This was our 5th cruise, our 3rd with NCL. Our two other cruises were on Carnival. After our first three cruises on NCL, we were satisfied that NCL would be our cruise line of choice. Our last NCL cruise we took 2 other families with us. This cruise, we again took 2 other families with us. My wife and I had bragged about the food, service, staff, etc... we had enjoyed on NCL. Those two families did not experience the same quality food, service, staff, etc... we enjoyed on the Dream or Sun.
We arrived in Seattle on June 13. Embarkation was very smooth, organized, and quick. The embarkation staff was very helpful and polite. Please note; They sell Alaska baseball caps in the cruise terminal with a big sign that says, "$5.00 cheaper than in Alaska" This is totally untrue. I bought one of the caps for my son and then bought 7 more of the identical caps in the Alaska ports for $1.99 each. Once on board our rooms were not ready due to early boarding. This was not a problem and we understood the situation. This is where the disappointment begins.
We went to the Market Cafe. We were not permitted to serve ourselves and the serving staff was very careless and sloppy. The food was not a very good quality and food that should have been served hot was cold. The food was not very good. Our friends asked if this was because it was the first day. I had hoped so, but the food was the same sections everyday and the same poor quality.
We ate in the Versailles main dining room several times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food was acceptable, not great as expected. The service staff was very polite and adequate. Our food orders were slow at times and wrong on occasions. The staff always corrected but this was not what we expected. The Aqua Dining room was about the same as the Versailles. We and our guests were disappointed with the food quality and selection.
The Blue Lagoon is a very small indoor cafe with order off menu format. The food in the location was very good. The service was acceptable here, but the wait was lengthy to dine here.
Most of the entertainment was on the amusement park level. The singers from New York were good as were the Chinese acrobats. A new team, "Dreamers" were also quite good. Bingo, bingo, bingo, and more bingo, and then some more bingo. This was everyday. The directors staff wore us out with announcements and peddling bingo. It seemed endless and became very annoying. We are not alcohol drinkers so we bought the soda program which cost total about $50.00. As long as we went to a bar we could get a soda with no problem. When the serving staff came by selling alcohol, a soda order was not well received and it was rare if the server ever returned with the soda. We didn't by alcohol we were made to feel like a second rate cheapskate passenger undeserving of service. Big disappointment.
Debarkation was a special treat. We purchased a Seattle city tour that was to permit us off the ship by 9:00am. We were off between 10:30 and 11:00.
We as I said earlier, we had one time decided NCL would be our cruise line. Now we are looking at other lines and reviews for other ships. The Star is a beautiful ship, but anytime a line was the order of the day, mass confusion and no supervision or direction from the staff was. forthcoming.
Alaska and Canada are beautiful. The ports of call are wonderful. We will be going back. Not sure who we will be going with next time.