I have cruised every major line over the past 30 years. Next week is my 57th cruise.
In answer to your questions:
Ship cabins are like airline seats. All of them are small unless you want to pay extra for a larger one.
Crew are as friendly as you are.Since the bulk of their income depends on it, the incentive is strong.
Most ships have long queues for boarding and shore excursions.
NCL has not been famous for their food for quite some time, but as mass market lines go, they are about average.
All mass market cruise lines have extra charges. They all copy each other to stay competitive. NCL charges the same as Carnival, RCI, and Princess.
All modern ships have stabilizers and all of them roll just about the same. Larger ones less, smaller ones more. If you have never cruised on the ocean, you may like to try a beginner cruise on a lake called the Caribbean.
Nearly every ship seems to have odd internal achitecture in one area or another. Try to tour the QE2 for a good example. Its a nightmare. The cruise lines go to great lengths to make ships appear to be floating resorts.
If this ship was really so awful, why is it still sailing? Why would anyone cruise on it?
My advice; do your homework. Go to the other chat rooms and check out the reviews from previous passengers.A good starting point is www.cruisecritic.com
One thing to remember: You usually get what you pay for. If its really cheap, thats what you are going to get. Something for nothing is a pipedream.
[This message was edited by BruceMuzz on August 31, 2002 at 04:35 PM.]