History: Mid fifties couple, 20 cruises together or between us.
Embarkation: Smooth, quick, painless. About 30 minutes from arrival at pier to walking on board. Only improvement needed is the way bags are collected by porters. Kind of a free for all, no really organized lines or lanes.
Once on board: Minisuite. Cabin 11090. Balcony was small but comfortable. Sliding glass door that you could leave open if you wanted. Bed was a bit hard, but egg crate we requested helped a lot. Room was clean, shower large and plenty of closet space.
Public areas: We thought the ship was in great shape. She is 10 years old and there are some signs of wear on a table here and there, no ripped seat covers, nothing broken or not working. It all seemed clean, shiny and cared for.
Casino: Never saw it, not even by accident. :)
Activities and Entertainment: The shows were adequate, nothing spectacular. Enjoyed the comedian, who is also the cruise activity director. The magic show, Extreme Vegas, was a bit draggy, but some of it was pretty good. Skipped the music shows. We loved the Martini Tastings at Gatsby's Bar. Three sea days, at 4PM, 5 different Martinis each time, small charge. Great time. 40+ people each time and we just rocked that boat. Don't miss this.
Special Activity: Norwegian offers an absolutely amazing Chef's Table dinner. Just once each cruise, limited to 12 people. Nine courses with wine pairings. It begins with champagne, pictures are taken (then given to you after dinner). During dinner each course is explained by the Executive Chef and served by a phalanx of servers and wine stewards. The wine is never allowed to go empty in your glass. :) After dinner you return to Gatsby's for a cocktail of your choice. The cost was $75 per person and well worth it.
Port: Bermuda. We toured the island. Drank Rum Swizzles at The Swizzle and that was about it. We did not do a beach or any touristy stuff. Holiday weekend, most of the island was closed up.
Food On Board: This is where we spent our time and money. We never ate in the main dining rooms, had one snack and lunch on boarding day in the buffet. It was pretty. Food was hot. Nothing earth shaking.
Sushi: Was very good. Not cruise ship good, but Seattle sushi restaurant good. Fresh, high quality and made right in front of you. We had dinner here one night and lunch several days.
Le Bistro: The French Restaurant. I had the Rack of Lamb AND the Fillet Mignon. Both cooked perfectly. Might be the best lamb I have ever had. My wife had the fish, cooked perfectly also. Sides were well done, and the chocolate fondue for dessert was above average.
Bamboo: The Chinese Fusion Restaurant. Food was slightly above average, with the exception of the fried rice which was prepared too far in advance and was dry and lacking flavor. The scallops were wonderful as was the shrimp that Vicki had. We skipped desert.
Teppanyaki: Better than Benihana on this night. Awesome show of cooking, prepared just as you ordered it. Rice was outstanding. Chicken, fillet, scallops, calamari, shrimp all tasty.
La Cucina: The Italian Restaurant. We did not care for this meal at all. Over cooked, poor service. I had the signature pork chops and did not eat them. Miss Vicki had the seafood fettuccine. The mussels were rubber, the sauce was just "fish juice". The saving grace for me was the carpaccio appetizer. I had two. This is raw, thin cut Fillet Mignon with olive oil and greens. As I said, I had two.
Cagney's: The Steak House. Norwegian's signature restaurant. Very, very average. Sides were ordinary, my potatoes were served with an ice cream scoop. The steak was ordered black and blue, turned out medium rare. The wife's salmon was over cooked and dry. Nothing to write home about.
Over all, we would sail this ship again but on a different itinerary. We liked the freestyle way of cruising. Jeans and a nice shirt were all that was required. Nice shorts are acceptable at dinner too. No flip flops, but we saw this "rule" violated several times. The crew was so nice, attentive and efficient. Loved the towel animals, stupid I know, but I love the creativity. If you like your cruises with a nice ship, where the ports are secondary, well, this is a ship we would sail again...just not to Bermuda.