This was our first cruise. We choose NCL based on itinerary, price and Freestyle cruising. We dont like fixed dinner timetable and dress up for dinner on holidays.
Embarkation was quick, within 30 minutes we were having lunch in the Garden Caf.
Our cabin was ready by 2 pm and our suitcases arrived by 4 pm.
The ship is easy to navigate and crews were friendly and efficient. Fortunately this is a mid size ship and that allowed us to see new acquaintances while we were wandering around.
We didnt take any specialty restaurant. There are lots of options where, when and what to eat which is great for non american passengers. In general was good quality food but not outstanding ( for the price you are paying you cant ask for more). In the Main Dining Rooms we never waited more than 5 minutes. Garden caf was very crowded at breakfast, a quieter option was Moderno. We have heard from other people that the new paid Restaurant Churrascaria and Le Bistro were very good.
Entertainment was varied: music bands, magician, juglars, comedy club, bingo, trivia, karaoke, dance lessons and art auctions. The cruise director did a great job trying to please the 50 different nationalities onboard.
You could see officers around the ship checking everything was ok and also eager to receive comments about our experiences onboard.
Our room was an inside cabin and had a great size. Ren our fabulous steward kept our room impeccable and was always ready to answer any question or request. Also he made different towel animals for us every night and left them on the bed.
The public rooms were always clean, even in rush hours and there were sanitizers all over the ship. These people take onboard health very seriously.
The Baltic itinerary is good. Because we had two days in Saint Petersburg which is mandatory and we could visit places that we would never have done it by ourselves. The only negative is that they promoted Berlin but the ship anchors in Warnemunde which is 3 hours train away. That forced us to run around Berlin in order to try to see as much as we could in only six hours.
We believe that most negative critics must be of people that had punctual problems or expect too much of such a budget cruise.
For us, NCL was a great value for money. Our experience was so good that we are considering taking another cruise with them