I was travelling in a party of 8; 3 sisters, a brother and their spouses, one of whom was in a wheelchair. We left Los Angeles on November 3 and arrived in Miami on November 17. Overall the cruise was fine, not outstanding, but not any complaints. But for travelling in November, it was hotter and much more humid than I expected. We had little rain.
The other members of our party stayed at the pre-hotel, the LAX Westin. The only negative comments was the schmozzle at departure time to the cruise terminal. There didn't seem to be any organization, which was needed because there were 5 buses involved.
The embarkation process also seemed to be inefficient. It took a long time to check-in, although they staff seemed pleasant enough when you finally got to them.
Because the cruise was two weeks long, it attracted an older crowd. Apparently there were only 35 children onboard. At holiday time they expect 300 children.
The food was fine; nothing outstanding and nothing terrible, regardless of venue. We ate all of our dinners together in Aqua, except when we were in a specialty restaurant. The wheelchair was more easily accomodated in Aqua, than in Versailles and we could get a round table for 8 in Aqua. We learned to walk in about 6:20 PM to get a table quickly. Otherwise we would have to wait. And there were lineups at 7 PM, 7:30 PM and 8 PM when the early show let out. One Manager commented that there were serving 1,700 diners every night in the two main dining rooms. I gather this was higher than they usually had. On our first night we ate at Le Bistro. Most had the lamb which was very good, but I had the duck and the confit was tough. Very few diners in Le Bistro that night. We also went to the Teppanyaki Grill, which was fun, but we found the food too salty and garlicy. We went to Cagney's and were disappointed. The sides are served in separate metal pots, and they were served before the meat, and so were no longer hot when you were eating them. But the meat (I had lamb, the rest steak) was good, perhaps a little rarer than people would ordinarily prefer, but still very tender. On our last night we went to Moderno. This was a very pleasant surprise, as everything was good. (Tip: don't overdo the salad bar, and don't take much of the first meats as the better cuts arrive later). Surpisingly Moderno was half empty. We also went to a Jazz brunch in La Cucina on a sea day. I would recommend this, there was a salad bar, and then you ordered your main a la carte. The music was very pleasant. It was a nice change from the Market Cafe and Versailles.
The staff at most bars were friendly and accomodating, but that is their job. My wife now likes Lemon Drop martinis. Rommel at the Star Bar introduced them to her.
As for the entertainment the singers were mostly weak, but the dancers excellent. Chris Pendelton is an excellent comedian. Don't miss her.
Puerto Chiapas and Puntarenas aren't worthwhile stops. There is nothing to do that doesn't involve a long bus ride.
I used the fitness room when it wasn't being used for my yoga practice. On sea days they try to book an activity every hour, but towards the end of the cruise, the clients don't book the activities, so the room is available. With the older crowd, the fitness attendant said, business was so-so.
Because our flight home wasn't until 3 PM, we took the city bus tour, which dropped us off at the airport. Freddy, the tour guide, wasn't that great, as he talked mostly about the prices of condos and homes.
I left service til last, because I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the staff are friendly and want you to have a wonderful vacation. And they will remember you when they see you again, if you speak to them. (I am not talking about your room steward, who is usualy quite friendly.) We had two different servers in Aqua, Sunita and Fendy, who were very professional. We also had one who was having a bad night. And we liked the hostess in Aqua, Ivy Joy.
Everyone in our party got along. The cruise was pleasant. The staff very accomodating and helpful. I would cruise with NCL again, but I also would prefer better food and wine choices.
The suite was fine. I liked that the bathroom had a tub, more space if your were showering. The balcony was shaded, but that made the balcony hotter and more humid than the other Mini suites in our party which were aft and more open. Above our balcony was the jogging track, when you could hear thumping occasionally and chairs being draggged around.