57 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Norwegian Spirit Cruise Reviews

My mother wanted to do something very special for her 80th birthday And, NCL Barcelona, Morocco, Canary Islands, Portugal and back to Barcelona fit the bill. This was my first NCL cruise. The Spirit is like a stately mid-older woman. ... Read More
My mother wanted to do something very special for her 80th birthday And, NCL Barcelona, Morocco, Canary Islands, Portugal and back to Barcelona fit the bill. This was my first NCL cruise. The Spirit is like a stately mid-older woman. You can see the beauty of her youth through her age. Our cabin was small but functional. The housekeeping staff was more than exceptional. Clifford, went out of his way to be warm and friendly, knowing our names, always greeting us with a smile and a story and taking care of us for any room need. Truth be told, we went to just over one show on board. By that, I mean, we watched one and walked out on another. Mostly amateur stuff. The service overall was quite good. Sanitizing staff made hand cleaning a fun chore. Washy washy! The ports were generally good (weather not so much, but that's what we get for going in February). We purchased two shore excursions. The first was Rabat. I felt that this one was a bit of a rip off. The guide was knowledgeable but, for the most part, we couldn't really go into all but one of the sites. I felt like a few of the stops were so that we could spend money (or be ripped off) with friends of the guide. We stopped at what was supposed to be an old "Medina" area for "tea". It was pretty much devoid of people other than some unsavory characters who proceeded to try to extort money from us. No stopping for any real shopping as promised. We also did the excursion in Funchal for Madeira's breathtaking beauty. The toboggan ride was great fun. The basket weaving was interesting. Too bad there was snow on the mountain so we could not go up for that part of the trip. But, the rest of the views were fantastic. The food in the main dining rooms was just so so and is in fact, my biggest complaint. I would love to have a talk with the chef (I have cooked professionally for many years - true revelation). First night my mother ordered "Thai green curry chicken." It arrived with dried out overcooked chicken and was basic not Thai yellow curry. It was sent back for a much better piece of prime rib. On another occasion, I ordered what was supposed to be tofu Pad Thai. There was absolutely no tofu in it, the noodles were linguine, not rice noodles, no Pad Thai sauce and no peanuts etc. Basically, it was noodles with some fried egg and I couldn't tell you what the flavor profile really was. Blah. We ate one meal with another couple and as we began on our starters, the woman pulls something out of her salad and asked what we thought it was. I recognized immediately that 1. it was not an edible, 2. it was in fact a piece of a juniper shrub and 3. is not even ever used as garnish. We asked the server to speak with someone (I didn't tell him that I knew what it was). He came back claiming that the kitchen said it was a part of the stem from when red lettuce goes to seed. We argued a bit. Here is where I told him what it really was. He went back to the kitchen and came back with a different story. I actually had to show him how I knew what it was by crushing a bit and making him smell it. He finally came back saying the cook was going to go through the boxes of lettuce to see if there was any more in them. The point is, the kitchen staff should not try to show off their stupidity. When it comes to food, one does not take chances. The bright spots with regards to food were the specialty dining options. We were gifted (Karin, the concierge is awesome) with the option to eat breakfast and lunch in Cagney's. And, we also had four evenings of reservations - two in the French Bistro, one in Cagney's and one for Teppanyaki. All much better options. Although, the Teppanyaki was just "ok." It was entertaining as it should have been, but flavors could have bee a little better. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My husband and I were hesitant to take a cruise on this ship because of the reviews. I think the people that wrote bad reviews must have been on a different ship because the NCL Spirit is wonderful. Yes, there are areas of the ship that ... Read More
My husband and I were hesitant to take a cruise on this ship because of the reviews. I think the people that wrote bad reviews must have been on a different ship because the NCL Spirit is wonderful. Yes, there are areas of the ship that do look a bit tired, but the ship is spotless and well cared for. The staff and crew were amazing, helpful and kind. The food was some of the best we've had on a cruise, and we've been on over 20 cruises. The bathroom is a great set-up - easy for two people to get ready at the same time and always clean. The entertainment was top-notch, especially the last two nights. The last night had a quartet that was better than any group we had ever heard. The ports were great, if not too many; I need a vacation after this vacation. We had such a wonderful time. Thank you NCL! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Well, what can I say, chose Norwegian again as we had a wonderful time on Norwegian Epic last year. I suppose we had been spoilt because compared to The Epic I am afraid the Spirit looks and feels a bit tired and dated. Obviously it is a ... Read More
Well, what can I say, chose Norwegian again as we had a wonderful time on Norwegian Epic last year. I suppose we had been spoilt because compared to The Epic I am afraid the Spirit looks and feels a bit tired and dated. Obviously it is a smaller ship but apparently it is one of the oldest in the Norwegian fleet and could do with a complete refit. Don't get me wrong, we had a great cruise and the staff , as always were excellent. They were extremely friendly and could not do enough for you. But if you are looking for plush, look elsewhere. Apart from the Atrium which was magnificent everywhere else could do with a lick of paint and some repairs and so it proved as during the cruise there were areas of the ship that were off limits whilst painting etc was carried out. We had a balcony cabin which could apparently hold three. That would have been impossible as it was barely large enough to hold my wife and I. We brought less luggage than usual and had trouble storing it. But the biggest bugbear during the whole trip was the Norwegian philosophy of "You have money - we want it' They try at every possible occasion to get you to open your wallet. Raffle tickets, The jackpot instant prize draw - ( It wasn't won until the tickets were sold on the last night , now there's a surprise) Photos with Pirate/Matador/Dolphin/octopus at every port 25 Dollars a time. Shuttle bus transfer- 15 dollars per person (which had gone up 5 dollars from last year), there were alternatives if you looked - a lot of ports offer free shuttle transfer but Norwegian don't tell you that, or they dock so far away that it is impossible to walk so consequently they run coach after coach of passengers who have no choice if they want to go ashore. I counted 20 + such coaches at Marseille - that's 65 persons per coach = $1000 dollars per coach. At Valencia the same journey on the local bus cost 1.5 Euros each way. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Food: The selection of food was poor, and the quality was subpar. I have travelled on several cruises, and this was the first one that did not serve smoked salmon! The food was very similar every day at the Raffles buffet. The food ... Read More
Food: The selection of food was poor, and the quality was subpar. I have travelled on several cruises, and this was the first one that did not serve smoked salmon! The food was very similar every day at the Raffles buffet. The food selection and quality appeared to be marginally better in the formal dining rooms, but not by much. The speciality dining restaurants were lacklustre as well. We had the free speciality dining promotion, so we were able to try all of the restaurants. I would definitely not have paid for any of the speciality dining restaurants. The only one that I enjoyed was Cagney's Steakhouse. Be sure to make restaurant reservations on the first day of the cruise because everything gets booked very quickly. Service: The restaurant staff were all very friendly and cheerful. The service of management had much to be desired. We experienced extremely loud hammering noise throughout the first seven nights of the cruise. It seriously impacted the quality of our vacation. Upon complaining, we were told that they were completing urgent maintenance that could not be done ashore (during daytime hours). This was appalling, as maintenance issues should not occur at the expense of the comfort of guests. We were offered $50 onboard compensation, which we immediately rejected. It was insulting to offer such a pittance for a ruined vacation. Cabin: We had an oceanview stateroom. We aware that the oceanview staterooms near the front of the ship are really just a small porthole. The cabin was old, and the tiles in the shower were visibly rusty. Toiletries were of poor quality and the water coming from the sink was sometimes yellow. Overall, I was expecting a lot more. I have travelled on other NCL ships and the experience was much better. Hopefully these issues are exclusive to this ship as I had really enjoyed my previous experiences with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Had a great time. Can't fault the staff. Nice outside cabin with balcony. Would question the need to charge for bottled water at a very high price. Did get caught the first night but after that had jugged ice water when eating. Seems ... Read More
Had a great time. Can't fault the staff. Nice outside cabin with balcony. Would question the need to charge for bottled water at a very high price. Did get caught the first night but after that had jugged ice water when eating. Seems silly when you're on a full drinks package. The entertainment was very good and nice theater. Always managed to get a good seat. Did not use the ship's shore excursions as found very expensive but booked privately and joined a small group of other passengers for a great deal less. Had a nice 8 seater merc aircon minivan that enabled us to get to places the larger coached could not go to. Very good drivers and guides on Rome and Florence trips. Would not hesitate to go on same ship at a future date but will steer clear of the bottled water as tap water fine . Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
It was too windy to dock in Marseilles so we went to Ajaccio which was charming. We know Barcelona well so did not explore this time but you should if you haven't seen it. No hassle with embarkation etc but it's a lot less ... Read More
It was too windy to dock in Marseilles so we went to Ajaccio which was charming. We know Barcelona well so did not explore this time but you should if you haven't seen it. No hassle with embarkation etc but it's a lot less tedious going from Southampton as there's no waiting and queuing in the airport. We had sailed Cunard and Princess before so this time went for our first free drinks package and the good deal with mixed feelings about the service and the older ship. We were very pleasantly surprised. The ship had character and history and her past is exhibited in the bridge viewing room which you descend into from the Galaxy of the Stars on deck 12, a space which felt like home to us both day and night with great 360 views and excellent service. Some decor on the ship is a bit fussy and quirky but Galaxy is updated and it's all clean and easy to negotiate. It felt quite empty at times even though the captain said we were full. The cabin was fine although the TV is basic compared to the state of the art tech on board new ships like Regal Princess. It didn't bother us. Each ship has its pros and cons and you need to accept this and adapt or you won't enjoy it. The aircon was not that great and we struggled to turn it low enough as we like a cool room. Entertainment was just OK, nowhere near as good as Princess but I would still like to cruise with NCL again. The crew got top marks for their attitude and professionalism and there were hardly any hard sells like on Princess. It wasn't formal and timelessly elegant like Cunard, or as spectacular for food and entertainment as Regal but it wasn't far off and felt more intimate. We felt at home and met some really lovely people from Canada and the US. We were glad we booked trips independently as NCL charge way too much. The highlights were our 2 meals in Cagney's. We had the special dining free package and were able to go there twice as you don't have to do 3 separate restaurants. The best steaks we have ever eaten and the complimentary wine from the list was a really decent choice and kept flowing! The Wolfblass Shiraz was the favourite and there was a great NZ Sauvignon. We enjoyed both dressing for dinner as well as sometimes being more relaxed. It was just completely freestyle. There were all different types of food and restaurants to please everybody, even in the buffet. We would recommend NCL for an enjoyable, relaxed and special experience that is also exceptional value for money delivered by professional and very friendly staff. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Embarkation and disembarkation a cinch Ship in excellent condition (re-fitted about 4 years ago I think) Cabin comfortable and quiet cleaned twice a day. Dining very good - we tended to use the Windows restaurant as the self serve ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation a cinch Ship in excellent condition (re-fitted about 4 years ago I think) Cabin comfortable and quiet cleaned twice a day. Dining very good - we tended to use the Windows restaurant as the self serve restaurant could get a bit like a transport caff with some passengers behaving inconsiderately! Entertainment was brilliant esp. Trio Royale and Graffitti Classics. Service faultless - all the staff so friendly and helpful and our cabin was cleaned twice a day. The cabin steward was brilliant. ports interesting, but we did our own excursions as the ship organised ones were stupidly expensive. Only 2 things irritated: drinks too expensive, plus they charge a further 18percent gratuity + VAT also, when you go to bridge viewing area, they pull blinds down which seems rude. Would I go again? Absolutely! This was our first cruise so were a little apprehensive, but we really enjoyed it. Next time though, we would pay the extra for an outside cabin, with a window as the inside cabin is totally dark and so you don't know what time of day it is! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I have sailed with NCL 2x before. I brought my two teens(18,19) to see Spain, France and Italy. First, the port we left from, Barcelona, was the easiest ,nicest port I have used. But March 5th is very cool on the Mediterranean Sea. We ... Read More
I have sailed with NCL 2x before. I brought my two teens(18,19) to see Spain, France and Italy. First, the port we left from, Barcelona, was the easiest ,nicest port I have used. But March 5th is very cool on the Mediterranean Sea. We needed rain coats and jeans to make it through most day trips. The ship ,the Spirit , was a fine older ship. It did rock in the rough seas we had crossing to Corsica( a replacement stop as Marsialles was blowing a gale) and it was rough leaving Italy to Majorcca Spain. The support crew and wait staff were lovely and really made me comfortable. They have yet to know what "homemade chicken noodle soup" tastes likebut hey they were trying when I ordered it for room service and it came cold with spagetti noodles and uncooked celery and carrots. I was disappointed with promo dining which was limited to 3 specialty meals( before we had all). The customer service desk at first denied we had any dining promo and only after a protracted argument where I had to produce proof of the promo( which I had in my bag) were they even going to give us those three. Given the lack of consideration from the ship's customer service desk, I strongly suggest you confirm your dining options as you check in and be sure your room key reflects those choices.. AND be sure to order water ahead of time, or you will pay over $5 per liter once on board. Despite those unfortunate rude moments, we had a great time. Hot tubs, pools and entertainment were very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
bargain cruise especially as i did my own flights, used ncl transfers which were ok going to the ship from the airport but in future i would get a taxi from ship to airport as the ncl transfer is far too early and we spent over 5 hours at ... Read More
bargain cruise especially as i did my own flights, used ncl transfers which were ok going to the ship from the airport but in future i would get a taxi from ship to airport as the ncl transfer is far too early and we spent over 5 hours at the airport the spirit is an old ship, originally the leo superstar launched in 1998 BUT don't let that put you off, it is a quality ship, excellent design and plenty of room - the prom deck is 5 yards wide and there was virtually no queues for the lifts, it oozed quality from the carpets to the outside deck lighting we had an inside - enough room, very spacious shower and enough hanging and storage we also had the drinks package (only 2 drunk people spotted during the whole cruise and they were harmless but on the loud side, only saw them the once) food was very good both the restaurants and the self service buffet, staff were excellent the tips are rather high BUT you do not have to pay them, go to the reception and say that you not want to pay, you have a choice of either paying nothing or paying a lower daily rate trips are not cheap but you can always do your own thing casino was ok, the entertainment was very good only one weak act, the quizzes once again with ncl very poor ncl do not seem to understand that quizzing is very popular so do it properly rather than leave it to staff who do not know how to give general knowledge questions rather than obscure internet questions which nobody knows or cares, please ncl get it sorted Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
First time cruisers, picked the Spirit primarily on price. Was a bit concerned initially by reviewers who wrote off the ship as being old and tired. Although we had an inside family cabin, we were happy with the size and condition of ... Read More
First time cruisers, picked the Spirit primarily on price. Was a bit concerned initially by reviewers who wrote off the ship as being old and tired. Although we had an inside family cabin, we were happy with the size and condition of the cabin. We did have a noise problem at 2 AM when the staff was doing deck maintenance directly above us ( tell me how that makes any sense ... ) , and a plumbing backup issue another morning. NCL did provide complementary wine after each complaint, which took the sting out of things. We only ate in the complementary restaurants, but were generally happy with them. Only issues were salty food at times, and an order at the Blue Lagoon that was totally wrong, with very slow service and pretty much ruined our lunch during a busy afternoon at sea day. We ended up leaving after an hour and going to Ruffles Lounge. The evening performances were quite good, which was a surprise given that previous reviewers felt it was cheesy. Cruise director was great, kept things light and nightly videos were used to highlight activities for the next day. That being said, they could have given more port info to patrons not purchasing the ships excursions. The PROVENCE (MARSEILLE) port was changed to the island of Corisca due to high winds. I think this was great as we enjoyed the port, but other passengers were disappointed. We were disappointed that you could not leave the ship and wander around port in LIVORNO (FLORENCE / PISA) without paying 10 euro to sit on the Spirit's bus to go to the end of the wharf. I would have expected that after having paid port fees, I could at least walk thru the port. We were not allowed in port unless we went on the NCL bus. We particularly enjoyed PALMA MAJORCA. Again, more port info earlier on would have let us been more prepared before hand, but once we figured out that you could walk to 'old town', we had a great day. PALMA MAJORCA was by far my favorite port. All this being said, the ship itself was better than expected, the staff were great and the food was satisfying. Great value for the dollar. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Just returned from a 10 day cruise on the Norwegian Spirit to the Canaries. Travelled as two couples from East Midlands and flew from Gatwick as Gatwick was the only option offered. This was our 10th cruise but first with Norwegian Cruise ... Read More
Just returned from a 10 day cruise on the Norwegian Spirit to the Canaries. Travelled as two couples from East Midlands and flew from Gatwick as Gatwick was the only option offered. This was our 10th cruise but first with Norwegian Cruise Line. Having read some of the previous reviews we were to say the least concerned that we had made the right choice. When we arrived at Barcelona airport and cleared customs etc. we were met by NCL representatives who said that we should wait with other passengers for the transfer bus to the ship. This wait seemed to be for ever with little information from the representatives other than the bus would soon arrive. On arrival at the port we were in a snaking queue to clear port security, this queue starting outside the terminal building, it’s a good job it was dry but it was cold. There were only 2 people on the port security clearing the passengers. Once we cleared this, the actual registration with the ships staff was very slick and we were soon on board and to our cabin. We were on deck 9 with a balcony; we have had bigger cabins on previous cruises and certainly a bigger toilet which was very cramped. There were plenty of clothes hangers in the wardrobe. We soon found our way round the ship and were impressed by the very friendly staff. We tended to eat at Raffles for lunch and the Windows Dining room for breakfast and dinner. We found that there was plenty of choice although some of the choices at dinner were repeated there were also different items every night as well as the repeated ones. We liked the informal style of dining and whilst the majority made the effort at night, smart casual was the order of the day, so if you want to get dressed up with ball gowns and tuxedos maybe this is not for you. We were on the Drinks package and the only downside to this was that bottled water was not included. We enjoyed the afternoon trivia quizzes in the Champagne bar and made friends with a couple of American ladies. We did not go on any of the organised trips from the ship as we considered these to be very expensive and we made our own way as follows: Bearing in mind there were two couples sharing the costs. Casablanca: we “haggled” with a taxi driver to take us where we wanted to go and he was very good and waited for us and brought us back to the ship, it’s a good walk from the ship out of the port area. Las Palmas: we had a list of places we wanted to visit so again discussed with a taxi driver and agreed a price of €100 for approx. 3 to 4 hours he said he wanted €120 so we agreed if he did a good job he would get the extra needless to say we paid him the extra but it was worth it and the also took us round some of the older areas of Las Palmas town which we had not asked him to do. Tenerife: we took the “Hop on Hop off” bus which was priced at 18€ each. Funchal: Again as with Las Palmas and had a good trip round approx. 3 hours €90 Malaga: as with Las Palmas / Funchal but this only cost us 80€ Alicante: used the” Hop on Hop off” which was only 7€ each. For the taxi tours we knew exactly where we wanted to go as we had researched this before we left. All in all if you are confident in your own ability to get back to the ship before it sails then you can save a fortune on the cost of the trips if you arrange them yourself. Based on our experience we would certainly go with Norwegian again but we really would need to find a better option than flying from Gatwick. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise as some friends were going and invited us along! We usually like a break at this time of year and although we've cruised before we've usually done it in summer. We loved the itinerary and the company so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as some friends were going and invited us along! We usually like a break at this time of year and although we've cruised before we've usually done it in summer. We loved the itinerary and the company so we booked last July and looked forward to our trip! We loved it - everything about it. We weren’t sure about NCL or Freestyle having cruised Princess and Cunard previously. However we enjoyed the flexibility and the informality that this afforded us. Embarkation & disembarkation in Barcelona was smooth, efficient and speedy. Luggage reclaim was especially impressive as we are used to having to find our bags in amongst hordes of others. The coloured tags and carousels were very good as was the time slots allocated so as we arrived at the carousel our cases were there! The ship was really very nice- we enjoyed the shows- not all were our cup of tea so opted out but those we saw were of a professional standard. Jill the cruise director was excellent. We ate at most restaurants. Windows was our fave as we became attached to some of the serving staff who were marvelous. We ate there for breakfast on all but the last morning and really enjoyed the serenity and calm. Raffles on the other hand was horrendous! Nothing wrong with the food – what we had on the occasions we ate there was very nice. Fresh and well-cooked but the environment was frenetic and it was often hard to find a table. Not our scene at all! Only ate there when we had to so the last morning which is always a bit of a rush and then on a couple of port days when Windows wasn’t open and they weren’t cooking on deck! Otherwise we gave it a wide berth. The Garden was lovely – we ate there once and enjoyed it. We also ate at Shogun which was OK. Of the specialty we tried Cagney’s (twice) the steaks were gorgeous and we ate at Le Bistro too- both of these were lovely and the service – as in all restaurants was superb. We had the Specialty Dinning package as a ‘free at sea’ and it was a fab bonus. As our friends didn’t have the same package we didn’t use it to the max as we wanted to spend time with them! We also had the Ultimate Beverage Package- another ‘free at sea’ bonus and boy was it! It was superb! We did use it. We enjoyed Champagne Charlies for pre-dinner drinks and for night caps. We also enjoyed the occasional foray into the Galaxy of the stars but if it was a rough night at sea you could really feel it up there! We liked the Bier Garten on deck 13 during the day and the staff there were wonderful- as were most we encountered. We didn’t do any ships trips- we maybe should have done as I don’t think we saw the most of our stops! However we used the local tour buses in the Canaries and in Madeira & seemed to see a lot of the towns using that service. Maybe we’d have seen more in Casablanca if we’d taken a tour- what we saw wasn’t that impressive and I don’t think we saw the best of it. We loved Malaga and Alicante both lovely towns and worthy of a weekend trip for the bucket list! All in all we had a fantastic holiday- of course the company we were with made it extra special but NCL have impressed us sufficiently to sign up for the future! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise as friends had already booked. Being mid February we hoped that a southerly cruise route would take us to warmer climes and we weren't disappointed. It was great to enjoy the on board facilities including the pool ... Read More
We chose this cruise as friends had already booked. Being mid February we hoped that a southerly cruise route would take us to warmer climes and we weren't disappointed. It was great to enjoy the on board facilities including the pool deck. On some days the heated pool was very warm, on others not so warm. The embarkation process was smooth. The only slight negative here was that we were thirsty before boarding and immediately before being called forward to go aboard, there is a little shop selling water. All three of our parties bought 2 litre bottles of water, only to have it immediately confiscated on boarding! Our cabin was big enough and we thought very nice. A quick explore of the ship and we were impressed. From the outset the crew on board were extremely helpful. Dining on board in the two main dining rooms was good although we found The Garden to have more charm than Windows, with more intimate lighting and atmosphere. Of all the meals we had on board the worst dish served was a cold soup served in Windows. It was sent back and returned not much warmer. Apart from this the food throughout was very pleasing. We had five speciality dining experiences on board and they were all very nice. Cagney's was great for a very large steak (rib eye!). Le Bistro was fancy food and tasty! Tea coffee and water on board are not included in the drinks package which was odd we thought, especially as we could go and get the same from the upstairs buffet! Breakfast was a feast and it was nice to be able to take the food outside to eat on warmer days. Entertainment on board was good. The live band who performed on deck 12's Galaxy of the Stars each night were outstanding. Their rendition of The Prayer (Celine Dion/Andrea Bocelli) brought me to tears. The only strange thing here was that they played uptempo stuff and really got the crowd going for the first part, then had a break after 45 minutes and came back to perform slower numbers for the last half hour. I play in a band and we play three hours non stop!!! Those up for a dance felt a bit deflated! The theater productions were wonderful. The dance troupe were extremely talented. The service was great with the exception of reception who failed to find us another cabin quickly after we discovered we had a very noisy cabin (4580). We asked to be moved in the afternoon at around 3 or 4pm. They said they would see what they could do. Only after going to reception before 7am the next morning and complaining strongly was an alternative cabin found. They claimed to have been trying to contact us to give us a new cabin the evening before. Nonsense of course, as had they wished they could have simply left a note on the cabin door. The ship was not full so we knew there were empty cabins on board. The ports were all nice. We took only one excursion, in Morocco as we had never been there. We took the cheapest trip and weren't disappointed - not too long and more of a taster excursion. The Hassan II Mosque is amazing. We would gladly do this itinerary again on the same ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Tour Meditteranean : Norwegian Spirit needs to be totally refurbished! Worst food ever, I have taken over 10 cruises and have never seen additional charges for dinner entrees in the main dining room! The Spirit served two Italian entrees ... Read More
Tour Meditteranean : Norwegian Spirit needs to be totally refurbished! Worst food ever, I have taken over 10 cruises and have never seen additional charges for dinner entrees in the main dining room! The Spirit served two Italian entrees & both were so horrible, we sent them back. Entrees included Jamaican, Indian, Oriental and Cajun while sailing around Spain & Italy - WHY?, If your cabin was Midship or forward, you had to go two decks up to walk to the other end then down two decks to get to the main dining room which was Directly Over The Engines Causing you to shake during dinner & cause sea sickness! Disembarking in port was totally impossible if you were in a wheelchair or walker. You could pay for bottled water to take into ports, but you were not allowed to bring the same bottle back onboard. Ice was a premium commodity onboard. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We booked this at shorter notice than normal due to health issues but the price was right and although we've been to the Canaries several times before we've not visited mainland Spain or Casablanca.So a nice cruise and some ... Read More
We booked this at shorter notice than normal due to health issues but the price was right and although we've been to the Canaries several times before we've not visited mainland Spain or Casablanca.So a nice cruise and some winter sun were welcome attractions. We spent a couple of days pre-cruise in Barcelona which was a wonderful experience. It is such a beautiful city and even though the weather was pretty poor we enjoyed the experience and determined to go back if possible. The Cruise Port is only 15 minutes tops, taxi ride from the city centre and when arrived we were processed efficiently and soon found ourselves on board.Unfortunately due to adverse weather conditions instead of departing that evening for Valencia, we would be leaving the following day directly to Casablanca. Shame but couldn't be helped. First impressions: last year we cruised on the Getaway and we thought that was awesome but perhaps just too many passengers. The Spirit is obviously smaller, fewer passengers. The decoration in the public areas is very tasteful, the Atrium is pretty magnificent with its glass lifts/elevators and feeling of spaciousness. We made our way to Windows MDR and it is mind blowing. What a beautiful area. We had a lovely lunch and made our way to our stateroom, 11069. Standard inside, everything we could need but what was outstanding was the bathroom/shower. It is the largest shower cubicle we have ever had on any of our cruises. The safety drill was a bit chaotic, conducted on deck - which was damn cold. Plus points We mainly ate in Windows MDR in the evenings. The food was really good and the staff without exception were brilliant. Courteous, professional and very friendly. Lunch was usually in the Raffles court buffet. There were always plenty of seats available and the food was of good quality and professionally presented and served. Our "sundowners" were always taken at Raffles Bar. Lovely views and excellent bar staff. Lots of sunbeds available - when the sun shone. Pool was of a good size - unlike the Getaway which has a large paddling pool as it's main water feature! Pre and post prandials taken at Champagne Charlie's every night. Can't praise the staff here highly enough. It got very busy at times but they coped amazingly. It was a bit difficult at times to get a seat but not impossible. The ports of call were varied and interesting - especially Malaga. What a beautiful place - totally at odds with our expectations. However the excursions at all ports of call offered by NCL are very expensive when compared to what is offered by local companies. Minuses Did not like the Blue Lagoon dining option. I can see that NCL are trying to replicate their O'Sheehan's sports bar experience but it's pretty dire. Situated either side of a main thoroughfare, people sitting side by side along one wall reminding me of battery hens dipping into their feed troughs and being inspected by every passer by - no, not for me! The daytime activities were poor and amateurish. Not my cup of tea. We didn't bother attending any of the theatrical shows - not our scene. I usually doze off mid performance whatever is on stage. We were on the UBP so drink prices were not an issue but list prices did seem rather high - internet access was ludicrously expensive and we were offered the opportunity to purchase some expensive tat whilst onboard. Overall We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. The Spirit is a fabulous ship - not the tired out hulk I was half expecting from previous reviews. The food was good and varied, the facilities were good and the staff outstanding. Would go back in a flash! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This is my third time taking the cruise and the first time with NCL. I chose this cruise because of great price, casual dining - ie no formal dressing nights, and wanted to check out the Canary Islands in Spain in a more budget friendly ... Read More
This is my third time taking the cruise and the first time with NCL. I chose this cruise because of great price, casual dining - ie no formal dressing nights, and wanted to check out the Canary Islands in Spain in a more budget friendly way. Due to the rare snow storm in the south coast of Spain, end up our first port - Valencia got cancelled. So, our ship stayed in Barcelona for our first and the next half day. Then, at sea for another day and half. We arrived the first pot in day 3. Although it is a bit disappointment not able to visit Valencia, but we were allowed to leave the ship during the docking time in Barcelona, so we took the advantage to hire a cab and tour the city a bit. The embarkation was smooth, it took less than an hour and we got into our cabin. Disembarkation also went smooth, no long line wait and we got out in less than 30 minutes. I rated this cruise as average because the ship is a bit smaller which I felt not enough space to take a walk around. Food quality and varieties were just average or even less than average. We have tried all available restaurants (specialty, complimentary, buffet). I was expecting because we were in Spain, so, there may be one day/night or two will offer Spanish theme type of cruise but none. Most of the menu items remained pretty much the same most of the time. I do like the buttery croissant served in the buffet session every morning though. There was one seafood theme night which the mussels were very good though. Another item impressed us was the prawns, big and juicy. Other than the above impressive items, I couldn't recall what other time that surprised us. For the daily program, I was surprised that there was no 'talk' offered to introduce us what to see when we arrive to the next port. In HAL and Princess, they have quite a detailed talk offered everyday in the main theater to introduce us the key attractions in the next port and good Q&A time. This greatly help us what to plan or expect. For the nightly entertainment especially the dance show, I would like to give a high compliment to them. One of the night they did the world tour which kind of like a showcase of different styles tradition dance and songs around the world. It was indeed the highlight during the entire cruising time. Very professional and entertaining. Applause to all those young performers. Not sure if it is because of the timing of this cruise or it is how the Europe ports operate, we didn't see lots of local booth (excursions) set up at ports like how great varieties we can choose in the Alaska ports. Instead of doing the excursions from the cruise, our option was to negotiate the price with the cab driver when we got on the port. Majority of the cab drivers over there not able to manage English well but they did try their best. They were very friendly too. So riding a cab was not a bad option but I wish there were more options. We like to support the local business. Of all the ports I have visited during this itinerary, I like Funchal and Malaga. The three stops in Canary Island looks the same to me. Visit one would be good enough in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We just returned from a 10 day cruise in January on the Norwegian Spirit and loved it. The ship, the staff and the ports we visited were everything we had hoped for. We stayed in the balcony stateroom midship on the 11 th floor. It was ... Read More
We just returned from a 10 day cruise in January on the Norwegian Spirit and loved it. The ship, the staff and the ports we visited were everything we had hoped for. We stayed in the balcony stateroom midship on the 11 th floor. It was convenient to elevators, gave us extra space for enjoying our morning coffee on the balcony and was a smooth quiet sailing location. We would recommend this tour. It was very cold in Rome and Florence and even Sicily in Jan. However you do avoid the crowds at the popular tourist sights. Wonderful. Vacation. There were lots of dining choices on the cruise and we liked the free style dining theme. The staff in the dining rooms and the bars were excellent. Harold our cabin Stewart took very good care of our needs and has a real talent for sculpturing miniature animals with the towels. Made us laugh every time we returned to our cabin in the evening. We did not attend any shows as we were very tired after our days in port. We did excursions in 6 ports in 9 nights and enjoyed just a quiet relaxing evening with a drink at The Cafe to talk about our day. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We did an overnight stay in Barcelona before embarkation. Really great place but need more time there. Embarkation was really easy. Really well organised, much easier than boarding a plane. We dropped our luggage outside to waiting staff, ... Read More
We did an overnight stay in Barcelona before embarkation. Really great place but need more time there. Embarkation was really easy. Really well organised, much easier than boarding a plane. We dropped our luggage outside to waiting staff, then went in for check in. Photos taken for identification, room cards issued all with in 20 minutes. We were then allocated a number, when our number was called we could board the ship. We soon found our cabin and dropped off our carry on luggage. Cabin was very good, much larger than I expected. Nice to have a Balcony, but not warm enough in January to sit outside. Bed was fantastic, really comfortable. Shower was really good. Overall the room was better than a lot of 4 star hotels we have stayed in. Food in all the restaurants was good. You had a fantastic choice in Raffles restaurant, to much sometimes.We had booked a fine dining package, so glad we did.This gave us 5 nights speciality dining, which you need to pre book, to guarantee the time you want to dine. We do enjoy having waiter service at night, so we alternated between the Garden restaurant, Windows restaurant, Le Bistro , Asian, Teppanyaki, Cagney's steak house and La Trattoria. All the restaurants were very good with a great choice of food. Very good waiter service. We were asked every night if the food was good, however one night we all said the food could have been hotter, they wanted to change all our meals but we said that it was ok, They did say they would tell the chef. The following night we were in a different restaurant, when the head of all catering on the ship cam up to us and apologised for our meal the night before as well as asking if everything was ok. We thought this was a really good way to follow up a complaint, 10 out of 10 for service. Most nights we would have an early evening drink in Cafe 49. The staff were very good. But we found that sheldon was our favourite waiter, nothing was too much trouble and very friendly. After the second night he had got to know all our names and even what drinks we wanted, again 10 out of 10 . Entertainment was very professional and varied. We did not book any ships excursions but did our own thing. Disembarkation was really easy, our baggage was waiting for us outside. Great cruise, great staff and a great ship. Will book again with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
As a well seasoned international traveler, cruiser, business owner and owner of a vacation rental property, its hard for me to write a negative review, but someone has to say something about this cruise line.So here it goes: 1. Know ... Read More
As a well seasoned international traveler, cruiser, business owner and owner of a vacation rental property, its hard for me to write a negative review, but someone has to say something about this cruise line.So here it goes: 1. Know what you are paying for! The cruise lines offer specials to get you on board and then charges you outrageous fees for everything on board. For example: Bottled Water is $59.95 for 12 "large" bottles, $22.95 for 6 "large bottles"...(yes I have proof via pictures)! The prices for Pepsi (no Coke products) and liquor is totally outrageous. Please note, you are NOT allowed to bring any soda, water, liquor or food from port on board. The confiscate it and return it when you disembark.....Wifi is .95 per minute up to $125.00 for 250 minutes! Etc., etc., etc.... 2. The management staff does not seem to communicate well with the staff. Its hard to get the same answer from any one person. This comes from the top down and includes reservations to on board management staff. Support staff members are great! 3. The food is downright terrible, no matter what dining room you eat in. I think it sums it up pretty clearly when I say that American Airline's food on our return flight tasted better than the ships. YIKES!!! 4. Entertainment is very cheesy...... 5. Lack of quiet places 6. No self serve on board laundry facilities. I could go on and on but I am out of space. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
MY friend and I have previously sailed on Norwegian Star and thoroughly enjoyed it. Spirit was a different story. The vibration and noise in the cabin when in open waters at full speed was unbearable, particularly in Bedroom part of cabin. ... Read More
MY friend and I have previously sailed on Norwegian Star and thoroughly enjoyed it. Spirit was a different story. The vibration and noise in the cabin when in open waters at full speed was unbearable, particularly in Bedroom part of cabin. FIrst night I barely slept and used ear plugs. it eased up mid day on second day and returned on about day 7. Concierge at first had no explanation, seemed surprised but sent wine and strawberries to apologize. ON day 7 they took it more seriously after having engineers, carpenters and others looking at the cabin it was decided that molding was rattling but even after minor repair with masking tape problem reduced but not go away completely. We were offered use of a second cabin for two nights so each night the one of us using the bedroom left to go to a smaller cabin - real hassle but perhaps the best they could do. Concierge tried to be helpful but it is impossible for me to believe that they are unaware of the vibration and noise in aft facing cabins when ship is at full speed in open waters. Never had this problem on the Star in same room categoriy but we were in Norwegian fiords so speed mmight not have been an issue. Not the luxury experience one would have expected for the price. Otherwise ports were good - reasonable days at sea. Use of Cagney for breakfast and lunch was terrific, but note the menu there never changes and kitchen is basically limited to what's on the menu. On Star, Cagney's had its own breakfast buffet. MEnus in specialty restaurants also do not change so be prepared to eat in the dining room if you want a change on a 10 day or longer cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
First I want to say that i was told that this liner is soon up for refurbishment , it makes it sound like it needs it , but it doesn't . The bed is still the most comfortable I have ever slept in . The staff are , almost without ... Read More
First I want to say that i was told that this liner is soon up for refurbishment , it makes it sound like it needs it , but it doesn't . The bed is still the most comfortable I have ever slept in . The staff are , almost without exception , brilliant . One day they are serving dinner , the next spraying hands ! Wouldn't suit me , but perhaps all feel equal . For this reason I pay the tips demanded . But some people get it reduced , how, I don't know . I still feel guilty , after years , if I don't give my steward extra , BUT WHY SHOULD I ? Other passengers can get you down when they are moaning ! Some don't know anything about good food or cutlery , so that's why so much is frozen and baked or deep fat fried . Some had battered fish , cut into three to maximise the batter , brown on the bottom and they could squeeze liquid out of it like coton wool ! The restaurants don't open for lunch when the ship is in port . The cost of alcohol is stunning , because on top of all the things going to the cruise line , the Spanish Government get another 17% . The price of the excursions make your eyes water ! $230 to go to Rome for a few hours ! Couldn't I fly for a weekend for that ? The Cruise Director now tells people where they can pick up their privately arranged tours , was a time this was ignored . We were in port on Christmas day having had to do the cruise backwards . Nearly every tour was cancelled because everywhere was closed , we should have been at sea . Where were the celebrations ? Where was the Cruise Director and her team giving us some extra fun ? Where ? The evening theatre show was good 4 or 5 nights . How can they take you to Pompeii , then make you queue to buy an entrance ticket ? +11 euros. I would think twice before I travelled with Norwegian again . It would have to be sailing somewhere pretty remarkable. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This is my fourteenth cruise, sailing in the past with RCL, P & O, MSC, Princess, Celebrity and even Costa and I can honestly say that this was without doubt the very best. The staff are wonderful although we did find the basic show ... Read More
This is my fourteenth cruise, sailing in the past with RCL, P & O, MSC, Princess, Celebrity and even Costa and I can honestly say that this was without doubt the very best. The staff are wonderful although we did find the basic show to be somewhat appalling, the dancers lack talent so much it was embarrassing to watch. Our cabin was on deck 5 which was well placed without spending an arm and a leg. The general age group was very mixed from teenage up to those retired for many years, me included but nevertheless a truly wonderful experience. I was never really aware of any younger children although I do understand that there were a few on board, they were very well behaved. I can't speak too highly of NCL it was just great, we are very much looking forward to our next cruise with NCL this summer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My overall feeling upon disembarking is that I would love to take another cruise specifically on the Spirit! Embarkation was quick and easy. We brought 6 bottles of very inexpensive Spanish wine on board, payed the cork fee, and got ... Read More
My overall feeling upon disembarking is that I would love to take another cruise specifically on the Spirit! Embarkation was quick and easy. We brought 6 bottles of very inexpensive Spanish wine on board, payed the cork fee, and got the bottles tagged. Great way to go to save some dough! As stated in many reviews, this ship is older. My husband and I had sailed 3 times with NCL prior to this cruise--twice on medium-sized ships (Jade and Star) and most recently on the Epic. This ship is beautiful! Having come from the Epic last year, we did notice the age for the first day or two (mostly due to the cabin layout and decor, which was somewhat unappealing). But the rest of the ship is very attractive, and we really enjoyed it. The huge, arched windows in the main dining room are fabulous. Also, we heard that the ship is going into dry-dock in January 2017 to get spiffed up. The special thing about this ship is the amazing design of PUBLIC SPACES. Raffles Terrace at the back of the ship is the perfect place to sit and enjoy the view. There are many great, uncrowded options for table seating. All have a terrific view. We loved grabbing a snack and/or beverage and relaxing on the back deck after being out for the day. The evening views in Toulon (mountain in the background) and Naples (parked right in front of a fortress that is lit-up at night) were unparalleled. Also, cruising into the ports of Venice and Montenegro are something we'll treasure always!!! I think that almost everyone was out on deck to admire both Venice and Montenegro, and yet it didn't feel overly crowded. The Galaxy of the Stars at the front of the ship is fabulous for enjoying views from inside, (while sipping a cocktail?). We were able to snag good seats here several times while leaving port. Also, we were able to enjoy live music here on two evenings with premium seats. On other ships, I haven't enjoyed the public spaces much because they are either too crowded, too noisy, or the few good seats are taken. Not the case on the Spirit! My husband and I LOVED the addition of a juice bar at Raffles Court. THANK YOU!! It's a few dollars extra, but worth it. Food was even better on this trip!! The menu has been updated and it's definitely an upgrade. The portions are smaller, so we don't waste as much or over-eat (as much). The desserts are much improved (they used to be rather blah). The only negative is that the bread basket isn't as nice as it used to be--just average bread, although fresh. Also, prices are creeping up for wine and spirits, and the cappuccino was not great and took forever to arrive the first night, so I never ordered it again. Regarding service--staff are cheerful and friendly. We hardly saw our cabin attendant, which was unfortunate. Sometimes we had questions or requests and couldn't find him. Room service wasn't as top-notch as before, but I think our attendant may have been new. Service in the two main dining rooms was usually excellent, but sometimes slow. I think I only had hot coffee with my breakfast and/or dessert on three occasions in 11 days. Other than for coffee, we didn't mind the occasional wait. Our meals were hot, and we were, after all, on the cruise to relax, slow down, and enjoy conversation. The one thing that was worse on the Spirit than on any other NCL ship was the Blue Lagoon. It's not a separate dining area. It's a row of tiny tables along a main thoroughfare. Seating is very limited. If you do find a seat, it's almost impossible to get service from the few, overworked staff members in this high-demand area. Another con is the new arrangement for specialty dining. This is fleet-wide, not just the Spirit. Now the pricing is a-la-carte and rather spendy. It used to be a $10 - 15 cover charge per person for Le Bistro or the Trattoria. We always enjoyed treating ourselves once or twice each cruise. Well, not anymore. We boycotted in hopes they'll return to the old pricing method. I shouldn't have to pay a full fine-dining price plus an ADDITIONAL 18 percent gratuity on top of what I'm already paying! The Grand Med cruise intinerary was fabulous! It hits all the highlights for first timers (which was perfect for my parents who had never been to Europe). The NCL excursions are getting pricey, and since we know our way around, we did all the ports on our own. It takes more effort, but saves money. Rome was more of a challenge this cruise than last, as we were docked MUCH farther out. The ship provided far too few shuttle buses to get you out of the port area (for those not booked on excursions), so we lost some time in the morning. The cruise director had some good tips for going ashore at each port. The art gallery auctioneer, Andre, was the BEST we've seen! We had a lot of fun at the art auctions and even bought several art works. Entertainment was OK. Not as great as on the larger ships, but we still enjoyed a few of the offerings and also the piano-player and the latin duo. We enjoyed the greater variety among fellow cruisers this trip--it seemed that there was a more international group. Very fun! Overall, we enjoyed the Spirit and would be happy to cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Find Below some observations: • Embarkation procedure in Barcelona - made to wait for over 30 minutes in the cruise terminal hall after check-in.There was no general announcement as to why. In addition many had come directly from the ... Read More
Find Below some observations: • Embarkation procedure in Barcelona - made to wait for over 30 minutes in the cruise terminal hall after check-in.There was no general announcement as to why. In addition many had come directly from the airport and were tired, thirsty and hungry.There was no provision for refreshments made by NCL or the Port Authorities (the cafe had closed). NCL should have forseen these circumstances and ensured some kind of refreshments were available. This is compounded with the fact that some had emptied their water bottles at or prior to arrival at the cruise terminal and check-in in preparation for NCL's new policy regarding prohibition of bringing on any type of liquid. Note:The delay in embarkation was due to safety drill being carried out. • Inadequate Safety Drill - was carried out immediately upon embarkation for those that missed the official seriously lacking.The group of people for whom this was for could not all hear the instructions given by the member of crew - mainly because there were just too many people and the instructions given were therefore inaudible • The inappropriateness of the main public central space such as the Atrium being taken over by a bargain 'flea market' sale and a photo studio every day and night • Spill-over noise from clipper piano bar into Atrium - i.e. Not everyone needs or wants to hear various musical games such as 'name that tune' and such like - this issue compounds with previous comments and creates irritation • Extremely loud and inappropriate music on the pool deck • Irritating 'whiny, tinny, pop music being played in outside bars at most times • 'Washy washy!' greetings at the entrance to restaurants. Its clearly evident the crew feel uncomfortable doing this because they understand many guests also don't like it. • Constant announcements or Bingo or 'Name that tune'. Where were the interesting talks rather than everything being primarily focused on making guests spend money. • Announcements made by the CD in the Atrium (and other public spaces) - volume needs to be turned down either that or the CD needs to use the MIC not so close to his mouth. Extortionate prices of drinks plus: • Daily service charge • Extortionate price of excursions • 18% beverage service charge • Requests for tips on receipts - Tender Process Kotor: The perception amongst guests is that this should and could have been handled better by NCL. A passing apology from the captain is not really sufficient.The situation was chaotic and many guests were very angry. At the very least there could have been some pre-warning about the conditions. • There was also a point in the tender process on board the ship where a crew member announced to guests waiting on deck 7 that it was now open tender which resulted in a mass rush of guests to the stairs and then resulting confusion and congestion.The tannoy announcements were still going through the numbered tender process • Is it appropriate that the Cruise Director to call out the announcements numbered tender ticket holders to board the tenders? Could the CD not being be occupied with performing a more significant role? 'Penny pinching': Guests completely not happy about the policy regarding bringing on water to the ship and do not believe the policy is due to safety and security. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Norwegian Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 4.5 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 3.5 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.2
Service 5.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.0

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