We live in NJ, so this cruise was super easy for us, just a bus and taxi ride to the port. This was our 2nd cruise with NCL and after testing other cruiselines, NCL is by far our favorite. We aren't 400 pounds and bumble to the buffet, we are an active couple in our late 20s and prefer a modern cruise line that gives us options. We have also traveled to 22 countries, so we know our stuff! For example on Holland America all of our money went to the casino because there was nothing to do...on NCL we didn't gamble once besides the crane machine lol. We also enjoy freestyle cruising, we were celebrating a vow renewal so it's nice to be able to request a table for 2 and eat when you want.
We were on the ship in 1/2 hour and our rooms were ready after lunch.
Food: There are so many places to eat! We didn't even get to half of the restaurants, but here's what we did. Le Bistro-French, we went here twice, the french food tasted just as good as Paris, worth the $20 extra. The More
food is different than the main dining rooms, we tested it. The service was spectacular, I have a gluten allergy and they were more than accommodating anywhere we went, but at the French restaurant the 2nd time they remembered my allergy before getting my room card! Manahattan Room-delicious, always had a live band or dancing. Jungle Fantasy-did this the first night, it was 25% off, but we made reservations ahead of time and they adjusted the price for us...worth the show, but could be scary for those under age 5. Garden buffet-has everything you could want, really. Uptown Grill-specialty burgers and waffle fries, went there once. O'Sheehan's-delicious and 24 hours. Wasabi-good sushi....went the first night for a snack. My only complaint about the food is when they have the parties at night it would be nice if they had people walking around with food or a small appetizer buffet so if you get hungry you don't have to leave the party.
Drinks: Worth the money and delicious! Each bar and restaurant has their own speciality drinks and different beers on tap.
Entertainment: Cirque de Soliel I thought was worth the money, I had never seen the show previously, but I enjoyed it. Rock of Ages was spectacular, I wish I had time to see it again! Some reviews I read before the show complained it was not kid friendly...duh! It's an 80s musical about sex, drugs and rock and roll. We talked with parents, the kids programs are spectacular and run until like 11 at night...kids should not be going to the shows...they are for adults, drop your kids with spongebob and relax! The Second City was good, but we wished they brought people on stage. We peeked into Howl at the Moon, but it was too crowded the one night we checked it out. Live music was everywhere, Dancing with the Stars looked like a lot of fun, but we were just walking past it! There was so much to do!
Activities: I did the free Zumba class 3 times, people complained the pools were small, but it's a cruise ship not an all inclusive resort...there was always room in the pool. The water slides were awesome, I spent more time on the slides than anything else. All the parties at Spice H20 were great. The ropes course is scarier than it looks, but I will totally do it again next time. There was so much to do, I didn't get to other things. Also there was a free adult only area, but I never made it there because I liked the water slides.
Room and stuff: It's funny we were only in our room to sleep and shower. We had a balcony, the room had more storage than we needed, was always clean. The balcony was nice, I wish I was on it more, but we were always doing something. Shower was always hot, no complaints.
Service: Spectacular. I also loved the screens where you could instantly view menus, make reservations and buy your photos...so much easier than other ships. Never had bad service, everyone goes out of their way, don't jip the staff out of the $12 a day tip, they work hard and can't see their families for 9 months at a time. I did get my hair done once for the vow renewal, of course it's pricier than home, but whatever I'm on vacation.
Tips: I enjoy planning out my day and recommend you do especially if you are on a family cruise, make your reservations and please don't wear sweat pants on formal nights...at least wear business casual so those of us that do dress nice get the atmosphere we want...go on Carnival if you want to wear sweat pants to dinner...or the buffet!
Bermuda: get the 2 day bus pass, there's a special bus that goes right to horsehoe bay and the beach is not crowded at all compared o the Jersey shore...the south shore has tons of little beaches with no one on them if you want privacy. We did the kayaking excursion through the ship, then we did the glass bottom boat and paddle boarding on our own at a much cheaper rate (save $50 a person!). The busses run every 1/2 hour and are scarce around the island if you are going to explore. I think splitting a taxi with others is a good idea. The ferry only runs until around 9:30 to Hamilton so that was a bummer if you want to stay out late and party. The dockyard was nothing special besides the water sports. The shopping in the dockyard was awful...nothing special at all. We didn't get any souvenirs. We did eat at an excellent sushi place called Pearl in Hamilton, highly recommend!
Overall: I'm planning on doing a family cruise in 2015 with this same ship...I never do the same trip twice, but I had so much fun I'm coming back! Less