Originally from Chicago, now residing in Phoenix. I have cruised on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. This will be my first time on Norwegian.
This is my 3rd cruise and my partners 1st. We ate in the buffet the first afternoon and breakfasts after.
All other times we ate in the sit down restaurants. Two evenings we ate in specialty restaurants, Le Bistro and the Italian restaurant. We are both fairly accomplished cooks so we were looking forward to the food. Overall we felt that the food was very good. At all the sit down restaurants the presentation of the food was very good. It is not as elaborate as another line I was on, but that didn’t bother me, the small additional fee for Le Bistro and the Italian restaurant were worth it. We didn’t make it to Cagney’s. We feel that if you had to choose one, then go with Le Bistro and have as many appetizers as you want, we had 5. The food at the buffet was of good quality, it was always clean and there was plenty. We didn’t partake of the Pizza Bar, the Sushi or the deserts. We had the Soda package and felt that was a great bargain for us. Getting drinks was as easy as showing our NCL cup. I also purchased the romance package which came with a dozen roses, a bottle of sparkling wine, chocolate covered strawberries, canapés, and dinner at the Italian restaurant and an 8x10 portrait.
The bar keeps were friendly and always said thank you. The waiters and buss staff were attentive and friendly. Always greeting us when we entered. We also liked that there was someone with a spray bottle of disinfectant. We felt that cleanliness was a priority. We felt that the entertainment on this cruise was very good. The dancers and the singers did a great job. Tyler the entertainment director had a great amount of energy and was fun to watch and listen to.
We went to the first time cruisers orientation and I found it very informative. We were able to go on one excursion in Freeport, the All Inclusive Snorkeling and Beach Adventure. Our other excursion in Nassau, the Segway tour was cancelled due to weather. The snorkeling was very good and the beach was very nice, in between there was a little confusion. The pavilion on where we eventually assembled had signs up for another cruise line. When they finally had us assemble there was a lot of confusion as the name that they were calling was different from the description of our excursion, then the wrist bands were different from that. Once that was settled we were told to board any bus by someone from the tour company but when we went to board, we were turned away by the bus driver. I found out that there was a problem with a bus. We finally got transportation, but the driver didn’t know where to go. Luckily for us there was someone from the tour company that was able to direct the driver. Snorkeling was good, not great, there was still quite a few fish, but not as many as I saw in Jamaica or St. Croix. Once back we need to walk about a ½ mile to the beach. We needed a short orientation in an open courtyard before we could get something to eat or drink. Unfortunately I cannot really tell you the quality of the food because there was so little of it and what was there were mainly leftover. We didn’t get food until almost 2:45p. I did ask if they were going to bring out more, and they did, but it didn’t last long enough for me to get there. Getting a drink was also problematic, I believe that the bar tenders, saw my wrist band and ignored me for paying customers. It took me almost 30 minutes to get some water and a couple of cokes. My recommendation would be to just do the snorkeling and go back to the ship for lunch or a snack. Skip the beach as you will be in Great Stirrup Cay on the last day. The beach did have a few straw shops, but the selection is greater in Nassau.
The room was clean, Rolodolfo (sp) was great. He addressed us by name, always smiling. We had not problems with hot water as I have read in other reviews, nor problems getting towels or the room made up. We did use the safe for the few things we had without issue.
We also had Sheeba in the dining room and he was very attentive, suggesting and bringing us out a dish he thought we would like.
The evening entertainment was fun though we didn’t make it through to all of it, by the time 11:30 came around we were tired. (Mid 50s) Though the party was going much longer.
Overall we felt that this was a great trip. We really liked the freestyle casual cruising and dining. Eating when you want and where you want is a great benefit over other cruise lines. The entertainment was very good. We didn’t use the exercise room like we intended, but it did look well equipped. I can understand some of the complaints about the ship having a “strange layout” having to go through the casino to get to some of the shops, but I felt that was very minor. We had a great room on level 10, just aft of center 0130. That made it very convenient to walk up one flight to dining or move forward and take the elevator down to 5, 6 , 7 or deck 3 for excursions.
If you are a first time cruiser or have just a few days, this would be a good cruise for you.