Let me start out by saying I am sorry this review is so long. We just wanted to make sure we put as much information in it as possible for future cruisers. We are 36 and 44 and this was our sixth cruise. Three cruises with NCL, one with Carnival, one with Royal Caribbean and one with Radisson. If you want the short of it, it was almost a perfect cruise and well worth any amount of money spent. I would highly recommend getting a room with a balcony for this cruise. You will never regret it.
Seattle: Day one - We arrived in Seattle two days early. Flight from Dallas was uneventful and we were actually early (about 1 hour early) because they had changed our flight time. Since we had rented a car through Hotwire we were afraid that we would not be able to pick it up, but they had it waiting for us and did not charge us extra. With road construction at the airport, we had a little trouble getting out to where we needed to be, but finally found our way. We had also booked a room in the Seattle Sheraton through Hotwire. We wanted to drop our luggage off and then go for a drive across Whidbey Island which is located north of Seattle. We were concerned that the hotel would not let us have our room since we were so early, but they did. We took our luggage up to the room, freshened up and then headed to our first destination. We drove north to a town called Mukilteo and had lunch at Ivar's next to the ferry terminal. We had the Alaskan Halibut Fish and Chips ($14.00) and Prawn and Chips ($13.00). Both were delicious. We then boarded the ferry and went to Whidbey Island. How beautiful the drive is through Whidbey Island. We were able to stop at Ft. Casey, incredible. We saw several bunny rabbits and three deer. We went all the way around Whidbey Island and saw a few more deer. Crossed the Deception Pass Bridge and found our way back to I5 and headed south to Seattle again. Stopped at the Tulalip Casino and Resort on the way back, spent a little time in their casino, had fun, won some money, lost some money, and headed back to Seattle to the waterfront and dinner at The Fisherman's Restaurant and Bar (Pier 57).
We arrived after 5PM and found a parking lot that had a flat fee to park from like 5PM to midnight or something like that. Parking was $10.00. We had a very nice dinner at The Fisherman. I HIGHLY recommend the Dungeness Crab Cocktail ($12.95). VERY good. My DP (Domestic Partner) had Blacked Stuffed Cod ($22.00) and I had the Blacked Mahi Mahi ($20.00). I guess living so close to New Orleans, we are spoiled to good blackened cooking, as The Fisherman's left a little bit to be desired. I still recommend this restaurant, just maybe try something else. Anyway, back to the hotel for a night of rest. After we got back to the hotel, we realized our air conditioner was not working. I will not go into all of the specifics, but will just tell you it took from 9PM our first night there to 9PM the next night to get it repaired. This was after two calls to the front desk and one trip to the front desk to express my concern at not having air conditioning.
Day two - We were still on Dallas time so we woke up early. Got showered and dressed and were in the rental car and headed to Mt. Rainier. Stopped on the way in a town called Enumclaw and had breakfast at Charlie's Cafe. The food was wonderful. We ordered a Blueberry Pancake ($3.95) and both shared it. It was VERY good. We each then had a breakfast sandwich, one was ham, egg and cheese on toast and the other bacon, egg and cheese on toast ($6.95 each). It was delicious. Not all of the roads around Mt. Rainier were open at this time of the year, however we were able to drive all the way around the mountain. It was just beautiful and well worth the trip. We stopped on the other side of the mountain and had lunch in the Mt. Rainier Railroad Dining Company in Elbe. I had the lasagna and my DP had the chopped brisket on a bun. He liked his. Mine was just ok. Sorry I forgot to make note of the cost, but I would guess around $20.00 for the two of us. We then proceeded to the Sea-Tac airport to drop the rental car off and catch a cab back to the hotel. It was a painless process. Cab from the airport to our downtown hotel was $37.00 plus tip during rush hour. Once we got back to the hotel and freshened up, we caught a cab to the Seattle Waterfront ($11.60 plus tip). This night we ate at Anthony's (Pier 66). We both had the grilled King Salmon with Mashed Potatoes and Sugar Snap Peas ($38.00 each). My DP liked his, however this was my first time to try fresh grilled Salmon and I have to say, not for me. We did start the dinner with Shrimp Gumbo ($4.95) and it was very good. Back to the hotel, air conditioner finally repaired, and a good night's sleep.
In the morning we could see the Norwegian Star at the pier from our hotel window. We showered and got all of our stuff together and went down stairs to The Daily Grill. We had oatmeal and French toast and it was about $35.00 with tip. The food was good, but expensive. If you stay at the Seattle Sheraton and are going to eat breakfast anywhere near it, expect to pay about $30 to $40 for two for breakfast, unless you can find a McDonald's, etc. One lesson we learned from our pre-cruise. If we had to do it over again we would stay at the Seattle Marriott Waterfront (as it is directly across the street from Pier 66) or the Seattle Edgewater hotel (right next to Pier 66). We paid about $159.00 a night for our Seattle Sheraton and I believe the Marriott would have cost us about $250.00 a night. It would have been well worth it being so close to the places we wanted to have dinner. Cab fare and parking would have made up for the cost difference. We wouldn't have needed to take a cab anywhere except from the airport to the hotel. It is so close to Pier 66 that you could even walk your luggage right across the street to check in for the cruise.
Day one -We had been on the NCL Star last November to the Mexican Riviera and were excited to be sailing on her again. We were at Pier 66 by 10AM and passengers were still unloading from the previous cruise. Finally about 11ish we were able to check our luggage and then get in the line to get our keycard, etc. When you walk in the door there are two lines available. One is for passengers in suites and it is to the right. We got in that line (were the only ones in any line even though there were several people waiting outside) and were greeted by a NCL person who said they would escort us through security and then on to the waiting lounge upstairs. Once in the lounge, we were greeted by our Concierge Simone and then lead over to check in. Simone said when she saw our names on the VIP list earlier in the week she got excited to see returning guests, that it made her feel like it was family coming to visit. She is so sweet.
We got our keycards and Simone then went over all of the options available to us as guest in a suite. We had a list of desired reservations ready for her for the specialty restaurants on board. We had some pastry, juice, coffee and then she introduced us to our butler Leo. We saw our butler from the Mexican Riviera cruise Roy, but he was now the butler for the Garden Villas. He came up to us and welcomed us back and explained to us that Leo was going to be our butler and that he was new. He kind of gave us a look and we knew we should not expect much from Leo. Our feelings were correct. Not a big deal for us really because we hardly use the services of the butler. Finally they announced boarding had been cleared and Leo took us on board and to our suite. We were in a AE cabin Aft section, 9232. Same cabin we had been in previously and it was exactly the same as before. As far as 2.0, no changes have been made yet for suites that we could see other than the daily snack and fruit selection. Cagney's was now available for breakfast and lunch for suite guests. I do not know if that is part of 2.0 or not, but it was not on the NCL Star last November when we were onboard.
We filled out our daily snack and fruit selections, put the cards on the door and then headed to lunch at Cagney's. Normally we take this time to explore the ship, but we both remembered her well from the last cruise, so we just went and enjoyed our lunch. On the way to lunch we bumped into the room stewards, Dominador (goes by Ador) and Charlton. They had been our room stewards on the last cruise and made us feel right at home when they said they remembered us and were glad to have us back on board. Probably two of the best room stewards we have ever had and we were THRILLED to have them again on this cruise. Believe me, if you have them as your room stewards, you literally want for nothing as far as your cabin goes. Any request that they hear you wish for, they will do everything they can to get for you. Lunch at Cagney's was delicious. We both had Grilled New York Strip Steak and fries.
At 3:30PM they had the Munster drill. It went very smoothly and quickly. We were back in our cabin before we knew it and our luggage was waiting for us. We spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and getting ready for dinner in Versailles. We both had two suitcases, yet we had at least half of the drawers and cubbies left untouched when we had unpacked every thing. There is plenty of storage/closet space in this suite. We finally got all settled in and there was a knock on the door and it was someone delivering "treats for our sail away"... a bottle of white wine, produced in Washington state and a tray of cheeses, crackers, fruit and nuts. There was also a bottle of sparkling wine chilling for us when we first got to the cabin. We opened the bottle of wine and poured a glass for each of us and toasted Seattle as we sailed away. We corked the wine and put it in the fridge to save for later.
I do want to take a moment and talk about the suite we had. It was a Penthouse Suite, cat. AE. I think because of where it is located, you give up square footage of stateroom space for added balcony space. It has a wonderful wrap around balcony if you are in this suite, decks 8 and 9 aft. For some reason this suite deck 10 aft has part of the wrap around balcony blocked off. The stateroom itself though is rather small for a suite. It really did not matter to us as it was plenty of room for the two of us. I haven't researched it, but I would not be surprised if this isn't the smallest suite in the fleet.
I honestly can not remember what we had for dinner, but every meal we had at Versailles was delicious. We had heard of the long waits for dinner at Versailles. Our experience was that if you go during "peak" dinning hours, say 5:30PM to 7:30PM you will have a wait. The longest wait we had was maybe 15 or 20 minutes long and it was during the peak hours and on the first lobster night. Time passed quickly while waiting though as we had nice conversations with people waiting around us.
We were guest of C.A. S. (Casino at Sea's) so we went to the Star Club Casino at 6PM to pick up our players cards and see who was still on the staff that we knew from our last trip. The main casino host was there and I feel horrible that I have forgotten her name, but she is just lovely and we enjoy her very much. Very nice, very friendly and you can tell she really wants to make your casino experience a fun one. There was a huge line waiting to fill out the form to get their casino cards, so when I saw the casino host look up and see us and say hello to us and welcome us back, I asked her if we needed to fill out the form since we were guest of the casino. She said no and that she already had our cards ready. She handed them to us and we told her we would see her at 8PM when the casino opened and off we were to go back to the cabin and rest.
Speaking of the casino, up until this trip, I never saw the casino on NCL or any cruise line for that matter give away free drinks unless you were a "VIP" or maybe if you had just hit a jackpot on a machine, etc. Now as long as you have a player's card and are actively playing on a slot machine or at the tables, etc, they will give you free drinks. This must be very new because when we would order a coke or bottled water or coffee, the serving staff wanted to see our player's card so they could make note of our name and the number on our card. When they would see our card they would say, "Oh, you don't have a purple card?". Never really knew what they meant by that, but oh well... as long as we got our soda, coffee or water, I didn't care. Free drinks did include alcoholic beverages, but we do not drink those when we are gambling, for obvious reasons, hehehehe.
The Star Club Casino is rather small but it does have plenty of tables to play at and there is a wide variety of slot machines as far as type and denomination. They have $.01, $.05, $.10, $.25, $.50, $1.00, $2.00, $5.00, $10.00, $25.00 and $100.00 as far as I could see. They had moved several of the slot machines around since the last time we were there, and made many of our favorite $0.25 slot machines into $1.00 machines. We usually play $0.25, $1.00 and $5.00 slots, but I was disappointed that most of our favorites were now $1.00 because that meant we would not be able to play them as much.
We played in the casino for a few hours that night after the casino opened and had a good time.
Day two: was a sea day and we used this day to rest up for the ports of call that were coming ahead. Doing so much sightseeing in Washington the few days before the cruise had worn me out so it was nice to be able to sit on the balcony and watch the beautiful scenery pass by as we sailed. Had breakfast and lunch in Cagney's but had dinner again in Versailles and it was as wonderful as the night before.
Some people say that it is a problem with NCL that you have to pay to eat in a specialty restaurant in order to get good food. That is absolutely not correct. You pay to eat in the specialty restaurants to get a different atmosphere than eating in the main dinning room, etc. Or maybe even pay to get a different type of food, Steaks, Asian Infusion, Pacific Rim, French, etc. But the food is just as good in the included restaurants in my honest opinion. There were a lot of things for folks to do that day, but we pretty much stayed to ourselves and just enjoyed each others company and the beautiful ship.
Speaking of the beautiful ship, I do think the ship is beautiful, however I also think it is getting to the point it might could use some updating... some refurbishment. But with that said, it is an EXTREMELY clean ship. Every where you go there is someone cleaning something.
Day three: Port of call Ketchikan. We had booked the excursion Misty Fjord and Wilderness Explorer hosted by Allen Marine Tours ($159.00 PP). The boat used for this tour is actually built by Allen Marine and is a fantastic boat. It was very nice and very comfortable. Off we went on our tour of Misty Fjord. The beauty we saw on this excursion, words or pictures would never do justice. The mountains were so big and beautiful it made me feel small. I am NOT religious at all, but all I kept thinking the whole time we were in Misty Fjord was that this must be where God lives. It was well worth the money for this tour. While going through Misty Fjord we came upon this one area that had somewhat of a "grassy beach" area. There was an ENORMOUS Brown Bear feeding on the grass in this area. The captain guided the boat to this area and we watched the bear until it disappeared into the forest. Of the tours we took for this cruise, if I had to choose only one, it would be a toss up between this tour and the one we take next, Tracy Arm Fjord and Glacier Explorer. By the time we got back, from our tour of Misty Fjord, it was past time for us to be back on board so we did not get to explore Ketchikan at all. Of course since we had booked the tour through NCL, the ship was waiting for us and had not left.
One note - Excursions for Alaska do seem to be more expensive than on other cruises we have taken, but I guess that is because they only have a few months to make their living in Alaska, at least if their living is from tourism.
Dinner tonight was in Cagney's ($20.00 PP) and we had a delicious meal. Again, the staff was extremely friendly and took care of our every need. After dinner we spent some time in the Star Club Casino and then went to bed to get some rest for our day in Juneau.
Day Four: Docked early in Juneau. Here you get off the ship at the pier and they have buses that take you for no charge to the "downtown" area of Juneau. Where the bus lets you off is at the base of the Mount Roberts Tram. There were ten or so booths at the parking lot where you are let off that you can buy local independent tours. We bought a bus pass to Mendenhall Glacier for $14.00 per person. This was a 20 minute ride on a comfortable bus out to the Mendenhall Glacier. The tour buses let you off in a small parking lot that is a short walk to the Mendenhall Glacier and the Mendenhall Pavilion. You can walk directly across the street to get to either of those or you can take a scenic walk on a trail by a creek and it is a little bit longer. That is the way we decided to go and it was a nice pretty walk. The Mendenhall Glacier is beautiful. We stayed probably an hour and headed back to town on the next bus that was there to pick us up. I believe they run about every 20 to 30 minutes. The tour bus we were on also stops at the pier where Celebrity was docked. That is on the other side of downtown from where the NCL ships dock so we got off there and walked through town, stopping in several shops and buying a few souvenirs. We saw some very nice jewelry along the way.
We had planned on taking the Mount Roberts Tram ($24.00 PP), however Juneau was very overcast the day we were there and we were afraid if we did that, we would get to the top of Mount Roberts and would not be able to see panoramic views, so we decided to sit and have a cup of coffee and enjoy Juneau one last moment before we boarded the ship again. ($4.95 for my small vanilla latte and I think $2.50 for the hot chocolate my DP had.)
We took the shuttle back to the ship and went to our stateroom to rest a few minutes before we had to meet our group that was taking the Tracy Arm Fjord and Glacier Explorer tour ($183.00 PP). This tour leaves about 30 minutes before the ship sails and then after the tour is over it meets up with the ship and transfers us back on board. This tour was also hosted by Allen Marine Tours and again was a very comfortable tour boat. Because of the ice that was still in Tracy Arm Fjord, we had to be diverted to Endicott Fjord and the Dawes Glacier. It was amazingly beautiful. On the way we encountered a Humpback Whale that was playing. Our boat came within probably 20 yards of her. From what the tour guide said they do not know why whales "play" like this, but she was rolling from side to side, splashing her big fins in the water, showing us her belly, and then she would turn back right side up and raise up and look at us and do it all over again. This was amazing to watch. Once we reached the Dawes Glacier they pulled the boat as close to the glacier as they could and we are guessing we were about 200 yards away. At times they would turn off the engines of the boat and we could hear the crackling of the glacier that you read about. Also, we saw a lot of calving. This is when big chunks of ice fall off the glacier and become icebergs. That was truly an amazing thing to see and hear. Every time a big chunk fell off of Dawes Glacier it sounded like a shot gun blast. There were also a bunch of pregnant Harbor Seals floating along on the ice in this part of the Fjord. They come to this spot because they know Orca's do not come to this part of the Fjord to feed so they and their babies are safe.
After about an hour or so there with just our tour boat, we noticed the NCL Star had pulled up about a ½ to ¾ a mile away. We stayed at the glacier for about 15 minutes more, and then headed over to board the ship.
Once back on board we freshened up in our stateroom and then went to La Trattoria for dinner. This was probably my favorite meal of the cruise because I could order one of my most favorite dishes, Spaghetti Carbonara. OH HOW I LOVE that dish and it was delicious. For this restaurant, they block off part of the buffet area with huge big thick curtains. I have heard people say that they felt like they were still in the buffet but I never felt that way at all.. In fact it wasn't until we were leaving dinner that night that my DP reminded me we were in the buffet area. They had nice table clothes on the tables. Had the tables arranged differently than in the buffet area. It just looked really nice.
Surprise, surprise, after dinner we went to the Star Club Casino for some gambling time. After a few hours, we went back to the stateroom to rest up for Skagway.
Day Five: Port of call was Skagway. Here we had booked the Ultimate Yukon and White Pass Railway tour ($179.00 PP). This is where you board a motor coach (bus) and drive up past the Canadian boarder to the Yukon Territory. We stopped at a neat place, Caribou Crossing, and they provided a barbeque chicken lunch. We were able to play with two puppies and watch the most adorable little tiny baby mountain goats play. They also offered dog sledding rides for an additional cost. Then we were taken to the town of Caribou Crossing. A cute little tiny town. All along the way from Skagway we stopped at several places to take photo's including the world's smallest desert and Emerald Lake. After Caribou Crossing we were taken to a train depot where we waited for the next White Pass Railway train to pick us up. Along the way up to Yukon Territory and on the way to the train depot we did see several bear. The train takes you back down to Skagway along a very scenic path. Once back in Skagway they have "motor coaches" waiting for you to take you back to the ship. On our tour we were 15 to 20 minutes late getting back to the ship. Again we weren't worried about that because we had purchased the tour through NCL.
Honestly, I do not recommend this tour. The "motor coach" they used for us had the smallest seats. Like I have said, I'm a big guy. I certainly did not enjoy having to crawl over people while going down the isle to my seat and I am very sure they did not enjoy that either. If you just HAVE to go to the Yukon Territory I recommend renting a car in Skagway and driving it yourself. That way you can stop where you want for as long as you want. To rent a car in Skagway is about $100.00 plus any gas that you use. The rental cars are not new. Some are four or five years old. The rental car companies such as Avis and Hertz do not accept coupons or specials in Skagway. If you don't want to rent your own car, what I recommend you do is take the White Pass Railway round trip. It is a 20 mile trip each way. Next time we go to Skagway, this is probably what we will do, as that would have left us time to explore in the town of Skagway.
Dinner tonight was in Teppanyaki Room, another favorite of mine. It was delicious and entertaining ($25.00 PP). After dinner we went to the Star Club Casino for some gambling action. I may be mistaken, but I believe this was their Monte Carlo night. It may have even been the night before. Whichever night that was we had a lot of fun in the casino. They have music playing as well as entertainment from members of the crew putting on shows native to their home countries. The casino also gives out "door prizes". I won $20.00 in free slot play. Even if you are not a gambler, go to the casino for Monte Carlo night. I think you will have fun.
Day six: Port of call was Prince Rupert. About an hour before we arrived at Prince Rupert they had a special Bingo where the prize was $10,000.00 if you could Bingo within 46 numbers drawn and if past the first 46 numbers drawn, a smaller sized jackpot would be awarded. This was $60.00 for both of us to have the Bingo machines and it was fun. A lady did Bingo, but on the 48th number drawn. She won $900.00+.
We arrive at Prince Rupert around 4:00PM. We went on the tour Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Viewing ($199.00 PP) hosted by Adventure Tours. With this tour they take you via boat to a Grizzly preserve. The boat is a very nice boat; however we found the staff to be EXTREMELY rude. There are actually so many examples I could give of their rudeness that it blows my mind. It is amazing to me I could have so many for just a 5 ½ hour tour. The worst to me was when we were actually at the preserve. There was a small Grizzly bear on the shore and the boat had pulled up to watch it. There were people up on the top deck, people down on the bottom deck and then about 20 of us in the main cabin of the boat watching the bear out of the windows. This one woman was so excited to see the bear that she said, "Oh look, it's a cub". You could hear the excitement in her voice. Well the main tour guide was in the cabin of the boat and started yelling at her saying things like "You are not the experts on the bears, we are, don't be giving people incorrect information. That is not a cub, it's a small female". When I say yelling, I don't mean he was screaming yelling at her, but he had his voice VERY raised. For five minutes he admonished her for giving people wrong information and why she was incorrect, etc. There were several times things like that happened not just with him, but with other staff members. We saw just as many bears on the other tours we were on and it took our entire time up while we were in Prince Rupert. In fact, this was another tour that had gone past the time we were supposed to be back on the ship.
Especially for people who need to budget their excursion money and need to pick and choose, PLEASE stay away from this excursion. Your money could be spent SO much better on other excursions and they aren't as expensive.
Needless to say we really saw nothing of Prince Rupert. Friends we met on the ship said they had a nice time just walking around Prince Rupert.
Dinner this night was back to Cagney's and was as delicious as always and service was excellent.
Day seven: Last day at sea. Nothing much to report about here other than we spent a lot of time in the Star Club Casino. Yes, as you have gathered we are casino people. That is usually the only extra thing I like to do on a cruise ship. Not really into the shows, etc. I will say we were constantly amazed by how much activities the ship provided for those who wanted something to do.
We had breakfast and lunch in Cagney's and the quality was consistent with the previous meals there. Dinner we had in La Trattoria and of course I had my beloved Spaghetti Carbonara and LOVED it again. Service was terrific.
After dinner we went back to the cabin and asked our butler to have a cheese tray delivered to the room as we were having guests after dinner to split the bottle of sparkling wine we still had not opened. We told him we were having them around 8PM. He showed up with the tray about 8:15PM, but that was ok because our guest had been held up at the show they were attending. Tom and Alyson we had a great time getting to know you guys and hope to see you again some time.
After our guest left we packed up our suitcases, placed them out in the hall, watched a little TV and went to bed.
Final day on board we arrived in Seattle around 7 or 7:30AM. We had a LONG day ahead of us because we had a late flight out of Sea-Tac airport. So our plans were to sleep in until about 8AM, get up have breakfast in Cagney's, then return to the stateroom and just wait as long as we could before getting off of the ship. About 10 minutes to 7AM the butler calls and said he must come in our room. We told him we were still in bed and not dressed. He said that he must come into the room now to prepare the dining table for the next guest because he had to leave the ship early for his vacation. He hung up the phone and a minute later the door bell rang. My DP got up and quickly put on his robe and sure enough it was Leo, our butler. He pushed past my DP and had a lady with him to help him. He cleared all of our stuff off the dinning table and placed two cards there (the cards where you request what fruit you want each day and what snacks each evening) and then turned to us and said he was going home today and needed to do that before he left. I do not mean to sound insensitive about him going home. I know they are onboard the ship for like 10 months at a time, etc. But this was the last day of our vacation aboard the NCL Star and we wanted to sleep in as much as we could. Honestly I just felt it was inexcusable. Our room stewards must have agreed because when we saw them in the hallway when we were going to breakfast they stopped us and apologized repeatedly saying they tried to stop him from doing that but they couldn't. I told them that they had been excellent all week and they had nothing to apologize for. It wasn't them that did that to us. When Leo was in our stateroom cleaning off the dinning table I seriously thought about not giving him his tip for the week. I can't believe I had that thought, but I did. I kept thinking how he really had done VERY little for us all week and how it wouldn't be fair to give him the money that really should have been split between the two cabin stewards, Ador and Charlton and our concierge Simone. All three of them had been beyond great and helped us have the most perfect cruise. I just felt it was unfair that Leo, the butler, got money that really should have gone to them. However, I felt bad for him so I told him there was a thank you card to him on the vanity with his name on it and to please get it before he left the room. The tip was inside the thank you card.
In summary, it was as close to a perfect cruise that we have ever been on. I really have very little negatives to say about the cruise and really VERY little negative that NCL had their hand in. The beauty you see in Alaska to me makes any negatives seem trivial. I just get amazed when I read a review where someone is complaining about their cruise, especially this cruise that I was on and knew how great the service was.
Biggest was the tour Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Viewing. OH to be able to go back and NOT do that tour and have saved $400.00
Leo, the butler, not speaking English very well and not understanding English very well made it very difficult for the few times we did need something from him. Also the butler basically barging into our room at 7AM the final day of the cruise, still inexcusable to me.
Market Cafe buffet. To me this left a lot to be desired. Not that the food was bad or anything, but the choices did not change much from day to day. I think we ate lunch there twice. I know being a cruise ship it might be hard to have a variation daily for the buffet, but it would be nice if possible.
Staff of NCL was beyond belief in how friendly they were, how they always greeted you with a smile and a hello, enjoy your day, something... They were superb. Specifically I would like to mention Simone, our concierge, Ador and Charlton. Those three went out of their way to make sure this cruise was a memory that will last us a lifetime. We tipped them well, but to me, no tip would really express how grateful we were to them.
Casino at Sea's - To my knowledge it is the only program like it for any cruise line. Not only were we guests of Casino at Sea's for this cruise but they converted our points to a $700.00 credit on our onboard account, which paid for about ½ of the cost of our excursions. That, along with the staff of the casino is a HUGE plus.
Food, food service, and the dEcor of the dining areas, where always top notch. I have read some reviews where they bash the food served on NCL. I have even read reviews where the food served on the same ship this same cruise was ALL inedible. I don't know how these people could have eaten on the same ship that we were on and every meal be horrible when every meal we ate was terrific, specialty restaurant or not.
Itinerary: We loved every port we were in and wish we had been given even more time in the ports so we could have explored the cities more.
I honestly could write another ten pages about positives for this cruise. It is a memory we will have for the rest of our lives. What is it the Visa commercial says? Priceless.
Thank you NCL for that wonderful memory.
I have tried to make this review as fare and even as I can. If it seems like I was being too positive, it is because this truly was that great of a cruise. I have had people ask me if maybe that was because we were in a suite and we get treated differently. We do not walk around the ship with signs hanging from our necks saying "Suite people here". The service we received I saw every one else receiving as well.
If you have already booked this cruise, your money has been WELL spent and I know you will love your experience. If you are looking at booking a cruise, you can't go wrong with this one. I don't care what cruise line you go with, I don't care what cruise you take, if you go on the cruise with a positive attitude and don't sweat the small stuff, you will have a great time. Read Less