Just returned form a 9 day cruise with my husband and 2 kids (10 and 15) sailing from Barcelona we went to Cassablanca, Maderia , Cadiz (bad wether diverted us from the intended Lanzarote) and Malaga. Check in was very efficient and quick and welcoming bicuits and drinks before we boarded was a nice touch. Dont be fooled by the girl in the wine shop at the port she told us we could take on 2 bottles of wine without paying corkage. I didnt think that was the case but she convinced us so after puchasing the wine it was promptly taken off us on boarding to be retreived again whe we disembaked! The welcome on boarding the ship was warm and genuine our ouside porthole cabin was a bit of a let down ( my daughter was very unimpressed) It was small a little shabby but cosy and clean and to be honest after that initial impression we never gave it another thought as we were only ever in it to shower and sleep. Last year we sailed on MSC Splendida our first cruise and had been very happy and impressed with the ship Norwegian Spirit is a much smaller ship so doesnt have quite the same Wow factor but we realised we actually prefered it. The staff are incredible very friendly everywhere on the ship. The washy washy guys spraying your hands going into the buffet restaurant were a joy , funny and happy and putting a smile on everyones faces. The waiters in both Windows and the. garden restaurant were friendly and attentive. My 10 year old was in the kids club daily something she never normally wants to do when we are on holiday but the facilities and above all the staff we exceptional. Due to it being low season the teens club never got going but my 15 year old son met up with another boy and enjoyed the jaccuzies and board games availble and actually didnt once miss not being able to play on his computer.
We didnt dine in any of the speciality restaurants as we were very happy with the standard of food and choice in the inclusive restaurants. I wasnt sure about what to do about a drinks package before we went so decide to leave it till we boarded and I am very glad. Drinks are expensive but for the kids they can go to the buffet restaurant and help thenselves to juices and water. There is also tea and coffee and water available throughout the ship. We ended up buying a wine package of 4 wines for 88 dollar ( be warned that goes up to 101 dollars when the gratuities are added) and the wine can be drunk in any bar or restaurant and even saved till the next day when they will bring it to you wherever you are. A very good service I thought and cheaper than buying it by the glass. At the end of the cruise we chose not to pay the 12 dollars per person per day gratuities as there is a 15% tip added automatically in all the bars and for all the special people who looked after us and our kids we wanted to tip them personally.
It is hard to put your finger on exactly what makes the Norwegian Spirit so fantastic but the staff certainly help. I also want to mention a lovely girl Claudia who does the photography who formed a special relationship with my son inspiring him with such great words of wisdom and really took time with him. She is a very special girl and just another example of people working on the ship going way and above what their actual job is. We loved our holiday and we will definatly cruise with Norwegian again.