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Just back from NCL....prefer HAL


SakeDad

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So I took Mom on a 3 day repo from LA to Vancouver on the NCL Star. While I can't say it was a bad cruise (does such a thing really exist!:rolleyes:) I will say we missed being pampered and spoiled by the likes of HAL. Maybe it was because we were in a SA on HAL and had Neptune Lounge, etc...but I don't think so. The food alone on NCL was great to good to "are you kidding me?!" bad. You could see everywhere it was a line that caters to the greater masses....there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this and I'm glad they are there for it. After all, we only brought carry-on and never dressed up and knew we'd enjoy the short trip (AND WE DID!:D) but it is by no means a high-class line. We did have a huge aft balcony (96 sq ft) but the cabin was cramped compared to what we are used to. We adjusted and enjoyed it, but it was cramped. Thank God for the balcony and the wake.

You can see my full review at the link below but I have learned that I prefer to travel with higher end lines where I know I will be spoiled and pampered!:D I have learned it's WORTH the extra $$$....to me anyway;)

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So I took Mom on a 3 day repo from LA to Vancouver on the NCL Star. While I can't say it was a bad cruise (does such a thing really exist!:rolleyes:) I will say we missed being pampered and spoiled by the likes of HAL. Maybe it was because we were in a SA on HAL and had Neptune Lounge, etc...but I don't think so. The food alone on NCL was great to good to "are you kidding me?!" bad. You could see everywhere it was a line that caters to the greater masses....there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this and I'm glad they are there for it. After all, we only brought carry-on and never dressed up and knew we'd enjoy the short trip (AND WE DID!:D) but it is by no means a high-class line. We did have a huge aft balcony (96 sq ft) but the cabin was cramped compared to what we are used to. We adjusted and enjoyed it, but it was cramped. Thank God for the balcony and the wake.

You can see my full review at the link below but I have learned that I prefer to travel with higher end lines where I know I will be spoiled and pampered!:D I have learned it's WORTH the extra $$$....to me anyway;)

 

 

I have done many NCL cruises in their best Suites and Villas. You are raight! The quality and service is not there...even in their Garden Villas! You get treated better even in a inside cabin on HAL, since the whole and overall experience on HAL is a lot better.

HAL is also CHEAPER then NCL! Try to get a same sized Suite on NCL as on HAL...mucho $$$ difference!

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NCL is OK, but not in the same league as HAL.

 

It saddens me to no end, that HAL often, too often, sells at a discount to NCL, on ultra competitive runs, like Alaska.

 

It screams loud and clear that most passengers choose a cruise by price, not value and that a heck of a lot of cruisers, in general, have a preference for open seating, especially on 7 day runs.

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Welcome Home Nathan and Mom:)

Nathan I totally apologise for not writing you back and will when I get a chance. Today I am swamped at work (which is a good thing finally)

Glad you enjoyed you short get away even though it was not HAL and quite up to HAL standards but since it was inexpensive and short it was at the very least a good way to try it.

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Sorry you didn't like the NCL as well as HAL, but I have to agree with the latest poster. We have sailed with three other cruise lines (our first cruise with HAL will be in August) and sailed for the first time on NCL Dawn for this past Thanksgiving. We had a wonderful time, the service was great, our cabin was well designed and comfortable w/out a balcony, and the food was great. But the Dawn is a newer ship.

The price difference is all relative, sometimes HAL is cheaper than NCL - that is the reason we are going on HAL in August - even though we had already chosen a NCL itinerary we felt this was our chance to try HAL out. YEAH!

We are looking forward to our trip on the Westerdam in August, as we have heard so many good things.

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I did the same trip last year and agree that the Star wasn't a great ship. The service on NCL lacks in comparison to HAL, but the freestyle thing is kind of nice when you just want to dress down and relax. While I disliked the Star, I think the newer ships are MUCH better!!!! I am not completely writing off NCL, if the ship, itinerary, and price were right, I would do them again, just not on the Star.

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Thnaks for your feedback everyone! I know there are lines for everyone and through this website it's a little easier to figure it all out:D

 

Exactly! I personally prefer NCL over HAL for many reasons. While I haven't had a 'bad' cruise on HAL, it just wasn't for me (or my DH and two sons). The cruises on HAL were definitely cheaper, and it was easier to get a lounger by the pool, there were too many things that I didn't like. That being said, my in-laws love HAL and have hundreds of sea days with them. Their last cruise many things ticked them off (I was really surprised to hear all their negative comments) but it didn't stop them from booking a 35 day cruise on the Statendam this September.

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The wife and I have cruised NCL three times, and while they were OK cruises, but they were NOT HAL. We have two cruises that we are looking at around Thanksgiving. One NCL and one HAL. The NCL is cheaper, but we are leaning to HAL anyway. Just waiting to see if it goes down a bit before we book...........The wife has said she doesn't really want to do NCL again.............so I guess I'll do the smart thing and go HAL...........

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Exactly! I personally prefer NCL over HAL for many reasons. While I haven't had a 'bad' cruise on HAL, it just wasn't for me (or my DH and two sons). The cruises on HAL were definitely cheaper, and it was easier to get a lounger by the pool, there were too many things that I didn't like. That being said, my in-laws love HAL and have hundreds of sea days with them. Their last cruise many things ticked them off (I was really surprised to hear all their negative comments) but it didn't stop them from booking a 35 day cruise on the Statendam this September.

 

 

Very interested. What 'ticked them off?"

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Very interested. What 'ticked them off?"

 

I would have to think about that... I know there were some things like service issues from wait staff, bar servers and many other things. The biggest thing that bothered them was the captain's party, either the captain didn't bother to meet people or was rude. I will have to ask them this weekend when we have our weekly phone call. My MIL was really upset and she usually never complains much about poor service. This time she did nothing but complain (sorry I tune out complainers after a while). Now I believe it was a circle Hawaii cruise (they tend to do that and Alaska quite a bit, they live in Victoria) last spring. After that cruise they said they wouldn't go again and poof they booked the 35 day one.

 

sail7seas you may have run into her on one of your cruises, she is a lady who wears all purple (head to toe!) except formal nights. My FIL is a retired RCN Commander so he is a bit of an old salt ;)

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Thanks, Sun.

 

Your M-I-L may have company in her complaint about the Captain's Party. They no longer have the Captain's Welcome Aboard with the opportunity to shake the Captain's hand and have your photo taken. They have started doing a Champagne Toast that many 'traditionalists' are unhappy about. I agree it is a shame they stopped the Traditional Party. [i won't even touch the rude Captain part........ have no idea about any of that. ;) ]

 

 

They sound like an interesting couple. I'll be on the 'lookout' :) for them on future cruises. I think I'd enjoy meeting them.

 

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Thanks, Sun.

 

Your M-I-L may have company in her complaint about the Captain's Party. They no longer have the Captain's Welcome Aboard with the opportunity to shake the Captain's hand and have your photo taken. They have started doing a Champagne Toast that many 'traditionalists' are unhappy about. I agree it is a shame they stopped the Traditional Party. [i won't even touch the rude Captain part........ have no idea about any of that. ;) ]

 

 

They sound like an interesting couple. I'll be on the 'lookout' :) for them on future cruises. I think I'd enjoy meeting them.

 

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Last year, a colleague at my school went on NCL because of itinerary,timing, etc. (She has sailed Celebrity, HAL, Princess and we've shared cruising stories and info.) The Monday morning after our week off, she rushed up to me and said, "In case you're thinking about it, don't EVER go on NCL!" She then proceeded to fill me in on the variety of events, poor service, small cabin, unpleasant "dining" experiences, etc. throughout the week. Another teacher had also related how unhappy he was with his NCL experience (another ship.)

So when you say you prefer NCL over HAL, not a big surprise! Glad you did enjoy the three days though.

. NCL does appeal to many--it offers what they want in a cruise, but not what I wish in a cruise experience. It's just not a line I would choose.

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I am starting to get nervous. We are going on the Star on May 10th. We did not choose the cruise line and I am worried it won't be great. I just loved sailing on HAL and I am afraid I will come home wishing I had been on HAL. I'll be posting when we return, wish me luck!

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I am starting to get nervous. We are going on the Star on May 10th. We did not choose the cruise line and I am worried it won't be great. I just loved sailing on HAL and I am afraid I will come home wishing I had been on HAL. I'll be posting when we return, wish me luck!

 

I am sure you'll have a fine time. Hey, you'll be at sea and a beautiful ship! Many do like NCL. Each line has it's own personality and caters to different cruisers. I just prefer the elegance and traditonal feel of HAL. I love formal nights andf fixed dining. I don't think I'd care for NCL, based on MY cruise preferences--that's all.

 

Go on the Star and enjoy!

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We will never sail NCL again! Mediocre food and service, no personal touch! The NCL ships are maybe nice looking...very vibrant, but are very uncomfortible! Just try to sit on one of those super designed NCL couches...there is no nap possible. I rather have a comfi SA Suite on any HAL ship then again the unpersonal, uncomfortible Garden Villa on a NCL ship with no service for a high price!

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