by Simone Hoedel
I chose this cruise partly because it conveniently started in my home town, Vancouver, and ended up in my bud’s town, LA. We try to take a trip every year someplace together, and I had never been on a cruise before. The price seemed reasonable, so we booked it.
Ports visited: Vancouver, Victoria, Astoria, San Francisco, Monterey, LA.
We were both very happy with this cruise experience. We loved our very comfortable upgraded cabin, Obstructed Oceanview, with wood panelling and lots of storage space.
The Food was Amazing
We liked most of the restaurants, particularly Tsar’s Palace, and Azura. However, I found Chin Chin to be very ho hum. Being from Vancouver, there is a high bar for Asian food, though. We did tend to spend a fair bit of time hanging out in the large buffet style Garden Cafe on the 12th Deck, since it was convenient, had nice views, was attached to the aft deck area, and a LARGE variety of food for every mealtime, as well as sublime desserts. (and a good espresso machine)
I must say the crew on-board was very friendly and attentive: the real jewels here!
Smooth embarkation, disembarkation and customs experience.
Dinner and a Show every night
The entertainment greatly exceeded our expectations. We took in Dinner and a Show every night, which was a real treat. The performers on the shows, Velvet, Rock You Tonight, Cirque de Bijou, were outstanding singers and dancers. I wanted to find out who the stars in this cast were, but there is no info on the NCL site. Also Russians Vlad and Anna, classically trained dancers and acrobats, blew us away.
Entertainment in the lounges was also quite enjoyable. We became Aldo fans after his Latin hits performance.
I had bought a new bathing suit just for this cruise, so I HAD to check out the poolside for a day. Fortunately we had mostly nice sunny days and up on the 12th deck pool and hot tub area I have to admit it was quite glorious.
I was able to spend some time working out in the well equipped fitness centre, and there are places on deck to walk and jog if you need to work off your overindulgence at the restaurants.
Excursions in Ports of Call San Francisco and Victoria
We were fortunate we had good weather for our 2 excursions onshore and both were very good. I particularly liked the Dim Sum and tour in San Francisco. We brunched at the New Asia in Chinatown, which when I remarked to some of my table mates that it was very “authentic” and “funky”, were less than kind about the atmosphere/decor: they did not seem to appreciate its “authenticity”. The Dim Sum though was scrumptious, and I myself had no complaints!
Overall, we loved this cruise, and will do it again if the price is right.
First Time Cruiser • Age 60s Sail Date: Oct 2019 Cabin: Obstructed Oceanview