We got to the port early and after dropping off our luggage proceeded in to be greeted with a drink, sandwich and cookies from the NCL staff. We ate and went to sign in, showed our passports, got our pictures taken and got our ship cards with no waiting at all. We were given a number after that and sat in the waiting room with a copy of the New York Times to relax with. About 12:30 or so they began to call groups to go onboard. Within no time our number was called and we went on board and were greeted with champagne. What a way to start a vacation!
Even though people were directed to go to Raffles to eat we went to Windows to have a sit down lunch. We had a wonderful relaxing lunch and then went to explore the ship. We carried our bathing suits with us so we changed and went swimming in the salt water pool (we brought our own towels from home) There is nothing like swimming around a pool looking up at those great skyscrapers.
We had an inside cabin that we selected as I have a propensity for motion sickness. However between the sea sickness patch and a careful selection of the room (5th deck-center of the ship) I had no trouble at all. The room was a perfect size for two people even though it had beds for 3 or 4. 3 or 4 would have been cramped but for 2 it was fine. Our room stewards we saw every day. They were so friendly and cleaned the rooms at least twice a day.
We basically ate at Windows and Garden every day. My husband and I were very happy with the food and the service was impeccable. The wings for a late night snack was excellent. The chocolate buffet was amazing though crowded. People raved about Cagney's but I don't like the idea of having to pay yet more money to eat at a specialty restaurant. I think NCL needs to change to a true all inclusive ship. Raffles had a nice breakfast buffet. Overall it was a nice dining experience. As it was just the two of us we never had to wait for a table and frequently got table by the window.
The shows at night were great. Second City is an amazing group of talented people and the magician was incredible. I liked the musical show as well as the radio tunes show. The crew show the last night was terrific as well. The only show I was not that impressed with was the stand up comedian.Darren the cruise director had just the right amount of enthusiasm. It was very entertaining and with the free style cruising we were able to eat and have plenty of time to see the show when we wanted to,
In Cocoa Beach we went on the excursion to the beach and the Holiday Inn pool. We wanted to do the Black Trail wildlife excursion but it was canceled because they didn't get enough people to sign up. They also cancelled the trips with the pontoon boat as they said the boat was broken. I think they should have run the Black Trail excursion anyway since some of us prefer nature excursions and it would make for good customer service. The beach and pool excursion was enjoyable but I could have just rented a cab and went to Cocoa beach on my own. Overall the beach was beautiful . In Nassau we jumped into a cab with others and went to Cabbage Beach. After a short walk we were at the beach and enjoyed the warm seas and gorgeous weather. They had banana boats, parasailing, etc at the beach. After enjoying the water we went back to town and went to some stores and the Straw market. The day was great. With our last stop, Grand Bahama Island I had asked the reception desk what the taxi would charge to go to Xanadu Beach and they told me it was $14 a person. I figured then it was going to be $56 for my husband and I to go to the beach for the few hours we were in port and figured it wasn't worth it. I decided to go shopping on the pier as I saw some shops. When I finished up shopping a couple with their kids happened to be nearby and asked a driver how much it was to go to the beach and he said $5 a person. I then asked an NCL employee and he verified it was only $5. I was annoyed because of the misinformation the reception desk gave out. I would have definitely have gone to the beach. Valuable lesson - get off the ship early and asked the taxi driver instead of the reception desk. I liked meeting the local people in the shops but hands down would have gone straight to the beach if I had known. Trip back was enjoyable and relaxing. We saw dolphins jumping near the ship.
I went to the casino a few times to throw money at the slots. It was small but nice. We used the library and read some books. I also took advantage of the 6 minitreatments for $99 at the spa the first day at sea. It was so relaxing and definitely worth it. Great service and was such a treat!
Disembarkation was smooth as we choose to leave in the last group. We took our time eating breakfast- had an extra cup of coffee and sat on deck. I can't wait for my next vacation!