My husband (43) and I (44) cruised NCL for the 1st time. We wanted to compare our experience on NCL to our experience on RCCL last yr. Here is a detailed review:
Parking: Parking is a bit insane. You drive up the ramp and are then told to make a u-turn in this tiny area..Thankfully we had my husband's small sports car.. The parking fee $210 is paid up front for the duration.
Baggage Check Area: Horrible.. No direction whatsoever.. We had to leave our car parked in front to seek out someone to take our bags.. All the while this guy is screaming for parked cars to be moved, yet their employees weren't being attentive enough to take bags, thus eliminating the need to park your car!
Embarkation: Not too bad, although we were given the wrong room keys.. Don't know how that happened since she verified our names BEFORE issuing the keys..We were on the ship within 45 minutes...Oh we arrived around 10:45, and had our picture taken around 11:15..On the ship by noon.
Ship: Compared to RCCL Majesty of the Seas, this ship is gorgeous. The atrium was absolutely breathtaking. A) Tip- Head to the Venetian (Deck 7) for lunch.. No crowd, great food.. Everyone else will be rushing to eat at the Garden Cafe buffet :) B) Tip- Pick up sea sickness pills at front desk upon boarding ship. These are tiny miracle pills and eliminate the need to use those irritating patches.
C) Room- Our room was ready while we were dining at the Venetian. Our luggage came within 1hr of being in our room. The room layout is nicer than Majesty of the Seas..Bathroom was much larger as well.. The room had a stinky stench though as if the carpets needed cleaning.. This stench stayed the entire cruise but got lighter everyday.. D) Room Steward- Never saw the person (male/female).. Cleaned room to our satisfaction but left towel animals only 3 days of the 7 day cruise..This was disappointing too us.. E) Pool - Not large enough. We felt that the pool itself was rather small for the ship capacity.. They have a lovely indoor heated lap pool (Spa), but at $150 per couple we passed on it.. Food: Buffet was as to be expected.. Some good food, some not so good.. Made to order omelets and waffles were the highlight.. Venetian ~ Lunch was much better than dinner..The lobster and steak were both overcooked the one evening we ate there.. The Warm Apple Bread Pudding dessert was the best!!! Aqua~ Atmosphere not as nice as Venetian.. Same exact menu though.. Food was just ok. Salsa - $10pp cover charge..In our opinion this bogus Mexican food was inedible.. Do not waste your money.
Drinks: Bucket of beer $32.50..Buy 5 get 6.. They bug the heck out of you the entire cruise to buy these buckets..We passed!
Entertainment: WONDERFUL!! Hubby and I were in the Not-So-Newlywed Game Show and had a ball.. Next night hubby was picked for the Dancing with the NCL Stars Show, again had a ball..Next night hubby again was picked this time for Magic Show (wonderful wonderful show)..All white party was also a hit, as well as Dave Heenan's comedy show and Bollywood... The only disappointment was Ray-Ray the assistant cruise director..He just seemed like he didn't want to be there..Shona was just ok...
Port: Water was gorgeous.Weather was wonderful all three days.. We went to Snorkel Beach (no charge)..Rented chairs for the day $10 pp, and just relaxed..Night time entertainment in Bermuda is nil... Ferry and bus system was adequate and worth every penny.. Shopping in Bermuda was pricey imo..Make sure to visit the Rum Factory and get your rum cake.. Another recommendation is the local drink (Dark n Stormy)..This is Ginger Beer mixed with Dark Rum..WOW...
Disembarkation: We chose the latest time to be off the ship..Went very quickly.. MAKE SURE TO HAVE A PORTER ASSIST YOU WITH YOUR LUGGAGE AT BAGGAGE CHECK... No line no waiting if you have a porter..You simply walk right up to Customs desk and voila, done!!
Customs~ Quick and painless.. We bought back more than 1 litre of alcohol per person and documented this on our customs form..Officer never checked our bags..
Overall, we would sail the Dawn again but probably not to Bermuda...