This was my first ever cruise. I read a ton of reviews leading up to the sail date so I figured I would contribute as well, because I found them helpful!
After reading the reviews, and knowing what we paid, I went onto the trip with the expectation that it was a budget friendly trip. I had no expectations of luxury and my expectations were met. This is not a bad thing! But as a first time cruiser you hear stories of these impressive ships with unbelievable food and service and being "wowed". So I held out a little hope for that wow experience but just know before you book that this is indeed a budget, not luxury, ship.
A few things to note:
- Drinks were great. I was happily surprised at the number of craft cocktails and the care that went into making them. Loved my mojito at the Sugarcane Mojito bar.
- Food was good but not outstanding. I definitely wouldn't complain about it and I loved our meal at Cagney's and Le Bistro.
- I'm sure this is true to all cruises, but I found it annoying to swipe your card for absolutely everything you need and all the nickel and dime-ing and service fees. I have been to a lot of all inclusives where you just wear the wrist band and I like that better I think. Not a deal breaker, just something I wasn't prepared for going on a cruise.
- Grand Bahama stop was pretty bad. Might have been our fault for choosing the all inclusive beach excursion. We chose this because our Great Stirrup Cay stop was cancelled because of high winds. We wanted some beach time but did not think this was worth it. May be better to do some research and explore Freeport and the beaches on your own. The drive from Freeport to the beach was incredibly industrial and a bit sad due to devastation. The "Beach Club" itself was a makeshift building on a small parcel of beach. The food was not great and the drinks were so sugary. It was extremely windy which obviously they can't control but we couldn't go in the water. The beach chairs were plastic Adirondack chairs so not loungers. All that being said, if there is any time that Grand Bahama needs the tourists it's now. It is a good thing that NCL still makes this stop even if it was not our favourite.
Overall we still had a wonderful, fun trip but more so because we went with our best friends with no kids and not because of Norwegian, the ship or the excursions If you are looking for a short getaway with lots of great drinks and a ton of food, then this is great! Just set your expectations going into it and you won't be disappointed!
I liked our cabin!! It was small of course but I knew it would be. We weren't in it all that often. Our other friends stayed in cabins 9263 and 9264. We figured out how to open the partitions between our balconies and we could all sit out there together which we loved. However I dont think you're supposed to do this. Just a fun tip if you're traveling with friends.
Very crowded. A lot of Bahamians harassing you to purchase items especially at the public beach beside Atlantis. Atlantis was cool to see.
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Was so excited for this stop but it was cancelled because of wind. Not the cruises fault by any means but just too bad. Ideally they have a port instead of needing to tender.