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When you've done 11 cruises with NCL, you know what to expect, and this was exactly the case with this cruise. We found Embarkation was very well organised, maybe because we were in a suite or because we arrived early at the port. One of the advantages of being in a suite is that you get escorted on-board, put your hand luggage down in the suite and off to Cagney's for lunch. Our Suite 10002 was a Penthouse with Large balcony (SF). There are 5 of these suites forward on deck 10. But the two on the sides 10002 and 10502 have an added advantage that is not indicated on any deck plans. They both have not only a forward balcony (which is fairly useless when at sea due to wind) but also a balcony next to the bed on the side of the ship. The bathroom also have a window that looks out over the balcony. The Spirit was originally built as a gambling ship and the remnants of the glamour is very evident. There is definitely a more luxurious feel to the ship than the Dawn, Jewel or Sun class ships in their fleet. Non of those shocking carpet colors, but the fishes are missing from the passages to indicate forward and aft! The layout of the ship is different in that you never have to walk through a smoke filled Casino to reach other areas of the ship as it is to the front of the vessel. The pool deck has nice lounge chairs with small tables and the look is far more upmarket than on the ships built later to cater for freestyle cruising. It is nice to see that they have retained the lounge areas at the front of the ship (Galaxy of the Stars Observation Lounge) with beautiful views. This type of lounge has been converted to suites on the likes of the NCL Star Service in both the dining rooms was good and the menu choices acceptable. Out of the specialty dining options we found that the service and food quality at La Trattoria (La Cucina on other ships) was far better than at either Cagney's or Le Bistro, even though it is just a blocked off area of the buffet restaurant at night. It is sad to see that the menu items at Le Bistro has not changed in the last 4 years! One would expect that NCL would like to draw people to their specialty restaurants but the same menu over and over?? The layout and position of the Blue Lagoon right in a walkway is crazy. On other NCL ships it was always nice to get a quick bite when returning to the ship after excursions at the Blue Lagoon, but sitting right in a thoroughfare is not my idea of fun. Badly planned. Entertainment was good and the specific on-board team of dancers and singers were possibly the best I've seen in 11 cruises in NCL. Very polished, well rehearsed and executed. We made use of some shore excursions through NCL due to the Excursion Credit of USD 50 per cabin per excursion. This worked out well and this brought the pricing difference between NCL excursions and similar excursions from other vendors more in line. The itinerary for this cruise of 10 days was nicely spaced with sea days and the ports visited interesting. Special mention of the concierge Karin on this cruise. She was an absolute star and by far the best we've had this far with NCL. Latitudes members please note: There are no more invitations sent out for the Latitude Functions as in the past. There is just an entry in the Freestyle Daily that mention that you need to visit the CruiseNext consultant to arrange the Platinum Plus Backstage Tour and to be informed about the cocktail function. We missed out on the cocktail function because we did not read this information on the specific day. It seems they have so many members that they try and limit the number of guests at the cocktail function. I would expect NCL to at least for Platinum and higher make an effort to make you feel a bit more special for supporting them. Re-embarkation at Alicante took over 45 minutes. Only one gangway was open with a security check on the port side (belt, boots, jacket off) as well as as you enter the ship. NCL explained that they have no control over how many gangways they are allocated by the port. No other ship in the harbor that day so I'm not convinced. Then warn the passengers that re-embarkation may take longer than usual. All in all a very nice cruise with friendly staff on a smaller more intimate vessel.

Smaller ships in a suite is the way to cruise!

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by SAfricajch

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2017
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse with Large Balcony
When you've done 11 cruises with NCL, you know what to expect, and this was exactly the case with this cruise.

We found Embarkation was very well organised, maybe because we were in a suite or because we arrived early at the port.

One of the advantages of being in a suite is that you get escorted on-board, put your hand luggage down in the suite and off to Cagney's for lunch.

Our Suite 10002 was a Penthouse with Large balcony (SF). There are 5 of these suites forward on deck 10. But the two on the sides 10002 and 10502 have an added advantage that is not indicated on any deck plans. They both have not only a forward balcony (which is fairly useless when at sea due to wind) but also a balcony next to the bed on the side of the ship. The bathroom also have a window that looks out over the balcony.

The Spirit was originally built as a gambling ship and the remnants of the glamour is very evident. There is definitely a more luxurious feel to the ship than the Dawn, Jewel or Sun class ships in their fleet. Non of those shocking carpet colors, but the fishes are missing from the passages to indicate forward and aft!

The layout of the ship is different in that you never have to walk through a smoke filled Casino to reach other areas of the ship as it is to the front of the vessel.

The pool deck has nice lounge chairs with small tables and the look is far more upmarket than on the ships built later to cater for freestyle cruising.

It is nice to see that they have retained the lounge areas at the front of the ship (Galaxy of the Stars Observation Lounge) with beautiful views. This type of lounge has been converted to suites on the likes of the NCL Star

Service in both the dining rooms was good and the menu choices acceptable.

Out of the specialty dining options we found that the service and food quality at La Trattoria (La Cucina on other ships) was far better than at either Cagney's or Le Bistro, even though it is just a blocked off area of the buffet restaurant at night.

It is sad to see that the menu items at Le Bistro has not changed in the last 4 years! One would expect that NCL would like to draw people to their specialty restaurants but the same menu over and over??

The layout and position of the Blue Lagoon right in a walkway is crazy. On other NCL ships it was always nice to get a quick bite when returning to the ship after excursions at the Blue Lagoon, but sitting right in a thoroughfare is not my idea of fun. Badly planned.

Entertainment was good and the specific on-board team of dancers and singers were possibly the best I've seen in 11 cruises in NCL. Very polished, well rehearsed and executed.

We made use of some shore excursions through NCL due to the Excursion Credit of USD 50 per cabin per excursion. This worked out well and this brought the pricing difference between NCL excursions and similar excursions from other vendors more in line.

The itinerary for this cruise of 10 days was nicely spaced with sea days and the ports visited interesting.

Special mention of the concierge Karin on this cruise. She was an absolute star and by far the best we've had this far with NCL.

Latitudes members please note:

There are no more invitations sent out for the Latitude Functions as in the past.

There is just an entry in the Freestyle Daily that mention that you need to visit the CruiseNext consultant to arrange the Platinum Plus Backstage Tour and to be informed about the cocktail function. We missed out on the cocktail function because we did not read this information on the specific day. It seems they have so many members that they try and limit the number of guests at the cocktail function. I would expect NCL to at least for Platinum and higher make an effort to make you feel a bit more special for supporting them.

Re-embarkation at Alicante took over 45 minutes. Only one gangway was open with a security check on the port side (belt, boots, jacket off) as well as as you enter the ship. NCL explained that they have no control over how many gangways they are allocated by the port. No other ship in the harbor that day so I'm not convinced. Then warn the passengers that re-embarkation may take longer than usual.

All in all a very nice cruise with friendly staff on a smaller more intimate vessel.
SAfricajch’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Penthouse with Large Balcony
Cabin SE 10002
The cabin layout was very good and spacious.
Not sure why other guests complained about the structural pillars in the lounge...

Entrance hall with guest toilet and basin as well as a bar area.
There is a door from the entrance hall directly to the balcony stateroom next door (10006) which could be nice for a bigger family if booked together so that more people can enjoy the lounge area.
Older coffee machines now replaced with Nespresso machines.
Front balcony virtually unusable at sea but a nice to have for the views from the lounge area. Accessing the front balcony from this suite is via a small area and a big heavy watertight door. Front balcony is very narrow yet wide with good views but not private due to the
Two of the 5 suite in this category (also 10502) have a second balcony next to the bedroom on the side of the ship which is the size of a normal balcony cabin balcony. This is not shown on any deck plans for the Spirit and is a huge plus factor due to the forward facing balcony basically unusable due to the width and wind and sea.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews