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Cruise Ratings
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115
Sail Date: April 2017
Flew to New Orleans to take the ship which ended in Boston where I live. Everything was perfect.. Very attentive butler. We were in a suite which was a great experience. Taking a suite is just not the better cabin, but all of the perks ... Read More
Flew to New Orleans to take the ship which ended in Boston where I live. Everything was perfect.. Very attentive butler. We were in a suite which was a great experience. Taking a suite is just not the better cabin, but all of the perks that come along with it. Every move you make is a priority over everyone else on the ship. A suite is the only way to cruise. Norwegian did it up perfectly. The ship was great, and the islands were very nice, sunny, and warm the entire time., On the third day of sailing you know that you are heading north because of the cold and uninviting temperatures. I will definitely take Norwegian again. I love the sailings to and from Boston which makes it very easy for local residence. The Dawn was revamped last year and has a whole new look inside. For an older ship, it has been given a now and fresh overhaul. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I went on this cruise with my husband, sister, brother-in-law. I had a great time. Embarkation was great because my sister had a suite and they let us embark with them instead of waiting in the cattle call...definitely a bonus! Our room ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my husband, sister, brother-in-law. I had a great time. Embarkation was great because my sister had a suite and they let us embark with them instead of waiting in the cattle call...definitely a bonus! Our room Steward, Goodeye (pronounced Good Day), was the sweetest thing. He did a great job keeping our tiny room clean and his towel animals were the best. I was disappointed in the room because we got a room with the bed in the wall instead of the couch, but we made it work and I was literally only in there to sleep. Our dinner at Cagney's was awesome as was our dinner at Teppyanaki's. The food at O'Sheehan's was fair at best, so we didn't go there often. The steak at La Cucina's was awesome. We did love the pot stickers and spring rolls at Bamboo...will definitely go there again on the October 2018 cruise we are planning. I wasn't overly impressed with the cruise director staff this trip. I thought Gio was rather boring...definitely have had better experiences on other cruises, although Troy was a sweetheart. We had good experiences with the staff in the Aqua. Most of the servers at the pool were great. The bar service in the casino was horrible...you would think they would keep the drinks flowing to keep you gambling, but that definitely was not the case. The shows were okay. The variety show was boring. The hypnotist should stick to hypnotism and step away from singing..it was painful and we ended up leaving. There didn't seem to be as many activities on sea days as there have been in the past. There were some days when we found we didn't have anything that we wanted to do and that's not like us. Overall, it my traveling companions that made this a great cruise. Not to mention we met some awesome people that we will keep in touch with. Most of the ports were good. If I'm ever on a cruise where Columbia is part of the itinerary, I will probably stay on the ship. It was horrible! I'm sure it's beautiful, but I was so aggravated by the beggars, it made it miserable. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
It has been a long time since we did a long cruise (this one was 14 nights). Overall the cruise was good but we can see where cost cutting has changed the feel of this company's ships. We has a BD class of cabin with a balcony. The ... Read More
It has been a long time since we did a long cruise (this one was 14 nights). Overall the cruise was good but we can see where cost cutting has changed the feel of this company's ships. We has a BD class of cabin with a balcony. The cabin itself was rather on the smallish side and I am really glad there were only the 2 of us in the cabin as I think it would have been a nightmare with 3 in this small a space. Bed was comfortable but did feel that as the ship had just had a refit (more like some new carpets fitted and some of the restaurants moved or expanded) felt that the beds and bedding should maybe have been replaced. Also found the way our cabin had been updated rather strange with some of the built in furniture in the redwood and other pieces 1/2 redwood and 1/2 black-faced chipboard. Also the switches and outlets were a mix of old and new which did give the room a rather strange look almost a 1/2 hearted effort at a refit. Also found the bedside lights witch I assume to have LED bulbs in them very annoying as the flickered non stop and were ridiculously bright. The cabin steward was excellent but I did notice that the room was not vacuumed for several days at a time also the bedding was not changed that often. As our stateroom was forward I did notice the noise from the Stardust Theatre every night when we had gone to bed. We did find the buffet up to the standards that we would expect from NCL from our last cruises and we were glad to see that this had not changed (only 1 minor gripe was a lack of basic sliced deli meats as some of the guests would have been more that happy with roast turkey or honey roast ham being available rather than the American selections that they did have on offer. We chose not to use the main dining rooms and opted for the 10 night dining package. We did notice that in almost every pay restaurant the menu had been reduced with some of the omission's being rather strange like no baked potato in the steakhouse restaurant and several items removed from every menu (the only reason we know this is that the ship had not bothered to update the phone app with the new menus or even the new locations or new names of the restaurants)/ We also found that some of the staff in the restaurants fantastic and some not so. I also did notice that some of the assistant maitre d's to be rather rude and arrogant towards the waiting staff when they thought that no guest would hear. As I worked in catering for many years I do take exception to this and I will name the restaurant this occurred in "Cagneys" We are not really late night people and we take the opportunity of a 14 night sea crossing as time to sleep late and unwind. We only went to one show and we did note that this was aimed totally at the US guests on-board as was almost every ShowTime. I was rather puzzled to the fact that NCL have removed all the guest coin laundry facilities on their ships (well I was puzzled till I noticed the price of $5.95 to send a t-shirt to the laundry) but they did offer a $19.95 bag of laundry twice during the crossing. As they have removed the coin laundry found it rather strange that they still sell the detergent for it in the on-board store, As we have been to all the ports before we only got off once for a brief walk so cannot comment on the ports or the excursions. Would we do NCL again I feel we would have to have a long hard thing for anything longer that 5 to 7 nights Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Booked back to back cruises on the Jade out of Tampa. First leg Western Caribbean, second Transatlantic to the UK. Nice ship that was easy to get about. Pool area was excellent and space always available. Cabins were good, staff ... Read More
Booked back to back cruises on the Jade out of Tampa. First leg Western Caribbean, second Transatlantic to the UK. Nice ship that was easy to get about. Pool area was excellent and space always available. Cabins were good, staff throughout the ship friendly and first class. Food perhaps the best we've had on NCL (we dined mainly in speciality restaurants but free options also very good). The buffet after 21 days became tedious and we never visited it in the evening. By-passing breakfast &/or lunch became our routine. Each of the specially restaurants were equally good, maybe not as impressive visually than the newer bigger ships, but certainly better food, especially the meat dishes. The Jasmine Chinese was included for all and in our view better than the Teppanaki which carried fees. The bars were excellent, our favourite servers were in the Atrium but all bars poured drinks to suit (we had the UBP). We got engaged in the trivia on both legs of the trip with was fun and enabled us to make some lovely friends. Best part of the trip for us was those friendships and fun. Entertainment was very hit and miss (probably more miss & miss). The music on the first leg was extremely dull (not to our taste) and it got substantially worse on the transatlantic. There seems to be a belief on some NCL ships that when people over 60yrs turn the radio on in their cars or go to gigs, they exclusively listen to Elvis, Frank Sinatra, etc. I really do wish NCL could realise that most of us only hear those sort of tunes at funeral services these days. The odd insertion of awful Abba tunes hardly landed any more easily on the eardrums. Some of the musicians on the ship were good, the pianist & a guitarist did have pretty extensive songbooks, and the Neil Diamond tribute session was excellent but a mid-afternoon time slot seemed perverse. A young singing couple in the theatre were OK but their song choices dull. The other singing about the ship seemed subdued by virtue of the genre of music we presume the artists had been told to stick to. You could literally walk away from one version of Elvis, Proud Mary or Dancing Queen to another bar and hear the self same song. As for the shows, the illusion show (Sandar I think) was excellent, the other shows struggled to hold our attention. Hypnotism, magic & juggling seemed more like time fillers than headline shows, the dance shows were mainly spoiled by dreadful accompanying music. One named Blazing Boots didn't have any storyline and was a serious of songs which were totally unknown by us, and it seemed a large proportion of the audience. Goodness knows how it was ever considered a suitable show for a diverse international audience. The usually funny comedians weren't great. On cruise 1 the comedian just wasn't funny, and on cruise 2 the guy spoke so fast with it was hard to catch what he was saying. All in all we had a great trip and are looking forward to several more cruises over the next 18mths, several with NCL. We've learned that with NCL the bigger ships offer far more in terms of entertainment variety but the smaller ships are ahead of the game in terms of getting to know folks and food quality. The ports of call were fun distractions: We enjoyed them all with the possible exception of Roatan where we didn't venture far from the ship. Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan, Harvest Caye (first time visit of us, and bit like Great Stirrup Cay & absolutely spotless with loads of space). Leg 2 was Key West (fun as ever), Miami (didn't dissembark as we've been loads of times), Azores (lovely island tour), Cobh (Guinness & music in Ireland), and finally Falmouth (near where we live). As for the weather & crossing.... we're convinced we were really lucky. Good weather in the Caribbean with only 1 day of rough seas, and what we considered to be a pretty smooth transatlantic trip although some friends did suffer a bit with motion issues (we were midship they were up front). Cabin was Oceanview for leg 1 then Interior for leg 2. Both were OK. Please be warned: we had a cabin on deck 11 (11085) under the Buffet for the first 6 days of our TA, we couldn't sleep and after complaining we were moved to deck 10 which was better. The problem was the noise from the trolleys as the staff prepared and cleared the buffet. It was worst at 5am when we were woken daily. We had complained on day 2 and been told there was nothing that could be done. My wife spoke to the Hotel Director at the platinum gathering and he wasn't happy with his staff, and few bottles of wine and chocolates then room swap followed. We were far from happy to discover that all Oceanview and balcony cabins had been block booked by US travel agents months before the trip which prevented non-US guests reserving for those categories of cabins even 6 months ahead of time. Those cabins were released in the wider market long after we had booked. We would recommend the Jade, yes but judged by these trips don't expect much by way of musical entertainment unless you fall into the 'one foot in the grave' category..... Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
this cruise missed 3 ports, azores, the captain could not steer into the port. Brest, the captain could not make it ontime. Zeebrudge, the captain was late with that port too. we got a total of $114 dollars back. Big deal!. Passengers ... Read More
this cruise missed 3 ports, azores, the captain could not steer into the port. Brest, the captain could not make it ontime. Zeebrudge, the captain was late with that port too. we got a total of $114 dollars back. Big deal!. Passengers really mad. A riot on ship happened. never again.ttt horrible cruise bad food bad service bad drinks no seats in bars no windows in public places. terribe weather bad captian. steered the ship int rain for 15 days. inconsiderate passengers very low class no chairs in room low class women sleeping in bars very drunk people. very expensivr drinks watered down drinks no happy hour could not wait ti get off ship hair in terrible food a low class ship ship broke down in middle of atlantic, why ship missed two ports. very low class people. treat singles like sub human. worse than carnival cruise. never ever again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We wanted to see the new locks of the Panama Canal and get a respite from the cold of the northwest. Our travel agent offered an exceptional value for our cruise. We enjoyed our mid ships mini suite very much and our cabin steward was a ... Read More
We wanted to see the new locks of the Panama Canal and get a respite from the cold of the northwest. Our travel agent offered an exceptional value for our cruise. We enjoyed our mid ships mini suite very much and our cabin steward was a very hard worker. The suite was well appointed and generally exceeded our expectations except for the bed. The bed was lumpy and tired. We are 4 star mariners with Holland America and just felt the Pearl was past the times of being a "beautiful" ship. It was "tired" in so many ways: carpet seams coming apart, furnishings past their prime, uncomfortable seating in the Stardust Theatre and over crowded seating in the Garden Café. Generally, there also seemed to be a great many disgruntled crew members. The food was generally presented in a very lovely way but the quality and flavor of the food was unsatisfactory. The lectures on ports of call were also tired and their pictures and topics were old and dated. The Panama Canal narrator did a fabulous job so the transit was the high point of our cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
For the first time ever, we decided to go "all the way to the top" and booked a Haven cabin. With our own pool, hot tub, sauna, butler(s), room steward, concierge, exercise area, shower/changing area, eating area, and upper sun ... Read More
For the first time ever, we decided to go "all the way to the top" and booked a Haven cabin. With our own pool, hot tub, sauna, butler(s), room steward, concierge, exercise area, shower/changing area, eating area, and upper sun deck we could have spent the whole cruise in the Haven and never gone anywhere else on the ship. This was luxury at its finest and was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Great fun! When we did venture down to the lower decks we found poorly organized games (Name That Tune was especially bad. We were afraid some of the passengers were going to actually fight.) Bring ear plugs to the production shows, they are way too loud! Food in the Summer Palace was irregularly good. Best of the specialty dining was had in the French and Italian restaurants. Really enjoyed the atmosphere. For a light lunch we liked O'Sheehans Irish Stew Soup. It is not a "stew" as we know it, but a clear broth with variety of veggies. Perfect for gluten free celiac husband. Everywhere on the ship we found Five Star staff members. There was always a smile and a willingness to help or just a friendly greeting. The 17 days Miami-Seattle flew by! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We had been looking for a Panama Canal transit cruise for some time and this cruise seemed like a good fit with the various ports of call and ending in Seattle (it was actually a 17 day cruise not a 14 day). We had sailed on NCL many years ... Read More
We had been looking for a Panama Canal transit cruise for some time and this cruise seemed like a good fit with the various ports of call and ending in Seattle (it was actually a 17 day cruise not a 14 day). We had sailed on NCL many years ago on the Majesty for what was also an unusual itinerary - it was 14 day repositioning cruise up east coast to Boston. We loved the itinerary at the time and our only complaint was the tiny size of the inside cabin we booked - very tiny. Surely, we felt, that issue has been taken care of on the newer ships..... Unfortunately that was not the case. Our mid ship inside on Deck 9 was the second smallest cabin I've ever sailed in during approximately 30 cruises. Embarkation in Miami was not the best we've ever experienced - in fact I'd put it in bottom tier. Checking in was not bad but then they herded everyone up the escalator to what could only be described as a mad house. They jammed 1,000 plus people into a space that would comfortably accommodate 500. Add to the press of humanity all their carryon bags they were toting and you and imagine the chaos. When we went up the escalator we were handed a boarding number (23). They had not yet even begun boarding and there were 23 groups! Eventually, they would go to (I believe) 30 groups and then start over again at 1. Once they started boarding it still went very slow - not sure why but I do remember our group was halted 3 times on our walk to the enclosed walkway - each time it was to let wheelchair guest go ahead of us and waited until they completed the walk before we were allowed to continue. After standing for more than an hour and tripping over bags every time we moved around, I have to admit I found it irritating to have someone who had just arrived and was seated skip over the boarding numbers and jump to the front of the line. At the risk of sounding shallow - I really think they should be gathered to a special area and escorted all at once. Other than the small size of the cabin and the embarkation process, we found very little to complain about. We loved the stern outside eating area, the bar staff on Deck 6, the variety of "quiet" places we could sneak off to, the size of the library, the flexibility to eat where and when we wanted to. We never stood in line at either the Indigo or the Summer Palace for more than a couple minutes. My husband enjoyed visiting the Observation Room on Deck 11. We don't get involved in trivia and bingo but there was plenty available for those who do. The cruise director's staff put a lot of effort into coming up with activities for all that wanted them - Wii sports, Origami, Napkin folding, cake decorating and bread making, dance lessons, game shows, etc. etc. etc. Pearl is a pretty ship and recently was refurbished, but there is till wear visible in some areas. It's not the easiest ship I've ever cruised on with respect to finding your way. Not every deck goes from stem to stern without going outside. The entertainment was good but not the best I've seen. Some shows were great but others more reminded me of an old timey burlesque show. Jim Badger on the piano on Deck 6 was excellent but after 17 days the lines and jokes were beginning to wear thin. There was a talented duo - two ladies, one who was an accomplished cellist and one who played violin very well. Both could play wonderfully and had a good playlist but neither interacted with the guests and the one who could not speak English well seemed to have no personality at all. We enjoyed their music but a little interaction would have made their "act" so much better as they played in the Atrium or on Deck 6 bar area almost every evening. The ports of call were definitely varied and plentiful. We had joined private group excursions in Cartegena, Colombia, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, and Acapulco, Mexico. We enjoyed them all but I have to say the highlight for us was releasing endangered baby turtles to the sea in Acapulco and visit we had at the rescue facility which is actually someone's home. The Cliff divers were a close second. We did not get off the ship in Nicaragua and Guatemala, and we had been to Cabo before so we just stayed on board. We found the staff to be very efficient and friendly. Our cabin steward, James, was great, very attentive. Our favorite bartender, Sheryl, was super. She had great personality, made the best drinks consistently of almost any bartender we've ever met. There was a young bar waiter on deck 6 named Victor who we felt has a wonderful future in the cruise industry. He's enthusiastic, attentive and energetic. Great guy! Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our 17 day Panama transit on the Norwegian Pearl. Our only hangup to sailing with Norwegian again is the cabin size of our inside cabin. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I wanted to compare NCL to the 12 Carnival Cruises (and 4 other lines) I have taken. Buffet A+ - Far Better than any ship I have been on. Great variety - Bakery also A+++ Main Dining C- (lack of quality meat, service MEH, took to ... Read More
I wanted to compare NCL to the 12 Carnival Cruises (and 4 other lines) I have taken. Buffet A+ - Far Better than any ship I have been on. Great variety - Bakery also A+++ Main Dining C- (lack of quality meat, service MEH, took to long, all of the premium meats have been taken off the menu to entice you to the Paying upscale dining. Paid Dining - EX-CELL-ENT!!! Filets were wow, the fish yummy, We tried them all. I will say although I LOVE Italian, I would give La Cuchina a pass. Nothing special. Lunch - very annoying that we were on a 17 day cruise, and the main dining room had only 2 menus - almost identical - which they rotated. So basically the same menu every day. And the only option was O'Sheehans, or Buffet. I think Sushi was open as well. They have NO BRUNCH :( O'Sheehans is free and open 24 hours a day. Breakfast in the morn, full menu after 11:30 and room service menu for late night. The food is also WOW! Sheppards pie, Fried fish and chips, Fajitas, Great quality Burgers (give the buffet ones a pass). Sandwiches, etc. Thermal Spa - MEH. Way too expensive. I had unlimited access for around $300 and used it maybe 6 times for an hour each. The place is nice, however nothing is very hot, luke warm at best. Love the tiled chairs, but again, they were barely warm most of the time and people napped on then, so they were not always available. Itinary was excellent - 17 days from Miami thru the Panama Canal and through to Seattle. Jasper the cruise director - I would grade him a D. Least active, least friendly ship director and we barely ever saw him. Training center - also an A. Many pieces of equipment, all seem decently new, Loved the face cloths they hand out when you get back on ship each day. Very good for super hot cruise ports. Overall, I was disappointed in NCL. It was a quiet cruise due to being 17 days and in April, so definitely a retired person cruise. However, the issues I see are not going away. They are trying to lower their price (YEAH) to compete, however they nickel and time you CONSTANTLY!!! Raise the cruise$100 and give me some better beef. How can you call it NY Strip and Sirloin, but it's tough as can be. Entertainers/Activities seem about the same as every other cruise. VERY ANNOYING that the rooms weren't cleaned until 2pm every day. Apparently they feel that is ok. And turn down service is 9pm. That is WAYYY to late. These are both very inconvenient times. A pleasant cruise, however nothing that would make me want to take NCL as my main cruise partner. ps, I cruise about 2 to 3 times per year. Tried Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
The Pearl is a nice sized ship and we enjoyed our full transit Panama Canal voyage. The food was good enough that we both gained a lot of weight. If we had used the excellent fitness center perhaps the scales would have been kinder ... Read More
The Pearl is a nice sized ship and we enjoyed our full transit Panama Canal voyage. The food was good enough that we both gained a lot of weight. If we had used the excellent fitness center perhaps the scales would have been kinder to us when we got home. There are a lot of dining options and that is a nice thing to have on a long cruise. This is the first time I have had an inside cabin. The room is smaller than in other categories and there is less storage space. If I could do it over, I would choose an outside cabin. On the other hand, we saved money and we were not in the room much. A nice feature was the USB port on each side of the bed. There were a lot of activities for those that wanted them and some quiet places to be found if you didn’t. The entertainment was good considering that they must please people of varying tastes. One thing I thought was a great new addition to the ship was the large screen in the atrium. While going through the Panama Canal you could watch in air conditioned comfort if it got too hot outside (and wow it was hot). There was good narrative while transiting. I imagine that same screen will be used in Alaska for some of the scenic places there. Other times it was used for Wii bowling, tennis etc. It was very annoying when we arrived in a port when we were not allowed to disembark until people on NCL tours left the ship. NCL gives priority to their own tours, however, the rest of us are paying guests too. My ‘Gold’ status didn’t mean a thing when I tried to leave the ship. In Corinto we had a private tour booked that involved giving school supplies to impoverished children. After waiting almost an hour and a half to disembark, the students had left for the day by the time we got to their school. That was a big disappointment that could have been prevented. Overall service was good, slow at times, but really, what is the rush? It isn’t as if you will starve anytime soon. My overall rating is good. Yes, you may find a cruise with better everything, but it will cost whole lot more. This was good value for the price paid. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We loved our 17 day cruise. We had amazing food at the specialty restaurants and all the other food was varied and good. The attention shown by the staff and crew was always friendly. Our cabin attendant, Nyuman, was fabulous. When I ... Read More
We loved our 17 day cruise. We had amazing food at the specialty restaurants and all the other food was varied and good. The attention shown by the staff and crew was always friendly. Our cabin attendant, Nyuman, was fabulous. When I win the lotto I will hire him to be my personal butler. There were more activities than we could participate in. We would have enjoyed more educational lectures and classes. But overall we had a great time. The only advice I could offer to NCL is: The theater seating in the showroom is in need of replacement. We were told that it is not going to be changed when they do the refit - Big Mistake - it should be at the top of the list. The repairs that have been done leave the seating slanted down hill. It's hard to sit through an hour long show. We would do this cruise again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Our embarkation in Miami was very easy and well organized. Check-in was quite smooth with minimal fuss. Once on board, we were able to visit the buffet for a light lunch while we waited for the call that staterooms were ready, which ... Read More
Our embarkation in Miami was very easy and well organized. Check-in was quite smooth with minimal fuss. Once on board, we were able to visit the buffet for a light lunch while we waited for the call that staterooms were ready, which happened far sooner than expected. After a brief rest, we found that our luggage had been delivered, so were able to unpack and get organized for our 17 day cruise to Seattle. Our stateroom was excellent. The room was spotless. We understand the ship will undergo a refit this fall, but the only "wear" in our room was a small crack in the sink. The carpet was clean and showed no excessive wear (the same in the passageways). There were no odors. Closet and storage space was more than sufficient for us. There we plenty of hangers in the closet. There was a small programmable safe and small refrigerator in the room. Bedding was clean and comfortable. The TV worked well, though ship-based programming left a bit to be desired as far as timeliness, etc. Windows were clean throughout the cruise. The balcony / patio was clean and a welcome retreat on busy days. The room was very quiet. We heard no passageway noise nor any noise form adjacent rooms or overhead. Twelve elevators and adjoining stairwells were available. Elevator banks were forward, mid-ship and aft. Cars had a capacity of twenty people. The public spaces were nice though at times noisy with cruise staff activities. Movies were sometimes shown in the Crystal Atrium late in the evening or during the afternoon when shore excursions were away. The library was nice with a good selection of books that could be checked-out. The card room was somewhat small and always busy with groups paying bridge or mahjong. The pool deck, hot tubs, sports courts and running track were all quite nice. Shuffleboard was available in a number of locations. The outdoor bars and eateries were very nice -- a quick place to grab a drink or snack while outdoors. Theater seating and arrangement needs to be addressed in the refit. The seats are quite uncomfortable from overuse. Also, there is no access to seating from the sides, so often, you will have late arrivals for shows climbing over you to get to a seat at the far end of the row. Otherwise, theater lighting, sound and visibility of the stage from all seats is quite good. Professional entertainment was quite good, including Las Vegas shows, comedians, magician and a ventriloquist. A hypnotist was BORING. Cast productions were not bad. Dining options are quite good. There are two main complimentary dining rooms as well as several other options, including a generous buffet with just about any food choice you would want (even pickled herring!). The specialty restaurants (Italian, French, steakhouse, Brazilian steakhouse, Japanese Tepanyaki and Sushi) covered other bases. There was also a complimentary Asian Fusion place (not very good) and an Irish Pub (that was very good). We tend to eat simply these days so were quite happy with the buffet and pub. The Tepanyaki restaurant had very good food, but the noise drove me nuts (when one chef started clanging his tools and singing, the other three would join in). My ears rang for two hours after both dining experiences there. The service staff in the dining areas were exceptional. They were efficient, friendly and quickly in place to clean a table when vacated. Shore excursions were generally okay. We opted for the "easy" ones due to aging joints and the like and managed them okay, though our guide in Cartagena apparently kept forgetting his bus has mobility-impaired people, so would be a block ahead of most of us by the time we even got off the bus. Combined with the heat, the experience was a bit like the Bataan Death March for several of the folks on our bus! We really enjoyed on "excursion" that was on the ship: a "behind the scenes" experience that took us through the entertainment production facility, the galley, bakery, laundry and environmental (garbage) areas. It was very interesting and highly recommended if you get a chance to do it. Disembarkation was a bit of a circus in Seattle (but that's Seattle). After getting al the mobility-impaired people and those dragging their own luggage off the ship, they started letting us off by our assigned groups (with the usual later groups jumping the line). Unfortunately the people in the terminal started calling groups backwards, so those of us in early groups for airport transfers, etc., were left hanging. It all worked out okay, but was frustrating. That's a people problem, not a cruise line problem. Overall, we really enjoyed this 17 day experience. The ship is nice, the crew is wonderful and there is plenty to keep you entertained if that is your desire. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We wanted to travel through the Panama Canal. The consultant that talked to us as we were going through was excellent. We liked the fact that we could view from the big screen in the Atrium, go outside on the 12-14th floors, as well as the ... Read More
We wanted to travel through the Panama Canal. The consultant that talked to us as we were going through was excellent. We liked the fact that we could view from the big screen in the Atrium, go outside on the 12-14th floors, as well as the 8th floor sun deck which is usually closed as it is for the crew. Nadeen, the hypnotist was excellent. She was entertaining and had serious sessions also. We attended all of them. She even updated my programs for free ( I had purchased on another cruise). The two Professors who lectured about our ports were very disappointing. One slide presentation was from 2007. The film they showed on the Panama Canal was the most meaningful. I told Jasper, the Social Director my concerns. No depth on the history or culture of the ports of call were included. They talked down to a group of very seasoned travelers with instructions like do not take drugs and make sure you use sunscreen. The entertainment overall was very good. The comedians were terrific. George Solomon and the rest of his Oh What A Night group, Jeri Stenger, and the Legends concert were top notch. The ship had good music every night outside of the main shows as well. However, the chairs in the Stardust Theater were very uncomfortable (made you lean forward), and some were broken. We made the captain aware in our Cruise Critic debriefing. Some of the chairs in the Spinnaker were broken and the DVD lights did not show correct colors. Hard to see colors of flags when colors are missing. (One of the trivia events). We had a nice variety of events during the cruise to keep us busy and help meet other people when forming teams. Bocce, Bean Bag throw, Ring Toss, Goofy Golf, Wii Bowling, Last Man Standing, Weakest Link, 55 seconds, Pictionary, Charades, and 10 Minute Mystery were some of the activities in addition to numerous trivia contests. They reward participation and winning teams through a card system you got signed off for each event. At the end of the cruise you selected prizes based on the number of accumulated signatures. This was an excellent way to get passengers involved. The buffet was tasty and plentiful. However, dinner was more limited than lunch. Would have liked lobster at least once. Seafood was often small. The Calamari everywhere we went was great. Too much salt in the food. Lack of variety in the main dining rooms during lunch were the same items were offered numerous times for such a long cruise. O'Sheehans was nice. They had tasty food, coffee and tea bar self service 24 hours a day. Also you could play some of the games from the restaurant looking down. We ate at four specialty restaurants. Le Bistro, Cagney's, Teppanyaki and La Cucina. Ganesh Paul, Executive Sous Chief engaged us in conversation. The dinner that was the least impressive was at La Cucina the T-bone steak was fair. All the other meals were good. The lamb at Le Bistro was superb. We ate at Lotus Garden twice and were satisfied by different entrees each time. Breakfast everywhere was good with a lot of variety. The floors in the buffet area got very slippery and many people including myself were in danger of falling. The Captain said it was due to the humidity. More mats should have been placed down as quite a few guests fell. Smoking in the Casino drifted to several other venues and there was too much smoking on the pool deck. Better location, and enforcement for smokers needed as there were smokers on both sides of the pool deck at times. The fitness center was well equipped and had separate steam rooms. The staff at the Spa were professional and skilled. NCL sold decent quality t-shirts noting different ports of call we visited for $3.75 each (a nice surprise). Shore excursion to Columbia: The Hop On Hop Off tour in Cartegena included a guided walking tour. It was excellent and you could hear because they provided us with individual audio equipment. However, on the bus, it was impossible to hear the commentary. The route of the bus, the pick up times, and the starting time of the tour did not really allow you to get off the bus and yet attend the walking tour and see all of the other sights. They provided us with several bottles of water at the beginning and end of the tour. We used two outside vendors Julio Tours (Nicaragua) and Thumbs Up (Costa Rica). Jean and Joan from our Cruise Critic Roll call arranged these for us. They were both excellent. In Acapulco we hired Cesar, a taxi driver at the dock to take us around for a 4 hour tour with several stops for $50 (better value than the NCL tour). We saw the cliff divers at the Mirador hotel and had a good lunch with excellent seats for the show for approximately $30 for two. He was excellent and knew the history of the city well. His cell number is 74 45 03 79 66. In Guatemala we used the NCL cruise excursions In Antigua on your own we hired a guide for $15 each and we had our own private tour. The bus left us off and picked us up at the Jade Museum. We had a short introduction and that is where the guides for hire were located. We used an outside vendor for Cabo San Lucas. What a waste. The Tequila tour was a mock up and opportunity to sell us expensive Tequila.The tour of the city was a direct route to the glass bottom boat mooring. We stopped once to see fish in the boat. The rock formations were magnificent. You can get a boat at the dock and negotiate prices for a third of the price we paid for the tour. We have already booked our next cruise on NCL to the British Isles using our CruiseNext credit. That is a great deal. You can book on the cruise get their upgrades and credit then transfer to your travel agency if you choose to do so to get additional benefits. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Reviews from other family and friends had told us that this was one of the best cruise ships. And my husband found it to be very nice so much so we are sorry that we did not take advantage of the promotion where you pay $250. and Norwegian ... Read More
Reviews from other family and friends had told us that this was one of the best cruise ships. And my husband found it to be very nice so much so we are sorry that we did not take advantage of the promotion where you pay $250. and Norwegian cruise line add $500. and it is good for six years toward your next cruise. We love relaxing on the ship. I went to 2 comedy shows loved them. I went to an art auction I found that to be very interesting and exciting. White night was a lot of fun. Also we went on a tour in Nassau it was interesting. The whole cruise was great. Over all we had a great time great food and drinks oh and let me not forget the dancing. The staff was really nice and serve with a smile. If I was to complain about any thing it would be that I ordered water on line for our room and we did not receive it and we drank 2 or three bottles that was in the room and got charged $13. personally I thought that was rather high for water. Other than that we have no complaints. And this was my husband first cruise and we both hope to take another one however we want to go someplace different. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was my fifth cruise with Norwegian and the second time on the Pearl. The last time I was on the Pearl was 2015 to Alaska from Seattle. I have previously cruised with Princess and Celebrity but my future cruises will be with ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise with Norwegian and the second time on the Pearl. The last time I was on the Pearl was 2015 to Alaska from Seattle. I have previously cruised with Princess and Celebrity but my future cruises will be with Norwegian. Our cabin was lovely and I can see the changes from 2015. Our bed was so comfortable I may have to get the mattress at home. Food in specialty restaurants was great but the main dining room Summer Palace and the buffet were almost as good. I love having Chinese food in Lotus Garden and had a couple of lunches and dinners there. The staff were wonderful from our cabin steward to the front desk and everyone seemed glad to see us. Ingrid at the front desk even escorted us to the elevator when our card wouldn't allow us to access deck 14 where our cabin was after making a new card. The ports were interesting as I have never been to Guatemala, Nicaragua, or Acapulco in Mexico. Costa Rica and Cabo San Lucas were ports I'd visited before but were also fun. The Panama Canal lasted almost an entire day and was so interesting because they had local experts on board telling about what you were seeing. Entertainment was excellent and I will never forget the cruise director Jasper and his assistant Megan as they seemed to be everywhere and always smiling. This was a 17 day cruise and I wanted another 17 days as I didn't experience all the services available! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Chose the 3 back to back cruises that go from Rio to San Francisco. Beaches, penguins, Falkland Islands, Cape Horn, Chan Chan, and the list goes on. Best way to see these, and each was great. Would forgo the start in Rio, but definitely ... Read More
Chose the 3 back to back cruises that go from Rio to San Francisco. Beaches, penguins, Falkland Islands, Cape Horn, Chan Chan, and the list goes on. Best way to see these, and each was great. Would forgo the start in Rio, but definitely start/end in Buenos Aires. My wife and I were mugged in Rio as well as several other couples that we met on the ship. The only way to tour Rio is in a group tour. Period. Never alone or as a couple, even just to leave your hotel. The Sun is a mid size ship that struggles when at full capacity. The buffet is far too small for all guests, particularly on a sea day with weather that did not allow outdoor dining. However, the staff is great and make extra efforts to try and accommodate. Not always successful. Embarkation at all 3 ports was very poor. Expect to spend the afternoon getting on board. Tendering when necessary was very good. Food was hit and miss. The only specialty restaurants worthwhile for a second visit were Cagney's and Le Bistro. Entertainment in the Stardust Theater was generally good, the production cast numbers, Uptown, and the Showband were the best. Other entertainment was decent, Beau in the Windjammer was the best for our taste- he should listen to 'mama'...Repeat, the crew and staff on the Sun make the cruise. Bridge lessons on the last leg were a nice plus. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My wife and I are veteran cruisers. We have been cruising since 1984. We have been on many different lines and many different sizes of ships. We have been on mega ships before, such as the Dream, which has about 50% more cruisers than ... Read More
My wife and I are veteran cruisers. We have been cruising since 1984. We have been on many different lines and many different sizes of ships. We have been on mega ships before, such as the Dream, which has about 50% more cruisers than the Epic, and yet he Dream still seems to be able to handle the crowds easily, which the Epic does not. Too Few Crew: The Epic is a disaster. Main problem: way too many people on board and way too few staff to serve them. At its rated capacity of 4,100 passengers (at double occupancy), 1,400 crew, which is the number actually serving the passengers and excluding the crew members in areas such as the engine room and so forth, there are about 3 passengers to one crew member, which is very short handed. However, the ship usually sails with at least 4,900 passengers, such that the ration is almost 4 to one. This stretches the crew way too thin. Added to this problem is the factor that the Management has not enforce3d consistency standards upon the crew so service is very haphazard. Cabins: Cabins are exceedingly small. In addition, the configuration of the cabins, that is being curved, wastes additional valuable cabin space and enhances the smallness feel of the cabins. The curve of your cabin bulges is where your bed is; the bed of the next cabin is where the curve of your cabin bends in. Thus the curving of the cabins, rather than being style or fashion statement, is merely a way to cram more cabins in on the ship. Your comfort is sacrificed for more profit for Norwegian. The bed is ridiculously small-far too short for a normal man to sleep in. I am 5’11’’ tall. My feet hung over the end of the bed by six or more inches. The bed is curved to fit the curve of the cabin and thus the bed losses important length. My wife at 5’6’’ could just fit the bed. See our Cabin review. Ship Issues: Nowhere to go on ship, because they close off all the lounges during the day, unless the lounge is being, used for an activity. Thus, there is nowhere to sit, except the main lounge on deck five. This Atrium lounge has about 60 seats-hence is always full! Lines, long lines for everything. You must have tickets to go to shows. Even with tickets you must wait on long lines to go into show. Long lines for dining rooms. Waits of 20-30 minutes each night. We were on the ship for 30 days on three different cruises, so the problems we dealt with are not specific to a one cruise. Our cabin steward was the worst cabin steward we have even had in over 30 years of cruising. We repeatedly spoke with him to try to get him to remember to do every part of his job each day. Every day he forgot to do several things. He forgot to empty garbage pail and forgot to replace towels the towels he took away. He would leave balcony door open. He would leave his key card in our room, and so on. How about the security of other cabins! He constantly apologized for not being able to get to our cabin, because we were the last of 16 cabins. He would promise to come back. When he did not come back, he would then tell us he forgot to come back. We spoke twice with his supervisor. He was sent to additional training-nothing worked. We understand that other cabins in our area had same complaints. Cabin steward was taken off of our area for the last week of our cruise. The replacement steward was excellent. The configuration of the ship forces you to walk to the restaurants on one of three decks. Each of these decks are so cluttered that it is so hard to walk to the restaurants, especially with tons of unsupervised children running around. You cannot walk a straight path from one end of the ship to the other. Children: There is no restraint placed upon children who rove the ship in bands. Children 12 and under are not permitted in the hot tubs unless accompanied by an adult. However, there is no enforcement of this rule. Excursions: These were not the only issues. We took 14 excursions. We were entitled to a discount of 10%. Yet each time we were charged the full price. We went back to excursion desk repeatedly to get the right amount charged. This occurred even though we put the discount in writing on our order forms. We booked an excursion six months before getting on the ship. About a month later, it was canceled. A week or so later, we were emailed that that excursion was available again. We booked that excursion, only to find on board that the Excursion desk had no record of it, even with our confirmation and thus because the excursion was full we did not get to go. We missed the very Excursion which was why we wanted to take this cruise. The Excursions gather all excursion takers in the theatre (the theatre holds 606 people-is this a proper meeting place for 4,800 people?) The meeting place is always overcrowded. The person giving instructions on the excursions is the worst English speaker of the Excursions staff. As instructions were only being given in English, it made no sense to use the person whom they used as everyone complained about his poor English. They have at least one native English speaker and yet he never led the Excursions. Food: The food was excellent. In fact, this is the best food my wife and I have ever eaten on a ship. The food is beautifully presented. This is almost enough to overcome all the other faults of this ship. Specialty Restaurants: We went to the specialty restaurants 6 times. The food was excellent. Each restaurant had a beautiful ambiance and excellent service. The average meal, without wine or liquor, and which is al a carte, is $75.00 for two including gratuity. These experiences were ruined, however, because each time, these restaurants had many babies toddling around during the meals or crying throughout their meals and often with diapers that needed changing. Nothing will destroy the aroma of a fine meal more readily than the smell of human excrement. This ship should have not allowed such small babies to be brought to what is clearly an adult experience. We have raised 3 children and have grandchildren, but there are times not to bring a small child along. Entertainment: Cirque is excellent. I would recommend buying the premium seats to be able to look down on the main stage. Being on the first floor means that you will have an obstructed view. Priscilla Queen of the Desert is also excellent. Its theme, however, might be offensive to some. Howl at the Moon is an unmitigated boor. The two piano layers whined time and time again for tips. They threatened the audience with not playing if not tipped. I would skip this. The music was only fair, their voices were raspy as they screamed rather than sang each song. The problem with the entertainment is that the theatre only holds 606 people. Thus, you must get tickets at the very first opportunity, because most shows are only done a couple of times. Not everyone will see a given show, because the show would have to be done at least 6 times for everyone to see it. Having said that, Burn the Floor is excellent and is a must see. However, be aware that sometimes a Burn the Floor Show is done in the Manhattan Dining Room at 7:00pm. Giving you more chances to see this don’t miss. Elevators: The Epic is a quirky ship which is best demonstrated by its elevators. There are only two elevator banks, one aft and one forward, which have 8 elevators per bank, four on each side of the ship. Having said that, the elevators are quite slow. So, they are always filled to capacity. In addition, not all the elevators go to all of the floors. One elevator on the starboard side of the ship did not go to the 13th floor. Another did not go to the 6trh floor. Several skipped the 5th deck, which is the most important deck because it houses Guest Services, the Excursion deck, and one of the main restaurants. A couple of elevators skipped other decks, such that you had to try and figure out which bank and sub-bank of elevators you had to go to in order to get to the floor you wanted. On other elevators, you would push a deck number and the elevator would by-pass that floor, leaving the floor number you pressed lighted up. Highly annoying! We have decided not to sail again on Norwegian. The experience on the Epic was so disappointing in virtually every aspect. This is very sad, because, before this cruise, we would have probably said that Norwegian was our favorite line. There is something seriously wrong with the Epic, because so many things went awry. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise as it was repositioning across the Atlantic to Barcelona 1/4-14/4/17. When we arrived at Port Canaveral to embark it was chaotic with porters running round like headless chickens. There were badly organised queues ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was repositioning across the Atlantic to Barcelona 1/4-14/4/17. When we arrived at Port Canaveral to embark it was chaotic with porters running round like headless chickens. There were badly organised queues to enter the terminal. Check in was pretty quick but there was no atmosphere from the clerk. Normally it is welcome to ............... etc,none of that, just do you want to register a credit card, click, click and in you go. No nice greetings from staff along the walk to the ship and no, welcome aboard at security, in fact staff looked miserable. Initial thoughts were, wow a bug ship but the atrium was unimpressive, compared to other ships. The Atrium Bar was the first one we came to, very bland and not welcoming at all. Across the way was Guest Services etc. We went to check out our balcony cabins. First impression, small, and the bathroom set up was shocking. A frosted cubicle on one side, the toilet, cramped! On the other dude a frosted cubicle, the shower! So very small and we would soap the walls and turn around as much as we can I. There to get showered. As for the sink, this was in the main part of the cabin at the bottom if the bed, oh there was a curtain to draw which covered the toilet and shower but not the sink. You could not pass each other at the bottom of the rounded bed. Kept knocking our legs on the metal frame. Bed was too firm and pillows disgusting, one too soft and the other like a rock. Plenty of storage hidden within the 'wave" effect if the cabin. Balcony very small too. Tea, coffee facilities in cabin, nice touch. The ship was packed to the rafters. The noise element was shocking stemming mainly from the atrium. The deck was open through 3 decks. There were never enough seats, They would have a main band in here, then by Shakers bar another act, then A few hundred yards away at the Maltings another act. All were so loud you could not have a decent conversation anywhere in these area. You had to book shows which proved nigh on impossible and sole destroying queuing up at tough screens only to find someone booking 6 or more and then there were no seats. You had to queue for everything except specialty restaurants because you paid for these. Everything was an add on on the ship thus making it a cash cow! With regard to specialty restaurants, again it was a nightmare to get a booking with most time slots taken and the earliest was about 9 o'clock, too late to eat. Cagneys, Tabanaki brilliant. Noodles bar great. Wasabi great. Main dinning, anytime, great long queues and very disappointing ambience and food of poor quality and just about warm, Taste and Manhattan were the main dining rooms, don't bother. Their attempt at a coffee bar was at the end of the noisy atrium bar consisting of a 2 meter counter a few teas to choose from and cup cakes or macaroons all of which was an add on! We were so stressed at the noise levels and not being able to sit somewhere quieter other than in our cabins. We were at Guest Service trying to make a complaint and the noise element was horrendous and we said that that was the main problem. We were so disgusted with the whole ship, staff etc that we cancelled the service charge, something we have never done before. We tipped the people we wanted in the end. The guy was not at all surprised and just gave us a form immediately to cancel these charges without batting an eyelid. Obviously this is something they must do in a regular basis! Even when disembarking there was no niceties as hope to see you again and thanks for choosing NCL. Nothing, A lot of the staff looked stressed and miserable most of the time, This cruise was well overbooked, too many people, too much noise, not enough quieter areas and above all the cabins were a nightmare. As for entertainment, shocking especially Manhattan Band, like a cat crying awful. The cruise director wants shooting. That is if you could find him! The shops were few and rubbish, worst we have ever seen, We left the cruise feeling very stressed and not at all relaxed as we normally have done on other cruises, we couldn't wait to get off. As for baggage claim it was dreadful. Like an airport set up with staff bellowing if not in carousel look around, it took over an hour to get our luggage and our cab turned up and went because we were Kate getting out of their terminal. Poor show NCL the first and last time we sail its you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
to celebrate 60th birthday, first transatlantic, looked forward to the many days at sea. Service was very very very slow. Room was rarely made up before 3 pm. Restaurant service- took 15 minutes just to get a cola. Always took +1 ... Read More
to celebrate 60th birthday, first transatlantic, looked forward to the many days at sea. Service was very very very slow. Room was rarely made up before 3 pm. Restaurant service- took 15 minutes just to get a cola. Always took +1 hour. "Open concept" proved to be very noisy and confusing. Hard to walk through areas when large groups were in a bar. Activities on a sailing where the average age was 57 were poor to non-existent. Playing bingo in the center of the ship with lots of other noisy activities around was a non-starter. The crew to passenger ratio is skewed because there were so many entertainers. But a lot of the entertainment was poor. Furniture on balcony was not conducive to spending much time. No table or chair to eat at in mini-suite. Nickle and diming. TV viewings pretty poor. not much else of interest to do on this ship. Very disappointed. Not likely to sail Norwegian again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Chose this cruise because friends were going on it. This worked well and was great to have company. The entertainment was in general very good. Priscilla queen of the dessert was awesome, good comedy shows and in general entertainment was ... Read More
Chose this cruise because friends were going on it. This worked well and was great to have company. The entertainment was in general very good. Priscilla queen of the dessert was awesome, good comedy shows and in general entertainment was good. Food was up and down, often tough steaks , over cooked and warm food was the norm. Exceptions were le bistro where we had a truly fantastic meal. Overall we enjoyed our cruise, but was dissapointed at the lack of arts and crafts on sea days, really unless you like quizzes not much else going on, then the nickel and dimming for other things was annoying. Will I cruise ncl again, probably, but not transatlantic and not the epic. Got to use the vouchers up I was sorely miss sold on the escape up sometime in the next three years. Other than that, not again. Last year did celebrity eclipse and enjoyed it more overall.and out of 55 cruises I have things to compare them too. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
The two main evening shows were absolutely the most distasteful shows I have have ever witnessed on a cruise and I have seen my share of "stinkers." "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor" are ... Read More
The two main evening shows were absolutely the most distasteful shows I have have ever witnessed on a cruise and I have seen my share of "stinkers." "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" and "Burn the Floor" are definite MUST NOT SEE productions. If you are curious enough to try "Burn the Floor," do yourself a favor and take ear plugs. The music is cranked up so loud, it will not only hurt your ears, but you may end up with a headache throughout the cruise. The other shows are wonderful. The hypnotist and the various comics are quite enjoyable. However, my favorite was "Graffiti Classics." Don't miss one of the most talented and entertaining string quartets you will ever see. In my estimation, the specialty restaurants are exceptional. Especially the steak house, (Cagneys) and the Brazilian Restaurant. Worth the extra money. Lots of really excellent food at very reasonable prices. Overall, the food in all of the open table restaurants is very good. Not a fan of the "see through" wall in the stateroom bathrooms! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Wanted to try a TA cruise and so happy I chose this one. Met a great group of people. Balcony cabin was a nice size with more than enough storage space. Just wish the sink was bigger. Service was great. Food good. Like I said, no ... Read More
Wanted to try a TA cruise and so happy I chose this one. Met a great group of people. Balcony cabin was a nice size with more than enough storage space. Just wish the sink was bigger. Service was great. Food good. Like I said, no complaints. Shows were good and very diversified. I thought the ship was in great condition and clean. Loved the places we stopped at, and was very happy with the excursions I chose. I thank everyone who was on cruise critic for all the information beforehand. Did book another TA for November from Rome to Miami. Ship is Norwegian Star, so I know it's much smaller then Epic. I never found the size of the Epic to be overwhelming. Also never had a problem with the elevators, lines at buffet or even finding seats at the buffet. Where ever we went, fellow crusers were friendly. Again, I have nothing but praise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Sailed as a solo traveler and enjoyed the benefit of NCL having studio cabins so I do not have to pay double occupancy. The Cruise Director assigns a staff member to host the solo travelers to help arrange dinner and show reservations. ... Read More
Sailed as a solo traveler and enjoyed the benefit of NCL having studio cabins so I do not have to pay double occupancy. The Cruise Director assigns a staff member to host the solo travelers to help arrange dinner and show reservations. This creates a social atmosphere to enjoy. The transatlantic cruise had excellent stop overs before reaching final destination of Barcelona. The Epic, like many new NCL ships, has a Thermal Spa, which is excellent to enjoy and relax in. This is an excellent value if you can use it every day. Other than the top decks, the Epic lacks outdoor space on lower decks to sit out on and enjoy the outside area. Also, the Epic theatre is quite small for the number of passengers that it carries. They require prior reservations for shows, which is difficult when you are juggling multiple entertainment outlets to enjoy. There is a variety of restaurants to enjoy, including multiple specialty restaurants. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
1st Norwegian, 1st Transatlantic! Thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. Seas were very good in my opinion, only 2 days that we could feel the ship wobbling. Even the coolest day, last day I believe, there were still sunbathers out on deck. ... Read More
1st Norwegian, 1st Transatlantic! Thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. Seas were very good in my opinion, only 2 days that we could feel the ship wobbling. Even the coolest day, last day I believe, there were still sunbathers out on deck. The other reviewer mentions walking past areas that made it hard to walk, like the photo areas and the shops. This ship has the best shops area I've seen. All together at the end of one deck. Never crowded and you did not ever have to wallk by them if you didn't want to either. Photo area, never crowded either. And if you had reservations for entertainment, you did not need to wait an hour ahead of time either. We loved the complimentary dinning options and all the entertainment. Looking to book another Norwegian and another Transatlantic also! Also, all the crew we encountered were very professional and pleasant. Many remembering our names, etc. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
As a solo traveler, Atlantic crossings with NCL have always been my favourites and this crossing was no exception. NCL make it so easy for solo travelers to make new friends aboard. The Norwegian Epic is not my favourite NCL ship with its ... Read More
As a solo traveler, Atlantic crossings with NCL have always been my favourites and this crossing was no exception. NCL make it so easy for solo travelers to make new friends aboard. The Norwegian Epic is not my favourite NCL ship with its quirky design but as a solo traveler its strange cabin layout is no problem for me. On the other hand, as all the public rooms and deck areas are on three decks it is so easy to find your way around. The ship has been maintained well and I saw no areas of concern with regard to cleanliness or health & safety. Unfortunately, the new NCL CEO has removed the 'Freestyle' or naturist sunbathing areas from all ships which was not only disappointing but a retrospective step in my opinion. I had an inside cabin which although smaller than on most other ships or lines was more than adequate for me with plenty of storage space and was maintained very well by my attendant. I dined in Le Bistro (x2), La Cuchina, Cagney's, Shanghai, The Manhattan Room, Taste and The Garden Cafe during this crossing. The menus were very good in all, in the main very well presented (except buffet of course) and the food was tasty although I was a little disappointed with Cagney's which was a little bland considering the cost. The service was good in all even if it did come with an attitude at times. The entertainment was top notch as you would expect with NCL and the Cruise Director (Scott Mikelonis) & his team worked very hard. Of course, 'Burn The floor' & 'Priscilla ...' were the highlights for me. There was so much going on of an evening that it was easy to miss something. During the day however, considering the number of sea days, the activities were a little disappointing unless you enjoy the hard sell art auctions & spa treatments which I do not. There was an extra matinee show on a cloudy sea day but i would have liked to have seen a few more interesting talks & lecteurs which did not involve a hard sell for onboard products. I bought a Spa Pass for the whole crossing, which was very expensive but it did mean that the moment I was short of something to do during the afternoon I could go for a wallow and steam. This crossing had been sold out quite a few weeks in advance of the departure but due to the number of solo travelers the ship never felt overcrowded. The onboard service was very good at all times whether it be in the cabin, restaurants or bars with one exception. The service in Bliss was so bad at times I ended up walking to shakers to get a drink and then returning to bliss with drink in hand. I think the problem with Bliss is more the design of the bar rather than a problem with the staff. We were very lucky on this crossing as the weather in all ports (Bermuda, Madeira and Malaga [Spain]) was warm and sunny. As each port had places of interest to see close to the dock I did not see the need to buy an expensive ship's excursion. Read Less
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