Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by rebeccacook
- Sail Date: May 2016
- Destination: Europe
- Cabin Type: Balcony
The ship was great, had no issues really. It's big enough to wander around, but not too big to get lost.
The kids club was the best!! My son was 3 and all he wanted to do was go to the "playground" as he called it. They had different themes based on what port we were in. For At Sea days, they would close for lunch and dinner, but for port days they stayed open. You can leave your child on board while you go explore. I was hesitant at first, but we tested it in Toulon where we were docked right in the port and could walk back to check on him. We never left him at any ports where we would be traveling in a van far distances. If they do stay on during a meal time, there is a $6 charge per meal and they will go to the buffet and feed them. They did a cute circus show towards the end of the cruise as well in the theater. I can't say enough nice things about the staff, they were all wonderful! One downside is on the ports where you dock early, it still does not open until 9am. Would have been nice if it opened at docking time so you could get off and get to your excursion. We missed our tender call because the kids club wasn't open yet, so we had to late until later. Luckily I was able to email the company to let them know we would be late.
Dining was good. We had the specialty dining package. Ate at Cagney's twice, Le Bistro, Teppenyaki, and La Trattoria. Le Bistro was good, but dessert was awful. I would skip it. La Trattoria was ok, but they basically put up dividers from the buffet and section off a small section. I wouldn't consider it "specialty." And the food was just average. Teppenyaki and Cagney's were both great! Teppenyaki only holds 10 people 4 times a night, make a reservation early. Since we were a party of 5, I had to make reservation for 4 and 2 separately then just adjusted on board.
My son still says "washy washy, happy happy!" I guess you can't fault them for keeping things cleaned.
We didn't book any excursions with the ship. We had great companies that we booked directly with and had no problems. We scheduled everything to be back 2 hours before leaving. There were some people who definitely pushed the limits on arriving back. They had the ramp pulled up, and actually lowered it for a couple that was racing back on their own. I couldn't believe it.
If you want a seat at the pool, unfortunately you have to be that person that goes down early to drop towels. I don't like those people, but it was the only option. And if you don't want to be bothered by kids, don't hang out at the kiddie pool. We were told no swim diapers or floaties, but no one followed that rule. Finally found floaties in the port of Kotor for my son so he could swim freely since everyone else was using them.
We bought the unlimited wifi. Only a couple of times did we have problems loggin on, and it was only for a short while. It's not the best, but it served it's purpose to get on social media, email, and facetime. Not good for streaming shows on netflix. Can only login from 1 device at a time, which is understandable, but just had to rotate amongst the 4 adults.
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Perfect location for sailing into Venice, as all the sights were on our side of the ship. We were able to sit comfortably on our balcony and see everything!
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Athens (Piraeus)We booked a private tour with some other people we had met on the cruise critic roll call. We went to the Acropolis first. I would buy your tickets ahead of time if you can. The lines were long when we got there and even more ridiculous when we were leaving. One teller takes credit card, the other's take cash only. If you hire a tour guide, they apparently can cut everyone in line and get their tickets. I literally had to shove one out of the way when I was about to buy my tickets because they tried barging in. Very rude people! If you pay for a guide, then you shouldnt have any problems getting right in! There are lots of steps, and it's slippery even when it's not raining. We then drove around seeing some of the different sites, changing of the guards, and stopped for baklava. Then we went out to the Temple of Poseidon. It's about 1.5 hour drive, and super windy out there. We didn't pay to go inside. Can't say it's worth it to go all the way out there. We did stop at a great restaurant on the way, about 30 minutes outside of Athens for lunch. The gyro's were only 2.50 euros and were huge!View All 1,226 Athens (Piraeus) Cruise Port Reviews
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BarcelonaWe flew into Barcelona the night before the cruise. HCC Montblanc is one that NCL offers a pre-cruise stay. We booked separately and took a cab to the port. We saved about $250 doing it DIY vs booking through NCL. Hotel was great location, we saw La Sagrada and Las Ramblas. Find La Boqueria behind Las Ramblas and explore! Such good food, and great experience. Hotel called a cab for us since we were 5 people with alot of luggage, no issues! They will hold all luggage, and we could go to the port when we wanted. I noticed the people booked through NCL were going to port around 11am.View All 2,206 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
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DubrovnikWanted to love everything about this city, but the crowds were ridiculous and it rained most of the morning. We did a Game of Thrones walking tour. It's a must if you are a fan of the show! Because of the rain, we did not walk the city walls. The shops all seemed very touristy. We docked about 2 miles away from the city walls entrance. They sell tickets to take bus there through NCL, but you can get a cab for 13 euros. It's a set price that is offered. It was much cheaper to do the cab. This was thankfully the only port we had to tender. It took forever, the fumes from the boat were awful. Not my most favorite port.View All 1,174 Dubrovnik Cruise Port Reviews
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Florence (Livorno)We booked tours through Rome Private Excursions for all 3 ports. It was cheaper than booking through the cruise line, and we got a private vehicle to take us where we wanted at our own leisure. It rained on the drive to Florence, then stopped when we got to the Academy to see David. I'm not much into art, but it was a must do. We planned 1 hour there, and it was more than enough time for me. We then went to a central location where we explored around Florence on our own.The rain started again just as we were about to have lunch. Ran in the closest restaurant and had a great meal. After leaving Florence we headed to Pisa. Took some quick pictures and headed back to the ship. Our driver was John, and he was the nicest guy and we were pretty excited he would be our driver the next day in Rome. I can't say enough nice things about this company and tour guides! I would without reservation recommend them to anyone, and will use them if we ever get back there again.View All 1,069 Florence (Livorno) Cruise Port Reviews
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KotorGot to watch the sunrise on the drive into Kotor. It was amazing and beautiful! Definitely worth waking up super early! Another place we decided to explore on our own. 2 of us hiked up to the Castle of San Giovanni. It's not an easy hike, but the views on the way up are breathtaking! We also explored off the beaten path. We docked and were among the first off the ship. We got to walk through the city walls/town when no one was around and really take in the town. We went back to boat, showered and changed, and headed to lunch. We were lucky to not tender and were docked right there. There will be very aggressive taxi drivers waiting to sell you tours. We did an open bus hop on hop off tour. Would have loved to have more time to see some of the places, but we again went later in the day. Went back and had dinner at a restaurant before going back to boat.View All 705 Kotor Cruise Port Reviews
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MykonosWe did this on our own. We planned beach time and shopping. We docked down a little ways, but they had free bus to take us to town. There are people selling transfers to different beaches, but just seemed a little sketchy. We stopped at the first sandy area, and my son splashed around and found sea glass. We then went and had lunch, and had the best hummus and gyro's! Walked around the shops for a little while. We ended up going back to the ship early. A medical emergency happened at a restaurant we were by(not involving anyone we knew,) and after that it made for somber moods. Just felt we needed to head back and relax on the boat some. Beautiful island for sure!View All 1,029 Mykonos Cruise Port Reviews
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NaplesThis was one of our favorite ports. Again we had Rome Private Excursions, but our driver was Miguel. We went to Sorrento first, walked around the shops, and got some coffee. Miguel told us to be sure to get an orange as it would be the best. He did not disappoint, and it was literally the best orange I have ever tasted. Then we went to Positano, we parked and walked around and made our way to the beach. It was my first time getting to put my feet in the water. After that we had lunch at Luigi's. The views were breathtaking! Good authentic Italian food, and ended with dessert and Limoncello! Well worth the cost. We then went to Pompeii. I would advise to get a tour guide if you're really interested in the history there. Otherwise you're walking around in the sun and heat with no shade, and not really knowing what you are looking at. The maps provided weren't that great. I would have rather spent more time on the Amalfi Coast! There are 2 exits there, so make sure you know how to get back to where your driver dropped you off!View All 1,394 Naples Cruise Port Reviews
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Rome (Civitavecchia)John was promptly at the port to pick us up with a sign. We drove straight to the Colliseum to hopefully beat the crowds. We had purchased tickets to go inside, but the day before was a holiday and it was closed, so we unfortunately didn't beat the crowds. The lines were super long, so we skipped it. Thankfully we didn't have to pay for our tickets. We looked around outside, then headed off. Saw so many different sites before we went to the Vatican. Rome is a very busy place, can't walk around have to drive. Vatican museum was insane, way toooo many people and very hot inside. The church was beautiful, and I would personally skip the museum next time and just see the church. Again, I'm not big into art, nor am I Catholic.View All 2,146 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Reviews
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ToulonToulon we explored on our own. There is a market in the morning right across the street from the dock. We wandered through there, then found a McDonald's for wifi... needless to say that's what the majority of the people in McDonald's were doing! We came back to the boat, got my son from the kids club, and took the train ride around the town. It was worth it, and got to see alot of Toulon. There was 1 point you could get off at a beach area, but it was later in the afternoon, windy, and gray. I didn't want to chance missing the last train back to the boat. Local vendors had some stands up at the port check-in, found our Toulon Christmas ornaments there.View All 298 Toulon Cruise Port Reviews
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VeniceThe cruise into venice was amazing! Only downside is right before we left for cruise, NCL notified us instead of a 2pm docking it would 9pm on Saturday. That left no time to explore and we had planned to fly out Sunday afternoon. We used a baggage storage place, then set off to explore. Didn't have enough time to get to St. Mark's Square. Did a gondola ride, which they are expensive. But i felt like you can't go to Venice and not take one. Had lunch then headed to the airport. Unfortunately not enough time.View All 1,422 Venice Cruise Port Reviews
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