We sailed from Venice on a 7 night cruise to the Greek Islands on 15th September. Embarkation was easy and quick and very efficient. However , that is where the praise starts and ends.
The ship was totally full with 2500 guests and was far too over crowded.The crew were overstretched and the service everywhere was poor. The 2 main restaurants serve the same food and there was always a long waiting time to get in and then you usually had to share a table. The food in both these areas was terrible- it was bland, cold and very small portions. The buffet area was OK but served the same food every day and the seating areas were often very busy and always far too cold with the air conditioning. The other problem is the fact that all the best restaurants are a premium service only and can cost you $50 each to use them. Then to make matters worse, you have to pay a 15% uplift on all drinks to pay for the tips whether you got good service or not.
There is a standard charge of $12 per person per day for tipping. Now this amounts to $168 for 2 people per week which is far too much and as our service was so poor I refused to pay it. If the service and food was good then I would pay it.
The destinations were very good and we enjoyed getting off the boat and getting good service and food on shore. However, the excursions arranged on board are ridiculously expensive. We travelled on one trip which we arranged ourselves to Olympus via train and paid 20 euros to go 30 miles each way and with the entrance fees we only spent 32 euros. The same trip if booked on board and to travel by bus was over $100's.
The cost of the cruise was quite reasonable- it is only when they get you on board that they start to take as much money out of your pockets as possible. Be very careful before you book any NCL cruise because they are all the same if doing the Free Style cruising.Check very carefully what is included and not included in your ticket price. I would give the cruise 3/10 and the destinations selected 8/10