Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by Steve1971: Grand Mediterranean Cruise 29th July 2014 Barcelona to Venice
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Grand Mediterranean Cruise 29th July 2014 Barcelona to Venice
Fantastic cruise! The ports of call were amazing. The ship was good, bit tired in places, but the staff overall were great, the food was good (particularly in the windows Main dining room). Room service was efficient and quality was ok.
Embarkation at Barcelona was easy and stress free, we were aboard by 12:30 and our cases arrived by approx 15:00.
Our state room 10100 was a mid ship balcony on deck 10, for us it was a perfect location. However you can hear noise from neighbours staterooms on occasions, but this was minimal and not a problem. Our attendant (Barry) was excellent, the room was always made up when we returned from our trips or evenings out with the usual towel animals etc. We had our 9 year old son with us and the sofa bed was comfortable and made up and put away every day which helped as the cabin is probably slightly smaller than balconies we have had on other cruises with Royal Caribbean. We asked for another chair for the balcony and this was More delivered with no problems.
The Windows main dining room was excellent, service was great and whilst we ate relatively early most nights 18:30-19:00 we had no wait times. We ate dinner in the raffles buffet one night and were disappointed with the food that night, maybe we were unlucky, but we decided to stick to Windows each night as we preferred being served and we thought the quality was better. Our son ate from the adult menu most nights and we found we could order extra dishes as well if we found something we really liked and most nights I asked for extra vegetables which was never a problem.
The blue lagoon 24 hour snack bar was also excellent. We found that if we wanted cheese burger/hot dog etc it was better to have it cooked to order and freshly made rather than have it from the Buffet. It was always quiet when we used it and good service.
We only ate breakfast and lunch in the raffles buffet/terrace and the food was ok, plenty of choice at breakfast. At lunchtime there was always a nice curry, or a roast to be had. The fresh pastries at breakfast were particularly good.
The ports of call are what makes this holiday. However we were not worried about the first stop Toulon so stayed aboard. This was great as the ship was almost empty. On sea days it can be very busy and on our first sea day we did have to hunt for sun beds for a whole as everyone else had seemed to save beds and then went to breakfast! We learnt our lesson and on the only other full sea day we took the 'cant beat them then join them' attitude and did the same! There didn't seem to be anyone policing the no reservation of sun beds so there is not much else you can do!
We did not do any of NCL trips ashore, we did everything of our own backs and found that there is plenty of information on the ports of call and how best to do it, public transport etc so I am not going to try and replicate that here. We found the most useful of these were tomsportguides.com and found these invaluable.
My only advice re getting ashore and doing it yourself is to be flexible, you can't have to much of a rigid plan, the ship can be and will be late docking on occasions, sometimes you will have to get a bus to the cruise terminal for example so all of this impacts on your timings.
Overall we had a great holiday and saw some fantastic sights at the ports of call. We really enjoyed the food, but there is some room for improvement. The stateroom was comfortable and in a great location, yes the ship was a bit tired in places, but it was very clean. Entertainment was ok, some good shows, some not so good! But it's personal taste at the end of the day.
My last tip is that if you are doing the cruise this way round I.e. Barcelona to Venice and you have a balcony then try to get it on the starboard side as you will have the best views of St Marks Square etc when you cruise into Venice on the Grand Canal, it is amazing and not be missed! Less
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