You are totally right about the 'disclaimer' Cecelia!
As I found out in my case, the small print on my cruise basically said that NCL could cancel the cruise at any time, for any reason, and despite any inconvenience or expense that might cause me to incur, they owed me nothing except a refund of my original fare (and no gaurentee of how soon I'd get that refund.)
I am under the impression that most cruiselines have similar small print in their agreements as a fallback position, however most cruise lines, from what I have seen, do not actually stick rigidly to this position because they do want to keep some of their customers, if possible.
In my opinion NCL has shown in several situations a real disregard for customer satisfaction and a lack of concern about alienating customers.
Perhaps they feel that there are so many potential cruise customers out there that they can afford to 'use them up and throw them away' (unlike their crew), perhaps they believe the old saying 'There's a sucker born every minute' so they are not concerned if a few get away.
Whether or not this will work for them, I think only time will tell. I would like to think that a company could not stay in business long, operating in this shabby manner but, judging from some of the responses of the 'any day cruising is better than a day at work' and '2 hours on hold is not unreasonable' type I have seen here, it is just possible that they might get away with it.