This was our first Norwegian cruise and definitely will not be the last. I read over 500 reviews about the ship and many people were negative in their reviews. I must say that those people must be very hard to please. This ship has a lot to do, the food was great and the décor was outstanding compared to my previous cruises (4) with another cruise line. Not knocking the other cruise line, this ship was night and day compared to it.
Check-In: I heard so many complaints that it took forever. We got there about 1230 and were on the ship at 1245. Smooth check-in. It was the same leaving the ship except everyone were using the elevators and that took some time, but with 4,000 plus people using it at one time, it should be expected.
Cabin: We had a mini-suite and I thought it was great except for the shower/sink thing, but it worked. I am 6’5 and the beds were comfortable, a nice 40 inch flat-screen and a very nice size balcony. The décor was different, but I really loved it. Thanks to Dominic Samuels (NCL Cruise Planner), he had us right behind the elevators and close to many things. It was a perfect location.
Food: The buffets were great and had a variety of different food. Some food was on the menu most days, but they also changed them as well. The pub had great wings and sandwiches and I heard that the pizza (room service) was pretty amazing. We did not choose to do any of the specialty restaurants this trip but will on the next one.
Shows: Blueman Group was a great show! They had the crowd in it before the show started and they interacted with the crowd during the show. The show was funny and the ending was spectacular! A must see! Dueling pianos were also great and the crowd was into them the whole time. Legends in Concert were pretty good. The Steven Tyler look-alike can fool anyone if you did not know that was him. The blues band that started during the first half of the cruise was fantastic! I have never heard a white singer sing the blues like that guy did and he should be singing world-wide due to his guitar as well. I did not see Nadeen, but I heard it was a pretty decent show. The Manhattan Band plays in the Manhattan restaurant and they are pretty good. They play in the evenings in the Atrium area and have different theme nights and they can play! The piano player who plays in Taste restaurant plays great, relaxing music during dinner.
Casino: It was big and NO, THE SMOKE WAS NOT BAD as posted by some others. Plenty of winners at the slots and winners all over due to the many different games they offer. The Blackjack and Slot tournaments were fun and cheap to enter.
Overall: The pools could be a larger is the only complaint that I have and heard from people, but the Jacuzzis were everywhere. The bars make pretty good drinks and you can buy a bottle of hard liquor for $80+ that you can buy at most bars and take to your room to drink immediately. The pub has pool tables, a dart board, some arcade machines and a good time to be had by all. You can hear the Manhattan Band from there as well. Also, the bowling alley was great! There are plenty of specialty restaurants and the word is that they are really good. We will try a few next on our next cruise, but buy the dinning package that they offer because it is a good deal. The ship was clean throughout and hand sanitizers were everywhere. They also sprayed your hand before you went into the Garden Café if you wanted them too. There are too many places to review, but you can once you cruise. The kids were well kept and the teenagers were great during this cruise as well. Plenty of activities for the kids and the Nickelodeon Theme was well received and a great addition for new cruisers of NCL if you have kids from speaking with a few parents.
There is just too much to talk about and PLEASE, make your own observations about this ship or any that you sail on, because there are people who are going to complain and are unhappy no matter what. I GUARANTEE YOU THAT YOU WILL LIVE THIS SHIP.
I hope that this review will be helpful for you!!!!!!