We have cruised before with NCL on the Star and a few times with RCCL on the epic, independence & Rhapsody x 2 along with P&O in Australia.
I must admit I was quite disappointed with this ship. It is a very strange design, I am almost convinced the person who designed this ship had no experience with cruise ships, maybe cargo ships.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite that had its own pool area and restaurants and had our two teenage boys in an outside cabin on level 12, 4 below us. The dedicated area on levels 16 & 17 for people staying in suites is quite ok, only problem it is a bit quite and if you are not staying in these units you cannot enter this area, this made it difficult for our boys to come up to this area to see us. I had to tell the people I want access for my boys and they were reluctant to let me, even though they assured me it would be ok before I booked via the an agent.
The two bedroom room is quite a good size and very nice & modern. As for the rest of the ship it is all down hill. For some strange reason they have dedicated almost an entire floor for a smokey casino everyone has to walk through, this casino is at best half full with most areas empty, just wasted space that could have been used for much better things. There is also no outside deck area on the lower floors, you have to go all the way to 14 on the pool deck. The inside layout for food & shops are poor, far too much wasted space that could be used for much better things. It feels like a modified cargo ship.
The main pool area is far too small for this many people, they have two very small pools on the main deck, this is due to the area dedicated to the suites and their own pool area. The 3 water slides are very average and slow.
If you compared this ship to RCCL Independence there is no comparison, independence is a much better ship with far more to do & enjoy.
For me the biggest disappointments were the extra costs for everything, there is not too much on this ship you get for free or included in your price, sure there are some food areas that are free but you will be over this in a couple of days. One of the main issues on this cruise was a tour group of about 800 Indian people, they dedicated food areas at certain times for them with their own food along with their own entertainment nights. I like a lot of others had enough of these people after a few days, quite simply they took over the ship & were quite rude, there were a lot of arguments in & around the lifts, it was quite sad and very bad on NCL behalf to allow this to happen.
Please don’t get me wrong I have nothing against Indians, it was probably more to do with being such a large group and they did not need to mix with others. I can assure you I like most others on this ship will not cruise with NCL again for this reason only.
I am quite convinced NCL will struggle to get people to cruise on this ship when the new novelty wears off, it is truly a bad designed ship that looks & sounds good on paper but is not when you are on it. Maybe if you had not cruised before you might think it is ok.
The only real positive for this ship is the food, it is quite good but you have to pay for it.