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Bill Parkinson

Age: 58

Occupation:Electronics Engineer

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Sea

Sailing Date: April 6th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean


This was my second cruise with NCL and sixth altogether. We were on the NCL Sky (now retired) in 2002.

Size does make a difference. The Sea carries about 1700 and the Sky carried 2400+. The Sky had more amenities, more bars, and more dining options and was easier to get around than the Sea. The Sea is showing its age. Cabins are small but adequate and the showers are tiny. There is plenty of storage for two people but no more, not even a child. The public areas, bars and lounges have been updates and are in better condition than the cabins. Most of the wood decking and railings are worn and need to be refinished. Elevators are small and slow. The exercise room is small and the dry sauna is tiny; there is no steam room.

The Food:
Food and service in the main dining room were very good. The freestyle dining was excellent. We only waited once for about 5 minutes for a table and always got the size we wanted. Sometimes we shared a table and others we had a table for two.

The Big Apple buffet was a disappointment. Food was usually warm, not hot, and there wasn't a whole lot of variety. We had breakfast and lunch on deck. BBQ in the afternoon almost every day were excellent. For breakfast, outside near the pool are an omelet station and a waffle station. Both were excellent and service was fast. The omelets are made to order and the waffles are the best I ever had. We did not use room service.

The Ports:
The ports were Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Cancun. Cancun, with all-to-wall resorts/hotels reminding me of Las Vegas without the parking lots, was our least favorite. Snorkeling in Cozumel was very good. The sea was a little choppy that day but the water was clear and warm.

We did a city tour with Bodden tours ( www.boddentours.com ) in Roatan. Victor was already booked so his brother George took us around the island. He wasn't very talkative but pointed out the things of interest and was quick to answer any questions. We bought vanilla at a grocery store for $1 per bottle. Yabba Ding Ding was a joke. Don't waste your time, just shop in the flea market along the street right outside the port gate. There is also a store offering 30% off but that was still more than the flea market and vendors around the island.

Belize was our favorite stop. We did an Altun Ha & Baboon Sanctuary tour with Margaret Tillet ( www.belizeexclusive.com ). Margaret was an excellent tour guide and very informative. She also went out of her way to find Cashew wine for $4.50 and nuts for us. She was our guide at the Mayan ruins and told us all about the Maya people and how they used the various plants for medicinal purposes. Do this tour, you won't be disappointed.

Entertainment and Activities:
The production shows in the lounges was very good, excellent if you like 60s and 70s rock and roll music. The comedian was very funny once he got going. The magician didn't do very many tricks but what he did do was amazing. Don't miss the Chocolate Goddess, excellent voice and she really belts it out.

Summary:
All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise. The ports and freestyle dining were the highlights. Am I sorry I went on the Sea? No, the NCL Sea met my expectations. Would I go again? Definitely. On the Sea? Probably not. I'd like a newer ship and larger but not a mega ship. NCL and Princess are my favorite cruise lines and I plan to take many more on both lines.

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