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We are reasonably experienced cruisers. We've been through the Mexican Riviera and the Panama Canal twice, covered the Western and Eastern Caribbean, the Aegean Sea, Lake Nasser and the Nile River. The Norwegian Spirit was by far our least favorite ship. The only thing free about Norwegian is the "style". Every time we turned around there was another charge for something. We certainly did not expect to pay extra for juice, water and soda. Beer and wine were way over-priced as were the mixed drinks. As for food, the main dining rooms were reasonable but limited in choice. Norwegian used to be well known for their lobster offerings, but we only got a half a lobster tail on one occasion. If you wanted lobster any other time you would have to go to Cagney's, pay the cover charge of $25 each and $8 extra to add a 6oz lobster tail to your meal. All other "specialty" items were available in the restaurants for a $15 to $25 cover charge per person (plus adders for certain menu items). Specialty items on Norwegian are normal fare on all other lines with whom we've cruised. Forget the room service - the menu is abysmal and surprise, surprise, the pizza is $5 extra. Don't order room service after midnight, you'll pay a $3.95 surcharge. It's disgusting the way Norwegian have perfected the art of Nickel and Diming! The ship is showing it's age, and our toilet refused to flush on many occasions. We did however like the Chinese inspired decor and felt comfortable on board. Norwegian's smoking policy is confusing at best. The daily sheet said smoking was OK in your stateroom which I believe conflicts with other information from them. There was a distinct odor of cigarette smoke throughout most of the ship. The worst odor surprisingly was in the adults not allowed teen area. Are Norwegian promoting teen smoking? I sure hope not. However, all was not bad. We had the best cabin steward we have ever come across, she couldn't do enough to keep us happy. Our dining room attendant as well was above and beyond great. They single-handedly saved the cruise for us. We are not fans of the freestyle cruising format - getting dressed for dinner and sharing experiences with other passengers is one of the attractions of cruising. We missed that and will be unlikely to ever choose Norwegian again.

Failed expectations

Norwegian Spirit Cruise Review by willienelsonfan

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2011
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview Picture Window
We are reasonably experienced cruisers. We've been through the Mexican Riviera and the Panama Canal twice, covered the Western and Eastern Caribbean, the Aegean Sea, Lake Nasser and the Nile River.

The Norwegian Spirit was by far our least favorite ship. The only thing free about Norwegian is the "style". Every time we turned around there was another charge for something. We certainly did not expect to pay extra for juice, water and soda. Beer and wine were way over-priced as were the mixed drinks.

As for food, the main dining rooms were reasonable but limited in choice. Norwegian used to be well known for their lobster offerings, but we only got a half a lobster tail on one occasion. If you wanted lobster any other time you would have to go to Cagney's, pay the cover charge of $25 each and $8 extra to add a 6oz lobster tail to your meal. All other "specialty" items were available in the restaurants for a $15 to $25 cover charge per person (plus adders for certain menu items). Specialty items on Norwegian are normal fare on all other lines with whom we've cruised. Forget the room service - the menu is abysmal and surprise, surprise, the pizza is $5 extra. Don't order room service after midnight, you'll pay a $3.95 surcharge. It's disgusting the way Norwegian have perfected the art of Nickel and Diming!

The ship is showing it's age, and our toilet refused to flush on many occasions. We did however like the Chinese inspired decor and felt comfortable on board.

Norwegian's smoking policy is confusing at best. The daily sheet said smoking was OK in your stateroom which I believe conflicts with other information from them. There was a distinct odor of cigarette smoke throughout most of the ship. The worst odor surprisingly was in the adults not allowed teen area. Are Norwegian promoting teen smoking? I sure hope not.

However, all was not bad. We had the best cabin steward we have ever come across, she couldn't do enough to keep us happy. Our dining room attendant as well was above and beyond great. They single-handedly saved the cruise for us.

We are not fans of the freestyle cruising format - getting dressed for dinner and sharing experiences with other passengers is one of the attractions of cruising. We missed that and will be unlikely to ever choose Norwegian again.
willienelsonfan’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Service

Cabin Review

Oceanview Picture Window
Cabin OA 8516
Quiet location, small with no table, toilet problems
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews