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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Embarkation did not go well. We did not get on the ship until 4 or so. There were a lot of upset people including myself and my husband. The ship was nice and organized. Our balcony cabin was very nice. Dining, well that was ... Read More
Embarkation did not go well. We did not get on the ship until 4 or so. There were a lot of upset people including myself and my husband. The ship was nice and organized. Our balcony cabin was very nice. Dining, well that was another story. We did not have one hot meal from the buffet or the restaurants we ate at. The flounder was not much thicker than a couple of pieces of paper and tasteless. I had the shrimp and mushroom Alfredo a few times and the pasta was not cooked all the way. So I ended up eating a lot of salads and fruit. The only thing hot was the coffee. Entertainment and Activities were good. Service was good. Ports and shore excursions were good until our last port got canceled due to weather going home. Yes we will go again but not in the spring and sorry but not on Norwegian. We didn't travel with children. We went on this cruise for our 47th anniversary and the only thing that the cruise line offered us was a piece of cake in one of the top of the line restaurants. No thank you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We picked this cruise as we wanted to spend time in New York prior to cruising the Caribbean. The food in the restaurants wasn’t to the same standard as Pand O cruises. An error had been made when we were being charged for drinks when we ... Read More
We picked this cruise as we wanted to spend time in New York prior to cruising the Caribbean. The food in the restaurants wasn’t to the same standard as Pand O cruises. An error had been made when we were being charged for drinks when we had premium drinks package, staff at shops reception were very unhelpful and most had trouble understanding English, we had to phone from the ship to eventually get it sorted out by ourselves which was very stressful. The ships entertainment team was dire and activities were very childish and bizarre. The embarkation was horrific we had booked 12.00 and stood in a queue in New York for 3 hours before we got on ship disembarkation was chaotic with people queuing in corridors and sitting on the ground people were arguing and pushing at others with no ncl staff to be found to try to keep order. I would have waited in my room or on a deck until the chaos had calmed down but we weren’t allowed to do this. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
embarkation/disembarkation took a long time. disembarkation took almost 3 hours. had to wait around in a bar sitting on the floor with nothing for the kids to do. we have a special needs child so this was really hard. the kids' ... Read More
embarkation/disembarkation took a long time. disembarkation took almost 3 hours. had to wait around in a bar sitting on the floor with nothing for the kids to do. we have a special needs child so this was really hard. the kids' club (teenagers) had a really rude coordinator so my son stopped going after the first night. the other kids' club took a long time to sign kids in. had to wait 20 minutes or so just to sign the kids in. then, they ask you where you're going while the kids are in the club? why is that relevant? it's not like you can leave the ship! not special needs friendly. they sent us an email with names of a bunch of people who was supposed to look after our special needs child's needs and those people weren't on the ship. excursions were too expensive. didn't provide something to hang your key card around your neck with (carnival did). the "free" drinks were all variations of water (other than the coffee and tea). the piano player couldn't sing. although, i recently found out he might be a comedian. then, yeah he sounded funny. the sports facility was always busy and there was only a couple of hours alloted for tennis (8-10 am). the pools were tiny. they had an adults only pool but i've only seen one person in it. deck 5 (where we stayed) smells like sewage. st thomas visit was only 5 hours long. not enough time to really do anything. tv reception was poor. you had to sit through presentations in order to be in a draw or to get something for free (similar to timeshare). otherwise, food was really good. restaurants were clean. staff was generally friendly. hard to understand some of them though. very thick accents. advice: don't do the bingo. too expensive and the callers are really annoying. don't buy excursions as taxis are readily available at a fraction of the costs. and finally, go with another cruise line. i recommend carnival. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Boarding and Disembarkment were chaotic, delayed 5 hours on departure, never notified to delay arrival, didn't get to room until 9PM, no food or drink until 6 PM and we were told to arrive at 10 AM! Suit case did not arrive until ... Read More
Boarding and Disembarkment were chaotic, delayed 5 hours on departure, never notified to delay arrival, didn't get to room until 9PM, no food or drink until 6 PM and we were told to arrive at 10 AM! Suit case did not arrive until 3AM. Twice the daily news letter told us to change our times, but they didn't change ships time. No communication from Crew. Billed for wrong drink at cafe, after complaining, the service rep said she would look in to it, was eventually removed but was not notified by staff. Entertainment was limited, only two good theater shows, nothing interesting during the day. Smoking allowed in the casino, smell was terrible. Departure was delayed, terminal (Manhattan) was a freaking circus. Food was good, especially the specialty restaurants. Too many people, public areas were very crowded and bar service was very slow. Cabin was small for a mini-suit. Excursion was cancelled last minute, no call, just a not left outside the door. Second time and last time sailing with NCL. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because we'd had good cruises in the past - however, this one was anything but good. We were stood in lines outside the terminal for an hour, then stuck inside the terminal for another 2 hours, not moving; just ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we'd had good cruises in the past - however, this one was anything but good. We were stood in lines outside the terminal for an hour, then stuck inside the terminal for another 2 hours, not moving; just standing, waiting (no seats - some people fainted). There was no notification as to what the problem was. We found out later about the virus problem when we saw how screwed up the ship was (waiting in more and more lines as they went totally overboard with trying to prove to us they were doing everything the CDC required. We could not serve ourselves - even with beverages. I understand there were rules laid down, but they went about it wrong, in our opinion. Too long a story for here. However, no matter who was serving us, the quality of the food (and service, in some areas) was way down from previous cruises. I actually lost 4 lbs on this 2-week cruise! The excursions were not worth the money (and in fact, some of them were canceled). The captain could barely speak English and even what he did speak we couldn't hear, since he practically whispered. In fact, we found many of the staff who were in charge of telling us important stuff had very heavy, sometimes ununderstandable accents. Everywhere we had to go there were miles to walk before we even got to the port. They need to have shuttles from the ship to wherever the excursion left from - or at least to the town. I saw many people, older than us struggling with these distances. They have a nerve calling this a 14-day cruise! What they called Day 1 was spent standing, waiting to get onboard! Day one didn't start until the evening. Day 14 we arrived at the crack of dawn and were hustled out as quickly as possible (all before 10 a.m.) to make room for the NEXT cruise. Definite FALSE information. It will be a loooong time before we think about another cruise - and if and when we do, it won't be on Norwegian. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
NCL texted me several times over a period of days prior to boarding. All the texts advised us not to arrive at the terminal before 10:30am to avoid delays in boarding. We arrived at noon and waited in line with 4000 other guests for ... Read More
NCL texted me several times over a period of days prior to boarding. All the texts advised us not to arrive at the terminal before 10:30am to avoid delays in boarding. We arrived at noon and waited in line with 4000 other guests for over 3 hours not moving one inch. NCL used PA to announce they had to disinfect the entire ship due to CDC protocols. The previous cruise had a high percentage of a infectious GI virus. They finally started boarding about 3pm. NCL clearly knew this was going to be required well in advance of boarding date. NCL could and should have used text system to advise guests of the health risk and long delays. Conceling this information until we where herded into the terminal is unethical and dangerous to our health. I personally saw an elderly woman collapse in line and had to helped from the line. The elderly and people with weak immune systems where put at risk for profit. NCL should be ashamed of thier treatment of thier guests. Once onboard we experienced long delays for all services, restaurants had long lines, recreation activities had delays or where simply not available ie mini golf, ping pong. The staff had a bad attitude either over worked or maybe still ill. Whatever the reason they where disinterested in providing the level of service required. Staff would often turn thier back on the lines of people waiting. They would converse among themselves they would laugh like joking but spoke in lanaguges I didn't understand. Whatever they where discussing clearly it wasn't reducing wait lines. We went to one show on the first night but several people where coughing and with all the health concerns we left early and decided to avoid confined spaces the rest of the trip. We have cruised many times all over the world. This was by far our worst experience. I wrote to NCL requesting a partial refund based on the unacceptable service. As of this date NCL has ignored my request. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Just some history ,This was our 42 nd Cruise and 17th on NCL ,we're Platinum Plus Members . I won't bother going into the all the problems caused by the previous Cruises Noro Virus ,all I can say is that everything I've ... Read More
Just some history ,This was our 42 nd Cruise and 17th on NCL ,we're Platinum Plus Members . I won't bother going into the all the problems caused by the previous Cruises Noro Virus ,all I can say is that everything I've read in other reviews Is 100% true . It didn't start well ,as we arrived at 9.30 and didn't board until 1.30-2.00 pm Since we're Platinum Plus we were allowed into a separate waiting area ,and we were supposed to be the 2nd group to board , As soon as we boarded we rushed down to the information deck to sign up for the Vibes club ,this was the second disappointment as we were informed that it was already sold out . I found this really disappointing as we were within the first 150 people onboard. The only groups that got on before us were the Haven Guess's and the Handicapped . This brings me to a new complaint that I've experienced on a few cruises ,is that a large family group sometime 8 or more bring grandma who is in a wheel chair ,and the whole family gets priority embarkation, I'm not against someone with a true Handicap getting special service , actually I hope they do, but is it really necessary to give the whole group ,when really only one healthy person is necessary,after all there all heading to the same place, now multiply this by 50 or 100 and you will see what I mean. We've cruised on the NCL Breakaway 3 times ,and never experienced the crowds ,and lines like we did on this ship. I guess the Escape holds more guess than the Breakaway , It took us a few days to find a comfortable place to hang out ,H2-0 Spice was the only place we found that thee were still lounge chairs were usually available . I have to give this ship 4 stars for the quality of the food in both the free restaurants and the premium dining options ,even the buffet was quite good ,as they did a great job at having specialty nights . As far as entertainment , we found the H2-0 spice had varied music nights ,and it was great hanging out in the warm Caribbean weather outside on the deck .The Band " Lets Groove " was very good and played for great music from the 80s and 90s . Spent quite a bit of time in the casino which was good ,except the smoke ,I'm an ex smoker [25 years] but the smell and smoke bother my eyes ,the problem is that almost all the tables in the non smoking section were empty ,and I prefer to play blackjack with a table of players . The gym was good with plenty of machines and free weight,but No towels for the first 7 days . you had to go to the desk and ask for a towel ,didn't really understand that. Another small incident that pissed me off was I had brought a sealed bottle of NCL purchased water off the ship ,getting back on the bottle ,still sealed , was confiscated by the so called security , Claiming that it was CONTAMINATED . how could it be contaminated if it was never opened ?. Many of the crew seamed confused and dazed over some of the rules and regulations that went along with the virus protection .I was using my elbow to press the button in the elevators as they looked filthy. Overall the cruise was OK we had great weather , but unless I get an upgrade to the Haven or a owners suite, we Most likely won't cruise on this ship again . The only port I would recommend skipping is St.Johns Antigua.Very poor Island Took a ship sponsored tour [lunch included] to a nice Beach , The beach was nice ,kind of crowded ,and had the normal hawkers trying to sell you whatever, but we're used to that and most left as soon as they figured you weren't buying anything, but the beach house was run down,and the food was horrible . They had some kind of local fish they called butter fish ,better name would be bone fish . Most of the rest of the Islands we did our own tours or booked into a private resort for the day. Realgearhead telling it like it is Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
It was a complimentary cruise from Casinos at Sea. This was the date we were able to travel. Was not happy about waiting on line for dinners. Did not like making arrangements for shows. Was not happy about the disorganization of the ship, ... Read More
It was a complimentary cruise from Casinos at Sea. This was the date we were able to travel. Was not happy about waiting on line for dinners. Did not like making arrangements for shows. Was not happy about the disorganization of the ship, though I realize the cruise prior to us had Gastroenteritis and it needed to be disinfected. Pass cruises with Norwegian and other past cruise ships we found this one very disorganized which may had to do with the illness on the ship. The handling of embarkation was handled very unorganized and none of the crew handed out any bottles of water or anything to snack on while we waited more than four hours in the terminal. Food was excellent. Disembarkation went well. Shore excursions were good. Did not do much of the Entertainment as you had to reserve spots. We did not like the layout of the Escape. Very noisy in the Atrium which was hard to hear each other in O'Sheehan's and the bars. We were on the Norwegian Jade before and after its restoration and enjoyed it each time. The casino was not laid out very well. It was super smoky. You could even smell it in the non smoking section. Not enough poker machines in the non smoking section. Yes we would go on Norwegian again, but would look at the ships lay out more closely. Not enough closet space in the room. Found the room smaller than I thought it would be considering the size of the Escape. Bathroom was a good size. Like the size of the shower. The faucet in the sink should have been further out instead of so close to the sink. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary and came away wishing we had done anything else. Norwegian Cruise lines fell far short of expectations. At the time of booking we were asked if this was for a special ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary and came away wishing we had done anything else. Norwegian Cruise lines fell far short of expectations. At the time of booking we were asked if this was for a special occasion. We indicated to both the Norwegian online booking and to our travel company that we were celebrating an anniversary. Usually, most cruise ships recognize this with champagne, chocolate, flowers etc to make you feel special. We had to mention several times... at this point it seems like begging for what should be common practice. But this was really the least of our concerns. Arriving at port to find 4000+ passengers waiting to board and no one around to give instructions or directions to was not a good start. Nor was the Norovirus that came with the ship from the previous cruise. Norwegian took way too long to initiate their protocols put in place by CDC. It was total chaos for passengers getting on board the ship like cattle being herded to slaughter. Being yelled at by Norwegian staff and Port Authority to go here or there. Get on ship told to go to 16th floor for food. Not a seat in the place. Many of us had to eat standing up as fellow passengers were rude and not allowing those with food to sit as they played on their laptops or read a book. Norwegian should have had someone overseeing this mob of a crowd and the verbal fights that broke out in front of us. Then the staterooms all had to be disinfected so we were not able to go to our rooms until they called certain floors. This was a couple of hours more of waiting. Understandably health and safety is foremost... BUT so is the care of your passengers who paid a lot of money to take your ship over any of the others. We were not treated with respect and the staff had an "I don't care" attitude. We were unable to book any of the entertainment as the onboard screens kept telling us everything was full. Luckily we ran into the Cruise Director who was speaking with another couple of people he remembered from another cruise and they too were having the same issues so he said he would take care of it and booked our desired entertainment. Many others were not so fortunate. The ship is incredibly noisy and with the first day at sea being inclement weather, everyone was inside the ship and there was not enough space for everyone to sit or stand comfortably. Several times throughout the cruise it was difficult to find seating or a quiet part of the ship just to talk with one another as there was always an announcement or someone on a microphone saying something. Offshore excursions booked through Norwegian were overpriced for the most part and I generally would give the ones we took a slight pass at 50%. One in particular in St. Lucia was 5 hour bus tour that took us to see the volcano and promised us a complimentary beverage (which sadly ended up being a half glass of lemondade and not a rum punch or pina colada that was customary on some of the other tours). Our travel guide tried to promote his books on Amazon to the captive audience on the bus as we swerved for 5 hours with only a couple of stops along the way to get off and stretch our legs. Waste of time! Would have rather explored the island on our own. Then disembarking in New York, we were told as we were part of a group tp meet at 8:00 am to disembark ahead of the other at 8:15. Waited till 9:15 to be called with everyone else to disembark with hundreds of others all looking in thehuge warehouse for their luggage. After 30 minutes searching for our bags, then line up again to go through security. There were 16 available stations with only 4 open!!!!!! Another 45 minutes to go through that mess to walk to find our bus parked way at the end as once again there was chaos in parking and no communication to anyone. After this experience, I dont want to do another cruise ever again and especially will not recommend Norwegian as they nickel and dime everyone and are not adept in dealing with people. I would like to be contacted by someone with authority to reimburse us for this mess of a vacation! Never again!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because it is out of New York and have sailed the same time for the last several years. It was always 5 star This experience was exactly like the 14 days to the western Carib.Neurovirus Arrived at terminal 11:30 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is out of New York and have sailed the same time for the last several years. It was always 5 star This experience was exactly like the 14 days to the western Carib.Neurovirus Arrived at terminal 11:30 . As platinum plus we should have priority boarding .. We did not .. Stood (I sat on the floor till2:30) no water or chairs were offered Room was vey dirty beds not made, garbage on floor, no paper cups or soap. No response from housekeeping Since everyone got on board at the same time it was very hard to find a place for lunch Husband had a hotdog standing up We has a spa mini suite but the spa was closed due to the virus for the first week All hot tubs around ship and once the pool was closed The entertainment except for COM and after midnight was non existent Movies were very old and shown several times The bands around the ship were very good The manager in the dinning room (Moses) saved the day and got us salt pepper and hot sauce . David the concierge did his very best The staff was overworked and kept the ship clean. Had to wash hands before entering the Buffett We had a vibe pass, but hot tub closed or broken as well as the shower Fruit was only served in the vibe once The best thing was the weather NCL can do better and has in the past I will give them another chance... But there are many other cruise lines out there Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Embarcation and debarcation total disasters. Novo virus on previous cruise so ship had to be thoroughly cleaned--I totally understand but not enough seats in special needs area. New York cruise terminal is a total disaster!!! It cannot ... Read More
Embarcation and debarcation total disasters. Novo virus on previous cruise so ship had to be thoroughly cleaned--I totally understand but not enough seats in special needs area. New York cruise terminal is a total disaster!!! It cannot handle a ship with over 4,000 passengers comfortably. Total lack of communication by Norwegian on debarcation--never announced that there were two exits areas from ship--keep your eyes and ears open so that you can make your way. Had a Studio room--felt like I was on a spaceship in that room--so much white. No place to read during the day in a quiet area like on the Gem. Atrium is too close to Guest services, shore excursion desks and all that other junk. Hallways are way too narrow--walk sideways if you're going by a housekeeper's cart. Food in buffet is acceptable but not great--on sea days there were so many people walking around to see what was avaiable I felt like I was in a NYC subway station. Theater is poorly designed--felt like I was in my 1958 neighborhood theater--and ugly--only 2 aisles, need 4 aisles--no one wants to sit by the wall so people always climbing over people. Whole ship is a design diaster. Not enough seats in Atrium to listen to music in the evening--shoud have a different show in the theater every night--not 3 for a 14-night cruise. Pools are small and no Solarium like on Royal Caribbean.. Same Jimmy Buffet tape at 12 noon sharp every day in the pool area. Same 3 movies constantly. Also, annuncements all the time to come pick up your "free" charm bracelet and then in next second "buy 3 charms for only $10,00."--please I did not just fall off the turnip truck! Came home with broncitis because of all the dry bad air on this ship. Hate thr Escape. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Leaving out of New York is super easy. You just need to learn to navigate the streets and plan your trip. The embarkation process was fine. The young lady had an attitude and was slow in checking us in but we were able to board right away. ... Read More
Leaving out of New York is super easy. You just need to learn to navigate the streets and plan your trip. The embarkation process was fine. The young lady had an attitude and was slow in checking us in but we were able to board right away. Welcome aboard was nice when we first entered the ship. Overall crew and staff were nice. This ship is bare bones though, entertainment was just ok, the activities from the cruise director were sparse. Bars were ok, some great bartenders like Joel and Ketut. Mary Ann in Magenta is wonderful! My overall complaint with this ship is that the lunch served in the buffet is the same every single day. The have a huge salad bar station with little ingredients, pizza, a pasta station which is the same every day. Vegetarian section which is basically a combination of the salad bar and stir fried vegetables everyday. Asian section for lunch was a joke...it had stir fried vegetables (same as vegetarian section), a fried rice and an indian dish. NO creativity on this ship what so ever. In the main dining room the menu is literally the same. This was an 11 days cruise and the main dining room had the same menu every single lunch. Sad! We have been a sister ship, the Jade, and the food was speictauar on it. The Gem needs to look at what it offers its passengers. I don't recommend this ship unless you want one with very little to do. Poorly managed Splash Academy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation went smooth and as expected. Disembarkation was terrible, We paid for transfers to our Hotel and there were NO NCL employees outside of the terminal to assist us. The Brat Pack was stupid and profane and After Midnight left ... Read More
Embarkation went smooth and as expected. Disembarkation was terrible, We paid for transfers to our Hotel and there were NO NCL employees outside of the terminal to assist us. The Brat Pack was stupid and profane and After Midnight left me snoozing in my seat. Service was terrible. We waited 3 days without a bar of soap in our bathroom. This is our second time in the Haven and this cruise lacked priority boarding after excursions. I felt like it was a waste of money. The elevators on the ship were filthy, with food on the floor on more than one occasion. I'm not sure if it was the ship or the crew but I don't feel that the ship was taken care of which is disappointing after the amount of money we spend to have a luxury cruise. We'll be trying the MSC Yacht Club. I'm not sure if I will go on another NCL cruise Haven or not. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise because it was 12 days and $459 + taxes for total of $600. Left from and returned to Manhattan. Ship holds 4500 passengers. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Cabin was average. The problem with this size ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was 12 days and $459 + taxes for total of $600. Left from and returned to Manhattan. Ship holds 4500 passengers. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Cabin was average. The problem with this size ship is that in exchange for having more people, the venues decrease . Entertainment: The size of the theater is half that of smaller boats with one level only. It cannot accommodate even one quarter of the passengers at one time. Smaller boats have bigger theaters. As a result, you MUST reserve time and day for any and all entertainment on board. In addition there were only two musical production shows for an entire 12 day cruise which were repeated over and over so everyone could see it. There was one so so magician for two of the same shows. And they put a comedy act in the main theater to fill in. The comedy acts were usually in the smaller lounge and they were repeated numerous times with the same material. And as stated before, you needed reservations or you had to wait on line to get in if someone did not show up. There were two supper club shows which they charged extra for or you could not go in. And the supper club show held only a small number of passengers. Dining venues: There are three free dining areas. Manhattan, Savor and Taste. Manhattan is the larger of the three and has music for an hour and only open for dinner. The other two are smaller and no music. Service at all three was terrible for all meals, breakfast , lunch and dinner. Waiters were not experienced, mixed up orders, went back and forth bringing only one item at a time. They worked harder not smarter. Very slow service. Food was mediocre. Of course for more money, they had many more dining venues which charged more money and additional service charges when you have already paid for your meals. It seems that all in all the bigger boats provide room for more people, less service, less entertainment and less venues for entertainment. Fewer pools, smaller theater.smaller gym . But for more money you can now get better food, entertainment, drink packages, can get excursions etc. in addition to casino, and a spa which they charge more money to get in with heated chairs and sauna, steam room etc. it seems to me the cruise industry will put themselves out of business soon charging for everything which should be included in the fare.. They certainly have lost me as a cruise customer on these larger ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our third cruise with Norwegian, and it was our least favourite. Had it been our first Norwegian cruise, we wouldn't sail with them again. The ship was too crowded. If they're going to build bigger ships with more ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Norwegian, and it was our least favourite. Had it been our first Norwegian cruise, we wouldn't sail with them again. The ship was too crowded. If they're going to build bigger ships with more staterooms, then they should make bigger restaurants - and a bigger Atrium. During the "at sea" days we lined up for O'Sheehans, & the other general restaurants. There was never a seat in The Atrium, but that was okay because the entertainment was geared towards kids and 70 yr olds. If you liked balloon animals, trivia, and cheesy game show style entertainment, this was for you. If you liked someone banging a tambourine all through breakfast reminding you to wash your hands-- this cruise was for you. The other ships on Norwegian we sailed on had a different show in the theatre each nite- not this one. Some of the shows we had to pay extra $$ to attend. The comedians were hilarious (Flip Shultz!!). The excursions were too short. They'd drop you off at the beach around 1030- and return you at 1pm. The pools were too crowded, and the layout of the sun deck chairs wasn't great- you often stared at people sitting parallel to the glass barriers blocking the ocean view, or had a steady stream of ppl walking past you on the walking track. You had to pay an extra $15. to sit in Jimmy Buffet's restaurant, and each night 5 o'clock somewhere sat mostly empty. We were constantly bombarded with art auctions, jewellery sales, etc. 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
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
Sail Date: March 2018
My wife and I decided to try sailing Norwegian Cruise Lines for the first time after it came highly recommended to us from family and friends. As I’m sure you are aware there is no better compliment in the hospitality industry then a ... Read More
My wife and I decided to try sailing Norwegian Cruise Lines for the first time after it came highly recommended to us from family and friends. As I’m sure you are aware there is no better compliment in the hospitality industry then a word of mouth recommendation from a trusted source. One common theme my wife and I discovered on our cruise of Norwegian Gem was a lack of attention to detail across the vessel, but especially in the Housekeeping Department. Our cruise embarkation began by discovering a pair of children’s underwear from the previous guest hanging on the towel rack of the bathroom door of our cabin. After discovering the underwear in our stateroom, and notifying the cabin steward, we went to O’Sheenan’s later in the afternoon for a snack. My wife and I sat down at the nearest table and a server quickly came over and asked us if we needed menus. A hostess then appeared with a pair of menu’s and in a surly tone told me that I needed to check in first. I explained that we had just came up the staircase, that it was our first time on a Norwegian Cruise and at O’Sheenans, and that I did not know and did not see any signs. She again reiterated in a surly tone “there are signs sir, you must check in.” The tone in the hostesses voice, along with her body language, did not make my wife or I feel welcomed at all. Instead, it just compounded the frustration we were already feeling about finding used underwear in our cabin. My wife and I also purchased the passes for the Thermal Suite and found throughout the cruise, that housekeeping was again an issue in the Thermal Suite Area. Guests would often leave towels on stone loungers as well as empty cups and fruit cores in around the complimentary water/snack station and lounge chair area after they left. Despite there being many staff/crew members present in and around the Thermal Suite Area very rarely did any one frequently come around and clean up these items. We experienced several other minor issues throughout the cruise such as not receiving certain items that were ordered with meals etc... All issues that just reaffirmed the lack of attention to detail. Despite all of the shortcomings outlined above, and the frustration we experienced, we did also meet some wonderful staff members who made our cruise enjoyable which made up for some of the short comings outlined above, as well as guests with whom we have made lifelong friends. All in all my wife and I enjoyed our trip and had a lot of fun. However, Norwegian did fall short of our expectations and in conclusion my wife and I would not feel comfortable recommending Norwegian Cruise Lines to friends and family at this time. We are still unsure if we would sail with Norwegian Cruise lines in the future. We did provide this feedback and more detail to NCL Guest Relations post cruise and they did respond 17 business days later apologizing for our experience, and offering to arrange some amenities if we choose to sail with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We choose this cruise for the length of time, the dates, and the islands we would see. And 13 years prior I had a great experience on NCL. This time our service was hit and miss depending on what bar or who our server was. Very noisy at ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the length of time, the dates, and the islands we would see. And 13 years prior I had a great experience on NCL. This time our service was hit and miss depending on what bar or who our server was. Very noisy at night, hard to sleep even with white noise playing in the background. Found a bed bug half way through the cruise. lslow disembarkment process, The shuttle bus driver, booked through the cruiseline to the airport got lost, had to call for directions and caused us and others to miss our flights and fly standby with stops home, separated seats, when we had a nonstop flight, getting us home 5 1/2 hours later (lucky we were able to get on both flights. or we would've spent more hours or days in the airport). We love cruising. this was my 5th in the past 13 years ,4 different cruise lines, and I have never experienced anything like this with any other cruise line or them years ago. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This was a mother daughter cruise for some well needed getaway from a long winter. We loved that it left from New York since we live in New England so no flights or parking etc. Embarkation went smooth with no issues. We had a few ... Read More
This was a mother daughter cruise for some well needed getaway from a long winter. We loved that it left from New York since we live in New England so no flights or parking etc. Embarkation went smooth with no issues. We had a few small hiccups the first day or so but that is to be expected. The problem was when we went to the kids club for the first day and since there was not many older kids my 12 year old was placed with the 6 year old's. Anyone who knows kids would know that a 12 year old and a 6 year old have very little in common. I asked if she could be with the older kids and told no. This resulted in my daughter refusing to go to the program. My daughter was looking forward to the cruise and meeting new friends and ended up hanging out with the older crowd at Origami and trivia. She was less than a happy traveler. This ruined the cruise for her. This also ruined the cruise for me as how much fun can you have with a 12yr 24 hours a day. Out of the 10 day cruise there was only 3 ports due to a storm. That left 7 days trapped on the ship. One would think that with 7 days on a ship the enrichment and activities would be a priority. That is not the case. We had to scour the daily schedule and where lucky to find a few things to do and when we did they were cancelled or not held. Most of the activities outside where cancelled. When we found something, it would only last 30 minutes max. The remaining activities where at a cost. Examples of enriching things to do are Origami fish, golf putting into a cup, balloon swords, Sudoku on the big screen. Only one time did they offer a fun game like Pictionary and never any prizes. If you want to go on deck good luck. The place is packed. You could not get a lounger unless you arrived super early. They have lounger’s other places on the ship besides the pool but they are all tied down and forget trying to find someone to untie them for you. If you are looking for entertainment at the pool you will be disappointed as well. The pools side games and contests are lacking when the pool was open. The evening shows are the only thing we looked forward to besides the ports. Due to the lack of activities we even went to a show twice in one night. The comedian, magician, dancers and acrobats where good and worth our time. We were very disappointed when one night the show was cancelled due to the weather and two other nights there was a Broadway actress who sang beautifully but was so dated. The second time she performed the theater was less than half full and the man next to me was snoring. We stayed because there was absolutely nothing else to do. They had movies, but they were at 10pm and in the atrium. What a bad time and bad place to hold them. We only ate at the included restaurants and buffets. Overall the food was average. Excursions We participated in an excursion each day. In Antiqua we went to the beach through the boat. This was a nice relaxing day at the beach. I would recommend getting a taxi off the ship and paying a fraction of the price. In St Lucia we went on the Segway tour. The description at the tour desk was lengthily and talked about 2 miles of Segwaying, lounging on a beach, snorkeling, a island tour, rum drinks, and fresh fruits. The tour we went on was far from the enchanting description. There was no rum offered. The fruits where a banana on a plate. The island tour included a sewage storage area and stops at a banana tree. We only spent 45 minutes on the segway tour out of a 5 hour trip. This was just a few examples of how bad this excursion was and believe me it was much worse. Upon return I observed 7 people of the 18 people on the tour reported the nightmare tour and the inaccurate description. A day after "investigating" we were told that we needed to ask for the snorkeling, lounging and rum. I feel with the number of complaints this tour should have been refunded. Also I do not think you should blame the paying customers for not demanding the tour they had been promised in a foreign place. St. Thomas we went on the Turtle Cove Catamaran. This was a great trip. We saw a few turtles and tons of fish. The crew and captain where fun and very attentive. We would highly recommend this trip. The trip home was long and turbulent. The outside decks where closed. I got sea sick but the desk had medication that stopped the effects but also caused extreme drowsiness. When I was vertical and tried to venture out, the activities where in the Spinniker lounge at the top of the ship. This is where you get the most motion on the entire ship. One minute you were looking at ocean and the next minute all you could see is sky. The cruise staff would have to hold on to the poles just to run the activity. I was confused why you would schedule the activities there where it would make people the sickest? I contact NCL with my concerns and issues and was thanked for the feedback and told the next time I book to let them know and I will get a welcome aboard gift. I will not travel NCL again. I feel as though they do what is most economical for them at the expense of their cruisers. They cut costs on the entertainment, kids club, activities, food and the excursions all which resulted in the worst cruise I have ever taken. I was Married and celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary on a NCL cruise so this decision was not made lightly. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
This sailing was from New York City in the winter with the first stop being down in Antihua. As such there were 5 sea days planned out of the 10 total. That's a lot of days at sea, at least some of which you know will be in cold ... Read More
This sailing was from New York City in the winter with the first stop being down in Antihua. As such there were 5 sea days planned out of the 10 total. That's a lot of days at sea, at least some of which you know will be in cold weather. As such you would expect that the ship would really try to do it right as far as on board activities, entertainment, food and service. Unfortunately for me they missed the mark on all of these. The activities were more or less the same every day. They do have pools, a rock climbing wall, a basketball court, and some other few deckside games as well as swimming and sunning (which you can't really do on the 3-4 cold sea days near New York), you had trivia, scavenger hunt, bingo and the like (for a fee), and other similar distractions for 30 minutes to an hour here and there and a casino. Of course you could also pay for spa treatments, do overpriced shopping in their limited retail space or art gallery. Of course the PA system gives you frequent and loud reminders of these opportunities to spend more on that shopping or art. The entertainment in the lounges was probably about what you'd expect from lounge performers. Not great but not horrible. Of course they had a place for karaoke. Where the entertainment really failed for me was in their main theater. One day they had a comedian, who was pretty good, but that was the highlight. they don't have a designated comedy club like other ships I've been on so that was it. Only 1 day did they have the usual musical cast show and it was western/country music themed. If you didn't happen to like country music, that was a bust. Other days they had a comic hypnotist, a couple who do cirque de soleil type acrobatics, and a former broadway singer doing some solo stuff. The food was probably no better or worse than you find on most Caribbean cruises these days. Mass produced items made with relatively little care because the focus is on speed and quantity. Of course there are premium restaurants, and fortunately we had a 4 premium dinners package. Those were better than the normal fare you would find in one of the main dining rooms or the buffet, but Ruths Chris isn't going to be worried about the competition. We had an ocean view cabin with a picture window which was OK. Actually the bed was pretty comfortable, but you had to squeeze through other furniture or the fold down upper bed on one wall to actually get to one side or the other. Our porter was nice and helpful. Whether we needed extra towels or ice, or a late room makeup or early room turn down he was there to help. The choice of excursions was rather limited, especially if you weren't looking for just sunning on a beach, getting drunk on a ship, or snorkeling/scuba. One of our excursions was changed from afternoon to morning because they had to tender people to the pier instead of docking as originally planned. They never told us why that happened, just issued us new excursion tickets and a letter about the change. There was one significant problem regarding the itinerary which is something I guess they could not do anything about. They had to skip one of the planned ports, Martinique, due to weather issues. I don't think the issues were in Martinique, but rather in the ocean of the coast of the northeast US. A nor'easter passed through NY while we were in the Caribbean and was still churning there on our way back. So it seems they needed to plot a less straight line course back to NY which did not allow enough time to visit all 4 islands as planned and added yet a sixth sea day to a trip already heavy on sea days. Of course safety had to come first and the seas were quite rough on the way back even with the safer course, but that also meant they had to close off the upper/outside activities for much of the return trip, including the pools. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
I just cruised the NCL Gem to the Southern Caribbean from NYC from 2/13 - 2/24/2018. The Gem staff as a whole was less than helpful. When asked about specific items it seemed to bother them. One instance of this occurred in the gift ... Read More
I just cruised the NCL Gem to the Southern Caribbean from NYC from 2/13 - 2/24/2018. The Gem staff as a whole was less than helpful. When asked about specific items it seemed to bother them. One instance of this occurred in the gift shop where a staff member sighed rolled her eyes and said she didn't want to display a certain item of jewelry (the charm bracelets) because it was "too much work". Another instance occurred when a friend was looking to purchase one of the silver CZ rings. Of the two sales persons there, neither was willing to help her look for her size, "It's just what you see there", said one dismissively. In addition, the staff as a whole did not have proper command of the English language. There were several areas of miscommunication due to this issue. One time I was told the Internet staff would be there at 5 and when I returned about a half hour later at 5, the line was around the corner. I went back to customer service and through her poor broken English I realized she meant staff would be there in 5 minutes not 5 o"clock! It made the staff seem not to be knowledgeable and dismissive. Other cruiselines educate their staff better. This was the worst experience I have had due to this language issue and I have been on over a dozen cruises. This doesn't happen on Royal! In addition, I was shocked at the low level food served at the dining halls. No lobster, no escargot??? Never have I experienced this. Even if there was a nominal charge I would understand. But to not have upscale options in the main dining hall absolutely soured my experience. Also, the desserts were not up to par either. The lava cake was overcooked, cheesecake not always available. Lastly, there was a night where the sea was very rocky. The Captain never even mentioned it! There was no announcement as to why some areas were closing, how long do we expect to be in the storm, nothing, nada. Unbelievable!!! Also, for a recently refurbished ship, the decor was old, dark and dated. I have sailed on NCL Breakaway and had a really good experience. The Gem gets two thumbs down!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I was invited to go along with a friend and his daughter. I had my own cabin paying a 50% single supplement. The food was okay (especially when compared to onboard the Epic!), and service was acceptable most of the time. The ... Read More
I was invited to go along with a friend and his daughter. I had my own cabin paying a 50% single supplement. The food was okay (especially when compared to onboard the Epic!), and service was acceptable most of the time. The ship's venues were greatly under used. There was limited entertainment and there were numerous times when all of us, two adults and an 11 year old girl, were bored and felt there was nothing to do. Only one deck party?? No 80's party? The Bliss was used for kareoke and not dancing. Cabins are small. Our port stay in St. Thomas was barely half a day. Many people didn't even bother to get off the ship out of fear of making it back ontime. Deal or No Deal is considered a show... then is playing Bingo a show too?? Speaking of Bingo, there is a jackpot promised, if you get blackout within 47 balls -- but no one ever does. They do not award the jackpot, in 5 NCL cruises I've never seen it awarded. We looked for the Canvass by U and couldn't find the sign up, and sign up only took place on the first day. The magician was okay (if you like magicians), the acrobatic Duo was good. The singer Teacake was quite good, but only performed once on a 10 day cruise. I would have liked to see her again. The musical Swing was cancelled, we were not interested in a country musical show, Blazing Boots, but went to see Get Down Tonight. That show was a huge embarrassment. The vocals were horrible, the dancing was sloppy, the staging was so last millennium. Even the song choice left a lot to be desired. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
It was offered as a no fly cruise through our local AAA. Thought it would be nice to get a little warmth during such a cold winter.First mistake was leaving out of NYC in January. Rough waters for days coming and going. Used NYC before in ... Read More
It was offered as a no fly cruise through our local AAA. Thought it would be nice to get a little warmth during such a cold winter.First mistake was leaving out of NYC in January. Rough waters for days coming and going. Used NYC before in the fall. Never a problem. We had an ocean view cabin with a big window. That was the only big thing about the cabin.On other cruise lines we’ve been on size was never an issue.The bathroom was so small I don’t know how a bigger person used the toilet. The food was not very good.The main dining room really didn’t have much variety. We only ate their twice. We did 4 specialty dinners which were ok nothing special.We did the Asian which my husband really enjoyed .We ate at OSheehans quite a bit that was more to my liking. Entertainment was ok especially the showband. The shows were good, otherwise the lounge acts were pretty boring, Talking to other cruisers that have been on Norwegian before,this was our first Norwegian,it seems that there has been a big reduction in the number of staff and it showed, Long waits in main dining room once you were seated. The buffet had the same food over and over. I didn’t see any presence of workers wiping down rails and daily maintenance like on other lines .By the end of the cruise there was a lot of coughing and sneezing which is probably why my husband has the flu and I have pneumonia. Won’t be cruising anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Ran out of butter? Toward the end, more butter appeared (I suspect from another NCL ship at the same port) I ordered an Omelette in the Main Dining. The server stated that it would take 1/2 hour to 40 minutes. Main dining service was ... Read More
Ran out of butter? Toward the end, more butter appeared (I suspect from another NCL ship at the same port) I ordered an Omelette in the Main Dining. The server stated that it would take 1/2 hour to 40 minutes. Main dining service was abysmal. Wait, wait, wait. (maybe thath's why they are called WAIT staff?) In O'Sheehans Pub, appetizers served AFTER main course. I only asked for chips! I asked 3x for water. Finally, asked hostess. She didn't care about the service but got the water. She said that since the weather was bad outside, more people came inside and they only have so much grill space. How's this: wait on line in Garden Court for selections. Then no seating available! Cabin Staff was terrific. Entertainment: Magician, Hypnotist, Dancers, were great. Ports of Call were good except St. Lucia. Overall, I did expect more Hurricane damage and was happy to see no devastation. 3 Code Alphas. Washee-Washee. Read Less

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