I see a few other reviews about this sailing, and I just wanted to add my comments too. If anyone had anything (major)negative to say about this ship or sailing, I would wonder if they were on the same ship I was on. This was my 7th cruise (NCL, Royal, Carnival) and I thought everything was stellar. We arrived at the port at 10:00 a.m., having stayed in NOLA overnight. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown (on Carondolet Street) and I highly recommend it. We paid $90 for a Saturday night, and it's about a 3 block walk from Bourbon Street. Very nice room, very nice hotel. Anyway, we were let into the port terminal right away and given a number as well as a place to sit while we waited. There were snacks for purchase. The check in process started promptly at 11:00 and was handled very well. We waited in line less than 5 minutes to check in, get our photos taken, etc. Then we were allowed on the ship at about noon, but as others have said, you can't get into your cabin until 2:00. More
Starting at noon there was free juice and snacks, too in the port waiting area. One of the great things about the port of NO is that you can get back off the ship and go shopping at the huge "Riverwalk Mall" that's right next to the pier, which we did. We got back on board at 4:00 and were subjected to the usual lifejacket drill at 4:30. Our luggage was already at the room by 4:30.
I won't go back over what others have said, except BRING BUG SPRAY on this itinerary! You will need it! We did not have any trouble with sand fleas on Roatan, even though we snorkeled there. The big problems were in the jungles, especially in Guatemala (Santo Tomas). For others that have cruised on NCL before, one thing we found different on this ship was that on some NCL ships, you can make your dinner reservations for the entire week on your first day onboard. Not so on the Spirit. You can only make reservations the day before, or day of, the reservation. Also, they have phased out the "1/2 off" in the specialty restaurants completely. The chocolate buffet was mid-afternoon. Other ships it's in the late evening. The quality of the buffet on this ship seemed better than the last NCL ship we were on (Jewel Dec. 2006). One other comment in case someone doesn't know it, you can get eggs cooked however you like them at the omelet station. Doesn't have to be omelets. My husband had "over easy" all week. The waffle station was sort of tucked around a corner, but never a long line and excellent waffles! We thought that, although the main show entertainment nightly was good, it was not up to par with other NCL ships we've been on. We had gorgeous weather and smooth seas all week. The service everywhere was excellent, from the front desk staff to the housekeeping staff, to the medical center (long story). Everyone was trying to make sure we had a great time, and we did! Less