We arrived the day before to be safe. Overnight at the Hilton (nice but pricey, but all NO waterfront is pricy). After dropping luggage we left our car at the Fulton St Garage after an online reservation & payment. Worked great! About a 3 block walk from the ship. $12/night.
Embarkation took about an hour. If you are older, the new upcharged speedy embarkation would be worth it. We just stood in line! The at-home proctored covid test ordered thru NCL was easy and so much better than testing at the pier.
Balcony cabin is my must have. Balcony is small but a great place to read and chill. Bed was comfy, cabin updated and very clean. The bathroom is nice. We asked for a coffeemaker.