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Visiting the Greek islands has been on our bucket list for over a decade. We were so happy to finally get the chance to actually go there! We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because of the extras included by the travel agency (drinks package/four speciality dinners for two/prepaid gratuities/two nights pre-cruise in Rome at a nice hotel/etc). The first thing to say is that the embarkation in Civitavecchia (the port near Rome) was the best we’ve ever experienced (we’ve been on 9 other cruises with a variety of cruise lines). From the time we entered the port till the time we were on board was under 15 minutes! Amazing! The ship is old and it shows a bit - but this wasn’t a problem for us. The crew was universally friendly and efficient. Our room steward, Eddie, was exceptional. Our balcony suite on Deck 9 was fine. We enjoyed the few times we used the balcony. The room was big enough and had a lot of good storage space. The bathroom was relatively big and had a separate area for the toilet - a welcome feature at times. The review of the bed was mixed. I liked the firm bed. My wife found it to be too hard. We ordered the Anniversary package and really enjoyed the room decorations, the flowers, the full size and delicious cake, the chocolate covered strawberries and the Proseco! We purchased a big internet package for the cruise. All we can say is that you should take heed to the almost universal criticism on this topic. The internet is excruciatingly slow and is simply a rip-off. Minutes seem to disappear by the bunches - even when you’re not using the service. The food overall was just ok. The buffet (Raffles) was alright - but we only used it for breakfasts and for the terrific soft serve ice cream. The seating in Raffles was a bit of a challenge at peak times. We ate several times at all of the specialty restaurants and at the Windows dining room (the “free” dining venue). To be honest, aside from Cagney’s Steakhouse, we have to say that the specialty restaurants were a bit disappointing. Better service and ambiance - but the food itself really was no better than what was served in the Windows dining room. On the other, Cagney’s was terrific! On some afternoons there was a BBQ on the pool deck. The BBQ food was pretty good. Speaking of the pool deck... we experienced a number of issues with the pool deck area. First - there is only one pool on this ship. This is understandable, considering that this ship only carries less than 2,000 passengers. However, given that there is only one pool, we felt that it was wrong to dedicate one entire side of the pool to a smoking section. Even using the sun deck above the pool deck on that side of the ship was no good if you were a non-smoker. We’ve never seen such a large section of any cruise ship given over to smokers like was done on the Norwegian Spirit. Going forward, we will carefully research this issue for our future cruises. The pool itself is deep and there is no shallow area for folks to lounge around. A bit of an older design I think. The biggest problem for us was the lounge chair hoarding/“reserving” (with a towel or a book) around the pool. If you weren’t up by 8 am and on a chair, you were out of luck. Many passengers who were part of large groups regularly “reserved” multiple chairs - they even did this on the days they went on tours! This meant that the reserved chairs remained unoccupied till around 1 or 2 pm in the afternoon when the morning tours started returning to the ship. Norwegian Spirit staff were very hesitant to enforce any rules about this unless they were pressed into action by several complaints. We saw a couple of heated arguments break out over this situation. Again, as compared with our other cruise experiences, the pool deck chair “reservation” situation on this ship was by far the worst. As for our fellow passengers - as compared to what we’ve experienced on our previous cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, and the west coast of the US - this group was, shall we say, younger, much louder, at times rowdier, and noticeably ruder, than we are used to. We probably should have expected this on a shorter summertime cruise in the Mediterranean - as school is out and virtually everyone has two or three weeks of vacation. On the other hand it was nice to see a mix of ages on a cruise - and not just a predominantly 60+ age group. The entertainment was very good in our estimation. The house band “Souled Out” were excellent musicians with an enormous repertoire and were a real crowd pleaser! The band in Champagne Charlie’s, “Trio Royale”, were superb and we made a point of seeing them for at least an hour every night. The big shows in the theatre were also very good. The signature production “Elements” was extremely good. We also very much enjoyed the magician and the aerialist shows. Also kudos to the four male singers (can’t remember their name). Their version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody truly brought the house down! The port itinerary was very good. The highlights for us were Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Crete, and Malta. We also enjoyed our time visiting the mountaintop town of Taormina outside of Messina Italy. We went on a tour in every port. We booked a few tours ourselves with a private tour guide and for the rest we used NCL tours. While we’re sure that we overpaid for these tours, as compared to booking directly with local tour companies, we have to say that we were generally pleased with each tour. Disembarkation was very good. NCL offers the choice to walk off with your own luggage at a time of your choice. We did this and we’re off the ship in mere minutes. One big caveat to think about when considering a summertime cruise in the Mediterranean - it is hot. Very very hot. Every single day during the 11 days of our cruise, the temperatures ranged from 35-42 Celsius (95-107 degrees Fahrenheit). The humidity ranged from 80% to 100% (in Malta and Naples). It can really take it out of you when doing walking tours in this kind of heat.

Ship just ok but ports were great!

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by vanman1010

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Visiting the Greek islands has been on our bucket list for over a decade. We were so happy to finally get the chance to actually go there! We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because of the extras included by the travel agency (drinks package/four speciality dinners for two/prepaid gratuities/two nights pre-cruise in Rome at a nice hotel/etc).

The first thing to say is that the embarkation in Civitavecchia (the port near Rome) was the best we’ve ever experienced (we’ve been on 9 other cruises with a variety of cruise lines). From the time we entered the port till the time we were on board was under 15 minutes! Amazing!

The ship is old and it shows a bit - but this wasn’t a problem for us. The crew was universally friendly and efficient. Our room steward, Eddie, was exceptional. Our balcony suite on Deck 9 was fine. We enjoyed the few times we used the balcony. The room was big enough and had a lot of good storage space. The bathroom was relatively big and had a separate area for the toilet - a welcome feature at times. The review of the bed was mixed. I liked the firm bed. My wife found it to be too hard.

We ordered the Anniversary package and really enjoyed the room decorations, the flowers, the full size and delicious cake, the chocolate covered strawberries and the Proseco!

We purchased a big internet package for the cruise. All we can say is that you should take heed to the almost universal criticism on this topic. The internet is excruciatingly slow and is simply a rip-off. Minutes seem to disappear by the bunches - even when you’re not using the service.

The food overall was just ok. The buffet (Raffles) was alright - but we only used it for breakfasts and for the terrific soft serve ice cream. The seating in Raffles was a bit of a challenge at peak times. We ate several times at all of the specialty restaurants and at the Windows dining room (the “free” dining venue). To be honest, aside from Cagney’s Steakhouse, we have to say that the specialty restaurants were a bit disappointing. Better service and ambiance - but the food itself really was no better than what was served in the Windows dining room. On the other, Cagney’s was terrific! On some afternoons there was a BBQ on the pool deck. The BBQ food was pretty good.

Speaking of the pool deck... we experienced a number of issues with the pool deck area. First - there is only one pool on this ship. This is understandable, considering that this ship only carries less than 2,000 passengers. However, given that there is only one pool, we felt that it was wrong to dedicate one entire side of the pool to a smoking section. Even using the sun deck above the pool deck on that side of the ship was no good if you were a non-smoker. We’ve never seen such a large section of any cruise ship given over to smokers like was done on the Norwegian Spirit. Going forward, we will carefully research this issue for our future cruises.

The pool itself is deep and there is no shallow area for folks to lounge around. A bit of an older design I think.

The biggest problem for us was the lounge chair hoarding/“reserving” (with a towel or a book) around the pool. If you weren’t up by 8 am and on a chair, you were out of luck. Many passengers who were part of large groups regularly “reserved” multiple chairs - they even did this on the days they went on tours! This meant that the reserved chairs remained unoccupied till around 1 or 2 pm in the afternoon when the morning tours started returning to the ship. Norwegian Spirit staff were very hesitant to enforce any rules about this unless they were pressed into action by several complaints. We saw a couple of heated arguments break out over this situation. Again, as compared with our other cruise experiences, the pool deck chair “reservation” situation on this ship was by far the worst.

As for our fellow passengers - as compared to what we’ve experienced on our previous cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, and the west coast of the US - this group was, shall we say, younger, much louder, at times rowdier, and noticeably ruder, than we are used to. We probably should have expected this on a shorter summertime cruise in the Mediterranean - as school is out and virtually everyone has two or three weeks of vacation. On the other hand it was nice to see a mix of ages on a cruise - and not just a predominantly 60+ age group.

The entertainment was very good in our estimation. The house band “Souled Out” were excellent musicians with an enormous repertoire and were a real crowd pleaser! The band in Champagne Charlie’s, “Trio Royale”, were superb and we made a point of seeing them for at least an hour every night. The big shows in the theatre were also very good. The signature production “Elements” was extremely good. We also very much enjoyed the magician and the aerialist shows. Also kudos to the four male singers (can’t remember their name). Their version of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody truly brought the house down!

The port itinerary was very good. The highlights for us were Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Crete, and Malta. We also enjoyed our time visiting the mountaintop town of Taormina outside of Messina Italy. We went on a tour in every port. We booked a few tours ourselves with a private tour guide and for the rest we used NCL tours. While we’re sure that we overpaid for these tours, as compared to booking directly with local tour companies, we have to say that we were generally pleased with each tour.

Disembarkation was very good. NCL offers the choice to walk off with your own luggage at a time of your choice. We did this and we’re off the ship in mere minutes.

One big caveat to think about when considering a summertime cruise in the Mediterranean - it is hot. Very very hot. Every single day during the 11 days of our cruise, the temperatures ranged from 35-42 Celsius (95-107 degrees Fahrenheit). The humidity ranged from 80% to 100% (in Malta and Naples). It can really take it out of you when doing walking tours in this kind of heat.
vanman1010’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BB 9658
Our balcony suite on Deck 9 was fine. We enjoyed the few times we used the balcony. The room was big enough and had a lot of good storage space. The bathroom was relatively big and had a separate area for the toilet - a welcome feature at times. The review of the bed was mixed. I liked the firm bed. My wife found it to be too hard.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins