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1,643 Norwegian (NCL) Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We bid on and upgrade suite and got it.. it looked the same as a regular suite with double the size balcony and bathroom.. 3 of us in the room so it was comfortable. Mark took care of our room.. he was great and brought us anything we ... Read More
We bid on and upgrade suite and got it.. it looked the same as a regular suite with double the size balcony and bathroom.. 3 of us in the room so it was comfortable. Mark took care of our room.. he was great and brought us anything we needed right away.. we tipped Mark everyday, which we always do on a cruise, and Mark made sure we were in need of nothing! Great experience.. We were traveling with 6 family members... all of us enjoyed something different.. My teen girl loved encore.. a place she could meet 13-17 year olds.. and spent lots of time with these kids as the days went by... The cigar lounge was our favorite place to go after dinner with my husband and adult sons.. we thoroughly enjoyed all the men and women we met there.. Learned how to play craps with my oldest son! Great late night entertainment...Met the same dynamic group of people every night..So fun! My husband enjoyed the hot tubs in the quieter part of the boat.. he also loved the water slide that drops the trap door under your feet and away you go fast through a tube over the side of the boat and back again.. We all wanted sun... it was spring break, super small pool,, lots of drunk obnoxious 21 + year olds crammed around a large bath tub.. 2 days of this until we found H2O at the front of the boat with water falls to walk through when you get hot and perfect place to talk and read... Honduras was our first stop.. We all did a snorkel and kayak tour.. Our guides were awesome.. the fruit and food were delicious Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
My parents took us on this cruise as a way to introduce us to one of their favorite past times. While it wasn’t flawless, it was incredible and we cannot wait to cruise again! HIGHLIGHTS: staff, beautiful ship, fun atmosphere, cabin ... Read More
My parents took us on this cruise as a way to introduce us to one of their favorite past times. While it wasn’t flawless, it was incredible and we cannot wait to cruise again! HIGHLIGHTS: staff, beautiful ship, fun atmosphere, cabin LOWLIGHTS: leaving :( The first two days of the trip were rough seas. The ship’s staff did everything they could to help make us comfortable. 4/5 of us did just fine while one person spent one day a little green, but recouped with Dramamine and Sea Bands. On/Off: Embarkation was easier than I anticipated. Disembarkation was as well despite some guests immediately reverting to rudeness once we returned to port. Ship: The ship itself is beautiful! She had everything we needed and even in 7 nights we didn’t see or do everything. I have heard many complaints about the layout of the ship, but there wasn’t a smoky smell throughout-just in certain areas of the casino. Cabin: Our cabin had a balcony and was more than enough space and storage. We were comfortable for our entire voyage. Our room connected to my parents on deck 13. It was a great location especially to Splash Academy dropoff/pickup on deck 12. Dining: The Garden Cafe on deck 15 was my son’s favorite and had varied, tasty options. Occasionally something wasn’t up to par, but it is what it is but you can go pick something else and find your favorites. The hash brown circles in the morning were a must! During our trip, they went from self serve to staff serve due to Coronavirus and the staff handled this gracefully. I honestly wish it would stay this way. Teppenyaki was good for our first night, but not as incredible as I expected based off reviews. The Manhattan Room was hands down one of our favorites. Chrisologo was one of the best servers I have ever had anywhere! The food was delicious and the menu changes slightly each day. La Cucina was good per my parents report. Moderno Churrascaria was okay- seemed rushed, but the food was good- especially the fried yucca, Brazilian cheese bread, and white rice. The American Diner was slow and stumbly for service, but the food was phenomenal and it was a nice little escape. Entertainment: Wonderful! Highly recommend the Howl at Sea experience. My son loved Splash Academy and the kids pool. Decks 17 and 18 were closed due to high winds for almost all of our cruise so no bungee jump, mini golf, or ropes course, but we had plenty to do and this didn’t alter our experience. Service: I cannot day enough about this! These crew members were out of this world and went out of their way to ensure a good time was had and Coronavirus changes were implemented smoothly. This was all despite the fact that the cruise industry was shutting down and they would be out of jobs for the foreseeable future. I applaud them for being away from their families for so long and bringing so much joy despite some pushy, elitist people on board. Ports: Great Stirrup Cay cancelled due to weather. I was fine with this as I wouldn’t have wanted to tender in the waves we were riding. Ochos Rios Jamaica offered great excursions and was enjoyable. Do the chair lift and bobsled even if wary of heights it was a highlight and not as scary as I thought! Grand Cayman was fun, but the tendering process back to the ship was long and hot. We waited in line for an hour due to difficulties, but staff brought drinks and cool towels out. Cozumel another tendering mess, but I think this was less due to NCL and more due to world events. The port itself was fun and I wish we had been there longer! Other: My son had to visit the hospital for bronchitis and the nurse, Diogo, and doctor were fantastic, caring, and thorough! No trip will be perfect, but you gettin out of it if you can go with the flow. I am already researching other cruises and contacting NCL about the staff members I have mentioned here. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We book a cruise with our adult children and our grandchildren during spring break each year. We choose Norwegian because of the kids sail free offers and the number of activities available for the little ones. This year the cruise was not ... Read More
We book a cruise with our adult children and our grandchildren during spring break each year. We choose Norwegian because of the kids sail free offers and the number of activities available for the little ones. This year the cruise was not as worry free as usual because of the virus scares throughout the world. We did not cancel because our cruise was before the Norwegian offers to give passengers credit for a future cruise, and our children did not have CFA insurance and would have taken a significant economic hit. Overall, we had a good cruise. There were many good things but also some "misses." Embarkation was terrible for us. We arrived at the port at 12:30, went quickly through the temperature screen, security, etc, but then my husband and I were in line to board the ship for over an hour. We did not make in on board until after 2:00. This delay was in no way related to the virus because we had already completed the extra screening prior to getting into the line. We went straight to Taste for a bite of lunch. We finished a quick lunch, went to our mini suite, met our steward, and unpacked our carry-ons before the muster drill. Our room steward kept our cabin clean and we were pleased with him. I wouldn't say that he went above and beyond, but he did a nice job and responded to my request for additional coffee packets promptly. Personally, I do miss the towel animals a little and think not having them removes a bit of the fun. I know I could have requested them, but I did not. My children requested them for their cabins because they have little ones. They asked for the children so I hated to also ask for adults. I felt it was important for the little ones to have that experience. We gave him a nice extra tip for doing the animals. Perhaps Norwegian could do towels for all guests just one night during the cruise so guests could have that experience at some point during their voyage. Our first port was Roatan, and we did a private excursion there, which turned out to be our favorite day. We visited the sloth sanctuary before splitting our group into 2 parties. Half went snorkeling while the others went to Las Palmas Beach. Both groups had a wonderful time, and we returned to the ship with time to spare before our scheduled departure from the port. We had to tender at the private island, but that tender went fairly quickly and efficiently. We rented clamshells, let the kids splay in the splash pad area, spent time on the beach, and really enjoyed the time there. The tender back to the ship was also not excessive. We chose to stay on the ship at Costa Maya but planned to go ashore at Cozumel. That is one decision I would change now if I were making new plans. Cozumel was a disaster so I wish we had gone ashore at Costa Maya. I will address that in more detail later. We ate at Cagney's, Teppanyaki, and LaCucina and enjoyed all three. We had amazing waiters at Cagney's and LaCucina. Suma at Cagney's went above and beyond trying to please one of our picky diners. The chef at Teppanyaki was quick to make the show as special as possible for our three year olds, and I would not hesitate to rebook at any of those specialty restaurants. One real positive that I saw was the effort that the crew was making in sanitizing the ship. Cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning was observed all day in the common areas and hallways. You did not enter a restaurant without using the hand sanitizers. No salt shakers or condiments were on tables without request so contact between other passengers were avoided that way. Tables and chairs were disinfected between use. I think Norwegian was doing their best in that area. We are not big buffet lovers, but the one morning we needed to eat at the buffet because of an early port time. Turns out that was at Cozumel so it was a mistake too, but the buffet was not self serve. Everything was done to keep people safe from germs and the virus. The one big negative on our trip was the stop at Cozumel. Norwegian could not dock on the day we were there so the plan was to tender. That was a disaster. When we discovered we were tendering, we immediately reacted and secured Tender Tickets for Tender # 1 never dreaming how bad it would be. We thought we were in good shape with an early tender until we reached the theater to wait and saw what was happening. One whole side was filled with people waiting who had priority tender, and they had not boarded yet. No one was boarding because there weren't enough tenders, and of course, they had to sanitize them after every trip over and back. I understand that the sanitizing slowed the process down, but what we experienced was ridiculous, and it was not all because of sanitizing. There were not enough tenders, and even without the sanitizing, there would have been long delays. They called Tender Groups 1-3 at 8:30, and we were still waiting at 10:00! When we asked if they had any idea of how much longer it would be, they had no guess except maybe 45 more minutes. We'd booked a private excursion, but we were going to miss it so we finally gave up, forfeited our excursion deposit, and left to let the kids enjoy amenities on the ship instead of waiting for a tender. Lots of other people left too. They were still calling tender numbers at noon and were only half way through the list. I think Norwegian needs to re-evaluate the itinerary during this cruise shutdown. If the ship can't dock at the pier in Cozumel, perhaps they need to change their order of the ports, and if they know you will be tendering there, they should let you know in advance so you can plan accordingly. They knew about the tendering before we sailed because someone told me they were doing a bi-weekly share of the dock. One week tender; next week dock. We tried to salvage the rest of our day, but this is a problem that they need to solve. We also experienced shutdowns of mini golf, ropes course, etc. due to sanitation, which made the few days hard on our little ones. Some of that I understand, but golf clubs, golf balls and bocci balls could have been checked out with equipment sanitized between uses. They could have checked them out at the same spot that was signing out pool towels. Interestingly enough, bowling was open. That is a "for fee" activity so I guess those balls were safe for guests to handle but not golf balls and clubs. We returned to Miami under a cloud because of the virus, but disembarkation was super simple for us. We never see a reason to try to get off the ship early so we get luggage tags for 8:30 or 9:00, depending on what is available. This time it was 8:30. We vacated our cabin at 7:45, went to Savor, had a nice breakfast, and went to the line at 8:40. It moved quickly, and we were off the ship, in our cars, and on the way home by 9:30. I want to close by once again saying how hard the crew on this cruise worked at trying to keep the ship free of the virus. I truly feel sorry for them during this time because they will suffer income loss and are probably worried above loved ones just like the rest of us. Even if Norwegian pays them, they will be missing out on tips. We stopped for lunch on our drive home, which is about 6 hours. What we saw at the restaurant was far more concerning than ANYTHING we experienced on the cruise. Of course, now we are on a 14-day quarantine just because we were on the cruise. My kids can't work, kids can't go to day care, etc. Good news is that we are now 8 days post cruise with no symptoms. I'm thankful we were able to go on this cruise, even if it wasn't perfect. I look forward to a future cruise when all the craziness is over, but I will reevaluate whether or not I wish to port in Cozumel. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Sailed for the first time on NCL in a Haven Penthouse Balcony room. The NCL embarkation and disembarkation processes need a lot of work. Although we were pretty much escorted through the throngs of people it was still a little bit ... Read More
Sailed for the first time on NCL in a Haven Penthouse Balcony room. The NCL embarkation and disembarkation processes need a lot of work. Although we were pretty much escorted through the throngs of people it was still a little bit convoluted. We arrived about 10:15 am and there were already at least a thousand people in various lines waiting to board. I can see why people get upset over the process as there were not nearly enough employees to assist those standing in long lines. The Haven experience is wonderful and the Haven restaurant is elegant and welcoming. The staff there are the best and special kudos to Griffin-the greeter who I think has never had a bad day. He was friendly, cheerful and caring-simply a great employee. The Haven pool area has a small sitting pool with chairs in it and a 4 ft deep little lap pool. There is also a dry sauna just off the pool deck and plenty of chairs near the pool and on the deck above. The service in the Haven pool area was also great with drinks and lunch brought to those hanging out there. The Haven bar area was spacious and elegant. The bartenders were the best with a special shout out to Shah-who makes the best lemon drop martini we have ever had. The rest of the ship is vast with bars everywhere that will soothe your taste buds. We really liked the Adults only Spice H2O sunning area on the rear of the ship. There were plenty of chairs there and a waterfall cavern to cool you off We ate at three specialty restaurants-steak house, Japanese and Italian and all were very, very good with great service. The Haven restaurant dinners were scrumptious but the menu was the same every day. Having said that the menu included filet mignon, surf and turf, prime rib, rack of lamb, sea bass, etc. You could literally have lobster every nite if you chose to. The breakfast in the Haven was the best-steak and eggs(actually filet mignon and eggs) and the pressed coffee was the best! We thought the entertainment was just Ok. The two main shows were After Midnight and Choir of Man. Both shows were high energy with outstanding performers. We really enjoyed the Choir of Man and thought it was one of the best shows we have seen on any of our 25+ cruises. The rest of the entertainment was merely ok and nothing really stood out. We only took one excursion-Tepanyaki Beach on Roatan. It was a very relaxing beach day and the beach vendors were kept at bay by the security personnel. The beach there is beautiful and there are a variety of water activities you can choose from. We had no problem with the tendering process but heard that it was a nightmare for some of the guests. All in all a very nice cruise experience and we will try NCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Me my wife and 20yo son decided on doing a family cruise. Our son is on spring break from UF and he wanted to do a cruise for his break, and it's been 5 years since our last cruise.We chose this cruise because we live 30 minutes from ... Read More
Me my wife and 20yo son decided on doing a family cruise. Our son is on spring break from UF and he wanted to do a cruise for his break, and it's been 5 years since our last cruise.We chose this cruise because we live 30 minutes from the port of Tampa. Embarkation: We arrived at the port around 10:30am. We parked the car in the parking garage across the street and carried our bags over.We went through security, filled out the health questionnaire. We were then directed to the counter to have our documents checked and take our picture. They gave us our key cards then went to sit down. Check in was a breeze. Took a total of about 15 minutes from security till we sat down waiting to board. At 11:00am they started the boarding process. They now board by status, and being gold with NCL we were one of the first groups to board. After boarding we went to O'Sheehans for lunch. They were good not great but good. Cabin: They were ready just after 1:00pm. Our cabin was a mini-suite on deck 11. Number 11070 starboard side. The cabin was roomy and clean. Our steward was awesome. His name was Gede and took great care of us. The only problem was the seas were a bit rough and the cabin would squeak like and old wooden ship would. I kinda liked it but the wife is more of a light sleeper than me so it bothered her a bit. The cabin was only making the noise on the sea days cause like I said the seas were a bit rough. Food: This is always subject to peoples different tastes. I thought the food was good, not great. I had some kind of meat every night. They were hot, cooked to my desired tastes and served with good sides. My wife is a vegetarian and didn't have a lot of choices. Now they have certain items on the menu that are on the menu everyday plus the days new choices. They had 3 cheese ziti and fettuccine alfredo on the menu everyday that she ate a couple of times because the choices on the menu for that day she didn't like. Our son found items to eat from the menu like I did. The desserts were also good but not great. They included lava cake(the best dessert they had in my opinion), cherries jubilee, crème brulee among others. We ate at the Venetian, Aqua and the Garden café and O'sheehans. Breakfast was usually at the Garden café and was good , but the same food every morning. We did not partake in any paid venues. Entertainment: We enjoyed a lot of the shows we attended. The comedian was very good his name was Clay Strong. The Element show was good also. There was music pretty much everywhere we walked on the ship. We did bingo(we lost). My son was called on stage for Deal or no Deal and won 80 bucks. He had a blast doing that, pricey games. The casino was fun also. First night of cruise the slots seemed to be hot, after that, not so much.hmmm... There were smokers but I didn't find it overwhelming. Our son had a knack for the coin game where you drop coins to push money over the edge. I think he made almost a hundred bucks doing that. Gym: We only went to the gym once and it was well equipped and well maintained. Ports: We went to Costa Maya, Harvest caye, Roatan and Cozumel. Get away from the port area when you get to costa maya., take a shuttle or taxi to the fishermans village about 10 minutes away. We reserved some chairs at Malecon 21 at the fishermans village.(they have a website, and are recommended). Highly recommend this place, as it is at the end of the malecon(strip), its so nice and is not crowded(take a taxi directly there, because its at the end, or you'll be walking a distance to get there). All the other places close to drop off are more crowded .Malecon 21 was very good and I would go back in a instant. Harvest caye we had to tender as the pier had been damaged a few weeks before, so we decided not to get off and enjoy the ship. It seemed a lot of people had the same idea cause the ship was still full. Roatan we also had to tender, we were moored at Coxen hole. I asked why we had to tender and the other 2 ships there were docked because we were the smaller ship, thought that sucked but alas what can I do. Cozumel was our final stop and we docked a Punta Langosta which is the downtown port. We just walked off the ship around 11:00am and just shopped and walked to the square where we had some lunch at a place called Frida's. Food was good and HOT(habanero). The beer was cold and we enjoyed it. Then as we were walking back the sky opened up and it poured for about 30 to 45 minutes. The weathered finally cleared and we went back to the ship. All in all we enjoyed the ports we went to. We have been to all of them a few times each except for Harvest caye. Disembarkation: Being gold members we got yellow tags and were off the ship around 8:00am. We got our bags and got in line for customs, Get a porter so you avoid long custom lines. If you have porter you get thru customs much faster. We parked our car in the garage across the street. So we got in the car and drove home, being Sunday there was no traffic YAY. Summary: We had a great time. Was everything perfect. No, but what in life is. Life is what you make out of it and we made a great time of it. Heck we are on a cruise. The ship was very full even with the coronavirus in the news. We were not nervous about it at all. Already looking to book another cruise for later this year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We selected this cruise based on the length and ports of call. We did not encounter any of the complaints that others had posted about this ship. The staff were all very attentive and appeared to enjoy their jobs. The entertainment was ... Read More
We selected this cruise based on the length and ports of call. We did not encounter any of the complaints that others had posted about this ship. The staff were all very attentive and appeared to enjoy their jobs. The entertainment was great. The food was all very good. This was our 1st time cruising on Norwegian and we would definitely cruise with them again! The only downside that we can report on is the stop in Belize. We would have preferred being on the mainland, vs the private Island to have the ability to really experience Belize. We like exposing our children to other cultures and did not find that on Harvest Caye. We especially enjoyed Costa Maya and Roatan Bay where we ventured out on our own. We appreciated the attention put towards decreasing risk of illness. The staff were always wiping down hand rails and other high touch areas. Being in the Family Suite, we appreciated the ability to experience priority boarding and disembarkation. That was awesome! We would definitely recommend this cruise to others. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Just returned home from this 7-day western Caribbean itinerary on Norwegian Pearl. It was just my boyfriend and I (both in our early-mid 30s). I have previously been on 2 Princess cruises, on Norwegian Escape twice and the Dawn last year. ... Read More
Just returned home from this 7-day western Caribbean itinerary on Norwegian Pearl. It was just my boyfriend and I (both in our early-mid 30s). I have previously been on 2 Princess cruises, on Norwegian Escape twice and the Dawn last year. My boyfriend has also been on the Epic. Used NCL arranged airfare and transfers and flew into Miami from Maine on day of the cruise. This is the first time I have used NCL airfare and transfers and all went as expected without any issues. We usually fly in the day before but due to prior commitments we were unable to do this. Very pleased with the flight arrangements made by NCL. We arrived in Miami around 1:15 pm and there were NCL staff at baggage claim directing their cruisers to the transfer shuttle. We arrived to the port within 30 minutes of landing and made it through check-in at the port pretty quickly without any long waits. Our luggage was at our room by 5pm even though we checked in on the later side. The Ship Smaller ship but still has plenty of dining and bar options. Very clean and updated. Does have digital tough screens in a few areas like some of the newer NCL ships, but most of them weren't working properly. You don't need to prebook shows so we didn't really need to use these much. Cabin We had a 10th floor midship balcony cabin (10612) and were very pleased with our room. We don't spend much time in our room other than for sleeping and getting ready, but it is really great to have a balcony to sit and have a drink or room service breakfast. Bathroom was very similar to the Dawn but has a door to the toilet area. Shower also has a door. Bed was comfortable. Room was clean and our cabin steward was great. He was very attentive. I had him clear out the mini bar and put a mattress pad on the bed on the first day and otherwise we didn't need to have him do anything else other than the basic tidying up. Dining We had a specialty dining package for 3 meals. We tried Cagneys Steakhouse (filet mignon and cheesecake were amazing), La Cucina (Italian) and all our dishes were great. We went to Tepanyaki (hibachi) for our last meal and this was also very good. Typical hibachi experience but the steak and shrimp were so delicious. Main buffet was typical for NCL ships. Food was ok. It was even smaller than the Garden Cafe on the Dawn with fewer options. Always crowded. We have learned to avoid the buffet at all costs except for afternoon snacks. There was another buffet in the Great Outdoors area on the back of the ship which had the basic food items. Again, we only stopped for snacks. O'Sheehans: Same menu as on other NCL ships. We like the wings, nachos and Caesar salads for a quick snack or lunch once returning from port. We usually stop here for a sit down breakfast most mornings to avoid the buffet lines. They have decent omelets and some other basic breakfast options. Can usually get in and out quickly. They also agree to fill our water bottles which is nice so we don't have to make a stop in the cafe to do this. Main Dining Rooms: We only ate at Indigo as their dress code isn't as strict as Summer Palace. They allowed men to wear shorts and I saw a lot of casual outfits on both men and women. We had 3-4 dinners at Indigo and all were very good. Can usually get through the meal in about an hour for 2 people and be on your way to a show. We discovered that you can order room service (preorder the night before) and have pastries/fruit/coffee/juice delivered to your room so we did this twice. Was great to sit out on the balcony and enjoy a coffee and not have to worry about going anywhere. We did this on sea days as we don't usually need to get an early start. Bars Best drinks came from Maltings Whiskey Bar and Sugarcane Mojito bar. The service was quite slow, however. Happy to find out they have Bon & Viv and Truly seltzers at the main bars now. Entertainment Not as many options as other NCL ships. Duo Contessance was awesome (couple that does aerial acrobatics). Legends was good but geared toward older crowd. A lot of 60-70s themed music, again geared toward older crowd. Pool band was ok. The DJ was overall fine. We didn't listen to any of the lounge music. Pedro, the cruise director was pretty absent throughout the day compared to the cruise directors I've seen on the Dawn and Escape. He was never by the pool or getting the crowd pumped up. Usually the cruise directors communicate the daily/weekly shows or activities and give details. None of that from Pedro aside from at the main evening show. I never saw the assistant CD, Guido, at all. We happened to wander into some shows that turned out to be pretty good but would not have otherwise known what they were about unless we showed up. We spent an hour or so in the Casino. Pretty typical for a cruise ship casino. Lots of smoking. Not overly crowded. Rock wall had very limited hours and was closed due to wind at times. Service Overall very good. Our cabin steward was great. Wait staff were all pretty average throughout the ship. No one really stood out to me as being exceptional. Pool bar staff were doing their jobs but didn't appear to be having much fun doing it. Usually we have one that we get along with and call our own for the week, but they were all pretty stoic. Guest services staff were all pretty good. Pool 2 main pools and 4 hot tubs in the main pool area. We did discover a water feature on one of the sun decks but no other pools or hot tubs. One of the main pools and 2 hot tubs were adult only which was nice. No issues with kids playing or splashing. Last day was super windy so 1 pool was drained and they were doing pool maintenance. Not much of an issue getting a lounger on the pool deck on this cruise. A little more so on sea days but there was a pool attendant actually watching empty chairs and moving stuff if people were away for >30min which I appreciated as they never seem to do this. Fitness Center We did go to the gym on our first sea day and it was packed. Was able to get a treadmill pretty quickly and ran a few miles but it was difficult as you are looking out at the waves. Was also very hot and humid in the gym which made it hard to get a good workout in. Has all the basics for cardio and weightlifting. Ports Overall a good itinerary. Enjoyed all ports. Roatan, Honduras: Booked Jolly Roger Catamaran and Snorkel through NCL. This was a great excursion. Good food and rum punch included. Not much instruction or education as far as explaining what fish or coral we were looking at. Harvest Caye, Belize: My least favorite port. Very commercialized. Waited in line for nearly 2 hours for tender to shore. I guess they were doing maintenance on the pier and we were unable to dock as initially planned. Several ships in that day and there were not enough tenders to keep up with everyone trying to get to shore. Once there, everything was fine. Beach was ok. Water was not clear and couldn't do much snorkeling. HUGE pool with swim up bar. We spent most of the day at the pool. They have restaurants and bar stands throughout the area. There are also shops. Good and affordable coconut drinks. Costa Maya, Mexico: I liked this stop the best. Very cultural area. People were friendly and helpful. Took a shuttle to YaYa Beach in Mahahual and had a wonderful beach day. Booked this through shoreexcursioneer.com without any issues. Beach was calm and beautiful. Drinks and food included. Cab/shuttle fare was $4 each per person one way and I felt safe using these services. Cozumel, Mexico: Been here before and rented scooters and rode around the island. This time wanted to do something different. Booked an all inclusive package at Mr. Sanchos and had a great day! All food and drinks included and it was all delicious. My glass was never empty as Julio the bartender kept it topped off at all times. They have a beach, pools and other activities. Booked through shoreexcursioneer.com beforehand as they tend to sell out months in advance. 100% would go here again. More of a party atmosphere but people of all ages there. Took a cab to and from the port for $20 each way. Cab drivers were trying to charge more and I believe the typical cab rate is $17 but we didn't argue. We did not travel with children and can't comment on any of the kid's activities. We did not visit the spa, purchase photos/art/other items. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary so we decided we'd try NCL booking the Haven. Well worth it at the price point we got. Service was great...priority embarkation/debarkation was terrific! Made the whole thing worth ... Read More
My wife and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary so we decided we'd try NCL booking the Haven. Well worth it at the price point we got. Service was great...priority embarkation/debarkation was terrific! Made the whole thing worth it right there! The entertainment was great. We really enjoyed The Million Dollar Quartet, the actors were excellent. Burn the Floor was quite a show, too. We did pay to see Cirque Steam, I'd recommend it. Dining was also enjoyable. We had dinner at two of the specialty restaurants...Cagneys and Le Bistro. Out of the two, Le Bistro was the better. We had reservations at Ocean Blue for a 9:30 reservation on the last night of the cruise, but we pooped out. Entertainment at the Atrium lodge was fun. Lots of trivia, game shows, musical entertainment and informational presentations. All the drinks we had were quite tasty. We did have the premium drink package, so anything up to $15 was free. My wife made full use of it! For the most part, everything was great. We really enjoyed the Haven experience and will probably try to book it again. A standard balcony cabin would be good, too... Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Booked this cruse at the last minute because the price, $306.00 for an interior room. Ended up getting upgraded to a midship balcony through the Upgrade Andvantage program. Had read a lot of horror stories about embarking from NOLA but ... Read More
Booked this cruse at the last minute because the price, $306.00 for an interior room. Ended up getting upgraded to a midship balcony through the Upgrade Andvantage program. Had read a lot of horror stories about embarking from NOLA but overall it wasn't too bad, the line was long but it moved at a steady rate. Disembarking went very smooth, found our luggage immediately. We spent a day and a half in NOLA once we disembarked went to one of our favorite restuarants, Muriel's for the jazz brunch. Also we found a new restaurant Oceana which was increadable. The NOLA Trio is a must. We explored Jackson Square and spent the evening on Bourbon Street listening to everything from rock to zydeco to jazz music. Our second day was spent listening to Street musicians and shopping. We thought the entertainment on Getaway was outstanding. We saw Burning The Floor, Million Dollar Quartet and Back to the 80's in the theater. My wife and I have seen Million Dollar Quartet in Chicago and Vegas, we felt this performance was the best of the three. Syd Norman's Pour House is a must, you'll have to get in line early to get a seat but it well worth the wait. The house band and vocalist put on a hell of show and get the audience engaged. We liked the bars, restaurants and common areas on Getaway but pool area is small with very few lounges around the pool, we choose to spend our sea days on deck 16 where there were more chairs available. One of my favorite spots was the Humidor Lounge where I meant many great folks and shared many stories while solving the problems of the world. This area is a very social are for cigar smoking and a drink of your choice. For dinners we went to Taste, Savor and The Tropicana Room the menu selections were find and the meals were decent. We did one shore excursion on our own by booking a taxi to West Beach for the day, it $10.00 per person each way and $20.00 to access the beach and get a chair. If you don't book an excursion I recommend it, its a beautiful beach. All in all we would book another cruise on Getaway. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We liked the itinerary, Port Canaveral is closer to home, embarkation was good, but this ship was too over-crowded and extremely noisy. Disembarking was an extremely long walk from one end of ship to the other & back again, and down ... Read More
We liked the itinerary, Port Canaveral is closer to home, embarkation was good, but this ship was too over-crowded and extremely noisy. Disembarking was an extremely long walk from one end of ship to the other & back again, and down many walkways to finally get to where our luggage was staged. Food was good and plentiful and we had good service most of the time. O’Sheehan’s was our favorite place to eat although we ate in LaCucina, Cagney’s Steakhouse, Savor, Taste, LeBistro, the Manhattan, and the Garden Cafe. We must have had the best cabin steward, Jonathan Babao, a very caring young man who went above and beyond to take care of our cabin and us. The best feature of our mini-suite was the bathroom as the cabin itself was no bigger than a regular balcony cabin. We enjoyed the piano player from Brazil, the magician, and Burn the Floor show. Sixx was not too much to my liking. Our shore excursions to Jamaica and Cozumel was very nice and informative. Did not go ashore to Grand Carmen having been there before so we enjoyed the quieter ship and just relaxed. The pool is too small for the size of this ship. We will cruise with NCL again but not on the Breakaway. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have been on 16 cruises. We have traveled with NCL, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We almost always sail the newer ships but decided to sail breakaway because we wanted to sail out of Orlando. We were a group of 14 from 70’s -young ... Read More
We have been on 16 cruises. We have traveled with NCL, Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We almost always sail the newer ships but decided to sail breakaway because we wanted to sail out of Orlando. We were a group of 14 from 70’s -young kids. Positives: Teppanyaki, less people, buffet, piano bar, karaoke, getting on and off the ship was great super fast , osheehans Negatives: kids club, moderno, check in people were so grumpy!!! Smoke from casino Getting in the ship was a breeze. The pool deck is not ideal for a sailaway party but it was fun. The biggest disappointment was the kids club. The 10-12 yo club staff has some issues. One ended up quitting in front of the kids. My son usually loves going but this staff made them play the quiet game while they played on their phone and kept extending it for over 20 minutes at a time. This happened multiple times until my son did not want to go anymore. We missed great stirrup cay because of wind but we made the best of it on the pool deck. Food was good... not as good as carnival but decent. Smoke from the casino was awful we went on bliss last year and it was smoke free! So much better!! Piano bar was awesome the husband and wife that did the dualing pianos were awesome. There was tons to do. Weather was not ideal but that’s not NCL’s fault. Cruise director was energetic. Moderno was terrible!! Meats were salty. Osheehans was great. We all had a good time but will definitely sail newer ships everything was dated Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My hubby and I decided to do the NCL Breakaway for our 10-year anniversary. We have done two other NCL ships in the past, this was the best yet! Cabin: We got upgraded into a handicap accessible room for some odd reason and were ... Read More
My hubby and I decided to do the NCL Breakaway for our 10-year anniversary. We have done two other NCL ships in the past, this was the best yet! Cabin: We got upgraded into a handicap accessible room for some odd reason and were we’re shocked when we walked in and saw the size of the cabin. It was HUGE! We had a nice balcony and enough space to even have a lounger on the patio next to the two chairs. Very nice NCL! We were cabin 14586 and the location was our favorite. Just a couple flights away from our favorite spots on the ship. Our room attendant was beyond excellent and greeted us by name every time he saw us in the hallway. We left him an extra tip when we left and felt he was the best we've ever had. Entertainment: We saw Rock the Floor but missed SIX. I enjoyed Rock the Floor but wouldn't write home about it. The comedians were our favorite entertainment. The 18+ shows in the theater and at Headliners, were HILARIOUS. I would highly recommend trying one of these shows if you aren't with little ones. We enjoyed the shows and games in the atrium. We’d watch anytime we walked by and they were having so much fun. Excursions: We missed GSC due to weather which was very disappointing. We really wanted a great day at the beach. So instead, we went down to the shore excursion desk and saw what Jamaica had to offer. To our surprise, we found a $39 beach day and booked it right away. With our shore excursion credit, we spend $20 for the two of us to spend a great day lounging on the beach with transportation. I looked high and low through the shore excursions available before we left, this was not on there. Our favorite excursion was Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman. This will go down in my mind as one of the best things I've ever done. This excursion took us into the middle of the ocean and once in the water we were about chest deep and the sand beneath our feet was so soft. Swimming, kissing, feeding and holding WILD sting rays was unbelievable! We would do this excursion again and again! Air Included Promo: We booked air through NCL, we were booked on United on the way out and American on the way home. Our flight out took us through 3 airports (Phoenix(home), Denver and Orlando) We left at 7:30pm on a Friday night and landed in Orlando at 5:30am on Saturday. This was a hell of a trip to get to Orlando lol. We were exhausted and couldn't wait to get to our cabin. Luckily, after waiting for 5 hours at the Orlando airport we were taken to the port and quicker than ever before our cabin was ready at around 1pm. It was a VERY long day. We did have a direct flight home which was nice. The transportation to and from was also a nice tough. With the ride from the airport to port being around 45 minutes, it was nice to be in a charter bus with a bathroom instead of a small cramped 12-seater van. We left around 9:45am going back to the airport even though our flight wasn’t until 4:30pm… but we enjoyed the airport more this time since we didn’t have an overnight flight beforehand. Food: We had specialty dining and tried 3 of them on the ship. Teppanyaki, Le Bistro and Moderno. All were beyond good but teppanyaki was the best with Moderno coming in a close second. The specialty dining filled up FAST, my suggestion would be to book first thing when you get on board. I wasn’t sure how the specialty dining would work with our promos but they seem to have it all worked out. You order what you want and then they ask if you want to use your credit and that’s it! It was much easier than I thought it would be. We tried all 11 meats at Moderno but we LOVED the filet. The salad bar was impressive and delicious and even had my smoked salmon Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
we chose this cruise at the last minute,two weeks before the cruise because of the price. the embarkation went very quick. the sail away was on time.there was a lot of kids on this cruise,of course the parents just let them run wild all ... Read More
we chose this cruise at the last minute,two weeks before the cruise because of the price. the embarkation went very quick. the sail away was on time.there was a lot of kids on this cruise,of course the parents just let them run wild all over the ship.they take kids to shows that they should not take them to,the comedians even committed about it. parents PLEASE KEEP your kids out of the hot tubs. the show six was horrible,that is an hour of my life i cant get back. burn the floor was very good. the food in the restaurants was very good.the ship seemed over crowded.the weather was not the best the fist couple of days,but it got a little better from jamaica on.I was not crazy about the cruise director paquito,potato or whatever his name was.your cruise director needs to be able to speak very clear english. alot of older people were having some difficulty understanding him.the staff was very friendly.the captain was one of the best we have had he was very friendly and talkative. overall the cruise was good and we will keep cruising with NCL,just not in a inside room any more. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We received a promotion through tour company from our time share. We rejected sales pitches much to their dismay, cruise paid so no worries about canceling. We have been on Celebrity & Carnival this was our fifth cruise in 10 years. ... Read More
We received a promotion through tour company from our time share. We rejected sales pitches much to their dismay, cruise paid so no worries about canceling. We have been on Celebrity & Carnival this was our fifth cruise in 10 years. Hubby just retired so we drove from Iowa and to POM I watched videos and due to good timing we arrived for embarkation at 10:15. Trying to drop off our luggage proved interesting, we kept getting waived off of NCL area after 2nd time around Disney porter got NCL and he said he would stay with the luggage until it was on the ship. He was given a generous 25$ tip for 2 suitcases, luggage arrived at our cabin at 4pm. We had a 3 hour wait to board! Some fool tried to stowaway we later heard. I embarked by wheelchair some other senior citizens had a very very difficult time in line! There aren’t many chairs. Our cabin was a balcony 15714 best thing about NCL was a nesspresso coffee maker! Otherwise this was the smallest balcony & cabin we ever have had, no way 4 adults would be comfortable. Staff were fabulous the friendliest, we have experienced. Best cruise critic meeting, free beer, cider appetizers, most staff attended we have Ever been too. 2011 Celebrity had a great one on the Eclipse, this surpasses that. We got free champagne and chocolate covered strawberries delivered free to our room. Loved all the complimentary restaurants, Cagney and le Bistro excellent, la Cucina had issues, noisy, confused new staff delivered wrong orders, food cold sat too long, toughest Veal I’ve ever had, offer to exchange but I declined hubby almost done , by that time I wanted to leave. These were free perks we received. Rough seas for Costa Maya port closed. Some confusion about going on and off ports for mobility impaired and which elevator to access. Other cruise lines have staff situated at elevators to give priority access. I’m glad we tried NCL we will have to see if we try again, not sure the bigger ships are as comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Embarkation was the worst I have ever seen since I started cruising (1979). Three and a half hours in line (made Disney & Universal envious w/their lines) and no water available along the way. Only once you were in the final area did ... Read More
Embarkation was the worst I have ever seen since I started cruising (1979). Three and a half hours in line (made Disney & Universal envious w/their lines) and no water available along the way. Only once you were in the final area did the Platinum Priority Boarding show up. Almost missed my muster drill as a result. No worries, I still got scanned. I chose this cruise based on I wanted to try the Breakaway Class from NCL, and the pricing. I chose not to upgrade dining on this cruise, and for the most part it was a great decision. Most of the dining was great, and where they failed, NCL worked harder to improve (AND they did~!). I've been to all of the ports (Roatan - you need to book an excursion to enjoy this island; Harvest Caye - no zipline, and the tendering created issues for those unable to take steps to the tenders - they stayed on the ship. Costa Maya cancelled due to rough seas and high winds. Cozumel - always fun to ride along the loop on the scooters visiting the bars on the beaches). The ship (Escape) is considered a port (destination) to me, IMO; the pool was so full there was no room to even sit on the pool's edge. For Escape's "Dance Club" was in the Skyline Lounge - right next to the Casino - talk about poor design. Other ships have a dedicated area that actually looks like a dance club - both the pool and the night club need some rethinking NCL. While onboard, they transitioned Jimmy Buffet's Magaritaville Dining and the 5'O Clock Somewhere Bar to the American Diner and The Pour House (no more karaoke?) So these two venues were shut down mid-cruise. Cabin wise, I was in an inside cabin (10417) that was very comfortable and quiet. The filtration system on Escape (in the common areas) should be inspected because it does not work~! The smell of smoke permeated from the casino area throughout the other areas of the interior of the ship. O'Sheehans was excellent (service and food), Manhattan Room (MDR) also a great place for excellent food as was both Taste and Savor. On night one, the buffet had prime rib and it was really good. No complaints on food and service (one minor issue resolved). Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
As this is a potentially longer review, I'll put the bottom line up front: NCL Escape has a great mix of spaces to cater to different cruising needs, especially some quieter areas (my preference). Staff on this ship were cheerful ... Read More
As this is a potentially longer review, I'll put the bottom line up front: NCL Escape has a great mix of spaces to cater to different cruising needs, especially some quieter areas (my preference). Staff on this ship were cheerful and helpful with very few exceptions - and some were especially great at making travelers feel welcome. Port calls went smoothly for us (although one port was cancelled due to wind/wave conditions) but weren't really what we had chosen this itinerary for, as we had been to most of them previously. We chose this cruise partly for the ship, the embarkation port and the calendar. [TIMING:] We needed a break from New England winter and tried to pick a week that was after the school vacations, but before college spring break, so as to avoid lots of kids and/or drunken college students. That plan was mostly successful except that I learned that much of Canada takes their winter school break a week or 2 later than New England, so it seemed about 1/3 of the cruisers on this run were Canadian families. This never presented a problem as the ship is well arranged so that louder groups tend to gravitate to the pool deck and the atrium, leaving H2O Spice and the Waterfront for those of us looking for relaxation. There was only one afternoon that this broke down when a group of young adults decided that they would relax on the Waterfront and supply their own bluetooth speaker so that EVERYONE around could enjoy their selection of music. [SHIP] We chose the Escape (a Breakaway+ class) because we had previously sailed on the Breakaway and Epic and were looking for a ship that had the Waterfront (missing on Epic) and that had an H2O Spice area (present on both). As we looked at ship choices, that immediately ruled out the Encore - what was NCL thinking on that design when they dropped the H2O in favor of laser tag??!! In any case, we were pleased with our selection. The extra 200 people compared to Breakaway didn't make a noticeable impact on crowd size, though there didn't seem to be a huge difference in quantity of any other on-board offerings (apparently the "plus" in Breakaway Plus means "plus 200 people") Overall- The good: We had a great cruise - in spite of the ongoing country-wide health concerns. The NCL staff did a great job at taking care of us and was very friendly and a surprising number were able to remember us and greet us by name (not just those with whom we had frequent interaction). Choice of on-board food options, bar options [mostly - see below] , entertainment and activities provided a great selection for all types of travelers. The selection of beers at the District Brewhouse was good. Though I enjoy IPAs, I was glad that the selection wasn't IPA-heavy and had a good choice of other styles. Disembarkation (we did self-disembarkation) was very quick and painless. Maybe 15 minutes from the start of disembarkation till we were on the curb. Tendering (at Harvest Cay) worked out well with almost no wait - we chose a very early tender. I had heard that later tender groups had more significant delays. The bad: Embarkation was a mess because the previous week's sailing arrived in port about 3 hours late. Nothing much could be done about the crowds and lines that ensued - and we didn't really sweat it because it was clear that NCL was doing the best they could. Besides - who wants to start off a vacation all worked up? We just smiled and waited patiently - as did most people in the crowd. A few of the little ones had meltdowns, as could be expected, but we all eventually got ourselves onto the ship. Our embarkation was probably 90-120 minutes. Sometimes the dice don't roll your way... The other [admittedly VERY minor] problem that I wanted to comment on was the selection of bars - or specifically bar menus. Both Epic and Breakaway have a Shakers Martini bar. That offers a great alternative to all the sickly sweet boat drinks (loaded with pineapple, lime mixer, coconut...). Unfortunately, the Escape doesn't have Shakers. It wasn't until our last sea day that we solved this problem - I downloaded an NCL drink recipe list and found a willing bartender to make Shaker's "Citrus Gem" for my wife. Special shout out to Reynaldo at Mixx Bar. [Note to NCL drink manager if you read this - please add something like Shaker's drinks "Aviation", "Citrus Gem", "Cucumber Basil Twist", etc to some one of the bars' menu] Overall - a good cruise - would do it again. Possibly looking at Bliss or Getaway next (but still miss Shakers - which neither of those has, either) Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Escape is a beautiful ship! We loved mostly everything and definitely recommend it and especially a balcony if you can. It was so nice to go out every morning and have coffee on our own balcony. The beds were very hard and caused my ... Read More
Escape is a beautiful ship! We loved mostly everything and definitely recommend it and especially a balcony if you can. It was so nice to go out every morning and have coffee on our own balcony. The beds were very hard and caused my back to hurt but thankfully the trip was so amazing that I was able to get used to it. If you have some sort of small pad that will fit in a luggage, it might be a good idea if you have back issues. Food: Teppanyaki was amazing!!!! We probably would've used our 3 specialty dining credits here had we known how good the food and entertainment was. We also loved Moderno but didn't really have a good experience at Cagney's. The server seemed rushed and it just felt like an ordinary dining room experience, instead of a specialty restaurant. The filet Mignon was good but tasted just as good at Moderno. The waterfront dining was beautiful! Lunch and dinner was good at the Garden cafe but the main dining rooms were just ok, nothing spectacular. We loved the set up in the Manhattan with live music as you dine. Water: This is our biggest complaint!!! We have sailed with multiple different cruise lines and usually you are able to bring at least a small amount of water on board. Norwegian will not allow any water at all and in our opinion, they really didn't make it convenient to get complimentary water either. It should be more accessible throughout the ship and on their private island in Belize. There was no complimentary water anywhere on there private island in Belize! If you had to purchase it, it was $7.50 for a bottle. Thankfully, one of the bar tenders had pity on us and gave us cups of water. I have never been on a cruiseline's private island where they didn't provide water. If I had known this, I would have definitely filled up more containers before getting off the ship. It wasn't really convenient to get off and on due to tendering so go prepared with plenty of water/snacks unless you're planning to purchase them there. Entertainment: After Midnight was phenomenal!!! First musical I've ever seen with a live orchestra! My husband said Choir of Man was awesome too! Just make sure to make reservations as soon as you can because they fill up fast. We missed out on the Escape show because it filled up, so definitely reserve all shows and dining as soon as you can. Overall, our trip was amazing!! Ship is beautiful and clean. We loved Daniel Johnson's monkey and sloth hangout in Roatan, Dennis gave us an incredible tour and allowed us to customize it to our preferences. We tried Allegro all inclusive Resort in Cozumel which was wonderful but the food was just average, they definitely could have incorporated some authentic mexican cuisine here, instead it was more basic American dishes. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Chose this cruise to hopefully miss spring break but discovered it was Canada’s spring break. Very crowded and rowdy crowd. Tried to find quiet places and all the designated quiet areas were full of unruly screaming children. No rules ... Read More
Chose this cruise to hopefully miss spring break but discovered it was Canada’s spring break. Very crowded and rowdy crowd. Tried to find quiet places and all the designated quiet areas were full of unruly screaming children. No rules were ever enforced. Embarkation was a nightmare. Some people were in line for over 3 hours before getting on the ship. Not sure if Corona screening played a part. But I doubt it. All of the specialty restaurants were superb. The buffet was good for lunches. Except again, children using their hands to get food. Unacceptable. Entertainment was fabulous. Choir of man was amazing. We love dueling pianos and went 3x during the week. The Carol King tribute was also very good. The spa was very annoying with the constant attempts to lure you in. We had the spa package and loved the thermal suites. I had a manicure which was no different from any one I could have gotten at home. Plus it chipped in 2 days. $ 55 was waaaaay overpriced. Stateroom just ok. Blah decor. Dark brown and green. Balcony nice.neighbors really noisy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We enjoyed our cruise very much. This was the next-to-last sailing before the COVID 19 shut down NCL, and we approached it warily. We observed no especially stringent sanitation efforts, other than an inescapable sing-song "we are ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise very much. This was the next-to-last sailing before the COVID 19 shut down NCL, and we approached it warily. We observed no especially stringent sanitation efforts, other than an inescapable sing-song "we are washee you" in the buffet, which got real old real fast. We're casino creatures, and found the one aboard quite the best we've ever encountered at sea: large, good spacing between machines, tolerable noise, payouts about as expected. Good luck finding a cocktail server. More often than not, we had to go to the bar to get our own drinks. TV offerings in the cabin were inadequate (especially compared with those on the Royal Princess on which we'd recently sailed): not much other than news unless you want to fork over $10 for a movie rental. Portions in Cagney's Steakhouse were obscenely huge. My prime rib could have fed a family of four. Ridiculously wasteful. I suggest NCL offer a more modest portion at the diner's option. We had a dining package and were able to eat in four of the upscale restaurants--Cagney's, Le Bistro, Ls Cucina, and Bayamo by Blue Lagoon. The only real standout was Bayamo, but what a standout it was! As an appetizer, I had the crab cake, which was sensational. Main course was the filet, literally fork-tender and perfectly cooked. And, oh, the brussel sprouts! Words fail me. The bread was soft and delicious, made with mascarpone and caramelized onion, and by itself worth the price of admission. The restaurant manager, Sandra Brown, was kind enough to get me the recipe (now I just need an occasion to make bread for 50 people). Most reviewers, it seems, wax poetic about the Choir of Man show, but I found it slightly off-putting--mostly unfamiliar songs, and a kind of forced levity among the performers, who are undeniably talented. On the other hand, After Midnight at the Cotton Club had me applauding wildly. The performers--all--are exceptionally talented, and the staging and costumes were terrific. One performer sang a wordless lament the memory of which still gives me goosebumps. The (maybe) dying art of tap dancing was forefront. I went to see it twice, and would gladly go again. I found it odd (and not a little disrespectful) that quite a few people walked out mid-performance. After Midnight. Cotton Club. Harlem. What didn't you get? Maybe I'm wrong. Hope so. Don't miss the crew staff talent show. Because of an NCL promotion (children cruise free!) there were children in abundance, but most were quite well behaved. The only time I got knocked down was by an adult. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Even with the Carona scare the embarkation was quick. And debarkation even quicker. The food was good overall, my only negative would be the buffet. They have super reduced the variety at the buffet. The food at the buffet was ok, ... Read More
Even with the Carona scare the embarkation was quick. And debarkation even quicker. The food was good overall, my only negative would be the buffet. They have super reduced the variety at the buffet. The food at the buffet was ok, but not something that I would get excited about. The main dining rooms were good. I like the European speed of eating a meal (one and a half to two hours). It encourages conversation and a relaxed meal. So if you are looking for something faster you are going to be disappointed. The specialty restaurants are good. They are not going to be the best food you have ever eaten, but you will leave satisfied. The cruise director, Richard, is one of the best that I have experienced. He is funny, engaging, and highly entertaining. I especially like the Cake Bake Off. The service all over the ship was great. With the exception of the bar staff. I assume that since so many people are on the drinks package that Norwegian under staffs the bars to slow the pace down. The entertainment was good. Liked the magician and the comedian. The dance troop are standard across most cruise lines. Cabins were smallish but good. Loved the redesigned public rooms. They did a good job during the last dry dock. I would recommend this cruise to most people. Drinks package tends to attract a more social crowd. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was my 7th cruise and my first time on NCL. I have to say I was very impressed. Upon reading the previous reviews, I was nervous about the food but the quality exceeded my expectations. The buffet, dinning room, and sports bar were ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise and my first time on NCL. I have to say I was very impressed. Upon reading the previous reviews, I was nervous about the food but the quality exceeded my expectations. The buffet, dinning room, and sports bar were really good. We never had to wait in line at the buffet which was nice. The ship was renovated and had a newer look. Although, it is small. I actually enjoyed it as it was more intimate and you didn't get lost in the crowds. Staff was attentive and friendly. The entertainment was really good, such as the productions shows, magician, and comedian. My only complaint, which is more of a remark, is that I found it was strange that the pool bars only served drinks in plastic beer cups. This is really not eco friendly due to the amounts of cups being used. The other thing is the ship was very rocky, I believe this was due to it not having stabilizers (read this in a previous comment), therefore the movements of the ship were constantly felt. Overall, I was very impressed with the cruise and will definitely be trying out NCL again. I would really like to try out one of their newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Tampa is a convenient port. Easy check in and local parking. Like Harvest Caye. Nice beach. We were only ship there that day so not crowded. Specialty restaurants a bit disappointing. Location and shape of Cagneys is weird - and too much ... Read More
Tampa is a convenient port. Easy check in and local parking. Like Harvest Caye. Nice beach. We were only ship there that day so not crowded. Specialty restaurants a bit disappointing. Location and shape of Cagneys is weird - and too much foot traffic with servers going between kitchen and Modesto next door. La Cucina was meh. Le Bistro did not disappoint. Don't miss a quiet happy hour in the wine cellar. Worth stopping by. Note: the glass-walled "cigar bar" filled with cigarette smokers is centrally located and unsightly. Dining room is great for 'sit down and be served' breakfast. But I wish it didn't close at 9:30. We're on vacation. Don't need to set the alarm. All and all, it's a good value for the money. Everything felt clean. Public restrooms well maintained. The staff was universally great: servers, bartenders, hosts, stewards, etc. Love the casual dress code. Suggestion: charge a bit more money and do less nickel and dimeing of guests all week. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Just off the Dawn. This was our 12th cruise. 10th with NCL. We have done this itinerary before, but this was what was available from Tampa, a day after a wedding we attended. No issues with service from staff, from stewards to waiters ... Read More
Just off the Dawn. This was our 12th cruise. 10th with NCL. We have done this itinerary before, but this was what was available from Tampa, a day after a wedding we attended. No issues with service from staff, from stewards to waiters to bar staff, all good. We had the 3 day SDP, and went to Moderno, La Cuchina, and Cagney's all were good. We did one night at Bamboo, our first time it was OK, not great. We had one dinner at O'Sheehans as we wanted to make the early show, quick service. 2 nights in MDR. It seems that menu choices are declining. Had lunches in the Buffet, we always found something to eat, but again the food choices just don't seem as good as when I started cruising years ago. I would like to say the General Mgr Alaine from France was very visible, saw him several times during the week, and he is very personable. We enjoyed the week, but we were not wowed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I didn't know much about cruises before booking this as my first (my plus one's second), and I started to get nervous once I saw poor reviews for the ship after paying in full. The food was better than I expected and always hot ... Read More
I didn't know much about cruises before booking this as my first (my plus one's second), and I started to get nervous once I saw poor reviews for the ship after paying in full. The food was better than I expected and always hot (we did no specialty dining - ate mostly in the Venetian) but my +1 had eaten lobster and filet frequently on his Carnival cruise so was a bit underwhelmed by the options. We weren't impressed by 95% of our servers. The room was decent for inside, our steward was excellent and made our bed twice each day. We didn't do many activities on board aside from every one of the shows, but we were only strongly interested in a handful of the other options per day. We would have liked to do some of the fitness classes or gameshows or tastings but weren't interested in paying extra. The pool area seemed too small for the ship. Our tender to Harvest Caye wasn't fun and the Tampa port staff for embarkation/disembark got the job done but the staff seemed rude. We didn't find the Sugarcane mojito bar until the last night, which was a bummer... head there first! This trip got the job done for the money. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We booked this cruise only a couple of months in advance to get out of town at Mardi Gras. We usually do go somewhere Mardi Gras week because school is out for the week. Although we had just cruised on the Getaway at Thanksgiving 2019, we ... Read More
We booked this cruise only a couple of months in advance to get out of town at Mardi Gras. We usually do go somewhere Mardi Gras week because school is out for the week. Although we had just cruised on the Getaway at Thanksgiving 2019, we figured why not? Because we are local to the New Orleans area, it is not necessary to fly to cruise for us, and that’s convenient. We love cruising. We already knew the ship, so we knew what to expect. Lots of locals, and it was a sold out cruise. But we knew how to avoid a crowded feel. We had a chance for the experiences we missed the first time on the Getaway, and we could relax a little more. The only downfall was that our specialty dining and entertainment reservations which we had so carefully planned and so carefully made on line were lost in an abyss when we boarded the ship. We showed up at our specialty dining restaurant on day two only to be told there were no reservations in the system. We found out we were not the only ones. One lady said she would not cruise Norwegian again. For some unknown reason, Norwegian cruise line does not communicate the reservations with the ship. That’s what we were told. Luckily we had printed our reservations confirmation. When guest services told us there was nothing they could do, we found an officer, who efficiently restored our reservations. They found room for us, though we had to alter one time slightly. When we asked how to keep that from happening again, we were told to call to make reservations and to confirm once we boarded (a two step process). Why should we be forced to do that when we already diligently made our reservations, especially with long lines on embarkation day? They also told us that they are currently working on the issue. Norwegian encourages guests to make reservations online ahead of time, and we knew from experience, during our Thanksgiving Cruise, that we should definitely do that, especially on a large crowded ship. It was very disappointing and a surprise to be told by guest services there was nothing to be done. My advice would be to call and confirm, once onboard. Norwegian really needs to remedy the reservations problem. On a lighter note, we were instantly recognized by the bartenders in the atrium, Oliver and Jay, and they remembered what we drank. That was a pleasant surprise. Around the ship, due to the crowds, it was sometimes difficult to get a drink, especially by the pool. We went to Le Bistro, Teppanyaki, and Cagney’s. We have been to La Cucina before. Our favorite specialty restaurant is Cagney’s. We will do that twice next time. We do Teppanyaki because our granddaughter loves it. We found the dining service on this cruise improved compared to our previous experience. The entertainment is good. Million Dollar Quartet is amazing! The band in Syd Norman’s Pour House is amazing. Get there early! It fills up quickly to standing room only. It is not a large venue. We loved the comedy talent onboard this time! Dueling pianos at Headliners is always fun. We do find it necessary to line up in advance at (least 30 minutes) to obtain good seats for the comedy shows and dueling pianos. Our granddaughter enjoyed the teen club, Entourage. It was her first time being able to go there because she just turned 13. There are lots of activities for them. During Mardi Gras week, there was a Mardi Gras party, too. The ports are typical Caribbean ports. The dock at Harvest Caye was broken, and the rendering process was tedious. The tenders were big (that helps), but lines were long, especially returning to the ship. It cut down on our time on the island, and we like this island very much. We always enjoy Costa Maya. We just wish it were a longer day there. I think that the itinerary on our upcoming Thanksgiving Cruise this year allows for that. In Cozumel, we enjoyed the Playa Mia excursion. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and the ship for the second time. It will be our second Breakaway Cruise this Thanksgiving week. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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