Cruising is what you make it. Whether NCL, RCL, CCL, Celebrity etc. I thought I would include a few reviews of the Pearl cruise that several passengers just came off of. They stated that this was the best cruise ever, and YES they did it on an NCL ship. So everyone out there doesn't think NCL is bad. It is sad to believe the negative remarks. We have never had a bad cruise experience on NCL, and will leave in 48 hours for the Pearl. Here's what others had to say.
Hi I am also just back from the 1/19/07 cruise.
You couldn't have asked for a better cruise its was the best one of all that I have taken so far . I agree with Cruisincarrie as she said everything I would of said except we did book our excursions thru the ship (which were more expensive) but I am still paranoid about getting back on time before sailing (had a close call several times before). We made dinner reservations after the first nite of trying to get into the main dinning room so we went to Mambos and booked something for several nites Even by booking these reservations it was still hard to get the exact times we wanted. We booked at Mambos (Mexican), Teppanyaki (Japanese), La Cucina ( Italian) (which we cancelled due to too much rum punch on the Jolley Roger in Barbados) and also in the main dinning room Summer Palace for several nites. We did not book anything for Indigo(second dining room) but did get in (just two of us) on two occassions but after 8:30 at nite. One nite we did eat in the buffet (no reservations need) because we were running between shows. We ate breakfast in Summer Palace without reservations also. So definitely if you want the speciality restaurants then you must reserve and as soon as possible as I heard after the first couple of days some of the speciality restaurants were not taking any reservations (like La Cucina) We also had a midnight snack one nite in Blue Lagoon which was very good also.(no reservations)
Again the staff on board and even the captain (who I met) was very personable and was eager to please. I think this is what made this cruise so enjoyable. I was ready to book on board for the new NCL ship coming later this year the Gem as a lot of the staff on the Pearl were transferring over to it.
My hat is off to NCL this time for such an all round wonderful job.
We were on the 1/19 sailing. We had my parents (in their early 60's), my DH and I (early 30's) and our two daughters (6 yrs. and almost 2). Keep in mind that these are just our opinions (and they will vary depending on who you ask).
Give us the most recent low down. Any sickness?
I am not aware of any sickness on board. They did an excellent job with making sure that everyone was using their hand sanitizers. We did not eat off of the buffet much, however, since I did see some people picking up food with their hands or licking their fingers or coughing and then using the tongs. It was gross, but no different than a buffet anywhere else. We stuck to the other restaurants.
Any specific dos or don'ts?
- make your restaurant reservations as soon as you board. You can always change or cancel them later.
-get to the show the first night early if you want to see it
-eat in the specialty restaurants
-ask if Suresh Kumar is still in the Blue Lagoon/Mambo's area and ask to be seated in his section (tell him that Emma and Lily sent you)
-make your shore excursion plans before you leave and see if you can use some of the local guides for a more personal experience
-try to show up to the specialty restaurants without reservations
-hog chairs by the pool if you aren't going to use them
Favorite ports? / excursions?
We loved Dominica and Antigua. We used Reyno for a tour in Dominica and it was awesome. We swam in the Emerald Pool and saw all the highlights of this unspoiled island. Your teens might like the river tubing/ziplining tour. It looked fun. I would definitely use Gordon from Antigua Beach Runner Xcursions to plan a day for you. He was so friendly and prompt. We went to Long Bay Beach and loved it. He may recommend a different beach since you have teens and we have young kids. He's the one to ask.
Thoughts on which nights to eat where?
Lobster night is the first sea day, so you can eat anywhere if you are looking for lobster. I wouldn't spend money on a surcharge restaurant on that night. The seas got a bit rough on the way back Friday, so there weren't many people in Cagney's that night. Other than that, we found that we loved Mambo's (try the El Popo). We also all enjoyed La Cucina and Teppanyaki. We were split on the Lotus Garden. We didn't try Le Bistro since we aren't big fans of French cuisine, but heard it was very good.
Will be onboard in 16 days; mini-suite on deck 11 (we have teenagers).
I would love to tell you about the mini-suite, but we are cheap, so I can only dream of a suite!
Wanna know your thoughts!
You will have a great time. The staff was wonderful. There weren't many teens on our sailing, but the ones that were on always seemed to be having a good time.
I hope you were able to find something helpful in that. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great time!!!
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What can I say....they loved NCL and so do we....
Richard & Mary
Las Cruces, New Mexico USA