Where do I begin?? Me and my mother decided on a cruise to celebrate our milestone birthdays, 30 & 50. I had cruised NCL three times before and was super excited to sail with them again since me and my husband had great service in the past. Unfortunately, I can not say the same with the cruise. From the time we deported from Miami to when we returned. We had very rocky seas everynight. I know that we can not control the weather but I thought for sure that we had better stability control then what we had. I have never been on a cruise this rocky before. Because the wind and waves were so bad the captain decided the day before in Nassau that we would not be going to the private island. We stayed the night in Nassau and left out at 8 the next morning for a day at sea. Which we weren't too disappointed we just wanted sunny weather somewhere!
Food: The first night we ate at the Palace Restaurant and the food was just ok. I had prime rib and wonton soup. The prime rib was alright and the wonton soup was more like beef ramon noodle soup. I had the no sugar cheesecake and this was awful. It was like jello pudding, I do not recommend trying it. Anything no sugar = no taste! The second night we did Le Bistro. The food sounded amazing on the menu but it was very disappointing. The scallops were good but the lobster was so rubbery and appeared to be cooked outside the shell. I could not believe this since we paid a $25 cover charge and then an extra $10 to have the lobster - that our waiter recommended. The service was ok. The dinner took 2 hours and we felt like we were being greatly overlooked when getting our food so slowly. The crapes did not come with a fruit so I asked our waiter if he could add it for me. Silly me, I thought they would bend over backwards for me. Nope, he said no. So, when his assistant waitress came to take our dessert order I asked her the same and she said "yes, not a problem"! Well, at that point I just fuming at the waiter. For them to want an addt'l tip is a JOKE!! I mean, I thought that is why we pre-paid $12 per person per day? The third night we did the Crossings Restaurant and it was awful and very cold. The service was very slow and the waiter was overwhelmed with all the people he had to service. Needless to say we ran into the same couples from the Crossings restuarant at the upstairs buffet trying to get something decent to eat! The fourth night we did Cagneys Steakhouse. That night was decided last minute and didn't have reservations. The went to the hostess and told her what kind of service we've been having on the cruise and asked if she could fit us in ASAP since we were pretty hungry (it was 8pm). I know it was our fault for not making reservations but she was very accommodating. She got us a table in 15 min. We were so happy and impressed!! The food was fabulous and the service was excellent. The crab cakes, 5 oz fillet, lobster bisque, and NY cheesecake were all great! They even let us take the dessert to go since we were soo stuffed. It was well worth the $25 cover charge. Unfortunately, NCL has failed badly in the food category. I believe since they offer the speciality cover charge restaurants they serve terrible food in the "free" ones so you'll pay extra for good food. That is misleading for the passenger since when you book a cruise it is all supposed to be included in the price. The Breakfast and Lunch were good. We loved the omelet station in the Italian restaurant. At least we got to fill up on good food at the beginning/middle of the days to carry over into the evening. If you love crepes, go the the buffet at night where they have a crepe station. Very good!!
The Plantation Club was very good. Loved the atmosphere and the drinks. The only thing is they bring out both of the martini's at the same time with the 2 for 1 martini special. I had the Raspberry Tarte and it was very good!
Entertainment: The entertainment was ok. The first show "Soul Shakers" was very loud and ok. The best was the Newlywed/Not so Newlywed Game Show. We loved Matt, the cruise director. His singing and British antics always kept us cracking up. The entertainment at the pool was good too. Outdoor areas: This ship seems to allow smoking anywhere. We are non smokers and being around smoke makes my sinus's act up. Needless to say, we couldn't escape it. I couldn't believe this since the last cruise we went on had a designated smoking area and they were very strict about enforcing the rules. We still ate outdoors and laid around the pool but had to move a couple times because of this. The weather on the cruise was cold and very windy so naturally most everybody wanted to be in the hot tub. However, they had 4 hot tubs on the cruise but 2 of them were out of order the whole cruise. Sorry, I don't understand this. There were 2200 passengers on the cruise and 2 hot tubs. That is unacceptable in my book.
Room Service: This was excellent. Our room steward was awesome and accommodated all our requests. However, we had a balcony stateroom and the door to the balcony was never cleaned. We were also disappointed by the size of the room. It was small. I was shocked since we had cruised NCL before in Alaska and had a balcony room and do not remember it being soo small. I believe it is because this is one of the older ships and that is why it has smaller rooms and elevators. The bed was also hard so beware. I have back issues and it started acting up the past 2 nights and my mother who has not issues was having a sore back. We had two outlets in the whole stateroom. The one in the bathroom was broken so that left us with one. Well, that was not acceptable since we have cell phone chargers, flat irons, blowdryers and ipods. We had room service every morning and most of the time they were late. So, if you want food at 8am, order it for 7:30am. The TV channels are very lacking. We had maybe 12 channels with 7 NCL. Due to the weather on this cruise we were in a stateroom a good bit and were really aggravated with our lack of channels. We didn't even have the weather channel!
The disembarking was very good. Only took us 30 min from getting off the ship to getting a taxi to the airport. We got off at 9am and did the walk off with our luggage. Sorry NCL but the next time I cruise it will be with another cruise line.