We booked this cruise because our other family members planned this trip. So I learned to suck it up, not complain but make mental notes that I would never book another NCL cruise.
I was very disappointed with the lack of service and overall experience on NCL. The ship was not very clean, over crowded in popular areas and hallways were always filled with dirty dishes from room service. Public bathrooms were very dirty - period!
The complimentary food was bland and poor quality. The Garden Cafe was crowded and was difficult to walk in. For breakfast, many other areas were open but served the same offerings. I was most surprised at the fresh fruit service. The fruit was not peeled yet the skin of the fruit touched the edible parts. Yikes, did they really WASH the pineapple skins? The passengers on the cruise were also troublesome. I got tired of adults reaching into platers without service utensils and just using their hands. NCL employees stood by and let it happen. While there is a staffer at each entrance to the Garden Cafe saying "washie washie", there is no enforcement of poor sanitary practices by passengers. The main dining room with complimentary food was easy to get seated, however service was slow. Dinner ran between 1.5 to 2 hrs for 3 courses. Free style has its drawbacks. Our waiters never got to know what we liked so I lean towards traditional cruising because I do enjoy having the same waiter. We purchased the drink card and had trouble getting a glass of wine in the two main dining areas, We were also shocked to find out coffee and soda was not included on our card - only bar drinks! Seemed strange to us but we went with the flow. Even with the drink card, you must sign for each and every beverage - and add additional tip if you so desire. This seemed crazy and not passenger friendly, It did help when I had to fix our bill - we were "charged" for several drinks which should have been included with the purchase of the card.
Deck 9 had water leak problems. The carpeting was always wet. Plumbers were working the entire cruise to figure out the problem. In the meantime, air blowers were utilized 24x7. We were lucky that they were NOT outside our cabin.
The shape of our bed sheets and towels were worn. This isn't the cabin steward's fault, however it doesn't make it pleasant to ask for more towels without holes and additional towels - only 2 per cabin. I need more than that to wash/dry my hair!
The promenade deck is nice to walk around yet there are no lounge chairs to sit and relax on. The pool deck is crowded and loud. I think NCL is missing the boat on the P deck. Get some chairs out there so people can run away from the loud music and relax on a sea day,
The tapas bar was very nice. I enjoyed the space, the size of the bar and music. The back deck was also a god sent, You could hid out there away from crowds,
Best excursion was a cat sail to St John's, Nice boat, great snorkeling and wonder rum punch,
Bottom line, if you want a cheap cruise with limited service - NCL is the line for you, I'll go back to HAL and Silversea. I want to be pampered when I spend my money for a cruise.