Honestly, I would not do this cruise again. In fact, I wish we had taken a different cruise line. NCL is nice but the uncharges are getting ridiculous. We are sailing on NCL's newest ship, Encore, in August - 10 of us - base cost for 4 balconies will be more than $20,000. The ship has a lot to offer, but at additional fees. We are expecting that it will cost at least another $5,000 in excursions and onboard activities.
5 out of 5
Embarkation was quick and easy.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
The food was very good, but I only gave it 3 stars because there were 5 places where you could get something to eat for free and 13 places where you have to pay extra.
3 out of 5
There are 2 pools. The adult pool is the one next to the children's water park - strange. The gym was great, although there was no personnel to over see or keep kids out. Slides and a ropes course were the only perks.
3 out of 5
Entertainment was scaled down - very disappointing. Some venues were an extra charge. And you have to make reservations, even for the free shows.
We did not travel with children.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Waiters were wonderful - i wold give them 5 stars. Ship's personnel - very friendly and helpful. But, we never met our cabin steward until day 5 of a 7 day trip. He was very lax and I would give him 1 star. We were out all day, returned at about 3:30, and our cabin was not made up. This was typical of our stay. But other cabin sections didn't seem that way. If we wanted something we would ask one of the other cabin stewards and they would immediately phone it in.
4 out of 5
The crew does an excellent job of keeping everything clean and in top shape. It is a very large ship, but there are only 2 elevator bays. It is quite a walk to the elevator (and we were not far forward or aft). A third location of elevators would have been better. Restaurants and entertainment are conveniently located.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Wow - this cabin was small. It is the smallest balcony cabin I have ever had. The bathroom, however, was better than most. The beds and linens are not as comfy as RCL.
Book on board venues before you go and take your wallet with you!!
There are 3 different ports in Cozumel. I prefer the others. At the ferry dock on the mainland buses cannot park close to the dock, the area is very poor, and shopping is annoying. Our excursion to Xel-Ha (on the mainland) was wonderful and I would highly recommended it. River tubbing is not to be missed. Watch yourself on the bridge to the Mayan cave sections.
We were pleasantly surprised with Roatan. The port is under construction but shows great promise. We did the Tabayana Beach Break. It was a rather private beach area with heavy security. Each section has its own guard who watches your belongings. There are locals walking the beach and selling goods, but you say no and they move on. I would highly recommend this excursion if you are in to beach and snorkeling - great facilities and food included. The snorkeling was amazing and close to shore. A good choice for seasoned or new snorkelers. (A cruse stop is good but I would not recommend staying in Honduras - it poor and unsafe.)
This is NCL's private island. There were 2 ships in and it was ridiculously crowded, even though the weather was poor. I cannot imagine how it would have been on a nice day! There is a rough sand beach and a large pool with a swim up bar. Your ship's card cannot be used for food and drink, so take cash. There were some nice shops and you pick up your excursions right there. We did not do an excursion here.
Unfortunately, the weather turned bad - sunny but rough seas - and our excursion was cancelled. So we just wondered around. The port is a small scale version of the nicer port in Cozumel - Shops, restaurants, pool, dolphin encounter.
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