We booked our cruise for Aug 22 from Miami to the Bahamas. My wife and I first time cruisers, age mid 30's.
Embarkation - Disembarkation:
Boarding in Miami was Ok. It took us about 25 mins from dropping off our luggage, passing through check-in and on the boat. Rooms weren't ready so you we grabbed lunch in the meantime.
Getting off and on at the port of calls was pretty easy and quick.
Final day disembarking at Miami took more time. A long line formed to get out. About 30 mins.. then at the terminal it was really quick to pass through customs.
The ship was nice, not run down or anything. Not super new but very good for that age of ship.
The rooms where very good. Choose a balcony, yes it is more costly but nothing like looking out with some music and a cold one!
Food and Drink:
Ahh everybody is worried about the food :) I thought it was pretty good. Didn't try the pizza everybody's saying to be bad. A lot of choices to pick from. Buffet or Restaurants. My wife is vegetarian, no complaints.
The burgers were good. Also breakfast buffet was great.
About the specialty restaurants, they were very good. Cagney's Steakhouse was awesome. Really one of the best meals (rib-eye was great). We ate so much that night we were ready to explode :)
Drinks: water, tea are included. Milk, coffee and juice also only at breakfast. Everything else has a cost. Alcohol is expensive. But what the heck I was on vacation, I had my "alcohol budget" set so no worries.
A lot of events. You won't get bored. If you are the participating type there are plenty of events. If not, no problem plenty of shows and events just to be an expectator. Comedy show was very funny. The "broadway" shows where good (takinng in consideration that you are on a ship and not broadway). I recommend you to sit at the front, you will enjoy them more.
Nassau was excellent. We went to Atlantis. We didn't buy the excursion with NCL. We got off the boat, grabbed a ferry, and bought the day pass to the Waterpark. It is costly but worth it. If you are 4 or more you should check of it's better to get a room and the passes are included.
We couldn't make it to the other Ports in Bahamas. The captain made a change in schedule since hurricane Irene was just about to hit the Bahamas. So we had to sail West. Spent one day at sea and the other at Key West.
I must say I never experienced bad service or rude staff members. They were very nice and accommodating. Not over the top or pushy for tips. I did tip here and there. You are charged $12 pp/pday for service fee. So it is up to you to tip more.
I really liked the timely info about everything. The ship, events, excursions, hurricane news... everything explained very clearly. So you won't get lost or confused.
That's it I do recommend it and will probably choose NCL in the future.