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Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the stops in Iceland and Greenland, so the other ports were a bonus. The ports were good overall, but I would look carefully at the excursions offered from the cruise line and investigate ones on your own. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the stops in Iceland and Greenland, so the other ports were a bonus. The ports were good overall, but I would look carefully at the excursions offered from the cruise line and investigate ones on your own. We used Saga tours for tours in Iceland and Greenland. They did a good job overall, they were with small groups and we enjoyed that. The only problem is make sure if you use them in Greenland for a trip to the glacier that you get a guarantee of size of boat, that it is covered for ALL passengers, and that there are accommodations that allow for viewing for all passengers. We didn't, and they tried sending 4 large people in a boat that was meant for two people inside the "cabin area - the pilot and one other) with the rest of everyone outside. When is it drizzly weather being stuffed under the console was not a pleasant experience - we had to have the pilot return to port as we feared someone was going to crack their head open on the console when the pilot picked up speed. Regarding the shore excursions with Royal Caribbean, they were okay. They didn't offer anything outstanding but they weren't awful either. They did have a big problem in getting people off the ship when we tendered in Shetland, Scotland. Our private tour was delayed two hours because of it, we were unable to get to the southern part of the island as a result. The big thing to watch for is cabin location. We weren't able to self select the cabin, and were assigned 3610 - average size with a nice sized window. The major PROBLEM was it is over the engines - we had a constant hum to whine the entire trip. You could tell how fast the ship was going by the sound of the engines. For two nights there was a horrible sound that reminding me of an anchor being pulled up, it clanked and rolled. The food is average, but the waitresses and waiters were top notch. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed on the Queen Elizabeth in late July on a 15 night North Atlantic crossing.. The ship was built in 2010 and is the sister ship of the older Queen victoria. Both ships are Vista Class ships. Carnival Corporation, Cunards mother ... Read More
We sailed on the Queen Elizabeth in late July on a 15 night North Atlantic crossing.. The ship was built in 2010 and is the sister ship of the older Queen victoria. Both ships are Vista Class ships. Carnival Corporation, Cunards mother company, built a number of these vista class ships for its various fleets and aside from the two Cunard ships,a good number were built for Holland America, Costa and P&O, Having previously sailed on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam and Eurodam, I felt very much at home with the general layout of the Queen Elizabeth. However, by comparison, I found the Holland America ships to be far superior in many ways to the Queen Elizabeth: 1) Contrary to other Carnival owned cruise lines, Cunard ships have three distinct classes of guest accomodations: the Grill, the Britannia Club and the Britannia. Both the Grill and the Britannia Club passengers enjoy exclusive restaurants with the Grill passengers also enjoying indour and outdour exclusive areas. As a result. there is obviously less additional common areas to be enjoyed by Britannia class passengers. There is only one specialty restaurant available to all passengers ($40 per person). 2) Although the food quality is comparable to that found on Celebrity and Holland America ships, the service, especially in the Lido buffet restaurant leaves much to be desired. For instance, at breakfast, there is no coffee or juice service at the table and the coffee in the large coffee machines is constantly being re-heated leaving a bitter taste. Also, there is not enough personel cleaning and setting tables in the Lido (I presume this would not the case in Grill and Britannia Club restaurants). 3) Although the Queen Elizabeth is the more recent version of Vista Class ships, it lacks certain characteristics of older Vista class sister ships; There is no retractable roof over the pool (a must for transatlantic passages) nor are there automatic sensor doors to the rear and central parts of the ship which I found annoying when attempting to open doors with a drink and plate in hand. 4) The internet is terrible. If you are paying a premium price for an internet package you should not experience sporadic reception and you should not expect to pay for the many minutes it takes to log in and log out. If you are into serious Ball Room dancing you will be vary happy. There were the same few dozen couples who regularly took part in dancing while the rest of us enjoyed their performance. I would estimate that the average age of passengers is around 75. The entertainment is geared to this age group with music of the 50's and 60's together with a dose of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole era songs. It felt like I was visiting a floating senior citizens residence. Cunard passengers are very loyal but I wonder how it will go about recruiting a younger generation of passengers. Cunard should be commended for the quality of guest speakers and the range of topics is excellent. If I do take another Cunard cruise it would be for the destination and not the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first Seabourn Cruise. We were on board for 45 days, Dover to Montreal via Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador. The Viking historical highlights were the Hvalsey church in Greenland and the Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Sadly, ... Read More
Our first Seabourn Cruise. We were on board for 45 days, Dover to Montreal via Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Labrador. The Viking historical highlights were the Hvalsey church in Greenland and the Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Sadly, the St. Kilda landing was scrubbed due to inclement weather. The scenic highlights were the fjords and glaciers of Prince Christian Sound, and the cultural highlights were Isle of Man, Reykjavik, and Nuuk (Greenland). Good itinerary, but we saw other, more nimble ships making the same calls (notably Ponant and Scenic), so there are alternatives to Seabourn. We were in cabin 826 (they call it a "suite") which is roomy with a generous balcony, but with what we consider design flaws. The TV is poorly positioned for comfortable viewing, the lighting for the table is not optimal, the closet is cramped. The twin sinks in the head are nice, but with a good shower, the bathtub is unnecessary, and uses space better allocated to the closet (the old "R" vessels have dressing room/closets which we much prefer). The vanity is well done. We were surprised that no binoculars were provided (as we had on Silversea), this on a cruise where icebergs, whales, polar bears, sea birds, and calving glaciers are spotted and watched. The common spaces are elegant and roomy. The six elevators run like a charm and one hardly ever waits for a ride, even when the crowd exits the shows or lectures. Tender shuttles, quay landings, and shore excursions were run very smoothly. The food is very elaborate, excessively so in our opinion. Lots of choices, but all of the gourmet "nouvelle" style, with rich sauces and elegantly presented. Plain dishes can be ordered from room service or at the patio restaurant, the latter being an uncomfortable place in the northern latitudes. Staff is extraordinarily attentive - room service comes very promptly, table service will see your plate whisked away as you put down your fork, your wine glass refilled while still two-thirds full. Our impression is that the obsession with delivering over-the-top service results in a somewhat tense and forced amiability on the part of the wait staff. The staff is drawn from a very diverse set of nationalities, a departure from the more cohesive crews of filipino or indonesian origin on other cruise lines, which we have found to be more relaxed and genuinely warm. The captain made daily detailed announcements about weather outlook and sailing status, and the attention to navigation and safety was very thorough. We were able to witness the bridge protocols on a port departure, and everything was conducted very carefully and by the book. Quiet competence and superb attention to safety. There is a striking schizophrenic aspect to the QUEST, originally designed for sailing warm waters and subsequently modified for high-latitude cruising: it is a deluxe ship trying to masquerade as a quasi-expedition platform. Of the 45-day cruise, no more than three of four were of shirtsleeve temperature with clear skies, yet every day the lounges around the pool were lined up with fresh towels (and thus forcing passengers to walk on a delaminating portion of the teak deck, rahter than on a safer path!). The outdoor restaurant provides infrared heatlamps and blankets for each table. The "expedition" complement of ten or twelve "zodiacs" is clearly insufficient to take more than a quarter of the passengers off at any one time. There is an extra charge of $150 per hour per person for such excursions, again not much in keeping with the expedition structure we have experienced elsewhere. A week or ten days, rather than 45 days, might have worked better for us on this Seabourn cruise. We'll likely choose to go with one of our other favorites (Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Ponant, Windstar) on our next cruise . Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the ... Read More
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the cruise, "They are quite serious". LIkes: We booked the Brittania Club, therefore we had our own private dining table for four each night with the same servers. The food was truly excellent, on par with Oceania Cruise line, which is noted for it's food. (Kudos to our servers, Brendo and Orsulah). We ended up eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the restaurant. We only gained an average of 2 pounds per person for a 7 day cruise and we believe that is because we mostly avoided the Kings Grill, which is very chopped up, located in several separated rooms with a limited selection of food. We understand it had been upgraded in 2016 from the original design. I cant see how it could have been much worse then. Also, the brewed coffee in the restaurant is very good, unlike the machine coffee in the Kings Grill. We had dinner one night in the Verandah steakhouse restaurant for a small upcharge of $39 per person and it was the best steak we have ever had. 35 day aged beef. The Enrichment and Art seminars, Tea Time and Gala Evenings were spot on great! We didn't mind the tuxedo and formal dress evenings and enjoyed the Masquerade Ball. The planetarium and Queen's Theatre were great venues also. Dislikes: Probably because we have been spoiled by cruises on Oceania Marina, Rivera, & Insignia and Holland Statendam and Koningsdam, we didn't appreciate the QM2 as much as we should. Even with the retrofit in 2016, she looks a bit tired. Very chopped up, no flow to the design. What's with the Churchill and Chart room locations? You have to go through the Brittania Dining room to access the Queens Ball room or go through the Art Gallery up and down stairs to access. Also, the aforementioned non functional Queen's Grill area. The Library boasts 8 thousand books and a room the size of an average family dining room and each passenger is restricted to 2 books at a time with the shelves locked during night hours? That's when most insomniacs need to find a book. We found this very unusual as Oceania ships boast great libraries with a barrista next door. Their libraries are unlocked and open to all cruise passengers 24/7. Finally, what ever you do don't buy the liquor package!!! Very limited pours (50 ml) which makes no sense, as it requires the staff to service you more often. (However, once they see you have a drink sticker on your card, they avoid you like the plague, and you practically have to tackle them to get service). This occurred in every lounge but was particularly acute in the Golden Lion Pub! The wine steward in the Brittania Club restaurant also was put off by our asking for wine refills at dinner, until 3 days before the cruise ended, when he finally increased the pours, which saved him extra trips. (We were not heavy drinkers, drinking no more than 2-3 50 ml pours at dinner) or any other sitting. The package was very restrictive, nothing over $11. If you want to purchase a $20 cocktail, you have to pay $16 (purchase price less 20%), which begs the ? why purchase the liquor package? Also, our traveling companions, (one who drinks and one who cannot drink because of medical reasons), cleared with Cunard corporate that if she brought a Doctor's excuse that he could by the package but she wouldn't have to. We spent the better part of the first afternoon being shuffled between the Purser's office, the G. L Pub and were even sent to the spa, because no one could or would make a decision on allowing our friend to purchase the liquor package alone. Finally, a bartender in the G.L. Pub told us in great whisper (I am not exaggerating) that he would allow it if our non drinking friend would purchase the $30 per day beverage package (water, soft drinks and coffee). You could not purchase wine by the bottle at dinner like on Oceania or HAL only by the 50 ml glass because of the liquor package restriction. The ship was good in the water, you never really felt any motion. However, it felt as if It was designed more for sailors than passengers and the staff was not there to serve you as much as ensure that all rules and regulations would be followed and not be infringed on! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We were so excited to be going on the QM2! The ship itself was magnificent. Our cabin was also very nice and we had a balcony. But what a waste of money the top drinks package was! It was almost impossible to get anyone to get you a ... Read More
We were so excited to be going on the QM2! The ship itself was magnificent. Our cabin was also very nice and we had a balcony. But what a waste of money the top drinks package was! It was almost impossible to get anyone to get you a drink in a lot of the bars! At lunchtime I was lucky if I managed to get one glass of wine from a barman! I also had to spend 2 days in our cabin as I picked up a bug on day 5 of our cruise. From the food, drink? Who knows but it ruined my cruise! My husband witnessed one maintenance worker who used the WC in the indoor pool area and walked out without washing his hands!! Really!! In this day and age!! Entertainment on board was okay, but the planetarium gave me a sore head. Best entertainment was the irish comedian Roy Walker. We were given the dining time of 8.30 p.m. and were unable to change it. So this was far too late for us and we had to dine in the buffet every evening. The person allocated to give you hand sanitiser when entering the buffet made no effort, unless you went straight up to them. This should be addressed as clean hands are essential for hygiene reasons. Also, very few staff made you feel really valued/ welcome! Best part of the cruise was sailing into New York! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is our 13 Cruise trip and the third with Cunard. We sailed before on QE and QV, but it was our first time on the mighty QM2. The ship was iconic and displayed luxury interior deco in all areas. However, it lacked some of Cunard ... Read More
This is our 13 Cruise trip and the third with Cunard. We sailed before on QE and QV, but it was our first time on the mighty QM2. The ship was iconic and displayed luxury interior deco in all areas. However, it lacked some of Cunard elements and plenty of cosmetic maintenance. We understand that it has been built as a translantic ocean liner, but the entertainment and the activities did not meet our expectations for 8 days full sea sailing. The food was great in term of quality, quantity and dining experience. We can't say exceptional or outstanding tho. Although, the customer service was pleasant by the staff in the public areas and the cabin alike, the senior management did not show positive courtesy or professional attitude. We had an incident on board for which the ship had to divert to Halifax and transfer an ill passenger, so we made it to New York with 5 hours delay. Unfortunately, at Brooklyn Red Hook embarkation on Friday, the customs and passport control process was utterly unorganised and disappointingly slow. It was a major complaint from most passengers and we heard a lot of unprofessional issues. The CPD officers lost a British passport while processing one passenger entry clearance between them, and they initially refused to admit liability, then they asked him to request an emergency travel document from the British consulate after four hours in order to catch up with his flight back to UK on Sunday. Cunard staff did not offer any help or assistance. We have decided to conclude our cruising experience with Cunard for the time being because the cruise line is not making any effort in diversifying their clientele, and providing extra excitements to middle aged passengers and young people. The planetarium, the Gym and the Swimming pools were extremely under used, and a lot of outdoor space was not utilised during this cruise. If you suffer from sea sickness, this is one of the most stable ships we have ever been as far you booked in the middle low floors. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise only for the sailing under London Bridge which was definitely the highlight . We haven’t sailed on Silversea for a few years (as Crystal is our cruise line of choice) and remember luxuries like Perrier Juneau ... Read More
We chose this cruise only for the sailing under London Bridge which was definitely the highlight . We haven’t sailed on Silversea for a few years (as Crystal is our cruise line of choice) and remember luxuries like Perrier Juneau being the house champagne and the crew knowing your name within a couple of days aboard, the soap menu on arrival and your mini bar being stocked with your choice of spirits or liqueurs, the flurry of napkins being placed in your lap whether in the dining room or out on deck dining , cocktails being made and offered while you lay in a deck chair outside well none of that happened this time around. Embarkation was very easy with no wait time and straight on to the ship where we were greeted with a glass of bubbly and then left to our own devices. We had lunch in the Terazzo which was a buffet which was tasty but all the food in the warmer was only tepid and we had to flag a waiter to get water or a drink and again to get coffee so not a great start. After this happening for the first two days we addressed that and a few other problems with the Hotel manager then the service was definitely improved for the rest of the cruise. The food In the dinning room and the Italian restaurant was very good and good service and a table was mostly available when we decided to go for dinner. The entertainment was very average with 3 guest entertainers a violinist,a singer and a pianist, then 2 other resident pianists plus the cruise director Colin who did piano recitals so it was all rather too much of the same and far too high brow for us.The singers and dancers were good but the sets were almost non existent and the shows were very hit and miss. We are a couple in our 50’s and felt the entertainment is aimed at a senior crowd which seems to be their market. The stateroom we had was a vista suite and was very comfortable and in good condition but still had the dated bathroom with a pathetic shower and the bath drained very slow so constantly showering in about 6 inches of water, the aircon was constantly too hot and even on the coldest setting was sweltering causing quite a few sleepless nights.The Butler and our steward were very good and breakfast was delivered on time with hot coffee and the stateroom always clean. The water in the cabins and the restaurants was desalinated and you had to ask for bottled water as it was never offered and the champagne was Monopole but Pommeroy was available but you had to request that also which was very annoying obviously another cost saving measure. The ship overall was well presented but was very dull decor throughout the lounges with mute colours and no feeling of comfort or luxury ,the pool area was brown on brown with no comfortable seating like outdoor couches or cushions or sculptures or art just a few pots with small fake plants in ,the grill area had no cushions on the seats and drinks served in plastic. Overall the ship didn’t have the wow factor we have come to expect from other luxury cruise lines we travel on like Crystal or Seabourn it was good but there are lots of good cruise lines out there Like Holland America or Oceania that you don’t have to pay the premium prices we paid for this cruise. We will not be back to Silverseas again and talking to a lot of guests onboard and on cruise critic a lot of them felt the same way. Shame as this was once a very good experience! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We found the arrival very easy,straight off the plane on a bus and on to the ship. The ship itself was not my favorite, not easy to navigate around. The seating in some of the public areas was very uncomfortable( the brown sofas in the ... Read More
We found the arrival very easy,straight off the plane on a bus and on to the ship. The ship itself was not my favorite, not easy to navigate around. The seating in some of the public areas was very uncomfortable( the brown sofas in the Squid and Anchor need throwing over board!) The resident entertainment was very good.Some of the guest shows on the other hand went from excellent to awful. The ship was kept very clean and all the staff worked very hard and were very friendly. The food was lovely, we always managed to get a seat or table without any problem. Plenty of places to sun bath ,either quiet or lively by the pool. The cruise itinerary was the reason we choose this particular holiday. We decided to stay on from Southampton to cruise up to Newcastle as it was easier to get home from Newcastle. WERE WE SORRY!!!! From what we heard 600 passengers disembarked, and 400 Tui reps and their family's embarked.( Bearing in mind the average age on the cruise was about 65 and the new passengers where younger ) the lovely cruise was spoiled by the new passengers. They were on for one thing, to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible, resulting in us not being able to get served for over half an hour at some of the bars and having to suffer drunken behavior from quite a few on them. Not the staffs fault I mite add, purely how fast they where drinking. there were scuffles in the disco and security had to be called. People where also inconsiderate when returning to there cabins.The result was a lot of the original passengers where not very happy. This has ruined the memory of what was otherwise a lovely cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We are long time Celebrity cruisers (8 different ships) starting in 2009. We have also done cruises on Princess, NCL, Carnival and Cunard and were travelling with an older neighbour friend and her married daughter. My wife and I liked ... Read More
We are long time Celebrity cruisers (8 different ships) starting in 2009. We have also done cruises on Princess, NCL, Carnival and Cunard and were travelling with an older neighbour friend and her married daughter. My wife and I liked our Deck 11 concierge stateroom. New balcony format adds lots of room and especially for baggage storage when you are packing/unpacking. Window opening does pauses HVAC performance but loss of heat/coolness can be somewhat controlled by closing inner balcony doors. Those inner doors should have vertical curtains so that light could be better controlled and differing sleep / wake up schedules accommodated. I've been in IT over 40 years and found the internet package coverage was solid throughout most of the ship ship. While we experienced only minor connectivity issues and session disconnects while wandering around the different ship areas, many others were not . Unfortunately many others had Internet speeds on transatlantic crossing were very good with only exception of late day and evening after leaving Bermuda. Overall services on ship were professional tainted only by a couple of "sour" crew members encountered. We signed up for the late meal sitting and were assigned to a table of four in the Tuscan grill. Unfortunately, our linked reservations with friends placed them in the Normandy as a couple. After speaking with the concierge office we all ended up in the Tuscan given that our friends like it's decor over the french restaurant setting. Our dining experience in the late meal assignment was somewhat mixed. While the service was very good, food and portion inconsistencies (mostly with combined meat pasta dishes) caused us to order double Entrees pretty well most evenings. For example the vegetarian "Vegetable Wellington" Entree offering was the approximate size of a Pop-Tart and it upset my wife to the point that she refused to eat it and simply went on to have a desert. The Sommelier / wine steward was very pleasant but brand new to position. She had little to no basic wine knowledge. Sadly she should have been better trained and/or have shadowed someone for longer periods. I had to request she bring over the wine list multiple times when she had absolutely no clue as to what was available or as a recommendation with a selected food item. Entertainment and Excursion seminars were OK in my opinion, although one of the presenters lacked any level of professionalism or decorum by placing past girlfriend and sailboat "puking" pictures on the overhead screen. Very poor judgement IMO. I liked the few excursions in the we had chose in the Azores, Lisbon and Paris (Eiffel tower and non-dining boat cruise). We found the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to be a disappointment likely given the nature of almost the entire 2nd floor display materials of post WWII and other genocide reflections material. Art I suppose but rather hugely depressing! My biggest challenge in liking the Edge was the amount of noise at all times in public areas and no real quiet area offerings on the ship outside of staterooms and external decks. While I understand that a younger clientele is being targeted and the ROI for each square foot of space profitability are critical items for Celebrity and its investors, from a long term Celebrity cruiser prospective, the lack of quiet space without retreating to your own cabin was a big on-going disappointment. I was also frustrated by the completely upscale nature of boutique stores and store materials offered on the ship. I wasn't able to purchase a bottle opener or pack of cards while on the ship. It was all Tiffany's and other high-end designer items. And... its not like we haven't bought jewellery or other such luxury items previously, its just that there was no variety or lower end offerings, if we were so inclined. Lastly, I must mention the unrelenting emails and shameless marketing of pre-cruise materials and bid offers. The occurrence of these items appeared to be significantly ratcheted up over the last 90 days before sailing. However, by that time we had purchased our shore excursions and even a call to the customer support line inquiring about a stateroom upgrade indicated that there were no available upgrades below Owner suite class in-spite of the "bid offer" options being suggested. An absolutely annoying in-basket filler and shotgun broadcast time waster. I even felt obliged to apologise to our friends we invited along on the cruise given the amount of "junk" emails sent out by Celebrity. Unfortunately, I will not likely return to the Edge, II & III offerings because of the issues noted above. We have two cruises booked on Cunard given our very enjoyable QM2 transatlantic voyage home a week after getting off the Edge. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been on at least 30 cruises and have sailed with Celebrity 7 times prior to this cruise. We were very excited to sail on the Edge as it seemed like it was going to bea bit different from other ships...well, it was...and not in a ... Read More
We have been on at least 30 cruises and have sailed with Celebrity 7 times prior to this cruise. We were very excited to sail on the Edge as it seemed like it was going to bea bit different from other ships...well, it was...and not in a good way unfortunately. We booked the 15 night Transatlantic cruise beginning on 4/28. First off, embarkation was a breeze! We booked an infinite balcony...for sure, something different for the industry. We HATED it. It felt like a tiny (5'x6') solarium attached to the room. It didn't give you the balcony experience at all. If you open the window, the A/C goes off in the room. The only redeeming feature was the shade that you lower with a button. It made the room very dark at night and you don't have to deal with curtains. The cabin itself was okay as was the bathroom. Why locate the couch away from the TV...it's very hard to watch while you're sitting on the couch. There was enough storage too. It sure would be nice if they'd put in larger waste baskets...those puny things they use are ridiculously small. The ship itself is pretty but it seems like they were just trying too hard to be "edgy"..sorry about that. There are very few comfortable chairs around. I miss an observation lounge and thought Eden was weird. Several times we tried to go there for lunch and it was closed a lot for private events. Most of the meals we had were good. I do think other cruise lines could learn a thing or two from Celebrity regarding the buffet layout. The crew was good. Overall, not as friendly as on Princess or Holland America. Our cabin steward, Mark was phenomenal. The entertainment staff...especially Sarah and Bethany were wonderful. Laundry service is not good. They have the nerve to charge $49.95 for a bag oflaundry and it comes back to you stuffed in the same bag. It's marginally folded. We're not going to sail on the Edge again. We got it out of our system. By the way, this cruise was expensive compared to comparable TA cruises. We could've gotten a suite on HAL for what this cost us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We just got off the Jade TA from NYC to Mediterranean. The ship was a bit small but good. kept very clean, great service. The cabin steward and bartenders were wonderful. Visit Domingo in the Whisky bar - makes the best drinks. ... Read More
We just got off the Jade TA from NYC to Mediterranean. The ship was a bit small but good. kept very clean, great service. The cabin steward and bartenders were wonderful. Visit Domingo in the Whisky bar - makes the best drinks. Entertainment was ok but you were able to see all the shows. Ports were good. The biggest issue we had was the poor excursions booked thru the ship. Not organized, too expensive for what you got, late getting off the boat, wasted time waiting around. We did three and cancelled the rest after those experiences. Oh and just a note - if you have a terrible excursion you must complain that day or they will not do anything for you. (lesson learned) Of course Norwegian says they are not part of them so they cannot do anything for you. So future if you sail book excursions from outside companies you get a better experience for your money...or less money for that matter. And if you go into a port that your have to be ferried over to port from the boat don't expect to get off for a few hours. It took us three hours to get into port. The experiences from the excursions may have cost them a customer. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Five years since our last return transatlantic cruise and we looked forward eagerly to the experience. Not a particularly smooth start with a booking while on the QE last November and being told cabin would be allocated later. Eventually ... Read More
Five years since our last return transatlantic cruise and we looked forward eagerly to the experience. Not a particularly smooth start with a booking while on the QE last November and being told cabin would be allocated later. Eventually we were told two weeks before embarkation that we had been upgraded. Take this tip - if you are offered cabins on deck four at the rear, especially 4180, say no. They are directly above the Queens Room and the night club. The constant thud thud of amplified sound can be heard until the early hours. But as usual there can be no cabin change as the voyage is full - has anyone been on a voyage when that sign is not on the Pursers desk? Embarkation - never seen the departures hall so full, hardly a spare seat. Priority check-in got us through in around 15 minutes. Cabin spotless as usual - steward Mayo on hand to sort out any problems. Up to the Kings Court for light lunch. I appreciate that I am in a minority but I prefer the old layout and find too many dark areas in the new layout. Food, however, good as ever with tremendous choice. Later Britannia restaurant proved much the same but we felt the choice was more limited, to the extent that some nights we found nothing on the menu to tempt us. Entertainment was the usual Cunard standard ie pretty average with one big exception - we had new films, after years of complaining. Insight lectures were mixed - some good, one excellent and some mediocre. Evening shows in the Royal Court theatre have changed little over the past 12 years - and as anything in the arts is so subjective it seems pointless praising or criticising. The transfer from the Brooklyn cruise terminal to Macy's was a complete shambles, due in some part, to road closures due to 30,000 cyclists taking part in a bikeathon. having been dropped some way from Macy's we were told the pick up would be at 7th and 34th which covers quite a few combinations, worse in the pouring rain. And, of course, no Cunard rep anywhere. Conclusion - we have always loved our return crossings but this will be our last. Difficult to pinpoint why but overall it seemed to lose the magic. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We recently booked a back to back cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. The first segment was transatlantic, Tampa FL to Barcelona. The second from Barcelona to Venice. In fact, these were really two separate cruises. Segment 1 - The ... Read More
We recently booked a back to back cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. The first segment was transatlantic, Tampa FL to Barcelona. The second from Barcelona to Venice. In fact, these were really two separate cruises. Segment 1 - The Tampa-Barcelona leg of the cruise started out extremely well. Boarding in Tampa was a breeze and we were on board and having lunch in no time. The sea days were very pleasant. The food in the Windjammer cafeteria was varied and quite acceptable while the food in the main Dining Room was excellent. The menu included Prime Rib (more than once) and Rack of Lamb, Service was also excellent. RCCL had made a mistake, assigning us early dining time instead of late but that was easily corrected. Our cabin was quite small and, like the rest of the ship somewhat dated. It did not even have a mini-bar or refrigerator. Storage space was likewise quite limited but we made do. Our cabin steward was an old pro and handled every detail without having to be asked. In short, this first segment of the cruise went by too fast Segment 2 - This second part was so diffferent as to almost have been on another ship. Because RCCL had made a mistake with our dining time before I made a point of contacting them before the end of segment 1 to make sure that everything was as it should be for the second segment. I was assured that everything was taken care of. On the day of "checking in again" in Barcelona I discovered that the same error had been made in our dining arrangements. I immediately contacted Guest Services and was assured that the problem had been corrected. When we proceeded to the Dining Room that evening we found that the D.R. staff had no idea about the change. Finally the Head Waiter took us to an unoccupied table, where we sat and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally at 9:15 a waiter appeared, apologized for the delay, left us a glass of water and took our order. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. Finally at 10:00 we got up and left, explaining to the Maitre the problem with the service and requesting a new table. Finally the next night we started getting normal service. I can only assume that our first waiter felt 'put upon' by being assigned another (our) table and decided to let us know. In any event, this put a pall on the remainder of the cruise. Additionally,a few nights later the air conditioning in the ceiling decided to leak water on both our nightstands at 10:30 in the evening. Fortunately the crew was able to fix the problem in about an hour. During the entire second part of the cruise there seemed to be a marked tendency on the part of the crew to be less friendly and less helpful than during the transatlantic segment. I will not book on Rhapsody of the Seas again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a repositioning cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida to Barcelona. We had never cruised on a large ship, and won’t do so again, primarily because of the noise level. Why is trivia played in the atrium, where the sound of the ... Read More
This was a repositioning cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida to Barcelona. We had never cruised on a large ship, and won’t do so again, primarily because of the noise level. Why is trivia played in the atrium, where the sound of the microphones reverberate throughout two floors? The plus sides of this trip include: 1. Medical care (ear infection not responding to prescribed treatment). 2. Ports of call 3. Excursions (four out of four get thumbs up) The food in the Manhattan dining room was better than expected. The service there was excellent. The room configuration while unique, was acceptable. What wasn’t good about the room was the shortness of the bed. If anything, having a non-standard-length bed seemed bizarre. The worst part of the cruise was the noise. The card/game room had stone floors (voices and chairs scraping reverberated), and the room was much too small for a cruise of 4,000 plus passengers. We were allowed games in one of the private restaurants until 3:00 pm; but evening card or board games were just out of the question. The focus of this ship is casino and alcohol and constant noise. The pool is incredibly small, and again, there is always a band or DJ, so no escaping the noise there, either. Overall, we conclude “average”. Much better than prior Azamara cruise, but far below our favorite Oceania trips. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
If you can cope with the strange cabin layout, love trivia games and slots machines, don't mind lining up, even for things you reserved, and like paying for services, then this ship/hotel is for you. Be prepared: Your shower and ... Read More
If you can cope with the strange cabin layout, love trivia games and slots machines, don't mind lining up, even for things you reserved, and like paying for services, then this ship/hotel is for you. Be prepared: Your shower and seperate toilet are immediately inside the cabin door. You will be visible and struck by anyone opening the door once you step from either glass doored facility. Make sure you travel with companions who do not mind seeing you performing your toilet functions. There is no basin in the toilet, there is a tiny one in the cabin area. If you use it, be careful not to strike your face on the tap which juts into and up from the sink. There are only 2 power outlets in the cabin. You will need to crawl under and reach inside the vanity to access them. The shaver outlet is inside a mirrored cabinet. Once you plug in a razor, you cannot close the mirrored door. The lighting levels are low with LED fixtures controled from various locations. The overhead storage is above the bed and sofa and cannot be reached. There is no place to store shoes. Cabin balcony doors are tight access. If any vanity drawer is opened a bit, you will not be able to get into the cabin from the bacony without climbing over the bed. The bed is curved and short. If you are over 5'10", your feet will overhang. There is nowhere in the cabin that 2 people can pass each other. There is no promenade deck going around the outer decks, if you like walking or a jog the best you can do is back and forth on one side deck. The fitness centre does not have steam rooms or saunas, yoy must pay $340.00 to use the spa area. The freestyle thing seems to be mostly an inconvenience. You still have to line up for everything, you will just be in a separate bigger lineup than guests without reservations. Hotel staffs try very hard to mitigate the quirky arrangements and do what they can to cope. Food is of good quality but often not hot enough, service is generally friendly and adequate with a lot of supervisory staffs drifting around not doing much of anything. Entertainment scheduling is progressive, so only one venue is open at a time which causes crowding. Anyone taking a trip on Epic needs to be accepting and open to something unusual. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We have looked forward to a transatlantic trip and the itinerary was great. We were hesitant to book such a large ship but wanted to give it a try. Boarding was the easiest ever! But once on board, things started to grind slowly. We tired ... Read More
We have looked forward to a transatlantic trip and the itinerary was great. We were hesitant to book such a large ship but wanted to give it a try. Boarding was the easiest ever! But once on board, things started to grind slowly. We tired quickly of standing in lines to watch a show ( in a WAY to small theater), get dinner, or ride an elevator. Many people enjoyed the ship and really enjoyed the free drinks package. The cabins were odd. The frosted glass free standing toilet and shower were poorly thought through. Lighting in the cabin was dull. The short bed was curved at the bottom and my feet extended a good 6” off the end! The meals were good but we found the speciality restaurants left a little to be desired. The service was good and a few times we were really impressed by the attentiveness of the servers. Even though we had several complaints about the ship, We still had a wonderful time. But, we won’t be on the Epic again. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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