OK - step one - TOTALLY ignore all the bad reviews you've probably read. Some people just aren't right for cruises - and some people just have bad weeks, which they would have had they been at home anyway!
I'm not suggesting everything's perfect, but....for example, NCL have a buffet option during the day; it's enormous, and if you can't find something good - from roasts to indian to chinese to light bites to salads to fish to fresh fruit to grills to pizzas to pasta to....you get the picture! And the quality is usually the better side of average.
The main dining rooms are of a mid-range hotel type, and the "pay extra" eating options, such as teppenyaki, chinese, brazilian are worth every penny extra!!!
The crew are amazing - genuine smiles from them all, all day. Cabin stewards were great (thanks Melsan) and from officers to waiting staff, no one could do enough for you.
The Shows - which I didn't expect to like - were excellent (apart from the magician), the activities varied and welcoming - don't forget everyone on board is out to have a good time in their own way - and the drinks, although expensive, weren't stupid. (Beer was cheaper than a night out in Dublin!!)
The ship was very clean, very comfortable, and very smooth - even rough seas were just like very mild turbulence in a plane, and didn't even affect our appetites.
The best moment? Waking up before dawn and seeing Funchal all lit up, a few hundred yards away - no photo will ever compare with that. And the lights of Gibraltar as we passed in the early hours - some things are worth waking up for.
I thoroughly recommend NCL - easy going as you want, formal if you wish. The only thing I didn't like - and there's no way round it - is the feeling of passing basically passing through Customs every time you re-board the ship. Comes with the territory, I guess!
The cabin was good - a balcony for us - with adequate space, good storage, good if snug shower room/toilet, VERY comfy beds and if I say the worst point was the ancient CRT TV you'll get the message - don't expect the Ritz and you'll be quite happy.
If you've got a question you haven't seen answered anywhere else, drop me a mail.