Four of us boarded at Malaga on Boxing Day with no problems to mention.
Upon arriving at our midship balcony cabins on Deck 10 we were a little surprised as to how small and poorly laid ours was. We requested the bed config to be a queen style - which was done. However this meant that there was only one bedside table, the other side of the bed was hard up against a rather suspect cream 'leather' sofa. It was not safe enough to put a glass of water on etc for night time drinking and quite low to perch an alarm clock on to.
There was however plenty of storage/hanging space in the wardrobe but the safe was positioned very close to floor level inside the wardrobe. The shower room (no bath) was tiny although the shower was powerful and hot and of a decent size with no clinging flimsy curtain to tackle, it had a plastic sliding door.
The toilet compartment was also pretty tight to say the least, we defy anyone to close the inner sliding door whilst seated. The balcony had 2 chairs and a small coffee table on it. The cabin was kept clean by our steward Jose and we enjoyed the towel animals that he left in the evening, especially the monkey. However we did find a used pair of cheap slippers and a large hair grip under the bed when storing our cases so perhaps a more thorough clean is needed.
We also experienced cigar smell when the heating system was turned up, this was reported to staff but no action taken. It might have been aircon filters that were overdue for changing. Note- make sure that wardrobe doors are securely closed if seas are a bit choppy because they will just slide from side to side at an alarming rate and the noise in the middle of the night sounds like mice.
The best bar for sitting and watching the world go by was Champagne Charlies, although it did get full very quickly in the evenings. The Galaxy of the Stars ('crows-nest') needs a complete overhaul and modernising and more waiters. Avoid late mornings unless you want bingo at 110 dbA blasting through your ears.
The food by far was the worst food we have ever experienced on any cruise. Monotonous, bland and most of the time luke warm to cold. We ate mostly in the Windows restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner although we did pay out for meals in Shogun (ok), Italian (very poor, surly germanic waiter), Tapanaki (good, made food special for one of us with garlic allergy without notice) and lastly Cagneys Steakhouse (excellent food and service). The breakfast in Windows when open was good. We try not eat in the 'bun-fight' of the buffets on cruises if we can help it but we did notice when walking through from one end of the ship to the other, the food looked very much the same every day.
This ship seems past its sell by date in our opinion, and the 'Master' did say that they did not know what would be happening to it after 2015. Perhaps it will be sold on to make way for the new NCL larger cruise ships?
Spirit is going into dry dock for 2 weeks soon but we could not find out what for. They seemed to be laying new carpet in various cabins but in no real order. It seemed very random unless someone previous occupant had complained about stains etc.
Ports of call - OK, although itinerary change made the visit to Tenerife a let down on New Years day as everywhere was shut!
Overall - NCL could try harder.