The Travel Club of my HOA chose the cruise, Copenhagen to Southhampton. We decided to back-to-back it to NYC. We have been on many cruises, but only one other NCL, Pride of America, many years ago. This was a great deal, money-wise, with 3 specialty restaurants included in each cruise and a beverage package. Our travel agent didn't tell us about options like The Haven (more later), so we got a veranda cabin that allowed us to stay in the same room for both legs.
The ship has all the warmth and comfort of a hospital cafeteria combined with the charm of a strip mall. There was almost no comfortable seating anywhere in the ship (except the casino). The few spots available to sit in comfort, Deck 17 forward and a small area behind Starbucks on deck 7, were way too small for those who wanted to sit and read, even with the ship about half full. The atrium is awful, cold and lacking character. Lots of wasted space in long, pointless corridors lined with vendors. Events were held in the Improv or Syd's Pour House, both small so everything required reservation.
The food was mediocre at best, except in the specialty restaurants, which are excellent, if pricey. The included dining was mostly bad. We avoided the main dining rooms after a few tries. The menu never changes, except for the Signature Dish, which is an upcharge of $25-30. Even in the specialty restaurants, if you have the dining package, there are still upcharges for some dishes. Much of the food looked and tasted as if it had been prepared offsite and frozen. The galley thawed it, heated it, usually not well enough, and added a sauce and parsley. Meat was freezer burned. Everything was overcooked and dry, probably because it was frozen too long or stored badly. The Surfside Grill was where we usually had breakfast and lunch. They do good fried rice, grilled peppers, roasted cauliflower. I had some nice honey-braised parsnips. Notice I don't mention meat or fish because, again, it was mostly overcooked and tasteless. The breads were disappointing, also frozen, I think. The croissants were limp. Pancakes were tough and dry, maybe also frozen. I learned to ask for fresh eggs, not made from the frozen (it was still lumpy) goo in the bucket. One day they proudly served crab legs. Unfortunately, they were still frozen solid and,after thawing them on my plate and pouring off the water, I saw that they looked as though they had been through a freeze-thaw before. My husband lost weight on this cruise. Golden Corral does better.
Embarkation was smooth and our luggage was delivered promptly. That is almost the last of the good news. The beds were comfortable, high enough to easily slide luggage underneath, which made them too high for me to get into easily (5 ft. tall). Also, the closet bars were too high for me to reach so my husband took down the hangers, I put clothes on them and he hung them up -- for three weeks! Storage consisted of 2 shelves for shoes, 4 small sliding baskets and 2 drawers in one of the nightstands. The other nightstand was too small for a drawer or even a shelf. There was a small, narrow vanity desk with a hassock to sit on and a rather hard couch. The TV was directly in front of the bed, so the only way to comfortably watch it was in bed. The bathroom was nice and roomy, with a good amount of storage and a nice comfortable shower. The veranda had two chairs and a small round table. What was missing that we expected in a veranda cabin: robes and slippers, shower cap, lotion, pen and paper, ice bucket and water carafe.