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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Why I'm glad I paid an extra $200-ish in gratuities for the Ultimate Beverage Package promotion: You can lay on a deck chair, sit on your balcony, dine in a restaurant, chill at a bar - All while indulging in almost any beer, glass of ... Read More
Why I'm glad I paid an extra $200-ish in gratuities for the Ultimate Beverage Package promotion: You can lay on a deck chair, sit on your balcony, dine in a restaurant, chill at a bar - All while indulging in almost any beer, glass of wine, cocktail or double whiskey...As frequently as you please for $0.00. Do it. Cheers! Why I'm glad I paid an extra $400-ish for a balcony with Mandara Spa Thermal Suite access included: You get exclusive access to a large heated thermal pool and thermal beds, hot-tub, snow room, multiple saunas and rain showers. From 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM you can escape the crowds and retreat to this serene and soothing space at your leisure. I was skeptical about this splurge because the common Spa areas on other ships seem underwhelming vs. the cost. This is not the case with Escape. It's big, better and worth it. Why I could have lived without the Ultimate Dining Package: When not taking into consideration the atmosphere and uniqueness of Teppanyaki, Le Bistro or Moderno, The food itself wasn't that much of a step above the other complimentary options on board. Even though we had to pay an up-charge on top of the UDP gratuities, Bayamo was THE exception. Exquisite and delicious. Carnival Vista was our first and previous cruise, and while we loved it, Norwegian's menu overall went above and beyond theirs. Why I'm grateful I saw "The Brat Pack" and "After Midnight" even though I was again skeptical about Theater at Sea: The music, the choreography, the talent, the endurance. It brought me to tears and standing ovations. The lack of courtesy and amount of people that walked out mid-show was irritating. Jerks! Things that were Disappointing or get old quick: "When are you coming for your massage?". The "Washy-Washy" song each and every breakfast, lunch and dinner at the buffet. Lack of genuine hospitality with the exception of a wonderful cabin attendant. Pre-cruise experience with telephone representatives. Convoluted and almost deliberately confusing terms and Conditions. Erroneous charges you have to huff-and-puff down to Guest Services to get resolved and the language barriers that can come with it, (Anticipated but a nuisance nonetheless.) You'll probably encounter at least one rude or unpleasant staff member even though most are friendly enough. Bite your tongue and enjoy your vacation. The elevators. Things that were Awesome: More is just more. We never had much trouble finding deckchairs where we wanted in the common areas or seating at the buffet, despite negative reviews. Lines in the Lobby were fairly quick and almost non-existent for the water slides and rope course. Even though the main pool deck and hot tubs are often crowded - Spice H2O and decks 19 and 20 offer a less busy alternative. The buffet usually had an incredible variety with themed dinner specials each night, (Seafood, Duck, Sushi, BBQ etc.) You can eat and drink until you explode, then check your on board account the next day to find you haven't spent a dime. The ship was clean and modern with varied and tasteful design aesthetics. Overall this was a very positive first experience with Norwegian and I'm not quite sure how I'll convince myself to try another cruise line considering how much I saved and indulged with all the "Free At Sea" promotions. I also very much appreciated the tips and insights from fellow cruise critic members prior to my trip. Booking several months ahead and doing my research really paid off and prepared me for an amazing vacation. Disclaimer: We sailed before the holidays and had a considerably low amount of kids on board. Every port day was sunny and beautiful with no cancellations and we had only one rough sea day. That of course contributes to such a great experience and not every sailing will have the same good luck. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose the Escape because of the Departure port and dates. It is not the best ship some of the staff are not very friendly the spa was overpriced usually you can book before you get on the ship and they give you the online price, not ... Read More
I chose the Escape because of the Departure port and dates. It is not the best ship some of the staff are not very friendly the spa was overpriced usually you can book before you get on the ship and they give you the online price, not this cruise, I got to the port and The gentleman said no discount you either book it with him for the full price or I could do it on the Shuo and wait in line and waste time he said the reason was the spa was pretty much sold out Turns out it was not and was very crowded they actually were selling spa packages mid cruise they did not have enough heated chairs you had to go early in the morning it was not very relaxing more frustrating and felt like I wasted 300 for nothing could have spent that money on the islands doing day passes at the resorts. On the bigger ships, you are just a number a cruise ship that holds over 4,000 people has a pool with a capacity of under 100 the layout is horrible the decor is terrible. Second time on this ship the only reason is it is convenient but if another cruise line was leaving out of the same port and around the same dates I would probably choose them over the escape. May seem cheap but in the long run, it turns out to be the same if not more then traveling another line. Norwegian has to allot of hidden fees that they don’t tell you up front. The casino staff was not very friendly never saw the casino host the payouts were horrible and layout was not good they have machines next to one of the clubs where the music is blasting and people are sitting at machines not playing but just watching people dance. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We picked Norwegian for our past experiences and leaving out of our home city is always a plus. The Escape is quite large, which means it gets crowded with passengers, but it also means that there are many options for food and things to ... Read More
We picked Norwegian for our past experiences and leaving out of our home city is always a plus. The Escape is quite large, which means it gets crowded with passengers, but it also means that there are many options for food and things to do. Our cabin was not particularly clean when we arrived and a few of the signature restaurants had so-so food. As for entertainment on board, the production shows were nothing special, but the dueling pianos (Howl at the Moon) more than made up for that -- Excellent. Also, there was something bad about the towels in the spa -- our bathing suits got discolored/ruined. Biggest issue was that the ship arrived back in New York the evening before, so all passengers did not get the full day at sea as booked. It's also bothersome to be in port at 9:00pm, and not have the option to get off and go sleep in our own beds at home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I travelled on the Norwegian Escape 12-day from New York City leaving on December 9, 2018. Embarkation went very smoothly, we arrived early at the port and there were already line ups but they moved very fast and the staff ... Read More
My husband and I travelled on the Norwegian Escape 12-day from New York City leaving on December 9, 2018. Embarkation went very smoothly, we arrived early at the port and there were already line ups but they moved very fast and the staff was friendly and helpful. It was clearly marked as to where to go. When we arrived on the ship we ate at O'Sheeans - I'm vegetarian and there weren't very many options for me but they were happy to change the fajitas to vegetarian. We explored the ship a little bit (we had carry on bags and it was easy enough to get around with them, the elevators weren't too busy - it's the only day we used them though). The ship was HUGE - we loved that there was so much space and so many options as to what to do but that also came with a lot of people. We eventually found some great, quiet, adult-only hang out spots which was great, we also had a balcony which was wonderful. In fact, the only time I found it to be VERY busy with people was during our last sea day and some days in the buffet lines - other than that, it's a big ship so people move around quite well. Our cabin was very spacious - family balcony on deck 9 near the front. It was a nice layout and plenty of room for storage of our clothes, supplies and luggage for the 12 days. The bathroom was the biggest we've ever had on a ship so that was really nice. Our room steward Janell was great - she kept us well stocked and our room clean with fun towel animals. I liked that this was a new ship which had some updated touches that we've not had on previous cruises. Out and around the ship our favourite spots were Taste and Savour for breakfast, MIXX and Sugarcane for evening drinks, The Waterfront and Spice H20 for hanging out during the day and the Thermal Spa (I really enjoyed that). We also LOVED the craft beer bar - District Brew. We both really enjoy craft beer and they had a great selection - it was usually nice and quiet to enjoy beers and play cards or read a book with nice views. We enjoyed dinner at La Cucina (x2) and Teppanyaki (x2). They both offered lots of vegetarian options, the service was great and the food was plentiful (go hungry) :) We also ate at Taste, Savour and Manhattan for diner - we enjoyed Manhattan the most out of the three for dinner - the service was wonderful and the views were great! We really enjoyed the Howl at the Moon show - we were there each night it played and it was a great time. My husband enjoyed the basketball court and played a few games with other passengers, we both liked the waterslides and used them a few times. The jogging track wasn't great - people are walking all over it so I it the gym instead - it was good, not too busy on the machines - busier in the weights area. Pools and hot tubs were not too busy and clean. Disembarkation (yes that sad day finally came) was really easy - we had a transfer to the airport and we were off the ship quickly when they called our group, it was a little tricky to find out where to go for the transfer but we did find it and it was quick and easy. I would say the value for the money was great - we did the free at sea deals, our air was included and we paid our gratuities up front which meant no surprises at the end. This is the first time we did a cruise out of NYC - the water was pretty rough the first day and I was sick - but the front desk helped with some antinauseants and I was good to go again. I would recommend bringing something with you even if you never get sick - I have never been sick any time I've been on the water or in any vehicle so this was new to me - I'm glad the front desk was there to help. We had a great cruise overall and would be happy to go back on Norwegian. The only thing we didn't love was the cruise director. In the past we had really fun, outgoing cruise directors - this one was a little less 'fun' it seemed and we didn't see him out and around much. He also made a rather inappropriate remark at one of the shows which we thought was in poor taste. The other thing I mentioned earlier was that the vegetarian options were not too plentiful at the beginning - they did get better, the buffet always had great vegetarian Indian selections (along with others) and it was very easy to find food for the remainder of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I Chose NCL primarily for its convenient NYC sailings. However, remained a loyal NCL cruiser because of the attentive staff. The staff were all pleasant. They were approachable. This was easily discerned. Because of the smiles on their ... Read More
I Chose NCL primarily for its convenient NYC sailings. However, remained a loyal NCL cruiser because of the attentive staff. The staff were all pleasant. They were approachable. This was easily discerned. Because of the smiles on their faces. I really enjoyed the food choices. The choices were deliciousand diverse, represent most ethnicities. Specialty restaurants were great, making an already great eating experience that much better. My favority is Moderno because of its magnificent salad bar and meat selection. The entertainment was good. I enjoyed the shows. I did a spin class which was great. Would love to see more fun group classes like Zumba. From my experience whenever they offer zumba, the guests are thrilled. The classes should be at least 45 min. Also if would be much better, in my opinion, if the Dancing competition, as has been done on other cruises, would use real dance styles instead of a sex orgy. This would be my only dislike about my recent cruise. All in all, I will continue to benefit from the awesome fun I always have with NCL! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We took our cruise with our two toddlers. The ship (and NCL in general) is quite kid-friendly. Lots of kids programs/activities. The ship was very clean. We had a balcony room which was nice and worth the extra money especially when you ... Read More
We took our cruise with our two toddlers. The ship (and NCL in general) is quite kid-friendly. Lots of kids programs/activities. The ship was very clean. We had a balcony room which was nice and worth the extra money especially when you have small children who need to nap and you’re stuck in the room for a couple hours. Restauarants were very good! We especially enjoyed the Tappenyaki restaurant which was fun for the whole family! Ports were very nice. Some shore excursions are great and others over over-priced so definitely do your homework (search out alternative methods) before booking excursions through NCL. For instance, you can easily take a cab to many of the beaches and aquariums for much cheaper. The only 2 things that I didn’t like was that you have to pay extra to attend the shows (unlike on other ships) and the timing of the daily planned kids activities was very poor. All of the Guppies/Splash Academy kids activities took place during nap time (12-2pm) or dinner time (5-6pm) which was very inconvenient. Our kids ended up missing many of the classes due to this. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Very good dining. Staff is friendly and food and beverage employees are for most of them really working hard to satisfy guests. I mean it. They are excellent. I felt that the boat was booked beyond the real capacity of the staff and ... Read More
Very good dining. Staff is friendly and food and beverage employees are for most of them really working hard to satisfy guests. I mean it. They are excellent. I felt that the boat was booked beyond the real capacity of the staff and venues. And felt like always racing to have a table, chair or a seat at the theater pool restaurant atrium shore excursions and buffet. I disagree on the fact that there are more restaurant and shows with extra charges than the free ones and that they charges more for certain liquors. The haven section is a big joke making you feel like you didn't pay enough. Why don't they build a Norwegian Heaven instead. Finally talking with other guests that were one ncl for the first time I found that I paid more for less. Even after coming back for the fifth time. Been on the Dawn and Gem and the entertainment crew was better. The only entertainment thumbs up is the regular parties at h20 other than that it's the first cruise that I sometimes felt bored. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Because it is sailed out of New York it was convenient to get to and had a good itinerary. I could drive to the port. It had activities for my son who is 10 years old as well as things for my mom who is a senior citizen, the ship ... Read More
Because it is sailed out of New York it was convenient to get to and had a good itinerary. I could drive to the port. It had activities for my son who is 10 years old as well as things for my mom who is a senior citizen, the ship accommodated my family of all ages. It offered multiple restaurants to dine at and a variety of activities for my family to choose from. The cruise offered Six sports including San Juan Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Saint Kitts. However San Juan Puerto Rico was canceled and we were switched from Dominica to Antigua. I was very disappointed with the changes of the itinerary. The food in the garden café was mediocre prior cruises it was exceptional however on the escape it was just average. However the food and all the sitdown restaurants that are included like taste saver and the Manhattan room was exceptional service was wonderful . All the staff and employees on the crew ship or exceptionally friendly helpful when are their way to make you feel at home and comfortable . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose NCL Escape for our anniversary cruise for two reasons. One was that we sailed on the Escape a few years back from Miami and loved the ship and second we enjoyed cruising from NYC last year on the Gem for our anniversary cruise. So ... Read More
We chose NCL Escape for our anniversary cruise for two reasons. One was that we sailed on the Escape a few years back from Miami and loved the ship and second we enjoyed cruising from NYC last year on the Gem for our anniversary cruise. So for us it was a win. win. It lived up to everything we expected. The ship again was fantastic. Everyone the we came in contact were absolutely great from checking in to getting off the ship and everything in between. The entire crew were great. A huge thanks to the entire bartending staff at O'Sheehans for the fabulous service and for making us feel so special. We had a spa balcony and loved having use of the spa everyday. It was beautiful and very relaxing. Again. we must say this was one of the two best cruises we've been on with the other one being the Gem from NYC last December. Thank you NCL for always making our time onboard so special. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We have been using NCL for almost a decade, even had our wedding on Breakaway in 2015, but Escape is same class ship tuned down on interior design. Ship is simple design with no personally, practical floating hotel. We stayed in balcony ... Read More
We have been using NCL for almost a decade, even had our wedding on Breakaway in 2015, but Escape is same class ship tuned down on interior design. Ship is simple design with no personally, practical floating hotel. We stayed in balcony room with a baby and toddler and it was OK, steward was OK, always busy and barely have time to anyone to talk. Management of the ship was an amazing crew, and anyone under was complete mess. Waiters in restaurants don't know what they doing and would screw up any simple order. Food in restaurants was OK, but buffet food is awful, minimum choices, a lot of cheap meat, no seafood or even NCL signature Norwegian lox. Specialties restaurant's food was amazing, and pricey and will make your wallet cry! In 14 days cruise we had only 2 free show After Midnight, Brat Pack, second one did not made any sense. Choir of Man show, is paid show with prefix dinner setting, was OK. We had one stop cancel due to 2 heliocopter lifts from the ship first two days with no explanation, and remaining stops were simple beach destinations. We end up spending more time on the ship due to cancelled stop, and there is nothing to do there. Kids sevice is ok for 3+ and for baby you have to pay $20 for 1 hour 50 min selected slot time. Overall experience of this cruise, is that NCL is cutting their cost by taking quality out of scope in any possible way they can. NCL becoming low class, no frills cruise line. Based off our last 14 day cruise, we are not coming back with NCL to cruise and will be looking for more classy company to cruise with. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Once again on a Royal Class ship with princess, we were not disappointed. We had a Club Class Mini Suite on Mariner deck 15. The room was clean, and comfortable. The bed swallowed us up when we went to sleep, and we slept great. ... Read More
Once again on a Royal Class ship with princess, we were not disappointed. We had a Club Class Mini Suite on Mariner deck 15. The room was clean, and comfortable. The bed swallowed us up when we went to sleep, and we slept great. Our cabin steward was very good, although we came and went at different times, throwing him off a few times, but he was extremely friendly and accomodating. We ate at the Club Class dining room each evening. All the wait staff addressed us with professionalism and remembered our names after only a few meals. The food choices were ample, and we sometimes ordered an extra plate as an appetizer in the middle to share and sample a little more than we could actually consume. I enjoyed the Casino, playing cards. The dealers were friendly. Thankfully the casino gave me a few dollars to take home with me this time. If you'r shopping for Jewellery, and going to St. Maarten, then visit Joe's Jewellery and ask for Cash to serve you. He'll strike a great price. Once off the water taxi from the pier to town, just walk up to the main street and the store is to your left. In Aruba, we took a taxi up to Palm Beach from the Pier, $14 to $16.00 each way depending where you need to be dropped, and a $2.00 tip. ($1-3 tips are standard for Aruba cabs) At the beach, you can rent a locker if you need one, and beach chairs or just lay on the sand. Lots of places to eat and drink. One of the safest islands I've ever visited. The beach is much wider between the Marriott and Ritz, but the lockers are at the south end of the Marriott on the beach. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was a re-positioning cruise originating from Brooklyn NY with stops in Antigua, Aruba and St. Maarten ending in Port Everglades Florida. It was a 10 day cruise at a very reasonable price. The ship was on the smallish size compared ... Read More
This was a re-positioning cruise originating from Brooklyn NY with stops in Antigua, Aruba and St. Maarten ending in Port Everglades Florida. It was a 10 day cruise at a very reasonable price. The ship was on the smallish size compared to the monsters. This for us was a benefit. There were no zip lines, water slides etc., again a benefit. The pools were actually accessible, making the days at sea enjoyable. I can't say enough good things about the bars and the prompt and excellent service. In every bar there was some sort of entertainment all the time. The Buffet food was excellent and the selections varied daily. We chose "Any Time" dining which worked perfectly for our group. Captain "Tim" was very personable and kept us informed on a regular basis. The rest of the staff was exceptionally friendly and courteous. Boarding in Brooklyn was the easiest and most efficient of any cruise we have taken. We all dreaded disembarking as that usually is a nightmare. Not so. ALL luggage was off ship and in port AHEAD of schedule. The luggage was arranged by color and number making it a breeze to locate. We had a "Mini Suite" and the only complaint would be that the balcony was probably the smallest of any cruise we have been on. It fit two but not more. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Overall ok and like most cruises still very relaxing, but very disappointed with Princess over other lines like Celebrity. Small, very small staterooms with low ceilings and very, very poor food choices and quality. Went to steakhouse, ... Read More
Overall ok and like most cruises still very relaxing, but very disappointed with Princess over other lines like Celebrity. Small, very small staterooms with low ceilings and very, very poor food choices and quality. Went to steakhouse, and the steak could not be eaten as it was so tough and fatty. Main dining room also was mostly poor, with the hamburger probably the best option for lunch at least. Some nights you could not eat what they served. Maybe because they were using up all the old food on the transitional cruise. However did have nice music in the lounges, which we enjoyed most evenings. The boat is newer and adequate overall and had nice swimming pools. Movies under the Stars was ok, but most of the movies were very old and not what you wanted to see. I would not given a choice go on Princess again, except if it was a much better value than other lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my 1st cruise in over 30 years, and the 1st with my husband. We decided on this cruise because of the length (10 days) the location (Brooklyn) and the ports (Aruba, St. Maarten, and Antigua) We live in NJ and used ... Read More
This was my 1st cruise in over 30 years, and the 1st with my husband. We decided on this cruise because of the length (10 days) the location (Brooklyn) and the ports (Aruba, St. Maarten, and Antigua) We live in NJ and used Princes's shuttle service from EWR airport. We were told to meet in a certain palce at a certain time. We arrived a little early and sat and waited. Someone arrived on time to gather us and bring us to another location. It was at that location where we found out we culd have gotten on an earlier shuttle if we had been told the correct meeting place. She told us she has told Princess a number of times, but they continue to tell people the wrong location . The shuttle from EWR to Brooklyn was great, we arrived abut 1 and there were no lines. We were on board by 1:30. We were they only ship so I'm sure that helped. At 3 pm we went to our cabin A503. It was clean, cool, and very nice. We unpacked, they provided many hangers, a safe, and plenty of drawer space. I had ordered a Bon Voyage package and expected it to be in our room at least by 5:00 when we sailed. It never showed up and had to go to front desk to ask about it. After a few phone calls the front desk told us that they didnt deliver it because they had run out of strawberries. That was a vey interesting excuse especially since the package did not include strawberries. They finally arrived about an hour after we sailed. I think this kind of defeated the purpose but ok. We chose 8:15 dinner time prior to sailing. We were assigned to the Allegro dining room and a table of 6. Two people walked over and said they hadrequested a table for 2 and never returned, the other couple was a lovely older couple who became like family to us over the 10 days. This is why we like sharing a table. Dinner had a pretty good selection of choices each night and the food ranged from just ok to great, for the most part falling in the good range. The mushroom tart was one of our favorites. We had dinner in both specialty dining rooms Sabatini's and the Grill. We had great meals at both and the service especially in the Grill was wonderful. The beet risotto was the best thing I ate all week. The lamb at the grill was the 2nd best hing had. My one issue with all the meals were the potatoes. They were always cold, and a lot of time way undercooked. We brought 6 bottles of wine with us. We paid the $15 corkage fee on 4 of the bottles. It was worth it to have good wine without paying a fortune. We did buy the juice and soda package, which I really didn't use too often, and probably wouldnt do it again. On the 2nd day I ordered room decorations and champagne for our Anniversary. It was another Princess package I pre paid for. Guess what? No show again, another trip back to the front desk. I wasn't so happy this time. Do you want to take a guess on why they didn't deliver it? Those damn strawberries again. This time I asked to speak to a supervisor. She was very nice and listen to my complaints. She sent us a bottle of wine to make up for it. I will never again purchase a Princess package. The entertainment was pretty good, the shows every night were decent. We really enjoyed the movies under the stars. The blankets, popcorn and special chair cushions were great. As usual there were plenty of chair hogs, you know the people who put towels down and leave for 4 hours! This is a big pet peeve. They grab the best spots at 7 am and dont come to the pool until 3. This is so rude and I wish there was a solution. The Regal is a beautiful ship, the elegant design, ease of getting around and beauty make it a gem. Every single person who works on ship is helpful, polite, and always welcome you with a smile. Princess definitely is a leader in this area. We did an excursion in each port. In Aruba we did the butterfly farm, rock formation and aloe factory. I could have spent much more time at the farm and rocks and totally skipped the aloe factory. They need to drop that part of the tour. It is just a sales stop. The bus driver was great and gave us a lot of information. This wasmy favorite of all our toursand would definitely suggest it. When the tour was over we were dropped off at the ship and decided to grab a cab to a beach. We decided on reflextions beach. The cab driver tried to insist that we go to Eagle beach trying to tell us that Reflextions had no chairs, the water was shallow and the beach not that nice. After I told him he was wrong that I had been there before he took us where we requested but was not happy about. He was only 1 of the very few rude people we encountered in 10 days. Swimming with the stingrays in St. Marteen was a great excurtion and oh what fun. We have done this before on another island and just loved it, we highly recommend it. Catamaran snorkling in Antigua was nice. Our favorite evening activity was in the Princess Live, the games, and trivia were so much fun. My only wish was if they would do a game for early seating and then again for late. With out late seating we missed a lot of the fun. Everyone work very hard and Princess seems to treat their employess well which for us is important. Disembarkation was easy and stress free. The organization and smoothness of it all amazes me. We had no issues and were on the bus within half hour. We had an amazing experinece and look forward to our next cruise which will be to Alaska. My husband is hooked! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
BACKGROUND: DW and I booked the 10 day Regal repo from NYC to FLL to grab a bit more warmth and sun before a New York State lake effect winter. We flew into LGA and took the Princess shuttle to the pier. Here are some of the ... Read More
BACKGROUND: DW and I booked the 10 day Regal repo from NYC to FLL to grab a bit more warmth and sun before a New York State lake effect winter. We flew into LGA and took the Princess shuttle to the pier. Here are some of the positives and negatives from the cruise. POSITIVES: Cabin: R729 (DD category) – actual room area is a bit roomier than regular balcony cabin and not far from elevators and stairs. Fairly smooth sailing except for the first 1 ½ sea days. Like the sailing, the weather also improved on day 3. Cabin steward: Michael who was quick and unobtrusive like a Ninja. Fairly easy to navigate the ship. A lot of movies and shows on in-cabin TV. Internet speed was good and we had unlimited access. Entertainment: So much to do that we often pooped out early and didn’t get to do any of the late-night activities. Food: Ate practically all meals at the buffet with occasional snacks (pizza, burgers, etc.). We did the Crab Shack and were overwhelmed by the amount and quality of food. We found the overall food quality to be quite good and were able to sample some food we normally would never order. Shore excursions: St Maarten, Antigua + Aruba (more info under shore exc. reviews) PA announcements: Few announcements except for the captain’s noon status report. Value: Had several price reductions before the cruise allowing us to “spend” more on our shipboard account without killing our budget. Debarkation: We went to the Platinum waiting area and were off the ship close to the scheduled time AND had no customs forms to fill out. We had booked with All Stars to take us to the airport. NEGATIVES: Embarkation: Our flight landed at LGA at 7:30 AM and had to wait for 3+ hours for the bus to the pier. There were no places to sit except on the floor and/or a luggage cart. Cabin balcony: The balcony itself is definitely smaller than those on most other Princess ships. You can’t comfortably sit and face the water. But at least you can sit there and relax/read/watch the waves. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise (as our unplanned fourth cruise of the year) because of the attractive price, the fact it departed from New York,. We have cruises on the Royal many times but never the Regal so that also was a reason. Did not ... Read More
We chose this cruise (as our unplanned fourth cruise of the year) because of the attractive price, the fact it departed from New York,. We have cruises on the Royal many times but never the Regal so that also was a reason. Did not expect the cruise out of New York to be quite so rough, it was like the first two days out of LA. Everything was about par for the course, EXCEPT the Captain and the way he kept us informed all along the way.. We have cruised exclusively on Princess for the last fifteen years and this is the first Captain that did more than just give the noon status. On the final night of the cruise when he came on at dinner timme during the Parade of Baked Alaska (which now has a fancy name) he spoke so long it became funny, very enjoyable but funny... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Our first experience on a Viking Cruise ship and we loved it! We enjoyed the small size of the ship; the beauty of the ship and the crew! We have cruised on luxury lines for 20 years; this relatively new line competes with them all. For ... Read More
Our first experience on a Viking Cruise ship and we loved it! We enjoyed the small size of the ship; the beauty of the ship and the crew! We have cruised on luxury lines for 20 years; this relatively new line competes with them all. For the accommodations, amenities, the Spa, the the main dining room, The Restaurant, and the Italian specialty restaurant, Manfredi's, we are returning. But most of all we will remember the crew members. Their service and training places this line #1 overall at the present time. Additionally, we like the Norwegian atmosphere of the ship; the decor is beautiful--much white and beige color. The furniture is comfortable and we loved the fireplaces throughout the ship. Officers and Staff are very visible around the ship and are so comfortable chatting with all the guests. We like that this line permits no children on the ship. For only 930 guests onboard, the ship seems very spacious! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We took the recent repo cruise from Manhattan to San Juan. We started out with the easiest and fastest embarkation we have ever experienced. Kudos! We had heard all sorts of rave reviews about Viking Ocean and wanted to try it ourselves. ... Read More
We took the recent repo cruise from Manhattan to San Juan. We started out with the easiest and fastest embarkation we have ever experienced. Kudos! We had heard all sorts of rave reviews about Viking Ocean and wanted to try it ourselves. The ship was very nice with the furnishings "Danish Modern." It was not as lush as I was expecting. The public areas were kept very cold, to the point that people were wearing sweaters in the Caribbean. We had a Deluxe Veranda which was a pretty standard room, nothing special. It definitely needed more drawer space. The bathroom had a heated floor, which I am sure is a delight when cruising the Norwegian fjords, but in the Caribbean, it turned the bathroom into a sauna. We found out the last day that this could be turned off if you asked. The food was excellent, but the Main Dining Room could had a more varied menu. We usually don't go to the shows, but did see the excellent pianist. The crew was fantastic, no complaints. We did not take advantage of the shore excursions, having been to these islands many times before. The ship was very noisy, at least in our cabin in any but he smoothest of seas. It made bumping, popping and banging noises; very annoying when trying to sleep. The buffet was excellent at breakfast, with a large selection of choices and eggs made to order. The ice cream was good and a must after lunch. Overall, we enjoyed our first time on Viking, but would probably not go again. BTW, this was our 48th cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking and we were eager to compare our experience with Celebrity. The embarkation was seamless and very easy. We appreciated the airport transfer to the ship and that was excellent. My first impression ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise with Viking and we were eager to compare our experience with Celebrity. The embarkation was seamless and very easy. We appreciated the airport transfer to the ship and that was excellent. My first impression of the ship is that it had no real WOW! factor. The ship itself is extremely clean, Norway modern, with every public room looking much the same. I felt that the public rooms were kept too warm and sometimes uncomfortable to spend much time in, although they were all cozy and well arranged. The food was really quite good with a nice variety every day and it only started to feel repetitive on the last two days of the 15 day cruise. Special treats in the buffet were split crab legs and a nice variety of sushi in the evenings. Eggs to order in the mornings, and terrific homemade ice cream. Coffee pots on the table waiting for your arrival every morning. The restaurant in the evenings was a bit disappointing. The room itself was unremarkable with no wow factor. The food was not that much different than what is available for the evening buffet. The open seating plan is a plus as is the informal dress code. Room service is excellent. Hamburgers and salads on the pool deck were the best of any ship we've been on. The Norwegian thermal bath experience was fun and available at no extra cost in the spa. I did not care for the infinity pool as the area is surrounded by outdoor seating for the buffet. It was uncomfortable getting into the hot tub next to people eating their meals. We found the main pool to be much more welcoming, but again the area was kept very warm. Daily high tea was a real treat and delicious. Great laundry facilities with no extra fee. The staff and service was excellent throughout the ship. We have no valuable comments about the excursions as the ports of call were not our main reason for going. The all inclusive ammenities were a plus with no hidden or extra fees. Because the Carribbean was not part of the fun as it is still hurricane ravaged, the ship itself was not as fabulous as we had expected in order to spend 15 days and feel as though we had an amazing experience. All in all i think we prefer Celebrity. Read Less
Fun
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Our friends and we picked this Itinerary because of never being to Bermuda. This was also our second trip with Viking and first on a ocean cruise. We never had a cruise with the type of entertainment that we saw on this cruise. It was ... Read More
Our friends and we picked this Itinerary because of never being to Bermuda. This was also our second trip with Viking and first on a ocean cruise. We never had a cruise with the type of entertainment that we saw on this cruise. It was truly exceptional in talent and as well as all had a great personality. This included the cruise director and his assistant. The main show room as well as lounge shows were just as good. My wife would have like to have a casino but we understand this was not the intent of this cruise. The food and dining room attendants were also excellent in service and the food was great. Great choice of main courses, soups and desserts. On the occasions we got up for breakfast, we had a good choice of food to choose from. We had room service a couple of days before our shore excursions and it was just OK. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are just off of the Viking Star...around the Caribbean Sea cruise. We left oct. 18 from Manhattan, NYC. It was a blustery warm day. This was our 1st ocean cruise after several river cruises (also w viking). It is a fabulous ... Read More
We are just off of the Viking Star...around the Caribbean Sea cruise. We left oct. 18 from Manhattan, NYC. It was a blustery warm day. This was our 1st ocean cruise after several river cruises (also w viking). It is a fabulous ship. Clean...very clean...with a tremendous staff. They always went above and beyond....from the housekeeping staff to waiters on up! We had done a guarantee cabin...which means we paid for the lowest class cabin in hopes of an upgrade...but..if an upgrade didn’t come..you got what you pay for. The main downer of this is that you don’t know your cabin assignment until days before the cruise. We were fortunate to get a category upgrade to a delux veranda...which was binoculars in room...a throw..and the fridge being restocked daily w soft drinks. The best part was that our room was mid deck midship. All rooms are balcony! Being home...one thing I miss is the heated bathroom floors!!! And the shower head. I also can’t say enough about the hot water in the shower. I love my hot showers...but they were really hot!! Love,love,love! The bed was comfy. We did have an issue with too soft of pillows...our room steward was gracious to find us a couple firmer ones by day 2! The food is unparalleled. We ate dinner in the restaurant most nights. Did Manfredi twice...to die for! And chefs table once (too gourmet for us). Breakfast in the dining room is wonderful! Always pleasant servers. Did I mention they have lamb chops on the breakfast menu? Yes..right next to the steak! Embarkation took us all of 10 minutes in Manhattan...organized and efficient staff made this an easy experience. Disembarkationin Miami at first seemed confusing...but it was the guests making the process chaotic. The staff had it down!! Once our color group was called...we were off the ship and onto waiting buses in 15 minutes. Luggage was wonderfully sorted for us. I can say how easy it all was. As stated in other reviews...the entertainment isn’t the best...but it WAS entertaining! We had a magician onboard for 2 nights and a female impressionist for 2...they were the highlights of entertainment. Our cruise director performed one evening..and there were 2 dance parties by the pool. Two movies were shown under the stars...documentaries....not a fan. This was 15 day cruise...so it is challenging at best to keep 900 passengers happy all the time. You could go to a vast number of lectures during the day. In each port there is an included tour. We participated in all of them...all showed an overview of each island. The free use of the spa was amazing. We loved the thermal pool. I have seen reviews where it is small..but at no time were there more than 4 in the thermal pool at once. My husband enjoyed the sauna, ice room and bucketOwater! Lol. The outdoor pools are nice...just deep. However there are bars to hold onto when in the pool. And plenty of room to sit around the edge of the main pool..in the water. Our weather was hot..so a refreshing dip was needed! We enjoyed the ocean cruise very much...but prefer a river cruise. Looking forward to another Viking adventure in our future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were always treated with a welcoming attitude by the crew in all departments. Very professional but also very personable. Having been on Holland America and Oceania, which we also ... Read More
Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. We were always treated with a welcoming attitude by the crew in all departments. Very professional but also very personable. Having been on Holland America and Oceania, which we also thoroughly enjoyed, Viking has made a lasting impression! Due to its smaller size and number of passengers as well as the comfortable open and inviting common areas and our relaxing cabin, we found this cruise met and exceeded our expectations! The cabins are spacious and have plenty of storage, especially in the washrooms. They were meticulously maintained and replenished daily. Restaurants and dining areas, of which there are several, provide various menus. The convenience of booking on the TV screen gives passengers the opportunity to book last minute and to check availability, which was the same procedure for booking tours. Great movie selection on the TV as well. Enjoyed all the entertainment we saw, very age appropriate. Also continuous throughout the day in different areas. We did take the included excursions which we enjoyed as well. We are looking to book future trips with Viking....but so far the ones we are interested in are booked through to 2020! Obviously says something about the product and this company! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I've heard wonderful things about Viking river cruises, and wanted to try the new ocean itinerary that didn't require overseas travel. Admittedly, the Caribbean is not my favorite destination in general, but it was a lot more ... Read More
I've heard wonderful things about Viking river cruises, and wanted to try the new ocean itinerary that didn't require overseas travel. Admittedly, the Caribbean is not my favorite destination in general, but it was a lot more accessible than any of the other itineraries. The most unpleasant part of the trip was the redeye flight on American. The lights from all of the video screens, constant service of drinks, and other activity made it impossible to sleep. (Of course, we all know how uncomfortable and crowded coach seats are!) Transportation was arranged by Viking. The flight arrived in Miami approximately 5:30am and we were not allowed to board until the afternoon. If we were to do another East Coast cruise, we would definitely elect to go a day or two early. Once we were on the ship, our moods immediately improved. We loved the cabin. The TV offered large selection of movies and very interesting documentaries. The entertainment was average for a relatively small vessel. The singers were great and the classical pianist was excellent. The other acts were adequate, but not memorable. The main theater was probably too small for the number of passengers on the ship. We had to get there 20-30min early in order to get a seat. There was generally only one performance at night. We ate in the buffet 90% of the time and enjoyed it completely. We tried the dining room on 3 occasions (1 each for breakfast, lunch and dinner), and decided not to go back because the service was so slow. One dinner alone took 2.5 hours. The fitness center was fabulous. We did not use the pools because they were too crowded. A free excursion was included at every port. We tried 3 of them and couldn't wait to get back to the ship. The busses were unsafe (in my opinion). For example, there were no seatbelts. On one bus seat backs wouldn't stay upright- they would fall backwards. One of our destinations was the site of a land bridge which had fallen into the ocean and was not there anymore. There were reportedly a couple of minor accidents on the excursions. My complaints regarding the excursions were certainly not the fault of Viking. The destinations were simply places that were not very interesting, and in some places unsafe. I would definitely return to Viking when they have West coast voyages. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Our first larger ship as we were also able to enjoy trips with the Viking River Tours. As prior customers we experienced the same top quality in all forms of services. The tours were extensive and informative even enjoyed the previews ... Read More
Our first larger ship as we were also able to enjoy trips with the Viking River Tours. As prior customers we experienced the same top quality in all forms of services. The tours were extensive and informative even enjoyed the previews given in their beautiful auditorium with feature videos of the days excursions. Our rooms were always fresh and inviting and with these larger ships, the room service was amazing in both quality of food and service. My sister and I always fit multiple excursions in each day and love the freedom and selection of each ports offerings. The tour guides are always local and offer so much of the history not present in any tour book. We choose Viking as we have recieved value, service and share wonderful new friendships with each trip. 2019... Looking into our next trip in summer or fall in celebration of my retirement. Viking, here we come again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We spent a few days ahead of this cruise "doing" New York city -- seeing a couple of outstanding plays and touring the 9/11 Memorial. Ironically enough, that time became even more memorable and enjoyable in some ways than the ... Read More
We spent a few days ahead of this cruise "doing" New York city -- seeing a couple of outstanding plays and touring the 9/11 Memorial. Ironically enough, that time became even more memorable and enjoyable in some ways than the cruise on Viking Star itself. Embarkation was a hassle only because the precise location of the ship was not made known to us, so our Uber driver had to drop us a quarter-of-a-mile away and we had to drag our luggage to the check-in location. I chose this cruise because it would take me back to where I grew up -- spending the first eighteen years of my life on the island of Aruba (part of the then Netherlands Antilles). I also wanted to share more with my wife what it was like to live on one of those islands in the southern Caribbean. As with every cruise that we've made with Viking (and this was our third -- the last through Europe and the Mediterranean on this same ship), our time aboard ship was enjoyable and the ship's staff were extraordinary in their service and care of us. One glaring exception, however, were the ways in which passengers, themselves, laid practically permanent claim to lounges around the pool area -- even when they were not there -- by leaving pieces of their clothing or miscellaneous properties on or around the lounges. They effectively made whole areas around the pool extensions of their staterooms which the rest of us, then, could not use. The food aboard was delicious and the serving impeccable. For those two reasons, alone, I'd sail with Viking again. I've rate our overall experience of this cruise as "Average," then solely because of the very poor port excursions that Viking chose for us. Except for our time on Aruba (where I rented a car and drove us around on our own because I grew up on that island), all of the other excursions/tours were of poor quality and largely a waste of time and money. For this reason alone, I doubt that I'll ever take a Viking Cruise to the Caribbean again. Read Less

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