Embarkation was a breeze. The stateroom was small but it forced us to participate in virtually every shipboard activity. As a result, we had so much more fun! We met lots of people and had a total blast instead of hibernating in a cabin watching tv, like we would probably have done if we had stayed home. The Jean-Ann Ryan company productions were great. The dancers from Hungary were mesmerizing. The ship shook like crazy when they changed gears. Thankfully, it only happened a couple of times. The best part of being on this cruise was the service and the food and being able to eat when you wanted. The food was outstanding and the dining room staff was so genuinely happy and just utterly delightful to be around and so professional. I LOVED FREESTYLE CRUISING! I will never go back to set dining ever again! It is the only way to go. I am hooked on Norwegian now. I had read some negative things about this ship so I was initially nervous and booked another cruise on Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas for the day I got off the Norwegian Sea. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT! We paid so little for our Norwegian vacation for more time and much better food and better service and better shows. We paid almost DOUBLE for the Royal Caribbean trip and it was a day shorter. The stateroom was better (except for the excessively stained couch pillow that I didn't want to go near!), but we stayed in it way too much, didn't socialize and watched the awful ship shows on tv instead of GOING TO THEM. We were very upset that RCI's staff was rude, discourteous, and unprofessional, especially in the champagne department, after having been treated so fabulously onboard the Norwegian Sea! The Majesty of the Seas' food was also inferior to Norwegian Sea's fantastic feasts and selections. The best thing about Norwegian Sea is that you can walk into their dining room looking like a total mess, and the staff will treat you like royalty. They were so great all the time to us. We loved being able to sit with different people every night or to eat by ourselves if we chose. It was just the best. I wish I hadn't listened to the naysayers. I wish I had booked a back-to-back on the Norwegian Sea. It is also a smaller ship so there are less passengers to crowd every place. It was a great experience. I highly recommend any Norwegian ship cruise vacations, but especially the Norwegian Sea for its outstanding service and food preparations/selections and VALUE!!! SUPERIOR VALUE!!! GREAT TREATMENT! Plus, the health club is open 24 hours and the Jacuzzis are open until 11 p.m., unlike other ships that close early in the p.m. We give this ship 4 stars, not for size of stateroom or elegance of actual ship but for great shows, great service, great food, great staff and outstanding value.
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