First, this is my daughters and my second cruise, and after reading the last couple of reviews, I wonder if we were on a different cruise than them. Compared to our first one on Carnival, this one was wonderful. We found the food in the dining rooms much better than that on Carnival. True, there were a few things that I didn't really care for, but no matter where you go, you are going to find some things on a menu that you don't care for. We found the wait staff friendly, and quite efficient. My daughter had the steak every night at either of the main dinning rooms and found it tender and cooked just the way she ordered it. On Carnival, the steak they had on the daily choice was like shoe leather. She loves steak and enjoyed the fact that she could have a New York strip one night in Windows and a ribeye the next in Gardens. As for the food, come on people, this is an inexpensive cruise compared to ones like RCCL and Celebrity. If you want to have gourmet, pay extra and cruise on one of them.
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, and were not disappointed. The ports were wonderful, some of the best snorkeling ever!!!! I was impressed with the little tent they had set up at the port were they handed out cold drinks, wet towels and even offered to spray cool water on your face if you liked. We did not do the excursions through the ship, and did not find the fact that we had to wait for the people that did do them through the ship in Belize to be a problem. If enjoying you breakfast for 'Â½ hour more is going to ruin you vacation, I guess I have a different idea of what vacation is supposed to be all about.
The staff...On the first day, we brought our own bags onboard. As soon as we got out of the elevator, a crew member stepped up to us and asked of we would like help getting our bags to our cabin. He took our bags right to the cabin and even helped us get them in. I didn't think to get his name. All of the staff was friendly and helpful. Our room steward Krystaly was very sweet and if we asked for anything when we saw her she did it, the only thing was she didn't make sure the ice bucket was full every time she cleaned the room and after the first day, never brought back a bath mat. We also didn't get beach towels in the room on the first day and after we got some and used them, she took them away to get cleaned but didn't put clean ones in the cabin. A minor inconvenience though, all we had to do is pick up the phone and all was well. I defiantly wasn't going to let small things like that take away from how wonderful the vacation was.
The ship its self...the ship was beautiful, and for being as old as she is, looked great. Some people have complained that the dÃ©cor was too much, but that is what cruise ships have always been. It was really cool that you could go and watch the captain and officers on the bridge in the viewing room through the Galaxy of the Stars. It did however seem to less stable in the water than the larger ones. The seas were very rough and ship was being tossed around quite a bit. It was kind of a bummer that we couldn't go out on the deck the last sea day, but that wasn't the fault of Norwegian or the Spirit, mother nature had a different plan. The wind was so strong and sea so rough that they even had to cancel the pub crawl. At least it didn't rain on us at the ports.
The entertainment was great. We loved the acrobat team. I still don't know how they could do their show with out falling with the ship rolling like it was. You could sure tell they were from the Russian ballet, they were so graceful. The On Broadway show was good considering two of the performers were hurt and couldn't perform. Elements, for the most part, was good. The water part was a little lame though. And, yes, they did try to sell drinks before the shows, but for the people that wanted a drink, it was convenient. I thought the way they did it was funny. The peel offs were a little annoying, but it was a very short time in the over all scheme of things. I found it much more annoying that cruisers would come in late to the show and make every one in the row stand up so they could get to seats in the middle.
Over all, this cruise was great and I will sail with Norwegian again. We liked it better than Carnival.