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We just returned from a wonderful cruise aboard the Spirit up to Alaska. The experience was memorable and worth every penny. Alaska is quite an experience, HUGE, still rather wild and barely touched as compared with most places in the lower 48. The Spirit is very clean, bright, well-managed, and the extraordinarily international staff is helpful, smiling, efficient, and pleasant to a fault. A small number of fellow passengers were less so. My friend and I appreciated the relaxed atmosphere as compared with more formal traditional approaches to cruising. The food was uniformly good to great; I did not have a single dish that was not tasty, fresh, wonderfully presented, and totally appetizing. The variety of delicate pastries particularly impressed me. But I preferred the simpler main dishes, as the more gourmet fare seemed a bit overly ambitious, once or twice. The specialty restaurants handled the fancy dishes a bit better, perhaps. Breakfasts were just sensational! The Raffles buffet seems a bit crowded at certain times; and I wonder if, perhaps, the floor plan needs adjustment. Occasionally, it was tough to move around through crowded aisles, especially balancing trays and hot beverages. Removing a few tables, or adding some sq-ft. might help; or perhaps just opening the other breakfast venues at 6 AM (on mornings when the excursions begin early from port calls) so we need not all get a hot breakfast in the same place before 7 AM disembarkation. We spent much time in the wonderful hot tubs (even on the chilly days) and sunny fitness room (busy place), and not so much time in the entertainment venues or casino (reflecting our choices); but we heard that several singers and dancers, especially a young lady from the Philippines were unexpectedly talented. On the open sea, some fun waves showed up in the lovely Tivoli pool that provided a special injection of mirth. We did enjoy an Irish sing-along in Henry's pub where our bartender showed a considerable talent for fashioning flowers out of paper napkins. And we enjoyed the movies that played all night, too. Several times we woke VERY early, before 4 AM, (generally, we were happily in bed by 10 PM) and liked to be able to find the theatre and the Blue lagoon open for pizza or burgers. We never used the room service, but it was also 7/24. There were several interesting lectures that we attended, too, on digital photography, glaciers, origami, even dream interpretation; but we skipped most of these, the list went on and on. We spent hours and hours just observing the ever-changing sea, mesmerizing, really. High point of the cruise was definitely the slow, dramatic, all-afternoon trip up the narrow, glacial fiord, Tracy Arm. The scenery is hard to describe, large-scale, primeval, with floating blue ice, blue gray green cliffs, the occasional sea mammals, misty clouds, and in the distance the immense ice wall. Taking such a huge ship as Spirit into such a confined space is itself miraculous. Bring raincoats and fleece, and gloves if you plan to stand outside for any time---the temperature got quite windy-chilly. Overall, this experience was thrilling, honestly, and I am not an easily overwhelmed person. Here is my simple advice, if you can go, do so, absolutely!

Norwegian Spirit - Alaska

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by Harl Fin

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2005
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
We just returned from a wonderful cruise aboard the Spirit up to Alaska. The experience was memorable and worth every penny. Alaska is quite an experience, HUGE, still rather wild and barely touched as compared with most places in the lower 48.
The Spirit is very clean, bright, well-managed, and the extraordinarily international staff is helpful, smiling, efficient, and pleasant to a fault. A small number of fellow passengers were less so. My friend and I appreciated the relaxed atmosphere as compared with more formal traditional approaches to cruising.
The food was uniformly good to great; I did not have a single dish that was not tasty, fresh, wonderfully presented, and totally appetizing. The variety of delicate pastries particularly impressed me. But I preferred the simpler main dishes, as the more gourmet fare seemed a bit overly ambitious, once or twice. The specialty restaurants handled the fancy dishes a bit better, perhaps. Breakfasts were just sensational!
The Raffles buffet seems a bit crowded at certain times; and I wonder if, perhaps, the floor plan needs adjustment. Occasionally, it was tough to move around through crowded aisles, especially balancing trays and hot beverages. Removing a few tables, or adding some sq-ft. might help; or perhaps just opening the other breakfast venues at 6 AM (on mornings when the excursions begin early from port calls) so we need not all get a hot breakfast in the same place before 7 AM disembarkation.
We spent much time in the wonderful hot tubs (even on the chilly days) and sunny fitness room (busy place), and not so much time in the entertainment venues or casino (reflecting our choices); but we heard that several singers and dancers, especially a young lady from the Philippines were unexpectedly talented. On the open sea, some fun waves showed up in the lovely Tivoli pool that provided a special injection of mirth.
We did enjoy an Irish sing-along in Henry's pub where our bartender showed a considerable talent for fashioning flowers out of paper napkins. And we enjoyed the movies that played all night, too. Several times we woke VERY early, before 4 AM, (generally, we were happily in bed by 10 PM) and liked to be able to find the theatre and the Blue lagoon open for pizza or burgers. We never used the room service, but it was also 7/24.
There were several interesting lectures that we attended, too, on digital photography, glaciers, origami, even dream interpretation; but we skipped most of these, the list went on and on. We spent hours and hours just observing the ever-changing sea, mesmerizing, really.
High point of the cruise was definitely the slow, dramatic, all-afternoon trip up the narrow, glacial fiord, Tracy Arm. The scenery is hard to describe, large-scale, primeval, with floating blue ice, blue gray green cliffs, the occasional sea mammals, misty clouds, and in the distance the immense ice wall. Taking such a huge ship as Spirit into such a confined space is itself miraculous. Bring raincoats and fleece, and gloves if you plan to stand outside for any time---the temperature got quite windy-chilly. Overall, this experience was thrilling, honestly, and I am not an easily overwhelmed person.
Here is my simple advice, if you can go, do so, absolutely!
Harl Fin’s Full Rating Summary
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