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sail7seas

NCL Dawn on the HAL Forum......

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Sail, thank you for sharing your first shipboard experience without your DH. Your review was a gift to all of us here on the HAL board, and your courage is an inspiration.

 

Mrs M

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Thank you Sail for sharing your impressions. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed this cruise, such a difficult step but a courageous one, and inspiring to so many on multiple levels.

 

We are leaving for Europe the end of August for extended touring of various sorts: will have a HAL eastern Med cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam, our first on that class; our transatlantic return is booked on NCL Jade and your review is very encouraging.... except for the position of your cabin and the motion which is always a concern on an ocean crossing. We have a balcony (a big step up for us) near the forward elevator on Deck 10 and I'm reviewing deck plans to see how that compares to your location. I guess if it gets a bit rocky we'll use our Sea Bands and or Bonine.

 

Thanks for coming back "home" to the HAL boards to share with us. I hope to get to Bermuda someday... so many wonderful options in the cruising world. So glad you found a new to enjoy this chapter of youri life and wishing you many more adventures.

m--

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Funny thing - after reading your comments, Sail, I went and checked out NCL. I am now receiving emails from them every day, and have even been assigned my own PCC!

Edited by Vict0riann

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What is really funny Ann is that I receive e-mails all the time from NCL now but still NOTHING from HAL. Hmmm, 85 or so cruises with HAL and one with NCL. There has to be something wrong with this picture. :D

I'm still trying to decide if I should be offended. :rolleyes: :D

 

 

Edited by sail7seas

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<snip>

We are leaving for Europe the end of August for extended touring of various sorts: will have a HAL eastern Med cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam, our first on that class; our transatlantic return is booked on NCL Jade and your review is very encouraging.... except for the position of your cabin and the motion which is always a concern on an ocean crossing. We have a balcony (a big step up for us) near the forward elevator on Deck 10 and I'm reviewing deck plans to see how that compares to your location. I guess if it gets a bit rocky we'll use our Sea Bands and or Bonine.

 

<snip>

 

I think being that distance to the first elevator area will make a difference. I don't know the deck layout for Jade but if it is similar to Dawn, those yards back would have mattered.

 

I really want to emphasize that my queasiness was brief and slight to moderate. It was just so surprising for me as that so rarely happens. My doctor had provided me with a fresh Rx for the med I take when cruising, just in case, and one dose did the trick. I was fine after. On the way home, I knew to take it when we sailed. I like it because I only use as needed and don't have to take anything when not needed.

 

Sounds like you have a great trip planned. I so hope you will make some comments here when you return. I'll be very interested to hear your impressions of Jade. :)

 

Edited by sail7seas

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So glad you wrote about this experience. For our fellow HAL passengers who worried that HAL would pull out of Tampa because they couldn't get the larger ships under the Sunshine Skyway: Well, NCL has just announced that they are bringing another ship into Tampa to do 7, 10, and 11-day cruises. It is a 2,400+passenger ship. That has to be larger, although perhaps not taller, than the Oosterdam, which is coming to Tampa. Yay!

 

when are the longer ncl cruises starting. looking forward to the oosterdam coming to tampa is it going to have longer cruises. sorry to hijack this site

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sail7seas,

 

Very happy to hear that you enjoyed your cruise. I know it was your first cruise without your beloved DH. I am sure that he is happy seeing you be happy.

 

God Bless

 

 

PS

Do you think that you would sail NCL again?

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sail7seas,

 

Very happy to hear that you enjoyed your cruise. I know it was your first cruise without your beloved DH. I am sure that he is happy seeing you be happy.

 

God Bless

 

 

PS

Do you think that you would sail NCL again?

 

Thank you. :) What a nice message.

 

I truthfully don't know but cannot think of any good reason to say No to NCL vs HAL if the right circumstances arise. I will always give the 'edge' to HAL but it is possible I'd sail NCL again. :) I liked them well enough to be agreeable to another suite on NCL ship.

 

I missed my DH greatly and know I'd miss him even more on HAL but time will tell.

 

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What is really funny Ann is that I receive e-mails all the time from NCL now but still NOTHING from HAL. Hmmm, 85 or so cruises with HAL and one with NCL. There has to be something wrong with this picture. :D

I'm still trying to decide if I should be offended. :rolleyes: :D

 

 

 

Do not be offended at all. I think it is something within the industry...I used to get emails, gifts, etc. from Norwegian all the time and then suddenly after 40 or so cruises with them....nothing. I never ever get an email with Norwegian and can not remember the last time I did. Now...I did just get a happy birthday to you email from Holland which made me feel special...but yet I chalk it up to the industry figuring they "have" their repeat passengers and do not need to "court" them...and spend all their efforts on courting the newbies...so while Norwegian courts you...Holland courts me...it is kind of making me think about checking out all the lines...teeheehee:D

 

coka

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Very glad that you had a great cruise on NCL Sail. DW and I have switched over to NCL exclusively, but I still pop in here from time to time.

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Did you ever eat in the MDR & if so, how does it compare to HAL?

We enjoy HAL's MDR and will experience NCL for the first time next year. I'm curious as to how much we may feel the need to book another restaurant.

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Thank you. :) What a nice message.

 

I truthfully don't know but cannot think of any good reason to say No to NCL vs HAL if the right circumstances arise. I will always give the 'edge' to HAL but it is possible I'd sail NCL again. :) I liked them well enough to be agreeable to another suite on NCL ship.

 

I missed my DH greatly and know I'd miss him even more on HAL but time will tell.

 

 

Sail,

My mother gave me some advice which I think was good. She said to me to honor the deceased you should go on living. Living a life that they would want to share with you is a tribute to them. Sharing the kindness he gave you over the years with others is one of the best thing you can do in his memory .

 

 

God bless,

Geo

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Good morning Judy.

 

 

Saw DAWN again this week. Got a good look at the ship on the ferry from Hamilton to Dockyard. Sat next to a couple chapping. They assumed I was off the DAWN. They were on the SPENDOUR. Ouch! Ouch! New cruisers and they sail they will never again! They just don't like the crowds and the big ship. So... try HAL. ;-)

 

For yourself... you might want to try Princess sometime. Not like HAL but there is a lot about them that is good.

 

Stephen

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Hi Stephen,

The congestion on Dawn from time to time was noticeable to me but we never really waited any length of time to be seated in a restaurant, always got a nice cocktail table in the lounges, seats are reserved in show lounge for suite guests (though we never went) but the pool was the real place of congestion.... That and the buffet at lunch time. I used a bit of common sense and waited until a bit after peak before I went to get my lunch.

 

We sailed Princess about 5 or 6 times and it was fine but we always preferred HAL. I've not sailed Princess since it joined the Carnival family and somehow it doesn't appeal to me at the moment.

 

If I cruise again, it likely will be HAL or NCL. I never, not ever thought it would occur to me to sail NCL once, let alone consider doing so a second time. :D :eek: I hope to get back to HAL soon but I'll roll with it and see how I feel.

 

My friends and I loved Bermuda. Wonderful little paradise. :)

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Did you ever eat in the MDR & if so, how does it compare to HAL?

We enjoy HAL's MDR and will experience NCL for the first time next year. I'm curious as to how much we may feel the need to book another restaurant.

 

We dined in Aqua which is an 'included' dining room and enjoyed our evening. The room is not nearly as elegant as HAL's MDR's, white table cloths but the table settings are sadly inferior to HAL's Rosenthal china, substantial logo monogramed flatware and the stemware etc I love a beautiful table setting and for me it sets the mood for a meal. I love a flower or two on the table and missed those touches on NCL. NCL's Aqua tables are 'functional'.

The menu was ample with plenty of choices (more than on HAL's dinner menu when you really compare), enough variety that most can find a meal to enjoy though fish choices were lacking. Food was good to very good and all at our table enjoyed their meal with no complaints. A few dishes were very good and all food was served hot or cold as appropriate. The service was fine.

 

My impression is NCL has higher crew/guest ratio and the stewards did not seem to be on the run trying to get everyone served the way I've noticed sometimes on HAL.

 

We planned in advance to dine around in alternative restaurants as we like the variety and would do so again.

 

I would not limit myself to only the included Venetian and Aqua MDR's but that is a personal choice.

 

Edited by sail7seas

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I was so happy to see your review because we all were hoping that you had a good time. I understand why you picked NCL so that you could go with trusted and loved friends.

I ask with all the respect that I can give (over the internet). Why have you never tried the more "upscale" lines instead of thinking of mainstreams to compare to HAL. Just from reading about what you like and prefer I would think that it would be a good fit--Roy's reports from Crystal come to mind. To me that would be a better fit than something like Princess or even Celebrity.

Anyway I'm happy that you had a great time.

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It's a fair question and certainly my DH and I discussed trying Seabourn, Crystal, Oceania, Silversea. For what we paid through the years for the Neptune Suites, we could have cruised any of the cruise lines.

 

Seabourn did not appeal because of the size of their ships though I know that has changed. I was invited on Silversea for lunch and a tour...... it didn't work for us. I like fine service and upscale accommodations etc but I didn't like the 'feel' of Silversea for US. For someone else, lovely. Crystal was a real No for DH. I won't go into why. :o

 

And, truthfully, we were very happy on HAL. We love the ships and crews of HAL. I don't love some of the downscaling and cuts but I suspect that is happening most everywhere.

 

I've read reviews of some who tried Oceania and not all thought it was so wonderful. Of course, it likely is the same as all ships. Same ship, same cruise, some have a great cruise and someone else got a too well done steak, their a/c didn't work and the toilet malfunctioned......... :)

 

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I'm glad you enjoyed your cruise. I've been intrigued by their Studio cabins for some time and actually just put in an inquiry with my TA for the Breakaway. It would be B2B with my Veendam cruise and be a big dose of Bermuda but this seems like the right time.

 

I would also hope DH's negatives about Crystal would not stop you from considering them now, especially with their low solo supplements.

 

Roy

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I received an e-mail with Post Cruise Survey re: my Dawn cruise.

I wanted to be very careful to answer as accurately as I could which is always difficult when multiple choice is the only way to respond. On only a very few questions was there an N/A option.

 

I found when I finished that Dawn got a great many 'good or very good' on places that HAL would have gotten 'excellent'. However, NCL got exceeded my expectations whereas HAL no longer does. HAL always exceeded our expectation cruise after cruise by some little extra or something new but I realized it has been a while since.

 

HAL is still my favorite but NCL would interest me again in the right circumstances.

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I received an e-mail with Post Cruise Survey re: my Dawn cruise.

I wanted to be very careful to answer as accurately as I could which is always difficult when multiple choice is the only way to respond. On only a very few questions was there an N/A option.

 

I found when I finished that Dawn got a great many 'good or very good' on places that HAL would have gotten 'excellent'. However, NCL got exceeded my expectations whereas HAL no longer does. HAL always exceeded our expectation cruise after cruise by some little extra or something new but I realized it has been a while since.

 

HAL is still my favorite but NCL would interest me again in the right circumstances.

Sail, I totally understand and what is interesting is each NCL cruise I have been on each one gets even better where sadly my last few HAL cruises declined :( I even try to go with no expectations of being high on HAL and sadly on several levels it has disappointed me. Where NCL just keeps surprising me. We are pretty simple cruisers, do not do a whole lot just like to go and relax. What I find in NCL is what I use to find in HAL when I first started to sail HAL in 2004.

On HAL we still know a lot of crew and Officers just like you do which does make sailing HAL a plus, on NCL we really do not know anyone but oddly upon returning we feel so welcome and the experience just gets better.

I have seen a change for the better with NCL in the past three years.

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If NCL is first to Cuba, I will sail on NCL. :) If HAL is first, I will sail them to Cuba. I doubt either will be the first (forgetting about Carnival's work cruises). But I definitely would sail NCL again given the right circumstances which, of course, are different now since the passing of my DH.

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Sail, I am so pleased your cruise was so nice and that you enjoyed yourself. I'll bet your friends are very special people and loved sharing a special experience with you.

 

I've not sailed on NCL but it is nice to read about them. They purchased Oceania last year. We are big fans of O and I highly recommend you give them a try. I'll bet you start getting O mailings soon.

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That's it, Sail, next stop Carnival or Allure! You've broken out of your mold! I've been wondering how your cruise was going to go and I almost never check by here- total chance that I happened to see this thread. I love HAL but have had great vacations on Carnival- not kidding! Also NCL although I have to say that Dawn is my least favorite ship. Currently booked on Breakaway to BDA but in October when I hope the crowds on board will be less. I've never sailed a mega ship but people who do swear they feel "less crowded". At any rate, I'm glad you went, glad you busted out of your routine, and very glad that you enjoyed Freestyle. I would love to see you sail Carnival and come back and post. It's not that baaaad.....;)

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Sail, I am so glad to hear you had a good cruise experience, even on NCL. I am enjoying your review!

 

My only experience with NCL was 5 years ago on the Pride of America and I was disappointed (and must admit I did not expected much). Friends have sailed on the Breakaway and Gem and enjoyed it very much, but then again, they were in The Haven. ;) The penthouse makes things better too. :)

 

I always smile when long time traditional dining time fans change their minds about open dining. :) I do prefer to eat when I want to and have always preferred open to fixed.

 

I did some research on Royal Caribbean for a friend going on his first cruise - I have never sailed on RC myself. I was intrigued by their solution to the formal night issue: one dining room is formal all the time and the rest is smart casual all the time. With the proliferation of multiple dining areas, that may be a good solution for those that want to participate. I have wondered at times if HAL could figure out something like formal nights are on one level of the dining room only. I realize that would mess with the usual traditional/open dining options.

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That's it, Sail, next stop Carnival or Allure! You've broken out of your mold! I've been wondering how your cruise was going to go and I almost never check by here- total chance that I happened to see this thread. I love HAL but have had great vacations on Carnival- not kidding! Also NCL although I have to say that Dawn is my least favorite ship. Currently booked on Breakaway to BDA but in October when I hope the crowds on board will be less. I've never sailed a mega ship but people who do swear they feel "less crowded". At any rate, I'm glad you went, glad you busted out of your routine, and very glad that you enjoyed Freestyle. I would love to see you sail Carnival and come back and post. It's not that baaaad.....;)

 

[ :D My DH and I (sort of) once sailed Carnival and it WAS that BAD. :eek: It was SO bad we boarded about 12 hours late and never actually left the dock. I will never, not ever be on another Carnival ship. It wasn't so bad they had mechanical problems. I understand that happens. It is the way they handled it. Deplorable!!

 

Allure and Breakaway, Oasis....... not for me. Just plain and simple toooooo big.

Thanks for the good wishes. :)

 

 

 

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