This was my second TransAtlantic, first being on the QE2 (with a return on the Concorde :) ) about 20 years ago. It is not my preferred sailing itinerary, but my husband really likes the sea days. This was my 4th time on this cruiseship, with most recent, in March 2010 to South America. Other two times were to Alaska. Overall was cruise #67 for me, I'm Platinum with NCL.
We were in the UK for 2 weeks prior to sailing, split between London and Glasgow. Stayed the night prior at the Premire Inn in Dover, after taking National Express Bus on one of their bargain runs from London at about $20 for both of us. The morning of the cruise, I easily rolled a suitcase to the laundry mat and had all clean clothes for the cruise. :)
Embarkment was simple as, I didn't bother until about 1:30pm. The lobby of the hotel was lined up real early with people waiting.
The ship is a nice size and easy to get around. Staff was consistently friendly and helpful. Our room stewards were excellent, as always for our inside cabin.
We ate in the main dining room, buffet, Pacific Heights, Sports Bar, Italian and Le Bistro. There were enough choices to find something likable. Food is not my priority, price is. This cruise was a bargain give away, so any "food" complaint, I don't find too valid. All lines, after taking 4 cruises this year on three lines, have cut back, bottom fact.
The only port was Lisbon, which I had a wonderful independent walking tour, set up by a Roll Call poster. It was excellent and loaded with history. The other port was skipped due to rerouting due to Hurricane Otto. There were a few days of rough sailing- I wished there were more, as it tells me, I'm on a ship. :)
I admit, I am bored silly on sea days, so I spent a good deal of time reading and doing puzzles. There was a movie every day in a lounge which was limited in seating space. The shows were good, some great. Not too much going on during the daytime, that could have had more offerings, perhaps.
Never any waits for the main dining room at breakfast or dinner. Service was excellent.
Disembarkment was highly criticized, BUT this sailing required ALL guests to report to Customs on the ship, at scheduled times, which they did not. Repeated announcements had to be made. It WAS the best option having it done on the ship, as it avoided, having to haul luggage around and line waiting, which people did not seem to realize. People also did not seem to realize, these are features of today's travel, lines. :)
We had prebooked with Cruise Express for the transfer to MCO. Very efficient and excellent value at $20pp.
Overall another very good cruise for the two of us.