Just one of another amazing time on the Norwegian Spirit. Jan 8 sailing out of NOLA.
WOW what a treat! Does any other ship do this? From ice sculptures to chocolate carvings the presentation was superb and the selection endless. The windows dining room was converted to a Willy Wonka Wonderland of hundreds of chocolate containing creations. Table after table of yummy bite sized treats freshly created for your viewing and eating pleasure. Truly a trek back to the obsessive overindulgence of our youth when chocolate was such a treat we indulged until all was consumed, but on the Spirit that is an impossible feat at this sweet treat.
I think that most all the cruisers came to this event as the dining room was full and people waited for entry, but the staff never let the treats disappear and they replenished as soon as they were consumed.
Now this my fellow cruisers was FUN and not to be missed. Even if you don't indulge it is a sight to behold.
Windows Dining Room:
This is an old world fine dining room complete with fresh white linen's and napkins, and a stunning view out the aft of the ship to the blue green sea with a churning wake of foam. We enjoyed many meals here through our voyage and it is always a winner. I enjoyed the excellent service, the food was always interesting and well presented. Now to be sure every dish was not to my taste but the selection was large with a Chef's special every night on a new menu and a slew of classic offerings for the less adventurous or the folks that would just like to stay on a familiar course.
The only thing I can offer to expand this experience would be to offer a seasoning alternative for us with a spicy palate as the seasoning was correct but muted for a large audience. In real world terms a bottle of "hot sauce" as many eateries do at home but maybe a chance to request spicy Caribbean seasoning from the menu.
I had fish twice, snapper and mahi-mahi and both were large fillets and well prepared, again my only preference would be for a large dose of blackened spice seasoning but it was very good on rice, and once on gumbo.
A new dessert every night for me, all well prepared and presented with finesse.
The specialty concept restaurant has been in the ships for a while and I expect are a good way to increase the bottom line. That is fine with me as this is a choice offers a dining experience different than the large dining rooms.
More intimate, smaller venues. They can offer the tweaked spicy preparations that my palate desires. No table linens here but a nice mixture of wood and glass make this a beautiful place for a meal. We had a couple of dishes which we shared and a couple appetizers. Sweet and sour pork, Szechuan beef, Calamari's, lo-mien, and shanghi noodles.
The food was good but confusing. The lo-mein was excellent but the shanghi noodles were not to my liking and when I asked the waiter the name of the dish he pointed to the shanghi and said "lo-mein" and pointed to the lo-mein and said "Shanghi noodles". I don't know what they call it but I recommend the shanghi noodles that seem like excellent lo-mein.
The calamari's were a jumbo shrimp wrapped in a spring roll wrapper then fried, quite excellent but not calamari's, also served with no sauce and that is very unusual for a Chinese dinner.
Well it is advertised as "Asian Fusion" and I think the Chef's are mostly from India as the Taste of India happens here so there is the "fusion". Any way the menu confused me but I did like what I received and was happy enough I skipped desert.
Nice cozy niche on deck seven with table linens and ambiance. This place was busy at our eight o'clock reservation so I recommend you book a time here. We had the thirty six ounce rib eye for two, carved tableside. Wife had the escargot appetizer and enjoyed them, a salad for me.
The steak was perfect medium rare a feat considering the size of the piece. It was basic salt and pepper seasoned and disappeared quickly! We had fun here and the kitchen is open and you can watch the chef work but it was still away far enough to allow an intimate conversation.
Worth the wait!
This is the first stop after a shore excursion for a quick nosh. Even mid-day they will have a sandwich prepared or a burger. Efficient and clean this is a big "step up" from a Golden Corral of the Seas. The staff in here were funny and fun. One gentleman with a booming voice was almost a standup comic, no matter how sour you might feel he will make you laugh.
The ship has recently been to dry-dock in Mobile Alabama. It seemed to be pristine and I found no fault in any of its operations. The room I had was clean with a beautiful comforter which we stained on the second day and was promptly replaced with a clean one. Cabin steward was very good and did the traditional towel animals most evenings. They have added a flat screen tv in all rooms and show first run movies every day.
Meet and Greet:
This is something I always recommend to travelers. It was attended by the hotel director, Prem, and eight of the top staff. Prem does a professional job and introduces you to the staff: Food and Beverage Director, Executive Chef, Cruise Director, Executive Housekeeper, Guest Services Manager, Restaurant Manager, Beverage and Bar Manager, and Group Services Coordinator.
WOW! We met the top players of this floating hotel with restaurants and mall attached.
I cannot thank Prem Kainikkara enough as his appearance with the top staff, all seriously asking you to call them with any problems made us feel like to most respected and welcome gusts any where in the world!
After the executives left we mingled and I made acquaintances that in the next few days became friends. After the M&G we did a slot pull and hit a $680.00 dollar jackpot and ten of us ended up with seventy bucks profit! What a great way to start a cruise.
This was done in Cagney's this trip and we had a perfect time. You were close enough to the three piece jazz band that the sound was sooo nice, and a lovely couple I did not know danced with perfection and a connection. You could just feel their romance. Really nice afternoon and lunch. Loved it!!
There was a Philippine husband wife duo singing in Champagne Charlie's that were very good.
We also attended the martini tasting there and five martini's later were heading to the cabin to sleep the blissful sleep of the over-served.
Enough of the ship, needless to repeat we had a wonderful time on this unique and beautiful ship thanks to a great crew and agenda.
Some names you might know are back on the ship. Anabelle Vitturi or "Belle" is now in guest services. She is a lovely person who is such great help. John D'sousa is now the concierge and was efficient and professional. More excellent crew members.
Maya Chan $59.00 pp
I have read glowing reviews' for the last year and we decided to try this shore excursion.
As you can read I do love the pampered service from the ship and I was not sure what to expect.
I can now report first-hand that all the hype was true as this place is truly a home away from home.
An American owns this place with his wife and son and it was a dream. Wonderfully roomy huts called palapas were assigned to each guest and they were right on the water, fifteen feet from the shore! Bar service comes to you, snackage comes to you, and it even has a lounge couch for a little nap along with chairs and a table.
Our friends from the M&G were next to us so you could be social of just clam up in the hut for a sun bath.
The food was excellent, fresh and authentic. Peppers, "hot" and" not", were plentiful and the salsa and guacamole were perfect. After snackage and drinks we attended a buffet style lunch in the bar with yummy food for all tastes finely prepared and served for a couple hours till you could eat no more.
It was the owners birthday so we were served a stunningly well prepared "tres leche" cake that was the best in Mexico. I have tried to make this cake and failed but this little Mayan lady hit a home run.
The people on floaties were served in the water. Excellent service. Had a nice snorkel with Zack and a few other visitors, got all the sun I needed, and had a memorable meal and snacks.
This place is a must do in Costa Maya. Try it you won't just like it you will love it! It is going to be my regular for Costa Maya. Nicely stocked bar, all inclusive, privately owned. (Booked Direct)
Mexican Cooking Class Cozumel 99.99 pp ship booked
At $99.99 this is an expensive tour but if you can spare the change then this is a fun tour. Chef Luis is a fun guy and great teacher taking you step by step through a traditional lunch preparation at a clean and bright cooking station. Drinks come quickly and you soon are laughing and cooking a nice fish in tamarind sauce lunch with a Diablo shrimp appetizer and a plantain desert.
I was unsure but after we finished and ate our preparation I was convinced it was worth the price and it was a wonderful time learning to cook.
Tabyana Beach Party and snorkel Roatan $59.99 pp ship booked
Wonderful beach, excellent buffet lunch, amazing reef just off the beach for a great snorkel.
Hamburgers were charcoal grilled and very good, Hot dogs and chicken with rice and beans complete the meal.
Very nice beach and reef.
Altun Ha Mayan Ruins Belize $59.99 pp ship booked
Excellent ruins, all you would expect, just as imagined. The trip out was a long ride and the tour was a bit wordy but the ruins were all I had ever imagined. Great pictures are all I need and I got them. No need for me to visit other sites that are even farther away.
No drinking, no eating, just learning. I think I have become a bit spoiled by Maya Chan beach.
A great cruise for sure. NOLA was fun, embarkation and debarkation is a snap at this port and Norwegian is very organized. Thanks to all my new found friends!
See ya on the Spirit!!