We chose this ship because of the ports and the fact that we have sailed on the Norwegian Jewel many times and it was absolutely wonderful. We assumed that this would be of the same quality. We are so wrong.
We were told by the embarkation agent that our priority boarding was not available and we had to get into the long slow line to get on. So much for Platinum Level of loyalty. After more investigating we did find the priority line and skipped right aboard. Lesson 1 - ask around, don’t trust the first crew member you ask. This is not a sister ship to the jewel class but it was still a shock to see the poor layout. There is no place to sit and read near a window in peace. There is no place to sit and actually look forward. The library is in the middle of the ship and freezing. We sure missed a spinnaker type lounge. It is very cramped on board, it seems like they have maximized the number of passengers in sacrifice to comfort. All the seating areas are cramped and more often than not have continual extremely loud “entertainment” wanted or not. The smoking lounge on deck 6 is vented improperly and fills Gatsby’s Bar and hallway every evening with smoke. There is no where to sit and have a drink with conversation, you have to scream. If you manage to get served a drink you will never get a second. The waiters stand at the bar and ignore you or take your empty glass and walk away. I am not and never will be rude to a service person but you really have to work to get a smile from anyone. I was sitting in a lounge considering the worst Manhattan ever made by man when the beverage manager walked by. I asked him if I may have a word and he said be quick as he was going to a meeting. Hmm. I explained that the cocktails was poor and no garnish was added, just a drink in a glass. I thought that this lacked professionalism and not up to standard. He said that if I wanted a garnish I would have to ask and then scurried off.
The service is bad everywhere with only one exception. It is not just a lack of staff but a lack of staff effort. This ship seems depressed. I have been on many ships and lines, I know it is a difficult life for staff but this is the only ship that gives that vibe. I paid full price but it is a discount experience. The diamond on the dung heap is Cagneys. A dinner there reminds you how other ships are.