We selected this trip mainly because of such a great itinerary and decided to give NCL another chance after being unhappy previously.
To start, the ship is very easy to get around, and we loved the area where our cabin was, just a few cabins and we were in the Atrium level where we could also get a sit down breakfast. Loved the location, but the cabin was very cramped, and once the beds were together you had to crawl over the bed to get to the bathroom. Storage great, the bath with a nice size shower was a plus. If one person stood up, you couldn't get around room. This was our first cabin that was not a balcony, and other than size, we really didn't mind it on this type cruise.
The entertainment, Jose and Pattie and Jump were exceptional. The cruise director was very active, lots of things to do that were entertaining and fun. Line dancing classes, exercise classes...all good.
Happy hour every evening pre dinner from 4 to 6 was fantastic. You could get a nice double More
glass of wine, and then take to dinner.
Negatives: The food was okay in buffet, breakfast in Blue Lagoon was good, service lacking. There seemed to be no supervision, no one seemed to know their job..so service slow. Aqua was terrible, no service, seating uncomfortable..they seated us on a bench with a separation, we had to move the table ourselves. Again, supervision, our friend ordered lamb, and she was served all fat from an end piece, there seemed to be no quality check. Ate there once..that was all. Venetian was a nicer dining room, again, sometimes service good, other times the servers didn't even know what was on the menu, therefore they gave you the wrong information. Chicken breast should be boneless, mine was half a breast with the rib bone cut in half. Another night the main night specialty was fish stew???? Of all the problems, this is the worst..the food quality and selections were very poor. We learned to check the menu, then go to the buffet where there were more choices. We ate at Le Cucina one evening and were not impressed. One day they had the BBQ by the pool, the chicken served was the back, which was the leftover from cutting out the breast section. I have never seen this part of chicken served, there is nothing on it.
The smoking in the Casino made it impossible to go in there unless you were a smoker. Most cruise lines offer some non smoking nights, that would have been nice.
There needs to be an area on the ship for people that like to play cards or games. The library small, and there are conference rooms, but it seems no one planned activity space for such a long cruise.
The Atrium was excellent, and there was entertainment there nightly. Jose and Pattie really drew a crowd, but there was no place to sit. Chairs should have been brought out before they started and set up so people could sit. By the time the chairs came, several times people were fighting over them. We decided to go someplace else, then come back later when there would be some chairs.
There was no information given on any of the ports. Very unusual that there was no map, no points of interest given out with the daily paper the night before.
We found that customer service was not up to the level of most of the cruise lines we travel. Even guest relations would come up with excuses or no answers to any problems you might have.
Did we enjoy the cruise, yes, we always have fun. There were many pluses, but it could have been fantastic with a little more public relations and training of the staff. Less
Great location. You could see out the two smaller windows. You have to be careful as I noticed a crew member on the decking by the life boat that was right outside our window. The room would be fine if the beds left apart. Plenty of storage.
Most important, there is a taxi stand at the port exit. The fee for the trip to the Inner Harbor is $7.00 per cab. Four can easily get a cab. There are some cabs that try to charge more, they need to put on meter or flat $7 fee.
The port is easy to walk around. Just go off the ship and go to the Nauticus that is right by the dock. You can sign up for an in-depth tour of the Battleship Wisconsin, or just do the museum which is fantastic. It also includes your own tour of the battleship.
There is also a Starbucks down the street with free Internet.