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Cruise Ratings
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The worst designed ship ever. entertainment was terrific but venues and theatre were too small...long line-ups. yoga ($12) and art classes ($35) cost extra but prices are not listed, line- up at front desk for those (called operator many ... Read More
The worst designed ship ever. entertainment was terrific but venues and theatre were too small...long line-ups. yoga ($12) and art classes ($35) cost extra but prices are not listed, line- up at front desk for those (called operator many times, no answer ever). Bottles of water in room are not free - $5 each. Had room attendant clear out the booze and water from the room. If not on a drinks package, You pay US$16,19 and 23 per drink NCL offers daily drink at $9. At the The Garden Cafe on the 15th floor be prepared to be welcomed by a high pitched irritating greeting of “WASHY, WASHY, HAPPY, HAPPY, YUMMY, YUMMY” every single time you enter this place, shame on NCL for needing their staff to act so juvenile. The buffet meals are tepid at best, and staff behind the counter need to be reminded to replenish the food in the serving dishes. The Manhatten and Taste restaurants have the same menus and the smallest portions you have ever seen. Shanghai is the best free restaurant with great service and good sized portions. Half the warm chairs in the Spa weren’t working... and it doesn’t face the sea or anything, not worth the extra $$. Continuous marketing and nickel & diming you. Most surprising: Day 4 newsletter quote: “Very Important Guest Advisory: Additional taxes may apply while in certain ports and whilst the ship is sailing in territorial waters.” : sail route on TV screen showed an unscheduled sail to Rabbat (Morroco). Also, if you’re a Canadian passenger NCL will convert your invoice from $US to $Cdn plus a 3% margin...and charge this to your credit card - another NCL cash grab! Thank goodness I met and enjoyed some great people on this cruise, but that’s a usual experience on any cruise. Forget this ship...There are far better others out there... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We have looked forward to a transatlantic trip and the itinerary was great. We were hesitant to book such a large ship but wanted to give it a try. Boarding was the easiest ever! But once on board, things started to grind slowly. We tired ... Read More
We have looked forward to a transatlantic trip and the itinerary was great. We were hesitant to book such a large ship but wanted to give it a try. Boarding was the easiest ever! But once on board, things started to grind slowly. We tired quickly of standing in lines to watch a show ( in a WAY to small theater), get dinner, or ride an elevator. Many people enjoyed the ship and really enjoyed the free drinks package. The cabins were odd. The frosted glass free standing toilet and shower were poorly thought through. Lighting in the cabin was dull. The short bed was curved at the bottom and my feet extended a good 6” off the end! The meals were good but we found the speciality restaurants left a little to be desired. The service was good and a few times we were really impressed by the attentiveness of the servers. Even though we had several complaints about the ship, We still had a wonderful time. But, we won’t be on the Epic again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
If you can cope with the strange cabin layout, love trivia games and slots machines, don't mind lining up, even for things you reserved, and like paying for services, then this ship/hotel is for you. Be prepared: Your shower and ... Read More
If you can cope with the strange cabin layout, love trivia games and slots machines, don't mind lining up, even for things you reserved, and like paying for services, then this ship/hotel is for you. Be prepared: Your shower and seperate toilet are immediately inside the cabin door. You will be visible and struck by anyone opening the door once you step from either glass doored facility. Make sure you travel with companions who do not mind seeing you performing your toilet functions. There is no basin in the toilet, there is a tiny one in the cabin area. If you use it, be careful not to strike your face on the tap which juts into and up from the sink. There are only 2 power outlets in the cabin. You will need to crawl under and reach inside the vanity to access them. The shaver outlet is inside a mirrored cabinet. Once you plug in a razor, you cannot close the mirrored door. The lighting levels are low with LED fixtures controled from various locations. The overhead storage is above the bed and sofa and cannot be reached. There is no place to store shoes. Cabin balcony doors are tight access. If any vanity drawer is opened a bit, you will not be able to get into the cabin from the bacony without climbing over the bed. The bed is curved and short. If you are over 5'10", your feet will overhang. There is nowhere in the cabin that 2 people can pass each other. There is no promenade deck going around the outer decks, if you like walking or a jog the best you can do is back and forth on one side deck. The fitness centre does not have steam rooms or saunas, yoy must pay $340.00 to use the spa area. The freestyle thing seems to be mostly an inconvenience. You still have to line up for everything, you will just be in a separate bigger lineup than guests without reservations. Hotel staffs try very hard to mitigate the quirky arrangements and do what they can to cope. Food is of good quality but often not hot enough, service is generally friendly and adequate with a lot of supervisory staffs drifting around not doing much of anything. Entertainment scheduling is progressive, so only one venue is open at a time which causes crowding. Anyone taking a trip on Epic needs to be accepting and open to something unusual. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a repositioning cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida to Barcelona. We had never cruised on a large ship, and won’t do so again, primarily because of the noise level. Why is trivia played in the atrium, where the sound of the ... Read More
This was a repositioning cruise from Port Canaveral, Florida to Barcelona. We had never cruised on a large ship, and won’t do so again, primarily because of the noise level. Why is trivia played in the atrium, where the sound of the microphones reverberate throughout two floors? The plus sides of this trip include: 1. Medical care (ear infection not responding to prescribed treatment). 2. Ports of call 3. Excursions (four out of four get thumbs up) The food in the Manhattan dining room was better than expected. The service there was excellent. The room configuration while unique, was acceptable. What wasn’t good about the room was the shortness of the bed. If anything, having a non-standard-length bed seemed bizarre. The worst part of the cruise was the noise. The card/game room had stone floors (voices and chairs scraping reverberated), and the room was much too small for a cruise of 4,000 plus passengers. We were allowed games in one of the private restaurants until 3:00 pm; but evening card or board games were just out of the question. The focus of this ship is casino and alcohol and constant noise. The pool is incredibly small, and again, there is always a band or DJ, so no escaping the noise there, either. Overall, we conclude “average”. Much better than prior Azamara cruise, but far below our favorite Oceania trips. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose the Transatlantic because we only had to fly one way across the Atlantic ocean.. Spent the night before the cruise in Orlando, and took am shuttle to ship. Got to Port at 11:00am. It only took 15 minutes after being dropped off, ... Read More
We chose the Transatlantic because we only had to fly one way across the Atlantic ocean.. Spent the night before the cruise in Orlando, and took am shuttle to ship. Got to Port at 11:00am. It only took 15 minutes after being dropped off, to sitting down and ordering lunch in the Haven. Fastest ever. Had just about all our meals in the Haven restaurant. We had the 4 specialty meal package, and 2 more for being platinum members. Used 2 each at Cagney's, La Cucina, and Le Bistro. All 3 were good! The haven had a snack bar by the pool. That was nice for the time after shore excursions and before dinners. Had some room service breakfasts, and the Butler delivered afternoon snacks daily to the suite. Ate 1 meal in the Chinese Restaurant, and once in Cirque of Dreams show. The entertainment on board was good. The main problem was the theatre was way too small for just the 2 shows, with 3,950 cruisers. Had to get to the shows at least 30 minutes before it started, to get a decent seat. And the smaller venues for other smaller shows was way too crowded, too. You can book reservations before cruise for some of the shows. Don't wait until boarding, unless you are in the haven. Ms. Google gave talks about the ports. Their history, things to do, pictures, etc. Not much else to do on 7 sea days. Those were given in the theatre and always full. About the only activity we participated in was gambling in the casino. It has a big casino compared to most other ships, and located right in the middle of ship. If smoke bothers you - dodge it if can. Everybody onboard goes there to smoke. Nelson (Hotel Director) knows about this problem and is working on it. OK! The machines pay out very little. So, NCL probably rakes in a pretty good profit from the casino. Like I said before the ship seems very crowded every where you go. There is no outside deck that goes completely around the ship. Not very much outside space at all, except at the top of the ship. That's the great outdoors and recreational area. The weather was kind of cool to be using the shallow pool, though there were sunbathers out most days. Just glad we were in the Haven where it wasn't so crowded. We booked our shore excursions with NCL for the ports. Platinum Members got 10% off, plus we had 2 $50 shore excursions per cabin per port. That made the prices very reasonable! Most of the tours were longer than the scheduled time allotted for them. Thought they were well worth what we paid. Well satisfied. Disembarking was a big mess! We had a 8:30am tour scheduled for Hop On / Hop Off Bus and drop off at Catalunya Square. We were over 2 hours late getting through cruise terminal to our bus. Then had to wait longer at bus before leaving, waiting for the tardy ones hung up in the cruise terminal. Purchased our cruise over a year out, for a very good price, with the extras. Wanted to be in the 2BR Haven, to be able to get away from the crowd. Liked the idea of having to fly only one way across the Atlantic. Also, had read reviews about the toilet and shower behind headboard, and sink in room. Heard a lot of cruisers complaining about that set up on board. We really enjoyed this cruise. Probably won't ever be back on the Epic again, though. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Our first time in Haven on Transatlantic Cruise this April 2019. We had such high expectations based on everything I had read. Took two days until we met our Butler - were we supposed to track him down? Snacks we preordered before the ... Read More
Our first time in Haven on Transatlantic Cruise this April 2019. We had such high expectations based on everything I had read. Took two days until we met our Butler - were we supposed to track him down? Snacks we preordered before the cruise were never delivered. Did not prebook anything - was told to wait and let the Concierge do it. Finally met him on 2nd day and got 2nd choice on 3 of the 6 dining venues we wanted. Should have just done it myself prior to cruise. The food in Haven is quite excellent but on a 15 day cruise the Chef has got to change the menu up a bit!! It is an excellent menu but the same, day after day. There are two soup choices and three desserts for lunch and dinner. Can't the chef use some creativity and vary that up a bit. Ice cream - vanilla or chocolate -and we found out from a different waiter, also macadamia nut. Can also get lemon sorbet daily. We wandered thru the buffet one lunchtime and saw gelato and so many other flavors, that we can't get! A few more Butler issues- why did it take a guest on day 7 to tell us about the "express" elevators or day 10 when a guest explained to us about the special phone in our cabin? We only asked our butler for one thing. After a week of daily snacks - we asked for fruit and some chicken, egg or tuna sandwiches. We specifically said no chocolates, cakes,or ham or pork. Within the next week we got our request once and then back to the ham and chocolates again. Shore excursions were fine except for when our tour in Mallorca was cancelled. At Shore Excursions we picked out another tour and was put on the waiting list -#19. Settled for our third choice. Question - if NCL cancels a tour, shouldn't we be bumped to the top of the waiting list? We did make it down to #9 so there were some cancellations. Complained but told "Sorry, Corporate Policy"!!! There was one lecturer on board, a very dry British lady telling us about each port. After attending her first lecture, we had enough and waited until the Epic decided to show her lectures on the TV so we could watch from our bed. Would we go Haven again? If I'm on a 4100+ passenger ship, definitely yes! Would I ever go on the Epic again - never!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We had never done a trans Atlantic and it won't be out last. Seas were calm and blue the entire trip. We chose this due to the many sea days and access to several unusual ports. A travel partner had relatives immigrate from Madeira ... Read More
We had never done a trans Atlantic and it won't be out last. Seas were calm and blue the entire trip. We chose this due to the many sea days and access to several unusual ports. A travel partner had relatives immigrate from Madeira and I have family to visit in Seville. Then add on Malaga, Cartagena, Palma, Barcelona and oops forgot Delgato! We had a marvelous lady give us advice about the history and how to see each port to our best advantage. Her chats were so popular they filled the Epic Theater and were broadcast in the Atrium and nearby bar. Staff from top to bottom, beginning to end, were all super friendly and excellent at their jobs. We had many activities to choose every day but mainly we relaxed, visited or people watched. Never were we prodded into participation. Problems in ports were never due to NCL but the number of ships being in small ports at one time. Hopefully limits will be set and held in the future. I left feeling like I had truly seen Spain aND been relaxing at a resort. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
A friend recommended a transatlantic cruise since my husband was retiring. We had not cruised in years, never transatlantic, and never been to Spain. It was a spur of the moment decision without the research I normally do on every ... Read More
A friend recommended a transatlantic cruise since my husband was retiring. We had not cruised in years, never transatlantic, and never been to Spain. It was a spur of the moment decision without the research I normally do on every vacation we take. When I found the time to look into it further, I was a bit concerned with some of the reviews I read of the Epic, but knew we would make the best of it especially with the deal we got for a sail away balcony. I can honestly say that we got more than we paid for with the Epic. We were in cabin 11012 which is the 4th from the front and has the total metal surround on the balcony so when sitting down you cannot see the ocean. But this blocks the strong sea breeze crossing the Atlantic. The balcony is huge and we had a chaise, 2 chairs, and a small table with room to spare. I agree with other reviewers about the configuration of the cabin being a bit odd and probably a bit tight for larger people, but it was not an issue with us. We had storage we did not use. My husband likes to use the pool and hot tub area but I like to read and watercolor in a quiet place. We were both happy with the facilities. We ate the majority of our meals in the dining rooms but did not utilize the specialty restaurants. The food was consistently good. We did eat some meals in the Garden Cafe which was also pretty good. We did not have the beverage package as we only drink a glass or so of wine daily but we did buy the wine package on board the first day. I think that is the only time it is available. We enjoyed some of the entertainment but did not bother with anything labeled “not for the easily offended.” We enjoyed meeting others on board as it was just the two of us. There were many other couples traveling alone. In short, we really enjoyed the cruise and have, in fact, booked the same cruise for next April. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Just got back from the TA cruise to Barcelona. We cruised with Norwegian 3 times before, but first time on Transatlantic. Despite many negative reviews on Epic I have to say everything was almost perfect and exceeded our expectation. ... Read More
Just got back from the TA cruise to Barcelona. We cruised with Norwegian 3 times before, but first time on Transatlantic. Despite many negative reviews on Epic I have to say everything was almost perfect and exceeded our expectation. Embarkation took 5 min. because we spent the morning by the pool at a hotel and didn't come to the terminal until 2.30 pm. Nobody in the terminal by that time, of course. Went straight to our cabin that was ready waiting for us. The cruise was sold out, so we kind of worried about the crowds on board, but there was literally no lines nowhere except maybe at the pool bar in some afternoons, but even then the wait was like 5 min at the most. After a couple of days we were puzzled about where all the people are and even asked different crew members how many passengers were on board. The answers were consistent - about 4,320. So it was sold out, but it didn't really feel at all. Maybe has to do with the demography, but we never regretted that! All bars and restaurants were good. The music bands were awesome! Didn't see any of the shows in full, but sneaked in a couple of times to stand in the back and watch for a few minutes. Nothing really exciting as we've seen them before. The service was phenomenal with almost no exceptions. The crew did their best to accommodate the guests, and they succeeded in that in my opinion. Overall an awesome trip and a beautiful ship! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Around a week before our start date, NCL changed the itinerary by reducing the cruise from 12 to 10 nights and removing La Harve and Zeebrugge. A few days later it changed again adding La Harve and Zeebrugge again but removing the Azores ... Read More
Around a week before our start date, NCL changed the itinerary by reducing the cruise from 12 to 10 nights and removing La Harve and Zeebrugge. A few days later it changed again adding La Harve and Zeebrugge again but removing the Azores and Portland. So before the cruise started we had to re-arrange travel and could only claims our expenses back after the start of the cruise. Once onboard a lot of the shows required everyone to book in advance and then queue up 30 minutes before the show starts. If you didn't manage to book in advance you had to queue even longer. The issue was there was no organisation of the queue, so people who hadn’t booked were in the wrong queue and vice versa. Once they decided to open the door to the theatre or headliners everybody needed their cruise card to be scanned, slowing down the process even more. The most stupid part of the process, is that it wasn’t for all shows. The shows that didn’t require booking as you may have guessed were very well organised and nobody had to queue at all. A plus point on the entertainment for us was duelling pianos at the Headliners bar and you didn’t need to book it. The food was generally quite good, but there were problems with service. Sometimes very slow then other times too quick, we had main meals arrive, while we were still eating starters, toast arrived after we had eaten breakfast and there are other examples. Two days before we left the ship, we informed customer services that we had a early flight and needed to leave early but the earliest time they would give us is 8.15 unless we paid them $72(55ish) to book a transfer to Southampton airport which is about 6 miles away and a £27 taxi ride. We started the leave the ship at 8.15, but didn’t get off until 9.15 and our flight was at 10.25. Despite the inadequacies of NCL we arrived at the airport at 9.40, 15 minutes after luggage drop off. But Southampton airport was great and we still managed to get our flight. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, but would have preferred the itinerary we originally booked, better organisation in the restaurants, no booking for any of the free shows and a guest services team that listened. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise to spend 12 days on vacation. It was my second NCL transatlantic experience and I had a great time on the first. I expected four nice ports and lots of relaxing, fun days at sea. A week before we sailed we were ... Read More
I chose this cruise to spend 12 days on vacation. It was my second NCL transatlantic experience and I had a great time on the first. I expected four nice ports and lots of relaxing, fun days at sea. A week before we sailed we were informed that we were cut to ten days, with two marginal at best ports. After much noise we got two better ports back, but the chaos caused by the changes were not worth the trouble. The changes caused a massive amount of upheaval and required multiple visits to the guest services and shore excursions desks to try to correct overcharges, cancelled excursions, etc. After being reassured for four days that I was on the list for a shore excursion I had booked and paid for, when tickets were issued to others I was told I had in fact not made the list and was out of luck. Not even an apology. There were not enough excursions for the number of passengers and the port changes were not planned for or handled well. I have a mobility issue that prevents long walks, multiple stairs, etc, but I do not need a wheelchair or other assistive device. There were minimal excursions planned at "Level 1" and the online sales descriptions were not complete. On the ship I was told I could not participate in the other two I had booked that I had been rebooked for because of the physical requirements. The only excuse given was "it's Europe". Again, not even "sorry". I am still waiting for refunds for the shore excursions that were taken away. We were redirected to a more northern shipping lane, resulting in it being too cold to spend any time outside. Almost 4000 people were crammed into the indoor spaces, resulting in MANY passengers coughing and reporting respiratory infections. One major annoyance was that from what some passengers reported, a very large block of rooms was sold at a low price to a large group of rude, unpleasant people. This group mostly pretended not to speak English as the pushed through lines and led their friends past people who'd been waiting patiently. They overwhelmed public spaces and the Garden Cafe, taking up full tables of seating all day, refusing to share, pushing through lines and hoarding food. They took over spaces with events scheduled for their own purposes and ignored requests to allow the events to take place. I personally witnessed this at least twice. The staff worked hard to deal with the changes and angry guests. There were many clogged toilets, many soap dispensers not working in public bathrooms. Twice I was served drinks in glasses with lipstick on them. Not mine! Cleanliness was next to impossible apparently. This could account for the many illnesses onboard. It was not all bad. My cabin and steward were wonderful, most of the specialty restaurants had good service and decent food. The O'Sheehan's staff did a wonderful job at breakfast no matter how large the crowd. Million Dollar Quartet was an exceptionally good show. Cirque Dreams and Steam was very entertaining. Burn the Floor was good but is getting a bit tired. The entertainment in the Atrium ranged from really good (music in the evenings) to horribly lame. The daytime events were always at volume that was much too high for the setting. The afternoon movies were too loud to even allow sitting in the general area. I have hearing issues from years of rock concerts and it was still too loud for me! I am not ready to give up on NCL yet, but I may not cruise out of NYC again if the partial charter nightmare continues. I hope they made enough money from the group to make up from the lost business from the people who's vacations were ruined by the constant stress of dealing with pushing, shoving and general rudeness. Lack of cleanliness is inexcusable when so many people are packing indoors in a relatively small space. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 12th NCL cruise and we've always been pleased but this transatlantic cruise going to Europe was not good. It started to go bad when NCL cut the cruise down from 12 days 10 days a week before the cruise (cutting out two ... Read More
This was our 12th NCL cruise and we've always been pleased but this transatlantic cruise going to Europe was not good. It started to go bad when NCL cut the cruise down from 12 days 10 days a week before the cruise (cutting out two of the four ports). We had to scramble to change our other travel arrangements. The $300 per person reimbursement that they offered is not going to cover what it costs us to change our flights to Paris, two extra hotel days in Paris and the transfer to Heathrow. We will have to use some of the 25% refund that they are supposed to be giving to help defray the costs. Dining was a problem for breakfast and lunch for the first 2-3 days. There were huge lines for the two smaller dining rooms Savor and Taste (largest dining room not open for breakfast or lunch). I've never seen it like that before. I attribute that to a very high number of Latitudes members - something like 435 Latitudes Platinum and Platinum Plus with a huge number of Gold and Silver. The passengers were also an older crowd. With the Latitudes members and the age of passengers, I think that a lot people wanted to be waited on instead of having to go to the buffet. To make matters worse. The daily sheet only listed Savor open for breakfast and lunch, which was not actually the case. Don't know if they were trying to make a lot of people think that they had to go to the buffet. We discovered after a couple of days that Taste was also open and we got in without much trouble. As far as the quality of the food goes, the food in the dining rooms for dinner seem to have improved from our last cruise and we were very satisfied. The food in the buffet continues to decline in quality and selection. The desserts are especially bad with the the cake toppings made with chemical-laden ingredients. The lunch menu in the dining rooms need to have more variation. As always with us, we had one meal at Le Bistro and it was wonderful as usual. We also had one at Moderno. The Moderno salad bar is fabulous but their meat is not of good quality. They also slice it wrongly (with the grain and not against as one needs to do with less tender cuts). The meal for the Cirque show was great (surf and turf). For the first time in our 12 NCL cruises, our cabin attendant was not very good. In fact he was lazy. We had a difficult time getting clean glassware and didn't clean the bathroom sink very well. Disembarkation was terrible - worst of our 12 cruises and it could have been prevented. There was a disembarkation schedule with tags for the luggage color-coded for the time but it wasn't enforced. The problem was that tags are not given for carry-on luggage, which is what people have with them when they are disembarking so there was no way for the staff to tell if people were disembarking at the proper time. It was a free-for-all with terrible lines. I know that some people missed their bus for a London excursion. Also, there was not supposed to be people going through the disembarkation/customs process with all their luggage and that caused a bigger mess. I heard many people say that they wouldn't take another NCL cruise. I would not recommend doing an Europe bound transatlantic cruise. It was way too difficult to adjust to 6 nightly time changes losing an ho fqur each time. It's way easier for me to doing it all at once. We were constantly exhausted. We've gone on a transatlantic cruise in the other direction and it was fine. Since we're Latitudes Platinum and get quite a few perks, we'll stay with NCL but if this had been our first cruise with them, we'd never sail with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had booked this cruise two months before the date and were looking forward to the 12-day transatlantic itinerary with a more southerly route from NYC to Ponta Delgada, Azores. I had previously been on the Getaway on its inaugural season ... Read More
We had booked this cruise two months before the date and were looking forward to the 12-day transatlantic itinerary with a more southerly route from NYC to Ponta Delgada, Azores. I had previously been on the Getaway on its inaugural season in the Caribbean out of Miami so was looking forward to being a returning guest. One week before our departure, NCL decided to let the passengers know that the 12 day itinerary had been cut to a 10 day and two ports (Le Havre and Zeebrugge) would be dropped. The only compensation would be a limited amount for airfare changes and 25% off the cruise fare. After serious backlash by passengers the compensation was increased, however just a few days before the cruise the itinerary was changed again, this time adding the previously dropped ports and dropping Portland UK (who cares) and Ponta Delgada, which of course ended any chance of warm weather on the crossing. These last minute changes that NCL claimed were due to 'circumstances beyond their control' caused a lot of grief and stress for us on what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation. We had negative feelings about our cruise before it even began and were hoping the staff would go above and beyond to make up for the disappointing changes. This however did not take place and the cruise itself was just as bad as the initial issues. Throughout the cruise there were long waits (20-40 mins) just to get into the complimentary dining venues. I had been on the Escape in December for Christmas with an above capacity 5000+ passengers and never waited more than 5 minutes yet on this under capacity transatlantic cruise we had to wait 40 minutes just to get into O'Sheehans, unacceptable! I have done 5 NCL Cruises and can tell you the service in the speciality restaurants on the Getaway was not on par with NCL standards. We asked for water refills multiple times and waited 5-10 minutes. Long waits between all courses. Our visit to Cagneys was over 2,5hours and this was not by our choice and by 2.5 hours our order for dessert was still not taken and we just gave up and left. We asked for extra bread in Le Bistro and this was forgotten and had a bottle of wine and no one offered to refill our glasses, we had to reach over and refill our glasses by ourselves, embarrassing and unacceptable when you are paying a hefty extra sum!!! The buffet was a total zoo which surprised me since there were barely any kids on this itinerary. Garbage food in the buffet, we went twice and gave up. The watermelon would always run out. The entertainment on board was not adequate for a transatlantic itinerary. There was barely any activities between 10am and 7pm. We enjoyed the guest lecturer at 9:30am but wish there would have been another enrichment activity in the early afternoon. Our favourite entertainment activities were the ABBA and Adele Tributes. In the theatre we went to Matt Johnson Magician Show which we enjoyed. We did not attend any other shows but heard they were all excellent. Entertainment in the night was fine, but daytime activities were scant, unacceptable for a cold weather cruise where everyone is inside and bored. If you wanted to do rock climbing and ropes course there were no waits, we did both. The service at the bars was the one bright spot for service on this cruise, and we frequented MIXX between Taste and Savour. We booked the D-Day landings excursion for Le Havre. Meeting time was 7:30am and we did not get off the ship until 8:45 ugh. Disembarkation was very disorganized on both port days. The tour buses were not ready for us when we arrived Sunday Morning in Le Havre, because of the delay, we missed an hour of our excursion which was the rushed. 20 minutes at the US Cemetery in Omaha Beach is not enough!! We felt ripped off on this excursion and would not recommend. D-Day beaches require multiple days to be properly experienced. We did however enjoy our Flanders Fields excursion in Zeebrugge. It was much more organized. Always long waits at Guest Services and Shore EX, but was mostly due to butchered itinerary. Overall we enjoyed our vacation albeit not due to this ship! A cruise is a cruise, we still had unlimited food, booze and thermal suite access so we cannot say it was a terrible time, however this cruise did not meet the previous standards I experienced with NCL and the unprofessionalism regarding last minute changes ruined our perception of the cruise line. We felt that the crew and staff just wanted to get us off the ship and get into dry dock. When we docked in Southhampton, crews were immediately on board and began work in front of us. We were to disembark at 12pm, and by 11am the buffet and all bars were closed shut. When I asked a crew member in the Garden Cafe where I could get drinking water she replied with an indifferent "I don't know, we're closed" we could not even get a glass of water to take with medications, How is that allowed? They just wanted us off the ship. We got that vibe throughout the cruise. In the minds of NCL it was just a repositioning of the ship, not a vacation of a lifetime for the guests. Avoid this ship! I enjoyed the Bliss and Escape, large ships but still had good service. This cruise however left us with a bitter taste of NCL and we will not be eager to cruise with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Transatlantic crossing. My husband and I have sailed many times on NCL (Platinum Members) and thought a transatlantic crossing would be different and exciting. It sure was. Although seas were calm, it was cold and/or raining. No ... Read More
Transatlantic crossing. My husband and I have sailed many times on NCL (Platinum Members) and thought a transatlantic crossing would be different and exciting. It sure was. Although seas were calm, it was cold and/or raining. No outdoor activities to be had so indoors 95% of the journey. The ship was big and confusing, sectioned off, not flowing like most ships. Some areas were off limits entire cruise and we never were able to explore the entire ship. We found some public restrooms in a deplorable state. It was a first for us, we never experienced that before on NCL. Crew always pleasant, our room steward Fedilia was excellent, sweet and pleasant. Dining was good except buffet wasn't as exciting as previous cruises - pretty much same food every day. Only one dining room experience at Taste was bad due to incompetent rude servers. We were served bread with no plates or silverware. My husband flagged a waiter to set our table. We ordered cocktails and immediately the food waiter came to ask for our order. We said we'll order when we're done having our cocktails and the waiter walked away. During cocktails, another waiter came by and took all the silverware off the table. One minute later, 2 entrees came, neither was ours. Waiter said sorry and walked away and never replaced the utensils that had been removed earlier. My husband flagged our waiter and asked for our utensils back. Waiter gave him a snarky look and walked away to get them. During cocktails my husband could see two staff - our waiter and the one who delivered wrong entrees, talking and staring at us while giving the stink eye. Ordered dinners, then came dessert. Waiter shoved a menu in front of me from behind without saying a word. Did the same to my husband from the front of him. Rude, inappropriate behavior for dining staff. We never returned. We're not big show people but did see Cirque's Steam which was excellent. We're big Cirque fans. The itinerary was changed twice, first time was just 1 week before and it completely burst our bubble building up to this vacation. So much confusion and indifference to passenger travel arrangements that they changed the itinerary again 3 days before disembarkation to appease the onslaught of complaints and possibly legal threats. Two countries were added back. We originally booked a 12 day cruise and ended up with 10 days. Originally 5 ports, actual ports 3, LaHavre(Paris), Brussels/Brugges Belguim and Southampton/London. Excursions are always great, after all that's why we travel - the destinations. This time there just wasn't enough ports and 7 days straight at sea without being able to enjoy the outdoors was a bit much. At the end the ship docked in Southampton and we were prepared for a tour of London before flying home. Our mistake was booking an excursion that was 7 hrs and our flight was within 5. We were reimbursed immediately and grabbed a cab to Heathrow. The itinerary changes were due to NCLs decision to go to dry dock 2 days earlier than originally advertised. We never experienced a cruise before with so many disgruntled and disappointed loyal NCL passengers as this one. Collectively it was not a happy bunch. My husband and I made the best of it. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
There is so much to say... First, this was our first cruise as Norwegian Platinum members. We chose this cruise because we like Transatlantic voyages, it was very reasonably priced and it was the only cruise that fit our specific time ... Read More
There is so much to say... First, this was our first cruise as Norwegian Platinum members. We chose this cruise because we like Transatlantic voyages, it was very reasonably priced and it was the only cruise that fit our specific time frame. We live in NYC and love the ability to take a cab directly to the ship. The motivating force was a desperate need to have a vacation after a hard winter. Also, we had never been to either the Azores or Belgium, so that was a plus. We booked a sail-away balcony (our first time not booking a specific cabin). We were assigned a decent cabin on deck 8 that turned out to be really well located for this cruise. One week and one day before sailing (late in the afternoon on Good Friday) we got an email from NCL announcing an itinerary change that shortened the cruise by two days and eliminated the French and Belgian ports. Much has been written on the roll call thread about this fiasco. In short, NCL managed to screw up, piss a lot of people off, and then, in their attempt to fix the screwup (by bringing back the French and Belgium stops at the cost of the Azores and Portland stops) pissed off even more people. In our case, we just booked two more nights in London to cover the earlier arrival and adjusted our other arrangements to suit. As Platinum customers, embarkation was an absolute breeze. We were checked in and eating lunch in no time (although seating in the cafe was insufficient). We had previously sailed twice on the Breakaway, a ship we really didn’t care for. This cruise convinced us never to book a large ship again. There may be some really great large ships on other lines, but we don’t feel like finding out. The large NCL ships feel much more cramped than the Jewel class, a class we have cruised multiple times and have really loved. Let’s break down the issues: The biggest one is that whenever any area in the ship is crowded, it feels like being stuck in rush hour traffic. We came to avoid the atrium completely. It’s a mess. Much too small, too loud, too few chairs and, worse, it also acts as a thoroughfare. We completely avoided all of the events held there, some of which we wanted to attend. The Garden cafe is too loud, and suffers from the same design problem, it is almost impossible to walk through without bumping into people who are hauling plates of food in seemingly random patterns. Also there is just not enough seating. The aforementioned fiasco meant that there was always a long line at guest services. Exceptionally poor communication from NCL about refunds and bill adjustments made any interaction with them difficult because of the crowds. In short, the ship design with poor traffic management, and a claustrophobic feel and an emphasis on outdoor space better suited to warm climates meant that the whole experience was cramped. Disembarkation was slow. The itinerary change meant that we couldn’t pick up the immigration officials in the Azores which meant another long line to be navigated upon arrival all the while watching the clock to see if we we would make our train (we didn’t but there was a subsequent train, so there was no real issue). As usual, the crew was quite good. What our cabin steward lacked in friendliness, he more than made up for in ruthless efficiency. Our room was always done quickly and correctly without impacting our use thereof. The wait staff was friendly, as was everyone else we dealt with. As for food, we felt that the free sit-down restaurants were hit-or-miss. We had a couple of good meals (prime rib one night, a solid burger another at O’Sheehans), a couple of meals that were poor at Taste and Savor and one good and one not-so-good at the Tropicana. As for the Garden Cafe, it was okay, not as good as we have experienced before. The specialty restaurants were much better. The filet at Cagney’s was excellent. That was comped as a Platinum perk. We paid a la Carte at Le Bistro, a meal I was really looking forward to, as I had loved both the Trois Cornets appetizer and the Canard a l’Orange on previous voyages. Both are gone from the menu, a big disappointment. The other comped meal at Moderno was exceptional. The waiter comped our glasses of wine as well. As for the journey, we found it hard to deal with the constant time changes. There is no getting around the fact that crossing time zones is difficult, but by the third or fourth one, we just wanted it to be over. The weather, although cold and mostly gray, was good. As for entertainment, the Million Dollar Quartet show was a standout, we also enjoyed the Cirque Dreams dinner show although, despite being first in line and having paid extra for floor seats, discovering that we had poor sight lines because the Haven guests got the best seats (something that we didn’t know would happen) was a bit frustrating. Music about the ship suffered from the poor design. The open atrium made for terrible acoustics and an unwelcoming experience. The ship open-space performers were just okay, in my opinion. We were looking forward to hearing some decent blues in the Fat Cats club (as we had on the Breakaway) but it was taken over by Karaoke almost every night and, as far as I could tell, nobody on board could play or sing the blues. We paid extra for access to the thermal suite, something we have done on every NCL cruise. Our normal routine is to hit the gym, shower off and soak. The gym was always crowded. Some of the equipment was broken and there were times when it wasn’t possible go work out. The thermal spa was, likewise, fairly crowded. The staff is doing a better job of policing the reservation of both the heated and regular lounge chairs, a consistent problem in the past, so that is an improvement, Despite all of my issues with the ship, it was a very enjoyable cruise. That, largely, was due to some of our fellow passengers and our decision to be more social than in the past. We made some initial connections via the roll call thread that led to one of the best times, the mad beer-sampling dash through Bruges. In LeHavre, we walked into town determined to have coffee, baguettes and butter which we found in the Sunday market in the center of town. We were determined not to let the problems ruin our vacation and we have succeeded. It is clear, however, that our non-stop string of being NCL-only customers is at an end. The emphasis on packing people in is taking its toll. I do recognize that what you get for your money is still a good deal, but it may no longer be for us. NCL has cut both service and some quality in recent years and we would prefer for our cruise experiences not to resemble traveling on budget airlines where the emphasis is on upcharges and post-sales opportunities, Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Our cabin (standard balcony) was a great layout and very spacious. It was the best thing about the cruise. The ship itself was really designed for a warm weather environment. Unfortunately, our cruise was in the northern latitudes (NY ... Read More
Our cabin (standard balcony) was a great layout and very spacious. It was the best thing about the cruise. The ship itself was really designed for a warm weather environment. Unfortunately, our cruise was in the northern latitudes (NY to Southampton) and, due to weather, most of the outside areas were closed. This lead to the ship feeling very crowded. As far as I'm concerned, freestyle dining is dead. Once upon a time, one could show up at a NCL main dining room and get a table fairly quickly. However, since NCL started allowing reservations, everything gets booked up on day one and now just showing up often entails a 30+ minute wait. I'd rather they offer a fixed seating. Even though this ship carries about twice the passengers of the other ships we've sailed on (The Dawn, Pearl, Jade, Sky, and Spirit), for some inexplicable reason they made the theatre about half the size. As a result, many of the shows require reservations. Unfortunately, their reservation offerings were inconsistent between what was printed, what was on the web, and what was on their TV screen. And some of the shows changed times or were canceled. Overall very frustrating. With a large ship, you'd expect a large atrium. Not so. It was small and noisy. Worst of all, the held the trivia sessions here even though several of us asked them to change it to another venue that was quieter and were we wouldn't have to compete with everyone else just to get a seat. It didn't happen. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Itinerary: We were booked on the RC Oasis of the Seas but it was cancelled after a crane fell on the ship, so we booked this transatlantic crossing on NCL's Getaway about three weeks before sailing. With only A WEEK TO GO, we were ... Read More
Itinerary: We were booked on the RC Oasis of the Seas but it was cancelled after a crane fell on the ship, so we booked this transatlantic crossing on NCL's Getaway about three weeks before sailing. With only A WEEK TO GO, we were informed that the 12-day itinerary (which it still shows here on CC) had been modified to a 10-day journey, cutting out two ports, Le Havre and Zeebrugge, and coming into Southampton two days earlier than anticipated. Actually, NCL didn't even communicate with us directly, but we found out from our travel agent. Apparently, it had to go into dry dock two days earlier than originally scheduled. We would not have booked the trip with the modified schedule and itinerary, but decided to make the most of it. NCL did offer a partial refund (it finally came through while we were on the cruise) and a future credit, as well as allowances for airline change fees. After hearing from many disgruntled passengers, NCL expanded their allowances to cover other travel expenses such as additional hotel and other transportation charges. FOUR DAYS BEFORE SAILING, they added Le Havre and Zeebrugge back into the itinerary, and cut out Ponte Delgada and Portland. While most were happy to have France and Belgium back in, the last-minute nature of these changes created a lot of hassle and confusion. We also received refunds of the port fees from the two missed ports as credits on our cabin accounts while on the ship. Ship: The ship is relatively new (2014), and everything was clean and felt up-to-date. I believe the carpet is being replaced in dry dock. It has swimming pools, hot tubs, water slides, mini golf, and a ropes course. This would be a much better ship for a warm weather cruise. However, our itinerary was a cold-weather cruise, which meant that most of these amenities were closed/unused, and the indoor venues were overcrowded. The ropes course was fun, but not for those afraid of heights. While there is an indoor pool, it's part of the spa, which you have to pay for. The public toilets, sinks, and soap dispensers were all automatic and functioned on sensors. However, they rarely worked as intended. Everyone was doing a dance trying to get the toilet to flush or the soap to dispense. It was really to the point of ridiculousness. Even the comedian did a routine about it. For an industry so concerned about the spread of germs and sanitation ("happy, happy, washy, washy"), they sure did make it hard to wash your hands. Entertainment & Activities: In warmer weather, people might have spread up to the pool and sports decks. But ours was a cold-weather cruise and the schedule of activities did not reflect that. The cruise had about 3700 passengers (max is 3900), and all the indoor venues were always crowded...not just crowded, but can't-find-a-chair-or-move crowded. Usually, that meant standing in long lines or having to be at activities 30-60 minutes before they started in order to get a seat. They had so many people show up for progressive trivia the first day in the Atrium, that they had to move it to the main Tropicana dining room. Other activities were few and far between. There were large gaps in the schedule and then three events happening at the same time. But in reality, you couldn't plan to attend that many events because of the waiting times. The cruise director, Vincent, was outstanding! He led progressive trivia and was a constant at activities and events. Also, Romeo did a good job. However, most of the cruise director staff didn't seem to have the same energy or interest in interacting with guests. Activities seemed to be run of the mill for them and they made little effort to change things up based on our cruise itinerary/climate. They had enough staff and venues to keep things active and accommodate more guests, but didn't take advantage. I've been on other cruises with half the staff members with twice the activities and a lot more fun. As far as the evening entertainment, the shows were great, particularly "Million Dollar Quartet" (advanced tickets required). All three house bands were good, and we enjoyed the Bankaoke and Adele tribute. The Headliners venue served as a comedy club (advanced tickets required) and dueling piano bar. Both were great fun. One thing we enjoyed on this cruise was a guest talent show, which was much better than anticipated. Dining & Food: Three dining rooms (Tropicana, Taste, Savor), the buffet, Shanghai Noodle Bar, and O'Sheehan's were all complimentary. Margaritaville had free breakfast (a smaller buffet), but it closed after the second day. We were told that no one was going up there (it's outdoor, but covered) so they closed it. This left us to fend for a table in the buffet most mornings. We ate lunch in Taste/Savor two days. However, they maintain the same lunch menu from day to day and it never changes. Service for both lunch and dinner was painfully slow. One day, we sat for lunch at 12:40pm and didn't get our entrees until 1:50pm. O'Sheehan's was typical pub food, but sometimes a better option. The fajitas were good. The service in Tropicana for dinner seemed to be better than the other two dining rooms. A band played music during peak hours and people danced on the dance floor in the center. However, if seated anywhere in the center section of the restaurant, the volume of the music made it impossible to talk to others at the table. Getting reservations for the complimentary restaurants was impossible. We were told by a restaurant manager that all reservations were fully booked through online booking before the cruise even left. So much for "Freestyle" cruising. Every night, regardless of the hour, we had to wait in a long line (typically 20-30 minutes) to get to the host desk. Then we were usually given a pager and had to wait even longer. One night, we waited 90 MINUTES from the time we got in line until the time we were seated. This is unacceptable. The food itself was ok, not great. The buffet had a lot of options for breakfast and lunch. The quality of the food in the dining rooms did not meet the standard of past cruises, both on NCL and other cruise lines. They also didn't feel very balanced. If a dish included vegetables (some did not), they were minimal. One night I received two baby carrots, another night three small broccoli florets. Service: We had two wonderful, attentive, and hardworking waiters, Yuli and Mohammed, in the Tropicana dining room. Vincent the cruise director was fantastic. But otherwise, service was just ok, but not great. I don't know if it was because the ship was going into dry dock and some people were leaving or if this is always the case, but the staff seemed to lack energy. They very happily told you if something was not their job, handing you off to wait in another queue. All in all, with the final itinerary, we probably would not have booked this to start with. It has yet to be seen how easily they will handle reimbursement for travel expenses under the allowance. Regardless, after our experience, it is unlikely that we will cruise with NCL beyond our next cruise (using our future cruise credit), which will be cheap and cheerful. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
"We just completed a transatlantic trip on the Norwegian Getaway. A 12 day trip with intended stops in the Azores, Portland UK, Le Havre, Brugge and Southampton became a 10 day trip when the cruise company decided to cut it short. ... Read More
"We just completed a transatlantic trip on the Norwegian Getaway. A 12 day trip with intended stops in the Azores, Portland UK, Le Havre, Brugge and Southampton became a 10 day trip when the cruise company decided to cut it short. They changed ports dropping the French and Brussles area only to change again dropping the Azores and Portland. Having done that and accepted the changes, they provide a 25% discount on the trip and some refund on travel plan changes. Once the drama was over, (for us it was compounded by the fact that we were originally on the Oasis of the Seas which had an accident in dry-dock eliminating our trip), things went very well. While North Atlantic is notoriously unpredictable in Spring, it provided us with cold and rain but very smooth sailing. Because we were able to secure a spa suit and were in The Haven, a smaller area of the ship with a private dining and lounge area, we truly enjoyed the passage. The ship had great activities and good food. We enjoyed it thoroughly. However, I still wonder how Norwegian was unaware until the last minute that the long scheduled passage was to be cut 2 days short for a refitting in dry dock." Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 7th overall cruise. It was an enjoyable experience and we saw many Caribbean islands we had never been to before. The ship was clean and had enough public space that passengers could spread out in. ... Read More
This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 7th overall cruise. It was an enjoyable experience and we saw many Caribbean islands we had never been to before. The ship was clean and had enough public space that passengers could spread out in. It's a nice sized ship (2400 passengers) which is manageable - and our preference over the huge ships. It was easy to find your way around, although the only small challenge is that the 6th deck doesn't run straight through. So if you want to access the Summer Palace main dining on the 6th, you have to go up to 7, to go back down to 6. It's a beautiful dining room, and worth finding! Our balcony cabin was perfect for 2 people - lots of storage, a small couch and decent sized balcony for a cruise ship. We unpacked for our 11-day cruise easily finding space for everything, and stowed our luggage under the bed. The only small issue was that the lighting was not great after the sun goes down, so for women getting ready for dinner, it was a bit of a challenge to see in mirrors. A big thank you to Rommel, our awesome Cabin Steward, for doing an excellent job! We found the main dining rooms (Summer Palace and Indigo), and specialty dining were wonderful - we experienced great service and delicious food! Le Bistro and Teppanyaki were our favourite specialty dining venues, and Cagney's and Moderno were really good as well. The Lotus Garden, which is NOT a specialty dining venue, was great - don't miss out! However, we were less than impressed with the quality of food at the buffet, and at O'Sheehan's Pub...yuck. We ended up going to the main dining rooms for breakfast/lunch instead. We spent some time at the casino and experienced the best service from all staff: special mention - Eka, Carlver and Hong Wang were amazing, we really appreciate their hard work. The casino has a good variety of slots machines and tables, it got busy after the shows finished, but was always well-managed. We never had to wait for drink service, and the staff was always friendly and accommodating. Embarkation was quite easy and much faster than anticipated - the lines were very long, but we were on the ship within an hour of arriving at the port in Tampa. Our rooms were ready by 1:30 or 2pm, and luggage was promptly delivered to the cabin that afternoon. Disembarkation in NYC was not quite as smooth, but overall not bad. We only docked at 10am to even begin the disembarkation process, but had to be out of our cabins by 9am. The only food option available at that time was the buffet - so 2400 people waiting in public spaces for hours to depart, and food/coffee on only one deck. We booked shore excursions only after we got on the ship - and managed to get every excursions we wanted except for one - but there was another decent option available and we took that one instead. I would recommend however that you book excursions (and speciality dining reservations) before getting on the ship to be sure you are not disappointed. The excursions were very well-run and organized, we enjoyed all of them. Overall, this was a very good cruise experience. What made it extra enjoyable were the staff who work on the ship - they all work so hard and such long hours, we truly appreciate them! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
The itinerary caught my eye, embark Tampa , visit 6 Caribbean ports, disembark NYC.We arrived the evening before the cruise, ate locally and got a good night's sleep at the Quality Inn. Arrived on Sunday at the port with everyone else ... Read More
The itinerary caught my eye, embark Tampa , visit 6 Caribbean ports, disembark NYC.We arrived the evening before the cruise, ate locally and got a good night's sleep at the Quality Inn. Arrived on Sunday at the port with everyone else going on the cruise ( or so it seemed) ,boarded about 1 hour 15 minutes after arriving. The Pearl is an older, smaller ship but in my opinion a nice ship to spend 11 days aboard. An adult pool as well as a children's pool is always a nice touch. The chair hogs were out in force & policing was near non existent which takes away from those fun in the sun sea days by the pool. We found ourselves hiking up to the sun deck to find chairs,ok but not easy to take a dip in the pool. The bars ,restaurants and public areas were all enjoyable.Getting reservations in the specialty restaurants was a challenge. We were forced to take an early evening dinner reservation toward the end of our cruise, either hat or a 9-10PM seating,no thanks. Indigo & Summer Palace were excellent food & service ,only one night were we made to wait for a table. The cabin was on deck 5,outside window, noise level, very quiet ( restaurant above so no noise at night).We saw several shows, all good, Stardust Theater seats were not comfortable for any length of time. The lounge entertainment was good. Casino , only one roulette table & it was always crowded.The service throughout the ship was exceptional, thank you to the crew for a great time aboard The Pearl.Loved the ports with the exception of St. Lucia ,nice Island but the excursion detoured us to a beach that was over run with locals in your face selling booze & trinkets,sometimes uncomfortably, almost threatening. Don't do the St,Lucia Beach break. We loved the other ports and the excursions chosen, all professionally run, We will sail with NCL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
It went through the "new panama canal". It was amazing to see and enjoy the passage. Other parts were not so amazing. The casino was the poorest we have ever seen at sea with very tight slots. Bingo was a joke they did ... Read More
It went through the "new panama canal". It was amazing to see and enjoy the passage. Other parts were not so amazing. The casino was the poorest we have ever seen at sea with very tight slots. Bingo was a joke they did not do a roll over and a last game grand prize winner. the real winner was norwegian. In place of over $5000 the final coverall got $1000,not bad, but not was expected. The ship is confusing to get around, all of the hot tubs have no shade so it's early morning or later at night. Entertainment was spotty, comedy was good , havana was good, magician was good, jersey boy's was a bust in my opinion, and the cavern was good. As for the food it was great, with the exception q which served some poor dry brisket. Would recommend gagneys and teppanyaki. Both were exceptional and worth the cost. Disembarkation was the worst experience of our 25 plus cruise's. This was not norwegians fault,it was cause by the port of los angeles. The most un organized mess i have ever encountered. Porters laughing at people in line waiting as they breezed by to a special line where they and their cruisers were they had no waiting saying for a few bucks you could be gone by now. Union i assume. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I booked this adventure as it has been at the top of my vacation priorities for a long time. This 15 day transit of the new Panama Canal exceeded even my lofty expectations (I am a seasoned cruiser). The crew and staff of NCL`s Bliss made ... Read More
I booked this adventure as it has been at the top of my vacation priorities for a long time. This 15 day transit of the new Panama Canal exceeded even my lofty expectations (I am a seasoned cruiser). The crew and staff of NCL`s Bliss made every effort to ensure that the transit and the whole experience was exhilarating - and it was! The entire fifth day of the cruise was spent going through the canal - which took from about 7:00 A.M till close to 9:00 P.M. ; the weather was perfect and the excitement was shared by many of my fellow cruisers (most of which were transiting the new canal for the first time). There was even a guest lecturer on board who gave two lectures; one on the history of the canal and another on the conquering of yellow fever in Panama. This guest expert also narrated the crossing throughout the day. His anecdotes and color commentary greatly added to my enjoyment of the experience and appreciation of the new Panama Canal (opened in 2016). To commemorate the canal transit, the officers of the Bliss issued every guest a beautiful color certificate memorializing the trip, signed by the captain and included a glossy color certificate documenting the cruise and ports of call. These are genuine souvenirs worth framing and a very fitting commemoration of the adventure. One thing worth noting: during the time spent on the crossing, NCL facilitated guest access to the bow area (not usually accessible to guests) for viewing the canal locks and the tug. They also furnished refreshments and set up canopies to protect guests from the intense sun. A very nice touch. This viewing area at the bow on deck 8 allowed a great up close view of the tug guiding the ship and the operation of the locks that we could not have gotten from the observation area on deck 15 (a great area to view but deck 8`s observation area was much closer to “the action”). This special access was greatly appreciated and allowed me to get some great photos and video of the entire canal crossing Oh, I speculate that NCL booked this time slot so as to facilitate the best viewing (daylight) of the Panama Canal - again, my heartfelt thanks, NCL! You made the trip truly memorable !!! While the crossing was the highlight of my cruise, the rest of the trip was also magnificent. Sea days with first class entertainment and shore excursions that offered a sampling of the best that the port had to offer. Fandamtastic experience! Thanks to all on NCL Bliss! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I had a cruise credit with NCL that was expiring. I selected this cruise for itinerary. The price was fair for two but I feel it unfair to double the rate for one person. I do not eat or require twice the food or service. The ... Read More
I had a cruise credit with NCL that was expiring. I selected this cruise for itinerary. The price was fair for two but I feel it unfair to double the rate for one person. I do not eat or require twice the food or service. The ports were good, service was very good. Shows were good since I rarely attend them, I managed to go to 4 out of the 10 and was surprised. The crew dance group were very good.. The food was good and open dining was quite easy with good selection of restaurants to choose from. The staff was very nice and always helpful. 80 countries represented. I have to comment on the room service charge ($7.95). This was a first for me, as in the past breakfast delivery has ALWAYS been free. I would recommend bringing a wrap as most of the time the public rooms were chilly. Overall it was a good cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My mother's friend chose the cruise. My husband and I came along to help my 89-yr-old mother. The cruise started in San Antonio, Chile and ended in Miami. We had two additional stops in Chile, two in Peru, one in Ecuador, one in Costa ... Read More
My mother's friend chose the cruise. My husband and I came along to help my 89-yr-old mother. The cruise started in San Antonio, Chile and ended in Miami. We had two additional stops in Chile, two in Peru, one in Ecuador, one in Costa Rica and one in Columbia. There were shore excursions available in all the ports, but we prefer to walk around and go geocaching. Often there were locals selling wonderful crafted items from little tents right on the pier. They want cash in US dollars, but most items only cost a few dollars. Take along a bunch of ones and fives. The guest services desk will also break a twenty for you. There is and ATM at the casino if you need more cash. The ship provided a free shuttle to get us out of the port area, but in Peru ports they dropped us off in an unsafe location. We could either pay a taxi to take us to a safe location for walking or biking or get back on the shuttle and go to the ship. There were police to make sure we did not wander off on our own. At the second Peru port we did paid extra to take a bus to Trujillo. We could not use our shore excursion credits for this shuttle, however! It was the same thing in Columbia. We were disappointed that we paid to be able to see the ports and Norwegian wouldn't deliver us to a safe place onshore. One of our shore excursions was overbooked and they ran out of food by the time they got to our table. We were offered 50% off that tour. In Costa Rica, there was a very steep ramp and several stairs to get back on the ship. That was a problem as three of our party of seven were physically challenged. The staff will come help you, but you need to ask. They don't volunteer. The food was great, as usual. We used both main dining rooms and the buffet. The waiters were mostly attentive. We found you can request a particular waiter (ask for Mac) and he will remember your preferences. There did not seem to be a lot of folks who wanted to share tables although that was available if you ask when you arrive at the dining room. We liked the anytime dining as we are early eaters. Our cabin was a handicap cabin for my mother. It was a little crowded for three people. Our steward, Juevan, was excellent! Even though Norwegian is discontinuing the towel animals, he made a new one for us every night. He also brought ice to the room when requested. Having had a more pleasant experience on Princess, I suspect we'll be sailing with them in the future. We've been to Alaska and the Caribbean with Princess. They were more attentive during the pre-cruise phase and the shore excursions were better planned. The ports were safer and the ramps to and from the ship was handicap accessible. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to see some of South America and cruise through the Panama Canal. We have traveled on the Norwegian Sun previously and had a good experience. The ship was upgraded last year and looks good. The staterooms are now ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see some of South America and cruise through the Panama Canal. We have traveled on the Norwegian Sun previously and had a good experience. The ship was upgraded last year and looks good. The staterooms are now elegant and other areas of the ship nice. This was a repositioning cruise, so there were seven sea days, which was a bit much for us, as we don't participate in bingo, karaoke, art auctions, knitting, etc, although I would have to say the ship did do a good job in offering all kinds of daily activities catered to the mostly older passengers. We are 60, but the average age is a bit older. The ship never felt crowded, except on sea days around the pool. Embarkation was easy, as we arrived late, so no crowds. Disembarkation in Miami was slow and bottlenecked through customs. Probably not NCL's fault. Service on the ship was generally good. Cabin, bar, restaurant, drills, excursions, port disembarkation, shows, lectures, etc. were all well organized. Only complaint was disembarkation for ship shore excursions, which was a joke. We were an hour late for every excursion due to a very poorly designed system. We did a combination of ship and third party shore excursions, all were pretty good. Some ports had limited attractions and things to do. For some reason the ship organized about a half dozen separate excursions under different names that ended up at the same place (rain forest, tram and zipline) and doing about the same activities. Ship excursions are a bit pricey compared to what is available from Viator and other companies, which get you off the ship quicker. NCL needs to fix this. Meals in the main dining room was surprisingly good. Cagney's and French Bistro meals were mediocre. Teppenyaki and Sushi restaurants were very, very good. Good drinks at Los Lobos. We had a complimentary NCL drink package, which we overused. Buffet inside was predictable, small, and generally crowded. The deserts on board were excellent just about everywhere. Drinks were easy to get and bartenders were some of the best on any cruise ship I have been on. The Great Outdoors buffet was better and convenient to the back seating are, where we spent a lot of time. South American ports are a bit rougher than other parts of the world. A lot of poverty and trash around. Still, many great sites. We did enjoy the extended time in Santiago. The couple we traveled with went to Machu Picchu and loved it. We enjoyed the Panama Canal experience and many of the Inca and other historical sites. Lima and Cartagena are overrun with Venezuelan refugees, which is sad but pretty much ruined most of the excursion. The ziplining experience in Costa Rica was a lot of fun. I would use NCL again and would cruise the Sun again for the right itinerary. Read Less
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