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224 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

looked a decent price for a solo, originally 20 nights it was reduced to 17 nights with a promised 25% reduction and a 25% off the next booking - problems with a refit lead to the reduced cruise nights the rearranged flights meant that ... Read More
looked a decent price for a solo, originally 20 nights it was reduced to 17 nights with a promised 25% reduction and a 25% off the next booking - problems with a refit lead to the reduced cruise nights the rearranged flights meant that ncl put me up in a hotel for one night at fumicino airport. I had to arrange my own transfers to be refunded later which was odd as I was greeted at the airport by an ncl person who informed me of a coach the following morning from rome airport to the port which would cost me 60$ - so either pay 60$ to ncl or arrange my own transfers of 105 euros which ncl said they will refund, makes no sense whatsoever embarkation took over 3 hours, the longest ever, arrived on board for the safety drill which was the longest drill ever covering everything form use handrails and don't forget to tie your shoe laces only to be repeated all again in Italian my cabin, apart from the first 3 days and nights being cold and uncomfortable was very good, a number of suite owners had no suite available for the first 10 days the ship had had a refit which was incomplete hence the delayed sailing date and loads of workmen on board and was not fit to sail there was a staff shortage - entertainments staff should have been 5 was 3 - a lot of staff were unable to sail because of previous close contact with china there were a lot of unhappy people on board but being English we made the best of things and apart from my cold initial cabin and statement being wrong and having to queue every 3 days to sort it which in fairness ncl did sort out I was relatively happy but others who had paid a lot of dosh for suites that were not available were not any sign of the captain or hotel manager apologising or explaining the difficulties er NO, senior staff were conspicuous by their absence, the poor front line desk staff had to take a lot of flak for something that wasn't their fault or responsibility - they were brilliant a pity the senior staff weren't I have had automated replies from ncl but no direct contact from them or my travel agent about the promised refunds which is disappointing especially from the travel agent as there were only 5 of us who had booked from that particular agent, just an e-mail to inform us of the refund situation but nothing in 2 weeks I could have made more of an issue about my cabin and the mistakes in my account charges but I did not as there were a lot of people with much more serious problems like wet carpets in their cabins, toilets that didn't work etc basically the ship was not ready to sail and ncl should have cancelled the cruise instead they went ahead and upset a lot of passengers - I sailed on the star in November and although there were not the same refit issues there was no organisation and again low profile captain and a lot of unhappy passengers, my previous 4 cruises with ncl were brilliant sad to say my last 2 with ncl were far from brilliant - NCL YOU HAVE LOST THE PLOT Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Almost a year before the cruise, we started researching what was available to visit countries that were a part of our ancient history. Time in Israel was a primary consideration. The initial 21 day Mediterranean cruise was our choice ... Read More
Almost a year before the cruise, we started researching what was available to visit countries that were a part of our ancient history. Time in Israel was a primary consideration. The initial 21 day Mediterranean cruise was our choice which we booked in February 2019 and booked our air-fare shortly after. And the dollar-coaster ride began. Between February and July there were three price reductions bringing the balcony cabin cost from $188 per night to $140 per night. In September we were advised that the cruise was to be shortened to 20 days and be embarking 2/11 instead of 2/10. Also 2 price reductions bringing the nightly cost to $119. It needs to be mentioned that every time the reservation is rewritten, there is a $100 processing fee payable to the travel agent. In January, the Spirit went in for a 40 day refurbishment. We would be the first to sail on the new Spirit, how exciting! We arrived in Rome on February 5th planning to do some sightseeing before we boarded the ship on February 11th. While we were in the air, NCL sent out a notice to some, but not all passengers on the upcoming cruise that said, because of a dock worker strike, the cruise was being delayed for 4 days and would not leave until February 14? We would also be losing stops in Greece and Limassol. Because of the delay our cruise cost would be reduced by 25%. (The cruise was now 1/4 of what it was initially). There was no assistance offered for the extra cost in hotels, food, flight changes and other ancillary expenses. Embarkation day and no more changes. The shuttle took us to the terminal where the boarding process began. NCL staff was friendly but everyone had a different answer to our requests for wheelchair assistance. Our temperatures were taken, passports traded for room keys and we were on our way. Once onboard, we had lunch in Windows – the main dining room. Wait staff was friendly, professional and fun to talk to. One of our waitresses was from Wuhan China. She told us more than once that she was safe, the significance of her statement did not sink in until later. Lunch was good except french fries were cold – this was an issue throughout the cruise. It appears to be mission impossible to get french fries from the kitchen to the table still hot. For the most part NCL staff were wonderful.. Easy to talk to and very good at their jobs. They would admit to the difficulties of the delay in departure but would only talk about it briefly. I must confess to being uncomfortable about being a “guinea pig” for the refurbishment process. Drains drained slowly, toilets didn’t flush or only flushed partially, some toilets didn’t have toilet seats, handicap restroom doors didn’t open or close properly, stair rails were not attached, there was banging and hammering all night long as the work continued to bring the ship up to par.. The line at customer service was horrible and remained that way for the majority of the trip. Staff that worked the counter were for the most part, attentive and understanding. We had an ongoing issue with a premium beverage package, it took 10 days to finally get it straightened out. As a meet and greet activity for members of our group, we had a Pub Crawl that was a combination of bingo and a poker hand. The Cruise Director and Beverage Manager were great to work with. The Champagne Bar over looks the atrium. Evening entertainment was excellent. Of note was a piano player that played several evenings and he was absolutely wonderful. He had an extensive knowledge of piano classics and it was possible to talk without yelling. But I date myself. The addition of Starbucks was a plus for me, but I miss the towel animals and chocolates that used to be a part of turn down service. Cagney’s Steakhouse and Le Bistro remain my favorites for good food and excellent service. The new Omada was excellent as well. A very nice addition was the certified wine sommeliers. The new color scheme is a modern greys, blues and burgundies. I miss the three color coded carpeting (you knew if you were up front, midship or aft by the color of the carpet), it is all the same color now. I will probably sail with NCL again.although I sincerely hope that I never have to go through the difficulties we faced dealing with the corporate offices and trying to adjust on the fly to the changes we had to work with on this cruise. Despite my disappointment at not being able to visit Greece, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and UAE were all I had hoped for. In addition, the folk on the Cruise Critic blog were the best and the cruise staff is what made the cruise special once we finally boarded. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The good: (1) It is a lovely and HUGE ship. Well designd lovely interiors. And because it is so big, people get "difused" among different areas (2) One particularly great idea, their "kitchen lab". You cook a surprise ... Read More
The good: (1) It is a lovely and HUGE ship. Well designd lovely interiors. And because it is so big, people get "difused" among different areas (2) One particularly great idea, their "kitchen lab". You cook a surprise ingredient meal, it gets graded by the chef, lots of laughs, a bit of cooking school and really fun. Highly recommend the idea AND the guys at the Lab who where absolutely great! (3) Also, a great staff that tried so hard to keep up with the volume of people, crazy in/out policies of constant embarkation, disembarkation at every port, not quite for prime time systems, overall mayhem. (Neal and Vanessa at the restaurant - thanks!! - Maria Luisa and Ana, the lovely lady at reception who heard me loud and clear -- many thanks too) Then the not-so-good news: (1) Smeralda was not ready for a holiday cruise so soon after the ship got finished (several previous departures were cancelled due to the ship not being "delivered"). Too much money on the line, so they went for it anyhow. The staff tried hard to put a good face as Management pushed them to be ready. We felt for them, and my kudos to their efforts and attitudes. (2) Never seen before: Costa, in its quest to fill the ship, had EVERY port accepting incoming and departing passengers, so EVERY day was hectic, people coming in, existing passengers leaving, suitcases in/ out, a total mess. (3) In their quest for diners at their "gourmet" $ places regular dining room was less than acceptable. We had two grandkids, so gourmet was not a choice. Again staff tried and apologized. The buffet was OK, but crazy busy. (4) I gave feedback to their customer service staff about my experience while on the ship and they were receptive. I appreciate their concern and their time. BUT, (not their fault) then I was confronted by one of the Maitre d's about my comments (which were not that critical) (5) Entertainment shows are at the most basic. Except for some professional dancers from Hungary (who have great line dancing at 10 pm), the rest of the dancers on shows were sadly amateurish. (6) And FINALLY, forget about not paying the full service charge. Like the "resort fee" in hotels (that Congress is trying to stop as being deceiving price advertisement) you have to pay it in fult. When I inquired I was referred to a sentence in website that the amount is not "changeable". Keep that in mind when comparing overall costs. We had 3 cabins so it was substantial and most importantly not clearly stated in price. Particularly if your cruise ends having issues such as ours. You must pay service the service charge irregardless of the quality of the service. Costa has not sent me a survey feedback request as is usually the practice of other cruise lines. Wonder why? Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because of the number of days, sea days and destinations. We prefer cruises with minimal sea days. The ports and shore excursions were great. NCL has finally begun to use personal audio devices to hear the tour ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the number of days, sea days and destinations. We prefer cruises with minimal sea days. The ports and shore excursions were great. NCL has finally begun to use personal audio devices to hear the tour guide with larger groups. The main dining room & buffet were average to fair. Sometimes there was a wait in the dining room to get coffee refills, etc. and the food was sometimes hot, sometimes warm, and unfortunately sometimes cold. The selections in the buffet and dining room were plentiful for soups, salads, entrees and desserts. The specialty restaurants were great, except for the Teppanyaki which was the worst I've ever had on shore or on a cruise. Steward for our room was superb and very friendly. He changes our towels sometimes more than once a day and our bed was always made up. We did hit a storm and had one port missed, but that wasn't NCL's fault. Can't blame them for bad weather. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because it was the end of the year and there were limited options. The port each day itinerary was fantastic and overall value for money was excellent. However the ship was dated, the staff were rude and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the end of the year and there were limited options. The port each day itinerary was fantastic and overall value for money was excellent. However the ship was dated, the staff were rude and miserable at times, the entertainment was dreadful unless you were 70 years plus. The food choices were chips with everything, particularly at lunchtime. The cabin was very small and dated. Furniture table was broken. Bedside drawers were places sideways as not enough space which meant you couldn't use the drawer ! Did I have a good time? Yes it was a fantastic holiday, I met lots of people , saw so much of Europe in a short time and really enjoyed myself. Would I recommend this ship or cruise line ? No, I had higher expectations that the ship would cater for all tastes in term of food, bars, shows. Would I go on this exact holiday again. Yes I would, I don't think better value for money would exist on another holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We went on our second Oceania cruise two weeks ago on the Marina. We had taken an Oceania cruise to Cuba on the Sirina about a year ago. We had heard such wonderful things about the Marina, large cabins, great service and great food. We ... Read More
We went on our second Oceania cruise two weeks ago on the Marina. We had taken an Oceania cruise to Cuba on the Sirina about a year ago. We had heard such wonderful things about the Marina, large cabins, great service and great food. We have been consistent Crystal cruisers. (18 over the years) The Marina is a small ship, the type we like and the cabins are a bit larger than Crystals. Bathrooms are large with a shower and a bathtub. Quite nice. The embarkation onto the Marina in Rome (Civitavecchia) was awful. No longer can your driver pull up to the ship but one has to take a bus with all your luggage in hand from the port entrance to the ship’s dock. Quite a shlep and very uncomfortable. Once we checked in, we were greeted with a bottle of champagne ( which we never drank) You get the feeling that Oceania tries to be friendly and caring but they fall short in many areas. The cabin stewardess was excellent. If one is in an A cabin you get free wi-fi for the entire cruise which is very nice. The unfriendly crew member who sets up the wi-fi on your IPad and IPhone is another story. The Marina has 4 dining specialty restaurants, which are quite good. The main dining room is something else. Not having the same wait staff each nite does pose some problems. The food in the main dining room is mediocre, at best. We eat a bit late, around 8pm, and on two occasions when we went to the main for dinner for 2, the dining room was mostly empty, the head waiter put us at a table for 2 next to the waiters bus station. I pointed out that maybe there was not a two by the window but there was a 4 nearby. The supervisor’s answer was “if you don’t mind sharing this table with another couple if they come then it is yours”. At that point I was furious. I went to the maître d and not so quietly explained the situation and that we were not leaving the table for 4 nor will we agree to eat with another couple (Again the dining room was mostly empty at this point.) Of course the Maitre ‘d took care of this situation. This happened on two occasions. Inexcusable! The wait staff in the main dining room were fair, at best. Lunch in the main dining room takes forever and they explain that most of the waiters are upstairs at the buffet restaurant. Oh well. Breakfasts were more than fine. The entertainment, as before on the Sirina, was awful. The friendly Oceania concierge explained that they put most of their money in food and not entertainment. Well, it almost shows. The shore excursions were a ripoff. We used WithLocals to meet us at each major port and they gave us wonderful personal tours in each city, for ¼ of the Oceania prices. We took an Oceania shore excursion in Provence (to St Remy) and this was quite a ripoff. While, I admit, Oceania is not Crystal, there is quite a big difference in attitude of crew, dining room, quality of entertainment and front office personnel. It’s just a feeling I got. And, the costs are not that great a difference to save anything. This was a learning experience. I must say it was nice but next time, I would pay the difference and cruise with Crystal every time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We sailed on the Sky from 11/10/19 - 11/17/19. The ship is beautiful and huge. Cabin: Our mini-suite was roomy (for a cruise cabin). There were several outlets (both US and Europe) so we didn't need our extension cord with extra ... Read More
We sailed on the Sky from 11/10/19 - 11/17/19. The ship is beautiful and huge. Cabin: Our mini-suite was roomy (for a cruise cabin). There were several outlets (both US and Europe) so we didn't need our extension cord with extra outlets. There are also USB outlets in the lamps.The issue that we had with the cabin (E202) was that we could hear music. We were not sure if it was from the theater, piazza, or somewhere else. Food: There is a large choice of restaurants (several for an extra cost). We did not care for the buffet food at all, but we were glad to see that they had 3 sinks at each entrance to the buffet and that staff was enforcing that passengers washed their hands before entering the buffet.Not one case of norovirus reported on our cruise. The food in the MDR was good but not great. I would have expected great like our other Princess cruises. The really bad part was the speed of service. Every dinner in the MDR was over 2 hours because the wait for food and drinks was extremely long. I am not certain what the issue was. The servers were extremely nice though. The Crown Grill was superb! We could not have been happier with our meals. Food and service were excellent. And believe it or not, took less time than in the MDR. Like on all Princess ships, we loved the International Cafe where we could get light snacks and specialty coffees. The pizza and appetizers at Alfredo's were very good, but again the service was slow. Spa: The services and the personnel at the spa were great. Again, noise was the issue. During my massage and during my wife's facial, we could hear music. I never experienced this on any other ship, let alone Princess.This may be because the spa was on deck 5 when I remember always seeing it on the higher decks. Shore Excursions: There were a huge amount of shore excursions. The ones that we booked were good. Entertainment: Take 5 lounge is great. Very relaxing place to sit and have a drink and have some conversation. The main shows were somewhat underwhelming. The escape room which we were looking forward to was not open yet. All in all, it was an OK cruise but not great. I would almost say that it was a great Carnival cruise at Princess prices. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise as an experience of a lifetime. To see places such as Petra and the Suez Canal. We have traveled extensively over our life time. Our previous cruises were fantastic and we decided to try a different cruise line and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an experience of a lifetime. To see places such as Petra and the Suez Canal. We have traveled extensively over our life time. Our previous cruises were fantastic and we decided to try a different cruise line and experience different countries by cruising. The first half of the cruise up until the end of the Suez Canal was as we expected. The shore excursions were very good. We visited Petra and Wadi Rum, which we expected to be our highlight of the trip. Although we enjoyed it I feel this could have been done better. For example everyone was not expecting it to be so cold. Everyone I spoke to had, as did I focused on the dress code for these countries and we were unaware of the temperatures we experienced especially at night. The service was generally very good however guest service’s staff were quit rude at times towards myself and a number of other guests. I understand it’s a very difficult job however customer service and staff training should prepare them for most situations. Dining option were good what let this down was the repetitive options offered and the service by some staff. Four dining experiences in the main dining restaurant were horrible with grumpy/angry staff who served us with an attitude fit for a roadhouse. The ship overall was very good the cabin also very good and the Cabin service was awesome Entertainment and activities were ok just needed more physical activities examples badminton, more dance classes. Photo packages so expensive that people we spoke to left with nothing as did we, which was very disappointing Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Room is fine 11061 is a bit noisy but great size butler &maid Dining & tour arrangement a 3rd rate low price Cruise line disaster. Tour changed with no notification (some attendees, not all received notification 2 days in ... Read More
Room is fine 11061 is a bit noisy but great size butler &maid Dining & tour arrangement a 3rd rate low price Cruise line disaster. Tour changed with no notification (some attendees, not all received notification 2 days in advance. WE DID NOT) from am to pm thereby not allowing time to dress for cocktail party & attend dinner reservation at speciality restaurant. The restaurant refused to change reservation 2 @ any time ! Reservations made online weeks ago for a very special birthday. Birthday when attempting to confirmed with Butler upon boarding I was informed my reservation was for the ninth not the tenth but he assured m we no problem as long as we were flexible with time. Tried to confirm planned birthday celebration at Jacques 2 day in advance informed I was on waitingist THANK YOU VERY MUCH Not even Carnival abuses multu repeat crusiersj. Oh wonderful !!just learned Port of Monte Carlo will be cancelled Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We sailed on the third cruise of Sky Princess, 7 days in the Med. This was our 19th Princess Cruise so we do have a basis of comparison. I echo the sentiment of a previous reviewer about the inadequate elevators. The forward bank of ... Read More
We sailed on the third cruise of Sky Princess, 7 days in the Med. This was our 19th Princess Cruise so we do have a basis of comparison. I echo the sentiment of a previous reviewer about the inadequate elevators. The forward bank of elevators, outside of the Princess Theater, had only three of the four elevators in operation for the entire cruise. This is one of the busiest locations on the ship. The operating elevators through out the ship were extremely slow. Or was it too few elevators for the number of passengers? The earlier reviewer didn't mention the Nora virus. The second cruise was plagued by the Nora virus, passengers and crew members. Between the second cruise and third cruise boarding there was additional sanitation of the ship, which delayed boarding, room availability and embarkation. During our cruise the Captain reported several times a day about the enhanced sanitation required. Between 9 - 14 passengers "reported" being ill during our 7 day cruise. As a result, enhanced sanitary procedures took place everywhere. This was most notable at the buffet where everything was served. Passengers were not allowed to touch serving utensils, dishes, glasses, etc. This was an additional burden on the crew as well as passengers. This was our first experience with the "Medallion" and it worked most of the time. Several crew members complained about them. There was a learning curve to their usage. Food was very good and there were a number of new, for fee, dining locations. Sabatini's menu had changed, no steak and several other item changes.. Ship shops were definitely up scaled, more expensive and we had just been on the Sapphire Princess the week prior. We watched rehearsal for a new "production" show but the Sky Princess offered only one "production" show for the trip...Rock Opera. The show received a standing ovation but others complained later about how loud it was. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We did a 14 day Greece Italy cruise in November 2019 on the jade. It was actually our second time on her, we didn’t know it but we had been on before when it was the pride of Hawaii in 2007. This itinerary was awesome, 12 cities in 14 ... Read More
We did a 14 day Greece Italy cruise in November 2019 on the jade. It was actually our second time on her, we didn’t know it but we had been on before when it was the pride of Hawaii in 2007. This itinerary was awesome, 12 cities in 14 days including an overnight in Venice (luckily just a week before it flooded). The refresh was nice, everything looked new and clean and it was great to have usb outlets in the room. But there was nothing “wow” about the whole experience. Like always our stateroom attendant was great, ice twice a day, always spotless, very quick turn down at night, he was probably the spotlight. We didn’t do many shows as they didn’t seem too interesting. Vox Fortura was featured twice and they were excellent. Did the female singer once (from Holland) but no Broadway or country western or acrobats. The food was pretty plain too. We had reservations in the main dining room every night, but it was frustrating. You still have to check in and you don’t always get the same table. If you want the same table you have to ask and even then you don’t get the same people. We’ve met so many great people at dinner, why would you want to do it this way? And then the food just wasn’t great. First trip pasta was cold. Next everything was just plain, no real flavor, not even the fish. After the third night we gave up. We either did the irish pub or the buffet. The pub has a good selection and if you want a beer or drink with your dinner, they’re much faster getting it for you. The buffet had a lot of the same stuff each night but there was enough variety it was fine. It also has a bar so you can walk up and get any beverage asap. The outside buffet was also pretty good and tended to have foods that weren’t in the other buffet. It had good cookies every day. We didn’t starve, but I know I didn’t gain much weight over 2 weeks. The bars are pretty good. Think we went to each. Never a service problem or delay, but never a talkative bartender either. We didn’t have the drink package because it was massively expensive. The cruise was $250 per person cheaper with no “perks” included, and on the drink package you still had to pay a 20% gratuity. For 2 weeks that was nearly $300 per person! So getting “free” drinks was over $500 per person. Even with $8 beers and drinks every night, we spent $350. I don’t think people realize you can get an NCL cruise with no perks for a way lower price, they’re always pushing the perk price and no wonder, makes them a lot more money. Also, it’s worth mentioning the ultimate drink package does not include soda, coffee that’s not from a machine in a dining room or juices or WATER! Nothing ultimate about that. I read a lot of reviews and looked at a lot of photos to see if an outside was actually bigger than an inside. NCL shows the same layout but shows it as more square feet. Well it is bigger and it’s not the same layout. Pictures attached. It’s about 2 feet deeper and very similar layout. You get more table space and more storage space. The added depth is because they have to accommodate a door to have adjoining rooms. So this was worth the extra in my opinion. With 12 stops in 14 days we weren’t spending a lot of time in the room, but the inside I poked my head into was definitely cramped. A few downsides to this room. The window, though huge, was useless to see out of it was so scratched. We had a family outside which meant it could hold 4. it does this with just one fold down bed. The other is a trundle so when that’s out you’re sleeping 3 in a row. Don’t know how comfortable that would be. But if you have more than 2 large suitcases, there’s only one bed to put them under, not two. So our second bags had to be in the room the whole time. Other big downer is the toilet. There’s no room in front of it. If you’re tall, your knees will hit the wall and forget any kind of leaning over. It’s so cramped that we just went to a public toilet for anything other than #1 the whole cruise and I’m only 5’7”. But we did enjoy ourselves. Nothing was ever bad enough to ruin the fun. We met a lot of great people and despite a full ship it didn’t feel cramped. With the exception of tenders in Kotor it was all smooth sailing. As for NCL and/or the Jade, this was our fourth time with NCL and we chose it for the itinerary not the line or ship, so that’s why the rating. We’d certainly go NCL again if the stops were right, but if it’s just a cruise to get away or for a first timer, probably not. Maybe one of their newest ships though…. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise to give us a taste of the Mediterranean, Italy, Greece and the Adriatic in Oct/Nov 2019. On those points, it did not disappoint. The ports were fantastic, but this review isn't about the ports, its about the ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise to give us a taste of the Mediterranean, Italy, Greece and the Adriatic in Oct/Nov 2019. On those points, it did not disappoint. The ports were fantastic, but this review isn't about the ports, its about the ship. Lets start with the good. Its clean and obviously had a recent refurbish, we liked the layout and we liked the general look and feel. We had a mid ship balcony cabin on level 10 and it was great. Always had a good view of ports and the sea. Cabin was always clean and water was fine. Service staff were always friendly and smiling. Getting on and off when the sip was docked was never a hassle and quite quick. Garden Cafe - Buffet restaurant at rear of ship - was always preparing fresh food, had a large variety and I never had a bad meal there. Breakfast was great as I love omelette and they had 4 omelette stations ready to go. Teppanyaki night - excellent food, excellent staff and general all round best night on the boat. Highly recommended if you get the specialty dining package. So that's it, now for the not so good. Cruise Director - Bereft of creativity and ideas. Probably a legend in his own mind but as far as ship entertainment went, it was below average. We tried a few of the shows and with the exception of the grand finale on the last night of the cruise, most of the performers were mediocre. Four Tenors - great, lady from scandanavia that won a singing contest, mediocre, acrobats, mediocore, dancing, ho hum. Glass jugging guy, gosh that was boring and he dropped things. The cocktail bar and piano lounge had what can only described as someone from a Thai karoke bar asked to come on a free cruise and try their best at singing. Screeching and warbling just isn't my thing. The only shining light all cruise was the wonderful band and singers that played in the spinnaker lounge at nights for the whole cruise. Thank-god for them, otherwise the cruise would have been complete drudgery. Tenders at Kotor - what a complete disaster at this port. This was a 6 hour stop so we queued up to try and get an early ticket for a tender. The only time they had to use tenders was at Kotor and we managed to get ticket number 3. After the first hour, only people with ticket number 1 had disembarked. There were people behind us with ticket 19. You do the math on how long it was going to take them to get ashore. At the very beginning a whole bunch of local boats turned up to assist, but they were turned away by Jade and they tried to get everyone off with only 3 tenders. Clearly someone with half a brain decided this wasn't going to work, so they disembarked 3 more tenders, so people with ticket number 2 got off in the second hour. Finally as the people in the queue on board were close to rioting, someone with perhaps three quarters of a brain decided to let the local boats to help and we managed to get ashore two and a half hours after docking. For anyone from Norwegian Cruise line who may be reading this, let me help you with the math - Number of passengers on ship / number of people who fit into tender = number of tenders required. If number of tenders used is less than number of tenders required, divide difference by number of tenders used and multiply time taken for round trip to shore. That's how long it will take to get all the passengers off you muppets. If answer is greater than 3 hours, then you have a problem, especially if you're only at the port for 6 hours. If a cruise line can't get simple things like tenders right and not anticipate the number of passengers wanting to get off, then what can it get right? You're an experienced cruise line, there was no excuse for this. Jasmine Restaurant - We had eagerly sought this restaurant out as it was the only place on board we could get some chinese cuisine. It was always packed out early on in the cruise, but we finally got a table about the 7th night in and settled down to some sweet and sour pork and fried rice.One bite and I almost threw up. They'd used some cheap bottled sauce for the sweet and sour and the fried rice was a steamed rice with some corn and carrot thrown in. It was disgusting. My wife and I both left and went to the buffet at the rear of the ship to get some dinner. We noticed that there were no more crowds at Jasmine after mid way through the cruise. Word quickly spread what horrible food they were serving up. Beverage Package - doesn't include softdrinks (sodas or water) what a bunch of pirates. You want us to drink only alcohol the entire trip? They offered bottles of water for sale on the first day, 15 euros for 6 bottles. Then in the fine print (which I unfortunately missed) there is s service charge of 20% to bring your water to your room. PIRATES!!! You can't bring your own water on board, so they've monopolised the water market. Good on you Norwegian. Beverage package buyer beware, its overpriced and any drink over $15 is not included. Oh yeah they sting you on trying to get the really nice drinks too. PIRATES!! Shore Excursions - Luckily, we already knew what a rip off these would be so avoided them completely. My wife and I travelled from Livorno, the Italian port to Florence by train, saw everything we wanted walking around in Florence, had a quick stop in Pisa on the way back and arrived back on board in time for dinner. Total cost for both of us for the entire day $52 Euros. Speaking to others who had got back from a journey form hell, and hearing about their $250 Euro per person tours, we were dumbfounded why people think there is any value on those organised shore excursions. We heard so many stories of people with rude tour guides, short stops without time to look at things and no toilet breaks. Advice to travellers, avoid the shore excursions, they are a complete rip off and with a little amount of planning and courage, do it yourself and you get to see so much more. So this sounds like a big spit, but overall I enjoyed the cruise. We went for the ports and they did not disappoint. We have a lot of wonderful memories, met some great friends on board and the boat overall was clean which is very ipmortant for us. Would we travel Norwegian again? Probably, its not like the other cruise lines aren't trying to squeeze every cent out of their passengers. If the things listed above could be fixed up, the boat would be great. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I selected this cruise because of the ports of call and the excursions that were offered. Although the cabin, dining, entertainment, and service was satisfactory, the descriptions of the excursions could be improved upon. For example, when ... Read More
I selected this cruise because of the ports of call and the excursions that were offered. Although the cabin, dining, entertainment, and service was satisfactory, the descriptions of the excursions could be improved upon. For example, when they state that you'll have free time to shop or take pictures, I think they should state that you may have only 10 to 20 minutes. I think that adding details as to how long you may be traveling by boat or ferry, train or car, should be added to all excursion descriptions. Also, Capri - The Isle of Romance (guided tour) was listed as an option in the port of Naples, but after I booked the cruise, it was not an option (only Capri on your own was) and after calling NCL Excursion desk, learned that a guided tour of Capri never was an option for the itinerary. (Ended up booking a private tour of Capri, which was fantastic.) Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Because we did not WANT it to be true, we ignored reviews like this prior to our October/November 2019 Cruise on HAL Neiuw Statendam. There are many very good things about this ship and this cruise line, but this description is ONLY to ... Read More
Because we did not WANT it to be true, we ignored reviews like this prior to our October/November 2019 Cruise on HAL Neiuw Statendam. There are many very good things about this ship and this cruise line, but this description is ONLY to give a detailed assessment about dance opportunities and conditions on board. We took a cruise on this ship six months ago and ended up a bit dissatisfied with the opportunities to dance. Nonetheless we were persuaded by the overall high standard of service, very good dining experiences, well designed staterooms, highly desirable itinerary, AND by representations from corporate management that they hoped to do better, to give Neiuw Statendam another go. This was, from a dancing perspective, a mistake; things had not improved and practices had become so ingrained that in some respects they were worse. Staff on board were unresponsive at best and dismissive on occasion. I will elaborate with specifics below, but the message for the casual reader is that if dancing on board is at all important to you, this is probably not the ship for you. Just as important, contrary to what you may recall about HAL in the past, regrettably, it gives me no pleasure to report, this is likely no longer the cruise line for you. The old Northern Lights disco is no more on the pinnacle-class ships, and we have heard it will be disappearing in upcoming refits elsewhere in the fleet. This did not seem to us a serious loss. It was dated and poorly attended. The space is probably put to better use. A far more serious loss is that the dancing that used to be available in Ocean Lounge is no longer an option. The dance floor on Neiuw Statendam, is a mere 3 meter circle—(no kidding!!!)--that could accommodate just two couples at most, and was idle for all 34 days of our most recent cruise. The piano on the dais, we were told, had not been played since the ship commenced operation in December 2018. A waiter even joked when we asked about the venue, "It is just a prop." Don't expect the HALkats either; they are history. Don't expect any performances by the showband in this venue or anyplace other than World Stage. Don't expect a small combo; corporate management says they are too costly and too uneven in quality to be used any more. There is what looks like a grand piano, but it could have been cardboard for all we know. You simply will no longer find opportunities for anything approaching latin, swing, or ballroom dancing before dinner or at any other time here in Ocean Lounge. So, when and where COULD you dance and what sorts of dancing is it going to be? The core of the entertainment concept is now "Music Walk," a frankly over hyped apologia for the corporate partnerships, commercially branded, dueling piano bar; new rock music stage; and old blues club in a very elegant and functional reincarnation of the former Queen's Lounge. There is not much new here, however, except the glitz, though the musicianship is admittedly strong and the HARD, HARD (did I mention, HARD?) rock music is now LIVE; but it is so ear shattering that they had to erect glass doors to reduce bleed-over down the hall into other venues and that most patrons forget to close when passing through. Result: music salad. There is another tiny dance floor in the Billboard on Board dueling piano bar. For most performances chairs are set up on this floor, though it can be used for dancing when the rock band is playing across the wide open hallway. Dancing to dual pianos can be challenging as there is no percussion and generally no base line to give a beat, though some songs can the followed nonetheless. Some of the performers in the piano bar are genuine rising stars, and here you will find the greatest variety of popular dance music. But it is difficult, and dancing here is high profile. You will get the feeling that you should not be dancing on the dance floor. But nobody will say anything. Dancing in the Rolling Stone Rock Room is possible on the comfortably large oval floor, which is about 8 meters at its widest and 4 or so at its narrowest. The genres of music are severely limited to HARD rock swing (east and west coast) with the occasional Cha Cha, or possibly adapted "high speed" rumba or perhaps a rare nightclub two step. The driving beat is monotonous, and the repertoire is exhausted after two or three nights. The volume, however, can be downright painful. Many guests complained. The crowd, most of whom seem not to be regular patrons of live music, are nonetheless enthusiastic and appreciate the hard rock favorites of their youth and may find the volume a compensation as well as an accelerant for hearing loss. Dancers range from 1960s freestylers, young weight shifters (mainly women in spike heels), a few genuine swing dancers, couples in warm embrace, and loners made embarrassingly bold by alcohol. The greatest opportunity for dancing to live music is in the BB King Blues Club with its very fine but over scrubbed 8x8 meter and padded hardwood floor. This floor is a gem and arguably one of the best at sea. The music here is a little more varied than the Rock Room. There is lots of blues and jazz improv of course, suitable especially for West coast swing, but also some East coast, with occasional cha cha, rumba, or nightclub two step. A night with one or two fox trots over the course of three sets is possible, but rare, and the dance floor, crowded with fired up free stylers in the early sets--most with little situational awareness and little inhibition--and is more likely to frustrate than please more serious dancers. Still everyone has a right to the dance floor, and not just dancers who know steps. Patrons who are tipsy and with sloshing wine glasses or beer bottles in hand are, sadly, a common sight. A grand old line like HAL might just remind you here of their parent company during some sets, though unaccompanied children are less common, but equally dangerous, as on Carnival. The less serious dancers tend to thin out in later sets. The singers are trained performers who frequently interrupt the music with rightside/leftside, complete-this-lyric, or stop-the-music-because-of-weak-response antics. It is a good show to be sure, but not so great for dancing. And, like all blues clubs, each performance will include at least one long piece of solo ad libs for each musician in the band, which is generally as undanceable as it is ubiquitous and too lengthy. This venue affords the most numerous and varied opportunities for dancers, but it couldn't lay claim—and HAL wants to do, to being a dance club. As the name implies it is a Blues Club, though ‘blues purists’ will have their own reservations. With the obvious exception of the cha cha, Latin music, regrettably, is for the most part absent in all these venues. Salsa, mambo, samba, meringue, and bolaro rather rare. Tango (and waltzes for that matter, and of both varieties) are on the endangered species list on this ship. Argentine tango, oddly given the line's promotion of South American cruises, is apparently extinct here. But, good news, the cruise director offered a morning lesson on the electric slide, and we did observe it performed twice and led by the members of the band on the dance floor to encourage participation. That, friends, was the sole dance lesson offered in over four weeks. This on the line that just three years ago sponsored ‘Dancing with the Stars’ on every cruise. Oh, how the mighty have fallen! There is a new CEO with a different demographic in mind, and you are not it. If you enjoy dancing, know a few steps, and especially if you recollect the very good dancing that used to be associated with this line, you will find these opportunities just tantalizing enough to disappoint. But all this is not at the core of our frustration; this has to be reserved for the dismissive attitude and trifling pretense to address our concerns from the line's Seattle management right down to on-board staff. This could be summed up as: "But we have music walk, what else could you want?" It is fine to make a conscious business decision to market to a different demographic, but suggesting otherwise and telling customers that certain pallatives are being implemented (even saying "fleetwide") and then failing to do so, is not. Here are some insights about the recorded dance music in dance venues when not in use. Music was played in the BB King area between sets, but it was almost nearly all of the very same genre that was performed there, though at a lower decibel level. And band members will often loudly rehearse over it rendering useless for dance purposes. "Ballroom" dance was scheduled a few times. Two afternoons on the first (10 day)cruise, none on the second, and once on the third. These opportunities were always at "back on board" time, right as guests are returning from excursions. These 45-minute sessions were however frequently interrupted by lengthy and repeated public announcements seeking missing passengers, the captain's daily report detailing exactly how he planned to maneuver away from the dock, through the channel, past the breakwater, past the lighthouse, through the waves, and out to sea with nonetheless appreciated weather information. This was typically turned over to the cruise director for the inevitable and the re-re-reiteration of when towel folding seminars, acupuncture clinics, jewelry sales, and game show events would be offered. Once an interruption occurred, the music totally stopped and the song and its genre (perhaps the only one of its type) were gone and the next melody was already in progress when it started up. Ballroom dancers could reasonably expect half a dozen songs. On one occasion the session listed in the on-line program did not happen as the space had been double booked for bingo. No rescheduling, no apology, just too bad. "But hey, we have bingo and Music Walk." Finally, there is the hopeful and welcome nightly opportunity called "Dancing to the Hits" with the DJ. You will have to stay up fairly late for this most nights, which may not be suitable if you have an early shore excursion or are over 50. The exact time varies, but 11:30 or 11:45 is typical. Requests are NOT accepted; in fact, the DJ told patrons that the playlist was set by the corporate office! There is a danceable mix of golden oldies from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, lots of Motown, and a few standards from the “great American songbook.” A waltz or foxtrot may even slip in! On two occasions, when the band had the night off, "Dancing to the Hits" was scheduled for a welcome, convenient, and popular 10pm. Unfortunately, on BOTH occasions, after half a dozen songs, the ship's official paid "pub crawl" arrived at this final of its more than twenty stops. You can imagine the state of the participants by then. They were served their final tumblers of drinks and physically literally took over the dance floor for a guys vs girls dance contest. We tried to wait this out, but the literal writhing on the floor of this irresponsible bacchanal was too disturbing to endure. So it is recommended that if you attempt to dance when it happens at 10pm, that you be there at the start because it is not going to last very long and will soon degenerate into something like a college fraternity party. Holland American is a great traditional cruise line with many wonderful features. The staff is well-trained, eager to please, and always attentive. The dining, even in the complimentary venues, is first rate. The ship is new, well designed, and genuinely gorgeous. The itineraries are appealing and the excursions well planned and efficient. But this grand old line with a rich history of fine opportunities for dancers no longer affords them or seems to care about patrons who see them as part of the traditional cruise experience. So, if dance is important to you, think carefully about selecting this line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We picked this cruise because we were on the Koningsdam last year and had a great experience, plus we liked the itinerary. Here are the Pros and Cons...note that we are not drinkers so I cannot comment on anything related to that, ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we were on the Koningsdam last year and had a great experience, plus we liked the itinerary. Here are the Pros and Cons...note that we are not drinkers so I cannot comment on anything related to that, Pros: The ship was immaculate... hand washing machines on the Deck 9 dining room Friendly service and prompt in dining room and with cabin stewards. I did notice that any type of manager in the dining areas seemed surly and therefore not welcoming or really approachable. Lovely room....we just had an inside cabin and it was spacious with a large shower with sliding glass door. Itinerary was nice...good ports with a nice length of time. Food choices were pretty good although the well stocked salad bar on the first day lost several topping options the 2nd day thru the remainder of the cruise. Dining room service was prompt Nice pool deck area Cons: Activities were limited when at sea. There was an electrical issue with one of the music areas so that venue was closed 90% of the cruise. Music options were scarce and song choices repeated and became uninteresting. Upsell all the time....booked a relaxing spa time and was constantly pressed to buy them $100 creams. Entertainment is adequate but nothing special Excursions should be vetted more....one excursion to Bosnia required passenger seat to hand over passports (which as not noted in the brochure...only stated passport check). One passenger did not receive her passport back, which resulted in a long delay and a trip for her to the embassy, as passport was never recovered. Cruise Director was not very friendly...more on the sarcastic side, however the Asst. C.D., whose name is Voyja was extremely pleasant and interactive with all age groups! Even tho food was good...there was heaviness on East Indian cuisine as the head chef is of that ethnicity....I would’ve enjoyed more authentic local cuisine of the cruise ports. Ship lost all power and was adrift for about an hour.... although the Captain did regularly keep us informed. I would probably not choose this ship again for the above mentioned reasons and explore other cruise line options with better food and entertainment/activity options. Other cruisers seemed happy with the drink options .... they do have unsweetened iced tea and lemonade freely available and both were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and time of year. We have cruised on Viking ocean cruises and the Windstar cruises; Norwegian is less expensive and we now know you get what you pay for. Our room was near the trash compactor/waste ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and time of year. We have cruised on Viking ocean cruises and the Windstar cruises; Norwegian is less expensive and we now know you get what you pay for. Our room was near the trash compactor/waste machine and there was a constant banging sound all night long. Norwegian has no business selling cabins that make it impossible to sleep. After four nights of no sleep we were finally moved to another cabin and the ensuing packing up and moving was a pain, but was worth it for a peaceful night. The food was mediocre and there was only one specialty restaurant, Cagney's,that was worth the money. On one occasion we had a very short time in port; we rose early to get off for the maximum amount of time shore, but were told we had to wait to disembark because "premium" members were given the early disembarkation. This is no way to treat people who have paid for a cruise. We will not be returning customers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Good itinerary and reasonable price! Food was rather ordinary. No special nights like they have on other cruise lines. One night food was so bad ( rubber chicken) that I just refused to eat it. Ship was somewhat tired in many areas. ... Read More
Good itinerary and reasonable price! Food was rather ordinary. No special nights like they have on other cruise lines. One night food was so bad ( rubber chicken) that I just refused to eat it. Ship was somewhat tired in many areas. Service in the dining room and bars was terrific. Room service was below par. Washroom dirty when we checked in and we never really had communication with our steward. He neglected to report the lights out in our washroom and we had to report it twice more to get something done. Would think twice before cruising with Norwegian again even with their good price. Nice to be on a somewhat smaller ship but this one needs to be refurbished. Shore excursions were fairly good , but you can usually do better by arranging your own through web pages etc. All in all I would call this a satisfactory but not great cruise which was saved by the great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First time cruising NCL and some major bumps starting off as our airport to hotel transportation never picked us up in Rome and when we called the service (SMS) we were told they don’t provide that service despite the fact we had a ... Read More
First time cruising NCL and some major bumps starting off as our airport to hotel transportation never picked us up in Rome and when we called the service (SMS) we were told they don’t provide that service despite the fact we had a confirmation. This resulted in an OVERPRICED cab ride to the hotel. I reported this as soon as I boarded the Jade expecting a credit, but was told I had to file a past cruise claim when I returned. Kind of unacceptable. I am home almost a week, 3 phone calls later I was told I can only submit online. I did on Thursday and am still waiting for a response or claim number. Those bumps aside, the rest of the cruise was great. The itinerary was AMAZING, specialty dining was great, cabin was great. The Ultimate Drink Package does result in not enough servers and you having to get your own drinks most of the time, but I’m assuming this is happening on all Lines as well. They’re gonna hustle a little more when they’re getting $12 a drink than when they’re getting unlimited drinks! like the general concept of free style cruising and know that all cruise lines are moving in that direction, however the personal touch is somewhat lost for those of us who remember when your servers knew what you drank and whether you liked fresh pepper by the 2nd night of your cruise. All in all it was a great cruise, just disappointed in NCL Customer Service on an After Cruise Corporate Level Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and I were very excited about our first cruise with SilverSea. We like the smaller ships and had seen that they were focusing on a high quality food experience. Combining a trip to Italy with this cruise seemed like a wise ... Read More
My wife and I were very excited about our first cruise with SilverSea. We like the smaller ships and had seen that they were focusing on a high quality food experience. Combining a trip to Italy with this cruise seemed like a wise decision. However, we were disappointed with the outcome. Let me illustrate some of our experiences, both good and bad on the cruise: Embarkation was smooth and efficient; Our cabin was top shelf; roomy and very comfortable; Ship was fresh with a few areas lacking but overall good; Our assigned butler was annoying; after awhile it seemed that his interest in providing service was all driven by his interest in getting an additional gratuity; very insincere attitude; Overall, the staff seemed disengaged; for many, they were finished with their tour of duty and were anxious to get home; The focus on the quality food experience seemed good because many dining options were offered; much got lost in this regard since most of the dining options had limited menu choices (not necessarily an issue) until you realize these options did not change much for the entire cruise; Excursions were good; varied options; generally, good, knowledgable guides; Overall, the guest experience was below average; Let me offer two separate experiences which sums up our impression of the service and onboard experience: Prior to an excursion, I stopped at the bursar's desk to get smaller bills for tipping our guide and driver; when I asked them to "break" a $50 Euro bill, I was informed that they had no euros on board; they only dealt with American dollars; seemed very odd since we were traveling in Europe; the attitude of the staff member came across like "I really don't have the time to get this for you." On one day when we had not pre-planned an excursion, we decided last minute to see if we could get to do one that sounded interesting; that morning, we went to the reception desk and inquired if there was space available; the person at the desk informed us that she didn't work for the cruise line but if we made a written request, someone would get back in touch; 2 hours later, we had heard nothing; went back to the desk and were told someone would be in touch; 1 hour later - nothing; went back to the desk to inquire and was told we should take the tender in to port and check with the SilverSea rep there - really?; they could not (would not) communicate to determine if space was available?; when I asked "What if there is no space?" I was told we could stay in port or take the next tender back to the ship; I could go on but these experiences were very indicative of the overall attitude of the staff/service. If it were not for the stateroom, the rating would have been 1 Star. We tried SilverSea and came to the conclusion that even though the room was great, we would not be return cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We wanted to cruise the Mediterranean and this ship was visiting the places we wanted to see. I have to say though, we didn’t really compare it to any other cruise lines and it was our first cruise. Still, I’m sure I will visit ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Mediterranean and this ship was visiting the places we wanted to see. I have to say though, we didn’t really compare it to any other cruise lines and it was our first cruise. Still, I’m sure I will visit Greece and Italy again, I just won’t cruise. A few things I noted while onboard: Malta- The very best part is the view from the ship in port. It’s breathtaking. BEWARE, if, like us, you arrive on Sunday. NOTHING IS OPEN! So don’t waste your money on an excursion. Hardly worth the hop on hop off fee either but at least it was something to do. There is a piazza at the port with a few restaurants and souvenir places plus a Starbucks so you can grab a meal off of the boat. Best cell phone connection of the whole trip! Crete- we were in port for 4 hours. It wasn’t enough. There is a small shopping area but we arrived so early and left so quickly that nothing was really open yet. The food was so-so and the baked goods were stale. It was the least memorable stop but I suspect that if we had more time it might have been different. Rhodes - loved the old town! It was quaint, clean and full of shops and restaurants. Exactly what you picture when you think of Greece. The food was was good. We probably bought more souvenirs here than anywhere else, Before returning to our ship I spent some time swimming in the marina. It was beautiful! The water was crystal clear and there is a small beach to keep a towel. And you are right by the ship so it was convenient. Mykonos. What a bust! I purchased the 4 hour excursion for $44 which ultimately was for a bus ride to and from the beach. We left late and, at the end, waited over an hour for our return bus. (An hour we could have spent on the beach!) The beach was nice but the sand is rocky so wear water shoes. The water was colder than expected and chairs cost 30eu for the pair. The escort was rude and the experience ruined our day. After all 45 people complained, the ship refunded a portion of the excursion fee. PS. The excursion people were, at first, not at all accommodating and basically blamed us. It was infuriating to say the least! They ultimately apologized. Athens - the Acropolis is magical! As long as you don’t mind crowds, this is THE spot when you are in Athens. The hop on, hop off tour was ok. The city is smelly and filthy and the piazza where you can buy souvenirs is full of beggars and thieves. BEWARE- 2 people from our cruise were robbed. One man at the piazza had his pouch ripped right from his neck and a woman had her purse stolen while she was on the hop on, hop off bus. Santorini - Probably my favorite place in Greece overall. Interesting and beautiful and the food was the very best Greek food I have ever eaten! And it was alfresco dining at the Black Beach! While the people struggle financially with a corrupt government and failing banks, they are proud of their land and heritage and, for the most part, friendly. Make your way to the Monastery for a prayer and some home made olive oil. Visit “Symposiun”, tucked away in a quaint village, for some music and Greek mythology and delicious homemade honey wine. Take the cable car up the mountain, and if you can, walk down. (Trust when you hear that the line to get down by the cable car is LONG!) The trek is harrowing and difficult but it’s so worth it just to say that you did it! (My feet are still recovering!) Messina Sicily. I liked Messina. Hop on hop off was decent and really showed the best parts of the area. Something that I wish that I had known to do was to prepare for some beach time. The Red Line of the bus tour stops at Paradise beach where you can swim for a bit then hop back on the bus for the rest of the tour. BEWARE. They say the bus comes every 20 minutes but it’s more like 45. Rome. I have a crush on Rome. I loved everything about this city. The people are wonderful. The history is rich and on full display. I want to go back and do it again and again. We hired an amazing private tour guide who escorted us through the Vatican tour one day and a city architecture and ruins tour the next. She is a native Roman who was so proud of her home and was worth every penny! Look for the Scavi tour on line. It’s a semi private tour of the excavated portion of the ancient city under the alter of the Vatican. They believe the bones of St. Peter are there. It’s small groups and a hard ticket to get. Book months in advance. BEWARE It’s very warm and damp under ground and if you are claustrophobic, maybe skip this one. And definitely don’t do it in the summer! Florence was also breathtaking! The statue of David is a must see. It was moving. The architecture and the history and the beauty of it all made me sad to leave. We hired our own tour guide and driver so we really saw everything! Naples/ The Amalfi coast. Sigh. Again, we had a private driver and tour guide and it made all of the difference. We drove the Positano coast, stopped in Revallo for sightseeing and pizza and limoncello straight from the tiny factory. Then stopped in Pompei before heading back. It was magical! Cruise mates - It’s fun meeting people from all over the world but living with them is another story. Some have no sense of personal space. Some don’t know (or care) that their cabin is not sound proof. Some believe that they are entitled to just about everything before someone else. Our next door neighbors were loud and the more than drank, the louder they became. At one point the we’re screaming the words to YMCA and pounding on the walls. Not fun. Casino- accepts US dollars only! So, if you have euros, you’ll have to exchange them at the cashier. BEWARE, when you are finished, if you want to cash out your ticket at the cashier and it is a smaller amount than you originally exchanged, they won’t give you euros back and you’ll be stuck with US dollars. For example I exchanged 100eu for $102 American. I cashed out of my machine with $52 and the cashier would only give me American currency because it was less than the original 100 eu. You could take your American currency to the exchange office but it’s at 83%!! Just be careful. Finally, when we disembarked on the last day, my luggage handle was broken sometime between the time I left it in the hallway the night before and when I went to retrieve it on the port. When I brought it to the attention of the guys on the dock they shrugged and said file a claim. I purchased insurance through the cruise line but they wanted some sort of official document from the police or some other official. Seriously? So I reached out to Customer Service at NCL and they basically offered me $100 towards my next cruise. Please! No thanks. Trust me. Customer Service at NCL ends when you make your final payment. Anyway, would I visit Greece an Italy again? Absolutely. Would I do it buy cruise ship? Probably not. If I did would I cruise with Norwegian? Nope. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband and I were on our honeymoon, the service on the ship was fantastic, the servers were friendly and upbeat. Positives: Friendly servers in all common areas of the ship, buffet, pool, bartenders..   All fine dining was ... Read More
My husband and I were on our honeymoon, the service on the ship was fantastic, the servers were friendly and upbeat. Positives: Friendly servers in all common areas of the ship, buffet, pool, bartenders..   All fine dining was great except the Brazilian steak house, it took 40 minuets to receive a cocktail, the meat was salty and dry and the servers were acting like they did not like their jobs and it was a pain to be there.  The pool deck was a positive energy, I would suggest more contests they are fun to watch and to get people involved. Negatives:  with so many stops in a short time period, it was hard to explore the stops and still make it back in time to the ship. We did not plan an excursion every day. Some days it took longer to get off and on the ship then we had time at the port. - if you do not have a excursion booked transportation was priced very high. We spent about $500 in transportation just to get to a place we wanted to be. In Livorno we got off the ship and they made us pay $5 to take a bus to the town, you had to pay this because there was nothing in walking distance, i think that should have been included in the price of the cruise, its almost double dipping when you have to pay to get dropped off at a port. They should either let off at a place that you can explore or they should pay for the transportation to get you into the town where you need to be. We are younger so getting around was easier for us but i saw several older people struggling to figure out where to go and how to get there. In all my past cruises this was never an issue. With already spending so much on a vacation you don't expect to have to spend such a large amount just to get off the ship. Naples was very dirty, i would suggest not doing this port at all, or warn people it is a very unsafe area to be in unless you have tour booked. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Did we have a broken ship? What was all that shuddering and shaking in a circular movement? This was unrelenting for the entire cruise. At night it was like someone constantly shaking you to wake you. The problem was there whether we ... Read More
Did we have a broken ship? What was all that shuddering and shaking in a circular movement? This was unrelenting for the entire cruise. At night it was like someone constantly shaking you to wake you. The problem was there whether we were moving or stopped, rough sea or calm, even in dock This was not sea movement. It felt more like engine shake or a problem with the gyroscopes it was a wobble like sitting off centre on a potters wheel. Aside from that, the cruise itself was fine. First of all, embarkation was smooth and painless and disembarking was equally simple enough where you could choose what time you wanted to leave the ship and your luggage was all taken care of. We found that the dining package and drinks package were a must, and saved us a fortune. Service throughout the ship is excellent. The food in the restaurants is good, but in the buffet OK but not great. Plenty of choice but not much thought put into what they serve, as it seems to be the same stuff every day. We would have hoped that they would have some sort of choice depending on where you were that day for example Greek salads and moussaka when in Greece, when in Florence, A nice lasagne would have been good. When in Napoli the home of The Margarita Pizza and Capri, the home of the capriciosa pizza, all we got were generic pepperoni, a cheese pizza, and a meatball pizza all of which were ok but pretty much run of the mill and the same stuff catering for the standard American tastes every day. The ships Bars, lounges and restaurants and excellent and catered for all tastes. There is even an art auction, A great casino, where you can win or lose a fortune, and get a lung full of second hand cigarette smoke. The pools are quite small and were always packed. The pool area was always a lively (noisy) place with loud music. Oddly there is a basketball court which we never saw used and seemed to be such a waste of space where there could have been a quiet sunbathing area or something . There are other ‘quieter’ sunbathing areas but you could always hear the noise from the pool area Dress code is extremely relaxed and it was not uncommon to see people in wet bathing costumes and wrapped in a towel in the buffet area despite signs advising this was not allowed. Also, shorts and casual wear appeared to be allowed in the dining rooms. It was strange to see some very elegantly dressed people sitting on a table next to a bunch of guys who looked liked they had just come off a sports pitch. Entertainment very varied both in variety and quality. Dennis a Great covers singer/guitarist Dave the great pianist and OK singer and a talented classical string Trio oddly called the ‘four’ strings Again with the ‘not much thought goes into it’ theme. The excellent classical trio could quickly empty or change the mood of the lively Irish themed sports bar O’Sheehans. Shore excursions were quite expensive and varied in quality For example a trip to Capri cost us about $200for two of us and was basically a ferry ticket and a transfer to ferry terminal (500 metres away), where the trip to Florence which cost Just a little more included a 90 minute coach tour each way with a very knowledgeable guide who gave a very detailed tours the history etc. of the surrounding area , a demonstaration of making leather goods and walking tour. I didn’t like the fact that when we visited Dubrovnik we were charged $15 each for a shuttle bus laid on by NCL because they couldn’t anchor in the old town as other ships could. You had two choices, you paid it or stayed in the Port. Private Taxis were extortionate. My gripe here is that other places were advertised as the ports and not the resort. For example, Port of Livorno for Florence and Pisa, Port of Civtaveccia for Rome etc. For these I think it is reasonable to pay for a transfer, but if it is advertised as Dubrovnik, why should you pay because the ship had to dock a 30 minute drive away TIPPING POLICY A $15 per passenger per day service charge is added, which seems quite a lot of money NCL say that this is to ensure that all of the crew get a share of the tips including behind the scenes staff such as cleaners etc I think that this is great as they all provide an essential service. All off the staff work very hard and very long hours 7 days a week. It was only towards the end of the cruise that we found out that it is company policy that beverage staff (Barmen and drinks waiters) were not included in this. Once we found out about this we started tipping them heavily to make up for the lack of tips earlier, The change in the service was very noticeable indeed and quite comical when they actually appeared to be competing with each other to serve us. We enjoyed our cruise with NCL but will probably try some other cruise lines next Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked our Norweigian cruise through AAA. Our travel agent was great. AAA does not book directly through Norwegian, they have to go through Pleasant Holidays. We had to sign a waiver to not hold AAA responsible for any issues that ... Read More
We booked our Norweigian cruise through AAA. Our travel agent was great. AAA does not book directly through Norwegian, they have to go through Pleasant Holidays. We had to sign a waiver to not hold AAA responsible for any issues that arise. I think I now understand why. AAA probably doesn't want to deal with unhappy customers. That should have been our first red flag. Here is a quick list of disappointments: 1. We booked a mini-suite. But it was underneath Splash Acadamy which is the children's play/daycare area. The hours vary. But some nights it is open until 1:30 am. This makes it impossible to sleep and naps nonexistent. There should be no rooms of any kind under Splash Acadamy! We did contact guest services. We were given an apology and sent a bottle of wine. We do not drink wine. FYI, the ship was at capacity so there was no possibility of a room change. 2. Bingo is a waste of money. For example, the jackpot was $3000. But after approximately 42 draws the pot dropped to $375. The venue was so full, players were standing. The House made so much money. It really sucked. There was only one game (full square), it was just a waste of $50. Not worth it for only 10 minutes and 1 game. 3. Shuttle fee information was not relayed to us. You would either have to go to the desk and ask or be surprised by the fee after getting off the ship. They also do not let you know that you can take a cab for 1/4 of the price of the shuttle in most cases. 4. There was not enough info given about various ports. No info on cab stands or nearest bus/public transportation to get to the downtown area. They are very busy pushing their excursions. A good tip would be to research each port ahead of time, decide what you want to see/do. Then find the cab stand/private tours and work out a deal. We did an 8 person tour with other passengers from the Pearl for $50 per person. Best tour ever and saved so much money over Norwegian excursions. 5. There was a water leak in Cagney's. It was right behind my husband while we were dining. We alerted the staff and there was not much attention given to addressing the leak. When we left still nothing had been done. 6. Summer House and Indigo is the exact same menu. The only difference is the Summer House has a dress code. Weird. It makes no sense. After learning this we canceled our Summer House reservation since we had dined at Indigo the night before. Our cruise was not terrible, but also not what he had hoped for. This Mediterranean cruise was not cheap. Especially paying for a mini-suite that turned out to be a bad choice due to the location. We thought carefully about booking mid-ship but didn't realize it put us directly underneath Splash Acadamy. We also heard rumbling from other passengers that their shore excursions were changed or cancelled with no refund offered. We do plan to cruise other parts of Europe, just probably on a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise in Europe as we are from Australia. The organisation getting on the ship at Rome was very well organised and very quick compared to other cruises we have been on. The rooms were very nice, well fitted and ... Read More
This was our first cruise in Europe as we are from Australia. The organisation getting on the ship at Rome was very well organised and very quick compared to other cruises we have been on. The rooms were very nice, well fitted and clean, also among the best we have experienced. We did not like the dining experience on deck twelve as it was like pigs feeding at the trough. Other restaurants were very nicely laid out and for the most part the service was quite good. We had the alcohol package which we found to be quite good value as compared with other cruises we have taken, but were annoyed that with the package we still had to pay for coffee other than the vile stuff that was served with meals. And also had to pay for bottled water. I am a person who likes to take a sauna on a cruise so imagine my surprise when told that I could BUY a sauna package for $260 US to have a sauna. (NOT GOOD). The entertainment was well below par, for the most point I think it was carried out by the ships crew and some very mediocre performers, so if your think you will have a huge range of entertainment think again. The ports of call were quite interesting and if you want to organise your own tours I would recommend it rather than pay the extortionist prices charged by the cruise line. The fee to travel to Rome Airport you should also try to organise yourself as the ship line first charged us 80 Euro each, then later in the cruise put out a SPECIAL of $60 US. The same trip can be got for about $35- $40 per head (More Gouging). Yes overall we had a good time but this was mainly from meeting nice people and having a good time with little help from the cruise ship. Would I go again, I would say probably not. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The overall cruise was ok. This was my first extended cruise so not much to compare to. I'll start with negatives. Our cabin was located under the kid's play area and they actually had a mini soccer field set up right above ... Read More
The overall cruise was ok. This was my first extended cruise so not much to compare to. I'll start with negatives. Our cabin was located under the kid's play area and they actually had a mini soccer field set up right above our cabin. So all day long and sometimes until late at night we had the sound of footsteps running on our ceiling. It said kids up to 12 but I think the adults were running around also. It got pretty loud at times and sometimes after a exhausting day ashore, you just want to take a nap when you get back to ship. Second big negative was the WiFi. We purchased the highest plan at $30 a day which I already thought was a ridiculous price but I figured it said fast and streaming so I did it. Not fast and buffered while streaming. Also dropped a couple very important WiFi calls because of weak signal. And our room was mid ship, so it's not like we were at the furthest point from signal. Third negative was the food. It reminded me of a cheap local buffet you go to when you just want a variety and don't want to pay a lot. I think this is common with cruises at this price point though. Last negative was they want to sell their shore excursions so bad they don't really give you any info about the ports. Even if they have a shuttle set up to take people into town, it's not listed in the bulletin the day before. You have to call guest services and ask the night before, "what's available at the port?" If the dock is close to town, you can walk, but they tell you nothing unless you ask. So if you want to go alone, you better do all the research ahead of time. There were positives also. The mini-suite is set up nice, the bathroom was set up nice, they had directions to find things on ship pretty easily. Our room attendant was great. The staff was very friendly and attentive. They listen if you complain but don't expect any dollars knocked off your tab. Got the feeling this doesn't happen. Complaining about kids running all over your ceiling, you would think they would at least offer some free spa services or something, nope. Bottom line, next time we cruise we'll be trying a different cruise line. Can't say I would strongly urge anyone not to cruise Norwegian, but I'd like to explore my options. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

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