Overall it was a great cruise and really like the ship and balcony cabin. Would have like to try the thermal spa but way too much money for that as well as the 100% markup (seemed like) for any of the spa treatments so we did none of that.
5 out of 5
One can expect lines but it moved along. This was our first cruise with NCL so no loyalty program benefits. We arrived around 11:30am and was on the ship enjoying a drink by 12:15
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Being a larger ship there was plenty of options for both the complimentary restaurants and specialty ones. The specialty restaurants have the best food offerings and we did both the Teppanyaki (which was a show on it's own. NOTE: as a couple you are sharing in the fun with 6 others). We also enjoyed the Italian restaurant, La Cucina which too was excellent. The main buffet had options but I have had better ship quality and options such as the fruit and salad bars on others. As for the bars, like many of the other reviews, the bartenders are overwhelmed and while I can get that NCL is trying to save money on labor, they truly need more bartenders on duty, especially at the pool bars. I would suggest they should have a beer only express line at all of the outdoor bars as well to speed up the lines. I ended up going to different decks to get a drink at a less busy bar and then go back to where I was. It was quicker to quench your thirst that way. When 2000 of the 4000 people onboard have a drink package, NCL should understand the staffing ratios of the bar business and focus on positive customer experience
2 out of 5
I'm only rating this as poor as there are lots of options but due to weather or technical problems they were closed. The "drop" waterslide was under maintenance and never open the entire trip. Our last day at sea was when I had planned to do the ropes course but it too was closed due to high winds. Pool area was very busy as we did have good weather but it is not for those that want to swim, and truthfully who is going on a cruise to swim...save that for Harvest Caye pool which is huge! For those who wanted quieter areas from the pool, the ship is large enough to find that. Sea days in sunny weather, the pool area is a mass of people pretending to be back in the 20's drinking, dancing and enjoying themselves both poolside and in one of the 4 hottubs in the main pool area.
3 out of 5
I wish I could individually rate as for me, Syd's Pourhouse has one of the best coverbands I have seen and rocked the place everytime they were onstage. And they weren't just onstage but singing and dancing all around the crowded bar. FANTASTIC place and 5 stars!! As for main productions, we were disappointed Rock of Ages had just been changed to the Broadway musical, SIX but I understand shows have to change over time. While the SIX singers and great all-girls band have talent, I found the show boring after the first two "wives" portion. I wouldn't recommend this show but everyone has different tastes. Burn the Floor was a better show and with the same band members in SIX. I was very impressed with the drummer in this show. The dancing was good but would have been better if they could make it a story to engage the audience as these talented dancers used the entire stage available to them. Late night party goers can enjoy the famous 80's video dance party outside at Spice H2O and also the Glow Party. The Glow Party music is strictly club beats which for the 40+ crowd might get boring after a while but worth the visit. Again, H2O needs more bartenders on staff as even more ridiculous time to get a drink.
First cruise without kids!!
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Being our first NCL cruise I have had better service on other cruise lines. Other lines I found the main dining room waiters much more personable and attentive. At the Manhattan room (2 dinners) I found them more to be simply doing their job or at least that is how it came across to me. Specialty restaurants were much better wait staff.
5 out of 5
Very easy to get around this large ship and very clean. Many complain about the casino smoke which is there but I didn't find it as bad as many stated.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
For the 2 of us this cabin was a great size with ample storage. We brought a closet hanging organizer but didn't need it. TIP: we emptied the drawers under the couch used for bedding storage and put that under the bed to use the drawers for us. I would have given the rating 5 stars if it had an outlet near the bed but it was only on the desk. I brought a non-surge power bar which satisfied our needs for power. The bathroom was quite spacious with a great shower! There is so much pressure that that drain shower drain can't keep up but the secondary drain by the toilet will keep up. One really doesn't need the full pressure and can turn it down a bit so that the shower drain can keep up. I doubt many have that kind of pressure on their home showers. No water-saving shower head on this ship! :)
1st: If you pre-cruise stay, iron your clothes at the hotel just prior to leaving for the ship. 2nd: bring non-surge protector power bar for cabin. 3rd: hit Syd's Pour house for the band alone! 4th: take a creditcard with you to Harvest Caye as they don't accept ship card and it's a long walk back to the ship!
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