Our check in time was 9:30am, we got there at 9:15am. The security checkpoint was not open yet. We had maybe 150 people ahead of us. Once security opened the line moved pretty fast. They have 2 check-in areas depending on where your cabin is located. We proceeded to the Aft check in area, with a few people ahead of us, we got boarding number 6.
Passengers where still disembarking from the previous cruise at 10 am. We were seated by a window, where we could see the line. We walked the gangway to the ship at 11:30 am. The stewards were putting finishing touches on the cabins, but we were able to go to our cabin, drop off our carry-ons in the closet, and go explore the ship.
Cabin 12308 B1 Aft Balcony
We went straight to our cabin to drop our bags, and even though our steward, Ryan was still working in the area, our water package (yes, I paid) was already delivered. He introduced himself right away. The cabin was a little “tighter” than the pictures looked online when I researched the ship, but it was fine. Two full size suitcases fit under the bed with room to spare. The bathroom was a nice size, and there is a clothes line in the shower, I am 6 feet tall and almost hung myself, but that only almost happened only once!
We had the mini bar emptied, and the steward placed the items in a cabinet, and we put our water in the fridge. There are no drawers except 2 under the couch, which we could not really use because they scrape the floor when you try to open them; it took too much energy to get them open. The cubbies under the table/desk were very small, not deep at all. The cubbies in the closet were a little deeper. 2 people and we used all the storage spots they had (except the drawers).
Our balcony was huge; we had 2 small tables 2 chairs and 2 loungers, the length of the balcony turned out to be 2 flat loungers deep from the door. A question a lot of people had was, “Is 12308 the narrow balcony we see on the deck plans?” The answer is “no”, the narrow balcony is next door, 12310. The balcony I would say is ¾ covered, so we got sun when we wanted, and just moved the chairs back a little, when we had short rain showers on sea days.
I decided to try the pre-tipping thing with the room steward. Gave him $20 when we left the carry-ons in the room, and he asked how may suitcases we had, we told him we only had 2. When we returned to the cabin, our bags were in our room, while everyone else’s was still in the hallway. Our ice bucket was filled everyday twice a day. We gave him another $20 on Wed, the day we arrived in Bermuda, and the excellent service continued. The last night rounded up the tip. We got towel cute animals every night, and chocolates at turn down. Room was very clean, and Ryan was never intrusive.
Being on Deck 12 AFT, we were 4 decks under Spice H2O, right below the big screen. Be aware, be very aware, you can DEFINITLY hear the music from the club, at sea, and in port. Even with the balcony door closed, you can hear the bass of the music. They played movies in the early evenings and I was able to guess the movie, “Finding Nemo” one night and “Creed” another night. I am from NY so noise is the norm for me, but some people may be sensitive to noise at night.
Cannot say I used the pool much, it looked crowded, but I was going to Bermuda for the beach so, the pool was not an issue for me. The ropes course, sometimes open, sometimes closed, due to rain and wind. We got to play mini golf which was fun, but in all fairness we played on a port day, after our excursion. There were probably a lot of kids on the ship, but the arcade was almost always empty.
The show “Burn the Floor” was an ok show, I would see it again, and the dance class the cast had at Spice H2O was a nice treat on Latin Night. Skipped Rock of Ages, because we were Swizzling in and Staggering out *LOL* (The Swizzle inn)
The casino is nice, yet a little smoky, they did have air cleaners in the corners, but in my opinion, they really did not help. It was great that the Casino was open at night for the days we were in port. This gave you another option besides partying all night. The games, such as “Trivia”, and “Guess Who”, etc. were played in the atrium. The atrium does not have enough room for everyone to participate. The excursion desk, the internet desk, the customer service desk, and a bar are all in this area, as well as a bakery shop. With people milling around everywhere, you could barely hear the questions.
The smokers hang out at Malting’s Bar, which has an outside and an inside bar. This is a smoker’s area for sure! They have a cigar room right next to the bar, and outside on deck, they have high-top tables. There were plenty of other outdoor areas of the waterfront to sit and enjoy the quiet, and sounds of the ocean.
The food was good, the buffet better than expected, mostly had breakfast and lunch there. They make made to order omelets, which were outstanding. We had dinner at Cagney’s, Moderno’s, La Cucina, and the Noodle Bar, all provided good food and good service.
Uptown Grill – the burgers were just OK, the waffle fries were cold, but there was someone walking around asking how everything was, and when I said my fries were cold, they quickly replaced them with hot fresh fries. (I hear this will soon be Margaritaville).
The main dining rooms were good as well. No wait for a table for 2 people, our food was hot, the drinks were cold. The only time we waited was for O’Shennan’s, a 20 minute wait, one evening. They give you the vibrating handheld device to let you know when your table is ready.
There was one rude bartender at Shakers Martini Bar, but I just went to another bar to get my drink.
Stay away, it was offered as a free choice, and it still was horrible. You had to stand in the corridor to get half a decent signal; they even charged us $5.95 to activate it. Had to go to the internet desk and get the charge refunded, which was no big deal, once we actually got to the desk. One person working the internet desk for the entire cruise, line was always long. I got up early one morning, and went to the desk at 8:30 am, and waited for the desk to open at 9am. Much better just to un-plug, and enjoy your vacation. Tried the “Iconcierge” app, but that was a no-go as well, it kept shutting down.
Getting off the ship in Bermuda was quick and easy, swipe out, and you are on your way. Getting back on was sometimes a fiasco. Make sure you have your ID and ship card, and if you buy liquor on land, they will collect it as you get back on the ship. Have your paperwork ready, and not in the bottom of your beach bag. The customs agents in Bermuda are very strict. They made me take off my sunglasses to be sure my face matched picture ID.
No liquids are allowed to be carried on board, but one day, I had a bottle of water in my bag that I forgot I had, and they did not stop me, even though my bag went through the scanner. Go figure!
We opted for light Blue Color maybe the 5th or 6th group off the ship. We went down about 15 minutes before our time, and the line was very long. They told us the baggage would not be ready until our color was called. We disembarked anyway, and ALL of the luggage was in the staging area, all colors. We joined the line to get off at 9:15, and we were curbside (with our luggage) by 10:00am. Fill out your Customs declaration the night before, and you sail right through, Had 6 bottles of Liquor, and they did not charge us any duty.
They say NCL nickel and dimes its passengers. In my opinion, you can still have a great time without the extra cost items. In the main dining rooms we did not order the a la carte items. We did not visit the Ice Bar, and we still had a great time. Specialty dining was included as was the Wi-Fi. Your vacation is yours, don’t sweat the small stuff and have a good time!
Review submitted by Tracey R.
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