We debated whether or not we would enjoy the transatlantic on such a large ship, but this is our 9th cruise, second transatlantic and we wanted to give it a try, we are very seasoned travelers and always have a good time no matter where in the world we go.
We flew into FLL the night before, arrived late due to a delay in one of our flights, so we had planned on staying close, Holiday Inn Express, Dania Beach, new hotel, excellent stay, and used Jiffy Jeff Transportation, they were on time, reasonable, nice van and great service.
Embarkation was quick, easy, staff was pleasant, Norwegian has one of the best systems of getting on and off the ship. This ship is very different from other ships we have sailed on, but we would travel on her again. It is a large ship, wide, almost a hotel type layout, you could almost feel you were in a Las Vegas Hotel. It was clean, easy to get around, and enjoyed the change in other ships with large atriums. So many choices in entertainment, there is no way you can even compare this ship and line with any other cruise lines. It was excellent. Loved the shows, The Jazz Club, there is something to do for everyone, the variety is endless.
The food, for the first time we thought we would try the pay restaurants since it was transatlantic with only one port stop. It was excellent, all of them, we tried every one, of course they are all different, some of course a different atmosphere, but all very good. We usually are fine with the included dining on all of our other cruise, but we were spoiled this cruise, not sure if we can not do this dining from now on.
Service and Staff, beyond excellent this trip, positive, happy, seemed to be enjoying their job, lines minimal not one complaint. This really makes a difference in any vacation, politeness and a smile.
Our stateroom, again we decided to upgrade to a mini suite this cruise, because of the price and lots of sea days. It was the spa mini suite. It was very nice, loved being close to the spa, thought I would use it more, but lots to do and keep busy with. We had some cool weather and a couple of sea days that the waves kicked up and it packed the spa. Our cabin steward was quiet, there was always polite, always ice and the room made up. If we needed anything extra, he was happy to bring it. He was not one of our best, but he was fine. Tipped him extra, know he works hard, they all do, and want them to know we recognize their efforts.
Our day in Madera was spectacular, we walked, felt great, then on the Hop on Hop off bus and spent the afternoon around the city. One thing that was different from our last transatlantic with the larger ship, we were not as anxious to get off the boat for the day at our first and only port of call, that says a lot.
Disembarkation in Barcelona again easy. We took our own bag off, so had a cup of coffee in the room and then headed out, customs was quick.
We have spent several days multiple times in Barcelona, so decided to take the fast train south to Valencia, it was fantastic. Do yourself a favor and see this city on one of your adventures it was a treat.
One thing I can add is there is multiple opinions about this ship. We loved it and would travel again on her. The bathrooms did not bother us at all, but, could see where it could for some people that needed their own privacy. The bed, little shorter then our king, but fine. It is a different type of ship but we enjoyed it as much as any of our others. It was a great experience, would have enjoyed a little warmer weather, and less winds, but the ship, staff and all it had to offer made up for it all.