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2,180 Norwegian (NCL) Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because of the date and embarkation port. There was a long wait to board due to inspection of each passport. After that it was smooth and excellent sailing. On the second day the captain announced new policies due to ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the date and embarkation port. There was a long wait to board due to inspection of each passport. After that it was smooth and excellent sailing. On the second day the captain announced new policies due to the virus. All restaurant tables were cleared of everything, disposable paper menus were used, and everything was handed to diners by gloved servers. Crew were cleaning every 20 minutes. This attention to every detail kept all healthy. Other than the restaurant situation, everything carried on. We did not miss any ports, the entertainment was entertaining and the food was OK- outstanding. Please try the butter chicken Found at the buffet! Delicious!! My stateroom was well looked after and the cruise was near capacity. We were allowed to visit and disembark at each port. Disembarkation was easy. We were waiting for our ride within 15 minutes. However the Port of Miami was full of many cruise ships as NCL was not sailing for 30 days fleet wide. The entire crew went above and beyond and were cheerful and friendly despite the required extra work due to the virus. We were chosen for the Offices’s Dinner and the next day we arrived to a cabin with 3 towel animals, a birthday banner, and sign from the head if housekeeping to celebrate my adult daughter’s birthday. What a great surprise. Bravo NCL Pearl for a vacation of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our first ever cruise, and it exceeded our expectations, especially after reading so many peoples' bad reviews. I don't understand what people have to complain about? Every staff member that we talked to were so ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, and it exceeded our expectations, especially after reading so many peoples' bad reviews. I don't understand what people have to complain about? Every staff member that we talked to were so amazing, and wanting to make sure we were happy. The Whiskey Bar on Deck 6 had great service, and we got to know Joana and Jia the servers, and they always had a smile for us and by day 2 they were calling us by our name and knew what we wanted to drink. We were on deck 8, just down the hall from O'Sheehan's bar, the location was excellent. Our room steward was Komang, who was also amazing. If you take a minute to talk to the staff, you understand that they are all young and away from home, and a kind word goes a long way. Komang always called us by our name and stopped what he was doing to say hello and find out if we had a good day. It was an obstructed Oceanview, but I thought it had plenty of space. The food was good. The buffet in the morning was very busy, but just wait your turn, and the food was always hot and fresh, and you could choose whatever you wanted. We always took our food to the La Cucina italian restaurant to eat, it was closed until dinner, but we had the whole place to ourselves to eat breakfast. The Indigo dining room was great as well. No formal dress code, which was nice - of course there are always some of hthe older crowd that liked to dress up, but to each their own. Their choices were always good, and I found that if the side dishes weren't to your liking, just ask for what you want to eat, simple. We had the dining package and ate at Cagneys Steakhouse/Teppanyaki/Le Bistro. The food was great, especially Teppanyaki - I have never had tenderloin that good, and the huge shrimp, yummy! The presentation they put on was entertaining, even for the adults. Most of the port days we waited to get off the ship till after lunch. So, in the morning, we had the pool to ourselves, there was nobody around, it was great. Sea days are another story - full of the college kids partying it up - so we found other areas to hang out on the sea days. The evenings were spent at the Whiskey bar (hello to Joanna & Jia!!)- there was always a band playing in all the different lounges. Spinnaker's Lounge had great views, with windows covering the whole area. But, it was at the very front of the ship, so when the waves were high, you could definitely feel it here. The first 2 days the wind was blowing and the waves were high, so you definitely felt the motion, but that's not the ship's fault. Overall, the size of the ship was great, not too big. We would definitely cruise on the Pearl again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I had been watching cruise pricing for a Spring Break cruise out of Galveston or NOLA for sometime. When NCL added the 3rd and 4th free perk the price dropped a ton and I pulled the trigger on the Getaway cruise for my family of four. We ... Read More
I had been watching cruise pricing for a Spring Break cruise out of Galveston or NOLA for sometime. When NCL added the 3rd and 4th free perk the price dropped a ton and I pulled the trigger on the Getaway cruise for my family of four. We had done this itinerary before out of NOLA on the Dawn and loved it. We convinced another family to join us so it was a group of 8 on this trip. We all ended up having an amazing trip on the Getaway. Cabin: We had a Family Balcony on the 12th Floor. This room had a queen bed by the door and a couch and pullman for the kids. We normally sail inside but getting all the perks with the balcony made this cheap than an inside and still able to get the dining and drink package. Room was fine and it was nice having the balcony although the balcony is small on this ship. The only issue was that the sink water always started scolding hot and needed to run for a while to cool down. Our Steward was great and we received towel animals even though NCL does not do them anymore(our friends with a different steward also received them so it seems they still do it for rooms with kids). Complementary Dining: For dinner we ate at Savor once, Tropicana Room three times, and O'Sheenans once. Tropicana just feels more like a cruise ship dining room. Large and open with live music as opposed to more of a land based restaurant feel of Savor/Taste. Food ranged from good to excellent with no complaints from anyone in our group. Service was great with meals taking around 1:30 to 1:45 which is fine when you are eating a 4 course meal(we always ordered multiple apps). At O'Sheenans we ordered several apps. Wings were very good and Artichoke dip was ok. Burgers were very good also. We did the buffet for breakfast and lunch/post port meals everyday. We thought the buffet was good for a buffet. Most of the stations stay the same day to day with one or two having rotating items. The ship went to enhanced sanitary procedures on day three so their was no self service. That meant it was pretty much all hands on deck for the crew. We had engine room crew and spa crew serving our drinks and I even had the General Manager squirting ketchup on my plate. I felt bad for the crew but it was needed with the current climate/fear. Specialty Dining: We ate at Cagney's and Moderno's with our credits. Both were excellent. Our waiter at Cagney's pointed out that we could get multiple app and sides and one entree. I have read complaints that the crew was pushing only one of each but that was not our experience. On the last day we still had one credit so decided to try American Diner and it was a big mistake. There was only two other tables and everything took a long time to come out. We could see some of our items sitting under the heat lamp for a while. The nachos were one that was and although the taste was good, most of the chips were soggy. I had the Lobster Sliders and the pieces were small and probably cooked days ago. We came away very unimpressed. Entertainment: Almost all of the entertainment was excellent. Million Dollar Quartet was amazing and high energy. The dancers at Burn the Floor were really good and we couldn't believe that were going to have another show an hour later. At Syd's we saw the house band twice and Back in the Day another night. The house band was really fun. They announced at the 80s Prom on the last night that their contract was over and this was their last night. A lot of tears shed between the singers and their handler. Back in the Day is a 80s hair band tribute. They play all the great hair bands from the 80s. They also have a show in the main theater the last night but it conflicted with our Moderno reservation or else we would have been their. Howl at the Moon was fun. The setup is a little awkward since they are using the comedy club. I am use to tables and bar setups on land based HatMs but this was more of chairs setup facing the stage. Still was a lot of fun. The players were changing words around in songs to joke about the current situation, ie changing Sweet Caroline to say not touching you, don't touch me. We also saw a few of the bands playing in the atrium and thought they were good. We also went to the 70s/80s deck party and the Latin deck party. Our cruise director, Vincent, was fun. He is all about getting dressed up in different suits and outfits. He wore a gold disco outfit with a huge 70s fro and platform shoes for the deck party. Activities: This was the biggest ship were have been on with it coming in a little bigger than the Vista. We are bigger boat people. I like that there are so many more bells and whistles than the smaller boats. My wife can sit on a lounger all day but that is not me or the kids. We did the ropes course several times. The walk the plank that goes eight feet over the side of the ship is a little unnerving but we all did it. There are 5 different levels of waterslides including two slides that the floor drops out from under you. I paid for the Arcade Package and it was well worth it. There are plenty of green swipe games although some need to be re-calibrated. We did a few of the trivia games and karaoke and they were fun. All in all we had an amazing time. This was the last cruise before the shutdown. They ship was pretty full but I know there were cancellations. What ever the number of cruisers were they should make that the capacity. Nothing seems really overcrowded and we did not have to wait for anything. We were even able to find seats in the atrium/Syd's and HatM after the shows already started. There were people standing in the venues but that is the normal at land based venues. This is our third NCL cruise and while we are never tied down to one cruise line, we would cruise NCL again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We had a fabulous time on board the Breakaway. The ship is beautiful. There is so much to do. Great shows, comedy club, live bands, games, movies, pub, dining. And lots of daily activities to participate in, if you choose. We loved ... Read More
We had a fabulous time on board the Breakaway. The ship is beautiful. There is so much to do. Great shows, comedy club, live bands, games, movies, pub, dining. And lots of daily activities to participate in, if you choose. We loved the Manhatten Room, Ocean Blue and La Cucina for dinners. The stateroom was great! Comfy beds and pillows. The wait staff were terrific. Our cabin steward was awesome. All of the staff we encountered were friendly and so accommodating. And very hard working. Always a smile for us. We got off on each of the islands, except for Stirrup Cay. Due to rough water and wind we were unable to tender to it. Can't wait for our next cruise. It will be with Norwegian!! We were the last cruise due to the Covid-19 virus. We were very happy with the precautionary measures Norwegian took to help keep everyone safe. Great job! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I chose this cruise due to its price, single inside cabin $251.30 for a week! I booked it approximately 8 days before sailing and from the NCL website. It was probably my 12th cruise (1st on NCL) and it was great, one of my best ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to its price, single inside cabin $251.30 for a week! I booked it approximately 8 days before sailing and from the NCL website. It was probably my 12th cruise (1st on NCL) and it was great, one of my best cruises. I bid on and received an upgrade to a balcony mini suite, very spacious and nicely appointed. The bathroom even had a great soaking tub, sink and basin area and separate toilet area. My cabin steward Alifton was the best I have ever encountered on any cruise I’ve been on. There were no people that I saw who were sick, no people were wearing masks or gloves. They ship was using additional cleaning practices including what they referred to as “Washy-Wash Crew” there sole responsibility was to squirt hand disinfectant from a spray bottle into every passengers hands (pretty much whether they wanted it or not). They made it a fun action by singing songs about it and interaction with the passengers. Additionally, I noticed crew at all times of the day and night spraying and wiping all hard surfaces of the cabin corridors. Door knobs, hand rails, buttons, do not disturb signs pretty much everything they could disinfect in the cabin corridors. I felt that all precautions possible were being used to ensure the cleanest ship possible. They layout of this ship was great, and all the restaurants were very good especially the steakhouse. I purchased the dining upgrade for four (4) dinners in the À la cart restaurants for just over $100 and I feel it was money well spent. The only restaurant I did not dine in was the Brazilian steakhouse. The spa was very relaxing and surprisingly big for a ship this size. There was a co-Ed area with a very large hot tub, indoor small pool, heated tile lounge chairs and chaise loungers facing the open sea. Flavored water and whole fruit were always available. The treatments I received (massage, facial, manicure and pedicure) were all way above services I’ve received on previous cruises and the pressure to purchase the Elemis products was minimum. In the separate male and female areas there were ample lockers, showers, toilets, cold plunge pool, single person hot tub, scenic sauna with panoramic views of the ocean, steam room and additional chaise loungers facing the ocean and a large TV. Amenities such as the casino, deck pools, children’s area and photographers I did not use therefore I have no feedback or insight. Other than the casino was very smokey when walking through. The entertainment was the only shortcoming in my opinion. The productions seemed very outdated. Ledgers in Concert, look a like performers representing Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elvis. The Michael Jackson performer was by far superior to the others. The highlight of this department were the husband and wife performers. They did a contortion act and did amazing feats on the trapeze/suspended ring. The ship singers and dancers were completely different, seemed like they were not on par with each other. The dancers were very well rehearsed dance professionals and were great and the singers were below average (in my opinion). The comedian was not the level I would expect on a ship of this caliber. I also did not care for the cruise director, he neither did or said anything to me personally but I just did not like his vibe. On previous cruises this position sets the mood of the cruise overall. I can remember Cruise directors from 18 years ago but I honestly could not tell you this guys name. Embarkation was also another weakness, very disorganized and overcrowded. I realize that this is a difficult experience to control with 2,500 passengers anxious to get on board and start their vacation, but there are ways to improve this process. Disembarkation was great in my opinion, I’ve never been on a ship that allowed passengers with hand held luggage to disembark at their leisure. This was a very welcome surprise and made for a great morning instead of a hectic, rushed morning. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This is going to be a fairly short review. We have been to all the ports and the only excursion we booked, got cancelled. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS • EMBARKATION- 3 Stars; Considering we are Platinum members, this took longer than it ... Read More
This is going to be a fairly short review. We have been to all the ports and the only excursion we booked, got cancelled. GENERAL IMPRESSIONS • EMBARKATION- 3 Stars; Considering we are Platinum members, this took longer than it should have. We came off the Encore, so we were in the terminal by 10:00. We didn’t get on the ship until 11:00. • CABIN- 4 Stars; the bed in our cabin is really comfortable. We have an aft facing balcony and that helps too. It is bigger than a normal Stateroom. We had really choppy sea one day that were so bad the door to the balcony would not stay shut when we were out there. • CABIN STEWARD- 4 Stars; He did his job, or most of it, but seemed very late each day. Friendly enough to talk to. • RESTAURANTS A. O’Sheehan’s- 3 Stars; another disappointment. Mostly it is their lack of beer choices, so don’t read too much into that. Bud, Bud Light and Coors Light? Seriously? I had Chicken wings and pretzel bites and they were good. Lynette had Irish American Stew, which was actually a soup. Not recommended. We didn’t go back the rest of the cruise. B. Garden Café; 5 Stars for breakfast and 4 stars for supper. They don’t seem to have the variety they used to at dinner. C. Le Bistro- 5 Stars; The most fun we have had in a Specialty restaurant, and our server, Ayu, was terrific! D. Cagney’s- Huge disappointment the first time. We were among the 1st 10 people there and everything started out fine Then our entrée’ didn’t come. People that came in well after us had theirs, People that came when we did were on dessert. We had steaks, in a steak house. Go figure. Lynette’s was almost raw and mine was very tough. We had to skip dessert to make the show. The second time we went was much better. If we didn’t have the Dining Package (one of the free perks) the meal would have been complimentary anyway. E. La Cucina- Excellent service at this Italian restaurant and the food was very good. The best bread on the ship and it was fresh baked! • ENTERTAINMENT- 5 Stars. A. Show Band. We went to see them in the atrium and they were good. B. Aldo Canta; Guitarist, he was in the atrium most evenings. So were we, because he was very good. C. Jon Stringer- Main stage comedian. Jokes were clean and he was very funny D. Duo Quintesant- A married acrobatic couple that were amazing! E. Sea Hashtag- I think they were the ship band and they were very entertaining. They played a variety of music, but looking at the age of the crowd, they kept it to our generation. F. Avalon- This was a Latin band and drew the largest atrium crowd we have seen. People seemed to really like dancing to it. • FOOD SERVICE- 5 Stars; In spite of the few problems we had • BAR SERVICE- 5 Stars; Once the bartenders and servers get to know you, the service was great. Except for the theater. There, the server brought us the wrong drink. Instead of going back to correct it, she collected orders from a lot of people who had come in. When she finally came back, she walked right by us. • BARS- 5 Stars; A. Atrium Bar. This is where we spent most of our evenings. B. Malting’s Beer&Whiskey Bar. We only went there once, but the service was really good and the seat comfortable. Great place to spend some time waiting for dinner. C. The Great Outdoors Bar. The great thing about this bar, is that it is really close to our cabin and you can sit outside. • Disembarking. Our flight was out of Ft. Lauderdale and not until 6 pm, so we signed up for the Everglades tour. From our meeting spot in the theater, to out of the terminal was an hour an only a couple of minutes of that was Customs. It was an 8 am disembark, the second color tag called.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I was a first time cruiser and was delegated by my group to research cruise lines, destinations, and deals. After countless weeks of research we voted on the Norwegian Cruise Line porting out of NOLA. We were very pleased with our rates, ... Read More
I was a first time cruiser and was delegated by my group to research cruise lines, destinations, and deals. After countless weeks of research we voted on the Norwegian Cruise Line porting out of NOLA. We were very pleased with our rates, cabins and service we received from NCL before and during our cruise. We contacted NCL to book a group cruise, we received 10 balcony cabins and 1 solo cabin. I diligently watched for price drops and we received a great discount per cabin. Our rate also included free airfare, with the exception of our solo cabin. NCL flights were booked without a hitch giving us ample time before and after our cruise. Our NCL group coordinator was absolutely awesome. Our experiences were superb. There were a few glitches yes, but overall we were very pleased. I believe with anything you go into it with a positive attitude and your results will be positive as well. The Getaway was very clean, washy washy everywhere, cabins were attended to twice daily and no one had an issue what so ever. There was minor complaints about dining mostly the specialty dining, but overall consensus was wonderful experiences. The service was great, did seem a bit under staffed but you could tell everyone was working very hard with the exception of a bar tender who's head was way too big at the waves bar and a bar tender on the outdoor Mojito bar who's personality was that of a card board box. These significantly little things were not going to dampen our experience. Honduras port was very boring, suggest doing an excursion for sure. Those of the group who did an NCL shore excursion loved this port. We had no children in our group and booked this cruise specifically to avoid children. There were not many on board that we saw. We have purchased Next Cruise Certificates and can't wait to go again. And NO the Coronavirus did not scare us, wash your hands and rest assured that NCL takes every measure to keep things clean all throughout the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
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
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
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
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 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
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
Having been on the Getaway a couple years ago, we chose Escape for both the class of ship and the itinerary. We had a flight arranged by NCL so arrived the day of the cruise - no issues and the transfer to the ship made everything ... Read More
Having been on the Getaway a couple years ago, we chose Escape for both the class of ship and the itinerary. We had a flight arranged by NCL so arrived the day of the cruise - no issues and the transfer to the ship made everything seamless.The line up to embark was very long but went fairly quickly. Stateroom was ready right away which was great. The Escape has a ton to do - with so many passengers, you'd think it would be crowded, but it wasn't really. Waterfront is always my favorite place to walk around! I think my only complaint would be the smoking area in the adult only section of the pool deck...smokers are essentially beside the walking/running track and they are out early - exercising right beside a smoking section seems a bit odd but it certainly didn't ruin my trip. Teppanyaki is a must - we thoroughly enjoyed it - excellent food and entertainment! We frequented O'Shehans as well - great pub food. The complimentary eating areas are great, we did not have a bad meal. The buffet was also awesome with a lot of variety plus daily hamburgers and pizza which was a hit with my son. We stopped in Roatan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya and Cozumel - tendering at Harvest Caye and Cozumel, which we hadn't done with the Getaway. We did book 2 excursions - snorkeling in Roatan and the Mayan ruins/lunch in Belize - both booked through NCL and both fun. The service was excellent throughout the ship, no complaints! If someone books a meet and greet, GO - it was the best one I had ever attended!! Disembarkation was good - we had transfers so got off early - there were people everywhere helping us out along the way. I do dislike gathering our luggage but it is a necessary evil lol! The customs piece was much improved though, all handled as you're leaving the ship so no additional line to stand in once you grab your luggage so there definitely was an improvement. I would go on Escape again, no issue, but looking forward to our cruise in 2021 on a smaller ship - it just has a different feel. I would totally recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Background and booking: (Summary at bottom for shorter read) We are a couple in our late 20's form the UK who did our first cruise with Royal Caribbean Oasis of the seas in September 2019 and the NCL escape is now our second. We ... Read More
Background and booking: (Summary at bottom for shorter read) We are a couple in our late 20's form the UK who did our first cruise with Royal Caribbean Oasis of the seas in September 2019 and the NCL escape is now our second. We really enjoyed Oasis of the Seas and the Mediterranean so we had our doubts when booking this cruise as we thought it couldn't live up to our previous. We knew we wanted to cruise the Caribbean and we did look at a few options on various lines (RCL, NCL, MSC). We finally chose this cruise as the free at sea offer for premium drinks package and 3 x specialty dining options for £99 each seemed like really good value. Cabin: Even though we booked a sail away inside stateroom, we were given a disability access room which gave us extra space compared to the standard inside cabins which was a nice bonus. The room was modern, came with a large dressing table / desk space and plenty of plug sockets (Mainly US but one EU). The room had some nice lighting options which was appreciated and the clothes drying line in the shower was a nice touch. Much better than our inside cabin on the Oasis of the Seas as it was a disability access cabin but standard cabins would have been smaller than OTS. We were on deck 15 just below the Garden Cafe which was a nice location as getting to breakfast and spice H20 were 1 and 2 flights of stairs away. We only heard noises from the buffet a couple of times just before we slept. Dining: I think dining is NCL's strong point. The Garden Cafe buffet offered a good variety of food which was changed every day. The headliner from the buffet would be advertised around the ship during the day to help you decide where to dine that night. We chose, Cagney's, Moderno's and Food Republic as our specialty dining choices and all were great. I especially enjoyed the sushi at Food Republic. It was amazing this was all included in the free at sea offer. O'Sheehans also needs to be mentioned as this is a great 24/7 eating spot. On RCL you had Sorrento's but O'Sheehans offers more. Food in the main dining room food was good. I especially liked the beef and the variety of options available however the one complaint I have was with the "Country Fried Chicken" which was disappointing. The chef really needs to review this dish. Waffles at the breakfast buffet were like crack. The Ship (Public areas, layout, design): The ship is clean, nice and modern and has a less cheesier design choice than RCL (I'm talking about fake tree's, statues etc). The main pool was crowded as we expected based on our research so we chose to find loungers at Spice H20 or at the front of the ship. We never had an issue with fining loungers around 10am on sea days, but I suppose if you were a bigger group, this would be harder. The elevators were frustrating as they seemed lazy. If you called for one and watched the numbers on all of them, only one or two out of 6 seemed to ever be moving. Not too much of an issue as the wait never seemed too long but this would become a problem at certain times (After shows / breakfast). The waterfront was a nice feature of the ship and is always quiet compared to the rest of the ship. If I was to redesign the ship I would put the internet cafe in the library and extend the atrium. Embarkation: Embarkation day was absolutely fine. Queues as normal and the ship was well presented for arrival. What was an issue was getting off at some ports when we needed to tender. You had to book your tender and they all say 12pm giving you no idea on when you needed to be ready by. My advise is to just pick the lowest number as this would let you on any tender after it anyway. Entertainment: Choir of Man 5/5 - Very entertaining show. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but it is a must watch. The lads were funny and the cast actually ended up at Yaya Beach in Mahahual where we were. Howl at the moon 5/5 - super entertaining alternative to a piano request bar. The guys were funny and talented and we had a really good time watching them. After Midnight 3.4/5 - The singers voices were amazing and dancers were really talented but the show overall didn't really have any story line or context so it felt a bit dragged out as everything was from the same genre/era. I do want to put emphasis how talented everyone was though. Value for Money: I would prioritize booking with NCL again as long as the free at sea upgrade offer remains. Because of this, I feel that NCL offer the best value for money in comparison to other cruise lines. Service / Staff: Service was top notch as expected. Everyone was smiley and friendly and happy to have a conversation with you. Bars can be slow at times but this is because everyone is ordering mudslides or cocktails that take longer to make. The bar staff actually do a great job to take as many orders at the same time as possible but what would be nice is to have some additional bar staff. Having stools right on the bar is a pain point of mine as I hate it when people sit and drink at the bar when it's busy. It's inconsiderate and makes it harder for anyone else to make an order. Our cabin steward was great and always kept us up to date and greeted us all the time. I've seen people complain about not getting towel animals but come on, It's 2020 - do we really to need carry on with this cheesy unnecessarily expectation? Jackie the cruise directory was professional and also funny. He did a great job entertaining everyone but also keeping everyone informed, lifting moods and getting everyone pumped up for a party. Wifi: We purchased the social media package as this offered unlimited usage and allowed us to contact each other as well as friends and family at home. As we are from the UK, roaming wasn't going to be available when off the ship. Signal strength and speed varied throughout ships location, and where you were on the ship. Nothing to write home about but at least you could write home. Summary: Great value for money cruise which managed to exceed our expectations after cruising with RCL OTS. Free at sea upgrade offer sets NCL apart and the staff and service on the ship was top notch. Highly recommend this ship unless you want to loose weight. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
A little bit about us, we are 52 years old and have never cruised before. We wanted a vacation that was laid-back, upscale, and hassle free. A friend suggested that we try the Haven on NCL. After doing a bit of research we decided on ... Read More
A little bit about us, we are 52 years old and have never cruised before. We wanted a vacation that was laid-back, upscale, and hassle free. A friend suggested that we try the Haven on NCL. After doing a bit of research we decided on Norwegian Escape. The boarding process was quick and efficient. And the Haven concierge staff was always accommodating and had answers to all of our questions. We were lucky enough to book an owner's suite with la large balcony, it was on the front of the ship with gorgeous views. Some days we didn't want to leave our balcony. We ate breakfast lunch and dinner at the Haven restaurant, along with Cagney's and Le Bistro, all of which were excellent. Because our demanding jobs deal with people 24/7, we were looking for a vacation that was hassle free and quiet. The Haven gave us that. We enjoyed exploring the rest of the ship, but primarily relaxed in the Haven lounge, Haven pool, and Haven sun deck. The Haven restaurant staff was always friendly, tidy, and excellent service. And the food was top notch. We were lucky enough to book an owner suite, room 18700. Our butler Mellany was always courteous and friendly, and quick to respond to our requests. Our cabin attendant Gina, did an excellent job every day, and when the light switch broke, she had maintenance repair it ASAP. Griffith at the Haven restaurant, always made us feel welcome and pampered, and always had a smile on his face. We would highly recommend NCL Haven to anyone looking for a pampered Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 3rd NCL cruise and the first on the Sun and the first with our 3 year old daughter. We booked last min, about 2 weeks out for an amazing price; so we didn't really do any up front research on the ship it was more of a ... Read More
This was our 3rd NCL cruise and the first on the Sun and the first with our 3 year old daughter. We booked last min, about 2 weeks out for an amazing price; so we didn't really do any up front research on the ship it was more of a case of the dates work, the itinerary looks ok the price is great lets do it! Getting There: We flew from NY to MCO that morning and had arranged a transfer through Norwegian. As Port Canaveral is about 45 mins from the airport this was both cost effective and convenient. We found the NCL rep easily in the baggage area and were directed downstairs to check in for the transfer. NCL has an easy to find desk with a big sign. We had a 30 min wait for the bus so we got some lunch from Starbucks while we waited. The transfer was smooth and efficient on a clean air conditioned bus. Upon arrival we left our bags to be loaded into the ship and headed inside; we arrived around 1:30 so expected to be able to walk straight on to the ship, instead we walked into complete chaos. Due to additional Cornovirus screening the lines were insane, luckily a member of staff noticed our by then extremely cranky toddler (who having gotten up at 5am and refused to nap on the plane was screaming the place down) and directed us to a special assistance line. We waited about 20 mins to get checked in and could then walk onto the ship. The Sun: The ship was awesome it was spotlessly clean and is probably now our favorite NCL ship. There are a few quirks in terms of layout but we decided we definitely prefer the smaller ships. Not once did it feel crowded, and not once did we have to wait on a long line; and it was easy to get reservations for dinner etc. at the times we wanted. Our favorite spot on sea days was the kids pool on deck 12; our 3 year old absolutely loved it and spent as much time there as possible; while we hung out with a drink. Every member of staff we interacted with was happy and helpful and especially treated my daughter really well. We didn't go to any shows or activities because my daughter has an early bed time. We tried to enroll her in splash academy; and the staff seemed really nice and they had some good activities planned for her age group; but she refused to be dropped off and had a melt down every time we tried. So we can't really rate the programs etc. in the splash academy. Our booking included free internet minuets but we found that it was so slow as to be worthless and we pretty much gave up on internet at sea. Dinning: We avoided the main dinning rooms; as to be honest we have never had a good main dinning room experience on any cruise we have ever taken. We ordered breakfast from the included continental breakfast room service menu in the morning so that we didn't have to rush out in the morning with or daughter who is up at 6am, and then went up to the buffet. We ate lunch at the buffet and had dinner in Cagneys, LeBistro and La Cucina as well as the buffet. Our booking included a drink package and a speciality dinning package which was totally worth it. Le Bistro was definitely the best meal we had on the ship, followed by Cagneys. The service in both was excellent. We really liked that they have an included kids meal in all restaurants across the ship so we could easily find something for our daughter. The staff were really accommodating and took great care of her. La Cucina was probably the worst experience we had; the service was just strange and seemed really disorganized and the food was bland and nothing special. The Buffet was great for breakfast and lunch but a bit confusing for dinner, the dinner selections just didn't make sense and were un interesting. However no matter what time we went there was always seating and it was very quiet at dinner time. Spa: We did use the Spa a lot; we both had massages and facials and I took my daughter to get her nails done. They kept offering really good promotions and we kept going back! The staff were amazing and so friendly. While smaller then Spas we have been to on other ships (they don't have a thermal suite) it was a nice space with really good treatments. Costa May: In Costa Maya we booked in to Maya Chan Beach. I think it was around $100 for the 3 of us and it was the best beach club experience we have ever had. We were met outside the port and put in a taxi by a Maya Chan rep who took us on a 20 min drive to the beach. Once there we were greeted by the owner and shown around. This is a beautiful off the beaten path location. Included in the price was a dedicated area with beach chairs, shade, a day bed, hammock and kids sand toys. All drinks, an amazing Mexican buffet (probably the best food we ate on the entire trip). Use of kayaks and floats and a pool, showers etc. If we go back to Costa Maya, Maya Chan will be our first stop. The only downside was the port itself. Its a very nice port with shops, restaurants, a pool, beach etc. but its very difficult to get out of if you don't want to stay there, and there are no signs pointing to the exits so very difficult to get out of. Cozumel: We booked the Playa Mia Beach Break with NCL; we had done this before but they have made some improvements. Our excursion included bus transfer, access to chairs, umbrellas, the beach, pools, kids waterpark, drinks and a buffet. It was really nice the staff kept brining drinks, and found a bucket of sand toys for our daughter. She loved the water park and pools. The only down side was the buffet was pretty awful and they had us return to the ship at 2:30 which seemed really early when we didn't need to be back on board until 4:30. The Port itself was similar to Costa May but a bit run down; like a maze again so that it was hard to find our way back to the ship as they wanted you to go via the shops. Disembarkation: Getting off the ship was a breeze; we walked off at 8: 30am with our bags, got on a bus and was at the airport by 10am. They had this cool new facial recognition immigration and customs clearance that they were doing as you walked off the ship so you were cleared in seconds with no lines. Overall we had an awesome trip and would definitely return to the Sun. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Four friends just returned 02/12/20 from Norwegian Sun cruise to Costa Maya and Cozumel. The entire cruise was wonderful from the stateroom to the yummy food to the entertainment. We ate at two specialty restaurants, La Cucina and ... Read More
Four friends just returned 02/12/20 from Norwegian Sun cruise to Costa Maya and Cozumel. The entire cruise was wonderful from the stateroom to the yummy food to the entertainment. We ate at two specialty restaurants, La Cucina and Cagney’s. The food in La Cucina was delicious. Two people ordered the tbone steak. It was great. Cagney’s was simply superb! Best steak any of us had ever had. And the OMG cheesecake was delicious. Our steward was very attentive. When we arrived the bottom drawer was broken. We told Elias and it was fixed early the next day. One day, our air quit working. When we reported it to Elias, he told us it was already reported because he noticed it was hot in there. It was fixed promptly. Dinners at Seven Seas or Four Seasons were delicious. Breakfast and lunches at the Garden Cafe and the Outdoor Cafe were good. Bar staff were jovial and made drinks to our specifica. Crew had smiles on the time. The adult comedy show was really funny. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Chose this cruise on a bit of a last minute special. We got Balcony Cabin for a great deal. I was a little skeptical due to the other reviews but don't listen to those negative cruisers. This was a fantastic cruise for my wife ... Read More
Chose this cruise on a bit of a last minute special. We got Balcony Cabin for a great deal. I was a little skeptical due to the other reviews but don't listen to those negative cruisers. This was a fantastic cruise for my wife and I and worth every penny. The ship is bit older but still in great shape, clean, and serviceable where it counts. BE AWARE OF THIS THOUGH: It is best for adults and not first time cruisers. There is an extreme lack of outdoor kid activities versus what the big mega-ships are offering these days. There is no water slide, splash pad, etc. There did seem to be a kids club of some sort but not many children on the boat. If I were a first time cruiser I might be slightly disappointed. Embarkation: Security was very easy and fast. Just a normal Xray and walk-through metal detector. Everything was fast. We waited for the 12pm rush to die down before getting into the line and it went perfect...was on the boat in about 15 minutes. Cabin: We had Cabin 9075. It is located in far aft port side of the ship. I was skeptical but the room was PERFECT. A bit smaller inside (not much smaller) but the extended balcony more than made up for it. We had two chairs and two loungers to relax on. It was great! People reviewed that beds were uncomfortable. Couldn't disagree more...I thought the bed was very comfortable. One minor complaint is not being able to hear the announcements in the cabin. Food: We are not "foodies" but we enjoyed almost everything we had. We had dinner at Cagney's and La Cucina for the specialty restaurants. Both were spectacular. For dinner we also did Four Seasons and Seven Seas. Both were great but service was pretty slow. We had to rush the end of dinner at Four Seasons in order to make the magic show. Entertainment: Keith Bender, the comedian, was pretty funny and like-able...worth seeing. The magician was awesome. This was the best show of the cruise. We also saw the "broadway" style show called Rock You Tonight. Pretty cheesy and could have done without. The house band was terrific though. Be sure to catch their Cole Porter tribute in the Atrium. They are true musicians. Ports: Costa Maya and Cozumel. I'm always a bit frustrated with the lack of time in ports but both were nice. Did booked excursions that were not through NCL. Overall I would love to do this cruise again anytime. If you are wondering if it's worth it just now that it's very relaxing vs. many other cruises. It's a bit of an older crowd. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are just back from a very nice 5 day cruise. The ship looks great, we were last on board 3 years ago for a Baltic cruise. Check in at New Orleans port was fine; we started the cruise off well with a Mojito at the Sugarcane bar and ... Read More
We are just back from a very nice 5 day cruise. The ship looks great, we were last on board 3 years ago for a Baltic cruise. Check in at New Orleans port was fine; we started the cruise off well with a Mojito at the Sugarcane bar and then went to the open main dining room and had a very nice lunch to start off. Cabins were ready about 1:30. This was our first experience at the specialty restaurants and they were wonderful. Cagneys (with the wonderful Aileen) was just great. We also had a very good meal at Le Bistro. We had breakfasts in the Buffet most mornings or at the main dining rooms on Sea days, and these are also very good. The drink packages work well, the bartenders and different options to drink were fine. The Sugarcane bar was a favorite and I am glad we found the outside part; the young woman bartender was just great. This was our 7th cruise with NCL; and yes this is the only cruise line we have been on so I have no comparisons. But I have not felt the need to look elsewhere; as NCL does a great job. There was a delay coming into port (I guess coming up the Mississippi may not be easy) but we were able to stay in our balcony cabin and enjoy the sunshine until we could leave, so it was all fine. All of the areas I saw of the ship were clean and fresh looking. Our cabin was kept spotless (and comfortable). There were some warm sea days and while we did not buy a Vibe pass, we did not have a problem finding space for the two of us to sit outside. With hindsight, I would consider buying a Vibe pass or a Spa pass, as that also looked great. We will be back on NCL Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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