We are experienced cruisers (Carnival, RCI, Celebrity and now Norwegian) with 8 trips to date.
We chose Norwegian because it was visiting Istanbul at the time we wanted to travel there. I regard myself as pretty easygoing when it comes to these trips but overall Norwegian was extremely disappointing.
Embarkation and dis-embarkation was good - no more than 15 minutes each. The cabin was ready when we boarded at 12.30 and luggage was delivered while we ate lunch.
The ship was clean and focused on sanitary conditions with washy washy for hands all the time.
The cabin - balcony on deck 9 - was clean and tidy - but tiny compared to all the other cruise ships we have been on previously.
Shows in the Stardust Theatre were quite good and enjoyable - we took in all the shows and enjoyed them all. The entertainers were good and the singers and dancers equally so.
Cabin steward (Mike) was pleasant and unobtrusive doing what was expected of him.
Punctuality as ship arrived and left on time.
The captain and Officers must have been hiding as we hardly saw them until they paraded on the stage at the end of the cruise.
Small cabin with limited storage space. The bathroom was clean and shower size acceptable but the rest of the bathroom was tiny- the toilet was so small that In had to sit with my knees out the door. I pity the poor folk who are on the large size as they probably could not close the bathroom door while in it!!! As for the toilet OMG!
The daily activities were pathetic compared to all the other ships we sailed on - trivia and bingo was about it - no lectures, no port info, limited outdoor activities took place and indoor activities were run with a bunch of people that could barely speak English - apart from the cruise director who was fluent in 5 languages.
Dining rooms Alizar and Grand Pacific and restaurants were dismal affairs - the main dining rooms are dismal excuses for fine dining. The roof is so low that one feels crowded in and the menus were the same every day.The food was horrible overall with the exception of the Chinese meal for which we had to pay an extra $15 each. After a couple of nights in these dining rooms we opted to eat the average, mundane fare served up in the Garden Cafe instead of the boring overcooked fare offered in the dining rooms.
Norwegian need to pull up their socks in this area for sure.
We used the ship's shore excursions in all ports but one - overall not bad but expensive - our 4 ports cost us over $1000 for 2 persons. We used a private tour in Naples - for half the price of the ship's equivalent.
Would we choose Norwegian again -not unless it was the only cruise line going where we wanted to go. On a scale of 10 they get 5.