What first attracted us to NCL was its flexibility for dining and casual dress. We have become Elite level passengers. The EPIC was way too big and crowded for us. The stateroom was poorly designed as we could not get around the foot of the bed when someone was using the sink or making themselves a drink. On this ship NCL seemed confused as to its purpose. Was it a party ship, a family ship or was it trying to be all things to all people. We were surrounded by ill behaved children (this was not a school vacation week) and numerous staggering drunks.
Having to make reservations took a good deal of flexibility out of the entertainment. Trying the MDR at different hours we still found a standard 30 minute wait. We ate 5 of seven nights in different specialty restaurants. Each night there were at least 2 screaming brats per venue.
The casual dress that we came to NCL for used to be collared shirt and slacks. Now it is shorts, jeans, T-shirts and covered up beach wear.
My wife always treated herself to a pre-dinner, Moet, Tattinger, or Veuve Cliquot Champagne. Now what is available is Prosecco.
The food was good, though the menu choices were reduced. Service was still very good. The buffet was enormous and varied. I didn't mind paying the extra nickel and dime charges that have appeared out of nowhere.
I know I sound like a snob, but the cruise experience has been cheapened in order for NCL to find their market niche. I hope they keep growing and prosper, but we won't be going again.