We had the most amazing time on the Spirit.
I was slightly concerned after reading some of the reviews but after two weeks we were totally happy with the ship and the staff.
We flew into Barcelona Sunday before our Tuesday embarkation. We did a Spanish trails tapas and cave tour that was one of the best food tours we have done.
We decided to walk from our hotel Universal Barcelona but ended up taking a cab. Great decision!! Why penny pinch now! We were at the ship by 12 so we could be first in line to sign up for the chefs table. They had the sign up for the chefs table right after we got our room keys. We were through check in in about 10 min. Interesting port! You go through security and check in and then there is shops that includes a liquor store!? No security after the liquor store.
We have sailed ncl twice before, carnival once and our last cruise was on royal Caribbean. I compared all the itineraries including celebrity, which I really wanted to try. But the Spirit had the ports I wanted to see and the price was good.
The ship was beautiful, cabins were OK, service was great. We ate in windows most nights, blue lagoon one night, sushi two nights, Le Bristol once and the chefs table. All meals were fantastic except for one blah one at windows. sushi was incredible, loved every bite. The chefs table was incredible. Every dish and wine was wonderful. The chef would come and describe the course and the wine that was served with it. The service was amazing, well worth the extra charge.
I just had to laugh at some of the reviews when they said breakfast got repetitive and wished they would change things up! There were so many choices I would not even be able to think of anything else you could serve. We did have bkfst in windows a couple days to have the eggs Benedict.
We did the martini tasting, had a great time with a wonderful couple that we had met at the chefs table. The bartender in champagne Charlie's is a great guy, a lot of fun.
We ordered a bar set up for the room by calling ncl the week before, and bought a couple bottles of wine, diet coke and water in Barcelona. We brought a collapsible cooler along since they do not have refrigerators and our room steward did a great job of keeping ice in it.
The cabins were small but plenty of storage. The bathroom had three separate areas. The shower, the sink and the toilet. One of the larger bathrooms we have seen but still tight. The only thing that I didn't like was that the shower was tiled and the grout was dingy. The ship is older and I know how hard it is to keep grout clean, it would be nice to put the shower liners in to make it look cleaner. But that was a very minor thought on my part.
The ship was easy to get around in!!! We had a balcony 9622. Great location. Mid ship and close to stairs and elevator. We used the stairs to try and work off any extra calories.
exercise room was well furnished but it was always a little warm so I started walking outside around the ship on floor 7.
We were pleased with the disembarking in the ports. When they said 8 am we were usually off the ship by 7:50. We took one ncl tour and we had more waiting in the stardust theater then we did with our private tours with fellow cruise critic roll call members.
Loved the ports!!!!! We did private tours with RomeInLimo in Naples, Rome and Florence. Barcelona day tours and Spanish trails in Barcelona and Ephesus shuttle in Istanbul and Izmir. We did ncl transport to Cassi from the Toulon port. Mykonos we used the free shuttle to town and just walked around for a couple of hours and then headed back to the ship for some pool time on a very quiet day.
All tours were excellent and would do each one again.
I would not hesitate to do this ship again and this itinerary. We love the freestyle dinning, eat we and when we want to. We did the two weeks with two carry on luggage and two backpacks. No suite jackets and fancy clothes. Everyone looked smart casual in the dinning venues and the night we did not want to change from the day we ate in the blue lagoon.
Disembarkation was as easy as getting on. We walked off with our bags. Walked to the people mover(tram) to piazza Roma and saw our hotel from our exit. One bridge and we were to hotel arlecchino. Hotel was in a great location. Easy to get the bus to the airport also.
Loved, loved, loved our trip!! What ever you did NCL to upgrade the food and service, keep it up!!!!!