This was booked as a cheap last minute cruise for a girlfriend and I. We both decided to leave our kids at home to save money, and we were glad we did as it turned out. We were able to stay out late enjoying talking to other passengers, having drinks, and enjoying entertainment. Also, their was not as much entertainment for children as on other newer ships. There were two small pools, plus a splash pool. There were no water slides or anything like that for kids. I believe there was a good childcare facility onboard that some kids did really enjoy. I just gathered it was not as great as on newer ships.
We booked the cheapest room we could. It should have had no window and been an inside room. Instead we got a big porthole window that cost us nothing extra! When talking to others at dinner one night, we were told they booked through other companies instead of Norweigan, and I actually booked our cruise through NCL's website. I am not sure if that made any difference, but they did not get upgraded and we did.
The entertainment was fantastic. We saw all of Andrew Kennedy's shows, and he was always hilarious. The only thing is that each time (three shows) we heard some of the same jokes. I hope he extends his act more because he really was great! We really also enjoyed the band Impac. They played wonderful when playing any genre except country. I didn't quite enjoy their country music as much, but they were amazing at reggae, hits, and R&B. The guys were super friendly as well and wanted to get to know everyone. There were some Broadway type shows and a couple of game shows, but they weren't my thing, so I didn't attend.
The food was good. There were definitely things I found better than others, like the broccoli soup. It was yummy, but the lobster wasn't so great in my opinion. The wait staff was almost always amazingly friendly. The service was not always perfect, but I was content with it. There were times we had to ask for coffee or drinks multiple times in the dining room, but I think they were doing their best.
The ship was always clean from what I saw except for two issues. One was that our closet smelled like urine. I never reported this, as I never met our room steward, but it just simply stunk! I tried to keep that door closed as much as possible to contain the issue. The other was that someone left a pile of feces in the floor in a public bathroom. Yuck. I reported that, but things like that can happen anywhere I suppose. I assume someone cleaned it up as soon as possible; I didn't revisit to check. I always appreciated that our room was cleaned multiple times a day, even though we didn't exactly leave a mess. Like I said though, I never met our room steward, which was unusual to me.
One morning, I went to take a shower and the shower was only scalding hot, so I reported that, and they took about 30 minutes to come and look at it. When they did, it seemed to work fine. I felt silly, but after talking to other passengers, they had similar issues. It would have made me feel better if they had admitted there was an issue instead of pretending it was my mistake. Also, about five minutes after they left, our bathroom water quit working entirely, the sink, toilet, and shower. It resumed by the time we returned from port. This was also an issue others had on ship.
As for ports, Freeport was not great at first sight. Just lots of little shops and people selling items. I am not into buying a lot of that stuff, so I went looking for cheap things to spend the day doing. We found a taxi that was $14 per person roundtrip to Junkanoo Beach. We spent the whole day at the beach, and we had no problems getting back to the ship on time. Taxis had been waiting there to take us back. The beach was beautiful and we spent nothing more than the taxi ride and money on drinks while there.
The next port was Nassau. I had been there before and really would have been fine spending the day on ship, but my friend had never been. She wanted to see the straw market, and so we did. It is just the same old stuff over and over there in my opinion. The beach was nice there and within walking distance, but we were still a little burned from the day before on the beach, so we ate at Señor Frogs and headed back to the ship.
The last day was at Great Stirrup Cay. It was my favorite. The beach was beautiful with lawn chairs everywhere. Food was included from the cruise. Drinks were included in our ultimate drink package from the ship. Water was gorgeous. No waves. I could float effortlessly to the top. It was so clear.
One issue was the ultimate drink package. It cost $241 after all the tips being included, taxes, etc. This was $50/day for four nights. The problem was that we had to run back and forth from guest services to the bar many, many times before it was correct on our onboard cards. They were charging us for drinks even though we had the plan on our card. There were so many charges it exceeded the money on our cards and our cards were locked down until they refunded them all. This was a huge ordeal, and every time they would say it was resolved, we would go back to the 11th floor to the bar, and it was not, and then we would have to return to 5 to guest services. ANNOYING. Anyways, finally it was resolved and problem solved. Even though $241 was a lot, we found it useful for the delicious and strong mixed drinks we were served.