WE've never been free style cruising and did not enjoy the experience.
DINING on the few occasion we went to the tsar or azure restaurants we had to queue. The front of house took our room no, spoke into her walkie talkie and forced us to stand as closely as possible on the stairs,we felt we were like cattle.we dined in the garden cafe several evenings in all restaurants the general level of the meals was poor we did not get a hot meal at all, in the garden cafe we felt we were intruding in the staff canteen.We tried 4 or the speciality restaurants,Cagneys,Mama's,Le Bistro and Modenas generally the food and service was excellent except the manager of mama's didn't acknowledge our existence,otherwise they were truly worth the visit.5*food and service.
Excursions We only went on three excursions as they are mainly over priced, we did the bus,train and boat ride in Costa Rica this was good and worth the price,we also did the horse riding in Cabo San Lucas again good value the only complaint we had and reported was the Mexican cooking experience in Puerta Vallarta it was a cooking demonstration in a back street restaurant we sat on a veranda whilst the chef stood in the street and cooked two dishes on a bar b q then went into the restaurant and had a meal of the two dishes, sweet was extra as were any drinks. Complained to shore excursion staff upon return told it was the tour companys responsibility and nothing to do with NCL even if you book through their web site.
ENTERTAINMENT The general level of entertainment was good the shows in the theatre by the companys own staff were of a high standard, some of the guest acts were not upto the same standard ie the hypnotist was particularly poor. The groups in the bars and lounges were also of a high standard
Overall Though the ship is only eight years old it is starting to show its age the decor and fittings are tired and badly need updating. The general staff were always helpful but the bar staff were always trying to serve you bottles of wine instead of a glass, the senior officers from asst managers and above barely acknowledge your existence. I personally would not free style cruise again and if this had been my 1st cruise it would have put me off cruising for a long time