We have just returned off the "maiden" voyage to Alaska by the Norwegian Dream from the UK and we can honestly say it is the worst cruise we have ever taken and the most expensive!! Our problems started the moment we landed in Seattle. We were not met by NCL reps at the airport as arranged neither did they put in an appearance at the hotel the next morning to take us to the ship. We were left to stand outside the hotel for 6 hours before a bus finally turned up and boarded the vessel 2 hours after it was supposed to have left, only good thing was missed the wretched life boat drill!! Our cabin was small (on deck 7) but spotlessly clean and reasonably well appointed and our cabin steward was excellent for the wole trip. The food on board was dreadful and in my opinion not much better than the average Dennys don't even consider going to the Sports Bar, also the staff have a limited command of English. We have been on 2 previous NCL cruises in 2003 and the food was much better so it would appear that they are defiitely cutting corners, I am surprised as it is not exactly a cheap vacation. The cruise director is worse than useless and the shows are complete rubbish and amateurish to say the least. The entertainment staff, whom I am embarrased to say are mostly English, were more interested in their "love lives" than the guests. Please note that most enterainments ie Bingo, quizes etc only last about 15 mins max!! Everything on board is chaotic and involves standing in line most of the day, again something we have never experienced on any other cruise and the excurions are a complete rip off, you can usually find the same excursions cheaper ashore. PLEASE, PLEASE be aware that, if like me, you desperately want to see bears or wildlife the chances of this are virtually nil and think twice about the excurions, particularly the bear viewing at Prince Rupert. My husband and I spent $350 and did not even glimpse ANYTHING. We also "did" the Big Game Alaska excursion ($280) and again this was a rip off as you only get about 30 mins there as there are other tour buses waiting in line. The plumbing on the Dream is pretty erratic and we had no hot water for 6 days (the cruise was 10!!) and had to shower in the spa, by way of apology they gave us 2 x bottles of Evian and I think, you will agree, just about sums it all up. The public areas are very stuffy and noisy as obviously because it is Alaska it is a bit too chilly to be on deck but not so good if you want a bit of peace and quiet to read a book etc. I could go on for hours and would be happy to answer anyones queries etc but in a nutshell ... WE WOULD RECOMMEND ALASKA TO ANYONE FOR THE SHEER AWESOMNESS OF IT ALL. WE WOULD NOT RECOMMEND NCL UNLESS PERHAPS IT WAS THE DAWN OR ONE OF THE NEWER SHIPS, FOR THE SAME MONEY YOU COULD HAVE A MUCH BETTER TIME, WE ONLY WISH WE HAD CHOSEN PRINCESS OR CELEBRITY
I went on the "Nightmare" the week after you. Did you stop in Sitka or was that canceled because of engine trouble? If you didn't make it there, you should know that I have traced this problem back to March, 2004. They sold an itinery that they knew they could not do.