Embarking and disbarking were a total breeze. Our cruise had 4800 guests on it and never have I seen an easier ship to get off or on. Took about 30 minutes to get on and we basically walked right off with our suit cases. It probably took 15 minutes to get off including customs.
The entertainment was very different. You can not just go to the shows. You have to make reservations for each show. I guess people can make reservations to see the show before they even get on the ship. We didnt know that. Right when we entered the ship we saw this line of people and we asked and they said they were making reservations for the shows. We got on the ship pretty early, which is good because I guess the shows booked up and some people did not get to go. We waited in line like over an hour to book the shows, which was kind of disappointing when you first get on the ship and you want to eat and explore.
The Circue Dreams show is definately worth seeing. It was very impressive and served with a delicious dinner. They charge either $20 or $30 for the seats to this show. We could not get the $30 seats as they were sold out so we "settled" for the $20 seats. They were far superior to the other seats you could see the show way better without fear of getting hit by flying circus people and without having to see the show at wierd angles from your booth. I recommend going to this show. Bummer though because we have been on NCL cruises in the past where similar shows as good as this or better were free.
The Legends show was mediocre I would not want to sit through it again. The Blue Man Group we had seen in Las Vegas already, this was the same or better. Kids would love it or teens, early 20's. It was good but seeing it once was good enough for me. The comedy shows were not that funny, the were called Second City. Been on cruise ships where I was really entertained by jugglers, magicians, comedians-not this ship.
1) The bathroom situation was bad. You are showering in the entryway of your room. The worst part is the toilet (in the entryway opposite the shower.) Little plastic paper thin walls that you can see through and the toilet is like a foot from the head of the bed. When you are on a cruise you tend to eat more, hence you use the bathroom more. When you are in the bed you have no privacy in the bathroom at all, I have been married 13 years and it was still embarassing. No matter how comfortable you feel with who you are traveling with I doubt you want to hear each other in the most personal of circumstances.
2) No robes-never been on a cruise where they didnt get you robes. I am sure it saved them money but I really like to put on a robe when I get out of the shower or when I sit on the balcony in the morning or night.
3) No trays to put your feet on. I guess it would help with people piling up more food than they can eat-saves them money. It makes it awkward for getting your food to the table. You have to take your plate and cant carry your drinks at the same time so you have to go back and get your drinks. Not as convenient as with the trays and I am sure if you have kids it would be much easier to have the trays.
4)Dessert selection is virtually the same every night except they change like one dessert.
5) Shore excursion in Bahamas was a rip-off and catastrophe. Atlantis seems to be the big excursion there that many people wanted to do. Atlantis is 5 min away over a bridge on Paradise Island. they have Dolphin excursion, water park excursion (seem to be the coolest and most popular) and beach/aquarium excursion. We did the beach excursion. First we did not get to the Bahamas until noon. We all met for the Atlantis excursions at the same place-Epic theatre. Must have been like 700+ people in there. By the time we got out to the parking lot and ont he buses it was 1:30. Got to the beach after the little tour through the hotel after 2:00. At 3:30 the sun went behind the big Atlantis hotel and the beach was in virtual shade. We spent $99.99 for basically 1 1/2 hours of beach time. FYI...very valuable info. YOu can go to the Atlantis hotel by cab and bypass all the chaos of the group excursion. It is probably $10-$15 to get there. If you want to lay on the beach for free just take your towels and walk through the huge lobby and you can go out to the beach, you just cant use the chairs. Then it is almost free. Or in the lobby by the casino there is a huge guest services desk with a decorative blue, fancy hanging ball over the top of it. You can buy day passes here. On the ship the Atlantis Aquaventure was $189. pp (Water park 114 acres) at the Atlantis hotel you can get a day pass to that for $139pp. The beach and aquarium trip we took was $99.00 pp and did not include lunch. You can get the day pass there for $69. pp and it includes lunch. You can bypass all the confusion of the 700 people being put on abus together there and just hop into a cab alone, you probably get another hour there,easily. Live and learn. I felt like we got robbed with what we paid for.
6) Alot of resturaunts you have to pay at.
1) Friendliest crew I have ever met. They all looked happy and all said hello. Our room steward was super friendly but then all the other room stewards we passed were really friendly too. Everyone was just super nice and in to serving you and making your experience a good one.
2) Imaculately clean.
3) Food at Manhattan Room and O'Sheehans was good with good service. Buffet was okay. I was on the Carnival Splendor this year twice and their buffet was much better. However, they have the best chocolate croissants! Wish I would not have discovered them:(
4) Awesome, fully equipped gym with top of the line equipment and incredible views.
5) Seemed to be plenty of sun bathing chairs. No real private places to lay in the sun though, everyone lined up in a row.
6) Incredible water slides and rock climbing wall and bowling alley!
Overall, I think Norwegian is pretty money hungry. A few years back we watched on of the people that worked for them break my brand new suitcase which costed $179. I still had the receipt and turned in a claim..they said their liabllility is limited to $100. So they sent me a $100 check. Left a bad taste in my mouth. Compare to Carnival. I left my glasses next to the bed on a Carnival ship. The room steward when making the bed destryed my glasses and I found them mangled under the bed. I turned in a claim to Carnival. My glasses were 3 years old, they originally costed like $400, but to get new ones I had to go to the eye Dr to get a new prescription. I sent Carnival the receipt and they reimbursed me for the eye Dr appointment and for a brand new pair of $400 glasses. That is what I call customer service. NCL could learn from them.
If I found a really good deal on this ship I would consider going on it again but aside from the Cirque show would not want to sit through any of the other shows a second time. It would have to have a real good intinerary to have me book again especially with the bathroom situation. The ship is very beautiful though.