This was our first cruise together however we have both cruised separately with other lines. We are a couple in our 20's from the UK and were a bit apprehensive of what the average age on board would be however we were pleasantly surprised by the mix of guests.
First off, embarkation went pretty smoothly. We arrived at Miami around 11:30 and were on board by 12:30 having just a short wait to get through security (we were in boarding group 12). Our first impressions on board were positive - the ship was pretty and clean and the staff were welcoming. It didn't take long to familiarise ourselves with the layout of the ship however we did think there seemed to be a lack of outside space.
We went to the Garden Cafe for lunch on embarkation day which was already incredibly busy, as was the pool. This was a good indication of what was to come as the main pool was very overcrowded for the entire cruise. We actually ended up avoiding it. As others have said, if you are not up at the crack of dawn to reserve a bed, forget finding one. There is supposedly a policy to stop people from reserving beds however we never saw this enforced. Luckily, we had booked a large balcony stateroom which had beds on the balcony. We spent quite a lot of time there and were so pleased we had this as an option.
We felt the cabin was well designed with plenty of storage space. The bathroom was bigger than we expected. The bed was comfortable and our room steward was very efficient. We would definitely recommend the large balcony as we had sun loungers outside which really made a difference for us. Relaxing out there on the sea days kind of made the cruise for us.
We took a 2 hour island tour independently which worked our far cheaper than the tour NCL were offering. It's easy to do this - you can pick one up virtually as soon as you get off the ship in the market area. It's perfectly safe and you are with a group of people. We got to see the main sights on the island and generally enjoyed the experience, however weren't blown away by the scenery or beaches.
We took an island tour in Tortola as well which was very similar to the tour in St. Thomas. Some of the roads are in pretty bad shape so it was a bit of a stressful drive up the mountains to the viewpoints. Unfortunately we had pretty bad weather on this day so the visibility wasn't great. We stopped at the rum distillery (which was literally just a room selling rum) and went to one of the beaches for half an hour. It was fine but nothing special.
As mentioned above, the tender process ruined this whole day for us. There didn't seem to be a whole lot to do and the lines for everything were super long.