We recently returned from our 7 day cruise to the Western Caribbean on NCL's Spirit out of NO. Upon arriving at the port to board we experienced a long wait in boarding the ship. We arrived around noon and didn't get on the boat till after 2pm. We received a letter during the check-in process stating there had been an above average outbreak of the "stomach bug" on the previous cruise sailing and if we wanted to rebook we could do so. We choose to go ahead and go since we had traveled down from NY and we were meeting up with family. As soon as we stepped on the boat we were greeted by someone wanting to spray our hands with cleaner. (This became a constant site during the entire cruise. If you declined you were given a dirty look by the cruise employee). We went to eat lunch at the buffet and it was all very chaotic!! They ran out of plates and silverware and the food was not very good at all. After eating, we went to our room and the room was not very clean (noticeable crumbs on the shelves, the previous guests hair all over he bathroom, mold/mildew in the bathroom showers and floor). I was disappointed by how dirty the room was and was expecting the boat to look cleaner having been in dry dock in the past few weeks. Guess they didn't focus on cleaning and only updated the tv. The balcony was the smallest I've been on in comparison to other cruise lines. Be sure to bring an adaptor for the wall and a good hair dryer. There is one in the bathroom but it's very OLD. There were shelves that were broken and the toilet stopped flushing the last day we were on board.
Our stateroom attendant (Budhi) went above and beyond and was EXTREMELY friendly and accommodating!!! The wait staff in the dining rooms (windows and shadows dining area) were very slow and not friendly compared to other cruise lines. My husband and I ate at the Italian restaurant one night and the food was amazing!!! Of course you are paying extra for the service and better food. The buffet breakfast was good. The entertainment (singers/dancers/acrobats) were outstanding!!!! It's obvious they pay more for their performers and going to the shows is well worth it. I never saw anyone cleaning the elevators.... Everyone touches the buttons and after having the captain constantly tell us to wash our hands I felt dirty every time I stepped into the elevator. Other cruise lines you see someone constantly cleaning the elevator buttons and handrails.
Roatan was my favorite port of call because of the NCL'S beach getaway. You board a boat and it takes you to a private island that has a pool, beach, pier, and rescue animal center. It was a great place to go with the whole family and lots of shaded areas to sit close to the water. You could rent snorkel equipment and snorkel right off the pier. Lunch was provided with this excursion. Cozumel was another great port. Lots of shopping and wifi at the local Starbucks.
I won't be booking another NCL cruise. Was disappointed with this cruise line. It seemed the employees were very dissatisfied and overworked. I'd rather pay more in the future to get better service, better tasting food, and not be nickeled and dimmed. Plus if an employee is happy with their job you are going to get better service and a cleaner environment.