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This is our third Norwegian Cruise Line trip. We are a couple in our mid-thirties and traveled with some friends. We arrived the night before sailing and stayed at an airport hotel, however, we wished we'd stayed at the port of Civitavecchia - it looked like there was a lot to do there that we would have like to have explored on the morning of sailing. A few PRO's: Embarkation/disembarkation was super smooth. The swimming pool was always empty. This is our sixth cruise and usually (as expected) the pools are full and you cannot get near them, however to our surprise the swimming pool and chairs surrounding it were pretty much always empty. We cannot understand why, seeing as the weather was hot? The kids swimming/splash area was always empty. In fact, I only saw one child on the ship the entire time. A bonus if you have children because you'd have the entire space to yourselves. It was definitely the oldest crowd of passengers I've seen on a ship. Coincidentally, this was my first Mediterranean itinerary (not sure if that has anything to do with it?). All of my other cruises have been to the Caribbean. The complementary Asian restaurant is a huge bonus. It's intimate but can still cater to a lot of guests. It feels like a specialty experience without the price tag. The food was good - what you'd expect from a local-style Chinese restaurant with a fairly large menu. I'd definitely recommend going to the variety-style show at the end of the trip. We went to three shows and this was by far the best. The itinerary was fantastic. All of the ports are stunning with plenty to do. We booked shore excursions at pretty much every port (as we always do) but many of them on this itinerary you do not need to, as the ship docks within walking distance of main towns, where you can also jump on day trips at a lower cost than the ship's rates. A few CON's: We found most of the bar and restaurant staff a little rude. The majority of them didn't smile, acknowledge us, or seem interested in having any sort of conversation. A huge difference to the five other cruises we've been on. Twice my husband went along to scheduled basketball tournaments, and while other passengers turned up at the time that was listed on the daily planner, a crew member/ organizer did not show up with the equipment. We usually eat breakfast at the buffet but decided one day to try a sit-down experience at the main dining room. We waited an hour for our food and the restaurant wasn't busy at all. That was the first and last time we tried that. We always book the specialty teppanyaki dining experience on all of our cruises. We really enjoy the show that usually comes along with this style of dining around a hot plate. However, our chef on this cruise did not put on any sort of show, he simply cooked the food in front of us and then left. We were then ushered out before finishing dessert to make way for the next group of diners. Very disapointing. The bars close early. Again, the ships I've sailed on have always been a mix of ages but I feel that there wasn't a need for the bars to stay open on this one, and once it got to about 12:30-1am, the last bar that was open would close, leaving myself and friends and about fifteen 20-30 something's (always the same crowd) with nothing to do, or no where to go. Our cabin (5036) was directly above the gangway, so it was very noisy. Avoid this area.

Some good and bad points about the ship, but the itinerary/ports were amazing

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by Miriam Coates

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Picture Window
This is our third Norwegian Cruise Line trip. We are a couple in our mid-thirties and traveled with some friends. We arrived the night before sailing and stayed at an airport hotel, however, we wished we'd stayed at the port of Civitavecchia - it looked like there was a lot to do there that we would have like to have explored on the morning of sailing.

A few PRO's:

Embarkation/disembarkation was super smooth.

The swimming pool was always empty. This is our sixth cruise and usually (as expected) the pools are full and you cannot get near them, however to our surprise the swimming pool and chairs surrounding it were pretty much always empty. We cannot understand why, seeing as the weather was hot?

The kids swimming/splash area was always empty. In fact, I only saw one child on the ship the entire time. A bonus if you have children because you'd have the entire space to yourselves. It was definitely the oldest crowd of passengers I've seen on a ship. Coincidentally, this was my first Mediterranean itinerary (not sure if that has anything to do with it?). All of my other cruises have been to the Caribbean.

The complementary Asian restaurant is a huge bonus. It's intimate but can still cater to a lot of guests. It feels like a specialty experience without the price tag. The food was good - what you'd expect from a local-style Chinese restaurant with a fairly large menu.

I'd definitely recommend going to the variety-style show at the end of the trip. We went to three shows and this was by far the best.

The itinerary was fantastic. All of the ports are stunning with plenty to do. We booked shore excursions at pretty much every port (as we always do) but many of them on this itinerary you do not need to, as the ship docks within walking distance of main towns, where you can also jump on day trips at a lower cost than the ship's rates.

A few CON's:

We found most of the bar and restaurant staff a little rude. The majority of them didn't smile, acknowledge us, or seem interested in having any sort of conversation. A huge difference to the five other cruises we've been on.

Twice my husband went along to scheduled basketball tournaments, and while other passengers turned up at the time that was listed on the daily planner, a crew member/ organizer did not show up with the equipment.

We usually eat breakfast at the buffet but decided one day to try a sit-down experience at the main dining room. We waited an hour for our food and the restaurant wasn't busy at all. That was the first and last time we tried that.

We always book the specialty teppanyaki dining experience on all of our cruises. We really enjoy the show that usually comes along with this style of dining around a hot plate. However, our chef on this cruise did not put on any sort of show, he simply cooked the food in front of us and then left. We were then ushered out before finishing dessert to make way for the next group of diners. Very disapointing.

The bars close early. Again, the ships I've sailed on have always been a mix of ages but I feel that there wasn't a need for the bars to stay open on this one, and once it got to about 12:30-1am, the last bar that was open would close, leaving myself and friends and about fifteen 20-30 something's (always the same crowd) with nothing to do, or no where to go.

Our cabin (5036) was directly above the gangway, so it was very noisy. Avoid this area.
Miriam Coates’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OC 5036
This was our first time in a non-balcony room on a ship. We were concerned about the smaller size of the cabin, but were pleasantly surprised that there was enough space, and the picture window was large.
However, DO NOT BOOK THIS CABIN. It is directly above the gangway door, and at every port we were woken up by the doors opening and general noise of the crew/music and then all of the passengers getting off this ship.
Deck 6 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Jeep Tour
    Highly recommend these self-drive jeeps. Drive through the stunning countryside, local villages, and beautiful coastline. With a stop at a distillery. A must-do!
    View All 5 Jeep Tour Reviews
  • Land & Sea Tour
    While the boat trip element of this excursion was very nice, we all felt that the walking tour was unnecessary and a little boring.
    View All 15 Land & Sea Tour Reviews
  • Katakolon (Olympia)
    We did not take an excursion. A 10 min walk will get you into the small town that's full of shops and restaurants. Look out for the BEER BIKE. A great little 30 min trip for 5 euros per person including 2 beers. A family-owned business and a must-do!
    View All 522 Katakolon (Olympia) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Katakolon (Olympia) Cruise Port Review
  • Koper
    The ship pulls into a lovely town full of shops and restaurants.
    We took a taxi ride (15 euro) to a local seaside resort called Izola - I highly recommend you do the same. It's a Riviera-style coast full of pretty coloured buildings and bustling with European tourists sunbathing along the walls. A great spot for lunch.
    View All 78 Koper Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Koper Cruise Port Review
  • Split Riviera
    A coach ride with commentary, followed by a scenic boat ride, followed by a stop off and snack (ham, cheese, bread, olives and wine), then you get dropped back at the ship/Split where there is PLENTY to do in this bustling town.
    View All 11 Split Riviera Reviews
  • Gondola Ride
    We did our research and found that it was A LOT cheaper to book a gondola ride with one of the many local vendors along the river. A must-do in this beautiful city.
    View All 77 Gondola Ride Reviews