Booked NCL in the main for the freestyle dining as we were 2 families with kids and the result was more or less what we expected. Large variety of food at the buffet although there was no "stand out" or wow element on offer. We tried the Grand pacific restaurant once and very quickly understood that the buffet was the place for us.... Although we only had to wait about 15 minutes with the beeper the service was slow and the food was just OK+. I think that the speciality restaurants are overpriced and most were empty (perhaps because of the prices....). I only negative that I have regarding the buffet was the timing issue. When time came to close, that was it, even if you had a plate in hand. In fact on one occasion we actually had to return cookies to the plate because they belonged to the "next meal" which was only opening 5 minutes later!! Go figure.
Other than that the crew and ship were very good. Our kids fell in love with Jorge from the cruise staff who went out of his way to make them feel special. The star of the ship though is without doubt Aliea the washy washy lady who actually makes you want to wash your hands every 5 minutes. Definitely a wasted talent!
Personally I thought that they lacked a modern facility or 2 (climbing wall, Wii, skating rink, bowling alley etc.), these days you just need that extra activity to keep everyone happy on the sea days.
We purchased the dink cards for the kids which I think were at a reasonable price but everything else on-board was really excessive. $ 70 for bingo cards! 20 bucks for a T shirt! $ 6 for a plain magnet? Even a visit to the doctor cost an arm and a leg.........
Would definitely consider NCL again because of the freestyle cruising but I would very much check RCCL prices as they do have the extra activities for the kids. In all it was a very relaxing holiday.