We are frequent cruisers and wanted a filler cruise between our P & O cruises in Oct/Nov 2017 and Apr/May 2018, also we hoped to get away from grey February skies. This clearly isn't NCL's fault but the weather was dreadful, cool and grey except in Madiera and to a lesser extent Malaga.
Things didn't get off to a good start when we arrived at Barcelona Airport. There was just one person actually checking the 90 plus passengers and directing them to the transfer coaches, there were 3 or 4 others bossing people around. We were allocated a bus number but upon arrival the buses weren't numbered and no one seemed to know what they were doing, this meant a lot oif hanging around in a bitterly cold Barcelona. Once on the bus the transfer took about 20 mins. There weren't enough people manning the security checks at pre check in, hence, more queueing. Once through the check in the embarkation process was fine but there was a long walk from check in to the gangway which proved very difficult for my husband, had we known we would have requested a wheelchair, we did this successfully on disembarkation.
We found our balcony cabin on Deck A quickly and our luggage arrived promptly. As we had had an early start we headed off to the buffet restaurant. We found that only Melamine plates and plastic glasses were available, apart from really disliking eating off plastic plates, it also meant the food got cold very quickly, I don't think we had one meal that was actually hot. As the cruise went on we found the food to be very samey and, on the whole, pretty tasteless, although the curries could blow your head off. The burgers were always dried out and breakfast fried eggs were always uncooked unless having them "easy over." Good selection of fresh bread, and plenty of fresh fruit as long as you like melon, apples, pears and oranges, but there isn't much else around in February I suppose. We usually eat in the buffet restaurants on cruises because my husbands condition means he sometimes has difficulty swallowing his food so does not wish to eat in the busier main dining rooms, however, we were told by other passengers that the menu in these was very repetitive and that 6 items were always on the menu. We did eat in the cafe on deck 7 but this wasn't a pleasant experience either, cold fries, tasteless food and indifferent service. One last thing about the buffet restaurant, it was always cold so a sweater was necessary, similarly, the atrium cafe was often cold.