Norwegian Cruise Line Reviews

Year Started: 1966
Ships in Fleet: 13
Category: Mainstream

Summary: With the recent introduction of new ships the third biggest cruise company in the world. Free-style cruising, elaborate dining options and surprisingly good entertainment.

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Norwegian Cruise Ships

2 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Mediterranean Western

Good for: Teens. Seniors. Group.

78 Reviews

Regions:Eastern Seaboard, Caribbean, Bermuda

Good for: Value for Money. Children`s Programs. Singles.

4 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Mediterranean Western, Transatlantic

12 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas, Caribbean, Eastern Seaboard

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

25 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean Western

45 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Teens. Children`s Programs. Families.

25 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Bahamas, Caribbean

Good for: Teens. First-time Cruisers. Families.

98 Reviews

Regions:Bahamas

Good for: Group. Singles. Families.

40 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean Western

Good for: Teens. Seniors. Families.

62 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Western, Mexico

72 Reviews

Regions:Alaska, Caribbean, Inland Waterways, West Coast

Good for: Families. Value for Money. Teens.

55 Reviews

Good for: Value for Money. Overall Service. Disabled Travelers.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
4.03
from 518 reviews

Cuisine

Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms

Staterooms

Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities

Nightlife

Shore Tours

Itinerary

Alternative Dining

User Reviews

518 User Reviews of Norwegian Ships
Bahamas
Publication Date: May 15, 2010

My husband and I just returned yesterday from a 7night 8day cruise from New York to Cape Caveneral, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau. I am comparing this cruise to our last year's cruise on Carnival.

We were on Deck 10 Balcony stateroom which was smaller than Carnival. The food (main dining room and buffet) was just O.K. Menu was limited. The speciality resturant (Cagney's Steakhouse) was a disappointment. My husband's steak was not as good as the steak served in the main dining room and the 1 1/2 lobster (which was advertised) was not available, I was given 2 small lobster tails, at an additional charge, besides the $25 charge- not worth the extra money. Carnival's food was better. The day we were supposed to go to the private island the weather was very windy so the Captain announced for safety reasons with the tenders(boats to take you back and forth from the ship to the island) we would go directly to Nassau for two days. The casino is a ripoff - the staff are not qualified. Do not enter the slot and blackjack tournaments. Carnival, again, wins. On a scale from

1 - 10 I would rate this cruise 5.
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Alaska
Publication Date: May 15, 2010

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Star by elaine dickson Alaska May 15, 2010

What a mess of a ship design. In creating 14 new restaurants ( at a cost) virtually all of the public spaces have been taken away and there is not one place to sit with a drink and look out the window a6t the gorgeous Alaska Scenery. To make matters worse, they have leased out the top deck round observation lounge to a spa and only there will you have access to those panoramic windows where passengers used to pass the day. In order to do this it costs $150 per couple and there are only 12 lounges and several chairs. It is sheer idiocy.

At the back of the ship where other ships have a place for lounges and tables & chairs to look aft with the shelter of the ship behind you, this ship has built a children's playground which was virtually empty every time I passed by. The Norweigan Star is ill equiped to do Alaska and I would sail ANY other ship before this one.

On the plus side, their dining room is particularly beautiful, the food

decent, the entertainment okay.
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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: April 11, 2010

Our room steward service was excellent. However we thought the food a little bland. We took an inside cabin which we will NOT do again. The entertainment was superb. But we found the Port & Shopping Consultant, did not live up to all the things he said. We were disappointed with the raffle system which sometimes never took place. But all in all,the cruise was definitely worth it for the price.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: April 4, 2010

We recently arrived from a week vacation aboard the NCL Spirit. We had a wonderful time. We were a group of 10. My wife and I with 3 teenagers (14, 14 & 15), my adult sister and another family with 2 adults and two kids ages 6 and 8. There was enough to do for everybody. My kids loved the teen club, my friends loved the excursions they booked through the cruise and my wife and I loved the fine dining, ship activities, the shows and the port of call we went to.

I would mention Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala as my favorite place. I booked a tour at the pier, with the local people to see the town of Livingstone and the Rio Dulce. It was a great trip. The Guatemalans are very nice & humble people with deep Mayans roots. We went to a school founded and run by volunteers out there in the middle of nowhere that was an eye opening experience. The Port of New Orleans is very easy to maneuver and the Mississippi River was great to navigate.

Overall the NCL Spirit experience was

a positive one. The only minor thing I didn't like was pushy selling they have most of the time.
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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: April 4, 2010

We had a few hiccups but nothing that kepted us from having a great time. The booking procces was good. The only problem that we had was when we put some money on our OBC, they tried to take out double the amount. It took 15 days to get that straight and then it took 2 days onbaord to get our account straighten out again.

This was our first cruise with Norwegian having cruise with Carnival twice. And our first 7 day cruise.

Embarkation: Embarkation went well. Not to many problems. It was a little warm inside but luckily by the time we we checked in they were allowing people to board. And of course like most people we headed over to the buffet. Which brings us to the next subject.

Food: The food was great. Ate in all of the free restaurants and we like the food. The buffet lines were somewhat long most of the times, but that was to be expected. As for the specialty restaurants. We ate at the Le Bistro.(Came with the romance package we bought) We also ate at Cagney's and Teppanyaki. Now the

food was great at each of the restaurants. And the service was great as well. But I would have to say that the service we received at the Le Bistro was by far the best out of any of the restaurants that i have eaten anywhere. And I have been some of everywhere. Our waitress and Jr. waitress was Elizabeth and Anna. And they were great. Always made sure that everything was great with our meal.

The cabins: We had 2 inside cabins. 5539 & 5541. They were slightly smaller that on the Carnival Fantasy but the were nice. No complaints there. Our cabin stewards were Manuel &

Ship: The ship was nice and clean. Took a few days to learn the layout of the ship. I liked the fact that you can go to deck 11 forward and look into the bridge. I also like that they put hand sanitizers everywhere. A helpful reminder to keep those hands clean.

Entertainment: We only went to 3 shows. The Welcome Aboard Show, Cirque Bijou and the International Crew Show. All 3 were great. Make sure that you see the Crew Show. They have some very talented people on board and the Fountains show is great.

Excursions: Initially we booked excursions at all of the port but we had to canceled due to me having to have foot surgery. But we booked some onboard. Even with my foot in a boot. We still had fun We eventually did a excurison in all of the ports. And had a lot of fun. I love that fact that they have several kisok that you can use to book excursions.

All in all. We had a great cruise. Were there some problems. Yes. But guest services took care of them. You will allways have problems on any vacations. But why dwell on them when you can be having fun instead. The Norwegian Jewel is a great ship with a great crew. You do have to pay extra to dine in the specialty resturants but it is worth it. My advice is go on a cruise, any cruise. And just have fun.

On another note. If you are driving to Miami. We drove from Louisiana. And this is the first time. Make sure you have cash on had for tolls. We paid around $21 going and $13 coming back going through tool booths. Also when you get to the port. Check the signs for which ship is at which terminal. The Jewel is at terminal B which is the last one and you should be parking in lot C. We had to pay $140 for parking.

Roatan: This was our first port. Initially we booked a beach deal here but due to my foot we decided to do the Best of Roatan instead. That was a great tour. We learned a lot about Roatan and the boat ride was great. We walked around before we took our tour. Met a local name Gabriel who walked with us for a while and told us about himself and life there.This is not a tourist port but it was still a nice place to visit.

Belize: Our second port was Belize City. We did the Altun Ha tour which was great a well. This was our second time going to a Mayan Ruin. Our first was Chichen Itza. This time we were allowed to climb the structures. Be prepared to stretch a little while climbing though. Those stairs are somewhat hard to climb. Our tour guide was great. He kept us laughing throughout the tour. Would love to go back again.

Coasta Maya: This was our 3rd port. They are still trying to rebuild there. We did the Jungle Beach Break. Which was ok. All of the drinks were free which is always good. The food you had to pay for. We had s nice time here. the wife finally had a chance to go to a beach.

Great Stirrup Cay: Our last port was Great Stirrup Cay. Which is NCL's private Isle. Not to much to say about here. Just after we got there it started raining. Didn't last to long but long enought though. We got off of the ship just long enough to take some pictures and to buy some items. To us it was just another beach break. But we did get to relax some though.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: April 4, 2010

We recently arrived from a week vacation aboard the NCL Spirit. We had a wonderful time. We were a group of 10. My wife and I with 3 teenagers (14, 14 & 15), my adult sister and another family with 2 adults and two kids ages 6 and 8. There was enough to do for everybody. My kids loved the teen club, my friends loved the excursions they booked through the cruise and my wife and I loved the fine dining, ship activities, the shows and the port of call we went to.

I would mention Santo Tomas de Castilla in Guatemala as my favorite place. I booked a tour at the pier, with the local people to see the town of Livingstone and the Rio Dulce. It was a great trip. The Guatemalans are very nice & humble people with deep Mayans roots. We went to a school founded and run by volunteers out there in the middle of nowhere that was an eye opening experience.

The Port of New Orleans is very easy to maneuver and the Mississippi River was great to navigate. Overall the NCL Spirit experience was a

positive one. The only minor thing I didn't like was pushy selling they have most of the time.
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Hawaii
Publication Date: March 27, 2010

Pride of America nothing for NCL to be proud about.

We were warned to look at the PofA as only a hotel to sleep and eat. Good advice. The staff was not rude but they were uncaring and more interested in their own party as a crew then in passengers. There were a few exceptions (Rashid in the Skyline restaurant!) but overall no commitment to quality or customer satisfaction that we've had on other trips. Itinerary at end. Other suggestions:

Onboard food. Eat dinners in the specialty restaurants. $10-$25 per person but worth it, especially for the filet mignon in the Jefferson bistro. The free Aloha Café buffet is average (think MCL), chaotic and one of your group will have to stay at the table to keep it from being taken. But we never had a long wait for a table at Aloha. My youngest liked the free Cadillac Diner for milkshakes (great). The free Skyline was ok when we wanted peace but food was poor. The free Liberty serves the same menu as the Skyline but is dressy. The extra cost Teppanyaki Japanese steakhouse was fun and great food.

Excursions. Organize

your own to save over 50%. NCL would have charged $4,200+ for all the shore excursions the 5 of us wanted. We did them on our own for $1,800 even with rental car and parking expenses. Plus we had freedom to leave the ship when we wanted and go where we wanted - missing a lot of the lines. Rental car shuttles (we used Avis) were convenient, picking us up right at the dock. (Note: I can see where you might want to do excursions through NCL if you don't have time to plan or only have 1 or 2 people.)

Parking. On Maui and Kauai there is limited overnight parking. But we found a space on the road to the ship in Maui with no problem - just had to leave it by 8:00 am the next morning which fit our schedule. On Kauai quickly go to the market you see when you leave the dock area right away and buy an overnight space for $20 from Kauai Scooter. If you get in a jam Avis will let you park overnight at their facility but shuttle times are limited at night.

Rooms. Make sure you know the EXACT layout of the room/balcony you are getting, especially if you are on the deck 10. We paid the highest price to get 2 rooms with "full balcony views", but got rooms with "partially obstructed views" (balcony walls on deck 10 extend out beyond the balcony on both sides to meet the wider deck 11). When we asked about it we got multiple excuses like blaming it on the booking, etc. We had to take our own time to call the original cruise coordinator to prove them false. Eventually PofA literally told us there was nothing they would do, including any onboard credit which is the norm. They even gave us bogus numbers to call at NCL. When we did get through to NCL they told us the ship desk would have to take care of it. A complete runaround while we stared at nothing but shipping containers in every port. A several thousand dollar mistake - but they didn't care. Our AVC cruise coordinator was fantastic and said she would follow-up with NCL but I have low expectations and will most likely not use NCL again.

Onboard entertainment. Campy - picture Don Knotts doing an impression of Bill Murray's Saturday Night Live skit as the lounge singer at the Airport Sheraton. But for mellow adults the piano player in Pink's champagne lounge was very good. Only 2 people showed up for ballroom dancing. The Second City comedy troop was great, and thankfully rated their later acts as PG-13 to protect kids. The Pub Crawl crowd was fun but too many desperate women, beer belly drunks and obnoxious hosts. One host even led the crowd through a version of the lord's prayer recast as a drinking oath. Kinda funny but questionable taste. The Farewell Show was laughable - really, people were laughing when the crew sang up the PofA as our "home away from home". Magician and comic on board were ok.

So, was it bad? No, but only because our expectations were set ahead of time. Don't expect much and the PofA will deliver just that. Not much. Hawaii takes care of what's really important.

Itineray (Get reservations online for everything you can before you go and make sure you can get back to the ship on time. All the companies know the PofA's schedule so just ask):

Friday. Arrived in Honolulu and had dinner at Dukes at Wakiki. Good prices, great food and beach view. Stayed at Marriott but would choose Westin next time. Saturday. Sea Life Park for pool swim with Dolphins before boarding the ship. SLP is small so don't expect Sea World. The Dolphin swim was great and they pick you up at the hotel and bring you back. Then cab to ship. Sunday (Maui). Whale watching with Maui Adventure Cruises (BEST!) Experts with smaller, faster boats so your time is all spent with the whales. Then walk/shop old Lahaina before best sunset dinner at the Plantation House restaurant (country club - beautiful and they even let us use the club to change when we ran out of time to get back to the ship before dinner. Monday (Maui). Snorkel at Molokini and Turtle Bay on the Pride of Maui. Then beach time before boarding ship. Tuesday (Hilo). Rental car to Akaka Falls, Volcano National Park, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Plantation and Candy Factory. Hilo is rainy side of island so no beach time planned. Wednesday (Kona). Beach and shopping time all right next to the dock in old Kona. Relax day. Great lunch at the FishHopper. Thursday (Kauai). Kayak and hike to Secret Falls with Kauai Kayak (Great). Bring own lunches. Then clean up right there at the marina shower house (rustic) in time for the Luau at Smith's Tropical Paradise which is next door. Smith's is MUCH better than PofA's excursion Luau. Friday (Kauai). Drive or helicopter to Waimea Canyon. Beautiful. Lunch at Shrimp Station and shaved ice at Jo-Jo's (both at base of Canyon) before boarding ship to get back to Honolulu to fly out Saturday.

Hope this is helpful. Aloha (couldn't resist).

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: February 28, 2010

Avoid booking your flight through this cruise line. We were overcharged, treated rudely, and given a ridiculous, non-refundable flight. Who would take a cruise out of Miami with a return flight from Ft. Lauderdale, via Texas to North Carolina? That is what NCL air travel booked for us. We could have driven home faster! What a lousy way to end your cruise experience. We could have gotten a direct flight home for less money if we had booked it ourselves. Beware these package programs and check to see what type of flight and transportation you can get on your own. Chances are you will pay less and get a better itinerary.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: February 14, 2010

Anyone who books with NCL has made a mistake. Nothing with this cruise line warrants a repeat trip. The staff were rude and couldn't care less about your vacation, especially in the restaurants. The ship was a like a traveling Wal-Mart where you are constantly hounded to spend money on over proceed jewelry, t- shirts, photos, etc. Deck 7 was so crowded with junk you couldn't get to the restaurants where the food was mediocre at best. The only person that smiled and said thank you was the one insisting you applied hand sanitizer before entering. Many of the excursions are over priced misrepresentations. Travel 2500 miles and spend $1000's of dollars to be told by the tour guide that you are not on vacation, your on his time. Want a chair on the private island. Be prepared to pay $30. This cruise line could apply for a role in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: February 7, 2010

Beware of Norwegian Cruise Line customer relations. I had a bad experience with a shore excursion and NCL customer relations refused to make it right by compensating me for the $60 of service that I did NOT receive from their subcontracted shore excursion company. What's more is that the shore excursion management team and customer relations department handled my polite request to rectify the issue with an absolute lack of professionalism. They care not about the satisfaction of their patrons--only their bottom line. Too bad, this experience ruined an otherwise mediocre cruise experience.

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