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Old 05-17-2003, 05:33 PM
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I'm having trouble trying to understand the bad reviews NCL has received in the past. I'm fairly new to cruising (3 since 2000), and I had a fabulous time on the Wind to Alaska. Was NCL worse in the past, and had a change in management within the last few years. Should user reviews be taken with a big grain of salt?
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Old 05-17-2003, 05:33 PM
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I'm having trouble trying to understand the bad reviews NCL has received in the past. I'm fairly new to cruising (3 since 2000), and I had a fabulous time on the Wind to Alaska. Was NCL worse in the past, and had a change in management within the last few years. Should user reviews be taken with a big grain of salt?
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Old 05-18-2003, 07:33 PM
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Becky, also newer than you. Had an enjoyable cruise on the Sky to Vancouver B.C. albeit the entertainment was geared to an older croud than 50.
After taking many personal surveys from fellow cruisers it was decided that you get as many opinions as people you ask. One couple even described the best and worst cruise on the same ship at different times. Obviously indicating personnel have a big role to play, as well as your state of mind.
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Old 05-19-2003, 12:15 PM
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Definitely true - attitude is everything! Expectations play a role too - for some people, 5-star is barely good enough, and for others, just being waited on, having entertainment provided, etc. is a real luxury experience. I too enjoyed my NCL cruise a few years ago. Glad to hear you both did too!
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Old 05-19-2003, 07:38 PM
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I can't answer for NCL as yet (although in three weeks I will be able to as we are leaving on the Star on 5/25). But I have looked at the reviews of cruises taken on the Paradise (CCL) and the Royal Princess (Princess) and found that often the predisposition of the reviewer was the key to the value of the review. Some of the people go on with the idea that the perfect cruise is THEIR perfect cruise. On a boat with 3000 people on it, that just isn't too realistic.

Still, I think it makes sense to pay attention to themes in the reviews and be alert to the repeating ones. For example, my wife and I know that the port times on the Hawaii cruises are short. Instead of booking our own excursions as many "experienced" cruisers do, we are opting to go through NCL this time rather than take the risk. The prior bad experiences of other cruises also made sure we didn't book rental cars through Hotwire or other entities that lock you into "no change" deals, since it is apparent that sometimes ports and times DO change.

Pasteur said that chance favors the prepared mind, and a cruiser who reads the reviews has a prepared mind and is more able to adapt to the changes and go with the flow. After all, it is not what happens on vacation that matters, it is how you react to it.
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Old 05-20-2003, 04:22 AM
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I think you also have to keep in mind that its human nature to want to tell others if something did not turn out as they expected, or if things exceeded their expectations, but not say anything if things turned out just like expected.

Gary
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Old 05-20-2003, 07:43 PM
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Yes, some reviews are not helpful because they reflect the attitudes/personalities of the reviewer, but I have gotten many great tips from reading reviews. Look for practical advice such as what to wear, where to shop, etc. and ignore the personal complaints.
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Old 05-22-2003, 05:12 PM
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Perception is everything. I heard many complaints that the Star in Hawaii had very short port times. So I went to several cruise websites to see exactly how many hours ships actually do spend in port.
The biggest number I found was the Norwegian Sky Southern Caribbean cruise at 60 hours. The lowest number I found was the S.S. Norway at 33 hours. The Star in Hawaii is just about average at 43 hours in port. The Norwegian Dawn in the Caribbean was spending 42 hours in port every week. People complainied about the Star's port times, but never about the Dawn or Norway. Why??

It is perception and expectation only.
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Old 05-30-2003, 01:40 PM
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Just got off of the NCL DAWN repositioning cruise 5/3-5/17. Only one word describes the boat "FABULOUS." This is a brand new ship and everything sparkeled. Try this elegant lady you will enjoy her. Note: We are seasoned cruisers, and know what to expect. This was our 14th cruise, we have been on the Carnival, Holland America, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess and NCL.
 
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