EMBARKATIONWe boarded a bus in Mount Laurel, NJ around noon and was at the pierbetween 1:30 and 2:00. An NCL rep boarded the bus and quickly mentioned where to go, but many didn't hear her(including us), so looking for the entrance was confusing. There wasn't a rep present to escort the group, so it took a while to find the elevator up to embarkation. When we arrived, I asked where the Latitudes line was, and was guided to it. There were only two people trying to process all the latitude members. The other lines were moving faster than ours, but by the time werealized it, we were among the last to board the ship. This was around 3:00 to 3:15.Day OneWe quickly found our cabin and proceeded directly to the Big Apple Cafe,where lunch was being served. This was the only restaurant open (that's what we were told, anyway), and the lines were unbelievable! We were in line for close to an hour. When the life boat drill was ordered (the only thing on time!), there was probably 100 to 150 people who stayed inline until we had food. Why wife has a gastro condition (we even carrieda few cereal bars on the bus), so it was imperative she ate. We never did get to the "drill". We set sail around 5:00(?), to a beautiful sunny day. It rained on the trip to NYC, but cleared before we sailed. Theaircraft carrier JFK was holding drills with attack heliocopters in theharbor, which was terrific! Seeing this, along with the Statue ofLiberty, Empire State Building, and World Trade Center , certainly mademe proud to be an American, especially with Memorial Day that Monday. Myfather and father-in-law were both Vets, both gone now, and I had a "lump in my throat" and a "tear in my eye" when we viewed the demonstration.Day TwoThe rain finally found us on our first sea day, but it gave us a chance to unwind, unpack and explore the ship. I thought NCL has done a very good job maintaining the ship. There was minimal wear, and the ship was very clean. We ate breakfast each day in the Seven Seas or Four Seasons.The Big Apple Cafe was good for lunch, but the menu didn't vary much and could be crowded if you ate at peak times.Day ThreeThis was also a "sea day", which we lounged around the pool most of the morningand early afternoon. The pool area gets very crowded by 11:00, so if your looking for prime seating, get there early. It was somewhat windy and cool early in the day, so we purchased a couple of NCL sweatshirts.They did the trick quite well.Day ThreeWe docked at Nassau, which we've seen several times previous, so we decided to take the Dolphin Encounter at Blue Lagoon. It was pricy($89 pp), but well worth the look on my wife's face as our dolphin "Stormy" interacted with us and gave us a hug and kiss! The tour lasted aroundthree hours. We spent the rest of the day enjoying the pools and hot-tubs.Day FourThe weather was cooperating since day one, and this was no exception. Tendering to Great Stirrup Cay took around 1/2 hour, from boarding the tender until reaching the island. We managed to get on the secondtender, so getting a great spot was a breeze. If you came late, it was difficult to find a good location. We rented a large float-tube for $15.00 for the whole day.The water was a little chilly when you firstentered, but felt OK after a few seconds. The island itself is laid-out well, with a few small shops, changing facilities, food, rental equipment and beach chairs all within easy walking distance. We enjoy the laid-back, no schedule-type atmosphere on this island.(continued)
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