Just returned from the Dream and I am happy to report that we were pretty happy with everything. I had planned on giving a full account of our experience- just haven't gotten around to it yet (guess it is time) check out my review (posting it next)
I have found by reading these boards that cruising is so subjective and it is hard to give or get an unbiased opinion. Have come to the conclusion that it totally depends on your expectations and what you, yourself, need out of your cruise. Will you like the Dream?
If it is your first cruise with nothing to compare it to, you will probably love it. Cruising in and of itself is great. If you have been on larger, newer ships, more lively ships with more to do, you may not like it. If you are looking for more quiet time, you will love it. If you are affected by motion sickness, you will hate it, this was the most unstable ship I ever sailed. We booked for the itinerary and the port city of New Orleans, so some of it was good, and if that is what you want, you will be happy. I guess some would classify me as one of those grumpy people who are never satisfied, but I have been on 7 different ships, 5 different cruise lines, and have number 8 coming in 3 weeks, and I totally enjoyed all the others, because I am still cruising. I have sailed one other Norwegian ship also, and loved that one. They have some really good prices, too, so if that is a factor, give it a try. They do have the best disembarking of all the cruiselines and were the only ships where I ever won in the casino! Happy cruising to you.
We just got off the Dream and it was awful. The ship was in constant motion and the vibration was constant. We did not get a good night sleep on board. The service staff was good but that was about it. We missed Cancun and the crew decided to throw their own staff party right outside of our room unitl late hours of the evening. Several people complained and security was called several times. Hopefully while the ship is in dry dock they will decide to turn it into razor blades.
Does the ship have stabilizers?
I would not expect any ship these days to be devoid of Stabilizers.
How was the Entertainment?
How about the Nightlife? Any games or other events going on to attend?
How about Caribbean music on the deck? Or Bands playing for dancing?
This will be my 6th cruise so I do have some basis of comparrison.
This was my first cruise. We just returned from the dream. We read all the negative reviews and were slightly concerned. We decided to make the best of it and judge for ourselves. (thinking that some people have nothing good to say, ever.) HOWEVER, I am so disappointed! I would assume the ship has stabalizers. Whether they are in working order is another question. It moved so badly that walking down the hall was difficult! Things were rolling around in our drawers. The shower water was all over the floor of the bathroom because it would slosh out of the shower every time the ship rocked. Unbelievable! Sleeping was difficult at night. I felt like I needed to hold on for dear life. I actually saw the ceiling move back and forth and the creaking was terrible. We felt very sad about our recent vacation and feel like we wasted our time and money. Now for some good, we loved Roatan!!!! AWESOME port! Wow, we will be visiting again just not by ship! Oh, we missed cancun,we had read on the internet that they actually only make that port 25% of the time. Again, we thought we would take it with a grain of salt, that was a bad decision. Again back to the good, the food was great, no complaints. We ate in all the restaurants and enjoyed our meal all but one night. (and even that night wasn't terrible) Very good. The crew were all very polite and friendly, and we had adequate service. I did not feel pampered like some suggest you will feel but they were good. Over the top with personality, we truely enjoyed meeting many of our waiters etc. There is a lot to do on this ship. We found most of the entertainment to be "filler". There were classes etc but most seemed to be designed for people with very little ability to do anything else. This ship is small. The "dance club" is very small, a circle dance floor about the size of my foyer. Any this is not a seperate entity, it is all open to other areas of the ship. I don't know what we were expecting but it wasn't that. ???? There was a Pete Mathews comedian, entertainer, juggler that kept the crowd very happy, very funny but this was only one night. Don't miss him though. The casino was a casino, i'm not sure there is much you can do wrong with that. The staff was not overly friendly in there but fine. As I mentioned before, we liked the staff and service but they were not always very knowledgable. Several times we would ask someone for directions or something and they would not even give us the right floor. We thought that was a liitle odd. It was as though they had just stepped aboard. Not a big deal but a little strange. We were travelling with our children. We found the kids program to be useless. it didn't work for our kids anyway. The director seemed very overwhelmed and flustered. and the remainder of the staff seemed to lack any personality. We had better luck with one of the singers in a band that seemed to really like our children then with any of the kids crew staff. The pools were not designed with young children in mind. This is not a problem unless you are travelling with small kids. The pools are 6 ft deep. I could not stand in the one at all. The other I could stand in at one point but only because the water had fallen out because the ship was so rouhg. (no joke!!)
So, the moral of the story. If you are travelling on the dream and read some neagtive reviews, ask yourself if the things you are reading are things that would be acceptable to you. I would not assume they are not accurate.
Overall we had a good time, you make it what it is. But after this, we will never travel with NCL again. But the ports we made, Roatan, Belize and Cozumel were great. Roatan was outstanding!!!! (we did a private tour, we had a driver and a guide both of whicvh stayed with us at the beach. Very cool.) Oh, getting on and off the boat was very organized every time including disembarking! I hope you have a great trip.
One more thing, they were really good about health concerns, safety etc. Very good about sanitizing etc. Hand sanitizer at ever door and there were times there was apparently illness on the boat and they would not let you serve yourself from the buffets. They served you and the lines still went very quickly. We did think that was great and appreciated how thorough they seemed to be.
thanks for your review.
What is amazing is the different topics that vacationers complain about. What you say is good, others would say it is awful.
Some comments I've read were that the ship is boring.
So my question is this: WHAT DID PEOPLE DO DURING THE DAYS AT SEA?
Most cruise lines have varying activities to do.
So I am asking everyone to please tell me what you spent your time doing during days at sea.
DJD and c1mark told it like it is. Comments were right on the money. Honestly don't think this ship has stabilizers, or if they do, they are broken. Our cruise was last fall and it was the same way. As I said earlier, if you like a quiet cruise, you will like it. Only deck dancing I saw was sail-away. Deck band played very little, even on sea days they would pop in a cd and leave the deck. I wrote a review and got flamed for it by someone who loved it, so sometimes its tough to be completely honest on these boards. You know how it goes, one man's trash, anothers treasure. What other ships and lines have you been on? It might be easier to compare.
the decks were crowded to the brim, get out there early cause that is it! Soak up the sun with a sea of other people! There really wasn't much else to do. They did have bingo but it was pretty expensive. twenty something a card. Sea days are really when you hear the rumble amunst other guests. There were a ton of really unhappy people on our cruise. I don't know if any of this is normal to this boat or to cruising, I just know my experience was really bad. And yes, boring. We walked past some of these classes they had and I felt like I stepped back in time. weird. Like reflexology classes. ????People were actually sitting in one of the lounges rubbing their feet and ankles. I don't know it just seemed like something elderly people would be interested in back in the 50's! Like I said before, I don't know what we were expecting but that wasn't it! unlike some other people I have read reviews from, we did a ton of research on this boat and the ports etc. It STILL didn't work out the way I had hoped. I wasn't even expecting much honestly based on the reviews. I had hoped my low expectations would leave me pleasantly surprised. Wrong! Oh, and I happen to like food a lot! In fact, I run marathons so I can eat. The food was good! Based on other reviews we read I was really surprised.
Enjoy whatever vacation you choose!
Please don't give up cruising if this was your first, at least try a different ship or cruise line. You will cheat yourself out of a great experience if you don't. I said in my original review that if this was my first cruise, I would have never gotten on another ship. You said other passengers were grumbling as well, and it was the same on the one we went on back in the fall. Everyone I talked to was unhappy, for many different reasons.I also research carefully before I book, for us, it was the second cruise of the year and I wanted something cheap, and it was also 3 new ports for us, so we took a chance. My bad. Give yourself a chance to really enjoy a good cruise, look into Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival, maybe Norwegian's newer ships even, but at least try one more.
It is your choice after all, how your cruise dollar is spent, so just read as many reviews as you can, and think about what you want from your vacation, then go for it. Good luck
To put it bluntly, this ship is a piece of junk with rude customer service (the even the staff doesn't want to be there.) Poor food quality with even poorer food choices. The entertainment (what there is of it) is not worth walking down the hall for.
Don't waste your money on this cheap, tacky ship.
We were on the Dream in Mid February. We had a room with a window on the 7th deck. The room exceeded expectation, we had 2 kids with us, we had no problem. It was certainly bigger and better organized than equivalent rooms on other ships. We did feel some significant vibration the last night on board as we travelled up the river, and especially when we were pulling into New Orleans in the early morning, but overall, the movement wasn't any more than I expected with a bit smaller ship. The itinerary was great, we made all our stops, would have liked longer stays in most ports, particularly Roatan. It was just too darn short. As for sea days, there did not appear to be a lot of extraordinary stuff happening (same old stuff as all ships have, trivia, hairy this and boy/girl that), the decks were a bit crowded, at times, however, we were never bored. There was nothing wrong with the pools, yes, they sometimes had unnatural waves from the ship's movement, but my kids loved it. We found the back of the ship was more serene than the middle and easier to find a comfortable spot. Service was excellent, from room steward to waiters to excursion desk to purser. No issues with any of that. I found the food in the dining rooms very good (breakfast and dinner), didn't particularly like the layout of the dining rooms, especially if you were stuck in the middle somewhere, the BBQ's were good, some of the buffets were decent, but I am not a big buffet guy, so I didn't really pay attention. We did have to wait for dinner for some period of time almost every night, ranging from 5 minutes to 25, at about 7pm. I didn't get too bent out of shape about that, it is no different than anywhere else you eat in real life. As an aside, I find it quite the dichotomy that people will happily wait a half hour to get into a stinky, grungy moshpit like Carlos and Charlie's only to emerge smelly and wet from spilled beer (and love it), yet complain bitterly about having to wait 10 minutes to get into the dining room.
All in all, I feel we got pretty good value for our travel dollar. The ship was by no means luxurious, but neither was the price. We have been on other ships (Carnival, RCI), and while they may appear on the surface to be more this or more that, we have found the basic "cruise model" to be the same across every ship. Soaring atriums, glass elevators and light pulsing dance floors, while a pretty cool novelty for about 5 minutes, don't provide any added value, to this writer anyway. In conclusion, do whatever you want, make sure you like the itinerary, don't second guess yourself, and enjoy whatever comes your way.
7 cees, now your statement shows alot of class I may say. I have to wonder why you feel this way, could your attitude have anything to do with it? Most of the crew, by the way are happy to be on the Dream. Where do you get your information. Did you take a pole while you were sailing on her, or I assume you sailed her. NMnita
As for stabilizers, this is a concern of many older ships. Read the remarks about the Horizon and Zenith, both Celebrity ships. I think pcboston has the right idea, it depends on what you are really expecting and looking for in your travel experience. If you are expecting the new, glitz of the mega ships you are going to be very disappointed, if you want to have a great time with a relaxed friendly crew and just enjoy the experience of cruising you should be fine. The food will be good as will the entertainment. The ports are always the high point for NCL. Yes, Cancun is missed frequently by all lines that use this port on their itinerary. By the way 7 cess, sorry for the mispelling of the word, of course i meant poll but your comment was pretty funny even if your first one was totlaly classless. NMnita
Just so everyone knows - if motion is a problem remember that if you sail out of New Orleans or Galveston you have to travel straight through the Gulf of Mexico which is very rough. This is NOT the Caribbean sea but the GULF. Even a cold front coming through makes 20 foot waves. Not an exageration. So stabilizers are not the problem but going through the Gulf. If you hate motion fly to San Juan or Florida and not in hurricane season. Even in January the week before we went the Carnival Esctasy had 20 foot waves coming back in the Gulf because of a cold front. It is not the ships but the GULF. We've sailed the CArnival Celebration, Jubilee, Inspiration, Elation and RCL Rhapsody and NCL Sea all out of Galveston or New Orleans and they have all been rough. Sometimes the Gulf can be calm but more than not it is rough. Sorry - this was just suppose to be FYI. We learned it the hard way too but as you can see it is just too convenient out of a home port to let a rough Gulf stand in my way! hahaha Debbie
We just returned from a five (5) day cruise.. The f ood was only available at certain times and it was not all that great... The ship was okay. The service wonderful.. The entertainment was good with the comedian, no night life, and the casino left something to be desired....
I think you have to evaluate your expectations. If you are someone who will accept only the best then you'd best limit your cruising to Crystal, Raddison or Windstar. My guess is that budget is a concern as it is with most of us. The Dream offers a good cruise at a reasonable price. True, it does not offer non-stop action 24/7 - but that's what books and naps are made for. Then again, you might even renew a relationship with someone by having long chats while playing rummy or scrabble or making shapes out of the clouds.
I've sailed the Dream 3 times, once for 2 weeks in the Baltic and while the Gulf of Mexico is indeed rough the North Sea makes it look like a kiddy pool. All of this goes to say it is well to do your homework before booking any kind of vacation. If you want smooth sailing sail out of San Juan between Nov 1 and May 31 on a great big boat and be sure to make an offering to the weather goddess before you leave home because it's she not the cruise lines who make the weather.