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Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise because it was just the right length of time and we wanted to go to Mexico, where we were sure the weather would be warm and sunny. When I called Norwegian to book the cruise, the salesperson I spoke with was "oh ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was just the right length of time and we wanted to go to Mexico, where we were sure the weather would be warm and sunny. When I called Norwegian to book the cruise, the salesperson I spoke with was "oh so nice." He told me that it was a great bargain because all drinks were included, no extra charge. On our first day at sea my husband went to the bar and ordered 3 drinks and to his surprise was charged 33.00. When he told me we went directly to the customer service desk and after waiting in line behind other unhappy passengers, we were told they had no record showing drinks were included. The agent said she would contact headquarters and we would be notified shortly of their decision. The cruise returned March 7 and we are still awaiting word from headquarters! No one bothered to respond. The icing on the cake came yesterday when my husband opened his credit card statement. There was a charge from Norweigian for 493.00. After calling to inquire what the charge was for, we were told that we ate at specialty restaurants that were an additional charge. Probelm is, we did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants and were careful to ask when we entered each restaurant if there would be an additional charge. We were told we would receive an email showing the charges (and I presume our supposed signature). That was over 24 hours ago and we're still waiting. We will be contacting our credit card company to dispute the charges. My advice - do not give your credit card to handle expenses, even though it is convenient. They can charge whatever they want to your account and how do you prove you did NOT eat at one of their "specialty" restaurants? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I chose this cruise because it was a music cruise and we've been on several before. It went out of NOLA and that was great. Embarkation went smoothly WE THOUGHT. Shortly after we got on the ship we found out that they dropped our ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was a music cruise and we've been on several before. It went out of NOLA and that was great. Embarkation went smoothly WE THOUGHT. Shortly after we got on the ship we found out that they dropped our suitcase into the Mississippi River. Yea, you read that right!! Everything in it was soaked. First off they tried to deny what happened. Then tried to blame it on us. Um....a whole pallet of bags went in! They did launder the stuff but tried to balk at my instructions. I did NOT want our stuff ruined. They replaced the destroyed meds but I had to chase that down. I should not have had to do that. Other than that there was nada. NOTHING! I lost hours of my vacation chasing down things that they should have done. I finally gave up on the NCL staff trying to salvage my vacation. The company that puts the concerts on was great! They offered remuneration and a few perks while on board. That was much appreciated but really, it wasn't their deal. NCL should have been more sympathetic to the customers. If it weren't for the music cruises we love being on the Pearl we'd never EVER do a cruise on NCL again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We travelled with a large group of friends, just as we have done in the past on other cruise lines. Last year we were on the Celebrity Reflection which was fantastic in every way. This time - the Norwegian Pearl. Although we definitely ... Read More
We travelled with a large group of friends, just as we have done in the past on other cruise lines. Last year we were on the Celebrity Reflection which was fantastic in every way. This time - the Norwegian Pearl. Although we definitely had a great time because of the people we were with, we were extremely disappointed in the Pearl. There just isn't much 'grandness' here - ceilings are low, it's difficult to find your way around on board, and we just won't go with Norwegian in the future. Our room steward was fantastic, and some of the wait staff helped create some great memories for us. However, we really disliked the cruise director, Vincent who seemed about as insincere as they get! It became a joke in our group to see how often he would use the term, ' . . . and so much more' during our cruise. Vincent seems to be all about Vincent, and less about the onboard guests. We really disliked the overpriced Bingo games, too which are nothing but a money-maker for Norwegian (so is Deal Or No Deal) - it's all 'electronic' and the 'jackpots' were never awarded (due to their rule of 47 numbers of less must be called for the blackout). I'm not even sure it's POSSIBLE to win. The stage shows with the professional group entertainers were excellent (the singing/dancing troupe), and Duo Quintessence, an aerial act was fantastic! Other on board talent was really mediocre including the comic, the magician and crooner, Lewis. The casino also didn't seem to pay out much, although they kept announcing huge jackpot winners (that we never did see for some reason!). We also felt a constant 'rocking' motion on board the Pearl as well, something we did not experience on the Celebrity Reflection last year whatsoever. If you travel on the Pearl, undoubtedly you can have a great time, but there are so many other options that are so much nicer and likely more affordable. The Pearl has lost its luster. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I Cruise a lot and this was my first time on the Norwegian. NEVER AGAIN!! They served the same food everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only changes to the meals were the soups and having pasta/ carrot and potato salads ... Read More
I Cruise a lot and this was my first time on the Norwegian. NEVER AGAIN!! They served the same food everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The only changes to the meals were the soups and having pasta/ carrot and potato salads different days in the case with the toss salads. Most of the staff were very unpleasant. I got tired of hearing from people "Oh that's just their culture"... No! you are in customer service point blank. Speak and smile. We got the beverage package and most of the bartenders were so tight to pour more than a shot in a drink or got made when you asked to make a drink that was already in a premade container. Listen it's paid for and there is no way anyone will drink 10 drinks a day and I didn't like how the premade drinks was mostly mix or juice. I think it was so rude for wait staff to reach over you and and your food at the table while you are still eating to grab an empty plate. SAY excuse me and ask for it! And to make things even worst, I fell on a wet floor and was in a brace for most of the trip. They treated me like I did something. The asian gurl was so rude and unconcerning about my pain. I am still trying to get the incident report for my doctor. The prices were so high in the stores to buy liquor or gifts...UGH I can go on but you get the picture. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
A half charter of "grown and sexy" was booked at the same time as my cruise. We were not informed of this fact and at least 3 public areas per day were blocked off for this party. Had I known all areas would not be available to ... Read More
A half charter of "grown and sexy" was booked at the same time as my cruise. We were not informed of this fact and at least 3 public areas per day were blocked off for this party. Had I known all areas would not be available to us, I would have never booked. The "quiet" areas had people from this party who had speakers attached to their phones blasting music. I complained to guest services who told me there was nothing they could do. The pool deck was closed to the public twice for private events during our cruise. A staff member grabbed my son by the arm to escort him off of the pool deck during one of these parties. I had a aft facing mini suite directly below the 12th level aft facing deck where several of the private events took place with loud music. Guests from the party were throwing items down onto our balcony. Miserable cruise!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
There were 80+ of us who went as a church group on the Norwegian Pearl. We previously went as a group on the Carnival Dream. The Dream drowns the Pearl, hands down. I'd pay double to go back to Carnival. The ... Read More
There were 80+ of us who went as a church group on the Norwegian Pearl. We previously went as a group on the Carnival Dream. The Dream drowns the Pearl, hands down. I'd pay double to go back to Carnival. The ship...............wow, where do I begin....... We had a balcony room that barely had enough room for us to walk through. The bathroom was so small, my fiance' hit his knees on the wall every time he used the bathroom. Excruciatingly small!!!!!! The Legends in Concert was pretty decent. Madonna didn't strike me as overly good. Michael Jackson's moves were spot on, though his vocals weren't quite the king of pop. Elvis was pretty good. Like Michael Jackson, moves were better than the voice, but they were both pretty entertaining. We had the unlimited drink package & I can say that was a great perk. I can't say a negative thing about any of the bartenders. Keith Campbell in O'Sheehan's was a hilarious server. His personality will take him far in this industry. "Washy Washy" was stationed at the front of the buffet every morning and his attitude was infectious!!!!!!!!! When I'd see him in Summer Palace, I'd say "washy washy" and he'd stop & smile & wave at me. He was one of the last workers I saw while disembarking & we shared a great hug!!! He's another shining spot!!! While we did encounter some waves, the movement on the Pearl was overwhelmingly more than the Carnival Dream. I'm not sure if there were better stabilizers on the Dream but our time on the Pearl was agonizingly ROUGH!!!! If a worker & you came to a spot at the same time, the workers went out of their way to cross in front of you. When we were on Carnival, the workers stopped & let the guests pass. Gee, what a novel idea!!! The food was also better on Carnival. Norwegian served prime rib with a thick gravy. Each time I've eaten prime rib, it's been with aus jus. The best thing I can say about Norwegian's food is their tiramisu is better than ANY other I've ever tried. The service was sub par & downright rude at some points. Then we found Maria Ciriaco in Summer Palace in the evenings. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH, what a breath of fresh air she is. She knew our names after the first night, knew our drink preferences and refilled our drinks before we could ask for refills. If we did need something like more bread or extra butter, etc, her response was always "I'll get it for you". Amazing woman. She hustled with every step. It's rare to see young people with such work ethic. The ports of call were just that, ports of call. The private island of Norwegian is nothing to write home about. All 4 stops were pretty equal and were worth visiting. I wish I had a nickel for every time someone told me "Norwegian is better than Carnival". So many times I was told that before our cruise. All of us in our immediate party agreed that Carnival had Norwegian beat, hands down. I can't see me ever spending another penny with Norwegian and I'll tell anyone else who will listen the same thing. Shout out again to Maria Ciriaco, Keith Campbell & Washy Washy!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this 12 day cruise on the Dawn from NOLA to Boston because it was a great deal, fit perfectly into the itinerary that we had in mind, we had heard good things about Norweigan from others and the research we had done into it all ... Read More
We chose this 12 day cruise on the Dawn from NOLA to Boston because it was a great deal, fit perfectly into the itinerary that we had in mind, we had heard good things about Norweigan from others and the research we had done into it all seemed fine. We booked it for our Honeymoon and were very excited, my wife has a gluten allergy and on all the other cruises we had been on with Royal Caribbean had no issues with the gluten thing. We had called the cruise line prior to booking to make sure everything would be okay with her dietary restrictions, looked at all the literature they had for the boats and their policies. No one or anywhere we were able to find in the standards was it that she had to order all of her dinners or even room service 24 hours in advance. None of the food on the buffets were labeled with any sort of allergens and staff was very unhelpful when asked about the contents. One night she got very sea sick and I ordered her room service to try and help ease the stomach issues asked for some gluten free noodles with butter and cheese, guy on the phone said fine then proceeded to call me back and say that I needed to order room service 24 hours in advance, thats not really the point of room service plus its supposed to be made to order. Thankfully we had ordered her dinner for that night 24 in advance and they delivered that but it was sweet and sour soup and fishy fish, not the best thing for a nauseous person. The freestyle dining is nice in theory but the need to make reservations for every place we wanted to eat was a bit obnoxious and again not anywhere did it tell us we had to make those reservations. It just added another level of non relaxations to the trip. The ship was nice but a lot of dead ends and having to figure out the way around the boat. They were also doing a lot of construction while we were on there, redoing the doors re-tiling a bunch of things. Our room was really nice a bit better than the other rooms we had been in especially for it being a porthole room. The stewards were very nice and attentive we had a great interaction with them all. The dining besides the issues was alright, we really enjoyed Cagney's steak house was a really good steak for both of us our server there was nice and we spent a third of our nights at Los Lobos the mexican place since they were really nice and gluten free there wasn't too difficult and the staff was knowledgeable. The buffet wasn't great as we had the issues, and we met two ladies who had a really bad experience two hairs baked into their food, in the same day, and the staff said she could just grab a new plate never asked what is was or even investigate it. We wont be going back on Norwegian again as all the food difficulties and in general a majority of the staff were not fun to interact with, whereas on previous cruises with other lines it was really easy and fun with the staff and food. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We have been on many carnival cruises and this one was the worst of them all. Although leaving from new Orleans is a nice change from the busy Florida ports, the problems started as soon as we arrived on the ship. The cruise line tried to ... Read More
We have been on many carnival cruises and this one was the worst of them all. Although leaving from new Orleans is a nice change from the busy Florida ports, the problems started as soon as we arrived on the ship. The cruise line tried to fix the problems, but the lack of communication between carnival workers was a consistent problem we encountered. Unless you spoke with a manager directly, problems were just going to turn into more problems. The clientele consisted of many lower class people and 90 percent of them were newbies to both the cruise line and cruising in general. You could tell from their sign and sail cards. The ship could use an update in many ways as the ship shows many signs from when it was originally built. Bathroom vanities were cracked and caulk was black. There is no voicemail system for the phones. There are many doors, walls and fixtures damaged. However, the wait staff in the dinning room was great and so was the room steward. The comedy club was probably the best I have seen. The comedians were fabulous, and it takes a lot to make an impression on us. I know the comedians travel to different ships so there is no guarantee of which comedian will be on the ship. Two things I have learned from this cruise. Switch to a more consistent cruise line that is higher class and do not leave out of new orleans....unless you want very loud shipmates. lol Also the 11th deck for a cabin is very loud, as it is located near the children's areas. Beware. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was my third cruise with carnival first time on the Triumph and the last my reasons. 1- shower head broken the water was trickling out of the shower head which caused us to have to shower two days in the spa very inconvenient. ... Read More
This was my third cruise with carnival first time on the Triumph and the last my reasons. 1- shower head broken the water was trickling out of the shower head which caused us to have to shower two days in the spa very inconvenient. 2-Room 9266 had a constant water sound that we heard several times a day very annoying. 3-A large section of the ceiling tiles right outside our door was missing which exposed all the insulation ,pipes ,electrical wiring and a very loud mildew ,musty smell very frustrating unless they have fixed it don't book this room. 4- The food wasn't that great on the buffet section they should really look at the menu on this boat and revise it. 5-Toilet got stopped up it took 1hour for the plumber to come according to guest services they only had one plumber available 2,700 passengers and one plumber SMH!!! On a good note Cozumel was beautiful would love to go back there again didn't care too much for Progresso .Guys burgers was good the only night that I enjoyed in the dinning room was on American Southern night .My final thoughts on the Triumph it needs to be revised ,updated , revamped Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Last year I was planning to write a review about my bad experience with Norwegian Sun during my cruise to Alaska but later decided not to do it. This year I took another cruise with NCL on Norwegian Dawn to the western Caribbean. It ... Read More
Last year I was planning to write a review about my bad experience with Norwegian Sun during my cruise to Alaska but later decided not to do it. This year I took another cruise with NCL on Norwegian Dawn to the western Caribbean. It was the last trip of Norwegian Dawn before the multimillion dollar renovation and it came as no surprise that the ship was outdated and stained. But my review isn’t going to be about that, just let me mention that we did not use the pool and jacuzzis because they were old and dirty. Hopefully these problems will be fixed during the renovation, so there is no need to mention them. But the renovation project by itself brought up another completely different problem normally not encountered on other ships. NCL decided to save time and money and start renovation during the cruise by performing some work at sea. It was very inconvenient and annoying having piles of plywood stocked on decks, workers removing old paint and repainting, and so on. Some of the passengers reported workers entering their cabins to perform work on their balconies. Lesson learned: do not book a trip on a ship right before it is scheduled for dry dock. Now on to things that can’t be fixed by renovation. First of all, I could not stop comparing this ship to a Norwegian Sun. Even though the Norwegian Sun is smaller than the Norwegian Dawn (78,309 GT vs 92,250 GT) inside, the ocean view and balcony cabins on the Sun are bigger than on the Dawn. Our tiny oceanview cabin was entirely occupied by the bed, leaving us no room for any movement other than going in and out. The cabin service was almost nonexistent. On the sixth day of our cruise we ran out of soap - both hard soap and body wash. We discovered this only when we returned from the offshore excursion, and it took three phone calls to the Help desk and a lot of waiting to get the supplies. The entertainment was boring even compared to the Sun and the TV on board the ship was running same the movies all 10 days. We all know Latitudes Rewards Program is not the best in the industry. For example, as a silver member on Cunard I receive one free hour of Internet, and I do not have to buy any of their Internet packages. As a silver member on NCL I receive only 30 minutes free and only if I buy the 250 minute Internet package. But when I bought the 250 minute Internet package on Norwegian Dawn I did not receive my Latitudes rewards. I tried to talk to several people: the Internet manager, Help desk, and the Hotel manager without any results. The Internet manager I talked to first was very rude and did not listen to my complaint at all. To be objective I should mention a few good things about these cruise. First and foremost the food was not bad at all. We loved the Le Bistro and Modesto restaurants and the food in the main dining restaurant and buffet was OK. Of course buffet could have had more variety, and some improvements could be made, like advising the waiters not to grab plates without asking permission. The ports of calls we visited during this cruise were also good. In my opinion it was a very good combination of exciting destinations to reach in one cruise. But this brings me to another matter often discussed on Cruise Critics and other forums by fellow passengers: not enough time in port. Even when our ship was scheduled to be in most ports from 8 AM until 5 PM the real timeframe for the passengers to be offshore was from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM. In most ports sometimes even less. This is definitely not long enough to enjoy time offshore in a new port. Sometimes the distance to the next destination dictates a short time period that the ship can stay in port. Not in our case. Four of our ports of calls where in very close proximity to each other, sometimes less than 200 miles (the distance from Costa Maya to Cozumel) but we still did not stay in port long enough. I wish Cruise companies will reconsider their position on this matter. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
This was actually two cruises back to back. The first being 11 days from New Orleans to San Juan and the second being 10 days from San Juan to Jacksonville, Fl. Upon reaching Jacksonville, we have now sailed 15 times with Carnival. We ... Read More
This was actually two cruises back to back. The first being 11 days from New Orleans to San Juan and the second being 10 days from San Juan to Jacksonville, Fl. Upon reaching Jacksonville, we have now sailed 15 times with Carnival. We had never sailed from New Orleans and had never sailed on the Elation. We took this 'Journey Cruise' because of the itinerary with several ports we'd never been to. Embarkation was fairly smooth. At our muster drill, we had our first experience with the most irritating Cruise Director we ever had. The muster drill drug on much longer than any we've ever participated in before. Hennie, the CD, has multiple personalities that he voices throughout the drill...giving the directions in crazy accents. We were to discover that his 'voices' would continue throughout the entire 21 days. Following the muster drill, we went up on deck to find a good seat to watch the sail away. We waited and waited and waited, not knowing why we weren't leaving. Finally, two hours into the wait, the CD comes over the PA and tells that we're delayed because 'they're still loading food'. We actually sailed 2 1/2 hours late. We've never experienced a late departure like that. And I find it hard to believe that we were delayed because they were still loading supplies. Carnival has that down to a science. Due to a medical emergency that required diverting the ship to Cozumel. As we were already 2 1/2 hours behind, we arrived at our first port 4 1/2 hours late. The itinerary for the cruise was very nice and we discovered several spots that we want to travel back to...but not on the Elation. We had YTD and our first experience in the dining room was very disappointing. Service was very slow and disorganized. We found the food to be pretty mediocre. In fact, overall, the food was disappointing on this trip. Certainly not up to the level that we've experienced in the past with Carnival. As Platinum members, we attended the VIFP cocktail party..which has been whittled down to 45 minutes. This was vastly different than those we've attended in the past. It was very difficult to get a drink. The waiters would sail past a table full of people with their trays and not stop. The snacks offered were nasty sushi. One example of their poor organization is that prior to the cruise, someone from Carnival came onto the CC Roll call and announced that Carnival was now hosting M & Gs on the ships. We were instructed as to how to sign up for it so they would know how many people to expect and they would announce the time and location in the Fun Times on board. We followed their directions. We did, indeed, see the announcement and a large group of us showed up to the specified lounge and found 3 pitchers of ice water for refreshments..and not a soul from Carnival. Thanks to one of the young men in CC group who got on his computer and started trying to contact someone, they did reschedule it as a 'Farewell' meeting and provided some juice, tea and a tray of cookies. Hennie the Cruise director and one officer did attend for a few minutes. The main shows were not up to par, either. I don't know if it's the 'Journey Cruise' format, or what, but we did not enjoy them and after a try or two, did not attend them. We did enjoy the assortment of comics that came on to perform in the Punchliner lounge. We caught as many of their shows as we could. We had an outstanding room steward, Rosella, and can't say enough good about her. We really appreciated all she did for us. Once we arrived in Jacksonville, Fl, the debarkation process was horrible. As Platinum passengers using the easy debarkation method, we were directed to the theater to wait for our luggage number to be called. We had #3. We all sat in that theater for hours waiting for information. The PA announcements were not being directed into the theater and we scarcely saw a crew member that could relay information. It was almost noon before we were allowed off the ship after docking at 8:30 AM. I will say that we loved the itinerary and appreciate all the wonderfully friendly crew members on board. However, this trip left us very disappointed in Carnival and not interested in sailing on the Elation, again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
My wife an I are retirees who love cruising and were on our twenty fourth cruise, the fifth on NCL, the first on Dawn. We traveled to New Orleans by car from Tulsa, Oklahoma and stopped overnight in Beau Bridge, Louisiana, the ... Read More
My wife an I are retirees who love cruising and were on our twenty fourth cruise, the fifth on NCL, the first on Dawn. We traveled to New Orleans by car from Tulsa, Oklahoma and stopped overnight in Beau Bridge, Louisiana, the "Crayfish Capitol of the World". We had a great crayfish dinner and enjoyed the quaint shopping are in the town. We then traveled on to NO to enjoy a couple of days in the French Quarter. New Orleans is a great city with great restaurants and a unique culture and entertainment. We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites on Magazine, a hotel created out of four historic building in the downtown section of the city just off of Canal Street and within a short walk to the Quarter. Our car was checked in to a garage near the port and transportation was provided to the hotel and later on the embarkation day we were picked up and transported to the pier. Embarkation was quick and smooth, and we were on our way. As we were making our way down the Mississippi we headed for the Spinnaker Lounge for a Bon Voyage drink and to watch the NFL semifinal game showing in the lounge. NCL needs to hire have cruise staff that understand the needs of their clients and American culture for US based cruises. With less than four minutes of play left in the game an NCL staff member told everyone that they would have to leave the lounge so that they could prepare for Trivia. There was standing room only in the lounge at the time and this ignited an immediate uproar. Everyone refused to leave with three minutes and thirteen seconds left on the clock. The staff then proceeded to enforce their will on the guests and pulled the plug on the game. The reaction from the guests was, as you might expect, outrage. People were on there feet yelling "NO!". The NCL employee at the front of the room was going to do it her way even in the face of all the uproar. The staff could not have found a more effective way to make so many guests, so angry in such a short time on the very first day of their cruise if they had wanted to. I guess that NCL feels that their will supersedes the pleasure of their guests. It was very clear that the guests wishes were secondary to keeping the schedule from slipping a few minutes. So much for customer service. The cabin was nice but very small and crowded. There was little space for storage of our luggage as there was a set of bed springs stored under one side of the bed. After registering a complaint with the customer service desk they finally removed the springs the following day so that we had room to store our luggage. Our experience with the dining venues on the ship were mixed. The Venetian main dining was elegant and the food and service was good. The second main dining room was much more Spartan than the Venetian and we chose to pass on it even though the menu offerings were identical. We ate at four of the specialty restaurants and had mixed experienced. La Bistro (French) was excellent, while the Italian restaurant was nothing to rave about. The Brazilian restaurant had a very good salad bar but the brazed meats were not flavored to my taste and served warm not hot. Our experience in the Japanese restaurant was also mixed. The show was fun and the clams were great but calamari and shrimp were tough. All in all I wouldn't spend extra for the specialty restaurants with the exception of La Bistro. We did not try Cagney's Steak House. We scheduled all of the restaurant reservations on line before the cruise and changed two reservations on the ship. Reservations were on time and seating fast and easy. The buffet restaurant was average in our cruising experience but the table arrangement lacked the usual variety available on most cruise ships. The professional entertainment was excellent but we were disappointed with the slim offerings in the lounges. We were looking forward to some ballroom dancing but found none. The lack of bar staff surprised us and I usually had to go to the bar and stand in line to get a drink. I never ran into that before. We enjoyed all of the ports we visited. We made all of our own port arrangements as we have been to all of them multiple times and know where and where not to go. For Belize we made arrangements for a cave float and zip line tour with a local operator. Great fun! For each of the other ports we relaxed at our favorite beach spots. Debarkation went smoothly except that the carnival parades made entrance to the port for vehicles difficult and exit from the port slow. That was to be expected in the run up to Mardi Gras. We found NCL Dawn to be disappointing compared to our past cruises on the line. We are planning another cruise for July but have switched our plans to another line that we have found puts their customer's wishes first. Bon Voyage NCL!!! By the way, NCL no longer cashes American Express Travelers Checks which we usually bring on cruises along with credit cards to avoid carrying a lot of cash. If you plan to travel on NCL bring cash. Again, less customer service. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
CARNIVAL DREAM REVIEW Our Carnival Dream cruise was an eleven plus ten day back to back Caribbean cruise in January 2016. The pricing of this cruise was our main reason for travelling since we have done similar itineraries in the past. ... Read More
CARNIVAL DREAM REVIEW Our Carnival Dream cruise was an eleven plus ten day back to back Caribbean cruise in January 2016. The pricing of this cruise was our main reason for travelling since we have done similar itineraries in the past. If you are looking for a inexpensive cruise which focuses on suntanning, beach activities, adequate food and drinks, the ship delivers. If you are looking for a Princess or Holland America or Royal Caribbean experience you will be sorely disappointed. In fairness I have to say that the Carnival corporation does a good job of gearing each of their cruise lines to a target market so it is pretty easy to find your own niche. For us, it is Princess by a mile. I have heard that the Carnival experiment with the "Journey" cruises has not gone well. I can see that because the crowd seemed a bit older than usual on this longer Carnival cruise and I think that demographic is looking for a more sophisticated experience with better quality food and entertainment. The decor of the ship is cold and sterile, think warehouse with 80's colours. Seating areas are pink fake leather or diner-like. I don't think I felt truly comfortable at any time. While the production shows were excellent and not to be missed, we found the rest of the entertainment was not as good. The comedy shows were hit and miss and some of the bands were of similar quality. One major complaint we had was the sound level of the bands in the Ocean Bar and at the main pool. Earsplitting! It is difficult to find a quiet place on the ship if you just want some reading and relaxation time. Even the Serenity area is too crowded to be truly quiet. The other evening entertainment shows included the requisite jugglers, magicians and hypnotists. I wonder why cruise ships insist on this type of entertainment, surely their day is done. The hypnotist show on the first sailing had to be one of the worst shows I have ever seen. We left after ten minutes. Food was okay in the dining room but service was extremely slow and this made it impossible to see much of the early entertainment. On the second leg of the trip we opted out of the dining room and ate exclusively at the buffet which allowed us to see the early evening entertainment. This worked well for us timing wise. The Lido buffet offered similar food to the dining room and I don't have too much to complain about except for the salads which were exactly the same for 21 days. Lines were often long for dinner. The Tandoori grill was excellent and was our go to place for lunch. Pizza and burgers were OK and were available throughout the day. The beverages offered were coffee, lemonade and iced tea. If you are a hot tea drinker, bring your own...the quality and selection of tea bags on the ship is poor. Desserts were nothing special and for 21 days three types of cookies were offered and I'm sure they came from a box. The ship seemed extremely crowded on sea days. It is a large ship but there didn't seem to be enough in the way of deck space or loungers on those days. Curiously, exiting the ship on port days went quickly, probably because they often had two gangways open. Embarkation also went very well, however we had priority boarding so that may have been why. There was unnecessary confusion on our turn around day, however. Back to back passengers were given in transit passes, but there were no signs directing us to the separate line and the staff on the pier made little attempt clarify the situation. Organization on the ship was very good however and I give credit to the Cruise Director, Brandon for this. We have been on many cruises and he is one of the best...And he can sing! We find that the service staff on almost all cruise ships to be consistently excellent. The staff members work incredibly hard to provide the best service . Carnival is not our preferred cruise line for a great many reasons and it is doubtful we will sail with them again...the ships are uncomfortable, crowded and extremely noisy, food is marginal to poor. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We wanted to try the Journey experience since it promised a lot of extras. So we did the back to back cruises beginning and ending in New Orleans a total of 21 days. Our last experience on Carnival was the Miracle to Mexico out of ... Read More
We wanted to try the Journey experience since it promised a lot of extras. So we did the back to back cruises beginning and ending in New Orleans a total of 21 days. Our last experience on Carnival was the Miracle to Mexico out of Los Angeles which we enjoyed. Unfortunately the Dream stuffs too many cabins on the ship resulting in a lack of public space especially on bad weather days and overall crowding on the ship. The crowding was made worst by having photo booths every day blocking the only way to go from front to rear on deck 5. That means that when you leave the comedy club in the rear and want to go to the front you have a narrow passageway. This isn't good since people are lined up waiting to go into the next show. A secret....drop down on the stairs to deck 4 and you'll have clear sailing. The only real highlights of the Journey experience were the cooking demos from local chefs and local entertainers on the ship in Puerto Rico and Jamaica. On 2 nights out of 21 they tried to have local food based on the 2 local chef's recipes. It didn't work. The carnival chefs could not come close to the local chefs. For example the chefs shrimp taco included big beautiful shrimp sauteed in butter. The dinning room copy of this dish included tiny tasteless shrimps. Generally the food was average to poor in both the Lido and Main Dinning room. The items were repetitive, using cheap ingredients, and poorly prepared. This ship is designed for short sailings and no adjustments for a 21 day cruise. The only bright spot was the Indian food on the Lido deck. The comic style of the comedians was vastly different on the Dream compared to the Miracle out of LA. The LA comics were witty and appealed to my West Coast sense of humor. The Dream comics were oriented toward the largely Southern passengers and most of them were not funny to me. The cabins were nice and the cabin attendants did a good job. In fact giving the lack of public space on the Dream I suggest getting a balcony cabin since you will have to retreat to your cabin a lot to enjoy the cruise. The entertainment on board was sub-par with lackluster stage shows. Only two pools with close to 4000 passengers meant on good days at sea the pools were overcrowded. The sauna wasn't hot enough. The fitness center was way too small for 4000 people. There was no forward looking lounge at all which mean that the ship felt cramped and boxed in. We went to some unusual destinations that I enjoyed. I especially liked Bonaire and Dominica. Unique destinations. I don't know if Carnival will continue these journey cruises. The longer cruises appeal to an older crowd who are retired. And that was the bulk of the passengers. People in the 50 to 70 age range who are retired. This crowd didn't buy as many excursions, pictures, and drinks which are where Carnival makes its money. The excursions seemed overpriced and lacking creativity. Carnival did a good job for the 1700 people who were going back to back. They made getting off in Puerto Rico and back on later in the day very easy. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
The ship overall is ok however it needs cleaning and updating and excursion people need training. The Bad - We had room 9400. That is directly below the Lido deck where they are constantly banging around. From midnight to 3 am ... Read More
The ship overall is ok however it needs cleaning and updating and excursion people need training. The Bad - We had room 9400. That is directly below the Lido deck where they are constantly banging around. From midnight to 3 am they would be moving something upstairs and you could hear the noise. Don't expect a quiet nap on sea days. The biggest problem was the smell. We complained 3 times about something that smelled like garbage or sewage. The odor was not coming from the bathroom and could be smelled in the halls. Speaking to others along the back end of the ship on the same floor we found they had the same impression. The smell was not strong except when the room was closed up. Leaving the balcony open worked but with the weather being so hot leaving the door open was not a practical solution. Our discussion with the cruise director on the final day indicated we should have complained directly at the Guest Services desk and they "may" have been able to move us. After three complaints I would have thought someone would have mentioned that to us. Don't expect to find any healthier choices for food later at night except possibly via room service. The excursion crew on board and on shore are horribly disorganized. We arrive, were told to go one place for the tenders. After standing around, they sent us to a different place, then we ended up being sent to a 3rd place. They had tenders at all locations but the disorganization was obvious. The final complaint involves the Billing and Guest Services. Trying to reconcile the bill was difficult and impossible on the TV provided site. They don't tell you that one is a combined bill therefore you are left guessing and a wrong guess would appear to cost you $100's if you guessed wrong. Plan on a wait of AT LEAST 90 minutes to get it straightened out on the last sea day if they double bill something. Some people waited over 2 hours in line. Unfortunately, this is a typical understaffed Guest Services on the final day on most ships. The Good Casino was fun. The dealers generally friendly. The autoshuffling machines on blackjack make it much less enjoyable. The Lido staff was exceptional. Friendly, helpful. I enjoyed the serenity area for peace and quiet. Spa was nice albeit over priced. Grand Cayman is great but I would advise people to just take a cab to the Tiki Beach area and pay a la cart pricing instead of the excursion. Since we paid an extremely low rate for the balcony room, the cruise was a success for us. I would not go on this ship again until it is updated and thoroughly cleaned. As long as it is used every week, I am guessing that the odor from the pipes won't go away. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
This was a our annual mid year family vacation. We love cruising and have only ever cruised with Carnival. That has now changed. I will start with the general info. The ship itself didn't have the cheesy decor most of their ships ... Read More
This was a our annual mid year family vacation. We love cruising and have only ever cruised with Carnival. That has now changed. I will start with the general info. The ship itself didn't have the cheesy decor most of their ships have, actually it was different and somewhat pretty. It was clean but it was worn in a lot of places. The service wasn't very good. The employees, for the most part, were unhappy and it showed more often than not. It almost seemed like we were a burden to them. There were a few who were good at their job and seemed happy (dining room at dinner only), there were a couple who you could tell were only smiling because they had to to get tipped(bars and housekeeping), and there were many who showed obvious disdain for having to serve you (bars, guest service, pool area). The food quality has diminished over the years. The food options were nil around the ship, there was even one night about 9PM I was unable to find any food unless I wanted pizza or a sandwich from the grill (both with lines). The website said there was sushi on board, but we were told once we boarded they no longer have it on this ship. The entertainment options were minimal. There was only one 'show' and the rest were trivia, games and a couple of nights of comedy. This 'show' was the same one we saw last year while traveling on the Sunshine. Coming on and off the ship was a breeze so that was nice. The excursion we took in Cozumel was just OK. We took a similar one a few years ago and it was great, this one was uneventful, nothing to write home about. Forget trying to go to Progreso. The people will not allow you to walk by their tent/store without trying to sell you something 'for almost free' (their words). I know it is a poor area but it isn't worth the hassle so we immediately turned around and went back to the port area. They aren't so bad there and their drinks are a heck of a lot less expensive than any where else. BUT, the biggest problem we had with this cruise was with the way security handled an incident which happened on the first day. My husband left cash, a special coin given to him by his children for father's day and a money clip (all together) laying on the dresser when we went to breakfast. My husband noticed it was gone when we got back later that morning but he thought I had put it in the safe when in fact I did not. We turned the room upside down looking for it before going to guest services to report the items missing from the room, hoping we had just thrown it in a drawer or something. They handled it reasonably well, without expression or apology, but methodical procedure for documenting the incident. We never accused anyone of taking the items from our room, only stated what was missing. They said they would have security contact us when we returned from our excursion. They did do as said and my husband met them in the atrium to discuss. The first person he met with was okay and told him they would have to have him fill out some paperwork and search our room, but he said someone else would come and do all of that. So, another man arrived and asked some questions, including if we had other rooms. We did have another room. He said they would have to search both rooms. He had no problem with that. They went to our kids' room first since it was on the same level as the atrium. The conversation spiraled out of control with the security officer practically accusing, but definitely implying, that my husband got drunk and lost the items, or our children took them from our room. He also wanted him to complete a form telling how much money he brought on board, how much he had spent, what he spent it on, etc. That did not set well with my husband and he told him he would not provide that information because it had nothing to do with the missing items. Let's just say it went from bad to worse as it moved back out to the atrium from our kids' room. Our intent was to really just let Carnival know items were missing from the room so they could keep an eye on personnel with access to our room. We never expected to get the money back but did hope to at least get the coin back since it had sentimental value. My husband did approach our steward and tell him the items were missing. He appeared to know nothing about it. We don't want to think he did it because he didn't seem to be the type, but one never knows these days. We are business owners and if a customer of ours has an issue we hope they would let us know so we can keep an eye on things, seek to improve, make amends, etc, in order to keep the customer. Carnival sent a letter to the stateroom the next day and said the matter was closed, probably because my husband told the security officer to forget it (in a few choice words). They totally handled the situation inappropriately. If we could have finished the cruise without spending another dime with them we would have, but it just wasn't feasible since it was only day two of the cruise.I am very disappointed in the way they handled this. My husband admits he also could have handled it better, but he felt like they were calling him a liar, thief and troublemaker. I am the more level headed of the two, but I don't know that I would have handled it any differently. The officer may have been doing the investigation per procedure, as he said, but his condescending attitude (and words) and body language showed and meant more than the procedural words coming out of his mouth. On a good note, if you are already booked on this ship try and get Ram as your headwaiter, early seating Imagination dining room. He's a great guy. And, we had some great dinner guests at our table. I hope your future cruise will be better than ours. Sad to say we will never cruise with them again, for several reasons, but this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm told by many Celebrity is the way to go :) Happy Cruisin! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This is our 4th cruise and unfortunately the Dawn disappointed. I am by no means a snob however the previous ships including the Jewel, Sun and Epic were superior in their accommodations, food and on board entertainment. The balcony cabin ... Read More
This is our 4th cruise and unfortunately the Dawn disappointed. I am by no means a snob however the previous ships including the Jewel, Sun and Epic were superior in their accommodations, food and on board entertainment. The balcony cabin was in a good location however what struck me as terrible was the rock hardness of he bed. The sleep quality of a vacation is paramount. The lobster night which was provided on previous cruises was absent. We did have lobster in the specialty restaurants but it was stringy and overcooked. For a $30 service fee, i would expect better. The Royal caribbean ship porting at cosumel had a lobster night, why not NCL? The servers said they were using a different menu... From a school cafeteria perhaps. Buffet ... meh. Comp dining.... meh. If you are trying to cut costs NCL, wrong place to do it. The housekeeping staff was excellent. Filled out a positive comment card for our steward. This will be our last cruise with NCL and perhaps our last cruise. All inclusive resorts are looking better and better. Read Less

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