Embarkation: Very easy and very fast, just have your online paperwork done, page two(2) the barcode is the most important. Also have your ID available.
The ship: It's big and beautiful, not glamorous, at least I didn't think so but very functional. The key decks are 6,7 and 8 they have the ship stores, casino and eateries except for the buffet, that's on deck 15. The corridors to the staterooms are narrow but are passable unless there is a cleaning cart in the aisle then it becomes tight. If you're a person of large stature then things can become tight. A cute feature is on the carpet, there are fish and they are swimming forward. There are two elevator banks, one aft and one mid-ship so if your stateroom is forward then you'll have a nice walk to get to your stateroom. The ship moves though the water so smoothly you hardly know you're moving. However, I would not dismiss taking sea sick medication just in case of rough seas.
The pools: The pools are nice for the kids however I felt the adult pool could have been larger. I think space allotted for that pool could have been larger with a little better planning. The slides into the pools are interesting but took up too much space that could have been better used, besides I didn't see them used very much.
The stateroom: I had a balcony stateroom on deck 10 I must admit that it was set up very nicely and roomy. The bathroom was larger than any other bathroom on any other ship I have sailed on. I just love the fact that I didn't hit my elbows once when I showered. The stateroom had more than enough closet space and hangers. The only draw back in the stateroom was the lack of draw space. Hair dryer, soap, shampoo, electrical outlets etc. are all in the stateroom. Three important notes if you've never sailed on Norwegian, there is a slot behind the stateroom door that you insert your key card into to turn the electricity on, the do not disturb/clean the room signs are electronic and lastly the A/C shuts off when the balcony door opened. I realized that the staterooms are larger because the corridors are narrower; for me the trade off is worth it.
Shows: Excellent! Julie, the cruise director did a wonderful job providing entertainment. You can't miss Burn the Floor or Rock of Ages the energy that the performers displayed on stage was just fantastic period! The Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy dinner and show is also a must see, Second City, the over 18 version was okay, the comedy magic show was very entertaining. Lots of other "stuff" going on that I didn't see or do. From a personal perspective, Julie the cruise director managed to help me out getting tickets to the sold out Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy dinner show. She basically is all over the place making sure over 4,000 passengers are happy and she found time to help me out. Great job Julie and thank you again!!!!
Food: There are plenty of places to eat, both complimentary and for an additional fee. I'm not a buffet person but I did eat breakfast and lunch at the buffet and I was more than delighted with the variety and quality of the food. My wife and I like a sit down dinner so we ate in the Manhattan room where "business casual" is required for men, shorts are okay for women. A band and the Burn the Floor dance group are there for your entertainment as well as a dance floor for your use. The Taste and Savoy dinning rooms serve the same menu but are less formal, men in shorts are okay. As I said we ate at the Cirque Dreams show, try not to miss it, we ate at the Italian restaurant and the food was excellent. We missed eating at the steak houses because I thought I had time to make reservations on the ship; I waited to long. Anyway, I heard the dinners at the other non-complementary restaurants were excellent also. Our biggest issue with the complementary restaurant menu is it didn't change, only one appetizer and one entree changed per night. Only Thursday night there were multiple changes and it was the best variety of the cruise.
Activities: Lots of activities on board; rock climbing, miniature golf, high wire walk, two
bowling alleys,etc. etc. I don't remember which are free but bring your room key just in case.
Casino: Our favorite place, there's enough slots and table games to keep you occupied. Most of the dealers that I sat against were all friendly and "sort of" helped the novice along. There are a few dealers that I saw that need to brush up on their people skills. The table games were mostly a $10 minimum but you could find a $5 or a $50 table if you looked hard
enough. Plenty of slots ranging from a penny to twenty-five dollars. The casino is roomy but
can get crowded in the early part of the evening but thins out as the evening progresses.
Crew: Most were friendly and would offer a good morning, good afternoon, good evening or
just a smiling hello; a few found those words hard to come by. Most were very efficient at
there jobs and tried to please the passengers that included the waiters, bus persons, servers, cleaning personal, customer service etc. if I left anyone out I apologize.
Debarkation: Very easy and very fast. You pick your time to disembark, you pick the color tag for your luggage that matches your time, put your luggage outside your stateroom before 11pm unless you're carrying your own luggage out. The whole process takes 20 minutes or less from the time your color is called.
Notes: The ship is new and some technical difficulties are still being worked out and the crew
and staff make every effort to accommodate the passenger. For example, I had an air
conditioning issue, I brought it to their attention and it was fixed promptly.
Bottom line, I had a great time and would recommend the ship and Norwegian. Matter of fact we're consider them for our next cruise.