Let's start at the beginning. NYE cruise from NYC, with a ship that came in late, 2700 passengers and a lot of anxious people; embarkation was tense to say the least. The ship looked very nice; the staff did look a bit tired when coming on board. We eat at the grand pacific as we knew the buffet would be terrible (chocolate mousse was wonderful). Quite a few senior and disable passengers needing a fair bit of assistance. NYC at night was beautiful, cold but beautiful!
Cabin: 5512 -- Full disclosure, I am a germ freak and things need to be clean/spotless. I always travel with anti-bacterial wipes to clean to my liking. The bathroom was really not clean upon our entering. I believe they did a quick (very) cleaning but because of the horrible embarkation, they told the staff to hurry up. Ended up re-cleaning it completely. We had to ask our steward to re-vacuum once the beds were put together as the floor was really not clean. Compared to the dawn, this cabin was horrible in terms of cleanliness. Located forward on the port side, the elevators were quick and not too busy. I missed E news on TV, for some reason the channel was blocked, I think I can recite all the commercials from MSNBC.
Food: We only visited the included restaurants, and to be honest this was more than enough for us. My favorite was Magenta for dinner, buffet or Grand pacific for lunch and buffet for breakfast. Everything we had was delicious. We did enjoy the salmon from Magenta quite a bit and the fresh fruit plates. No complaints and overall the service was very good. The buffet did have less choices and a lot more "repeats" that what I remember from NCL Dawn.
The Ship: Very nice ship, plenty of space, particularly like deck 14 forward with the big comfy cocoon chairs. Chair hoarders are a problem on NCL. Rules and enforcement of those rules need to be better. People should not be able to reserve chairs that end up not being used for the entire day. Elevators are some of the smoothest I've ever seen. Public rooms are well maintained. Some do show some wear and tear but mostly everything looks nice.
Staff: Liz the Assistant cruise director is a true GEM. I hope NCL knows this and appreciate it. Everyone was very smily and quite nice. The captain was funny with his announcement from the bridge, Jeff Harms & Jeri Sager Wonderful!
Port: Loved: San Juan, St-Marteen, St-Tomas. Would Skip: Samana, DR. Major let down from the other ports.