NCL Dawn, NCL Spirit, Carnival legend?

May 27th, 2006, 09:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 137
NCL Dawn, NCL Spirit, Carnival legend?

Taking my fairly sprightly 75 yo mom on a cruise. I think we've been settled on something leaving out of NYC to avoid airport blues. Definitly will only consider balcony rooms, given the multiple days at sea. Any thoughts about these three ships...

We've both cruised before, separately and together, and none of the NY departing ships have any great shakes port-wise for us, but wondered about the general service, food, accessibility and such on these three. Our only other alternative is the Carnival Destiny out of San ports, but adds flight inconvenience and cost.

any and all thoughts welcome!
Steve007NY is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 09:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Have been only on Legend of your choices but would have no problem going on that ship again. We loved it.

My question - if you are considering flying to San Juan, etc - why not fly to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami ? You could take a 10 day to get to the S. Carib. aren't the NY- port ships longer than 7 days?

You didn't mention when you wanted to cruise however.Maybe that makes some difference.
maryann is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 10:30 AM
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pat is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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semiramis is online now  
May 29th, 2006, 03:07 AM
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WE have been on NCL Spirit and other NCL ships and HATED the freestyle dining! On Spirit we had to wait at least 20 minutes to be seated, once was 45 minutes. They don't care about making new table when people leave the dining room. We have decided we really don't like NCL at all.
But the Legend, another ship all together! We were NEVER going to go on Carnival again - had been on older ships. Then saw $379 for 8 days on the Legend and couldn't pass that up! WOW, what a difference from our other 5 Carnival cruises! We enjoyed it so much we booked her for next New Years Eve cruise. Also on board for the entire cruise was Bob Dickerson and his family. He is the president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines! And, he chose the Legend. This year we've been on the Glory and Valor, both newer than the Legend but we like the Legend better. Go on the Legend, you won't regret it!
bonniejns is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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I have been on both the Dawn and Spirit and greatly enjoyed both of them. And really really like freestyle. So much so, I've taken 5 cruises in the past year- 4 on NCL. To each his own!!
BudgetQueen is offline  
May 29th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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Bonnie-You sounded just like me . Went on Carnival - hated it - waited 13 years- went on Glory - loved it - then Legend- just as great. Just 1 beware - no cruising during summer and holidays, only when kids and others are in school & work.

I think that was our problem years ago.
Love their prices on the balcony cabins !
maryann is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 06:05 PM
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My family of four(2 teens, husband and self)returned from a 7/06 NCL Dawn cruise. It was very disappointing. We have cruised before on Carnival and Royal Caribbean and enjoyed both incredibly. We chose the Dawn primarily because of the convenience of leaving out of NYC. We cruised on the Bermuda/Bahamas itinerary.

The positives were few. My two teens enjoyed themselves with the younger one participating in the onboard teen program and the older one just making friends. Also. the ship was beautiful and so was Bermuda.

The negatives were many. Namely, the food. We look forward to eating well and trying things that maybe we've never tried before. Only the specialty restaurants (most with additional charges)afforded us that. We were disappointed in the quality of the meals, selection and even quantity in the 3 main "freestyle" restaurants. Quality improved in the specialty restaurants, however advance reservations were needed in all 5 of them. There goes the "freestyle" idea when you have to think days ahead of where and at what time you wish to eat.

Don't expect friendly or exceptionally happy cruise staff either. Drink prices were high. For example, $9.75 for an espresso martini and $8.00 for 1/3 of a glass of merlot. We felt that at times, the bar waiters were told to push drinks as well. There were a few instances where we found them hovering although we told them we weren't ready to order anything (at the pool and at the piano bar). Entertainment was disappointing as well. There were only 2 shows that we loved and 2 more that were OK.

I wouldn't recommend their private island. Picture Jones Beach on the 4th of July. There was nowhere to escape a sudden downpour. Had to pay for anything to drink. It just wasn't pretty or organized well. Also, getting information on the ports was difficult if you weren't on one of their shore excursions and if you didn't care to shop. A scheduled port talk consisted of where to find the best gems, etc. We simply wanted to find out taxi availability at the dock.

I would not recommend this cruise.
Martucci is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 05:50 AM
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I've been paying particular attention to the remarks about NCL lately, and noted that they seem to be mostly negative.

My husband & I have cruised twice, only on HAL in the past year, and have a 3rd cruise planned in December, again with HAL. We feel that it fits us perfectly. We love the food & atmosphere, & the little bit of formality on some of the nights. There have not been too many children; and the majority of passengers are probably 60-something.

We have friends in their 50's who love NCL, love the freestyle cruising, live in bathing suits all day. They have never mentioned the food, but I don't think it's important to them. They have never complained about a cruise with them.

I think it's about the expectation; and if you don't expect too much, it's fine.

To the OP, we cruised out of NY on HAL's Noordam in April, to the Eastern Caribbean. It was a terrific 10 day cruise and I would highly recommend it.
Aug 11th, 2006, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 57
I can agree with Martucci. The ship is beautiful & the kids loved the camp. But the food wasn't great at all. We liked freestyle dining because we asked for a table of two (the boys ate early & went to camp).

I think you & your mom would enjoy traditional dining where you could chat with the same tablemates every night. And Carnival has great food options in the dining room- much more variety than on NCL.
lol930 is offline  
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