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3,120 Transatlantic Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We were interested in seeing the ports on this cruise Combining with the relaxing sea days at the end. Everything about this cruise was fabulous. The ports included Ibiza, Cartagena, Gibraltar and Tenerife. We went five days early since ... Read More
We were interested in seeing the ports on this cruise Combining with the relaxing sea days at the end. Everything about this cruise was fabulous. The ports included Ibiza, Cartagena, Gibraltar and Tenerife. We went five days early since there is so much to see in Barcelona. The Reflection is a great ship and the staff could not have been more accommodating. We went Aqua Class and I highly recommend it. The Blu dining room was an absolute dining pleasure and the staff just wonderful. I cannot say enough about the food on this ship. It was the best of any cruise we have been on. People were actually photographing the desserts on the buffet! They looked too good to eat. The entertainment was equally good and we loved Giuseppe the activities director. In conclusion, transatlantic will always be my first choice for cruising. And I hope to go on the Reflection again in the future. But Celebrity has become my cruise line of choice. Happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
ENTERTAINMENT-my 11th NCL cruise and still can say the sound techs still don’t know what they are doing in their field. Choir of Men are very talented. The sound tech had no ability to mix the background vocals- they couldn’t be heard. ... Read More
ENTERTAINMENT-my 11th NCL cruise and still can say the sound techs still don’t know what they are doing in their field. Choir of Men are very talented. The sound tech had no ability to mix the background vocals- they couldn’t be heard. During his stage performance, the hypnotist more than once gave them directions on turning the volume of his microphone up. Christopher Caress, hypnotist was most informative with his craft. In his 2nd session, Chris has to ask, more than once to turn down the volume of his microphone. How can these techs not hear the feedback from his microphone? Kinky Boots-the poor audio techs simply destroyed the quality of the show. MAGICIAN-was entertaining and somewhat goofy. FOOD- Speciality restaurants were delicious, attentive staff and decor stunning. Onda by Scarpetta is a huge improvement over La Cucina, the food was perfect in all ways. However, bring back the Caesar Salad to the menu. The buffet was incredibly bland and cold, no matter the meal. COCO- $13 milkshake was way too watery and rich, should have been $5- no one in the place. CASINO- no one was at the table games. Never saw anyone cashing out their winning chips. Thermal Suite Spa- very crowded and noisy. Spoke with spa manger regarding the lack of “Quiet Zone” signs that are usually posted. Left the spa area multiple times due to the loud talking and/or no seats. The thermo-pool temperature was not warm enough, in fact freezing cold. Silas, the cruise director is delightful, engaging, personable and friendly. GUEST SERVICES-were better listeners and helpful. Assigning crew members who don’t have a full understanding of the English, makes no sense. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information ... Read More
Basically used as transport from the UK to the Caribbean, we had time to take this trip as part of our itinerary to reach home. Southampton check in -very quick and efficient the only flaw was NCL’s oversight in prebooking information in failing to advise that documentary proof of ESTA is required. Ship-We had anticipated some shortcomings as this voyage was essentially a shake down , however it was interesting to see how the latest cruise ships have evolved with a lightly built, full bowed hull outfitted with low maintenance Internal modular units obviously designed for a refurbishment a few years down the road. Despite its huge size the vessel reacted like a much smaller one encountering some poor but not particularly rough sea states, surprising that it is classed for “winter North Atlantic” service. The internal ambience is very understated and the internal decorators have done an outstanding job in both layout and decor. Cabin-Mini suite on deck thirteen, was a little on the narrow side and the balcony, unused due to the weather, extremely small. A large amount of storage, more electrical points would be useful(US standard only). The king bed was comfortable and located inboard of the seating area, apparently the sofa converts to a double bed, it would be adequate only for small children. Bathroom was large with excellent shower, but poor quality toiletries. Restaurants-complimentary, were somewhat limited as Taste, Savor and the Manhattan Room have exactly the same menu which changes little from day to day. The Garden Cafe cafeteria was generally a better choice, being large, beautifully laid out and with an good selection, the carvery and Indian sections were the high spots. -specialty, Ocean Blue(seafood), very disappointing , Food Republic basically sushi with a rather annoying tablet menu, a little better, Le Bistro, worth a visit for a change, Cagneys, by far the best and really the only one worth paying for unless the very reasonable Free at Sea package had been purchased. Bars, although cumulatively quite large in number only the Observation deck had a lounge quality with adequate seating. Again the Free at Sea package is almost essential even for moderate drinkers as the per drink prices are high, a plus point is that only the excess cost is charged over the base prices for premium drinks. Wi Fi-worked well but the very reasonably priced unlimited use add on is essential as the basic 250minutes was consumed by an apparently arbitrary log in and out algorithm. Service-Generally good(vessel only 50%occupied), but could improve particularly in table clearing and cabin areas. Entertainment-Two free professional level productions but not continuously available meant that tickets were scarce. Smaller general acts very similar to other cruise lines. Excessive emphasis on trivia and TV type game shows indicate a Bingo rather than Bridge orientation. Outside facilities, did not use due to weather-vessel is geared to tropical cruises. Value-exceptional,even including Free at Sea and extra Wi Fi costs Disembarkation -An utter shambles, not the fault of NCL, or indeed the immigration officers who struggled to cope with 2000+ passengers using outdated technology and without the self clearance machines used at US airports. They were fortunate, as were we, that the crew were not permitted to disembark.Customs clearance on the following day was much easier as the officers basically just watched passengers collect luggage and leave. High spot-The sea approach to New York under the Verrazano Bridge , past the Statue of Liberty and up the Hudson to the terminal berth was stunning and could have been more so had the ships entertainers been used to provide NY music during the transit. Fellow passengers-mix of American , British, Canadian and some others. Many hugely overweight and large numbers of mobility scooters, walkers and wheel chairs, generally in 50 to 70 age group and preponderance of return NCL guests. Overview-A relative bargain on a new ship , perhaps a half star lower than Holland America or Celebrity but quite enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
An inaugural cruise is used to get the kinks worked out. Let's remember that the ship was just delivered from the shipbuilder to NCL only days before the transatlantic crossing. So, we couldn't be expected to find everything ... Read More
An inaugural cruise is used to get the kinks worked out. Let's remember that the ship was just delivered from the shipbuilder to NCL only days before the transatlantic crossing. So, we couldn't be expected to find everything flowing as if the ship had been in service for months. Yes, there were issues with the spa's thermal pool being cooler than normal on that first day at sea. And, it had to be drained when we hit rough seas to prevent water damage to the spa. (The motion sickness bags placed around the ship should have been a clue.) But, it was not something that went uncorrected when it was reopened. I will agree with another reviewer that "quiet" rules were not followed in the spa at all times. One group of people in the hot tub were particularly loud at times. One review item I cannot agree with was the Garden Cafe. It had probably the best food I have ever seen in any cafe aboard the major cruise lines. In the last 13 cruises, I can count on one hand the number of times we have eaten dinner at the ship's cafe. We have always eaten dinner in the main dining room. But, we enjoyed the Garden Cafe's dining fare so much, we ate dinner there nearly every evening. A first for us. So, yes. The ship did have a few things they needed to get up-to-speed. But, that is normal for any new ship just entering service. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Our first inaugural cruise. We would definately do another. The shows were all excellent. The entertainment in the Observation Lounge should have lasted longer into the evening. Ending at 10pm was to early. The ships 3 piece band should ... Read More
Our first inaugural cruise. We would definately do another. The shows were all excellent. The entertainment in the Observation Lounge should have lasted longer into the evening. Ending at 10pm was to early. The ships 3 piece band should have played there. They were wonderful and needed a bigger room to play in. Overall the Lounge was underutilized! The activities in the atrium were fun but when the ship is full there is not enough room for those who want to attend. Food in all of the restaurants was delicious. Service in the Manhattan room was excellent. We did miss having a band play during dinner. Onda was nice but we miss LaCuccina. The Italian decor was what made it a unique experience. The same can be said for Cagneys and Le Bistro. A lack of color and style is disappointing. We look forward to the improvements on the Leonard class ships. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We love transatlantic crossing and hoped everything about our two previous Celebrity crossings would be there plus more. The short answer...no way! Where should I start? The biggest ripoff with this ship is the “infinite ... Read More
We love transatlantic crossing and hoped everything about our two previous Celebrity crossings would be there plus more. The short answer...no way! Where should I start? The biggest ripoff with this ship is the “infinite balcony.” What a crock! It is an ocean view cabin with three extra feet and a window that SOMETIMES goes up and down. If there’s rain or wind or anything else it’s locked from the bridge and you sit and stare out a window. It’s NOT a balcony. While we’re discussing this, there’s a motorized horizontal blind that takes a noisy 45 seconds to go up or down. Don’t plan to take a quick peek outside because the blind is locked in place and your roommate will surely wake up with the racket. As for the cabin if you’re used to Celebrity’s Solstice class two important things are missing...a coffee table for in room dining and the storage area over the bed. Dining: We booked Aqua Class for the sole purpose of being assigned to Blu. Our very first meal was the worst I’d ever had on a cruise. Entree #1 took almost 45 minutes to arrive and was served cold; entree #2 arrived and was undercooked fish. To give them their due subsequent meals were prepared as ordered. The restaurant truly seems like an afterthought in the design of the ship. It sits in a hallway on deck five adjacent to lifeboats...zero view and is extremely noisy in the one third of the restaurant near the kitchen. I feel like the ship was finished and someone said,”ooops, we forgot Blu.” Eden was unusual with well-prepared food but really just a one-time destination. The deck 14 feeding trough was typical buffet fare...nothing bad, nothing great; main dining room lunches were OK. The ship itself: if you like the soaring atriums of the Solstice class ships, be prepared to be disappointed...it doesn’t exist. They refer to the center of the ship as the “Grand Plaza.” Nothing “Grand” about it...two decks with very limited visibility down to the Martini Bar which no longer has the ice bar or the intimacy of former Martini bars. Guest relations is stuck in a corner on deck three with employees standing at glass tables so anyone next to you knows your business. And, be sure to bring your own pens...none for passengers, only pencils because of the environment. No restaurant meals are posted and the nightly newsletter is pretty slim. There was a Veterans Day commemoration we were unaware of because nothing was posted anywhere. Shore excursions were no better or worse than other ships...samefor the theater. Bottom line: I’m not saying “never again” but Solstice class is head and shoulders above this new ”wonder” with the personality and charm of an office cubicle. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We flew into Rome from Miami, arriving October 31, and were efficiently whisked to the cruise port at Civitavecchia where the Koningsdam awaited. The 45 minute bus ride was uneventful and I tried to stay awake to enjoy the passing ... Read More
We flew into Rome from Miami, arriving October 31, and were efficiently whisked to the cruise port at Civitavecchia where the Koningsdam awaited. The 45 minute bus ride was uneventful and I tried to stay awake to enjoy the passing scenery. Our boarding was fast and we found the HA personnel - here and at the airport - kind and helpful. My husband and I were traveling with another couple and we had adjoining veranda cabins on Deck 8. This being our first HA cruise we were excited to get to know the ship and tried not to compare with other cruise lines. No sooner had we gotten to our cabin, when the inevitable lifeboat drill began, and it was easy and quick. We had scheduled the early dinner. Just time to eat, put away our belongings, and the time change set in to our brains so we hardly knew the ship had departed. Our cabin was comfy and the veranda was very nice, slightly larger then most because of the way our cabin was situated. The bed was very comfy and I was happy to see HA uses sheets, not the European duvets. The bathroom was a bit on the small side but the shower, with glass door, was huge and the water hot. There was more than enough closet and shelf space for our clothes and incidentals. Although we were underneath the Lido, there was no noise except for rolling of carts once in a while which was not in the least disturbing. I cannot begin to say enough about the friendliness and efficiency of the staff, both room stewards and dining room staff. It is a pleasure for us Americans (who like to get to know who is serving us) to have friendly chats with our stewards and wait people. The stewards were accommodating to our different schedules and the wait staff was wonderful. Our waiter went above and beyond when he discovered that one of our party like cold fruit soup which was not on the menu. He had a bowl of the fruit soup he made himself, for each of us, every day thereafter. The food in the dining room tended to be exotic to our more mundane tastes but there was plenty of choices and everything was tasty - except for a problem with NY strip steaks, which seemed to be overcooked - in the event, the waiter happily and quickly replaced the offending meat. The wine steward was cheerful and always came to say hello even though we were not drinkers. The Lido was not laid out in the most efficient manner, being two long lines instead of grouped in the center. This entailed a long walk to peruse the various offerings, which was difficult for one of our party who had trouble walking. The food on the Lido was generally good but please someone tell the New York Deli how to make Reubens! The entertainment we saw - a comedian, a harpist, a do-wop singling group and a singing impersonator left a bit to be desired. We have seen more talented acts on Carnival! But the singer and the harpist were enjoyable for all that. There was beautiful music played in the Lincoln Center but it took me a few days to realize this was on ship, not in New York City! I always like to look through the ship's stores. In this case, they were mostly expensive and lacking some of the everyday items one might need aboard ship. However, since the Koningsdam was repositioning, all the Mediterranean items were 75% off and boy do I love a bargain! Since this was a trans-Atlantic crossing (our second) we spent a lot of time chilling on our veranda and watching the ever-changing drama of clouds and sea. We had three ports of call, Cartagena and Malaga in Spain, and the island of Madeira. All ports were wonderful and getting on and off the ship easy. Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was the easiest of any cruise we have been on, since we were allowed to remain in our cabins until our numbers were called. Our Captain, Captain Timmers, was one of the most personable captains of any ship on which we have sailed. He was on the intercom every day with updates of our progress, and was delightful with his rather droll sense of humor. On the next to the last day, there was an alarm in the evening, and Captain Timmer came right on to inform us of what was happening and that all was well. My only real gripe was lack of a library. I would think that a ship the size of the Koningsdam could find a little niche somewhere for us who prefer the printed page to e-readers. Being forewarned, I had lugged two books along with me. I didn't attend any enrichment programs although they were offered daily and looked to be interesting. All in all, I would not hesitate to sail on HA again and again, even if I have to lug my own reading material! It was a wonderful ship and a great crossing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise based on timing. We’d been in Italy for 7 weeks and thought it would be a nice way home. It had been a while since cruising and I can compare to Disney, Celebrity, MSC and Carnival. Food, service and ship: ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on timing. We’d been in Italy for 7 weeks and thought it would be a nice way home. It had been a while since cruising and I can compare to Disney, Celebrity, MSC and Carnival. Food, service and ship: Celebrity1, Disney 2, HOLLAND 3, Carnival 4, MSC 5 Shows: Disney1, Celebrity2, Carnival3, MSc4, HOLLAND 5 In general, the room was nice, we had a stern cabin. Our room stewards were awesome, but seemed overwhelmed, as attention to detail was at a 6. Unlimited laundry package-AWESOME. Dining room food, boring and prepared so far in advance that there wasn’t any level of correct temperature or freshness to it. Incomplete room service menu and morning coffee and croissants, disappointing. Spa facials with Chauntel excellent. Gym, my husband was hurt, due to an improperly tied TRX line and they couldn’t have cared less. Bar hop and Notes scotch bar fun and rock band good. Dueling pianos redundant and Lincoln players gaining play experience at the expense of the listeners. Although a TA was a relaxing way to get home and we did meet some nice people, I would say we’ll never sail HOLLAND AMERICA again or any large cruise vessel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Reflection is a great ship. We love S-Class Celebrity ships and this is one of the best. Has the full Sky Lounge instead of part of it cut out for suites. Great commons areas. two issues: seating is starting to get a bit worn and you ... Read More
Reflection is a great ship. We love S-Class Celebrity ships and this is one of the best. Has the full Sky Lounge instead of part of it cut out for suites. Great commons areas. two issues: seating is starting to get a bit worn and you sit very low in many of the chairs at a table. Not enough places for readers and card players. Need more open places so we aren’t taking up places for snacking/coffee such as at El Bacio or taking tables in Oceanview/Dining room. We played during non-dining times, but still had issue sometimes. the decor is getting a bit dated with the red and orange motifs. Ship was clean and well cared for. Dining: we early 6pm dining. 2 person table. excellent location at a window and outstanding service. tables relatively close but not close enough where if you didn’t want to talk to your neighbor, it wasn’t an issue. I’m deaf in one ear so even if I wanted to ‘eavesdrop’ on our neighbors I couldn’t! Dining choices were varied and very good quality. Never an issue for us. We do love trying varying foods but aren’t ‘foodies’. Specialty Dining: we did the 3-dinner package. Ate at Murano’s. Excellent but just too much for us. Tuscan Grill. Great steaks but I’m not a big steak person - would rather try other choices. I cook steaks at home just fine. Grill was fine but not worth it for us. QZine/Petit Chef. Loved it. great and different choices. The ravioli was to die for - not something to have at an average restaurant and this was outstanding. Common Areas: Well maintained. Many areas to try out. Need a bit more for those who will sit for extended times as a group. Service: as we find on Celebrity, outstanding. Met all our needs, not intrusive and didn’t run into the ‘upscale’ we get on other ships. Seemed to have more waitstaff in the common areas then we’d experienced before. Itinerary: we love being on board so a transatlantic is perfect for us. Done 4 prior and will do more. won’t go though all the ports, but lots of At Sea days; NYC; Boston; Bermuda; Nassau is a fantastic mix. Crossing further north than many Celebrity TA’s mean you’ll probably get cooler weather, a bit of rain and a bit higher sea states. But well worth it. Entertainment: Well mixed. Lots of good music. A Live Band! Excellent dancers and high wire workers. Guest entertainers were excellent except for magician who I didn’t like (I love magic). Runaround Kids were a homer run. Podium Speakers: Outstanding. Prosecutor with great stores of big cases; Broadway musicals and he sang many of the songs; Beatles by a photographer who had direct contact with them early in their careers. Movies - history and actors. Fun! then speakers on the ports that were history of the ports, and what the cities were like. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First the positives: excellent entertainment- if you can get a seat to participate Great staterooms Our room steward Narendra was fabulous Cirque Dreams and Steam was amazing Burn the floor dancers show was fabulous ... Read More
First the positives: excellent entertainment- if you can get a seat to participate Great staterooms Our room steward Narendra was fabulous Cirque Dreams and Steam was amazing Burn the floor dancers show was fabulous The rope course was great and so were the attendants The water slides were fun The grilled shrimp in the garden cafe was excellent consistently Ports of Rotterdam, Southampton, LeHavre, Portland, Cobh and Bermuda were great. The drawbacks: -Too small Cabin deck - one person would have to get up to allow the other to get into the second chair. A book and one glass could fit on the outside table. -TERRIBLE dining service. Even Cagney’s their very expensive steak house the steaks were inconsistent and the side dish came long after your steak and the wine delivered twice was wrong. Mostly the dining staff were disinterested, the meal timing was bad and more then not there were long waits between courses. -The brand new rock and roll venue Syd Norman’s was probably the most popular and grossly undersized for the interest. This bar very small and was full more then 1-2 hr before the band went on stage holding 1/5 of the persons who attempted to attend. -Popular events were held in the atrium instead of the theater. This area also was very small holding a very limited number of people. -Very disappointing not to be able to dock in Azores but this was a weather issue. -What was inexcusably the worst planned shore event was Great Stirrup Cay - if you didn’t pay for a shore excursion you had to sign up for a tender after those with an excursion we’re given priority. The ships staff appeared to make no attempt to monitor who signed up for which tender. Our tender number 10 left almost two hours late - at almost 2 pm getting us to the island when all the food venues closed at 2 pm. First excuse was “it took a long to get people on and off tenders” the second excuse was “the swells were slowing down the tenders” and the third and finally more honest was “we are sharing the 3 tenders with another ship”. This was exceptionally poorly done and what could have been a 4 hr day on the island was reduced to 2 hungry hours and 1 hour if that in line to get back in a tender. The island does not have the capacity for 2 large ships as we experienced. -excuses aplenty on this ship and they kept morphing. -Miami our first domestic port- everyone had to go thru customs. We disembarked to end our cruise here. We received a typed letter from NCL to congregate in an area at 7-7:15 am to depart FIRST as a group. The night before customer service indicated this would be at 7:30 am and we made travel arrangements accordingly. After what looked to be about 300-500 passengers and their luggage arrived we were told we would be LAST to depart! This was via elevators- for staff - some not working into the port where we stood for an hour in line on a hot stuffy gangway. We finally got to the curb at 10 am long after travel planned. This was our 4th Atlantic crossing. Weather is an expected issue. NCL’s inability to handle a crowd of 3600+ passengers was not expected. Yes this ship can sleep that many but it cannot seat in entertainment venues, feed or disembark in a timely manner this many. Every member of our party contracted a respiratory illness at one time or another and hacking coughing and I’ll appearing persons could be seen and heard throughout the ship. I will not travel a Norwegian ship again. No matter how nice and talented the ships captain is. I recommend Celebrity or Holland or Disney for Atlantic crossings. All were smaller ships with consistently fine service. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was obvious that NCL management cares only about how much money they can make. For example, the ship stopped in Miami for only a few hours and took on fuel and provisions there. Every passenger had to go through Customs and ... Read More
It was obvious that NCL management cares only about how much money they can make. For example, the ship stopped in Miami for only a few hours and took on fuel and provisions there. Every passenger had to go through Customs and Immigration and the line took a minimum of three hours to get off and back on. Then they blamed Customs for the delay when the stop was obviously only to benefit the ship, not the passengers. The line at the private island in the Bahamas for the tenders was over an hour while we watched two Royal Caribbean ships docked at a pier at their island and passengers walked on and off the ship at will. NCL obviously doesn't want to spend the money to build a pier. The infirmary on the ship charged outrageous prices, in the thousands of dollars for minimal services. The bartenders and waiters worked hard but there just weren't enough of them. The food was cold and second rate. Service in the dining rooms was very slow and the food, especially at the buffet, was always cold. The specialty dining rooms (we ate in five of them) were a disappointment except for Cagney's and The Bistro. Skip the Italian, the seafood, and the Brazilian. That means we paid for three nights for two people (about $180) for food that was no better than the regular dining rooms. There was nowhere to walk around the ship outside except for a small area. The ropes course up top was actually very fun, but the average age of this 19 night cruise was 67, according to the crew, and many, if not most, of the passengers were not physically able to participate. The embarkation would have been fine if they had not lost my suitcase, which i carried to the dock. At the end of the cruise they gave me a claim form with a reminder on it that the terms of the cruise contract say they are only liable in an amount not to exceed $100. Try and buy a suitcase and all of the clothes, etc. in it for a hundred bucks. I'm glad that we had the experience of crossing the Atlantic by sea and I might do it again one day but not with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First, read the Danforth family review. No need for me to repeat everything there. It is ALL correct - even a bit mild. Overall, organization was lacking. Processes were disorganized; we heard the word "cluster" quite a ... Read More
First, read the Danforth family review. No need for me to repeat everything there. It is ALL correct - even a bit mild. Overall, organization was lacking. Processes were disorganized; we heard the word "cluster" quite a few times. The biggest surprise (of many) was the churlish attitude of most of the staff. Few smiles, uncaring (even after pouring coffee on my wife's lap!), angry that we asked for a new table when the tablecloth was soaked with said coffee. Excursion staff - not helpful and clueless (multiple different or non-answers to the same questions). Our cabin steward, Arnold, was excellent, though. The rumor mill had it that our crew was stripped in Southampton to staff the new ship being launched the following week. Not sure if it was true, but many of the staff acted like they had no previous experience with what they were supposed to be doing. The tendering at Stirrup Cay was a clown show. Compared to our last visit with another cruise line, when the lines got too long, they launched some lifeboats and got the people moved quickly. Clearly Stirrup Cay can not handle two ships at once, with only two tenders and one small auxiliary (used to move crew and food service). When the tendering fell 90-120 minutes behind schedule, no adjustments to food service were made. Passengers simply got disgusted and skipped that "experience." Excursions. Terrible. London - 2.5 hours by bus, 3 hours in London, 2.5 hours back. Waste of time from Southhampton. Paris - 3 hours by bus, 3 hours in Paris (along with a terrible guide whose English was VERY weak and who knew nothing about Paris, and who got flustered with any question she was asked). The "port briefings" provided no information about the port; they were simply an effort to sell excursions. Questions about non-excursion topics were not answered. (NB, Holland America does a MUCH better job in this arena). Not mentioned was the appalling "out of food" situation when we missed the port stop in the Azores. Ships missing that stop is not uncommon - some lines report as much as 60% of the time they are unable to get in. SO - the ship should be prepared for not being able to re-supply in the Azores. But no - after that, we were out of watermelon, bananas, lettuce, mushrooms, orange juice, iced tea, lemonade (the only FREE drinks available), milk of any sort - for the next 7 days. Even after we landed in Miami (plenty of time to place a grocery order), there was STILL no orange juice available (doesn't orange juice come from Florida?). Some dining staff told us that they "couldn't find it" in the load they took on in Miami. Absolutely ridiculous. In general, the food was mediocre - Buffet food overcooked, over-spiced (and not labelled as such), over-curried, over-salted. Restaurant food cold by the time it got to you. Typically took 75-90 minutes to get breakfast in either the TASTE or SAVOR restaurants, with courses arriving out of order. The first day - lunch - in a sit-down restaurant. Waiter brings the menu, later comes back to take our order. 25 minutes later, no food. The waiter returns and tells us that we had been provided the wrong menu and we'd have to re-order. OK, can we have the correct menu? Sorry sir, we have to wait for them to be printed! We attended a couple of extra charge dinner-shows (Cirque, Dreams, and Steam, and the "Wine school." After both, we were, via the PA system, unceremoniously told to leave immediately, even though we had not had the opportunity to finish our meal, dessert, and drink our wine. Then, the immigration situation in Miami. 4-5 hours to unload and get everybody checked, THEN 4-5 hours to get back on board. Fuss at passengers about being back in plenty of time, THEN make them stand around while the crew flounders. Disorganized, no staff help (there were two security guards from the terminal - nobody else to help). The captain blamed it on the "local authorities" - who did the same thing that they always do. The CBP staff had left for the day, and we were still standing outside. Miami is the USA headquarters for Norwegian, and their offices are right down the street. If you are going to have, or are having, a disaster (which this process was), get your office staff out from behind their desks, go to the terminal, bring (or buy) some coolers, ice, and bottled water, and help the customers. People were sick, exhausted, overheated (the outside sidewalks have no protection from the sun), Really ANGRY, there were no medical staff present, no cold water, etc., etc. On another occasion, myself and one other gent were lifting weights in the fitness center. A female member of the Spa staff entered the room and literally screamed at us that we must stop dropping weights. NOBODY had dropped any weights for the time I was there - about 20 minutes. She ungraciously informed us that her customers downstairs were complaining, and if they complained she was "working for free." Totally inappropriate. I complained to the fitness staff, whose response was, "We all know that she is crazy." The spa, despite paying a lot EXTRA for it, was almost always out of robes. Not a real problem for me, but the ladies were quite unhappy about the situation. My last noteworthy comment involves my wife's effort to get a glass of tomato juice on the last morning (no orange, remember - even though we had just taken on stores in Miami). She went to the bar where the mimosas and bloody Mary are made. Guess what? Can't find tomato juice! Once located, can't find can opener! Once located, didn't know how to operate it (you have to make two holes, one to pour and one for makeup air to enter). 25 minutes to get a glass of tomato juice, at a bar that specializes in Bloody Mary and Mimosa. Unreal! In general, the public facilities (restaurants, entertainment venues, even the buffet dining area) are not big enough for the number of people aboard the ship. Particularly a problem when the weather is cold and the outdoor pool/sunning areas can't be used. We suspect that the overcrowding of entertainment and dining venues, as well as the extensive queuing (passports, embarking, disembarking) contributed to the rampant spread of upper respiratory infections throughout the passengers. Almost everybody was sick! My background is in part in the US Navy. If a Navy ship had so badly failed in its core mission, the boss would have been waiting at the pier, the captain would have been relieved and replaced on the spot, along with the hotel "general manager" (who was so conspicuously absent), the restaurant managers, and the person responsible for purchasing and warehousing food. Nope, blame it on the local authorities, ruin another whole day for the passengers, and move on. Sincere-sounding apologies don't make it acceptable. It will require a lot of convincing before I will do another cruise on this line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I've cruised on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and NCL. I've cruised 11 times. This is the most mediocre cruise line I've been on. Let me tell you why... Poor Customer Service at every level - the biggest problem with NCL is ... Read More
I've cruised on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and NCL. I've cruised 11 times. This is the most mediocre cruise line I've been on. Let me tell you why... Poor Customer Service at every level - the biggest problem with NCL is their lack of interest in their "staff culture". There is no one setting an example for how to treat customers. On most cruises I've been on, I felt special and pampered. Not on NCL. After a 19day cruise, my cabin steward never introduced himself and I never figured out who he was. Once I opened my door at 8:50pm and one of the stewards was with his cart outside my door. I figured this was probably my guy. I asked him for a bucket of ice. I've done this on every cruise I've ever been on. He said he couldn't get it as he was off but I could call room service to bring it. In all restaurants, including the specialty restaurants like Cagney's, service was SLOW. I am unable to say whether it was because they were understaffed or what the problem was. There is an annoying casualness to the wait staff approach, as if I was an afterthought, perhaps even an inconvenience. In the dining room "taste" I asked for a glass of club soda and was told, "I will bring it when I have time." Staff constantly stepped in front of me or cut me off when I was walking places. The Captain of the ship even stated he didn't want to hear complaints about the hotel staff at a Q & A which tells me that this is a systemic problem, a culture of "that's not my job." O'Sheehans was the same with slow service and lack of attention to customers. There were few exceptions to this mediocrity. The staff at the Starbucks store were excellent. I have no idea if they work for Starbucks or for NCL but they were friendly, remembered my orders, and made me feel like their special customer. Food: in the dining rooms (Taste, Savour and Tropicana), the food was average. My husband thought the wine selection was ok. I was disappointed in the food at Cagney's. I remembered that when I was on NCL one other time, Cagney's was consistently excellent and I thought I could just dine there and be happy. Not so this time. My favorite steak, Ribeye, was not tender or flavorful. I did have a good Filet twice. Sides were so so. Food not brought out together...sides much later than steak. Desserts were good. Jimmy Buffet's was a letdown on several occasions. On a good day, food was average. But there were several times when I just gave up. The buffet was as expected. The dinner with the Cirque show was average with overcooked sirloin but the food was served hot. Terrible dessert! Room service charges $7.95 per delivery. I think that's service charge should be eliminated. Entertainment: NCL did better with this. My favorite was the house band at Syd Norman' Pour house. Excellent, engaging, talented. Lots of fun. The venue was too small. The Cirque show was excellent. A steampunk version of a Cirque du Soleil and really fun to watch. So glad we went to this. We also enjoyed the Burn the Floor dance group very much. Good choreography especially given the stage was small. The magician gave me the creeps. Ship condition: very good. It was kept clean and is beautiful. Cabin: my biggest problem was the steward who forgot to bring us beach towels (these were to be provided to all guests), forgot to bring a new version of a bulletin that was delivered to all guests, didn't get around to cleaning our room, had to leave notes for him to remove used glasses/plates. Ports: we never take the cruise line excursions and this cruise was no exception. I enjoyed the ports quite a lot. The exceptions was the Bahamas where we had to tender in to the island. We were asked to sign up for a tender time but they were 2 hours late. I spent much of my day sitting in the theatre waiting for a tender and then when I did get to the island, the lunch stands were closing up!! Lines very long. Shopping was just plain awful. A bunch of junk. A waste of a day. If you like a place to read and be quiet, this is not a good ship. There just aren't enough places to "hang out". Overall, this cruise line blew it. I will never cruise on NCL again. They need a complete revamping of their customer service culture. What a dismal cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have wanted to do a transatlantic crossing and this itinerary was outstanding. I traveled with two friends. We left home on Wednesday morning and arrived in Copenhagen around noon on Thursday after three flights and a sleepless night. ... Read More
I have wanted to do a transatlantic crossing and this itinerary was outstanding. I traveled with two friends. We left home on Wednesday morning and arrived in Copenhagen around noon on Thursday after three flights and a sleepless night. Copenhagen is a great city to explore and I definitely recommend at least a couple of days to explore. We opted for the Hop on Hop Off bus which made it easy to get to the major attractions. This also included a harbor tour which was a different but equally enjoyable way to view the city. We took a taxi to the port. The embarkation area was already busy with a long line of eager passengers but the line continued to move. Luggage was loaded for delivery to the room and we were on the ship within 30 minutes. For the number of passengers we thought embarkation went well. The ship is huge. It looks like a building when you first encounter all 16 stories. Exploration of the public spaces quickly made me realize that there wasn't a lot of room for the 3700 people who boarded with me. My overall impression was that the space is cramped and closed in. There are very few locations to see outside when you are inside. There were no quiet spots when everybody was out and about. Remember that the only public space is located on decks 6,7,8,15 and 16. This includes all dining options, shops, a huge casino, bars, clubs, spa, gym, thermal spa, outdoor activity areas like ropes course and mini golf, and you soon begin to understand why space is so limited. It was the public space of a smaller ship with the rooms and passengers of a big ship. Many of the activities were held in the atrium which was not large enough or have adequate sound to overcome the noise from the atrium bar on the lower level or O'Sheehan's on the upper level. The clubs and lounges which had performers would fill early which resulted in people standing in line up to hour to secure a seat. Many people were turned away. After a while you stop trying unless you get there really early. The outdoor public spaces were very nice with the waterfront but for the majority of this cruise they were blocked off due to weather conditions. This ship does not have a promenade that circles the entire and I realized how much I missed this. The quality of the headliner Entertainment was outstanding with The Million Dollar Quartet and Burn the Floor. Unfortunately I heard people complain about not getting to see these because they had not made reservations beforehand. The theater is small for the number of passengers and the show was only offered a few times. If you are willing to pay extra then the Cirque Dreams show and the Wine Lovers musical were also excellent. We thought the meal at the Wine Lovers Musical was better than the meal for the Cirque show. Both are set menus so I would not recommend for picky eaters. The Staff and Crew were all very pleasant but seemed to be overworked. They never complained and were constantly on the move but meal services were extremely slow. Failure to allow 2 hours for a meal would result in missing entertainment or the desert course. Personalized service was not an option because they were so busy trying to keep up. I hated to even ask for a drink refill (which was not offered). Complimentary dining options included main dining in one of three restaurants (Tropicana is the largest with Taste and Savor being smaller), the buffet, or O'Sheehans. The noodle bar was always booked so I cannot comment on it although I would like to have tried it. Tropicana, Taste and Savor all serve the same menu. We learned to check if one seemed extremely busy because we could often get into another sooner. Since I have been cruising with NCL they had made and seem to be continuing to make cutbacks on the quality and variety of items offered on their menu. Breakfast is pretty much the same thing everyday with a few daily selections swapped out about every third day. While on an extended cruise I expected to see repeat menus but I did not expect to see the same one on back to back days or so often. The food was average-nothing really special. We prefer the more relaxed sit down instead of the hustle and bustle of the buffet but the menu did get old being so limited. The garden buffet seemed to have more variety if you didn't mind scavenging from station to station in search of what you wanted. The seating area also had the most glass windows for actually seeing outside. The view directly out of the rear dining area is beautiful and slightly less hectic. O'Sheehan's is good for a quicker meal or if you need a fast food fix. The spinach and artichoke dip is additive. NCL advertises open 24/7 so I was surprised to go down for breakfast at 5 only to find a plate of stall sandwiches and self serve coffee/hot water for tea. They did open for breakfast at 5:30. The fitness and spa area is very generous in size. Services are pricey, even with specials but everyone is very professional and do an excellent job. My overall memories from this trip are mixed with both positive and negative. It was a great itinerary. The length in port was often too short. We ran into some glitches that were out of anyone's control like two hurricanes which rocked the boat and cancelled a port. We also had some glitches which seemed to be created by NCL: long lines, extended waiting, being herded around like cattle, a lack of activities, inadequate public spaces, poor planning, and a relentless and constant up-sale mentality that was tiresome. I have dubbed this a trip of Endurance because we endured a whole lot. We met some wonderful people who share our love of travel, chose to make the best of the situation and still managed to have an enjoyable time. There also seemed to be a large contingency of loud, obnoxious, complainers who were quick to find fault and managed to make everyone around them miserable. I did not lodge complaints on the ship but I will allow my travel dollars to speak for themselves. If this is the direction that NCL is going then I will be exploring other options. Some overall comments about the ports. While we arrived at the stated time, we were never close to being cleared so it seemed our days started late. It often felt like a hurry up and wait. There were times when NCL seemed to manage the large crowd efficiently but more often I saw a lot of people with limited mobility forced to cue up in long lines, stand on feet and ankles that looked swollen and painful, hurry to try and keep up with a group. I saw a woman almost knock down an older person so she could get the set at the front of the bus. There was also a lot of grumbling about passengers on NCL excursions being given priority. I know those excursions are more expensive but this is one of the reasons we chose to book mostly NCL tours. I consider the door to door service as part of the tour. If we chose to go independently we knew we would be exiting later and planned accordingly. Rotterdam-NCL Clogs, Windmills and Amsterdam The living museum is a controlled environment to see what life used to be like, its a beautiful area and we had a quick tour of Amsterdam and enough time to grab a quick lunch. South Hampton-NCL Panoramic London, it was a long day but we managed to hit many of the sites. We had a 1 hour stop with enough time to get lunch in a pub. La Harve-Paris, another long day but again we covered a lot of territory. We had 2 hours to explore a little on our own which also allowed time for lunch. Portland-Stonehenge-a beautiful drive through the country. The area was drizzly with rain and the wind is biting but definitely one to see. Cobh- Jamison Experience and City Tour of Cork, an interesting tour of how Whiskey is made, cork is not easy to see through bus windows, everything is very close to the street Azores- cancelled due to wind Bermuda- independent taxi tour, it is a beautiful island Great Stirrup Cay-explored on my own, if you are able to walk a little, you can find plenty of loungers away from the crowds Miami- city and harbor tour The tours were interesting especially if you like celebrity talk. This was certainly better than staying in the terminal while the ship was cleared Would I go again? Yes, I would take a Transatlantic Cruise. I do not have a desire to go on NCL's large ships if this is the format and if NCL continues to cutback more and charge extra for less then cruising with them will not be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We selected this cruise because I was attending a watercolor workshop. I enjoyed the course thoroughly. However, the location the ship provided was in a dark club painted black with limited lighting, their staff assisted us to have tables ... Read More
We selected this cruise because I was attending a watercolor workshop. I enjoyed the course thoroughly. However, the location the ship provided was in a dark club painted black with limited lighting, their staff assisted us to have tables under the best lighting fixtures. The ship is very large and lacks good and quiet areas around the ship to just read and relax. In fact, at the last refit a large area of open upper decks were eliminated to build more cabins. All possible public areas were monetized to increase income rather than provide relaxing areas. The ship bulletin mentioned certain areas, later in the day used as bars or restaurants, as being quiet areas from 0800 to 1000 hrs. Pretty pathetic to say the least. There were about 4000 pax plus crew. Embarkation was very crowded but it went fine. The entrance to the ship itself was extremely long full of inclines that were very difficult for many passengers with canes, walkers and wheelchairs. Staff was not available to ensure that flow was steady. Our cabin was small with plenty of storage. Our cabin steward, Omar, was excellent. He was professional and kind. We felt very comfortable in his care. Buffet was very crowded with tables very close to each other and long lines at each station. We finally opted for breakfast and dinner at the dining rooms Savor, Taste, and Tropicana. We were totally unwilling to pay for room service at 7.95 each time. Entertainment options were basic, if any one wished to attend more elaborate shows, those required reservations and extra fees for tickets. The theatre had one level removed so that more cabins could be added. We enjoyed the food options at all the dining rooms and the specialty restaurants. Of those, we liked Cagney's and Le Bistro the most. La Cucina lacked ambience since it was open to bars across the entrance where lots of pax were drinking to excess. There was one server, Ms Anyway from Zimbabwe, who was always professional and helpful. She was so kind and cheerful, it was so nice whenever we met her. This is a ship where pax are ensuring that they are drinking every cent they paid in their Drinks Package from early in the morning to late evening. Enrichment activities consisted of a few half hour talks about locations where the ship landed. Every other activity in the ship bulletin related to attending product demonstrations with options to buy products. Or basic games and activities that didn't interest us. Spa was limited to use with expensive day passes, or included with spa services. The walk/run deck was closed off at forward end to provide seclusion and priviledged space to elite levels cabins. The library is just two locked shelves of books totally unrelated to the areas the ship visits. These shelves space is in the card room, with six small card tables. The shelves can be unlocked only during two hours daily. The casino on deck 7 is extensive, smoking is allowed, there is always a musty smell of smoke and other things. There was very limited signage to direct pax to the gangway to disembark at each port. Also, the cruise director failed to clarify any changes to that location. Ports re embarkation.: Portland Island UK A complete shambles where the ship and port authority were unable to organize a smooth return of 4000 pax with only 2 officers and 1 security machine. It took us over 1 hr to stand in line in a open area in a windy and rainy day to re board the ship. Meanwhile those who took tours were taken by their buses directly ship side to reboard. Grand Stirrup Cay Great delays to disembark from our ship, they were using only tenders from port to ferry pax to shore. Those few tenders were shared Norwegian sun. They did not use the boats on board our ship. This was done in other cruise lines, and it would avoid delays to get to shore. We finally gave up waiting in the theatre and spent the day onboard. Miami Shambolic disembarkation complicated by excessive delays on clearance from US CBP authorities. There were only 5 CBP officers clearing 4000 pax! Further, the departure time was 2pm, so we spent 1 whole hour on land! Of course, any pax who signed up for tours were cleared first. It was unreasonable to have such a short stop at a large city such as Miami. It seemed that the company didn't want to pay port fees at this location. Equally chaotic was the re embarkation process, many older disabled pax were suffering waiting standing without any ship or port staff to direct pax smoothly. Police were called to handle pax incidents, including a pax who hit a port staff person. The shore excursions desk didn't provide any information on port stops unless the pax were part of a tour. It provided a Bermuda shopping handout issued by the Bermuda merchants association. That is it. Many cruise lines provide interesting port talks before arrival, Norwegian provided marginal talks. Other cruise lines provide basic port maps to anyone who wants one. Not Norwegian. Tours We prefer to arrange Independent visits and tours. It seemed to us that the company's management of the ship is focused on income generation. Ensuring that the pax were relaxed and enjoying the trip was a secondary goal. It was obvious to us that the staff seemed generally stretched thin and very tired at most times. They seemed rushed in trying to serve such a large pax complement. New Orleans disembarkation slow and crowded. Test port lacks good signs to baggage and the to taxis and other transportation modes and for airport connections. We would not take another cruise with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Stayed at the Marriott Copenhagen for 5 nights. 5-10 min walk to Tivoli Not close to any restaurants so we ate breakfast at the Marriott. No decaf coffee found in Copenhagen. Due to dietary restrictions, I cannot have caffeine. ... Read More
Stayed at the Marriott Copenhagen for 5 nights. 5-10 min walk to Tivoli Not close to any restaurants so we ate breakfast at the Marriott. No decaf coffee found in Copenhagen. Due to dietary restrictions, I cannot have caffeine. I chose this transatlantic cruise because of the itinerary. Pros: midship balcony room well maintained. Steward was pleasant and efficient. Bartenders were all great, never waited long for a drink Specialty restaurant servers were attentive Filet mignon was excellent Major shows were excellent IF you you get there 45 minutes early If you enjoy standing in lines, this is the ship to be on! Negatives: This ship cannot handle 3800 people Entertainment shows in the the theater were often offered at the same time as game shows in the atrium or other small venues. The theater, atrium, headliners and other areas where entertainment was shown never had enough seating. Comedy shows were a hit or miss. Again, long lines to wait to enter venue. If you don’t get there early, there’s stand up room only. Dining reservations were made for 5:30 seating and we still had to wait in line Some meals were better than others but the selection got repetitive and at one point during the cruise they ran out of the better selections The steamed lobster in the specialty restaurants was awful. Grilled lobster was not any better, it was mealy tasting. Shore excursion lines were often disorganized. Long lines again...One person says to stay in one line for one thing and as we got closer we find out that we were directed in the wrong line. Great Stirrup Cay tender wait was long even if you had a shore excursion. We Swam with the stingrays I would wait to do this in Great Cayman Island if you happen to go there. It was a much better experience there. Line to wait to get back to the ship was awful. Never again will I step foot on their island. Stop in Miami had everyone in the ship get off the ship and go through Immigration. We went on a sightseeing tour and returned 3 1/2 hours to (again) long, long lines. We waited for 2 hours to get back on the ship. No seating, not enough wheelchairs or staff to accommodate people in need. Guess where everyone went at 3-4 pm? Yes, to the buffet BC no one had lunch. Disembarkation was again awful. They call groups with certain colors and even though they’re not off the ship they announce another group of colors. Wheelchair assistance to and from the ship was provided upon booking. Upon arrival to the ship it was apparent that they did not have enough wheelchairs and enough staff to provide people needing help. The wait was a minimum of 1 hour. Getting off the ship people with wheelchair needs had to wait over an hour to get a wheelchair. So disorganized!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because it ended in New Orleans, right across the lake from our home town of Slidell. We have never been to Europe and thought it would be a good opportunity to see our roots, and loved the idea of a transatlantic ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it ended in New Orleans, right across the lake from our home town of Slidell. We have never been to Europe and thought it would be a good opportunity to see our roots, and loved the idea of a transatlantic crossing. We flew on our own to Copenhagen two days early, and thank goodness we did because our flights got delayed due to weather and took many more hours to get there. We really liked Copenhagen, clean, lots of history and bikes everywhere! Getting onto the ship went very smoothly, getting off the ship in New Orleans was complete chaos. Everyone getting off at the same time despite being organized by color tags on our luggage the day before. Then people getting onto the ship showing up way too soon and adding to the chaos. We took our four large suit cases and walked blocks away to catch our ride home, We loved the ship! Very large but with 3,774 passengers it did seem crowed in the common areas at times, but we expected that. Lots of outside areas to sit, walk or just hang out to watch the sun set. There are two decks to walk on which were very busy in the mornings. The ship was spotless! I saw cleaning being done at all times and lots of hand sanitizer and crew members ready to spray your hands as you walked into the Garden Cafe. First two weeks I didn't hear a cough or a sneeze, but then it started and an upper respiratory illness started to spread despite all the effort by the ship to prevent it. I caught it, but my husband didn't. I didn't need to get medical treatment for i, just over the counter meds for two weeks. I don't blame the ship company or crew for that, it just happens when you have that many people held together for a long length of time. Service for us was excellent, Our favorite place to eat was the Garden Cafe, good food, lots of variety, fresh and no waiting for service. They did run out of tea, orange juice, butter,and coffee creamer, and for some reason didn't get several of those replaced We LOVED the ice cream!!! It was real rich ice cream that you just don't get in the stores any more. We enjoyed eating at Tepanyaki the most! We enjoyed Cagery's, Le Bistro, and Moderno's specialty restaurants also. We thought it took way to long to get service and food in Taste, Savor and Tropicana, so we didn't eat at those more than once each. Shores excursions had a lot of issues. Not enough time to really see or experience a place, too long on a bus to get there. You got to see a lot of the general area from the bus which to me was a plus, but then no time to see London, Amsterdam, or Miami. Couldn't eat lunch in Miami, but back to the ship an hour early only to wait two hours to get back on the ship. Customs caused that mess, but the company didn't help easy the wait. We loved the staff!!! They were so nice, seemed to know their jobs well, worked so hard to please, serve or help and keep the ship clean! They worked hard at helping disabled passengers get on and off the ship in all the ports, even helping get their food at the Garden Cafe, all you had to do was let them know you needed help. We can't believe anyone would have complained about the crew! We didn't experience much of the entertainment, but heard a lot of good comments about it and wished we had signed up to see a show or two. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and would recommend this cruise. We will do another one to see some new sites one day! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went with several couples. This ship is too large to be organized. I sensed some of the crew was not trained in their jobs. Have only been on one other NCL cruise. This cruise was the worst of the 10 cruises we have been on. Would not ... Read More
We went with several couples. This ship is too large to be organized. I sensed some of the crew was not trained in their jobs. Have only been on one other NCL cruise. This cruise was the worst of the 10 cruises we have been on. Would not recommend a large ship. Staff was generally good although the Margaritaville restaurant experience was as bad as any restaurant experience ever. Horrible service, food was served burnt, raw, cold and incredibly slow. Server did not know the menu as well as we did after one viewing. Every table in view had the same problem. All 6 tables left and were comped. They actually charge for this restaurant. Amazing. It apparently opened for the first time in months due to weather on previous cruises. We also had 2 hour lunches two other times in their regular restaurants. All the other specialty restaurants were outstanding on service as well as food quality. We were advised the day before arriving in Miami that we had to leave the ship for an inspection. For some of us that was a 6 hour delay. They were not prepared for all the passengers that decided to wait it out in the cruise terminal. Would have been better to be told ahead and we would have ended the cruise in Miami and headed home form there. We lost a half day. Totally unprepared for people to get back on the ship in some organized fashion. Took two hours from the time we left the ship to get on a bus to the airport. We purchased a bus ticket on the ship thinking that would be the best way. New Orleans cruise is totally disorganized in handling the volume of passengers from the Get A Way. I blame Norwegian for not preparing New Orleans for their arrival. The Internet charges and speed of the Internet on this ship is ridiculous. They charge $6 for bottle of water and it appeared the only place you could get a water bottle filled free was in the buffet on the top deck at the back of the ship. That was discouraged although no one stopped us. I would negotiate free Internet next time or not go on NCL. You get the idea that NCL is always trying to get in your pocket for something on this ship. There were many nice staff personnel as well but when they were bad, it was the worst. We only took one shore excursion through the ship and that was the worst of all the excursions and the worst value for the money. We were with people who take about 3 cruises a year and they are excellent planners. Thank goodness. We had shore excursions planned out a head of time. If you didn't do that and waited to get on the ship, you would have been disappointed Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a 19-day cruise from Copenhagen to New Orleans, with stops in England, France, Ireland, Azores (cancelled), Bermuda, Great Stirrup Cay and Miami. For the first time, this ship ended the transatlantic cruise in New Orleans. This ... Read More
This was a 19-day cruise from Copenhagen to New Orleans, with stops in England, France, Ireland, Azores (cancelled), Bermuda, Great Stirrup Cay and Miami. For the first time, this ship ended the transatlantic cruise in New Orleans. This was our third cruise on the Getaway, but the first after its spring drydock. It was our first Transatlantic cruise. The trip was quite memorable for many reasons. The ship was nicely spruced up in a number of areas, most noticeably along the Waterfront on deck 8, but nothing really big. The biggest change that we saw from previous cruises was a friendlier staff (maybe just due to the length of this cruise allowing them to get to know us better with 10 days at sea). Another noticeable change was the conversion of a jazz bar to a rock themed bar called Syd Normans with an outstanding band and three very energetic and interactive performers. It was so popular that it was packed every night. We also thought the food was better with more choices than our previous cruises on the Getaway. Although this ship is large, it has small public areas. There were nearly 4000 guests on this sailing so it was REALLY crowded. (Balconies and above were sold out 6 months ago.) Because of the cooler weather during the first two weeks, we were mostly inside. Needless to say, it got crowded and noisy. Long lines were the rule everywhere. Lines for Guest Services and Shore Excursions. Getting on and off the ship was a pain. Tendering to and from their private island took hours. The theater was packed early for most shows with standing room only. There were lines for the earlier dinner times. The buffet was packed in the morning, like most ships. And the WiFi was almost useless due to the high volume of use. Because this was a unique re-positioning cruise, there were a few different port and passport procedures that were not fun at all. On the sea day before we docked in England, everyone had to bring their passport to a room to have a face-to-face meeting with an immigration officer and get their passport stamped. There were long lines that got longer as the day went by and many guests were upset. Then, two days before we got to Ireland, we had to turn in our passports to get them stamped. They were returned 3 days later after we left Ireland. Again, many upset guests. Then, when we arrived in Miami, US immigration required all guests get off the ship to go through US immigration and then, after everyone was checked, we could get back on the ship. We were told this ahead of time so many guests booked sightseeing excursions to pass the time. (We took a taxi downtown to shop and have a beer.) However, many guests apparently did not totally understand that there would be a long delay before they could get back on. For those that stayed, some as long as 5 hours, the small Miami terminal was packed for hours, with not enough seating for seniors, no water, food or communication. A lot of guests just sat on the floor. I think the NCL staff could have helped with better communication about the expected conditions (of course I recognize that the US CBP were running the process but this was not NCL’s first time in Miami) and more signs and staff to direct guests, not to mention providing some vending machines and water. Of course, our sightseeing trips in Copenhagen, England, France (Normandy) and Ireland were quite rewarding and memorable. However, our transit through the North Atlantic to the Azores was quite memorable for a different reason. We had to pass through a low-pressure area that turned into tropical storm Pedro which then quickly turned into a hurricane with up to 115 mph winds. The captain turned the ship into the wind so we were not significantly impacted because the ship is so large. In fact, we were in the theater watching the dancing show Burn the Floor during that period. (The dancers kept their shorter high heels on instead of the high stiletto heels.) We also experienced high winds for the next few days due to a storm named Rebekah and we could not dock in the Azores because the winds were greater than 40 mph. We were really looking forward to seeing that island. We were also supposed to pick up supplies there so there was some shortage of fresh foods, like lettuce, pineapple and wrapped butter pats. So, we ended up with 7 days at sea until we got to Bermuda. A lot of guests were happy to get off the ship. My biggest complaint is about the loud atrium. This atrium has a large screen and seating area where many activities are held. For some reason, the technicians kept the speaker volume up so loud on most events that it made it difficult to talk to the Customer Service, Shore Excursion, Cruise Consultants and Internet Desk staff which share that open space. People with hearing aids found it almost impossible to talk to the staff with all the background noise. NCL can't change the design of the lounge but they can reduce the volume of the speakers so that the other business activities can take place. There is no need to have the volume turned up that high. It seemed like they thought that the higher the volume, the more guests would participate. My second biggest complaint was about the disastrous disembarkation at the New Orleans terminal. We had all gone through immigration two days earlier in Miami so all we had to do is collect our luggage and get through the terminal to our transportation. The terminal and surrounding streets just cannot handle 4000 guests getting off the ship in a timely manner. Construction in the area limited taxi and Uber access. Even buses to the airport were running late due to the congestion. After an hour, we finally broke out of the still longer line ahead of us to go outside. We walked up the street a couple of blocks and met up with an Uber on a side street. Even he was delayed due to the traffic backups in the area. Be prepared and allow extra time. I cannot imagine what it will be like combining immigration along with luggage pickup during future disembarkation in New Orleans. Again, NCL staff should have set up separate lines for buses, taxis and Ubers. On the positive side, the Getaway staff was mostly friendly. The bar service was efficient. There were plenty of waiters on the pool decks when the weather got better. The food in the dining room and in Taste and Savor was very good with lots of choices, even over the long 19-day cruise. The common areas were clean. Our steward was great. There was a very popular Halloween party and costume contest. That contrasts with two poorly organized and poorly attended Spice H2O parties that played tunes that did not appeal to the guests on this cruise. The outside Waterfront areas on deck 8 were great, after the weather improved, allowing us to sit in soft lounge chairs, have a drink at the Sunset bar or walk or jog along the outside in the shade. The pool was heated on a number of days and quite a few guests took advantage of that luxury. Beach balls were quite popular. The Captain was quite talkative and informative in his morning announcements. He also did a good job keeping us informed during the rough sea periods. The shows were very good, especially the Million Dollar Quartet. The Cirque Dreams and Steam show in the Illusionarium was quite unique. We had a good time at the Wine Lovers Musical in there as well. Something new and perhaps unique to a Transatlantic cruise was a professional naturalist who made a number of very informative presentations in the theater about the history, economy, geology and culture about upcoming ports. This was not the usual “port shopping talk”. It was quite popular because the theater was packed for most of his presentations. I hope NCL continues these types of presentations. In conclusion, we will no longer sail on this ship again due to its poor design. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise for the transatlantic itinerary. We did our first TA last year on a different line and loved it. We tried to book it a year out onboard a different NCL ship but it was sold out. Kept looking online and eventually ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the transatlantic itinerary. We did our first TA last year on a different line and loved it. We tried to book it a year out onboard a different NCL ship but it was sold out. Kept looking online and eventually snagged a guarantee minisuite. After final payment and closer to sailing, the prices dropped and we upgraded ourselves to a Haven spa minisuite. We couldn’t be happier that we did. The common areas of the Getaway are very noisy and unsuited for the number of passengers she carries. The Haven gave us a way to mostly avoid that and enjoy the cruise. The Haven service was extraordinary. We enjoyed the onboard entertainment including the Million Dollar Quartet, Wine,the Musical, and Cirque Dreams. We ate in all of the specialty restaurants. The Margaritaville was horrible. I ordered a quesadilla and it was like no other quesadilla that I’ve ever had and not in a good way. The other restaurants were as expected with one exception. Teppanyaki was a disappointment the first time. I have a shellfish allergy and their solution the first time was to prepare my food elsewhere. The problem was that all my food came way ahead of my dining partners and while I tried eating very slowly, my food got cold before the others had theirs. I had eaten at Teppanyaki last year and it was one of my favorite meals. When I explained my disappointment, the manager asked me to come again and they would do better. We did. They did. I would have been happier if they’d comped my first meal, given the up charge. Some of the entertainment venues were very small and we never were able to get into the Pour House because of that. We missed a port, but that happens. We ran into some high winds. That happens. The customs/embarkation process was horrendous. I believe that was the fault of customs and or the Coast Guard. But NCL should be proactive about making such delays less unpleasant. Hundreds of people sitting on the floor with no water. Ridiculous! Our Haven status got us onboard more quickly than others, but was haphazard as our traveling companions never saw a NCL rep to help with that. The NCL excursions we participated in were as expected, no complaints. The “private island” stop was worthless. Hard to find seating and we were on the first tender. Mediocre food after standing in line. Long wait to get back to the ship. My last “private island” stop! Better to stay onboard. The ropes course was fun. Loved playing skeeball and bowling. Progressive trivia was a great way to spend time on the many sea days. I don’t regret taking this cruise, but I can’t recommend this particular ship due to design issues involving public spaces. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went on a back to back cruise and this one was going to great places as well as across the Atlantic. Something we were looking forward to doing. Ship too large and it seemed like many of the staff were in training, especially in the ... Read More
We went on a back to back cruise and this one was going to great places as well as across the Atlantic. Something we were looking forward to doing. Ship too large and it seemed like many of the staff were in training, especially in the dining areas. The hours that were scheduled for areas like internet and toys were not only too short and not always convenient. Lines were always long. At times we stood in lineup to 45 minutes. The theatre is wya too small for the size oh the ship. Many times they only had one showing of the entertainment and could not get in even with Sro. Syd norman’s Way too small and the same problem as with the theatre. Not enough areas to play cards etc. especially when going on a cruise with many sea days. And then when using the area on the 15th floor during off hours were told to leave. Officers did not get back to us with issues we had. Problem with moving about due to no center elevators. Miami was a bust. Not being able to stop at the azores was depressing. Something should have been done about this to compensate us. Being a platinum member we did not expect this. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Liked the Transatlantic with lots of ports, as well as the opportunity to end up in New Orleans. But, day after day, we were disappointed. When we finally had a sunny day, I was shocked to see deck loungers butted up side to side with no ... Read More
Liked the Transatlantic with lots of ports, as well as the opportunity to end up in New Orleans. But, day after day, we were disappointed. When we finally had a sunny day, I was shocked to see deck loungers butted up side to side with no place to put a drink or book, and the only way on was to crawl up the chair from the end. I was served cold eggs in the dining room, observed supervisor berating busy servers instead of assisting in any way, waiters never knew who ordered what, saw my unused butter knife returned to the clean silverware when removed from the table before dessert instead of going in with the rest of my soiled cutlery, experienced for men Spam like “ham” in the buffet, and otherwise was unimpressed with food service. The Noodle Bar is totally not worth a visit. Much has been written about our terrible tender experience at Great Stirrup Cay as well as the inexcusable treatment at the Miami terminal and I can only say my personal experience was at least as bad as what others have described. Yes we ran out of cream, milk, lettuce, fruit, iced tea and I am not sure what could have been done. The coffee was bad everywhere, and we never had half and half until I think they got some in Bermuda. There was always just milk in a pitcher or little creamers not to my taste. I missed the Lavazza they used to serve. They replayed Aquaman over and over on the TV as well as showed it in the theater. More activities and shows were needed for a cruise of this length. Cabin steward did a great job. Had a spa package, but rough seas meant several sea days the thermal suite was not available except for sauna, heated lounger, and other areas that did not utilize the pools. I asked if there was going to be a price adjustment, but never received an answer despite leaving my cabin number as they requested. Manager called, but did not leave an answer. I called the spa back, but did not get to speak to anyone, and no one called again. Platinum on NCL, but done with them, unfortunately. Going to try Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
WE choose this cruise because of the interesting itinerary. Been on lots of NCL cruise and this ship was so flawed. NOW the smoke issue. The ship is stale with smoke and there were not that many people smoking now. The Casino ... Read More
WE choose this cruise because of the interesting itinerary. Been on lots of NCL cruise and this ship was so flawed. NOW the smoke issue. The ship is stale with smoke and there were not that many people smoking now. The Casino is in the middle of the ship and the smoke goes everywhere on Deck 6,7, and 8. You can't go to most restaurants in the area without the smell of smoke. SO after 10 Days, my allergies were in full bloom. There was sick people everywhere with colds. DR visit was $ 199 for an appointment. BUt the medical staff was good The Spa area was another thing. Staff was good, but the SPA area is way too small for that many people. There was actually a huge people demanding the SPA package be refunded. Don't waste your money like we did on a SPA suite. BIG waste as the was often no place to sit in area. One staff member kept telling people who were not loud to quit down. She was more annoying that the few talkers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruise was chosen for the Itiniary. The ship was a disappointment. Nowhere to go for a quiet space. Lacking inside observation area. Noise everywhere, The open area from the atrium up to OSheehans, so noisy you could hardly have a ... Read More
Cruise was chosen for the Itiniary. The ship was a disappointment. Nowhere to go for a quiet space. Lacking inside observation area. Noise everywhere, The open area from the atrium up to OSheehans, so noisy you could hardly have a conversation. Lines, lines, lines everywhere. Food was fair, nothing to rave about. The specialty restaurants, Cagney’s and Italan I rate as ok, nothing special. Memorable parts were Weymouth, Consail and Paris. Missed Azores due to high winds . The first few days for breakfast was lacking. We were told they were training new staff. Did not go off the ship at the private island. The tenders were numerous and took forever to transport all the passengers to the island. It took several hours for the last ones to go. So many people sick, coughing and sneezing. I have come to realize that these mega ships are not for me. Sorry to not have more positive things to report. Although my cabin Steward was super, as was most of the wait staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We picked this trip for the itinerary. With 25+ cruises under our belt we never cruised a mega ship. Never again. Lines, lines and more lines. Waited one hour for a show at Syd Norman's. Never got in because it was too crowded.Miami ... Read More
We picked this trip for the itinerary. With 25+ cruises under our belt we never cruised a mega ship. Never again. Lines, lines and more lines. Waited one hour for a show at Syd Norman's. Never got in because it was too crowded.Miami port was a disaster. Mob action mentality. Took 2 hours to have lunch. And even in New Orleans, our luggage was piled all together without any rows to access it. Taxi line was over 2 hours long. Ship is illogically laid out...one bar is placed between 2 dining rooms with not enough space for people to pass. Million Dollar Quartet, hypnotist, Cirque show were fantastic. Public bathrooms flushed when I walked in, flushed when I stood up and then flushed when I left. No water saving there. Soap dispensers were also automatic but didn't work half the time which is probably why half the ship was sick! Ship needs new management and a logistic expert to fix. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019

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