This was our third trip with NCL and most likely our last. NCL has really demonstrated a decrease in their desire to assist their customers and provide a vacation of a lifetime. The staff are rude, they seem incredibly unhappy. They don't even have the common courtesy to say "You're Welcome" when you thank them for assisting you. I watched a young girl slip and fall on the pool deck and three white coated gentleman were there and turned a blind eye. No one cared to see if she was ok.
The cruise director is all about himself, he wants you all to know that he can play the electric guitar and believe me, by the end of the trip, you will understand how full of himself that he is.
The worst experience is the food. The buffet is terrible and unless you plan on eating hamburgers and hot dogs at every meal, you should probably choose another cruise line. The dinner at the Windows dining room is ok, but plan on spending up to 2 hours for your meal. The service is extremely slow.
We did not go to any of the specialty restaurants as I don't think you should have to pay $20 - $30 each to get a meal that should be included in your cruise.
If you are a lattitudes member, don't plan on being treated special. You will get a photo copy invitation to the cocktail reception and that is it. There are no special coupons, invitations to wine tasting, etc. There is no appreciation for your loyalty.
The entertainment is mediocre. Not like most ships where you would hate to miss a show, there were several nights where we opted to stay in our cabin. The comedian was terrible and the dance shows were just ok, nothing spectacular.
The best entertainment was the dance band Next Stage. They have a lot of energy and really tried to get the group going. The only problem was that fellow guests thought it was there chance to be the Next American Idol and kept requesting to sing with the band. We went to watch the band not star wannabes.
The staterooms appear to be slightly larger than other NCL ships. We always get an inside cabin because we spend very little time in the cabin. The steward was nice, but we rarely saw him.
I think the issue is the auto tipping. The staff has nothing to work for. They are guaranteed tips, so there is no reason to try to wow you.
I will tell you that disembarking off the ship was a nightmare. We chose Express because we had an early train to catch. I think half of the ship chose the same option because they wanted to get off the hell hole. They had us line up in the small bars and the line was so long it looped around, people started lining up on the stairs and cutting in front of people. People stated fighting (We were in NYC) and it was complete bedlam. It took 45 minutes to get off with express checkout. The cruise director's staff was trying to make excuses saying boarder patrol wanted them to try it this way and it didn't work. It appeared as though this was their first disembarkation.
Long story short, if you are looking for a cruise of a lifetime with great food, entertainment and staff that are willing to assist, this is not the cruise for you.
I am not the type of person that needs to be catered to every moment, and I can generally adapt to any situation, but NCL is truly only in this business for one reason only and that is the bottom line. We will continue to cruise, but not on NCL.