First time cruiser from Philadelphia decided to book a cruise out of NY to the Caribbean due to its convenience to home and no need for a flight. (Balcony Cabin 10534)
Day 1: Embarkation. Arrived at the terminal around 1030am and boarded the ship at 1130am. Had a great lunch at the buffet and rooms became available around 1245pm. Balcony room was nicer than expected, bathroom was very nice and bed was comfortable. Toured the ship prior to departing sharply at 4pm. Passed the Statue of Liberty at Spinnaker lounge. It was a lot of fun with patriotic music and drinks. A great celebration as we began our 10 day journey. The show in stardust was a great intro to the different acts on the cruise, was most impressed by comedian. The first night I didn't take any medication and awoke to the ship moving in the middle of the night. I spent some time on the balcony to get fresh air and took ginger pills and Dramamine.
Suggestion: if you have any concerns over being out on the water for such a long time, invest in the balcony room or reconsider your trip. The balcony was an important output for me to get some fresh air whenever I felt a little "off." Not sure what I would done without it.
Day 2: Sea was a bit rough and heard various feedback from fellow cruisers. Some said they had been on several cruises and never felt rocking like this and others said this was nothing. I took advantage of my unlimited spa pass ($189) and enjoyed the jacuzzis and relaxation. Had lunch at Grand Pacific (limited menu, very slow service, and, in my opinion, too many views of the rough sea. I would not recommend this restaurant. Next was the wine tasting which was very nice at Le bistro. Next was Bingo with Leslie. Bingo was fun and we happened to get lucky. The show at stardust was a walk through the 60s and 70s and was very good.
Day 3: the temperature was up to 75 and we spent most of the day out by the pool. There was a great BBQ at the pool deck for free. At night we had dinner at Teppanyaki (Hibacchi) and enjoyed it very much.
Day 4: spent the morning and early afternoon on the sun deck as we approached Puerto Rico. Arrived in Puerto Rico around 345 and went out on our own. Walked a bit and then took a cab to Cornado. Walked on the beach and had a nice dinner and got back on the ship.
Day 5: St Maarten. Went on the ATV excision (not recommended). It was overpriced and misleading. There was no off-road travel, ATV broke down, and bus never came to pick us up when we returned. Orient beach was interesting, especially the nude beach next to it. Spent the rest of the day in philipsburg, had lunch, and relaxed on the beach.
Day 6: St. Thomas: we rented a Jeep and did our own thing. Drove to many of the highlights, mountain top, Coki Beach, Coral World.
Day 7: Semana: the NOrtheast was in the midst of a Nor'easter so after seeing the wave heights that we would endure after researching online, decided to disembark, took a 5 hour cab ride to Punta Cana (scary at times) and spent the weekend in Punta Cana and flew home on Sunday. If disembarking is an option for you, do it in St Thomas or St Maarten where the airport is convenient.
All in all, I have nothing negative to say about NCL. Staff was consistently pleasant and accommodating, entertainment was excellent, food was pretty good, and ship was nice. One thing I did notice was that we we're always the smallest ship at each port (out of 5 or 6) and I would have thought they would have used a larger ship coming from NY. As someone who did not like being at sea for so long, I would recommend leaving from Florida where the waters are much smoother.
Also, I suggest staying away from the casino. For someone that plays big around the world, this casino was very small and the machines were so tight it is really not worth your time.