First time NLC Cruise, New Years from New York
My wife and I have cruised a number of times both on smaller ships ( Windward and Nautica and larger ships Princess and Costa Atlantica).
On an impulse we booked on NLC on their New Year's cruise out of New York on the NLC Jewel.
The sheer luxury of going from home to a ship without first flying somewhere is a major pro.
The boarding process was flawless. Bravo NLC. They surely show other lines how to do it!
All around there is a sense of great thought in the decor of the rooms and restaurants. IMHO without much inspiration. A few touches would have made a big difference.
The Staff is extremely pleasant, helpful, and truly sweet. We had the pleasure of the service of a butler whose services we appreciated more and more as the week went on. Once I got past feeling I was being a jack-ass ( butler? Ha!) and asked politely for what I needed he was always helpful and delighted to make our stay as luxurious as we could imagine.
The specialty restaurants were generally vey good. Cagney's a "prohibition" style steak house , was quite adequate . Chin- Chin, Asian fusion, in my wife and my opinion the best of the lot, food wise. Tappanyaki , a Asian fare we cooks that perform for the kids, quite good.
The buffet seemed ample, though crowded and had a sense of a cafeteria at high school. Too much going on, so we avoided it, the food though, looked adequate.
We saw only one "big" show with a comedian and a Magician/comic. The comedian was not very funny. The Magician was very good.
The rooms very tiny. We had a penthouse suite, which was OK but not a suite, just a large room. I peeked into our neighbors rooms and they were really bearly adequate. If you put more than 3 people in a room , it is really tight.
As this cruise was during vacation time for the kids there were many on the ship. Much of the time it was no problem at all , and rather charming. To hear a child have a temper tantrum at the next table through dinner is no geat pleasure , and some of the charm of their presence surely is lost.
If you are contemplating bringing the kids, they seem to be having a ball! by and large and there were activities for them, throughout the day.
We were very grateful to have a place to retreat too. It certainly would have been more difficult for us , if we had not had the privilege of having breakfast and lunch at Cagney's
which , from our perspective was worth the added expense.
Leaving the ship was not quite as flawless , not NLC's fault security and immigration has to cooperate and they do, but only a little.
One has the sense on boarding that one is there to be pitched. beer, drinks, raffles, art, diamonds, precious jewels , specialty restaurants, expensive shore excursions, future cruises , massages, spa packages , they are all paraded before you. Though the passenger is never pressured to buy , I found the constant pitching off putting.