We chose this itinerary because the timing was perfect to escape the cold weather and post holiday stress. And the price including the airfare was too good to pass up. Let me start by saying this was my 10th cruise but the first cruise I had a cruise line book airline, hotel and transfers for me. I was very skeptical hearing of other cruisers experiences doing so but I was pleasantly surprised on my vacation.
Once NCL emailed me with flight arrangements, I called the airline directly to seat my friend and I together. I expected issues at the airport since my friend’s name was not hyphenated on her airline ticket. However, check in went smoothly. The flight arrived on time to Miami. Finding the NCL staff at baggage claim to escort us to our transfer was easy. We did wait some time for our transfer bus but it was rush hour during the week.
The hotel NCL selected, The Pullman Miami Airport Hotel, was stylish. Our room was large and well appointed. At check in, I asked for recommendations to get a taste of Miami in the few hours we had before our cruise disembarked the next day. As suggested, we arranged for an Uber and headed off to South Beach. It’s mainly a strip of restaurants with hosts trying to entice you in. We visited two restaurants, took in a quick show at Palace, watched Antilles dancers at another club and stepped onto the beach under the moonlight.
I selected Cabin 8064, partially obstructed ocean view, when planning this cruise. The room was surprisingly spacious. I have always stayed in balcony or better state rooms but I would certainly book this stateroom again. The only noticeable difference besides the view was the lack of a couch which we wouldn't need for two of us. It had more than enough storage space for two people to keep the room clean and clutter free. And you can see the ocean and sky in between life boats.
We had limited time in Miami and spent it at South Beach in the evening. It's a strip of restaurants all fighting for you to come in and it can be pricey. But it is worth going just once to check it out.
This was my third time in Nassau. The first time we shopped and hit a local beach on our own. The public beach is a very far cry from the public beaches on the Jersey shore. On our second trip, we bought day passes to a local resort and used their beach and pool for the day. THIS is the way to go. The third time we walked through the straw market very quickly as the vendors are very aggressive to get you to buy from them. Most of the port shops had closed for the day. It reinforced that day passes to a resort are the best way to enjoy Nassau.