I am married with one child - a 22 year old son. My husband and I both love traveling, although with our hectic schedules, we don't get to do as much as we would like. We have only cruised a few times, but we love it! This was our first time to cruise NCL, and we found there were many things we liked about the cruise line, and a few we didn't. Our son went with us and he had a great time as well.
Embarkation: It went smoothly. We had to wait an hour or so, but we expected that, so it was not a problem for us. We took the opportunity to sign up for "Photo Frenzy" while we were waiting and found it to be a great value. For $80.00 you could get all of the photos taken by NCL photographers during the cruise - we ended up with about 60 photos, a mixture of 8X10s and 5X7s. I would definitely sign up again for that.
The Ship: We thought the ship looked very beautiful. Everything was clean and tidy. The only thing I saw that showed the ship's age was a few cloudy windows that need to be replaced.
Our cabin: The room was small, but no smaller than most cabins and we found it to be comfortable. I didn't ask for mattress toppers, but we slept great - it is a good thing we like hard beds! The bathroom was surprisingly good - roomy and plenty of hot water.
Dining: This is where NCL lost points with us. We thought the food was okay, but nothing special. We liked Gardens better than Windows - Windows was prettier than Gardens, but we found that food was served more promptly and hotter in Gardens than Windows. We like Raffles for breakfast but we thought the food at Raffles at dinner was like any all-you-can-eat restaurant at home. I think the desserts were the weakest part of the meals - some were pretty good (warm souffle), some were bad (dry chocolate torte), but none were outstanding. Blue Lagoon had good chicken strips and fries. We never ate at any of the up-charge restaurants, so I can't comment on them.
Entertainment: We loved Second City, we watched all of their shows; we thought the magician and the comedian were entertaining; however, the NCL production shows were not very good. We also liked the group Prism from the Galaxy of the Stars lounge.
Ports: First stop - Costa Maya. We loved it - very pretty with a nice beach area for laying in a hammock or relaxing in a chaise lounge. Not all that crowded, as I believe a lot of people took shore excursions. We took a taxi to the little town of Mahahual.
We walked around the street and ate outdoors at El Faro's. It was yummy! Second stop was Santo Tomas De Castilla. We took the NCL excursion of Quiriqua and the Dulce River. We had a great guide named Fernando, we loved him. He is a college student who graduates this year and then wants to open his own tour company. Look for it in the future - he plans to call it Guatemalan Quest. Third stop: Belize City. We also took a shore excursion to the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha. It was very interesting, but our guide Anthony wasn't as enthusiastic about his job as was Fernando in Guatemala. We also had a boat ride down the Old Belize river and it was great - we saw monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas, dolphins, manatees, and bats. It was a much better boat trip than the one in Guatemala - that one was sort of boring. Last port: Cozumel. We did not take a shore excursion since we had been in Cozumel a couple of times before. This time we just wandered in and out of the shops and ate at Poncho's Backyard. Very good.
Disembarkation: We did not chose to walk off the ship early, simply because we had a lot of luggage. (I really need to work on my packing skills.) We had to wait until our luggage tag color was called, but it all went smoothly.
We had a wonderful week, and now that I have laundry caught up, I would be ready to go again. Time to start planning our next cruise!