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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Having booked what I thought would be the trip of a lifetime I have been left very dissapionted.Embarkation was a joke!3 hours queing in high 20 degree temperatures with no information or as much as a glass of water because ncl had not ... Read More
Having booked what I thought would be the trip of a lifetime I have been left very dissapionted.Embarkation was a joke!3 hours queing in high 20 degree temperatures with no information or as much as a glass of water because ncl had not informed passengers of the need for 2 passport photo copies.Booking in was then not completed properly with no credit card details taken,only to receive a rude letter 2days later informing me of delays dissembarking because I had chosen to pay by cash.The ship was very overcrowded,there were always ques at the dining rooms and it was almost impossible to get a seat at the buffet resturant.Whilst I understand that this is a freestyle ship what little dress code there is for the resturants was not enforced with hoodys flipflops,heavily printed t-shirts apparently all acceptible.The food was very good and the service from the onboard staff excellant.The entertainment was of very poor quality,with only 1 45 minute show per day even on sea days.Every bar had loud music of poor quality.On disembarkation my case was destroyed,this has happened before on another cruise line and I had my case replaced,but ncl just washed there hands of it saying that they are not responsible for losses due to luggage handling.This was not my first cruise but is was my first with ncl and it will be my last with them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We had a great time on this cruise, really enjoyed it. I would have given an overall rating of good but the rating system above doesn’t have anything between average and very good. We recently sailed around South America with HAL on ... Read More
We had a great time on this cruise, really enjoyed it. I would have given an overall rating of good but the rating system above doesn’t have anything between average and very good. We recently sailed around South America with HAL on Zaandam and virtually everything about that cruise was just that bit better than NCL. The cabin was bigger, the meals were better, the general service seemed better, the smartphone app was far superior, the entertainment was classier. NCL seem to be cost cutting in many areas. I thought one very telling thing was the quality of the loo paper which was disgracefully poor. Also NCL charge a 20% gratuity on all drinks c. f. HAL 15%. Having said that, this cruise was very enjoyable and we were generally happy with the overall package. We generally choose cruises based on destinations rather than the cruise line (although no destination would be good enough for us to choose P&O). We would happily sail with NCL again in the future if they are going to destinations we want to see. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Asia cruise is in my bucket list: 1. Very good service cabin steward, main dining, specialty restaurant, and buffet. The staff were very courteous, customer oriented, & attend to the needs of the passengers with out asking them for ... Read More
Asia cruise is in my bucket list: 1. Very good service cabin steward, main dining, specialty restaurant, and buffet. The staff were very courteous, customer oriented, & attend to the needs of the passengers with out asking them for help. 2. Laundry poor service, we send our laundry 3 days before we disembarked, it was not done until the night before the desembarkment, I had to complained to the manager of the guest service so we can have our laundry on time for our luggage to be pick up by 11:00pm. We should be advised that laundry can't be done on time. 3. We were stranded in Shanghai airport waiting for the NCL shuttle to transported us from airport to port. No show, there were around 26 passengers prepaid & arranged through NCL travel. We have to provide our own transporter from the airport to the port for fear of missing the ship. When we complained to the guest service we were told that we will be credited. There's no acknowledgement from the management for being sorry for the inconvenience & stress from being abandon by the NCL service. No compassion at all at least a little card of apology should make us felt better. 3. Desembarkment was disorganized & chaotic. As we disembarked. other passengers embarking as well those creating a lot of traffic in the gangway. Some of those passengers were rowdy& mean. Post desembarkment excursion was too chaotic & disorganized. exsursion numbers for the buses was not provided, sophia excursion staff was too mean & nasty cannot asked her a question, & yelled to get out of her sight. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Again we chose this back-to-back cruise primarily because of the most interesting itinerary. This cruise started in Shanghai, China, and ended in Yokohama Japan. The Orient was new for us and it was a " port intensive " sailing ... Read More
Again we chose this back-to-back cruise primarily because of the most interesting itinerary. This cruise started in Shanghai, China, and ended in Yokohama Japan. The Orient was new for us and it was a " port intensive " sailing visiting 7 port cities in Japan, and 3 in China with only 2 sea days. The Japanese ports of Shimizu and Yokohama were the only duplicates from the first itinerary. In Shanghai and Beijing we enjoyed overnight stays and two days in each city. The Great Wall and Tianjin square were easily accessible. The oriental cultures have a tremendous respect for nature represented through their religions of Shinto & Buddhism. We learned much about the origins, overlaps, and uniquenesses of the Eastern cultures. Broadening our horizons we have learnt Japan is not one island, but rather consists of 7,000 islands ! The cruise was enjoyable, and cabins and ship clean​,it is dated and wear is showing.... It is scheduled for a major drydock retrofit in October 2018. Food was reasonable throughout the variety of ship restaurants. We noticed most restaurant food was only warm - the exception being the Garden Cafe immediately upon opening. One of the most significant concerns remains " head office control " limiting the chefs ability to vary menus, and provide culinary cuisine more reflective of the Asian area of travel. While it is nice to not deal with the logistics of transport, and accommodation in this variety of cities, we did miss out on experiencing the local oriental cuisines in more depth. Overall entertainment quality and variety was good with one exception that should have been thrown overboard. However the absence of any entertainment reflective of the oriental culture, " enrichment programs " c​ultural , basic language , or port information was disappointing. Onboard activities have been severely curtailed, and many services had very limited hours. The focus was clearly on NCL Shore excursions,​ and selling additional spa, dining, or health services. For example the library only opened for one hour most days, and although a quiet spot to read it smelled of smoke. Shore excursions desk was also only open briefly, and there were often significant lines. We guess they are trying to embrace the more cost effective electronic culture and encourage you to book that way. Most shore excursions were full bus loads. Ironically we found the variety, quality, and execution of the tours in China to be considerably better than Japan. Rather than being limited to traditional sightseeing tours for example we were able to spend several hours in a traditional Chinese family home, and rural visits to better experience the culture. Does China have more experience with tourism than Japan ? Tour guides were clearly more experienced and professional. As all locations were new to us, and due to the language and cultural challenges, we booked mostly NCL excursions. Increasingly we discovered more guests successfully using independent guides, or venturing out on their own with taxis, and they were reporting much more satisfying experiences. The assembly process of participants in the ship theatre, disembarkation & load the tour buses continued to be chaotic, with clients arriving late, not queuing respectfully, & not following instructions. Frankly this waiting and disorganization caused many tours to be less than enjoyable. In Sakaiminato the ship was docked and cleared for several hours before shore tour participants were allowed off this resulted in a 1.5 hour backlog at customs and tour agendas curtailed and cut short as a result. Communication issues with customs & immigration , & embarkation processes, were experienced, but to be expected with many new ports, and several foreign countries. Using the walking or jogging track you also encounter “ smoking areas “ where your exercise and fresh air experience was dampened. For the most part staff were genuine and helpful, however there were several encounters were it was obvious staff were not allowed to think, and responded accordingly with a " standard answer " even when it made absolutely no sense in the circumstances. Upon disembarkation in Tokyo we had a week to explore and experience the world famous quality from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kawasawki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Toshiba, Canon, Sony, Panasonic. Japan taught the world " just-in-time " manufacturing, and that organizations should value their employees. We enjoyed Golden Week, Fruhlings Fest, and the Port festivals and activities while there. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
I would like to share my experience with Norwegian Cruise line regarding our trip to China/Japan. The reason I chose this cruise was because of the reasonable price verses other cruise agencies for the same location. I had never cruised ... Read More
I would like to share my experience with Norwegian Cruise line regarding our trip to China/Japan. The reason I chose this cruise was because of the reasonable price verses other cruise agencies for the same location. I had never cruised with Norwegian and would highly recommend them to anyone. Their staff cannot be beat! Everyone was friendly and went out of their way to make certain we had a wonderful trip. We did! Pros: GREAT STAFF! Very attentive and fun, plenty of activities when at sea, excursions well organized, disembarkation fantastic! Off the ship to catch our plane in plenty of time. Best price for China/Japan and excursion locations. Staff made certain everyone entering the buffet used hand sanitizer. Staff at O'Sheehan's was so much fun I would return just to be with them again! Cons: Embarkation disorganized, would have liked more excursions to choose from (took some private tours). Great time! Hope to cruise with Norwegian again. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Although we cruised a while ago on the NCL Joy (December 2017 and April 2018), I thought our experiences might be useful to share now that the Joy is leaving the Asian market. I will aim to keep my comments to points that may still apply ... Read More
Although we cruised a while ago on the NCL Joy (December 2017 and April 2018), I thought our experiences might be useful to share now that the Joy is leaving the Asian market. I will aim to keep my comments to points that may still apply in the new market, so won't bore you with the dismal embarkation experience in Shanghai! The ship was less than a year old when we sailed, and is beautifully fitted out with that luxury feel. We booked a Concierge Suite, which I believe is unique to the Joy. I will comment below on the details of the room, but included with the room were a number of privileges, including access to a dedicated lounge where breakfast and lunch were served daily. The lounge we used (which was located directly above the bridge) is going to be opened up to all after the refurbishment (Observation Lounge), which is a shame as it was a glorious quiet location to hang out (with amazing views), but the website is still promising private dining. We also got access to a concierge desk, a free go kart ride and a free laser tag game, the "unlimited beverage package" and 6 speciality dining coupons. We did not visit the MDRs as they exclusively served Asian food, but the Gardens Cafe buffet had a great selection of asian and western food. We mainly though dined in the speciality restaurants. Many were the usual NCL offerings: Cagneys, La Cucina, Teppanyaki, Le Bistro and Food Republic; and they were all good. Food Republic was particularly good for casual dining. It is disappointing to see that they are replacing the Chinese Hot Pot and Korean BBQ with a "social comedy and night club" - it would have been nice for the ship to keep some individuality. There was also a great Noodle Bar which is being replaced by a fitness centre; and also a wonderful Grand Tea Room which is being replaced by a Brew House. Of course one of the big differences when the ship was built (specifically for the asian market) was that the "pool deck" was replaced by Serenity Gardens, an open space, with a couple of smaller pools. This was a lovely area, and deck plans now posted seem to indicate that it is staying that way. Which could be a shock for people who expect a big pool in the centre with circling loungers, but lovely for people who aren't lounge lizards. The Japanese ports we visited were amazing, there were no NCL excursions, as the majority of passengers were with Chinese tour groups, and they all had their own included excursions. This was no problem, as all the ports were easy to self-explore, and as well as visits to historic and cultural sites in Hiroshima, Kochi, Nagasaki and Fukuoka we got to visit Universal Studios Japan (Osaka). The entertainment was first class. We got two of the NCL Production shows - Paradis and Elements, which were a great contract and showed off the talents of the cast; and also some amazing guests artists including magicians from China and aerialists from Russia. Shows were packed every performance (3 show per day), and were filled with an enthusiastic audience. Overall, we couldn't fault the service on board. Signage, and announcements were in Mandarin and English, and everyone was particularly friendly to the Aussie foreigners. It is a shame that the cruises weren't promoted more globally, I think with the opportunity, a lot more people could have enjoyed this beautiful ship and the wonders of Japan and China. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted the all-immersive Chinese atmosphere this cruise ship offered. We also wanted to visit its home port, Shanghai, and the 3 Japanese ports. The ship is new, and we also wanted the 'new ship' experience. Exploring Shanghai ... Read More
We wanted the all-immersive Chinese atmosphere this cruise ship offered. We also wanted to visit its home port, Shanghai, and the 3 Japanese ports. The ship is new, and we also wanted the 'new ship' experience. Exploring Shanghai was great, a never-ending excursion of its own. Embarkation was a little slow, but then there were thousands boarding. Took about 1,5 hours. We had a great balcony cabin aft, wonderful views. No problems in the cabin. We were overwhelmed by an engaged crew (we spent our anniversary at sea and they really spoiled us). And to our surprise, complimentary breakfast in the cabin was offered daily. Some things we missed: No laundry promotion as on other Norwegian ships (one bag laundered for a price). Inexplicably, the fitness room was tiny, and it was crammed with users most of the day. And although we heard there had been Tai Chi classes on previous cruises, there were none on ours. The food in the buffet was disappointing, and if you are not prepared for ordinary Chinese table manners, better read up before hand; although the service was excellent. The food in the one specialty restaurant we went to (some kind of Fusion cuisine) was good, the service was excellent, and the food was prepared and appeared within minutes of ordering. The quality of the show was good. We were particularly impressed by the decor, especially the art work on display. We did not partake of shore excursions, since they were not bookable in advance for English speakers (the ship language was Mandarin). So we had made other arrangements prior. But there were free or very cheap shuttles (in Hiroshima, you have to change from shuttle to the train, so we opted for taxi). We travelled without children, but there were more children on this cruise than I've seen on 6 other cruises I've been on. In fact, it was the youngest group. It seemed many families were travelling with several generations. The many computer and virtual (4D, etc.) offers are certainly great for the youngsters, less for us. However, the Japanese cities were enough to keep us busy. Read Less
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