Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Dream
Sailing Date: January 6th, 2007
Itinerary: Westerm Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Dream Cruise Review
My husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary on the Norwegian Dream just a week ago (we left January 6th-13th, 2007). We have cruised on Royal Caribbean on the Rhapsody of the Seas once before, so we aren't avid cruisers. We got a balcony suite, which was nice to have because it was roomy and has a lot of amenities to it, like breakfast in our room every morning, robes, and fresh fruit trays in the afternoons.
The ship itself is what I would consider a floating Motel 6. It's not fancy, but adequate. There is nothing spectacular about the decor and it is smaller compared to the Rhapsody of the Seas, which was much bigger and very elegant. But, we were just wanting to relax and spend time with each other, so we stayed in our room and out on our balcony most of the time.
There weren't a lot of activities, mostly trivia and bingo, a themed dance every night, and silly games in the smaller bar areas. We weren't bothered by any of this. The entertainment was good, they had comedians and magicians. They were entertaining and kept us in good humor. We did not go to any of the Broadway shows, but heard from other guests that they were good. We aren't really show people, and were disappointed on the Royal Caribbean cruise before, so we didn't bother this time.
The casino was nice, we spent a lot of time there. Everyone was friendly, and they had tournaments in every game during the week.
I read other reviews about the food on the ship and we were a little hesitant, because they weren't good, but I have to say, the food was the best thing about the cruise. It was wonderful, all of it. We gained weight and always took the stairs!!! I was very pleasantly surprised. I have to say that the system of freestyle cruising takes a little getting used to, we ended up enjoying the "restaurant" style of eating rather than the timed eating. I would say that we didn't understand how to set up dinner in the restaurants. They have three main dining areas that do not cost extra. The Terraces and Four Seasons are on opposite ends of the ship and serve the same menu. If you want to eat alone, you need to make a reservation, otherwise, they will seat you with other people at a table. We didn't really want to do this, as we were wanting alone time with each other, and ended up sitting with a much older couple the first night because we didn't know about the reservation rule. The Trattoria, an Italian themed restaurant is also free, but you must make a reservation to eat there. If you don't have a reservation they won't seat you. We didn't know about this until the third day, so that was a little frustrating. Le Bistro is the place where you have to pay an additional $15 per person, and you must make a reservation to eat there. It is much smaller than the other places, so make your reservations as soon as you can. It kind of defeats the purpose of "Freestyle" dining, having to plan out your entire dinner schedule, but if you don't you aren't guaranteed to eat where and when you want to. They announce on the second day that if you make a reservation between 5:30 and 6:30 you get two for the price of one, so that was nice. We ate there two nights, and it was worth what we paid.
The only major criticism I have is that people with small children brought their children to the nicer dining areas that aren't built for little children. Many of our dinners were ruined because of screaming or unruly children. There are no adults only dining areas or dining times. It got a little ridiculous after the first couple if nights, and we had to ask to be moved just to get away from a table.
The service was superb, everyone was nice and friendly. Our suite attendants were funny and we enjoyed them.
If you are looking for a great time on a budget with great food and not a lot of fuss, this is the perfect cruise for you. The ports were nothing too spectacular, but a nice change of scenery. We would take this cruise again.