This is our first Norwegian cruise after a 7 year hiatus .We came out of Boston on the 7.30am Bolt Bus arriving at 34th and 11th and 12th around 11:45am. We planned on taking a cab but we could see the ship from the road closet to the Hudson. so we decided to walk. We walked on the bike path about 3/4 mile and we checked in and were in the dining room by about 12:45. We were surprised to hear that the cabins were ready. I guess the CTN prior gave the staff enough time to open the rooms early.
On a side note, the service was not very good that first afternoon in the Pacific. We asked for lemonade and iced tea that never came. The portions were very small. The tapenade came with 3 pita chips. The shrimp salad which was delicious was about four tablespoons. The small portions would be a theme to the cruise. At least I would not gain weight.
We ate in the Magenta the first night. Again the service was slow and very small portions. We did get our lemonade and drinks this time; however I didn't get my sweetener until the end of the meal. The surf and turf was delicious (again very small). I could't eat the onion soup which was way too salty (and I love salt). That first meal took about 2.5 hours and we missed both the shows. We did choose to eat with other people. After that we chose table for 2 and felt that the meal did go faster.
The sea days were very smooth. I felt that there was alot of activities going on during the day. It got somewhat warm by the end of the second day so people were on deck. I spent alot of time in the gym and felt that this gym was smaller than most.
Ports: Puerto Rico: Walked to the fort El Morro. We rode the free trolley in circles for fun but it stopped at 5:45 at San Cristobel fort so we had to walk back. Unfortunately craft vendors left before the ship arrived.
St Martin: Robinson's Speedboat Tours: Exceptional value; 6 hour speed boat tour of the various private beaches and dive spots; drinks and lunch on Pineal Island included.
St Thomas: Godfrey Tours: pickup at port; 2 hour shopping in town and 2 hour island tour. It was a good overview of the island. We chose not to go to the beach because we were so burned from the day before.
Samana: Tours with Terry: again-exceptional valiue at 80$ per person for all day ATV tour, with cultural presentation and lunch included. Most of the participants chose to go ziplining for extra and raved about it. Next time, I would do the zipline.
Cagneys: The steak was incredible and service was impectable;however I was disaponited with aspects of the meal. . The crab lump looked like tunafish and was too peppery for me. didn't eat it. That was a big portion though. I loved the shrimp cocktail but 3 shrimp was way too small for me. for another since I didn't eat the "crab" lump cakes. The steak though was excellent. The sides were painfully tiney. 3 tiny onion rings, give me a break. Desert was creme broulet which was geltanous. They Thankfully they gave me another desert. WE had planned on returning to Cagneys but based on our experience I didn't want to pay another 30$ for for an OK meal. Overall a good cruise. In comparing it to the other lines that I have cruised. The production shows were A+; comedians were OK (I don't get Second City); I like the Carnival comedians better. I like the variety of drinks better on Carnival. The rooms were smaller than Carnival or RCI. The cabin steward was very good except in the beginning we only got one beach towel, no pen or room service doorknob hangers. Since I didn't bring a pen, I had to borrow a pen to write him a note to bring another towel and the room service tags as I didn't see him much the first day or so. After that it was smooth sailing.
We took the Megabus back. We were in the walkoff at 8:45am; way too early for our noon departure. Again we walked to the stop. We were charged a small fee to change our ticket to the 10am bus.