My husband and I just returned from a pleasant week aboard the Norwegian Jewel. Embarking and disembarking was well organized and went smoothly, with not very long wait times. Having cruised with NCL before, we like the informality of Freestyle Cruising. We like eating at 8 AM, 12 Noon, and 5:30 PM so were always able to get a table for two. Service for two was excellent, better than when you sit with 6 or 8 other people.
We found the meals innovative with many appetizer and salad/soup selections that were totally new to us, such as the many varied cold fruit and nut soups and some fish items. We were never disappointed by our choices. Entrees ranged from very good to excellent, but servings were always too large. The desserts were tasty and beautifully presented. The shows were excellent with both early and late performances. The ports of call became a bit of a hassle because 3 or 4 other cruise ships were also at each port with masses of tourists all trying to walk on the narrow sidewalks at the same time. People who enjoy dressing-up cruising will probably be disappointed with NCL, because apparel for the most part is very casual. We had an inside cabin which was small but adequate at a good price. Cruising in the 21st century certainly lacks the gentility and comfort of 1950s cruise ships, especially the tranquility, except perhaps on today's smaller luxury liners. It was not easy to find a quiet spot indoors to snuggle up with a good book.