Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Dream
Sailing Date: January 14th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL Dream Cruise Review
Our cruise on the Norwegian Dream was more than acceptable and more than anticipated, considering some negative reviews of this ship. My wife and I were aboard to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Our booking agent had secretly arranged for an anniversary package, so we were very surprised by the huge anniversary cake and bottle of champagne as well as the fully decorated cabin. Here are highlights and a couple of minor lowlights:
The ship’s personnel are fantastic...very well trained and accommodating. The crew apologized in a number of settings about the age and the lack of amenities compared to more modern ships. We found the ship to be extremely clean and well kept...from the cabin to the dining and other common areas. Their attention to sanitation was impressive. The restaurants were well managed and the food was very good and nicely presented. The longest time we had to wait for a meal was 20 minutes...most of the time we were able to walk right in and be seated. Overall, the Freestyle Dining worked for us. We enjoyed the Trattatoria Italian restaurant very much and mostly ate at Terrace and Sport’s Bar. We had our anniversary dinner in Le Bistro...nice, but probably not worth the additional price.
I was dreading the “terrible coffee” which had been reported. I wonder if NCL had responded to the complaints and made upgrades, because the coffee was fine and readily available just by walking into the Sport’s Bar or the Pizza place. We did not take advantage of the very expensive all-you-could-drink soda option...and unless you drink five or six sodas a day, it’s not worth it.
Embarkation and disembarkation was somewhat of a hassle, but tolerable. I’m not sure if there is any way they could speed up the process considering the security measures that are imposed on them. Customs was very easy.
Entertainment was very good...the director was enthusiastic and upbeat the whole week. The juggler and dancers were outstanding, and the ship’s band was quite good. We did not gamble or play bingo, but many folks seemed pleased with those venues.
We took one excursion in Cozumel.. dune buggy/snorkeling. The young men in charge were very good, and very patient with everybody, maybe a little too patient with one group of reckless drivers. Cozumel is still affected by the results of the hurricane and there is much rebuilding going on. The leeward side of the island is bare, but still beautiful. We did shore excursions on our own for the rest of the trip. The people of Roatan and Belize City were very friendly and we probably should have done an excursion in Belize. Since we were at sea for the last two days, at one point, the captain found a patch of sun and stopped to allow the passengers about two hours quality deck time!
Our only two inconveniences were inconsequential...we ordered room service breakfast and the order was apparently lost...or the door hangar menu may have been removed by teens as was suggested. We hurried up to the restaurant...were served the incidentals immediately, but didn’t get our meal for about 40 minutes. We weren’t in a hurry, so it wasn’t a problem. We received no explanation for the delay.
Overall, we were very pleased and would cruise with Norwegian again.