We were the second cruise of the new ship to the Norwegian fleet. We are an active group of 30-40 year olds (14 of us) with one sr. citizen (who kept up w/ all of us). Having been on two Royal Caribbean cruises in the past and reading the reviews, we were a little apprehensive. This trip was an incentive trip I earned for making my quota, so we had no say in the cruise line or the cabin selection.
We had an outside cabin on deck 5, no balcony, smaller room. However, the room was actually nicer than expected. The ship is beautiful, no complaints there. HOWEVER... I'll give ratings from 1-10 to help limit the explanation necessary.
The food on the buffets--3. Cold, tasteless. The food in the restaurants that were NOT for a fee: 7; service 3 (this no tipping stuff---for the birds, the only people who fall all over you are the bar help and they are rude and won't leave you alone). We ended up paying for dinner 5/7 nights to get a good meal and the food was a 9 but the service was slow---2 hour min. for dinner every time. Limited the shows we could see etc. Cabin service: 10 cleanliness. but no extras and didn't see much of the people. Room service: 10--the food was actually better AND HOT...it was unbelievable how lukewarm all the food was. Tried it our last day and should have used it more.
Entertainment (what we saw): 8 Art auction: 8--fun, bought four pieces but everyone else bought jewelry so I was still ahead and I love art.
Shore excursions: Alaska is truly unbelievable. I want to go again. It was just awesome. Did whale watching/glacier in Juneau; White Pass RR in Skagway; Visited museums and hiked then did the Lumberjack Show (really good despite my aw shucks when it was suggested) in Ketchikan. Hung out and walked in Prince Rupert--need to do a tour there...there's nothing to do, but hubby was tired of tours.
Embarkation/Debarkation before and after the trip and before/after tours was a nightmare. Long, long lines. They were really unorganized here.
Overall, staff was only a 5 on the friendly scale but there'd be a person or two who would be very nice. All the entertainment people were a blast. Nightlife is limited as 80%of cruisers are elderly, but I liked not having a bunch of party hounds around. I will do Alaska again...probably when our boys are pre-teens we'll take them. Expensive but worth it. (We'd have to cruise on a line w/ better food so we'd not pay for it. Our bill was unbelievable).
TRY ALASKA AMBER...awesome beer!! Enjoy.