Enjoyable cruise on the Spirit: Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by nsb06751

Norwegian Spirit 3
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Enjoyable cruise on the Spirit

Sail Date: February 2008
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
About us, we are in our forties with 23 cruises between us. We chose this cruise because one of us had business in New Orleans and we thought we would tack on a cruise. I will try to be very brief in my descriptions.

Pros: Wonderful, friendly staff, the photographers were not in your face at every turn. On the way back from Cozumel, we hit a nasty storm with gale force winds and 15 foot swells. The staff did a very good job of advising the guests prior and providing sea sickness medication. I have to say this was one of the most bumpy sailings I have been on anywhere.

Cons: The ship is a bit long in the tooth (10 years) and is starting to show signs of a needed refurbishment. There was corrosion in the bath and balcony, worn rug in the cabin and worn fixtures here and there. The staff were a little too overzealous (and annoying) with sales of pull tabs. The wait staff at the pool could also be a little tenacious with drink sales. Our phone did not work properly. Ice More was never available in our room when needed and we had to walk the halls looking for our steward.

Entertainment and Food: So so on both accounts. We ate in the main dining room for most dinners. Generally speaking, we had better results with the meat dishes (beef, lamb, chicken) then with the seafood. Good selections included Coq au Vin and Skirt steak. Their version of Cioppino was laughable. Cream or bisque based soups were not flavorful. The snapper Etouffee had the fake crabmeat in it. The buffet in general was dull. The breakfast buffet catered to a southern taste. If you like biscuits and gravy or have to have grits, you will be happy. I think it could have benefited from a tray of Eggs Benedict. Coffee is bad but the orange juice is good!!

Ports: Roatan: We arrived a little late to this port. There is not a lot of time to do anything before the sun sets. We chose to just walk around. Some visions that stick in my mind include two boys with monkeys that you may have your picture taken with for a dollar, a staged cock fight that you could watch for five dollars (we passed on both). There is apparent poverty everywhere. Guatemala: We chose to book the Livingston tour with "Go with Gus". Gus was not our guide this day but we had a very nice young man (Jerry) in his place. This was a very interesting tour and an eye opener in many ways. The only criticism I would have is we did not follow the itinerary that was sent days ahead of time but it was a very good itinerary none the less. The people are beautiful and again poverty is the norm here. You will enjoy the beauty of the Rio Dulce River, meet students, learn about the culture and taste local dishes and flavorings. If you have difficulty walking, you may find some of this tour challenging. Belize: We chose the Lamanai Ruins and River tour. We do not generally ship tours but I felt this was worth it and it was. The ruins are stunning and the guide (Mario) was excellent. The river tour getting to the ruins was also enjoyable. Please note there is a 70 min bus ride to the boat, then another hour or so in the boat to get to where the ruins are. Once you are done at the ruins, you reverse the routine. Also, with this tour, if you have difficulty walking, you may find some of this tour challenging as well. Cozumel: One important note - Please do not consider taking a carriage ride. The horses are abused, in poor condition and treated horribly. It was apparent that many of these horses are lame with bowed tendons and from what we heard they literally die on the street from heat, dehydration and exhaustion. Getting past the site of these poor animals, we enjoy Cozumel. There is so much to see and it is a shopper's paradise. We always eat at Poncho's backyard. I recommend the Enchiladas Verdi with a giant Margarita. These are the best margaritas in town (or at least of the ones we tried).

Enjoy your cruise and feel free to send questions. Less

Published 03/10/08

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