The Norwegian Spirit is a wonderful ship. This was our 2nd cruise on her (we did the Western Caribbean out of New Orleans earlier this year). Anyway, she is a great ship - not too big but not too small. If you want the amenities and attractions of a mega ship, then the Spirit is not for you. Similarly, if you want the intimacy and closeness of a small ship, the Spirit is also not a good fit. She is a very fine mid-size ship (2,000 passengers), easy to get around and one with which you quickly become familiar and achieve a feeling of peacefulness and contentment, completely at ease.
The crew is friendly and helpful, the service is pleasant and efficient, and the ambience is warm and comfortable. Some places stand out in our memory more than others - Henry's Pub, the Blue Lagoon, Windows, Galaxy Of The Stars, the Bier Garten, Raffles Terrace, and the impressive atrium. The Spirit is an old ship and is beginning to show her age (e.g., old-style bathroom tiles, missing newel post balls on some of the stairwells); having said that, however, she is very well maintained, clean and bright. All in all, a most pleasant experience and we would sail on her again.
The best part about this cruise, however, was the itinerary. So much to see, so much to learn, so much beauty, history and grandeur. We particularly enjoyed the Barcelona to Venice itinerary because of the placement of the sea days. A day of rest at sea after 4 back-to-back days in port (Toulon, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Naples) and a 2nd rest day after another 4 back-to-back days in port (Mykonos, Izmir, Istanbul, Athens) before our final arrival in Venice were very welcome. We were at times equally in awe and exhausted. Imagine Barcelona, Provence, Pisa, Florence, Rome, the Coliseum, the Vatican, the Forum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Pompeii, Sorrento, Naples, a beach day in Mykonos, Ephesus, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar, the Acropolis, the Agora, the Plaka, Venice, and more - all in one cruise. What an amazing itinerary! What a great cruise!