This was our first time on NCL. We have taken approximately 15 cruises, 10 of which have been over 10 days and sailed to a variety of ports in Europe and the Mediterranean. My husband & I picked NCL since it went to places we had not been in the Baltic. NCL was very reasonably priced, so that gave us more time to spend in Europe pre & post cruise. Our poor experience started before the cruise when we decided to try to upgrade to a suite. The process is very poorly run (need to bid on the cabin instead of paying an upgrade fee) and then you are not informed if you have the suite until a day or 2 before it embarks. In my opinion, this is the beginning of NCL's trying to make a few extra bucks, instead of taking care of their passengers. We had purchased the Ultimate Beverage Package. I went to get a bottle of water and was told that bottled water is not covered under this package (neither is orange juice, btw). Can you believe it? I can get a $14 cocktail, but cannot get a bottle of water. I was then offered to buy an additional package for water, which I declined. We always bring wine on board & had called NCL for their policies before leaving for Europe. We were never told that we had to present the wine separate from our luggage & pay the corkage up front. We waited on our luggage for quite some time after getting to our room and finally our steward went to check on it. The desk was holding our luggage, but did not tell us or leave a message, until we came down and paid the corkage fee (normally you pay this at the restaurant). We have no issue with the corkage fee (done this many times), but the communication is not good. Next, NCL overcharges for the excursions into St. Petersburg, Russia since they know everyone needs a visa and is basically stuck on the ship without one. Our excursions just for St. Petersburg were over $800, yes we did try to find less expensive ones, but of course those were not available. Yes, we tried to book them earlier, but the excursion desk was closed much of the time, the kiosk's throughout the ship did not work, and the system to book in the room for excursions was not working. We enjoy eating at the specialty restaurants, but the service was below par compared to other lines. Eating at the buffet was a lesson in how rude and pushy people can be and I did not feel it was well organized. The organization to get people off the ship in Russia was not well thought out. We waited in the customs line for 2 hours the first day because all of the excursions were scheduled at approximately the same time. The photo packages were very expensive and limited. NCL charges automatic 18% gratuity on drinks/service/restaurants. Several other nit picky things (fitness center small for the size of ship) but bottom line, my husband & I felt that NCL gets you on the ship, then gets in your pocket with constant up-charges and does not deliver with a level of service equal to those charges. We will pay more upfront next time and avoid NCL.
Ok, rather small for an aft facing balcony, not enough storage space, no table in room.