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Okay, I will start by saying this was my first cruise and it will not be my last! I loved it! Yes, there were issues, like the in cabin safes did not work in many many of the rooms, but I didn't bring any valuables, so no biggie to me. The bartenders were not friendly and it was difficult on the first day waiting for the bags to arrive to even get a drink. The best: my room was clean and smell-free!!! I was very happy about that! The food was great - even at the buffet - yes, you would see many of the "leftovers" from the specialty dining at the buffet so I would not purchase the specialty dining package again.
There was tons to do. We went to every port and it was smooth sailing until the very last day at sea, but it did not bother me - I gave my sea bands away. The pool was small, but I don't really spend time at the pool so no big deal. The hot tubs were almost always packed - some with kids - that was irritating. But overall, I give it a 4 star and I am planning my next cruise. I loved it so much! The spa was excellent also and had a couple of excellent massages. I would do things differently on my next cruise, but that is all on me. Don't let them sell you on extras!!!!
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.
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We had a trip planned for 3 seniors but a member in our party had an accident that could not go. All of us live in Ca. and we were in New Orleans so we could not leave her alone and she could not fly back to Ca. We had bought the insurance thru NCL and was assured it would cover anything and everything. We even have the hospital records showing her to have been in the hospital but NCL won't credit or refund anything. NCL doesn't care. Shame on them.
We had a dangerous and horrible experience from an excursion. Nothing about the entire - an expensive excursion - was as promised. The excursion desk manager REFUSED to discuss it with me and customer service couldn’t get her to speak with them about it and I was told to write NCL corporate once I got home, which I did. The offered an onboard credit towards our next cruise and I asked for a refund and was denied. I will NOT sail with NCL again due to the way I was treated and an on board credit is useless. WHAT is the the difference if NCL refunded us VS an onboard credit? I will NEVER recommend NCL to anyone! When I told them I would go on social media with my complaints they didn’t care!
We have not yet even sailed with NCL and the experience has been horrible! We booked our South Asian Cruise on May 29, 2019 departing on February 17, 2020. We booked flights to Hong Kong, the embarkation port, in June 2019. All was fine - then the Coronavirus happened! Fine – we were dealing with it, that was no-one’s fault. The cruise terminal in Hong Kong shut down to contain the virus and NCL sent us an email that our itinerary would change and we would now be embarking in Singapore instead. Fine – we cancelled our hotel in Hong Kong and absorbed the cancellation penalty - a small price to pay to avoid the virus. Air Canada was fantastic! They were able to switch our flights as a goodwill gesture, to get us to Singapore, with a one-hour layover in Hong Kong. We are scheduled to fly on February 14. (This Friday)
On February 8th NCL posted a travel alert on their website – note: they did not email us directly, we came across the alert because we were keeping an eye on things for further updates/changes! Unless you were physically looking for NCL travel alerts you would not have come across this alert. My suspicion is that most passengers are not even aware of this alert! Most reasonably priced flights from anywhere in North America to Singapore have layovers or connections in Hong Kong.
The 2nd bullet of the travel alert reads as follows: “Guests who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, within 30 days of their voyage embarkation, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to board any of our vessels. The standard incubation period recognized by the WHO and U.S. CDC for this virus is 14 days. Guests who are denied boarding will be issued a refund when they provide proof of travel.”
Being responsible travellers, trying to save time and money for everyone, we contacted NCL right away to deal with the situation. It was HORRIBLE. We spoke to 6 different customer service reps, who each gave us attitude and inconsistent information. 1/2 of the reps had no idea of this new “travel alert” that was posted. However, we did get a nice scolding during each interaction for not purchasing “their” travel insurance at the time of booking - that was the only consistent information we got from NCL. While we have travel insurance on our credit cards, what we were looking for was reasonable options to assist us during this Coronavirus crisis:
1. They could switch our cruise to a different NCL cruise so we avoid Asia and the constant changes happening there day by day (we were willing to take the loss in the difference of cruise price and deal with the airline to rebook flights to get to the new port);
2. Reimburse us for the flight change fees and difference in fare (they were only willing to say “within a reasonable amount” – what is a reasonable amount?;
3. Give us a refund or cruise credit now without us wasting our time and valuable vacation days to fly all the way out to Singapore to try to board the cruise that we we can’t get on. It is clearly stated in the travel alert that due to our stopover in Hong Kong, we would not be able to Board and would be issued a refund. But, why make us travel all the way out there to get the refund?
Are we being unreasonable? The only option now is for us to fly to Singapore, and be denied entry onto the ship and only then can we apply for a refund. The refund is not 100% guaranteed because, according to NCL, it is our responsibility to get to the port and the ship has not sailed yet. We were responsible and have made arrangements to get to the port and now NCL has issued a new policy that bans us from boarding their ship because of the route our flight is taking to the port.
Five different times, in five different ways we were told to “piss off” that there is nothing they can do because we did not buy their insurance. NCL had no contingency plan in place for issues outside of the box nor any plans to deal with medical emergencies! I was told by a supervisor at NCL’s head office in Miami that it’s our fault for not getting their insurance. NCL “takes no responsibility.” “It is the passenger’s responsibility to get to the port.” I argued various times with various reps that we have already taken responsibility and made arrangements to get to the port – we have fulfilled our responsibilities! NCL has altered their policy, 10 days before the ship sails, restricting how we are to get to the port and if we do not comply we will not be able to join the cruise. There are no government issued travel bans, barring transfers through Hong Kong! I’m pretty sure everyone has already booked flights to get to the port in Singapore.
Should NCL not have a plan in place to accommodate international passengers? This is ridiculous! I’m sure there are hundreds of passengers that will be flying in through Hong Kong. Are we all to wait in line at the cruise terminal in Singapore to deal with this situation case by case? Does it not make sense for NCL to issue refunds before we travel (with proof of flight itinerary of course)? What kind of vacation is this? What about the many elderly people who vacation on cruises – will they be able to advocate for themselves in this situation?
I am left shocked and appalled by the service I have received from NCL. I am worried they will leave us stranded if they again change their policy before we get to Singapore and I also fear getting quarantined on this ship for 14 days because NCL has no clue how to handle this situation. Basically they are forcing us to make unsafe decisions or lose our $2000 we paid for this cruse. Not including money spent on hotels and flights. HELP!
NCL Breakaway had listed Stirrup Cay Bahamas as the first stop on the cruise but skipped it due to high seas. I later discovered that this stop is often skipped and the staff actually cheered when it was because it is a lot of work for them. NCL will add Key West or Nassau as a stop to compensate for this but not on this cruise and there were a lot of passengers that wanted a break from the waves. Another port of call is Belize where a bunch of mangrove trees were planted shops built and a beach put in so you could experience fake Belize. No taxis to take you elsewhere, no other place you can go. Jjust a nice captive place to spend your money. Embarrassing! Will not cruise with NCL again.
From two different supervisors I have now heard two reasons I should not upgrade. They are not nice to you on the phone and not helpful by any means. This was my first time trying Norwegian instead of Royal or Carnival.
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
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