We sailed on the Norwegian Jewel out of New York on March 10th. It was the first cruise for my husband and I. There were 4 others with us and 3 of them have been on other cruises. The weather was chilly but living in the Northeast I know it could have been a lot worse so the 40 + temperatures was fine with me.
We arrived at the terminal at 11AM. Our bags were taken as we exited the car. Check in was smooth and organized. We were boarding the ship by 11:30AM. We headed to the buffet which was crowed but we were able to find seats with no problem. We still had to wait for our rooms so we just hung out by the pool and took some pictures. Our cabins were ready by 1:30. We sat on our balconies and took some pictures as we sailed away.
Our cabin was fantastic. The steward kept it clean and I loved the little animals she made each night.
At 3:15 they mustered everyone to go over safety information. Then we wandered the ship to familiarize ourselves with everything. We had dinner at Tsar's Palace. This was the only restaurant I was not pleased with. I had the strip steak that was so tough I could not eat it. I spoke with another guest later that also had the steak and he said it was very good. Maybe it was a fluke that I got that piece. I did go back to Tsar's when we had dinner with one of the officers. I had the Penne Alfredo and that was very good. We tried a number of the restaurants and my favorite was Cagney's. I didn't mind paying extra for that meal because it was so good.
A lot of people spent time at the pool but we didn't. I need temperatures in the 90's in order to go into a pool. We spent time in the casino and joining some of the activities. Boston Chris, Dazzling Devon, Aussie Steph and Nacho Libre were all fantastic. My favorite bar tender was Marsha at the Java Cafe. There were some pretty enjoyable shows on the ship. Linda James is excellent. She sang in various areas of the ship. I really enjoyed her Diva session. There was a tribute to Elton John that was very energetic. We did catch a couple of the shows in the stardust that were good.
There were a lot of kids on spring break so they had a lot of activities geared towards them. It kept them occupied, which was good, but I think it took away from our age group. That made a lot of down time for us which caused me to lose a little more in the casino.
We stopped at Cape Canaveral on Monday. We took a cab to Cocoa Village. It is a lot like Cape May, New Jersey with the little boutiques. It was a nice afternoon browsing. Next stop was Great Stirrup Cay. The BBQ was Ok. We arrived late and decided not to join in the activities. This is a great place for sunbathers. We wandered around a bit then took the tender back to the ship. Nassau was a disappointment. I found it to be dirty. I am surprised they haven't invested money in it since it is a tourist stop. We did go over to the Atlantis which was quite impressive. The straw market was interesting but it seemed like every merchant sold the same merchandise. We did pick up a few things for the grand kids.
Over all it was a wonderful trip. I thought I would enjoy the different ports more than being on the ship but the opposite was true. I didn't realize just how much they had to do on the ship. I wish they would keep more places open while in port but we were never bored. I would definitely recommend this trip and Norwegian to everyone. I liked the idea of eating when I want and where I want so the freestyle worked for me. By day 3 my husband and I decide we are going to take another cruise. Although we haven't booked it yet we have it narrowed down to two, the Southern Caribbean or Hawaii. When we decide, we are going to book with Norwegian.
One thing Norwegian needs to work on is the disembarking. We were scheduled for 8:50. Apparently no one abides by the schedule. We had trouble getting an elevator that wasn't full. When we finally reached the 7th floor the line was wrapped all the way around the ship. We were at a stand still for a good 20 minutes. Once it started moving it did move relatively quick. It just seemed very disorganized. They were suppose to call the various color coded tags for disembarking but I never heard any announcements at all.