We cruised on the Spirit last week- my husband and I , our 8 and 10 year old daughters and my MIL. WE have sailed 15 cruises and 5 or 6 different lines. Have even sailed the Spirit the past 2 summers! I was concerned about the norovirus, bedbugs and bad food comments recently, felt like we were going to board the ship of doom. That was not the case at all it turned out. No bedbugs and no norovirus(for us at least). And I think since salt and pepper were on the tables , we served ourselves on the buffet, and the chocoholic buffet was not cancelled, the outbreak is under better control.
Spent 2 nights precruise in NOLA. Got a very good rate on priceline for the Holiday Inn Chateau Lemoine. Great location, but on a quiet street, and hotel was good. It was our first time in NOLA so we spent time walking around, seeing parts of the city. It was however unusually cold.
Embarkation was very easy, on board in by 12:15. Had a very pleasant lunch in Windows.