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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise as a replacement option. Our Cuba cruise was cancelled by presidential order and NCL offered us to take this cruise, instead. Although the itinerary wasn't our first choice, vacation time was set aside and this ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a replacement option. Our Cuba cruise was cancelled by presidential order and NCL offered us to take this cruise, instead. Although the itinerary wasn't our first choice, vacation time was set aside and this was our only alternative. NCL discounted our cruise 50% and gave us a 50% discount towards a future cruise. Therefore, the deal was right. The vessel looks beautiful inside. We learned it was recently refurbished. Other than difficulty finding public bathrooms (few and far between), and the A/C blasting far too much, particularly around the Stardust theater (trust me, way too cold), the cruise was fabulous. The attention to detail and the incredible high customer service made it even better. Our recent experience with NCL wasn't good. Customer service was lacking, and the little things missing. This time around everyone was very attentive to our every need. A couple of disappointments included learning that our Platinum standing was limited to on-board discounts. We did not receive our "usual" perks (water, champagne, free laundry, free specialty dining, etc.). NCL claims that said perks are reserved for cruises in excess of 5 days, which was news to us. We had never heard such thing before. We did two tours: Atlantis on our own and swimming with the pigs. Both were perfectly organized and fun. A final thought: NCL must realize that Royal Caribbean and others charge virtually the same, do the same itineraries, and have a better reputation. Every time NCL changes the rules, it turns us off. We have two more cruises coming. Afterwards, we are going back to Royal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My parents booked this cruise as a gift to me for my 22nd birthday , (07/14) . From the second I got there , I was treated far better than any all inclusive resort in Cancun or Punta Cana . I had a studio room , the studio is small but ... Read More
My parents booked this cruise as a gift to me for my 22nd birthday , (07/14) . From the second I got there , I was treated far better than any all inclusive resort in Cancun or Punta Cana . I had a studio room , the studio is small but full of everything u need . Shower , toilet , sink , very comfortable bed , closet , tv , and these party lights installed all throughout our he room which really changed the mood of the whole trip . The buffet food at the restaurant was okay , however the exclusive restaurant were out of this world . Le bistro, was superb , the Manhattan was great , moderno had amazing meats . The drinks were made to perfection . Nothing watered down, all drinks premium and perfect with the alcohol . The amount of friends I made on this cruise is unreal . Norwegian does everything they can to make it as easy as possible to have a good time . If you are early 20s or late teens , definitely book a cruise with Norwegian because they give you everything you need , full of activities , you just have to make the best and most fun of it . Which is fairy easy Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First of all, starting from embarkation we came across with the same problem, again and again, we have Turkish special passport holders which do not require us to obtain a visa for certain countries. We told it each time to the embarkation ... Read More
First of all, starting from embarkation we came across with the same problem, again and again, we have Turkish special passport holders which do not require us to obtain a visa for certain countries. We told it each time to the embarkation personnel and passport officers but they cause us to wait sometimes 2 hours in order to get confirmation. Sometimes they do not accept official letters from embassies. So, they must update the visa requirements checklist including special passport holders. As a frequent traveler, I do not want to be treated as a missing visa issue again and again. Because I do not need to have a visa. Furthermore, as a premier guest, we experienced a lot of problems, some restaurant managers trying to tell me that there are 2000 platinum plus members staying on the ship. Therefore they can not give us a priority in the restaurants. Later I learned that this was a total lie. I reported the situation to the general hotel director and asked him that if I can not get any priority why do I need to choose Norwegian again. I received no response. Therefore you can not receive any priority even if you are too loyal to the cruise line. For thermal suite packages, the ship sold more than the available limits in the spa area. Everybody who finds the door open just jumps in. Everybody start having an argument about sitting in lounge chairs. I was assaulted twice by other passengers. I also reported this situation to the general director but nothing changed. The spa personnel most of the time left the door open or some other guests invite others to use spa for free. Therefore the majority f the passengers get really angry for why they paid extra for thermal spa if everybody can jump inside freely. At last, during the disembarkation process, everything becomes chaotic. The ship personnel can able to collect and make passport stamps while we are on the ship and inside the European premises for one week we traveled to Portugal and Spain ports. But they preferred to do EU entry passport stamps on our own during disembarkation at Barcelona. I have to wait a lot of lines, ship exit line, passport stamp line, baggage collection line and taxi stand time. It takes a complete 3 hours. I have been cruised many times but have not seen such a thing in Barcelona for the recent 10 years. I have been many times cruised with Norwegian but their loyalty seems to be nothing more than 2 free special dinners which are limited to 25 USD max order per cabin not per member. I expect them to give unlimited internet or some more dining night for free but once you get platinum, do not try to get higher because once you reach plat plus only thing you get is a dinning chance with an officer as a group of 3-4 staterooms in a main dining room. Especially in this cruise from Cape Canaveral to Barcelona, most of the passengers are really annoyed because only three shows were presented as unique for 15 days. For other days they repeat the shows again and again. Everybody goes to bed at 7 pm after dinner. So we call the ship as a ghost at late times. Epic is a good ship I have traveled with her 4 times in the past. But it was managed well and the level of the service and fun was great. Use to be Burn the floor took a showplace in Manhattan but no more. I have never heard someone playing the piano in the taste also. Furthermore, the waiters are not trained most of them newly joined to the company. Sometimes you have to wait 2-3 hours for a 3-course meal. For even the laundry they keep saying that every day they receive 5000 bags of laundry, they work so hard, they have no time to rest etc. I do not understand why are they acting like this. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Hello. I was looking for a cruise to wind down and relax. However the cruise was a tornado of dysfunctional proportions by the cruise line. I get to the window and give them my passports. They ask for my room number. I offer it. The lady ... Read More
Hello. I was looking for a cruise to wind down and relax. However the cruise was a tornado of dysfunctional proportions by the cruise line. I get to the window and give them my passports. They ask for my room number. I offer it. The lady says, no the room number on the website is not your room. The supervisor female comes over and says they double booked us. Here is our number to our room. They gave us 2 sets of keys Incase (liability) all day long. We tried our room number from the website a gentleman and his female were in the room. He got angry with me from entering. Clearly NCL screwed up. Days 1,2,5 we had a toilet not working. I called days 1 & 2 to fix it. On day 2 the toilet comes out of the wall. I called guest services no answer, I tried again, finally someone answered. I said “didn’t you guys put the toilet back on after fixing it” I had charges from this other couple on my bill. I had photos on my card of this same other couple. On the day we were supposed to leave, I never got a letter that affords my group to be taken to Miami airport. Went down to the desk asked for the letter. The room number on the letter was different.... again. Plus all the charges on my bill were someone else. By fighting when them days 1,2,5 I was mentally exhausted by 8 pm. I had anxiety from the stress and my grandmother so angry. My grandmother has been on lots of cruises but this one was beyond her comprehension. I asked for a full refund. I didn’t enjoy at all. It didn’t live up to the amount I paid. The food was OK like a upscale Disney Park. The people working on the boat always smiling and exceptional. But no one has authority. Even when this guy hit me. No one took a interest in my concerns or safety despite writing in the comment box. And NCL never responded to my email. So. I would not recommend NCL Dawn. In good faith I was looking for a apologize. Don’t know if I will ever get it. The toilet came out of the wall bruised my leg. Just a really bad time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I can’t complain much. This is my 3rd Norwegian cruise and 6 overall. I’ve been on the escape in 2017 and the sky in 2012. The escape by far was the best. The bathroom toilet on the Dawn smelt terrible the whole time. The bathroom were ... Read More
I can’t complain much. This is my 3rd Norwegian cruise and 6 overall. I’ve been on the escape in 2017 and the sky in 2012. The escape by far was the best. The bathroom toilet on the Dawn smelt terrible the whole time. The bathroom were the toilet was, was very tight. I’m not a huge person either. I had 2 specialty dining package when I booked. Ate at los labos and cagneys steakhouse. The steakhouse was great. Los labos is an acquired taste if you love Mexican dishes. I also paid extra for modernos which was really good and worth a try as well. I had free house drinks through the casino the whole cruise. I booked a “free cruise” through the casino here in Maryland. Still had to pay taxes. This was a good beginner cruise for someone who wants to see what cruising is about. I feel like almost a veteran cruiser now except haven’t been on Royal Caribbean yet lol. 5 day cruise from Miami. Stopping at Belize I think this small island is owned by ncl. Then stopping at costa maya Mexico. I’ve been to both of these places on the escape. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Joining my niece and her two girls for Spring break motivated us to book this cruise along with its convenience as we live in Manhattan. Overall I'd rate this experience under the "meh" category. I'm not a fan ... Read More
Joining my niece and her two girls for Spring break motivated us to book this cruise along with its convenience as we live in Manhattan. Overall I'd rate this experience under the "meh" category. I'm not a fan of these megaships and this confirmed my feeling. Way too many people, service not at Celebrity or Cunard standard for suite guests and, in some food venues, literally ineatable food. Haven concierges are helpful and it's good for embarkation and disembarkation. When I say ineatable I mean ineatable. Steak in Manhattan Room tasted like detergent. The Haven menu sounded good and rarely delivered in quality. Food all felt overly processed and not at what you pay for at Haven rates. Service in the Haven restaurant, though a pleasant room inside and outside dining, didn't live up to what it should be. (Eg waiting 10 minutes in the morning for coffee and coffee cups, I'm not kidding) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This is my first cruise on Norwegian. Since I've done 2 RCL last year, those experiences were still fresh on my mind so I compare the three ships. Sadly I must say that Norwegian is like many had lamented, lagging behind other leading ... Read More
This is my first cruise on Norwegian. Since I've done 2 RCL last year, those experiences were still fresh on my mind so I compare the three ships. Sadly I must say that Norwegian is like many had lamented, lagging behind other leading cruise lines now. Ship: Escape is quite impressive in size and plan. I like the water slides/park, rope course, and very nice mini golf course. Escape also seems to be rocking harder at similar weather, and definitely shakes (at 6th floor MDR you can clearly feel the tremble - as if someone's shaking legs at your table, and you can feel it at times even in the 16th floor Garden Cafe!). Can't help but think of the listing incident. Our last day had huge wind - 70+ miles, waves several meters high, but we were safe. I do like the casino not being as smelly as some other ships, and the atrium always having some interesting activities. Summary: RCL wins because they offer surf simulator and flight simulator. Skating rinks, rock climbing etc. And overall smoother ride. Cabin: Had mini suite on Escape, and Balcony on Allure/Anthem. I like Escape's cabin number plate, with "make up room", "at home", "do not disturb" indicators. Size wise they seem similar, but mini suite had bigger/nicer bathroom. The biggest complaints I have against Escape are listed further down in cabin review Summary: Easy win for RCL here. Food: MDR was a semi-disaster. Even if you go there at an early time, you might have to wait a bit to get in. The menu had few things special usually, and you have to wait a super long time for any course. The waiting staff were slow refilling (my water glass was empty and 10 mins past no one filled it up. I finally got a chance to ask the waitress and it took another 10 mins to get it). It was so bad that after the first 2 days, we went to Garden Cafe pretty much all the time. Norwegian claimed "Nobody does dining like Norwegian". They're right - we haven't seen a slower MDR on Carnival, RCL, or Celebrity! Anthem/Allure MDR was quite efficient and always had something interesting to order. I think it's not that Escape staff was bad, but they seem very short on hand in MDR. One waiter has to deal with many tables. It almost makes one think Norwegian deliberately drove traffic to Garden Cafe. But at least Garden Cafe is its saving grace. It's much better than RCL's horrendous windjammer. There's barely any long lines in Garden Cafe AND never ever had one had to wait outside the Cafe waiting to get in. Windjammer of RCL is small and jampacked, had food that's not that good and a few times had lines 20-30 mins long waiting outside to get in! We ended up mostly using MDR on RCL. Summary: RCL edges out, only slightly. Much better buffet on Escape can't fully compensate for the huge lack of finer dining option (sans paying extra for specialty dining). Entertainment: We booked every show, including escape room (you should book them right after you get on ship, in the box office) on Escape. The main, Broadway-quality show, After Midnight - nearly everyone of us fell asleep during some part of it. It's great singing, great showcase of jazz. But not including other music style AND without a real plot made it boring. The comedy shows were fine, same quality as other ships. The staff talent show - I was wowed. Grace from the O'Sheehan packed a powerful voice. She's in the wrong line of work and deserves a better stage. The Chinese dancer was quite professional and chose music nicely with good choreography. The magician was fine. Later ones were not as good but still quite impressive. The Knights - a huge letdown. They picked mostly obscure songs from the most famous knighted singers, and the few that were famous, you can't tell until the 3rd line! Somehow they managed to take every song and sign it in their own way, and not a good way! Their voices were ranging from OK to very good, but they shouldn't be singing pop songs. One of them should be belting out Broadway hits instead. Dizzy the magician was great! He's really funny and had some very nice tricks that I still scratch my head. But the real surprise was Choir of Men. I never heard of them before but they were fantastic! Like Knights, they took famous songs and sang in their own way, except it's a very good way! One of the Knights member joked at the end of their show said a Choir of Men member "came to watch their show on his off day, just to see how it shouldn't be done". It's actually true. Where Knights failed miserably, Choir of Men triumphed. From a powerful rendition of Adele's Hello to touching love ballade (not sure whose song was it). They chose different voices for different songs and nailed most of them. The bar tender, sadly, did not have a great voice but was tasked on two songs not well suited for him, particularly Sia's Chandelier?? He couldn't really do it, despite the nice harmony created by the team. But overall this is a 5-star show. I'd say don't miss Dizzy's show and definitely not Choir of Men! Activities wise it's similar to RCL, and the atrium big screen is nice for both simultcast and other activities. Summary: RCL still wins out easily. Anthem had We will rock you and Allure betters with Mamma Mia. Both had some impressive acts flown in to perform some shows and every show on RCL ships were quite good. The escape room on Escape is very similar to the one in 270 on Anthem, so that's even. Pool: Didn't really use it much. Hot tub usually quite busy, including spice H2O. The waterfall was quite gimmicky. Summary: RCL edges out slightly with bigger and better equipped solarium vs the small spice H2O. Fitness: Escape has decent size, and better classes at a slightly lower price for unlimited. It's way more packed the first two days than both of the RCL ships too. But one equipment had a bad seat from beginning till end of cruise despite that they said they called it in a while ago. Summary: This might be the only Norwegian win here. Port: Bermuda is nice! I like the beaches all looking different. View from lighthouse was very nice too. We heard various opinions that said Elbow Beach had the pinkest sand, or Horseshoe had the pinkest sad. But as we discovered, Jobson's Cove definitely had the pinkest sand of the 3, and possibly all beaches! One thing though - don't pick up anything translucent on the beach. And if you don't have place for your snorkeling gear, don't worry. Most of the beaches had few fishes. Horseshoe had like 10, Jobson's Cove had 4. My son said he saw more fish at the Garden Cafe... (There is actually reasonable number of fish at Tobacco Bay though, which has nice rock formations too). BTW surprisingly, even though the water's cold, once you get in, it wasn't so bad. On nice sunny April days, you can swim. We didn't book any excursions and didn't feel the need to. Took Escape's ferry to St. George and most other times were using public bus and ferry (bought bus tickets in post office). That was fine - the bus was slow and no clear schedule at individual stops, so we took taxi at times too. Final verdit: While we enjoyed our trip quite a bit, Norwegian was disappointing as it had the same price as RCL but definitely failed to provide the same entertainment and service. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Excellent week!. Best shows on the ship was Choir of Man!!, Howl at the Moon, The Knights & JR, who we loved. He played nightly in the Brew House. He also had a one man Elton John concert in the Supper Club. I have never had a ... Read More
Excellent week!. Best shows on the ship was Choir of Man!!, Howl at the Moon, The Knights & JR, who we loved. He played nightly in the Brew House. He also had a one man Elton John concert in the Supper Club. I have never had a problem or not thoroughly enjoyed a cruise. Ship was clean & well maintained. Dining options are excellent. Great food every night. Love Bermuda. Nice to be docked for 3 days. You can get on & off as often as you want. April is not my favorite month to cruise, only because the wather going & coming is not always great. Bermuda weather was beautiful! Everyone from the Captain down are friendly, attentive. Never met a member of the crew that was not smiling or did not do there best to take care of your needs. Can't wait to next cruise.This was our first stay in the Haven. . Service & everything was just incredible! This was my 16th cruise on NCL. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise based upon the week we were traveling and the NY location These are a list of things you should be made aware of: ~ As we boarded the ship we witnessed an entire crate holding luggage fall into The Hudson River. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based upon the week we were traveling and the NY location These are a list of things you should be made aware of: ~ As we boarded the ship we witnessed an entire crate holding luggage fall into The Hudson River. The fork lift operator did not secure the cart before lowering it. We believe this was the cause of us being a few hours late to depart and cannot even imagine what those poor passengers had to deal with after their luggage soaked in such filthy water (which we seen with our own eyes). ~ Our first stop in Florida we were delayed 3.5 to 4 hours and therefore did not get to our day at the beach until 5pm. We were not offered an apology or a choice to cancel our excursion and were still charged full price. We made the best of it, things happen sometimes and we know that. ~ Our second stop was to Great Stirrup Cay which we were really looking forward to. AN ENTIRE DAY AT THE BEACH after only an hour the day before. Come to find out there was only 2 tenders to remove some 3000+ guests and it took us 2.5 hours standing in line (in a HOT hallway) with angry passengers before we finally got on a tender. We were "assigned" tender 8 after waiting in the guest services line with all the other frustrated vacationers but we luckily did not wait until we were called, we jumped in line waited 2 and a half hours and it did not matter because there was no such thing as tender tickets!!!!!! WHAT????? The other poor people did not get off the ship until 2:30 and there was no food left for them to eat. An absolute disaster for being a private island and not having more tenders. AGAIN - we made the most of it and at least got 3 hours in at the beach. We also were not allowed to rent an umbrella on the beach but luckily one of the other guests offered us his. ~ Our last stop was The Bahama's and luckily no problems were experienced there as we spent a fortune to spend the day at Atlantis and had a good time! On Board these are a few of the things we noticed and cannot help but compare to other cruise lines. ~ The entire trip it seemed almost all areas were understaffed. We came across 3 very public piles of vomit that were not at all being tended to. One at the Garden Cafe we noticed while having lunch. We looked at the table empty beside us only see someone had gotten sick and instead of it being cleaned up the staff just tilted chairs over it to cover it up. GROSS! Once in the hallway by our rooms my friend witnessed someone throwing up and called housekeeping to let them know but it was not cleaned up for a good 2 hours. All the while kids/people walking up and down the hall and either stepping in it or jumping over it! AGAIN GROSS and completely unsanitary considering my friend called to report it. The third occasion was up on the 17th pool deck in one of the public handicapped showers. I went in to cool off only to be told by another passenger not to go in there because someone had gotten sick and no one was around to clean it up. ~ The soap dispensers in every public rest room were impossible to get soap from. It was not just my experience but everyone in my group and other guests commented the same. To the point that the onboard comedian even had it as part of his show. How in the world (when it is SO VITAL to stop spreading germs) do you not have soap dispensers that work?? ~ The ship was constantly dirty. Outside by the pool decks, the counters in the main lobby, bars and the floors in the elevators were SO GROSSLY STICKY. Again, it was like they were extremely under staffed. ~ The food was, in all honestly, just edible not enjoyable. I understand it is hard to have a buffet for 3000+ guest but it was not just in the buffet. The free style dining rooms were just mediocre. We luckily had 3 specialty dinning meals and they were excellent, but thought the pricing for kids (not included in the dining package) was obnoxiously expensive. Each family had 2 kids and charging $36.00 per child and an automatic 20% gratuity is just ridiculous. And to not even have a different kids menu in each restaurant was just crazy. My poor kids ate burgers all week because I could not see spending $50 per kid knowing they eat like birds. What kid’s meal costs $36???? Nowhere will you ever find a place charging $36+ for a kid’s meal that is unfairly overpriced for the amount of food a child would eat. ~ The ice cream up in the Garden Cafe never really worked and it was more of a milk shake than soft ice cream. It was never fully frozen. ~ Unlimited drinks should include EVERYTHING and not up-charges for different brands. That is just false advertising all around. I've never ever been on a cruise that charged extra for different brands. ~ The staff and crew did not appear to know anything at all. We constantly were told things that made no sense or were directed to the Box Office, but they were not open and no one else could help us. Anyone at Guest Services (IN MY OPINION) should be able to answer any question. That was never the case. We spent a lot of time up there in line to ask questions only to feel clueless and a complete waste of time. The one gentleman told us we were charged for Burn the House when in fact we were being charged for a different show. It was not just one experience, but any experience we had asking staff a question it was like it was their first week of work. ~ The kids club! We were traveling with 4 kids. Two 11 year olds and two 9 year olds. Every piece of documentation we read before selecting and booking this cruise had two age groups for the kids club and once on board there were 3 groups and our kids had to be separated. We asked multiple times if our two 9 year olds (who will be 10 next month) could go with their older siblings and were told NO WAY AT ALL. Again, this was a horrible experience for us as we went with another family and our kids wanted to be together. Of course the only time they could be together was at 10:30pm and we would have to pay per kids. No flexibility at all. You should update the information so people know that before booking. ~ We stood in line for an hour and a half that Saturday we arrived to book tickets for shows and had our reservations given away to standby before the show even started. If you make a 7pm reservation you should not have to be there by 6:30 or lose your tickets. That makes NO SENSE. You should then tell us the reservation is for 6:30 and not seven. Again 4 disappointed parents and kids. Obviously it goes without saying that a lot of money and planning went into this trip and to say we were disappointed and at times absolutely disgusted is an understatement. I could not help but to compare it to my most recent cruise on Royal Caribbean (11 months ago) and my other cruising history and hands down Norwegian was a total disappointment compared to the others. I would never cruise with Norwegian again and or recommend to anyone else interested in cruising. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I planned the cruise 3 weeks ahead of time for spring break with my husband. We both have never been on a cruise. We disembarked from our port hours later than expected but we didn’t care exploring the ship was fun. The cruise went from ... Read More
I planned the cruise 3 weeks ahead of time for spring break with my husband. We both have never been on a cruise. We disembarked from our port hours later than expected but we didn’t care exploring the ship was fun. The cruise went from NY to Port Carnaval FL, great stirrup cay and Nassau Bahamas. Total of 7 nights. We arrived late for every port, coming back home we were early. Here’s some PROS: 1. The buffet is the way to go- tons of options, nearly anytime completely free. I had a happy belly the whole vacation 2. Drinks are perfect- I barely drink and if I do it’s a straight shot. All mixed drinks were perfect 3. Enough activities on board to not get bored 4. Staff are amazing!- cleaning, customer service and dining 5. My balcony room was bigger than in the picture! 6. Disability persons were accommodated to the highest level I’ve ever seen. 7. The free entertainment like ‘burn the floor’ and the levity group (comedy) deserve money because they were so good! CONS (to me): 1. Drinking package and food packages- must be bought for all days of the cruise even if you want to buy a few days in 2. Activities on board are literally this: bingo, deal or no deal, activities staff come up with (the activities the staff came up with are the most fun because the whole audience is involved) 3. Too many children- children in the hot tubs splashing water, hogging seats they don’t use for over a hour, making a mess in the buffet every minute. 4. Disembarkation to destination- Unclear and ill managed. Sometimes you needed a reservation to disembark or first come first serve. The guests were not notified until the day of. 5. Safe opened said E BAR randomly. Suspicious. My take: I spent nearly 2,000 on a vacation that I didn’t believe was worth it. I called the hotline for all my questions, deals available and concerns to avoid any mix ups. Bottom line: once you’re on the ship, they want you to spend. I enjoyed it, I wouldn’t go without a large group (best deals for large groups) TIPS: 1. Your vacation isn’t the destination ITS THE CRUISE so choose a cruise you believe has activities, amenities you want call the hotline and be direct with what you want. 2. Cruises have family friendly and adults only so if you’re like me do some research and assure you have quiet time. 3. Cruises are best in large groups, they do have solo traveler benefits but imagine playing bingo by yourself... Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Choose this week because we were off from school. Big mistake, crew couldn't handle the amount of people. Getting on the tender was a horrible process. Long and again not enough staff. Once off the ship the ports were very nice. Spent ... Read More
Choose this week because we were off from school. Big mistake, crew couldn't handle the amount of people. Getting on the tender was a horrible process. Long and again not enough staff. Once off the ship the ports were very nice. Spent time on there private Island. Nice, wish we had more time there. Dining was good, the food was good. Paid extra for the restaurants which were very good. There was hand sanitizer everywhere. I was thankful for that and the staff reminding you to wash when entering the buffet. Entertainment was ok, didn't get to see much. Too many children allowed in the adult pool and hot tubs. Seems like no rules were followed. Rooms were tiny and our carpet was filthy. Shower seems small, my guess it was the door instead of a curtain. Hot water was great. We always had very hot water. Will cruise again, not so sure on Norwegian. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My first experience with Norwegian Cruise Line was negative and I approached the Gem with low expectations. Happily, this cruise was miles better than the last and I'm looking at NCL in a new way. The Gem had some misses but overall ... Read More
My first experience with Norwegian Cruise Line was negative and I approached the Gem with low expectations. Happily, this cruise was miles better than the last and I'm looking at NCL in a new way. The Gem had some misses but overall we had a great cruise. The main reason was the crew - a friendly, hard-working group who seemed happy to help in any way. The Gem itself is a very comfortable ship. The layout is great - easy to negotiate and well laid out. Though our cruise sailed at close to full capacity, the ship almost never felt crowded. With the notable exception of disembarkation, we rarely stood in line for anything. The Gem has nice decor and well appointed public areas where we always found comfortable seating. As a ship it performed well, taking us through a small storm with minimal rocking. Though we have always liked having assigned dinner times and tables we decided to embrace the "free style" dining approach and ate in all but 2 of the Gem's restaurants. We found the Garden Buffet excellent - fresh food well prepared and plentiful. There were a few flubs (the pizza was often cold, even under heat lamps) but overall food was great - especially for a buffet. We had good meals at Orchid Garden, O'Sheehan's, and the Grand Pacific, three of the complimentary dining venues. The second main dining room, Magenta, gave us decent food with terrible service - our one really bad experience with the staff on board. Among the restaurants that charge an extra fee, we liked Le Bistro and loved Moderno (and I'm a vegetarian! Even not eating meat Moderno was terrific). La Cucina, the Italian restaurant, was a mix. I had a bad entree (overcooked pasta topped by under spiced shrimp) but the tiramisu at dessert was the best we had on the ship. Desserts were a weak spot overall. The desserts at the buffet were usually bad - marked by cheap tasting ingredients and a sense that they had been cooked with stability rather than taste as the prime goal. Desserts in the sit-down restaurants were better, though still below the level we've had on other cruise lines. And coffee not from the small coffee bar in the atruim was a loser too - always weak and often cold. Entertainment on the Gem was the real stand out. The two shows we saw done by the production cast were excellent. Not only was the quality of the signing and dancing high, the shows had been put together well and deserved the standing ovations they got. Bad weather caused a change in programming that gave us a cabaret night which was a treat - the four singers doing their favorite songs left the crowd every bit as happy as the scheduled show (which we saw later in the week). The three guest performers were uneven. We adored the juggler, were bemused by the acrobat/drummer brothers, and skipped the comedian after finding his preview set on the first night a yawn. We did hear others say he had been good in full performance so he may just have been off that night. We sampled the other music on the Gem also, liking the jazz band especially. We missed having classical music but are guessing we were in a very small minority with that preference. Activities on the Gem were not a good match for us and though we saw many in passing we participated in few. In part, NCL's preferred activities are not ours. Most of the passengers seemed to like the calls for raffles and bingo. There was certainly something going on all the time and many options. We missed having a real presentation about the port - the one advertised was only about shopping. We also missed getting a newspaper daily, something we have always liked on other ships. Our son used the teen Entourage lounge as a meeting place only, rarely trying the planned activities. That's not really a comment on the quality of the programming - teens are like that! The kids in the Splash Academy seemed very happy with their activities. We were happy to find the Gem has a real promenade deck with a full, outdoor circle. Unfortunately the crew were very - in our minds, overly - cautious about letting folks out and we were frequently prohibited from walking outside. The crew were almost uniformly good. Not only were they friendly towards the guests, they seemed genuinely happy to help each other and the approach to tasks ship-wide was one of teamwork. We were impressed at the wide variety of nationalities represented among the crew and lost track of how many different countries we'd seen people from. Bermuda is a lovely pace to visit and the port facilities were very good. The pier where we docked in under construction so we used a fairly ugly, temporary building but that wasn't a problem. We appreciated very much the free ferry provided to NCL passengers that travels between the Dockyard where the ship docks and St. Georges on the opposite end of thee islands. While we mostly chose to wander on our own, we took one excursion organized by NCL, an exploration of the Bermuda Railway Trail by bicycle that ended at a private beach. It was a great way to see some of the island. We sailed back to Boston feeling really good about NCL and thinking seriously about a future cruise. Then we disembarked. Honestly, it's hard to imagine the Gem could have done a worse good at getting passengers off the boat. Those of us who wanted to walk off with our luggage were told to simply do so - no tickets, no tally, no planning. Well, we ended up in line - on our feet - for well over an hour. It wasn't customs, they were very efficient. It was just poor planning. Not a good way to end what was in most ways a great cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
It was our 10th anniversary this year, but I am a teacher and we have a 2yo and a 5yo. We were trying to figure out something that was new and exciting, had some active days and some relaxing days, would fit with our schedule but not drop ... Read More
It was our 10th anniversary this year, but I am a teacher and we have a 2yo and a 5yo. We were trying to figure out something that was new and exciting, had some active days and some relaxing days, would fit with our schedule but not drop us into summer crowds, and was something we would eventually want to go back and explore more when our kids get older. This cruise fit all the bills, so we booked. We are somewhat control-freak nervous-travelers, but can definitely relax when the time is right, so we planned to land a day early, and leave a day later. We landed in Rome, booked an afternoon tour of the Vatican, checked into our hotel, and took the free shuttle down to the city center. Rome is great, and we are definitely going to come back, but that doesn't have much to do with the cruise, so I will move on. Embarkation day we went to the airport to meet our transfer. I think we were the first ones there, there was a bit of a wait and not a lot of direction, but in the end, we got on an awesome double-decker bus, met some of our neighbors for the next ten days and enjoyed a gorgeous ride from the airport to the cruise port. It was amazing. The cruise port was great, they had a lot of seating, amenities, called people up by group, processed everything quickly, and got us on the ship by noon. My husband left his passport at the check-in desk and they ended up leaving us a notice in our stateroom that we had lost something and they recovered it, so we went to guest services to retrieve it. We didn't even know we had left it because the first day of the cruise was sea-day, so we hadn't needed it. Day 1 was exploration, we found the irish pub, Henry's, that became our home for the cruise, and where we met the best people, including Jay, the bartender. Boy is he knowledgeable about whiskeys! And really just the best with customer service!! The art gallery onboard (an actual art gallery, not a hallway or 'we took over this lounge for a few hours') was great, especially because we have a habit of buying art on every cruise we go on. The steakhouse food was great. None of the food servers were really anything to write home about, and some of them were pretty obnoxious, but with the freestyle dining, they can be easily avoided. The Italian restaurant onboard makes up for in taste what it lacks in ambiance (as it is just a section of the buffet cordoned off at night for the specialty dining). The Osso Bucco was to die for. The french restaurant was kind of a waste of time and effort, and I am glad we took two nights in the steakhouse instead. The shore excursion staff was GREAT!! Most of the excursions were amazing and well worth it. The only one I would warn against was the Athens Acropolis and Leisure tour. The Acropolis can be seen alone and read about in a travel book, and the leisure just consisted of 'eat at this restaurant we get a kickback from and shop at these stores we get a kickback from' with not the best tour guides. I wish there had been more time to get off the boat and explore in Crete (we only had a 5 hour port call and Chania doesn't have much, so it is a half hour or more to get to anything non-industrial), but it was also nice to relax on the ship one of the days to recover from all of the exploring. The ship was perfect and the experience still has me glowing and excited for our next trek to Greece or Italy!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our fourth cruise, first on Norwegian. Could not even come close to the quality of all other cruise ships we’ve been on. Our biggest complaint was the lack of food choices available on the ship. TWO restaurants had the exact ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise, first on Norwegian. Could not even come close to the quality of all other cruise ships we’ve been on. Our biggest complaint was the lack of food choices available on the ship. TWO restaurants had the exact same menus. What a waste. Food average. Never had shrimp cocktail, properly made Italian food choices. Desserts and appetizers good. Rooms were adequate, our room with a balcony was great (however, they never cleaned the balcony surround enclosure, hard to see out if you were seated. Bed was comfortable and our steward “Roberto” was the nicest employee on the ship. Everyone else on cruise was for the most part not friendly or helpful. If u asked a question about almost anything they didn’t know!! Or they just ignored you, They did not know what seltzer was! Really with all those bars on board! Did not keep after the public areas. Had to leave our coffee cups and glasses on tables cause there were no receptacles around to dispose of trash. Four hours after I left a glass, the same one was was still there, unbelievable! The places we visited were great, no problem there. Would we cruise the Jade again, never! Also, not nearly as beautiful as all other ships! Also could not hear any announcements in the staterooms, channel 24 on TV was supposed to have this service available as per cruise director. We had to argue with personnel on board to get lounge chairs they had tied so we could join other guests on deck. Deck Stewart claimed it was not his decision to untie and place those lounges! The cruise cost us a lot of money and we all felt we were not treated as well as other cruises have in the past. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 14th NCL cruise but our first on the Sky. I was joined by my wife, son (21), and daughter (18). I will first review the ship and then review Cuba. SKY First, a few words about the Sky. The staff was absolutely the ... Read More
This was our 14th NCL cruise but our first on the Sky. I was joined by my wife, son (21), and daughter (18). I will first review the ship and then review Cuba. SKY First, a few words about the Sky. The staff was absolutely the most friendly out of any of the 20 cruises we have been on. They did not just welcome us to every venue, bar, and restaurant; they emphatically thanked us for joining them for the week. Simply outstanding service. The Sky itself was in much better condition than we have read in some other reviews. It is old. But it is clean and well maintained. The Sky is the smallest ship we have cruised on (our last two cruises were on the Epic and Escape). The advantage was no lines, ever. We found deck chairs whenever we wanted, never waited for a table in the dining rooms, and walked off the ship when we were ready to leave. The entertainment venues were not as polished as other larger, newer ships. But the performers did their best with the space they had. We might have gotten bored if this was a 7-day cruise. But the Sky was just fantastic for a 4-day cruise. One tip: If you like a quiet cabin, get a room on deck 6. These cabins are isolated from the rest of the ship. CUBA Like the Sky, Cuba was a very pleasant surprise. Part of the surprise was that ships dock right in the center of Old Havana. So you can walk on and off the ship as often as you like without any issues. As per our usual practice, we did not purchase an excursion on the ship. Instead, we had a tremendous adventure by putting together our own itinerary. Actually, all I did was spend about 1/2 hour searching the internet the night before. 1) Walking tour of Old Havana to orient ourselves 2) Found a great English-speaking driver and a beautiful restored 50's lime green Dodge convertible to take us on a 2.5 hour guided tour. The tour included detailed reviews of Old Havana, New Havana, brief visits to all three forts, a stop at the Bay of Pigs memorial, time at Revolution Square, and a photo stop at the Cristos statue. 3) Hopped on the ship for a quick lunch 4) Walked to the Almacenes San Jose Artisans market. Hundreds of booths selling mostly the same stuff at just "fair" prices. It seemed to be the Cuban equivalent of Nassau's straw market. 5) Took a cab to Santa Maria Del Mar and spent 2.5 hours on the beach. Nice sand but a bit rocky just at the waters edge. Caught a very interesting cab back to the ship: A restored 50's wagon that had been in the driver's family for 45 years. His father gave it to him when he retired as a cab driver, and he is about to give it to his son. 6) Quick shower and dinner in the dining room. 7) Walk off the ship and search for night life in Old Havana. We didn't find much. We were told the next day that a cab could have taken us to all of the hot spots. But at that point we were pretty worn out anyway. 8) Get back on the ship at 1 am and collapse in our beds, absolutely marveling at what a delightful day we had. In conclusion, the Sky's Cuba itinerary is a tremendous value and well worth the trip. Frankly, it was a better value than we thought, since we didn't realize that drinks were included until the second day! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise mainly due to our time constraints and this was one that fit our schedule. We had a great time. Embarkation and disembarkation went very well. The ship was recently renovated and everything looked great. We traveled ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly due to our time constraints and this was one that fit our schedule. We had a great time. Embarkation and disembarkation went very well. The ship was recently renovated and everything looked great. We traveled with our teen son. This is a small ship as are all the ships that can be accommodated in Havana. What it lacks in water slides and things for kids, it made up for in fun music shows, entertainment and nice staff. We enjoyed the food in Palace and Crossings for breakfast and lunch. We had a dinner at Cagney's which was included in our package and we enjoyed it as well. We did eat at the buffet for a breakfast and some lunches. I prefer Palace and Crossings over the buffet. Most family's with younger kids went to the buffet. We did a Panorama excursion in Havana in the evening through the cruise. It was a choice we made last minute and it still had openings. We did a stingray excursion in Stirrup cay and it was excellent. We also rented a snorkel, in addition to the 2 we brought from home (ours were better, dry snorkels and theirs had too large a mouthpiece for me but it fit my son) and snorkeled on our own at Stirrup Cay. We saw lots of fish. Early morning the waters were cool but later in the day it felt just right and we were not at all cold in the water. Our cabin was 9239 and it was near elevators but not too close to be annoying. It was very quiet and we had a nice view of Havana as we pulled into port. The cabin is small but it was large enough for the three of us. The only semi problem was that our son, about 5' 8" was a bit too tall for the pull out sofa bed. We had to put the sofa bolster at the foot to support his legs and feet. He seemed ok with it but someone older and even taller may have more difficulty with that. We would go again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been on many NCL boats over the years and thought the Breakaway would be the perfect ship to celebrate my daughter graduating high School. We loved the layout of the boat the many restaurants and bars. the Waterfront bars outside ... Read More
We have been on many NCL boats over the years and thought the Breakaway would be the perfect ship to celebrate my daughter graduating high School. We loved the layout of the boat the many restaurants and bars. the Waterfront bars outside areas were our favorite. We attended the Burn the Floor and Rock of Ages show and loved them both. We thought the talent was amazing. Overall I felt the food was good, not great. I thought the quality at the garden buffet was not the best. We did opt for the up charge restaurants every night. The food was very good at most places we at except for the French Restaurant (we did find that strange because that place normally is our favorite.) Our new #1 was Ocean Blue and the Sushi. The food and service was the best. We also loved the new Sid Norman bar show! Overall I felt the staff was not as up as past cruises. Boarding and departing the boat there was a very low energy welcome aboard, not a full dancing, greeting staff as past cruises. The bar staff was totally of their game at many places. The Irish Bar staff was the worst. They were rude and ended up telling me they could not make a Mojoto for me but made it for someone 10 minutes later. I did sit buy the pool for 2 days and not once was I offered a drink. The bright spot was the outside waterfront bar, Courtney and sidekick were great! Having the drink package I was disappointing I had to paid $4.00 extra for an espresso martini. No red stripe at the pool bar was a bummer too. The Cabin Steward was very good , he would have received a great score if he stop making the sofa bed every morning rather at night when needed. The room is small enough. He was also hard to find at times. As for the ports we loved Rotan, both places in Mexico. The stop at Belieze was NCL's port(island) and it was clean nice but just missing something. Seemed fake! Also it seemed strange they were charging you for every little thing on their island, drinks,food etc... I think if they did a huge BBQ party it would have been better attended. Tom e it seemed most people walked around and were back on the ship for lunch! for the first time we paid the $9.99 per phone to use txting on baord to others in our party. it worked ok, a few lockup and reboots needed during the week. We were able to find everyone in our party when needed. Overall it was a good week, perfect weather and well relaxed! We did book NCL's new boat for next February 2020. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Cruise director was wonderful. Waitstaff was kind, rooms were always clean. Atrium bartenders were not great. Shakers was amazing, as were all fine dining experiences. Entertainment staff were a hit or miss. Some were wonderful, others ... Read More
Cruise director was wonderful. Waitstaff was kind, rooms were always clean. Atrium bartenders were not great. Shakers was amazing, as were all fine dining experiences. Entertainment staff were a hit or miss. Some were wonderful, others were rude (without much of a reason) towards guests -I can recall the female British insulting another guest rather curtly and want too impressed. Costa maya is a bust of a shopping port, could do without it as a port since there wasn’t much to do and most of the shops are repeats of one another. If you fond something you’re interested in excursion wise just do it. Although there aren’t many interesting excursions in Costa Maya, which was a bummer. Harvest Caye is a letdown without the drink package. The beach and pool were fine if that’s how you’re looking to spend your day. Cozumel is wonderful! We went to Chichen Itza and loved it! Our guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. We wished we had more time in Cozumel. Roatan is nice but a bit dodgy in some areas. Just pay a cab driver to take you around the island. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my first cruise ever and we chose this cruise due to the sail dates (I teach and was on Spring Break) and the destinations. We enjoyed everything about the cruise, the ship, the service, the destinations, etc. We had a wonderful ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever and we chose this cruise due to the sail dates (I teach and was on Spring Break) and the destinations. We enjoyed everything about the cruise, the ship, the service, the destinations, etc. We had a wonderful experience, but were especially pleased with the assistance my now fiancee received when trying to plan the perfect proposal for me while on board. Yes, we are engaged to be married and neither of us can think of a better way for it to have occurred. We enjoyed the on board shows, ie. Cirque Jungle Fever Dinner and Show, Rock of Ages, The Pour House, etc. Spice H2O was a great place to sun and hangout during the day and have a couple of drinks and dance in the evening. I enjoyed my Ladies Night Out at the Spa and took advantage of the offered services and purchased products. We LOVED all four of our excursions!! The Shore Zip-Line in Honduras, the Ke'kchi (sp) Chocolate Farm and Culture in Harvest Caye, Belize, ATV and beach in Costa Maya, and Salsa and Salsa in Cozumel. Loved EVERYTHING!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We've had a long, cold, snowy winter in Maine, and really needed this cruise vacation to the Western Caribbean! Let me start by saying NCL caters to ALL age groups! There is plenty to see and do no matter your age! There are ... Read More
We've had a long, cold, snowy winter in Maine, and really needed this cruise vacation to the Western Caribbean! Let me start by saying NCL caters to ALL age groups! There is plenty to see and do no matter your age! There are continuous activities onboard to participate in, or not. The food is amazing, from the myriad if specialty restaurants to the Garden Cafe buffet where every evening there was a theme (prime rib nite, seafood nite, Mexican nite, etc). There are numerous bars inside or outside, and the bartenders are top notch! The entertainment was fantastic! From dancing, singing, comedy to magic! We thoroughly enjoyed the Cirque Jungle dinner show! Very entertaining and the surf & turf meal was delicious. Service is always provided with a smile wherever you are. We had a fabulous. and very much needed, cruise vacation! Thank you, NCL! We can't wait for our next cruise with you in June!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose the escape because it was the right time and the right place to the right destination. My wife and I usually cruise by price and we have had some wonderful experiences!!! This time we needed to get away between April 12-22, 2019 ... Read More
Chose the escape because it was the right time and the right place to the right destination. My wife and I usually cruise by price and we have had some wonderful experiences!!! This time we needed to get away between April 12-22, 2019 and choose the Escape out of NYC to Bermuda for three days and home again. Not a bargain $750 for 7 days, unassigned obstructed view . We live in Baltimore and decided to take the bus (Greyhound) up and back leaving plenty of time for connections. The embarkation process was very slow and port staff and Norwegian staff were all screaming for us to carry our bags off the ship on debarkation. Very slow and the first step on this ship we realized the ship has a fatal flaw... not enough public space! I have been on 35 cruises, in fact I work chartered cruiser ships providing my services, often! There simply is not enough space. The cabin was nice, clean comfortable. We paid for a unassigned obstructed view, usually we take an unassigned inside. You can take "the cruise of a lifetime" and fall victim to the cruise industry or you can take several cruises a year, just have to know how to play the game. Think price, not location and eventually you will have traveled the world many times over. We have previously traveled on Norwegian , last cruise was a 30 day south American cruise... $529 for first half and $1189 for second half on the Sun and it was a great cruise, but this cruise line is my last choice. On that cruise we had an unassigned room and they moved us to a cabin on the other side of the ship and the couple in our old cabin got our new cabin... and I asked Norwegian why... and they said "because we can"... That's the Norwegian attitude!!! Other cruise lines are very accommodating to back to back to maybe back to back loyal customers, but Norwegian "not so much" just adjust the gratuities accordingly! Freestyle is not my style. Sign me up for Holland America :) This cruise was two days at sea, three days in Bermuda and two days back. The food was at best bargain buffet, shrimp is tiny, no surf and turf, just salty pre-processed food... the Manhattan dining room was the same crap they served up top. Terribly salty, lots of saturated fat, a lot of unhealthy choices and so few healthy choices. Spring break spelled a lot of spoiled children. Not as many whales or corpse's, but oddles of spoiled children screaming running, making messes, and no parental oversight. On @$750 and forward Starboard 5702... low is always nice, one floor up to the public floors 6 7 8. Elevators were too deep and difficult for people getting on and off as many people would have to step out to let people off. Elevators would be great to get concerts pianos from floor to floor and that's what I do for a living, and elevators are always a problem (size) for moving pianos. Any who, got to Bermuda, first cruise of the season, chilly, Bermuda is a wonderful port of call, the people are friendly and no "you want, you like, you Buy", but remarkable personable people. Rented a Scooter for a day from Olingers, don't recommend, unless you are seeking an early death. They tried to rip me and extra $15 because I returned the Scooter with a full tank, with receipt. As for scooters that things was worn out! 40K KM and worn out, blue smoke trail left behind everywhere we went and not power hills and you can rent a scooter many places in the world for 15% what you can in Bermuda. A $2,000 scooter is $75 a day! Wish I had a piece of the action! Take the Bermuda speed limit by three (3), or you will be run down, narrow streets, brick, or block walls everywhere... "a death in progress". They offered a free ferry to St George, which would be the ticket. the Navy dockyard is distant from Hamilton and St Gorge and not a lot to see. A bus ride or long walk to church beach and little further horseshoe and then elbow... if you like beaches, it does not get much better... might try the Navy cemetery… a hoot checking out tombstones. Not much shopping for Bermudian product unless you are a rum drinker (gosling) but no bargain as you can buy stateside for less. 30 kids each of 2 hot tubs, I'll pass. A trail of soft melted ice cream leads to the ice cream machine and kids throwing food because "hey its spring break and its fun and I need every one to notice me!. Appalling uneaten food waste and the usual whales in wheel chairs in handicap spaces shoveling it down. The deck 7 boat deck, rear is REMARKABLE!!! small, saddled between many "non-complimentary" spots meaning swipe your keycard for a ten page statement at the end of the cruise. Hey, the biggest bar tab does not spell winner, what don't they get. You can sneak 1.75 liter of vodka or rum with a drop green and a drop of blue food coloring in a mouth wash bottle and drink for free, just saying. It is all plastic teak, deck rail and chair, but nice plastic! It is a remarkable shiop of plastic, but I think the Manahattan dining room has a solid wood floor, please don't ruin my dream. The promenade is silly rubber track, does not go 360 and not level. I love a nice boat deck, a teak lounge, teak deck, varnished cap and hand rail, but that is Holland America, not Norwegian. Think freestyle, wear a tux and your wife vasachee ha ha , and be seated next to a table of rednecks dudes in kakki shorts and tee shirts on "dress up if you want to or not" night, while beautiful people in their skimpies run the boat deck while you are scarfing it down. Food was miserable... way too salty, gained 15 pounds in one week, no healthy choices... two gallons of water a day after and I dropped 12 pounds in two days, "if I am lying I am dying" :-) on return. Terribly unhealthy choices and cheap cheap cheap. However there was one day, a steam ship round on upper deck and the second night meddallions of tenderloin that was "acceptable" Bread was all good, but too salty. Cheese was cheap and I thought I never met a cheese I didn't love. Past Norwegian cruise had great smoked Norwegian salmon and blue cheese, but not this one! Lots of desserts but "a moment on the lips, forever on the hips" no Thank you! The debarkation was absolute HELL! Can you say unbearable rotten absolute hell, spose to be off at 8:00AM and finally after hours of lugging suitcases up and down flights of steps after Norwegian locked down all the elevators and there were no announcements until 10:30AM. Norwegian should be ashamed of themselves and before they cleared the walk offs they announce the others making cray gridlock. 5000 people on the ship all wanting to get off and it was hell. The ship has a fatal flaw and NYC port is not ready... four immigrations officers to process the whole ship. Claim a disability and have your own walkway and b first through immigration! "where di I put my cane?" It was torture!!! It was Norwegian negligence. All cruise lines want to rape you, they want to hold you buy your ankles and shake all the nickels out of your pockets. They just LOVE suckers!!! In my 35 cruises I have never had an onboard charge. I be the food on the escape may be a bit better in the non-complimentary restos, but I'll wait for the next cruise... 15 day Asian cruise on the Fortuna in December, if I don't snag a summer bargain... had a wonderful back to back on the Nordam last August, Alaska two weeks @$1316 for an obstructed outside, wonderful experience :)~ Terribly pestered by crew pushing drinks the first two days... I just dock $5 each time off the gratuities.. ended up being $100 off.. Hell gratuities are a joke the cabin boy and waitresses see nothing, they see $500-$600 a month and the cruise line pockets the gratuities, don't believe me read the guest ticket contract... what a joke! always best to dock the gratuities for what-ever-reason... they may make it a hassle ,and they charge you a "service charge" which is technically a gratuity "freely given for above the call of duty service" but unfortunately the crew does not see it unless you hand them cash! Yes, a train wreck getting off the ship, and unfortunately that's what you remember! I vowed last time to never sail Norwegian again, and I signed up again... Shame on me! There are many better choices! Bermuda is a choice destination, though, beats any Caribbean port by a mile! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Cruised to Bermuda over Spring Break. Disembarkation left a sour taste, but trip had lots of highs and lows. Kids loved ropes course and arcade. Not enough pool space for kids/family. Spa/Haven and adult only areas are great for adults but ... Read More
Cruised to Bermuda over Spring Break. Disembarkation left a sour taste, but trip had lots of highs and lows. Kids loved ropes course and arcade. Not enough pool space for kids/family. Spa/Haven and adult only areas are great for adults but not as much for family. 12 year olds would not go to Splash Academy after bad experience the first night. Best dinner was hibachi. Food overall, including main dining room was good. The mid-April cruise to Bermuda is a little cool to fully enjoy waterslides and decks, especially while at sea. Worst part of trip was disembarkation where we were directed to a line that we stood in with self-assist luggage for about 3 hours. No organization or willingness of staff to direct traffic as folks came off elevator and stepped into line (unlike when we got off elevator and were directed into the line to nowhere). Attempts to get help got no results. Other cruisers said could not remember such a bad disembarkation experience. In general guest services and shore excursion staff were not that helpful on this trip. Staff for rooms and restaurants were excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First time on the Escape. I've been on the Gem and Breakaway as well another cruise lines. Embarkation in NY always seems to take a long time. Waited about an hour before boarding. I had a mid ship mini suite. The room was ... Read More
First time on the Escape. I've been on the Gem and Breakaway as well another cruise lines. Embarkation in NY always seems to take a long time. Waited about an hour before boarding. I had a mid ship mini suite. The room was spacious. The bathroom was quite large. My room attendant Leo went above and beyond for me. The ship is clean. The areas were all clean. The staff was friendly. Everywhere. The ship is basically the same as the Breakaway. The same issues with the Breakaway are with the Escape. The atrium is too small for all the events they hold there. If you have to pull out folding chairs for the people then perhaps hold some of those events in the theater. The smoke from the casino is overpowering. It wafts up into the 6/7/8 area. The pools are too small for 4200 people. The entertainment was enjoyable. The Choir of Man and Howl at the Moon were great fun. The specialty restaurants - Cagneys, LaCucina and Le Bistro were excellent. The buffet and Savor/Taste were ok. Thermal Suite Well worth the extra money. Bermuda was great. We had 3 days of sun. It's nice staying in one place and being able to come and go as you please. One perk, and this is a good one, is NCL has a free ferry to St. Georges. This makes it easy to go to the Caves, Tobacco Bay and the town. The ferry is the nicest I've been on with the reclining seats. The worst part was the disembarkation. We knew we were going to be late because of the weather on Saturday so there is no excuse for how the Escape handled it. I had the green tag which would be self carry first off. Well at 8 AM there were lines from the front to the back, up the steps, in the elevators. It was totally ridiculous. 2 hours on line and only saw one staff member who tried to get some type of order to the line. About an hour into being on line and the cruise director made an announcement about what color tag should proceed to the deck. Everyone laughed. Clueless for sure. It took 2 1/2 hrs to get off the ship, get through customs was easy. this left a bad taste in my mouth. Overall is was a nice cruise. The staff really works hard. Bermuda was beautiful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First things first getting on the boat felt eternal. And our walker-talkies were taken from us. No where did it say we were not able to take them aboard. Once on the boat the balcony room storage was way less then on carnivals. Having to ... Read More
First things first getting on the boat felt eternal. And our walker-talkies were taken from us. No where did it say we were not able to take them aboard. Once on the boat the balcony room storage was way less then on carnivals. Having to hustle from line to line just to book shows dinning and laser tags/go karting was a pain. The days and times that would work for us and the size family of 5 was almost impossible to coordinate. Free styling is not freeing at all. Wait times to have dinner was eternal. My boys did not in any why like the hr and a half long service. The whole cruise was a constant wait game. There were so many floors of rooms and not enough social areas to socialize. The observatory was the only place and many people made it clear children were not wanted around. If I can’t drop them off at the club and the only place open is the pool which was a see of people with no open area available. Were else am I to have family time with my family. The atrium was super small and everyone fighting for seating. That place was out of the question. The elevators where never empty 3 had to pass by before there was even enough room to get on one. And going down or up 10 or so floors with children was not in any way doable. Many of the staff were in a constant rush and had little pacientes if you didn’t understand the way they ran things you were quickly pushed aside and having to help you was a strain on them. Food was very bland and nothing called our attention, even the deserts were flavorless. The kids club was alway at capacity and there were times my boys were not accepted in. If they were accepted having to wait 30 min to drop off or even pick up was a given. Shows were not that interesting and we were only accommodated the late times and our kids were grouchy with tired ness by then. If we had any hope of seeing an earlier time we had to wait in the stand by line to see if we were allowed space in. Once again waiting in lines. The buffet was a war zone of people fighting for seating and yet again waiting in long lines for food. With children we tend to not get off on the ports me and my husband have traveled to these ports in the past and knew what to expect. We however did get off on Puerto Vallarta the one excursion we did do we do not recommend. Do not do Puerto Vallarta city sites. The guide lost 12 people in the group and we were afraid to relax thinking he was going to take off to the next stop with out us. We had to keep a constant eye on him to not be left behind. Room service is not free $7 charge and they always always made a mistake and were very rude on the phone. Not a relaxing vacation what so ever. I will never recommend this company nor will we be returning customers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as we were booking last minute out of LA and had to cruise this week only. The ship, although practically brand new broke down for a few hours in Mazatlan, then after leaving Cabo the next day the smoke stack spit out ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were booking last minute out of LA and had to cruise this week only. The ship, although practically brand new broke down for a few hours in Mazatlan, then after leaving Cabo the next day the smoke stack spit out tar all over everyone on the back bar deck. The food options were in my opinion below par, I chock this up to having 5000 on one boat. The main dining rooms did not have a single item that was both gluten free and pescatarian - nothing. So we were left thinking we could try specialty restaurant.... but by the time we got on the cruise every restaurant was booked solid the entire week. So we spent $3k to eat buffet food for a week, which was a major let down as we usually cruise celebrity and are accustomed to being pampered for $3k. Also bottled water is not included in a premium beverage package, and when you order you need to specify that you don’t want well liquor or they will just pour your drink as cheap as they can. Also - they don’t use toothpicks or anything for limes so you are forced to dig the line out of your drink with your fingers if you want to squeeze the juice in your drink. The bed was rock hard but we had 2 extra comforters in our room that we used for padding. Also the WiFi is a joke, don’t bother. And to top it off we ended up next some crew members on the beach in Cabo and they had a meltdown that the resort gave us 2 chairs that they had “reserved”, It like it mattered because we only had 3 hours in Cabo, hardly a port stop. My advice, if you have any sort of special diet needs or don’t have kids, avoid Norwegian. Read Less
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