We recently returned from our 10 Day Eastern Med cruise. This was only our 2nd cruise with NCL but decided to use them again because we had such a great time on the Star during a 14 day Panama Canal Cruise. Another factor was the FreeStyle concept which I enjoy, when on vacation why dress up for dinner on specified nights. Did that a couple of times and that was enough. We were 2 families with our grand kids 11 and 14.
Ports visited were, Kakatalon, Athens, Ismir, Istanbul and Naples. We decided on our own Port Excursions and did that because we wanted a smaller more personalized tour. The tours were the same as what NCL provides and the costs much less. For all 5 port stops we were extremely happy with the tours we arranged. If anyone wants to know who we used e-ail me and I will provide the Tour company names. Not going to review each stop because we did not use NCL for them.
For Dining we used a variety of the options available onboard from their buffet, Main Dining, room service and specialty restaurants. Food was good and we didn't have any major complaints. Specialty restaurants used were Teppanyaki's which is always good because of show that you get with it and the food is good, Jasmine Garden which was Asian, this was ok and finally Moderno's which is Brazillian Barbeque. This is like a 9 course meat dish and we were only able to get through about 4 of them. Couldn't get through dessert but they offered to have it delivered to our stateroom but we declined. Nice touch though.
The Shows were ok but after a couple of them I stopped going to them
Room: Cabin 14000, What can you say. We had a Haven suite and were absolutely spoiled. The grandkids did not want to go home after experiencing this.
We decided to splurge here because there were 6 of us and we wanted to be together. The suite had 3 bedrooms each with its own bathroom and balcony. It also included a private balcony with hot tub and sauna along with a upper sun deck with a hammock and extra lounge chairs. The living room was huge as well and included an 8 place dinning table for meals and also a 8 place table on the patio if you wanted to have lunch outdoors. Our Butler Willy was fantastic!! He interacted with the kids, made sure that we had everything that we needed and learned our preferences after the first day. My wife likes raisin cookies and we couldn't find them anywhere on the ship. We mentioned this to Willy and we had these cookies for the rest of the cruise waiting for us after each days excursion. We utilized him for all the breakfasts since on excursion days the lines were long at all the venues and port times were early. Usually when we walked into the dinning room breakfast was set up and waiting at the designated times. Didn't eat dinners in the room because after we had the appetizers in the afternoon we were all full.
Antonio was our room steward who also did an exceptional job. He was always checking on us and kept the rooms spotless. They even went as far as shampooing all the carpets one day during an excursion day.
Loy, kept the outer deck areas set up each day and made sure the cushions and towels were readily available.
The Haven suites also included a private pool and lounges with a retractable roof so you could enjoy this on inclement days. They also had tables set up so you could order meals poolside as well as snacks and drinks all day long.
Would I use this room again and the answer is yes. It is great when you have 6 couples cruising together and makes for a very enjoyable time. When traveling solo we will use the penthouse or owners suites as they are more suited for single couples.
Concierge: Mark. We used Mark to set up our meal reservations as well as finding out where to store our excess luggage while we made a side trip to Barcelona after the cruise. Mark also set up transportation to the airport after the cruise. We had a time set up to disembark, our luggage was set aside and waiting for us on the pier when we got off the ship and was quickly off to the airport. Less then 10 mins to get off the ship. We also had priority disembarkation on port days for our tours. We were always taken down a service elevator and off the ship really quickly.
Overall we had nothing bad to report on this cruise and have already enrolled in the Cruise rewards program for our next cruise. The only thing that I see that NCL could do is to open up their routes to include the South Pacific.