I have booked passage on the Dream's Dec 31 sailing.
There! I always wanted to use that terminology ("booked passage...sailing").
I have only cruised 2 previous times: 1974 and 1999. The 1974 cruise was on the old Norwegian Caribbean Lines' M/S Skyward from Miami to San Juan, St.Thomas, St. John, Puerto Plata 7-day run. The 1999 was on the Carnivale's Tropicale 4-day sail out of Tampa for Key West, Cancun, and Cozumel. Aside from the fact that we experienced "engine problems" out of Tampa on our 1999 cruise -- which appears to be following us with the Dream's 2005 engine problems -- and it resulted in missing Key West, running slower, less a/c power, etc., I have reminded myself of the major differences between the 1974 Skyward and the 2005 Dream.
First of all, I realize that another thread brought up the issue of "drink prices" on NCL, but by way of comparison, the 1974 M/S Skyward's prices were as follows:
"Call brand" liquors (i.e., name brand or premium labels such as Johnny Walker Red, Dewar's, J&B, Cutty, Beefeater, Gordon's, Smirnoff, etc.): 85 cents each.
Cognacs, such as Courvoisier VSOP, Remy, etc., were $1.25 each.
"Specialty" drinks, such as (popular in those days) Singapore Slings, Yellow Birds, Champagne Cocktails, etc., were $1.25.
Imported beers: 75 cents/Domestics: 50 cents.
Cocktails: 85 cents
Soft drinks: 15 cents/glass and 25 cents/bottle
Of course, there's a world of difference between prices today and those 31 years ago, BUT...during 1974 I happened to work as a bartender during college and remember that call brands then in local restaurants were $2.50 to $3.50, beers were $1 domestic and $2 imported, soft drinks were 75 cents or $1. Today, at least in the area of Fla where I live, premium brands (call brands) liquor costs $6.95 to $8.95; beers: imports at $4.50 (domestics are less, but I don't drink them so I don't know the prices), etc. Point being that drink prices on cruises back then seem to have been a real bargain compared with today's prices.
Now, those of you, unlike me, who have sailed continuously: Do drink prices on NCL ships differ all that much from land-base prices in tour own communities?
BTW, our 1974 cruise cost us $350 each for an upper deck outside cabin on the Skyward. Don't ask me about the 1999 Tropicale cruise, the one with the "engine problems," for I swore off cruising then (until I was talked into this one by several old college friends) and don't even care to remember it.
I still have the menus, passenger list, daily news briefs, port brochures, shore excursions & their prices, etc., from our 1974 cruise.
Here's hoping the Dec 31 Dream does not turn into a nightmare...