Said it all above...but in review, there were good things and not so good things. We do not believe we would go on NCL again. We've done Carnival, Princess, Costa, NCL, Royal Caribbean. Ship is big with many passengers so things get crowded and they charge extra for too many things.
3 out of 5
It wasn't at all busy when we boarded but there was little direction on where to go. Normally someone greets us right at the ship to be sure we know where to go to find our cabin. There were two ladies where we got on but they were talking with each other and ignored us. For the mandatory evacuation drill, we stood around in the atrium area for a long time and it was very crowded. We could not hear the talk because cruisers were talking and there was no control by the ship people.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Main dining room food and service was good. We ate at two specialty restaurants: Brazilian steakhouse and the Cirque (dinner and entertainment). Both were very good and worth it even though it cost extra. Buffet was just okay. Seemed to have pretty much the same food day to day. Drinks were expensive and came with a mandatory 20% gratuity. We spent most of our ship time in the H2O adults only section. First day at sea we were close to the back of the ship and never once did a bar waiter come to us to see if we wanted something. I found one waiter and told him we wanted to order and he said he would come but never did. I went to the bar twice but it was so crowded I gave up and went to another area of the ship to get drinks. Cruisers with the unlimited beverage package said they were not happy because it took too long to get drinks (long lines). Bartenders in the adults area were not very friendly.
4 out of 5
There were quite a few activities but we did not participate in many. We did use the water slides and that was fun. Other ships we have been on had outdoor movies and we liked that. This one did not. Few movies shown in the atrium area which we did not care for at all.
2 out of 5
Other ships we have been on had different shows each night. This one did not. The dance show was the same the first two nights (it was okay but we didn't even stay for the whole show the first night). There was a night of comedians and I would only rate one of them as being good. A couple were just plain not funny at all. The best show, which was awesome, was the Million Dollar Quartet. It was very very good but again it was the same show two nights in a row. If it had not been for this show the entertainment was very disappointing.
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
Our cabin steward was very good (Christopher) and friendly. Two dining waiters, Al and Josephine, were awesome. Bar staff in the adults only section was not very friendly.
3 out of 5
My wife commented she hated this ship. It was clean and well maintained. There were no steps or elevators near the front of the ship, only in the middle and back. A couple times we walked toward the front on decks and went in a circle back to the middle of the ship. Maybe this is the way most ships are but I don't recall that before. Other ships have had small printed maps of the ship which we found useful. We asked for that on this ship and were given a paper with the decks etc but it did not show locations for the various things on each deck, just that it was somewhere on the deck. There were maps by the elevators with the layout for that particular deck. Our room seemed very small compared to others we have been on and the balcony was the smallest I've seen. Barely room for two small chairs and a tiny square "table". Bathroom had a tub which was nice. Very few drawers to put clothes. Closet was very close to the bed and kind of awkward. We liked the layout of other ships much better. Hallways were extremely narrow in the cabin area and you had to turn sideways or duck in a doorway when you met someone.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Cabin seemed very small. Thought it was supposed to be a mini suite but if it was it didn't seem any bigger than balcony rooms we have had on other ships. Didn't care for the room layout. Balcony was the smallest we have ever had. There was a tub in the bathroom which was nice.
Lots of people on this ship so areas seemed crowded quite often. Seems like we had to pay extra for things we haven't had to before on other ships. We have been on many cruises but would not cruise on this ship or NCL again. It stops at it's own private island but you have to pay for everything there....food, drinks, ziplines, etc. Pool was free.
We did a snorkeling excursion (not through the cruise ship). Wife and I were the only two on the excursion so we got good service. The beach where we started from was gross. About 30' of seaweed had blown in from the shore going out and we had to walk through it. There was trash mixed in with it. Snorkeling was not great but was okay. Kind of choppy that day which made it a bit difficult.
NCL private island...you have to pay for food, drinks, zipline, etc. Pool was free. We opted to take the ferry to the village of Placencia and meet some people we know that spend most of the winter there. They showed us around the town and we had lunch. It was nice to see how the people in that area live.
Probably our favorite stop. We went on the Tabyana (sp) Beach and Snorkel excursion. The beach was awesome and the snorkeling was great. Lots of reef with tons of fish. They required us to go initially with a guide for the group which was okay. He showed us different fish etc. They stressed we had to go with them but after going out twice with the guide, some of us went out on our own and they did not seem to mind. I think they wanted us with a guide initially so they could get a tip and we did tip as the guide was good. Another plus was there were vendors on the beach selling bracelets, mahogany things, hats, etc but the excursion had security there that kept them on the beach and not allow them to come near your chairs and bug you. It was about a 30 minute ride to the beach on a road full of potholes but worth it. We would do it again.
We did an excursion with two-person speedboats with a 30 hp motor. It was really fun. Pretty wavy so there was a lot of bouncing, etc. We had one of the faster boats so we jumped the waves side to side etc. There was a brief snorkeling stop which was okay. Not a big reef but quite a few fish including a couple baby stingrays. Would do it again.
4 out of 5
Not bad overall. Super long line when our group was called. Took us a half hour or so to get off the ship. Luggage was easy to find. We had the NCL transfer by bus back to the airport. Little direction given once we left the ship as to where to go. Had to go up and ask someone where we were to go.
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