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Sail Date: February 2019
We booked this purely on price - end of. Some of the ports on the itinerary we've been to before, we rarely travel in Europe now but the price was incredible, even when we added in the beverage package etc. Truly superb value for a ... Read More
We booked this purely on price - end of. Some of the ports on the itinerary we've been to before, we rarely travel in Europe now but the price was incredible, even when we added in the beverage package etc. Truly superb value for a great port intensive - mainly spanish - 12 days. Embarkation at Barcelona is an absolute breeze, a really well organised port with a line outside as it might benefit from being slightly bigger pre-check in. Bag drop was effortless and I forgot to affix tags, so the chap just did it for me, easy and friendly. Being a small ship, the layout is unusual (when I say small ship, at 2000 pax guest capacity this was the first "Big Ship" to operate around Asia as the Superstar Leo, theres a little bit of an Asian feel and theme to it, the Handrails are lower than normal in some areas, the deck beds are slightly shorter apparently and in the restaurants, the tables and chairs are clearly spaced for the asian market with some very tight spaces for fat old westerners, like me. Certainly in the Shanghai Bar, the stools and tables are so close together that they border on being uncomfortable and this is the liveliest bar because it's basically a corridor. All the bars are well stocked and well staffed The buffet area is not the best layout, it's the little things like plates and bowls not being where you are most likely to need them and the coffee stations having milk at the wrong end causing numerous small gridlocks. The Galaxy lounge is comfortable an spacious, Henry's pub is cosy and offers a good atmosphere and Champagne Charlies in the evenings becomes a piano bar. All in all it's a lovely little ship but it does feel small, you certainly feel the water more in rough seas and pretty much all of the access is on one side of the ship. Food options were excellent and the meal variations were notable. Negatives... Row after row after row of EMPTY photograph shelves, some of them populated with photos that NO-ONE would buy, out of focus and taken at a distance with poses in mid yawn, closed eyes and in one case mid-sneeze. You know, if NCL are going to continue with the "freestlye" cruising, they need to accept that some people aren't dressing up for dinner and some people won't be posing for photographs, they also need to realise that now we are 10 years into quality digital photography and 3 years into superb phone selfies, fewer and fewer people will pay $25 for a single photograph, actually $30 with the "gratuity". Most of them go in the bin, at $5 each I suspect they would have taken more money and caused less pollution. All the onboard shops were ghost towns, overpriced tourist tat, grossly overpriced watches. Didn't bother us too much, we bought a lanyard and a fridge magnet, but seriously, $30 for t shirt, $12 for a plastic fridge magnet. You don't need to buy them of course, and pretty much no-one does, but the shops need staffing and the prices will get higher, same in the Casino with table after table standing staffed but empty with a $10 minimum bet across the board. How many people would have ventured in with some $5 tables, even $2 tables early in the day? But the one thing, the only thing that annoyed me on this otherwise excellent cruise, even more that the $15 per person 2km bus ride into Casablanca (I kid you not) was that from day 6, Dave the cruise director would be on the tannoy telling us that "the cruise is coming to an end soon, better buy this, or that" Seriously? Barely halfway in and I'm being reminded that it's all about to end. What do they do on a 4 day break? Tell you as it leaves port? Of course with budget cruises, they have to make it up somewhere and on-ship sales are important, but the constant plugging of overpriced goods and services, really let NCL down and with a little more thought, they could really make it pay, by dropping prices. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise due to the price and itinerary even though we usually travel on other lines. I had read mixed reviews here but decided, since we booked, we were going to have a great time and we did. The ship is older and shows a ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the price and itinerary even though we usually travel on other lines. I had read mixed reviews here but decided, since we booked, we were going to have a great time and we did. The ship is older and shows a few signs of wear and tear but it is very clean and well decorated. We liked the Asian decor and the lovely ship memorabilia in the galaxy lounge. If you went down a circular stairway there you could even see the bridge and the officers at work. We were impressed we were always able to get an elevator and the ship was easy to get around. The staff was excellent and very friendly. We felt right at home with the staff and the promptness was bang on. We had a beverage package included which was one of the many advantages of the 5 at sea promotion they offer. The package also included 4 specialty dining options. The food was good, in general, Some great dishes and some just ok. The menu offering were such that you could always find something you wanted to eat. The Bisto, Steakhouse, and Italian restaurants were very good. The entertainment was varied and very well done. We saw the production shows and listened to music every night in the various lounges. Not impressed with the shops that seemed to be stocked with watches and more watches. We would have liked more educational offerings since we are not gamblers or into the spa or bingo. Read Less
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Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this as a first time cruise and because we weren’t sure if cruising was for us, well we certainly weren’t disappointed,embarkation was an absolute breeze, onboard within half an hour of arriving at port, next stop was the bar ... Read More
We chose this as a first time cruise and because we weren’t sure if cruising was for us, well we certainly weren’t disappointed,embarkation was an absolute breeze, onboard within half an hour of arriving at port, next stop was the bar for a quick refreshment, a few to choose from, lovely bar staff waiting to greet you, next we thought we would check out our cabin we could not fault anything, it was a good size for the 2 of us, and almost ready so we left housekeeping to add the final touches, we then took a walk around the ship to familiarise ourselves, then it was off to raffles for a lovely lunch, the food in all of the restaurants is lovely and something to suit everyone’s taste. We had shore excursions booked for most ports and weren’t disappointed with any except Casablanca , it just wasn’t for us, but getting off and on the ship at ports is very straight forward just remember your key card, from the washy washy ladies and gents right up to the management side of the Norwegian spirit, nobody can do enough for you, nothing is too much bother and they really do bend over backwards for you, we will definitely cruise again and it will definitely be with ncl, my only but, is Casablanca, we didn’t enjoy it one bit and from what a lot of other passengers said neither did they, next time I’d stay on the ship.but other than that every other port was to our satisfaction, Madeira was the most enjoyable an absolutely gorgeous place and the toboggan ride is a must. Met some lovely people and some not so, but it’s all part of the experience, It was all over far too quick and before we knew it it was time to disembark, which is very well organised can’t wait to do it all over again one day, Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation went very smoothly. Found the ship very disabled friendly, was nowhere my partner couldn’t go ( he’s a full time wheelchair user) We booked a disabled inner porthole cabin 4498. What can I say, it was massive, wetroom was ... Read More
Embarkation went very smoothly. Found the ship very disabled friendly, was nowhere my partner couldn’t go ( he’s a full time wheelchair user) We booked a disabled inner porthole cabin 4498. What can I say, it was massive, wetroom was large all very wheelchair friendly. It was near the lifts too, perfect!! Dining.. tried the Italian restaurant (paid extra) for our friends 60th birthday.. was disappointed with the food. The food in the Windows main dining room was really nice.. only one complaint.. some of the staff need to be trained better!! They were taking away some of our starter plates while someone was still eating.. bad etiquette!! We ate in the Shogun restaurant.. was lovely too. Entertainment.. found it so so.. the house band was very good listened to them a lot. Service on board was fantastic.. didn’t wait any length of time for drinks etc.. we thought our wine Steward Paula was excellent, such a happy friendly girl. Our room steward Neil was great. Enjoyed the towel art on our bed most nights Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife has been wanting to see Casablanca and this cruise included Barcelona we both like. Our last and first cruise with NCL cruise on the Spirit was extra great so we did a suite again, big difference though I like the Haven experience ... Read More
My wife has been wanting to see Casablanca and this cruise included Barcelona we both like. Our last and first cruise with NCL cruise on the Spirit was extra great so we did a suite again, big difference though I like the Haven experience much better. We did enjoy our shore excursions interesting selections. The food was pretty good with a nice selection, can't say about the buffet but it looked like a good selection when we were looking around the ship. The entire crew were helpful and friendly. The cabin steward, concierge and butler very good, just ask and if possible they will do it for you. The front cabin was beautiful (thin walls though). Just note if you like to sit on the balcony not only when in port you may want to reconsider one right at the very front (ours 10500) you are not to open the door when at sea and must close the curtains when at sea after dark. View through the two big windows almost as good as the captain. Fun for us, first time right at the front. The entertainment was good we really enjoyed the funny juggler night and the soul music night. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my 4th NCL cruise. I had a previous poor experience on the two cruises previously due to unfriendly staff and other issues. I was tired of the Caribbean and had done the Mexican Riviera and Hawaii. NCL had a different itinerary ... Read More
This was my 4th NCL cruise. I had a previous poor experience on the two cruises previously due to unfriendly staff and other issues. I was tired of the Caribbean and had done the Mexican Riviera and Hawaii. NCL had a different itinerary out of Barcelona that was interesting, so I thought that I would give them another chance. Just as an aside, I prefer the smaller ships and don’t need all of the other extras. We booked an Owners Suite a year prior to the cruise. The suite had a separate bedroom and bathroom, lounge area, dining room, and best of all..another half bathroom! This was great because there was no privacy with the other toilet area which only had a half glass door that you could see through. The vanity area was tiny, squeezed between the shower and the bathtub. The vanity lighting was very poor and the was no magnifying mirror in this area. There was a hair dryer and electrical outlets. There are double sinks and a nice large shower. The lounge area is small and we had to move the coffee table to access the balcony. The butler kept us stocked with bottled water, mixers, and slices of lime. The entertainment was hit or miss. The DJ was great and would play what was requested. I missed having a piano bar to sing along with! There was a piano player in Champagne Charlie’s who was fun. We would have happy hour in the Galaxy Lounge before dinner. There was a lot of activity in this area between 5-6 and this made having a quiet conversation difficult. Food was fair. Breakfast and lunch at Cagney’s was great, though it felt that the menu was limited by the end of 10 days. We had several dinners in the Windows Main Dining room and found the appetizers, soups, and salads were good; but main entrees were disappointing. Service was great! Tepanaki was great, The steak at Cagney’s was below average. Service was much improved over my previous NCL cruises. The concierge and all wait staff were the best!! Embarkation and disembarking were the smoothest that I have ever had. Probably the result of being in a suite. I would definitely do this cruise again as the ports were fascinating, we did not do any excursions but explored the towns on our own. And yes, Casablanca should be changed, it was very dirty and did not feel safe. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
After hearing so many stories both good and bad about cruising, I'd have to say that cruising is a great way to travel. The staff of the Norwegian Spirit made everything from pre-cruise preparation to disembarkation, an absolutely ... Read More
After hearing so many stories both good and bad about cruising, I'd have to say that cruising is a great way to travel. The staff of the Norwegian Spirit made everything from pre-cruise preparation to disembarkation, an absolutely breeze. Everyone (and I mean everyone!) was super helpful and personable. Whatever Norwegian is doing to create such a great team , they are doing it right and it shows in the level of service given to each person on-board. The ship was super clean and, there was an emphasis on hygiene, which was important given the number of people in such close quarters. You were never far from music, entertainment or a pocket of peace and relaxation. The port calls and ship excursions were well organized. I booked excursions through the ship's tour service and they were well organized and in my opinion, worth the money. All the tour companies were professional, the buses were comfortable and the tours were offered in various languages to accommodate all nationalities. Needless to say, I enjoyed my first cruise. Well done Norwegian! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary, looking for some winter sun. In this we were lucky. The overall impression of the ship was one of noise. Large groups of passengers would sit in Champagne Charlies, talking loudly so that ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary, looking for some winter sun. In this we were lucky. The overall impression of the ship was one of noise. Large groups of passengers would sit in Champagne Charlies, talking loudly so that it was difficult to hear the excellent Ian West or the equally impressive trio. The music played in the swimming pool area was far too loud, both the live band and the taped music. The food in the garden restaurant was of variable quality, and was often not very hot. The Bistro restaurant was good but La Trattoria very poor. The entertainment was also very variable in quality The juggler / comedian was splendid. The magician was awful. The fact that he was also included in the final show, Elements, ruined it. The Captain needs to take lessons in making his announcements. He tended to burble on interminably with the result that nobody listened. The quizzes were spoilt by the fact that many of the staff running them had huge difficulties in pronouncing even relatively simple words. One positive note: the bar staff were excellent, particularly in Champagne Charlies, the waiters were by and large very good and our cabin steward was very good. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My husband and I are seasoned, enthusiastic cruisers and we chose this cruise for the interesting itinerary & in that respect it didn’t disappoint. Just about everything else on Spirit was hopelessly lacking. The buffet food was poor ... Read More
My husband and I are seasoned, enthusiastic cruisers and we chose this cruise for the interesting itinerary & in that respect it didn’t disappoint. Just about everything else on Spirit was hopelessly lacking. The buffet food was poor plus there was never any place to eat, especially at breakfast. The specialty restaurants did have good food & good service. The public spaces were dated, but clean & satisfactory. Our verandah cabin (10610) had inadequate storage, the sparce furnishings were dirty & in disrepair and the tiny, grimy bathroom was gross. (In his defense, there’s no way our cabin steward could have ever gotten the 20-year old tile clean even if he had had time to try. He & everyone else was so busy “sanitizing” to recover from an intestinal virus on the previous cruise that typical day-to-day niceties were impossible.) We had found a number of NCL ships to have been satisfactory on previous cruises, but our experience on Spirit may have changed our minds about ever sailing with NCL again. There’s not an itinerary that could change my mind. Spiirit needs to be completely rehabbed or retired or its cruises sold as bargain basement experiences. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Having been on the Spirit last January 2018 and having had a great time we decided to cruise on the NCL Spirit once again. However our spirits sank as we waited in the very long queue at the Barcelona port, as we were informed the previous ... Read More
Having been on the Spirit last January 2018 and having had a great time we decided to cruise on the NCL Spirit once again. However our spirits sank as we waited in the very long queue at the Barcelona port, as we were informed the previous cruise had cases of novo virus and so we had to wait much longer to board her due to it being sanitised. Once on board we were not allowed to help ourselves to the buffet food in the raffles restaurant and for the first 5 days of the cruise this caused no end of issues e.g. Waiting in long queues to be served by staff, fellow passengers being told off by staff who were seen reaching out for knives and forks ect, because they were fed up ( if you'll pardon the pun ) of waiting to be handed their utensils We all knew it was for all our benefit, but it was frustrating having to wait continually to be served by the crew. Thankfully the ship was given the all clear and normal self service resumed on the 6 th day of the 11 night cruise. Felt sorry for the staff they worked really hard and it wasn't their fault that they were having to serve passengers,but it was an inconvienience to most passengers, who expected to serve themselves in the raffles restaurant. Having said all that the food on offer was in our opinion excellent lots of choices for everyone and an excellent Indian Fayre , each night for vegetarians like myself. The restaurant itself does needs updating. As for the rest of the ship it looked pretty much the same as it did previously. Another major dissapointment for us on this cruise was the fact that someone decided that it would be a good idea to take off the mosaic tiles around the outdoor jacuzzis 4 in all and retile them. Well we didn't think this was appropriate as passengers could not sit around the main pool area while they did the work......well you could if you could put up with the drilling hammering and dust and muck that it made. It was at times like being in the middle of a building site. There was no mention of an apology as the work continued during port days,when many of the passengers went off ship but many remained,and those that did had to find another area to relax away from the noise. I am writing to NCL to make a formal complaint and to ask if they thought it was acceptable to do this type of work while paying passengers had to endure the inconvienience of the noise and the lack of use of some facilities during this work. I have videoed this as evidence so will wait and see what response I get. Fortunately we managed to find a quite spot. Overall we enjoyed the cruise the shows were fantastic some great guest artists,the ships dancers were the best we've seen and worked really hard. Wasn't too keen on the main singers,they all seem to want to out sing each other thus most of the time sang out of tune. The spirit live band was excellent and the production shows were good however we saw the Elements show last year. They also had Ian West resident piano/ singer who kept passengers entertained in the Champagne lounge,as he did on the last cruise. Didn't use any of the speciality restaurants spa services tours and photographic services in our opinion all were far too expensive. Talking of expense, we found that on this cruise as we did not have the drinks package the prices of the beverages were too expensive even sodas were 3.45$ plus 20% service charge as are all drinks you have an additional 20% added. Even if you do sign up for the drinks package it's not that cheap, you would have to be constantly ordering drinks that you don't want just to justify what you've paid. The drinks packages start at $99 a day that's over a $1000 dollars on an average 10/11 night cruise. To round up overall we enjoyed the cruise we do like the smaller ships and the spirit does have a nice friendly feel to it and the itinerary in Jan/ Feb is good and suits ourselves as we don't want a long hall flight. This particular cruise stared and finished in Barcelona,and the weather this year was very hot and sunny the whole cruise apart from Malaga,which was disappointingly cool and overcast.Would we go on the Spirit again ?perhaps not ,but we would look at another NCL freestyle cruise. Read Less
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