First time on a Norwegian ship. Sailed the 4 day to Key West and Cozumel (repeat of our 1st cruise 20 years ago on Carnival). Embarkation went well, no surprises even with the additional security. Immediately after boarding, started to notice the "litter" all about the ship in the public areas, especially on the open decks. Norwegian really needs to put more effort into cleaning up the ship after everyone gets off. This was our first experience with "freestyle" cruising. Not impressed! Certainly gives you more flexibility, but service is slower (2 hours for dinner) and you wait in line if you aren't early. Won't keep us from booking Norwegian again, but not something that will keep us coming back either. Cabin was in great shape, the room steward provided excellent service, very pleased. Food was very good overall (still think Celebrity has the edge there). Buffet food and service were very good with an excellent variety. Good entertainment and activities, nothing unusual or exciting enough to write home about, but certainly met our expectations. Seems like all lines are putting more focus on on-board revenue generating activities and Norwegian is no exception. Just have to make your own choices. Didn't take any shore excursions as we had been to both ports before. Overall, very good value for the money, especially in a short 4 day version. (Still wish they would do a better job of keeping the windows every where on the ship clean. These looked like they hadn't been washed in months). With "freestyle," they add "gratuties" to your ship-board account. Convenient way to handle that issue, BUT, we heard on another Norwegian cruise the following week (the Norway), when the "so called" gratuties do not end up being paid to the service staff. The service staff is supposedly paid higher wages to compensate, but the line takes the "gratuities." These "gratuties" show up on you statement as "service charges." If this is true, I find it very deceiving and it will probably cause me to avoid Norwegian in future bookings.(I'm going to write the Norwegian CEO and ask him). One last note: there was an obvious problem with the water quality in the hot tubs and one of the pools while we were on board. Look twice before you jump in!!
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