I earned this cruise as part of an incentive program with work. Had I actually paid for the cruise-I would feel much different-like possibly demanding my money back different. Some things I loved: The stateroom was clean and steward was great. The ship itself is beautiful and we loved the "Ocean View" concept with bars and outdoor seating with the restaurants as well-it made it feel much more resort style. Also, their methods for embarkation, muster call and disembarkation were the best I have experienced.
However, The atruim smells like stale smoke all the time even though No Smoking signs are everywhere. I'm allergic so I had constant congestion on the trip.
We were on the 5th floor with a ocean view room and had CONSTANT noise above us from midnight-3am every night. We reported it several times and it was never handled. Someone called our room the day before the cruise was over and asked if it was "ok now"...when we said no, their response was that we should have called them each night-seriously?! Also-there is no way this was a first time problem for them-so just be upfront from the beginning the noise isn't going away.
As for eating and entertainment...they boast you have a freestyle cruise you can do your trip your way. To me, that means I get to decide each day what I want to do and when for eating and shows etc...or at the very least wait until I'm ON THE CRUISE to decide. We quickly learned that if you didn't book specialty restaurants and shows BEFORE the cruise you would miss out or be eating after 9pm, as was the case for us each night. We didn't get into any shows.
The food was ok-if you're a foodie then you'll struggle to find food you consider great...we had random dishes that were great and others that were flat out bad. Also, the service overall from the dining room and staff was subpar. Ironically the best service we had was in the buffet (though the food wasn't great) and just in the mornings in the dining room. I have been on Royal Carribean and and Carnival where they are ON IT and provide great service even with full ships.
I would say overall if you expect excellent food and service this is not the cruise line for you. If you just like the ports and the cost of Norwegian or like the idea of having lots of specialty restaurants etc then you'll maybe like it.
I have sailed with Norwegian twice and found each time wanting. I would never go again unless it's an incentive trip-though I have conveyed to my company I don't want to take another cruise with this line.
Time and again for my money I prefer Royal Caribbean and would pay to sail with them.
Also-I would have loved to convey some of this in my post trip survey direct to Norwegian...but their survey basically asks multiple choice questions and no room for comments or a way to express real concerns. It seemed more like a way for them to collect information about my employment, income, race and how much I want to spend on vacation than actually getting feedback.