Recently came off the Sun's Southbound inside passage (6/30). Due to past experiences NCL WOULD NOT have been our first choice. We were accompanying a friend who had made this his Birthday trip.
First the good; Embarkation and disembarkation are done smoothly and very efficiently(could be the ports). Tender operations at Icy Strait Point/Hoonah excellent NO line ups. Liked the ship and layout. Specialty dining is very good-excellent, Cagney's (Steakhouse) and La Cucina(Italian) BUT extra $$.
Now the not so good; Dining room "service" is "spoty" at BEST. Restaurant 101 - take the drink/beverage order first. It's surprising that the way cruise ships "nickel and dime" you for everything that it would be so difficult to get a glass of wine. We had to ask twice before we got a glass of wine. We even had to ask for water more then once. Out of the 5 nights in the main dining rooms did we come out saying those guys did a great job. Perhaps a dedicated bar person to rotate around X amount of tables to take the pressure off the wait staff. The main dining room menu choices are limited almost "forcing" you to the specialty restaurants where of course you have too pay extra. We were never informed what the special was had to ask each time. Food quality was OK-Good at best. I'm all for casual dining but you SHOULD have limitations. Other then the first and last nights(un-packing/packing) T-shirts and shorts ? REALLY ??
Not once on the entire cruise did I feel anybody exceeded my expectations on service. Past cruises we've had wait staff/stewards that were out of this world. Here nada. Perhaps with the "freestyle cruising" you don't make connections with the wait staff.