Just returned from 7 days aboard the Norwegian Spirit to celebrate our 30th birthdays (4 girls from NYC). Our favorite day of the whole trip? The day we disembarked in New Orleans and went to French Quarter Fest. Yup. That about sums up our trip. Some bits and pieces:
- The booking process was easy and efficient, although the floorplan of the ship did not indicate that there was a staff hallway in between our cabin and our friends' cabin, which made things rather inconvenient once onboard.
- Check-in and check-out was easy, as was getting on and off the ship at port... Although the customs room that we entered upon disembarking smelled like dirty feet. Extra delicious when you have food poisoning.
- Housekeeping was excellent and our room was always clean, even if it was outdated and it looked like 1970 threw up all over it.
- The staff as a whole were very pleasant and made every attempt to make our vacation relaxing.
- The entertainment on the ship was mediocre at best, with the exception of a British/Italian duo and the group that performed around the pool during the day. And where was the Second City improv troupe that was promised in the 3,000,000 emails that were sent to us before the cruise??
- Too many people, not enough deck chairs on the sea days, and the pool is way too small to accommodate 2,000 people. We were also under the impression that the main pool was for ADULTS ONLY. This rule was never enforced. Fun fun.
- The ports were a joke. Every single one had the same stores - no authentic experience here! Yayyyy diamonds and watches that I could very easily buy in the US! Yayyyyy crappy touristy stuff that will cost me a fortune and my friends and family will probably throw them out anyway!!
Want a REAL experience of the local culture? Too bad. Well, you could pay $60++ to go to the beach for 3 hours. Ridiculous.
- The music around the pool was on a constant repeat of 6 songs. I considered lending the crew my iPod for some selection so that I didn't have to jump overboard.
- Drinks are overpriced and WEAK. We only drank heavily one day on the boat and it cost about $500 for four of us. I can't imagine what kind of bill the people who were wasted every day faced.
- The food was downright awful and most of our group had stomach issues for the entire trip. I'd like to add that this is NOT from overeating, as most of us were unable to choke down a simple salad by the third day. One of us had a definite case of food poisoning the last night due to bad seafood. And the extra cost restaurants? Just as gross.
- Service charge? You mean on top of the gratuity that is already added into the bill for each and every drink or soda that you order? Seems a bit much. I'd like to know who actually sees this money. Perhaps the NCL CEO?
- Internet is $.75 per minute. What is with that? $800 for a crappy cruise and I can't even have some WiFi included?
Needless to say I probably won't cruise again. And if I ever do get my sealegs back, it definitely won't be with Norwegian.