My wife and I booked this cruise that fit our only week we could go and have someone drop us off at the port. We are happy we took this cruise. We compared this cruise to our only other cruise we took. (On Carnival Pride a year ago)
I'll start with the food....We enjoyed the food overall. We had breakfast in the Garden Cafe every morning. Wife loved her eggs Benedict almost every morning. I would enjoy random things and was happy. We did not find anything to complain about at the Garden Cafe. Your best option for breakfast we think. Now for the other places we eat at. BLUE LAGOON=amazing. Loved everything we received from there. Found our favorite desserts there as well. Brownie with Ice Cream and Pound Cake with Strawberries.(These desserts save NCL in my wife's eyes, she wished the brownie was an everyday option in Magenta or Grand) We would go to the Blue Lagoon if we were not happy with dinner or lunch at another location. (Wings are amazing, fish and chips, Tomato soup w/ the Grilled Cheese) GRAND PACIFIC was okay, wife and I found MAGENTA which had a similar menu to be just as a good and the male didn't have to have pants on. We also had better service in Magenta. Food is pretty good overall, no complaints in both locations.
We were celebrating our first year of marriage on the boat. On that day we booked a pay dinner at MODERNO CHURRASCARIA. Food is very good and thought it was worth the $20 per person. Only complaint was the openness to it. Random people not eating in Moderno could walk or run by. So, we really couldn't enjoy a romantic dinner there. Had a lot of kids run by us in bathing suits. We booked this before we got on the boat, if we knew it was open like it was, we would of booked at another location. We also revived the best service from the Manager of Moderno then our own server. Server had the "I hate my job look to her". We also received a free a free cake from the ship for our first year, which was really good.
Overall, the buffet is better on NCL then Carnival but Carnival has the edge on the sit down dining. Desserts are about the same. Pizza is much better on NCL.
NCL pools are dirty. We were usually the first ones on the deck and in the pools. And we always found things on the bottom of the pool. Empty cup, hair clips, tampon and food. On Carnival we didn't find those items sitting on the bottom. It was nasty and we were afraid of putting our feet on the bottom. NCL also has their Adult only pool right next to the kid pool. So you will have kids running by you, which didn't bother us because we don't mind kids. If we wanted to get away we went to the SPA. Which cost us $119 a person for the week. Worth it, got to relax and enjoy everything in the SPA. Wife loved it and was happy we booked it. Went everyday as well. Carnival has their adult only pool on the back of the boat away from the everyone pool, where kids can swim. Also, if you want a chair right next to the Pool on either line, you need to claim a chair early in the morning. On NCL, we found deck 13 better to claim a chair. More sun and less people walking by.
Gift shops are similar in what they offer on both lines. But on Carnival we had a better experience in the shops. When my wife would ask for something not out, Carnival would go look and usually find the item and sell it to us. On NCL, the workers in the Gift Shops would look at each other and say oh we are out. We saw this happen to many people and it also happen to us when my wife asked for a White Hot Dance Party Shirt.
Now for the White Hot Shirt. We were checking out and saw a shirt laying on the counter,so we asked if it was for sale. Worker said yes, but it wasn't our size. So the lady behind the counter said, if you go over to the other Gift Shop they we go in the back and get one, so we did. We asked the guy in the other store. He looked at his co-worker and asked/said to her. "We don't have that shirt, right". so the lady would agree and they didn't have to look. Since we knew they had the shirt, my wife went down later when new workers were working, thinking they might be better. This time she got, they are away and locked up. Weird how they all have different stories, right? So, it was whatever and we left. WIFE was pissed and I had to deal with it. (Not fun) Since we had the meet and Greet with other Cruise Critics. I revived phone numbers of the high up officers on the boat. So, I called the top dog and asked why does the ship not want our money we are trying to spend on the boat and went over what happen. 30 minutes later, we had a shirt at our door. I'm very grateful for this, but it stinks you have to go to an officer to get things. You would think the Gift Shop workers would want my money.
The other bad thing we experienced was Gust Services. While in FL, my wife thought she lost her room key for the boat. So, she called the boat to figure out how she would get back on. (For those this happens to, just show up and they will find you in the system and then give you a new room key). Save you the charge for calling the boat. We knew we were gonna be charged, we were okay with that. But we also had a another charge. So we went to Guest services to figure out who the charge was coming from (the boat, my phone company or a third party company). I explained the whole story and said I know this is our fault and will be charged, but where are the charges coming from. They proceed to say, well this is your fault and you will be charged. Now I am pissed because they're being rude and had an attitude like he was better than the world. So I told him again. I know it's my fault but who is charging me? He really didn't know but we figured out it was our phone company.
We had an inside room on the 10th floor towards the back. Loved it, last time we had a balcony and we were afraid we would hate it. Nope, we will probably book inside from now on or one with a window. We figured out we are only in our room to sleep and shower. If we plan to stay in our room the whole week, we will book a balcony. Loved the room and it was very clean, no complaints at all. Augillo was amazing as well.
First was FL, so we rented a car and drove to Downtown Disney and City Walk. Worth the $40 for the rental car. Wife got her Disney fix. Avoid City Walk. Over rated and you have to pay to park. We couldn't see spending the over $100 per person for the parks and only do two rides. Since we rented, we were on our time, so we spent time walking around then headed back and stopped at Wal Mart for some supplies we forgot and also got Soda to drink on the boat.
2nd port, Great Stirrup Cay.....Really loved the beach and brought our own snorkel gear, just had to rent vest for the day (which gives you your tender tickets to get over, which you can go at anytime) We took the 1st tender over and got whatever spot we wanted. Snorkeling was good as well. I also did the Wave runner, it was amazing. It's a tour but since I drove one before I was in the front and I was going 45+mph on it.
Last port was Nassau..............Been here before so we went to Cabbage beach, which is the same beach as Atlantis but it's free to enter. Just pay for the taxi ride over. Can rent a chair from locals for the day. Water was amazing as is the sandy beach. Don't pay the Atlantis price for the beach. Go to the Cabbage beach for free. After the beach we headed back and got food on the boat then went shopping in the shops. Senor Frogs is the best, get the yard and go shopping and return to refill when your empty, since you can walk around with alcohol in the Bahamas. Also, if your shopping in the straw market. Take notice of all the locals misspelling Bahamas. Wife and I would laugh and bought a hat and watched the lady put Bahamas on and made sure she spelled it correctly. Then headed back.
Entertainment.......We found the dancers and singer much better on NCL.
Like I said, besides the issues we had. We loved our cruise. Also, Assistant Cruise director is funny, go to every event he is apart of. Also, find crew member Deidre. She is great to talked to and is very happy. Our Cruise Hero.