Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by rgjarrell: Wonderful experience; lots of little problems
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Wonderful experience; lots of little problems
Overall the cruise was a wonderful and positive experience. Maybe a bit too expensive, but it was my first cruise since 2000.
Cabin: I had an inside cabin. My in-laws (both my wife's parents and wife's aunt and uncle) had a balcony cabin across the hall. The bathrooms were great. Great water pressure, hot water, toilets worked well. All that stuff about them being low slung asian toilets isn't really that true. I'm fairly tall, and I thought they were fine.
The balcony cabins were so "roomy" that 5 people could comfortably sit around and play cards. Our inside cab fit 2 twin beds and a pack n play. We thought the setup worked well, and it seemed very typical of what you get on a ship.
Little problems with cabin: small tv without the best reception. No fridge in inside cabin. We brought a Styrofoam cooler on loaded with soft drinks. Balcony cabins did have fridges for medicine on request.
Service: Freestyle only goes so far. More You can show up whenever, but you'll probably wait when it's a popular time. Also, dinner took forever. If you WANTED to eat in Windows or Garden, but you didn't want it to be a long drawn out affair, then they would say "go to the buffet". If you ordered a soup and salad, or salad and appetizer, then they bring out only one thing at a time. And if that means your entree sits under lamps, then it just sits there. Food never tasted fresh off the grill. For the fresh off the grill taste you had to go the made to order burger restaurant which seated about 30 people max. (2000 people are aboard the ship). So, dining was nice, but their serving procedures got annoying. For example, I asked for coffee during dinner. Only about half the time did I get it.
Ports: Tendering at Belize worked okay, but I was glad we only did it once. Don't get an excursion through NCL!!! You can't adapt to the weather. They will take you to the pool 20 minutes away from port rain or shine. It was an awful waste of $130 for the three of us. We really bargained down the tour operators on the dock in Guatemala, and this was so much more preferable.
Embarkation: A ZOO at 12:30 pm. At 2:30, there was pretty much no line. Make your own choice. Obviously we came back at 2:30 to have a shorter line, and have the cabin be ready. Disembarkation: VERY TIGHTLY CONTROLLED. Take your own bags off if you want to leave before 9:30. Otherwise, get the earliest luggage tags you can, and just sleep in until an hour after your time. If you are off the boat with lots of other people before your tag's time, the port authorities will make you just stand there and not let you to your bags which you can see sitting there in front of you.
Casino: Poker tournament is too fast with $60 buy in for only $2000 in chips with a $100 $200 blind to start. If you don't get ahead in the first half hour, forget it. Rake in the cash game is very high. Generally all the games were a much higher casino advantage than a land based casino. But it's somewhat nice.
General public spaces on the ship: Everything worked as advertised and was very nice. Hot tubs: nice. Pool: nice (a little cold weather). Aquaswim: great!! Basketball court and golf driving netted area! Kids pool: very nice. "Lobby" area: pretty. All bars and lounges were very comfortable. The theater was great (we watched the super bowl in there).
SPA: Totally mean women who really don't communicate well and are not really that friendly. This made us opt for no services there, and instead we got very inexpensive massages on the beach in Costa Maya. This was also available in Cozumel too.
Internet: this worked well. But not in the cabin.
Staff: Not a lot of good english speakers. General confusion sometimes is the result. Also, activities like trivia, jeopardy, and other fun things were hard because of the host's accent. When asking for special requests anywhere, at the bar, restaurants, etc.. it wasn't always accommodated because the staff didn't always understand the request.
Other passengers: This boat was filled mostly with older retirees. There were about 20 teenagers on board, and about 20 or so younger kids. There were only 8 or 9 kids in the 2-5 year old range. It was nice that we as 33 years olds with a 2 year old could do things that we liked without a lot of other people our age competing for those services. I was the only passenger to rent a wave runner, for example. Our beach experiences were not crowded at all because we only needed to go a little bit further to get away from most of the passengers who mostly just wanted to shop at or near the pier or stay on board.
Elevators were always in high demand. Less
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Cabin review: Norwegian Spirit 9689
9689 on the end. It was great without any defects or issues. Plenty of room for the beds plus a crib. There was a little sitting chair and it was very close to the big theater and the kid's spaces. It was Noisy during shows in the stardust theater, but no other complaints.
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