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Picked up this cruise as a fantastic late bargain and were thoroughly pleased with our choice. Our first cruise was taken on the Spirit 10 years ago, so it had a little significance for us. That said the experience of those ten years did show how our expectations of cruise ships has changed as the ship is long overdue some TLC from Norwegian. Apparently that is scheduled for this winter so good for that. Anyway the decor and upkeep deficiencies didnt detract from our experience as we cruise for the itinerary, which was superb. Embarkation and disembarkation at Barcelona and Venice respectively was excellent, and the transfer to staterooms and arrival of luggage was very good too. We felt that the storage opportunities for a 14 day cruise were a little limited. The cabin was comfortable enough although I did find the nighttime air con noise too loud and had a lot of disturbed sleep. Our cabin steward was very efficient although he wasn't the most communicative fellow. Because we picked up the cruise at a considerable discount we didn't have access to beverage or dining packages. Prior to the cruise I was very unhappy about the new liquid rules as this included drinking water - the essential of life, but I was pleased to find that NCL had a water package on board. Even so, at just over $2.50 per 750mil bottle that still came as a steep price. Added to that you needed to make sure that that which you took off got drank or you had to tip away any unused water. In respect of other beverages we were quite happy to go with a wine package, although they are quite limited in choice. There are three package levels with 4 red 4 white choices at each level. However as each level could duplicate varietals within the package the choice was quite sparse. In respect of dining we were more than happy to frequent Windows at breakfast and evening meals, together with lunchtime on sea days. We found the experience to be excellent. Amanda and her front desk team colleagues were very friendly and efficient. As gold Latitudes members we were able to get a table for 2 by or near a window at every meal. We had several different waiters and Mizhat, Sandra and Hannah all excelled. For any cricket loving cruiser, Mizhat is your go to guy. He loves his cricket and will keep you up to date with test match scores. Cruise Critic members often complain about variety of meals in main dining rooms, but I can report that I only repeated meals on two occasions and that was out of choice rather than necessity. On two evenings we dined near to two Israeli couples and the ship did provide kosher meals. The only limitation I could see was for vegetarian, vegan diets. That said, I eat to refuel so work of that what you will! The buffet was what the buffet often is and we only used it on port days. We tend to eat salad lunches and there was usually a reasonable choice although we did miss the roasted joint options that were available aboard the Epic buffet earlier in the year. A couple of final dining remarks. Firstly big praise for a little lady. Kusuma works as washy washy outside Windows Restaturant. The restaurant has a dress code of no shorts or vests at evening meals and boy does she work it! Turn up improperly dressed and you don't get past her, and good for her. Freestyle is a great opportunity for all and there are plenty of shorts allowed options for dining. It's not asking a lot for passengers to comply in ONE instance. Secondly, every praise to the Kids activities leaders who did an excellent job of ensuring that the kids got their full choice of meal and dining space without affecting other passengers. Less effective parents take note! We've always considered NCL to be excellent providers of entertainment so were a little disappointed on this cruise. Absolutely nothing to do with the choice of entertainment, although a comedian would be preferable to the posing illusionist, our main concern was with the over amplification of Stardust theatre. It did no good at all to the two female company singers who spent much of the performance screeching, and detracted from the performance of Pop Opera group 4ever, who could easily have filled the theatre with their voices unplugged. Simple maxim, if it's good, it doesn't need volume. However we still enjoyed the bulk of our evening entertainment provoked by Patricia Watson in Champagne Charlie's. Billed as a pianist her show was much more with audience singing and percussion participation as well as occasional solo performances, well done Matthew, Katy and others plus star turns from waitress, Priscilla, and head bar tender, Jimmy. Great till late fun and well worth the trip. It's some time since we did cruise ship booked excursions, and on this cruise we found ourselves with a mix o familiar and brand new destinations, so rarely moved far from town. As a result we did all our excursions for ten ports for less than the average cost of two ship excursions and got bundles out of most of them. Here's a quick run through Toulon - little train just off the ship, not really worth it but town has a bubbly market and some quirky back streets for interesting strolls so we did OK Livorno - town transfer for €5, then all aboard Tuscany Bus.com to Florence and Pisa. First to Florence drop off by the railway station and be back in 4 hrs. Easy walk to The Duomo, Ponte Vecchia and all sights in between. However if you want to go somewhere specific probably best to book ahead and go straight there. If just wandering try to find the Central Market and go upstairs, fantastic food court serving local produce. Later on 1 hour in Pisa and guide took us to the Tower etc. Again if you want to climb tower get their quick. Limit to how many go up at a time and it could be a rush. At end brought back to ship at dock €39 adults 20 for kids. Civitavecchia- Civitavecchia tours bus €19 drop you off for 5 hours by Tiber near St Peters. We strolled between Piazza Navare, Campo di Fiore, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, had lunch in between and got round in plenty of time! Back to dock transfer point in plenty of time. Naples - did Amalfi Coast and Pompeii and Isle of Capri on two previous trips so decided to just stroll round city Mykonos - transfer bus to town and spent a few hours wandering the back streets in search of windmills. Make sure your camera batteries are charged, classic Greek Calendar photos at every turn. Masses of bars and restaurants, you won't go thirsty or hungry! Athens - old familiar so just jumped aboard the BLUE hop on hop off bus€20. Does a good route calls in all the main sites so made for a good morning. Corfu - shuttle to the port terminal, although it's an easy walk. Hop on hop off bus available so jumped aboard then spent time wandering the streets of Old Town. Kotor, the jewel in the crown. The sail in was fantastic, think Norwegian Fjords with towns and villages instead of waterfalls. Up and out on the balcony and wallowing in the early morning views, DW hit the camera, I hit the sketch book. View after view with early light adding its own special magic. Once arrived and docked we were tendered ashore by a local ferry boat and joined the hop on etc again. Took us to an excavated Roman villa with great mosaics and did a stop for a village with a good beach and / or a boat trip out to a couple of islands in the bay. Back in town the streets were char,ing and the old city walls were easily accessible. For the hardy there's a steady climb up to the fort way above the town, which offers great views apparently. The city is surrounded by a high pinnacle mountains, which really close the space in. Hope to get back there one day and explore further. Dubrovnik - another transfer to another fabulous walled city. The walls are an excellent walk and there's a cable car taking you up above the city for some great aerial views. Several interesting old halls , churches and monasteries so again plenty to interest the independent visitor. Although the city is home to Game of Crowns, I didn't find it as mysterious a tour as Kotor. Koper- interesting little town with a good aracelogical museum, a bell tower climb and numerous churches. Time the bell tower carefully, I didn't and was about a third of the way up when the bells started! And then we had a three night stopover in Venice. This was a great cruise which I wouldn't hesitate to do again, even though it appears it was a one off for NCL. As I said, sadly, never to be repeated

Sadly Never To Be Repeated, this was great!

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by caneable

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Picked up this cruise as a fantastic late bargain and were thoroughly pleased with our choice. Our first cruise was taken on the Spirit 10 years ago, so it had a little significance for us. That said the experience of those ten years did show how our expectations of cruise ships has changed as the ship is long overdue some TLC from Norwegian. Apparently that is scheduled for this winter so good for that. Anyway the decor and upkeep deficiencies didnt detract from our experience as we cruise for the itinerary, which was superb.

Embarkation and disembarkation at Barcelona and Venice respectively was excellent, and the transfer to staterooms and arrival of luggage was very good too. We felt that the storage opportunities for a 14 day cruise were a little limited. The cabin was comfortable enough although I did find the nighttime air con noise too loud and had a lot of disturbed sleep. Our cabin steward was very efficient although he wasn't the most communicative fellow.

Because we picked up the cruise at a considerable discount we didn't have access to beverage or dining packages. Prior to the cruise I was very unhappy about the new liquid rules as this included drinking water - the essential of life, but I was pleased to find that NCL had a water package on board. Even so, at just over $2.50 per 750mil bottle that still came as a steep price. Added to that you needed to make sure that that which you took off got drank or you had to tip away any unused water.

In respect of other beverages we were quite happy to go with a wine package, although they are quite limited in choice. There are three package levels with 4 red 4 white choices at each level. However as each level could duplicate varietals within the package the choice was quite sparse.

In respect of dining we were more than happy to frequent Windows at breakfast and evening meals, together with lunchtime on sea days. We found the experience to be excellent. Amanda and her front desk team colleagues were very friendly and efficient. As gold Latitudes members we were able to get a table for 2 by or near a window at every meal. We had several different waiters and Mizhat, Sandra and Hannah all excelled. For any cricket loving cruiser, Mizhat is your go to guy. He loves his cricket and will keep you up to date with test match scores. Cruise Critic members often complain about variety of meals in main dining rooms, but I can report that I only repeated meals on two occasions and that was out of choice rather than necessity. On two evenings we dined near to two Israeli couples and the ship did provide kosher meals. The only limitation I could see was for vegetarian, vegan diets. That said, I eat to refuel so work of that what you will!

The buffet was what the buffet often is and we only used it on port days. We tend to eat salad lunches and there was usually a reasonable choice although we did miss the roasted joint options that were available aboard the Epic buffet earlier in the year.

A couple of final dining remarks. Firstly big praise for a little lady. Kusuma works as washy washy outside Windows Restaturant. The restaurant has a dress code of no shorts or vests at evening meals and boy does she work it! Turn up improperly dressed and you don't get past her, and good for her. Freestyle is a great opportunity for all and there are plenty of shorts allowed options for dining. It's not asking a lot for passengers to comply in ONE instance. Secondly, every praise to the Kids activities leaders who did an excellent job of ensuring that the kids got their full choice of meal and dining space without affecting other passengers. Less effective parents take note!

We've always considered NCL to be excellent providers of entertainment so were a little disappointed on this cruise. Absolutely nothing to do with the choice of entertainment, although a comedian would be preferable to the posing illusionist, our main concern was with the over amplification of Stardust theatre. It did no good at all to the two female company singers who spent much of the performance screeching, and detracted from the performance of Pop Opera group 4ever, who could easily have filled the theatre with their voices unplugged. Simple maxim, if it's good, it doesn't need volume.

However we still enjoyed the bulk of our evening entertainment provoked by Patricia Watson in Champagne Charlie's. Billed as a pianist her show was much more with audience singing and percussion participation as well as occasional solo performances, well done Matthew, Katy and others plus star turns from waitress, Priscilla, and head bar tender, Jimmy. Great till late fun and well worth the trip.

It's some time since we did cruise ship booked excursions, and on this cruise we found ourselves with a mix o familiar and brand new destinations, so rarely moved far from town. As a result we did all our excursions for ten ports for less than the average cost of two ship excursions and got bundles out of most of them. Here's a quick run through

Toulon - little train just off the ship, not really worth it but town has a bubbly market and some quirky back streets for interesting strolls so we did OK

Livorno - town transfer for €5, then all aboard Tuscany Bus.com to Florence and Pisa. First to Florence drop off by the railway station and be back in 4 hrs. Easy walk to The Duomo, Ponte Vecchia and all sights in between. However if you want to go somewhere specific probably best to book ahead and go straight there. If just wandering try to find the Central Market and go upstairs, fantastic food court serving local produce. Later on 1 hour in Pisa and guide took us to the Tower etc. Again if you want to climb tower get their quick. Limit to how many go up at a time and it could be a rush. At end brought back to ship at dock €39 adults 20 for kids.

Civitavecchia- Civitavecchia tours bus €19 drop you off for 5 hours by Tiber near St Peters. We strolled between Piazza Navare, Campo di Fiore, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, had lunch in between and got round in plenty of time! Back to dock transfer point in plenty of time.

Naples - did Amalfi Coast and Pompeii and Isle of Capri on two previous trips so decided to just stroll round city

Mykonos - transfer bus to town and spent a few hours wandering the back streets in search of windmills. Make sure your camera batteries are charged, classic Greek Calendar photos at every turn. Masses of bars and restaurants, you won't go thirsty or hungry!

Athens - old familiar so just jumped aboard the BLUE hop on hop off bus€20. Does a good route calls in all the main sites so made for a good morning.

Corfu - shuttle to the port terminal, although it's an easy walk. Hop on hop off bus available so jumped aboard then spent time wandering the streets of Old Town.

Kotor, the jewel in the crown. The sail in was fantastic, think Norwegian Fjords with towns and villages instead of waterfalls. Up and out on the balcony and wallowing in the early morning views, DW hit the camera, I hit the sketch book. View after view with early light adding its own special magic. Once arrived and docked we were tendered ashore by a local ferry boat and joined the hop on etc again. Took us to an excavated Roman villa with great mosaics and did a stop for a village with a good beach and / or a boat trip out to a couple of islands in the bay. Back in town the streets were char,ing and the old city walls were easily accessible. For the hardy there's a steady climb up to the fort way above the town, which offers great views apparently. The city is surrounded by a high pinnacle mountains, which really close the space in. Hope to get back there one day and explore further.

Dubrovnik - another transfer to another fabulous walled city. The walls are an excellent walk and there's a cable car taking you up above the city for some great aerial views. Several interesting old halls , churches and monasteries so again plenty to interest the independent visitor. Although the city is home to Game of Crowns, I didn't find it as mysterious a tour as Kotor.

Koper- interesting little town with a good aracelogical museum, a bell tower climb and numerous churches. Time the bell tower carefully, I didn't and was about a third of the way up when the bells started!

And then we had a three night stopover in Venice.

This was a great cruise which I wouldn't hesitate to do again, even though it appears it was a one off for NCL. As I said, sadly, never to be repeated
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