The ship was fine and we liked the shower door. The room was small but we are used to RCL. The room stewards were great and we tipped them extra. The free style dining was awful. Long waits in line no matter what even if you said you would eat with others which we were used to on the 13 other cruises we have sailed.
The Italian Trattoria behind the buffet place (Raffles) was no charge,great service (we tipped extra there also) and we felt like a guest. Of course, we didn't find it until the fifth day out and you did need to make reservations. The buffet kept running out of drink and food. The staff treated you like a passenger not a guest.
The shows were poor and repetitious. The comedian was fair the first time but the second and third were poor. The dancers were amateurish. Even the bands were only average... The Big Band music ...How could they make Glenn Millers' Little Brown Jug sound bad?
The spa was a slam, bam, thank you mam that will be $150. I usually get two or three massages, etc. I got one. There were charges for demos of couples massages (Princess' did not charge in 2003). Plus digital camera demo was a charge,etc.
The art announcer was great and gave a lecture on art that was informative but he talked so fast it was hard to comprehend and no questions were allowed. The five islands we went to do not compare to St John or St Thomas. We took tours around each island and went swimming. The islands are all tiny and poor. The natives were nice though aggressive at each stop. St. Lucia was the prettiest and had many beautiful homes built by foreigners. Grenada had been hit by hurricane Ivan (The same as we in Florida) 80% of the homes had been hit and US Steel, Salvation Army and the Red Cross were there but the people were just sitting around. Most of the nutmeg trees had been destroyed. A very sad experience and a reminder of our devastation also.
The comments most people shared were that the staff wasn't friendly, the dining experience was not pleasant and the food was below average. The shows and excursions were not good. We would say it was the worst food we have eaten and we have sailed on Celebrity, Princess, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean. Below average in taste and presentation. We chose this cruise because it was conveniently out of Miami but would not sail on NCL again
We truly believe that giving the tips automatically changes the staff from treating you royally to treating you indifferently. Most of the time we did the main dining and never had the same wait team. Our food was delivered cold, we had longer waits than normal (one evening we waited an hour for our main course), the water was not forthcoming. If we didn't eat our meal, another choice wasn't offered. We ordered Bloody Marys' for breakfast one morning and said not to bring our food for awhile. Another person brought out the food almost before we had one sip and when we told her to take it back she just put it on the counter and served it cold when we were through. I asked two waiters if they made more money this way and they both said no. The fine print says if you are not happy with the service, you may be able to reduce the amount.