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Cruise Ratings
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We are first timers traveling with experienced family members that cruise yearly. The Bliss had excellent service, excellent food, the variety of food is fit to meet every palate, very clean, pleasant employees. In the dining rooms the ... Read More
We are first timers traveling with experienced family members that cruise yearly. The Bliss had excellent service, excellent food, the variety of food is fit to meet every palate, very clean, pleasant employees. In the dining rooms the employees just wished away all the dirty dishes very quickly. They exceeded our expectations. The entertainment was wonderful. The casinos were fun and affordable. We purchased many professional pictures. They were extremely organized in getting people off and on the ports. The staff were always waiting with drinks and a cool towel when we returned from our excursions. There were several employees that we almost felt like family. They were so pleasant. We also enjoyed the Havana and Jersey Boys. They were Broadway quality plays. After we arrived to our home port we cried all the way home. We can't wait to be back. Thank you Norwegian for giving us the best experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We were glad to find the ship had been refitted during it's 8 day lay-over in Singapore, before the relocation cruise to Sydney. However engine problems meant we were given a revised itinerary for the cruise on boarding. Many people ... Read More
We were glad to find the ship had been refitted during it's 8 day lay-over in Singapore, before the relocation cruise to Sydney. However engine problems meant we were given a revised itinerary for the cruise on boarding. Many people were unhappy as they had made prior arrangements for some scheduled ports of call. The ship could only manage half speed. $200 USD per person was credited to ship board accounts as compensation. However by the time we reached Darwin new parts were delivered to the ship and the remainder of the schedule could revert to the original. The rooms, while refurbished to a good standard, are still very small. We were on deck 9 with balcony. In the toilet (smallest ever - when sitting on the toilet you could rest your forehead on the facing wall - beware if you are a larger travelers!) Room steward was excellent and was very helpful. Food was overall disappointing and lacked variety. The Tsar's Palace dining room was nicely refurbished, but staff were overall quite indifferent at times, and didn't interact, as on other cruise lines. We dined at The Azura Restaurant the first evening, but found the staff inattentive and the food was cold - yes we complained! Le Bistro was our 'best of the bunch' with a good selection and attentive staff. We are early diners so benefited from having the venue mainly to ourselves. The 'Chinese' restaurant on board was disappointing, a very limited menu (you could pay extra for two alternative dishes) and again service was average. The Irish themed restaurant was lacking in real Irish themed food, and was really just a cafe. Shore excursions were reasonable, although on Bali it was quite shocking to see the poverty in the areas we were driven through. The ship has limited shopping options but service was good. The entertainment was a highlight , very high standard and good variety. Another highlight was the 'The Spinnaker' lounge which was a nicely refurbished lounge at the top of the ship, with glass all around, a bar, and events and entertainment throughout the day and evening. A nice area to 'chill out' during the day with a book. The on board TV and video system has been upgraded and vision quality is good (best 'bow camera' we have seen) though there is no 'programme guide and many 'genre' are misnamed - some of the most violent movies were on the 'family movies channel'. Also there is no system to check your account in your room on this system, you have to go to Guest Relations and request a printed copy. Major disappointment was the shore excursions to shore at Airlie Beach were via 'ships tender' and also contractor's catamarans, we went on a 'cat' and returned on a ship's tender. The return crossing was 30 minutes in rough seas (10 minutes outward on the'Cat') the rough seas resulted in sea water coming into the boat at times , very frightened passengers and 2 people in our tender suffering minor injuries. It was very scary with waves crashing over the boat. On returning to the ship, I went to 'Guest Services' and said that having had some experience in Work Health and Safety, I would recommend not using the tenders for the remainder of the day, instead using the 'Catamaran's', in the interest of passenger safety. The Guest Services staff member seemed uninterested and said if there was a problem it was up to the 'Pilot' to report it! I said I had passed the message to them and that I could do no more. One other matter worth mentioning, was an excellent presentation by the staff responsible for future cruise bookings, on the things guests should be aware of, and wary of, when booking cruises. The jargon and pitfalls were explained and some of the background on how and why cruise lines offer upgrades and specials. Also there relationship with agents. We found this quite refreshing and very helpful. It would be good if other 'lines' were as open on these issues. A 'Q and A' session at the end was unhurried and everyone was able to ask there individual questions, long after the session was supposed to conclude. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Itinerary was Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand.(32 days) This was a cruise of a life time. We saved for a long time to do this cruise. We have sailed with NCL before and believe this was the most relaxing cruise. We started ... Read More
Itinerary was Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand.(32 days) This was a cruise of a life time. We saved for a long time to do this cruise. We have sailed with NCL before and believe this was the most relaxing cruise. We started in Singapore ( a beautiful city), that we could have toured for a couple more days. Arriaval at the docks and embarkment went great, almost seamless with no delays from delivery straight to the ship and our stateroom. Our state room man was excellent, the ship just returned from dry dock with new carpet and several other upgrades. Went to 3 special dining with excellent food and service. The Garden Cafe had a very good selection of food, with good flavor. Did 20 excursions and enjoyed each one for different reasons. The entertainment was very professional and very good. We would do this trip again in a heart beat. The one thing that I am sorry that we where not aware of until too late, that the ship was to continue on to Tasmania, which we would most definitly would have added Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with ... Read More
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with différents shows but some with same performers. Service are excellent with smiles in their face and minds. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth as supposed to be. Singapore is very model and clean with many excellent facilities, Bali is beautiful but to many traffic. Love Darwin with manageable small town and large botanical garden. Brisbane is modelly beautiful with rich historical town. My wife love all activities and joined many of them. For the ports and shores are mostly excellent (that’s why I choose this itineraries!) only some required tending in the rough sea but that understandable. Some port is kind of miss and hit but we just site relax on the ship with nice jacuzzi and swimming pool. I love to go again with Norwegian Cruise in the future with different itineraries since the world has so many wonderful places to visit. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
In some aspects the Dawn excelled, In some she didn't do very well. For the most part I'd say our recent trip on the Dawn was middle of the road mediocre. First of all the cruise was far from full and had just the right ... Read More
In some aspects the Dawn excelled, In some she didn't do very well. For the most part I'd say our recent trip on the Dawn was middle of the road mediocre. First of all the cruise was far from full and had just the right amount of people for my liking. There were plenty enough people to have fun without overbearing crowds. There were no lines or waits for anything for the entire 9 days and the one time I had to change a reservation at a specialty restaurant, they were able to accommodate us without a problem. Although she was remodeled in 2016, Dawn is showing signs of her age and hard life. There were considerable maintenance issues from minor cosmetic issues such as paint and rust to more significant issues, such as broken tiles, cracked glass in an elevator windows being inoperable with broken and missing hardware and plumbing malfunctions in many of the public restrooms. With the exception of one nasty female bartender at Gatsby's the staff were happy and helpful all over the ship. Our Cabin Steward got it just right! We start each trip the same by asking for 3 things, that the mini-fridge be emptied, an mattress topper be put on the bed and that robes be brought. He took care of our request promptly and without complaint, unobtrusively while we were out. He wasn't pushy about cleaning several times a day at awkward times. He cleaned while we were away and had the bed turned down in the evening whenever we returned from the evenings events. He never bothered us on days we wanted to sleep in and just "be" and linger over a late brunch served in our cabin. The food was all over the place. We had had fantastic meals in specialty restaurants, especially Cagney's and Moderno. O'Sheehan's was much better than it was on last years cruise The Main dining rooms were pretty good. However a few meals seemed like buffet fare plated nicely and served elegantly. The Buffet was hit or miss, repetitive and lackluster. That being said I didn't turn away from it for snacks and light fare. We enjoyed cocktails all over the ship. Topsider's near the pool seemed to water the drinks down especially the premixed drinks of the day. The beer and wine was always good. Ray a server there, was always upbeat, fun and helpful. The entertainment was great! Shore excursions were hit or miss. An afternoon beach break which should have been low-key and pleasant turned out to be anything but. We ere brought to a beach around 25 minutes ride from the ship. Chairs were provided. We found our spot raised the umbrella, and settled in for a little while before going into the water. Once in the water we saw a man going through our belongings and then take them. We caught up with him and he complained that we hadn't paid for the umbrella. We paid and got out things but were uncomfortable leaving our spots together after that and were not able to freely enjoy the beautiful beach. Now comes the steady stream of panhandlers, a man carrying a bird feeder collecting money for the birds, a woman carrying aloe leaves asking for money to rub you with them. A man selling USB thumb drives with "island music installed," another man approached selling sea shells. In retrospect,$59 per person was a lot for what amounted to a ride to a public beach. For the price charged, I think Norwegian could do a better job, perhaps securing a private beach at a resort would be less menacing. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted an early winter mini-break so booked a 9-day out of Boston on the Dawn. We have been on the Dawn before and found the re-furbishing a major disappointment, and the reason for four stars vs five. Space is even more cut up than ... Read More
We wanted an early winter mini-break so booked a 9-day out of Boston on the Dawn. We have been on the Dawn before and found the re-furbishing a major disappointment, and the reason for four stars vs five. Space is even more cut up than before with flow through just about nil. We enjoy the main dining menus and food and see no need for the many, many specialty restaurants taking up all the common space. Our cabin (mini suite with balcony) seemed smaller than usual (11102) due to the different layout. We usually cruise mid-ship but on the Dawn the mid ship mini suites are under the pool so did not want to hear the chairs scraping. One of our drawers did not stay shut but cabin steward had carpenters fix immediately. Plenty of storage (prefer the cabins with more drawers vs shelves, but still plenty) Entertainment was again, excellent, with a good variety in the various venues. Food was good - not exceptional, but good, lots of variety and plentiful. We did try LeBistro (disappointing), LosLobos (nothing special) and Cagney's (Excellent) with our "free" perk for distinctive voyage/Latitudes Platinum. While we would go back to Cagney's (with our Latitude rewards, NOT to pay extra), we find plenty of variety and excellent choices in the dining room. We never eat in the cafe (I have a food allergy and don't trust the other diners not to cross-contaminate). Service was wonderful throughout the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I spoke with people at the ports we landed at who were on different ships and their time at the ports were much shorter than NCL, I feel NCL gave us longer port days. Everyone on the ship that works there go above and beyond to make ... Read More
I spoke with people at the ports we landed at who were on different ships and their time at the ports were much shorter than NCL, I feel NCL gave us longer port days. Everyone on the ship that works there go above and beyond to make sure you have the best cruise. The staff was extremely friendly and they would go out of their way to make your stay enjoyable. Entertainment was good, I enjoyed the different activities throughout the day, we would meet in the Atrium or Gatsby's to play trivia games. Personally, I found the pool deck too noisy. I prefer a quieter area to relax, but the other cruisers seemed to enjoy it. I also prefer to cruise when the kids are in school. There were not many children on this cruise due to school, those that were on it were all well behaved. It's just a preference I have to cruise with more adults than children. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We had a lot of fun on this cruise. We went to many beautiful beaches with some great people that we meet on the ship. The ship is really clean. The staff work quickly to clear the tables to accommodate other guests in the dining ... Read More
We had a lot of fun on this cruise. We went to many beautiful beaches with some great people that we meet on the ship. The ship is really clean. The staff work quickly to clear the tables to accommodate other guests in the dining rooms. The menu choices are great! There seemed to be something for everyone. We really liked having the Distinctive Voyage Package. We ended up with 5 specialty restaurants, because we are Platinum too. Also, I loved having the phone benefit. I have an elderly Mother at home, and it was great for her to hear my voice. I wish that they would add something like that for a Platinum benefit. Just 30 minutes would be perfect! We had an early flight home on this trip. It was the first time that we used the early Latitudes disembarkation. It was amazing. We got off the ship so fast that we even had time to kill at the airport! We can't wait to go on our next cruise. The entire staff on the ship were so friendly. We also enjoy NOT having to dress up. Vacations are to relax! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We loved our time on the Dawn. I truly cannot say enough - it was my first and my husband's third cruise. Everything went beautifully and we had many romantic, fun memories. I cannot wait to cruise again! The staff were ... Read More
We loved our time on the Dawn. I truly cannot say enough - it was my first and my husband's third cruise. Everything went beautifully and we had many romantic, fun memories. I cannot wait to cruise again! The staff were exceptional. We felt pampered, appreciated and were utterly relaxed upon our return home. We did a wine tasting, lots of shore excursions, trivia, the comedy show, a game show and had a blast. My husband got onstage and we laughed till our sides hurt. It was a vacation that I wasn't ready to head home from. Having a balcony mid-ship made the cruise so enjoyable. Sipping coffee with the beautiful views is heaven for us. The staff made it the incredible experience, everyone seems happy to help you have a great cruise. Warm, kind and friendly; they offer service I have never experienced in my life to date. Thank you NCL Dawn! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose it for it having Madeira scheduled as a stop. That stop was cancelled. I have been on many cruises on at least nine different lines and by far, this is the most disgusting ship that I have ever been on. The staff are young, ... Read More
I chose it for it having Madeira scheduled as a stop. That stop was cancelled. I have been on many cruises on at least nine different lines and by far, this is the most disgusting ship that I have ever been on. The staff are young, inexperienced, and poorly trained and many don't speak enough intelligible English. They hang in slap happy packs and seem to look at you blankly when you ask for something. I had several instances of being almost knocked down by rude staff with no social skills who cross in front of you and run to get ahead of you. The public bathrooms were hard to find and many had toilets that didn't flush. The casino was smoke filled and dirty. I watched two instances were tri-poker players were so drunk that they kept throwing around chips and they were kept in fresh drinks. This is definitely poor sporting. everything about this cruise was a hustle to buy buy buy cheap tee shirts and jewelry...you are bombarded by flyers in y our room every night and even get harassed on the phone to stop by for cruise deals. Our luggage tag color coded was forgotten and we consequently had to wait on the hot deck with no shade or water. Many elderly and immobile people were suffering. This ship is a disgrace of poor management. Someone needs to be fired. BTW, if it was a potato, a pasta, or a rice dish, it was served every day..day in and day out.....food was not hot enough either.... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
No information provided by NCL on where to find the shuttle bus in Civitavecchia from the train. Aft facing Penthouse suite had serious mold issue at our arrival that was never resolved. We chose this room and cruise specifically to relax. ... Read More
No information provided by NCL on where to find the shuttle bus in Civitavecchia from the train. Aft facing Penthouse suite had serious mold issue at our arrival that was never resolved. We chose this room and cruise specifically to relax. We couldn’t even sleep well with the horrible air quality let alone relax in the suite. We both ended up sick by the end of the cruise. Room did not look refreshed (2014) Furniture and bath sink were beat up. Concierge was invisible during the cruise. We ate at all but one of the specialty dining options and ate at the main dining room and buffet. Food was mediocre quality and almost always cold. At the Specialty restaurants and dining rooms, service was slow and food was barely warm. The two shore excursions we did through NCL were not great. The St. Martin excursion was basically a bus ride to the French side where we were dropped off at tourist tents for an hour. Bus driver/ tour guide did nothing more than repeating the same three things he had memorized and the bus smelled of burnt rubber. The Barcelona tour was better, both the bus and actually had a tour guide, but the description did not explain we would be dropped at Mt Montserrat for two hours. Barcelona port had shuttle buses from the port to downtown that were inexpensive (make sure you have a few euros). We do not recommend this ship and are very disappointed in the NCL experience compared to our previous NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I wanted to try a transatlantic crossing, and this Rome to Miami cruise looked great. I had not cruised on NCL, but thought i'd give them a try. Earlier this year i did a 20 day cruise on Holland america and they were great! The ... Read More
I wanted to try a transatlantic crossing, and this Rome to Miami cruise looked great. I had not cruised on NCL, but thought i'd give them a try. Earlier this year i did a 20 day cruise on Holland america and they were great! The first problem I encountered was before the cruise. They have packaged deals for dining in the specialty dining rooms, otherwise several of them have ala carte pricing. No one could answer my questions about the dining package or offer a menu to show what the ala carte prices were. There were no sample menus available, and the staff were clueless. The boarding process at Citivecchia was easy. we were given numbers as we arrived, and just had to wait for our number to be called. the wait was not long, and there was wifi in the terminal. the rooms were not ready at boarding, so we were encouraged to explore the ship or grab a bite to eat. I chose to get lunch at the main dining room, Versailles. It was apparent that many of the staff were brand new, but they tried to do their best and I have no complaints. The food, however was bad. Fried calamari was as if it had been cooked two hours previously, cold and flaccid. the salmon burger smelled like the patty had been left out for days before being cooked. This wasn't the only time food came out cold and unpalatable. The irish pub brought out cold fajitas. The asian restaurant served a hot and sour soup that was neither hot nor sour, and the stock reminded me of hot dog water. their shrimp dish was equally disappointing. The dining package allowed you access to the specialty places. you can buy three or more visits. for the ala carte places, that gets you an ap or starter, main entree, and dessert. the ala carte pricing was similar to an average restaurant, the entrees were $14 to $24. The specialty dining consisted of a Brazillian meat specialty place, a japanese grill like Beni Hana, a french bistro, a steak house and an italian theme. The japanese grill was as expected, loud and silly, and the food was good. the french bistro was disappointing, the italian ok, and the steak house was quite good. the buffet was as expected, with a variety of foods. There weren't many vegetable dishes. The ship obviously was being frugal with food costs. instead of smoked salmon slices, they had a salmon mousse, from canned salmon. there was no lobster on the boat, surf and turf was steak and shrimp. all in all, dining was disappointing. The cabin was typical. small but functional bathroom, nice balcony. comfy bed. The staff were mostly great, except that many seemed to not be able to answer questions. My cabin attendent was cheerful and great. As far as entertainment, they had the typical main theater shows, a mix of dancing and singing shows, magicians, hypnotist, etc. The theater seats are uncomfortable for anyone over 5 foot 10. there is no leg room. the ship's tv included live bbc, msnbc, cnbc, fox news and movie channels in english, spanish, french, etc. they showed the same 10 recent movies in rotation, with no info as to when what would be shown. there is a sports channel that offered NFL games. They should have on demand programming, with far more extensive content. we were supposed to stop in barcelona for a few hours, but that was changed before we departed to an overnight due to work being done on the ship. that became two days because of severe weather off portugal. this meant we skipped furcal island, but people liked more time in barcelona. we also stopped in st maartin, which is a nice island. at arrival, people were given the option to have the ship deal with their bags, or just walk off with your own luggage starting at 8 am. before guests could leave, the crew had to clear US immigration, which apparently many of the new crew were not told, and did not complete clearance until after 8:30. we stood in line for an hour waiting to be let off the boat. it took a total of 2.5 hours of standing to get off the boat and thru immigration. It was idiotic. And to top it off, some kid working for NCL at the port kept literally yelling at people in the serpentine line to move ahead, as if we didn't know how to use a line. The last experience from an NCL staff member was some rude jerk yelling at adults. This alone was enough for me to decide to not travel with NCL again. NCL advertizes free amenities, such as unlimited cocktails, specialty dining, reduced excursion prices. but of course they are not free. you can opt for a cabin being assigned to you, like i did. i saved over $1,000 that way, but didnt qualify for the free things. instead i bought a soda package for $130, and the dining package for four places for $120. Internet was $350 for the whole trip, and it worked well the first 10 days, but was spotty and didnt work for much of the last 4 days. I did get a partial refund of $50. so bottom line is that the cost cutting in the kitchen, the horrible seating in the theater, the mediocre in room entertainment, and the horrible disembarkation process were enough for me to decide to not sail with NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This fall my husband and I traveled from Rome to Miami on a repositioning cruise on the Norwegian Star. We had traveled on the Star before and had not liked the layout of the ship because it lacked quiet bar areas for reading and viewing ... Read More
This fall my husband and I traveled from Rome to Miami on a repositioning cruise on the Norwegian Star. We had traveled on the Star before and had not liked the layout of the ship because it lacked quiet bar areas for reading and viewing the ocean. Norwegian touted a complete renovation of this ship so we thought we would give it another try. Quiet space was harder than ever to come by. More of the spaces had been converted into villas and suites for the wealthier clientele. Every time we found a quiet place, once of the crew would start up a game of something which drove us out. We have been latitudes club members for years and my husband was looking forward to at least receiving his silver pin on this cruise. We found out they have eliminated most of the little perks that used to be there for members. The member party was really a sales pitch for future cruises (kind of like when they try to sell you condos.) The one port we had never been to was Madeira. That port was cancelled because they had to spend extra nights in Barcelona on a major engine repair. I understand the engine repair is for our safety. The part that bothered us was that the Captain lied to us and told us there was rough weather in Madeira and that was the reason we could not go there. Any fool can google the weather these days and know he was covering up the fact that our ship needed further inspection before we hit the Atlantic. It seemed that Norwegian had changed many policies and turned them into sales pitches and additional fees of various types. I am a gold member of latitudes (which means nothing, except I can get a bag of laundry done for half the price...big deal). There are many other cruise lines that value their customers and I am going to change ships and find them in the future! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first transatlantic cruise and we had a fantastic time. We had a 2 week trip to Italy planned and decided it would be fun to sail home instead of fly. There were a lot of positives but there were some things that we ... Read More
This was our first transatlantic cruise and we had a fantastic time. We had a 2 week trip to Italy planned and decided it would be fun to sail home instead of fly. There were a lot of positives but there were some things that we didn't like about this ship. Embarkation in Rome was very quick and easy. Disembarkation in Miami was an absolute disaster. The problems could have been avoided if the ship improved their process. Times were assigned but they had no way of tracking which times people had. So at least half of the people got in line with the first group departing causing a huge jam in the terminal. We got in line at 8:45 and finally got to the luggage area at 10:00. Immigration took another 45 minutes which was the cruise lines fault but may have been better with a more controlled process. Our cabin was fantastic. Plenty of room for all of our belongings. Cleaning services was fantastic. Bathroom layout and space was great. Shower had really nice pressure and a lot of space. One negative is the mini fridge. It's a waste of valuable space and who would use it especially with the Ultimate Beverage Package. Room maintenance problems: When we tried to flush our toilet for the first time it clogged. This was 15 minutes after we got to our room (and was not our fault if you know what I mean). I told the cabin steward about it and had to complain again when it wasn't fixed 3 hours later. Took 5 hours to finally be corrected. A couple of days into the cruise it clogged again but was fixed much quicker this time and we didn't have a problem again. Our AC worked great for the first 9 days of the cruise but then didn't cool as well for the last 5. I asked Guest Services to look at it but never heard back if they actually did and it never improved. Cabin location was not ideal. You were not close to O'Sheehan's and had to go down a very winding hall to get there. Pool and buffet areas were 4 floors up and buffet was on the other end of the ship. Main restaurants were on the other side of the ship. If I took this ship again I would do so with a rear cabin. Dining on the ship was good. We had 4 nights of specially dining. Cagney's Steakhouse gets 5 stars and we ate there twice. The Brazilian Steakhouse and the Teppanyaki gets 4 stars. The free Asian restaurant also gets 4 stars and we ate there several times. The Buffet gets 3.5 stars. Most of the food was very good but the layout was horrible. There are a lot of narrow areas that were constantly log jammed. Food was different at different areas and confusing. Ice and water machines were terrible and often had out of order signs. Entertainment was mediocre. We went to several shows and most would receive 3 stars. The bar entertainment was better however the sound setup in most of the bars distorted the music and singing which made it bad. Bars: Best bar on the ship is the mojito bar inside the Brazilian Steakhouse. It's very small and most people don't even know about it so it was private. Bar staff was fantastic. A general issue on this ship is the staffing levels in the bars. There are some really good bartenders but they need help. If you ordered a drink from your seat you were going to wait for a long time. Best thing to do is to go the bar as most of the bartenders wait on people first and then work on the orders from the wait staff when then have free time. Casino: Nice selection of games. I only play poker and I was pleasantly surprised to find a real poker table on board (instead of the machines that most cruise ships have). The negative was the rake. 10% with a max of $25 is ridiculous. Having said that I did play on about 9 days and left the cruise up a couple of hundred because there are some really bad players which overcomes the horrible rake. Other negative about the casino is that they allow smoking. There is no ventilation and there were days when I wanted in and immediately left because you couldn't breathe. The Gatsby bar is down the hall and you could often smell smoke there when you were having a cocktail. Ultimate Beverage Package: It was really good with most drinks included. Also plenty of wine options. Negatives: bottled water and specially coffee is not included (both are included on other cruise lines that I've used). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise to travel with friends, and specifically for the Funchal port which we ended up missing. This was probably not the cruise lines fault, but we could have made better use of our Barcelona time if we had known in advance ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel with friends, and specifically for the Funchal port which we ended up missing. This was probably not the cruise lines fault, but we could have made better use of our Barcelona time if we had known in advance about the repairs that they were doing. Overall the biggest disappointment on this ship was the food, followed by the service level, and finally the overall appearance of the ship. The food was barely above all inclusive resort standard....usually lukewarm, often over salted to an amazing degree, and variable. Sometimes overdone, sometimes underdone. We had a package with the paid restaurants, in which the food was very good. The service level in the restaurants, with one or two notable exceptions, was horrendous. We avoided Versailles after about day 3, after we waited 45 minutes between ordering dessert and receiving it. Cagneys steak was excellent, but there were mixups on orders, entrees arriving at different times for the table....I expected way better. On board service was also variable. The staff just seemed more interested in talking to each other than to serving guests. Our steward very grudgingly brought us requested bathrobes after about 2 days, which ended up having no tie belts. Service in any restaurant was exceedingly slow, unless you were lucky enough to get a really great server. It was hard to believe this ship just came out of refurbishment. Our cabin had cracks in the plastic on the floor edging in the bathroom, and overall the ship is run down looking. We received towels and facecloths with holes in them. Cleaning buckets were always left in the hallways; a major tripping hazard and just not a professional look. Public washrooms were hard to locate, and often non functional. This ship just feels tired, and so do the staff. There is just no positive energy. No activities planned for the transatlantic days - I've been on other transatlantics such as Carnival, which planned a shipboard "Olympics" which was really fun. There is almost nothing for added activities on this ship, and curiously, only 4 round deck relaxing "pods" for the whole ship, which must have been staked out for the day by about 5 am. After 6 sea days in a row, they chose to do the famous "White Night Party" the night before our first shore day, which is just remarkably poor planning. The library is not overly well stocked, and I never saw anyone there to check out books, even during the posted hours. Sadly, this trip is almost enough to make me reconsider Norwegian. I can live with the nickel and diming, I know they have a rep for that, but I think all cruise lines do it. I'd rather not be telephoned in my cabin to be sold things though, that is over the top, and it did happen on this trip. We have been on the Jewel and the Epic, and I think the Jewel was really well managed and fun. On the Jewel, we purchased a next trip coupon. We chose not to this time, as we are no longer certain we will travel with Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Our friends who we cruise with every couple of years suggested this cruise and we loved the itinerary and wanted to try the Star. We did this cruise back to back with the Caribbean cruise after this one. Embarkation in Civvi was very ... Read More
Our friends who we cruise with every couple of years suggested this cruise and we loved the itinerary and wanted to try the Star. We did this cruise back to back with the Caribbean cruise after this one. Embarkation in Civvi was very easy; we were not in the suites waiting area long at all, the concierge basically said welcome, and a butler came by and escorted us onto the ship. He took us to Moderno for lunch where all the suite passengers can eat lunch. After a nice leisurely lunch we went to our suite. We loved O'Sheehan's. Always friendly and never seemed too busy. The chicken wings are great. We ate at Ginza a couple of times and were pleased. Service was excellent, food hot. I was wishing there was a wider selection of sushi. Moderno was very good. Again slow the first time around. Second time much, much better. Lots of things to choose from and very good meat. Teppanyaki was outstanding. The show was fun, the food melted in your mouth. Service was good except the first time a waiter kept yelling in my ear (I couldn't hear because the chefs were singing). I'm not a fan of the cake for dessert but the green tea ice cream is really good! Cagney's was very good; melt in your mouth steaks. The second time I ate there, however, I literally walked out of the place because I had already waited an hour for my entree. The third visit they were extremely attentive and the service was very good. LeBistro was off the chain wonderful. It remains my favorite place to eat on NCL. The Garden Cafe was mostly cafeteria food quality. One night my friend wanted a quick dessert and they had closed 15 minutes early. I enjoyed the "deck food" burgers, hot dogs, fresh fruit and the like on sea days. The pool was nice, a little chilly at first but fine after that. There are 4 hot tubs on deck with varying temperatures. Suite passengers can eat in Moderno for breakfast and Cagney's for lunch. Moderno brought one of my cruise mates a cold waffle. Service was slow. Once we found a waiter we liked, Dennis, we had quick service and great food. Cagney's for lunch was very good and service better. I went to the spa one time for a pedicure. It was fine, the lady was engaging and friendly. Of course she tried to sell me everything in there, but I did not want anything but a pedicure. Activities and entertainment were so-so. I ran into the cruise director (Simon) only twice; once at the VIP party and once in the Atrium. He was very friendly but otherwise the only time we ever heard him was on the loudspeaker every day. Cruise staff was not to be found. Later on I was told because of the weather, the staff was mostly in Bliss Lounge. This was weather-related; our first few days out of Barcelona were chilly. I did not attend any shows. I cannot speak for them firsthand. Our cruise mates were very happy with the shows. The casino is fine, played 3 card and blackjack. The dealers were friendly and a lot of fun. I am a smoker, and on this cruise, the smoking area on deck 12 was sadly neglected, a lot of full ashtrays. It became apparent toward the end of the cruise that someone got spoken to, because it sure was kept clean the last few days! You may smoke on deck 12 portside, deck 13 at Sky High Bar, and on deck 7 outside of 5 O'Clock somewhere. Our concierge was the best we have ever had; Suzanna. She walked on deck every day and made sure to stop and say hi, ask how you were doing and if you needed anything. When restaurant reservations were confused, she would straighten those out right away (my fault, not hers). She had not seen me for a day or so and actually left a voice mail to see how I was doing. That woman is the hardest working concierge I have ever encountered. Our butler was Loy, he was amazing also. If you needed so much as a bowl of potato chips, he was right on that and happy to deliver. The stateroom attendant was Artie. Our room was sparkling clean all of the time. And for you towel animal fans, he never missed a night of leaving one on the bed. We got an extra night in Barcelona, because of heavy weather to our west. We took advantage of that and got to go into town and spend time milling around and eating some great food. We had to skip Portugal because of the weather, which is understandable. Our shore excursion in St. Maarten was very good, we had a very informative and friendly guide on our way to the airport to watch the planes. Disembarkation in Miami was easy for suite passengers and more difficult for non-suite passengers. The ship not only had to go through customs, but a CDC inspection and a USGC inspection. Many crew members had to be up at 3:30 AM for immigration. Many were blaming NCL for this. This was not NCL's fault. This was the United States Government. I definitely would sail the Star again. My humble opinion is that there was a young, inexperienced crew working in the dining venues, they seemed very overwhelmed and tired. I'm sure this will improve. I do not cruise for the food itself, I cruise for the cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Due to weather we missed one port which could not be avoided I guess. Disappointed with entertainment. Production company and Russian arial act only decent evening entertainment. Lady violinist should have had prime time and put juggler, ... Read More
Due to weather we missed one port which could not be avoided I guess. Disappointed with entertainment. Production company and Russian arial act only decent evening entertainment. Lady violinist should have had prime time and put juggler, hypnotist, magic act and others during afternoon. Producers need to watch America’s Got Talent and recruit entertainers as what we saw was amateurish. Miss crew talent night. Passenger talent night was a joke and waste of time. Food has gone way downhill in dining room. Crew on NCL continues to be outstanding. Not a prob there. Really enjoyed having lectures. Would recommend having lecturers with a little more depth and not so much fluff. Transit to Miami was a little hairy trying to find. Disembarkation in Miami was a nightmare and we almost missed our flight after allowing four hours to get off and to airport. The problem was blamed on Miami customs. We thought ship was totally refurbished but evidently not. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Always wanted to do a transatlantic and sure glad I choice NCL Star - although we got off to a rocky start and missed the port of Madiera (weather related - I understand that other ships missed it also) NCL compensated by giving us extra ... Read More
Always wanted to do a transatlantic and sure glad I choice NCL Star - although we got off to a rocky start and missed the port of Madiera (weather related - I understand that other ships missed it also) NCL compensated by giving us extra time in Barcelona. Our room steward was fabulous (Muhammand) - our cabin was great (I picked it out) the location was also perfect - right near the elevator and close to the pool. We had six dinners at the specialty restaurants - We did Italian restaurant once - didn't care for the menu so we didn't go back - we did LaBistro - always good - Teppanaki with great both times we went and finally Cagneys has the best steaks and prime ribs- great food. We also did O'Sheehan's a few times which didn't disappoint us at all. The embarkation was the easiest embarkation I have ever seen. We were on the ship in less than five minutes. We attended most of the games - love the trivia games, especially the progressive (maybe because I was on the winning team) Other activities were great to participate or watch. Then entertainment was first class. The only thing miss was the dueling pianos - loved them on the Jade - the bars and lounges had some good entertainment. Fitness was good - went to the daily workouts (Zumba Like) until it got too hot to do. Casino got smokie sometime so when it did I just left, otherwise it was okay. Public rooms were clean, but in some cases some of the bathrooms were out of order. Shore Excursions- the one we took was very disappointing - it was on St. Maartin and since the island had been devastated by a hurricane last year, I am not really sure what I expected. But I am sure, that some of the beaches were not ready for the public. We had great service most of the time. We did notice that the wait staff was overworked. It looked like they have the same person run for the wine bottles as wait on you and since the vine was in a different location, this took away time to serve. Suggested they have a wine runner for peak hours. Also in some cases (in the main restaurants) they was only one person handing the meals, while it the past there was always two. Disembarking was delayed by customs, so everyone got backed up. I wouldn't way it was NCL's fault but there should be a contingency plan for this. It gets a little crazy when everyone tries to exit at the same time. All in all we had a great cruise and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience a Europe to the States crossing. I had made the crossing three times before in the other direction and wanted to experience the opposite this time. Embarkation was smooth but ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to experience a Europe to the States crossing. I had made the crossing three times before in the other direction and wanted to experience the opposite this time. Embarkation was smooth but stressful for me because my airline lost my luggage in Madrid while I went on to Rome to catch the ship! I must say, however, that everyone I met onboard from my cabin attendant to the personnel at the Guest Services desk was sympathetic and endeavored to help in any way they could. I appreciated greatly the laundry services provided to me as I dealt with my very limited wardrobe. Everyone tried so hard to help me out in my predicament. We enjoyed dining in The Bistro three times in fourteen days! It is our favorite. Breakfast was enjoyed in the Versailles restaurant, and the staff always accommodated our dining requests, no matter how involved, with a smile. We also enjoyed Moderno, and had a fun time in the Teppanyaki restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was 20th cruise, only 3rd with NCL. We booked this particular cruise as we wanted a relaxing getaway, and this cruise was a great deal, with an itinerary we wanted. ( transatlantic). This is the first cruise review I’ve wrote, I ... Read More
This was 20th cruise, only 3rd with NCL. We booked this particular cruise as we wanted a relaxing getaway, and this cruise was a great deal, with an itinerary we wanted. ( transatlantic). This is the first cruise review I’ve wrote, I wanted to write a review as I just read a Very negative review of this same cruise stating it was disgusting etc. My spouse and I had no complaints about this cruise whatsoever, it was a good cruise. The star had been recently remodeled, and it looked great! Every thing was clean, and new. Food was great, we enjoyed the majority of everything we tried. We only ate at free options, and we’re very happy. Embarkation was nice and smooth, disembarkation was wrough due to customs holding the ship up. However this is very common in Miami and to be expected. Not once did I think it was the ships fault, but I know many passengers were upset. Service was good as expected, never incountered a non friendly staff member. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and ... Read More
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and although we usually avoid the buffet, we actually loved it for therange and quality of food offered. The steakhouse restaurant was delicious too! We booked one shore excursion with the ship which was comparable in cost to the other twoI had booked independently for other ports. The standard of entertainment was fantastic! Again, nailed it as far as appealing to many different cultures and ages on board. Although this was an older ship to some of the ones we have been on before, it was impeccably maintained and the ambience in the smaller restaurants and bars was spot on. This was also smaller than some of the other ships we have experienced which gave it a more personal feel. Definitely recommend this trip to others! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This cruise was a 'bucket list' vacation for us as was the Alaska cruise that we've done twice. We ALWAYS sail with Norwegian because of their 'free style cruising' in terms of dining experience. We prefer to not ... Read More
This cruise was a 'bucket list' vacation for us as was the Alaska cruise that we've done twice. We ALWAYS sail with Norwegian because of their 'free style cruising' in terms of dining experience. We prefer to not be tied to a specific time/table for dining and their specialty restaurants are very nice, particularly Cagney's and Moderno's. We were in one of the Haven suites, so were able to dine in these restaurants for all meals and never had to go to the 'buffet' dining. We had an outstanding concierge (Effern), butler(Camillia) and steward(Jieve) that saw to our every need and then some. No problems with embarkation/disembarkations, they were organized and orderly. This line caters more to an older crowd which is really to our liking, so not a lot of kids/young people running around. They offer certain packages like the drink & specialty restaurants that are worth the money to get full experience. The shows at night were very good with a nice variety of performances. Some of the excursions were rated a '2' on level of exertion that I thought should have been rated '3' as they involved a lot more walking up inclines and stairs than expected. The climate was extremely warm and humid (it's a rain forest) that was a little hard to take, but the Panama canal process was most interesting. We have advanced to platinum level cruising with Norwegian and don't plan to sail with anyone else; experiences have always been positive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my 4th trip on the Epic and my second Transatlantic Crossing. Faults report on the first day and on the Dear Nelson to hotel director were still there on the last day, 4 chocolates thank you for your feedback would have been ... Read More
This was my 4th trip on the Epic and my second Transatlantic Crossing. Faults report on the first day and on the Dear Nelson to hotel director were still there on the last day, 4 chocolates thank you for your feedback would have been appreciated if they were rectified. Broken Hairdryer, No Wardrobe Doors, Vents attached with sticky pads, broken shower door I could go on.....Felt the staff were tired, understaffed and wanted to do the transatlantic and head home. Shanghai restaurant was the highlight, excellent service, all the restaurant staff should work here to see how customer service should be. All other restaurants and service well below par compared to previous sailings. In cabin messages were not messages for myself buy spam from the revenue partners and were totally unwelcomed and not requested. To much queuing for Shows, Restaurants, Trips and Reception Area, better organisation could have made things better. Entertainment was passable but not top notch, everything appears to be going downhill. Can't say I'll be returning to the Epic anytime soon. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are a couple in our mid 40s who have done about 15 cruises, this was our 7th NCL cruise but first time on the Epic and first time on a ship with more than 2,500 passengers. We like sea days and this cruise was very affordable so thought ... Read More
We are a couple in our mid 40s who have done about 15 cruises, this was our 7th NCL cruise but first time on the Epic and first time on a ship with more than 2,500 passengers. We like sea days and this cruise was very affordable so thought it was a good opportunity to try a mega ship. We had just come off a cruise with 900 people and hence felt the bigger crowds immediately. Embarkation, the crowds and queues were huge and it felt like mayhem but soon lines got organised. For the first time ever we needed printed ESTAs which was a pain but they had computers with printers. Finally onboard we went to the restaurant for lunch and it was obvious from the start that the crew were not as experienced and trained as on other ncl ships. Our first course (shrimp arugula salad) came without shrimp and arugula. These sorts of errors became common place at almost every meal. One lunchtime we were the first in the restaurant but had not seen a server after 20 minutes and had to get the maître d to move us as it appeared nobody knew who was looking after that area, basic things. Queues for the restaurants at night were huge and wait times were at least 30 minutes but then the buzzers never functioned so you usually waited longer unnecessarily. Unfortunately small problems continued all cruise, our account was wrong every single day of the cruise and guest relations seemed to be trained to either deny there was a mistake or accuse the customer of making the error. Eventually a meeting with the hotel director where he admitted to the ongoing problems they were having with the restaurants and dealing with port taxes at least acknowledged some of the poor training and supervision and led to some of the problems being rectified. We were given a meal in the Epic club in the Haven as an apology, interestingly while the food was amazing the service problems continued there. As platinum members our meals in French Bistro and La Cucina we were treated as second class citizens, with countless comments about our meal being a “voucher meal” and constantly being told we were limited to certain courses taking the shine from what should be superior dining experiences. The food in the Bistro was very mixed (mains excellent, starters average and dessert poor). La Cucina was disappointing after loving it on our last 2 Jade cruises, the pizza was no better than that in the buffet. Pasta dishes were good. We liked the atmosphere of the Manhattan dining room, tables were well spaced and there was often music. Unfortunately the supervisors never picked up on small things like missing cutlery, broken table lamps, missing condiments. Several fellow guests made similar references to the lack of management and supervision on the ship and in the restaurants in particular and it lead to a feeling of slackness and lack of care by the management. The telephone messaging system broke down, the one night we wanted to watch a movie in our room the channel broke down, the outdoor movie screen was a good concept except they refused to put chairs out for it. The indoor movie was about people using sign language except they put Spanish subtitles up. Osheehans regularly opened half an hour late for lunch. Originally we just laughed off these mistakes as the cruise was so cheap but after a week it starts to grind you down and just takes away from the fun you are generally having. On all our other cruises we have written at least a dozen hero cards for our favourite staff on this cruise we only wrote 2. As with many others we didn’t really like the ship itself, the main problem was it was difficult to see the ocean which is what we love about sea days. There is no real promenade, the small area there is has life boats blocking the view, exhaust fans blowing out kitchen fumes, and smokers. There are very few windows. Upstairs you have to get one of the few deck chairs on the upper level to see the sea. There is no forward facing bar and the screen in the h2o bar at the rear of the ship blocks most of the view. Public venues are too small, the theatre only holds 700, the restaurants less than 500, most of the bars only cater to about 50 ... on a ship that was full with 4,500 guests! The worst aspect is you smell smoke everywhere, the casino is mid ship and open so smoke fills surrounding bars and restaurants, disgusting. No mid ship staircase or lifts. We only use stair cases and thankfully most didn’t so they were easy to manoeuvre about. Entertainment is excellent but because the venues are so small the same acts are repeated over and over to allow for people to see the shows but if you went to more than one show (eg the afternoon matinee and then maybe a comedy show later that night) for the first few days you were out of options after a week. As usual the activities were plentiful, we liked the water slides as well, the pools were all heated despite us being in the Caribbean???? Gym was a good size but very busy especially as so much of the entertainment staff using it. Only one walking track for 4000 people and the staff use it to get to their smoking spot. We were given 3 loads of laundry which was s nice surprise. We had an inside cabin which had a comfortable bed and plenty of storage but we didn’t like the unusual bathroom design which is hardly romantic or practical. The sink is a joke. Our cabin steward was excellent. There were only 3 ports and of course NCL made this as difficult as possible as per usual (they are the worst line for port experiences). Took more than an hour to get back on the ship in Funchal with everyone forced to stand in the rain. St Maarten was cancelled due to weathe (fair enough) and we changed to Antigua, they did a good job of accomodating this change on short notice, St Thomas I can’t comment on as we had to do US immigration on the shortest port day and were in the last group so had less than 3 hours ashore. We of course still enjoyed ourselves as the weather was good and we met some great people. This was the first time we have not bought future cruise deposits as it was just a little too underwhelming and we are trying MSC to compare. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because it had lots of at sea days. We prefer those to the stops in ports since we're not keen on spending so much on the commercialized tours. It was a bit of travel down memory lane as well, because I had sailed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had lots of at sea days. We prefer those to the stops in ports since we're not keen on spending so much on the commercialized tours. It was a bit of travel down memory lane as well, because I had sailed across the Atlantic several times as a kid. We were glad it was this ship because it was as large as the Escape on which we had sailed a couple years ago and we enjoyed that. This was our third cruise with NCL, the other one being on the Sun through the Panama Canal, This ship was great in terms of its design and features. However, our biggest complaint was that there was not a single lounge on the ship that was not loud all day and evening. On our first day, we asked at the guest services desk if there was a quiet place we could relax. The person told us, in an accent that was almost unintelligible, that the only place was the library. Great. We went there and discovered it was packed! Only about 20 seats all lined up. For a ship with 4,000 guests, one quiet room with 20 seats doesn't seem to be enough. We had difficulty imagining that we were the only ones on the ship that would have appreciated a lounge with quieter music where one could relax and read. We certainly were younger than most guests on the ship and we're not old-fashioned in our tastes. We found that the variety of food on the menus at the free restaurants was quite limited. The Garden Cafe (the buffet) was great but again there was not as much variety as we had previously experienced. One last thing... the luggage pickup part of the disembarkation process was an absolute disaster! Confusion reigned. Nobody knew where we were supposed to go or wait. The staff was arguing with each other. We decided we'd probably try a different cruise line next time. Read Less
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