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Considering NCL.

Discussion in 'Know Before You Go' started by Gayle V, May 2, 2001.

  1. Gayle V

    Gayle V Guest

    I asked this question on one of the other boards and am reposting here hoping to get a little more input. We are considering a cruise on the new Norwegian Cruise Line ship that will be out this fall, the Sun. (great itinerary: Cozumel, Cayman, Belize and Roatan) We have never sailed on Norwegian before and wonder what age groups are likely to predominate on this ship. I would guess that it would draw a crowd similiar to Norwegian's other fairly new ship, the Star. Could anyone familiar with Norwegian, especially the Star, offer an opinion of the passenger ages and what the night life is like? Any other NCL specifics? If you've been on NCL before can you offer any general info on them re: service, food, entertainment, especially night life or pool hours etc.? I'm especially hoping to hear if NCL' freestyle cruising draws in a younger crowd as we will have our twenty-something aged sons and daughter-in-law with us.. Thanks for any info.
     
  2. Debbie

    Debbie Guest

    Gayle, I've only been on the NCL Sea out of Houston. The crowd was pretty mixed - a lot of 20-40 crowd - maybe 30-40%... It was a pretty similar route - Cozumel, Roatan and Cancun yet you had a lot of midwestern people and a lot of new cruisers from Texas and Louisiana because of the port being close... The nightlife was pretty good - no comparison to Carnival though. They had a disco and two great deck parties late at night and of course the casino. The pools stayed open real late - we were swiming at 8:30pm one night and in the hot tub late another night - this is not possible on a lot of other cruise lines. I don't know what it is like now that Star Cruises has taken over - the crowd is probably the same and the freestyle dining sounds great! I did loose weight on this cruise as I did not think the food was up to either CCL or RCl food - I couldn't even eat the pizza and I like Totino's cheap frozen pizza! Yet we had an awesome time and would do the cruise again in a heart beat if it was still here in Houston (no air)... We are thinking of trying the freestyle dining too... I really thought they were a cross between Carnival and RCL - not as Vegas as Carnival yet not as elegant as RCL. The nightlife was in the middle too - better than RCL yet not as lively by far as Carnival... Sorry I can't be more help... :) Debbie
     
  3. Gayle V

    Gayle V Guest

    Thank you, Debbie, for your help. I'm inclined now to go back to my original choice, the Victory. I just wish it had a slightly different itinerary. We did the same islands the last time we took our kids, and something different would be nice, but I think the ship (ie: passenger mix, entertainment and food) are probably more important.
     
  4. Kelly

    Kelly Guest

    Recently I saw a comparison of stores for shopping and cruise ship line. It listed Norwegian as J. C. Penny. We have had some pleasant trips with Norwegian and although they are not the most exciting they have good prices, good choices of ports and the ship that you refer to has been stretched and at that time refurbished. Their food has been satisfactory and about what I turn out in my kitchen but I did not have to do it, so that is wonderful. All in all, they are not to be dismissed as prospects. We did the Norwegian Sky on it's inaugural transatlantic and had a very nice trip. It was beautifully decorated and had one of the most beautiful dining areas that I have seen aboard ship. I do think that they have started the new casual dining experience now and have heard that some services have fallen below standard.
     
  5. sgrane

    sgrane Guest

    My wife and I sailed NCL 9 times. They are more adult oriented, so you don't find many children on board. I give the following ratings on a 1-10

    Entertainment: 10
    Service: 8
    Ships: 8
    Food: 10
    Activities (on board): 6
    Shore excursions: 9
    Value for the dollar: 10
    Cleanliness: 10
    Embarkation: 7
    Debarkation: 5

    I give onboard activities a 6 for the following reasons: I think they schedule all the good things at once and you have to pick one (ex: Bingo, Art Auction, Pool side Olympics) and then have hours were there is nothing to do. In addition, I have found that in the past 5 years the level of the cruise entertainent staff has gone down hill (not horrible by any means, just not as good as 5 years ago.

    I would highly recommend NCL to anyone!

    Sgrane
     
  6. rox52

    rox52 Guest

    We just returned from the Sky last week. It was a 15 day transcanal, so a much older crowd than any 7 day I've been on. NCL keeps a really clean ship. I can't comment on the night life because of the older crowd. I thought the food was very good, though the presentation was uninspired. There was some sort of seafood at every dinner, prawns, fish, king crab legs, salmon, mussells......the chilled soups were devine - chilled cream of apple & cinnamon, cream of carrot & orange, raspberry, etc. I'd go back just for those soups. Our stateroom was adequate, while not large, it was fine for the 2 of us for 15 days. The feather duvet and pillows were very comfy. I liked freestyle dining alot. You get to eat when you're hungry not when you're assigned to be hungry. I didn't find that the service at dinner was lessened. Breakfast felt rushed and unorganized. The buffet food was much better than expected. The fresh cookies in the afternoon were great. Evening entertainment was very good. The daytime activities left something to be desired unless you want to do Sports Afloat stuff. I would cruise NCL again without hesitation.
     
  7. jeffstern

    jeffstern Guest

    My wife and I have been on many cruises, on several lines, and find that NCL is our favorite! Our taste in cruises runs from Carnval's Triumph to Celebrity's Zenith, Costa Allegra, and everything in between. We feel NCL is the best, all around cruise for the money. Their food is not as good as Celebrity, but it's a lot better than Carnival. The service is very good, though not excellent. Surprisingly, we found their entertainment to be the best, bar none! The ships are very nice, but nothing special. However, we have not been on their newest ships. We also have not tried "freestyle." We're even thinking of NCL for our next cruise...
     
  8. Divetex

    Divetex Guest

    Gayle V -

    We can't give you any information about the Norwegian Star, but we do have some experience with NCL. CruiseCam (my wife) is going on the Norwegian Dream on June 29th for a Baltic Capitals cruise. Then, she and I are booked for December 29th on the Norwegian Sun for the same western Caribbean itinerary you cited. We've sailed once on the Dreamward (pre-stretch - our first cruise), twice on the Norway, and once on the Norwegian Sea. Although NCL is far from being our favorite cruise line (RCI, if you're interested), they do some things very well. We preferred NCL dining room fare to the food that we experienced on the Millennium. If you like Broadway shows, you'll like NCL's entertainment. On the Belize City-Roatan-Cozumel-Grand Cayman cruise, the Dive In Program will excel. The first time we were on the Norway, we had two daughters and one son-in-law with us. All under 25 at the time, they loved the ship and the overall experience. We have found NCL's typical clientele to be somewhat more "blue collar" than other lines we've sailed, but so what? The main problem we've encountered on NCL has been their refusal to enforce their smoking/no smoking policy. Hope this helps.
     
  9. Gayle V

    Gayle V Guest

    Thank you, everyone, for all the info. I'm still uncertain which to pick, but I haven't ruled NCL out that's for sure. Especially since I've heard more than one person recommend NCL for people who like Broadway, and I'm a major Broadway freak. Divetex, if we do decide to book the Sun we'll have to wave hello to each other; as you disembark we'll be boarding, Jan 5.
     
  10. Divetex

    Divetex Guest

    Whichever ship you decide on, Gayle, here's hoping you have a super cruise. If it's the NCL Sun, we'll wave, too. B)
     
  11. Debbie

    Debbie Guest

    Gayle, One thing I have figured out is that everyone is different and sometimes the service and food on one cruiseline is different between ships. Whatever you decide I'm sure you will have an excellent time - a cruise is a cruise after all! :) Debbie
     

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