Age: 31 to 40
Number of Cruises: 3 to 5
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Dream
Sailing Date: December 3rd, 2000
Itinerary: San Juan - Miami
This was the third cruise I had the opportunity to take. Others being Royal Caribbean and Princess. We were able to get a great fare on Norwegian and went with friends we met on the Princess cruise. While we had a nice time, I will not travel again on a Norwegian cruise ship.
The Food: The food reminded us of Denny's. We never once finished an entire meal, nor asked for seconds. The dining room was not as clean as the other cruise ships. Our tablecloth had food stains on it two nights, and glassware had to be sent back for being dirty. The morning orange juice was similar to tang--it was not made from real fruit juice or concentrate (and we went to Florida!). The other cruise experiences I had offered food I raved to friends and family about afterward. The group of people we interacted with (about 30) all seemed to comment on either the inferior food quality or the demise of the food if they had traveled on NCL before they were purchased by Star cruise lines.
The Service: After the first night, the staff on Royal Carribean and Princess remembered our names and were amazingly attentive. The dining room staff on NCL didn't remember our names or our dining preferences. They seemed to lack a caring attitude. This extended from our busperson to the maitre 'd.
A Food Exception: We dined one night in the Bistro, a more private dining room which each guest pays an additional fee to attend. The Filet Mignon was among the best I have had, and the service was easily on par with Princess cruise we took prior. A very nice dining experience.
The Shows: We attended each of the shows and enjoyed each. We were fortunate to have an especially talented comedian, and the performers put on a entertaining and sophisticated performance which was a lot of fun.
The The layout of the Dream is slightly awkward. To get from one side of the ship to the other on deck 9, passengers had to go through the dining room. Having guests in tank tops and shorts traveling through the dining room during formal night hindered an already challenging evening for the ship. The disco and the main theater also were designed so that guests had to walk through them to go from one portion of the ship to another. The grand atriums of the Royal Carribean and Princess ships were missed on this NCL ship which did not have an atrium of any type.
OVERALL: The Dream is a nice ship, which seems to have been neglected. The majority of the crew had a very low moral which one could sense. The negative feeling was especially strong in the dining areas. The food was really disappointing. We had a wonderful time with our friends, and enjoyed meeting new people. It is sad that some people will think that all cruise ships are as bland as this NCL ship was. If you are considering a NCL cruise, you may want to ascertain whether others are experiencing the same quality food and moral as this ship had. I can't wait for our next cruise--but it won't be on NCL.