Gartail

Gartail
Second Mate

Joined: 01/19/2014
5
Cruises
5
Reviews
14
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Gartail's Past Cruises

Norwegian Dawn

October 2015 - Norwegian Dawn to Bermuda

Nothing spectacular.

Nothing exceptionally good or bad happened on this cruise except for the food.  The only thing we can say about this cruise is "we've been there."  The cruise provided the means to cross Bermuda off our bucket list.

 

The food at the Garden Cafe can only be put in the category of "eating for survival" mode.  Dishes are usually overcooked.  There is always a line because the setup forces everybody to go through the salad line.  People are always wandering around with plates in hand looking for seats.  We hope the dining room might have better food which turned out not to be the case as one bite of the baked chicken jerky ended my husband's appetite.  It's not all bad at the Asian Garden just need to pick the right dish.

 

We have one more voucher for Norwegian and have made up our mind Norwegian is definitely not the favorite cruiseline we are looking for.

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Brilliance of the Seas

October 2015 - Brilliance of the Seas to Canada, New England, New York

Relaxing cruise but not much color

Our main purpose for this cruise was to see the colors.  We had an enjoyable cruise and saw the trees turning color but not as much as expected.  We learned that to see the beautiful colors we need to go inland and not from the cruise ship.  Ports visited were nice but small and very crowded.  Bar Harbor port was skipped due to heavy fog.  It was very nice the captain took the time to explain the reasoning behind his decision - for the safety of his crew and the cruisers.

 

I've cruised on RCI before and noticed the quality of service is deteriorating.  We have one more voucher and will most likely stop cruising with RCI unless the next cruise  blows our socks off, figure of speech. Happy

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Norwegian Pearl

December 2014 - Norwegian Pearl to Caribbean - Southern

Very good cruise and like the ports.

This was our first cruise on Norwegian.  We've sailed on Princess and Royal Caribbean a couple of times prior to checking out Norwegian.  I like the itinerary and the ports on this Southern Caribbean Cruise.  We were taken aback by the disorganization in the waiting area for embarkation as there weren't enough chairs for all the cruisers waiting to board.  Once the boarding process started it went quickly and smoothly.  

We liked the freestyle dining; however, we felt that made it difficult for the stateroom attendant to know when to make up or turn down the cabin.  Compare to other cruises we've been on this one took the longest to have the cabins ready each day.  The daily towel animals was great which was not even provided on some of the cruises we've been on and more than made up for having to wait for the room to be ready.

I was very impressed with Norwegian Pearl's varieties offered at the buffet line.   However, the seats in the dining area are so jammed in there it made it very difficult to move around the tables.  The option to either dine in the casual or formal dress main dining room, offer the same menu, was great.  We did not like the formal dress main dining room, Summer Palace, because the entire dining room was lite up like a cafeteria.  We dined at the The Indigo, casual main dining room,  during most of the cruise if we like the menu.  Menu offered at the dining room are surprisingly lack of variety but the quality of the food is exceptional.  Many nights we walked away from the dining room after looking at the menu.  We felt the intent was to drive the cruisers to the specialty dining.

The professional entertainment on board was the best compare to other cruises we've been on.  I stress professional.  This cruise ship has the worst Cruise Director Staff I've ever seen.  The game shows are not well thought out and poorly organized.  One of the Cruise Director Staff made fun of participants spelling during a quiz show which is totally unprofessional in my opinion.   On the other hand, I thought the Cruise Director's announcement of cabins ready by deck number on the embarkation date was great and very considerate of the cruisers who want to get settled and start their vacation.

One thing I really dislike about Norwegian and the reason behind the 4-star is their policy regarding purchase of the drink packages.  We wanted to purchase a classic drink package for my husband but was told drink package must be purchased for all occupants for the room.  Since I only have a glass of wine at special occasions we decided not to get the drink package.  My conversation with other cruisers also reveal this to be a point of contention.  Parents with children in the room must purchase drink packages for both parents and soda package for the children.   Skip the drink package and if you are a beer drinker you can buy 5 beers and get 1 free.

Overall, it was a great trip and we've put down payment on a future Norwegian cruise.

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Star Princess

October 2014 - Star Princess to Mexico

Cruise Director Staff Made this a good trip.

We went on this cruise with my sister, her first cruise, to show her what cruising is all about.  What a great time we had!!  

There weren't much to see at some of the ports the ship went to.  Consequently, excursion selection was very limited.  We felt the excursions we purchased through the ship did not give us our money's worth.

This ship have the best Cruise Director Staff of all the cruises I've been on.  The activities they provide and the game shows kept us in stitches.  We will come back to Star Princess for the Cruise Director's Staff.

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Legend of the Seas

January 2014 - Legend of the Seas to Caribbean - Eastern

Great Trip!!

This is our second cruise on Royal Caribbean and the standard of service excellence was also provided on Legend of the Seas.  We were so impressed with the crew and the service received that we put down deposit for a future cruise with Royal Caribbean.

 

The 10-night Easter Caribbean Cruise was the perfect cruise for us.  We enjoyed the relaxing days at sea to and from the port of calls and the varieous activities on board the Legend of the Seas.  This ship is smaller than the previous one we were on but it offered interesting and fun activies like belly flop contest by the pool and engaging lectures on whales.  I especially like how the ship designated a smoking section on deck 9, one side of the pool, that shields smokers from the element while the non-smokers are also offered the same protection on the other side of the pool.

 

Although I enjoyed the dance lessons offered I wish they were more Caribbean centric dances. i.e. salsa, vs the ball room dance taught at each session.  Be forewarned of the frozen mudslide, it looks very pretty and tasts delicious and will sneak up on you if you don't pace yourself. :-)

 

Overall, a great trip!!

 

 

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Gartail's Tips

Norwegian Dawn Norwegian Dawn - If you eat at the Garden Cafe make sure to find seats first before getting your food.
Saint John, New Brunswick - Very difficult to get wifi. Free wifi is advertised everywhere but getting it is very difficult due to amount of people on it. We ended up at Westin's hotel and paid for a drink to get the free wifi.
La Paz, Mexico - Same tour guides from Loreto came to give tour in La Paz as there isn't much to tour.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - Couldn't go snorkeling because of the recent hurricane. Town is still recovering from its aftermath.
Loreto, Mexico - Not much to be found here and the tour guide pretty much attested to that as he didn't have much interesting to share.
Star Princess Star Princess - Go to the activities offered by the Cruise Director's Staff. You will stay in stitches while learning new words.
Willemstad, Curacao - Went on the Ostrich Farm and Cave tour. Had a great time at the ostrich farm and could have skip the cave.
Oranjestad, Aruba - We took the Aruba Jeep Safari half day tour which was great. Be aware there is no free wifi to be found.
Norwegian Pearl Norwegian Pearl - Don't wait for service. Ask and you will get good service.
Roseau, Dominica - Great excursion with the Bumping Tour Group. The guide was wonderful and a totally enjoyable trip.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida - Departure was a nightmare having to wait an hour for transportation. The airport cannot handle the load of cruisers from multiple cruise ships. Everything was a mess at the airport and the bathrooms were filthy.
Legend of the Seas Legend of the Seas - Make an effort to have some snacks at the Windjammer but make sure you get there right at 3 as the good stuff disappears fast.

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received a helpful vote on their Star Princess cruise review - Cruise Director Staff Made this a good trip.

received a helpful vote on their Star Princess cruise review - Cruise Director Staff Made this a good trip.

received a helpful vote on their Star Princess cruise review - Cruise Director Staff Made this a good trip.

received a helpful vote on their Star Princess cruise review - Cruise Director Staff Made this a good trip.

added Oct 23, 2015 cruise on Norwegian Dawn to their profile.

shared a quick tip for Norwegian Dawn"If you eat at the Garden Cafe make sure to find seats first before getting your food."

reviewed their Bermuda cruise on Norwegian Dawn and gave it 2 stars!

added Oct 11, 2015 cruise on Brilliance of the Seas to their profile.

reviewed their Canada, New England, New York cruise on Brilliance of the Seas and gave it 3 stars!

shared a quick tip for Brilliance of the Seas"Make sure to try out the fresh lobster at Halifax."