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Cruise Ratings
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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted ... Read More
Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted with the cabin (11134), initially. Evenings were interrupted by folks playing basketball dspite the sign stating activities were to end at 5 PM. So easy to fix, just put the balls away! Dinner the first evening in the Summer Palace proved to be on par with an Applebee's. Formality of service proved to be nonexistent, quality of food was mediocre. Exploration of other options proved more fruitful, specifically, Indigo and Cagney's with formally trained servers. The entertainment, overall, was quite good. There wa an acrobat male and female team that were incredible. The ships crew of singers and dancers were on par with other cruises. Their "Legends" show was outstanding. Activities were spotty, poorly timed and some never happened. Service was subpar compared to other cruise experiences. Having numerous mishaps it appears that communication is their biggest pitfall. All mishaps (but one) were rectified, but, only after having to be (begrudgingly) a squeaky wheel. This was a repositioning cruise that came up short as one of the ships engines experienced problems that were not rectified. Our cruise ended 2 ports early and missed another enroute. This was my first Norwegian cruise and will be my last. Poor communication, training and management failing to manage seems to be the primary problem. Yes, a cruise of a lifetime and one that will never be forgotten. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary that it provided. A fantastic selection of ports and we loved every one. It was magnificent leaving Venice at dusk. We walked around a number of ports that we had been to in the past Kotor, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary that it provided. A fantastic selection of ports and we loved every one. It was magnificent leaving Venice at dusk. We walked around a number of ports that we had been to in the past Kotor, Dubovnik Santorini and Mykonos and took some private day trips to Messina ( Taormina ) , Naples (Positano and Sorrento) Livorno (Florence )and The Tuscan countryside. Ships tours are too expensive. We had travelled on the Star so had some idea of the layout of the boat. We travelled with 2 other couples and all found the Jade an ideal size for us. It was a plus that there was an adults only swimming pool and used this after a hot day out. The Balcony cabin on level 11 ( mini suite) was a really good size and it even had a full bath. It was close to everything and we would willing stay there again. We ate in 4 specialty restaurants and we mainly breakfasted in the Garden Cafe and often had dinner in the main dining room The Grand Pacific. We booked a number of time slots for dining online before we joined the ship. The food was lovely and served by very friendly and helpful staff. We have absolutely no complaints re food or staff. Our favourite was Le Bistro. We had the drink package which was excellent value and there is no big shock when you get your final bill on leaving the cruise. Entertainment was good, we attended 6 concerts and loved Victor Michael. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the ... Read More
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the four of us I believe it might not be should you have more than four people. The service in our suite was superior and give most of the credit for that to our concierge Dilip he made sure we were happy and brought everything we could wish for, he helped us get off the ship very easily at the different ports of call he escorted us off at each port of call.Dilip also helped us get to the entertainment we wanted to see. My only regret is that I purchased a spa pass I probably would not have purchased had I known that the roof of the Haven Center Spa was covered, on some other cruises sometimes the roof area of the Haven Pools have not been covered and it gets too cold. The food was excellent and the spa services were very good, however they did not have acupuncture on this cruise, which really disappointed me as that was one of things I was really looking forward to. I got a shave and tooth whitening from Lynda and she knew her stuff it was the best I have ever had, she is brilliant. The other spa treatments I had where three massages from Rumbi, Should you need a massage she is the best. ‘:The food was very good especially at the specialty restaurants.9 Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is a repositioning itinerary, with a unique combination of Norway and Iceland. The detour via Scotland was something I was less interested in, especially Inverness. The Getaway just came out of a 2-week upgrade in the dry dock, and ... Read More
This is a repositioning itinerary, with a unique combination of Norway and Iceland. The detour via Scotland was something I was less interested in, especially Inverness. The Getaway just came out of a 2-week upgrade in the dry dock, and there was still a new-carpet smell. The trip started off badly - due to some vague explanation of delayed supplies, we left Copenhagen 5 hours late, and because this time could not be made up we had a day at sea the next day rather than the planned first stop at Haugesund, Norway. There is no excuse for this bad planning, and the only compensation we got was $50 per cabin!!! On the way back, there was another unplanned day at sea - we made it almost to Inverness, but then the captain made a U-turn because he felt the wind was too strong for the narrow strait. In return he promised an early arrival in Edinburgh, but it too was a disaster - the ship anchored way out from port and because there were few tenders available there was a minimum of 2 hours wait to get to and from shore. An additional minor gripe - the vertical water slides were broken the whole trip. Food and entertainment were fine. Because of the cold weather the outdoor space was hardly used, making for crowded conditions indoor, esp. the atrium. The wait times at the sit-down restaurants were quite long - often 40 minutes to be seated, and 2 hours from ordering to desert. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Overall a great experience. The itinerary was excellent, we booked excursions at most ports and had good experiences. The ship is very nice after its recent renovations. State room had enough space and storage for 2 over packers. We were ... Read More
Overall a great experience. The itinerary was excellent, we booked excursions at most ports and had good experiences. The ship is very nice after its recent renovations. State room had enough space and storage for 2 over packers. We were unsure about the "privasea" balcony we had but it was not an issue, it only slightly reduces the size of the opening and we used our balcony every day. The flexibility to dine at any time, at any of the many restaurants, and on our own (2 people) or with others if we wanted to was great as this was our biggest complaint on our last cruise. We will definitely only be cruising with this type of set up in the future, we don't like having a set time and group of strangers to dine with every day. Entertainment on board was excellent, we went to most of the shows and loved them all. There was always activities to keep us busy if we wanted too, even at pots where we stayed on the shit. Lots of bars to choose from. Service was great and the staff were all friendly and helpful. We will be sailing with Norwegian again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren ... Read More
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren had a great time. This was the best part. Ebarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Food was another matter. It was, to say the least, somewhat strange. Clearly it was mostly frozen and then reheated and the descriptions didn't really match what was served. The only really good meal was in Teppanyaki. The rest of the food was indifferent--it would work if you were hungry but it wasn't a good experience. The Enrichment speaker was wonderful and very enlightening. Felt as if we were being "nickled and dimed" for everything. For example, after having bought the soda package, we were often told in restaurants that no diet pepsi was available (that there was no more on the ship) only to be able to get it later at a bar. This happened more than once. Would I sail on this ship again? Not really if I had another choice. We went on this ship because of the large stateroom (with a separate bedroom) that was available for my daughter's family. That is the only reason we would go again on this ship. I've sailed on Oceania, Windstar, Celebrity, Princess, and now Norwegian. Norwegian was, for me, my least favourite. On the other hand, it had a repositioning cruise, which is my favourite. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I ... Read More
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I certainly understand that all the employees from the Joy needed to be dispersed throughout the company but the lack of a clear understanding of English is a problem. The ship layout is difficult for someone used to the new Breakaway class. My last review of the Bliss was that it was "bliss". This was a long cruise and there were many sea days. It is hard to come up with enrichment activities that suit all. The lectures were wonderful. There was so much "trivia" that I had to retreat to my cabin to keep myself from going mad. The spa is certainly not up to par with the newer ships. It did not have a glass door so the door was kept open in order to help people find it. In keeping it open all the heat escaped. Even on a heated bed one needed a robe and towel covering to keep from being cold. The hot tub in the ladies only locker room had resting chairs by it. Those chairs had real fabric upholstery. Some regular deck chairs would make much more sense. I never felt that I could sit/lay on one of those chairs in a wet bathing suit. So many little things that one does not find lacking on a new ship. Too many to mention. I do still fully support NCL and intend to travel only on NCL. I write this review only as I feel it is necessary that all know the difference in the various ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able to walk to the port from here - although was a good 25 minute walk. Embarkation was a little unorganised and long, but we were also quite early! Once on board, everything was easy. We mainly ate breakfast in buffet, and this was good. Sometimes had to walk around a bit to find a seat, but no major trouble. Plenty of selection and options, although it is amazing how after two weeks you still get a little bored with whats on offer! My bad! For lunch we ate in various restaurants, we gave all the complimentary ones a go! Menu didn't change much for lunch tho. Really enjoyed O'Sheehans for lunch - their fajitas and burgers were great, better than the ones at Tsars! Massive selection at buffet for lunch and options changed daily. Nice steaks out by the pool at Topsiders Grill - although this area was closed on cold wet days. For dinner we always went to either Tsars or Azura. Same menu in both, but just different atmosphere and decor. The waiters were amazing in these restaurants. Also loved Alvin who did the table allocation at Tsars, he was great with names and very welcoming. The food was very very good. Not amazing, but very very good considering the volume they are producing for. The ship production crew shows were amazing, especially the cirque inspired one!! Other shows were entertaining, some better than others. The nice guy giving the lectures each day was very good, but a little too indepth on certain things for me! We enjoyed all our cruise port stops. Alaska was amazing!! One bit of advice for cruises that go to Petropavlovsk in Russia. Although the ship berthed at 5am and some 30-40 russian immigration guys were expected to arrive soon after to do immigration checks for all passengers. It was 11.30 before our deck 5 was able to disembark. This meant that we missed our privately organised and prepaid tour. The various decks were allowed to retrieve their passports and depart according to deck, commencing from ship excursion passengers, haven passengers, deck 11, deck 10, deck 9 etc. down to deck 4, all with allocation times approx 30 mins apart. If we had been on deck 11 we would probably have got off about 9.30, but deck 5 was second last. If visiting this port would be better to do a ship excursion (something I rarely do!) or select a cabin on a high deck! Although we missed our excursion (the tour company did wait over an hour for us, but then had to go as had others with them), we were able to walk off the ship and into town ourselves for a look around. Was about a 10 minute walk. The ship had said that we would require to buy an $8 shuttle ticket, but this was not necessary. No one even checked us to see if we had a rebooked excursion or shuttle ticket. Spas were lovely and hot and the pools were heated too. We loved spending time upstairs in the Spinnaker Lounge. This was a lovely quiet spot with comfy lounges and great views!! There are also some little computer screens at front of some bars/restaurants that you can take a selfie photo of yourself and send a brief message via email back home - handy to let loved ones know how you are going! We had the free internet package and our 250 hours were rationed amongst the sea days and worked fine. We never did work out how to do the phone package to call our kids on their mobiles tho! Drinks package was great, it was included which was good, because we probably only drank 2 or 3 drinks a day which was more than normal!, but not enough to justify buying a package! Loved the manager, think his name was Steven Jacobson, very friendly and helpful. Also loved the cruise director Dan. There was enough entertainment around the ships, although there were still times where we didn't know what to do, but thats the time to grab a good book! Easy disembark, just did it ourselves and walked straight off! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
It was 13 days from NYC to Amsterdam I'm an experienced cruiser. This is the first time I have experienced such a sick ship. Norovirus was rampant from day two! Sick passengers or crew were allowed aboard this ship! This was 13 ... Read More
It was 13 days from NYC to Amsterdam I'm an experienced cruiser. This is the first time I have experienced such a sick ship. Norovirus was rampant from day two! Sick passengers or crew were allowed aboard this ship! This was 13 days of pure displeasure. Many of the crew had bad attitudes. I experienced one of the Supervisors making excuses regarding sanitation methodology. With this type of Management attitude, no wonder the virus continued to expand. I missed two ports and NEVER once heard an apology from the staff. The gym was closed. Many other on board amenities were curtailed -- however, the Casino was always open when not in Port. Self-service at the buffet was curtailed. You had to beg for sugar, salt, pepper, catsup, etc. If you contacted the norovirus, you were quarenteened in your cabin, with your cabin key confiscated. You food was delivered to you on paper plates with plastic utensils. If you had a cabin mate, you could sneak out with them and continue to spread the germs, with no reprocussions unless caught! Thanks to a "sneaker", to whom apparently rules do not apply, I got sick and so did one of my friends! Norwegian, you need better sanitation and better monitoring of sick passengers. I was very disappointed with my cruise and will think long and hard before booking another NCL cruise. The specialty dining was great at Le Bistro, good at La Cuchina, very good at Moderno. I missed the dinner at Cagney's due to the Norovirus. The two dining rooms had very good food, but they tend to seat solo cruisers in the middle of the floor, and couple's get the better tables. Us solo cruisers DO PAY FOR TWO, and only eat for one. The service was hit or miss. Many of the crew had bad attitudes, probably because they had to do the work of multiple crew members because of the crew members who were sick with the Norovirus. I missed a lot of the entertainment, trying to avoid the Norovirus. When I did go to a show, there were groups of passengers talking and being disruptive during the shows. The entertainers were very talented. The trivia was strange, not really testing knowledge, but asking a crew member's age. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The first day aboard, I was pleasantly surprised. Our inside cabin was nicer than expected. My sister and I had plenty of room and the bathroom had a lovely shower. Our steward was excellent during the whole cruise. However, it went ... Read More
The first day aboard, I was pleasantly surprised. Our inside cabin was nicer than expected. My sister and I had plenty of room and the bathroom had a lovely shower. Our steward was excellent during the whole cruise. However, it went down hill fast. We were notified on the 2nd day that a virus was discovered on board. By the 4th day everything in the Buffet was covered with plastic and we had to be served our food by employees who didn't know what they were doing. By the time we got to our table our food was cold. It was really depressing, so we started to eat in the main dining rooms. Here the food was slightly better and usually warm but the service again was terrible. I might add that the food was bland everywhere and the desserts all had some kind of gelatin in them. Even the cheesecake!! The precautions the staff were taking to contain the virus was ridiculous. We had to have our hands sprayed upon entering any dining room and we were given paper menus. However, I seldom saw the staff disinfect their own hands and cleaning the tables in the Buffet was a joke. I did not see anyone in the public areas with disinfection. There were 2 nights where they supposedly disinfected the halls and some public areas but a lot of germs could be around between cleanings. They were constantly making announcements about washing our hands and staying in our rooms if we were ill. But they gave no information as to the viirus' containment. They cancelled the Behind the Scenes Tour and a few other events with flimsy excuses when we all knew it was because of the virus. Just be upfront about it! On top of all of that, we had very choppy seas for about 3 to 4 days. Obviously that was not the cruise line's fault but it just added another layer of discomfort. The excursions were very expensive and disappointing. We went to Cork and arrived in Kinsdale to find there was a big rugby game going on and as it was Sunday most of the shops were closed! The London excursion was a joke. We went through some neighborhood that had warehouses converted to apartments. I can see that at home! Then we stopped at the Tower of London and waited 20 min. while our guide got the tickets. Once we got in, we should have been allowed to wander around and meet up at a certain point. Instead we ALL had to wait at least 30 min while everyone used the rest rooms and then we saw the crown jewels and barely had enough time to get back to the bus. We never saw the cells or armour. We only had an hour for lunch which left no time to shop. The bus driver didn't even slow down so we could get some pictures. I have never been on Norwegian before and after this I never will be on it again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Ncl provided the lowest grade of food possible whenever they could. Poor grades of meat & fish in main ding rooms and buffet. The menus were very limited in both dining rooms and buffet. Wait staff was mostly inattentive and poorly ... Read More
Ncl provided the lowest grade of food possible whenever they could. Poor grades of meat & fish in main ding rooms and buffet. The menus were very limited in both dining rooms and buffet. Wait staff was mostly inattentive and poorly trained. This was certainly not the type of service we have come to expect after 51 cruises! The weather was bad (not ncl's fault) so all outside venues were closed, including the outside buffets and seating. Ncl did nothing to compensate for this. Seating was very limited in buffet because of this. Ncl also did not add any inside activities or entertainment considering the weather. They were not flexible in any way. Theyn did not even bother to change the daily schedule to reflect the closings etc. There was a severe outbreak of the norovirus, so ncl removed all condiments from tables, kept bathroom doors open, cleaned constantly, did not allow cruisers to get their own food or drinks in buffet, etc. But did leave casino open where people were touching slot machines. I guess the money factor was more important than health in that regard. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because it left from New York, a city I love & was going east, one of my firsts, having done 2 TAs from Europe. Another first was the roll call which was quite active but toxic sometimes. Never been on a roll ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it left from New York, a city I love & was going east, one of my firsts, having done 2 TAs from Europe. Another first was the roll call which was quite active but toxic sometimes. Never been on a roll call before where posts were removed!! I had hoped to finally visit the Guggenheim Museum while in NYC but that didn't happen, instead I lined up around the block to eat at Ellen's Stardust Diner, a place I had never gotten to before. I must say it was worth the wait, the food was good as was the entertainment. I really liked my room at the Pod Hotel on 42nd Street, it had quite the view, was close to the Port Authority Building where the Newark Express bus drops one off & also close to a Cake Boss bakery! I took a cab to the port asking the driver to let me off at the corner of 49th & 12th as recommended by my friend. He didn't & we sat in traffic 'til he could turn into the port which cost me about $20 quite a bit more than the $6.50 if he'd let me off where I requested. Met my friends inside then waited a little while, I think we were group 3 or 5 & both Platinum Plus. We headed straight away for lunch at O'Sheehan's where I had a Reuben sandwich with potato chips & a Coke that should have cost me $4+. SO the cruise begins with 6 sea days ahead, lots of meals, entertainment, lectures, gambling etc. The weather wasn't the best & there was one day where it was a little rocky. Unlike a lot of people onboard I had a great time which could have been because of the people I hung out with but also because I did not contract the noro virus or have any problems with guest services. Being on a ship with noro virus was a first I could have done without. I was amazed at the measures NCL took to avoid it spreading & the captain's tough position saying anybody who broke quarantine would be put off at the next port. I found the food to be to my liking wherever I ate & for the 1st time I had a 4 dinner package as well as my 2 Platinum specialty dinners. This cruise I had more perks than I'd ever had before thanks to a roll call member mentionning a new offer. I also had 200 minutes of phone calls which came in handy for calling my sister & good friend on their special birthdays, as well as hubby at home. The calls were really clear, just had a little delay. The entertainment was varied & mostly good. I really enjoyed the Legends in Concert: Michael Jackson, Tina Turner & Elvis. Deal or No Deal was fun to watch as were the Newlywed Game & the Dancing with the Stars type show. The lecture lady about all things Irish & the other one about having a better life were informative. The ports were the major attraction for me on this cruise as it would be my 1st visit to Ireland, country of my grandad's birth. I mostly booked private tours with other CC members & really had a good time. The ones I did through NCL from Zeebrugge (Flanders Fields) & Tilbury (Canterbury Cathedral) were fine too & the guides really good. I don't mind traveling on the big buses like some do. My cabin steward Emerson was good, friendly, brought me ice when it was allowed & made me many towel animals which I always look forward to He was quick to rearrange my beds when requested. I was surprised by the free movies on the tv, recent ones such a Green Book, A Star is Born, A Dog's Way Home & Instant Family. A guide to movies shown is available at guest services although it's a bit hard to read. I didn't interact with the CD Pedro or his staff as I didn't attend any trivia on this ship, also a first! I went to one Bingo & found the caller did it at a nice speed, sometimes it really drags on but he was quick. The photographic staff were really nice & took some good/fun pictures. The internet cafe manager was a gem, funny & patient even with the long line ups the 1st couple of days. I had 250 free minutes but upgraded to unlimited which was expensive IMO but worth it to me as I love my phone. Some things were different, maybe because of the noro virus or whatever it was like no farewell show. The solo meet up the 2nd night was overwhelming with over 30 people attending. I met a nice male friend there but didn't usually attend the gatherings or meals as I had new friends onboard to do things with. Solo travel is so much better on the bigger NCL ships with studio cabins. I did self disembarkation after one last breakfast at O'Sheehan's, a restaurant I really enjoyed throughout the cruise. That's all I can think of at the moment but will conclude by saying I really enjoyed the cruise & wasn't disappointed at all. I also had a great time with my Dutch friend I'd met on the Epic in 2011, who showed me around Amsterdam for 2 days. The Avenue Hotel where I stayed for 2 nights was great, lovely room, big breakfast & really close to a lot of places especially Centraal Station. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it ... Read More
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it every time. The ship is in great repair and the staff is always friendly. The food on every cruise we have made on the Pearl is always above par to say the least. Embarkation out of New York was a breeze and getting off the ship in Amsterdam was just as easy. No issues or time wasted on either end of the 2 week trip. Our stateroom was amazing and had its own private hot tub on the balcony along with a tub and seperate shower in the stateroom. The haven area was great, as it was on all our other trips on the Pearl. In two weeks we ate in every resturant at least once and some twice and they were all above other cruise lines dining experiences. The entertainment was equal to or above what we have had on other ships. The Ports were all really exciting and we had an excursion picked for every port so there was no disappointment there either. All our excursions were booked thru NCL and they were worth the money. Our only regret was we had to come back to the real world of work at the end of our cruise. We have come to feel like we know this ship better than most other ships we have been on and we have never been disappointed with anything on the Pearl. Service, food, entertainment, staterooms and public areas are always the best that can be expected of a cruise ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The itinerary was exactly what I was looking for. However, as soon as we were on board, the upsell was relentless. I began to feel very very pressured and uncomfortable. The cruise across the Atlantic was wild. However, it was ... Read More
The itinerary was exactly what I was looking for. However, as soon as we were on board, the upsell was relentless. I began to feel very very pressured and uncomfortable. The cruise across the Atlantic was wild. However, it was unnerving when the captain came on and said he didn't anticipate the weather. We were rocking bad ... 12 to 15 ft waves. I thought they could avoid those issues. Then the noro virus hit. We heard over half the passengers were quarantined ... and 200 crew. The captain came on and said anyone trying to leave their cabin would be removed from the ship!!!! Many of the staff were saying they had never seen it this bad. The food was less than appetizing and we spoke with one family who got food poisoning. The food was consistently repeated (tasteless and some seemed rotten). There was nothing high end other than the specialty restaurants. The entertainment tried, but it appears they just couldn't afford or didn't attempt to gather decent entertainment. There was nothing much to do all day with 6 days at sea. I was expecting activities all day. We ended up watching the same 4 movies the entire trip. They just kept repeating themselves. Even airlines have a better choice of movies. My friend (who was not sick) ... went to medical to purchase some Imodium (accidentally forgot it) and they charged her $219 for 10 pills. He never examined her, just sold her the pills. It appeared the crew was instructed not to discuss anything with passengers after a few days, and they began to get irritable (probably double and triple shifts). Dublin (beautiful city) was a horror trying to get off the ship. Six shuttles for over 1000 people. Nightmare!!! I would not recommend this cruise line. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose the cruise for the itinerary. I was traveling with my 80 year old mother and we really liked the ports. Both of us are well traveled but never could we have expected such a disaster of a cruise. I can let the terrible weather ... Read More
I chose the cruise for the itinerary. I was traveling with my 80 year old mother and we really liked the ports. Both of us are well traveled but never could we have expected such a disaster of a cruise. I can let the terrible weather not bother me. Or even find fun in the 50 mPH winds with 30degree F wind chill. That’s Mother Nature and what can you do. Since we didn’t get sea sick it was almost calming feeling the sway. But unfortunately that was not the case for many. I feel we had an experienced captain who thinks it’s ok to threaten everyone that he will throw you off the ship if you don’t do what he says. I also feel that based on the fact that I heard the number of sick people by day 3 was 27 and by day 10 was over 1000 of the 2500 passengers. Even if it was your traveling companion sick you too were quarantined to your cabin. They ACTUALLY sent in these poor crew members dressed in hazmat type gear to clean up after these sick people. I’m very sure the cruise company made a lot of money by forcing people to see the ship doctor at $200 minimum a visit. Even room service is an extra charge at $7.95 per person if you use it and that is per time you use it. I was told Norwegian doesn’t like seeing dirty dishes in the hallways, so this stops people from ordering in the middle of night. So no dishes in hallways, but there were ALWAYS cleaning carts blocking halls. You are also not allowed to bring even a water bottle on board. The crew will happily make you pour it out. They lie and say it’s security like at the airport. But that is a lie. It’s to force passengers to do it one way only and that's to spend on Norwegian. This company is a bunch of people acting like Natzi’s and risking our lives from poor cleaning, poor security and a crew that liked to bully passengers. Even if an announcement was very very important they weren’t smart enough to have it in every room instead only in some. It’s their way of keeping the passengers in the dark. The excursion company that Norwegian used is more than awful. Plus in Dublin since my excursion was in the afternoon and you had to use your excursion tickets as your tender ticket, the Pearl crew would not let me off early to go into Dublin. Since my excursion was in the countryside, I didn’t get to see ANY of Dublin. They wouldn’t let us off the ship. People also got hurt on tenders due to not having caring staff helping people get on and off. If I hadn’t. Even there for my 80 year old mother I’m sure she would have fallen. I’m Le Havre the Security was a joke. The terminal staff left promptly at their end of shift regardless of people standing in line to get packages, purses and bags scanned, and for people to walk through scanners. Norwegian let more than 50 people just walk on like it didn’t matter. In FRANCE!! Are they kidding me. Even things like broken locks on doors to balcony’s didn’t matter. I reported my two locks broken 8 times. Nothing in mini fridge and was accused if asking for an empty mini bar. It took 5 days to get mini bar partially filled. Was told by cabin steward that no Diet Pepsi was available for mini bars but bar manager said it would be filled. I got used to three things being a constant comment from the guest relations staff. One-just lie, two, say you don’t know, and three just say no. Not one map of one town or any info was included in nightly program like on every other cruise line. This cruise line is cheap and even if you have a mini suite you get the same amenities as a inside cheaper room. Sure there are free packages for drinks but the tipping for two people on this so called free drink package was in excess of $550 total for 2. Then there is extra tipping on the so called free specialty restaurants. They just keep asking for more money and gave less quality, less everything! I probably would have saved by going on a more expensive cruise line then with all the nickel and diming Norwegian does. We were given one of those really small bars of soap for two people to share for 13nights. Even when it fell into pieces we weren’t given a new one. Many days we couldn’t even get a bath mat for the tub/shower. And forget getting more than one body, one hand and one wash cloth for towels per person. No way no how. Do not go on this line for any reason. Even though we were treated like crap and it was our first cruise with Norwegian, they treated people who had spent more than 150 nights traveling with them worse. What a horrible company!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
35th anniversary, wanted to get to some highlights in northern Europe - first cruise (and most likely last ever) My wife rolled her ankle the day of the cruise and was experiencing some discomfort so we went to the medical services on ... Read More
35th anniversary, wanted to get to some highlights in northern Europe - first cruise (and most likely last ever) My wife rolled her ankle the day of the cruise and was experiencing some discomfort so we went to the medical services on the ship. There was a couple there before us, the wife looked like death warmed over and we listened to them fill out a form of where they ate over the last 3 days. They went into the doctor's office first, when they came out the doctor gave the woman some pills and told them they were quarantined in their cabin. Then the doctor asked us in the office and placed my wife on the examination table, checked her out and then talked to us while we sat in the chairs in his office. The seas were pretty rough on the Atlantic... first time on the ocean... already got charged $180 from the doctor for the ankle... so when my wife got sick we presumed it was motion sickness - at least at the start. They forced us all to go through customs on the boat, called us large numbers forcing us to stand outside in the cold and waves - my wife threw up standing in line - good times. She got better, then I came down with it - I have never had sweat drip off my nose like that. The doctors quarantined me, we missed the first excursion (one of the few days without rain). While we were quarantined, the captain came on and told everyone if the were caught outside their room we would be kicked of the ship at the next port - then he repeated it in the same announcement. My first response was - this is our out!!! My second response was - sick people probably won't report themselves as being sick now. My biggest complaint is that they waited too long to get serious about the sickness (shutting down the gym, controlling the dining areas). For days after the quarantine you still won't enjoy food again - especially when you have to see someone else's puke on the floor in the dining room. The excursion disembarkation needed some help with planning - at the end of the day I wouldn't mind a 3 hour delay if I could have stayed in my room or grabbed some breakfast - imagine several hundred people waiting in a room, booing the cruise activity director as she asked them to please be patient (for the 40th time). The longest delay involved tethered boats. My wife and I finally got on the tethered boat and it was pretty frightening - big gaps as the boat separated away from the boat, raised higher than the step off landing, and dropped away from the step off landing. They helped us on the lifeboat then we were on our own - there was an older woman screaming in horror, I lost my footing and hit a corner with my shoulder (glad it wasn't my wife's head). A young Norwegian employee performed the sign of the cross and later put on a life vest (I got that on video). They ended up disconnecting the boat before it was full (separating one of the families) - they re-positioned the lifeboat on the other side of the ship to finish loading. There was a lot of pressure to get folks off that ship - but that was dangerous. The dude who cleaned our rooms was awesome - the folks who served us in the dining areas were great - customer service... not so much (they should plant some secret cruise testers to try to call the front desk from their rooms) Its not how low you go, its how far you fall - we were both so excited about our first cruise Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Why this cruise? I enjoy sea days more than port days and was excited to take my first Transatlantic Crossing (13 days from NYC to Amsterdam, with 7 sea days) on Norwegian. This would also mark my first cruise with NCL, to whom I was ... Read More
Why this cruise? I enjoy sea days more than port days and was excited to take my first Transatlantic Crossing (13 days from NYC to Amsterdam, with 7 sea days) on Norwegian. This would also mark my first cruise with NCL, to whom I was attracted by the many consecutive sea days, ports of call, Free Style Dining, Deal or No Deal Game Show, attractive rate, and that it left from NYC, where I live. I booked via a travel agency and did not qualify for any perks based on my category/rate (Inside Guarantee). This cruise also marked my introduction to Cruise Critic, where I spent many hours pre-cruise reading forums and tips, as well as interacting with others in my Roll Call. I was delighted to connect with others from the Cruise Critic Roll Call and ended up having lots of fun at the events which were hosted by other CC members: Meet and Greet, Slot Pull, Cabin Crawl, Specialty Dining with a new friend (Thanks, Jo!), and even a fantastic excursion to Mont St. Michel in France which was not offered by NCL (Thanks, Cherie!). NCL Supplements I added: * 3-Meal Specialty Dining Package (booked pre-cruise). Were I to travel with NCL again, I would add this again. * 250 Internet Minutes (booked pre-cruise). Were I to travel with NCL again, I would add this again. Next time, however, I would use the wisdom gleaned from a fellow traveler: answer emails in an offline word processing document and then connect to the internet when the response is ready to send...a much better use of the precious internet minutes! * Thermal Suite Pass (booked on embarkation day) Based on my experience, were I to travel with NCL again, I would NOT add this again. Dining I used my 3-Meal Dining Package at Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro, and Teppanyaki; I did not dine in Moderno or La Cucina. I eat a lacto/ovo/pescetarian diet and was able to enjoy a variety of options on-board. Of the three specialty restaurants I dined in, I enjoyed the food at Le Bistro the most, though all three were good and the package price was more affordable than dining purely a la carte. Incidentally, as a solo traveler, I was able to book dining reservations for 1 person pre-cruise at Cagney's and LeBistro, but not at Teppanyaki. I was able to make a reservation for 1 person for Teppanyaki on Embarkation Day at the Restaurant Reservations Desk immediately after boarding. I ate one lunch in the Lotus Garden (which was fine, but not exceptional) and all of the other meals in the Garden Cafe (buffet), O'Sheehan's, or the Summer Palace. I did not dine in Indigo, though Summer Palace evidently shares the same kitchen and an identical menu to Indigo’s. Overall, the food everywhere was good, and I was glad I had peppered in some Specialty Dining to add more variety to the dining. (I have cruised on Celebrity in the past and their cuisine was definitely on a higher par with more subtle seasonings, more "quality" selections etc, but the prices are also higher, so you get what you pay for. :) ) As a vegetarian-ish diner, I found it annoying that veggie burger patties could only be gotten in the Garden Cafe/buffet, instead of also at the Great Outdoors Grill or Topsiders Grill, where burgers were the mainstay, but it ended up being that both of these venues were closed much of the time because of weather and/or the virus which was spreading during this cruise. I know that other vegetarians had issues with the Garden Cafe’s grill simultaneously sharing cooking space for both meat products and veggie burgers, or there not being a large variety of vegetarian options, but for my needs, there was plenty of variety (from fresh fruits and veggies to vegetarian Indian cuisine to roasted vegetables, etc.) and I chose not to focus on the "mixed" aspect of the grill itself. I really enjoyed the concept of Free Style Dining, which ended up being my favorite aspect of cruising with NCL. A few times when dining solo, I offered to share my table with other diners or was invited to share theirs, and ended up meeting some great folks along the way. Activities and Issues The rating-lowering factor for me regarding this cruise was, in a word, communication, or rather the lack thereof. For example, the ship hosted a Solo Traveler's Dinner each night, but, on the first night of these dinners, there was no manifest printed out (to indicate which rooms housed solo travelers) and subsequently the staff were "surprised" that nearly 50 Solos showed up when they were "expecting 2-5 people." Although only around 30 people ended up dining with the Solos the first night, many others stopped by, witnessed the chaos, and never came back on subsequent nights, even though the ship eventually provided a dedicated host for the dinners, as well as a separate dining area. On this first night, it took over 3 hours for several of us to receive our 3 course dinner. Had the actual number of Solo Travelers been communicated to the hosting department and the restaurant beforehand, this debacle could have been avoided. Following this initial Solos Dinner (before there was a plan for an ample reservation or separate dining space for the Solos), I went to Guest Services to talk about the experience. The response from Guest Services was not one of empathy, but literally, "Who told you to come here? This is not our issue." When I asked to whom I should be speaking instead, I was told, "Cruise Staff." When I asked if the Cruise Staff had a desk to go talk to someone, I was told, "No. This is the only Service Desk." So, I asked if there was someone from Cruise Staff with whom I could talk. I was told, "No one is available because of the game show, but someone will contact you from the Cruise Staff by 9 AM tomorrow." No one contacted me the next morning, nor ever throughout the duration of the cruise, despite several written followup requests left at Guest Services in the GM's comment box. This was Day 2 of the trip and a perfect example of the old adage: "You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression." I attended all four days of Deal or No Deal (the 5th Day was cancelled because they were "not selling enough game cards to justify the expense of the license for the game show") and had a great time each day. For $25, you got to play two separate games in conjunction with the person who was selected to be on stage, with a chance at winning from $.01 to $1,000 (if selected to be onstage) or from an "Instant Win" Pull Tab all the way up to $5,000 or a Caribbean Cruise for 2 (if playing along in the audience with your game card). Although I only ended up winning $3 on $100 in spent over the 4 days, I definitely had $97 worth of fun along the way! Also, for what it's worth, most Bingo games carried costs of $39 for the least expensive card packet with a possible win of $150 versus the $25 Deal or No Deal cards, with their much higher prize payouts. Although I attended a couple of the other game shows on-board, I found the sense of humor of some of the hosting Cruise Staff or Guest Judges to be "mean," making fun of the guests who were participating instead of having fun, but not at a guest's expense. After I observed this a few times, I stopped going to the other contests and game shows, with the exception of Bingo on the final Sea Day. Even being told by the hosting Cruise Staff to "boo" a fellow contestant who is getting close to a Bingo seemed somewhat mean-spirited and off-putting to me. Everyone is there to have fun and that fun doesn’t need to come at another’s expense. I attended the violinist’s show, as well as both the "regular" and "adult" versions of the comedian's show. Both of these acts were fun and entertaining. Having watched snippets of the other acts on the ship's TV channel, I opted to skip those, in favor of the movies in the Atrium or in my room instead. The selection of movies in the Atrium (and also available complimentary on the stateroom TV) was great, though there were never enough chairs available, and Guest Services was often talking too loudly in the background to make the experience wholly enjoyable. I did write a comment card suggesting more chairs be added based on attendance, and though some chairs were added a few nights, there were still less seats than viewers in the Atrium throughout the cruise. As has been mentioned in other reviews, this was the cruise where the A.G.E. Virus (a variety of Norovirus) was spreading after only a day or two at sea. I commend NCL and their hard working staff for taking the measures that they did to contain the virus, including eliminating self service in the buffet, providing paper menus and cutlery only after being seated, propping open restroom doors in public areas, continually washing the hallway walls and handrails, constantly reminding passengers about hand washing, and quarantining sick passengers as necessary. However, I was disappointed and frustrated by other containment measures which lacked communication and empathy from the staff and management. For example, supposedly only 100 passengers (most of whom are represented by couples in the same cabin) are sold the Thermal Suite Pass. Purportedly, in an effort to contain the virus, the cold plunge pool, hot tubs, and large pool in the Spa were closed and/or emptied of water on several days (not including the rough sea days when they could not keep water in the pools because of the ship's rocking), the steam room would be intermittently closed, and even the dry sauna was closed periodically too, leaving only the 7 heated lounge chairs available to enjoy (as well as non-heated, regular lounge chairs). While I sincerely appreciated the efforts to contain the virus and maintain guest and staff health, these measures could have easily been communicated to the 100 guests who had purchased the Pass (again, most of whom were in the same cabin thereby representing even less than 100 explanations). Instead, the Spa Manager was never available for a conversation or explanation, nor did she respond to a written request for the same. In fact, though I went to Guest Relations and also completed the Dear Cary (GM of Hotel Operations) comment card asking for some communication several times, I never received a response from anyone on the ship during the 13 day cruise. Apparently due to the virus, eventually the gym, library, game room, etc. were closed, as well as several scheduled events. Unfortunately, instead of closures like this being clearly communicated over the intercom system or via a letter left in the stateroom, it was often indicated by a note posted on the door of the facility. Then, when the hot tubs and pool in the Spa were closed "because of the virus" (with no notification to the 100 guests who had Passes), strangely the hot tubs available to the entire ship on Deck 12 were open and available. Furthermore, the Casino, where you can’t not touch a machine in order to play, remained open throughout the cruise. Contradictions like this, with no explanation, made it feel like "the virus" became a convenient way to avoid communication with the guests. And, again, if ANYONE had been communicating or showing empathy for the guest experience, this would not have been an issue and would have created a much better overall experience. I did eventually hear from Guest Relations, about a month after writing a complaint, six weeks after the cruise ended. NCL’s form tells you that you can expect a response within 15 Business Days. Thankfully, another traveler reported that they had inquired post cruise about the delayed response from NCL Guest Relations, and evidently, they were backlogged with issues from this cruise and would not be responding until closer to 30 days. BUT EVEN THAT illustrates my point: the delay and its reasons could have been COMMUNICATED by NCL to any pending claimants, but was not. Had it not been for that other cruiser sharing the information in our Roll Call, many might still be wondering what is/was going on. Hospitality is about making guests feel acknowledged (at the least) and appreciated (when done well). And a cruise is supposedly about hospitality, not just transportation from Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, my experience was soured enough by the lack of communication that I ended up returning the Cruise Next Deposits I had purchased, 30 days after purchase, at which point I had still not heard from Guest Relations following my post-cruise written comments. At the end of the day, though there were certainly aspects of the cruise I enjoyed, NCL's lack of ANY direct communication until six weeks after the cruise left me feeling like they are unconcerned with genuine customer care...and that experience is definitely below “Average” or, using the CC rating system, “Poor.” For these reasons, it is unlikely that I will recommend NCL, nor am I likely to spend my money to travel with NCL again. Ports/Excursions Cobh, Ireland I took the local train from Cobh to Cork where I had reservations for a Free Walking Tour. The suggested tip amount was roughly $10/person/hour so I paid 20 Euros for what ended up being an excellent, informative, 2-hour walking tour. Dublin, Ireland (Port of Dun Laoghaire) Particularly in Dun Laoghaire where tenders were used to reach shore, many people missed their non-NCL excursions. I met a local friend here; no excursion. I had a tender pass for Group 8 and was able to join the tender around 10:30am, arriving into Dun Laoghaire around 11am. Le Havre, France Based on what happened to travelers in Dun Laoghaire who did not have excursions booked via NCL and ended up missing their excursions, I was grateful that the excursion I had planned via some CC organizers for Mont St. Michel was not pre-paid in case we were delayed. This excursion was not offered by NCL and was a highlight of the trip for me. The travel time to/from the Mont in Normandy was about 2.5 hours each way, and the climb up to the Abbey atop the island and the ensuing tour was fascinating. Following the tour, there was time for a quick lunch/short shop in the village below. This full day excursion was well worth the trip and as promised, our guide had us back to the ship in time for departure. Many thanks again to Cherie from our CC Roll Call for arranging this wonderful trip! Tilbury (London), England Having been to London on another visit to the UK, I decided to explore nearby Gravesend, just across the river from where we were docked, and accessible via a water shuttle for a nominal fee. Highlights of the visit included antique shopping, seeing the Pocahontas Statue, having authentic fish and chips at one establishment, followed by classic afternoon tea at another. Zeebrugge, Belgium I ended up taking public transportation (tram first, then train) from Zeebrugge to Bruges. The round trip cost for both was slightly less than the 20 Euro shuttle which was available near the port. Highlights of the trip included taking photos of the quaint medieval city itself and feasting on chocolates at Chocolatier Dumon, The Chocolate Story, and other chocolatiers. Amsterdam, Netherlands I stayed for 2 nights following the cruise at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton. I selected this location because I could book via Hilton Honors Points and because it was walkable from the cruise ship terminal and also to the main train station (to get to the airport for the return flight home). While in Amsterdam, highlights included the Free Walking Tour: Classic version, the Anne Frank House Tour, and the Houseboat Tour. Purchase tickets to the Anne Frank House before the cruise, as this self guided tour sells out quickly. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
It had the itinerary we were looking for. This would be our 8th cruise with NCL. It was transatlantic and we find the six days at sea very relaxing. Unfortunately on the second day out a virus out break hit and many of the facilitys were ... Read More
It had the itinerary we were looking for. This would be our 8th cruise with NCL. It was transatlantic and we find the six days at sea very relaxing. Unfortunately on the second day out a virus out break hit and many of the facilitys were closed or restricted. It was kind of a disaster. My wife and I didn't get sick and that was a good thing. Now the two excursions we were looking forward to Dublin Ireland and London England turned out to be a disaster too. In Dublin you tender from the port of Dun Laoghaire, if you see that don't book. Tendering process was terrible. We lost so much time in the process we didn't get what I paid for. In London we were at the port of Tilbury . Same thing terrible process to get off the ship. Wound up with maybe 3hrs. in London but was dropped off far from the main tourist areas. Didn't get what I paid for there. It was a mess ship times changed from what was listed. Now to be fair the excursions at Cork, Ireland Le Havre, France and Bruges,Belgium were great. The dining rooms and specialty restaurants were fine. The cabin was ok and the crew we came across were friendly and helpful and restaurant service was great. For my part this is the second NCL cruise in row were I have left a little disappointed. Maybe river cruising would be better. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise so that my veteran husband could visit Normandy and the American Cemetary. Flew into NYC day before cruise. Embarkation was exhausting. Long lines. Ditto didembarkation. We loved our balcony cabin! Comfy bed and fresh ... Read More
We chose this cruise so that my veteran husband could visit Normandy and the American Cemetary. Flew into NYC day before cruise. Embarkation was exhausting. Long lines. Ditto didembarkation. We loved our balcony cabin! Comfy bed and fresh bedding everyday. Kudos to Yu!!! Def didnt pack the right clothes! We needed warmer things incl jackets and sweaters. Even gloves! Cold and rainy and stormy across Atlantic and in most all ports except Cobh.Dining was ok. Love the Freestyle idea. Buffet was too crowded. By the time we found seating food was cold. Ate breakfast at OSheehans every day. Thank you to Steven- a customer service oriented server! Shows were soso. We enjoyed the shows on ship tv. Liars Club etc. The Pearl needs to work on excursion organization and esp tendering. We missed Dublin because of the tender ops. We had a fun time and will go again! Maybe on another NCL ship! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We just completed a 19 day Panama canal cruise on the Gem and there was an opportunity to cruise again. Since a TA was on our bucket list, we had three choices to check this one off the list. Seems the Getaway ( 4/27 ), Pear and Jade all ... Read More
We just completed a 19 day Panama canal cruise on the Gem and there was an opportunity to cruise again. Since a TA was on our bucket list, we had three choices to check this one off the list. Seems the Getaway ( 4/27 ), Pear and Jade all had TA's scheduled to sail out of NYC. The Pearl was chosen since the first stop was in Ireland, a place we always wanted to see. Embarkation was out of Manhattan on pier 90, the Escape was docked at 88. I was expecting chaos at the terminal but it went unusually smooth, we arrived around 11 am and was aboard before noon. Since we booked the cruise under 60 days our first cabin was a GTY oceanview but working with a very good travel agent we were upgraded to a balcony along with no DSC as an added perk. Our cabin 9090 was a 4 person but I still don't know how. Everything was in working condition and clean. We did find the TV was just that a TV. We couldn't do anything else, seems strange that the ship was that backward with technology. Going down to the front desk and getting a print out of your account became a hassle since we found several items charged that shouldn't be, so going down every morning became a chore. Overall the ship appeared to be dated, Bliss lounge still had the leisure suit Larry feel to it, bowling alleys still there, no flow thru the bar central area ( had to snake around the bar stools and chairs ) and the crystal lights above the Atrium not working. Since we had this unwanted guest we avoided the MDR's for the first week and had our meals at the specialty restaurants. We found during the later half our cruise the food in the MDR's was subpar compared to the GEM. Pedro and his staff did a fantastic job, need to change up the liars club words and the newlywed show ( starting to get old ). NCL production shows above average, guest entertainers were also above average ( loved Bud and JP ). Since we had this unwanted guest, we watched the shows from the nose bleed section. Service at first seemed to be off, slow but as the cruise went along there appeared to an improvement. Because of the unwanted guest, the internet appeared to be really slow since a lot of the PAX remained in their cabins. Oh, the unwanted guest went by his nickname, Noro. Nobody ( except NCL ) really knows how many got sick, the captain and CD did mention that they were at stage #2 and they never have seen it this bad before. Stage #2 is the highest level of countermeasures ( paper menus, no salt / pepper at the tables, no self-serving at the buffet, ect. ) they use to contain the virus. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I wanted to go on a TransAtlantic crossing and thought the ports we visited were very interesting and enjoyable. The A.G.E. virus was brought on board by a passenger on this trip; I had been on the trip right before it and there were no ... Read More
I wanted to go on a TransAtlantic crossing and thought the ports we visited were very interesting and enjoyable. The A.G.E. virus was brought on board by a passenger on this trip; I had been on the trip right before it and there were no problems of this sort. The General Manager announced that there was a problem at the end of the Q&A by the Hotel Department and then they spent the rest of the trip trying to get the situation under control by increasing measures and restrictions. If it is true that this virus takes a day or two to show up, I can see why this was so difficult. Personally I didn't get sick and spent part of every day in my favorite area, the Bridge Viewing Room. In addition, I ate dinner most nights with the Solo Travelers Group in the main dining room and only one of them had gotten sick. I talked to a person from the cruise at the airport in Toronto after the cruise and she said that she was exposed to someone who was sick in her transportation from the airport before the trip and she was one of the folks who got sick early in the trip. Even if the original sick person had not been allowed to come on board, the others would have brought the illness on board. As a school teacher, we have similar problems with sick people exposing others and this is a tough problem to deal with any where. Another reviewer from this trip (someone who did get sick) had a very negative view of the measures that were taken to try to prevent the problem from spreading and also complained about the use of the ship's tenders in one of the ports. I think that it is good that the ships have to practice using their own tenders in case we actually need to use them in an emergency and didn't find the process tedious as was described by the person who didn't get the opportunity to see the historic port where we landed through the eyes of persons who were able to enter and land at this very interesting location. I feel bad for people who go on a TranAtlantic, North Atlantic cruise in the spring who didn't assume that they would encounter colder weather but had been sold on the trip as being a nice cheap two week cruise. My main reason for going on the TranAtlantic cruise was that I wanted to experience the crossing and am looking forward to going to Rome in October to take the Pearl's trip back to Miami, Florida. I really enjoy being on the Ocean and watching the weather and how the ship reacts to it as well as watching coming in and out of ports. I'm not one who enjoys "regular cruise ship activities" like hanging out at the pool or spas or going to the gym or shows but I really enjoy walking the outside decks and just being on the water and visiting the ports. I think that it is great that so many people can be on the same ship, taking the same cruise and all having very different and personalized experiences and think that is a great benefit of a cruise ship. The reason I only gave the trip a 4 is that there was a notable problem with passenger complaining and non compliance with reasonable requests made by the crew that then made it harder for the crew to not absorb some of their negativity and because some of the activities I had planned to do were cancelled due to the above listed illness problems. If I had known when I signed up to go what I know now, I definitely would have gone of this trip and am looking forward to a Rome to Rome trip on the NCL Pearl that I am doing this July as well. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review April 28th - May 25th, 2019 If you’ve found this review to be helpful please remember to leave me a helpful thumbs up. Voyage 01: Transatlantic Eastbound (13 Day) April 28th - May 11th, 2019 NYC ... Read More
Norwegian Pearl Cruise Review April 28th - May 25th, 2019 If you’ve found this review to be helpful please remember to leave me a helpful thumbs up. Voyage 01: Transatlantic Eastbound (13 Day) April 28th - May 11th, 2019 NYC -> Cobh, Ireland -> Dun Laoghaire, Ireland -> Paris (Le Havre), France -> London (Tilbury), England -> Ghent (Zeebrugge), Belgium -> Amsterdam, Netherlands Voyage 02: Northern Europe (14 Day) May 11th - May 25th, 2019 Amsterdam, Netherlands -> Newhaven, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom -> Invergordon, Scotland, United Kingdom -> Bergen, Norway -> Flam, Norway -> Hellesylt/Geiranger, Norway -> Giant’s Causeway Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom -> Dublin, Ireland -> Rouen (Le Havre), France -> London (Tilbury), England -> Brugge (Zeebrugge), Belgium -> Amsterdam, Netherlands My words of wisdom for cruising with NCL: Don’t treat the crew like crap. The crew are people too. Check your onboard account daily. Listen to announcements and read the freestyle daily for information. History: I’m Platinum latitudes and this would be voyages 08 & 09 with NCL. I originally reserved this B2B voyage while I was on the Gem sailing (NY - Quebec, Sept 2018). Although I had this B2B under 1 reservation number, the Cruise Consulate was actually able to use 2 Cruise Next certificates to secure this booking. We had a previous good relationship as he also remembered me from previous voyages on the Breakaway. Originally I reserved an IB (Inside) category cabin for the 27 day voyage but I used 30,000 BoA NCL MC WorldPoints to upgrade to an OC Category cabin. Also at the time, since I booked an inside cabin I selected the 1 free offer of 4 speciality dining. I would complete the upgrade from IB to to OC as well as payments with my USAA TA. Once my upgrade was completed and I got my cabin assignment a bunch of things showed up in my account. That I didn’t expect, and I didn’t know what to make of it. What showed up is available in my (AMENITY INVOICE) An onboard spending credit of $200. Free $50 USD On-Board Credit Certificate Non -Refundable, QTY 2
Specialty Dining Package, QTY 2
Internet Package (250 Minutes or 1GB), QTY 1
Shore Excursions Promotional Credit, QTY 1
Latitude Reward program 30 min internet, QTY 2
120 Min Ship to Shore Phone Calls, QTY 1 In addition, I’m also an NCL Stockholder and I submitted my shareholder benefit application. $250 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 15 Days or More. $100 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 7 to 14 Days. However, on paper I received 2 ($100) on board credits instead of the $250 for a 27 day voyage. I called NCL to see if I could get the $250 credit but the person I spoke with said that their computer saw my reservation as 2 voyages although it was under the same reservation. He did also say that he would see what he could do when I ended the conversation. Built in 2006 and refurbished in 2017, this would be my 1st time on the Pearl, 3rd TA crossing and my 2nd east bound voyage and the last of all 4 of the Jewel class vessels in the NCL fleet (Jewel, Jade, Gem, Pearl). I would also be bringing along my Citizen Miami folding bike which I had done on previous voyages. Cabin review below. I found the food overall on this voyage to be very good. From the behind the scenes tour I found that they are on a 14 day rotating dinner menu. Typically I would start my day with breakfast in the Summer Palace MDR (4 juices (2 grapefruit, 1 orange, 1 cranberry), oatmeal, then a rotating entree choice). For lunch I would vary having lunch in a different restaurant location. For Dinner I alternated every other day in a speciality restaurant or the MDR Indigo and dining only once in the Lotus Garden. The food wasn’t bad in Lotus Garden but it wasn’t Chinese either. I was telling my cousin who joined us for the 2nd voyage that I think most of the food is 10% authentic and 90% cruise ship, meaning that don’t really expect german food when they say it’s a german buffet or when it’s a specific theme night with the exception of the Indian food in the buffet which was really surprisingly really good. I found all the shows to be entertaining. The aerialists on board were my favorite. I did get to see the NCL Pearl’s main production cast of singers and dancers perform their main acts 3 or 4 times. If you are going to see the same show, for a different perspective I suggest sitting in a different location then you sat in from the previous show. I also brought this up with the Production manager during the ship tour on ships entertainment outside of the production cast seems to be broken down to: magician, juggler, comedian, musician or hypnotist. She agreed that seems to be the entertainment spectrum. The lecturer they had on board during the TA was to talk about Ireland but was not really that interesting but good try. This ship in general I found to be in good condition. There were no major areas of the ship that needed to be worked on and I did all kinds of wandering around the ship. For a quite space to watch over the water head up to the Sun Deck, Deck 14, starboard side of the ship, and can be access only by 1 staircase. To get to the Sun Deck start yourself at the rock wall on Deck 13 and follow along the starboard side while walking towards the front of the ship then go up the stairs at mid ship. This area doesn’t get used a lot. The other quite place on board the ship is Deck 11 Port side and forward which is the “Bridge Viewing Area”. The “Bridge Viewing Area” is the same location on all Jewel class ships in NCL’s fleet. April 28th, 2019 - Boarding in NYC There were also 2 other NCL ships in NYC that day (NCL Jade & Escape). I remember I was walking with my bike in the ship terminal when I got to the checkin desk and handed my documents over. I’ve previously gotten questions about the bike, but the person behind the desk asked me if he had rented me a car from Avis a week ago, which in fact he had done. This was his 2nd job. I thought that encounter remarkable. Boarding in NY (April 28th) went pretty smoothly and we ended up having lunch in the O’Sheehan’s. They also turned Lotus Garden in to a baggage storage area so I was able park my bike there until our rooms were ready. Boarding in Amsterdam (May 11th) was a huge mess for everyone but me and perhaps those others doing the back to back (B2B). The crew did this huge cleaning and sanitizing when the ship arrived to Amsterdam. But since I was on a B2B voyage and in the same room they gave me a B2B sticker so I didn’t have to do anything and just skipped the boarding process in the terminal. I didn’t even wait for the all clear for rooms to be ready as my room was the same room and it was already ready. My cabin steward as well as the cabin steward next to him knew what was up when they saw me. While my Aunt and cousin who were boarding the Pearl in Amsterdam did have to wait in line to check-in, after biking around Amsterdam and returning to the ship I went back to my room and took a shower and a nap. I did take anything they didn’t want to hold while waiting in line back to my cabin. I believe the crew took extra time cleaning the ship so there was a long delay in having all the rooms ready which was unfortunate but necessary. April 29th - May 04th, 2019 - Sea Days We had our CC M&G in the Bliss Lounge and it was a pretty good turn out. I also did the behind the scenes ship tour which included trips to the MDR, ship laundry and theater which was very entertaining and I also assisted with the slot pull. There was an outbreak of either AGE or Noro Virus on this 1st voyage but I didn’t catch it. I always used the hand sanitizers when ever possible or appropriate but from previous voyages I knew to do that before, hence why I don’t thin I got sick. By day 4, the ship did implement their upgraded containment procedures to keep passengers safer as people didn’t seem to either listen or take it seriously. As a result in the MDR, silverware, napkins and menus were brought to the tables only after you sat down. In the buffet you could no longer server yourself, instead a crew member had to serve you the item, this included the beverage areas too. I didn’t have a problem with this. They were also able to do the immigration inspection for Ireland on day 5 in the Spinnaker lounge however on my previous TA crossing they did that too. Over the course of the voyage I also did as many activities as possible and like to think I came to know the CD staff on this voyage pretty well. CD Pedro & Assistant CD Tiara CD Staff: Paul (Transferred from the Jade on April 28th), Cathryn, William, Gabby, Firat, Monica, MariAnna, Taz, Tracy, MariAnna, Katerina (on 2nd voyage which was her very 1st voyage), Facia (on 1st voyage but not 2nd) and Yasmine By random chance, I kept on running in to Captain Paul at dinner in the speciality restaurants, he and his party kept being seated at the table next to mine. Captain Paul von Knorring now calls Florida home but is originally from Helsinki, Finland. On the 2nd to last day of the 2nd voyage in Zeebrugge (May 24th) I ran in to Captain Paul on land. Captain Paul was with his wife and they were dressed like any other tourist from the ship but we recognized each other right away. Captain Paul remarked that he was impressed to just find out that I had brought my bicycle with me all this time. On May 05th, upon arrival to our first destination Cork, Ireland, I had booked a NCL ships excursion to visit Blarney Castle. It was a good excursion and yes I did kiss the Blarney stone. That all being said the next day, I was going over my onboard account and noticed that I got double the Shore Excursion Credit ($50 * 2) for the excursion. I couldn’t figure out why that happened. But then it happened again in Lehavre, France (May 08th) and again in Zeebrugge, Belgium (May 10th) for the NCL excursion. So even if the excursion was less then $100, NCL still gave me $100 per excursion. Unfortunately that was only on the 1st voyage. On the 2nd voyage I think the Shore Excursion people caught on to that mistake and only gave me the regular single $50 credit for each NCL excursion. Towards the end of the 2nd voyage, I stopped by and asked the shore excursion people why I was getting double shore excursion credit on the previous voyage and they also couldn’t figure out why but left the double credit in place. My ending balance on the 1st voyage was around -$223.40 and I was worried that negative balance wouldn't transfer to the next cruise so I went to the casino and charged $195 to my onboard account. The casino charges 3% for the transaction but I ended up winning an additional $130 playing ultimate texas holdem so that worked out. On May 06th we were in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, which is a suburb of Dublin. This was a tender port and May 06th happened to also be a holiday (Mayday). I had nothing planned that day but I did have my bike. I had been to Dublin in May 2017 and also planned to visit Dublin on our next voyage (May 20th). But I’d never been to Dun Laoghaire before, so my plan was to ride around Dun Laoghaire on my bike. Apparently, while the ship was scheduled to arrive @ 8:00AM, people thought that they could get off at 8:00AM and as such began queuing up in the stairwell before 8:00AM. There were numerous, NUMEROUS announcements to not queue in the main stairwell and that they were also passing out tender tickets. I had gone to get one but being platinum I knew that I didn’t need one, but I also knew that I should not try to be the 1st one off of the ship. No one that was standing in the main stairwell paid any attention to any of the announcements from CD Pedro nor did they follow any of the instructions from NCL staff present. Around 10:00AM I went to have a look at the main stairwell, walking up from deck 5 to deck 7 and found the queue which began on deck 4 and went all the way up to deck 7 and then extending towards the Lotus Garden both impressive and disturbing. While I didn’t count, it was literally wall to wall people compressed together trying to be the first off. I think each tender will hold 100 people and each tender takes 1 hour to complete it’s journey. You can do the math. What I realized was that for tendering operations NCL will give priority disembarkation in the following manner: 01) NCL Ships excursions
02) Haven guests
03) Gold and above latitude members 04) General Tender ticket holders (01 - 50) 05) Anyone Rather then wait in a queue on the stairs I just did normal stuff (breakfast and then trivia @ 9:15AM) until I heard the announcement that (Anyone) could get off which was around 11:00AM. I believe and understand that for the majority of the people on this voyage that: - they were unaware this would be a tender port, - they were unaware this would not be in Dublin city, - this was there only chance to visit Dublin, - they had booked their own shore excursion and were planning on meeting their guid/group at a certain time, - it was a 30 minute tender trip from the Pearl to land and then 30 minutes to get from land back to the Pearl I too was also unaware that May 06th was a holiday (Mayday), or that every tender from the Pearl was required to also have a local escort for each tender from the Pearl to the harbor and then escort the tender back out of the harbor. At 11:00AM I heard the announcement from CD Pedro that I could get off so I went back to my cabin, got my bike and changed to my riding gear. By 11:15 I was on a tender with my bike and by 12:00PM I was on land and riding around Dun Laoghaire. I had a great time in Dun Laoghaire. I followed the heritage trail to the James Joyce Tower and Museum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Joyce_Tower_and_Museum which also happened to be free admission that day so I went in and up. I then rode on to the Obelisk on top of, Killiney Hall Park http://archiseek.com/2014/1742-obelisk-killiney-hill-co-dublin/ On my way back to the harbor from the Obelisk, I stopped at a red light when a huge group of hundreds of cyclists passed by me. They were all on a family fun ride so I just joined them and they ended up showing me the bike paths of Dun Laoghaire which happen to run parallel to the train tracks. 4 hours later I was back at the tender pickup point. I had a great time in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. I had a very good time on this 1st voyage but a great time on the 2nd voyage. There was a lot of negative energy on the 1st voyage. There were many also many sea days. On the 2nd voyage that included a similar itinerary but aded 4 stops in Norway the negative energy that was present on the 1st voyage seemed to have gotten off in Amsterdam and we had really perfect weather for every stop on the 2nd voyage. There were also very few sea days. Our only tender port on the 2nd voyage was in Edinborough, Scotland (May 13th) but that went smoothly as they were using tenders from the port and it also wasn’t a holiday. I got a lot of use out of my bicycle on both voyages and highly recommended you giving bringing a helmet and bicycle on your next voyage. Holland America is the only line that has a ban on all bicycles. Our one bad NCL ships excursion was in Rouen (Le Havre), France where it would have been much better if the guide had provided or used a microphone and wireless headset system as they had been used in the other ports. Lastly, since I’m platinum I’m entitled to a free bag of laundry, per voyage. However on my 2nd voyage I needed to go down to the front desk to have them correct the laundry charge for that voyage. In general I had a great time. The 2nd voyage was better then the 1st and I really enjoyed most of the destinations we went to and would do it again. The crew did a fantastic job and it’s always good to see relatives that I don’t get to see often. If you have any questions, please feel free to look up my account and see in which topic I’ve posted to recently and write me a msg there. Remember if you’ve found this review to be helpful please remember to leave me a helpful thumbs up. Safe travels! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We will never cruise Norwegian Cruise Lines again. They were very expensive but low quality compared to any other cruise line we've sailed. Didn't even include water or coffee in their vert expensive drink package. Even their ... Read More
We will never cruise Norwegian Cruise Lines again. They were very expensive but low quality compared to any other cruise line we've sailed. Didn't even include water or coffee in their vert expensive drink package. Even their Specialty dining was terrible. They nichol and dime you to death....literally bill you for 20% gratuities. We were with a friend group of 7, and we all agreed we will never sail Norwegian again. The only thing good we have to say about Norwegian is they had the best on board Musicians we have seen on a cruise, and our room stuard was excellent. They had the most inconsistent mixed drinks I have ever had. They say they care about customers satisfaction, but it is apparent that their profit is their only true concern. We had a back to back transatlantic 24 day cruise and never saw a person win a decent prize at bingo even though they charged more for bingo than any other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I like transatlantic cruises because I get to Europe in a comfortable, leisurely and entertaining way.and without jet lag. I was disappointed with the kitchen and the dining room servers. In my estimation they were understaffed, ... Read More
I like transatlantic cruises because I get to Europe in a comfortable, leisurely and entertaining way.and without jet lag. I was disappointed with the kitchen and the dining room servers. In my estimation they were understaffed, inefficient, and ill-trained. The manager tried very hard to correct the immediate issues, but because it was freestyle dining we got different servers every meal, and it seemed as if each server disappointed us in a different way. Just a few examples.. Mistakes causing delays which caused us to rush the end of the meal or miss our following event. Some vegetables, like onions and garlic often had the outside paper skin. Sloppy pouring of water, coffee and wine. Mostly it seemed they were slow and didn't pay attention. Many of the handrails were loose and many handrails were sticky (soiled). The entertainment was mediocre, the violinist and the aerial acts were excellent, the saxophonist was inaudible above the accompanying musicians, the escape artist and the tango dancers were boring, the comedians were somewhat entertaining. We did not go through passport control in Europe which means there is no entry stamp which could actually mean that I am illegally in Europe. The cabin and cabin steward were excellent. Overall, I would not recommend NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We just got off the Jade TA from NYC to Mediterranean. The ship was a bit small but good. kept very clean, great service. The cabin steward and bartenders were wonderful. Visit Domingo in the Whisky bar - makes the best drinks. ... Read More
We just got off the Jade TA from NYC to Mediterranean. The ship was a bit small but good. kept very clean, great service. The cabin steward and bartenders were wonderful. Visit Domingo in the Whisky bar - makes the best drinks. Entertainment was ok but you were able to see all the shows. Ports were good. The biggest issue we had was the poor excursions booked thru the ship. Not organized, too expensive for what you got, late getting off the boat, wasted time waiting around. We did three and cancelled the rest after those experiences. Oh and just a note - if you have a terrible excursion you must complain that day or they will not do anything for you. (lesson learned) Of course Norwegian says they are not part of them so they cannot do anything for you. So future if you sail book excursions from outside companies you get a better experience for your money...or less money for that matter. And if you go into a port that your have to be ferried over to port from the boat don't expect to get off for a few hours. It took us three hours to get into port. The experiences from the excursions may have cost them a customer. Read Less
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