My wife and I have cruised several times in the past 4 years and find it the best vacation value around. We have tried four differnet lines during that time and see where each has its pluses and minuses. As noted in the title, we were very pleased overall with the quality of this cruise and put a deposit down for a furture cruise while on board. The only very notable short coming was the slow service experienced at the restaurants.
First - For anyone looking at balconies, the rear facing (aft) locations are unbelievable and will be where we try to go from now on (Cabin 9170 for us). We tried a Suite for the first time and have to say, it is an easy category to get used to. We also had a butler but only saw him 3 times and did not fully utilize his services - but that was our doing. We just weren't sure what was expected and we are low maintenance (or so we think anyhow). The room was perfect and the tub/shower was awesome compared to what we were used to on "regular" rooms. More
Our ports of call were the private island, Ocho Rios Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. We did our own excursion to the falls in Ocho Rios and Cayman but purchased the Tulim (Mayan Ruins) trip which was very nice. As the ports go, we were pleasantly surprised by Jamaica as we expected problems with the street vendors based on previous reviews. It appears jamaica has made an effort to keep things in check and not ruin the tourism trade. We actually did the water fall climb twice before heading back to the ship - a lot of fun! A note here - we did our own climbs and worked our way around the people in groups. Otherwise, it would have been painfully slow as it gets VERY crowded at the falls. At Cayman, we asked the Visitor's Office where we could snorkle and she made an excellent recommendation just a 10 minute walk away.
The ship was very nicely laid out and have no complaints whatsoever there. The staff was unbelievable and always around, even eating a the buffet often (normal meals) and engaging the customers for feedback. They even had question-and-answer sessions and everything was fair game and nothing avoided. We were truly impressed with the staff.
It is unfortunate that the restaurant service was so slow. The food quality was excellent overall and almost excuses the service. The staff in the restaurants were friendly and always pleasant / professional. I don't know if they were trying not to rush anyone but there is a difference between not rushed and down-right slow. This was also a common experience with other people we met and it alos interfered with trying to get to some shows.
Bottom line - Very Good value, will definitely cruise with NCL again (note the deposit), and will hope for a perfect experience next time. Less
As noted above, the room was the best we have ever had - but the Suite is a real step up. Everything was wonderful. We did not fully benefit from the Butler but they almost need to come with instructions.