Recently returned from our cruise on NCL. We had a great time. Embarkation went fairly well. We arrived at the pier by 11:30 and were on the ship by 1:15. Some of our group went with airfare and transfers provided by the cruise line and had to wait for 2 hours at the airport for a shuttle. Needless to say they were not pleased.
Food - was excellent and the freestyle gave you flexibility. We did not dine in any of the extra charge restruants because we were a family of five and had spent enough on cruise fares. Main diningrooms were fine and they each have the same menu each night. Salsa's was very good but you need to make reservations ahead of time. Thursday is lobster night and it was excellent. Don't be shy about ordering extra. It was no problem to do so.
Drinks- Pop card is well worth the 28.50. If you are a beer drinker I suggest buying by the bucket. You get 6 beers for 16.00 domestic and 19.00 for imports. Otherwise a glass of beer costs $4. If you like wine with dinner I suggest you order some bottles ahead of time. They deliver them to the cabin on the first day or when you tell them you want it. We paid 18 to 20 per bottle and saved 5 - 6 dollars. They allow you to take it into the dining rooms to drink with dinner. Be aware that the drinks in the fancy glasses will cost you $8+. If you want the drink just ask for a regular glass.
Entertainment- Was the best I have ever seen on a cruise ship. This was our 4th cruise and each was on a different line. My favorite was the first show of Andrew Lloyd Weber's music. The magician and juggler were very good.
Laundry- They have self serve laundries that cost nothing but you have to bring soap. Ask at reception because they are hard to find and you have to go through crew only doors. Ours was by room 5100. Make sure you read instructions first as they are different from machines at home.
Ports- If you want to do Dunn's River Falls it is so easy to do on your own and much cheaper. They have taxis waiting at the pier. Round trip was 4.50 per person. Admission was 10.00 per person. You can rent a locker for 8.00 and get 3.00 back when you turn in the key.
Grand Cayman- we went to Royal Palms. It cost 3.00 pp to get in and 3.00 pp for taxi. They rent chairs and mats, paddle boats, jet skis. You can even parasail. Very nice beach. Even have a Subway there.
Costa Maya - Very nice facility with shops, pool, and folk shows. Spent the day by the pool and shopping. Very good snorkeling on the opposite side of pool area. The men in our group chartered a fishing boat. Went to plaza and set it up right there. They were taxied to boat and taken on a 3 hour fishing trip. They caught barracuda, grouper and other. Drinks were included in the price. I think it was 320.00 for 8 people.
Cozumel- Planned on going to Chankanaab Park but never made it. Heard the snorkeling was great but no beach to lay out on. Went to play mini golf at Cozumel Mini Golf. We had a great time. It is owned by a couple from the US. They were very friendly. You can walk to it from the dock. It takes about 10 minutes. Costs 7.50 per person. They give you walkie talkies to order drinks. It is pretty challenging with the roughs and contours. If your looking for something different to do this is it. We had 8 teens with us and they loved it. Located on Calle 1 and 15th. It opens at 11:00 am ships time.
Overall we had a great cruise. Shows were excellent, food was outstanding, ship was beautiful. It was a dream come true for our family.