2 Reviews Written
47 Forum Posts1 Helpful Vote
We enjoyed this cruise a great deal. It was my second, my husbands first, and we were celebrating a 20th anniversary. We live somewhat local to Boston so we took public transport right to the cruise line, which eliminated the need for ... Read More
We enjoyed this cruise a great deal. It was my second, my husbands first, and we were celebrating a 20th anniversary. We live somewhat local to Boston so we took public transport right to the cruise line, which eliminated the need for parking and hotel. We found the embarkation process to be quick and painless. We stood in a long line to check our bags,(have your bag tip ready and showing so your suitcase doesn't make its way to the bottom of the pile) but found it moved quickly, and we were soon on our way. Our passports were checked, and we made our way up to security where we quickly learned "knitting sticks" were ok, but my husbands utility knife was most definitely not. It was taken from him, and returned the last night of the cruise when we presented our tag at the customer service desk. We then filled out papers swearing we did not have Ebola, and made our way to counter where we provided credit card information, got our room keys, and some additional cruise information. The process was again, quick and painless, and everyone we encountered was pleasant. (including the confiscating screener). We stopped for a quick pic, and then moved up the gangplank. As we boarded, we were greeted warmly by the cruise staff. We presented our electronic keys for boarding, and experienced the first of many sanitizer spritzs. We went right to our room and found it already made up quite nicely with congratulatory gifts, and welcome notes awaiting us. Being right off the Stardust theater and the casino initially made us nervous as it was already smoky and somewhat noisy. The corridor doors we stuck open, even though they had signs indicating they shouldn't be so we called for help, and went off to explore. When we returned the doors were still stuck open, and now we were really worried because the noise and smoke had greatly increased. Luckily some maintenance staff was nearby and they closed the doors for us, which instantly eliminated the noise and smoke for the rest of the cruise. Our bags arrived very late that evening, so future note to self, bring the bathing suit in your carry on. I knew this, but I guess it didn't really register until too late.
We found the restaurants to be quite nice, whether paid or complimentary. Service was in general lovely, the food was good,the atmosphere pleasant, and the staff kind and attentive. We in particular noticed that one of the senior staff members was omnipresent. First thing that morning she had been overseeing the breakfast buffet,then later in the day she was serving drinks at the main poolside bar, even later that evening she was assisting in the dining room, She was just everywhere, always smiling, and she seemed to very much care for her staff. We saw this repeatedly in the coming days, to the point we stopped her to comment on our observations. She was so appreciative and gracious, she even took the time to send a treat to our room as a thank you. We were very impressed with the restaurant and buffet food service staff. The only place we just did not enjoy was the Blue lagoon. Service and food quality was lacking here and I don't believe we will go that route again. I suspect this restaurant also services room service requests.Service to the room was very, very slow, and not to order. For example, we ordered hot dogs and got relish and onions, but no ketchup or mustard. Other items ordered weren't what were expecting either so we decided to forgo that option for the remainder of the cruise.
We loved the entertainment. The shows were so much fun, and we felt the talent was quite good. We loved all the oldie but goody songs, and the dancing. Clearly a lot of work and rehearsal goes into these productions. We also thought the cruise director was amazing. He was funny, warm, and very good at keeping things moving along. He also, never seemed to stop, moving from one activity to another in quick succession, yet he never made anyone feel rushed or unwelcome. We want a "Dingo Dave" on every cruise. The newly wed game was an absolute blast! I've not laughed that hard in a long time!
We paid for extra for the spa and enjoyed every minute of it. I did get chased down a few times, and learned I must always bring a room key to obtain a locker, and to identify myself with. The massage I got was amazing, though I find the prices outrageous compared to my local area, and I absolutely hate the high pressure sales pitch at the end to buy the products. But hey, I guess we all need to make a living. I'm certain the staff does not enjoy this aspect of the job either, so I endured politely. I would get a massage again though, it was that good! I think I would have enjoyed the fitness facilities, but found that getting a machine was quite difficult so I gave up. The facilities seemed clean, and well maintained. Those that were using it didn't want to leave! :)
We enjoyed the art seminar, and learned a lot. We attended the art auction and found it also quite informative and interesting.This was a first for us, but we found that the staff walks you through the bidding and purchase process, and the art is worth looking at and enjoying. We even got a few complimentary prints in the deal along with a nice piece of art. (Still waiting for it to be delivered)
Our favorite part was just walking the decks. The view is just amazing, and the ocean so vast. We also enjoyed the hot tub at the very front of the boat where we could just sit and gaze out at an endless ocean. We met some interesting people, and felt the tension just roll away. The one thing we would have enjoyed was more indoor public seating areas. The library was the only place to relax indoors, and it offered zero views. Sometimes you just need to escape the sun, or in our case the cold, and outside of restaurants there isn't much place to congregate or play a game other than the restaurants. We found ourselves just hanging in the room, which made the picture window even more important.
Disembarkation was a little muddled with some conflicting information floating around. There was a disabled couple who had been told to sit in particular spot, but then someone else came along and was rather brusque in telling them they could not be in that spot. They were quite upset and likely embarrassed by the commotion. In cases like that it would be good to inform folks ahead of time. For us, we made our way to the general area, waited as instructed, and made our way quickly off the boat when the time came. It was generally a good system, except people sometimes just don't listen. Not sure how I would change things, but we did pretty well with the whole process. We decided to taxi to the nearest commuter rail station, and sat gazing sadly out the window of the train wishing we were already back on the boat and off to a new adventure. Not to worry though. We took advantage of the advance down payment program for our next cruise. Cant wait to tell everyone about that one too!
We feel the good ratings we gave for this cruise were well justified. Noting is ever perfect, but Norwegian came pretty darn close. They strive to provide a good experience from the moment you embark, to the moment you leave. Cruising is a great equalizer in our opinion. Everyone, no matter your station in life, gets to feel rich and pampered, in a beautiful, well maintained setting, at exotic locations, for a comfortable price. How can you go wrong?Read Less
My family and I went on the July 18-25, 2014 cruise to Bermuda. My parents had a balcony room and me and my 2 sisters had an inside room on deck 11. My parents had taken this cruise before but this was a first for me and my sisters. ... Read More
My family and I went on the July 18-25, 2014 cruise to Bermuda. My parents had a balcony room and me and my 2 sisters had an inside room on deck 11. My parents had taken this cruise before but this was a first for me and my sisters. Since we live in MA we didn't need to fly to a port. Embarkation was smooth and easy. We were able to get into our rooms by 12:30pm. The inside room is small but since we weren't there a lot, it worked great for us. Since our parents had a balcony room we were able to enjoy their view often. Our steward Gusti was great. Answered any questions we had and greeted us whenever we saw him.
The food was very good too. We had most of our meals in the Venetian. There was variety and delicious choices. We got to try food we never had before. The service was great and it is a beautiful restaurant. We had a few different servers but enjoyed our time with Miro the best. We searched him out whenever possible and he would always stop by to see us and answer any questions we had about the food, even when he wasn't our waiter. I had read some tips prior to cruising and one was go to the Venetian on embarkation day because many people go directly to the buffet. That was excellent advice, we were seating and served right away. I would recommend making reservations especially for the last couple nights because they book up early.
We also attending the Murder Mystery Lunch. There is a fee for the lunch but well worth the entertainment you get. We had lots of fun there. The coffee was strong, we enjoyed getting coffee from the "coffeeologist" look for him in the Garden Buffet. At the pool we met an awesome waitress Irene! She learned our names right away and greeting us throughout the cruise. She told us about the Pub Hop which we attended. Highly recommend that for meeting people and lots of fun! It happens twice while at sea. Big Ben made that experience great fun.
In Bermuda we went on 4 excursions. They were all fabulous. We did the Day at the Beach at Snorkel Beach, the Horseshoe Bay Beach excursion, the Gosling's Sunset Cruise and the Bermuda Triangle Snorkel cruise. We bought some Gosling's rum on the sunset cruise and it was delivered to our room the night before we disembarked. We also did some shopping. We really liked the rum cakes and glass blowing store. There were also lot of options in the clock tower mall.
Our Cruise Critics group met for a meet and greet and were also given a tour of the bridge. Definitely recommend joining a role call and attending events with people in the group. It was so nice to see people I knew throughout the cruise. At night we spent a lot of time in the Pearly Kings Pub. Look for the bartender who calls himself "Chips Ahoy" he is entertaining and quite the character. Karaoke can be found there most nights. Chips Ahoy will offer trivia too while you are sitting at the bar. He has a great laugh, check it out for sure!
Disembarkation was slow. We thought luggage tags were going to be delivered to our cabins but you actually pick them up yourself in the Grand Atrium the last day of cruising right outside of the Pearly King. Because we didn't find out until the end of the day we did not have a choice in the time we wanted to leave. Read your daily newsletters that your steward leaves in your room. That is where the directions were found. You can also plan your activities for the next day.
I would recommend bringing a clock (none in the room), a flashlight, a watch, bandaids (although you can get them from the information desk, they weren't the best quality), an underwater camera, sweater/sweatshirt (it can get cold in the air conditioned areas), a travel mug for coffee (their cups are small), and extra bags to bring home you souvenirs. I would definitely take this cruise again! Try everything! It is so much fun and you will meet lots of new friends!Read Less
As background, I am a veteran D+ of RCL, Carnival and HAL and only sailed with NCL once before. This cruise was booked for the 23rd to 30th of May, sailing out of Boston to Bermuda. The dates worked with my schedule and thought I'd try ... Read More
As background, I am a veteran D+ of RCL, Carnival and HAL and only sailed with NCL once before. This cruise was booked for the 23rd to 30th of May, sailing out of Boston to Bermuda. The dates worked with my schedule and thought I'd try NCL. Travelled with my son and son's friend.
We flew into Boston from Atlanta the day of sailing and took a taxi to the pier. (Taxi was approx. $35.00) We arrived at the pier around 11am and was quickly checked in and waiting. Since we had a suite, there was a specific area cordoned off for us with drinks and pastries available. We were given a pre-order form for alcohol/pillow choices which we filled out. We did not wait long before our Butler, Madel, came to greet us and escort us on to the ship. Since the rooms weren't ready yet, we were escorted to Cagney's for lunch.
First impressions were awesome, from the way we were treated from arrival, to being escorted on the ship and being seated for lunch the first day made us feel special. After a nice quiet lunch (usual first days at the buffet are hectic) we went to find our stateroom. We had the owner's suite with 2 balconies.
After dropping our hand carried luggage, we went to explore the ship. It's not the most beautiful ship I've seen, but it was well organized (except for the first time we went to find the Venetian) and in good repair. Yes, there are some rust spots and worn carpet in areas, but overall very well maintained.
My thoughts of the Aqua were mixed. We ate there three times. The first night we were seated with Keith Campbell as our server. Service was quick, efficient and he was able to keep us entertained while covering his whole area. The second time the service was very slow. We went later in the evening and we were told that since it was near closing, the food had to be cooked to order. Unacceptable, as the food once it was brought out was cold. Had it been cooked to order, it would have been hot. The order was also wrong. My son's friend ordered the striploin, and received steak Dianne. The server started to cry, another server kept coming by laughing and pointing at her. We were made to feel uncomfortable for speaking our mind. The maitre'd came to the table and told us that we would get a complimentary bottle of wine for the next night. We only accepted with the offer if we could seat in Keith's area. The third time and last time dining in Aqua, we sat in Keith's section, and had our bottle of wine. The food in the Aqua, except for the problem with the second service, was good. Nothing on the menu was really memorable, except for the service issue, but what we had was good and there were no complaints on the quality of the food.
We only went to the Venetian once for lunch. It was very pretty and we were seated at the back of the ship overlooking the wake. Food there was good.
Canallato - our favorite. My son and his friend ordered the steak twice and I ordered the lasagna one night and the pork medallions the second time. I can't speak for the restaurant on board, since we ordered it in our cabin through Madel, but the food was better than Cagney's. We did try Cagney's one night and all agreed that the steaks were better in the Aqua and through Canallato's. All three of us had chewy, grisly meat. We ate at Cagney's for breakfast and lunch on several days, and it was so much better than their dinner service.
I have to speak of our butler Madel Bunyi. He was absolutely fantastic and made our trip that much more memorable. I know he had other rooms to service, but he was there for us when we wanted him to be and even when we didn't know he was coming. We had a problem with our coffee maker and he took it out for repair. Since I am a big coffee drinker, until it was fixed, he brought coffee every morning, both a regular pot and the French press pot from Cagney's (he heard us say we liked it). He was very personable, efficient and professional.
The casino took our money, but we had a lot of fun losing.
We went to the aerial show. It was excellent. I wish we had gone to more shows, but there will definitely be more cruises with NCL.
Disembarkation was quick and easy. We were able to take a leisurely breakfast at Cagney's, check our room one last time for anything that might have been left behind and had a quick exit from the ship. We are surely going to miss our time with Dawn.
Overall the service was excellent, we had a lot of fun and we were sad to leave. I would definitely recommend this ship to a friend.Read Less
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