Let me first say the cruise was a very nice time, (they always are), however I must say Norweigan Cruise Line has finally disappointed me. I have been on many cruises and the last 4 have been on NCL because I love the freestyle cruising. It is beginning to feel more like a carnival herd of cattle mentality instead of a cruise line where the employees actually care about their jobs. I am going to hit on the points you might be interested in the order that they happenned.
First off embarkation in New Orleans was wonderful and easy, we got right on the ship and it was the same way in Boston getting off the ship, easy and organized, so on that point an A is given. The ship itself is very tastefully decorated and I think it is a perfect size for a cruise, not too small or too large. Once we got on board the onslaught of bar servers began, they are constantly harranging you for a $5 beer or a $9 mixed drink, this is the one thing they never fail in doing, they never ever miss a chance to sell you a drink or an overpriced scratch off pull tab ticket. But I guess they have to try to make some money, but I think its way too much.
When I got to my room I was surprised to see how Weathered it was. The room was excatly what I expected as far as size as amenities since I checked it online an have been on NCL before, so that was fine. But the condition of my room was Awful. The shower was not cleaned to anyones standard. Mold in the shower floor area and grout were all over the shower, it was obviously not kept up the last year or so, the shower door would only close for a body builder (lucky none of the 70yr olds on board got this room). Then when I went to wash my hands in the sink I found out the handle in the bathroom was broken and you could not get any cold water, so every time you went to wash your hands for the next two weeks you had to quickly put you hands under the faucet or else lose one layer of skin. The room steward also did a very poor job, a very nice fellow but he never had the room cleaned before 1pm and half of the days never had the beds turned down. He really didnt seem to care one bit about the room, its condition or whatever, just in a hurry to get done. NCL has dumped 36 rooms on these teams to clean each day, so obviously they are just pulling in some of the $12 money they force you to pay for substandard service. I guarantee you that a room steward who had to be tipped by you would not do his job this way.
Ill forward to food. Main dining room was wonderful, food quality was nice but choices were just average. Waiters were only fair and once again seemed to know they were already tipped when waiting on you. We had two nights were service was awful and had to complain to Maitre D. No reason to sit at a table for 15/20 minutes on a cruise ship before being addressed by someone with at least water and bread. I would say they seemed just disinterested in you.
Raffles is Raffles...its a buffet, you get what you get at a buffet. I am not sure why people complain about a buffet being a buffet. It was acceptable.
Entertainment on board was good. Paul Scally was a good Cruise Director and other than the horrible singing of the two main male leads in there broadway shows it was a good selection of entertainer.
Shore excursions were average, the excursion desk is poor at giving you any insight into excursions, these people have never been on any of the activities so dont expect them to sell you anything except what the ship wants them too. Generally I thought they did a lousy job.
The tender in Bermuda was the WORST situation I have seen in 20 yrs of cruising. The ship got in 1hr late and then proceeded to use a Ferry style boat and cram on 700 people onto a boat and go over to shore. It too over 1 hr to get there and over 1.5 hrs to get back. NCL ruined the whole day in Bermuda and made many people miss or be unable to complete their excursion and they did NOTHING to address this issue. They just smiled and sold more drinks that night.
To sum this up Id just like to say I think NCL has lost the idea that the customer is special and is the main priority of a cruise ship. Many times I went on NCL in the past and felt like they actually cared about me or my business and I did not get that feeling this time. I think I am going to have to consider another Cruise line next time.