We were new to NCL (always Princess in the past) and in comparison, we liked our other cruises better.
We began our trip the day before in Long Beach. We stayed at the Renaissance, which was lovely. The area around there is great for dining and shopping. It is also a quick cab ride to the cruise port.
Getting on board was not as smooth as past experiences, although it wasn't horrible. The ship was very nice and clean. Our rooms where not ready, and we decided to hit the buffet, something we would not have hesitated to do on Princess. The buffet was horrible. I never ate there again-except for one morning when we were late for an excursion, but then I opted for yogurt and cereal-all pre-packaged.
Food for the most part lacked. Even the specialty restaurants, except for Cagney's, which was well worth the additional $$. Drinks were highly priced, $9.75 for the daily special was ridiculous. We choose for the most part to do our drinking in port.
Itinerary was nice, I have a special friend in Acapulco for a city tour. $90 for the two of us for all day. He was wonderful and well worth the $$.
Cabo was our favorite port. Whale watching on a zodiac boat is not to be missed!
Disembarkation-a total nightmare! Long lines and no organization.
All in all, we would probably choose another line before NCL again. But, we did get an excellent price, so in perspective, it is all relative.