Just got back from NCL's spirit's 10 day southern Carib. This was one of the worst cruises we've taken (This was #39). We weren't fond of NCL but wanted to go back to the ports and liked leaving from Miami.
The freestyle on this ship was awful. We had to wait 45-25 minutes, standing in the hall, or sitting on the steps, for a table at 8:15 or 8:30. (we were told its less crowded then!). Both dining rooms were the same. When a table leaves the dining room they were in NO hurry to make table up for next guests. The food was not great and neither was the choice of food. Raffles, the buffet, wasn't any better. Tried Raffles 1st night. At 8:30, my husband got the very LAST of the roast beef they were craving. I was told they had no more - but Raffles was open until 9:30. Breakfast here was the same EVERY day.
Our cabin was never made up before 11:30 AM because our stewardess had 30 cabins to make up! The Towels were thread bare, you could almost see through them! There are no lounges. The Galaxie Showroom had music but then games, etc. There was no place to go and just listen to music or dance. The disco was open, for dancing but had Kareoki from 9 to 11. The shows we saw weren't very good. They announced that if you were good at the passenger talent show, you could get a contract to perform with the ship! No one we saw would have made it to American Idol!
If you bought any booze on board or in port, you had to go to the Brig room the last morning and get it yourself. We like to pack it in our carryon, the last night, when we're packing checked luggage so we know if everything will fit in the carryon. I brought ONE bottle of wine on board. It was taken out of our carryon and we were told there was a $20 corkage fee because there were two of us! I told them I was the only one who drinks wine. Our $8.00 bottle was costing us $28! She said she had to charge us that. I saw the assistant bar manager on board and told him this. He asked how many bottles we brought and I said 1. He then adjusted it for one $10 corkage fee. And there must have been about 50+ people who were bringing booze on in their checked luggage. They label your suitcase and don't deliver it to your room. Learned they leave you a notice to come get it. then make you open it and give NCL the booze- which you get back the last morning in the Brig!
Getting off the ship was just terrible. We bobbed outside Miami, it was 8AM and there was Miami on the close horizon. But docked at 11:30. Everyone was just sitting around the pool with absolutely nothing to do but wait. We were the 2nd luggage tag called at 1:30. Then we stood in line waiting to get off the ship. Found our luggage right away and it was 2:30 when we got in our cab! We are used to getting off the ship by 10 and driving back to NC the same day.
If it hadn't taken so long to disembark, we probably would have made it home. But had to find a motel that night! We were lucky as we don't park at the port. (We paid $5 a day, not $12!!!) The ship left from one pier (3 or 10) and came in to another (10 or 3). A 1/2 mile from each other. So, everyone who did park at the port was being bussed, with their luggage, back to the pier we left from. And you had to wait for your tag to be called so some people had a LONG wait to get the bus! Now for the few good things. Getting on board was a breeze, one of the best we've done. Every room has a coffee pot so you can make your own coffee or tea in your cabin. The ship itself is very nice, kept very clean. Then a week or so before sailing, the price of our cabin dropped $320 (for 2). Carnival, RCCL, Etc. will honor this and give you a ship board credit, upgrade, or credit back. But NCL won't even move you up a category. This was our 4th and LAST NCL! We're sticking with RCCL & Princess!