I have never cruised on NCL previously, but have been on all other major cruise lines. The embarkation process in Seattle was not very organized. Long lines and badly trained check-in and security staff were encountered. At 2PM the cabins areas were still locked down and most of the dining venues were not serving any food.
Finally at 3PM access was permitted to the cabins. I have never seen such a poorly designed ship with terrible signage. The hallways were so narrow and to find your cabin they printed on the bottom of the paper follow the fish flowing in a certain direction. No NCL staff around anywhere to assist passengers with finding staterooms.
Cabin was fair size, but it looks as it never had been dusted. Balcony doors and glass balcony were filthy. TV was a flat screen, but you would need binoculars to view it from one of the beds. The couch was like sitting on a wooden box on nails.
I attempted to make dinner reservations via phone for free style dining. After 12 calls with no answer I gave up.
Went to the Garden Cafe Buffet the 1st night. What a disappointment. I have never seen such a bad buffet on any cruise line. The hot food was cold, and the cold food was hot. No clean tables. In order to have a clean table to eat at you had to clear the dishes left from the last person who sat at the table. No beverage service table side. The staff working at this restaurant did not seem to care about assisting passengers in the least. The speciality premium restaurants are an the worst I have ever experienced at sea. Cagney's the premium steakhouse had 1 waiter serving 20 tables. Long waited to be seated with reservations. The food was burnt, inedible, and the service was no existent. I thought I was in an episode of Candid Camera.
For such a large ship their is little to do in cold weather. The Mandera Spa is very overpriced and the spa treatment were terrible. I have never had such a bad massage in my life. Entertainment venues are the worst at sea.
The front desk staff was rude, managers were not available, and all the crew on board seem to careless about the passengers.
A Norovirus was announced and it was not a surprise as I have never seen a cruise ship lacking in hygienic standards. It was amazing.
I think if you want to travel on a Cruise line that could careless about passengers you might consider NCL. Freestyle cruising should be renamed self-service cruising.
I would never go on an NCL Cruise Again.