Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Dream Reviews

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“Do not care about their guests”


written by on 20/01/2012

I was onboard NCL Dawn for their cruise leaving Miami on November 19, 2010. I was 5 weeks pregnant. On November 21, 2010 at around 10AM I went to the onboard clinic due to more vaginal bleeding. The onboard physician examined and confirmed the bleeding. I was admitted and kept in the clinic until our next port. The Doctor onboard was to call the Fleet Physician for NCL to find out whether I should be kept on board until the next port or whether I should be removed from the ship immediately. After a few hours the doctor came back to us and told me that I would be kept onboard until we got to Samana. I was kept on strict bed rest in the clinic. I was told that I would be taken to a hospital once in Samana to receive treatment and get an ultrasound. I asked about the hospital and I was told that it was a new hospital built there; it was built because of the cruise ships. We were scared about going to a hospital in this town. I was told this by the nurse who took care of me. I was a little nervous, but confident because it was a hospital and physician that NCL had arranged, so we assumed that it had to be legitimate. While on bed rest I contacted my health insurance back in the states to let them know what was going on. They opened a case and advised me that if it was an outpatient procedure I would pay for it upfront and I would get reimbursed. If I had to stay overnight then they would work with the hospital to arrange billing. On November 22,2010 we arrived into Samana, Dominican Republic around noon. My husband and I were the first ones off the ship. We were taken on a boat ashore where we were received by the ambulance and a local “physician”. I thought I was being taken to a hospital. We arrived to what look like a two story home. The gynecologist that was in the ambulance told me that everything would be OK. The Gynecologist did a vaginal ultrasound and confirmed a miscarriage. He said he could see the remains of my pregnancy. We were taken into another office to meet another doctor. He was the owner of the clinic. I noticed in his office an obstetrics book, we felt uneasy and made us think if they were reading up on OBGYN before I got there. Neither of these two people spoke English. I am fluent in Spanish. He explained to me that he would do some type of clean up to removed any remaining pregnancy and I should be back on the ship by the time it departed. He said it was a simple procedure. He explained that I would be under general anesthesia. We asked about payment and at that point he said that he already was in contact with someone in the states on insurance, but if I would have to pay this would be about $1500.00, but he believes that he can work with my insurance so I would not have to pay anything upfront. It was all cash; I did not see anywhere that they would take credit cards. He asked me for my insurance card and both passports . I was taken to one of the rooms upstairs. We could see the ship from our window. The nurse started an IV on me and took some blood from me. At this point the doctor (owner of the clinic) came back, he was on his cell and needed my social security number. I asked them why and he said his agent back in the states needed it to process everything. A different lady came in and she said she was the anesthesiologist. I was asked health questions and explained to me that the procedure it was simple and I would be sleeping for around 15 minutes or so. I was walked into a room that had a sign that said “Sala de Operaciones/Sala de Partos” (operating room/delivery room). I walked in and this room looked like an abortion clinic. I laid on a stretcher and was asked to put my two legs up. There was a trashcan under my bottom. Nothing seemed sterilized and I saw what look like a bottle of bleach in the corner. The lady anesthesiologist and gynecologist were in there. I had no vital signs monitored, no oxygen, nothing seemed sterilized. They put in my IV a yellow substance and she told me it was the medicine that would make me go to sleep. After that I remember tears coming out of my eyes, I was frightened then waking up very disoriented. I had again no oxygen, nothing monitoring my vital signs. Nobody spoke English to explain to my husband what was going on. My husband was very scared because I was so disoriented that he thought something had gone wrong. Nobody could explain to him what was going on because of the language barrier. When I finally came to it the doctor said that I had an infection and I had to stay overnight to receive intravenous antibiotics to treat the infection. This was around 2:30PM. I was told that my husband had to return to the ship to let them know what was going on and to arrange everything. My other two children and grandparents were still on board. The ambulance driver, gynecologist and the other doctor took my husband back to the pier in his personal vehicle. Once on the pier the local NCL Agent told Robert to tell the ship that there should not be any more communication between him and the ship. He told my husband the next day we would need to get to Santo Domingo in order to fly out. This was the first and only time we heard from this agent until late next day. The agent never gave us his name or phone number, we did not know how to contact him unless we were at the pier. He should have given us a business card or something. My husband went back to the ship and explained what was going on. As he was packing somebody from the desk called and asked who would be taken care of our children’s charges. My children were to stay with my in-laws. We had just lost a pregnancy; the last thing on his mind was the charges on the ship. I was left in the “clinic” and I was very frightened alone. Nobody from NCL was there with us. My husband was not with me, he had my purse and passport and all our money. There were no phones in the rooms nor a way to contact the nurse. I was very relieved to see my husband return safe. After seeing everything and discussing we were very scared to spend the night there, there was no type of security, the doctors were gone. We wanted to get somewhere civilized to make sure I was OK. We did not want to spend the night there and advised the nurse that we would be leaving to Santo Domingo where I have family. I did not trust their care nor opinion. I wanted to go to a real hospital and more legitimate gynecologist with credentials. She said she was calling the Doctor. While waiting I asked for a sanitary pad, they said they did not have any that the doctor went to buy some. I was bleeding all over the bed. I decided to shower to get ready to leave. I went in the bathroom and saw a used bar soap. I asked the nurse for a new soap, she said that they did not have any, that one is fine. I washed off the top. I turn the shower on and to my surprise it was a very little stream of cold water. Took the cold shower, I had to get cleaned up. I was feeling better, no pain and ready to go. While were waiting for the doctor we saw from our window the ship sailing away, we were so sad to see it leave without us. I was given a second dose of antibiotics in my IV. A couple of hours later the two doctors return with the sanitary pads and to speak to me. He said that I should not leave because in order for the insurance to pay him I needed to be there as inpatient. I told him that I was leaving that he can write down that I stayed overnight. He did another ultrasound, this time it was not a vaginal one. He gave me all my paper work, including my blood results. Everything was in Spanish. At around 7PM we left to go to the capital. As we were walking out of the so called hospital I saw one of the nurses in the Iiving room couch kissing and hugging with her boyfriend while at work, not professional at all: we were so ready to leave by then. We made it to Santo Domingo to my grandmother’s home. We spent the night there. We wanted to make sure I was healthy and be seen by a normal hospital. We were so nervous at what they might have done to me. We took $1500.00 with us in cash and our passports and credit cards. I don’t even what could have happened if we didn’t have cash or I was able to speak Spanish. This could have gone a lot worse, being so lost in this third world area not able to speak the language and this place was not a safe one at all.W On November 23, 2010 I saw a very respected/reputable gynecologist in Santo Domingo. Doctor Tamara Frankenburg. She did an ultrasound and examined me and advised me that everything looked normal. There are no signs of infection and that at a miscarriage of 5 weeks, there was no reason to do that clean up. She gave me a note fit to travel. She gave me a prescription of antibiotics and painkillers. I picked them up at a pharmacy and spent $80.00. We contacted the 800 number to NCL. The local agent never gave me his phone number, so we could not call him for him to help us. I remember asking him for his number in Samana and he did not give it to us. NCL advised us that we needed a doctor’s note. They told us that on November 23 the ship would be in St. John. My husband was on hold for about 30 minutes while NCL contacted the ship. Keep in mind that this was international calls. We finally got the confirmation and we would be boarding in St. Johns. The Samana physician called me to follow up and I told him that I had seen a local gynecologist and told him her findings and how upset I was on what he did and not be able to get on the ship again. An hour later the local agent finally calls me (the doctor must have spoken to him), I told him what happened and how disappointed I was for him just leaving us there with no translator for my husband in that place. So, now I know he had my phone number. I finally was able to get to the airport in Santo Domingo. I bought two one way tickets to St. John via San Juan and St. Thomas. This cost us $900.00. We finally get to St. John and to our dismay we were in the wrong island. It was St. John Antigua and not St. Johns USVI. We boarded the ferry back to St. Thomas and back to the airport to catch a 1:30PM flight to Antigua that was to land at 3:20PM. This cost us $380.00. Finally we landed in Antigua, we paid a taxi $20 to rush us to the ship because we did not want to miss boarding, we got to the ship around 4:15PM. The ship left at 5:00PM. This experience has been horrible. I am scared for my health. When I return to the US I need to be examined by my Gynecologist and get blood tests for HIV, Hepatitis, etc. I am so scared that I may have contracted something in Samana from this clinic. I am also scared because now these people have my Social Security number and home address. This is completely unacceptable, we really believe we were in good hands as NCL gave me no choice other than to go disembark and go to this clinic. We were left there like dogs and at the mercy of this third world country. The ship never followed up to ensure we were safe and doing good. I cannot imagine how this would have ended up if I did not speak Spanish. Fortunately we had our credit cards with a high credit limit and we had $1500 cash on us. If we didn’t have that money who knows how we would have paid for the taxi’s, ferries, food, and medicines. This has been a emotional rollercoaster for me and my family. My main problem with this entire experience is the agent in Samana and corporate NCL. They should be better prepared for medical emergencies in Samana. The agent was never with us at the hospital, he remained on the pier. He only followed up with us after he knew we were upset with the arrangements. When we contacted NCL by phone they refused to accept responsibility for anything and were not helpful at all except to email the ship when we would be meeting up with them. We got back on the ship in Antigua and told them what had happened. They were apologetic and asked me to email them what had happened with receipts of my expenses. This experience have caused a lot of pain and nervousness. I am very sad and scared on having had this unnecessary procedure done in this country. This ship did not give me another choice, they made us get off the ship. I never heard back anything from NCL.

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“Subject: NCL Dream Nov 14 2004 sailing Nov 22, 2004 ”


written by on 13/10/2008

Subject: NCL Dream Nov 14 2004 sailing Nov 22, 2004
The cruise mentioned was my 29th cruise overall. I have to say it was also my worst cruise experience and for many reasons. The ship though old was in fair to good condition. Our cabin was nice though the furniture was worn and the carpet needs replacing. It was unique though, as it faced forward and that was a great view.
The problem I ascertained concerning NCL is they are cheap. By this I mean they are cutting corners with all amenities. I will make a list of all the things that I think they are lacking in.
1. You cannot get anything to eat after 10:00 pm. No midnight buffet. I never heard of any such thing.
2. Freestyle dining is a joke. We went to their main dining room twice for dinner and both times the experience was just plain awful. We went at two different times so it wasn't because of a certain rushed hour. After signing up, you then sit in a lounge for thirty minutes. Then they call you. After being seating it is at least a fifteen-minute wait until your order is taken. I noticed both nights that many tables around us had not even been bussed. A waiter would walk by from time to time on those unbussed tables and literally pick up one fork or plate and carry it to the dirty dish tray. The food was acceptable, but not great. The portions are small and the waiters do not know what utensils to place on your table for some items. Both dinners took near two hours to complete. I am convinced the reason NCL went to Freestyle Dining is to increase profits. They can control the passenger flow to their liking and thus reduce staff.
3. The other restaurants were better but not great. The Terraces is good for lunch and we had pretty good luck in the Trattoria. However, again the portions are very small. Steak Dianne in the Trattoria was pretty awful when you were expecting Steak Dianne. It was a tough round steak covered in some unfamiliar sauce. Yuk!
4. I like ships with assigned seating and times. It gives you the opportunity to meet fellow passengers and know your waiter. We never had the same waiter twice. Also on all ships there are alternate restaurants and you always have choices.
5. The afternoon buffets by the pool were popular, but I laughed when I looked at a pork chop just off the grill. It was about 1/4" think and cooked to the consistency of shoe leather.
6. Room service is available 24 hrs but with a very limited menu. We asked for a hamburger one afternoon and you would have thought we were asking for the moon. We did get it however.
7. The lounges are well staffed and for the most part the staff very friendly. My favorite lounge was the Observatory. It is on deck 12 and has a 270-degree panorama view. Three of the staff there were wonderful. We all became fast fiends. But again the money saving efforts of NCL showed its ugly head. Every night they had Karaoke instead of a nice combo. There was a good jazz band that appeared there from time to time but only for an hour at a time. Karaoke was the dominant theme and most nights was not well attended. The reason in my opinion is NCL saves money. Think about it, the nicest romantic lounge wasted on a poorly attended noise feast.
8. The Sports Bar is the Dream's answer to most Lido decks. It is buffet and to be very honest, the food is inedible. Again poor quality costs less.
The first day out we had some high winds and moderate (12 - 15 Ft.) seas. We were three hours late arriving to Cozumel thus ruining many of the passenger's plans.
The ports of call included Cozumel, Roatan, Belize and Cancun. We had a good time in each and thought the itinerary was good.
Overall I must say I will never travel with NCL again. I do not recommend them or the Dream. The most important commodity they have is we their guests, and I think they have lost sight of that. Maybe they should study Holland America's attitude and ships. They could learn something.

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“I liken this cruise ship to a ferry. As it is only...”


written by NHreview on 01/06/2008

I liken this cruise ship to a ferry. As it is only ship out of Boston for an extended stay in Bermuda during May, I would take this tub again. But, it is my understanding both Dream and Majesty have been sold (2008)and are now leased back to Norwegian for season. So HOPEFULLY Boston will be offered a better ship in 2009. Norwegian Dawn is a beautiful ship but you have to travel to Bayonne to cruise on Dawn.
We were suppose to land in St. George's for 4 days. But Captain decided not to attempt difficult docking in St. George. Norwegian Majesty was able to make it into St. George's. Captain is extremely difficult to understand. It would be great if they could repeat his messages as he speaks understandably so with a thick Norwegian accent.
If you can get a good price on cruise, lower your cruise expectations and consider this ferry ride as it beats driving to New Jersey or flying. I recommend packing a suit case with snack food (ie. granola bars, popcorn, nuts, cookies, candy) if you like to snack and/or drink. You can't bring on booze but only the lucky ones get the glass holder with peanuts! I know I don't like to drink on an empty stomach. Plus, if you don't bring your own, you will be stuck searching ship for an open buffet which will have long line and/or nothing you will want to eat.
Excursion tip: get a 3 day bus/ferry ticket for $28. Buses stop at beaches and all other major attractions

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“I think this ship is very dated, the food is poor. The...”


written by on 26/05/2008

I think this ship is very dated, the food is poor. The ship is not very clean! Please don't waste your hard earned money and vacation time! Just for the record I'm not a first time cruiser, this was my 10th cruise and my last with NCL

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