First I have to say why I chose NCL. I chose it because I wanted to try the Freestyle dining. The one and only other cruise I've been on (Royal Caribbean) was amazing, but the food was just ok (presented beautifully, and service was great, but taste was lacking). My travel companion is the Food and Beverage Director for a large resort, so needless to say, good food is very important to him. For his first cruising experience I did not want him to be disappointed. With the speciality restaurants to choose from, I thought NCL would be perfect, and they did not disappoint! The food in the two main restaurants was the same that you get on other cruises, nice, just nothing to write home about... the food in the speciality restaurants was amazing, and well worth the small cover charge.
The service, like you'll find on most cruise ships, was outstanding! When in any of the restaurants or bars, you'd hardly put your glass on the table, before they would be over to refill for you. The stateroom attendants were great. We had a small issue with the hair dryer, in that the cord was broken. We called down, and asked them to tape it up, then went to the casino, we came back a little over an hour later, and the hairdryer had been completely replaced, with a note saying that if we needed anything else, not to hesitate to ask. This example fits the quick, friendly service all throughout the ship. By the second day, so many of the crew members knew our names, and were talking to us like old friends. They made us feel welcome and almost like stars. You can tell that they make an effort to make most of the guests feel that way.
Now onto to Alaska. What an amazing place! Everywhere you turn there is something beautiful to see. We were fortunate with nice clear days while in port. We chose not to get off the ship while in Ketchikan. We decided that instead of spending the money on an excursion we would treat ourselves to a spa service (this was a great idea, as the excursions are almost the same amount as the spa, but given a second chance, I would not have missed ketchikan, I would have chosen the spa day during Prince Rupert). But with the ship practically empty in Ketchikan it got us a chance to explore view the scenery from the decks.