My husband and I just returned from sailing on the NCL Spirit 12/23-12//30. This was my 9th cruise (my husband and I are both 29 yrs old) and my husband's 1st cruise. I have previously sailed with Royal Caribbean and Carnival.
What we liked about the cruise: Roatan-- we took a cab to a beach resort--so nice, so fun!, Mayan Ruins in Belize, Beach Party in Cozumel, Carlos and Charlies in Cozumel, cabin steward was very nice, easy to get on the ship in New Orleans, weather was great
Before Cruise: itinerary was changed after we booked (due to hurricanes...completely not NCL's fault)...couple days before the cruise we got an email that one of our ports were cancelled because a few of the engines broke and we would have to cruise at slower speeds (we were given 50.00 per person credit)
Food: was terrible!!! we tried many different setting (buffet, room service, main dining rooms, pay extra speciality restaurants). ice cream was always melted on top deck (the crew served it by hand), menus in main dining rooms were dirty and paper was old and wrinkled, poor variety... I felt the extra pay restaurants food was good...but everything else was bad...this is the first cruise that I did not over eat!
I didn't like the free style dining...it made me realize I like sitting with same people, getting to know the waiter, dining room entertainment (NCL did not have)...also, the dining room would be empty and the hostess would sit my husband and I very close to another table...which was very awkward because you were in each other's conversations..
Service: some good (cabin steward) some not good...one day at sea, the only table I could find to sit at at piles of someone else's breakfast dishes on it...my husband and I sat down hoping one the staff would clear it...an hour later I finally asked a girl if she could clear it...she was aggravated and took a couple of the dishes away and left the rest...tables not being cleared happened often
Cabin: good size-- we had a window....only complaint-- chair had stains all over which was pretty gross...
Entertainment- ok...I feel they did not cater to 50 and under... I cruised in June on Carnival Conquest (GREAT!!!!) and they had a piano bar that was so much fun!!! the Spirit had elevator music type bands...they singers were good, but boring...
Overall-- I hate to be negative, because generally I am pretty happy go lucky...My husband and I had a nice vacation because we got to spend time together...He wasn't as disappointed because this was his first cruise and he had nothing to compare it to....I kept my mouth shut during the cruise because I didn't want to ruin in for him....However, the experience made me realize how great my other cruises were....I had high expectations for Norwegian and unfortunately will probably not cruise again with the company. On a tender I casually asked an older lady (60) how she was liking the cruise....her response to me (without me saying anything positive or negative about my experience) was that she has sailed Norwegian before and has had wonderful experiences...however, she thought the Spirt's food and service (she also brought up the staff not clearing tables) was not good...she was disappointed...