We chose this cruise for an introductory short visit to Havana, and also loved the fact that the ship was leaving from Port Canaveral....much less hassel than Ft. Lauderdale or Miami. Parking was amazing...right outside the ship, across the street. Embarkation was easy and quick. We are very experienced cruisers who almost always sail on Cunard or Celebrity. We had only been on NCL in 1997 for two cruises to and from Europe on the late, great oceanliner the SS Norway. So, we booked this cruise with some trepidation. We chose a standard cabin with balcony. We were totally surprised by the cabin, which we expected to be claustrophobic. First of all, the recent renovation was very obvious. The upholstery was all brand new, the carpeting clean, the lighting terrific, the table and chair had been removed to open up the space, with a flexible hassock put on its place to double as table or seat. The mirrored headboard and other mirrors gave a feeling of spaciousness. The sofa was very wide and roomy. The old fashioned shiny warm wood, combined with the very plentiful and well designed amazing storage throughout the cabin, gave the feeling of a vintage yacht. The bed was extremely comfortable. And, loved the coffee/hot water machine!! The bathroom was just adequate...it could have used upgrading, especially the shower which was ridiculously tight. But, the water pressure, temperature and great hand shower were all perfect. Even the dreaded clingy shower curtain was changed mid cruise to a brand new one. Our room steward Hearty was wonderful, attentive, and did a great job. The balcony was good, but could use a larger table. The ship itself was a bit confusing at first, because the layout is very unusual. A deck map on each level with a 'you are here' symbol, would have be advantageous. Other signage was helpful, however. The elevators were great. We liked the size of the ship, especially for a short journey. We were delighted with the 'free cruising' concept, with so many restaurant choices and inclusive drinks, etc. Bartenders were excellent. Other than a first night dinner problem....main course and dessert not good, all food after that was superb. The two main dining rooms were lovely and obviously upgraded (also, there were obvious upgrades in the other main areas), and the staff throughout the ship very gracious and attentive (but, odd that we never saw the Captain!!). We also ate in the Brazilian place and Le Bistro. We never encountered crowds or waiting...and we were were always ushered to a window table. Especially have to compliment the chefs on the pumpkin gnocci, the panacotta, the flan (part of the excellent Cuban dinner), the excellent onion soup in Le Bistro....and some other dishes that were really very, very good. Wish there were additional ice cream flavors. We enjoyed the guitarist/singer and the Latin duo. Would have loved two full days in Havana....just too much to see and do in one day and night. We toured on our own (six hours in vintage car)....at a much lower price than the ship offered for half the time. But, on the next cruise (we just booked the same cruise again for August) we are booked for the ship's art tour.
Only real downer was the paucity of immigration personnel at debarkation....causing us to stand on line for an unusually and uncomfortable amount of time. But, that is not the ship's fault. One important recommendation is to add a lecture about Cuba....history, culture, sites, perhaps in late morning before docking in Key West.
Roomy feeling for size, excellent above average storage, upgraded upholstery, large sofa, very comfortable bed, new hassock, excellent lighting, quiet. Shower very tight, but excellent water pressure, temperature and hand shower....and new curtain. Coffee/hot water machine, lovely old wood with vintage yacht like ambiance. Very good location- opposite inside cabin and near elevators and stairs.