Just a little background first,my DW and I have been cruising for 10 years and have been on 8 cruises. We have only been on Carnival and Norwegian. We were on the Norwegian Jewel 2 years ago and are scheduled for the Gem in April. Being we were on the Jewel a short time ago we didn't need to do to much exploring. The ship is designed well. It's easy to find your way around.
We arrived at the terminal at 10:15am and were seated in the waiting area by 10:45. A record in my opinion. We were actually the first ones to go through the metal detectors. We got number 5 for boarding, we thought we would be on sooner than we did. There was some glitch in the boarding but we did get on by 12:15. It really isn't bad waiting. Once on the ship we headed for the buffet area and found all the food there to be very good, many choices for all tastes. DW is a vegetarian and she found enough to eat. After lunch we left the area to give others a place to sit, being it was cold we knew the area would fill up so we went to the Spinnaker lounge to wait for our room to be ready.
The rooms were ready earlier than expected and we proceeded to it. We always get a balcony but figured it was a short trip and why not try an obstructed ocean view. The room and the hallway had a strange odor that we noticed throughout the entire cruise. It actually smelled like sewage. We were in room 8590 just in case you wanted to know. We did sail away in the spinnaker lounge as did mostly everyone. We met a fellow firefighter and his wife, it was their first cruise, so we had a lot to talk about. It was great to see the city skyline from there, since all of our cruises are from New York we will probably go there from now on, even on nice days. We decided to check out the main dining room Azur's for dinner, big mistake. My wife ordered the Salmon, there were so many bones in it she couldn't eat it. We sent it back and received an apology from the Maitre D who took our room number, but we never heard about it after that. I'm sure others Salmon wasn't going to be good either. The entertainment on this cruise was top notch. We went to the show that night and loved the show, I won't give it away but only to say you must attend the shows. I know people call this cruise the booze cruise, but after a long day of travel we turned in for the night and slept better than we have in months.
The first sea day was filled with many things to do. Most of the big things to do like bingo were held in the spinnaker lounge and it got very crowded. We sat at a four top and met two great people. They were doing a Father-Daughter weekend, she was from Pennsylvania and he was from Massachusetts. Since my birthday was this day my DW treated me to a spa treatment of my choice, she wanted one also so we spent some time there. It was great!
We later went to the buffet for lunch and met two other fantastic people who needed to sit down due it being so busy. We hit it off immediately and we were all laughing like we had known each other for years. It turned out it was his birthday that day also.
That after noon they had a drawing for a free cruise but it wasn't run so well, it was in the spinnaker lounge and it was mobbed, and ran over the time it was supposed to start, we had to leave due to dinner reservations.
My DW wanted the dinner that night to be special and she knew how much I love a good cut of meat. So we went to Moderno, it's a new Brazilian restaurant where they come around with meat on swords and you have a green tag for more or red one for enough. She being a vegetarian,I knew it would be hard to go there, but they had a salad bar and she did have a little meat(don't tell anyone). We got there at 5:30 and weren't served till 6:30, the sides were served after we finished eating. At 7pm we decided to forget dessert and got the check to leave. Other guests were a little more vocal and demanded their money back. In a word the service "stunk", but in all fairness it was the kitchen not the wait staff.
We went to the buffet and had dessert there. The show that night was amazing. "Le Cirque Bijou". It is a must see and you should sit higher up in the theater. We did and had a great view.
Since we don't drink alcohol, we weren't in the mood to go to many of the bars, but we did go to the Casino which on both nights was packed. Everyone looked like they were having a great time winning and loosing. We lost on the roulette table but had fun doing it. The ship has a cigar room and I sat and smoked a good cigar while my DW read a book.
On the last day we decided not to rush off the ship like we usually do. The ship got into New York at 7am, we had an early breakfast and decided to walk off at 7:30. We caught a cab to Penn station and made the 8:10 home. We were home by 9:45am. Overall this was a fantastic 2 days away from it all. We have been thru so much in our lives this past year with Hurricane Sandy and a death in the family, that we needed to do this for our sanity. I highly recommend a cruise to nowhere, we are booked on one in January 2015 on the Breakaway.