We have sailed on a few ships with NCL. We were excited to see the fall colors. We arrived at the port approx 1100, checked in with relative ease and went to get pictures. Photographer wouldn't allow us to put gear sown so the pictures were with our shoulders hanging down with the weight of our gear. We went to the seating area and asked where the latitudes seating area, we were told that there was none and we were to board with the rest of the passengers. My mother in law is handicapped and so we chose a seat in the handicapped area. A supervisor of the boarding came and told us that this area was reserved for handicapped and we would need to move. I told him that mom was handicapped he stormed off in a huff. We were supposed to board at 12 but was delayed with a special presentation on the ship, so we did not board until almost 1:30.
Once we got on the ship we headed for the garden cafe to eat. Shortly afterword we were allowed to go to our rooms. Room was clean and functional. Noel, our cabin steward came by and introduced himself, he was friendly and pleasant. Since the day was rainy, and chilly, we stayed indoors while we got underway. While we were passing the statue of liberty they played God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood on the loud speakers which was quite touching. Once we started on our way, we went up to sign out teen for the kids program only to find out that he was the only teen on the ship and one of ten kids total on a ship of over 2k. This should have been our first clue of the demographics of the ship. The ship was really rocking once we made it to open sea. In our stateroom our balcony door kept opening on its own even with locking it. We finally was able to child lock it to keep it from opening and wind whistling all night long.
The first night was pretty empty around the ship as many of the passengers were sick. The first day at sea, an eye opener for us. We went to the buffet at breakfast only to find there was no seating available except for outside. We ate breakfast and then wandered the ship.Most of the passengers were around the age of 69 which is not a problem but would have really liked to have seen more passengers close to our age.
The spa had a package that was discounted for the whole trip to about $15 per day for use of the spa room with private hot tub and heated lounge chairs was a great value and welcome relief to escape the cooler temperatures of the outside decks.
The first sea day was also supposed to be one of the formal nights. Most of the passengers did not utilize this and we felt a little uncomfortable being as we were the few who were wearing formal wear. We ate in one of the main dining rooms. I asked the wait staff if one of the shrimp specials was fried or grilled shrimp and was told it was grilled. Once the plate arrived we found it was in fact fried. Other than that, we did not have any problems in the dining rooms.
The entertainment was ok but not to the standard of what we were used to. They did fly in Greg London for a few shows. He is worth seeing. But other than him we were unimpressed with the shows. Some other entertainment was a blast of the past with mainly 60s and 70s played throughout the ship. The guitarist, Leo is quite good and enjoyable to listen to with exception to being very dated songs.
The youth staff were friendly however with only one teen on the ship they assigned him to a youth member and then there was numerous times that my son was not allowed to go into the kids club because the youth staff member was not there or had to leave and so my son was left to wander the ship with very little to do.
Our first port was in Sydney, Novia Scotia there was a problem getting clearance to get off the ship. After 45 minutes after our scheduled meet time for our excursion we were cleared to get off the ship. We chose the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. We boarded the bus and found it was an hour bus ride to the museum. Once we arrived the bus left to go get another group from the ship. In the museum, it took us about 30 min to see the attractions and look in the gift shop. The weather was raining and cold which did not allow for wandering the grounds. We waited about 1 hr for the bus to come back and get us to take us back to the ship. Once the bus arrived, we boarded again to wait the hour bus ride back to the ship. For the price it was not worth the trip.
The third day was another sea day and the weather was more cooperative. I enjoy running and went to find the running track only to find that it was filled with people standing on the track and walkers that could be using the walking track on the 7th deck. It became cumbersome trying to dodge all the walkers and scooters while trying to get some exercise.
Since it was a nice day with a mild wind, my son and I went to go rock climb during the scheduled hours only to find it closed and also the slide closed. I went to the front desk and asked about the wall and was told it was because of the weather. I filed a complaint and then found the wall and slide open 20 min later.
Our next stop was in Quebec City. This was by far my favorite port. The city is beautiful and is full of old world charm. Since we were there for the night we were able to see it at night which is worth the walking around and seeing the city by night. It is a completely different experience during the day but still very enjoyable.
The next day was a sea day and very uneventful, the weather once again did not afford for outside activities.
Our next port was Corner Brook Newfoundland. We again booked a city tour excursion. Since our tour did not begin until the afternoon we boarded the shuttle bus for a trip downtown. The shuttle buses also had volunteers who told us about the city. The first stop is a waste since the only thing that is there is an antique shop. The next stop was a the mall where we were able to buy souvenirs. On the Corner Brook city tour we were basically given the same tour as the shuttle bus with exception to capt cooks lookout. It was a waste of money and only stopped at the antique shop before heading back to the ship.
Our next day was a sea day and it was when they finally realized that there was no seating in the buffet for breakfast or lunch so they opened the La Cucina for additional seating. This is also when they realized that the coffee machines were not working on average there was one coffee spot open and operating in each area. The staff finally started putting carafes out with coffee.
Our last port was in Halifax. We did not leave the port until later, and many of the shops on the pier close early. Wish the shops would stay open longer to allow those on tours the time to shop. the The trip back to New York was basically more of the same with little to do.
Overall the ports were OK but would not take this cruise again. With only 30 people under the age of 55 it was a ship full of walkers, canes and many grouchy old women.