Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by newalf: An incredible way to see Europe!!!
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An incredible way to see Europe!!!
This was our 5th cruise uptil now and it was incredible!!! I would not have chosen any other cruise based on the port of calls. Both the cruise and the ports lived up to its hype. We cruised from Venice to Barcelona. A few highlights:
Very smooth Embarkation/Disembarkation.
Getting off and back on the ship on the ports was a breeze.
Needless to say very friendly staff.
Excellent nightly entertainment in the Stardust theater, especially the magic show, and the Elements show.
Food in the buffet was totally amazing, especially the Indian Vegetarian food if you're into it. The Dal and Sabji is changed twice daily and is very flavorful. There is papadam, raita, and veg. biryani. Living in Canada, I haven't had Indian food this good in the last 15 years. Needless to say we're missing the food.
We didn't try any pizza but it looked awful. Loved the pasta sauce, and grilled vegetables. Salads were amazing as well. Very happy with the food More in buffet, didn't feel the need to go to any specialty restaurants. The complimentary dining rooms are good. They have a set menu for the entire 12 days and another menu that changes daily that you can choose from. So plenty of choices in there. Some of the items from the menu were also available in the buffet.
The tap water inside the cabin room was awful. I was told its the same water as in the dispensing machines in the restaurants. No its not. You can taste chemicals in the tap water. So beware if you can't tolerate this. They offer a water package before you board the ship.
We stayed in the inside cabin 10081 - midship. In spite of being insulated between rooms above, and below, there was some noise at times around 7am from above of chairs moving, but otherwise very quiet. If there are people next to you and talking, you could hear them. It did not bother us as they weren't loud.
We used the $25 "Fill a bag" Laundary service that happened twice.
Its very easy to move around in the ship. They have elevators at aft, forward, and mid ship. Average delivery time for room service was 30 minutes. Daily breakfast delivery was okay. We got the wrong order a couple times, and they usually delivered before the designated time. Nonetheless, a great service at your leisure.
Regarding the ports:
Venice - The approx. 3 hr Free Walking Tour was a good way to explore the streets of Venice. Ate at Afredo Pasta to Go. We used the 72 hr Water bus pass to explore the city by canals. Even had time to go to the island of Murano.
Piraeus (Athens) - Guided tour from port with Piraeus Express. I would rate them 4 out of 5 stars. We were among the first few to get off the ship, but the tour operator were no where to be seen. No they were not late. We were there early. But it wasn't explicitly mentioned anywhere that they would arrive late. So we waited. Other than this, the guided tour itself was decent.
Izmir (Ephesus) - Guided tour with Ephesus Shuttle. Met at port. Would rate this 3 of 5 stars. The tour itself was good. The guide a little boring.
Istanbul - On our own. Walked over the Galata Bridge to Spice Market, then Grand Bazaar. Then to Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, and Basilica Cistern. Experienced Turkish Bath. Tram back to port. Very convenient.
Mykonos - On our own. Got lost in the streets, shopping, and by the beach. Then ATV to Paradise and Super Paradise Island. Fun and hot day.
Naples - On our own for the most part. Walked to Napoli Sotterranea to experience the Napales underground tour - amazing. Then hop on hop off bus line 2 to experience the harbor side of Naples.
Rome - Guided tour with Can't Be Missed. They are an awesome bunch. Rate 4.5 of 5 stars. Saw the major highlights of Rome, and Vatican City.
Florence - On our own. Skipped Pisa. Took train to Florence. Did the Renaissance walk from Steve Rick's book.
Toulon - On our own. Walked in the local market area, and streets of Toulon. The little train from port to the relaxing beach in Toulon is well worth it.
Barcelona - The guided tour of Sagrada Familia is well worth it. Casa Battlo from inside is excellent, and Park Guell is a must. The Red line Hop on Hop off bus tour is also nice. Walked the Las Ramblas and the seafood/fruits market, and the area around it.
Hope this information can be of some use in your planning. Less
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