We embarked in Malaga 2 days ahead of the main embarkation in Barcelona. We flew in with Ryan Air from Liverpool and arrived in Malaga at 11.15 am. We took a taxi to the port which cost 24 euros and we were at the port by 11.40 pm.
We dropped our suitcases off outside and were given our stateroom number. As we had booked last minute we were guaranteed an inside cabin and that was all we knew! We then made our way to check in and were the only ones waiting to do so.
We were checked in, usual welcome on board photo taken and on board by noon.
As this wasn't the main embarkation port, we felt a little let down that there was no welcome committee so to speak that you usually get and which happened 2 days later for the majority who boarded in Barcelona, as this is the main start to the holiday...first impressions.
We quickly got our bearings found our cabin to find we had been upgraded to a porthole window..the cabin was adequate, clean and functional our suitcases were delivered by 1 pm.
We had the muster drill in the theater which was painless.
Food and service in the Garden restaurant was excellent. As we did anytime dining we didn't have the same waiter once but the standard we received was consistently good.
We tried Windows for breakfast on one occasion but had to wait over an hour for our food so never went back but the staff were very friendly.
The Bistro - not so good. The service was slow with no atmosphere. We waited over 40 minutes for our order to be taken and then a further 40 minutes for our starters to arrive. My husband who never complains had a really bad meal. We didn't bother with desserts as we were totally fed up by now and just wanted to leave. The manager promised to refund the cover charge as a goodwill gesture but we were still charged.
Cagney's - good but not amazing. We felt a bit rushed as we had booked at 7 pm by 7.45 pm we had left having had 3 courses in less than an hour.
Tappanyaki - starter and dessert disappointing but the main course was lovely and of course the added attraction of the chef cooking it for you was good although not sure if it warrants the larger cover charge.
We only used the buffet restaurant now and again as it was always crowded with no where to sit unless you went out onto the back of the ship which would've been fine if it wasn't blowing a gale.
The Blue Lagoon - good for munchies after the nightclub. The chicken wings were excellent. Also had fish and chips here during the day which were also very good.
We found all the staff who served us in the bars to be friendly and efficient. A big shout out to Alfredo who works in the Beer Garden during the day and the Galaxy of the Stars at night. Go find him...he's such a joy and a credit to NCL. Also Philly in the night club, bless her she must have one of the hardest jobs on board dealing with the "rowdy ones" until silly o clock each morning. the staff in the champagne bar were excellent too.
The entertainment staff were very good. They even managed to get my husband up for dancing like a Norwegian which was brilliant fun for me, he's still in hiding now ;)
The pool was closed for 5 days whilst we were on board, mostly due to rough seas but then a crack appeared.
We were fortunate to meet some lovely people on board who made the holiday for us as without them I think we would've been bored by day 4. We plan to cruise with them again next year.
So in a nutshell... A very old ship which could do with a major refurbish, excellent staff, good food and good entertainment. After 6 cruises with Princess and 7 with celebrity we loved the freestyle idea. Would we sail with Norwegian again? Definitely but on a newer ship.
The cabin albeit it was small but was adequate for the amount of time we actually spent in it.
Very clean with lots of storage space.