Rogan & Marie Pfefferkorn
Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Sea
Sailing Date: March 18th, 2002
Itinerary: Miami - Key West - Cozumel
Rogan & Marie Pfefferkorn
This was our first cruise and we took five other family members with us. This was a 4 night cruise leaving late Monday afternoon and returning to Miami Friday morning. We took this cruise based on trying to keep the price reasonable and the itinerary short.
The Norwegian Sea is a mid-size ship with about 1500 passengers. The mix was young to old. We found that the ship is showing it’s age, as many of the carpeted areas need to be refurbished, and the mattresses are well past their prime. The inside cabins are quite small (110-115 sq ft), but manageable. We chose a mid ship location on the 3rd deck (Atlantic) and found there was almost no roll effect when we were asleep. The cabin attendants were friendly and very good.
We thought the restaurant choices were pretty good. NCL’s Freestyle Cruising concept is great, because you can get your own table, if you want to sit alone. This was good for a family of seven. The Four Seasons and Seven Seas are a bit more dressy, but not formal unless you wanted to be. The buffets offered daily around the pool area were more than ample, and offered different choices daily. There was also a inside buffet aft of the pool, which also was good. Again, the wait staff was very good – they made the difference.
NCL has also instituted a program where they add $10 per day per person for tipping to the bill, then disburse to the cabin attendants, wait staff, etc. You don’t have to figure out at the end of the cruise what tips are owed to whom - they take care of it for you.
One does feel and hear engine vibrations at the rear of the ship where some of the restaurants are located, but you get used to it. Deck 6 is great for walking/jogging or just looking out to sea. The only drawback to the open areas is that there is no area for just sitting. The pool area is normally loud with kids and bands playing, and the deck area above deck 9 is just too close to the noise. But most seemed to not mind.
There is a casino if you like to gamble and some shows later at night, which we did not see. Ping Pong and workout rooms are available, but thought there should be more things to do. That seems to be a drawback with mid size ships.
This specific itinerary is short on quality time ashore – 4 hours at Key West and 7 hours at Cozumel. But, our overall opinion is that we enjoyed this cruise. The cruise staff on this ship made a great difference to us. However, we hope they refurbish this ship soon. If you are looking to get an idea of what cruising is like, this is a good introduction. It may lack the glitz, cabin size, options of the newer ships, but the ship was sold out – so this does appeal to a lot of folks.