First, I wanted to give a background of who we are. We are late 30's couple with 2 boys ages 9 and 6. We cruise extensively and have cruised on RCCL, Disney, and one Carnival. This was our first NCL cruise and I have to say we had a great time!
Embarkation and Disembarkation was a breeze. On in less than 20 minutes and did express walk off with the same result. Might have been 20 minutes max.
Cabin: Had two connecting balcony staterooms on Deck 13 midship which were very comfy. Cabin steward was prompt and pleasant every time we saw him and took care of our needs. The only negative to the balcony cabins was how small those balconies actually were. This has been well documented so no need to go into it further. Also, balcony divider cannot be opened as there is nowhere to anchor the door to. Once you see it in person, you will understand what I am talking about.
Dining: Garden Café Buffet had a nice selection. To be honest, I am so not a buffet guy, but we enjoyed a lot of the selections there. Was never a mob scene and the crew did a good job keep the food fresh. Flamingo/Taste/Savor/O'Sheehans were good too. Ate at the Tropicana Room twice and reminded me of the traditional dining you see on RCCL ships. Good food, good service..can't complain. We enjoyed our meals at Tepanyaki and La Cucina as well. Good service and the show at the Tepanyaki was fun. Did the first night at the Ilusionarium which was super fun. The show was terrific and the food was fine. Overall, I give the food a GOOD rating. I have yet to have been on a ship where the food is AMAZING and that's after about 15 cruises under my belt.
Entertainment: We went to see Burn the Floor which was very fun and high energy. The Latin flare really fits in with ship's theme. Dancers and singers did a great job. Legally Blonde.. NCL can do better than this in my opinion. The movie was way more entertaining than this actual production. The signing and dancing was good, but it just did not flow well together. Can't put my finger on it, but just strictly my opinion. I know its not Broadway, but I think the other cruise lines present a better show. Didn't do the comedy show...seen one seen them all.
Activities: Ropes course was awesome! Walked the plank once at sea and once in port. A must do! Waterslides were great too. The whole family enjoy the Whip and the Family Slides. My wife and I like the Free Fall slides too. As well documented, the pools are small, crowded, and filled with salt water. My kids love to swim, but really never got in the whole week. Hopefully, they make some changes to open up the pool deck more on the Escape and Bliss that are due to come out the next few years. There is an endless amount of activities on the ship at all times. Too many to mention here.
Kids Club: My boys loved the kids club. The circus show was very well done and they loved being a part of it. The staff is very dedicated and always have a smile on their face. Great job Splash Academy!
Ports: We went to Maho Beach in St Martin which was super fun. It was $8/pp each way and the ride took about 30 minutes each way. There was only one other ship in port so it was nice. In St. Thomas, we went over to Coral World and then cabbed it back to downtown. We toured the old synagogue in St Thomas that is the second oldest in the Northern Hemisphere. So if you are a MOT, make sure you stop and see it. After that, we walked down the hill and visited our friend Pasch and Danny at Lucky Jewelers. Years ago they were recommended to us by people who have vacation homes on the island. After 4 trips there, we have purchased beautiful items from them each time. Cannot go wrong there (ask my wife)! In Nassau, we took a water taxi to Paradise Island. Saw Atlantis then got back on the ship. After going to Nassau about 10 times, it's really not that interesting anymore. Water taxi was $4pp each way. Taxis are the same price.
In conclusion, we had a fun time on this ship. The ship has a happy vibe to it and you will not be disappointed. Enjoy and have fun!