Our expensive Haven Suite was a bit disappointing, but the ship as a whole is a pleasant experience.
5 out of 5
Quick and relatively smooth. Check-in computers crashed, and we had a wait about 5 minutes while the system did a reset. Once done, everything moved along smoothly.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Food is very much like all cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, and Bahamas Paradise) where "free" meals are tasty but not memorable. That being said, we sure to visit the Garden Cafe buffet for dinner and try the dessert crepes. They are NOT located with the regular desserts, so you'll miss them if you don't walk around and look for them. The crepes are made to your order and are wonderful. The music in the Garden Cafe buffet on Asian night wonderful and relaxing. Other nights, the music at the buffet wasn't as good (kind of distracting, actually). We did visit two specialty restaurants for an extra fee. Moderno Churrascaria was truly excellent, but Margaritaville at Sea was surprisingly average (and not nearly as good as land based Margaritaville restaurants). Getting back to the free venues, we visited O'Sheehans Neighborhood Bar & Grill for breakfast, lunch, and dinner multiple times. Server Aimee was very good. This venue also offers sundaes and shakes for an additional fee. My husband ordered an advertised hot fudge sundae, but apparently Norwegian has no idea what hot fudge actually is. It took 4 employees to help him and they finally poured chocolate shell dip over the ice cream. We thought maybe it was just a communication problem and tried speaking with staff the next day about hot fudge topping. We were told the chocolate shell topping is all they serve and is considered to be "hot fudge." So beware if you decide to spend the money for a hot fudge sundae - it won't be right and you'll have wasted your money.
As on most cruise ships, there is no shortage of bars. We visited the Prime Meridian Bar several times - bartender Rainelda was excellent. Since we had a suite in The Haven, we were allowed complimentary drinks at The Haven Bar. It was frequently busy, meaning a bit of a wait in placing an order and then receiving the drinks. Quality was great. The Haven bar just needs more than 1 bartender at busy times.
3 out of 5
We didn't really avail ourselves of onboard activities. One odd thing we noticed is that they show movies in the atrium area. It's disruptive to folks eating at O'Sheehans Neighborhood Bar & Grill, and all the foot traffic is distracting for anyone trying to watch the movie. Movies are also played on an outdoor deck called Spice H2O. I recommend that venue over the atrium.
We did not attend any shows or concerts.
We did not travel with children.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Aimee - waitress at O'Sheehans Neighborhood Bar & Grill; Rainelda - Prime Meridian Bar; Aiko - cabin steward; Roberto - suite butler
5 out of 5
Ship was easy to navigate. Everything seemed sparkling clean.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
We had a Haven Suite in the front of the ship (bedroom looks directly out the front of the ship) with a second room opening onto a very small side balcony. Suite had several issues that we were surprised hadn't been caught and corrected: broken hangar loops in closet next to TV, bedside lamp inoperative, safe battery alarmed for being low, light switch in main closet would not turn off the light when closed until we taped a piece of paper to it, cabinet door under the front window would not stay closed (so we sat our luggage in front of it).
We walked around the cruise ship's private compound. Most of the shops are the typical jewelry (heavy on diamonds and tanzanite), watch, and souvenir items. Do take a minute to stop at the Turkish mosaic art store to admire the beautiful hand worked glass.
We rented a private small cabana on the beach. It was beautiful. A fresh water shower is provided behind each cabana to rinse off sand and salt. Four complimentary floats were provided. The cabana came with cushy wicker furniture and lounges. Small fridge contained complimentary bottled water. Ceiling fan provided a pleasant breeze. Curtains could be closed to block hot sun or if you want to change clothes. Since this is Norwegian's private island, lunch is complementary. We didn't go to the buffet but instead opted for the tasty food truck items near our cabana. A very relaxing day for us. NOTE: There is a cash-only straw market operated by locals is you're looking for souvenirs. They do NOT take credit cards.
4 out of 5
There was confusion regarding our unused on-board credit. First we were told we would not be getting ANY money back. Then we got a phone call at 5:30am on disembarkation day, telling us to come to the purser's office to get our cash credit. Husband went down to get it, but staff forgot to update the computer. Therefore, when we tried to disembark, the computer alarmed and staff wouldn't let us off until we got out of line and verbally cleared up the issue with a separate staff member. Very odd.
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