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Arlene Jones

Age: 51

Occupation:Senior Programmer Analyst

Number of Cruises: 1st

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Dream

Sailing Date: October 15th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

NCL
Norwegian Dream Cruise Review
7-Day Western Caribbean

Arlene Jones
This was my very first cruise! It is now known as my voyage on the Norwegian Nightmare!

I had to fly in from Chicago. I never received a call about the late sailing. I had to be at the airport at 6:30am for a 9:15 am flight. I didn't eat before going to the airport. Flight didn't include food and upon arriving in Houston, in the excitement of getting from the airport to the ship, still didn't eat.

When we arrived at the dock, bus had to drive in circles until NCL decided what to do with our large group (50 people). Finally they took us to the lot and said we could drag our bags to the huge tent and wait there. Inside the tent, tired and hungry for food, NCL welcomed us with cookies, cake, over-watered orange juice and water. I was mad at myself for not eating, but knowing that the ship was still disembarking, NCL could have at least had sandwiches or more fruit and less sugary snacks.

1500 passengers were all being held up from boarding due to the NCL Nightmare arriving in port late. The tent had seating for 100. Way to go, NCL!

After waiting for about two hours or more, we were finally directed to go into the dock are for check-in. Me and all 1499 others were there. I have seen shorter lines at Six-Flags when a brand new ride opened! Now why is it for 2 hours NCL had us in an over crowded tent and not once did they try to do small group of check ins?

Finally got on board. Cabin 6022 was very nice and not as small as I had been told it would be. Beds were comfortable and room looked clean! First night I had food from top deck BBQ and it was OK. However, that area is very cheap with the BBQ meat for some reason. If you want chicken, they give you one piece. Yet in the Sport Bar with the steam table food, people could pile on all they wanted.

We tried almost all the restaurants. Again noted that at the sit down restaurantes, NCL is very cheap with the bread and butter. 8 of us at a table and we got exactly 8 pieces of butter. We wanted more rolls and the baskets came with bread slices and rolls. No one wanted the bread slices, but wanted rolls. Some of the wait staff were less than enthusiastic when it came to serving. Especially in the Four Seasons restaurant. We had a standing 8:30 dinner for our group. One waiter from Panama was fantastic. We even tipped him as he kept everything in motion the way we liked to be served. The rest were so-so. We asked for ice tea and it seemed like we had resentment out of the staff. Food was better in here than on BBQ on Deck 10. We ate in The Terrace twice and food was very good. Wait staff still was off.

Worst night of all. One of my group asked the Captain on Monday how does one get to have dinner with him as we saw him so doing in the Terrace Restaurant that night. He told us to meet him there on Thursday (we were in port on Tuesday and Wednesday) at 7:00 pm and we too could have dinner with him. My group all dressed up, invited a couple we had met and did as instructed. NO CAPTAIN! NO ONE IN THE RESTAURANT WAS AWARE OF WHAT HE HAD TOLD US. While the waitstaff tried for over an hour to contain the Captain (and the ship is not THAT LARGE)we were left sitting in the hall way all dressed to the nines! It was absolutely embarrassing! We had told many ship mates about our dinner with the captain and like a teenager on a first date, there we were left waiting, stood up by the Captain and his first mate. We were finally seated, but a bitter taste remains.

I found the activities lacking on a ship that spent over 48 hours at sea. The NCL Sun left after we did on Sunday at 4:00 and was in Cozumel when we pulled in loading to take off!

I did sign the petition regarding the cruise. I thought the pools were rather small. I learned napkin folding, fox trot, line dancing sat thru 2 jewelry discussions on pearls and emeralds.

Anothe interesting item, on Wednesday the ship scheduled the movie Mr and Mrs Smith with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. That was during a time we were in port in Progresso. Yet no good movies while at sea? Why was that?

As we were at sea, I did learn to play the slots and roulette. Nightclub was small. Ship is older and could stand some upgrades or be used for shorter cruises.

I wrote NCL and I was on Deck 6 and above my head was the running/walking track. Some of my inconsiderate shipmates would run before 8sm even thought signs asked them not to. So I got to wake up to the thump-thump-thump until I figured out what it was. Wish the ship would enforce the jogging rules as well as the "no blue jean shorts" in the restaurants (Terrace).

I will never again give NCL my money. They lied to us and said the NCL Sun wasn't going to Belize and I understood it did. Why didn't we go to Cancun as promised since it was around the corner from Cozumel? Why didn't they increase activities and options knowing that we would be at sea an extra day? How many miles out of the way did they sail so that it took an entire 24 extra hours to arrive in Cozumel????

If you are forced to be on the ship, make lemonade out of the lemons. Also check out the midnight buffet in the Sport's Bar as we had batter fried fish from their on the last night and it was EXCELLENT! There was also some Shisk Kabobs in the Casino late one night and they were better than anything at dinner. So eating at the Midnight buffet appears to be one of the better choices. Also the waffles were very good. However, the one girl kept opening up the waffle baker and when she did it too soom, the waffles would pull apart. I suggested to NCL that they give the waitstaff a timer so that they know how long it takes to cook a waffle to light, med and dark (my personal preference).

NCL owes all of us on that ship an apology as it was the "Cruise from Hell".
 

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