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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
First positive: -Departure from home town -Caribbean ports, lovely itinerary ( one port was canceled) - excellent crew attitude, polite and friendly Now the bad: -4.5 hours! to embark- absurd, standing in line for 4 hours ... Read More
First positive: -Departure from home town -Caribbean ports, lovely itinerary ( one port was canceled) - excellent crew attitude, polite and friendly Now the bad: -4.5 hours! to embark- absurd, standing in line for 4 hours with no option to sit - average food, over cooked, under seasoned, but we never went hungry. Just was average. - very boring unless all you want is read. Nightly entertainment was good. -Port was canceled due to storm prediction 3!!! days in advance. As the result, we arrived to nyc 4 hours earlier than scheduled. Out St Thomas Port was 5 hours! Thanks captain for stealing part of my vacation. - our room attendant was keeping linen on the floor under bed(see pic). Guest services resolved problem right away. -Cabin (balcony) was the tiniest I’ve ever seen. When beds were made, you had to climb over the beds, no room on the floor. Not good for 3 people. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This 10-day eastern Caribbean Cruise was my first Caribbean cruise, and it was good for the most part. The service was good, the food was good, and I appreciate the capitain’s safety and care taken towards the ship and its passengers and ... Read More
This 10-day eastern Caribbean Cruise was my first Caribbean cruise, and it was good for the most part. The service was good, the food was good, and I appreciate the capitain’s safety and care taken towards the ship and its passengers and crew. However, there is one major issue that keeps me from giving the trip a five-star rating. That issue is the conflicting guidance I received on more than one occasion regarding NCL’s policies: First, when I booked the cruise, I picked $50 per port excursion credit as one of my free perks. However, it was not reflected in my account when the excursion charges hit on the first day. When I called the help line, they said it would hit at the end of the trip. When I followed up with guest services on the ship, they said it would show up as each excursion passed. Second, I picked a premium beverage package as another free perk. However, they failed to inform us that we would still get charged “National port charges” for drinks we ordered within US waters. Not only that, but apparently some personnel on the ship were unaware of such a charge (to the point where they were insisting that such was not the case). Third, on our second to last day, when we asked if we could get a few minutes of courtesy WiFi to check in for our flight, the guy at guest services said that’s ok and they did it all the time. However, when we went to the Internet cafe and asked, they said we would have to pay. One issue with conflicting guidance is one thing, but I was concerned how there was different guidance for several different issues I had. As a cruise line, NCL needs to ensure that all their personnel convey the same guidance to guests. It was frustrating to me that I had to end up asking more than one employee for guidance because I could not get a consistent answer. On a different note, I also feel like more sanitizing could have been done on the ship by the employees. They had sanitizing stations throughout the ship and employees standing throughout with sanitizing bottles, but I did not see employees scrubbing down the surfaces with disinfectant. To make matters worse, a stomach bug ravaged the ship on our cruise (which forced us to arrive in San Juan much earlier than anticipated). That alone should have been enough to get NCL employees to scrub down the public areas of the ship as often as possible. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Overall good. Minor issues as follows: Many chairs in the Great Outdoors seating outside of the buffet were lacking seat cushions. Seat cushions that were available were generally quite dirty. It would be a simple fix for NCL to ... Read More
Overall good. Minor issues as follows: Many chairs in the Great Outdoors seating outside of the buffet were lacking seat cushions. Seat cushions that were available were generally quite dirty. It would be a simple fix for NCL to replace seat cushions. The buffet closes early at 9:30 p.m. Would be nice to be able to visit after the 9 p.m. show. Too many staff looked bored or tired. Just a few were energetic or at least would say hello. Cagney's was disappointing. Very slow service, food no better than main dining room. O'Sheehan's wasn't all that good. Need to improve quality. Large screen in atrium underutilized. Generally just showed NCL advertising. No bargain shopping in the on board shops, no deal days. Still overall a good cruise. This issues listed above could easily be corrected. Main dining in Grand Pacific was excellent and service was prompt.Get there at 5pm and get seated without wait. Shows were good. Would cruise NCL again just wish minor issues would be addressed then this would be a 4 star cruise. One other note, embarkation was a disaster, 3 hour wait in line with no seating. This is not all NCL's isuue but an issue with the Port of N.Y. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Let me start by saying that I love NCL and the Gem is my favorite ship and we did still have a nice time this cruise. We met some amazing people. I booked this cruise over a year ago after a fantastic experience in the Haven in 2016. ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I love NCL and the Gem is my favorite ship and we did still have a nice time this cruise. We met some amazing people. I booked this cruise over a year ago after a fantastic experience in the Haven in 2016. for this trip I paid full price for my 2 bedroom courtyard villa. With that being said, I noticed some significant changes in the service on the Gem. I am not one to complain about service since I come from a customer service industry and I know how hard the staff works.. However, you can noticeably see the cut backs that NCL has made in the staff. In the past when we have gone to specialty restaurants the service has been exceptional. That was the case in La Cucina, but not the case in Cagney's for dinner. Dinner service in Cagney's was extremely slow, slow to the point where we were going to leave without eating. There were very few servers and wait staff. There were also more exceptions to the specialty dining program. You were informed before you order; one soup or starter, one entree and one dessert. and some entrees had an up-charge that were not listed on the menu when I used my platinum certificate in Le Bistro.. Which by the way was not a good meal. Not to be rude, and I did not complain to the server, but I went to the buffet after the meal ended. the escargot was good and so was the dessert.. my entree was not good... This cruise made me re-think booking my next trip on NCL even though I bought cruise next certificates. I spent a significant amount of money on this cruise, paying it off little by little. Having done the Haven once before we were so excited to live the Haven experience again with the same expectation of service.. Last trip our courtyard valet was extremely visible.. as soon as you put your empty drink down, you had a refill whether you were in the courtyard itself or on the sundeck on 15. While our courtyard valet this trip was very friendly, but he wasn't nearly as attentive. There were a few families that went and got their own drinks from Bali Hai and there were some that used their phones to call to get drinks. If you were on 15 floor sundeck the chances of getting anything were significantly less. I might have been better off in the main pool, but that would have defeated the entire purpose of booking the Haven. Our butler Teo was absolutely fantastic. But, our concierge was a ghost. I saw him when we got our key cards and that was it. Then midway thru our trip a different concierge appears. That was odd, but I had pre-booked the majority of my dinners online before I left and went to dining reservations on 7 to change a reservation and used the on-board app for the rest. I was my own concierge. Pre-dinner music and drinks has always been one of my favorite thing to do every time that I have been on the Gem. I love going to Shakers/Magnums to listen to the music and have a glass of wine.. It is always busy around that time and this trip it wasn't any different.. the difference was there were only 3 servers for the two bars with a huge crowd. The first night i went to the bar to get my own drinks. The second I waited to be served. It took almost a half hour for a server to get to us. Yes, I could have gone to get my own drink, again, but honestly I am on vacation. I shouldn't have to chase a server. Once we were served, I of course tipped my server... I'm not sure if that was what made him more attentive to our table, but I'm pretty sure it helped. I noticed that many people did not tip the bar tenders and wait staff this trip.. Maybe because they feel that it is included in their fare or it could be it's just a Brooklyn thing and I tip everyone... While my experience may differ from someone else, I'm not sure that I am willing to spend my hard earned money for the Haven on the Gem again. I do have another cruise already booked and paid for on the Escape in August, but after considering the cost and price checking other lines I opted to try another line for my cruise after. This has nothing to do with the staff, everyone was extremely friendly and hard working as always, but there was just less staff to handle the number of guests on board and service suffered because of that. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We cruised the Gem a few years ago and it was not a good experience. We thought we'd try again and it wasn't much better. We normally cruise RCL and definitely will again but I'm not so sure about NCL. The biggest problem ... Read More
We cruised the Gem a few years ago and it was not a good experience. We thought we'd try again and it wasn't much better. We normally cruise RCL and definitely will again but I'm not so sure about NCL. The biggest problem was disembarking, it was awful. There was almost no communication regarding the process and there was a lot of confusion while trying to get off the ship. The food wasn't as good as RCL either. RCL has lobster night and usually has shrimp cocktail for every evening meal. The room was very nice and our room steward was the best. It was very quiet and comfortable. The dining room staff wasn't the friendliest . We prefer RCL where you have the same waiter every night. The Buffet was good, very typical of other cruises. The entertainment was pretty good, I did have trouble hearing some of the entertainers. Overall only an average cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We cruise the Gem every year. We like the size of the ship, where it sails, and is close to home. We were disappointed with our cruise this year as we left 1 day late due to weather and lost 2 ports. Now we understand the weather, ... Read More
We cruise the Gem every year. We like the size of the ship, where it sails, and is close to home. We were disappointed with our cruise this year as we left 1 day late due to weather and lost 2 ports. Now we understand the weather, however, there was no one from NCL at the terminal to assist when the Coast Guard would not let the ship into NYC. There was no direction. Terminal full of people, many not from the tri state area, no food, no help and no direction. We were left to fend for ourselves. After being told the terminal would close at 4pm, and we could not spend the night there, we were forced to find a hotel. Fortunately, a port authority woman called a friend who was a travel agent and he helped us find a hotel in Times Square. We then had to spend money to get there as it was way too cold and windy to walk, we were not dressed for walking since we are limo'd to the terminal. We then had to go out and pay for dinner. The hotel was great and many of the cruise passengers were there, also disappointed and had to put out money without help or direction. Then once on board we went to guest relations which was of no help with our situation. Was told to call NCL customer relations on return which I did and after holding for 50 minutes was told I had to voice my concerns thru the web site. Needless to say I was not happy. Also we were told 1 cruise day would be credited to our charge card accounts, which as of this date 3/20/19, nothing has posted. Food also was not as good this time around. We sail the Gem every year and have praised the delicious food but this year, it was lacking. The buffet was not exciting and the dinning room seemed to over do the menu. Quality of the steak was poor. Could not get a tossed salad, menu choices were in my opinion reaching for a different cruise passenger, Cagney's was excellent but cannot say the same about LaCucina. Did not enjoy that dinner at all. What I wrong with the typical Italian menu? After all of the confusion of embarkation, the stress, the running around NY in the wind and cold, I took ill for 2 days. It was some sort of bug and I spent 2 days sleeping. My friend had to go it alone. By then, all excursions were sold out. So needless to say, we were very disappointed with our trip. Some of the entertainment was new and exciting but the NCL Gem dancers need new shows. You have many repeat cruisers and it is disappointing when you have already seen the show from the previous year. What happened to bar service on the sun decks? 1 person per side to wait on drinks? Terrible, terrible. We had to get up and get our own drinks. Norwegian has certainly cut back on all the things that made it a desirable cruise. Bring back the great food, entertainment, crew as this will keep your loyal customers and add many new. Word of mouth is your best advertisement. It is our hopes that NCL will do good and compensate us for the inconvenience we experienced, the lack of help and to keep us loyal. Read Less
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
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
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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Embarkation was horrible, delayed, confusing and no information from cruise line as to what was going on. First week was limited public access and service due to constantly cleaning of ship by staff due to illiness cruise before! Most ... Read More
Embarkation was horrible, delayed, confusing and no information from cruise line as to what was going on. First week was limited public access and service due to constantly cleaning of ship by staff due to illiness cruise before! Most normal things were changed like buffet where you usually serve your self to long lines waiting because plates, utensils and food had to be served by staff because passengers weren't allowed to handle anything others touched. We lost many days of normal, proper ship services due to staff being used to clean ship but we're not given any compensation. Very little quiet places to sit, play cards, read or chat... everything was geared towards public use of space for games etc. Yet not enough seats. Ships overall layout not very passenger friendly. Most people didn't like the ship itself and wouldn't sail Escape again. Food, service, staff were the best...they just had conditions beyond their control. The ship should have come back a day earlier for through cleaning...not clean during our cruise time! Also, medical is on the 13th deck--who puts medical on a floor with all staterooms so sick people have to use the same elevators as people coming and going to their rooms. Escape is a ship I would not recommend, NCL has many other great ships. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Embarkation was horrible. We waited, standing in the terminal for over two hours before we could board the ship. We did not receive our luggage until 1am after we went to guest services and identified our luggage. The entertainment was ... Read More
Embarkation was horrible. We waited, standing in the terminal for over two hours before we could board the ship. We did not receive our luggage until 1am after we went to guest services and identified our luggage. The entertainment was very good but for some shows we had to book in advance a and several times the shows were sold out. We dined in the Manhattan room . They food was good but nearly the same menu most days. The excursions were very good. The help on the ship were outstanding. They always had a smile and tried to always anticipate our needs. There were not enough planned activities when we were at sea. The disembarkation was horrible. We waited outside ( luckily the weather was mild) for over an hour before we could get into the terminal to claim our luggage and go through customs. I would not recommend this ship for a anyone. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Our local senior center was offered what appeared to be a good deal for a 14 day Caribbean Cruise. We thought we would try another cruise line other than one we have frequented.. It was a good value and we enjoyed it. However, there was ... Read More
Our local senior center was offered what appeared to be a good deal for a 14 day Caribbean Cruise. We thought we would try another cruise line other than one we have frequented.. It was a good value and we enjoyed it. However, there was room for improvement. Two swimming pools with a capacity of 82 for everyone on board not in The Haven is ridiculous. This is a poor design.Cruise guests totally disregard the rule about saving lounge chairs. So, get there early at poolside. The food in the buffet was adequate; but many guests opted for the dining rooms during International and Oriental buffet nights. O"sheehan's is a really good alternative to the main dining venues. The cabin was nice and the bathroom was worth the upgrade to a mini suite for a 14 day cruise. The entertainment varied . Some acts were excellent . Some were fair. Some weren't our style. The Embarkation process was messed up owing to a virus outbreak on the prior cruise. NCL did not react well to this glitch. One guest was told her stateroom would be ready @ 11P.M. for what was supposed to be a 3 P M departure. I doubt that I will ever want to sail again from the Port of Manhattan. Certain parties ( Read as wealthy) can park where and when they want and let the busloads be damned. The port workers can also be fickle.( local & federal) One other note. The PA system is quite loud. Talking at dinner on deck 7 was quite difficult while a DJ was entertaining in the Atrium on 6 Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
When my sister and mother suggested a holiday cruise I said fine, as long as it leaves from New York because I didn't want to chance flying at that time of year when weather can be unpredictable, and I was right as there was a ... Read More
When my sister and mother suggested a holiday cruise I said fine, as long as it leaves from New York because I didn't want to chance flying at that time of year when weather can be unpredictable, and I was right as there was a terrible rain storm the night before. My sister kept telling me I would love NCL as her previous experience on a cruise to Europe was fantastic. For the previous cruise she had been in the Haven, but what a few years and a different class of cabin makes. This time around, my mother and sister had a family balcony and I had a picture window. Ship The ship is showing its age. Rust spots and peelings all over the balcony and other small signs of wear and tear. Overall not bad, and it was decorated very nicely for the holidays, including a very large gingerbread village display in the Atrium and many Christmas trees everywhere. The adult pool, family pool and hot tubs are all on the same deck next to each other and there is no retractable roof. Some parts have a strange layout and the signage doesn't help, more on that later. Dining The food onboard was probably the biggest disappointment. The buffet was not good. Not varied and nothing special. Salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, paninis, some sort of shrimp rice dish every day. Most of the food was lukewarm and some of the dishes were too salty. Some of the food is mislabeled like mushroom omelettes that are loaded with peppers also. I can only say this for breakfast, lunch and snacks as we didn't eat dinner in the buffet. Grand Pacific is open for breakfast and lunch and is a much better option, but those menus are the same every day. Dinner is much better at Grand Pacific. Magenta was just OK as is O'Sheehan's where the service is not that great. They had BBQs by the pool on some days. Paella was good. One day they had a shrimp and bean dish that looked really good. I got a serving and when I sat down realized that the shrimp had not been cleaned. Every time I've had shell on, head and legs on shrimp it's always split and cleaned of the digestive tract, not so here.Yuck! We had to do that messy task ourselves which lessened the enjoyment of this otherwise very good dish. We had a dining package that included all the specialty restaurants. The best were Cagney's and Teppanyaki, both excellent in food and service. Le Bistro was very good, though the sauce on the scallops was salty. Moderno was very good but again, two of the offerings were salty. La Cucina was good, not great. Orchid was decent, not great. Both my mother and I have high blood pressure and after a few days on board my mother had cankles from so much salt, we had to make up for it by drinking a lot of extra water. Be aware that if you book through AMEX and get dinner at Le Bistro they may charge you for it and then take it off because apparently AMEX is supposed to send you a voucher which they rarely do so that was a bit of a hassle as the manager said he would take the charge off but it took two days. Overall, while there are some excellent dishes and restaurants but the food is not great. Service My cabin steward, Alan, was great. There were some outstanding workers, but most were just OK. Had to wait far too long for drinks when we sat at tables.They drinks were generally good, the bartenders friendly. Overall the service was decent but there were some workers that were much more service oriented and friendly than others,. Washy Washy Happy Happy is Vile I get that cleanliness is vitally important on a cruise ship. However the "washy, washy, happy, happy" chant that is such a cliche and joke on the ship is vile and racist. A large company like NCL should know better. They really need to stop it. It's not funny or cute, I found it offensive. If they are so worried about cleanliness and disease they shouldn't be serving uncleaned shrimp. Entertainment The shows are OK, The Duo de Soleil was the only one that was really worth watching. One Very Bad Experience On one night we had reservations at Cagney's which is located on the 13th deck. The only elevator you can take to get there is the mid ship one. If you take the forward one you have to walk outside on deck and get in through a side door. It was extremely windy, I'm talking gale force winds that just about knocked me off my feet. There is a door to the deck right outside Cagney's and Moderno. It was closed and the staff manning the desk refused to open it. I kept knocking and they just smiled and pointed. Did they seriously want me to go all the way back to the front to get to the lower deck to take the midship elevator? There was a girl on crutches with two friends trying to hold onto her in the wind. They were trying to get in. So we are desperately trying to get the staff to open the door as we were in a dangerous situation with the wind. No such luck. We are all screaming at them to please open the door and nothing. Finally I say "I can't f***ing believe this" and they open the door whereupon one staff member calls me out for swearing to which I answered "Well it got you to open the door!". The girl on crutches and her friends said "finally sure did!". The staff did not take our safety into consideration in the least. I found my party at the table, 15 minutes late, and explained what happened. My mother was not pleased but I just decided to let it go as arguing with the staff at that point was not going to do anyone any good. This incident left and extremely bad impression, to think that the staff just didn't care about getting four women out of a dangerous situation for no reason at all still boils my blood and is completely unacceptable. They only opened the door to reprimand me for swearing. This is customer service at its absolute worst. Some Tips If your hair doesn't do well with a 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner bring your own. If you or your kids like to drink from straws consider bringing your own reusable metal or silicone ones as Norwegian stopped offering straws in order to be environmentally friendly. Bathrobes are not provided in all the cabins. I didn't have any in mine but my mother and sister did. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Norwegian Escape is a large ship, we booked this cruise to see if we would like cruising on a ship of this size. Food was very good especially Cagney's and Bayamo which was excellent. We found breakfast to be a problem whether we ate ... Read More
Norwegian Escape is a large ship, we booked this cruise to see if we would like cruising on a ship of this size. Food was very good especially Cagney's and Bayamo which was excellent. We found breakfast to be a problem whether we ate in Taste or Savour it took a very long time to receive your meal and it was usually cold, the order was incorrect or the most frustrating was a wait of 45 minutes to receive meal and the eggs whether an omelet, over medium, scrambled or eggs benedict were not cooked with raw egg whites. At the time of our sailing December 9-21 2018 there were no straws on the ship. We were a group of 8 and all used the Norwegian app and paid the $9.95 to be able to text one another this worked great and we had no problems with app what so ever. Huge shoutout to the staff, they work really hard to try and make sure you have a great holiday! The entertainment on this ship is lacking and we were very disappointed, we have sailed on 4 previous Norwegian cruises and we could hardly believe we were on the same cruise line. We went to shows in theater, Howl at the Moon, comedians and lounge acts, at all of these venues the volume was so excessively loud that people walked out, there was no variety the same shows over and over. We did 14 day cruise on Norwegian Star last year (2017) and entertainment was different every evening. We reserved Choir of Men and this was an excellent show, however the food they serve is terrible. Make sure you arrive early to stand in line to get a good seat and plan dinner after the show. We did one ship excursion in Antigua, and on our own at other ports. If you need transfers to airport at end of cruise book early as they sell out and you have to go across the street from terminal and stand on the sidewalk to find a cab. New York traffic is crazy busy and juggling luggage on a street corner looking for a cab with hundreds of other people is not a fun way to end your cruise. The great smoking debate continues on this ship, as smokers even we were confused, you can smoke on deck 17 in two locations outdoors and the casino as well as a little indoor room on deck 8, this room was a total joke. The casino is in the middle of ship and is very open, the smell of smoke wafts through 2 decks and even as smokers was annoying. Why not give smokers a place outside on deck 7 or 8 to keep more of the smoke outside.?? On other ships in Norwegian fleet you could smoke on one side of the boat or other on the same deck as a lot of the public spaces. We have been loyal Norwegian consumers but will be looking at other cruise lines for future cruises as this cruise was mediocre at best and the entertainment was very very lacking. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I felt that there was way too many uosales on the cruise line. Not much is included. The food in the specialty restaurants we visited was really good. You had to pay extra for them. The service in Cagney’s Steak restaurant was ... Read More
I felt that there was way too many uosales on the cruise line. Not much is included. The food in the specialty restaurants we visited was really good. You had to pay extra for them. The service in Cagney’s Steak restaurant was excellent. I recommend the Food Republic and Cagney’s steakhouse. The buffet was just okay most of the time. There was only one restaurant that was included besides buffet and dinning room. Most of the entertainment on broad was really good. We saw three shows ( After Midnight, the Choir of Man and Brat Pack) and they were very good. Chelsea Reynolds and the piano player at The District brew house were both very talented. The comedians and dueling piano were just okay. We played bingo and that was fun but very expensive for what you got. It was in the theater and it was punch cards. You didn’t use a dabber. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
For Barbados, St. Thomas and St. Lucia ports which I'd never been to before. The weather was great at all the ports except the cold in NYC where we started. It was cold until we got down to Florida and encountered rain the night ... Read More
For Barbados, St. Thomas and St. Lucia ports which I'd never been to before. The weather was great at all the ports except the cold in NYC where we started. It was cold until we got down to Florida and encountered rain the night before we got back to NYC. All ports were average ports, but Barbados, where most of us complained. We were the 3rd ship in port, but even so, the walkway for us to the terminal needs to be improved. It was totally impassable for any wheelchair. There were stairs at least 2 other times where the other ships were docked at which we had to go up/down. They ran a shuttle for people that were unable to walk, but the traffic on the road was busy with painting cranes and trucks. Did NCL beach excursions on all ports except St. Lucia, where I took a tour to the Pitons. All were enjoyable. I had a studio close to the lounge (love the cappuccino machine for morning coffee). It was similar to the lounge in the Epic, but had 11 "scenic" screens....no tv and no bartender after 5 p.m., but a wine vending machine. The gym would be very crowded during the day, so went at 9 p.m. to beat the crowds. Thought it should be bigger for 4200 cruisers. Our solo host was Silvia and she organized dinners, shows and dancing for the singles in the group. They'd invite all to meet in the Lounge at 5 p.m. daily, even if not in a studio (listed on the daily activity newsletter). This was my first time at NYC (Manhattan) port, but found it was very easy to get on/off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our third and least favourite cruise with Norweigan. Our first was last year on Jade to the Carribean. We got engaged on that cruise and everything about it was perfect. We booked this cruise with Cruise Next while we were on ... Read More
This was our third and least favourite cruise with Norweigan. Our first was last year on Jade to the Carribean. We got engaged on that cruise and everything about it was perfect. We booked this cruise with Cruise Next while we were on that cruise. After that we did the inaugural sailing on Bliss from Southampton to New York in April. We enjoyed this because sailing on a brand new ship was a great experience. The only thing we didn’t like was that cruise was the entertainment was a little limited. Embarkation from New York on the escape was very fast and much quicker than Miami and Southampton. However disembarkation was very slow. We were very disappointed with the entertainment. There were only 3 free mediocre shows and some comedy which were repeated over the 12 days. Completely different to Jade which had different types of shows every night and all were excellent. We had already seen Martin Brock on Bliss and if I’m honest, once was enough. This was the first cruise we travelled on with our daughter who is 12. She was not allowed to join the entourage club because she was 3 months too young and she didn’t want to join the club with the younger kids. The cruise was very busy (too busy) and I think we prefer the smaller ships in future. Food was ok but not as nice as Jade or Bliss. Our daughter is a bit fussy and asking for a plain ham sandwich seemed to be impossible. The menu’s didn’t seem to change much. Waiters were mostly very friendly but there were a couple that seemed like they didn’t want to be there. On one occasion we had to wait an hour for our main course and were not asked if we wanted a drink. On another occasion we asked what the soup was and the waitress didn’t know but kept asking what we wanted to order. And on another occasion I ordered chicken fajita wraps in O’sheans but didn’t get any wraps. I had to stand in line to try and get someone’s attention. The two girls with the blueberry muffins were fun and made us laugh. 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
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
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
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise just to relax after an illness and it fit the bill. The service staff were all very helpful and the World Cafe (buffet) was excellent, with very attentive staff and plenty to choose from. The quality of food here was ... Read More
We chose this cruise just to relax after an illness and it fit the bill. The service staff were all very helpful and the World Cafe (buffet) was excellent, with very attentive staff and plenty to choose from. The quality of food here was superior to the main dining room as the service was very spotty, and the menus lacking in quality and choices. Manfredi's restaurant and service were top notch with a huge menu and all the dishes we had were excellent. The ship was full on the 14 day Caribbean cruise in October, and we found the activities lacking both during the day and in the evening. It was near impossible to get a table on the deck in the shade where you could have lunch and the classical guitarist by the pool at lunchtime was out of touch with a Caribbean cruise. I was hoping for a little upbeat music to accompany the scenery. For a "Luxury" category ship, there was no concierge. no port information given nor anyone to help with questions. No shopping or sightseeing hints. You were left to fend on your own. The staff sitting at desks ( no front desk here with purser etc) were very pleasant but could not answer any questions , they had to refer to someone else then get back to you. Overall the ship was very attractive. I thought the multi level atrium was a waste. There were 3 floors of nothing but tables and chairs. unattractive to look up at. Perhaps some of that space could have gone to another lounge or small showroom. Only one craft session for a 14 day cruise, and very limited speakers. Had I gone on this cruise to be entertained or join in some activities, I would have been very upset. I was not looking for that, but I talked to many guests who were very disappointed in the lack of activities. My first Viking Ocean Cruise, and I think my only one. Read Less

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