Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by SLydon
- Sail Date: November 2016
- Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: Inside
When rooms were allocated, we both got rooms with pillars in the middle so that we could only use a single bed. My mother is almost 80 and it was a miracle that she didn't bang her head and knock herself out going to the bathroom at night. I dreaded going to bed at night and never had a full nights sleep. There was nothing between the sheet and the mattress so that when I tossed at night the sheets ended up by the wall.
The food was great. We dined at Windows frequently because the chaos of the buffet didn't suit my mothers poor vision. The staff there frequently had to deal with unreasonable customers demanding a window table, even when it was pitch dark outside!!! There was an abundance of fruit and the chocolate muffins had a secret ingredient making them the best I've ever tasted.
I went to the show ever night and the best night was singing and dancing from the 60s and 70s. The singers in '4Ever' were big hits with the ladies and were smart to leave the ship quickly! One night was singing and dancing that was supposed to be from a variety of countries but was the closest thing to Disney's 'Its a Small World - the Musical' with even less authenticity (full of 50's racial stereotypes). Between that and the last night's drama filled marathon, it is clear that the director has very little respect for the intellectual capacity of people who take cruises. There was confusion about whether the magician was supposed to be funny. The ventriloquist was good but the 1950s wanted their jokes back.
The best part of our cruise was the day trips - all the great locations. Like most of the people on the ship, we planned our own days well in advance, taking local trains and busses. I typically planned alternatives in case my mother wanted a quiet day. The most outstanding excursion was with romeoandjuliet.hr who gave us an amazing day at Plitvice Lakes in Zadar, Croatia. Most of our fellow cruisers wandered about the town in the rain. None of the trips offered by NCL compared to this offering. Our guide even had time to take us to the Sea Organ and Old Town at sunset (the best time to enjoy it).
The concern for hygiene was commendable and given the thousands of people on the ship, the possibility for infection was diligently fought by the crew.
It is entirely possible to spend almost nothing on the ship and during my 11 days my bill was less than $100 for wine at dinner and shuttles from the port to the town.
We may do another NCL cruise in the future, because they are the cruise line that respects single cruisers most. However I wonder, when rooms were allocated on this cruise, did any couple have a room like the ones we got?
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The bathroom was excellent with a large shower, soaps provided etc. The shower was not complex.
The English language television was fine - BBC World News service, Sky News, Sky Sports and about 10 movies that recycled (mainly for children and young adults). I also enjoyed the French film channel. There was an internal channel where the cruise director reviewed procedures for going ashore in the morning. This was very handy for confirming the ships plans for the next day.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
City TourWe took the hop on Hop Off, from the ship to Athens. Some people took public busses but I was with an older person and wanted to maximise view of the city. We went to the top of the Acropolis which wasn't as difficult as it appears. Perhaps in summer it is mobbed and the groups make it difficult to see. We had a great time but perhaps booking an English language tour of the Acropolis would be recommended for people without a good understanding of the related history and culture.View All 155 City Tour Reviews
Monaco & Monte CarloI took the train to Monte Carlo. It was a public holiday and all the buses were free. It was great and I took #8 all about both Monaco and Monte Carlo. When I had seen the city, I took the train where I met fellow cruisers. We stopped in Nice, walking 10 minutes to the beach. We made it back to Cannes in time to amble through the streets. Sure we didn't get to see museums that were closed but we enjoyed the ambience, the sun and Cote D'Azure in a tame whirlwind and it was magic. The train takes to you all the places you hear of in songs like 'Where do you Go to My Lovely'View All 56 Monaco & Monte Carlo Reviews
Florence & Pisa Tourfor €38 a bus met us in Livorno and drove us to Florence and then Piza. Our guide Appolonia was great and helped with my elderly mother. It took the stress out of the day but if I had been solo, I would have managed the trip by train.View All 247 Florence & Pisa Tour Reviews
Marseillehttp://www.frioul-if-express.com/ - I took a ferry through the harbour and did a tour of Chateau D'IfView All 838 Marseille Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Marseille Cruise Port Review
Pompeii Walking TourI took the Metro line 1 to Garabildi station and the train to Pompeii. This line includes Herculaneum and other towns. Between the metro and the train €2+€6, then entrance fee €11 and audio guide €8 I reached the site at 10.00 and took the return train at 16.30 giving me just enough time to see the site (but going at a decent pace) and return to the ship half an hour before the ship left (which was cutting it fine given Italian trains)View All 471 Pompeii Walking Tour Reviews
City TourOur tour guide (Maximo?) was good. It was effectively a 'Rome' refresher course and we loved the time. No matter how many times you've been to Rome, its always a good idea.View All 325 City Tour Reviews
SantoriniWhen we reached Santorini, I was told it was very like Capri and this is indeed true. The options were to (1) take a cable car up €5 each way (2) walk up 600 steps (3) donkey ride up 600 steps (4) take tour with company to other town on the island. When in the port there were boating trips about the harbour that I had intended to take and enjoy the natural springs but I was lazy and just wandered the town for an hour before returning to a quiet ship.View All 1,019 Santorini Cruise Port Reviews
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City TourThis was for my mother the highlight of the cruise. For €75 each a lady picked us up from the dock. She gave us a private tour which involved. Even though we were only in port for a short time, so much was packed into the day.View All 25 City Tour Reviews
Once we had a custom tour, accommodating preferences and physical limitations, she also gave us a tour of Old Town. We experienced the Sea Organ at twilight and learned about the key buildings in the city. I cannot recommend this highly enough