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Sail Date: March 2019
We spent the extra money on the suite and it was totally worth it. I can say that the service level was top notch. Food was great. Much better than our Disney Cruise experience. Ship is very well maintained and I don’t mean in the ... Read More
We spent the extra money on the suite and it was totally worth it. I can say that the service level was top notch. Food was great. Much better than our Disney Cruise experience. Ship is very well maintained and I don’t mean in the sense that things are just “painted” over and over. It’s clear many things have been revamped and replaced. Disney was nice but “old” nice. Not Norwegian it’s clear they take great price in their “facilities”. My kids loved the kids club, also more than Disney. The only lame part about the kids club was the check in took WAY too long (Disney does better). The one area where the Norwegian did not stack up to Disney was the entertainment. The guest entertainers were great. One comedian. And one magician. The on board entertainment staff were extremely talented and I don’t want to take anything away from that. What I was not imprsssed with was the quality of the content they were performing. As an example. Most of the songs during the numbers were from the 60’s and even some from the 50’s. There was a dabble here and there of some seventies and maybe even 80’s but per the cruise director the median age in the ship was 48. I am 40. Who in the hell who is that young is listening to stuff from that far back??! My parents were born in 1956 and they don’t even listen to that old of music. Save that stuff for Holland America and try to bring it a little more modern. Richard thecruise director was a great face to see consistently. He was very engaging and friendly. Overall the cruise was fantastic and I’d totally reccomend. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My boyfriend and I went on the 7-day southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan in March of 2019. Went down a day early and stayed in San Juan overnight. We were able to check out Old San Juan with the few hours we had that evening. We are ... Read More
My boyfriend and I went on the 7-day southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan in March of 2019. Went down a day early and stayed in San Juan overnight. We were able to check out Old San Juan with the few hours we had that evening. We are in our early thirties and had a really fun time on this cruise. We weren't sure what to expect based on previous reviews, but this cruise did not disappoint for a smaller ship. We have been on the Escape twice (once for Eastern Caribbean and once for Western Caribbean). I have also been on two other cruise from another cruise line. This was my favorite cruise so far. Embarkation: We were scheduled to embark at 11:00 and got to the terminal around 10:30. Getting through security was quick and overall efficient, but we did have to wait in line once we were all checked in for about 40 minutes in a very small building with poor air conditioning with a few hundred other people while waiting to board the ship. The building was much smaller than those in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. I understand that the crew had to quickly turn over the ship before new passengers could be let on, but I noticed there weren't many places to sit while waiting and some of the older passengers and children were complaining about standing for that long. We were just happy to be out of the cold weather and excited to explore the ship. Once we were on board, we were able to grab drinks and hang out by the pool. It wasn't very busy out on the sundeck until later in the day. They had a band playing and music until the ship set sail at 9pm. The ship itself was smaller than others I've been on but has everything you need. As mentioned in many other reviews, the layout can be a bit confusing. We found ourselves in a "you can't get there from here" situation several times. The hallways to the staterooms were quite narrow. We noticed some people having difficulty navigating them with motorized scooters. We opted to take the stairs and avoid elevators mostly but when we did use the elevators there was never a long wait. Plenty of bars and restaurants to keep us satisfied. There is a small casino compared to the one on the Escape but has a lot of slot machines, quarter games and a few table games. We threw a $20 in the penny slots and won some money so no complaints. The theater was surprisingly quite large for a small ship. Some of the seats seemed to be broken/uncomfortable but overall was fine. The pool on the sundeck is a saltwater pool and there were 4 hot tubs that were the same as the ones on the Escape. There was always a lifeguard on duty which I have never seen on a cruise ship before. He seemed to take his job very seriously. Pool area was crowded on our one sea day. I would recommend getting seats/loungers early on those days. There were plenty of lounge chairs, high top tables with chairs and some more comfortable couches and chairs on the sundeck and on other days we didn't have to spent too much time finding a spot when we got back on the ship in the afternoon. Our bartender, Deny kept the drinks coming and always made a point to check on us if he saw us. I'm pretty sure he was on the Escape last time I was. We did not use the spa or gym this time, but did take a look at the gym. There was plenty of cardio equipment and a room with spin bikes from what I remember. Public restrooms were much smaller than on the Escape but very clean and no waiting in line, at least not for more than a minute or two. Our cabin was 8525. Close to O'Sheehans and easy access to the stairwell. Overall, minimal noise complaints. There was one night where we could hear some music, but it stopped by 10 pm. It was an inside room, so it was small and dark, as we expected. I always bring an over-the-door shoe organizer to keep our sunscreen/bathing suits/extra items out of the way and hang it on the outside of the bathroom door. We really only use our room to sleep and shower so it was fine for our needs. The bed is essentially 2 twins pushed together. I always have an issue with the "crack" between the two beds, but we survived. We asked our room steward via post-it note to remove all alcohol from the minibar so we didn't get charged and so we could use the fridge space and he did so on the first evening. The bathroom, again small but has everything you need. Shower had a door and worked just fine. Sink and toilet were similar to other ships. Not a lot of bathroom storage space. Sam, our steward was great and made our room up several times a day while we were out. Always left us fresh towels and even made us some fun towel animals. (Something I look forward to on cruises). We found our cabin to be a bit damp on the last day for some reason. Dining: Buffet as mentioned in a lot of other reviews was subpar compared to the Escape. Not much variety and food was quite bland. It also had limited hours. Every time we wanted to grab a late night snack it was closed. Food was mostly American fare at the buffet: burgers, hotdogs, pizza and pasta items. Some sandwiches and baked dishes as well. Having read other reviews, we kind of expected this and only ate at the buffet for afternoon snacks. It's close to the pool, but the pool bar had similar food items as well. Having learned from previous cruises that the buffet is CRAZY at breakfast time, we decided to eat at O'Sheehans every morning for a sit-down breakfast and we really enjoyed it much more without feeling rushed. It probably took us about the same time it would in the buffet. The breakfast menu was the same every day, but we got different things each day and it was all very good. We ate at O'Sheehans a lot over the course of the week, but the service was good and so was the food. We were familiar with it because there is one on the Escape as well. The food was consistent. The bbq wings and spinach dip were our favorite snacks from there. I believe it stayed open 24 hours. We ate at the main dining rooms for dinner every night as the food tends to be quite good and again, less crazy than the buffet. We tried Aqua the first night. It had a more dark, romantic (and in my opinion, sleepy) atmosphere. The service was slow and the food was only ok. We decided to try the Venetian the next night, and although they serve the same food as Aqua, it seemed to be much better. The service and atmosphere at the Venetian was better as well so we decided to go there for dinner the rest of the week. We had some meals we really liked and some that were just ok, but were able to eat and get on our way in about an hour. Best part is freestyle dining with Norwegian! No need to dress up or reserve dinner times, just show up. My boyfriend and I agreed that we were only going to dress up one night on this cruise as we dress up for work every day and we didn't want to on vacation. I didn't see anyone that was super dressed up on this ship on any night. We have on others. We never waited more than a few minutes to be seated at any restaurant on the ship. We did not pay extra for any of the specialty dining spots and based on reviews I read before, it wasn't worth it so we didn't really bother looking into it. Bars/Drinks: We did have the beverage package included and if you plan on drinking more than 1-2 alcoholic drinks a day, it is a must. We had met people who racked up a $500 bar bill after only a few days because they didn't know about the beverage package. Only includes alcoholic drinks under $15, but we didn't have any issues. Unless you want top shelf drinks, most things are included in the beverage package. It does not include soda or bottled water. Buffet has lemonade/iced tea/juices/water fountain drinks. Mostly got drinks from the Topsider's Bar near the pool and some drinks at the casino while waiting for shows in the nearby Theater. They were always consistent no matter what bar you got them at and also the same as on the Escape. I did wait in line for a beer at the Bimini (smoker's) Bar on the upper deck overlooking the pool. There was one bartender that took FOREVER to make drinks. I asked for 2 beers and he made me 2 mixed drinks that I didn't order. I decided to just get our next drink at Topsider's as it took much less time even though it was further away from our seats. I read reviews that said smoke from the Bimini bar was annoying to people by the pool, but I never really noticed it at all. As mentioned, Deny our personal bartender kept the drinks coming out by the pool without us needing to leave the hot tub/pool which was great. We avoided the Atrium bar as it was usually close to bands playing and where crowds gathered, but they were kind enough to fill our water bottles in the morning before we left for the day. O'Sheehans did the same. Not enough plain water anywhere unless you wanted to overpay for bottles. The ship water is gross if you get it from your room by the way. We had tried the Sugarcane mojito bar on the Escape and didn't really have time to explore it on the Dawn. We avoided the Champagne Bar, which I actually wanted to go to because of the cigarette smoke coming from the cigar bar next door. I didn't really see anyone smoking cigars in there, only cigarettes. We went to several shows at the Bliss lounge. They had some different cocktails there that were good. They had servers during the shows and the bar line was never very long. Entertainment: We went to several shows at the Bliss Lounge and they seemed to always have something going on day and night. We went to dance one night when the DJ was playing, the Karaoke championship, some dance competitions and other shows that we stumbled in on that turned out to be much better than I expected. It seemed to be that in the evening if you wanted a show you either had the option of whatever was going on in Bliss or the Stardust Theater. We caught the end of the Not So Newlywed game which they usually have on the Norweigian ships and it was quite funny. We watched the rest on TV while we were getting ready one morning as they broadcast it on their channel. We went to the magician/illusionist (PJ or DJ) he was really good. We went to Elements which was really cool. It was kind of ballet/acrobatics/magic all mixed together. We missed the comedian's main show (Andrew Kennedy), but the adult's only show on the last day was really funny. They must have changed some of the entertainment because recent reviews weren't great for some of the entertainment and we thought everything was pretty good for cruise ship shows. There were some bands and singers in the Atrium every evening, we didn't really listen to them for long but all seemed very good. More oldies type stuff. They had a Johnny Cash tribute one evening. The DJ and band by the pool (Sabor Latino) was good on the first day but throughout the week, we realized their set never changed and we kept hearing the same songs over and over. Good mix of English and Spanish songs. Not as much Jimmy Buffet style music, but more of a latin style overall compared to other ships. We went to the White Hot party and it was much more fun than we expected based on the one we went to on the Escape. People seemed to really be having a good time. I know we did. Service: Overall very good. No bad experiences. Cabin steward was very good. Bar staff overall very good. Dining room staff were ok. We found some of them to be inexperienced or have some difficulty with speaking English, but it didn't cause any issues for us. Ports: We chose this cruise because of the 5 stops and fewer sea days. My boyfriend has a hard time to sit still and gets bored when we have too many sea days. It kept us very busy and we didn't have a lot of down time, but we always made it back to the ship a little earlier than the all aboard time to enjoy the pool and try to get a little relaxation time in. We booked 2 excursions through the ship and 2 in port. Much cheaper at the port, but if you don't make it back in time, the ship won't wait for you. We just make sure to give ourselves plenty of extra time to get back. St. Lucia: Easy walk to port shops. We booked an excursion through JJ's in the port. This turned out to be really fun as we didn't really have a plan when we got off the ship. We took a speedboat with a group of maybe 20 people to Soufriere Beach and then got a little tour of the area from the water and took pictures in front of the Pitons. The beach was at a resort and there was SCUBA equipment and a bar nearby. My boyfriend snorkeled and saw a lot of tropical fish in the cove. Beach was more volcanic dark sand. If you want a chair/umbrella you have to pay more. Cost was $55/person for the excursion and was reasonable. They gave us some local rum and rum punch to try. Barbados: 10 minute walk from the ship to port shops. Norwegian did have a shuttle but we decided to walk and it was fine. Took a taxi to The Boatyard beach club which I heard about from a review. $25/person and this includes beach chairs, umbrella, use of the inflatable water toys and a free welcome drink. There is a bar/restaurant there. We got buckets of Carib for $20 (6 beers). Bartenders were friendly. They don't allow you to use the motorized "toys" due to insurance reasons. Water was clear blue, sand was white and the sun was hot. We had a great day just hanging out in the water and we felt very safe there. They arrange for a shuttle to get you back to the port as part of the entrance fee. Cab ride there was a reasonable price from the port. Taxi service had an area in the port, but were not very helpful and we had to ask several people questions to actually get a ride arranged. As we drove there, you could tell Barbados is a very poor island. A lot of rundown buildings. St. Kitts: Easy walk off the ship. Booked SNUBA excursion through the ship. It was raining and cloudy most of the day. Took a long bus ride to a remote beach club in a small bay. SNUBA staff were knowledgeable but when I got nervous about doing it, they weren't very encouraging and I ended up backing out. My boyfriend is SCUBA certified and found this to be a middle ground between snorkeling and SCUBA diving. You are able to go about 10 ft under water using a regulator that is attached to a float with an oxygen tank on it. There were 4 people per SNUBA unit and I overheard people talking about how they kept kicking other people next to them. The water was kind of merky on the beach. It seemed to be more clear in the bay. My boyfriend says he saw a lot of different fish there. We got to spend another hour there, but it was poor weather and everyone was pretty much ready to go back to the ship. We stopped at Timothy Hill for photos of where the Caribbean and Atlantic meet. This was our least favorite port. St. Maarten: Easy walk to the port. We have been here before the hurricane's hit. You can tell they are still recovering. We took a taxi to Maho Beach (the one where the planes fly over to land at the airport). This was really a cool spot and the Sunset Beach Bar is right there. We paid $20 for 2 chairs and an umbrella. Water was clear blue and we had a really great day. Saw probably 20 planes fly over while we were there. Got a pizza from the bar and it was really good. Bar service was poor and bartenders not friendly at the main bar. Cab fare was round trip and you meet at the taxi spot near the beach bar to get a ride back. They had cabs going all afternoon. Took 30 minutes or so to get back to the port. We were told there is drawbridge/turntable bridge that can cause delays on the way back so beware! We gave ourselves plenty of time to get back and did not have any issues. St. Thomas: We have both been here several times before and it is always one of our favorite spots. Easy walk to the port. We booked a catamaran, snorkeling and beach excursion through the ship. There were about 40 people on the boat. We were on the Cruzan Breeze with captain Mike and his mates Lindy and Charles. They were all very fun,funny, knowledgeable and made the trip worthwhile! Took a 20 minute ride to Turtle Bay where we were instructed on how to use our snorkeling gear. Lindy took everyone to look for turtles and we did see 3-4. We also saw a few stingrays. We then swam over to the nearby reef and saw all kinds of fish, coral and even an octopus. After about an hour we moved on to Honeymoon Beach on Water Island where they provided us with bottomless rum punch. There were a couple beach bars there as well. We spent the time in the crystal clear water looking out at the boats in the cove .We stayed here for about an hour and then made the 30 minute boat ride back to the port. This was SO MUCH FUN. Disembarkation: It all went well but we chose to leave at the latest time due to our late flight home. We had breakfast at O'Sheehans and spent some time on the pool deck that morning. We did have to wait an hour in the Bliss lounge after our scheduled time to get of the boat due to backup on the gangway and in the customs area. Once we got off we were able to get our bags and went through customs fairly quickly and without issue. There were shuttles waiting outside and it was a reasonable fair to the airport from there. I promise I'm finishing up this long post, but a few more things I noticed during this trip. Minimal children and the ones we did see on our ship were very well behaved. There is a children's pool area and we didn't have any issues with kids in the adult pool/hot tubs as we have on other ships. Wide variety of ages from teenagers to older adults. We were joking that the average age was probably 52 by general survey. All the fellow passengers we met were very friendly. There's always something for everyone on the ship and they have classes/shows during the day for those who like to stay onboard. We didn't do any shopping or buy any photos from the ship. I know this was lengthy but if it helps even one person plan their trip, I'll be happy. I know I used a lot of reviews before I planned this trip after making some mistakes in the past and it definitely made a difference in some of the choices we made. We have liked Norwegian in the past and will likely continue to cruise with them in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Offered a great deal and good itinerary. Arrived a day ahead in San Juan to sightsee but trollies were being diverted for event but had a nice time exploring locally around hotel. Taxi from Old San Juan to Pan Am Pier was $28. Arrived ... Read More
Offered a great deal and good itinerary. Arrived a day ahead in San Juan to sightsee but trollies were being diverted for event but had a nice time exploring locally around hotel. Taxi from Old San Juan to Pan Am Pier was $28. Arrived early to pier and boarded soon thereafter with time to explore the ship. Rooms were ready at 2pm. Had a very nice lunch in Maderno. Food was very good. Family Suite is quite large. Dining table small for room size. Left closet hangers too big for closet & not usable, can't close door, but I always bring extra hangers. As Plat+ got 4 water bottles and 2 champagne. Dined in most of the restaurants.Cagney has great steak prepared to perfection. Bistro - mushroom soup & Dover sole were very good. Mushroom risoto in LaCucina was good. Bamboo had good egg drop soup and spring rolls. Both the chicken/shrimp noodle bowl and peking chicken needed a brown sauce. Had trout in LosLobos. Sauce was too spicey. Stick to taco or barrito. Entertainment was good. Elements was exceptional. Did Segway Safari & Beach in St Lucia which was great. Terrific guides. Countryside Horseback in St Kittls. Went up to top of mountain passing farms, fields of flowers, baby goats. Beautiful views on top and great pictures. Beach Rendezvous in St Maarten was great (Harbor Bay Beach). Water was warm and crystal clear with wonderful 3ft waves.Will definitely go there again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do something in the Caribbean and this package offered stops at islands that we were interested in exploring for potential future island vacation destinations. Unfortunately we did not get the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to do something in the Caribbean and this package offered stops at islands that we were interested in exploring for potential future island vacation destinations. Unfortunately we did not get the chance to explore our departure city as flights in and out were on the same days as embarkation and disembarkation. Something to keep in mind for future cruises. Our room was towards the front end and it had an outside balcony as we had chosen during booking. There was plenty of storage to hang and organize our clothing and toiletries. Bathroom is kind of tight so prepare to share space with your cabin mate. This provided us with excellent sunsets ans sun rises. It was fun to sit out and watch as we pulled in to the various ports. Might look into a slightly larger room next time. Rooms were clean and very quiet although we slept every night with the balcony door cracked to take in the sea air and listen to the crashing of the waves. Staff overall were very pleasant and friendly and willing to take time to talk and share some insight into their daily and personal lives. It was fun learning about the many different cultures that work on this ship. This time around, we booked all our shore excursions through the cruise line and found the process to be very organised, smooth and as described in their brochure. Food at the complimentary locations was as expected but the fine dining was superb especially the Tapenyaki Japanese restaurant. What an experience and awesome food. Night time entertainment was spectacular and offered so much variety to choose from. There is something for everyone. Signage on the ship could be improved as we had to ask directions many times and once we found ourselves standing st the door to one location and didn't know it till a deck hand told us. We will definitely cruise again but looking for more shore time as we felt rushed to meet the schedule of 5 islands in 5 days. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I'm not sure how the cruise director maintains his energy, even when no one is looking, but his staff and the wardrobe changes kept everyone entertained all week. There were a variety of beautiful places to dine but a lot of ... Read More
I'm not sure how the cruise director maintains his energy, even when no one is looking, but his staff and the wardrobe changes kept everyone entertained all week. There were a variety of beautiful places to dine but a lot of mediocre food choices mixed in with the nice ones. The choice of activities was great and there was something for everyone so you were never bored. One unexpected highlight was the dance classes where you learned everything from salsa to waltz, something I've always wanted to try. The downside is the sales pitches and charging for every little thing even when you think it's covered in one of the packages you purchased. I'd rather pay a few hundred dollars more to not be sold water. The shows and entertainment were an unexpected highlight and the finale was the definition of spectacular. From comedy to aerial acrobatics we were captivated every night. I would cruise with Norwegian again but I'd book sooner to snatch up a larger room. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise largely because of the southern Caribbean itinerary, the ports (a couple of which we had not visited previously), only one sea day, and the fact that we have sailed on Norwegian four times prior and have thoroughly ... Read More
We chose this cruise largely because of the southern Caribbean itinerary, the ports (a couple of which we had not visited previously), only one sea day, and the fact that we have sailed on Norwegian four times prior and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The embarkation process in San Juan was really quick and easy and we were on board in less than 20 minutes. The lifeboat drill occurred literally as we walked on, which was somewhat annoying after a long travel day (we wanted a drink!), but in hindsight, it was nice to get that box checked right away and to get our vacation started. We booked late so balcony was unavailable, but our picture window cabin on Deck 5 was perfectly fine. It turned out to be a good location to get around the ship but also was really close to the gangway on port days which was great. We spend very little time in our cabin, so we dont spend a lot of time critiquing that part of the trip. Contrary to other reviews, we found the food and service to be very good. We ate at O'Sheehan's, The Venetian, the buffet, La Cucina, Moderno and Los Lobos and liked it all. Best meal of the week was La Cucina. Only real critique of the buffet (they are what they are) is food temperature was not great on everything and the desserts are lacking. Ports were awesome. ranked in order of favorites were 1) St Thomas (Water Island), ST. Kitts, St Maarten, Antigua, Barbados. Service throughout the ship was very good - we had wonderful experiences with bar service on the pool deck and the Atrium bar area. Only service complaint was bar service at Bimini Bar - bartenders seemed to ONLY focus on the crowd that spent the entire week up there and service to occasional visitors was second rate. REALLY enjoyed the music of Patty and Jose in the Atrium each night - great music and engagement with the crowd and we met some really fun people. We booked late and got a deal that included three choices of "extras" - we chose drink package, three nights of specialty dining and partial airfare. As a result, we felt the cruise was a great value and appreciated the freedom of the fact that almost everything was prepaid. To sum up our satisfaction with the cruise and Norwegian, we purchased Cruisenext credits and are already thinking about our next sailing! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our ... Read More
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our departure was at 9:00pm) was very quick and easy - as I boarded at 1:00pm. Food in the Garden Cafe was available, and our room became available at approximately 3:00pm. We also booked three specialty dinning options, and our reservation times were all met. Teppanyaki: By far was my favorite. Great service, outstanding food from the edamame, fried rice and sea food selection was all worth it. Cagney’s: Was a close second on favorites. Great porterhouse steak. Le Bistro: Although the least favorite, it was worth the up charge. As for other food options, the Garden Cafe was OK - but not bad. The Venetian, Aqua and Bamboo were all good options if not at the specialty dinning location. Also, classy touch to provide appetizers at the casino later in the evening. We booked a few excursions, however the one that stood out was ANUD1011 Kayak & Snorkel Adventure on Antiqua. At $70.00 per person, we believe this excursion gave the most bang for the buck. Besides a ride thru the countryside, we kayaked thru the man grooves, hiked to a mountain top to view the Atlantic Ocean, then snorkeled. After our boat back to catch a bus back to the ship, water, rum punch and snacks we available. What really stood out was the professionalism and work ethic of the staff. Never a let down throughout the cruise - always courteous, and providing great service. The other thing that stood out was the ship never felt over crowded, and lines were minimal and always moved. If there was any negatives, general announcements were very hard to hear. The smoking room which was located on the sixth floor, sometimes leaked smoke into the bar area - and can be a bit overwhelming for non-smokers. Lastly, our Cabin Steward was very good, and besides the normal gratuities, I gave him an additional tip in person - but he didn’t seem happy. Not sure if I’m reading him wrong, or he was insulted. Overall, an oddly laid out ship really became its strength and appeal. And I took advantage of almost all of the ship, from sunning and swimming, sitting on my personal deck, multiple dinning locations, bars and gambling too - With my experience being excellent. I miss it, and would book another NCL cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Our recent southern Caribbean Cruise on the Norwegian Dawn was overall good thou some improvements are needed. The food and service was good in the Venetian Dining room with exceptional hostesses and staff. The food portions appear to be ... Read More
Our recent southern Caribbean Cruise on the Norwegian Dawn was overall good thou some improvements are needed. The food and service was good in the Venetian Dining room with exceptional hostesses and staff. The food portions appear to be smaller than on our previous three cruises. The registration process to get on the ship in San Juan was a massive confusing experience which made us feel less than the experienced cruisers we are. The facility needs updating and repairing from the previous hurricane. Viewing torn off roof segments and rusting super structure from the ship diminished our embarking. The two specialty restaurants are now ala carte for meals that were not worth the extra full price charge. Both restaurants had wait staff acting as sommeliers but the could not open a bottle or decant the wine except without our guidance. Cigarette smoke came out from the casino area in a nearby bar lounge which made it very unpleasant to seat there. The variety of the shows was very good.The entertainment volume of the shows was very high. NCL has lost of step of cruising quality and service that need some attention. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc ... Read More
Small ship with under 100 guests and adult only. Booking through to leaving the ship was extremely well organised. We had a penthouse balcony cabin which gave excellent space for clothes as well as a sofa and chair, fridge, large tv etc .The staff,[ particularly our cabin steward Alvin] couldn't have been better. The ship is not for people who want glitz and chandeliers, it has a comfortable elegance. The entertainment was good but not a lot of it and we would have liked it to be a little more varied. All of the restaurants were excellent far better than other cruise lines we have been with and afternoon tea was lovely. A free trip was offered on each island and the ones we went on were okay but not outstanding, the free trip we took on St Thomas should have come with a warning for back pain sufferers. The vehicles were open buses with it felt like no springs on very rough bumpy roads. We took taxis to the beach on a few occasions on different Islands with no problems until St Thomas when I wanted a nostalgic trip to Magens Bay which is unchanged and beautiful the water is so clear it is not neccesary to snorkel to see the fish they swim around your feet. unfortunately the taxi driver didn't return for us, luckily for us another couple shared their taxi with us. We would cruise with Viking again but we were very cross that we had to disembark at 7.45 for a flight at 1pm which meant a long wait at San Juan airport and another of 4 hours in New York. we would look more closely at travel arrangements made by Viking in future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you ... Read More
We had been on the ocean ships before so knew what to expect. The boat is not that old the décor the same as other of the ocean ships. The layout virtually identical. So that makes a great experience or does it? The main plus is that you get what you expect if you have been with them before. Much is the same, like the speciality restaurants and the casual dining venue and the general layout .The continuous growth of the company raises interesting possible concerns. Staff training needs to be good and standards maintained. It feel at times they are on the edge with inconsistent service levels at restaurants and dining venues. Casual eating at breakfast and lunch saw staff being moved around often to "cover" an area then be countermanded by another staff member which left gaps in cover. Food was not consistently hot, when advised the answer was not really acceptable as they said you could ask for hot plates. This was something of a challenge when you asked for hot plates, staff consistently looked surprised and often had to search around. The trips were in the main quite good for the places visited. They were of reasonable length and the party sizes good. The worst was the delay we had to an already Viking scheduled late arrival of 9 pm. We eventually reached our cabin at 1 in the morning. The staffing level was small on arrival and transfer to the ship was slow. It was clearly not unexpected. Departure was equally disappointing off the ship by 8 for a flight in the afternoon at 2 pm. 6 hours and not even a cup of coffee provided. Basically you lose a day travelling at each end not great value Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This ship left from San Juan, Puerto Rico. We flew the night before the ship was to leave and stayed at The Waves Hotel, which was reasonably priced and a cab ride away from the airport. The hotel was right off the highway, so it was a bit ... Read More
This ship left from San Juan, Puerto Rico. We flew the night before the ship was to leave and stayed at The Waves Hotel, which was reasonably priced and a cab ride away from the airport. The hotel was right off the highway, so it was a bit noisy, but our sound machine drowned out most of the noise. The sheets were rough, but the bed itself was comfy. There was also a twin bed in our room, as well as a refrigerator and a large bathroom. The curtains blocked out light, which is important to me. In the morning, there was breakfast on the rooftop, which had a good selection of continental type breakfast items and was well taken by 3 attendants. Check out was at 11, which gave us enough time to pack after breakfast. We boarded the ship around 12 on the Pan-American Pier, ate lunch and went to the Bacardi distillery via Uber(around $10). Although we had been to San Juan before we had only visited Old San Juan, El Morro(fort) and El Yunque(National Park), and decided it was time to check out Bacardi. The $15 admission fee included a rum drink(choice of 1 of 4), which was quite strong, a souvenir cup and a tour of the museum. The was also an excellent view of the ocean and El Morro. We had one day at sea. We slept in and missed the 10:00 intro show on excursions, which we generally like to attend. Breakfast was served until 11:30, which is much later than other ships we have sailed on. We found plenty to do with trivia, an art auction and the best martini tasting session($19.95) where we sampled 6 (3.5 oz each) different martinis at Cagney's. If you want to do this, make sure you sign up on the first day at any of the bars, as seating is limited(although we witnessed 3 or 4 different people joining us without signing up previously-I think they take up to 20 participants). Each day brought us to a different port. DAY ONE-ST. LUCIA Beautiful mountainous tropical island with 2 picturesque mountains-the Pitons. We took our only excursion through the cruise ship-The Land and Sea- which took us on a tour of the island and a catamaran ride back to the ship. The only problem was we went to toward the Pitons, which is also towards the rainforest, and it rained off and on while we walked on a plantation(where we ate lunch), went to a waterfall, then boarded the catamaran. My advice to you, is if you want sunny skies and no rain, stay on the north side of the island. Although we had a great time and learned a lot about the island, it would have been better without the rain. The cost of the excursion was $99/person and lasted for 6 hours. DAY TWO-BARBADOS We took a taxi ride around the island. We met up with another couple and paid $75 a couple to see the sights, narrated by the driver. We saw several beautiful beaches, the oldest church on the island, and panoramic views. Our tour lasted 3 hours. DAY THREE-ANTIGUA We took a taxi to see the sites, with a family of 7 joining us. It cost us $25/person for a 4 hour tour and we to the beach as well as to Shirley Heights, which has the remnants of an old fort and magnificent views. DAY FOUR-ST. THOMAS We took a taxi to Sapphire Beach and went snorkeling. There were changing/restrooms, a tiki bar and rental booth for snorkeling gear, which we rented for 2 hours for $8/each. Last time we went to St. Thomas, we went to Coki Beach(near Coral World), which had the same amenities and much more fish. The water at Sapphire was a bit cloudy, but it may have been the overcast weather causing this. DAY FIVE-TORTOLA Our first time here and our favorite of all the islands we visited. We took a 3 hour tour for $25/person, which included an hour at the beach with soft white sand and beautiful views. The water was calm and clear, although we did not see any fish and did not go snorkeling. The ship is easy to get around except for the dining rooms which cut several floors into pieces-you can't get there from here..... The food was good, and even though they had different dessert choices every night, none were to die for. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch and at the Aqua for dinner, where the staff were friendly and attentive. There is food from 6am-2am.....but from 12-2am you have to eat at the Oceania or order room service, which now has a $7.95 service fee. The shows are mediocre except for the magic show which was amazing and the last night's show, Elements, which was incredible. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
For the past 20 years, my husband and I cruised at least 2-3 time per year. We have been on Royal Carnelian many times, Princess, and finally graduated to Regent and Oceania. We absolutely love Oceania, even their three smaller ships ( ... Read More
For the past 20 years, my husband and I cruised at least 2-3 time per year. We have been on Royal Carnelian many times, Princess, and finally graduated to Regent and Oceania. We absolutely love Oceania, even their three smaller ships ( though they might show a sign of aging, the service, food, and bedding are amazing!). We try very hard to continue on Oceania only, however, they do not always have the dates or places we are looking for.We decided to try Vikings Sea this year. Beautiful ship, large bathrooms, but the bed and pillows were clearly made of straw. When we asked for another pillow, we were told that it was all they had. That aside, the food was definitely inferior to any 5 star cruises. You could barely get a cup of tea after 9 pm. Being on vacation, we decided not to concentrate of these inconveniences, and enjoyed the trip. To sum it up, although the ship itself deserves a 5 star rating, the rest, such as untrained staff, terrible bedding,very average food , and most importantly the attitude of customer relations, would keep us AWAY FROM VIKING in the future. Oceania, you will NOT be beat by Viking! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this ship for the ports. The ship is smaller than we have been on before, therefore we felt more motion. We stayed on the 9th floor. Bring a sweater because the ship is “over” air conditioned which isn’t enjoyable. We ate in ... Read More
We chose this ship for the ports. The ship is smaller than we have been on before, therefore we felt more motion. We stayed on the 9th floor. Bring a sweater because the ship is “over” air conditioned which isn’t enjoyable. We ate in a the dining room and 3 specialty restaurants. Teppanyaki, Le bistro and Cagney’s steakhouse. All of these were fantastic!!! The ship does not have straws, which is frustrating when you want to enjoy a mojito with out getting spearmint in your teeth. Either pack straws or grab some at the ports. There was only 3 comedy shows all week. Elements show was fantastic. The staff were all friendly and helpful. Our room was always clean. The ship charges $6 for a bottle of water, so we went to the bar and took back 4 cups of water every night to have beside our bed. We used our on-board credit in the gift shop and casino. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because it was the only one available for 7 days in a warm climate in February. The agent with Silversea was amazing in assisting us with any of our questions or concerns. The embarkation and disembarkation were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the only one available for 7 days in a warm climate in February. The agent with Silversea was amazing in assisting us with any of our questions or concerns. The embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. The ship is small which is very nice and the cabins (we had one for our grown son and one for us) were as or larger than we had on Regent and Oceania, all with verandas. The decor may be a bit subtle for my taste. We enjoyed our meals at the Silver Note and at Seishin. We thought the entertainment in the various areas was very nice, although we never went to any "shows" so I'm not sure about that. The service was very good and our butlers were very attentive and did extra things like polishing shoes without being asked. We were very happy with our shore excursions which included a helicopter ride, snorkeling (no fish, but a fun day on the boat), our favorite was The America's Cup trip, my son enjoyed the canyoning with rapelling and diving off of the waterfalls. Roseau - hmmm. Not worth getting off the ship as far as we could tell. The Baths were great fun but plan on getting wet. Overall, the food was not up to par with Regent or Oceania; but, was still very good and I overheard other people raving about it, so that's inconclusive I guess. There were not enough activities onboard. There is a bridge room but nothing organized so it may as well not be there, no mini-golf or mini-tennis which we've enjoyed before. Smaller ship size accounts for this I guess. Trivia was fun. We felt it was a good value. We noticed that the age range was younger than on our other cruises, so a more lively, visible and active group. Our other cruises were 24+ days so I'm guessing it was the quick, easy, 7-day trip to a warm clime would explain that. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Itinerary was perfect. Aruba, Bonaire, Curaceo and Antigua were our favorites. Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Thomas were beautiful. Didn’t explore San Juan because we had been there before. Embarkation and disembarkation went ... Read More
Itinerary was perfect. Aruba, Bonaire, Curaceo and Antigua were our favorites. Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Thomas were beautiful. Didn’t explore San Juan because we had been there before. Embarkation and disembarkation went very quickly and smoothly. Like older and smaller ships. Entertainment was great. Loved Jose and Patty and the big production numbers. The wine bar needs to be changed to a Five O’clock Sonewhere Sports Bar. No one ever in the wine bar. Liked no smoking around pool area and the main atrium bar serving drinks as well as coffee. Loved Ruby in the Aqua Restaurant. She was the best we’ve had in six cruises with NCL. We were very pleased with the itinerary on this cruise. All the islands were gorgeous but we really loved Antigua. Absolutely gorgeous. The Aqua Restaurant staff was especially great. We ate there every night and never ate in the main dining room. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We took the 10-day Southern Caribbean cruise on the NCL Dawn in Feb 2019. This was our fifth NCL cruise in 5 years. We did take one seven day cruise on the Dawn five years ago. Also, two cruises on the Spirit, and a 14-day Panama Canal ... Read More
We took the 10-day Southern Caribbean cruise on the NCL Dawn in Feb 2019. This was our fifth NCL cruise in 5 years. We did take one seven day cruise on the Dawn five years ago. Also, two cruises on the Spirit, and a 14-day Panama Canal trip on the NCL Star, departing from Miami and landing in Los Angeles. Comments: Food and service was generally excellent. The Venetian and Aqua have the same menu. We usually dined early, around 530-6 to get to the 7pm shows. O’Sheehan’s pub was perfect for quick breakfasts and lunches coming back from morning excursions. The meals were smaller, and they served a favorite Newcastle Brown on tap. The food is better quality and there is table service We had a few quick salads from the buffet, eaten by the pool and one quick grab and go breakfast on an early shore day. If we had a nine a.m. or later shore excursion, we took the time to have breakfast at the Venetian, MUCH better than the buffet. In the past we dined at the Chinese restaurant for lighter dinners. This cruise we ate there only once, since we had the 4 free upgrade dining package. Our speciality dining experiences were at Le Bistro for Valentines Day, La Cucina for Italian, Los Lobos for Mexican and Cagney’s. We would have gone back to Cagneys but by the time we checked it was sold out the entire cruise. We would have enjoyed a pool side grill out but none were offered. Entertainment was about average, both in the evening shows and music in the Atrium and Gatsby’s. Both venues were similar to what we recall on past cruise. here was not a “special element” as visible as in past cruises. Maybe we have done too much cruising but we did skip a few of the evening shows, including Elements, that we’ve seen a few times already. The comedian, mentalist and magician were good. The ventriloquist was interesting. I’m sure the entertainment varies on each cruise. We did not take part in many of the Bliss lounge activities (Deal or No Deal, pull tabs, Bingo etc) and are not gamblers or dancers. We did enjoy the Newleywed game, always a hoot. I’d say our favorite evening activity was just to sip a drink and listen to music. We’ll comment separately on the shore excursions we did take in that section of reviews. Part of our booking deal was a $50 excursion credit/port so we planned to take a modest NCL excursion on each stop. The best was Bonaire Eco to mangrove swamp followed by Orchid world in Barbados in 2nd place. We had excellent weather, which is of course sheer luck. No rain on any of the nine shore days other than a shower while we waited for a bus one morning. This was our first time with a balcony and we’ll never go back to a port or inside cabin. The loveseat and few extra feet of room was nice but the best part was the balcony itself: amazing you can use it at sea with little wind problems. They also have a small coffeemaker so we could wake up and settle the tummy with some banana bread we’d bring in the day before. Yes, you can get basic coffee and a croissant from room service but that would require us to be up and somewhat dressed at a certain time, not for us on vacation! Besides the dining package and shore excursion credit, another deal for early booking was the free Unlimited beverage package. That includes sodas and alcoholic drinks by the glass up to $15 (and yes, there are premium liquors and wines that cost more). However, you do pay NCL’s estimate of gratuity based on 10 drinks/person/day. We didn’t drink half that but it still saved us close to $1000. They also should offer the premium coffees free as part of this UBP. They are planning to start offering a super beverage package that includes coffees, water and juice, but we were told that won’t be given out free, ever. We buffered our cruise with 14 days in Florida prior and 2 days after the cruise, and we arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2 days early to tour old San Juan for a day. The embarkation process was slowed 30 mins due to a terminal power outage crashing NCL’s computers. We still got on close to our 12:30 time. The disembarkation process in San Jose was perfect. There is a van service at San Juan offering $10 pp trips to the airport (NCL charges $30 pp) so we got lucky. There is not much to do at the SJU airport and a mob of people there. Plan to have a book and charged phone along (very few power outlets, long lines at restrooms and restaurants). Overall, the cruise was a lot of fun! It was the second best of the four cruises we have taken on on NCL, after the incredible European cruise. It was really a 4.5* cruise so we’ll give it 4*. This one’s about the perfect length and VERY busy, but that’s what we wanted and got to see 80% of the islands we haven’t seen. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This is my second time on the Viking Sea. There is so much to like- the small size, the Scandinavian design, the food, the inclusiveness of the rate, and even the heated bathroom floor. The ship is exceptionally well maintained. On ... Read More
This is my second time on the Viking Sea. There is so much to like- the small size, the Scandinavian design, the food, the inclusiveness of the rate, and even the heated bathroom floor. The ship is exceptionally well maintained. On this past cruise we are treated to great vocal entertainment, an excellent cruise director (female!), and a great itinerary including two stops in Columbia. The lecturers were also outstanding. I can easily give 4 stars, but not 5. The reason is the service in the "restaurant" (their term for the main dining room). Something is wrong. No longer are you served by a single waiter and a single assistant waiter; there is some sort of team approach. Also, there was a simple lack of wait staff which required waiters to serve too many clients and required even supervisors to become waiters. The whole place was frequently in disarray; Service was slow, extras like asking about coffee after the meal were usually forgotten. I hope this is a temporary problem, because otherwise this is a premier ship in a premier cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are seasoned cruisers and like to travel with family and friends.. We chose the Dawn for 2 reasons; 1-We were on her last May and loved everything about the ship and 2: our foster daughter and her partner had never taken a cruise ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers and like to travel with family and friends.. We chose the Dawn for 2 reasons; 1-We were on her last May and loved everything about the ship and 2: our foster daughter and her partner had never taken a cruise exceeding 7 days. They were anxious to try a longer cruise and one not a Jewel class. Not that they do not enjoy Jewel class ships, they just wanted something different. It was a good choice for the 4 of us. We cruised the Dawn many years ago and think it has improved with the dry dock last year. Though sailing out of San Juan can be a hassle, it is always fun to spend a night there prior to sailing. Our travel agent found the hotel, Villa Herenica, for us. It is a quaint B&B near Old San Juan. Built in the 1600s with much of the old charm, it is not for everyone, but we would stay there again in a heart beat. The staff was friendly and helpful, the place was clean and the breakfast choices the best we have had at other B&Bs. I will only add, the rooms were very small but worked out fine for 2 people. The "girls" were already there and had their own room. Our taxi ride was longer from the airport because of rush-hour traffic. After visiting with the girls for awhile, we decided to order a pizza and have a quick bite to eat before heading for bed. The B&B offers a huge dining room that guests can use when ordering food from local restaurants. When breakfast was over the next morning, we were off to the pier to board the ship. Then the wait begins. It took us awhile to get into the terminal but, with wheelchair assistance, we were whisked right though. Before we knew it, we were sitting in O'Sheehan's ordering an adult beverage and lunch. Actually, everything moved smoothly the entire cruise. Lots of highlights, but one of the biggest was our wonderful M&G, followed by a huge slot pull with 65 participants. We, for once, came out a few $$ ahead; that, of course added to the fun. A second highlight were the friendly passengers. Probably the nicest we have ever met on over 40 cruises. For the most part,I can say the same about the crew. There were crew members that, after meeting us once, remembered our names. Naturally, we did run into a few - as in other places - who acted like their job was not for them. Another high point was the usually great entertainment.. Hubby made it to the showroom once; none for me. Many other great venues, a variety of talented musicians, on the ship made it foolhardy to seek out the shows.The reception desk personnel went above and beyond. We had lost a page of our return- flight information and a female dialed AA for my husband so he could get the information he needed to book our transfers. I could could go on and on about some of our positives experiences but I think I have taken up enough time and space. I will add just one more thing: we booked a tour through our TA for Antigua. One of the stops was the Dock yard where we did a quick tour and had time to do some shopping. I found a T Shirt really wanted but she didn't have one in my size. Instead of trying to push something else down my throat she advised me where, in town I might be able to find one. I was so impressed I wish I had gotten a card so I could recommend her to others. Because we have visited most of the islands in the past we didn't do a lot of excursions but the ones we did do we were overall happy with. We love Aruba, and Barbados. The caves are a must for those who have not been to the port. There were a few low points: 1- service and food in La Cucina (except for Hubby's large shrimp) was not up to par with other specialty restaurants on the ship. We were not thrilled about Los Lobos, but that had more to do with where we have lived and our view on what Mexican food should be. Our cabin steward seemed to be lacking initiative. Normally when you have a cabin below balcony class, you can ask for a coffee pot. She had no idea what I was talking about. I presumed she was new to her job but was very friendly. Command of the English language may have created a problem. Another low point was one of the ship-sponsored tours; it was not as described but, on a positive note, one of the couples on the tour went to the tour desk and complained.His complaint, I will add was done in a polite manner. NCL gave us a 1/3 discount credit, an actual refund, not an OBC. Using a makeshift arrangement of chairs, we were able to enjoy some pool deck time in spite of mobility problems. Chairs for the handicapped were gratefully put to use in the Garden Cafe. I will add that we would cruise the Dawn anytime if we could just find a way to get to the ship without changing planes 2 or 3 times. The Sun used to be our favorite ship, but the Dawn may have moved above her in our minds. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise based on the ports of call rather than the cruise line. No disappointments with the islands we visited, all were very enjoyable. We did excursions at each port and they were as advertised for the most part. The crew on ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the ports of call rather than the cruise line. No disappointments with the islands we visited, all were very enjoyable. We did excursions at each port and they were as advertised for the most part. The crew on the ship was anything but Norwegian but were friendly and we had no complaints. We had a basic cabin with a veranda which was “cozy” but comfortable. The bathroom was tiny but functional. The restaurants were good, not exceptional, highly recommend the specialty restaurants although the costs add up fast. No shortage of bars but if you’re a bourbon drinker like me you will have very limited options and be prepared for “resort” liquor (very low proof). A special shout out to one bartender in particular, Leila, in the Gatsby. She’s not only the best on the ship but may be the best bartender we’ve ever met on a cruise vacation. We are not big on evening entertainment but if you are, it was very (sub)average. Despite the ships shortcomings, I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We sailed on the Viking Sea in February, on the South America & the Caribbean cruise. This was our first time on a Viking Ocean cruise. We took their Waterways of the Czars cruise in 2016 and enjoyed that so much that we booked this ... Read More
We sailed on the Viking Sea in February, on the South America & the Caribbean cruise. This was our first time on a Viking Ocean cruise. We took their Waterways of the Czars cruise in 2016 and enjoyed that so much that we booked this cruise, due to its itinerary. It did not disappoint. Getting on Board with our luggage: The cruise embarkation was very easy. However, that is because we put our written itinerary booklets that Viking sent to each of us in our carry-on. That was lucky, as I was thinking about not bringing them at all. Security at the entrance to the port demanded to see those before we could board the ship, so have them handy! (We thought that Viking should have told us that.) Getting our luggage was a different matter. We got into San Juan about 1:00P and boarded the ship around 2:00P. However, our luggage was not brought to our stateroom until after 5:00P. That was bad, as we were in our winter wear and could not shower and change. Why we could not bring our luggage with us on the bus from the airport to the ship is a mystery. Ship Overall: The ship is very nicely designed and felt airy and spacious: it never seemed crowded. Cabin: Our deluxe veranda cabin (5007) was fine, but narrow. We could not pass by each other at the foot of the bed at the same time, and we are not big people. Also, the desk chair was too big for the space, so getting to the balcony was somewhat awkward unless we had the chair pushed all the way in. Also, it also would have been nice to have some more drawers to put things in. (We would give up the in-cabin coffee maker for that.) The bathroom was wonderful: lots of space, storage space, and a comfortably sized shower with a ledge! Our cabin stewards (Alvin and iPitu) were fabulous: they were personable, offered advice when asked, and kept our cabin spotless. Dining: We enjoyed the dining onboard the ship. We started many mornings with a latte and a pastry in the Viking Bar. We would then go up to the World Café for the breakfast buffet, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Lunch found us in the World Café, the Pool Bar, or Mamsen’s. While the drinks were better at Mamsen’s, the Pool Bar made a great steak sandwich and hot dog! We ate everywhere for dinner: Manfredi’s, the Chef’s Table, the Main Restaurant and the World Café. Jorge, the sommelier in the Main Restaurant was fabulous and poured up some great wines (we had the Silver Spirits beverage package). The food at each location was very good. When the World Café offered special buffets, it was fun to eat there. Onboard Lecture: We really liked the onboard lectures. They were entertaining and informative, and we tried to attend as many of those as we could. Shore excursions: The ship did not offer anything too exciting, so we tended to book our own excursions. We took two Viking excursions in Columbia. The tour guide for the Tastes and Sights of Santa Marta (Carlos) was fabulous! He was energetic, loved his city and infected us all with his enthusiasm. The guide in Cartagena was awful: hard to understand, slow and uninterested. He hit all of the marks indicated in the tour description, but did little more than that. Overall, the excursions on the river cruise were better. The Spa: We loved the spa! We both enjoyed the Nordic Bathing Ritual one night and I had a scalp massage, wash and blow dry another day. Both were fabulous and relaxing. Aleksandra, the hair stylist, is one of the best stylists I have ever had. Disembarkation: We had a 2:00P flight home. We had to be out of our cabin by 8:00A, and then off the ship by 9:30A. Although we had a Viking airport transfer included with our fare, we did not use it as they wanted to drop us off at the airport at 9:00A. We were not excited about spending the last day of our vacation in the airport. So, we stayed a little later in San Juan and then paid for a taxi. Viking should either offer post-cruise excursions with an airport drop-off or provide a comfortable place to wait with your luggage on board or nearby. We sat in a park near the port entrance until we caught a cab to the airport. We would sail again with Viking Ocean cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We sailed on the Dawn before and loved it. Decided on the 10-day cruise to celebrate some major life milestones. Staff, ship and excursions were awesome. We did run into what appeared to be food and drink provision issues. First ... Read More
We sailed on the Dawn before and loved it. Decided on the 10-day cruise to celebrate some major life milestones. Staff, ship and excursions were awesome. We did run into what appeared to be food and drink provision issues. First night in the steak house, we couldn't order certain cuts of meat as they didn't have them. The Mexican restaurant ran out of Mexican beer. We saw certain salad items, fruits, etc. disappear from the buffet during the cruise. We even ran out of vanilla ice cream. Looked like they ordered food for 7 days to cover a 10 day cruise. Richard, the cruise director, was the greatest we have experienced in the 17 cruises we have taken. His personality is awesome!! He is so friendly and engaging and truly loved interacting with all the passengers. The entertainment on the ship was beyond awesome. You won't want to miss any shows as they are all great! Our cabin steward, Reu, was the best. Could not have gotten a better, more hard working guy on the ship. Room was in an awesome location as well. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Itinerary. This was a 12 day cruise, sailing out of San Juan and going to Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, and Tortola. A terrific set of ports! We took advantage of 3 or 4 of the specialty ... Read More
Itinerary. This was a 12 day cruise, sailing out of San Juan and going to Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten, and Tortola. A terrific set of ports! We took advantage of 3 or 4 of the specialty restaurants. All were good. We particularly liked Cagney's. The food was great! We weren't as fond of the Brazilian restaurant. The food wasn't to our liking and it took forever to get dessert (they apparently have to go to a different deck to get the desserts). This almost caused us to miss one of the theatre shows. Shows. The shows were good, however not as good as we've experienced on other ships. We were happy that there was a show every night - and all but one of the shows was help at both 7 pm and 9 pm. This provided great options. We had a different cruise where they skipped a couple of nights - and that was disappointing. The one show that we did not care for was the "Juggler". He didn't do much and seemed to want to be a comedian. It wasn't up to our expectations. Bartenders. For the first time cruising, we had a drink package. We certainly enjoyed this and found great refuge in the Bimini bar, one deck up, overlooking the pool area. We met lots of great people there - and it became our regular spot to assemble. One bartender in particular - Jeff, looked after us very well! I must say that all bartenders were good, and genuinely looked like the enjoyed their jobs and were interested in making our journey enjoyable. Excursions. We found the selection of ship sponsored excursions limited and expensive. While there were lots to choose from, we found that many were all the same, and could be done cheaper on your own. We were sailing to generally safe islands, so were ventured out on our own many times. Overall, a terrific trip! Congrats NCL for putting together a great itinerary. We loved it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
MY wife and I wanted to see more islands we have never been to. Everything about Norwegian we always like. EXCEPT why does the ship have to keep the air conditioning up so high?? My wife froze. Me too even!! We are in the caribbean. ... Read More
MY wife and I wanted to see more islands we have never been to. Everything about Norwegian we always like. EXCEPT why does the ship have to keep the air conditioning up so high?? My wife froze. Me too even!! We are in the caribbean. She wants to wear summer outfits. Not pants and sweaters. (Which most women wore) and complained. I doubt we will cruise again unless the itinerary is a cool climate. The food was good. The specialty restaurants were great. Loved Cagneys and the Bistro. The music in the atrium was fantastic. Jose and Patti? were wonderful. We even got to watch the Super Bowl. Too bad the commercials were omitted. Guess Norwegian didn't buy the rights. But they did bring in free burgers and fixings. Be sure to ask why there are no number 4 on any rooms. Very interesting. GOES FROM 11152 TO 11156. No 11140's at all. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We had a wonderful time on this trip, most of the ports were great. We talked to many people while on board, and even flying home, everyone seemed to say the same things. Wishing there was a day at sea in the middle of the week. We almost ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on this trip, most of the ports were great. We talked to many people while on board, and even flying home, everyone seemed to say the same things. Wishing there was a day at sea in the middle of the week. We almost need another vacation from our vacation! It was unanimously said that Grenada should have been the day! I heard one person got brushed by a moving vehicle, the roads were insane! Food on board was ok-great depending on where you ate. The Garden Cafe had great variety, definitely something for everyone. The only other restaurants we were able to get reservations for were Aqua,the other main dining room, and Bamboo. We would have loved to try the Brazilian steakhouse but couldn’t get a reservation. We did go in for the mojito bar and noticed a few empty tables, so I’m not sure why we could never get in. I was craving crème brûlée the whole trip, on the last night while dining at Aqua I asked our server Casey if there was any way I could get one? She checked with her supervisor and came back to let me know that it was possible but I’d have to pay extra for it. $4.99 was absolutely worth it! Maybe put an a la carte menu on the dessert menu for things like the creme brûlée, and other desserts that are available at the paid restaurants. I had quite a few people ask how I got it, and would have been more than happy to purchase one! We took advantage of the spa services. I had a wonderful massage from Lucy. We also purchased the thermal spa for the length of the trip. It was a nice option, however the one therapy jacuzzi is very difficult to get into and out of. The one closest to the windows looking out. The pricing for the spa was outrageous, and under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have even entertained the thought of spending that much money, but I was lucky enough to have it gifted to me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This is an older ship that surprised me on how good it still looks. Norwegian seemed to put the money into the ship rather than adding more bars. This said, there were some problems, like, the room next to us had a water leak and workers ... Read More
This is an older ship that surprised me on how good it still looks. Norwegian seemed to put the money into the ship rather than adding more bars. This said, there were some problems, like, the room next to us had a water leak and workers behind the inside wall made banging noises early in the morning. While finding our way around the ship, which is a little different than other ships we have been on, l did see two water stains in the carpet. This is a happy ship. The workers don't seem overworked, although, when asked they put in a lot of hours every day. The trivia and games were fun and they were able to adjust well when there were to many or not enough people to play. Entertainment was average, but, Elements is a must see. The regular dining was just as good, unless a perk, don't pay extra to eat. We found two great waiters Lahcen Le Kamel and Nyzel Piton. If you like joking around, these two will stay with you to make for a fun meal. I am going to add there picture. Read Less

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