This was our 5th cruise, the first with NCL. We have done three with Royal Caribbean, and one with Princess. We thoroughly enjoy Royal Caribbean, but we got an incredible price on this one, with a balcony (never had anything but a lower inside before). Embarkation got the cruise off to a bad start. Arrived in Ft. Lauderdale at 1:30, arrived at the port at 2:40 and got on the ship, FINALLY, at 4:10 after the drill started. Raced to our room to get our life jackets and luckily found the guy with the clip board with our room number on it to check-off, so we didn't have to do the drill the next day.Never ever spoke to our room steward. Finally found out his name on Tuesday when his card was left on the desk. Sometimes our room was not made up until after lunch or turned down until 9PM. We are not used to such poor service. Other people had their towels shaped in animal figures with notes left. We were in room 9231 and people we met in 9218 and had the same steward, so he had quite a few rooms. Our balcony was great, but only had one chair. Looked like some had two, but many only had one.Still trying to decide if I like "freestyle" dining. Dinner is not the "event" it once was, when you have assigned seating and you have a different server every night and the service is sometimes lukewarm. The food was okay, but we aren't fussy. Tried the alternative one night. Heard Le Bistro was the best, but could not get in there. Went to the Horizon for Italian, which was pretty good, not great. Service was very good.The saving grace of the cruise was the entertainment. Best ever on a ship, even with the entertainment of B.J. Thomas and the Coasters from last year's Grandeur of the Seas on RCI.We met some wonderful people and may have lasting friends. I would cruise NCL again.
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