Western Caribbean from New Orleans: Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by tammyjw305
Overall Member Rating
Western Caribbean from New Orleans
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
We took a taxi from the airport and were fairly early because we had a very early flight. Police were directing traffic for the taxi drop off. Stevedores were available, but it was difficult to tell that that was who they were. (Before, at other terminals) our luggage had been sweep away from us; both has its benefits.) We went to the door of the terminal and asked the security where to take luggage. We could carry it on or check it with the stevedores. The stevedores were good; they let us know that they were separate from the cruise line, wrote their name on our edocs, and told us how the luggage would move and be delivered. We determined later on the ship that one can check luggage at the casino; we were happy using the stevedores to haul it around less.
We quickly got through security (it was a little after 11am now). We were directed to the shortest Latitudes line and handed a number. Check in was quick. They had cookies, water, juice, and coffee More (maybe) in the waiting area. We did not sit for long and did not have time to finish our cookie before our number was called. Group 1 was big and was more a horde of people vs. a line, but it moved quickly. We were on the ship by 11:30am. We explored the ship and then went to lunch in Windows. The ribs are no longer on the lunch menu; Windows had the same lunch menu every day.
Ship was beautiful and well maintained. It was a little bit of challenge to get around since not all decks went through from fore to aft. The food was good. I especially enjoyed the chocolate crème brute, molten lava cake, Caesar salads in the main dining room and the hot dog with French fried onions on top in the Blue Lagoon. They removed the ice cream sundae, mozzarella sticks, and twice baked potatoes from the Blue Lagoon menu, but spiced up the buffalo wings - which is good. On all menus , they have additional cost items ? like crab legs in the Blue Lagoon. I also enjoyed the beef wellington in the main dining room and other things that I do not remember now. I did not care for the grilled chicken on the everyday main dining menu, but the potatoes with it were wonderful. I always enjoy the buffet cookies and the baguettes. My husband especially enjoyed the hamburger (the first lunch in Windows), shrimp and swordfish skewers, and apple soup.
There were a lot of great public spaces on the ship to sit and relax. By Champagne Charlie's, there are two tables with two seats each in cubby holes. We never actually got them; we saw someone leave, but someone snatched them up before we could move. They looked out over the water.
We were planning to take a taxi to Mahuhal based on the Cruise Critic recommendation. However, it was warm this day, so we had lunch on the ship and then just got off and walked around a little in the shopping at the port. They have pool if you want to swim (free, as far as a I can tell) and a small swim with dolphins pool. We watched the dolphins from the ship too when they jumped.
At this port is the place to buy knock off purses and Ralph Lauren clothes. We did not plan a tour and went out of the gates to look for a tour. High pressure sales make me very comfortable, and people were grabbing our arms trying to sell us a trips and hair braids. We ended up take one where were quotes a price and then told during the trip how much gas costs now and to "lift him up", so the tour ended up costing more than quoted. He said to trust people when you go places. My opinion is that trust is earned not given; I learned that my inclination to not trust is valid. The tour was perfectly safe, but I still recommend pre-planning an excursion in Belize. On a previous cruise, we cave tubed with an independent group, and it was great. The tough thing about Belize is tendering. This time we waited for open tendering, and NCL moved to open tendering very quickly.
This was our first trip to Roatan. It was very pretty. Our ship docked at Mahogany Bay which was very nice. It was rainy this day in Roatan. We zip lined with the Pirates of the Caribbean. We followed their web site directions to the meeting place and found them without a problem. They arranged for our pick up. Penny, who offers tours of the island, picked us up. She seemed like she would be a great tour guide. At Pirates of the Caribbean, we were outfitted in our safety gear, provided a locker, and rode to the starting point. We booked the Extremely Extreme. It was awesome. Do wear old clothes because the cables dripped rust due to the rain the night before (Tide pen worked surprisingly well). After, we were given a ride with a group back to the port.
After the zip lining, we walked across the bridge. There are ski lifts, but it was a very short walk. They have a nice beach, nature areas, and some shopping on the other side. We looked around. It started to rain, so we did not stay long.
We booked the Xrails through the cruise line. The price listed is for up to 2 people per Xrail (dune buggy). Everyone in our Xrails group had 2 people per buggy. It also rained before we got to Cozumel (for 2 hours), so there was A LOT of mud and muddy water. At first the mud/water was cold, but it warmed up quickly. The buggies did not have power steering and no real place to stop (except in the middle) to trade drivers, so my husband drove the whole time. In the middle, you go to Jade Caverns; it was beautiful with very pure water and bats. We swam (cleaned mud off). Some groups did trade drivers to give both people a turn. For this excursion, I recommend old clothes, swim suit (there are changing places at the start and at the caverns), and goggles (seriously). Xrails provides water. They also have lockers which cost $2 here. Mudding is not really my thing, but it was a very good excursion. They have outdoor/not warm showers at the end.
After showering (and getting new keycards as both of ours stopped working ?) and having lunch on the ship, we walked around the shopping area on port.
Disembarkation/New Orleans city tour:
We booked the New Orleans city tour through the ship, so disembarkation was fairly easy. We met before in the Stardust Theatre. I would have preferred if the tour leader would have told us to expect to get separated and that they have a list of everyone to expect at the buses (directions) at the end. However, they did not, and we lost the leader in the self-luggage/walkoff disembarkation people and behind several wheelchairs which would be fine if I knew that it was expected to get separated. On the buses, our tour guide was Chris and driver was Tory; they were very good. They stored our luggage below the coach, and we had a tour with two stops - a New Orleans cemetery and gift shop and food stand with restrooms in a park. I found a nice New Orleans print in the gift shop. Lastly, they dropped us off at the airport. It was a great tour! Less
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