This ship truly went above and beyond exceeding my and my family's expectations. We were unsure what we'd be stepping into after reading some of the negative reviews on here, but I have to believe it's other cruiselines coming on here to write negatively about this ship because there was not one thing negative about this ship, it's crew, itinerary, food, etc.
The ship is one of the smaller we've ever been on but it is VERY easy to navigate. We knew the entire ship by the third day. Everything was so easy to find and if it couldn't be found there were 10 crew members there ready to WALK you to your destination.
Every single crew member on that ship went above and beyond the call of duty. I'd like to mention a few:
Shona Blair the cruise director helped me and my sister's boyfriend put together an amazing, unforgettable proposal that included the rest of the crew in the dining room. She brought out the restaurant manager, the head chef on the ship and the captain of the ship when helping us plan how he would propose. It went off beautifully.
On our second night we went to the seven seas dining room (aft) and were able to all sit together (16) and our waiter Noel Geronimo was the best waiter we've ever had that we asked the assistant maitre'd, cindy, if we could be sat there every night and we were! So for the rest of the cruise we had our own private table despite it being a "freestyling" cruise. AMAZING SERVICE! I travelled with my two daughters (20 months and 7 months) and I asked for apple juice and mac and cheese the first night we were with him and every night after that there was apple juice and mac and cheese waiting for us when we arrived to dinner. We didn't have to look at the menu hardly because Noel would just bring two of everything on the menu for us all and we'd dig in! I can't say enough wonderful things about him. If you are ever on this ship ask for Noel Geronimo. You will NOT be disappointed.
By the third day of the cruise, the entire staff in the garden cafe (the buffet area on the 11th deck) knew both my girls names and as soon as they saw us coming with the strollers they had high chairs ready to follow us till we found a table. And ofcourse, apple juice (even though you're supposed to pay for apple juice when it's not during dinner or breakfast)
The food was amazing! The burgers were angus beef and the thickest burgers I've ever seen on a cruise. The desserts were out of this world and every night we had more than one! The lobster tails were on the small side but Noel made sure we had 4 or 5 of them EACH! Freestyle dining truly does allow you to cruise at your own pace, especially with small children.
Despite it being a smaller ship we never felt overcrowded because there was always so much to do! We participated in some of the onboard activities with fellow passengers and met some great people!
We did have an issue receiving our onboard credit from the travel agency we booked through, but once we showed proof, Cindi at the reception desk was quick to fix the matter. She was so professional and courteous and after visiting one time she knew my name everytime after that when I would return to the desk to check our onboard account.
The ship was able to dock right at port so we didn't have to tender and were able to walk right off the ship.
Embarkation at port canaveral was a little hectic and too chaotic for my taste and they almost didnt let one of our family members on because his birth certificate didn't "look real." Debarkation was swift, painless, and easy.
I can't say enough good about this ship. The crew was amazing, the food was excellent, etc. The ship was clean and you could tell it had recently been refurbished. The bathrooms in the cabin were on the smaller side than normal but manageable. The cabins themselves were great size as we had two portable cribs in the room and still had plenty of room to walk around and the girls to play with their toys while we got ready for dinner. The bed was amazing! Our cabin steward Richard Pastora was excellent and paid special attention to the girls and they had their own towel animals in their cribs every night. They loved them.
The alcohol drinks were great and the bartenders really knew how to make a drink!! The photographers were great and patient with trying to get our young ones to smile! The casino was the loosest one I'd ever been in. It was on the small side, but every person in my family one. My grandmother won $1500 in one night! Total she won $2100!! Awesome!!!
Truly, it was an amazing cruise and I would return on this ship instantly.
In fact, they were running a special on the ship that if you put 250 down per cabin on your next ncl cruise you got an instant 100 onboard credit! Our entire family did that and you have 4 years to book your next cruise!!
Can't wait to go back!!! Thank you NCL!