We chose the line as we had been on one NCL cruise years ago and wanted the freestyle dining, which at that time only NCL was offering. On that cruise I went the cheap route and was satisfied for what I paid. This time, headed to Alaska, I wanted a balcony and then went one step further and got the Penthouse Aft Suite Unit 8132 which totaled about $6000 for the cruise. Not cheap but this cabin to us was worth it; first time on an aft cabin and will always pick it from now on if given the chance. If you are worried about the aft cabin please do not as there are NO negatives. We keep the balcomy doors open the whole cruise and the wake of the ship will put you to sleep in about 5 minutes. Some have noted the aft cabin is a long walk from the food; just the opposite actually since both the buffet and the 2 main dining rooms are towards the rear of the ship. There is NO hall noise and the cabin was way beyond what I expected.
Also I would like to comment about some of the pickier remarks about the cruise, i.e. not getting specialty coffee with the drink package, paying for bottled water etc. If that and other minor charges are an issue then you need to jump to a Celebrity type cruise. The ships coffee was hot, strong and flavorable in additiona to being available from 5 AM to midnight. And the tap drinking water was ok with me.
With this cabin you get 3 nights specialy restaurant dining, unlimited drinks, 250 minutes of internet and $ 50 credit on a shore excursion. You also have a concierge and a butler if needed; we didn't.
Aft facing is the only way to go for us. Never heard any engine noise. The location is almost like having your own private ship since no one comes back there other than the people in the cabin. The bed will probably be the most comfortable you will have slept in and it is closer to a king in size than a queen. There is a small single pullout sofa in case a 3rd person is in the cabin but more suited for a child. The bed area can be privatized by a curtain that surrounds the bed. Good reading lights on each side. Bathroom is huge for a ship with full size tub and good shower. Closets were accessible from 2 sides so I dressed in the hallway area and she dressed in the bathroom area.
Funky European coffee/tea maker in the room with no charge for the coffee or tea.
Balcony was almost the width of the cabin and had floor to ceiling windows. Plenty of room for 2 loungers and a table.
The cabins were refurbished in 2014 and show no signs of wear and tear.