The wife and I are in our early 50's and reside in the New Orleans metro area. We have taken two previous cruises with HAL to Alaska. This was our first time cruising out of New Orleans, and with NCL. We were dropped off in front of the cruise ship terminal at 12:30 PM by a relative and did not have to deal with the parking.
Upon entering the terminal we were greeted by a long line of passengers going through the security check point. I must say that the line moved relatively quickly. The check in line was also long, but again moved very quickly. Our accommodations were on deck 11, and we found the layout of the ship easy to navigate.
We found the ship to be very clean, and for the entire length of the cruise we constantly observed the crew whipping and cleaning the surfaces that the passengers may come into contact with. We ate our evening meals in the main dinning room (Tsar's), including lunch on the at sea days. To our delight, and contrary to many of the reviews we read on this site, the food in the main dining room was always very fresh and tasty. For you steak lovers, I had the grilled New York strip steak (medium) three times, and each time it was close to 1" thick, and very tender! Same for the many different types of grilled fish that were available: all was seasoned and grilled to near perfection. The only downside to our experience in the main dining room was the service. Sometimes it was very slow, and I attribute that to the NCL policy of moving the waiting room staff each day to a different venue.
For breakfast each morning we choose the Garden Room buffet . There was always a very large selection of breakfast items to choose from. There was also four stations provided to make the customary fresh cheese omelets for the egg lovers.
We attended the show every evening in the Stardust Theater. The shows were crowded, but seating configuration allowed for a good view from anywhere in the theater. The entertainment was very good to excellent each night, including the entertainer's performing in the smaller lounges and restaurants.
The itinerary for this cruise, in our view, was excellent, four port stops with only two full days at sea! We were always well ahead of schedule getting into our ports of call.
The crew was always smiling and helpful and the officers would nearly always inquire as to how you were enjoying the cruise. This was the first time at the end of the cruise, that I did not mind paying the mandatory NCL $12 a day tip for both of us! In fact the room steward made out even better.
We will definitely will be cruising out on New Orleans again next year on NCL, and will arrange to bring some friends along. Thank you NCL Jewel!!!