Sail Date: January 2018
We normally cruise with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. However we decided to try Norwegian but now wish we hadn't bothered. We had their " ultimate " drinks package which comes in at $89 per person per day plus 20% ... Read More
We normally cruise with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. However we decided to try Norwegian but now wish we hadn't bothered. We had their " ultimate " drinks package which comes in at $89 per person per day plus 20% gratuity, so effectively $107 . Our travel agent told us this would cover all drinks - that was incorrect. First morning in the buffet I asked for an orange juice. " Certainly sir that will be $4 plus gratuity". " But I have an ultimate drinks package. Sorry sir, that doesn't cover orange juice . After breakfast I head to the promenade café and ask for a cappuccino. " Certainly sir that will be $4 plus gratuity" " But I have an ultimate drinks package. Sorry sir, that doesn't cover specialty coffees " - And on it goes. So to forewarn future cruisers, if you wish to spend $107 per day you will get beers, wines, cocktails up $15 and sodas from the fountain . No bottled water or juice, no cans of soda, no specialty coffees and no orange juice at breakfast either. The ship is showing its age, it's almost 20 years old. Definitely time for a refit. It used to be called the Superstar Leo and many of the original signage is still in place. We had an inside cabin. First thing I noticed was there didn't seem to be any bedside night lamps. However I soon found them when I put my head on the pillows. There were the lights, protruding from the wall and sitting flush on top of the mattress under the pillows. Bizarre. ! I'm six foot three inches tall so I need the whole length of the mattress I asked if we could change cabins but was told the ship was full. I think that is a standard response because we were told otherwise by other members of staff. So as we had to keep the room, I asked if these lights could be removed but was told they couldn't. So basically we pulled the bed a couple of feet away from the wall in order to avoid these lamps. However I still hit my head on them a few times when lying down so we ended up moving the bed sideways to keep clear of them. Apart from the strangely positioned bed lights, the cabin was excellent and the stateroom attendant kept it nice and clean Food was Ok but nothing great. We used the buffet most of the time as the service in the MDR was too slow , the portions were way too small and the food was always cold. One night the waitress brought us coffee ( cold ) before she had brought our dessert. When we said we had actually hoped to get coffee after we had finished our dessert, she just moved the cups to the side of the table. The MDR always seemed to be virtually empty and the buffet was always crowded. Clearly a message being sent there. Anyone paying attention there at NCL ? Entertainment was totally awful. Of the cruise director and staff, only one of them spoke english as their first language. Most of the activities started with them apologising for not having good english. And it showed. Trivia challenges became a joke. As for the shows, the singers were just shouting, dancers were out of sync . There was a magic act which mainly consisted of " girl in a box " routines . The only act which was any good was a trio of Tenor singers. Their games seemed more akin to the type teenagers would enjoy, rather than the over 40's who made up the most of the passengers. Running about with a balloon between your legs ? - Come on ! - And as for their " fill in the missing word " game, I stopped thinking rude words were funny when I was about 12. Ports of call was as expected, the Canary Islands in January. Casablanca was replaced by Tangiers which was a complete dump. So unfortunately not what I was expecting, and with the drinks package being so expensive, not good value for money either. In future I will stick to Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed. Every port had something of interest (we did miss Casablanca, due to heavy seas, but Norwegian substituted Tangier, an excellent substitution). The ship is older, but ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed. Every port had something of interest (we did miss Casablanca, due to heavy seas, but Norwegian substituted Tangier, an excellent substitution). The ship is older, but missing the glitz, which was fine with us. I love the Promenade Deck that wraps around the entire ship (4 laps = 1.4 miles). Rooms were small, but adequate (we had a balcony). We ate primarily in the Windows dining room and were pleased with the wait staff and the food selections. We were always seated almost immediately. The shows were only OK, so we didn't go to many. We had shore excursion credits, so we did go on several and they were well organized with good guides. All the ports had taxis waiting so one could have arranged an individual tour. The other passengers were an interesting international mix and you could hear many different languages, but all announcements were made only in English. Wonderful cruise, but would probably not choose this itinerary again because there are other places we would like to visit. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
The ship is incapable of handling the slightest of adverse weather.Individuals with movement problems should not board The ship is tired food is acceptable hygiene precautions faultless entertainment shows & acrobats didn't ... Read More
The ship is incapable of handling the slightest of adverse weather.Individuals with movement problems should not board The ship is tired food is acceptable hygiene precautions faultless entertainment shows & acrobats didn't bother.Speciality dining at Cagney steak house a must steaks as good if not better as I have ever had Never seen as many as 70% do not disturb signs on Deck Ten doors when the ship is at sea The stability of the ship is the equivalent of a raft and incapable of visiting destinations in the Atlantic I have been on rougher seas and not experienced anything like this passengers and food were being thrown all over the place by the ship rolling sideways forward and backwards Itinary was changed from Casablanca to Tangiers The TVs is just about discernible but announcements are few and far between If NCL had any duty of care the ship should be withdrawn from any service between October to May Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Let start with the positives: -Itinerary was excellent. This is one of the main reason why I selected to cruise with NCL for the first time. I certainly was not disappointed with the port destinations -Embarkation and ... Read More
Let start with the positives: -Itinerary was excellent. This is one of the main reason why I selected to cruise with NCL for the first time. I certainly was not disappointed with the port destinations -Embarkation and disembarkation process was very smooth. -Service at the restaurants were great. I think the ratio of waiters to customers are better than other cruise lines. -Production shows are a must see. Now the negatives: -Cabin needs some renovation. There was a day that the hot water was not running and another day that the toilet won't flush. TV is small and not a lot of channel options and you can't even check your charges on the TV. -Entertainment options are very limited. I did not like the cruise entertainment staff and the programs were very limited. I can't believe that the singers were not present in the main lobby during the New Year's eve countdown. In addition, the band at the Galaxy stopped playing at 12:30 or so. -They need to increase the bar servers at the lounge and entertainment areas. If you wait for the bar service, you will be lucky to get your drinks in less than 30 minutes. You are better off going to the bar to get your own drinks. -Smoking is allowed on inside areas, and it's not a good experience for non-smokers like me. -We got the premium beverage package and I can't believe that bottled water and other bottled drinks are not included in that package. What a rip off!!!! At a minimum, they should include the bottled water in the package. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted to visit the Canarys and Funchal without packing and unpacking several times. We are three in the cabin - parents and a college student. I could not be more disappointed. We thought being aboard ship for Christmas and New ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Canarys and Funchal without packing and unpacking several times. We are three in the cabin - parents and a college student. I could not be more disappointed. We thought being aboard ship for Christmas and New Years would be festive and fun and it was nothing like that. I understand you must appeal to the older folks who take this cruise but from food to music and port call timeframes, everything that could go wrong went wrong. Port Calls: This captain wanted to save as much as possible when it comes to time in port - leaving us with little to none to really see the islands. We pulled in early enough - when nothing was open on the island, not even a coffee shop - and we'd leave often at 3:30 p.m.! With no shipboard entertainment to keep you busy, why would you want people on board? Just to buy expensive drinks I guess. All of the islands were nice enough - Maderia being teh best but Casablanca??? Don't even get off the ship. The ship is bad - Casablanca is worse! Entertainment: The band "Souled Out" was not bad. Their chemistry though is not there. Seems the lead guy can't stand the lead gal from where we were sitting. They do one hour sets then leave for an hour. There is NOTHING going on for that hour. A DJ doesn't spin any music to dance. The staff don't come and do something fun. Nothing. So let's say you are enjoying the music - then there's a huge break with nothing to do!! I really was stunned by this. I've cruised before and a lot can be forgiven when you have entertainment you enjoy. This was the most board I've ever been on a ship. The music was appealing to ballroom dancers and they danced. Taking the entire dance floor so none of us non professionals could get a spot. Fun to watch but maybe at 10 p.m. you'd switch to something people under 80 would enjoy as well. PS the older folks enjoyed the popular tunes as much as the old stuff so why not appeal to everyone?? Entertainment 2: The teenagers (under 18) get the nice front of the ship spot for a disco but I think there were maybe 20 of them total on the ship. Prime real estate for kids with nothing for any of the paying passengers between 18 and 75 years old. There is a second "disco" but they let karaoke have that spot until 11 p.m. every night then spin dance tunes after that. You have to pass through the smoke gauntlet from hell to get to this disco (the casino) to get there. On New Years Eve this was the only place that had any entertainment after 12:30 p.m. YES, they closed the Galaxy that seats a few hundred at 12:30 p.m. on NEW YEARS EVE!!! It was unbelievable. Entertainment 3: The shows were fine. The dance crew is great and the lead singers are very good. They had a British lady for a couple nights that was great as well. (Michele) The magician is awful and the music so loud during his performances that I'm sure the old folks just removed their hearing aids. They should let the singers and dancers own that place and get rid of all the rest of the glitz and glam. Everyone likes quality singing - show tunes etc. Entertainment Staff: Jacky and Eliose were great and you can see they are working hard against all odds (and their apparent boss Dave the Cruise Director) to help build an environment where people can have some fun. But they must figure a way to bring the entertainment to the people. This group needs an overhaul. $50 to play Bingo is just not reasonable when you only win $150 and you're nickled and died on every thing else. Ship Excursions: Don't do it!! Waste of money and they don't know what goes on on their own excursions. Whale watching we did with them and we asked if their was swimming off the boat (we'd read that in a review) but it's December so we asked. "NO, it's way too cold they won't do that." We sat for 45 minutes while everyone from the other cruise boats donned their suits and jumped into the waters of the Canary Islands. Not fun. Advice: get off the boat, walk a bit up the pier and get a cab driver who will take you all over the islands for about $100 and get you back on time. Totally worth it!! Food: The sushi was great but you were paying for it. The buffet, yuck except for breakfast. Hard to ruin breakfast I guess. Too salty, too mushy, again, food for 80 years olds I guess. Drinks: I get it, we need to pay for drinks and the inclusive plan was not worth it for us - we don't drink enough - so I pay $16.00 for a drink once you had the gratuity, ok, but at least learn how to make a drink!! Every bartender in that place needs retraining. The amount of sour mix used in every drink will give you indigestion. They can't even get a gin and tonic right. Awful. Rooms: It's an old ship so I was not expecting anything grand, and it was fine. Beds are a bit hard but service staff were a bright light in a ship that seemed like no one else enjoyed their jobs. Our cabin girl, Nina, was so nice and polite. We loved her and appreciated how hard she worked. Leading up to the cabins though, it smells - and bad. Also deck 6 is below the casino where people apparently move furniture all night long. Sleep was impossible on many nights. Smoking: This ship is in Europe where there are many smokers and this ship is all theirs. They own the outdoor areas beside the pools - seems like that would be ok but the glass windows keeps the smoke from dissipating and each day we much walk through the cloud of smoke from hell to get to dinner. The casino doors are left propped open so all the smoke from there pours into the hallways and the elevators where everyone must go to get to the bedroom floors is so smokey that people were fanning the smokey smell away. My allergies were going crazy and by the time we left the ship I swear I second hand smoked a pack a day. There needs to be a limit. They have every right to smoke, but the rest of us should have an area we can breathe fresh air and not on the top of the ship in 30 mile hour winds. You can see from this that the ship totally lacks everything you'd expect from a cruise. It's a very sad situation and we spent $5,000 to have one of the worst vacations we've ever had. My advice - choose a different cruise line because Norwegian has gone down hill and fast. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
NCL have got embarkation and disembarkation well sorted. Easy on and easy off. The ship is old and is in dire need of a complete refit not just the "tarting up" it got in early 2017. We had a Balcony cabin with a large bed ... Read More
NCL have got embarkation and disembarkation well sorted. Easy on and easy off. The ship is old and is in dire need of a complete refit not just the "tarting up" it got in early 2017. We had a Balcony cabin with a large bed plus a sofa bed for a third guest but here NCL are really "taking the Micky" as the cabin is only just adequate for two. The sofa bed even when only used as a sofa reduces the floorspace massively. The bathroom although well laid out is so tired with chipped basin and worn chrome on the fittings - just not what you would expect for the price charged. Dining is OK - Raffles Court is a nightmare at peak times particularly breakfast, food choice and quality is acceptable. Of the two main dining rooms The Garden Room is by far the better with excellent food. Specialty Restaurants are also good quality and we particularly liked Le Bistro even if it is very small and a bit cramped. Beware of La Trattoria, it is just a closed off section of Raffles Court. Entertainment was good and the Elements show was superb. Bingo costs an arm and a leg and is pretty naff - don't do it is my advice. Service overall was up to NCL standard which is pretty good and helped to disguise a lot of the ship's shortcomings. The crew seemed to be genuinely happy in their work. We chose this particular cruise because of its itinerary. What we didn't expect was the ship travelled so slowly between ports that we were departing late afternoon each time and sailing slowly to the next destination even the Canaries are all close together. The cynic in me says that was deliberate to minimise port taxes. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
we chose this cruise because we wanted to visit places we had not visited before and the itinerary was very interesting. we spent four days in Barcelona before departing on the cruise which was a wonderful introduction to Spanish culture ... Read More
we chose this cruise because we wanted to visit places we had not visited before and the itinerary was very interesting. we spent four days in Barcelona before departing on the cruise which was a wonderful introduction to Spanish culture and a great enhancement to our trip overall. embarkation on the Spirit was as easy and pleasant as it could be and disembarkation went very smoothly as well. the Spirit is a smaller ship unlike the huge mega vessels we have sailed on on recent years and we thoroughly enjoyed how manageable the distances were and how easy it was to move around on the ship. it had a cozy feel to it. we had the pleasure of having a suite stateroom which was just fabulous. we totally loved the suite experience and were totally pampered and catered to on all levels. we thoroughly enjoyed all the wonderful suite privileges which made us feel special and made our cruise so very enjoyable. dining was always a pleasure. we went to some of the specialty restaurants to vary our dinners which was very nice. we had entertainment every night which was very good especially the large production shows. the service was excellent in every area of the ship. the staff and crew could not do enough for us. they were amazing! the ports of call were interesting and beautiful and there were many different shore excursions to choose from. we went on an excursion every day and all were conducted professionally and done very well. we would not hesitate to recommend this cruise and this itinerary. as experienced cruisers i have to say that this cruise was one of the best if not the best i have ever been on! we just loved it! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We were looking for a holiday getaway and love NCL and this fit the bill. We really liked that they added a extra embarkation port in Malaga. There was no line, we just dropped off our bags and walked on. The ports of call were great with ... Read More
We were looking for a holiday getaway and love NCL and this fit the bill. We really liked that they added a extra embarkation port in Malaga. There was no line, we just dropped off our bags and walked on. The ports of call were great with exception of Casablanca, if there is a need to go to Morocco I would much have preferred Agadir. This is an older mid sized ship that has been well maintained and has an Asian flair. The specialty restaurants as well as the buffet and main dinning room where all good. The service on NCL is always good. Because of it being a holiday there were a lot of families and it was a little harder finding a quiet place to get away and read. There was a "new" drink tax when you are in Spanish waters that was a pain in the a.. especially when you had a drink package. Overall, we had a great time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This was a last minute booking due to family circumstances which in truth limited our choice of cruise. However, we have now cruised with NCL five times and since our first cruise with NCL 24 years ago we have noted a marked decline in ... Read More
This was a last minute booking due to family circumstances which in truth limited our choice of cruise. However, we have now cruised with NCL five times and since our first cruise with NCL 24 years ago we have noted a marked decline in standards and quality. This time my wife and I cruised with my brother and sister-in-law and both of them reflect our views on standards and quality. The reason we chose this cruise was it covered the Christmas and New Year periods and my brother and his wife had never been to the Canary Islands. Christmas was disappointing in that it was not marked in any special way, the Christmas dinner was two slices of turkey with few trimmings served as usual on a cold plate. More effort was made for the New Year festivities. Despite a recent refit parts of the ship were drab and dated. Particular in this respect was the scruffy Henry`s bar and Blue Lagoon cafe. The Raffles restaurant offered repetitively burgers, hot dogs plus other dishes and the general scrummage for food was only tolerated when there was no alternative options. The main windows restaurant was acceptable and a calm recluse when not full up but there was constant repetition of some of the meals on offer, though counterbalanced by an extensive choice of dishes. The service was generally good but was spoilt by a lack of understanding of our requirements by both waiting staff and Matre `D.The waiting staff were falling over themselves to help but due to lack of training they would not always fulfill their function correctly. As a party of 4 we were always prepared to share with others on tables of six plus, but however hard we tried to convey this concept the idea was never executed. There were often long queues for tables at Windows and Garden restaurants and sharing would have gone some way to alleviating the waiting time. We noticed a tremendous wastage of food when waiters failed to served the requested portions. One egg at breakfast time was always interpreted as two resulting in wastage. Portions of fruit plate were excessive but despite pleas to reduce the portion size this again went unheeded. The evening entertainment whilst generally good was of poor standard in some cases being typical of a budget cruise line. The daytime activity programme whilst plentiful were in most cases designed specifically to raise revenue for NCL and not necessarily for the enjoyment of passengers. The talks given on ports of call were short, normally less than 15 minutes and did not convey the extent of information most passengers required. Information regarding shuttle bus service were not always relayed and resulted in confusion on the dockside when attempting to find transport. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Wanted to see what it was like on a cruise ship this time of year it was good ,weather was ok better than home . Maybe we expected the weather to be warmer. We did a few ship excursions all were good . Casablanca I would recommend a ... Read More
Wanted to see what it was like on a cruise ship this time of year it was good ,weather was ok better than home . Maybe we expected the weather to be warmer. We did a few ship excursions all were good . Casablanca I would recommend a ship excursions we did Hasan 11 mosque and Ricks cafe plus a look around a market . . Malaga we headed for Gibraltar ships excursion 2 hour drive free time in Gibraltar then headed for the rock and caves .. Good day . Valencia was a shuttle bus in to center had a walk around then back to ship . Good . Funchal Madera ships excursions headed for the mountains ,cable car then sledge down the road great fun , good day . Tenerife we went to the loro parque because the wife wanted to , must say I did enjoy it . Good . Gran canaria was a walk off so was Lanzarote. Food on board the ship was very good and I am gluten free the catered for me . I had steak from Windows main dinning room just perfect every time, steak chateaubriand new years eve from windows main dinning room out of this world delicious . Cagneys steak house was very good couldn't fault the food plenty to choose from . 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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