Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by Rainbow lady: A fantastic and memorable family holiday
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A fantastic and memorable family holiday
This was our fourth N.C.L. cruise having previously travelled on the Norwegian Gem, the Norwegian Epic and the Norwegian Spirit (and with other cruise lines). This is our favourite ship of the three N.C.L. ones. My husband and I spent ten days on the N.C.L. Spirit during Easter 2013 travelling to the Canary Islands. We had such a great time we wanted to travel on the same cruise line and ship again and this time take our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter (just under 2 years old) with us. We decided on the twelve day Mediterranean cruise as we wanted to spend longer than a week on the ship and visit as many places as possible.
We were not disappointed. We had an amazing time and can't wait to cruise with N.C.L. again. This was the first time our daughter and son-in-law had been on a cruise and they were slightly sceptical but are now complete converts and are can't wait to cruise again. I think we are all having withdrawal symptoms!
Our main praise for the More Norwegian Spirit is that all the staff, without exception, work hard to make everyone feel special. Despite there being over two thousand people on the ship we were made to feel that they knew us by addressing us by name and doing their very best to make our cruise experience as excellent as they possible could. From the "washy washy, happy happy staff" to the officers and Hotel Director, without exception the staff always had a smile and time for a few words. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone and the service overall could not have been better.
We chose to have inter-connecting balcony staterooms and this worked out really well. We kept the adjoining doors one most of the time and this gave us a feeling of more space. We were able to close them off if we needed some privacy and at night. Our cabin steward was as friendly and helpful as we have come to expect fro N.C.L. with the room being spotlessly clean and different towel animals appearing every day. Our staterooms were on the starboard side which gave us unforgettable views as we came into port in Venice - I would thoroughly recommend that you try to book rooms on this side or go out on the top balcony when the ship is coming in to port there.
For the majority of the time we ate in the main Windows dining room for breakfast and our evening meal. The service was excellent as usual and because we tended to be early we nearly always had a table by the window. From the minute we walked in all the staff were very welcoming to us, finding a highchair, addressing our granddaughter by name and so on. She didn't always eat from the children's menu but had a child's portion from the main menu which the waiter always offered to serve up with our starter. We did, on occasion eat in the Raffles buffet, with the food being of a high standard, but we prefer the dining room. We did have a delicious meal in Cagney's Steakhouse. We occasionally ate at the 24 hour Blue Lagoon diner where the staff were attentive, the menu more limited but the food tasty and freshly cooked to order. We also attended the Jazz breakfast (on a sea day) in the Garden dining room. This cost an extra $15 per person but was well worth the money as the food was superb and the show band brilliant.
We went with our granddaughter to the children's "Guppies" room on several occasions where there was arrange of toys for us to play with her which changed on a daily basis. We also attended some organised activities such as Nursery rhymes which were upbeat and fun.
We went to most of the shows in the Stardust Theatre which we felt were of excellent quality. There were always staff to welcome you in and chat, often the Cruise Director herself. We especially enjoyed the "Elements" show and the Bee Gees tribute band (being of a certain age ourselves).A highlight was many of the staff coming on stage at the end of the Elements show in that they are obviously so proud to be working on the ship We even attended the staff talent show, which was obviously not of the same standard but still very enjoyable.
However, for us, it is the live music around the ship which really adds to the enjoyment of the holiday. There is always somewhere to go to hear quality live music be it the Show band (playing jazz or other styles of music), the main singing band, the trios or the piano player. There is such a variety that it is always possible to find live music to your taste.
We only booked one excursion with the company, that being to Rome and the Colosseum which was very memorable. Apart from that we booked with a local tour company which gave us the freedom t change our itinerary in order to meet the needs of our granddaughter. Other than that we had a gentle stroll round the port town or took a bus, train or taxi. This worked very well for us.
Both embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and quick. We didn't have to wait in long queues and were on the ship very quickly. Likewise at the ports we disembarked quickly.
All in all, we had a great time. Freestyle cruising suits us as we have the freedom to eat when we want and to plan our time according to the needs of the family. The Norwegian Spirit is a lovely ship with lots of old fashioned grandeur. As stated before, the service is excellent throughout the ship. We can't wait to go again. Less
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