What can I say. ... We booked this cruise to get away from the cold plus, it was convenient for us to get to the NYC piers. ... Other than that, I had no expectations. I knew what I was getting into on a ship carrying 4300 passengers and VERY LIMITED open-air, deck space.
CABIN: We booked a mini suite #13798 - PERFECT location midships (Since there are only TWO banks of elevators. One forward and one aft.) Can you picture that on a ship this size? ... Our cabin steweard RANDY CRUZ was EXCELLENT! ... The cabin space itself was fine, and the bathroom was excellent. PLENTY of storage in the cabin and the bathroom. The balcony, ... a joke. Sooooo small.
FOOD: Main dining rooms - Excellent. We especially liked the MANHATTAN ROOM. Buffet: Deck 16 - Fresh, tasty, excellent variety. There is a smaller version on Deck 15 with, fresh air seating (very nice). Specialty restaurants: Ate in the Brazilian. Excellent food, service, ambiance. And a lot of fun. You can request a table overlooking the dance floor of The Manhattan Room. Very nice location. Ate in The French restaurant. There were 4 of us. We each ordered a different main dish, and all were excellent. Desserts were outstanding EXCEPT the chocolate fondue served with fruit. The chocolate was of high quality. Tasted like heated up Hershey's syrup. I do not recommend that you eat outside the restaurant, at the nice bistro tables they have set up. The smell of cigarette smoke from the casino is overwhelming (Whether or, not you're a smoker. Wouldn't you rather be able to taste and smell what you're eating and not, cigarettes?).
ROOM SERVICE: Very limited breakfast menu. After the third day, it becomes, same-old, same-old. Very inconsistent in their arrival times. Very! The mini suites have a small one-cup coffee maker. Ask the Steward to leave extra coffee pouches and double-up when brewing a cup. The coffee packets are weak tasting. The coffee in the buffets are restaurant is good.
ENTERTAINMENT. Burn the floor - A MUST SEE! ... OUTSTANDING! Second City - The family version NOT FUNNY. Did not see the "adult" version at 11:00 pm but, was told by 3 other couples that it was EXTREMELY vulgar. All 3 walked out. Rock of ages - DISGUSTINGLY VULGAR. Why NCL would have a venue like this is beyond my comprehension. We left as soon as two guys "came out of the closet" and the audience applauded.
CRUISE ITINERARY. Really, really bad. Like I said, we only took this cruise because of convenience and to get away from the cold. Cape Canaveral - Oh my goodness! The ONLY way to get off the docking area is by taxi (cannot cross the causeway on foot), and ONE taxi company controls everything. Get prepared to wait and wait and wait on very long lines to get a taxi. And the taxi fare prices ... as high as New York City's.
You get the gist. ... Overall the cruise was okay, and just okay. Would I cruise NCL again? Probably not. ALL the entry level and mid level cruise lines do everything they possibly can to separate-you-from-your-money but, but, but, NCL has taken it to a whole new level. Eliminating every inch of public free air space and creating pay-to-enter venues. It is sincerely over the top. To the point of insultingly bad taste.
Why does my review matter, and you should take heed? Because I have taken over 40 cruises, have owned 3 full service travel agencies, and had done hundreds of ship inspections.
Bottom line - If you do not have ANY expectations of experiencing a "fabulous" cruise, and, and, and you can get yourself a fabulous blowout price then, okay, take this cruise. If not, DON'T!