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Walter Oney

Age: 51 to 60

Occupation:Software Developer/Author

Number of Cruises: 6 t

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Majesty

Sailing Date: August 13th, 2000

Itinerary: Bermuda

Our first disappointment was the size of our stateroom. The brochure showed a stateroom in the category we booked with two dressers and two windows. Ours just had one of each. It was seven and half feet wide, which left a two-foot aisle between the beds. We had to ask at the Purser's desk to get our suitcases removed (our steward initially said he couldn't do this) so we could even walk around the beds.

Although the dining room service was perfectly adequate, the seating was cramped and the food was the worst we've ever had on a cruise. Other passengers were saying the same thing. The first night, the "lamb en brochette" turned out to be meatballs, presumably of animal origin, on a skewer. Some other highlights of the cuisine included tough swordfish (how can a cook even achieve this?), cold pancakes, stale rolls, limited ice cream and yogurt flavors, a soup billed as vichyssoise that had no discernable taste, 'stir fry' in the buffet that was just overcooked stew, 'Steak Diane' that was just a regular strip sirloin steak with a special sauce, etc. The only outstanding dish was the Beef Wellington on the first formal night (there were two).

We also found the smoking situation on board intolerable. Luckily, the dining room was smoke-free (else we would not even have been on this ship). The smoke was thick enough to cut with a knife in the casino, so we held our breath time the few times we had to walk through to get to the photo shop. The crew did nothing to stop people from smoking in the halls, elevators, and lobbies, or in the supposedly non-smoking staterooms on the port side. Smokers dotted the pool area, which doubles as the seating area for the buffet, too. This is no cruise for someone who's allergic to tobacco smoke!

We took this cruise because we wanted to avoid air travel to get from our home in downtown Boston to the dock (the Majesty sails from Boston during its summer Bermuda schedule). In retrospect, it was a poor decision. I doubt that NCL will have any incentive to improve things on board, inasmuch as these cruises often sell out. Too bad-the ship itself is in first-class shape.

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