My family love cruising. This was the first time of sailing with NCL. We really didn't enjoy the vacation or experience at all. We even considered disembarking in Malaga after 7 days.
The ship is very outdated and has no 'wow' factor (although the theatre was quite striking). Decor, carpets and furnishings are a mish mash of colors and styles. It wasn't too clean. Mirrors, elevators etc. were all finger marked. We sailed for 9 nights on 01/21/2012 and wasted 9 nights and a lot of bucks.
Activities and entertainment weren't great. The shows weren't too bad - the production shows were the best, especially 'Elements'. In terms of other activities if you liked trivia or bingo you would have been ok. If not - tough luck ! Every day was the same programed boring activities.
Service - 70% of staff (our conservative guess) walked around very morose like they intensely disliked what they were doing and their guests. This created a real down atmosphere.
Our stateroom was 'ok'. Kept clean(ish) by our stateroom guy.
Service was poor in the 2 main table service eateries (Grand Pacific and Alizar). Although Alizar was best out of the 2. Food was palatable but much the same menu items constantly. We're sure this was to push you to eat in a restaurant where cover charges were paid. We ate at the Italian Kitchen - please please do not go there. The food was terrible and we were fleeced for 20 bucks.
Disembarkation was good. One because were getting off the ship and secondly because it was well organised - breakfast, actually disembarking and collection of luggage etc.
This cruise was quite cheap and we decided to fit it in as part of our trip from the USA to Europe. Despite this we still expected a great cruise experience from NCL which wasn't forthcoming. There are other things which were very poor we could talk about but we don't want to bore you and will save them for our complaint letter to our local Miami office.
On the cruise we talked to at least 30 other people who were also dissatisfied. PLEASE don't let NCL get away with this standard. Please write and voice your concerns very strongly to them.