May 12,01 sailing. Nice ship. Embarkation is a bummer. Poor treatment for first time passengers. We had traveled all night by air and coach from Wash.D.C.to Dover.We were tired and while we waited one and a half hours, owners suites customers and latitudes members could board right away. Also special pre-boarding room with refreshment for the priveleged. We waited. Bad first impression. Cabin was neat and clean but the towles were not and for $3.00 per bottle who can have water in your room. Otherwise get your own water from the tap. Food service we found very diappointing. Breakfast is ok and is definitely their best meal. Lunches and dinners are sad.Run of the mill not to tasty. Steaks are poor. Lots of sauces.??? The "Outback" is a step up. Pasta not great either. For an extra $10 per person you can eat in the Bistro. Our food was ok. But why the nickel and diming on the cover charge. They also sell bottled water in the dining rooms. Maybe this is standard routine now but another hidden charge. The regular water was fine. Save your $.Resort casual is fine but if you are going to have formal or dress up nights then don't mix two. Some people were dressed others looked like slobs. Do one or the other but stop trying to be all things to all people. Open Meal seating is ok but we like assigned tables better especially for dinner.Automatic service charges for tipping may be ok but I would opt out should we everchoose NCL again. We tip people who render service and I don't like someone else making that decision for me and telling me they are doing it as a convenience to me. Do the people who deserve the tips get them or does management skim a little off the top??? Quality of bar drinks varied widely from bar to bar. The price for the cruise was great but I did see it for $300.per person cheaper about a week before we departed.It was also a bid item on EBAY and sold for even less. Heard a lot of cruise price discussion on board. Also NCL presses very hard to sell future booking on board. Never experienced that before.We enjoyed the cruise but we feel NCL could improve their act alot. Also thought tour prices were rather overpriced but I do not have a current yardstick to compare.Sounds like this is an NCL bashing but its the same thing I wrote on their requested comment sheet.We had a good time anyway and we look at it as a learning experience. Would certainly use travelco again as they were fine. We chose the cruise not travelco. Maybe some other folks out there are of the same mind set as we and I pass this on for what its worth to whomever might read it.We like RCCL and Princess.The Noordam was a bummer but maybe its beeter since the remodel. Maybe we are Silversea and Seabourn customers.Good cruising.Jackie and George WilliamsWilliamsgj@juno.comRegards to Betty Singletary, a great cruise rep.
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