After cruising six times on four different lines, this was by far the worst experience. There were several specific issues that NCL should want to be aware of in order to address them for future sailings. Unfortunately, both verbal and written comments during the cruise and post cruise fell on deaf ears. They invite recent guests to comment on their experiences on their site. Unfortunately, they only post favorable stories!
We sailed out of NY. While the embarkation process is never fun, this one was particularly disorganized. The agent behind the counter was surly, uncommunicative and didn't hand us many of the typical brochures that other guests were receiving upon registration.
Muster was also disorganized and no attendance was taken in our group. We had a message on the TV indicating that we hadn't attended. They were not inclined to believe us at Guest Relations, but didn't think that they'd throw us off the ship so we didn't worry about it.
The food was by far the worst food we've had while cruising. The selection didn't vary much from night to night. There were two dining rooms and neither were particularly organized. The menu selections that did change were always very odd items; nary a shrimp cocktail anywhere on the menu. We had to return both our meals the first night as the rib eye steak was inedible. One night, my meal smelled badly and it ruined my appetite. While the two specialty restaurants that we patronized were better, neither was anything to write home about.
The Garden Cafe had a great selection of food, but typically, the hot food was cold. We are early risers so we always got to breakfast pretty much when the Cafe opened. Even then, the food was cold. They ran out of fresh berries and nuts several times. One morning, they didn't even have the coffee ready. The Cafe always had dirty dishes stacked on the tables. During busy times, new diners couldn't find a place to sit, because the dirty dishes littered the tables. When we spoke to the hotel manager who happened to walk by our table one day, he didn't like what we were telling him and walked away from us.
The staterooms were smaller than other lines, but well appointed and had plenty of storage space. The bathrooms were also well designed. The bed was extremely comfortable. The last day of the cruise was very cold and rainy and because it was a sea day everyone was inside. Because of that, we stayed in our stateroom. Unfortunately, we didn't have any heat. Even after reporting it, it never go resolved.
We used the exercise room daily. For the most part, it was an ok experience. Many of the machines were in a state of disrepair and the TV headphone jack was in such an odd place on the treadmill that I had to go back at a quiet time and look the treadmill over thoroughly. I rarely saw any attendant in the gym.
Disembarkation was the most disorganized thing that I have ever encountered. Apparently, there was a problem in the terminal which was causing a logjam. The lines were extremely long and snaked around the ship. We had to go through customs twice, once on the ship and once in the terminal. Not only were the lines very long, but the waiting areas were so congested that fights were breaking out among guests as well as guests and crew. Thankfully, we had late afternoon flights because we didn't get off the ship until several hours after we had sailed into port.
We will sail again, however, NCL will NOT be one of the cruise lines that we choose.