Embarkation was a breeze.
The ship, although older, was nicely appointed. There were some obvious wear-and-tear issues with carpet in the cabin, but all in all, nice ship.
Food was great in the buffets and main dining rooms. We did visit the Italian specialty restarunt one night, which for a $10 fee was not bad.
No real complaints about the cabins (my wife and daughter were in 8146, an inside) other than the pull out sofa in our Ocean View room. It basically collapsed with me on it. I called reception, and after a few visits, we had a roll-away bed with a major dip in the middle. We ended up rolling up a blanket which was placed underneath a seconod thinner matress. I really couldn't get too upset about it as the crew was very timely and did the best they could with the situation.
Would have been nice to have had a flat screen tv, but no complaints. They had several channels that ran movies all the time (Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, etc).
The casino was beautiful, even though it did relieve me of some money. The broadway-style show was fun. I did seem a bit more like a really well-produced college musical, but still very enjoyable.
My 14 year old son loved the "free" room service so much that he ordered at least 3 times. Breakfast in the main buffet and outdoor cafe (aft, deck 11) was fantastic. We really enojyed the choices - made to order belgian waffles and omelettes - french toast, meats, eggs and fruit to die for.
One complaint - we NEVER found the lemonade that was supposedly available on board except in the Crossings dining room (which we paid for separately). I drank mainly iced tea and was happy with that.
This ship is one of NCL's smaller ones, but it is still massive. The staff was amazing. I no sooner finished a plate than it was gone. Our room stewards knew my name on sight.
John, our Cruise Director is an Aussie with more energy than my 2 papillons combined. He had a great attitude and really did try to get everyone involved in everything.
If you go to Great Stirrup Cay, which is quite nice, be sure to wear sandals. We found the limestone base under the sand to be a bit rough to walk on.
All in all, this is a nice ship and a wonderful first cruise. I had some concerns about seasickness, but none of us had a single issue. I even brought along the Transderm Scop patch for myself, but never even used one. On the way back to Miami (7/22), we did have some slight movement thanks to tropical storm Bonnie. It was literally behind us. Still, the ship was smooth and steady. The gentle rocking back and forth at night helped everyone sleep better.
One of my favorite spots was the Outrigger Lounge, forward on deck 11. Step outside from there and you are on the front rail of the ship. This was THE spot to be when we arrived or departed from a port. Being at sea was amazing. The constant breeze was refreshing, especially considering the temperature and humidity.
I think we will be repeat cruisers...maybe the Epic next time....