We tried NCL after having been on many cruises with Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean.The Hawaii itinerary of island hopping seemed to be the best way to taste Hawaii, never having been there. The itinerary was great. That's where the "great" and NCL parted ways.
For a cruise operation that does the same thing 52 weeks a year at the same terminal,embarkation was chaotic to say the least. It really took the vacation wind out of our sails and aggravated us just getting on the ship.Misinformation provided us by a cruise employee, got us stopped and pulled off the security line because we were carrying what we thought was a permitted wine allotment of a bottle per passenger.Instead we were embarassed and ended up paying a corkage fee of fifteen dollars apiece.That added to aggravation just getting on the ship.When we tried to address the issue with ship's crew,no one had any answers, but all were anxious to give us their best guess, which was true when asking questions about anything throughout the week!
The following were cruise lowlights:
Our room steward(Wilford) took a turn fouling up something different every day.When we arrived, the glasses left in the room still had toothpaste spittle from previous guests. Shampoo and body wash were confused between different dispensers throughout the week.The room was generally filthy.Inattentive.
We found one bartender that was competent on board and stayed close to him when we wanted a cocktail.
Entertainment was worth missing. I guess because it was generally an early to bed early to rise itinerary not much was put into the entertainment budget.
Some good things included the staff of the buffet area, and the availability of omelette stations at breakfast.
Freestyle dining is a joke. All it does is relieve your server from responsibility in keeping you happy.They took advantage fully. When you did find a server you liked,you could make a reservation to sit in his area, but weren't guaranteed being able to sit there after having gone to the trouble.
In general,I am hoping that this is not NCL's best foot forward, and will be hard pressed to give them another chance on a cruise elsewhere.
WAKE UP NCL,EVERYONE I KNOW HAS THE SAME CRITICISMS AND THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN ADDRESSED!