Hi everyone, I am "new" to the NCL message board. I have only cruised once, on Carnival Sensation in 2007 with my teenage son. I'm going to go on a number of differnet cruiselines now, and then when I retire I will know which ones are my favorite.
I recently booked a 5-nighter on NCL Dawn to Grand Cayman/Cozumel in March 2010.
I'm not going to book a hotel for a while, obviously, but I would like to know which hotels are right at or within a few blocks of the Miami dock, with great ocean views so I can see the NCL Dawn. I want to fly in the night before and wake up to see the ship!
Also. for those of you who have experienced both NCL and Carnival, I'd love to know how you compare the two cruiselines as far as service, types and variety of shipboard activities, and especially how much the atmosphere is condusive to singlesolo travelers. Since NCL has free-style dining, do they have a section of the dining rooms set aside for "solo travelers" so that solos can easily find other solos (or be found by other solos if they want to be found)?
Well I would probably recommend going to Priceline and choosing a four star hotel in Downtown Miami. If you choose a 3 star you may get the Radisson and it was not a place I will ever stay again, even though you can see the ships come in. Although they do have a lovely breakfast. I was turned off by finding someone elses socks (they were really gross too) under the bed and the room was just dirty. The Intercontinental is nice and so is Hyatt Regency.
While I do not think NCL has a solo traveller section, they will try to seat you with others so you are not sitting all by your lonesome. Our family actually asks to sit by ourselves so we can enjoy being together. Just tell them what you would like and they will do their best to accomodate your preferences.
I think that in this day and age, you are bound to meet other singles on either cruise line. I think if you liked the Sensation, you'll love the Dawn. You'll have a great time I am sure.
Price line is the best, if you want to see the pier I would suggest the Holiday Inn (bayside) it is across from the Bayside Market with lots of interesting restaurants and shops, the upper floors of the hotel overlook the pier so you get a view of the ships and the hotel is ok. I wouldn't want to spend several days there, but a night of two is fine. The pool area sucks, not that you will have much time for the pool, the restaurant is just so so, but you can go across to the market for dinner. Certainly you will get a fair price...
Holiday INN port of Miami is very nice and the pool is very nice they just redone the pool area is very nice and the Motel staff are very nice as well,we just stayed there and would book there again.
Glad they redid the pool, it was awful when we were there 3 years ago, but unless you are spending several days there ahead of time it doesn't make much difference. I think the best part of the Holiday Inn is the location..