128 Tampa Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Average experience. Our reason for choosing was Tampa departure, drink package and gratuities included with our mini-suite selection. The martini bar was very well staffed but nothing special. Celebrity has ice bars. The cigar lounge was ... Read More
Average experience. Our reason for choosing was Tampa departure, drink package and gratuities included with our mini-suite selection. The martini bar was very well staffed but nothing special. Celebrity has ice bars. The cigar lounge was FILLED at all times with cigarette smokers. This should not be allowed. We were very disappointed with the lack of dress code inforcement. Swim trucks, tees and flip flops at the main dining room. The ports were excellent and we enjoyed the itinerary which was a major factor in taking this cruise line. The staff did an exceptional job of serving the customer. The specialty dining was average but not exceptional. The servers did all the work. I saw a previous comment about nickel dimming customers. I agree to some of that comment depending on the server/bar tender. The fitness center has treadmills that face the window but when you are on them they are to high to see out the window. You look at the blinds. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was one of our choices for choice of cruise to spend our honeymoon and we are very happy that we did. The ship as itself is beautiful and had just been refurbished. The staff work extremely hard to keep the whole ship extremely clean ... Read More
This was one of our choices for choice of cruise to spend our honeymoon and we are very happy that we did. The ship as itself is beautiful and had just been refurbished. The staff work extremely hard to keep the whole ship extremely clean and well kept. Our room steward Alvin kept us not wanting for anything. He was excellent at his job. Could not have asked for more. The food was above average. We did not eat at the buffet but once and that time we did it was pretty good. We are our dinner at the Grand Pacific and everyone there were excellent. Especially our servers Mary Ann and Elaine. The wine Steward Armando kept us well stocked on our drinks of choice. The grills outside were okay and the pub had a few good items on the menu. The specialty restaurants were the same as there other ships and we did not try them as we have before and not a huge fan of any of them. When we did have need of anything from guest services they were very good and had our questions answered. All the public areas were kept extremely clean for our enjoyment. The entertainment crew on board were fine. The shows were pretty entertaining but nothing to write home about. The live music was okay. They played the normal bingo and other games of such. Did enjoy the library and game room and they have a good selection of books and games. There casino was a decent size and as a few other reviews have stated about the smoke smell being a but I did not think it was. Overall will we cruise with NCL again? Yes, most definitely. Everyone that we met took a very special interest in there line of work and did there job to perfection. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Firstly, we chose this cruise mainly for rest and "landed" in the UK without the dreaded jetlag! We stayed in the Westin, very close to the port pre-cruise and had a complimentary van transfer which took less than 5 minutes...$20 ... Read More
Firstly, we chose this cruise mainly for rest and "landed" in the UK without the dreaded jetlag! We stayed in the Westin, very close to the port pre-cruise and had a complimentary van transfer which took less than 5 minutes...$20 tip shared between hotel bell-boy and driver for this excellent courtesy. The embarkation experience was fabulous...we left the Westin hotel at 10.50am and stepped onto the ship at precisely 11.30am. Check-in was quick and smooth, and we were card number 2 for Platinum boarders. Suite guests were called at 11.15, and Platinum at 11.20....smoothest, quickest check-in ever on 39 cruises so well done Tampa and NCL. When we boarded, we were advised cabins would be ready by 1.30pm however I wandered off to our cabin and it was ready so we dropped our roll-on luggage and headed for lunch, our first of many fabulous meals. We found the Garden Cafe buffet met our expectations for breakfast and lunch...it is a buffet, very busy, so do bear that in mind! We found the Alizar MDR provided better service than the Grand Pacific, to be fair we only had 2 evening meals in Alizar, and 1 in Grand Pacific. We had 2 free Speciality Restaurant meals (Platinum perk), and purchased a further 8 as UDP. We had 3 Cagneys (superb), 3 Le Bistro (excellent), 2 Moderno (very good, but a "meatfest"), 1 Teppanyaki (OK, but experienced previously) and 1 La Cucina (poor). On the final evening, we went to the Garden Cafe to work around our packing and were very satisfied. Having sailed the Jade 3 times previously, we found the refurbishment had provided tasteful decor in the Atrium, and general public areas....nothing Wow factor, but well appointed. The cabins are also more tastefully decorated...my wife expressed this as more warm colours overall, and some lovely grey tones also. The pool area is also much better, having removed the slide and also the Hawaiin themes, so more area around the pool. To be honest, whilst all of these changes are very good, the refurb did not quite meet our expectations with some areas not refurbed at all e.g. the Magnum/Le Bistro area on deck 6. That said, we were told that the furniture for these areas was coming from Italy, and would be changed either at Southampton or Hamburg during the first couple of sailings in Northern Europe! That will make for some minor disruption, I guess. Entertainment overall was very good, we particularly enjoyed the evening music around the ship at Atrium and also Magnums area and also the young Argentinian couple around the pool during our sea days...they were fabulous. They commenced their contract this cruise, for 3 months, and my forecast is they will also be utilised for evening music in Northern Europe. The Main Theatre shows were good overall, especially Elements, but the "comedy juggler" and "illusions" stuff is old hat for us now so we didn't do them. Given this was a Transatlantic Repositioning cruse, the ports were excellent with Key West and Miami, then Ponta Delgada in the Atlantic, followed by Cobh in Ireland and Falmouth in Cornwall England. Very satisfied with them overall. NCL try to offer a fairly priced "basic" experience with upsells for those who wish them. I read many complaints on CC about nickel & dimeing, but none of those are necessary if you want only the basic experience. In our experience, as we do, most passengers go for something in between i.e. do some of the upsell stuff, but by no means all of it. Most of the cabin flyers we receive, end up in the trash bin! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The Good: 1. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. We did not bring a lot of luggage, therefore the easy walk off was a great option. We were out on the pier in Southampton within 15 minutes of the clearance for ... Read More
The Good: 1. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. We did not bring a lot of luggage, therefore the easy walk off was a great option. We were out on the pier in Southampton within 15 minutes of the clearance for disembarkation. On the day of the Embarkation we did use the porter service for the bigger suitcase. It showed up upon our return to the cabin after an early dinner. So no complaints there. 2. On board entertainment. This ship does not offer the blockbuster Broadway production type of shows. However, the ship's dance troupe is great. Talents' acts kept us engaged and the music on board in various pubic places kept audiences entertained. We also enjoyed the lecturers on the ship. They were informative and entertaining as well. 3. The Alizar Main Dining Room. We went to both the Grand Pacific Dining Room, which is the more lavishly decorated option, and the Alizar, the more casual counterpart. We definitely preferred the Alizar. Wait staff were more relaxed and attentive. And they seemed to be enjoying working in that environment. This positive attitude definitely translated to the atmosphere and general dining experience shared by the guests. 4. The quality of the Main Dining Rooms. We usually skip the main dining options on an NCL free style cruising. However, we decided to give it a try this cruise. And we were not disappointed. The quality of the food was above our expectations. There were enough choices for meat lovers, seafood eaters, and vegetarians. The Bad: 1. The cabin, the cabin, the cabin. Really, it's about the cabin attendant. All of the cruises, on NCL or otherwise, this particular cabin attendant took the cake. And it's not a good thing. On a two week cruise, our bed linen was not changed until we left a note on the bed demanding it 7 days into it. We were pretty neat people even on vacation. We never left the cabin a mess while going out. Upon our return, the cabin was basically the way we left it, although it was indicated the cabin was done. The carpet was not vacuumed on a daily basis, and the minimum tidying up we left behind was not done. On occasions, used glasses were put back in, unwashed. We did not make a fuss until, toward the end of the cruise, when we returned from the evening show and the carpet in the cabin was all buckling up. And we tripped over it trying to move around in the cabin. I had to make complaints at that point, and various corrective steps were taken. There was improvement. However, not from the attendant. Without his supervisor in sight, the bad behavior continued. He even totally skipped our cabin last night of the cruise. If I were to measure my experience with NCL solely on the cabin attendant, I would never return. However, we are seasoned cruisers, we know not to judge the whole experience on one bad apple. But this bad apple sure left a very sour taste. 2. The La Cucina Italian Specialty Restaurant We are lovers of Italian food, and we know good from bad. For an onboard specialty restaurant that required extra charge, the food was mediocre at best. The main dining room, which was complimentary, offered much better Italian choices. It was a waste of money and we never returned. 3. The Customer Service Desk We are usually very self sufficient and self reliant during travels. However, we did need some help from the Customer Service Desk in terms of the arrival time at Southampton, since we were arranging our private car service for pick up at the port. Three different people gave three different answers, which was really bizarre. Shouldn't that be a common knowledge for cruise staff? Not on the Jade, I suppose. This confusion caused quite a headache. Luckily the car service company was obliging, and we go to Heathrew Airport with no delay. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because of the Free amenities, plus the fact that it departed from Tampa, where we live. This local departure saved us the additional airfare to get to the Departure Port. NCL offered Free gratuities + four meals ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Free amenities, plus the fact that it departed from Tampa, where we live. This local departure saved us the additional airfare to get to the Departure Port. NCL offered Free gratuities + four meals per person in Specialty Restaurants. (NCL no longer offers the 'Free Gratuities" amenity). The food and entertainment on this cruise were just outstanding, but the Jade is an older ship and we were forced to deal with at least THREE incidences of Maintenance issues. (the bathroom sink had no pressure, the a/c unit was stuck on 'High Cool' setting, and the toilet did not flush sometimes)....All these problems were properly dealt with when we called Guest Relations, but they caused extra and unnecessary stress when we had booked the cruise to escape some of the stress at home. Many public areas of the Jade have been refurbished with new carpet, new furniture, etc. Unfortunately, our cabin was NOT refurbished during this last Dry Dock. The carpet in the cabin was desperately in need of replacement. We had booked an outside cabin w/an obstructive view on Deck Eight, but we had to keep the drapes pulled most of the time because the crew constantly were 'working' just outside the window on the Lifeboats. Also, the small cabin did not have a sofa, nor chair to sit on....The steward finally brought us a folding chair to use during the cruise, and there was a dangerous stool in the room that provided a minimum sitting space. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We spent 4 weeks in the USA and choose the relaxing way to get back home. Upon arrival in Europe, we have done away with the time difference and are ready for the everyday life. This was already the 6th time we came home by cruise after ... Read More
We spent 4 weeks in the USA and choose the relaxing way to get back home. Upon arrival in Europe, we have done away with the time difference and are ready for the everyday life. This was already the 6th time we came home by cruise after our stay in the US and it was definately not the last time. We like the Jade, came home on it last year also. The crew is great, the layout of the ship is very good. Enough space indoors and outside to walk around. Many different restaurants, bars, lounges and places to sit and rest. Nice library, game room casino and a conference center where we could come together as cruise critic group. The group coordinator spoilt us by bringing water, juice and cookies in every day.She even exchanged our hand written "CC" sign with a nice, big, laminated printed sign. We felt very welcome throughout the cruise. Anytime dining suits us very well. We had 6 special dinners in our package and bought another 4 on top of it. Le Bistro, La Cucina and Cagneys were our choices and we had 10 really special, wonderful dinners. The other 4, we went to the Grand Pacific, were they held a CC table for us so that we sat with different people of the group which worked out very well. The food and service there was also really very good but the noise is extreme, That is the main reason why we prefer the specialty restaurants. We did not participate in activities and shows/demonstrations organized by the ship, so we can not say anything about that. We really wanted to try goofy golf but just had no time. Maybe next time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Cruise started in Tampa and stopped in Key West, Miami, Ponta Delgada Portugal, Cork Ireland, Falmouth GB and arrived in Southampton England We live in the Tampa area so we did not explore the city before leaving. Embarkation went very ... Read More
Cruise started in Tampa and stopped in Key West, Miami, Ponta Delgada Portugal, Cork Ireland, Falmouth GB and arrived in Southampton England We live in the Tampa area so we did not explore the city before leaving. Embarkation went very fast and was well organized. Disembarkation went smoothly with no wait in Southampton. We enjoyed the Jade. The ship is easy to get around. The updates they made in April were very good. They added O'Sheehans which is just serving basic menu at this time. Our cabin was a balcony and was room number 9600 which was right by the elevators. We really liked it because of the location. The first night we went to Alizar and had bad service and a bad meal but, we went there a few other times and the service and food were good. Always give them a second chance! We ate in the Grand Pacific just once and did not go back because it is the same as Alizar and did not find the service to be any better. We ate at 4 specialty restaurants because of the package deal and all four were good. Le Bistro was french and was excellent with both service and food. La Cucina was Italian and you could actually afford to go to this without the dinning package. Food was good and deserts were excellent. Moderno was good and you do not leave there hungry!! Cagney's was our favorite and we will go there again. We also ate at the Garden Cafe (buffet) which was good. Jasmine Garden was Asian food that was good. We found that the service and food was a little better in the specialty restaurants. The Entertainment was good on the ship. Both the Blazing Boots and Elements were good which are the Production Show's. We had seen Tuey Wilson before but he is good. Duo Aura act we had seen before but they are always good. Reagar was new and we liked them. The comedian was good Phil Palisoul. He had new stuff both shows. We had seen Chip Romero also and liked him. A lot of the acts were from the Epic we had been on last year. The Activities were good on the ship. Every day there was Trivia which we like. They need to put the Trivia in larger rooms. We liked it in Spinnakers. We also like Table Tennis but it is sometimes hard to play in the wind. Wish they could find an inside area or put screens up while playing. Some of the activities overlap each other and we could not go to everything. They might consider changing times around so you can have a chance to get to other activities. Service was good for the majority. Ports were good and at all of them you could get off at two different spots. Shore excursions are expensive and we had the package. They could lower the costs on those. We have taken excursions off the ship and they are just as good. They had the customs check during a sea day which was good but we thought it was too long and it was only an hour. Just a tip. Take pictures of the schedule for the day and that way you will have a record and dates of what took place. Your pictures will be organized. Also, take a picture of the port phone numbers before you get off the ship. In case something happens you will have the numbers with you. We joined Cruise Critic for our first time and really liked it. Already joined for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We love T/A cruises, lots of sea days, meeting new friends, even playing trivia( we never do this at home!) Jade was good in November when we went to Tampa, but even better in April after her refit. We liked the new O'Sheehans bar on ... Read More
We love T/A cruises, lots of sea days, meeting new friends, even playing trivia( we never do this at home!) Jade was good in November when we went to Tampa, but even better in April after her refit. We liked the new O'Sheehans bar on deck 8 for breakfast...a limited selection but speedy waiter service, an ocean view table...better by far than the scrum at the Garden Cafe buffet or the poor slow service in the Grand Pacific( WHY did it take soooo long to get a pot of tea there!!??) Food was good in the evenings at Grand Pacific & Alizar...never really great, but always lots of choice & good service. Big Norman was a great waiter ...if we could find a table in his station! Le Bistro on my birthday was well worth the extra fee. Our inside cabin was keep spotless by our steward Marlon, who managed to produce a wonderful birthday cake made of towels for me! What a star!!! I wouldn't choose an inside again though, I couldn't wake my husband up in the mornings!!! It was newly refitted though, with a good sized shower, with a sliding door. It was just very tight to get round the bed without banging yourself on the dressing table area. No coffee maker, but we did beg for a kettle rather than use room service for our early morning tea...we got one! Thank you Mursad( director!!) Its bizarre on ncl that there is a $7.99 + grats charge after 10am for early morning tea!! Before then its free. Any food delivery is always charged. I was even told a charge would be made for a jug of iced water...so we got our own! Bottled water is charged in the bars or in the cabins too..even though you can drink yourself stupid on alcohol if you wish(we didn't!!) Irish coffee( a cocktail!!?) is inc on UBP, a latte isnt! Who makes this up?? Bar service was always good, especially considering so many of us had the free UBP as a perk. Drinks around the pool( on the days when we could sit outside) were served quickly too. We even had fruit kebabs & popsicles brought round one day on the sun deck. Shows were good, however, we didnt go to them all as we spent too much time talking to interesting other travellers at dinner! Elements show was excellent! So..all-in-all...a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife and I did a trans-Atlintic cruise two years ago and we really enjoyed it. We have never been to the Azores or Ireland before so we decided to do this cruise. We flew from DFW to Tampa a few days early, rented a car and enjoyed ... Read More
My wife and I did a trans-Atlintic cruise two years ago and we really enjoyed it. We have never been to the Azores or Ireland before so we decided to do this cruise. We flew from DFW to Tampa a few days early, rented a car and enjoyed various sights in FL. The embarkation process was rather painless and we were on the ship within the hour. Our cabin on deck 11 was a mini suite with a balcony, very roomy for the two of us. Only complaint about the room was the extra high bath tub walls. My wife could not negotiate the climb into the tub but the cabin attendant did supply us with a small step stool. This was our 15th cruise overall and all of them have been enjoyable with only a few complaints here and there. This cruise was for the most part fun and memorable except for one terrifing moment that I will mention later.. The staff from officers down to the cabin attendant were helpful and attentive. The nightly entertainment, for the most part was enjoyable and there was a lot to do on the ship to keep one occupied. To me the food was not very appetizing, the buffet offerings on deck 12 were mostly the same every day, curry and Asian food. Got tired of that fast. The up charge restaurants, especially Cagny's and Tappanyaki were excellent, was not that impressed with La Cusina. The other restaurants were OK but nothing to brag about. The first port was Key West. Key West is always a fun place to visit. Miami the second port did not seem that interesting so we just spent the day on the ship. We reached the Azores 8 days later. At Ponta Delgado we took a tour of the island using a local taxi driver, beautiful place, photographing the craters and the countryside was a lot of fun. We also toured a very old tea factory. At the port of Cobh/Cork we took a local tour bus to Blarney castle and a few other small towns. The next stop was Falmouth, UK. At all of the previous ports the ship was able to pull right up to the port facilities, The water around Falmouth is too shallow to accept a large cruise ship. Here we had to use the ships lifeboats as tenders to ferry passengers to shore. The tender ride took about 30 minutes and the waters were calm and the ride was smooth. At Falmouth we took an excursion provided by NCL to the quaint village of Polporro, well worth the cost. Now for the horror story. On the tender ride back to the ship the seas were high and very choppy. The tender driver proceeded at high speed toward the ship ignoring the high seas, the ride was very rough with water coming into the boat through the seals in the windows, people were screaming and were rather scared. While we continued at high speed, I noticed another tender to our port side. It seemed to me that the two boats were racing each other back to the ship, ignoring the comfort of the passengers. A few moments later the other boat turned to the starboard and rammed our boat at high speed, the impact was directly at the window where my wife was sitting. The screams from the passengers reached a high pitch. I heard that a few people were hurt but I no not know the extent. I feel that the actions of both boat drivers was very unprofessional and dangerous to the passengers, they should have slowed down. That was a very harrowing experience and at no time did any of the crew or officers apologize to the passengers for putting them through that, there were a lot of elderly people aboard both tenders. I am sure that I could never talk my wife into taking another tender ride again. The remainder of the trip to Southampton was pleasant. Debarkation was easy. We took a tour to Stonehenge and a few other places before going to the airport for the flight home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because we live just south of Tampa and had yet to use this port since moving down here five years ago. We love transatlantic cruises and this was our first time doing it eastbound. The bonus for us was that the Jade ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live just south of Tampa and had yet to use this port since moving down here five years ago. We love transatlantic cruises and this was our first time doing it eastbound. The bonus for us was that the Jade had just gone through a refurbishment, and we wanted to see what had been done. Pictures of the old ship were not promising, but we were happy to see that NCL had given the ship a modern, neutral look which was easy on the eyes (none of that glitzy, tacky Carnival stuff). We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food on board. Typically, we ate at the buffet; we found a wide selection of food at first, but by the end of the first week, the menu seemed to become repetitive. We ate at the elegant Grand Pacific Dining Room a couple of times and we were impressed. In addition, we tried out O'Sheehan's once and enjoyed it also. Entertainment varied in quality - we made it to most of the shows. Our favorite entertainers were the stand-up comedian, the comic juggler, and Horizon (they did two Motown tribute shows). Though I'm not a fan of cruise production shows, I do give NCL credit for presenting fresher shows; "Elements" was a visual treat, but a bit long. NCL could do well to include more contemporary music in it's lounges to appeal to younger cruisers. The Jade offers nightly LGBT gatherings co-hosted by a crew member which is so nice to see. Our host, Johnny (from Colombia) did an outstanding job by engaging us with conversation and games. We liked the itinerary on this ship; we got to visit a couple new ports for us. My favorite of the new ports was Falmouth; we enjoyed our excursion to Land's End and St. Ives. Our most significant complaint about our cruise is when another tender collided into our tender during roughs seas at Falmouth. I was very disappointed that NCL did not show more consideration to the passengers involved by notifying them about what had happened and check to see if everyone was OK. I know that several passengers were injured and filed reports with NCL but have gotten no responses. Perhaps NCL needs to improve it's tender pilot training and safety procedures. Overall, it was a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
When searching for a cruise, this one showed up in an email with a price that couldn't be passed up. The cruise experience, along with the visits to places we might not otherwise see, was a big positive. The accommodations, public ... Read More
When searching for a cruise, this one showed up in an email with a price that couldn't be passed up. The cruise experience, along with the visits to places we might not otherwise see, was a big positive. The accommodations, public spaces, entertainment, and excursions were all good. The tour operators contracted by Norwegian were excellent, with knowledgeable and friendly guides who offered insightful commentaries about their homes. We were sad when the two weeks ended, but have already booked another cruise with Norwegian. The bad was a collection of minor incidents and annoyances that didn't ruin the trip but did make some experiences less than they could have been. The big issue was the service in the dining room. We ate dinner in the Grand Pacific dining room most nights (one night in the Alizar dining room was enough; too crowded and too noisy). The menu was OK, with a standard offering that didn't change (a steak, spaghetti, and a couple of other dishes). The changing menu offered some dishes that were interesting but others weren't anything that we couldn't get in one of the nicer restaurants at home. For the most part, all of the dishes were tasty, well-prepared, and a decent serving portion. However, the service was only adequate. Had we had that level of service in a regular restaurant, it would have been difficult to leave even a 10% tip. We were seated and given menus, someone asked us what we wanted to drink (usually water and/or iced tea), drinks were served and our order was taken. Once our food was served, there was little interaction with the waiters. If we were lucky, we had our drinks refilled but that was rare. Then our plates were cleared, we were given dessert menus, served desert, and that was pretty much it. There was no checking to see if the food was OK (one meal was too salty for my wife and when she commented to the waitress about it, there was no offer to make up for it). All in all, there was not much interaction with the wait staff. It was disconcerting to not be allowed to bring bottled water onto the ship, only to find out that it was available for sale at exorbitant prices. Yes, one could get water from the drink dispensers, but there was also a sign (largely ignored) that said, "Please do not fill water bottles here." There were other instances where it felt like Norwegian was working hard to part guests from their money with little value given. The ugly was the tender collision in Falmouth harbor when returning to the Jade from an excursion. Passengers were shuttled to and from the landing from the ship anchored out in the deep water of the harbor. The trip in that morning was fairly smooth but a weather front moved in that afternoon, bringing wind and rain showers. We returned from an excursion (provided by Norwegian) and boarded the tender at the landing in the city. The trip started slow, but due to the waves and wake, water started coming in the badly sealed front windows, soaking the passengers in the front row of seats. Eventually, people attracted the attention of the second crew member, who came down to try to stem the flow of water by holding a towel against the window. Water continued to flow over the front of the tender and down the sides, making it difficult to see out. With a full load of passengers and high humidity, the inside of the windows fogged up, including the pilot's, further reducing visibility. Once we passed the large crane on a barge on the right (heading into the harbor proper), the pilot increased his speed, which made the trip much rougher. The tender plowed through a number of waves (increasing the water coming in the front windows) and crashed into wave troughs. Despite the poor visibility (it looked like it was also foggy outside but it was hard to tell through the windows) and rough ride, speed was not reduced. The pilot was even having trouble seeing, due to the amount of spray, the ineffective windshield wiper, and fog on the inside of his window (he tried several times to wipe it clear with a towel). Several passengers yelled at the pilot to slow down, that he was going too fast. Suddenly there was a loud bang and a hard jolt to the side. Someone yelled, "He hit the tanker!" (another ship anchored near the Jade). We continued on without reducing speed and I caught a glimpse of another tender out the window in the door. Apparently, due to poor visibility, the pilot did not see the other tender and we sideswiped it. We continued on at the same speed, even as passengers yelled at the pilot to slow down. The collision occurred about 20 minutes into the trip. We finally lost speed as we approached the ship since two tenders were at the landing. Because the water was so rough and choppy, it took several attempts for the pilot to back the tender into the landing and get it tied up at the appropriate spot. There was much chatter among the tender passengers when we got back on the ship, with many people upset about what had just happened. Many headed to the service desk to file a complaint about the actions of the pilot, who put two tenders in danger. While waiting in line, we encountered passengers from tender #6, the one that was hit. One person took it upon herself to approach the service desk for the group to avoid having 20-some people mob the desk. Initially, she was told by the customer service clerk that if something happened off the ship, it wasn't Norwegian's problem. The woman pointed out that the collision occurred between two Jade tenders that were operated by Norwegian employees who were returning passengers from Norwegian-sponsored excursions, so therefore it was indeed Norwegian's problem. Eventually, a security officer arrived, followed by a manager type, and the matter was somewhat sorted out. The group was asked to move to a conference room adjacent to the theater, where it was met by the Staff Captain. Everyone was offered a chance to submit a statement about what they experienced, but nothing has been heard since then about the status of the investigation or any actions Norwegian might take. This was not a great end to an otherwise nice trip. The collision was upsetting and should not have happened had the pilot been operating the tender based on the conditions (going slower in poor visibility conditions). The matter wasn't helped by the initial indifference of the crew and staff. The collision was one glitch in an otherwise fun trip and while it wasn't a pleasant experience, it has not put us off cruising again nor selecting Norwegian for our next cruise. We are already looking at a future cruise with our sons and families. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Background We decided to take this cruise simply because we had flight credits that needed to be used by May. We wanted to go back to England and the cruise over seemed to be a good plan. We love cruising and have spent about 400 ... Read More
Background We decided to take this cruise simply because we had flight credits that needed to be used by May. We wanted to go back to England and the cruise over seemed to be a good plan. We love cruising and have spent about 400 nights on ships in the last 10 years – almost all 2 week to over a month cruises. Hotel We flew from home to Tampa and stayed at the Quality Inn Airport-Cruiseport hotel. I would rate it about 3 stars, not on par with other Quality Inns however it was clean, the room was comfortable, the air conditioning worked (an absolute necessity as flew into a 90 degree F heat wave which was a shock to the system). We were booked there for 2 nights in order to get our flight down at the right time of day. Breakfast was 'included' with the reservation. That was total chaos. Insufficient tables, massively overcrowded and limited food choices. We found a lovely little cafe a short distance away called First Watch and had a nice meal there and enjoyed the food and service so much that the next day we came back and bought a breakfast rather than have the free one at the hotel. Definitely recommend First Watch for a breakfast or lunch ! There is also a Fresh Market in the same strip mall that First Watch was located and well worth a visit for some fresh fruit or ready-made treats. To sum up – felt the hotel was overpriced for what it was and what it offered but it served the purpose. It had a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel and a for fee shuttle from the hotel to the cruiseport. Ship Information We had previously been on the Norwegian Jade twice before – each time for 21 days – and each time it was a very good cruise with good food and good service and no problems. This was a very different story. First of all our luggage arrived in our cabin and my steward informed me that my suitcase was damaged. I had a lovely matching 3 piece set of Heys luggage – red plaid and very destinctive. I was just using the largest suitcase on this trip. I had used this case for exactly 2 holidays before and it was in excellent condition when I turned it over to the baggage handlers in Tampa. It arrived in my cabin with one side of the top pushed in and a hole in the body. There was no way I could fly home with that. I took it to the passenger services desk and was told the ship's carpenter would see if it could be repaired and they would let me know. I personally did not believe there was any way to repair the hole in it – however off it disappeared. We had two American ports of call – Key West and Miami – before heading across the ocean to Ponta Delgada in the Azores. In that 9 day period I went down to the passenger services desk about 7 different times – trying to find out first of all – what was to be done about the case. Finally on the 6th time down there, I was told that the case was not repairable (something I knew from the start) and that they would be replacing it in Ponta. At that point I asked to have the case brought to the desk as there were still items in it that I wanted to remove (personalized luggage tags, the straps that attached other items to the case, etc.). I also told them that I needed a case of the same size and style with 4 wheels and that I could attach other items to in order to carry them. This was not being fussy – this was a matter of health issues. I have a bad back and cannot lift heavy items and as I was also having trouble with my arm – I roll the case along upright rather than trying to pull it behind me. I also attach my computer case to the suitcase as well as the case for my CPAP machine as I am not able to carry those things. Both my husband and I have to use CPAP machines for breathing at night and each of us attaches our machine to our suitcase when handling our luggage. We both have Heys luggage and have been able to do this with our cases always. We went ashore in Ponta and went on a tour. When we came back on ship we waiting to hear about my case, and waited and waited and waited and finally when the ship had left Ponta we went down to the desk and asked what was happening. The comment made was “Oh, I am so glad you came down. We had several soft sided cases like your other one but they are smaller and there is one hard sided one that would be perfect for you. You got here first, which is good as did not want it to go to some of the other passengers.” Obviously I was not the only one of ship that had received damaged luggage ! I was given a case that was almost as big as my old one, had 4 wheels and no way to attach extra holding straps. Looked cheap but I needed something to get my things back home. Not only did it look cheap – it was – and poorly made to boot – as when it arrived home with me it had a rip in the front and a rip in the back and wound up going out in the garbage as would never handle another trip. To say I was thoroughly disgusted with the way this was handled would be a real understatement. First of all there was no communication from the front desk. The ship is a floating hotel. Had I been in a hotel on land I would have been told promptly that the case was damaged beyond repair and would be replaced. If I had been told that promptly – not 9 days later – I could have gone onshore in either Key West or Miami and purchased a decent North American built replacement. Instead there was no contact initiated by staff the whole time. They did not even have the curtesy at Ponta to call and say they had replaced the case. I had to repeatedly go down to the desk. Activities One of the first things we did on ship was take advantage of the tour offered to Platinum level cruisers to see behind the scenes around the ship. We saw backstage at the theatre, the laundry, and the kitchen. One of the things I noticed in the kitchen area was a wall with photos of every single dish they serve on ship and how it is supposed to appear when served. According to the chef in charge – it was so every dish was always properly served. More on that later under dining. We enjoy trivia and went to a couple of the trivia games but decided it was just not for us this cruise. The curator of the Brunel museum was the guest lecturer on board and we thoroughly enjoyed his lectures. We went to one of the evening shows – with acrobats – but skipped the rest of them. We are not interested in jugglers or magicians and the production shows appeared to be the same ones that were on the ship the last time we were on it in 2011. Service Our cabin steward, Paul, was excellent. The same can be said of some of the assistant Maitre'ds. Jasmine Gardens - became a real favourite. Rachelle at the desk always found us a nice table for the two of us. Subhash, the assistant Maitre'd always checked on us and our waiters were efficient and pleasant. I think we ate there about half of the evenings on the cruise. That is because the food quality and taste was consistent and the service was very good there. The service in the main restaurants was a whole other story. We have always had a good relationship with staff on ships. We realize they work long, hard hours for months on end. We have become friendly with many people that work on ships and maintained contact – with some for over a dozen years. I remember a waitress telling me that it is possible to serve a table of two people in an hour with four courses – an hour and a half at the absolute most and that is just if they obviously want to take their time. Pacific dining room - We do not consider it to be good service when the waiter/waitress removes the early course dishes, taking utensils along with the dishes and then delivers the main course – without replacing the cutlery. That is just common sense – but my husband had his dinner rapidly cooling while he tried to get the attention of the server to get a fork with which to eat that dinner. And we had to repeatedly ask for water. I have pills I take with my dinner so drink the water – then have to ask the server to refill the glass. We tried eating in the main dining room three times. The last time we ate there it took slightly over 2 hours to serve our food – from start to finish and at that point I said I did not want tea and just left. There were just two of us and I have never experienced such slow service in my life. Alizar dining room – We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Swaroop and Divine, two of the assistant Maitre'ds in Alizar, when we saw them up in the Garden Cafe at breakfasts and lunches. We had seen Swaroop shortly after our '2 hour marathon' in Pacific and not been happy about it. He said to come to Alizar as the service was faster there. We went to Alizar and the first visit there was lovely, the service was good and the food was reasonable (or we made good choices). The second time there was another story. Waiter came and husband ordered a new bottle of wine – gave the name and the number of it. Waiter returned with the wrong bottle of wine. It was sent back and a wine steward appeared with the correct bottle. This was the first wine steward that we had seen the whole cruise. Used to placing our wine orders at dinner with a wine steward but it appears they have cut back on staff in this department. This was a wine Dave had before – I believe the first night of the cruise, and he's enjoyed. We thought less of it when we received our final billing the last morning and found that he's not been charged for the wine he's ordered – but for the more expensive one that had been brought to the table and sent back. We did not ask for an adjustment simply because we've had so darn much free wine this cruise. Every time there is a problem or an error – they send a bottle of wine. I would much prefer that the service and food improve – then there would be no need to be sending a bottle. Cagneys – We used to always visit Cagneys (the steak specialty for fee restaurant) when on NCL ships. The service was always excellent in the past. Not so this time. Watching one of the waiters serving a bread plate to the neighbouring table – my husband commented “you have bread – what did you have to do to get it?' He did not realize one of the assistant Maitre'ds was standing behind him and heard him and a few minutes later our waiter arrived , delivering bread and asking Dave to choose a complementary wine in apology. He said – he was not trying to be mean to us – was off putting in wine order. It is not the big things – it is all the little things that were a disappointment in the service. La Cucina – This is the for a fee Italian restaurant and it is worth the money. We had the best service on the ship with Alan as our waiter. Everything was perfect – and done the way it used to be done both in the specialty restaurants and in the main dining rooms on previous cruises with NCL. We enjoyed that meal so much we came back there the next night. Alan could be training wait staff as he had it down to a find art. Port and shore excursions This was our 15th or 16th trans-Atlantic crossing in the last 11 years so we had been to all of these ports of call in the past, some of them many times. We stayed on ship at Key West and at Miami, the former in our opinion is just a tacky tourist trap and we had no desire to visit the latter. Ponta Delgada – we have visited here many times. This is a lovely port of call to simply walk off the ship, explore the little churches and the old fortress, take a carriage ride around the town or visit little shops and cafes. We have done that in the past as well as book a tour of the island to see the hot springs and tea plantations and a wide variety of other interesting things. This time we walked off ship without any particular plan in mind. We decided to take a local bus tour of Ponta and the nearby towns and beaches. It was a relaxing and interesting tour and only cost €20 for the two of us. Cobh – we have visited here before and walked around the town, explored the church and the local Titanic museum and the old rail station. This time we decided to take one of the ship's pricy 'tours' that was supposed to be a 4 hour on your own in Cork but in actual fact was a half hour bus ride to Cork – 2 and ¾ hours on our own in Cork and then a half hour bus ride back to Cobh. Since we got off the ship at the train station in Cobh – it would have been more rewarding to get a round trip train ticket for €9 and have a decent amount of time there. We went into a Marks & Sparks and got a lovely new shirt for hubby and then had a nice lunch at a nearby pub. And that was really all we had time to do. Saw a bit of the central area and a bit of the region on the trip back and forth. If we do this again – will take the train back and forth so we have time to explore. And it would be half the price. Falmouth – we have been here before too and thoroughly enjoyed the town. We were not docked this time, which we have always been on past visits on other ships. We had to tender over and back. Poor organization every time getting people on and off ship. On arrival we got on a free bus to take us around to the town center. Nice to see a bit of the place that we had not seen on our previous visit. In the town square were chatting to some local folks about the upcoming election and they suggested we have a look at the art gallery near by. We did, and thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful exhibit of two local artists of the early 20th century specializing in seascapes. There were paintings of theirs on loan from all over the country. One large one from the museum at Hartlepool (which we have visited in the past) that we really liked. Even one on loan from Sir Elton John. The paintings were a wonderful record of the sea and the local fishermen and the catches at that time in Falmouth. One of the painters did all his painting on the water itself – from a boat and as he became more prolific – he bought a bigger boat... We strolled down towards the seafront, enjoying the shops, picking up some sweets from one of the bakeries, and eventually wound up down near the Maritime museum ( which we have visited in the past and is well worth a visit) to reach the Harbour Lights restaurant. We had been talking to a couple from the Falmouth area yesterday at the Pub. They were on the ship too and disembarking here and told us that Harbour Lights had won the best Fish and Chips restaurant in England for 2017 and was well worth a visit. They were right – the fish and chips were absolutely delicious! Tendering back to the ship was an experience – and not a pleasant one. We were obviously in a different boat and this one has water coming in through the sealed side windows and it poured in through the front – soaking several of us. I wound up with my blouse, slacks and knickers soaked in salt water. Since I was planning to wear that outfit off the ship the next day – it got marched down to passenger services to get laundered and returned to me that evening. It was returned but I suspect it was only dried- not washed as it still smelled salty. My big issue here is the leaking lifeboats that were doing the tendering. I would not want to be in one of those in a real emergency as a boat that is leaking water into it is hardly a safe option. When were these last inspected or repaired? Travel to embarkation port We live in New Brunswick in Canada and flew with WestJet to Tampa and then several weeks later from London, UK back to our home city. Our flights were comfortable – the food we had ordered for our meals in flight was tasty and we thoroughly enjoyed our WestJet experience. Cabin We were on deck 9, cabin 9661, an inside cabin. In the past we have had inside, ocean view, balconies and mini-suites on different cruises. I prefer the inside cabins so that it is darker as I tend to awaken if there is any light at all. In the past on the Jade we have been on deck 8 and the cabins we remember as being larger than this one was. Perhaps it was a trick of memory but this certainly seemed smaller than we have had in the past. We had the beds separated rather than as a queen simply so that there was room to move in the middle of them. There used to be a ledge at the head of the bed where we stored things but this was not in our cabin – possibly simply not on this deck. There was just enough storage space to stow our unpacked items. The bathroom had a good shower but the way the toilet was located – one needed to be about 5'2” at most to have room for legs. Since both I and my husband are over 5.9” (he is 6'3”) we wound up frequenting the public facilities in the daytime though we were stuck with cramped conditions during the nights. One night we were awake all night as my husband's bed was making loud squeeking noises whenever he moved at all. In fact it sounded as though the frame was rubbing against the wall but even pulling it out a bit did not stop the noise. Not wanting to disturb staff in the middle of the night – we toughed it out without sleep. After a visit to the passenger services – a repair man was sent up to tighten up the frame of the bed. It took two visits but he eventually got it tight enough with the addition of some kind of tape in the loose leg socket and we had no more problems with it for the remainer of the cruise. We were lucky to have an excellent steward in Paul, and he kept our cabin clean and well maintained. The location of the cabin was good for us – just a short walk to the elevators which then took us up to the Garden Cafe for breakfasts and lunches. Dining This was one of the biggest disappointments of the cruise. The food in the main dining rooms was poor and definitely not up to previous standard on this ship. One night we ordered the turkey dinner. I have cooked turkeys for over 50 years (I am old) and I would not have thought it was possible to ruin a turkey dinner – but they proved me wrong. That was the worst turkey dinner either of us have ever tasted. We found it was even possible to ruin a salad (something I would have thought was impossible). In Alizar I ordered a Tomato Salad as a starter the last meal I had there. It was described in the menu as tomatoes on a bed of romaine and other greens with a light dressing. What arrived was a bowl of oil soaked baby spinach leaves and one or two other pieces of greenery, two tiny slivers of tomato and 5 olives. I had a taste and it literally turned my stomach. The oil dressing was gawd-awful ! There was a couple at the table next to us and the lady looked over and asked me – 'Did you order the tomato salad?' I replied that I had but it was inedible. She told me hers arrived with greens, 25 olives and one tiny sliver of tomato. Obviously whoever was preparing the salad had never looked at the pictures posted in the kitchen ! This 'salad' was delivered right after the wine mix up mentioned under service. I could not get that disgusting oily taste out of my mouth and although I ate a part of my main course – could not finish it and skipped dessert. To say that neither of us were happy with that meal would be an understatement. On leaving we were asked by Swaroop how we had enjoyed the meal – and I told him exactly what it was like. He apologized profusely, contacted the Maitre'd and this gentleman said they would send a bottle of wine to our room. We said there was no need to do that. What they needed to do was serve the food that is described. Regardless, several hours later there was another bottle of wine in the room. Cagneys was another mixed bag. In the past we loved to eat there. My husband adored the Alaskan King Crab legs and always ordered them. They are no longer on the menu. The steaks we ordered were delicious – perfectly cooked and tender – but the enjoyment was tempered by the fact that the baked potatoes were also off the menu and there was an extra charge if more than one vegetable was wanted (really felt that they were nickle and dimeing to death). As well, the service was sporadic, to say the least. Jasmine Gardens became our chosen location most nights because the food was always good, the service was good, and although the menu was limited, we could juggle it around a bit so we did not eat exactly the same thing every night. Normally on past cruises we ate there 3 times – this time it was double that as was the most reliable as to taste and quality. La Cucina – on former cruises on the Jade we were not that fond of this restaurant but the menu has changed and we thoroughly loved it. It is one of the extra fee restaurants but well worth it. We just wished we had tried it sooner in the cruise as would have eaten there more than twice. Not only was the food delicious, it was perfectly served and the atmosphere there was very nice, with some classical Italian singers on the sound system. Garden Cafe has had a change in décor in the recent refit. Gone are all the tacky Hawaiian plastic flowers and statues – now it is a nice clean and fresh coat of paint and new chairs and tables. We are our breakfasts and lunches there and could always find something we could enjoy eating. To sum up the dining experience – the food has definitely gone downhill from our last cruises on the Jade. A lot of the wait staff could use a refresher course in proper service of meals and the chefs in the kitchen need to look at the pictures of the food they are supposed to be preparing. I understand that Miami sets the menus – I am sorely tempted to send them a good cookbook – maybe one of Holland America's cookbooks. Children's activities We do not travel with children ourselves. There were surprisingly quite a few children on this cruise despite it being during the school year but we rarely saw any of them other than at mealtimes. I assume that they were kept busy by the children's dedicated staff. Entertainment We enjoyed the lecturer from the Brunel Museum very much. We just went to one evening show – with the two gymnasts. They were talented and it was enjoyable but about 20 minutes of that is sufficient – stretching it out for an hour is overkill. We have not bothered with jugglers and magicians for years and the production shows on offer were ones we had seen on the ship years ago. Overall it would have been nice to have had as least one classical offering – whether a singer or a musician. In the past we have enjoyed some of those shows on Norwegian but it appears to be a thing of the past. We made our own entertainment and played cards several times a day – particularly in the evenings. Disembarkation This was a mess. We planned to walk off around 9:30 or as late as possible, as just going to get the train to Portsmouth. Since Dave uses a cane we wanted to be able to wait until our colour was almost clear so that he would not have to stand. Needless to say – disenbarkation was a mess and although we sat and waited until our colour had been called several times – by the time we got to the lounge outside Bistro it was obvious that the lines were heavily backed up. The line stretched down the hall to the dining room area. When we made it as far as Bistro we sat so the line could snake around the lounge and out the other side- planning to rejoin the line when the folks who were in line before us reached the end. When we got up to do that, an officious female staff member said – oh no, you can't just come down the stairs from another floor and cut into the line. I told her flatly that we had not come down the stairs – we had been sitting and waiting a half hour since they should never have called our colour until they cleared those others off ship first. Eventually she let us go but all that meant was standing in line for another 20 minutes or more until we could finally get signed off the ship. I have never seen a mess like that leaving a ship before, and I've been on a hell of a lot of cruises. Summary We have done quite a lot of cruising with NCL. We are Platinum Latitudes with NCL, I am at the top level with Princess and we are 3 star Mariners with Holland America. We have never had a cruise like this before where there were so many issues that were not well handled. I used to say there was no such thing as a bad cruise – I have since changed my opinion. We thoroughly enjoyed the Jade the other times we were on the ship but this was the most disappointing we have ever experienced. The only bright spots in the cruise were the staff that we met and chatted to around the ship. There were some lovely people – that we would be happy to meet again anytime. That being said – I really wish we had flown over to England instead of cruising there. This will be our last cruise with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
First, let me state, that I traveled solo on this five day cruise which was based upon the the "casino rate", excluding airfare cost $541 for an interior cabin, port charges and taxes, vacation protection, transfer to and from ... Read More
First, let me state, that I traveled solo on this five day cruise which was based upon the the "casino rate", excluding airfare cost $541 for an interior cabin, port charges and taxes, vacation protection, transfer to and from the port, and prepaid gratuities, but excluding airfare. However, it is expected that one spends some time in the casino s gaming, which I did. Getting there: It was a breeze from NC to Tampa a less then two hour flight, the Tampa International airport is well laid out and I was at the Carnival Cruise Line meeting place under an hour with my bags waiting for the bus. The bus arrived and we were at the Port of Tampa in under one hour. Embarkment: Again, going through security and then getting my sail and sign card, i was on the ship in less than one hours time. Paris Restuarant (the buffet on the Lido deck): Standard cruise line buffet, a cut above Golden Corral, but with delightful desserts. On the Lido deck near the pool the is the "On the Grill" whic basically served hot dogs and hamburgers, (dried out hamburgers and cheese burgers. Opposite "On the Grill" is the "Mongolian Won, you select what you want on your won and they cook it for you. Both of these food stations will disappear as the Paradise is going into dry dock for renovations, and it there place will be the "Guy Fieri's Burger Joint" and a Mexican food station NO DRAFT BEER in the "Pour your own" cabinet. There are two pour your own beer dispensing cabinets and for about thirty cents and ounce you can get about a 14 ounce cup of Bud Light or Thirsty Frog Red. Problem is the beer cabinets were always empty, So let's do the math, a 14 oz cup of beer about $4.20 + a 15% gratuity for under $5. They sell sixteen ounces of domestic beer for $6.75 + 15% gratuity or about $7.so, CCL made about two dollars MORE per beer - it is all about the bottom line! Pool: there is one pool so it is crowded on sea days but it is quite pleasant on port days, it is easy to find a deck lounge. Majestic Casino: this is an "L" shaped casino with recently upgraded slot machines, one craps table, on Poker Pro electronic poker table, two roulette tables, one Let it Ride table, one WPT Heads Up Hold'em table, two three card poker table, and several blackjack tables.The bar service is excellent, the dealers, pit supervisors are friendly and the casino host, Vicky is terrific. There were night drawings, based upon the guests "points" from the slots and table play. On a five day cruise if the guest gets 1000 points on the slots, you receive an "on us" drink card for free adult beverage while gaming in the casino. Main Dining Room: The service from Fritz, Agus and Puji were EXCELLENT, however as I dined at the second seating 8:15pm, most of the entries were dried out probably from being on the heat table or heat lamp. The food on Royal Caribbean is superior to Carnival dining offering Entertainment: Average, mostly production shows on a five day cruise with good comedians. The lounge shows are varied and musicians and vocalists are good. Shore Excursions: I did not do any excursions, so I cannot comment. Cabin: Standard interior cabin, my cabin steward Suhardi was excellent, they will ask you if you want a morning or evening bed turn down, I usually have just and evening turn down and my request for a fresh bucket of ice everyday was promptly done. Disembarkment: Getting off the ship took less than one hour, from the time, I left my cabin, picked up my luggage and got on the bus. OVERALL: This was an average cruise, the MDR quality of the food, was below par, entertainment was good, good standard interior cabin. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
First time cruise because spouse did not want to fly. The Rhapsody is the right size ship. Captain took a course avoiding rough water. Worst movement was no different than flying in turbulence. Really enjoyed talking to all the different ... Read More
First time cruise because spouse did not want to fly. The Rhapsody is the right size ship. Captain took a course avoiding rough water. Worst movement was no different than flying in turbulence. Really enjoyed talking to all the different crew members. Appreciated the First Officers two meeting wit veterans. My wife and I had a nice conversation Mr Lena. We also like the Parade of Nations by the Crew. The singing by the waiters in the main dining room was a fun time. Since we are no big drinkers we did not purchase the package. We did not know what to expect on the cruise so we are very pleased with the results. Having been in the United States Air Force I have always preferred to fly across the ocean. This cruised changed my mind because of the ability to move around instead of being cramped in. if able we will book the Rhapsody again same time next year. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The Rhapsody was over all very poor, the staff were great that is all that is keeping this ship going, too bad the company can not see that but still cut crew. Dinner every night was cool even though we complained about it nothing was ... Read More
The Rhapsody was over all very poor, the staff were great that is all that is keeping this ship going, too bad the company can not see that but still cut crew. Dinner every night was cool even though we complained about it nothing was done until the 11 night when our headwaiter Alexandru took care to give us hot food for the last 3 nights, it was very nice he did that but he should not have to the chefs in the kitchen should not let cool food go out! (again useless cutbacks when the company is top heavy that is where the cutbacks need to start). Our Diamond Lounge Concierge Givago was always very helpful. Went for breakfast in the dining room of course went to Diamond side a the first group of 8 people were seated, no menu, no water the lady across from me had a dirty coffee cup after 20 minutes we complained then came some OJ but service was very very slow, I thought the idea of a Diamond entrance in the lounge was for some kind of better service, What A MISTAKE never went back there again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
To make our trip to Europe. We did meet many People and made some friends. We also enjoyed the Nightly Entertainment, which was very good. I'm sorry to say that the Dinner menu was not what it used to be, like on our trips ... Read More
To make our trip to Europe. We did meet many People and made some friends. We also enjoyed the Nightly Entertainment, which was very good. I'm sorry to say that the Dinner menu was not what it used to be, like on our trips before this one. I have to say that the Bar drinks went up a lot since I was Cruising in Mach 2017, there are now $ 12.00 a drink. Also we took a land tour in Cartagena which was advertised with only a few Stairs but it turned out there where over a hundred stairs involved, which was not the best way to get up to the Conception Castle. Our Cabin was very clean and our cabin Attended was very efficient and helpful. All in all the Cruise was enjoyable and we liked it anyway, and will be cruising with the Royal Cariebbean on our way back to the USA in August. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because of the great cost! It was our first transatlantic cruise with 7 other people. The ship had it's 20th birthday while traveling, party was entertaining. The ship is older and smaller than the new ships. It ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great cost! It was our first transatlantic cruise with 7 other people. The ship had it's 20th birthday while traveling, party was entertaining. The ship is older and smaller than the new ships. It was kept very clean, I viewed many staff members shining brass during the wee hours of the night. The cabin was a little small for 3 people but kept clean. I would suggest the middle and 7th floor. Steward was great advised at the start what we needed and he was very attentive. Dining in the main dining was very good excellent service. Food was a little bland for our group. Entertainment was great at night but needed more music on the pool deck. Casino fun times, bartenders were friendly and enjoyed my husbands jokes. We had great laughs. The staff were very friendly and service was top notch. They enjoy their jobs even though they work long hours. Ports were new to us we enjoyed shopping, beaching at St. Maarten. Touring Malaga, tour bus in Cartagena, and tour bus in Barcelona. embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Our over all experience was excellent ! The ship is beautiful and in excellent condition (especially for being 20 years old). Our cabin was small but functional and comfortable. I found the mattress to be too soft for my back. Our ... Read More
Our over all experience was excellent ! The ship is beautiful and in excellent condition (especially for being 20 years old). Our cabin was small but functional and comfortable. I found the mattress to be too soft for my back. Our Stateroom Attendant, Iketut Merta, got a board for under the mattress, which helped greatly. Iketut also did a great job attending to our cabin. He always had a smile and a towel animal for us. The food and dining experience were very good. The Windjammer Cafe staff did a great job keeping the food lines full and the dining area clean. We ate most of our breakfasts and lunches there. We dined each evening in the Edelweiss Dining room. The dining room is beautiful and in excellent condition. Our waiter Prithviraj Mohunan and assistant Ruben Canee were very friendly and attentive. The entertainment on the ship was very good. Standouts were "Shades of Buble", "Stephani Parker" and "The Rhapsody of the Seas Orchestra". Activities Manager Dani Domas was very entertaining and did a great job leading Zumba classes. We also enjoyed a few late nights in the Viking Crown Lounge. The Lounge was outstanding, however the DJ didn't always play at the time, (nor the type of music) that was scheduled. The LGBT events were kept very quiet and were almost non existent. This was our first repositioning cruise. We met several people who cruise frequently. They all ranked this cruise as one of their best overall cruise experiences. The ship, service, food, and weather, were all very good and made for an excellent experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We did back to back cruises on this ship from Tampa, FL to Venice Italy. We thoroughly enjoyed the trans-Atlantic crossing, but did have some issues with the ship. It is definitely one of their older liners and could certainly use a major ... Read More
We did back to back cruises on this ship from Tampa, FL to Venice Italy. We thoroughly enjoyed the trans-Atlantic crossing, but did have some issues with the ship. It is definitely one of their older liners and could certainly use a major update. Our cabin was large, clean and comfortable with an unusual amount of storage which we appreciated for such a long cruise. There were, however, some missing components on the ship which we could have wished were there....no library or game room - extremely poor selection of books and games(almost none) and no place really to read or play games if such existed. And this on a cruise with ELEVEN sea days!! And again, for such a long cruise, no self-service laundry. We would rate the food as about average for cruising, with all the dining attendant's service being way above average. The guest artists brought in for the evening shows were exceptionally good as were those playing in various venues around the ship. It was somewhat disappointing that on the second leg of the cruise, there was only one new show - all the rest were repeats of what we had already seen. If this had been our first time to the Mediterranean, we would have been very disappointed with the ports of call. Excursions to Monaco and Monte Carlo were discouraged due to prep for the Gran Prix (Brilliance of the Seas, which was in port the same day, seemingly had no issues), Florence was skipped entirely. and Taormina in Sicily was also off limits due to the G7 conference. There seemed to be a real push for purchase of items and service that used to be included as well as use of the specialty restaurants. We really had the feel that there was much more interest in money making than service. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Cheap way to get to Europe, sea view cabin on deck 3, $625 each + gratuities. Smaller boat, mostly older passengers (50+), very few children (which was just as well, since the RotS doesn't have a lot to offer for younger ... Read More
Cheap way to get to Europe, sea view cabin on deck 3, $625 each + gratuities. Smaller boat, mostly older passengers (50+), very few children (which was just as well, since the RotS doesn't have a lot to offer for younger passengers!). Food was good in all restaurants. The anytime dinning service was exceptionally good once we settled into the same section/time every night. The serving staff really make an effort to get to know likes and dislikes, and are very attentive. Cabin was fine, although the HVAC was malevolent! first night was hot only, after a changed thermostat, it would slowly warm the cabin at night all of its own accord after working fine all day at 69/20.3 deg! RC staff on-board worked very hard to make the trip enjoyable. We didn't encounter one cabin, restaurant or deck worker who wasn't super helpful. However, the shops were very variable in quality of service! (shop ashore in Sint Maarten, a lot cheaper). I enjoyed the trip, but as a mariner and blue water sailor, no surprise: my wife was bored with the ocean crossing time, but otherwise enjoyed the experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our second transatlantic cruise and also second cruise on Rhapsody. We like crossings and the stops in Key West, St. Maarten, Cartagena and Malaga before arriving in Barcelona definitely were a draw for us. The ship is small as ... Read More
This was our second transatlantic cruise and also second cruise on Rhapsody. We like crossings and the stops in Key West, St. Maarten, Cartagena and Malaga before arriving in Barcelona definitely were a draw for us. The ship is small as ships go these days, but was smooth as silk for the crossing. Embarkation in Tampa was without any problems. Staff there are very accommodating. Ship was very clean and room attendant awesome. We were pleasantly surprised with the quality and taste of the food in the main dining room. We have had problems on previous cruises, but I can't say anything bad about Rhapsody. Service was excellent. Chops and Giovanni's were also excellent. I purchased the 5-night package and we dined in Chops 3 times and Giovanni's twice. Again, service and quality of the food was great. We don't normally go to the evening shows, but on Rhapsody we did find ourselves not only going to the shows, but enjoying them tremendously. Was disappointed in the shore excursions offered. Took a tour in Malaga which basically was a waste of time. Did our own thing in Cartagena, and found a great place for lunch. To sum it up, Rhapsody is a good choice for cruising. We are booked on the same crossing in May 2018. Ports are a little different, but we are looking forward to getting back on Rhapsody once again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
It has been a long time since we did a long cruise (this one was 14 nights). Overall the cruise was good but we can see where cost cutting has changed the feel of this company's ships. We has a BD class of cabin with a balcony. The ... Read More
It has been a long time since we did a long cruise (this one was 14 nights). Overall the cruise was good but we can see where cost cutting has changed the feel of this company's ships. We has a BD class of cabin with a balcony. The cabin itself was rather on the smallish side and I am really glad there were only the 2 of us in the cabin as I think it would have been a nightmare with 3 in this small a space. Bed was comfortable but did feel that as the ship had just had a refit (more like some new carpets fitted and some of the restaurants moved or expanded) felt that the beds and bedding should maybe have been replaced. Also found the way our cabin had been updated rather strange with some of the built in furniture in the redwood and other pieces 1/2 redwood and 1/2 black-faced chipboard. Also the switches and outlets were a mix of old and new which did give the room a rather strange look almost a 1/2 hearted effort at a refit. Also found the bedside lights witch I assume to have LED bulbs in them very annoying as the flickered non stop and were ridiculously bright. The cabin steward was excellent but I did notice that the room was not vacuumed for several days at a time also the bedding was not changed that often. As our stateroom was forward I did notice the noise from the Stardust Theatre every night when we had gone to bed. We did find the buffet up to the standards that we would expect from NCL from our last cruises and we were glad to see that this had not changed (only 1 minor gripe was a lack of basic sliced deli meats as some of the guests would have been more that happy with roast turkey or honey roast ham being available rather than the American selections that they did have on offer. We chose not to use the main dining rooms and opted for the 10 night dining package. We did notice that in almost every pay restaurant the menu had been reduced with some of the omission's being rather strange like no baked potato in the steakhouse restaurant and several items removed from every menu (the only reason we know this is that the ship had not bothered to update the phone app with the new menus or even the new locations or new names of the restaurants)/ We also found that some of the staff in the restaurants fantastic and some not so. I also did notice that some of the assistant maitre d's to be rather rude and arrogant towards the waiting staff when they thought that no guest would hear. As I worked in catering for many years I do take exception to this and I will name the restaurant this occurred in "Cagneys" We are not really late night people and we take the opportunity of a 14 night sea crossing as time to sleep late and unwind. We only went to one show and we did note that this was aimed totally at the US guests on-board as was almost every ShowTime. I was rather puzzled to the fact that NCL have removed all the guest coin laundry facilities on their ships (well I was puzzled till I noticed the price of $5.95 to send a t-shirt to the laundry) but they did offer a $19.95 bag of laundry twice during the crossing. As they have removed the coin laundry found it rather strange that they still sell the detergent for it in the on-board store, As we have been to all the ports before we only got off once for a brief walk so cannot comment on the ports or the excursions. Would we do NCL again I feel we would have to have a long hard thing for anything longer that 5 to 7 nights Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Booked back to back cruises on the Jade out of Tampa. First leg Western Caribbean, second Transatlantic to the UK. Nice ship that was easy to get about. Pool area was excellent and space always available. Cabins were good, staff ... Read More
Booked back to back cruises on the Jade out of Tampa. First leg Western Caribbean, second Transatlantic to the UK. Nice ship that was easy to get about. Pool area was excellent and space always available. Cabins were good, staff throughout the ship friendly and first class. Food perhaps the best we've had on NCL (we dined mainly in speciality restaurants but free options also very good). The buffet after 21 days became tedious and we never visited it in the evening. By-passing breakfast &/or lunch became our routine. Each of the specially restaurants were equally good, maybe not as impressive visually than the newer bigger ships, but certainly better food, especially the meat dishes. The Jasmine Chinese was included for all and in our view better than the Teppanaki which carried fees. The bars were excellent, our favourite servers were in the Atrium but all bars poured drinks to suit (we had the UBP). We got engaged in the trivia on both legs of the trip with was fun and enabled us to make some lovely friends. Best part of the trip for us was those friendships and fun. Entertainment was very hit and miss (probably more miss & miss). The music on the first leg was extremely dull (not to our taste) and it got substantially worse on the transatlantic. There seems to be a belief on some NCL ships that when people over 60yrs turn the radio on in their cars or go to gigs, they exclusively listen to Elvis, Frank Sinatra, etc. I really do wish NCL could realise that most of us only hear those sort of tunes at funeral services these days. The odd insertion of awful Abba tunes hardly landed any more easily on the eardrums. Some of the musicians on the ship were good, the pianist & a guitarist did have pretty extensive songbooks, and the Neil Diamond tribute session was excellent but a mid-afternoon time slot seemed perverse. A young singing couple in the theatre were OK but their song choices dull. The other singing about the ship seemed subdued by virtue of the genre of music we presume the artists had been told to stick to. You could literally walk away from one version of Elvis, Proud Mary or Dancing Queen to another bar and hear the self same song. As for the shows, the illusion show (Sandar I think) was excellent, the other shows struggled to hold our attention. Hypnotism, magic & juggling seemed more like time fillers than headline shows, the dance shows were mainly spoiled by dreadful accompanying music. One named Blazing Boots didn't have any storyline and was a serious of songs which were totally unknown by us, and it seemed a large proportion of the audience. Goodness knows how it was ever considered a suitable show for a diverse international audience. The usually funny comedians weren't great. On cruise 1 the comedian just wasn't funny, and on cruise 2 the guy spoke so fast with it was hard to catch what he was saying. All in all we had a great trip and are looking forward to several more cruises over the next 18mths, several with NCL. We've learned that with NCL the bigger ships offer far more in terms of entertainment variety but the smaller ships are ahead of the game in terms of getting to know folks and food quality. The ports of call were fun distractions: We enjoyed them all with the possible exception of Roatan where we didn't venture far from the ship. Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan, Harvest Caye (first time visit of us, and bit like Great Stirrup Cay & absolutely spotless with loads of space). Leg 2 was Key West (fun as ever), Miami (didn't dissembark as we've been loads of times), Azores (lovely island tour), Cobh (Guinness & music in Ireland), and finally Falmouth (near where we live). As for the weather & crossing.... we're convinced we were really lucky. Good weather in the Caribbean with only 1 day of rough seas, and what we considered to be a pretty smooth transatlantic trip although some friends did suffer a bit with motion issues (we were midship they were up front). Cabin was Oceanview for leg 1 then Interior for leg 2. Both were OK. Please be warned: we had a cabin on deck 11 (11085) under the Buffet for the first 6 days of our TA, we couldn't sleep and after complaining we were moved to deck 10 which was better. The problem was the noise from the trolleys as the staff prepared and cleared the buffet. It was worst at 5am when we were woken daily. We had complained on day 2 and been told there was nothing that could be done. My wife spoke to the Hotel Director at the platinum gathering and he wasn't happy with his staff, and few bottles of wine and chocolates then room swap followed. We were far from happy to discover that all Oceanview and balcony cabins had been block booked by US travel agents months before the trip which prevented non-US guests reserving for those categories of cabins even 6 months ahead of time. Those cabins were released in the wider market long after we had booked. We would recommend the Jade, yes but judged by these trips don't expect much by way of musical entertainment unless you fall into the 'one foot in the grave' category..... Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
we did a lot of Transatlantic cruises with RCCL, but this time with the Brilliance was the best we ever had. The whole stuff was very nice, took care of any problems you had. Every evening an other theme in the diamond lounge, with funny ... Read More
we did a lot of Transatlantic cruises with RCCL, but this time with the Brilliance was the best we ever had. The whole stuff was very nice, took care of any problems you had. Every evening an other theme in the diamond lounge, with funny people so you get in the mood for a nice evening. We booked onboard the next transatlantic with the Brilliance, because of the good exsperience. We have been sorry to go away in Bracelona, but we come back next year and hope to get the same experiance like before. A good idea has been to give diamond plus member the oportunety to go in a special breakfast restaurant, where you good everything you asked for. They Hoteldirektor must be very good, allways new ideas, and even the sea days have been full of activities, so sometimes we wished we had more time. Everything was well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The cost and the date of the cruise The crew is excellent and eery one tried to please. The movies I ant say enough about Best of any ship I have been on. Activites were good to keep us busy for the crossing The internet needs work as it ... Read More
The cost and the date of the cruise The crew is excellent and eery one tried to please. The movies I ant say enough about Best of any ship I have been on. Activites were good to keep us busy for the crossing The internet needs work as it does on all Royal ships. The food in the dining room was not served hot. The windjammer food was pretty much the same thing for lunch each day. The diamond club host was very attentive and helpful The diamond club servers were the best on the ship. I Liked the fact that the cabin staff did not leave carts in the halls all day. The theater entertainer was weak on this ship Out of 14 nights I only stayed for the whole show on 2 nights I usually go each night ad sit down front. Would be nice to get a bigger shower but I understand if we dot. I love the Brilliance Im sure after the redo it will be even better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017

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