Overall - a mixed bag, but we had fun!: Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by newcruiser123456789

Norwegian Spirit 3
Member Since 2011
46 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Overall - a mixed bag, but we had fun!

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: New Orleans
Ok, let me preface this by saying this was my first cruise and my husband's second (his first on NCL). We both felt like the cruise was "ok" but not great, not terrible. If I had to choose a star rating, I'd say it was 3 stars. Some parts were excellent, others were not.

Ok the best parts:
1) Gerry, our room steward - he was amazing. I swear the man doesn't sleep and if I could have brought him home I would have! He even folded my husband's boxers.
2) Galaxy of the Stars - with house sparkling wine around $20/bottle, you can't go wrong. If you like sparkling wines.
3) the Adult entertainment - gameshows, trivia, etc. We won one night! So much fun (though the prize - a water bottle that didn't even have a free drink in it - sucked).
4) The buffet - I've read on here how some hate the buffet, we actually found it better than the Main Dining Room. Especially the Indian food - most of the crew is from Asia so if you like Asian I'd stick to that as much as More possible. The chocolate desserts were less good, but there was unlimited ice cream which was good enough for us.
5) Bar service - if you were drinking they were always there to refill it. With another $6-10 drink, of course, but we expected that.

The ok parts:
1) The entertainment on board other than what I mentioned
2) Bingo - it was a little pricey for what you got, in my opinion. Fun, but you shouldn't have to pay $40+ to play. Or they should have some free "just for fun" type of games as well.
3)Food at Bier Garden - buns were dry/stale and rest was just ok. Same with poolside buffet.
4) Their ability to accomodate moderately disabled passengers. They were great with wheelchair or scooters, but not so great with working with me on my mild disabilities (aka inability to stand for more than 5-10 minutes.
5) Birthday cakes - the cakes were a nice gesture but truly gross.
6) cabin size - we knew going in they were small, and in a balcony it definitely was.

The bad:
1) Cost of drinks, especially beers. A beer in a plastic bottle should not be 5.50 or more. 3-4, sure, but 5.50??? They knew they had us trapped and took full advantage.
2) Service in the Main Dining Room - the first night it took us close to 3 hours to eat and because we ordered a bottle of wine, the waiter (who disappeared for 45 mins or so) had my husband's card so we couldn't leave. The second night, the waiter admitted he lost our order and waited 30 mins to come over and retake it. We ended up walking out after 2 hours when we had only had our main course. Then for breakfast they brought us food we didn't even order. We were too tired to fight with them so we just ate it and then called the maitre'd. We did not expect 5 star service but waiting 45 mins between courses is just absurd. For what it's worth, Deepak, the maitre'd did go above and beyond once we called him and reserved us the best table in the house and threw in complimentary wine. food and service greatly improved after that - but we are never ones to complain or send food back so for us to even do that should give you some idea of how slow it really was.
3) The casino - I would have gambled more but the smoke in there was unbearable and the nonsmoking area is a joke - it still reeks of smoke and all that is up there is slot machines. At least put one of those fun quarter ones and some video poker!
4) The bathrooms are showing lots of age - rust stains, dirty looking even though it was absolutely clean. They need re-tiling, or re-glazing desparately.
5) Constant nickel and diming. We knew to expect this but didn't realize exactly how much it would happen. Want a latte instead of a regular black coffee - that will be $3. Which would be fine, if the latte was decent. So instead we bought a pepsi pass and drank a ton of mountain dew to wake up.
6) The age range on the ship - which I know NCL has little to no control over - but we felt super young and we're in our 30s. Perhaps we just chose the wrong week to cruise and I have nothing against people in their 70s/80s but I was hoping to meet some more people our age on the ship and they were few and far between it seemed.
7) There was NOTHING going on during port days on the ship. Even the gift shop was closed during tender port days - so those of us who have disabilities that don't allow us on tenders were stuck to lay around reading by the pool. Bars were hardly even opened - I think one or two may have been but they were very inconvenient.

Overall, I'd give NCL 3 stars...we might cruise it again, we might not. It would depend on the port itinerary. Less

Published 12/13/11

Cabin review: BC Balcony

Cabin was smaller than what I would have liked given that we paid for a balcony but it was perfectly fine. The bathroom was oddly laid out and uncomfortable - especially the toilet area. We are not big people (

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Port and Shore Excursions

I give this one a 5 based on my husband - he did the lamanai excursion and LOVED it. Had a great time and said it was incredible. Worth every penny in his words, and he is not one to say that. I give NCL 1 star on what was left on board. There isn't much to do if you can't take the tenders in and I was left on board with little to do. I'm sure they're forced to close their gift shop and casino and such but some sort of organized games would have been fun for those of us left on board.

We weren't impressed
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Per my husband, who went - it was just ok. Their knowledge was so-so not as amazing as all the reviewers on here make Ivan out to be. Maybe he was having an off day. But overall, he wasn't impressed.

If you go here, book an excursion unless you like being hawked by locals. We wandered off the beaten path once we could get past the 100+ hawkers asking us to come in their stores. I did buy some beautiful mexican silver from a place off the beaten path but negotiated heavily. Don't ever pay sticker price here or you will be ripped off. Know the true value of jewelry prior to visiting if you plan to shop. I'd do an excursion if we ever return or just stay on the ship.
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Loved this port!!! Took the Maya Key excursion and it was incredible value. The snorkeling off the pier is not to be missed - there is a huge wall drop off and it was awesome. Also an animal refuge was amazing. Great lunch included too. We walked around town afterwards and that was awesome. I love how undeveloped and rustic this port is yet it feels safe. Bought a few souvenirs and had fun.
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Member Since 2011
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