CeCe. It's nothing to be afraid of.
Almost any cruise to a first-timer is a slice of heaven. In my opinion, itís only when you have cruised other cruise lines that the NCL comes up short. While there are many things I liked about NCL, there are just as many things that did not. A lot of that comes from my making comparisons of the things I feel are important to me on a cruise.
I did not find the NCL staff as friendly as the CCL or RCCL lines. The overall service and the attitude of my room steward were at best half-ass. We asked out room steward for ice and he acted like we ruined his day. After that we found out where he got it and helped ourselves. The staff is constantly trying to get you to buy water or drinks and you have to say no thank you several times to the same server and then another that was within 5 feet of us and tries his luck. I think it has to do with the tip being included in the final bill. Good service or bad they expect the same tip amount.
The entertainment was weak. On the RCCL the entertainment is top notch. Free style dining means waiting 20 to 30 minutes to be seated. Shore excursions are a lot (in my opinion) higher than the land base excursion companies. NCL is even higher than other cruise lines. However, if you buy your excursion through NCL, you get off the ship before everyone else. As two of the stops made by the Norwegian Sea are by tender service from the ship and they also are the shortest stops. (Go Figure)
The food wasnít too bad. They grill a lot and I love grilled food, but at times it was closer to Beef Jerky than Bar-B-Que. I had to toss the chicken it was blackened crisp on one side and rare on the other.
NCL is probably a good first choice and if you like it, what hell, sign up for Lattitudes. However, should you become a life time cruiser, Iíd upgrade to a CCL or RCCL. Pack you sense of humor and have a great time!!!!