This was my 3rd cruise. I've sailed on Carnival my previous 2. The main beef I have with NCL is that I paid $1100 per person to sail out of NYC in frigid November (never again!) and this cruise line nickel and dimes you for EVERYTHING once on board.
1. Want to go to all 4 shows they have on board? 2 included---2 $30-$50 per person EXTRA!
2. PAY EXTRA restaurants and snack cafes far out-number the 'free/included' food on board. Even in the main dining rooms they had "extra cost" options on the menu. For example, in the mood for surf n' turf? $25 extra! really???? Ridiculous! The Buffet was great for breakfast and lunch, but dinner was horrible. Dinner buffet was mostly lunch buffet with a couple of stations aligned with their theme for the evening. For example, the one night we went was grill night. Um....they had one super thin strip steak being freshly grilled (which was good) pork chops and dry chicken. They did have a carving of beef with mashed which was also good, but just not what we expected and just not enough choices. In the mood for a late night sundae? O'Sheehans has some yummy desserts.....BUT........EXTRA!!! $4 Want cappuccino, expresso, or a latte after dinner? EXTRA......In the mood for cupcake or latte in the middle of the day? EXTRA!!! SOOOOOO DISAPPOINTING!!! I refused to give this ship any extra money for stuff that should have been included! I had a party of 5. It adds up, trust me!
I will say that the food on the ship is it's ONLY redeeming quality! It was very good. But I did not like that there was too much that you had to pay extra for. (As if my $1100 wasn't enough for them?)
3. Want to go on a shore excursion? Make sure you don't wait until the first day on board because you will be out of luck! We were a large party and wanted to see what everyone else was doing before we booked. I was assured by NCL that excursions would be available to be booked once onboard which we tried right away to no avail and were stuck on board in Florida!
4. Activities at O'Sheehans on board, basketball, air hockey, pool, 2 lanes candle pin for kids among a few others.....you guessed it.....EXTRA!!!!!!! A swipe of your card $2 each time per person for a game. REALLY????
The people on board were great and service was wonderful! Our cabin was adequate but when I traveled on Carnival, the rooms were a little bigger and it does make a difference. I would not recommend traveling out of NYC this time of year as you are relegated to the inside of the ship for nearly 4 days out of 7 due to the frigid temps & wind. The seas were also incredibly rough which made a lot of passengers green around the gills and it made walking around without looking drunk, challenging. (But that's not the cruise line's fault. Just a generalized, buyer be aware).
I guess that wraps up my opinion. I hope it is helpful. I will either go back on Carnival or try another line, but won't be back on NCL again.