I am probably one of the younger reviewers here, only 25, but have spent a good chunk of my life cruising around. This being my 8th cruise, first on NCL however. I was a bit apprehensive seeing as the reviews of this ship only have it in the low 70% approval rate. But we got a steal of a deal around 700 for a balcony in the winter to the caribbean, couldn't pass that up! FYI I'm of the mindset like others, that if you rate a cruise 1 star you cannot be satisfied by much of anything.
I'll do the usual run down.
No problem at the Port Of Miami, seems like all the lines have this down pat. We arrived via taxi and were literally walking into the ship within 20 minutes, very impressive.
I was legitimately very concerned about our balcony stateroom, I booked a BX-Guarantee stateroom and it turned out we received 14000, a balcony with "privacy" aka a hull balcony. Covered in a way with a big chunk of the superstructure around it. Essentially making it a picture window, with a seating area. IT WAS COMPLETELY FINE! I called NCL to try and change it but fears were laid to rest. We still had a beautiful view, it was wonderful and much less windy. The stuff about the bathroom, and shower yes, a bit strange. But again this is not going to ruin a vacation for anyone. The sink is shallow, so what? I enjoyed having the ability to go to the bathroom if the wife was in the shower and vice versa. The shower was large, and the pressure was great. NO issues. I am 6"5, almost every bed I use has my feet hanging off a bit, and yes the bed was a tad short, no one should be having big issues here. There is storage everywhere in this room, literally every compartment seems to open, once the suitcases were stowed, we had lots of room the two of us. It's a bit narrow, relax people, nothing you can't handle.
We ate at:
Taste- decent meal, nothing that would wow you, but solid food you might expect at a chain restaurant on land.
Moderno- Delicious, the fan favourite of the men for sure. Can't go wrong with unlimited quantities of 10 kinds of meat. Side dishes were delicious as well.
La Cucina- Wonderful italian restaurant, my pasta, salads and soup were great. Ambiance was nice and quiet away from things. A bit of an odd location, beneath the buffet.
O'Sheehans- Easy for a quick snack, but the few things I had were only meh, it was a convenience place more than anything.
Cagney's- Great steakhouse, and we had a free bottle of wine there as well as an early booking promo, no complaints. Standard 10oz filet with all the sides.
Le Bistro- Highlight of the ship's dining. I am not a French Food fan, but this meal was unbelievable. One of the better meals I've had in recent memory. Escargot, Mussels, Filet with Peppercorn Sauce, Salmon, Dessert all perfect. Great Service.
Teppanyaki- Lots of fun similar to a restaurant we have at home, noisy however. Bring your sense of humour, the steak and chicken with seafood was all perfect and tasty. Dessert a bit of a letdown.
Garden Cafe- Perfect for grab and go, not sure what people expect from a buffet, this was on par with middle range Las Vegas buffets, and we always found plenty we liked.
been to them all before.
St.Maarten- must go to Maho beach and watch the KLM 747-400 land above your head, its amazing!
St. Thomas- Magens bay beach, a beautiful spot.
Nassau- Segway tour was lots of fun!
Best cruise entertainment I've had, and I thought Royal Caribbean was good. We saw second city twice, legends in concert, Jeff Hobson (very funny guy, great shows), Blue Man Group- same show as Las Vegas but lots of fun, and great music. We played Bingo, almost won, and Deal or No Deal was a good time as well. Game show manager George was a great guy.
Oddly, never saw Cruise Director Ken around the ship at all, maybe our paths never crossed? That was odd.
I really enjoyed this cruise, but I think next ill be looking at going back to RCL. I would not hesitate to try another NCL cruise, but I like big ships with lots of options, and I have yet to try Oasis or Allure. I would be more than happy to try NCL's new ships when they come out.
FYI, the boat does seem to have a slight disconnect with the water, I noticed less windows and deck access to outside, nothing big deal. I always did find a deck chair, no problems, not sure what people are so upset over, pool can be a busy place when its 90 degrees on a sea day. Waterslides were loads of fun as well, make sure you try it once.
Only thing that frustrated me was leaving. Disembarkation could use an overhaul. We had no idea we had to pick up tags from guest services, on other ships we were delivered our luggage tags to our room after filling out a form. Left us scrambling a bit on the last day. As well they called "Lavender" not "purple" for us, so I stood like an idiot for 30 mins until they called all colours to leave.
Solid cruise, 9/10 for me. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for essentially Las Vegas on a ship with tons of fun.
For the people that hated it, not sure if you can't be pleased or what, don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff. Good words to live by.