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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First time on Gem. And other than the Pride of America out of Honolulu, the first time on NCL. I’m a firm believer that all the main stream cruise lines are similar. Each has its own plusses and minuses. I’ll try to keep ... Read More
First time on Gem. And other than the Pride of America out of Honolulu, the first time on NCL. I’m a firm believer that all the main stream cruise lines are similar. Each has its own plusses and minuses. I’ll try to keep this objective. My wife and I travelled with two other couples for this cruise. One drove to NY with us from Delaware and one met us at the port, as they are from FL. We left the Sunday before and spent the night in Rahway, NJ so we’d have an easy drive in the next AM. When we arrived to pickup our friends, they asked if we’d recd the message that the ship was going to be late due to the weather. We recd nothing. They had been told it would leave at 6:00PM. So, we headed out and figured we’d just take our time the next morning. As, Murphy was present quite a bit this trip, he also made his presence known on Monday morning...there was hardly any traffic driving into the city and we arrived at the port by 10:30AM...go figure! No sweat, we checked our bags and we made ourselves comfy. Then came the announcement! The Gem would not be arriving until after 6:00PM if then, and the terminal staff recommended we leave the terminal and return between 7 and 10 PM! We just looked at each other dumbfounded. Where were we going to go, having parked the car at the terminal and in temps below freezing (considering 40+ mph winds). So, we chose to hang out longer. THEN, the next announcement...The Gem would not be in until Tuesday morning. Luckily, our friend found us hotel accommodations close by. We chose to let them keep our bags and we headed for the hotel. Can’t control Mother Nature! BUT.....the indecision among the terminal staff was unreal! Everyone you asked had a different answer or different directions. This can’t be the first time there was a delay! They really need to work on their contingency planning. The next day was really quite uneventful. The other two couple took their time heading for the term8nal. So, my wife and I told them we’d meet them on board. We were on board by approx 1130 and they joined us closer to 1:30. We then recd the announcement there would be a slight delay as there was a medical emergency that required passengers to debark. Again...stuff happens. We were also informed that, due to the late ship arrival, we would be reimbursed for a day of the cruise...but, the itinerary would be altered and San Juan and St Kitts eliminated. So, on a now 10 day cruise, 5 days would be sea days. That became monotonous on the Gem. The next bit of excitement came on our second sea day when there was a fire on Deck 13 in one of the heaters. Crew performed flawlessly and the situation was controlled quickly. But, that Murphy guy..... We found the ship layout did not flow easily and all of the public areas seemed to be overly noisy with some sort of activity or sales pitch going on at all times. Again, all lines have those ships that seemed to be hodge podged together to maximize room. It was the nois3 levels that bothered us most. With that many sea days so close together, it started to wear on us. Additionally, they had entertainment functions in the main Atrium area...it was just too congested for that. We found the Garden Buffet very chaotic! There was no orderly flow and people just went every which way. Add to that the people that were unaware of anyone but themselves....(again, those folks are on all cruises, I suppose). The food in the Buffet was mediocre. We ate our breakfasts in O’Sheehans Pub. That’s a great secret! Very few people took advantage of it. So, we had nice meals there each morning. Lunch, we braved the chaos in the buffet...needless to say, my least favorite meal. Dinners were in Magenta dining room, unless we had reservations at the specialty restaurants. Vladimir took great care of us and the environment again was not as chaotic. As as for the specialties....Carney’s and Le Bistro we our favorites. La Cucina and Modernos were flops for our whole crowd. None of us enjoyed our meals. Entertainment....we’ve been on quite a few cruises and the production cast on this ship were some of the best we’ve seen! Blazing Boots...Wow! Guys, if you have a weak heart, take a defibrillator! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We arrived in NYC according to instructions. We were informed the ship would be late, and not leaving until midnight. Two hours later, they said the ship is not coming and "make other arrangements". Luckily, I was able to ... Read More
We arrived in NYC according to instructions. We were informed the ship would be late, and not leaving until midnight. Two hours later, they said the ship is not coming and "make other arrangements". Luckily, I was able to procure a hotel near by. The rest of the cruise was fine, but we missed two islands, and St Thomas was it's usual half a day. I can't imagine if anyone saw this as a cruise itinery that they would book it. High winds was the explanation for all the confusion. Have not heard a word about any sort of a refund as yet, BUT we had better get something, weather related or not we paid for an 11 day 6 island cruise and received 10 days, 4 islands. The crew was great, but the communication regarding the departure could have been better. I received countless calls, but all with old or incorrect information.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise was preselected by the senior center. The size of the ship was nice , not too big. Overall staff was courteous and well seasoned . Specialty dining very expensive. Other cruise lines have specialty dining at no extra charge. ... Read More
This cruise was preselected by the senior center. The size of the ship was nice , not too big. Overall staff was courteous and well seasoned . Specialty dining very expensive. Other cruise lines have specialty dining at no extra charge. Difficult making reservations for dining. Too much sales pitching to book additional cruises to the point almost pushy. WiFi not good and expensive. Staff not fully educated on WiFi when we asked for help signing in. Has to go to service desk 3 times before we hit on the right person to help . We had a balcony cabin. It was a bit small we could not move aroud comfortably. Bathroom very small. Food was very good. Wait staff excellent. Good points of the cruise. Drink package. Gratuity package included in the price of our trip. Entertainment was very good. A nice variety of entainers I would cruise again but would choose another cruise line Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Overall it was good. Entertainment as always excellent! Room steward as always fantastic! The Grand Pacific and Magenta were excellent! We took advantage of the spa, very noisy, no respect for others who are reading or ... Read More
Overall it was good. Entertainment as always excellent! Room steward as always fantastic! The Grand Pacific and Magenta were excellent! We took advantage of the spa, very noisy, no respect for others who are reading or resting and not being courteous when using the heated tile chairs, there is a time limit of 30 minutes totally ignored. Specialty restaurants excellent but confusion over the dinning promotion billing, it appears a lack of training thus extra time and frustration to get the bill correct. Cruise staff terrible, we didn't see them very much and when we did no enthusiasm. Duty free shopping and gift shop overpriced vs shore prices (able to negotiate better for diamond and tanzanite and liquor, I know NJ liquor prices are competitive). My wife wanted perfume during the special promotion day and the product was in the showcase for 40% off, guess what " sorry but it was placed there in error". get the picture. We took advantage of the photography sessions but they were not very professional, shadows on my wife's face and reflection from glasses. The pool area was a mess and we "heard" about 2 alterations that turned physical, also rough seas that had people vomiting on or near the stairs/elevators, thank you all you can drink promotion! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I think what made our stay on-board the Gem so nice were some of the hardworking staff on the ship who were friendly and accommodating towards us. We had some nice conversations with them and enjoyed learning about their cultures. ... Read More
I think what made our stay on-board the Gem so nice were some of the hardworking staff on the ship who were friendly and accommodating towards us. We had some nice conversations with them and enjoyed learning about their cultures. According to the cruise director there are 65 different nationalities on-board the ship. Our cabin was great; we had the mini suite. We absolutely love our stateroom steward; she was very kind and hospitable towards us. DINING The best place to dine on the ship is the Magenta Dining Room (which is included in your ticket cost) because of the atmosphere and the attention to food taste and quality. It was very good. We had an amazing server in the Magenta Dining Room who really went out of his way to make us feel special. Originally we had the dining package, but after trying the "specialty restaurants" we realized it was all the same food, just entree names changed around a little, maybe a few different ingredient changes here and there. The Rock and Roll sushi was amazing in the Asian Restaurant. If you want to spend a little money on going out, this one is the one to go to. The desserts were really good at the Asian restaurant too. Le Bistro was really good, but not so good you'd want to spend $80 on it. You can get the same food / quality at the Magenta DR without paying extra. Use the extra money you'd spend at Le Bistro to leave a nice tip for your server and whomever is helping them. The tiramisu at La Cuchina is NOT good (if you know how to make tiramisu yourself). I would say avoid this "specialty restaurant," it's a big fail. I don't know how, but the Magenta Dining Room had a pesto gnocci that was way better than what came out of La Cuchina. We didn't like O'Sheehan's restaurant. Cranky servers and bad food. But the manager noted this and maybe he'll make some changes. AGE OF CRUISERS I found that this cruise had a lot of elderly people (much more than I expected). There were very few young people in their 20's or 30's on this cruise. I'd say the median age was 50's and up. There were a lot of older cruisers from Germany, Canada, France and A LOT from Long Island. BUFFET The buffet as another reviewer said was absolutely haphazard. They have two buffet areas on the same end of the ship and they were all congested and no one cared to run you over if you were in their way. This place is not for people with high anxiety. That said, the buffet was a good place to get a quick breakfast around 6:30 AM when they open and then get on with your day. Trust me, by 9:00 AM you'll be cursing about how rude everyone is. If you want to brave the buffet around 11:00 AM you might find a delicious indian curry hidden like a jewel among the rest of the mediocre food and you can seat yourself in La Cuchina's dining room away from the crowded mess. The outside buffet was good for getting some ice cream or a quick dessert, steamed vegetables and rice if you wanted to keep it healthier. COMMON AREAS My husband and I spent a lot of time in the card room on sea days playing monopoly and scrabble. It was fun listening to the french canadian folks playing bridge and some other cruisers brought in some Whitney Houston on their radio and we were singing along with them while we all went about our games. We also went to the fitness center and then the basketball court and enjoyed shooting some hoops. We enjoyed walking around Deck 7 on the promenade when the weather got nice and warm. We stayed away from the pool area for the most part because it got way too congested. We once tried to go on the water slide around noon and were denied from going on it because it "wasn't open yet." We didn't like that they were preventing people from going down the slide whenever they wanted to. We didn't think that was "freestyle cruising." It never felt like the rock wall was open. I never saw it open actually. We also never saw the tennis or volleyball courts in operation. SODA PACKAGE: We had the soda package, but we found it hard to actually get a soda when we wanted it. There were no drink stations where you could just grab one. You had to go to one of the bars and sometimes they didn't open soon enough so you could get a drink. The guy working in the bar in the morning at Spinnaker seemed to take delight in telling us that he was closed (even when he should have been opened). We got Lavazza coffee from the Atrium Bar in the morning and the woman from Indonesia (I didn't get her name), was really nice and remembered what we ordered the next time we came down for a coffee. EXCURSIONS: The catamaran excursions were the most fun. We did those in St. Lucia and St. Thomas. St. Thomas had the best snorkeling on the Dancing Dolphin catamaran (Champagne Catamaran Sail & Snorkel). They gave good instructions on how to snorkel properly and told us where the coral reefs were. The catamaran at St. Lucia took us to the Pitons and it was very picturesque. Loved that one, although there wasn't enough time to snorkel there. It seemed rushed. There were a few other boats in the same spot doing snorkeling too making it too congested there. Unless you're cool with just laying in a lounge chair with a bunch of other people around you, avoid the Barbados Beach Break; it was a congested mess. Too many people; the guys with the drinks were charging $3 for a bottle of coca cola. We did like the roti curry being made there though. That was the best part about the excursion actually. We ended up going on a boat and doing some snorkeling and seeing a shipwreck and sea turtles for $10 a piece. That was for about an hour. After the excursion, we got back on the ship for the rest of the day because Barbados was a bit too scary for my taste. In Antigua we did the photo tour and had decent fun. Although it was fun, I probably would have preferred to explore the beaches of Antigua and do more snorkeling. Long Bay beach is the place to go if you want to be at the beach for the day. This is what I really disliked about this cruise I don't like how they are trying to sell you something at every event on the ship. We went to a raffle for the Mandara Spa and they were trying to sell us another cruise and trying to get us to buy more stuff. They're constantly trying to sell something to you and it's REALLY annoying. I already paid a hefty price for the cruise and for gratuities. If I'm going to pay more for something it will be to those who gave me outstanding service. I joked with my husband at one point that the ship was like a giant tourist trap and there's someone around every corner trying to get you to give them your money. NCL needs to cool it! This is what I most enjoyed about the cruise: The antibacterial staff! WASHY WASHY HAPPY HAPPY! And WASHY WASHY, ALL THE TIME, MY FRIEND! Your hands had no bacteria when you wanted to go eat. And no one got norovirus or bronchitis even though one older woman thoughtlessly coughed directly into the breakfast buffet. I feel like I have at least two new family members (There are more than a few gems on the Norwegian Gem). And I'll never forget the cruise ports we visited and our snorkeling adventures. Will I cruise again? Probably not. I'm planning a flight to the Philippines instead. The beaches there are amazing and I want to stay on the beach and snorkel / dive longer than just an hour. Thanks to the great staff and their varied culture on the Norwegian Gem, I'm inspired to see a new country. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
While Gale Force winds did not allow us to board on the correct date, Norwegian's handling of the situation was horrible. People were not notified of the change in departure date until they were 10 minutes from the dock. Some were ... Read More
While Gale Force winds did not allow us to board on the correct date, Norwegian's handling of the situation was horrible. People were not notified of the change in departure date until they were 10 minutes from the dock. Some were dropped off by Uber in NYC with no ship and no hotel. We were the lucky ones. Our tour company found us a hotel in New Jersey. Upon embarking, we were handed a paper in a perfunctory way. It was the change in itinerary. They deleted two islands that we were supposed to visit!! No apology, nothing to make up for the disappointment. They told us we would be credited for a day, which turned out to be $47--an insult. As a result of the change, the ship did not stop for fresh fruit. We had black (not brown) bananas on the buffet in the midst of banana plantations!!! Five and a half days at sea was just too much.Pool was crowded all the time, Could not even get in the hot tub. All lounge chairs taken. Most disappointing was the attitude of Norwegian corporate individuals. The crew did the best they could to turn the ship around quickly and were excellent for the duration of the cruise. We had the upgraded dining package, so dinners were good. I would not recommend the buffet, as they had a difficult time keeping items hot. They ran out of basics like tea bags. It was difficult to find a seat. So, my friend and I went through the line separately while the other held the seat. So, by the time the second person got food the first was finished eating. Very cumbersome. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
It was best for my children winter break. The cruise was also perfect because it was from New York will did not have to fly to get to the boat. The ship was safe foe my teenagers and 8 years old. The ship was not too big but have ... Read More
It was best for my children winter break. The cruise was also perfect because it was from New York will did not have to fly to get to the boat. The ship was safe foe my teenagers and 8 years old. The ship was not too big but have everything we needed for to enjoy the cruise.Even when we have to stay extra day on the sea, we were made comfortable and felt at home. The dinning staff were very good and warm. The entertainment music should have more mixed of everything for more entertainment. ship was warm and comfortable. The embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and convenient. My children made many friends on the ship and they are looking forward to another vacation. They were excited to see all the highlands we visited. The overrate experience was Excellent and worth the money. It was a time of relation for me and my husband. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I was escorting a group of 41. Our first day out was delayed 1 day due to wind. We made the best of it and got a hotel in Secaucus NJ (Red Roof Plus---EXCELLENT CLEAN HOTEL). Everyone disappointed we lost 2 port stops (SanJuan and ... Read More
I was escorting a group of 41. Our first day out was delayed 1 day due to wind. We made the best of it and got a hotel in Secaucus NJ (Red Roof Plus---EXCELLENT CLEAN HOTEL). Everyone disappointed we lost 2 port stops (SanJuan and StKitts) Embarkation went very smoothly tho I think that leaving a day late left the terminal just to our ship. Disembarkation is always a crapshow in NYC and we had 5 Carts of luggage and the first 4 went out ok...the 5th was delayed like 15 minutes....BECAUSE THE WORKERS WERE ALL ON BREAK. I have been on the Gem in 2010 and was very disappointed with almost everything.But In 2019 it has definitely improved a lot. Better food, better service (in general), and I like the size of the Gem compared to the Breakaway. All in all it was a good cruise, happy to get away to 85 degrees when at home it was 0 degrees and snow. There is room for improvement and I get the feeling that the best of the NCLs staff is sent to the bigger newer ships as there is a definite difference between the Gem and Breakaway as far as service as a whole. Again, many individuals went above and beyond but there are still some service issues similar to 2010. - Osheehans for service was hit or miss. and 1 day at 11am it was CLOSED---a 24/7 restaurant....closed when all other restaurants were closed. The food is good (except the apple pie). Actually pie in general on the ship---not good at all. - The cruise director was NON-EXISTENT. I didn't even really know her name until like day 2. I saw her 4 times on an 11 day cruise. I remember TamTam from 2017 on the Breakaway and this person (I think Lorena) was just not engaging or anywhere to be found. Aris the activity staff member SHOULD BE THE CRUISE DIRECTOR. - The Bali Hai bar had the best consistent service with the most pleasant servers. Will, Nikolai & Oliver know how to service a busy crowd always with a smile and pleasantry. The Grand Pacific staff was very good. On one day 1 of our 3 tables having very slow service (I think they lost our order ticket) and many things were wrong. - Alvin in Bliss lounge was awesome. So attentive and always smiling. We chose the Gem for its size and the itinerary. I can't say it was the best cruise I've been on but it was good. Good value in cost and of course the drink package. Not sure I'd choose the Gem again unless it had a great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife and I have been on several cruises before but this was our first and last cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Their lack of communication and unwillingness to take any responsibility for anything is astounding. Our departure was ... Read More
My wife and I have been on several cruises before but this was our first and last cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Their lack of communication and unwillingness to take any responsibility for anything is astounding. Our departure was delayed by one day because of bad weather which we understand. However, we do not understand why Norwegian did not communicate that to us. Instead our Norwegian shuttle picked us up at the airport and drove us to the pier where the dock hand informed us that our ship would not be arriving until the next day. Our shuttle driver unloaded our luggage and told us we would have to find ourselves a hotel for the night. There we were wondering the unfamiliar streets of New York City looking for a hotel that had room along with the other 2000 guests of the ship that were in the same predicament. The next morning at embarkation they handed us a sheet of paper telling us that because of the delay in departure they had cancelled 2 of our scheduled ports with no reason given and that they would be refunding us for 1 day of our cruise. It is now more than a month since the cruise ended and we are still fighting for our 1 day refund and they will not even reply to my emails. It was not the cruise itself that we have a problem with it is Norwegian's complete lack of customer service that we find unacceptable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Chose this cruise because of 11 nites and the itinerary. Love cruising out of NYC especially since we live in New Jersey. We did have a delay in leaving NYC because of high winds the ship could not dock until the next day...but once ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of 11 nites and the itinerary. Love cruising out of NYC especially since we live in New Jersey. We did have a delay in leaving NYC because of high winds the ship could not dock until the next day...but once on the ship all that was forgotten. Better Safe than Sorry was the motto! The Gem is my favorite ship. The crew is outstanding and they cater to all your needs. It's nice to meet the same staff., like coming home. Food is excellent, bar choices are plentiful. The entertainment on this cruise was the best we have ever had. We enjoyed every show! The music in every bar was also the best. Spent many late nites in the Magnum Bar area for the musical groups. We ate in all the specialty restaurants and again Cagneys was our favorite. Teppanaki is always fun, and LaCucina has the best turimisu in the world! We will be back next year! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We choose this cruise for the drink and dining packages. Great value. Specialty dining was awesome. Food was excellent and service was exceptional . Main dining was typical. Service was slow and wait staff unattractive. Nice variety on ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the drink and dining packages. Great value. Specialty dining was awesome. Food was excellent and service was exceptional . Main dining was typical. Service was slow and wait staff unattractive. Nice variety on buffet. It was fresh and well maintained. Norwegian does lack in late night dining options. Only one 24 hour food option for the whole ship. Hard to get into dining and entertainment options. Not enough time slots for shows for as big as ship was. Casino was not my favorite. Poor payouts and terrible service. We went out of New Orleans definitely not the best port to go out of. The embarkation was fair but debarking was a nightmare. We waited almost two hours for our prearranged pick and on the vans just gave up and left us. The one that stayed to pick us up was not able to accommodate everyone so loaded luggage and ones who could fit and the rest of party had to walk. Everyones excuse was “the parades” but they know how it is and should plan as such. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
had terrible service at bars. bar tenders worked hard, but needed help to keep up. Drink package extremely too high. traveling friend did not drink, but was forced to pay $1,700 for both if interested. I just didn't drink that ... Read More
had terrible service at bars. bar tenders worked hard, but needed help to keep up. Drink package extremely too high. traveling friend did not drink, but was forced to pay $1,700 for both if interested. I just didn't drink that much on cruise. Just ok service at restaurants, even the specialty ones (3). Both cabin beds felt like they had nails poking out of them. Had to take pain pills to get thru the night. A lot of over charges that I am having to dispute. A lot of double charges. Charged for lot of drinks I did not receive and don't have receipts for so going to have to dispute those also. Embarkation took over hour and half after we got to pier just waiting in cab. Once inside like chaos boarding. Same for disembarking. Mile long waiting lines to get off! I waited until latest point to go get final bill so it would more likely be close to accurate only to find when I got home and checking credit card bill os all the erroneous charges that even put me over my limit several thousand dollars and effect my credit rating negatively. This was fourth time on this particular ship with prior cruises OK. They just did about everything you could do wrong on this voyage and charged me dearly for it. They don't like it when you win in the casino and was told so! Everyone just suppose to act like sheep and lose a thousand or so and go home happy. Not good business and very unprofessional This is first time after about 65 cruises that I have complained. I just felt this time I had to let other cruisers know things don't always go right but this was awful. Thanks, Im getting writers cramp so will bid you farewell for now. Already have had another cruise planned for April on Symphony of the Seas. Will be first time on this ship. I sure hope things go better.. Bye Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise due to the itinerary from NY. I loved St Kitts, Anguilla, and St. Thomas/St. Johns. I could have passed on St. Lucia and San Juan. I would have preferred 4 full days at port rather than 3 full days and 2 half-days. ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to the itinerary from NY. I loved St Kitts, Anguilla, and St. Thomas/St. Johns. I could have passed on St. Lucia and San Juan. I would have preferred 4 full days at port rather than 3 full days and 2 half-days. Sadly, we had to tender at St. Lucia which reduced a full day to a half-day..no fault of NCL. Cabin: Selected Obstructed view due to value. I do not recommend! I wanted to keep the curtain open, but lights on the boat outside my room were on all night. The room was bigger than an inside, but for the price I would have selected an inside. Dining: Food in the dining room was good. LeBistro was excellent. Cagneys and Moderno are worth the visit. Breakfast at the buffet was great. Plenty of seating at buffet. shore. Problems: We had problems with shore excursions, dining reservations, and cruisenext. The shore excursion was cut from 4.5 hours to 2.5 hours with 2 hour waiting time at dock. NCL refunded 40%. Acceptable. One of our dining reservations was on the NCL system, but not ship system. We were not able to be accommodated in the restaurant or time of choice, but happy with the result. Sadly, I felt like I was at a car lot when meeting with the cruisenext manager and did not book my next cruise while on board. Value: I did not use the "free at sea" benefits, but paid the service charges. If I had been able to book onboard, I would be sailing NCL again, but I am not sure when I will book NCL again. I cruise about 3 times every 2 years. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
There was something for each of our 7 family members to do all day and night. One could be relaxing and laying in the sun while the others on excursions, the bar, an activity or at the casino. We ate and drank the whole time and found ... Read More
There was something for each of our 7 family members to do all day and night. One could be relaxing and laying in the sun while the others on excursions, the bar, an activity or at the casino. We ate and drank the whole time and found all the food and drink delicious. We liked our drinks a certain way and they were done perfectly! We were accommodated to the best of their abilities! They handled emergency situations with ease. After laying in the sun for only 2 hours while on medication (says stay out of sun) my daughter had 2nd degree burns and the medical staff was amazing! WEAR SUNSCREEN! Embarking and disembarking was smooth and easy. Lastly, the only thing I was shocked about was the size of my cabin... I researched everything but the dimensions. 4 adults do not fit in the inside stateroom! Do not make that mistake. The window or balcony make a huge difference! Spend the money and upgrade! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Went with a group of family and Friends, 18 of us total. It was our first time going out of NYC, definitely more hectic than leaving from Baltimore. We had a terrible experience waiting for our hotel to pick us up from the port, but I do ... Read More
Went with a group of family and Friends, 18 of us total. It was our first time going out of NYC, definitely more hectic than leaving from Baltimore. We had a terrible experience waiting for our hotel to pick us up from the port, but I do realize that’s not the ships fault. Took too long to eat in the sit down dining rooms. Buffet is crazy most of the time, seating was not easy to find but I do realize that’s really not anyone’s fault either. Loved o sheehans but they did not seem fully staffed at times. Overall it was a wonderful trip, staff as a whole was not near as friendly as the other cruise lines. The price is significantly higher, probably won’t be returning. Traveled with my 12 year old. He did not join the child’s club at all. Did seem to have issues using the basketball court. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise out of new York to get some sun and away. We have been on 6 other ncl cruises due to the free style and no ties and jackets required for my husband won us over. We knew this was a smaller cruise and had been on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise out of new York to get some sun and away. We have been on 6 other ncl cruises due to the free style and no ties and jackets required for my husband won us over. We knew this was a smaller cruise and had been on the pearl before so was not worried. Well it started out fine but noted to have a lot kids which surprised us at this time of year. Frequent knocking on our cabin door with kids running down the halls. Cagneys ,moderno and la bistro were exceptional. Could not get near buffet due to the kids, o sheehan's was fine. Unfortunately we tried grand Pacific free dining room and they would not allow my husband in due to his attire ? Same outfit type he wore to their specialty dining ? When we pointed that out and others wearing similar outfits we were asked to leave or maybe consider their " buffet for our type" ? Very disappointing! I guess Nurses are our type ? Otherwise I was unsure what "our type mean" we did enjoy Milan at Sugar cane and all of the people we met there and Jorick from osheehans and moderno. Never met the captain this cruise, do know he kept us safe by keeping us out of port for an additional 24 hours because of high winds,just wish there would have been better communication to let us know so better plans could have been made instead of hours of waiting in the halls with our luggage not allowed in our room. We have our next cruise set up on the getaway we just hope that is like the ncl we have grown to love. Not this most recent experience which definitely was amiss. Ports of Puerto Rico, st kitts , Antigua were nice. St Lucia was unfortunately a tender so did not get off and st thomas was cut short. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We left my on-time expecting to arrive in San Juan at 4pm however dueto a medical emergency onboard we arrived at 11am at the next port they asked us to delay our arrival time by one hour overall a good cruise although we did get an ... Read More
We left my on-time expecting to arrive in San Juan at 4pm however dueto a medical emergency onboard we arrived at 11am at the next port they asked us to delay our arrival time by one hour overall a good cruise although we did get an extra sea day due to Gail force winds in the Hudson bay the beach at St Thomas was great took a tour of one of the other islands food was delicious staff was polite and friendly always happy and smiling the casino is small could use another roulette table and less cigarette smoke good music in the atrium pool area always clean lunch BBQ on deck chicken pork loin and rice with clams shrimp and mussles want to go on the bliss next year maybe their will. be more poker players onboard their were no cash games because no one wanted to play but they did have a satalite tournament Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Family wanted this line/ship. Checking in at the NYC terminal took morr than 1 1/2hrs. Very disorganized. I have sailed over 65 cruises & this was the worst. The WiFi was TERRIBLE. Constantly getting disconnected. Food ... Read More
Family wanted this line/ship. Checking in at the NYC terminal took morr than 1 1/2hrs. Very disorganized. I have sailed over 65 cruises & this was the worst. The WiFi was TERRIBLE. Constantly getting disconnected. Food left much to be desired. The Bistro was very good. Cagney’s good. Stateroom was comfortable & keep clean. Very good attendant. The planning for disembarking was bad. The entertainment was just ok. I always see all shows, but not on this ship. The cruise director was never seen during the day. The casino was a disappointment. No one ever showed up at the crap table. Even though the minimum was lowered from $10 to $5.00. I had a good time because I was with family. The staff were very pleasant. No complaints. Most didn’t dress for formal night. With all the negative’s, I had a good time, but if I were traveling along...this would have been a disaster. I will stay with Royal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Boarding and Disembarkment were chaotic, delayed 5 hours on departure, never notified to delay arrival, didn't get to room until 9PM, no food or drink until 6 PM and we were told to arrive at 10 AM! Suit case did not arrive until ... Read More
Boarding and Disembarkment were chaotic, delayed 5 hours on departure, never notified to delay arrival, didn't get to room until 9PM, no food or drink until 6 PM and we were told to arrive at 10 AM! Suit case did not arrive until 3AM. Twice the daily news letter told us to change our times, but they didn't change ships time. No communication from Crew. Billed for wrong drink at cafe, after complaining, the service rep said she would look in to it, was eventually removed but was not notified by staff. Entertainment was limited, only two good theater shows, nothing interesting during the day. Smoking allowed in the casino, smell was terrible. Departure was delayed, terminal (Manhattan) was a freaking circus. Food was good, especially the specialty restaurants. Too many people, public areas were very crowded and bar service was very slow. Cabin was small for a mini-suit. Excursion was cancelled last minute, no call, just a not left outside the door. Second time and last time sailing with NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was part of back to back cruises. There was an outbreak of Neuro Virus on the cruise before. At check in they continuously gave false info kept people waiting for hours overloading the terminal. They never said outright at ... Read More
This was part of back to back cruises. There was an outbreak of Neuro Virus on the cruise before. At check in they continuously gave false info kept people waiting for hours overloading the terminal. They never said outright at terminal there was an outbreak. They did not give us option to cancel at pier and get money back. When on board we called NCL and my agent called NCL. They refused to offer us a thing. The ship was a complete mess Everything was cleared away. No menus on bars no spa no vacuum for a week. Service was just absolutely awful and NCL just has terrible customer relations and just don't care. Other cruise lines that had this kind of outbreak offered you option to not sail and refund your money or sail get partial money back and large discounts on next cruise On top of that right while we were sailing they removed tons of drinks from the menu and made their prices outrageous You now have to buy a premium drinks package above the regular one at $35 a day to cover it. That was not available yet. The only thing was after a wrote a stinging not to hotel director did customer service supervisor do something for me on second part of cruise. The Epic just had a crash and NCL refused to give any money back. Only 50% off on next cruise. This CEO is really something. No customer relations at all. They just don't care about anything or anybody. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We started out with hours long lines waiting to board the ship due to an outbreak of Norovirus on the previous cruise. After long lines snaking in and around the pier we were finally allowed to board. Then we waited on the stairs to be ... Read More
We started out with hours long lines waiting to board the ship due to an outbreak of Norovirus on the previous cruise. After long lines snaking in and around the pier we were finally allowed to board. Then we waited on the stairs to be allowed to go to our room. We found out later that it was due to disinfecting the walls and cabins. All had to climb the stairs to get something to eat in the buffet. Soon after we were herded back down to the “ mandatory muster “. Believe it or not after that horrible introduction everything got much better! Aside from restrictions on accessibility to food in the buffet, and constantly being reminded to “ washy washy”. All negative reminders disappeared. Excellent accommodations, food and smooth seas. Every port was easy to get around, and aside from Tortola bore little signs of the hurricane damage we were expecting. By the last few days everything was back to normal, and our only regret was that the cruise wasn’t longer. A definite 2 thumbs up! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our cruise left a lot to be desired. We are platinum members of ncl and this cruise was my 16th cruise and the worst, maybe even my last. We arrived at terminal 11:30am. As platinum we should have priority boarding .. We did not ...in ... Read More
Our cruise left a lot to be desired. We are platinum members of ncl and this cruise was my 16th cruise and the worst, maybe even my last. We arrived at terminal 11:30am. As platinum we should have priority boarding .. We did not ...in fact, when we asked about it we were asked..."are you haven?" we said, "no, we are platinum"  she smerked, "only haven is priority". That turned out to be the theme of our cruise, that AND the ship was filthy, full of airborne sickness and the crew was angry We sat and waited for over 4 hours packed in the terminal with over 4k other people. The ship was quarantined due to a bug effecting over 300 staff and/or passengers. We were not told this until after we were on the ship!!! We were not able to leave and rebook! We were not given a choice. Nope we were forced to embark on a journey trapped with an airborne and contact virus that could cause fatality in the elderly or immunocompromised. Once onboard, the rooms were unavailable for about 4 move hours with passengers standing with their carry on baggage or sitting on the stairways and such. eerie, quite, cold, and none of the staff smiling, as they were clearly exhausted from the previous cruise and seemed to be angry that "we were now there". When the rooms were said to be available they were filthy, yes clearly unvacuumed, with smudged mirrors, walls and doors and oh yes the sheets weren't changed on the bed in our mini suite. Yes, that's what over $6,000 before service charges and excursions got us. It was not only our cabin --it was all over the ship. The walls were dripping with sanitizer water. You could not touch anything. Every surface was dripping. Lines to customer service were very long; even at midnight people were complaining that they did not have their cabins cleaned and their bed were still upside down. Several of the crew were running around with breathing masks wiping walls and your door and handles leaving them dripping and wet. With a foul smelling disinfectant while passengers were forced to tolerate the breathing conditions with nothing. We did nothing at the first port due to late departure from ny it was supposed to be 3pm and we left at 7pm. Many brands of drinks were removed from the so called ultimate drinking package. The communication from the management was tight lipped and unavailable. From their own customer service people, "the home office is aware of the problem and has given us no answer". The food was warm to cold when served. Very bland and constantly the same. The worst food of any vacation ever. Passengers were not allowed to touch anything in the restaurants or buffett unless it was handed to us. Lines, lines and more lines. Angry, pushy staff constantly yelling about watching our handwashing and constantly trying to spray us with their mixture instead of letting us use the gel. I had to try and comfort a fellow guest who was literally shaking after being chased by a crew member because she didn't want to be sprayed. We were treated like we brought a plague on the ship, when in reality, they withheld the fact that the ship was contagious until after we were at sea giving us no way to back out of the cruise as we had insurance for cancellation. I don't know how that was even legal. Except for one comedian and the choir of men, the entertainment was awful and the only show that we booked prior to cruising (the brat pack) was canceled. The onboard activities were mediocre at best. The debarkation was just as awful as getting on the cruise. The ship had to be steamed/fogged due to the norovirus so we had to get out of our rooms early and stand around for hours so they could be ready for the next cruise. My husband and i became sick that first night home and for six days after from the recirculated air on the ship full of bacteria and germs. Who knows what all the sprays and disinfectants along with the germs being recirculated throughout the ship did to us. We had paid for insurance, but they made sure we couldn't use it by not telling us until we were at sea. So disappointed in ncl. Will think about this awful experience when booking our next cruise. Not even a follow up apology or credit on for a future cruise. Are we a valued customer? Guess not. Why does ncl have a loyalty program when they are not loyal to us? Does ncl read these reviews or pay attention to the ones we took the time to fill out for them post cruise? We haven't heard a peep from ncl. I heard jim cramer say ncl was a stock worth buying because the ceo said he had great things planned for the future and it made me more excited for the cruise. I guess i learned my lesson about loyalty programs, they only care about the haven now. New people, double the money, but i think ncl will be sad to learn that those people will expect return loyalty as well by the time ncl sees that,we will switch cruise lines. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I am platinum latitude member and it was my 9th cruise. And it was the worse cruise I have ever had. I will try to tell you why…. The embarkation was total chaos. They postponed it for 3 hours. It started only at 1 pm. It looked like ... Read More
I am platinum latitude member and it was my 9th cruise. And it was the worse cruise I have ever had. I will try to tell you why…. The embarkation was total chaos. They postponed it for 3 hours. It started only at 1 pm. It looked like 4,000 passengers were trapped in a single terminal room without water and poor air. There were a lot of old people and a couple of them fainted. Having so many people in one room could have been deadly in an emergency. It was very different just to walk into the ship: Quite and cold, unwelcome, none of the staff cheering, laughing, and no washi-washi songs. They were clearly exhausted from the previous cruise. People were moving slowly in complete silence. When they finally admitted us to the ship, cabins were not ready. Beds were upside down, dirty cabins, showers with hair on the floor. It was not only our cabin --it was all over the ship. The crew were washing every wall, elevator, railings, and buttons, everywhere. The walls were dripping with sanitizer water. You could not touch anything. Every surface was dripping. Lines to customer service were very long; even at midnight people were complaining that they did not have their cabins cleaned and their bed were still upside down. They did not vacuum our cabins or any floors until the last day of the cruise. We had to wipe the dust, hair, and filth off our feet before climbing into bed each night. In the cafe: we were not allowed to touch anything. They handed us plates and silverware, cups, etc. We had to be served all food and drinks. This caused long lines everywhere and a lot of anger. The salt and pepper shakers ketchup, mustard disappeared from the tables. To get it you had to stay on line again. To get tea, juice, or water – stay on line. To use the same plate or cup was not allowed. All cushions were removed from the seats. In the lounges, people were sitting or lying on bare foam for the first week of the cruise. Seat covers did not begin to be replaced until the second week. Some were never replaced. People were not allowed to get to the cafe without washing hands before entering the café (which is a good safety measure at any time). They also started a mandatory announcement from the CDC three times a day during the whole cruise, up until the last three days. It was very annoying, but also very instructional. We learned that the CDC requires this level of response for up to three days after the last case of disease. Since they made this announcement and kept up the strict hospital situation until three days before our return that means there were continual outbreaks of disease throughout OUR cruise, even though the announcement said there was a problem ONLY on the last cruise. Library and spa were closed almost all the cruise. Fridges in mostly of cabins were locked, no coffee machine in the room, no glasses for water, nothing. At every meal at the restaurant chairs and tables were moved to the side for disinfectant (my daughter took a video where people in hazmat suits rushed disinfect a contaminated table). Men with air masks all over the ship spraying something in the cabins. They pulled large fogging machines to fill rooms with mist disinfectant. This covered all our belongings. Many passengers claimed they could not stay in their rooms because of the smell. In every port, passengers were not allowed to get in and out of the ship without spraying sanitizer on their hands. The crew was overwhelmed, and we learned many staff were quarantined due to illness. The passengers were also overwhelmed and not happy… Disembarkation: they accumulated people in the restaurant area and halls and kept them there for 2 hours as well. This is typical, however. I think the New York terminal has more problems than any other. I am actually surprised that there is no information about how awful was this particular cruise…. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
After arriving at the port at approximately 10:30 am as directed. We sat and waiting for over 4 hours packed in the terminal with over 4k other people. The ship was quarantined due to a bug effecting over 300 passengers. Once boarding the ... Read More
After arriving at the port at approximately 10:30 am as directed. We sat and waiting for over 4 hours packed in the terminal with over 4k other people. The ship was quarantined due to a bug effecting over 300 passengers. Once boarding the ship the state rooms were unavailable from 3 hours to well over 5 hours with passengers sitting with their carry on baggage on the floor and where ever they could find a seat. The rooms when they were available lacked towels, no vacuums run for 10 days. Dinning there were no salt or pepper shakers available on the 6th day they were giving out packages in some dinning areas and not in others. You were not allowed to get your own plate, retrieve your own silverware, or even get your own coffee. You stood in lines waiting with the other 4 thousand plus people. Dominica Republic was removed as a stop and replaced with Puerto Rico with no explanation. Several of the crew were running around with breathing mask wiping walls and your door and handles leaving them dripping and wet. With a foul smelling disinfectant while passengers were to tolerate the breathing conditions with nothing. All excursions were cancelled in Puerto Rico due to the late departure from NY it was supposed to be 3pm and we left at 7pm. Many brands of drinks were removed from the so called ultimate drinking package. The communication from the management was tight lipped and unavailable. From their own customer service people, "The home office is aware of the problem and has given us no answer". Find another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We enjoyed the eight Caribbean Island stops and the ship entertainment. It was our first time on one of the huge ships, and overall, we preferred the smaller ones from our first six Norwegian cruises. The Escape just didn't seemed ... Read More
We enjoyed the eight Caribbean Island stops and the ship entertainment. It was our first time on one of the huge ships, and overall, we preferred the smaller ones from our first six Norwegian cruises. The Escape just didn't seemed designed to service that many passengers, especially when we needed to use the elevators, get into the main dining rooms, find a place out on deck on the nice weather days, or make a reservation at a specialty dining room. We also wished this ship had a forward lounge, the way all our other ships did. We missed having a quiet place to relax where we could sight-see ahead. Not having this large forward lounge, or other large lounges, also meant that all the big group activities such as trivia, dance lessons, and games had to done in the atrium, which made that three-level center part of the ship constantly noisy instead of a nice place to relax, as it was on all our other ships. The entertainment quality and choices were fabulous. The professional shows in the theater, repeated three times each, was a good way to do this rather than the standard way the theater productions were done on our other cruises. Also, we liked the Supper Club dinners with entertainment, and the Headliners Comedy Club entertainment. The piano entertainer, JR, was really good. Since we are beer drinkers, we liked having The District Brew House with its 24 beers on tap and 50 in bottles. This was our first cruise where we could get good beers, although all other bars on the ship still served only the standard lagers. This next comment applies to all our cruises, which have been only on Norwegian, so i don't know if any other cruise lines do anything differently: We wish for more information, information, information! So much about the ship and its workings and offerings could be explained in advance, or when you arrive, rather than having to learn everything by accident, experience, asking other passengers, or never learning something at all. We knew nothing about how the Box Office worked for getting reservations all week at all the many venues that required reservations; we had to learn from other passengers, and hope that we were getting to the Box Office soon enough to get what we wanted. Even then, we couldn't figure out the list of options covering all 14 days - we just had to let the agent do it for us, and hope it was what we would like (it was). We also wish Norwegian would have information sheets to explain what drinks are served at which bars, what to expect with regard to successfully getting into the main dining rooms (we almost never could get in since there were such long waiting lines), and information to help us know various rules such as No Reserving Deck Chairs. Read Less

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