Coincidentally enough, when I found this site, the first room review was for cabin 9182 and it included a cautionary note about this cabin being under the kids club. Well, my poor mother had the misfortune of also being assigned this cabin and we can attest to the constant noise they had to endure in this very small, cramped balcony cabin.
In Summary, inside rooms and balcony rooms are small and the beds are terrible. However, if you are willing to pay, the suites and penthouses are beautiful and the services and amenities afforded those who purchase these enhanced accommodations are quite good. Read entire member review.
May 2010 photos of the Gemini Suite can be found at: http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/577874582FjnTSJ
There are quite a lot of references to Cabin 9212, the Norwegian Spirit's Gemini Suite, on the Cruise Critic boards. Many questions have been raised (and more or less addressed) over the past several years. Of course things can change over time so I jotted down as many questions as I could before we left and will address them all here as an up-to-date, one stop reference service (as of May 2010). First, however, I must report that our overall impression of the suite was completely positive. As mentioned above this trip was a graduation gift for DW and it was only when we stepped into the cabin that she learned the true extent of her present. She was very pleased with the suite. Overall, it made a bigger impact than the Q6 suite we were bumped up into on the QM2 last year. That cabin was merely large; this one was sumptuous, spacious and comfortable. It is also very attractive. Although on the way to the cabin we could see that the ship definitely has an East Asian decor, this suite is Italian. The paintings in the living, dining and bedroom areas all are of Venice. The carpet in the living room is custom made for the suite since it has a center medallion with a representation of the Gemini Twins and showed no signs of wear. The most distinctive feature of the suite, however, is having two distinct rooms separated by a real door rather than a curtain. The living room/dining area can be completely closed off from the bedroom/bath area. This is a real "suite". The balcony is quite narrow but runs the full width of the suite. Diagrams on the NCL website and in the brochures indicate that the balcony only extends the width of the living room. That may be true for the penthouse suites on the sides of deck 10 but it is not true for those at the aft of deck 9. (See dimensions below.) Cabin 9212 is also easy on the eyes. In spite of the general impression one might get from the NCL website, you will not find any hot pink and turquoise with purple and orange accents in this cabin. The primary color for the living room is green, for the bedroom it is reddish-brown glossy wood paneling, and for the bath it is blue tile. Close inspection shows some signs of wear - some scratches and nicks hear and there, but everything was clean, functional and appeared to be well care for. Now for detailed answers to all questions I could find in the CC posts about this cabin.
Balcony: Runs the full width of the suite but quite narrow. It has a fairly heavy sliding door from the living area which tended to stay in what ever position it was put. The windows over the whirlpool tub and in the shower look out onto the balcony. There are two aluminum framed lounge chairs with adjustable backs, two wicker-style arm chairs, and a small (14" x 14") table about 16 inches high. The loungers are not very up-scale but they do dry off quickly after a rain shower. The balustrade is 46" high and composed of clear glass panels topped by a wooden railing.
Bathroom: The bathroom takes up slightly more than half of the bedroom/bath portion of the suite. It is on the outside part of the room and is separated from the bedroom by a full wall-to-wall drape which, when closed, was very effective in keeping the bedroom dark regardless of how bright the bathroom was. Looking around the room in a clockwise direction there is a counter with two sinks (each with a full sized mirror) and vanity lighting on the left wall. The counter was a couple of inches closer to the floor than what we are used to at home but not uncomfortably low. There is a small amount of shelving which is pretty much taken up by the supplied toiletries. There is storage space (with door) underneath each sink. Beyond the sinks is the whirlpool tub (six jets with good circulation). [Note: the water level must be quite high in the tub before the jets will operate. Merely filling to a level above the jets is not high enough.] Over the tub is a window onto the balcony with a full view off the stern of the ship through the balcony's glass balustrade. To the right of the tub is a large (approx. 14 sq. ft.) shower with a full floor to ceiling window with the same view as the tub. There is a light in the shower. Both windows have shades which can be drawn if the stern of the Spirit is in view of anyone else (not likely in the open sea or even in some ports.) Next to the shower and on the right wall of the room is a toilet stall. The stall has a floor to ceiling glass door which is frosted for about four feet up from the floor. The way that these fixtures are fitted into the cabin, the door to the toilet "room" faces the tub - it cannot be seen from the bed end of the room. The last element in the bath area is a vanity counter with full lighted mirror and a chair.
Breakfast: Available to suite guests in Cagney's on deck 7. The menu is fixed all week and includes distinctive items such as traditional eggs benedict, crab cakes eggs benedict, challah French toast and the usual cold cereals including muesli, fresh fruits, breakfast meats, smoked salmon, and cheeses, etc. A very relaxed way to start the day (compared to the much more active Raffles buffet restaurant which, of course, has a much broader variety of offerings.) Cagney's breakfast offerings can also be brought to the suite by the butler. See the Food section for reactions to Cagney's breakfast offerings.
Cleanliness: The cabin was spotlessly clean and was kept that way all week by the room steward.
Climate control: The cabin has three thermostats(!) One in the living area, one in the bed area and one in the bath area. They do not have a temperature display but rather buttons to allow you to increase or decrease the temperature by steps. (My guess is that each click raised or lowered the temperature about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit.) When the thermostats were on different settings there was a noticeable difference in temperatures in each area of the cabin (that is, they worked.)
Coffee maker: There is a Lavazza Coffee Maker with a variety of single serving coffee and tea capsules in the dining area of the suite. The unit is fairly large and certainly takes up a lot of space on the dining room counter. However, the convenience of being able to have a cup of coffee in less than two minutes without having to call anyone or go anywhere was wonderful. (We made tea to go with the canapes/sweets delivered each afternoon. It wasn't a proper British High Tea but it was very relaxing.) Used supplies were replaced almost as fast as they were consumed. (We saw capsules for regular and decaffeinated coffee, as well as black, green and chamomile teas although we did not use them all.) The supply of sugar packets and small half & half "creamers" was also maintained without asking. The coffee maker also includes a shelf to accommodate two standard size coffee cups and two espresso sized cups which, marvelous to relate, are kept heated! There is also a steam nozzle for people who know how to use such things.
Dimensions: The overall inside size of the Gemini Suite (cabin 9212) is 374 square feet. The balcony is an additional 76 sq. ft. for a total of 450 sq. ft. The approximate dimensions of the various areas of the suite are as follows: Living/dining room - 19.25' x 8.75' [171.5 sq. ft.]. Bedroom - 8.75' x 10.25' [89.5 sq. ft.]. Bath - 11.33' x 10.0' [113 sq. ft.]. Balcony - 21.67' x 3.5' [76 sq. ft.]
Electrical outlets: There is one 110V/500W outlet in dining area convenient to the table. One 115V outlet is incorporated in the hair dryer unit mounted on the wall next to the bathroom mirror. This one is marked "for shavers only". It clearly does not have the amperage to drive a stronger hair dryer but could easily support a charger for small items such as an electric tooth brush, cell phone, or camera battery. One 230V outlet with both blade and pin receptacles is at the vanity table. On the floor, however, was an impressively large and heavy portable converter unit with a 230 blade plug and two 115V outlets. If you need extra 115 outlets, then just plug this unit into the outlet on the left side of the vanity mirror and you have two North American style 115V outlets at your disposal. There were no labels indicating restrictions on the devices that could be plugged in to this converter.
Engine noise, vibration: The Spirit has diesel engines (not azipod propulsion). We noticed some engine vibration departing Boston and again when arriving in Bermuda but that was not a problem. There was, however, a significant amount of rumble (not merely vibration) when we were about 50 miles from Boston returning in the wee hours of Friday morning. It woke both my wife and me up more than once (and, I am sure a lot of other passengers.) I do not know the technical cause but I had the image of trying to drive a heavy car over a very rough gravel road with the parking brake on. I am sure that those of us in the very rear of the ship were not the only ones to notice it. Whatever the reason for this particular disruption, there was not enough vibration or noise from the engines on this trip that would make me averse to booking an aft cabin on the Spirit in the future.
Fruit/Flowers: There was a lovely floral arrangements on the coffee table which really brightened up the room. We added water as needed and the flowers still looked pretty good at the end of the week. There also was a bowl of fresh fruit including apples, grapes, bananas and strawberries on the dining table. The bowl was automatically reloaded with new fruit as we ate items throughout the week.
Furnishings: The living room furniture consists of a love seat sized sofa-bed, two upholstered arm chairs, a TV credenza with flat-screen TV and DVD player, an oval coffee table and a floor lamp. The dining room has a wooden table (slightly smaller than a standard card table) plus four upholstered straight chairs along with a Lavazza beverage machine and supplies, stemware, fruit bowl, plates, flatware, etc. The bedroom has an oversized bed, two end table lamps, a chest of drawers, a flat-screen TV, a closet and two safes. The bathroom has two sinks, a whirlpool tub, a separate shower, a toilet, a vanity table with chair and an electronic digital scale. The balcony has two wicker-style arm chairs, a small cocktail table and two loungers. The suite has no desk but the dinning table can certainly be used as a writing surface and it is convenient to a 115V outlet for plugging in a laptop.
Hair dryer: There is a built-in wall unit just to the right of the sinks in the bathroom. It was handy but with only moderate power and would not be very practical for very long or thick manes.
Lighting: There are a lot of lighting fixtures in the suite (and a lot of light switches to get used to) but overall the total effect is fairly subdued. The bathroom sinks and the vanity are well lighted as is the dining area counter. The living area and dining table areas are moderately lighted - there is no bright reading lamp. The bedroom has a total of five fixtures but even so the brightness level is best described as "romantic" - certainly for anyone who has reached the age when cataracts have started to form. The chest of drawers in the corner beneath the TV is actually in perpetual darkness. In my opinion the bedroom lighting is the only serious defect in this suite. You pretty much either have to take things out of the drawers to see what you have or you have to recognize your clothing by feel. The top switch just as you enter the cabin is a master so all the lights that are on can be shut off at once as you leave. When you come back you can relight the cabin the way it was when you left.
Luggage: Luggage can be stored under the bed. There are 13.5 inches of clearance between the floor and the bed frame. There also is space on the floor at the far left end of the closet where the purpose of the hanging rod is defeated by a small shelf.
Lunch: Available to suite guests in Cagney's on deck 7. The menu is fixed all week and is fairly limited. Whereas the breakfast menu offers the unusual and popular crab cakes eggs benedict, the lunch menu does not have much of a draw. Cagney's lunch offerings can also be brought to the suite by the butler. See the Food section for reactions to Cagney's luncheon offerings.
Mattress: Hotel quality pillow top mattress. It was extremely comfortable. Absolutely no complaint here. (The duvet was also just the right weight.) The mattress surface is large - 70" wide which is about 10" wider than a standard Queen size bed. It is 78" long.
Noise level: This is a very quite suite. It is located at the very back of the ship on a transverse corridor that only serves three suites. There are no cabins on the opposite side of the corridor and there is almost no foot traffic other than the suite passengers, the steward and the butler. The space on the deck above is the imitation rock formation in the children's pool at the very back of the ship. The space below is the lighting control room for the theatre and the promenade walking track. The cabins on either side are also suites and have their bedrooms adjacent to 9212. There were no intrusive noises all week. Out on the balcony, the sound of the water being churned up by the propellers completely masks any squeals that might be coming from the children's area above on deck ten (and even when we were in port, we rarely heard any noise of that kind). We heard nothing but water. General announcements are not broadcast into the room and can barely be heard through the corridor door. They can be heard clearly if the TV is turned on to one of the information channels.
Powder room: Contrary to comments I read on these boards, there is no powder room in this suite.
Pillow menu: There was no "pillow menu" but there were five pillows on the bed and they were not all the same size and feel. If none of them was "just right" I suspect that the butler could supply alternatives.
Refrigerator: This unit has a refrigerator (although standard cabins on the Spirit do not.) I asked the butler for a carton of milk (for my tea) and it stayed fresh all week.
Safe: There are two combination safes located at the right end of the bedroom closet - fairly low to the floor. They can each be programmed with a four digit code of the passenger's choosing. They are the usual size (interior dimensions of about 14"W x 7"H x 10D" although the door opening is only about 10"W x 5"H. You can certainly store lots of small things such as jewelry, cash, passports, iPod, etc., but not something as large and rigid as a typical laptop computer. We did not use the second safe on this cruise.
Sewage smell: Over the past couple years, there have been posts from Spirit suite passengers complaining of a sewage smell in the bath room area. (Since the bathroom is really one half of the bedroom, such odors would be constantly noticeable.) The reports were that the smell was coming from the floor drains - there is one in the shower and another in the tile floor just outside the shower. (Presumably the smell was due to the drain's losing the water that normally sits in the "U" part of the pipe specifically to prevent odors because poring a couple of glassfuls of water into the drain seemed to fix it.) We noticed no unpleasant odors of any kind in this cabin on this cruise so we didn't have to try pouring water down the drains.
Shower water: Good pressure and as hot as anyone is likely to want it. The shower head can be lifted from its holder to be hand-held and it has an adjustable head for various spray patterns. There is no specific "pulse" setting.
Storage space: The storage space in the living room is limited to open shelves on the TV credenza - a good place to keep the Freestyle dailies and all the flyers, announcements and invitations that pour in. There really isn't any suitable storage space here for a third passenger. The dining area counter has open glass shelving for stemware (red wine glasses, white while glasses, champagne flutes, tumblers etc.), a little cabinet space below where you will find menus from the various alternative restaurants and other dining room odds and ends such as salt and pepper shakers.
The bedroom has a closet with two mirrored sliding doors. The closet is about 6.5 feet long. The upper shelf space is pretty much taken up by the life vests and the beach towels. The closet rod has a usable length of 52 inches and was supplied with plenty of plain plastic hangers. The right half of the closet can't be used to hang long items like pants and dresses because there is a unit which holds the two safes and a couple of drawers (each about 10 inches wide) built up from the floor level. Shirts and jackets can readily be hung in this area. In the corner just off the foot of the bed is a built-in unit of five drawers topped by the cabinet that houses a TV. The drawers are more than a foot wide and about the same in depth. Small triangular shelves on either side of the bed serve as end tables not suitable for much more than eyeglasses and clocks. The space under the bed is open and can accommodate almost anyone's luggage. The bathroom has a little open shelving between the sinks which is mostly taken up by the supplied toiletries and shower cap packets. There is a doored cabinet under each sink and a pull out waste bin between them. The vanity counter has a set of four fairly small drawers on the right side. We had no problem storing everything we needed for a seven day cruise without using all the closet space, drawers and shelf surfaces available.
Telephone: The suite has a phone on the dining counter next to the coffee machine and a second phone in the bedroom on the triangular "end table" shelf between the bed and the closet.
Third passenger: The sofa in the living room can be opened into a bed wider than a twin but narrower than a standard double. When the sofa is opened, access to the balcony is blocked. As noted under "Storage" there are no separate shelves or cabinets for anyone sleeping in the living room. The drapes in front of the balcony door and window can be easily closed and are just as effective in blocking light as the drapes between the bedroom and bathroom.
TV: The Gemini Suite has two digital (flat-screen) TV's. The living room has a 26" unit on a TV credenza opposite the sofa. It is firmly attached to the credenza but swivels to adjust the viewing angle. The second TV is located behind a cabinet door in a corner of the bedroom. It is a 19" unit and can be viewed while sitting up (or lying back) in bed. The living room TV is also connected to a DVD player. You can bring your own DVD's or borrow some from the ship's library. You can also play CD's through the TV's speakers.
Water/ice: The ice bucket was automatically re-filled every day (and I am sure could have been re-filled more often if it were being used up faster than that.) The cabin came with a liter bottle of San Benedetto water. For reasons neither DW nor I could think of at the end of our stay, we had not drunk it so I can not say whether it might have been replaced if we had emptied it.
Wi-Fi: Available only in the Internet Cafe/Library and in the atrium. Not available in the cabin.
Read entire member review.
Stern facing cabin. Quiet location with little hall traffic. Balcony is narrow but still able to comfortably have 2 chairs, a table and 2 loungers. Great bathroom and included a heavy duty transformer so I could use my USA hair dryer with the ship's European wiring. Read entire member review.
This suite is simply wonderful. A very thorough review written a few years ago by Needhamite can be found on the boards and is still very accurate. The cabin has more of a European feel with soothing colors and paintings of Venice. The aft balcony has 2 chairs and one lounger. The hot tub overlooking the wake is great. You must fill the water up to get the jets to work. There is plenty of storage space and two small safes. The lighting system is a bit confusing. There are two main switches which will turn everything on and off. Even so, the bedroom can be very dark. Afternoon treats consisted of either cheese and bread or sweets.
Along with the suite you can have breakfast and lunch in Cagney's ,priority disembarkation, access to a DVD library. an invitation to the captain's cocktail party, early entry into the Chocolate Buffett, and reserved seating at the shows among other perks. We found ourselves using the back stairs located at each end of the back hallway to go up to the pool. Room service for breakfast was available but Cagney's was open early on the port days, so we usually went there.
9710 is an excellent Suite. The balcony offers a great view off the stern of the ship and is very private. My wife enjoyed bathing and watching the view out of the window behind the tub. I wish I was still there having an adult beverage on that balcony. Read entire member review.
AD suites are aft on Spirit, and there is some rumbling from the engines and some rocking when in rough seas. But it never kept us awake, and we grew to enjoy being rocked gently to sleep at night when at sea. And the cabins are GORGEOUS lots of special aspects that are definitely worth the extra money. Read entire member review.
These cabins were rated but not individually reviewed; read the full cruise review for opinions on cabins and more.