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Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
2,145 Reviews

Great itinerary and staff- mixed review on dining room and excursions

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by GOTTATRAVEL40

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2019
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony

Chose this cruise for the 13 country itinerary in 15 days, knowing it would not be the relaxing cruise that we usually take. Very smooth embarking and debarkation. We liked the sized of the ship. We never felt there were 2000 people on board with the exception of a couple times at Raffles buffet. We were really expecting the worst of the SPirit as it is due to go for drydock in January. That being said, the ship far exceeded our low expectations. We kept commenting that it was so much nicer than we ever imaged. The ship appeared to be kept clean and rooms were decent. Certainly the staterooms will be nice after updates as bathrooms are outdated but clean is most important to us. The stateroom was decent for size just as photos show. It is always nice to have a small sofa to sit onwhich these rooms have. We have had smaller and larger but room was very adequate. Closet held ample clothing. Our room steward did a great job. His cart was normally parked next to our door which wasn't a problem. We had surprise animals every night!

The dining room was extremely inconsistent from both time and quality standards. One day everything would come out quickly and hot and the next day food would be very cold and come in waves for the table.. The staff were always pleasant and tried to please but there must have been a problem somewhere in between. Raffles was a choice sometimes but at busy times tables in the buffet area would be hard to find but we would sit outside. The traffic flow seemed pretty non existent .

La Bistro was the favorite of all 10 of us and was the Best food we had on board. Tempanyaki was 2nd. Very tender beef and nice dinner. Cagneys was big disappointment both in service and food. We had table of 6 and table of 4. No steak and lobster as on menu and shrimp was offered instead. No one LOVED their dinner that evening. Blue Lagoon was a quick and easy place to have a burger, salad etc after shore excursions or when you just want a quick easy meal. Quick service - same manager as La Bistro. He does a great job!

We enjoyed the entertainment - both onboard group and guest entertainment. The violinist was entertaining as were most of them.

Loved Henry's pub and the staff and also spent time in the outdoor beer garden. All the bars had a different specialty menu which was fun. Casino was way to smoky to ever visit. No nonsmoking day.

I can't comment on entertainment other than evening shows as this was such a port intensive cruise we didn't take time to participate.

One of the true disappointments were shore excursions. Most people we saw felt the same way but I am not seeing the negative reviews yet. It was a mess all leaving from the theater most days. The mad rush when 360 people are called for an excursion. We had a group of 10 and overall, the biggest disappointment was lack of sound enhancement for most tours. Most tours had 36 to 45 people and without sound enhancement the tour guide was pretty useless. Helsinki, Amsterdam, Gdansk and st Peterburg were the only cities we understand had the earbuds or amplifier. We had some tour guides in the other cities that could not be in control of such a large tour group in busy historical cities as well as not being able to project their voice. The tours were awfull! We put up with tours in some cities because of transportation and or boat tour which were excellent but the rest of the tour terrible. I had minimal need for shopping with the exception of an ornament. in some cities, there was no time alloted to even buy an ornament. The worst of all was 3 1/2 hour Rostock for $109. Most things in the city was closed. We rode the bus to the historic center hearing of some history and how everyone drinks too much beer and the guide Kai pretty much just walked, talking to one of the guests and would give a few facts every once in a while. The restaurants were opening but nothing else. We had over an hour free that day with nowhere to go. I would suggest finding alternatives to NCL such as small groups that guarantee getting back to ship. A small group would be of great value. I will be very selective of NCL tours in the future after this experience. Just hard to have 40 plus people trying to hear follow 1 guide.

I would look forward to another cruise on the spirit especially after she goes through drydock

GOTTATRAVEL40's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BB 9580

Plenty of room to live and store your stuff. Bathrooms are outdated but clean. I would imagine next February they will be very nice. Good location mid ship. If you have mobility issues, I would choose closer to elevators but I appreciated the extra steps to make up for extra food I ate. Ther is a service hallway across from room to starboard side but no noise and no rooms across from us. Our group had 4 rooms next to each other and one across the hallway. No noise from above or below.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Quite pleased. Much better commentary than Stockholm and easier to get on and off.

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Private Tour

We had amazing 2 day tour with Maria. My sister did same tour last year with 4 people. We had 8 people with a 12 or 16 passenger vehicle. There would be long lines and somehow we would be invitied right in. She was so knowledgeable with great english. Everything we could have asked for. We did the crystal tour. Amazing

View All 204 Private Tour Reviews
Old Town of Tallinn

Rode bus to Old Town. Went through beautiful areas with some commentary. Then,

we got off the bus with about 40 people and could not hear the guide. She lost control of her group and would start taking before they all caught up. Walking tour was poor in an absolutely beautiful old city. Wish we had booked privately

View All 189 Old Town of Tallinn Reviews

Chocolate making class - truffles. Nicely done in setting of up to 25 people.

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City Tour

Charming Riga Pearl of the Baltic Started on Bus with nice tour of city. A good overview. Started walking tour. Same problem as other NCL tours. 40 people and no voice enhancement product. Tour guide did her best to have her voice hear by all but hard to hear. Had a good walk through old town. After our tour, we stayed in town and went to the Central Market which is the local market where locals shop. It was huge with beautiful fruit, bakery areas, and food, clothing etc. It was interesting. We love local markets.

View All 23 City Tour Reviews

Panormaic Kaipeda and Amber We had a tour of an Amber factory and then brought to their shop in the city. Had a overview bus tour. Enjoyed watching the process and learning about amber. Once we were in the city, it was more difficult to hear the tour guide but she tried to portray her voice without sound enhancement. Overall a nice tour except for size of group and hearing.

Gdansk Old Town

Gdask and Oliwa Stopped at catherald in Oliwa and had organ 15 minute organ concert. There wer 6 buses from ship all at the church. We then rode into Gdansk. It was really a very lovey city. Much was destroyed and has been rebuilt. The tour guide had a small loudspeaker and worked quite well as we had about 40 people in the tour. He did a great job making sure people knew where to meet if anyone got lost. Very nice tour. I wasn't expecting such a beautiful city

View All 60 Gdansk Old Town Reviews
Royal Canal Tour

Very enjoyable short boat cruise.

View All 17 Royal Canal Tour Reviews
Vasa Museum

Very interesting. Waited a bit to get in but once in museum, it is not overcrowded!

View All 128 Vasa Museum Reviews

Probably worst Hop on Hop off bus experience we have had. Very limited information on what you are seeing and extremely overcrowded during summer.

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