I could do without Jamaica and I still am unimpressed with the inconsistent service but would I do it again? Absolutely .
5 out of 5
After hearing all the horror stories I was imagining great throngs of people in lines like cattle bound for slaughter. Arrived about 11a via Uber, assisted with my bag immediately by a porter, walked into the terminal and through security within 30 minutes.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Here's where we get sketchy. There were some really wonderful meals (the filet at Cagneys, the shrimp diavolo at Cucina and others), and some really bad ones (the ice cold eggs at Savor, the risotto that resembled rice a roni at Cucina, etc.) But I was really most disappointed in the consistency of service. On several occasions, our table of 6 would be served at wildly different times. One breakfast, 1 person was finished with their meal before the other 5 were served (cold food). One person would he offered coffee and then the waiter would wander away without offering anyone else. And don't even get me started on OSheehan's. I didn't have one thing there that was above room temperature and those raving about the wings there have clearly never eaten wings before.
4 out of 5
The main pool on 15 was quite nice. The pool itself was small but there were plenty of seats, good bar service, etc. We loved H2O at all times of the day and night. Quietish, uncrowded, fun at night and relaxing during the day. Alvin and his team were amazing. Bowling at OSheehans was pricey but kind of neat for a couple minutes. The Casino seemed dead most of the time. Tight machines and very smoky. I would have expected a better ventilated space.
4 out of 5
Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor were both super. The comedy show and the magician were only slightly above average. The band for Rock/Burn were very entertaining and seemed to really enjoy what they do. The band in Syd Norman's always sounded great, as did the Dueling Piano guys. However, both of those venues seemed super small to hold so many people.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
My steward Christian was amazing. Very good about getting in and out around my schedule and provided a bottle of champagne when he found out it was my birthday. Bennie, the solo Coordinator was terrific fun and made sure all of us got into the shows, dinners, etc. Alvin at H2O and his staff were wonderful.
5 out of 5
Other than the ventilation in smoking areas mentioned earlier, the ship was super clean. Even as huge as it is, I never felt more than a few minutes walk to anything.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Wow, this was bigger than my first apartment. Large double sink and vanity and small tub in the bathroom. Excellent double closet. Large desk area. King size bed. Teeny tiny balcony but perfect for coffee at sunrise. Cannot complain at all about this upgrade though cramming 4 people in it would be tough.
H20 during the day is perfect. Good bar service, hot tubs, lovely comfy seats. Also check out the loungers on the waterfront for a comfy place to read.
If I never go there again, it will be too soon. My group of 4 booked the Bamboo Beach VIP for over $100 pp through NCL. The beach itself was lovely. Secluded rocky inlet. BUT, the drinks were bad and the service was terrible. The food was literally inedible. I'm not sure what was on my plate but it was not "lobster and jerk chicken". For the lobster, imagine a pink eraser. Same size, tasted and chewed like one. The jerk chicken was not a chicken. Not sure what animal it was but there was no way we were eating it. Everyone who went on that complained to NCL that putting their name on that excursion was beneath them. We should have gotten a complete refund for it but did not.
First time in Roatan, won't be the last. Although there is definitely some poverty, I found the island to be working nonstop to improve services, roads etc to make it a nice experience. Booked the Turquiose Bay Beach VIP. Worth. Every. Penny. Beautiful beach resort, excellent service, and the food (fresh caught lobster and shrimp, grilled chicken that was in fact chicken, fresh ceviche) was amazing. Kayaks available, beach volleyball, comfy loungers, swings in the water. It was perfect.
Nothing but a tourist trap for NCL. The stop isn't really long enough for you to do anything in actual Belize so you pretty much have no option but to hang out at the pool or beach. Everything has a charge. Literally everything. And most cannot be charged to your onboard account. Plus, the tax on stuff there was very high. One person in our group was there for 30 minutes before coming back to tell the rest of us not to go. On the other hand, this was the best day to have the pool onboard to ourselves so theres that.
More authentic than Harvest Caye but still not much in the immediate area. If you walk through the compound, it's easy to get a taxi to go to one of the many AI beaches in the area. The street tacos were wonderful, the performers were fun, lovely plants and birds.
I've spent many weeks in Cozumel and love it there. Booked an independent excursion to Chankanaab to swim with manatees but it's possible to do same day. Taxi rides are easy, I've never felt hassled or unsafe, and the park is amazing with plants, dolphins, lovely beach and snorkeling.
5 out of 5
Again, after all the horror stories, I was expecting horrible things. Previously booked a transfer to airport. Went off with my color group, picked up luggage, found a porter and bypassed the crazy lines through the porter line to customs. Sailed right through
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