We have sailed 9 times. This is our 7th cruise with NCL. First time on the Spirit. We are in our late 30's no children. We booked through NCL and did choose the pre-cruise option in New Orleans the day before boarding. We stayed at the Marriott on Canal. You can see the ship from the Hotel.
Embarkation- We had spent the day before in New Orleans. We casually made our way to the boat. We walked right through with a little wait at the security X-ray check point.
Food: I am a vegetarian so my comments will not consider any of the meat, steak, or chicken choices that were offered. We enjoyed the food very much. We mostly ate at Raffles (buffet style). Breakfast had tons of choices. Bagels, breads, smoked salmon, capers, meat, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal, grits, eggs, fresh fruit, etc... The Indian food options were excellent. When we did eat in the main dining room we ate early to avoid any lines.
We did one night at the Japanese restaurant. The food was abundant, tasty, and the show is good too. The Blue Lagoon had food 24 hours a day. You must try the Won Ton soup!!
Staff: Everyone said hello, from senior staff to the person stacking the deck chairs. Our cabin steward greeted us by our name on the second day of the cruise and every day after that. Even when we were nowhere near our room, if he saw us he always shouted hello. We had three towel animals during the cruise (Rabbit, puppy, and elephant).
Cleanliness: They were always cleaning or scrubbing something. It seemed like our deck was cleaned two or three times.
Debarkation: Our scheduled time to leave the ship was 9:15 am. By 10:00 am we were at the airport. By 1:30 pm we were back home in Chicago.
After 9 cruises this was absolutely the most efficient disembarking we experienced.
My goal for this cruise was to relax and do nothing. We did not go any shore excursions. We really enjoyed roaming around the ship, eating, and sitting in the sun. Even on the sea days there were always chairs available somewhere on the ship.
We are very happy with the cruise and would consider NCL again.