So to start this off... I will have to admit that I have no previous knowledge of cruises at all, and so I'm speaking from the point of view of a novice, but I will share my experience, and hoepfully someone else new to this will benefit from it.
We sailed from 11/26-11/30 the 4 night cruise to the Bahamas from Miami. Getting on the ship was fairly harmless. I was not aware that you would have to go through so much security everytime you enter the boat, but it was for the security of all and so I can't complain. Got on board and everyone was racing from one side of the boat to the other exploring the ship. My girlfriend and I were trying to locate the excursions desk because we had waited to long to book online and so therefore we wanted to find out what was left to chose from. Luckily, everything was still open, just not available for booking online for some reason. Navigating your way through the ship is entirely to difficult to figure out. Directions were always to go up a floor, across, then back down a floor, etc. We learned our second night that the fish design on the carpet was actually functional as well as decorative as the head of the fish points to the front of the ship, and so you can always tell which way you are headed.
State room was extremely small. My girl however explained that since you mainly just sleep in there it's not a problem. I'm 6'3 345lbs and to be honest I didn't experience any discomfort anywhere in the cabin. Shower/bathroom was fine for my purposes as well.
The ship as whole was very nice, and did not seem as many of the reviews I had read stated it would. They were completing some construction on the pool deck of the ship that really took away from the attractiveness of being out there, and it seemed as though hot tubs kept revolving from open to closed for maintenance unexpectedly. Hot tubs were also not very hot, luke warm at best!
Christine our house keeper/room attendant was awesome! Seemed to have always assisted us when we were away, and didn't bother us unnecessarily when we were in for the night. Started receiving towel animals the 2nd and 3rd night we were there.
Main dining rooms were the way to go this trip. Although, I often felt as though you were basically eating the same thing day in and out. My girlfriend and I ate a lot of steak, and although they would allow you to order it to your liking, you're considered very lucky if it came close to slightly being what you had asked for. Servers and services rendered by waitstaff exceeded my expectations. I was thoroughly pleased with that experience. The buffet was of a whole other dimension... The food was of much lower quality, and people flocked there for the conveinence, but had no idea what they were missing in the main dining rooms. Main dining rooms were good food, but just smaller portions, but they would happily offer you more if they realized that you were still hungry. Lobster and red snapper were served only the first night in both the main dining rooms. I was surprised though these appeared to be 2-4oz lobster tails that they were splitting in half and serving you only half the lobster tail. For some reason I was expecting better than that, but I ate two plates and so I guess received my full lobster tail afterall despite the circumstances.
Entertainment on the boat for two mid twenties guest was somewhat lacking. Everything seemed as though it was geared for the much older crowd 60-80's, or the family crowd (small children appropriate, PG13 type material). My girlfriend enjoyed the Comedian Russ Rivas, but wondered why when he did his Adult only show Thursday night which started at 10:45 why it was soo short (30-45mins). The other onboard entertainment provided by the staff in many instances seemed a little cheesy, but they were just doing their best to keep us occupied I guess. Archie the cruise host in charge of entertainment was funny, and the game shows that he hosted The ports unless you are really into shopping didn't offer much culture to me, but be WARNED you will be hassled and bamboozled into paying way to much for trinkets. My suggestion act interested and then tell them you'll think about it, and if it looks over priced to begin with trust your gut instinct. I despise being treated like a tourist, even though I'm a visitor. The excursions were nice, but really only provided a couple of hours worth of entertainment at best in some instances you may be better off saving your money and exploring the island yourself, but be smart and conscious of your surroundings. The white party on Thursday night I was under the impression it was going to be more adult oriented since it was taking place at 10:45pm on the pool deck. I became a little alarmed when around 9pm I was seeing adults walking around on the pool deck with their children decked out in all white as well. I saw some video footage of the party the next day and honestly, the party resembled a family reunion with all age groups, as opposed to this "White Hot Party" they claimed it would be... I was thinking mini Miami dance club on the deck of the ship, and boy was I wrong! I guess I never really took into account, how accomodating the crew and ship must be to so many different and varying demographics. This must make things extremely difficult.
Overall, on a scale of 1-10 I'd give the trip about a 7.5-8, and many of the points in favor of this trip were the affordability of the cruise itself. For all of you out there reading bad reviews I say they are mostly snobs and ignore it, I let them worry me half to death, and once I was on I was pleasantly surprised. Just keep an open mind, and understand that this being one the shorter cheaper cruises it might not be as lavish, but definitely still offers it's charm, and availability.
Final day of the trip we were not able to go to the Great Stirrup Cay island. My girlfriend on a different cruise two years ago was cancelled at that time from going there as well. Apparently this happens frequently on Norwegian cruises. If I were planning the trip almost expect to not be able to go offship on that final day. They really need to figure something out about that port.