I just completed my first, and last, cruise with NCL. I was on the NCL Star Batlic cruise May 16, 2013-May 25, 2013. I guess I have been spoiled on Holland America and I expected a better cruise. I had read bad reviews about NCL prior to our trip but figured "how bad could it be". I'm not a picky eater but almost everything we ate was rubbery and rarely warm. We took to ordering 2-3 entrees in the hopes of finding enough edible items to equal a meal. The room service menu had about 10 items on it. Most items didn't arrive warm via room service, the buffet or the dining room. The quality of food was pretty bad as well. I felt bad about how much food I wasted in an attempt to find anything good.
In their favor I will say the service was exceptional. The staff always had a smile and were very attentive. My room, which was a balcony room, was quite large and roomy and very inviting. My co-travelers had issues with their balcony room as the balcony had been painted on the day we arrived and had wet paint signs on it. Later that night they received a note saying that there would be painting from 9am-9pm the next day. We went to reception to discuss the issue with them and were told that they should have received a letter prior to the cruise asking for permission to do the painting during the cruise. We had been in Italy several weeks prior to the cruise and no letter was received and no permission was granted. We were told no more painting would happen during the cruise..The balcony continued to be painted and labeled with wet paint signs for the next several days. NCL was unwilling to do anything to stop this from happening. So, in effect, my friends ended up with an oceanview room instead of a balcony room. We will be attempting to obtain a refund for the difference. However, it's too late keep it from affecting the cruise.
So while the staff was excellent it could in no way detract from the really poor food and the fact that a balcony room was paid for and was not able to be used during the cruise. There was no offer to switch to another balcony room, no explanation of whether any such room was available and no attempt was made to fix the problem.
My bed was extremely uncomfortable and felt like I was laying on metal rods. I ended up sleeping sitting up for 8 nights. My friends slept well so it may just be what you're used to.
What I did like were our ports of call and the ease of getting on and off the boat.
One last thing, NCL lost my luggage between my room and the dock and after spending extra time searching the dock for my luggage and completing a lost luggage form my luggage did show up at the airport when I got there.
All in all the cruise was a lot of fun when in port. We played BINGO one day and one of the prizes was a free cruise. I certainly would not have considered that a prize.
For myself I will never take another NCL cruise as I expect better value for my money.