Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Dream
Sailing Date: February 4th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL Dream Cruise Review
I was a bit hesitant to go on the Dream after reading many negative reviews but it was the only one offering stops in Belize and Honduras. I had been cruising before on Royal Caribbean and really enjoyed it but this was my boyfriend's first cruise and I wanted him to enjoy it.
Port of Houston is far from picturesque but the ship sticks out beautifully. Lines to check in looked long but moved quickly. We were bumped up to a oceanview room on floor 7 which was convenient and the room was alot larger than my prior cruise. The duvet cover and towel animals were nice touches!
Our service was wonderful. Although freestyle cruising doesn't give you the opportunity to get to know your servers more closely, the benefits of having a quality meal whenever you want easily outweigh that. Our servers were always more than willing to do anything for us in all the restaurants and they initiated conversations with us about various ports we enjoyed. Our room steward must have watched us leave because our room was always done when we'd return, even if only gone for a few minutes.
As for our ports, we went ATV'ing in Cozumel on a ship sponsored excursion. It was pricy and crowded but fun. In Honduras we just walked around and shopped. I had booked an excursion in Belize through a private company prior to sailing and we had an excellent time. Less people, more information and a longer ride through the caves for a lot less money.
As for tipping, we found the 10 dollars a day to be easier than tipping every one who helped us each day. For those who don't like this, you can go to the desk on sailing date and they will not do it.
My only complaint was the medical department was highly overpriced. My boyfriend came down with the flu and for the doctor to tell us that he had the flu cost 50 dollars plus the cost of the medications he prescribed, some of which were unnecessary. 50 dollars (not including the meds) for 3 minutes is a bit much.
Overall, we had a great time and I am eager to book another cruise. I heard a lot of people complain about various things like the service but then watched those same people stick their noses in the air when greeted by a staff member. I heard a lot of people complain about the freestyle dining but yet NCL does a lot of promotions for this so it wasn't like they didn't have a choice prior to boarding.
If you want good value for what you are paying for, this is a great cruise and you'll have a great time. I like to think a 'bad day at sea is still better than a great day at work." If you have higher expectations and require perfection, pay more money and go on a different cruise!