This was my second cruise; my first with Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. Compared to my previous cruise, this one left much to be desired. I traveled with two teens and a group of adults and found that throughout the entire trip there was nothing for anyone to do. However it was not bad if you bring along younger children, because the ship did have a kiddie pool and a kid center that many kids went to. For teens the only entertainment was at night, which was ok, but the parties were held in cramped public rooms on the ship and didn't last more than an hour or so. As for the pool I never went in it because it was always so cramped and crowded. In order to get a chair near the pool I had to wake up at 7, and still there weren't many to choose from.
As for the food it was average cruise food, no complaints there. However the structure of this smaller ship made it all the more difficult to find any source of entertainment. There were at least 8 bars on board, yet there More
wasn't any room for more outdoor activities or entertainment. The night entertainment was ok, nothing spectacular, however it was difficult to attend many of the night shows and comedy acts because they weren't held in the theater, but in a lounge.
I have no complaints about the staterooms except for the fact that the closet could have been bigger and the tv as well. The tv only had 16 channels, 8 of which was solely NCL channels. I found the whole concept of freestyle to be almost nonexistent on the ship as well. The only part of freestyle cruising I experienced was the choice of when to eat, that was about it. I personally found this to be quite irritating because there was long waits for dinner and slow service inside the dinning areas as well. Seating times work more efficiently and are just better for planning any activity. The crew also had poor attitudes and often ignored the guests requests. I was traveling with my father who had recently before the trip broke his ankle, and as a result we required some wheel-chair assistance and the use of a bath chair, which we didn't acquire until the last day.
Another irritating thing was the fact that the ship wasn't too well maintained and any maintenance that was being taken was done at the wrong time. In the middle of the day while we were sitting on the deck maintenance members decided to evacuate everyone off the deck for cleaning and painting, which was extremely unnecessary at that time of day. Also I would never leave from New York, the traffic and disembarkation was a nightmare! I honestly would never travel with NCL again because their definition of freestyle is somewhat different from mine. However I do highly recommend Royal Caribbean, which I will cruise with again next summer. Less