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We have cruised Norwegian 5 times, Royal Caribbean 1 time and Carnival one time. I would say Norwegian and Royal are about on par with regard to elegance, comfort, service, food (quality and choice) and amenities. The ship we were on with Carnival was the oldest in their fleet and due for renovations, so it is hard to judge their overall quality - but our ship was quite shabby and rundown. The food was definitely not on par with Norwegian or Royal. The service was excellent as with the other 2 lines. We prefer Norwegian's "free style " dining to the other lines' assigned time and seating dinning. Although on-your-own dinning was available with Royal, it was harder to get a seat than we have experienced with Norwegian. We really like and recommend The Haven section of Norwegian ships for the traveler not on a tight budget.
The adult only indoor pool in Royal's ship was a very nice amenity, too and was open to all. When I booked our very first cruise (ever) it was with Norwegian and I joined the Latitudes Club. That very first time I was assigned a personal representative and she kept in touch before and after the cruise. Subsequent reps for the company have been in touch with annual phone calls and occasional emails with offers. These contacts are not too frequent or bothersome and have resulting in 2 bookings with some great deals. I appreciate the customer service and having a dedicated person to call/email with questions. I also joined the "clubs" of Royal and Carnival but have never heard from them again (other than an occasional generic ad). No one from those lines pursued my future business. A loss for them.
Great experience indeed at the NCL-The Sun. Departure was on May 06, 2019, little uncomfortable at the beginning due to the plague 'Love Bugs' in Orlando area. Nothing to do with the Cruise Line, but with mother nature. We embarked in the morning hours, lunch was ready for us, rooms were clean & ready. Staff was always ON POINT!! Thanks to all the magnificent staff from Manila-Philippines, Costa Rica, Colombia and other countries including USA. We visited Key West, did the Trolley tour, little delay due to the rainy weather, but that's the fault of mother nature again.
Our stop in Cuba was smooth, staff was very courteous providing water when we reenter the ship. I highly recommend this Cuba destination. The only problem is that I miss all the spoiling from the cruise, and no food taste good at home because of the great dishes they prepared at the restaurants & buffet sites. Thanks Norwegian Cruise Line The Sun for having a dream come true for me (Ruth) and my son Silvio. I love Cuba citizens, great people indeed.
The booking & payment process was smooth & simple. Our few pre cruise queries were easily resolved. We sailed on April 7th 2019. Boarding was smooth, as we arrived quite late due to having had almost a 2 hr wait for a bus to the ship. We weren't informed by the agents of the cause. Our cabin was fine, everything worked & size was adequate. The ship is quite old, though recently refurbished. Facilities on board were good, with numerous bars & restaurants, plus many other leisure amenities. Ports of call were generally good & accessible, apart from Santorini, where rough seas & a broken down shore based cable car made access impossible. The ship was promptly readied for a "sea" day with food & events quickly reorganized.
Our one disappointment was waiting for 45 minutes for a breakfast that didn't reach the table before we walked out. Needless to say, we didn't go back to Windows restaurant, though we were invited to do so. The greatest success of the Spirit is the friendliness & "can do" attitude of the customer facing crew. They were remarkable, from the "Washy - Washy" team to the assistant Maître D's. We also loved the 3 Grenadian pool deck stewards, who worked so hard yet were always smiling, cheery & helpful. We enjoyed our cruise & will long remember the experience. Well done NCL.
We have gone on 5 cruises with NCL, most recently on The Epic. We have gone on 3 "mega ships" and 1 ship holding half the amount of people. We have never had an issue with anything. The NCL consultant we use to book is always helpful and is knowledgeable about the ships and islands. We have always had great meals in the restaurants, whether a specialty restaurant or the buffet. Our rooms have always been clean and the stewards were all friendly and got us anything we asked for. Was I a fan with the bathroom and sink setup on the Epic...not really but it certainly wasnt enough to ruin my cruise. The amount of storage in our room was unbelievable. Every nook was storage. Way more than we needed. Embarkation went very quickly and the disembark was quick with the customs facial recognition program.
Our most recent cruise, NCL booked our airfare, hotel, and shuttle. The original hotel was booked so they put us at another hotel, closer to the port, credited us for the hotel that was overbooked and didnt charge us for the new hotel they put us at. The shuttle service was great. A NCL rep was waiting for us by baggage claim and we got shuttled right away to the hotel. They picked us up at the hotel the next day, and took us to the port and then from the port back to the hotel the next day. Everything went very smoothly and the hotel we ended up at was very nice. We love NCL, and will not sail with any other line.
Fellow cruisers and future cruisers: After reading all the complaints regarding NCL I must say hogwash to them all. I have cruised NCL 12 times and also a cruise with Holland America and Costa and I can tell you that NCL is far above them all period. The complaints given are BS! NCL have the happiest staff and I have yet to have any negative experiences at all... I can only guess that the complaint is prob work for another cruise line and or are loyal to the same. From the food to the entertainment NCL is fantastic!!! Having said this one certainly has their own opinion and tastes but for me I sail like a Norwegian???
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My wife and I booked our cruise & flights through NCL. The bookings went through fine, but NCL says that they will email us our itinerary. We wanted to change flights, but according to NCL, we can only change our flights 2 month ahead before our departure date. We had 3 months left before our departure date. We checked our email every day, but no sign of NCL. We called Customer Service several times to see if we can get our itinerary and each time they said that there were "working on it." This has been almost 3 weeks after we booked our tickets.
After 3 and weeks We finally received a confirmation with our booking number and a link to NCL login page. We were able to check our Cruise dates and times, but another issue arose. We wanted to change our flight so long story short NCL customer service told us that we can call United Airlines to make the change. We called United Airlines and they said that we booked our flights through a third-party so we'll need to call NCL and have them change it.
We called NCL back and they said, "Sorry, you can't change your flight anymore as our policy stated that you will need to change your flight 2 months before your departure date." We told them that they never sent us any confirmation that is why we couldn't change the flight dates. All they said was "sorry, we can't do anything about it." NCL kept referring us to United Airlines and United Airlines kept referring us to NCL. Seriously, their customer service are the worst. This will be the first and last time that we will book with NCL.
Don't know where to begin but let me put it this way. We went to guest services in 3 occasions with issues. Each time told a manager would call to resolve. Received a call 930 pm on last night of sailing. Apparently managers were very busy on this ship. Message at 930 pm on last night of cruise was simply "Your request is denied." Since our only request was to speak with a manager apparently management chose not to speak with us.
We then proceeded next am to cancel our future cruise vouchers we had booked with NCL which they thanked us for doing and when we told them this would be our last cruise with NCL they said, "Ok. Thank you." They obviously have more business than they can handle so they are happy to lighten the load. Truth be told crew on this ship seemed unhappy and worn out. At no time did anyone...no one ask how our experience was. The staff on this ship just doesn't care and it showed several times. If you looking for a just so so trip you will love NCL.
Cruised on the Star in March 2019 and ended up with bed bug bites on last day. We were very disappointed and frustrated by the lack of care, knowledge and thoughtfulness of the Guest Relations staff who responded to our case. These bites of course ruined our vacation, and we then had 2 extremely stressful weeks afterwards at home, worried we had brought bed bugs home with us (we slept in a tent, bought pesticides and bed bug traps, etc.). The initial response was basically, "Sorry this happened but we checked the room and it seems fine." I sent pictures of my arm to show that I wasn't dreaming this up. I wasn't covered in bites so there wasn't an infestation and a couple of bugs could easily hide, if the people who answered us knew anything about bed bugs. We've done a ton of research and know a bit now.
They can hide in pockets and easily get transferred from one place to another, so if the Star has had any reports of bed bugs, then they could have ended up in our room. Because we were treated with such a lack of care, we are sad to say that we no longer want to sail with Norwegian and they were our favorite cruise line. All we were asking for was our Cruise Next deposit back and were refused any compensation for our trouble. This is not how you run a business and treat your customers. We have taken 4 cruises and spent at least $12,000 total with this company. We feel we deserve at least our deposit back minus what was credited to our onboard credit; this would total to $250. How much trouble would it be for Norwegian, that is worth billions of dollars, to give a customer a small $250 refund for a bad experience and ruined cruise? We tried to reopen our case and heard nothing from them.
No one at Norwegian Cruise lines wants to take ownership of a situation they keep bouncing us back and forth between departments everybody blames everybody else and they all state someone will contact us to get resolution and nobody does. We have spent hours on the phone and days and days and emails and no resolution yet. We strongly feel they do this intentionally to avoid providing us a refund for one leg of our flight. I have cruise with him three times and we will never ever cruise with them again nor would we recommend them to anyone. I would rather paddle on a kayak across the Indian Ocean than cruise with them again! I would rather jump in an ocean full of sharks and take my chance of getting to the other side than cruise with them. I would rather jump off a plank than cruise with them.
I just got back from an Alaska cruise on the Norwegian-Joy several things of concern to me were. 1) Staff literally was being disciplined in corridors in visible sight of passengers. This was found on 3 occasions. 2) Handicap, disabled or passengers with huge service dogs did not have a separate elevator I witness one handicap person wait 3 times. People were rude and would run in front of him to get on the elevator with no regards for him. Some people might have allergies to animals and these dogs were like Great Danes. I seen them everywhere on the ship. The dogs were very good dogs but they were huge and getting on elevators.
3) The port stays were very short, felt extremely rushed and one port we were there for 4 hours during the night. Why bother stopping. I would have rather stayed 4 hours longer at another port. For older adults they had no dancing earlier than 10:00 p.m. or later the dancing on the deck was okay but after a nice dinner I would have liked to dance at a nice place indoors. We ate dinner early around 5:30 to 6:00 p.m. Last but not least I found people have become extremely rude. It’s been a long time since my last cruise on Disney and I certainly noticed some people (cruisers) have no manners and the sense of privilege and treating staff as unwitting servants almost. Well that's my 2 cents on this trip. I did cruise with a group of 16 wonderful people that made it worthwhile.
Norwegian Cruise Lines expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Norwegian Cruise Lines has been in business for over 48 years; it developed the concept of freestyle cruising, which means a relaxed dress code, that lets guests enjoy the cruise at unscheduled, individual paces.
Svedka & Inniskillin ice bar: The Svedka & Inniskillin ice bar is a bar set in an arctic chamber; the walls, the bar and everything inside is made from ice.
Waterfront: Norwegian's Waterfront is a quarter-mile deck where guests can walk and enjoy oceanfront views.
Walk the Plank: Thrill seekers can experience walking the Plank, which is a narrow beam traveling 8 feet out over the water.
Great Stirrup Cay: One of Norwegian's unique stops is the company's private island, where guests can explore and play in the shoreline.
Broadway at sea: Norwegian Cruise Lines guests can take in exclusive Broadway shows while on board.
Best for: The Norwegian Cruise liner is best for budget-conscious families and adults looking for a relaxed, less formal cruise experience.
Norwegian Cruise Lines Company Information
- Company Name:
- Norwegian Cruise Lines
- Year Founded:
- 7665 Corporate Center Drive
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (866) 234-7350