We did this Baltic cruise on the Norwegian Jewel from May 17 to May 29, 2008. We had cabin number 8630.
We ran into several experiences that surprised us:
With the status of our room we received fruit in our room. It was old and wilted until about the middle of the cruise. Not a good first impression.
The room stewards were polite and cordial, however, throughout the ship we encountered personnel that were condescending, indifferent and even rude. Leaving the ship one day we declined to have our photograph taken that morning and one of the crew said "I can see why!!!"
We had arrived back from a sponsored NCL tour and were trying to board the ship with other passengers when a host of crew on leave barged down the gang plank (halting passengers from entering the ship) until one of the officers stopped them.
When not being supervised, personnel were gossiping and even flirting with each other in front of passengers. (Having waited tables for many years, I know that you just don't do that.)
The question became who is the guest here? For some guests this was to be the trip of a lifetime (at some expense to them). All we could surmise is that much of the crew is underpaid and under trained. (In fairness, there were also some wonderful personnel that we thanked very much.)
In St. Petersburg the ship refueled. Unfortunately on the aft end of deck 8 (1/3 of the ship ... and also other decks we were told) the hallway and rooms filled up with strong diesel fumes. On inquiry we were informed that fueling would be complete by 6:30 or 7 PM. We arrived back from our tour at 11PM to find that they were still fueling and the entire air system kept pumping in the fumes.
It cannot be overstated how bad this was. At midnight I went to reception to ask if we could sleep anywhere else that night. Even at that hour there were other passengers with the same challenge at the reception desk and others had been complaining all day. So their best offer of help was a small clip on fan (all others already in use). Fortunately we had a balcony room. We kept the door open all night with a fan blowing fresh air into the room.
We have cruised before. We would not recommend the NCL Cruise Line to anyone.