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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our ... Read More
NCL Dawn, March 3 to March 10. Mini-Suite Rm 11676 I’ll preface my critique noting that this was my first NCL cruise, but I’ll also add that I’ve cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. First, boarding (mainly cause our departure was at 9:00pm) was very quick and easy - as I boarded at 1:00pm. Food in the Garden Cafe was available, and our room became available at approximately 3:00pm. We also booked three specialty dinning options, and our reservation times were all met. Teppanyaki: By far was my favorite. Great service, outstanding food from the edamame, fried rice and sea food selection was all worth it. Cagney’s: Was a close second on favorites. Great porterhouse steak. Le Bistro: Although the least favorite, it was worth the up charge. As for other food options, the Garden Cafe was OK - but not bad. The Venetian, Aqua and Bamboo were all good options if not at the specialty dinning location. Also, classy touch to provide appetizers at the casino later in the evening. We booked a few excursions, however the one that stood out was ANUD1011 Kayak & Snorkel Adventure on Antiqua. At $70.00 per person, we believe this excursion gave the most bang for the buck. Besides a ride thru the countryside, we kayaked thru the man grooves, hiked to a mountain top to view the Atlantic Ocean, then snorkeled. After our boat back to catch a bus back to the ship, water, rum punch and snacks we available. What really stood out was the professionalism and work ethic of the staff. Never a let down throughout the cruise - always courteous, and providing great service. The other thing that stood out was the ship never felt over crowded, and lines were minimal and always moved. If there was any negatives, general announcements were very hard to hear. The smoking room which was located on the sixth floor, sometimes leaked smoke into the bar area - and can be a bit overwhelming for non-smokers. Lastly, our Cabin Steward was very good, and besides the normal gratuities, I gave him an additional tip in person - but he didn’t seem happy. Not sure if I’m reading him wrong, or he was insulted. Overall, an oddly laid out ship really became its strength and appeal. And I took advantage of almost all of the ship, from sunning and swimming, sitting on my personal deck, multiple dinning locations, bars and gambling too - With my experience being excellent. I miss it, and would book another NCL cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
they clean your room everyday, Varieties of food, Dining experience is really awesome. service is great, Ice cream bar was great, international cafe, Karaoke bar, fitness room, Art auction, love the idea of formal night and going to a fine ... Read More
they clean your room everyday, Varieties of food, Dining experience is really awesome. service is great, Ice cream bar was great, international cafe, Karaoke bar, fitness room, Art auction, love the idea of formal night and going to a fine dining after having pictures from the photographers and you will your pictures that same day...you can watch live shows everyday with their funny Cruise director & his staff, lots of entertainment and things to do, love all this fun games with the staff especially with the cruise director Matt, foods is great, enough restaurants to choose, great service, smooth sailing and they are organized, i will plan a next cruise this year again and i will convince some of my relatives and friends to join me and my wife for the next cruise before end of 2019, and hoping they will come out a promotion to back up my plan Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
There is not enough room to share how horrible this cruise was. First, the dock member lost my luggage as I checked in, and later found out they wrote the wrong room number on my tag and set my luggage outside the wrong door. It took me 5 ... Read More
There is not enough room to share how horrible this cruise was. First, the dock member lost my luggage as I checked in, and later found out they wrote the wrong room number on my tag and set my luggage outside the wrong door. It took me 5 hours to find it. Then. I paid $85 for internet service to do grad school homework, but the internet didn't work. The staff was very rude, the ship was old and had signs of floor damage (holes below the carpet), the food was fine day one, but they served the same thing every day. Guys burgers saved the day. The entertainment was extremely disappointing. I could only do kareoke and comedy so many nights and all other entertainment was a 2 day rotation. The ship basically looked like a ghost town. This company basically will nickel and dime you to death. I even had to pay $50 for soda for the week! The excursion times were very short and the communication of the ship was very poor. The only enjoyable moment I had on the ship was playing blackjack at the casino. We also really liked our housekeeper. He was excellent! There was nothing to do for children, and the 3 pools advertised was one short and 2 mini circle children's pools. STEER CLEAR OF THIS SHIP! PAY THE EXTRA FEW BUCKS - I guarantee you will be happy you did. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Disclosures: - Traveled with wife, both in our 30s; no kids or family on the trip - Both vegetarian, with extremely minimal alcohol intake Pros: - Excellent staff and service. As with our prior Norwegian experience, the staff ... Read More
Disclosures: - Traveled with wife, both in our 30s; no kids or family on the trip - Both vegetarian, with extremely minimal alcohol intake Pros: - Excellent staff and service. As with our prior Norwegian experience, the staff go out of their way whenever possible to accommodate your needs - Sports/water complex is an unexpected treat on the open ocean. Ropes course is death defying fun (I am intensely acrophobic). And water slide usage was limited only by my tolerance for climbing the tower over and over again. Water is gently warmed in all pools, making it very comfortable in 60-70 degree weather. - The gym is excellent, and an extremely small proportion of cruisers actually use it. Felt like an enormous private gym for the most part. - Oceanview balconies have beautiful views, and are built such that one can't accidentally peek into someone else's balcony space. Cons: - 1:4 staffing levels become noticeable during busiest dinner dining hours (6PM-8PM) - Due to the time of year, cold weather At Sea days made the ship feel quite crowded - Elevators are slow during the At Sea days and embarkation/disembarkation process. Not a problem for us, as the stairs were always accessible, but I could imagine issues Tips: - Pick a dining room/time (I would recommend the Manhattan Club for the rear views) early in the cruise and establish yourself with a server. The staff are extremely service oriented and can pamper you in unexpected ways if they know what you like. - Pick a port day and stay on the ship for at least some portion. Using the sports complex (minigolf, bocce, waterslides, and rope course) without a line is worth it if planned into your itinerary - Reserve all the shows you'd like on the first night. But just show up if you feel like going to any of the free shows. All of our shows had plenty of open seats for latecomers or standby's - Get a balcony room. On a trip with 3.5 at sea days in cold weather, you'll relish some quiet time with a beautiful view - For those same cold weather days, ensure you pack some additional warm clothes. Summary: - Good ship. Great service. Would book again, but only in warm weather. Norwegian again finds that amazing sweet spot on price and service. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We went on this cruise with some of my wife's cousins, and we had a great time. Our cabin was fine, and we had a balcony so it was great to be able to look out over the water. Our cabin attendant was very nice, very professional. ... Read More
We went on this cruise with some of my wife's cousins, and we had a great time. Our cabin was fine, and we had a balcony so it was great to be able to look out over the water. Our cabin attendant was very nice, very professional. The staff on the ship were very friendly. I like the free style dining - there are lots of choices, and the food was very good. The entertainment at night was excellent. One of the dancing shows was phenomenal, and Lord Nil, magician/illusionist, was outstanding. Understand, that when you get to Belize, you are not going to the mainland unless you signed up for an excursion - you are actually going to an island owned by the cruise line, but the island was a lot of fun. They had a nice pool, a beach, and for a price, you could go ziplining (and it's really long extending over the water), parasailing, or you could go on a ropes course. And, of course, they had shops so you can spend some more of your hard earned cash! The next stop, Costa Maya in Mexico, offered a number of excursions. We took a 4 hour tour of Mayan ruins. Our guide, Frederico, was probably the most knowledgeable tour guide I've ever had. He seemed to know everything there was to know about the Mayan civilization. The ship had a nice fitness center with lots of treadmills, bikes, ellipticals, and other equipment. They also have a card room where you can go to play cards or other board games. The ship also provides some daily puzzles like Sudoku, crosswords, and trivia. The trip was definitely worth the experience. The cruise was a lot of fun, I just wish it had lasted longer. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and ... Read More
We are fairly recent cruisers and wanted a winter sun break and booked this cruise in January on line. The weather was superb and we were told by the crew the best they have had for several years. We flew from East Midlands to Tenerife and arrangements at departure, on arrival, coaching to Santa Cruz and boarding Marella Dream went like clockwork. The ship is old but is modern in appearance with good quality furnishings and the staff very friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble from our room steward to the bar and restaurant staff. Corridors and lift space are a little narrow and not as spacious as more modern ships. The variety of lounges and drinking and dining options were first class as was the food and drinks. We like to be on our own for dinner and for six nights we were served by Jennifer and April who looked after us very well. The Marella Dream Show team and their shows in the Broadway Show Lounge were excellent. Some very good singers and dancers however the comedian Alan Wilkins material was older than us and we are in our 70's. The resident band were again very good with such a wide range of music on offer. Our only disappointment was the lack of space for sunbathing when we had such good weather. We were birthed in walking distance of six of the places we visited which is brilliant. There were lots of excursions and trips arranged which people we spoke to enjoyed. Leaving the cruise was also faultless, colour coded luggage and well organised. Our only disappointment was East Midlands Border Control on the return. It took about 30 minutes to process us which is not acceptable. A superb restful and enjoyable cruise. Thank you TUI. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My family needed a cruise suitable for our range of ages and tastes and this family friendly, low stress cruise absolutely matched our needs. Very clean ship inside and out with friendly staff and fun entertainers. We travelled from ... Read More
My family needed a cruise suitable for our range of ages and tastes and this family friendly, low stress cruise absolutely matched our needs. Very clean ship inside and out with friendly staff and fun entertainers. We travelled from Sydney, Australia to Melbourne and Hobart and then went to New Zealand getting stops at Port Chalmers, Akaroa, Tauranga and Auckland. There was a large variety of activities that suited the seniors in our group as well as the younger cousins, too. From Zumba to Bingo to jaw-dropping production shows, we were thoroughly entertained onboard. Food was easy to acquire and change to our tastes as necessary for those with food allergies. I am pleased to note that there were accessible shore excursions and the entire ship was accessible for people with mobility issues. The outside and inside of the ship were truly majestic, with details everywhere to enhance the experience for guests of any culture. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Overall this 7 day Western Caribbean cruise was fine. I love the free style dining. Most of the food was above average. The exception to that was the buffet and the 2 prime ribs I had in the dining rooms. The buffet was typical of a ... Read More
Overall this 7 day Western Caribbean cruise was fine. I love the free style dining. Most of the food was above average. The exception to that was the buffet and the 2 prime ribs I had in the dining rooms. The buffet was typical of a lot of buffets...….some food dried out, some food unidentifiable if not for the labeling and nasty people putting food in their mouths in line and then grabbing the ladle to put the next item on their plate. Also, I had prime rib in Alizar and at Cagney's and both were just not good. Oh well. The only other complaint, and this is a big one, was the ports of call. Please know that you are really not going to Belize, Mexico or the Bahamas. You are going to small islands owned (as far as I can tell) by the cruise lines. No one lives on these islands. They exist only to sell you tourist type stuff at hugely inflated prices. They are also jumping off places for your shore excursions. We booked snorkeling excursions at Harvest Caye and Costa Maya. The snorkeling at Harvest Caye was a big disappointment. Believe me, this snorkeling is not worth booking. The boat they take you out on is so crowded you are sitting hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder to the people you are sitting next to. The snorkeling itself is not good. You're not really on a reef. All you see is a lot of brown stuff and very few fish. That is the normal condition. Don't say I didn't warn you. O.K. .... a few positives ..... No mater where we dined, the dress code is casual. I loved that we didn't have to get all gussied up to eat. The crew for the most part were friendly or just indifferent (which is fine with me). I really can't recall coming in contact with a surly or rude employee. Also, the ship was kept pretty clean. I don't recall getting grossed out by any unsanitary conditions. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise to leave from NY and not have to deal with airports. The ship was beautiful and clean. The food at every restaurant was excelllent. My luggage was broken in transport to my room. I filed a report and hoped they ... Read More
We chose this cruise to leave from NY and not have to deal with airports. The ship was beautiful and clean. The food at every restaurant was excelllent. My luggage was broken in transport to my room. I filed a report and hoped they would replace on the ship so I could transport my personal belongings back home. I contacted Customer Service twice after and received no response. We were supposed to have 3 beach days. The 2nd day was the private Island in the Bahamas. The weather was perfect but they said the tender couldn't go to the island due to wind. We were stuck on an overcrowded ship with over 1,500 kids who were allowed in the adult only pool and hot tub. Everyone complained about people reserving chairs that they didn't even use. On the last day, finally, the staff put stickers on the chair with times so if people didn't come to their chair, they would take the towels off. When you leave from NY, you expect 3 out of the 8 days to be at a beach. We got shortchanged without any compensation. the spa on the ship is beautiful, but very expensive. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My partner and booked this cruise as we felt like we needed a winter getaway. We also had a fantastic time on a January cruise in 2017 and wanted to explore more of the world using this excellent mode of transport. We are both in our mid ... Read More
My partner and booked this cruise as we felt like we needed a winter getaway. We also had a fantastic time on a January cruise in 2017 and wanted to explore more of the world using this excellent mode of transport. We are both in our mid 20’s and really enjoy hiking, exploring and just generally being active. The aim was to come back feeling relaxed but also like we gained new knowledge and experience. This would be our third cruise and first time with P&O. Embarkation and disembarkation I cannot fault, it is seamless from start to finish. We were on a charter flight and on arrival at Barbados we were whisked straight off the plane to the ship. We had no queue to check in and get our cruise cards created. On departure day everything is digitally signposted to make sure you know where you need to be and at what time. Our cases were taken the night before and immigration came onto the ship to handle our paperwork the day before we left. We were given our flight tickets around 4 days before departure along with our luggage labels and explanation of the process. The dedicated lane at the airport for cruise passengers was also super speedy, definitely the best we have encountered. Exercise & Leisure: There is a well equipped gym and running track on the upper deck, we used these everyday and found there was enough equipment for everyone without having to wait around (obviously there are peak times e.g. around 9am). There are free sessions such as the ‘morning stretch’ that you can sign up to along with classes such as spinning which come at a small fee. There is also a basketball court and golf area (no mini golf though which would be an excellent addition). Beside the gym is also the cookery school kitchen which looks fantastic, we did not get to experience this but there was always a variety of different classes advertised for a fee. The spa we did not use, on our first day at sea we went to have a look around at the thermal suite which appeared quite small plus it felt like a really hard selling approach to get us to purchase day passes. We did not receive our requested call back for availability and so we did not visit. There is also the ‘retreat’ open air spa terrace available for booking in conjunction with the thermal suite. Entertainment & Activities: Everyday you will find a full program of things you can get involved in within the cruise personaliser which is dropped off outside your cabin each night along with port information. We played bingo in Brodie’s bar purchasing a pack for £15 which included 5 games and a bonus 3 tickets for one game. We also really enjoyed the aqua fit classes which took place in the lido pool which was free. Throughout the day there are quizzes, talks from aviation experts, reflexology sessions, you can book your next cruise or just sunbathe out on deck. You will also find usually 2 different films showing throughout the day in the studio, there’s a great selection for all. We only attended one show in the theatre which was called ‘astonishing’, I won’t spoil it for those that haven’t seen it but we found it entertaining given its interactive nature. Shopping: Within the main atrium midship you will find a selection of stores selling jewellery, clothing and alcohol. They did a number of flash sales on products but we still found everything very pricey, however they do come in handy when you have an emergency such as not packing your tie (will set you back £12). Just opposite reception you will find another store selling biscuits, suncream, merchandise, playing cards (£3) and amongst other things the washing tabs you need for the washing machines (£1 each). Food and drink: I cannot tell you how many bars there are on this ship, they are everywhere! You can also get costa coffee at select places also. The market cafe on deck 5 also sells wonderful looking cakes and bakes designed by Eric Lanlard and also crepes and ice cream. We were allocated to second sitting dining (8:30pm) in the Oriental restaurant on a table for 2. I don’t eat food containing dairy and informed our travel agent when booking and I was looked after fantastically. I ordered my food the day before getting a sneak peak of the menu and everything was cooked for me with the same choice as everyone else minus the dairy. Our waiters were phenomenal and they really added to our meal times. We had 4 formal nights and the dress code is strict so don’t forget your tie or suit jacket! The horizon buffet is also always well stocked; if you need help with a dietary requirement you can ask the staff in the yellow ‘how can I help’ aprons. You have everything available at breakfast including cooked breakfast, fruit, pastries, pancakes, cereal, yoghurt, juice. Lunch is always something different but you can always have salad, fish and cold meats, soup along with a wide selection of hot dishes. Afternoon tea is served in here from 3pm and also in the oriental restaurant from 4-4:45pm. There are always numerous cakes, sandwiches, pies, scones, crumpets and unlimited tea. Outside either side of the lido pool you will find a grab and go section for quick sandwiches, fruit, salad etc at lunch and also pizza, burgers, hot dogs and chips served until around 6pm. There is also Jude’s ice cream and costa coffee here too. We also chose to pay extra to dine in Eric Lanlards restaurant ‘The Epicurean’ for afternoon tea. It was fantastic with a wonderful selection of food and experimental desserts along with a large choice of tea (including chocolate tea). The decor is also very light and airy, this is a must for any foodies and it was extremely reasonable price wise. You can also dine at other restaurants such as Sindhu and the Limelight Club (evenings entertainment by a known performer) for a fee. Ports & Excursions: We had a fantastic itinerary and loved each of the ports we visited. Our favourites were Grenada, Dominica & St Lucia. We booked the eco trek for Grenada which led us through a plantation, learning about all of the spices, plants and fruits the island holds. We then ended up at a waterfall in which you can take a refreshing dip. Our tour guide was fantastic however if you struggle walking up pretty steep hills on a continuous incline then this may not be for you as the way back is pretty much all uphill. We also had a to cross a river barefoot but this was all part of the fun! In Dominica we booked the hot springs trip. We swam through a gorge which was also one of the film areas for Pirates of the Caribbean, then onto the Bongo Baths which were wonderful. Naturally heated pools of water at different temperatures in a tranquil setting. You do have to take a dip in the cold before leaving to get your pores closed up (leaving open leaves you vulnerable). St Lucia we planned ourselves and already researched that we wanted to go pigeon island. I’m the port are there are always numerous people asking if you need a taxi, we paid $40 return for two with a pick up later in the afternoon. We had a fantastic time climbing up hills, taking in the scenery and relaxing on the beach; you must also visit Jambe de Bois for food and cocktails, it is fantastic! I would say don’t be afraid to do some pre trip research as shore excursions can be expensive. In Antigua we booked kayaking and snorkelling. Our guides/instructors were really superb and we had an awesome day, pretty arm intensive at the start but all worth it! We saw lots of beautiful sea creatures and enjoyed a few cups of rum punch in the sunshine. I would personally substitute Çuracao with Trinidad & Tobago as this port was the least active for us. We explored the local area and the Kura Hulanda museum but beyond this we would have needed to go further out to find some more activities. Cabin: We had an inside cabin which we found to be excellent value, we spent so much time out of our room we didn’t feel the need to book a balcony. The queen bed was great and very comfy plus we had numerous storage spaces and an adequate size bathroom. Our housekeeper cleaned at least twice a day, we could not fault how clean the cabin was. Overall we had a fantastic trip, we really did not want to come home! We want to travel with P&O again and cant wait for our next cruise. Read Less

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