We have just returned from our 7th Ncl cruise and yet again were not disappointed with our holiday. The embarkation experience was different as our flight delays etc made us the only passengers going on the ship at the time but we were quickly processed on to ship by very nice staff . once on board we went to our cabin it is adequate in size as it is really just a place to sleep in. Yet again the beds are big and very comfortable. We had a balcony, very good for sail away and lucky as the sun seemed to be on our side of the ship most of time. Great for when out at sea when needing to get away from the all the bussle of people and food.
The ship is very bright and airy plenty of places to go whether sitting in sun or sometimes hiding from it as a lot of days it was very hot. The only complaint is the usual towels on beds and no people near even though there are notices up everywhere, nobody bothered. I did at one point hear one of cruise staff being asked about this don't know outcome of that case but it still went on this needs to be enforced not only this ship as it has happened on previous cruises.We never really got into gym or sports but liked seminars such as art auctions as something different and a bit of fun and it the end of presentation you would receive a print or there would be raffles for different things. The staff that did these auctions made you want to go there as they made it fun and also were very professional people.
The overall entertainment on the ship was pretty good. The shows in bars were all different. We went one night to Jim badgers show, he is a very good all round entertainer and worked the, couldn't get a seat crowd every night of the cruise. Worth going to see if you wanted a good laugh. In red lion a very good guitar player, we went every night after stardust show. He had a varied choice in music. There were other bands too they played different bars all over ship best we've heard something for everyone. The stardust nightly shows I loved them all from Brenda the hypnotist, who was hilarious the ventriloquist he was just brilliant. Oh what a night loved it and the acrobats , don't know how they did this when a moving ship. Anyone I missed out not intentionally loved it all.
We decided to do ultimate dining package which meant we could eat at a specialty restaurant every night. Best choice. The food in bistro French restaurant excellent, tepanakki excellent Cagney's steak house excellent we were not to struck on moderno nothing wrong with food if you want to do like barbecue way of eating. Very good value to eat every night in a special food restaurant. We tried the aqua main dining room the first night and not overly impressed with either the service or food choices. Blue lagoon great for breakfast versaille we went sometimes for breakfast and lunch to stay out of the mad house of the buffet. If you watched the buffet times it was sometimes not to bad All the other cruises have has same usual menu as this one , one or 2 different changes nightly. Never went back. Chinese is the same these menus have not changed either from other cruises even though the food there is excellent.
The ports that we stopped in were mostly very nice. We did 3 trips exploring Cartagena. I liked this trip only thing was the courier was sometimes not able to be heard. Needed some sort of microphone or headphone set up. Let's you see a bit of somewhere you wouldn't probably every go again. Puerto Chiapas through the ages and Mayan temples good trip. Did with ncl just enough time. Puerto vallerta we took a taxi 3 dollars each and went in to old town. No need for a trip brilliant, as it has all you need for shopping the beach sightseeing cafes sitting watching world go by. Then a taxi back to ship. Lots of stalls pubs etc at port before getting back on ship great port. Best port of all is cabo San Lucas unfortunately it was the shortest day. Again you could walk off ship all round by marina to 2 shopping centres, pubs, eateries shops etc. Nice place clean would loved lot longer here we had t foro leave at about 3 for our last day before going home.
The best trip was the last trip on disembarking day. We did this on Sunday same day as Oscars so out trip was changed a bit due to security and road closures. We had Diane as our rep, she was brilliant very noligible in her presentation. Tour 2 was rodeo drive and Beverly hills but it was changed a bit. We went to griffin observatory, what a great view of LA it was a bit cloudy but still a great shot of Hollywood sign. Our driver Mohammed took us to and stopped to give a best shots for photos he could. We went past big posh houses with Diane telling us of stars etc who ha d houses there. Not on tour went to farmers market great place for eating and it was also Mardi gras so music food great and even Starbucks too. Back on bus we went to rodeo drive then back to airport for our flight home. Highly recommend this one if flight is after 5pm we got to airport at 2.20 plenty of time. Diane had taken a note of all flight times and we were assured we would have plenty of time to check in.
Don't know if you noticed we really enjoyed this cruise. Panama canal is an experience that has to be done. Having left the best to last. I would like to say a big thank you and well done to all the staff on this ship they were all so professional lovely people. Have special mention for sheila and Pamela the 2 ladies in the Asian restaurants and our cabin steward Mario who looked after our cabin. Thank you once again ncl another great cruise