My wife and I booked a large balcony on this cruise on and invitation from some friends. We were on deck 9, forward, starboard, cabin 9732, and it was a good location, with the exception of being a bit far from the forward elevator/stair lobby. Overall the ship was in great shape, and cabin was well laid out and in immaculate shape. In keeping with some comments we'd read before hand the balcony was small, though larger than the regular ones, and made worse with too much furniture. Two chairs, a table and two loungers took up all of the space. Since it rained every night and we only really wanted it to have coffee in the morning, we really didn't get much use out of it.
Embarkation was the usual nightmare, as POM is just not setup to handle these larger ships. Check in was prompt and easy, but there was quite a wait to board. Once on the ship there were plenty of lunch options, and we bypassed the buffet in favor of one of the main dining rooms. Lunch was served fairly quick and the food was average.
This was our 14th cruise, an our second on NCL, and we were both impressed by the layout and amount of storage in the cabin, There were spaces we just didn't need, and plenty of room under the bed for suitcases, even after our steward emptied the mini bar and stored the contents under there.
We had the beverage package and 3 specialty dinners as perks, and overall bar service was prompt and the drinks were well made. The $15 limit never impacted us since most of the liquor was name brand and close to top shelf. The wine by the glass selection was also acceptable. We chose Moderno, Cagney's, and the Steam dinner show for out specialties, and food at the first two was disappointing. The salad bar was far below expectations at Moderno, and meat selection was a bit limited compared to previous reviews. Cagney's was just poor. Steak was tough and not cooked to order, with two of four going bad to be redone. The best meal we had all week was at the Steam show, with excellent food served hot and as ordered. The show there was amazing too. We had 3 dinners in the main dining rooms, trying all 3, and the menu selections and food quality there was much better than the specialties! Ate in the buffet for the occasional snack or breakfast, and it was marginal most times. The food was ok, but crowding and the large size of the room made it tough to navigate.
Service overall was acceptable, though seldom real friendly. I got the impression that the bartenders especially were stressed just keeping up.
We attended the comedy show in Headliners (nothing special), Burn the Floor (impressive if you like dancing), and the Million Dollar Quartet (very good, best of the bunch), and we avoided most of the activities at the pool and atrium due to crowding.
The most disappointing aspects of the trip; The ship is just too big! It always seemed that whatever you wanted to do was a mile away through either the crowded casino and shopping decks, or down one of the way too narrow hallways. The pool, atrium, and theater are way too small for the passenger load, and getting on and off at ports was a nightmare of overcrowded elevators. The other annoying aspects was the nickel-and-dime nature of so many things. Foremost to us was the fact that any additional specialty restaurant booking involved not the usual cover charge/upcharge, but full price ala carte menus with pricing comparable to any big city venues. We wanted to try the Italian place, but the additional cost would have gone over $120 for the two of us, and after paying for the included dining we just couldn't see that. Our last two cruises have been on Disney and Celebrity, and both had better food, more upscale menus, and much better pricing on specialties.
While this was a great vacation and all went relatively to plan,I don't think I'll be quick to consider such a large ship or NCL as our first choice again for a while.
The cabin layout, with the possible exception of too much furniture on the balcony, was excellent. Lots of storage space, functional and fairly spacious bathroom, and an excellent shower, along with wonderful maintenance and treatment by our cabin attendant made the cabin the highlight of the ship for us.
POM is just not equipped to handle large ships. Embarkation and disembarking were just a confused mess.
The absolute best beach day/all inclusive experience ever! Limited attendance, individual beach huts, fabulous food and drinks, and the most accommodating staff ever. Even though the water and sea grass made the beach a little ugly, it didn't impact the good time had by all.View All 389 Beach Reviews
First off, this is not the 'private island' experience we've had with other lines. At best this is an exclusive port for NCL, and since beverage package and charging privileges don't extend from the ship be ready to spend a bunch if you spend the day here. Very contrived and commercial atmosphere...nothing Belize about it.
Took the Jolly Roger catamaran tour. It was the typical 'snorkel for an hour then eat and drink' catamaran ride. The long ride through the island to get to the boat wasn't expected since it hadn't been mentioned in any of the booking literature, and the condition of the boat itself was a little shabby. The seas were rough (no one's fault) and the crew was very attentive and friendly, but overall I've been on better.View All 345 Snorkeling Reviews