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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 23rd, 2005, 08:20 PM
TXRed
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Default never sailed NCL

Hi NCL fans.....we have never sailed NCL and are thinking about sailing on the Sea out of Houston....so many mixed reviews! So please tell me the good, the bad, the do and don't do's on this cruise. We are looking at around the first week of April....is this spring break time?? Do lots of spring breakers cruise the Sea? Fill us in on the Free Style cruising and what you would recommend in Belize ...looking at a tour of snorkling and Caye Caulker ) .....but wondering if we should take a ferry instead and just snorkle off the beach? Any suggestions? What to do in Roatan? What is the Canopy Tour? Anyone been? As you may have guessed I have just a little knowledge....which I KNOW can be a bad thing..;-) We are also looking at an OV cabin category FF or G....what's the best deck.... it looked like there were only 2-3 that were all guest cabin decks....we don't want to be under or over a restaurant or nightclub...early to bed for us. Thanks in advance for any and all information. Dianne
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Old January 24th, 2005, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

we're going on the Sea 3-12 thru 3-19. Never been, but very excited! I'm things will be great! Everybodies got their own opinion and I'm keeping an open mind and just want to have fun! We will be in OV category FF, I hope it's kind of quiet at night! We're thinking of the canopy tour in Roatan! And doing the caves in Belize! I'll write back when we get back!
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Old January 24th, 2005, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

The Sea is a fun little ship. Tiny staterooms. Soon to be gone to Asia forever. It was the first ship I cruised on and we had a ball. I did not know the ship was small or the rooms tiny. Great crew and this may be you last chance to cruse on anything but a mega liner unless you book a high end ship.

In Belize everyone gives great feedback on the cave tubing. I did the river boat trip to the Mian ruins.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 07:27 PM
TXRed
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Default Re: Re: never sailed NCL

Author: sparky
Date: 01-24-05 14:10

we're going on the Sea 3-12 thru 3-19. Never been, but very excited! I'm things will be great! Everybodies got their own opinion and I'm keeping an open mind and just want to have fun! We will be in OV category FF, I hope it's kind of quiet at night! We're thinking of the canopy tour in Roatan! And doing the caves in Belize! I'll write back when we get back!


Thanks sparky I will look forward to your review! Di
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Old January 24th, 2005, 08:48 PM
pata
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

Have been on the Sea three times and loved it more each time. We were in the FF OV last November and it was nice. The crew is fantastic and will do everything they can to help you enjoy. Our favorite tour was the Atlantis Submarine. Since we do not dive, it was awsome to go down that far. Hope you have a wonderful cruise.

Pat
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Old January 25th, 2005, 02:23 PM
newmexicoNita
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

Pat has is done pretty well. FF or G are the best outside cabins; the Sea is a smaller, older ship with lots of character but not the glitz of the newer babies. As long as you realize ahead of time what you are getting I can't see how anyone would be disappointed. Though she is about to leave the USA and is older she is in very good condition. the decor is just so so, as if most of pick a ship cause we like the color schemes? As I have mentioned before there is choice in dining, the casino is small but as generous as any we have found on ships, the crew will make you feel at home. they are friendly, will talk to you about where they think they will be or want to go after the Sea leaves, cruising from Tex. is much easier than from Miami or San Juan.
As for excursions: we have done the Eco tour in Belize (very disappointed) and we have done nothing except to tender in a ship a bit. Roatan, there are so many options. This last time we connected with the conceirne (spelling) Carlos who set us up on a private tour that only takes 10 people each week. It was wonderful. We have also hired a van and did a city tour stopping at a beach for snorkeling (about the best snorkeling in the world in my estimation) and we have done the Tabyana Beach tour via the ship. Roatan is a beautiful island with very friendly people; most are quite poor and their living conditions will make you appreciate being from our country. Hope this helps some; Oh, the first week of April question; this will be the very end of spring break so although there will be kids, it won't be noticable as the 2 or 3 weeks before. NMnita
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Old January 25th, 2005, 02:30 PM
TXRed
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Default Re: Re: never sailed NCL

Oh, the first week of April question; this will be the very end of spring break so although there will be kids, it won't be noticable as the 2 or 3 weeks before. NMnita


Again a very big thank you for all the wonderful information you provide......we have sailed mostly on RCCL so NCL will be a new experience...however....we did sail the Big Red Boat out of Houston on it's first sailing....so believe me....we can take just about ANYTHING! We booked and inside...first and last time...we had to literally stand sideways to pass each other...and we are just regular size people! . Dianne
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Old January 25th, 2005, 10:08 PM
mb mb is offline
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Default Re: Re: Re: never sailed NCL

See everyone has diff opinion, i think ncl is at the low end of major lines, behind celebrity, rccl hal and princess, but the sea was fine and i was on it 3 times, nothing fancy, no bells whistles, but decent cruise at reasonable price.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

I'd disagree MB. Note his/her posting on the "Spirit anyone?" thread. Don't know if the Norwalk virus was involved, but obvious a bad cruise experience. I've sailed once on RCCL, once on Celebrity, and am booked on my third NCL cruise in February. Each line has its own personality and nitch. I would put Celebrity a notch above RCCL and NCL if you are a formal, more reserved person who would appreciate their fabulous food (their nitch). I would put NCL in the same category as RCCL as a line that appeals to families and unpretentous passengers. I think they have unique iternaries and above average food. I love the freestyle concept and think the food/dining experience in their specialy restaurants is as good or better than Celebrity's main dining room (I haven't been on a Celebrity ship with a specialty restaurant). Take my advise with a grain of salt, as I'm a NCL fan, but look beyond the postings from those who had one bad experience on a line.
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Old January 26th, 2005, 05:26 PM
newmexicoNita
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

Chad, my feelings pretty much: MB, if you liked the Sea why would you put NCL at the very bottom of the list? Have you cruised any of NCL's newer ships? it is a matter of opinion for certain and that is why there are so many lines and so many ships per line. Each will attract a certain type of cliant and each has it's own personality. NMnita
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Old January 26th, 2005, 09:16 PM
Anissa
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

I've sailed RCCL twice but have never sailed NCL. Thinking about the Norweigen Star to the Mexican Rivera. Any thoughts? Will I be disappointed??
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Old January 27th, 2005, 08:03 AM
mb mb is offline
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Default Re: Re: never sailed NCL

With regard to ncl and my opinion, i feel rccl, and celebrity are better for a number of reasons. One is they have a mch better , rewards program for past cruisers as opposed to ncl recognition of past guests.I dont like freestyle dining concept. On a number of ships, i have had to wait for tables if you dont eat at very early or late seatings.I think the kids program on ncl is poorest at sea, they only have camp on sea days, port days only babysitting, and you have to pay 5 an hr. i find ncl staff , alot of orientals dont understand americans very well with language problem. newer ncl ships are attractive but so are new rccl and clebrity as well. I think food on ncl and rccl are about even, but celebrity to me is far superior. regards,
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Old January 27th, 2005, 09:33 AM
JennCandi
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

We did the canopy tour in Belize. This is zip-lining from tree to tree. It was the best excursion we have ever been on. I'm scared of heights, so the first tree was tough for me, but I loved it. If you like adventure, this is the tour for you.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

JennCandi- i'm doingthis excursion in March and I'm glad to hear your review!! I'm a little afraid of doing it, but it looks really cool and hey, we're on vacation!!!
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Old January 27th, 2005, 11:45 AM
newmexicoNita
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

Anissa, the Star is a beautiful ship with lots of activities and great choices for eating. Some of the restaurants have extra charges, but you do not have to eat in any of them. My only concern would be the Mexican Riv which just happens to be my least favorite itinerary: just my opinion mind you. If you are planning an sailing before mid or late April the weather could be an issue the first part of the cruise. Most people do not realize how cold it can get off the Calif and Baja coast in the winter. For us, NCL is wonderful as we love freestyle; we have never waited to get seated whether with 2 other couples or by ourselves. Of course we are flexible and do not mind being seated with others and we stay away from the 7pm to 8pm time frame. With the exception of freestyle you won't find too much difference in NCL and RCI. As for the launguage barriors, well we have yet to have a crew person we could not understand or who didn't understand us; most of the crew are from the pacific rim but many are Romanian. Whatever you decide have a great cruise. NMNita
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Old January 28th, 2005, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

Hello Dianne,

Two more cents:

The sea and sun are sister ships, and I would recommend the sun over the sea, its newer, better design. Why are you considering NCL? If its because of the value, you probably won't be dissappointed. But I would caution you not to expect the same experience you have gotten on other cruises if you are used to spending more money.

Freestyle cruising, - some people like it, other's don't for various reasons. Its hard to have the same level of quality as traditional though. (just my opinon)

Your ports are all very good, you won't be disappointed with them at all.

Have fun whatever "cruise you choose"
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Old January 28th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

I hate to be a pain in the tush, but the Sea and the Sun are certainly not related, much less sisters. The Sun and the Sky are sisters though the Sky was pruchased after it was almost complete thus the cabins are somewhat different. The Sun has larger ones. As for the Sea (used to be the Seaward) was built in 1988 and the Sun in 2001. The Sea was the first ship to offer alternative dining, but certainly not built for freestyle. Cabins on the Sun are 155 sq ft of larger (ourside) the Sea about 115. I don't want to start a shouting match over some of these comments, but Prince I am afraid I would have to question where you get your information and how many times, if any, you have been on an NCL ship? you remarked about Diane's other experience: she has sailed the Big Red Boat for heavens sake. She didn't mention which RCI ships she has sailed: some are wonderful, others are a bit sad.

NMnita
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Old January 28th, 2005, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Re: never sailed NCL

Nmnita,

My mistake, got the Sea and the Sky mixed up. Sorry Dianne! Sky is the sister ship to the Sun. I was on the Sun.


Happy cruising.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

Is the norwegian Majesty a sister ship of the sun or sky? or is it below or above them?

Thanks,
david.

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5/15/2004 - Carnival Jubilee
3/28/2005 - Norwegian Majesty
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Old January 30th, 2005, 01:07 PM
Richard Tatlow
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Default Re: Re: Re: never sailed NCL

1) I don't understand why you waited for a table. With NCL you have the option of a fixed table at a fixed time in a fixed restuarant if you wish.
2) We have sailed twice on NCL, Alaska and Panama Canal, and never waited more than 5 minutes for a table and we arrived at the dining room various times. We were, however, courteous and open with the hostesses, who all knew us before the cruise was over.
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Old January 30th, 2005, 04:07 PM
newmexicoNita
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Default Re: Re: never sailed NCL

David, this is just my opinion and I haven't even been on the Majesty, but from what I have read she is a step below the Sun and Sky. The Majesty was not built for freestyle and she is older and smaller. This doesn't mean you can't have a great cruise sailing her, it just means freestyle will be a bit different: for one thing, you will not have an many dining area choices.

NMnita
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Old February 12th, 2005, 06:34 AM
pattym
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Default Re: Re: Re: never sailed NCL

David
The Majestry is an older ship (1992) which attracts older passengers (30 to 50 crowd), she does not have the glitter and glamor of the newer ships or is as spaceous. All the crew members dress to the nines when on duty. The superior cabins are the about the same size as the newer ships. If you can live with the above then you can appreciate a 16 day repositioning cruise, superior outside cabin, not including air for $1956 including port charges and taxes, total cost for two adults.
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Old February 13th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: never sailed NCL

Hi all, NMNita, found your comments excellent and right on the money judging from our experiences.

We've sailed NCL twice, once on the Sea, and it was among our favorite cruises. We honestly felt that NCL's service was a cut above the rest (veterans of 10 cruises) as if to make up for the "smaller, older ships". We've done several on Carnival and RCCL, and as my wife is a travel agent, they all seem to go the extra mile for us, but we had no complaints about NCL. Cabins are small, and true, the ship isn't as glitzy as the newer ones, but LOTS less crowded than, say, Carnival Triumph, and again, the crew seem to bend over backwards to make you enjoy yourself.

When Sea goes to Asia, it'll be replaced with NCL Dream, currently sailing from New Orleans. We're going to try Elation next, thanks for Carnival for bringing a newer more modern ship to Houston/Galveston area.

Any questions, email me at cruzn@mailgods.com

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