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Cruise Ratings
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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is a repositioning itinerary, with a unique combination of Norway and Iceland. The detour via Scotland was something I was less interested in, especially Inverness. The Getaway just came out of a 2-week upgrade in the dry dock, and ... Read More
This is a repositioning itinerary, with a unique combination of Norway and Iceland. The detour via Scotland was something I was less interested in, especially Inverness. The Getaway just came out of a 2-week upgrade in the dry dock, and there was still a new-carpet smell. The trip started off badly - due to some vague explanation of delayed supplies, we left Copenhagen 5 hours late, and because this time could not be made up we had a day at sea the next day rather than the planned first stop at Haugesund, Norway. There is no excuse for this bad planning, and the only compensation we got was $50 per cabin!!! On the way back, there was another unplanned day at sea - we made it almost to Inverness, but then the captain made a U-turn because he felt the wind was too strong for the narrow strait. In return he promised an early arrival in Edinburgh, but it too was a disaster - the ship anchored way out from port and because there were few tenders available there was a minimum of 2 hours wait to get to and from shore. An additional minor gripe - the vertical water slides were broken the whole trip. Food and entertainment were fine. Because of the cold weather the outdoor space was hardly used, making for crowded conditions indoor, esp. the atrium. The wait times at the sit-down restaurants were quite long - often 40 minutes to be seated, and 2 hours from ordering to desert. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren ... Read More
Loved the idea of a repositioning cruise and that part was great. Could sail forever. However, the service on board was indifferent, to say the least. The people who ran the "kid's club" were fabulous and my grandchildren had a great time. This was the best part. Ebarkation and disembarkation were flawless. Food was another matter. It was, to say the least, somewhat strange. Clearly it was mostly frozen and then reheated and the descriptions didn't really match what was served. The only really good meal was in Teppanyaki. The rest of the food was indifferent--it would work if you were hungry but it wasn't a good experience. The Enrichment speaker was wonderful and very enlightening. Felt as if we were being "nickled and dimed" for everything. For example, after having bought the soda package, we were often told in restaurants that no diet pepsi was available (that there was no more on the ship) only to be able to get it later at a bar. This happened more than once. Would I sail on this ship again? Not really if I had another choice. We went on this ship because of the large stateroom (with a separate bedroom) that was available for my daughter's family. That is the only reason we would go again on this ship. I've sailed on Oceania, Windstar, Celebrity, Princess, and now Norwegian. Norwegian was, for me, my least favourite. On the other hand, it had a repositioning cruise, which is my favourite. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I ... Read More
The Jewel has been refurbished but not to the extent that it needed. I have never seen a harder working general manager (still hotel director to me) than Stephen. His problem is he can only deal with the staff he has been given. I certainly understand that all the employees from the Joy needed to be dispersed throughout the company but the lack of a clear understanding of English is a problem. The ship layout is difficult for someone used to the new Breakaway class. My last review of the Bliss was that it was "bliss". This was a long cruise and there were many sea days. It is hard to come up with enrichment activities that suit all. The lectures were wonderful. There was so much "trivia" that I had to retreat to my cabin to keep myself from going mad. The spa is certainly not up to par with the newer ships. It did not have a glass door so the door was kept open in order to help people find it. In keeping it open all the heat escaped. Even on a heated bed one needed a robe and towel covering to keep from being cold. The hot tub in the ladies only locker room had resting chairs by it. Those chairs had real fabric upholstery. Some regular deck chairs would make much more sense. I never felt that I could sit/lay on one of those chairs in a wet bathing suit. So many little things that one does not find lacking on a new ship. Too many to mention. I do still fully support NCL and intend to travel only on NCL. I write this review only as I feel it is necessary that all know the difference in the various ships. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The first day aboard, I was pleasantly surprised. Our inside cabin was nicer than expected. My sister and I had plenty of room and the bathroom had a lovely shower. Our steward was excellent during the whole cruise. However, it went ... Read More
The first day aboard, I was pleasantly surprised. Our inside cabin was nicer than expected. My sister and I had plenty of room and the bathroom had a lovely shower. Our steward was excellent during the whole cruise. However, it went down hill fast. We were notified on the 2nd day that a virus was discovered on board. By the 4th day everything in the Buffet was covered with plastic and we had to be served our food by employees who didn't know what they were doing. By the time we got to our table our food was cold. It was really depressing, so we started to eat in the main dining rooms. Here the food was slightly better and usually warm but the service again was terrible. I might add that the food was bland everywhere and the desserts all had some kind of gelatin in them. Even the cheesecake!! The precautions the staff were taking to contain the virus was ridiculous. We had to have our hands sprayed upon entering any dining room and we were given paper menus. However, I seldom saw the staff disinfect their own hands and cleaning the tables in the Buffet was a joke. I did not see anyone in the public areas with disinfection. There were 2 nights where they supposedly disinfected the halls and some public areas but a lot of germs could be around between cleanings. They were constantly making announcements about washing our hands and staying in our rooms if we were ill. But they gave no information as to the viirus' containment. They cancelled the Behind the Scenes Tour and a few other events with flimsy excuses when we all knew it was because of the virus. Just be upfront about it! On top of all of that, we had very choppy seas for about 3 to 4 days. Obviously that was not the cruise line's fault but it just added another layer of discomfort. The excursions were very expensive and disappointing. We went to Cork and arrived in Kinsdale to find there was a big rugby game going on and as it was Sunday most of the shops were closed! The London excursion was a joke. We went through some neighborhood that had warehouses converted to apartments. I can see that at home! Then we stopped at the Tower of London and waited 20 min. while our guide got the tickets. Once we got in, we should have been allowed to wander around and meet up at a certain point. Instead we ALL had to wait at least 30 min while everyone used the rest rooms and then we saw the crown jewels and barely had enough time to get back to the bus. We never saw the cells or armour. We only had an hour for lunch which left no time to shop. The bus driver didn't even slow down so we could get some pictures. I have never been on Norwegian before and after this I never will be on it again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Ncl provided the lowest grade of food possible whenever they could. Poor grades of meat & fish in main ding rooms and buffet. The menus were very limited in both dining rooms and buffet. Wait staff was mostly inattentive and poorly ... Read More
Ncl provided the lowest grade of food possible whenever they could. Poor grades of meat & fish in main ding rooms and buffet. The menus were very limited in both dining rooms and buffet. Wait staff was mostly inattentive and poorly trained. This was certainly not the type of service we have come to expect after 51 cruises! The weather was bad (not ncl's fault) so all outside venues were closed, including the outside buffets and seating. Ncl did nothing to compensate for this. Seating was very limited in buffet because of this. Ncl also did not add any inside activities or entertainment considering the weather. They were not flexible in any way. Theyn did not even bother to change the daily schedule to reflect the closings etc. There was a severe outbreak of the norovirus, so ncl removed all condiments from tables, kept bathroom doors open, cleaned constantly, did not allow cruisers to get their own food or drinks in buffet, etc. But did leave casino open where people were touching slot machines. I guess the money factor was more important than health in that regard. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Why this cruise? I enjoy sea days more than port days and was excited to take my first Transatlantic Crossing (13 days from NYC to Amsterdam, with 7 sea days) on Norwegian. This would also mark my first cruise with NCL, to whom I was ... Read More
Why this cruise? I enjoy sea days more than port days and was excited to take my first Transatlantic Crossing (13 days from NYC to Amsterdam, with 7 sea days) on Norwegian. This would also mark my first cruise with NCL, to whom I was attracted by the many consecutive sea days, ports of call, Free Style Dining, Deal or No Deal Game Show, attractive rate, and that it left from NYC, where I live. I booked via a travel agency and did not qualify for any perks based on my category/rate (Inside Guarantee). This cruise also marked my introduction to Cruise Critic, where I spent many hours pre-cruise reading forums and tips, as well as interacting with others in my Roll Call. I was delighted to connect with others from the Cruise Critic Roll Call and ended up having lots of fun at the events which were hosted by other CC members: Meet and Greet, Slot Pull, Cabin Crawl, Specialty Dining with a new friend (Thanks, Jo!), and even a fantastic excursion to Mont St. Michel in France which was not offered by NCL (Thanks, Cherie!). NCL Supplements I added: * 3-Meal Specialty Dining Package (booked pre-cruise). Were I to travel with NCL again, I would add this again. * 250 Internet Minutes (booked pre-cruise). Were I to travel with NCL again, I would add this again. Next time, however, I would use the wisdom gleaned from a fellow traveler: answer emails in an offline word processing document and then connect to the internet when the response is ready to send...a much better use of the precious internet minutes! * Thermal Suite Pass (booked on embarkation day) Based on my experience, were I to travel with NCL again, I would NOT add this again. Dining I used my 3-Meal Dining Package at Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro, and Teppanyaki; I did not dine in Moderno or La Cucina. I eat a lacto/ovo/pescetarian diet and was able to enjoy a variety of options on-board. Of the three specialty restaurants I dined in, I enjoyed the food at Le Bistro the most, though all three were good and the package price was more affordable than dining purely a la carte. Incidentally, as a solo traveler, I was able to book dining reservations for 1 person pre-cruise at Cagney's and LeBistro, but not at Teppanyaki. I was able to make a reservation for 1 person for Teppanyaki on Embarkation Day at the Restaurant Reservations Desk immediately after boarding. I ate one lunch in the Lotus Garden (which was fine, but not exceptional) and all of the other meals in the Garden Cafe (buffet), O'Sheehan's, or the Summer Palace. I did not dine in Indigo, though Summer Palace evidently shares the same kitchen and an identical menu to Indigo’s. Overall, the food everywhere was good, and I was glad I had peppered in some Specialty Dining to add more variety to the dining. (I have cruised on Celebrity in the past and their cuisine was definitely on a higher par with more subtle seasonings, more "quality" selections etc, but the prices are also higher, so you get what you pay for. :) ) As a vegetarian-ish diner, I found it annoying that veggie burger patties could only be gotten in the Garden Cafe/buffet, instead of also at the Great Outdoors Grill or Topsiders Grill, where burgers were the mainstay, but it ended up being that both of these venues were closed much of the time because of weather and/or the virus which was spreading during this cruise. I know that other vegetarians had issues with the Garden Cafe’s grill simultaneously sharing cooking space for both meat products and veggie burgers, or there not being a large variety of vegetarian options, but for my needs, there was plenty of variety (from fresh fruits and veggies to vegetarian Indian cuisine to roasted vegetables, etc.) and I chose not to focus on the "mixed" aspect of the grill itself. I really enjoyed the concept of Free Style Dining, which ended up being my favorite aspect of cruising with NCL. A few times when dining solo, I offered to share my table with other diners or was invited to share theirs, and ended up meeting some great folks along the way. Activities and Issues The rating-lowering factor for me regarding this cruise was, in a word, communication, or rather the lack thereof. For example, the ship hosted a Solo Traveler's Dinner each night, but, on the first night of these dinners, there was no manifest printed out (to indicate which rooms housed solo travelers) and subsequently the staff were "surprised" that nearly 50 Solos showed up when they were "expecting 2-5 people." Although only around 30 people ended up dining with the Solos the first night, many others stopped by, witnessed the chaos, and never came back on subsequent nights, even though the ship eventually provided a dedicated host for the dinners, as well as a separate dining area. On this first night, it took over 3 hours for several of us to receive our 3 course dinner. Had the actual number of Solo Travelers been communicated to the hosting department and the restaurant beforehand, this debacle could have been avoided. Following this initial Solos Dinner (before there was a plan for an ample reservation or separate dining space for the Solos), I went to Guest Services to talk about the experience. The response from Guest Services was not one of empathy, but literally, "Who told you to come here? This is not our issue." When I asked to whom I should be speaking instead, I was told, "Cruise Staff." When I asked if the Cruise Staff had a desk to go talk to someone, I was told, "No. This is the only Service Desk." So, I asked if there was someone from Cruise Staff with whom I could talk. I was told, "No one is available because of the game show, but someone will contact you from the Cruise Staff by 9 AM tomorrow." No one contacted me the next morning, nor ever throughout the duration of the cruise, despite several written followup requests left at Guest Services in the GM's comment box. This was Day 2 of the trip and a perfect example of the old adage: "You don't get a second chance to make a good first impression." I attended all four days of Deal or No Deal (the 5th Day was cancelled because they were "not selling enough game cards to justify the expense of the license for the game show") and had a great time each day. For $25, you got to play two separate games in conjunction with the person who was selected to be on stage, with a chance at winning from $.01 to $1,000 (if selected to be onstage) or from an "Instant Win" Pull Tab all the way up to $5,000 or a Caribbean Cruise for 2 (if playing along in the audience with your game card). Although I only ended up winning $3 on $100 in spent over the 4 days, I definitely had $97 worth of fun along the way! Also, for what it's worth, most Bingo games carried costs of $39 for the least expensive card packet with a possible win of $150 versus the $25 Deal or No Deal cards, with their much higher prize payouts. Although I attended a couple of the other game shows on-board, I found the sense of humor of some of the hosting Cruise Staff or Guest Judges to be "mean," making fun of the guests who were participating instead of having fun, but not at a guest's expense. After I observed this a few times, I stopped going to the other contests and game shows, with the exception of Bingo on the final Sea Day. Even being told by the hosting Cruise Staff to "boo" a fellow contestant who is getting close to a Bingo seemed somewhat mean-spirited and off-putting to me. Everyone is there to have fun and that fun doesn’t need to come at another’s expense. I attended the violinist’s show, as well as both the "regular" and "adult" versions of the comedian's show. Both of these acts were fun and entertaining. Having watched snippets of the other acts on the ship's TV channel, I opted to skip those, in favor of the movies in the Atrium or in my room instead. The selection of movies in the Atrium (and also available complimentary on the stateroom TV) was great, though there were never enough chairs available, and Guest Services was often talking too loudly in the background to make the experience wholly enjoyable. I did write a comment card suggesting more chairs be added based on attendance, and though some chairs were added a few nights, there were still less seats than viewers in the Atrium throughout the cruise. As has been mentioned in other reviews, this was the cruise where the A.G.E. Virus (a variety of Norovirus) was spreading after only a day or two at sea. I commend NCL and their hard working staff for taking the measures that they did to contain the virus, including eliminating self service in the buffet, providing paper menus and cutlery only after being seated, propping open restroom doors in public areas, continually washing the hallway walls and handrails, constantly reminding passengers about hand washing, and quarantining sick passengers as necessary. However, I was disappointed and frustrated by other containment measures which lacked communication and empathy from the staff and management. For example, supposedly only 100 passengers (most of whom are represented by couples in the same cabin) are sold the Thermal Suite Pass. Purportedly, in an effort to contain the virus, the cold plunge pool, hot tubs, and large pool in the Spa were closed and/or emptied of water on several days (not including the rough sea days when they could not keep water in the pools because of the ship's rocking), the steam room would be intermittently closed, and even the dry sauna was closed periodically too, leaving only the 7 heated lounge chairs available to enjoy (as well as non-heated, regular lounge chairs). While I sincerely appreciated the efforts to contain the virus and maintain guest and staff health, these measures could have easily been communicated to the 100 guests who had purchased the Pass (again, most of whom were in the same cabin thereby representing even less than 100 explanations). Instead, the Spa Manager was never available for a conversation or explanation, nor did she respond to a written request for the same. In fact, though I went to Guest Relations and also completed the Dear Cary (GM of Hotel Operations) comment card asking for some communication several times, I never received a response from anyone on the ship during the 13 day cruise. Apparently due to the virus, eventually the gym, library, game room, etc. were closed, as well as several scheduled events. Unfortunately, instead of closures like this being clearly communicated over the intercom system or via a letter left in the stateroom, it was often indicated by a note posted on the door of the facility. Then, when the hot tubs and pool in the Spa were closed "because of the virus" (with no notification to the 100 guests who had Passes), strangely the hot tubs available to the entire ship on Deck 12 were open and available. Furthermore, the Casino, where you can’t not touch a machine in order to play, remained open throughout the cruise. Contradictions like this, with no explanation, made it feel like "the virus" became a convenient way to avoid communication with the guests. And, again, if ANYONE had been communicating or showing empathy for the guest experience, this would not have been an issue and would have created a much better overall experience. I did eventually hear from Guest Relations, about a month after writing a complaint, six weeks after the cruise ended. NCL’s form tells you that you can expect a response within 15 Business Days. Thankfully, another traveler reported that they had inquired post cruise about the delayed response from NCL Guest Relations, and evidently, they were backlogged with issues from this cruise and would not be responding until closer to 30 days. BUT EVEN THAT illustrates my point: the delay and its reasons could have been COMMUNICATED by NCL to any pending claimants, but was not. Had it not been for that other cruiser sharing the information in our Roll Call, many might still be wondering what is/was going on. Hospitality is about making guests feel acknowledged (at the least) and appreciated (when done well). And a cruise is supposedly about hospitality, not just transportation from Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, my experience was soured enough by the lack of communication that I ended up returning the Cruise Next Deposits I had purchased, 30 days after purchase, at which point I had still not heard from Guest Relations following my post-cruise written comments. At the end of the day, though there were certainly aspects of the cruise I enjoyed, NCL's lack of ANY direct communication until six weeks after the cruise left me feeling like they are unconcerned with genuine customer care...and that experience is definitely below “Average” or, using the CC rating system, “Poor.” For these reasons, it is unlikely that I will recommend NCL, nor am I likely to spend my money to travel with NCL again. Ports/Excursions Cobh, Ireland I took the local train from Cobh to Cork where I had reservations for a Free Walking Tour. The suggested tip amount was roughly $10/person/hour so I paid 20 Euros for what ended up being an excellent, informative, 2-hour walking tour. Dublin, Ireland (Port of Dun Laoghaire) Particularly in Dun Laoghaire where tenders were used to reach shore, many people missed their non-NCL excursions. I met a local friend here; no excursion. I had a tender pass for Group 8 and was able to join the tender around 10:30am, arriving into Dun Laoghaire around 11am. Le Havre, France Based on what happened to travelers in Dun Laoghaire who did not have excursions booked via NCL and ended up missing their excursions, I was grateful that the excursion I had planned via some CC organizers for Mont St. Michel was not pre-paid in case we were delayed. This excursion was not offered by NCL and was a highlight of the trip for me. The travel time to/from the Mont in Normandy was about 2.5 hours each way, and the climb up to the Abbey atop the island and the ensuing tour was fascinating. Following the tour, there was time for a quick lunch/short shop in the village below. This full day excursion was well worth the trip and as promised, our guide had us back to the ship in time for departure. Many thanks again to Cherie from our CC Roll Call for arranging this wonderful trip! Tilbury (London), England Having been to London on another visit to the UK, I decided to explore nearby Gravesend, just across the river from where we were docked, and accessible via a water shuttle for a nominal fee. Highlights of the visit included antique shopping, seeing the Pocahontas Statue, having authentic fish and chips at one establishment, followed by classic afternoon tea at another. Zeebrugge, Belgium I ended up taking public transportation (tram first, then train) from Zeebrugge to Bruges. The round trip cost for both was slightly less than the 20 Euro shuttle which was available near the port. Highlights of the trip included taking photos of the quaint medieval city itself and feasting on chocolates at Chocolatier Dumon, The Chocolate Story, and other chocolatiers. Amsterdam, Netherlands I stayed for 2 nights following the cruise at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton. I selected this location because I could book via Hilton Honors Points and because it was walkable from the cruise ship terminal and also to the main train station (to get to the airport for the return flight home). While in Amsterdam, highlights included the Free Walking Tour: Classic version, the Anne Frank House Tour, and the Houseboat Tour. Purchase tickets to the Anne Frank House before the cruise, as this self guided tour sells out quickly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I like transatlantic cruises because I get to Europe in a comfortable, leisurely and entertaining way.and without jet lag. I was disappointed with the kitchen and the dining room servers. In my estimation they were understaffed, ... Read More
I like transatlantic cruises because I get to Europe in a comfortable, leisurely and entertaining way.and without jet lag. I was disappointed with the kitchen and the dining room servers. In my estimation they were understaffed, inefficient, and ill-trained. The manager tried very hard to correct the immediate issues, but because it was freestyle dining we got different servers every meal, and it seemed as if each server disappointed us in a different way. Just a few examples.. Mistakes causing delays which caused us to rush the end of the meal or miss our following event. Some vegetables, like onions and garlic often had the outside paper skin. Sloppy pouring of water, coffee and wine. Mostly it seemed they were slow and didn't pay attention. Many of the handrails were loose and many handrails were sticky (soiled). The entertainment was mediocre, the violinist and the aerial acts were excellent, the saxophonist was inaudible above the accompanying musicians, the escape artist and the tango dancers were boring, the comedians were somewhat entertaining. We did not go through passport control in Europe which means there is no entry stamp which could actually mean that I am illegally in Europe. The cabin and cabin steward were excellent. Overall, I would not recommend NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
It was kind of stressful being on this cruise from LA to Vancouver, right from the start till the end. Embarkation: It started with embarkation, long lines, no directions for people arriving by public transport and worst for ... Read More
It was kind of stressful being on this cruise from LA to Vancouver, right from the start till the end. Embarkation: It started with embarkation, long lines, no directions for people arriving by public transport and worst for Platinum NCL customers: no skip the lines possible. Food/restaurants: The speciality restaurants were the only places where we could find a quiet atmosphere to enjoy our meals. The complimentary dining rooms, as well as the buffet, were always crowded and often offered mediocre food. Items like the evening Nutella crepes that used to be complimentary on cruises I did with NCL before are now sold for 5 bucks plus gratitudes. Pools: It's kind of odd, that there is no indoor pool for non-suite guests on this ship, that was particular build for Alaska. On most days of this cruise, it was too cold to use the pool area. Guest services: When visiting the cruise next team I had an unpleasant encounter with one of their team members. She was very pressing to sell at least two or more cruise rewards. After telling her three times I don't want to change my purchase, she was still in her pushing mode, so I had to leave this unpleasant person. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
While the cruise itself was pretty good, the total mess up be NCL of the disembarkment killed all the joy we had. 2 1/2 hours to get a taxi because guest services on the ship told us they would be at the port so we didn’t need to ... Read More
While the cruise itself was pretty good, the total mess up be NCL of the disembarkment killed all the joy we had. 2 1/2 hours to get a taxi because guest services on the ship told us they would be at the port so we didn’t need to schedule one. That was a joke. It was our first cruise and maybe our last. Everything we did on board they wanted money to give us the information we were supposed to get in the seminar. I.e., how to increase your metabolism. Teas to heal the body. Bingo etc. the ports were nice as we booked excursions at each. We did find out we could have picked someone at port for the same excursion at half the price. Go figure! The shows were ok. A few better than the rest. And you couldn’t swim in the pool the water was to cold for us. The only issue with the room was the size. Had to squeeze by to get to the other side of the bed. And the toilet area was a joke. We had a mid ship balcony on the 10th floor. Well good thing we didn’t put down a deposit for another cruise!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have sailed with Norwegian twice before on the Pearl and the Spirit and enjoyed both. The Epic was a huge disappointment. We wanted to experience a larger ship but will not make that choice again. The Epic certainly accommodates a ... Read More
We have sailed with Norwegian twice before on the Pearl and the Spirit and enjoyed both. The Epic was a huge disappointment. We wanted to experience a larger ship but will not make that choice again. The Epic certainly accommodates a lot more people but it does not match that increase in numbers with amenities on board. There are no lounges to sit indoors like the other ships. Seating is all outdoors with minimal shade available. I hate to think what would happen if there was bad weather on an Epic cruise! You hardly ever get to see the sea when inside the ship. It is very dark and gloomy. All views are only avasilable in dining areas but not all. We love O’Sheanans on the Spirit and the fact that booths looked out over the water, not on the Epic. Very dark and closed in. You don’t feel like you are on a ship. It felt more like a casino that manages lighting so you don’t know what time of day it is. It’s was hard to tell where the casino started or ended. Slot machines everywhere. So much space is wasted in shops. There could be lounges for passengers instead. Norwegian never stop trying to squeeze another dollar out of you. The theatre seemed smaller than on the Spirit that carries half the number of people) We never got to see one show because they were sold out before we boarded. We were told we could queue and wait on standby for a seat. Thanks but no thanks. The theatre is so small that even information sessions had to be broadcast to 2 other venues to accomodate people. The lifts were a nightmare and often out of service. There are only 2 lift wells on a ship this size? It was chaos getting on and off. Bad luck if you couldn’t manage a lot of stairs, you will spend a lot of time waiting for a lift. There is no promenade deck. The walking track is a section on one side of the ship with a 2 way path painted on it. We missed the games and bingo etc that are usually held in the lounge on other ships. Everything centred around the atrium (with little seating), which by the way is not what it is on other ships. No grand stair cases on the Epic. On this cruise we shared every port with the Star. That meant that around 6,000 Norwegian guests hit the port at the same time as all the other ships. The ship and the ports were way too crowded. I think it has put us off cruising all together. This particular cruise had a real discounted feeling about it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We have done 27 cruises but this has to be the worst designed ship we have sailed on, we picked this cruise for the terrific ports of call which did not disappoint plus NCLs ad 4 FREE AT SEA allowing us a free premium booze package pp. ... Read More
We have done 27 cruises but this has to be the worst designed ship we have sailed on, we picked this cruise for the terrific ports of call which did not disappoint plus NCLs ad 4 FREE AT SEA allowing us a free premium booze package pp. -4 free dinners at a specialty restaurant of choice- Free WIFI- AND $150.00. OBC. well 3 weeks after booking flights hotels etc. we received an email stating NCL was charging my CC $385 for gratuities on the booze dinner package don't know if this is legal paying for services you have not had yet and to add insult to injury you had to pay$3.00. for water as NCL does no cover this even on a premium booze package this seemed to be the theme with NCL nickel and dime you to death for everything. We had a family suite on Deck 13 unlucky for us the cabin as you opened the door had a toilet on the left when I sat down my head hit the wall overweight patrons beware its tight also the shower bath directly across had see thru frosted glass and a stupid privacy curtain connecting both, behind this was an open wash basin in the middle of the circular theme cabin? with a uncomfortable to sit round sofa and a circular bed where your feet hung out the bottom, on the other wall were circular cabinets and hidden electrical sockets underneath on the wall that was very hard to reach the person who designed these cabins and the ships layout should get fired. There were far to many people on this ship 4,200. so there were queues all the time for everything especially the complaints desk on deck 4 if you could find it? as the elevator did not have a deck 4 you had to get off at 5 and walk through the Casino to an escalator down to get to 4, the lines here were unreal the longest was the complaints, we gave up, most of the crew did an excellent job trying to keep the peace but just to many things going wrong to list here. The Buffet food was just the usual and cool I stuck to having fresh made omelets daily which were very good the special dinners were very good especially the Teppanyaki went here twice there again the maître de came with a bill with no charge on it but was he was looking for another tip ? the Italian restaurant you had to go all the way to the front of the ship and walk through the main buffet to a narrow stairway down a deck, the waiter here was quite rude and must have been new as he had no idea what he was doing but the food was good. On the plus side the Asian maître de in the MDR was so helpful the food and service here was excellent considering the size of the dining room also the casino bar is located at the entrance to the MDR so when it opened there was always a queue and everyone in the queue wanted a drink I was amazed at how the Head Barman and his crew served up the drinks and kept a every one happy, extra gratuities we left for this guy. The Beatles show was very good in the main theatre as the cavern club was small and always full up . Also this is the first time ever we never got an evaluation report card to fill in after the cruise. We will be going back to the Celebrity Millennium& Solstice Class ships from now on with fewer people and much better food and service no nickel and dime stuff with them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
A transatlantic cruise is on my husband’s bucket list and this timeframe and ports worked for us. I provid more detail below in the cabin review section as I did not realize I was to place it here. PLEASE SEE THIS SECTION FOR ... Read More
A transatlantic cruise is on my husband’s bucket list and this timeframe and ports worked for us. I provid more detail below in the cabin review section as I did not realize I was to place it here. PLEASE SEE THIS SECTION FOR SPECIFIC DETAILS Cabin - good, no lounger on balcony Food - poor Service - mixed, from poor to good Shows - excellent Ship layout - Fair, swimming pools look so odd compared to RCL. They are really unappealing to the eye. Itinerary - great ports considering a transatlantic cruise Time change - no time change for 3 days and then a change 3 days in a row. I think this could have been spread out more. Dining experience - freestyle means no reservations in the main dining rooms; this does mean you will wait from 5-30 minutes for a table. Cleanliness - good Fitness - good selection of classes; exercise area is a little too warm Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Around a week before our start date, NCL changed the itinerary by reducing the cruise from 12 to 10 nights and removing La Harve and Zeebrugge. A few days later it changed again adding La Harve and Zeebrugge again but removing the Azores ... Read More
Around a week before our start date, NCL changed the itinerary by reducing the cruise from 12 to 10 nights and removing La Harve and Zeebrugge. A few days later it changed again adding La Harve and Zeebrugge again but removing the Azores and Portland. So before the cruise started we had to re-arrange travel and could only claims our expenses back after the start of the cruise. Once onboard a lot of the shows required everyone to book in advance and then queue up 30 minutes before the show starts. If you didn't manage to book in advance you had to queue even longer. The issue was there was no organisation of the queue, so people who hadn’t booked were in the wrong queue and vice versa. Once they decided to open the door to the theatre or headliners everybody needed their cruise card to be scanned, slowing down the process even more. The most stupid part of the process, is that it wasn’t for all shows. The shows that didn’t require booking as you may have guessed were very well organised and nobody had to queue at all. A plus point on the entertainment for us was duelling pianos at the Headliners bar and you didn’t need to book it. The food was generally quite good, but there were problems with service. Sometimes very slow then other times too quick, we had main meals arrive, while we were still eating starters, toast arrived after we had eaten breakfast and there are other examples. Two days before we left the ship, we informed customer services that we had a early flight and needed to leave early but the earliest time they would give us is 8.15 unless we paid them $72(55ish) to book a transfer to Southampton airport which is about 6 miles away and a £27 taxi ride. We started the leave the ship at 8.15, but didn’t get off until 9.15 and our flight was at 10.25. Despite the inadequacies of NCL we arrived at the airport at 9.40, 15 minutes after luggage drop off. But Southampton airport was great and we still managed to get our flight. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, but would have preferred the itinerary we originally booked, better organisation in the restaurants, no booking for any of the free shows and a guest services team that listened. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise to spend 12 days on vacation. It was my second NCL transatlantic experience and I had a great time on the first. I expected four nice ports and lots of relaxing, fun days at sea. A week before we sailed we were ... Read More
I chose this cruise to spend 12 days on vacation. It was my second NCL transatlantic experience and I had a great time on the first. I expected four nice ports and lots of relaxing, fun days at sea. A week before we sailed we were informed that we were cut to ten days, with two marginal at best ports. After much noise we got two better ports back, but the chaos caused by the changes were not worth the trouble. The changes caused a massive amount of upheaval and required multiple visits to the guest services and shore excursions desks to try to correct overcharges, cancelled excursions, etc. After being reassured for four days that I was on the list for a shore excursion I had booked and paid for, when tickets were issued to others I was told I had in fact not made the list and was out of luck. Not even an apology. There were not enough excursions for the number of passengers and the port changes were not planned for or handled well. I have a mobility issue that prevents long walks, multiple stairs, etc, but I do not need a wheelchair or other assistive device. There were minimal excursions planned at "Level 1" and the online sales descriptions were not complete. On the ship I was told I could not participate in the other two I had booked that I had been rebooked for because of the physical requirements. The only excuse given was "it's Europe". Again, not even "sorry". I am still waiting for refunds for the shore excursions that were taken away. We were redirected to a more northern shipping lane, resulting in it being too cold to spend any time outside. Almost 4000 people were crammed into the indoor spaces, resulting in MANY passengers coughing and reporting respiratory infections. One major annoyance was that from what some passengers reported, a very large block of rooms was sold at a low price to a large group of rude, unpleasant people. This group mostly pretended not to speak English as the pushed through lines and led their friends past people who'd been waiting patiently. They overwhelmed public spaces and the Garden Cafe, taking up full tables of seating all day, refusing to share, pushing through lines and hoarding food. They took over spaces with events scheduled for their own purposes and ignored requests to allow the events to take place. I personally witnessed this at least twice. The staff worked hard to deal with the changes and angry guests. There were many clogged toilets, many soap dispensers not working in public bathrooms. Twice I was served drinks in glasses with lipstick on them. Not mine! Cleanliness was next to impossible apparently. This could account for the many illnesses onboard. It was not all bad. My cabin and steward were wonderful, most of the specialty restaurants had good service and decent food. The O'Sheehan's staff did a wonderful job at breakfast no matter how large the crowd. Million Dollar Quartet was an exceptionally good show. Cirque Dreams and Steam was very entertaining. Burn the Floor was good but is getting a bit tired. The entertainment in the Atrium ranged from really good (music in the evenings) to horribly lame. The daytime events were always at volume that was much too high for the setting. The afternoon movies were too loud to even allow sitting in the general area. I have hearing issues from years of rock concerts and it was still too loud for me! I am not ready to give up on NCL yet, but I may not cruise out of NYC again if the partial charter nightmare continues. I hope they made enough money from the group to make up from the lost business from the people who's vacations were ruined by the constant stress of dealing with pushing, shoving and general rudeness. Lack of cleanliness is inexcusable when so many people are packing indoors in a relatively small space. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 12th NCL cruise and we've always been pleased but this transatlantic cruise going to Europe was not good. It started to go bad when NCL cut the cruise down from 12 days 10 days a week before the cruise (cutting out two ... Read More
This was our 12th NCL cruise and we've always been pleased but this transatlantic cruise going to Europe was not good. It started to go bad when NCL cut the cruise down from 12 days 10 days a week before the cruise (cutting out two of the four ports). We had to scramble to change our other travel arrangements. The $300 per person reimbursement that they offered is not going to cover what it costs us to change our flights to Paris, two extra hotel days in Paris and the transfer to Heathrow. We will have to use some of the 25% refund that they are supposed to be giving to help defray the costs. Dining was a problem for breakfast and lunch for the first 2-3 days. There were huge lines for the two smaller dining rooms Savor and Taste (largest dining room not open for breakfast or lunch). I've never seen it like that before. I attribute that to a very high number of Latitudes members - something like 435 Latitudes Platinum and Platinum Plus with a huge number of Gold and Silver. The passengers were also an older crowd. With the Latitudes members and the age of passengers, I think that a lot people wanted to be waited on instead of having to go to the buffet. To make matters worse. The daily sheet only listed Savor open for breakfast and lunch, which was not actually the case. Don't know if they were trying to make a lot of people think that they had to go to the buffet. We discovered after a couple of days that Taste was also open and we got in without much trouble. As far as the quality of the food goes, the food in the dining rooms for dinner seem to have improved from our last cruise and we were very satisfied. The food in the buffet continues to decline in quality and selection. The desserts are especially bad with the the cake toppings made with chemical-laden ingredients. The lunch menu in the dining rooms need to have more variation. As always with us, we had one meal at Le Bistro and it was wonderful as usual. We also had one at Moderno. The Moderno salad bar is fabulous but their meat is not of good quality. They also slice it wrongly (with the grain and not against as one needs to do with less tender cuts). The meal for the Cirque show was great (surf and turf). For the first time in our 12 NCL cruises, our cabin attendant was not very good. In fact he was lazy. We had a difficult time getting clean glassware and didn't clean the bathroom sink very well. Disembarkation was terrible - worst of our 12 cruises and it could have been prevented. There was a disembarkation schedule with tags for the luggage color-coded for the time but it wasn't enforced. The problem was that tags are not given for carry-on luggage, which is what people have with them when they are disembarking so there was no way for the staff to tell if people were disembarking at the proper time. It was a free-for-all with terrible lines. I know that some people missed their bus for a London excursion. Also, there was not supposed to be people going through the disembarkation/customs process with all their luggage and that caused a bigger mess. I heard many people say that they wouldn't take another NCL cruise. I would not recommend doing an Europe bound transatlantic cruise. It was way too difficult to adjust to 6 nightly time changes losing an ho fqur each time. It's way easier for me to doing it all at once. We were constantly exhausted. We've gone on a transatlantic cruise in the other direction and it was fine. Since we're Latitudes Platinum and get quite a few perks, we'll stay with NCL but if this had been our first cruise with them, we'd never sail with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had booked this cruise two months before the date and were looking forward to the 12-day transatlantic itinerary with a more southerly route from NYC to Ponta Delgada, Azores. I had previously been on the Getaway on its inaugural season ... Read More
We had booked this cruise two months before the date and were looking forward to the 12-day transatlantic itinerary with a more southerly route from NYC to Ponta Delgada, Azores. I had previously been on the Getaway on its inaugural season in the Caribbean out of Miami so was looking forward to being a returning guest. One week before our departure, NCL decided to let the passengers know that the 12 day itinerary had been cut to a 10 day and two ports (Le Havre and Zeebrugge) would be dropped. The only compensation would be a limited amount for airfare changes and 25% off the cruise fare. After serious backlash by passengers the compensation was increased, however just a few days before the cruise the itinerary was changed again, this time adding the previously dropped ports and dropping Portland UK (who cares) and Ponta Delgada, which of course ended any chance of warm weather on the crossing. These last minute changes that NCL claimed were due to 'circumstances beyond their control' caused a lot of grief and stress for us on what was supposed to be a relaxing vacation. We had negative feelings about our cruise before it even began and were hoping the staff would go above and beyond to make up for the disappointing changes. This however did not take place and the cruise itself was just as bad as the initial issues. Throughout the cruise there were long waits (20-40 mins) just to get into the complimentary dining venues. I had been on the Escape in December for Christmas with an above capacity 5000+ passengers and never waited more than 5 minutes yet on this under capacity transatlantic cruise we had to wait 40 minutes just to get into O'Sheehans, unacceptable! I have done 5 NCL Cruises and can tell you the service in the speciality restaurants on the Getaway was not on par with NCL standards. We asked for water refills multiple times and waited 5-10 minutes. Long waits between all courses. Our visit to Cagneys was over 2,5hours and this was not by our choice and by 2.5 hours our order for dessert was still not taken and we just gave up and left. We asked for extra bread in Le Bistro and this was forgotten and had a bottle of wine and no one offered to refill our glasses, we had to reach over and refill our glasses by ourselves, embarrassing and unacceptable when you are paying a hefty extra sum!!! The buffet was a total zoo which surprised me since there were barely any kids on this itinerary. Garbage food in the buffet, we went twice and gave up. The watermelon would always run out. The entertainment on board was not adequate for a transatlantic itinerary. There was barely any activities between 10am and 7pm. We enjoyed the guest lecturer at 9:30am but wish there would have been another enrichment activity in the early afternoon. Our favourite entertainment activities were the ABBA and Adele Tributes. In the theatre we went to Matt Johnson Magician Show which we enjoyed. We did not attend any other shows but heard they were all excellent. Entertainment in the night was fine, but daytime activities were scant, unacceptable for a cold weather cruise where everyone is inside and bored. If you wanted to do rock climbing and ropes course there were no waits, we did both. The service at the bars was the one bright spot for service on this cruise, and we frequented MIXX between Taste and Savour. We booked the D-Day landings excursion for Le Havre. Meeting time was 7:30am and we did not get off the ship until 8:45 ugh. Disembarkation was very disorganized on both port days. The tour buses were not ready for us when we arrived Sunday Morning in Le Havre, because of the delay, we missed an hour of our excursion which was the rushed. 20 minutes at the US Cemetery in Omaha Beach is not enough!! We felt ripped off on this excursion and would not recommend. D-Day beaches require multiple days to be properly experienced. We did however enjoy our Flanders Fields excursion in Zeebrugge. It was much more organized. Always long waits at Guest Services and Shore EX, but was mostly due to butchered itinerary. Overall we enjoyed our vacation albeit not due to this ship! A cruise is a cruise, we still had unlimited food, booze and thermal suite access so we cannot say it was a terrible time, however this cruise did not meet the previous standards I experienced with NCL and the unprofessionalism regarding last minute changes ruined our perception of the cruise line. We felt that the crew and staff just wanted to get us off the ship and get into dry dock. When we docked in Southhampton, crews were immediately on board and began work in front of us. We were to disembark at 12pm, and by 11am the buffet and all bars were closed shut. When I asked a crew member in the Garden Cafe where I could get drinking water she replied with an indifferent "I don't know, we're closed" we could not even get a glass of water to take with medications, How is that allowed? They just wanted us off the ship. We got that vibe throughout the cruise. In the minds of NCL it was just a repositioning of the ship, not a vacation of a lifetime for the guests. Avoid this ship! I enjoyed the Bliss and Escape, large ships but still had good service. This cruise however left us with a bitter taste of NCL and we will not be eager to cruise with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My mother's friend chose the cruise. My husband and I came along to help my 89-yr-old mother. The cruise started in San Antonio, Chile and ended in Miami. We had two additional stops in Chile, two in Peru, one in Ecuador, one in Costa ... Read More
My mother's friend chose the cruise. My husband and I came along to help my 89-yr-old mother. The cruise started in San Antonio, Chile and ended in Miami. We had two additional stops in Chile, two in Peru, one in Ecuador, one in Costa Rica and one in Columbia. There were shore excursions available in all the ports, but we prefer to walk around and go geocaching. Often there were locals selling wonderful crafted items from little tents right on the pier. They want cash in US dollars, but most items only cost a few dollars. Take along a bunch of ones and fives. The guest services desk will also break a twenty for you. There is and ATM at the casino if you need more cash. The ship provided a free shuttle to get us out of the port area, but in Peru ports they dropped us off in an unsafe location. We could either pay a taxi to take us to a safe location for walking or biking or get back on the shuttle and go to the ship. There were police to make sure we did not wander off on our own. At the second Peru port we did paid extra to take a bus to Trujillo. We could not use our shore excursion credits for this shuttle, however! It was the same thing in Columbia. We were disappointed that we paid to be able to see the ports and Norwegian wouldn't deliver us to a safe place onshore. One of our shore excursions was overbooked and they ran out of food by the time they got to our table. We were offered 50% off that tour. In Costa Rica, there was a very steep ramp and several stairs to get back on the ship. That was a problem as three of our party of seven were physically challenged. The staff will come help you, but you need to ask. They don't volunteer. The food was great, as usual. We used both main dining rooms and the buffet. The waiters were mostly attentive. We found you can request a particular waiter (ask for Mac) and he will remember your preferences. There did not seem to be a lot of folks who wanted to share tables although that was available if you ask when you arrive at the dining room. We liked the anytime dining as we are early eaters. Our cabin was a handicap cabin for my mother. It was a little crowded for three people. Our steward, Juevan, was excellent! Even though Norwegian is discontinuing the towel animals, he made a new one for us every night. He also brought ice to the room when requested. Having had a more pleasant experience on Princess, I suspect we'll be sailing with them in the future. We've been to Alaska and the Caribbean with Princess. They were more attentive during the pre-cruise phase and the shore excursions were better planned. The ports were safer and the ramps to and from the ship was handicap accessible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it right after the holidays. It was two family members in our party, previous cruisers with NCL. We embarked in Miami, excited we were able to cruise through the line and get onboard. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it right after the holidays. It was two family members in our party, previous cruisers with NCL. We embarked in Miami, excited we were able to cruise through the line and get onboard. However, at the entrance our keycards didn’t work. That was the beginning of one issue after another, we spent 7 of 10 days at the front desk feeling exasperated attempting to find staff who could fix the issues without explaining the inconveniences multiple times. Lets start with the new keycards didn’t work to unlock the cabin-exchanged 3 sets of keys in a 4 hour period. Thankfully our Steward let us in our cabin, who ultimately became the only excellent interaction/service in addition to dinner at Cagney’s. The next days were uninadated with errors to discounts for shore excursions (we did tours at each port, 6), refusals to apply excursion credits appropriately, smells of bowel movement coming through our walls, no working water during the night on entire ship, lack of service in the restaurants, and a horrible disembarkation (waited in line for over two hours for easy walk-off). The overall condition of the ship appeared clean, but the decorations for Christmas were dismal (lights on trees and wreaths surrounding the atrium area were rarely on). Our biggest complaint was no running water and poor toilet pressure. The need to choose between holding your bowels/urination or smelling the disgust of toilets unflushed shouldn’t have occurred. No notice from customer service advising they would be turning off the water everywhere in the ship, we had to call to find out what was going on. The cabin was an inside room on the 4th floor, we didn’t feel congested as we had plenty of room to move around. The new position of the television and the ability to pull it out and adjust the tilt made for easy viewing. We weren’t too sure about the lower level aft as our previous cruises had been higher levels mid ship. Dining was below par, service was slow and the menus rarely changed. A ten day cruises having to flag down staff to get service and eating the same food over and over again wasn’t ideal. The last two days of the cruise we received service after our issues were addressed with an apology about the service. It was clear we had not received adequate service as one of the managers in the dining area noticed we had been sitting over 45minutes waiting on a salad. We ate at two specialty restaurants, Cagney’s and LaCucina. Cagney’s was superb, the best food and service of the 10 days, it has value as an specialty restaurant. LaCucina didn’t have much of a variety, I ordered a meal with chicken (not tasty) and my sister ordered a pizza. The pizza was delicious, much better than pizza in the buffet. I was happy to see my favorite dessert on the menu (tarimusu) as Cagney’s didn’t serve it as one of their options on our chosen night. The complimentary restaurants, Alizar, Grand Pacific, and Jasmine were mediocre after ten days of repeating meal choices. However, the breakfast in Grand Pacific was better than the buffet, I loved the golden waffles and hash browns. In Jasmine’s a good dessert was the green tea icecream, nice to have a different choice than machine in the buffet. I had been accustomed to the icecream station on the larger ships, multiple choices for some of the best flavors (I wanted ice cream, so I bought a cone off the ship in port). The entertainment didn’t appear to grab my attention, the descriptions weren’t detailed enough to decide to spend hours in the theatre when I could be exploring. Multiple activities were scheduled throughout the day, the population of the ship was older couples, so not too exciting as I’m sure they were catering to that genre. We attended two events in the theatre, which was Elements and a comedy show. I’d seen Elements before, but the show I would advise one to see and rate as good (however, I was tired and dozed through the show). The Hot White Party was a party, we enjoyed the music and seeing the cruise staff in their Angel wings and costumes. The old and young partied into the night together, it didn’t matter if you didn’t have on white to join in the fun. Service was excellent from our stateroom Steward. He had a friendly personality and knew us by name. Each day he wore a smile and wanted to know about our day and how he could be of assistance with any needs with the room. Customer service was poor, we received mutiple answers to the same issue, their lack of knowledge/understanding was unacceptable. The overall feeling was they had our money, and trying to nickel and dime you for more is all that mattered. No customer satisfaction, we left the ship with inaccurate Billings. The ports were a great choice, however the itenary changed from our original booking. There was no explanation, we just received an email after we had paid off the cruise two ports were switching. We had Martinique and Dominican Republic, again we choir this ship for the itinerary. Some ports didn’t have a variety of chooses and they were over priced for value. However, selecting the port excursion as a “free at sea” choice offsets the costs....make sure to check your bill daily for discounts and credits. The companies chosen as affiliates to handle the tours cause some hiccups. Drivers and tour guides didn’t speak the best English, making it difficult to understand information about the points of interest. Additionally the roads on the Islands are very narrow and driving occurs on the opposite side of the road compared to the U.S, safety can be a concern. On our tours exploring the Islands drivers drove fast, with the narrow roads the boisterous plants and tree limbs were against the buses (open safari style), easily injured by the foliage if you’re sitting on the outward seats. Out of six ports we had rain on one day, the excursions did allow for various photo ops and overall we enjoyed all six (beach breaks, Island tours, rum factory, and exploring). We didn’t travel with any children, and there weren’t many on the ship. Primarily retirees/older couples. I would go again for an itinerary, but not on this ship. We were scheduled to disembark at 6:15, it was almost 8:00 A.M, caused us stress over possibility of missing our flight in FLL. We are thankful in all of the chaos for an awesome Steward who helped us to remember we were on a vacation inspeight of the difficulties, he added value to the ship. Overall average cruise for the value of our purchase. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Value, cruised 8 times prior, this was the worse! Billed for more than should have with no reason, took 3 days to correct it. Premier eatery was out of Ribeye steaks and had been for 3 weeks. Failed to have proper glasses for wine ... Read More
Value, cruised 8 times prior, this was the worse! Billed for more than should have with no reason, took 3 days to correct it. Premier eatery was out of Ribeye steaks and had been for 3 weeks. Failed to have proper glasses for wine served all in small white wine glasses, even offering “wine classes, then not following through. La Bisto was right next to the music venue, making the restraint very noisy, almost unbearable. The wine cellar was a plus, wine steward knew her wines, very knowledgeable. Carney’s was still the best, wait staff and others, reservations were on time, excellent food. LaContina was the surprise very, very good, food, might say almost the best speciality. Very arrogant photo staff, all they wanted to sell was pictures, talk down to folks asking advice. Submit comment cards during the cruise only got one response from Raj the beverage manager, satisfied my question. Latitudes get together was very quick all they talked about was “CruiseNext” nothing about NCL and what was on the horizon, what is coming. Found information very lacking concerning future cruises. Will make me think twice when choosing my next cruise did not sign up for my next CruiseNext. 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
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
Sail Date: October 2018
we chose this ship because we had never sailed on a "mega" ship before. this was our 26th cruise and our fifth on Norwegian. we are both in our seventies and avid cruisers. we took a cruise aboard the Star two years ago and ... Read More
we chose this ship because we had never sailed on a "mega" ship before. this was our 26th cruise and our fifth on Norwegian. we are both in our seventies and avid cruisers. we took a cruise aboard the Star two years ago and had a very good time. however, this particular ship we would never sail on again. it started out with norwegian contacting us the day before when we were taking the train up to nyc; they called to say there was a medical emergency and that the ship would be late. well, it was too late for us to cancel our hotel reservation for that night or to remake train reservations without penalty. we took the train up in anticipation of a minor ship delay, got there in the pouring rain and it poured the next day also which necessitated us having to pay an additional half day's rate for an extra six hours at the Chelsea Courtyard Marriott. The room at the Marriott was about as small a room as you could imagine, more like a walk-in closet. we had to open our luggage in front of the door because there was no room to open it anywhere else, so you can imagine having to spend one night there in the teeny, tiny room and then having to spend an extra six hours because of the pouring rain. plus, norwegian kept giving us a later and later arrival time and they didn't want anyone arriving at the terminal before 5:30, then eight, and then it was 10, etc. marriott kindly arranged a car for us (possibly uber or lfyt) and after going through a major hassle trying to even get to the terminal, the new york port authority pulled his car out of the massive lineup that took and hour and a half to even approach the terminal and told our driver that he would have to circle around and get in the back of the line and start the process all over again. the driver had already missed an airport pickup and probably another pickup, so he ceremoniously dumped us three blocks from the terminal where we had to then schlep all our luggage over cobbled sidewalks to terminal 88 in the pouring rain. so... the boat still hadn't arrived by 8:30 when we did finally get to the terminal which meant they had to disgorge 4000 passengers from the previous cruise whilst we waited in the terminal like drowned rats where there was no place to sit, no communication from the personnel there, and utter chaos especially when we were finally able to board at about 12:30 am. the norwegian personnel were rude when you could get an answer out of them at all. to add insult to injury, the lovely captain decided to hold the safety drill at 2:30 am when he could have waited until we were under sail later that day. we did not leave new york until sometime after 6 am, sacrificing our first port, puerto rico, and went straight on to tortola, bvi. the ship interior was so-so, nothing remarkable, glitzy maybe. our cabin was another thing altogether-- we had a mid-ship mini-suite which had to have been one of the smallest minisuites we have ever had, the balcony was a joke at about 3/4 feet by six (barely enough room for two passengers let alone two chairs and a foot square excuse for a tin table). there were no chairs in the cabin but one uncomfortable couch and a "cube" stool that doubled as a table. the closet was very poorly placed at the side of the bed with about a foot to spare for anyone trying to get into the closet. the tiny end tables on either side of the bed were open instead of having actual drawers. the bathroom was large which was nice but who wants to spend their whole time in a large bathroom. we would have preferred more space in the cabin itself. as i said, the room is not a real minisuite at all and i understand that the balcony/verandah cabins had no couch and that was the distinguishing factor between them and the minisuites. the cabin steward was pretty good on the cleaning scale but he often forgot or overlooked things like providing us with wash rags, coffee cups, toilet paper, bags for disposable pads (which i wound up having to appropriate from other carts or the public bathrooms), and he put in a red rectangular hazmat thing which i had no idea what it was so i called security and put it outside our door. found out later that it was for disposable hypo needles but never having seen this or dealt with this on any other ship, i felt somewhere between stupid and whatever for calling security. we had two main issues with the cabin also. one day my key card wouldn't work so i went down and got another one. that one didn't work either and the cabin steward's didn't work so they had to call security. apparently, the battery in the card slot went dead (never had that happen on any other ship). then, i was showering one day and was all soaped up, shampoo in my hair, getting ready to rinse off and suddenly no water. i tried several times to call the operator, housekeeping, whomever, naked and soaped up all over because the towels are not big enough to cover your body and you apparently have to request terry robes for the room (even though it was a minisuite), so i had to cover myself with my coat and wait about 45 minutes for the water to come back on. communication, once again, norwegian style, not telling people that the plumber was fixing something and not answering their phones in any of the service areas. on another day my husband could not flush the toilet which had a considerable amount of poop in it, and we couldn't flush for quite awhile and had to use public restrooms during that time. the toilets were problematic to flush to begin with, usually requiring three or four "pushes" to get the thing to respond. so that's the story of the cabin. Service: breakfast service in the manhattan room was uniformly slow, especially if they placed you on the port side (tables 25, 27 and 14 were anathema). the waitrons were a bit testy, sometimes disappearing for a long periods of time. you had to constantly remind them or ask them for tea, juice, pastry baskets, etc. the food was surprisingly good in savor and taste at dinnertime. we have previously found ncl's food to be pretty bad throughout all their ships which leads us to spend additional bucks dining in the speciality restaurants where we know we will get decent food (la cucina was a real disappointment on this ship; ocean blue was wonderful). o'sheehans was okay (limited menu) and the garden cafe was one great herding ground with some of the rudest passengers, but then it always is. we don't eat up there, period, but sometimes bring food back to our room if we missed the normal hours in manhattan. we had a couple of favorite bars -- maltings and one other which i can't remember the name of (between savor and taste); however, here too is another major failing on this ship and most of ncl's other ships. first, they charge exhorbitant prices for their drinks and then, in the case of martini's at least, they don't even fill the glass to anywhere near the level that it should be. when you have to pay 15.95 for a grey goose martini and 19.95 for a hendrix martini, that glass should be full, not an inch and a half or more below the rim. Shore excursions: we had to cancel the one to tortola because they changed the itinerary and the mode of transportation (to open-air safari type with bench seating). we took a private cab tour instead and saw a lot of the island that way; it was cheaper than the ncl tour, air-conditioned and you didn't have to squeeze in on bench seating. we had been to several of the ports previously so we didn't tour all of them. the st. lucia tour was okay but the bus seating left a lot to be desired. the curacao tour was on the most uncomfortable bus we have ever been on. you could put about one butt per double seat and be comfortable. the port in jamaica was a joke -- chaotic, port didn't even look like a work in progress but looked like a dumping ground. ocho rios is dirty, poverty stricken, and the people are not particularly friendly. we took a private tour here also and spent most of our time at the falls. the vendors at the falls were overpriced but not as aggressive as the ones in haiti. we had a nice jerk chicken lunch as part of our tour, but again, it felt like the people were doing you a favor by waiting on you. i would never go back to jamaica!! i loved the turquoise waters surrounding grand cayman and the fact that they are trying to keep the reef alive by making ships tender to the island. picked up some fine rums in both tortola and cozumel and nice souvenirs from all of the ports. Disembarkation: if we thought embarkation was really bad, well, disembarkation in new orleans proved to be even worse in its own way. trying to get a taxi was an absolute horror story with port authorities giving you conflicting lines to get in, having us go out door four onto the street and back into door one where we were told to go back to door four and get back into the end of the line because one woman had no clue why her coworkers were telling us to go in one door and back into another. finally, we found seats and waited out the two hour taxi line. then we get to the wyndham hotel in the french quarter where our room wasn't ready because people who were getting on the next ncl breakaway cruise out of new orleans decided to stay past their checkout time, thus wasting for us the rest of the day waiting for our room. then, the next day it was pouring rain and we had a tornado alert which kept us in our room for the day. we did have two marvelous dinners at mr. b's bistro and the bourbon house. but, we didn't get to see much of new orleans... i am sure there is more that we could add but i guess you get the picture -- two not-so-happy-campers on this norwegian cruise, and not likely to ever cruise norwegian again. 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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose the breakaway transatlantic mainly for ports and price - we cruised Norwegian in 1990,1991,2001 but those records were no where in their system so went as new cruisers (our 14th cruise). the ship is beautiful but Norwegians ... Read More
We chose the breakaway transatlantic mainly for ports and price - we cruised Norwegian in 1990,1991,2001 but those records were no where in their system so went as new cruisers (our 14th cruise). the ship is beautiful but Norwegians attention to cost per plate in the main dining rooms were apparent - meals in the premium rooms were great but 14 days with cafeteria level food. Our room steward was in to make the room approx 4 times - if gone on a 5 hr excursion the room would be in the same condition as when we left. The Hibachi premium restaurant was very good and we found ourselves going to O'Sheehans and Shanghai more than the main dining rooms because of the food quality. I would like to ad the first night on the ship the Manhattan meal was spectacular but many guest commented that the chef must have changed in Sweden. General areas were very clean and nice. shopping was disappointing (on a transatlantic you have a lot of opportunity to shop), the comics were spectacular but found other entertainment not up to par with other ships we have been on. Drinks were priced in a way to make the drink packages look more appealing. Staff at the main desk were always friendly and helpful. dining staff we suspect must have largely started a new contract in Copenhagen. meal times in the main rooms were around 2 hours. Last year we went with another line from Rome on a transatlantic for comparison and at a cheaper price was a real bargain. Shore excursions ( we did 3) were rushed and we felt a little more time at the major attractions would have been helpful - we are fairly young and not slow moving but found ourselves running for the bus on all 3 excursions we booked thru the ship. In the azores we took a van tour from the dock with 2 other couples and was wonderful with much more relaxed pace and saw much more during the time spent. Room was clean and new looking ship clean and very nice Our room was booked as one step up from the bottom with it being said we would have a chance to upgrade (the travel consultant for Norwegian was fired in December and we found out we had been missing out in August) we like an interior room but promises did not materialize adding to the disappointment along with the poor service we experienced we find it hard to recommend Norwegian to our friends and co workers. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
To be fair we chose this cruise for the itinerary…not the ship. However, the ship was a big disappointment. The upper decks were closed for the vast majority of the cruise and there were no accommodations made even though there were 4000 ... Read More
To be fair we chose this cruise for the itinerary…not the ship. However, the ship was a big disappointment. The upper decks were closed for the vast majority of the cruise and there were no accommodations made even though there were 4000 people jammed in the lower decks. They have 3 main restaurants and they were almost never open at the same time. We utilized the “pay’ restaurants 6 times and they were great (as usual). The other restaurants were extremely slow. Our average meal was 1 and ½ hours. This includes breakfast. Several times our food was either wrong or didn’t show up at all. As for the entertainment, it was average. The Cirque Jungle Fantasy was very good. Many things were not working on the ship. The pool was drained and only available on the last 2 days. The spa hot tub was broken for 2 days and the spa therapy pool was broken for the last 5 days. The “ropes” course on the upper deck was closed for the majority of the cruise and, when it was to open, they would not open even one minute early. When they did and we “walked the plank” we found out that the camera was not working so….no photo opportunity. Overall the experience was poor to say the least. This is our 6th cruise with Norwegian and was our worst. Read Less
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