My 5th cruise overall; first with NCL. Booked Penthouse Suite for 3 of us (myself and my two teenage girls). Looking forward to trip for long time...
Boarding the ship was a breeze. Showed up about 11am. Had special check in for suites but regular line was quite short too. Getting off ship was just as easy and quick. Booking a suite gets you priority boarding, disembarking, etc which is nice. Key is you get to be one of the first off the ship at ports too. Really helped when tendered at Belize.
The high points: food was exceptional. I was worried b/c a lot of reviews were negative about food. Ate at Cagney's for bfast and lunch a few times (part of suites perks) and it was delicious every time. Also hit the buffet a few times and it too was good. Ate at Versailles twice and it was fast and delicious, as was Aqua (not quite as fast though). Tried Cagney's for steaks (wonderful fillets), La Cucina for Italian (our favorite restaurant--the tiramisu is best I've ever had) and Le Bistro (my least favorite--the duck was gooey but the cones appetizer was great). Never really disappointed by any of the food except for the chocolate buffet, which I thought was beautiful but disappointing. I'm a chocoholic and expected richer more chocolately desserts. One of my daughters thought it was good though. Wine was not too expensive.
The ship was nice. Not as much of a "wow" factor as Carnival Dream or RC Freedom of the Seas but nice all the same. I did not notice alot of wear and tear like others have commented on. Staff was absolutely great. The most friendly of any ship I've been on. Butler, room steward and concierge was all exceptional. Shout out to Caesar our butler. Cruise director was fun and the entertainment was good. Second City and Sharkbait were hilarious--do not miss. Last show of cruise also really entertaining. First few song and dance shows were ok.
Room was also ok. I liked the suites on the above mentioned cruises better. They seemed more roomy and bathrooms were definitely bigger. Biggest complaint was that the balcony was at front of ship and almost not usuable b/c so windy when at sea. Nice in port though. The suite next door housed some big time smokers and b/c of the wind blowing their smoke back into my face I couldn't breath whenever I went out there and they were smoking (which was always). Would have preferred balcony on sides or back of ship.
Ports were typical for a cruise. I wish they'd get some new ones. Costa Maya had choppy seas so our Sea Trek adventure got cancelled. Went cave tubing and zip lining in Belize. Not quite as fun as I expected. Lots of ships in port that day and felt rushed. Went to private beach (Maya Key I think) in Roatan and was best day. Relaxing with lots of animals to see. Walked around Cozumel which was fun but I'm not much of a shopped so came back to ship early. Heard the Catamaran snorkel and beach trip was great--would probably book this next time.
Lots of rocking on the boat this trip. 5/7 days were quite rocky. Saw tons of scopolamine patches on peoples' necks. Wish I had planned ahead. Not sure if so rocky b/c smaller ship than last few cruises I took or just lots of wind. Did not stop me from eating too much every meal though...
All in all it was a great cruise and would sail NCL again in a heartbeat.