January 2016 - Norwegian Jewel to Mexico
My wife and I have been on 8 cruises but this was our first Norwegian cruise though and we weren't sure what to expect.
Highlights: Service and food were very comparable to other experiences we've had. The food in the specialty restaurants was excellent! We did those on 4 different nights and found the included dining package to be a great inclusion. The a la' carte venues were barely limited by using the dining package. We were impressed at the quality of the items available in Cagney's steakhouse and teppanyaki was every bit as good as a high end hibachi restaurant on land.
The bar service for the most part was spectacular and the included selections in the beverage package were very good. Only a handful of very high end liquors were not included. Wines by the glass were somewhat limited but still sufficient. We have sailed with included beverage packages before and found the bar serice a little slower and drinks a little harder to come by. It was never hard to get a drink when you wanted one on this ship.
The not so good: the seas on this voyage were the roughest we ever experienced. This wasn't in the control of the cruise line but it felt pretty extreme at times with outside decks being closed due to high winds and really rough seas.
The entertainment was generally good but not as good as we have seen on other lines. The cruise director was probably my least favorite of all cruises I've been on. Both my wife and I couldn't stand the sound of his voice by the time the muster drill was over. He seemed to think screaming in the microphone was necessary for any and all announcements.
The ships general appearance and maintenance seemed to be a little below normal standards. We saw railings missing, paint chipping and areas that needed deep cleaning or repainting frequently. Cetrain things were closed or being repaired. .. an ice machine, the water slide and casino slot machines. The ship was fun and enjoyable but it really felt worn and tired in a lot of ways.
Overall we really enjoyed our cruise and would sail with Norwegian again especially given the price we paid for our stateroom.