Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by mauthedog: Upgraded to Suite -- VIP's for a week
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Upgraded to Suite -- VIP's for a week
My cruise history: Relative newcomer. 2003 - NCL Majesty from Boston to Bermuda [Inside cabin; deck 4] 2007 - NCL Pearl from Miami to Cozumel and Belize [Balcony] 2010 - NCL Spirit from Boston to Bermuda [this review; Taurus suite, room 10008] We departed Friday 28-May and returned 4-June.
On-board shops: I'm not a big shopper, but realize this is important to many people. The shops are smaller and fewer than those on the newer Pearl. The liquor store is practically cramped. Overall people seemed pleased with the selection of goods, liquor , and jewelry.
Restaurants: There are plenty of free/included restaurants, and restaurants with cover charges. The only type restaurant that seems to be missing is a Mexican restaurant. We ate at Le Bistro (twice) , Shogun, Cagneys, Windows (both Main and Garden), and the Bier Garten. We thought the food was great everywhere we ate. On one night we attended the "Taste of India". It was fantastic.
Wine and Beer: Good More selections.
Mixed drinks: The ones available at the pool or in the lounges or at shows. One word describes them best: WEAK. They tasted good, but to me seemed not to have much (if any) alcohol.
Gym & Spa: Decent. The Pearl's gym was much bigger and much better. I got a body composition analysis. The info was nice, but the staff seemed very interested in selling me an algae program that would have cost $800 [to lose seven pounds]. I had been looking forward to those heated chaise-lounges that were on the Pearl. Entertainment: Second City television was great. The acrobats from Poland were fantastic. The other stuff at the Stardust Theatre was standard fare. As other reviews have indicated, the Cruise Director thinks he is funny; he is not. We walked out of the tribute to Rock & Roll music. The singers and piano players at mid deck (Champagne Charlies etc.) were very nice to listen to. [I wish Peter James had been there]
Gambling: I'm not a big gambler. I just play poker. The casino looked like any other casino to me. I can't really comment on it.
Art Gallery: Some fantastic paintings. Auctions are fun. Free champagne too. My wife wanted to attend the auctions. I'm both happy and sad we did, because we actually bought some art.
Service: Here's where we were blown away. The week before we left, my wife received a call offering us an upgrade to a suite for another $350. She decided to accept. Those of you who have had suites might remember what it's like to be a first-timer. We were stunned by the attentiveness and customer service.
Our suite was one of the 18 serviced by Bruce van der Boon, the concierge. Check the NCL site for the floor plan and amenities. Trust me---it is fantastic. We had a welcoming bottle of champagne; hors d'ouevres every day; the best seats at shows and restaurants; we were let into the chocoholic buffet ahead of the crowd, and had five minutes to take pictures of the chocolate creations. They did everything for us. They made my wife and I feel special.
BTW, Everyone remembers Bruce, but don't forget the butler and steward. Our butler was Naveen, and our steward was Mariano. They were fantastic as well.
This cruise was a birthday cruise for me, and the NCL team made it a memorable one. Less
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Cabin review: SF10008 Penthouse with Large Balcony
We stayed in the Taurus Suite, room 10008. It is on the starboard side, three balconies back from the front. The corridor was almost always quiet. You get a nice view of the pilot bridge. Having never stayed in a suite, we were awestruck by the amenities. You enter into the dining area. A bar and espresso/coffee/tea machine are on the counter. Nice size table with comfortable chairs. Ahead of you is the TV/sitting area and then the slider to the balcony. The HD-TV is perhaps 37", and there is a DVD player. NCL offers a library of movies. After entering the suite you can turn to the right and enter the second side. There are heavy slider doors that can be used to close off the second side. As you enter the second side, the closet is directly ahead of you. Plenty of hangars, and two wall safes. The closet has some drawers for clothing or other items. Just to the left of the closet is a counter with drawers. As you enter the second side, the bedroom is on the right [towards the front]. It is a huge comfortable bed. Four pillows were provided. two bedside lamps, and an alarm clock. There is a smaller TV and five drawers for clothing. The ceiling is mirrored. The bed canopy can be dropped to close off the bed area from the bath area. As you enter the second side, the bath area is to your left. There are two sinks. The bath counter is long and not very wide, but adequate. NCL provides full-size bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and large bars of soap. There are two storage areas under the sinks. The hot tub lies further back. A wall hair dryer is located adjacent to the hot tub. The starboard wall is all window [with shades]. One window at the hot tub, and one full-length window in the shower. There is also a window that opens to the balcony. There are mirrors almost everywhere. In short: Wow.
Port and Shore Excursions
We did not do any shore excursions offered through NCL. We went out on our own.
We took a ferry to Hamilton the next day and visited another Fort, walked around town, and had lunch at a place that seemed to be a local sandwich place (not a tourist trap). We took a bus back to Dockyard, but got off at Fort Scaur along the way. We walked a few miles along the Bermuda rail trail before catching another bus to the Dockyard.
On day three took a bus to Horseshoe Bay. The water temperature was fine for early June, and the beach had plenty of room for the tourists to spread out.
Bermudians seem to treat the tourists nicely. One of our bus drivers was Mrs. Johnston. She was very friendly and helpful to the tourists.