This was first time on Norwegian, maybe 9th cruise all in all. We had a 7 day cruise stopping in Great Stirrup Cay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Sadly, we skipped Great Stirrup Cay, which I found out happens on a regular basis. I do understand the wind and waves are out of the control of Norwegian, but it seems to happen way too much. Another passenger on the ship said the last three times he took the cruise it was skipped. That was one of the top two that we were looking forward to. In my opinion Jamaica was a pit. Admittedly, I did not take a excursion, but I heard from several people who did that they were very disappointed in the day, and/or scared of the drivers skills and the other traffic on the road. We walked ourselves off the ship and to the first two shopping centers we came from. The entire way we were harassed by taxi drivers, excursion drivers and people selling everything from drugs to hair braiding. We tried to politely saying “no thank you,” but they would still follow you for almost a block. The first shopping center we came from had a lot of the stores closed and what was there was mediocre junk. Walked onto the second one and then just turned around and went back to the ship. Of course we had to walk through the gauntlet going the other direction as well. The third step was Grand Cayman and that was absolutely lovely. We had intended to take the city bus down to 7 Mile Beach, but the local tender driver directed us in a better direction to a very uncrowded little beautiful beach. He pointed to all the crew ships in the harbor and said that half of those people are going to be at the beach and it’s going to be extremely crowded. You were very thankful. Shopping was great, and nobody harassed us trying to get us to buy things. The only part I have been in Mexico before was Ensenada. I found Cozumel a huge improvement. They’ve made quite an effort to beautify the whole area around the port. It felt safe, there were lots of restaurants to choose to eat up, and lots of stores to buy souvenirs that. The water was a beautiful blue and all in all it was a good time.
As far as the food on the cruise I found it mediocre. Because the hubby likes to eat mostly at the buffet we did that for breakfast and several of the dinners. I do recognize it’s hard to cook for large amounts of people and the food wasn’t bad it just wasn’t that wonderful. I ate three times in the dining room had some wonderful salmon, but the two beef dishes I got were kind of blah. We ate a couple meals at the Shanghai noodle bar which Anna was a fun experience but the food didn’t have a lot of flavor. It was kind of bland. I would’ve had more soy sauce or seasoning but I didn’t see any. this was my first completely freestyle cruise. Personally I like being put at a table for dinner and getting to meet the other people at your table and having the same waiters. But I definitely did not like was having to try to reserve all my entertainment. I really wanted to see a magician magic show but never got to because every time I tried it was packed. We did book our cruise only two weeks before and when I tried to book things most were already full. I did wait in the standby line several times and was let in, but it’s hard to plan your night when you don’t know if you’re going to get in after waiting a half hour in line. We got an interior cabin and I thought the cabinet was actually more than fine. It was quiet, and very dark in the morning which was a nice change for me. Our room steward was a very sweet man and we had absolutely no issues. The pool deck was very loud with the music, and it was kind of a stressful to try to get a chaise lounge on sea days. Of course there’s always those people that leave their towel in the chair and then don’t come back for hours hogging the chair for anyone else that might want to just sit for an hour or two. I could tell there were some passengers who had cruised often on Norwegian who simply remove peoples towels when they were not there for a half an hour. I wasn’t that brave. The casino was very large. I’m not a gambler, but you had to walk quite a distance through that casino with the heavy smoke every time you wanted to go to the noodle bar or some other locations. Then the smokers had what amounted to a plastic cage hear the pool where they were smoking too. The smoke definitely traveled toward the chaise lounges. Waterslides were kick and they were never more than three or four people in line ahead of you. I wanted to do the ropes course and plan to the last day but it was windy and rainy and it wasn’t open for good reason. In a nutshell I felt that the ship seemed very crowded. Especially when it was cold rainy outside. There never seem to be enough seating in any of the events or common areas to accommodate everybody. The one thing they did very well was the entertainment. We saw Burn the Floor, and a production called Six about Henry the Eights six wives. The dancers and musicians were absolutely amazing in both shows. We found the comedians very funny and would highly recommend the dueling piano bar Howl at the Moon. I went to karaoke twice. The first time was great and they were some wonderful adult singing. But the last night they were far too many kids in the bar signing up to sing karaoke. Keep in mind there is a whole area for teens but we had kids anywhere from 9 to 12 signing up for 2, 3, and 4 songs. I’m all for supporting the family, but they would get up there and giggle or you couldn’t even hear them singing. We left after half an hour. I think there’s just a time and a place, and a karaoke for families in the afternoon would’ve been just perfect. But after 8 o’clock at night I don’t believe that they all belong on the stage. It’s not what other travelers want to see. I will say the host did her best to cycle them in with lots of space in between them. I really enjoyed a couple Q and A sessions one with the dancers and entertainment staff, and one with the captain and the first two officers. Both were very informative and I found all the people very nice. One thing I really love was the ships decor. I found some ships seem to look like a giant Vegas casino, but this one had distinct separate areas like Headliners Comedy Club, or Syd Norman‘s Pour House, or Maltimgs Bar that were really nicely decorated and gave a break from all the glitz. I intended to use the gym, but never got around to it. We did walk up there though, and it did look very nice. Embarkation was very smooth, and as we were in a hurry the day we left to go see friends, we walked out suitcases off. I’ve never seen a smoother disembarkation. It was early though. The staff was friendly- and some of the hardest working people I have seen. Kudos to them. This includes the port staff- all friendly and helpful.
It wasn’t huge, but there was definitely plenty of room for the two of us. I found the bathroom bigger than most with plenty room in the bathroom and in the shower. There was a nice bar to put your leg on when you’re shaving your legs. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be very awkward to do that when it’s a small shower. All in all Iiked the room. It would be nice to have a slightly bigger selection of channels. I know that you’re not on a ship to watch TV, but at one point my husband wasn’t feeling well, and on the rainy day it was very hard to find somewhere to sit so we tend to go back to the cabin several times.
We drove straight to the pier, parked, and embarked.
We skipped the island as is often done, due to weather.
Dirty, noisy, and you are harassed non-stop by people selling taxi rides, hair braiding, marijuana etc. Will not get off the ship if I find myself there again.
Took a taxi ride to a local beach (not Seven Mile). Had a great time, then went shopping. Lovely place.
Not bad. cousin help made a real effort to clean up the porch and decorated very nicely. There was plenty of shopping it was typical souvenir items, but clean stores and several fun restaurants. The water was a beautiful blue and we walked along the waterfront for a while. Had drinks at Senor Frogs which was fun, and lunch at tequilas and tacos. Both were delicious.