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Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,144 Reviews

Very nice, but....

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by brothermac1

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2018
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Picture Window

We chose this sailing because of the itinerary, and because NCL's web site said that the ship had been refurbished last year. We were disappointed on both counts: a) they radically adjusted the itinerary because of forecast rough seas and foul weather; b) the 2017 refurbishment was primarily emission control requirements for the exhaust stacks, and NOT a major update of the cabins and common areas,

We went with "guaranty" and they put us in a very nice large window cabin on deck 5, EXCEPT that it is directly above the winched-out gangway. The winch probably needs refurbishment. It was so noisy and shook the floor of our cabin because of its vibration. Don't even try to sleep though that!

The modified itinerary took us to Casablanca, Tangier, Malaga, Cartagena, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca and Marseille. Disappointing that we didn't get to the Canary Islands or Madeira, but I trust the Captain's judgment on this.

Our stateroom attendant was probably the best we've had on twelve cruises, and we've had some really good stateroom attendants. We only ate dinner at the main dining rooms twice, and at Shogun three times. In each case, the wait staff was very good. We mostly ate at the buffet. Our take on the previous reviews about the buffet? Some folks just need to complain. We found the buffet to be very good, with variety that we would rate decent to really good, depending on the day.

We thought the Cruise Director was a complete moron. The entertainment was OK, nothing spectacular we thought.

We have a real gripe about the NCL-contracted "shuttle bus" in some of the ports. What a blatant rip-off! In all of the ports that this was present, there was ample alternative transportation, usually by the public transit system. We walked to town in most places; the steps are good for us.

The $13.99/day our account got charged per person seems very fair. Our guess is that cruise lines implemented the "service charge" system because their staff was getting "stiffed" by miserly guests. Not good; pay the people who are serving you, that's how they earn their living, and you know it.

One of the neatest things about this ship is the bridge viewing chamber down the stairs from the Galaxy lounge, deck 12 forward. We've never seen such a feature, and found it fascinating


brothermac1's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OC 5038

Except for the aforementioned noise and vibration from the winch, we though this cabin was terrific!


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Barcelona

We love Barcelona, pick-pockets not withstanding. The new automated subway from the airport is slick. Take Line 9 to Zona Universitaria (end of the line), then Line 3 to Drassanes. The port bus stop is just across the boulevard. However, here's the kicker on the port bus: On disembarkation day, be sure that you don';t need to catch a morning flight. That port bus doesn't start up until 0800. We found this out the hard way, and we weren't about to get shafted by NCL for a $25 ride to the airport 6 miles away. As a result, our suitcase wheels got a workout and so did we. We "hoofed it" two miles to the subway at Drassanes

Casablanca

This city may have been immortalized by Bogart and Bergmann, but we're not sure why. It's dirty, unsafe and doesn't have much going on from a tourist standpoint. The Hassan II mosque is huge. So is the entrance fee for what you get. In our opinion, not worth it. However, the Casa Port train station is right outside the port gate. It's very clean, bright, has a McDonalds and free wi-fi. If you're inclined to take a ride on the train for the day, it's a good visit (we hear the trains are quite good in Morocco).

Tangier

This port is MUCH better than Casablanca. There are some rough areas in the vicinity, but also some very nice features in this city. We walked along the beach to the city center. They too have a McDonalds and a Burger King, but also some very nice local places. The beachfront promenade is wonderful; it's also an underground parking garage. We could go back here.

Malaga

This city is lovely!! We so enjoyed our visit here. Beautiful parks, a very efficient transit system, and good directional signage for tourists. An A++

Cartagena (Spain)

This ancient city has a beautiful pedestrian mall, nice shops, a vibrant cosmopolitan feel, and a technical university. We walked extensively, and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Alicante

Still nice, but not as nice as Malaga and Cartagena. A nice promenade along the waterfront.

Marseille

We were here fourteen years ago, and not impressed. This time, quite impressed. The city provides a free bus to city center (no need to pay NCL $15). The architecture is to be revered. We shopped in their store (not the tourist trap), found decent prices and good merchandise. McDonalds has wi-fi, but the bathroom requires a code that's printed on the bottom of your PURCHASE receipt. There was artisan's market going on that weekend; liked that very much.The handmade soap came home with us.

Palma de Mallorca (Majorca)

Lovely! We walked outside the cruise port, hopped on the public bus and were downtown in minutes. Beautiful cathedral, not to be missed. Lovely public squares outside the cathedral area. We were impressed!


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brothermac1
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