This will be shorter than my last review, due to the fact that I have sailed on a Jewel class ship before. I travelled with my best friend (1st cruise), myself (4th cruise), mom and dad (10+ cruises), and my best friend's parents (3rd cruise).
+ Service for the most part was good. The only issue that we encountered with the service was a terrible first day breakfast, which I will detail below. In dealing with this issue, Danny (Head of food service) made sure that we didn't have any further issues and spoke with us personally about it. Very good response and much appreciated. Samuel, the greeter at Summer Palace, knew our names almost immediately and was a pleasure to see every morning. It was sad when he wasn't there the last morning, but good to know he was taking a well deserved break. Mark, our cabin steward, was also great and did a fantastic job of taking care of our room.
+ Weather. While weather isn't under anyone's control, it always helps the mood when the weather is as good as it was during our trip. Sunny skies and smooth sailing throughout the week made for some happy campers.
+ Updated menus at La Cucina. While mom complained that the shrimp risotto wasn't as good as it was prior to the change, the antipasto that was brought out in previous visits was definitely my least favorite part of the menu and usually went to waste. The warm bread with choice of dipping sauce was amazing, and my lasagna and tiramisu were great. It used to be a better deal at $10, but at $15 it still isn't a bad price for a great meal that will fill you up.
+ Drink prices seem to be down. I know the specialty drinks are often costly to purchase, but I don't think it was nearly as bad to have a couple of beers this time around.
+ Steak at Cagney's was once again perfect. Well done job by all the staff up there.
+ Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth, although it was unfortunate that the regular line was moving faster than the Latitudes line.
- Terrible first morning breakfast service. Multiple orders wrong at our table, cold English muffins, wrong omelets delivered, coffee refills took forever, and it took about 45 minutes to get our food with no updates from our waiter. Wrote to Prem which prompted the contact from Danny. Breakfast service for the rest of the week was fine.
- Ocho Rios, Jamaica was a very, very lackluster port. If you are heading there on an upcoming cruise, I wouldn't even bother getting off the ship unless you have an excursion booked. Walking to the town was about a 1/2 mile walk where we were inundated with people who would not stop harassing us about buying necklaces or taking taxi rides. Even the people in the shops who can be pushy in ports were noticeably more persistent in the shops there. I was not thrilled by any means.
- Great Stirrup Cay needed about another week of repair in order to get it back to presentable shape. I was impressed with how much work they had done already to get it up to standard, but the condition of the island definitely detracted from my experience.
- Ratio of sea days to port days needs to be higher. 3 ports in 3 days was a bit rough. We could have skipped Ocho Rios all together and I wouldn't have been heartbroken one bit.
-More trivia would have been good.
All in all I had a great time and can't wait for my next NCL cruise!