Although there was a lot of confusion at first, due to being herded like cattle on other cruise lines, we came to really enjoy the freestyle cruising. I thought I would miss the formal nights, no worries, any night can be your formal night! This cruise was by far more relaxing and fun than any cruise since our first cruise, which is always unforgettable.
Dining, food service and quality far surpasses any other cruise line we have encountered. We were made to feel special everywhere we went. The crew makes a good job of remembering your name and frequently addresses you by your name. Very nice touch. No high pressure sales tactics in the Duty Free shops. The Spirit is an older ship and is rather small by comparison to some others we have been on. The ship is immaculate clean and shows no sign of age and the smaller passenger number allows for a more intimate association with crew and staff.
By far, the most pleasing thing about the crew was their attitude. In most other cases we encountered crew who look tired, burned out on their job, overworked with forced ,weak smiles and they actually make you feel sorry for asking for anything because they are so overworked. The crew of the Spirit was genuine. Laughter, jokes and smiles abound. They were having as good a time as we were and clearly LOVE what they do. Their smiling faces will forever be in our hearts. I'd like to mention a few outstanding crew members who went the extra mile to show us a good time. Richard, assistant Maitre De in the Windows Dining room, Ked, our waiter (really a special person and an extraordinary waiter, Agus, our cabin steward. And the very best (and I'm sorry I never got his name, but you will all know who he is) The Wakey-Wakey...Good Morning....No sleepwalking in the restaurant Man, who greeted everyone at 6am with humor, smiles and enthusiasm. Setting the tone for your day with very best of warm humor and enthusiasm, even though he had to get up at 4am to put your breakfast together and still had the energy to be that cheerful.
I have one bad review. Kyle, the Cruise Director. His microphone is always turned up WAAAAAAAAAY to0 loud. So loud that I experienced pain in my inner ear canal most of the time he was talking. He seems to like to hear himself talk and goes on and on and on without really saying anything. He turns a simple informational announcement into a 20 minute long "Kyle Show" His attempts at humor are poor. Most shocking, was the fact that at every single show, during a standing ovation, Kyle will actually walk out on the stage, microphone way too loud (of course) UPSTAGE the dancers, acrobats, comics or whomever happens to be enjoying their moment of applause and start yakking over the audience. Our group was especially shocked and disappointed when he did this to the couple from the Russian Imperial Ballet. They had performed , by far, the most fantastic show I have ever seen on a cruise ship, they received a thunderous standing ovation and here comes Kyle, walking in front of them and talking over the audience applause. What terrible bad manners. We were so offended we got up and left. We made it a point to leave when ever we heard or saw Kyle. He came close to ruining a great cruise with his bad manners and cheap suits