This cruise was planned as a celebration of my Dad's 80th birthday. We sailed with NCL before on the Pride of Hawaii before it was renamed the Jade. We had the same cabin an S1 category garden villa #14500 on both ships. Four of us went on the cruise.
First let me talk about this cabin #14500. I believe this is truly the cabin of all cabins throughout the cruise industry. I can not find a similar cabin on any other cruise line. It's about 2500 sq ft of indoor space. This includes a living room, dining room, wet bar, a master bedroom suite, and two additional bedrooms each with its own private bathroom. There is a powder room off the entry way as well. The private outdoor area is almost as big with it's own private full size hot tub, a steam room, out door dinning area, and a huge upstairs sundeck/viewing deck. Four big flat screen TVs, a Bose sound system, and a player grand piano. The total square footage is close to 5000. If you ever get a chance to cruise on an NCL ship that has this cabin don't pass it up.
Since we were in a suite we got to take advantage of the expedited boarding which went very well and we were able to go directly to our cabin and our bags were already there. Our Concierge John got us on board then handed us off the our butler Ted. Ted unpacked the bags and we all got settled in.
Since we cruised with NCL before and knew what we wanted with respect to freestyle cruising. We choose to purchase the "specialty restaurant package special" this allowed us to eat in any restaurant at what we considered a reasonable price.
I'm not going to go through a boring day by explanation of the cruise. I'm speaking for the whole family now in saying that we were pretty much treated like royalty by everyone on the staff. John our concierge made everything easy for us no matter how big or trivial the request it just got taken care of. Our Butler Ted took extremely good care of all our in cabin needs. We could not eat all the delicious snacks he prepared each day. We had multiple birthday cakes served at the specialty restaurants with out even asking. Each cake arrived with a Happy birthday song. The night we ate a Le Bistro we had ordered a special chocolate cake which was just delicious. While we were at dinner the staff decorated the cabin with balloons and Happy birthday signs.
We had one negative experience on the first night at dinner. Our waiter seemed to disappear. We waited an hour and our food finally came out cold. We were going to a show so we could not reorder an wait any longer. We discussed the problem with the manager of the restaurant and our concierge. We were not charged anything for our meal that night. We also got a visit to our cabin from the food and beverage director, and his boss the hotel director. They listened to the problem made sure we felt it was resolved and checked in with us personally many times during the cruise to make sure things were going well. it was a great recovery form night one.
The highlights for me on the cruise were 1)Sawyer Glacier viewing. This was made even better because of the viewing deck on the cabin we had. We actually invited some of the other suite passengers to our deck area to get the best view. 2)The fishing trip (see excursion)3)Winning money playing poker in the casino.
Alaska was beautiful, our ship, cabin, and the staff were excellent.
Panama Canal 2013 next?