We arrived at the New Orleans Port at 11 am. My husband and I, my three children, ages 12, 11, 11, and my parents each had an incredible time on NCL. Two of us were told we were VIP's and Belle, Annabelle De Michielli Vitturi, the Concierge for the Spirit, checked us in. Belle anticipated and met our every need on the ship. She is an amazing employee. She spoiled us each and every day throughout the cruise. We wish we could bring Belle with us on every one of our vacations. After we checked in, we were allowed to drop off our carry on bags to our room. There, we met Adolfo and Bernadette, our Room Stewards. They introduced themselves and from that moment on, they remembered each of our names! Very impressive! We immediately went to Windows and enjoyed our lunch. The food and staff were both good. Our rooms were ready so we went to change into our bathing suit and hung out at the pool before we attended the Safety Drill at 4 pm. We explored the ship and enjoyed our dinner at Windows. My parents attended the Welcome Aboard Show and enjoyed it.
On Monday, we enjoyed our sea day. We woke up early(as we did most days) and either worked out at the health club or ran on the track on the 12 floor. For breakfast, two of us throughly loved breakfast at Cagney's while the rest of us ate in Raffles. At 10 am, we all attended the Meet and Greet at Maharini's. I highly recommend you attend the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet and be involved in your Role Call. The NCL Staff want to make sure all Cruise Critic members have a great vacation. We were told we had the largest Meet and Greet the Spirit ever had as we had 90 people sign up. Prem Kainikkara, Hotel Director and all of his top staff members were in attendance and answered all of our questions. Captain Evans Hoyt also dropped in to visit with us. We also did a voluntary gift exchange where people brought gift items from their home town. For lunch, we dined at Cagney's for another amazing meal and some of us had great wings and spinach dip at Blue Lagoon Cafe. We enjoyed exploring the Spirit, spending time at the pools, playing cards in the card room and borrowing books from the library. Our only complaint is that we wish the pools were larger and that it would have had a slide. The Buccaneer's Wet and Wild was fun, but better suited for younger children. We were all invited to the Captain's Reception where drinks and appetizers were served. It was nice to talk to the staff and we enjoyed the Art Work in the Art Gallery. We then had a delicious meal at Le Bistro. The food and staff were top notch. It was $15 for adults and half price for the children. Delicious!
On Tuesday, we got up to exercise and enjoyed watching the views from our balcony as we arrived in Costa Maya, Mexico. We spent the day at Maya Chan Resort! I highly recommend this excursion. We loved having our private palapa, floating in the chairs, snorkeling, kayaking, the delicious fresh food, the hammocks, fishing, free internet and computer use and the drinks! My sons loved climbing the trees for coconuts, then the bartender made my children non alcoholic drinks with their coconuts. We would return to Maya Chan! We dined at Windows for dinner then enjoyed the Duo Acrobatique Show.
On Wednesday, we spent the day at Roatan, Honduras. Roatan is beautiful. We booked Rony's Tours and a driver spent the day bringing us around the Island. We first zip lined at South Shore Canopy. We loved zip lining through the jungle where the staff was great! The views were beautiful! We then spent the day at Bananarama Beach. Roatan has the best snorkeling and you can do it right from the beach. You can rent or bring your own snorkel. We did not want to leave this beach! This was was our favorite port! For dinner, my parents and children ate at Windows and attended the Show as my husband and I celebrated our anniversary dining at Cagney's. The food was incredible! Every meal we had at Cagney's throughout the cruise was amazing. The staff is attentive and the coffee is the best on the ship! I highly recommend Cagney's!!!
We docked at Belize City on Thursday. Thanks to Belle, we were able to tender early to shore. We took a water taxi and spend the day exploring Caye Caulker. Make sure you look up the times for the water taxis before you get on the cruise and only purchase a one way ticket. You may want to return at a different time and you want to keep your times open to return. There are two different water taxi companies. It is safe to walk to either company which is outside of Tourism Village. Caye Caulker is a laid back fishing village. We had dinner at Raffles that night. Raffles staff is friendly and funny, the food is okay.
We arrived at Cozumel, Mexico on Friday and spent the day shopping and walking around the city. We had lunch at Senor Frogs and my parents ate at Cagney's. We spent the evening at the pool reading and swimming. We dined at Windows and enjoyed our meal, attended Elements, which was very entertaining and the best show on the ship. We then had dessert at the Chocoholic Buffet! Thanks to Belle, we were able to arrive a few minutes early to take a few photographs.
We spent Saturday enjoying our sea day. I recommend the Spa. I got a wonderful facial and a massage. I had a facial on another cruise line and the staff was very pushy and rude trying to sell products to me. The NCL spa staff were professional. I enjoyed relaxing after my services in the sauna and steam room- relaxing and a great view. We spent the day by the pool reading and swimming. We ate dinner again at Windows! We always enjoyed Windows. The staff went out of our way to serve us. We did attend the magician's show and it was entertaining.
The staff of the NCL Spirit from Captain Hoyt, Prem, Belle, and all the way down the line are all first class employees and they treated all of us special and spoiled us. All were friendly and professional. NCL rival Disney with their customer service! Each went out of their way to meet all of our needs. Each evening I was surprised with an appetizer or a dessert in my room. Thank you NCL staff! You made our day each day!
We departed as VIP's on Sunday. We quickly departed after breakfast and went through customs in record time. We loved having New Orleans as the port of embarkation!
I recommend doing research on Cruise Critic. The message boards have a wealth of information on the cruise lines and the ports! I recommend joining your role call as it is very helpful.
We all recommend Norwegian Cruise Line and the Spirit! We had a wonderful cruise and vacation that has given us a lifetime of happy and amazing memories! We loved having a balcony! Make sure you bring binoculars to be able to see on shore, enjoy the view up and down the Mississippi and to be able to look for birds and fish! We loved hanging out on the balcony, it was quiet, relaxing and what a beautiful view 24 hours a day! We loved having a few drinks, reading or just relaxing on the balcony. Our room stewards kept our room clean, we loved our towel animals. The beds were very comfortable and the rooms were quiet. We did not hear any noise from other rooms. We were blessed with amazing weather, we did not experience any rain. We will take another cruise on NCL! We throughly enjoyed and loved the food at the specialty restaurants and Windows was good. We love all of the 4 ports and New Orleans! New Orleans is a perfect port of embarkation! The Spirit is a pretty ship and well laid out! THANKS NCL for a fantastic vacation!