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  #31 (permalink)  
Old June 12th, 2012, 04:50 PM
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Just returned from a 7 day on the Carnival Liberty and it was the most disappointing cruise ever. Granted, it was only our third cruise but I won't be booking another anytime soon
Seems a little dramatic doesn't it?
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old June 12th, 2012, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by green_rd View Post
Seems a little dramatic doesn't it?
Not really.

A disappointing cruise, especially early in someone's cruising lifetime, is much worse than those who have cruised 20 times and then has a bad cruise. You know that there are bad cruises and you'll probably take another since the previous 19 were good.

If you only have three and then hit a bad cruise you will definitely rethink your future vacation options.

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  #33 (permalink)  
Old June 13th, 2012, 03:53 AM
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Sorry to hear that. I just wish you wouldnt title it "worst cruise ever". You may scare some new comers lol. I'm glad you expressed your pleasure of traveling Carnival before. Things like that happen all the time sadly all over the place. I once hated the Outback Steakhouse because my first time there everything was horrible, then my friend took me to a different one and everything was great! It could've been the chef was tired that day and overworked , or maybe my waitress was stressed (you never know what people go through day to day) though we feel as if we pay for it so you should treat me like gold everytime we are all human, no? I hope you can stay postive about cruises and that you guys enjoyed other parts such as excursions .
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old July 1st, 2012, 06:44 PM
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While it has been over a year since we were on the Liberty ( and I do not remember which dining room we were in)....as I recall our cruise was fine.

However, I will say that, while we have not experienced it because we always get a private table for four (due to a special needs child), I am reading more and more complaints about rushed service and cold food on the larger 10 tops and 8 tops.

Now I do not have any proof that this is related but it appears that the complaints started about the same time Carnival went to the 3 man team.

They gave them more tables thinking that a 3rd man would handle the extra load.

This may work well in theory but "theory" does not take into account passengers who arrive as late as 40 minutes. It also does not take into account passengers who ask waiters to take pictures of these guests who spend 10 minutes of the waiters time deciding on how to pose the group.

I have talked to enough waiters to know that they detest this new system.

Sorry the OP did not have a good experience. Yes, the menu has changed but I will say that I am a fairly picky eater and I am always able to find at least one appetizer and one entree that I like.

I do give pause when I read someone generalize about "all the food" on any cruise ship. Mainly because it is humanly impossible to eat "all the food" on any cruise ship and it has a tendancy (at least in my book ) to appear that someone is having unreasonable expectations.

It is far better to say that the foods that they tried were not to their liking. Or even better be specific that the pizza was cold....the steak was tough...or whatever the issue was.

Same thing with "the staff was rude". Again, few people meet all the staff on a ship and those who are there doing a wonderful job should not be lumped in with one or two that are not.

The reason I mention this is that the few times that we have had issues on Carnival, if I wrote a well worded letter ( meaning no generalizations or exxaggerations) to Corporate....I found they listened and responded with a "reasonable" solution. No, you will not get a free cruise. But I have found that my issues have always been addressed.

I would suggest that if someone is going to write such a letter, that you start it off with the positives of the cruise and then say, "however, the reason for my letter is...." Keep it short and to the point and it is best if you can write it in such a way that the reader can put themselves in your shoes.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old July 1st, 2012, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
Not really.

A disappointing cruise, especially early in someone's cruising lifetime, is much worse than those who have cruised 20 times and then has a bad cruise. You know that there are bad cruises and you'll probably take another since the previous 19 were good.

If you only have three and then hit a bad cruise you will definitely rethink your future vacation options.

Take care,
Mike

I agree.

I find I have to stop myself sometimes and remember that not everyone cruises 7 times a year.

Therefore what would not be a big deal to me might be a big deal to someone who has saved for years to take this cruise.
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Old July 5th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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I see there is another "Lanie" out there. I'm going to have to remind my friends that I'm "LanieK".
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Old July 6th, 2012, 11:04 AM
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I can say that I've never had what I considered bad service either in the MDR or at a bar........sometimes it's been slower than others and sometimes it's taken the waitstaff (both in the MDR and at various bars) a bit of time to warm up to us.....

As for food not being good, that is just so subjective it's hard to relate......I've had dishes that I didn't care for, but it wasn't because they were bad, I just didn't care for them........I've cruised so many times that I've pretty much settled into the dishes that I know will stand up to the long hold times required when feeding 1500+ people at a seating......Carnival generally does pasta and fish very well......and their soups are excellent IMO....My only complaint is that you can't get a large bowl of soup......I often eat light for dinner and soup and a salad would be perfect, but I don't want to order multiple small bowls of soup........
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Old July 6th, 2012, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by LanieK View Post
I see there is another "Lanie" out there. I'm going to have to remind my friends that I'm "LanieK".
I was at first confused by that too........

I hope she isn't concerned about being confused with a Crazie........
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Old July 6th, 2012, 11:25 AM
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I was at first confused by that too........

I hope she isn't concerned about being confused with a Crazie........
That would not be good...........I am the Crazie LanieK!!! formally known as TexasCruzrs! lol
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old August 5th, 2012, 03:25 PM
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Just because we like to cruise does not mean we need to make excuses for their cuts in service...like Kuki stated the price of oil has dropped sharply..once 109 a barrel not too long ago is now dipping below 80 a barrel..No its just pure greed, they are trying to raise the profit margin.

Look at the gas stations The cheapest gas I know of in NJ is 3.43.9...DONT you just love the .9 cents when you see 343.9 its really 3.44The cheapest in my area in PA is 3.54.9(3.55) makes you wonder why gas is so high and oil is dropping so fast.

Its all greed, notice when the price of oil raises the gas raises instantly some times more then once a day and by 5 6 cents a shot...but when gas drops it by a penny or two.

Time to stop making excuses for the cruise industry. They pay their wait staff including stewards, MDR staff, laundry, next to nothing. yes they have free room and board, but that was a one time expense for the cruise line..all they had to do was build a cheap cabin cram a few people in, feed them which amounts next to nothing and pay them next to nothing.

I would love to know the profit margins of Carnival, NCL, Royal Carribean, Celebrity, I bet its in the billions, mif not billios then hundreds of millions and here we are making excuses for the cruise line.


Cruise lines are in business to make money. It's not "greed" they have shareholders to answer to. If management doesnt do the job they will be replaced with somebody who can.

Last edited by TruckerD; August 5th, 2012 at 03:47 PM.
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  #41 (permalink)  
Old August 5th, 2012, 06:49 PM
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I also found it interesting that some folks are calling the cruise line "greedy".

Sorry, I just do not see it.

For if that was indeed the case, they would have implemented the Fuel Surcharge went it went over $70 a gallon (best as I can remember over a year ago).... and they have not done that yet.

It is in the contract that they could (without any warning) and they have not.


Yes I see changes (like the 3 man teams) that I do not like....but real greed??? nope, that I do not see.....
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Old August 5th, 2012, 10:35 PM
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Default Can't compare for the money

Been cruising since the early 70s, never on Carnival, but have been on a dozen other lines, some now extinct. Seen many changes in cruising, I admit the food is not anywhere as good or as plentiful as when I started cruising. Many things have changed, some to the better and some not so good. Every cruise is a new experience and I have enjoyed every one of them. If a problem occurs, as Paul noted in an earlier post, try getting it resolved then & there.

Cruising is the best vacation option for the price. Rent a place at the beach, fight the traffic and crowds by going out to eat or cook (is that a vacation) all your meals. Look for and pay for entertainment. Then think who is cleaning up the messy bathroom & kitchen you leave every day. Rainy days @ the beach are a bore.

Even if the meals on a ship is mediocre a cruise is less expensive and much more enjoyable than a week at the beach. I get so much for my money; it does not bother me if something is not up to my expectations, the overall experience always has been.

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Old August 11th, 2012, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by OldFartCruiser View Post
Been cruising since the early 70s, never on Carnival, but have been on a dozen other lines, some now extinct. Seen many changes in cruising, I admit the food is not anywhere as good or as plentiful as when I started cruising. Many things have changed, some to the better and some not so good. Every cruise is a new experience and I have enjoyed every one of them. If a problem occurs, as Paul noted in an earlier post, try getting it resolved then & there.

Cruising is the best vacation option for the price. Rent a place at the beach, fight the traffic and crowds by going out to eat or cook (is that a vacation) all your meals. Look for and pay for entertainment. Then think who is cleaning up the messy bathroom & kitchen you leave every day. Rainy days @ the beach are a bore.

Even if the meals on a ship is mediocre a cruise is less expensive and much more enjoyable than a week at the beach. I get so much for my money; it does not bother me if something is not up to my expectations, the overall experience always has been.

O F C'er

I agree that cruising in a great vacation....

but there is something just a bit sad when a cruise line (that someone loves) changes so much that you feel the need to sail with someone else....
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2012, 06:39 PM
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I have been scouring the boards lately due to getting ready to book for 2014 Caribbean cruise and to be honest I am not sure about Carnival, have never been on this line and am seeing a lot of complaints about food, service, lack of control by parents with their children as well as smoking issues and bed bugs. So should I be worried. My DH and I are in our 50's but we are very young at heart, so the usual age of the cruiser doesn't bother us.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Delked View Post
I have been scouring the boards lately due to getting ready to book for 2014 Caribbean cruise and to be honest I am not sure about Carnival, have never been on this line and am seeing a lot of complaints about food, service, lack of control by parents with their children as well as smoking issues and bed bugs. So should I be worried. My DH and I are in our 50's but we are very young at heart, so the usual age of the cruiser doesn't bother us.
Although I am one who thinks their service has slipped, you can have a great time on Carnival. It seems to be the best value for your cruise dollar too.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old August 21st, 2012, 07:10 PM
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Delked - if you have your doubts then I would recommend a different cruise line. Why tale a chance when there are so many options?

I personally think Carnival is a good, fun cruise line. But if you are more concerned about having fewer kids, more space, shorter lines you can try Holland America or Princess for about the same price. Cruises everywhere are a bargain these days.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:09 AM
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I have sailed on the Liberty twice and am considering a third. I loved the ship. The service was fantastic both times. I have not run across the "party" atmosphere in many years on this line. I have sailed with Carnival since 1983. Back in those days there was way too much party for me. If I had to give a cruise line an award for most improved it would go to Carnival. They deserve kudos for changing the atmosphere from party ships to a family focused vacation. As for the quality of food I have experienced anywhere from excellent to not so great in the MDR. I am disappointed that they have added diner food to the MDR. I liked the idea that it was supposed to be a more elegant dining experience. I think the diner food should stay on the lido where it is more casual anyway. I was on a smaller ship last November, the Inspiration. This was a short cruise but still I did not see the party atmosphere on this ship either. My only complaint was that on "elegant" night one man showed up in dungarees and a shirt that he wore open to the waist. He wore a baseball cap during the whole time at dinner.
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Old August 24th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Im sure if you had such horrible service and let the maitre d know about it, they would have corrected it for you.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old September 15th, 2012, 11:40 PM
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We were on the Liberty on August 25.

Service was the best we have seen throughout the ship in the last 3 or more cruises we have been on. There are some fantastic people on that ship.

I do have to say though, and this went for our whole table in the MDR, this is the first cruise that we left dinner dissatisfied with the food. It was just not tasty and not very warm either. We had good service but there was nothing that made us wanting for more, wishing we could have a bit more. We even ate dinner one night in the buffet because the food in the MDR was not enticing enough to make us go get ready for dinner. We have never done that in 12 cruises.

Mikey, the guitar entertainer on the Lido, was fun, friendly, and truly added to our cruise experience. Dexter, our favorite bartender, was a great guy too. We hope to sail with him again.

The photographers had fun with those who had fun with them.

Aleece
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Old September 16th, 2012, 12:51 AM
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Quite frankly, in 43 cruises we've never had a bad cruise. But then again, cruising is what you make it. We tend to roll with the punches and while obviously some cruises are much better than others, we've never been disappointed. The main reason is we do our homework ahead of time, so much so we know exactly what to expect. So if we have to lower our expectations, so be it. That way when it is less than what we would normally like to have, it still meets our expectations.

In cruising, you definitely get what you pay for. When you pay less, you get less. When you pay more, you get more. Also, when you sail on a 2-star (out of 5-stars) cruise line, you should expect to get a 2-star cruise. And if you get a 2-star cruise, then you should not be disappointed when that's what you get.

Basically, this is why when we're cruising just to have fun and enjoy a nice cruise, we prefer to sail on a 4-star or 5-star cruise line. When we do that, we've never been disappointed.

So when I hear people sailing on a 2-star cruise line and say they are disappointed, I'm not very sympathetic. Sorry, but as I said, you get what you pay for. Then again, you have to make your expectations real. If you expect a 5-star cruise on a 2-star cruise line, you will always be disappointed.

That's why it's so very important to select a cruise that not only meets your budget, but also meets your lifestyle and your expectations.

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Old September 16th, 2012, 10:33 AM
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Delked - if you have your doubts then I would recommend a different cruise line. Why tale a chance when there are so many options?

I personally think Carnival is a good, fun cruise line. But if you are more concerned about having fewer kids, more space, shorter lines you can try Holland America or Princess for about the same price. Cruises everywhere are a bargain these days.
Paul.... Princess & HAL same price as Carnival? I'll have to take a look; I thought they were for the most part pretty high in comparison to Carnival.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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Robin, remember; Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.

In cruising, you definitely get what you pay for.

Carnival is cheaper because they offer a cheaper product. And while Princess cost a bit more, you get a better product.

Often times, the better cruise lines offer some very good deals so you don't end up spending alot more, but you get alot more because they are better quality.

If you want cheap, then stick with Carnival and NCL.

If you want value, then for families, it's tough to beat Royal Caribbean or Princess. For couples, especially if you don't mind an older crowd, you can't beat Celebrity and Holland America.

It's like anything else we buy. You can get a steak at IHOP, but it's not going to be as good as the steak at Outback, which is not as good at the steak at Norton's. You get what you pay for.

I've seen some outstanding deals on Celebrity that have really gotten my attention lately. And for us (we're 62), they have an outstanding product for a great price, so it's tough to beat the value.

So the thing you have to decide is what is more important to you; price or value?

Talk with your agent, let them know what you're thinking and let them do some research for you and provide some options for you to consider.

But as was said, cruising offers something for everyone, and the fun part is trying them all until you find the one that fits you the best. But just because you didn't have one good cruise, don't let that discourage you from trying others.

Pete
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Old September 16th, 2012, 02:07 PM
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If you want cheap, then stick with Carnival and NCL.
Personally I would consider NCL comparable to RCI and better in some areas. Not sure why you think it is on the level of Carnival.

Personal I rate Celebrity a bit higher than NCL but sail NCL because the quality is quite close and it is much cheaper.
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Old September 16th, 2012, 02:35 PM
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Personally I would consider NCL comparable to RCI and better in some areas. Not sure why you think it is on the level of Carnival.

Personal I rate Celebrity a bit higher than NCL but sail NCL because the quality is quite close and it is much cheaper.
I do agree with Marsdude on this. I have not sailed on the Oasis class of Royal Caribbean but overall I find Royal Caribbean basically on par with Carnival in terms of food and entertainment. Royal Caribbean may have more in the way of activities with the promenade parades on Voyager and Freedom class ships. I also find Carnival's cabin sizes to be much better than Royal Caribbean but Royal Caribbean definitely wins in suite perks.

I also have to say that Carnival's new ship, Breeze, ranks up there with just about any other ship in the cruise industry with a mix of activities, restaurants and decor. It isn't your parents Carnival ship.

NCL, IMO, is a step above Royal Caribbean, especially with Epic and their newer ships. They have great activities and if the cruiser is informed of the alternative restaurants and their subsequent charges they will have some of the best dining at sea.

Celebrity may be a step up but it really depends on what the individual is looking for. The same can be said about Princess and Holland America.

All of this is based on my personal taste and others will have different opinions but, for me, Royal Caribbean is usually at the bottom of my list.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 16th, 2012, 04:05 PM
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We've been on several NCL cruises and quite frankly, while their ships are very nice, their food is lacking. Don't get me wrong; the food is not bad, but overall we find it bland and not quite up to other cruise lines. Plus, they have too many specialty restaurants charging an extra price, so if you want better, you're paying extra for it. Also, I feel their service is suffering from what it use to be years ago. It was much better before they implemented their 'mandatory' service charge in lieu of gratuities.

When I said, "If you want cheap, sail with Carnival or NCL," I was referring to price. They offer some of the cheapest fares out there. But cheap price usually results in cheaper quality because better quality costs more money. Simply fact of economics.

But as we all know, food is very subjective. What one likes, another will hate. Some like McDonalds, while others like Burger King.

I had a very long 2 hour conversation with one of the head chefs on an NCL cruise and he opened my eyes to alot of what goes on. Basically, he said he's a trained chef but yet NCL makes it impossible for him to do what he was trained to do.

But then again, my opinion is that the food on most mass-market cruise lines has declined alot over the last several years, mainly because of the economy. Of those mentioned (NCL, Carnival, RCCL), I think Princess is a step above each of those.

Personally, if you're a foodie, Celebrity is, in my opinion, the best of the mass-market cruise lines, with Holland America just below them. I'm not comparing them against the luxury or specialty cruise lines, just those in the mass-market category.

But my opinions are not only based on our personal experiences, but also the feedback we've gotten from the more than 2600 clients we have who have booked several thousand cruises with us. Their input is extremely valuable and very informative as it's their opinions that matter to us more than our own opinions.

What has been disappointing over the last 15 years is that little by little cruise lines are making less and less of their food from scratch on the ship and relying more and more on pre-processed food sent to the ship. Sort of like the difference between home-cooking and a TV dinner. Service has also declined throughout the years. While still good, it's not quite up to what it use to be - it was alot more personal and there were more crew per passenger ratio than there is now. Again, the decline is all caused by the economy. Cruising is still an excellent value for the dollar, but to keep it that way, they've had to cut back in alot of areas.

But as I said, what one person loves, another will hate, and the best part about cruising is trying them all until you find one that fits you best, keeping in mind that opinions are like bellybuttons; everyone has one.

Pete
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Old September 17th, 2012, 06:33 PM
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This is too funny and what a coincidence!

Here we're talking about NCL and Carnival, and I just got a call today from a company doing a poll about cruise lines. They said it was an independent poll, but based on all the questions and how they were worded, it became immediately obvious to me the poll was sponsored by NCL. (We get polls like this all the time and it's never hard to figure out who is sponsoring them.)

But the funniest thing about the whole poll? They were asking alot questions comparing NCL to Carnival!



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Old September 17th, 2012, 07:18 PM
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I had a very long 2 hour conversation with one of the head chefs on an NCL cruise and he opened my eyes to alot of what goes on. Basically, he said he's a trained chef but yet NCL makes it impossible for him to do what he was trained to do.
That is the case on all of the major cruise lines. Ingredients and menus are set, and they have pictures of how each plate is supposed to look on the walls in the galley.

For that matter, it's true in most land based restaurants; the chefs are required to stick to the menu, and they want consistency in their dishes. They only exceptions.. places that offer a daily "chef's special".

On the top luxury lines they have a bit more leeway actually, in that if you give them a days notice, they will attempt to fill any dining request, providing they have the ingredients on board.

In 65+ cruises, since 1996, my "favorite line" has changed several times. Since NCL built their first ship specifically for "Freestyle", they have become my favorite.

And they have evolved even moreso over those years since. I love the variety of restaurants offered on NCL. 10 different restaurants, with as many different menu "themes", offers great options.

I always tell people to add $100 per person to the cost of their fare on NCL, which will allow you to the ability to dine in any restaurant you choose each night. After adding that cost with the cruise fare, if it is favorable compared to another line you might be considering, you can feel totally comfortable you'll be satisfied with the NCL dining experience.

I don't subscribe to the "cruise is what you make it" school of thought. Expectations are a big deal; I've wrote several articles on that over the years. But, there are times, when things simply go wrong, and continue to go wrong, to the point, where I don't think passengers got full value for their $$ on that cruise. Rare, yes. But they do happen.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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DW and I are what I would consider experienced cruisers (30). I can honestly say we have been on one bad cruise, 2005 Sapphire Princess. Poor service. We have sailed on Carnival, NCL, Princess and Royal Caribbean. We prefer RCI.
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Old September 17th, 2012, 09:34 PM
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I don't subscribe to the "cruise is what you make it" school of thought. Expectations are a big deal.
I'm just the opposite, I firmly believe a cruise is exactly what you make it. If it rains every day of your cruise, you can be miserable if that's what you want to make of it. But then again, if you keep yourself busy, do what you can do inside or in the rain, and just go with the flow, then you'll have a wonderful cruise. You can't control Mother Nature, so your experience will be solely based on what you make it. It's like the old expression, when you're given lemons, you can either cry about it or make lemonade.

But I do agree that expectations are definitely a big deal. If you go on a 2-star cruise line expecting a 5-star cruise, you will be sorely disappointed. Of course everyone's expectations are different based on their past experiences, if any, how expensive the vacation was in relation to their income, their likes and dislikes, etc, etc. So two people can go on the same cruise and have the same experience where one will find it disappointing while the other will find it beyond their expectations. We can't help but go into our vacation with high expectations - that's just a normal part of life. But how we handle it should it not meet our expectations, well, that speaks volumes about our own character and our ability to handle adversity.

Bottom line, different strokes for different folks, but vacations are all about what we make of it and how we handle the bumps in the road.

As I said, some like McDonalds, others like Burger King, some like both, and others don't like either one.

Pete
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Old September 18th, 2012, 04:02 AM
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Not really.

A disappointing cruise, especially early in someone's cruising lifetime, is much worse than those who have cruised 20 times and then has a bad cruise. You know that there are bad cruises and you'll probably take another since the previous 19 were good.

If you only have three and then hit a bad cruise you will definitely rethink your future vacation options.

Take care,
Mike
I think this is very true. We like to travel, and if we have a lousy first cruise, I don't know if we'll try it again. Of course any holiday can go wrong at times, but if you've got lots of happy memories from lots of non-cruise holidays, and a bad experience from one or a few cruise holidays, you're naturally going to feel that a non-cruise holiday would be the surer bet for your precious holiday time and budget.

The only holidays I've had that were really bad were when somebody was ill. Like when my whole party got dengue, and my friend was really bad (hemorrhagic) and hallucinating on her painkillers, and I was trying to organise getting her to hospital five hours away (while sick myself), all the while thinking she might die, and the owner of our small resort was out and I had no help and things kept going wrong (phone out of credit, phone out of charge, no phone reception, couldn't get a doctor to come, driver not answering phone, etc, just like a nightmare), and then her teenage son took exception to me bossing him around and decided this was a good day to prove that I couldn't tell him what to do and took off in a huff just before the transport arrived ... that was a pretty awful holiday! I was actually traumatised, having flashbacks for months afterwards. I'd defy anybody to make something good of that experience!

But yeah, lousy food or rain, I can get over that.
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