NCL takes the free out of Freestyle: Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by birdabee
Overall Member Rating
NCL takes the free out of Freestyle
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
On the plus side, we took pot luck on our balcony cabin, and lucked out by getting one that was 2x larger than normal with a double length balcony to boot! We later found out that our cabin had previously been the video arcade, but was converted back to a room after the refurb. It is 10686 for any of you who sail on the spirit and want a real hotel sized cabin!
The biggest disappointment of the whole cruise was the food. It started off okay, and went downhill from there. The concept of "freestyle dining" has evolved into a menu in the main diningroom that sticks with lower end (IE: cheap) More entrees such as chicked and pork, though they did throw in roast beef one night and a strip steak another night, my traveling companion said they were poor quality. I had fish most nights and again, the main diningroom stuck to cheaper fish like snapper. You could only get better quality meats and fish in the alternative dining venues, and so then you had to pay-no longer free. BTW: on shorter cruises, especially the 3 and 4 days, they serve better food/have better menus b/c they have more 1st time cruises that they are woowing, so they show off a bit more...
The ship was beautiful. I liked the fact that they have fewer bars (needed the room for the alternative restaurants) and it seemed easy to figure out how to get around. I'm usually lost for the first three days, but on this ship I had it all figured out in about 1.5 days. The library was small and inadequate, though I did find a few things to read. Also the internet cafe was often busy b/c they only have about 10 machines, but they do have wireless access if you bring your laptop.
Entertainment varied from really good to a few nights when we walked out. The problem was there was no alernative to the main show unless you sat in a lounge and listened to music. No movies on the big screen anywhere, ever. I think this is why I really missed having a good library.
Crew was great! Friendly, hard working, helpful (except for the shoe incident).
Ports were good. Costa Maya isn;t much other than a shopping trap, but it is a nice beach day at Mahajual. Guatemala waterfalls were great. Belize rivertubing was fun. Curacao hard to gauge due to it being Sunday, but a beautiful day! I loved Bermuda best and must go back when i have more time!
Overall, the trip was fine. Many said a cruise (or any vacation) is what you make of it. I agree, except there are certain things over which we had no control-like the food. I also got annoyed that many activities morphed into a sales pitch, but that is expected, i guess. Less
Huge cabin. Quiet (very back of deck 10 port side) normal sized bathroom. Great to walk up back stairs to Raffles in the AM
Port and Shore Excursions
Seemed like a training cruise
Overall a great experience
Very good experience