Just returned from a 7 day cruise from 12/2 - 12/9. From the first day, many of the crew did not know how to talk to people or to treat people. They were very rude, not only to our group but to others as well. Many people complained about this problem. There were some very nice people who served us, but the ones who were rude and talked down to people gave me a bad feeling for the overall service.
We had excursions cancelled, not once, not twice, but 3 times. The excursion desk is only opened from 7pm to 9pm which is the time people are going to dinner and to the shows. We talked to the reception desk who could do nothing for us. We left messages to be called to discuss the problems, however no one bothered to call us back. When I did finally get to the tour manager, Garrett Ireland, all he did was make excuses, tell us that it was not HIS fault this happened and basically told us there was nothing he could do. Some of our group lost an entire day in Belize because 2 excursions were cancelled, one in the morning and one in the afternoon (which was booked after the 1st one cancelled. So, some of our group of 16 people saw nothing in Belize except the shops right off the pier. No compensation for a lost day was offered and the asst. hotel director did not show up for a meeting that she had scheduled. She rescheduled & the same thing happened. They only had 1 person available to handle all the cancellations that morning, and there were several. They should have had numerous people trying to reschedule people because ours was cancelled 15 minutes before it was to leave.
A couple of years ago on Carnival, a hurricane started heading toward the island that was our next stop. This was an act of God and definitely not anything Carnival could do about it. We sailed around the storm but had to miss the port. So, Carnival gave us each a $50 credit and a certificate for 25% off our next cruise. It's was their way of acknowledging the guests missed out on something and they wanted to compensate people for it. NCL would NEVER do this. They wouldn't even acknowledge they had anything to do with the cancellations of the excursions. They are the ones who make the arrangements with the tour companies so they need to accept some responsibility for cancellations.
Freestyle cruising is okay but I prefer knowing when, where and with whom I would have dinner. I like having the same server for the entire cruise. I think they have gone overboard with the Freestyle cruising. Too many additional charges for the other restaurants.
I found NCL to have more of a "stuffed shirt" atmosphere. The cruise director was not around during the day. I only saw him briefly each night. There were no activities or game shows during the day. Bingo was VERY expensive compared to other lines.
We had a good time because we had a great group of family & friends cruising together. Although I would prefer another cruise line, I may try NCL again, however my expectations would be much different. And, I would not book excursions through them again.
Twice, our bathroom did not get cleaned and no clean towels were left for us. When we called to get some towels, no one showed up. We did not get towels until the beds were turned down that night. I also found the cabins quite a bit smaller than Carnival cabins.
I found everything on the ship to be more expensive, from drinks to the gift shop. A bottle of water was over $5.00.