Was there any "free" food option available, or was it pay or starve only?
To be honest, I don't know if anything free was available. I saw in the Freestyle it was $8.95, plus it was cold and light rain so we didn't bother checking it out. I'm sure you could have just gone and listened to the music.
Beachlover1, 12 noon will give you plenty of time. We got to the pier around 12 and had to sit around for about 20 minutes before they started processing people. Once started we zipped right through using the Latitudes line. The regular line was a bit longer, but they had lots of agents processing people.
Taxes, port charges, and fuel surcharge (we booked before they started charging for this) should already included in your final payment amount. The only other automatic charge was the $10 per day per person for the auto-tips. Plus any shore excursions you might purchase.
Hint-if you're interested in shore excursions, check out shoretrips.com. They offer some of the same excursions as NCL at cheaper prices. We booked our bicycle tour through them, and most of the people in the tour had booked through NCL. It was $10 pp cheaper through shoretrips.
Well that's definitely a first - charging for food on deck. I'm wondering if it's a sign of things to come or was this something special? Wasn't diner being served in the dr shortly thereafter?
I think it's definitely a sign of things to come. The Garden Buffet was open, and dinner was served starting at 5:30pm in both the Venetian and Aqua dining rooms. You definitely won't go hungry.
One other new feature was a Latitudes Lounge set up in one of the meeting rooms on deck 11. Latitudes members could stop in anytime and get coffee, tea, cookies or sweet rolls. The also had a coffee and tea set up in the library, a nice touch.
Thank you, davejohn, for a very informative and well-balanced review. Sounds like you had a wonderful time exploring Bermuda.
I am so glad to hear this:
One other new feature was a Latitudes Lounge set up in one of the meeting rooms on deck 11. Latitudes members could stop in anytime and get coffee, tea, cookies or sweet rolls.
As so many new perks seem to be tied into the cabin category one books, I am glad that there's at least some appreciation given to Latitudes members, even if it's minor. (I love the chance to get away from the crowds.)
Thanks for all your helpful info. My cruise is paid for so whatever the charges were I won't concern myself with.
I will check out the excursions, although I'm hoping the weather will be nice enough to savor the nice beaches.
It's my first cruise so if I seem like I don't know anything, it's because I don't.
Apparently in the excitement of embarkation I misread the Freestyle Daily. The $8.95 was not for the BBQ at the Sail Away party, it was for their specialty drink in a souvenir glass. Sorry for the confusion.