So many places to start, so I will just start at the beginning.
No less than 6 people asked for our tickets prior to boarding. Once in our room, the first thing we noticed was the size or lack thereof. There are a few things in life where size matters a great deal. On a cruise, size is king. We weren't even in the the castle. I am glad we upgraded to a room with a "private balcony". Anything smaller would have been intolerable. They use the term private and balcony rather loosely. The balcony in 5 feet across and three feet deep. When we embarked, ours was tastefully decorated in cigarette buts and stagnant water. Welcome to New Orleans!
Let's talk about food:
The buffet is acceptable, not the best, not the worst. But a word of warning, you should probably sit away from parents who let their children devour bowls of ice cream as large as their head. They will vomit but we will discuss the people aboard the ship later.
The restaurants that were good:
Windows, The Garden Room and the Trattoria. Cagney's Steak House was Excellent and by far the best value on the ship. The soda program is in the expensive side, $58.00 for seven days. Also, it's difficult to get a soda in the buffet. You need to go to a bar by the pool to get one. Room service was rather limited but what was offered was hot, delivered quickly and exactly what we ordered.
I could go on for days about the people aboard this cruise. In all my traveling (11 countries and 44 states) never have I seen so many obese, elderly, or handicapped people. I understand that handicapped, obese and elderly people want to travel. I think anyone who fits this category needs to think long and hard about a cruise. If you are unable to go up one flight of stairs, you shouldn't be on a cruise. If you are so obese, you need help carrying your plate to the table, stay the hell home. If you are taking someone on a cruise and they don't know their name, maybe they shouldn't go? I was amazed at the amount of people who needed a wheelchair to get off the boat but walked fine once they disembarked. My two cents, if you are going to slow other people down, stay home and knit, play checkers, anything but go on a cruise.
Kids don't belong in the jacuzzi. NCL should really enforce this since it's their policy. There should also be a limit on how long 4 people can stay in a jacuzzi. I was able to get in once in 7 days. And that was when I squeezed in between 7 other people. Parents, if you kids are crying take them outside. I know you want a vacation but I don't have any kids. I certainly don't want to hear yours scream.
Prices: As most cruises go, they try to get you for every dollar they can. I was okay with almost all the charges except the pictures. A package was only offered for one picture and that was $17.99, all of other pictures are $14.99 each, 9.99 for the second picture and 4.99 for the third. We spent close to $100 for pictures and we got 4 pictures.
The staff was great. I guess they are used to wheelchairs and diapers, so 2 thirtysomething's were easy to deal with. All activities were geared to people who can't walk or see very well. The excursions were lame at best. What wasn't lame was very overpriced. $140 for two people to go the beach is outrageous. You could easily spend five or six hundred a person on excursions and not do anything memorable. I am writing this review from the airport and will book another vacation as soon as I get home. If it's a cruise, it will not be with NCL, it definitely not be freestyle and will not have anyone under 18 aboard.
Stay home or find another cruise line.