Being Australians and not having cruised before, it was with some trepidation that we embarked on this particular cruise on this ship. I guess it was because of the 'tyranny of distance' syndrome that makes it questionable.
Our first impressions of the ship were impressive by stature but those impressions gradually diminished over the period of the cruise to the extent of 'can't wait to get off' at the end. Let me say that NCL's 'freestyle' cruising will not suit everyone. I have no problem with the style and concept of that, it is merely their interpretation and implementation that impinges on the fond memories generated during the cruise. At our group's "meet & greet" we were informed by the 'chiefs of the cruise' that ... it was 'our' cruise and we were to enjoy ourselves ... Somehow, that message got lost amongst the crew! Let me firstly list those things that grated, like the embarkation process for which you had to queue! the dis-embarkation process that was just way too long and barely sensibly organised, the constant selling of art/paintings etc [sic], the near continual haranguing of the 'selling' the various competitions etc. [bingo/casino/trivia], the almost constant harassment by the drink waiters no matter where you were on the ship, the gross imposition into personal spaces by the ever-present, annoying 'photographers' who's photos were very expensive and the almost palpable indifference of the 'hotel' crew in general. Now to the other things!
Was the ship everything that we expected? Most definitely YES! Was our 'inside stateroom' adequate for our needs? Unquestionably YES [would go for a balcony next time though] Were we satisfied with the available dining options excluding the 'surcharged' places? Definitely. Quality & quantity of food in those dining places? In most instances, more than adequate in taste & style. Did we eat at the 'surcharged' restaurants? Only on two occasions and neither the "Ginza" or the "Tex-Mex' met standards that should warrant the imposition of the $10-$15 surcharge. We were more than satisfied with the care and attention showed to us by our cabin attendants. Their attitude was so different to the embarrassing, inept & almost careless attitude displayed by most of the other crew. Would we go cruising again? Certainly not on the other side of the earth - Northern Hemisphere! Would we travel/cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines again? Probably not! Overall, the lasting impression of the cruise is that you have to be able to make your own way, to choose your own destiny and not be reliant on the cruise line/ship's crew to choose for you.