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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We are a fairly new couple in our 60's who have taken 14 cruises between us, but we had never sailed together. Neither of us had been on NCL Breakaway before, and we decided to do the Breakway's December 11-13 Cruise to ... Read More
We are a fairly new couple in our 60's who have taken 14 cruises between us, but we had never sailed together. Neither of us had been on NCL Breakaway before, and we decided to do the Breakway's December 11-13 Cruise to Nowhere both as a romantic mini-getaway and to check out Breakaway to see if we would like taking one the longer regular sailings on this ship out of NYC in the future. We got our romantic weekend, despite some issues described below, and we now know we will never sail again on Breakaway and are unlikely to ever take a longer cruise on NCL after this experience. Pro's: Beautiful Cabin: We liked our Mid-ship BB Balcony cabin 9262 very much. Not very large cabin compared to some other ships we have been on, but it's well laid out with lots of storage. We loved the bathroom, somewhat more spacious than most others we have had, particularly liked the shower. Beautiful Decor: We liked the modern, colorful decor in the public areas, including the restaurants. Thermal Spa Suite: We enjoyed it thoroughly both afternoons, despite the significant additional expense charged by NCL. Some Great Entertainment: Highlight of this cruise was Fire & Ice performing their tribute to Tina Turner. Rosie Hunte did a spectacular job - amazing amount of energy. But NCL did a poor job by staging this show in the Atrium with limited seating, much of which was taken up by people who were not even watching the show. Biggest Con: Terrible Food: To say this was the worst overall food we have had on a cruise would be totally inadequate. While we had two good lunches (at Savor and Taste), we found most of the other food to be inedible, particularly for anyone who is trying to eat healthly. Dinner Friday at The Manhattan Room: I ordered the "Chef's Signature Dish", advertised as "Whole Striploin Steak" medium rare, but what arrived was two thin slices of grey, dry, overcooked roast beef, served with mushy overcooked broccoli and a tiny baked potato. My girlfriend ordered the shrimp entree, which consisted of five small overcooked shrimp and a large pile of plain white rice. So those meals went largely uneaten. Saturday dinner at the Savor Dining Room: Not having eaten my beef dinner on Friday, I gave beef another shot, ordering tonight's "Chef's Signature Dish", advertised as Yankee Pot Roast. But what arrived was two thin slices of grey, dry, overcooked roast beef (exactly the same mystery meat they served me night before under a totally different name), served with mushy overcooked green beans and a gelatinous cube that was billed as Potatoes Au Gratin. My girlfriend ordered the vegetarian lasagna, but what arrived appeared to be a few cold perogies with some cold mozzarella cheese on top. So those meals went completely uneaten by both of us, except for a couple of exploratory bites. On both nights, since we did not end up getting dinner in the dining rooms we chose, we wandered later up to the Breakaway's enormous Garden Cafe buffet. On both nights, we were astounded that neither of us could find much in terms of entrees we would eat. They have a large selection of food, and virtually all of it is horribly unhealthy and/or unappetizing: lots of fried food, fast food items like hamburgers and hotdogs that have been sitting there on the counter who-knows-how-long, and Oh, more of the roast beef they served me twice already. The only chicken dishes we saw were Buffalo chicken wings, cajun chicken legs, and a curry dish with chicken thighs. No seafood offered whatsoever except some fried items kids would eat: fish fingers and shrimp. No ham, no turkey dishes. So we cobbled up dinners both nights of some random side dishes. Other Con's: Poor Variety of Entertainment: Based on our previous experiences on other ships, we had expected to spend some time both evenings of our romantic mini-getaway dancing . Wrong! Despite having over twenty bars/entertainment venues on this mega-ship, the only place offered on this weekend cruise to dance was in the Bliss nightclub with a DJ playing booming music for the youngun's. We grownup's were out of luck. Beyond that, the primary entertainment events on both evenings were ticketed events that were sold out before the ship even left Manhattan Friday at 6PM. Surly Crew: While we interacted with some lovely crewmembers, we also found many of the crew to be downright surly, unfriendly. This was more common on Breakaway than either of us had experienced on other ships. Inadequate Elevators: Breakaway has only two elevator banks, resulting in long walks to find one and long wait times as elevator after elevator shows up on your deck packed with people. A ship this large needs three banks of elevators, covering forward, midships, and aft. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was the CTN on Superbowl weekend. The Getaway was in the berth beside us, which may have hampered embarkation. In addition, NCL's phone and e-mail blitz advising to arrive early may have caused the deluge of people early on 1/31. ... Read More
This was the CTN on Superbowl weekend. The Getaway was in the berth beside us, which may have hampered embarkation. In addition, NCL's phone and e-mail blitz advising to arrive early may have caused the deluge of people early on 1/31. Arriving around 10:30, we didn't board the ship until after 1:30. Places to get a bite to eat were swamped onboard. Cabin was very tight. Our bed was up against the sliding glass door. There were no hangers in the room. The balcony was very, very small. There were two towels, two hand towels, and one washcloth. There was no top sheet, no towel animals, no turn-down, no chocolate, no robes. Not what I have come to expect from Norwegian.  There were no hangers in our room. A call to housekeeping was met by a constant busy signal. Finally three hours later we grabbed a steward walking in the hallway. She didn't believe us and had to go into the room to look. The staff were "coldly polite." It was nearly impossible to get a reservation at ANY specialty restaurant. We finally got one at LaCucina and when we arrived at 9:30, it was basically empty. The dining room staff told one member of our party they couldn't accommodate 12 people, and another that 12 would be fine. The four hot tubs were occupied by beer bucket groups so there was no chance to take a dip. We spent approximately 2 hours a day being served lunch and an average of 3 for dinner. The balconies are teeny, tiny. Love, love, love Norwegian, but the Breakaway is more like a cosmopolitan hotel rather than a floating resort. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Was looking for a short getaway to relax and recharge but got aggravation instead. Lets start by the boarding process.....I have completed the required forms on line, and assumed that the check in will be a breeze.......big mistake. After ... Read More
Was looking for a short getaway to relax and recharge but got aggravation instead. Lets start by the boarding process.....I have completed the required forms on line, and assumed that the check in will be a breeze.......big mistake. After arriving to pier at 12.30, registering, getting the cabin keys, instead of continuing straight onto the ship, like on every other cruise we have ever taken, we were told to wait...and wait...and wait......than the boarding started...by zone...more waiting...the employees themselves looked confused and aggravated. Then, on the ship itself, customer service is lacking....employees are uptight and not very friendly. Went into the casino 8.20 am..cashier is closed.... My question is...if the casino is open 24 hours, shouldn't the cashier be available as well? And be prepared to pay for everything......the days of all inclusive cruising are gone...restaurants cost money even though they serve the same food, shows cost money, the tips are automatically added to your bill even though you may not want to leave a tip, but the choice has been taken away from you. My recommendation......go on a true all-inclusive vacation in the Caribbean...much more relaxed, friendly and no hidden charges Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Just off the 2 night weekend cruise on Breakaway. I am usually a RCCL cruiser, but wanted to give both NCL and a megaship a try. Embarkation was slow, and there was no luggage service for the cruise- travelling with kids and having to ... Read More
Just off the 2 night weekend cruise on Breakaway. I am usually a RCCL cruiser, but wanted to give both NCL and a megaship a try. Embarkation was slow, and there was no luggage service for the cruise- travelling with kids and having to wheel luggage both on and off the ship was disappointing. Cabin seemed small for a balcony, but the ship was both beautiful and clean. Cirque show was fabulous, and specialty french restaurant was great, but other food options were bland and overcrowded. Everything shut down for lunch at 1:30 on Saturday, with no room service available. I had never been on a cruise where there was no room service except the last night after dinner. Rock of Ages show was good, but a little on the overly racy side. Compared to RCCL cruises, Breakaway seemed overly geard toward raising your bill, and with gratuities automatic: while service was not bad in most venues, the personalized service just wasnt as evident. Overall, i had the impression that this cruise was geared more to booze cruisers, and much less to people on a brief vacation or seeking to give NCL a try as a new customer. It wasnt bad- but there are better options elsewhere. I am not likely to cruise on Breakaway again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We were on this ship for a cruise to nowhere with a group of friends. We took a similar cruise last year for Valentine’s Day with a large group on the NCL Jewel. We had such a good time on that trip we figured we would do it again this ... Read More
We were on this ship for a cruise to nowhere with a group of friends. We took a similar cruise last year for Valentine’s Day with a large group on the NCL Jewel. We had such a good time on that trip we figured we would do it again this year. First impression was that the staff was friendly, the ship appeared clean. We immediately sat at O’Sheenhan’s Pub as the rooms were not ready. The bartenders were friendly and very helpful. We got our drinks right away. Once they announced the rooms were ready we dumped off our luggage and met back up back at O’Sheenhan’s Pub, the bar was packed and we went off in search of another. The few bars that were open were packed. There is nothing worse than having as many bars as they have on this ship and most are closed. They need to open the bars on departure day. Especially on a cruise to nowhere. Let’s face it is January, we are leaving out of New York, therefore it is cold outside. We decided to meet up after the lifeboat drill and try again. We met up at Malting’s Beer and Whiskey Bar. Good service at this bar. Bartenders were responsive and friendly. We met up again for pre dinner drinks at the La Cuchina Bar and behind the bar was Apolinario Valiente the same guy we had at O’Sheenhan’s Pub. This guy was the best employee we met. We had reservations at Cagney’s for dinner, my wife was hoping to get to eat at La Cuchina as it was her birthday and she loves Italian food. We had reservations the next night there. First they tried to seat us in the bar. If we wanted to sit in the bar we would have sat at the bar. It took a while for them to get us a table in the main room. Once we were seated the waiter came over and took the drink orders. Again he was great. We ordered appetizers and dinner. The appetizers came out and the shrimp cocktails were very good. This is where it goes downhill. The steaks came out and they were cold and overcooked, my wife asked for medium and got medium well, not once but twice. I asked for rare and got medium well, I didn’t feel like sending it back as I was now very disappointed.. The sides were missing at this point. One of group asked where they were. 10 minutes later one of the two sides came out, the mushrooms, which were warm. Potatoes were still missing and finally came out another 10 minutes later and were cold. One of group asked to speak to the restaurant manager and have him explain what was the problem with getting this type of service. His explanation was that they didn’t expect this amount of people on the cruise. Is this guy kidding? They have a ship that holds 4500 passengers and didn’t expect this amount of people. Our friend explained to him that that was a poor excuse and how was he to recommend this ship and the restaurant to his customers, as he and his wife are also travel agents, who they are and this is not their first cruise. Thanks for ruining my wife’s birthday NCL. Breakfast buffet was cold and even with all of the stations open it was also lacking. Lunch was basically the same. Cold and lacking food. Missing on this ship were the omelet and carving stations. The next night we went to La Cuchina for dinner, again wait staff was attentive. The mozzarella, tomato and basil appetizers were good; the calamari was tasty but cold. I now was getting nervous expecting cold main course. Dinner came and my expectations were met, the food was cold. They recommended the chicken parm, it was overcooked and ice cold, the cheese was horrible. Went a saw Rock of Ages and the show was great. I believe we will stick with Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Wow, what a surprise this ship was. If it had launched 10 years ago, I would have been impressed. But I don't think it can compete with other ships today. Check-in was uneventful. At the entrance to the ship there were several ... Read More
Wow, what a surprise this ship was. If it had launched 10 years ago, I would have been impressed. But I don't think it can compete with other ships today. Check-in was uneventful. At the entrance to the ship there were several staffers and loud music, the kind that tries to generate excitement. They were trying to get people to dance their way onto the ship. I know some people like that and it puts them in the mood but I thought it was annoying. I just wanted to get to my cabin. However, I was disappointed the minute I walked in. It was so dull looking! The last time I was on a Norwegian ship, it was a lot more colorful. Beige walls and brown accents on the Breakaway. The bathroom was well organized but I was surprised there were no freestanding amenities, just dispensers for soap and shampoo (no lotion, no conditioner). Not only did it seem cheap (but eco friendly) to me, but a user had no way of knowing what kind of soap it is -- and some people have sensitive skin. It's nice to have a balcony but it is very small. Even up in the Haven, the balconies are small. Food was eh at best. If you like Italian food -- and no doubt a lot of the passengers who come aboard in New York will know what good Italian food tastes like -- avoid the onboard Italian restaurant. Food in the main dining room and the buffet is better, but uninspired. The pool seems small for 4k passengers. I think the ship will appeal to low and middle income family groups. If you want to celebrate a birthday or anniversary with one special person, it's not for you. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Just returned from a "Cruise to Nowhere" on the Jewel. I went with my sister and my twenty something daughter. I have traveled on two other cruise lines. Since I have taken nine cruises I think I have enough previous experience ... Read More
Just returned from a "Cruise to Nowhere" on the Jewel. I went with my sister and my twenty something daughter. I have traveled on two other cruise lines. Since I have taken nine cruises I think I have enough previous experience to judge the quality of a cruise. This was my first time on NCL. We wanted to just try it before booking a cruise to somewhere. There are both positive and negative things to mention. Positives - 1. Embarking - We carried our small luggage directly to lunch. So we did not have to wait around for lunch service. Both sit down and buffet lunch were available. We chose the buffet. 2. We arrived at the port at noon and check in had already started. 3. We pre-registered online so check-in was quick and we waited to board the ship about 15 minutes. 3. Since this was a very brief trip we took a very basic room with a window. The cabin was very, very clean. 4. Staff was diligent in making sure to spray everyone's hands as they entered dining areas. 5. Exiting ship upon our Sunday morning return was a delight. We simply walked off and did not have to wait for numbers or letters to be called. So we were off the ship about five minutes after we left our cabin. 6. Shows were good. The 70's show was fun. The comedy act was just okay. But the Cirque show was great. I could easily see that again. 7. Bar service in the casino while sitting at the bar. 8. Elevators - Usually a very brief wait time, except immediately after a show. Also elevators were plentiful. 9. Cute gym. Nice equipment. Everything worked. 10. Common areas very clean. I did not see any worn carpet or worn chairs. 11. Bathrooms in common areas well attended to as they all were very clean. Negatives - 1. Greeting upon entering ship was strange. No one really greeted us except the washy washy person. It was difficult to allow her to spray my hands as I still had my luggage , my purse and my key card in my hands. There was no one to tell us if we should sit down, check our luggage, go to lunch or go directly to our rooms. There was no one to ask. Many passengers were milling about looking just as confused as we were. So we finally went to the desk to ask. This was a bit annoying. 2. Lunch - There was a lot less to select from than on other cruises that I have been on. I walked around a bit so I could carefully select what I wanted to eat. Food was not attractively displayed as I have seen on all of my other cruises. So I ended up having a lot of salad and a small bit of tilapia. Most other foods just looked like cafeteria slop that I could get at any school cafeteria. My daughter just had some pasta and my sister had a small burger. None of us were satisfied with lunch. Dinner - We dined at Tsar's. That was a nice experience. We had surf and turf. Yes, the portions we small. But I was happy about that as that allowed me to room to have salad, a delightful mushroom soup, and ice cream for dessert. All three of us had the same. Surf and turf were what I expected, tasty . Breakfast - This was a horrible experience. Orange juice was watery. It tasted just like flavored water. So all of us chose to just have water. Coffee, just ok. Service, not good, had to ask for everything from salt, to cream to jelly for our toast. Scrambled eggs we barely cooked. They looked awful. Corned beef hash did not look nor taste like corned beef hash. Home fries were cold. It also took about 30 minutes for our breakfast to appear. My sister asked for a different breakfast consisting of an omelet and some toast. They were just ok. My daughter was so disgusted with her meal that she elected not to order anything else. The best part of this breakfast was the water. I had several glasses of this. Dinner - The second night we again ate at Tsar's. Since our previous dining experience was nice we expected the same. The menu was mediocre, poached cod, shrimp with coconut, and some other horrible items I cannot remember. So my daughter and I selected a steak. We thought that would be safe. Wrong idea, tough , steak, hard baked potato. The best part of the meal was the salad and the green beans. The hard ice cream was pretty good. Don't have the soft ice cream at the buffet. The strawberry taste just like medicine. We all normal sized people who enjoy dining ( our sizes are size zero, size five and size nine). We did not get what we expected. I was so happy to get home and have some home made soup. Meanwhile, my daughter was happy to get home and have some eggs and toast. Entertainment - There was not enough to do in the daytime. There were several activities that required a payment. So we did not do any of those. There was not enough to do in the evening. My experience on my other cruises has been just to much to do , not to little. But on this ship it seemed that you were expected to drink yourself silly or go to the casino after the shows. Spa Area - The spa area looked very nice. We were taken on a tour. However, it cost 49 dollars for the two days. This was disappointing as my experience on other ships was that this was gratis. I usually sign up for other spa services that require a fee. But I did not as paying for use of the spa was a real turn off. Motion sickness- I know this must be just a coincidence. But all three of us got motion sickness. This has never happened to any of us before. We had great weather, so who knows. Crew - All were very pleasant. But there seem to be to few staff members around the ship. Our room steward was extremely nice. He even inquired about my sister's condition as she was experiencing motion sickness and offered to get whatever she needed. We were on the 5th level. Will I ever travel NCL again? No, I will not. I would have appreciated more entertainment, edible food, less activities that require a fee and more staff members available to answer any questions or assist with dining services and services in the gym. (There was no one around to offer towels or water, or assistance with the equipment.) The desk was unattended in the gym. Neither I nor my sister or daughter are picky people. We made the best of our cruise because we enjoy each other's company. We will continue to cruise on other cruise lines. I will not recommend NCL to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Our recent Cruise to Nowhere on the Carnival Miracle was a great disappointment. Our first cruise was 5 days to Canada on the Carnival Victory in '06, and we enjoyed the general cruise experience immensely. But it was our first and ... Read More
Our recent Cruise to Nowhere on the Carnival Miracle was a great disappointment. Our first cruise was 5 days to Canada on the Carnival Victory in '06, and we enjoyed the general cruise experience immensely. But it was our first and we had no point of reference until our next few cruises with NCL, where we discovered what a first class cruise experience should be. Still, that first Carnival cruise got us very excited about vacationing at sea. The Miracle two day cruise looked like a good deal though. It met our time constraints and budget at this time of year. But the devil is in the details, and Carnival failed big time on details. They blew it on the big stuff too. THE GOOD The embarkation/disembarkation process was fast, efficient and hassle free. Our cabin staff was courteous and eager to please, as was the dining staff. The first night's dinner was very good and prepared well, and at no time did we feel rushed. We even were able to score a window table. The Ticket to Ride stage show on Saturday night was very good. Exceptional deals were found in the duty free store on liquor and cigarettes. THE BAD Unlike NCL who provides a dedicated, temporary, protected area to store luggage on 1 day cruises where baggage is not checked, we had to carry around ours on the Miracle for 2 hours. It was awkward and at times unsafe, and some areas were impassable with every other guest doing the same. Given that we had but two days, we would have liked to have used that time to conveniently explore an unfamiliar ship and become familiar with our new surroundings. Instead we waited by the pool until the room ready announcement was made. The casino was pathetic in the ergonomic sense. The majority of the slots were all jammed into one area near a wall, reminding me of rows of vending machines in a cafeteria. The design seemed like an afterthought. It was difficult navigating between the quads and sitting at chairs back-to-back, bumping against another player was very annoying. My wife and I are smokers, but smoking machines were butted against non-smoking slots, so what was the point? I felt bad for the non-smokers. Yet on the opposite side of the room there seemed to be plenty of space for additional machines that could have been used and segregated by smoking preference. The selection of machines was poor. Many were multi-denominational, which is good, but only a select few were of the .25/.50/$1 variety. The majority were $1/$2/$5 configurations. On the first night, several machines were out of order, limiting further one's selection. We attended the late night adult comedy show. There were 2 headliners performing in back to back scant 25 minute shows. We wanted to stay for the second headliner, but were ushered out and told that we had to get on line for the other performance. The reasoning was that they had to make sure there was no broken glass and had to clean up. Drinks, by the way, were served in plastic glasses. Our cocktail waitress was slow and screwed up our order, and it wasn't until the show was almost over before we got ours. After we exited, the line for the second show was so long there was no chance we'd get in. THE UGLY Friday morning's breakfast buffet was a joke. There were two omelet chefs at the station, and on either side were trays of breakfast meats and potatoes. One could get on line either to the right or left which is in fact efficient. However, only one side had trays, plates and silverware. We got on the line that didn't, and lost our place on very long lines to get our things on the other side. The bacon was sitting in a pan that looked like it was filled with motor oil, pretty much the same with the sausage. My wife wanted egg whites only and they could not accommodate her. Friday evening's dinner experience, or lack there-of, was horrendous. The main dining facility was the Captain's Dinner was reserved for properly attired guests. We only packed causally for a simple 2 day cruise and therefore could not enjoy a fine meal. This would be fine on a 5 day+ trip, but not on a 2 day sailing. We went down to the buffet at 5:45 and were told it would open at 6pm. By 6:15 there wasn't a server in sight, so we went to the the burger bar. The meat was way undercooked, the buns stale. No toppings such as salsa, mushrooms, onions, etc were available. The nachos and cheese were literally inedible. The hot dogs looked like they had been soaking in the pan that the breakfast bacon was served from. We never finished our food. We went back to the buffet the Horatio room. There were several serving stations divided by walls, but only one was staffed. The main selections were scant...fish that could be smelled from across the room, indicating it wasn't fresh, fried stuffed mushrooms that had the taste and texture of dirty ping pong balls, and a pretty gnarly looking prime rib. I asked for the beef, and was given a tiny sliver about 2 fingers worth. I asked for another piece and got even a smaller slice. When I asked for a normal sized piece, I was told that I could come back for more. The beverage dispenser in the staffed station wasn't working. I had to go to 2 or 3 sections away where I got old coffee, my wife getting cold hot chocolate. The bread was stale and tasteless, and the dessert selection were 3 types of cakes that tasted like they came from a child's Easy Bake Oven. There were objects that looked somewhat like fruit, but we had no appetite to try them. Nothing, absolutely nothing, was fresh. I suppose we're spoiled by the near 24/7 gourmet buffet that NCL offers. By this point, we picked nits...any little thing became a object of disdain. The hot tub on deck looked dirty, rusty, and disgusting. It probably just needed needed to be painted, but it was a turnoff never the less. The stopper in our sink was stuck in the drain so the basin always stayed full. The chairs on our balcony were splattered in white paint and it left us wondering why they weren't covered first before maintenance. Small things that would have gone unnoticed otherwise just added fuel to the fire. We essentially paid $900 for not much more that a balcony cabin for two nights at sea. Presently we are booked with NCL on a 7 day jaunt to Bermuda, and are planning on the inaguaral cruse of the NCL Breakaway in 2013. Carnival never again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
First let me start by saying that my husband and I, and the other couple we travelled with had a fantastic time. We were there to eat, drink and enjoy getting together with old friends, and we accomplished all of those things. However, ... Read More
First let me start by saying that my husband and I, and the other couple we travelled with had a fantastic time. We were there to eat, drink and enjoy getting together with old friends, and we accomplished all of those things. However, the cruise itself needs a lot of work. Some background information about us as travelers. The four of us are between 26-29 years old. And both couples have cruised a couple times with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Disney cruises, so we have some idea of what to expect, and what the standard is in this level of cruising. We're not fussy, but we do note when things aren't up to the standard we expect, and we're willing to pay a bit more occassionally for good service. In this instance it was a Carnival cruise, so we went into it expecting large crowds, that the food would be good (but mass produced), and service would be available, but not necessarily as personable as one would like. Overall I would give this ship a rating of 3/10. Emarkation: The embarkation process was horrible. And honestly one of the worst parts of the trip. Our documents had stated that the check-in process would start at 2 and go till 3:30pm, with the ship departing at 5pm. I knew from previous experience that you are usually able to board earlier, but we ended up being a bit delayed and arrived right at 2pm anyway. The first part where we went through security and received our keys/sign and sail cards was quick and painless. However, once we got through that, we sat for about 2 and a half hours on the floor in the terminal waiting to board the boat. It should be noted that water and lemonade were made available to passengers waiting to board, which was considerate. We finally managed to get on the boat around 4:45pm, and we were certainly not the last people to board. On a week long cruise this delay might not have been that big of a deal, but for a two day curise, this sort of delay really eats into your time. There was no communication from the staff as to why there was a delay, or how it would affect the departure/muster drill (which was to have happened at 4:30pm). We weren't sure if we had missed the muster drill, or if they were doing it later for all passengers, or perhaps just for the passengers that were late boarding. Around 5pm, the chime sounded for the muster drill and we reported to our stations, where we were supposed to go over life jacket procedures, and watch a small safety video. After arriving at our muster station we lined up to report in and watch the video. The projector screen came down, however the video never played, nor was the crew able to get it up and running. After waiting for about 20-30 minutes, they finally released us, telling us we could watch the video from the tv in our stateroom if we had any questions. I'm pretty sure we all left hoping that we would have no need of the safety instructions we never received. Since our group had the early dining at 6pm (and we were familiar with the safety precautions based on previous cruises), we shrugged it off, and left to explore the boat for a few minutes and then find our table for dinner. Ship DEcor and Design/Itinerary: Normally I enjoy the Carnival decor. The ships are glitzy and reminiscent of Vegas and generally a lot of fun. I am not a fan of the dEcor on this particular ship however. This may come down to personal taste, but I found the whole thing to be way too over the top even for Carnival, and often felt a bit dizzy You do not want passengers feeling vertigo as the walk down a spiral staircase. It was obvious that a lot of attention went into the detail and decor, and the ship was kept very clean, but I ended up feeling overwhelmed by the decor most of the time. The good news is that the ship was very easy to navigate, especially for as big as it was, We had no problem learning the ship in the short time we were aboard. I had thought that the Dream had a glass dome above the pool area. If they did have it, they never put it up, which I thought was strange. We had really bad weather during the cruise (though the weather was certainly not the ship's fault). We ended up grabbing our spa robes to wear around the ship to keep warm, as some of the lounges were rather cold, and anywhere that had doors to the outside was a little chilly. The picture of the itinerary had made it seem that the ship was going to be heading down south a ways (close to Georgia/Florida) then turn around and come back to New York. Our actual route kept us very close to the coast of New York. This may have been in part because of the weather (lingering effects from the hurricane?), but from what I have seen, most of the bad weather was located right around lower New York and Jersey. As a result of our location we did have really rough seas. I heard from one of the passengers that the stabilizers on the ship were broken, but I don't know if that was true or not. Staterooms The staterooms were absolutely fine. We didn't spend particularly much time in ours (inside state room with no window). If you have one of these rooms, I do recommend turning the tv onto the channel with the ship camera outside and muting it. This will give you the "window" experience, and allow you to approximate what time it is based on the sun. It can be rough waking up in the morning at 9am in a pitch black room with no frame of reference. There were also no alarm clocks in the staterooms. Not a big deal, but it's something I don't generally pack, so it's good to know for future reference. The cabins had decent storage, and the Carnival bath robes were provided in the room (those came in handy later on). Basically if you've seen one cabin in this category, you've seen them all. Dining: Main Dining Room: The food in the main dining room was wonderful, and much better then I was expecting. I would even say it was a step up from previous cruises. Still not 5 star, but then anyone who is expecting that from this type of cruise, obviously hasn't done their home worke. Still the meat was incredibly tender, seafood well prepared and seasoned. Beverage service was a huge miss though. I ordered a soda the 1st night, and had to ask for it three times before it finally made it to the table (I had it by the time I got dessert), and the 2nd night the beverage service waiter never even made it to our table. Luckily our main waiter was wonderful, and she worked hard to make sure our water glasses were always filled, and that we always had fresh coffee in our cups. I didn't see an assistant waiter, it's possible that they no longer have them. Highlight: We had a table by the window in the dining room, and watching the Statue of Liberty all lit up float by at night was beautiful. Buffet: We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch the 2nd day. This was fairly close to what we had in cruises past. There was lots of variety, and tons of food. Burritos in the lunch buffet were good. Lines were atrociously long at pretty much all the stations, and most of the food was average. We did have pizza late one evening on the 2nd night, which was very good. We also availed ourselves of the frozen yogurt whenever we walked past. Overall I'd give the food here a B to a B-. Solid effort, and if you can't find something to eat you're in trouble. But nothing that really stood out. Other: We also tried the sushi one evening as an "Amuse Bouche" before dinner. It was not rolled particularly well, and our pieces kind of fell apart, but the fish was fresh and tasty. We attempted to find the "Midnight Snacks" on the lido deck the first night, however none were set out. We also went for Margaritas and Chips (advertised on the cruise capers) in one of the lounges at one point. When we arrived there were no chips in site, and no waiters selling Margaritas. We ended up ordering a couple Margaritas from the bar and snacking on some goldfish crackers they set out. While these things really are no big deal in the grand scheme of things (we certainly didn't go hungry, and we managed to find drinks well enough on our own), they do start to add up, and detract from the experience. Room service: This was pretty sad. We called the first night for room service, and it was an hour and a half wait. Second night we ordered from the tv in our room. It never showed up. Not a big deal, we went and found some more frozen yogurt. But this sort of thing really needs to be fixed. Entertainment: We went to both of the shows in the main theater, and to the adult comedy shows on both nights. Our group was thoroughly entertained. 1st night in the main theater was 1 gentleman singing songs from Motown along with a good band, and we all had a blast singing and bopping along. 2nd night in the main theater was the big production, the one that the cruise director had been touting from the beginning. It was a great show, but I'm not sure how "family friendly" it really is. There were sections of the show were the dancers were dressed as pimps and hookers, and one small section were one of the "hookers" takes a spin around a pole. Now the clothing wasn't that revealing, short skirts maybe a little midriff, a bathing suit would probably be more revealing, but it's very clear what they are. The moves are still fairly tame, but there is some occasional grinding. I saw one woman take her grandson out of theater at this point. They've added some acrobatics and some break dancing that was wonderful. They also used some pyrotechnics during the production, but they seemed really out of place and unnecessary. I think Carnival is trying to update it's image for a younger crowd. Both of the adult comedy acts were fun. We laughed and had a great time, but the guy from the Carnival staff who was supposed to do the warm-up set was awful. They had two shows each night, one at 9:45pm and one at 10:45pm with different comedians. We had originally planned on doing the 9:45pm one the 1st night, but left immediately because we thought that warm up guy was the headlining comedian. When we then came back for the 10:45pm and he was back doing the same bad jokes, we realized he was just the opening act. We also participated in a trivia contest, attended the marriage show, and the lounge crawl, which had the ability to be a lot of fun. They had it set up to do a different decade of dance in each lounge. We started strong with the 50's/60's in the atrium, then moved to do the 70's. Then we were supposed to follow the crew to the disco for the 80's music. At this point we overheard one of the staff say that the disco was too full, and the staff wandered off without explanation, and they kind of all dispersed. I have no idea where they went. We shrugged and decided to call it a night, but they need to make that better organized. We were looking forward to the 80's! We had also had a blast playing air hockey, and battleship, which we check out of the ships library. Disembarkation: This was also pretty rough. We received no information on what time we would be arriving in port, or what time we would be expected to leave the ship etc. We did receive customs forms to fill out (which weren't needed, as we did not go through customs on the way out). I recall either having a cruise caper or a paper with info on it about procedures for leaving the ship on cruises past. Neither one were handed out. When we asked about it we were told by the staff that they didn't want to stress out the guests, and that's why we weren't given the information. It was also slightly problematic because the announcements that went over the loud speaker the morning of the disembarkation could only be heard from the hallway. While we were in our room we could hear the chime from the announcement, but nothing else. We could have very easily missed or slept through it. Summary: I want to stress that despite all of the complaints listed above we really did have a fun time. I feel like all I've done in this review is whine, and that doesn't give the whole picture. Part of the problem may be that the ship and crew is brand new, part of it may be that it was only a two day cruise, so things are run a bit differently, thus more bumps along the way. In the end, it was certainly better than a weekend at home. But when compared to other cruises we've taken, it was certainly the worst of the bunch. I doubt any first-time cruisers would come back based on the experience from this ship. My advice, give the Dream another year or two to work out all the kinks, before sailing on it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
My wife and kids booked the cruise as a birthday present for me.The kids,both under 10,were really looking forward to using their own money to purchase the birthday room decoration package as a present to me. Only they don't do it for ... Read More
My wife and kids booked the cruise as a birthday present for me.The kids,both under 10,were really looking forward to using their own money to purchase the birthday room decoration package as a present to me. Only they don't do it for the one day cruise. Nothing in the web site about that. The trip was booked at the last minute,so all that was left was a minisuite.Very nice cabin, plenty of room for 4. Total cost was $930.Over $240 of that cost was for government taxes and fees. Check in was easy,on the ship at 12:30,dropped the bags off at the room,room guy was still cleaning room,slipped him $10 to make some towel animals for the kids. He never made them and we never saw him again. We went down the the Cafe buffet. It was outstanding! Nice selection, all good.By 1:30 there were no tables and people had to eat standing up. Went bowling for $40. The one day cruise had an interesting mix of people.Some families,some who couldn't afford a full length cruise,some 18 or 19 year olds who were waiting for the ship to get 3 miles out ,so they could drink and gamble. But mostly it was a booze cruise type crowd. The temperature was in the 20's on deck and yet the hot tubs were always filled with drinkers. Funny how you never saw anyone leave to use the bathroom. Diner at Magenta was terrible. The drink waiter seemed annoyed we had kids and therefore wasn't going to get a big drink order from us. I ordered a drink that didn't arrive until we were leaving. I refused it and had it taken off the bill. My wife and I both had beef dishes that were disgusting. We waited for the kids to finish their food,chicken fingers and mac & cheese, than went back to the buffet for dinner. Our waiter didn't care. We went to the Colorz show. It was all about songs that had a color in the title. Boring We had one of those 19 year olds and his girlfriend with an open bottle of wine sitting behind us in the theater. Talked the whole time until I shushed them away. When we got out of the show, you could see how people were starting to get sloppy and stupid. We went back to the cabin and called it a night. The next morning we were lucky to find a table for breakfast. Getting an omelet made was impossible. The food was good,but you really can't mess up breakfast. This was our first Norwegian cruise. I didn't like the layout of he ship. I like Royal Caribbean's atrium going down the middle of the ship. Also the 24 cafe on the Gem requires you to get seated and order your food. On Royal Caribbean, their 24 hour cafe is basically self serve. You can sit and eat or take it back to your room. I'd never do the one day cruise again. Not really for families. The next time I would take the money to Atlantic City,get a room at the Borgata,eat there and still have $400 left over for gambling. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
We decided to celebrate my DH's 40th birthday on the Gem one nighter. This was our fifth cruise amongst various cruise lines. I have slowly become a RCCL fan due to the beauty of their ships. But I wanted to give NCL a try. Before ... Read More
We decided to celebrate my DH's 40th birthday on the Gem one nighter. This was our fifth cruise amongst various cruise lines. I have slowly become a RCCL fan due to the beauty of their ships. But I wanted to give NCL a try. Before we even left, I was already frustrated with NCL. They price dropped my cabin $100. I am used to all the other lines I've sailed honoring price drops. NCL wouldn't honor it or upgrade me cabins. I was disappointed in them. The New York port was nice enough. The lines to board were crazy and a bit disorganized at first. We boarded the ship around 11:30 a.m. We decided not to book a specialty restaurant which was a huge mistake. We tried the bowling right when they opened at 1:00. We knew there would be a huge wait after this, and we were right. The Bliss Lounge where the bowling alley was located was also closed for quite a while due to a private party. So we were glad we bowled early. It was a fun experience. We had never been on a ship that had this opportunity. Then we went to the buffet. What a disaster! No one could find tables. Everyone was complaining. People even just stopped and put their plates on the half walls separating the buffet from the dining room and started eating. On other lines I have sailed, if the buffet gets that busy, they open the specialty restaurant areas for seating only. There was no offer of this on the Gem. The buffet area was the worst experience I've ever had on any sailing. Then we went to our room. 11156 Balcony aft. It was great. We enjoyed the room and was glad we got an aft cabin due to the winter wind. No wind on our balcony which was great. The room had signs of wear. There were scorch marks on the couch from an iron. When you tried to sit on the couch to watch TV, the couch wouldn't lock into place. So it always wanted to roll down into a bed. There was no muster drill since it was a one nighter. They had a barbecue sailaway party on the top deck with a live band. It was great. There were lots of younger people in the pools and hot tubs. We were surprised at this because it was quite cold outside. For the sailaway, we stayed on our balcony aft. Beautiful views of Manhattan, New Jersey, and the Statue of Liberty. After sailaway, we immediately went to dinner to avoid the crowds. We ate at the no cover charge Grand Pacific. The dining room was beautiful. But the wait staff did not impress us. My DH ordered the steak. It was super thin and not worth his time. I ordered the pasta dish which wasn't great either. We wished we had booked a specialty restaurant. We didn't finish our meals and just left. We went to the restaurant that NCL calls "comfort food" that overlooks the crystal atrium. We ordered desert, cheesecake and pound cake. They were excellent. We watched playoff football games on the big screen in the crystal atrium. This was a nice touch. We later went to the one show they offered at 9:15 called Colorz. We did not enjoy it. It was a musical about different colors. I'm sure others enjoyed it. It just wasn't our taste. At 11:00 p.m. they offered one comedy show. It was an improv comedy group from Chicago. This was the highlight. We really enjoyed them. After the show, we went to see the White Hot Party. There weren't many people dancing yet but it had just started. We went to bed around 2:00 a.m., and the ship was still partying. There were two weddings onboard, several kids enjoying themselves, lots of couples, lots of families, etc. Most everyone was quite dressy and enjoying themselves. Getting off the ship was simple. Since it was a one nighter there were no customs, no carousels to get luggage, etc. We walked right off, walked right outside the no wait for taxis. Perfect. If you place cash on your account, NCL won't give you back your credit until the morning of the cruise. This was frustrating. I tried to get my credit back at midnight the night before we disembarked because I knew the lines would be shorter. They wouldn't return my money until 6 a.m. the next morning. Of course, that is when the lines are the longest. I think they need to change their policy on this one. We enjoyed NCL cruise to nowhere for what it was. I will probably return to RCCL new ships only because their ships are nicer and easier to navigate. I felt like RCCL has better customer service and better food that is already included. RCCL's newer ships also cater better to families. I did enjoy the New York port better than others I have been to. New York is an amazing city and beautiful when sailing away! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
My wife and kids booked the cruise as a birthday present for me.The kids,both under 10,were really looking forward to using their own money to purchase the birthday room decoration package as a present to me. Only they don't do it for ... Read More
My wife and kids booked the cruise as a birthday present for me.The kids,both under 10,were really looking forward to using their own money to purchase the birthday room decoration package as a present to me. Only they don't do it for the one day cruise. Nothing in the web site about that. The trip was booked at the last minute,so all that was left was a minisuite.Very nice cabin, plenty of room for 4. Total cost was $930.Over $240 of that cost was for government taxes and fees.  Check in was easy,on the ship at 12:30,dropped the bags off at the room,room guy was still cleaning room,slipped him $10 to make some towel animals for the kids. He never made them and we never saw him again. We went down the the Cafe buffet. It was outstanding! Nice selection, all good.By 1:30 there were no tables and people had to eat standing up. Went bowling for $40. The one day cruise had an interesting mix of people.Some families,some who couldn't afford a full length cruise,some 18 or 19 year olds who were waiting for the ship to get 3 miles out ,so they could drink and gamble. But mostly was a booze cruise type crowd.The temperature was in the 20's on deck and yet the hot tubs were always filled with drinkers. Funny how you never saw anyone leave to use the bathroom. Diner at Magenta was terrible.The drink waiter seemed annoyed we had kids and therefore wasn't going to get a big drink order from us.I ordered a drink that didn't arrive until we were leaving. I refused it and had it taken off the bill.My wife and I both had beef dishes that were disgusting.We waited for the kids to finish their food,chicken fingers and mac & cheese, than went back to the buffet for dinner.Our waiter didn't care. We went to the Colorz show. It was all about songs that had a color in the title.Boring We had one of those 19 year olds and his girlfriend with an open bottle of wine sitting behind us in the theater.Talked the whole time until I shushed them away. When we got out of the show, you could see how people were starting to get sloppy and stupid.We went back to the cabin and called it a night. The next morning we were lucky to find a table for breakfast.Getting an omelet made was impossible.The food was good,you really can't mess up breakfast. This was our first Norwegian cruise.I didn't like the layout of he ship. I like Royal Caribbean's atrium going down the middle of the ship. Also the 24 cafe on the Gem requires you to get seated and order your food. On Royal Caribbean, their 24 hour cafe is basically self serve. You can sit and eat or take it back to your room. I'd never do the one day cruise again.Not really for families.The next time I would take the money to Atlantic City,get a room at the Borgata,eat there and still have $400 left over for gambling. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2006
Food was shocking. Tasteless and boring. Service in the Garden was bad with employees talking among themselves. The cruise director was irritating and love the sound of his own voice on the PA system. The shore excursion director Jenni ... Read More
Food was shocking. Tasteless and boring. Service in the Garden was bad with employees talking among themselves. The cruise director was irritating and love the sound of his own voice on the PA system. The shore excursion director Jenni was only concerned in getting you into shops and told nothing of attractions in shore destinations. Her briefing in the Stardust was as though she were addressing children. This was the worst I have experienced in 30 years of cruising. The crew were sullen and unfriendly. The Captain was rarely seen and hardly gave a smile unless you paid an exorbitant sum to be photographed with him. The shore excursions were a giant rip off. Overpriced and boring. I went on an excursion to see the Titanic history. Most of the time the guide blabbered about other events and when I asked to see the Jewish graves, he said the cemetery was closed. When we drove past, the gates were wide open. We were dumped into the museum and no guide provided to give us some orientation except to tell us where the gift shop was. The shore excursions were designed to get passengers in and out of as many tourist traps as possible. The restaurants suggested by Jenni were of poor quality and overpriced. I will never ever sail on NCL again. The Star to Alaska was stellar. This was a piaster. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2006
We sailed on The Spirit. This was a cruise to nowhere. I was told by my agent it was a 24-hour cruise, but it was in fact an 18-hour cruise. It was very expensive as the cheapest cabin went for 500.00 for two. We got onboard at 1pm, ... Read More
We sailed on The Spirit. This was a cruise to nowhere. I was told by my agent it was a 24-hour cruise, but it was in fact an 18-hour cruise. It was very expensive as the cheapest cabin went for 500.00 for two. We got onboard at 1pm, however cabins were not ready till after 2. This meant we had to lug our bags all over the ship as there was no luggage check on an overnight. The food that was included was an Italian cheapo menu consisting of chicken parm, lasagna and eggplant. It was very limited. If you wanted better fare you needed to pay extra in one of the alternative restaurants. We did and had a good meal at the Asian restaurant. I expected to have surf and turf for a cruise of this expense. Service was slow and poor! There were two shows, both of which were like high school reviews. There was an excellent dance band for the "New Year's Eve party." This was the only upside of the cruise. We played a bit in the casino, but none of the slots were paying out. The tables were limited and extremely crowded. This was our 15th cruise -- our 4th with Norwegian. Honestly, this was definitely not worth the money. I would tell anyone wanting to do a cruise to nowhere to save your money, it is so not worth it. As for the ship, it was small with very limited deck space and had few places for dancing. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2004
Let me start by telling you who we are and how we got on this cruise. My husband, John and I are in our mid 30s and we have 3 boys, ages 14, 12 and 10 months. We usually sail on Celebrity and this was our first trip on Carnival. Our ... Read More
Let me start by telling you who we are and how we got on this cruise. My husband, John and I are in our mid 30s and we have 3 boys, ages 14, 12 and 10 months. We usually sail on Celebrity and this was our first trip on Carnival. Our older sons got out of school last Friday and John had taken vacation this week. We had looked at different vacation possibilities and decided to wait until the last minute and see what struck our fancy. So on Saturday, 6/12, I was perusing the last minute cruise sites and found Carnival Victory's 2 night Cruise to Nowhere sailing out of New York on 6/15. Since I hate to fly, this seemed like a great way to try Carnival and get away for a few days. We made babysitting arrangements for our littlest one and left at 8:00 Tuesday morning for the 3 and a half hour drive to NYC. Since we didn't have any documentation other then our email receipt from the consolidator and our funpass from Carnival, we had to go to a 'will call' desk for our docs. No problems, took about 20 minutes. While I did that, John parked the car. Parking was $48, cash. From there, we got in the first long line to pass through the first security check point, wait time, 35 minutes. After that, we got in the next long line to have our bags checked, wait time, 45 minutes. After getting through there and stopping for the lovely embarkation pictures, we got into the next line to actually check-in. Wait time for this line was only about 2 minutes, but since we were a last minute addition, we had to have keys made for us. This took another 30 minutes or so. So, if we add it all up, we're now pushing 2 hours. My guys were fantastically patient though, much more then many of the adults I witnessed. After finally figuring out what room we were in and dropping off our bags (no porterage, as this was only a 2 night cruise) we went off in search of lunch. We found burgers and pizza on deck 9 aft and decided it was preferable to fighting the lines at the buffet. Both were quite good. I bought the kids each a soda pass ($4.50 for entire trip) and sent them off to the pool, telling them to meet back at our room by 4pm or when they announced the lifeboat drill, whichever came first. The lifeboat drill was scheduled to begin at 4pm, and cabin attendants were shusshing people out of their rooms to attend the drill. Sadly, the drill did not actually begin until 5pm, so many people were stuck on deck for over an hour with their life jackets. I would come to realize that this was going to be a constant trend over the next two days. Nothing was on schedule and seldom did anyone actually seem to know what was supposed to be going on. After the drill, we dropped the life jackets off and went back up top to experience sailaway. Of all the ports I've sailed from, this was the best. The sun was just starting to dip into the west as we sailed past the Statue of Liberty and the reflection off the water and her torch was magnificent. I'm glad to have experienced it. After passing what seemed to be just a few feet under the George Washington (I think) Bridge, we began to wander around the ship to get acclimated and the kids began their vacationing (ie, swim, eat ice cream, swim, eat pizza, swim...) in earnest. The ship was lovely. Not at all too tacky as I expected. It was much glitzier then we were accustomed to, but not garish. Only exception was our bathroom, which was a frightening shade of pink. The public spaces were comfortable and for the most part well laid out. The glass elevators in the atrium were impressive. Another positive was the crew. They were all quite friendly and helpful, most possessing rather good English. We were surprised at the number of female staff. Much, much higher then on Celebrity. So, now that I've said all the nice things I can think of, I'll tell you about the rest of our experience. The food was mediocre. I was taken aback by the fact that you didn't get trays in the buffet, but had to carry everything by hand. One morning John got sour milk, which of course he didn't realize until after taking a big gulp. When ordering room service, two of the 3 times we didn't get utensils - tough to eat frosted flakes and milk with your fingers. Smoked salmon was available for breakfast in your room, but nowhere else on the ship - John was very disappointed by that one. Dining room service was efficient, but not spectacular, not unexpected on a 'no gratuity' cruise. I was shocked to see stacks of cardboard boxes in the dining room, both nights. The dining room was quite noisy and the portions were rather small. The desserts I sampled were fine, but nothing to brag about. The chilled strawberry soup seemed more like melted ice cream. Lobster was okay, but cold. My youngest son ordered prime rib medium and it was perfectly cooked - I've never seen a better job done cooking a steak 'medium'. He said it was very good. We did grab lunch from the East River Deli, sandwiches were great, but there were no sides, so you waited 30 minutes and got only a single sandwich - if you wanted anything else you needed to wait in the main buffet line. The ice cream I tried was quite tasty, and the kids seemed to enjoy it. They ate so much I think my one son is beginning to look like a swirl cone. The teen program was a joke. Three different 'events' were scheduled, two during late seating dinner. The first night the 'meet and greet' was supposed to begin at 8pm. We watched from a nearby lounge as kids would come in, see no one there and leave. Carnival staff finally arrived at 8:20 to sign kids into the program, but by that time most of the kids had given up. Afterwards there was supposed to be a teen disco from 8:30 to 9:30. When the kids kept going into the Arctic Lounge, where the dance was to be, they were repeatedly told, "we're not ready yet". When things finally were ready, it was 9:15 and then they were shooed out promptly at 9:30, so they could get ready for the adults. The second night there was supposed to be a dance under the stars for teens on the pool deck, but it was cancelled due to fog. Not rain, but fog! No alternative location was given, so once again, the teens were left to their own devices. At no point were any of these changes announced to the parents. So next time you see herds of kids wandering around on their own, realize it is entirely possible that their parents believe that they are taking part in a supervised activity that failed to materialize. My kids still had a good time, but I was disappointed, as this was their first cruise experience and I wanted it to be a good one. We will be sailing on the Mariner of the Seas next year with all three kids, and I am sure the kids will have a better time on that cruise. As for the adult entertainment, most of it was fine. A few notables - the piano guy in the Irish Pub was fantastic, as I had read in advance. Unfortunately, if you didn't arrive early, it was standing room only. We were able to catch a bit of his show before dinner one night. The jazz trio in the Ionian Room was also quite good, but due to the large number of cigar smokers there, we didn't stay long. As for the main show lounge, we only saw one show, 'Vroom', and it was not to my liking. Too loud and way too much skin for my taste. Most of the shows started late, as did late seating dinner. It seemed to be a common theme and no one felt the need to apologize. Disembarkation was another nightmare. No instructions were given, either over the loudspeakers or in our rooms. It was mass departure, carrying your own bags, and of course, we were an hour late arriving into port. No one mentioned that you would need your sign and sail cards to be presented until you actually arrived at the gangway, so the lines moved horrifyingly slow as people searched their bags for their cards. The experience in the port was also an absolute disaster, but I won't blame that on the cruise line. All in all, I can say without a doubt that I won't be taking another 'cruise to nowhere'. I also highly doubt I will sail Carnival again. There is nothing wrong with the product, and I can see why it has its devotees, but it's just not the line for me. If you only ever sailed Carnival, you probably wouldn't even notice the complaints I had (except for maybe the spoiled milk - that was hard to miss.) It's better than no cruise at all, but for me, I think I'll stick with Celebrity without the kids and Royal Caribbean with them. Read Less

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