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Old May 21st, 2006, 09:16 PM
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Default freestyle cruisin

I've read alot of posts about the quantity and variety of restaurants aboard Norwegian cruiselines. I'm curious tho how many of these restaurants are "pay" restaurants and how many are free? Also, it seems it would be a hassle to have to remember to make reservations each night at your restaurant of choice. How does Norwegian Star compare to RCCL voyager class ships or Celebrity?
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Old May 21st, 2006, 11:32 PM
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Do they compare? It is hard to compare as they are very different. We like the food better on NCL and the service; RCI offers a few more activities. Cabins will be similar. As for freestyle: we find it easier to make reservations for our choices the first day. They give you reminder cards. As for how many and what ones, each NCL ship varies but you can be certain there will be Le Bistro (French, contenental) and a steak house. Also most likely an Italian plus Habachi table. These will be the extra charge eateries. I recommend you try at least one or two: Le Bistro and the Habachi would be my choices. There will also be a snack type which will offer fish and chips, great sandwhiches, etc. Someone who has been on the Star will be better able to answer this one, but that restaurant will have no service charge. I hope this helps a little, NMNita
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 10:13 AM
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My wife and I have a debate about freestyle versus traditional dining. We enjoy the flexability of freestyle since an excursion may run a bit late from time to time. We also like having an assigned wait-staff with traditional dining.
You should find the food to be very good on NCL, and there is no need for reservations unless you choose one of the specialty restaurants.
LeBistro is a very French sounding name, but do not be concerned. You can certainly have a great steak there. You can get as fancy or as "normal" as you want.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Hi! I admit it was a bit challenging trying to plan our week of reservasions in the specialty restraunts...but if you asked me was it worth the "hassle"?...I say yes. The next time I cruise norweigion, I believe I am going to try and see if they will give me a heads up of what will be served in the main dinning areas ....so that way I can plan easier wich nights to go to the specialty restraunts. Also, you figure around 7:30 at night is a pretty safe time to make reservations. Gives you plenty of time to get back from your excursion, rest, get a shower and change. (kids club opens at 7pm, so you can drop off the little ones if you have any) you have time after dinner to see the show at 9pm! On the jewel, there were i think 4 pay restraunts. I suggest to do restraunts out of the norm.
omit the mexican or italian...you can do them back in the states. Lebistro and cagneys on ours were awesome pay restraunts. The main dinning rooms were wonderful too, and they are not pay!

We are looking to sail the norwegion sun in april 2007! Was a great experience!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:46 PM
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When we cruised Alaska on the Spirit in June 2004 there were either
4 or 5 pay restaurants. We ate in the regular dining rooms and had
extremely good meals every day. Thought it was a waste of money
if you wanted a steak every night. The night they had lobster tails
(maybe we were lucky) they served each of us three tails. Can't
say the same for other cruise lines. You can look at
www.vacationstogo.com and get prices, deck plans and photos
of just about any cruise line ship. You will find Celebrity and several
others charge considerably more than Norwegian, though they
probably have overall better service and accommodations.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Bailey
When we cruised Alaska on the Spirit in June 2004 there were either
4 or 5 pay restaurants. We ate in the regular dining rooms and had
extremely good meals every day. Thought it was a waste of money
if you wanted a steak every night. The night they had lobster tails
(maybe we were lucky) they served each of us three tails. Can't
say the same for other cruise lines. You can look at
www.vacationstogo.com and get prices, deck plans and photos
of just about any cruise line ship. You will find Celebrity and several
others charge considerably more than Norwegian, though they
probably have overall better service and accommodations.
Glen, my understanding is you can not post travel agent information. Just thought I would point this out before your thread gets pulled. NMNita
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 02:04 PM
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Thanks. I'm kinda new to this and didn't realize you couldn't do
that.

Glen
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 07:29 PM
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Hi Nita & Glen,

I think, MAYBE, you can post the agency name if they advertise on CM's, and you're recommending them. I've never been clear about this!

CM Staff, can you clear this up for us??
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 08:13 PM
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Hi Fern,
We just don't allow commercial sites, if its someone that actually pays for advertizing here at Cruisemates and the information is asked for, I believe thats OK.. There are also a list of links within this site, I will use those from time to time or direct posters there.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 08:33 PM
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that is pretty much my understanding as well:Advertisers are a totally different situation. NMNIta
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Old May 24th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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Default Pay restaurants

I understand the debate on Pay/NO-pay restaurants on the NCL ships. Here is what we have done on our last three cuises with NCL.

On the first day, we set up reservations for at least the two formal nights. We started doing this after the first time we cruised Freestlyle and found that on certain nights (formals, Captain's Night, Lattitudes party) there tends to be a glut of people trying to eat all at the same time. On that cruise, we ending up waiting over an hour on two different nights.

No matter what anyone says, when you are ready to eat and have to get into a line, it is agravating. We would rather pay for the specialty restaurant in order to get a reservation than have to wait for a table. The other problem with waiting is that it can throw off the rest of your night by missing the shows or other events that are scheduled for that evening.

We have also used the reservations when we are at a port that has a late return-to-ship time. If you are on an excursion that day and a lot of people are getting back on the ship late, there are going to be a lot of people wanting to eat within an hour after re-boarding. Either get back on the ship early and go to eat before the crowd or make a reservation and know when you are going to eat for sure.

As far as the price for the restaurants, our opinion is that NCL is discounting the base price for the cruises enough for us to spend this additional amount for what amounts to better service and somewhat better food than in the traditional restaurants. We feel that the overall total is still a good bargain for what we are paying.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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Jim, you worded your remarks much better than I can. I agree completely. What has happened in the past 5 to 10 years and this really applies to all lines, cruising has become a family vacation versus years ago when only people 40 plus cruised and only couples. By keeping prices pretty stable over the years they can attract a larger group of people; some from all walks of life. I think this is wonderful. Why should only the upper middle class and up be able to enjoy the wonderful experience of spending time on the ocean. By adding more options like specialty dining those who want the more upscale experiences can pay for them while those who choose to go mainstream can afford to cruise.

There are those who really prefer to be on lines that do cater to the upper middle and upper class. Those passengers will find more what they want on Oceania, Seabourne, Radisson, Sea Dream and a few other lines. NMNita :
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Old June 8th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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Regarding reservations, can you make reservations for the no fee restaurants, too? This will be our first time freestyle. We will be sailing on the sun 8/19.
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Old June 8th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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No, all you do is show up like at a restaurant on land. If there is a line, you may have to wait. If you are a small party, you may be seated with others unless you ask not to be.
It really is not bad at all.
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