CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews


Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Dream Baltic Sea June 30, 2004

Norwegian calls this ship the "Dream". We called it the "Nightmare". After it was too late to cancel, NCL told us we weren't going to Estonia because of a broken engine. Nobody I spoke with believed this story since we had to pass Estonia to get to Russia. According to other reviews, this engine has been broken since the first of March. Our steward told us it wouldn't be fixed for at least two more cruises. Many passengers heard unofficially that we weren't going to Estonia because the port fee had been raised. This ship is 13 years old but it looked and felt to us considerably older than that. It's almost as if NCL has given up on this ship. Certainly if they have a broken engine after four months, you'd have to think so.

The bedspreads in our room were filthy and appeared not to have been washed in ages. A relative in the room next to ours had ripped upholstery on her couch. Our couch was broken and you could not sit comfortably on it. We've cruised often. The rooms on this ship are unbelievably small - by far the smallest we've seen and we were in a larger outside cabin. The pull out couch bed was so short that the stweard had to bring a makeshift extension to put on the end, and he had to take furniture out of the room for the duration of the cruise for the sofa bed to fit. Our safe was ripped out of the wall.

NCL brags that their tipping policy which is automatically added to your bill takes care of all tips. Yet they automatically add another 15% to each drink/soda/bottle of wine and at the end of the trip they advise that you should tip certain service people that are not in the "tipping pool". We felt that NCL tried to extract as much money from us as possible with little regard for value. One passenger I ate lunch with was upset when she told me she had just paid $14 to use the internet for 2 mintues. My wife was upset that NCL wanted to charge $5 for an exercise program. The list goes on and on. We felt that the price of the tours was very high especially in Russia where you had little choice but to book with NCL. NCL lost our pre-booked reservations in St. Petersburg.

My brother-in-law checked prior to departure and was told the kid's club was open while in port. Isn't that when you'd most want to use the kid's club if you were a parent of young children? Anyway the kid's club was closed while in port. Perhaps that was NCL's way of making you pay to book your children on a shore excursion. If that was their plan, it worked. But it won't be soon forgotten.

We didn't speak to a single passenger who said that they would ever sail NCL again. The nightly entertainment was the worst we've experienced in all our cruises. The service in the restaurants was extremely show at times. In fact, on two occasions we all got up and left before the end of the meal figuring we'd get food elsewhere if we got hungry. The food was average at best. We did like the freestyle dining concept.

We regret not having researched this ship better on the front end. Do yourself a favor and do your own research. Buyer beware. We will never sail on NCL again. The best part of our cruise was getting off the ship to go home. IMHO.

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