My group of 11 from the San Francisco Bay Area flew into New Orleans the day before the cruise and stayed at the Drury Inn. It was an easy trip from the airport to the Drury and then onto the cruise terminal Sunday morning. Embarkation was the best ever and all 25 of us were on the ship by 2:00 p.m.
The ship, itself, is beautiful even though I understand the Spirit is one of the oldest cruise ships in the NCL fleet. She appears to be a well maintained and much loved lady. The only draw back.....I used a walker on this cruise and it would not fit through the cabin door. So it had to be collapsed every time I entered or left the cabin. Speaking of cabin, it was on the small side even though we had a balcony. However, our steward was probably the best I have experienced.
I really enjoyed the production shows......NCL dancers are very good. The casino was good but could have been better if I had left with some of NCL's money in my pocket. Only negative here is the organized games. There were no games at the outdoor pool.....and the few inside games weren't organized well.
i think NCL could do much better in this area.
There are many dining choices on the Spirit and with a group of 25 I think we hit almost all of them. Cagney's was very good and I am told that Teppanyaki and Shogun are also. The evening we went to Cagney's there were about 20 of us to we were seated in a private room in the back. Service was wonderful.
We often had large groups at the main dining rooms (Windows and The Garden) where food was okay but service excellent. Also, Raffles Buffet and room service were okay but, oh, that soft chocolate ice cream was the best! And speaking of chocolate, be sure not to miss the chocolate buffet in Windows one night. It was fabulous!
The group didn't participate in excursions except for Cozumel. Some did the dune buggy and water sports and loved it. However, many of us did get off the ship in Costa Maya and were pleasantly surprised with the area right off the ship. Everything is there.....dolphin swim, shops, restaurants, swimming pool.....and we enjoyed it very much.
Before we knew it, Sunday morning arrived and it was time to get off the ship. NCL gets an A+ for their disembarkation process.
One last note..........it was hot, hot, hot!