We have sailed extensively on NCL and the last 6 cruises were all NCL, taking 3 cruises in the last 9 months. Answers to your questions:
1) NCL does NOT have a "lost towel" pay policy. In the open pool areas, NCL maintains large bins were passengers pick up the pool towels at their own leisure. There are no staff members available to record number of towels or stateroom numbers. Passengers just get up from their pool deck chairs and leave, then NCL pool/deck staff pick up the towels in large laundry bins for cleaning.
If you are going off the ship, and require a towel for the beach areas off board, NCL will THEN record the stateroom number and the number of towels and you are required to returned them and have them checked back in. I do not know of charges for non returned towels. There may be some as TrlPro has suggested.
So the policy defers from on-ship towels to off-ship beach towels.
2)If your on a ship like the NCL Pearl, or Jewel, they have two main dining rooms. On the NCL Pearl they are Indigo and Summers Palace. These are considered the "main" dining rooms. Then there are other "no cost" restaurants like, Mambo's (Tex-Mex),La Cucina (Italian), Garden Cafe (Buffet), Blue Lagoon (Lunch Casual), Outdoor Adventure (lunch-dinner casual outdoors on the back deck),that have no cover charge.
Specialty restaurants are "cover charge:. Just an example, NCL Pearl..Lotus Garden (Asian) $10.00 per person, Le Bistro (French) $20.00 per person. Sushi (Asian) $15.00 per person, Shaba-Shaba (Asian) $15.00 per person, Cagney's (Steakhouse) $20.00 per person, Teppanyaki (Asian, Benihania style) $20.00 person.
The ships will offer either early bird 2 for 1 specials in speciality restaurants usually between 5:30 & 6:30 PM, some offer 8:30 to 9;30 PM.
We also were provided a 2 for 1 special coupon on the first night of the cruise the day we left port of Seattle. We choose Lotus Garden for a total of $10.00 for 2 people. Ask your travel agent for a NCL Coupon Book.
We have found that all specialty restuarants are a good value as related to the cover charge.
3)Day time activities are plentiful depending on the NCL ship that you are on. Bingo, lectures, Art auctions, art history, Trivia games, Wii Video games, movies. I can send a copy of the recent Freestyle Daily from the NCL Pearl Alaska May 20th cruise if you like directly to you.
4)Size of the rooms are clearly listed on the NCL website depending on category choosen. We had a Penthouse Suite #9500 on the NCL Pearl in Feb, 2007. The outside balcony was larger than the suite. We could have entertained 20 guest easily. On NCL Pearl recently to Alaska we had a port balcony #9020 and balcony had 2 chairs and can seat 2 comfortably. We had 4 on our balcony standing for viewing purposes.
You had good questions. We are very loyal fans of NCL, and have always been treated exceptionally well, with VIP service.
This last cruise to Alaska on May 20th, 2007 we were treated like Royalty or Arab Shieks. It was simply awesome.
Enjoy the cruise, and we highly recommend NCL.
Richard & Mary
Las Cruces, New Mexico USA