I have not sailed on NCL yet, but will be in June on the Pearl to Alaska. My first cruise was on RCCL on the Legend of the Seas to the Mexican Riviera. Being my first cruise experience, it was awe inspiring to me, and everything about the cruise was great from the food to the service, stateroom, activities etc. I have done extensive research on all cruise lines for the last 5 months or so, and I must say the Freestyle concept is intriguing to me. It seems to fit what I want with the dine where and when you want, "Dress Up or Not" nights and the ability to wear jeans to the dining rooms, the color schemes of the ship. If the itinerary seems to fit, and the price is right, I say go for it with NCL. On most of the cruise boards you will find a few bad reviews about NCL, same with RCCL but by and large you will find most of them are positive with great experiences. I am convinced that some people just cannot be pleased no matter how high the service level is, how beautiful the ship is, how great the staff can be. By the mere fact that we can go on a cruise and enjoy hundreds of millions of dollars of ship technology for a comparatively low price, still amazes me. I tend to look at the middle of the road reviews as what I rely on, being more realistic, because we know there are many drama queens/kings out there who seem to take everything in life to the extreme, including ship reviews. Just MHO, and hope you have a great time no matter what you choose.