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Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Overall Satisfaction Rating
3.66/5
  • 5 stars
    174
  • 4 stars
    173
  • 3 stars
    92
  • 2 stars
    32
  • 1 stars
    90
Based on 561 ratings submitted in the last year
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Norwegian Cruise Lines

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690 Norwegian Cruise Lines Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Rated with 5 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 16, 2019

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.

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Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 22, 2019

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.

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Rated with 5 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 17, 2019

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.

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Rated with 5 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 30, 2018

We are one of the ones as well that booked St Thomas, Tortola and Nassau and got changed to Grand Cayman, Tortola, Great Stirrup Cay and Nassau. Yes, we were disappointed and mad at first. But you know what? That's NOT Norwegian's fault! We realized that. It didn't make it better, but we understood. Once on the ship, we had such a really great time. We had a few weather issues throughout our cruise that resulted in Great Stirrup Cay being canceled, and Stingray City being closed. But again, that's NOT NCL's fault.

We did have one issue with our housekeeper and a couple issues with a couple staff members but once we brought it to NCL's attention, they tried to make it right. I would absolutely recommend them to my friends and family. Heck, this cruise was just in January and we just booked another one with them in October. Yes, we had disappointing things happen on our cruise, but ultimately you really have to think about what is and is not in NCL's control.

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11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 24, 2018

Overall not bad, but what is annoying is far too many out of control brats, running through hallways and on the decks banging into people and the parents could care less. They are on vacation as I heard one put it. Well leave your brats with grandma, a neighbor or a friend. Let them have the thrill of being annoyed, rather than unsuspecting passengers on a cruise ship, that are trapped with these darlings for 7 or 10 days. If you can't control them, don't inflict them on others. Also, price the cruise accordingly so as not to nickel and dime people for soda or iced tea. It is pathetic. Stop competing with Carnival and set a standard of your own.

6 people found this review helpful
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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 16, 2019

My husband and I went on our first cruise and used Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). We left Florida 8+ hours late. Our first stop was in the Bahamas. We missed that stop. NCL said it was because of the weather! However since we were 8+ hours late, I believe it was because they needed to make up time. They had a schedule to keep and was keeping it as the expense of their passengers. There were lines for everything since we were on the ship for extra days. Getting on and off the ship was PAINFUL!!!!

I have written several letters to NCL and the first 2 were not answered. Then finally I got a letter back stating in the contract NCL can cancel going to any of the ports for weather reasons. SO HMMMM, why not say it was weather related that we had to miss the Bahamas!!! They never made an announcement why we were delayed. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND NCL to anyone!!!!

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2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 15, 2019

I haven't even gone on my cruise yet, the trip of a lifetime, and am now looking forward to it with trepidation. Their website is one of the most cumbersome I have ever tried to navigate. As you are going to the selections, be careful, because if you want to change one thing, you have to go all the way back to the beginning and start all over. Because of this, I was unable to select from the room options I had been offered earlier in the day. When I was ready to complete the reservation, it took me straight to the payment page without offering the room selections I had been given earlier. Thinking my earlier selection was still there, I made the payment. Now I find that we are stuck in the bottom of the boat with a window the size of a dinner plate. I will not be able to do this trip again and am now looking forward to a dark room, "conveniently" located near a night club. If I could cancel without great cost, I would.

2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 14, 2019

I booked an excursion for the 4 hours we would have in Victoria BC, it was to be 3 hrs and 45 minutes including 1 hr and 45 mins at the Butchart Gardens. Once on the ship I received a note stating that the excursion was now called "Express" Butchart Gardens...never did I suspect i was going to be given 55 minutes at the Gardens. We docked at about 8 pm but by the time things were sorted out and we disembarked it was 9 pm. The bus driver that took us to the Gardens was amazing, so kind and funny, he gave us a brief tour while driving to the destination (about 40 minutes drive).

55 minutes at this place was not even half of one would need, especially because the tour was at night when it was dark. The Butchart Gardens is huge, the entire bus was running around trying to see the most we could. It was terrible. I spent $129 per ticket to run for 55 minutes to see a quarter of what was there and honestly could not even enjoy it.

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2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 14, 2019

My husband had never been on a cruise. I had been on only 3 previously.

Pros: 1) The theater production we saw was excellent of Jersey Boys.
2) There were several other theater productions.
3) Newer ship.

4) Savor restaurant was very nice. We didn’t get a chance to enjoy the dining experience due to the terrible illness going around.

Cons: 1) Terrible virus going around. Required antibiotics as developed a bacterial infection and high fever. Then my husband caught it and had to go to urgent care as soon as we returned home.
2) I don’t know about other rooms, but thought it was odd some areas weren’t being cleaned like the long tray under the bathroom mirror. I moved all the toothbrushes and paste onto a towel to see if it would get cleaned, but it DID NOT. I’m sure the new residents will catch the virus we had.

3) The music venue performers were not diverse enough. In the atrium on level 6 it was often the same duo, playing different sets and often pitchy, and sometimes on level 8 there was other music, but way too loud.

4) Many employees and guests were coughing and wiping runny noses. Even with spraying hands with sanitizer at entrance to buffet, tongs used to get food had to have been covered in germs. Notes were stressing the importance of hand washing, not shaking hands, etc. The Dr. told me I would need to get out a lot of phlegm, BEFORE I felt congested in my chest. Initially I had a very high fever and sinus infection. So... that to me indicated that the symptoms were already known. So we missed half of the cruise basically. I don’t know how you can protect yourself unless you wear a mask and have sanitizer after touching anything! Elevator button, stair rail, food tong... virus is terrible. Be careful.

4) Food had to be paid for in many instances, and getting sodas using the soda package was a hassle as I need carbonation to take my meds and vitamins. You had to get it in a glass at the bar. Getting water was a joke. You have to buy it to be hydrated. I tried many times to find out if the tap water was safe, and not once could I get a straight answer.

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Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 13, 2019

Everything has been very disorganized. Food is either raw or overcooked. Restaurants are overcrowded. Service is slow and some staff members are VERY rude. Carney's steak house staff was very rude: My filet Mignon come out 45" minutes later, cold, and Well done like Beef Jerky. My wife Prime rib was Cold and very rare (Red rare). Garden buffet was horrible. Some cook behind counter trying to ask my wife out on the next cruise stop. Staff was very rude. Stare at woman when they walk by, even with husband (Sexual harassment gestures comment). Those are the guys with "captain" uniform. Overall very bad cruise ship. Need retrain staff.

2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 9, 2019

Everything has been very disorganized. Food is either raw or overcooked. None of the staff speak English well enough to be understood. Restaurants are overcrowded. Service is slow and some staff members are VERY rude. Had money stolen from my wife's purse and other lady on the fishing excursion. When we reported it to the guest services on the ship, we were called liars. No one wanted to do anything about it until I said I would get on social media and every review site I could find. They grudgingly looked into it. 6 people on the fishing boat. We suspect it was the captain or the deck hand that got into the ladies purses while we were fishing. Guest services did not even want to hear about the complaint. Rooms on the ship are very cramped.

Everything on the ship is overcrowded. Difficult to get around or find a place to sit and eat inside. When I complained about the lack of seating, I was told I could sit out on the deck. It was 36 degrees and raining. I politely declined. My wife had made reservations to attend a show on her birthday. When we went to go to the show, we found out it had been cancelled. No notification of the cancellation, no apologies. We were told "Oh, well". Direct quote from the staff. This trip was to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It has been very memorable. Not in a pleasant way.

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2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 28, 2019

Norwegian Giving Joy contest consisted of giving free cruises to 30 teachers and 3 of those teachers receiving money for their school. Nice gesture. However, Norwegian did not follow the contest rules that was on their website. Also, their press releases contradicted their website rules. Website rules: Top 60 teachers with most public votes became semi-finalists. They submitted proof such as videos, photos, quotes. The top 60 nominee submissions were to be judged and scored by a panel of judges: Relevance to contest theme 50%. Lasting impact on his/her students 30%. Content and originality 20%. Highest 30 scores became finalists (i.e. win a cruise). Top 3 scores win money for their school. Norwegian sent non-winners in the top 60 an email stating they didn't win and included a list of the winners. The winner list is in the EXACT order of the teachers with the top 30 votes!

It's obvious Norwegian simply took the 30 teachers with the most votes as cruise winners. They didn't do due diligence for teachers #1-60 per website rules. Press release: teachers with the top 30 votes win a cruise. (contradictory to rules). Hence, teachers #31-60 spent time to gather videos, photos, etc. and submit within 2 days. They weren't even in the running for a cruise. 46,000 teachers entered the contest + 1.4 million votes + voting only through Facebook + media coverage = free publicity for Norwegian.

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3 people found this review helpful
Rated with 3 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 27, 2019

Good -- entertainment, drinks, food (especially specialty dining) Washy Washy girl???? Bad -- room (tiny, bed not comfortable, barely saw steward). Getting off at port (disorganized, chaotic, lots of standing in long lines). Excursion through NCL (disorganized chaos). Casino being in middle of floor on busy deck.

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Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 27, 2019

We have booked this cruise for 2020 March on the Norwegian Gem 18 months in advance.... how very stupid of us but we live and learn. We booked this through Planet Cruise which again is our first experience with this company. We paid £2229 per person and the same cruise is basically £400 per person cheaper if we were to book today. I realise prices can increase and decrease but £800 per couple is a significant amount of money so contacted NCL. I was not expecting any refund but maybe a gesture of good will but absolutely nothing was offered. So disappointed ☹️. I so hope this cruise lives up to its expectations but even before we have set sail I don’t think we will book with Planet Cruise or sail with NCL again.

2 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 25, 2019

Our Norwegian Jade Voyage of 11/16/2018 was cancelled because of mechanical problems at the first port. Stuff happens so no problem. They refunded our payment and gave credit for another cruise. All good. BUT, they PROMISED to reimburse travel expense up to $650 each if we made our own travel arrangements, which we did. We submitted our claim with proof of our travel expense. After following up a month or so, they said they needed proof. We submitted it again. A few days later, received another email asking for proof. 3 times we have submitted proof and now 6 months later, still no reimbursement. If you call them, unless you are calling to book or ask questions about a cruise, expect 40 minutes at least to wait before you talk to a human.... HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SVC... I will not spend another dime with Norwegian until we receive the promised reimbursement. NOT A HAPPY CUSTOMER!!!!

10 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 24, 2019

My husband and I embarked on our week long cruise (first vacation in over 30 years with no children). We were not sick when we started, rarely ever get sick but by day 2 my husband was deathly sick. Within 2 days of that, I followed suit. We had high fever (almost 104 degrees) sore throat, coughing up green gunk, headache, massive body aches that made walking to the bathroom almost unbearable. We had been coughed on at muster station and a few other places by other sick people which is probably where we got this bug. I was in such severe pain I was forced to go to the onship medic. They put me on IV fluids and diagnosed me with pneumonia and influenza A and C. I kept asking what the charges would be to treat and the doctor kept saying "oh don't worry - it won't be much".

I literally could not get a cost out of him. They also have you sign a blank form of "charges" which they go in after the fact and gouge you with all kind of trumped up charges. After pressing him a lot - he finally said "oh it won't be more than $2,000.00" Our jaws dropped but I was in such dire straits I had no choice. He also told me if I didn't treat it that I could get worse in the matter of 2-3 hours and I could end up with a pulmonary edema. That scared the crap out of me so of course. What could we do. We got treated. They sent a bill after we left - for $4,541.25!!! Way more than the $2,000.00 he quoted us.

They also quarantined us to our room - but honestly we were both on our death bed so had hardly left our room all week after the first 2 days anyway. So all said - for a week vacation for 2 people that we got to enjoy 2 1/2 days the cost was almost $9,000.00. They gouge you with costs any chance they get but the medical expenses were absolutely unacceptable and unethical! I am appalled at the practices of Norwegian Cruise Lines and we will NEVER cruise with them again!!

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12 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 22, 2019

My immediate family booked three room onboard the Norwegian cruise, leaving NYC. We were alerted two days after I booked that the port stops had been reduced, as well as the length of the overall cruise. We actually made a family decision to take this cruise based off the stops it did specify! For years these were top destinations we wanted to celebrate turning age 60 in, college graduation, and two other birthdays of the passengers! We had no desire to float aimlessly at sea for 10 days, making one remote stop. If crossing the sea had been the main focus, we would have taken the cruise ship that goes direct... Not to mention the burden of airline flights that can't be used, commitments to car rentals, hotels, dog sitters, making arrangements with work...

This is unacceptable! Why aren't the persons scheduled to travel grouping together to solve this and get a refund? I do not have the time and money to give away! It's impossible to believe that NCL was unaware that this ship has issues and/or is getting a facelift. I'm not gonna put myself on a compromised ship. I have not lived more than half my life to celebrate like this! Simply put, outrageous behavior coming from a staff who could care less. I pray for Karma and for the consumers to get in touch to work together so we can all get a refund.

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11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 22, 2019

I want to start with saying that Guest Services never took concern for complaints, never apologized, and consistently misinform/lie to individuals. There is also no way of getting a non-obscured view unless you book the most expensive rooms on the ship (Haven), or you work as the crew and get the best part of the boat for your leisure time (the bow, bridge region). There is a WINDOW view from the observation lounge of the front of the ship; however, there are only around 12-16 (1-2 person chairs) and they are always filled with people. The only way to get a completely clear view of the waterfront is from the Haven or the crew's view.

ALSO: There were NOT enough BATHROOMS!! ALSO VERY LIMITED availability to get into ANY shows/comedies/entertainment (BOOK SHOWS/EVENTS MONTHS IN ADVANCE). The only 3 reasons I would consider giving this 2 stars is that there were two individuals I spoke to on the phone were very helpful and I really enjoyed them (prior to the cruise), as well as the housekeeping crew; I also greatly enjoyed the excursions, but was disappointed with the lack of time (zero time) to shop in Cabo, unless you don't book ANY excursion there).

I would have marked poor (instead of terrible) without these experiences due to the several lies I was given from the same individuals from the Guest Services desk. There was a woman who "cackled" at me several times for asking one question about the ship. Then two other men consistently changed their answers and never apologized for any inconveniences when I stated that my cabin mate and are very extremely disappointed by something (twice); one man simply shrugged and looked away, the other's response was similar. I would inform them on the first two responses they would tell me, (only after they lied to me on several occasions), and they would backtrack, reveal some information and lie again. If I cannot trust the guest services then I have nowhere to turn to for answers (all week).

I also did not like that only the Haven and the crew members were allowed the best views from the front of the ship without any obscured views (windows, seeing parts of the ship, etc...). This angered me greatly, as I want non-obscured views and many others I discussed this with on the ship were infuriated; guest services was not useful as well. I also did not like having to watch my luggage outside of my room for 1.5 hours (calling guest service 3 times), watching someone tamper with it and guest services (once again) lying to me several times. "They will be there by 12:30am latest". so I waited. I told them several times I was staying up late, because I was sincerely worried about my luggage and they said don't worry about it. Then I contacted again at 12:30am and they said "don't worry about it".

I then, AGAIN, informed them that I was watching it and staying up to watch it, and that I was willing to stay up all night watching it (night before disembarkation day) because I feared for my luggage after watching my neighbor tamper with the locks on my luggage. They finally (after I brought this up at 11pm, 11:30pm, and 12am, and 12:30am) told me they would call and send someone to pick them up. Every other cruise line picks my luggage up (WITHOUT ME CALLING) between 2-10 minutes after I place my luggage out of the room at ANY given time that they ask for it out by, or by request.

Worst experiences (for all 7 days) that I have EVER had with any cruise line. I have been spreading the word as I am a millennial with a large social following and my cabin mate is as well; that if you want honesty, integrity, good service, and good views on a ship; not to go on a Norwegian cruise (as per personal experience). The food in the main dining and the cafe was bland/poor quality, and there was not adequate seating (you have to check other floors to move your buffet too, in order to eat during several times of the day). The pools/sundecks were also overly crowded and the running track has limited availability. There was one wading pool, and one normal pool. HOT TUBS were CLOSED FREQUENTLY. Norwegian does NOT CARE.

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11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 22, 2019

8 days before we were to leave, we discovered that our 12 day cruise on the Norwegian Cruise Line-Getaway had been changed! The cruise was reduced from 12 days to 10, our itinerary was changed to mostly days at sea, and NCL dropped crucial ports of call to France and Belgium. All this to put the ship into dry dock! No impending storm or hurricane, no "sick ship scrub down", etc. This ruined our vacation. Now I'm trying to cancel flights, cancel hotel reservations, cancel excursions, cancel dog boarding reservations...you get the idea... I'm also told we will not get a full refund. This is just adding salt to the wound. If NCL doesn't handle this fairly; I'll not ever cruise with them again. Bethany in Texas.

11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 20, 2019

We booked this cruise in January 2019 on the Norwegian Getaway. It was for 12 days, across the North Atlantic. We going to stop first at Ponta Delgada, Portugal, then Portland, England then Brussels, Belgium and last port was Le Havre, France. We took the cruise to see France and Belgium, on April 19 - 8 days before the cruise we get an email the cruise is going to be shortened by 2 days, so no France or Belgium. We had shore excursions booked for those 2 ports, the company is reimbursing us 25% off the cruise fare, and I asked for the 2 days in beverage service charges credited, and the customer service agent said no.

Also we had a flight back from London Heathrow Airport, so we had to scramble to call Norwegian to rebook our flight. I was on hold a total of 1 1/2 hours before I spoke to someone to do that. We have done 8 cruises, this is our first Norwegian. We will see how we are treated on this cruise, and the service, if it is poor, there are plenty of cruise lines.

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10 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 15, 2019

My family and I just returned back from a recent cruise on Norwegian Epic. We have sailed multiple times on other cruise lines including Disney and Royal Caribbean. This was by far my worst cruise experience and will definitely be my last on Norwegian cruise lines. My mother whom had traveled on Norwegian four previous times said she would no longer sail with Norwegian either because of this experience.

We booked two rooms since we had six people traveling, three children and three adults. One of the rooms was originally an inside room and for our "free" offer we chose the premium drink package. My mother did decided to surprise us and paid for an upgrade prior to our cruise and when she spoke to a representative they informed her she now got to choose an "additional" two offers on top of our drink package so she chose premium dining and excursion credit even though she knew we would not be able to do any excursions since the kids were too young for many of them.

We get a drink on board and we were charged for the drink, the bartender said our card does not say we have a drink package and we would have to take it up with guest services. We went to guest services and there was a lady in front of us with the same issue. They told us when we upgraded our room, we voided our original drink package (even though we had a receipt to show we booked it) and they would not be able to figure it out until Monday when the corporate office opened.

It was Saturday when we embarked. We informed the service representative that it didn't make any sense since we have the receipt showing where we booked it and the representative on the phone told us we we still have the drink package, they said there was nothing they could do since they needed an account to charge the drink package to. We got a voicemail in our room on Monday which simply stated "we checked with our office and this was the package you booked so we can't do anything for you, sorry".

When we arrived to our room it was the smallest room I have ever seen. We had my 10 month old daughter with us and we asked for a pack and play which their response was "if we put a pack and play in the room it will be really cramped". Our thoughts were... Of course it was cramped, they designed the rooms after watching my tiny house. There was no storage to even put our clothes away so we just lived out of our suitcase for the week.

We booked their premium internet so our kids could use their tablets at night while we were in the room. The internet was advertised as unlimited internet for 4 devices. When we tried to get on a second device it stated we exceeded our device. We returned to the internet manager whom stated only one device could be used at a time and that was their highest package for internet. So basically we had to have someone log off before another kid could use it.

Inside the room, my wife and I typically watching TV while we get our kids to sleep. Once you turn on the tv you find out there are only two actual channels. "Favorite TV" and "Favorite Movies". Everything else you have to pay for. Favorite TV and Favorite movies are essentially just rotating shows/movies they choose and you are stuck with watching. Even when you have a tv show your kids or you enjoy, it cuts off before it ends but you don't have to worry because that same episode or movie will be back on later that day only slightly longer or shorter. So you are stuck watching reruns of the same episodes of the same shows over and over again.

On the ship the pools were always in repair. They drained the main pool twice during our seven day cruise for repair. The kid's pool was closed during the entire day at sea with no one actually working on it. The food was mediocre at best in the general dining rooms. We had premium dining which would have been nice except when we tried to book our meals (you only get three), all the times were booked before 9:30 pm. This was extremely frustrating since we tried to book the very first night on the ship. So our dining package went to waste completely.

The ports of call were good. The process of tendering at the ports of call was terrible. Norwegian has you "book" your tenders and then calls you up by tender numbers. Probably good in theory but terrible in reality. We found out later that no one in the lines actually go by their tender numbers and some simply don't book or make any reservations.

If you are trying to get to shore then you have to wait for your tender group to be called. Meanwhile everyone else in line is simply jumping in line. Our group was called and we couldn't even get off the ship for an additional hour because the staff was letting everyone who didn't make a reservation or book a tender get on the tender boats. Simply do away with the tender reservation and make it first come first serve like the other cruise lines, it makes it easier and less frustrating.

Norwegian will nickle and dime you to no end. We found this out when my wife booked a art instruction class where they tell you what painting they will do in the itinerary and you show up to paint it as part of the class. It is an extra $35 which she thought was ridiculous since typically on cruises most activities are free unless it involves drinking and this did not.

The "instructor" showed up, gave zero instruction and simply told the class to attempt to paint the painting but did not tell anyone how to do it. It was like seeing a professional portrait and simply telling a nonartist to paint what they did. They might as well put on Bob Ross and had the class listen to him give instruction. To top off the experience, they were supposed to paint the Northern lights and the instructor had them painting a dark sunset. Needless to say everyone in the class was upset and also needless to say, Norwegian offered zero help or solution to the problem.

Our stateroom attendant was very friendly but very slow. We had multiple days where our room was not cleaned because he had not gotten to it in time. It would be 9 pm and it was not turned down at all. He would later knock on our door after our kids were almost asleep to ask if we needed anything and when we didn't since we didn't want to wake up our kids, he would simply give us the itinerary for the next day.

For what you pay for on a cruise you should expect better service and more professional staff that actually care about customer service. I can deal with any and all issues if the staff is willing to make it right in any way possible. When we went to guest services one time they actually told us they are used to hearing complaints and are used to it which is why they let them off every six months. They would not help at all and I never once had a positive experience when I went to the desk. I returned to work and everyone asked me how my cruise was and I have been completely honest about my experience.

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11 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 10, 2019

We have cruised on several cruise lines including Viking, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Holland America and have never written a complaint. We have not even left on our cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines to Alaska and we have had a horrible experience and we are stuck with what they choose to give us. We booked a special "Sail Away" mini-suite which was supposed to be larger with a larger balcony. Our confirmation designates the category we paid for. We were not allowed to pick our room which was o.k. as long as we got our category.

When we received our room assignment we received a mini-suite that was in a different category which has a much smaller room and balcony. When we called our representative, he called back and left a message claiming we had gotten a better room because of its location. When we called back his personal number, we again left a message that this was not o.k. and to please call us back to talk. He didn't call, we called again. Finally after a week we called and asked for the manager. We were given a supervisor who told us many times that on the "website" it says you can get a different room. We DID NOT book through the website but by phone with a representative and we were not told that. She wouldn't do anything about giving us the category we paid for so we asked to talk to a manager. She said she would have one call us in the next day or so.

We received a call from another "supervisor" that afternoon and all they did was give us a man who was more firm (actually was raising his voice while talking) and would not budge on helping us. Therefore, we have not received a suite in the category we paid for but instead received a much smaller suite. We are stuck going on this trip as we have paid in full but we will never book a cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines again, no matter how wonderful the cruise is. William and Jennifer **

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8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 8, 2019

NCL - once tried and that's more than enough. Where should I start on that. I'm normally not someone who easily complains about issues and who is willing to overlook things but this cruise was the worst cruise I have ever done. I mean we spend over $10K just for the cruise which was nothing what came close to what NCL is promising in their advertisements. But from the Beginning:

Embarkation: We had chosen (My parents, my Fiancee and my two boys) that we will take the 10 am time slot as the ship were supposed to leave at 4 pm and the Intrepid Museum is next door of the cruise terminal. When we arrived there was already a huge line in front of the security control and announcements were made that the computer system isn't working and they will open the check in soon (I don't want to even know how people felt who had the 8 am check in time). After about 15 min wait the line actually started to move and we were all still in a good mood. Check in was quite easy and it didn't was anything different from any other American Cruise line we have sailed on (the European ones are much better organized and faster (AIDA, TuiCruises)).

We were told not to leave the waiting area as boarding would start at 12 pm anyways which we didn't really like as we wanted to go to the Museum with our boys but which we accepted. So at around 11.45 we found a seat and started to wait. Till 1 pm nothing happened until an NCL crew member made the announcement that the ship has arrived late and they have to go through the procedure with the Port Authority which will take till 2.30 pm. Uff. I mean our boys are easy to entertain but 2 1/2 hours in a waiting hall where nothing was is quite interesting. In between where were more announcements made that maybe it will be a little bit earlier and they will try everything to get us on board as soon as possible. At 2.30 pm the next announcement was made that they will start any minute with the boarding. We had to wait till nearly 4 pm to finally get on board of the ship (just a reminder 6 hours from arrival with two little boys (5 and 8)).

Cabin: Okay at least we were on board now and could start enjoying our vacation. As we arrived in our cabin it was obvious that it wasn't really cleaned. We found the trash and the room card from the ones who were traveling in that cabin the cruise before. The mirrors had fingerprints (and when I say fingerprint I mean dirt) and the tables were all sticky. I have slept in hotels in China which were below the 1 star rating and I didn't had any issues. But I knew what I paid for and what I had to expect. This stateroom wasn't anything near what I would expect for that amount of money spend. The good thing about the room was that the toilet was separate from the shower and the sink in its little own "room".

Dining/Food/Crew: Exhausted from this start we just wanted to have some dinner so we thought it would be a good idea to go to the dinner restaurant so that we don't have to get our food from the buffet. We didn't have to wait at all to get seated and were really surprised that we had a table that fast. The waiter greeted us and asked what we would like to drink. As we had the Ultimate Beverage Package (includes Alcohol and sodas/juices and so on, but don't include coffee or sparkling water (to get that you have to buy another package for an additional $39 per day(!)). So we asked for a few sodas and apple juice for the boys. This was the first time we got eyes rolled on us (and not the last time).

It took just 15-20 minutes to get our drinks, which means our waiter wasn't seen for the same amount of time. Her back we started with ordering food and I did the mistake and asked for a 2nd starter which made me earn the next comment in Chinese and rolled eyes. By the time then the starters arrived (another 15 minutes later) we had drunk our sodas and juices but our waiter ignored that we had either water nor anything else left in our glasses and just didn't asked if we would like to have anything. So I asked if we could get refills and earned the next pair of rolled eyes and rudeness. I think I have never been treated like that before. Unfortunately this attitude stayed the same the whole cruise with one exception.

After we had complaint to the customer service the next evening dining we had the restaurant manager and his staff at our table every 5 minutes so that it didn’t feel genuine as more as a thing they had to do. I didn't feel any better with that and honestly the interaction with our kids was quite creepy. Overall the service was very slow (one exception was the Moderno were the bar is right around the corner), inattentive and most of the times not friendly at all. They gave us the feeling we were just a burden and they have to do their job. By the way, I haven’t seen the Captain or his first officer or the hotel manager or the entertainment manager once during the whole cruise. This is not really a good thing.

On top of that the food was nothing close to anything we had on different other cruise ships. I mean I can taste the difference between fresh mashed potatoes and instant ones. These were definitely not fresh ones. And when you bite on clumps of instant powder in a soup then you know that this one isn't made fresh either. The breakfast buffet didn't have had any variation (the same cheese every day, two types of ham, no honey, the same baked beans, the same pancakes, waffles and so on). I mean no variation at all. It was quite similar with the lunch and the dinner buffet but not as bad as the breakfast. This food was hardly enjoyable and had nothing from premium concept NCL is advertising.

Entertainment: If you have kids stay away from the Norwegian Gem. There was nearly nothing to do for kids and we got most of the times the feeling they are just annoying and in the wrong place. I never had that my kids were treated with such a small amount of attention. Yes there were two exceptions who were awesome and super nice but unfortunately it were only two crew members. Other than that the entertainment was okay but nothing really exciting nor was it so much that we couldn’t decide.

Money: Money is a big thing for Norwegian because as soon as you enter the ship it feels like they want to rip you off. I mean the Arcades for the kids were $1 (!!!) per minute. Yes you could buy a game pass for unlimited games for $175 for the cruise per kid (!). Before nearly every show they tried to sell their "awesome" offer to buy the next cruise and make the down payment and you get up to $500 on board credit for “free” (if you made a down payment for $1,000 at the same time). The photographer were rude and very pushy and in general we got the feeling they had to reach a certain amount of sales.

During our specialty dinners the photographer pushed us to make a photo with him just to show us the result at the end of our dinner where we just wanted to enjoy our dessert. The price tag for that picture was a cheap $25 for one (!) picture which wasn’t even really good. And when you say friendly “no thank you” you get either “Why? Isn’t it a good picture?” or “Are you really sure?” or they rip the photo out of your hand and just leave without any comment.

As written before, having certain packages doesn't mean it is for free as they try to get still things paid on top. For example we had the dining package (4 times special dining for the 1st and 2nd person in our cabin but due to corporate policy (which is not written or shown on the website) we weren’t allowed to share this dining package with our children who were cruising in the same cabin. There wasn’t even the possibility to buy these packages for the 3rd and 4th person cruising in the same stateroom. It wasn’t like I wanted to give it to another person on the ship to invite them. It was for our own children in the same stateroom. The restaurant manager just answered to our complaint that this is normal and they have the same complaints at least a few times per cruise. Why doesn’t NCL change it if this is such a big complaint or at least mention it on their website or somewhere.

Ports/ Excursions: When we booked our cruise we had Saint Kitts in our itinerary but due to schedule issues NCL changed the itinerary to St. Marteen/St. Martin which was fine with me as I always wanted to see the famous beach where the planes land just a couple of feet above your head. But in general the planning of NCL for their ports is horrible. I mean when they say you will be at 4 pm in the Port they are either early or late. I never have made such experiences with any other cruise line. I mean being early by half an hour or having some issues with clearing the boat so that it is a little bit later (half an hour) but most of the ports I have visited with other cruise lines were on time. Not with NCL.

One port we arrived like 4 hours early, another port late and none of the ports on time. I mean I stopped to look in to the cruise journal as it didn’t matter at all what was written for the arrival time. It wouldn’t work anyways so it was easier just to accept that we will be there when we are there. And it isn’t such a big issue as we still had our fun on the different islands but what was really annoying that NCL canceled our last port because of a “storm” on our route and they want to make up the time they will lose in the storm so that we can be “safer”.

Sounds at the beginning right and good that the company is taking that good care of us. But then you find out that you are back in the NY port by 3 am docked while it was planned to dock at 10 am and you miss going by the Statue of Liberty in daylight which was one of the main reasons why we booked this cruise when you get the first questions. When you then hear that this was the last cruise on this route and the ship goes without passengers to Boston afterwards then this is getting even more irritating. Especially when I let you know how the disembarkation worked.

Disembarkation: Two days before the arrival you had the choice to get tags for your suitcases for either going from board with your luggage or at a certain time. We decided to take the latest possible time which was 12 pm for going off board. The evening before we arrived we got the information from our steward that we have to leave the cabin no later than 8 am. Okay, but we thought okay we will find a place in the restaurant or on deck. No big issue. Next morning we got ready so that we could leave the cabin by 8 am as we were told to do so. At 7.30 am the first announcement came that now all individuals with luggage can leave the boat.

We thought wow they are starting early with disembarkation especially as we were not planned to be back in port before 10 am. But we didn’t thought anything bad and went for breakfast. At 8.30 they called the first passengers with luggage tags and only 15 minutes the next group. Our group was called at 9 am. Again we were supposed to be not from board before 12 pm and made our travel arrangements accordingly. So we thought okay it is just a nice information that our luggage is now available. And again we were so wrong. At 9.15 am they called again all groups and at 9.30 am they made the last call for all passengers. 9.30 am (!). Half an hour before we were even supposed to arrive back in New York.

So we made our way to the check out where the next surprise was waiting for us. While everyone out of my family was allowed to leave the ship I was quite rude informed that I have to go back to the customer service because there is an account issue. Not that we were waiting already in line for getting off board for 20 minutes and not that this was the time to inform passengers about another corporate policy. No you wait till check out and then you have one of your big security guards moving you out of the line. As I got to know afterwards the security was even more rude to my children and my family as they wanted to either go with me or at least wait for me as they didn’t know anything of what was going on.

Nevertheless, I went back to the customer service where the customer manager informed me that I have some board credit left on my account. When I asked him what the problem is as they have my Credit Card on file where they could have easily booked the money to I just got the answer it is corporate policy to pay it out cash. I never had any issues with board credit not being able to get it back in my account but it seems like all what NCL can do is charging. So all of this trouble only for paying my board credit in cash and this as rude as possible.

Fun fact about safety with NCL: We had to use an escalator for going down to our luggage. When my son (5 years) stepped onto the escalator I wanted to follow immediately as how it is done by good parents not expecting what would come next. Instead of making my way on the escalator I got stopped very rudely from another NCL employee with a stick until my son was already a few steps down. Then the stick was lifted and I was allowed to enter the escalator. The same with the rest of my family and other passengers behind us. As I wanted to get to my son as he has sometimes trouble to get off the escalator I moved forward which earned me a again a very rude: “Sir, don’t move on the escalator”.

Just in case you don’t know how to use the escalator just ask NCL. They will tell you! In general the employees at the check out and in the terminal were very rude. Waiting for family members were answered with: “SIR, KEEP moving!”. I mean we were within the last passengers going off the boat so that there not really more masses on people to expect but yeah the nearly empty arrival hall was still too small to make it possible for me to wait for my children and my family.

Overall. Yeah, I think you know my conclusion and what I want to say. But another fun fact before I come to the conclusion everyone is expecting. It was a lucky coincidence that my son was chosen to draw the lucky winner of a future cruise with NCL and he drew the couple sitting next to us. After the draw then a person from NCL had explained everything to the couple. I asked them if I could get to know what kind of cruise it is. They answered that it is a 5 day Caribbean cruise but that all the taxes, port fees, gratuities and so on aren’t included in the “free” cruise. Just to let you know if you get a “free” cruise from NCL be careful, it might not be for free.

Okay but now to my conclusion. If you are a foody or you are travelling with your family or your taste buds are still working in a good way or you like to relax and have a friendly atmosphere, then run and don’t book with NCL. If you don’t know what to do with your money, and you like instant and frozen food, and you want to get bothered by employees trying to sell you what you have already bought then NCL is the right cruise line for you.

For me I can say that I will NEVER ever cruise with NCL again because if I would have the feeling it was just this ship then I would be like “meah” let's try another ship but this experience has shown pretty much that this is a corporate issue and not a ship or crew issue. By the way if someone from NCL reads this and wants to get in touch with me for all the complaints. We were travelling on the Norwegian Gem sailing from March 18th till March 28th to the Southern Caribbean in the stateroom 11510 and 11514 (Felix **).

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13 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: April 6, 2019

Norwegian Star Mexican Riviera out of LA 3/23/19 cabin 10012. We upgraded to a balcony cabin for the free at sea benefits. We have family in LA so we wanted to arrive 3 days early only to find out we could only go 1 day early. I was able to fly standby so prior to departure I called 2/25/19 at 5:12pm and was on the phone for 10 mins 12 secs. The guy I talked to say I can absolutely go early, not use the departure flight, and just use the return. He said all I have to do is call 24 hrs in advance and they can cancel my departure.

Well I get to LA. Call Norwegian and they tell me, "Sorry we don't care what he told you. We ARE CANCELLING YOUR RETURN FLIGHT!" What a great way to start your vacation knowing you will have to pay 1000s to get home. The 1st day when on ship we stood in line at guest services to ask about 150$ shore excursion credit. We didn't know if it was a credit to our room that we could use on excursions or if we had to book excursions to get the credit. The lady, "So I already see the credit booked to your room so you don't have to book an excursion." Last day of the cruise surprise but "We are not crediting your room because you did not book excursions!"

The balcony room was great. Very clean, large enough, the bathroom has its own toilet room which I really appreciated and the guy cleaning our cabin did an amazing job. The other positive was the food options. Definitely had the best food options of any cruise I've been on and the buffet didn't just taste like cafeteria food. The entertainment was just average and didn't have much planned during the day. My favorite part of a cruise is getting to know the employees and hearing their stories and visiting with them. Unfortunately it seemed all the staff was overworked and unhappy in their position. Very few were willing to actually hold a conversation and all seemed like they would get in trouble taking time to talk to people. Overall this type of cruise is one you say "Well we are just going to make the best of it" type of cruise. There's no question Norwegian is the very bottom of cruise lines.

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4 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 6, 2019

Hello. My wife and I were planning our first cruise and Norwegian was recommended, others as well. We choose to book with you, after going through all the online page we came to the pay part and decided to use the chat for a few questions. That is when we found out that the sail away balcony room does not include the Free at Sea options. It was pointed out to us by a very cold woman on the chat and on the phone, that it is marked in the room description. We did check the bottom line and it does say that it a not clear method. Again "read the fine print". We foolishly thought Norwegian would be different, but I guess not. Very misleading when the ads even say: Free at Sea options with balcony room, they don't say Free at Sea with SOME balcony rooms.

Worst misleading part, as you can see below when you are about to pay (and selected Sail away balcony) it say "Free at Sea". My wife is very disappointed and upset, feeling very ripped off and mislead. Our first cruise experience is a bad one and we have not even booked yet. I can say that when we do decide to book it will not be with Norwegian, and if asked or people say if we have tried Norwegian, we would have to say worst customer service ever and very mislead advertising. This is the shot from the credit card page. For the New York Bermuda on May 12, balcony room. image.png

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6 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 30, 2019

We arrived to the terminal, watched the guy put our four bags on the cart and take it over to be put on the boat, however, two of our bags never made it. We were left without all of the important things we needed and the customer service was horrendous to say the least! They handed me a toothbrush and said “We so sorry.” Every day of vacation has been a nightmare with them. Now, we watched them take it over to be put on the boat but they claim that it’s not on the boat or the terminal. Either Norwegian or the port is stealing bags. How does two show up (when they were all together) but not just one but TWO don’t make it? It really ruined my vacation that we paid a lot of money on. I will never give them another dime! If you take Norwegian you do at your own risk of not receiving your luggage.

14 people found this review helpful
Rated with 3 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 29, 2019

We went on a 7 day cruise from New York to the Bahamas on the Norwegian Escape. The ship was beautiful, very clean, and the food good. However, my new luggage was broken in transport to our room. They took a report, but didn't do anything for us. I filed a report on the ship and followed up online, but never received a response. I called many times only to be on hold for up to one hour --- never got to speak to anyone.

We were supposed to have 2 days in the Bahamas. The first day was to be on their private island. Due to winds (we didn't see a problem and other cruise lines go to the island), we couldn't go the Great Stirrup Cay. We were stuck on a very overcrowded ship with no chairs to even sit by the pool. This was a change of itinerary, but no compensation was given. We didn't even get a response. So for this very expensive cruise, we were at sea mostly, one day in Port Canaveral, one in the Bahamas. Major complaint is no one even responds to you. I've been on many cruises and this is unacceptable.

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8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
profile pic of the author
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 27, 2019

This is the first time we have tried Norwegian Cruise Lines. I have gotten thru once to Customer service as we plan our cruise - and was on hold 25+ minutes. I have tried multiple times again and after 30 minutes hang up. I cannot believe that a cruise line that claims to be voted the best cruise line for the past 7 years that they cannot afford to get more customer service representatives. I have spent over 2-3 hours on hold waiting for them to answer. Never again.

16 people found this review helpful
Rated with 4 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 27, 2019

Not enough pool space with 1 pool available. Family room for my husband and me was excellent. Bedroom TV had many problems. Must be sure all works before departure. Technician came in 2x and problem was never completely fixed. Very frustrating.

8 people found this review helpful
Rated with 2 stars
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 26, 2019

We cruised on the Norwegian Jade and loved the ship and the crew. Because my husband is disabled, we arranged for wheelchair service to board the ship. They never told us that he would have a very long walk into the terminal to get the wheelchair service. They actually wanted us to stand in the check-in line before he got the wheelchair, and we only got one before getting in line because I started yelling.

He was in so much pain from the walk that we were unable to take part in most of the activities for a few days, so we missed the shows and exploring the ship and had to order room service for a few meals. We also received a complimentary dinner, but when we tried to make reservations, we discovered that none were available.

That wouldn't be a big deal, but we had to prepay the tip, which was not refunded. In the scheme of things, it wasn't a lot of money, but it was annoying. I would have to say, however, that anyone with difficulty walking but doesn't need a wheelchair full time should consider another form of vacation. Customer service was very friendly and helpful on the ship, but seems to have disappeared once our trip ended, since I have written twice about this and have never received any answer.

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10 people found this review helpful
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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.

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ConsumerAffairs Research Team

The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.

Norwegian Cruise Lines Company Information

Company Name:
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Year Founded:
1966
Address:
7665 Corporate Center Drive
City:
Miami
State/Province:
FL
Postal Code:
33126
Country:
United States
Phone:
(866) 234-7350
Website:
www.ncl.com
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