I have heard from friends how much fun going on a cruise can be. So, I finally was able to convince my husband to go on a cruise with me. We could not have been more disappointed!
To be blunt, the Norwegian Spirit needs to be taken out of the fleet! It is showing it's age. The "Galaxy of the Stars" has a blown out window which has been replaced with a piece of plywood. The two windows to it's right have leaking seals. One is patched all the way around with duct tape. Many of the other windows are so fogged over that you can't see out them anyway. The furniture is well worn. They should consider a name change for the room, at minimum. Perhaps, "The Ghetto"?
The shows on the ship were boring. The comedians were not funny. The Bingo was a joke. They push the sale of $40 hand held electronic bingo on you saying that most of the winners come from using the electronic version and then they call out only 46 letters/numbers to block out an entire card. Long story short no More
Prepare to have your Mastercard run up on the Spirit as well. There is a charge for everything and every item you purchase will have a mandatory gratuity placed on the bill. Then of course on top of that you will be charged $12/day/person for anyone in your party over the age of 3! They try to pawn this charge off as a "convenience to you". We had to dispute that charge on 3 separate occasions before someone finally did something about it.
Freestyle dining is a joke. Soda is $50/week. "Windows", "Raffles" and the greasy spoon on deck 7 Mid/Fwd(there food is barely edible and be close to a restroom!) are included in the price of the cruise. All other restaurants will charge you to get in. Also, you will need a reservation that they may or may not remember to actually write down. Twice our reservations were lost and we did not feel the need to put forth the effort or have the desire to spend the money for a third attempt. Windows had good food but you must dress up to get in. Raffles is a cafeteria/buffet line. So, all of the drunks and teenagers eat in there. My husband was threatened by an crazed drunk the one night that we chose to eat in Raffles. Security did finally come over and escort him out, but did they take him back to his room? I don't know. They probably let him go to buy more overpriced drinks in another part of the ship so he could pick a fight with other harmless,unsuspecting sober people.
Our room was fine except for the jackhammering! Yes, jackhammering. If you want some sleep or God forbid peace and quiet on the Spirit forget about it! If the speaker isn't going off with announcements from the annoying British cruise director then the jackhammer would start up again. We asked for it to stop multiple times so then they would tap for awhile (equally annoying by the way), but the hammering would always eventually come back. We were finally told that they had decided to do some re-tiling on the floor directly above us. I say that's great, I'm all for that ship to be remodeled but how 'bout that happens when you get back to New Orleans and NOT ON MY VACATION!!! Less
We had an oceanview room on deck 5. The view, size and comfort of the bed were fine. However, the room was EXTREMELY noisy...jackhammering going on above. We were sleep deprived when we got home. Pack light, closet space is limited.
Belize City is scary. Many,Many homeless people. Hold on to your wallet! When they see an American their hand is out ...and more. One man on the street who was obviously on a drug trip grabbed me, got in my face, and wanted my money. My husband was able to throw him off and we ran.
The views are beautiful, the city is not safe.
Costa Maya is small but nice. Get out of the tourist trap that is set up by the cruise ship and take a $4 taxi ride to the real town a few miles down the road. I suspect that in 5-6 years Costa Maya will be booming like Playa del Carmen. The beach is gorgeous!