A Great Ship, but Beware of 6a
We've enjoyed eight cruises in the past 23 months and this was one of the best. The ship was well-appointed; the food was varied and tasty; the service was attentive, friendly, and professional; the shows were entertaining; the shore excursions offered something for everyone; and the on-board activities were good enough. What made this cruise stand out, however, was the fact that it was only 2/3 full. When you don't have to wait for a table, scrounge for a deck chair, or hustle for a seat in the showroom, everything seems much rosier. Unfortunately, you can't control how crowded the ship is unless you have the flexibility, as we did, to book your sailing during the slow season. Believe me, it was terrific! And we saved money too.
We discovered a surprising thing that I'll advise you about. We were assigned to a cabin on Deck 6a (different from Deck 6), which can be accessed ONLY via a fight of stairs from Deck 7. No elevator. So to leave the deck you go up a flight and to return you go down a flight. I'll repeat--no elevator. We have no mobility issues, but there were passengers using canes and walkers who were assigned to this deck. The rooms on Deck 6a are: 6010-6024, 6101-6109, and 6211-6311.
We took NCL shore excursions in Roatan and Belize, but opted to find our own tours in Costa Maya and Cozumel. It was easy to pick up an excellent tour in Costa Maya and we chose to hire a taxi for a customized 3-hour island tour in Cozumel. Both were very professional and reasonably priced and they were helpful and attentive to a disabled member of our party.
We really love NCL's Freestyle Cruising model. On dress-up night there were guests wearing gowns and tuxes mixed in with folks in shorts and sandals. Everyone was respectful of each other's preferences and tastes. No one felt out of place. It was a great week.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Avoid deck 6a if you don't wish to climb stairs.