Embarkation took longer than it should have. Sat around the terminal with hundreds of other cruisers waiting to get on the ship. No explanation was given for the delay. Terminal and facilities are filthy by the way.
Once we finally arrived at the cabin, the shower was obviously never cleaned as it had lots of film and dried soap foam on the door and walls. No cabin steward in sight. For the whole cruise we NEVER saw our attendant and didn't even know his name. The cabin, a balcony, was adequate except for no drawers to store clothing, only a few shelves. The bed was as hard as a rock, no exaggeration. We noticed that the step up to get into the bathroom was much higher than any other ship we've been on. The next few days we noticed two people with gashes over their brow and assume they were victims of the high step.
Garden Cafe was a mob scene, avoid at all costs! Attendants in here were the most miserable looking of any I've seen on any cruise ship so far. They only smiled and spoke to each other; no greetings for the passengers. Tables slow to be cleared.
Didn't go to the main dining room, Manhattan, but chose the alternate dining venues instead. The Savor and the Taste served the same food but no dress codes. The servers in those places were much better and seemed happier. The food was fine, nicely decorated. No complaints there.
O'Sheehans was my personal favorite by far. Included in the cruise fare. Open 24 hours per day. There was a breakfast menu and another served as Lunch and Dinner menu. Always the same but since I don't like fancy or spicy foods it suited me fine. There were some variations from day to day. The only negative I have about this place is it's proximity to the massive casino. The smoke from the casino was HORRIBLE and because of the placement, on either side of the Atrium, you need to walk through that stench to get where you're going on that floor. The casino needs to be closed in.
Entertainment left a lot to be desired. Unlike other NCL ships, there's no real venue for games, etc. They ended up having them in places that were way too small to hold the number of people who wanted to participate. Rock of Ages was fantastic. The other shows not so much. Second City was so bad we left after a few minutes. Magician/comedian not very funny. Also, you needed to make reservations to see these shows! That's NOT freestyle!!! This was because the theater only holds 800 people. That's for a ship with 4300 passengers. Again unlike the other NCL ships, there wasn't a different show to attend there every night. The cruise director, Julie, wasn't good or energetic. When you have as many sea days as we had on this trip you need a cruise director who takes it up a notch and she failed in this regard. Walking around the ship you always saw so many people sitting around doing nothing because there wasn't enough going on.
The pool. To say it was way too small for that number of people and that number of sea days would be an understatement. People were crowded in there and just standing there because there wasn't room to swim! Was supposed to be adults only since the kids had their own area but that was only monitored the first day. Not enough chairs on the pool deck.
Bermuda. Very beautiful beaches but not easy to get to. Horseshoe beach is nice but you need to get there early because they run out of umbrellas and chairs to rent. Each are $11.00 per day. You need to take a bus for the 30 minute ride to the beach and then walk about a mile. Down a steep hill to the beach and up a steep hill after you're finished.
Elbow beach is much more private and quiet. There's a small public beach but you can't rent chairs or umbrellas. The private beach charges $65.00 to rent two chairs and an umbrella. They throw in 2 small bottles of water and a towel. Be prepared for the crazy prices. A can of Coke will cost you $10.00. No that isn't a misprint! Beware. To get to this beach you take the water taxi to Hamilton ( 20 minutes) and then it's a 10 minute bus ride. Again, you then have to walk about a mile to the beach.
There is a tiny beach near the port, Snorkel Beach, but it isn't very nice. No pink sand and crystal blue water here. It is close and you can walk to it. $5.00 to get in and umbrellas and chairs are $11.00 each.
Another different thing about this ship is the fact that you cannot walk completely around the ship because of the way it's set up. Part of the way around you're walking past people who are eating dinner at the specialty restaurants which have tables outside, on the deck. Didn't look like that was too popular because there weren't that many people doing it. Outside on the hot and humid deck or inside where it's air conditioned? Most picked the latter.
All in all, I don't think this cruise is worth the money. Yes, cruises are always more expensive the first year but I think NCL really let their quality slip and some things about this ship were NOT thought through very well. It's a shame they have an identical sister ship coming in February. They should have waited to see how this one worked out.