This was our first time cruising. We will not cruise with NCL again! To be fair there were some good things on the ship. The staff was fairly nice, and the Cruise Director Matt Baker saved this from being a completely horrible experience. The guy was hilarious and entertaining. The two for one martini night was awesome. Here's the bad parts.
We were nickle and dimed for everything! We were hounded constantly to take pictures, or buy something including raffle tickets or drinks. In a 30 minute period we were asked to purchase drinks 18 times! I love great and attentive service, but being asked that many times is ridiculous. The staff often got upset that additional tip was not provided when ordering drinks, even though a fee of $12/day per person and 18% gratuity was added to each drink order. The food was terrible. Lunch consisted of hot dogs and hamburgers every day. Not to mention the fact that the meat was horrible. The food in the free restaurants were average at best. Out of 6 restaurants only 3 were free. One was the buffet (hot dogs and burgers), and the other two were ok. Each time it took about 2 hours to complete a meal start to finish. At one breakfast we waited 45 minutes for an omelet (two omelet pans on the ship).
The gentleman at the front desk named Jorge Z that handles excursions, (His picture is listed with other officers on deck 5), was horrible to deal with. He was often condescending or mean. We watched him blow off a customer's legitimate concerns by telling her to "have another drink, and don't worry about it". The beverages that were included in the cruise were nowhere to be found. When I asked for Lemonade during dinner, I was told I had to pay extra for it during dinner?! They also could not be found during breakfast or lunch. Don't get me wrong I'm not being cheap ($200 spent on alcohol), but if I'm told I'm getting something, I should get it.
Lastly there was a lack of enforcement about quite zones and areas for children. I have a child myself and a cruise is a great place for families. However, there were children in diapers or not potty trained in hot tubs/pools without a swimming diaper (disgusting). The side of the ship meant for a relaxing a quite day were filled with screaming children.
We will cruise again, but will definitely try another cruise line. We went with friends of ours and chose this cruise based on price. I understand NCL has to make their money back somehow, but there was no value in the money I spent.