The ship is amazing. We wanted to try a different cruise line for a change. So this being a brand new ship we decided to book. We are a family of 4 with 2 young adults. We had to 2 cabins with balconys. We usually get 1 cabin to cut down on cost but the purpose of the trip was relaxation so we got to cabins close to each other. What a good decision that was. Hallways are very narrow also.
The reviews I have read have been spot on. We booked 2 weeks prior to sailing so we were in the back of the ship. Really liked the area as dining etc was very close. Heard some noise at night but we think it was our neighbors. The balcony is small but 2 chairs and a table fit and really we did not need any more room.
We parked our car off site and saved almost $100 Parked at 43rd and 12th Ave. Worked really well. They drove us to the ship and then on our return we walked 3 blocks with luggage to get car. It is almost impossible to find a place to pick up people and luggage on the street. Cops are every where.
We arrived around 10:30AM to get on the ship. Waited about an hour and then were able to have lunch and spend the day on board. We packed small bags with bathing suits etc. Had lunch at O'Sheehan's Pub- Chicken pot pie very good. We actually came back one night when we wanted a casual dinner. We ate most other meals at the Manhattan Room. Service in most restaurants is slow for dinner. We had music for dancing while dining, table covers and just a nice atmosphere. We are used to getting dressed for dinner and enjoyed being able to do that.
Most ships are trying to make the ships more casual but I don't think shorts is the appropriate attire in a nice restaurant. I think the dress code should be adhered to more or choose a different cruise line. We ate at Savor one night and the service was not good and the restaurant was not as clean as it should have been. We did dine at 8PM each evening and I was surprised that most people seemed to dine earlier.
Cruising used to be pay one price and that was it. There are specialty restaurants for a charge but we opted to eat the food that was included. Also several shows have charges. We did go the first night and saw the Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy. If you wait and book on the ship when you arrive the first evening has a 25% discount. The show and dinner were excellent. We also saw Rock of Ages- excellent but not good for young children, Burn the Floor, Howl at the Moon Dueling pianos and the Comedian Michel Finney. All were included and very good.
Because we booked 2 weeks prior to the cruise we did not have too many options for shows. The first thing we did when we got on the ship was to go to the box office and change some reservations for better evenings. We also booked all evenings for dinner at the Manhattan Room. I was very glad we did as we did not have to wait to be seated.
As others have written where was the thought in the pool area. We had 4800 people and 2 small pools. It was very hot and everyone was trying to get in the pools. It was nice to have slides and ropes etc. but a larger pool would have been a better idea. We did not pay to go to Vibe. Towels if not returned you are charge $25.
There was always something going on. Bingo, Deal or no deal, spa, classes, dancing etc. Even though the ship was the largest we had been on the only real issue is the pool. We as a family decided we would go back on Norwegian Cruise line again. They really tried to make you feel like a family. Very helpful and if there was an issue it was addressed and corrected immediately.
If you don't get to the pool by 8AM it would be difficult to get a chase lounge. The running track is near the pool and actually the outside cafe opens onto the track. Not the best of designs and also gets wet from the pool.
Tips others gave were very useful. Put a card in cabin wall to keep lights on etc. Hair dryers are included. Use theirs as we blew circuit breakers with stronger ones brought from home. Took extensions cords but didn't use them. There is plenty of storage for 2 people. We don't pack light and we had plenty of room. Liquid soap and shampoo is provided. We were given a free bottle of wine when we arrived in our room. A very thoughtful touch. We had the refrig emptied so we could put our beverages in. We brought a case of water and juice . Carried a large bag cooler and each night the cabin steward filled it with ice so we could keep all our drinks cold. One thing we did not like was $12 a day per person is added to your room bill for tipping the cabin stewards and restaurant help. We always liked to give more than the usual if the service was good. We did leave an additional tip for the cabin person but with dining each night with different waiters that was almost impossible.
The week went way too fast. We exited the aft elevators with our luggage and we off the ship in less than 15 minutes.
Norwegian really has tried to address many issues that need to be updated.