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Best NCL?


cheggy

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My wife and I have sailed on the Star and the Pearl. I would have to say the Star and the Pearl are tied for best ships. We are going on the Spirit next January so I will have to update my opinion then but I am betting it will be a 3 way tie.

 

If you can't tell, we love NCL.

 

AJ

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My wife and I have sailed on the Star and the Pearl. I would have to say the Star and the Pearl are tied for best ships. We are going on the Spirit next January so I will have to update my opinion then but I am betting it will be a 3 way tie.

 

If you can't tell, we love NCL.

 

AJ

Not noticible at all:D

Have you cruised other lines?

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Imposible question to answer. The only NCL ship I have not been on is the Star but booked on it next year. Most of the current fleet is more similar then different. A better question might be what was you favorite cruise and on what ship. So much depends on the crew, itinerary, and passegers on any ship at any time. If forced to to pick one ship I guess it would be the Dawn having sailed on her 8 times.

I am really hoping the Epic becomes my favorite in 39 days :)

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Imposible question to answer. The only NCL ship I have not been on is the Star but booked on it next year. Most of the current fleet is more similar then different. A better question might be what was you favorite cruise and on what ship. So much depends on the crew, itinerary, and passegers on any ship at any time. If forced to to pick one ship I guess it would be the Dawn having sailed on her 8 times.

 

I am really hoping the Epic becomes my favorite in 39 days :)

So you like the Dawn ?:rolleyes: 8 times ! Same cruise location? Have you sail other lines?

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In your option , what is the best over all ship in the NCL fleet? WHY ? To answer you must have cruised on more than one of their ships. :cool:

 

Best means something different to everyone, but I think I would pick the Sun. Yes, she is a little older, but she has nice size cabins, a wonderful crew, great Italian restaurant and las Ramble which is unique. The only thing she is missing? the bells and whistles and Blue Lagoon, but most of what you get in Blue Lagoon you can get in the sports bar, it just isn't publicized that much so some are not aware of this.

 

Nita

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So you like the Dawn ?:rolleyes: 8 times ! Same cruise location? Have you sail other lines?

 

I have cruised RCI, Carnival, and Cunard. One of the reasons I have been on the Dawn so many times is she was homeported in NYC. 1 hour from the house and I can be on the ship. I was able to cruise and repeat the same exact itinerary once. . I have sailed on the Dawn out of Miami, Bermuda from NYC, 11 day Western from NYC, 2 different 11 day deep southern from NYC, 2 different Eastern from NYC.

In general I like the inside space on the Dawn better then the Sun, Sky, Jewel, Pearl, Gem but the outside spaces better on those ships. The Spirit that many love I can do without. Just never suited my taste.

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Best means something different to everyone, but I think I would pick the Sun. Yes, she is a little older, but she has nice size cabins, a wonderful crew, great Italian restaurant and las Ramble which is unique. The only thing she is missing? the bells and whistles and Blue Lagoon, but most of what you get in Blue Lagoon you can get in the sports bar, it just isn't publicized that much so some are not aware of this. Nita

 

The Sun is fun. We have sailed from New Orleans and loved that cruise. We saw the effects of Katrina as we sailed from NO. I would agree with Nita because we have enjoyed every feeling she has expressed about Sun.:D

We however, love the Pearl and we have sailed with her the most. I feel a close tie to both ships and would love to do the Baltic Capitals on Sun but we are lucky to spend a month on Gem this fall so I'll let you know after the cruise which ship I love the best. These things are dynamic they change all the the time, like life, what's good today is not always what's good in the morning......happy sailing.:cool:

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My favorites are the Jewel and the Spirit. You might like Carnival. Your post comes across as kind of pushy.

Thank you I like you too. And no I hated Carnival. If they were giving cruises away I wouldn't take one.:D

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In your option , what is the best over all ship in the NCL fleet? WHY ? To answer you must have cruised on more than one of their ships. :cool:

 

It would be the Gem for me.

 

As someone that has spent most of their life in restaurant management, the Gem is the only ship I've been on (Carnival, Costa and NCL) where the Garden Cafe/Buffet was designed by a restaurant professional. Most Carnival and Costa ships were designed by Joe Farcus who is a complete moron when it comes to properly designing the buffet areas. They actually place drink stations in the egress areas creating bottlenecks and traffic jams.

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It would be the Gem for me.

 

As someone that has spent most of their life in restaurant management, the Gem is the only ship I've been on (Carnival, Costa and NCL) where the Garden Cafe/Buffet was designed by a restaurant professional. Most Carnival and Costa ships were designed by Joe Farcus who is a complete moron when it comes to properly designing the buffet areas. They actually place drink stations in the egress areas creating bottlenecks and traffic jams.

Thank you, Music City:). Do you consider the food as better ?

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The following is, of course, only my opinion about what I liked about each ship and then hubby's and my picks for what ships excelled in some areas that made an impression on us.

 

Pearl -

 

~ Fantastic service when we sailed (January 2009).

~ Amazingly clean and well-kept ship

~ Lots of great venues and amenities - such as Bliss Ultra Lounge which has bowling alleys, some slot machines, and a sit on racing video game. And the great Spinnaker Lounge.

~ Pretty Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the Atrium

~ Fabulous animal photography murals at each stair landing (aft or forward, I can't remember which location :confused:)

~ The BEST buffet we've come across on all our cruises with NCL or Carnival. The layout is fantastic and the selection and quality of foods (except for the pizza -gggrrrrr) is outstanding.

 

Pride of Hawaii - now the Jade -

 

~ Fantastic service when we sailed her in Hawaii (October 2007).

~ Clean and well-kept ship

~ Nice venues but not as many. (Didn't have the casino at that time, but does now; didn't have a Bliss Ultra Lounge and bowling (which the Pearl does), and didn't have a dedicated movie theater (which the Dawn does). I don't know if the Jade ever got a Bliss or movie theater or not when NCL added a casino after leaving the Hawaiian itinerary. ???

~ Excellent buffet - 2nd only to the Pearl's buffet, which is the best, in my opinion.

~ Pretty Dale Chihuly glass flowers on the ceiling.

~ Nice whimsical decor of colorful sea creatures in one of the bars. I liked this but others may not like it.

~ Nice, tasteful Hawaiian theme artwork or displays which really fit well with the Hawaiian cruises the ship used to do. I've read some people don't think it fits well when cruising Europe while other people don't give it much thought or mind it and others think it's okay or like it.

~ The prettiest theater curtain and wall murals leading into the theater.

 

Dawn

 

~ Fantastic service when we sailed (Sept/Oct 2009)

~ Hands down, the BEST piano players, singers and bands we've seen on any of our NCL cruises. Fire and Ice, Bernie Martini, Vladimir, Next Stage,....

~ Lots of live music. Awesome! :):cool:

~ Piano in one of the main dining rooms. While we missed out on being in there when an entertainer played, we got the next best thing with someone setting an attached box to play recorded piano music. A nice touch to having a wonderful meal, either way. Extremely cool!!!

~ Clean ship but needed some paint in a few outdoor places, which has probably been taken care of by now.

~ Prettiest atrium with the stair cases, plants - or is that "plants":p, water feature, seating areas, etc. Just had an tropical resort kind of feel to me.

~ Movie theater. We watched a couple of movies. It was nice having the theater because I missed having movies shown outside of the cabin on the Pearl - at least I didn't see them if any movies were shown outside of watching in our cabin. Got hooked on watching movies with Carnival's Seaside Theater on the Lido deck.

~ The dinosaur with a taste for the Statue of Liberty :p:D. (In other words, a fun and very different photo opportunity during sail away when you're in the right spot.)

 

We loved all of the ships and our experiences on each one of them...

 

but...

 

hubby's and my favorite ship for the ship itself (cleanliness, number of venues, and an awesome buffet layout) is the Pearl.

 

hubby's and my favorite ship for entertainment (number of and duration of live performances, high quality of the musicians, and varied locations of the performances) goes to the Dawn.

 

hubby's and my favorite ship for turning us on to falling in love with freestyle cruising and continued sailing with NCL...the Pride of Hawaii/now Jade.

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The following is, of course, only my opinion about what I liked about each ship and then hubby's and my picks for what ships excelled in some areas that made an impression on us.

 

Pearl -

 

~ Fantastic service when we sailed (January 2009).

~ Amazingly clean and well-kept ship

~ Lots of great venues and amenities - such as Bliss Ultra Lounge which has bowling alleys, some slot machines, and a sit on racing video game. And the great Spinnaker Lounge.

~ Pretty Dale Chihuly glass sculpture in the Atrium

~ Fabulous animal photography murals at each stair landing (aft or forward, I can't remember which location :confused:)

~ The BEST buffet we've come across on all our cruises with NCL or Carnival. The layout is fantastic and the selection and quality of foods (except for the pizza -gggrrrrr) is outstanding.

 

Pride of Hawaii - now the Jade -

 

~ Fantastic service when we sailed her in Hawaii (October 2007).

~ Clean and well-kept ship

~ Nice venues but not as many. (Didn't have the casino at that time, but does now; didn't have a Bliss Ultra Lounge and bowling (which the Pearl does), and didn't have a dedicated movie theater (which the Dawn does). I don't know if the Jade ever got a Bliss or movie theater or not when NCL added a casino after leaving the Hawaiian itinerary. ???

~ Excellent buffet - 2nd only to the Pearl's buffet, which is the best, in my opinion.

~ Pretty Dale Chihuly glass flowers on the ceiling.

~ Nice whimsical decor of colorful sea creatures in one of the bars. I liked this but others may not like it.

~ Nice, tasteful Hawaiian theme artwork or displays which really fit well with the Hawaiian cruises the ship used to do. I've read some people don't think it fits well when cruising Europe while other people don't give it much thought or mind it and others think it's okay or like it.

~ The prettiest theater curtain and wall murals leading into the theater.

 

Dawn

 

~ Fantastic service when we sailed (Sept/Oct 2009)

~ Hands down, the BEST piano players, singers and bands we've seen on any of our NCL cruises. Fire and Ice, Bernie Martini, Vladimir, Next Stage,....

~ Lots of live music. Awesome! :):cool:

~ Piano in one of the main dining rooms. While we missed out on being in there when an entertainer played, we got the next best thing with someone setting an attached box to play recorded piano music. A nice touch to having a wonderful meal, either way. Extremely cool!!!

~ Clean ship but needed some paint in a few outdoor places, which has probably been taken care of by now.

~ Prettiest atrium with the stair cases, plants - or is that "plants":p, water feature, seating areas, etc. Just had an tropical resort kind of feel to me.

~ Movie theater. We watched a couple of movies. It was nice having the theater because I missed having movies shown outside of the cabin on the Pearl - at least I didn't see them if any movies were shown outside of watching in our cabin. Got hooked on watching movies with Carnival's Seaside Theater on the Lido deck.

~ The dinosaur with a taste for the Statue of Liberty :p:D. (In other words, a fun and very different photo opportunity during sail away when you're in the right spot.)

 

We loved all of the ships and our experiences on each one of them...

 

but...

 

hubby's and my favorite ship for the ship itself (cleanliness, number of venues, and an awesome buffet layout) is the Pearl.

 

hubby's and my favorite ship for entertainment (number of and duration of live performances, high quality of the musicians, and varied locations of the performances) goes to the Dawn.

 

hubby's and my favorite ship for turning us on to falling in love with freestyle cruising and continued sailing with NCL...the Pride of Hawaii/now Jade.

Thanks, All seem to have their good points. Is there one you would not consider booking again?

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well having been on the STAR 4 times she always felt like HOME and we have had some GREAT times on her, but with recent changes to Spinnaker and our BELOVED BLUE LAGOON and other places we feel she has 'lost' her charm and since she is moving to Tampa we probably have sailed our last voyages on her so we dont really have a favorite now...maybe the SUN will become a favorite ...will see in december:)

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The Norwegian Dawn has always been our sentimental favorite. It introduced us to NCL and year round sailing out of New York. It featured outstanding Hotel Directors like Klaus and Hugo. We enjoyed the finest artists in the various lounges like Anna Y Los Vientos, Pamala Stanley, Vladimir Krevian, Bernie Martini and many others. We love the cinema, the glass elevators in the soaring atrium (absent on newer NCL ships), the beautiful stained glass ceilings above the Salsa restaurant. Finally, the Statue of Liberty painted on her hull and the brass New York sculptures on the stairway above Gatsby's make the Dawn NCL's New York flagship. In September, we will board the Dawn for the 8th time.

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Thank you, Music City:). Do you consider the food as better ?

 

I think the food is pretty good on NCL considering the price of the cruises. I also think the food is considerably better on NCL than Carnival and much better than Costa.

 

That being said, I don't go on cruises looking for fine dining and the people that do puzzle me. It makes me think they must not dine out very often at anything other than fast food.

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I have to agree with Dolphins.......The Dawn is our favorite ship for all of the same reasons that he stated. I hope when she goes into dry dock in 2011 that they don't make all of the same changes on her that they just did to the Star. The Dawn has a wonderful crew and it runs like a fine tuned machine under Hugo's leadership.

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I think the food is pretty good on NCL considering the price of the cruises. I also think the food is considerably better on NCL than Carnival and much better than Costa.

 

That being said, I don't go on cruises looking for fine dining and the people that do puzzle me. It makes me think they must not dine out very often at anything other than fast food.

We are not there for the food per say but having been on a cruise where the only thing fit to eat were the hamburgers and hotdogs ( ate more on that cruise than we had in our entire lives) we want to make sure our options are not limited to that crusine. It doesn't have to be fancy but we do prefer it to taste good.:D

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Thanks, All seem to have their good points. Is there one you would not consider booking again?

 

You're welcome. :)

 

Yes, all do have their good points and that makes it interesting to sail the different ships. NCL's ships are fun to explore inside and out decor wise and amenity wise. But so far they've all had some things in common - wonderful service and a great place to call "home" for the length of the trip.

 

Hubby and I would very happily sail on any of the 3 ships again. In fact, next month we are sailing again on the Dawn to Bermuda. The first cruise on Dawn was to Canada and New England.

 

We're really looking forward to enjoying more time listening to the sensational musicians, hanging out in favorite spots, and discovering things we missed the first time. We're going to try a couple more of her specialty restaurants: Cagney's (a "retry" as we had great service at the Cagney's on the Pearl, but wasn't blown away by the food, so we're going to give it another go) and LeBistro (because we've not tried this specialty restaurant yet on any of the ships. Last time on the Dawn we dined at Bamboo which was our second time at the Asian restaurant, the first time was on the Pearl - loved the service and food both times - and Salsa which was our first time eating at this specialty restaurant, terrific service and good food, the sample margarita was a nice touch.

 

No matter which of NCL's ships you sail on, I'm confident you'll find something, if not lots of things :p:), that you'll like and will make your trip special. :)

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Been on the Dawn, the Sky, and the Norway. Our favorite, by far, was the Norway. However, now that she is no longer (may she Rest In Peace), we'd choose the Dawn any day of the week. The crew is fantastic! The itinerary to Bermuda (our favorite destination) is wonderful. And, she really feels like home.

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The Sun is my sentimental favorite because she was our first cruise ship. I remember a fantastic and smiling crew. I loved her size. I loved the aft eating area outside the buffet. I hope when we cruise on her again this fall, she hasn't changed much.

 

The Spirit is my other favorite. Love her uniqueness within the NCL fleet. Love her size. I think she has one of the prettiest atriums. Her crew, the last time we sailed, seemed tired and not particularly happy, but maybe they were due for vacations.

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My personal NCL favorite of the 5 NCL ships we have sailed, Pride of America, Jewel, Jade, Star and Sun, is the Jade. We did a B2B on her for 21 days last year and found the hotel director and other officers, crew, and staff better on the Jade than the other NCL ships we have sailed before and since. Also liked the specialty restaurants better, generally, on the Jade. However, we have sailed on three different NCL ships (Jewel, Jade and now the Sun) with Captain Tommy Stensrud at the helm and REALLY like him since he is very approachable and has attended all but one of the Jade leg Cruise Critic gatherings we have attended where he has been the Captain!!:)

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