Very Nice for the Price - Beautiful Refurbishment of Spirit: Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by DDRO3393

Norwegian Spirit 5
Member Since 2009
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Very Nice for the Price - Beautiful Refurbishment of Spirit

Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
We try and go somewhere warm every January for my wifes birthday and booked our cruise in late August. We looked at available cruises from a port within driving distance from Nashville Tennessee and New Orleans works well for us as we love and try to support the city a few times a year after Katrina.

We arrived at the terminal at around 1PM and as past NCL guests we were led to the Latitudes check in area for the usual health questions and cabin key assignments. We boarded by 2PM and were advised the cabins would be available at 4PM. Anyone who doesn't understand that is just unreAsonable as the ship has to be just about completely redone within 6 hours as this is a 7 night cruise and leaves New Orleans again at 5PM.

We were actually pleasantly surprised when we arrived at our inside cabin. The new mattresses and linens were really luxurious and the shower as stated before by others is huge by other standards. The bathroom consisted of the traditional wall More mounted stool and single sink with shelves on each side for medications, shaving cream etc. A small desk with chair a few wall shelves for the small TV and ice bucket. The doors on the Spirit are solid and pretty with a sea shell for mail on each door. As for the size of the cabin, we basically book the least expensive cabin and stay in the cabin for sleeping, showers and naps. There was a drop down wall bed and a small side chair that is used for storage. The closet is small but has shelves and a safe and around 8 hangers. All in all anyone that books an inside cabin for the price paid gets more than they could possibly expect. We have sailed on Carnival and the odors from the bathroom and undrinkable water were a bad experience.

After getting on board and before we were allowed in our cabin we went to the buffet on deck 12. The food was not outstanding however there was a wide variety to quench just about any taste. There was the traditional casseroles and pasta, fresh fruit, great bread assortments and decent desserts. After stuffing ourselves we toured what we could of the ship. The Spirit had just gone through dry dock for renovations the month before and we were very very impressed with the ship as a whole. It was clean let me repeat, It was clean. The pool deck is a kind of poured floor and there was NO sour smell we experienced with Royal Caribbean the year before and with Carnival in the past. The pool deck is attractive and has 4 hot tubs one on each corner of the pool. There are 2 showers on deck and plenty of lounge chairs. If you like to sit out in the sun the Spirit has many different deck areas all with plenty of chairs. On a recent Carnival cruise if you didn't claim a lounger by 10AM you did without or were in some strange deck area. The Spirit has plenty of seating and plenty of deck areas.

As for the staff, everyone seemed friendly and attentive and there is the usual staff plugging the familiar "cocktails"? question but they weren't pushy like some of the other ships we have been on. Just a wave of the hand and they left you alone. The common areas always seemed clean and the ship has many convenient cubby holes with out of the way restaurants, bars and a nice internet cafe however it was overpriced. If you want at nearly every port there was internet available as low as $3 for 30 minutes.

All in all the Spirit was a very enjoyable experience. The down side was the entertainment in the show room. The musicals were lame but we enjoyed the magic show and really liked the close up show held a couple days later and the magician is a 5 time guiness world record holder for sleight of hand. All in all this was a very enjoyable relaxing cruise. Less

Published 03/06/09

Cabin review: IE5051 Mid-Ship Inside

The inside cabin was nice. Clean, good quality matress and linens, large shower, All in all one of the nicest inside cabins you will find. One hint that will help alot. If you don't prefer a double bed have the cabin steward separate the beds and there will be so much more room you will think you were moved to a bigger cabin. Wit the twin beds pushed together there is a problem ducking under the wall mount and apart there is a walkway between the two beds. Togetherness is nice but comfort is important too. Also I sleep better without someone snuggling. Just my opinion but closeness is nice but sometimes so nice it causes problems. It's not that hard to slide them back together for some close time.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Belize City is the capitol of Belize and once again the minute you go beyond the International shopping area into the city you will be deluged with desperate hungry people begging you to take their tour or buy something from them. The terminal area is like an international shopping mall better than Costa Maya for variety, There are pharmacies that sell drugs without prescription for a fraction of the price in US dollars. Many people were buying inhalers that cost $90 US for $14. Xanax, Loritabs, liquid codeine, and viagra are available. Viagra cost $4 a pill and Vicoden 10 mg are $40 a hundred. most of the drugs are from British pharmacutical companies and from what I saw authentic. Meridia the weight loss drug cost $40 for a 3 month supply and similar price differences were available on nearly all drugs. When you go beyond the gates of the international market however you won't be able to purchase the narcotic type pain relievers but will be able to get the anti inflammatory drugs. It's a good thing because this is a poor poor city. The main road is concrete but turns to gravel soon and there are desperate people everywhere trying to get by. The economic crisis is hurting far beyond our shores as tourists are spending less and less for trinkets, tours and other unnecessary items. Reataurants and bars are not busy and most everyone is trying to survive. I am 55 years old and cried when I saw the blind man by the canal protecting his meager belongings. I purchased him a rice and bean lunch with an apple at a local diner and a fresh bottle of water for the grand price of $2. When I went to give it to him he seemed scared and more concerned I was going to try and steal something from him. Please understand that this city and it's people need food, water and jobs. I never felt unsafe but we did feel concerned. I told my wife if I ever hear an American complain about anything I would have some actual life experience to share with them. I hope and pray that this economic crisis in America doesn't ever get as bad as Central America because we won't as a people be able to handle it and would revolt. Hopefully tourists will open their horizons and hearts and stop being such snobs. After a quick 1 hour tour we went back into the terminal area and back to the ship with hours to spare. We didn't take any excursions in Belize but it has some of the most beautiful snorkeling and jungle like areas in Central America.

Costa Maya was hit terribly by a hurricane a few years back and is in the process of rebuilding. I am amazed reading reviews from some snobs about the way the rest of the world lives. The port terminal is the usual kind of overpriced crap that the cruise ships steer you toward. Diamonds International, Tanzanite international, and on and on. There are a few nice restaurants and there is a swim up bar but all in all its like an outside mall. After going through the mall area you can get a cab to the town area which is basically a nice beach with desperate locals pleading for your attention. A cab ride for 2 is $3 to the beach area and you drive past a lot of what looks like concrete apartment shells. There are shacks every so often that you wouldn't keep your dogs or chickens in and a lot of wetlands with downed trees everywhere. I asked the cab driver where the people that are there servicing you and he pointed to some of these shacks. The beach area is basically a 3/4 mile stretch with everything from bars to souvenir storefronts.I got an hour massage on the beach for $20 US and bought a few nice silver bracelets for my wife for $20 each. When you go to Central America be prepared to dicker on the price. If you ask how much? You will be disappointed at the high asking price of these goods. Expect to pay around 45%- 55% of the starting asking price. Please be aware that the Mexican people are hard working and as you will see desperate for you to stop and look and hopefully buy something. They are all pretty much independent salesmen and women trying to make a sparse living. If you go expecting to see paradise in Costa Maya you are going to be very very disappointed. Open minded people however will see the beauty of the beach and the pride of the locals.

Read 1766 Costa Maya Reviews

AAHH Cozumel, The jewel of the Central American ports. Great weather, good economy, beautiful beaches, many fine restaurants and money. Of course they have their problems too but by comparison Cozumel is a jewel. It still costs alot to get by in Cozumel. There you can buy a condo from $160,000 on the beach and enjoy everything a cruise port tourist area has to offer. We have been to Cozumel before and it hasn't changed in 5 years too much. Nice restaurants and bars. Taxi for 2 for an hour tour cost $25. The souvenirs are all the same just different prices and this would be by far the safest an American would feel. In Cozumel we can let our hair down and be the consumption champions we are.

Read 5489 Cozumel Reviews

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