Sail Date: October 2010
We picked this cruise because we liked the ports and the "one-way" nature of the cruise. My wife had always wanted to see the colors of New England. The cruise left from Boston and ended in Quebec City. My wife and I had never ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we liked the ports and the "one-way" nature of the cruise. My wife had always wanted to see the colors of New England. The cruise left from Boston and ended in Quebec City. My wife and I had never visited Boston so we spent an entire day there before departure. We walked the Freedom Trail and enjoyed the city. The morning before the cruise we walked the walkways along the water and got some good exercise. Our hotel was the Boston Seaport Hotel. It is located away from the downtown area near the World Trade Center area. The hotel is right on the "Silver Line" which means it is on the subway/bus system. We took the Silver Line directly from the airport. The Silver Line connects with downtown very nicely. In addition, the Silver Line also goes directly to the port and drops you right next to the NCL dock. The Seaport Hotel was right near the water and we had great views out of our windows. It was a great hotel for a pre-cruise stay. We arrived at the dock between 1:00 and 2:00. Since we were staying in a suite, we were lead to an open check-in station. However, the other check-in lines seemed short. After meeting our butler and concierge, we were lead directly to our cabin. Our cabin was 10000 and was right in the front of the ship, directly below the bridge. The cabin was large with a sitting area, breakfast table and a separate bedroom. Bathroom was large with tub and large shower. The suite even had a second small bathroom. The balcony was on the small side but gave us great views out both sides of the ship as we left ports. When cruising, it was windy and rather cold because of the wind coming straight in. Our cruise was the second week of October. Because of the long summer, many of the trees were still green in some areas. However, since you are cruising north, the trees were very beautiful in many ports. I think early October is the time to go. The Spirit is an older ship and you can tell from the decor. However, we enjoyed the ship and the amenities. Deck 7 is a walking deck where you can walk around the entire outside of the ship. 3 laps are 1 mile with great views. The fitness center is small but has nice large windows in front of the exercise machines. We were some of the younger passengers on this particular cruise (in our early 50's) so getting on the equipment was not a problem. There is a running track on the top level of the ship but many passengers use it to walk across the deck. So, you needed to dodge slow walkers on the track. The "free" restaurants are the Buffet, Windows and the Garden Room. The buffet was typical cruise ship fare and normally very chaotic. As a suite holder, we could eat breakfast and lunch in Cagney's (one of the specialty restaurants). We ate breakfast in Cagney's every day except one. In the evening, Windows and the Garden Room have the exact same menu so it really doesn't matter which one you eat at. Both were good but we ate more often in the Garden Room because they had more tables for parties of two. Food was very good. We did not feel the need to pay-up and eat in the specialty restaurants. Many folks we met did pay to eat in the specialty restaurants and were very pleased. Once again, as suite holders we had reserved seating in the balcony for all shows. I would rate the shows 3 of a possible 5. We saw them all. I believe the older folks enjoyed them the most. Most were packed. There were two identical shows each night and the early one was the more popular. The crew on the ship was great. Dinner served quickly and efficiently. Housekeeping services were very quick to make-up your cabin when you were gone. Towel animals were creative. Butler and concierge were great! Once we arrived in Quebec City, we were given priority disembarkment. Our luggage was waiting for us and easily found. We walked the old city section of Quebec City. It was a great walking town. No reason to pay for an excursion unless you cannot walk. We then rented a car and drove to Montreal. We stayed at the Montreal Airport Marriott which is located inside the terminal. It was very convenient and a great choice if you have an early morning flight. Overall, we had a great trip. See my port reviews for further information. Sydney - Canada At Sydney, we thought we wanted to go to the fortress at Louisbourg. We went to the taxis and asked the price. All the taxi drivers had a pre-printed pricing form for the various attractions - none of which are close to the ship. This is one location where you need to get into a vehicle to see the best sights and scenery. The "fixed fee" trip to Louisbourg was $160. For two people, we thought this was way too high, but then we found two Fighting Illini who joined us. The taxi was a van, so the 4 of us were very comfortable. Louisbourg is a fortress that has been restored/re-built as a tourist attraction. There are demonstrations and workers are dressed in "period" costumes, etc. The location is right on the water and there was a lot to see. The drive to the fortress was pleasant but not anything special. We got back early and took a walking tour of the town. Unless you just like to walk (which we do), this town didn't have a lot to offer. Corner Brook (I've added this since Corner Brook is not a port on Cruise Critic) From what we could tell, Corner Brook had one redeeming factor, the Stream Trail. We took a cab to the beginning of the trail (or the end of the trail depending upon your direction). Let's just say, we started high in the hills and the Trail was mainly downhill for us. From the top, the trail is carved out of the woods and crosses a deep gorge. People starting from the dock do not make it this far as we saw no one for the first ½ hour (except a few locals). Once you've dropped back to sea level, the trails wind around ponds and up and down hills. We walked all the various side trails and it was a great hike. Once we got to the bottom, we asked about shopping and were pointed to a small shopping center. Let's just say, some of the passengers on the ship thought the Wal-Mart was their shopping highlight. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
If I had to limit my description of our recently completed two week Canada/New England cruise on the NCL Spirit it would have to be "hospitality." We experienced hospitality at nearly every step of the way - from our arrival at a ... Read More
If I had to limit my description of our recently completed two week Canada/New England cruise on the NCL Spirit it would have to be "hospitality." We experienced hospitality at nearly every step of the way - from our arrival at a crowded Black Falcon Pier to embark for our cruise to our leaving for home at the same pier. This word certainly extends to all of the crew we could possibly interact with our whole cruise and to the majority of ports we visited. The entire crew was friendly as well as professional. I cannot think of one member of the crew that did not offer a smile and a friendly greeting as we walked around the ship the entire two weeks. This was my DH and I's sixth NCL cruise and our second cruise on the Spirit. Both were in the same cabin - 9212, an AD suite overlooking the wake. The suite was basically as we remembered it. There was now a flat-screen TV in the living area and the special suite coffee machine. We had only been on board a few minutes when DH exclaimed: "I feel at home." Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the pier about 11 AM. There were greeters to guide us every where at the port. We went through security, were escorted to suite check-in and then the suite waiting area. We were greeted by our first concierge, Bruce, and the standard beverages and pastries to enjoy until we could board. We were allowed to board just before noon. We were escorted to our room by our butler, Maurice. After dropping our carry-on luggage in our room and meeting our exceptional room steward, Jeremiah, who was putting the finishing touches on our room, we headed to Cagney's for the first of many lunches - and shrimp cocktails. The wait staff in Cagney's for breakfast and lunch were superb and functioned very much like a team. After lunch we refreshed our memory of the ship's layout as we explored it once again. There were no surprises from what we remembered from four years ago, although as noted on the boards various places, the video arcade has been moved from deck 10 aft to deck 7 mid. The Spirit is not a new ship. There are places where we noticed that she has aged in the four years since we last sailed on her. She still maintains the character and charm that we first fell in love with. With the cooler temperatures of this itinerary there could be crowding in the buffet seating area at prime times since few people would brave eating in the outside aft area. This seems to be a regular problem on any cruise ship doing cooler itineraries as we also experienced it on an Alaska cruise on another cruise line. As this was a port intensive itinerary, NCL scheduled our roll call's meet and greet for 7 PM the evening we sailed. This worked out well and the majority of folks attended. Many of the officers attended, headed by Frank, the Hotel Director. Rather than stand up in front of the group and give a "canned talk", all of the staff attending mingled with the Cruise Critic folks. This was very appreciated and enjoyed by those who came as I heard many positive comments about the officers coming and spending time talking with them. For the second half of the cruise Annabelle "Bel" was our concierge. She stepped into the job at the last minute. She was professional, friendly and very helpful in making sure we had things we needed during the week. We enjoyed her care for us throughout the second week. While in Bar Harbor, Public Health was on board for their inspection. We learned on our tender trip back from town that they had scored 100 as we chatted with Sam, who entertained with his wife, Margie, mainly in Champagne Charlies. This was announced in the evening during the show and the Lattitudes Party. Thinking of the friendliness of the crew, two days later we ran into Sam on the street in Sydney. He remembered us. As we chatted he directed us to a discount store for DH to pick up a couple of items he had forgotten to pack. The great score from Public Health made the introduction of the GI virus during the second week a surprise. My first hint that there was a problem was during the announcement that we could disembark in Charlottestown we were reminded to wash our hands frequently, even while in port. When we returned to the ship, all of the standard precautions were now in place to prevent the spread. Sources told me there were about 50 persons who were affected, my DH being one. The staff in the medical center was great. They were caring and concerned about how he was doing, frequently checking on him. Jeremiah, our room steward, cleaned our room completely twice each day and still had a smile on his face in the evening and enjoyed making the towel animals for us - ones that we had never had before. It was how he helped us to make the best of the illness and to smile. The passengers on this cruise were mainly over 55, as I expected. There were very few children on board. As always we enjoyed meeting those who had been a part of our roll call at the meet and greet and then chatting with them a various times during the rest of the cruise. We also met others when we agreed to share a table at dinner or sat with in the buffet. We always enjoy the perspectives of others who are from other states or countries. We enjoyed several of the theater shows, particularly during the first week. We enjoyed the acrobatic duo. The Elements show that last night of each week was the best show I've seen on NCL. The ports of call all had their interesting parts. We chose this cruise because of the Canadian ports, having wanted to visit the Atlantic Provinces for some time. We enjoyed the uniqueness of each of the ports and what was offered. A quick note about them. Bar Harbor, Maine is a quintessential northern New England town that has tried hard to preserve its character while developing a tourist business. We walked around and found the Abbe Museum of Native American culture and took a private tour into Acadia National Park. St. John New Brunswick and the Bay of Fundy was great. We were surprised at the welcome we received as we disembarked that day. The local volunteers were out to greet us - women received a rose. We took the NCL tour up along the Bay of Fundy and the Fundy Trail that included a stop in St. Martin. I would highly recommend this tour. The experience was wonderful. At lunch we were entertained with stories from the past of the area. Halifax, Nova Scotia was the one port we were at twice. The first time we did a private drive around town and visited the Citadel, Botanical Gardens and Fairlawn Cemetery where Titanic passengers are buried. We wondered around the waterfront getting our bearings for what to do on our return. The second time we visited the Maritime Museum. There is plenty of other exhibits to see here besides the Titanic exhibits. Sydney, Nova Scotia we opted to visit the Highland Village Museum. The travel to and from allowed us to see some of the Cape Breton Island scenery and hear about their Celtic connections. We then wondered around town for awhile and visited a few of the local museums. Cornerbrook, Newfoundland found us walking their urban trail along the brook that runs through town. Once you were on the trail you would hardly know you were in the midst of an urban area. This port was one of the less visited ports which we enjoy since we do not go on vacation to do a lot of shopping. Quebec was our turn around city. We docked and could walk all over the "old city" which we did. Several of us from our roll call accepted the offer of a local CC to give us a walking tour. (I had met her on a previous cruise.) She showed us a good deal of the "old city" prior to lunch at a restaurant in one of the old houses. It was a very good lunch and based on the prices we saw elsewhere, closer to the port, the price was reasonable. Sorry, I can't remember the name. We walked around some more in the afternoon before re-boarding the ship. Sept-Isles, Quebec was by far the least visited port we visited. They are just starting to develop their tourism so those without tours that day were probably not impressed with the town. Plus, it was a cold day that the strong breeze made seem even colder. We did the train tour back to an Innu Camp. We travelled on the same train the Innus use for transportation. Our guides worked as a team and included many Innus who are learning English as their third language. We didn't have time to visit all their displays but we did learn much about their native ways, which they seek to preserve. We felt the hospitality at this port was wonderful for no longer than they have been greeting cruise ships. On the train on the way to the Camp we were offered coffee and sweet rolls as they shared with us. On the way back they served us lunch. Both arriving at the train and then when we returned Innu children greeted us in native dress. Charlottetown, PEI is another walkable town, which we opted to do on our own as we were not all that interested in Ann of Green Gables. We visited Provence House and learned some Canadian history. We walked out to Victoria Park stopping to see an antique fire truck on display at the fire house and chatted with the local firemen. We also chatted with a local DPW worker. As I write this I am amazed that it has been two weeks since we returned home. The memories of this trip linger. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
This was our fifth cruise on NCL. We've been to Bermuda, the Baltic, and the Caribbean (twice). To be fair, we've been to all the ports listed except Charlottetown and Sept Isles before. We love all the stops except Sept Isles ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on NCL. We've been to Bermuda, the Baltic, and the Caribbean (twice). To be fair, we've been to all the ports listed except Charlottetown and Sept Isles before. We love all the stops except Sept Isles which I think was included to make the schedule work. Charlottetown was delightful. A charming, walkable city albeit with a touristy emphasis on Anne or Green Gables, we enjoyed the shops and a wonderful deli for lunch. Halifax and Portland are fun places to wander. Great shops, better restaurants and friendly people. Boston, of course, is a place everyone should visit. It's our home port, so I can't single out anything that isn't spectacular. Now for the ship...Our cabin on the eleventh deck was small, but adequate. The one thing I hadn't counted on (and I should have known better); it was directly below the Spa and fitness center....directly below TREADMILLS which start at some ungodly hour and are in use far into the evening. At first I thought it was a very badly tuned engine on the ship until I realized the din was intermittent. Reason enough to select a cabin a few doors away from 11538. In addition, the crew was preparing the ship for the Caribbean since this was the last NE/Canada voyage. In replacing the glass seals on the 12th deck, our balcony was showered daily with shards of glass; rail, deck, table and chairs. We both cut ourselves on the shards. The cabin stewards cleaned the glass up ONCE during the week. the rest of the time the glass remained. This particular cabin evidenced how tired the ships decor has become. Damaged furniture, a TV from somewhere in the 1970's without a workable remote (ignored by the stewards) and dingy surroundings. The bathroom wasn't clean..not filthy, but I dirtied a washcloth just wiping off the fixtures and tile. Cleaning is not a strong point with the cabin staff; perhaps they spend too much time creating those annoying towel creations. Ice was delivered three times during the trip, otherwise the bucket remained empty. Haphazard service at best. Food service on this ship runs the gamut from attentive to surly. In the Raffles buffet the staff tend to be very casual in their service. During this cruise the policy switched from "serve yourself" to the supposedly safer "someone puts food on your plate". Problem with this approach is that many stations are unattended and those that are staffed are served by people who do not listen to requests or do not understand. The Windows dining room is pleasant and the food seems a bit better than the buffet. Service is slow. The Garden dining room is much smaller with less attentive staff. I waited ten minutes for requested water ("I'll be right back", then disappeared). Food is the same as Windows. We only ate in two of the specialty restaurants; Le Bistro and Trattoria. Both were better than any of the regular options. The food in Le Bistro is outstanding. Service is outstanding as well. The only downside was the wandering water person twice refilled our San Pelegrino with tap water. However, the regular waiter was quick to resupply the bubbly water with a new bottle, gratis. We enjoyed the Trattoria a little bit less. For started, the restaurant is just a curtained off area of the buffet, not a separate room. Even hanging an Italian flag could not disguise this fact. The food was worthy of a Florentine trattoria. Be warned, however, that all courses are served as entree sized portions. We ordered both a pasta course and a main course only to find that the portions were enormous. The food was so good that we couldn't help ourselves and ate more than was discrete. We couldn't order desert as much as we would have liked. Both restaurants are well worth the surcharge. Entertainment is cruise standard. We liked the music in the lounges better than the offerings in the theatre. Second City was the best of the bunch. Drinks are cruise standard, pricey, but not outrageous. Wine is probably the best buy. Embarkation and debarkation were without incident; smooth and without problems. This being our fifth cruise with NCL we've decided it will probably be our last. The "Latitudes" program offers little incentive to re-book. A free drink and a meeting with the ships leadership doesn't really work for us. The discount in the shops lacks appeal for those of us who don't buy emeralds or overpriced knock off clothing. We're looking forward to trying another line where more attention is paid to service to the customers. One final comment. This ship was designed for warm weather travel, consequently, even though there were 600 empty berths, the ship seemed crowded due to the lack of warm, indoor space. With temperatures in the 40's for most of the cruise, the indoor spaces get very congested. On "at sea" days some people stake out their space and never move. Every cruise is a joy. This one is lower on the joy continuum that most. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
NCL just didn't "wow" us. Every thing was good, but nothing was spectacular! Saw more of our captain on this ship then any other cruise. Cruise director, Kyle, was good. Saw him every where and couldn't ... Read More
NCL just didn't "wow" us. Every thing was good, but nothing was spectacular! Saw more of our captain on this ship then any other cruise. Cruise director, Kyle, was good. Saw him every where and couldn't help wonder if the man ever sleeps. Kyle took part in many activities and did a good job of entertaining us. We loved the 2nd City Comedy team, saw them 5 times over our 14 day cruise. The magician was average, very obvious that the women disappeared into the stair case, the only "magic" was how could she fit into such a small space? The food was okay, nothing too memorable. No veggies to speak of, so we would order steamed veggies every night with our meal. Maybe someone in the kitchen will get the message if we all do this - eating healthy doesn't take a holiday. Don't get the wrong idea, I ate dessert every night, I just needed to have all 4 food groups on my plate. Our cabin attendants were very good and very friendly. Towels were changed twice a day, and our towel animals were always waiting for us when we returned to our room each night. Ship design was poorly thought out, but this ship is getting old and I heard will be retired next year. Lots of congestion on the 7th floor as this was the floor to use for getting to and from most places. Blue Lagoon was a great place to grab a quick bite, but with all the people traffic through the centre of the restaurant, it didn't make for a relaxing meal. Do try the spinach dip, a nice warm snack any time of the day. Staff in the Blue Lagoon seemed to really enjoy working together, and they gave great service too! Say hello to Primrose, she's a real gem in my eyes! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2010
We are empty nesters in our late 50's - early 60's. We cruise for the convenience of being able to unpack only once - and the itineraries. We are foodies, but certainly do not expect gourmet dining for every meal. We expect our ... Read More
We are empty nesters in our late 50's - early 60's. We cruise for the convenience of being able to unpack only once - and the itineraries. We are foodies, but certainly do not expect gourmet dining for every meal. We expect our room and the ship to be clean and comfortable, but do not go looking for the little things that might be wrong. We have cruised on Holland and Celebrity in the past, as well as several others that are no longer in business. This was our first NCL cruise. We traveled across the country to our comfortable little hotel 2 days prior to boarding the Norwegian Spirit, meeting up with our good friends from England. Having the extra time before the cruise was worth it, giving us time to relax and catch up with the jet lag. Boston is a beautiful, clean city loaded with a blend of the historical old and upscale new. We arrived at the pier on Saturday (via our $5 shuttle from our hotel) at noon, and were immediately shown to a short line to begin the embarkation procedure. It was a fast, easy process and we were on the ship in about a half hour. We proceeded to Windows dining room for lunch, thanks to the recommendations from CC members (the staff was sending guests toward the buffet). We enjoyed a nice, quiet lunch before hearing the announcement that our rooms were ready about 1:30 pm. Our stewards were there to introduce themselves, and called us by name every time we saw them. We did a quick exploration of the ship, then back to the room where our luggage was waiting by 2:00 pm. After a quick safety drill (no lifejackets needed), we headed to Henry's Pub for our scheduled Cruise Critic Meet & Greet. A great turnout of CC members as well as ship's officers. NCL provided snacks and juice. As we were on the 14-day round trip, I will not bore you with all the details of every single day - perhaps just the highlights. After hearing how small the rooms were, we were pleasantly surprised to find that they suited us just fine. There are all kinds of little nooks, crannies, shelves and drawers for storing items. The closets were a little short on hangers, but our room steward quickly brought us more. I find the over-the-door shoe bag invaluable for the inside of the bathroom door to store all the toiletries. In addition, an extra 3-prong plug (plus an extension cord) is a must, as there is only one outlet. There is plenty of storage under the bed for suitcases and other items you do not use regularly. We had an outside room with a large window on the 5th floor and found it quite comfortable (and quiet). We have coffee (and sometimes a light breakfast) delivered to our room each morning. It also serves as our morning wake-up call, as they always call within minutes of when they will be delivering. They are ALWAYS on time - in fact usually a little early, and the coffee is great. We ate in every single specialty restaurant: Shogun, Teppanyaki, LeBistro, Trattoria, Cagney's, All-You-Can-Eat Sushi (at Shogun), plus Windows, The Gardens, Blue Lagoon, and Raffles (buffet). Oops, almost forgot the Murder Mystery Dinner. Our least favorite was probably Shogun. My husband, being a connoisseur of hot wings, was not impressed with the wings at the Blue Lagoon, although they were quickly replaced with the dozen oysters on the half shell - which he claims were delicious. The best would be a toss-up between Teppanyaki and Cagney's - although the Murder Mystery Dinner was extremely good. We found all the food to be very good, with lots of variety. Raffles buffet had different items every day. Breakfast included everything you could possibly think of, and then some. Windows had two great Eggs Benedict dishes. I cannot for the life of me understand how someone could not find what they wanted to eat on the Spirit! The evening shows we saw were entertaining: "On Broadway", "The Second City", "Elements" (especially the finale!). We enjoyed hanging out in Henry's Pub (Ninus was the best!) and playing Trivia with crewmembers Charlane and Eddie. The Galaxy of the Stars was a very beautiful place to sit and read a book during the day, with its floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the sea. A special treat was the day we saw Minke whales and a whole pod (12+) of Belugas going into the Saguenay Fjord. At night, the Galaxy of the Stars was a fun place to watch the games and dances that the cruise staff had organized. Champagne Charlie's was a relaxing place to meet friends, have a cocktail, and listen to soft music with either Margie & Sam, or the Love Brothers and Lira. The library was also a nice quiet place to read and relax. We spent a few hours a couple of nights in the casino - won some and lost some. Although it is a smoking area (we are non-smokers), the ventilation must have been good as the smoke did not bother us. We did not experience any other areas where smoking was an issue. We took advantage of a special in the spa on a port day and each had a massage. We only saw a handful of children on the cruise (less than 6?) - and they were mostly babies or toddlers, and very well behaved. Probably due to the time of the year, most children were in school. I would say the average age of the cruisers on this particular cruise was probably early 50's. We only did three ship's excursions: Island Drive & Anne of Green Gables (Charlottetown); Kennebunkport (Portland); and the Scenic Boston Ending at the Airport. They were all excellent. The last tour spent several hours touring the Boston area then dropped us off at our gate at the airport - an excellent way to not have to schlep our luggage all over the city PLUS pay for transportation to the airport. The weather for the entire trip was lovely. The seas were fairly calm, EXCEPT for the 2nd to last night out - we must have run out of luck. About 6 pm a wave hit the front of the bow of the ship with a BAM! that almost stopped it in its tracks. Then the rocking and rolling began for the rest of the night. The TV station that is tuned to the ship's instruments showed wind speeds of 83 mph, but not sure if that was accurate. I really didn't want to know any more. I took a tranquilizer and went to bed! The next morning the seas were calm and it was another beautiful day. We enjoyed the "Whatever" attitude of NCL. We never once had to wait for a table in any of the restaurants. We were able to have dinner at a table for 2 or 4, or ask to be seated at a larger table to meet new people. The dress code was casual - no need to pack formalwear, or even dresses or ties. We chose to wear slacks to dinner, although we did see people wearing nice jeans with polo shirts, sweaters, or cotton shirts. The staff and crewmembers were extremely friendly and always greeted you with a hello and a smile. Others went the extra mile, like "Mr. Happy" at the entrance to Raffles, Charlane, and Eddie Spaghetti. I think a cruise, or vacation of any type, is what you make it. We chose to enjoy this trip to its fullest - and we did just that. Sure, there were some small annoyances, but the good things far outweighed the bad - so much so, that I cannot even remember what those annoyances were. NCL has definitely risen to the top of our list of "One of the Best Cruise Lines"! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2010
Chose NCL for it's itinerary and casual atmosphere. Checkin okay, although Latitudes priority line just as long as regular one. Despite being told cabin wouldn't be ready until 2 p.m., went there first to drop of carry-on bags. ... Read More
Chose NCL for it's itinerary and casual atmosphere. Checkin okay, although Latitudes priority line just as long as regular one. Despite being told cabin wouldn't be ready until 2 p.m., went there first to drop of carry-on bags. One piece of luggage not delivered until 6:30 p.m.; inconvenient but before NCL's 8 p.m. deadline. Balcony Cabin 11590 nice size for 2 people, with small safe but no refrigerator(cabin attendant kept ice bucket full entire week). Bathroom worn, old tile, musty smell, mildew in tile grout under sink. Excellent A/C control. Sister's cabin few doors down had A/C stuck "on" until repaired in evening. Liked the bright ceiling lights, plus 2 reading lights above headboard. Only 1 110-volt outlet in room, so brought extension cord. Balcony nice for 2 people, got lucky-no smokers on either side. Everyone learned the hard way that you should snap the sliding closet doors shut, or they slam shut, like at 1:30 a.m. the first night when the ship slightly rocked. Luckily, we had calm seas and no rain. Food: Identical menu to Pride of America in Hawaii, but disappointed nothing new to try, but quality consistently good in Windows Dining Room; only 1 night had very slow service. Met Executive Chef at Cruise Critic Meet-and-Greet and he told me NCL tries to standardize their menus. However, buffet not nearly as good as Pride of America. Slim selections of fresh fruit and salads, not nearly as many selections. Also, never found out how to order a soda at buffet area, didn't see anything setup to sell those and no waiters (maybe I just missed something). Had poor experience at Shogun Asian Restaurant. Couldn't make reservation for 6 when wanted, so we ate early and saw several empty tables at time we originally wanted. Extemely slow service and I didn't receive what I ordered (wide chow fun noodles). Instead I got another type of noodle dish, but didn't complain because we had already waiting so long to be served. One person at our table had to order a glass of wine from 4 different people before the waiter finally decided to bring it. We decided not to try any other specialty restaurants. Entertainment: Excellent. Even though they might not have interested us ashore, the music/dancing, magic, and comedy shows were fun. The dancers in the Broadway Tunes show never stopped dancing and jumping around, don't know where their energy came from. Rock and Roll songs representing that era were mostly not big hit tunes. Best show was last night, with single Irish entertainer telling hilarious jokes and singing classic Irish songs. Family enjoyed the pianists performing in the Deck 7 Lobby area and in Windows Dining Room. Tours: One confusing experience. In Sydney we had booked the Louisbourg Fortress tour in the morning and the Fiddle show in the afternoon. After breakfast, found a note on door saying tour operator had postponed the Fortress tour to the afternoon. Went to Excursions Desk and they wouldn't cancel my Fiddle show until I brought the tickets; this made me wait in a very long line a 2nd time. Also, another family member booked on the same Fortress excursion was not notified of postponement, good thing I told her. Finally, new Fortress ticket said to meet on the pier. Sounds simple, but turns out they didn't mean the pier in town where tenders were dropping off passengers, but the industrial coal dock pier where Spirit was tied up; I only heard this that 2nd time at the Excursion Desk. Sat on bus next to someone else who had to race back to ship on tender to just make tour. Another passenger commented they had had 3 tours in 3 days cancelled. Carefully read Cruise Critic reviews of ports and cruise tours, some are excellent and other can be skipped. Conclusion: Was a nice cruise and guess first-timers would have enjoyed it the most. You still can't beat traveling without unpacking and worrying about meals or entertainment. Traveling in late September into early October, most passengers were elderly and saw spectacular Fall colors outside Quebec City. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
We traveled to New Orleans a Day early to enjoy some of the festivities going on there during Carnival/Mardi Gras. There were six people in our party and we hired a Limo Service to transport us from the airport to the Chateau Leymone in ... Read More
We traveled to New Orleans a Day early to enjoy some of the festivities going on there during Carnival/Mardi Gras. There were six people in our party and we hired a Limo Service to transport us from the airport to the Chateau Leymone in the French Quarter. Deluxe Limo serivce was awesome. $100 to hotel for all six people. Also used them for transport back to the airport from the French Quarter after getting off the ship. $100 for that too. Great service and the car was awesome. Worked out really great! Much better than getting on a bus at the airport and sitting there for 2 hours before going to the cruise ship terminal. Embarkation in New Orleans was very quick and we were on the Ship around 11:30. We went directly to Windows for lunch as we prefer the service over the buffet. The restaurant was virtually empty and the service was great. We did get to go to our rooms at about 2:00 and our luggage was delivered around 3:30. The rooms were clean and there were no issues. The Spirit is an older ship and therefore there are some areas that show the age. It is well maintained though and we did not encounter any issues with the cleaniness. I am a germaphobe, so I can really be picky. I did not have any issues with anything in our rooms not being clean and well kept. We have always booked an inside cabin and feel that there is adequate room for the two of us. I try to book a room that is labeled for 3 people because there is one pull down bunk that can be used as extra storage. There is room to pull down the bunk and lay out your clothes as a makeshift dresser. This works excellent for me since I tend to overpack anyway. And I'm not fond of putting all my stuff in the drawers anyway. Everyone in our party was very pleased with the food on the Spirit. We went to Windows for Breakfast and Dinner everyday. We felt the food was excellent and more than ample. We were able to pick our waiter every night and we had an awesome one. Edgar was more than accomodating and did a fantastic job. I love my veggies and every night he brought me a platter of steamed veggies. We could not have asked for better service. We would pop in the buffet occasionally for a quick bite at lunch but that was about all we had there. I mostly had the pasta bar, but my husband tried alot of the other items. The food was always fresh and plentiful. We were always pleased with the selection and loved the "everyday" choices. The Cheese Tortollini was awesome! We all shared some of that every night! Now for the shocking part of the dining experience..... We had never tried one of the "additional" charge restaurants before. Since we were celebrating a 25th anniversary we decided to splurge and go to Cagneys. We were really dissapointed. The service was good.....not as good as the service we had been getting in Windows with Edgar. The atmosphere was good because we were put in a private room since there were eight of us. Of course the $25 fee only covered steak....if you wanted the Surf and Turf it was $35. Two couples ordered the S&T and said that the lobster was tough. I ordered a filet and it was really tough. Others ordered the strip steaks and the prime rib and said that they were just okay. Actually the Prime Rib was better in Windows and the Sirloin that was on the everyday menu in Windows was better than the filet that I had. We were sorely dissapointed, and would not recommend going there for an additional charge. They have a girl that comes around selling roses that is sort of strange.....just uncomfortable since they seem to be a little pushy. We ate in the Blue Lagoon a couple of times and the food there was good....just standard fast food....but still good. Since we had been on the Spirit before, the itinery was pretty much the same. We did the Jungle Beach Break in Costa Maya and that was good. The only problem is they ran out of Margaritas when we got there. No food was included (alcohol was) and the food was just okay....a little on the expensive side and a very limited menu. The beach was well kept and the restrooms were very nice and clean. Overall it was a good time. The weather wasn't the best but it was still a good time. The Catamaran in Belize was great. We didn't get to go but two other couples went and said that it was a great time. There was really rough water that day and the tender was really late in getting into Belize. Since we had been there already we just walked around the shops a little and spent the day relaxing on the ship. In Guatemala there is a shopping area right off the ship that has some vendors set up. We did not leave the shopping area because some of the locals were telling us that it really was not safe to leave the area. When were here before we did do a river tour and stopped in Livingston and felt that it was a little dangerous for tourists. In Cozumel we just went shopping since we had been here twice before. The guys got a massage there and loved it. Overall we love NCL. We have been on Carnival also and favor NCL. The only suggestions we would make would be reduce the prices on the Spa services. They are really high and we would have used them if they were more reasonably priced. Also the pictures are really expensive. They print off off these pictures and they mostly go to waste. Wouldn't it be better to have lower prices and more more pictures. The waiters/waitresses in the pool area were always coming around trying to sell drinks....we're not huge drinkers so it got a little annoying after a while. The entertainment was great......Elements was awesome and so were the Acrobats. We tried to do all the shows each night and really enjoyed them. White Hot party was fun lots of music! Would we recommend the Spirit....definitely. Everyone was friendly and we had no major problems at all. We are definitely sailing NCL again. It is a great deal to put a $250 deposit on a cruise and receive $100 in shipboard credit right away. Happy Sailing! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We took a cruise of Canada and New England in mid-October. We had a nice time on our cruise, but it was, as my husband says, ill-conceived in general for a vacation for two midwesterners. 1. Quebec. We left from Quebec. I couldn't ... Read More
We took a cruise of Canada and New England in mid-October. We had a nice time on our cruise, but it was, as my husband says, ill-conceived in general for a vacation for two midwesterners. 1. Quebec. We left from Quebec. I couldn't believe how wonderful this City was. We spent the day before the cruise just walking around, and it was perfect. I did get pretty cold, but on the positive side, the City did not feel at all crowded at this time of year. I see that people on other cruises had trouble with embarkation. Ours was very easy and fast, after a delay for a medical check because we admitted that we had recently had colds. 2. The ship. We had a balcony room. Obviously, it was not a large room, but I felt it was laid out well with enough closet space for all our things. The bathroom might have been a little larger than on other ships. Ultimately, our room became home for a week and I was often glad to come back to it. That said, this was the first time I had cleanliness issues on a ship. The first day, we noticed and reported an issue with our bathroom floor. I was told it was probably a stain and that someone would look into it. No one did, but it was not a big deal. The second day, I asked our steward to please clean the ash tray that was in our bathroom because it was caked with dust and contained someone's hair that was not ours. The steward cleaned most of it. The second day, we also reported problems with the shower, which was old, broken, and, to avoid too much detail, just basically icky. No one ever addressed this despite multiple requests. The second to last day, our shower door fell in. Not a big deal for me, but it would have been a problem for someone without much strength. I've never thought of myself as one to pay much attention to these things, but the amount of caked dust in the bathroom and elsewhere made clear that no one had thoroughly cleaned this room for weeks at least. It did not ruin our trip, but I did take care not to walk around barefoot and it was different from our previous cruises where I never had to give a second thought to cleanliness. The food on the ship was good, as far as I was concerned. I found it easy to eat healthy meals, which I appreciated. My husband, who was more interested in gourmet meals, was not impressed with the food. The common areas of the ship were nice with one exception. The deck was unusable some days because of cleaning or staining or something that involved chemicals so strong that it sent me back inside. While I will admit that the weather wasn't the best, it would have been nice to have the option of spending time on deck every day. We do not go to many shows, but we enjoyed most of what we did see. The cruise director was fun, and we enjoyed listening to him when his announcements came on. While I was put off by the problems we had with our room, I do have to say that the staff on the Spirit were the nicest I have encountered. People just generally seemed nice and happy to help. 3. The ports. Our first day we cruised the Saguenay fjord. We arrived exactly on schedule. It was a beautiful fjord, we had beautiful weather, and we even saw some beluga whales from the boat. Our second day we were at Sept Iles. We took the Zodiac tour. This turned out to be cold without much reward, though at other times of the year I understand it would be incredible. The birds had left for the winter, as had the whales. The cold weather didn't help. This day was largely about kicking ourselves for not coming earlier in the year. Our third day was Prince Edward Island. We just walked off the boat and walked around town. We visited the Province House, which was interesting. We shopped at Northern Watters, which we walked into by chance but really enjoyed. We had good pub food and looked around at the pretty houses. We attempted to rent bikes in the afternoon, but without success. Prince Edward Island was very pleasant for a cold and rainy stop. Our forth day was at sea. It was a nicely timed break. Our fifth day was Halifax, Nova Scotia. Other than Quebec, this was a highlight for us, but that could be because we had weather in the 50s for a change. We used Jonathan Duru from yourcabs to get us to Peggy's Cove at a time when there were fewer people there. We both really enjoyed Jonathan and recommend using him. He then dropped us off at the Citadel, which allowed us to see it and then take a leisurely walk downhill to the port. Our sixth day was in Portland Maine. We took the hop-on hop-off bus from the port to get our bearings and then walked around town. We had a good day visiting the pottery shops, eating lobster and, at the last minute, joining a lighthouse boat tour. Our last day was Boston, but in reality, we just went straight to the airport. Getting on and off the boat was remarkably easy except one port, I can't recall which one: either Sept-Iles or Prince Edward Island. 4. My pros and cons. This would have been a much different cruise in other weather or at a time with more wildlife around. As it was, we had a decent, relaxing time. It seems this is an excellent trip for people from the south or other areas where the seasons don't change. For us, we just traveled from one cold climate to a colder one with fewer leaves (as we had missed the peak). The people were nice both on the boat and off, we slept well, and each port allowed us to see new things and get our exercise. So I do recommend this trip, but not in mid-October. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
Our background: DH and I have cruised 4 times previously, once on NCL. I have limited mobility, so some of my comments reflect that situation. We didn't have an HC cabin, as I can get around short distances, just not long ones. We ... Read More
Our background: DH and I have cruised 4 times previously, once on NCL. I have limited mobility, so some of my comments reflect that situation. We didn't have an HC cabin, as I can get around short distances, just not long ones. We flew into Boston the day before embarkation and stayed at Embassy Suites, Logan Airport. Since all we wanted was a restaurant and a place to sleep, it was an excellent choice. The free breakfast buffet was a plus. The minute we stepped off the elevator the day of the cruise, we were asked if we wanted a taxi to Black Falcon, so they must get a lot of pre-cruise business. Hoping for an early boarding, DH and I arrived at Black Falcon at 11:00 am. for our 7 day Canada / New England cruise going from Boston to Quebec. Dropping off our luggage was quick and easy, but then we had to join an unmoving line snaking around the entrance. At 11:30, NCL representatives came around explaining that the Coast Guard had arrived for a surprise security check. No one could be admitted until the Coast Guard released them. Around 12:15 they finally started embarkation. NCL did a good job of keeping us informed about the situation. The Spirit is beautiful. Even knowing that cabins would be small, seeing their size for the first time was a shock. But our belongings fit in amazingly well, and we adjusted to the size quickly. We didn't see as much seating in public areas as we have come to expect, so I sometimes had a long (for me) walk. Muster Drill was held on the Promenade Deck. Everyone had to stand in line wearing their life vests until it ended. For everyone, this was an uncomfortable change from Muster Drills held in lounges as we had always seen before. Since our only Sea Day was Day 6 of our 7 day cruise, we had an informal Meet and Greet immediately after Muster. Much to our disappointment the captain turned down our CC petition requesting that he turn off some lights one night for better viewing of the Northern Lights that were predicted. Since it was cloudy for most of the cruise, we probably would not have been able to see much anyway, and the prematurely cold weather convinced us that we would have been miserable waiting for a display with no guarantee of seeing anything. Thanks to posts from previous cruisers, we found more food to our liking than on our previous NCL cruise. The chilled fruit soups were delicious as were the crepes in Raffles where we ended up going most nights for dessert. Hamburgers at the Blue Lagoon were very good. One unexpected treat was the availability of Alaskan King Crab Claws for $15.95 at the Blue Lagoon, Shanghai Bar, and Henry's Pub. This was much cheaper than paying a $25 pp cover charge plus $10 to order them at Cagney's, yet they were just as good! The only drawback was the limited seating during peak hours. We got excellent, courteous service throughout the ship except at Windows MDR. There, I finally saw what many posters complain about. Service was slow, and the servers were abrupt. Service was quicker in Cagney's than in the Garden Room, but that could be explained by the relatively small number of passengers to be served. Other than at Windows, the crew went out of their way to be helpful, and several knew us by name. We didn't enjoy the shows as much as we've enjoyed them on previous cruises. The musicals seemed to be randomly patched together songs with no real connection unless it was the style of music. We didn't go to the comedy shows, but, from what we saw in the Freestyle Dailies and on the TV when they were broadcast later, they were not always family friendly. We did the Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor. It was a pretty drive, but the photo stops were momentary pauses so photos could be made through the bus windows. We couldn't see anything but fog from Cadillac Mountain, so if you do this excursion, go in the afternoon after the fog burns off. We chose to wonder around on our own in Halifax and Saint John. We got lobster at the Steamer across from the dock in Saint John. It was good, but according to locals, it would have been much cheaper at Billy's. In Sydney the Heart of the Island excursion was enjoyable, but again photos were made through bus windows. Our only real problem was due to my limited mobility. The ports of Sydney and La Baie had accordion ramps requiring passengers to walk about ¼ mile before reaching ground, then another1/4 mile returning to the ship. La Baie was worse because the ramp went downhill, then uphill, then downhill, etc. For a person with limited mobility, this was a real challenge. They had placed park style benches at the landings, but they were always occupied when we got to them. Since this was a new NCL itinerary, the Shore Excursion desk and the Special Services were not able to tell us in advance that I would be required to walk so far. We did the Saguenay By Land and Sea excursion, which was enjoyable until I had to walk an additional ¼ mile to get from the excursion boat to the bus which took us back to the ship. So even though we enjoyed seeing the Saguenay, the day in La Baie was not good. In Quebec, we enjoyed the Caleche ride through Old Quebec. It was very informative and gave us a good view of the old parts of town without my having to do a lot of walking. Our room at the Manoir Victoria Hotel post cruise seemed palatial after a week on the Spirit. This hotel was also a good choice for us as we were close enough to be able to see Old Quebec, and I was able to enter without having to climb stairs. The St. James Pub in the hotel provided surprisingly good food. Other than the problem with my having to walk long distances, we had a wonderful cruise! The Spirit is beautiful, and we felt pampered and spoiled. Once again, we saw why we love to cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
We really enjoyed the NCL Spirit. She was easy to navigate; even had color coding of the carpet to help you figure out if you're aft, forward or mid ship. We had a balcony cabin on deck ten, just shy of mid-ship. Very comfortable ... Read More
We really enjoyed the NCL Spirit. She was easy to navigate; even had color coding of the carpet to help you figure out if you're aft, forward or mid ship. We had a balcony cabin on deck ten, just shy of mid-ship. Very comfortable and much roomier than I expected. Our cabin #10628 was fairly roomy for the 2 of us. The closet and storage area was quite adequate and our big suitcases fit under the bed. The balcony was of good size. We loved the coffee pot in the room. No fridge, but our room stewards kept us in ice. The bed was very comfy. TV was a bit small but adequate and we liked to check out the info channel as to where the ship was, water temps and depth, etc. The bathroom was fairly roomy and the shower was a good size with a glass door rather than a flimsy plastic curtain. Water stayed in the shower and didn't get all over the floor. Only 1 outlet in the cabin itself, but we brought an extension cord. We found our cabin to be quite soothing, and it was extremely quiet. We spent quite a bit of time in our cabin so it was important to us and having the balcony was a real treat.The crew was always pleasant and had a smile and greeting for you. Our 2 cabin stewards kept our cabin very clean and well stocked; we tipped them extra for all their effort. We thought the ship to be well kept and saw people fixing, cleaning and painting quite a bit. We enjoyed our itinerary even though the weather didn't cooperate sometimes. Generally the rain held off while we were at port though. The ship had only 1 rocky night out of 14, so we got real lucky there. I slept through that rocky night, so it was a piece of cake for me. My husband and I are a bit prone to sea sickness, but we never once felt sick on this cruise. We liked breakfast in the buffet and the dining room; neither was better than the other. We liked the breads baked on the ship; pretzel rolls and breakfast rolls were fantastic. Coffee was tolerable if you added hot water. The Blue Lagoon was pretty good. I know that food is subjective and that most people seem to like it, but my husband and I did not care for the menus at all. We tried both main dining rooms (have the same menu and galley), and the flavors and choices were just not to our liking. The prime rib was well under 1/2 inch in thickness - I'm from Wyoming and I've never seen it cut this thin. The buffet was not our cup of tea either for lunch and dinner. There appeared to be too much repetition (buffet had the same basic 7 or 8 desserts every time). Also many things in the buffet appeared to be leftover type foods made into something else. We had a hard time finding something to eat at lunch and dinner. They did have a salad bar everyday and a sandwich bar sometimes too, but I must admit that I was very disappointed in lunch and dinner on this cruise. I don't think it was the ship, but the menus and food types themselves. Read Less
Norwegian Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

Find a Norwegian Spirit Cruise

Email me when prices drop