NCL does so many things right. Their children's program is top notch! The staff was outstanding and the programming was very enjoyable for my 10 year old son. I was disappointed to find out that they have removed the water slide at the main pool. This info was not available online. I had promised my son he'd have a slide to enjoy. The Summer Palace Dining room is the most beautiful I've seen! The food was good but I have to say the food wasn't as good as Holland America Line. If I could do it again, I would pay for the speciality restaurant package. I think NCL is making that option reasonable for people. Do it and you have more choices on the food.
Transiting the Canal was a thrilling experience. The full day commentary was helpful and having a balcony was worth the extra money. I already want to do it again the other direction!
Now the staff we encountered was professional EXCEPT for our cabin steward. He was not very motivated and my friend insisted we ask very nicely for him to improve the cleanliness of the cabin when he didn't we didn't push it to the next level because we were afraid he might do something like use our toothbrushes to clean the bathroom. The floors were disgusting. My friend wouldn't even walk on the carpet without flip flops. The bedding was only changed once. The mirrors had spots on them. There was lots of dust on various surfaces especially on the shelves by the TV. Not to be too picky but you really spend a lot of time in the cabin on a cruise with 9 sea days. NCL needs to emphasize this with their cabin stewards! The ship itself was very clean though and I did hear others had much better stewards.
The entertainment was good and sometimes GREAT! I liked the guitarist "Fabio" the best.
Our NCL excursion in Puerto Chiapas was not a good value at all. It was called "chocolate experience and Izapa ruins." We spent a ton of money for a demonstration in a small town on how the locals make chocolate and a quick view of a small trading community for $170 (one adult and one child). It was only a half day tour and included chocolate tasting and water but still - not a good value at all. I complained to the shore excursion manager and he said they are consistently hearing this from guests. So, you've been warned! If I could do it again, I would just catch a cab from the port and go to the Izapa ruins and back. It would have been a fraction of the price.
The Cruise Critic group got a special Bridge tour which was very much appreciated!
My favorite place on the ship was "The Great Outdoors" at the back of the ship. My friend really disliked the "washy, washy, happy, happy" thing when you enter the buffet. It seemed too childish.
Overall, I would recommend this ship, this itinerary and the officers of this ship! My only regret is not being able to do the 37 night version from Miami to Seattle- maybe next year!