The Norwegian Spirit has a lot going for it. It is a mid-size ship (77000 tons) with a beautiful interior and it has great food in the non paying dining areas. The cattle herding mentality of freestyle cruising however needs some work.
We arrived in Seattle the day before the cruise. We stayed at the Marqeen hotel. www.marqueen.com The hotel is within 3 blocks of the Space Needle and the monorail going downtown. Downtown is about a mile away and can easily be walked, however there are a lot of hills. The hotel was built in 1918 as an apartment building and the rooms are large, with a small kitchenette with fridge and microwave, and huge bathrooms. No ice in the rooms though. We obtained a rate of 129.00 plus tax at utell.com.
We arrived at the pier at 12:30 and our luggage was taken right away by the porters. We then began with the get in line mentality that seems to be the hallmark of NCL. After getting aboard at about 1:30, we went to our cabin to drop our carry on baggage and tour the ship.