This was my 4th cruise on NCL and the most amazing by far. I traveled with my fiance (3rd NCL, 6th total), two close friends (both first cruises) one of their parents (also first cruise), my brother (first cruise) and my parents (6th Boston to Bermuda through NCL). We booked two rooms and squeezed 4 into each.
Embarkation- Embarkation was quick and easy, they changed the set up which seemed to make it a bit more chaotic and crowded. As we are latitudes members we were expecting to join the special check in line, as it turned out the regular guest check in was moving quicker. One of our party had lost his passport and had no issues checking in with his birth certificate. We checked in at one of the most busy times a bit after 1:00 pm and we were still on within 25 minutes. No problems
Rooms- We had both 6567 and 6067 both inside staterooms. It was a bit cramped for 4 people and not much room for luggage to be left out but we made it work and even spent some time just relaxing in the room. At some points we had 8 people in one room. One thing I was a bit surprised by was that there was only one bed that folded down from the wall and the other one was one that slid out from under the bed. It worked and we all slept OK each night. We also learned that to our surprise the chairs also pull out into a bed. In fact the first night we had 5 people sleeping in one of the rooms.
Food- The food was pretty good. we tried a few of the specialty restaurants. see below for reviews of each restaurant. We were traveling with a vegetarian and we were all impressed with the number of options she had. In fact in the raffles food court there was a vegetarian section.
Windows- the food at windows was just OK, the service was a bit worse on both occasions that I ate here. One of the people in our party really appreciated the cheese pasta dish.
Sushi- my fiance and his friend are both big sushi eaters. They went to the sushi restaurant on Saturday first full day at sea, and said it was amazing. The Godzilla roll was perhaps the best sushi they had ever eaten, the ice cream desert was just as good. The Miso soup was extremely hearty compared to the normal Miso soups that we have experienced. Sushi is generally pricey at home so for $15.00 per person it was well worth it. They had hoped to enjoy it once again, but unfortunately time ran out.
Blue Lagoon- this is a great idea to have food at any time. There is always that awkward time when you get hungry and nothing is open in between lunch and dinner. They were also very great at giving more than one order of whatever that you wanted. There were a few occasions when the guys in our group went in and ordered 3+ orders of wings and brought them back to the room. Overall the service and quality of the food was great. The spinach and artichoke dip was really good.
Raffles- was not much more than expected. You get sick of the same old thing all the time, and it did not spice it up much. I think that the most enjoyed part of raffles was the soft serve ice cream. I think the chef/staff could step up the selection a bit. No real complaints though.
Cagney's- AMAZING as expected. Everyone enjoyed their meals. The steaks were great and the cheesecake even better!
Entertainment- one word- UNBELIEVABLE!!! As previously stated this is my 4th NCL cruise and the entertainment staff was absolutely amazing even compared to good staff we had in the past. When we left the ship we felt as if we left good friends behind. There was never a dull moment and we looked forward to all activities put on by the crew. The folks that we dealt with alot and really appreciated are Paul Baya (cruise directory), Hamish (assistant cruise director), Louise, Francis, Nikki, and Dan. All of these people made us feel at home and involved. The pub crawl was great and so entertaining, you visit 6 different bars and get 6 different drinks for 25 dollars, we participated in both of these during the week and they were definitely a highlight of the week. We also participated in lots of the game shows, and guest activities. One big change we noticed about this cruise is that they do give away alot of free alcohol for participating in various activities. I really can't say enough about Paul and his staff, I hope to cruise with them again some day! We did have a few small complaints regarding the entertainment. Second city was not as good as seen in the past. The other small complaint we had is that we were looking forward to the adult quest game, and they did not have it. We had been talking it up all week and were dissapointed to find out they did not have it this cruise.
Service desk- We had quite a few problems with our room keys not working. All but 2 of us had to turn in our cards and some of us more than once. The other big concern I had with the service desk was the fact that we always tip by ourselves and remove the autogratuity at the end of the cruise as we would rather know that the tip's to the correct people. We were given quite a hard time on this we were told it was not possible and it was required, when it is not. We ended up having this removed after approximately 10 minutes of arguing. We later heard them doing the same thing with someone else telling them it was not possible. This should be removed.
Bermuda- This was my 3rd trip to Bermuda and by far the most dissapointing. The Island just doesn't seem the same anymore. The people are still very pleasant as always but the enviroment just doesn't seem the same. Not sure how to explain the details behind it, but its just how we felt after leaving the island.
overall, this cruise was the most amazing cruise we have yet to experience. Infact because of this we put a deposit on another one and hope to travel on the NCL EPIC in 2011.