January 2017 - Norwegian Epic to Caribbean - Eastern
The specialty restaurants were exceptional, and the Garden Cafe was one of the best we've seen on any ship. Other restaurants were acceptable, but nothing to rave about....and the service was about the same. The ship was beautiful, as was the weather, so the time was enjoyable and relaxing.....except for the huge lines and crowds at popular places. Freestyle dining is indeed flexible and sometimes convenient if you don't mind spending an inordinate amount of time making reservations and figuring how to fit everything in you want to do.
Our biggest objection was the questionable and smutty comedy & entertainment....even in early time periods which should be family friendly. The talent level was great, and the music wonderful, but content, gestures, themes, and costumes were depraved and offensive to much of mainstream society. Cirque was awesome, with surprisingly good food and service. Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is the only major production show on a cruise ship we have ever walked out of, and were thoroughly disgusted for even reserving time for the event. Many of the lounges had excellent entertainment, especially the guitarists, and pianists.
I suppose that the ship did a pretty good job of handling a large passenger level, but 4000 people is a lot on one boat, and the layout of the ship creates some serious bottlenecks at busy times. And while the cruise price seemed attractive, they have a way of nickel and diming you to death. The drink package offered extremely poor selections of wine, in hopes that you would upgrade and buy more expensive bottles, but the staff always did their best to accommodate us within their ship guidelines....except when they tried to slip in different types of wine than we had ordered.
Would definitely not cruise on this ship again, and perhaps not on Norwegian, as well.