The embarkation procedure was over quickly and cases delivered to our stateroom. First impressions of the Spirit were very good, bright and airy, pleasant staff and lots of information available.
Food on the whole was very good. Did not dine in the 'speciality' dining as we found the main dining rooms and buffet were very good. Excellent Meat in the restaurants and no pressure to purchase wine. Ice cold water available as soon as we sat down. We like to dine relatively early and never had to queue once during the whole cruise. Lines were long by 7.30 - tip No 1 - dine early.
In every restaurant all the staff were pleasant, informative and extremely helpful. The Freestyle cruising is certainly what we enjoyed. We have put off cruising in the past because of the more formal dining experiences.
The buffet was fine for breakfast and lunch - again managed to get window tables every time we dined in there. The dinner was just as good as the main restaurants but the 'ambiance' was not but no problems at all.
The decontamination at restaurant entrances was a sign of the high value Norwegian place on hygiene. Well Done
The 24 hour cafes were again ideal. a bowl of fries after an evening in the casino or show was ideal and the ability to get coffee, tea etc whenever we wanted was certainly a bonus.
Entertainment - a wide variety of activities were organised each day from cards, trivia, craft, exercise, languages, bingo, art appreciation, the ones we attended were certainly exciting and met our expectations. Jill's napkin folding session was not to be missed (or repeated)
Pool area, a bit small if the weather is good. As our cruise was early
January there was a fair bit of breeze and sheltered areas hard to come by. Beware the sun bed reservers - you can leave your things for an hour while you get a meal but someone decided they liked our spot and disposed of our towels and belongings to bag ours!! do not leave items you value.
Inside lounges were lovely, some quiet areas for reading and some more lively. The Galaxy lounge area was popular as was the lifestyle lounge. The card room was very popular with a good supply of games.
We found the spa to be rather expensive as were the onboard photographs. A good stocked gallery for chocs, duty free and gifts. As we are almost 70 we did not take advantage of the gym,
Staterooms were adequate - ours was inside forward and fit for purpose. An extremely powerful shower, lashings of hot water and clean, fluffy towels. Large king size bed - limited floor space but just how much time do you spend in your cabin anyway. Our biggest gripe was the lack of coffee/tea facilities. Cabin Steward was first rate and we had animal towels on our bed every evening. Be aware of the need to wedge the wardrobe doors if the sea is rough -
Shows. Excellent the production values were very high - the singers and dancers changing costumes 8 times in a 1 hour show. The FourEver quarter were of a standard equal to Il Divo and there 2 shows were the highlight for us. The comedy juggler was an interesting first night show and broke the ice for many of us.
Casino - we are not gamblers but have spent many holidays in Las Vegas so the casino was rather small but the slots were fine and we did find some very good payouts, In fact we returned with more dollars than we went with.
Overall we enjoyed our cruise but would look carefully at future cruising itineraries. The sea was too rough to dock in Lanzerote so we had an extra sea day. Our own feeling was that there was too much sea time and not enough port time but this was only a personal point of view.
There is easy transfer from the airport in Barcelona to the port - we used Aerobus and walked down Las Ramblas but taxis and metro were all to hand. Beware however that you are not allowed duty free alcohol on board so do not take it onboard with the idea of drinking in your stateroom. It is confiscated.
Electricity supply in the stateroom has been subject of much discussion in the forums. Here Is the definitive answer:
In your stateroom are three sockets over the dressing table - one for american style 2-flat pin plugs, one for european style 2 European style plugs and one 3pin flat pin UK style plug. There is a hairdryer in the bathroom which was fairly powerful and suited to the purpose if you are not too fussy. Wattage is limited to 500 so be careful with the equipment you take.