This was my husband and my eighth cruise and out 2 year olds third, our first on NCL. Embarkation went smoothly, but once you've been checked in, you are sent to a holding area. we sat in that area for over an hour before we boarded the ship, and sent to the buffet because the were not ready, this was a lot of fun with a cranky 2 year old who needed a nap.
We met our cabin steward the first day, and did not see him for the next two days, he did not make up or turn down our cabin. when we confronted him, he said that everytime he came by, we were in the room (not true). Each morning we would be out of the room by 8:30 / 9:00, and not return until around 2:00 or three for a nap. Each night we would be out about 6:00, and not return until 10:30, or later, and never even saw him in the hallway. If you complain about anything, you were just told "I'm so sorry to hear that", and that it.
I agree with a couple of the other reviews I've read, NCL DOES charge for EVERYTHING, and yet prices are not listed for anything. We love the concept of freestyle dining, but NCL really need to work the bugs out of it, you can only make reservations for dining for the next day starting at 7:00 AM they say you can make them on the phone, but NO I NEVER got an answer when I tried the phone. I had to get up ant 6:15 every morning and wait in line at Mombo's to make my reservation. The food at Cagney's was cold, and My husband cooks a much better steak on our grill in the backyard, not worth the $20.00 cover.
All of the ports were beautiful, but busy, all but one island had several ships in at the same time. Samana wanted to charge $110.00 U.S. dollars to take the three of us to the nearest beach about 20 minutes away, we just walked around for a while and went back to the ship.
Our son really enjoyed the kids crew, that was one of the reasons we chose NCL, the childrens program accepts children starting at 2 years old. If they are not potty trained, they do give you a cell phone, that was nice, and my husband and I got to have dinner each night alone.
I say there is no such thing as a bad cruise unless the ship sinks, but we have been on others that we have enjoyed more than this one. If the ports and the prices are what we want, we would cruise NCL again.