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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We LOVE NCL, and cruise with them yearly. This is our 8th NCL cruise in 6 years, and it was fantastic. We met some wonderful people on the ship, and actually planned another NCL cruise to Japan with 4 of them! The ship was immaculate, and ... Read More
We LOVE NCL, and cruise with them yearly. This is our 8th NCL cruise in 6 years, and it was fantastic. We met some wonderful people on the ship, and actually planned another NCL cruise to Japan with 4 of them! The ship was immaculate, and the staff that we interacted with were wonderful. The issue with this particular cruise was actually the other passengers. Unfortunately there were no activities on the pool deck, and the music wasn't even all that loud. We met quite a lot of people and formed a pretty big group of smokers, and we didn't see the cruise staff until the 5th day of the cruise. When we finally pinned the assistant cruise director down, he informed us all that people were complaining about the noise and activities on the pool deck, so they cancelled them all. Isn't that simply ridiculous? In addition, there weren't many activities offered, which was disappointing. The shows were magnificent; NCL always scores big in that area. As for the food, that also left a lot to be desired. The buffet hours were much more limited on this cruise, and there were not many options. What was out there was quite bland, and lacked much flavor. Sadly they never did a Greek night, which was disappointing because it was a Greek Isles cruise. Half the buffet was closed most of the time, and the entire buffet was usually closed by 10 at night. O'Sheehan's was 24 hours, but at night they have a very limited menu. The spinach/artichoke dip was watery and flavorless, as were the nachos. The wings were great, as was the reuben and the roast beef sandwich. The food in the specialty restaurants was magnificent, as was Ginza. The excursions were a bit chaotic as well, as they had a new procedure on this ship. Everyone went to the theater as always, but they gave you a sticker there, and then once everyone showed up, they called the group to go down for the tour. People wouldn't stay out of the exits, and many people were late, which delayed everyone's excursions. The excursions were good, but the overall organization was very chaotic and stressful, especially when we believe that being early is being on time, and we had to wait up to 40 minutes for people who were late. That's just selfish and unfair. Another crazy thing that really disappointed me: YOU HAVE TO REQUEST TOWEL ANIMALS!!! What's that all about? I was so disappointed with this one. I didn't find out until day 6 that I had to request towel animals; I was told that people complain so they stopped it. Something else that was very strange: they only had one English movie channel, and they played sad, depressing movies like "Five Feet Apart," "Stay Human," and "Penguins." I know you're not there to watch TV, but really? Overall, we met some really wonderful people, and had a fabulous time. We booked another cruise with NCL to Japan, and are planning to book more, but we won't sail on the Star again. Every ship is different, and you live and learn. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because of the port of calls. Croatia Montenegro and the Greek Islands with Athens. The star was recently refurbished, thankfully but you can still see its age... our room for one. The star is a mid range to ship and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the port of calls. Croatia Montenegro and the Greek Islands with Athens. The star was recently refurbished, thankfully but you can still see its age... our room for one. The star is a mid range to ship and we definitely noticed a difference compared to much larger ships. It was nice not having so many people on board. Also, on larger ships they would ask everyone to be back 2 hrs prior to sailing. The Star only require 30 min giving more shore time. The drinks were good. The food was average at best. Specialty restaurants were better. Service was hit or miss. I coined a phrase that it was faux 5 star service. Meaning everyone acted very professional and pleasant but you didn’t always get what you asked for or things were forgotten. Still waiting for my Caesar salad. The entertainment on board was NOT good. Basically the same two bands for 11 days. And they were not very good... did I mention that. Also the pool snack bar served the same food for 11 days. Hot dogs and hamburgers. Yes you could go inside to the cafe but really... 11 days of no change. They couldn’t have switched it up and had anything else?!! Tacos, pizza, chicken anything. I never want to see another hot dog. He kids and teen club were great. Our kids loved it and met friends from all over. Our room porter was great. The ports of call weee great. Some lines and crowds but if you do your research you can circumvent most of it. Look for the side streets and find cheap wine and food. Even though the ship wasn’t the best for us I would do it again in a heartbeat. . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
11-Day Venice, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greek Islands. Fantastic itinerary! Breathtaking views on excursions and when entering & leaving ports! Heartstopping sunsets! No "at sea" days! I can't say enough good ... Read More
11-Day Venice, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greek Islands. Fantastic itinerary! Breathtaking views on excursions and when entering & leaving ports! Heartstopping sunsets! No "at sea" days! I can't say enough good things about the Norwegian Star staff. Everywhere I went, I was greeted with a warm, genuine smile, an enthusiastic welcome (and hand sanitizer), people asking how my day was, people asking if they could help me with anything. The Norwegian Star staff really made my vacation special! Norwegian staff were were there to help every step of the way. This was my first cruise, so I was relieved that clear instructions were always provided (and repeated multiple times), and important notifications (such as time zone changes and tendering procedures) were provided both on a print flyer delivered to my cabin, and in announcements over the loudspeaker. Read the daily flyers! A wide variety of activities was offered at all times of day and night. There was something for everyone! Norwegian Star offered activities and facilities for all different age groups, for solo travelers as well as couples, and for morning persons as well as night owls. Embarkation, disembarkation, and transportation (the cruise line transfers) were seamless. Having never cruised before, I was grateful that the written disembarkation instructions--which were delivered to my cabin in advance--clearly explained everything I needed to know about disembarkation, luggage, customs, and the airport transfer. My room steward reminded me when I needed to set my clock forward/back and on the night before disembarkation he reminded me that my luggage needed to be placed outside my door for pick-up by 11pm. I took eight Norwegian shore excursions. There was a wide variety of excursions offered, whether you want to exercise (hike, bike, kayak), or have a cultural experience, or a food & wine experience, or a beach day, ... There was an excursion available to satisfy any preference. The excursions I took were enjoyable and informative, and the views were spectacular! The guides were enthusiastic and full of knowledge. The only downside is that sometimes the wait times (standing in line) were extremely long (Melissani and Drogarati Cave), and sometimes the driving times were very long (Athens and Its Scenic Coast) but I didn't mind at all, because the view out the bus window was spectacular in both cases, and after hiking around the Acropolis in the sun, time on the bus to rest my feet and enjoy a beautiful coastal view before the next stop was welcome! Specialty Dining Restaurants: Le Bistro was superb! (I dined there twice!) La Cucina The service was excellent, and my appetizer (spaghetti carbonara) was outstanding, but my entree (osso buco) was disappointing because it had a thick salty overpowering brown sauce. It didn't taste at all like the osso buco that I've had in nice Italian restaurants. Cagney's was very good (but I'm from a large metropolitan city, so I've had better). Moderno was merely so-so; I wouldn't go back there unless it were complimentary. Buffet: Breakfast was good, but lunch and dinner and dessert were awful. One huge complaint I have about the buffet is that the quality and variety of fruit was poor. It was the same 4 fruits every day: apples, oranges, bananas, and melons. I don't like any of those. I was expecting berries, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, passion fruit. There were NEVER ANY BERRIES or any interesting fruits. The buffet entrees were oversalted. There were some theme days, such as German Food Day, Asian Food Day, Italian Food Day, etc. (I was disappointed that there was no Greek food, anywhere, ever, given that this was a Greek Islands cruise.) Vegetarian dishes were always available. The carving station was always good. I tried one dessert, and it was so horrible that I never tried dessert from the buffet again. It looked like flourless chocolate cake, but it tasted like a mouthful of powdered sugar with a flattened gummy bear on top. Kids would love it, adults would be well advised to stick to the soft ice cream. Buffet Salad Bar: Good quality (fresh), but lacking variety. Every day the same offerings: lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, spicy cooked green beans, and chickpeas. I would like to see some spinach, arugula, fresh broccoli, ... some variety. One day they also had beets and black beans at the salad bar, and I was happy to see that! Aqua and Versailles (Main Dining Rooms): I ate 3 dinners in the main dining rooms. The food was okay, but never wowed me. On the other hand, I had some AMAZING appetizers and desserts in the main dining rooms: The grilled vegetables with herbed olive oil and goat cheese was brilliant! The chocolate lava cake (warm center) with ice cream and strawberry sauce was to die for! That was better than any of the desserts I had in the specialty restaurants! The server always asked whether I had any food allergies. Servers were attentive and friendly. I also noticed another gentleman (not a server) who was ubiquitous in the restaurants--I will refer to him as "The Perfectionist"--He would walk around discreetly (and quickly) picking up anything that a guest may have dropped on the floor, and he would look for and quietly correct any other imperfections in the service and/or the appearance of the restaurant. In other words, he was trying to ensure that all dining guests would have a flawless dining experience. Alcoholic Beverages: Red wine is too warm. The quality of the mixed alcoholic drinks was poor, for the most part. The Margarita and the Mai Tai that I ordered at Spice H2O -- on two different days -- tasted awful and they were so sweet that I couldn't drink them. I was expecting the Margarita to be made from fresh lime juice, not a glass full of margarita mix. Lesson learned. I had the same reaction to the Strawberry Caprihinia that I ordered at the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. It tasted like a mix that came out of a cardboard carton. I was expecting a handcrafted cocktail. One tasty drink that I had on the cruise was the lavender martini at Gatsby's. Also, some of the frozen drinks were quite tasty (but weak): Try the Buschwacker and the BBC if you like frozen drinks. Not for dieters. Entertainment: The most fun entertainment (to my surprise) were the comical movie parodies performed in the Bliss Lounge by the cruise director and his staff, after each one of which, the cruise guests had to guess which movie was being comically reenacted. It was hilarious! I nearly fell out of my chair laughing multiple times! The event was called "Movie Sketch" or something like that. I almost didn't attend, but I'm so glad I did! I also enjoyed the aerialists, the tap dancers, and the guy who balanced the 65 pounds of stacked wine glasses. "Vegas! The Show" was okay. The magician was okay. Sports & Recreation: There is a walking/jogging track on the top deck, a fitness center, shuffleboard, golf, and a variety of other activities for those who want to stay fit. Cruise Director (on the July 7-18, 2019 Cruise): Listening to this guy was some of the BEST entertainment on the Norwegian Star! He was hilarious! Seriously, the cruise would not have been the same with a different cruise director. I don't recall his name, but he's Australian. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
All in all a great cruise, nice ship, great weather, good service and food. Ship is nicely refurbished and fairly clean. BUT: be prepared to pay extra for absolutely everything and even for nothing ($15pppd “Service fee” ... Read More
All in all a great cruise, nice ship, great weather, good service and food. Ship is nicely refurbished and fairly clean. BUT: be prepared to pay extra for absolutely everything and even for nothing ($15pppd “Service fee” whether you like it or not!). Alcohol is ludicrously expensive, whether you buy a package or not ($14 for a mojito, $45 for a double shot of whisky). They try kid you you’re getting special deals and discounts but with mark-ups in the region of 6000%, you’re being screwed regardless. And excursions are terrible, insanely expensive, generally lame, chaotic disembarkation and you get herded around like cattle. Ended up sitting in the theatre for an hour and were the very last tender to leave the ship on 2 occasions! Don’t bother, just get off and do your own thing. Also a real shame Norwegian are doing very little to reduce their plastic consumption. Cutting out plastic straws just doesn’t cut it when they’re handing out 10000 plastic cups on average per day! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Our cruising buddies decided to Greece and asked us to go along - it ended up being 4 mature (well maybe not so mature) couples. We all flew into Venice a couple of days early to enjoy this amazing city. We stayed at a little hotel about 1 ... Read More
Our cruising buddies decided to Greece and asked us to go along - it ended up being 4 mature (well maybe not so mature) couples. We all flew into Venice a couple of days early to enjoy this amazing city. We stayed at a little hotel about 1 mile away from San Marcos Square - a nice, quiet place - but it was a little far to walk to meet our friends. Our friends stayed at a hotel right around the corner from the square - which was much better. Had a wonderful time in Venice before and after the cruise and would highly recommend getting there a few days early to enjoy the city. The ship is an older ship but well maintained - we had no issues with anything except my friend complaint about the awful WIFI connections on the ship (she works while away and its important to her to stay in touch) She purchased the regular WIFI package and when she complained to the customer service desk she was told that she should have purchased the upgraded WIFI package - which only the first 100 people receive and she was never told about - she asked them to upgrade her and they would not comply. In fact they never got back to her. Our cabin was fine - we had an Ocean View cabin which we usually get just to have a little light in the room - the other 3 couples had inside cabins and also had no complained. Our cabin stewardess was a sweet girl from China and she made sure our room was clean and made up every day. No towel animals but we did not ask for them and not sure if they still do them. We ate at the Aqua Dining room and never had to wait. My hubby and I had lunch in the other main dining room (which is larger) several time and service was great in both restaurants. One night we decided to try the Chinese Restaurant (no charge) and we all felt that it was not very good - but hey it was free so no loss. We did not use any pay for restaurants on this trip. We did not go to any shows since this was a 7 day cruise and we were in ports every day. Did go to the casino most nights - and did not win - but our friends won some money and enough casino credits to receive another free cruise. (we don't spend enough to qualify) The drink package (which was included in the cost of the cruise )was great - if you wanted a drink that went above the price allowed for the drinks you just paid the difference. I think I had one martini that went over and my charge was $3.00.. so no big deal. We booked 2 shore excursions thru NCL but one was cancelled by NCL - we changed ports and instead of going to Kotor, Montenegro we ended up in Bar Montenegro- could have skipped that port - we got off and walked around - it was hot and miserable. All other ports were great. In Corfu we took the Hop on Hop off bus and just drove around the island - there are some wonderful beaches along the way - highly recommend getting off the bus and having a dip in the ocean. In Santorini we took a ship tour because I had read that it was hard getting off the ship (it was a tender port) with 2300 people all attempting to get off at the same time. The tour took us on a boat to the other side of the Island and so we did not have to stand in line to take the cable car up. A drive around the beautiful Island and an hour stop at Oia - which was very crowded but had amazing views and great waffles for a snack. The Island of Mykonos ended up being our favorite Island - no tours needed - we walked and walked thru this quaint town and stopped and had a lovely lunch at one of the sea side restaurant. Argostoli was next - had never heard of this island but it ended up being second on our list of favorite islands. We walked to see the turtles in the ocean - we rented a peddle boat and went out to see them - what fun. We also ended up having lunch at an amazing Greek restaurant - nothing like fresh Greek Food when in Greece. I know that most people rush back to the ship to eat but we love trying out new food in different countries. So take your time and eat the food and drink the wine - it's an experience in itself. Last stop was Dubrovnik, Croatia. We took the shuttle to the town - got there early so it was not to busy and walked around this amazing town. Our friends went and walked around on the wall and said it was a great experience - we sat and had Croatian dessert and cappuccino.. Back to Venice for one more night and a long flight home. All in all a great cruise, and we would do it again - I think next time Spain is on the list. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Santorini has been on my bucket list for a while. We have never been to Europe before so I don't know how these ports compare but we absolutely loved it. We traveled from the U.S. as a couple. ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. Santorini has been on my bucket list for a while. We have never been to Europe before so I don't know how these ports compare but we absolutely loved it. We traveled from the U.S. as a couple. We went a couple of days early to explore Venice. Walked on foot the entire area and took a gondola ride....cheesy maybe, but sure saw some beautiful sights doing it. Had peach bellinis and pizza in the square...Piazza San Marco. The only Norwegian excursion we did was the hike in Kotor. Over 1,030 steps and Igor, our guide, was excellent. Kotor, Montenegro was very beautiful. Tendering took a bit but very much worth it. In Corfu, we took a taxi to the beach. I can't remember the name, but it was highly recommended by the locals. It had a restaurant and bar, was clean and beautiful and not too crowded. In Mykonos, we took a taxi to "Little Venice" and spent an easy day shopping and walking. Some friends we made on the boat said the ruins in Mykonos were awesome, so wish maybe we had done that too. Kephalonia was one of our favorites. Again, we took a private transfer, thru Trip Advisor actually, and went to Myrtos Beach, absolutely stunning. Not much there.....a little drink hut, chairs/umbrellas....but a scenic drive and fantastic day at the beach here. It was nice to get away from the crowds. In Santorini, we hired a private guide that took us from one end of the island to the other, from the Black sand beaches to Oia and everything in between. The ship arrived 2 hours early here and that was great for us, gave us time to have lunch and dinner here.....dinner at Remvi in Fira overlooking the caldera and watching the sunset. Not as crowded as I thought it would be. There are no words to describe how beautiful it was to me. Dubrovnik was our last stop and we did a Game of Thrones tour here thru Trip Advisor. The ship's tour was sold out. But I think it worked out better because there was only ten of us in this group and it was a lot easier to get around and see more. I do wish we had more time in Dubrovnik. This is the only port where I felt rushed. The ship leaves at 1:30 on this day. But still it is a beautiful place and worth seeing for sure! As far as the ship.....it was refurbished last year I was told. I thought the room was great and the main areas and restaurants were nice and clean. I am not too picky about the amenities and the food. Cruise ship food, to me, has never been just out of this world good. Its just ok. The drinks were good. As for music, we enjoyed Jason at the Five O'Clock somewhere bar and Dave at Gatsby's Piano bar. Our room steward did an excellent job too. Hardworking and friendly crew for sure! In fact, I only encountered ONE rude person the entire trip. The breakfast buffet area was really crowded some mornings and hard to find seating. I sat down at a table and a few minutes later a woman sits down and says she had saved that table with a rolled up silverware?!? Really? They have little baskets full of several sets of rolled up silverware on every table? How is that a sign that she had saved a table?! Anyway, I am a easy going person so I said no problem and left. Its vacation after all.....relax people. All in all, we loved this trip from start to finish. If you are extremely picky, have small children, or not in health/condition to get off the ship everyday and explore, then maybe this cruise won't appeal to you. We loved that the ship stopped at a different port every single day and we explored every minute we could! That is why we chose this cruise and it did not disappoint! I will add that we went on June 9th....the crowds were fine and it was pretty hot. I have heard July and August are super crowded. So I think June was a great time to go. I can't imagine if it had been way more crowded and hotter! Disembarking and embarking all went smoothly! No complaints here. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We had sailed on the Jade in the Med before, but totally different ports, excepting Malta. But we loved Malta so this was a good fit for us. Embarkation was painless. The sailaway through Venice was amazing. We had an aft cabin so had ... Read More
We had sailed on the Jade in the Med before, but totally different ports, excepting Malta. But we loved Malta so this was a good fit for us. Embarkation was painless. The sailaway through Venice was amazing. We had an aft cabin so had a perfect view. Our cabin steward, Gede, was attentive and took care of our requests promptly. We took all of our shore excursions from NCL, and with a few changes being made in our itinerary I am glad we did. We had the drink package as well as a 4 meal package for the specialty restaurants. We dined in Cagney's, the Teppanyaki restaurant, and La Cucina twice. Several lunches were in O'Sheehan's, and one dinner in Jasmine Garden. One dinner in the Grand Pacific and the remainder of dinners were in Alizar. Breakfasts were in the Great Outdoors daily. I used the spa for a massage/facial special one day--so wonderful! And we made use of both laundry specials, as we had travelled for 4 nights pre-cruise and 4 nights post-cruise. Disembarkation was so smooth, again totally painless. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a wonderful cruise with a great itinerary. Our favorite ports were Santorini Greece and Dubrovnik Croatia. Our excursion in Dubrovnik (Game of Thrones Tour) was unreal! We thoroughly enjoyed the food, service, and entertainment ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise with a great itinerary. Our favorite ports were Santorini Greece and Dubrovnik Croatia. Our excursion in Dubrovnik (Game of Thrones Tour) was unreal! We thoroughly enjoyed the food, service, and entertainment on the ship. Our room was amazing and our steward, Dino, was a delight. We would absolutely consider cruising on the Jade again. This cruise was taken on the week of our 20 year Wedding Anniversary. It did not disappoint. The ship was clean and the staff very friendly. The spa was amazing, if not a bit overpriced. But I really enjoyed both of my spa experiences. Our favorite restaurant was Le Bistro, although Cagney's and La Cucina were great too. The main dining room was great and truthfully we could have eaten all of our meals there. The breakfast buffet was really good and we had lunch at O'Sheehan's a few times and enjoyed it. We loved the casual dining atmosphere on the ship. Overall, this was a wonderful cruise on a very nice ship. We highly recommend Norwegian. We can't wait to do it again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We took cruise for Anniversary with our elderly mothers. It was our first time on Norwegian cruise. We usually book Royal Caribbean. We chose this particular ship for the very appealing itinerary. The ship was satisfactory. Food was ... Read More
We took cruise for Anniversary with our elderly mothers. It was our first time on Norwegian cruise. We usually book Royal Caribbean. We chose this particular ship for the very appealing itinerary. The ship was satisfactory. Food was good. We were able to upgrade to balcony which is a bonus for Mediterranean cruise. The sunrises were spectacular. Service and cleanliness of cabin was exceptional. On board activities were not appealing but if you just want to relax, read or sleep would be perfect. We would have appreciated in cabin movie options and not having $7.95 room service charges. Did not like general movie theatre area.it was not comfortable. Theatre/movie needs upgrade and theatre style seating. Bed was not comfortable. The port excursions were comprehensive and we enjoyed all of them. The time between each course during dinner took too long at Windows and Garden. Overall, we were satisfied with our experience. It was definitely a destination cruise. Careful planning and preparation should be considered for anyone with disabilities or physical challenges specifically for excursions. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Cruised NCL 7 times in last 7 years. 1st European cruise. Amazing excursions everyday. Fantastic service at the restaurants. Disappointed with the lack of entertainment/bars that I’m used to on the bigger ships of NCL. What makes NCL so ... Read More
Cruised NCL 7 times in last 7 years. 1st European cruise. Amazing excursions everyday. Fantastic service at the restaurants. Disappointed with the lack of entertainment/bars that I’m used to on the bigger ships of NCL. What makes NCL so great are the specialty restaurants and the entertainment on the ship. Howl at the moon, blues bar, Broadway type shows were sorely missed on this cruise. The service at the restaurants could not have been better. We are at the main dining room one night ((we purchased 8 specialty dinner for 2) and we were pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. The staff did a tremendous job with all of the excursion planning each morning and each destination had a lot to offer. We had terrific guides on each visit too. We are very excited the the Epic will be coming to Europe soon. I have been on this ship twice already and it’s one of my favorites. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We sailed on Spirit on a Mediterranean Cruise 2 years ago, loved it so much had to do it again. We weren’t disappointed....in the itinerary or th majority of the staff onboard. We tried 3 different specialty restaurants this time, all ... Read More
We sailed on Spirit on a Mediterranean Cruise 2 years ago, loved it so much had to do it again. We weren’t disappointed....in the itinerary or th majority of the staff onboard. We tried 3 different specialty restaurants this time, all were incredible- especially Le Bistro and Cagneys. The weather wasn’t always on our side but it held off during the day for excursions which was great. The activities staff were good, they had a tough crowd...not a lot of people wanting to join in on activities but it was still good. The only concern I had, and still have, there was a young couple at karaoke one evening. The young lady got up to sing, was doing a beautiful job when an older man cane up beside her and put his arm around her. At first we thought he was joining her to sing then quickly realized he was being VERY INAPPROPRIATE and was grabbing her butt. When she pushed him away he quickly ran from the room. Shortly after I saw someone come in and go over to the other side...I walked up to the “stage area” and sat down to look around and realized the man had come back to the room. I immediately went out the door to the bar staff and asked them to call security and I knew that not only was the couple upset but witnesses to the event were also and I was concerned there’d be some sort of encounter. Security came, took statements and pr used to check in with the couple in the morning and speak with witnesses again the next day. A little while later the young woman was approached by the “older mans wife” and others who started giving the young lady a hard time because she had reported her husband...and that this type of behaviour is normal and ok in their country. The young lady asked for security to come back and ensure she’d be safe. Unfortunately non of us heard from security for days and we eventually went to senior officers to get some answers. All the victim wanted was an assurance that the area was being monitored and she was safe, but they couldn’t even take the time to do that. As platinum members we were shocked. We offered up a dining coupon and wine to the couple so they could enjoy a peaceful evening together which they thanked us for. This couple say they will likely never cruise again...sad...we love cruising and we love Norwegian. I don’t think security handled this as professionally and discreetly as they could have. I’ve left a lot out but this gives you an idea of what had transpired. I for one will never try karaoke , knowing know how situations are handled. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Firstly about the cruise line: This was the first time we used this cruise line and had high expectations considering our experience with HAL (Holland America Line) 2 years ago. So like last time we did not book direct but through an ... Read More
Firstly about the cruise line: This was the first time we used this cruise line and had high expectations considering our experience with HAL (Holland America Line) 2 years ago. So like last time we did not book direct but through an travel agent in a packaged tour/cruise deal. With the package it was 2 cruises back to back and thankfully we could retain the same cabin for both cruises. So travelling as a middle-aged but very active couple seeking to explore the Mediterranean for the first time. So like other cruise lines, we got email notification from NCL that we could log on and personalise our experience. Their system is easy to use and worked well. They also have an on-board app called ‘I Concierge’ which is linked to your account and uses the ship’s Wi-Fi system (for free) but you create your log on via your name and birthdate. It does work extremely well and allows you to look at your account and book experiences (packages such as spa, specialty dining etc.) but the system has a flaw which we heard from a couple of passengers whose birthday is 29th February (leap day) as the system does not recognise this date (poor programming from the designers of the app) so they could not create their log on and had to use the manual system of bookings and print outs of their accounts, a little disappointing for those technically inclined. When you board the ship you are issued with a cruise card that is linked to your account, identifies you as a passenger and unlocks your cabin door. Good security system and works very well. Equally the disembarkation worked wonderfully (we chose the walk off option which gave us more time and flexibility to be packed and off by 9am deadline). Also the day at port for the changeover between the 2 cruises was very well managed and stress free. As part of our package we were offered the choice of 2 of the 5 ‘Free at Sea’ deals. We chose the shore excursion credit and the unlimited beverage package (UBP). Bear In mind that all passengers travelling together in the same cabin have to have the same choices, which is understandable and prevents sharing of benefits. Here is how they worked; the UBP is linked to your cruise card and allows you unlimited number of alcoholic beverages to the value of USD$15 per glass, so this covers quite a few beers, wines, spirits and cocktails (with the average cost of a beer being USD$8 and wines USD$10, it is an effective package and well worth considering depending on how much you drink); shore credit is a little more tricky. So with shore credit, firstly it is applied as a USD$50 credit to your on board account and is given at the completion of your booked shore excursion at each port. Here’s the thing, it is only applied to cabin account once per port irrespective if more than one excursion is booked and if you are overnighting in a port it will not apply to a second day’s excursion booked if you had done an excursion the previous day. So one credit per port only (however it does change on other cruises where you spend multiple days in a port but you have to check that out with them prior to booking to see if that exception applies). If you book your excursions after you board, the USD$50 credits will be deducted from your tours on you onboard account so in effect you get a discount for your excursions. However, if you book online or by phone prior to booking, these credits will be applied not to the tours but your overall on-board account for your other purchases so if you don’t spend extra you will lose that credit as it will not come off the total bill, to get the value, you will need to spend the equivalent amount in specialty dining, internet, drinks, spa etc whilst on board. They will not refund any unused portion of the credit at the end of the cruise. This is something you need to be fully aware of if you choose this package. Having said that, we waited to book until we boarded and were not disadvantaged in any way, managed to get on every excursion we had requested. Pre-Cruise stay: We stayed in Rome for 2 nights as part of our package and had a wonderful time exploring the city and some of the big iconic sites. We opted to stay in the centre of the city which gave us great access to all the city has to offer and public transport should we need it (which we really didn't as we could walk everywhere easily). NORWEGIAN SPIRT So about the ship, it is the smallest of this cruise line, holding 2000 passengers. It is not the smallest we have seen so consider it mid-sized. The cabins are a tad smaller than the bigger ships but still comfortable. The ship is well maintained, nicely appointed and the staff are extremely helpful. Boarding – efficient and no hassles and extremely well managed. Theatre /Shows – good theatre but the seating is a little tricky as the rows are too close together so trying to sit down with the seat needing to be flipped down can be difficult as the seat rubs on the back of your legs but once you are seated it is comfortable enough. As for the shows, some are fantastic others not quite so. Bars – there are a number of them on-board and all are lovely, lots of seating, good views, ultra clean and have good service from the staff. Different events are hosted in the various bars so quite and noisy times but you can always find something to suit your style. Dining – Specialty restaurants, bars, buffet bistros and main dining options. The buffet bistro is always busy and can like all buffet venues have big queues, just need to pick your moment. The evening meals are theme based and add variety. It is included in your fare so no extra expense. The main dining rooms (Windows and the Garden Room) have the same menus with full sit down service (no lining up). Good menu with delicious food, just lacking in vegetable content which us Aussies are used to and desire. After the first cruise, the menu was repeated so that was a bit of a disappointment. We did not do the specialty restaurants but feedback from fellow passengers that they really enjoyed their meals. Allergies – if you have a food allergy let the waiter know (if you haven’t already), they have allocated a specialist waiter to help you with your orders. Here is how it works; you will be encouraged to pre-order your meal for the next evening so the chefs have a chance to prepare your meal without the offending allergens. That’s fine but it does lock you into a specific restaurant. As I have an unusual allergy it confused them somewhat and I had to explain and sometimes stand my ground about my choices. “But madam, that meal has portions that are not made on-board so we can’t guarantee it is allergen free” and my response “I have decades of experience at working out what foods are likely or unlikely to have that spice, I know this meal option will be safe for me to eat”. This system only works for the restaurants not the buffet or cafés. I much prefer to ask if the meal contains the specific spice than be locked into a pre-ordered meal. Cabins – we had 9182 allocated to us and it was not the best choice. The cabin was aft and directly above the theatre, below the kids club rooms and opposite the hotel storeroom. So a very noisy cabin at times. We heard all the shows, some louder than others….groan. The kids had active play at night and sounded like elephants playing soccer with lots of thumps, bumps, loud sharp bangs, yelling and general boisterous play. This went on late into the night and we had to have a polite word with the staff in that area about it. They agreed to cease the active play at 9:30pm so we considered that fair and reasonable. However, it took quite a bit of discussion and investigation to resolve the noises coming from there between 1 and 2am every night. Worked out it was the cleaners, not sure if they were playing with the equipment while doing their job or just jolly noisy but either way the noise abated and we were given chocolate-coated strawberries and a bottle of red wine as an apology. Nice touch, but we just wanted to have uninterrupted sleep. The situation was handled well by staff but the problem is the lack of insulation in the floor/ceiling space, so ultimately a design flaw. We had heard that others below the pub had even worse noise issues. Apart from the issues above, the cabins are snug but well laid out and comfortable. Storage space needs a little redesign, much prefer shelves than drawers but that is a preference and my side of the bed did not have a shelf. The cabins are well maintained and if you are able to choose your cabin wisely, all should be fine. Shore Excursions: They range in price and quality but mostly very good, it really is port dependant as some ports are just better explored on foot by yourselves. Naturally the big iconic places like Athens, Venice, Santorini, etc are just amazing. Again, I urge you to do your homework about the ports, google them, look at specific forums and use the features that google maps can provided so you get a better understanding of the place and the logistics for self exploration and scheduled excursions. Ports: Some ports were not much to explore and docking a little far out to walk to the city but mostly good ports and easy access. In 2 ports there was an additional cost to shuttle to the city from the ship if you were not on a book excursion. That is a little disappointing but it is what it is. Several ports were simply stunning in terms of visual appeal (hello Venice, Malta for example) and easy free access to either just walk off, water shuttle service or shuttle bus. Kids Activities: Although we did have children with us, they seem well catered for and security surrounding their care was very well handled. Kids would love this ship. CRUISE WITH NCL AGAIN? That’s the question. We are not adverse to using them again but they are not our first preference. These cruises are designed to capture the party animal and families and we are not that way inclined. So it would depend on the ports, after all that is what cruising internationally is all about, at least for us. Be aware that the cost of the cruise does not include the shore excursions so you could effectively double the cost depending on your choices. Do your homework before you decide as you don’t have to book through them but it is easier to do so and there is a variety of tours for all budgets. For us, we will be cruising on HAL again later next year as part of another land/cruise tour package so we will make a report on that and a better comparison but we are considering another line altogether for a another trip. More on that if and when it becomes a definite trip. Ocean cruising is totally different from river cruises and you need to be aware of that. So our advice is look at the ports and how long each port stay lasts then compare the ships that do the cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
#6 We just returned from our cruise aboard NCL Spirit. We chose this cruise for port destinations such as Crostia, Slovenia, Greece and Malta. We stayed in Balcony Cabin 11662 and we were very happy with this location. We enjoyed ... Read More
#6 We just returned from our cruise aboard NCL Spirit. We chose this cruise for port destinations such as Crostia, Slovenia, Greece and Malta. We stayed in Balcony Cabin 11662 and we were very happy with this location. We enjoyed the close proximity and easy access to the rear decks and often had breakfast there. We were apprehensive after reading reviews but didn't have any troubles with noise or other issues. We enjoy smaller ships with less crowds and easier to get around. Each cruise ship has pros and cons and there were many items on the plus side. We found the staff helpful and friendly overall. Some dining staff were not quite as professional but that could just be individual situations. The cabins are compact but fine for two. It's an older ship but public areas have been nicely updated. We weren't looking for problems so didn't seem to encounter them. Overall the food was good with enough variety to suit most. Some of the shows were outstanding. We would not hesitate to suggest this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Review NCL Spirit, Mediterranean Cruise We are experienced cruisers and land trippers both. We’ve been on about 40 cruises to the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, Panama Canal, Mexico, etc. So we have a decent background for ... Read More
Review NCL Spirit, Mediterranean Cruise We are experienced cruisers and land trippers both. We’ve been on about 40 cruises to the Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Asia, Panama Canal, Mexico, etc. So we have a decent background for comparison. We chose the October/November cruise with NCL largely because it went to several ports we had not sailed to do far: Dubrovnik, Koper, Corfu, and Split. I would say, aside from Corfu, that only Dubrovnik turned out to be of interest. We took the cruise pre-package which included two nights at the Crowne Plaza St. Peter’s as well as breakfast and transportation to the port. The hotel was fine. It was clean; the room was of reasonable size; the food was good in the restaurants– which was a good thing because there isn’t much around the Crowne Plaza in terms of shopping or restaurants. You can go into Rome but after a long day, you hardly feel like doing that. The hotel also has attractive grounds, outside eating, decent wi-fi, and a pool, which we did not use. I would say the outside of the hotel buildings definitely needed an update, but the Europeans have a greater tolerance for decay than we do. There is a shuttle bus for which you pay a nominal fee but be aware that it runs to different places at different times of the day. So you might have to get a cab back, which cost something like 12 euros. We did not use the shuttle as we were ready to go to the Vatican about an hour before the next shuttle was going to run. Transportation to the pier was quick and easy. On Sunday morning, it took just an hour to get there, though we had to wait about 20 minutes for our bus to be allowed up to the entry area. The area is not large, and they limit the number of buses that can enter, which was not a big deal. We got there about 1 and were able to get into our cabin immediately. The buffet generally had some tasty things on it. Most were at least lukewarm, which is an improvement over most buffets. We never had a hard time finding seating at the buffet or a cleared table. As far as other venues went, we wholeheartedly approve of NCL’s policy of having one restaurant in which you could eat very casually dressed and yet have the full dining experience rather than eating dinner in the buffet and the second restaurant for those who wished to dress up a little. This is a great idea! Most often the food in the dining room was better than average. Cagney’s, however, had wonderful meals. Our steaks were huge and tender and just great, especially since the dinner was free. NCL has the absolute best perks for platinum members. The Italian restaurant had good food though we did not find it as excellent was Cagney’s. Steak or spaghetti.... Is there a choice there? Our balcony cabin was very small. I wished we had had the choice of a mini-suite. Not a lot of room in the closet. Tiny drawers. Hardly room for my folding wheelchair. It was always in the way. Comfortable bed though. Plenty of hot water and pressure. AC worked well. Some people complain about the fish tiles. We thought they were cute. We did not attend more than one of the shows. We have seen them before. Nothing inspiring. I wish they’d had MUTS. Not much in-room entertainment worth mentioning. Internet worked fine most of the time. One great thing about this ship is that it was small enough so that I could walk everywhere despite my disability. We booked a cabin at the midship elevators and I could just hop on and go straight to the restaurants and just a short distance to the shops and theater. That was wonderful. I never needed my wheelchair on the ship. Ports: Dubrovnik: I liked this port but I guess I expected more. It was attractive but mostly it was just a very attractive shopping mall full of small shops with pretty much the same overpriced junk in them. That was a bit disappointing. I did enjoy the small market and the streets were not hard to manage with the wheelchair. Before we had gone into the city, we took the Cabrio excursion which took us out into the beautiful countryside and to some wonderful viewing areas. Venice: What’s not to like? We have been here several times and simply revisited some areas we like best. This is a hard port for the disabled though in terms of bridges. In a space of four hours, we crossed about 30 and most I had to walk over. Split: The main attraction is Diocletian’s Palace. It was a nice though brief stop. Hard to get around with a wheelchair. Many steps. You have steps to navigate to get to the public toilet as well. Surprisingly not a lot of good shops. A row of junk in tents on the way to the palace and a nice market. But since you can’t bring fruit or flowers or drinks or food onto the ship, a waste. Koper: Do take an excursion. There is nothing here to see. We were driven to Piran by a cab driver who waited two hours and took us back. Nice town to see and a wonderful shop just behind the square full of hand made items. Well worth the trip alone. An absolutely filthy public restroom and a small grocery store just off the square. Pleasant walk along the sea. Very, very difficult port to manage in a wheelchair. Very steep streets and many broken up and difficult to move along. Corfu: This is another place you want to take an excursion. Corfu is full of junky little stores and is not attractive at all. We took a tour with Corfu Taxi and loved it. I always enjoy getting out into the countryside and seeing real people going about their real lives. Katakolon: We had been here before and had done the Olympia thing. I hired a guide to take us around the area on a very nice drive, to a local olive oil manufacturing site, the monastery, and Klio’s honey farm which was great. Plenty of shops to explore at the port but much the same thing over and over. Malta: Because we had a short stop, we took the ship’s Scenic Malta excursion. Not really scenic until the last hour of a four hour excursion. Otherwise it was a tour of Malta’s most trafficked areas. Stopped at a market at Marsaloxx that was rather useless. We were delayed by a full hour due to the refusal of six people to get back on time. Intentionally late. They had argued with the guide about when they should be back. We enjoyed revisiting Rome after the cruise and then spent a week in Florence. Great trip. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
we selected this cruise because it was good value including 21 days back to back cruising. the food on the spirit is amazing with plenty of choices. All the staff were reliable, polite and always attending to our needs. I have to make ... Read More
we selected this cruise because it was good value including 21 days back to back cruising. the food on the spirit is amazing with plenty of choices. All the staff were reliable, polite and always attending to our needs. I have to make special mention of or cabin attendant Jesus, working on deck 9 room No: 9030, he was wonderful attending to 3 women, we always had plenty of supplies and linen. His towel animals were amazing. If there was one negative it would be the dance music in the galaxy began too late most times at 10.30pm, as we were off the ship most days and then had dinner, we would have looked forward to a dance around 8.30pm, but there must be reasons that the duo ( who were fantastic) came on late. Also the first cruise ship i have been on that had a coffee maker in room, which came in handy just to boil water for a early cup of tea in our room cheers to all the staff for a wonderful holiday. will definitely be back on Norwegian cruise lines. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We sailed on the Nowegian Spirit in October 2018. It was a great time of year and the crowds were light on our stops around the Mediterranean. I chose the cruise because of the itinerary and our stops did not disappoint. However the cruise ... Read More
We sailed on the Nowegian Spirit in October 2018. It was a great time of year and the crowds were light on our stops around the Mediterranean. I chose the cruise because of the itinerary and our stops did not disappoint. However the cruise ship itself was an entire mess and not catered to younger couples at all. By avoiding bingo, the bad shows, and the casino we were left to the pool (which they drained during the cruise), drinks, bad food, and a fitness center that had out of order signs on half of the equipment. So let’s talk about this food. We utilized the buffet, main dining rooms, and specialty dining restaurants. The best food we had on the cruise was from the sushi restaurant, it’s hard to mess up Asian food. The worst food came from the main dining rooms and the buffet. We were served cold or old food, it definitely did not exemplify the fine dining that you’re supposed to experience on a cruise ship. Same thing with the specialty dining restaurants, although the service was so much better the food still lacked flavor and in Cagney’s their “best restaurant” the steak was great but all of the sides came out cold. A couple of days at sea they did have a grill buffet by the pool and that was nice along with the Latin band. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
The embarkation and disembarkation was very well done no complaints here. The ship showed its age, but all in all it was okay and clean, not exceptional. We had an inside cabin, it was fairly roomy, no noise from the outside. We had ... Read More
The embarkation and disembarkation was very well done no complaints here. The ship showed its age, but all in all it was okay and clean, not exceptional. We had an inside cabin, it was fairly roomy, no noise from the outside. We had a few issues initially these were reported and within a few hours they were all rectified. Dining was okay, food definitely better in the restaurants. I love my matcha tea and this was only in the japanese restaurant. Windows restaurant food was quite good you definitely don't want to sit near the big arched windows as the engine noise is very loud. The side opposite of the entrance is also very noisy with dishes clanking, best spots were the centre and right side (side where you enter). The desserts were awesome, staff was very good always smiling. Entertainment was awful, they had a magician that all he did was make his coworker disappear. I would say the cruise should invest in better entertainment. Shore excursion - don't waste your money we paid 229$ US and not worth more than 50$. Took an excursion with VIATOR paid 150$ excellent guide, food was great - would go with Viator everytime. Don't wast your money on the Cruise excursion spoke to many people on the cruise and they all said the same thing. Service was excellent, no complaints. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was a surprise birthday cruise for a friend and we were part of the surprise Itinerary was terrific- Greek isles, Malta and two stops in Italy What we didn’t like: Nickel and dime u for everything and NOT eco friendly. ... Read More
This was a surprise birthday cruise for a friend and we were part of the surprise Itinerary was terrific- Greek isles, Malta and two stops in Italy What we didn’t like: Nickel and dime u for everything and NOT eco friendly. Make a big deal that they have eliminated use of straws to limit plastics use, but forced u to buy their bottled water. Signs everywhere not to use your own water bottles. Despicable. Don’t patronize us by suggesting it’s for health reasons. Cash grab was all it was and environmentally irresponsible Staff tired looking. When we boarded the ship they were less than enthusiastic to have us come aboard. Turns out they don’t get days off, just a few hours at a time. It shows Food good. Not spectacular Gym v v v small. Some equipment not functioning. Little space to do free weights. V limited classes and at awkward times Handrails dirty and sticky. Leave u with icky feeling Loved our room steward and select staff At ports very minimalistic in any amenities. Ie zero. One of the ports had a welcome, water, towels, near the end of cruise. Might have been nice to be consistent On board stores v limited and uninteresting Liked sushi restaurant, Italian restauurant - staff great there Washy washy lady was awesome - unstoppably cheery and upbeat Room was OK. Only one outlet Hair dryer from the previous century Would think carefully whether to do Norwegian again. Not impressed Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked this cruise specifically for the itinerary, which included Malta, Sicily, Rhodes, and Crete. While we had a number of issues on board, there were a few outstanding crew members who helped redeem the experience. The food was ... Read More
We booked this cruise specifically for the itinerary, which included Malta, Sicily, Rhodes, and Crete. While we had a number of issues on board, there were a few outstanding crew members who helped redeem the experience. The food was pretty good in all venues. The boat is fairly old (20+ years) and shows its age. Overall, we would give it a 2.5/5 based on the following: 1. We lost count of the number of cruise staff who told us how many months they had left in their contracts. It made us feel like they couldn't wait to be off the boat, which then made us feel like perhaps we should be eager to get off the boat, too. 2. We were happy to keep our hands washed and use hand sanitizer, but if one more person chirped, "Washy washy!" at us, we might have jumped overboard. 3. The hand sanitizer stations at the specialty restaurants really killed the elegant atmosphere we were paying extra money to experience. Surely there's a better way to deliver sanitizer without spraying it all over people's jewelry and evening clothes? Perhaps bring a warm towel to the table that discreetly contains sanitizer. 4. We purchased a wine package, and even though there was a bit of cost savings, we wish we hadn't bought it based on the hassle of getting the wine each time. When crew members found out our bottles were prepaid, their obvious disappointment in both having to retrieve the bottle and not getting the automatic gratuity for the sale made it uncomfortable every time. 5. All of the add-on charges made this cruise feel like flying with a bargain airline. We would've much rather paid a higher fee to book the cruise and had things included (gratuities, drinks, fitness classes) than be nickel-and-dimed every waking minute of the 11 days. Every single thing you purchased had an automatic 20% gratuity added. Cocktails were $10 to $15 each, plus 20%. Fitness classes were $12 to $25 each. And the constant add-on sales pitches from literally every crew member in every department were exhausting. Aside from the itinerary, my lasting memory of this cruise will be of hand sanitizer. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise for its great itinerary. I was a little wary of the ship because of some reviews I read, but I found the ship immaculate and very well maintained (our bathroom needed a little maintenance) and the staff was very nice. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its great itinerary. I was a little wary of the ship because of some reviews I read, but I found the ship immaculate and very well maintained (our bathroom needed a little maintenance) and the staff was very nice. The captain had a good sense of humor and got us to Malta, which I understand is a stop that is at times bypassed because of the winds. I would have given the cruise 5 stars, but the food was a little disappointing, the internet was problematic, as well as some of the entertainment. Our last two cruises were on Holland America, and the food was superior to the one on this cruise. The major complaint (as has been stated previously in other reviews) is that some dishes are just too salty. Also, we don't eat meat and the fish dishes were so so, and there were not enough vegetarian main dishes. We only ate at the free venues. Breakfast was good. Included internet was slow and we had to upgrade to the unlimited internet, which was pricey, although the value of the free program was deducted from the total cost. Entertainment was variable and some was very loud. The Italian opera singer was excellent. We took the ship excursions in every port. On the whole they were good but some were pricey. The last excursion in Naples, which included Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri, would have been much nicer if there had been 2 or 3 tour groups instead of one. It was just way too large. The guide spent too much time counting us and it took away from what should have been one of the highlights of the trip. Our favorite stop was Rhodes - we had a fantastic guide (Tour: "Highlights of Rhodes") and beautiful weather, and free time to wander in the old city and then a very short walk back to the ship. Where NCL really shines is in its organization for embarkation and disembarkation and everything in between. I've never been able to get on or off a ship so quickly and easily. The people in Guest Svcs and Shore Excursions and Tour Director were also nice and efficient. Overall, I would recommend the cruise if you choose a cruise based on its itinerary. We got to see and learn a lot and overall had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
In October 208, my husband and I experienced our first European cruise with the Norwegian Spirit, Leaving the Civitavecchia Seaport, we began our ten day journey of the Greek Isles, Malta, Sicily and Naples. We booked eight excursions ... Read More
In October 208, my husband and I experienced our first European cruise with the Norwegian Spirit, Leaving the Civitavecchia Seaport, we began our ten day journey of the Greek Isles, Malta, Sicily and Naples. We booked eight excursions through the ship because the ship will wait for your return if the excursion is a ship sponsored excursion. The ship itself was renovated and modernized in 2017. We had an ocean view, Room 9501, that was clean with comfortable beds. The guests on board were primarily American with the remainder mostly being other native English speakers. The theater on board offered a different show each evening, which is not the case in the Caribbean on the Norwegian cruise ships, and the entertainment was very good. We dined mostly in the dinning room because my husband has a gluten allergy and there is less of a chance of cross contamination in this venue. The food was varied and delicious and the service was good. We would do this cruise again but both of us think that the day at sea would be better to have at the end of the voyage allowing the guests a day of rest before returning. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We were on the October 11th sailing on Spirit. Ports included Rome (embark), Mykonos, Santorini, Athens, Rhodes, Chania, Malta, Messina, and Naples. This was my 16th NCL cruise. My review will be primarily about tours as this was a ... Read More
We were on the October 11th sailing on Spirit. Ports included Rome (embark), Mykonos, Santorini, Athens, Rhodes, Chania, Malta, Messina, and Naples. This was my 16th NCL cruise. My review will be primarily about tours as this was a port intensive cruise. That said, we found the fairly recently renovated Spirit to be in excellent condition, clean, friendly staff, and had the usual activities. I will say that due to the intensity of port days, we did not see one single show in the Theater so I cannot comment on the entertainment. As for dining, we ate at both MDR’s, Blue Lagoon, Cagneys, LaTrattoria and LeBistro. Specialties were very good and no complaints. The food in the MDRs was not piping hot, and service took forever, sometimes 2 hours for breakfast. This was a diversion for us as usually we find the MDR’s to be very good such that we do not waste money on specialties (we only paid for one specialty and used my two platinum plus vouchers for the other two). Also orders were often messed up. I assumed the slower service may have been intentional so as to cater to Europeans? Also, if you ordered a hot app and a salad, they brought everything up at once but instead of serving the hot app first, they’d serve the salad course which then resulted in your hot app sitting and getting cold at the service station. We also did one night the dinner with an officer for being PlatPlus. We had a lovely dinner with just 6 of us, and the Safety Officer who was from Sicily. Sadly, even that night our dinner orders were messed up but we still had fun. We had a basic Balcony Room on Deck 9. Small but adequate. Ports and Tours: ROME: We chose to fly over 3 days early to tour Rome. We booked transport through our hotel for 55 EUR. At the recommendation of Rick Steves, we stayed at the Hotel Smeraldo. You could not beat this location. We could walk to all of the sites from here including the Colisseum, Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Mouth of Truth, Plaza Navarone, etc. We did not use one single cab the entire time in Rom. The first day we did a fantastic nighttime food and wine tour thru the Jewish Ghetto. This allowed us to explore a bit in the morning upon arrival, then nap before going out as we flew over on the red eye. We booked this with www.foodtoursofrome.com We ate SO MUCH FOOD on this, well worth the cost. There were 7 different stops on the tour. We had a fried artichoke, gelato, tiramisu, 4 kinds of pastas, espresso, pizza, and meats and salamis. We also had ample wine and an Italian beer at the pizza stop. Day Two we had a private tour of the Vatican booked thru Italy Private Excursions. https://www. italyprivatexcursion.com/ private-walking-tours/vatican- tour-in-depth/. Our guide was Rosie and she was terrific. We saw EVERYTHING and she expertly avoided the crowds. If you are Catholic or just really interested in the Vatican and history, this was an excellent tour. Day Three we booked skip the line tickets for the Colisseum. It got us in, included about a 40 minute tour with history, then you could stay and walk around as long as you like. That evening we used Rome Cabs to get us to the Hotel San Giorgio in Civitavecchia. We had a lovely water facing room that included a free shuttle to the port. I highly recommend this hotel, and there are ample restaurants in walking distance. Rome Cabs arrived on time (early, actually) and the service was fantastic. MYKONOS: We booked a private tour with Delos Guide (another Rick Steves recommendation). It was fantastic, our guide Antonis was top notch and showed us everything. He was also patient with my group of older travelers (4 of our group of 6 are in their 70s). Highly recommend this company and tour. One extra highlight was a stop and tour of the Mykonos Farmers creamery where we tasted the best homemade greek yogurt I have ever had. https://mykonosfarmers.com/en/ George was an absolute delight to visit with and I dream about that yogurt. https://www.delosguide.com/mykonos-past-4hrs/ SANTORINI: We booked a private tour here with Ocean Wave Tours (another Rick Steves recommendation). www.oceanwavetours.com While we saw all of the sights and got great photos, our tour guide Dan was not overly talkative. We are used to drivers narrating and providing history on the ride between locations. Again, he was very patient with my older travelers. ATHENS: We booked a full day private tour with PK Travel (www.pktravelgreece.com) All I can say is WOW. Our guide was Dora, and she was extremely well educated having degrees in history and archaeology. We saw all of the highlights and again everything was perfectly timed to miss crowds. The full day tour includes: The Acropolis [Temple of Parthenon, Propylea, Temple of Athena Nike, Temple of Erechtheion, Cariatides, Herodeon Theater, Theater of Dionysus, Areopagus (Mars Hill)], The Temple of Zeus, The Panathenaic Stadium [Kallimarmaro], The Hill of Lycabettus, The Old Palace, The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier in front of the Parliament & The Changing of The Guards, The Catholic Cathedral, The "Neoclassical Trilogy" [The Academy, The National Library, The First University of Athens], The Plaka for lunch, and finally The Acropolis Museum. Well worth it, and again she was very patient with my group who all made it to the top of the Acropolis! She also was generous with taking photos for us. We highly recommend. RHODES: We booked a private tour with Rhodes Private Tours (www.rhodesprivatetours.com) Our guide was Michael, but Nicholas the owner met us at the port as well to make sure we were well taken care of. Top notch service all around. We saw everything including the Acropolis of Rhodes. Highly recommend. CHANIA: We did not book any tours here and opted for a ship day as we were very burned out. MALTA: We had a tour booked here that did not work out. We used a recommended tour provider who farmed the work out to another guide/company (we knew this ahead and were ok with that). However, we ended up not even getting the tour as it was poorly organized, the assigned guide lied to us, and it was just disastrous. I will refrain from naming the company, however, because she was very apologetic, we corresponded back and forth after the fact, and I am confident she will never use this guide/company again when she cannot cover a tour herself. Everything worked out, we saw many things on our own including St. John’s Co-Cathedral which was a highlight for all of us. MESSINA: We opted to do a two our walking tour booked thru Viator. The Company was Discover Messina Sicily and our guide was Maria who was lovely. She timed everything perfectly such that we had great viewing of the Church in the center at 12noon when the music plays and the statues move. Well worth the price. NAPLES: We did a fantastic tour with Italy Private Tours that took us to Pompeii, Sorrento, and a drive along the Amalfi Coast. https://italytours.eu/book-now/ It was well worth the price and we saw gorgeous vistas on the Amalfi. Pompeii was incredible. Our driver was Luca, and at Pompeii we met up with Sabina who was our private guide for 2 hours. Her knowledge and passion for the history of Pompeii made this tour. I cannot recommend enough. Again, the crowds were expertly avoided and she was patient with my group. Luca was a delight and a funny guy. All in all a wonderful trip, itinerary and experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this Cruise on the Norwegian Spirit because of the great Greek Islands itinerary. We only had 1 sea day, but, that was great for us. We're 71, pretty active and wanted to see and experience as much as we could. Which we ... Read More
We chose this Cruise on the Norwegian Spirit because of the great Greek Islands itinerary. We only had 1 sea day, but, that was great for us. We're 71, pretty active and wanted to see and experience as much as we could. Which we did. We had a few excursions that were booked in advance. We took a couple of excursions from the ship. We would have had a couple more, but, they were sold out. Why wouldn't the ship make a list of those excursions that were full and if enough people signed up and filled another excursion then just schedule another ? We, also, did our own thing on a couple of islands, too. People tend to complain a lot about Cruises and the ships they Cruise on. I guess, a lot of people are so spoiled or so unhappy that they've got nothing better to do. I see so many old people walking around that do not appear to be happy. They're frowning and scowling as they're walking around, sitting around or even eating and they can be rude to the Crew. My Wife and I appreciate how hard the Crew works to please everyone and my Wife and I always show and tell them that ! The food was great everywhere. We ate Breakfast at the Buffet, it was always great with many choices. We always got a window seat. We only had lunch once, we were always out and had it at the Windows Main Dining Room. Again, could not have been better. For dinner, we had the Dining Plan, 4 dinners at the upscale restaurants and the rest in Windows. We liked to eat by the Windows at the Aft of the ship. Maybe, because I always said, please, to sit in the back and when we left we always said Thank You for the great table again. Guess what, we always got a great table where we wanted it ! Please and Thank You, I didn't hear it very often from the Guests when they talked to the Crew, try it, it works wonders ! Our Room was more than great !! I had read about it in advance and was able to have our TA book it for us. It's room 10686. The last room on the Port side of the ship on Deck 10. It's a double wide room with a double length Balcony. I think there was some sort of construction in the back of the ship, maybe, for the kids pool area, but, what a great location, 2 floors up to the Buffet, 2 floors down to the Theater and 3 floors down to the Windows Main Dining Room and the Raffles Bar is, also, up with the Buffet. The Atrium and other restaurants and the Observation Lounge are a hike, but, great exercise hiking to them ! Previous reviews complained about the condition of the ship, but, again, we thought it was in great shape. The entertainment was great. Nothing to complain about and we always got a great seat whether we went at 7:30 or 9:30 and we never went any earlier then 15 or 20 minutes before the show. The music around the ship was, also, very good. Some of it was a little old even for us. It would have been nice to have some current music on board, also. Getting on and off the ship was snap. We couldn't had a better time and we are looking forward to our next Norwegian Cruise. I think this was our 5th Norwegian Cruise. All of them great ! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose Norwegian Spirit particularly for their excellent quality freshly prepared food. Superb dining experiences. And, when you enter each eatery location someone stands before the entry door to spray little alcohol into your hands. If ... Read More
We chose Norwegian Spirit particularly for their excellent quality freshly prepared food. Superb dining experiences. And, when you enter each eatery location someone stands before the entry door to spray little alcohol into your hands. If you choose to accept it... Most people do it and are happy that their great staff is concerned about general safety health issues. You can eat just about any time and no reserve seats are necessary. The waiters and waitresses are extremely polite and accommodating. They pull out your chair and want you to experience all the great menus. Great choices for a ship that really wants you to be happy and you can sense it in the atmosphere. The ship has been refurbished and quite lovely including all sleeping quarters as well. What I also like about Norwegian Spirit is a family experience as well. The ship is not overly crowded and not as large as the new ones. We thought that was just great. Senior Citizens love this ship and so do the middle and younger crowd as well. Not too crazy. Just right. Credits: I particularly want to thank " Ryan Salvacion " a great waiter, One of the best you can find. And, " Will Pope," A great acrobatic stage dance - performer " at the theatre on 10/15/ 2018. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because we were determined to have an Adriatic itinerary and were limited to this particular week. As such, Norwegian was the only cruise that fit the bill. The ship was nice and the central and public spaces were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were determined to have an Adriatic itinerary and were limited to this particular week. As such, Norwegian was the only cruise that fit the bill. The ship was nice and the central and public spaces were especially nice. Loved the specialty coffee shop mid-ship! We had a mini-suite; it was adequate but nowhere the level we would have expected in comparison to similarly priced cruises we have taken with other companies. Not enough room for our clothes! The food was very good and our special offer included 3 free specialty restaurants. The Brazilian and the Steak House were great but skip the Italian and have your Italian food in Italy. The buffets had excellent choice and, not surprisingly, is the only complaint is that by the time you sit down, the food isn't very hot. We ordered room service one night and unlike some other cruise lines at this cabin level, there is a charge. Boarding and disembarking were disorganized; the waiting is to be expected but the sheer volumes of people and lack of good information from people wearing official looking blazers is disappointing. The excursion "cabriolet tour of Dubrovnik" was not worthwhile. A very tight fit in the vehicle, not particularly informative tour and then dumped in the city centre to take a bus back to the cruise ship. It happened to be a nasty storm so not the cruise line's fault we couldn't walk around and see Dubrovnik, but the cabriolet driver might have given us the option of taking us back to the ship instead of stranding us for 2 hours in a mob waiting for their buses! The excursion to Olympia and the museum was spectacular! Maria was a phenomenal guide. Beware those with limited mobility or physical activity, there's quite a bit of walking. Finally, the hours of our stays in ports were weird. Half days and at least one arrival at 1pm. Felt like we were killing time. Also didn't really like the day at sea...understand how long it takes to get places but not a very well planned itinerary in my estimation. Overall, a good trip, but unless it's a phenomenal deal, I wouldn't necessarily make Norwegian my first choice in the future. Read Less
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