We arrived in New York for our 10th wedding anniversary. We flew in from France, via Milan Italy on Alitalia. Fortunately, we arrived in NYC the day before the cruise, as the airline had lost my wife's suitcase, and said we were not likely to get it back until after the cruise, as the next days flight from Milan had been cancelled! Well, after a days shopping at Jersey Gardens , we had purchased a small winter and summer wardrobe for my wife. More on this later. We arrived at the dock at Midday, through check in and security, yes it took a fair time, and I feel that there could be more information on what to do and where to go, but all in all ok. On board by 1.45, the lobby and garden cafe was packed, so went to the Bimini bar, sat outside with my wife and had a bucket of beer, as the snow started to fall. Chatting to the staff, and relaxing , met a lovely couple of ladies from New Jersey who had come on the Dawn with a group. Anyway, from that day forth, the staff at the Bimini bar always had a smile for us and remembered both my wife's and my name, welcoming us, and saying hello wherever we were. Regarding the kids on board.....they were a pain, with lack of control, by teachers/parents, but this did not mean all the kids were bad. I would like to point out that most of the kids who were causing trouble were also to be found in The Kosher Corner.
The 1st full day at sea was rough, my wife spent most of the day in bed, but our cabin staff did pop in to make suer all was ok. Then the sea calmed and wayhay... the sun shone, what a diffrence. We did 2 tours, the Cataman Champagne to St John form St Thomas (only because we did the same 10 years previosly for our honey moon), and the Dolphin experience in Tortolla. Both were fantatic, well organised and worth the cost. Food. The food in the restaurants for dinner was excellent, Salsa was great, Cagneys Steakhouse, which we did for our Anniversary dinner was out of this world, (by the way, I am a chef of 20+ years)Bamboo, food was very good, but the Impressions restaurant, next to Gatsbys bar(great Pianist Dan Hodge)probably had the best MDs and waiting staff , the food was rategr good aswell. Afetr dinner we would relasx to the music in Gatsbys, and although they ran out of Calvados, the service could not be faulted. Breakfast buffets.........awful, but the Venetian restaurant was only open for 2 hours in the morning, so somedays it had to be the buffet. The BBQ on deck during sea days were very good, as was the hot dog and burgers at the Bimini(they could have done more choices I feel) Room service was good, on time , but the breakfast menu was limited,(and like always, the water is not boiled for a good cup of English tea).
Overall,great food,great cruise, loved the free style,some awful kids, great staff the cruise staff and cruise director were very good, only did 2 shows, was happier in Gatsbys after dinner. Bingo was fun, but could get expensive, we did win once, Casino was busy, lost overall, but some people were winning big.Our waiters, MD, bar severs and cabin staff were magnificent, the cabin staff made 2 swan towels for our anniversary. NCL itself offered us nothing for our anniversary. Will travel with NCL again, probably with the kids next time.