Hi Matey Minnetonka.................

Welcome to the world of cruising, if your lucky you might meet Captain Jack Sparrow on your voyage. If your not looking to hard you might get to meet me. Bon Voyage............... Where and when ar you sailing, tell us about your trip?



Well thank you TropDaddy you are probarly right I will have more luck seeing you then Jack Sparrow...=COOL. Well as I said this my first time and I am very excited. It looks like you and I are on the same cruise...:D.. So I am celebrating my 40th b'day and I figured what better way then take a cruise!!!!!!!!!!



Hello.. my wife and I are first time cruisers ever and booked on the Gem on oct 8 out of london (dover) this is the first for the gem ,12 night med cruise...I ve red some pretty awful reviews since booking.
Now i had to really use the hard sell on my wife to get her to even consider a cruise for our hard earned vacation, she even wanted to cancel and we tried but were informed that it would cost 2000 dollars to cancel...????? this was the very next day after we booked..We decided it better to go on the trip as getting nothing for 2000 dollars was a little unreasonable. Well I got my way and we are really looking forward to the cruise but the reviews ar kinda scaring me a little ...are these just jackasses with nothing better to do than be foul people and complain about everything?? or is the bad press justified,I hope we fare better than they "think " they did.
this has got to be a great time ot i will forever be spending my vacations sleeping in a tent or driving counless hours...SIGH

Don Clark

Don't worry about the bad reviews.

I believe too many set very high expectations on service.

It's not how well they serve you that counts, but how much fun you have on your cruise. Any cruise ship on any cruise line is going to come up short if you expect 5 Star service all the time.

If you go expecting to have fun, you will.


Frank & Sharon,

The only complaint I have ever made about NCL was the issue of optional formal nights, because my wife and I like to dress formally for the evenings. Other than that, NCL has been a great line to cruise on and I would recommend them to anyone.


We are sailing NCL for the first time in January … I hope we will not be disappointed.

OK, dumb question about tipping for the restaurants you do not pay for.... do the tips passengers pay just get pooled and split evenly amongst all of the wait staff??

What if you have superb service one night and sub par service the next??? The wait staff that was crappy gets the same amount as the one that was great?



Masq: The tips go into a pool and are doled out to some kind of scale used by the cruise line...some money is also put aside for employee benifits and such...but I did not encounter any bad service at all on my cruise a matter of fact it was a little embarrasing as we were treated like royaly the whole time...this company realy has some incredible employees.
My wife and I are in the service industry and were very impressed.
Just look at your bill everytime you sign for anything and note that a tip has already benn included.
Think of the tip pool on that ship at least 100 bucks a person with 2500 guests on board??plus bar and all the other tips...every criuse..for 8 months...I think they make out fine
enjoy your cruise...Frank & Sharon

Don Clark

I had a great time aboard the Sun almost two years ago. Whereas I agree the Le Bistro is a good choice, I also recommend Il Adiago for some great Italian cuisine. I liked to hangout at the Windjammer Bar and nearby Cigar Bar best. The Sun's decor is not as far out as NCL's newer ships.
Have a great cruise.


I am not a veteran by any means (3 cruises, all NCL) but I would like to comment. We are attracted to the Free Style concept because we are fairly independent and like to make our dining flexible so that is why we have chosen NCL. Having said that, I have to say that we have had different experiences on the three NCL cruises we have taken. The first was Pride of Aloha, back in the day when they were struggling to stay afloat. It was our first cruise and we didn't know any better and we had a nice time. It was Hawaii after all! The second was on the Star to Alaska. We were very impressed! Complementary fruit basket in the room, robes in the closet, much larger state room, quality entertainment ( There was a Second City troupe on board that did 2 excellent shows). Our third cruise was two weeks ago. The Pride of America in Hawaii. What a disappointment. There were numerous areas on the ship that were sectioned off with yellow "caution" tape, including the elevators! Service in the regular dining rooms was average to bad. The dessert selection was great if you like cheesecake. It was as if there was a giant vat of cheesecake mix and they just added different flavors to it to create the different desserts. We were not expecting to be pampered, but we were expecting something a little better than dining at Dennys. One evening, it took us almost 2 hours to finish our meal and the restaurant was not crowded. The wait staff did indeed act indifferent and seemed to try to "act" professional, but really had no clue how it was done.
All in all, the fact that we were in Hawaii made up for everything. And I think that is what NCL is counting on. We left the ship every day and explored the beautiful islands and that it made it worth it.


Well my friends, we leave next week! I promise I won't review until I am back. I am looking forward to it and will let ya'll know how it shook out!:wave


I wonder if your experience had to do with the refurbishing getting the POH ready to leave Hawaii? That is my guess.

It does sound like you made the best of the situation. yes, Hawaii can be a wonderful vacation spot, one of the loveliest in the world.