This was the largest ship we have ever cruised with and we did find it crowded at times. Some evenings there were queues for the main dining rooms and also we had difficulty finding seats in the buffet (Raffles) at breakfast on some days. Overall, we really enjoyed the cruise but would not choose one with 4 sea days out of 8 again as we did get bored with the 4 sea days, despite joining in with numerous activities on board. We found the staff really helpful, enjoyed the entertainment, restaurants and pool. The reception staff were rather aloof but we found everyone else to very friendly. During the ports, we did not take any excursions but took the shuttle bus to the centre of the town and enjoyed exploring. We particularly enjoyed Funchal in Madeira and went on the cable car ride to Monte and watched the toboggan rides although did not participate. We had a photograph taken by the local photographer whilst on the cable car which we bought for E10 which was a fair price to include a dvd showing the ride.
The last port of call was Malaga in Spain. We left the port and headed for a land train which took us to the town centre.There was also a service bus doing the same route. Lots of high class shops and lovely gardens and historic buildings.
We did find the $12 per person per day tips to be excessive and doing the sums I would question if this does actually go to the staff and does not go into NCL's profits. Previous experience with P & O is only Â£3.50 per day, which is a far more acceptable figure.