Ship Experience: NCL was my first cruise experience so I have nothing to compare it too. The ship was nice and up-to-date. My room was very small with twin beds, shower only bathroom and a balcony. If you get this size room don't bring four suitcases as we did because you will not have much space to move around. We were cramped all the time in the room. The maid service on our floor (11-85 area) was terrible! She would remove towels and wash cloths and not replace them. This cycle would be repeated everyday. It was unbelievable that we would come back to the room from a long day of excursions only to find we had no towels or wash cloths. Was there a shortage of towels and wash cloths, I don't know but the experience was ridiculous.
The food was good. I would equate the food to traditional hotel fare. I confirm what another reviewer wrote POA never had the fish on the menu so I always got beef or chicken. The Aloha Cafe was quick and to the point. Seating was limited but the staff's service was efficient and very friendly. Male staffer, Crisler was outgoing and knowledgeable about food selections, on-board activities and Hawaii tourist attractions. If you meet him, talk to him because he has a wealth of knowledge and he is pleasant. Moving on... the food in the Cadillac Restaurant was cold. Room service always forgot to bring something ordered but since it was inclusive, I never complained.
The ship activities were interesting. Took a hula class or two. The hula instructors were very friendly. Attended most night time shows and they were all funny and entertaining. The club was dead every night except on Wednesday the "White Party." Pack a white outfit for the White Party. DJ Orlando was funny, friendly and he played great music. If you like to dance he will supply the music so where comfortable shoes.
Ladies you can't bring a flat iron on the ship unless it has an automatic shut-off. Mine was confiscated by security. Go figure but I got it back at the end of the cruise.
Hawaii Experience: Fantastic! We went to several islands so you really get to see Hawaii. Maui and Kona were my favorites. Maui has beautiful beaches with waves. Kona had beautiful ice blue water and the town of Kona was quaint similar to St. Augustine, Florida. While at Hilo it rained so that was a drag. The Big Island was beautiful as well. The beach near the port by the Mariott hotel was convenient and free! The water was blue, warm and the sand was hot! We did an excursion every island except Hilo but only because it rained. The Lua was worth the money so book the excursion. Rum bars are free a the Lua if you are a rum drinker. I am not but everyone looked like they were having a great time. I spent about 500 dollars on excursions, which wasn't too bad I suppose. If you want to leave the boat and explore Hawaii then you will probably want to do it through an excursion so budget accordingly.
I am going to travel again to Hawaii but not sure if I will cruise again in Hawaii because I would only visit Maui or Kona. The time difference from the East Coast is 6 hours behind and the flight from the East Coast is 10 hours. Jet-lag both ways was tiring. It took me about 4 days to get back to normal.
One final comment, I like the NCL Freestyle concept. Booked a cruise with Disney for February and my dinner seating is 8:15PM. Immediately I reflected that with Norweign I could eat anytime. If you take this cruise you should have a memorable experience if you remember not to sweat the small stuff.