We chose this cruise because of the Galveston departure port as we live in TX. We have two small boys (5 and 8) and this was our "trial" cruise for them to see if they liked cruising. We wanted to keep it simple and not fly anywhere. This was our first time on a larger ship. Hubby and I have only ever been on NCL mid-size ships (Jewel, Pearl, Gem) so I had high expectations given what I had heard about the activities available on this particular ship (water slides and splash park).
Boarding was easy and we had no issues except for the mediocre welcome. Crew seemed stressed out. No "Welcome aboard!". I found this odd. The atmosphere seemed a bit chaotic and it was very crowded. I felt a bit let down remembering the huge welcomes we had received in prior cruises.
Our first disappointment was with our cabins. When I booked this cruise I asked for adjoining rooms because our boys are little. I was booking late (November) so I knew our options would be limited. I was told there were only two options available overlooking the Royal Promenade. I was concerned this would be noisy but the RC agent assured me she would put us in the rooms that were located above a store. The other option was right above the Hoof and Claw pub which would not have been ideal. Well, I guess the agent made a mistake because our cabins were directly above said pub. While our boys were able to get to sleep fine, my husband and I were forced to stay awake every night until at least 12:30 am due to Carlo, the entertainer there for 6 nights in the Hoof and Claw pub. He does 3 to 4 sets each night. When I went to GS the first morning, they told me there was nothing they could do as all cabins were booked. All I got was a mediocre "sorry". We were extremely disappointed to say the least. I was so tired by Wednesday night that I cried from exhaustion. People got very rowdy in this pub every single night. We could hear every single word of every song. I was so sick and tired of hearing American Pie two or three times each night. Even with ear plugs, we could still hear everything. If you want to get to sleep anytime before 12:30 am do not get cabins 6575, 6577, or 6579. In fact, I'd stay away from any room overlooking the Promenade.