Second Mate

Joined: 09/17/2015
Helpful Votes

About kfrancis393


kfrancis393's Past Cruises

Norwegian Dawn

October 2016 - Norwegian Dawn to Caribbean

14 great days on the new Dawn

We sailed in late October on the newly refurbished Norwegian Dawn. The ship is very beautiful in all areas except for the absolutely hideous artwork in the Venetian main dining room. The paintings look like members of a rival cruise line snuck on board and defaced the original art the night before she was to be released out of dry dock and put back into service, before the artwork could be replaced.....Seriously, you would have to book a cruise on the Dawn to see that I am not exaggerating.

 That aside, We had a wonderful time and the cruise itself was a great value and the ship had an above average itinerary. We got in Boston and had no problems. It went fast and smooth.

We were at sea for the first 4 days and had some rough seas in the North Atlantic for a couple of days, but that is to be expected for that time of year.

Our first stop was San Juan and we have been there before. The ships dock close to downtown in old San Juan and you can take a free trolley to see all of the sites near the ship. You can hop on and off anytime and it costs nothing. We went to the Fort and the Castle and then into Old San Juan for some shopping. 

We then stopped at 3 of the best islands to see in the Southern Caribbean. They were Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire. They are all 3 owned by the Netherlands and they are all very clean safe ports to visit.

 We then sailed to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where we went for a day at the beach and had a great time, followed by Grand Cayman, where we took a city tour, and then we sailed to Cozumel, Mexico where we took a glass bottom boat to the reefs off the island. We saw an amazing amount of sea life at the reef. This was well worth the money.

We then sailed to New Orleans where we got off the ship.

We had cabin 5528 Port side (left)Ocean view. We had 4 of us in this cabin for two weeks and we made it just fine. Myself, my wife , our daughter and our 4yr. old granddaughter. The granddaughter slept in the pulldown bunk with her mother and we folded the bed against the wall during the day so we had the normal amount of room during the day. we put the suitcases under the bed by putting the largest one open with the next sizes inside that one etc. Works well if you have one very large one. We had an excellent room steward named Tommy. He was from Indonesia and out of 20 cruises he was as good as we have ever had.

Our only low breath grumble was the food, and I say low breath because we ate good every single day, but the main dining room menus were hit and miss for us. This may just be a matter of taste, but we ate many meals in the Garden Buffet at night and on many occasions I believe the food was a better choice than what we saw on the MDR menu. I would go down to the MDR and take a cell phone photo, bring it back to the room and we would study it and decide if we wanted to try it or head to the Buffet. 6 nights out of 14 we headed to the buffet and out of 19 previous cruises I have never eaten at the ships buffet at night. The combination of the two options for us, up on 12 buffet or down in the MDR on 7 we never had a bad meal. One of our dining attendants in the garden Buffet was Mr. Jose Alvarez. He took extra time to carry on with our 4 yr. old granddaughter and made her smile every night. He made buffet dining an enjoyable experience for her as well as the rest of us.

The Shows and music on the ship were tops. there was always something to do or go to see on the ship.

I have two more cruises booked with Norwegian and I have never had a bad experience sailing with this line. They are like any business, They do there best and most of their people will bend over backwards to resolve any issues that may arise. I am Platinum with Carnival and by the end May 2017 I will be Platinum with Norwegian. For us it boils down now to the price and the duration and where they sail to. All in all I give Norwegian a 4 1/2 star rating. Food and the bump in the Gratuity charges to $13.50 a day per person including for a 4 yr. old is what kept them out of 5 star territory.


Read Full Review »

Carnival Dream

September 2015 - Carnival Dream to Caribbean - Eastern

My Super Cruise

We sailed out of New Orleans on the Carnival Dream on 9/6 and returned on 9/13. I was sailing with my daughter in law, Just the two of us. I am a male 62 years old and took my first cruise on the Carnival Fantasy out of Port Canaveral Fl. in 2002. I have been on 20 cruises with 4 lines including Carnival. I am platinum rating with Carnival. The reason I included this info is to say that this cruise was not my first and I have several experiences on cruise ships to qualify my opinions. My daughter in law Jen had only one other cruise, and that was in 2004, with Carnival as well...... So Here Goes!

Getting on the ship was a breeze because after you reach Platinum with Carnival, you have earned priority boarding. My Zigzag  life boarding Carnival appeared to be over, but the young man that looks at your boarding passes as we got in the cruise terminal missed that priority info and sent us on in to that endless zigzag mass of people. It was very fast and I do not hold Carnival responsible, It was just one persons lack of instruction or " who knows why". No Big Deal!! Once we made it to the carry on x-ray machines they picked up on the platinum thing and sent us in to the priority boarding processing center and 5 minutes later, we were on the ship.

 We made our way to our cabin interior 6e class room 6400 on deck 6. It was very clean, well maintained and tended to by one of the best stewards at sea, Mr.Joaquim. He kept the room in perfect order and never missed keeping us supplied with fresh ice twice a day and replaced the large beach towels each day. He never failed to call us by name and was a true credit to his profession as well as being a very nice guy.

 We had late dining in the Crimson dining room on deck 4 upper, table 324. we were rewarded with the honor of being attended to by Mrs. Indira and her team which included Mr. Jonald and Mr. Inyoman. They were as good as any team I have ever had at sea. The meals were delivered to our table in a timely manner and were at the correct temperature. The drink glasses were filled as soon as you sat a near empty glass of tea, water, coffee or whatever, it was refilled in due process without having to ask or wait. This for me is what makes a great dining staff at sea. On lobster night she ordered extra lobster dinners and surprised us by putting them in front of us as soon as we were about to clean our plates on the first order. This was above and beyond our expectations. They never failed to inquire about the quality of our steaks, prime rib, salmon, and any of our main dishes  we ordered. This showed me that they were interested in seeing to it that we truly enjoyed our dining experience. Carnival gets an A+ for their staff and the quality of food in the main dining room.

We ate in the dining room twice for brunch during sea days. The food was super and the service was excellent. I would like to point out a special lady named Maria who honored my request to seat us in the back at a table with a window. I know this request probably disrupted her seating rotation, but she smiled and said "please follow Me". Things like this are what raises the bar with any corporation in any customer service industry. She could have said "I cant do that" or "I will have to see my manager" but she made the move and made a long term repeat customer very pleased. Thank you Maria.

We ate in the Lido dining area for breakfast on the port days. It was good. Breakfast is Breakfast and I get tickled when I hear snobs on here say that there was not enough variety in the Lido Buffet. At home I eat eggs, bacon and toast or grits or oatmeal or cold serial with milk; That's it! I get on the Dream and I have so many more options, fruit ,waffles, omelets, pastries, breads, all kinds of yogurts, juices, 3 types of milk, and many more. So how any one could write a review and say breakfast is boring on a Carnival ship, without any variety, is not seeing reality in my opinion.  

We went to the evening shows in the main theatre and they were as good as any I have seen at sea. I will not go into detail about what you will see, but you will be absolutely entertained and for you macho men that don't do the shows with your wife or significant others because you don't want to see men dancing, get over it. I was a rough and tumble communications worker working outside in all types of weather and these shows will leave you sitting there with your jaw dropped , and you will be totally entertained. I along with my wife have rebooked the Dream in March and I am taking 3 grandchildren with us. I cant wait to let these kids see these shows . A+

We went on 3 nights to the adult comedy shows and they were good. I have a hard time listening to comedians drop the "F" bomb or repeatedly say "GD' in their shows. I know that I walked myself up in there and full well knew what was about to take place. It seems to me that a lot of these guys substitute  bad cursing for true comedic storytelling talent. If you have a room full of people drinking, you can say either of these two words and get an immediate laugh out of half the room without having any content attached to it; just walk out and say the words, instant laugh response. Here's a novel idea, try to increase comic timing and comic content and drop the 50% instant laugh by cursing every breath. These guys were funny, but who knows what they might be able to deliver if they weren't carbon copying every other comedian at sea. I guess George Lopez requires this out of his pool of talent that he contracts out to Carnival for the Punch Liner comedy clubs. I have heard non professionals tell adult jokes and adult humorous stories and never put in as much as a "darn" or a "heck" and have everyone rolling with the timing, the content and delivery. I am not a prude but these are my personal opinions and as I stated, these guys were very funny.  B+

We booked one shore excursion through Carnival in Nassau, Bahamas. It was the "Top 10 Best of Nassau". It was good. It was worth the money. We saw many places in Nassau that I had never seen before. I have been there four previous times. I give the tour a B+ only because the stops in some places were too short.

The other ports were Key West and Freeport. We walked all over key West going to the Mel Fisher Treasure Museum and to Harry S. Truman's winter Whitehouse. These were easy walking distance from the ship and were a lot of fun to visit.

We took a taxi in Freeport and went to Lucayan at the straw market and beach. We shopped and then went to the beach for about an hour and then returned to the ship. It was a nice way to spend the day.

We had a great cruise on a great ship with a great crew. I definitely recommend anyone to take a cruise on the Carnival Dream. It was an A+ cruise



Read Full Review »

kfrancis393's Tips

Norwegian Dawn Norwegian Dawn - You will always know where the front of the ship is if you look at the pattern in the hallway carpet. the majority of fish in the pattern are swimming to the front of the ship while a few red fish in the pattern are sailing to the back. Who ever came up with this simple idea should be promoted.

Badges (Learn More)

Points (View Leaderboard)

This Week

Recent Activity

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Dawn cruise review - 14 great days on the new Dawn

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Dream cruise review - My Super Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Dawn cruise review - 14 great days on the new Dawn

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Dream cruise review - My Super Cruise

shared a quick tip for Norwegian Dawn"You will always know where the front of the ship is if you look at the pattern in the hallway carpet. the majority of fish in the pattern are swimming to the front of the ship while a few red fish in the pattern are sailing to the back. Who ever came up with this simple idea should be promoted."

added Oct 28, 2016 cruise on Norwegian Dawn to their profile.

reviewed their Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Dawn and gave it 4 stars!

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Dream cruise review - My Super Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Dream cruise review - My Super Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Carnival Dream cruise review - My Super Cruise