PROS -- Eat when you want no need to share table, great for kids. Cleanliness with lots of hand sanitizer. Wide stairs to get to each floor. Affordable with good service and entertainment. Organized and fast disembarkment. Nice collection of readings in the library Jogging track.
CONS -- Vacuum flush washroom just like on the airplane. Luggage almost got lost in Embarkment. Confusing layout of the ship.This was a first time cruise so it is hard to compare with other cruise lines or ships. We are a party of 4, with 2 adults, 1 senior, and 1 3 year old toddler. We traveled from December 4-11, 2005. We read many internet reviews and were very concern with Norwegian cruises since there were so many bad reviews. Major complaints are rude, unfriendly staff, bad entertainment, terrible food, poor customer services, and room not being ready on time, While I would not say the service was excellent, but it was not as bad as many has indicated. Yes, there will always be one or two staff that is unfriendly and impatient, but many were friendly and helpful. They are human beings after all.
Embarkment/Day 1 Sea day -- We did not book to stay in Houston overnight and decide to go in directly. Many fellow travelers did the same. Our plane was delay for an hour for de-icing. We are from Toronto, Canada so this was sort of expected. Our plane was schedule to leave Toronto airport at 8:40 to arrive In Houston at 11:30. We did not arrive in Houston until 1:00 in the afternoon. We had to wait another hour for the transfer bus. The bus ride to the port took another hour before we arrive to the ship. The port was temporary due to devastation to New Orleans. The luggage was taken from the bus to the rooms. We tip the carrier for each person, yet we did not see our luggage until way past dinner. Apparently it went to the wrong floor. There was a lineup to get on the ship and to register your credit card. It was not very fast, but reasonable given the sheer volume of people going on board. We went straight to our rooms (it was one of the large inside stateroom), and it was all made up which was pretty good considering the previous guest just left the ship in the morning of the same day. We went straight to the Garden cafe for late lunch. It was ok, but we were starving. We try one of the no cover restaurants on the first night. It was either the Seven Seas or Four Season. They are almost identical where the restaurant staff will alternate in both restaurants. We were tired from the long travel and decide to sleep in early.