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Arrived home 4/17 from the Sea. Sad to be home after a very nice time.
There's a lot to review so I will try to just summarize as much as I can.
Embarkation: Computers went down, had to wait in line approx 20 mins until they were up again. No problem after that, got on board fine. Was taken to our room 6252...last room on the back of the boat--hard to locate!
Food was being served up in the big apple. Buffet style and we ate a lot in the big apple. There's always food available in the big apple all throughout the day.
Food was very good both in the big apple and in both dining areas. There was a horrible vibration in the Seven Seas restaurant the first night. However, that subsided and we ate there mostly every night. Arnold, our waiter was the best. He's soooo funny and reminds you of William Hung from American Idol. Food servings are small but you can order as many times as you want so the portions didn't matter. We loved the freestyle, you can basically eat at whatever time you want. That really helps when you are in port and don't want to rush back just to eat at a certain time.
Our room and overall ship appearance: The room was small, I mean really small. It is not condusive for 4 people. It's also not in the greatest shape. Although our cabin steward Renaldo kept everything tidy, there's not much to do with 4 people and 7 suitcases (not all large suitcases) in a closet. The shower is miniature. The room shows a lot of wear and tear. However, I saw some other rooms, mainly the inside deluxe rooms that were nicer. So my recommmendation would be an inside deluxe room. In addition, there's a strong vibration in the back of the boat. I would recommend getting a room further towards the middle.
The ship also shows some wear and tear mainly in the hallways. The main areas are kept fine. It's not glitsy at all. It's conservative and somewhat plain but still nice.
The casino was fine. Small but fine for a ship. Plenty of slot machines.
The pool area is nice. Plenty of chairs at all times. 2 pools which are pretty large and 2 hot tubs. Food is always available!!! And of course drinks, drinks, drinks!
The shows were good. The cruise director and his staff(Kevin Warner) really do a nice job. Get to the shows early if you want a good seat (poles sometimes block your view).
We missed Belize due to the rough seas. Very disappointing! The seas were rough up until we got to Cancun. I actually got sea sick and needed a patch. I never got sick before. We had 15 foot waves and thunder storms several nights.
Cozumel: Been there before and always do Chakanaab. Wonderful little area to relax, swim with the dolphins or snorkel. 2 restaurants are there (service is horrible though). Be careful snorkeling. To get into the water you must walk down rocks and the seas are splashing against the rocks hard! You can get hurt if you are not careful!
Honduras: Very sad to see such poverty. We went to the Salt and Pepper beach which is no longer an excursion offered by the ship. Paul David, Robert Plant's brother from Led Zeppelin, has a nice little area on the West side with a restaurant and beach. He's funny and wild! Not much to do here but relax, snorkel or dive. But it is a very pretty beach and he serves a nice lobster lunch. The drive there was an experience. We saw such a different way of life. It makes you appreciate everything you have so much more.
Cancun: We really had a great time here. Went on the excursion from the boat, catamaran sail and snorkel. It was fun! We then had a couple hours to shop afterwards and it is all right there where the tender brings you. Don't forget, DO NOT PAY FULL PRICE FOR ANYTHING! There's so much negotiating you can do in all of the islands!
Debarkation: This took a couple of hours. First you go to customs on the boat (scheduled times), then they call you off the boat according to your tag color that they give you the night before leaving. We took NCL's tranfer so we were called off first.
Overall, we had a very nice time. Although the boat is small, it's still a big vessel (I was imagining it to be really small when we got there and it wasn't that small). It never really seemed overly crowded anywhere. The food is good, the entertainment is good, the ship is very clean. This is a great cruise for first timers or anyone looking for a cruise at a great price.
Anything I didn't answer, just post your questions, I would be glad to tell you more.
LisaWar - thanks for the review. What time did you board? Did you bring on your own drinks? We are also going on the Catamaran Sail and Snorkel in Cancun. Did they have other stuff to drink besides beer Do you have any suggestions about how make things easier having 4 people in a room? Thanks!
Man, what a difference a few weeks make. We had nothing worse than 4 foot seas our entire trip on the Sea a few weeks ago. Sorry that you missed Belize, hope it didn't crimp your plans too badly. I agree with your choice in Cancun, taking the ships excursion there was something I would do in the future, if for no other reason than to get the first tender off the ship! Glad to hear your Salt and Pepper excursion worked out, we were torn between them and Bay Islands Beach Resort and went with BIBR.
Lisa,,,did you try and get your luggage under the beds?? We had three in the cabin and found that with the empty luggage under the beds, we were able to keep things manageable.
Good review,,,welcome back to the real world!
Life is short,,cruises even shorter!!
CCL Fantasy 05/92
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 06/01
NCL Sea 03/27/04
Enjoyed reading your review. Glad you had an overall great cruise. You can expect a lot of wear and tear on the Sea but she is still one of our favorites. We have a soft spot for her since it was our first cruise!
Counting down the days till we sail the Rhapsody! 12-5-04
Nice to read a truely objective review with positive and negatives. We have done Cozumel, Belize, Roatan twice: absolutely love the people and beauty of Roatan, but yes, it is an experience for those who are not prepared to see so much poverty. I do believe it is an up and coming tourist spot. Don't feel bad about Belize (my opinion only) my daughter and I hated it. I think the only positive thing I have heard is the tube trip. As for the Sea we cruised her many years ago. At the time it was the largest ship we had taken so didn't think she was small. To me she is the perfect size, but yes, the cabins would be crowded for 4 adults. As for location, we always get mid ship or as close as possible just in case of vibration, bad weather, whatever. Thanks again for a fair review. NMNita
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by kadao:
LisaWar - thanks for the review. What time did you board? Did you bring on your own drinks? We are also going on the Catamaran Sail and Snorkel in Cancun. Did they have other stuff to drink besides beer Do you have any suggestions about how make things easier having 4 people in a room? Thanks!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
We got on the boat somewhere around 12 noon. We had to wait for the bus to come to bring us to the port (approx 45 minutes to the port from IAH airport). We did not bring our own drinks, you can actually buy liquor on the boat in the ship shop and from what I saw, the prices were good! You will enjoy the Catamaran. They have soda, beer, punches, etc. At the end, they had everyone doing shots of some type of punch with Tequila. I don't like Tequila so I only did one shot. They are so nice on the boat! Only strange thing was you get the tender to the dock (and yes, you get the first tender out, yeh!!!) then, the catamaran goes back out past the ship. It's about a 45 minute ride to where you snorkel but the ride is nice (somewhat bumpy but it's still just a wonderful ride). I wish I had a suggestion about fitting 4 in the room. Do you have an outside room? There is plenty of space for storage, but it was still difficult trying to move around with everyone in the room. Most of the time my daughter and I got dressed and my husband and son left the room. If I were to ever to take a cruise again with small rooms, I would go with 2 rooms. It's just my preference. You don't spend much time in there, but I still was disappointed with the room. Either way, you will have a lot of fun. The staff makes you feel so relaxed (except for them bugging you about drinks but just keep saying no if you don't want any). They go out of their way. They even cut my sons steak one night and he's 12!
We did not try putting the luggage under the bed. The life vests were there and I don't think they would have fit. The type of luggage I had wouldn't squish under so for my luggage that wouldn't work. But great idea for future cruisers, consider bringing soft luggage to store under the beds.
FYI. We met a couple that had been to Honduras a few years ago and said it looked much different. Part of the island now has paved roads where evidentally before all roads were dirt (we did travel the dirt road on the way back). Willy...salt and pepper worked out ok but I would probably try where you went next time.
Didn't try lifting up the beds. I put the luggage in the closet and the one piece was very large which I know would not have fit. Still, it was tight for a room for 4 people. Don't get me wrong, we had a good time, the room was just our disappointment. I have been on several other ships, with 4 of us, and never really had this much of a problem with space. These rooms are less than 120 square feet. Not much time is spent in them though, so we lived through it. The Sea has a wonderful staff that made our experience a positive one.
Although we've cruised before, this will be our first NCL, the Sea, 6/26. Can't wait! But I do have a question about dining--are there formal nights? Personally, I just as soon not be bothered taking those extra clothes. Thanks!
There is one designated formal night on the SEA (Sunday night), but it is totally optional. They have one main restaurant for the formally dressed guests, the other main restaurant is open (same menu)for casually dressed guests.
We didn't bother with the formal clothes on our last cruise. With Freestyle cruising the decision is left up to the cruiser!
Last post was correct, only 1 optional formal night. Seven Seas men must wear pants and my husband did go one night to the 4 Seasons and they insisted on him wearing pants too even though he had very bad sun poisoning on his legs. He eventually conviced them to seat him in the back which they did. So they are pretty strict with the pants (they don't care whether it is jeans I don't think).
You can also eat upstairs in the Big Apple mostly anytime. That is casual, buffet style dining.
Really enjoyed your review. You mentioned there is a store on board where passengers can purchase liquor? Is this liquor sold for consumption during the cruise or will the liquor be delivered to the passenger at end of cruise?
Thanks Willy, didn't even know that! I didn't buy any liquor but have on RCI and was able to drink it. Will know that for the future. The prices were good though, at least on Absolute compared to our prices here in NJ.