For this cruise we had a cabin in Cat. BA for which we payed 111.00 USD per night incl. travel insurance. I think that this is a great value.
Of course those will come and argue again and again that you can go for this price also Celebrity... maybe in the Caribbean... but we did not want to go there.
Of course those will come and argue that Holland America or Cunard or Princess are much better but what would I get for the daily rate and we need to fly to the Caribbean again.
Of course those will come and argue that you can go for 64.00 EUR per night on MSC but just for a nice a cabin and good coffee it was too less what else they offer.
For this price we got a very good product and the ship experience was one of the nicest we ever had.
We booked knowingly a cruise which had 5 days on sea and only one unknown port. All ports and activities you can read in the blog.
- was in a very good condition.
- only the chairs in the Star Bar were somehow outworn but there was nothing else to talk about.
- maybe they make it one day to re-design the shop-area that you do not have the feeling to be in a 1-Dollar-Discounter.
- somehow we did not missed a Central Park, Ice- or Aquashow, Zipline or a Flowrider. It was the right size and the right offer.
- You had the disadvantage that you find always something from Deck 12 but you had the deckchairs (You need to think if paying a much higher price after re-categorizing is fine for this cabin. We will not pay the higher price.)
- Only small thinks which did not occur problems in our life.
- Immediate repair when we had a serious problem with our air-condition.
- Our pearl Elizabeth who kept our cabin super clean.
- In the main dining rooms and in the Garden Cafe I had the impression that they reduced the number of options. I am a "meat lover" but not lamb. That why I had the impression that they had at the scarving station lamb on consequetive days in the Garden Cafe and again in the main dining room.
- As there were no changes for lunch and they did not have a soup of the day but month or year it was not comfortable with the waiters who did not dare to give me an answer. Personally I could live with the corn chowder as I like her. But with 5 days on sea and the 2nd day in Alexandria when many returned from Cairo it was somehow very uninspired.
- Generally we saw the tendency that they cut everything in the alternative restaurants which was a little more time-consuming and which means show and experience to the guests. The Antipasta-trolley was withdrawn. Nothing was flamed. Salads were not more prepared at the table. Let's see when they will withdraw El Pipo from the menu.
- Shabu Shabu: the food was great. But for my taste a little overpriced.
- Le Bistro: very good. Nice to see that it was on a high level again.
- Paniolo: unchanged good. Maybe you should check the spices with the tuna.
- Pappa's Italian Kitchen: it was still angry that you still (since I know the restaurant) need to carry the menu until the orders are taken but antipasta already served (even you did not have the trolley). Why is not it possible to take the orders first? I like the new menu. The classical Primo (intermediate course with pasta) was withdrawn. You had now Pasta as entree. But you still can ask.
- Teppanyaki: Show unchanged good but I missed the lobster with Land and Sea. Nice was the Martini although I did not like it.
- I would like to have some kiwis and strawberries for us to garnish our fruit plate and another sort of green tea. I cannot have the passion fruit sort anymore. I pay extra for it.
- A water package which you can use everywhere like on Celebrity would be great.
- Bruno has as usual a claim regarding the muffins and would like Eric Cousins to go Holland America to see how a true good muffin should taste.
- And last not least: the coffee. No problem to pay for. There are better coffee but Lavazza. But to advertise in all restaurants with Lavazza and ask for payment and only use the beans without machines which can process the good coffee is like false labelling. We would go with our own espresso machine on the next cruise...
- what we saw was very good and good reasons to make sure that we book our tables in October 2011 that we will not miss any of the shows.
- the entertainment was carried by one of the best cruise directors we ever know so far.
- So angry were only the little mistakes between the German and English programme where you might have different times and that there was no unique place and time for our Friends of Dorothy meetings and "Fountains" (always a question of personal taste and preferences).
- The seat rows in the theater which ended up at the wall.
- In the gym you need to fix some of the training equipment Bruno said.
- We liked the spa-area so the 150 USD pass was worth for the whole cruise.
- We felt much more comfortable than anywhere else because of the general cordiality. Combined with helpfulness, friendliness etc.. In total we felt very well with 99.9% of the crew. With other ships we experienced that you have 49% superb and 49% most disappointing and so the well-beeing aspect was not so high like we have access to more or less everyone. Everybody greeted and smiled. No matter jack or officer.
- If I think about there was really only one single case which was depending to the daily form if it works or not. Even Mon-Cheris could not help. But 1/1000... that was nothing...
- Of course we were more welcome because we met many many who remembered us. As we normally have the reputation to treat the crew very nice their welcome back was sincere and you can feel it. All names and why they made OUR cruise very outstanding are mentioned in the blog. Other might do not like this but this is important to us.
- And it was never a problem to find new friends and so it will ease to find somebody on any NCL-ship who know us and make us feeling home.
- The senior-management and their notebook - that was phantastic: no matter whom you talk with: notebook, noted, problem solved.
- Ahead of the them Hotel Director Les who was available for his passengers AT ANY TIME. Telling us the phone number during the curisecritic.com-M&G was no empty promise it was living reality. Once I used the number and caught him with the Captain. His assistants like Mirsad (F&B) or Alex (Housekeeping) had the same compentency and were accessible at any time if you see them around.
- Last not least: Captain Kim - you must experience him yourself... I could imagine that he has a fan community and their member book all ships he is on. Maybe I will apply for membership.
So it was no wonder that we booked already for 2013. For late 2012 everything is still open. We need first to survive the two weeks with our parents on ZAANDAM early 2012. Then we could decide for 2012. And we are paying more athan 111.00 USD/night and we are willing to do so for October 2011: 1. it's an extra-ordinary itinerary and 2. because we know what for a great product we get.
We liked it very much. Mostly it was because of the great crew who assured their best to make this cruise outstanding. Thanks so much for this.
Check the blog for pictures and more details: