*Embarkation: We left out of JFK (where we had an hour delay) but arrived at MIA only 10 minutes later then estimated. We got our luggage and took a taxi to the Port of Miami...it's only $24 flat rate from the airport to the port. Once we arrived at port, our porter tagged our luggage and we got into the Latitudes line. It took about 20 minutes until we were onboard. As soon as we walked onboard, we were greeted and handed a glass of champagne..yum! We did a little wandering, and then headed up to deck 11. I suggest having lunch at iL Agagio (they serve pasta & pizza for lunch free of charge). It wasn't crowded at all, unlike the buffet which was crazy! After lunch we sat out by the pool until 1:45 then went down to our cabin (Deck 10 - inside stateroom 0342) and changed into our bathing suits which we packed in our carry-ons. From that point on we lounged out by the pool and hot tubs and had the BBQ (so good) at the Sail Away Party.
*Room: We had a typical inside stateroom. People will say it's small but it was perfectly fine for the two of us. There was enough room to hang our clothes, store our luggage and put stuff in the 3 drawers in the closet. The bathroom was fine too. There are shelves on either side of the sink which are great, and soap, shampoo and body wash are all provided. We also received 2 towel animals at night, very cute :)
*Food/Dining: We ate breakfast every morning on Deck 11 at the Outdoor Cafe. The lines are A LOT shorter then the inside buffet. (Beware of the seagulls when you're in Nassau and GSC!) The omelets are SO good!! We did lunch at the indoor Garden Cafe buffet (the lines are like any other buffet...so be patient) or at the Poolside BBQ (really good burgers!). For dinner we dined at Crossings Main Dining Room. Our first night we had a great seat, along the window and saw a beautiful sunset. The food was really good...if offered, try the escargot....SO good! The surf and more surf entree is good as well, and I have always been a fan of their caesar salad. We didnt do any of the specialty restaurants, however I have been on the NCL Dawn and have dined at Cagney's Steakhouse...if you want a good steak I do recommend paying the surcharge and making a reservation. We ordered room service every night, it's free so why not (haha)....the cheesecake is fantastic! The drinks can get a little expensive, but we were able to get some pretty good deals. Buckets of Beer of the way to go (in my mind) between $20 and $24 for 6 beers. We also took advantage of the 2 for 1 Mojitos in the Atrium lounge. AND I would HIGHLY recommend doing the Margarita Tasting at Captain Cook's Bar. It's $15 per person, but you get to try about 6 different types of margaritas...and they come in a pretty good size glass. We ended up having about 15 between the 2 of us because the bartender would make extras. It is well worth the $15!
*Staff/Shows: We had the privilege of having Matt Baker as our cruise director. OMG he is the absolute BEST! We always had a "good" time and he made the trip even more enjoyable. He is a very talented and gifted person. "wikiwikiwahh" :) The assistant Matt was great too...the shows he hosted were hysterical! We had a celebrity guest DJ, DJ Von.com...he was really good. The staff was all very friendly and personable. I would definitely recommend going to the Welcome Onboard Show the first night...very entertaining. We also went to the Perfect Couple Game Show (if you dont mind being a little crazy and possibly a little embarrassed, then volunteer to be a contestant!) The Newlywed, Not So Newlywed show is hilarious. We did the Soul Rockin' Nights the last night of the cruise as well. It was good, if you're into "broadway type" shows, definitely check it out. We had the best comedian, Tim Kaminski. OMG he is hysterical! Here's a pointer, if you dont want to be called up, or rather forced up (haha) then sit up top at the Stardust Theater...but DEFINITELY go see his shows!! The only downside to the shows were on the last night. We had planned on doing the Soul Rockin' Nights at 8:30 and then heading up to Outriggers for the Open Mic Comedy show at 9:30 and the Quest gameshow for 10 (also at Outriggers) However, when the show was over at 9:15, we got up to Deck 12 in plenty of time, only to find it was completely packed and there was NO where to sit...it was unfortunate because we had been looking forward to seeing Quest the entire trip. I would suggest if you want to see these 2 shows, to skip the show in the Theater and just wait upstairs..or they should hold it at a bigger venue, because it was definitely very popular. The night time parties are a lot of fun. The White Hot Party up on the pool deck was awesome, ice sculptures, snow...def a good time. We went to the South Beach Party on the pool deck too. Music, dancing...everyone have a "Good" time...we hung out in the hot tubs...love it!
*Ports: Our first stop was Grand Bahama Island, Freeport. To be honest, I would have rather had a sea day. It is very industrial when you get off the boat. The only way to get to the beach is by taxi or to rent a scooter. If you are not doing a shore excursion, I suggest staying on board and relaxing. We went to Nassau the next day. DEFINITELY a shopping day. Lots of shops and straw markets. We stopped by Senor Frogs and then took a taxi for $4 per person over to the Atlantis. It really is beautiful there. We actually walked back to the ship over the bridge. It was actually a nice walk and only took about 40 minutes before we were back onboard. The final port was at NCL's private island Great Stirrup Cay. I LOVE it there. Since the ship anchors at sea, we took the tender boat over to the island about 9:15am. We went over to the left side and were able to get 2 lounge chairs with an umbrella. (If you want either of those, I HIGHLY suggest getting off the boat as early as possible..by 11am, the majority of lounge chairs were taken.) We also took 2 small chairs and sat them in the water. It's beautiful....crystal clear and the fish will swim right up to you. We visited the straw market on the island and had lunch at the GSC BBQ buffet...typical BBQ food, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, potato salad...and pizza lol. There is music, activities and bar service on the island as well.
*The Ship: The ship itself is beautiful. Very clean, tropical decorations and in good shape. I would recommend this trip to anyone.