Excellent ports, excellent service, wonderful cruise. Know that we are very easy going, unspoiled midwestern people that don't expect every minor whim catered to and that can deal with things like 5 minute lines for debarkation and sleeping on the lower levels.
Exactly what we paid for. Didn't eat in one of the upgraded restaurants once, as the food included with the fare was more than adequate. Food was varied and delicious, with an obvious effort to accommodate a number of cultures. Chocolate buffet was scrumptious, the chefs certainly went to a lot of effort.
Pier 66 in Seattle is easy to get to via public transportation from the airport. You also could rent a car at the airport (our was a total of $13) for the trip from the airport and then drop off the car at the marriott next door to the pier.
Entertainment was varied and entertaining. Staff was very accommodating, couldn't ask for better.
This wasn't a drinky cruise. Waaaaay less alcohol consumption than our Caribbean cruise.
Room steward was phenomenal, remembered all our names, and we were in the cheap rooms. Rooms were adequate and cleaned to my satisfaction daily. You did have to switch the little sign by the door to get faster turndown service, but what's the big deal with that? Cruise staff was great.
We've cruised with other lines, but I have to say that the NCL "freestyle" experience was great for a family with older teens that didn't always want to eat/hang out with their parents.
Excursions were reasonably priced and varied. We did some cheap ones and some that were moderately priced. Especially enjoyed the lumberjack show and the Craidaroch castle bus tour. Teens enjoyed the ziplining and sea kayaking. People in the ports were friendly and accommodating, didn't feel nearly as touristy as did, say, Cozumel.
We also did a number of "self excursions" where we walked or took public transit to see mendenhall glacier, glass blowing, etc. Info/schedules on these things was readily available online.
Scenery was unbelievable. Truly a trip of a lifetime. Saw whales, seals, eagles, glaciers, lots of mountains. Very exciting to wake up in the morning and have ALASKA outside of cabin window.
Yes, they have a lot of selling going on on board. Still, it was significantly less obvious than our experience on royal caribbean last year.
Many of the ports involved docking at six or seven in the morning. This didn't bother us, but it certainly bothered people with more of a nightlife than we had!
Not a lot of hanging out by the pool and drinking. It's a little chilly to be swimming when the ambient air is, like, 40 degrees. (they do heat the pools). If the party atmosphere is one of the reasons you cruise, you may be disappointed.