Where do I begin. Boarding was extremely long. took about an hour and a half to get on board the ship. Once we received our baggage my husband noticed they had busted his pocket PC. He went down to complain about it and they filled out paperwork for so called Insurance reasons and told him that he had to come back on the last day of the cruise to find out what they were going to do about it. When I went down on the last day they gave me a card with a number to Customer Relations. I highly doubt they are going to pay to fix it.
We went down to the buffet on the first night and found the only thing they had to drink was water or milk. They didn't even have any juice for the kids. The food was terrible and looked very old so we planned to order room service but I guess you cant get it on the first night so we went to bed without eating. The next morning we went to breakfast but there was a limited amount of food and turned out to be the exact same menu the entire cruise so by the 3rd day we were pretty sick of the breakfast menu not to mention the lunch and dinner. We went back to our room and the blanket had come out of the sheets they had placed around it. There were bodily fluids from the prior guests or maybe before them on the blanket. We complained and they changed the blanket. We had a balcony room but with the kids bed out the entire time the space was very cramped.
The movies in the Cinema were at least 2-3 years old and of course nobody was ever in there. The movies in the room were also 2-3 years old and they didn't even have the option of renting a movie on the 13 inch TV they provided us. The only place other than the buffet which was included in the Freestyle Dining was the designated "Dress Up" restaurant and a 24 hr place you could get Hamburgers and Fish and Chips. After about the 2nd day this got pretty bad also. For breakfast they only put out about 3-4 boxes of Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes so of course by 6AM there was nothing left for the kids. The kids buffet was filled with Hot Dogs and Hamburgers that had been sitting out for several hours.
We attempted to take our son to the kids club and he didn't want to stay because they were having a Mexican Fiesta and all they were doing was learning to roll their R'S in Burrito and Burro. He looked at us with a confused look on his face. The entire trip they didn't even acknowledge we had a child on board and provide us with a list of events for him, we had to go down on the 5th day to get one ourselves.
We paid $50.00 for a soda card because we couldn't drink water the entire cruise. We saved a little there because we would share the card amongst the 3 of us. The juices they provided at breakfast were all watered down I guess to save money and they were disgusting. My husband ate the smoked salmon on board which was raw and got violently ill. He went down to the ship doctor to get a shot to stop vomiting and I am sure you know where this is heading, he was confined for 24 hours after he got better which was the stay in Puerto Vallarta. So our trip after tendering in to Cabo(3 hours), rained out for half the day in Mazatlan(3.5 hours) and isolated in Puerto Vallarta(0 hours) was obviously a waste of $2000.00 dollars.
There was no Adult pool, the only pool was half the size they show on their commercials and half filled. the kids pool was closed for the grill, my son attempted to use the basketball court and was kicked out by adults wanting to play hockey. to top it off they broke his Playstation game on the way off the ship. The only descent restaurants you had to pay between $10.00-$30.00 per person cover charge. Up until a year ago 2 of the restaurants they now charge cover charges were included in the Freestyle cruising. I guess they figured they could get more money from everyone by not feeding them for a few days and then giving them average food for a nominal charge which comes to $40-$120 per meal for a family of 4. This is more expensive than a nice restaurant off the ship.
The night we got home they happened to have the Norwegian Gem portrayed on the travel channel. I was blown away about the difference. I guess this is the ship they put all the critics on in order to get a favorable review. They had a bowling Alley, Private Adult Pool, Rock Wall, the staff were very helpful unlike our staff that would walk by you pretending they didn't hear you when you asked 2-3 different people for assistance. The Gem also has flat screen TV's in every room with current movies and ways to book the shore excursions on the TV. They also provide the kids with a huge kids club with mazes and kids club T-Shirts/Hats/bags, all of which NONE of it is true. We received absolutely NOTHING for our son unless we purchased it ourselves. I didn't realize I was going on a DIET Cruise but my husband and I lost at least 10lbs each in the week we were there. They portray this beautiful ship with so many things to do and eat while your on it but I guess it is only on the Gem out of the Mediterranean so I recommend never going on any of their other liners unless it is the Norwegian Gem unless they made everything nice for the One trip since they new the Critics would be on board. On the last day I did have ALL the GRATUITIES removed telling them that I refused to pay for Room Service staff when the bedding was filthy and for Food Service Staff when I had to pay for the food and couldn't eat for a week unless I did. I lived off of French Bread and Watermelon for a week and lost 10lbs. They need to market this for what it is a DIET Cruise by way of a Starvation Diet. STAY FAR AWAY from NCL, I have went on the Carnival Pride to the same destination and they are Fantastic, I will travel them again, the staff was great on Carnival and they worked hard for their gratuities. I wish I could say the same for NCL but all I can say is RUN RUN AWAY.