Bon Voyage Magazine

Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Cruise Line pioneered the flexible dining trend more than a decade ago, and the line continues to offer numerous, creative dining choices. (Think lobster roll stands and Cuban grills.) The line’s studio cabins on newer ships are a boon for supplement-weary singles, and Haven suites — which share a private sundeck and restaurant — feel like the concierge floor of an upscale hotel. Among the many kid pleasers: breakfast with Nickelodeon® characters (such as Dora and Sponge Bob) and learning Cirque du Soleil®-inspired tricks.
Nickelodeon is a registered trademark of Viacom International Inc.
Cirque du Soleil is a registered trademark of The Dream Merchant Co.

Review Summary

  • Couple
    3.4
  • Family w/young children
    3.2
  • Family w/older children
    3.4
  • Singles/Friends
    3.4
  • Large Group
    3.2

Norwegian Cruise Line sails 14 ships.

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8899 reviews from our community




Traveled As:
Family w/older children

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
1 cruise (first)

0
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3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

All good except ...

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Sky | Sail Date: Jul 13, 2014


Food was great. Service was great. Entertainment was adequate. The main swimming pool was not operational. Saw people working on it, cleaning it, but no one could swim in it. Word was it had been like this for a couple of cruises. Whether or not that was true, not having an operational swimming pool is a rather large product defect.

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Traveled As:
Family w/young children

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
7+ cruises

0
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4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Smooth Cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Getaway | Sail Date: Jul 11, 2014


A very enjoyable cruise with family.  The food was good and the ship was very well maintained.   Plan on spending plenty of extra money on fee restaurants and even ship's tour.    If you like good coffee, you will have to buy it at specialty cafe.   Easy to get around on the ship and crew friendly.

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Traveled As:
Family w/young children

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
7+ cruises

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3 star
3 star
3 star
empty star
empty star

Meals onboard

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Gem | Sail Date: Jul 11, 2014


For a seven day cruise, there should have been a wider variety food selection and tastier foods.

 

Activities fell short also. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
7+ cruises

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4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
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the norwegian jewel Alaska cruise

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Jewel | Sail Date: Jul 11, 2014


This is the first time we ever cruised with Norwegian but it will not be our last. From the moment we boarded (quickly) and got to our cabin it was a pleasure. We have cruised to Alaska before with another line and it just seemed to be filled with old people. It was so nice to see a multi generational group of people.  Everyone was represented, old and young. Our cabin was a great size for an inside cabin. The bathroom had a nice size shower and ample storage. We ate in the main dining room every meal and really enjoyed the free style cruising. We never had to wait for a table and most times we had a window table. The food was excellent, the service amazing and the atmosphere was exceptional. Ther was more than enough to do shows, games, poolside, spa, library, clubs casino etc or just laying around relaxing. The ports were fine , since we had been there before we didnt do very many of the excursions except for Victoria. When the ship is in port its great you have the whole ship to yourself. The glacier was a diappointment as we had seen a much larger glacier but it wasnt terrible. All in all we would do this again and we would go on Norwegian. 

 

er

 

 

 

 

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Traveled As:
Family w/older children

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
2-3 cruises

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5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star
5 star

LOVE IT!!!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Getaway | Sail Date: Jul 11, 2014


I had a great time, great food, a lot to do, fun activities. Exellent service. I highly recommend norwegin cruise line. I`m already plaining my next cruise .Wink

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Traveled As:
Family w/older children

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
2-3 cruises

1
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4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

1st Time on Norwegian!!!

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Getaway | Sail Date: Jul 11, 2014


The Getaway was a beautiful ship with a wonderful crew that worked really hard to ensure your time aboard is enjoyable.I traveled with my husband and 13 year old son on the Eastern itinerary.  We chose this cruiseline for the Freestyle Dining and found it to be a great option for my family since we dont like to "dress formal" while on vacation. I was very pleased with the complimentary dining options that were available without the added expense of the specialty restaurants. I was expecting to have to eat in the Buffet areas all week, but found that there truly are other good restaurant options that allowed us to enjoy nice meals without the hussle and bussle of the buffet crowds. My husband and son particularily enjoyed the O'Sheenan's Restaurant stating that they had "the best buffalo wings" on the boat! For me, it was nice to go get a made to order omlet for breakfast without having to stand in line, holding a plate. The quality of the food was very good and we tried all of the complimentary dining options except the Tropicanna Room, only because we just ran out of time. 

 

My 13 year old really enjoyed the Entourage club and looked forward to spending time there each evening. As an only child, he had no problem making new friends and he said the counselors were "pretty cool" about including everyone and introducing kids the first 2 sea days. Throughout the week, he spent a lot of time with his "new friends" playing mini golf, basketball, and several other activities. His only complaint was the pool. He only got to swim about 15 mins on the first day. The pools are just too small and too crowded. While the ship has the featured waterslides, the lines are very long and there are just too many people using the pools to enjoy them, at least on the sea days. For adults, you will have to get up early to secure a good location by the pool. Whether in the sun or the limited shaded areas, I agree that the pool deck was not designed well and it is too small. We ended up using our port time to enjoy the beaches and swim. 

 

The entertainment aboard the Getaway was also really great! My husband and I enjoyed Burn the Floor, Legally Blonde (although he wont admit it), and the comedian Mark Vierra! However, our favorite was the majic show "Illuminarium". Having never been to a "live" magic show, I was not expecting to be involved in their tricks. They are several opportunities for audience participation which makes it fun and made us Believers! The Floor seats are worth the extra price to get better viewing, but get there early for the best seating. Also, bring an unusual item for the Mentalist to guess. I just happened to have an umbrella in my purse, and she not only guessed what it was, she even knew the color. She also guessed what my son's picture was on his IPhone and it wasnt even on! (You had to be there, it was really shocking!)

 

We stayed in an AFT Balcony Cabin 14276 on the 14 Floor. This I wont recommend unless you plan to party on the ship. The cabin itself is fine, but it directly under the Garden Cafe - Deck 15 (Buffet) and the H2O Spice (Party Deck - 16) and you can hear the music (and feel the vibrations) up until 1am in the morning. It's quiet in the back of the ship during the day and you will also feel a lot of the ship movement, so it that is what you like, it would be the perfect cabin. 

 

Overall, we had a lot of fun on the ship and will definitely "Cruise Like a Norwegian" again! 

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Traveled As:
Large Group

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
4-6 cruises

0
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2 star
2 star
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empty star
empty star

Sadly Dissapointed

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Pride of America | Sail Date: Jul 11, 2014


Very Dissappointed... This was my husband and I sixth cruise and I was expecting it to be the best cruise ever. Maybe I was expecting more than I should but this was our first time on Norwegian and our last. First this was the most expensive cruise we have taken and to start my comforter on my bed was torn, my side of the bed had a dip in the mattress and had stains on it. The balcony room we had was spacious but right below were the emergency boats so they blocked the water view close to the boat not really that big of a deal but worth mentioning. Just make sure you are not on the 8th floor. Food was ok but if you are looking for coffee after 9pm you won't find coffee and cream at the same station it was always hide and go seek for one or the other. Staff were the most unfriendly bunch I have ever seen. No one would say a word to you. My husband would always say hi or how are you just so get staff to say something. The ship was also not as clean as other ships I have been on with other cruise lines. The elevators had mirrors on all three walls and they had the same smudges in them the whole time we were on the cruise. Common area bathrooms were never clean. The shows were unbearable my husband fell asleep in two of the shows and the last show we went to I got up and walked out it was so bad I was not going to waste another minute in there. One of the things I disliked was the fact that at the few shows we went to they were bad mouthing Carnival Cruise Line and I just thought that was unprofessional of them to do so. Some of the best cruises we have been on were with Carnival.  We spent most of our time with our friends at the outside bar at the back of the boat where we enertained ourselves. Other than the shows there were not alot of activities on this ship compare to others. NCL does have the best itinerary and the ports are the best. Excursions are expensive but can be found off the ship for a fraction of NCL'S price. We had a good time because we make the best of what we have and we had our friends to spend time with. This would not be a cruise I would ever take again nor would I refer my friends and family to take this cruise. If you can deal with all the things I mentioned above take this cruise if not pick an island and spend as must of your time there. That is what I plan to do on our next trip to Hawaii. As far as our next cruise we will be sailing with Carnival.

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Traveled As:
Family w/young children

Room Type:
Balcony

Experience:
4-6 cruises

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4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Great family vacation, with some minuses

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Getaway | Sail Date: Jul 11, 2014


Our group consisted of 11 people (grandparents, kids and grandkids) ranging in age from 8 to 83.

 

I was prepared to be disappointed.  I had read reviews that complained about the ship, service, food, accomodation, embarkation and disembarkation process, etc., etc.  I therefore was not surprised when the embarkation process started on the wrong foot.  Our party included two people that required wheel chairs for whom I had requested and prearranged boarding assistance starting at the drop off point. When we arrived at the pier  and went looking for the prearranged assistance we were informed that no wheelchairs were permitted to be brought up to the taxi and that the people who needed the wheelchairs had to WALK INTO THE BUILDING where the wheelchairs were available!   Something about liability and other bureaucratic nonsense.  No amount of discussion changed the facts--the two people had to walk, with help from others, to the embarkation building at which point two wheelchairs were brought out.  I was royally upset and was on the verge of creating a scene.  Not a good start!  The rest of the embarkation process was typical--time consuming.  We were taken to our cabins, five of them on deck 13.  Three cabins were balcony cabins.

 

We had taken cruises before, mostly on Holland America but decided to try NCL because of the highly touted kids' programs.  NCL came through.

 

My assessment is based on comparison with Holland America, which while a good line is not considered  to be a top of the line luxury (expensive) line.  However, we like it and have cruised several times to Alaska and Carribean.

 

CABIN

 

The cabin was somewhat small but adequate.  There was no room for a desk chair.  The balcony was narrow--barely enough room for two people to have breakfast.  The bathroom was somewhat small.  NCL should spend a few dollars and purchase a higher quality toilet paper--not the sand paper provided.

 

MEALS

 

Open seating was a good idea.  Eliminating formal evening--Captain's dinner--was grreat!  Less stuff to pack.  Allowed for a more relaxed atmosphere.

 

The meals were good; not always up to expectations.  We didn't try the extra cost dining rooms.  We didn't think that we should purchase meals that we readily could find at home--Portland, Oregon.  Overall, though, OK.

 

SERVICE

 

The service was very good.  The PI crew remembered the names of the passengers in the cabin they serviced.  Waiters in the dining rooms were great.  But the best were those in the Garden Cafe, deck 15 who were always smiling and helpful to passengers who needed a bit of extra help.  A+ and 6 stars to them!

 

ACTIVITIES

 

There was always something to do--from early morning to late at night.  For kids and adults.  My daughter felt comfortable enrolling her two sons in the kids activities.

 

The casino was very large.  I didn't see a rouletted wheel.  Maybe I missed it.  On board shopping was interesting.  Was surprised that there were no gold charms available--something I saw on every other ship I sailed on.  Managed to spend money anyway.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

 

The shows were great.  Professionally staged.  Enjoyed the crew's contribution.

 

SHORE EXCURSIONS

 

We hired a taxi in St. Maarten and got a good tour of both the Dutch and French parts of the island.  If in reading this review you plan on going to St. M..., look for Betty. 

 

St. Thomas was good for shopping.

 

Nassau was a bust.  :(

 

THE SHIP

 

Very smooth sailing.  Rarely did we feel any motion.  Of course the weather was calm, still I believe the navigating equipment (stabilizers) contributed to the smoothness of the voyage.

 

Very big.  I'd go so far as to say too big.  Yet the passageways were narrow making navigating a wheelchair difficult at times.

 

OVERALL IMPRESSION

 

I would rate the ship 3 1/2 but since half stars are not available, i bumped it up to 4 stars.  Would I sail on this ship again?  Maybe.  Depending on when, where and how mudh as compared to what's available on Holland America.

 

Hope the above  helps.

 

 

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Traveled As:
Couple

Room Type:
Inside

Experience:
7+ cruises

0
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4 star
4 star
4 star
4 star
empty star

Great ship, much better than the giant ones

small verified icon Verified Review | Ship: Norwegian Dawn | Sail Date: Jul 11, 2014


We had a great cabin steward who was very attentive And friendly. We purchased the specialty dining plan andthoroughly enjoyed all of the restaurants. Teppanyaki, LeBistro, Cagneys and La Cucina were all excellent. There was plenty of seating at the pool area. The shows were very entertaining and I liked not having to make reservations like on the breakaway. The only reason for 4 stars was the disembarkation process was a crowded mess and the dining room for breakfast took us over 2 hours.

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1 - 10 of 8899 reviews

Photos for Norwegian Cruise Line

Ships for Norwegian Cruise Line

Name Age Rating Reviews
Norwegian Dawn 11 years, 7 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.5 out of 5

1059
Norwegian Sky 15 years, 6 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.3 out of 5

927
Norwegian Jewel 8 years, 11 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.5 out of 5

876
Norwegian Spirit 16 years, 6 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.4 out of 5

751
Norwegian Star 12 years, 8 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.4 out of 5

708
Norwegian Pearl 7 years, 7 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.7 out of 5

664
Norwegian Gem 6 years, 9 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.5 out of 5

564
Norwegian Sun 12 years, 10 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.5 out of 5

561
Pride of America 9 years, 1 months old
3 star 3 star 3 star empty star empty star

3.1 out of 5

423
Norwegian Epic 4 years, 1 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.4 out of 5

415
Norwegian Breakaway 1 years, 2 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.4 out of 5

233
Norwegian Jade 8 years, 1 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 half star empty star

3.6 out of 5

147
Norwegian Getaway 0 years, 6 months old
4 star 4 star 4 star 4 star empty star

4.0 out of 5

78
Norwegian Escape

0.0 out of 5

0

Ports in Norwegian Cruise Line

Cozumel, Mexico (8617 Reviews)

Sitting just off the gorgeous Yucatan coast, Cozumel revels in its mythic white-sand beaches and world-class coral reefs. Yet Cozumel is also the last stronghold of the Mayas, who settled the island in 300 A.D. Residents still speak Maya, and sometimes wear traditional Mayan clothing. Nearby stand the great pyramids and temples of their ancestors.

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Nassau, Bahamas (7637 Reviews)

Nassau/Paradise Island is the capital of the Bahamas. Explore Parliament Square, the government center that dates back to the early 1800s or check out the port's vibrant night life, including more casinos, theatres, and fabulous cuisine than you could possibly fit into a short stay. During the day, there's plenty of golfing, tennis, and swimming.

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George Town, Grand Cayman (5293 Reviews)

George Town is the capital of the Cayman Islands, and is situated directly on Grand Cayman. Once a center of turtle fishing, the area is now a popular tourist destination. Snorkeling and diving are especially popular, and the opportunity to swim with and feed the giant, graceful stingrays should not be missed. Don't worry--it is said that no one has ever been stung.

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Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas (4764 Reviews)

Charlotte Amalie, is the capital of the United States Virgin Islands and the most popular cruise port in the Caribbean. Named for a Danish Queen, the city features pastel houses that are heavily sprinkled against a background of emerald hills. Colorful sloops dock along the waterfront, and a few steps back, down alleyways lined with old Danish warehouse buildings, is a world-famous shopping center.

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Philipsburg, St. Maarten (3547 Reviews)

An island under two flags, St. Martin/St. Maarten is French and Dutch. Philipsburg is on the Dutch side and famous for its duty-free emporia and casinos. A short drive will bring you to Marigot, a charming French Colonial outpost featuring shops filled with French fashions and imported Gallic goodies, as well as beautiful beaches.

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Key West, Florida (2953 Reviews)

Key West has the best diving, snorkeling, fishing and boating in the continental U.S. Just a three-by-five mile Island, Key West offers a treat for the masses that flock here. Locals and tourists alike stroll down Duval Street each night to witness the Sunset Celebration, where they find hand-made souvenirs, munchies, cold drinks and a show so spectacular, only nature could have created it.

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Belize City, Belize (2733 Reviews)

Belize City is the country's chief seaport, so snorkeling and diving is big here...bring a suit! Travel to a city previously inhabited by the Mayan people at Altun Ha, ancient temple of the Sun God. Or visit the Belize Zoo or Baboon Sanctuary. Gales Point is a great place to view manatees!

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San Juan, Puerto Rico (2423 Reviews)

The fortress of El Morro guards the harbor against long-gone Sir Francis Drake and his British privateers. The colorful streets of Old San Juan retain the Latin flavor of its seafaring past, when this was the heart of the Spanish Main. Sample the fiery rum made here, or indulge in an icy treat made from fresh tropical fruit and enjoy the Caribbean atmosphere.

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Ocho Rios, Jamaica (1858 Reviews)

With its swaying palms, glistening white beaches, and sophisticated resorts, Ocho Rios is a favorite vacation spot. For a splendid view, visit Shaw Park Gardens, overflowing with fragrant flora and refreshing waterfalls, or enjoy a refreshing trek through Dunn's River Falls one of the most celebrated attractions of the Caribbean.

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Freeport, Grand Bahama Island (1810 Reviews)

Freeport/Lucaya is located on Grand Bahama Island and is the second largest city in the Bahamas. Freeport's many beaches offer you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually swim alongside dolphins! Freeport is truly a sports-lover's paradise; besides the scuba-diving, windsurfing, and fishing, Freeport boasts first-class golf courses!

Learn More »

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