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Sail Date: April 2015
Embarkation tips Taxi to New Orleans port was the way to go they have a separate entry for taxi's for quick dropoffs! Norwegian Dawn a nice ship not many bells and whistles compared to todays newer ships. Food ranged from ... Read More
Embarkation tips Taxi to New Orleans port was the way to go they have a separate entry for taxi's for quick dropoffs! Norwegian Dawn a nice ship not many bells and whistles compared to todays newer ships. Food ranged from Decent to Very Good at the main restuarants, Buffet was decent. food is available all day and 24/7. The Bar Staff was well trained and the bartenders knew their stuff. Entertainment was in a word Fantastic "Oh what a night": a las vegas Jersey boys type show was fantastic, Josie and Patti - Neil Diamond show brought down the house, The acrobats were outstanding and showdown was a very good show as well. The other musicians throughout the ship were excellent as well the guy on the piano at gatbys was a very good Frank Sinatra crooner. Our Room 9522 was a balcony small but functional a nice place to get some quiet and watch the ocean! Cruise 12 days had a decidly older crowd so if you wanted a chair around the pool you could easily find it but people are still annoying with their lounger saving and they never show up. Shore excursions: Aruba - Kukoo Kunuku beach transfer is basically a open air bus with music where you go through parts of Aruba visit a small chapel then head to a decent beach white sand very nice. side note Aruba is like the arizona of islands Catus everywhere very dry island. Curacao - Sea Aquaruim and beach by boat - best excusion of the trip the sharks, Sea Lions, Pink Flamingo and Dolphin Shows were excellent and after the beach was a nice quite place with a quiet bar to relax Curacao is my new fav Carribean Island. St. Maarten - Airport beach was worth to at least see once but is very crowded! St. Thomas - Treelime Zipline tour is a excellent thrilling and safe zipline a good time was had by all worth the money! Tips: If you need to do Laundry NCL has a bag of landry special for 25$ at least once a week. Gold Members get a 25% discount on Landry and Platinum Members get a free bag of Laundry. Debarkation Tips in Boston was a breeze pay 5/10 dollars and use a porter you get priority on taxi's plus if you have a lot of luggage it really helps. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was a 19 day repositioning cruise out of New Orleans. Many stops: Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Boston, Bermuda, returning to Boston. My husband & I are both Platinum level, have sailed on NCL for over 100 nights ... Read More
This was a 19 day repositioning cruise out of New Orleans. Many stops: Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Boston, Bermuda, returning to Boston. My husband & I are both Platinum level, have sailed on NCL for over 100 nights over the past 3 years. Each ship has their pluses and minuses. We had sailed on the Dawn this past December over Christmas and it was not good at all. This cruise, however, was much better. EMBARKATION: Embarkation in New Orleans is always easy. They know what they are doing. Too many people complain about it because they try to board too early. The ship is barely emptied at 10, needs to be fully cleaned. What do people expect? We always come around noon. Never have to wait in the off-shore waiting room which indeed is horrible. We check in, board ship and then head to the Venetian Room for a nice leisurely lunch. Most people rush to the buffet, which is a huge mistake. When we are finished our room is ready. We've been lucky about luggage, have never had to wait for it to arrive. We were traveling with my elderly parents (Daddy turned 86 and Mom 82 during the cruise) and they loved it. This is their 4th NCL cruise. (Although they are partial to Princess) Rooms were spotless, as usual. We had a wonderful room steward, Joel. DINING: We usually buy the Ultimate Dining Package but since this was going to be 21 day cruise decided not to. And I must say I am so glad we didn't. We ate in AQUA most nights and it was superb. The specialty dining restaurants get a bit old, the menu never changes. In AQUA it was hard to choose, the food was all excellent. I read these awful reviews and can't imagine what these people are eating. Everything is great! We did eat in the Bistro twice and were very disappointed, AQUA was much better. The sushi was also wonderful. We ate there 3 times and each time was great, and very reasonable. BAMBOO (Asian restaurant) is attached to the sushi and is now a no charge restaurant. Also very good. The buffet is NEVER good. Avoid at all costs. Upstairs at the Bimini Bar they serve fabulous hamburgers, hot dogs & thin fries everyday from 12-6. If you want to avoid the crowds in the buffet and poolside, that's the place to go. Overall I found the restaurant & bar staff to be very happy and efficient. In December we had the opposite. The Hotel Director is a bit of a snob. Does not seem very happy in his job. Armando da Silva, the Hotel Director on the Spirit is the epitome of a great HD. He greets everyone, makes you feel like a VIP. Go figure. The Maitre D's were more hands on this trip as well. (Especially Jaime in AQUA) CASINO: I like to gamble, my husband not at all. In December I thought it had to be the worst casino on any NCL ship. This time when I walked in I was greeted by the Casino Shift manager (Martin) and the Executive Host, Sharon, who were on the Baltic cruise I took last May. What a difference they have made. Ashtrays emptied, great drink service, happy dealers - a totally different casino. I still lost too much money, and they got rid of my 2 favorite Keno games, but it was nice place to be. Sadly, Martin & Sharon are moving to the Breakaway in May so it will probably be crappy again. ENTERTAINMENT: Same old, same old. When you sail as much as I do on NCL it gets boring. I cannot stand the lead singers, they are too loud, disguising mediocre voices (except for Henry, the English dude). The dancers are good. My father loved the Irish singer/storyteller and my parents LOVED Jose & Patty. Said their daytime show was the best show they'd ever seen on a cruise ship. Sadly Jose & Patty were getting off in Boston. INTERNET: Instead of worrying about minutes my husband purchased the unlimited internet option for the duration of the cruise. It was $25/day. Best purchase. The service was very fast considering. Stan, the internet cafe manager is very nice. PORTS: We generally avoid all things booked through the ship. Except SCUBA diving. Aruba: Horrid, filthy. If I am there again I'd stay on the ship. Husband enjoyed his SCUBA diving. Curacao: Gorgeous. We did the Irie tour bus right off the ship (NOT through the ship). $25 per person. Free sodas & beer. Excellent. Highly recommend. ST. MAARTEN: Husband went SCUBA diving. Mom, Dad & I took cab into town and had nice lunch at beachside cafe. Nothing special. ST. THOMAS, VI: Nice. Cab into town. Found a bus tour that took us around town. Good. BERMUDA: Fabulous. King's Wharf is great. Ferry is great. Love it! We booked a tour through Ricky's that I had seen on trip advisor. Not good. Would not recommend. Loved Bermuda although it is quite expensive. DISEMBARKATION: Boston. Very well organized. Long taxi queue though. All in all a nice trip. I still love NCL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
There was good and not so good. The crew were the friendliest of all my RCCL cruises. I only wish the high price charged for internet was worth it. Waiting to get online was unacceptable. Food in the Dining Room was average. A new ... Read More
There was good and not so good. The crew were the friendliest of all my RCCL cruises. I only wish the high price charged for internet was worth it. Waiting to get online was unacceptable. Food in the Dining Room was average. A new menu was being introduced. I would have liked a couple of "Wow" meals. For entertainment, I enjoyed the movies by the pool best of all. Getting off in Boston was poorly organized. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We are RCI Diamonds so we have a lot of experience with Royal. We found the departure and disembarkation excellent. We are both 69 years old, but this cruise made us feel young. We have never seen so many cruisers on walkers, canes and ... Read More
We are RCI Diamonds so we have a lot of experience with Royal. We found the departure and disembarkation excellent. We are both 69 years old, but this cruise made us feel young. We have never seen so many cruisers on walkers, canes and scooters (good for them...they are still traveling!). We think that is why our walk off with luggage was so quick as most people could not carry there own luggage. We had an ocean view stateroom on deck 3. The room was as expected...clean and fresh. Our stateroom attendant was very courteous as were many of the other stateroom attendants we met. They provided excellent service. As far as entertainment went. We saw three movies. Two on the outdoor screen and one in the too small theater (40 person). The first Serenade production show was a bit uneven and the cast seemed to be not in sync. The second production show was excellent. Everything just clicked. There several dark nights in the theater....and there was the usual game show with spouses. We felt that there could have been more entertainment provided. There were no shows on the Atrium although the equipment was in place to have one. In the Schooner bar one night, the trivia game was hosted by what seemed a 'wasted' host. The next time she evening she appeared to be a bit more in control. We got our drinks there as the Diamond Lounge was overflowing and they seemed to be the best drinks on the ship. Great service there, but a bit noisy. Dining was OK...not great. The menu was heavy on chicken and fish. There were not as many beef selections as on other cruises. Our waiters were just OK on one night then great on another night...so call it a bit spotty. The Windjammer served diner, but it was mostly 'stew' type selections. We were going to try Rita's Cantina. We didn't go because we found that we would the only people there. Chops was good as usual...finally got a good beef selection. The ship condition could use a good inspection. We found several retaining bars with loose screws....one in an elevator. Overall, it was good voyage with interesting ports. However, this was not the best cruise with have been on with Royal. Read Less

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