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Last December 2016 we sailed the Spirit. During the cruise we had concerns which was not addressed on the ship...missed ports charges not refunded, bad bed, cabin ...etc but NCL HO had offered OBC if we would give them a second chance. We wanted to get away in January and decided to give NCL another chance. When we booked a guaranteed inside cabin, NCL assigned the cabin 2 days after booking which was a pleasant surprise to be on deck 10 mid ship. We found usually guaranteed inside are assigned prior to sailing and the cabin in the lower deck aft or forward. When we were offered a chance to upgrade we turned it down because we liked where our cabin was. What we experienced was the embarkation process was one of the best we have experienced ( 18 prior cruises) unlike the last time we were left in the dark at the port alone. The crew was very friendly and seem genuine welcoming as compared to frazzled and stressed on our prior NCL cruise. As the cruise progressed we noticed a lot of trays of dishes were dropped. Could the ratio of passengers to crew be higher than it should? Could it be overworked and tired staff feeling the effects of being overworked due to missing and changing of 2 ports that affected their scheduled day off or extra work? The Blue Lagoon was our favourite grazing place as the food was cooked fresh. At Raffles still had not improved since the last cruise as there was no change of menu items and the food was a combination of overcooked, dry, mushy, mangled and hard. The food at the Windows and Garden was much more enjoyable. One of the disappointments was no rack of lamb, steak and lobster, shrimp cocktail and other items included on other cruise lines but only available on NCL at the speciality dining for extra cost. We gave it a go and found the food to be nice but not worth the price when others include the items as part of the regular menu. Be aware that VAT is charged on everything whether the ship is in port or out to sea. Other cruise companies do not charge VAT once out of port. I wonder if NCL keeps the VAT if cruisers do not make a VAT refund claim. The Spirit missed Casablanca due to high winds as communicated by the captain and instead we docked in Tangiers. Missed Rick's cafe...Here's looking at you. We did the NCL shore excursion as NCL did not give ample notice of the change in port and did not allow free internet access to change plans for Casablanca. The shore excursion was well organized, enjoyable and informative. Being a Friday, not a lot of shops were open except the NCL sponsor Artisan craft market. The other port we missed was Funchal. Because there was a ship in our port berth we missed the port. The good news is that NCL refunded the port charges of $7 but as far as we experience this amount seems to small for a popular port. Unlike other cruise companies, did not allow free internet access to change any plans we may have made or offer any OBC for the inconvenience...so much for customer service. We found that the staff information access is so compartmentalized that whenever we ask a questions we were directed to someone else or see information at the port. The Spirit has very little public space so there was very little activities and all the gathering places were very busy on sea days. The cruise director was much more interesting than on our prior cruise. He did say if you didn't enjoy the cruise rate it EXCELLLENT since you aren't coming back anyways. If you were to add in all the cost of VAT, speciality dining, no coffee card, extra cost of last minute shore excursions, and the higher cost of items at the shops, NCL may be more expensive that the other choices. Well the over all experience on the ship was ok. If it was not for the itinerary NCL would not be our first choice. Would we cruise NCL again? Yes if the itinerary and price is right.

For my next cruise NCL will not be my first choice; second chance

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by lostinparadise999

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2018
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Inside
Last December 2016 we sailed the Spirit. During the cruise we had concerns which was not addressed on the ship...missed ports charges not refunded, bad bed, cabin ...etc but NCL HO had offered OBC if we would give them a second chance.

We wanted to get away in January and decided to give NCL another chance.

When we booked a guaranteed inside cabin, NCL assigned the cabin 2 days after booking which was a pleasant surprise to be on deck 10 mid ship. We found usually guaranteed inside are assigned prior to sailing and the cabin in the lower deck aft or forward. When we were offered a chance to upgrade we turned it down because we liked where our cabin was.

What we experienced was the embarkation process was one of the best we have experienced ( 18 prior cruises) unlike the last time we were left in the dark at the port alone.

The crew was very friendly and seem genuine welcoming as compared to frazzled and stressed on our prior NCL cruise. As the cruise progressed we noticed a lot of trays of dishes were dropped. Could the ratio of passengers to crew be higher than it should? Could it be overworked and tired staff feeling the effects of being overworked due to missing and changing of 2 ports that affected their scheduled day off or extra work?

The Blue Lagoon was our favourite grazing place as the food was cooked fresh. At Raffles still had not improved since the last cruise as there was no change of menu items and the food was a combination of overcooked, dry, mushy, mangled and hard. The food at the Windows and Garden was much more enjoyable. One of the disappointments was no rack of lamb, steak and lobster, shrimp cocktail and other items included on other cruise lines but only available on NCL at the speciality dining for extra cost. We gave it a go and found the food to be nice but not worth the price when others include the items as part of the regular menu.

Be aware that VAT is charged on everything whether the ship is in port or out to sea. Other cruise companies do not charge VAT once out of port. I wonder if NCL keeps the VAT if cruisers do not make a VAT refund claim.

The Spirit missed Casablanca due to high winds as communicated by the captain and instead we docked in Tangiers. Missed Rick's cafe...Here's looking at you. We did the NCL shore excursion as NCL did not give ample notice of the change in port and did not allow free internet access to change plans for Casablanca. The shore excursion was well organized, enjoyable and informative. Being a Friday, not a lot of shops were open except the NCL sponsor Artisan craft market. The other port we missed was Funchal. Because there was a ship in our port berth we missed the port. The good news is that NCL refunded the port charges of $7 but as far as we experience this amount seems to small for a popular port. Unlike other cruise companies, did not allow free internet access to change any plans we may have made or offer any OBC for the inconvenience...so much for customer service. We found that the staff information access is so compartmentalized that whenever we ask a questions we were directed to someone else or see information at the port.

The Spirit has very little public space so there was very little activities and all the gathering places were very busy on sea days.

The cruise director was much more interesting than on our prior cruise. He did say if you didn't enjoy the cruise rate it EXCELLLENT since you aren't coming back anyways.

If you were to add in all the cost of VAT, speciality dining, no coffee card, extra cost of last minute shore excursions, and the higher cost of items at the shops, NCL may be more expensive that the other choices.

Well the over all experience on the ship was ok. If it was not for the itinerary NCL would not be our first choice. Would we cruise NCL again? Yes if the itinerary and price is right.
lostinparadise999’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Inside
Cabin IX 10057
When we arrived at our cabin we were pleasantly surprised as it was mid ship and in a quieter area. We asked the cabin steward not to use chemicals or perfume products due to allergies. The cabin steward was very mindful of our request.
The cabin was small but well organized for efficiency. Smalliest cabin we have ever been in.
The bed was very comfortable and seem to be very new as there was no sagging.
On numerous occasion we had to have the drain in the sink and shower repaired as well as the toilet not flushing. The maintenance crew was very quick in addressing the concerns.
For 3 days there was work on the plumbing in the hallway to address some leakage from the pipes. Brown stains and droplets were seen on the corridor.
Our cabin steward did a great job keeping our room clean even when we had drain and toilet issues in the corridor.
Deck 4 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins