My husband and I, along with another couple, just returned from the New York to Bahamas cruise on NCL. This was our 5th cruise on NCL and our 2nd to the Bahamas.
Overall, I thought the cruise was very nice and relaxing. Contrary to many of the reviews I have read, we thought the food was very good considering the price of the cruise. The only specialty restaurant we visited was the steak house, Cagneys. Although the service and food were very good, I do not understand why people pay $25 a person to eat at the specialty restaurants. We ate most nights at Tsar's, and I thought the food and service were both extremely good. Having been on this cruise before, however, I do believe the week we chose this time was a lot less crowded than the last time. We never once waited for a seat in the main dining rooms.
When we were in the Bahamas, we took the bus to the Sheraton/Wyndham hotels to use their beach and facilities. We all enjoyed the day and thought that was a good choice. The last time we took this same cruise, we chose the excursion to the Lagoon. I think if you have children, the Lagoon is a much better spot, but if not, the bus or a cab to the hotels and purchasing a day pass for use of their facilities is a much better option.
Great Stirrup Cay (the private island) was just okay. The last time we took this cruise we stayed on the boat that day and had a lot of fun. We decided to take the tender over to the island this time. The island was not what I expected. I've been to many resorts with beautiful beaches so I was a little disappointed. We did walk a distance to a more private, peaceful spot and we enjoyed the day. When you first get off the tender and see all the chairs so close together, it's a little disappointing. If you walk a little further, it is much prettier and less crowded. There are portable bars set up close by so you don't have to walk a mile for a drink. The food served on the private island was very good.
The Florida port was a boring stop. We stayed on the boat and relaxed because the last time we went to Cocoa Beach and were not impressed.
Disembarkation in New York was a mess. Both the cruise line and the Port Authority should be ashamed of themselves for the lack of direction and organization. This is our 5th cruise out of New York and Boston, and this is the only time I have ever seen such disorganization.
Almost forgot, in terms of entertainment on the ship, please do not miss the hypnotist's adult show in Spinnaker Lounge or the game show "Quest" on the last night in the Spinnaker Lounge. Both shows were unbelievably funny.
I can't say anything bad about this cruise other than the disembarkation in New York was ridiculous. The service we received on the ship was outstanding. We didn't have any problems with our stateroom. Additionally, I have to say that all food servers in the main dining room and Cagney's were outstanding!!!