We were a party of 7 from NY, age range 11 - 77 in 3 mini-suites (239 sq. feet including bathroom and balcony) to start. Cabins 9188 and 9192 were very small, smaller than balcony cabins on RCCL & Princess; balconies were the smallest I've ever encountered; bathroom was a nice size with multiple shower jets, a large sink, and plenty of room to move around - not true of the cabins themselves. Cabin 9190 had a horrid odor, as if something had died in there; the cabin was scrubbed from top to bottom, rug shampooed and mattresses washed - the smell left for about an hour and then returned. Guest services moved the two occupants to an empty balcony cabin (207 sq. feet including bathroom and balcony) - 9184, which was identical in size to the mini-suite with a smaller bathroom. Cabin 9190 was given to cruisers who boarded in St. Martin - the smell still was evident when we walked by if their door was open. Guest services gave us $200 for our inconvenience plus the $400 difference in cabin categories. TIP: Do NOT pay extra for a mini-suite; it's not worth it b/c the rooms are the same size as balcony rooms; the only difference is the bathroom. Smoke from the casinos permeated surrounding areas; it was impossible to walk from the dining rooms to the theater without encountering the obnoxious smell of smoke.
On a positive note, we did like the shows, especially Legally Blonde and Burn the Floor. The 50's/60's singer/band were really good, too. The Not So Newlywed game was fun. The Illusionarium is a must see (+$29 for floor seats including dinner) as is the Q & A with their cast later in the week at the atrium (free). The towel exchange @ the dock when re-boarding after an island stop was a great idea - no need to carry a wet towel on-board and trek to the pool area to exchange it for a dry one. The dining experience was wonderful @ Cagney's (+$30); delicious food, attentive waiters, lovely dining room and a chef who created dishes to accommodate our allergies - just talk with the chef a day or two in advance, tell him what you'd like from the menu, and he'll make it while accommodating your allergies. Having the silverware encased in napkins in a holder on each table in the Garden Cafe was a really good idea - no need to juggle it along with your plate and drink at the buffet. Freestyle dining worked well; no need to dress for dinner. The ropes course, spider web, rock climbing wall, zip line, water slides, trampoline, and mini golf were enjoyed by both of our grandchildren. Our 15 year old granddaughter, who joined Entourage, the teen club, had a blast! She made new friends from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, & Norway as well as the US and said it was her best vacation ever.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few negatives. In order to turn the lights and any electrical current on in the room, your cabin room key or a credit card must be inserted into a slot just inside the door. That means when you leave the cabin there is a possibility of forgetting your key; if you do remember to take it, you cannot charge any electronic devices while you are gone b/c there is no electricity generated; I found this to be a really dumb plan on NCL's part. There is an unforgivable lack of pools on-board - one small family pool, a little kids "wet" area, and a small adult pool. Spice H20 makes absolutely no sense - it's a large area in the back of the ship with a cement center surrounded with lounge chairs in the sun; only a couple of umbrellas are around the perimeter; mini waterfalls provide little respite from the heat. It would have made so much more sense to use this space to build a large pool which could have been covered with a floor (as they do on the Oasis during their water spectacular) in the evenings when events are held there. Not to allow an 11 year old to sign himself out of Splash, the kids club, until he had spent two hours there was ridiculous! The elevators were very small and claustrophobic; none of them surrounded the atrium as is the case on RCCL & Princess. Unless we were in port, our cabin never was cleaned before 1:30 PM, something I've never encountered on our cruises. The ship was way too crowded! It is built to accommodate 3969 - 4000 @ 146,600 GT; our cruise had 4800 passengers - 800 too many. NB: RCCL Oasis is built to accommodate 54,000 passengers @ 225,282 GT, a much better ratio; not once did I feel crowded on that ship. It is obvious that NCL built a ship with smaller rooms, smaller elevators, and smaller as well as fewer pools in order to accommodate more people in less space so they could make more money.
Overall, based on our experience, I cannot recommend this cruise ship for anyone but a teenager. Our 11 year old grandson said the online videos were better than the actual cruise. The 5 adults felt very crowded; it was literally "butt to butt" in the pools.