After reading other reviews (before and after our Feb. 19-26 voyage), I'm baffled by other comments than seem to rave. Are NCL execs placing them? Our experience was OK, not bad but not good enough to cruise with NCL again.
The food was OK but nothing special. Most seems to have been brought on and heated, rather than cooked on-board. One meal at Garden was so bad we left after a few bites for the buffet (which consistently seemed to have the most and best-tasting offerings, but deserts were generally bad).
The nickel-and-diming was expected, but everything seems to cost extra -- the "better" restaurants, on-board tours (i.e. "behind-the-scenes" visit, which were free on Carnival during our cruise several years ago). Free drinks are limited to ice tea, water and milk. A beer cost us $8 (but was a large Fosters).
We booked some great excursions on our own -- at 40 percent less than the IDENTICAL tours offered by NCL. On-board, there was little to do except but read years-old, throwaway books and play bingo (at $30). Entertainment varied, from a dreadful magician to a semi-good variety show (a step about a well-produced high school play, but certainly not as good as what we experienced on other cruise lines.
We found it strange that crew members were painting where passengers were sitting, subjecting them to foul odors. At least we were able to find chairs, which we couldn't on other days.
Our biggest disappointment was not being able to visit Roatan because of "bad weather) -- despite two other ships being able to disembark. The captain offered no apologies, citing "your safety is our biggest concern." Yet on our last day, seas were very choppy and winds gusts of 40 mph left many passengers barely able to walk 9and many sea-sick...but NCL still found it appropriate to open the bars so folks could pay top dollar to get drunk. Didn't safety didn't apply then?
Overall, we had a nice time because of us, not NCL. But value wise, we found other lines offer more for the same $ (or even less). This was our second NCL cruise, and likely our last. If we do book on NCL again, it definitely will NOT be on the Spirit.