Embarkation was OK. We were not recognized as Latitudes members, maybe because of the time since our last cruise. Anyhow it was tolerable and we were on the ship by noon and were able to eat lunch. Please note: We parked at Fulton Street Parking for $12.00 per day. They take you back and forth from the ship. Our big concern was when we returned to our car it had been MOVED!!!! We actually had to search for our own car. The individual in charge apologized, but frankly, they have no right to do that and I will file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and hopefully advise other travelers not to utilize this facility. (Their explanation was they needed more space for a bigger cruise ship)
Previous cruises were 15 years or more ago. Big changes have occurred. We liked the Free Style dining, but missed connecting with other passengers at dinner. We liked the informality of dress, but missed somewhat dressing up. What we didn't like was the dramatic decline in the quality of the food. We went to three specialty restaurants. Le Bistro (the fillet was good, but not what we were looking for at a "French Style" restaurant. My wife had the Salmon. She thought it was OK, but chose it because of limited selections.
We went to La Tratorria, it wasn't very good. During the day it was an extension of Raffles (The Buffet). No table cloths, nothing to distinguish it from Raffles. The menu included Osso Bucco, but didn't have one Veal dish on the menu and my wife thought the Pasta came directly from the Buffet.
We went to Shogun which was very good. However, in my attempt to make this as short as possible, nowhere did we see lobster which wasn't a surcharge on top of a surcharge. The table service restaurants were beautiful (Windows and Gardens). Service was great everywhere we went. We also ate at The Bier Garden, Blue Lagoon, and Raffle's as well as a barbecue outside on the pool deck. Nothing terribly wrong, but NOTHING special, so it's your choice, quantity versus quality.
Our balcony cabin (11560) was excellent, compact but had everything we could possibly need. Our cabin steward, Franky, could not have been better. Unobtrusive, but always there when we needed him. Ice, 3 times a day. Towel animals which were humorous even though we didn't have any children with us.
Entertainment was absolutely first class. From the singers and dancers to the comedian, to the acrobats and magician, we couldn't have enjoyed it more. We had read other reviews about Kyle (the cruise director) going overboard. Well, he must have read his own reviews and responded to them because we thought he did a very good job.
Only one last concern. You really get the feeling that you are always being sold, like maybe at a time share sale. Drinks, where to shop, what excursions to take, bingo, slot tournaments, on ship sales of everything. etc. etc. etc.
Overall, this ship has a very good ambience. It's compact and easy to get around. The internet connection (although an extra charge) was pretty good, unlike my Son's experience on a sister ship (NCL Star).
So old meets new. Some good, some not so good. Since food is a big thing on cruise ships, I vote not so good.