We found the food to be even better than we hoped. While some dishes were not to our liking, we enjoyed our meals.
One of the restaurant managers was especially kind and helpful On several occasions when we need help, he provided very good service.
However, the cruise was the least relaxing cruise that we've taken. Previously sailings on Norwegian Cruise Line, departing from the Manhattan terminal, were fine. This time, however, getting through the cruise terminal on both the embarkation and disembarkation days was stressful.
Embarkation on Friday, January 18th was a nightmare. When entering the cruise terminal, there was absolutely no clear direction as to where to get in line. There were hundreds of passengers milling around trying to find the line. The lack of staff at the front of the cruise terminal and lack of clear direction reflected poorly on Norwegian Cruise Line.
Our first impression of our cabin was that it had not been cleaned very well. Simply put, areas of the cabin were dirty.
Night one of our cruise we learned that there was a large group on the ship. The Magenta Dining Room was set aside for their exclusive us for a number of hours. As a result, the Grand Pacific Dining Room had a long wait. Repeatedly, the Magenta Dining Room was set aside for the large group's use and the each time, the Grand Pacific seemed unable to provide timely service. It became apparent that there was not enough capacity to continually use one of the two main dining rooms for one group's use. So, a small percentage of the passengers were enjoying Free Style Cruising and having what amounted to reservations at the Magenta. However, the majority of the passengers were receiving a poor service with long wait times. This was the greatest cause of frustration during the cruise.
If we book another Norwegian cruise, we will inquire if any large groups are booked on the cruise. Since there appears to be a willingness to sacrifice the enjoyment of the majority of the passengers in order to accommodate large groups, it seems that guests need to look out for themselves in this regard.
On several occasions, after waiting in line to be served or have a question answered, people would walk up to the front of the line and interrupt the staff member as they speaking with us or another guest. The staff member, not wanting to be rude to the other person would try to placate the individual. However, the staff member, was inadvertently being rude to those guests who had patiently waited in line.
The live music at the pool deck was way too loud at times.
Towards the end of the cruise, some food items were no longer available. In some cases, the wait staff would not inform us that items were not being served as described on the menu.
Finally, on the day of disembarkation, the cruise terminal was once again disorganized. It way too long to walk off the ship.
After this experience, cruising again on an NCL cruise that departs from Manhattan may not happen again for us. It seems likely that we will opt for other cruise lines that use the Brooklyn or Bayonne cruise terminals.