This was our first cruise with NCL, we flew into NOLA on the day of embarkation, got to the ship around 3:00, by that time we flew through embarkation and our room was already available. We missed out on some of the boarding excitement by getting in so late, we settled in, did the lifeboat drill (no life boats at our assembly area?) and then about 5:00 found something to eat as we missed the embarkation lunch.
We had a balcony stateroom that was small but adequate, bed was supposed to be a queen size but it was just two smaller beds pushed together, it was very firm and the pillows were very stiff as well (not extremely comfortable). I am fairly tall and my feet were hanging off the end of the bed so I know it was not a traditional queen bed. The climate control worked well we had no difficulty keeping the room at our desired temperature. Bathroom was small as well, I'm 6'3" and could not lift my arms or bend over in the bathroom. I liked the shower vs. a bathtub and the commode area had enough legroom.
Not sure that we are a fan of FreeStyle cruising. There didn't seem to be allot of activities that didn't involve, drinking, gambling or being sold something. In the evening there was usually some entertainment that was pretty good. The Comedian on board (Sam Griesbaum) was very funny and the cruise staff came up with some very entertaining "game shows" involving audience participation. Our biggest peeve was the food, primarily lunch and dinners. The items we had on the fixed lunch menu were not very appealing.
Dinners proved to be the most problematic, again the MDR limited options and always available items would have been alright had the food been appealing. I did enjoy the prime-rib (probably the best meal I had on board and IMHO better than the filet I had at Cagney's) and the chicken picatta was decent. My wife enjoyed the vegetable quiche and the filet at Cagney's, so out of 7 dinners we enjoyed 2-3 of them. We ate at the Blue Lagoon a couple of times, the fish & chips are good (better than the MDR lunch version) but everything else we had was so-so. I thought that Raffles food court was going to be an issue for us but with the exception of a lack of vegetable side dishes I found it to be OK. The ice cream on board was pretty good though the available flavors are limited. Again an issue with FreeStyle cruising, you think that you can eat whenever you want, wherever you want but you still have to find a time and place that will accommodate the events that you want to view or participate in for the evening. With fixed dining the schedule is arranged so you shouldn't miss any events.
I had some good times on the ship but overall the hassle of finding something that you would want to eat at a convienient time and place diminished the enjoyment of the experience. There would have to be a unique itinerary offered for us to consider sailing NCL again.