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On June 11, we sailed on the NCL Spirit out of Seattle to Alaska. This was the seventh cruise for my wife and I and our first on NCL. My mother joined us. She had been on NCL for a few of her many cruises all over the world, but she had never cruised to Alaska. This was also the first stay in a balcony cabin for my wife and I due to a good deal ($750/person for a balcony guarantee) we picked up about 7 weeks before sailing from an internet provider. Our cabin was assigned within a week of the purchase -- cabin 11632 -- deck 11, port side. My mother was on deck 5 with a window cabin. We stayed over the night before at the Red Lion Seattle South for $49. They provide free 24 hour airport shuttle, and they shuttled all 3 of us to the port for $25. We had e-tickets, so the first thing we had to do at the port was find the luggage tags. We brought along return address labels to save time. I can't add much to what others have said about the Spirit. It is, perhaps, the best ship we have been on for the following reasons: a theater with comfortable seats and no posts to block sight lines, a small movie theater with a large screen and comfortable seating, The waffles, complete athletic facilities including two individual swim tanks and 4 golf driving cages with clubs provided, a room for viewing the bridge, color-coded elevators (I only got lost one time), a beautiful atrium without being overdone, an exceptionally pleasant staff, a wide variety of dining venues, THE WAFFLES. All of our other cruises have been to the Caribbean and along the western coast of Mexico. The Alaska cruise through the inside passage was a much different experience. I was up very early those first few mornings so as not to miss any of the scenery as we wound our way through narrow passages. It seemed there was always something to look at. It reminded me of the wilderness areas I have visited in northern Minnesota, but on a much grander scale. Although I had heard about the views and seen the pictures, there really is no way to understand and appreciate Alaska without the personal experience. The trip up Tracy arm, with huge chunks of ice bumping off the side of the boat, winding our way through narrow channels with towering, snow-covered peaks on either side, was truly the highlight of the trip. When we pulled into Ketchikan, our first stop, we found ourselves with a great view of the city from our balcony. Just a block from the dock, we attended the lumberjack show. It was good theater and well worth the price of admission. We picked up a city guide at the visitor's center and used coupons for $1 tee-shirts, wooden claws (for scooping pasta or salad -- a big souvenir item) and a chopping knife (held by security when we returned to the boat). As we pulled into Juneau, we received a call from home telling us my wife's father had died in his sleep. We went ahead with our plans for the day as our daughter began making travel arrangements. We took a free shuttle bus from the dock into the tourist section (a five minute ride) where there were several booths offering a variety of excursions similar to those offered through the ship. We signed up for the $10 bus to Mendenhall glacier. Again, it is impossible to appreciate the immensity and stunning beauty without standing there, looking up at a wall of ice that seems to go on forever. Back in Juneau, we went to the library to use their free internet access to check in with home, and we decided my wife would stay until Prince Rupert and fly from there through Vancouver, and I would stay on board with my mother, but leave early out of Seattle while she stayed through Wednesday as we had planned to do. The next day was Skagway where we rented a car from Avis for a drive across Whitehorse pass to Emerald lake. The coast of Alaska was shrouded in mist and clouds throughout our trip, but the eastern side of the pass was sunny and warm. We stopped often to take pictures and bask in the sun and gaze up at towering peaks lined with snow. The internet cafe in Skagway is also the only gas station and the laundromat. It was crowded with ships' crew members and cost just $4 per hour. We went to a half price souvenir shop off on one of the side streets and an outlet store near the end of the main street with the lowest priced souvenirs we found in Alaska. All three of the Alaska stops had many of the same jewelry stores we have seen in the Caribbean. That was not the case in Prince Rupert, Canada. Again in Prince Rupert, the port side of the ship was dockside, and we had a great view of the city. When we pulled in, there were as many as 30 bald eagles in trees near the dock, diving for fish beside a cannery. Although we often see bald eagles when we visit northern Minnesota, this was spellbinding. They often passed just a few feet from our balcony. The shops in the dock area sell primarily native art and crafts rather than jewelry and souvenirs. There is a Safeway just a few blocks from the dock and a mall just a few blocks beyond that for those who feel a need to shop, but I found a hidden garden through a tunnel within a block of the ship and, after seeing my wife off at the hotel where she boarded a bus to the airport, I took some time to wonder through the flowers. I also found a hidden internet cafe on the second floor of a popular bar/restaurant named Beakers. I cannot begin to express my appreciation to the Spirit crew members who helped us through a difficult situation as we adjusted our departure plans. The officers and staff at the pursers desk were kind and generous with their time as they provided us with various alternatives for debarkation and information about the process we would need to follow to clear immigration. At Prince Rupert, the immigration officer escorted us off the ship, then offered to give us a ride to the hotel to catch the bus. At Seattle, I was able to carry my luggage off, get a cab, and make a 9:30 flight. My wife and I agree, although we generally prefer new experiences, we hope to cruise to Alaska again, and we hope we have an opportunity to sail on the Spirit again.

Norwegian Spirit - Alaska

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by therbst

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2005
  • Destination: Alaska
On June 11, we sailed on the NCL Spirit out of Seattle to Alaska. This was the seventh cruise for my wife and I and our first on NCL. My mother joined us. She had been on NCL for a few of her many cruises all over the world, but she had never cruised to Alaska. This was also the first stay in a balcony cabin for my wife and I due to a good deal ($750/person for a balcony guarantee) we picked up about 7 weeks before sailing from an internet provider. Our cabin was assigned within a week of the purchase -- cabin 11632 -- deck 11, port side. My mother was on deck 5 with a window cabin.
We stayed over the night before at the Red Lion Seattle South for $49. They provide free 24 hour airport shuttle, and they shuttled all 3 of us to the port for $25. We had e-tickets, so the first thing we had to do at the port was find the luggage tags. We brought along return address labels to save time.
I can't add much to what others have said about the Spirit. It is, perhaps, the best ship we have been on for the following reasons: a theater with comfortable seats and no posts to block sight lines, a small movie theater with a large screen and comfortable seating, The waffles, complete athletic facilities including two individual swim tanks and 4 golf driving cages with clubs provided, a room for viewing the bridge, color-coded elevators (I only got lost one time), a beautiful atrium without being overdone, an exceptionally pleasant staff, a wide variety of dining venues, THE WAFFLES.
All of our other cruises have been to the Caribbean and along the western coast of Mexico. The Alaska cruise through the inside passage was a much different experience. I was up very early those first few mornings so as not to miss any of the scenery as we wound our way through narrow passages. It seemed there was always something to look at. It reminded me of the wilderness areas I have visited in northern Minnesota, but on a much grander scale. Although I had heard about the views and seen the pictures, there really is no way to understand and appreciate Alaska without the personal experience. The trip up Tracy arm, with huge chunks of ice bumping off the side of the boat, winding our way through narrow channels with towering, snow-covered peaks on either side, was truly the highlight of the trip.
When we pulled into Ketchikan, our first stop, we found ourselves with a great view of the city from our balcony. Just a block from the dock, we attended the lumberjack show. It was good theater and well worth the price of admission. We picked up a city guide at the visitor's center and used coupons for $1 tee-shirts, wooden claws (for scooping pasta or salad -- a big souvenir item) and a chopping knife (held by security when we returned to the boat). As we pulled into Juneau, we received a call from home telling us my wife's father had died in his sleep. We went ahead with our plans for the day as our daughter began making travel arrangements. We took a free shuttle bus from the dock into the tourist section (a five minute ride) where there were several booths offering a variety of excursions similar to those offered through the ship. We signed up for the $10 bus to Mendenhall glacier. Again, it is impossible to appreciate the immensity and stunning beauty without standing there, looking up at a wall of ice that seems to go on forever. Back in Juneau, we went to the library to use their free internet access to check in with home, and we decided my wife would stay until Prince Rupert and fly from there through Vancouver, and I would stay on board with my mother, but leave early out of Seattle while she stayed through Wednesday as we had planned to do. The next day was Skagway where we rented a car from Avis for a drive across Whitehorse pass to Emerald lake. The coast of Alaska was shrouded in mist and clouds throughout our trip, but the eastern side of the pass was sunny and warm. We stopped often to take pictures and bask in the sun and gaze up at towering peaks lined with snow. The internet cafe in Skagway is also the only gas station and the laundromat. It was crowded with ships' crew members and cost just $4 per hour. We went to a half price souvenir shop off on one of the side streets and an outlet store near the end of the main street with the lowest priced souvenirs we found in Alaska.
All three of the Alaska stops had many of the same jewelry stores we have seen in the Caribbean. That was not the case in Prince Rupert, Canada. Again in Prince Rupert, the port side of the ship was dockside, and we had a great view of the city. When we pulled in, there were as many as 30 bald eagles in trees near the dock, diving for fish beside a cannery. Although we often see bald eagles when we visit northern Minnesota, this was spellbinding. They often passed just a few feet from our balcony. The shops in the dock area sell primarily native art and crafts rather than jewelry and souvenirs. There is a Safeway just a few blocks from the dock and a mall just a few blocks beyond that for those who feel a need to shop, but I found a hidden garden through a tunnel within a block of the ship and, after seeing my wife off at the hotel where she boarded a bus to the airport, I took some time to wonder through the flowers. I also found a hidden internet cafe on the second floor of a popular bar/restaurant named Beakers.
I cannot begin to express my appreciation to the Spirit crew members who helped us through a difficult situation as we adjusted our departure plans. The officers and staff at the pursers desk were kind and generous with their time as they provided us with various alternatives for debarkation and information about the process we would need to follow to clear immigration. At Prince Rupert, the immigration officer escorted us off the ship, then offered to give us a ride to the hotel to catch the bus. At Seattle, I was able to carry my luggage off, get a cab, and make a 9:30 flight.
My wife and I agree, although we generally prefer new experiences, we hope to cruise to Alaska again, and we hope we have an opportunity to sail on the Spirit again.
therbst’s Full Rating Summary
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