Sail Date: December 2018
Been on ncl Miami before so thought we would do this one as we live in Spain, so easy to drive to Barcelona, stayedovernight at Eurostar marina hotel not cheap but good as easy to walk to ramblas or stay round marina, car parked at the ... Read More
Been on ncl Miami before so thought we would do this one as we live in Spain, so easy to drive to Barcelona, stayedovernight at Eurostar marina hotel not cheap but good as easy to walk to ramblas or stay round marina, car parked at the world trade centre ,checkin was great so so seamless, once on board Staff there to point you to areas as rooms were not ready but did not expect that at 11-30 in the morning when I know the last people don’t leave untill 9am. Had a lovely lunch and a glass of very nice dry wine and a beer. The rooms were ready about 2 hrs after being on board and cases were there too!. Unpacked and then went for a wander. Big ship but once you get your bearings it’s easy to manoeuvre. Kids area back of ship. Gym and walking/running track on deck. Loads of bars and quiet areas even a board games room, all provided. The app for use on board is very good too. Small duty free, there is a jewellery shop, and duty free alcohol too...good itinerary throughout each day wether at sea or in port. Great evening shows too...don’t miss the last night!... The first port was Casablanca which we thought great Xmas day there, what a run down place. We were on a trip that was a 2 not a lot of hiking etc as hubby has poor Knees. Seem less exit from ship well organised. Once on told we were going to old quarter, got off and all we did was walk around looking at ‘doors’ no interest to me. Went to a olive market , very smelly as small, nit any good as cannot take foods etc back on ship. Saw few police with guns around about us too, which I did not find helpful. Then to a shop! For trinkets, nothing I wanted in there but if you like leather and other goods then I suppose that’s ok. We went for a coffee just over road, very nice chap and cheap too. Back on ship great, onwards then to canaries, been to canaries loads so no trips booked. Still miffed about the first trip. Next stop Madeira we booked the toboggan downhill. Great escape off ship again seamless. Great coach person with information etc. Trip upto the area for ride, first there, loads of men dressed in the local dress ready to take two at a time down hill,,,oh what fun! It was well worth a go on this if you go there there are others trips too. Bought some cork trainers reasonably priced as opposed to America too. Thought was great trip so went to excursion desk as still not happy about the Casablanca trip. Saw a female did not get name, she was from Belarus. Not attentive at all, said why had I left it that long to say! Why should the time make a difference, she was not very helpful at all, think if she could have she would have raised an eyebrow or two!. Left feeling nothing, and noted her laughing with her colleague as we went upstairs, so I knew she was referring to us as she looked!...needs More customer service, I’ve worked in it for years! On ship great seamless again, lots of hand washing which is good, day at sea round to Malaga, shame New Year’s Day as malaga closed, did not book trips as been here before ( as live not far from Malaga) but got off ship to do my steps, Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
First cruise with NCL, spoilt initially by our door keycard not working twice, which meant three trips down to customer services and long queues. This was very frustrating having been up since 4am and spent several hours travelling, to ... Read More
First cruise with NCL, spoilt initially by our door keycard not working twice, which meant three trips down to customer services and long queues. This was very frustrating having been up since 4am and spent several hours travelling, to not be able to access our cabin. A maintenance man had to be called to rectify the problem with the door lock. The cabin, booked for 3 adults, was only set up for 2. Having paid over £2k each, this was unacceptable and we had to find a room steward to get this sorted out. The tiles in the toilet needed a good scrub. The cabin was not soundproof. We could hear every word of every conversation on both sides, including arguments and threats of divorce, plus BBC news at 6am most mornings! Once the sofa bed was made up for person 3, you could not get to the dressing table or the balcony doors. Cramped was an understatement. The toilet did not flush for the first 4 consecutive mornings. One of two hooks was hanging out of the wall. I pointed this out and it was rectified, but this sort of thing should be checked in the first place. Christmas Eve show in the theatre was amateurish and embarrassing to watch. No traditional Christmas day meal option. The Christmas lights around the atrium had bulbs missing/not working and so looked shoddy, Parts of the ship are tired. Drinks are very expensive, plus tax and gratuities but the biggest issue was the inconsistency of quality. Several cocktails tasted like cordial with little or no alcohol and with less than full measures. We had to send our Mojitos back twice on one occasion. We didnt take the drinks package as at nearly £3000 for 3 of us, we wouldnt have drunk that much alcohol. We wouldnt have minded paying if we received a quality product, but we didnt and felt like we were being very ripped off. We did complain to the management. Everything on board is pricey so beware. You are forbidden to bring even a bottle of water onboard, so be prepared to pay $5 if you want one. Failing that, get it from the buffet restaurant. The gift shop was selling chocolate that had turned white. This was the case on several ranges. On complaining, the assistant just said “it comes from Miami”...and? The main buffet restaurant gets very busy and becomes a bit of a bunfight and it can be very hard to find a table. Food was OK for lunch and we only used it for breakfast once, preferring rhe main Windows dining room with waiter service. Here we found both the food and service very food. The entertainment in the theatre was pretty good most nights too and it was nice to have a quiet and comfortable space in the library and a dedicated board game room if you wanted it. The Galaxy bar at the front of the ship was a nice place for evening drinks with a good forward facing view from the front windows and live band music which were good also. The casino, which we only walked through was tacky, full of fruit machines and stunk of smoke. Dress code is very casual. We were surprised to see some wearing sloppy T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops in the dining room in the evening. We visited the Bistro French speciality dining where we found the food and service to be of excellent quality. Shogun, the asian complimentary dining, we found the food to be bland and lukewarm as did other diners. Would I use NCL again? Probably not, based on my experience on this particular ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - especially the Canary Islands. We tried to do our due diligence and thought it seemed fine, but we had disappointments. 1) Our balcony room was so teensy that we climbed over each other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - especially the Canary Islands. We tried to do our due diligence and thought it seemed fine, but we had disappointments. 1) Our balcony room was so teensy that we climbed over each other and beds trying to move about the cabin the whole time. There was nothing for us to upgrade to. 2) The bathroom was waaaaay too small. 3) The TV was so small with such limited viewing. The political content was not good. 4) There was no daily newspaper printed out on the ship like on other cruise lines. 5) The food was medium. 6) The aft of the ship contatined a pirate themed pool for kids. It was not a pleasure to look at and was very noisy. 7) A new tube of lipstick I'd just bought disappeared. On the positive side: 1) The staff was delightful. 2) RJ up in the Galaxy was a major highlight. 3) We enjoyed the shore excursions. 4) The The shore excursion people were very professional. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The Norwegian Spirit has seen its better days, and it appears that Norwegian has downgraded services considerably. The ship, our stateroom, and service staff were not up to par on an 11-day cruise from Barcelona to the Canaries. On ... Read More
The Norwegian Spirit has seen its better days, and it appears that Norwegian has downgraded services considerably. The ship, our stateroom, and service staff were not up to par on an 11-day cruise from Barcelona to the Canaries. On arrival in our stateroom, the coffeemaker was broken as was the TV remote; the shower door did not close; there was a black ring around the toilet bowl; and the screws attaching the balcony banister were rusted, a potential safety hazard. When we reported for the obligatory evacuation drill, the attendants did not have our names on the passenger list – another safety matter, since if the ship were really in trouble, staff would not have known that we were onboard. The inter-ship phones to call room-to-room were not working for the entire trip. The staff gave our shore excursion tickets and premium platinum arrival package to another room. When we asked for re-delivery of the tickets, the shore excursion clerk curtly told us to wait until he had the time to get the tickets from the wrong room. We did not get the tickets until our three additional trips to the excursion desk. We never did get the bottled water that was supposed to be in the platinum package. We never saw the Cruise Director walking around or greeting people on the ship. The Latitudes cocktail hour was cut back; there used to be a nice party for platinum members. No more – just one cocktail hour for all Latitudes members with cheese and crackers. The food in LeBistro was wonderful, but Cagney’s was so-so. The breakfast buffet used to have lox and bagels and eggs benedict – no more. On one day, we were shooed out of the Raffles cafeteria by a maître d’ who ordered us to leave because he was going to set up the room for something else. He then blocked the door so we could not leave. Someone else’s laundry was delivered to our stateroom. Luckily for them, we figured out whose laundry it was. There were only a few movies on the entire 11-day trip – we saw Mamma Mia in four different languages. And finally, the ship staff never delivered our final bill, and we are still trying to get an itemized statement from NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We went on cruise to celebrate Christmas and new year . We we very disappointed with the overall experience. Christmas lunch /dinner was very disappointing nothing very special or traditional in the food provided .Turkey really lacked all ... Read More
We went on cruise to celebrate Christmas and new year . We we very disappointed with the overall experience. Christmas lunch /dinner was very disappointing nothing very special or traditional in the food provided .Turkey really lacked all the trimmings. As for the new year you have two main areas to see the new year in .We choose the atrium to see the balloons come down .What a farce the event was 15mins before you had staff trying the hang up a sheet up next to the pianist to show the clock for the countdown. Just before midnight the compare came down the steps to do the countdown . His mike did not seem to work so he disappeared leaving the group who we singing to carry on . The audience then did the countdown and through all that the group kept singing what ever song they had started. The new year came in instead of the group singing Auld Lang syne they went straight into there next song. Complete let-down The entertainment was very very poor the main acts in the theatre were nothing special . One act was promoted as being a contestant in a similar competition to the talent shows we see on British TV, in her country. The relevant fact she was a contestant and did not seem to get thought to the final places and having seen the act I can understand why but it did seem to sum up the standard of the shows We had a drinks package but you could not have just a coffee in the bar / lounge areas. You could have coffee with your meal or if you went to the 24hour dining area. Yet I could have a Irish coffee Bizarre system . Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
for Christmas and New Year get away ships staff in the main excellent 1 exception was a member on the shore excursions desk who poo pooed a client who complained about the cost of the quite rubbish shuttle bus service charged at 19 dollars ... Read More
for Christmas and New Year get away ships staff in the main excellent 1 exception was a member on the shore excursions desk who poo pooed a client who complained about the cost of the quite rubbish shuttle bus service charged at 19 dollars per head which we got back after complaining about it and the drop off pick point in Casablanca. The food and service was very good in the MDR the Shogun was dissapointing due to short menu. The ship was kept clean and tidy in the main but the continuos 'washy washy' was tiresome especially as when you now touched the handrails in the Raffles area were filthy and sticky thus negating the effect of 'washy washy' . The only comment on the food was it ALWAYS came smothered in 'sauce'. which if you like good 'Plain' food is a no-no. but we merely asked for NO SAUCE. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I are in our 30's & 40's, and we always travel during the holiday season. For the 4th year in a row, we picked an NCL cruise for our Christmas trip. We chose the December 13th departure because it was ... Read More
My husband and I are in our 30's & 40's, and we always travel during the holiday season. For the 4th year in a row, we picked an NCL cruise for our Christmas trip. We chose the December 13th departure because it was significantly cheaper than the December 23rd sailing. We had previously sailed the Spirit 2 years earlier, and it wasn't the smoothest experience due to room issues and major itinerary changes. This time, however, we greatly enjoyed our time on the Spirit and did not encounter any vacation ruining problems. Arrival: This was our third time in Barcelona. We arrived 3 days before the cruise, which gave us plenty of time to get over jet lag, explore old haunts, and discover new places. No matter where we cruise, we always arrive at least a day or two before embarkation. With air travel, you never know what snag might happen, so it's better to play it safe and put in some wiggle room. Embarkation: Barcelona does a great job! We arrived by taxi at around 11am. Check-in went smoothly; the waiting area was comfortable with plenty of space; and we were on board the ship with lots of time to enjoy a sit-down lunch at Windows. Ship: The Spirit is an older ship, but it is well maintained. I love the atrium! The style is old-school class. It's a great spot to relax and people watch. Another nice spot is the Galaxy of the Stars. It is a huge lounge with great ocean views. We would often relax here on sea days, and we went dancing there every night. There were about 2,000 passengers onboard, and I prefer this size over the megaships. We were able to meet many different people and then periodically encounter them again. Dining: NCL's food is pretty average. Very few dishes are memorable, meaning most of them are neither outstanding nor terrible. The dinner menu has decent variety. The service is the highlight. The waiters work extremely hard and are willing to go above and beyond to make sure you enjoy your meal. We tried to eat in the dining room as much as possible. The buffet was usually a madhouse with too many pushy people eating off their plates while still grabbing more food. Room service breakfast was good. (The continental menu is still complimentary.) Areas for Improvement: There are too many smoking areas provided on Deck 7's outdoor deck. It would be better if smoking was confined to one side of the ship. We liked walking on this deck, but it was sometimes hard to avoid smokers. 20% gratuity for drinks is too much. Plus, a 10% VAT was included for most of this cruise. Due to this, we only bought drinks once while onboard. We would have purchased more if we hadn't been charged an extra 30% for each drink Ports: Due to high swells, our Casablanca stop was changed to Tangier. This was one of the two excursions we had booked with NCL, so it was easy for us to make another selection. The rest of the itinerary remained the same. We had great weather and greatly enjoyed almost all the ports. For more details, please see my reviews for each port below. Disembarkation: On the final morning, we awoke to the smell of exhaust, and the fumes made us nauseous. We quickly gathered our things and headed to a public area to avoid the smell. Once we were off the ship, we got a taxi and went to our hotel. We spent the next 5 days in Barcelona before flying home. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary and the time of year. We've never cruised Norwegian but have cruised on other lines. Here are some of the things that were much different from other cruise lines: * There was no ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary and the time of year. We've never cruised Norwegian but have cruised on other lines. Here are some of the things that were much different from other cruise lines: * There was no attempt by the dining stewards in all main dining areas to offer a couple seating at a larger table in order to meet others. * Specifically in main dining and specialty dining, we were delivered the same, room temperature or cold bread. No variety. * Finding the main dining rooms were difficult because the schematic drawing given indicates each main dining location. However, when you take the elevator to the floor indicated, you have been delivered to the floor above and have to walk down a flight to get there.Very strange, yet elevators stopped at the floors. It took a few tries to get used to this... * Our balcony cabin and two pluses: A king-sized, very comfortable bed and the bathroom was arranged so that there was an opaque glass door separating the toilet from the sink and shower area. The shower was large and the separation allowed two people in the room at once. * The minus side of the balcony room focused on the lack of flat surfaces to put things on. They sacrificed space for a king bed. There was only one bedside table, the couch was next to the bed and was extremely narrow and barely wide enough for two average-sized people to sit on it . There was no space for a table in front of it as the very narrow desk and chair were no more than 3 feet away and was the ONLY flat surface in the room on which was a coffee pot and two cups which took a third of this space.. Where do you put your camera, jacket and other parafanalia other than on the bed, and where does it go when you get in it?? * The light fixture in the ceiling adjacent to the closet needs to be brighter. There was a large floor area, the largest flat surface in the room may I add where you could put things. However my old eyes couldn't see too well in the depth so I needed a flashlight to insure I retrieved what I wanted from it. The same problem with the cubbies in the closet. Just too dark to see what you're grabbing. * The room stewards, and laundry personnel, waiters, and cleaners were all top notch! Hats off to a wonderful staff. All were major pluses in my book. * The chefs in the main dining rooms and specialty dining knew how to prepare meat. It was delicious and cooked to order. The chicken and fish were inconsistent but the pasta dishes were consistently good. * Getting on board required people or all ages and disabilities to stand in line for at least an hour. Not a good impression. Other cruise lines puts people in groups with numbers and allow them to sit and wait to be called. * As I said above, we took the cruise because of the ports and we were not disappointed. I did not take any of the ship's tours, hired a guide in two ports and took taxis and hop/on hop/off in others so I can't speak to the quality of the tours. I would not take Norwegian again unless the intinerary is the driver. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are a mid sixty couple, I am retired and my husband is still working. This was our 26th cruise, mostly on Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Holland America. This is our 3rd NCL cruise. We don't normally like cruising Norwegian because we ... Read More
We are a mid sixty couple, I am retired and my husband is still working. This was our 26th cruise, mostly on Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Holland America. This is our 3rd NCL cruise. We don't normally like cruising Norwegian because we are not a fan of the Freestyle Cruising. This cruise was a smaller ship, which we prefer, and the price and itinerary were what we were looking for. We stayed in a small hotel, Hotel Condel, in the El Gotic area before the cruise for one night. We figured we were going to be spending most of the time in bed so a clean, comfortable bed close to port was all we were looking to pay for, our hotel fit that request. We really enjoyed that location and were very grateful they were able to let us in our room the morning we arrived so we could get some much needed sleep. That evening we enjoyed the Ramblas and the narrow streets of El Gotic. Hearing about the pick pocket problems in Barcelona we took precautions but we never felt in danger. The next morning we had a late breakfast at the hotel and the desk clerk arranged a cab for us. The port was just a short ride away, with tip I don't think we paid more than 20 Euro. Boarding was a breeze, because we had cruised NCL before we went right through the line for returning guests and we were on the ship in no time at all. We were on the ship and in our cabin by noon. The ship was in great shape, I had read on line that it was showing it's age but I never saw that. Our balcony cabin was a little smaller than usual, probably because it is an older ship. We never felt cramped, we had plenty of storage and we were very comfortable. The ship was decorated beautifully for Christmas and as the cruise progressed more Christmas decor was added. We felt very festive! The only thing lacking was Christmas music, except for the last night when they put on a spectacular Christmas show! Something I love about NCL is the fish swimming upstream on the carpet, I always knew where forward was! Aside from a few times we had to wait in line to dine...really a pet peeve of ours, we really enjoyed the Freestyle this time. Our cruise was very port intensive, in fact we were even in port for the last day (packing day) which was a first for us. Because we were so busy it was nice having the flexibility to dine when we wanted. We still think NCL needs to improve the whole waiting in line thing and I REALLY do not like having pagers on a ship. The way I think they could improve this is to offer reservations in the "free" dining venues for those that prefer not to wait in lines. The food was good, not great but good. This cruise was much more casual than we are used to, which worked out better for us this time since we were going to be packing for over three weeks. We spent the week after the cruise in an apartment we rented after the cruise for Christmas with our son from New York City. Since the cruise was more casual my husband left his tux home. He brought a dark blue suit but in hindsight he could have left that at home too and saved room in our luggage. There were not very many men dressing up more than a shirt and tie or polo shirt for the entire cruise. I brought two cocktail dresses I never wore, we only dressed up once. The entertainment on this ship was wonderful! There was plenty of variety in the theater and the venues around the ship. We have noticed other lines are starting to cut corners in the entertainment budget but did not feel NCL had done that at all. Our first port was supposed to be Casablanca, Morocco but we were told as we boarded they were replacing it with Tangiers, Morocco. We were disappointed because Casablanca was one of the reasons we booked this cruise. After talking with people that have been to both ports we were very happy with the change. In Tangiers we booked a ship tour that took us to the ancient Medina (walled city) of Tetouan. It was well worth the trip! Our second port was our favorite, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. We took a ship tour that took us to a small fishing village, a Madeira Wine shop, tasted Madeira wine and the local drink, Poncha, visited another small village, drive through the countryside to see all the farmlands and we went to Cabo Girau and walked on the glass viewing platform high above the cliffs. A new addition to our "bucket list" is to spend New Years in Funchal! Our third port was Santa Cruz, Tenerife and our fourth port Las Palmas, Canary Island, we were on our own and used the Hop on Hop off bus. I had read on line that this is a very good way to see these ports and we were not disappointed. Our fifth port was Malaga, Spain. This is a very walkable city once you are in the city. It is a very long way into the city from the port. We purchased tickets on the "train" to get into town because this is what the visitor center person in the port suggested. It was only around 5 Euro each round trip so we thought, sure, why not? She pointed us in the direction of the train, we ended up walking all the way into town to find the "train" only to find out it was really just a little shuttle car pulling what looked like a toy train. So much for needing a ride into town! We enjoyed the park, visiting the Cathedral and walking around town. If it had been warm, there was a nice beach close to the ship. Our last port was Alicante, Spain. This is a beautiful port with a very nice beach right by the port/ship. We rode the free shuttle into town and we headed straight to the Castell de Santa Barbara to stand in line and purchase the tickets to take the elevator up, well worth it. However, we were told by the elevator operator that you have to walk down...wrong! We ended up walking all the way around the mountain on the road down which was MILES and totally a waste of our time and energy. Buy the ticket and take the elevator DOWN as well. Bring your passport to prove you are 65 and you ride free. I guess we were getting tired because we also got a little lost trying to find our way back to the ship. Alicante is a great port for walking but walking you will do! Over all it was a great cruise! We are looking forward to cruising this ship again on a different itinerary. Our after cruise week in Barcelona was for Christmas. We had a wonderful time in Barcelona and this review is about the cruise so I will leave it there, except...to tell you about our apartment. We rented through Air BnB and the company that provided our apartment was Friendly Rentals. My advice...stay away from Friendly Rentals. The apartment and location in El Born were perfect but they were WORSE than bad to deal with. We were not the only ones to say this, we ran into several other customers of Friendly Rentals while we were in Barcelona and if you use them, I warned you. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Introduced by my friend and traveling together. Food is good, service is excellent and the environment is fantastic. However, the excursion to Tagerie may not worth . It has not much to see. My wife suggested the cleanliness in the ... Read More
Introduced by my friend and traveling together. Food is good, service is excellent and the environment is fantastic. However, the excursion to Tagerie may not worth . It has not much to see. My wife suggested the cleanliness in the washroom / changing room could be further improved. The stage entertainments are excellent, especially the performance from violinist and the singer Isabela. We met the Garden Restaurant serviceman Lozano. His services and care to patrons are swift and polite. We were so impressed. The Trio romantic music entertainment was very good. It brought back sweet memories for the old folks of 65/75years old. We enjoy the beautiful view on Funchle , telexed Street walk at Malaga. We tried the amazing seafood from the market place. We made a wish, we should come back to the same place in, a not too long, near future. We were pampered , happily, through the whole cruise .adventure Read Less
Norwegian Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
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 3.9
Rates N/A 4.0

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