This was our very 1st cruise so we were not sure what to expect. I admit to having very high expectations and have driven my husband crazy in the past by insisting that we leave a hotel or restaurant, etc.. if I did not like it.
Embarkation was a piece of cake-we arrived at the port around 12:45 and were in our cabin by 1:30. Our luggage was delivered just a couple of hours later. We had a balcony room, which we really enjoyed. It was directly under the Galaxy of the Stars so was a bit noisy between 10 pm and midnight but we are night owls so it did not bother us. Our cabin was in decent shape; there were signs of some minor problems, such as some rust on the balcony, a small rip in the sheets one night, and missing caulk in a few places in the shower stall. But the cabin felt clean and our stewards were awesome! They were both friendly and always smiling. We always had fresh towels and a clean bathroom. Once on board, I asked for a refrigerator, which was promptly brought to our room.
The Spirit was pretty easy to get around. The public spaces were in tip-top shape. The photographers were a bit annoying but we just said no and they left us alone. The shows we saw were ok: the broadway review and Elements. We are not much into gambling; even if we had been, the Casino was SOOOO smoky that I wouldn't have stayed long (that was our major complaint about the trip). We enjoyed spending time in Champagne Charlies and the english pub (can't think of the name right now). There was a man playing acoustic guitar several nights in these bars that we really liked.
Lots of variety for breakfast and the food was pretty good. We enjoyed filling up our plates and then eating poolside in the mornings. Nice and quiet! We ate one night at Le Bistro, one night at Cagney's, and one night at La Tratorria. The rest of the nights we ate in Windows, except for one evening in the Garden room. The food was usually very nicely presented and tasted pretty good. Not the best food I've ever tasted but certainly better than most chain restaurants. We were worried about service since the Daily Service Charge covered the tips for the waitstaff but each waiter/waitress was polite and we were served our courses promptly and efficiently, even when we did not order wine or some other form of alcohol to drink. We did have one minor problem in the Blue Lagoon; my husband ordered a beer which was brought promptly but I ordered iced tea and our waitress made a face and sighed. She obviously did not like the idea of bringing me a drink that was "free" and did not have an automatic tip attached to it.
We enjoyed spending time outside on Decks 12, 7 and 13 on sea days; we could always find quiet spaces if we wanted. The waitstaff on decks 12 and 13 were great about bringing drinks; they were not at all pushy but always seemed to know when we were ready for more. We also liked the Internet access in the library and just sitting and relaxing in the Galaxy of the Stars.
I had my nails filled and a manicure done at the spa and was not especially impressed with the service; it was not up to the standards I am used to at home. We did not try any of the other spa services so cant say if this was just a one-time thing or if the spa services are usually so disappointing.
Overall, a very enjoyable vacation! We would definitely cruise with NCL again and would love to someday be on the Spirit again!