Hi and welcome to the cruise forum, NK1851.
We were on the Dream last October and the ship looked rather "tired". We had 4 port stops planned but 2 were cancelled ahead of time (Cancun & Cozumel) due to hurricanes. The day we got on the ship AFTER the ropes had been released from the dock, the Captain announced that we were not going to Belize or Honduras because of Hurricane Stanley - which left a lot of us wondering if we were going to spend an entire week at sea. We ended up in Progesso Mexcio which was awesome and Veracruz which was disappointing. A lot of people were complaining about NCL, the ship, the fact that NCL only gave $50 per person onboard credit for all the missed port stops, etc. but we didn't let that stop us from having fun. The staff was nice - it wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst, either. Entertainment was okay - the cruise director wasn't even funny at all so I hope they changed cruise directors for your sake (and everyone else's) by now. At least it was much better than being at work!
We are thinking about doing this cruise in March, 07. The reviews seem to be mixed. I have sailed NCL to Alaska a couple of years ago and had a great time!! I like the itinerary of this cruise. I find NCL's food to be ok. Not the best, but pretty good. If you are going before us, please write a review.
I'll write back after and let everyone know how it went.
But, this is the LAST season that NCL will be sailing out of Houston for at least a couple off years. They are moving the Dream out and not replacing it with any ship. Maybe they feel they can't compete with the Conquest and the Voyager (coming winter/spring of 07)?
The Transcaribbean cruises from Houston are great deals. They usually have NCL's cheapest fares for a 7 day cruise. The itinerary has been changed this year. Never-the-less, you should get great value and have a great cruise.
Book this year, as NCL will not return to Houston next year. I recommend booking after the hurricane season, so you will not experience unexpected closed ports.
What did it change FROM Ron? I remember looking at this for a cruise last March and I don't remember the itinerary being different (at least not the Belize port). Did it use to go to Grand Cayman instead of progresso?
Last year's itinerary was Playa Del Carmen and Cosumel on the same day, Roatan, Belize City, and Cancun. The latter it didn't do after Hurrican Rita as the port in Cancun was never reopened.
This year's Texacaribbean, Progresso has replaced Cancun, and Roatan has been dropped without being replaced.
So, it is a new itinerary this year.