We chose this cruise mainly because it departed from Malaga which is a short drive from our home
We boarded Norwegian Spirit on 29th November for a 9 night cruise, approximately 300 guest boarded in Malaga the majority of passengers joined at our next stop in Barcelona. The check in was a bit of a shambles as there was a problem with the internet connection between the ship and the terminal which was making the who process rather slow.
Norwegian Spirit is the oldest ship in the Norwegian fleet and its interior is a bit dated and showing its age in some areas, however the staff work hard on board to maintain it’s cleanliness and appearance.
Our cabin was a balcony cabin on Deck 9, which was smaller than any other balcony cabin we had experienced on other ships and there was a lack of storage space, this wasn’t helped by the fact that there were 3 of us in the cabin however we felt that even if there had been only two of us the cabin would have still been short of usable storage, the bathroom was clean bright and well cared for although again no storage space, only small shelves above the sink and when the seas became choppy everything fell of the shelves . The cabin was however well cared for by Renan our stateroom attendant and we certainly didn’t let the size of the cabin spoil our cruise, it is just something we would keep in mind when packing for our next cruise on Norwegian Spirit.
This was our first cruise on Norwegian and their Freestyle cruising. It was good to have the freedom to choose dining venues and the food was normally very good wherever we chose to eat, we personally didn’t have any problems dining when and where we wanted, however we did see some long queues of people waiting to dine in the latter part of the evening. I think this was mainly due to the high volume of Spanish passengers who prefer to dine late. The things we missed from traditional dining with a set table was the enjoyment we have had from having the same dining companions each evening and the relationship built up with our regular waiters who would soon become aware of your dining tastes and preferences. Again this certainly did not spoil our holiday and would not detract from us booking Norwegian again.
The evening entertainment in the various venues around the ship was varied and of a good standard with something on offer to appeal to all tastes, we enjoyed all the stage productions which we attended.
During the cruise we given a route change, due to port congestion in Casablanca, still taking in the same port but just in a different order. The captain gave a good expanation to why this happened and it seemed cause very little problem to anybody.
There was the usual cruise line push to sell alternative dining, art works, behind the scene tours etc. and you could even pay $9 for a lesson in towel sculptures, there didn’t seem to be a rush to purchase this activity !!!!!! and, as is usual on most cruise ships the on board WiFi was horrendously expensive. But I suppose this is all just a sign of the times
Ports of call
Barcelona – There was a shuttle bus from the Cruise Terminal to the Columbus Monument at a cost of €3.50 return from where it is a short walk to La Rambla, alternatively the HOHO sightseeing buses left from there.
Lanzarote- There was a free shuttle bus into Arrecife and plenty of taxis at the port, where there was an English speaking taxi controller who was happy to quote fares to wherever you needed to go also they offered taxi tours of the island for €95 which bearing in mind was for up to 4 people seemed to us be good value, although having been to Lanzarote several times we didn’t take this and visited friends in Puerto del Carmen.
Tenerife- A free shuttle bus was provided to the port entrance alternatively it was approximately a 20 minute walk . Having been to Tenerife several times we just took the shuttle had coffee and found some free WiFi before returning to the ship for the day.
Casablanca – This was our first visit to Casablanca so we took the city tour from the ship which included a visit to the Mosque, this was extremely interesting and I would recommend this for a first time visit to Casablanca.
Overall we enjoyed our first cruise with NCL and yes we would cruise with them again. In fact we did go to the Future Cruise Consultant to book a cruise but were advised that it wasn’t possible to book future cruises on board she was only able to sell us a voucher for $250 as a deposit and we had to contact our travel agent on return to actually book the cruise. This did seem a little bizarre to us as it really negates the need for a Future Cruise Consultant if she can’t book future cruises. The upside of purchasing the voucher is that you receive $100 on board credit on your present cruise and the full $250 is credited as the deposit to you next booking.