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Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,145 Reviews

Sometimes you get what you paid for

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by evvvvv

0 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2014
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Inside

CRUISE REVIEW - NCL SPIRIT - 12 day Mediterranean Cruise (3,800+ miles) Oct. 9-21, 2014

Title: "Sometimes you get what you paid for” (…..a consensus opinion from four travelers).

Ship’s Description:

Medium sized of 2000 passengers. Americans comprised 47% of the total passengers on board.

Crew of 900 (+/-), the Officer/Management staff is predominately European/East European in origin. The service staff is predominately of South East Asia origin. Only one (1) American officer was noted on the Human Relations staff.

The ship was German built and launched in 1999 and is currently showing wear and tear throughout.

The overall décor of the entire ship is based upon a South East Asia motif.

Signage throughout is English and oriental text.

A complete overhaul/updating is needed to compete with newer and bigger ships.

Yet this ship appears to be the "PERFECT SIZE" for reasonable cruising.

The frequent announcements made by the Captain became rather long with useless information.

Port Embarkation at Barcelona.....

Checking in - Fast, obvious, simple and no major issues encountered.

Overall Review of the Ship…..

Passenger navigation within the ship:

Difficult at times. Insufficient Port-Starboard & Bow-Stern signage.

All three (3) elevators do not stop at all floors.

All floors do not have through passageways from bow to stern.

Informational plaques at elevators difficult to read (Insufficient contrast).

The Staff is alert, friendly and responsive. No issues whatsoever.

Cabin overview:

Small, clean, neat and efficient.

For sleeping, the bed is very comfortable.

Storage/Shelving quite sufficient.

Some wear and tear noted throughout. Needs overall refurbishment and/or updating.

In the shower, I had noted mold and/or stained grouting in the seams and the corners.

The silver backing in the corners of the vanity mirror had become delaminated.

Some issues with operating the hot water controls in the shower.

Intermittent issues with a lack of immediate toilet flushing.

Many TV in cabin issues.....

The TV remote required new batteries.

Only 20 available channels.

News channels were either BBC or SKY News.

Eight(8) channels were mostly NCL information and advertisements.

Lacked sufficient English speaking news/entertainment channels.

No American TV stations.

No "instant" TV Guide channel of the available movies.

The Cabin/Stateroom Staff is alert, friendly and responsive. No issues whatsoever.

On-Ship Services, Activities and Entertainment:

Overall - Excellent and as advertised.

Staying Connected to the U.S.A. (via Satellite) Internet, iPad, iPhone, iPod and basic Wi-Fi fees:

Expensive plans and very slow at 300Bps (Satellite link). Plus a $3.95 one-time sign-up fee.

#1 - $0.40/min (250 mins/$100.00)

#2 - $0.55/min (100 mins/$55.00)

#3 - $0.75/min (Pay-As-You-Go)

Telephone Calls to the U.S.A.:

$4.99 a minute

Dining - Buffet Self-Serve Style:

Sufficient, medium sized area (can be overcrowded ay times).

A major issue throughout the entire ship was the inability for your chair(s) to slide on the rugs. This made it extremely difficult to sit down and/or stand up.

A wide and varied selection of foods to meet all tastes was available.

Some foods were bland and lacked taste.

At times, drink machines broke down needing frequent repair.

The Staff is alert, friendly and responsive. No issues whatsoever.

Dining - Waiter Type Style:

Two (2) good sized restaurants. One semi-formal (no shorts. T-shirts, etc.) and the other "come-as-you-are".

A major issue throughout the entire ship was the inability for your chair(s) to slide on the rugs. This made it extremely difficult to sit down and/or stand up.

Both dining rooms used the same menu. Sufficient and varied tastes are accommodated.

Quality and presentation was average to slightly above average.

A wide and varied selection of foods to meet all tastes was available.

Some foods were bland and lacked taste. The French Onion soup only had one(1) sliver of an onion, mostly broth.

In a few instances, the quality of the meats/poultry was inferior and returned to the kitchen.

The Staff is alert, friendly and responsive. No issues whatsoever.

Dining - Specialty Style:

Not used. I did observe that the specialty restaurants were sparsely used.

Dining - Bistro Style:

Located mostly outdoors on the upper decks.

Mostly "finger foods" (Sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwurst, etc.).

Wide and varied selections of foods to meet all tastes.

The Staff is alert, friendly and responsive. No issues whatsoever.

TOUR EXCURSIONS:

WARNING - The many aggressive, in-your-face and/or annoying street and/or store vendors made the shopping trips/tours a very annoying and a disappointing experience, thereby making any casual browsing in any store nearly impossible. They all appeared extremely desperate to sell you anything. This is a real turn-off for American shoppers that just like to browse.

NOTICE – Although each tour states a degree of physical difficulty (from 1 to 3), it is somewhat understated in order to promote the tour. Several passengers were just worn out and had to take a taxi’s back to the tour buses.

Toulon, France - Walked around the port village. Sidewalk markets were open.

Livorno, Italy - Took a tour to the walled city of Lucca and the Tower of Pisa. Few aggressive/annoying vendors.

Civitavecchia, Italy - Took a tour of Rome, Coliseum, the old ruins, and the Vatican. Few aggressive/annoying vendors.

Naples, Italy - Rented a Hertz car and drove/toured the Pompeii excavations. Many aggressive/annoying vendors.

Mikonos, Greece - Walked around the village. Very few aggressive/annoying vendors.

Istanbul, Turkey - Took a general bus tour of the old city, stopped at the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. Too many aggressive/annoying vendors.

WARNING (Depending upon your point-of-view, this can be entertaining or annoying): The Istanbul tour guide unloaded the bus (40+/-) in front of a Turkish rug dealer (Gordes) where the tour would observe the process of how a Turkish rug is made. In a large room we watched the looming process with explanations from their guide. That ended when hot apple cider and a half of a Turkish bagel was distributed to all. Unexpectedly at this point, a high-pressure sales pitch had begun with the display of dozens of “very expensive” Turkish rugs laid out at our feet. Then, a dozen “highly experienced” rug salesmen entered the room to counter every possible reason to not purchase anything. A few from the tour ended up buying a rug. This "commercial" was unexpected and uncalled for. Probably a "kick-back" type operation.

Kuradasi, Turkey - Walked around the port village. Far too many ultra-aggressive vendors all over the place.

Athens, Greece - Took an excellent guided tour of Athens and the Acropolis. Serious walking and climbing stairs. Careful: Very slippery walking surfaces. Few aggressive vendors.

Venice, Italy - We are planning a self-walking/water bus/water taxi tour of the city for the day.

A note about the ship's Passengers (present company excluded).....

The cost of this NCL cruise was a bargain. The same cruise on Princess Cruise line would cost at least $1,000+ more per person. Therefore, this cruise is a conglomeration of many "flotsam and jetsam" type of people that opts to take relatively inexpensive cruises. They swarmed the buffet restaurants with great regularity to gorge themselves. In general, the passengers are either overweight, obese, physically out-of-shape and/or mentally slow. This is a very sad statement, but very true. Somewhat enforcing the old, who goes on a cruise statement….. “It’s for the newlywed and nearly dead”.

Port Disembarkation at Venice.....

A quick and easy experience for all. Well done.

Conclusion: A bargain for the price but not without it's aforementioned shortcomings.


evvvvv's Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Cabin
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Cabin Review

Inside

Cabin overview: Small, clean, neat and efficient. For sleeping, the bed is very comfortable. Storage/Shelving quite sufficient. Some wear and tear noted throughout. Needs overall refurbishment and/or updating. In the shower, I had noted mold and/or stained grouting in the seams and the corners. The silver backing in the corners of the vanity mirror had become delaminated. Some issues with operating the hot water controls in the shower. Intermittent issues with a lack of immediate toilet flushing. Many TV in cabin issues..... The TV remote required new batteries. Only 20 available channels. News channels were either BBC or SKY News. Eight(8) channels were mostly NCL information and advertisements. Lacked sufficient English speaking news/entertainment channels. No American TV stations. No "instant" TV Guide channel of the available movies. The Cabin/Stateroom Staff is alert, friendly and responsive. No issues whatsoever.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


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