Intent was a quick getaway between the end of my 10 year-old daughter's school and the beginning of summer camp. Former colleague and her group had booked this ship this date--when she quoted her price I had to do it. Got my friend, brother, sister-in-law and nephew to come along. All were first-time cruisers, two over 60 years old. Norwegian delivered a memorable cruise experience for all of us. For me, it was the first cruise I've been on without a problem of some sort. Everything worked. The cabin was well-situated and exactly what was expected despite the ship's age. Bed was firm, comfortable. Great service from our steward. Extras I'd ordered to celebrate a birthday were delivered promptly. Restaurant service impeccable. Food in MDR was good, unspectacular, nicely presented. Steak came as ordered instead of overcooked. Lobsters on first night were fine as were all other meals. Buffet was adequate, decent selection, breakfast was fine. Birthday dinner at Le Bistro was excellent, notably the rack of lamb chops and the creme brulee. When the captain sang the birthday song to my sister-in-law it was polite and kind...when he told a story about swimming with the dolphins to my daughter it was sweet and smart. Which shore excursion do you think she wanted in Nassau? The crazy Hawaiian theme with the art and color schemes and room names is kind of weird for a ship out of Miami that touches the Caribbean, but it's fun and eye-catching. The White Hot Party was moved to the night club due to weather but it was surprisingly fun even for this old man. Karaoke in the upstairs sports bar was more inviting and less intimidating than on other ships.
Visit to Great Stirrup was sensational. We loved the water slide, waverunner tour and snorkeling. Barbecue buffet was plentiful, fresh and offered some delicious salads with tropical ingredients. THAT was a surprise. Lack of natural trees is commercially solved--the line accepts money for canvas wraparound chaise-lounge enclosures. Nassau visit was short, we went on our own to Ft. Fincastle, Queen's Staircase, Ardastra Gardens (Marching Flamingos!) and a late leisurely lunch at Arawak Cay Fish Fry's most celebrated restaurant, Frankie Gone Bananas. Last night at sea all of us adults won a couple of bucks in the casino (amazing!) While my daughter found happiness between the video arcade, pools and hot tubs I was content to relax on surprisingly uncrowded decks, play ping-pong, drink and dance. Now I'm ready to try Holland-America.