UtahCruiser2015

UtahCruiser2015
Cruise Director

Joined: 02/20/2015
2
Cruises
3
Reviews
23
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UtahCruiser2015's Past Cruises

Norwegian Epic

December 2016 - Norwegian Epic to Caribbean - Eastern

An Epic Cruise

Cold weather played a big part in our first 3 days at sea.  We could not go outside due to the cold and rain.  The sea's was very rough and made a lot of people seasick including me.  At some points the Customer Service desk was out of medication but after several attempts they finally were able to keep enough in for me to get some.  Even with all of this, the cruise was going well.

 

We were in a Mini Suite on the 13th floor.  The room was fair sized and the balcony was larger than most.  The bathroom arrangement was okay for us but I can see that it would not be good for other than a couple.  Only problem we had with the bathroom was that there was no fan for odor removal but an open balcony door helped.  Sink in room was nice for one person getting ready while other was in the shower or commode room. Otherwise the room was nice and the storage was over the top.  In truth there was too much storage and some space used for storage could have been used for other space in the room.

 

The television was a nice size but the programming left a lot to be desired.  There was one free movie channel with mostly old movies on it, one favorite TV station that showed old shows and there was no listing of what was playing.  There were large gaps of time between programs so you had to wait if you wanted to see next program.  They did have 3 news channels and we spent most of our time watching Fox News.  There was option to rent movies on TV for $9.99.

 

The food was exceptional.  We tried all of the included places and they were all good.  We do not often eat in the buffet but did try it and was very good.  Mainly we ate in the Manhatten Room where you could dance but they didn't always have a band or music so we did not get to dance much. The smaller food service areas were very good for a quick bite  during off hours.  Did not use room service because of the $7.95 charge.  Since I was not feeling well at times this was not good.

 

Entertainment was okay. Really enjoyed Burn the Floor but other entertainment was not to our liking.  Not very many places to enjoy a quite entertainment.

 

Port of Calls were run of the mill but did go ashore for shopping.  For once in St. Thomas, did some buying,  You could find beautiful clothes for very reasonable prices. Bought 2 evening dresses for $45.00.  The stop at the private island was mainly for people wanting to swim and sunbath but we did enjoy the shopping but did not buy.  Also, enjoyed the food served on the island. Loved the BBQ ribs and the pounds cakes were to die for.

 

While we find Norwegian Cruise Lines a cut above we will most likely not sail on the Epic again as we have done it already. Service was good and all staff but one was nice and polite.  They always have a greeting and smile for you.

 

 

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Carnival Dream

August 2016 - Carnival Dream to Caribbean - Eastern

Never Book a Cruise in Hurricane Season

This was our third cruise on Carnival and it was as expected except for the change of the itinerary due to a hurricane.  Carnival is a good cruise line but are more or less a Plain Jane cruise line. Carnival has gone to a timed check in and this was much faster and if you set up on board account online it went even faster.

On this cruise we had a balcony stateroom and it was small compared to the suites we usually get.  Lots of not being able to get into closet because the bathroom door was open and so on.  Bed was very comfortable. Storage room was good with suitcase storage under the bed.  Carnival has cut back to once a day room cleaning and no longer does a bed turndown. Room had a safe and frig but it was not very cold.

When we cruise, we dine in the dinning rooms.  On the Dream the dinning rooms are very nice but the food is not very upscale.  Most often we choose the flat iron steak and baked potato since it was a safe bet.  On cruise days they have a brunch in the dinning rooms and this was the best meal we had.  Try the steak and eggs.  There were times when we wanted a quick snack and this could be hard to find.  Pizza was 24 hours but it was hard to catch the buffet open to get potato salad to go with your deli sandwich.  Coffee shop didn't open until 11am so early morning fancy coffee was out.  Overall the food was good but could have been better. Once they had  a grill cookout where the meat was so spicy hot that we could not eat it even though we like some heat in our food.

We did purchase the Cheer's Beverage Package and enjoyed the drinks and bartenders.

We will cruise again with Carnival because we are moving to a town near a port making it really easy to go on a cruise.

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Norwegian Star

February 2015 - Norwegian Star to Panama Canal, Central America

Wonderful 20th Anniversary Cruise

For our 20th Wedding Anniversary, we chose to book a Family Suite for this two week cruise to give us extra room a well as all the great suite amenities. This was the best thing we could have done.  The room was lovely with floor to ceiling windows giving us a full wall of windows to view the sea.  The amenities included flowers, fruit and champagne when we got to the suite. There was an upscale coffee, Expresso /Cappuccino machine in our room that we used to a great extent. But the best part was the Butler that saw to our every need and whim.  Every day he brought us a snack around 3 pm that included club sandwiches, cookies, candy and fruit and cheese.  Being in a suite also came with an upscale breakfast and lunch restaurant with great food and personal service.  Having a suite also gives you special embarkation  as well as disembarkation and baggage priority.

For dinner we most often went to the larger of the two dinning rooms where we were seated right away and were served wonderful meals.  We had read reviews about the food being sub par but our food was great.  I have found that most of the people that complain about the food on a cruise eat at the buffet where food is produced in bulk but we did try the buffet and found the food there a cut above the other cruise lines we have been on. We did not see any reason to try a specialty restaurant.

Some of the things we did was buying some art, shopping for jewelry, cooking demos, dancing and sunbathing.  There is a never ending number of things to do.

The day spent going through the Panama Canal was very interesting and we had a great place to watch the action,  Our suite had a front facing window as well as side facing and we were able to sit in the easy chairs and watch the hooking up of the pull trains and the pull of the boat, the raising and lowering of the water in the locks while staying in the cool room and eating snacks that the butler brought.  During the trip across the lake connecting the locks, we went to the specialty restaurant for suite guests where we had lunch and watched the beautiful sights going by. 

We enjoyed the ports we stopped at since they were all new to us.  There were at least two that we want to go back to for longer visits.

We were very impressed with the service on the Star and loved the beauty of the ship.  The ship was returning to the west coast and then going into dry dock for a refurb where she will get new carpets and some other upgrades.  We would love to take another trip on the Star and will be looking at her other itineraries.

 

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UtahCruiser2015's Tips

Norwegian Epic Norwegian Epic - We heard several people talking about being nickled and dimed but we spent very little. We however do things that are included and have just as much fun without spending a lot.
Port Canaveral, Florida - They had four ships all loading out of the port the day we left and port traffic was a madhouse. They need to spread out the departures or make other changes.
Carnival Dream Carnival Dream - On the first day take a good tour of the whole ship and learn where everything is. The Dream is a big ship with lots of hidden areas.
Huatulco, Mexico - Very nce, Was impressed with their planning. Woud like to return.
Norwegian Star Norwegian Star - Try the chicken wings at the 24 hour Blue Lagoon, the ice cream on the pool deck and the Library for reading and relaxing.

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Star cruise review - Wonderful 20th Anniversary Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - An Epic Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Star cruise review - Wonderful 20th Anniversary Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - An Epic Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Star cruise review - Wonderful 20th Anniversary Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Dream cruise review - Never Book a Cruise in Hurricane Season

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Star cruise review - Wonderful 20th Anniversary Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - An Epic Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Dream cruise review - Never Book a Cruise in Hurricane Season

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Star cruise review - Wonderful 20th Anniversary Cruise