We booked this repositioning cruise - all 11 nights - beginning in NYC and ending in Miami. We enjoyed the cruise very much. The staff was generally friendly and attentive. The cruise director Paquito and assistant Sin were energetic and pleasant. If you go to trivia or other games, be warned that with the exception of "Handsome Rob", the staff running the games were absolute boobs.
The ports we were interested in - Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao - were outstanding. Great weather, sunny days, good excursion opportunities. Apparently the measure of wealth in these island is the number of KFCs. And the tour took us past Denny's in Curacao.
it would not be an exaggeration to say that I would never care to set foot in Punta Cana or Ocho Rios again; these were forgettable, to be diplomatic. Punta Cana is simply not set up for one day tourism, and the tendering was not for the weak of stomach. There is a small expensive shopping area constructed by the tender dock, and that was about it unless you wanted to pay for excursions (which NCL didn't advertise until we were already on board - yes, they changed the itinerary from the damaged San Juan port, but they could have done better). Ocho Rios is in Jamaica with all of the hustling and nonsense that is unavoidable. "Are you cool, man?" "Hey, boss lady." No, I don't want your weed or your overpriced garbage, leave me alone.
This was our first time in a mini-suite; we had booked a balcony but a price drop in the spring made this a much better deal. We were all the way in the front below the spa. Our neighbor said they could here the hot tub above them being filled during the night, but we hear absolutely nothing. A lot more space particularly in the bathroom and for storage.
Location is everything on this deck. You don't want to be below the cafe.
The gym and spa were above us on 12 and a two minute walk. The Spinnaker lounge was above us on 13. The Stardust theater was below us on 6 and 7. Dining rooms were a haul to get to the back of the boat.
There is a lot of shopping in a built-up downtown. Everything from trashy souvenir huts to very upscale shopping. A free trolley will give you a ride around the downtown area.
Jamaica with all of the bad stereotypes.