We arrived in Barcelona a few days earlier and enjoyed the city. I highly recommend that to others. We stayed in the Old Town in an apartment rental. On Sunday we left for the port and dragged our luggage two blocks to a bus that took us the rest of the way (for a charge of course). Check in for us was approximately 10:45 am. No one in line (any line). We were checked in after 5-10 minutes and had to wait until 11 am to board. At 11 we boarded. Fastest and most efficient boarding I've experienced.
The ship is big, clean, nice, and easy to navigate. We were in a mini suite cabin on the 11th deck aft. It too, was nice, clean, spacious and perfect for two. There was more storage than anyone can imagine. The room had a frig full of extras that we quickly emptied out for our own stuff. We brought soda - in plain sight - and no one cared.
The food in the buffet was excellent for what is expected on this level of cruise. And I mean "excellent". It was always fresh made, hot and tasted good. Naturally, after seven days I got tired of it and wished they had more changes to the menu. The food in the main dining rooms was also excellent. The staff and service was great. We had nothing but great meals and service for the week.
So, here are my NCL critiques:
1) Too few TV channels for those moments spent relaxing. Even infomercials of other NCL cruises would have been welcomed. There was no American channel (sports or news) and I couldn't follow the world series.
2) Why only movies at midnight?
3) Coffee. Coffee was very hit or miss. A few mornings it was great (strong) and many mornings it was watery. Once it was luke warm to cold.
Here are some trip critiques (not NCL):
1) The Florence shuttle bus from the port went to the bus station and not to the train station. Why?? We had to get off and buy a bus ticket to go another 15 blocks to the train station.
2) The Roma Express train was great and recommended! However, on the Rome trip there were dozens of people selling HOHO Bus tickets and they provided lots of helpful information. On the return trip there was no one. Hundreds of passengers had no idea if we were on the correct train (except for a small 8x11 paper) that said Rome Express Train). The other criticism is that many people still had to stand, despite ads saying that everyone would get a seat.
3) Time in port for all stops was very short considering the 1-1.5 hours each way transport. Don't plan too much for yourself.