Yes, this is my first cruise and it felt like I was being transported to another place in time. I have read other reviews and I just have to say that I have very few complaints about NCL. I ate at the Garden Cafe. If I wanted to eat early, I snagged a table early and went up to the next deck for a quick mile walk in time to be back when the dining room opened. If it was crowded I took my food aft. Aft was my favorite spot, especially around sunset. Yes it was too chilly a few times and a heater back there would have been nice. The one time I couldn't get a table and it was too cold outside I took my plate back to my cabin and ate on the balcony. I tried eating at Tsar's but I didn't like the front desk gal. I was cruising solo and she stuck me smack dab in the middle of the restaurant all my by lonesome. It wasn't a pleasant dining experience. So I went back to the Garden Cafe after that. The food was wonderful. Some of the highlights was smoked salmon at breakfast, the baby arugula and the salads were sublime, there was a nice steak bbq out by the pool that I enjoyed, and I liked the Indian food and the Chocolate Night. The manager even got to recognize me and always gave me a nice smile and hello. And who could forget the Washy Washy Group.
I bought the spa package and sitting at the bow enjoying the views in the hot tub was quite nice. My excursions were wonderful. A hike/canoe trip in an old growth rain forest in Ketchikan, the whale watching expedition not so great unless you want to pay and arm and a leg to see whale bubbles and a whale tail, and a hike/rafting adventure on the ChilkootTrail. I liked Skagway the best although the tavern at the end of the main street was out of spruce tip ale. I had a reindeer hot dog at the "food court" and went to the National Park Visitor's Center to see the film about the Gold Rush. Anyways, back to the ship. I only saw the last show, the Cirque Bijou and it was spectacular. I wish I had gone to more of the shows.
I did have a problem with my stateroom and the staff at NCL more than compensated me for the inconvenience. Their customer service is outstanding. I saw nothing but smiles on all the staff. And if someone wasn't smiling and you said hello to them they would smile back and say something pleasant. So I really don't understand why some cruisers find the staff unsmiling. My cabin stewards were Wilmer and Angel (best.cabin steward.ever) and I know the NCL staff reads these reviews so I want to let them know that these gentlemen are outstanding. My complaints are that the staff doesn't enforce certain rules. There were children in the adult hot tub and too many times people were having the most annoying conversations in the relaxation area at the spa. Who wants to be relaxing and hearing someone talk about some tv show where some kid is killing another kid.
Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze. There aren't big crowds to maneuver except at the Garden Cafe. It's a lovely ship with a lovely crew. I was sorry my first cruise had to end.