December 2015 - Norwegian Escape to Caribbean - Eastern
The casino is located on deck 7. It is open to all three levels 6,7, and 8, so the cigarette smell is everywhere on those decks. All inside activities occur on decks 6, 7, and 8, so there is no getting away from the smell, as well as the sound of the casino.
All of the bars are very loud, and there is no place inside for families to gather together for discussions or meetings or playing games. There are a couple outside areas on deck 8 for gatherings. All through the ship, I saw people gather chairs and try to find an inside area to gather, as none were set up. This is contrary to other cruise chips I have been on.
The Atrium is where most of events happen, it is on 6, open to all three decks, and very noisy and crowded, so our family avoided most of the entertainment events. And you can smell the smoke from the casino when in the Atrium.
The excursions people were not very helpful, apparently they didn't know much about the islands they were going to. They should do some of the excursions and at least have a map of the island to hand out to cruisers.
The Bahamas stop was a mess. There was no one to guide you to the right excursion place, There was much confusion about where people were supposed to show up. A few signs would have been nice. Coming back from the excursions, thee was a long line of people all trying to get back to their ships (5 cruise ships in port - so I estimate about 20,000 folks all trying to get through a very small door at the same time. It was a very scary situation. I was afraid of a stampede. Some people were ready to fight as other people cut in line. After an hour wait, we finally got back on our ship and went to report the problem and the excursion people said, "its always like that." There was no attempt to try and solve the problem. So if you stop in Nassau, leave yourself an extra hour to get back on the ship, and God be with you.
Overall, I paid twice as much as I have paid for previous cruises, and I thought it was going to be a great experience, but I felt like like I did not get anywhere close to a good value.