Let me begin by saying, that I am a very experienced cruiser and the young age of 31 ! In fact, each summer 7 of my friends and I have cruised on various cruise lines for 7 to 9 nights. We have been on HOlland America (1), Royal Caribbeans Voyager Class Ships (5), Carnival (2) and now Norwegian (1).
This trip of 2 nights was supposed to be a two night getaway being that we are all now engaged or married and we needed a 'guys' getaway to party and let loose. First off, the boat was magnificent. Clean and just very well designed. Main rooms throughout the boat were always lively and just kept clean. WE had a balcony room that was nice, alittle cramped compared to RCC, but overall very suitable. IN fact, the bathroom was more spacious than any Voyager Class's ships D1-D3 category Stateooms (which is nice).
Thats where the compliments End. The staff was utterly rude and just obscene. I am a young guy and trust me when I say I don't try to EVER be critical when I vacation. I'm not a typical blogger that just comes on to criticize but they were really just rude. Norwegians Freestyle means that you pay for every little thing. It is not really an all inclusive type deal as with other cruise lines. Even for an extra bath towel our room attendant asked us for $10. Never in 10 years of cruising have I ever been asked for that.
The promenade level buffet had awful cold food. RCC has hot food, a SUPREMELY large variety of food and the service to refill used pans was there to restock. Norwegian had basically only Hot dogs, stall cold cuts, pizza and cold burger meat. This is not an exaggeration. That was it. When asked to get new buns (b/c the ones in there were all broken)...the person behind the counter said they'd do that in due time and then just continued to stare at us while we had no bun !! This is no joke...we were shocked.
On top of each restaurant charging from $15 to $25 to sit down and eat, the gym charged $20 if you wanted to lay down and relax. It was rainy outside. Nobody was in the gym, they had 20 lounge chairs available and I decided I wanted to just close my eyes and relax before the the night partying began. Well, this British lady came over and said I'd have to pay $20 to sit there and when I explained it was rainy outside and there was nowhere to lay down, she told me to 'GET OUT'. Keep in mind, I was minding my business and just napping. I could see if it was there policy and they had 21 guests lined up for the 20 free chairs. But it was EMPTY. So basically, Norweigian policy is to have 20 free chairs and kick out guest even when its rainy outside instead of trying to help them make the best of it.
The nights were fun, very young crowd, lots of dancing and just a good time. Good DJ etc... but the club itself is nothing like RCC's boats atmosphere or even Carnivals really trendy club atmosphere !!
All in all, we had a good time b/c of the night time partying. But when you do a cruise, your looking for an all inclusive except for liquor and spa etc.. or the occasional high end meal you can pay for. This boat charged for everything and came off more as a hotel than a cruise ship. Very petty, rude and I will NEVER EVER again travel or suggest them for my friends. I typically am the person who organizes these trips and we will never do it again with them.
IN fact, we just booked a 7 night out of Rome later in the year on Royal Caribbean. So my advice, don't pay for something that you end up having unexpected later costs for . Pay it up front and go on a nicer boat, with nicer service, GREAT food and better nightlife....go on Royal Caribbean or Carnival.