Sail Date: March 2018
First the positives: 1. Excellent itinerary - the ports were amazing 2. Professional handling of crisis - we had a man jump overboard during the night, causing the cancellation of our Alicante port of call due to the search & ... Read More
First the positives: 1. Excellent itinerary - the ports were amazing 2. Professional handling of crisis - we had a man jump overboard during the night, causing the cancellation of our Alicante port of call due to the search & rescue operation. The captain, crew and staff handled this very professionally. The security staff response throughout the remainder of the cruise was very reassuring and made us feel safe. 3. Specialty restaurants were very good, especially La Trattoria and Cagney's, with excellent service. Main dining rooms also good but service tended to be a bit slow. Buffet decent but staff on duty varied from hard workers who would pick up used plates immediately to those who seemed to do as little as possible. 4. Entertainment - the following were excellent - Pablo, the Amar Orchestra, Southside, the Mambo duo, Tres Ameches. The other performing groups, entertainment acts were not as good as we have come to expect from NCL. 5. Cleanliness - Excellent - always saw staff out cleaning and keeping the ship looking good. 6. Bar staff - Bartenders and their staff were excellent and very hardworking. Kudos especially to all staff at Henry's Pub and the Biergarten. Now the negatives: 1. The entertainment had nothing to do with where we were. Our last cruise was on the NCL Sun South America and we had a Tango dancers show one night and a Gaucho dancers show another night. We were in Morocco & Spain on the Spirit - offer a Moroccan music/dance show and Flamenco dancers or other Spanish cultural entertainment. 2. No port info/history/culture. On NCL Sun our cruise director, Roberto, gave fantastic presentations on Sea Days about our upcoming ports including history, culture, ideas for things to see, what to expect, etc. and his talks were not about shore excursions. We had 3 Sea Days on this NCL Spirit cruise and none of this was offered. We want to learn the history and culture of where we are traveling and NCL should provide that on all cruise ships. 3. Entertainment was not as good on this cruise. On the NCL Spirit there are 4 excellent musical groups - Pablo the singer/guitarist, the Mambo Duo, Southside,and the Amar Orchestra when they performed jazz and dixieland. In addition, Tres Ameches were very good but they should have performed more classical opera and less easy listening. The other groups and shows were not as good, too similar, and not what we expect on NCL. Give the Amar Orchestra more time to perform the jazz they are so excellent on. Pablo was the best and luckily, performed every night. Bring in more excellent musicians like these and provide cultural shows based on location of the cruise. 4. Felt that on this cruise the cruise director's staff was just trying to sell us more. Too much emphasis on art auctions, bingo, spa, cruise next, etc. On the NCL Sun, Roberto was always visible, very friendly, gave great information about the ports, and arranged a fantastic, hilarious show performed by his staff where they acted out movies and the audience had to guess the name. 5. NCL Concierge App - fix this so that when you book dining reservations on the app, you can then see a list of the reservations you made on the app. That's first priority, then secondly, be able to cancel your dining reservation on the app if you need to. 6. This was our 6th NCL cruise, on other NCL cruises we have had more consistency with excellent musicians/entertainment, and more intellectually and culturally stimulating options. Please! Offer more cultural and historical enrichment based on where the ports are like on the NCL Sun. Do not dumb things down and make the cruise all about selling us art and bingo. I would like to continue cruising NCL, but need to see improvement in these areas. If the NCL Sun can have these excellent offerings, why can't all NCL cruises? Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We just completed our 10 day cruise around the Canary Islands, Madiera, and Spain and had a great time. Barcelona is a great port to leave from. It is much less expensive than Venice and flights are inexpensive, and great ... Read More
We just completed our 10 day cruise around the Canary Islands, Madiera, and Spain and had a great time. Barcelona is a great port to leave from. It is much less expensive than Venice and flights are inexpensive, and great accommodations are plentiful. Accessing the ship is easy either by taxi, or by taking the metro to Drassanes and then taking the Port bus to the ship. The cost of the metro/bus is around 6 euro total. The ship is small in comparison to the rest of the NCL fleet. We liked the Jade and figured we would enjoy the feel of the Spirit. It is the oldest ship in the fleet, but has had some remodelling done. Our balcony cabin was spacious and bright. It was lovely to have our morning coffee out in the ocean air. When the couch is pulled out, it is difficult to get to the balcony. Good though that the couch is easily pushed back into place. Our steward Manuel was friendly and helpful and went out of his way to prepare little surprises for our daughter...often incorporating her stuffed animals into his towel sculptures. Both the children's pool and the Tivoli pool were great places to sit and enjoy the sun. Tivoli pool could get quite crowded though. The only negatives of the trip were the numerous towels placed on seats around the pool leaving no seats left for those actually wanting to use the pool. Because it was still early in the season the pools were heated which was an added plus. Numerous reviews about this cruise have mentioned the lack of decent food on the ship. I did not find this to be the case. The buffets were always well stocked with regular items and items that were new each day. We ate in the evenings in the Garden Room which also had a daily selection as well as a constant menu. Our waitress Margica was exceptional. She was welcoming, friendly, and her staff of helpers kept the food and drinks paced well for the meal. Our daughter was also enrolled in Splash Academy. The staff was friendly and energetic, even on busy sea days. Mint, Yoyo, and Butterfly created amazing activities for the kids each day and evening. And I loved seeing Nutella's costumes for each night's themes. I love that our daughter walked away with new friends. We loved the nightly game shows and occasionally participated in Trivia. Watching the sun go down at the Galaxy was a real treat. Pradrag kept the snacks and drinks flowing. We also enjoyed hanging out and playing cards at Champagne Charlie's. Tejan took great care of us and he even taught us some new things about Macedonia. Early mornings were well spent on the back deck of Raffles. Allan was a great source of information for highlights to see in each port. And if you wanted to get out of the sun in the afternoon, return to the Raffles bar for one of Antonio's famous perfect margaritas. The true highlight though was to be reunited with our favorite bartender from the Jade. Aan is now the head mixologist! Although the big shows in the theater were all quite entertaining and DJ CJ knew what to spin, the smaller musical acts were a bit lacking. Southside frequently blew out the speakers at Tivoli. This made the afternoon a bit loud rather than fun and lively. The latin duo and the piano player used musical tracks as back up, this sort of ruined the live bar music feel. Even when they were supposed to be "acoustic" they still were using background percussion/band tracks. I love the variety of music that a cruise has to offer, just wish they could have been a bit higher in quality. The ports on the cruise were also excellent. So much variety to see and do. Madeira and Malaga were our favorites. We didn't book any excursions, we just wandered out on our own. If the port was far from town, a free or minimal fee shuttle was offered. Overall the cruise was a great vacation to remember. The staff on Norwegian is always exceptional. They are smiling, helpful, and work hard to be your "vacation heroes." As a reminder though, please and thank you go a long way. Learn to say hello or say thank you in their language. If you show your sincerity and interest in the staff, they will work hard to move mountains for you. Don't forget to fill out the cards provided at guest services to let them know how great they are! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
The Spirit is just the right size for us. Public areas, bars, pubs, dining venues, all were very tastefully decorated and inviting. The ship was comfortable and easy to navigate. Henry’s Pub was our favourite evening entertainment ... Read More
The Spirit is just the right size for us. Public areas, bars, pubs, dining venues, all were very tastefully decorated and inviting. The ship was comfortable and easy to navigate. Henry’s Pub was our favourite evening entertainment as Pablo was an excellent guitarist - he really nails Santana and Dire Straits! Elements finale show was excellent! The magicians and Jacka and Maria were highly entertaining and talented as well. The Spirit orchestra was wonderful! I don’t think they get enough praise and are often overlooked. The Galaxy game shows were very entertaining as well as all the trivia. We missed having a music trivia though - the name the tune format - these are fun! The service was good, but of a higher standard by Ruby in Gardens, Hassan in Windows, Marko in Henry’s Pub - these three were amazing! One evening in Windows (I don’t remember the waiter’s name) the service was extremely slow - we waited 30 minutes from the time we were presented with the dessert menu to the time it was brought to the table. The cabins are in dire need of refurbishment. Tatty carpeting and tired draperies, tiles chipped in the bathroom. The gym is too small - it needs more floor space! And please throw some air conditioning on! It was like a sauna in there every time we used it. We would definitely sail on the Spirit again, but after the cabins get that much needed make over! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise mainly because it was an area we never explored. Also my spouse had family in one of the ports. The transfer from the airport went smoothly and we were able to get onto the ship immediately which was fabulous! ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because it was an area we never explored. Also my spouse had family in one of the ports. The transfer from the airport went smoothly and we were able to get onto the ship immediately which was fabulous! We found the food to be much lesser quality on this cruise as the others in NCL so that was kind of disappointing. The Tappanyaki was HORRIBLE compared to the other ships. The ship itself was smaller than others we had been on but it was still very nice. The stateroom has less storage than the others but we made due just fine. The entertainment was by far less fun than the other ships and we were slightly disappointed in that. The cruise director was very nice but a few of that staff were highly annoying and not half as funny as the thought they were. We actually stopped attending some activities because they were so annoying. The ports were all as expected and we did some research so we knew where we wanted to go and see. We chose to NOT go on any ship schedules excursions this time and we had a great time on our own and felt very safe. The best thing on this cruise was by far the bar staff! They were soooo fun and welcoming and warm! They all knew our names and we had a blast with them! I made sure to get their names and areas they worked to make sure I paid them a formal compliment!! Dominggus panggabean (bartender) Dejan cvetkovikj (bar server) Lorence perez (restaurant steward) Teerumala mauree (bar tender) I Nyoman Sukrawan (waiter in cagneys) Ivan (Serbia ) bar tender We love NCL and will continue to cruise with them! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was a last minute attempt to get some sun and get away from the dreary UK weather. It worked! Norwegian Spirit was the forst ship we ever cruised on and therefore has a special place in our hearts, It did not disappoint and we found ... Read More
This was a last minute attempt to get some sun and get away from the dreary UK weather. It worked! Norwegian Spirit was the forst ship we ever cruised on and therefore has a special place in our hearts, It did not disappoint and we found the special places at the back again where we like to escape. Service was good and everyone was very friendly. We prefer the smaller sized ship as it is more personal. We did not manage to make port in Alicante due to the weather. It was clear from the sea state why this was the case and did not create a significant issue to us;- more time to do ring toss and bean bags! Entertainment is now getting stale. Everything is driven by Elements. The first time we saw it, it was great. The second time was still good but the seventh? Unfortunately, because it is all driven by Elements, the guest entertainers are all the same;- repetitive and increasingly it has now become boring/tedious and I think NCL needs to acknowledge and value its frequent cruisers? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I have heard mixed reviews about Norwegian so it was time to check it out. This is the oldest ship in the fleet and it kind of showed. The biggest disappointment onboard was the service. There just didn't seem to be enough wait staff ... Read More
I have heard mixed reviews about Norwegian so it was time to check it out. This is the oldest ship in the fleet and it kind of showed. The biggest disappointment onboard was the service. There just didn't seem to be enough wait staff in the public areas, especially around the pool and in the Galaxy of the Stars. It was quicker to get up and get my own drinks rather than wait for the 1 (yes, one) waiter wandering around the pool/room. The client service staff in the atrium really didn't care about you or your problem. We're not a big fan of anytime dining and having to explain things to the wait staff over and over every night. What's with the dress code? I can't wear dress shorts and a golf shirt in the main dining hall in the evening, yet I can wear a t-shirt and any kind of shorts in Cagneys??? We ate breakfasts in the buffet and the service behind the counter was hit and miss. The best place to hang out was at Henry's Pub. Great staff there and they knew your name and likes within 2 days. Our cabin steward was great which made up for his colleagues during the sea days. Embarking and disembarking was smooth and easy, no waits and no hastles. Looking for a reasonably priced cruise (make sure you book with all the perks when they are available), then NCL is a good choice. But be aware of what to expect. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We booked this cruise because it was a good value, all inclusive package and it didn't disappoint. It's a smaller ship which is quite old now I suppose but it well maintained. We particularly like the asian style decor which harks back to ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it was a good value, all inclusive package and it didn't disappoint. It's a smaller ship which is quite old now I suppose but it well maintained. We particularly like the asian style decor which harks back to it's previous owners. The range of eateries was excellent as was the entertainment, in particular the theatre shows and their extravaganza, "Elements". What makes this ship different to others we have cruised on is the warmth and friendliness of the crew. Everyone passes the time of day with you and they all seem to genuinely care about their passengers. We embarked at Barcelona and our package included a 2 night stay in this wonderful city, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Our transfers to and from the airport to the hotel and port were seamless and the embarkation and disembarkation processes have to be some of the speediest and efficient we have experienced. We enjoyed just one shore excursion to Casablanca which was well organised and realistically priced although not a city I would particularly want to visit again. However, the other ports we visited were all excellent and we were able to walk from the ship to the city in most cases. We were unfortunately, unable to dock at Alicante due to high winds which were deemed to be a safety risk to passengers, crew and the ship. The service we received from all staff as I've previously mentioned was second to none. There were only two things we would have liked to see improved and these were firstly, the extortionate internet package costs and secondly the lack of quiet, comfortable seating areas. There are comfortable seating areas in some of the bars and lounges but there's generally some entertainment of sorts going on which would prevent you from peacefully reading a book. There is a small library but it was always full and we didn't really want to spend any significant amount of time reading in the comfort of our interior cabin. The cabin, which was on deck 5 and as I said, was an interior cabin, was very nice, reasonably spacious and spotlessly clean. A bonus was the large walk-in shower which we have not experienced on any other cruise ship we have been on. We would definitely cruise with NCL again and we would definitely book through Flights and Packages as the whole process was so easy and seamless. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My opinion based on NCL Spirit (March 2018) and Celebrity Millennium (Jan 2018) Ship overall NCL old with eastern flavor but nice -- Celeb Ship little Newer more modern -- Both equal IMHO Cabins NCL smaller bathroom OK good shower ... Read More
My opinion based on NCL Spirit (March 2018) and Celebrity Millennium (Jan 2018) Ship overall NCL old with eastern flavor but nice -- Celeb Ship little Newer more modern -- Both equal IMHO Cabins NCL smaller bathroom OK good shower toilet has sliding door very small, storage space very good also includes coffee maker with plenty of supplies super bed and great linens. Cabins Celeb A little bigger and larger balcony, bathroom good, storage very good, no coffee maker, bed etc same. Cabin Celeb just has edge. Food NCL Food was very good with a good selection from Menu 4 places to eat evening meal 2 main restaurant + Asia + Buffet Main Dining room seats 480 but is very spacious with tables well spaced apart. 3 specialty restaurants from A La Carte Menu not fixed price. Teppanyaki fixed 29.95$ also 24 hour Cafe serving Wings Burgers Fish & Chips etc very good. Buffet Poor. Food Celeb Not as good as NCL limited choices of places to eat, no 24 hour cafe, Buffet very good. CC 2018 Best UK Cruise Ship For Dining NCL Spirit. https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/membe...ing&sort=large Food must go with NCL Bars and Drinks Package- Bars on NCL are not great just OK however drinks package selection very good. Celeb Bars are better Martini Bar will not be beaten Drinks selection on package not as good. Must go with Celeb for Martini bar alone. Entertainment - Shows on NCL first class very very good, other activities not appealing to me, night time in Sky Lounge buzzing great, very much partying ship at night. Celeb better theater however shows not up to NCL standard, activities better, night time good not as much partying though silent disco is a hoot. This is hard one so going to say Equal Dress Code NCL is freestyle so most things go some and some. Being snobbish dress code better on Celeb. In conclusion yes would do another NCL trip not sure I would like the large ships, however not jumping ship Celebrity still my preferred cruise line. I have tried to be fair and honest and this is just my opinion so not lets start world war 3. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was to be a EEHAAA cruse, I have 3 children with anniversary . one 40 year, one 35 year and one 30 years . That is a real big DEAL to me. So we wanted something special. One couple he got deathly ill . Had to stay home. So there was ... Read More
This was to be a EEHAAA cruse, I have 3 children with anniversary . one 40 year, one 35 year and one 30 years . That is a real big DEAL to me. So we wanted something special. One couple he got deathly ill . Had to stay home. So there was six of us . Norwegian may us very proud to have chosen them. Cards-Cake. WOW. Little things do mean a lot. I got "you are the greatest Dad ever" Thanks to Norwegian. NCL was and is great . Everyone on the cruse said. way more than they ever could hope for. They thought of everything. The food was perfect . The restaurants were wonderful. all of them. The pool and hot tubs. Holly COW. The small bars with food. GREAT. SHOWS!! First rate . All of them. Not just entertainment. There were a must to see I had to go . Never missed one. Saving the most important reason to go NCL was the PEOPLE- the WORKERS. They were at work but never unhappy. I have a deposit on four cabins for the next time we think of a CRUSE. LETS GO !!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
New experience with free style cruising and NCL. Liked some features and disliked some. We usually asked to share a table in dining room and when seated with other couples it worked well except one time when the other couple did not speak ... Read More
New experience with free style cruising and NCL. Liked some features and disliked some. We usually asked to share a table in dining room and when seated with other couples it worked well except one time when the other couple did not speak English. Made uncomfortable meal for both couples. Sharing with just a single person also usually left one person out of a lot of the conversation. Need a better system of matching those willing and wanting to share tables. We had an oceanview porthole booked and was offered opportunity to bid on an upgrade to a balcony. Our bid was successful and moved from front lower deck to mid ship balcony. Well worth the bid given the rough seas we encountered. I like the bidding system for upgrades on NCL. I feel the Spirit does not have the stabilization systems of other more modern ships. We have been on a lot rougher waters on other cruises that did not have the rolling and movement we had on this ship on two days. Entertainment was very good. Food was good but not the variety we have had on other cruises. Shore excursions were very good but pricey. Probably better organization on this cruise in getting the tours off the boat and going than on most cruises I have been on. Drinks are extremely high priced. We had a beverage package and without it likely would not have had a drink. Even for wine with meals and a drink in the evening, you would be wise to consider the beverage package. I do have two complaints. There seemed to be no schedule for cleaning rooms, and often our room was not made up until well after noon each day, even if we put out the card asking for the room to be made up. There is very little interaction with room stewards. Second, since we had been travelling for a few days before we had laundry to do when we got on the ship. Filled one laundry bad and the bill came to $107.00. Outright gouging; especially when just a couple of days later they had a special for $19.99 for the same size bag of laundry. Very upsetting! All in all though, it was a good cruise but very expensive. Very interesting ports and itinerary. I would sail NCL again but be more aware of hidden costs even on cruises with lots of inclusions and offers. Read Less
Norwegian Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 2.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.1
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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