We have cruised on many different ships in the past and we originally had this trip booked with Princess. We were trying to get all of our siblings, their children, and our parents to go for an extended family, once-in-a-lifetime cruise and knew that we would have a great time with Princess. My sister did not have the money to book until late in the year and by the time she had the money, Princess was closed to bookings with children because they were at max capacity to keep their children services up to standard. We changed our cruise to Norwegian Star and from there,it all went down-hill.
The service on the Star was decent. The staff seemed friendly. This part of our Norwegian experience was far better than our first experience on the Epic.
A major problem that we have found with Norwegian is that they just don't have enough or enough of a variety of things to do while on the ship. We found ourselves reading and playing games instead of any kind of cruise entertainment that we have participated in with other cruise lines. Our teenagers were EXTREMELY bored. There were other teenagers on board, but Norwegian is severely lacking in fun things to do with teens. The times that my kids tried to go to the teen zone, there were no teens there because even that was boring for them.
Because of the freestyle dining experience with Norwegian, our family of 18 never got to eat together. The paid dining rooms were to expensive for those of us paying for 7 and and the free dining areas were just not equipped for a large group. Also along the dining experience line, the menu on the Norwegian ships is very substandard among the cruise industry. Princess, Royal Caribbean, and even Carnival have better menus that change daily instead of the same standard menu that only has a few changes each day. Plus, the desserts on Norwegian are NOT GOOD.
This was our 12th cruise and WE WILL NEVER CRUISE NORWEGIAN AGAIN. This was my brother and sisters first cruise and we have assured them that if they cruise any other line, their experience will be better.