My wife and I cruised w/ another couple both of us having cruised similar itinerary on the Pearl in 2008.Our 4th NCL and their 2nd NCL cruise.Our 7th cruise and their 10th overall.So let me begin.
EMBARKATION:a breeze once they started process.We arrived at port 10:30 and on boat 11:30.No problems.
CABIN:usual small inside deck 10 midships.Lot of noise from behind cabin at night.Asked for eggcrate for bed which helped a lot.Cabin steward exceptional.Had problem w/ water in sink/shower that would not get below scalding.6 phone calls and 45 min wait for plumber.Entire shower appliance replaced later so no further issues.Closet door hinge broken but not a big issue as ship headed for dry dock in April.
PUBLIC AREAS:Generally well maintained but needing refurb.1 hot tub down entire cruise.No water slide.Small pool.Usual too smokey casino.Way too lax w/ smoking policy for those of us not wishing the stench.Slow,slow ,slow elevators??Nice atrium area.
DINING:what happened NCL??Aqua way too small.Venetian nice but wait staff slow beyond reason (3 hr dinner 1 night)and disorganized.Menu selections were a joke when compared to the Pearl or other lines we have been on.$10 pp for mexican food, are they nuts???Lobster night; so add fish and lots of rice to plate and hope we won't ask for more lobster, is this the new plan???No cold soups offered.Desserts were just plain boring and w/ few selections other than the anytime ones.Strawberry souffle was the only great one we had.Tappenyaki @ $25 pp.Only 2 grills.I got 2 shrimp5 scallops,approx 4 oz steak, 5 bites of lobster, and all the rice I wanted.Not even close NCL.The Pearl this ship is NOT!!Thank God for the Blue Lagoon and Garden cafe.Had breakfast in Venetian 1 am.Cold food,cinnamon on the cold buttermilk pancakes and just generally poor quality.Back to the Garden cafe from then on.Blue Lagoon many nights for great wings,won-ton soup,burgers,etc.Pool side B-B-Que
served burnt to a crisp burgers and wok style items that were generally good.Well maybe next cruise will be better.
BARS:better priced than Carnival Spirit 12/10, and good service and quality.2 for 1 martini's at the Star bar were great deal.Need better priced beer buckets and better selection of drafts.
ENTERTAINMENT:comedian was funny,magician so-so,shows so-so,2nd City very funny,game shows O.K.,need more late night comedians/variety.Pool side band good when they played.Would play 15-20 min then break for 30-60 min???Had a DJ that played canned music w/ good variety.
DISEMBARKATION:walked off w/ luggage at 9:30 w/ no problems.
SUMMARY:not what we expected of our beloved NCL in terms of food or entertainment.If not for Matt Baker the cruise director, the entertainment would have been a complete flop.We will be looking at other lines in the future
unfortunately as our Dec/2010 Carnival cruise food was so much superior to this cruise food and the entertainment was better as well for far less money.Perhaps NCL can clean up their act and this ship.