Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Sea
Sailing Date: December 4th, 2005
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line
7 day Eastern Caribbean
Eat when you want – no need to share table, great for kids
Cleanliness with lots of hand sanitizer
Wide stairs to get to each floor
Affordable with good service and entertainment
Organize and fast Disembarkment
Nice collection of readings in the library
Vacuum flush washroom just like on the airplane
Luggage almost got lost in Embarkment
Confusing layout of the ship
This was a first time cruise so it is hard to compare with other cruise lines or ships. We are a party of 4, with 2 adults, 1 senior, and 1 – 3 year old toddler. We traveled from December 4-11, 2005. We read many internet reviews and were very concern with Norwegian cruises since there were so many bad reviews. Major complaints are rude, unfriendly staff, bad entertainment, terrible food, poor customer services, and room not being ready on time, While I would not say the service was excellent, but it was not as bad as many has indicated. Yes, there will always be one or two staff that is unfriendly and impatient, but many were friendly and helpful. They are human beings after all.
Embarkment/Day 1 – Sea day
We did not book to stay in Houston overnight and decide to go in directly. Many fellow travelers did the same.
Our plane was delay for an hour for de-icing. We are from Toronto, Canada so this was sort of expected. Our plane was schedule to leave Toronto airport at 8:40 to arrive In Houston at 11:30. We did not arrive in Houston until 1:00 in the afternoon. We had to wait another hour for the transfer bus. The bus ride to the port took another hour before we arrive to the ship. The port was temporary due to devastation to New Orleans. The luggage was taken from the bus to the rooms. We tip the carrier for each person, yet we did not see our luggage until way past dinner. Apparently it went to the wrong floor. There was a lineup to get on the ship and to register your credit card. It was not very fast, but reasonable given the sheer volume of people going on board.
We went straight to our rooms (it was one of the large inside stateroom), and it was all made up which was pretty good considering the previous guest just left the ship in the morning of the same day.
We went straight to the Garden café for late lunch. It was ok, but we were starving.
We try one of the no cover restaurants on the first night. It was either the Seven Seas or Four Season. They are almost identical where the restaurant staff will alternate in both restaurants. We were tired from the long travel and decide to sleep in early.
Day 2 – Sea day
Again even with an active, talkative 3-year old, we went to the restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We went to the garden café (buffet) for fresh fruits and snacks. Didn’t do swimming as it was cloudy and rain a bit. There was live music from a band from Jamaica. They were pretty good.
Again, we got too tire and decide to sleep in early
Day 3 –Cozumel
Playa Del Carmen was cancelled and we receive a $12 credit.
We did not booked any tours in Cozumel as we heard it was badly hit by hurricanes. We did hear the snorkeling was fine. The hurricanes destroyed many trees and buildings. We went shopping instead. Didn’t buy much, but all the vendors were very pushy for a sale. We went to see the Jane Rhys and Company show at night. It consists of many acts of other shows such as Les Miserables, and etc. It was ok, and not as bad as stated in previous reviews. The tender was pretty fast and organize. It rained in the afternoon.
Day 4 – Belize City
We book a separate tour with Margret Tillett. Her email is: email@example.com She was very informative and very affable. We went to see the Mayan ruins and city tour. I would definitely recommend her. After the tour, we went shopping. It was great with no pushy salesperson. It was nice. My wife and mom had many bags before we tender back to the ship. Belize City was quite modern and very multicultural. They have many nationalities such as Spanish, Chinese, English, Middle East, etc. The tender process again was fast and organizes. They always let the passenger who book with Norwegian out first. We again went to the show and it was pretty good. Not the best, but good enough. We especially enjoyed the couple from Poland as they were performing acrobatic dances that were amazing.
Day 5 – Roatan Bay Island, Honduras
We also booked a separate with Victor of Victor Bodden tours. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org There was no tender here. Theris show us around as Victor was sick that day. The island was much more civilize than what the cruise personnel indicated. We were expecting horse and carriages, but they had roads (with no lights or stop sign), schools, companies, etc. It was a beautiful island with friendly people. They were hardly any locked doors. The children are the aggressive one here where they will try to peddle shells and etc. as compare to the adults in Cozumel. The people who booked with the cruise went to Tatiana Beach party which I heard was very crowded. Our tour guide, Theris took us to see the shipwreck, Iguana farm, and two beautiful beaches. One of the beaches was called Fantasy resort that was very nice, but the sand was not as soft. The monkeys there was quite interesting and quite a handful as they are not scare of people. The other beach was simply gorgeous with soft white sands, and beautiful coconut trees right on the beach. It was one of the best beaches that I have been. Unfortunately I do not remember the name of the beach or the resort it is in, but it was close to the middle of the island and not a far from Fantasy resort. Theris will know. Iguana farm was great for kids. It was $5 for each adult. My daughter kept feeding the iguanas and playing with monkeys. They also have Tarpans (type of fish), huge lobsters, turtles and live conches.
Shopping was good, and they have many varieties. It also rained in the afternoon.
We again went to see the show and it was the Blackstreet Boys – Alfred and Seymour. They were quite funny and entertaining.
Day 6 – Sea Day
The water was really choppy, and I was seasick. Had to take gravol and wear the wrist band for motion sickness. My daughters actually beg to go to Kid’s crew, so she must have enjoyed it. Did not see the show, but my wife say the singer was very good. Again forgot the name.
Day 7 – Sea Day
It is almost the end. We were planning to do swimming, but the weather was not very cooperative, so they went shopping on board. The gift store and others usually have some discount near the end of the cruise. It was a talent show that night. They were all pretty good.
Overall, we enjoyed ourselves. It met our expectations. The service ranged from good to very good. Only one night that we had to wait for 2 hours to finish our dinner and my wife ensure they knew about it. The staffs were friendly. If you smile, they will also smile. The seafood aboard the ship was excellent. The chicken, beef, pork, etc. were average. The dessert was ok. The ice sculptures and chocolate buffet was ok. We were quite messy (with a 3-year old) so we gave additional tip for the cleaning staff, and they seem happy. Our access card was giving us trouble for the first two days, and we had to take it to reception twice before the matter was settled. The second time, the young lady at reception was generous enough to come up with us to ensure the access cards worked. Of course with many cruises, they will try to nickel and dime the customers as with any business, but I did not have any troubles (with photos taken on board, the automatic tipping, extra costs for soft drink and beverages – We drink mainly hot tea and water so the extra costs of beverages did not affect us). Kid’s crew was good, entertainment was good, and the food is good. Simon, our cruise director was quite entertaining. The captain was ok, and the ship was in good shape. The only thing that was not so good was the weather, but that is not the fault of Norwegian.
If given a choice, I would choose the cruise again given the places we go, and the costs for the cruise.