This review is for a cruise of 4 (my DH, my DS, my DBIL, and myself) with side-by-side midship balcony cabins starboard side on the 13th deck. Both cabins chose the Ultimate Beverage and Dining packages for this trip. We sailed from New Orleans to the western Caribbean stopping at Cozumel, Belize City, Harvest Caye, and Costa Maya. All 4 passengers on this trip have stopped at these ports on numerous prior cruises. We selected to travel this week to avoid a crowded ship. Just a note that it’s much cooler sailing out of NOLA than Miami so bring the appropriate clothing.
We took advantage of NCL’s flight incentive program and paid extra to fly into NOLA a day before the cruise. We rented a car and drove over to Biloxi for the night and arrived back to NOLA approximately 10:30 a.m. We rented the car from Budget since we could return the car to the Hilton Hotel which is beside the port terminal. There was an entry into the mall from the car rental office and we enjoyed a little shopping since we had time before embarkation. Once in the mall, we walked towards the food court and took an elevator down to the terminal entrance. The terminal was busy with traffic so being on foot seemed the best option. All cruisers should check the Saint’s football schedule before their trip to avoid traffic issues. Note those with Diamond or Seven Star status with Harrah’s can park free in their garage. The short walk to the terminal is worth the money saved in parking. The cruise terminal is small but we quickly went through security without much of a wait. The area for the Casino at Seas check-in was extremely cramped but we again had little wait. Our party included 2 passengers with Platinum and 2 others with Platinum + status. Note – there is no priority boarding for status members other than Haven passengers so boarding was done per group numbers. We had little wait but were told by another passenger boarding was delayed because of a mechanical issue after we boarded.
Cabin – We had the typical midship balcony cabin. We prefer the configuration with the beds closer to the balcony. Our TV didn’t work but by day 2 it was replaced with a new working unit. Our bathroom door was warped and had to be forcefully shut – no big deal. We shared the closet, had our steward remove everything from the minibar/refrigerator, and diligently used the safe. There was a coffee/tea maker with a variety of choices. The stool tucked under the coffee bar provided the best location to blow-dry and style your hair. There is a full length mirror next to the bathroom door for a quick look before you leave the cabin. The shower flooded one evening but our steward had it cleaned and dry by the time we returned to our stateroom. We easily had enough room and storage for 2 people. The cabins on the Escape, Getaway, and Breakaway all appear similar with a difference in color and decoration. Just watch your step when going into the bathroom because it’s a step-up. Our steward was very helpful and friendly. My only complaint is there was no foot bar in the shower. My DS said she had one in the cabin next door – I improvised.