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  1. For me it depends who I am cruising with. If it's my DH and another couple I would choose the 2,200 +/- ships - I love that size, just big enough with good entertainment options. If I'm with my adult children or my crazy group of girlfriends I'd choose the larger ships because of the entertainment options and fun - but the huge drawback is the amount of people, the need to schedule events, be in line early and elevators.
  2. We just returned from a cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam with an obstructed view. We were pleasantly surprised that we could see over the lifeboat as it only obstructed 2/3 of the window. We never saw any crew members outside our window. We love these rooms, they are as big as balcony rooms with the small couch too and lots of natural light!
  3. What a difference a week makes! We were onboard last week and someone told me there were 45 children onboard and this week there would be over 250 children as it's Thanksgiving week. We had a lovely cruise, the crew was outstanding! I did not see any construction on the ship. The pool areas were not crowded at all, well maybe a bit on the sea days in the center pool - but compared to some other lines, I'd say it was uncrowded! My only complaint is I would prefer more evening entertainment. BB King's was outstanding, but I didn't care for the Billboard Onboard entertainment. Lido lunches and dinners were so good that we never made it down to the dining room. We enjoyed our cruise so much that we booked another while onboard.
  4. We often book oceanview cabins or bid for them because of the price savings. I like them because you get daylight! On our last cruise we had the cabin steward divide the bed into two twins and then we could use the beds like couches and look out the window. Otherwise you have to crawl to the head of the bed and look out. With the beds divided, the room seemed so much bigger too! As they said in the movie "Step Brothers" we had more room for activities. ha.
  5. Hello! We are doing this cruise soon. How was the weather? I am trying to pack light and figure I need warm and cooler clothes. Did it rain at all? So happy to hear you loved the cruise. I can't wait. Thanks.
  6. Becky, thank you for such a wonderful, informative and pictorial review! We are sailing on the Spirit soon and it was so good to hear you liked the ship and see all the pictures. Now I want to go to Norway after seeing your review and pictures! Thanks so much.
  7. Hi Joan, Attached is a scan of the dailies and a couple of other informative items. You will need a vacation after this one. We actually lost weight on this cruise as we were so busy. Loved every minute of it. We are going on the 15 day Baltic Sea one this summer. JoAnne NCL Dawn Dailies.pdf
  8. We walked off last August with carry-on size luggage. I didn't realize until later that they didn't have the walk-off option. No one said anything to us nor did they check to see if we had a colored tag.
  9. Hi Joan, I'm glad you enjoyed the review. I sure did love that cruise! I'll find the dailies and scan them, it will be a few days before I do it though. Good luck with packing light and enjoy your cruise! JoAnne
  10. Hi Jimbo59, It is my understanding the ship recently had come from a dry dock. Everything was in great condition. The main dining room was beautiful and elegant, service and food was great. The buffet was completely redone and my only gripe was lack of seating at busy times. We did not eat at any specialty restaurants this cruise, but typically love Cagney's. Our cabin was an upgrade/bid from an interior to an oceanview. It was the typical small cabin with a window at the head of the bed so you had to crawl on the bed to look out. We like the layout of the bathroom with a nice shower and sink area. The toilet area is walled off and as others have commented, it could be tight for a tall man. If I remember correctly it did have a little more storage (large drawers) than an interior (comparing to my memories of the Dawn). We've been on the Dawn four times so the Star was like home, almost identical. Because this cruise was so port-intensive, we didn't spend much time on the ship. We were up and out early every day, back late, ate, maybe saw a show and off to bed. Great ship and wonderful staff.
  11. Hi "retiring soon" Jo, Glad you enjoyed my very long review and my friend's photos - I can't take credit for those. I enjoy reading other's reviews and thought this port review might help someone else or bring back memories. I'm excited about our Baltic cruise this summer - we only have a day in Copenhagen and will have to make the best of it. Happy New Year to you too - my name is Jo also - how funny is that?
  12. Monday, July 16, Disembarkation, Venice, Italy We were outside for the return to Venice. What a beautiful sail-in! Goodbye oh so lovely Venice until I return! We disembarked at 8:45 with our luggage. I read later that you are supposed to put your luggage out the night before, that there is no self walk-off but there were no issues with us doing so. We stood in line on deck a long time to get off the ship. There were several groups of line cutters as we approached the gangway which was annoying “We are trying to make a 10:30 flight!” Well, get up earlier and get in line like the rest of us and good luck with that early flight. We took a taxi to the airport instead of using our return bus passes. Best decision ever! 50 Euros for the four of us and we didn’t have to get back on the People Mover and try to find the right bus to the airport. It was kind of a mess at the British Airways check-in line. We stood in line one hour for boarding passes or to drop bags. After we did so, we found the kiosks to self-check behind us and a wall and around the corner from where we were of what was now a very long line. No signage I saw for that. Security had very cool facial recognition passport machines. Once we arrived at Heathrow in London, it was crowded and security was insanely tight (which is good). I thought the prices in European airports for food and drinks were so much more reasonable than in US airports. My biggest takeaway from this European cruise: you have a floating hotel, restaurant and transportation! So much nicer than a bus tour where you go to a different hotel every night and live out of a suitcase. We went to our room each night to sleep and woke up in a new beautiful place each morning. I cannot wait to do another European cruise and M-Go was researching our next one while sitting in the airport! You will find me somewhere on the Baltic Sea next August with my DH and wonderful friends and traveling companions M-Go and J-Go! THE END 🙂
  13. Sunday, July 15, Split, Croatia Our last port and another beautiful day and port! We disembarked at 9:00 and walked a half mile or so to the Old Town. There is an old Bell Tower you can walk up and so most of us did. It was really old and the stone stairs were really tight. All was well until we reached the area of the bells. It was wide open and now the stairs were metal stairs with no backs and you could see through the bottoms of them. Not good for someone with a fear of bad guys, pickpockets, donkeys and heights! My group went on without me and twice I tried to follow them, only to turn back. Every 15 minutes the bells ring! What a cacophony of noise! People were coming out holding their ears. Thank goodness they didn’t go off during one of my brave attempts to climb the open stairs! I probably would have fallen off them. The views from the top were beautiful! We explored the old town and palace area and it wasn’t too crowded until a second ship docked. Tonight would be the World Cup Soccer Finals between Croatia and France! So fun to actually be in Croatia for this. All of the bars were getting ready for the game and everyone had their red and white colors on. We used our remaining Kunas for drinks at one of the outside bars and people watched. A very nice afternoon! Back on the ship the game was on everywhere, in the theatre, Spice H2O and O’Sheehan’s. Congratulations to France, but we were rooting for the underdog: Croatia. View from Ship. Bell tower at left of picture Bells in tower Scary Stairs! View from top of Bell Tower Looking down from top of bell tower Going down looks as terrifying as going up! Look at all the lovely orange Aperol! Cheers! World Cup Final Game at Spice H2O World Cup Game in Stardust Theatre
  14. Saturday, July 14 - At Sea Ahhh, a sea day! We were tired and needed a day to sleep in and relax. We enjoyed the ship! The latest dry dock changes were very good. Spice H2O on 12Aft replaced the kids pool area, but I prefer The Great Outdoors on other ships which is wide open. Spice H2O has high glass walls as it is used as a nightclub in the evenings. We ate here quite a bit when we couldn’t find a seat in the Garden Cafe. BYOS (bring your own silverware). There is a nice bar at the entrance too. The Garden Cafe has been redone and is nice and fresh. The casino was busy for the first time on this cruise. We didn’t spend a lot of time here on this cruise. I went to the Art Auction with M-Go and enjoyed it as it was my first one. Can’t ever see myself buying any art, but others did. We played cards in the “secret room” on Deck 9. We had saved our “free” wine and mixed it with orange juice and it was drinkable. We went to the evening show Vegas! The Show! and it was okay, typical production show. This show included the tribute to the staff and officers and I never miss that! I love being able to show my appreciation for all they do to make our cruises incredible. The staff on the NCL Star were wonderful. A special shout out to the Shore Excursion staff on this cruise - they were excellent! Namaste! New Spice H2O area 12 Aft. I prefer the Great Outdoors on other ships.
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