Our cruise started off rough. We had flight delays and ended up missing the first 3 sea days and caught up with the ship in St. Maarten. I think the thing that was most disappointing about NCL was when I realized we were going to be cutting close on time (because our flight was sitting on the tarmac for over 2 hours after being delayed) I called the number on our ticket that saying "If you should experience a flight interruption emergency while en-route to your cruise you may call us toll free at..." I tried that number several times while sitting on the tarmac and then later after landing but was disconnected numerous times and never was able to get in touch with a real person until after the cruise departed. My husband was at the port--he was on a different flight -and he was keeping then up to date as to what was going on and where we were. His frustration while dealing with NCL employees there was that everyone was very robotic and no one would do anything to help he said he heard several times, "Sorry I can't help you but if I do anything, I will lose my job". We ended up missing the cruise by less than 5 minutes. We were literally running across the parking lot on the phone with my husband and they said "Sorry, too late" even though we were so close. The employees blamed the situation on immigration saying that as soon as passports were ran it was too late. We found out from port authority that was not true, just no employee was willing to step up They said they do wait sometimes up to 30-45 minutes for certain people, a "large group" -there were only 4 of us, and they would wait if we would have booked our ground transportation through NCL.
We did catch up with the cruise and maybe the stress of missing the embarkation overshadowed our trip but we were disappointed somewhat. The food was the best on a cruise ship that we have experienced. I do grow weary of the cruise companies charging for some dining rooms and even entertainment. Each time they asked for my card, I was afraid there was going to be a charge. The ropes course, waterslides and rock climbing wall were great. Entertainment overall was weak, the smoke in the casino was overwhelming. The non smoking side is a pathetic after thought--certainly not equal to the smoking side. On sea days the pool and surrounding area is way too small. Our favorite spot was the Spice H2O lounge--huge TV and never overcrowded. Debarkation was a joke--took us over 2 1/2 hours to get off and we carried all our luggage.