Number of Cruises: 1st
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Sea
Sailing Date: October 23rd, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
This was our first cruise and for the most part we had a very enjoyable time.
We had an inside state room, which to our surprise was much smaller than we had anticipated. As the comedian on board said during his routine, “I was looking for place to put the mop and I found my state room”. Ha! Well it was small, but after the ship got moving, we found that we didn’t spend too much time in the room after all. So when you’re just running in and out to shower or change clothes, it really ended up serving its purpose. The two single beds were narrow, but worked out well when put together to create a double bed. Remember, if you want the beds together; just ask your room steward, he’ll be glad to take care of that arrangement.
Even though we were with a group, we did get to spend much of our time as a couple attending whatever activities, musical and comedy shows that we wanted. The NCL Entertainers did an outstanding job with their musical shows and you could see they worked hard to please their audiences. Shows normally ran for 45 minutes non-stop. Additional entertainers such as comedian Sam Greisbaum were very entertaining.
The crew was very polite and friendly for the most part. Our room stewards were very courteous; they were always smiling and willing to help with any concerns we had. My wife had brought along a small electric fan for use in our room. We ended up needing an adapter to plug it in, no problem. Since I’m on plugs, there is an electrical outlet in the small shower room at the base of the light for plugging in an electric razor.
The food on board was good, but could use some improvement. We ate at the Big Apple Restaurant a couple mornings where there was a buffet style set up with various selections. Also for breakfast there was a waffle station and omelet station along side the pool area. Omelets were very good. For lunch we ate the various grilled items such as hamburgers and barbeque. Evening time we ate on night in the Four Seasons restaurant, food was good, but nothing to go nuts about. There are a few other restaurants on board you can try, but some also have a cover charge, which isn’t covered in your cruise price. Reminder, only milk and juice are covered by cruise price, all other beverages are extra, such as sodas and alcoholic drinks.
We took shore excursions at Cozumel, Roatan and Belize. Cozumel was first. My wife and I took a boat from Cozumel over to the mainland of Mexico and air-conditioned bus rides to the Maya “Tulum” ruins. Other than the boat ride across rough waters to the mainland, the excursion was very good.
Next stop was Roatan, which still isn’t setup very well for tourism. Most tour buses or vehicles aren’t air-conditioned. The island is still very much 3rd world and somewhat deprived of modern day conveniences. We did do some snorkeling along the Northwest shore or beach. You could rent your snorkeling gear at the beach for about $7 for flippers and goggles. We just swam out to a reef about 150 yards or so from the bank. Waters were very calm, had an enjoyable time.
Next was Belize. This location doesn’t have a dock for the ship, smaller boat tenders were used to transport tourist to and from the ship. We had scheduled an excursion prior to arriving to go cave tubing. This was a wonderful experience. We took a 45-minute ride by school bus to the base of the mountain range where the river runs through. The bus ride wasn’t all that pleasant, the driver road the brake too much. The guides for the tubing experience were very good and did well at instructing and caring for all participants.
Cancun was our last scheduled stop, but didn’t take place due to rough seas. It was unsafe to transfer passengers the tender boats, which were being thrown around due to large swells. I think it’s important to mention that the ships captain was very safety conscious by putting passenger safety first.
I would recommend this cruise to others. The ship did very well at sea, other than a little roll from side to side, in rougher seas. We can’t wait for our next chance to go.