This was our first cruise in 12 yrs, had previously sailed Celebrity and Carnival. NCL is much more like Carnival, than Celebrity.
We had a 2 bedrm, 2 ba penthouse for just 2 of us. The saterm master bath was amazing , huge with a large picture window, and even floor to ceiling window in the shower, dual vanities, large closet, lots of storage. The master bedrm was very nice as well, though the second bedrm and bath were small. The second bath was identical to a bath in a balcony stateroom. There was a nice bar area, good size fridge, and expresso machine. These rooms are attended by a butler, and ours was fantastic. Overall the room was very nice, though the sofa, and 2 side chairs were badly in need of replacement. This suite has 3 televisions, including one in the master bath. The balcony was large enough for 4 chairs and a table. A perk with these suites in priority on just about everything, an invite to the captain's coctail party, and the ability to eat off the menu at Cagney's for breakfast and lunch at no additional charge.
The food at Cagney's was very good, but we did not care for the food in either main dining room, thus ate at speciality restaurants 5 out of 7 nights. We enjoyed all but probably the jap steak house the best. Great service, as there were just two other people there at that time! We tried the buffet one day for lunch, and did not care for it...think of school cafeteria...yuck.
We are not sold on freestyle cruising...it seems to take the experience down more than a couple notches. You see people running around in the evening that don't look like they showered, in the same clothes they 'd worn all day. There is a loose dress code, but it is not enforced. There were people in the main dining room in baggy T-shirts. There was one "formal" night, and we saw very few people dressed up. I thought this cruise would be more "country club" casual, but it was more like "walmart casual."
The ship can be very confusing to get around, even though signage is good you get directed through long passageways on cabins going from forward to aft to get to the main dining rooms. Some of the speciality restaurants are not segregated from the rest of the surrounding space, so you had people cutting through the dining areas, that were going elsewhere. Almost like some of these were added as an afterthought.
We did not do any excursions, but did get off ship at each stop. Private island was too crowded for our taste, Ocho Rios was just OK, We have stayed on Grand Cayman before, so just shopped here with the folks from 4 other ships there that day, in Cozumel we took a taxi to Paradise Beach and it was a great day.
The shows we did attend were good, casino was fun, and service from all crew was exceptional.