My husband and I consider ourselves experienced cruisers having done so on just about every cruise line. As such, I can not believe you wrote what sounded to me as a rave review of the NCL. We, along with our son and his wife and several friends with their families sailed on the NCL Star last Dec 27th for eight nights to the Mexican Riviera. We knew even before the start of the cruise there would be problems when we were told by OLV that NCL, due to engine problems would not be going to Acapulco or Ixtapa, the two destinations why we'd chosen that particular cruise. For the "inconvenience" we were offered $50 a person in our party, but not more than $100. No where were offered the opportunity to cancel our cruise.
My husband and I were put into a cabin for a disabled person with a totally blocked view...our guarantee was a water view. While trying to figure out the freestyle eating arrangement we came to find out that if we hadn't stood on line at the front desk for two hours upon boarding and booked all of our dinning for the entire cruise, we were s o l as you had to take what was available every night which was basically nothing. Even the main rooms were difficult to book at a regular time. We had a large group which they were never able to accommodate together anywhere. we never knew from night to night whether we'd be eating at 6 or at 9 PM. We could never coordinate dinner with the entertainment either. the food was barely tolerable in the main dining rooms and even less so at the buffets. And NO MIDNIGHT buffets. The room service menu was unappetizing. The idea that we had to pay "extra" to eat decent food in one of the "better" dinning rooms is ridiculous and an insult, even if we could get a reservation. It put so much stress on us each day trying to make dinner arrangements, that alone ruined the cruise, but there was much more in the offering to do so.
We never once met our cabin steward, and the rest of the crew and staff on the ship were surly at best. The spa looked old and worn with stained chairs and thin towels with bad orders. the entertainment was not especially on stage. It was very low budget.
Overall I can honestly say there was no saving grace on that ship or the cruise line to make us ever want to go on another NCL cruise anywhere, ever again. In our book, it the worst cruise line and deserves a zero rating. We love Celebrity.