We have cruised several times, mostly on NCL. What I like about NCL is the freedom to eat when and where I like. I see a lot of reviews that mention nickel and diming. We like NCL because we only pay for what we want. No one will force you to buy something you do not want or need. Usually, NCL is fairly inexpensive compared to other cruise lines. It is funny when someone mentions certain features included with another cruise line. Well, if you want to pay three times as much for your cabin to get these extra perks, go for it!
If you use the current promotions, you can get two specialty dinners for only the price of the gratuity. We only used the free Internet package to check email quickly each day. My husband updated to the unlimited Internet package on the last two days and it was fairly inexpensive. Again, only pay what you are comfortable with.
The food was good, although we do not cruise for the food. My favorite meal was at the Mexican restaurant. Too much food! We stayed in a suite, so we were able to eat breakfast and lunch in Moderno. That was nice. We only ate the main dining room once. This cruise was very port heavy, so we either ate in the ports or sometimes went to the buffet after a long day off the ship. We also ate at the Italian and French restaurants. They were pretty good, but they serve the same menu as other NCL ships.
We stayed in a family suite with balcony. When we booked, this suite was just a little more money than a standard balcony. I did not need the larger room and bathroom. The butler service was nice, but it was mostly coffee and snacks. Our butler was friendly, but we did not make many demands. The best part was breakfast in Moderno and priority tendering.
I enjoyed the perks of the suite. I am not sure I would pay a lot extra for this in the future. We are usually OK with a balcony cabin. Embarkation and disembarkation were great using the concierge priority access. In a suite, you pay more for the daily service charge, plus you should tip the butler and concierge. We always give a little more to our steward. I have no problem tipping these hard-working people, but it is something to budget for in the future.
The balcony of our suite was open to the elements. Since it rained almost every day, we did not use the balcony as much as we had on past cruises. People on deck 13 could look down into our balcony. There were not a lot of people on deck 13, but once I was sitting on the balcony in my robe and there were people looking down at me. I guess I prefer a covered balcony.
We took an independent excursion to Giant's Causeway. I wish NCL had offered more of these excursions.
We did not go to Cork. Cobh is lovely. We went to their little Titanic museum. Get tickets in advance. We walked around and went to a pub. This is a very nice little port. They had a community band playing for us when we left.
We took the NCL excursion to Bath. I was concerned that it was a long drive to get there, but the scenery was beautiful. I enjoyed our time here.
This was my favorite stop. Again, we took an independent excursion. We saw Loch Ness, a castle, and the battleground.
Cute town. Not a lot to do. There were no ship excursions left to book. We got fish and chips from a takeout place and sat in the sun on a bench. We went to a pub and enjoyed the salty language of one of the patrons.
We went on the NCL Hadrian's wall tour. My husband enjoyed it more than I did. The countryside was very beautiful, so I concentrated on that. I heard another lady say, "Here's a rock and here's another rock..."