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We booked the cruise about 10 days before it sailed. Suites were full and there were only few balcony cabins remaining. Not sure about insides. We paid per person £775 + £84 (port fees etc) + £70 prepaid tips, cruise only. We flew to Barcelona - a 2 hour Ryanair flight from Liverpool. Taxi from the airport to the old town city was €40 with baggage. We stayed overnight in the Gothic Quarter, near the cathedral and La Ramblas. We had a lovely meal nearby at Rossini in Placa Real with my niece Ellen who lives here. EMBARCATION 8/10. We took a cab from our hotel to the ship (€20) and arrived at the dock for 12.30, where our cases were swiftly taken from us and labelled. It was quite busy, but check in was fast and efficient. There were queues, but they moved rapidly due to the large number of very efficient staff. We went directly to our room, which was ready. Deck 11 - balcony cabin 11626 port side towards the aft. We went directly to Windows for a waiter served lunch. SHIP 7/10. Oldish, but in pretty good shape. Very clean and tidy everywhere. Having no DIY laundry room is poor (they used to have them, but they were taken out). We liked the size of the ship with everything not too far away. We walked the lovely wide Promenade Deck most days and I used the open air running track on Deck 13. Plenty of places to find peace and quiet or entertainment if you wished. CABIN 6/10. A smallish cabin by newer ship standards, but we warmed to it as the cruise progressed and it had everything we needed. It was kept immaculately clean and tidy at all times by our friendly cabin steward Robert. A small table with coffee machine. Small sofa/3rd bed. Only one bedside cabinet. Full king size bed with nice bedding and pillows - a very comfy bed, we slept really well. Digital safe, small flat tv with BBC & Sky News. Small fridge/minibar. Reasonably sized wardrobe with plenty of hangers. Fair storage space. Only 2 power sockets above the table - 1 x European, 1 x US type sockets. Though small, we found the cabin cosy and very comfortable. It was one of the quietest cabins we've experienced. We could not hear any noise from adjacent cabins or the corridor. BALCONY 3/10. Tiny. Just enough space for 2 chairs and a tiny table. BATHROOM 6/10. Smallish and a bit dated. The shower had a sliding door, so much better than those slimy plastic curtains. On day 1, the toilet overflowed onto the floor a few times when refilling with water - a bad start!!! A plumber quickly came and altered an electronic timer somewhere nearby and it was fine thereafter - phew!!! Shower gel and shampoo dispensers, but no body lotion. Hairdryer. FOOD 7/10. WINDOWS MDR 7/10 - we ate here in the evening more than any other venue. It's a nice room with sea views on 3 sides. At the far end, it felt like a colonial hotel, with tall pillars, a high ceiling and huge windows to the stern. Though we found the food average, the service was always swift, efficient and courteous. We sometimes had to queue for a few minutes at peak times, but we were never asked to share, though happy to do so. We enjoyed our evenings here, but when we ate here a few times for lunch, but found the food choices dull, though the service was fine. GARDEN ROOM MDR 4/10 - we only ate here in the evening once and didn't enjoy it. It felt rushed, claustrophobic and congested. The food was the same as Windows, but we didn't like the atmosphere as much. CAGNEY'S 2/10 - we had dinner here only once and were very disappointed. Whenever we've ever eaten in a speciality restaurants on cruise ships, the experience has felt special and worth the extra cost. It really didn't feel that way here. The food was average (my rib eye was mostly gristle) but more importantly the service was really poor. We hardly saw our waiter, the service was at a glacial pace, yet the staff were rushing about - we felt very neglected. We could have been unlucky and just hit it on a bad night of course, but it should be good for the additional $30pp. I should have asked for the 15% service charge to be removed, but I suspect they may have had a problem somewhere. We didn't return. RAFFLES BUFFET - 6/10. We had a light room service breakfast in our cabin every day, so did not experience the buffet at breakfast. We find the buffet at breakfast usually very busy. Room service kindly phone 10 minutes ahead of delivery to check you are awake - a nice touch. We had lunch in Raffles most days and enjoyed the food selection, though it could have been warmer. Service was always good. We only had one evening meal in the buffet - it was ok. LE BISTRO - 9/10. Faultless and easily our favorite restaurant ($20pp extra). We liked the ambience of the room with it's open kitchen. We enjoyed the food (fab fillet steak) and the service was exemplary. ENTERTANMENT 7/10. We went to the main show most nights and enjoyed all of them. They were variable and professional. Show times were 19.30 and 21.30. They were mostly busy, but we always managed to get a seat. Music around the ship was generally of a high standard. STAFF 9/10. Always very helpful and courteous. When you think how long and hard the lower ranks work onboard, their patience, enthusiasm and friendliness is remarkable. I really don't understand how some customers can ask for the staff tips to be remove from their bills. The tips are distributed amongst the staff that you see, but also those you don't. Just tipping customer facing staff would be unfair to all those working hard behind the scenes in my opinion. So be generous - you have a lot more cash than most of them will ever experience. ITINERARY 5/10. We knew it was not going to be anything special and it wasn't. We just wanted some warm weather & sunshine. We really liked Madeira. We love Barcelona and have been many times. We 'be been to lots of places in Morocco, so Casablanca was a disappointment. The Alhambra in Granada (from Malaga) was good. DISEMBARCATION - 2/10. We did not receive any instructions the day before, as is usual, so I called Customer Service from the cabin after the show on our last night. They argued with me that I must have received them (er no we didn't), but they would begrudgingly send more anyway. Well they never arrived before we went to bed, so we put our bags outside of our room unlabelled and just hoped for the best!! As we expected, our bags were sitting happily (though on their own) in the terminal. Seemingly we had been allocated Olive colour tags. It was all a bit worrying though. This part of a cruise is normally meticulously organised - perhaps we were just unlucky, but it all worked out ok in the end. Then a €40 cab to the airport. OVERALL - 7/10. We booked this cruise as Barbara had recently had a foot operation and we wanted some winter sunshine without having to fly long haul. We knew the itinerary was never going to be exciting. As often is the case, we were initially underwhelmed by the ship, but we really warmed to it over time. It'll never have the wow factor of some of the newer ships and the food does drop a notch every cruise we do (they are all pushing customers towards the speciality restaurants). Overall we had a very pleasant time. I hoped my rambling has been informative. If you require any further info, you can contact me by email - the.plesteds@virgin.net

An enjoyable cruise

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by Skintman

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2015
  • Destination: Canary Islands
  • Cabin Type: Family Balcony
We booked the cruise about 10 days before it sailed. Suites were full and there were only few balcony cabins remaining. Not sure about insides. We paid per person £775 + £84 (port fees etc) + £70 prepaid tips, cruise only. We flew to Barcelona - a 2 hour Ryanair flight from Liverpool. Taxi from the airport to the old town city was €40 with baggage. We stayed overnight in the Gothic Quarter, near the cathedral and La Ramblas. We had a lovely meal nearby at Rossini in Placa Real with my niece Ellen who lives here.
EMBARCATION 8/10. We took a cab from our hotel to the ship (€20) and arrived at the dock for 12.30, where our cases were swiftly taken from us and labelled. It was quite busy, but check in was fast and efficient. There were queues, but they moved rapidly due to the large number of very efficient staff. We went directly to our room, which was ready. Deck 11 - balcony cabin 11626 port side towards the aft. We went directly to Windows for a waiter served lunch.
SHIP 7/10. Oldish, but in pretty good shape. Very clean and tidy everywhere. Having no DIY laundry room is poor (they used to have them, but they were taken out). We liked the size of the ship with everything not too far away. We walked the lovely wide Promenade Deck most days and I used the open air running track on Deck 13. Plenty of places to find peace and quiet or entertainment if you wished.
CABIN 6/10. A smallish cabin by newer ship standards, but we warmed to it as the cruise progressed and it had everything we needed. It was kept immaculately clean and tidy at all times by our friendly cabin steward Robert. A small table with coffee machine. Small sofa/3rd bed. Only one bedside cabinet. Full king size bed with nice bedding and pillows - a very comfy bed, we slept really well. Digital safe, small flat tv with BBC & Sky News. Small fridge/minibar. Reasonably sized wardrobe with plenty of hangers. Fair storage space. Only 2 power sockets above the table - 1 x European, 1 x US type sockets. Though small, we found the cabin cosy and very comfortable. It was one of the quietest cabins we've experienced. We could not hear any noise from adjacent cabins or the corridor.
BALCONY 3/10. Tiny. Just enough space for 2 chairs and a tiny table.
BATHROOM 6/10. Smallish and a bit dated. The shower had a sliding door, so much better than those slimy plastic curtains. On day 1, the toilet overflowed onto the floor a few times when refilling with water - a bad start!!! A plumber quickly came and altered an electronic timer somewhere nearby and it was fine thereafter - phew!!! Shower gel and shampoo dispensers, but no body lotion. Hairdryer.
FOOD 7/10.
WINDOWS MDR 7/10 - we ate here in the evening more than any other venue. It's a nice room with sea views on 3 sides. At the far end, it felt like a colonial hotel, with tall pillars, a high ceiling and huge windows to the stern. Though we found the food average, the service was always swift, efficient and courteous. We sometimes had to queue for a few minutes at peak times, but we were never asked to share, though happy to do so. We enjoyed our evenings here, but when we ate here a few times for lunch, but found the food choices dull, though the service was fine.
GARDEN ROOM MDR 4/10 - we only ate here in the evening once and didn't enjoy it. It felt rushed, claustrophobic and congested. The food was the same as Windows, but we didn't like the atmosphere as much.
CAGNEY'S 2/10 - we had dinner here only once and were very disappointed. Whenever we've ever eaten in a speciality restaurants on cruise ships, the experience has felt special and worth the extra cost. It really didn't feel that way here. The food was average (my rib eye was mostly gristle) but more importantly the service was really poor. We hardly saw our waiter, the service was at a glacial pace, yet the staff were rushing about - we felt very neglected. We could have been unlucky and just hit it on a bad night of course, but it should be good for the additional $30pp. I should have asked for the 15% service charge to be removed, but I suspect they may have had a problem somewhere. We didn't return.
RAFFLES BUFFET - 6/10. We had a light room service breakfast in our cabin every day, so did not experience the buffet at breakfast. We find the buffet at breakfast usually very busy. Room service kindly phone 10 minutes ahead of delivery to check you are awake - a nice touch. We had lunch in Raffles most days and enjoyed the food selection, though it could have been warmer. Service was always good. We only had one evening meal in the buffet - it was ok.
LE BISTRO - 9/10. Faultless and easily our favorite restaurant ($20pp extra). We liked the ambience of the room with it's open kitchen. We enjoyed the food (fab fillet steak) and the service was exemplary.
ENTERTANMENT 7/10. We went to the main show most nights and enjoyed all of them. They were variable and professional. Show times were 19.30 and 21.30. They were mostly busy, but we always managed to get a seat. Music around the ship was generally of a high standard.
STAFF 9/10. Always very helpful and courteous. When you think how long and hard the lower ranks work onboard, their patience, enthusiasm and friendliness is remarkable.
I really don't understand how some customers can ask for the staff tips to be remove from their bills. The tips are distributed amongst the staff that you see, but also those you don't. Just tipping customer facing staff would be unfair to all those working hard behind the scenes in my opinion. So be generous - you have a lot more cash than most of them will ever experience.
ITINERARY 5/10. We knew it was not going to be anything special and it wasn't. We just wanted some warm weather & sunshine. We really liked Madeira. We love Barcelona and have been many times. We 'be been to lots of places in Morocco, so Casablanca was a disappointment. The Alhambra in Granada (from Malaga) was good.
DISEMBARCATION - 2/10. We did not receive any instructions the day before, as is usual, so I called Customer Service from the cabin after the show on our last night. They argued with me that I must have received them (er no we didn't), but they would begrudgingly send more anyway. Well they never arrived before we went to bed, so we put our bags outside of our room unlabelled and just hoped for the best!! As we expected, our bags were sitting happily (though on their own) in the terminal. Seemingly we had been allocated Olive colour tags. It was all a bit worrying though. This part of a cruise is normally meticulously organised - perhaps we were just unlucky, but it all worked out ok in the end. Then a €40 cab to the airport.
OVERALL - 7/10. We booked this cruise as Barbara had recently had a foot operation and we wanted some winter sunshine without having to fly long haul. We knew the itinerary was never going to be exciting. As often is the case, we were initially underwhelmed by the ship, but we really warmed to it over time. It'll never have the wow factor of some of the newer ships and the food does drop a notch every cruise we do (they are all pushing customers towards the speciality restaurants).
Overall we had a very pleasant time.
I hoped my rambling has been informative. If you require any further info, you can contact me by email - the.plesteds@virgin.net
Skintman’s Full Rating Summary
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