My husband and I along with two other couples booked this Panama Canal cruise. My husband and I have been on a lot of cruises (17 for him and 19 for me). My husband is 63 and I am 58. We were excited about this cruise because every port was a new port for us. Also, crossing through the Canal was on our bucket list. We normally sail with Carnival. This was only our second Norwegian cruise. We booked the UBP because we didn't want to be nickled and dimed for every little thing. Some days I almost got my money's worth in just sodas. I was initially upset about the new bottled water policy but we both brought on a Brita water bottle that filters your water for you. Even the days we had water straight from the tap, it wasn't bad. We had an inside on the 11th floor. Some mornings there was a little noise above our room. We may have been above the kitchen. It never did wake me up, but if you were awake, you could definitely hear it.
The food was very good (probably not as good as Carnival's in my opinion) but definitely a lot of choices. We ate in the main dining room for 12 of our 16 nights on board. We did like the buffet food and thought it was a little better than Carnival's. We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants, but we did have sushi at the sushi restaurant a couple of times. There were plenty of activities on board. Some of my friends were participating in 5 or more activities every day. I did go to most of the shows in the evenings but other than that I only went to about 5 other activities the whole 16 days. My husband and I like to just relax and read.
We did get off at every port but other than Guatamala, we booked all our excursions on our own. I would have to say (for me) the Mexican ports were my favorite. Overall, I enjoyed my cruise. In fact, we have another 16 day cruise booked for next January on Norwegian from Sydney, Australia.
The cabin was very small. There was a table right next to my side of the bed that I either had to squeeze past or climb directly on the bed from the bottom of the bed. The bathroom was a decent size. As many others have commented, the toliet is set up at an angle so it is hard to really use it. The shower was quite large for a cruise ship. The room was immaculate each time it was serviced. As I mentioned, this cabin is below the kitchen, so you do hear a little noise. It probably wouldn't keep me from booking it again, though.
We just arrived the night before the cruise, so other than having dinner out the night before, we really didn't do anything in Miami.
We hired a private driver that drove us to the walled city. We walked around, toured the emerald museum, had a few snacks from street vendors, and went back to the ship.
We did not go to Martinique.
We took the ship's excursion to Antigua. It was a long bus ride (about an hour and half each way). The city of Antigua was quite nice but you only had about 3 or 4 hours there after the long bus ride. I would probably skip this excursion next time.
We took a private taxi to the downtown area and walked around for a couple hours. Our driver then came back and got us and took us to a nice beach with decent snorkeling.
We walked over to Walmart (which is right across from where the ship docks) and then went to an bar by the pier and had a couple drinks and checked our email.
We walked about 1/2 mile to the boat that takes you to Stone Island. We spent the day having lunch and drinks at a restaurant on the beach. Other than all the hawkers trying to sell you stuff (we lost count at 43), it was a great day.
We booked a private whale watching excursion on our own. There were only 11 people on our boat, so we didn't feel crowded at all. We saw lots of whales and even a couple of sea turtles and dolphins. Loved this trip!