Embarkation took all of 10 minutes, including registering a credit card and getting a boarding photo taken, since we waited until after the first rush -- about 12:45 p.m.
Norwegian Crown recently came out of dry dock and looks fabulous for a ship her age -- no dirt anywhere and the rugs are still linting!
We chose the ship for the itinerary – visiting all three ports in Bermuda, with three overnight stays -- and looked at the Crown primarily as transportation.
Since the Crown was built for longer cruises and transatlantic voyages, there were a lot of drawers in our mini-suite, category AG. We had a large picture window that was partially obstructed by lifeboats. The ship rode very smoothly, even though our weather was less than desirable. The bathroom had lots of storage both under the sink and over the toilet. We had a tub, so there was no fighting with an overly friendly shower curtain.
The only soap provided was from a dispenser, so we brought our own bar soap. The sink dispenser was about one-quarter filled when we arrived and didn't get refilled until day four.
We had continental breakfast from room service every day, and it worked well in allowing us to leave the ship early. They call 15 minutes before delivery to make sure you are up and that you left space to place the tray. I wish our cabin stewardess was half as efficient. She never made up our cabin until after noon, even though we left no later than 9:30 a.m. And she wanted to turn down our beds at 6:45 p.m. just when we were getting ready for dinner each evening. The first night we had to call housekeeping to turn down the beds and to ask for clean towels. It was around 12:15 a.m., and we wanted nothing more than to turn in after a long day. Housekeeping promptly addressed the problems.
Freestyle dining works better on the larger NCL ships. The Crown only has one main dining room and the Yacht Club (buffet), which accommodate most of the passengers. The other venues are very small. Beware of the hamburgers in the Yacht Club! They are overdone and dried out. The menu changes daily for lunch and dinner. You can always find something that appeals to you. The only things they don't serve are sandwiches. Everything is served at the proper temperature.
We ate at the Italian Restaurant (no extra cost but a reservation is required) one night. While the food is good, your view is of joggers running around the track and you can hear live music from the disco.
We also attended "high tea" in Le Bistro -- scones and a better dress code (no jeans, no shorts); it was just okay. The Chocolate Buffet was also just okay; it is held in the main dining room during the day. (This was the first time I ever saw M&Ms included! We passed on Chopsticks since we didn't like the menu. Again, there was no real atmosphere since the 40 or so seats are really part of the Yacht Club, with just a partition separating it. You still get all the noise and piped-in music from the buffet area.
Four out of the seven nights there was only one main show at 9:30 p.m., which left a lot of passengers standing in the back or sitting on the floor. Movies are only shown in the main lounge during the day. If you want to see one at night you need to go to your cabin and turn on the TV. The disco starts around 11:30 p.m. The casino is small and right on top of the Piano Bar. The piano player/singer is barely three feet from the racks of the shops.
All the passengers we encountered were friendly. But it would have been much easier to meet people with regular table seating.
Since the Crown is small, there are no large-scale production shows or even scenery. The orchestra is always in view. Don't expect the same amenities as on the larger NCL ships.
The cruise director and her staff try hard to please but they are severely limited by the size of the Crown and the Freestyle concept.
Bermuda is the real "jewel" on this cruise.