We had previously sailed on the Norwegian Sky in July 2008 and decided to set up a similar vacation this year. Due to our limited time off we decided to book the 3-day Bahamas cruise this year in June (2009). We booked an balcony stateroom for about $340 pp. Prior to departure I tried to get upgraded to a suite or higher but all NCL said they could do was just put us in an aft cabin in the highest deck. This was alright, but I really had my eye on a suite. Luckily, about a week prior to leaving NCL contacted us for another potential upgrade. We told them we were only interested in a suite and would really like an Owner's suite (the one with the whirlpool on it's balcony). Sure enough there were a few left and we got it for next to nothing. We ended up paying the same price we did for this cabin as a standard balcony only a year ago (about $600 pp, only $150 additional to our current fare). Score!
Once we arrived at the Port of Miami we had priority check-in. This area has it's own staff and a diningroom if you get to the port early you can eat breakfast. You meet the concierge at this area and your personal butler. The concierge scoots you through any of the long lines and you are on the ship in no time at all. Once aboard, you get a VIP lunch at the steakhouse, Cagney's (no cover). Cagney's is also opened exclusively for suites for breakfast.
Next we checked out our room. It was quite large and had sufficient amenities. It has a full bath and 1/2 bath for guests, multiple closets, including a walk-in, and considerable storage. The decor is a bit dated and could use an overhaul but was well appointed. There is a 30+ flatscreen in the living area, portable telephone, dining area, Pullman bed, cappucino/tea/coffee pod machine, fully stocked FREE bar (sodas, waters etc refilled daily), 3 complimentary liter bottles of alcohol of your choice, 1 bottle of champagne, and hors d'oevours. A fresh flower bouquet and chocolate covered strawberries were also delivered. There were bath salts, toiletries, cosmetics, slippers, and robes in the bathroom. In the bedroom there was a small 19 inch LCD tv, laptop, and portable telephone. Our deck faced forward and was two decks below the bridge. The deck has chaise lounges, table and chairs, and of course the whirlpool (fit's 4-6 adults). I wasn't entirely pleased with the cleanliness, or lack thereof, of the spa or bathrooms and asked them to re-clean them (I'm not a fan of someone else's curlies in my bathwater!). Our butler personally called the head of housekeeping to reclean our room and in the future only the head housekeeper would be tending to our needs. The butler makes your reservations for you and makes sure your room is fully stocked with coffee, tea, sodas, water, etc.. He is also your cabin steward and makes the bed and resupplies the cabin. We had full access to a DVD library at no charge and had VIP access for disembarkation at ports.
We booked the mini-sub experience at Nassau and had a mixed experience. My sub was broken and lost all air immediately. My tank was refilled within minutes but the machine was incredibly loud and appeared to have had a dead battery (it was changed as soon as they pulled me and the defunct craft out of the water). Needless to say, I was a little freaked out and decided to just snorkel. I left a lengthy note to NCL cruise excursions to warn them of this excursion in the future. I was discounted about 15% for the excursion and comped a dinner at Cagney's. I thought this was fair but still hope they get the real issues addressed about this particular excursion.
Regardless, NCL does a fabulous job if you are a Suite guest. Unfortunately, there is a huge contrast to how one is treated in this category versus a balcony or lower category. I'm hoping that in the future they treat all guests with such enthusiasm and care. In sum, I think with all the extra services and attention we were served it was totally worth the extra money we paid for the upgrade!!
I wouldn't recommend the mini-sub experience from Stuart's Cove.