We chose the 3day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas & NCL private island Great Stirrup Cay. We booked an inside cabin about 3 weeks prior to departure date & was upgraded to ocean view for free. We arrived around 1:30 PM and the boarding was smooth. We went took some pics and by that time they informed rooms were ready. We went to room and left our carry on bags and went to Garden Outdoor Cafe for lunch. Lunch was limited choice. Nothing fancy but can't complain for the $ you spend. After lunch we wondered around a while and prepared for sail away party. The music was great. Only 2 of our luggage was delivered to room and for the 3rd one we got a notice saying it's been kept for security reason. Went to the station to pick up by luggage and they kept it since I had a liquor bottle in there. I wasn't the only one maybe 300 other people were lined up there too :) They took the liquor bottle and gave us the bag and asked to collect the liquor when we disembark. However my friends did find a way to smuggle some liquor on board.
The sea was kind of rough and it was windy. We ordered some wings and chicken strips from the longboard bar (the one next to Garden buffet) for our dinner. This is the only free food I found to be great. We ate at Garden buffet most of the time and went to Palace twice for dinner. We found the service is slow in Palace restaurant. Even thought we got there around 8PM each time, we were running late for both 9PM show. By the way the shows were OK...but I wouldn't say they were great.
In Nassau, we booked for sub adventure through NCL (It was same price as with vendor but the time is also very tight. So to be on safe side, book with NCL). We were picked up around noon and were dropped off around 5:15 (cruise final call at 5:30 PM). Before the excursion we went to Atlantis ($4 taxi with a group or $11 flat rate if you don't want to wait for more ppl). We didn't buy any package in Atlantis. We just wondered around our self and saw the place and came back. When you take the taxi back, you will have to wait for more ppl for $4/person or pay $15 flat rate. Then we did some shopping in Nassau (Bacardi 1Lt bottle= 3 for $30...great deal)
Sub Adventure with Stuart Cove was great. The guys were really friendly and helpful. Buy the fish food ($4) and it will help to attract fish when snorkeling. Don't worry if you are not a swimmer, they sub is a great choice for anybody. They will help you get on board the sea scooter without getting your hair wet. Just relax and enjoy your self. There was a 65yr old woman did the excursion with us and she really enjoyed it. It's not hard. Don't forget your underwater video camera but you can also buy the one they will sell for $40 (Video in DVD). You can view the video right after the excursion.
White hot party on the 2nd night was good. It goes until 5 or 6 am.
NCL's private island was OK. Not much to do. We did some snorkeling as we took our own gear. The rentals are available for snorkeling, water mat & etc. Also you can book kayak tour, para sailing or jet ski. We didn't book any but just relaxed on the beach after some snorkeling. Snorkeling is not great in the water. If you want to see some fish, take some fish food. Other friends we met on board tried kayak tour and they said it was OK. They did see some sting rays and other kind of fish.
We chose to walk off from the ship with out luggage so didn't obtain any tags (different color tags departs at different time. You will have to leave you luggage out by mid night). We packed everything and left room at 9:00 AM and had our breakfast at Garden buffet and left around 9:40AM. I think the latest time you have to be out of the cabin is 9:30 AM (even though room service came knocked on our room around 8:45AM to make sure we are leaving soon) and you have to be out of the ship by 10 AM.
Over all it was great experience for a first timer. We had a great time for the $ spent. By the way the staff were great. Always smiling and helpful. I love the ladies who say washy washy (to sanitize your hands)when you enter the restaurant.