This was our 8th cruise, first time with NCL. My husband and I are both in our early 50's. Our 26 year old daughter joined us.
Our cruise was from New York City to Halifax Nova Scotia, St. John New Brunswick, Boston and Martha's Vineyard MA.
We flew in from Nebraska to New York City one day early and stayed at the Marriott in Time Square..close to the pier. Took the NY city double decker bus tour for $41.00. It was about 3 hours but you can get off at several stops to walk around and catch another bus later.
We headed to the cruise terminal around 10am by Taxi. Wow that was interesting! Cost and driving! Embarkation was very easy. Bags where checked outside. We had a penthouse suite (almost free thanks to using Norwegian's credit card rewards program) so we where treated as VIP's. After taking a cheesy picture in front of a screen..not entering the ship..we went to the check-in counter which went smoothly. I had printed off our cruise E-doc, had our ID's passports and a credit card for our on board purchases. VIP's where put in a separate room with all kinds of cakes, sandwiches, and drinks. Our concierge Humberto brought in our Cruise cards and visited with everyone. We got to be the first on the boat at 12:30pm lead by our concierge Humberto which felt kinda awkward walking by everyone else waiting.
Our cabin wasn't ready until around 2pm so we walked around the ship with our free Mimosas and ate alittle lunch in Cagney's steakhouse, another VIP perk. My husband had a very good steak, and us girls tried the lobster, crab grilled sandwich.
SUNDAY: STATEROOM: Our suite was called the Libra suite AFT 9710. What a great cabin! Really Overwhelming! It had it's own hallway, doorbell, a fancy bar, espresso machine, bottle of champagne on ice, fruit and fresh flowers on the table. The pretty little table had four chairs, there was a loveseat sofa sleeper (where our daughter slept), two other chairs, TV, DVD player and a larger than normal balcony. The second room had a pocket door with mirrors on both sides, king size bed (old pilly sheets), mirrored ceiling OH MY!, mirrored sliding closet doors, TV and a curtain that separated the bedroom from the bathroom. The bathroom was the best!! Whirlpool tub (HEAVEN), black marble vanity with two sinks and mirrors, makeup vanity area with a chair, enclosed toilet area and a huge shower (6 people could fit) with a window inside and a beautiful tiled floor. We choose this room because of the third person and because we had almost enough points..had to pay around $150 extra per person. We had to ask for a converter box for my hairdryer and camera plugins. No problem, they brought one right away.
We sat on our balcony drinking our champagne as we sailed out of the New York Harbour past the Statue of Liberty. Beautiful sight. Met our Butler Denny(which we never used), Room Steward Mario(Yikes..not good) and Maid. 3:30 was Muster drill. Later ate in Windows dining room, food was pretty good. Played some in the casino and went to the 70's party. We headed to bed NOT knowing what we were to encounter. The sofa sleeper was made up..but oh boy ..what a mess!! The Room Steward had put the 2 inch thin mattress on top of two cushions that weren't long enough for the bed frame and he had just thrown the blankets on top. Well no one could sleep on that so I called three times to get someone to make it up properly..or at least try. This was at midnight and finally another Room Steward came. He was appalled at the job and brought in a twin mattress to lay on top of the frame and put the thin mattress over that. He was pretty upset at Mario.
MONDAY..AT SEA: Very rough sea conditions, we rocked all night. Slept in. My husband ate breakfast at Raffles which he thought was ok. My daughter and I headed off to play bingo later that morning. We played the paper cards but noticed people where only winning if they used the handset bingo machines..which were costly. Ate lunch in Cagney's. On our way back to our cabin that morning I was stopped by an angry Room Steward Mario asking me why I threw our bed pillows and comforter on the floor. Had to tell me they where new and so on! He was so rude..I just said I was too hot in the night and told him goodbye. During the afternoon I placed in the slot tournament which was fun. That evening we had VIP seats by the windows in Windows Dining room for our formal night. Humberto had made the arrangements. We had lobster (small)..nothing too memorable. Saw the show On Broadway with the dancers which was OK. Also saw the Not so Newlywed game which was funny in the Galaxy of the Stars.
TUESDAY: HALIFAX: We had the Titanic Shore Excursion planned and enjoyed it very much. Very sad stories to hear. Toured the museum and cemetery. Drove by the Citadel as well. Weather was beautiful! Went to the White Hot party that evening. Our daughter had fun but my husband and I felt it was only a party to sell favored vodkas. The dancers where on the floor for the first 45 minutes just swaying around..so no one was dancing.
WEDNESDAY: ST. JOHNS: We thought we would rent a car and drive to Monction. My ancestors are from there and I had hoped to see a museum there..but the cars where all rented out. Never thought to rent ahead of time. So we got on the Bay of Fundy tour which turned out to be great! Ate the World's best seafood chowder in St. Martins. Went to the Old City Market and tried Dulse..a seaweed treat that they eat instead of chips. Had a send off from a Bagpiper from the Pier. When we got back our Room Steward quizzed my husband about double locking our door. Well, our dead bold hadn't worked the night before and we forgot to put out the makeup my room sign..so the room steward couldn't get in. He accused my husband of breaking it. Mario was very nosey every time you saw him in the hallway too, we started using a different hallway to avoid him. I filled out a comment card on his rude service. That evening we tried the Garden Dining room. Again ok. My husband saw the Magic show and enjoyed it. Also went to the Chocoholic buffet but everything tasted the same. Pretty but not great to eat! Played the rest of the night in the casino and won $2000.00 on a video poker machine.
THURSDAY: BOSTON: We ate breakfast in Cagney's steak house. Had the best crab cakes eggs benedict. We took the city and Cambridge tour. Went to the Old North Church, Quincy Market, some of the Freedom trail and Harvard. Very nice tour. I played in the slot tournament and won to my surprise! $405 dollars. My husband won $700 played 3 card poker..first time for him.
FRIDAY: We were to go to Martha's Vineyard but was cancelled due to rough seas. So we had extra activities like bingo, movies, etc. Went to the Caribbean cruise giveaway bingo..didn't win the cruise but I won $450 on a bingo..after purchasing the $89.00 "I want it all" bingo handset. We tried to eat a hamburger at Bier Garten Grill but they were awful..so we had chicken fingers at Blue Lagoon Cafe and they were good. My daughter won $500 dollars playing video poker that evening. Magical show was just ok. There was a farewell show in the evening which started off bad. It was crew that entertained..poor dancers, singers, but got better at the end when the captain, crew, chefs had a little parade on stage.
SATURDAY: Disembarkation went fine. We ate breakfast in Cagney's and stayed in our room until around 10am. They were 20 minutes behind in disembarking. We took off our own luggage, but we could have had VIP first off but our plane wasn't leaving until 4:30. Room Steward did forget to leave us a customs form to fill out so we had to run after one.
SERVICE: Lacking and alot of staff hard to understand. Humberto was the best tho! Casino staff at the card tables were dull, not talkative.
SHIP: Very nice and clean. Asian theme. Our room was out of this world! Alot of hand sanitizer stations. Windows Dining room was beautiful with the large windows on the back of the ship, Garden dining room ok, Bier Garten Grill ok, Raffles Court bad, Cagney's steakhouse excellent food, Shogun no one ever in there, Blue Lagoon Cafe crowded and is located in a strange place..people walking thru, bumping into wait staff and people waiting for food, but food was very good. Room Service was slow and had a few rude people on the phone taking orders. Casino had small buffet set up at times. Gym almost non existing! Husband was disappointed.
IN CONCLUSION: Would we travel NCL again? Probably not. We have done Royal Caribbean three times and we seem to prefer their ships. More things to do onboard. As you can tell we played alot of Bingo and Casino due to lack of things my husband likes to do. Rock wall, pool tables, basketball, culinary shows (NCL had one, but for a charge), kitchen tours, crafts, etc. We didn't really like free style either. It's nice to visit with the same people about how your day goes and to have the same wait staff. Waiters didn't give you any real special attention on NCL(they don't have to) their tips don't depend on it. Tips are added on your bill, no personal tipping..but you can. I had our Room Steward's tips removed. Formal night didn't feel formal..not like other cruises. Food was ok, better in the restaurants that charge. But we didn't sit and wait for our food like I had read on the boards. We never used the charging restaurants at night..we ate free. We got to use Cagney's for breakfast and lunch for no fees due to the VIP penthouse. Raffles buffet was terrible!! One night they only had Asian no variety. One good thing..we cleaned up in the casino! Entertainment was fair except for the four young men who sang by the champagne bar were great. We did love the ports of call we visited and would go to New England again but on a different cruise line. Even with the little bumps we still had a great time!!