I am a retired teacher, age 57. My wife, 52, is the Personnel Director for our county. This was our 22 cruise, 3rd on NCL.
We committed the following cruise sins: We never ate at a buffet, took an elevator, took a shore excursion, attended a show, went to the chocoholics buffet, had a picture taken of us, went to port or disembarkation talks, booked a future cruise, bought the drink of the day, used the pool, gym or spa, dressed up, or played bingo. So you may stop reading now and not offend us.
None the less, incredibly, we had a thoroughly wonderful time. Freestyle is everything NCL promises. We never waited for a table at Aqua and Versailles. The concierge, Al, made some of our specialty restaurant reservations and we had no trouble making the rest for the same night for ourselves. On formal night, I wore slacks and a knit shirt and did not feel out of place, anywhere on the ship. So if you will have a seizure, having a different table and waiters, seeing people without suits and tuxes, or people in shorts at night dragging their football helmets full of beer around the decks, don't take NCL.
Except for the most isolated instances of people being trained, service was excellent and efficient. Though the staff was not as friendly as Celebrity, they were as friendly as Princess, HAL, Carnival, etc.
We found the food to be very good and varied. We enjoyed Ginza, the most of the specialty restaurants. Le Bistro, Soho, and Cagney's had excellent food, but not appreciably better, or different from Aqua and Versailles to justify the cost. However, you got more attentive service, a different atmosphere, better china and crystal, etc. My wife won two of our 4 outings on spin to win. The menus of Trattoria and Endless Summer did not appeal to us. The ship is clean and beautiful.
There is art everywhere. The public rooms are very attractive. Our stateroom was on the front of the ship, below the bridge. It was huge and well appointed. We had a butler and concierge and got VIP perks, but the best part was the solitude. We could have been alone on a yacht. We spent a good deal of our time on our enormous balcony. The weather was perfect for relaxing and tanning.
We walked around each of the ports to get our exercise for the day. The part of Acapulco the ship docks at, is 3rd world, but the people were not as insistent and rude as Jamaica. Zihua is still quaint. In Puerto Vallarta we took a bus to the Malecon, walked around, and took a taxi back. Cabo is very walkable and pretty. There were a million shore excursions available at every port , for far less than what the ship charges.
We had a very tough year, so getting sun, being waited on and relaxing were our top priorities. I refuse to atone for the above mentioned sins. Feel free to email.