Our family is all from upstate NY area and we traveled the night before the cruise to the Hilton Garden Inn in Troy, NY, to cut down on driving time the day of the cruise. It was a great way to start our vacation. Friday morning, we got up and hit the road by 9 AM to arrive in Boston around noon. I am not one to drive all day to get to the cruise port. Traveling in four cars with 15 people, I just wanted to get to Boston on time and not exhausted.
Embarkation went well. We had all the documents required since we had children traveling with only one parent and one child traveling without his parents. Most of our party went with Birth Certificates and picture ID's, not passports. I know that was a chance we took but it worked out well. Once everyone was onboard, I was a bit more relaxed. We were celebrating my husband's and my 50th Anniversary with our three grown children, spouses, and 7 grand children between 12 and 21 and one 14 year old best friend because one grandchild was not able to go due to a new job and no vacation time. I booked through AAA. I usually book my cruises through the company or online but with 16 people going, I thought the help of a travel agent might be good. I booked 8 inside cabins and NCL booked us as a group. NCL gave each cabin $75 OBC with the group booking. They also said a special dinner would be done for us on Saturday night. When I checked that out upon boarding, no one knew anything about it so I just made a reservation in the Venitian dinning room on Saturday. We were also supposed to have a cake but that did not happen either. No big deal, just think someone dropped the ball.
Once we rearranged all the rooms because we had to have a 21 year old in every room when booking, and got everyone their pass keys, the vacation started.
The sailing was extremely smooth in both directions. Coming home, the Atlantic looked like glass it was so smooth. That was a special treat for me since I take Bonine tablets every day to prevent seasickness.
We enjoyed the ship but the pool deck was really crowded. People came out about 7 AM and put towels on chairs to reserved them for the day. Getting a chair on the pool deck was all but impossible. The ship was very full with school being out and there were lots of kids around. The hot tubs were full of kids all day long.
We ate most of our meals in the Garden Cafe. I love those Pretzel rolls. We were always able to find something to eat since we are very easy to please. I don't expect five star dining on NCL so I am disappointed.
I enjoyed the penny machine in the Casino on Saturday night and took away $200 on a $5 investment. That was good. I think while we were in Bermuda, they changed the machines because I could not win anything on the two day trip home. I kept the winnings in the safe and came home with it but did loose some on the last two days.
This was a wish of mine for many years-to take my whole family on a cruise. I am glad I was able to do this for them. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we did not loose any one the whole trip. It was hard to keep track of all the people on the ship and in Bermuda but every one made it home safe and sound.