This was my sixth cruise and my first NCL cruise. My sister and I had a wonderful time. The embarkation was fast, there was a great selection of food for lunch waiting on us, and the pools were open. The ship was very clean and the layout was easy to navigate.
Getting off the ship and back on was fast and easy. In Nassau we found a couple of geocaches and a letterbox, and left a new letterbox. We shopped at the straw market, came back to the ship for lunch, and visited Nassau again in the afternoon.
The private island experience was great - I always enjoy a private island because it's a great time to snorkel and just relax, food is provided, and there are no hidden costs. There was a small straw market on the island for anyone who cared to shop. The cookout was plentiful and very tasty.
My sister and I were watching our weight, having lost a few pounds prior to the sail date, and believe it or not, I came back weighing the same thing as when I left. That's never happened before. We ate all of our meals in the dining room (except for the embarkation lunch and one breakfast when we slept a little late.) The dining room has wonderful choices, beautiful presentation of the food, and moderate portions. You can always ask for more, and a couple of times I had two different appetizers. My goal was to never say to myself, "Oh no, I've eaten so much I'm miserable!" ... and I never did. I had lobster, steak, cheesecake, escargot, shrimp, omelet, muffins, etc. etc. just not all at once! Every single thing I ate was very very good. We very much enjoyed the free style dining that NCL offers. We never had to wait, always had a table with an ocean view, and thoroughly enjoyed the quieter pace so that we could talk over our day.
All of the staff were friendly, helpful, and ready to serve. Our room steward remembered our names and often greeted us with a "I hope you enjoy the island today" or something similar.
A note about the automatic tipping. I didn't think I would like it, but I really did. The suggested tip for this particular cruise was $12/day. Having the $36 added to my room card was so much easier than trying to make change for a bunch of envelopes. It's my understanding that if you are displeased with the service, you can have the automatic tip adjusted, so you certainly have the final say, but I felt the service we received deserved the tip.
The disembarkation was the easiest and fastest I've ever experienced. We decided to choose the "yellow tag" for our luggage which was the last group off, since we were not in a hurry. There was never a crowd or line. When our tag color was announced we walked right off, found our luggage very easily, and were through customs in about two minutes.
For anyone taking a cruise from Miami, if you go the night before and need a good place to stay, try the La Quinta Airport East. Not only do they have a free shuttle from the airport and a good continental breakfast, but also a free shuttle to the port of Miami.
I would certainly recommend NCL to others!