Let me start off with my thoughts that there are no bad cruises, just ones we liked more then others. Our last cruise was on NCL, the Spirit out of NOLA. We sailed over the Thanksgiving holiday. I will say it was the first sailing for this ship and crew from this port. It had just come from NY.Embarkation was easy enough. We did have to make a loop around the terminal once as we didn't follow instructions, but once back, we easily unpacked and were in line about 1 1/2 hours before the official embarkation time. It took about 30 mins from entering the line to getting on the ship. It does help to be a previous passenger in the process and the folks that weren't did express some frustration in their lines.
The ship was very nice. Toned down with woods and tasteful Asian decorations throughout. We had a great room that was an interior cabin all by itself on deck 10 (10611 -- this was the only way to get a quad on this ship). This was an odd shaped cabin and we had chosen it specifically because of that. It gave us plenty of room for my two teens and the two of us.
Shopping on the ship was OK. There really wasn't much to choose from, but it wasn't top on my list of things to do.
There were never issues with getting deck chairs anywhere on the pool deck. Bar service was plentiful and pleasant.
The entertainment was good. Joel Sonja' and his band was very good and other dance reviews and comedians were good too. We especially liked the young casino host. He entertained my daughter as she was allowed to gamble at 18 for the first time. Andrew, from Canada.
The food was edible and plenty, but the deserts were awful. There were only two that we liked, besides the ice cream which was only served during meal services in the buffet. We only ate in the dining room twice as it is annoying to have to wait for a table or take the time to make a reservation to be sure not to wait. When we did eat in there, we had to wait up to 20 minutes between a course and there was no personal service. Our group was disappointed with the food all the way around. It was mostly bland, or too much of the same. There were some meal times that it was hard to find something we liked. They were consistently out of milk, edible ketchup (some sort of red stuff was offered, but it wasn't ketchup), cups and the omelet lines in the mornings were ridiculous (though that seems to be the case on mass market cruise lines). The way that this ship set up the buffet also made it a bit crazy when trying to move thru the various lines. None of us went hungry, but it was a disappointment for this trip. We were happy to pay $120.00 in Cozumel to have a change in our meal.
Additionally, cabin service was the bare minimum, and my room was never vacuumed the entire trip. The coffee was not replaced, but beds were made and the room was generally straightened up. We received towels as needed and our shower was clean. We loved the glass door on the shower. I will hate to go back to a shower curtain.
The itinerary was exotic and our main reason for choosing this ship and line. Stops at Belize, Roaton, Guatemala and Cozumel. Absolutely love Guatemala! Shopping, rain forests, people and the rivers. It was our favorite stop.
Disembarkation was the typical hurry up and wait, but who's really happy to be done with vacation? We were not pushed out of our rooms and we had plenty of time to get breakfast and coffee in the morning.
We would still sail on NCL again as our first trip with this cruise line was about the same with the exception of the cabin service. Our first trip we were treated to wonderful cabin service. It's just not on the top of our list.