Don't be afraid to take this cruise after reading the reviews. We almost didn't and that would have been unfortunate. At the end of the day, NOS is a beautiful ship with a wonderful, hardworking crew. The 8-night is a wonderful itinerary. Unfortunate that it departs from Port Everglades. Be prepared for an unattractive port with no signage next to an airport with chocking jet fuel fumes. Still, you don't have to deal with that for very long and once you are on the ship you're fine.
Other reviewers have covered the nightmare experienced on boarding the ship so I won't comment on that. We decided to put the experience behind us and enjoy our vacation but decided to depart from Port Canaveral on future cruises going forward.
This was our 5th cruise,4th on RCCL. We are in our 50's prefer quieter areas on the ship, don't drink or gamble, just wanted to recharge our batteries and relax. Our first impression of the ship is that it was absolutely gorgeous. We were able to access our stateroom right away but because of the port delay it was a while until we go our luggage.
Stateroom: We were on Deck 10, center of ship in an interior cabin with a virtual balcony. The room was lovely with lots of storage to accommodate clothing and toiletries. The virtual balcony was nice but didn't work all the time. Tip: ask for ice and an extra blanket. We didn't find the mattress to hard as mentioned in other reviews but the pillows were terrible. You may want to bring your own.
Food: We booked a few specialty restaurants but cancelled the reservations after dining in the MDR. The food is good, some meals were great and the service awesome. WIndjammer was hit or miss. Tip: take a look at all offerings before you decide to fill your plate. Breakfast: go for the made to order eggs and omelettes in the back. Lunch: Stick with fresh sandwiches and salads. On sea days the MDR is open for lunch and they had some delicious choices. Sugar Chicken (Asian) was sooo good. The café on the promenade was a great place to grab coffee. The coffee is Seattles Best and not instant. Nice and strong. Went down at 6:00am every morning for a cup and a pastry. I can't believe people were lining up to pay for Starbucks when there was such good coffee for no charge.
Pool: We enjoyed the Solarium area. Beautiful and quiet. There's a door at the end of the solarium (near the spa) that accesses a lovely deck that no one really utilizes. So quiet that you feel you're on your own private yacht. Great for when you are pulling into a port. Deck 4 is also a great area that no one uses. Perfect for reading. Halfway through the cruise my husband came down with the flu so get your flu shots, and take Vitamin C before and during your cruise.
We did book a cruise for next year while on board, great incentives to do so. Look forward to a healthier cruise next November.
Lovely cabin. The previous gust sprayed perfume that lingered but our cabin steward took care of it.