This was my second cruise and for my sister it was her first.
We started our journey by staying at the Hilton in Downtown, Miami and a great kick off to our cruise. The atmosphere was lively by the bay as we watched the salsa band and viewed the boats by the bay.
The next morning we went to Publix grocery store which is across the street from the Hilton. There we picked up some food, returned to our room, ate and headed down to the lobby to wait for our transportation to the Sky.
While were in transit I started to get really excited when we came upon the ships at the port. I pulled out my phone and started taking pictures and the driver slowed down so I could get some good shots.
Embarkation was smooth, fast & friendly. When we made our way onto the ship my sister and I looked at each other and said, were finally here!! Yuppie. We proceeded to Guest Services and placed cash on our separate accounts and went to the Deck 11 to purchase the UBP. After we went straight to the bar and had our first drink. We explored the ship to see where the good eats were, casino and entertainment would take place.
Not long after boarding the announcement was made that our cabins were ready. At this time, were eating in the Garden Cafe and was really impressed at how tasty the food was at the buffet. We headed to our cabin to find that the bags left at our door were not ours. Yikes!!! We approached our room steward who greeted us not long before and went into our cabin to check it out. It was cleaner than clean and the view from our Balcony was port side and we loved it!! Minutes later our bags arrived and we proceeded to the pool deck for the sail away party. We danced, drank & met some really nice people.
We ate in the dining room every night and everything we had excellent! The service and attention given by all crew members was top notch. Breakfast and Lunches were eaten at the Garden Cafe.
The ports we visited were Freeport & Nassau. My sister and I have been to Nassau on all-inclusive vacations in the past. I already was all over Atlantis and took a dinner cruise in the past and did not feel the need to do any excursions. Instead, were hung out in Freeport to take pictures and purchase a few items. When we arrived in Nassau, we explored the Straw Market and stopped in Tortuga to purchase Rum Cakes. The price was right in comparison to the Duty Free shop aboard the ship.
In the evenings we danced he night away, went to at least show per night and closed the Casino down every night!! I must say that I did pretty well there. I'm not a huge better but I did win about $380 first night with a $60 bankroll. My sister and I played the lottery and got three numbers out of six for a payout of $100! We split that and I shared the money that I won with my sister. The following night I banked $300! Drink service in the Casino was great and if you got a little hungry at 2:00 AM there was a table with a selection of hot beverages, sandwiches, fruit and petite desserts! Love it!!
We hung out by the pool in the second day and actually got in the water to cool off. There was not much room for swimming but a dip in the pool did help. We did not have a hard time finding a lounge chair because we only got off the shop for about an hour and thirty minutes in Freeport and there were several choices.
The private island, Great Stirrup Cay...Beautiful!!! The ride in the boat was a bit rocky and did not make me sick. I wanted to stay on for a few more rides so I could take nap! We found a spot under palm tree, went to got drinks to sip on and enjoyed the island breeze. The buffet was really good! The BBQ ribs were tender, salad choices were tasty and the fruits were the sweetest that I have ever tasted.
When we returned our cabin on the firs night, we had a note left for us that stated that we were cordially invited to the officers dinner the following night and to RSVP at guest services! We were so excited and did not have any idea how this happened. The dinner was superb, the wine glass was never half empty, conversations were pleasant and once again we met some great people. We took a picture with our party and at the end we received a complimentary photo. On the second night we received a complimentary bottle of wine at dinner! Since we purchased the UBP I decided to request to take bottle with me instead. The waiter said it was fine and now have it here at home.
The White Hot party was fun. We participated in a few line dances and just danced the night away. The hot song of the summer, Blurred Lines has a line dance but it was not done there. So, my sister and I did it on our own. Quite a few people asked us what dance were doing and we told them and had a great time trying to teach them. When we returned to our cabin we had a nice plate of chocolate cover strawberries, shaved chocolate & truffles. Yummm!
Disembarkation day was a breeze. We chose the leave last and had coffee in our cabin that morning, proceeded to the Garden Cafe for breakfast. When we arrived at the gangway (not sure if I'm right) our bags were waiting and there was no line at Customs for us. We had a later flight and was not in a rush to leave.
We pre-paid our gratuities and still placed additional tips on our receipts for bartenders, room steward and assistant room steward. I really recommend purchasing the UBP if you are a drinker. The total cost was $225 with the gratuity and we feel like we got our monies worth and then some.
We had a blast and are now anticipating our next cruise hopefully on the Breakaway or Getaway. We are now lifetime Norwegian customers and recommended them to family and friends. The memories that I captured in photos and videos keep rewinding through my mind. I absorbed it all and returned home happy, hoarse, tired and excited still about my journey.