This was my husband and my first time on NCL. The ship looked very nice from the outside. NCL's terminal is under renovation, so we were forced to park in a parking garage about 1/2 mile away and walk with our luggage. We could have dropped it off with the porters, but we just weren't comfortable with that. Check in was quick and easy. No complaints. Do not bring liquor on board in your carry on. Everyone ahead of us that did got it confiscated. Some people snuck some in on their checked baggage. Many got called down to the main deck for a hands-on internal check of their checked bags. Us too. Some made it through, some didn't. Don't be dumb and take your alcohol on board in it's original bottle. If you are going to smuggle, be creative. We boarded and went to check out the buffet. Not impressive, but fine. Very nice sandwiches. Everything else was just normal banquet fare. Cabin was the smallest I've ever seen. We were in an inside cabin all the way forward on deck 9. I don't know the square footage, but my there was a pull out sofa bed that could have been removed to give us some more room. My husband laughed and said that in order for one of us to get ready, the other one had to stay on the bed b/c there just wasn't enough room for two people to stand at the same time. Our first bag arrived in about an hour. Our second bag was "detained" for inspection as I stated before. No "contraband" was found, and we moved on with life. I'm just going to summarize the rest of the stuff, because there was really nothing great to talk about. Bed is hard as a brick. No joke. I woke up every night with pains in my back. I guess I'm used to Carnival. Such nice beds! Food was mediocre at best. Even in the main dining rooms. I am quite a foodie, and my food doesn't have to be fancy, but it DOES have to taste good. The only things I will say were GREAT were the burgers and the mashed potatoes. Don't miss the mashed potatoes. Other than that... try the sandwiches. Very good.
I don't like the daily "Service Charge" of $12 per person. I think that it gives the crew absolutely NO incentive to please. As far as service goes, there were a few OUTSTANDING crew members. The rest were OK at best. Not very perky and not many smiles. Our cabin steward was just OK. The first night I actually had to ASK for a towel animal!! He made up our bed each day with the same quality that my 9 year old daughter would. Seriously. Not impressed. Room service was good. A little slow at 2:30am, but good.
Casino was fine. Didn't lose. Didn't win. Just had fun on the slots. The Karaoke at the Outrigger Lounge is good. We had a lot of fun there. Dazzles is OK. A little cramped. Music is pretty good and everyone was dancing and having fun. Shows were OK. Pools were sort of small. The adults-only pool was filled with kids. They really need someone to patrol things. The "kids-allowed" pool is right next to the adult pool, so it's not like there was a separate area anyway.
I don't mean to sound negative. My husband and I had a fabulous time because we just have fun wherever we are. But as far as this particular cruise on this particular ship- not so great. It doesn't make me want to cruise NCL again anytime soon. Except maybe the EPIC. But we are headed back to Carnival in October. Again, the SKY is a nice ship. If you want to have fun, you will. I just felt like there wasn't that level of "WOW" that could have been there.