. I am not going to review the things that NCL did not have any control over such as crowds, weather, parking, etc.. What I will review is what the ship could control such as embarkation/disembarkation, restaurants, bars, shows, activities, cabins, etc.. Embarkation: Once I got to the port I walked in and the first person that I asked showed me directly where to go for the lines and since I was in a Haven suite they escorted me to the priority line where I went through the process in about 5 minutes and was then escorted to the waiting room until it was time to board the ship. Once it was time they escorted us up to the haven lounge and welcomed us with a beverage and let us know that our lunch would be ready at noon. We could go to the Have Restaurant, Savor, or Margaritaville for lunch, I opted to go the Haven Restaurant. Glad I did, the shrimp cocktail was wonderful as was the salmon. After lunch I went to my room to put my carry on away and then go explore. This is where I found the biggest drawback to the layout of the ship. My room was on Deck 9 Forward. Meaning that when I got off the elevator on Deck 9, I still had a long walk ahead of me to the room (almost 40 cabins to walk past) The room was fantastic with a sitting room with balcony, a separate bedroom with a window, and bathroom with both a soaking tub and a shower. The balcony was a little small but since I was cruising solo it was fine. Restaurants and Bars: I had the dining package so I figured I would try as many different restaurants as I could, and on the Getaway there are lots. They were all great with highlights in each. Only disappointment I had was the Ocean Café (aka the Buffet). The food was overcooked, mostly tasteless, and rubbery. I have done the buffet on other NCL ships and other Lines and have always enjoyed it just this time it didn't really give me anything to be excited about. Ocean Blue was good seafood and probably the best clam chowder I have ever had, Le Bistro had good escargot and shrimp and amazing onion soup. Sushi bar had great rolls and sashimi, noodle bar had amazing potstickers, Cagneys had an amazing bone in ribeye, and Moderno's had excellent meats and if you went back to your room hungry it was your fault. O'Sheehans was good pub fare, and Tropicana, Savor, and Taste (the 3 mdr's) were all good. Service at times was a little slower but that could have been during the times I went which was during the meal time rush. I highly recommend that if you want to eat at any of the specialty restaurants you make reservation either before sailing or as soon as you get on board. The bars were basically the same, The Mojito bar made great mojitos, but there weren't set up for a lot of other drinks, Atrium bar had the best selection of fresh made drinks, Waves (the pool bar) was good but a little slower due to amount of people although they had a lot of drinks already premade. I didn't do any of the "enrichment activities" but I did go to some of the activities put on by the Entertainment/Cruise staff such as the "Not as Newlywed Game", "Battle of the Sexes", Bingo, and a couple of others. Other than not having a lot of seating available unless you showed up early they were fun and entertaining. I went to "Burn the Floor" and "Million Dollar Quartet" and both were very entertaining. Burn the Floor was very good and a great way to watch Latin dancing, Million Dollar Quartet was about the night Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis got together for a jam session, I would HIGHLY recommend this, but make sure you stay until the end it is worth it. Disembarkation was nice and easy. After making sure I had everything packed and outside my door prior to the time the night before, I grabbed my carryon, went to the Haven for breakfast and then was escorted down to the gangway where I scanned my key card and then went to get my bags. As a hint, spend a count extra dollars and get a porter to help with the bags, they also help you bypass the long lines to get through customs and will take you right to the taxi's or other transportation. I have done multiple cruises in all room categories and multiple different cruise lines and always come back to NCL. I think the service, attitudes, and atmosphere are hands down among the best in the industry and they honestly try to improve every time, plus it is impressive when the staff remembers your name the 2nd time they see you. (remember there are over 4,000 people on board) Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We took this cruise from New Orleans, But we flew in the night before and stayed at the Whitney hotel near Bourbon Street and also a short drive to Julia street cruise ship terminal. The hotel was very expensive because of Mardi Gras at ... Read More
We took this cruise from New Orleans, But we flew in the night before and stayed at the Whitney hotel near Bourbon Street and also a short drive to Julia street cruise ship terminal. The hotel was very expensive because of Mardi Gras at $259 US a night. We took it anyway because it was only for one night, it is essential to sleep in the night before in order not to miss your ship. We had bought the priority access prior to the cruise and I can tell you that it was 100% worth it. When we got to the pier by taxi people everywhere luggage everywhere, we left them with the people who tend to your luggage and then we walked inside. At 10:30 AM there was already a couple of thousand people waiting to go on. Even though our embarking time was set for 12:30 we still showed up at 10:30. It is a bit chaotic but we quickly went to the front of the line and sat down for about an hour. When they start the embarkation, They start with people needing assistance then The guests who are frequent cruisers I seem to remember that they were platinum then the Haven and then people with priority access. If not we would have had to go on by numbers and wait our turn. The guests who are frequent cruisers I seem to remember that they were platinum then the haven and then people with priority access. If not we would have had to go on by numbers and wait our turn. When you have priority access you go in a different line to register you bypass a lot of people then they do not give you a number to embark because you go in at the same time then the Haven. We also wanted to get the vibe beach club passes and in order to get those you have to be on the ship really fast. If we had waited for our turn at 12:30 they would have run out of passes. We then would have missed the second best thing about this cruise which is the vibe beach club. It is a private top deck area with I would say around 100 chairs, these chairs are beautiful comfortable covered you have all the towels you can use you have a private bar they serve fruits in the morning and cookies in the afternoon. They give you also fruit flavoured water if you are like we were where we do not drink soda or alcohol so we did have these drinks made up for us free of charge all inclusive the price was 209 per person US but it varies from Cruise the cruise because I have heard that at one point they were $99 a person. We spent most of our time at the vibe beach because the ship is packed the bars are packed the pools are packed the sauna are packed. At the white you have the two whirlpools and I have not seen more than four people at the time and those whirlpools. In the public area the pools were saturated by people in the adult pool at the H2O there are still kids even though they are not supposed to be in the adult pool but also all the smokers are there and all you smell is smoke if you go to that pool. I actually have to run as soon as we embark the ship to make it to guest services to buy at those passes because this is what they had told us on the phone but they were really being sold at headliner club on deck six. Our bedroom was a midship inside state room and it was fine for two people for three people even if it’s a child would’ve been pretty tiny. The beds are comfortable the shower is big we only went there to sleep so we really didn’t care. As for the rest of the ship , We ran on the jogging deck which is pretty small and we played minute but we played basketball we never got to do the ropes because it was always too windy when it was open. , We ran on the jogging deck which is pretty small and we played mini putt we played basketball we never got to do the ropes because it was always too windy when it was open. The food in our taste was excellent, We mainly ate at the buffet and it was fine a lot of choices a lot of different food we had a chef doing omelets in the morning and the one doing pasta to your liking for lunch and dinner for us it was free and we love that we didn’t need the Al la carte restaurants. We ate at O sheans 4 times so I don’t understand a review of the people that say that they cannot get inside just go on a little earlier. We also ate at the noodle restaurant which was free and very delicious service was slow a little bit but nothing to complain about. I only did One tour and it was in Honduras where we visited with the monkeys, we enjoyed it very much and it was worth the money. At night I did wear a little sundress I saw people fully dressed with a long evening gowns in the high heels I chose to put on flip-flops with bling and my husband wore cleaner slacks with a polo shirt And we were fine. 99% of the staff was fine and we never have any complaints about them. We got off at Cozumel and walked about town had lunch came back. We had to tender in H C and because we have priority access, we got off the ship at anytime we wanted instead of having to book a tender time and wait for your turn.We went to Belize And it Harvest Caye was so cold that we only stayed an hour and we came back on the tender. Costa Maya is like a giant resort when you have to drink or eat to have a lounge chair. I would never eat anything there where they serve meat or wash the salad in their water. Some guests missed the boat in Roatan and we left without them! Also they have dogs that will sniff your luggage and detect if you are bringing any food or drinks after ship so don’t even try it. Also if you bring water off the ship and you try to bring it back they will not except it so you have to toss it. When you go to sure you cannot leave without your sea pass and the proof of ID. Make a photocopy of your passport and keep it on your phone as a picture. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head if you have any questions I will be more than happy to answer them! As for entertainment burn the floor was excellent but a bit long, Cirque steam Was incredible food was good. The best show of all was million Dollar Quartet which was unbelievable. You do have to pay for the show cirque because you get a shot and a meal so get the tables that are in front of the stage there are a bit more expensive but you are so close it’s really good. Make sure you reserve Prior to sailing because if you don’t have a reservation for the shows you will go in to the standby line and you don’t know if and when you were going to go in so it reserved before and you’ll be fine. As for the comedian show at headliners they are good but they often repeat themselves you don’t have to reserve but you have to lineup for 45 minutes to an hour in order to get a seat. Even if you have a reservation for the three other shows make sure you get there 45 Before in order to pick the seats that you want it guarantees you a seat but not to necessarily sit together if you’re late Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I just finished shed my second cruise, first one being only 13 mos ago on the Norwegian Sky to the Bahamas for 4 days total. This cruise was on the Norwegian Pearl 6 days total to Belize and Costa Maya. My first cruise experience made ... Read More
I just finished shed my second cruise, first one being only 13 mos ago on the Norwegian Sky to the Bahamas for 4 days total. This cruise was on the Norwegian Pearl 6 days total to Belize and Costa Maya. My first cruise experience made me want to book another right away. We docked every day, had a lot of fun during the evenings on the ship, didn’t have a bad meal, and even with three of us in a small (no window/balcony) room we had a wonderful time. Again, I came back didn’t I? I convinced my mom she had to go with me this winter. We found a good rate, again on the lower deck inexpensive cabin. Last cruise we were placed in a room that was “better located” and this time we were the VERY front and it was quite loud. This time of year or route was also much choppier, but nothing they can do about that. As for the loudness at that part of the ship, you get what you pay for, and the price was reasonable for my mom and I. If you want to upgrade, I’m sure the rooms are quieter and more spacious. The showers in the Pearl were larger than the ones in the sky. In my opinion the positives that outweigh the sky stop there. I preferred the sky layout better than the Pearl and the talent. Talent on Pearl was fine, and great the last night. I wish the dancers would have performed one more night considering it was sat-thurs. The game shows are always good for a laugh, crew was kind and clean, rooms cleaned thoroughly....on BOTH cruises, so again, even in those senses. The MAIN complaint I have was the food on the Pearl. I hate to mark this as “Pearl” bc it could have been a new cooking staff (also, my tummy was a little off this cruise and the first time I was fine) but I truly didn’t eat a single dish I loved, and on the sky I loved 95% of my meals. I only tried the 3 restaurants included, and of course the buffet many times, all restaurants were not to my liking, not my mothers, but her tummy felt fine so she would eat her order. Example- egg drop soup at the lotus cafe had canned creamed corn in it as far as I could tell. I also ordered a basic dish (hoping for a better outcome) mushroom Alfredo pasta and was so bland I didn’t even waste the calorie intake and just ordered dessert after one bite. The food is my personal biggest draw to “cruise life” bc I’m not much of a drinker, in fact we didn’t drink at all, maybe that was our problem HaHa. The fact I didn’t enjoy a single meal thoroughly was a huge disappointment and that’s why I rated this cruise only 2 stars, whereas the Sky I’d rate 4 stars! Let’s move onto the excursions. I was prepared for the cluster of people, Americanized, expensive (pay for anything and everything) small space we were herded to bc I remembered how my first cruise ports were. I was pleasantly surprised to see on Belize, due to NCL owning this port area, the pool/chairs/beach were all part of it for you to enjoy for free. The restaurants were reasonably priced, I even talked to a group of 4 who rented a golf cart to explore the actual city and ate/drank for $15/couple, WOW! My mom and I had booked snorkeling through the ship which took up over half of our time at the port. Due to having to take a small boat to land we had a total of, at most, 6 hours on land. We had to go straight to snorkeling, get settled, etc and by the time we got back to the pool/beach area is was near 2:00, and we had to be back no later than 5. As for the snorkeling, it was a large group, 45, and groups of 8 HAD to stay near their guide in the water and we covered a very small area considering the crowd size. Water was a bit murky (they can’t help that) but all I saw were a handful of fish and lots of coral. A previous snorkeling excursion through NCL was similar in size but no in-water guide, so free to swim around and not constantly look up out of the water in case you lost your guide/group. Another snorkeling experience I had in the Bahamas was not booked through the cruise (do this at your own discretion) and it was a small boat which meant only 8 of us went with one guide, a man from the island making extra money. We all know they are there, and we all wonder how it would go...well this particular experience is my favorite travel story. It was beautiful and so many fish and very laid back! Costa Maya port was more what I expected with the crowded blocked off small area where you pay to sit, swim, beach, everything! We did an excursion through NCL which was a Mayan holistic wellness hour of ritual relaxation. It includes a bath soak, face mask, massage, and lots of knowledge. I’d suggest this excursion, you have access to a small pool but only after check in, so maybe try for an early appointment to be able to use it longer? Our final morning my mom and I were in a hurry, yes we were those people who went against cruise suggestion and booked a 9:40am flight. In our defense, my sister had just come back from a cruise and made it to the same airport leisurely by 8:30, and WE DID MAKE IT. Anyway, the direction for free style disembarkation was very vague and semi incorrect. We were told to meet mid ship deck 7 near front desk area, so people were there as early as 6:30 ready to get off sometime between 7-7:30 per the instruction. We ended up making our own line, as people do so not to crowd or be unfair. 7:30 rolls around and an announcement is finally made and whispers are happening that our line was made by ourselves and there is no “line.” We then finally find out that two areas will be letting people off the ENDS of the ship. This made early risers who had been in line, or so they thought, extremely upset and this is the last thought they’ll have for the cruise. The main issue was the lack of communication from the crew as we all are standing there and their defensive stern answers when asked. I will say, other than this ONE incident the crew was extremely helpful and friendly. I won’t let this mix up change my mind for that. Luckily my mom and I quickly got through the security, grabbed a Lyft, no traffic, and made it just in time to get my bag checked and enjoy a coffee! My lesson is cruise with an open mind and read reviews! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have sailed on many of Norwegian’s different size ships, but we keep coming back to the Jewel Class 2340 passenger size as our favorite. This ship has the perfect mix of fine and casual dining options and plenty of deck room around ... Read More
We have sailed on many of Norwegian’s different size ships, but we keep coming back to the Jewel Class 2340 passenger size as our favorite. This ship has the perfect mix of fine and casual dining options and plenty of deck room around pool area for tanning days at sea. The service staff was excellent! Especially our cabin steward! The only negative thing we encountered was the transfers back to the airport. Long lines and over priced! After waiting we left the line and used uberXl and traveled to the airport in a well appointed suburban which was cheaper than we paid for the bus transfer. In closing The Pearl is a excellent mid size ship with great service and lots great itineraries! This ship is best suited for couples as it doesn’t have all the waterslides and go carts you encounter on the Giant 5000plus passenger ships. Happy sailings! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Pearl. Everything from embarking to disembarking went smoothly. The Pearl is a beautiful ship. We thought the food was delicious in the Summer Palace dining room. We also ... Read More
We just returned from a 5 night Western Caribbean cruise on the Pearl. Everything from embarking to disembarking went smoothly. The Pearl is a beautiful ship. We thought the food was delicious in the Summer Palace dining room. We also had 2 specialty dinners. Cagney’s gets an A+ and Moderno a B. All crew members,except for one pool deck waiter, were extremely pleasant and attentive. We decided this was going to be an R & R cruise so we didn’t book any shire excursions. Harvest Caye was beautiful. We enjoyed lounging on the beach and swimming in the pool. Lunch was ok. The lagoon where the water sports was offered was lovely. We had planned on walking around the port of Costa Maya but ended up staying on the ship. Met some interesting people and lost track of time. We would cruise on the Pearl again if there was an itinerary we like. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Beautiful ship and friendly crew. The entertainment is top notch. Food was good, but not spectacular. The boarding process took nearly 2 hours even though we had paid for priority boarding. 1st Tender Port: was told to wait in the ... Read More
Beautiful ship and friendly crew. The entertainment is top notch. Food was good, but not spectacular. The boarding process took nearly 2 hours even though we had paid for priority boarding. 1st Tender Port: was told to wait in the main dining room for our group to be called (again we paid for priority boarding). Waited almost 2 hours. Was an hour late for our shore excursion. Took another hour to board the tender to get back. Very unorganized. Had breakfast delivered to the room each morning. Was never correct. Asked for cereal. Received a box of cereal and milk, no bowl. (Just one example) Crew was courteous and helpful but not engaging. We Passed many crew members in the hall. Barely received a hello. Other cruises go out of their way to Stop and ask how your day is going. Ship is VERY LOUD. Band in the casino was so loud we could barely talk. Band in the Manhattan dining room was quieter but still very difficult to talk to our friends. Music by the pool was incredibly loud. And yet they make fun of Carnival as a rowdy party ship. The pool is very small (only one small pool for over 4,000 guest). An hour wait to use the water slides. Theater only holds 800 people. Shows book up very quickly. Most people we talked to only got to see one or two shows and missed the rest as they were “sold out” even though they were free. Overall a disappointing cruise on a beautiful ship. I’ll stick with slightly smaller ships or a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click