EMBARKATION: Excellent in Boston. We live on the South Shore (about 20 minutes from Boston) and we had our friend drive us to the ship. I am a single Mom who went on a cruise for the first time as my son was graduating from college in the next 3 weeks and we were having a huge celebration as a family then, but my sister and I decided to celebrate in advance !. We arrived at the ship around 1PM and it was very smooth - a bit of a line but that was just fine. We found very courteous staff at the gangway to also help us to our room
CABIN: We booked a balcony and we were very impressed with the size of the cabin (this was our first cruise so we really weren't sure what to expect ). Our room steward was wonderful. His name was Rey and he did everything he could to accomodate us. He always said that he wanted to do more..but there really was nothing more he could do throughout the cruise. We had packed lightly as we always do - we heard NCL was more relaxed about dress, so we only brought a few evening outfits - so everything fit in our cabin perfectly.
FOOD: Well, where do we begin ? On the first night we went to the regular dining room (Windows) which is so beautiful as is the whole ship. We learnt later that it had been a ship that had its origins in the Eastern part of the world, which is evident around the whole vessel. As the cruise progressed we went to several of the "extra charge" restaurants which were in my sister's and my estimation well worth it. The Asian restaurant was amazing and Maitre'd was so accomodating, even when my sister spilt soy sauce all over her dress ! We loved the sushi and the atmosphere. We did try one other specialty restaurant and that was the Bistro where a wonderful waiter named Horace took care of us. Overall the food was as good as we have had in our own city. We ate breakfast in the regular buffet restaurant and just avoid the scrambled eggs as they were always cold. The man that made the omlettes however was very nice - all the crew were really great. We only saw the Captain once but we made sure we took our photo with him. As I said, we wanted to do it all.
ENTERTAINMENT: Because this was our first cruise we really wanted to experience everything so we didn't relax much. We loved all of the shows, but the highlight of every evening was going in to a bar named Champagne Charlie's. We would start our night with a martini made by the nice bartender (we even went to his martini tastings) and a duo called Margie and Sam would entertain. She has the voice of an angel. Really amazing. I mean REALLY exceptional. She even made a special recording for my son for his graduation as our song is " Wind Beneath My Wings". I will never forget her kindness, or that of her duo partner Sam who played the guitar and bass. Very sweet people. After they finished every night some old man with a hat came on and we always left. We don't mean to be disrespectful, but the quality went down because of his terrible singing. We then went to the shows which we loved. Second City, a comedy troupe was great and the magicians were fabulous. This was the highlight of our trip - the entertainment. We saw it all. We just loved the show that the crew put on at the end as well. The nice cruise director also was just fantastic.
OVERALL: This was our first cruise, but it won't be our last. We loved the fact that we could eat at any time, have great entertainment and I felt like a queen. I guess I was an extra good mood because of my son's graduation but I will definitely cruise NCL again.
PORTS OF CALL: Bermuda was so beautiful and we took advantage of the ferry ride to Hamilton. We just loved the snorkel park as well and the information booth was so helpful.