April 2017 Caribbean Cruise on Norwegian

Our family decided to take a Caribbean cruise beginning April 13th through to April 14th.  This was our 8th cruise if my memory is correct.  See below:

  • Carnival
    • Imagination – Key West, Cozumel
    • Fantasy – Bahamas, St Martin, St Lucia
    • Sensation – Grand Cayman, Cozumel
  • MSC
    • Baltic Sea – Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Russia
    • Southern Mediterranean – Morroco, Portugal, Spain?
    • Carribean – Bahamas, St Martin, Costa Rica,
  • Costa
    • Fortuna-Mediterranean cruise – Italy, Greece, Croatia
  • Norwegian
    • Pearl – Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Key West

 

Overall, we had a good time on this Norwegian cruise.

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Boarding:

The process was easy and streamlined with a lot of people checking everyone in to help keep lines moving.

The Ship:

My first impressions of the ship were that it looked a bit older as did the cruise port.  There were quite a few spots where I saw rusting.  In addition, I was very disappointed with the cleanliness of the windows.  It seems every other ship we have been on, you could hardly tell there was a window there as the view was amazing.  For this cruise, many of the windows had a film on them and the main doors to the main entertainment level (deck 6 I believe), had a horrible film on it.  As one of the first points contact with the customer, I was very surprised by this.  I would say overall the rest of the ship had a clean feel to it, but again, just an older ship.

The Service:

The bar service on the ship was another area that we were disappointed with.  We found ourselves waiting a long time for drinks and even our first drink.  Other experiences we’ve had, it seemed like we were getting attention almost immediately.  In addition, there were many more “Servers” to help you get drinks and food, especially near the bar areas.  Most times, we found ourselves going up to the bar and then waiting a long time to get service.

Room service was amazing and they were all very friendly.  We had a broken drawer and this was fixed almost immediately and very quickly.  In addition, our safe was locked when we arrived.  This was unlocked by our return visit to the room.

The kids club was not very exciting so my boys didn’t show any interest in going into it.  A very plain room where it looked like there wasn’t anything to do.

The shows…..most of the shows were really good.  A few were just ok, but the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy them.

The rock climbing wall was really fun, however most of the time we went to check it out, it was closed.  The pools were nice, however as is typical on a cruise ship, finding seating was a bit of a challenge most times.

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The food as always was really good and there was plenty to go around.  A bit more organization at the buffet would have been nice, but again..they are usually chaotic.  It did seem like inside dining space was very limited in the buffet area.  Other ships seemed to have a lot more.  Good thing the weather was favorable:)

The excursions were well managed aside from disembarkation from the ship.  Stressful with tons of people rushing to get out to make their excursion on time.  The best one was Grand Cayman because the excursions were on a schedule for disembarkation.

Ocho Rios – we did a river raft trip with zip lining and waterfall climbing.  Although the city itself wasn’t really nice, we really enjoyed the excursion.

Grand Cayman – We did a snorkling tour.  I had done this one before and it is really cool….just would be nice if the site was a bit further from the dock and the boat.  We didn’t really get to see anything else on the Island as we stayed within a few hundred yards of the port.

Cozumel – we did a dune buggy tour.  Although we did get dune buggys…we stayed on road and not on any dunes.  The vehicles themselves were a bit scary to drive as well as the steering and braking were a bit out of tune and loose.

Key West – We rented a golf cart and drove around the island.  A nice way to spend the day.  Definitely stay near the south and west side of the city.  The east and north side of the city are less touristy and more a typical town setup.

I’m sure there are a lot more elements I have missed or we didn’t experience, but again, overall we had a great time.  We love cruising and would have to say although we had a nice time, we probably won’t book another Norwegian cruise again without doing more research on the ship for amenities and reviews of the boat and service.

Feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions or are looking for recommendations.

Troy

 

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About Troy

A Husband, Father, Lean Product Development Coach, Photographer, Musician.
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