Left Sept 30th from NYC Pier 88 for cruise to Bermuda. Embarkation was relatively easy and quick. Cabin 8572 with an obstructed view was very nice; clean with no excessive wear except the mattresses, which were in need of replacement. Six large drawers plus a large closet with additional shelving inside and over the vanity area provided ample storage. Bathroom was among the nicest I have experienced, as it was divided into 3 sections by plexiglass sliding doors, allowing for privacy. The TV was really funny, a tiny old thing stuck in the corner on a shelf. NCL needs to spring for a few more movies and some newer "old reruns". It was a really bad selection; but I didn't go on a cruise to watch movies. Our room steward was wonderful and by far the best out of 18 previous cruises.
The ship shows signs of wear, however it is to be expected with this many people traversing the carpets and stairs daily. Everything was clean and well-maintained, including all rest-room facilities. As for the complaints about pool side chairs being scarce; that is partially correct. You had to do some walking forward and aft in order to find an empty chair. However there were chairs to be found, just not poolside.
My biggest disappointment was in the dining room menu. Having sailed on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, the menu was more comparable to Carnival. It was food and it was plentiful, but when the "regional speciality of the day" for dinner is a burrito w/ a pork sauce; do you call that "special"? Nothing on the menu was special after the lobster & snapper served on the first day. In fact the menu went downhill in my opinion. Of course, I feel this is a ploy in order to force those who prefer a more diverse menu to the "specialty restaurants". It worked and I did pay the extra to eat there. The food was excellent. Too bad they don't just give you a package option for cafeteria food, a buffet, or an upgrade to the specialty venues. The Market Cafe buffet was fine and I have no complaints at all. The poolside barbecue was excellent as well.
Cabin 8572 with an obstructed view was very nice. The obstruction was minimal in my estimation and we only lost the bottom third of the view to a life boat.We had a window, not a port hole in this cabin. We had great ocean views and were very pleased. Mattresses, are in dire need of replacement. Six large drawers plus a large closet with additional shelving inside and over the vanity area provided ample storage. Professional-type hair dryer at vanity. Only one outlet for electrical items. Bring an outlet extender or small extension cord. Bathroom was among the nicest I have experienced, as it was divided into 3 sections by plexiglass sliding doors, allowing for privacy. Television was old tube style and very small. There was a mini-fridge with bar items for sale. This cabin is in a very good location, near enough to everything and far enough away to avoid noise.
Bermuda is absolutely beautiful. For those who found the beaches crowded; all you needed to do is walk away from the crowd to find a secluded area with few individuals. Horseshoe Beach is a great example, full of people, but if you traversed to the far left or right of the main area you had it all to yourself. Same for Tobacco Bay (although I wouldn't recommend this beach to anyone). Having traveled through the Caribbean extensively this is true for most beaches. you have to do a little research and leg work to find that special spot.
As Americans we have a sense of entitlement which many times gives others a bad attitude toward us. However we went out of our way to engage those we met,to be courteous and to thank them for any service. Still, I found the shopkeepers, waitstaff, bus drivers and most everyone to be totally uninterested in our happiness with their island. In fact it was almost as if they were doing us a favor letting us purchase something from them or just be there.
In my opinion the beauty of the island is overshadowed by the dour attitudes from those we encountered most everywhere we went. The Tourist Officials that greeted us in the square upon arrival were the most pleasant and helpful individuals we found.
This is an expensive island, much like the Caymans. Two Iced Teas, each with a refill cost us $13.50 total. You may want to make sure you take your meals on the ship or pack a snack for the munchies.
Truthfully, I will probably take my vacation elsewhere next time; Some place where the people are friendly and happy to see my "American" dollars supporting tourism. As beautiful as I found it, Bermuda certainly isn't the place.