424 New Orleans Romantic Cruise Reviews

Celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, we dropped the kids with grandmas and took off for a week of being adults and remembering why we fell in love in the first place. I have been on several cruises with Carnival (7), Princess (2), ... Read More
Celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, we dropped the kids with grandmas and took off for a week of being adults and remembering why we fell in love in the first place. I have been on several cruises with Carnival (7), Princess (2), and this was my second on NCL. Overall this was a very good cruise. Ports were entertaining and diverse, food was good, staff was friendly. I might have wished for an extra sea day, but having one at the front and one at the back was good, and I liked having 4 ports. Compared to Carnival, there is not as much emphasis on comedy, which I missed. Shows were similar, and deck parties are a little more over the top than Carnival. We especially enjoyed the diversity in eating establishments. My favorite was Moderno (the Brazilian Steakhouse), while my DW enjoyed Bamboo (Asian). The ship is a little on the tired side, but is going in for a drydock in May, when it reportedly get all new carpets, brass, and lots more. They talked about moving restaurants around, but essentially keeping the same selection. They also said something about adding cabins, which I am not sure how they could do. The biggest detraction from the cruise was the combination of Spring Break, an economical cruise, promotions that included unlimited beverages (which we also had), the ability to get drinks at only age 18 while at sea with a note from your parents , and only 22 bartenders on the whole ship. These combined to make getting drinks extremely difficult. We avoided trying to get drinks on the top decks (anywhere where there was sun) as the wait was often long, and bikini-clad spring breakers didn't seem to care who had been waiting how long, muscling their way to the front. We learned to stay on lower decks to get drinks. Gatsby's on deck 6 was one good place, and when it was open, the Moderno bar on 8 was rarely populated. Bartenders were very good, but terribly overworked. Hopefully one or more of the conditions listed above will change for next year! Yes, next year, despite the drink challenge, we booked the same cruise for next year, this time with the family and grandma! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my third cruise, all on Carnival. Last was on Magic out of Galveston last January. Same ports, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. Chose balcony cabin 8383. Starboard side. Ate in Crimson dining, steward was Louie. Had fttf this ... Read More
This was my third cruise, all on Carnival. Last was on Magic out of Galveston last January. Same ports, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. Chose balcony cabin 8383. Starboard side. Ate in Crimson dining, steward was Louie. Had fttf this time, and was literally met at taxi and escorted in past lines. Checkin time was 1000 and was on by 1100. Dream appeared older than Magic. Room seemed slightly smaller and tv smaller than similar room on Magic. 8383 very quiet, situated slightly behind mid. Had good view, but a hottub below that could have gotten noisey. Couldnt order room service on tv. Less activities for teens and I missed having the red frog pub on 5 mid like Magic. Food not quite as good, but same menus. Service a bit slow. Best meal was the lamb shanks. Louie was an excellent steward. Toulet was stopped up on checkin and balcony door latch stuck, but it was quickly fixed. Theyve quit leaving chocolates at night, Magic had them january 2015. Roatan we did Vic Bodden to Paradise resort beach of West Bay. Excellent. Belize did city tour and ate at Wet Lizard. Excellent. Cozumel did bar hop tour east side. Excellent. Ship seemed cleaner than magic and not ad rowdy for some reason, even though this was spring break. Chise to have bags carried out on debarkation, got out at 0930. Buddy carried his off and was out by 7. Faster to the Fun a must for non-platinum cruisers. Entertainment best Ive ever seen. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our first ever river cruise was on the American Queen from New Orleans to Memphis. This very unique journey on a genuine 400 passenger Mississippi River steamboat was fabulous in every way. The embarkation and disembarkation processes ... Read More
Our first ever river cruise was on the American Queen from New Orleans to Memphis. This very unique journey on a genuine 400 passenger Mississippi River steamboat was fabulous in every way. The embarkation and disembarkation processes were outstanding, as was the organization of the included hop-on/hop-off tours and the premium tours. The places visited were rich with history and architecture and there was always more to see than you had time for. The food and service were excellent, and the variety and quality of the entertainment was outstanding, especially on such a small boat. The captain even played with the musicians in the beautiful Engine Room bar. Gerry the Riverlorian was both informative and very entertaining. The décor was Victorian ostentation, and immersed you in the elegant heyday of the Mississippi steamboat era. Everything was so well organized that we experienced only one little glitch--we had dreamed of sipping a mint julep on the deck rocking chairs, but they never had any mint! The passenger loyalty is staggering--we met "Miss Ruth" on her 150th trip on this boat. The line thanked her back by upgrading her to a luxury suite. She said she hardly knew what to do with the butler, but the digs were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The start of are cruise did not go as smoothly as the cruise itself. We arrived the day before we where due to sail, and after being up 17 hours arrived at the hotel only to be told they had no room for us, but has upgraded us to anoth ... Read More
The start of are cruise did not go as smoothly as the cruise itself. We arrived the day before we where due to sail, and after being up 17 hours arrived at the hotel only to be told they had no room for us, but has upgraded us to anoth hotel, which was very nice but not what you want to hear when your are shattered. So we had to get another taxi to another hotel, and then the next morning get another taxi back to the original hotel to get the transfer to the ship. The booking in process to get on the ship seemed a bit long and drawn out, but once on board we went to our cabin and found it very spacious and clean, probably one of the largest cabins we have ever been in. The ship itself is lovely, all the staff where pleasant and could not do enough for you. The food in all the restaurants was lovely. You could either have a table on your own or sit with other travellers, so it catered for everyone. The pool area was always clean, as was the pool itself, and the pool seemed alot larger than other ships we have been on. There was music in many of the bars on the ship, and although we did not go to any of the shows we heard comments from others, and all seemed positive. We have a few slight niggles, like the smoke room seemed as large as the quite area which was the library. Also it was my husbands 60th birthday and we booked the bistro for 9pm, there was only a few tables occupied when we arrived, and as the night went on we where the only ones in there, and the staff started to clean up around us, this was annoying as it was a special day for my husband which is why we booked a special restaurant. Also it would have been nice if they sung Happy Birthday to him, which has happened on previous ships, but like i say just small niggles. All in all we had a fantastic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Cruise on Norwegian Dawn Ship in February 21 - 28 2016 We arrived to the port and went to the room, where suite guests were waiting to get in the ship. The concierge came soon to tell us that unfortunately he had some bad news for us. ... Read More
Cruise on Norwegian Dawn Ship in February 21 - 28 2016 We arrived to the port and went to the room, where suite guests were waiting to get in the ship. The concierge came soon to tell us that unfortunately he had some bad news for us. We could not get the stateroom (12022) that we had booked because of the problems with the sink in the shower. The water did not run away. We would get another stateroom instead, but unfortunately without the balcony. We replied that we would not accept a stateroom without balcony. The concierge went away and said that they will try to fix it as soon as possible. After 15 minutes we went in the ship and went straight away to our cabin, where the room attendant was cleaning it. We asked him what kind of problem there was with the shower. He said that there were no problems with water running away thru the sink. Neither did we find any problems in the stateroom during the cruise. Why did they try to cheat us and take away our suite (12022) from us? We had booked the Ultimate beverage package, but we had to bring the water in glass to our stateroom! A bottle of water would cost 5.50 plus taxis! We did not use anything from the minibar. In spite of that there was a charge (10 $) included to our bill! On this ship they did not have the possibility to let you follow your account from the TV as many other cruise vessels have. We noticed this extra charge when we went to check the balance from reception. In addition we noticed that there were several small charges but according to the company they were appropriate charges because the taxis had to be paid for the food and drinks during the cruise on Mississippi River? Once we came back to our stateroom, the door was open and there was no one. We had got the afternoon snacks. We figured that the door had been open almost two hours. We made reservations to the special restaurants already at home in Finland. When we checked them from internet while staying in hotel in New Orleans we noticed that all reservations were lost and that those times were fully booked, so we could not do new reservations! We showed the reservations to the concierge we had printed at home and he promised to take care of them. But when we arrived first time to one restaurant we were told that we have no reservation. We once again contacted the concierge, who now promised to take care of new reservations. In some evenings there were two and in some evenings one show in the main theatre of the cruise ship. They did not tell the schedule of the shows in advance. After many inquires the concierge finally revealed them. It was a bit difficult to reserve dinner without losing the shows if you do not know the show time. There was a certain section on the balcony booked for the suite quests. We were a little bit annoyed, because the concierge sometimes reserved the best seats to some group and if they did not come then came to tell us that we can use them. One excursion that we had booked in advance, was cancelled. We did not get any information of this cancellation before we very early one morning went to the meeting point and we were told that this excursion is cancelled. They offered some alternatives. We chose one much cheaper excursion that the one we had booked. We were told that they will not pay back this difference now but if the balance of our account was plus after the cruise, they will send a check to us after 30 days! We thought this was too complicated and unsure, so we were forced to spend the money onboard. Once we went to a complementary restaurant for dinner (Venetian Main Dining Room). We ordered the food from the menu as usually. Afterwards were noticed that the steak that my husband ordered, was invoiced (26.40 $). Nobody told us that some portions were not complementary. Though we made a complaint, they said the will invoice it. We bought to our daughter a neckless and a bracelet chain that were cut as a proper length. They seemed to be okay, but at home we noticed that both of them were broken and we had to take them to the goldsmith for preparing. Our feeling is that they tried to cheat us in many ways and all the time. In addition this cruise was a little bit too FREESTYLE for us. We will never again travel on Norwegian Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This ship is old, tired, and ready for an overhaul. The worst part for me was the bed. Not only was it harder than a rock, but it had a very bad smell to it. The smell reminded me of the way a t-shirt at the Salvation Army ... Read More
This ship is old, tired, and ready for an overhaul. The worst part for me was the bed. Not only was it harder than a rock, but it had a very bad smell to it. The smell reminded me of the way a t-shirt at the Salvation Army smells...old, sweat stained and will never come clean. I asked our cabin steward to please change the sheets again immediately upon boarding because I was convinced that he hadn't changed them from the last guests (possibly a large, sweaty man?). Well, he changed them and they still had the odor. Its almost like its baked into the sheets at this point and most definitely into the pillows. It was just disgusting. This ship is in serious need of new bedding. Also something that is completely unacceptable is the fact that we lost water 2 nights on the ship. Both nights I came back to the cabin around midnight-1am to find that there was no water...no shower, no water in the sink to wash my face or brush my teeth. It was gross! I called customer service both times and they said there was a problem with the pumping system. I've cruised 5 times before and have never had this happen! I also found the entertainment to be terrible. Second City was kinda meh, but DJ "Anonymous" I'm talking about you :( There is only 1 nightclub on the ship with a DJ. Our friends like to dance and this guy played terrible music the whole night just about every night. First night on board nobody was dancing and there was about 50 people in the club at that time. I went to make a request for which I was told (as were others in our group) that he doesn't take requests. Ummm....really? NOBODY was dancing for at least an hour, that's how bad the music was. 2 hours later he finally he played one of the artists I requested and in a nasty tone said into the microphone "I'm playing your request, so you better get up and dance." I really hope the cruise director knows about this because this is also unacceptable. People are on a cruise to have fun and an empty dance floor most of the night EVERY night speaks volumes. The mold smell was pretty bad in our cabin too. Also there were stains all over the carpets - in our cabin, common areas, hallways...everywhere. Overall: mediocre entertainment, food was just ok, rust and signs of age everywhere. Every elevator had hundreds of dead bugs in the ceiling light panels. Just look up...you know if I'm seeing it then the cleaning crew is too. There is a general feeling that the crew stopped caring. All they did was promote their new mega-ship which is probably where all their resources are going. I cruised on the Norwegian Gem a few years ago and thought that was bad, but by comparison was actually better. Save your money and cruise Royal Caribbean. You'll have a way better experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was my first cruise, and after this one it's definitely not going to be my last! This ship is so BIG and so NICE! Our room steward, Christine, was absolutely wonderful! The drinks did not lack alcohol. The service in the dining ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and after this one it's definitely not going to be my last! This ship is so BIG and so NICE! Our room steward, Christine, was absolutely wonderful! The drinks did not lack alcohol. The service in the dining room was impeccable. Definitely get the chocolate melting cake. The comedy shows were very funny and all of the carnival shows in encore were fabulous. The adult only Serenity area was one of my favorite parts on the trip. The people at the excursion desk were extremely knowledgeable and our 3 shore excursions were so organized booking through Carnival. I DID have a big problem with my spa experience and after speaking to the manager, she refunded me 100% which I didn't even ask of her to do! I felt like the people working on this boat actually cared about my husband and I having a great time. This was the best customer service I have ever seen! I am completely satisfied with my cruise and can't wait to book my next one!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I really don't understand all the bad reviews. I read GZRECOIL's review and I just don't get it. We were on the same ship at the same time and we had a great time. Was it perfect? no it wasn't. Do I have some complains? ... Read More
I really don't understand all the bad reviews. I read GZRECOIL's review and I just don't get it. We were on the same ship at the same time and we had a great time. Was it perfect? no it wasn't. Do I have some complains? of course but I really think people need to lighten up. I have no idea what his comment of the staff all leaving after the cruise meant. Everyone we spoke to was staying on until the reefs in May except 1 girl on the cruise staff. Day 1 - Embarkation was surprisingly quick and easy. We got to pier around 1:30 which is unusual for us but we wanted to take in a little Mardi Gras before hand. We were greeted by our cabin steward as soon as we got to our room. She was quiet but efficient and got her job done quickly. Weather was a bit chilly so we sat on our balcony as we sailed down the Mississippi. Had dinner at Teppanyaki which was fantastic. Didn't do a show as it was super bowl so we caught the second half of the game and hit the casino for a bit. Casino is really smokey. This seems to be an issue on all NCP ships I have been on. Day 2 - Sea day. Weather didn't warm up much but we managed to spend a good chunk of the afternoon on deck reading and relaxing. Went to dinner at Le Bistro which was excellent and saw a show. Day 3 - Cozumel. Weather still wasn't cooperating so our scheduled excursion was canceled. We went ashore for about 90 minutes and did a little shopping. Spent the rest of the day by the pool reading and relaxing. Dinner was Le Bistro again and again it was perfect. Day 4 - Roatan. Worst weather day yet. Rained a good portion of the day. We tried to go to a beach but it started raining shortly after we arrived so we ate lunch and headed back to the ship. Spent the day reading and relaxing. Dinner was at Cagney's which was excellent. On a side note I really don't get why everyone gets so excited for the truffle fries? They are french fries people, settle down. Day 5 - Belize. Weather finally broke and it was beautiful. We didn't get off the boat and had a fantastic day enjoying the sunshine on deck. Dinner was at Le Bistro again and like before it was excellent. Day 6 - Costa Maya. Good weather with a touch of wind. Went to a local beach that was all inclusive. Really nice place. Had many really good rum punches and wife got a massage for $40. We didn't expect much when we booked the excursion but we were pleasantly surprised. Dinner at Cagney's - it was excellent. Day 7 - Sea day. Nice sunny day with a little wind. Spent the day on deck and got a couples massage. Good massage but the prices in the spa a stupid expensive. Won't be doing that again. Dinner was at Cagney's. It was superb. Disembarkation - It was quick and painless. We were in a cab less than 20 minutes after we left the buffet. Things we liked. 1 - Customer service and friendliness of the crew and staff was top notch. 2 - Cruise director Richard and his staff were excellent. 3 - Entertainment was really dang good. Don't miss elements or the magician they are both Vegas quality shows. 4 - Wife is gluten free - they were over the top accommodating to her. Very much appreciated. 5 - Food was really good. We ate at upgraded restaurants each night but Had buffet most mornings for breakfast and most lunches. I thought all the food was good at its worst. Lunch at Bimini bar and grill is best choice in my opinion. Things we didn't like 1 - Ultimate drink package. So many people had it (we did not) and a good portion of them were really trying to "get there money's worth". Saw some unfortunately rude people that treated the staff and even fellow passengers poorly. Another side effect is it appears that NCL has raised the prices so high that you really only need to drink 5-6 drinks a day to break even. Some people just are not good drunks. 2 - Internet. Worst I've ever had at sea by a mile. I know it is slow on a cruise ship but this was ridiculous. We don't use it for much but we like to check on the kids each night before dinner via an online chat and many nights it was a struggle to get on at all. 3 - Casino smoke. I really enjoy gambling but only played twice due to excessive smoke. 4 - NCL smoking policy. No smoking on balcony's. Had a guy in room next door who smoked on the balcony daily. When I complained nothing was done. Did it ruin or vacation? Not at all. Was it annoying? Damn right. I spoke to hotel manager and told him "rules are only rules if they get inforced". He understood but nothing was really ever done about it. People would more or less smoke anywhere outside which is suppose to be a no no. 5 - SOME fellow passengers. Let's just say it was an eccentric group. Louisiana schools get the week off for Mardi Gras so there were a lot of kids and college kids. I am totally fine with that. There were lots and lots of really nice people and families on board that we really enjoyed meeting. There were also a lot of people that you would normally see in a biker bar or puking on bourbon street with there pants at there ankles. Unfortunately with NCL lower price point and the free booze promotion this is just a fact of life on NCL. Another thing - I know it's "freestyle" cruising but allowing teenagers to wear pajama's, athletic shorts, etc. at dinner? this is a parenting problem in my opinion not an NCL issue. Overall a really nice trip. We wish the weather was better at the beginning of the week but we made the best of it. I truly believe that a cruise vacation is what you make of it. If you have a crappy attitude you are probably going to have a crappy cruise. Lighten up and go with the flow and you will enjoy yourself much more. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The biggest impact for me was the cruise staff. They were professional, confident, always smiling and made us feel like we were the only people on the ship. Our stateroom was magnificent (although definitely aging) but quite wonderful. The ... Read More
The biggest impact for me was the cruise staff. They were professional, confident, always smiling and made us feel like we were the only people on the ship. Our stateroom was magnificent (although definitely aging) but quite wonderful. The bed was comfy, bedding soft, and the expanse of the room was so nice at the times we wanted to just take a moment and get away from the bustle. This was the smallest ship I've ever been on and there was one day that the waves really forced us to wear our Seabands, which helped a bunch!! I loved the comedians, and enjoyed watching the Super Bowl at the Mikado lounge. *We are from Colorado so we were impressed with the football buffet and the giant screen to route on our Broncos!! I am only disappointed with the "shows". There were some B class productions and a few game show type things. The bigger ships do this part better. Otherwise, it was a fabulous cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My wife and I are in our mid-fifties and work demanding jobs with little time off. This was our eighth cruise and our fifth on Carnival. We chose this cruise because it fit our vacation dates and New Orleans was a relatively convenient ... Read More
My wife and I are in our mid-fifties and work demanding jobs with little time off. This was our eighth cruise and our fifth on Carnival. We chose this cruise because it fit our vacation dates and New Orleans was a relatively convenient port to which we could drive. We spent the previous night at the Best Western on St. Charles. The rate was extremely competitive and the hotel has free, on site parking. The hotel is convenient to the St. Charles streetcar line and we had fabulous happy hour oysters at the Superior seafood restaurant for 50 cents each. Also enjoyed a cocktail at the beautiful Columns Hotel across the street and late night beers at the Sovereign Pub. The breakfast was excellent and the staff very friendly. We will stay here again and recommend it. On cruise day, we parked at the Fulton Street garage using their inexpensive rooftop cruise passenger option. They took our luggage to the ground floor where we met our shuttle. No waiting and we will muse this service if we cruise out of New Orleans again. Embarkation was smooth. We waited for over an hour in the waiting lounge but only because we were a bit early. We were in boarding group four and they moved throughout the groups promptly. Our cabin was not yet ready but we beat the crowd to the Lido for lunch. The ship pleased us. We have previously sailed on sister ships Fascination and Paradise so there were no surprises on Elation. If you wanted to look for worn carpet or small areas of corrosion outside, you could find it but we enjoyed the art deco ambience and on going cleaning and maintenance was always evident. The sail away from New Orleans was interesting due to the initial part of the voyage being on the Mississippi River. It was chilly and rainy so we quickly moved indoors and enjoyed the Taste Bar. We again chose an inside cabin on the Upper Deck. The fare was extremely economical and we like the cave-like darkness for sleeping and day napping. Sure, the cabins are dated with tiled bathrooms that look like they are out of a sixties motel and an old, tube type TV. Also, the immoveable life vest cabinet in the corner made it impossible to walk around to the far side of the bed. Still, it was comfortable, had plenty of storage space for two and the shower was large. Our cabin steward, Rosella, was a joy to chat with and kept the room in great shape. We took all of our dinners in the MDR and were underwhelmed. I guess we booked too late because we were stuck with late dining and could not change it. Our table for six was right in the middle of four large, round ten tops. There was only one other couple at our table and they were a delight. Had there been six at the table, it would have been extremely tight and uncomfortable. I felt badly for our excellent service team having to work in such a confined area. The food was only okay. The beef dishes did not have great quality and the seafood dishes were worse. The real highlight of dinner was the always excellent escargot. Brunch and MDR breakfast were much better and really the dining highlight. The steak and eggs featured the best beef we had and the service was always top notch. Typically, we do not eat on the Lido but since this ship has no Guy's Burgers, we tried the deli and the wok place and they were both good. The pizza was not up to the standard of other Carnival ships. We this was third trip to Cozumel in the last eighteen months so we didn't plan anything. After an excellent MDR breakfast, we strolled off the ship for some duty free booze and returned to enjoy the empty ship. The Serenity area was crowded on sea days but wide open in port. Because of our late dining, we found it difficult to see shows. I made it to one late comedy show and it was okay. There were two guitarist and we enjoyed both of them and we especially liked the U-Turn band. With no Alchemy bar, we pretty much spread our bar patronage around the ship. We purchased the Cheers package and found it to be a good value. On our return to New Orleans from Cozumel, we ran into a fast moving cold front. The ship was up against 50 knot winds and 20 foot seas. The ship slowed to eight knots and our progress was slow. My wife spent the day sleeping and most passengers out and about were mostly just reading. Obviously, Carnival has no control over the weather and I applaud the Captain and crew for their skill. Still, it was like a lost day of vacation. Because of the weather, we ended up docking about 5 hours late. Disembarkation became a fiasco. Despite clear instructions, it seemed like everyone was trying to crowd off the ship at once. Again, the crew tried to control the chaos but lots of people didn't want to listen. If this was my first cruise, I would be reluctant to try another. Between the rough seas, mediocre dinners and general chaos of disembarkation, this fell short of the relaxing vacation we have enjoyed on previous cruises. Still, I could tell the entire crew was working hard to make the best of these situations and I know this was an anomaly and still look forward to my next cruise. This was still an excellent value. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Let me begin by saying We Stole It!!! With the above in mind it's difficult to write a bad review but we were disappointed so many times I just have to include my 2 cents. We read all the mixed reviews before we sailed so we went ... Read More
Let me begin by saying We Stole It!!! With the above in mind it's difficult to write a bad review but we were disappointed so many times I just have to include my 2 cents. We read all the mixed reviews before we sailed so we went with trepidation but again We Stole It - last minute - 4 days before sailing so off my hubby and I sailed. The bad... Embarkation was a mess. Unnecessary confusion caused by the line monitors, and it took about 1 hour to check-in. Finally we just got up and bullied our way into the check-in line. The ship is 'worn' and needs an interior refit badly. The food, regardless of venue save Cagney's, was mediocre at best. The hard selling was shocking and obnoxious even for well experienced cruisers. Norwegian misses NO opportunity to extract money from you, from charges for dining at specialty restaurants, spa usage - $200 pp per cruise, entertainment charges, internet etc. Things that are included on other cruise lines you must pay extra for on NCL. We had an outstanding cabin steward but otherwise the service was lackluster and slow with more service staff standing around than serving. The lack of U.S. style 110V outlets in the cabins is absurd! No converter plugs available on the ship. Face it Norwegian your customers are Americans not Europeans - invest in converters or warn your passengers. On our particular cruise the incessant playing of "the game" was obnoxious. We did sail during NFL playoffs so some football was to be expected but most every entertainment venue was transformed into a football party at all hours and it was completely unacceptable and obnoxious. Save it for the sports bar and pub, not the main atrium and show bars! Now for the good... We had an amazing steward named Agosto. He was like a magic elf, keeping our cabin tidy at all times yet he was never intrusive. Each time we came back to our cabin it had been refreshed. We never left clothing lying out yet each time we opened the closet our hanging clothes were all exactly 2" apart! Though the ship is worn it was clean. Some of the shows, like Club BOTR, were entertaining but then I'm dating us. Also the Second City Comedy Show was a riot as was the Not So Newly Web Game. We never ate in the Main Dining Rooms because they smelled like hot school cafeterias. Based on reviews, we opted for the Ultimate Dining Package and ate all our dinners in the specialty restaurants. The food at Cagney's and Le Bistro was delicious. The others were unremarkable. They have a great wine selection and we thought the alcohol prices were reasonable to well priced. Try the North & South Red Blend! The duty free shop and the boutique had all the necessary sundry items including snacks and at reasonable prices. The itinerary was excellent. We loved all the ports we went to even though we had been to some before. We mixed it up between NCL arranged shore excursions and adventures we arranged ourselves. I thought the shore excursions were reasonably priced compared to other cruise lines I've been on. In closing, there were good things, a lot of mediocrity & bad things but overall we had a good time. My title "50/50" is just about how we sum up this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We were on the January 3 sailing of the Dawn, leaving from New Orleans. This was our 7th NCL Cruise (previously sailed on Star, Breakaway (twice), Epic, Getaway and Jewel), and our first as “Gold” latitudes members. Stayed in an ... Read More
We were on the January 3 sailing of the Dawn, leaving from New Orleans. This was our 7th NCL Cruise (previously sailed on Star, Breakaway (twice), Epic, Getaway and Jewel), and our first as “Gold” latitudes members. Stayed in an obstructed window on Deck 8. This was an excellent cruise, proving to us once again, that the smaller ships are where it’s at. Great entertainment, nightly at 7pm and 9pm. We reserved all shows and dining in advance of sail. We found for us eating at 630 and hitting the 9pm show the best route to go. Shows are all about 45-60 minutes long so even with the night show, there was plenty going on after. We received the free booze package and the free 4-night specialty dining. On this ship, we actually wouldn’t have minded eating in the MDRs every night as the food was excellent and hot. However, because of the free package, we ate at Cagney’s and LaCucina (fiance’s faves) and LeBistro and Moderno (my faves). All were excellent as always. We had zero food issues this sailing. All steaks were cooked properly, food at proper temp, and we weren’t hassled about our cheese plate being delivered to our room at 10pm in LeBistro like we were on the Getaway. It was also interesting that on the Getaway, they short you a scallop on the appetizer at LeBistro (received only 2) but this cruise it was back to the usual 3. At the time, I thought this was going to be standard going forward to cut costs, but guess only on the Getaway do they wish to short you and cut corners. Drinks were also not watered down on Dawn as they were on Getaway. What can I say, we just really hated the Getaway, my full review is on here for those who care to read it. Entertainment was all very good, especially Haines Magic. I swear we saw them on another ship but couldn’t figure out which one. Band on the Run was great, the hyped up Elements was just ok. Bingo is the usual money making racket, with no one ever winning the famed “coverall” jackpot, and the Casino had the usual losses. Dealers were good on this ship at least. Our only issue was our stateroom toilet. There is clearly a major plumbing issue on this ship, which in all fairness is due for drydock before it goes to Bermuda. Several toilets in the public areas were out of order all week. Our stateroom toilet was clearly on the same pipeline as these as ours had problems every single day with no water, not flushing, then finally on day 6, it just simply overflowed. We were given money on board, and are working with corporate fully resolve the issue. Moving our room was not possible as the ship was full. A few cabins opened up after day 5 when some folks missed their ride home from Costa Maya, but at that point we didn’t want to move rooms. In our experience, NCL does their best to rectify issues and things are always resolved to our satisfaction. Not really entirely sure what “Gold” status gets us. I had thought we got 20% off on spa services, but that’s only SIGNATURE services which is your high end stuff. We got priority bag tags, but we always do the easy walk off disembark so those were useless. We were supposed to have priority tender, but no idea how we get those and we did excursions anyway which serve as your tender ticket. Anyway, overall, another great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My wife and I worked for the airlines our whole life and thought that we had no reason to take a Cruise - at the prodding of my brother with the kids off somewhere else and the dog dead over Christmas we took this cruise. After reading ... Read More
My wife and I worked for the airlines our whole life and thought that we had no reason to take a Cruise - at the prodding of my brother with the kids off somewhere else and the dog dead over Christmas we took this cruise. After reading some of the reviews on this site about the Elation I was worried about my choice. We had the time of our lives - great entertainment - great food - Serenity deck was just FAB. Ports of call were great. The staff are just the hardest working travel professionals you could ask for. I did not have to cook - I did not need a designated driver - music everywhere you wanted or not. Taste bar was fun. Paul the Cruise director was a real pro who knew had to keep everyone smiling. The ship was full full full but never had to wait in line or wait for service for any time. No problem getting a deck chair - the spa was great. If you are reading bad reviews about this ship there are just alot of half glass empty people out there. Biggest complaint one day my french toast was cold. For the price I can live with that. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
NCL Dawn Christmas Cruise 2015 December 20 - 27, 2015 This was my 8th NCL cruise. I had not been on NCL for two years. I have been cruising with Celebrity most recently. I always say there is no such thing as a bad cruise, so this ... Read More
NCL Dawn Christmas Cruise 2015 December 20 - 27, 2015 This was my 8th NCL cruise. I had not been on NCL for two years. I have been cruising with Celebrity most recently. I always say there is no such thing as a bad cruise, so this was not a bad cruise but NCL has changed some things which I will miss. Overall it was a nice cruise and we enjoyed ourselves. We had a wonderful balcony cabin on deck 10. It had lots of storage. It needed new beds as the beds had large indentations where people’s hips had been. We just love sitting on our balcony and watching the sea go by or sail away. There was a lot of banging during the day from crew members chipping and grinding. This always stopped at night but it made it difficult for afternoon naps. Dining We always ate at 5pm in the Venetian Dining room. The first two days were great. We were served quickly with no problems. The next two nights the service went down hill. The service was so slow. It took us 2 hours to eat. We had to wait so long in between courses for our food. So we finally gave up on the dining room and went to the buffet for the rest of the time. I had heard from others that if you went to eat at 6pm that there was a 45 minute wait just for a table. We booked no ship excursions. They are overpriced and crowded. In Cozumel we went to the money bar beach and snorkeled. In Roatan we went to Tabayana beach and snorkeled. We stayed on the ship in Belize as we had been many times before as the long tender ride was not worth it in our opinion. In Costa Maya we booked the day at the fully inclusive Maya Chan beach resort. The Dawn is an older, smaller ship and it was last refurbished in 2009. Considering the number of passengers it holds every week it is in pretty good condition. Many seats in the main show room are broken and uncomfortable. They really need to be replaced. Our balcony needed some help. Part of the ceiling was missing and it was rusty and needed a good coat of paint. I hated the Spinnaker lounge. Seating was very limited and trying to see the stage was hard. I went to the pool the day we were in Belize and had a nice swim with other adults however kids started diving and jumping in the pool and us adults had to leave. When I got back to my cabin I was watching the TV and it said the jumping and diving in the pool was strictly prohibited. I am all for having rules but if you are going to have them please enforce them. There is only one pool on this ship and it was off limits to adults because of this. The kids had a smaller pool at the back of the ship but they didn’t use that one I guess. There were quiet areas noted in the freestyle daily planner and we used those. The main pool area usually had blaring, loud music which we hated. The front of the ship on deck 13 was a designated quiet area. It had a nice large hot tub. The first sea day a group of 20 older teenagers and drunk 20 or 21 year olds over took the hot tub. They stayed there all day never getting out. The posted maximum people allowed in the hot tub was 9. They were loud and then they got out their phones and started playing loud rap music. So much for a quiet area. I did go down to the main desk and complain. Security did come, some of the youth left but the moment security left they started up their music again. We just gave up and left. I loved the Entertainment. I loved the production shows. Loved the newlywed game and dancing with the stars. I didn’t go see the magician as I hate magicians. The dancing staff had a nice question and answer period one afternoon which I really enjoyed. Our cabin steward was great. Never did find out his name. Not very personable but he did his job. Waiters in the dining room were hit and miss. We had the Ultimate beverage package as a perk for booking and so did everyone else it seemed. The poor bartenders were so overworked and understaffed. One bartender trying to wait on a line of 20 people is a little much. Had to wait an average of ten minutes for a drink. I always tip in cash. I always take the automatic tips off my account. Call me old fashioned but I like to tip for above average service. I do not appreciate being told how much, when, where and who to tip. When I went to the main desk to remove my tips this was refused. They said that it is now done thru the main NCL office. I was not pleased. Embarkation and Disembarkation Embarkation was a breeze. There were lines as always but they seemed to move quite fast. Disembarkation was a nightmare. There were only 3 or 4 custom officers and this backed up the whole process. It took us 1 and ½ hours to disembark. Thankfully we left the ship quite early and our flight was not due to leave til noon. We made it in time but I am sure lots of people must have missed their flights. We had a cruise critic meet and greet and as always NCL always treats cruise critic well. We were given refreshments and muffins etc. All the head officers were introduced to us. Then the hotel director and cruise director stayed with us and we had a wonderful question and answer period. Dingo Dave was our cruise director and he was fun. Loved his bow ties. He says the word “excellente” too much and I hated his laugh but he was always out and about. I don’t know when that poor man slept. I love lobster. This is the one reason I love to cruise. It is the only time I get to have lobster. Imagine my surprise when I was informed that lobster was stopped 1 and ½ years ago. What a disappointment for me. Then on the last night of the cruise I was busy going to all the shows and had skipped dinner. At 11pm I went to the buffet and nothing was open except ice cream. I went back to my cabin and decided to order room service. I called and was told that room service was a extra charge of $7.95! When did this happen? Room service is a part of cruising. When I cruise NCL again I will choose a newer ship. Like the Epic, Breakaway or Escape. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I have been on 10+ cruises on various lines but this was my first and LAST on NCL. We arrived to find pubic hair on our stateroom toilet. Lovely... I tried to be optimistic but that set the tone for the rest of the week. From there our ... Read More
I have been on 10+ cruises on various lines but this was my first and LAST on NCL. We arrived to find pubic hair on our stateroom toilet. Lovely... I tried to be optimistic but that set the tone for the rest of the week. From there our room and steward situation only got worse. She was morose, unfriendly, and acted put out all the time. Towels, lotions, soap and toilet paper were continuously NOT restocked and we had to call down for them all the time. We called down one night for a clothes iron for my husband's shirt and it took OVER AN HOUR and 4 different calls to the service desk to get one delivered. We were consequently late for our dinner reservation. That level of service is unacceptable, and I have experienced so much better on other lines. On the 5th night I came back to our room to find that someone had STOLEN my medication. I kept them all lined up on the night table in precise order. My husband an I tore that room apart looking for the meds, but they were gone. It's not inconceivable that I would lose an item, but I am METICULOUS with my meds as they are so important for me and my health so I know that I didn't lose it and left it on the night table with the other bottles. I gave her the benefit of the doubt and contacted the desk to see if they maybe had found my meds in the laundry in a pile of sheets or towels. They said they would not contact the steward to ask until she came back on duty several hours later, and ignored my need to take the medication promptly. I had to spend an entire day missing my shore excursion that I paid $$$ for, and instead had to go to a pharmacy, call my doctor in the states and try to get a refill sent to me. The front desk said they would not return my shore excursion fee even though I had to miss it, and they were very dismissive and snide about my problem. They would also not assign a new/different steward to my room. For the rest of the trip the steward gave us nasty looks and scowls and we kept our "Do Not Disturb" sign up as much as we could. The shows, with the exception of Second City Comedy were lackluster and could have all used more rehearsal time. I was a professional dancer (ballet) for years. It was frustrating to watch theses dancers fall out of place, not in step with one another, and doing different movements. There was little consistency and no one seemed to be in synch. One man did a single turn, while the other two did triple turns, and a fourth did a double. This was not on purpose and looked sloppy. Choreography should cater to everyone in the piece. Singers also sounded out of tune. As we prepaid gratuities (I am working on getting some of that back since my steward was so horrible) the service was slow and lazy in my opinion. Very few people were happy/enthusiastic. Waiters and bartenders also frequently ignored everyone as most people (including my group) had the ultimate beverage package, so the waiters were not clamoring to get people drinks. We were often left alone at dinner for 45+ minutes waiting for the waitress to come refill our water glasses. Meat was never cooked to our specifications, they all were over done and I assume had been sitting under the lights for a while. I found the food selections and quality to be less than what I have experienced on other, more affordable lines. The food made my husband and I intensely sick multiple times a day, and almost everyone we encountered said they had the same problem. The quality of the main (complimentary) dining rooms was fairly comparable to that of the specialty restaurants that we ate at, and all were on the same level as eating at a 99, Applebees, or other major chain. Nothing gourmet, nothing cooked to order, etc. Nothing special unless you count the extreme, continual gastrointestinal distress! We were not impressed. We had a balcony room which was fine for us, still a bit cramped, but perfectly adequate as most people don't intend on spending much time in the room. The rest of the ship looks tired and could use an upgrade. Chipped paint, ripped and faded upholstery, outdated decor and furnishings. There was even a spot on the floor by the level 8 staircase where the floorboards must have been buckling because every time anyone stepped on it, it would make a loud noise and buckle under their weight! My husband is shell-shocked form this trip and says he never wants to cruise again. I still love to cruise and if I can ever convince him to get on another boat we will definitely not be going with NCL! We are in our early 30's. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
From the moment we began our check in...My daughter Jacorien...and myself were richly impressed. The staff were very professional, yet personal. We had previously come to New Orleans aboard The City of New Orleans from Amtrak. A very ... Read More
From the moment we began our check in...My daughter Jacorien...and myself were richly impressed. The staff were very professional, yet personal. We had previously come to New Orleans aboard The City of New Orleans from Amtrak. A very spacious train in their fleet. We spent a Night in Harrah's Casino Hotel...they offered a great rate. Even though this adventure would not have been possible had it not been for the partnership between Fitzgerald's Casino and Casino at Sea with Norwegian Cruise Line. The Dawn is a beautiful ship to cruise on. The Staff were exceptional and provided much needed information for our Ports of Call...Cozumel Mexico, Belize City Belize , Roatan Bay Honduras, and last though not least Costa Maya Mexico. Once aboard there were numerous activities for which to partake. Art, music, theater, jewelry, wine tasting, dancing and the food...classic American, Brazilian, Italian, French and Japanese. There was no need to try a buffet, their well planned menus that each restaurant prepared were elegant and most delicious. Everyday a three course meals. Never was I bored with my selections, and I only gained four pounds. The staff of the Dawn are the Most attentive to their guest that I have ever had the chance to meet. Always smiling and always one step ahead of what I was thinking. My stateroom was very spacious with amenities that only could be described as luxurious. A huge balcony that was right at the front of the ship...with a view "That was described as to Kill For" before I even saw it. I was most impressed with everything at that point. To view different country's that were still true to their ancestors was amazing. Apart from earning their living in various sorts, shows creativity is everywhere. All you have to do was look for it. The beauty of The Caribbean Sea is really beautiful, with water that is so clear and blue on one side of the islands we saw and emerald green on the shores leading to the mainland. If you are a diver, plain swimmer there is something for everyone. I saw pyramids, ceremonial mound built by The Mayans. The countries are beautiful with tropical vegetation, fruits are plentiful all over. Leaving the ship and checking back in was quick and no hassle. We were greeted with chilled water and a cool towel for refreshment upon boarding back from an excursion. If you have never cruise before, try it you will love it. It was my second and the best so far, I will not knock the other cruise line, they were good also. Norwegian was far more better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was not only my first cruise with NCL, but the 3 other passengers I brought with me. The impression was that the cruise was geared more towards an older crowd. We are in the range of 28-38 years of age. I didn't mind that it was ... Read More
This was not only my first cruise with NCL, but the 3 other passengers I brought with me. The impression was that the cruise was geared more towards an older crowd. We are in the range of 28-38 years of age. I didn't mind that it was not a party ship, but I would of liked to see more activities and entertainment for people our age. The food on the ship was very salty. The selections at the buffet were all high in sodium content and the selection was limited. The restaurants on the Dawn were Aqua and the Venetian. They both had the same menus each day. I'd like to think that one would serve something different then the other to promote variety but that was not the case. For free beverages, there was 2 flavors of "enhanced" water, lemonade, coffee, milk and ice tea. The juices were very sugary. I could handled these overlooked problems, but what I was unhappy about was that the food was often stale, hard, dried out, and again, extremely salty. On the flip side, this made me eat less! The next issue was the noise. We were on the 8th floor at the front of the ship. Our room was next to a door marked "crew only". At 6am, you could hear banging noises that woke you up. The sound of stuff being hauled out and rolled out of this room. When an event was taking place below us or above us, the sounds filled the hallways and often the room. This made it hard to try to go to bed early. The scheduled events listed Karaoke at 9:30 every night. One day one, we got all fixed up and headed to the lounge ready to sing. When we arrived the place was packed and football was on the screen. We pulled up a chair and waited. No karaoke. We asked the staff what happened and no one had a clue. So, day two we showed up again and just like the night before, no karaoke. The staff again did not know why it was not happening, they said the football game was happening. I went down to guest services and was told "more people like football then karaoke so majority rules". I approached the cruise director and he said he was unaware that it was cancelled, both times .Why didn't they just move karaoke to another venue? Why didn't they make an announcement so guests wouldn't cancel plans and show up? The third day, karaoke took place for 20 minutes until the machine wouldn't load songs anymore and it had to be cancelled. 30 guests left the bar upset. There was some kind of party with a dj at the lounge every night. The lounge is extremely crowded and hot. No air condition. The program listed was delayed by 30 minutes and the room was filled with senior citizens. The music was out dated. The younger crowd left before the party started. We left and headed over to the Blue Lagoon which serves food 24 hours. When we sat down to eat, 3 intoxicated men entered and sat themselves. They argued with the server. The server told them they had to leave. Two of the men left after ordering food. The angry drunk didn't like the waiter and requested a new waiter, which arrived. He placed his order. A nearby table saw how drunk the man was and got up and left quickly, mumbling something about not wanting to get in the line of fire. Moments later, the drunk appeared at my table and slammed down his water. He put his hand on my shoulders and squeezed as if he were trying to massage my neck. I felt a moment of fear not knowing if I was about to get bashed or molested. He shouted in Spanish at me. I ignored him and he let go of me and leaned on the table causing it to flip We caught it quickly and managed to save our food and drinks. He stood there looking like he was ready to pass out. He then reached over and touched my friend's shoulders, then pectoral muscles, and then head. Fondling all those areas forcefully as the wait staff looked on from afar. The man then proceeded to shout "May I have your attention please? Everyone, I want you all to meet the world's greatest man. A marvelous man I have just met.." Some people laughed included the staff at his drunkenness. Some people shouted sit down you drunk!" He continued to yell and walked over to an older couple. The woman was scared for her life. She shouted "get away from me, don't come near me, don't touch me, I mean it, get out of here!" He then shouted again, Excuse me everyone, may I have your attention" and walked back over to us and began to put his hands on us again. The woman's husband shouted across the room to the staff, "do you guys not work here? Why isn't anyone doing anything?" He grabbed his wife and abandoned his food and fled the restaurant. At this time, during one of his drunken speeches, the waiter comes over and says "would you like more water?" I said "no, taser this guy!" My friend said "get this man away from us, please!" The waiter ran off. As the speech went on, a female waitress came out and said here is your food and tries to force it onto our table. We said, this isn't our food, it's the drunks, please call for help and get him out of here away from us. She took the food and ran off. Security arrives 20 minutes later and chased the man all over the place. They would not touch him. When they got him out of the place, they blocked the entrance so we could not out and chose to interrogate him right there. We could not leave. Eventually, they had left and we went down to guest services where we were told that the protocol is to not get involved and to call security whom cannot touch the guest or detain them. We questioned about the safety of the guests and why no one came to our rescue, how the staff laughed and watched this man put his hands all over us (which is considered assault in the US) and why no one apologized and took down our names at the end of all this. We were told that corporate would review the complaint and contact us. Shaken, angry, and realizing that this incident now set the tone of the duration of our cruise, we were unhappy. What if this man picked up my knife and stabbed me? What if he bashed his glass into my head? What if he choked me or pressed my artery? Why did not matter to NCL that my experience was ruined, that my life was put in danger, that the safety of the guests were not a priority over the staff? Then to not even come over to our table and take down our names and tell their superiors what happened to us. So the next morning, we went to the guest services desk and inquired again. We were told that it was under review and that we should get an email from corporate at a later date that their hands were tied. Later, I went back to the desk and spoke with the Manager of guest services whom I met earlier on in the cruise. She was shocked. She added more notes and apologized. I was relieved to hear someone finally apologize. She ordered a bottle of wine and truffles to be sent to the room. When they arrived, the bottle was corked and there was no glasses and no cork screw. I had to go back to the desk and ask if we would be charged for requesting a bottle opener. They ordered glasses and the cork screw to be sent later that day. Kind of silly, right? We have yet to hear from anyone. When I do hear from them, I hope they offer a big explanation and show a huge amount of sympathy. I am not so sure I'd ever go on another NCL again or recommend it to people I know. I have always used Carnival and heard NCL was better, but I am not so sure about that now. My biggest worry was terrorism. We had the Paris incident happen right before our trip and while on the trip the California killings happened. There was no telling if this drunk guy had intentions of killing. Four people, all from different towns, all with different lives, all first time NCL guests, and all minorities. We have yet to share our experience on social media. I did put this all in my post cruise survey. And my final rant, upon leaving, disembarkation was a nightmare. It was by far the most unorganized mess in the history of cruising. People were missing their flights, the crew was hosing down the balcony glass above our heads and the water was spraying all over the guests! The elderly were unable to stand that long in the line and there was no place for them to rest once they got on the outside decks. The crew was sneaking guests to the front of the line, making the line waiting times longer and longer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our third cruise on the Dawn out of NOLA, same itinerary. It's an easy port to sail from for us and we prefer the smaller ships. At embarkation, I told the greeter we were priority boarding and she pointed us to an area we ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Dawn out of NOLA, same itinerary. It's an easy port to sail from for us and we prefer the smaller ships. At embarkation, I told the greeter we were priority boarding and she pointed us to an area we stood in for about 20 minutes that was not moving. I asked those around me if they were in suites and they said no, so I knew I was in the wrong line. I returned to the Greeter and asked if this was the line for Penthouse Suite Guests and she said "No, you didn't say Penthouse, you should have told me Penthouse and not just Priority". I didn't expect to be spoken to that way, a simple "No, Penthouse Guests should go to this line" would have sufficed. We stayed in an Aft Penthouse Balcony Starboard side on Deck 9. It is called an "Aft facing Penthouse with large Balcony", but it is not a large balcony. Our cabin was never comfortably cool but the suite beside us had adequate AC. We felt the entire ship was entirely too warm and were uncomfortable especially when dressing for dinner and when at dinner! Because we were in a suite, we were offered breakfast and lunch in Cagney's each day. The food was very good in Cagney's, service slow, but to get a cocktail was a major ordeal. The staff didn't mind advising that they had to go to another deck and bar to secure a glass of wine or other drink. The Star Bar is located just outside Cagney's and I wondered why they would not have it manned during the same hours for guests at Cagney's. Karaoke night was blacked out due to several televised sporting events and was held in the Pearly Kings Pub which is a very small venue. The Dawn has limited bar areas. The ship was clean and well kept, including the public restrooms. Events at Spinnaker Lounge seemed understaffed and the wait was long for a beverage. We had read articles prior to the cruise about the new smoking policy. While we did not smell cigarette smoke while in our cabin, meaning no one was smoking on their balcony, smoking was common in the casino and the entire 6th deck wreaked of smoke spilling from the Havana Club. We enjoy Gatsby's Champagne Bar but the strong stench of pipe, cigar and cigarette smoke made that rather unpleasant for us. The staff in the Venetian were courteous, prompt and the food was good and they went way above and beyond the call for a special occasion for our group of 45. For the most part, the weather cooperated with only a few storms but mostly during the night. The Pirate Night event was moved to Spinnaker Lounge due to inclement weather and was a blast but still too warm and hoping she gets updated on that when in dry dock this coming spring. The casino ran out of bottled water mid way through the cruise. We had a well attended Meet & Greet on the first sea day and were very pleased with the refreshments, the venue (Star Bar) and the number of senior officers who attended. The Ports were what we enjoy but did not tender in to Belize. We are booked again on this ship in the spring and are looking forward to it. We took a ship excursion in Roatan, Tabayana Beach Excursion, which was a too pricey considering we had to pay for our drinks, including water. Lunch was served at no additional cost but it was tolerable at best. The water and sand and scenery was awesome but I would never do that again and I do not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our 3rd AQ cruise and a major disappointment! The food was awful, not even truck stop quality. the pastries and bread were store bought instead of home made. the sauces/gravies were congealed in an unappetizing glue when served. ... Read More
This was our 3rd AQ cruise and a major disappointment! The food was awful, not even truck stop quality. the pastries and bread were store bought instead of home made. the sauces/gravies were congealed in an unappetizing glue when served. they ran out of earl grey tea. most of the waiters were surly and inattentive at best. we came for lunch one day, waiters standing around, no one offered to seat us. one waiter was at the salad bar scooping up salad fixings into a plastic bag with no gloves on. finally we seated ourselves at a table by the window and went through the buffet line. as i picked up my fork to start eating, a waiter came by, said 'this table is closed', took away my silverware and glass and left me sitting there! at the captain's receptions, the snacks offered were STALE croutons topped with very nice salmon, but the salmon couldn't make up for the stale bread. and the weirdest thing was that the waiters poured bottle after bottle of champagne, walked around with trays of champagne, but wouldn't serve it, and when the hour was over, they poured dozens of glasses of champagne into the garbage! we ordered a baked potato several nights and got that awful "been on the hot tray for hours" gluey textured insult to a properly baked potato. ordered a steak one nite, purportedly a new york strip. they were obviously out of steaks and had cut a thin slice off the brisket they were serving as pot roast that night. tough as leather and as thin as a pancake! there was a nice omelet/waffle station at breakfast but the cook/waiter hadn't changed his uniform all week. it was disgusting! NOT what one expects when you spend $700/day on a cruise! The tours were ok, but not nearly as interesting as on the st paul to st louis or the columbia river cruise. the entertainment was lively but not great. the banjo player mistakenly thought he was tremendous but he was VERY mistaken. the jug band was the only really good entertainment. more appropriate would have been a single or duo playing acoustic guitar and banjo and singing songs and ballads of the river. the riverlorian was great. his lectures were a 'don't miss'. i would not book a cruise with the AQ again. i don't know if they're fixing to go bankrupt and cutting costs or what but we left feeling insulted rather than pleased and relaxed from an enjoyable cruise. the other couples at our dinner table agreed that the cruise did not meet their expectations and they would neither go on another nor would they recommend the AQ to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our third and worse cruise. Poor Elation; the ship is definitely in need of some upgrades. Our cabin was very dated, torn, not very clean and smelled horrible! Thank goodness we bought some Lysol!! The guy that cleaned our room ... Read More
This was our third and worse cruise. Poor Elation; the ship is definitely in need of some upgrades. Our cabin was very dated, torn, not very clean and smelled horrible! Thank goodness we bought some Lysol!! The guy that cleaned our room did a poor job as well. The food quality was not good at all. I mainly ate at the Mongolian Wok and had what was supposed to be a grilled cheese sandwich, however the stuff they called cheese wouldn't even melt! The dining room staff was not very friendly either, we mainly ate on the Lido deck to avoid the boring dining room and the rude staff. Cozumel was very beautiful and I'm not sure why Carnival stops in Progesso, it's horrible. No lobster for the captains dinner was a big disappointment as well. I don't plan to ever cruise from the New Orleans port again nor cruise on the Elation. Poor poor Elation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our 3rd Thanksgiving cruise (all with Carnival). We had 17 people in our party as we planned the trip with our extended family. I am sure others in the party will be pushing for another cruise line for next year. We have ... Read More
This was our 3rd Thanksgiving cruise (all with Carnival). We had 17 people in our party as we planned the trip with our extended family. I am sure others in the party will be pushing for another cruise line for next year. We have been on other Carnival cruises over Thanksgiving and had a wonderful time. I was really disappointed in the Dream. This is the largest ship we have been on and I expected that there would be additional thing to do see. As you would expect on a larger ship there was an additional 1000+ passengers than on other ships. But the amenities remained the same. There were the same number of pool (one of which was out of service for the two sea days), The same number of hot tubs, the same number of restaurants, etc. That means the lines are longer than you would see on other ships. It became very frustrating anytime you would try to get anything. The larger number of passengers also means that getting on and off the ship was a challenge. Getting on and off was even more challenging as the crew was very inefficient. I will step out on a limb and say that responsibility probably lies with the senior level crew. It is a poorly run ship on a number of different levels. A couple of examples: 1) A numbering system was used to qualify you for position on tenders, the priority was not followed. We arrived early to catch the first tender in Grand Cayman but when on the tender for numbers 1-8, we saw people getting on with numbers in the 20s and 30s. Even though we were early we still had to wait on the tender as more passengers were herded to the disembarkation point. Crew needs to figure out a better process and stick to it. 2) Disembarking in Jamaica was held up as people were trying to get back on through the same door. Other ships have had one door to get on and another to get off. At the end of the day, there was a long line to get back on in Jamaica because they shut the second door while there were still a lot of passengers trying to get back on. Even the crew were upset about that one (the fun dude was not so happy)! 3) Two pools on board and they shut one down for the two sea days! Rumor had it that someone pooped in the pool so it was shut down to be cleaned. There was no effort to get the pool up and running until late the second day. I am sure they had running for the next cruise. 4) I could go on but you get the idea... Ending on a good note, the food was excellent and the sit down dining experience was exceptional. Our wait staff was top notch and accommodated our larger group every day. This was definitely the highlight of the trip. All in all, I have been a loyal Carnival cruiser and will cruise Carnival again. I will not cruise on the Dream as it is way over-crowded and is not equipped to manage the larger number of passengers. If my next carnival cruise experience is the same as this one, we will move on to another cruise line and not look back. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was my husband and my first cruise ever and it was a wonderful experience. We were celebrating our 5 year anniversary and I have to say it was a good choice. We drove over night from Northern Indiana to New Orleans and stayed the ... Read More
This was my husband and my first cruise ever and it was a wonderful experience. We were celebrating our 5 year anniversary and I have to say it was a good choice. We drove over night from Northern Indiana to New Orleans and stayed the day and night there and explored the city since it was our first time there as well. Check-in at the port was super quick and easy since we got there around 11am and there were no lines at all to wait in. We bought the Faster to the Fun package, which is listed under shore excursions, for $50 and it was so nice to be able to board early, after wedding parties and suites, and have our rooms ready as soon as we boarded. This also gave us priority at the customer service desk, and a dedicated line in our cabin for customer service, which we never actually needed this time, but it's nice to have the option. We took our things to our carry on to our room then headed to the lido for lunch. OMG, I cannot convey how amazing the food was the entire time! There are buffet's everywhere and when they're closed between meals, the deli and pizza place is open 24 hours a day. I was never ever hungry. The servers were amazing and several knew us by name by the end of the cruise. On a ship with thousands of people, I found that to be so impressive and just made my experience that much better. Dress code for dining, depending on where you were dining, which day, and time of day. The lido deck is casual 24/7. No worries there. The main dining rooms are a little more dressy, especially at dinner, where they don't allow flip flops, cut offs, hats. A nice pair of khakis or jeans and a nice shirt for both genders, or maybe a skirt or dress for the ladies is recommended at dinner. We never made it to the dining rooms for lunch so I'm not really sure how the dress code was. Our cruise was a 5 day, so there was 1 "Cruise Elegant" night, which is on a Sea day, where everyone dressed up, in varying levels. The men wore from dress shirt and pants with a tie, to a tuxedo. The ladies wore slacks with a nice blouse, to short cocktail dresses, to long formal gowns. I personally loved having the chance to dress up, so i wore a floor length gown. But as long as you're dressed up, it's whatever you want! We did buy an unlimited internet package on the first day. We went for the middle tier which offered Facebook and messenger, as well as web browsing. It is satellite internet, so it wasn't super fast, but I was able to keep in contact with my family members and send photos back home easily. I only seemed to actually have problems when we were at the aft or the bow of the ship where I'm sure the signal was weakest, and was understandable. We also purchased the Cheers! beverage program, which was $50/person/day, and had to be bought the first day of the cruise, for everyone in our cabin. The program gives you 15 alcoholic drinks a day (my husband and I never made it past 12) and unlimited pop as well. Drinks on the ship range from $6-10, so if you think you might exceed $50 in a day on alcohol, I would definitely suggest this for you. Keep in mind, it must be purchased on the 1st day, except when sailing from Texas, it can't be bought til the next day due to regulations. Our cabin was an oceanview room, nothing to fancy. They weren't the most beautiful rooms, with their orange/pink early 90's paint scheme. The magnet on the door that kept it open was broken, so it didn't stay open with the sway of the boat. But for a ship as old as the Elation, that's to be expected. The rest of the ship was slightly dated but well kept, and still breathtaking for first time cruisers like ourselves. Our first port was Cozumel. And it was raining. Which was slightly annoying, but since we didn't book any excursions, we weren't too put out by it. We had fun shopping at the main port, then went to the outdoor mall, which was pretty dead due to the weather. We stopped at a small tequila shop and bought a couple bottles of tequila to bring back home, which had to be turned over to crew members and were held til we returned to the States. On our way back to the ship, we stopped at Marguaritaville which was a very fun experience. They sang and danced and the food was great. Our second stop was Progresso, Yucatan. We didn't book any excursions through Carnival for this one either and when we got to shore, we found one provided by locals for way less than we'd have paid if we'd gone through Carnival. This one was a 45 minute bus ride to the Dzibilchaltun Ruins. Our guide was very knowledgeable and funny and we learned a lot about the ruins. Then we had another 30 minute bus ride to Merida City and ate lunch at Yum Ixpu, which was also amazing, before heading back to the ship. They have professional photographers every where all the time and you'll have your picture taken so much, you'll have plenty of chances to get great photos with your friends and family. As the days go by, they will display your photos for review for you to choose and purchase. I waited the last day so that I had all of my options to choose from. Just make sure you don't wait too late as they may not be able to get them done on time if you have special orders like souvenirs or special prints. The crew on our ship were wonderful and I can't say enough good things about them. Every day, we returned to our cabin to find an animal made out of towels and our room tidied up, which was a feet in itself, because I am so messy in rooms like that haha. Our room was also close the the atrium bar, and the ladies there were so attentive. They knew our names by the 2nd night, and knew our drink preferences. We made sure we tipped them well as well as our steward since they did such an amazing job. Debarkation couldn't have been simpler. Since we'd bought the Faster to the Fun pass, we were called to debark right after suites. They had given us the option to check our luggage to leave, or carry it ourselves. We decided to just keep a backpack for each of us, and check the rest so we wouldn't have to carry our 4 other bags while leaving the ship. Once we were back at port, on our way through, we grabbed our bags and on our way we went. Completely effortless. I can't say it enough, this was a wonderful time and we had so much fun. The Faster to the Fun made it so effortless and I can't recommend it enough. Definitely consider the Cheers! program too. My husband and I have decided we will not cruise without them! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I been on a number of cruises, with Carnival this one was not so great, they cabins was lacking a number of things broken and not maintained. My biggest issue was the entertainment was lacking typically you have trouble finding time to do ... Read More
I been on a number of cruises, with Carnival this one was not so great, they cabins was lacking a number of things broken and not maintained. My biggest issue was the entertainment was lacking typically you have trouble finding time to do everything this was not the case. The entertainment was so lacking you have nothing much to do, I enjoy the shows provided by Carnival, I'm not a big fan of a cruise director attempting to do standup. I think they should introduce and host a show that try to make it about them. It was a disappointment on the Entertaiment side, The high light was the steak house was outstanding know as the chief table, staff was great food was better chief made sure to talk to each table. They service at the dinning room was not the normal it was lacking very slow not one those memorable evening room dinning. I notice a number of people stopped coming as we also did it simply was not worth the effort. I would love to say I could reccomend the dream but I can't its simply in need a a shot in the arm of revamp. Broken nobs, broken lights broken elevators, broken cabinets, broken state rooms items simply to much to list. I will try another ship in 2016 as this was my first time that things had been ran down so much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My husband I have cruised with Carnival for 5 cruises and we have decided that it is time to try something different. Elation was our very first cruise ship so it does have some sentimental value but with that being said we probably ... Read More
My husband I have cruised with Carnival for 5 cruises and we have decided that it is time to try something different. Elation was our very first cruise ship so it does have some sentimental value but with that being said we probably won't return to it unless they give it a complete overhaul and move it to a different port of departure. The ship does have a lot of wear and tear. If you are looking for a new ship with all the bells and whistles, this one is not for you. The staff was great with a couple of exceptions. The majority of the crowd it draws is young adults looking for a good time. The vibe is hip hop and mo-town. If you like hip hop dance music with a lot of booty shaking (of every kind and not shyly I might add) then this is the cruise for you. If you are looking for the relaxing, Caribbean theme vibe from a cruise with some class...keep searching. The majority of the crowd that ship draws is young adults and young families. I have never in my life witnessed a ship full of people that were more ill mannered than this group. There was no respect for the ships property, crew or other passengers. This shows in the wear and tear of the ship and crew. I actually felt sorry for the crew. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I'm a realist. I think there will be problems anywhere you go if you want to find them. That being said, cabin 9400 had a definite sewer smell off and on during the duration of our trip. We complained, they pretended to care. Yea, ... Read More
I'm a realist. I think there will be problems anywhere you go if you want to find them. That being said, cabin 9400 had a definite sewer smell off and on during the duration of our trip. We complained, they pretended to care. Yea, the smell woke me up in the middle of the night. Our cabin was noisy above due to placement on ship. Some staff were I k, some was terrible. Paid extra for the steakhouse and was surprised to find service that was just so so (dining room was better staff worse food) Been on a couple cruises and I feel this one stuck out as not on par with Carnival overall service. Got the impression that the staff was just putting up with us. That being said, it IS hard to put up with customers similar to what you would find at the Golden Corral. I had many can't blame them moments, but customer service is not about blaming the customer. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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