The embarkation was good. We were greeted by our complimentary champagne and samples from the specialty restaurants. There were a few things that I did not like. We were told that we would be escorted to our room. That didn't happen; and we were one of the first people on this ship, boarding at noon. As a matter of fact, when we found our room, it wasn't even ready yet. We were told that it wouldn't be ready until 2. If it weren't for cruising before, we would've been totally lost! When we got to the room, there was no map of the ship. On Carnival, we were escorted AND there was a map provided. I also didn't like the way the casino was set up. The only way you could "cash out" is if you won $25 on their card. Otherwise, you have to use it as credit on your next cruise with NCL. I must say, this will most likely be my last cruise with NCL so, that was a no-go. I finally figured out a way to play with cash. The workers were no help in trying to help me figure that out. I can say one good thing though. The drinks were stiff! Since I am a mojito drinker, the 2-for-1 mojitos were great! They had that two nights that I recall. You can also make dinner reservations for any of the specialty restaurants a day in advance. We were allowed to do it two days in advance one time, but only because it was the first night AND we had a balcony suite. The suite, by the way, is smaller than Carnival's. Also, when you cruise Carnival, the balcony suite is considered VIP so, you get to "cut" in line. We also had an escort to our room on Carnival. I did find that Carnival had better dining options and better overall customer service, which I will detail later.
Day 2 we were supposed to go to Freeport. Instead, we spent most of the day at sea and went to Nassau due to the weather. That didn't bother me. You can't help the weather; and I'd rather be safe than sorry. The thing that ruined it for me was that we asked all the alcohol be taken from our room and filled with bottled water. To cut a long story short, it took hours after several calls and final visit to the reception desk; and we are not complainers. We are very laid back people, just blessed to have the finances to do something like this, especially twice! The Italian restaurant, Il Adagio, is ON POINT! The food and service are excellent in there. Also, if you drink at all, make sure to buy some Hennessey Pure White. It cannot be purchased in America. But make sure you keep it to a 2 bottle/person max. Customs will get you! The people running the gift shop will tell you otherwise though so, please be careful.
Day 3 we went to Nassau. It was definitely jacket weather, but Atlantis is beautiful. For first time cruisers, it is cheaper to do an "excursion" on your own, once you're off the boat. Of course, for safety reasons, if you're doing anything involving water activities, it's probably best to book your excursions with NCL. Neither my husband or I swim so, we limit ourselves to site seeing and food. This night, we did the French restaurant, Le Bistro. Horrible! The service is S-L-O-W! We had planned on doing a "game show" after dinner. Dinner took so long, the game show was actually over by the time we finished. The food was mediocre. I don't recommend that restaurant.
Day 4 we went back to Freeport. The weather was very nice. It was "cold" to the locals, but I had a spaghetti strap sundress on and was fine. And I stay cold. We had dinner at the Cagney's Steakhouse on board. AWESOME! One of the best dining experience I've had; and I LOVE to eat out! Service was excellent! They sung happy birthday to me and my husband. (Don't pay for a cake. You get a complimentary one for free. Find out about it at the reception desk area where they make the restaurant reservations.) The complimentary cake isn't the best tasting, but it's the thought, right? Our server was terrific. Everytime we ordered something, she would say, "aaand...". It was hilarious, but she made SURE we ordered everything we wanted to try, without making us seem greedy. It worked! They almost had to roll us out of there when we were finished. I think my only "complaint" about the steakhouse is that I ordered my filet mignon medium well. It was kind of dry. Otherwise, dinner was a solid 9.5.
Disembarking was much easier than Carnival. I will give them that. There is no specific time to get off, as long as you carry your own luggage. You have until 10 to get off; and you can leave your bags in your room while you grab breakfast. No leaving your luggage out the night before and having them grab it just before you realize you packed your toothbrush. It was quick and organized.
Overall, we still had fun. How can you be in the Bahamas and not have a good time, even in January? We just prefer Carnival. Next stop, Royal Caribbean!