Food and Service - Better than Expected - Disappointed With Everything Else
I've always wanted to go to Bermuda so picked this cruise specifically for the port. With a ship only 3 years old, I guess I expected to see many new enhancements. Instead, I found a new ship with some very old stale offerings - except where an upcharge was involved.
Let's start with the good -
Embarking - We arrived at 9:45 and received group 6. Boarding didn't begin until 11:35. The waiting area was crowded and several people were standing around. Then all at once, someone came along and said if you are in groupd 1-10, go ahead and board via a separate entryway. I guess there were trying to get as many people on the ship at once. We were on in 5 minutes and I headed down to Guest Services were I snagged #35 and #36 for the Vibe Beach Club upcharge.
Food - we had the free specialy dining and we used it every night. Everything was very good including the service with the exception of the Italian restaurant. My wife dubbed her meatballs and the kind that came out of a can of Chef Boy-Ardee.
I've heard people compaining about the layout and food in the Garden Cafe. I thought this was one of the best mass market buffets I've been on. We always had good tasty hot food and found seating in a brightly lit very clean environment. What more do you want? 4 stars here!
Service in the restaurants was also very good. The free restaurants was hit and miss. Sometimes fantastic - some times we waited for 35 minutes before anyone took our breakfast order. I would think they might want to get hostesses that were a bit more friendly at the check in. Some of them could easitly get a job as a lounge lady in the airline clubs.
That for the mediocre -
Our room (deck 14 rear balcony) was quite small . The closet was one of the tinest I've ever seen and really not much other space to store clothes. We made a BIG mistake picking this room. The noise from the "entertainment" on the top deck at the rear of the ship was horrible. Each night as we tried to go to sleep our cabin was literally booming with the bass and we could hear every word sung as if we were up on deck. We really couldn't sleep till it stopped.
Speaking of "entertainment"
Come on NCL - Art Auctions on a ship with several announcement (wakey wakey eggs and bakey)...is this the 60's?? Most lines are doing away with this as a relic of the past. We didn't enjoy any of the entertainment on the ship and found this a major dissapointment. Several events were held in the crowded atrium with very strange seating and a video wall. I don't know wy they don't use their theater more. The only thing we really enjoyed was the Cirque like dinner show - although it could have been cut by about 20 minutes and the food there was only so so.
Bottom line - We like the beaches in Bermuda and it was nice to have almost 3 days there. The food was tasty but after sailing on the Oasis last year, the ship and entertainment was a let down. I think we will likely go back to Royal C. next year.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
We paid 79 dollars each for access to the Vibe Beach club. My wife said it was worth it. We could get a lounge chair anytime we wanted without fighting the crowds.