scolp1951

scolp1951
Cruise Director

Joined: 02/16/2016
1
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4
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scolp1951's Past Cruises

Norwegian Sun

April 2017 - Norwegian Sun to South America

Fun and Relaxing

All of it!  We had a friendly group of six, and we were determined, based on previous trips together, that we would have fun.

 

The ship was older and smaller than other NCL ships we've been in, but that was okay because we liked the itinerary.  By older, I mean there was definitely a smell that would not go away.  On 2 days during the cruise, there was a strong smell of fuel in our stateroom.  When I opened the balcony door to let fresh air in, the smell got stronger, so I suspect there was some maintenance going on in our section of the ship.  I told the hotel desk about it.  The manager called to apologize but never explained what was causing the problem.  He followed up the phone call with a plate of canapes. By smaller, I like the larger atrium where people can mingle and dance.

 

It was also my observation that the food was rather salty.  On the night we had dinner at La Cucina, I asked for spaghetti with meatballs.  One bite was all I could handle.  Complained to the server about it.  She asked if I wanted to order something else but I was no longer interested in dinner.  I ordered dessert instead.  I wrote to Igor Futivic, the Food and Beverage Director, to let him know what had happened. Igor met with me so I had a chance to tell him excessive salt wasn't good, and that if they couldn't adjust the salt content on this cruise, do it for future cruises.

 

Most of the ports we docked at were cargo ports, so we had to be shuttled to town.  I would advise women to take along a supply of tissues and wipes if they need to use public restrooms in most of the towns below the equator.

 

 

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Norwegian Star

January 2017 - Norwegian Star to Asia & Indian Ocean

Singapore to Hong Kong

For me, the best part was the sea days.  These were the most relaxing days and gave us time to socialize with our travel companions.  The ship's entertainment was good, especially the Stardust shows and the Melodic Trio who performed nightly in the Atrium.

 

As for port stops, I wish there had been more Level 1 excursions.  We did take and enjoyed an excursion of the Vung Tao highlights and the Hong Kong highlights with airport transfer. 

 

 

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Norwegian Escape

November 2016 - Norwegian Escape to Caribbean - Eastern

A Truly Wonderful "Escape"

My favorite part of the cruise was the ship itself.  Having cruised on other NCL ships before, I enjoyed the newness of Escape and found it to be technically modern in a pleasant way.  There were screen monitors everywhere (including the ability to use our room TV) that enabled us to make dinner and show reservations for travelers in our stateroom -- this feature could be improved to allow us to make reservations for family members in another stateroom without having to use the Box Office or making a phone call for dinner reservations. 

 

The concept of a "dinner show" was a plus.  We watched "Oh What A Night" while having dinner with a pre-set menu.  On other ships, we had to do dinner separately, before the show (too early) or after the show (too late).

 

I liked the fact that a key card had to be inserted into a slot near the door to turn on the lights.  Remove the card and all the lights turn off, thus saving energy.  I also liked having buttons on the wall near the door to indicate if we wanted the room to be made up or turned down, or "Do Not Disturb." 

 

As for suggested improvements, I think the room steward should have in his/her checklist a reminder to place breakfast room service order cards in the room.  There were none in our room, but since I knew this service was available I called the front desk and they had our room steward deliver some order cards.  Our friends never saw any order cards in their room.  I'm wondering if this was an effort to discourage the service... not good!

 

Another suggested improvement:  shows should clearly indicate if the material is not suited for children.  We went to the Brat Pack show that was also attended by families with children.  The show had too much profanity -- we walked out!  That kind of language is not acceptable!

 

I would recommend this ship and this cruise to others, although I'd have to say I enjoyed the ship more than the ports.

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Norwegian Jade

February 2016 - Norwegian Jade to Caribbean - Western

Another Wonderful Experience!

Since this was our second Jade cruise, I was expecting to be "delighted," and NCL delivered the same quality and cleanliness standards we have come to expect. A few of the cruise staff remembered us from previous trips on other ships, making us feel like family reunited.  I hope NCL will decide to again offer lobster dinner at the complimentary restaurants for at least one night.  That would definitely earn them my 5-star rating.

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scolp1951's Tips

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - The ship is docked away from the town, so you will need to ride the ship's tender for about 15 mins to get to town. There is a big building walking distance from the dock, with lots of stores.
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala - We rented a van from the dock to Antigua, a 1-1/2 hour ride. When we got to Antigua the roads were all bumpy (cobblestones). Not much to see in the town square but the people are friendly.
Huatulco, Mexico - Nice port. Make sure to arrange an excursion to get away from the ship. The town has so much to offer!
Valparaiso (Santiago), Chile - Stayed at a Marriott hotel near Las Condes so we were near the big mall. Arrange for a city tour to maximize your time in this beautiful city.
Norwegian Sun Norwegian Sun - Bring something to read and games to play! TV has limited shows/movies. Also, the ship is older than most and not digitalized. You cannot view your stateroom bill on TV. Photos from the gallery are all on paper. On other ships, the photos are in digital format and available by room number.
Norwegian Star Norwegian Star - If you like to listen to good music, go to the Atrium to watch the Melodic Trio perform.
Hong Kong - Definitely recommend the Hong Kong highlights with airport drop off. We were taken to Kowloon, Aberdeen and New Territories. We rode the tram to Victoria Peak and had dim sum lunch at a floating restaurant after a short sampan ride. This is the best way to see the most important attractions in a short time.
Sanya, China - Avoid public restrooms. Especially for women, carry packets of Kleenex and wipes. Public restrooms are not supplied with paper products.
Ko Samui, Thailand - Thailand ports were cancelled. How disappointing. Thailand was one of the main reasons we booked this cruise.
Norwegian Escape Norwegian Escape - Study the ship layout before boarding as well as the reminders for making reservations. It would have helped us tremendously if we had taken action to make dinner and show reservations before boarding the ship.
Helsinki, Finland - Heard it rains almost everyday, so it would be a good idea to wear a hooded jacket or bring an umbrella.
Copenhagen, Denmark - The Hop On, Hop Off tour bus was excellent. If time permits, take a walk in the town square near where city hall is located. Lots of shops and pedestrian friendly sidewalks.
Norwegian Jade Norwegian Jade - This being our second trip on this ship, surprisingly not much had changed, and that is good. I was somewhat disappointed that NCL did not use technological advances to go a step farther in recognizing that we were repeat Jade passengers.

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Jade cruise review - Another Wonderful Experience!

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received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Jade cruise review - Another Wonderful Experience!

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Star cruise review - Baltic Capitals Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Sun cruise review - Fun and Relaxing

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Star cruise review - Singapore to Hong Kong

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Star cruise review - Baltic Capitals Cruise

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Sun cruise review - Fun and Relaxing

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Sun cruise review - Fun and Relaxing

received a helpful vote on their Norwegian Jade cruise review - Another Wonderful Experience!