Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Sea
Sailing Date: February 25th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Although this was our first cruise and therefore we cannot compare it to other ships and cruise lines our experience overall was fantastic. We went on the cruise with a relative who is a travel agent and has been on numerous cruises and was very helpful in pointing out the differences between the Sea and NCL versus other ships.
We ported out of Houston and the check-in went very smoothly, especially since we were moved into the VIP line. After getting on the ship we scoped out the various areas of the ship and checked out our room. After two drinks poolside we went down to our room and were pleased to see our bags had already been delivered.
The rooms we had were on the 7th floor and were somewhat small, but were clean and well maintained. We did not find the size of the rooms to be any nuisance at all since we really didn't spend much time there except to sleep. The cabin boys were extremely friendly, courteous and efficient.
The bar and restaurant staff were tremendous and made an extra effort to make sure your orders were served promptly and correctly. Very few mistakes were made the staff over the 7 day cruise- which is unbelievable considering the hours these people put in and in a variety of settings. They do tend to push the "souvenir glasses" but once you inform them you aren't interested they won't push those anymore.
Plenty of free shows and activities while on board. The NCL shows were great as were the comedian Rex ? and Magician Harry Mauer. If you saw Rex more than once he got a little old throughout the second show and really tired in the third since he was on the same topic for all three shows. Began sounding more like marriage counseling than comedy. Harry Mauer was actually funnier and more entertaining to watch.
While at sea there were three Art Auctions with free champagne and giveaways which were both entertaining and informative.
The shops on board were small but with a decent selection of items and most were very reasonably priced although shirts and hats you could get on shore for a little less.
Most of the onshore excursions and sights have already been addressed by others in this forum so I won't elaborate- for the most part it is what you enjoy doing and you can probably find cheaper excursions on shore than buying them thought he ship.
We found the nightlife on the ship to be a little dull although the Phillino Band they had was excellent and played a wide range of music- It is just that they would only play an hour or two and then have some Karaoke deal for a while. The disco was the same (literally) music every night so we only stopped in for one and left.
Food was good to excellent and the freestyle approach fit our needs much better than traditional cruises. The last thing we wanted on vacation was a routine and set times to have to do things.
I personally liked the $10 pp room charge and auto 15% on drinks method of tipping- which in my opinion promoted more of a team atmosphere among the crew. Everyone went out of their way to ensure clients needs were met.
Highly recommend this cruise and we are going again in November .