We decided on Jan. 3 that we wanted to go on a cruise out of New Orleans on the Norwegian Spirit. The salesperson at NCL told us there were only 4 cabins available and there was no guarantee of where we would be. We had an inside cabin (our request) that was in a great location on the ship. The cabin, however, had a big pole between the beds so they could not be put together. That was the only downside of a great vacation. Our goal had been to relax and we accomplished that. We had been to all but Costa Maya before so we did not feel obligated to see or do anything in particular.
We have been on several cruises. The Spirit is one of the most beautiful ships we have been on. It is not one of the huge ships and that appealed to us. The food ranged from excellent to just okay. It really depends on what you order. Don't miss the bread pudding on the evening menu or the strawberry shortcake at lunch in Windows. The New York steak on the menu tended to be pretty tough even when medium rare. No one was in danger of starving. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants since we figured we could spend that money on shore. The service in Windows was very good, not so good in the Garden Room, the one night we tried it.
We didn't book excursions with the ship, choosing to find what was available after we docked.
The entertainment on the Spirit was great. Our favorites were Emily and Arvin a duo you can check out on youtube and the comedian, David Naster. Other reviews have mentioned the smoke in the casino. I didn't find it to be as bad as some people said and since I ended up $400, I wasn't complaining.
There was no doubt that we got our money's worth on this cruise. New Orleans is a great port city, especially since the ship docks within walking distance of the French Quarter. There is a cable car that runs from Julia St. to the quarter if you don't want to walk.