2008-10-26

Day 1.2 on NORWEGIAN DREAM in Boston, MA (English Version)

Good Morning,

our day starts with a breakfast in the Westin. 23.00 USD plus tax+tips is no really expensive...

Around 9.30 am we are trying to drop-off our baggage. Unfortunately it's not possible yet. We have a "deal" with paiagirl (Frances and her DH Eddie) from cruisecritic.com: both just arrived on NORWEGIAN DREAM and wants to browse around Boston before they fly home the same afternoon. So Bruno need to stay with our baggage at the Cruise Terminal while I go with both to Hertz to register Eddie's Driving License for an additional fee of 11.00 USD. But we save the cost for the taxi to return the car at the airport. By this way we made arragements with Hertz that they will deliver our car to the cruise terminal next Sunday.

When I returned at 10.45 am Bruno see me without baggage. He told me that they let the passengers into the Terminal and that we able to hand over the baggage.



What is very angry: the lady who should have welcomed us to check our tier Gold or Platinum member is not available yet and we were sent with all others to queue up with the Bronze and Silver tier.

The buildings in Boston are not very spacy and the organisation is somehow chaotic. Everything reminds me the organisation of Costa Cruises in Hamburg, Germany.

In Boston ist leider alles ziemlich eng und chaotisch organisiert. Alles erinnert ein wenig an COSTA in Hamburg.

Before check-in started at 11 am someone screamed our name and welcomed us with a hug: casrebecca (Becky, her DH Mike plus DD Anna and Stephanie and their friend Amanda) who knows me from cruisecritic.com. We never saw us before the welcome is full of heart and passion that we were feeling great before we were onboard.

When we finally had a vacant counter the agent were unable to handle foreigners so that we need to queue up again because only one knows the procedures. In Seattle there are counters for "Non-US-Citizens" or "International Guests". Or why should an agent in New York should know more than in Boston.

Not only that we had to wait for her but she need also to show our passes to the Immigration Officer which need additional time.

As boarding had not started yet a strange scenery has been developped:



They start to form a queue in a form like a snake which was extended behind the counters. There is one lane left to fill up the center of the snail with passengers for check-in. As you finally cannot extend anymore the snail they suspended the check-in for few minutes.

When our agent returned with our passports we were informed that our I-94-W form will not be taken out and we are treated like going on a landside through the borders to Mexico or Canada. For the return only a custom's form is requested. She wished us bon voyage and told us to find somewhere the end of the queue as she had no idea what happened.

It went very slowly. Sometime I got later the Assistent Port Supervisor and I asked her for priority-embarkation for Gold- and Platinum-Members. She told that the ship did not want it and we had to wait.



Our target was the security control point upstairs where we are merged with NCL-novices.

Boarding Passes were not released at Check-in. Someone came and asked for our names and delivered later to the queue. The novices had to queue up again for their boarding passes.

I saw that some passengers where brought directly from the entrance to the check-in. I checked with the lady what made them qualifying to be brought directly to the counter. She told when the name is on the 2-sided list and also found my name on her list and asked me why I did not show up with her. I better do not repeat what I said. She apologied and offered to check-in again to get her treatment...

The next moment the Assistant Port Supervisor had the unluck to see me again and I asked her why she told me that were nothing arranged for Gold- and Platinum-members. She asked me if I did not get this treatment. I said no and that we waisted a lot of time to queue up 30 minutes without need. She took us upstairs with the elevator which was so slow that we met the same queue upstairs which used the escelator.

Security was surprising fast.

Photos on the gangway but we hated the photos with the rescue rings. We do not want.

Sanitizing few yards more upwards.

Finally arrived at Deck 7 reading our cards and offering the welcome champagne.

As our stateroom is on Deck 8 we did not used the elevators.

8109 is a so-called Superior-Oceanview of the Cat. CC.

If we would have booked with NCL Europe: 2.298,00 EUR (= nearly 3.000 USD) but incl. bancruptcy insurance.

But we are true "Friends of Dorothy" - no we did not book with a gay cruise travel agency but with Dorothy from cruisebrothers.com. She is a true gem when you book cruises which are not sold in Germany like Bermuda-cruises. cruisebrothers.com has allotments of their own and so they can control somehow the allocation of staterooms. 1.149 EUR never moved in Europe as they are not even in the catalogue - just refer to internet.

When we booked in October 2007 Cat. EE we should have paid 1.800 USD for the stateroom incl. NCL-insurance. Several price adjustmust downwards plus an upgrade action made that we finally paid 1.400 USD for a Cat. D. When we made full payment it was 1.59 USD/EUR (today it's 1.25 USD/EUR).

Before departure all same categories stateroom were sold for the same price and the Cat. CC was just 20 USD more than our paid cat. When this happened I was on NORWEGIAN SPRIT and Dorothy only works part-time during the weekdays. From all other roll-call-participants I learned on Monday that I was the only one who was upgraded to Cat. CC. Now you know why we are "Friends of Dorothy" and everyone should have a Dorothy.

According to MathiasK's (from a German internet forum and founder of the NORWEGIAN DREAM's Fan Club in Albersdorf, Germany) we learned that Cat. CC plus all balconies should have breakfast in Le Bistro as well. But with inauguration of Freestlye 2.0 this was suspended.

We like our stateroom:







Our view out of the window:





Our view from our "private balcony":





Somehow we are lucky with our "neighbours": the windowless "stateroom" next to us is an emergency stairway.

But we have also a "Private Stairway" to get from deck to the next.



When we arrived our stateroom was not ready yet.

So we received by and by

A bottle of wine with unknow origin as there were no message.





A bottle of Champagne with regards from NCL

and fruits and Champagne from the Latitude-agent...



Sometimes later we got our Freestyle Daily with all annexes and the invitation that we might have our breakfast in "The Terraces" with all other balconies customers.



And two letters for Latitude-members with different contents.



I got an invitation for the captain's reception, Concierge Service and preferred tender tickets. When we asked: Bruno will get same benefits.

We were nicely surprised to get also discounts on selected shore excursions and Spa-treatments.

Furthermore I get free minutes with an Internet-time-plan.

And the night:



The invitation for the Captain's reception, a letter from our Hotel Director that she was unable to get me on the phone and a letter from our Concierge what she can do for us during our cruise.

Is not it nice to have it all on the first longer NCL-cruise???

As we are very early onboard we used the chance to check some other staterooms like the Nassau-Suite next to us:









Abalcony stateroom:



Two different inside staterooms:





And an ordinary oceanview stateroom



Because we had a municipal service boat next to us and it smelled ba we went out to have lunch in the "Four Seasons".



We liked the sun protection - should take it home...

But we did not like the transit passages through the restaurant.

As usual the bread at the beginning.



While we were waiting an Austrian flag on a crew name tag attracted our attention. It's the charming Group Activity Coordinator Julia from Graz, Austria. The day she was charged for a wedding onboard.

We mostly ordered the same when it's day of embarkation: The Quiche



For Bruno double size and for me the small one...

everything reminded to MSC MUSICA: Splash!!!

What I like with NCL: you can jump from one ship to the next and you never get the same.

So this was the version on NORWEGIAN JEWEL:



and this the NORWEGIAN SUN version:



This was our split peas soup:



On NORWEGIAN JEWEL leak was available...



and on NORWEGIAN SUN someone also cut the leak...



Isabelito is Assitant Maître d' Trainee im "The Terraces" welcomed Bruno and me by name. Obviously paiagirl warned everyone on board that we were coming.

When the noodles came I was very surprised:



And I was asking Isabelito if they were running out of food. He asked me why I have this impression and I explained that RiceNoodles were mentioned on the menu and these were non as you can see from NORWEGIAN SUN:



Also the Risotto has fans:



They should have sold this cruise as themed cruise for double money:

Eat light... With NORWEGIAN DREAM to your DREAM body...

And for those who cannot enough for their lunch:



and you can find other nice actions onboard:



but as we do not drink alcohol: nothing for us... sorry

As we had no chance to get a 2nd coke from our soda-programme we went to the Coffee Bar.



There you can find all the offers for the next days:







We saw that everything is additionally secured even the coffee machine.

Our Bartender is Kalina from Bulgaria.

Style: Hurricane, Heavy rain, ugly faces, icy silence - Kalina comes and the sun laughes and all people around her.

It's just pleasure to watch her working. She has always a friendly and personal word to her guests. She is a true professional. 99% of her attention are for her guests. With the remained 1% attention she could serve the same time other collegues from the restaurants. When I guest asked for a napkin to clean up a mass she refused to give him one, send him away to enjoy his drink and said that it's here obligation to take care of it. She is taking care!!!

Her favourite ship is NORWEGIAN SKY and she is looking forward to back on her soon. She is the best future cruise consultant because she was trying to get guests with her on NORWEGIAN SKY to experience the ship by themselves.

We continued our tour to the internet café and they advertised a new system which makes everything faster. It's true but only download. Uploads still not working satisfying.

Checking for familiar pictures:



On the way back we saw this door:



It's not me: I am not the THE Celebrity-Fan. But what would you like to communicate if someone is passing the door? I have double as much and I should have a second stateroom to get a second door...

But I was checking my roll-call-list and saw that he is not from our groug. Let's see if he will show up at the Meet&Mngle the next day.

We were surprised that was still no baggage at our door.

So we went again around to enjoy the sunshine of Boston.





Why cannot the Stardust Theaters on JEWEL Class can be as nice.

That's Lucky's - our meeting point for Meet&Mingle next day...



Finally we arrived the open decks:



But some parts still closed due to maintainance and painting although it's the final voyage.

BBQ was prepared for Sail-Away-Party:



Was already so much stolen as souvenirs that they had to serve in one-way-plastic-cups or so much damaged due to the storm last voyage???



We need to go to Muster Dill. As it is warm we decided to participate. Just to know we asked what would have happened if we do not show up. We were told that they will contact us and ask us to do it the next morning and if we still refuse we had to sign a paper for the insurance.

It went surprising fast because the group leader kept an eye on the group. It's a very small group. He also insited to see how we tight up the life vests so nobody could occur an incident with the belts.

We took place behind the bridge to see the sail-away from Boston.



There was still baggage to be loaded so that our departure was delayed for few minutes.



That's Captain Aage Hoddevik that 5 USD extra will be charged to for taking pictures of him.

When we explained to charge MathiasK and his NORWEGIAN DREAM Fan Club in Albersdorf Germany he started to laugh. He said: it's crazy that this ship has it's fan club of his own like no other ship on world.

He asked us if we are also members and how we know MathiasK and his activities but then he need to get away from Boston.

The further sail-away looked like this:



The Cruise Terminal from the waterside:





Eight cars to waive - later a charter boat...

Boston's skyline, my favourite rooftop parking to take morning pictures of the ship USCBP and Logan Airport to the right:



When we returned to our stateroom one of three bags arrived and a note that I sould report to the loading manager: Suspicious things were found in my bags.

Arrived downstairs I should open my bags. I told them what they are looking for: two bottles of wine for our forum-friends. So we had to pay 30 USD corkage fee and then they released my bags for delivery to my stateroom.



The bottles were marked and double checked later with my OBC.

Later this afternoon we double checked our reservation for 13 persons in Le Bistro for the same night.

We wanted to use the 2-for-1-coupons and paiagirl (Frances) contacted already the F&B-Manager Panagiotis Trigas to confirm the booking for 7.30 pm.

When she told me his name I thought: this can be real "fun" - a Greek F+B-Manager... would it be like in Athens, Greek. After serving none is showing up to take away the used plates...

On most NCL-ships we experience 1 not nice : 99 very nice crew members. "House MD" has "Thirteen. So I call the crew member "1:99" which I never met before: female, Assistant Maître d' from South America and she was before on PRIDE OF whatever or in a working camp.

Without telling she rescheduled my reservation to 7.00 pm. The receptionist show me that the original booking was on 7.30 pm in the book but told us to come at 7.30 pm as originally booked.

I see that Canard (Duck) à l'Orange is available:



and I can already test what I would like to eat tonight:



At 7.20 pm I made finally personal acquaintance with 1:99 and she with me...

She told me that she cannot know that we 13 want to sit together and as this is a small restaurant she can only give us 8 + 5.

She made 8 of 6-seater
and 5 of 4-seater.

At one side of the wall she could have allocate all of us together.

Casrebecca and her family were five but it would have been more than stupid to allocate them to the table fo 5.

And the others do not want to sit 5+1.

She started again to discuss that I should have told her that we wanted to sit together.

Me: why should a ask for reservation als Gold-Member one week ahead through another cruiser and the F+B-Manager?

She said that he never told her.

Me: that's not my problem.

She told me that I could not have known that this is a small restaurant to accomadate 13 persons on one table.

Me: it's not my first visit in Le Bistro on NORWEGIAN DREAM and why there 12 can sit more or less together alongside of the wall?

She explained that these were parties who ordered today.

Me: why did I make it last week???

One party was leaving and she offered us that six could sit there when further guests leave.

We think that also six can be allocated there.

The next table was leaving and I asked her to add a table of 2 to the next table of 6 and we all 13 can sit together.

She told me "I do exactly what you want" which means war.

Why not asap???

But it took so long that we missed the 2nd show at 9.30 pm. Thank you 1:99!!!

Finally we were sitting together:

casrebecca (Becky, Mike, Stephanie, Anna and Amanda)
welove2cruise232 (Peggy and Joe)
RichNY (Rich and Loretta)
Northender (Bob and Adele)

all from cruisecritic.com:









Our dinner started with Boston Lettuce:



Bruno preferred Seafood Cocktail:



But none had eaten it completely. Last year it looked better:



The Escargots (Snails) Burgundy Style were excellent:



Anna and Stephanie never had snails before and tried them:



That's how she reacted and "tastes like pizza".

The French Onion Soup was o.k.:



Finally she came:

My Canard à l'Orange, which I missed in Le Bistro on NORWEGIAN JEWEL:



She was nice but I was somehow disappointed as last year she was presented this way:
Un, deux, trois (one, two, three):





... and she was treated with some Grand Marinier and flamed.

We would liked to pay 5 USD more to experienced again but a Hurray for Freestyle 2.0.

For my taste it was a little bit too salty. Do they need to use all inventories until arrival in Boston???

Bruno made the same experience with his chicken:



He rememered it less salty from the last year:



You did get flames but if you want "show":

Lamb



or Menu for 2.



Our desert Chocolate Mousse is nothing for a diet:



1:99 came behind my back and asked the others if everything is o.k. how it worked finally. She was not very much interested in my opinion. All others said that it was finally o.k. and asked if I am o.k. when they said it. I told that she can read it in the internet.

The other waitresses served us very well although they had a lot of extra work. For the team add 10 USD tip on the bill. As we missed the show we went asap to bed as we were still jetlagged.

Good Night America, whereever you are...
Your Night Falcon
HeinBloed

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