My son, 4 years, and I went on a quick trip to the Bahamas... Embarkation was a breeze as always. Even with a slower than usual check in agent we were aboard in 15 minutes. No champagne on embarkation, why? The ship is still very nice and clean, however the layout leaves much to be desired. Sometimes you have to go up a deck to get to the other end of the ship. I like the Bar City concept on the Jewel and Jade much better than the cramped bars in the atrium. The decor is still Hawaiian and I hope it never changes!
We only ate in the main dining rooms this trip because I already paid for my meals and find it insulting to have to pay extra to eat at one of their "specialty" restaurants. Even more annoying is the fact that not all food in the "specialty" restaurants is covered in the extra fee. I mean really? another couple bucks for the lobster? (by the way you will not find lobster in the main dining's). All that being said the food was rather good, better than it's been on the last 3 NCL trips I have been on. The buffet was the usual madness. We used the back deck as there was much less traffic to fight.
Freeport was nice. We went to Lucayan beach and tried to enjoy the sun whenever it popped out from behind the clouds. My son had a blast getting buried in the sand and playing with the other kids on the beach. Nassau was Nassau, I took my son over to the aquarium at Atlantis. Overpriced is the word at Atlantis. When we got back to the ship I went to the splash zone on the front of the ship and had to deal with a bunch of adults who had usurped the hot tub. I understand the other tubs were full but I was actually playing by the rules and using the designated kids zone. No private island, again. How many times to I have to try before I get the perfect weather? I tried the pool deck but had to put on my sweat pants and jacket to stay warm, when the band started up four feet away I went elsewhere. Disembarkation was a snap, we walked right off and caught a cab to the airport.
My son enjoyed the kids club, they are only free from 7pm-10:30pm so I was in bed early almost every night. The entertainment was so-so. The songs were performed adequately but didn't wow me. The comedian must have been funny because everyone else was laughing... Bruce Crichton was the best onboard entertainment, he plays solo guitar and had a huge catalog of songs. The tips are ridiculous! 17% "for your convenience" on every bar drink? My favorite is the "Service Charges" applied to your room, $12/day per person. Let's do some math, twelve dollars per day times two thousand passengers times four nights.... $96k? Oh yeah don't forget no juice except at breakfast.... Next there will be a cover charge to get a lounge chair on the pool deck...
As background I spent almost a month at sea with NCL last year due to all the cruises we have been on. Room categories from the courtyard suite down to an inside cabin, I know what I am getting into but the devil is in the details as they say.