We decided on this 3 day Pacific Coastal cruise for several reasons, one was to try NCL, and, another was to have a quick vacation. We enjoyed the line and had a great vacation, including a 3 day post cruise stay in beautiful Vancouver.
This was our fifth cruise, the previous four on RCI, in which we like a lot, and, look forward to sailing with them again. We are not high maintenance, are very understanding and don't expect a Crystal or a Radisson type cruise on lines who aren't advertised as such. However, we do expect above average service, accommodations and perks, when, and if, arranged.
We were a little skeptical about freestyle as we have enjoyed assigned dinning room seating and the formality of it all. We've always had nice table mates and typically do late seating.
As for NCL, I was happy with the freestyle dinning choices, and, we had one meal in Maxims. I felt Maxims' food was just average with average to poor service. I was expecting extraordinary food and superior service, neither was fulfilled. However, the space was beautiful, and, sharing the table with our 3 friends made up for the food and service inadequacies. Food in the dinning rooms was tasty and service was good to excellent. The buffet, Raffles, had decent choices, but was definitely a steam tray buffet with some foods needing often over looked attention.
We really enjoy good entertainment and certainly didn't experience anything close to that in the Moulin Rouge. A few of the production members needed more vocal training, others were good, just cast in the wrong numbers, and, accompanied by uncomplimentary backups. Other ship entertainment was OK with a decent contemporary quartet playing over the three days in several different venues.
The ship was clean and had some nicely designed / decorated areas. However, I felt like a Hamster in a Habitrail running into dead ends and having to go up or down a deck, then down or up to continue on that same deck, more often than desired. Our cabin was clean and nicely planned. We enjoyed the glass shower door as you'd imagine, and, bathroom counter space and shelving was more than adequate. Our cabin steward was pleasant, attentive and accommodating. A majority of the ship's staff was nice and friendly often going out of their way to assist with various requests, or, just to be helpful.
Our cruise was enjoyed thoroughly. Except for Maxim's and Moulin Rouge experiences, everything exceeded our expectations. And, we look forward to sailing other NCL ships in the near future.