cruznuts

cruznuts
Cruise Director

Hometown: Houston
Joined: 04/23/2011
29
Cruises
3
Reviews
21
Helpful Votes
708

About cruznuts

Middle age couple that loves to cruise! Our next cruise will be an eastern Caribbean on Norwegian Dawn. Norwegian is fast becoming our favorite cruise line!


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Norwegian Dawn

February 2018 - 11 Night Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Dawn

A great vacation "Dawns"

We're a long-time-married and nearly-retired couple from Texas, and our cruise on Dawn was our 26th, our 9th with NCL. We originally chose this cruise due to the itinerary, though Mother Nature had other plans. After learning of the updated itinerary, we decided to proceed, as the new itinerary pleased us more than the original. Overall I found nothing to complain about, though we're of the opinion that your experience is what you make of it, regardless of the circumstances. Should one look hard enough, negatives are certainly to be found, but again, we prefer to accentuate the positives. Food was, though hearty and satisfying, mostly average. Buffet was sometimes less than "hot", though adequately warm. The lunch grill, much the same. French fries were awesome! Dining room fare was, again, average, but mostly well presented and served to order. We didn't avail ourselves of any of the specialty restaurants onboard, though we heard many good things. Cabin service was, for the most part, excellent, though sometimes the make-up service in the morning ran somewhat late, but it was always done efficiently. We did some shore excursions through NCL, some we booked on our own through independent tour operators. The one we counted on most, in Aruba, we missed due to the changed itinerary, putting us in Aruba a day late, and despite emailing our tour guides and requesting a day's postponement, we were unable to connect. No worries, we did some great snorkeling in Curacao, as well as Dunns River Falls in Jamaica, something we'd never done despite having been to Jamaica 3 times previously. Entertainment was good for the most part, with an extraordinary Irish comedian, an excellent stand-up man, Mr. Rivas, an actual Caribbean steel band for poolside (for once, much preferable to recorded music) a fabulous show band, and we much enjoyed Manila Soul, the lounge band. Highlight for us entertainment-wise was the night in the Atrium when some of the vocalists onboard sang with the showband, but solos and duets, with the best being from the lady with Rockaway Duo and the lead female singer from Manila Soul, Bambi. Those 2 completely divergent styles and voices blended flawlessly, leaving us wishing for more! Both embarkation as well as disembarkation was fine with us, being our first time cruising from Tampa. Overall, we'd recommend Norwegian Dawn and her attentive crew to anyone desiring something different from the standard 7 day cruise.

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Norwegian Epic

April 2017 - 13 Night Transatlantic Eastbound (Port Canaveral To Barcelona) Cruise on Norwegian Epic

Crew were MVPs

Great cruise, our first transatlantic, though coming home (3 flights spanning over 24 hours from Barcelona Spain back to Texas) wasn't much fun!  Epic is far from my favorite ship, not (in my opinion) enough quiet places to relax, read, play cards, etc, due to extensive space devoted to the "largest casino afloat", which wasn't extensively used, at least from what we could see.  I asked one of the dealers one night (while she sat at an unused blackjack table) if she had trouble staying awake, to which she replied "you have no idea!".  Card room was usually always packed, and in the internet cafe there were FOUR computers for a passenger load of over 4k (and not all of them were working).  Food was fantastic, entertainment was as well, only complaint being that some of the more popular shows limited, for the most part, to small venues that severly restricted the number of people wanting to see the shows.  Inside cabin was more than adequate (we always book inside) though the lighting left something to be desired, but shower was huge compared to other ships we've cruised, overall satisfied with the cabin.  The overwhelming impression of Epic was, to us, the crew, everyone of them consistently smiling, polite, ready and able to meet your needs, can't say enough positive things about them.  Can't speak for shore excursions, we took none through the cruise line, but we went for the repositioning cruise and the extensive sea days more so than for a specific port. That being said, we were interested of course in seeing places we'd never been.  Again, not overwhelmingly impressed with Norwegian Epic, but I was more than impressed with her crew!

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Liberty of the Seas

September 2016 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip) Cruise on Liberty of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas

April 2016 - 11 Night Southern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Serenade of the Seas

Abbreviated Cruise (through no fault of the cruise line)

A short review of Serenade of the Seas, 11 nights starting (for most) 4/18/16.  Due to massive amounts of rain in our hometown (Houston TX) we missed the ship (1st time in 23 cruises we missed a ship) and through a series of successes and mishaps, we were able to join the ship at it's first port of call, Oranjestad, Aruba on Thursday, 4/21/16.  Overall, we were extremely pleased with the ship, crew, food, service, decor, operation, etc.  Food was excellent for the most part, and this from the complimentary offerings only, we didn't avail ourselves of the specialty restaurants.  Service equally so, staff was attentive, friendly, superbly professional, more so than we expected from something other than one of RCCL's "mega-ships".  The shortcomings, if any, concerned the people connected with "Guest Services" who were, through no fault of their own, placed in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, actually at both "ends" of the cruise, at the beginning with those of us unable to complete initial boarding in Florida, as well as departing guests due to a medical emergency onboard causing an overdue arrival at the end of the cruise.  Our only real problem (trying to be completely fair here) was getting caught in between ship vs shore personnel, with both sides "pointing the finger" as it were, in the opposite direction.  Ship staff said it was up to RCCL's emergency staff in Florida to do or perform X, while on contacting the home office, we were told that it was something "ship personnel were supposed to take care of".  As well, after a certain hour, a supervisor was unavailable at either office, onboard or ashore, no one in fact to make a decision other than to tell us either a) it was up to "the other guy"; or b) there was nothing they could do.  The situation was, in fact, easily rectified upon reaching the airline the following day, leading one to believe that the ship personnel weren't, as they said, in contact with the airlines.

 

To finish on a positive, overall, we'd take this cruise, this ship, and this line again, secure in the knowledge of solid value for our vacation dollar.  The circumstances and/or consequences of unforseen difficulties made it difficult at times for everyone, but I think Serenade's positives far outweigh any "less-than-superior" aspects.

 

Hope this helps someone considering this ship/line.

 

Cruznuts

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Caribbean Princess

November 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Houston Roundtrip) Cruise on Caribbean Princess

Grand Princess

March 2014 - 15 Night Hawaiian Islands (San Francisco Roundtrip) Cruise on Grand Princess

Norwegian Jewel

October 2013 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Jewel

Crown Princess

March 2013 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston roundtrip) Cruise on Crown Princess

Carnival Magic

September 2012 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Magic

Island Princess

April 2011 - 15 Night Grand Panama Canal (Ft. Lauderdale to San Francisco) Cruise on Island Princess

Norwegian Pearl

February 2010 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Pearl

Norwegian Spirit

January 2009 - 7 Night Exotic Western Caribbean (New Orleans roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Spirit

Carnival Ecstasy

October 2007 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Ecstasy

Carnival Conquest

October 2006 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Conquest

Norwegian Dream

December 2005 - 7 Night Texaribbean (Houston roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Dream

Norwegian Sea (RETIRED) 20077

May 2005 - May 28, 2005 Cruise on Norwegian Sea (RETIRED)

Rhapsody of the Seas

October 2003 - 7 Night Western Caribbean with Grand Cayman (Galveston roundtrip) Cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas

Jubilee (RETIRED) 20041

April 2003 - April 24, 2003 Cruise on Jubilee (RETIRED)

Carnival Triumph

March 2003 - 7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Triumph

Rhapsody of the Seas

May 2002 - 7 Night Western Caribbean with Grand Cayman (Galveston roundtrip) Cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas

Big Red Boat III (RETIRED) 20201

May 2000 - May 29, 2000 Cruise on Big Red Boat III (RETIRED)

Norwegian Sea (RETIRED) 20077

March 1999 - March 13, 1999 Cruise on Norwegian Sea (RETIRED)

Norwegian Star

March 1998 - March 12, 1998 Cruise on Norwegian Star

Atlantic (RETIRED) 20019

July 1995 - July 15, 1995 Cruise on Atlantic (RETIRED)

Nordic Empress (RETIRED)

October 1994 - October 01, 1994 Cruise on Nordic Empress (RETIRED)

Celebration (RETIRED) 20013

October 1988 - October 01, 1988 Cruise on Celebration (RETIRED)

cruznuts's Tips

Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Much preferable to either Montego Bay or Falmouth, both of which we visited on previous cruises
Oranjestad, Aruba - Been there twice before, missed our excursion due to a change in ship's schedule. No matter, we loved Aruba!
Norwegian Epic Norwegian Epic - Expect a great experience overall. Nothing is perfect, and like anything else, if you look hard enough you can find things to complain about or be unhappy with, but while Epic isn't my favorite ship, her personnel were my favorite crew!

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Crew were MVPs

commented on the roll call for Mar 24, 2019 cruise on Ruby Princess - "Got off an 11 day Caribbean cruise 2/18,..."

checked in for the roll call for Mar 24, 2019 cruise on Ruby Princess!

added Mar 24, 2019 cruise on Ruby Princess to their profile.

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Epic cruise review - Crew were MVPs

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Dawn cruise review - A great vacation "Dawns"

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Dawn cruise review - A great vacation "Dawns"

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Dawn cruise review - A great vacation "Dawns"

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Dawn cruise review - A great vacation "Dawns"

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Dawn cruise review - A great vacation "Dawns"