I'll preface to say that this was only my wife & I's (age early 40s) 3rd cruise, all 3 with NCL. 1st was the small Sky, then Epic last December, and now this one out of NY. This was a last minute decision, a quick getaway from the cold - we booked on Wednesday Jan 29th, left on Sunday Feb 2. Booked a GTY inside, and they put us in a Mid-Ship Balcony so that was a bonus that made us happy.
Embarkation in NY wasn't too bad. We got there around 10:30 AM and the line ups were minimal at that point. Since it was Superbowl Sunday, the ship was parked at Pier 88, but we had to check-in at Pier 90 so there was a little bit of weirdness there.
The ship itself is beautiful - it's new, what do you expect. I like the layout overall better than the Epic, except I still don't like having the casino in the middle of the place taking up most of Deck 7 including the smoke. I was there for an hour one day and when I went back in my cabin, I smelled like I had been in a smoky bar all night.
One thing I was disappoint with was Spice H2O. Since we don't have any kids, we like to spend a considerable amount of time there as we did on the Epic 2 months ago. But they changed the design from Epic - pool is gone and replaced with a waterfall type sitting area, the restaurant is gone, and the area seemed smaller overall. Still a good place to hang around.
The food was fantastic. We didn't do any of the specialty restaurants but did eat at the Manhattan Room for 1 breakfast and 1 dinner, Savor/Taste (2 dinners), O'Sheehan's (a few lunches, 1 dinner), Uptown Bar & Grill (2 lunches), and the Garden Cafe (a few dinners, lunches, and breakfasts). The menu in the MDRs were pretty good, and there was some overlap of items between Manhattan and Savor/Taste.
The entertainment - Second to none as far as I'm concerned. I'm not a "dancing type", nor do I watch "Dancing with the stars", but Burn The Floor was amazing.
Rock of Ages, outstanding! There were a few technical glitches but the laymen would not have noticed (I use to do sound production so I notice these things). In speaking with some New Yorkers that see Broadway shows, they indicated that RoA was better than some Broadway shows they've seen.
Second City in Headliners - they do a couple different scenarios. Some shows are improv only, others are skit comedy with some improv. We saw both versions at least once, improv twice. Always a good time.
Howl at the Moon - Not bad but I thought it was kind of ridiculous that they basically said that unless you give money with your request, you're probably not going to hear your request. I thought I paid for this entertainment as part of my cruise fair.
Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy - I was a little disappointed with this one because I saw the version on the Epic 2 months and it was WAY better IMO, more entertaining. Food was good though.
Finally, the fireworks. Loved it! It was on the Thursday after we left Nassau, during the 80s Remix party in Spice H2O. They were fired at 9:15 PM to a soundtrack, and lasted approx. 5 mins. I recorded them with my cell phone so the sound was great, but it gives you an idea. Here's the link for the video: http://youtu.be/59fdVwrOXZ8
This was our 2nd time to GSC. Last time was Oct 2012 so roughly 18 months early than this date (Feb 2014). You could already see a great improvement in the area in that short period of time. Better docking areas, some nice colored concrete from the docks to the main beach area, new cabanas, added excursions.
The beach is still rocky though, but not much you can do about that. Still a very nice place to relax and catch some rays.