I have eventually got around to posting this review. I have to say after reading the other reviews prior to going on this cruise, I was a little nervous, thankfully I needn't have been. We had previous sailed from NYC with Carnival, so we were aware of the check-in procedure and the chaos at the port. This time we arrived early to miss the crowds and after a very smooth, organized check-in, we were in Raffles having lunch within an hour. The first thing we did was to make reservations for dinner each night as we were travelling with our in-laws we wanted to ensure we were sat together. We took advantage of the offer of 50% off the cover charge for the specialty restaurants, so we dined at each of them except the Italian.
This was the first time that my in-laws had cruised and knowing that both my father-in-law and my husband suffered from sea-sickness, I took the advice from the cruisecritic website and booked an ocean view cabin mid-ship on deck 4. Although these cabins did not have any fancy "trimmings" they were clean and well maintained. The bathroom was surprisingly spacious and featured a pleasantly powerful shower. Yes, the beds are a little on the hard side, but again ask for the egg-shell top and it will help.
As soon as we were allowed into our cabin, I contacted room service and asked them to join our beds together, this was very quickly done with no questions. Our luggage was waiting for us after the lifeboat muster, which is compulsory. My advice to NCL, if this is compulsory, make sure people can hear the recorded safety instructions when on deck, I could not hear them at all, it was very muffled.
The food was excellent in all of the restaurants especially the French, the most disappointing being the teppanyaki in Shogun. We have had this type of food on many occasions and were very disappointed by the quality of the food and the lack of the usual showmanship that normally goes along with the type of meal.
In Florida we decided on the kayak trip with the manatees. This was excellent. The guide was very knowledgeable and we had the pleasure of kayaking in manatee lagoon with at least 5 manatees. In Nassau, we just had a walk around the town, nothing impressed me too much there. The private island was wonderful. The sea was calm and warm and the beach, wonderfully clean
The shows were not that entertaining, so I would not necessarily recommend them. If you are going to them I would go early to ensure a seat.
All the staff were very friendly, my one criticism would be of the ladies at the reception desk. They never smiled and were quite abrupt bordering on rude. While I was explaining what I needed, the lady began to have a conversation with another lady and then asked me to repeat myself! I would advise NCL to do further customer relation training with them.
All in all, this was an excellent vacation and I would definitely sail with NCL again. They cannot be held accountable for sea conditions or the weather. My advice is, do your homework before booking any vacation, if you want to save money book a cabin on the lower deck as we did, it was far smoother than the upper decks. We had previously had a balcony cabin and rarely used it, so they can be a waste of money. Relax and enjoy!