I should have known things would not go right when NCL refused to send me any information before the cruise because I had not booked through them.
The food that we didn't pay extra for was mediocre, at best. One meal we paid $30 extra for, was not worth it. The servings were very small, and the food wasn't that good.
The day we boarded the ship, we called for dinner reservations for Thanksgiving, but were told that we could not make reservations until 48 hours before the date. So the first thing Tuesday morning, we went down to the reservations desk, and the only time they had left was 8:30. When we asked how that was possible, we were told that someone had given us the wrong information. Knowing that it took a minimum of 1 1/2 hours to get a meal served, we decided that finishing up at 10:00 was too late. So for Thanksgiving, I had chicken wings and my husband had a hot dog. When we talked to people who had the Thanksgiving "feast", it seems we got the better of the deal.
Children were allowed to run wild and yell wherever and whenever they wanted. Eating dinner with children running around tables, banging silverware, and yelling got more irritating as the cruise went on because the crew refused to speak to the parents. When we went to a Margarita happy hour, the two largest tables were being used by children playing cards, sans parents or any other adult. There was a card room on the ship, but the crew would not ask the children to go there. One night as we were going into dinner, a teenage boy started walking in wearing shorts. The hostess said he couldn't go in with shorts, but when his father came out and starting pulling the boy into the restaurant. Then the supervisor of the restaurant came out and said the boy could go in, although we and two other couples stated our objection. We were told the shorts rule did not apply to children, but he could not tell us anywhere that rule was written.
My husband had a reservation in Puerto Vallarta to go zip-lining, not booked through Norwegian Cruise Lines. We were supposed to arrive at 8:00 a.m. and his reservation was for 9:00. We did not arrive until 8:45 and then had to be tendered to the dock. Then the crew members tried to make my husband wait until the people who had made reservations through NCL had been tendered. He and several other people insisted that they would not go to the end of the line. No announcements were ever made about why we were late, how late we would be, or when the ship was ready to tender people to shore. By the way, the other ships in port were at the dock. By the time my husband got to where he had to go, he was only able to get on the 11:00 tour. Instead of getting back to the ship at 1:00, he got back at 3:00. We barely had any time in PV because even though the ship was late arriving, we left right on schedule.
Our cruise back to Los Angeles was slower than the rest of the trip, going from 23 kph to 19 kph. We still arrived in LA at 3:30 in the morning, but we were not allowed to get off the ship until after 8:00.
The whole cruise was a sales pitch. Several channels were selling everything from coffee mugs to diamonds to future cruises. The only announcements made were for events that cost money ($30 for wine tasting or learning to make guacamole or martini tasting, etc).
At the end of the cruise, when we found charges on our bill that didn't belong there, we told them about it. They would not believe us, and said they would look into it. We're betting we never see that refund.
This was our first, and last, cruise on NCL, and we're warning everyone we come in contact with. There is absolutely nothing free about free style.