My husband and I were both very happily surprised with the service, food, entertainment (Rock of Ages rocked and Cirque du Soleil was phenomenal!!), embarkation and debarkation, and the styles of the public rooms and restaurants.
The buffet food was very good and the quality went up from there in the main dining rooms and restaurants. The Manhattan Room,which is complimentary, is fabulous. If you're looking to have an excellent steak dinner, Cagney's is the place for you ($30./pp).
Our cabin was spacious and the bathroom roomy with a fabulous shower, but our balcony was on the small side. In order for the lights, electricity, and TV to work you have to keep your room card/key inserted in the scanner while you're in the room. When you leave the cabin and remove it from the scanner everything shuts down. I had to keep resetting my travel clock in the evening. I recommend a battery-operated clock.
The casino was smaller than other ships we've been on, but I never had trouble finding a seat at a table or an open slot machine. A lot of critics complained about the smoke in the casino but I didn't find it to be a problem and I'm a non-smoker.
The only entertainment we were disappointed in was Howling at the Moon dueling pianos. The premise is that they take requests from the audience and sing the songs. They promote knowing music from the 70s to present. They couldn't remember the words to four songs in a row and had to look them up on their iPads. The songs weren't obscure. I'm talking popular Billy Joel songs for example. We left quickly.
The only thing we were really not happy about was the number of lounge chairs on the decks. The only time I was able to sit in the sun was on the beach in Bermuda.
All in all, the good outweighs the not-so-bad and we are NCL converts. We will be sailing on The Gem in August and are hoping to have the same great experiences on our way to and from the Bahamas.