Bording the ship was a total disaster and disorganized. It took hours waiting in line before boarding ship. The baggage handlers were obnixious, rude and threw the luggage around like garbage being tossed into the back of a sanitation truck.
After finally boarding the ship we were able to see a beautiful view of Manhattan, passed in front of the Statue of Liberty and sailed under the Verazano Bridge. Had I known this was the only enjoyable part of the cruise, I would have saved myself alot of money and taken a Circle Line ferry.
We went away with friends, together our children are 7 yrs, 8 yrs, 9 yrs (going to be 10 in three weeks) and 11 yrs. The kids club was divided into age groups 6-9 and 10-12. When we went to sign the kids up for the kids club we were advised that the 9yr old who was going to be 10 in three weeks would not be allowed in the 10-12 age group and the 11yr old would not be allowed to go down to the 6-9 age group. We purposly went away with friends to enjoy each others company and now after spending thousands of dollars to be together, we were told my 11 yr old daughter should spend the cruise alone by herself. For a matter of three weeks NCL ruined our entire vacation b/c we were unable to put the kids in the kids club we spent every minute with them with no activities for them. The only thing on the entire ship that was offered was the kids club or the salt water pool. How much time can you spend in a salt water pool? The kids were bored and we were stressed. However, they did play "Horton Hears a Who" at 10:00 at night - why couldn't they offer the kids something to do during the day? The Cruise Director Darren told us that if he put the girls together "a lawyer would sue him in five mins." I am unaware of any law that prohibits a 9 year old from being with an eleven year old. However, I would assume that there are laws prohibiting smoking in non-designated areas and I would assume that NCL would be concerned with the saftey and well being of 3000 people aboard. NOT SO! People were allowed to smoke in the hallways and staterooms with no windows. Every time I walked into the hallway it reaked of smoke and I am allergic to smoke and my son has asthma. My friend ended up with asmatic bronchitis. However, Darren the cruise director did not care about this issue nor did he do anything to rectify it. He also didn't care about the toddlers running around the disco at 2:00 in the morning while the parents were loaded. These very important safety regulations were completely disregarded but as long as they kept the 9 year olds and the 11 year olds separated, everything is fine in NCL's eyes. Good work Sherlock!!! They also did not care that two teenage boys were stealing money from five year olds in the arcade.
The excursions were horrible and expensive. We went on an excursion entitled "Sun and Fun" it should have been called "Tenament City". Yes friends for a mere $140.00 per family you can be wisked away to an abandoned Holiday Inn which now houses monthly rentals and is falling apart. There you can use their dirty pool, sit on their rotted lounge chairs and catch a disease from their dirty bathroom. Then its off to beautiful Coco Beach but in order to get a chair you need $20.00 per chair which is another $80 for a family of four. You also can go to Atlantis for $400.00 for three hours (Although you can see the hotel right from the ship it takes you over an hour to get there). Our last tour Junkanoo beach - the name says it all- is not your typical Carribean beach. There was huge piles of seaweed across the beach, a broken rake in the middle of one of the piles, broken glass and water that you can't see your feet in. The best part of this trip is that they give you a catered lunch made in a make shift kitchen which looked like a fifty year old public parks bathroom. They also promise you three free Bahamma Mammas or soda. However, when you ask for the soda, you are told you have to pay for it and it's $10.00 for two cans of soda split amongst four cups.
The food was inferior. Much of the food was ethnic or just plain wierd like cold peach soup. We asked for the shrimp cocktail and were given tiny shrip the size you would make shrimp salad from. It was tossed with sauce and served in a cup. We paid an extra $80 to eat at Cagneys Steak House where we were served instant mashed potatoes.
The only other good thing about the ship besides scenic NY was the Second City comedy shows and the magic shows. That is the only good thing I can say about this cruise.
They even sank so low they were doing raffles. Of course, the grand prize wasn't won until the last night - I'm sure that happens on every cruise.
Trust me Go Royal Carribean - I've been on it twice and it's like comparing a fine steak house to McDonalds or STAY HOME!!!!!!!