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6,392 Bahamas Cruise Reviews

We left Spokane on the evening of August 6th, flew into Seattle and changed planes bound for Orlando. Could NOT sleep no matter what, too wound up. We landed about 6:30 a.m. and it took forever to get the luggage - last bags out, of ... Read More
We left Spokane on the evening of August 6th, flew into Seattle and changed planes bound for Orlando. Could NOT sleep no matter what, too wound up. We landed about 6:30 a.m. and it took forever to get the luggage - last bags out, of course. Finally got the luggage and took the shuttle to Cocoa Beach. Had a great driver who pointed all sorts of stuff out on the way. Got our first glimpse of the ships - WOW!! We got to our hotel fairly early and of course, the room is not ready. By the way, we stayed at Fawlty Towers, which I would definitely recommend. Better priced and just as close to the ocean as the other big name hotels. We changed and they locked up our luggage for us until our room was ready. Wandered around town, the beach, ooohed and ahhed at the ocean, and of course hit the Pier for a pina colada! Finally got into our room - nothing special, just a nice room, but they have a great pool there and a neat tiki bar right next to the pool. We just hung out at the ocean, went to Ron Jon's, etc. for the rest of the day. Hit a FABULOUS restaurant that night - Sunset - right on the water. Watched dolphins play right next to us. Next morning we packed our stuff back up and caught another shuttle to Cape Canaveral. I couldn't believe the Fantasy when I saw it - I mean I know it was big, but GEEZ it was big! The Disney Wonder and one of the Royal Caribbean ships were there too. We got through check in pretty fast and waited oh, til about 11:45 or so when they let us on. Did the embarkation picture - with Jason saying "why? what are we doing? huh?" - just smile! Found our room quickly (Empress deck, just off to the right). I was pleased with the size, I had actually thought it would be smaller. Dumped our luggage and ran around the ship - too much fun. Got our first souvenir drinks, called the jealous relatives, got more pictures taken, took a look at the casino (but of course!), etc. Had lunch, pretty good. Did the muster station deal (with Jason saying "this ship can't sink!"), and finally we took off. We started watching from the very back but as we turned around we moved to the front. Everybody on the ship was completely silent, just kind of in awe, I think. We were standing next to some people who were thinking the same thing we were - hey, where's the confetti?? The people yelling bon voyage! What about the Love Boat?! We passed several waterside bars and other boats where the people all yelled and waved to us, so we did back. Jason, of course, being the clown he is, had to yell "I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!!" Ah hem. Yeah. He's mine. We then went back and unpacked, and spent the rest of the day just clowning around, going from one place to the next. I got one of those spray-on tattoos - which was gone by the day, grrr - Hit the shopping talk and the shore excursions talk. Our cruise director, Matt, was hysterical, and the shopping diva looked and sounded exactly like my niece. Odd. Went to the spa tour, tried to win things, etc. You know the drill. Our first dinner that night was great. Everyone at the table was very nice but quite a bit older than us. We did find things to talk about though. We hit Cleopatra's - fabulous fabulous piano bar - and the disco that night. And of course the casino! Can't miss the casino. The next day we docked in Freeport. As we disembark there's a great band right there. We took a shuttle to our shore trip for the Pirates of the Caribbean party. The beach was really beautiful and the sand -just amazing. Not much sun at first, lots of clouds, but still pretty. Got our free drink (which I must say was a lot stronger than I was expecting at 10:00 a.m.) and secured our lounge chairs. We had a great umbrella table to share. You can rent all sorts of stuff there so we went to check it out. We were going to just rent snorkeling equipment, $10 an hour, but for $25 we could do a snorkeling tour - much better. They also had a great bar and great music there. Anyway, met up with the guys for the tour - and the sun came out! Yeah! We went pretty far out to a spot called "Rainbow Reef". Talk about an amazing experience. Just TONS of fish and the water crystal clear...beautiful! After we got back we had a pretty good bbq lunch and then the weather started to change. LOTS of thunder and BIG clouds. Hmm. We headed back to the shuttle and back onboard - after a little shopping, of course. We got a huge conch shell and as we got on board the bag broke - smack! Right onto my toe. OW. Broken conch. Sigh... That night was the night of the captain's cocktail party/formal night. I was absolutely exhausted so just hung out in my robe (LOVE those Carnival robes!!!) while Jason went to pick up his tux and do some more exploring. I had to be up at the spa at 6:00 to get my hair done, so just relaxed and got ready, then headed up there. I have a lot of hair, but didn't realize exactly how much - it took 108 (yes we counted them) bobby pins to hold the dang hair up. Hysterical. Took her an hour to do it - but it looked fantastic!!! Jason met up with me at the spa - I have to say, I've only seen him in a tux twice, but man can the boy clean up. Holy cow. Met the captain and hung out at the cocktail party for a while. We then headed up for dinner. It was AMAZING, lobster tail, etc., and it was our anniversary so of COURSE they had to sing to us. Talk about embarrassing...remind me not to tell anyone it's an important date EVER AGAIN!. About 10 guys were singing to us...happy anniversaaaaaaary to youuuuuuuuu kissy kissy kissy...making us kiss between each verse...geezuz.... After dinner we headed back to change and then hit a couple of the bars, the casino again and bingo (nope, didn't win darn!). We had noted in the Capers that there was going to be a rock'n'roll trivia contest that night - Jason plays this rock n'roll trivia game all the time so I thought he'd be great at it. It was TOO MUCH FUN. Wesley the art guy and two other employees were the judges. One of the musicians would play a riff from the beginning of a song and the first person to get the judges attention and the right answer stood in a different area as a finalist. A lot of people were there and knew a lot of the answers, but Jason finally got in. Every time a different song was played they announced a different way to get the judges attention - grab them by the tie, by the arm, etc. I managed to get over there myself - Roy Orbison, Pretty Woman, and I was the only person who knew it (??? surprised!). I had to grab the judges leg and I LEAPED across and nailed the poor guy...one time you had to grab the judges by the...ok ok nipples, and this guy GRABS Wesley - who had his nipples pierced - thought the poor guy was going to pass out. BUT we didn't win in the long run - this 14-year-old kid won! We were all amazed how a kid that young knew all that old classic rock. He couldn't have the prize (champagne) so they had to hunt down his dad and give it too him. It was quite a time, lots of fun. On to the next day - Nassau! We woke up the next day at the crack of dawn - by the way, every night I ordered room service for about 6:15 - who needs an alarm clock! Looked out the window in awe...Nassau, just glorious!!! We had to get going fairly quickly to make our trip. I had booked a shore trip with shoretrips.com and was glad I did - there were TONS of people going to the Blue Lagoon trip and only about 75 on ours. We were told to go to the statue past the hair braiding center and wait there. We waited for a while, thinking we were in the right place, til suddenly I realized NO WE'RE AT THE WRONG STATUE ack!!! Got to the right one just in time. Shuttle picked us up, hit several hotels for other guests, and we finally got to the dock and aboard. It was a HUGE catamaran, lots of music, drinks, and great info - this house is owned by so and so, this one by so and so, that island is called etc....you know how it goes. We got to Rose Island, their own private island, in about 45 minutes. It was a great ride and the water was spectacular. Plus, you couldn't ask for a more beautiful summery sunny day. They had all sorts of things to do there - from snorkeling to sea kayaks to just hanging out in the hammocks. We floated in inner tubes for a while. Jason dropped his sunglasses (twice) into the water and it was so clear he found them again, about 15 feet down. We went out snorkeling for about oh, an hour and a half I guess. Saw tons of fish and took tons of pictures. All of a sudden Jason grabs me by the arm, pointing hysterically. I look and OMG it's a barracuda. About 4, 5 feet long. Along with a baby barracuda. He goes over to get pics while I go the OTHER direction. I turn around and am face-to-face with momma barracuda. She's looking me right in the eye. I do another about face and am OUT of there. One of the guys working there was snorkeling nearby and says oh, don't worry about them, they won't hurt you...hmm...I don't know, it does have lots of teeth. I'm not taking any chances! We spent the rest of the time just hanging out. We walked around the other side of the island and there is NOBODY there - it's truly like you're on your own private beach, just wonderful. Did see some glorious HUGE yachts and wondered whose they were. We sadly headed back at about 4:00, did not want to leave. There were a ton of shuttle buses and we were told to take this one that would drop us at the ships. We got on and went to the VERY back. You know how those Bahamas shuttles have an extra seat that flips down in the center - it's completely packed with all the seats down. Driver climbs on and says OK, is everybody here going to the Wyndham? OOOPS, no, we're on the wrong dang shuttle. So everybody has to move so we can get off...geez...sorry!! Finally get the right one and head back. We did a little bit of shopping on Bay Street before deciding to head back and change and have dinner, then go back out to Nassau for the evening. We of course had to buy our cuban cigars, some souvenirs, a rum cake, etc. Jason got one of the Del Sol necklaces that change color in the sunlight. I got a gorgeous gold necklace with a gold disk on it. It has an imprint of the island on it - love it! Also got somewhat revealing backless island outfit. la di da. Headed back to the ship and had dinner, changed, and headed back out. We HAD to go to Atlantis of course! Stopped and got my hair braided first - $2 a braid, and I did 3 on each side in the front. I liked it a lot. We were almost hysterical during the process though, the lady who was doing my hair got into an argument with two other ladies and just listening to them was so funny. Course I'm like umm...please don't pull on the hair... Got a taxi to Atlantis and did some gambling - I did horrible, but Jason did well, making up for my losses at least. We didn't play any blackjack - $25 a hand was the lowest table and that one was packed. Oh well. Wandered around the hotel and managed to get back into the guest only area - checked out the beach and the pool where all the sharks and rays are - too cool. Took tons of pictures of the Bridge Suite, hope they turn out (from below, I mean, not inside). We took a taxi back and headed to Senor Frogs. It was so loud you could hear the noise coming from there from down the street. On the way we got the usual hits - little kids wanting to sing to you for a buck, and about 5 guys asked us "hey mon, hey lady, wanna partaaaay?" "wanna smoke??" Yeah, good idea, let's go into an alley with some Bahamian guys to smoke pot. Uh huh. No thanks. Well, Senor Frogs is - everything you would imagine it to be. Conga line dancing with stops along the way to have bartenders pour drinks down your throat, fabulous music, tons of people, and of course shopping (had to get a t-shirt you know!). It was a blast. I heard later that our art auction guy Wesley was there, but the place was SO packed I never saw him. On our way back we of course got hit up for everything again. Got back to the ship and hung out in the piano bar for a while, then sat on the deck and watched the Jubilee leaving port - it was interesting, they had to use 2 tugs to push it out and turn it. I forgot to mention that after the day in Nassau I am RED. Especially the back of my calves from snorkeling. OUCH OUCH OUCH... Today is the day for "fun day at sea". We got up early again (room service - gotta love it!) and watched us pull away from Nassau (sigh...). We ran around and did all sorts of things that day, from writing postcards to sunning on the deck. We went to the art auction - free champagne - and bid on all sorts of things, had a fabulous time, and ended up getting two great pieces. We went to hang out on the sundeck for a while and found out one of the pipes had burst in the pool and it was all drained. It was supposed to be fixed within 1/2 an hour...2 hours later...no pool. GRRR. Went to the back of the boat to try that pool but it was PACKED with screaming kids - which is why I go on vacation, to get away from mine, so we didn't stay long. We went back to the regular pool area and had lunch. They then did a terrific ice sculpturing demonstration. THEN, while that was going on, one of the staff starts yelling for princess judges for the hairy chest contest. OH YEAH, what I've been waiting for - Jason has a VERY hairy chest and the whole family was bugging him before the cruise that he HAD to do the contest. He's pretty shy and was real irritated with me bugging him to do it - but I finally dragged him up the stairs to the stage. There were about 10 "princess" judges, a "queen" judge, and about 6 guys competing. They all had to come down the stairs one at a time and dance...suggestively...to all of us, especially the queen. The first guy I thought was going to kill himself, he threw his legs up onto the railings of the stairs and tried to slide down. The whole thing was HYSTERICAL. Of course they were filming the whole time for the travelogue video...tee hee...anyway, nobody could have possibly beat the guy who won hairiest chest, it was like a sweater. Seriously. BUT guess who won best dancer - my guy! YEAH a ship-on-a-stick!! Actual 24 karat plastic! We spent the rest of the day just playing around, going from bar to bar and to the casino. Ooops, almost forgot, we tried to get in to the blackjack tourney but there were too many people, so we did the slot machine tourney - nope, no dice on that either. We were playing VP when a guy behind me hits his machine for a royal...grrr...he then turns around to me and tells me his wife hit a royal on my same machine the night before...grrr...STILL I am the only person in the family to not have a royal. RATS! We did some shopping etc. and went to dinner, very good again. Tried bingo again, only 2 away for the $1000 prize and somebody hits it. DARN! We managed to see the end of one of the shows and really, it was pretty good. Comparable to a Vegas show, I would say. We spent the last of the evening in the disco and had a blast. The seas were rather rocky that night - I would just say, don't drink a lot on a ship, you'll end up swaying more than you should. We then went back to the room and packed everything up, but didn't put it out, we figured it was easier just to tug it along ourselves. And I must say, THANK GOODNESS I packed a large tote and a collapsible case in my bags, they were completely full with all the crud we bought! Next day was rather uneventful (until we got OFF the ship, that is). We had to wait around in the Universe Lounge for oh, about an hour, before our color was called. We headed down and disembarked - going through customs was a breeze and very quick. We had to then go find the Budget shuttle stop. Found it and called home, everybody was excited to hear from us. We got to Budget and on the way, everybody is talking about hurricane Charley. HUH? What hurricane...oh boy... OK, so we get to Budget in Cape Canaveral and get the car. I was supposed to have a compact. She gave me a minivan. Hmmm...looked at the paperwork and discovered she had pulled up the wrong reservation in the wrong "Lee" name, but had my correct address. She booked us at $75 a day for the minivan, not the $23 it was supposed to be. I corrected her on this and, since it was her fault, she gave me the minivan anyway. Cool. More hurricane conversation. I heard one of the staff people say "well, I live 6 blocks from the ocean and 2 blocks from the river, I hope it just tears my roof off so homeowner's will cover it, I can't get flood insurance". Yikes. We head down A1A to Indialantic. What a gorgeous drive that is! All those little beach towns along the way are terrific, and talk about an incredible view - rubbernecking the whole way. We stopped at a store to get another camera - I think we were on #6 or 7 by then. We got to Indialantic fairly quickly and went to look for our cottage. Found it - right on the boardwalk, right across the street from the ocean and as cute a house as can be!! We walked up the stairs to find our room. Check in wasn't until 3 but we were hoping we could get in early. There are only 5 rooms in the house and ours covered the entire back and front left side. We had our own large deck with a BBQ and a jacuzzi, and overlooked the backyard pool. The door was glass and when I opened it up - WOW!! I was expecting gorgeous but this place took the cake. Mexican tiles throughout, a kitchen, huge king size bed with THE best mattress I've EVER tried, leather sofa and chair, and 2 sliding glass doors covering the entire wall facing the ocean, out to yet another deck. Sigh...I could SO live there. We figured they weren't quite done cleaning so just left our stuff in the car, went to the OceanView Diner down the street and had clam rolls (YUM) and headed for a grocery store. Got some stuff, drove around for a while checking things out, and headed back to the room. There was now a note left for me, Ms. Lee the St. Thomas Suite is ready, so we headed up there and dropped our food off, then went over to the ocean for a few. Came back and Jason found the dang maid cleaning out our fridge - with our new food and drinks - thinking that it was stuff from the other people who had left. Glad we caught her in time! We turned on the TV and started watching all the news about hurricane Charley. Jason starts getting REAL nervous and insisting we go to Orlando that night (our flight was to leave the next evening, Friday). I told him no way am I spending the night in the airport (and a dang good thing I did that after all!), tried to get him to calm down and relax. I figured no big deal, I'll call Alaska in the morning to double check on the flight. We played on the beach the rest of the day and night, watched for sea turtles, and took TONS more pictures. The next morning we got up fairly early (around 6) and I figured I should probably call Alaska, as it now looked like Charley had changed direction somewhat and was heading our way. I called and *poof* the flight is cancelled. GREAT. She checked everyone to try and get us on somewhere else, no luck. When is the next flight we can get on? MONDAY NIGHT. Hmm...now what. We are at the end of our vacation with really no cash left, no hotel reservations for the rest of the time, and we are supposed to return the car to Orlando at 4:30. Uh huh. Panic time...took us hours to figure out what to do. A lot of our $$ was tied up on the credit card through deposits and such, so that was out. We tried to get Budget to let us pay for the additional days we would have to keep the car via Jason's boss's credit card, nope, they have to have the physical card to swipe. Sigh. We called Robert (our fabulous innkeeper) and told him of our situation. He felt we would be much safer there than trying to go into Orlando (and BOY was he right in the end) and told us to go ahead and stay that night there, but he might have to move us the next night to a different suite, and we could just mail him a check when we got back. Thank God, at least one thing went right. We had to wait until the folks back home were up (Florida is 3 hours ahead) and finally got Jason's dad, who wired us $$ and gave tons of good advice (he used to live in Okinawa in the Army and had been through a lot of weather!). We then had to find a Western Union stop and get the $$ (neither of us had ever done that before), then we got Budget to agree to let us keep the car until Monday night. WHEW. Money, a place to stay, and a car, now, if we can only avoid the hurricane...by the time we got back it had been upgraded to a category 4 and THAT is when I started to get a little nervous. We spent the entire day glued to the TV set and worrying about the glass doors. Robert came and we put all the patio furniture in the pool and he braced up his palm trees. We then heard that they were evacuating from Cocoa Beach up (about 12 miles N of us) which was a little scary. Then the rains and winds started...feeder bands, I think they're called, anyway, have never seen rain go sideways in sheets, just flying down the street. Palm trees bent over and stuff going everywhere. Luckily it passed without getting too close to us, but those other poor folks across Florida, we really felt for you guys and wished we could help in some way. We went down to the ocean after the storm and were amazed when Jason almost fell off the beach - the storm had dug a 5 foot drop out of the sand down. Incredible. The next night we did get to spend in our suite but then had to move to another - just as pretty but not quite as big. We spent time just running around, going to dinner at Conchy Joe's in Melbourne, driving up and down the barrier island coast, stopping to take pictures of THE most gorgeous house ever (I'm really into houses, if you can't tell), and also spent time at Sebastian Inlet (got DUMPED on by rain, completely soaked) and the treasure museum. We saw a lot of manatees, dolphins, and sea turtles there. We even had to dodge a crab scrabbling across the highway. Here, we have squirrels. There, they have crabs, possum, armadillos, etc. We also went to the first national preserve in the United States - where immediately upon exiting the car we were ATTACKED by mosquitos. Never had so many bites occur in 2 minutes in my life! Dang! That last night we got up early to see if we could watch the sea turtles laying their eggs, but had missed them. There were the BIGGEST tracks I've ever seen in my life across the beach - like giant tires from a bulldozer or something. Monday was our day to leave so we packed up and then headed to the beach for a while, had lunch at the diner again, and then headed out. While we were in the ocean a couple of HUGE waves hit, knocking me sideways, and in the process ripping out my earring and yanking my sunglasses right off (stupid me to be wearing them anyway). Somewhere there is a VERY fashionable crab hanging out in some Fendis. Sigh. Did a little more wandering and stopped at the Sea Turtle Preservation Society. We then drove back up the coast, stopping at Satellite Beach and some other spots, then at Cocoa Beach to check out the dinosaur store. Didn't get a chance to get back in to Ron Jon's, unfortunately. We then headed for Orlando. The destruction along the way was absolutely incredible. Giant metal signs bent completely over to the ground and debris everywhere. We got to the airport, dropped off the car, and went to check in. We were 3 hours early and a darn good thing we were, most of Alaska's machines were down and they had to do a lot by hand. We waited around for a while and then went to the gate. As we walked up I realized that our gate was in the part of the airport where the roof had ripped off. Most of the ceiling was exposed, and it started to rain. Never seen rain INSIDE the airport. Huge puddles everywhere and ceiling tiles falling like crazy. We had to wait over an hour as there was lightning and they couldn't bring the plane to the gate - but dodging ceiling tiles is okay.  Finally got on and ended up getting home at about 1:30 a.m. All-in-all, even with the craziness and stress, I have to say it was the BEST vacation we have ever had. Yes, it beats Vegas, even. LOVED the cruise and LOVED Florida - in fact, we are returning to Indialantic next year with the kids for a week, along with perhaps a short 3 day cruise. We also plan on moving to Indialantic when the last one graduates in 10 years. They are kind of irritated we're waiting til then. Can't wait til the next one! Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Overall: A good cruise, our sixth family cruise all on Carnival. The refurbished ship looks good. Our older teen daughters were disappointed there weren't many kids their age. Other than that, a good time. We took the Carnival bus ... Read More
Overall: A good cruise, our sixth family cruise all on Carnival. The refurbished ship looks good. Our older teen daughters were disappointed there weren't many kids their age. Other than that, a good time. We took the Carnival bus from the airport and back. A quick and simple way to get to and from the port. Embarkation: Quick and fairly painless. I can't understand why Carnival doesn't send you the Bahamas government forms before your got to the port. Debarkation: The quickest in our six cruises Cabin: Two Rivera outside cabins kept very clean by our steward. If you are booking on a Fantasy class Carnival ship, save your money and book on a lower deck. Food: Good, not great. The steaks and other meat were a bit overdone, even when you asked for medium well. Service was a bit rushed, but there was plenty to eat. The new sandwich bar on the Lido Deck was very good. Ports: Grand Bahama is a dump, but we took a taxi ($15 per person, I probably overpaid) to a nice beach at Deadman's Reef/Paradise Island. A great, not crowded beach, especially good for people who like to snorkle. Nassau: We took a cab ($4 per person) to Paradise Island, a public beach next to Atlantis. Don't take the ferry, it's a long wait and a long walk to the public beach. The beach was good, lots of activities like the banana boat and bar service. Shows: The comics were not funny. The cruise director, Matt, was only fair. The production shows were excellent. Don't miss them and get there early to get a good seat. It will be worth it. Casino: The normal shipboard experience. If you're not a great poker player play earlier in the day as the pace of play is much slower than at night. In summary, a nice trip with very few things to complain about. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
August arrived and the hurricanes were raging. We had been looking forward to the Carnival Miracle because my wife of 25 years had surprised the family with an aft balcony. Naturally, we all breathed a collective sigh of relief when we ... Read More
August arrived and the hurricanes were raging. We had been looking forward to the Carnival Miracle because my wife of 25 years had surprised the family with an aft balcony. Naturally, we all breathed a collective sigh of relief when we sailed in between hurricanes. This cruise was our second on Carnival. The first was the Victory to Canada in August of 2001. We sailed on the Norwegian Dawn in February of this year and were expecting the same "new ship experience". This is not a comparison study of two cruise lines. Freestyle cruising only works on NCL's newer ships. Carnival still has the traditional seating arrangements, We picked late seating and didn't feel rushed. As a family of four we also didn't sit with strangers. The embarkation, as usual and expected, is not the smoothest nor efficient because of the New York security issues and crumbling infrastructure of the piers. I cannot blame the cruise lines. They are working with what they have. As the popularity of cruises increase and I have witnessed this over the course of six cruises, some solution will have to be found to accommodate all the overcrowding. We pre-registered over the internet and it does save time. You are in the system and gives you an opportunity to spend less time with the boarding agents who are always polite and cordial. After the "fun cruise" boarding picture and then the required ship picture, we boarded the most beautiful,ornate,detailed and slightly funky ship we have ever seen. Before I forget, my children ,a 24 year old girl and 16 year old boy, were impressed. They had sailed on other cruise ships but this was a sight. We were on the ship in a reasonable amount of time. Post 9/11 security is a reality we cannot avoid nor change so just grin and bear it. It was going to be awhile for the luggage to get to the room but we wanted to see the room first. I missed getting the expression on my children's faces when they realized they were in the correct room with a balcony. I was equally surprised. Complain all you want about Carnival they do have the largest rooms around. Has anyone been on the NCL Sea? You will agree. We ran to a very satisfying lunch before walking around the ship and booking my massage. The Steiner company runs the spa and they remain one of the best at sea. I opted for the seaweed wrap and full body massage. My daughter picked a facial, pedicure and back massage. My wife wanted to try a facial. If anybody is counting, the the credit card was already starting to wear out and we haven't left NYC! To my surprise the room had a mini fridge and it does come in handy and the drinks with shacks is a great touch for those who need a cosy nightcap on the balcony. This review is long and I must apologize, I'll go faster through the week. The cabin was very clean. The stewards and room staff were polite, efficient and available. We did get room service and it was on time. I enjoyed coffee on the balcony before we went to the early excursions. The beds were made every day and then turned down always with a towel animal and a piece of chocolate on the pillow. On one of the boards it was remarked that the tv was limited. I disagree. We had enough to fulfill the news requirement and background music when needed. You don't go on a cruise to watch tv. A great innovation is the ability to access your bill on TV and watch it balloon out of control right before your eyes. The dinners were well prepared. A decent variety on the menu. They were hot when served. Didn't go to Nick and Noras but the reviews are good to great. A wonderful idea to include those on the "Atkins" or "South Beach" diets respectively. Carnival is not the best nor the worst in the choice of cuisine. Norwegian gets more points for the food and desserts. We avoided the midnight buffets. Been there done that. My son and the friends he made went to those. I am pleased that the mixed drinks were less expensive on Carnival than any other line. The cruise director was a funny guy and kept everyone informed. Our waitress, waiters and head waiter were accommodating, friendly and attentive to our needs. My son is allergic to dairy and a shopping list of other things and was treated to his favorite foods without bringing any undo attention or embarrassment. I have to say this is what impressed me the most and am thankful to them. All you need to do is warn them ahead of time and they will be cooperative. Surprisingly, the entertainment was livelier and more enjoyable than I can remember.They dancers were more energetic than the audience. Veteran sailors can be a tough crowd to please. I enjoyed the pool in the back of the ship because it was adults only. A small secret that will catch on. The common pools were great but too crowded for my wife and I. We tried the many bars on board. I liked the sports bar off the casino.The ladies preferred the metropolitan one. It had a better view. This cruise, the picture taking was not obnoxious. We had many a family portrait taken. I should have been more attentive to the cost factor however. The shore excursions were ok. We went to the beaches on both occasions and skipped the shopping. My daughter wished she had a little more time to shop in Nassau. We did go to Kennedy Space Center. My wife and I had been there in February via the Dawn. This was the kids first. We also took a ride to Coco Beach to have lunch on the boardwalk. Freeport..., well, what can I say that hasn't already been said time and time again. (I won't go into it.) We opted for the beach party. We did go to the Art auction this year and came away with some interesting pieces. The week went too quickly. The money went even faster. We laughed. We cried. We swam. Finally, we ate and ate and ate once more. A cruise is what you make it and we made it memorable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
We had skipper's club so embarkation was pretty easy, even though there were a lot of people there and the ship was full. We ate at Windows on the Sea when we got on and were not impressed, but we were hungry. The pizza was pretty ... Read More
We had skipper's club so embarkation was pretty easy, even though there were a lot of people there and the ship was full. We ate at Windows on the Sea when we got on and were not impressed, but we were hungry. The pizza was pretty good, and we were glad we could choose not to eat there again! We had the Universe Lounge for our muster station, very nice and you didn't have to wear the life jacket! We had a great room steward, good waiters and some of the waiters we had when we weren't at dinner were very good. We enjoyed the 2 shows we went to. The kids really only went to Camp Carnival a little, but I think the 14 y.o. would have enjoyed the shore excursions with that group, but we took her with us. The ship was great, the balcony was so nice to have, the big room was wonderful and I really slept soundly on the ship. We enjoyed our dinners, I think they did great considering they are cooking for over 2500. We liked our tablemates, our kids hung out together. The ship was clean, the staff was nice and we also enjoyed watching the video of the cruise on tv. There was a lot to do, but we did very little of it. I wish we had gone to one of the photo ops on formal night, the photos are nice. We waited until 9:30 to get off the ship, hallways and stairs jammed with people, but we had cleared customs by 10. We were lucky to get out of FL because Bonnie and Charley were about to hit. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
We traveled on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, from Baltimore, leaving on August 29th and returning on September 4th, 2004. We booked through Cruise.com, getting a rate of $654 per person for 6 nights, for a Category F outside ... Read More
We traveled on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas, from Baltimore, leaving on August 29th and returning on September 4th, 2004. We booked through Cruise.com, getting a rate of $654 per person for 6 nights, for a Category F outside cabin on the 4th floor. I tried to get this same rate booking directly through Royal Caribbean, but they told me they could not match it and suggested I book through the other agency. First a note about what we expected from this vacation. We were not especially interested in shore excursions...after a very hectic and stressful summer, we wanted to get away to rest and relax before my husband started school in September. This vacation fit the bill exactly. Sailing from Baltimore was a definite plus. The port was less than an hour from our home, and not having to deal with the hassle of air travel added to our enjoyment of the trip. We arrived at the port around 12:30 p.m., dropped off our luggage at the ship, and I waited while my husband parked in the long-term lot, where he caught a shuttle back to the ship. We were checked through very quickly, and assigned a number and told to wait in a roped off waiting area. This area was very crowded, without enough seating, and some improvements could definitely be made. When boarding began (probably about 15 minutes from the time we entered the waiting area), Platinum and Diamond patrons were boarded first, then they began calling numbers...all the passengers holding one's boarded, then the two's etc. We had number 13. In total, we probably waited about 30-40 minutes from the time we entered the waiting area until we boarded the ship. We were very happy to find we had been upgraded from our category F outside stateroom to a balcony stateroom on the 7th floor - something that we would not have been able to afford on our own. In addition to the bed, the room contained a seating area with a sofa bed and vanity area, and sliding doors out to the balcony...very comfortable. The balcony contained two chairs and a small table. We did notice the rocking of the boat, which may have been due to being on a higher floor and in the rear of the ship. It was not enough to be uncomfortable, though, except for one night near the end of the trip when the sea was rough enough to make the dresser and cupboard doors keep opening and closing (the rough seas may have been due to Hurricane Frances which was in the Caribbean). We also noticed some vibrations from the engine when we were docking or leaving port, and there was some noise from the nightclub below, but again, not enough to bother us or keep us awake. I imagine if you were on a lower floor the engine vibrations would be louder. We read numerous reviews on this ship before we left, and we had high hopes. The ship exceeded our expectations. We had only sailed on Carnival in the past (Fantasy and Imagination from Florida), and we felt this ship was definitely a step above. The ship's decor was beautiful, with numerous comfortable spots to sit and watch the scenery go by. There was a nicely stocked library, and a game/card room, as well as a small putting green, shuffleboard, ping-pong, and rock climbing wall. At night you could wander from place to place easily, enjoying a band, show, dancing, game, etc. If we were not in the mood to go out, we were able to pick from a variety of late run movies on our in-cabin tv, in addition to a good number of television stations. The movie selection changed through the week, so there was always something to watch. We very much enjoyed this, something that was not offered on Carnival. One spot where we felt Royal Caribbean lacking versus Carnival was in the shows put on in the theatre. We felt Carnival's shows were much better. Food was very good, and service excellent. However, some portions were small, and when my husband and others tried to order a second entree or appetizer, it was delivered, but the servers did not seem happy about it. On Carnival it was never a problem...Carnival was always happy to serve as much as you wanted. Food in the Windjammer Cafe (casual eatery) was much better than the food served in Carnival's casual restaurant. Food was also available in the Solarium cafe - burgers, hot dogs, fries and pizza. One note: We called one night to find out if the Windjammer was serving the same menu as the formal dining room, and we were told they were. So, we skipped our assigned dining time and went to the Windjammer instead. Turns out they were serving a different menu. This was a disappointment as we had both been looking forward to that night's menu, and had we known we would have made plans to eat in the dining room. There were two very nice swimming pools - both larger than found on Carnival. In addition, each pool had a border of very shallow water where you could wade or sit on a bench and get your feet wet. One pool was in the Solarium, and this was a very nice area with padded lounge chairs, as well as tables and chairs. This pool was for adults only (16 or older), which was nice to have when the outdoor pool was crowded with children. This was also a nice place to swim when the outdoor deck was windy or when it was cool. The Solarium also had two good size hot tubs, and a roof that could be opened in nice weather. We spent a good deal of our time in one or the other of the pool areas. The outdoor pool area also contained two hot tubs. In comparison with Carnival: On Carnival we often had a hard time finding a deck chair on the days at sea. This was never a problem on this ship. Also, Carnival closed the pools when docked. This ship kept them open, which we really appreciated since we usually did not leave the ship. (A note: In Nassau we docked next to the Carnival Fantasy and it appeared the pool may have been open, so Carnival may have changed their policies.) We were sailing at the time Hurricane Frances was brewing in the Atlantic, so our itinerary was reversed - instead of Port Canaveral, then the Bahamas, we went to the Bahamas first. We had no problems, and the weather was beautiful. Our third stop at Port Canaveral had to be cancelled, though, when they closed the port to prepare for the hurricane. Royal Caribbean was able to arrange for a stop in Charleston, SC instead, which I was very happy about since it was a city I had always wanted to visit. When we returned, we were happy to find the debarkation procedure much better than what we had experienced with Carnival in the past. Our luggage had to be in the hall between 7:00 and 11:00 p.m. the night before we left. We had to vacate our stateroom by 8:00 a.m. the following morning. We had a leisurely breakfast outside by the pool, and were able to wait for debarkation in any public area including the outside decks. roar those interested, family tv was playing in the theatre. Debarkation started at 9:30 a.m. when our ship was cleared by US customs. We were off the boat and in our car by 10, and home by 11:00. Like I said before, not having to go through a day of air travel to get home was pure heaven. In contrast, Carnival made us go to an assigned point (usually an indoor lounge), and wait until our color was called, and this was usually a lengthy and boring process. It seems to me that we also had to vacate our cabin much earlier than 8 a.m., but I may be remembering incorrectly. I also seem to remember that actual debarkation occurred much later in the morning on Carnival. I would definitely travel with Royal Caribbean in the future, and would recommend this ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
This is my "official" Grandeur review - I hope it helps others here as much as you all have helped me. My 14 year old daughter and I sailed out of Baltimore on Grandeur July 11. I booked using an internet agency that advertises ... Read More
This is my "official" Grandeur review - I hope it helps others here as much as you all have helped me. My 14 year old daughter and I sailed out of Baltimore on Grandeur July 11. I booked using an internet agency that advertises here on CC. I booked via the internet, and had a few concerns about communication. Every time I tried to reach the Internet booking phone number, the voice mailbox was full and I could not leave a message. E-Mails took a few days to return. However, if I did get a live agent they were very helpful. The price was right and I would consider using them again if they were competitive. I would book via phone next time though. We live in CT, and took Amtrak down the day before. A very easy, relaxing 4 ½ hour trip, and far less expensive than flying. We stayed overnight at the Courtyard by Marriott, as I had qualified for a free night's stay using miles on my credit card. We also got a complimentary breakfast. We walked to the Inner Harbor, about 5-8 blocks, and had dinner at J Paul's. We stopped at the Cheesecake Factory to bring dessert back to our room. We then took a water taxi ride around the harbor to see the sites. Lovely city - would like to visit again. Sunday 7/11 We slept in, packed, and enjoyed our free breakfast. We took a cab from the hotel about 12:15 pm to the terminal. It was about a 20-minute ride. The cab dropped us off very close to the front of the terminal. We put our luggage on the carts and walked up to the terminal. I remember there being a huge line to the right, as we went to get in it one of the employees told us to come right in the door. I'm still not sure what those folks were waiting for. Standard check in, attempted upgrade, and we were in the Windjammer with the 1st Pina Colada by 1:30. We were told that our cabin wouldn't be ready until 2:30 but we took a chance and were able to drop off our carry on bags and meet one of the room stewards. Jen bought the soda card and felt she got her money's worth. Cabin 4042 was the best. We were steps from the stairs and the elevator, down the hall from the Champagne lounge and the Great Gatsby dining room. If (when) I sail Grandeur again I will request the same cabin. Plenty of storage for the 2 of us. No complaints about the cabin whatsoever. Our luggage was delivered by 3:30, so we brought it in our cabin and got ready for muster. A hint for everyone - if you have one of those hand held fans BRING IT. It was very hot during the drill, and I regretted leaving those in the cabin. Still, it was over relatively quickly and we went to the Viking Crown for sailaway. We met Herdfan from the boards up there and had a drink together. I love sailaway in air conditioning, although by then the pools were open and the pool deck was busy. We had early seating, because as my daughter says, late seating would interfere with her evening activities. Because of this we either had a late breakfast or early lunch at the Windjammer so we could enjoy dinner. We had a terrific table for 6. My DD was hoping to have teens her age, but no such luck, still. Chuck and Linda and Jeff and Megan were great dinner companions. Our waiter Lennon was fine, but our assistant Juan was even better. He got a little extra at the end. Chuck and Linda had breakfast and lunch in the Great Gatsby several times and said it was very good. After dinner it was time to unpack. I did a little shopping and we explored the ship. The little map they give you upon boarding was a great help the 1st few days. Jen went off to Adventure Ocean and I went to the Casino, where I spent a great amount of time. It's not the gambling so much as the camaraderie around the tables. The slots were very tight all cruise. We did not attend the opening show. Monday At Sea I got up and went to the Windjammer every morning for coffee and juice. If you want V8 it's free but you need to ask for it. I like my coffee very strong so I enjoyed it. Some folks thought it was too strong. I met some great folks that I would see every morning. We had our Meet and Mingle at 11:45. Of the 30 or so that signed up around 10-12 showed. We had snacks and 2 raffles. We also each got a lanyard with pockets and a Cruise Critic pin. It was nice to put faces to the names, and that way we also had someone to say hello to. Later we played bingo, went to the Captain's reception, and lazed around. I had every intention of reading on the promenade deck daily but it was too distracting. It was formal night so we had the obligatory photo taken in the Centrum. That was the only one we ended up buying. After dinner it was the Casino for me and Adventure Ocean for Jen. ( I have all the 12-14 year old age group cards for the week so if anyone wants some specifics let me know). This is the night I learned to play craps - best thing I ever did. I stepped up to the table and a very nice guy named Brian asked me if I had played before. I said no and he helped me out. I won!! It was one big family around the craps table. By Wednesday we knew each other's names, even the dealers knew us by name. At midnight I met Jen for the late night comedy show, which we both enjoyed, although she was a little embarrassed. Not much foul language but a lot of innuendo. Tuesday Freeport We had decided that we were not getting off, as neither of us wanted to shop, and I didn't want to spend money to get to the beach knowing Coco Cay was coming up. Lazy day on the ship. This also started our routine of me taking a nap in the afternoon for an hour or 2 to be better prepared to close the casino, then going to the Champagne lounge for a pre-dinner cocktail. If anyone sees Martin or Kevin in the Champagne lounge send them my best. Jen would go to afternoon tea at the Windjammer, which she loved. The show tonight was a magic show, which we both thought was very very good. By Tuesday Jen had found a nice group of kids to hang out with so my guilt about leaving her at night started to fade. Funny story - on departure day as we were waiting to leave I met some of the parents in her group. Come to find out I was playing craps with one of the dads every night! Wednesday Key West We had to be up early to clear before getting off. We went down at about 8:30 and walked right through. The line at 9:30 was through the casino to the Centrum. Go early!!! The ship cleared about 10:15. I had booked a private excursion with Herdfan before the cruise. We did a private chartered Kayak and snorkel trip. There were only 5 of us so it was very personalized. Captain Dave is a great guy. No problem getting back to the ship on time. He supplied soda and water and lunch, and we brought Corona and Smirnoff Ice on. The kayaking was excellent. The snorkeling was so so, but we did get to swim with some nurse sharks .If you go tell him Banks, Tina, Morgan, Jen and Alberta from the Grandeur sent you! On the walk back to the ship I bought snorkel gear for Jen and I, it was 1/3 paid for after Coco cay. We walked around Duvall a bit as we had never been. Banks got his replacement t shirt. We bought Key lime After Sun lotion and key lime patties at a small gift shop. I had a Key Lime pie on a stick and it was heavenly. Next time maybe the pub crawl!! This was the one night we did not eat in the dining room, as I knew after such a long day in the sun I would need a rest. I was sure to tell our tablemates and our waiter the day before so they wouldn't wait on us. We ate at the Windjammer around 8 after a nap and some Advil. I know that many people that cruise are very into the food. I enjoy a good meal but there is so much going on sometimes it seems like an intrusion. That's why I'm not talking too much about what was served. My DD loves formal dinners so much though that I make sure we do them more often than not. Thursday Coco Cay Heaven on the beach. For those that have been you know what I mean. For those that haven't it's an awesome place. I would be happy to stay there a few days. We got our lounge chairs, parked our stuff and snorkeled for a few hours The snorkeling around the farthest guard chair was awesome. We saw a barracuda and a few rays on the way out there. Once we got there we simply floated amidst tons of fish. As I told Jen we had the fish mojo going since they came up to us, pecked at our legs and goggles, and basically took us away. We decided to go back to the ship around 2 to beat the crowds, which we did. As we were coming back on the tender we saw some of the crew fishing off the back of the ship! One even had a fish on the line. Now that's an excursion idea! This was the day I discovered BBCs. The regular BBC on RCI is Bailey's, banana mix and colada mix. Very tasty. I got a special BBC from Kevin at the Champagne Lounge after dinner that had Kahlua, Vodka, and Coconut Rum added. After two of those I didn't know what to do with the dice at the Craps table!!! Friday Port Canaveral We had to be up early again to clear before getting off. We went down at about 8:30 and walked right through again. We had been to the Space Center on a land vacation and saw a shuttle launch, so we didn't plan to take any excursions. I couldn't see the point of taking an hour + trip each way to stand in line at Disney or Universal. Our tablemates Chuck and Linda went deep sea fishing and only caught bait fish. Jeff and Megan did a kayak excursion and said it was awesome. When you are in Port Canaveral, there are several transportation options to get to town or to Cocoa Beach. There is a shuttle that runs called the Fun Bus that the crew uses, it stops at a mall and also to Cocoa Beach You can ride all day for $6, which is much less than the other options. We stopped by the Loyalty Ambassador's desk and ended up booking a 9 night for Voyager for next year. I transferred to an internet only TA once we got back and saved $200 even after upgrading to a balcony cabin. We are also getting $200 shipboard credit because of some special they were running - credit for a 9 night is usually only $100. I had a facial at the spa which was very enjoyable. It was $20 off because it was a port day. Tonight was the Gala Buffet. The chocolate desserts were heavenly! Saturday At Sea Depression starts to set in realizing we need to pack. I spent a lot of time with my Casino family and Jen hung with her friends. Our tablemate Chuck won the final bingo, unfortunately it was split 3 ways. Still $2500 is good enough. We had a lovely farewell dinner with lots of hugs and e-mails to go around. Packed after dinner, then it was one more night out. Sunday Depart Up at 6, out of the cabin at 8, then hurry up and wait. Our color was called about 11 and we were at the train station by 11:30. I took several walks around the ship to say goodbye. Overall, I had the week of my life, as did my DD. The ship and crew are outstanding. I will definitely cruise the Grandeur again. Tammy from the boards is graciously scanning all the Compasses. I will post a link when she's done. Here's a link to some pics http://community.webshots.com/album/164969420vjMXGE?799 Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
Booking only a week before we sailed, we wondered we if would be able to find out enough 'info' about what to expect on and about the ship. My husband was forced to change his vacation week and we wanted something special to ... Read More
Booking only a week before we sailed, we wondered we if would be able to find out enough 'info' about what to expect on and about the ship. My husband was forced to change his vacation week and we wanted something special to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. We were not disappointed at all in our late booking or the ship selection. Royal Caribbean Line seems to have a good, knowledgeable and helpful professional staff everywhere on the ship and at dockside, to include the friendly captain!! We loved our cabin on the very back of the ship--the views were all spectacular(especially sunrises..I sat my alarm clock for 5am, grabbed a book & my camera & thoroughly enjoyed Nature's beauty & the peacefulness every morning except one rainy morning, but that too was interesting); plus our balcony was extra large and very private with 3 deck chairs and a table. Yes, it was 150 steps from the elevator and stairs, but it helped me lose 5 lbs that week, and my husband only gained 2!! We even got all of our first-choice shore excursions, even though we had to wait to sign up for them on the ship---our only bad selection was Epcot Center---it is much, much, much too hot to really enjoy it in July. We should have chosen the Coco Beach or even stayed on the ship around the pool or done more massages. The only other suggested change I would make in the sailing schedule, would be to try to leave Key West (FL) after dark or as the sun is setting; however, by eating at the 8:30pm dinner, with out table near the window (with 6 very pleasant tablemates), we got to see the sunset almost every night....so beautiful!!! The food was ample, warm, and delicious with lots of variety in the main dining room. If you wanted more of something, it was available for ordering or if you wanted 2 desserts or extra veggies, that too one could have. Table Service was always outstanding even though we ate breakfast & lunch in the downstairs section. Room service was excellent and the room stewards were equally helpful with extra towels. Spas services were outstanding also, just wish we had signed up for even more of them and spent more time in the Relaxation Room when they weren't having classes (which is possible). The swimming pools and hot tubs were absolutely beautiful, clean and not crowded, I think due to the layout. We decided one could have an extremely pampered vacation without even ever leaving the ship!! One of our very favorite days was visiting the ship's private island...plenty of lounge chairs, snorkeling made easy by instructions and rental right there on the beach, and beautiful shallow beach that got deeper gradually plus they had great lunch with lots of different drinks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. We can't say enough about the EASE of being able to embark and disembark at Baltimore....it was fantastic, and we think we definitely want to do it again. Sailing under the Bay Bridge was magnificent because our son had swam between the bridges from shore to shore 3 times and it gave us an appreciation of how far he had to swim!!! This was truly one of the most relaxing and pampered vacations we have had. We've been telling lots of our friends in hopes we can get a good group to sail together next year in late May or June. For people who have young children or teens, this ship had lots of offer. When we were boarding my husband was a bit alarmed seeing so many families, but no one was ever noisy and the areas where children were not allowed was enforced. The best advice I read before our trip was to get patches for behind our ears for seasickness and bring a multi-pronged extension cord(s) for curling irons and other electronic gadgets...I am just so glad our cabin did NOT have a computer connection otherwise my husband wouldn't have gotten as much rest...checking his email once a day seemed to be enough to handle what was happening back in his office!!! I didn't even bother!!! We heard the Grandeur is going in for a "re-make/update/refurbishing", so it should be even more spectacular next time!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
I took my first cruise ever on Grandeur of the Seas this July. Leaving from Baltimore was great because of its proximity to my home; in fact, it is why we chose this particular cruise. The port itself was far from eye-pleasing. The ship ... Read More
I took my first cruise ever on Grandeur of the Seas this July. Leaving from Baltimore was great because of its proximity to my home; in fact, it is why we chose this particular cruise. The port itself was far from eye-pleasing. The ship itself was very beautiful. My favorite places included the Viking Crown Lounge, the Champagne Bar, and Deck 9 (pool deck). The cruise staff did an excellent job of providing activities for all ages and interests. The Stars at Sea program is highly commendable. The welcome aboard show featuring Dan Bennet, a Las Vegas performer, was highly amusing. Not a single complaint can be said of the service; both our cabin attendant and waiter (and assistant waiter) were excellent. The Deck 4 atrium Bartender was truly a delight as well. Food was very good, as well. The first stop, Freeport, was a great disappointment. In retrospect, I doubt i would leave the ship. We choose to take a taxi to Lucaya where we spent a day at the beach. The following day the ship docked at Key West. Luckily, Key West was a great place to vacation for a day. We walked around, then we went to the beach at Fort Taylor. Without a doubt, the third stop, CocoCay, was my favorite. Royal Caribbean's private island is truly a great place for all ages. We snorkeled, which was, in one word, amazing. The Aquapark was also fun. Day Four was spent at Port Canaveral. (Orlando) While some passengers chose to go to the theme parks or Coco Beachm (not to be confused with CoCoCay) we stayed on board. There was still plenty to do. The last day at sea was also highly enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
Hello fellow cruisers or soon to be first time cruisers. This was my first cruise. I(with my hubby) went for 7 days on The Grandeur of the Seas out of baltimore to free port, key west , cococay, and port canaveral. First embarkation: It ... Read More
Hello fellow cruisers or soon to be first time cruisers. This was my first cruise. I(with my hubby) went for 7 days on The Grandeur of the Seas out of baltimore to free port, key west , cococay, and port canaveral. First embarkation: It was a very rainy day (we saw three accidents on our drive to the port) I wanted to leave by 11am but my hubby putzed around and we left at 1230, hit traffic accidents and bad weather but arrived at 2pm. The arrangement of drop off luggage and one of you drives the car to the parking lot and gets a buz ride back was ok. The line in was not too long, so I was in before hubby got back, I waited for a bit then went through without him. As the lines were getting long, the port authority person took his name so he was able to jump in and come through the line marginally faster. Then lines were long but moved well. I had hopes that the junior suite would allow us to go through the empty "suite and diamond, platinum members line" but I made the mistake of asking first and the guy said no. I could have just went through. In any case we met nice people in line and saw them throughout the cruise. Hi Ed and Barb. It was nice to "know" someone. Things I didn't use: insulated cups, once or twice only lunch bags they wouldn't let you take food off ship, numerous bathing suits only wore two, balcony dries em, great anti-bacterial hand, wash didn't use it or the clorox wipes, didn't need night light but didn't bring one, flashlight didn't use but will probably bring one again just in case. Things I didn't bring that I wish I had: clock, though wake up call feature worked fine. Third The ship: looked great to me! Enjoyed the centrum, the numerous comfy lounges, the adult only solarium pool and hot tub, the spa, the casino (more on that later. I entertained myself in the casino often. I won second place (265$ minus 20 $ entry fee plus a t shirt) in the black jack tournament. That was fun and people came up to me throughout the cruise to congratulate me. Before going on the cruise I read about craps and practiced online which turned out to be great fun and profitable in the ship casino. The dealers were very friendly and helpful. The spa was very nice. I waited a long time to set up my appointment and my suggestion would be to make this an online option asap. It's kinda a pain to go there off the bat and stand around when all you want to do is see the ship. I was told by an rci rep when I called the spa that I could make the appointments via the tv but that was not true on the grandeur. The tv was not interactive in any way. She had also told me I could see my bar charges on the tv but we couldn't. Anyway my massages were very pleasant, the staff friendly and not once did I get "pitched" to buy anything. Fifth The ports of call: Freeport, not very nice for most people although since we did the dolphin excursion we had a nice boat ride and good time learning about and touching the dolphins. The drive through town not so great. The bus was hot and views depressed. Key west ok. First the new safety measures require all passengers to check in with customs authorities before anyone can get off. Thus my sleep in day was ruined and drunks got called for hours because they didn't go (on the pa system so even though we were done we couldn't go back to sleep) I would recommend cruise line excursions because I think the chances of getting screwed up in an american port is very likely with a independently purchased excursion. We had no plans for that day as it was our twentieth anniversary and we didn't want too much pressure. we walked around, ate lunch got key lime pie and because of the heat were exhausted so we went back to the ship gladly. Key west is pretty nice and people I talked to who did the pub crawl seemed to have a great time (which they paid for the next day lol) cococay very nice, built up but private, we did the snorkeling which was awesome but next time I'll bring my own. People loved the mats although I didn't do much lounging. I was snorkeling so I didn't get much use out of mine. The shallow water was warm and not refreshing to me once I had been in deeper water. Some people said they found private areas to lay out but I went in the crowded area (although we found seats no problem and just went in the water). They provided a buffet lunch which was fine and I didn't go to any of the shops or game areas. We went back once done with snorkeling because they warned us that the late tenders were going to be crowded and if we missed the last one we would be left. Port canaveral. I have a relative here so I did a local bar with music and the pier. I did no excursions so I don't know how they are. It seemed pretty nice to me. Sixth food breakfast windjammer buffet I found overrated but again my husband really liked it. Great Gatsby dining room offered wait staff and eggs benedict(uninspired). Room service seemed to me to be the best alternative. I had it brought to me and could order omelets, fruit, coffee, breads, etc all for a tip to the server who brought it. Lunch at windjammer same as breakfast hubby really likes it but i didn't (guess i don't care for buffet that much). Great Gatsby dining room repetitive menu but food and dessert were good. The rueben was very bready with scant cornbeef but tasty according to my husband. Solarium cafe staff were unfriendly, only unfriendly ones i ever found) maybe they were hot. The fries were very good the burgers a little over cooked, hot dogs fine and good condiments provided. Dinner awesome waiter and assistant waiter, food excellent not always top gourmet but many times yes. Fun singing and dancing with staff. You can order two appetizers, entrees, desserts whatever you want. We brought wine and champagne on three occasions and were never charged a corking fee. In fact our waiter offered to chill our anniversary champagne for us. The head waiter brought us a cake with a candle on our anniversary and they sang to us. We enjoyed our table mates very much. We shared wine and excellent conversation. We had late dining which worked out well for us but the midnight buffet which was only one night was too close to our dining experience to be fully enjoyed. Although I went and got some chocolate strawberries and other tidbits and ate them with breakfast the next day. Miscellaneous. I preordered chocolate strawberries for our anniversary night and they brought white chocoloate ones. I asked the server to see if he could bring me reg ones as I don't care for white chocoloate and he tried but came back with the same ones and said no. This was a disappointment but no big deal. They were ok but still I don't know why they couldn't exchange them. Others got the reg ones and they had them 2 days later at the midnight buffet. There was so much to do that they didn't start off loading til almost 11am. We were allowed to wait in any lounge though so we were comfortable, just tired. Once our color was called we had no big wait just streamed out, got our bags, got a ported, went to the bus that took us right to our car (lucky parking some were not so lucky) and home we went...... all in all satisfied with our trip and thrilled with cruising ! Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
S. Tyler from Virginia: We went on the June 6-12 Carnival Victory Cruise to the Bahamas leaving from Norfolk, Va. This was our first Cruise. My Husband and I were celebrating my B-day and our 10th Wedding Anniversary so we were pretty ... Read More
S. Tyler from Virginia: We went on the June 6-12 Carnival Victory Cruise to the Bahamas leaving from Norfolk, Va. This was our first Cruise. My Husband and I were celebrating my B-day and our 10th Wedding Anniversary so we were pretty excited! Getting on the ship was a LONG process so if you have Kids make sure they use the bathroom BEFORE you get into line and bring some drinks and snacks! We got into line around 3pm but didn't get on board until 5:15. Norfolk pier just is not set up to deal with 3000 people. I'm just glad it wasn't to hot or raining. Once we got on we went right to our room deck 2 room 2282. It was the best room!!!!!! We had a lot of Friends up on higher decks and they kept telling us how loud it was because those rooms are by restaurants and night clubs. Some advice, as soon as you get on the ship go sign up for the shore tours because the best ones sell out very fast! We signed up for the Blue Lagoon in Nassau (This is where they filmed the movie! You MUST SEE IT!) and the Pirates of the Bahamas Beach Party (In Freeport). I've heard that these tours are SO expensive but I found them to be very inexpensive for all you get to do. For both trips for my Husband & I it was only $136 for two full days of fun. The Blue Lagoon was AMAZING! If you get a chance to go do it! That was the best day of the trip! Back to the ship! The Shows are pretty good! We saw Living In America and Vroom in the Caribbean Lounge. They also did shows like The Man Show, Not-So-Newlywed show that was the FUNNIEST thing I have ever seen and Bingo daily! Irish Sea Bar is SO much fun! Cam the Piano Man was awesome! Very talented! Loved Skippy the Cruise Director! He was great! Food was AWESOME! Buffet lines are VERY LONG so beware of that! And the food reminds me of a Golden Corral or Old Country Buffet, It's good but just has that feel. We ate in the Atlantic dining room every night! They wait on you hand and foot! The food was SO good! 24 hour pizza was good too! Loved the East Side Deli! Best Reubens I've ever had! LOVED the Coral Sea Cafe, I was missing my Lattes from Star Bucks so this was nice, They have these wonderful desserts you must try!! Be prepared to spend some money!!! But it's SO worth it! We also spent a lot of our time on the Lido deck they always had a band out there and funny contest likes Fun Ship Survivor, Hairy Man Contest. If you don't like smoking and drinking I would say this IS NOT the ship for you! I could barely stand to be in the Casino due to the smoke! They do not allow smoking in the dining room. Our room stewart was GREAT! Our room looked awesome every day and we loved the pillow animals every night! BE PREPARED TO BE DEPRESSED when you come home! It took me a week to get back in the swing of things! Your just in another world on these ships so if you have a chance to go DO IT! You will LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!! We've already planned one for next June! HAPPY SAILING! Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
We arrived in Miami a day before the cruise, which turned out to be for the best as the airline had "misplaced" our luggage. We spent the night, as planned, at the Airport Holiday Inn - a nice stay - and got our luggage later ... Read More
We arrived in Miami a day before the cruise, which turned out to be for the best as the airline had "misplaced" our luggage. We spent the night, as planned, at the Airport Holiday Inn - a nice stay - and got our luggage later that night. In the morning, we took the hotel shuttle to the pier at 9:30. Embarkation seemed extremely easy. We had to wait in lines here and there, but that was expected. We were on the ship by 11:30 a.m. We were greeted with lemonade and punch. We skipped the soda cards, as we could live on the free water, ice tea, and lemonade. We made our way up to the Windjammer Cafe where lunch was already waiting for us. The pools (yes, for anybody who may not know, they ARE saltwater) and hot tubs (fresh water) were fantastic and a nice way to relax from the hot Miami sun. We stayed up on deck until the ship began to pull away, enjoying the view of Miami passing by and the excitement of the Bon Voyage party. We had second seating dinner (8:30 p.m.) in the Mikado dining room. The dining room was beautiful, and our service was the best. The service was always immediately available when needed, offered the suggested meal of the night, and the food was fantastic every night of the cruise. Also, breakfast in the dining room is highly recommended, especially if you enjoy meeting new people. The midnight buffets (one every night) ranged from a poolside barbecue to the famous chocolate buffet. Each buffet was amazing, from the ice sculptures to the taste of the food and desserts. Our room was surprisingly large. I had been warned before that the rooms are much smaller than a normal hotel (which they are), but I still had plenty of room to sleep, get changed, shower, etc. And if you are spending too much time in your room, you're kinda missing your cruise experience. We had an interior cabin. Make sure you take an alarm clock if you get an interior cabin. The shows available each night were fantastic, including two comedians and a musical revue. Also enjoyed meeting the Captain and drinking the free champagne at the Captain's Gala. The first stop was Nassau. The shore excursion we took was the guided tour of Atlantis. Atlantis is a marvelous resort, and the tour was extensive. After the tour, we looked around the resort for awhile, played in the Atlantis casino, then went back to Nassau for some shopping. Next was Coco Cay. Coco Cay is the closest thing to a relaxing paradise that I have experienced. The beach is wonderful, and snorkeling is great. Saw several rays, tons of fish, and even a shark. Take an underwater camera with you! The island barbecue is also a nice change of pace for lunch. Others recommended the jet ski rental and parasailing, but we were having too much fun relaxing and snorkeling. Final port of call was at Key West. My girlfriend convinced me to go on Lloyd's bicycle tour of Key West. I was skeptical at first, but the price was worth it. Lloyd took us to numerous out-of-the-way sights in Key West that you would normally not see, including Shel Silverstein's house and the Key West Conservatory. We also got to sample some fresh coconut and fresh mango. Don't take this trip though if you think you are too far out of shape, as it did prove to be a nice workout. After the bicycle tour, we did some shopping. Be warned that quite a few of the shops in Key West are very sleazy. We decided to stop shopping after one shop tried to charge us 12% sales tax, and were treated rudely by the store employees. We spent the remainder of the day on the ship enjoying the pool. On the final day, we had to return to Miami. I was sad the cruise was over. Disembarkation went along very smoothly and we got off right after we had breakfast in the dining room. As a word of advice, if you are worried about getting of the boat in a timely manner, you may want to consider booking a shore excursion at the return port. We booked an excursion on an airboat in the Everglades. The excursion was very interesting, fun, and we spotted a lot of alligators. And, we were the first group called to disembark. The only complaint through the entire trip was at the very end (unfortunately). It seemed there had been a minor hiccup when attempting to transfer one of the shipboard accounts to a different credit card, it changed all of the accounts to that card. The minor hiccup became a little more major when the understaffed Purser's desk could not change the accounts again until a manager showed up. A manager had not shown up before we had to disembark, so we had to make the changes ourselves. In our case, it wasn't a huge deal, but it was still an annoyance. For my first cruise, I was extremely pleased with Majesty of the Seas. She is a beautiful ship with an attentive crew. I will definitely sail with Royal Caribbean again. Coco Cay was the standout port of call. Nassau was good. Key West was good, but avoid the sleazy shops. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Overall, great cruise. The itinerary was just O.K. but we knew that before hand. The Miracle is a brand new boat and it is beautiful in an odd sort of way. You can look at pictures online and form your own opinion. Back to the ... Read More
Overall, great cruise. The itinerary was just O.K. but we knew that before hand. The Miracle is a brand new boat and it is beautiful in an odd sort of way. You can look at pictures online and form your own opinion. Back to the cruise...we left from NYC and the embarkation was not too bad. I thought the Carnival lady at the check-in desk was pretty cranky. We accidently leaned on her desk and it slid and she was visibly annoyed...sorry...we didn't realize it moved when you put your hands on it! Got on board by 2:00 PM. Found our balcony room to be very clean and ready for us. There were nine of us (4 were young men 20-24) and 5 middle aged adults. We had early dinner. I'll summarize the good things: - Weather was perfect for our departure through New York Harbor and for the entire week. - The food was excellent, varied choices each night and our waiter Mikey was great. - Didn't make any shows but people were raving about the "Beatles" show...so catch it if you can. - Crew was generally friendly. - Buffet food was good, hot and varied. - Casino was fun...but not too generous. Didn't hear of anyone coming home a winner. - "Adults Only" pool aft deck 9. They strictly enforced this. It was nice as the other two pools were pretty crowded and noisy (fun noise but if you wanted more quiet the aft pool was a nice change). - Water slide was fun even for middle aged people. - Had fun on snorkeling trip in Freeport and had a long hot walk for Atlantis tour in Nassau. Nice, but take a cab on your own if you don't like to walk in the heat. - Had a delicious dinner in the special Nick and Nora's restaurant. Try it one night, it is well worth the extra $. Now for the not so good. -One morning I went up to the track walk and it was strewn with plates, pizza, broken glass (on the track), garbage etc. It was windy up there and I guess some people had a party there the night before but the crew should of had it cleaned up by mid morning. It was a nasty mess. - Getting off in Nassau was a disaster. Everyone getting off at the same time...very bad situation if an emergency were to arise in the middle of this. They should stagger the excursion times to avoid this. - Some of the crew seemed oblivious to guests. Example, my husband was holding the door for me and some crew members jumped in front of me and squeezed through the door he was holding opened for me. No "excuse me", no nothing. They should have held the door for us...not the other way around. - Debarkation was pretty chaotic, but there were 4 or 5 cruise boats in port that morning. There were Carnival people around to point you to your bags...pretty typical situation. No worse than any other cruise line. Overall, it was a very nice cruise, very nice boat, nice crew. Don't hesitate to go...you will have a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Review for the Majesty of the Seas I first sailed on the Majesty of the seas in 1995. That ship was the biggest Ocean Liner sailing the Atlantic at that time. When I went on my 6th cruise in June and the Majesty was still looking up to ... Read More
Review for the Majesty of the Seas I first sailed on the Majesty of the seas in 1995. That ship was the biggest Ocean Liner sailing the Atlantic at that time. When I went on my 6th cruise in June and the Majesty was still looking up to date and very clean. It has been said that some rooms are pretty bad, but that is because people abuse their rooms. My room, which was a Ocean View stateroom was very small compared to the Navigator of the Seas's Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony. Still, the Majesty of the Seas Ocean View Stateroom is very nice. If you are picky on space, I would suggest that you get either a Larger Ocean View Stateroom or a Superior Ocean View Stateroom. They are much bigger. The lobby is a great first thing to see....I just stood there and looked for a long time....it is amazing. The Library, Dining Room, Windjammer Cafe, Theater, Lobby, Viking Crown lounge were al VERY impressive. Miami: Departing My family and I got there early, and the Royal Caribbean Staff was so happy to see us look at the ship with excitement. We left about 5:00 after the mustard, which is the fire drill before you leave. We ate until we couldn't eat anymore. The food was great along with the Dining Room. Nassau: Nassau was great! We went shopping at the Straw Market, and got very tired so we got back on the ship with NO problem. We went and took about a 2 hour nap and then went and watched a movie. There movie theaters and theater are great. You don't feel like you are EVER with 2500 people. Its GREAT!! Once Again, dinner was great. Coco Cay: AWESOME!! Its a private Island in the middle of the Bahamas. Its great for children and for the Adults. They give you a BBQ party and then back to the ship. I WOULD recommend THAT YOU GO TO THE VIKING LOUNGE TO WATCH THE BOAT LEAVE COCO CAY. You will never see such beautiful scenery. It was great. Miami: Arriving--Departure was Early because we live in Miami. It was sad to see the ship leave in the sunrise, but It was an awesome short Vacation. Here are the IMPORTANT things you need to know: Breakfast: Either Windjammer Cafe or Mian Dining Room Lunch: Windjammer Cafe or Main Dining Room Snack: Pizza Bar Dinner: Main Dining Room You can ORDER room service 24/7 Rooms were clean. If you need a larger room Larger Ocean or Superior Stateroom. Do not get a room on the Promenade Deck (7) NO VIEW. Service and Shows were Great. Pool area was great. Viking Crown lounge is a GREAT place to relax and enjoy a drink..(my favorite). Enjoy your cruse and feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
We went on the Norwegian Dawn with 10 people 2 of them were children. ages 3 and 9. The embarkation has to be improved in New York, very little organization. I have a back problem so I requested a wheelchair, because I can't stand ... Read More
We went on the Norwegian Dawn with 10 people 2 of them were children. ages 3 and 9. The embarkation has to be improved in New York, very little organization. I have a back problem so I requested a wheelchair, because I can't stand for long periods of time. My request was granted and we did breeze through the lines. Although my husband was the one pushing, which I didn't find on other ships I used. We went to our room which was on deck 11, very spacious mini-suite with a couch which could use some filling 'cause it was very hard, but with large closets, a great room steward, very very clean. After checking our room out we went to lunch, food was pretty good for the 1st meal. We travelled through the ship which we knew pretty well 'cause this was our fourth cruise on this particular ship. Stopped by one of the bars to have a drink and then return to our room for boat drill to get our life jackets, all went smoothly. We were stationed in the big lounge for the drill which I was glad 'cause we could sit through the drill. Returned to our room and put our luggage away, plenty of room even for your suitcases. Then travelled to the top deck for the bon voyage party, which was always done so nicely especially when passing the Statue of Liberty. They play all American songs, and everyone joined in with singing and taking pictures. I love the freestyle dining, 'cause u have a choice of which restaurant u would like to eat in. My favorite restaurant on board the Dawn is Impressions, it's intimate, not as noisy as the Venetian on the same floor but the opposite end of the ship. The service was impeccable, in fact we had the same waiter throughout the cruise. He catered to my grandson, who is a picky eater. Had dinner and then went to see the show, which was great even though I already saw it 3xs. That's one thing they have to do is change the entertainment, especially if u r a repeat traveller on the same ship. Went into the casino, which by standards is pretty large for a ship's casino. Finished the night off with a nightcap and then to bed. I ordered coffee the next morning for 730am, it arrived on time but prior to that they call u on the phone to let u know they r coming which I like very much, its not just a knock on the door. We were travelling to Florida which takes about 2 days at sea. We arrived at Port Canaveral, Fla. and left for our tour to Coco Beach, which was very nice. We used the facilities , pool, restaurant, and took a walk on the beach. They had a nice area for children, with all kinds of water displays that they could keep themselves amused, and it was fenced in so no one could leave without being noticed. It had one exit which was good especially for small children, the water there was minimal so no one could actually drown. A very nice experience. The next day we were scheduled for a tour to the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami, a little pricey tour which included a cabana for dressing, an octopus pool, nice outdoor restaurant, waterfalls, but excavation was going on which didn't make it too enjoyable. All in all we had a great day. The following day we were in the Bahamas, and went to Paradise Island, to the Atlantis, what a beautiful hotel, casino, but we could not used the beach adjacent to the Hotel, it was only for their guests. We had to use the beach farther away, in fact a pretty long walk, but still had a good time. I would recommend the Norweigian Dawn to all who live in the vicinity of New York City because u will have a great time, and no flying is needed which saves u a bundle of money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
This was my third cruise and by far the best one! I went with my boyfriend and his brother. The staff was excellent and attentive. The ship itself is beautiful and is wonderfully decorated. The food in Salsas was excellent. The buffet food ... Read More
This was my third cruise and by far the best one! I went with my boyfriend and his brother. The staff was excellent and attentive. The ship itself is beautiful and is wonderfully decorated. The food in Salsas was excellent. The buffet food was about average. We did like the hand sanitizers installed right near the buffet line. The Blue Lagoon was the perfect place to have a quick bite to eat and was much better then the buffet. We had chicken wings, fish and chips, hamburgers, etc. We never ate in Cagneys or any other restaurant with a cover charge because there was no need for it. There were plenty of restaurants to choose from that did not charge. Ice cream was not 24 hours though, like we were led to believe it was. The entertainment was good. The best by far was a performer named Fabio Zini. He played Flamenco guitar. It seemed as though people just couldn't get enough of him. Every time we saw him, he was taking another picture with yet another fan. First stop was Port Canaveral. We had booked our shore excursion to Magic Kingdom one month prior to our sail date. Good thing we did, considering it became booked up so fast. We had a great time at Disney World but there just wasn't enough time to see all that we wanted to see. Next port was Miami. We spent our time at the Bayside mall which is about a 5 minute taxi ride from the port. Did some shopping there and then headed back to the ship for a swim in what was then a very empty pool! It was the best time to go since its always crowded. Next port was Great Stirrup Cay. We had to take a small boat over to this island. Try to get there early as its hard to find a beach chair as the day goes on. It's a beautiful island. The water is so blue. There were a few sting rays but they seemed to be people friendly and it was quite interesting to interact with them up close. NCL had a barbecue right on the island so there's no need to go back to the ship to eat. They had chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. Also on the island is their own version of a straw market, so make sure to bring a little bit of spending cash. Last port was Nassau. We were only here for a short time. We walked around Nassau and did more shopping. Of course we visited the straw market. You can get good bargains there. Some people took the shore excursion to Atlantis and said it was wonderful. That's probably what we will do next time. Once back in NY, disembarkation was easy since we were allowed to stay in our rooms until our color was called. However, once off the ship, the NY pier was horribly crowded and it was close to impossible to get to our cab that we had reserved ahead of time. Making it to the street with all of your luggage involved pushing past tons of people trying to get taxi's, etc. As for NCL, i will definitely be cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
What a wonderful vacation! We had last cruised with Disney in July 2002 and were a bit concerned that RCI wouldn't quite measure up, but it exceeded our expectations in all areas. The service and entertainment were exceptional, the ... Read More
What a wonderful vacation! We had last cruised with Disney in July 2002 and were a bit concerned that RCI wouldn't quite measure up, but it exceeded our expectations in all areas. The service and entertainment were exceptional, the food was quite good, the staterooms were small but VERY efficiently laid out--with so much storage space that I kept forgetting where I'd put things--and all in all we had a great time. The Grandeur is a beautiful ship (we LOVED all the glass, the Centrum, and the views from the Viking Crown Lounge), and we thought it was the perfect size for a 7-night cruise. I can't say enough good things about the service staff: our waiter, Attila from Hungary, assistant waiter Shannaz, head waiter Tahsin, and stateroom attendant Galeane couldn't have been more attentive. We felt so spoiled all week! And I have to say a huge "kudos" to cruise director Warren Melhuis, who was always a brilliant ray of sunshine and seemed to be EVERYWHERE, at all hours of the day and night. Does the man never sleep? By the end of the cruise (he was there to say farewell to everyone and even helped maneuver my mother-in-law's wheelchair onto the gangplank), we were convinced he had about 20 clones. He (and all of his staff) were just fantastic. We were: Me (celebrating the big five-oh birthday); DH (the sole male of the family); his mom, and DD and her friend (both almost 16). I'm now totally sold on cruises as the perfect family vacation--there was something for everyone to do, almost all of the time. My MIL enjoyed: the food and service (especially our darling waiter Attila); relaxing on our balcony (DH & I had a balcony cabin; the girls and MIL were across the hall from us in interior ones) watching the water go by, reading, enjoying a before-dinner drink, or reading/dozing off over her book; beating her son at a game of Scrabble; playing Bingo; relaxing in the solarium; and watching the girls, all dressed up for dinner, enjoy their (nonalcoholic) foo-foo drinks. She DIDN'T particularly like: the LONG walk down the LONG hallway to our cabins. (We booked late and the only cabins they had together were at the far aft end of the ship. Next time we'll book earlier for a more central location!) The girls enjoyed: having their very own private cabin, ordering room service (which they kept amazingly tidy, thanks to the ample and convenient storage), running on the jogging deck, staying up late, sleeping late, getting dressed up for dinner, meeting new friends (though that didn't happen until the next-to-last day), late night french fries from the solarium grill; 3 days of beach time (Port Lucaya in Freeport, Coco Cay, and Cocoa Beach), snorkeling (the Fury catamaran trip in Key West), and just "walking around" the ship. They DIDN'T like: the saltwater pools and the apparently nonexistent teen program for their age group (15-17). They complained that every time they went to the Fantaseas "teen club" it was full of little kids. When they tried to find the "411" gathering there on the first night, they were "thrown out" by the counselors for the 12-14 year old group, but not told where THEIR age group was gathering. When they DID figure out where that was, by the time they got there there were just a few older boys there... Throughout the week they occasionally tried--without success--to find group activities for their age group, but finally just gave up and started talking to kids they saw walking around. I know this is a tough age group to program for, but I think RCI could make more of an effort... DH and I loved: having our own, private cabin (last cruise we shared w/DD and my niece); leaving the balcony door open at night and listening to the sound of the water rushing by; waking up to the sea view in the morning; most of the shows; the wonderful service and meals (good banquet-quality fare, with better seafood, soups, appetizers & desserts than we expected); playing nickel slots and video poker in the casino (no big winners, but we didn't lose much either), meeting interesting new people (including fellow CruiseCritics at the Meet & Mingle), relaxing in the never-crowded solarium and swimming in the pool there, walking around decks 10 and 4, lazing away in a secluded, shady spot by the water on CocoCay (plenty of lounge chairs and hammocks--we found two of each!), the captain's "Nautical Notes" talk (very informative), and just being away from the "real world" (we avoided the news ALL WEEK!). My only real complaint was about the lack of service from the "Explorations" desk staff. The evening before we got to Port Canaveral, I asked about the Cocoa Beach Transfer, since the girls wanted to go to RonJon's Surf Shop and hang out on the beach the next day. In response to the question "Where do we get dropped off, and how far is it from RonJon's and the beach," the woman at the desk told me "I know nothing about Cocoa Beach; nobody on our staff has ever been there." She then proceeded to tell me that the bus would drop us off at Cocoa Village, an upscale shopping area. (It didn't; it took us to a very convenient location, just two blocks from RonJon's and a block from a very nice public beach--but the people who wanted to go to Cocoa Village had to take a cab or trolley to get there...) This, to me, is simply inexcusable... The focus among the Explorations staff seemed to be getting people to shop and selling the "big ticket" excursions. They could really use some basic training in customer service (like: the answer to any guest's question should be "I'll find out," NOT "I don't know"!) But I don't want to end this review on a negative note, because we really had a great time. We are not big "joiners" and didn't take advantage of any of the group activities; in fact, we adults weren't even able to stay awake for any of the late-night event, including the two midnight buffets--but we enjoyed watching the sun rise over the horizon and walking around the almost deserted ship in the early am hours. (When my dad saw our photos, his reaction was "were there any other people on the ship?" In fact, it was a full sailing!) I think this just proves that on the right cruise, anyone can have a wonderful time. And this one was just right for us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
This was our family cruise and first one at that. We went with two other families and didn't have a clue of what to expect. I have an 8 year old that has medical problems and needed attention and was not sure what to expect with that ... Read More
This was our family cruise and first one at that. We went with two other families and didn't have a clue of what to expect. I have an 8 year old that has medical problems and needed attention and was not sure what to expect with that as well. This was not what we expected. The DAWN was fantastic! we had the best time ever! The food was GREAT! the service for my son (keeping up with everything) and keeping the rooms clean was very impressing and so important for us. FABIO made my son feel so special. My son also plays the guitar (just learning) and when he saw FABIO he was smiles from ear to ear. Fabio treated him so nice. He showed him how to hold the guitar and showed him a few pointers. Fabio made the trip so special for all of us. Fabio is a great person as well as an entertainer. Overall we give the cruise from 1-10 a 10+. There was so much to do and so little time. We loved the pool side parties and barbecues with all the great sea food. We are booking another cruise for 2007 with the DAWN once again. I wonder if they will soon have more destinations from NYC on the Dawn in the summer. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Background -We are a couple in our mid 40s who sailed on the Norwegian Dawn 6/13 sailing with our two daughters, ages 11 and 14. It was our eighth cruise, but first in 10 years. Overall the cruise was very good. Most of the problems ... Read More
Background -We are a couple in our mid 40s who sailed on the Norwegian Dawn 6/13 sailing with our two daughters, ages 11 and 14. It was our eighth cruise, but first in 10 years. Overall the cruise was very good. Most of the problems encountered were not the fault of NCL or the crew, but due to a few other passengers. The only reservations that we would have about sailing the Dawn again are fear of similar passenger behavior (again only a few). Embarkation - We took NCL bus 3 to the pier. The bus leaves Harrisburg PA and picks up passengers in Allentown along the way. It was a comfortable 54 passenger bus that was completely full. There were passengers on the bus for the Dawn cruise and the Norwegian Crown Bermuda cruise. The bus arrived at the Crown pier at 12:05, dropped off the Crown passengers and luggage and arrived at the Dawn pier at 12:15. We claimed our luggage, left it with a porter, and got into queues that looked endlessly long. However, they moved moderately well. We boarded the ship at 1:05. There was juice and water while waiting. Overall, I would rate it as a B. The NYC cruise terminal is vastly inferior to the terminals in Miami and Port Canaveral. However, I understand that it will have a much needed upgrade. Cabins - Deciding to go for space over a view, we booked two inside guarantee cabins. We were assigned to two cabins on deck 5 midship. The cabins were identical. They were small, but very functional and nicely laid out. The cabin was adequate for 2, but accommodating 4 would have been overwhelmingly cramped. Each cabin had two lower beds that could be pushed together for two. There was a small TV, small refrigerator, hot pot with instant coffee and tea, a hair dryer and a small safe. The bathroom was a good size for a cruise ship, especially the shower, which was larger than usual. The sink faucet was like a kitchen sink faucet, which was nice. WARNING: The hot water is very HOT. Be careful. Closet space was adequate, but drawer space was a little lacking. There were shelves in the closet for shorts, polo shirts, etc. Our cabin steward was a young woman from the Philippines. She was quiet, but very nice and quite courteous. We only saw her a few times, but she did a good job. Public Areas - The Dawn is a beautiful ship, clean, and well maintained. The atrium is impressive and the public rooms are very nice, not overdone. There was a very nice library, card room, and game room on deck 12. There is also a cinema for movies. It is far better than watching a movie on the small cabin TV. The lounges were also very nice. The Stardust Theatre was the best that I have seen on a cruise ship, despite the fact that I do not like the color purple. The theatre is on decks 5 through 7 front and has over a thousand seats. All have good sight lines. The only improvement that I could think of is cup holders in the seats for drinks. The pool areas were the only place on the ship where I felt crowded for me. However, we are not sun worshipers, so this is not a problem. We prefer to lounge in shady areas. Sun worshipers can find more relaxed areas on decks 13 and 14 front. The kid's pool is very good. The fitness center was excellent. It had very nice equipment and enough of it so there was never a wait to get on a piece of cardio equipment. There were plenty of towels and a water fountain with cups. There was a room for spinning classes and a room for other exercise classes. The fitness center staff ranked with the best that I have seen on land. The classes could challenge all levels and were very well done. Kid's Program - We registered the girls upon embarkation, but they showed no interest in the program. They spent almost the entire week with us, so I can't comment. We did purchase a "teen passport" with 20 coupons for non alcoholic drinks ($34.50). It's the best deal on the ship. The smoothies, etc. are about $4.50 each. We bought another for our younger daughter. Shore excursions - We went into all ports on our own. Ports of Call Weather was great all week except for wind and clouds when leaving NYC and a brief (5 minute) shower on GSC. Seas were fine. I did not see any problems with motion sickness. Port Canaveral - Rented a car from Hertz and drove to Kennedy Space Center and had a great time. There's too much to do. Don't pay extra for the maximum access pass because you won't have time to do the extra stuff in a single day. It will take 2 days to see everything. The maximum access pass can be used on two consecutive days. We also went to Ron Jon surf shop in Cocoa Beach. Miami - Took a taxi ($16.50 fare) to South Beach (10th street). Nice beach but we did not go into the water because of Sea Lice and Jellyfish warnings. If you have kids please note that there are topless sunbathers. We then walked around the South Beach area to look at the architecture and stores. We then took a bus to Bayside Marketplace. It's an interesting mall on the bay, but the stores can be found at your local mega mall, except for a few touristy stores. We had lunch and took a taxi ($5.50) back to the ship. Personally, I would rather see the Dawn skip Miami in favor of Key West. Great Stirrup Cay - Took the first tender to the island. Ride was a little rough then, but the waves subsided later. We rented floats ($5 each). They are fun and relaxing. I highly recommend them. Warning: A number of people thought they were free and kept trying to take them from us when we were not using them. One actually succeeded, but the rental hut replaced it. We also did some snorkeling. It's a very friendly place for beginners like my children. The beach may be a bit small for a ship as large as the Dawn. More on that later. Nassau - A short stop. We took a taxi to Atlantis ($4 pp). The taxi was an old stretch limo. The girls got a kick out of that. We arrived at Atlantis early, before the guards were in position. Therefore, we got to see a lot of the resort and the dig. We then returned to Nassau for some shopping on Bay Street. Entertainment - Paul Baya was the CD. Paul and his sidekick had a good rapport with the passengers and seemed to be everywhere. Shows - The Jean Ann Ryan shows were fantastic. They are an extremely talented group of singers and dancers. They put on 3 shows, an Andrew Lloyd Webber show, South Beach Rave (a salsa show), and a show called Bollywood. All of the shows are great. Personal preferences will determine your favorite. The house band (Modal Magic) was good. The orchestra was also good. There was a fellow named Fabio who was a great Flamenco guitarist. There were 4 comedians on the cruise. The best was Thien Fu, a Vietnamese juggler/comedian. There was a magician/comedian (don't remember his name) who was a cross between Woody Allen and Elvis Costello. He interacted very well with the audience, but the magic was basic. Dave Heenan was not very good. There was also a pair of rap comedians. I did not see them, but my 14 year old enjoyed them (we were at Le Bistro). There were movies in the cinema every day. They were also shown 24 hours a day on the cabin TV. Karaoke was held every night in Dazzles lounge that always filled the place. We did not go to any of the late night parties in the Spinnaker lounge or pool area. Restaurants - We tried 8 of the 10 restaurants, plus the pool barbecue and Bimini lounge grill. Blue Lagoon - Fast food, generally good. Chicken wings were decent, but the spicy wings were not very hot. Good potato wedges with cheese and bacon. However, I recommend the oriental noodles. They are very good. My wife enjoyed the fried rice. Garden Buffet - Very good buffet food. It was always clean and had good variety. I had breakfast there every day and some lunches there. There were always good breads and rolls there and the salad ingredients were fresh. I did not have dinner there, but it looked good. There were omelet/waffle action stations at breakfast, various action stations at lunch and dinner. I saw prime rib one night, turkey another night, and a roast pig one night. Small children will like the kid's buffet area. There were several lines in the Garden Cafe. The lines in the rear were always short and less frantic. If you head back there, you will avoid the line jumpers and buffet busters. Deli - You could get a good sandwich made there, but it was not a "New York" deli, as advertised. I expected some good corned beef and rye breads. There was neither. However, I did have a nice Italian sandwich on a good roll. Poolside barbecue - I usually avoided this because of the crowds. Once, it was not crowded and I tried the ribs. The ribs were good and well done but the sauce could be better. Bimini Bar - A good outdoor alternative to the poolside mob scene. They grilled burgers and chicken with French fries and some salads. I had a burger and fries there. Both were good. Salsa - Very good Mexican food in a good atmosphere. The tables overlook the atrium or are at windows overlooking the ocean. The service was excellent. We were there on Sunday night. Italian Restaurant - Food was good, but nothing special. The menu was limited. It could use some veal dishes and more creative sauces. Part of the Garden Cafe is converted in the evening to this restaurant. They do a good job, but it doesn't have the same restaurant feel as the other rooms. We were there on the last night. Ironically, this is Italian night in the dining rooms. Dining Rooms - Aqua and Impressions have identical dinner menus. The menu at Venetian had some differences. The food in all of them was very good. Impressions is a very nice dining room. We dined there on formal night after the show. The food and service was very good. The waiters were very attentive. Venetian - We dined there on Lobster night. This is the most formal of the dining rooms. We had a table next to the windows overlooking the ship's wake. We enjoyed the meal but the servers seemed a bit rushed and less attentive. The bananas foster dessert was a highlight. Aqua was (surprisingly) my favorite. It had a more modern dEcor. The all female staff was attentive, yet relaxed. They seemed to be the most willing to have conversations. We were there on President's night and Caribbean night. The President's menu was the best dining room dinner of the week. Caribbean night had some unique dishes. The jerk pork was very good pork tenderloin, but not what I expected. It was still very good. Le Bistro - Exquisite dEcor, paintings, food, and service. It was the best dinner that I had on any cruise. It is definitely worth the surcharge. We did not go to Cagney's or Bamboo. Bamboo always appeared to be pretty empty. Room service - We ordered room service twice for snacks and also while waiting to debark. Except for breakfast, the food was only so-so. It was usually efficient, but once we never received our food. We ordered a snack at 10:45 PM. At 11:30, we called and were told that the food was on the way to our cabin. A half hour later, I was falling asleep and called back. They told me the same thing. I told them to cancel the order. I don't mind mistakes, but the dishonesty on the 11:30 call did bother me. Not so good - The biggest problem on the cruise was the rude behavior of some of the other passengers. Contrary to what some may believe, it was not children. It was adult behavior. My wife and daughter made one trip to the Oasis pool. They ate and then went to the pool bar for smoothies. They returned 3 minutes later and someone had taken their table. When my wife told them they were sitting there, the response was "I was wondering whose stuff this is, please take it away from here." My wife was dumbfounded and left. If it were me, I would not have reacted so kindly. It doesn't matter, these idiots don't care. We didn't go near the Oasis pool the rest of the week. We went to GSC on the first tender and got a good spot on the beach. As the island filled up, people came off the later tenders and just shoved themselves anywhere. A woman shoved herself under our beach umbrella and told me that I had to share it with her. When I objected, she went off cursing me to eternal damnation. Several people tried to take our rented floats. Some clearly did not know that they were rentals, but some were angry when I politely told them. One of us had to stay on the beach at all times. Who knows what they would have taken. It is the only that I did not feel secure on any cruise. There were also the standard line jumpers, very late show interrupters, etc. Overall, this was the worst passenger behavior on any cruise that I have taken. I didn't know that common courtesy and cruise etiquette had changed since our last cruise. I sincerely hope that this is the exception and not common. These people were a very small minority of the passengers, but even 2% (50 of 2500) rude passengers can make things very unpleasant for the other 2450. This is not NCL's fault, but if it were to happen on a second cruise, I would have to consider not sailing that ship again because of the clientele. It didn't spoil our vacation, but it still bothers me. We did meet many nice people. Debarkation - Freestyle debarkation is the best. We went up on deck early as the ship sailed into NYC on a magnificent Sunday morning. We then had room service in our cabin until our color was called. We left the ship, claimed our baggage, breezed through customs and took the NCL bus home. It was very relaxed. Overall it was an excellent cruise on a wonderful ship. I would definitely sail the Dawn again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
I have literally just returned from my cruise aboard the Norwegian Dawn and all I can say is this ship is absolutely fabulous. This is my third cruise, having taken two prior cruises with Celebrity. The first thing you notice about the ... Read More
I have literally just returned from my cruise aboard the Norwegian Dawn and all I can say is this ship is absolutely fabulous. This is my third cruise, having taken two prior cruises with Celebrity. The first thing you notice about the Dawn is how truly beautiful she is. Our room accommodations were great. The bathrooms are much bigger than on the other ships. One of the first things I noticed at the luncheon buffet was that they have automatic hand sanitizers and encourage the people to use it before entering the buffet line. They also have them at all of the restaurants. I was very impressed by this I wonder if this is something all of the ships are doing now. The food was good and they had a very nice selection. The first restaurant we went to was Le Bistro and I was awed by the four paintings in this restaurant, a Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and Matisse. We sat right under the Van Gogh and in speaking with one of the hostesses, she advised that that painting alone was valued at over $30 million. It was a great start to an excellent meal. All of the restaurants we visited, with the exception of Aqua, (I think we just picked a bad night) had above-average food. We did not get to try La Trattoria or the Japanese-style restaurants. The pool is a nice size and there are plenty of chairs available. There are about four jacuzzis right by the pool. We also enjoyed the entertainment. The staff was always helpful and courteous. We booked the shore excursion Atlantis Beach Day for $75 which was supposed to include a 30-minute historical boat ride to Atlantis. It was changed to a bus and when we complained about it they credited 1/2 back to our accounts. Don't bother going to the beach in Port Canaveral - it was filthy and not worth the time. Miami, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay were all beautiful beaches. Great Stirrup Cay is the best day and the island is paradise. If you are going on this cruise you are in for a real treat! Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
This was my second cruise with RCCL, but my first time on the Majesty. Shared a junior Suite with balcony with 2 other woman the room was small but comfortable and clean although it could use some updating. Getting to and on board ... Read More
This was my second cruise with RCCL, but my first time on the Majesty. Shared a junior Suite with balcony with 2 other woman the room was small but comfortable and clean although it could use some updating. Getting to and on board Majesty was handled nicely by the crew. Once on board it was nice to know there was lunch available at the windjammer. Meals were interesting and tasty. The servers were top rate, esp our assistant waiter, who always had my ice tea waiting for me at my table (little things mean the most). Cococay was the high light of the cruise. We parasailed, snorkeled, took the wave runner trip and just relaxed in the water on mats. What we thought would be a couple of hours turned into a great day. Enjoyed the casino, but the entertainment left a lot to be desired it was much better on my cruise aboard Vission's last year. RCCL really needs to work on getting passengers off the ship. We were assigned a color according to our plane reservations, but had to plead with the crew to let us off. Could not use our prepaid voucher for transportation to airport. Had to get a taxi and run through the airport like something out of a O. J. Simpson commercial and barely made our flight. All and all I would and will cruise again as I feel it's the way to vacation Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
Our cruise left on May 30th. The hardest thing about the embarkation in N.Y. was having the car searched by National Guard outside the pier and the parking lot which cost $168 for the week paid in advance. The actual embarkation was very ... Read More
Our cruise left on May 30th. The hardest thing about the embarkation in N.Y. was having the car searched by National Guard outside the pier and the parking lot which cost $168 for the week paid in advance. The actual embarkation was very quick and easy. Getting off was even easier. The wait for non citizens to get checked out took almost 2 hours but we gave them our card which was filled out declaring what we bought and walked right off and our luggage was waiting for us (no hassles at all). Everything on this ship was clean and top of the line including the crew. Freestyle cruising is the only way I would ever sail, no being locked into a set time and place to eat and with people you do not know. The dinners at the three main restaurants were very good, portions were not too big but just enough and the service was excellent. If you were hungry and wanted to eat more you could just go to another restaurant and have another meal. Breakfast we always had at the buffet, it was quicker and the selection was more than enough. The entertainment and activities were good, always something going on and you could not get to everything anyway. The excursions did book up quick so pick out what you want quickly or ahead of time. We did not use the outside pool but we used the hot tubs and the inside pool and hot tubs and fitness center. My wife took a spinning class. The facilities were excellent. We had to change our Nassau day due to it was their Labor Day so our time at Great Stirrup Cay was shorter, which was too bad. Nassau was o.k. if you like to walk around and shop and be hounded by tour guides, taxi drivers and sales people. We did go on an excursion to snorkel with sting rays which was neat. We could not get the dolphin swim but this was just as good. We had an inner stateroom which was a little small, no place to put the suitcases, but it was comfortable and the bathroom was a nice size with a big shower. I never did figure out how to control the a.c but it was ok because we did not spend that much time in our room. My wife and I loved the towel animals they would make every night. The ship was full capacity which I think is about 2,400 people but it never felt packed or crowed. There were a lot of families also, some with babies and there was no problem with the kids that I saw. My daughter and her husband who is overseas in the National Guard want to go on the Dawn when he comes back. The only few minor complaints were their exotic tea selection was just Lipton teas(no green tea) and the cocktail waiters and waitresses were a little too aggressive but very pleasant. Not being a drinker I can see how one can run up their bill very quickly and spend more on their bar tab then their room. As I said these were very minor and insignificant complaints. The cruise was a total delight and I feel like that commercial for Mohegan Sun where the people keep thinking of their time there. I am sure anyone who takes this cruise will enjoy it unless you are super picky. The only thing that would possibly put a damper on it would be if you got bad weather which no one can control. I would definitely go on the Dawn again because I hear the other ships that go to Bermuda, which is where we wanted to go next, are not as nice as the Dawn Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
I just returned from a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas. It left on Friday, May 21st and returned on Monday, May 24th. Below is a quick (or not so quick) overview: We arrived at the Miami airport at noon and decided to take a cab instead of ... Read More
I just returned from a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas. It left on Friday, May 21st and returned on Monday, May 24th. Below is a quick (or not so quick) overview: We arrived at the Miami airport at noon and decided to take a cab instead of the carnival ground transfer. It cost $21 + tip but it was well worth it. If you took the ground transfer, you had to wait until the bus filled up (another 30 to 45 minutes) and then a bus load arrive at the dock at the same time resulting in a mad scramble to be first in line. The ground transfer cost $11 per person or $22 per couple while the taxi was $21. If you find someone to share the taxi ride, it's even better. Embarkation: went very smoothly. Ensure you complete the fun pass online and have all your documentation filled in, including the ship & sail and the Bahamas customs papers (included in your documents). If they are not filled out completely, you have to stand to the side and complete them. We landed at the airport at noon and were on the ship by 1:00. I was impressed. Public Rooms: I was expecting very tacky decor based on their pictures on the website but was pleasantly surprised. They are a little outdated but not as terrible as I expected. You see employees constantly cleaning throughout the ship and I was impressed with the shape of the ship considering the age. Cabin: I cannot complain. We booked an inside cabin and were upgraded to a window or "ocean view". The amenity basket in the room was great. I don't usually care about such things but they provided brand names everything from shampoo to razors to dental floss. We didn't see our cabin steward very often but that's the point. I think he was standing outside our door waiting for us to leave. We left one evening and then remembered we forgot the camera, we only made it down the hallway but by the time we returned, our bed was turned down! Shore excursions: always a good idea to book outside the cruise ship for discount rates. We decided to tour the island on our own and after discussions with fellow passengers, found out we saw the same things as the historical tour. Only it ended up costing us less than $20 for both. Dining: was a pleasure. The food is the same as you would get in a good (not great) restaurant. But it was plentiful. On the last evening I couldn't decide on the Croquille St Jacques or Filet Mignon so the waiter gave me both. The wait staff were phenomenal. We were celebrating our 2nd anniversary and the staff provided a cake and sang for us. The coconut grove on lido desk was OK, nothing spectacular but filled you up. Tried the Pizza one night and since it was close to 11:00 pm and the midnight buffet was about to start they only had a limited selection. I think it was the leftovers from the day. My only complaint was the seating arrangements in the main dining room. We were seated with other Canadians who were from the same city as us. I would have like to sit with people from other cities, countries, etc. Entertainment: the "Broadway" and "Hollywood" shows in the Palace lounge are worth missing if you have something better to do. The Broadway show was much better than the Hollywood show. Could be my preference since I love the theatre. Unfortunately I didn't see the midnight comedian who I hear was fabulous. This was our first trip alone, leaving our 15 month old toddler and we found out a few days before sailing that we are expecting our second. Therefore, I was in bed every night by 10:00 - 10:30 no matter how hard I tried to stay awake. Sorry I missed it. Same goes for the many bars and disco's. Heard from fellow passengers that the ship was rockin' till about 5 am. Fellow guest run the full spectrum from the partygoers who thought the cruise was a booze cruise, to the "blue" haired older women. Most people ran in the middle from the young honeymooners, young families and single people just trying to get away and relax. All in all, it was great! I wouldn't necessarily do it again, simply because all the excitement of cruising happens in the evenings and we were just too tired to enjoy it. I hope this helps others. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
I give this cruise two thumbs up. My sister and I planned this cruise and it went above and beyond our expectations. This was my sister's first cruise and it was my second cruise but first with Norwegian. We boarded the Norwegian Dawn ... Read More
I give this cruise two thumbs up. My sister and I planned this cruise and it went above and beyond our expectations. This was my sister's first cruise and it was my second cruise but first with Norwegian. We boarded the Norwegian Dawn out of NYC on May 24th. The ship is amazing. There is plenty to do for everyone. We were in Cabin #5650 and although it was rather small (as many cruise cabins are) it was very clean which is most important. They did a wonderful job with keeping our cabin neat and clean. If there was anything you needed, they were right there to deliver it to you. As for the entertainment, we couldn't get over the numerous activities that would take place on a daily basis. There was always something to do no matter what time of day it was. We enjoyed this very much. We were entertained by Fabio who was incredibly talented. Fabio kept everyone mesmerized with his talent ..."Exciting No". We enjoyed him very much. We also give two thumbs up to the Karaoke that is offered in Dazzles each night. This was very entertaining as well. It's surprising to see that the person you were sitting next to in one of the restaurants has a hidden secret talent within them. Bollywood was a very good show in the Stardust Theater and we enjoyed the comedy acts as well. Speaking of comedy....the Cruise Director, Paul and the Assistant Cruise Director, Mike (from Canada)were absolutely amazing...loved them! What a pair! They continued to make everyone laugh and keep everyone motivated throughout the cruise. No matter where you were, they would appear and get the crowd going. It seemed they were on 24/7. I don't know how they do it. I enjoyed their entertainment the most and hope to see them again in the future. The dining on the Norwegian Dawn was incredible. Our favorite restaurant was the Venetian. The Venetian was very fancy and offered a wide variety of entrees. We dined here a lot. Just as we were finished one meal, our next dish was promptly brought over. The service was excellent. The staff did a wonderful job. The only place that we didn't really care for was the Blue Lagoon but we only stopped there once when we were limited to time and wanted to grab a quick bite. The food seemed a bit greasy but this may have been the choice we made as far as the food was concerned. We also ordered room service and the food was unexpectedly satisfying. It was delivered quick as well and we ordered many different items. The Java Hut had great coffee. We enjoyed a cup there each morning along with there variety of pastries. The Hotel Director, Klaus, was a great help to us as well. He noticed we were standing at the Oasis Pool while enjoying the entertainment and asked us if we would like chairs to sit down. Two chairs were promptly brought over and he gave me his card and advised me to use it if I ever needed anything else throughout our stay. Rob kept us entertained with trivia in the Star Bar with other fellow passengers. That was fun! We had the opportunity to meet a lot of people while on board. I look forward to cruising with the Norwegian Dawn again. All in all the ship was unbelievable. We will definitely plan another cruise on this ship. I miss it already. It's tough to get back to reality after enjoying the luxury of all that was offered on board. Great job to everyone ..you do a wonderful job. Keep up the great work and ...see you soon!!! =) Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
This was a great vacation all around. The service was excellent. The entire staff was friendly and prompt. The crew is very organized. Our kids (ages 5 and 6) loved the kids club. The club is very well staffed and very attentive to the ... Read More
This was a great vacation all around. The service was excellent. The entire staff was friendly and prompt. The crew is very organized. Our kids (ages 5 and 6) loved the kids club. The club is very well staffed and very attentive to the kids. The hours are very flexible. The only negatives I have about the ship is the kids pool and the food. The kids pool is way, way too crowded. There must have been 200 kids trying to swim at the same time. As far as the food goes, it wasn't terrible or great. Just satisfying. They only served dinner in the restaurants at night. All the buffets were closed during dinner time. So if you wanted a good dinner you had to get dressed up and go to your scheduled seating time. Your only other choice was pizza, chicken strips, hamburger, hotdogs, fries and nachos. A buffet served on the deck would of been nice. Some friends of our actually went to there room and ordered room service then ate it on the deck. That worked out pretty well. One more thing. If you go, seriously consider going on the 7 night instead of the 4 night. We went on the 4 night. It was fine but not enough time to enjoy all the things the ship has to offer. You get on the boat on Wednesday afternoon. This 1st day you are so busy getting luggage and signing up for activities that it is almost lost. And 2 days are spent on shore at Nassau and Castaway Cay. Then you have to get off the boat 1st thing Sunday morning. So you only have 1 full day at Sea to relax. However, besides the food and the kids pool, the trip was better than I could have imagined. The disney island Castaway Cay is 1st class all the way. Excellent food, clean beaches, and awesome water. I could spend 3 days here alone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
This was the 1st cruise for my 2 sons (10 & 13) and myself. We had a great time. I think 5 nights would have been better. We booked transportation from Boca Raton FL to Miami through RCL. The bus was on time and overall a good ... Read More
This was the 1st cruise for my 2 sons (10 & 13) and myself. We had a great time. I think 5 nights would have been better. We booked transportation from Boca Raton FL to Miami through RCL. The bus was on time and overall a good experience. Cheaper than a limo. We ate in the dining room each night. Food was good, boys got to try things that they had never eaten like escargot. Order your steak rarer than you would normally. Our waiters were great. Dinners ay our table rated the cornbread A++. We ate breakfast in the Windjammer- no complaints. The ship was at full capacity but it never seemed crowded. My sons spent a lot of time on the basketball courts and in the kids program. They had a great time and I felt fine leaving them there. We went to two comedy shows which were terrific and the love and marriage show. Took the Rainbow Reef Snorkeling excursion in Nassau. They sell baggies of fish food for $1 on the excursion boat. The boys loved feeding the fish right from their hands. I would do this again. I wish we had taken the jet ski excursion at Cococay...met some people who did and they had a blast. Be prepared to go FAST. I did have the "drink of the day" each day and loved them all. Seemed to go though a lot of clothes - the boys wore those pants with zip off legs for dinner and immediately unzipped them afterwards and took off to the kids area. The room was small but cozy and clean. The shower had amazing water pressure. The staff was friendly and helpful - even came out ahead in the casino! Read Less
Sail Date April 2004

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