This was a disappointing cruise in many ways. However, to be fair, I will mention the good points first. Embarkation was easy and uneventful. The cabin we booked was a mid-ship balcony and it was very nice and I thought spacious. The steward we had assigned to our room was very professional and went out his way to help his guests. This young man was head and shoulders above any of his coworkers in regards to making the customers feel comfortable and happy. The Mandarin Spa was very nice and the masseuse was very professional. The spa experience was my first and I was quite pleased with the service.
The food staff was just the opposite of the steward. They were not very pleasant to their customers and seemed to be unhappy as a whole. They were not attentive at all. If you wanted a glass refilled you had to call them over almost every time. I was served orange juice in an obviously broken glass. The waiter acted as if it was no big deal. The food was mediocre in all the regular price included restaurants. The menus didn't vary much between the two included restaurants either. We did try the Italian restaurant and it was pretty good. The buffet was very disappointing. The food was bland and there was not much variety. The presentation of the food there reminded me of a high school lunch room.
The service from the information desk was almost non-existent. We tried to call down to get the menus from the restaurants to decide where to eat and got transferred to another number 4 times and never got an answer on the menus. Another time we needed an address to try to have an emergency credit card mailed to the ship's next port and the person at the desk said we'd have to walk down to the desk to get the address. I still can't imagine how hard it is to read an address to someone over the phone.
We were also supposed to port in Grand Cayman. We pulled in to port under windy conditions. The Carnival Victory was tendering her passengers to port when we got there. We were told that we would not be able to port because it wasn't safe. I was disappointed but tried to understand taking the Captain at his word. The only problem there was we were only offered a rum punch for not getting to port and the was only offered for a one hour time period that night. Two days later we were due to port at Great Stirrup Cay. NCL's privately owned island. The winds were much stronger but yet we were able to tender ashore here. I expect the fact that NCL was not charged a port fee here and all profit goes into their pocket had some bearing on safety in this port.