My wife and I flew from Australia on the 21st May, 2012 and had a 2 day stopover in Dubai prior to arriving at the Embarkation port of Venice on the 24th May where we stayed 2 days in beautiful Venice prior to the commencement of the cruise.
On the 26th May embarkation day about 11am we caught the People Mover from Venice to the Cruise Terminal which is only 1 stop and very easy. Walked out luggage up to the Norwegian Cruise Staff and dropped it off. Entered the building and did all the embarkation paperwork and were through onto the ship about 12 Midday. This operation went very smoothly and the staff should be congratulated.
When onboard looked through the ship briefly and was very impressed. Had sailed on the Norwegian Star previously and thought the ship was very similar. Went to the pool deck sat in the lovely afternoon sun and had a couple of drinks until our cabin was ready about 1.30pm. Put all the luggage away then the Muster Drill about 4.30pm which was over about 5pm..Went upstairs for the Sailaway and listened to the band ( Sound Bytes ) which were very good. What a sailaway it was standing up the top of the ship with drink in hand watching beautiful Venice as we sailed out through the heads. Weather was absolutely perfect and couldn't of ordered better.
FOOD: Thought the food was good to very good. Ate at the 2 Main Dining Rooms the Grand Pacific and Alizar, however preferred Alizar as we thought it was slightly quieter and less crowded most of the times. Ate breakfasts mainly in the Garden Cafe and Great Outdoors. Visited 2 specialty restaurants Cagney's and the Moderno during the cruise ( Both High Standard ) and worthwhile. Thought the food in general was above average and mostly very good.
ENTERTAINMENT:...Entertainment especially in the first week was outstanding. Elements is a show not to be missed, 4 ever a 4 man tenor group was outstanding, magic show good, singers and dancers good also. All in all entertainment was very good to excellent.
A special mention must be made of the Cruise Director Gary GLADING who was probably the best CD I have seen. He spoke about 8 languages and was generally all around the ship working very hard.
CLEANLINESS OF SHIP:.... Very good to outstanding. Didn't see any signs of wear and tear and ship was extremely clean.
STAFF:... Outstanding, all staff my wife and I came into contact with had broad smiles and were very accommodating. A special mention must go to the " WASHY WASHY " girl at the entrance to the Garden Cafe and so to a server in Alizar Restaurant named Dante. Both these staff gave excellent service during our cruise.
PORTS:.... Loved them all. Weather absolutely perfect for 14 days. Visited Venice, Corfu, Santorini, Myconos, Katakolon, Athens, Izmir,Dubrovnik and Split. All ports were completely different and loved everyone of them.
IN CONCLUSION:....My wife and I thought this cruise was the best cruise we have ever taken to date. This cruise was on our bucket list for a very long time and didn't disappoint. In fact we booked another cruise whilst on board we enjoyed it so much. Anyone considering a cruise through this region of the world must seriously consider this ship as they won't be sorry.