Our original cruise on the Jade was canceled so we had to switch to the Spirit. I have to admit that I had concerns being that this was a much smaller ship. More about this later but I didn't need to worry. We spent 2 nights pre cruise at the Husa Oriente which we booked thru NCL. Nice hotel, great location and friendly staff. We did a 4 hour tour from the airport thru Barcelona Day Tours...great tour. The hotel will give you names of some nice reasonable places to eat. There is so much to do in this very clean city.
We had wonderful transportation arranged thru NCL to the port. Checking in at the port was very quick. We ate lunch at Raffles, the buffet. We never had trouble finding a seat at Raffles. The food was good with a nice presentation. The first night we had dinner at Le Bistro. The food was fantastic as was the service. Isaac the Maitre 'd is wonderful and a real hoot. During the trip we also ate at the wonderful Cagneys and La Trattoria along with the Blue Lagoon, The Garden Room and the beautiful Windows dining room. The food was good to excellent which is amazing since there are so many people to feed. There were a few cases of the stomach bug. NCL immediately took action and kept the bug under control. The entertainment was the best that I have ever seen. They have a great group of in house entertainers. Some of the shows were: A juggler comedian who had us laughing so hard that we were crying, magicians, singers and their own show Elements that was a Cirque de Soliel type of show. Everything was top notch. The entertainment staff was wonderful. I had read complaints about Jill Tasker the Cruise Director. I thought that she was just fine and we had alot of fun with her and her staff. Do not miss the Perfect Couple Game!
The cabins were clean comfortable, nicely appointed and efficient. The decor around the ship was beautiful. It wasn't flashy but more elegant with alot of warm polished woods.
We had an unofficial Meet and Greet at The Biergarten on sailaway. It was great to finally meet everyone. Our NCL Meet and Greet was on our first day at sea which was several days into the cruise. The staff did a wonderful job. Thank you NCL for your Meet and Greets. Quite a few officers came and introduced themselves. The Captain and Hotel Director are a lot of fun and set the tone for their crew. ok, you can see that I loved everything but the shining star was the crew. Hands down, this ws the best and friendliest crew that I have ever met from Alain our cabin steward, Oriel in entertainment to Tyler the dancing photographer to the fellow who washes the floors.(I am sorry that I left off everyone elses names, but there is only so much room).
The ports were great. I will do some shore excursion reviews later. It was a breeze getting off of the ship. We had transportation to our hotel which was the Venice Crowne Plaza , arranged by NCL. The train station is a two minute walk from the hotel. The hotel dinner buffet was ok. Make sure that you ask for a discount coupon at the desk. the hotels breakfast buffet was over the top wonderful with the best fresh foods.
There were a few things that weren't perfect, but what in life is? if you are contemplating booking the Spirit, do it. There are no rock climbing walls or bowling alleys, just a beautiful ship, great fun and a wonderful lighthearted crew.