This was our first cruise so we don't have anything or any other ship to compare this one to.
We arrived at the terminal at 11am. Got our luggage unloaded and parked by 11:15am. Got inside and into waiting area to load the ship by 11:45. They started loading at noon and we were on the ship before 12:30! Pretty quick I thought.
We ate lunch and explored the ship and just thought it was beautiful. It was very clean everywhere. It is easy to navigate and there are plenty of signs to tell you where you are and how to get where you need to go. The pool is a bit small but who really goes on a cruise to swim in a pool anyway right? The Grand Centrum was smaller than we thought it would be but still very nice and it never seemed crowded. Overall we thought the ship was great, no complaints here.
We were in room 10568 on the 10th floor. It is a balcony room and I can't say how glad I am we spent the extra money for a balcony! It was fantastic. It was much larger than I expected. It had 2 twins together that made a king. It had a lounge chair that also made into a hide-a-bed if needed. It had a desk and vanity area. Plenty of closet space. The bathroom was plenty big enough. The balcony area was a little larger than I expected also. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the stateroom. Bed was very firm but that worked well for me because I like a firm bed. The best part about the balcony was leaving the sliding door open at night while we slept. The sound of the ocean at night put me to sleep faster than I can ever go to sleep at home!
The food was wonderful also. We only ate at a pay restaurant once and that was at Cagney's steakhouse. It was an extra $20 per person and well worth it. The steak was cooked perfect for me and my wife. The service was great. I can't even make up anything to complain about here. We always ate breakfast at Raffles(buffet). They make omelets for you however you want and they make waffles for you however you want. Both were great. They also had very good bacon. We usually ate dinner in the Garden Room. It and Windows have the same menu every night. The Garden Room seemed to have better service. Everything I had was good. They had a large variety of different foods and I tried a lot of things I had never eaten and they were all very good, no complaints here either. They had lobster dishes two nights.
The entertainment was hit or miss for me. The cruise director Paul Scally was very good I thought. He seemed to make sure everyone was having a good time. I don't like Broadway type stuff so that part of the entertainment was boring for me. They had the Second City Comedy group on our cruise and they were awesome. They do improv and were always very funny. The magician was was not good in my opinion. He just performed all the basic stuff everyone's seen a million times and he was very arrogant. They had stuff going on every hour of every day. We never got bored. They had parties just about every day. I could have done without so much Bingo but some people like that I guess. Overall I was always entertained every day and I never got bored so I can't complain about this either.
We never received any bad service our entire trip. If I had to pick one area to complain about though it would have to be Windows. We ate there twice and it took longer than it should have both times. The Garden Room has much better service in my opinion. Our room steward was very nice and polite. He greeted us by name every time he saw us and I thought that was a nice touch. Every staff member we came across was very accommodating and did their best to make sure you were happy.
We chose to do the express thing and carry our own luggage off the ship. We were glad we did. It was very easy. We left our room at 8am and were driving out of the terminal parking lot headed home by 8:59am! Way quicker than I ever thought it would have been.
It was an overall great experience for us. We can't complain about anything really. I would go again on the same ship in a heartbeat. I've read some lackluster reviews about NCL and the Spirit but we did not encounter anything that turned us off.