This was our first cruise with Norwegian and our first cruise with a balcony cabin and we had a fantastic time and will never go without a balcony again. If you do get a balcony on deck 8 this is a great area on that deck as your view is not blocked by the lifeboats like the mid-ship cabins are.
The cabin was exactly as described and we liked the idea of separate toilet and shower. Lots of storage in the cabin and everything was very well maintained.
The free-style dining was very good as it gives you the flexibility to dine when you want which means you don't have to plan everything else around your dinner seating time. We tried out Gagney's Steakhouse, Tepanyaki Japanese Grill, and Le Bistro French Dining (all at additional charge) and had fantastic experiences in all.
We purchased the Ultimate Beverage Package and determined that it was a good choice following the cruise. With 4 days at sea we used the bars on the ship a fair bit. If you like to indulge a bit by the pool and have a few glasses of wine with dinner I would recommend this option. We saved about $500 this way.
This is a very large ship and if it is full one of the problems you will probably have is finding empty loungers on the decks. Unfortunately too many people were putting their towels on loungers and then sometimes not even using them for hours!!!
Also, I wouldn't recommend wasting your money on their internet service. We tried it out and the service was very slow, inconsistent, and at times not even available. It is quite expensive and definitely not worth it. This is really our only negative about the cruise. We would definitely go back to this ship again.