I sail transatlantic solo every year to work in Italy for HometoItaly.com and am accustomed to the 'couple' atmosphere aboard a ship.
But I was NOT prepared for the masses of bodies pushing and shoving at EVERY event.
With nearly 4,000+ passengers there are NOT enough tables to feed everyone in the food court, there are NOT enough chairs on the pool deck, there are NOT enough seats in the entertainment venues.
When people have to wait the group can become ugly. An example was the stop in Palma. Imagine 4,000 people exiting at the SAME time because NCL did not plan a longer stop in Palma. It looked like a line of prisoners going to the exercise yard.
When we arrived at the end of this maze the EXIT DOORS WERE LOCKED and the masses piled up pushing and complaining. Every day aboard this ship feels like you are leaving a soccer stadium.
Promised shuttle buses: NOTHING PROVIDED
So the solution is to go where the crowds don't follow: you are forced to eat early (as if you lived in Florida) or late. Too late and they have already closed the buffet and you eat cold pizza or burgers.
You watch a movie out on the deck. Too cold for many people to watch a NOT first run movie.
No one is in the library but it is a midget area next to a bar.........only good early in the morning.
There is a quiet zone on the top deck and the ONLY place you don't hear children having a meltdown.
And of course you can stay in your room
Why I took the trip? The price was so low it was more cost efficient that staying in a hotel the last week of my trip.....of course I imagined I could work the entire trip, sure that didn't happen