BACKGROUND: We have traveled on NCL, ten times, this was the forth for my Mom, Ellen. We have been in inside to suites this time we were staying in a handicap cabin aft on deck 11. My mom is legally blind, and has problems with walking, so the handicap was very important, we booked it about a year in advance. We have also cruised on Princess, Disney, and one Carnival, NCL is the cruise line of first choice for us.
BOOKING: We booked as usually through NCL with our personal cruise consultant. Jamie is very reliable and we have a great working relationship.
She knows what we like and always helps us with any questions. She let me know that a wheelchair was available to board and leave the ship, this was very helpful with my mom. She booked it and it was ready when boarding the ship.
HOTEL, we flew to FLL and stayed in the Baymont Hotel in Miami, nice hotel but not as close to the pier as I was lead to believe and it cost an extra 15 each to get a shuttle in More
the morning. We used a shuttle the hotel arranged.
EMBARKATION: Smooth sailing as usual, gold latitude line moved very speedy. We were on the ship in about 15 minutes (we arrived about 11:50 AM). We have never had any problems and this time was no different.
SHIP: We found the ship, clean, bright and cheery, with great public spaces and a beautiful atrium. I loved the crystals hanging from the ceiling. Our stateroom was very well designed, the bathroom had safety rails everywhere, as well as buttons to push in emergencies, the shower had a fold down chairs which was the main reason she needed the room. As well as the space around things, she was easily able to move without bumping into things;the door to the balcony was automatic and this really helped. Our room stewards were top notch, Arnold and Orlando.
DINING: Main: excellent we ate in Indigo most nights, this was easier on my mom. This way she walked half way on the ship, rested while eating, then walked the rest of the way to the front of the ship for the show. Every night we were greeted by the lovely smile of Phobee, she really made us feel welcomed, she greeted us by name after the first night and sat us at our favorite table by the window with our favorite waitress Ainee from Romania. She was such a fantastic waitress, always helped my mother who could not read the menu, with recommendations, which always pleased my mom. She was amazing.
Breakfast and lunch were a real treat in Cagney's with our favorite waitress Christina, she was the best we have ever experienced anywhere. After our first meal with her, she knew all our likes and had my mom's REGULAR (she did not like the french press) coffee and Scott and my tea. She was from Romania, and met her husband on the ship, we got to meet him one lunch time. We had wonderful food, favorite dessert was these wonderful berries, YUMMO. EXCELLENT service with the biggest smile in the world. We felt so pampered and cared for. Every meal was amazing.
Teppanyaki was amazing, the seafood was the best and worth every penny for the extra.
Buffet: Ate there 2X one lunch and one dinner, it was OK but we prefer sit down, my mom wanted to try it. Good food, but a hassle with my mom, like the pasta. We also had some snack food in Blue Lagoon, though my husband, was there every night. ENTERTAINMENT: Buzz Sutherland, was the BEST comedian we have ever been to see. He does a clean show, that had the entire audience laughing. We seen him on the first night, he did a great routine, and we could not wait to see his next show. We got to the Spinaker extra early so my husband Scott could get in the front where he loves to watch from. Well Buzz got him into the show and "pudding" as Buzz named him was born. The show was supper funny and everyone enjoyed it. He then did a show during the last nights farewell show and we got to the see the loving father side as he brought us into his world with his little boy golfing with him story. We also had the privilege of having lunch with him and getting to know the man behind the Donald Duck voice. I look forward to seeing him again on NCL.
OH What a Night, this was the third time I have seen this show and truly I never get tired of it. Fun upbeat and lively music with some comedy thrown in.
The Music and Dance production shows done by the NCL Production company was very well done. They are a very a talented group of young people and the show was very good. We liked both shows. Oh course I love the show that starts with the group singing the farewell song, as the staff comes on stage, I have seen this 10 times and still cry every-time.
PORTS: SAMANA, as a new port we did not know what to expect, I had gotten hurt the night before so did not go into this port, but my husband took my mom on the tender and helped her. They both came back saying they had a fantastic time, and loved the warm friendly people of the island. My mom, got some great handmade items. They loved the natural beauty of the island.
ST. THOMAS, of you know we did some shopping for over two hours, then a tour of the island with GODFREY TOURS, he was a great tour and shared a lot about the island, then after a drop off at the beach returned us to the ship.
TORTOLA we just went in and shopped, my mom was very tired from the day before, and we did not want to overdo it.
PRIVATE: Scott went in baked in the sun and come back after a few hours sun burned he said he enjoyed the island.
SUMMARY: We all enjoyed the cruise and we will remember this cruise.
BILL: first time ever we had to stop at the front desk to straighten out a charge for a drink in a restaurant we had never been in. They fixed it no problem.
DISEMBARKMENT: The Color tag system works great and we always take the last color and after the majority are off, we walk off, find our luggage and go to customs. EXCELLENT as always FOR FIRST TIME CRUISERS:
Go to the presentation on the first day explaining how Free Style Dinning works, not only do they explain how it works, and how you can ask for the great waiting night after night but they have a raffle for a specialty rest. They do a great job and it will save you frustration'
READ YOUR DAILIES: they give you many options, for dining, shows, learning experiences, drink specials;
DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK; the staff would love to help you.
Have a positive outlook, any cruise is better than being back at work!!