The positive: -Great cabin with balcony on the 11th deck. -Very smooth weather crossing in late April and early May. -Some staff were exceptional. -Endless variety or opportunity for abundant activities to wile away the hours/days at sea. -Excellent entertainment during the first six sea days. -Specialty restaurants were not overly crowded. -Fabulous tea and scones for the afternoon tea.
The negative: -Most staff and servicing,(restaurant, bar, lounge) were inconsistent at best. -Cruise director and staff lacked appropriate decorum. -Port information severely lacking or non existent. -Those who supposedly were in positions to know about ____________ didn't. -Sports bar only served "bar food" during the evening hours. Popcorn in afternoon. -Surly staff at hotel desk. -Internet use is a necessary evil these days and you will use up all the minutes purchased, plus some, faster than you think you will. The per minute cost is outrageous and last minute checking on port reservation can be expensive.
The neutral: -Specialty restaurants were great some nights and mediocre on other nights. -Two Main dining room choices with only small to non-existent waits for seating. -Buffet had a nice variety and selection. -The unfortunate thing about Freestyle dining is never getting to know one set of dining table staff who will wait on you consistently and who get to know you.
Best suggestions: -Bring your own wine on long voyages and pay corkage fee to make sure you get the wine you prefer. This is a great option NCL provides. -If you find a waiter that you really enjoy in one of the main dining rooms, make a reservation for his/her table every night that you dine in that room. -If you have a chance always share a table with other cruisers you do not know. The insight they provide, especially if they have cruised to many ports, is invaluable. -Plan and use your time a sea wisely, it passes very quickly. -Consider doing transatlantic going from the east to the west. The port intensive visiting is then out of the way and you have six days to rest crossing the Atlantic back to the USA.