Posted December 26th, 2012, 02:01 AM
Although I have cruised both NCL and Carnival, I have not been on those particular ships. We have always had good service. NCL has more extra-pay restaurants, but we found the main dining room food just fine. We seldom use room service; I think it's 24 hours, but can't be sure.
For someone who gets seasick, the best rooms are middle of the ship and lower down. Be prepared, though, and bring motion meds, patch, or ginger.
I have never seen a bug of any kind on a cruise, including mosquitos. I can't imagine it would be very comfy sleeping on the balcony--they are tiny and only suites have lounge chairs--but doable, I guess.
Nothing in the fridge is free--in fact, it's very expensive. We always ask our room steward to clear everything out and use it for water bottles.
There probably will be wi-fi internet in your room, but you need to research the particular ship to be sure. It will be slow, doesn't always work, and is expensive. You definitely need to turn your phone off if you don't want very high charges. There is an internet cafe with the same slow speeds and high prices (there are packages of minutes available that cost a little less) or you can find hot spots on the ship, if your cabin wi-fi doesn't work.
We don't incur many extra charges at all, but we don't drink, gamble or do much shopping anymore--we have more than enough souvenirs already. We pay the gratuities, might buy a photo or two, that's about it. Tours can cost a lot, but many places can be done without a tour at all. We almost always find private tours rather than ship tours because they are cheaper and (usually) of better quality.
There are many, many ways to spend lots of money, it just depends on what you want to do. Examples: Drinks, including soft drinks, specialty coffees, smoothies, special ice creams, specialty restaurants, casino, photos, some classes, ship tours, spa appointments, hair styling, some exercise classes, shopping in the ship's boutiques and on shore, excursions, food and drink on shore, bingo, art auction, etc.
If you think you will be tempted by a lot of this, $600 is not going to go far. Our only significant expenses are gratuities and tours--for seven days we probably average about $300, including tips, more if we are taking several lengthy excursions.
We manage to have a great time without a lot of the above, but we often talk to people whose on board bill is in the thousands.