This was my first cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line. I have previously sailed on Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Cunard. I booked this cruise with a friend. We wanted a relaxed and informal atmosphere for our cruise, but had low expectations based upon feedback from my travel agent who indicated other clients did not enjoy their experience on this cruise line. I am an experienced and flexible traveler and as the port (Tampa) was only a 2 hour drive, we signed on.
This was a holiday cruise and there were many multi-generational families on board which I expected having been on a Christmas cruise previously with Holland America. The cruise was sold out. There is a convenient parking garage across from the NCL terminal where we left my car for the week. Embarkation was a breeze - the fastest ever for any cruise I've been on. Our mid-ship balcony cabin was adequate. It had plenty of storage for 2 people and the beds were comfortable.
We dined at Le Bistro and El Moderno specialty restaurants. I enjoyed both restaurants, but Moderno which featured Brazilian cuisine was exceptional. The food in the main dining rooms (Venetian and Aqua) were good as was the service. We had to wait to be seated in The Venetian for Christmas Dinner and were given complimentary glasses of champagne while we waited which was a very nice touch. I'm not much for buffets, so only ate in the Garden Café twice for a late afternoon lunch.
The entertainment on board was an A+. I really enjoyed Second City and the comedian (Tim K.). Lots to do in the evening - dancing, audience participation shows (loved Dancing with the Dawn Stars and The Quest), music in several venues, parties and more. No reason to be bored and head to your stateroom early unless you wanted to do so.
The cruise staff were friendly and accommodating, wanting to make sure everyone had a good time and good service. They couldn't have been nicer.
Getting off and back on the ship at each port (Roatan, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya, Mexico, and Cozumel, Mexico) was easy. Security staff were efficient.
I liked that disembarkation allowed passengers to select their time to leave the ship. I have not experienced this before and it was a big plus.
Overall, I had very good experience on this ship and would sail NCL again. If you're looking for a fun, relaxed time, don't want to dress in tux and gowns in the evening, this is the ship and cruise line for you. I'd definitely cruise again with NCL in the Caribbean. What NCL does, they do very well. THIS WAS A FUN CRUISE!!