This was a different type of cruise experience - our first time on NCL. Overall, it was a good cruise experience and we’ll cruise with NCL again.
As seasoned Carnival Cruisers (Platinum members), our experience in a “nut shell” is as follows:
The NCL SPIRIT is an older, smaller ship. Overall the ship is clean and well maintained. Our cabin and balcony were - condensed in size compared to other cruise ships we’ve been aboard.
Dining is your choice, push-shove buffet, sit-down dining room or up-charge specialty restaurant. NCL pushes their up-charge specialty restaurants ($15 to $30 extra). Don’t want to spend the extra $$$s? Then go to one of the two complementary sit-down dining rooms - Gardens or Windows; but be prepared to spend some time. On average, it was 2 to 2-1/2 hours in either of the regular dining rooms for an evening meal and for lunch in the Windows an average time of 1-1/2 hours. The food is decent - normal cruise menu, but efficient service does not exist in these two locations. This must be NCL’s way of encouraging consumers to pay the up-charge for better service in a specialty restaurant.
The NCL Sponsored Tours/Excursions were priced comparatively to other excursions. We booked NCL excursions at each port. Granted, you could possibly get a lower price on your own in port, but we prefer the security and service of using a ship sponsored tour provider. All four tours were enjoyable and worthwhile.
In Casablanca it was the “CASABLANCA HIGHLIGHTS & HASSAN II MOSQUE” tour.
In Arrecife, Canary Island we did the “FIRE MOUNTAINS & CAMEL RIDE”.
Moving on in Santa Cruz, Tenerife it was the “NORTHERN ISLAND VIEWS & LOCAL FLAVORS”.
For Malaga Spain our choice was the “GIBRALTAR ON YOUR OWN” upon arriving in Gibraltar we choose a local tour of the ROCK for 20 Euros each, but well worth the money and time saved.
Shipboard Entertainment – Average shows - nothing special.
Alcohol beverage service aboard ship is a tad bit more expensive; we waited until we arrived in port to enjoy our choice of alcohol beverage.
Overall a relaxing and interesting cruise; and YES we plan on cruising on NCL again. We have set our sights on the Greek Isles and may sail on the Jade later this year.