The highlight and saving grace of this cruise experience was of course, the ports! Used NCL tours, Viator, and Prestige rent for our excursions. We were reminded again by the NCL tours, that we are not fans of large bus tours with guides that repeat themselves with a set script. We loved the smaller and private excursions because of the freedom and flexibility it provides. Don't believe the published itinerary, you don't have 2 days in Venice. You actually are at sea that day which was really upsetting.
The specialty restaurants on Norwegian Spirit were the best for food quality and service, but be prepared to pay extra. Main dining rooms were a big disappointment with slow service and boring, bland food. Food was okay in buffets but it was not well designed and often chaotic feeling.
The ship looks tired and dated, including the staterooms. We discovered we are not big fans of Freestyle cruising. It seems to lead to lack of motivation, and missing the details that really distinguish a great cruise. Customer service needs to be re-trained in how to meet industry standards. The poor attitude comes from top down. Services offered in the spa book in the room show photos from other ships and the info is wrong. Spa services are skilled, but expect heavy pressure to purchase products.
The balcony with connecting room to our other family members was lovely. The bathroom is well designed but struggles with mold and mildew. Steward was very friendly but asked repeatedly about the same needed follow up with ice, clean towels. It seemed like the cramped halls were always full of vacuums and laundry carts. I don't seem to remember it like that on other cruises. Just enough closest space and walking around room. Decor is very dated. Pictures so faded you can't make out the images. WIFI is very expensive. The ports themselves did not disappoint and I will remember it always which is what saves this from being poor overall, but the NCL cruise line was a real let-down.
Toured on our own but too little time in Venice because of being mislead by published schedule that we had two days in Venice.
Our guide Ky was wonderful...even loved the rug demonstration. There was no pressure to purchase. Found a great little cafe to try Turkish coffee with free WIFI.
A must-see for our Art History major. So glad we had the experience and didn't have to wait in the huge line.
Shopped with the locals. One of the favorite parts of the tour.
Long lines to get to the shore via the shuttle bus so we paid for a water taxi which was wonderful. Really loved touring on our own with Rick Steves book. Found a charming restaurant seaside. As beautiful as you can imagine.