Hello - I took this cruise with a friend who had never cruised before. Think she likes it now! We did our air on our own but booked the Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach through NCL. We loved the room, the location and didn't mind the construction at all! I liked being on the beach so much that I booked this hotel before my cruise in 2014.
Embarkation and debarkation was the best I have ever had on any cruise. it was quick and pleasant. Am so used to getting up early to do customs on the ship I was up with the birds the last morning of the cruise. Used this unexpected time to enjoy the sleeping ship and the sun rise!
We ate at Crossings the first and last night and were lavished with whole extra lobster tails at dinner! Fabulous and unexpected! Lovely servers every time and the bread is sooooo good. The middle night we went to le Bistro. This is a beautiful jewel box of a room down the side of deck 5. It is long and narrow with windows down the whole side. I brought on board wine for the first time ever. It was easy and I paid corkage after security with no trouble. The servers were wonderful with the wine brought on - it was quickly dunked in ice and served as it is was $$$$$.
We enjoyed the island beach very much and took the advice on this forum to purchase a clamshell. This made us feel like princesses and extended the time to lie on the beach in comfort. My only advice would be is to stick to beer as our drinks were weak but you always know where you are with beer. in Nassau we did a walking tour I found in these forums. Had been a little nervous about Nassau but it was Sunday and very quiet. As we wandered we found people said good morning to us and were very kind. The only time we felt nervous was near the pier - with 4 ships in it was very busy and crowded. We didn't have any issues in the straw market although we were readying ourselves for aggressive salespeople - it was so not the case.
I thought the ship was in great shape and we loved our room - two more cruises booked! Not Venice yet but still cruising!