We have gone on two previous cruises but both on Royal Caribbean. We did the Allure in the Caribbean and a smaller ship I can't remember the name of in the Mediterranean last year. This time we wanted to try something different and we took our whole family of 10 with us! We were excited to be on the new Bliss with a go kart track and laser tag! The whole family was looking forward to it for months! Plus we were spending a pretty penny!
Early on I had a clue that NCL was not so great when I ran into issues with their customer service and booking. I actually wanted to cancel but I was too deep and would lose too much money. I decided to put the issues aside and was sure the ship and experience would be grand just like it is with Royal Caribbean.
For starters, The staff on the ship are "indifferent" heck even the people who check you in at the port are passive aggressive. The words that come out of their mouth are polite but the attitude and disinterest far over power the vocabulary. This is such a contrast to Royal where we are hugging out wait staff and room attendants when the trip was ending.
On NCL every time we dined it would take at least 10 to 15 minutes to get water and acknowledged. If you didn't like a meal they didn't care. Frankly they got you your order, dropped it off and NEVER asked you how you liked the food. Not one single meal were any of us asked if we needed anything else. They literally do the bare minimum to get by. I suspect NCL must treat their staff terribly because they are virtually all miserable and frankly it ruined our experience.
Let me also tell you that the Ultimate beverage package is not for wine drinkers. Their wine selection is terrible on the ship and the wines by the glass that are included in your package are $10 bottles at home. Anything of any decent caliber is of course only sold by the bottle. I caved and bought a bottle because my beverage package had a 20% discount BUT they add a 25% service charge automatically! Normally this is fine but there is no service so what am I paying for? Even mixed drinks at the Mojito bar conveniently starting at $10.95 when your beverage package is only up to $10 per drink.
So after you are nickeled and dimed on the drinks keep in mind the go cart track is $10 per ride. Now this is IF you can get a spot because it's reservation only so hurry up! Same with laser tag and the Prohibition musical. Jersey boys was great and free but again make sure you book it early to get your seat!
Lastly the layout of the ship was terrible and there was one small pool for 4000 people. Ridiculous! The only good thing is the rooms are very nice and bathrooms are larger but certainly not enough of a plus to override the experience.
I could go on and on but I will end here by saying NCL will never get a dime of my money again and there were ALOT of other people on the ship who were feeling the same way. Think long and hard before choosing NCL... heed my advice and go with Royal Carribean! I heard from others Carnival is great service too! Heck I would do anyone BUT NCL!