To start off I would like to say this was my first but not last cruise.
3 friends and myself took the Norwegian Pearl from the Port of Miami to the Western Caribbean for 7 days.
Miami, Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Mexico.
It was interesting from the beginning until the end of our cruise to see how the industry worked.
I was impressed with the crew and how they all managed to smile during the entire vacation dealing with such a diverse group of people.
Maybe being my first cruise, I was not assuming due to inexperience and was trying to find the best and easiest way to get my vacation that I had worked myself up to.
First port of call was "Great Stirrup Cay".
Unassuming stretch of beach and lounge chairs along with bars and souvenir huts.
I didn't know there was any food to be had as none of the crew directed me to it and I was interested in getting into the water.
Second port was "Ocho Rios Jamaica".
The scenery was nice but STAY ON THE SHIP!
If you don't mind being harassed by the local taxi drivers for the first 100 yards away from the ship CONTINUALLY, then go on the island.
You can stay on the ship and enjoy the on board amenities.
Third port was the "Cayman Islands"
This is the location of my one and only planned excursion while with NCL.
I was surprised that I was to have some real fun swimming with the Sting Rays & Dolphins.
The Sting Ray Encounter turned out to be the highlight of the two as the Dolphin Encounter was rushed and seemed very short as we ran out of time due to the tender ride out and back from the Sting Rays sandbar.
NCL actually held the Pearl due to our excursion running late.
We were hurried back to the Pearl by shuttle and then by tender.
This is where I am going to be blunt.
It seems if you don't speak English you can do anything you want and it will just be ignored.
3 seconds after the Dolphin Encounter guide gave his explanation about Jewelry and Sun Block or Sun Tan Lotion possibly harming the wildlife, I witnessed an Asian family directly across from me at a picnic table pull out a tube of lotion and slather himself and family.
Now, don't take this as an affront to any foreigners because at this point we are all foreigners at this point, but come on!
They just said don't, and you disregard and do it anyway.
It was extremely rude and endangering the wildlife with chemicals!
I guess the guide should have given his speech in all the different languages possible,
except the different nationalities got to that spot with knowing enough English to get by.
The fourth and final port was "Cozumel Mexico".
If you can get past the "Carnival Barkers" outside each shop along the main street just out side the dock and through the shopping areas.
The shops were clean and set up for the tourist dollar.
We gave in and purchased some tee shirts for family members back home.
It was a clean, neat and friendly Island.
Now back to Florida and the end of the trip.
Day 7 ended with breakfast in the main dinning room.
The buffet through out the trip was very good.
You have many selections and can get any food or combination of food you were looking for.
Overall I had a good time with NCL.
The only problem I had, was the raffle tickets I bought from the Ship's crew during a show in the Stardust Theatre.
I purchased 6 strips of pull tabs and 5 raffle tickets.
At the time sounded like a great deal for $20.00.
I asked the odds and was told 1 in 1000.
I said, "Great odds".
I took a chance.
I then attended a future show again at the Stardust Theatre and was absolutely astounded to hear the crew member announce that the sale of pull strips and tickets at this show was now 6 pull strips and 50 raffle tickets!
Did my ears hear that I was just ripped off and my 5 raffle chances were sold to me with the lie of 1 in 1000 odds being thrown out and the odds just changed dramatically!
So don't buy any chances during your cruise.
The odds are not correct and what they are selling is something completely different.
Its nice to think you have a chance but understand its like taking a chance in the casino.
I went to the drawing.
It was mandatory to attend in order to see if my 5 raffle tickets had a chance.
The crew members were hawking tickets during this session and now the chances were 6 pull tabs and 30 raffle chances.
2 Bingo cards and a Bingo tee shirt.
Once again odds out the window.
I understand NCL is not a charity but this is ridiculous.
To my surprise, I didn't win.
Someone from Florida won the two person trip from NCL.
Other than the raffle fiasco, my NCL cruise was great.
I do plan on another as soon as my wallet lets me.