This was our first cruise and for my 50th birthday. Being a due diligence type of person I researched, called NCL and did everything I could do before hand to insure a great time. What I found is that NCL was dishonest on a quite a few things. I had read a few different stories on the pre authorization, credit hostage if you will when you board the ship. When I called NCL they said they only pre auth $300 and only add another $300 when your account goes below $100. This is false, as when I was standing at the finance counter, and I stood there for 12 minutes before the 2 women behind the counter acknowledged me, and they were on the phone trying to authorize $500 on an acct, it didn't go through, then they tried $400 etc.......Not to mention this person had money on their account. Before we boarded we put $1000 on our account and double checked with guest relations when we boarded that it was there, and they verfied it was.
However, the first 2 days, we were denied room service and drinks and told to go to guest relations as they had no monies on our account. We made four trips there, and on the fifth trip I demanded to speak to a manager, Joe Boyle, he was even worse, unprofessional and outright rude. His words to me were your right its unacceptable, I can't explain it, let me know if it happens again and showed me the door. I went outside call NCL from the ship and they told me, Handle it on the ship and hung up. HOws that? THey did say they would send a message to ship and someone would contact me, THAT NEVER happened. Lastly, it was my 50th bday, granted we were seated a the second to last seating, my husband told the server it was my bday, and they said they were busy and closing and never ackowleged it on my bday, 2 days later in Azura they did. But not on the actual day.
If after reading this you still wish to go, here is some info for first time cruisers:
YOu pay 12 per day per person over the age of 3 for tips in advance
In addition you will 15percent auto tips on any drinks or service, in addition to the mandatory 12 per day. You will be told to tip your bar and food service out of your pocket as the 12 per day does not apply to them
If you want to drink soda its either 2.30 each with tip or you can buy a soda card for 51.00 per person for the week
Pictures for an 8x10 is $20 or the smaller version is $13, if you buy 4 of one size you get one free, you cannot combine sizes
Port Caneveral really doesn't have much. Howevever if you take a cab, its $5 person and they take you pretty much everywhere for that fee.
Excursion DO NOT BOOK on the ship, go out and you will find that you will save almost 50 percent for the same thing the ship is offering.
Nassau is beautiful, but you have to be back on the ship at 530 whereas in Florida its 10:00, makes no sense.
The private island, be prepared to drop at lest 50.00 or more there especially if you want a clamshell for shade
Beer is about 35.00 for a six back, mixed drinks run between 8 - 10 each, however they do have drink specials for 6.00 each day, so check your daily mews they give you each day for that drinks special
Internet is 75 center per minute plus a 4 dollar activation fee and its as fast as dial up
However if you wait to the last day they have an internet special of 12 dollars for 30 minutes
Cell Phone. if you take a pic with your cell phone and send it, it will be approx 21 regardless of your carrier. On board its about 3.00 per minute for calls 50 cents to send texts and 15 cents to receive them , your on cruise ship roaming and no cell plan covers that, however you have to call your provider prior to going to make sure your phone is enabled if you choose to use it
There are more for fee restaurants than free ones on the ship. Not much different, however Le Bistro was descent, and it was worth it to have a quiet atmosphere and the ambiance was nice. Azura is nice, its a free on, Tsars palace I wasn't impressed with the service, as we had to ask for drinks they never asked
Our room steward was outstanding, I have to admit that. I would say that this ship seems to cater to families with small children, so if thats you, you might like it or even love it. I did speak to people on board that loved it, that were cruisers before, but also talked to more people who were first timers likes us and they said like me never again, at least not on NCL. I was not impressed nor did I feel like we were treated as a guest should be.
I would like to give BIG shout out to Michelle, who welcomed me, she is member of cruise critic no NCL. Granted, they had a meeting with NCL the second day out, I missed the meeting, SEASICK, perhaps if I had met with Hugo and it was noted I was with Cruise Critic we would have had better customer service, However that should be a given, don't you agree?
All in all, IMHO, to spend the kind of money your gonna spend, go to an all inclusive resort and enjoy yourself.
BTW: Excursions to Atlantis are from120 to 300 per person on Nassau, but remember your not there that long and people we talked to who went were rushed.
Excursions in Florida to Universal are 150 pp and its an hour ride both ways, and people that went, only got to ride 4 - 6 rides before they had to come back to the ship, so again not really worth it. THe cove excursion for the outside market IS NOT A flea market, its basically crafts and its on the pier, not worth the 6 dollars person, go for the surf and company shuttle outside the tunnel when you get off the ship, or take the walmart shuttle or just take a cab at 5 per person and see the sites. Lastly on the luggage, THEY DONT weigh it, we had a bag that was 60lbs, they take and throw it on the roll away, so dont worry about that
get your soda and water in florida you can bring it on... NOTE if you bring wine there is at 15 dollar corkage fee per bottle but you cannot bring any other type of alcohol
Bingo is done from a laptop, numbers are not pulled and if you get six cards if for one game not six games and that will cost you 69 dollars
Do not purchase a massage at the port before the cruise they have specials on the boat, especially during port days, alot cheaper