Ok, let me preface this by saying this was my first cruise and my husband's second (his first on NCL). We both felt like the cruise was "ok" but not great, not terrible. If I had to choose a star rating, I'd say it was 3 stars. Some parts were excellent, others were not.
Ok the best parts:
1) Gerry, our room steward - he was amazing. I swear the man doesn't sleep and if I could have brought him home I would have! He even folded my husband's boxers.
2) Galaxy of the Stars - with house sparkling wine around $20/bottle, you can't go wrong. If you like sparkling wines.
3) the Adult entertainment - gameshows, trivia, etc. We won one night! So much fun (though the prize - a water bottle that didn't even have a free drink in it - sucked).
4) The buffet - I've read on here how some hate the buffet, we actually found it better than the Main Dining Room. Especially the Indian food - most of the crew is from Asia so if you like Asian I'd stick to that as much as possible. The chocolate desserts were less good, but there was unlimited ice cream which was good enough for us.
5) Bar service - if you were drinking they were always there to refill it. With another $6-10 drink, of course, but we expected that.
The ok parts:
1) The entertainment on board other than what I mentioned
2) Bingo - it was a little pricey for what you got, in my opinion. Fun, but you shouldn't have to pay $40+ to play. Or they should have some free "just for fun" type of games as well.
3)Food at Bier Garden - buns were dry/stale and rest was just ok. Same with poolside buffet.
4) Their ability to accomodate moderately disabled passengers. They were great with wheelchair or scooters, but not so great with working with me on my mild disabilities (aka inability to stand for more than 5-10 minutes.
5) Birthday cakes - the cakes were a nice gesture but truly gross.
6) cabin size - we knew going in they were small, and in a balcony it definitely was.
1) Cost of drinks, especially beers. A beer in a plastic bottle should not be 5.50 or more. 3-4, sure, but 5.50??? They knew they had us trapped and took full advantage.
2) Service in the Main Dining Room - the first night it took us close to 3 hours to eat and because we ordered a bottle of wine, the waiter (who disappeared for 45 mins or so) had my husband's card so we couldn't leave. The second night, the waiter admitted he lost our order and waited 30 mins to come over and retake it. We ended up walking out after 2 hours when we had only had our main course. Then for breakfast they brought us food we didn't even order. We were too tired to fight with them so we just ate it and then called the maitre'd. We did not expect 5 star service but waiting 45 mins between courses is just absurd. For what it's worth, Deepak, the maitre'd did go above and beyond once we called him and reserved us the best table in the house and threw in complimentary wine. food and service greatly improved after that - but we are never ones to complain or send food back so for us to even do that should give you some idea of how slow it really was.
3) The casino - I would have gambled more but the smoke in there was unbearable and the nonsmoking area is a joke - it still reeks of smoke and all that is up there is slot machines. At least put one of those fun quarter ones and some video poker!
4) The bathrooms are showing lots of age - rust stains, dirty looking even though it was absolutely clean. They need re-tiling, or re-glazing desparately.
5) Constant nickel and diming. We knew to expect this but didn't realize exactly how much it would happen. Want a latte instead of a regular black coffee - that will be $3. Which would be fine, if the latte was decent. So instead we bought a pepsi pass and drank a ton of mountain dew to wake up.
6) The age range on the ship - which I know NCL has little to no control over - but we felt super young and we're in our 30s. Perhaps we just chose the wrong week to cruise and I have nothing against people in their 70s/80s but I was hoping to meet some more people our age on the ship and they were few and far between it seemed.
7) There was NOTHING going on during port days on the ship. Even the gift shop was closed during tender port days - so those of us who have disabilities that don't allow us on tenders were stuck to lay around reading by the pool. Bars were hardly even opened - I think one or two may have been but they were very inconvenient.
Overall, I'd give NCL 3 stars...we might cruise it again, we might not. It would depend on the port itinerary.