This was my second cruise, my first was on the Norwegian Pearl out of Miami in Feb 2008 and it was absolutely amazing!! I purchased this cruise as a gift for my girlfriend who had never cruised and was very excited to give it to her. 4 months and about a week before the cruise date I started checking out reviews on this website and others, and begin to get nervous from all the negative reviews. But I stayed positive and thought that "these people must complain about anything" BOY WAS I WRONG! I really wish I had read the reviews BEFORE I bought because a lot of them (the bad ones) were spot on.
We arrived at the port of Baltimore which is about 25 minutes from my home in Annapolis to find a very long line. After 3 hours, 3 lines, constant standing and a very unorganized process we FINALLY got on the ship. Never were we welcomed like when I was on the Norwegian ship (free champagne and a wonderful greeting). My first impression was that ship was dark, dirty and cold. Nothing great stood out, the art was bad, the floors, the decor, the rooms. We made our way up to the buffet because we were starved only to find the other 2,000+ people. We couldn't find a seat, actually got denied a hamburger because they had to close the line for the security drill. Another reviewer said the buffet was like a bunch of seagulls fighting for food on a dock, he was right.
THE FOOD WAS VERY VERY AWFUL. I kept calling it prison food and everyone we talked to agreed. We are not picky eaters, but the food was almost inedible. The salad bar was the only thing that got my through the trip and that was not even that good. The deli was OK but not great, breakfast was bad, pizza was bad, lunch was bad. My girlfriend basically survived off of ice cream and deserts. David's was decent, worth the money just to get away from the other food. Room service was slow and disgusting, don't even try it.
The spa was OK, the Men's steam room never worked, which was very disappointing to me because I love to steam. I got a massage that was pretty good, but wouldn't do it again. The gym was nice.
The room was the best thing about the ship, bigger than I thought and our steward cleaned a couple times a day which was nice. Our balcony was dirty with paint chips and the chairs were covered in white paint splatter. The ONLY thing that was better than the Norwegian was the water pressure in the shower. THE ONLY THING!!
When we were off the boat we had a great time..ATLANTIS is awesome (recommend the deep water dolphin swim)!! Freeport snorkel trip was great!! Port Canaveral is a joke though..nothing to do in Cocoa Beach...go for an excursion, wish we had!
The shows were mediocre at best, one comic who did an adults only show "Happy Cole" was the best entertainment on the ship by far.
a few other things that you should know...
-Couldn't find bottled water anywhere, every bar was out had to look around for a half hour each time.
-My girlfriend got denied a drink because the bartender said her "Eye's were red" and that he "was looking out for her safety". She has an eye problem and was on medication and was not even drunk!
-Very unfriendly workers at the photo buying area and buffet lines.
-No clock or Alarm in the room.
-The lighting in the main dining room is florescent light, I kid you not. It's horrible.
-Very few channels and did not have a flat screen TV (its 2010 carnival)
I'm sure there is more but I can't think of everything right now...all I want to do is forget about this cruise. Please read the reviews before buying, I wish I would have!! I will be surfing www.ncl.com picking out my next cruise.