First of all, I want to start this review by saying I do not wish to be slammed but am offering my opinion on our cruise. This is my fourth cruise, first with NCL. I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t resist the new ports of call and the low price. I have always sailed Carnival before and always sailed out of New Orleans. Our group ages were 49, 47, 18, 24 and 23. To start it off, seems the TAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had been invited to a luncheon and tour on the Dream. Yes, at the same time new passengers were to embark. There was no parking at the pier with us arriving at 1030AM. Seems you needed a NCL Latitudes card to park. Hmmm this is a new terminal for NCL and just how many folks were on this cruise for the first time? Answer is LOTS!!We parked at the Hilton after DH let us off at the terminal. We were in the first group of travelers in line. We sat and watched the TAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s board till about 1200 then NCL locked the outside doors so no one else could come in. I felt so sorry for the elderly folks standing in the heat. I overheard one person saying they heard an elderly woman say she had a hip replacement and ask for a chair and was denied. We were not allowed anywhere near the doors as security was standing there and would not let you let anyone in or close to the door. I would have gladly let the elderly have my spot. That is cruel and poor planning to have them stand in the heat...My DH went up to an NCL clerk to ask a question and was toldÃ¢â‚¬Â I am only one person, I am doing my bestÃ¢â‚¬Â. Finally after 1:30 PM we boarded. It seems no one at the debarking desk had any experience and was totally overwhelmed. We toured the boat and saw that the Dream was very pretty and nicely decorated. It was also very clean. We went up to the sports deck and had lunch. About 4:00 PM the captain announced the lifeboat drill would be delayed due to folks still not boarded and in the terminal. About 430 PM the drill started. We saw lines of people waited in the terminal to board. The NCL crew had a list of names at each muster station but guess what?? It was the list of last weeks passengers!! People were so hot and tired of standing that they walked off! We had a drill for about 45 minutes! I thought it was against the law to have a drill with 60% of the passengers not on board. At 600 PM the captain announced we would be 1 hour late leaving New Orleans. At 630 PM the pool bar ran out of Bud Lite! Seems NCL did not research the age and alcohol consumption for its new port of debarkation. The bar tender told me they would have more Bud Lite tomorrow (Monday) but that didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make me feel any better. The bartender also told me that the average age sailed on prior sailings of the Dream were folks in their 60Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. I wondered why Kenny G was playing around the pool and very few staff were walking around with frozen drinks to sell. Seems they were not prepared for the change in the passengers. Finally, at 8PM we left New Orleans. Fellow passengers said we had it easy, as they had waited 5 hours to board. That night, we burned up in our cabin. Number 1 phone call to report the problems with the AC. Day 2 Lines and lines waiting to get a table at the freestyle restaurants. All food places close at 945 PMÃ¢â‚¬Â¦No 24 hour food available. Called room service, waited 2 hours for a sandwich. Tried the discoÃ¢â‚¬Â¦almost went to sleep while listening to the elevator music. Asked DJ to kick it upÃ¢â‚¬Â¦finally some 80Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s music was played. Went to get our photo that was taken as we boarded and noticed that there was only about 50 photos. I asked the clerk what had happened and she said folks were too mad to have their photo made! Day 3: Lines and lines waiting to get a table at the freestyle restaurants. Omelet bar closed down at 10AM. ThenÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.the engines went dead on the ship,Ã¢â‚¬Â¦..the captain came on and accounted we were in no danger but had no power..After about 45 minutes with still no power, the announcement came overhead. Free water and soda. WOW, I am already 2 hours short on my vacation because we left New Orleans late, now we are also shorted 2 hours in Cozumel, if we ever get there. Finally the boat gets power and we dock in Cozumel, yep, 2 hours late. Folks had their excursions canceled and had to scramble and re book another. Cozumel was wonderful and helped us overcome our frustration from the cruise boat!!! Made 2nd call to report that our cabin was so hot we couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sleep. Oh, did I mention still boring music by the pool. Kenny G or some girl singing the same 5 songs over and over and over. Day 4 Roatan was horrid! I had read to bring bug spray and did but even after spraying, we were covered in bug bites. We should have stayed on board as a lot of folks did. Went to FosterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and it was ok but very hard to find our ride. The pier was stacked with people begging for you to use their taxi and probably 10 people told us they were FosterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s. Be prepared for the begging and the kids begging for your shoes, hat, etc. Heartbreaking!! Listened to elevator music by the pool. Lines and lines waiting to get a table at the freestyle restaurants Made 3rd call to report A/C not putting out cold air. Day 5 Belize was wonderful. We did the cave tubing using the ship excursion and loved it. Did both caves then was served a very good lunch. A large air conditioned bus took us to the cave and the tour guide was great! Highly recommend this tour! Lines and lines waiting to get a table at the freestyle restaurants Made 4th call to report A/C not working. Day 6 or aka Tender from Hell Got on the tender at 9AM as we were first to tender as we had an excursion booked thru the ship. Got to the pier at 11AM!!! It took 2 hours to tender to Cancun. They packed and packed folks. The elderly were struggling to get on the tender. It was very unsafe for them. They should have board first and had a place on the first row. Again, very poor planning!!! We loved Cancun. Parasailed, shopped, went to Senior Frogs and Fat Tuesdays. DH was not on the first tender with us as he did not book an excursion and couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tender till after 1130AM and it still took over 1 hour to tender. He walked around and was so upset that he tendered back to the ship and decided enough was enough, to the pursers office he went to tell them to fix the A/C or get us another cabin. Finally maintenance comes to the room, feels the vent, take the cover off, puts it back on and said the A/C is fine. DH said Ã¢â‚¬Å“No, feel, no air is coming outÃ¢â‚¬Â and maintenance begins to argues with him!! Tenders so packed with people that we are 2 hours late leaving Cancun. I say haha to the captain. We waited on you in New Orleans. Now your turn to wait on your passengers! Once again, Seems NCL did not think everyone would want to see Cancun and did not have enough tenders available. Lines and lines waiting to get a table at the freestyle restaurants Cabin hot as it can be at night. Day 7 Bored, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care to do cognac and cigars for a nighttime activity, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care to do art actionsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Casino is tight and not paying. So I guess we will get ice cream.. Wrong., closed at 445PM. I know what we can doÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Lines and lines waiting to get a table at the freestyle restaurants. Went to hear the comedian and he was great.. He put down the cruise the whole time. Called Cancun Spanish for slow tender!!! Crowd loved that! All in all, the islands were great except for Roatan. The cruise was just not for us. I believe NCL will have to make great changes if they plan to cater to the passengers that will leave out of New Orleans. More activities, 24 hour food and safer tendering. It was really evident that our opinions of this cruise were not alone when all you heard was complaints from fellow passengers. One man told us he thought it would take 5 years for NCL to recoup what harm this cruise had done for its business. To each their own but this was our Norwegian Nightmare Cruise. \\\\|//// \ (o o) / -----oOOo-(_)-oOOo----- Isabel (Ya Ya name: Duchess Baby of the Family) __ /7__/7__/7____ \::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ November 2nd, 2003. Norwegian Dream Our Dream Cruise to Remember! Larry & Isabel and Tyler, JoJo & Lauren Cruiser's on the Dream!!! If you can walk outside and see only water, it is a great day indeed.