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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My second TA cruise and my second time on the Star. Huge improvement in ship decor and design with new additions like Spice H2O and Bliss lounge, refurbished Garden Cafe. I had an inside cabin on Deck 9. The 2018 Drydock provided as ... Read More
My second TA cruise and my second time on the Star. Huge improvement in ship decor and design with new additions like Spice H2O and Bliss lounge, refurbished Garden Cafe. I had an inside cabin on Deck 9. The 2018 Drydock provided as much needed face-lift on this 19 year old ship. I know the layout of this ship very well and really enjoyed most venues including the specialty restaurants Moderno, La Cucina and Le Bistro. 6 days at sea may not work for everyone, but it was exactly what I was wanted with no work emails or phone calls to return. Cutting the digital cord allowed me to completely relax. Ports were good, no complaints l had never been to Punto Del Gado or the Azores or Madeira and their beauty did not disappoint. Seville and Granada were wonderful trips, as Was Tarragona, our final port for debarkation. Entertainment was ok, not quite the calbre or as polished as on the bigger NCL ships, but not bad. Service was good to excellent in all dining venues, one exception was a Guest Services person who was a tad condescending when i asked to have a bar charge removed from a dining bill. I was charged for 6 glasses of wine when I had ordered just 2. I was a bit annoyed that i had to insist the charge was not accurate. I then had to revisit the same issue 2 more times to get the charge removed. Weather on our cruise was fantastic and the Atlantic was like glass. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
"We just completed a transatlantic trip on the Norwegian Getaway. A 12 day trip with intended stops in the Azores, Portland UK, Le Havre, Brugge and Southampton became a 10 day trip when the cruise company decided to cut it short. ... Read More
"We just completed a transatlantic trip on the Norwegian Getaway. A 12 day trip with intended stops in the Azores, Portland UK, Le Havre, Brugge and Southampton became a 10 day trip when the cruise company decided to cut it short. They changed ports dropping the French and Brussles area only to change again dropping the Azores and Portland. Having done that and accepted the changes, they provide a 25% discount on the trip and some refund on travel plan changes. Once the drama was over, (for us it was compounded by the fact that we were originally on the Oasis of the Seas which had an accident in dry-dock eliminating our trip), things went very well. While North Atlantic is notoriously unpredictable in Spring, it provided us with cold and rain but very smooth sailing. Because we were able to secure a spa suit and were in The Haven, a smaller area of the ship with a private dining and lounge area, we truly enjoyed the passage. The ship had great activities and good food. We enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I still wonder how Norwegian was unaware until the last minute that the long scheduled passage was to be cut 2 days short for a refitting in dry dock." Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Have always been a great believer and loyal fan of Norwegian but that is decreasing. First, I made reservations for four persons to go from Miami to Barcelona and that is what our first itinerary stated. At some point, the port of ... Read More
Have always been a great believer and loyal fan of Norwegian but that is decreasing. First, I made reservations for four persons to go from Miami to Barcelona and that is what our first itinerary stated. At some point, the port of disembarkation being Barcelona, was changed to Tarragona, Spain. We were never notified of the change but just happened to pull up a more current copy of the itinerary that now stated Tarragona instead of Barcelona. I called my NCL contact person and verified the change without any explanation of why the change. NCL arranged a transfer to Barcelona from Tarragona with more than a reasonable charge. Would we have not gone on the cruise if we knew that we were not departing in Barcelona. I am not sure. I am 80 years young and to get their "drink package", it would be an additional $1300 for a couple. Okay, don't take the drink package, which we didn't. Most of the people on the cruise were in my age bracket. We all (the ones that I talked to) fully agreed that the ship kept the temperature about refrigerator cold throughout the common areas of the ship. Very miserable. Some travel companies keep their repeat travelers very happy but NCL is not doing a very good job of that for our last few cruises. We belong to Latitudes but other than two dinners in one of the Specialty Dining Rooms, what is it worth to belong. The aisles in the Buffet (crowded beyond belief) were laid out by someone that had never been on much more than a row boat. Lastly, the staff of the Star, as have been on all of the other NCL ships, still a very great bunch of of people. All very friendly and helpful. One of the biggest reasons that we keep coming back to NCL. BUT, we are now starting to look at other cruise lines. MSC has given us credit for all of the points that have earned on NCL, We'll see what the future brings us. We are certainly not as loyal as we once were. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The worst designed ship ever. entertainment was terrific but venues and theatre were too small...long line-ups. yoga ($12) and art classes ($35) cost extra but prices are not listed, line- up at front desk for those (called operator many ... Read More
The worst designed ship ever. entertainment was terrific but venues and theatre were too small...long line-ups. yoga ($12) and art classes ($35) cost extra but prices are not listed, line- up at front desk for those (called operator many times, no answer ever). Bottles of water in room are not free - $5 each. Had room attendant clear out the booze and water from the room. If not on a drinks package, You pay US$16,19 and 23 per drink NCL offers daily drink at $9. At the The Garden Cafe on the 15th floor be prepared to be welcomed by a high pitched irritating greeting of “WASHY, WASHY, HAPPY, HAPPY, YUMMY, YUMMY” every single time you enter this place, shame on NCL for needing their staff to act so juvenile. The buffet meals are tepid at best, and staff behind the counter need to be reminded to replenish the food in the serving dishes. The Manhatten and Taste restaurants have the same menus and the smallest portions you have ever seen. Shanghai is the best free restaurant with great service and good sized portions. Half the warm chairs in the Spa weren’t working... and it doesn’t face the sea or anything, not worth the extra $$. Continuous marketing and nickel & diming you. Most surprising: Day 4 newsletter quote: “Very Important Guest Advisory: Additional taxes may apply while in certain ports and whilst the ship is sailing in territorial waters.” : sail route on TV screen showed an unscheduled sail to Rabbat (Morroco). Also, if you’re a Canadian passenger NCL will convert your invoice from $US to $Cdn plus a 3% margin...and charge this to your credit card - another NCL cash grab! Thank goodness I met and enjoyed some great people on this cruise, but that’s a usual experience on any cruise. Forget this ship...There are far better others out there... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. ... Read More
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. Enjoyed a well appointed, clean and spacious cabin with a lovely picture window meticulously serviced by our gracious steward Johnson who provided an unsurpassed level of care. The ship was well maintained and seemed efficiently operated. Some service desk agents provided erroneous information about such information as provisions for obtaining currency from debit card charges resulting in wasted time. Many of the procedures of the service desk seemed overwrought and inefficient frequently resulting in unnecessarily long waits at the service desk . The only other mildly sour note for us was poorly coordinated disembarkation on the last day resulting in confrontations between flustered passengers. Overall, we were impressed with our first experience and plan to cruise again soon. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise to spend 12 days on vacation. It was my second NCL transatlantic experience and I had a great time on the first. I expected four nice ports and lots of relaxing, fun days at sea. A week before we sailed we were ... Read More
I chose this cruise to spend 12 days on vacation. It was my second NCL transatlantic experience and I had a great time on the first. I expected four nice ports and lots of relaxing, fun days at sea. A week before we sailed we were informed that we were cut to ten days, with two marginal at best ports. After much noise we got two better ports back, but the chaos caused by the changes were not worth the trouble. The changes caused a massive amount of upheaval and required multiple visits to the guest services and shore excursions desks to try to correct overcharges, cancelled excursions, etc. After being reassured for four days that I was on the list for a shore excursion I had booked and paid for, when tickets were issued to others I was told I had in fact not made the list and was out of luck. Not even an apology. There were not enough excursions for the number of passengers and the port changes were not planned for or handled well. I have a mobility issue that prevents long walks, multiple stairs, etc, but I do not need a wheelchair or other assistive device. There were minimal excursions planned at "Level 1" and the online sales descriptions were not complete. On the ship I was told I could not participate in the other two I had booked that I had been rebooked for because of the physical requirements. The only excuse given was "it's Europe". Again, not even "sorry". I am still waiting for refunds for the shore excursions that were taken away. We were redirected to a more northern shipping lane, resulting in it being too cold to spend any time outside. Almost 4000 people were crammed into the indoor spaces, resulting in MANY passengers coughing and reporting respiratory infections. One major annoyance was that from what some passengers reported, a very large block of rooms was sold at a low price to a large group of rude, unpleasant people. This group mostly pretended not to speak English as the pushed through lines and led their friends past people who'd been waiting patiently. They overwhelmed public spaces and the Garden Cafe, taking up full tables of seating all day, refusing to share, pushing through lines and hoarding food. They took over spaces with events scheduled for their own purposes and ignored requests to allow the events to take place. I personally witnessed this at least twice. The staff worked hard to deal with the changes and angry guests. There were many clogged toilets, many soap dispensers not working in public bathrooms. Twice I was served drinks in glasses with lipstick on them. Not mine! Cleanliness was next to impossible apparently. This could account for the many illnesses onboard. It was not all bad. My cabin and steward were wonderful, most of the specialty restaurants had good service and decent food. The O'Sheehan's staff did a wonderful job at breakfast no matter how large the crowd. Million Dollar Quartet was an exceptionally good show. Cirque Dreams and Steam was very entertaining. Burn the Floor was good but is getting a bit tired. The entertainment in the Atrium ranged from really good (music in the evenings) to horribly lame. The daytime events were always at volume that was much too high for the setting. The afternoon movies were too loud to even allow sitting in the general area. I have hearing issues from years of rock concerts and it was still too loud for me! I am not ready to give up on NCL yet, but I may not cruise out of NYC again if the partial charter nightmare continues. I hope they made enough money from the group to make up from the lost business from the people who's vacations were ruined by the constant stress of dealing with pushing, shoving and general rudeness. Lack of cleanliness is inexcusable when so many people are packing indoors in a relatively small space. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We had never done a trans Atlantic and it won't be out last. Seas were calm and blue the entire trip. We chose this due to the many sea days and access to several unusual ports. A travel partner had relatives immigrate from Madeira ... Read More
We had never done a trans Atlantic and it won't be out last. Seas were calm and blue the entire trip. We chose this due to the many sea days and access to several unusual ports. A travel partner had relatives immigrate from Madeira and I have family to visit in Seville. Then add on Malaga, Cartagena, Palma, Barcelona and oops forgot Delgato! We had a marvelous lady give us advice about the history and how to see each port to our best advantage. Her chats were so popular they filled the Epic Theater and were broadcast in the Atrium and nearby bar. Staff from top to bottom, beginning to end, were all super friendly and excellent at their jobs. We had many activities to choose every day but mainly we relaxed, visited or people watched. Never were we prodded into participation. Problems in ports were never due to NCL but the number of ships being in small ports at one time. Hopefully limits will be set and held in the future. I left feeling like I had truly seen Spain aND been relaxing at a resort. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Too many passengers, too crowded. Third day in crowded at medical center with pneumonia outbreak. The Norwegian will not admit. Place was dirty. Buffett as not sanitary. Everyone reaching over the food. No service. I was so sick and could ... Read More
Too many passengers, too crowded. Third day in crowded at medical center with pneumonia outbreak. The Norwegian will not admit. Place was dirty. Buffett as not sanitary. Everyone reaching over the food. No service. I was so sick and could not use my drink package but they could not give any compensation. Thank god they said no credit because I am gone back to the best cruise line, celebrity. Anyway my holiday cost me 6000 dollars in medical bills. I walked in as a healthy woman who works out in fitness everyday and walked off wondering if I was going to live. Pneumonia everywhere. It was disgusting. Crowded on pool deck. People monopolized the chairs. Left their towels on chair, which were 1 dollar each. They went to lunch and came back a couple of hours later and sat in the chair. No pool control. The menu was very boring. Same old food. French fries, yuck.pork. Where is the canard, lamb, scallop ? I serve better at home. Celebrity is the most awesome cruise line. Never will I complain on that ship. They advertise upgrade and showed bathtub. It said bathtub/shower. I bid 950 dollars to get this cabin and when I got my cabin no bathtub. False advertising. They sucked me in for 950 dollars. I had a balcony before and found nothing special about the mini suite. This was a nightmare cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I want to be clear that I am writing this from the perspective of a guest in the Haven. In fact, I had a Deluxe Owners Suite. So, I am fully aware that the negatives in this review may not be seen as negatives for other guests. I simply ... Read More
I want to be clear that I am writing this from the perspective of a guest in the Haven. In fact, I had a Deluxe Owners Suite. So, I am fully aware that the negatives in this review may not be seen as negatives for other guests. I simply want to be completely honest about my experience. This was my eighth stay in an NCL Owners suite and my third on the Epic. However, this was our first transatlantic and it was 15 nights! Embarkation was easy. We got to the port several hours after boarding started and there was a very small line at security. They had a Haven check in desk which was very quiet. The agent was quick and efficient. Our butler introduced himself to us within a minute or so of check in and before we knew it we were heading onto the ship. When we got to the Haven, we decided not to go on a tour of the Haven which was led by on the assistant concierges. In the past, we’ve felt it was more important to NCL to take this opportunity to soft sell their photographers and spa services than to acclimate guests to the Haven. So, being familiar with the Epic’s Haven, we decided to go right to our room which was ready. It was probably about 1:30PM at this point. And of course, the room looked perfect! We carried on our own luggage. Yes, you read that right! We had three carryon suitcases and figured that would be enough considering we would send out two bags of laundry over the 15 days. Restaurants – The Haven Restaurant was very good. The staff was superb. In fact, it was the best staff I have ever encountered in an NCL restaurant and that is really saying something because I think the restaurant staff quality on NCL is excellent. The menu in the Haven Restaurant is the same every night, although there was an additional item each night that was not on the menu (we were told this was because of the length of the cruise). Despite the small number of menu selections, the food was very good. I must single out a couple of servers from the stellar group. Ineul and Ketut were professional, pleasant, knowledgeable (and I could go on and on) people. This restaurant is complimentary for Haven guests. A Haven guest can bring a non-Haven guest at a cost of $35. No reservations are needed and it’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We also visited Cagney’s, Le Bistro, La Cucina. My favorite meal over the two weeks was the Dover sole at Le Bistro. I was blown away by this dish. Ports and Sea Days – We had eight sea days on this cruise including the first six days. We also had to put our clocks ahead by one hour six different times. The weather was very nice and the seas were very calm. I was a bit worried about boredom when I booked this, but I brought several books and downloaded a bunch of podcasts. Additionally, there were plenty of activities all over the ship. I’m happy to say that I was never bored. The ports ( 7 of them) were very good too. All in all it was a very good itinerary. Room Steward – Ronald was terrific. NCL generally does a very good job in selecting and placing its employees. Again, Ronald was terrific! Complaints – The only complaint I have is with the Haven Concierge. He had two assistants, so he had some help to do this demanding job. Despite being in only one of eight Owner’s suites on this ship, he never took the time to introduce himself to us. As I said earlier, I have stayed in Owner’s Suites many times and the concierge always took the time to come by and say hello and offer his/her services. Believe me, we are not high maintenance people and we are far from demanding (rather we are very respectful to all of the staff). I mention this “snub” only to illustrate that if the Concierge doesn’t introduce himself to guests in the Owner’s Suites I can only imagine how other Haven guests get his attention. I was fortunate to have made Specialty Restaurant reservations before setting sail. However, when I asked to change a dining time one night, I walked down and talked to the Concierge. I felt like I was bothering him. He told me he’d get back to me and never did. I had to ask a second time and he told me he was unable to accommodate me. NCL should make sure those of us paying a premium be aware of the difficulty of securing a table in a specialty restaurant. My experience with the NCL Haven Concierge has always been quite good. The best we had was several years ago on the Jade. That concierge got a $500 tip from us for going above and beyond. And yes, that was the largest tip we have ever given to someone on a cruise, but we are always prepared to reward the employees for top notch service. My second interaction with the Haven Concierge on the Epic was also met with no follow up on his part. AT that point, we decided not to use his services at all. However, there was an additional contact - the concierge desk called my room one night to inform me that the time I requested to go to the Spiegel Tent was open and if I still wanted to make the reservation. But I had never asked for a reservation – they had dialed the wrong room!! The last day of the cruise, because we had a very early flight, we had to leave the ship at 5:30AM, the earliest possible time. A letter was delivered to the room from the Concierge related to the disembarkation process (which is made painless and easy for Haven guests). The letter indicated that if you were leaving between 530 and 600 to let the concierge know (the official disembarkation started at 6AM), so I walked down to the Concierge to say we needed to leave at 530. He looked at me quizzically, as though he had no idea why I was letting him know this (again, his letter instructed me to inform him), and said that he would be available at 530. I must reiterate, he was one of the few employees that I encountered that never asked what my name was, never addressed me by name, and always looked frazzled. We decided to leave the ship at 530 on our own instead of with his assistance. And I am a bit embarrassed to say, that this was the first time ever that I did not tip the Concierge at all. And we are not cheap! We tipped the butler, the steward, wait staff people in several restaurants, and others. Disembarkation (on our own and carrying off our 3 bags) was quick and easy. We were among the first few people to leave the ship so there was no problem at all. If we were leaving later we would have had to use the Haven Concierge in order to circumvent the lines. All said, I give the cruise 5 stars. The frustrating experience with the Concierge hopefully was just an anomaly. The Haven experience is worth the money for us. Next time I cruise I will make sure that I have Specialty Restaurant reservations in place by making them as soon as possible prior to the cruise. Despite much of this review being about the Concierge, I want to emphasize that every other staff person I met was exceptional (although some of the casino cocktail people looked pretty unhappy!). NCL’s strength truly is its employees. Many of the employees work long crazy hours for pay that most Americans wouldn’t get out of bed for and they maintain wonderful attitudes and display kindness in tough situations. I saw a guest loudly arguing with an employee at a Specialty Restaurant one night. The guest was an obnoxious jerk. I’m not sure if his argument had any validity or not, but the way he went about communicating it was awful. The NCL employee handled it well, never losing composure. My next journey with NCL will be an Alaska cruise in September! I can’t wait! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Many have already commented on the horrendous way that NCL waited to the last minute to announce a change in itinerary, and a bungled effort to respond to initial complaints. None of these comments is exaggerated, and it is what it is. ... Read More
Many have already commented on the horrendous way that NCL waited to the last minute to announce a change in itinerary, and a bungled effort to respond to initial complaints. None of these comments is exaggerated, and it is what it is. However, I'd like to say (even though I don't agree with how they handled my compensation (or lack of it), they at least put the two ports I went for (Belgium and Le Havre) back on the itinerary and from their point of view, 25% return of cabin fee, up to $300 each of hotel/transport expenses, and something off the next cruise was reasonable. We need to be honest and remember this is not a luxury line, and one of the draws for us is the initial (relatively) low cost of booking. That said, let me turn to the cruise itself. We are long time cruisers with 20 NCL cruises (going back to the Norway) and many others on many other lines, and at many price points, hence we've seen good, and bad. This one (one the ship) isn't high on the list, but somewhat typical of what NCL is becoming....they've given up the pretense of customer service for a much more functional service approach of providing "adequate". Now I note they are also trying to raise prices, so they apparently think many of us will take anything.....I hear some other lines (i.e. MSC) are matching status on their ships, so NCL may be going down a slippery slope. Boarding in New York was relatively normal for NY, and went reasonably well. The initial reaction to the ship was that it was big, somewhat in need of refurbishing (went to drydock so hopefully that will change) with indifferent, going through the motions staff. Food offerings in specialty restaurants (we went to Ocean Blue twice, Cucina twice, and Cagneys three times were inconsistent with service no better than the regular dining rooms. In Cagneys, had Filet Mignon twice - once wonderful and once tough as the poorest choice....pork chop was nothing special. The others were not memorable. Highlight of food experiences were for lunch in OSheehans, so average is what we found. Cabin service was average, not bad. Entertainment was actually better than the NCL standard, though the cruise director (as many of them) was too "hyped" for us. The terrible weather (sweater all the time) forced everybody to congregate inside, so it was more crowded than normal (big ships always more 'crowded feeling) but the need of many to pursue complaints had lines at Customer Service 15+ people long at most times. I stood in the onboard credit line to change money to British Pounds for the end of the trip (our disembarkation point) and after getting to the front was told "we didn't get any this trip!!!" Moreover was assured (2 different times) that the terminal would have exchange/atm which of course proved untrue.....just typical of new tell them whatever to get rid of them service approach!!!! Am I bitter....perhaps a little because the NCL of a few years ago had enthusiastic staff and much better service and we spent almost 200 days sailing with NCL.....sad to see it become euivalent to the two day excursion boats out of Florida for gambling. I understand cost cutting....just go not expecting a lot, and you will be pleased. Still a cheap way to travel the world!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This experience with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) was so bad, I'd already filed a fraud claim with my state attorney general before I left. Let's do this first, though. The cruise itself was good. The on-board staff were, ... Read More
This experience with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) was so bad, I'd already filed a fraud claim with my state attorney general before I left. Let's do this first, though. The cruise itself was good. The on-board staff were, for the most part, great. The Vibe Beach club remains the best deal and investment at sea, bar none. And the meals and entertainment were solid, even occasionally outstanding. If that was it, I'd have given this cruise four out of five marks. But that isn't it. The cruise I bought was to depart New York City for a 12 day, transatlantic trip with stops in the Azores, Western England, Belgium, France and finally in Southampton (London). Then six days before departure, NCL says they've decided to skip half the stops, canceling Belgium and France entirely AND arriving in London two days earlier, for which I've made no plans, no hotel, no activities, nothing. To compensate, NCL offers a 25% refund and a reimbursement of up to $300 per person for expenses. But if you've ever tried to book a hotel in London two weeks out, you know $300 is a joke. Not to mention the tours I had to cancel, the tickets I have to eat and so on and so on. By the way, no refunds. NCL says it was past the refund window. So I can blow 75% of my vacation and stay home or go on a cruise that is not the one I booked. It's shorter and does not go where I wanted to go. So, naturally, I am outraged. But I make the most of it, I book new activities, train tickets for a day in Paris, and get a hotel in London for the two days I'm there unexpectedly, which is WAY more than $300. And I cancel the stuff in Belgium and France and eat that cost. Then, two days before we go, I happen to notice on my trip summary page a whole new itinerary. This one cancels western England, where I'd already booked a tour to Stonehenge and Salisbury and skips the Azores where, likewise, I'd booked tours. And this new schedule puts back France and Belgium, but on new days so my original plans, now canceled, cannot be reinstated. I have to book a third set of tours, out of pocket. And here's the kicker, you won't believe this. The reason for the yo-yo about where we're going and the shorter cruise is that they (NCL) have decided to get the ship (The Breakaway) into dry dock two days early to start a long-planned refurbishment. Not weather, not emergency, not safety - they wanted to get started early on renovations. Since I'm pretty sure you don't just show up at dry dock with a 4,000 passenger cruise liner, I'm pretty sure someone knew this was possible a long, long time ago. Which means NCL sold me a cruse they knew they likely would not deliver. Like months ago. Someone figured it was cheaper for them to jerk me around and issue a 25% refund with no possibility of cancellations and start refurbishment early. Oh and thanks for letting me know I'll be the last person to sail on this ship before you make it better. That's nice. There were literally people from the Miami corporate office on the ship walking around in front of guests pointing out all the old, outdated stuff they were about to fix for the next cruise. Classy. But I digress. In addition to the 25% refund, NCL also wrote, "...as a genuine gesture of concern, we are extending an additional 25% future cruise credit which may be used towards any upcoming sailing with us." So even if you'd consider setting foot on an NCL cruise ever again, even that 25% "future cruise credit" isn't. What they said was clear, what they actually mean (and didn't tell anyone until we were on board) is that they will apply the amount of the 25% refund for THIS CRUISE to a future one. Not 25% off, but the value of the existing 25% refund. So if you paid $2,000 for this cruise, and they reimburse you $500, you get a $500 credit for a future cruise, not 25% off. How cheap can you possibly be? Oh, and that 25% refund - just the fare. Not taxes, not fees. So if you paid $2,000, for example, your refund is actually like $300. Frankly, I'm beyond angry, I feel defrauded. Outright mislead and stolen from. This is now a sham wrapped snugly in a farce. And here's why - this is like that scene in Vacation where Clark Griswald is about to leave for vacation and goes to get the new car he ordered. When he arrives, he is given a completely different car than than the one he ordered. Outraged, he tries to leave to find out the dealer has already crushed his trade-in and he has no choice - take the substitute car he does not want or cancel vacation. By not allow refunds for cancellation, that's exactly what NCL did. I ordered a red convertible. A week before delivery, they tell me I'm getting a blue mini-van and I cannot cancel the deal. It's not even the blue mini-van or nothing, it's the blue mini-van period. And since the blue mini-van of the ten day cruise costs less than the red convertible of the 12-day cruise to the Azores that I bought, NCL gets zero credit for the 25% refund. In fact, it's not a refund. The car/cruise they actually gave me costs less. They sold me x, delivered me y, in a contract they said I could not cancel. That they adjusted the price to reflect only y and called it a refund is not good business, it's dishonesty. "Hey, good news. I'm only charging you the thing you did not want. I'm great, right?" And I'm not the only one who's angry. Everyone I spoke with on the ship was simmering. It's clear here that NCL put their greed of an early dry dock above keeping faith with their customers. That's too bad. They could have at least offered a cancellation refund when they trashed half the ports. But they didn't. Refused to. It's sad because vacations matter, people save and spend on them. They are spiritually important. That is, unless you invest your money and hopes with Norwegian. Then, you know, dry dock and good luck to you, shame on you for thinking NCL would actually deliver the cruise you bought. They can break the contract, you can't. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
A friend recommended a transatlantic cruise since my husband was retiring. We had not cruised in years, never transatlantic, and never been to Spain. It was a spur of the moment decision without the research I normally do on every ... Read More
A friend recommended a transatlantic cruise since my husband was retiring. We had not cruised in years, never transatlantic, and never been to Spain. It was a spur of the moment decision without the research I normally do on every vacation we take. When I found the time to look into it further, I was a bit concerned with some of the reviews I read of the Epic, but knew we would make the best of it especially with the deal we got for a sail away balcony. I can honestly say that we got more than we paid for with the Epic. We were in cabin 11012 which is the 4th from the front and has the total metal surround on the balcony so when sitting down you cannot see the ocean. But this blocks the strong sea breeze crossing the Atlantic. The balcony is huge and we had a chaise, 2 chairs, and a small table with room to spare. I agree with other reviewers about the configuration of the cabin being a bit odd and probably a bit tight for larger people, but it was not an issue with us. We had storage we did not use. My husband likes to use the pool and hot tub area but I like to read and watercolor in a quiet place. We were both happy with the facilities. We ate the majority of our meals in the dining rooms but did not utilize the specialty restaurants. The food was consistently good. We did eat some meals in the Garden Cafe which was also pretty good. We did not have the beverage package as we only drink a glass or so of wine daily but we did buy the wine package on board the first day. I think that is the only time it is available. We enjoyed some of the entertainment but did not bother with anything labeled “not for the easily offended.” We enjoyed meeting others on board as it was just the two of us. There were many other couples traveling alone. In short, we really enjoyed the cruise and have, in fact, booked the same cruise for next April. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Overall, very good transatlantic cruise, seas were light to moderate and the weather was generally in the 70s. Embarkation and debarking were both quick and smooth. Would like to congratulate NCL for providing a bridge instructor and ... Read More
Overall, very good transatlantic cruise, seas were light to moderate and the weather was generally in the 70s. Embarkation and debarking were both quick and smooth. Would like to congratulate NCL for providing a bridge instructor and director for the sea days, Cheryl was excellent. Also NCL provided a pickle ball court for two hours on most sea days, good fun, thanks to Lisa and Mark. Entertainment was generally very good, the broadway shows were professionally done and very good. The duelling pianos were good as were several of the bands. Food was good for dinner at the main restaurants, however lunch at the buffet did not get any praise as was generally lukewarm at best and too salty and not tasty. The one major problem at the buffet was a lack of seating especially if the weather was not good enough to eat outside.Speciality restaurants were generally excellent, Cagney’s and Bistro were our best. We had the beverage package and always had excellent service, although the pool bar got very busy mid afternoons. Our room steward, Joel, was excellent and very responsive. Cabin layout was poor and this has been commented on many times. We have booked this cruise again for next year. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Itinerary: We were booked on the RC Oasis of the Seas but it was cancelled after a crane fell on the ship, so we booked this transatlantic crossing on NCL's Getaway about three weeks before sailing. With only A WEEK TO GO, we were ... Read More
Itinerary: We were booked on the RC Oasis of the Seas but it was cancelled after a crane fell on the ship, so we booked this transatlantic crossing on NCL's Getaway about three weeks before sailing. With only A WEEK TO GO, we were informed that the 12-day itinerary (which it still shows here on CC) had been modified to a 10-day journey, cutting out two ports, Le Havre and Zeebrugge, and coming into Southampton two days earlier than anticipated. Actually, NCL didn't even communicate with us directly, but we found out from our travel agent. Apparently, it had to go into dry dock two days earlier than originally scheduled. We would not have booked the trip with the modified schedule and itinerary, but decided to make the most of it. NCL did offer a partial refund (it finally came through while we were on the cruise) and a future credit, as well as allowances for airline change fees. After hearing from many disgruntled passengers, NCL expanded their allowances to cover other travel expenses such as additional hotel and other transportation charges. FOUR DAYS BEFORE SAILING, they added Le Havre and Zeebrugge back into the itinerary, and cut out Ponte Delgada and Portland. While most were happy to have France and Belgium back in, the last-minute nature of these changes created a lot of hassle and confusion. We also received refunds of the port fees from the two missed ports as credits on our cabin accounts while on the ship. Ship: The ship is relatively new (2014), and everything was clean and felt up-to-date. I believe the carpet is being replaced in dry dock. It has swimming pools, hot tubs, water slides, mini golf, and a ropes course. This would be a much better ship for a warm weather cruise. However, our itinerary was a cold-weather cruise, which meant that most of these amenities were closed/unused, and the indoor venues were overcrowded. The ropes course was fun, but not for those afraid of heights. While there is an indoor pool, it's part of the spa, which you have to pay for. The public toilets, sinks, and soap dispensers were all automatic and functioned on sensors. However, they rarely worked as intended. Everyone was doing a dance trying to get the toilet to flush or the soap to dispense. It was really to the point of ridiculousness. Even the comedian did a routine about it. For an industry so concerned about the spread of germs and sanitation ("happy, happy, washy, washy"), they sure did make it hard to wash your hands. Entertainment & Activities: In warmer weather, people might have spread up to the pool and sports decks. But ours was a cold-weather cruise and the schedule of activities did not reflect that. The cruise had about 3700 passengers (max is 3900), and all the indoor venues were always crowded...not just crowded, but can't-find-a-chair-or-move crowded. Usually, that meant standing in long lines or having to be at activities 30-60 minutes before they started in order to get a seat. They had so many people show up for progressive trivia the first day in the Atrium, that they had to move it to the main Tropicana dining room. Other activities were few and far between. There were large gaps in the schedule and then three events happening at the same time. But in reality, you couldn't plan to attend that many events because of the waiting times. The cruise director, Vincent, was outstanding! He led progressive trivia and was a constant at activities and events. Also, Romeo did a good job. However, most of the cruise director staff didn't seem to have the same energy or interest in interacting with guests. Activities seemed to be run of the mill for them and they made little effort to change things up based on our cruise itinerary/climate. They had enough staff and venues to keep things active and accommodate more guests, but didn't take advantage. I've been on other cruises with half the staff members with twice the activities and a lot more fun. As far as the evening entertainment, the shows were great, particularly "Million Dollar Quartet" (advanced tickets required). All three house bands were good, and we enjoyed the Bankaoke and Adele tribute. The Headliners venue served as a comedy club (advanced tickets required) and dueling piano bar. Both were great fun. One thing we enjoyed on this cruise was a guest talent show, which was much better than anticipated. Dining & Food: Three dining rooms (Tropicana, Taste, Savor), the buffet, Shanghai Noodle Bar, and O'Sheehan's were all complimentary. Margaritaville had free breakfast (a smaller buffet), but it closed after the second day. We were told that no one was going up there (it's outdoor, but covered) so they closed it. This left us to fend for a table in the buffet most mornings. We ate lunch in Taste/Savor two days. However, they maintain the same lunch menu from day to day and it never changes. Service for both lunch and dinner was painfully slow. One day, we sat for lunch at 12:40pm and didn't get our entrees until 1:50pm. O'Sheehan's was typical pub food, but sometimes a better option. The fajitas were good. The service in Tropicana for dinner seemed to be better than the other two dining rooms. A band played music during peak hours and people danced on the dance floor in the center. However, if seated anywhere in the center section of the restaurant, the volume of the music made it impossible to talk to others at the table. Getting reservations for the complimentary restaurants was impossible. We were told by a restaurant manager that all reservations were fully booked through online booking before the cruise even left. So much for "Freestyle" cruising. Every night, regardless of the hour, we had to wait in a long line (typically 20-30 minutes) to get to the host desk. Then we were usually given a pager and had to wait even longer. One night, we waited 90 MINUTES from the time we got in line until the time we were seated. This is unacceptable. The food itself was ok, not great. The buffet had a lot of options for breakfast and lunch. The quality of the food in the dining rooms did not meet the standard of past cruises, both on NCL and other cruise lines. They also didn't feel very balanced. If a dish included vegetables (some did not), they were minimal. One night I received two baby carrots, another night three small broccoli florets. Service: We had two wonderful, attentive, and hardworking waiters, Yuli and Mohammed, in the Tropicana dining room. Vincent the cruise director was fantastic. But otherwise, service was just ok, but not great. I don't know if it was because the ship was going into dry dock and some people were leaving or if this is always the case, but the staff seemed to lack energy. They very happily told you if something was not their job, handing you off to wait in another queue. All in all, with the final itinerary, we probably would not have booked this to start with. It has yet to be seen how easily they will handle reimbursement for travel expenses under the allowance. Regardless, after our experience, it is unlikely that we will cruise with NCL beyond our next cruise (using our future cruise credit), which will be cheap and cheerful. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First of all, starting from embarkation we came across with the same problem, again and again, we have Turkish special passport holders which do not require us to obtain a visa for certain countries. We told it each time to the embarkation ... Read More
First of all, starting from embarkation we came across with the same problem, again and again, we have Turkish special passport holders which do not require us to obtain a visa for certain countries. We told it each time to the embarkation personnel and passport officers but they cause us to wait sometimes 2 hours in order to get confirmation. Sometimes they do not accept official letters from embassies. So, they must update the visa requirements checklist including special passport holders. As a frequent traveler, I do not want to be treated as a missing visa issue again and again. Because I do not need to have a visa. Furthermore, as a premier guest, we experienced a lot of problems, some restaurant managers trying to tell me that there are 2000 platinum plus members staying on the ship. Therefore they can not give us a priority in the restaurants. Later I learned that this was a total lie. I reported the situation to the general hotel director and asked him that if I can not get any priority why do I need to choose Norwegian again. I received no response. Therefore you can not receive any priority even if you are too loyal to the cruise line. For thermal suite packages, the ship sold more than the available limits in the spa area. Everybody who finds the door open just jumps in. Everybody start having an argument about sitting in lounge chairs. I was assaulted twice by other passengers. I also reported this situation to the general director but nothing changed. The spa personnel most of the time left the door open or some other guests invite others to use spa for free. Therefore the majority f the passengers get really angry for why they paid extra for thermal spa if everybody can jump inside freely. At last, during the disembarkation process, everything becomes chaotic. The ship personnel can able to collect and make passport stamps while we are on the ship and inside the European premises for one week we traveled to Portugal and Spain ports. But they preferred to do EU entry passport stamps on our own during disembarkation at Barcelona. I have to wait a lot of lines, ship exit line, passport stamp line, baggage collection line and taxi stand time. It takes a complete 3 hours. I have been cruised many times but have not seen such a thing in Barcelona for the recent 10 years. I have been many times cruised with Norwegian but their loyalty seems to be nothing more than 2 free special dinners which are limited to 25 USD max order per cabin not per member. I expect them to give unlimited internet or some more dining night for free but once you get platinum, do not try to get higher because once you reach plat plus only thing you get is a dinning chance with an officer as a group of 3-4 staterooms in a main dining room. Especially in this cruise from Cape Canaveral to Barcelona, most of the passengers are really annoyed because only three shows were presented as unique for 15 days. For other days they repeat the shows again and again. Everybody goes to bed at 7 pm after dinner. So we call the ship as a ghost at late times. Epic is a good ship I have traveled with her 4 times in the past. But it was managed well and the level of the service and fun was great. Use to be Burn the floor took a showplace in Manhattan but no more. I have never heard someone playing the piano in the taste also. Furthermore, the waiters are not trained most of them newly joined to the company. Sometimes you have to wait 2-3 hours for a 3-course meal. For even the laundry they keep saying that every day they receive 5000 bags of laundry, they work so hard, they have no time to rest etc. I do not understand why are they acting like this. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I booked a mini suite with a balcony for a handicap person. They put us in a crew room, no balcony, horrible smell, noise day and night, very humid and no balcony. My elderly mother almost died of food poisoning, I was charged $1169.32 ... Read More
I booked a mini suite with a balcony for a handicap person. They put us in a crew room, no balcony, horrible smell, noise day and night, very humid and no balcony. My elderly mother almost died of food poisoning, I was charged $1169.32 for hospital bill, for spoiled food she ate, right at their restaurant. Nothing to do in this boat, Cruise director was terrible, not enough seating, not enough accommodation, long lines at restaurants. Entertainment was horrible. They cut the trip short, less than a week before departure, they changed the destinations twice, a couple of days before departure. Charged 169 per person, for transportation to Paris, just to stay there for 3 hours, The line on the Service desk was long day and night, that's how everybody was disappointed. They had the same band, of four guys playing songs from the 70's a few times a day. Food was terrible, service was terrible. NCL, never again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Our cabin (standard balcony) was a great layout and very spacious. It was the best thing about the cruise. The ship itself was really designed for a warm weather environment. Unfortunately, our cruise was in the northern latitudes (NY ... Read More
Our cabin (standard balcony) was a great layout and very spacious. It was the best thing about the cruise. The ship itself was really designed for a warm weather environment. Unfortunately, our cruise was in the northern latitudes (NY to Southampton) and, due to weather, most of the outside areas were closed. This lead to the ship feeling very crowded. As far as I'm concerned, freestyle dining is dead. Once upon a time, one could show up at a NCL main dining room and get a table fairly quickly. However, since NCL started allowing reservations, everything gets booked up on day one and now just showing up often entails a 30+ minute wait. I'd rather they offer a fixed seating. Even though this ship carries about twice the passengers of the other ships we've sailed on (The Dawn, Pearl, Jade, Sky, and Spirit), for some inexplicable reason they made the theatre about half the size. As a result, many of the shows require reservations. Unfortunately, their reservation offerings were inconsistent between what was printed, what was on the web, and what was on their TV screen. And some of the shows changed times or were canceled. Overall very frustrating. With a large ship, you'd expect a large atrium. Not so. It was small and noisy. Worst of all, the held the trivia sessions here even though several of us asked them to change it to another venue that was quieter and were we wouldn't have to compete with everyone else just to get a seat. It didn't happen. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
n my whole life I’ve never ever had a cruise so awful as that on the Getaway Sail date 27th April from New York to Southampton. Here are the bulletin points 1/ The expensive cruise I paid for was not the cruise I experienced. Cruise ... Read More
n my whole life I’ve never ever had a cruise so awful as that on the Getaway Sail date 27th April from New York to Southampton. Here are the bulletin points 1/ The expensive cruise I paid for was not the cruise I experienced. Cruise was cut short at the last minute 5 days before we sailed and even then it was changed the next day. 2/ Stateroom was filthy and unprepared 3/ The food was disgusting usually cold . The head Chef should be ashamed. 4/ The crew on board where arrogant, unhelpful and downright rude. They should have pulled out the stops for us but instead they did the opposite 5/ We sailed a northerly route 430 nautical miles from where the cruise I booked should have sailed. Result instead of some warmth we froze and out doors was blocked . 6/When it was opened the pool was freezing and unheated, when I enquired I might as well have asked a wall for all the guest service did in fact he never answered me 7/ We lost an hour for several nights did the hotel manager on board think about that no he still opened the breakfast restaurants at the same time closing at 9am . No interest in the passengers well being being considered and overcrowding in the Garden Cafe which I suspect was intentional as food was defiantly left over muck. 8/ Service in O’Sheehan’s was a mess we where allocated a table did anyone attend to us No and it was not that busy , not a cup or glass put on the table. We alerted an Officer who did nothing. I then spoke to a waiter who didn’t know what Manager meant so I shouted Boss that did the trick but I ask you what a disgrace. He did take out room number. 9/ Shanghai food awful spring roll frozen in the middle!!! 10/ The tension on the ship was awful passengers upset annoyed the staff sullen and unhelpful. 11/ The ship was sailing in the Atlantic and was cold with 11.5feet waves and the Cruise director behaved as if we where in the Caribbean I ask youth knew how upset passengers felt. 12/ last day Breakfast Your daily news said it opened at 6 but the staff despite many people in line said 6.30 . A retired Royal Navy Officer decided to approach the officer in charge who argued that it was 6.30 but ended up phoning to be told it was 6. We were glowered at during breakfast by her and deliberately served last. 13/ I had asked why we had 2 days taken off and the reason for dry dock No one from NCL replied However the Taxi driver at Southampton did!! 400 workers coming on board that day and repairs to the engines oh and the lovely fresh food seen at Southampton going on board for them!!!??? This was a demonstration of the lax arrangement of the crew on broad this ship. What a disgrace your 25% goes no way towards the loss and disappointment but I have done my research and you have your terms and conditions well slanted in you favour. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The 12 day cruise included ports that we wanted to visit - but NCL shortened it a week before departure to 10 days and cut out the 2 ports that we were interested in!!! Our prearranged hotel and other travel arrangements could not be ... Read More
The 12 day cruise included ports that we wanted to visit - but NCL shortened it a week before departure to 10 days and cut out the 2 ports that we were interested in!!! Our prearranged hotel and other travel arrangements could not be changed at such a late date forcing us to book elsewhere to fill in the time at very short notice. All food on the ship was served Luke warm instead of hot with the exception of the pasta which was heated to order. In the buffet, the selection of teas available varied minute by minute with the most popular flavours being unavailable most of the time. Some food items (most notably the sausages) had their name changed with no discernable difference in flavour and some items with the same name were a totally different product on the other side of the ship! The quality of cabin cleaning and replenishment of supplies was variable however the cabin itself was incredibly quiet and the bed extremely comfortable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this Transatlantic for the time and itinerary. We had a bad experience on Getaway Transatlantic 2017 with ship mechanical problems, skipped, shortened ports and crew unable to get passengers on and off the ship efficiently (3 ... Read More
We chose this Transatlantic for the time and itinerary. We had a bad experience on Getaway Transatlantic 2017 with ship mechanical problems, skipped, shortened ports and crew unable to get passengers on and off the ship efficiently (3 hours to get off at Brest.) We felt this couldn't happen a second time, but the 2019 TA was cut short by Norwegian for their convenience with minimal notice. We were on another trip when notice came out and had to scrambled just before cruise date to fill two extra days in our itinerary. Phone ncl was not helpful. Ship was a circus with long lines at customer service with people who did not get notification and had to have help getting further arrangement made. We only knew of the itinerary change due to our TravelAgent. Trip was okay with good food, good entertainments/activities BUT everyone was on edge. This just was not handled right. The drydock date could not have happened suddenly. Repair facilities must be booked ahead. Everyone on the ship felt NCL knew they would not make the 12 day crossing all along but sold it to fill the shjip on a 2 port only voyage and them three everyone into making new plans. We have loved NCL and are Platinum. We have encouraged our children and friends, Brian Eades, Melissa Thibodeau, Miranda Thibodeau and Denise Clark to cruise with us thus providing new customers for NCL. Now we feel the line is not organized, not forthcoming about their plans and callous toward passenger service. No one wants to start a trip to Europe amid upheaval. We previously purchased Cruise Credits but declined after two bad trips on the Getaway. We also traveled a second time with a friend on Escape and found the dining room music to be jazz, not dinner music and club music to be disco only. Ventilation for the casino was terrible compaared to 2015. Our friend who we had persuaded to come on her first cruise said"never again." With all this we probably look for other lines despite the years of enjoying NCL. Another shame of this is the incredible burden this disarray put on the Getaway staff. Tfhey all worked to hard to make the cruise good despite the line's last minute decision. They were victims of the situation and should be commended for their efforts. I don't know who makes the decisions at NCL to inconvenience travelers in such a blasé fashion. I know some financial compensations is being offered but cruisers would rather have a nice, pleasant, uneventful cruise instead. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it had the itinerary we wanted. However before the cruise they shortened the cruise by 2 days..cut 2 major ports. We couldn’t get our money back so we took the cruise ..upon check in they notified us the the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had the itinerary we wanted. However before the cruise they shortened the cruise by 2 days..cut 2 major ports. We couldn’t get our money back so we took the cruise ..upon check in they notified us the the 2 ports had been added back and the other 2 removed.. the answer they gave was that the ship had to go to dry dock. One would think they would know that ahead of time.. The ship was nice, venues were over crowded. Food was okay. Not typical Norwegian quality. We took excursions they were very unorganized.!!! Starting from the meeting place to boarding the bus. It seemed as though it was everyone’s first time...at the end of the cruise getting off the ship was a nightmare and I mean every single person was whining and complaining about the lines. It was just nuts... maybe it’s just these mega ships or maybe the crew was just ready to leave for vacation and we just got the brunt of it...I’ve been on many Norwegian Cruises they are my preferred. This was a miss!!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
There is so much to say... First, this was our first cruise as Norwegian Platinum members. We chose this cruise because we like Transatlantic voyages, it was very reasonably priced and it was the only cruise that fit our specific time ... Read More
There is so much to say... First, this was our first cruise as Norwegian Platinum members. We chose this cruise because we like Transatlantic voyages, it was very reasonably priced and it was the only cruise that fit our specific time frame. We live in NYC and love the ability to take a cab directly to the ship. The motivating force was a desperate need to have a vacation after a hard winter. Also, we had never been to either the Azores or Belgium, so that was a plus. We booked a sail-away balcony (our first time not booking a specific cabin). We were assigned a decent cabin on deck 8 that turned out to be really well located for this cruise. One week and one day before sailing (late in the afternoon on Good Friday) we got an email from NCL announcing an itinerary change that shortened the cruise by two days and eliminated the French and Belgian ports. Much has been written on the roll call thread about this fiasco. In short, NCL managed to screw up, piss a lot of people off, and then, in their attempt to fix the screwup (by bringing back the French and Belgium stops at the cost of the Azores and Portland stops) pissed off even more people. In our case, we just booked two more nights in London to cover the earlier arrival and adjusted our other arrangements to suit. As Platinum customers, embarkation was an absolute breeze. We were checked in and eating lunch in no time (although seating in the cafe was insufficient). We had previously sailed twice on the Breakaway, a ship we really didn’t care for. This cruise convinced us never to book a large ship again. There may be some really great large ships on other lines, but we don’t feel like finding out. The large NCL ships feel much more cramped than the Jewel class, a class we have cruised multiple times and have really loved. Let’s break down the issues: The biggest one is that whenever any area in the ship is crowded, it feels like being stuck in rush hour traffic. We came to avoid the atrium completely. It’s a mess. Much too small, too loud, too few chairs and, worse, it also acts as a thoroughfare. We completely avoided all of the events held there, some of which we wanted to attend. The Garden cafe is too loud, and suffers from the same design problem, it is almost impossible to walk through without bumping into people who are hauling plates of food in seemingly random patterns. Also there is just not enough seating. The aforementioned fiasco meant that there was always a long line at guest services. Exceptionally poor communication from NCL about refunds and bill adjustments made any interaction with them difficult because of the crowds. In short, the ship design with poor traffic management, and a claustrophobic feel and an emphasis on outdoor space better suited to warm climates meant that the whole experience was cramped. Disembarkation was slow. The itinerary change meant that we couldn’t pick up the immigration officials in the Azores which meant another long line to be navigated upon arrival all the while watching the clock to see if we we would make our train (we didn’t but there was a subsequent train, so there was no real issue). As usual, the crew was quite good. What our cabin steward lacked in friendliness, he more than made up for in ruthless efficiency. Our room was always done quickly and correctly without impacting our use thereof. The wait staff was friendly, as was everyone else we dealt with. As for food, we felt that the free sit-down restaurants were hit-or-miss. We had a couple of good meals (prime rib one night, a solid burger another at O’Sheehans), a couple of meals that were poor at Taste and Savor and one good and one not-so-good at the Tropicana. As for the Garden Cafe, it was okay, not as good as we have experienced before. The specialty restaurants were much better. The filet at Cagney’s was excellent. That was comped as a Platinum perk. We paid a la Carte at Le Bistro, a meal I was really looking forward to, as I had loved both the Trois Cornets appetizer and the Canard a l’Orange on previous voyages. Both are gone from the menu, a big disappointment. The other comped meal at Moderno was exceptional. The waiter comped our glasses of wine as well. As for the journey, we found it hard to deal with the constant time changes. There is no getting around the fact that crossing time zones is difficult, but by the third or fourth one, we just wanted it to be over. The weather, although cold and mostly gray, was good. As for entertainment, the Million Dollar Quartet show was a standout, we also enjoyed the Cirque Dreams dinner show although, despite being first in line and having paid extra for floor seats, discovering that we had poor sight lines because the Haven guests got the best seats (something that we didn’t know would happen) was a bit frustrating. Music about the ship suffered from the poor design. The open atrium made for terrible acoustics and an unwelcoming experience. The ship open-space performers were just okay, in my opinion. We were looking forward to hearing some decent blues in the Fat Cats club (as we had on the Breakaway) but it was taken over by Karaoke almost every night and, as far as I could tell, nobody on board could play or sing the blues. We paid extra for access to the thermal suite, something we have done on every NCL cruise. Our normal routine is to hit the gym, shower off and soak. The gym was always crowded. Some of the equipment was broken and there were times when it wasn’t possible go work out. The thermal spa was, likewise, fairly crowded. The staff is doing a better job of policing the reservation of both the heated and regular lounge chairs, a consistent problem in the past, so that is an improvement, Despite all of my issues with the ship, it was a very enjoyable cruise. That, largely, was due to some of our fellow passengers and our decision to be more social than in the past. We made some initial connections via the roll call thread that led to one of the best times, the mad beer-sampling dash through Bruges. In LeHavre, we walked into town determined to have coffee, baguettes and butter which we found in the Sunday market in the center of town. We were determined not to let the problems ruin our vacation and we have succeeded. It is clear, however, that our non-stop string of being NCL-only customers is at an end. The emphasis on packing people in is taking its toll. I do recognize that what you get for your money is still a good deal, but it may no longer be for us. NCL has cut both service and some quality in recent years and we would prefer for our cruise experiences not to resemble traveling on budget airlines where the emphasis is on upcharges and post-sales opportunities, Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Around a week before our start date, NCL changed the itinerary by reducing the cruise from 12 to 10 nights and removing La Harve and Zeebrugge. A few days later it changed again adding La Harve and Zeebrugge again but removing the Azores ... Read More
Around a week before our start date, NCL changed the itinerary by reducing the cruise from 12 to 10 nights and removing La Harve and Zeebrugge. A few days later it changed again adding La Harve and Zeebrugge again but removing the Azores and Portland. So before the cruise started we had to re-arrange travel and could only claims our expenses back after the start of the cruise. Once onboard a lot of the shows required everyone to book in advance and then queue up 30 minutes before the show starts. If you didn't manage to book in advance you had to queue even longer. The issue was there was no organisation of the queue, so people who hadn’t booked were in the wrong queue and vice versa. Once they decided to open the door to the theatre or headliners everybody needed their cruise card to be scanned, slowing down the process even more. The most stupid part of the process, is that it wasn’t for all shows. The shows that didn’t require booking as you may have guessed were very well organised and nobody had to queue at all. A plus point on the entertainment for us was duelling pianos at the Headliners bar and you didn’t need to book it. The food was generally quite good, but there were problems with service. Sometimes very slow then other times too quick, we had main meals arrive, while we were still eating starters, toast arrived after we had eaten breakfast and there are other examples. Two days before we left the ship, we informed customer services that we had a early flight and needed to leave early but the earliest time they would give us is 8.15 unless we paid them $72(55ish) to book a transfer to Southampton airport which is about 6 miles away and a £27 taxi ride. We started the leave the ship at 8.15, but didn’t get off until 9.15 and our flight was at 10.25. Despite the inadequacies of NCL we arrived at the airport at 9.40, 15 minutes after luggage drop off. But Southampton airport was great and we still managed to get our flight. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, but would have preferred the itinerary we originally booked, better organisation in the restaurants, no booking for any of the free shows and a guest services team that listened. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Transatlantic crossing. My husband and I have sailed many times on NCL (Platinum Members) and thought a transatlantic crossing would be different and exciting. It sure was. Although seas were calm, it was cold and/or raining. No ... Read More
Transatlantic crossing. My husband and I have sailed many times on NCL (Platinum Members) and thought a transatlantic crossing would be different and exciting. It sure was. Although seas were calm, it was cold and/or raining. No outdoor activities to be had so indoors 95% of the journey. The ship was big and confusing, sectioned off, not flowing like most ships. Some areas were off limits entire cruise and we never were able to explore the entire ship. We found some public restrooms in a deplorable state. It was a first for us, we never experienced that before on NCL. Crew always pleasant, our room steward Fedilia was excellent, sweet and pleasant. Dining was good except buffet wasn't as exciting as previous cruises - pretty much same food every day. Only one dining room experience at Taste was bad due to incompetent rude servers. We were served bread with no plates or silverware. My husband flagged a waiter to set our table. We ordered cocktails and immediately the food waiter came to ask for our order. We said we'll order when we're done having our cocktails and the waiter walked away. During cocktails, another waiter came by and took all the silverware off the table. One minute later, 2 entrees came, neither was ours. Waiter said sorry and walked away and never replaced the utensils that had been removed earlier. My husband flagged our waiter and asked for our utensils back. Waiter gave him a snarky look and walked away to get them. During cocktails my husband could see two staff - our waiter and the one who delivered wrong entrees, talking and staring at us while giving the stink eye. Ordered dinners, then came dessert. Waiter shoved a menu in front of me from behind without saying a word. Did the same to my husband from the front of him. Rude, inappropriate behavior for dining staff. We never returned. We're not big show people but did see Cirque's Steam which was excellent. We're big Cirque fans. The itinerary was changed twice, first time was just 1 week before and it completely burst our bubble building up to this vacation. So much confusion and indifference to passenger travel arrangements that they changed the itinerary again 3 days before disembarkation to appease the onslaught of complaints and possibly legal threats. Two countries were added back. We originally booked a 12 day cruise and ended up with 10 days. Originally 5 ports, actual ports 3, LaHavre(Paris), Brussels/Brugges Belguim and Southampton/London. Excursions are always great, after all that's why we travel - the destinations. This time there just wasn't enough ports and 7 days straight at sea without being able to enjoy the outdoors was a bit much. At the end the ship docked in Southampton and we were prepared for a tour of London before flying home. Our mistake was booking an excursion that was 7 hrs and our flight was within 5. We were reimbursed immediately and grabbed a cab to Heathrow. The itinerary changes were due to NCLs decision to go to dry dock 2 days earlier than originally advertised. We never experienced a cruise before with so many disgruntled and disappointed loyal NCL passengers as this one. Collectively it was not a happy bunch. My husband and I made the best of it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
As the title suggests, lukewarm food on Deck 6 was the main letdown. I found the food in the Deck 15 buffet more enjoyable because it was hot. Take note, the powers-that-be who read these reviews. The lukewarm food in Savor and Taste was a ... Read More
As the title suggests, lukewarm food on Deck 6 was the main letdown. I found the food in the Deck 15 buffet more enjoyable because it was hot. Take note, the powers-that-be who read these reviews. The lukewarm food in Savor and Taste was a regular occurrence. NCL, you need to get the food to the table much more quickly. And why not heat the plates? That would help. Cabin 9196 had a bad odour coming from the bathroom drains. This was not fixed until I asked the attendant. He knew of this problem but did nothing until I raised the issue. Chemicals were then used to fix the problem. The bed was very comfortable and the pillows were just right. I'd like to see a few more movie channels made available in the cabins. The movies that were played in the Atrium needed tho have the volume turned down. It made the Atrium area very noisy. Oswald, who worked the bar adjacent Savor and Taste, was a real professional. He learnt the regulars' names as well as their favourite drinks. Read Less

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