Unfortunately, this critique will primarily be about the suite, the services and amenities that came with it, First off, my FiancEe and I had not vacationed in two years. We definitely needed it. Our cruise left on April 24, 2010, out of ... Read More
Unfortunately, this critique will primarily be about the suite, the services and amenities that came with it, First off, my FiancEe and I had not vacationed in two years. We definitely needed it. Our cruise left on April 24, 2010, out of NYC. We stayed in the Pink Diamond Suite, which is an Owner's Suite (AA). This particular suite has two balconies.
This suite is located on deck 10, specifically in the left front portion of the ship. Having balconies in the front and side (port) and also having 5 windows. The front balcony has two lounge chairs and a table. The side balcony has four chairs, two tables and a foot stool. The side balcony is equivalent to two balconies. Back to the inside of the suite, there are two bathrooms. The smaller bathroom is basically a toilet, sink and telephone. The main bathroom has his/her sinks, full bathtub with TV, separate shower stall, toilet with telephone and two windows. Also in the main bathroom area is a walk in closet, having his/her closet space, two robes with matching slippers, a pressing machine, make up area, and two safes. The living room area has a couch, chair and a very comfortable large lounge type chair, large TV with DVD player. The dining area has a table with four chairs. There is a wet bar having a coffee machine and refrigerator. You receive complimentary champagne, large bottle of water, large bottle of mineral water and 6 bottles of liquor or you could substitute the liquor for 3 bottles of wine, which we chose (2 red and 1 white). The bedroom area consists of a large queen size bed, with some of the most comfortable bedding ever...the sleep we got was out of this world. You receive the same size TV with DVD player at the end of your bed. The bedroom area is also your gateway to the front balcony, therefore you have a large window and the doors just past the bed. I say doors, because you have the water tight door as well as a another door to deal with.
Pictures of our suite can be found at: http://s165.photobucket.com/albums/u80/bmn68/Cruise042410/ Look for our folders on the left. You can see various times of our cruise, as well.
There are only four of such suites, having two on deck 10 and again two on deck 9. As an Owner Suite you receive Concierge and Butler service. Other perks with the suite is access to Cagney's breakfast and lunch service; having access to deck 14, specifically, the Concierge Lounge, Villa Sundeck and Private Lounge areas, which has a pool, hot tub, sauna, gym and plenty of lounge chairs and sun. You also have special seating area in the Stardust Theatre (upper left balcony area). You will know this after your first day, because the muster drill has you appearing in the same area...I deem it a perk, as most of the people on the ship will be going outside, as you remain inside. Also you don't have to bring or wear the life preserver.
Ok, now for the break down. The suite was beyond expectation (10 rating). Our Butler was outstanding (10 rating). Our Steward was exceptional (10 rating). Our Concierge was the only reason why I cannot give a perfect rating for my critique. Since we rated the above, the rating our Concierge receives is a strong 8. I will explain the reason why it wasn't a 10 in a moment.
Another perk you receive having a suite, is the Owner/Villa Suites Lounge area during the check-in process. In this room you have access to coffee, tea, water and snacks. You meet your Concierge and are provided an escort to your room.
Out of the seven days, we took advantage of our Butler by dining in lunch and dinner 5 of the days. Having the suite gave us access to all the restaurants on the ship (menus provided in the room), with the exception of the Japanese - Teppanyaki restaurant. As we dined in our suite a lot, we chose the following restaurants: Cagney's, Le Bistro, Chin-Chin, Mama's Italian Kitchen and the Azura. The first day we had lunch by the main pool, as they offered a barbecue (The Grill). We were provided 3 plates of food, consisting of various cheeses, nuts, fruits, hors d'oeuvres and chocolates daily at 4pm, which were compliments from the various heads of departments on the cruise ship.
From leaving NYC, the only bad weather day was Sunday, in which it rained and was windy. However, being a sea day, it didn't affect us, as our side balcony was enclosed. The rest of the cruise we had just about perfect weather, given the month. The wind primarily was blowing from the rear right to the front left. Simply meaning we hardly had any wind from our front balcony except for the wind from moving forward, which provided a cool welcomed breeze into our suite. Each night we were fortunate to have the sunset on the left side of the ship. Each day we were fortunate to have the sun on our front balcony. I was burnt by the third day of the cruise.
We are gamblers, therefore just about every night we were in the casino. Having been on the Dawn and Spirit, I can tell you that this casino gives you more of the Atlantic City feel, as it is appears to be larger. The pit bosses were great. They knew our names and even provided us free drinks, which made our losses less felt. They provided free coffee/tea and offered a buffet style food arrangement after midnight. This kept us going till 0430 hours in the morning. We closed the casino twice. By the end of the cruise, we made out...sorry NCL!
We attended the Cirque Bijou show on the last night. It was standing room only and rightfully so. The show was great.
This particular cruise has three stops scheduled. First was Port Canaveral, FL, NCL's private island and on to Nassau, Bahamas. Due to rough waves at their private island, we headed to Nassau instead. Instead of one day at Nassau, we had two days. Having been to their private island twice, I was not complaining about skipping it. It is a pain getting off and on the ship and the beach is always crowded.
We did not participate in any of the excursions.
Now onto why I cannot provide the Concierge a 10 rating. Keep in mind my rating of a strong 8 is not bad. Anyways, I asked while at Port Canaveral, FL if my father (in his 60's) could board the ship and stay with us for a while in the suite. I provided the Concierge my father's DOB and driver's license, as per his request. Sunday afternoon he contacted us and stated that my father could not come on board. I know this is a personal reason, however I felt the Concierge ignored us for the rest of the cruise afterwards. We normally cruise in suites and know what service they normally provide. After Sunday, we never spoke nor saw the Concierge. Again my rating is personal, take it for what it is worth.
As part of the Cruise Critic gang, we met at 1100 hours on Sunday in the Azura Restaurant. We met the Captain, Hotel Director, Cruise Director, and various other crew members. The Captain offered a tour of the bridge on Thursday. Later during the day on Thursday there was a Cabin Crawl...where everyone can see each other rooms. We passed on the bridge tour, as we were privileged to have our own private tour on the Spirit. That and the real reason was the fact we closed the casino that morning...LOL!
Overall, we highly recommend this ship. We were pampered. It is a very clean ship. It was a very relaxing ship. Read Less