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Old 02-14-2008, 09:46 AM
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I am considering a cruise to Bermuda with 20-30 business associates and their families. Unfortunately, Celebrity has pulled out of that market, leaving NCL as the only operator for 7-day cruises. Boston and NYC are equidistant for most of us, but the Boston cruise (Dream) spends more time in Bermuda than the comparable NYC itinerary (Dawn). I am leaning toward the Dream because of that. If anyone can help with the decision-making process, I would appreciate it. Also, is the Dream a suitable ship? If anyone has been on the Dream vs. the Zenith or Constellation (another class altogether), I'd like your comments.

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:38 AM
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Doing a search with the "Find" tab at the top of your screen (the magnifying glass thingy) you'll find many threads addressing Dream and other ships. Also reading through a few of the reviews in the review section may be the best way to determine if the ship is the right one for your needs. Many believe the itinerary is the foremost factor, others the price. Whatever your list of priorities the ship is a factor to consider. Dream is an older ship that will not have many of the more modern facilities. Some like the older ships but my personal view on the Dream is that it's not among the ships that would be at the top of my wish list. You'll find that the most desirable ships for most cruiselines will be at ports where they have other ships as competition like the three New York ports and other ports with multiple ships to choose from. The oldest ships generally are positioned in markets where they can still fill them by drawing from the local passenger base that wants a convenient port to cruise from. That's not to say there are not desirable factors with older ships. If the itin has heavy weight in your decision it may be the right ship for your group.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:18 PM
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That's some great insight, Neil. Many thanks for taking the time to reply.
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:01 PM
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Hi Cruiser 914, and welcome to cruise-chat.com!

I've been on Norwegian Dream (sort of.. see below), Zenith, and Constellation's sister ship Infinity, and am happy to offer comparisons.

I'll get the easy part out of the way first. There are few similarities between Celebrity's M-class ships and N. Dream as far as the ships themselves, mainly due to the sizes of the ships and the onboard amenities. For example, the M-class ships have that marvelous T-pool area, which N. Dream does not.

Zenith and N. Dream are a little closer ship-wise as they were built around the same time and are/were about the same size. Zenith was more elegant, though, as is the case with Celebrity all-around. That does not mean, however that NCL offers a substandard product. On the contrary, we've found it's a good product for the $. Of course, there are other differences, such as Freestyle Dining and a more casual atmosphere. Zenith also had a much larger buffet area than N. Dream.

Now, for what N. Dream does have. First, her cabins are great, particularly for families. We've had an obstructed view cabin, and it had a wonderful sitting area that included a loveseat that converted to a bed. She also has a good amount of outdoor space, both on the upper deck amidships, and on several decks aft. Show lounge is not as striking as the one on Zenith, but it works. Her restaurants, particularly the two located aft, are spectacular and offer great views.

But, it sounds like your decision isn't between Celebrity and NCL, but between N. Dream and N. Dawn. In all fairness, we were on N. Dream years ago, before she was stretched. And, we haven't been on N. Dawn. Yet, I would also select N. Dream for the itinerary, which a cruise to Bermuda is really about, anyway. Going through the Town Cut is amazing...something your colleagues and families will remember.

We will be returning to N. Dream in May. Should you decide to book, I can find out more specifics for you. I understand she is to have a cosmetic refurbishment prior to the Bermuda season (new carpets, things like that).

Any questions, please ask!
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:40 PM
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Thanks for the great info, Lisa. Actually, in my continuing investigation I learned that NCL will assign the Spirit for the Boston-to-Bermuda run beginning in 2009 (when we will cruise). See the article below. So from your comments, that would be a plus (although I wonder if she can fit into St. George harbor)?
THANKS!!!

http://www.ncl.com/nclweb/pressroom/...Code=PR_110707
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:47 PM
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We were on the Dream 2 years ago and it was not a bad cruise, but not one of my favorite ships...I've been on 14 NCL cruises and the only reason I went on the Dream was so I could get to Chichen Itza....the ship was stretched and even with that, it's not a fancy ship...The food was fair to great at times...entertainment was lacking mostly because of a small crowded theater. The main restaurants are on the 9th deck and small. The front restaurant has a public walkway going thru the middle of the restaurant so passengers can get to their forward cabins....BUT...we had an outside cabin that was bigger than any we've had on an NCL ship...large window with a small seating area...so if the price is right I would jump on it....And as I've always said..."There is no such thing as a bad ship or a bad cruise...some are just better than others...Happy Cruising..

Bob E
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Berick1234:
The front restaurant has a public walkway going thru the middle of the restaurant so passengers can get to their forward cabins....
Bob, when I saw the post-stretch layout of N. Dream, this change struck me immediately as being a bad move. Prior to the stretch, the restaurant was completely on the port side, with the common passageway running the length of the deck. I believe Le Bistro and the library were starboard. Of course, the design change made the restaurant larger, which was needed to accommodate all the extra passengers. I'm going with an open mind, but I'm sure this is one of the changes that I will not like so much.

Cruiser914, I don't think Norwegian Spirit can dock in St. George's. I'm also disappointed with the Friday-Friday schedule as it means having to take an extra day off from work for us locals. But, at least we'll still have a ship here.
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