Wonderful first cruise experience overall!: Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by wera274

Norwegian Spirit 4
Member Since 2011
12 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Wonderful first cruise experience overall!

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
We cruised on the Norwegian Spirit out of New Orleans May 22. This was our honeymoon and also our first cruise, so we were very excited. We arrived super early so had to wait around a bit but were on the ship by around 11:30.

The ship was beautiful; they definitely get you in the mood as soon as you step on board with the fun music and the fruity cocktails. We had lunch in Raffles and were very pleased with the selection and the quality of the food. Then we hung out at Bier Garten overlooking the pool, where we met Guillermo, who became our favorite member of the Spirit staff. He always knew us by name and we never got the feeling that he was being friendly just to get us to buy drinks, as we did with many of the other servers.

We got to our stateroom around 3:00. After reading countless reviews and information on cruises in general, I was expecting a tiny room with no room to move around. We were actually very pleased with the size of the stateroom and the balcony. More It worked for what we needed. The stewards were very nice and friendly. Can't speak so much for helpfulness because we really didn't request any special treatment. They did keep our cooler filled with ice though, which was very nice!

Not going to bore you with every last detail of each meal of our trip, but overall we were very pleased with the food on the ship. We ate at Raffles several times, the Windows several times, and one of the little bars for chips and dip one afternoon. We also splurged one night and dined at Cagney's, which we were overall very pleased with. The crabcakes were the best part. However, we paid extra for King crab legs, which were definitely not the best I've had. Also I was very disappointed in the espresso brownie I chose for dessert. Actually I was pretty disappointed in the desserts on the ship in general, but I am a baker myself so I am a bit of a dessert snob. My husband didn't seem to mind them. But overall, Cagney's was worth the upcharge.

The entertainment that we saw on the ship was very good. We went to the opening show, the duo acrobatique show, and the Elements show. Would have loved to have seen more of the acrobatic couple; they were incredible. We also attended four of the gameshows, which were lots of fun. Between us and our friends we met on the ship, someone from our group won three of the four gameshows! The prizes were a little lame though, but it was fun. Music by the pool each day was happy and upbeat.

I got a massage in the spa while hubby worked out in the gym. Was very happy with the massage, until the end when she tried to upsell me $120 worth of lotions and oils. Kinda ruins the relaxation when you're laying there with someone standing over you with their hand out wanting money. Hubby seemed fairly happy with the gym, except that the current in the lap pools was not fast enough to actually swim laps.

As far as the ports go, I will elaborate more on them in our port reviews, but Costa Maya was definitely our favorite. We learned that we prefer the more private excursions to secluded areas over the ones to public beaches where someone is in your face trying to sell you something every thirty seconds.

Disembarkation was a bit stressful, mainly because of negative people with attitudes in line in front of us. Everyone thinks they have a better solution to the situation, even though the cruise staff have done it a time or two and have probably figured out the most efficient way.

All in all, we were very pleased with our first cruise experience. We would definitely choose Norwegian again; I can't imagine being on a schedule where you had to eat when someone else told you to, etc. Oh and one tip for first time cruisers-if you are drinkers, invest in rum runner flasks! They are easy to conceal and saved us so much money! We did still buy some drinks on the ship from our friend Guillermo, but our tab was a whole lot lower than it would have been otherwise. Less

Published 07/23/11

Cabin review: BC Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

Took an outside excursion (can't remember the company name) that included cave tubing and ziplining. The cave tubing was very interesting and relaxing, but not necessarily what I would call exciting. It was neat though. Be prepared to do a lot of hiking through the woods. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and told us lots about different plants and animals along the way. The ziplining was lots of fun but it was over way too quick. That part only lasted about 15 min, most of which consisted of climbing stairs. On the drive back the driver stopped at a little stand where we were able to get a taste of local cuisine for $5 per person. Different but very tasty. Overall we were pretty satisfied with Belize.

This was by far our favorite port and, being the first, set the bar very high for the remaining three. We booked a tour through Native Choice where we could tour the ruins and then visit a Mayan village for lunch. However, on the way to the ruins our tour guide Israel mentioned that another group was going to a private lagoon afterwards and he convinced us to switch to that tour instead for the same price. The trip to the ruins was very enjoyable and enlightening. Guides Israel and Ivan were so knowledgeable, and it turns out that Ivan's family actually discovered the ruins! We spent just the right amount of time there to learn a lot and get great pictures without getting hot and bored. Then it was off to the lagoon. Thirty minutes down a very rough dirt road, we were getting skeptical that we were just being taken to a big mud puddle. All of a sudden the road opened up to the most beautiful place I had ever seen. I can't describe how amazing this place was, and I don't want to give away too much for people who may choose this tour. We ate fajitas, drank margaritas, did a little kayaking, and just relaxed and enjoyed the seclusion with our group of about 10 people. We would have actually been content spending the remainder of our trip there! I STRONGLY recommend this tour to anyone visiting Costa Maya.

Read 1767 Costa Maya Reviews

Mixed feelings about this port. Booked the X-rail tour through the ship. Got to see lots of native animals but they tell you that you can't take pictures of the animals "for their safety." The real reason is bc they take pictures of you holding them and then try to sell them to you for a very high price at the end. The x-rails were fun but they don't let you go very fast and for adrenaline junkies like us, it was a little too tame. Went to Jade Cavern for a very stinky swim with bats flying overhead. It was neat, but made you feel icky for the rest of the day. This excursion was enjoyable to us but not for people who don't like getting dirty. Afterwards we went to Margaritaville for our "free 8oz margarita" that came with our excursion. We waited for about 20 minutes, only to be served a shot glass full of margarita. We were planning on hanging out and buying t-shirts, but that just irritated us so we left. What we were really looking for was authentic Mexican food, which we were told we could get at La Mission. What we actually got was a really good margarita but a sub-par, very expensive meal. We weren't planning on spending that much on lunch so it put a huge dent in our shopping money allotted for the rest of the day. We had actually stopped on the way to La Mission and got a couple pork tacos from a street vendor that were the best food we had on the whole trip. We should have just filled up on those for about $10. Note: If you are a baker, buy some vanilla from one of the souvenir shops. Very inexpensive and very, very good. I got a huge bottle for $7 and it is the best vanilla I have used, and I am pretty picky about vanilla.

Read 5492 Cozumel Reviews

We decided to make this kind of an "open" day, not booking an excursion before hand. BIG mistake. Ended up paying $50 to take a tour with Victor Bodden, where we drove through the slums with a tour guide who seemed to hate his job. Definitely a downer. Then he took us to the beach. We paid extra to go to the "private" beach, which was anything but private. Every 30 seconds someone was coming up to you trying to sell sunglasses, DVD's, hammocks, etc. There was no such thing as relaxing on the beach. The only thing that saved the day was the 30 min snorkeling trip we took (talked the guy down to $80 for 6 of us). The reef was absolutely beautiful. I would definitely recommend booking an excursion that takes you to a private island or somewhere where you can do some snorkeling and enjoy the beach while at this port.

Read 2447 Roatan Reviews

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Member Since 2011
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