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We were on the Norwegian Spirit inside passage cruise from Seattle to Alaska on July 16 - 23, 2005. We thoroughly enjoyed this as our first cruise and would recommend Norwegian Spirit without reservation. Boarding and Debarkation: We took the Norwegian shuttle from the Seattle airport to the wharf without incident. The Norwegian representatives were readily identifiable and the walk to the shuttle bus was easily manageable after we had checked our bags for transport to the ship. At the wharf we were checked in efficiently and were on board within about 30 minutes after we arrived there. In Ketchikan we encountered a lengthy line (maybe a hundred or so passengers) to reboard the ship because we waited until the last half-hour or so to come in, but this wasn't a problem in the other ports where we came back a little earlier. Security seemed good with recorded pictures and ship-issued ID cards used at the boarding gangway. We waited as instructed for debarkation when we returned to Seattle and were able to leave the ship in a timely fashion for return to the airport. Stateroom: Our stateroom was quite adequate in size for two. We had a queen bed, small sitting area and a private balcony in our room, and an adequate sized bath and shower. Water pressure was a little low at times but hot water was always adequate (once we figured out how to adjust the controls). Shelf, drawer and closet space were adequate for two, but no more. The bed was quite comfortable. Service from the stewards was good although we really didn't ask for anything extra. Food: We found the food at lunch and dinner in the two regular restaurants, Windows and the Garden Room, to be generally excellent. Service varied and was sometimes a little slow, but not enough so to detract noticeably from the meal. We ate all our dinners in either Windows or the Garden Room. Food in the Raffles lunch buffet was not as good as in the two restaurants, but it was acceptable. There were always several choices for main courses and there was generally a carving station with roast beef, roast turkey, roast port loin, etc. Desserts were good, and included sugar-free options. They had a very good flan one day, and anyone that serves good flan is OK in my book. I would say it was comparable to the sort of buffet you find at many Chinese restaurants in the U.S. these days. The salad line could have been improved by providing diced chicken or ham to add to a chef's salad as is popular in many restaurants. Seating was a little crowded at times but we were always able to find a decent table. We ate breakfast at Raffles each day because it was convenient to do so. The omelet station was good but could get crowded. The buffet line always had plenty of scrambled eggs, link sausage, bacon, smoked salmon and etc., although sometimes not as warm from the steam table as you would like. They had decent grits – important if you are from the South! Room service was available but we didn’t use it. We didn’t try the specialty restaurants since Windows and the Garden Room seemed to fill our needs and avoided extra cover charges. We didn’t sign up for the unlimited soft drink option (about $45 for the week for one person) and felt like we came out about the same in terms of the cost of wine at dinner plus a few cokes that my wife drank. I usually drank coffee or hot chocolate which was always available, although the coffee wasn’t the best I have had, usually a little strong and bitter (I usually diluted it down a little with hot water from the coffee station). On-Board Facilities and Entertainment: We concentrated on enjoying the views and shore excursions and didn’t use the casinos or bars, so can’t comment there. The steam room/sauna facility was small but very good, with good temperature, plenty of towels and private lockers. A jogging track was available on the upper deck, and the promenade deck was good for walking. An excellent singing group called Love Brothers and Lira provided after dinner entertainment with mostly 60’s to 80’s era music (I think) at the Deck 8 bar in the central atrium. There was only seating for about 30 to 40 people there, so we stood to listen after dinner, but it was OK for a couple of sets or so. Ship and Crew: The ship was attractively designed and easy to get around in. It was quite stable even when we went into the Pacific west of Vancouver Island (3 to 6 foot swells?) and you had to study the rail and horizon to detect any roll, etc. Spirit was clean and appeared to be well-maintained. The service personnel, restaurant waiters and stateroom stewards were all very pleasant and helpful at all times. Alcohol hand washing stations were used at entries to all restaurant/buffet areas for personal decontamination prior to entering the dining areas. Bottom Line: Overall, we were very pleased with our experience and would sail again on Norwegian Spirit. We have seen a number of other cruise reviews that were critical of the cruise experience on Norwegian Spirit with reference to food quality, lengths of waits and lines and other specifics, but this was not our experience. Maybe we weren’t as picky as some since this was our first cruise experience, but we felt that the ship, the cruise, on-board service and amenities were all highly acceptable.

Norwegian Spirit - Alaska

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by whalewatcher

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2005
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
We were on the Norwegian Spirit inside passage cruise from Seattle to Alaska on July 16 - 23, 2005. We thoroughly enjoyed this as our first cruise and would recommend Norwegian Spirit without reservation.
Boarding and Debarkation: We took the Norwegian shuttle from the Seattle airport to the wharf without incident. The Norwegian representatives were readily identifiable and the walk to the shuttle bus was easily manageable after we had checked our bags for transport to the ship. At the wharf we were checked in efficiently and were on board within about 30 minutes after we arrived there. In Ketchikan we encountered a lengthy line (maybe a hundred or so passengers) to reboard the ship because we waited until the last half-hour or so to come in, but this wasn't a problem in the other ports where we came back a little earlier. Security seemed good with recorded pictures and ship-issued ID cards used at the boarding gangway. We waited as instructed for debarkation when we returned to Seattle and were able to leave the ship in a timely fashion for return to the airport.
Stateroom: Our stateroom was quite adequate in size for two. We had a queen bed, small sitting area and a private balcony in our room, and an adequate sized bath and shower. Water pressure was a little low at times but hot water was always adequate (once we figured out how to adjust the controls). Shelf, drawer and closet space were adequate for two, but no more. The bed was quite comfortable. Service from the stewards was good although we really didn't ask for anything extra.
Food: We found the food at lunch and dinner in the two regular restaurants, Windows and the Garden Room, to be generally excellent. Service varied and was sometimes a little slow, but not enough so to detract noticeably from the meal. We ate all our dinners in either Windows or the Garden Room.
Food in the Raffles lunch buffet was not as good as in the two restaurants, but it was acceptable. There were always several choices for main courses and there was generally a carving station with roast beef, roast turkey, roast port loin, etc. Desserts were good, and included sugar-free options. They had a very good flan one day, and anyone that serves good flan is OK in my book. I would say it was comparable to the sort of buffet you find at many Chinese restaurants in the U.S. these days. The salad line could have been improved by providing diced chicken or ham to add to a chef's salad as is popular in many restaurants. Seating was a little crowded at times but we were always able to find a decent table.
We ate breakfast at Raffles each day because it was convenient to do so. The omelet station was good but could get crowded. The buffet line always had plenty of scrambled eggs, link sausage, bacon, smoked salmon and etc., although sometimes not as warm from the steam table as you would like. They had decent grits – important if you are from the South!
Room service was available but we didn’t use it. We didn’t try the specialty restaurants since Windows and the Garden Room seemed to fill our needs and avoided extra cover charges. We didn’t sign up for the unlimited soft drink option (about $45 for the week for one person) and felt like we came out about the same in terms of the cost of wine at dinner plus a few cokes that my wife drank. I usually drank coffee or hot chocolate which was always available, although the coffee wasn’t the best I have had, usually a little strong and bitter (I usually diluted it down a little with hot water from the coffee station).
On-Board Facilities and Entertainment: We concentrated on enjoying the views and shore excursions and didn’t use the casinos or bars, so can’t comment there. The steam room/sauna facility was small but very good, with good temperature, plenty of towels and private lockers. A jogging track was available on the upper deck, and the promenade deck was good for walking. An excellent singing group called Love Brothers and Lira provided after dinner entertainment with mostly 60’s to 80’s era music (I think) at the Deck 8 bar in the central atrium. There was only seating for about 30 to 40 people there, so we stood to listen after dinner, but it was OK for a couple of sets or so.
Ship and Crew: The ship was attractively designed and easy to get around in. It was quite stable even when we went into the Pacific west of Vancouver Island (3 to 6 foot swells?) and you had to study the rail and horizon to detect any roll, etc. Spirit was clean and appeared to be well-maintained. The service personnel, restaurant waiters and stateroom stewards were all very pleasant and helpful at all times. Alcohol hand washing stations were used at entries to all restaurant/buffet areas for personal decontamination prior to entering the dining areas.
Bottom Line: Overall, we were very pleased with our experience and would sail again on Norwegian Spirit. We have seen a number of other cruise reviews that were critical of the cruise experience on Norwegian Spirit with reference to food quality, lengths of waits and lines and other specifics, but this was not our experience. Maybe we weren’t as picky as some since this was our first cruise experience, but we felt that the ship, the cruise, on-board service and amenities were all highly acceptable.
whalewatcher’s Full Rating Summary
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