I haven't cruised for 30 years so my husband and I were really first time cruisers - therefore I have nothing to compare my experience to. I should, also, say we are budget-minded, too. -he Spirit is going in for a re-haul in a few months. We traveled for the ports, but the Asian decor in a few places was weird, otherwise, the ship was clean.
We did the "sail away" option with an inside room. You don't get any of the famous Norwegian freebies this way, but you don't pay the extra $500 or more for a reserved room.There is only one American plug in the main room and a European hair dryer in the bath. The bathroom was a little grungy- some tiles needed to be re-grouted, crack in the sink. My husband felt the mattress wasn't too good for his back.
Dining was good. In the buffet I thought all the food was relatively fresh, especially the fruit and veggies. Got a fresh cooked omelet many days. Service was cheerful. We, also, liked dinner in Windows, which is big. We found a waiter that we really liked and asked for him. This helped because some of the entrees sound amazing but the serving turns out small or it's just not good. Most food was great though. We went to Shogun for variety a couple of time. Their menu never changes but it's a change. Not too spicy- ask for hot sauce.
Service was usually very cheerful- everywhere.
We went for the ports- eastern Mediterranean. Embarkation was quick and you could return about a half hour before the ship left for port. The absolutely best tour was a ship tour-Delos in 3D. You use tablets to recreate the ancient site. Our guide was so knowledgeable. Best tour of our 13 day trip.
Cruise tours are usually so over-priced, but I was surprised to see most people just pay the money and go. Below are the tours we took.
Dubrovnik- took ship shuttle (you pay) to old town. We did on our own.
Kotor- Best of Montenegro - ship tour, local guide, ended a little early but he was sincere and we learned about the county
Corfu - hop on hop off bus - didn't get out onto the island, just the city, we enjoyed
Santorini speed boat at Fira port to Oi, with bus back to Fira beautiful
Athens - took a private 15 person tour PK tours Athens and Poseideon. Local tour guide- half the price of Norwegian and worth it
Mykonis the Delos tour
Crete- short time - took local bus into town
Malta- ship tour Scenic Malta -our guide had strong Italian accent but we stopped and got out 4 times. We saw the island.
Sicily - Godfather ship tour - saw Sicily
Naples private tour Pompeii and Herculaneum- did not plan this well- our fault
Livorno - ship tour Pisa trolley and tour - over-priced, but we had a sincere guide who was enthusiastic and informative.
We took the Norwegian transportation to the airport which was efficient and fast- price wise not any more expensive than other alternatives.
Last of of we went at the end of Oct/early Nov. It did get dark early as we went along, but the temps were in the 70's and the weather was beautiful. We were often the only cruise ship at port.
Pretty on the way out. There was a transit strike so our plans to arrive a day ahead of time and see Venice didn't work.
Our guide was local. Learned about Montenegro. Lots of views, visited smaller town-Cjientse (sp). Enjoyed.View All 102 Montenegro Highlights Reviews
Actually did the hop on hop off bus. Got off at a fort and walked around town. Beautiful place. We enjoyed relaxing at a creperie, shopping and looking at the city.
Speed ferry boats are at the Fira dock as you are tendered in to port. You have time to look around and relax in Ola. Then a bus is provided to take you back to Fira. When there is time to look around. Then pay separately for the cable car down to Fira port.View All 255 Oia Village Reviews
BEST TOUR OF THE TRIP. Took Delos in 3D. Each participant had a tablet so you coud see with your eyes what Delos looked like. Our guide had so much knowledge.View All 97 Island of Delos Reviews
We paid for the shuttle to take us to the old time- it's not really walkable. We walked the wall which is $40 a person - takes a long time beautiful views. Ate at Dubrovnika restaurant just outside of walls- excellent. Fun town to walk in.
Saw a lot of the island. Four stops to get off the bus. Our guide had a very strong Italian accent and she was hard to understandView All undefined undefined Reviews
Short tour, great guide, over- priced.View All 141 Leaning Tower of Pisa Reviews