45 New Orleans Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise based on recommendations of friends who have used Carnival out of other ports and raved about their service. We chose New Orleans for convenience. Embarkation was very well organized and went very smooth. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on recommendations of friends who have used Carnival out of other ports and raved about their service. We chose New Orleans for convenience. Embarkation was very well organized and went very smooth. We explored the ship and our stateroom most of the day with no issues. Our issues started the first night at dinner. We ordered drinks to go with dinner and after reminding the server four times during the dinner they finally arrived just as we were finishing desert. The food portions were very small and we felt rushed, as soon as you put down your fork the server swooped in and made off with the plate. We stopped going to the dining room after the 2nd night and opted for the buffet the rest of the nights. The buffet food was good, not outstanding but good. Every meat was cooked to well done, if you liked your steak, chicken or lamb dry this is the place for you. The 24 hour ice cream was a welcome relief on hot days. Throughout the entire five days the drink servers around the pools and in the various venues were practically non existent. The bars were so crowded with patrons trying to get drinks and children trying to get soft drinks (no soda stations) it took an average of 20-25 minutes. Most of the bars had only one server so they were backed up. Were only saw a roving server twice in the 5 day stay. Our stateroom was cleaned everyday and the towel animals were awesome however the black mold growing in the shower grout and around the gel dispenser was very nasty. The excursions all went off without a hitch and were very enjoyable. The entertainment was good with a wide variety. The ship was very clean for an older ship, it seems to be showing its age but still very nice. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We went on the cruise to try to get our love back but I ended up getting food poisioning from the blacken mahi mahi and was confined to my room until Tuesday I finally get a chance to go out with my wife and walk into the hall and smell ... Read More
We went on the cruise to try to get our love back but I ended up getting food poisioning from the blacken mahi mahi and was confined to my room until Tuesday I finally get a chance to go out with my wife and walk into the hall and smell the worst odor that I shouldn't have smelled. The room ac was never up to par especially after the heavy black smoke came from the smoke stack n the captain saying theirs no reason to be alarmed. the service for room service was horriable I got raw uncooked bacon on my BLT and they ran out of things that we ordered. I really was looking forward to this cruise and was very disappointed. I'm sorry for anyone that experienced the same as I did and I will not recommend the carnival dream as a cruise to take on my next journey of my endevours Read Less
Sail Date June 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 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 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
Overall we weren't too happy on the Dawn. I had only been on one previous Princess cruise but I found it much superior. The staff on the Dawn were the biggest difference; they seemed unhappy to be there, weren't overly friendly ... Read More
Overall we weren't too happy on the Dawn. I had only been on one previous Princess cruise but I found it much superior. The staff on the Dawn were the biggest difference; they seemed unhappy to be there, weren't overly friendly and never went out of their way to make our trip special. We're a pretty easy-going couple in our late 20s but there were a number of occasions where both junior staff and management were rude. On one occasion a manager asked every table around us how their dinner was and blatantly passed ours. We were nicely dressed and the only thing we could think of was that the staff assumed we didn't have as much money to spend because of our age. We were 5 years younger on Princess and we were never made to feel like this. It's also unfortunate for NCL as we had money to spend but then purposely spent as little on the ship as possible and more at the ports. The average age on our re-positioning cruise was 66 and this also impacted the fun at evening parties as most people went to bed by 10pm. We definitely had a few couples come up to us on excursions excited that there were other younger people on the ship and they shared the same experiences above about the staff not being too friendly. I know NCL can't control who books certain cruises but we would have preferred a younger or more balanced demographic. Overall we found the ship very old and worn. Windows were smeared and dirty and it didn't seem as clean as it could be. A number of public bathrooms were disgusting (both men and women) and we ended up going back to our room whenever needed. The food was generally great but the food at the buffet was a bit dicey and we got sick once or twice and then never went back. Would avoid buffet at all costs even if it's difficult due to the lack of options at lunch. One aspect that we found better than Princess was the nightly entertainment as the shows were top notch and very enjoyable. The Second City murder mystery lunch, Bud Anderson comedy show and Elements show were highlights for me. More activities could have been scheduled during the day as especially the last day there were limited activities and it seemed like staff was more trying to get the ship ready for the next sailing. Overall we enjoyed the ports and had a relaxing trip but NCL could have done more to make the trip better. We tried to take into account the cost when considering the tired shipped but the staff could have been much friendlier. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
After reading the other reviews of this ship I really wonder if we were on the same ship. I had a few conversations on the ship 1. The ship has so many pay dining rooms that it has taken away space for things such as a piano bar, ... Read More
After reading the other reviews of this ship I really wonder if we were on the same ship. I had a few conversations on the ship 1. The ship has so many pay dining rooms that it has taken away space for things such as a piano bar, karaoke bar or dance bar. 24 hour pizza/pasta bar. Ice cream/Sundae station 2. Food was subpar, so much of it had no seasoning. Order room service one evening and had to wait an our for delivery. After 11pm a surcharge is added for room service, I don't recall that on the other lines. 3. Service poor- I never saw my cabin steward, dirty room service stayed in the room two days before being removed, no soap in the dispenser, ice bucket not kept full etc. While having breakfast on other ship someone was always passing by with a cart offering seconds on coffee, juice or water, no were to be seen on the Dawn. I didn't see the constant cleaning that I experienced on the other ships Bathrooms with overflowing trash cans, 4. Smelly - So much of the ship has a either a bad odor or the over powering odor from an air freshener. I met one person on the ship that went to the trouble of changing cabins due to the foul sewer odor, and more than one person referred to six floor as "smelly six". 5. No area for adults only. On Carnival we often enjoyed the Serenity deck, with its, double wide lounge chairs. 6. Entertainment - While the various band played great music it was to loud. The band by the pool was so loud you had to shout to the person next to you to hold a conversation. The same held true for the band in the atrium lounge. 7. Cabin - We had an inside cabin. It was slightly smaller than Carnival, though the bathroom slightly larger. It was odd as when it the two single beds were put together to become a queen size bed the table at the end blocked access to on getting in the bed from the right side. My wife had to do the caterpillar to get in and out of bed. 8. Generally just basic- It seem that maintenance was either in need of being done or done poorly. Little things like a missing cover on the elevator button missing, or the handrails on the walls of the halls, having broken brackets, painted finishes worn to the point you could see the wood or metal that should have be covered by paint. Trash cans in the restrooms overflowing. On the last day, a full day at see the woman's rest room by the pool and main outside deck was out of order. That was the day my wife wouldn't get in the pool I have cruised on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, B&O and now NCL, all were better than NCL. Carnival had more to do and was more fun. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our 5th cruise with Carnival over the past 10 years and it has really went down hill. We have always had a great experience in the past. But the boat is not in great condition. Our room steward was just okay not great like they ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Carnival over the past 10 years and it has really went down hill. We have always had a great experience in the past. But the boat is not in great condition. Our room steward was just okay not great like they have been in the past. We paid for a large aft balcony only to have soot from the exhaust above constantly falling on the balcony turning our feet black and making it unusable if we were dressed for dinner as it would ruin our clothes. Our room steward did try to clean it but it was constantly falling the entire 7 days. We were also supposed to have a couch in our "upgraded" room but we did not. We both got food poisoning the 2nd night and spent the next 2 days in the cabin vomiting. When we went to the doctor we were told he could give us pepto and immodium but if he made a report we would have to be "quarantined" for at least another 24 hours because we were running fever. Since when is food poisoning contagious. Obviously this is just their way of not having these types of things reported. The last night some jerk kid threw a bowl of ice cream from the balcony above and the bowl and ice cream landed on me and although another guest reported it to security they didn't even bother to come over to see if I was okay or apologize. Save your money and fly to a great destination. By the time you pay for alcohol and all the extra fees they charge you at the end; you will spend the same amount of money. The all inclusive resorts are a better bet for a relaxing vacation! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
You spend a great deal of your time standing in long lines...there's a 1-2 hour wait for " Your Time Dining" practically every night Worse on " Captain's night." You have to get up with the chickens / ... Read More
You spend a great deal of your time standing in long lines...there's a 1-2 hour wait for " Your Time Dining" practically every night Worse on " Captain's night." You have to get up with the chickens / Crack of dawn to get a lounge chair by the pool or the Serenity (adults only) deck. Carnival does not provide any information on the port of calls UNLESS IT'S A CARNIVAL ASSOCIATED EXCURSION. The port of calls are an average of 8 hours of which you spend at least 2 of them standing in LINE. I was shocked at the amount of sells/ marketing aboard ship...artwork, diamonds,.... the list goes on. The Comedy Club Manager needs a course in customer service...we LINED up for a show and was told we could NOT stand there come back in twenty minutes. We followed instructions and 5 minutes later there was a line around the corner exactly were we had stood....I asked the attendant why she had allowed people to line up where she insisted we COULD NOT. She rudely told us we could speak to the Mgr if we had a complaint. The Mgr tells us, he didn't " see the problem everyone will get a seat." The problem was we were finally first in LINE and was turned away. The food was mediocre in the Crimson dining room. We stopped going to the dining room after the 3rd night. We decided to splurge and pay the $35/ per person, beverage not included and the additional gratuity to eat at "The Steakhouse." Applebee's and Chili's have a better cut of steak. The "baked potatoe" was a very small Russet potatoe not much bigger than a large egg. Lack of diversity in the entertainment, The DJ on the Lido deck apparently Never heard of the R&B genre. ....But we got plenty of "Sweet Home Alabama." If you pay for balcony, don't stay in cabin 6329...it is directly above the casino, Lanai smoking area, and a noisy hot tub/ jacuzzi. First Cruise and thanks to Carnival our Last Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Having cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean in the past, we thought we would give Norwegian a try. We booked a seven night cruise out of New Orleans in a "mini suite". They should put the word "mini" in capital ... Read More
Having cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean in the past, we thought we would give Norwegian a try. We booked a seven night cruise out of New Orleans in a "mini suite". They should put the word "mini" in capital letters. It was nothing more than a balcony room. The only difference was in the bathroom, you had a sliding door that closed the toilet area off from the rest of the bathroom. We paid extra for that?? When we spoke with the guest services they were less than helpful and were not concerned in the least about us. The buffet was as expected ... normal buffet food, but decent. We went to the main dining room one night and were so disappointed in both the service and the food. We both ordered steaks that had no taste and were very fatty. The service which we have come to expect on other cruise lines was not at all evident on Norwegian. We decided to try the other main dining room, and found the same issues. The menu was basically the same as it had been in the other dining room and unfortunately, the food and service were also the same. We decided to pay the extra surcharge and try the Brazilian steak house and Cagney's Steakhouse also. We found both to be very good food and exceptional service. It is sad that with the cost of the cruise, you must pay extra to get a good meal. The venues on the ship were activities were held were small and crowded. Overall we were very disappointed with Norwegian and will never cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Oh, what high hopes we had for Norwegian. We perceived it as a luxury liner, a step above the rest. Boy, were we wrong. First, the things we liked - embarkation/debarkation was very fast and efficient. This was our sixth cruise total, ... Read More
Oh, what high hopes we had for Norwegian. We perceived it as a luxury liner, a step above the rest. Boy, were we wrong. First, the things we liked - embarkation/debarkation was very fast and efficient. This was our sixth cruise total, third cruise line, and it was by far the fastest. Bueno. The mini suite on 11 was very nice - bigger than the balcony rooms we have been on, but not a true "suite". It had a tub - gasp! And a nice big balcony. We LOVED the shore excursions - we went to Cozumel for a nice relaxing beach party, Belize for snorkeling over a great reef, Roatan for outstanding snorkeling - amazing!! Last was Costa Maya, for Mayan Ruins - very informative, very nice tour. The washy washy guy and antiseptic dispensers all over the place was very nice - and wise. We appreciated that. So that was the good stuff. We have cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean. We had our experience with service on those lines - which was good - so we expected more from NCL. Instead, we got much, much less. FIrst we had to park on a surface lot - $112! And got a nice scratch on my door as a bonus. Carnival, right next door, is a covered deck, and cost less. The use of space is not great - it feels very small and closed in. No large open awe inspiring spaces. The pools on 12 were average, but the waterslide was worse that you would find at the kids splash park downtown. The fitness area is a joke - treadmills, like 4 of them, with an equal number of ellipticals, are nose to the window - NO circulation, and a 30 minute limit, due to the scores of people wanting to use them. The ceiling is inches above your head. Very inadequate. The shows with the magician/comedian were okay. But there was really nothing else to do on board! We kept looking and the Breakaway flier to find something - yawn fest. We went to the Fizz lounge every night - that was fun, but it was small, and night after night that was it? Bummer. And the food - the two main dining room food was mediocre at best. Nothing stood out as being good. No signature dishes. Which left you with the option to go to one of the restaurants - and pay more. Was that really just an option though? If the food was blah in the main dining rooms, so you have to eat where it costs $15 - $40 a head more. Really? After paying more than the average cruise? The nickle and diming begins. Then there is the 18% gratuity tacked on to every food or drink you purchase, whethere you wait for the waitress to walk two feet to the bar, and take 20 minutes to return - or just belly up to the bar yourself. Welcome to the gratuity. "Service". Norwegian has a systemic problem here. The wait staff - except for one waiter - was dismissive, condescending, or worse. Want a refill on your water? Forget about it! Iced tea to drink? Good luck. And extra appetizer? We were actually told no!! Seriously??? We had purchased a 3 restaurant deal through the NCL website - we were excited about that. Well, they had no record of our purchase. After hours at the customer "service" desk, I finally went online and showed them my bank statement where NCL took my money in September!! They never conceeded this one. They fought to the bitter end - they did give us the package days into the cruise, but continued to repeat the mantra "we haven't heard back from coorporate yet." I guess the carrier pigeon died. Chocolate fantasy night - yes yes yes! Beautiful! Ooh, ahhh....tasted meh. Disappointed yet again. That was our first and last cruise. NCL wanted us to pony up $12 per day, per person for "service". We removed those bogus charges and palmed cash generously to our steward, and the one waiter who gave a crap. We do a week long cruise annually - we are RUNNING back to Carnival. Good food, great service, fun - yes, and it costs less. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We won a Carnival cruise and decided to go on the Elation since we had never been to New Orleans. Our two days there were wonderful. We had cruised on the Elation once before through the Panama Canal. It was about 12 years ago, and ... Read More
We won a Carnival cruise and decided to go on the Elation since we had never been to New Orleans. Our two days there were wonderful. We had cruised on the Elation once before through the Panama Canal. It was about 12 years ago, and unfortunately, the passage of time shows on the Elation. Our stateroom was so crowded with the king bed that my husband had to roll over the bed to get in. Sometimes rust came out of the bathroom sink faucet. Overall, the cruise was okay. The food was good and the service was outstanding except for the front desk. When we realized that making our flight connection would be tricky we asked at the front desk how best to handle it. During the cruse director's debarking talk we were told that group 2 would be debarking first and we should make sure to be in it since our flight left before noon. When we told the front desk they told us that we did not need to be in "group 2", that we should use "self assist" and wait in our stateroom for our deck to be called. We would be leaving the ship at about 8 am. This would have been fine but no one ever made an announcement for any deck or any group. People just started lining up and other people appeared to be getting off the ship. When I asked the crew member who was supposed to be helping keep people in the correct area he said we had to go to the back of the line which by then was around the corner and down the hall. Of course people from other decks were coming up and down stairs and out of the elevators and simple getting in the line. I went to the front desk and asked how to proceed and was told to go to the end of the line and that they couldn't keep people (like the ones coming from other decks) from getting off the ship, could they? At that point I decided to one of those people and my husband and I walked to a place in the line and told the people we had an early flight and most were happy to let us in. I was told by other passengers that the people who left the ship first had paid extra for the privilege. Other passenger said they were supposed to be first off because they had cruised more that ten times on Carnival but no one had assisted them with the process so they were in no man's land like us. When we made it through customs, which went very smoothly, I asked the bus driver when he would be leaving and he said not for at least half an hour so we had to take a cab even though we had paid to use the ship's transfer service. By the way, it is less expensive to take a cab! I was told by two crew members and the bus driver to request a refund of the transfer fee when I arrived home. I did that and was told that the policy is NO REFUNDS under ANY circumstances. I asked for a supervisor and was told the same thing. Apparently my travel agent should have sent me a form and I should have been informed that the transfer service should not be used with a 10:30 am flight. I told the front desk as soon as we were on board that I was concerned about it and they said we would be assigned to a group that debarked first. I had to pay over $30 to use the internet to print our boarding passes, the transfer was $40 something, and the taxi was $33 plus tip. I will never cruise Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Save your money..... Experienced the following on the cruise: 1. On the 1st evening we returned to our room after dinner to find a note stating that contraband had been found in our luggage and we would have to go to theater to meet with ... Read More
Save your money..... Experienced the following on the cruise: 1. On the 1st evening we returned to our room after dinner to find a note stating that contraband had been found in our luggage and we would have to go to theater to meet with security and retrieve our luggage. Immediately I know that it is for the wine that I had brought with me. I had full intentions on paying the corkage fee.... However, I wish that we would have been informed so that we didn't have to go through this process. After waiting for over an hour for our turn to meet with security and were able to return to our room with luggage in tote. 2. Returning to our room on the 2nd day we discovered that our electrical outlet was not working. I called down to guest services to report the issue and they said that they would send a housekeeping supervisor. After waiting 30 minutes I called back and inquired if someone would be coming soon because I needed to utilize the outlet to get ready for our dinner reservations. The agent at the desk said that the outlets do not accommodate European plugs and they do not offer convertors. Clearly by my voice you can tell that I am from the United States so there is very little chance that I am trying to plug in a European flat iron. After talking to the desk agent I am more than frustrated. I felt like I had to argue with her to get her to understand that the standard outlet is not functioning and we need someone to come fix it. Finally after the 2nd call and a wait of 50 minutes a gentleman from the maintenance came and was able to access the panel in the hallway to rectify the issue. 3. One of the evenings I had gotten up around 3:00am to utilize the restroom and upon flushing the commode it made a very loud noise. I certainly didn't think anything of it because they are loud to begin with. However, when washing my hand the water turned brown and some sort of black substance came up in the commode. I immediately went to the closest public restroom to wash my hands only to discover that the water in the restroom was also brown. I returned to my room and used the bottle of water available for purchase at the price of $4.50 to wash my hands. I called down to the desk to report the issue and got no answer. With the uncertainty of what I just had on my hands I thought I better just go to the desk. The gentleman at the desk said that they were changing filters in the filtration system and he thought that it was just rust. He said not to worry that we could start using the restroom in about 10-15 minutes. Well I certainly hope that it was rust. The thought of having waste come out of the sink is disgusting. Maybe in the future the guest should receive a notice this process is going to take place with a time frame. I can't imagine being in the shower during this time. 4. One of the mornings we woke to an announcement being made from the Captain. Apparently overnight the ship had faced some electrical difficulties and the generators had been used for back-up. I have never really felt unsafe on a NCL ship. However, I think with all of the paperwork and notes that are placed in your stateroom this was definitely an occasion that deserved a written explanation. I had asked several employees and they seemed like they didn't know what I was talking about or were not allowed to discuss the issue. 5. On our stop in Cozumel we had booked and paid in advance for a beach break shore excursion. The morning of we had set 2 wake up calls. One if we decide to eat breakfast and the other if we were going to skip breakfast and sleep in. Well we decided to skip the 1st call and sleep later. Unfortunately we never received the 2nd call and we missed our excursion. I called down to the desk and once again and received no answer. After getting ready we went to the desk and informed the Front Desk Supervisor what had happened. She said for us to wait one moment and she would return. She came back with a log and basically argued with us over the wake-up call and stated that we did acknowledge the 1st call so there wasn't much she could do except document it and pass the information on the shore excursion manager. She never apologized or seemed empathetic. I wasn't really expecting a refund, just the acknowledgement and an apology would have been just fine. Upon walking away from the desk a member of management asked if they could help me and finally I felt like someone truly cared. He immediately gave us an adjustment for the excursion and sent us champagne and strawberries. I have to say that he was one of the few employees that deserved the friendliest ship award that everyone had been talking about. 6. On the final day at sea the pool was closed for the entire day due to a child having an accident. On this particular ship there are only 2 pools. One clearly marked for adults and one for children. To prevent the adults not having a place to swim maybe the ADULT only policy should be enforced. 7. The last evening of our cruise we ordered room service. We waited over an hour and it never came. We finally went to bed. 8. Also, on the last evening we had another issue with the commode. It became stuck and was constantly flushing. We reported the issue and someone from the housekeeping team came and fixed the issue. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We have cruised many times (on Royal Carribbean, Holland America, Princess, and Celebrity) so there is a level of quality and excellence that we have come to expect from cruise vacations. This cruise did not meet any of our expectations ... Read More
We have cruised many times (on Royal Carribbean, Holland America, Princess, and Celebrity) so there is a level of quality and excellence that we have come to expect from cruise vacations. This cruise did not meet any of our expectations (with the exception of the entertainment which was very good!). First, the food was not only bad...it was AWEFUL! Just to give you an idea, on the way off the ship, we were chatting with first time cruisers and unsolicited, the wife told me she had stopped eating after three days into the cruise because the food was so bad! - now that's bad food!! Here are a couple of specific examples...The selection of food at the Windjammer was the same everyday. On previous cruises, the theme and selections changed daily. Not only was the selection the same, but it looked (and tasted) like they simply reheated and re-served leftovers from the previous day. The bread was stale, the hamburgers were rubbery and tasted like they had been microwaved, and the chicken tasted waterlogged. The fruit wasn't fresh and sweet and the waffles and french toast were stone cold! If we hadn't experienced it, I would have never believed the food could have been this sub-par on a cruise. The food was a little better in the main dining room, but still not even close to the quality of meals we have had on other cruises (including Royal Carribbean cruises). One very telling fact is that someone on the intercom giving accolades to the chef and staff were congratulating them for feeding us on a $300,000/week budget. If you do the math, that comes out to a budget of about $3.00/meal. Ok, you get my drift with the food...now let's talk about staff/service. The crew/staff of this ship had very low energy and there was very little - if any- enthusiasm coming from them. There were a few members of staff who would greet you with a smile and friendly hello, but most were checking the box and doing their job as if they had been sent to purgatory. Again, very very different atmosphere from all other previous cruises we have experienced. The condition of the ship was also sub par. We found out that the ship is going to Asia to be completely refurbished in the next couple of months (which is sorely needed). That being said it did not change the fact that for our cruise, the ships carpets and furniture were stained, the decks were rusty, ATM machines were down, arcade equipment was broken, and several pieces of gym equipment were broken. They can't get the Voyager to Asia quick enough for her much needed face-lift! Meanwhile those of us sailing between now and then are/were stuck with a tired ship. Royal Carribbean should also revisit it's smoking policy. We sailed during the NFL playoffs and wanted to watch the game in a common area with a bar, food, etc. The only place to do that was in the Sports Bar in the Promenade . We assumed that smoking was not allowed in indoor common areas, but this was not the case. Smoking IS allowed in the sports bar which made it uncomfortable to us non smokers watching the game. (We did have an option of going back to our private non-smoking rooms and watching it there, but how fun is that?! Also, throughout the cruise the smoke from this bar permeated the promenade area so to say the common areas are non-smoking is like saying it's ok for folks to pee in one end of the pool, but don't worry....it won't effect you on the other end. Just saying..... On a positive note, fortunately we traveled with friends that we enjoyed and we did get to relax and enjoy time at our destination ports, so the cruise wasn't a complete bust. Prior to exiting the ship, we signed up for a cruise next year on Royal Carribbean's top of the line ship - The Allure. We thought for sure, the food issue would be better on that ship. Upon getting home and reading cruise critic reviews on the food on the Allure, we found it's not much better, so we will be cancelling our reservation on the Allure and choosing another ship line to cruise with next winter. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We are reasonably experienced cruisers. We've been through the Mexican Riviera and the Panama Canal twice, covered the Western and Eastern Caribbean, the Aegean Sea, Lake Nasser and the Nile River. The Norwegian Spirit was by far ... Read More
We are reasonably experienced cruisers. We've been through the Mexican Riviera and the Panama Canal twice, covered the Western and Eastern Caribbean, the Aegean Sea, Lake Nasser and the Nile River. The Norwegian Spirit was by far our least favorite ship. The only thing free about Norwegian is the "style". Every time we turned around there was another charge for something. We certainly did not expect to pay extra for juice, water and soda. Beer and wine were way over-priced as were the mixed drinks. As for food, the main dining rooms were reasonable but limited in choice. Norwegian used to be well known for their lobster offerings, but we only got a half a lobster tail on one occasion. If you wanted lobster any other time you would have to go to Cagney's, pay the cover charge of $25 each and $8 extra to add a 6oz lobster tail to your meal. All other "specialty" items were available in the restaurants for a $15 to $25 cover charge per person (plus adders for certain menu items). Specialty items on Norwegian are normal fare on all other lines with whom we've cruised. Forget the room service - the menu is abysmal and surprise, surprise, the pizza is $5 extra. Don't order room service after midnight, you'll pay a $3.95 surcharge. It's disgusting the way Norwegian have perfected the art of Nickel and Diming! The ship is showing it's age, and our toilet refused to flush on many occasions. We did however like the Chinese inspired decor and felt comfortable on board. Norwegian's smoking policy is confusing at best. The daily sheet said smoking was OK in your stateroom which I believe conflicts with other information from them. There was a distinct odor of cigarette smoke throughout most of the ship. The worst odor surprisingly was in the adults not allowed teen area. Are Norwegian promoting teen smoking? I sure hope not. However, all was not bad. We had the best cabin steward we have ever come across, she couldn't do enough to keep us happy. Our dining room attendant as well was above and beyond great. They single-handedly saved the cruise for us. We are not fans of the freestyle cruising format - getting dressed for dinner and sharing experiences with other passengers is one of the attractions of cruising. We missed that and will be unlikely to ever choose Norwegian again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My husband and I sailed on the Carnival Conquest departing New Orleans on November 27, 2011. The ports of call were Key West, Free port, Bahamas, and Nassau, Bahamas. This was my 4th sailing on the Carnival line and my husband's 3rd. ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the Carnival Conquest departing New Orleans on November 27, 2011. The ports of call were Key West, Free port, Bahamas, and Nassau, Bahamas. This was my 4th sailing on the Carnival line and my husband's 3rd. To begin our trip the traffic to get to the port of New Orleans was horrible. The traffic was backed up on the interstate. Initially, we thought there had been an accident but actually it turned out to be the flow of traffic. There were two ships leaving port that day. We have been on three sailings out of New Orleans and this is the first time that it has taken us over an hour to get to the port from the interstate and then two hours in line to board. Normally we are at the port and boarded within an hour and half. As for the cruise itself this is the worst cruise we have been on. Heard this from many of the cruisers on board. The long lines to board (2hrs),the service and entertainment left much to be desired. The entertainment is definitely lacking in all areas and need revamping. The first night for comedy was really bad. Everyone on the ship was talking about how bad the guy was. Later during the week another comedian was brought on that was much better. The best entertainment of the whole cruise was the magician and the singers in the main lobby. Also, the game shows etc were not conducted very well by the crew members. When you only have maybe 20 - 30 people show and then most of them start leaving within 15 minutes of the start then you should know that something is wrong. The crew themselves were not very enthusiastic. The best game show was the married game show. The food was very bland and not as well prepared as on other cruises. There was a limited variety. I did not see much in the way of a balance meal during lunch. Limited selection of vegetables or starches to chose from to go with the many choices of meats. Mid night buffet is a Mexican buffet which is not a good choose considering the time (11:30 P.M.). The dinner service was definitely lacking. We did the any time dining which may have made the difference. Our orders were not right several times and the servers did not provide good service. Not as attentive as to what we are accustomed too. But this may be because we did not have a set dining time and table. We have done other cruises with anytime dining and gotten much better service. Ports: Key West - Great town did the hop on hop off city tour with Butterfly museum. Very good tour. Free Port - Not much there. Did not do a tour. Walked around the shop at the port. Lots of the same souvenir junk. Nassau - Did a tour of Atlantis and the market. The tour was worth it. May want to consider taking a taxing over and buying tour ticket on site. In short, unless Carnival improves on their service I would not suggest this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This is our second NCL cruise and our third overall. We were disappointed with many things on this cruise. We were excited for NCL 2.0 rollout as we had enjoyed our 12/07 cruise before 2.0. Now we are uncertain whether we will cruise ... Read More
This is our second NCL cruise and our third overall. We were disappointed with many things on this cruise. We were excited for NCL 2.0 rollout as we had enjoyed our 12/07 cruise before 2.0. Now we are uncertain whether we will cruise NCL again. HOTEL: We were booked through priceline to stay at JW Marriott on Canal St. the night before our cruise. This is a 4star hotel with good recs online. I had paid and confirmed twice that we would arrive late. When we arrived at the airport there was a "skeleton crew" working because most employees had not shown up to work. Instead they were out enjoying Valentines Day and Mardi Gras according to other employees at the airport. We waited a long time for our bags and at 12 a.m. I called the hotel to confirm that we would be leaving the airport shortly. The woman on the phone said "Actually you won't be staying here tonight. We're overbooked." I said "Oh, I've confirmed and paid for a room. I'm already booked." She said "No Ma'am, we're overbooked. We have no room for you." I said "But I confirmed my room already. You gave away my room?" She replied "Ma'am, we're overbooked. There are few rooms left in the city. If you take a cab here we can give you a voucher for another hotel and you can walk there. IT's not far from here." Walk in a strange area of New Orleans with luggage after travelling 14 hours? At 1 am? To a hotel I know NOTHING about??? Really? I cancelled and requested a refund. As of 2/26 this refund had not been processed. Priceline intervened and refunded my money. I plan to contact Marriott corporate center privately to express concern over being stranded in the city without a room. We called 4 other hotels in the CBD area and they were all completely booked with no rooms left. After our cruise we enjoyed a wonderful stay at Ashton's B+B at Esplanade Ave. I can't say enough wonderful things about our gourmet breakfasts, easy access to downtown, and friendly staff. My only complaint would be that we didn't feel comfortable leaving the B+B at night to find a restaurant as none were nearby. I'd recommend picking up snacks or dinner on your way home in the afternoon/evening so you don't have to go out again. HARRAHS CASINO: We spent the night here tolerating the terrible buffet but enjoying our time at the slots as we waited for our cruise. It was safe, clean and friendly. And it's open 24/7 in case you get stranded in NOLA without accommodations! DINING: Freestyle carries on and we enjoy the flexibility of a table for 2 whenever, wherever. We never waited for dining room seats. Unfortunately, the food was mediocre and not nearly as good as our 12/07 NCL cruise. As has been typical of our cruise experiences we only enjoyed 1 or 2 desserts during the entire week. Most did not have enough flavor or were odd tasting. No lobster tails were served on this cruise. Formal night number 2 (which we felt like nobody dressed up for at all!) had the standard fare of beef wellington but the lobster dish was some chunks of lobster mixed into a rice casserole with grouper. We were certain lobster would be served another night but it never was. Standout dishes were pastas and any of the "offered everyday" options on the dinner menu. Ice cream was a real letdown. NCL used to serve a variety of flavors. Now it's vanilla, chocolate and strawberry every day with no variety. The softserve machine in the buffet is manned by an employee so you can get a small amount in a cone after lunch. Room service was much better from our 12/07 cruise. However, overnight there are still not many food offerings. They tell you that Blue Lagoon is 24/7 but that is NOT TRUE! From 4-6 a.m. it closes down to prep for breakfast and at that time there is NO food available onboard. When you call room service they do deliver but it takes a good 30-40 minutes because they too are prepping breakfast trays for rooms. I know it probably doesn't seem like a big deal to most people to not have any food available for 2 hours/day but as a nightworker who is typically in bed by 8 or 9 pm at night it is hard to wake up at 4 a.m. and not have anything to snack on for several hours until the cereal and fruit are offered at the breakfast buffet. On our previous NCL cruise we received a cake in our honeymoon package and kept cake and milk cartons in our fridge for overnight snacks. This cruise we had no fridge available in our room so we had difficulty even bringing food to the room to keep overnight. We brought our cafeteria tray from home so that we could bring food back to the room easily. NCL still has no trays on board so please bring your own if you ever plan to eat in your room! Carrying plates (no lids available for passengers) is an accident waiting to happen otherwise! As far as the 12 restaurant claim goes...most are specialty restaurants that charge at least 1 fee (some have double surcharges meaning you spend close to $35/pp for the entree!!) so in reality you have 3 dining options (buffet, dining room, or snack bar). Weather permitting there is usually an additional snack/lunch area during the afternoon at poolside as well. ALCOHOL: If you are cruising this ship be sure to attend the martini tasting. At $15 per person they give six big martinis to taste and it's a true deal for anyone who likes martinis. We tried to attend a beer tasting but it was cancelled 10 min after it was supposed to start. They just came to our table and said "Sorry, there's not enough people" and sent us away. We had drinks everynight in one place or another. There were lots of "free glass of champagne" events onboard but you'll pay for them with your time- namely several hours(almost 3 actually!) at the art auction and other places where champagne is offered. We found the drinks to be a mixed bag. We always requested them strong but only got them to our liking about 50% of the time. I guess we would have had better luck getting them directly from the bar so we could tell the bartender to throw in an extra shot. Waiters didn't seem to care after they served the drink if it was right and even when I told them it wasn't they shrugged and said "I told him strong" and that was it. SHIP/ROOM: The ship was refurbished in 11/08 and appears clean and in good shape. However, our room had no fridge. It was the best shower we've ever had on a ship though! Easy to use and spacious! Very warm water!!! ACTIVITIES: Limited library. Crowded pool. Typical cruise. But unfortunately we could not find any free activities. We burned on our first excursion (2nd day) and wanted to do more indoor activities the rest of the cruise but everyday it seemed there was NOTHING AVAILABLE unless... you paid. $15 for this, $25 for that... no activity seemed to be without a charge. Bingo, tastings, art classes- they all had charges. No lectures, no activities, no lessons that were free. The only free activities we did attend were the afternoon movie (disappointingly shown in uncomfortable seats lined up in a tiny closet of a conference room in front of a flat screen t.v.- not at all like the comfy chairs in the theater on a big screen on Princess' ship 11/08), the Filipino language lesson which was fun, and the art auction where we were encouraged to buy art which would then be shipped to us from a warehouse once we got home. SERVICE: NCL routinely has good service and this cruise was no exception. We enjoyed several members of the CD staff very much. Our waitstaff (changed daily) was always good and very accommodating to bring us as many or as few appetizers/entrees etc as we desired. We never felt pressured to buy drinks at dinner either which was nice. ENTERTAINMENT: I almost feel bad writing this because I could tell that the group on stage worked very hard. We saw them after one show and they were completely drenched. Obviously they put their hearts into their performances. But quite frankly this was the most disappointing group we've seen on stage yet. We didn't find the singing or showmanship to be good and barely tolerated the shows. Normally I LOVE going to the cruise's performances of show tunes and musical acts but this group was really not very talented. The first night they did a broadway medley and I thought that maybe it was just a poor choice for their talents. However, neither of the other 2 shows we attended got any better and the Frankie Valli show was almost painful to sit through. Fortunately we had strong drinks that night to help cope. PORTS: Costa Maya. Just take the cab. We had an adventure trying to find our way back to the port (which seemed very close at the end of our romantic walk to the lighthouse) in Majahual. Again, just take the $4 cab and don't try to do it yourself. Guatemala- awesome port. We took a ship excursion due to govt warnings and whatnot and paid twice the price that those who arranged independently paid. Enjoyed Las Escobas more than either Dunns River Falls in Jamaica or Rainforest in Costa Rica. Totally worth $70/pp through the ship! We had $1 tostadas and fresh coconuts here. YUM! Belize- We did it ourselves since we just wanted to visit the port but if you've never been there or plan to do an activity like snorkeling, cave tubing or ziplining then go with the ship. You can't dock here and you end up disembarking 2 hours after other passengers. Cozumel- We did the dolphin tour. It was alright but I expected more due to a previous experience swimming with dolphins in Cancun. We only had about 5 actual minutes touching the dolphin even though we were in the water with them for 45 minutes and it cost $140/pp. There was no education piece as there is in the pool in Cancun. DH enjoyed it (it was his first time) and said it was his favorite tour. My husband and I were so disappointed with our overall experience on this cruise that we considered whether or not to cruise NCL again. We completely expected to put down a deposit when we got onboard but decided we should see how the week went first. By the end of the week we went to the lecture entitled "Cruise rewards- why you should do it" and still couldn't find a compelling reason to cruise again. Perhaps our Princess experience spoiled us to the food that would be served? Maybe visiting the ports a second time to W. Caribbean was a letdown? Overall, we'll be considering our next choice of cruiseline very carefully before booking... Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
My wife and I had not been on a vacation alone in 6 years since the birth of our oldest child. We decided to take a romantic cruise, and went with another couple who are close friends of ours. My wife had cruised once before on the ... Read More
My wife and I had not been on a vacation alone in 6 years since the birth of our oldest child. We decided to take a romantic cruise, and went with another couple who are close friends of ours. My wife had cruised once before on the Carnival Destiny out of Miami, and she enjoyed the experience thoroughly before. Only, that was 10 years ago... have times changed for Carnival? First, we arrived at the New Orleans port at 11:00 am, and had no issues getting registered and getting our room cards/ship id's/fun cards (whatever). Security was swift and thorough, and found ourselves on the Lido deck with a few carry on items by about 12:30 or so. We were not allowed to go to our state rooms until 1:30, so we ate lunch on the Lido deck - I had the Mongolian grill/build your own meal (which was decent) and my wife had a standard hamburger and fries, of which the quality was less than Burger King or McDonalds. Nevertheless, we looked forward to the cruise, and what we thought would be better food going forward. We went to our state rooms, and a few minutes after getting there, our luggage arrived. The room was clean, well maintained, and we had a cool looking octopus towel on our bed. It was clear that our room service man was top notch. He went out of his way to ensure our room was ALWAYS perfect. No complaints here. We decided to do the formal dining room for dinner on every evening of the cruise, and from the get go, I was very pleased with the prompt service my waiter and assistant provided. No complaints on the actual service were EVER necessary. However, the quality of the food each evening was less than stellar, and I can only compare it to cheap/bad buffet food. There were 2 notable exceptions 1) The Lobster was good (not fantastic) 2) A Beef Soup I ordered WAS fantastic. But pretty much, the rest of the food was nothing to write home about. 3 mornings, we had breakfast in the formal dining room, and pretty much had the same experience incredible service coupled with bad to marginally decent food but the coffee was great! The best food on the whole ship was the fresh pizza that was offered in the non-formal dining room area so each night after dinner, I could at least get a good pizza to fill my stomach up with something good of course, it gets old after a while though..... I can not comment on the sushi bar, as I do not like sushi and have been to VERY lavish Sushi Bars on land, and STILL hated sushi. After arriving in Cozumel, I could not wait for the opportunity to buy decent food in Mexico..... we went on our morning excursion on the Fury catamaran, and the general experience on this boot, and the crew was FANTASTIC. The time in the water snorkeling (45 minutes) and the distance they allowed swimmers to get from the boat should both be increased for a more personal experience, and more time. The beach part of the excursion was only 1 hour this probably should be 2-3 hours. Unfortunately, the hamburger (which smelled wonderful) costs $9 so much for the food off the boat.... However, there was unlimited margaritas and cheap Mexican beer as a part of this excursion too. I found myself simply wishing for more time on the catamaran activities that being said, I strongly recommend the Fury Catamaran excursion, even with the short times at each activity. Beware the ride back to the dock from the beach is a quite a party - I witnessed a crew led women's chugging contest, and from there it got wild. The Captain Jack look alike photographer and hat maker is a trip! We spent some time in the little shopping mall at the Cozumel port, and picked up some overpriced souvenirs. They even have a shop there named after me (Erick's). Found some knock off Oakley sunglasses that look like the real thing for $8 ( I talked her down from $10). Before we left the port, we enjoyed some appetizers at the 'themey' Three Amigos bar, where we enjoyed the late afternoon sun, the blue water, and tropical breeze, along a drink or 2. After getting back on board, I found myself sad to be leaving Mexico after only 9 hours. For people like me, who like to really see their vacation destination, I CAN NOT recommend a quick turnaround cruise. The ride back was very smooth until the last day, when we started getting 10 foot or so swells the crew did an excellent job of keeping the rocking to a minimum, although, it was a bit unnerving for me as a first time cruiser. Unfortunately, a few people could not handle it, and lost their cheap buffet food that they had in the stomach some of them losing it in the casino and in the main concourse areas (yuck). But that is to be expected, I suppose, when there are such rough seas. Staff promptly cleaned and disinfected the areas. No problem there either. The alcohol prices on the ship were comparable to those in a standard US bar, and the drinks were always mixed well, and by friend bartenders too. Especially Anna from Bulgaria in the main lobby bar. Musical entertainment was excellent, and I STRONGLY recommend the ship's pop/rock band Manilla - these guys can play it all from Stevie Ray Vaughn to Elvis. The drummer plays wicked drums, and sings while he is doing it (very difficult). On the last night, Manilla was joined by the Motown show star Yolanda and the bar got very crowded quickly it was a perfect mix, and dancing was terrific. We enjoyed the Motown show w/ Yolanda, even though Motown music is not my thing usually..... however, the Beatles Show (Beatles music is my thing) was tacky and cheesy. The performers over-performed the Beatles song, and did this lame 'Beatles Around the World' bit where they took different/stereotypical music styles of countries and wrapped them around Beatles music - this SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK. I hope Carnival terminates this show ASAP as it dishonors John and George's memory, and tarnishes Paul and Ringo's legacy. But, all the good, for me, was tarnished by the LACK OF QUALITY in the food. I contend that I did not experience a truly fine dining experience on the ship. Yet I had INCREDIBLE dining experiences at Jaquamoes (sp?) in New Orleans uptown the night before the cruise, and at Mortons in Madisonville, LA (across the lake from New Orleans) the afternoon after we left the ship. The laundry rooms are awful and steal your money too but fortunately they will reimburse you for lost change..... although, for a multi-million dollar ship, they could afford better industrial strength washer/dryers and better laundromat rooms. Additionally, I still do not understand why soda (which costs about 2 cents to disburse from a fountain to a 12 ounce glass) is not free on Carnival ships (and others) , while orange juice and apple juice (both of which are much higher at costs per ounce) are free.... the industry should standardize free soft drinks on boats as complimentary, like coffee is. This was my first cruise, and the service was great, as stated earlier.... but the food issue will keep me from booking on Carnival again unless I heard from lots of others about how great the food is in the future. My wife states that the food quality was simply poor when compared to the way it was on the Destiny 10 years ago. Carnival has a cuisine issue that should be addressed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008

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