Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by nhutho: Very nice family cruise
Overall Member Rating
Very nice family cruise
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
We just got off NCL Spirit in NY last Sat after a 6-night cruise to Bahamas. It was me and my wife 3rd cruise but was first for the other 9 members of my family. Inside stateroom on the Spirit seems to be larger than what I remembered on other ships. Same goes for the closet and shower. There is a safe available in the room.
Embarkation at NY was ok. Thanks to my bro in law, we were the very last ones to get on the ship. Literally, they were packing up the port right behind us. BBQ right after we got on board was not that satisfied. The line was long and not everyone knew what to do, so it just took longer. Go to the buffet instead and do BBQ a few days later. I liked that they have the Latitude member room on deck 12 for a little quiet time. There is always coffee and cookies available there. The staffs were very nice. Be friendly and they will treat you very well and go the extra mile. They were very fond of my daughter for they had children of same age and have left their More family for months to work on the ship.
Foods were ok in all of the non-premium restaurants. We didn't try the premium ones. Same menu for both Windows and Gardens restaurants. I liked the Windows for its upscale. My family preferred Gardens for its intimacy. The two lobster meals was a plus. We asked and got multiple servings of the entree. Try the chicken wings at Blue Lagoon Cafe, those were very good. Everyone had them everytime we passed by the place. By the time we discovered them, they were soon ran out completely. I was disappointed of the midnight chocolate buffet, nothing stood out at all.
I was amazed at the two musical shows by their own casts. They sing ok, not great, but the speed and variety of tunes mix make them more difficult. The magician should be fired. The comedians tuned their materials down to family-friendly level and became just bland. Because of the 4 young kids we stayed away from casino, clubs and late shows. Childcare Center was a great service for shore days and even sea days. Try the aquaswim in the Gym, we still long for those two pools instead of the whirlpools.
We had a bad experience with one spa staff. A lied to us about massage time availability. She pushed the stone massage. We tried to book Swedish and deep tissue massages. At first our requested times slots were available, then she said they were only for stone massage appointment and we can only have much later time slots. The next day, we got the same time slots we wanted and were told she passed on mis-info.
We got to Cape Canaveral and tried to get a cab to Jetty parked just across the channel. The bus drivers gave us all this stuff about extra costs to get into the park. We paid him $90 to take us round about only to ended up at Cocoa beach. We could have two cabs, about two miles, for lot less and pay $5 ea cab to get into the closer Jetty park and beach. We would have more time than round about at the mall on the bus. One minus for the Cape drivers.
At Nassau, we did the least expensive snorkel trip and ended up at the same place as those on more expensive excursions. Didn't get back in time to do shopping in town. After 6PM, we got off the ship again, after dinner the town was closed. The cab driver took us over to Atlantis and pointed us to the Dig. That was amazing aquarium. We were told that at day time it would cost $37 ea to see the Dig. We didn't pay a dime.
At Grand Bahamas, we tried to get a cab to take us to small, secluded beaches next to the dock, about 5 min away. We couldn't walk because of the kids and their stuffs. Even with my Google satellite pictures showing the beaches, they claimed to have lived there 64 years and there were no beaches. What a lie. My family ended up again paid $45 ea way for shared cab to Lucaya beach near the casino. I knew that they got $ from casino to drop a cab full of people at their doors. We enjoyed the beautiful, calm, clean and kids-friendly beach near Westin resort. I was still bummed of the lie and cheated us for more $.
Debarking was fine for us. It was really worth it to pay the dockhand $15 to get our bags with their cart. They took us through separate custom gates and avoided very, very long lines everyone else were in. Our family enjoyed the cruise. We would definitely do another NCL freestyle again. Just that we would select a less expensive week than the most costly week we just did. Just tell your family not to book their vaca time off before booking the trip. I would recommended this ship and destinations. Expect a bit more motion because of the distance they have to make a max speed to be on time. Hope that my long notes helped someone with a bit of info about to do the same cruise. Have fun. Less
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