I stayed at the Courtyard Miami Beach Oceanfront hotel for one night before the cruise. The day of embarkation, I took a taxi to the port which was very simple. By noon, I was on the ship. I was a solo traveler and I really liked the room. It is however, really just for one person. The shower was a bit small so if you are a little on the overweight side might be a little difficult to do things like shave your legs. Unfortunately, we had a little flood the first night and I ended up being moved to an inside room along with others. NCL was wonderful and cleaned my luggage and clothing. They also provided everyone with a free bottle of wine and dinner at a specialty restaurant. I also found a $200 credit on my bill the final morning. This was something beyond their control and they did everything to accommodate us. I didn't let this one experience ruin my vacation.
This ship is beautiful on the inside and outside. I couldn't believe how large it was. I really enjoyed the living room and it was great that someone from the cruise directors staff actually came down every night at 5:30 and did activities or organized dinners/shows for the group to attend. It was very easy to meet other solo travelers so do not feel discouraged about traveling alone. Also the drinks from 5:30-6:30 were buy one get one free. Best deal around!!!
I did at Teppanyaki, Cagney's and Shanghai. The fried rice in Teppanyaki was amazing and the show was quite entertaining. The filet mignon in Cagney's melted in my mouth but honestly, so did the one they served in the Spegiel tent.The food at Shanghai was some of the best Chinese food I've had. I really enjoyed the banana pancake for dessert.
The Garden Cafe was actually really good. I ate there for breakfast and most lunches. I only had dinner there one night and I was quite surprised at how much they offered. The even have crepes at night, made to order.
At the Spegiel tent, I saw both the murder mystery and the Cirque Dreams. The food was fantastic!!! I don't know what people were complaining about in other reviews. At the murder mystery, they gave plenty of time to eat in between performing. At Cirque, they performed the entire time you ate. For the small amount of space, they were able to do quite a few performances. If you can, get a seat at the top so you look down. Also, arrive a little early so you can get good seats.
Blue Man group - if you haven't seen them, this is a must!!!! If you sit in the front row, they actually give you a poncho to wear though I didn't get anything on me.
Ice Bar - yes there is a $20 charge but considering you get two drinks, it's reasonable since you'd pay that much at another bar on the ship. I do recommend bringing sweatpants, sneakers, and socks as it does get cold. They give you those magic gloves to wear which don't really keep your fingers warm so don't feel bad about bringing your own.
Overall, I had a wonderful time, met some great people, and would go on this ship again.