Overall this was a excellent first cruise for my family. As avid travelers & a top contributor to Trip Advisor, I would recommend NCL with a few exceptions. The specific exceptions that my family experienced were as follows: 1) Photography sales staff were pushy & "moved on" very quickly. Photographers were really good though. 8x10 portraits $19.95 each, 5x7 ship photos $12.95, no packages!! 2) Pool & lack of loungers - The adult pool was a mob scene most of the time. The were very few loungers and guests put towels down on them about 5:30am. I went down at 6am and only towels were on the chairs, no guests were seen! And for hours! All chairs on both decks were taken by 8am! Best place to set up is getting chairs on Deck 16 along the running track.3) The decks near the pools were always wet and very slippery. We saw many people fall! 4) Kids Club - My daughter is 12. She felt that they were treated like babies and felt that a separate location she be for her age group. Middle school is aged 11, 12 & 13... age grouping should be aligned with how schools do it. She only attended once. 5) Game room - Outrageously priced especially if kids are using "piggy bank $". We had to cut our kids card off after the 2nd day. You could only use your card, no cash! They spent over $100 in less than 2 days. Plus, the tickets could not be used in the gift shop.There was no way for the kids to see what they spent. A Video Arcade card should be able to be purchased for certain amounts or an unlimited card for an amount. We also asked to put a dollar limit on our kids cards and we were told it could only be opened or closed, we could not set a limit.6) My daughter, 12 went for the teen spa night..... she thought it was horrible ($99+ tip). She has had treatments before and did not feel that the services were up to par. She said the attendants were very nice but came back disappointed. Things we loved: 1)the iConceirge app. (download before you leave!!) is awesome for tracking your bill and activities, although a little confusing at times. 2)For $7.95 each phone in your cabin can have an on-ship phone & texting plan. Most of the time it worked. You can call or text people in your party to find out where they are, etc. IT was unlimited. Especially helpful locating the kids!! Bring those smart phones.... 3) Our room 9800 and our stewart Marcelo was outstanding!! 4) Spa was wonderful for my husband & I. We did the week spa pass and I did a massage. We enjoyed it all. Noise from the gym upstairs disturbed my treatment but the spa manager took care of me and gave me a complimentary 1/2 hr treatment. Get treatments for good prices on port days. 5) The entertainment was fantastic! We wish we could have seen Rock of Ages again. Get there 30-45 mins before show for best seats in the house. Due to the boat rocking, we did not get to see the entire show of Le Circus dinner show, but what we did see was great! The cruise did reimburse us for 1/2 of the ticket cost which was very nice. Maybe see earlier in week. We saw Sat. night. Fat Cats we could not get enough of. We went almost every night!!! They are awesome and so entertaining!
We had a great time, we would recommend the ship. I would try NCL again but it was not outstanding enough to say I will only cruise NCL. No one even asked us or offered us to see the Haven (especially since we paid for the exclusive daily spa passes, we would have loved to see the Haven section & you would think this was a missed opportunity for passengers that are looking for the "exclusives").