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6,307 Norwegian (NCL) Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise based on departure port and date. I really didn't care where it was going. The ship was nothing fancy. In fact, if I didn't know I would have thought it was a refurbished ship. My room balcony was blah... ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on departure port and date. I really didn't care where it was going. The ship was nothing fancy. In fact, if I didn't know I would have thought it was a refurbished ship. My room balcony was blah... brown/beige rug with dirt stains, brown curtains that were ripped, a linoleum bathroom floor with stains ? hair dye. and brown cabinetry.The sofa was so dirty and worn out. I asked for a flat sheet to throw over so I could sit on it. I photographed all. The bathroom counter had a rust stain and the shower with hair in the drain. Great shower pressure and plenty of very hot water. But to top all off the first nite I lay on grit??? I collected it up on paper back book and took a photo to show room steward who got defensive. It appeared to be large coarse salt particles!!! I told him this isn't up for a debate just please change the sheets and get hair out of shower stall. The balcony very small. Only room for two small upright chairs and very small table. Room was never made up to late in afternoon after 2 pm just when I returned to relax a bit. I rarely, if ever, saw the room attendant. No towels animals in which I could care less about except I relied on them for extra towels to use after showering. Gone are the chocolates on your pillow. The entire fleet appeared overworked and grumpy . In fact I witnessed an employee (woman) yell at a passenger! I was shocked. The buffets looked dried out and not attended well. If an item was gone platters not replenished or removed! The two "washy washy" guys at entrance to Garden Buffet sang and played Tamborine much to annoyance of older guests.If this cruise ship cared about hand washing so much then why only two very small sinks at the entrance of buffet for 4 thousands guests???? I observed many strange reactions to some odd practices by this fleet. The restaurants were average not bad not fabulous. The artwork some of the best at sea. The embarkation/debarkation worst of any of my 20 plus cruises. The tender procedure strange, long lines to wait in big theater for two large boats to offload 4 thousand people! The shows were average at best some better than others. Dinner shows with Carole's Kings very nice. With so many cruise choices I would avoid this ship. Ceilings low elevators small and dark painted black and red. Pool area horribly cramped and industrial looking. Pay extra, go to an upcharge designated sunning area without a pool but guaranteed a nice lounge chair for the day. Of note no outside eating venues. Must go inside for piece of cardboard I mean pizza or salad. There was nothing that would bring me back except escaping the cold on a last minute cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My father in law booked a cruise for 6 to make it a family vacation. We had a balcony, free at sea package, etc. It was OK. The food was good to average, bars were always full and usually had to wait. Seemed under staffed. A nice tip ... Read More
My father in law booked a cruise for 6 to make it a family vacation. We had a balcony, free at sea package, etc. It was OK. The food was good to average, bars were always full and usually had to wait. Seemed under staffed. A nice tip here and there upped the service levels on future visits. Entertainment was good. The illusionist was great, really got the kids involved. The singers had some highlights, a couple sounded like they were heading to Broadway. The russian lady that did the Stevie Wonder tribute was just unexpected. Not great. I went by to see the bingo costs and was shocked. Never play that. Also went the the "art auction". Surprised to see original Peter Max and Dali. One Max sold for over $12k before I had to leave. Who would have thought people cruise to buy art. Used the dining package at the Steak and mexican. Steak was surprisingly good. The mexican was average but the quantity was over the top for what you could order. Felt bad about what was not eaten. With that said, don't order the max dishes available. The pool area stayed packed and loud. did not stay there much. Some nice places to read but inside. The slots are what everyone says, way leaning to the house. Rooms were OK. First time with a balcony and enjoyed that. In laws balcony door would not latch and kept flying open. Had to get maintenance up to beat on it to lock. A good thing. The last night the seas were crazy for about 4-5 hours. 15-20 ft seas, could not stand up in our room, doors slamming open, etc An upside, They really did due diligence for the corona virus. One agent checked your passport and asked the questions then another person went through every page to make sure no china trips recently. Would I go on this ship again? Maybe in Alaska Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 7th cruise. We went with 2 other couples. One had been on the Sun six months earlier and loved it. Apparently, it has gone downhill since then. We spent 1 1/2 hours in line waiting to board. Probably the Corona virus ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise. We went with 2 other couples. One had been on the Sun six months earlier and loved it. Apparently, it has gone downhill since then. We spent 1 1/2 hours in line waiting to board. Probably the Corona virus slowed things down because they were checking passports very carefully. Once aboard, we noticed a general lack of attention to detail. One of the couples had written documentation that they had the Free at Sea items, but they didn't show up on their reservation and they spent a long time trying to resolve the problem. The food tasted just o.k. but was only luke warm because service in the dining rooms and specialty restaurants was extremely slow. They were obviously understaffed. It took 3 hours to eat dinner in La Cucina so we missed the entertainment that night. There were a lot of other issues. We got to our cabin and had no deck plans or instructions for using the phone. There was only 1 110 outlet and 2 USB outlets. Not enough these days! The shower was miniscule. At the stop in Cozumel, my husband wasn't feeling well so we stayed in our cabin. He wanted to take a nap. We were on the port side and faced the Norwegian Escape on the other side of the pier. For two hours, they had a DJ on the pier playing EXTREMELY LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS salsa music directly under our balcony. It was awful. I could go on but won't. There were some pros. The ship was clean, the room steward did a good job, we enjoyed the entertainment in the main showroom and in the lounges and disembarkation went smoothly. All in all, we enjoyed ourselves but I am not sure that I would recommend the Norwegian Sun and I don't think I would go on another Norwegian cruise. There are too many other choices out there. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I am a BIG NCL fan. I love the service and the friendliness of the crew. I believe Norwegian has the friendliest crew at sea. Same could be said for the hard working men and women on the Dawn, but the Officers are not as friendly as ... Read More
I am a BIG NCL fan. I love the service and the friendliness of the crew. I believe Norwegian has the friendliest crew at sea. Same could be said for the hard working men and women on the Dawn, but the Officers are not as friendly as they are on the Escape #1 and the Getaway coming in at #2 (so take a lesson Dawn officers). To my horror there was no Latin band on board. They had plenty of musical entertainment which had very, very good attendance throughout the cruise, but no Latin on this 2 week cruise. There were terrible dance classes by offered by the staff, but good line dancing classes taught by Jodie the C.D. Jodie was great but her staff was a bit inexperienced. The Production shows were packed, I only attended a few. All and all the cruise was ok for me but the lack of a Latin band was a tough pill to swallow. The Pool area is a joke on this ship the pool is so small for 2300 plus passengers. I found the food to be very good in the main dinning rooms and service was excellent, sometimes we encountered cool food temps in the buffet. I would rate the food from good to very good throughout the 2 weeks on board. I would not like to cruise out of Tampa again unless the cruise is a super giveaway. There is always some type of ridiculous delay at that antiquated port. Last year it was 3 hours to board the Pearl this year it was 2 hours to board the Dawn. Years before this, the same thing. The ship is going to get a 100 million dollar refurbishment. It will become an adult only after the dry dock some time in 2020. Happy cruising to all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed on NCL because of the Harrah's Casino At Sea Program, otherwise we might have picked another cruise line. The balcony room had only one 110v plug, not really enough in this day of cell phones and other electronic ... Read More
We sailed on NCL because of the Harrah's Casino At Sea Program, otherwise we might have picked another cruise line. The balcony room had only one 110v plug, not really enough in this day of cell phones and other electronic devices.Bring an adapter to plug in multiple devices. Food was fine in main restaurants, service was excellent in speciality dining. The smoking lounge, a glass box, next to one of the bars was always filled with hazy smoke and when people exited the smoking box the smoke drifted out with them. Want to smoke, just walk down the hall and you will find the room, the smoke smell is that strong. This ship did not have the kid friendly race cars and water slides of the larger NCL ships so if you want to keep the kids occupied this may not be the ship. Lots of music options at the bars, but a bit too loud for socializing. A piano bar with background music would be a good addition. The ship was very clean and the staff attentive. We booked our own tours in ports via the internet and there were also many trip options just at the end of the pier for last minute planners. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
this was an easy local cruise because we live in the Tampa area. So it is convenient. This time we used Terminal 2 which is small and does not accomodate the crows on enmabkation day. The ship is old and in need of updating and cleaning. ... Read More
this was an easy local cruise because we live in the Tampa area. So it is convenient. This time we used Terminal 2 which is small and does not accomodate the crows on enmabkation day. The ship is old and in need of updating and cleaning. The food was very good in the Buffet. We though that the Bistro has gone down hill as has Cagneys. Moderno was very good. The ship layout is not good and is confusing. We had been on the Star which is a sister ship and still had issues getting from point A to point B for a few days. The service staff was on the whole great except for the bartenders an the Mohito bar which was slow and surly. We didn't make it to any shows so can't comment on those. Not to be snobish but a lot of the crowd did seem like thw circus just arrived in town. I think Norwegian is going to have to stop the free booze program if they want any decent people who are not drunks to cruise with them. They used to be a better value than Royal but I will not cruise with them again for a one week carribean cruise unless somthing changes Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruises with Royal Caribbean, but it was 10+ years ago and more recently cruised with Princess. We wanted to try another company because the crowd on the Princess was quite a bit older and even in our mid 30’s felt very young. ... Read More
We have cruises with Royal Caribbean, but it was 10+ years ago and more recently cruised with Princess. We wanted to try another company because the crowd on the Princess was quite a bit older and even in our mid 30’s felt very young. [Embarkation] We got an Uber and what was supposed to be a 7 min trip turned into an hour. It’s a really complicated port and doesn’t run very smooth or fast. Wish I could tell you the best way to get on the boat. Maybe take an Uber to the river walk and walk up to the pier/ boat from there. As we left the ship several people getting on the ship came up that way and we’re having their luggage portered right there. [Food] Not impressed after being on the princess. First bite of food was in one of the dining rooms, savor. Tomato soup was so salty. Hummus was cold and bland, pita bread was just cut into triangles, not toasted or even warmed, lemon meringue tart was super sweet and meringue was crunchy with sugar. Next meal was at noodle bar, Shanghai (got there just before 5:00 when they open and got the first seat. The potstickers were delicious but the noodle soups weren’t good. Wishing we would’ve got the noodles or fried rice. Tropicana room was the main dining we were told closer to the kitchen so supposedly food comes out faster and warmer (not the case). A lot of the time our hot dishes came out luke warm. Favorite foods all cruise were carrot cake with orange glaze, honey cream brûlée, lava cake (last two served the last day). My husband loved the flank steak and had it twice, potato gnocchi with pesto sauce was yummy! The buffet breakfast was the same every day as was lunch. Our favs were the waffles with syrup, bacon, omelets (the onion looked cooked but was raw), sticky buns, and fruit. Most of the potato things on ship (French fries, potato hash, potato skins) were undercooked. Near the back at the vegetarian section were a flat round fried bread that was awesome. Some of the Asian and Indian food were good. We never attended for dinner and after dinner was super limited and boring. We did hear the pasta station was good. [Speciality Dining] We had a package deal with the price of the cruise that gave us 3 free specialty dining. **Book as soon as you board the ship. Several of the speciality restaurants require at least two people to make a reservation. We enjoyed ocean blue and I don’t enjoy seafood, but they had a lot of great options. Fried rice ball, beat salad, yummy bread and mascarpone butter, chocolate cake with caramel corn were all so yummy Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were slightly apprehensive going on our first NCL cruise on a large ship like the Getaway given some of the negative reviews. However, we had a great time and can’t believe why some people are so critical. There are, to be fair a few ... Read More
We were slightly apprehensive going on our first NCL cruise on a large ship like the Getaway given some of the negative reviews. However, we had a great time and can’t believe why some people are so critical. There are, to be fair a few areas that could be improved but overall a lovely ship with pleasant, helpful staff. We had a balcony cabin which was very spacious with a lovely shower (glass door – no clingy curtain) with plenty of hot water. There was plenty of storage space and tea/coffee making facilities. The only negative was the extremely small balcony, we thought the balcony on the P&O Britannia was small but it was huge compared to this one! Our biggest worry before going on the ship was the, to us ‘Britishers’ the extremely unpleasant smoking policy on NCL. Smoking is permitted in the Casino! This is supposedly just if you are playing but I saw people just watching, smoking as well and staff just ignored this. In Scotland we have had a no smoking policy in any indoor public place for many years and I can’t quite believe that NCL are so backward in this respect. The casino opens onto the atrium and many reviewers said the smell of smoke permeated throughout. To be fair, we did not find this. I only had to leave my ‘spot’ in the casino twice due to someone smoking next to me. I feel that NCL are allowing a few smokers to spoil the non-smoking majority of passengers’ experience. We thought the food in the ‘included’ restaurants was, on the whole very good. We ate in the 3 included A La Carte restaurants and were happy with the choice and quality. We ate in the buffet for breakfast and lunch and one dinner and, again were very happy with the choices. We never had a problem finding a seat and tables were cleared quickly. We had a ‘3 speciality dining’ package. We ate at the Teppanyaki restaurant, which was good fun with lovely food. Cagney’s steakhouse was also excellent with a varied choice of steaks and other options. We both had fillet steaks which were cooked beautifully as directed. Our third choice was the French restaurant ‘The Bistro,’ again, a varied menu. The food was nicely presented and tasty. The only strange item on the menu was ‘The Escargot’ which to Europeans is snails, usually served in a garlic sauce. Not here – under the title ‘Escargot’ it tells you in English – mushrooms! I had the mushrooms which were lovely, funnily enough served in a dish that snails would be served in. Maybe snails are not to the American palate’s liking? On another issue much bemoaned by reviewers- drinks service. We had the alcohol package which was very good and even included Grey Goose vodka, felt no need to upgrade – plenty of choice. We also had no problems getting served, on a few occasions there was only one barman in the Headliners venue, he was run off his feet but was extremely efficient. We thought the entertainment was fabulous, especially ‘Burn the Floor,’ not our usual entertainment genre of choice but it was brilliant. ‘The Million Dollar Quartet’ was also very good. Although I have always said cruise ship entertainment is often like a west end show these shows were a step above the usual cruise fare. The venue that had quiz shows, bands and shows such as Mr & Mrs were actually in the Atrium, very strange and not nearly large enough or conducive to this type of entertainment. Strangely enough the ‘Guest Services’ were located here as well – not very handy when trying to speak to anyone. ‘Syd’s Pour House’ was very good as was the Headliners, where ‘The Duelling Pianos were on most nights, we particularly enjoyed this. Our only issue with this was the fact people ‘paid’ for requests – that’s not to say that they didn’t play your request if you didn’t give them money but they most definitely prioritised requests saying we’ve got $5 for this one in a gleeful tone. Not at all what I would expect on a cruise ship! Maybe UK citizens are less into the tipping culture than Americans. The only other issue with these two venues were their size, the first two nights we couldn’t gain access as they were full. They really were a bit small for the number of guests on board. However, this settled down a bit as the week went on. We decided before boarding that we would splurge on ‘Vibe’ passes for the week. They were quite expensive, around $200 each. We had been a bit worried about getting sunbeds in the shade on such a big ship. Anyway the ‘Vibe’ area was lovely with very comfy sunbeds and parasols (might not have been enough parasols if more people had bought passes). Staff were very attentive, bringing iced water, cookies and fruit kebabs around periodically. However, as the weather around the New Orleans area was not particularly warm we weren’t really able to use the Vibe area on the 2 sea days as it was a bit cool and windy so overall the passes on this specific cruise weren’t really worth it although we did enjoy the peace and quiet after a busy time in port. Other than the day when inconsiderate fellow ‘Vibe’ users decided to play their own music loudly. Unfortunately, the music was heard all over the deck so if you didn’t like it – tough!! One other issue was the embarkation. Our taxi took us to the port and dropped us off. We found porters loading suitcases and after checking it was for the NCL ship, dropped them off. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain and the suitcases must have been sitting in the rain for a considerable length of time as when we got our cases the top two layers of clothes were wet! We called our room steward and someone came along to have a look. They took the wet clothes away and dried them for us – they did offer to launder them but we were happy just to get them dried. We had to wait a few days for them to be returned although this was not really a problem for us. Our first port was Cozumel in Mexico. None of the excursions from NCL appealed to us. I found an excursion on Viator to Kun Che Park, a Mayan experience. It turned out to be one of the best excursions we have been on. We were taken to the park by coach after meeting at a designated point. Thereafter there was a multitude of activities, the main one being the Mayan Ball Game which was marvellous to watch. A tasty, healthy lunch was included. The effort put in by all the staff at the park was amazing. This is an excursion that NCL need to include it although they would probably charge much more! We were on a coach with Carnival cruisers so they obviously have included it on their excursion list. Roatan in Honduras was a lovely island. We did the ‘semi sub and village’ excursion with NCL It was a nice trip. Harvest Key, the NCL island was pleasant if you like pools and beaches. We had a wander around, had a swim, went to the small nature park then went back to the ship. Not my idea of an interesting port. We did a trip to the Mayan ruins in Costa Maya with NCL which was very interesting. It was a half day trip which was ideal. Overall, we had a lovely holiday and would definitely cruise with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were on the Getaway from the 16th to the 23rd sailing out of NOLA to the Western Caribbean. I am ranking this a 5 cause everything NCL controlled was amazing and we had a fantastic time but I will never sail out of New Orleans ever ... Read More
We were on the Getaway from the 16th to the 23rd sailing out of NOLA to the Western Caribbean. I am ranking this a 5 cause everything NCL controlled was amazing and we had a fantastic time but I will never sail out of New Orleans ever again. The story is on the bottom of the review as I didn't want to start off negative as our cruise was excellent. We flew into Memphis, spent a night on Beale street and then drove into NOLA the next morning, we had booked the later boarding times for 2:00 and arrived around 1:30. Loading times were definitely slow but they were hand checking everyone's passport to make sure they hadn't traveled to the any of the banned countries. Won't hold that against them, and the boat still left on time. The Getaway was just in Dry-Dock and you can tell as everything is new and shiny. This was our first time with a dining package and we will definitely be getting one again. We knew to book ahead and had no problem getting reservations at good times, we tried the Teppanyaki, Le Bistro and Cucina. Teppanyaki was our favorite, Ryan was fantastic. Syd Norman's was such a great addition, both bands that played in there were phenomenal. GET THERE EARLY, this place fills up super fast but is 100% worth it. The dueling pianos in headliners are also good for late night, never ended up seeing the comedy shows as doesn't appeal to me. We saw all 3 show's that were offered; Burn the Floor, Million Dollar Quartet and Cirque. The Cirque show is very well done for the tight space they give them. Million Dollar Quartet is an absolute must see though. Service: I was with a group of 4 and we all felt the boat was understaffed which we can only assume was due to the Coronavirus. Our service was still exceptional and the staff that were there did a fantastic job under the circumstances. Ports: Cozumel - We did the Three Reefer Snorkel and had a fantastic experience with Erwin and his team. Very organized and well run. Would highly recommend, tons of fish to be seen and Erwin would dive down and point out different marine life. I have never been to Cozumel before and I will never go back to the town. I've been to many different spots in the Caribbean and have never experienced the amount of yelling and badgering that I experienced here. I couldn't walk 2 steps without someone yelling at me. I always expect some level but this was unbearable. Roatan - We did the Gumbalimba Preserve and would highly recommend, our guide Enrick was super knowledgeable and the preserve was very well run. The thing I really respected about this place was that 90% of the animals are roaming free. I figured we would go into an enclosure with the monkey's or bird's but that is not the case. They are allowed to roam free and you will see them throughout the park. The amount of monkey's you interact with will be random but we had about 5-6 jumping on people while we were there. We had the added bonus of interacting with the sloth as he had made his way down to gather food when we were in the area. Highly recommend this place. The port town itself is the exact opposite of Cozumel, it was very controlled and the people exceptionally nice. On the smaller side but if you are looking for standard souvenirs, it's a good place to snag some. Harvest Caye - We had to tender in because the dock was undergoing 3 weeks maintenance but the process wasn't all bad, just wasted time that could have been enjoyed on the beach. The beach is massive and there is a amble seating chairs, very relaxing day. Everything is extra on the island, which we expected but is still disappointing. Bring lots of cash as nothing is cheap but we still enjoyed ourselves. Costa Maya - We had very minimal time at this port, had to be back on the boat by 1:30 so we just walked around the town for a bit. Not much to say here, it is clearly made for the boats with a giant pool in the middle and has all the standard tourist shops. To the negative: Mardi Gras was just starting but I feel it the problem is valid regardless. NCL doesn't own a parking lot down there and neither does the Port Authority. They "rent" spots from the Hilton but have absolutely zero control over the lot itself. When we arrived we were told the lot is full and that they wanted to take us to an unsecured lot, god knows where and shuttle us back to the port. The problem was, the lot wasn't full but the Hilton had decided it was full enough and wanted to keep the rest of the spots either for their guests or for day use parking, which I assume they get more $ from. The Port Authority was on site when we arrived and used his keys to by-pass the Hilton and about 25 other cars into the lot. we paid our $140 and thought we were good... boy were we wrong. Upon disembarking using self assist at 7 am. NONE of the parking attendants were there at the lot, they don't start until 8:30am. There is now a ton of cars trying to get out of the lot but they can't because they weren't given the right cards when they pre-paid the $140 to park or worse, were told to pay when they got back. When the parking attendants show up, they start fixing the card issue but anyone who hadn't paid when they arrived... was now being charged $340 because that is the Hilton's normal weekly rate... Were off the boat at 7:30 and waited almost 2 hrs in the lot before we finally escaped. I've embarked at Miami, New York, and Cape Canaveral and at the latter 2 both parked cars at the port and never experienced anything remotely close to this, Which I can only assume is because the ports own the actual lots and not renting from a private facility. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for Jamaica, which was very disappointing, it's very dirty and people are trying to sell you everything from taxi's to weed! The ship itself is not fun! You have to make reservations for almost everything, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for Jamaica, which was very disappointing, it's very dirty and people are trying to sell you everything from taxi's to weed! The ship itself is not fun! You have to make reservations for almost everything, which we did not know ahead of time. We were able to see the shows but only because we were willing to stay up late to catch them, otherwise we wouldn't have seen anything. The shows Velvet (this is a dinner show which costs extra), Six and Burn the Floor were freaking awesome and the magician Jessica Jane was great! These things were the best part of the cruise. The food was not so good at the buffet and you constantly have to dodge people, it's way to overcrowded. We were never able to get in to see the comedy show. Syd Norman's Pour House was fun, but we had to stand the whole time and left when the band took a 15 minute intermission. We missed the first stop due to high winds and having to be tendered so we had an extra day on the ship with nothing to do that didn't cost extra money. We barely got into the Canvas by You painting shop, which cost extra and we had to go to guest services to get in and they told us they made an exception for the 3 of us and got us in but they were not nice about it. I hated that there wasn't a main dining room and just a bunch of specialty restaurants that had no openings and were only opened for dinner. Most of the staff was not very friendly, especially at guest services. With that said there were 3-4 totally awesome bartenders in Spice H20 that made it fun and provided great service and drinks. This part of the review won't be paid much attention to but I'm gonna say it anyways...We are smokers. I know we are a dying bread (pun intended) but there are still many of us and the little gross "hot box" smoking area on deck 15 by the pool was crappy for both smokers and the poor non-smokers that had to deal with the smoke while trying to enjoy the pool and it's very close to the kiddie pool. It was constantly over crowded (this should tell you something on a cruise of 4000 people) not well kept and not at all enjoyable. I don't know who designed this little smoking area but it is absolutely horrible for ALL guests, smokers and non-smokers. This giant ship and there were 3 places to smoke: Deck 15 by the only pool, deck 16 in the Spice H20 18 and over bar area, but only half of it, which is the half with a bar so the non-smokers had to come to the smoking area to get a drink if they couldn't find a server to bring it to them and you could not sit at the bar to smoke, only around the bar and the stupidest thing I have ever seen: you couldn't sit at on a bar stool at the bar and smoke, but you could stand up and stand directly behind or next to the bar stool and smoke. Who in the hell thought of this idea??? And who's great idea was it to have a cigar bar that you can only smoke cigars in (which was not open all the time) but you could smoke cigars in the smoking areas? WTH???? Cigar smoke is by far way more stinky than cigarette smoke. Most smoking bars won't let you smoke a cigar in them were we are from!! We paid the same about as every other guest with a balcony room and were treated like dirty, disgusting people. I am well aware that smoking is bad for you, it's a bad habit and blah, blah, blah, but again there are still many of us, young and old that have this bad habit and should be treated better. I was very aware of the fact that in the Casino there were more smoking areas than not, funny how money makes the bad part of smoking and second hand smoke go away!!!!!!! My husband and I would gladly pay extra to be able to smoke on our balcony. Of course, we aren't pigs and wouldn't throw our cigarette butts and packaging in the ocean like some people have done which is why this is no longer allowed on the balconies. One more thing about this rant, vaping...some of those (especially that chocolate concoctions, smell so bad they turn your stomach and those huge clouds of smoke are gross too!!!) My husband and I were told so many times that Norwegian is by far better than Carnival but we disagree. We have decided to try another cruise line when we go on another cruise but we will definitely not be going on another Norwegian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband and I took our children and grandchildren on NCL for 2 occasions. First, our youngest and his wife's 30th Birthday and Second, one of our son's deploys again first week of March. This was supposed to be an enjoyable, ... Read More
My husband and I took our children and grandchildren on NCL for 2 occasions. First, our youngest and his wife's 30th Birthday and Second, one of our son's deploys again first week of March. This was supposed to be an enjoyable, relaxing family vacation. It was the complete opposite. We had 6 rooms. All but 1 were on the 12th deck. They stuck our daughter on the 10th deck in a room closest to the front of the ship. They told me single traveler's get "What's left". However, I paid almost twice for the "what's left" room as the families in the same area. We were told we couldn't move her closer to the family, as the cruise was full. Our daughter was NOT comfortable the entire week. In regards to our room; When I first went into room, I noticed the Comforter had a large stain on it. It was alarming, however the housekeeping didn't answer, so I went down to service desk after dinner. Which ended up being the best thing. Our dinner service was awful. Milk wasn't ever brought and waters were never filled. The food was delivered cold and didn't have much taste. The wait staff seemed to have disappeared. Service desk: After our first dinner I immediately went to report my concerns. Of course they sent in housekeeping to give us clean bedding. And we were give. 2 bottles of champagne for our inconvenience. Meals: The service did get better, as we were moved to a different section in the Manhattan. However, the food didn't. It was definitely NOT what we had expected. Pools: If you are looking to enjoy pool time with your family, this is NOT the cruise to select. The cruise layout is not conducive to accommodate such a large cruise. The pool is VERY small. Ports: Be prepared for Tenders.....IF the weather cooperates. If not, be prepared to miss sports. Our family will go back to Royal Caribbean cruise line. Norwegian was the most expensive and the most disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised 8 times (3 with NCL) and this was far and away the worst cruise trip that we have experienced. The Breakaway was obviously at capacity on 02/15/2020 and the crew simply could not handle 4,000 guests. Port Canaveral ... Read More
We have cruised 8 times (3 with NCL) and this was far and away the worst cruise trip that we have experienced. The Breakaway was obviously at capacity on 02/15/2020 and the crew simply could not handle 4,000 guests. Port Canaveral is very easy to get to, there is ample parking and embarkation SHOULD have been quick and easy. It was not. We were told that you could not board until noon. Many guests arrived around 10:30 and were on the ship by 11:00. Other guests, like our family, arrived at 11:30 and waited an extremely long time to get through security and to check-in. The port employees were rude and condescending. (with the exception of the porters who were lovely) Once on board, you could not make reservations for many events, dining or special amenities because the people who were allowed on board at 11:00 booked most of those. We were forewarned that we may not like the balcony cabins on the Breakaway. We did not. The balconies on deck 11 are tiny. The cabin has a poor layout. The closet is next to the bed and it was extremely difficult to unpack and dress every evening. There is a very large sofa in the room that we felt is completely unnecessary for 2 people. This ship was refurbished in 2018 but it has received a lot of abuse in the past 2 years. On our deck there were plumbing issues, electrical issues and a lot of wear and tear. The Breakaway has over 20 restaurants however with the exception of LeBistro, the food and service was not good. There does not seem to be any sort of a dress code being enforced in the dining rooms - we saw people in bathing suits, t-shirts with the sleeves cut off and dirty baseball hats. The service was poor and we assumed that because of the whole extreme "freestyle" thing, waiters and waitresses are not working very hard because they are not receiving typical tips. We encountered 2 decent bartenders on this ship - 1 at Maltings and 1 at Mixx between the main dining rooms. The other bartenders were not polite and many thought that pouring a double OR triple (!!!) shot made up for badly mixed drinks. Since NCL is offering "unlimited open bar" people basically spent 7 days completely drunk out of their minds. People were falling down in the main areas and bars nightly, one guy took off his clothes in the Ice Bar, and another bragged that he had drank 40 beers that day. NCL is doing nothing to manage this situation. Once again the Breakaway was not able to stop at Great Stirrup Cay due to rough seas and wind. Apparently this is a very common occurrence. It is very difficult to explain to 4,000 people that they cannot go ashore due to weather when they can see 2 Royal Caribbean ships DOCKED at a pier next door at Cocoa Cay. When we cruise, we really don't need things like rock walls and water slides. It seems like the Breakaway has a lot of those things but not nearly enough space dedicated to the main pool areas. With 4000 people on board, you could not get near a pool or hot tub. If decks 17 and 18 were closed there were not nearly enough deck and lounge chairs. Spice H2O reeks of cigarette and cigar smoke so that was not a good option (the waterfall feature was also not working correctly). The Breakaway does have a ton of amenities and activities however with 4,000 people on the ship, it was very difficult to participate since most were overcrowded and not well managed. The entertainment was fair. "Burn the Floor" had excellent musicians but the show made absolutely no sense. "Six" was horrible. The Pour House Band at Sid Norman's was one of the highlights of our trip. They are super fun and very talented but the waitress and bartenders in Sid Norman's were so rude and the service was so bad that you could not even get a drink while you enjoyed the music. Howl at the Moon was not good and again very crowded with poor service. There were herds of tween and young teenage children RUNNING through the ship, laying on the floor in door ways and halls and basically behaving out of control. There seemed to be no parental or ship supervision. If you are looking for a non-stop, loud and extremely casual 7 day party on a big ship, a cruise on the Breakaway may be the trip for you. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We booked this cruise as we planned to meet some family we hadn't seen in years. When we got on the ship we rode the elevator to Deck 15. the pool and bar areas. Got off and got hit in the face with smoke odor. They put a smoking hut ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we planned to meet some family we hadn't seen in years. When we got on the ship we rode the elevator to Deck 15. the pool and bar areas. Got off and got hit in the face with smoke odor. They put a smoking hut in the middle of where there should be two lines of lounge chairs. We the went to Spice H20 the adults only area. We found MORE smoking areas. Went to O'Sheehan's Irish Pub; ordered two drinks, one each for my wife and I. Barkeep brought one drink and left to do other things. When I asked about the second drink; I was told" I'll get your wine in a minute!" The anytime dining was fine. We never waited more than 5-10 minutes for a table. Taste and Savor were both good restaurants. Service was very good. The shows were very good, Six and Burn the Floor were both enjoyable. Escape the Big Top- not so much. Comedians were very good. The comedy club venue was small and seating was uncomfortable. We did 2 excursions which were good. We did a tour of Grand Cayman- We went to Hell, and to the Sea turtle Farm. Both were good, but a bit rushed. We went to the Tortuga Rum distillery. There was a varied selection. In Cozumel, we did the Sea Lion/ Manatee adventure. While getting off the ship proved to be poorly done, the excursion was fun. We thoroughly enjoyed the interactions. Again, it ended up a little rushed as we were delayed an hour and a half getting off the ship. Communication was terrible! we never knew where to go to disembark the ship. Even when we left on Saturday, if we hadn't spoken to other passengers, we never would have known where to go. I guess the prepaid tips on NCL give the staff carte blanche to be rude. This was the way many people felt on the Breakaway last trip. It was my first, and certainly my last NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We just returned from a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. It was a very nice ship. I thought the best feature was the steam room in the Thermal Suite. Most steam rooms aren't hot enough but this one was just right. The ship is ... Read More
We just returned from a cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway. It was a very nice ship. I thought the best feature was the steam room in the Thermal Suite. Most steam rooms aren't hot enough but this one was just right. The ship is very attractive and easy to get around. We thought that breakfast and lunch at the buffet was especially good. There was a large choice of items and despite the large crowds, we were always able to find somewhere to sit even at peak eating times. Our favorite at lunch was the chicken salad. I thought the food at dinner in the dining rooms wasn't quite as good as previous cruises. However, if you can't find something that you like at breakfast, lunch, and dinner I don't think you are looking very hard. The water was too rough to tender in at Great Stirrup Cay which was a disappointment and at Cozumel there were 8 ships docked so we had to fight the crowds. All of the crew were great--especially Joel, our room steward. As on most cruises, we saw a few passengers who were obstreperous which was embarrassing for the passengers who follow the rules and act appropriately. Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. All in all it was a very good cruise and we thought everyone at NCL tried hard to make sure we had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Other family members chose it for convenance, there were 23 of us, we flew U.K to Miami to join them complete with my wheelchair. Boarding was made easy for me staff were helpful, the cabin which had a walk in shower was a long way ... Read More
Other family members chose it for convenance, there were 23 of us, we flew U.K to Miami to join them complete with my wheelchair. Boarding was made easy for me staff were helpful, the cabin which had a walk in shower was a long way from the lift, the very narrow corridors were stuffed with cases this made using the wheelchair almost impossible, this proved to be a theme for the week when it was not cases it was housekeeping carts, embarrassing and upsetting at times. The dining and stateroom staff were very helpful and kind, the food was great, entertainment was good. We chose the cruise partly as four stops seemed good and chose disabled friendly excursions, however it was made clear to me after I boarded that I could not get of at Belize as tenders are required to get there and they are not disabled friendly, I was not impressed but again the staff and one manager were great. Others in my party did not seem impressed with that stop and one of the kids was bitten by jellyfish. The place I really wanted to visit was cancelled due to a port strike, so only two out of four stops happened. Lots of disabled toilets available, they have press button doors I got out of the chair to go into the toilet my husband pushed the button the door swung back and floored me leaving me bruised and shaken also embarrassed. The children loved it and had fun one child had a birthday and was given a lovely cake and the staff sang happy birthday, they were good with the babies. Given we travelled 4000 miles to get there I would not repeat the experience but it was fun and an adventure and we met great people so no regrets. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port ... Read More
This was my very first cruise. I can say I went into it feeling very nervous and overwhelmed. I tried to make sure I had done all my research on all the ports prior to sailing to ensure it was a worry free vacation. We arrived to port at 12pm on a rainy day in Miami only to find a massive line up, in which parts of it left you standing in the rain. It took approximately 2.5 hrs to board the Escape. Upon entering I was blown away by its beauty and pure size- I couldn’t wait to explore! I quickly learned that the lineup I dreaded having to deal with to board would follow me wherever I went on the ship- food, drinks, washroom, you name it. Which quickly becomes frustrating when you are trying to have a relaxing vacation. On our first sail day we went to go to the pool, only to find it was a sea of bodies in the pool and no chairs to be found. Sadly the Escape has a pool not much bigger than the average backyard pool that is somehow supposed to fit +4000 people. I was very disappointed to know I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere close to the pool. Our first stop was Roatan and we chose to do the Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkelling. Everything was perfect. The staff were friendly, and very helpful when teaching how to snorkel. And the Reef was absolutely stunning! Second stop was Harvest Caye, Belize. I was very interested for this stop as I knew the island was owned by NCL and operated by locals. We chose to not do an excursion that day and just explore and relax on the island. What I was not aware of is that our food and drink package are not included on the island. 2 daiquiri’s were a whopping $25! It was refreshing to have a large pool to sit next to as this was my first day being able to go in a pool on our vacation. After lunch we decided to go back to the ship as it was too expensive to be buying drinks when we already had paid for a very costly drink package. Third stop was supposed to be Costa Maya but unfortunately got cancelled due to a local strike. In turn we had a half day at sea as they continued onward to Cozumel. Having over 24 hrs in Cozumel actually worked quite well as we were able to do extra exploring and not be in a hurry to get back to the ship. We went and swam with the dolphins and stingray. It was a 5 min cab ride to the aquarium. Overall it was an amazing experience! The highlight of the cruise was the food. Le Bistro was hands down my favourite restaurant. Most of the staff throughout the ship were friendly and very attentive. The only staff member I can complain about was a bartender at the Mojito bar. We went there every night before dinner and he was always straight to the point and we witnessed him yell at various customers. If NCL is reading this, I would say their app is very helpful when on-board and we caught ourselves always referring to it. You can message fellow passengers through it for a very expensive price. I would like to see them change that so you can message your family members on the cruise through the app for free. Overall it was a great trip and I was able to bring home lots of amazing memories. I do feel like I could use some time away from people though. Personally I would not recommend Harvest Caye but Roatan and Cozumel were lovely. If I go on another cruise it will have to be with less people and more pool options. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose Norwegian Escape because his itinerary and packages included . Having the balcony is a must and thermal Spa this will get to be well relax and enjoy your trip. The only drawback is the amount of people using the pool and the ... Read More
We chose Norwegian Escape because his itinerary and packages included . Having the balcony is a must and thermal Spa this will get to be well relax and enjoy your trip. The only drawback is the amount of people using the pool and the jacuzzi is like having a human soup, it is pack all day long. The food is OK the ship had with multiple restaurants for different taste I recommend the drinking And specialty packages. In any of the restaurants they Desserts are no bueno, pastries tasted and looked like been defrost the day before and then served to the passengers. Asian food was great with multiple plates presented but at the same time very spicy(hot). Shows were great with full of talent. Must see the dueling pianos show they sound the best. Multiple activities around the ship were very good. We enjoy our cabin which have the balcony this was great . Plenty is space for our 3 suitcases and clothes for two the bathroom was small but enough space to put all your wife’s things and yours . Regarding Excursion, be beware of Roatan . That Island sucks it is very poor and below average beach. The best was Harvest Caye (cabanas) and Cozumel, Chankanaab natural park great snorkeling time and beach relaxing time. My complains is your drinking and food plan can not be use at their private island were a bottle of a draft beer will cost you $9 ..... Enjoy your trip and Escape Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed from Miami on a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise. This was our first cruise ever. 12 family members went with ages ranging from 55 to 2. This was our first cruise ever. Everything was just amazing. Ship was fully booked and for ... Read More
We sailed from Miami on a 7 night Western Caribbean cruise. This was our first cruise ever. 12 family members went with ages ranging from 55 to 2. This was our first cruise ever. Everything was just amazing. Ship was fully booked and for 4000+ passengers the embarkation and disembarkation was quicker and smoother than expected at each port. The freestyle food was good and at least two nights the crew accommodated our religious dietary restrictions without prior notice or us asking at all. They prepared for us a special meal which was delicious at no extra costs. The ship had a complimentary daycare for 3 and up and a nursery for younger kids which was anything but a typical daycare. My kids had a blast and would want to go everyday which made our trip even more enjoyable. Even with the ship being fully booked and our three room being scattered throughout the ship due to last minute booking and sail away option it was not much of an inconvenience as far as communication (via in-room and ship wide phones), seating availability at dining, entertainment, pools, slides and other activity venues. We timed everything where the rush would be minimal. There was never a dull moment and it was difficult to find a lull moment. One incident I would report is that the ship skipped a port due to local issues at Costa Maya, however, that was not an issue as we docked at Cozumel for two days and it was great! Our cabin was cleaned twice a day and the staff was extremely professional and kind. The freestyle dining was great as we ate at odd hours of the day. I can’t imagine it getting any better! Would definitely recommend this cruise line and ship and looking forward to going again soon! One of my children experienced motion sickness the last night or maybe it was too much ice cream, however, he vomited in the middle of the night and staff showed up in less than 10 minutes cleaned/sanitized the room, replaced the mattresses and sheets right away. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our second Norwegian Cruise. Our first was out of Manhattan in 2014 on the Breakaway to Bermuda. We made use of none of the specialty restaurants, ship sponsored shore excursions or drink packages. In spite, we enjoyed it and ... Read More
This was our second Norwegian Cruise. Our first was out of Manhattan in 2014 on the Breakaway to Bermuda. We made use of none of the specialty restaurants, ship sponsored shore excursions or drink packages. In spite, we enjoyed it and rebooked on the Escape our of Miami in Feb 15, 2020. Pros: the staff, to include general manager and assistance general manager were easily accessible and accommodating. Very much so! We had a small problem and called Duncan, the assistant GM and he was fabulous. Our problem wasn’t solvable, but Duncan spent a lot of time sorting the issue out. The staff was beyond gracious and friendly! The ship was immaculate. There were so many people on board, but we never waited in line to eat, see a show or play the slots, or just get around the ship. Pretty impressive feat. A large vessel with a small bouy feel to it! Our Steward was a hard working man named Mario (although I believe his actual name was Olayao). He was in and out of our cabin three or four times a day keeping it clean and comfortable. He was the Steward for 12208. Another noted worthy staff memeber was a waitress, Lourdes, from Cagney’s steakhouse. She may be the finest waitress I’ve ever had. Friendly, prompt, professional, courteous. Norwegian is lucky to have Duncan, Lourdes and Mario! They are the reason we will cruise again with NCL. The cons: Belize’s Harvest Caye is a manufactured island, I believe solely for NCL. It was expensive and offered no real local feel. Everything was touristy and artificial. Don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful little island, but felt a little like a low budget theme park. It should be part of the meal and drink package, particularly if it is solely a NCL property. Because we dropped anchor rather than moor pierside, the liberty launches (tendering vessels) were madness boarding on each end. The lines getting off the ship were decks long and the lines getting onto the liberty launch back to ship was a quarter mile long! It took 2 1/2 hours to back aboard. The wait was all on the harvest Caye end. Boarding from the liberty launch was pretty quick. The lines on and off the ship were a challenge. Specifically boarding on the first day. It took literally 3 1/2 hours to get aboard. Made me wonder if the Haven is worth the extra money? Once aboard, the ship absorbed the people very well. We were very impressed by that. Our stateroom had an adjoining stateroom with my son and daughter, but we had different stewards. This seemed odd, but we accepted it. I tipped both Stewards on day one handsomely in hopes that great service would follow. In Stateroom 12210 (The children) that did not happen. We didn’t see the steward but once or twice the entire week. On the last day he was making up the room for the next guest while we were at breakfast and our things were still in the room. Mind you, that was at 7am. Ridiculous!! I guess he was going to try and get off the ship between cruises. I get efficiency, but not rudeness. He didn’t remember our names, nor the names of my children. Plainly, he stunk! I tipped him zero when we left. Can’t remember his name! NCL should be aware of him. He was terrible. In sum, the food, drink, entertainment, restaurants, relaxation, friendliness of staff, accessibility of ships officers was beyond our expectation. When I was offered a assistant GM’s card, I never expected to use, but moreover, NEVER expected the wonderful attention he gave our concern, the follow up by him personally with a phone calls and then an invitation to air it out with someone if we felt the need. None of which was our intention more desire. The crew was fantastic. I cannot overstate that. This is a top shelf sailing company! Money well spent and a lot of value for our dollar! I chose to rate the individual categories based on our stateroom, not our children’s. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted a short cruise on a smaller ship to celebrate our 50th anniversary of meeting (not wedding), which happened on Valentine's Day, 1970. The Sun appeared to fit the bill, being much smaller than our previous ship, Harmony of ... Read More
We wanted a short cruise on a smaller ship to celebrate our 50th anniversary of meeting (not wedding), which happened on Valentine's Day, 1970. The Sun appeared to fit the bill, being much smaller than our previous ship, Harmony of the Seas. We were pleased with some things, while others were just -- meh. A breakdown is as follows: Embarkation: A- The Sun was the only ship at Port Canaveral on Feb. 12, Wed. so parking, shuttles, etc., were a piece of cake. They apologized for taking a little longer to process paperwork due to the virus and scrutinized thoroughly our passports. Cabin: C We had an ocean view (deck 7) with a larger window. However, it was smaller than expected and the bathroom was tiny with a very friendly shower curtain. Space was adequate for our belongings for 5 days, but the sofa was hard and "cardboardish". TV was fine, but no network channels, 2 or 3 movie channels, and 3 news channels. The window was behind the bed, which provided lots of light, but to see out, you had to climb on the bed. Throughout the cruise, the room was cold and we weren't able to ease up on the AC. Living in FL, we prefer it to be a little warmer, but this didn't happen. Outside noise was minimal. Cabin Steward: C+ Our beds were always made and bathroom cleaned. However, we asked that he place some sodas in the frig, as we don't drink hard drinks and didn't have a soda package. This never happened after 2 requests,so we gave up. Also, he didn't replace the glasses with clean ones, so we ended up reusing the glasses. We couldn't tell that our cabin had been included in the recent refurbishment, as the mirror was "very old" and screws were coming out of the panel beneath the sink. Ship: C+ We liked the small size,although our forward cabin required us to walk to the aft for meals and entertainment. Elevators were usually uncrowded. Venues were on the small side, often resulting in no seats with people standing. Restaurants were usually smaller requiring a wait and the buffet was too small to accommodate the traffic. One big problem: With over 20 cruises, I've only felt queasy or dizzy a couple of times during storms. However, for the first 3 days, I was a bit on the seasick side with no apparent storms. Finally, I obtained some pills from customer service and asked why the ship seemed to be rocking (and rolling) so much. The crew member said that he had also been a bit sick and had missed a couple of shifts of work. He also didn't think that the ship, being so old, had the stabilizers that newer ones used. Although we didn't care about glitz, water slides, go carts, etc., we were still a little "meh" about it. It was OK. Entertainment: B+ Only went to a couple of shows. The Rock show was good and fun. The magician was really good (A) and funny. Missed the others. The piano guy was also good, but we could only find seats during one evening. Cruise Director: A- From what we saw, he was pretty good. The cake decorating contest was hilarious as his antics were "spot on" for us. Dining: C- Overall, we didn't care for the food. The main dining rooms were OK, but just OK. Our 2 special meals were at Los Lobos and Cagneys and we weren't impressed. I'm a vegetarian (not vegan) and choices were very limited. All the beans in Los Lobos are made with meat, leaving me with chips and salsa. The best thing I had at Cagneys was the creamed corn as the potatoes were so-so. My wife's filet mignon was OK, but not anything to brag about. Were supposed to get an anniversary cake, but it never came. Service: B In general, service aboard the ship was fine, nothing exceptional,but better than adequate. Staff were friendly and usually attentive. Ports: A- Having been to both Costa Maya and Cozumel, we enjoyed both. In Costa Maya, we just walked around all the shops, but had a good time. We'd been on several shore excursions on Cozumel before, so this time did something different - toured the chocolate factory where we made some chocolate wafers and took a quick tour of the Mayan ruins at San Gervasio. We really like these ports and will go back again. Cost: C We paid over $1500 for a 5 night ocean view cabin. Although not excessive, we've gotten better value on RCI, Carnival, and Princess. We've been on several Norwegian ships before, but this wasn't our favorite cruise. It was OK. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed with NCL 5 years ago on the larger ships... Epic. We were happy to leave close to home and enjoy a smaller ship with the Sun out of port Canaveral. I just returned today. I’ve read reviews on this site and others for years. ... Read More
We sailed with NCL 5 years ago on the larger ships... Epic. We were happy to leave close to home and enjoy a smaller ship with the Sun out of port Canaveral. I just returned today. I’ve read reviews on this site and others for years. I’ve waited until today to post for the first time. Pros: we enjoyed the food. The traditional dining room was good. The stops and the size of ship were all nice. Cons: the service. We had a few really good experiences with severs and bartenders. However, we had too many poor or bad experiences with bartenders, servers, room stewards and managers. That is why I have decided to post. I previously held NCL in a higher regard in terms of service. (I have sailed with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and NCL in the past). The automatic gratuity and handing out the drink packages has brought the level of service down to a point where I would hesitate to sail with NCL again. (Not sure RC would be better, but haven’t cruised RC in a few years). To make a long story short. My family would love to go on a cruise where service is a priority next time. Does anyone have a cruise line where service is still exceptional and gratuity means something? We would love to enjoy a trip and show our appreciation $$$ without being arm twisted. We did share this with a “guest relations manager” and although he said he would take care of it... are auto gratuity of $15 pp/pd remained this morning. NCL kept my $150 and lost my business forever. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I have a lot to say. Just got off this boat yesterday and overall had a great time. So I'll start off with the beginning. Embarkation - This was so easy. We showed up about a half hour earlier than they asked us to and we were ... Read More
I have a lot to say. Just got off this boat yesterday and overall had a great time. So I'll start off with the beginning. Embarkation - This was so easy. We showed up about a half hour earlier than they asked us to and we were able to get on the ship within an hour of getting onto the port. This included giving our bags away, walking up and filling out the forms, waiting in the maybe 20 minutes line to get our cards and then waiting for our number to be called to get onto the boat. At no point did I feel frustrated by any waiting, and we didn't have any VIP special treatment or anything. This part seemed super organized. Once we got on the boat it was our #1 goal to get the weekly spa package because we have heard those can sell out. I think we might have been the first people to actually sign up because the person near guest services was just standing there waiting for us. That took no time at all. Then we went upstairs to sign up for shows. Once those things were out of the way, we got some drinks at the atrium (drink package) and I was surprised that the regular drink package included a more expensive brand like jameson caskmates and bulleit. Drink package was really a highlight of the trip. I was able to get a glass of johnnie walker gold for $6, and a very solid woodford reserve old fashioned at the tobacco bar that is included in the package. Getting into our room (regular balcony) did take longer than expected. And once we did, we noticed that it wasn't quite clean. For instance the drawers under the couch had enough dust on them that it was very noticeable. Like they haven't been dusted in weeks. There were a few other dusty areas which don't really bother me very much but my gf who is a germaphobe really was turned off by that. Otherwise, we felt that the room itself was nice and roomy. We had a coffee maker, but no coffee, so I'm not sure what the point of that was. We ordered a pot of coffee every morning to drink on the balcony anyway. On that note, the breakfast that they will deliver for free was adequate. Nice fresh fruit plate and some other items like pastries and cinnamon rolls were good enough to get us going. We ordered room service one very late night and it's a flat fee for only $9.99 plus service, so we ordered a ton of stuff. Everything was tasty. The burger was the best. One thing we knew we would love even before we got on this ship was the variety of different bars and places to eat at. We were making a point to visit each one, or as many as possible. This is nice if you like to have a change of scenery and vibe. Each bar seems different from the next. It's not like other cruises where all of the bars have the same drinks or same liquors. The brew house as a TON of beers and the whiskey bar has some very high end whiskeys. Margarita bar has specialty margaritas, etc. I found the service at the unique-type bars to be very quick and friendly. The service at the more typical and high traffic bars was very slow and painful at times. Sometimes just getting a simple whiskey/coke took 15 minutes because there's about 8-10 people ahead of me all ordering some kind of drink that needs a blender or to be shaken, and most of the time there's only 2 bartenders at these bars. It's annoying when you've been tipping someone the whole trip and they know that your typical drinks takes 15 seconds to make, but they'll ignore you in favor of the other handful of people ordering more complex drinks like mudslides, daiquiris, margaritas, etc. I have to mention that I drink a lot and I took advantage of the drink package, and less than a handful of the bartenders remembered me despite me tipping for most of my drinks. Most of them were not smiling and I could feel that they were overworked. They need more staffing at these bars. Me and my gf were assuming that there could have been a few bartenders that got sent home due to having chinese passports (coronavirus scare). That really was the only thing that made sense so that's how we rationalized it. The dining, in my opinion, ranged from very good to excellent. The taste/savor/manhattan meals were usually very good, while the specialty dining (cagneys steakhouse, food republic (sushi), moderno (brazillian), le bistro (french) were all top notch and again, you really felt like you were in a different restaurant instead of just being on one big boat. The service at these places were excellent as well. ALSO the garden buffet was wayyyyy better than either of us expected it to be. We ate at o'sheehans irish bar for 2 meals and they had really good bar food there. Recommend the reuben, nachos and wings. We definitely gained too much weight on this ship. We had a few gripes that I felt could have been avoided with just some better service. For instance, our cabin was never really made well. Every day it was something new. Sometimes the garbage was taken out, sometimes it wasn't. We almost never had the same amount of towels that we asked to be replaced. Toilet paper wasn't refreshed. Just really simple things that should be checked off on every check list and were just annoyances to us. The fact that they charge you $15 per day per person, on top of the daily cash we left for him, made that feel even worse for us. We know we can complain and pay less but we didn't want to ruin this guy's life. We were talking to some other passengers on the cruise and they were saying their service was top notch with people cleaning their rooms twice a day sometimes. So I'm guessing it was just an issue with our guy. The most disappointing aspect of this cruise for us was the entertainment. The show After Midnight is a BORE. I felt really bad for the performers. The tap dancers were great at their craft and there were a few singers who had phenomenal voices. They all seemed like very good actors too in their speaking parts.... But the story is AWFUL. There is literally no story, no humor, no suspense. I sat in the first few rows and about half way through I noticed some people behind me getting up and leaving so I turned around thinking how rude, but then maybe half of the audience was either dozing off or had already left. What a terrible show. I felt like i wasted a piece of my life sitting there. Then there was the billy joel/elton john piano player who played 3 billy joel songs, 2 elton john songs, a bee gee's song and something else I can't remember, and then finished up with the piano man. His choices of songs weren't so bad but he completely butchered most of the songs he played. For instance he played Vienna by billy joel, one of my favorite songs of his. If you know that song, it doesn't have any crazy rock solos but for some reason this dude felt like every song needed to have a 1 minute extended intro and outro with random piano solos intertwined all over the place. Also he is the kind of singer who likes to sing lyrics way after the place where they belong in the song, making it impossible to enjoy, but then he tells us all that we can sing along if we want LOL. There is no way to sing along with that. He was absolutely terrible. His only redeeming quality was the stories he told, which I enjoyed. Also we have to add that the food at the supper club where he played at was also our least favorite meal of the trip. The dueling pianos was hit and miss. The piano players were super talented but they knew a lot less songs and had to pass on a lot more than I'm used to seeing. They were very funny though and seemed to have decent chemistry with each other. The DJ's at the various clubs were really bad at reading the crowds. It was obvious most of the trip that the crowd who was attending the dance parties was very into recent hip hop and pop music but for some reason the DJs liked going on 90 minute REGGAE sets even though barely anyone was feeling it. This is not just my preference. I totally get that you need to play the crowd even if that means playing stuff I don't like, but that wasn't the case here. People kept peeling off with every reggae song that would play and we were all joking that if their goal was to empty out the dance club (skyline bar) early those nights then they accomplished their goals. Then they have this spice h20 adults only area in the back of the ship, which LOOKS like a nice area. But they have a grotto that wasn't working most days and then some other days the water was freezing when it's supposed to be hot tub temp. By the way, the grotto was like baby pool depth, which unsurprisingly meant that adults would bring their kids in there to play and nobody would ever kick the kids out. So this is supposed to be an adults only quiet area (with two very obvious signs as you're walking in stating so), but hey yeah bring the screaming kids lol. Everyone I talked to said they probably should have had changed that area to be non-quiet with some kind of music playing back there. It only seems right as this is the same area that they have the outdoor night parties, so it is already equipped with some very nice speakers/sound system. And most of the time there's people chatting up in the tubs and at the bar smoking or playing dominos. Nobody was treating it as a quiet area. So why not play some music? Weird. The main pool area has music and two hot tubs. So that's where someone like me who is complaining should go, right? Well one of the tubs is adults only but most of the time there were little kids playing in both hot tubs. And the hot tubs are smaller than most other cruise ships I've seen. Can fit maybe 6 regular size people comfortably. 8 had to be squished in. The beverage service around pools/tubs were more or less non existent. We'd see someone walking around every once in a while but making eye contact to get someone's attention seemed impossible. The biggest complaint we have about the main pool area is that the entertainment coordinators don't seem to understand that if the one pool in the back is the "Quiet area" then the other pool should probably have more exciting entertainment. Most of the time the music at the main pool was categorized as "mellow" or sometimes not even any music. And there were only a few silly contests like best legs or biceps or whatever. And if this is where you have the highest amount of people hanging out for drinks then you need to have more bartenders. There are 2 bars for 2 levels of people hanging out and most of the time there were only 2 bartenders at each bar, and no wait service roaming. There were some fun games and shows in the atrium area. And we participated in some of the casino tournaments which ended up being super fun even though we lost. The casinos had a great variety of games and the table minimums were $10 most of the time. We didn't play a lot (3 of 6 days) but there were enough openings where we could get into a dice/black jack or other table game whenever we wanted. We don't play slots but it seemed they had a ton of slot machines. I can't comment whether they were recent or not. The casino hostesses were all very friendly, probably our favorite employees who we met on the ship. Commenting on the ports is tough because of the local issues i'll talk about below. We got off at roatan, belize, and cozumel. We did catamaran snorkling at roatan, which was a real fun time. Then we wanted to do parasailing at belize but it was too windy so they cancelled it. The activities they had at the private island for us were fun though. Very nice beach and great pool with swim up bar. There was a mini-zoo there that was free. There was a ton of activities that we didn't get into. Seemed like a fun time for most people. At cozumel we did a dolphin activity so we didn't spend much time at the port. Although we did go to senior frogs for a quick drink and some nachos which is always a fun time. Getting off of the boat was delayed by HOURS for two of the 4 port days because "local authorities' wanted to make sure that coronavirus wasn't being spread to their countries. I understand, and that's probably not anything norwegian could have done anything about. It was only a minor inconvenience and didn't make us miss much time due to our personal schedules. People who had earlier excursions probably were more annoyed than we were, but not much you can do there. As I mentioned earlier, we got the Spa for the entire week and we used it every day except for one. It was definitely a highlight. The heated stone beds and therapeutic pool was amazing. The big pool is heated like a hot tub and has all sorts of different jets to get your spots. And the steam room was probably the best steam room i've ever been in. We didn't work out at the gym at all but the equipment looked better than what's at the gym we go to lol so either we need to change gyms asap or the ship had some good stuff here. Overall we had a great time because the goal for us at this point was a very relaxing trip. If you're going more for the entertainment, you'd be disappointed. But if you're looking just to chill, overeat, overdrink, hit the ports for excursions, and spa it up, then this is probably a great cruise for you. It's priced well and the food and drinks kept us happy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try Norwegian for the first time after a few other family members and friends tried and liked it. Exploring the port: We weren't able to really explore the Miami area prior to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try Norwegian for the first time after a few other family members and friends tried and liked it. Exploring the port: We weren't able to really explore the Miami area prior to embarkation/disembarkation. The process of Embarkation and Disembarkation was easy. When disembarking, there was only one gangway available, which made the line to exit the ship super long. But it was very organized and flowed beautifully. Thoughts on the ship: It was absolutely beautiful and massive with plenty of activities and entertainment on board. Jacky & Krystal (our Cruise Directors) were extremely engaged and visible! You could easily walk the Waterfront, or sit in one of the many couches on it and take in stunning views of the ocean. In addition, the sunsets are breathtaking! Ports of Call: During our trip, we encountered a delay to our first port because of a medical emergency (which we completely understood and were totally okay with.) Our second and fourth ports of call either had clearance issues or delayed tenders (although the distance between the port and the ship was less than two miles). At one point, my return trip took about an hour or so. Our first and third ports were extremely enjoyable with no hassle. Service: The service on-board was okay - there were a few folks that were extremely friendly, but some that were not so friendly. At times, we felt that some crew members were slightly irritated. Food/Drinks: We ate in the Garden Cafe a lot during the cruise; however, we also ate in the main dining room as well as some of the specialty dining options. The cafe was okay and had a number of options. At one point, I got tired of . We did notice that at times the food was just warm. We tried both Moderno and O'Sheehans, and absolutely LOVED the food and experience! In addition, we made our way to Food Republic - it was really good; however, I felt that some of the options were lacking and some items were slightly higher than they probably should have been. We did the unlimited beverage package - while it was really good and worth it, I found that at times that the same drinks were made differently and tasted differently. Would we repeat?: After sailing with RCI, and Carnival, we would sail with Norwegian again. I came in with higher expectations that I actually experienced, it could have been better, but it also could have been a lot worse. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The ship was incredible, we stayed in the Haven, so well worth the extra money. We had a few issues in the beginning but when we mentioned the concerns to the concierge the issues were immediately resolved, the staff was wonderful the ... Read More
The ship was incredible, we stayed in the Haven, so well worth the extra money. We had a few issues in the beginning but when we mentioned the concerns to the concierge the issues were immediately resolved, the staff was wonderful the rest of the cruise. The first night a passenger had a life threatening situation we were told, the ship turned back to the Key West to meet with a coast guard boat to transfer the passenger. Due to the turn around, the ship arrived at our first port late cutting into excursions for passengers. Routan was not worth the time... due to getting to the port late we got caught in traffic making a supposed to be a 30 minute ride turned into an hour and half... we were lucky to spend an hour and half at the resort we went to and the food was not edible. The drive back wasn’t much better. At the next port, Harvest Caye / Belize, the Escape did not dock and had to tender in passengers. Turned out two weeks prior the Escape bumped the dock and did some damage at the port. This Harvest Caye / Belize destination was beautiful and a ton of fun, very relaxing. Also in case if you are looking to get duty free liquor this was the place, friends who were with us bought A bottle to take home in Routan and we found the same liquor a third cheaper in Belize... Routan was a total rip off. Due to the tendering In the extra time did take time off the shore excursion unfortunately. Our next port was Costa Maya, we were going to do the Dune Buggy tour but after reading the reviews we all decided it probably wasn’t a good idea. The concierge suggested the zip line park, my wife was not thrilled about doing the heights but honestly they did a fantastic job at this park and it was wonderful! We all had a great time! She wanted to go on all of the zip lines which totally surprised me... so worth It and was a great suggestion. The next port was Cozumel, again we found out the night before we were going to have to tender in. We were schedule to do the Seal Lion excursion but after our last port that we tendered in at we decided to just stay on the ship... turned out to be the best move... there were 7 other ships that we could count at Cozumel.. if you figured all the passengers went ashore probably 21,000 or more passengers probably were there and since we were tendering it probably was not a good idea. It was great to have the ship to ourselves and it gave us time to wander around and check out the Escape... the Escape is an incredible ship. We found that the 8th floor was the best to walk in the morning and going about 8 in the morning had less passengers walking. They also served coffee/tea and danishes for the walkers... so over all, this was a great cruise and a lovely ship. If you find that the ship will be tendering I’d suggest that you think twice about going ashore. Also the app to allow passengers to communicate only worked part of the time and was more of a disappointment than anything... not worth the $10 per phone for the week but then they do nickel and dime ya. The show Choir of Man was incredible and so worth going to... you’ll have a fantastic laugh and a great time, definitely go if you can. If you are staying in the Haven they have reserved seating for you and you can go with out reservations. So have a great time and I hoe this s helpful to you. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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