I went on this cruise the last weekend of September 2011 with 20 friends to celebrate a BF's 50th Birthday. Having worked in the Private Yacht industry in past as a Chef and Stewardess, I was concerned about what to expect.
Overall I really enjoyed the cruise and had a lot of fun with my friends.
The staff were great. Our room's steward left us a little towel figures every night - which we loved.
The buffets were average. For dinner go with restaurant reservations - The BISTRO served the best escargot I have every tasted. CAGNEY'S served a perfect fillet mignon - well worth the extra price.
It was nice receiving the daily itinerary that allowed us to choose what we wanted to do each day. I loved para-sailing at Great-Stirrup Cay and felt that although the Atlantis' Aquaventure was pricey, we had lots of fun on the "not-so-lazy" rapid river.
When you first arrive on board you are greeted by many staff who have set up "special deals". We felt bombarded to make decisions about wine, drinks, sodas...etc. NOTE: If you drink more than 3 sodas a day go with the "soda" special that come with a cool souvenir cup.
THE PUB CRAWL REVIEW:
Don't do the PUB CRAWL if you actually want to drink because they are watered down. The 55 min - 5 bar/5 drink pub crawl was a BIG disappointment and nearly ruined my opinion of cruising ever again, mostly due to a rude bar manager at CHAMP's BAR. Our pub crawl guide was sweet and tried his best to make the evening fun for all.
1st stop- Captain Cook's for a round of beer. Hmm...started off quite good and we even got to see some fellow passengers drink beer in a unique way!
2nd stop - Aft Deck bar for Bahama Mama's. Yummy but not much alcohol. I've made them and know when a drink is weak.
During our 3rd and unfortunate 4th pub stop at CHAMP's (located on the top deck above the pools) the manager freaked out over some of the drinks getting passed to some guests not part of the tour. First of all, some of the paying pub crawl guests were beer drinkers and did not want to drink alcohol and passed their drinks to people beside them while they ordered another expensive "bucket of beers" to drink. The manager flipped out and began yelling at the guests. If NCL or the bar managers did not want other guests to drink any of the cocktails then they should have organized a better way to distribute the drinks. THEIR METHOD: pass the drink back to the person behind you. Really? And trust slightly inebriated guests to check whether or not someone beside them has a teeny weeny sticker on them? Shame on you NCL and for hiring a rude manager.
Our 5th and final stop was at BREAKER'S BAR. Hoping to finally escape the madness at CHAMP'S I was shocked to see that the manager had run over to BREAKER'S to hold off the tray of drinks. He actually began ripping the stickers of of each person's chest before handing a drink over to them. Some guest began to walk away in disgust and when I yelled out "touching a women's chest without her permission is considered an act of sexual harassment", people began taking the stickers off themselves and handing it to him.
I pointed out his rudeness and took a picture of him which I will be sending to NCL. He yelled at me and tried to take my iPhone away and that he was going to call his boss. I promptly replied "Go ahead I want to speak to him about your behavior" and he walked away. Personally, if I had a crew member aboard my ship like this, I would DISMISS them! Only for the apology from our pub guide did I decide to give the cruise a second chance.
I'm sure the pub crawl would have be much more enjoyable had it not been for a rude and unprofessional bar manager acting like a spoiled child.