This was our first time on NCL. We've cruised Disney, RCL, Carnival and MSC.
Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze. Food was okay. Everyone has different tastes. We liked Summer Palace but not Indigo. That kind of thing is pretty random.
The layout of this ship is the worst I've ever been on. Having to walk all the way through the buffet to get aft -- and then they close the buffet and you can't even walk through it. Then you're stuck zig-zagging through chairs in the seating area to get from aft to mid. The aft elevators only go to 7. Buffet is on 12. There are no coffee/iced tea, etc dispensers out on the pool deck. They have BBQs in there but then you have to go to the back of the buffet (inside) to get juice, etc.
The mid-elevators are not sufficient for the number of people using them. We routinely went down 8 flights of stairs to avoid it. I was too lazy to go up the 8 flights!
Romel the Teppenyaki chef was great! Second City was fun. DH went to NCLIS and enjoyed that. Oh What a Night was great if you've never seen Jersey Boys. Still good if you have.
Our cabin steward hated life. I don't think he ever changed the sheets. In fairness, I didn't even notice til the last night when the sheets got that feeling... when you know they need changing. I ordered ice the first night. It came 45 minutes later. He looked like I dragged him out of bed. A few days later I had to argue with him for ice in the ice bucket. He took the bucket but didn't empty the water out so gave me ice water. He didn't give us our luggage tags or debarkation info. We dragged all our stuff off ourselves. We did get off the ship nice and early!
We were on deck 4 mid. I do not recommend this location. It is sandwiched between the ship's exits at Ketchikan. You will also wait up to 5 minutes for an elevator. The aft elevators don't go down to deck 4.
If you choose this ship in the future, pay for a cabin on deck 8 or higher. Have buffet breakfast in Moderno. Blue Lagoon is a bit hard on the stomach but tastes great! The LI Iced Teas outside of the bar near Le Bistro are strong as heck!
My 6 yo cried when she realized the cruise was over and she couldn't go to Splash Academy anymore.
My 4 yo loved the little kiddie pool area. He swam in 50 degree weather and didn't care.
My 6 yo's review: "This trip is better than Carnival except for the elevators."
I'd be happy to try NCL again but feel like Carnival or Royal is a safer bet. This cruise was sometimes awesome and sometimes annoying. Still, there's no such thing as a bad cruise!