My first cruise was in 1987 on the Carnival Festivale. Didn't cruise again until about 5 years ago and I can't stop. I love not having to think about anything when on the ship. I love going to the warm locations because I hate being cold.
December 2016 - 7 Night Bahamas & Florida (New York Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Breakaway
NCL Breakaway Cabin 5822
The best part of the cruise was being able to walk the deck on the first full day without a jacket! Of course that was weather dependent. Being on the fifth deck made the motion of the ocean almost nonexistent in our cabin. Also, the hallways in this part of the ship were super wide, two people could easily walk together, kids were seen doing cartwheels at the end of the hall (really got wide there). I think this is where they stage the luggage, but it is only a guess.
May 2015 - 7 Night Alaska Sawyer Glacier (Seattle Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Jewel
Want to go back!
The only problem with the cruise is the time difference. I am from the East Coast and couldn't get my biological clock adjusted. We only had a week, but if we had more time I would have loved to do a land tour/cruise and gone to more ports. Highly recommend splurging and taking a helicopter ride to walk on a glacier. We went to the dog camp and had a great time. Everyone was very helpful. Alaska is amazing, and cruising is a great way to get from place to place. The snow/ice from winter was still melting so we saw many waterfalls. Investigate shore excursions outside of the cruise line. We did a sea cycle tour in Ketchican. It was a blast, small group, got up close to seals and jelly fish. Did a bicycle/train tour in Skagway. Again, a small group and got up close with the scenery. Our helicopter/dogsled tour was with NCL. Pricy but worth it. We lucked out with the weather, very little rain (in May, 2015), not too cold. Bring layers, as it can get cold at night.
Get an early tender ticket (sign up and your room card is your ticket) so you can enjoy the island. If you don't have a ticket, the unrestricted tenders don't start until 2pm! Haven and Gold/ Platinum Latitude members don't need a tender reservation. You will get a memo telling you to show up for priority boarding. Get there before the time stated. They will let you in after you show your ship card.
Have plans. Don't go wandering, there was an alert about crime with our cruise. We took a horse/buggy ride around the downtown area and shopped. Keep track of time as the trip from the ship to the downtown area is quite a hike.
If you can, spend a few days in NYC and see the sights.
Use the MyNCL part of the website. Sign up for entertainment and speciality restaurant times before boarding. There are discounts offered on the site (extra pictures on photo packages, thermal spa package, etc.). Enjoy your cruise!
The Champagne Cat excursion to St. John's was awesome
If you have an early excursion (7am) take some food from the cafe the day before as you may not be able to eat much before your excursion. I'm thinking cereal and milk, yogurt, a piece of fruit, nuts/cheese. They can be stored in your mini fridge (have the steward take out the stocked stuff.
You can buy flowers at the Pike Place Market and bring them aboard.
Learn you way around the ship early on. The fish in the hallways "swim" upstream (aft to forward) and the rugs near the stairways are color coded (aft, mid, forward). I never could tell starboard from port, but if you can remember and know which section of the ship you are in you won't get lost.