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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary that it provided. A fantastic selection of ports and we loved every one. It was magnificent leaving Venice at dusk. We walked around a number of ports that we had been to in the past Kotor, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Itinerary that it provided. A fantastic selection of ports and we loved every one. It was magnificent leaving Venice at dusk. We walked around a number of ports that we had been to in the past Kotor, Dubovnik Santorini and Mykonos and took some private day trips to Messina ( Taormina ) , Naples (Positano and Sorrento) Livorno (Florence )and The Tuscan countryside. Ships tours are too expensive. We had travelled on the Star so had some idea of the layout of the boat. We travelled with 2 other couples and all found the Jade an ideal size for us. It was a plus that there was an adults only swimming pool and used this after a hot day out. The Balcony cabin on level 11 ( mini suite) was a really good size and it even had a full bath. It was close to everything and we would willing stay there again. We ate in 4 specialty restaurants and we mainly breakfasted in the Garden Cafe and often had dinner in the main dining room The Grand Pacific. We booked a number of time slots for dining online before we joined the ship. The food was lovely and served by very friendly and helpful staff. We have absolutely no complaints re food or staff. Our favourite was Le Bistro. We had the drink package which was excellent value and there is no big shock when you get your final bill on leaving the cruise. Entertainment was good, we attended 6 concerts and loved Victor Michael. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the ... Read More
We went on The N.C.L. Jewel The Cruise was from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver,British Columbia. This was a wonderful seven day Alaskan Cruise. We were located in the two bedroom family villa suite in The Haven and it was sufficient for the four of us I believe it might not be should you have more than four people. The service in our suite was superior and give most of the credit for that to our concierge Dilip he made sure we were happy and brought everything we could wish for, he helped us get off the ship very easily at the different ports of call he escorted us off at each port of call.Dilip also helped us get to the entertainment we wanted to see. My only regret is that I purchased a spa pass I probably would not have purchased had I known that the roof of the Haven Center Spa was covered, on some other cruises sometimes the roof area of the Haven Pools have not been covered and it gets too cold. The food was excellent and the spa services were very good, however they did not have acupuncture on this cruise, which really disappointed me as that was one of things I was really looking forward to. I got a shave and tooth whitening from Lynda and she knew her stuff it was the best I have ever had, she is brilliant. The other spa treatments I had where three massages from Rumbi, Should you need a massage she is the best. ‘:The food was very good especially at the specialty restaurants.9 Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Overall a great experience. The itinerary was excellent, we booked excursions at most ports and had good experiences. The ship is very nice after its recent renovations. State room had enough space and storage for 2 over packers. We were ... Read More
Overall a great experience. The itinerary was excellent, we booked excursions at most ports and had good experiences. The ship is very nice after its recent renovations. State room had enough space and storage for 2 over packers. We were unsure about the "privasea" balcony we had but it was not an issue, it only slightly reduces the size of the opening and we used our balcony every day. The flexibility to dine at any time, at any of the many restaurants, and on our own (2 people) or with others if we wanted to was great as this was our biggest complaint on our last cruise. We will definitely only be cruising with this type of set up in the future, we don't like having a set time and group of strangers to dine with every day. Entertainment on board was excellent, we went to most of the shows and loved them all. There was always activities to keep us busy if we wanted too, even at pots where we stayed on the shit. Lots of bars to choose from. Service was great and the staff were all friendly and helpful. We will be sailing with Norwegian again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and my husband wanted to go to Japan, so on this cruise we got to do a bit of both! Boarded in Yokohama Japan. We stayed at Sotetsu Fresca Inn Sakuragi-cho in Yokohama. This was fine and we were able to walk to the port from here - although was a good 25 minute walk. Embarkation was a little unorganised and long, but we were also quite early! Once on board, everything was easy. We mainly ate breakfast in buffet, and this was good. Sometimes had to walk around a bit to find a seat, but no major trouble. Plenty of selection and options, although it is amazing how after two weeks you still get a little bored with whats on offer! My bad! For lunch we ate in various restaurants, we gave all the complimentary ones a go! Menu didn't change much for lunch tho. Really enjoyed O'Sheehans for lunch - their fajitas and burgers were great, better than the ones at Tsars! Massive selection at buffet for lunch and options changed daily. Nice steaks out by the pool at Topsiders Grill - although this area was closed on cold wet days. For dinner we always went to either Tsars or Azura. Same menu in both, but just different atmosphere and decor. The waiters were amazing in these restaurants. Also loved Alvin who did the table allocation at Tsars, he was great with names and very welcoming. The food was very very good. Not amazing, but very very good considering the volume they are producing for. The ship production crew shows were amazing, especially the cirque inspired one!! Other shows were entertaining, some better than others. The nice guy giving the lectures each day was very good, but a little too indepth on certain things for me! We enjoyed all our cruise port stops. Alaska was amazing!! One bit of advice for cruises that go to Petropavlovsk in Russia. Although the ship berthed at 5am and some 30-40 russian immigration guys were expected to arrive soon after to do immigration checks for all passengers. It was 11.30 before our deck 5 was able to disembark. This meant that we missed our privately organised and prepaid tour. The various decks were allowed to retrieve their passports and depart according to deck, commencing from ship excursion passengers, haven passengers, deck 11, deck 10, deck 9 etc. down to deck 4, all with allocation times approx 30 mins apart. If we had been on deck 11 we would probably have got off about 9.30, but deck 5 was second last. If visiting this port would be better to do a ship excursion (something I rarely do!) or select a cabin on a high deck! Although we missed our excursion (the tour company did wait over an hour for us, but then had to go as had others with them), we were able to walk off the ship and into town ourselves for a look around. Was about a 10 minute walk. The ship had said that we would require to buy an $8 shuttle ticket, but this was not necessary. No one even checked us to see if we had a rebooked excursion or shuttle ticket. Spas were lovely and hot and the pools were heated too. We loved spending time upstairs in the Spinnaker Lounge. This was a lovely quiet spot with comfy lounges and great views!! There are also some little computer screens at front of some bars/restaurants that you can take a selfie photo of yourself and send a brief message via email back home - handy to let loved ones know how you are going! We had the free internet package and our 250 hours were rationed amongst the sea days and worked fine. We never did work out how to do the phone package to call our kids on their mobiles tho! Drinks package was great, it was included which was good, because we probably only drank 2 or 3 drinks a day which was more than normal!, but not enough to justify buying a package! Loved the manager, think his name was Steven Jacobson, very friendly and helpful. Also loved the cruise director Dan. There was enough entertainment around the ships, although there were still times where we didn't know what to do, but thats the time to grab a good book! Easy disembark, just did it ourselves and walked straight off! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it ... Read More
This was the first time my wife had been to Europe, so what better way to see lots of places and spend five days as see crossing the Atlantic than sail on the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. We have sailed the Pearl Five times and loved it every time. The ship is in great repair and the staff is always friendly. The food on every cruise we have made on the Pearl is always above par to say the least. Embarkation out of New York was a breeze and getting off the ship in Amsterdam was just as easy. No issues or time wasted on either end of the 2 week trip. Our stateroom was amazing and had its own private hot tub on the balcony along with a tub and seperate shower in the stateroom. The haven area was great, as it was on all our other trips on the Pearl. In two weeks we ate in every resturant at least once and some twice and they were all above other cruise lines dining experiences. The entertainment was equal to or above what we have had on other ships. The Ports were all really exciting and we had an excursion picked for every port so there was no disappointment there either. All our excursions were booked thru NCL and they were worth the money. Our only regret was we had to come back to the real world of work at the end of our cruise. We have come to feel like we know this ship better than most other ships we have been on and we have never been disappointed with anything on the Pearl. Service, food, entertainment, staterooms and public areas are always the best that can be expected of a cruise ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked this trip last minute got an excellent price. Sea was calm all the way. Nice ship overall plus great entertainment. Don't like the fact that room service has a fee. NCL app free to download but if u want to use it to text ... Read More
We booked this trip last minute got an excellent price. Sea was calm all the way. Nice ship overall plus great entertainment. Don't like the fact that room service has a fee. NCL app free to download but if u want to use it to text cruise mates each person is charged $9.95. This is free on HAL. Drinks are expensive food was ok. Wish offered more selection at the buffet same fare every day. Plus no theme nights can you believe they did not have any celebration for Cinco de Mayo! Also the TV channels had no MSNBC or CNN just FOX, whats the deal with that? So if you wan't real news you had to watch BBC, but even that was turned off toward the end. I think Holland America is better because they offer the NY Times online or printed copies for no charge.But being a captive audience on a transatlantic cruise with only FOX news! That aside we loved the cruise the price and itinerary was fantastic! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my second transatlantic on The Jade, my fourth cruise on The Jade. I love the ship for its size, layout, always exceptional service and staff. Jen in the Spinnaker and Maria in the Champagne and Martini bar, both are treasures and ... Read More
This was my second transatlantic on The Jade, my fourth cruise on The Jade. I love the ship for its size, layout, always exceptional service and staff. Jen in the Spinnaker and Maria in the Champagne and Martini bar, both are treasures and a credit to NCL. I do not like the absence of the bar in the Atrium being replaced by *$s. Really, most of the customers were the officer staff of the ship.. Deep 6 *$s and bring back the bar~!! Always meet some of the friendliest fellow cruises on NCL. The guitar duo were phenomenal talents. Dave was too loud for several of the venues. One group that were awful (sorry) ruined sailaway in the Spinnaker twice. The vocalist (male) salute to Johnny Cash, and others, was painful~! Sometimes "entertainment" is just NOT necessary. Loved the trivia game with Brenda in the afternoons on sea days. Brenda is a sweetheart. Always enjoy the specialty dining. La Cucina had a fantastic Osso Bucco. Cagney's prime rib was the best I have ever had. La Bistro is heaven. Great itinerary on this trip. Cadiz was a delightful surprise.... beautiful city. Lisbon and Barcelona were wonderful. My second trip to Cannes and excited seeing the hussle of the city the week before the film festival. Love the Azores. Detested the confusing Rome airport~! JMHO... The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.... (but mostly THE GOOD) Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I was planning a trip to Europe, & I was also shopping for a cruise. When I found this TA, it was a perfect match! I loved the itinerary! Besides that, the embarkation port was also my home port. I had initially wanted to sail on ... Read More
I was planning a trip to Europe, & I was also shopping for a cruise. When I found this TA, it was a perfect match! I loved the itinerary! Besides that, the embarkation port was also my home port. I had initially wanted to sail on one of the larger ships, but chose the Jade TA for the wonderful ports on the itinerary. As it happened, the Jade turned out to be the perfect ship for a TA. It was very stable, & we were very comfortable. The Jade was recently refurbished, & its a beautiful ship; very clean, comfortable, & well maintained. We had a midship balcony stateroom. We had lots of storage, we really enjoyed the balcony. Yes, it could get quite cold out in the middle of the Atlantic, but we would bundle up & watch the amazing sunrise & sunsets. Watching the twinkling lights of Morocco from our balcony was magic! We had a very active Cruise Critic Roll Call. Our group constituted practically 10% of the total number on board the Jade. As a result, everywhere we went we knew somebody! We had organized several events, including a Sailaway Party, CC Meet & Greet, Cabin Crawl, Pub Crawl, Poker Crawl, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Left Right Center, Jewelry making classes, and last but not least, two parties at the sumptuous Garden Villa! We also went on excursions together. As a result, we had a fun filled, exciting cruise! I do believe we made life long friends over the 15 days we sailed together! We enjoyed many other activities like Trivia, lectures, language classes while on board. The nightly entertainment was over the top. Elements was a Vegas level show; the Illusionist was great; the Aerial show was memorable; the comedy show was laugh out good; night after night, we were entertained by a great cast of entertainers. And no repeats! Our cabin steward, Cher, kept our stateroom immaculate. He was hard working, & cheerful & always there. We couldn’t ask for a better steward. We ate at the buffet most of the time, because we were always in a hurry to go to the next activity! The food was consistently good. A big shoutout to Executive Chef, Saldanha! He was at the Buffet every day, personally supervising all the stations. We became good friends! I loved his attention to detail, & how he happily accommodated my dietary restrictions. We liked the Asian station, & the Hot Entrees stations the best. The food at the MDR was good, too. All the ports had so many wonderful options for excursions; but we always felt that we didn’t get enough time on shore, there was so much to see & do! After disembarking in Civitavechia, which is about an hour from Rome, we went straight to our hotel; then spent the next 10 days exploring Rome, Florence, Venice, & Milan by high speed train (Italo), which was another great adventure made possible by this cruise. I would do this itinerary again, in a heartbeat!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Our first time on a very large ship, previous cruises have always been on ships with less that 2000. While there were 4000 on this ship it seemed less crowded most times than a medium size vessel. We found some of the staff less than ... Read More
Our first time on a very large ship, previous cruises have always been on ships with less that 2000. While there were 4000 on this ship it seemed less crowded most times than a medium size vessel. We found some of the staff less than enthusiastic to provide more than the basic help, that tended to be more the exception than the rule and was really only in a couple of the bars. The room attendants were exceptional as were the staff in the Garden Cafe which is the buffet area. Speaking of the buffet, we found the food to be creative and well seasoned with more than ample serving stations and areas to get a seat. We did 2 nights of specialty dining. The French Bistro was a nice break because the room is quiet and the service was very good. One dish we had, the veal was excellent and the other one, sole was over cooked. 2 of the appetizers were less than good.Presentation was as one would expect in a French Bistro. The star attraction here was the desserts. We were on a dining package which allowed us to have 2 appies, 1 main and 1 dessert each. The other meal we chose to go to the Teppanyaki house. A form of group dining that we have not done for about 20 years. The food was ample and cooked perfectly, the chef at the grill very entertaining and the side service excellent. Note that this is fun and entertaining but not a place to go if your looking for a quiet meal. Tons of entertainment all over the ship and the bands tend to rotate from venue to venue during the cruise so most you get to see more than once so dont worry if you miss the first event they are at. We took the repositional cruise from San Pedro CA up to Vancouver Canada with stops in San Francisco and Victoria. Getting on and off the ship at ports of call was a breeze and ample time was given at ports to really get out and investigate the surrounding countryside. We did not partake in any of the ship offered excursions as we are very familiar with the places we were going and able to get around on public transit, walking or Uber. Victoria has a shuttle that runs you into downtown or you can walk the 20 minutes. In San Fran you are essentially within walking distance of plenty to do but would highly recommend taking the Hop On Hop off tours that pick you up right in front of the port parking lot. Back on the ship our room was a mini suite and smaller than we are used to. In general it would seem the rooms are smaller than most ships I have been on but still adequate. As a reasonable new ship everything was in good working order with plenty of water pressure and endless hot water. HVAC systems worked exceptionally well in the room and in all parts of the ship. For comfort, in many of the covered outdoor area's on the ship there are overhead heaters. At this time of year on the west coast it made it enjoyable to sit outside and eat or drink in many area's. That would not have been so without at. Very important as they have a deck with bars and patio extensions from several of the restaurants called the Waterfront. Other cool features on this ship are a 2 level go cart track powered by electric cars, A free fall water slide over the side of the ship, mini golf, Tube water slide and hot tubs that tend to hang over the side of the ship so you have a wonderful unobstructed view if you are in one when coming into a port or whale watching. Too many bars to list here (about 22 of them I think) and so many food options, plenty are complimentary and plenty are al a carte or have surcharges. From an authentic BBQ joint, to Sushi to a Jimmy Buffet Margarittavile burger joint there is something for everyone on this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. ... Read More
Ambitious choice for first cruise did not disappoint. Tranquil seas and amazing weather allowed smooth trans-Atlantic motoring followed by a stellar line up of beautiful and historic ports. Excellent food, beverage and entertainment. Enjoyed a well appointed, clean and spacious cabin with a lovely picture window meticulously serviced by our gracious steward Johnson who provided an unsurpassed level of care. The ship was well maintained and seemed efficiently operated. Some service desk agents provided erroneous information about such information as provisions for obtaining currency from debit card charges resulting in wasted time. Many of the procedures of the service desk seemed overwrought and inefficient frequently resulting in unnecessarily long waits at the service desk . The only other mildly sour note for us was poorly coordinated disembarkation on the last day resulting in confrontations between flustered passengers. Overall, we were impressed with our first experience and plan to cruise again soon. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it was sailing across the Atlantic. Neither of us had ever partaken of a cruise before. It exceeded all our expectations. As first time cruisers we were completely at a loss what to do, where to go, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was sailing across the Atlantic. Neither of us had ever partaken of a cruise before. It exceeded all our expectations. As first time cruisers we were completely at a loss what to do, where to go, procedure once we boarded the Star. Although staff at the passageway door, no real instructions provided not even when we asked. Some sort of orientation session would have been nice for the few of us who had never cruised before. 99% of the time the staff was fantastic doing everything they could to ensure we had the best time of our lives. The only negative related to staff was the information/customer service desk. We learned quickly that if you asked a question, even about important stuff (lost items, disembarkation/customs procedures) the answer would be different with each staff person you asked. Dining was incredible. So much variety and so well prepared and tasty even at the buffet, the available restaurants were icing on the cake. Ginza was our only disappointment. Tried it twice. Food not bad, just not very good compared to everywhere else. Loved the crossing best of all. Ideal port/shore excursion scenario for us would be to alternate shore days with sea days. Enjoyed the shore excursions on the islands immensely. Soon realized that one could have just as rich a shore experience on our own at mainland ports without the extra expense of booking a tour and without the 'forced shopping' stops as one person put it. The entertainment each night was spectacular. Such talent on the production team (singers, dancers, musicians) as well as the guest performers. The musicians who performed on a daily basis throughout the ship varied in style and ability. The best by far was Duo 4:40. It showed by the audience they drew. No matter the venue they played at, it was always packed. All in all a wonderful, marvelous experience that went far about our expectations. Definitely go for it!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
It was a glorious error that I ended up on this cruise ship! I had the most amazing time on this Transatlantic cruise from Miami’s to Spain. The passengers were friendly, considerate and there was no drama. The staff focused on our ... Read More
It was a glorious error that I ended up on this cruise ship! I had the most amazing time on this Transatlantic cruise from Miami’s to Spain. The passengers were friendly, considerate and there was no drama. The staff focused on our happiness, wellbeing and safety. The entertainment onboard was fun and engaging. The show on the last few nights were memorable. The sailing over the transatlantic was so smooth and we were always on time or even earlier than promised at the ports. The food onboard was delicious (Buffett and specialty restaurants), the selections were varied, the distinctions for adult and family entertainment/venues were clear and followed. I greatly enjoyed my time aboard the Norwegian Star. The veterans group was the best group of folks. I made new friends and the staff was amazing. I feel like they were a part of my family! Would cruise with them again in a heartbeat. 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
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Booked this cruise as a means to achieving a long held curiosity to see South America. By sailing this cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago and following that up with the Santiago to Miami leg we were able to see a great deal if not the ... Read More
Booked this cruise as a means to achieving a long held curiosity to see South America. By sailing this cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago and following that up with the Santiago to Miami leg we were able to see a great deal if not the full monty. Not much space to do justice to 30great days but I’ll try! The Sun is a small ship and did suffer because of this at times on the first leg on sea days. This was especially true of the buffet where spaces were frequently at a premium. Size also meant that the options for light dining at lunchtime were very limited. Sandwiches were limited to filled croissants and there were few cold meat options. By contrast I found the range of choice in the main dining room to be excellent. In 30 nights I never duplicated a main course choice and was never disappointed. Of the speciality restaurants if found La Cucina and Los Lobos to be very underwhelming, but Le Bistro was excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment in the Windjammer, especially Kiefer Wiley, who always kept the party going. A young pianist, Walisson, had joined the ship’s crew at Buenos Aires so it was early days for him but he settled well and was well worth a pre dinner listen. We caught a performance by the ship’s singers in Bliss one evening. Backed simply by electric piano, they were superb and distinctly better than in the over amplified main theatre. The show and produced a similar quality performance at each of the Jazz Brunches we attended. Old adage if you’re good enough you don’t need to be loud. We didn’t use any of the ship’s excursions, joining fellow Cruise Critic members on a series of excellent trips. Not once were we in danger of missing departure and one of the early questions we were always asked was when does the ship leave? I’ll probably give a thorough review of each excursion on a post under South America Ports of Call. Special stand out mentions now however for Dennis Purtov at Puerto Montt and Patricia at Trujillo. We also had great experiences at Valparaiso, Coquimbo and Puerto Chacabuco. I have to say that embarkation at Buenos Aires was excellent. A clean, comfortable waiting hall, a speedy transition through check in and a good transfer by bus to the ship was a really good quality service. Compare that to the sloppy positioning of colour tag luggage, muddled exit pathways and haphazard progress through security at Miami and it was like being in two different worlds... and it wasn’t the third world country that was shown up! Just an extra point of minority interest. It was so nice to be able to run on the Promenade deck and not feel guilty. Runners don’t have to feel compelled to run on treadmills in a humid gym or up on an exposed top deck. We made so many new friends on this trip and hope to meet up again some time. A lot of that was down to a really active Cruise Critic Roll Call, so thanks for making it all such a great trip! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We are cruising for several years now with Norwegian and we are pleased with their service and free style cruise is what we liked most. My wife have never been to Australia, Indonesia and Singapore so I decided to take her to that cruise. ... Read More
We are cruising for several years now with Norwegian and we are pleased with their service and free style cruise is what we liked most. My wife have never been to Australia, Indonesia and Singapore so I decided to take her to that cruise. We had a balcony a couple besides our stateroom is my wife's high school classmate from 1971 and 6 other new guest with NCL and first time cruisers. We had a great time and and had a lot of specialty dinners. Our group had received a lot of surprises from the Senior Officers that we have met on previous cruises with Norwegian and made our cruise more enjoyable not only for us previous cruisers but for our 6 other friends that we brought with us. They even sent fresh tropical fruits from Indonesia was sent to all our cabins. Shore excursions was great that we all got into the same bus every time we book. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
So first off, I’m the guy that brought the bike. I boarded the ship in New York on January 02nd and got off the ship February 15th 2019 in New York. This was my escape from wither in the north east and chance to explore several new ... Read More
So first off, I’m the guy that brought the bike. I boarded the ship in New York on January 02nd and got off the ship February 15th 2019 in New York. This was my escape from wither in the north east and chance to explore several new ports that I had not been to before and after this 44 day voyage I enjoyed this ship and it’s staff very much. I had a great and memorable experience from really every department onboard. Spending that much time on board the ship I think I really got to know the cruise director and recreation staff well. Some even remembered me from my previous September 2018 trip on this ship, or perhaps the bicycle helped them remember too. Security staff definitely remembered me and the bike from September. But I was really surprised with how many of the overall ships crew called me by my first name when just walking by even though I had very little interaction with them. For me, during the cruise I always kept in mind that for most of the staff on board they are here on a 6 month contract and even though they don’t have a day off and work around 10 hours or more a day, they still start every day as if their goal was to make sure that my trip was going as best as it could. I didn’t do any drinking or gambling and I think I booked a total of 0 shore excursions and purchased about the same amount of photos but I still had a great time. Yes, the bike played a huge roll too. Since there was a lot of overlap on the ports that we would be visiting, when in port, I treated the 1st leg (west bound journey) as an exploration trip and the east bound journey I applied what I learned and explored the port more efficiently. The bike also helped a lot. Regarding the bicycle, it’s a folding bike, (specifically a Citizen Miami). The bike retails new for $275.00 but I purchased off of craig’s list for $100. I upgraded the original seat to a gelled saddle and I also brought with me: a helmet with a GoPro, an air pump and lastly the padded seat underwear. I also know now that I should bring a bike tire repair kit too, however I was able to find a bike repair shop while we were in Santa Marta, Colombia that replaced the tube, tire and the shop had WiFi for a total of 16,000 Colombian Pesos (or $5.16 USD). While not in use the bike went under my bed, and I didn’t have to worry about checking in the bike at the airport as luggage since I was doing a round trip from NY. I walked the bike on board and there was no additional fee for bringing it. Yes I also received many offers from the crew about purchasing the bike from me. I can not put to words on how welcome the cruise ship staff made me feel while on this entire voyage, but it was really great. Every department did a fantastic job. I think security had the toughest roll as they get the least appreciation for keeping people safe especially as people were climbing over ropes, railings and each other during the panama canal transit which lasted about 5 hours. The cruise director staff came in a close 2nd as they have to keep everyone as happy as possible over the entire journey but in my opinion every crew member on board did a fantastic job. I enjoyed the food very much, but my problem is really with portion control. I felt that Breakfast in the grand pacific dining room was the right way to start my morning. Glen, the only female waitress on board named Glen is the best waiter on board this ship. In regards to the evening entertainment, I would try to go to both evening shows whenever possible but I would sit in 2 totally different areas in the theater which gave me a totally different perspective of the show. Special shout out from me is included to the sign language interpreter they had on board for the east bound (LA-NY) journey. While she wasn’t meant to be part of the entertainment she was both very entertaining, informative, educational and really added a layer to the show that I had never experienced before. I learned later that some times, like for the ventriloquist or comedian, a rehearsal performance is not available so the translation is just live action and there is no pause button available to look terms up. It was also really nice to talk and interact with the entertainers when they weren’t performing on stage. While the Gem’s cast performers can also be found working in places like the ship’s library, the guest performers were friendly and approachable in all areas of the ship like the gym, restaurants or even just random encounters in the elevators and hallways. Yes I also encountered people who were not enjoying the cruise, but from my perspective they were either asking for too much, just ignorant of the rules and policies, just totally missed stuff that was clearly listed in the daily schedule or just really novice cruise ship travellers (aka noobs). But yes I also had the upper had when it came to ports that we had visited before so I knew what to expect. I myself knew that I had to be a bother to the ship’s hotel director because I kept stopping by his office looking for his secretary’s signature for the ship’s scavenger hunt but kept running in to him instead. But he seemed ok with it or at least understanding and just kept telling me to keep trying to find her each time I visited. Lastly, I highly suggesting doing the behind the scenes tour for a great perspective on what goes on onboard and how and why things operate as they do. It’s free to do for platinum latitude members. Thank you very much for a very enjoyable voyage. I’m strongly considering doing this voyage again next year and I hope you next voyage on the Gem is just as enjoyable. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I've been on the Sun now 4 times. I must say I believe that this is my favorite ship in the NCL fleet. I must say that the recent refurbishment has been a real plus. The color schemes are really great. This ship has plenty to ... Read More
I've been on the Sun now 4 times. I must say I believe that this is my favorite ship in the NCL fleet. I must say that the recent refurbishment has been a real plus. The color schemes are really great. This ship has plenty to do, but it's not like the mega ships. Being the smallest in the fleet it can't offer all the choices. I find it a ship where you can chill out and relax. The balcony rooms have more storage than any other balcony room I've been in. The shelves, cabinets, and drawers will provide more room to store your stuff than you may need. The bathroom is smaller. Plenty of shelve space but really only one can fit in the bathroom at a time. The Shower is also a bit small but not the worst I've seen. The dining is standard NCL. Now that all the ships follow the same menu if you like the food it is just as good here. I personally find the selections and quality of the food to be very good. Both the main dinning rooms are very nice. Either one is an enjoyable place to dine. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never visited most of the Islands on this Cruise and specially wanted to visit Aruba & Curaçao. We loved each port and all of our excursions! The ship was just coming from a remodel and was beautifuly redone. It felt like ... Read More
We had never visited most of the Islands on this Cruise and specially wanted to visit Aruba & Curaçao. We loved each port and all of our excursions! The ship was just coming from a remodel and was beautifuly redone. It felt like we were traveling on a brand new ship clean & bright. We never traveled on the Star before but, we have been on the Dawn and we loved the improvements. Everything about this ship met or far exceeded our expectations. We found this cruise had the most diverse group of passengers from religions, race, nationalities and the friendliness was amazing. We seem to make new friends no matter where we went! We did have problems with a very late embarkation. The ship & crew had to undergo an intense inspection (because the ship had been out of the US for awhile). This was out of NCL’s control- but I thought NCl could have done a better job adjusting the schedule one we were on board- reschedule the safety training. The staff was just incredible- our room steward (Rai) couldn’t do enough for us! We made friends with many of the waitstaff in the restaurants and would look for favorites when ever we went to eat! By the way we just love freestyle!! Read Less
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
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
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
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